Monthly Archives: August 2011

Revisiting my teens


It all started last Wednesday evening. I got home from work and Twilight was on.

I have long been a bit of a snob when it comes to Twilight. I had avoided reading the books and point black refused to watch the films. However, last week my flatmate’s excitement made me curious. With nothing better to do I sat down to watch it.

Little did I know I would be hooked, using the ad brakes to quickly do my evening chores and rush back to the TV as soon as it resumed.

It gets worse, or at least my colleagues, who were disgusted to hear about my newfound ‘teenage obsession’ as they call it, believe so.

Last Saturday afternoon I wondered into WH Smith in Westfield to, yes you’ve guessed it, buy the first Twilight book. I looked in the sci fi section where Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings were, but couldn’t find it anywhere. At a loss I asked a nice lady working there for help. She took me to the teen section. Only slightly put off and ashamed of myself I went to the counter to buy it.

So far I am thoroughly enjoying the read and have almost finished it, however, I do have to admit the dialogue occassionally makes me cringe as it reminds me of some of the books I read as a teenager. That minor issue aside, I’m totally getting into vampires, wouldn’t mind one watching me sleep, only if he looked like Robert Pattinson of course! Despite my friend Emily’s absolute disgust, I cant wait to start the next book.

Think I’m set for bank holiday reading!

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Day five – assisted exit

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Apologies for not posting anything yesterday, I got side tracked in the pub on my way home from work, where most of London seemed to be making up for the previous few days bar closures and anxiety by flocking to the pub for a few drinks!

Well back to my duck-billed platypus egg, there had been no further development since the last post, apart from increasingly murky water. So, slightly impatient, I decided to assist the creature. I know that technically I shouldn’t, but it did say 48 hours on the instructions and it’s been five days now!

Still loath to touch anything in the bowl I used a knife and fork to break the egg and …
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this emerged. Well only partly as the creature seems to be stuck onto the back of the egg.

So ladies and gentlemen here ends my duck-billed platypus egg hatching series. I hope you’ve found it as, let me see, enlightening as I have!

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London: it’s eerily quiet tonight

It’s only Tuesday but this week feels like it’s been going on for a very long time!

London, which is usually such a vibrant city, is eerily quiet. As a friend of mine said you can almost hear a pin drop outside. On my walk home from work this evening many pubs and restaurants, usually bustling on a sunny evening, were closed, shops had their shutters down and walking down New Cavendish to the tube, the streets were strangely empty.

Even though I haven’t seen any looting, burning, or rioting in my area, the fear that has gripped all of London, has also taken hold of me. Despite knowing it would be OK, I had to tell myself that I would be safe tonight to take my usual route swimming which passes through a residential area where a lot of young people always hang out.

Last night I stayed up late glued to BBC News watching the riots unfold across the city and tensing every time a siren passed outside. When I finally turned off my light I lay in the dark and realised that I was actually a little bit scared; it wasn’t something happening miles away, it was right outside! In a place like London where you almost take your safety for granted, it was scary.

In the bright morning sunlight everything seemed better. But when my two colleagues and I got off the train in East Croydon for a client meeting, we were met with the lingering smell of burning and the drone of police helicopters hovering overhead.

As 5.30pm drew closer, the atmosphere in the office was tense, people jumped at bangs and the constant updates on Twitter and other media outlets of riots breaking out all over the city made everyone a bit nervous. Most people left early and went straight home, something we rarely do in our office. As I walked home I found myself wearily observing groups of young people and walking past in a hurry.

Everyone is inside and waiting for something to happen tonight, but the thugs who have so mindlessly looted and damaged the capital over the last three nights seem to be lying low. Maybe that’s due to tonight’s greater police presence and the fact that they are ready to use rubber bullets, or because the rioters are waiting for another night to attack the city!

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Day three

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Well, as promised day three’s report of the duck-billed platypus egg hatching.

After a restless nights sleep due to the rioting, and our fire alarms constant beeping, which totally freaked me out for a while until I realised what it was (the battery needed changing), not much had changed in the morning. No black mass floating around in the water.

But as you can see from the picture, when I got home from work there was something black poking out of the eggshell. My flatmate touched it earlier, but I’m still convinced it will be all slimy and I’m a bit squeamish about that so I merely peered into the bowl of water.

To be quite honest I’m hoping that by tomorrow the entire black mass will have removed itself from the shell, as this is taking a little bit longer than I expected!

I will report back tomorrow!

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Day two

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I was a little disappointed to be honest when I got home from work to find that not much had happened to the egg apart from a few cracks, no slimy creature walking around the kitchen!

I guess I just have to be patient, the instructions do say that you have to wait 48 hours for the creature/thing to come out of the egg.

I’m just going to have to entertain myself with a bit of Friends these evening instead. A little bit more interesting than watching a giant egg in a bowl to be honest!

Will report back tomorrow on any further developments.

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Hatching my very own duck-billed platypus – day one

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I’m having an unnaturally, even for me, random Sunday morning. The weather is lovely out and I’m sitting at home in my kitchen watching a giant egg in a bowl of water.

My random morning can be explained, I promise! My sister sent me a package for my birthday which I only got yesterday. Apparently her boyfriend – thanks Kane – made her send me a duck-billed platypus egg. Which is why I am now sitting in my kitchen on a Sunday morning watching what looks like a giant Cadbury mini egg submerged in water.

Even though I know it’s not real, it really freaks me out and I’m terrified that when the shell breaks I will walk into the kitchen and see a black creature scuttling across the floor leaving a trail of slime behind it.

What I have decided to do, to add to the randomness of my blog, is to chart the growth of this creature. So check back tomorrow if you want to find out the developments on day two.

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Dishoom’s Pop-up Cafe; a taste of India in London’s South Bank

Dishoom’s South Bank Pop-Up Cafe

During the summer London’s South Bank becomes a heaven for foodies and culture seekers. And when the sun shines, it’s almost like being on holiday. A big fan of Indian food I was delighted when one of my colleagues suggested taking a late afternoon work trip to the Dishoom Pop-Up café.

The heatwave obviously meant that the most ideal place to spend the late afternoon would be a nice trip to the beach. Normally impossible in central London,  the Dishoom Pop-Up  outside the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank, complete with a sandy beach and terrace, was as close as we were going to get to the beach. The venue, inspired by Bombay’s Chowpatty beach, was packed full of people eating the cafe’s gorgeous Indian street food. From Biryani, Roti, Paneer, Naan, Lassi, cocktails and wine, they had everything and both the food and drinks menu were immense and the tasted superb.

The interior of the bar was quite funky and made entirely out of recycled objects from a wall created out of rolled up newspapers to multi-coloured barrels for seats and a bar made out of stacked plastic bottles.

We all tucked into the delicious range of classic Bombay street food. The food was served in no-nonsense cardboard boxes – all recyclable along with the cutlery. Dishoom describes itself as a place where people come to ‘snack and stroll.’

A few of us stayed to watch the sunset over the Thames while drinking an additional bottle or two of wine before heading home.

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