Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I really have no excuse for posting so infrequently. Lord knows it's not like I'm snowed under with work at the moment - I've spent about four days this month earning money. But I figure as January was a hellishly busy (and therefore profitable) month, I can slack off a bit now. Mostly I've been:

* making soup: faves are spicy roast squash, honeyed parsnip and onion, and tomorrow I'm trying to make artichoke and carrot. We got a bag of artichokes in our veggie box delivery and panicked a bit, as neither of us has ever cooked them.
* spending money on cheap clothing. Primark is the devil, and here's why. The clothing is lovely. Flattering, cool, puff-sleeved little tunics and jackets and 60s dresses and Marc Jacobs-esque handbags. And it's also dirt cheap, so it seems stupid not to stock up whenever I find myself passing (via a 20-minute bus ride from my house). Today I got a black sleeveless tunic, a black cropped jacket with big buttons and a big round collar, an orange bag for T, a wallet for me, and a change purse for J, all for £31.
* Doing laundry. Feels like I do laundry every day.
* Getting a bit bored, to be honest. I'm not quite ready to go back to working in an office and the myriad horrors (admin, meetings, commuting, expensive store-bought lunches, getting up at 7am) that involves, but I do need more company, and more money.

Note to the lady on the end of the phone at the local berevement counselling service:
When I call you to discuss getting counselling, please realise it took me weeks to get the courage to pick up the phone. Don't therefore, say 'OK, your half-sister', when I tell you my half-sister died. When I tell you my dad died 6 years ago, don't, after a pause, say 'OK, anyone else?' Isn't two people enough? When you ask me whether I drink and I admit that I drink most nights of the week (a glass of wine with dinner), don't pause for ages and then go 'Riiight.' Don't express disaproval at the mention of antidepressants. And don't then be surprised when I get upset, make excuses and hang up the phone.

Friday, February 02, 2007

It’s been a busy old month. We went to Barcelona at the beginning of January, where we walked around in T-shirts, drank cava at lunchtime (and teatime, and dinnertime), stuffed ourselves with delicious tapas, did an open-top bus tour of the city, wandered the mosaic-covered plazas of Parc Guell, and more. Our hotel, L’Antic Espai, was fantastic. Full of baroque 1950s furniture, run by a sweet gay couple who welcomed us with cold cava served in antique glasses on a little marble tray. Our room had a sunroom attached to it, a high, ornate ceiling with a giant chandelier, and it was 5 minutes’ walk from all the action.

If you do one thing
Drink a cocktail at Boadas. It’s a gorgeous little cocktail bar, really smoky, small, bartenders (who wear white shirts and bowties) don’t speak English, and it doesn’t serve wine or beer, just cocktails. In proper glasses. I wanted something in an old-style champagne glass, one of those wide, shallow ones, so the bartender made me a champagne cocktail. Steve had some kind of amazing rum daiquiri and we nearly had a run-in with another couple. We’d been standing at the bar waiting for a couple of seats to become free, and when they did I saw a couple heading for them (and, right, we were nearer, and we’d been waiting longer) so I hissed loudly (drunkenly) to Steve, “Get them! They’re going to grab our seats!” Steve said the woman looked daggers at me as I leapt across the room and flung myself onto a stool, but it had the desired effect: they retreated, and victory was ours. Apparently she kept glaring at me and after a while I just started laughing…