Tuesday, 1 January 2008

I ate all the pies!!

Well, first things first, a Happy New Year to you, and all the best to you and yours for 2008, I hope it turns out to be a good one!! I also hope you had a lovely time over the festive period. I certainly did, although I was a lazy ol’ wench. My arse barely left the sofa over the last 2 weeks. I had such good intentions too, I planned to keep up with my blog; catch up with other bloggers, update my CV – impending redundancies at work and all that – and do some exercise – I took my Pilates DVD home and everything - but pretty much my only achievements of Christmas 2007 were catching up on British telly, reruns of Carry On films largely on UKTV Gold, some of which I hadn’t seen in over 20years - finally I get all the saucy jokes - and that series with Billie Piper, the one that’s based on Belle Du Jour’s blog and books – and eating my own body weight in chocolate. Oh and drinking wine. Lots and lots and lots of wine!! We definitely got in touch with the French aspect of our family’s ancestry this Christmas. Phew!!! Not that we were drunk every night, but we certainly enjoyed a few bottles with dinner. Usually I’m more of a weekly wine drinker, so after 10days quaffing Chilean wine in November and 14 straight days enjoying a cheeky one or two with dinner while in England my poor liver is feeling a bit shrivelled. It deserves a break, so I’ve decided to follow the example of my good friend Nick and give up the booze as my New Year’s resolution. Yup, I’m off the sauce; well, for a month anyway. What? You didn’t think I was giving it up for good did you? Ha, I should cocoa.

Actually, if we’re getting nit picky about the whole thing I’m only giving it up until the 25th January. Not quite a whole month, but better than nothing. Hey, don’t give me that look, I have a good reason for breaking my resolution that day, I have a girls’ get together to celebrate the impending nuptials of Ash, who is having a March wedding to her sexy Italian fiancĂ©, and even though the celebrations will be distinctly more spa day than boozy hen party there is no WAY the girls will let me get away with toasting the bride to be with a sip of San Pellegrino, so what am I to do? I’ll just have to grit my teeth and force a drink down, purely for Ash of course. I’m such a good friend. Ahem ;-)

Anyway it’s good to be back in New York where I can actually afford to eat. England was fun, but EXPENSIVE. My God, I’m practically bankrupt and I didn’t even buy anything to speak of. I’m not a big shopper these days, too much of a good thing as a youngster got shopping out of my system, but that being said I usually enjoy a stroll down Oxford St while I’m over there for a rummage around Top Shop and to stock up on nice knicker sets from M&S – I’m one of those matching sets types, should I ever be hit by a bus, I will never be shamed by non-matching undies - but this year there was no joy to be had in retail therapy, in fact it was downright depressing to find that, even with prices slashed by 50%, everything was still twice as much as I’d pay in New York. Sigh. Even stopping for a sandwich was pricey, I went in this cute little place on Beak St, Fernandez and Wells I think it was called and had a very nice ham sandwich – I’ve completely given up on the vegetarian thing - and a cappuccino and it cost me $14! $14!!!! Fortunately I didn’t spend as much on hitting the town with friends as I usually would since a fair few of them have moved on to the next stage of their lives and are now resplendent in the suburbs with wee ones too look after, so I was out to their places for copious cups of tea to meet the new additions. Although Nick and I did squeeze in a lovely visit to ‘Europe’s longest champagne bar’ (over 90metres, 300feet or thereabouts) at the newly revamped
St Pancras Station – his little one is not due until February - new home of the Eurostar trains to Paris et al and very nice it is too, although I was a bit disappointed to see a Pain Quotidien – a chain of Belgian lunch spots, which are EVERYWHERE in New York – on the lower concourse, since I’m pretty sure that means they’ll soon be as prevalent in London as they are over here. Sigh!! I’m a bit anti-globalisation that way. One of the fun things of visiting another city for me is being able to experience different shops and restaurants, but these days everywhere is starting to look scarily the same. Shops wise the UK and the US already have Reiss, Zara, The Gap, Warehouse, French Connection in common to reel just five off the top of my head, and don’t get me started on Starbucks, although at least in England Starbucks has some competition from the likes of CafĂ© Nero and Costa Coffee. Btw if there are any Americans reading can you believe that a tall latte in Starbucks in Leeds cost me over £3? That’s SIX DOLLARS for the smallest latte they sell, I think it was $8 for a grande!! Scandalous!! Oh and while I’m on the subject I absolutely hated the fact that Starbucks had infiltrated Santiago, although not to the same level as they have the UK and the US, well…not yet anyway. I’m sure they will expand over there soon and I’m am soooooo sick of them and their over priced, over roasted coffee. In fact I think my other New Year’s resolution will be to regularly support my small local latte provider from now on.

Whoo that was a bit of an unexpected rant wasn’t it? Pardon my anti-globalization diatribe; let’s get back to talking about the champagne bar which is lovely, although a bit brass monkeys in December. Brrrrr!!! If I had bollocks they would have surely been frozen off as Nick and I sat and sipped our two glasses of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc NV champers – mmm mmm mmmmm!!!! Deeee-licious!! Yes, it was cold, but not so frigid that I turned down a second glass of champagne. I’m not crazy!! ;-)

Here’s a photo of the champagne bar, its over 300feet long and, as I said, it’s supposedly Europe’s longest – and possibly coldest - and runs right along the platform for the Eurostar. It’s nice right? As usual the photo isn’t my doing but courtesy of nickdillon via Flickr. My camera isn’t working at the moment and even if it was I’d probably forget to take it. I need to be better at remembering to carry it around, when it’s sorted out of course.



So, did you do anything exciting to celebrate New Years Eve? I had marvellous time: I caught up on my DVR, sewed a button on a pair of trousers, unpacked my suitcase and then snuggled up in bed with Kate Atkinson’s ‘One Good Turn’ for half an hour – a cracking good read so far, an absolute page turner. What a night eh? Whoo hoo!! Don’t tell me I don’t know how to live it up as a single girl in one of the world’s most exciting cities ;-)

Besides, I’m not sure whether I’m coming down with a cold or whether it’s just the result of travelling, but I ache all over. My arms, shoulders and lower back are understandably sore from hefting suitcases - a massage would go down a treat right now - but why my inner thighs hurt is a complete mystery….and nooooo, I did not join the mile high club on the flight. Honestly, minds in the gutter, I knew your brains would go there you mucky buggers….nope, it certainly wasn’t that. It must have been the walnuts I was cracking!! Ha ha!!

Still, I did give small pause to trying to sort something out to celebrate the arrival of 2008 while I was in England and texted Tel Aviv to see what he had planned – away with the guys in New Hampshire and not sure he would be back in New York - but then it occurred to me that since I was used to going to bed at 2 or 3am in England, which is only 9-10pm New York time, I probably didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of staying awake until midnight, so I decided not to expend the energy needed to scramble around and find something to do and instead planned to stay home and not drink – I do so enjoy that smug feeling of being hangover free on New Year’s Day as I pass by my pasty looking neighbours clutching bottles of Gatorade ha ha – and nudged my non-drinking resolution forward a few days – I’ve been 100% teetotal since 29th December, what an achievement ;-)

Speaking of bedtime, my mother was none too thrilled about me staying up until the small hours and getting up at 10.30am while I was up at my parents place in Yorkshire. If she’d had her way I’d have been up at 8am every morning, and no doubt on the first train into Leeds clutching a list of groceries she needed me to pick up from Marks & Spencer. For some reason she feels it’s better for me to try and be on local time while I’m there, logic that is completely lost on me given I’m only in England for a couple of weeks and it’s not as if I have to get up and go to work while I’m over there. It feels like a waste of time to fully acclimatize to British time only to have to reacclimatize myself back to New York time 2weeks later. She’d be appalled to hear that sometimes, when I stay over at Tel Aviv’s on weekends, I don’t tumble out of bed until close to 11am.

Not that I ever manage to get a decent night’s sleep while I was at my parents. It’s the snoring you see, it’s unbelievable!! I’d be sat downstairs watching TV in the living room after they’d gone to bed and I’d hear them snoring in the rooms above. They both snore so loudly they can’t sleep in the same room, although they’re optimistic enough that they’ll go to bed in the same room and then half and hour later I’ll hear one of them get up to go and sleep in the spare room, the one that used to be my sister’s room, the one with the thin walls that adjoins the room I sleep in. Aaaaarggggghhhhh!!!! It’s dreadful, I really hope it’s not a hereditary trait*. I can’t sleep for the noise when I’m in the next room, and the only way I can manage to get any sleep is to stay up so late that I’m so exhausted I’m on the verge of insanity and then it’s not so much falling asleep as lapsing into blissful unconsciousness. It’s no wonder I drank so much wine.

Anyway as for today, I’m not planning to do much since the rain is bouncing off the road outside. I was thinking of seeing a film, that Daniel Day Lewis film looks good, but when I met Melissa for a coffee yesterday she told me it’s only showing at one theatre in New York right now, so maybe I’ll just stay home, finish my Kate Atkinson book and whip up some soup or something – I found a recipe for my favourite New Covent Garden soup, carrot and coriander, on the internet recently. Unfortunately you can’t buy their soups over here, and I’ve been craving it, so I went out and braved the scrum of upper east side snots in Agata and Valentina yesterday and bought all the necessary ingredients, except when I got home I realised I’d forgotten the coriander, duh, so it’ll just be carrot soup, but hopefully it will still be tasty. Anyway I’m going to go now, because I’m rambling about soup, but I shall love you and leave you with this lovely photo, courtesy of Drift Words via Flickr, of the gorgeous Victoria Quarter in Leeds getting its Christmas on.

*Tel Aviv has occasionally teased me that I snore, but I believe it only happens if I have a bit of a cold and even then I don’t think it could be anywhere close to the freight train levels that emit from my parents. I really hope not anyway, because having experienced my parents' snoring I can completely understand how someone might resort to murder out of sheer insomnia induced frustration.

12 comments:

kitty said...

haha, oh dear, Fish!!

Your time off sounds fun-filled, which is great, because it makes your time off feel longer.

I'm not surprised though about how expensive the UK is. I was there years ago, loved it but couldn't afford anything either. *sniffle*

Welcome home!!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Kitty, thanks for stopping by. It's good to be back :-)

Amel's Realm said...

HUA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...You're always FUN to read, Fish!!!

When it comes to Starbucks, it has invaded Jakarta and Bandung and I bet other big cities in Indonesia, as well.

When it comes to snoring, hubby snores but gladly not too loudly. However, the first few nights I slept with him on our honeymoon, I had a bit of a hard time to sleep, but now I'm used to it already he he...

And about the prices you mentioned: OH DEAR...SO EXPENSIVE!!!! But you know, Starbucks is also considered expensive in Indo since you know how lame rupiah currency has been for the past decade!

Kate Atkinson, eh? Is it THAT good? I may go and look for it later once I'm done reading the few books I still have to read. ;-D

HAVE FUN with the girls at the spa! Sounds GREAT! I LOVE going to spas if only I had so much money HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

Okie dokie, I'm craving for something sweet now...let's see if I should try to bake something or not...probably tomorrow he he he...

Amel's Realm said...

Oh, almost forgot: the PICS look GREAT, esp. the X-mas tree. WOW!!!!!! I think if I ever visit London, I wouldn't want to buy anything, either, since even though Euro currency's stronger than US dollars, but still he he he he he...

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Amel, thanks for the compliment on the photos, I wish I could claim them for my own, but I just go to Flickr half the time :-)

I'm REALLY enjoying the Kate Atkinson book, it's sort of a thriller, but not in the traditional sense. I've never read her before but she's written 5or 6 books. Let me know what you think of it if you end up picking it up. Fish x

Amel's Realm said...

Hey, I LOVE thrillers!!!!! OK then I'll write down the title and her name and I'll let you know if I ever buy it ----> I can say this now since I've been making money online. Without that income I don't think I can promise you this HI HI HI HI...

Hey, but the pics are only a part of your post. What I THOROUGHLY enjoy is reading your story and how you write it HE HE HE HE HE...

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Amel, when I am done with the book I would happily mail it to you if you like.

pawpads said...

Welcome home.
Glad you had a good time.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Pawpads, thanks for stopping by, I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. All the best to you and yours for 2008. Fish x

Amel's Realm said...

Hey, REALLY?!?!?!?! That's SO NICE!!! But I wouldn't want it free as you have to pay the postal...

Anyway, I was going to propose a book exchange with you. I have some books I've read (used ones, though), but if you're interested in reading any, just tell me and I'll mail it to you in exchange for that one. Here they are:

The 5 People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom

Shopaholic Ties the Knot - Sophie Kinsella

In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (Thriller) - Elizabeth George

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Absolutely Amel, the postage is no big deal, but your idea of a swap is great, especially as I was considering buying the 'Shopaholic Ties The Knot' book - Sophie Kinsella books are a fun read. Shoot me an email and we can exchange addresses. I'm about halfway through my Kate Atkinson book, but I should make a dent in it this weekend, so I should be done in a couple of weeks. Fish

Amel's Realm said...

GREATTTTTTTTTTT!!!! Plus the Sophie Kinsella book has the best condition compared to others (I bought 7 used books from a fellow expat in Finland months ago), so I feel better HI HI HI HI...

No hurry about finishing the Kate Atkinson book you're reading he he he...I'll write you my address soon in the email.

I'm SO GLAD that I have something that you're interested in reading HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...;-D Yep, Shopaholic's fun to read indeed! ;-D