Thursday, 26 February 2009

Oh to be 17 again!!

I love this song. Mostly because it sounds like something from 20years ago when I was a young whipper snapper of 17 going on 18. I had a massive crush on Rob S back then; was lusted after by the exceptionally gorgeous Adam Taylor with the chocolate button brown eyes - what an idiot I was to turn him down for being too young, but in my defence he was 16 and it seemed like a big age gap at the time, however I still have the love letter he sent me - and regularly engaging in some underage drinking at Henry Boons in Wakey. I think Archers and lemonade was my tipple of choice. Halcyon Days!!

Friendly Fires - Skeleton Boy

Monday, 23 February 2009

Pity Party

Well, I survived brunch last weekend, although I didn’t escape as lightly as planned. Instead of enjoying a single extra spicy Bloody Mary as strategized in advance I ended up drinking 3 glasses of sangria – what can I say, it was free and delicious, I'm amazed I didn't drink more - and a glass of red wine, which sounds like a good amount I know, but it was over the course of 10hours so not too bad considering, yup, a 10hour brunch, which is pretty much just a regular Sunday afternoon with Lola. I knew I’d get swept along despite the best of intentions. It was fun though; however I’ve turned her down for the next brunch this coming Sunday. For my liver’s sake brunches with Lola are a once a month treat

How did your St Valentine’s Day go? Did you have a good one? My Valentine’s Day was a non-event as you might imagine being the spinster of this parish. I stayed in with my best friend Sauvignon Blanc and regrettably ordered ‘Nights in Rodanthe’ on pay per view. A terrible movie, I don’t recommend it at all. I’m not really one for romantic movies, but for some reason it seemed appropriate for the day, but I wish I’d watched something more action oriented. I think that Taken movie with Liam Neeson might have been more up my street, but it's yet to arrive on cable and there was no way I was risking snuggling couples at the movies on my own. My good friend Melissa fared much better than me with her St Valentine's Day, she went and got herself engaged can you believe. Her boyfriend took her for a romantic dinner for two at the Four Seasons restaurant and proposed with the assistance of a waiter who brought over one of those big domed silver serving trays just before dessert…et voila…an engagement ring. She was thrilled and said she didn’t suspect a thing, but she said she stuffed it on her finger and hoped no-one else in the restaurant noticed. She’s like me that way, not so big on the public displays. I prefer relationship related events to be low key and intimate which is probably why Gobshite and I were destined to be a disaster, he was always wanting to show me off which is a move guaranteed to make me want to run away and hide, I detest being the center of attention. Even though she’s not so keen either Melissa deals with that sort of thing a lot more graciously than I do, but fortunately for her, her boyfriend didn’t get down on bended knee in a jammed restaurant, but instead proposed quietly and assured her that no-one else near their table had noticed a thing. They’d already discussed getting engaged a few months ago, but she said the timing was a surprise. She’s like the 4th person I know who got engaged on St. Valentine’s Day, which made me hold a mirror up to my own disastrous personal life and start assessing exactly what is wrong with me and why I’m so terminally single. Sigh!! Living in New York doesn’t help I can tell you that much. I read once that there are something like 100,000 more single women than men in this city, so you're always going to have at least 100,000 more single women. Maybe I'm just destined to be one of them. Sex and the City my arse!!

Admittedly I’m having a bit of a pity party at the moment (seasonal affective disorder?), although my state of mind isn’t helped by the fact that I have an awful cold, or perhaps it is a touch of the flu. I am not sure, but all my nerves seem to be stood to attention and I have the feverish thing going on. Even my hair hurts!! I swear I can feel it growing. I took one of my carry over vacation days on Friday – I carried over 3days and it’s a case of use ‘em or lose ‘em by the end of March which is only a few weeks away can you believe – to recuperate and with the exception of a low key night out with Melissa on Saturday – a lovely time was had by all at Gottino on Greenwich Avenue, where they have lovely wine, may I recommend the Nosiola and even lovelier young men behind the bar - I’ve pretty much laid on the sofa the entire weekend and watched the entire first season of Lost, which I never watched when it was on, even though I’ve watched every season since. Unfortunately despite my best efforts my health declined rapidly over the weekend - it didn't help that I was woken up at 5am on Sunday morning by drunkards stumbling down my street chanting "Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land" and then my neighbour above clattering home - and I felt so awful yesterday that I decided it would be wise to take the day off sick from work today. My calorie intake over the last few days has primarily been made up of soup, Halls Advanced Vapour Action cherry flavoured lozenges and Vicks Dayquil although the latter don’t seem to be helping much and I decided today I needed something which would dehydrate me a little bit and stop my eyes and nose from streaming, so I dragged myself over to the off license/liquor store and bought a couple of miniatures of whiskey and brewed myself a hot toddy with honey and lots of lemon for vitamin C. It was nice and soothing, but it didn’t really work as planned since now I just feel slightly drunk with watery eyes and a runny nose, but the drunkenness makes the symptoms that much easier to deal with. Anyway I am going to lie on the sofa some more and travel and eat vicariously via Anthony Bourdain!!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Strategies for imbibing!!

Phew it’s been blowing a gale these past couple of days in New York, 65mph in parts of Brooklyn apparently. Walking under scaffolding – of which there is a lot – makes me very nervous. On a positive note, it’s Friday. In fact it’s not just Friday, it’s one of those fabulous trifecta Fridays where Friday, pay day and a long weekend all coincide. Ah, I so love it when this happens!!

Not doing too much tomorrow, there is a Chelsea gallery tour that I am contemplating. Catweazle – who is still busy doing his thing in Texas - and I met on February’s gallery tour last year which was excellent, but I've been disappointed by them the last couple of times, so I’m not sure I’ll bother. I’ll make a decision about it tomorrow

Sunday I have brunch with the lovely Lola and a pile of her "favourite people" - how nice to be included in that list eh - at Calle Ocho on the Upper West Side. The prospect of a hangover scares me on this one. I don’t know what it is, but I tend to get carried along by the Lola train when it comes to drinking – she has quite the capacity for alcohol that one – and some of my worst hangovers have been following nights out with Lola so the brunch scares me to be frank. Some people, like my friend Miles are very good about just having one drink and then cutting themselves off, but I can be just the opposite. I suppose I am weak willed and its times like these I wish I had a smidgen of Madonna’s self discipline, but as my friend’s husband puts it “why is it that after one drink having more seems like such a good idea?”

So true!!

When I told Lola I was quite scared about her brunch she didn’t quell my fears and instead responded “you should be”. Uh-oh!! I shall just have to remind myself to sip my drink slowly. I am thinking if I order an extra spicy Bloody Mary since it will take me ages to drink it and I will dodge a hangover at least there is lycopene in the tomato juice. It’s practically health food. Whatever happens I am steering well clear of the bottomless jugs of sangria.

I’m sorry, what was that? Don’t drink alcohol at brunch?? Surely you jest!!

On Monday I’m helping a friend for a few hours at the toy fair at the Javits centre. He’s developed a serious of children’s playbooks and this is his first foray into marketing them to a wider audience. I am looking forward to the fair as I don’t think non-industry types are allowed in. Hmmm, I wonder if I’d be allowed to take photos. If I am able to and there are interesting things to see I shall post some on the blog.

Have a lovely one!!

F x

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Another lazy weekend

Oh I've been meaning to write, but just haven’t been able to find the time, work is just relentless. I’m feeling quite overwhelmed if truth be told and find I spend increasing amounts of time day dreaming about winning the lottery and having the luxury of jacking it all in. I spent the entire day at home yesterday just chilling. It was a pretty nice day – 47F - and I should have forced myself outside for a while, but I think I just needed to relax for mental health reasons, so instead I caught up on all the programs stacking up on my DVR. So much for the resolution to watch less TV!! I was much less lethargic today; I worked out this morning and then walked downtown to stock up on Heinz baked beans and tomato soup from Myers of Keswick. That little shop maybe pricey, but beans on toast is still a damn sight cheaper than most meals I could choose to eat, I’ve heard there’s been a run on baked beans in the UK with everyone in saving mode. I can’t say I blame them, I’ve been doing my utmost to cut costs these past couple of months and I am certainly not one of those contributing to recession relief by spending my way out of the slump, but to be honest I’m always a bit of a cheapskate in the first couple of months of the year and I am tired from work, so I’ve been relaxing at home a lot. Last Saturday night was even more thrilling than this weekend; I filed my tax return ;-)

I definitely got my share of vitamin D today. Have I mentioned I found out that I am deficient? I had a full on health check up in early December, a perk the company used to offer certain levels of staff until this year, when they said the rising costs of healthcare meant they could no longer afford to offer it as a benefit. Fortunately I managed to sneak in one last check up and the results had arrived when I got back to New York after Christmas and all is good except for the vitamin D thing and my bad cholesterol (LDL?) is slightly elevated. I was gobsmacked about that one given I am pretty healthy in my eating habits and assumed it must be a hereditary trait, although my mother was all “don’t blame us, we’ve been checked and we don’t have high cholesterol,” when I told her, which quite frankly I find hard to believe since the pair of them have never met a tub of Haagen Dazs they didn’t like.

As for my vitamin D, well I am at 16IUs – that’s international units darlings – but they should be in the region of 32-100IUs and the recommended treatment was that I spend 15-20minutes outside twice a week. Erm…hello, I walk 3miles to work every morning, that’s 45minutes outside every day!! I tell you they’d be hard pushed to find another office drone that spends more time outside than me. I can only assume that since its winter there are insufficient expanses of flesh exposed to the elements to absorb the necessary nutrients, so fearing rickets I bought some supplements to try and boost my levels. I also read a BBC article the other day about vitamin D can also be a ‘mental health aid’ and that people with low levels ‘were more than twice as likely to have impaired understanding.’ “That explains a lot,” quipped my mother. Ahhh she’s just HILARIOUS isn’t she, a regular comedian!! Not!!

Oh I do sound like an old fart talking about my cholesterol and my vitamin D deficiencies don’t I. I recently noticed a new found habit of talking about my ailments when Melissa and I went over to Long Island City to meet Ash for drinks and we spent a good ten minutes talking about cholesterol. Apparently Ash’s husband has hereditary high cholesterol too. Next thing I know I'll be complaining about my bunions!! Perish the thought!! Ash and her husband have a lovely apartment; it’s a converted factory, so it’s all high ceilings and big windows. It kind of reminded me of another friend’s old rental apartment in the West Village, but bigger and a bit nicer since it has a better configuration with the two bedrooms being down a hallway instead of off the living room. They also have 2 bathrooms – an en suite and a guest bathroom, a massive walk in closet, a roof terrace with phenomenal views of Manhattan and the piece de resistance…..a utility room with a washer/dryer!!!

A washer/dryer!!


What’s so impressive about that you may wonder, well most New York apartments don’t have washing machines inside the apartment, oh no, at best there’s usually a laundry room in the building - which is what Melissa has. She says Sunday nights in there can be bedlam - but a lot of people like me have to schlep all the way over to the laundrette of a weekend, so having a washing machine INSIDE the apartment is your average New Yorker’s idea of bliss. See, contradictory to what you might think about New Yorkers it doesn’t actually take much to make us happy, just a laundry room to call our own ;-)

Thursday, 5 February 2009

A musical interlude

I don't have it in me to write at the moment. After 12hours plus spent in front of a computer at work every day I find it impossible to summon the enthusiasm to spend even more time in front of a computer when I leave the office. This being the case I'm neglecting the blog, neglecting reading other peoples blogs (so sorry) and neglecting emailing my friends across the pond. Not that anyone is missing much in not hearing from me. I'm doing very little at the moment, I'm all about work, hibernating from the cold weather - 10F in NYC today!! Yikes!! - reading - I can definitely recommend Kate Atkinson's latest, I couldn't put it down - and watching a lot of telly!! Too much telly if truth be told, but it's cold out there!!

Anyway here's a song I'm loving which puts me in a good mood. It's not a new one, but I heard it on the radio t'other day - Jonathan Ross is back on Radio2 yay!! - and I have been humming it ever since. Unfortunately the embedding for the video is disabled on Youtube - grrrr, I hate it when they do that - but enjoy!!