Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!!!

I'm having a very mellow New Year's Eve. I've dropped off my laundry, done my ironing, eaten some soup and I'm now plopped in front of the TV with a glass of Mencia. Do I know how to party it up in NYC or what ;-) I'll probably be in bed before the clock strikes midnight, I usually am, although that's typically because I'm dealing with jet lag after spending Christmas in the UK. I have no such excuse this time, but I'm just not one of life's night people. I'm much better at mornings, which is why I shall be up with the larks - and the walk of shamers* - to take the subway out to Far Rockaway for a New Years Day surf lesson. I KNOW....surfing in January, but it's forecast to be 50F tomorrow, it should be a beautiful day to be out on the water. I've finally coerced fair weather surfer, Megan, to come with me. She's always been bothered by the idea of wearing so much as a spring wetsuit having only ever surfed wearing a rash guard and board shorts, so she'll be having quite the initiation tomorrow in her 4/3 suit, hood, gloves and booties. After surfing in all that get up wearing a spring suit in a few months will be no probs.

To be honest you couldn't pay me to go and watch the ball drop in Times Square**. They were speculating on NY1 the other day that it's 90% tourists who go, but in almost 12years in New York I've yet to meet someone who's been. Native New Yorker Melissa was postulating that if you count anyone who lives outside of the 5 NY boroughs*** as tourists then the percentage probably shoots up to 98%. They were interviewing people on the news this morning who'd got to Times Square at 6am and were planning to wait it out for 18hours to keep their spot, because once the crowds arrive there's no moving, once you're there, you stay there. How does one go to the bathroom you might wonder? Well I've heard, although I've no idea if this is true, that people can I put this delicately...go where they are standing.


Spending New Year's Eve watching the ball drop in Times Square doesn't quite sound like the most appealing proposition when you hear that does it?

I wonder if there's a whole adult diaper situation going on? Ugh ugh ugh, WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY BRAIN, why on earth did I think that? Just forget I said anything okay, it really does not bear thinking about.

Have a happy and safe new year's eve and all the best for 2012!!

*I did enjoy this Harvey Nics ad featuring the walk of shame and the fact that it doesn't deride the women who participate, but just encourages them to dress better when they do it. Ha ha!! Enjoy it ladies.

**I could take or leave going out on NYE in general to be honest. Melissa's father refers to it as 'Amateur Night' because everyone who doesn't typically go out at other times during the year hits the town on New Years Eve and it just turns into a bit of a mess. Not to be all bah humbug about it, but I'm inclined to agree with his philosophy. People seem to put themselves under too much pressure to have a good time on NYE and it usually falls a bit flat in my experience. In fact the only memorable NYE I've spent was when I was in my mid-twenties and rented a cottage in St Ives. St Ives is a small town on the Cornish coast and the whole town dresses in costume up for NYE and none of the pubs and bars charged a cover so we were free to roam from pub to pub, it doesn't cost a fortune and you have a built in opportunity to chat to people by asking them about their costume. Even the police who were on duty the year we were there cheerfully posed for photos with revelers. Happy days!!

***Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Final Day Of Sloth

So it's back to the gym for me tomorrow - 10am Pilates class with Kristen yay - but since I could not be arsed to get up for the 8.15am class with Nina this morning I decided I deserved one last day of being lazy slumped on the sofa, catching up on my DVR with the box of leftover handcrafted Bon Bons chocolates within reach.

Well kind of... reality I've eaten two of the Bon Bons for breakfast and now I'm feeling a bit sickly they are so rich and truth be told I'll probably be a bit more active as the state of my apartment is driving me crazy enough to sort it out. For some reason my parents - who flew back to England last night - feel that it's entirely appropriate, as temporary guests in my home, to rearrange my kitchen cupboards so that after they've left I can NEVER FIND ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!! Not that it aggravates me in the least. Oh no, not in the slightest, grrrrrrr ;-)

Anyway including today I have 5 days left before I am back to work, so I need to use the time wisely. Here's my to do list for the remainder of 2011/early 2012.

* Re-order apartment
* Catch up on DVR
* Take 2 Pilates and 2 Total Body Conditioning classes
* Have brunch with Melissa and Lauren
* See 'Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones' at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery
* See Mission Impossible 4 - if you'd have told me a month ago that this would be on the list I would have laughed you out of the room, but it's getting AMAZING reviews. I need to see it in a theater.
* See "Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art & Design" at the Museum of Art & Design before it closes on January 15th.

Can you tell I am one of life's list makers? I can't help myself, I'm an ISTJ.

Enjoy the rest of 2011!!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

A Very Merry Christmas

A nice mellow Christmas in New York, we chatted with my sister, brother-in-law and nephew over Skype last night, unwrapped our gifts with sticky buns and coffee this morning and then took off to the cinema to see that festive classic, Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, plus only one minor family skirmish over some eggs*, so not bad going at all really!!

I had Fresh Direct deliver a, more or less, traditional Christmas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings which we are having this evening, so all I have to do is pop the turkey in and microwave some veggies, microwave the Betty's Christmas pudding my mother brought over - served with butter pecan Haagen Dazs instead of brandy whipped cream - and lapse into a food coma in front of the TV.

Merry Christmas!!

*Despite the fact that my parents have been hinting at me to make a round of Pisco Sours, which I said I would make today with my new ice crushing KitchenAid blender - thank you Santa - my mother decided that she really wanted scrambled eggs for lunch and got into a bit of a huff when I said I needed enough egg whites to make the cocktails they wanted. Fortunately when given the choice of using the eggs for cocktail hour or for a light protein rich lunch, she made the sensible decision to have a ham salad sandwich. Parents eh!!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Santa Surfs Rockaway

Very cute Facebook post today from New York Surf School. They are running a 10am lesson tomorrow and it's so nice and mild in New York - what a fantastic autumn we've had in 2011 - I can't say I'm not tempted, although I should probably be a dutiful daughter and spend quality time with my parents on Christmas Eve.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Wow, how did almost 3 weeks go by?

I've been meaning to post for a couple of weeks now, but there's been so much going on I haven't had a chance and now my parents are visiting for the festive season there is even less time. It's quite weird, although not in a bad way, but this will be the first Christmas that I haven't spent in England. It feels like a turning point. The reason they are here is that my sister, brother-in-law and nephew are in Australia reactivating their visas.

Beyond seeing my parents one of the things I am happiest about is that I get to more or less maintain my gym regime and that the season doesn't feel as gluttonous as it would normally be. Usually when I am in England I'm all "Ooooh I haven't eaten one of these since the last time I was here, I should eat 10 of them right now," and I come back to New York feeling like a total lard-arse, but there's none of that going on if I stay here and keep up with the gym and that's great, because Megan and I are researching trips to surf camp - we're thinking either Nicaragua (my first choice) or Costa Rica - in March so it will be good not to have extra weight to work off.

Anyway in lieu of an update - which I hope to get around to in a few days - here's are the amazing Black Keys for your enjoyment!!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

I am such a cool aunt

So as an elderly 40 year old I was completely thrilled to receive this email from my way too cool 15 year old nephew today.

"How's the surfing going? I saw a picture the other day of you in your wet suit looking like you know what you're doing. But the water looked cold"
I looked like I know what I am doing?????? I so don't, but I am glad I fake it well ;-)

Sadly despite 60F+ temperatures being forecast for Sunday I am not able to make it out to Rockaway for a surf lesson this weekend. Let me just say the words "woman's week" and leave it at that. Harumph!!

Instead of getting out there in the surf I took a Surf Set Fitness class at Chelsea studios with Megan this afternoon and I have to say it exceeded all expectations, it was amazing and much more cardio intensive than I expected, I loved it and I'm definitely planning to check out classes when they return to New York in January. I noted I had issues with my left arm when it came to the exercises that mimic paddling. I'm not sure if it's as a result of overly tight muscles or something more serious, but I plan to see a medical professional. Now that I have discovered surfing I don't want to have to give it up due to injury.

In NYC $78 worth of groceries...

...comes in one tiny box

I was quite flabbergasted to receive this after spending so much. Admittedly it supplements two weeks worth of food, but box????