Max's parents came up on Friday to celebrate his new job. It should be hardly surprising by now that we had some great food and drink; roasted pheasant, potato and chive purée, and almond cake with fruit compote and vanilla ice cream. They also gave us a present of even more wine that they made us promise we wouldn't share with anyone else (three bottles of 1995 Rioja Gran Reserve and three of 1998 Rioja Reserve).
We went out to our local pub for the first time since moving here (which is strange, usually it's the first thing we do!) It was dilapidated, had dirty glasses, and was full of rugby louts. We talked a lot about Kam and his family. A few days earlier Jackie had gone back up to Grimsby to help Neelam with the finances and everything to do with Kam's old business. Neelam served her one of Kam's last curries that was in the freezer of the cafe. I learned much more about the family and the situation surrounding Kam's death, but I won't repeat it here as to respect the privacy of the family. Although, one thing that made me laugh was apparently after Max and I left the Sikh temple Kam's second eldest son, Sunny, asked them, "Who was that woman, Naomi, with Max?" No one had told him that I was his wife, when told he exclaimed, "Oh, she is just so beautiful and lovely!" (blush)
We were told that in addition to Dipi's invite to visit his family in Southall we also have an invite from Shushy to visit her family in Derby. Most of Neelam's family are also in Derby so we'd probably have to make the rounds of visiting everyone, being stuffed full of chai tea and curry (I'm not complaining!)
After a few hours we left the pub deciding we wouldn't come back again, except perhaps in summer since it has an enormous beer garden.
Later in the evening I ended up having a really good talk with Jackie. I've been feeling depressed and distracted lately and I think she picked up on it. She's an expatriate too so she can relate to the feelings of homesickness and isolation, even though her home country of France is much closer than the Pacific NW of America is for me. However, when she was my age they had so little money and travel so expensive that she was still only able to make it to France to visit her family once or twice a year, so the emotional separation was the same. It was probably worse for her considering she didn't even speak the language and her in-laws thought she wasn't good enough for their son, so she had no support from them. She encouraged me further to focus on my photography as it's one thing I can do for myself. She kept repeating how lucky she and Philip were to have me as their daughter-in-law, which made me blush because I feel like the lucky one. I'm not sure what I would do without their support here.
Saturday morning we had poached eggs on fresh baked ciabatta and then went to Bluewater in Kent, Europe's biggest mall and by far larger than anything I've ever been to in the states. It's 2 stories high and has 330 stores. I tried on a dead sexy silk dress at Reiss, but the sale wasn't enough to persuade me. I left without buying anything, I was so spaced out by the florescent lights and crowds of hurried consumers that I couldn't wait to leave.
That eve we cooked Lotte à la Bretonne (monkfish with leeks, cream, white wine, and gruyere) which was delicious.
Sunday morning we lazed around reading the paper and Jackie cooked a full English breakfast for everyone. After breakfast they left to go back to Southampton.
The other day we signed up for a free month of ScreenSelect, a dvd rental service like Netflix. We have about 22 films queued up, which means we'll have to watch about one a day. 28 Days Later shipped out yesterday and we have Good Bye, Lenin!, Dolls, Talk to Her, Devdas, Ghost World, Miyamoto Musashi, City Of God, Whale Rider, Phone Booth, Traffic, Max, Punch-Drunk Love, Pirates of the Caribbean, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Apocalypse Now Redux, Rushmore, Finding Nemo, Underworld, Secondhand Lions, The Ring (new version), The Thin Red Line, and The Matrix Reloaded coming soon. The last ones are mostly movies that we could never be bothered to spend money on, but have been curious about.
Move Whale Rider closer up into your queue if you can. One of the few DVD's I've found worth buying recently. :0)
How has it been when meeting possible new friends for you over there? I would think a bit easier than in Italy or France - but still curious.
I will try, they have a way of prioritizing which films you want first, but they just sent us a film that was our "last choice" so it doesn't seem they pay attention. :) When Whale Rider first came out I thought it might be too saccharine, but the more I hear and see about it the more I want to watch it.
I've made friends, but no one I'd consider close (yet). The cultural differences aren't that big, so at least I don't have that barrier. My only difficulty has been in finding my type of people. Max's friends are different to the kind of people I'm used to spending time with (generally creative people into the arts) and living in the 'burbs isn't very conducive to that, but I think it will improve when I start uni.
Recently I'm simply missing my family since I've always been very close to them.. friends aren't really a substitute for that, but they do help.
Hope it's not an intrusion and you don't mind my comments: Only spent three+ months in London in college (almost 13 years ago now), but I miss walking down to the local pub or fish 'n chips shop, regardless. I've wanted to visit again and again, but never had the time or the money. I felt homesick while I was there as well, often distracting me from having as good a time as I could. Perhaps that is why I'd like to go back so much. I have a few on-line friends that I would love to meet and visit. One day, maybe.
Anyway, good luck from another depressive who is also distracted and feeling isolated, just not an ex-patriate (although that does sound somewhat appealing the way the country is going).
Not an intrusion at all. I know what you mean, I like that wherever we move here there's always a pub within a 5 minute walk away. :)
yes, homesickness is always difficult situation, especially when you're never sure if you'll be able to live "back home" again. I lived in London for 11 months a few years ago and that was easier to deal with because I knew I'd be going back to everything familiar and family at the end of it.
I hope you are able to visit London again. It's certainly worth repeated visits, one could spend their entire life discovering new things here. Thank you for the good thoughts and I agree, if there were ever a time to be an expatriate now is it.. even if the UK is set to become the 51st state. ;)
I'll admit I usually just skim the detailed meal descriptions because I know they're going to be mouthwatering.
But then I notice you didn't actually describe a "full English breakfast" for those out there who don't know what it is. That's probably for the best. OK, so I've enjoyed eating one myself, but it only took me about two minutes to sincerely regret it.
The picture still looks appetizing, though!
I usually write them for my own future reference more than anything, so I don't mind too much if people skim/skip them. Not to mention I'm a dieter's worse nightmare. ;)
For me a full English breakfast really depends on who's making it. I prefer it homemade because the amount of oil used is less than at most restaurants. I do admit though that I only have one about every 2 months and after I'm quite happy to stay away from sausages and bacon for a very very long time. The worst one I've ever eaten was in a town called Bicester near Oxford the morning after a night of heavy drinking. Everything was made from supermarket cheap "blue stripe" tins and it literally glistened with grease. There's a reason for the tea: to keep the grease from congealing. yum!
I had a variation on a full English this morning: bacon, black pudding, fried egg, tomatoes, hash browns, brown sauce - pretty standard greasy spoon fayre, but at 6am, after getting up at 3.30 to get the coach to East Midlands airport, it tasted like heaven (with a bit of brown sauce and french mustard)
...but devdas is fantastic. one of the most polished bollywood productions ive seen, fairly trite but sufficiently engrossing plot and the riot of color used is worth the look alone. the film stock is reminiscent of late 80's kodak but the saturation levels are intense. if you end up liking it, and you get some room in your queue then you might want to take a look at Mother India (Bharat Mata) and or BAWANDAR (Sandstorm). Musashi is probably one of the most beautiful and powerful flicks to come out of Japan in the 50's. based on an adaptation of a novel by Eiji Yoshikawa about Musashis Life and also by extension.. on an epic novel (A Book of Five Rings(Go Rin No Sho)) written by the namesake of the films, its a fantastic epic ride through the 3 films in the series, Musashi, Duel at Ganryu Island and Duel at Ichihoji Temple.... the way the movie handles Musashi's rise from beggar and coward to samurai is fantastic, with an almost episodic feel. The real treat here though is the color. Hopefully you're renting the Criterion version, which has a fully restored and remastered print, because the color themes of the sections of the story reflect the subject matter and are enough to make you weep. sorry, im a color whore. for more emotional content + color goodness check out The Red Shoes, or pretty much any Powell/Pressburger film. so, sorry for the random pop in and comment and leave.... hope you dont mind :]
The Musashi movie is my primarily something I picked out as I'm a *huge* fan of Yoshikawa's book following an early interest in kenjutsu (as opposed to kendo). I've been contemplating buying one or all of the parts at various times so was pleased to see it was available.
As a side issue, the Book of Five Rings is a treatise on strategy and the way of the sword (rather than a novel) that Musashi finished just before his death in 1645.
I've wanted to see Devdas for ages now it seems. I've had the soundtrack for about 6 months and I love it. As far as mainstream polished Bollywood goes, have you seen Lagaan? I saw it with friends in the states and we couldn't stop laughing, I loved it. Thanks for the recommendations, I've seen many Bollywood films (mostly on late night British tv), but I don't believe I've seen those two yet. I need to start making a list of ones I've seen and ones to see because I can never remember their names.
Musashi was Max's choice, but I'd love to see it too. I'm a fan of Japanese cinema and even though I don't know the story of Musashi I think I'd really enjoy it. I believe we do have the criterion version.. I have a place in my heart for black and white, but some things really are best in color. I'm excited to see it.
I've heard of The Red Shoes.. another to put on the list. :)
I could never eat an English breakfast everyday! Besides the obvious health issues I find that much meat on a plate daunting.. but once in awhile, especially after a night of drinking, it really hits the spot.
how I love monkfish. I'll post the recipe, it's dead easy as long as you can find a good fishmonger for the monkfish.
Heh, nice one! My friend Karen left Amazon to go and work for ScreenSelect, she's the lead designer there now. I keep meaning to sign up, she tells me it's the business but I'd be interested to hear your unbiased opinion on the service :)
Are you going to see the London Sinfonietta next friday? zojirushi and I are going along, it would be good to meet you at last if you are.
oh cool! I was envious of all my friends stateside talking about Netflix, so we were happy to try this free trial period. So far the response time has been very good. We've received 3 films and have watched and returned one (28 Days Later). The only problem so far was one I had anticipated due to the high volume of viewers each disk receives: scratched disks. It crapped out a couple times during 28 Days Later which resulted in missing 2 minutes of the film at a key plot point. ;) I'll certainly post about my experiences with it after the month is up. I'm not sure if we're convinced to sign up yet, but it's promising.
We haven't bought any tickets for the Sinfonietta, even though we'd both love to go again. We've been so busy these last few months and £££ was low. I imagine after last year's success they're probably all sold out now? I'd love to meet you too, if not at the sinfonietta then some other time.
please write about (and bootleg) it if you can! :)
Sounds pretty good - shame about the scratches, but I suppose that is inevitable really... Yeah, I reckon I will check it out - especially now I have a computer which can rip a DVD in less than 90 minutes ;)
The Sinfonietta is sold out I'm afraid. I almost missed out myself - as it is the seats I got are way back in the stalls on the right hand side so we won't have a terrific vantage point. Pity you'll miss it, but I will take pictures and will probably bootleg too - although I expect this will be broadcast on the radio like the last one was.
Yes, we'll have to meet at some point!
you have some great movies on that list! these are on my fave-films list fer sure: Talk to Her, Ghost World, Rushmore (have you seen bottlerocket or the royal tennenbaums? these are all very special movies. very cult-ish but def. for a good reason).
time to go make a late dinner. your post has me drooling! :)
I've heard very good things about Talk to Her and my parents said they loved Ghost World. I'm a huge fan of The Royal Tenenbaums which has made me want to check out Wes Anderson's other films (Bottle Rocket is next on my list!) We watched 28 Days Later the other night, I'm most impressed by how they managed to get shots of central London sans people. Next to watch is Punch Drunk Love. :)
phew, that was a lot of italics!
your past Bjork post did not have a reply thingy
if you go here:
and link to downloads
there are 2 really good videos of hers.
the whole site is cool.
heard of a restaurant in Brighton called "Terre a Terre" ?
thank you for the links! the videos are gorgeous.. I've always loved LynnFox's work, very organic feeling. I'll have to check out the Aphex Twin video next.
I haven't heard of "Terre a Terre", are you recommending it? I'd like to go back to Brighton again soon.
Terre a Terre is a wonderful vegetarian restaurant in East Street, just south of the Lanes. The food is some of the best I have had anywhere in the world. it's beautifully presented, lovingly cooked and puts flavours together I have not had anywhere else. because you love food so much you should give it a try. try their Terre a Tapas, because you get little hits of many dishes.
other Brighton tips. in the Lanes themselves there is a converted Chapel, a firkin pub, inside it's great.
do you know of the NorthLaines (all one word)? it's a coincidence but this are is just 'north' of the 'Lanes'. it's where all the interesting shops and cafes and bars are. it stretches all the way to just south of the station.
I'll definitely have to check it out, it sounds wonderful! Have you ever been to The Riverside Vegetaria? Apparently it was voted one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country. It's near us here in Kingston and we walk past it along the riverside several times a week, it's always packed full of people. I really want to try the pumpkin curry that's been on the menu this month so I think we might stop by there for lunch soon (I also like the sound of their Masala Dosai).
I think I have been through the NorthLaines, but we only went into a fraction of the shops.. I'll bet there's tons more to explore and discover.
I don't know the Riverside, I never get to Kingston. if I was in need of a Masala Dosa, I'd go to Drummond Street (near Warren Street, in London), a great place for southern Indian food.
Terre a Terre had a website too, but it's not up. It's such a great place . . . They do lots of Dosa type things, and Thai type things, and the using the things out of pommegranites, and rosti, and Japanese bitter plum things and oooooooooooh . . . .
Mmmm... more tempting food.
Jackie & Philip are indeed lucky, as is the UK to have you.
Sounds like you have some good film-watching ahead of you. Sounds like something I'd like to try - Gill and I became members of our local cinema recently, and we get to see most films for 2 quid on the day they come out. First time since having kids that we've gone to the cinema for more than about once every six months. It's great.
Rowan got whale rider recently - beautiful film.
We also saw Dark Days last night - incredible film. Even more amazing "making of" - this guy, who wasn't a film-maker, got friendly with the people living in box houses in the railway tunnels of NYC, and when somebody said "they should make a film of this" he did. Struggled for about 3 or 4 years to get it edited right. I think it's the first film I've seen on Rotten Tomatoes with a 100% rating