Sunday morning I was laying in bed and while half asleep I heard workers come to remove the scaffolding from our building. We have very tall windows and suddenly I was awoken by one shattering inwards, landing a giant piece of glass only 2 ft. away from where I was sleeping. I grabbed my robe (sleeping naked isn't always a good idea, but then I didn't expect our window to come crashing in) and heard the worker say in a low voice, "Oh bloody hell." I pulled back the curtain and he had a devastated and guilty expression. He apologized profusely and said, "I don't imagine this is best way to wake up on a Sunday morning." I agreed.
They replaced the window and removed the broken glass. As they left the worker again apologized for the 100th time. The man who replaced the window said to me, "He's a stupid git, isn't he? He needs to slow down."
We drove through Southall on the way back from Ealing recently. I hoped to catch Diwali celebrations this week, but I don't think I'll have a chance to as I'm so busy.
Saturday evening we met our friend from Los Angeles, CrazyUncleJoe, his wife Stacey, and their 2 yr old daughter, Zoê. We know Joe from RedCricket and met him last year when he was in London. Stacey is a bellydancer and studied dancing while living in Egypt.
While we waited for their cab to arrive we watched the Lord Mayor's firework show across the Thames and then went off with them for a coffee while we waited for Chada Chada to open. It was bitterly cold so we warmed up with some prawn tom yum soup and then I had some moreish spiced duck curry. The service at Chada was impeccable and while Zoê was well-behaved they didn't make us feel unwelcome for having a child with us. They played with Zoê and gave her sticky rice and chocolate and she seemed very pleased that everyone was appreciating how cute she was (especially in her bright red Madeline coat).
Stacey told me she saw an ad for a Bollywood dance class and asked if I wanted to go with her this week because it sounded like cheesy fun. I accepted, but whether either of us will be able to squeeze it in to our hectic week, we'll see (they fly back to L.A. the same day we fly to Seattle).
You can see Joe's flickr photo stream here and Stacey's here, they've taken some beautiful photos of my adopted city.
Earlier that day Macsen and I fought the throngs of tourists and looked for unique stuff to take back home to my family. We passed the police guarding Selfridges from anti-fur protesters chanting the catchy tune of, "Boy-cott Self-ridges, fur trade, death trade!" and hunted down free samples of chocolates in the food hall. One was a Japanese ginger, wasabi, and black sesame truffle and another was a milk chocolate and curry truffle. We sneaked another two Japanese ginger ones, ignoring the glare of the cashier. We thought we might buy some for my family, until we noticed they were £24 for 9. We calculated that we had just eaten £16 worth of chocolate.
We almost left without buying anything (saving us from the wrath of the anti-fur protestors) until we passed the Middle Eastern food counter and saw they had Pumpkin Turkish Delight. omg! We bought a mixture of pumpkin and rose.
Next week I finally get to see my father's beautiful house.
I'm not sure, we'd have to either meet someone on our way to or from Eastern WA or on our last day. I'd love to and I certainly have friends there I'd like to see, it's just a question of squeezing in seeing 3 large families into 2 weeks. If we don't make it this time I intend to spend at least 2-3 days in Seattle when I go over on my own this Spring/Summer.
Thank you so much for your offer, we will definitely keep that in mind. And, of course, it would be awesome to finally meet you. :)
I've been perusing your LJ with intrigue for a day or two since stumbling across it via Flickr, and thought I should just make my existence known. You keep a fantastic journal - it certainly makes for a fascinating read, and sight, and listen (yes, I've added to those hundreds who've downloaded your mix CD!). It's like kindling for the imagination, evocative and inspirational; I look forward to reading a lot more.
Oh, and have a good and safe trip home!
I regret the irrelevance of this post, but as a writer I asked some of my friends for recommendations of folks who'd truly astound me. Your photos are lovely and I wouldn't mind seeing them on my friends' list regularly. If you'd like to read back a few entries and consider adding me back, I'd be flattered.
My god, is it really that long since I read your journal. Photos with your new (or no longer all that new) camera are lusher than ever.
Gill bought me some amazing chocolate truffley-things for Christmas. As I was eating them, I was wondering what it would take to make them myself, possibly even commercially (I know a friend's dad makes & sells chocolates), and if I did so I would be sure to include some crazy flavourings (I recently made flapjacks with pink peppercorns & curry powder in, it was delicious).
How did entry into the USA go for Max? I have pretty much decided, reluctantly, that it's a country I'll never visit again, because I have heard so many horror stories from pretty much everyone I know who's been there. Mark, who I work with, is in New Zealand at the moment. They had to pass through the USA on the way. His girlfriend Hannah, who was travelling with him, was pulled to one side and got all of her baggage, clothing etc. searched. Mark wasn't allowed to wait for her, so the two of them had to catch separate flights to New Zealand. The only place I've ever been treated that badly was in Moscow (although last time I flew to LA, in 1988, was pretty bad).