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Gael arrives in London exactly one week from now!!

Yes, my step-mother is finally visiting me in London. It is definite this time, I have to keep telling myself it's really happening. The only parent to visit me in the past 6 years was my father who briefly stopped for a few days on his way to Torino, Italy. Gael will be staying for a week in which we'll pack in pub-hopping, cocktails, galleries, clubbing, shopping, and the obligatory touristy shite. We're both unbelievably excited. Her visit may make me feel sane for awhile.

As for the weekend, Saturday we went to Soho to search for Japanese fabric since I have free time and a sewing machine right now. After exhausting all of the fabric and silk shops on Berwick Street, Liberty's, and even The Japan Shop we were told by a textile merchant that he hadn't seen Japanese fabric in Soho for 30 years. After bemoaning our fruitless endeavor we discovered that there are textile warehouses in greater London that may sell it, so hopefully next weekend will be more of a success.

We spent the rest of the day wandering around Soho and Chinatown aimlessly. We were sad to see our favorite Chinese greengrocers had shut down, but we stopped in Camisa & Son and picked up some fresh pumpkin, ricotta, and parmesan ravioli and then sat in a bookshop paging through travel books. After an hour I relenquished my seat to a Kiwi and her daughter and we went on to a liquor shop searching for fruit jenever and browsed their selection of absinthe.

I was feeling sick on the train which wasn't helped by a big bloke with a can of lager on our carriage who smelled like he hadn't washed for weeks. The eminating sour smell deterred people from the carriage until the train was so full that nobody had a choice. Two 15-year-old boys sat across from him and had to cover their faces with their scarves. Regardless, they excitedly tore open the packaging of their newly purchased cds. I noticed how well they were dressed, when did teenage boys start dressing so impeccably? I have no cradle-robbing thoughts, honest. ;)

Last week Max's mother gave us her recipe for traditional French flan with rum, so Max made it that evening and we ended up having flan for dinner and breakfast the next morning because it was so damn good. We ate the pumpkin ravioli the next night with sage butter, parmesan, and a pint of Leffe. At Liberty's we picked up two bars of Dolfin chocolate: one Au Lait Hot Masala (milk chocolate with masala, which is sweet curry powder) and the other Noir Au Poivre Rose (dark chocolate with pink peppercorn). I am in love with the masala chocolate. It reminds me of when I had a container that once held garam masala and later stored pumpkin muffins in it; the muffins absorbed the masala taste and suddenly turned extremely addictive. Next time I make pumpkin muffins I'm adding masala intentionally.

Sunday as we were taking a long walk along the Thames we suddenly heard the sound of singing in Hindi. It was clearly Bollywood music being played on an approaching boat and as it came closer we realized that we were witnessing a Bollywood film being made right there on the river! The Bollywood actress danced upon the boat in time to the music while dozens of crew manned the cameras and other equipment. I didn't recognize the actress, but perhaps byronicman knows?

The boat overtook us quickly, but as we walked back we passed it moored to a dock while the crew emptied equipment and the actress stood around looking bored. I did some googling and could only come up with this article that may explain their presence:

Artist Aims To Bring Magic Of Bollywood To Hampton Court. Which reminds me, tonight is the start of Bollywood Star.
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On June 1st, 2004 09:55 am (UTC), banshee commented:
your posts are always a doorway into a fabulously enviable life!
oooh - i've got a ton of garam masala to use and i love pumpkin...i'm going to swipe your idea! :)
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On June 1st, 2004 11:33 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: your posts are always a doorway into a fabulously enviable life!
yes, I've heard of pumpkin curry, but not curried pumpkin muffins.. I have the urge to make it now, maybe next week when Gael is here. I would say 1 tsp is probably enough, a little seems to go a long way. :)
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On June 1st, 2004 10:33 am (UTC), pry commented:
Would you mind if I included the Bush/Saddam picture in my journal with a credit link?
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On June 1st, 2004 11:33 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Not at all. :)
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On June 2nd, 2004 05:21 pm (UTC), balt commented:
I don't think I can express how jealous I am of your London living. I spent four months over there a couple of years ago and it was unbelievable.

I lived on Tottenham Court Road about two minutes' walk from the Brit Museum. I didn't even mind sharing one of the university's flats with six other people, because we didn't spend much time there. ;)

Enjoy it as much as you can for as long as you can (assuming you are coming back to the states). I went through some pretty horrible withdrawals after I left. ;)
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On June 3rd, 2004 05:28 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Hi! wow that'd be great to live a few mins walk from the British Museum, I'd probably spend most of my days exploring it if I lived that close.

I've lived in London off and on for the past 6 years, now I have a residency visa so I can stay for as long as I like. I love this city, but there is plenty to miss back "home".
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On June 4th, 2004 03:46 am (UTC), gulch commented:
Hey, that might be one of my friend Arthur's boats - his dad runs trips from the jetty just to the right of Richmond Bridge (i.e. Richmond Hill side), going to Westminster, Teddington Lock and, I think, Hampton Court. Next time I see him I'll ask whether he's had any Bollywood stars on lately.
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On June 4th, 2004 06:42 am (UTC), nomi replied:
I think I've seen that boat go up and down the river on more than one occasion. Please let me know if you find out anything, I'm curious! :)
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On June 18th, 2004 12:39 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
If you haven't discovered them already pop down to the kings road and check out Rococo, they make some rather exquisite chocolate, with ingredients such as gold leaf!
Oh yes - I've never watch much "reality tv" but Bollywood Star is super and I regret missing the first two episodes...
// Jacob (http://verseguru.com/?weblog)
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