Posted in Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous, Reviews

The past 9 months

Hello everybody,

It’s been a while but, we’ve been busy. In fact, you could say this post has been 9 months in the making. Can you see where I’m going with this?

Yes , the past year has been a roller-coaster ride of working, travelling, living life and mostly being very very pregnant. I often thought of writing about the experience but in all honesty I would not be writing anything new that you wouldn’t already know from other websites. Those 9 months were a pretty standard template of feeling sick, feeling okay, swollen feet, face, swollen everything, etc.

What I can write about however is the labour. The fun bit. The bit that every woman who has ever been pregnant apparently ‘forgets’ as soon as it’s over. I am pretty certain that women all over the world have a secret pact to never speak honestly about this experience, particularly the last half hour or so.

 

If you don’t know me personally; I like detail, I like specifics. When I asked my friends, family and colleagues about their experiences in order to better prepare myself, this was as much information as I managed to get from them:

“You will feel a slight pressure”

“My back hurt quite a bit, but it passed quickly”

“You need to push like you’re passing the biggest No. 2 in the world”

“It’s over very quickly, you’ll forget it as soon as you see your baby”

Guys – the world would be a much smaller place if you only knew. Literally, there would be fewer people being born if you only knew.

Would you describe a car crusher in a scrap yard as applying ‘slight pressure’ ? I think not.

If you were a key-hole and your No. 2 was a planet, then yes it is indeed like passing the biggest No. 2 in the world.

Days before I went in to labour, we had a plumber come in to fix our toilet. He had four children. He jokingly said to me,’I heard the experience has been likened to being burned alive’. I now believe I must have misunderstood his tone at the time because I’m pretty certain he was being serious.

In the final minutes of pushing, several things went through my mind:

– I must remember to change my Facebook status to ‘Just Friends’ with my husband

– Why did everyone lie to me?

– This is actually worse than watching The Revenant

– Why don’t people get paid for this?

When it was over and I held our baby, yes there was a feeling of relief and I’m sitting here one week later finding it more and more difficult to remember the exact sensations. It helps that the baby is the best baby there ever was. But believe me, I still cross my legs and clench whenever I think about how she got here.

So there we are. If you want to know more than a blogs-worth post, ask away. I am in the meantime slowly making a return to blogging when I can.

Until next time 🙂

 

Posted in Comedy, Food Reviews, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous, Reviews, Travel

A little bit of Belgrade

Hello people,

We hopped on a plane to Belgrade last week to see my mom for her birthday. An all too short trip but one of the places we went to was Lorenzo and Kakalamba; a great little quirky restaurant which also does very tasty food.

Without photos to help, it’s a little hard to describe the decor. In a few short hours, I saw a stuffed polar bear (not real – relax animal lovers), santa, a knight statue which held my toilet paper in the bathroom, and a chastity belt.

The food was incredible. But also, it is Serbia after all and great food is not hard to find. I’m not bragging. It is simply true.

I did take some grainy looking pictures to give you a feel for it:

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And then the food..

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There was not a single item of food I didn’t like. I ate it all . But then , that isn’t a hard thing to do lately either.

We returned to a rather mundane week in London where several obvious things have been making headlines:

– The weather – It’s cold. Everyone I’ve spoken to “can’t believe it”

– Charlie Sheen has HIV – is anyone surprised by this ? And is no-one annoyed that he’s pushing out years of education around HIV by being so nonchalant about it? Another blog for another time.

And until next time, have a great weekend 🙂

 

 

 

Posted in Comedy, Food Reviews, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous, Reviews, Travel

Lazy cooking

Hello everybody,

I’d like to say that I enjoy cooking. But the truth is I do it because if I don’t eat , I will die. So I cook, begrudgingly.

I have tried all manner of short-cuts to feed myself (whilst keeping it relatively healthy). I have tried Jamie Olivers’ 20 minute meals (1 hour in reality – remember, you have to chop things and peel things and follow instructions) . I have even tried Jamie Olivers’ 15 minute meals. Same thing.

Recently, we convinced ourselves (Correction – we were convinced by a salesman) that ordering a ‘Gousto’ box is cheaper and faster than buying and making our own food.

You may have come across companies here in London, or elsewhere, who offer you fresh ingredients delivered to your door for what they claim is the same price as either going out for a meal, or buying organic ingredients from your local stores.

Gousto is one of those companies. And yes , for our first order it was cheaper (£20 for 4 meals for two people). But every order after that ? – £42 per week.

So here is my review of this experience. Pay attention because this is the last time I ever order a pretentious little Gousto box.

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Your box arrives. It is an obsessive compulsives’ dream; each of our four recipes had the exact amount of ingredient to make that recipe. If you recipe requires one spring onion , you get one spring onion, and so on.

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For our first recipe , I decided to try ‘Curry in a hurry’.

Your recipe card guides you through every step of the journey. I feel like I should use the word ‘journey‘ here because that’s how pretentious I felt cooking this.

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Very quickly you will start to realise that all the recipe cards and ingredients in the world will not take away from the fact that you have to cook this. And it will not look like the picture on the recipe card because again, you did it.

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I will give Gousto one thing . It is very, very tasty. The products are about as organic as they can be; it’s the best tasting chicken I have had in a long time and I will make this again (fortunately you can keep the recipe cards).

Next on our menu was a Double Chipotle Burger. Again very tasty. But my god, complicated to make.

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Tonight we will be having Mediterranean vegetable cous-cous. I’ve been keeping this menu item a secret from my husband who does not yet realise that the recipe contains no meat. Fun!

So, I’m not exactly a fan of the Gousto box. If you come across a good deal online or elsewhere, give it a try for the fun of it.

But remember: you still have to cook.

Posted in Life, Miscellaneous, Reviews, Travel

From Russia, with love

Hello people,

Hard to believe we’re getting closer to Christmas and the end of another year. To make the most of the remaining good weather, we’ve tried to cram in as many activities over the weekend, from walks in parks and meetings with friends, to the more mundane (and expensive) items like cleaning out the leaves from our gutters and servicing our car.

This past Sunday, we went to the Moscow State Circus at the O2, thanks to finding a couple of cheap tickets on a discount website. For £14 per person, expectations were low-average.

We were so very surprised.

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Fantastic (and slightly risky) performances. No net? No problem!
Fantastic (and slightly risky) performances. No net? No problem!
Flexi-ladies
Flexi-ladies. 

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The circus performance , “Zhelaniy”, tells the story of a little girl (played I’m guessing by a 30 something year old woman) who gets seven wishes.

Each performance is linked to what she wishes for; starting from very materialistic items like roller-skates and popcorn (legitimate wishes if you ask me), until she finally grows up and wishes for her last wish to make a boy on crutches able to walk again.

Ultimately, this is very much a children’s performance. I think we were the only adults who were there by our own choice, but it was well worth the trip and certainly value for money. If you want your child to see a circus performance but don’t want to spend hundreds on a Cirque du Soleil style show, then this is where you need to be looking!

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Until next time, enjoy your week everybody 🙂

Posted in Cinema, Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous, Movie reviews, Movies, Reviews

Mars looks fun

Hello everybody,

If you ignore Matt Damons’ questionable behaviour in recent media which includes colourful quotes exhibiting racism and homophobia amongst other things , if you ignore all that  .. The Martian is not a bad movie.

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It has the usual set-up of a Ridley Scott space movie. Key ingredients:

  • Space (very important)
  • Only white Americans go to (and survive in) space (this movie at least showed China has improved technology but still , only white Americans go to and survive in space)
  • Some tense and slow motion (because Space) action scenes

I should say , about 1 hour and 30 minutes into this movie my husband asked the very valid question :

Where are the f***ing aliens?

It’s not that kind of movie.

Instead, Mark Watney (Damon) and his crew attempt to leave Mars when their mission goes awry. The crew start to board their rocket (I’m sure there’s another word for their transport) , but leave Mark behind after he’s struck by a satellite dish and presumed dead.

Turns out, being struck by a satellite dish does not kill you and so Mark is left on Mars to fend for himself.

What follows is the laid back and often funny story of his survival. Using his background in botany, physics, chemistry and every other science (because he’s a man and he knows everything – don’t even get me started on female leading roles! ) , Mark manages to keep himself alive growing his own food whilst the people on Earth try to figure out how to reach him on time.

Thankfully, this space movie also has a great soundtrack for once. This personally made it 90% better for me.

I’d encourage you to watch this, even if you’ve hated every other Ridley Scott movie or indeed don’t know who he is .

Enjoy the weekend folks!

Posted in Comedy, Food Reviews, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous, Reviews, Travel

Heartbeat

Hello everybody,

We are swapping sunglasses for umbrellas and it’s starting to feel more like Autumn here. Fortunately, Londoners still have a little more time to go outside before they spend the next 7 months indoors. If you’re looking for something to do, make sure to see Charles Petillons’ Heartbeat display in Covent Garden which is on until the 27th September (don’t ever say I don’t give you enough time!).

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The display is 54 metres in length with different dimensions for each balloon. It is meant to represent the hustle and bustle of the marketplace and I have to say is accurate; clusters of different sized people bobbing about with no purpose, and getting in each others’ way.

If you’re hungry whilst in the Covent Garden area, I very much doubt that you’re relying on this blog to find food. If you are, you have a problem. And I didn’t eat in Covent Garden on this day, so I have nothing for you.

I did however have the best burger in Dirty Burger, Whitechapel. (I may have also enjoyed it more than the balloon display, sorry Charles Petillon).

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I hope you all have a great week full of good music, good food, and some sunshine (predicted to happen for us here in England at some stage on Sunday 27th September . I’m very excited )

Posted in Food Reviews, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous, Reviews, Travel

Paris

Hello everybody,

It has been quite a weekend indeed; it turns out seeing a new city in 1 day and a couple of hours is not easy if you need to use the toilet or eat. We started our trip on Friday, hopping on the Eurostar  from Kings Cross to Gare du Nord.

*Note – in the spirit of not making this a depressing read, I won’t tell you about the people and families we saw running along the tracks trying to escape whatever they were running from , to get to wherever they were going. I also won’t tell you about the jackets we saw lining the fences along the train tracks which were no doubt used for crossing over. If you have been watching the news, you will be aware of all of this but trust me when I tell you it is very different seeing it out of a train window. 

Once we arrived in Paris, everything largely looked the same because it was dark.

The next day started perking up …

The Eiffel tower is quite something. I didn't realise how big it was until we stood underneath the structure. It has approximately 2.5 million rivets, for those of you that are interested in rivets.
The Eiffel tower is quite something. I didn’t realise how big it was until we stood underneath the structure. It has approximately 2.5 million rivets, for those of you who are interested in rivets.
A drivers nightmare - The Arc  de Triomphe. We watched the traffic going around this for quite some time. Could not figure out how it works. Did you know that driving insurance companies actually offer additional 'Arc de Triomphe' cover? Well there's a reason for that.
A drivers nightmare – The Arc de Triomphe. We watched the traffic going around this for quite some time. Could not figure out how it works. Did you know that driving insurance companies actually offer additional ‘Arc de Triomphe’ cover? Well there’s a reason for that. They say ‘give way to cars entering the roundabout’ but I’d like to see you try with the billions of scooters that nobody sees until it’s too late. 
The Louvre - my surprise favourite of the trip.  We didn't have time to go in unfortunately but if you get the chance, it is worth spending an entire day! You will not be bored.
The Louvre – my surprise favourite of the trip. We didn’t have time to go in unfortunately but if you get the chance, it is worth spending an entire day! You will not be bored.

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Now for the important stuff..

Pork fillet mignon. I wish this wasn't my first experience of ''real french food'' because it was *the worst* and I paid more than anyone should ever have to pay for a plate of food. The pork was dry and the bacon dotting those potatoes was tasteless.
Pork fillet mignon. I wish this wasn’t my first experience of ”real french food” because it was *the worst* and I paid more than anyone should ever have to pay for a plate of food. The pork was dry and the bacon dotting those potatoes was tasteless.
French onion soup - thankfully the French redeemed themselves from the fillet mignon the day before. The perfect cosy meal at the end of a long and active day. The soup is covered with grated cheese and normally contains croutons but mine had big pieces of bread in it.  I rather liked it.
French onion soup – thankfully the French redeemed themselves from the fillet mignon the day before. The perfect cosy meal at the end of a long and active day. The soup is covered with grated cheese and normally contains croutons but mine had big pieces of bread in it. I rather liked it.

All in all, the city had a lasting impression on us. We felt like we were part of a moving piece of art.

We have lived in London 10-15 years between the two of us and it has taken us this long to make the 2.5 hour trip but I am so glad we did.

If you are there for a quick and short stay, the metro and bus system was also easy to navigate and every site was within 20 minutes of the last so don’t hesitate to buy a travel card for the day!

Enjoy the week folks 🙂