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I have two problems. Well, I have many. But there are two of a culinary nature, on which I hope some kitchenly types might offer advice.

1. Owing to the choux wreath  I have an imperial shitload of leftover eggwhites.
2. I am going to a neighbour for dinner tomorrow[*] and am requested to bring a pudding.

The solution? )

[*] Yeah, a neighbour. Not a friend who lives nearby, an actual neighbour whom I have only met as a result of the geographical proximity in our dwellings. Yeah, in London. No, I didn't think that was allowed either.

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Badge win. My badge (which I'm wearing as part of a TfL trial, to advertise that I need a seat on the tube) demonstrably worked at least twice today!

Seats on offer... )

My journey in this morning (which was hilarious in its own right, due to failed signals and misinformation - in place of one Central line train I took three Districts, two Piccadillys, a Victoria and a Central and was monstrously late for work) featured some definite badge events...

A man leapt from his seat as I boarded the tube. And it was District, which means no step to board, so I think the badge would be the only indication that I'm walking-impaired. I felt rather guilty, as he was holding a baby, but he assured me it was fine and handed the baby off to someone else (I assume she was with him...)

On one of the other tubes, a guy got up but without obviously looking at me, so I'm not sure he hadn't just decided to stand up anyway. On another, one of the other standees offered to go and ask for a seat for me (I declined her offer). And on at least another two tubes people ignored me totally - though I think I perhaps could have positioned myself better to be more visible.

This evening, a lady beckoned me over to take a seat she would presumably otherwise have taken herself. Again, I think only the badge would suggest I had any more need of a seat than she did.

So I'd say this badge is definitely working well for me today!

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The story begins at Day 1. The short version: I fell over skiing and have ruptured ligaments in both knees. I'm making some progress towards walking again.

Day 32 )
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On Saturday, ChrisC scooted down to Ealing Shopmobility for me and collected a manual wheelchair. They offered me a self-propelled one, which I initially tried to decline as I assumed that meant powered. However, self-propelled just means "big wheels", of the sort you can use to propel yourself around when you're sitting in it. The clue's kind of in the name, I guess.

It seemed a little peverse to be borrowing a wheelchair just as I was feeling like I was starting to make progress in the walking department. However, I remember an important lesson learned from a friend at WGW some years ago: a wheelchair is just a tool, if it makes something easier, use it. I still recall her rolling cheerfully across the floor, declaring "I feel way less disabled in this chair than I usually do trying to stand up".

So I borrowed a wheelchair because on Sunday afternoon we had an important dancing mission.

All around the world, around the world )
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Last Christmas, I got an unexpected text message from [livejournal.com profile] leathellin: she was in London, did I want to meet up (I think we went and ate pizza, but that's not important right now).

She'd been in town the previous evening for some sort of Christmas extravaganza organised by Robin Ince and Brian Cox. It all sounded like fun. Should she get tickets for us when she bought next year's? Yes please, we said.

Brian and Robin's Christmas Compendium of Reason )

Ince and Cox announced that - apparently because they've burned through all their favours now - there wouldn't be a Christmas Compendium in 2016. On Saturday, ChrisC spotted that they'd lied. Tickets are on sale, I highly recommend it.

Dinosaurs )

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As I mentioned in my Whitby write-up, at some stage [livejournal.com profile] maviscruet offered me a glass of Not Port.

What Port? )
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Saturday started well, with brunch in a local cafe.

Best breakfast ever )

We wombled around the independent record labels' fair in Spitalfields - and bloody hell was it busy. It seemed also to incorporate all of London's independent brewers (beer is very like records) and the place was heaving. And then we moved on...

New Bedford Rising )

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Yesterday, quite early on, there were sums going on in our house. Let's see, 9 o'clock, one and half miles, say five minutes a mile absolute tops...

Just before 9.10 we were in the road outside, ready to cheer on those running in the Ealing half-marathon.

Surprisingly fun )

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Ealing is under water. Perival is on fire.

In between, we are feeling slightly under siege and keeping a careful eye out for locusts.
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Sometimes, of a evening, ChrisC and I leave work at similar times and walk towards each other with the intention of meeting up for a beverage. The obvious way to do this is down Oxford Street, but that's so crowded it's easy to miss each other (not to mention the acrimonious "but why would you even be on the north side?" argument). Accordingly we've evolved a wiggly route through Soho.

We usually bump into each other not far from what Google maps calls Denmark Street and everyone else calls Tin Pan Alley. Around there is a restaurant called Flat Iron, which we'd had recommended, but which has always has a waiting time of over two hours when we've enquired. But early on Monday, we walked in and found empty tables.

Flat Iron )



Unrelatedly, courtesy of this morning's 6music trailer for a programme about Kevin Rowland, I have the opening riff from Jackie Wilson Said firmly wedged in my brain[*]. What's more annoying is that I can't actually remember how the rest of the song goes.

[*] Now you do too? Don't mention it. All part of the service.
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This morning, outside my flat, a small dinosaur was having a tantrum. A mouse was carrying a guitar on its back. A superhero was having some sort of wardrobe malfunction fixed by its mum.

I think it's fancy-dress day at Montpelier School :)

As I walked down to the tube, I passed pirates, more superheroes, a cowgirl, and a gratifyingly small number of princesses. Also a tiny Japanese girl wearing a black dress, a massive red bow on top of her head, and carrying a garden broom (I have no idea).

A number of children trailed past wearing the uniform red caps of a different school with a distinct air of martyrdom.

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If you live (a) in the Western world and (b) not under a rock, you'll know it's Valentine's day this weekend. Valentine's day isn't particularly big in my house, but my inbox has been quietly exploding as every company I have ever interacted with online, ever, mails me to tell me about their Valentine deals. Or their discount flowers. Or their amazing personalised gifts.

In case anyone would like their romance in a different form, I encourage everyone to go and listen to one of my favourite lovesongs. It's unusual, it's very twee, and it's quite funny. Go on...

Frankie Machine - How Great Thou Art [link to Bandcamp streamable]

In unrelated news, a total stranger spoke to ChrisC and I on the tube this morning. We had a brief, friendly chat, and he got off a couple of stations later wishing us a nice weekend. For non-Londoners: this never happens. Which is a shame.
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It's snowing!

I mean, it's rubbish, thin, wet snow. And it's not settling. And the world looks dank rather than pretty. And I have to go out in the cold shortly.

But snow! I love snow.

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Yesterday I had a Mesh album on in the car on the way to work. While in a traffic jam, I idly checked Mesh's website on my phone to see if they had any upcoming gigs. And they have! This Saturday! At The Garage!

If anyone else is excited about this, see you there.

(Disclaimer: it was a handbrake-on, car-in-neutral, not-going-anywhere-anytime-soon kind of traffic jam.)
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In the first few weeks or so or last year, ChrisC and I realised that we already had been to (a) the cinema, (b) the theatre, (c) a gig and (d) a sporting event[*]. Which seemed pretty successful for so early in January, and we made a vague resolution to go to the theatre once a month[**] during 2014.

We didn't quite manage that, but it was a creditable attempt:

January: Strangers on a Train, Gielgud Theatre )

February: Shadowlands, Questors )

(March: Let the Right One In, Apollo Theatre) )

April: The Balcony, Questors )

May: The Drowned Man, a disused building near Paddington )

June: Squirrels/The After Dinner Joke, Orange Tree Theatre )

October: NSFW, Questors )

November: Futures/I Am The Walrus, Questors )

December: The Mousetrap, St Martin's Theatre )


[*] Snooker, obviously.
[**] By contrast, I made it to the cinema a whole one other time during the year. Or three times in total if I count the work jolly to Secret Cinema.
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When writing up my day out at the Helen Love gig, I noted that something exciting happened. If you are a London gig-goer, I'd love to hear at what point you recognise this story... Or indeed if you don't.

Look! )

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Mostly what I have learned this week is that you lot are much more into jam jars than you are gig reviews. Still, I shall press on :)

Helen Love @ The Lexington )

Getting chilled to the bone on the stupid bus home )
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Strolling into Carnaby Street at 7:15 this morning[*], I was surprised to see a crowd. Large numbers of young persons, standing around. It looked slightly like a meet-up for a college trip, but Carnaby St? At 7 in the morning?

The crowd was long, and strung out along the street, smaller groups chatting. Sitting on the road, eating Pret toasties and drinking fancy coffee. Some had sheets of cardboard to sit on, some had picnic blankets.

Further along the road, people had sleeping bags and camping chairs. Aha! This isn't a crowd, this is a queue.

It ended abruptly outside the Dr Martens shop. A quick Google suggests that some Dr Martens outlets are selling boots at the 1960's price of £3. A limited number of pairs, obviously, so if you're reading this: you've missed it.

I've never queued overnight for something. I don't think I've even considered it. Have you?

[*] I was going to yoga before work. Don't tell anyone. It will ruin my pie-eating, beer-swilling image.

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