Tuesday, 7 February 2012

B is for...


Lovely Boy and I had a date on Saturday afternoon. More an attempt to re-engage with life in London than re-kindle any lost in the early days of marriage romance, we ventured out on Saturday afternoon with a plan....

BRITISH MUSEUM (see also: Perry, Grayson)

First stop was the British Museum. I've been wanting to take Lovely Boy to see the Grayson Perry exhibition since I saw it last year and this week I managed to wangle some free tickets and so we were off. And we were off, dressed in all our finest fleecy layers, anticipating the forecasted snow. But so, it turned out, was everybloodyone else.

As his teddy bear Alan Measles, Perry writes a very sardonic, very funny blog that takes pointed aim at the fatuousness of much of the art/celebrity world and there's a beautiful vase in his exhibition, titled You Are Here (2011) that lampoons the myriad reasons why people might flock to his show. Whatever their reason of choice on Saturday, it was so busy that despite our free tickets we couldn't get in. And so we've had to raincheck it for next Saturday. Which takes care of next week's date....

Grayson Perry, You Are Here, 2011. (detail below)
Image courtesy: Victoria Miro

But because we were there, and because Lovely Boy had never been beyond the gift shop on a lunch break, and because the last time I was there I was an awkward, chubby, homesick teenager, we decided to have a wander. We spent maybe an hour perusing the sculptures in the Greek halls before heading up to the fourth floor to ogle the Egyptian mummies. And then having had enough of that we headed on to the next part of our little London date.

BOOZE (see also: Tate Modern members bar)

Catching the tube to London Bridge we warmed our mitts with a mug of mulled wine before heading on to Tate. One of our wedding presents was a 12 month membership and I lured Lovely Boy there on the promise of a drink at the sixth floor members bar. If we saw any art it was completely by accident. The two hours we spent there were passed sitting in rock star position against the windows where Lovely Boy sipped an ale and I had a fat glass of pink wine while we watched the snow roll in over St Paul's. If it wasn't already one of my favourite London views it would absolutely be now. It was low key and cool and breath-taking all at once. And by the time we left there was snow already settling.


Heading back to Borough I took LB to Elliot's, an unpretentious, welcoming, busy restaurant on Stoney St a couple of doors down from Monmouth. I've never been for breakfast - Tor has - but she took me here late last year for a pre-wedding, carb-free, supper. We ate four different entrees from a menu dictated by the freshest produce available at the market that day and washed it down with a big glass of wine. It was a great date. And one I wanted to have again - with Lovely Boy. And boy did it not disappoint. Fried squid with mouthwatering black spelt, homemade garlic flatbread, charcuterie and cheesy cauliflower. All before the kind of hot chocolate cake with butterscotch sauce and homemade vanilla ice cream that leaves you both rapturous and lost for words. I'll be going again. I suspect Lovely Boy will be too.

B is for... SNOW?

OK obviously B is not for snow but in the interests of a linear narrative snow needs to come next so suck it up and read on...

Well, really, there isn't much else to say except that it snowed and it was exciting and by the time we got home we looked like a Mr and Mrs pair of snowpeople. Until we started to melt. And then drip. But still, there is something so inherently joyous about snow. I don't know if it's the novelty factor of seeing your street turn into a monochrome canvas of white, if it's the gratitude for distraction from the just-plain-old-grey cold or if it's the satisfying squeaky scrunch of footprints that break that beautiful pervading quiet that comes with snowfall. Perhaps it's just seeing your husband declare his love for you in the middle of the road.


The first time Lovely Boy cooked me pancakes I was so hungover I was probably still drunk. I'd arrived home at 3.30am, unable to articulate and sliding along the walls with a rare lucid gratitude for their capacity to keep me upright. That was Hen's Party Version London. And I think that's where blueberry pancakes as my new breakfast happy places comes from. Even when I'm full to bilious I still have to eat until there's nothing left. But I do draw the line at licking the plate if that's any consolation....


Welcome to Misery Sunday. Try though they might, not even the blueberry pancakes could stave off the depression that came with sitting down to do a grown up version of a budget only to discover that when it comes to my financial situation, income - expenses = balance........ EQUALS NOTHING. The spreadsheet would have cried with me if I'd added in expensive face cream, occasional flowers and my bi-monthly purchase of Chanel's espresso-coloured waterproof eyeliner.

Things are about to change drastically around here if we are to have any hope of travelling anywhere this year that's not simply to and from work. It's kind of depressing. And the kind of grown up that is frankly B for boring and far from fun. So thank goodness for free tickets to Grayson Perry next weekend?..... I wonder if that reason is on the vase somewhere....

Whatever the case it's time to get fiscally creative.

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