Today at Wasabi, the sushi bento cafe on Piccadilly, I chose 10 pieces of norimaki sushi (you know, the usual little rolls) and a deelish salad topped with seaweed and a yum sesame dressing.
Two doors down, I decided to pop into the Japanese sweet shop and pick up my dessert. It's very zen in there, with minimalistic koto music and row upon row of prettily wrapped sweets made from bean paste, persimmon jelly, rice starch, chestnut paste, and who knows what else. Kudos to the Japanese for offering the most varied desserts in the Orient.
I bought a jyukushi (persimmon jelly made of bean paste) and a tsuyaguri (bean jelly with a liqueur chestnut in the centre).
The reason I started on the Asian theme is because after the Job Centre trip on Monday, I went to the China Life shop in Camden. They sell all sorts of herbal concoctions and health gadgets, there's an alternative medicine spa, and a newly opened tea room which serves dim sum. I bought theeeee most fragrant Jasmine tea ever, which I enjoyed tonight with my sushi (I find green tea brews too bitter over here), and I bought a Korean Su Jok finger massager. It looks like a funky silver ring, but rolling the prickly thing up and down your fingers and toes daily for a couple of minutes each is supposed to relieve all sorts of aches and pains, ease tension, and improve lung and digestive system function.
Now let's start from the beginning:
After dropping off my gallery application at the agency on Hanover Square, I doubled back to Regent Street and went for a long walk, making one stop at Hamleys (for you Yanks, it's London's equivalent to FAO Schwarz). I like to wander around there once in a while, just to remember the joys of childhood.
-- I think I spent more time than is normal running my hands through the marbles, remembering which ones I used to have. There was a guy dressed like Ali G, blowing bubbles and repeating, "Bubbles bubbles blowing bubbles."
And a Latvian guy blowing a magic balloon and hollering something about being superhuman to the dazed couple in front of him.
-- I went around squeezing the stuffed toys and looking to see if I could find my Steiff (Knopf im Ohr) ducky (I called her Pikki...why?). I hope I didn't snip her label off, she could be valuable one day.
-- I was in awe of the Narnia staircase. Snowflakes came out of a little machine, it was dimly lit and filled with snow-dusted fir trees, there was a cutout of Mr Tumnus and the Ice Queen's sled...!
-- I went up to the little girls' floor and found the Sylvanian family I used to have, with their tiny furniture. I didn't know they still made Cabbage Patch Kids! Barbie is more ridiculous than ever. And I also found the Zapf creation baby I had. Now I'd prefer the teeny weeny wrinkled newborn baby. Awwwww it was adorable and looked a bit real.
-- Then I went all the way down to the interactive floor. I bought something! Yes, one of those little Sea Shrimp kits I had about 20 years ago. I was tempted to get the Triassic trilobyte-y kit but let's start small, eh? Oh there is a whole line of Annoying Frog (Ring dinga ding ding ding) products, including a noisemaking keyring. You could get one and annoy people in lifts and Tube carriages.
You know, there were more adults than children in this toy shop...adults unaccompanied by offspring of any sort.
Once I got to Swallow Passage I cut through to Piccadilly, which is when I picked up my dinner. Ah, nearly forgot I went to my old haunt Fortnum & Mason to buy some Orange Pekoe tea. I didn't get a choccie box because they had no dark choc Turkish delight, no marrons glace and no Cocobello logs. Nothing I usually buy! They don't even do mini-Florentines anymore! That section seems to be shrinking, hopefully because it's still dead-January.
But never mind, I forgot I had some Chicci di Caffe from Rococo. They look like coffee beans and taste like coffee, but they're made of dark chocolate and likely infused with coffee essence.
Ooh, it's been ages since I rabbited on about luxury goods, hasn't it? Well, Olivia is once again a Human Bean...!
Oh, and I am going to work tomorrow on Haymarket. Looking extra smart again. Tut.