Note for all to whom I am sending a parcel: Please forgive me if it arrives after Christmas!
I was "let out" of work early yesterday and I attempted to finish my Christmas shopping, but 6 hours later at 10pm I was still not finished. I DID, however, finally buy cards! And wrapping paper!
I thought I would be able to go out today - yes Saturday shopping is hell even when it's not December - so I am glad that I had a slow day.
Worst yet, I woke up at 2pm. By the time I ate breakfast, it was past 3.30. I have NEVER done this before, not even when I was recovering from the flu...! I bemoaned the fact to my mother on the phone later, and she told me, "It's ok, at least you rested. You don't have to report to anybody. You don't have to cook for anyone."
I also blubbered on about how I am nearly 30 and haven't done anything I should have by now, and how I feel I am in such a pickle, and so frustrated. She told me that when I go to the massage she has booked for me, I must learn to breathe out the negativity, etc.
I love my Mum to bits. She says the most wonderful things.
Now, you know I never talk about politics, but every now and then I feel strongly enough about something to mention it here.
Tony Blair said yesterday that if you don't like Britain, don't come here. About time. He said that the famed British tolerance can only go so far. Seriously, I have been saying this for years about the UK, the US and Canada. There is nothing wrong with keeping your cultural values alive, but if you agree to live in a new culture, try to assimilate a bit, please. Otherwise your life is hardly different to, and the quality hardly better than the one you left behind, and then what's the point?
I must say, though, that more so than in the UK, emigrants to the USA know what they are going for. They want to be there. They clutch their breasts and feel entitled to call themselves Americans, and are proud to do so. That is what America is all about, but the people who move there want to assimilate. They move to another country for a different and better life, and that is what they strive for. The American Dream is a reality; she is willing to help you on your way, and for some reason those who move there aren't interested in a free ride. They want success and they often get it. On the other hand, there is too much social exclusion in the UK, which is such a soft touch, and let's not even talk about France where there was rioting in the streets last year!
Wednesday I went to the interview at the agency but Friday found out I didn't get the job because I don't have a UK driver's licence (despite being willing to learn). But everything else was fine. I don't know what else to say other than I wonder if that was the real reason?
Afterwards, I went next door to Partridge's, somewhere I have meant to visit for ages. I liked it that the local customers know the employees by name. I got chatting with the very chatty lady who was serving samples of Calvados. Being that she was Austrian-Turkish and admitted she couldn't handle the French, I taught her how to pronounce it. I bought a few things there, and not wanting another plastic bag, I asked for the jute bag with wooden handles. It is actually a wine bag, but a perfect size for me. The bottle sections can be pushed to the side. The larger groceries bag would be dragging along the floor. And guess what? It's free. A jute bag like this for free, when even at the other shops you have to pay 10p for a strong plastic bag-for-life and at least £1 for a fabric bag at M&S.
Then I headed up to Finchley Road for dinner with the indomitable Mr B - finally free of all signs of chemo, but jumping back into life! Good stuff.
We went to the Fine Burger Co., and since I haven't eaten a real burger in many years and rarely manage beef, I went for the Fez, which was a yummy lamb burger. Nicely seasoned, with a yoghurt sauce, lettuce and topped with a yummy yummy harissa sauce - I can only liken it to Moroccan salsa.
And then we went for coffee/hot choc at Pizza Express. Not much of a cafe scene up there.
I have just submitted a review on the London Eats site for the Quality Fish Bar on King Street in Richmond. If you are within reach, please do go! You won't be sorry.
I am going there with my grandmother tomorrow. Wait, no I'm not - I've just called and they are closed on Sundays. Poo. I was craving a nice plate of chish n fips from there...
So on to Plan B, which is the yummy Christmas rack of lamb from M&S - covered in rosemary, pine nuts and dried cranberries. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.
(Just a gratuitous hand shot.)