Captial Ring 1 (haha...ring)

Immature? Yes. Funny? Well, it was to me.

Anyway. Thursday brought with it our first outing on the Capital Ring (a walk that goes around the whole of London, in 4-6 mile stints). We did two stints, so walked all the way from Streatham Common to Richmond. My legs hurt, but it was worth it. Here's the highlights:

Things that caught my eye at the V&A...

Breakfast dress


Digital picture

Paper mache necklace

Neck piece

Twirly railings

Piano dress


Roman column cast


Glass thingy

Say hello to your friends.

Is it wrong that, one literature degree and an English teaching qualification later, Ann M. Martin is still one of my favourite authors?

I found four Babysitters Club books for 20p each in a charity shop today, which was the cause of much genuine excitement. Especially because there's one I haven't read before! Seriously, it's like being 11 again.

For those in the know, the books are:
Kristy and the Secret of Susan (just read this; much cringe-worthy use of the word 'retarded' and Kristy is as annoying as I remembered.)
Abby's Lucky Thirteen (the one where she has her Bat Mitzvah. Judaism AND autism- who says these books aren't educational?)
Stacey vs. the BSC (seriously guys, just force-feed her a Twinkie, then it'll all be over.)
and most excitingly...
Logan's Story (it's a 'Reader's Request: Special Edition')

All together now:

Nothing's better than friends...

Jeg savner Norge...

I miss this view (and this is just one of many, many poor quality photos taken on my phone of the same room and the same sunset.) It's strange to think that it's a year ago since I returned to Norway after Easter; it's a cliche but I can't believe how fast the time has gone. I really did have an amazing six months there... Definitely a lesson in the worth taking a risk to fulfill an ambition.

Worst. Cheese and Wine Party. Ever?

I saw this on a Virgin train to Manchester. Laughing Cow and cream crackers...seriously?

Party Feet

Education, education, (private) education.

I just did a bit of googling on the education of the most recent Prime Ministers, because I thought they had all be privately educated, and wanted to use that fact in a post about class and education. In fact, two of our three most recent PMs went to a state school (no prizes for guessing the odd one out.) I still don't think this necessarily proves much because none of them came from a background that could be described as anywhere near 'working class', but... I feel the need to mention this because, if my googling had confirmed my initial thoughts, I would have made a big deal of it.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

'What's your favourite book?'
'The God of Small Things.'

You know when you have a book that you always say is your favourite, even though, if you're honest, you read it so long ago that you barely remember the plot? It's a boring answer to a boring question, and you can sort of remember enjoying it at the time?

That was definitely the case for me and this book. I read it for a seminar group when I was at uni. I knew it was good, but I'd more or less forgotten what it was about. Until this week.

Re-reading a 'favourite' book is always a slightly scary prospect (I scare easy, it's true.) What if it's not as good as you remembered? What if it's new-found inadequacies reflect upon the poor choice-making abilities of your former self? What if the whole thing just turns out to be a waste of time? Luckily, The God of Small Things turned out to be fantastic second time around. Readable and engaging; intriguing and thought-provoking without being inaccessible or pretentious. The ease with which Roy seamlessly, yet realistically, manages to connect the events of one fortnight, in one family (the 'small things'), with just about every 'big thing' going is mind blowing.

Read it. It's really, honestly my favourite book.

Travel Wishlist

This will definitely be one of those lists that gets longer, rather than shorter.

In no particular order:
  1. Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Despite being brought up on the Great British Holiday, I have never been to Scotland. So you'll have to forgive the massive inaccuracy in the previous sentence, but 'Great English and Welsh Holiday' wasn't really catchy enough. Yes, I know it'd be crowded and full of thesps, but I WANNA GO!
  2. Glastonbury Festival. Despite being a live music affectionado in years gone by, I have never been to Glastonbury. Yes, I know it'd be crowded and full of aging hippies/indie kids (and I do mean kids), but I WANNA GO!
  3. Trans-Siberian Express. I've wanted to do this since I was about 17, and visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg has only added to the want. For those who are interested, my preferred route is the most popular: Moscow - Ulaanbaatar - Beijing. With some extra Russian stops along the way. Ideally I'd then like to move onto...
  4. North Korea. Actually, I think this could be an extremely grey sort of experience. But what an opportunity, even if it was just to gain an insight into the ultimate state propaganda tour. I met an Irish man in Tallinn who'd been; he said it was like walking through a cult, except the whole country is in it. Which is exactly like you'd expect I guess, but he described it in a way that made me want to see it for myself.
  5. Norwegian Mega Tour. Now this is a relatively sensible option. One big condition of this is that I'd like to do it with my fiance, so I can show him all the places I went to/lived in/wanted to visit but didn't quite get round to seeing. Highlights: Oslo-Bergen railway; Bergen itself; Trondheim; STEINKJER; Lierne (well, only if my friend will show us around, otherwise it'll be a bit lonely); Lofoten Islands; Tromsø. Ideally I'd like to do this now. Right now.
  6. InterRailing. This ticks several boxes: collecting even more European countries; taking advantage of only being able to purchase the 'youth' ticket for another 23 months (and counting...); spending lots of time on trains; weight loss following the inevitable stress that trying to figure out all those timetables will bring.
I realise that this list is not a) exhaustive or b) interesting, but I feel that writing it down somehow makes it more likely to happen. One day...

Wedding Anxiety Dream # 1

I'm getting ready, and it's nearly time to leave. Dress and make up are perfect, but unfortunately I'm doing my own hair. Bits at the front won't straighten. Far too kinky. Nothing I can do about it. Not a kirby grip in sight. The car is ready to leave. Everyone is insisting I look 'fine'. I do not look fine.

What I have learnt from this:
  1. Book hairdresser soon.
  2. Make sure Bridesmaid 1 brings her GHDs, just in case.
  3. Buy large supply of kirby grips. The brown ones.

A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet?

True, although if it was called a Stinkweed people might be less inclined to give it a sniff in the first place.

In August I'm getting married, which obviously entails a lot of decision making (flowers, venues, guests, dresses, etc) but the hardest one is... names. Ever since I was about 14 I've been completely adamant that I would not take my (then theoretical) husband's name. Although, as an idealistic 14 year old, there were certain aspects of the situation that I didn't fully appreciate, such as the fact that I will be proud of being my fiance's wife, I fully stand by my decision. My name is my identity, and I've had it for 24 years, and I have both my parents' surnames (one as a middle name), and, well, I like it.

My fiance has no problem with this, so you'd think that would be the end of it.

It's not. Comments from friends, colleagues and relatives aside (ranging from 'I can understand why, it's a common name' to 'Don't you want people to know you're married?' to 'Are you marrying a lesbian?') the remaining problem is...


We want them one day, and they will have to have a surname. I'd like all our kids to have the same name as each other, and ideally the same as both of ours. Going double-barrelled is impractical (what about their kids?) and a bit pretentious; a brand new name means I still have to change my identity; having one of our names as a middle name and one as a surname might be the way to go. It's nicely Scandinavian too. Alternatively, I could go back in time and find a boyfriend with the same surname as me.

Seriously, why has no-one invented a practical solution to this problem? I'm going to revert to my usual method of decision making: putting it off.

Shouldn't but would...

Don't judge me.

Yummy Brighton cake.