Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea Flower Show was great fun this year, the day only being slightly marred by lots of travel complications on the way home. But until four o’clock we had a lovely day wandering about in the sunshine. It was much busier this year, perhaps because the weather was so much better than last, and so we spent much of the morning huddled between ladies in their summer frocks and elder gents, Show Guides in hand, peering at the show gardens over shoulders. I spent a lot of time on tiptoe – pointing my phone over heads in the hope of getting a photo that showed at least some of the garden.

We voted for an early lunch (mostly because I hadn’t had any breakfast and was beginning to feel it!) before heading back out in the afternoon and fortunately getting a better look. I ended up with a head full of ideas, feeling really rather hot and with sore feet – definitely Pimm’s o’clock. It was glorious to sit back under a tree and sip a nice tall glass.

I was happy to see a wide range of designs, lots of fun new ideas and some new variations on familiar ideas. I especially loved the Un-Tei Garden of Clouds (although so did everyone else - there was always a hoard of people standing around it admiringly)! There was a "Where the Wild Things Are" garden - complete with boat and bed of grass (real bed that is). Then there was the Chetwood's Urban Oasis - a fantastic solar powered "flower", which opens and closes and pumps water around the garden. Probably wouldn't fit in my little patio though.

Of course, heading back into London a while later was rather weird. From greenery and gardens to the smog of Slone Square! But then disaster struck, on the tube we were told that Victoria station was closed, so started heading for London Bridge. Of course, Sod’s Law, halfway to London Bridge I saw that it was only Victoria tube station that was closed, but we were nearly at London Bridge so didn’t see the point in turning round. Heh – until we got to London Bridge that is! A trackside fire (which the tube driver helpfully didn’t actually tell us about until we got to the station) meant that the station was closed. So out we trooped, across the platform and back the way we came. Then a long walk along to Victoria, along with lots of other people, until we finally caught the train home. There was snoozing, and not much chatter – we were just glad to have got a seat!

Fortunately by the time I got home, foot sore and knackered, my head was still full of alliums and rills, beds in the sunshine and silk parasols galore. Fantastic!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

adventures in town

This week has been a bit of an eye-opener. I suspect it’s the fact that I’m in town during the day now, rather than stuck off in Falmer, watching squirrels and commenting on dandelion growth. In town, “things” happen.

Like last night, when we were 20 minutes late to Stewart Lee and therefore weren’t allowed in. OK, so we shouldn’t have been late (slapped wrists etc), but surely theatre's and cinema’s have been coping with late arrivals for decades? Couldn’t they have just let us in at the side, I’d have promised to be quiet. But no. They couldn’t. Grumpiness followed.

Which reminds me of last Thursday, when Katharine and I popped to the Dorset for lunch, and finally got it, 50 minutes later and wrong. I’ve decided their Eggs Benedict isn’t that nice, I’ll just go to Bill’s next time.

Today has been the turn of car related incidents. I jumped out of my skin on my way home at lunch time when a truck suffered two blow-outs opposite St Peters Church. The driver though, was very entertaining: he got out, checked his truck, shouted at the sky and drove off – tyres flopping against the road and wheels all buckled. Lord knows how far the loony got!

And on my way home, along a very near stretch of road was a Domino’s pizza delivery chap, having been knocked off his moped (I think, he look shocked, there was a smell of petrol, an over-turned moped and a couple of ambulance men). Fortunately my head was full of spreadsheets at the time, so I managed to cope with all this excitement just fine.

So tomorrow I’m going to leave exciting Brighton and head off to the Chelsea Flower Show. Nothing is likely to happen there, except perhaps a glimpse of Charlie Dimmock and or a wilting allium. At least, I don't think anything is likely to happen.....

Saturday, May 19, 2007

and so to work....

Shameless plug time! For those of you who haven’t already seen it elsewhere (and have at least a vague interest), the dConstruct 07 site is now up, running and looking rather fab thanks to lots of hard work from Paul in the Clearleft office. I’m really looking forward to it, not only will it be my first conference, I’ll also be helping organise it, and will have the great pleasure of flying back from the desert and San Francisco to attend. (OK, that bit I’m not looking forward to quite so much!)

Tickets will be available from July, so subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates.

Right, that’s enough plugging from me! Back to the joys of the weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

so sleepy..

I am absolutely exhausted. My head is full of Gantt charts, numbers from lists of invoices and PO’s. I’ve finished day three of my first week and I can barely keep my eyes open, but I am really rather happy.

It is typical that I start my new job in the week that we are getting out and doing the majority of our festival stuff. After a lovely weekend up in Leeds visiting Julie & Jonny (with a lovely day at the Forbidden Corner followed by the best ice-cream I’ve had in a long time), we spent Monday evening in the Udderbelly watching the Caesar Twins. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, having been told various things about half naked men in baths (poor Tom didn’t look impressed!) but the acrobatics were really rather fab – if a little painful looking.

Yesterday we headed out to James’ Telling Lies night, where I giggled about Bill and the mice with placards, and laughed until tears streamed down my face to the wonderful “pig heart boy” song. I will do my best to make it to the “Poetry in a Brothel” readings, firstly it sounds like great fun and secondly because it’s the first time I’ve had a chance to visit a “massage parlour” – not that I’ve ever really felt the urge to before, but you need to try these things I guess.

This evening though I have a night off, I’ve ordered pizza, I’ve blearily eyed a DVD for the evening and I plan on closing the laptop, ignoring the phone and curling up on the sofa with my bears. I wonder how long I’ll last before my eyelids give up on me and the snoring starts? (Not that I really snore, you understand. No, never. Well, maybe after a couple of beers.. )

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

drink pimps

So I woke up this morning, looked around, groaned and thought, “yes, I do really have to get up.” It wasn’t nice, and I blame the rhum entirely. Last night we took my parents out to Drink Pimps at the Hanbury to (really rather belatedly) celebrate my mum’s birthday and give dad a chance to show off his cocktail making prowess.

We arrived, sat at a table complete with shaker, slop bucket, ice bucket, knife, strainer and muddler and were given a free cocktail to get us in the mood. Wehay! This was followed by a brief presentation on La Mauny rhum and how it’s made in Martinique (with lovely photos of the Caribbean, just to make us green with envy). And then the tasting; white rhum, amber rhum and old rhum (aged in bourbon or cognac barrels). Yum!

It was about this time that I thought to myself, “mmm, there’s rather a lot of rhum here, I suspect tomorrow morning will be painful”. Wow, my powers of deduction are unsurpassed! This morning was definitely ouchy.

We were given our secret ingredients and sat down to invent the “Caribbean Spray”. It involved bashing a lot of fruit about, squeezing a lot of lemon and lime and commenting on the fact that guava juice wasn’t all that helpful. I hasten to add that we didn’t win, but we did get wonderfully sticky fingers!