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Recently

You'd never guess from reading this that most of my recent life has consisted of grading and encyclopedia entry writing. It looks busy, but it covers about a week-and-a-half of events.

  • I worked on honing my quick-tours-of-London skills when medievalist ajodasso brought her mother and sister down to London for the day. They thought they were only going to see the British Museum and the Tower of London. With an hour-and-a-half spare, though, it's worth dragging first-time London visitors around to Westminster, St. James Park, and Buckingham Palace. They may as well have the chance to say they were there. (Clarification: It was only the first visit for her mother and sister.)

  • At a surprise birthday party for a friend in a village near Colchester, we had a mini-York reunion with wibblepot, lazyknight, (among others), and lots of very elegant chickens, all organized by nuthouse.

  • C., admiring the Chihuly sculpture/chandelier in the V&A atrium, observed that it would get dusty very easily; no wonder museums must work hard to fend off charges of both literal and metaphorical dustiness. Soon after, we met zephre and J. for the first time. They were (are) over on a week-and-a-half tour of England and Wales, featuring lots of castles.
    We at a lovely lunch at Simply Lebanese (formerly known as Al Bustan). Afterwards, I gave into the temptation of the Hummingbird Bakery, an American bakery with a newer outpost right by South Kensington station. Had we known that their "Rocky Road Cupcakes" were more like cupcake-shaped rocky road bars, we would have split one. As it was, it was days afterwards before I needed dessert again.

  • fjm and I met up for a few hours escapism at The Old Express (French bistro) and the William Curley Dessert Bar (chocolate heaven), both in Shepherd Market, an impressively accessible bit of Mayfair tucked in near Green Park, human-scaled, if still affluent. I'd been wanting to go back to the dessert bar ever since my first decadent afternoon there. It lived up to memory.

  • C. discovered that Lancashire has a spirit. We met up with aca and easterbunny (who had handed over their young offspring to eager-and-newly-arrived grandparents for the evening) for decent Mexican food and a fun, lively Lancashire Hotpots concert. It was the band's first in London, and we'd only learned of them thanks to the wonders of the internet. They were wonderful to watch, dressed in de rigeur flat caps. They were both stereotypes and cherishers of Lancashire, balancing the modern with the engrained. One of them rocked out with a tambourine. Another had entertainingly wacky leg flourishes. I didn't recognize more than a third of their repertoire thanks to online pursuit of their music, which speaks well of their ongoing creativity.
    The tube back home left from Mornington Crescent, but there were no flowers or candles.

  • In an improbable bit of conjuration, I arranged a lunch party with Londoners with only two days notice. And everyone came. It was a gathering of people I don't see nearly often enough, from the long-lost dendarii to taldragon, who lives on the far other side of the city from me. J., who I thought was in Hong Kong, made it too, along with L. Even better, we realized we could borrow a chair from downstairs. We've never had six people to eat before because we only have five dining room table chairs.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
taldragon
Apr. 28th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
i had a lovely time, thank you once again for inviting me :)

next time, i suggest a summer outing to Melt! or an icecream shop.
owlfish
Apr. 28th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
I'm (almost) always up for ice cream and chocolate.

It was wonderful to see you!
oursin
Apr. 28th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
Shepherd Market used to be the haunt of the higher class of ladies of the night, in the earlier twentieth century. Not sure when (or if) this ceased to be the case.
owlfish
Apr. 28th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
The scale difference between Shepherd Market and the rest of Mayfair is - on a much smaller scale - like the difference between the L and R banks of Paris. The rest of it is grandiose; this part feels real, even if, in fact, it's full up with shops catering to the affluent local workers.
stormwindz
Apr. 28th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Did you know that on google your website appears higher than that of the William Curley Dessert Bar when you search for it??
owlfish
Apr. 28th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
There's something very wrong about that. On the other hand, I know why it happens: my website's been around a whole lot longer than theirs. That's a good prompt to put in a link to their site in this post, actually.
ladybird97
Apr. 28th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh, the Rocky Road cupcake looks amazing! And with orange peel? I've never had orange in any Rocky Road things - that sounds like a yummy addition.

Also, note to self: next time in London, check out William Curley Dessert Bar, if it is Chocolate Heaven :)
owlfish
Apr. 28th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
It was amazing - amazingly heavy, amazingly substantial, amazingly dense, and amazingly good. The candied orange peel was an inspired addition, just a hint of citrus to cut through the sweet.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )