Saturday, 18 January 2014

The proposal


On Christmas Day The Boy asked me to marry him.

And I did not see it coming!

You would think, after months of secretly hoping he would pop the question, I would spot it coming a mile off but The Boy did good and managed to pull the whole thing off without a hitch.

He asked me whilst we opened presents, in front of my family and with all of his unsuspecting relatives on Skype. It was lovely, perfect and more than I could ever deserve. 

The past few days have been a bit of a whirlwind of engagement drinks and get-to-gethers, whilst also fitting in going back to work, but we've already been thinking about venues, compiling our guest list and just generally figuring out what on earth kind of day we imagine it to be. For me, it's been so much fun. Finally I can put all those Pinterest boards to good use.

To be totally honest, it's more overwhelming than I'd originally thought - but I'm still loving every minute. The Boy? Not so much. Wedding planning/planning in general is not really his thing. As long as his nearest and dearest are there, there's good food and drink and a spot of dancing, he'll be happy. To be fair that's all I really want too.

Here's a few pics from the occasion - you can expect plenty more updates on how the planning is going over the coming weeks.

Monday, 13 January 2014

2013, a round up

2013 was a fabulous year, full of firsts, adventures and amazing experiences. Here's a round up of some of my favourite moments from the past twelve months.

2013: Spring
To me, the new year always means days out and nights in as the weather is so cold. The Boy and I spent a white weekend in snowy London town, an evening at the theatre (seeing Wicked, finally) and Zsa stayed over for food, films and a bit of a gossip.
In March we headed to New York as a family and, although it was absolutely freezing we had a marvelous time exploring the city. I took Mum to a spa, The Boy and I tried out an amazing restaurant and we all got to walk the High Line. It was the trip of a lifetime and one we'll never forget.
I particularly loved the graffti that had sprung up on the storm damaged Brooklyn Bridge.

2013: Summer
We spent a week in the Summer visiting various friends all over the country - and I spent a week cooing over a selection of babies and children. Even The Boy came away feeling broody.
On returning to London we whiled away the Summer months doing what we do best: eating and exploring the city. We had my good friend Kat and her son Leo to stay which allowed The Boy to revert back to his childhood, and spend some sunny days playing in the garden with lego and various Poundland remote controlled aircraft. Which was perfect as it meant Kat and I could spend some time laying in the sun.
We checked out Feast with Zsa Zsa and Ben which, although it was delicious, was far too hot for me.
I took Mum to Fortnum and Mason for Afternoon Tea one day in the summer which was amazing and a real treat.
In August Kimmy and I went to Secret Cinema's screening of Dirty Dancing and it was amazing. A great afternoon/evening with great company in the sunshine, you really can't beat it.
2013: AutumnWith Autumn came my thirtieth birthday and with it many a celebration. It all kicked off with birthday drinks in Hammersmith but also included a weekend break to Paris and a trip to Derbyshire with Ma and Pa. It was a wonderful few weeks spend with my absolute favourite people.
In October I ran my second half marathon, the Royal Parks Half in London. It was more of a struggle than last year as it was so hot but I still loved every minute and am considering running it again next year.
2013: Winter
The colder months brought with them lots of gatherings and festivities with friends and family as Christmas got ever closer.
We spent a weekend in Manchester with Sarah and Ryan exploring the Christmas Markets (and basically eating as much as we could), had a big family dinner at Duncans, and Christmas party season kicked off with a bang, it was a great final few weeks of 2013.

And of course the year ended with a proposal, but there will be more on that later.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

My London

Every Friday evening on my way home from work I normally try and pick up a copy of the Evening Standard magazine. 

As much as I love my newspaper every evening, a mag is a bit of a treat, especially now that I'm out of my routine of purchasing three magazines a week (at least), so settling in to my journey home with a glossy mag to devour really starts off the weekend right. Usually followed by a delicious home cooked meal and a night in front of the TV with The Boy.

One of my favourite weekly features is the My London interview on the back page, where celebrities and personalities answer a series of questions on what London means to them. 

Now, I'm no celebrity, but being called Lost & Found, a London Life, I'd love to tell you all about my favourite parts of my city.

Home is...
Fulham, where I reside in a wonderful red brick mansion block with The Boy. Close enough to central to walk home from work in the summer months or pop to the wonder that is Selfridges. Whilst being rural enough to spend the weekend wandering on Wimbledon common or sitting by the river at Hammersmith or Putney.
Where do you stay in London?
On the rare occasion I've needed to stay away from home, my hotel of choice would have to be Malmaison, a gem of a hotel tucked around the corner from the Barbican. Close to work and with many an offer on all year round.

Earliest London memory?
A day trip to the city with my best friend when we were still at school. We went with her Mum and Dad and did the usual tourist bits, London Eye, Canary Wharf, saw Grease at the theatre. But my lasting memory of this whole visit was the anticipation of going and the outfit planning I put in beforehand. And how much my new shoes inevitably rubbed when we eventually got there. So much so that I even had to buy some extra socks and change into them in the doorway of HMV. Classy.

Last play you saw?
I don't really remember the last play I saw, but the last musical was the Book of Mormon for The Boy's birthday. I was expecting to hate it but was pleasantly surprised and laughed my way through the entire thing.

Most romantic thing someone's done for you?
The Boy taking a day off work to run around London gathering up my favourite food, flowers and balloons to celebrate my birthday. Then dressing as the Tiger that came to tea from my favourite children's book.
That and taking me to Paris (I mean you Zsa Zsa).
Best place to let your hair down?
I'm a cheap date at heart and don't really buy into the whole door policy, guest list and too-cool-for-school places that exist a lot in London (this applies to restaurants as well as bars and clubs, if I can't make a reservation I really am over it). For me, you can't go wrong with grabbing the girls and heading to one of the Be At One venues, perfect for a half price cocktail and a spot of dancing round your handbag. For after work drinks and food Ozer on Regent St is also a firm fave.

First thing you do when you come to London?
On returning to town The Boy and I usually drag our suitcases through Kensington, stopping off at Best Mangal for a kebab (hands down, the best in London) before curling up in front of the TV.

Favourite shops?
The aforementioned Selfridges, the shop at the Tate Modern, Zara and Partridges, both on the Kings Road, Butlers on High St Kensington, the charity shops of Putney and Fulham (not Chelsea, too expensive) and the fruit and veg shops on North End Road.

Best meal?
Three courses at the Laughing Gravy in Southwark. Perfect on every level.
Best thing a London cabbie has said?
I don't get taxi's often, I have my Oyster card so why would you pay more, often just to sit in traffic?

Who do you call when you want to have fun?
Zsa Zsa, Bateson, R-Becs, Kimmy, Jade and AP. The laughs, the dancing, the lot.

Best place for a nightcap?
The Cumberland Arms, not only for the Ales on offer but also the resident cat who loves a cuddle at the end of the evening.

Building you'd like to be locked in overnight?
Generally I don't like being inside places after they've closed (it makes me feel nervous) but maybe one of the big museums or galleries that I normally avoid at the weekends due to the number of tourists crowding the corridors.

Best place for a first date?
Aqua at the Shard followed by a wander round Borough Market. There's so much to look at in both locations that there wouldn't be time for any awkwardness.

What would you do as mayor for the day?
Make the tube and London buses free of charge, make the tube run all night and pedestrianise Oxford and Regent St.

Building you'd like to buy?
One of the older style properties about half way down Park Lane that need some tlc. I'd love to see what they're like inside and restore them to their former glory, whilst giving them a modern twist. I also love the style of the Artists Residences on Talgarth Road but the busy area has really ruined the character of these properties.

What are you listening to at the moment?
The sweet sound of silence (but on my iPod currently is Haim, Ed Sheeran, Of Monsters and Men, and the Delays).

What's your biggest extravagance?
Fashion, magazines and double berry muffins from Pret. There really is no other muffin like it, they are my downfall.
Animal you'd like to be?
Probably a cat, because, as everyone knows, I love a nap.

Best piece of advice?
I've spoken about advice here on the blog before but I guess one piece that I'm loving lately would have to be Stop wishing, start doing. The whole reason I met my fiancĂ©e was because I made the leap and pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. That decision alone has majorly changed my life for the better.
At the moment you are...
Spending a lazy Sunday in bed with a stinking cold whilst The Boy is out at the cinema.

Who's your hero?
My Dad.

What do you collect?
It would probably be better to ask what I don't collect. Currently it's unusual coins, brass owls, books, vintage cocktail glasses, puzzles, and prints for the new house. The list is endless.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

A country carnival

Back in November The Boy and I went on our annual pilgrimage to Somerset for carnival.

Now, I know this post is late, and I know it's hardly worth posting now that so much time has passed but you know what? I don't care so I'm going to post this anyway.

I love the floats and every year just gets better and better, here's some pics of my favourites from 2013.
We headed down on Thursday evening for a three day break with The Boy's family, which I usually class as the first activity of the Christmas lead up, even though it takes place in mid November.

Friday was Wells carnival so we all wrapped up warm and picked a spot close to a pub for refreshments but also close enough to the carnival route to provide ample viewing. I obviously insisted The Boy buy me a balloon (I'm a child at heart).

On Saturday we celebrated Gerald's birthday with a trip to a local restaurant where much merriment ensued, finished off with cocktails and dancing in The Boy's parents living room - you just can't beat a night spent with family, even if it does leave you a tad worse for wear the following morning.
With a raging hangover we then enjoyed a Sunday birthday buffet followed by a trip to see Grandad and Philly, and getting the coach back to London on Sunday evening.

It was a wonderful weekend and nice for us all to be together again, the perfect start to the Christmas festivities.
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