Thames Festival

Thames Festival

We went out to have a walk around London yesterday as part of the Mayor’s Thames Festival, an annual festival that’s been going on for 14 years now and covers a huge stretch of the River from Jubilee Gardens (where the London Eye is) to past Tower Bridge at St Katherine’s Dock.

We saw the Peregrine Falcon’s at the Tate Modern, had a bit of a boogie with a Swing Band, enjoyed a Hog Roast on the closed Southwark Bridge, saw a 5 year old genuinely outwit a a bunch of adults in a game, watched a comedy lawn tennis match in the Scoop.

It’s a great day out, and the sun shine kept breaking through and the rain held off. We’re not heading in again today, but if you read this early enough this morning and are wondering what to do with your time, I recommend a trip into London, particularly for the fireworks at the end of the day which we saw last year and it was awesome.



We went to a ‘start of term’ barbecue last night, arranged by one of N’s teacher friends.

I’ve met a few of these people before, but not many of them. What I discovered is that there is nothing more likely to make me feel self conscious then being introduced to a whole load of new people (most of whose names I didn’t catch or can’t remember) and having them ALL say “I’ve heard so much about you”.

Having said that, it was nice to meet some lovely people, enjoy a nice barbecue, see a lovely little garden and a sky full of stars.



To retrieve some pride in my kitchen skills following the fantastic pancake incident the other week, I decided last night to make some chicken stock to use up the discarded bones of a fairly tasty bit of chicken. I’m confident that this will taste delicious, and won’t at all be affected by my having not put enough water in the pot and letting it boil dry.

I am a failed foodie. Who do I have to hand my oven gloves back to?


Stupidity or Serendipity

I decided to make cupcakes today. I had all the ingredients in the cupboard, and we had won a cupcake cookery book at the Science Museum pub quiz at the end of July (we came first! woohoo!). I figured that simple lemon cupcakes would be a sensible place to start.

So, I rolled up my sleeves, popped the radio on and got to with the weighing and the sifting and the mixing. “Combine the milk, lemon juice and sour cream in a jug” it says. So i checked on the list how much of each of these I needed, realised that I didn’t have enough milk and sent the ever helpful N out to get some form the corner shop.

I mix, zest and organise some more, slightly curious about just how liquid the mix is. I’ve never made cupcakes before, but assumed it would be less runny than this. Just before I’m about to dish the mixture up into individual cupcake cases, I glanced at the recipe again.

Oh bugger.

It didn’t say 900ml of milk at all, did it? It said 90ml. Oh dear… what’s a girl supposed to do with a bowl full of sloppy stuff that certainly won’t turn into cupcakes?

Well… the consistency was very much like pancake batter, so why not?

Pancake thingLemony pancake thing

And I now have about a litre of random batter bagged up in the freezer in case of future pancake(ish) emergencies. It actually tasted suprisingly good, but didn’t look like the pretty cupcakes I had pictured for myself.

Cupcake cake

I rejoice in my geekiness

I’m sure you’re all perfectly aware just how much I love The Goodies. It might be slightly suprising to some of you to know that there are others out there that feel the same way!

Probably not actually, it is an awesome programme.

Anyway, the 40th aniversary of the start of the show is coming later on this year so a fellow Goodie-phile and I have been plotting, and we are now ready to start revealing all to the world:

There will be a party! On the 6th of November. And there will be birthday cake and bunting! There will also be lots of other exciting and interesting things happening on the day, think of it as a mini convention if you will.

More information can be found @goodiesparty and at http://goodiesparty.wordpress.com/.

Did I mention that there will be cake? You can’t have a birthday party without cake…


Birthday on the Southbank

We celebrated a friend’s birthday yesterday by spending a day on the Southbank: Lunch at the OXO tower, cocktails at the Hayward Gallery, dancing in the fountains at the Royal Festival Hall, and more drinks underneath the arches at Waterloo.

Good food, good friends, good times.

Strawberries, cream, meringueThe Birthday Girl in the Fountain



Over at my day job I organised (with the help of my awesome Green Team) a swishing event that we ran last night. There was cake, wine, fairy lights and music to help turn this into a great event.

CakeStuff and beer

For those that don’t know, a Swish is a sort of swap shop. It’s a way to push the first two ‘Rs’ of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle hierarchy: you get to re-use old (but lovely) stuff, and hopefully this will therefore reduce your need to buy new stuff. Different people & places run swishes in different ways, but our rules were:

  • You must bring at least one quality item.
  • We will set everything out in our ’boutique’
  • There is an initial browsing period for everyone to see what’s available.
  • Then we kick you out of the room for 5 minutes to straighten the room up again.
  • Doors open, count down from 3, massive free for all for everyone to take what they want.

What I learned from the event: there is nothing that will stand between some people and a bargain. For lots of people this was a first time at swishing, but there were a few people that seemed to be dedicated swishers, and they had elbows!


This morning we took everything that was left over off to a charity shop up the road. Most of the unclaimed stuff was still really nice, but just not right for the people there at the time.

What did I get out of it? A couple of necklaces, a book and a hand bag. And some really good ideas for how to make it even better next time.

Global Action Plan Swish