My Sunshiny Life

{January 30, 2010}   Precious

I went to the Electric with Koi-lee on Friday night.  I love the Electric.  The foot stools, the seats, the space and the bits in between the seats where you can put your drinks and scooby snacks.

We saw Precious and it was one of the most gut wrenching movies I’ve ever seen. It was shocking in a ‘oh my god I can’t believe some people live like that’ sort of way.  A similar reaction as the one I had when I saw Once Were Warriors.  A totally different movie though.  It’s about Precious, who is a morbidly obese, illiterate girl who is pregnant with her second baby, by her father.  As well as incest she also has to deal with her mother, who is actually jealous of the fact she is having a baby with ‘her man’ and takes every opportunity to belittle and humiliate her.  One particular rant finished with “I wish I’d aborted you.”  She was quite a despicable character and Mo’Nique the actress played her superbly.  She just won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role.

The acting wasn’t overplayed and felt totally authentic.  Mariah Carey makes an appearance as a dowdy social worker who tries to help Precious and there is no sense of the musical diva about her at all.  Lenny Kravitz is John the nurse and he is smoking hot.  Ms Rain ,the ABC teacher, who steps in and gives Precious some genuine encouragement and support also gave a brilliant performance.  Actually there wasn’t a duff note in the whole thing, apart from the fact that the sound boom kept entering the picture.  Seriously, that is like film making 101, keep the boom out of shot.

I felt quite disturbed after watching this.  Not just for the people in the movie, but for the fact that there are some girls out there, trapped in similar circumstances with seemingly no way out.  Destined to repeat the cycle.

Sometimes we just don’t know how lucky we are.


{January 25, 2010}   Beer then?

We celebrated B’s birthday in the Chamberlayne pub in Kensal Rise on Sunday afternoon.  It was a lovely bunch of people and two of the cutest dogs, Oscar and Freddie. 

Sarah and Oscar, Naz and Freddie

A few people were intrigued about my new regime and were surprised that I’m not drinking for a whole year.  I seriously think I’d have had less of a response from everyone if I told them I’d developed a smack habit. 

The conversation with B and D the night before went something like this…

“So you’re not drinking for a WHOLE YEAR?!”

“Yep, that’s right”

“What about vodka?”



“Ew, I don’t like whiskey anyway.”


“Gin makes me mental and I’m actually ok with not drinking.”

Cue a look of disbelief…  “BUT you’ll have to find a drink for S and B’s wedding or you just won’t enjoy it.”


So back at lunch now and I was recounting this story to Benny who was sitting opposite me.  My food arrived, a lovely roast sirloin, (with no gravy or yorkshire pudding).  I had a few bites and then we did a happy birthday cheers to B, the birthday girl.  Then calamity struck and glasses just started toppling over on our side of the table.  Benny’s beer spilled into my plate and on to my food.  “Oh no, I can’t drink beer either” I exclaimed.  Benny kicked into action and rustled me up some more food and all was well in the world again.  I’m still a happy teetotaller.

Thanks for a lovely afternoon B, many happy returns sweets xx

I think she likes it

Birthday Balloons

{January 22, 2010}   Storybook Wolf Scandal

The Storybook Wolf

Well well, there’s been some drama down at the Natural History Museum over the last few days!  The winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year is a fraud!  Jose, you cheeky little devil, you can’t go off and hire Ossie the tame wolf from a local park and set up your own staged photograph.  It’s not WILDlife now is it?  Hardly playing fair with all of the other contestants mmmm?

Whatever next, train your goldfish to jump through hoops and pretend it’s a dolphin?  Poor show José, you should be ashamed of yourself, taking the title from some other deserving photographer who busted their hump to get their shots.  José gets a life ban from the competition and a generous heaping of shame from everyone else.

I’ve been clean for 15 days now (bar that little incident with the hash browns) and am feeling great.  It’s not just that I’m not mindlessly grazing on peanut M&M’s anymore or that I’m giving Haribo sweets a wide berth… do you know how much sugar is hidden in packaged foods?  Who would have known that they sneak it in to so many things, seriously – hash browns! 

So my 360 degree switch change on my diet has been weirdly easy.  I’d been expecting to hang around outside Patisserie Valerie with my nose pressed against the window looking longingly at the pretty cakes.  Or reaching for a can of coke at 4pm in the afternoon or settling down to a movie craving a big fat glass of merlot.  But no, I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

As well as sugar I’ve discarded alcohol, white junky refined carbs, anything yeasty, anything smoked or fermented and fruit.  Not that fruit isn’t healthy because it is and I love it – but because it doesn’t fit into the sugar free regime. 

I’ll be on this healthy path for a year and keeping it in perspective that I’m only a few weeks into my regime, (and haven’t been to the pub with my friends yet) I’m faring rather well. 

Just in case I get a mad craving to stuff my face full of jaffa cakes I’ll take inspiration from my slightly adapted version of the serenity prayer


Universe grant me the self control
not to stuff my face full of cream cakes; 
willpower to stay away from the sweets aisle;
and wisdom to embrace the healthy food difference.


{January 18, 2010}   Blue Monday

So today is meant to be the most depressing day of the year.  Psychologists have come to this conclusion by considering these factors; weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take action.

Well, apart from the low motivational levels I hit all other five factors and I feel on top of the world!  Your life is what you make it and I prefer mine with a double helping of happy please. 

I’m taking action to get myself into some balmy sunshiney weather, with good food and good friends.  The anticipation of an exciting holiday is delicious and I’ve been researching flights and hotels for my San Francisco and Mexico trip in April.  The promise of much needed sun is brightening up my days already.  Arriba Arriba!

{January 17, 2010}   Fender Bender

I loved the ‘man logic’ of the guy that ran into the back of a car I was in on Saturday.  He was insisting to his girlfriend that he hadn’t been driving too close to us.  Welllllll, the fact that your front fender is buried into our back wheel suggests otherwise my friend.

He also asked us what we’d done to cause it.  Um, our car was parked on the side of the road.  Like stationary.  Not moving.  You’ve no one to blame but yourself.  I hate it when that happens.

{January 12, 2010}   Nine

Isn’t it ironic that the storyline for this movie is about a director who doesn’t have a script and is looking for inspiration.  Well the whole movie felt uninspired!  It’s based on the book written by Arthur Kopit, which is derived fron an Italian play, which was (stay with me people) inspired by Federico Fellini’s autobiographical film called 8 1/2.

The result of all of this plot ‘inspiration’ is a distinctly average movie, which is surprising given the stellar cast line up.  Not to say that there weren’t good performances, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Kate Hudson and Penelope Cruz were all excellent.  In particular, Kate Hudson and Penelope Cruz gave scorching performances in their sexy musical numbers.  

The rest of the story is less satisfying, with deep soul searching of a man facing a mid life crisis.  I was rolling my eyes in the theatre and couldn’t wait for the over dramatised emotion to reach it’s final conclusion. 

With the director from Chicago at the helm I expected something as sharp and sassy, but instead I got a giant heaping of schmaltz.

{January 11, 2010}   The Ugly Side of Christmas

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!
In beauty green will always grow
Through summer sun and winter snow.
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas tree,
You are the tree most loved!
How often you give us delight
In brightly shining Christmas light!
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas tree,
You are the tree most loved!

Until January and then you’re out on your arse and I never want to see you again.  You big, ‘take up the whole living room’ messy tree that sheds pine needles all over my carpet. Take that!  I’m kicking you to the kerb you good for nothing Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree Graveyard

{January 10, 2010}   Domestic Goddess Unleashed

For the last couple of years I’ve been a heat and eat kind of girl.  An open packet and mix with another packet kind of cook.  Well aside from dinner parties, when I unleash the inner domestic goddess.  There was no dinner party this weekend, but the domestic goddess made an appearance in aid of my new healthy eating regime. 

I’m on a strict anti allergy diet which has restricted a few of my favourite foods.  Alcohol is also on the naughty list, but after my 2 day violent hangover on New Years Day I still don’t miss it.  Actually the list of foods I can’t eat is longer than what I can, so I’ll just cut to what I cooked up this weekend.

I made some roast almond butter, cashew nut butter (both delicious spread on celery and oat cakes), chicken stock, chicken soup, buckwheat pancakes and lemon curd.  Lemon curd is SOOO easy to make, mouth puckeringly sour without sugar (that’s on the restricted substance list) but delicious none the less.  I layered it on my buckwheat pancakes, added a generous spread of greek yoghurt and sprinkled coconut on the top. 

So I’m one week in to my new regime and I don’t feel deprived at all – with food like this how can I?

Buckwheat Pancake Stack w/ Lemon Curd, Yoghurt and Coconut

{January 7, 2010}   London Snow

Well the burbs might be snowed in, but we’d need a fair amount of snow in London Town for that to happen.  It hasn’t stopped some people cleaning out supermarket shelves, JUST in case there is a blizzard.  I have to confess at first I was confused when news reports came in that kitty litter was running low everywhere.  I found it odd that people would stock up on kitty litter for their kitty litter trays in case they were snowed in.  Duh!

Scare mongering in the media is so crazy.  Every single day is dominated by the snow and how gas supplies are low, grit supplies are low, food supplies won’t be able to truck on through and we’ll all die a slow, cold, miserable death.  Enough already!

The snow makes my park look really pretty.  We need more though as there are too many footprints in it and some of it’s a little bit dirty.  Don’t buy into the media hype, go sledging! 

It’s not quite as impressive as the snow dump from last year which you can see below.  Now that’s snow.

et cetera