My Sunshiny Life

{March 1, 2010}   The Supperclub

We chose a girly night to investigate a new bastion of cool in Ladbroke Grove.  The awesome foursome donned party dresses and killer heels, converging on the inconspicuous black building in Acklam Road.

We were greeted by a very pretty boy, the supperclub hostess for the evening who graciously explained in his soft voice that we were to drop our coats, don an ugly green sticker with our table number on it and go through to the other room where the bar was.

So far, so cool.  Apart from the ugly green sticker which really needs a rethink.  We were told to wear it so we wouldn’t lose our table, but we were to find out later on that the only way you keep your table is to keep buying bottles of champers or spirits. 

We had cocktails in the bar area (mine was sparkling water with a twist of cucumber and lemon – just to jazz it up a bit!) and then about 20 minutes later we were shown through to THE SUPPERCLUB.  This is the old place that Neighbourhood occupied and I’ve had many a trashed night partying in here.  It was different coming here this time for two reasons, the first that I was sober and the second that it’s now white, bright, airy and modern.  It always felt a bit grimy before.

There are beds all around the outside of the room, covered in crisp white sheets and fluffy pillows.  There’s a little table in the centre for your drinks and food, but you really eat from your lap.  They’ve kept the upstairs balcony bit the same as how when it was Neighbourhood and there are more beds up there.  The action is definitely downstairs though.

We were introduced to our lovely, hot and very obliging young waiter David, who truly earnt his tip that night.  He waited on us with a smile, was charming, attentive, sexy and just the right side of flirty. 

The food was absolutely amazing, and so was the entertainment.  Even watching the staff walking around was entertaining, they’re all young, and arty/interesting looking. 

At about 11.30 the doors opened and our intimate supperclub venue became a club for just anyone.  It wasn’t exclusive anymore, we were being invaded!  Territorial to the core, we staked out our table with handbags, killer glares and wide dancing shapes to keep them off OUR bed.  The girls had to buy copious amounts of champagne to keep the late arriving bed vultures at bay. 

The music was fabulous and we cut up some moves on the dance floor, took ridiculous pictures of each other and  had a large night like I haven’t had in a while.  I did it sober too, with no discernable difference to the quality of my night AND no hangover the next day.  I’m in line for sainthood, I just know it.

So if you want to see trannies flipping pancakes, syringe wielding blood drinking goth ladies, stripping action and the hottest waiters in town then you need to get your glam on and head down to The Supperclub. 


{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

{December 23, 2009}   But it's Monday night!

Every year at work we have the same leave it to the last minute rush to book in somewhere for our Christmas dinner.  We’d all rubbished the suggestion that we go to Busaba Eathai or to Wahaca.  Not to say I don’t love both of them. I really do.  But Thai or Mexican is hardly very Christmassy!  (Although both are unlike any Thai or Mexican food you’ve EVER eaten, SOOOO good!)

Lila was tasked with the thankless job of getting us somewhere decent on a night that most of us could make it.  There were 20 of us at the dinner and booking in late November is a hard ask.  This sets the scene as to where we ended up – through no fault of Lila!

Lena restaurant is in Shoreditch and there were 20 of us amping for a big night (well not all 20 as some were soft and went home early).  But for those of us that were, bring on the cocktails!  Uh, sorry, there aren’t any ingredients for cocktails.  If you really wanted a cocktail then your only option was a dacquiri, as it didn’t need any fresh ingredients. 

The first course arrived.  It was billed as goats cheese fondue.  It was a watery cheesy soup with an egg floating around in it.  Yes, doesn’t that sound delish.  To top it off, it was bacteria forming luke warm.  The rest of the table sent theirs back to get reheated.  I didn’t want mine back and told them they could keep it. 

Cheesy eggy lukewarm soup

Cheesy eggy lukewarm soup

In lieu of my cheesy eggy soup I requested a basket of bread.  The response: um, it’s Monday.  We don’t have bread on a Monday.  Wondering if there was a new religion that didn’t eat bread on Mondays, but thinking surely not, I enquired why.  No deliveries on Mondays.  Even if there is a party of 20 coming, that might fancy some bread with their dinner? Or in my case, bread instead of my dinner!  I wanted to cry out Nip down to Tescos you lazy little scamp!

You call that bread?

You call that bread?

The servers were studiously avoiding our table by this stage, which was weird as there were only a couple of other tables occupied in the restaurant.  We had money to spend goddammit!  The boss was paying! 

My main of seabass, fennel and potato was good – flavoursome, crispy and hot.  The turkey roast which I nicked from Marton’s plate was rubbish.  I won on the food front down my end of the table.  Although the pumpkin ravioli was quite good too I was told.

Seabass, tastes better than it looks

Lena, you not only let us down, you let yourself down.  From a table of 20 you could have had a couple of hundred extra quid from cocktails – but you did save a tenner on fresh mint and fruit though didn’t you.  The food needs a kick up the arse and so do your waiting staff.  There was so much more revenue lost through lack of attentive service on the drinks front. 

We couldn’t wait to leave and move on to the next place.  Which is what we did.  I haven’t been to Mother bar since I was a club queen a few years back.  I was introduced to Jaegar Bombs (don’t see the attraction myself) and met up with my old friend the Tequila Shot.  We cut up the dancefloor, busting out our best moves to some truly cheesy tunes.  

No one embarrassed themselves (unfortunately for the office gossip the next day), luckily no one got food poisoning and next year we’re going to book in early.  Or maybe we’ll be going to Wahaca.

{December 22, 2009}   Cottons Rhum Shack

About a month ago I went to a cute little restaurant in Camden called Cottons Rhum Shack.  I know how much Koi-lee likes her rum, so I said we simply HAD to go back and have dinner there.  When I went the food was great, we had duck salad, ribs and goat curry.  The duck salad and ribs aren’t really authentic Jamaican dishes, but they were tasty.  The goat curry was delicious and tender, served with a fluffy roti.  The interior of the restaurant is charming, with a sprawling layout over several floors, cute kitschy decorations and open fires. 

When I went back with Koi-lee I arrived early and ordered a cocktail at the bar.  It took about ten minutes for the bartender to make my drink as he chatted to his friends whilst VERY slowly making my cocktail.  By this stage Koi-lee had arrived and we both watched him, slightly amused, as he laboured over a small piece of cucumber for my drinks garnish.  

The ten minute masterpiece

 Koi-lee ordered her rum and coke with lots of lime and the other bartender started assembling it, much quicker than her colleague.  When she brought it over Koi-lee asked for another piece of lime.  The woman looked at her and said ‘you’ve got enough lime’.  I nearly spat my cocktail over the bar at her rudeness and asked her if she was serious.  She stropped over to the limes and sullenly picked out another wedge.  She walked back to us and slammed it down on the napkin by Koi-lee’s drink and said ‘there you go’.  We were gobsmacked.  I was actually lost for words, just staring at her.  It takes a lot to make me speechless!

We used this as our cue to sit down at our table, moving away from the princess of darkness.   In contrast to her sullen and aggressive manner, our waiter was lovely, friendly and attentive.  Just what you’d expect in the service industry! 

Unfortunately he couldn’t make the food taste better.  We shared a starter of crab claws and he set the plate down on the table, almost apologetically and said that they were normally bigger than this.  We stared at the plate, trying to spot the crab claws.  When we did find them they were watery and tasteless, hardly worth the effort of finding them. 

Crab Claw Surprise

We filled up on bread and waited with some anticipation for our main.  I assured Koi-lee that our food had been delicious on the last visit so the main would be good.  Not wanting to risk food envy we chose the same dish, Adobo Rubbed Pork Knuckle roasted with ginger and spices with a ragout of black eyed peas and callaloo served with hot sauce and corn bread.  (I didn’t remember that, I just copied it from their site). 

Tough as Boots Pork Knuckles

It arrived.  After a quick blog evidence photo, I pulled the meat off the bone and popped it into my mouth and chewed, and chewed and chewed.  It was tough, stringy and microwaved.  The flavour wasn’t subtle, spicy and full of depth as I had imagined it would be.  It was so disappointing, especially as I’d set Koi-lee’s expectations high. 

We sat there poking the food around our plates.  The waiter asked if I wanted to take my leftovers home and I politely refused.  I’m normally up for complaining about food, but I just didn’t think this was worth it.  He knew it was crap, we didn’t really need to discuss it.  I won’t be going back.

Word of advice: If you go to Cottons stick with the goat curry and don’t ask for more lime.

Little Mel had her birthday bash at the new Gaucho Grill in Smithfields.  The interior is black and shiny, with lots of glass and a stunning private dining room.  This was our table for the evening and what a table it was!  The huge black table dominates the room, which is surrounded by cowhide panels and black glass. 

I had a total Bridget Jones moment when I realised I was the only single person at the meal and I was sitting at the head of the table, flanked by couples on both sides.  After my protests I was quickly moved and I felt far more comfortable sitting on the side.  Although I think my table companion at the time thought I was protesting to move away from him.  It wasn’t you Beat!  We even moved places after every course, so we could mix it up and speak to people that we didn’t normally speak to.  I think the couples enjoyed it more that way too, getting away from their other half!

We had signed up for the signature menu.  The starter choice didn’t set me on fire – I was going to go for the scallops but the waiter kindly told me to expect that they were cold.  I don’t really go for scallops sashimi style so I chose chorizo sausage.  I ended up with a chorizo sausage.  Not sure why I should have been surprised, but I did expect it to be cut up and artfully arranged.  I got a sausage on my plate, with some roasted red pepper.

The mains were a selection of three cuts of steak; fillet, sirloin and rib eye.  The accompaniments were; tomato salad (fabulous and flavoursome), fries, humitas (delicious creamy corn mash wrapped in a corn husk and you scooped out the filling with a spoon) and spinach.  The fillet steak was definitely the winner, melting in your mouth like only good steak can.

Dessert was a tad disappointing for me.  We only had three choices, ice cream, cheese cake or panacotta.  I chose a just OK coconut panacotta.  I had a bit of food envy for the dulche de leche cheesecake, which was delicious.  I don’t think icecream should be a dessert choice on a set menu.  You can have that as an extra, it’s no effort to scoop it out of a carton is it?

The bill came to an eye watering £106 a head, which you don’t really expect for Gauchos.  True, there were cocktails consumed at the beginning and everyone was quite merry, but I don’t think that the set menu lived up to it’s £55 a head billing.

{October 13, 2009}   Momofuku Magic

When Tammy told me that pork was the latest big craze in New York restaurants I was impressed. What an excellent way to get piggy revenge for swine flu, if you can’t beat em, eat em!

So after a happy hour of drinking fabulous malbec with Tom at Morrells wine bar, and a quick visit to the Rockefeller Center, I made my way to Momofuku in the East Village.  

Pretty New York Skyline

Pretty New York Skyline

Tammy’s recommendation was spot on and she wasn’t kidding about the fact that pork was the menu flavour of the day either. This place is famous for their pork buns and for good reason. They are A.mazing! So was my waiter who remembered that I wanted my photo taken when they arrived. He was so good that he came back when my main arrived to see if I wanted another photo taken. Boy, you gooood! If you ever want to go on holiday with me you’re more than welcome. What more does a girl need, someone who is happy to take her photo and knows instinctively that every photo needs a seal of approval or a re-shoot.

A happy girl and her pork buns

A happy girl and her pork buns

My only very slight criticism would be that my main came out a little bit too soon after my entree. But what a main it was, so they were forgiven very quickly! I had Bev Eggleston’s Pork Shoulder Steak, which came with grilled eggplant, eggplant puree, beans, seaweed and of course melt in your mouth pork.  I meant to ask my waiter why Bev Eggleston, but I forgot. 

Bev Eggleston's Pork Shoulder Chop

Bev Eggleston's Pork Shoulder Chop

I didn’t think that I could possibly finish, but sometimes I surprise myself. A chilled glass of chablis helped and it all comes down to mind over matter. In a freak of nature way I fit far more food in my belly than I thought physically possible.   

A little dent made

A little dent made

You can do it!

You can do it!

Oh. My. God, I'm full!

Oh. My. God, I'm full!

But the fun didn’t stop here.  I broke through the pain barrier and walked through Momofuku Ssam to Momofuku Milk bar. I hate milk, but this place does amazing milk infusions. To be honest, I’d rather have a vodka infusion. But with cereal milk and other inventive creations on the menu I just had to have a look.

My stomach started churning at the thought of another food onslaught, but I whispered to my groaning belly that I wasn’t eating anything else, so it settled down long enough for me to buy some cookies for my breakfast. It would be more nutritious than the gourmet jelly beans I had yesterday!

Momofuku Cookie Menu

Momofuku Cookie Menu

The milk bar has some weird and wonderful dessert concoctions, as well as the famous pork buns.  There were crack cakes, towering banana cakes, milk infusions and some very strange soft serve icecream options.  I had a little taste of the salty cucumber soft serve.  Before I tasted it, other patrons warned me that it was weird and salty. They weren’t wrong, it was salty but quite pleasant. Weird and salty was an apt description.

Salty Cucumber Soft Serve Icecream

Salty Cucumber Soft Serve Icecream

So it’s 4.50 am New York time and I’ve tasted the cookies.  They are amazing.  My choices were the compost cookie which includes chocolate chips, pretzels, potato chips, butterscotch, and coffee grinds.  Strange, but it works!  The other choice was a cornflake (hey it is breakfast after all!), marshmallow and chocolate chip cookie – Brilliant – not quite as good as the compost cookie.  It’s the coffee grounds that make that cookie so good.  My last little taste is of the blueberry and milk crumb cookie.  Even feeling slightly sick from cookie overdose I think this cookie is fabulous.  If I had to rate them in order, it would be compost, blueberry and then cornflake, but it’s a close call!

Me Love Coooooookies! (say it cookie monster styley)

Me Love Coooooookies! (say it cookie monster styley)

Momofuku, I’m glad I made the trek across town – you have to go if you’re in New York.  I’ll be back.

Momofuku Ssam and Milk Bar

Neighborhood: East Village
207 2nd Ave
(between 12th St & 13th St)

{October 10, 2009}   Shumai Superstar

After working for the last three days in NYC I wanted to feel like I was on holiday.  Going away for work is totally over rated and I’d rather be at home in my own bed – but having the weekend in NYC was an upside of my trip.

Saturday afternoon was put aside to meet up with Tammy and J.C and to meet little Liam.  The last time I was in New York he was a little bundle swathed in blankets. Now he is a delightful little character that I’ve gotten to know through Tammy and J.C’s facebook updates.  He didn’t disappoint in person either.  Who can’t love a kid who is just as at home in Shun Lee, our dim sum restaurant – eating shumai and pork buns with finesse, as he is on the couch eating macaroni cheese.

Shumair Superstar

Shumair Superstar

The dim sum was ok, the company was fabulous and meeting Liam again was wonderful.  Liam’s verdict on Shun Lee dim sum?  It’s ok (said with a little shrug of his shoulders and the gesture below).  We were on the Upper West Side and the dim sum in China town is ten times cheaper and quite a bit better according to Tammy and J.C.  Next time I’m in town we’ll have to catch up there, I think I’d like them as Chinatown guides, as you could get it so wrong going by yourself!

It's ok

It's ok

Shun Lee Catch Up

Shun Lee Catch Up

{August 21, 2009}   Birthday Bliss

I turned another year older yesterday and celebrated in the most fabulous way, all DAY!  Taking a day out to pamper and indulge oneself is such a decadent treat and I enjoyed every second.

The fun started when I got up and walked out my door to find some gorgeous White Company products and a heartfelt card left by my wonderful flatties.  Calls, texts, emails and facebook posts all contributed to my warm happy glow for the day and left me feeling very loved and cared for. 

Fact: You cannot gain weight on your birthday, no matter how much you eat.  Which is just as well really, as I ate delicious food and drank copious amounts of champagne and wine all day.  I started off my culinary indulgence at Raouls where I had lovely eggs benedict.  Then it was time to buy myself a present – bath and body products from Philosophy. I’ve fallen in love with their Amazing Grace range, it’s divine and I truly smelt heavenly after applying nearly every product I could find in the store. 

You MUST eat chocolate on your birthday and only the finest chocolate will do.  The Artisan du Chocolat counter at Selfridges was close by, so I popped over to pick out a little selection of high quality, hand made chocolates.  Then on my way out of Selfridges, I fell right into the cupcake stand and left with a DELICIOUS red velvet cupcake.  Life is good when you’re stuffed full of cake and chocolate! 

Artisan Du Chocolat Selection

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Not feeling guilty about catching a cab a very short distance, I made my way to The Sanctuary Day Spa in Covent Garden.  I lounged on comfy day beds with my magazines, sipped champagne cocktails, went for a few swims (they even had a noodle, brilliant!), had a spa, massage and sleep treatment.  What a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday, I highly recommend it. 

The rough patch of my day was going to a new salon (Saco) and being kept waiting for my hairdresser for 45 minutes, looking very attractive with my towel turban head.  Not the best introduction for a new client really.  EXCUSE me, it’s my birthday and I have a dinner to get to!  Stress crept in around the edges of my beautifully relaxing day, but a quick dash home, shower and speedy make up application had me at the restaurant only 20 minutes late.

Dinner was at Maroush 1 on Edgware Road.  I’ve been to loads of Maroush restaurants, but hadn’t been to this one yet.  The drawcard was the belly dancing and live music.  I was so incredibly spoilt and I felt very blessed as I opened all my presents and cards. 

Me and Bec

Me and Sands

The stunning belly dancer came out and put on an amazing show, getting us all involved. 

 Belly Dancer

The live music had everyone jigging about in their seats, until you couldn’t help getting up and busting a few moves on the dance floor.  The waiters were brilliant and I even got one to show me some Lebanese dance moves. 

There was another table celebrating a birthday, so Happy Birthday was sung to both of us.  They even shared their birthday cake, bringing a few pieces over with candles so I had something to blow out too.  What’s a birthday without a champagne toast?  The waiter brought over a complimentary bottle of champagne for yet another toast.  There was such a lovely warm community feel in the restaurant,  fuelled by fabulous music, fabulous people and thoughtful touches.     

Birthday Girl

Pampering, Indulgence, Shopping, Dinner, Dancing, Champagne, Presents, Cards, Cake and Fabulous Friends.  What a lucky girl I am!

{July 12, 2009}   Rules to live by…

I’ve become very fond of the Italians.  They are a rule unto themselves and I kinda like that… except when this lady thought we were taking too long at the metro ticket machine and stepped in front of me and started inserting her own coins.  She couldn’t understand when I said she was rude and had butted in, she seemed genuinely baffled that I was upset that she’d cut right in front of me as I was putting my ticket transaction through.  The other idiosyncrasy is the ‘rules are a suggestion, not a directive’ attitude.  This is illustrated quite well by the picture here of a car parked on a corner – driven straight up on to the pavement.  It wasn’t the only one either.  Try that in London and you’d be towed before you’d even put the handbrake on!

Parking Italian Style

Parking Italian Style

Yesterday we walked, and walked, and walked.  We went to the Vatican and saw the pope.  We had a spot of tea with him and looked around his crib.  He’s been on MTV cribs actually; you might have seen the episode.  (That is a lie, an outright fib, a fabrication to make my story more interesting).

The Vatican

The Vatican

Sooo the Vatican.  It’s quite a cool place, but quite a long tour.  Sorry if I don’t seem cultured but jeeeeeesus (excuse my blasphemy) how long can you talk about one bloody painting.  I was skipping rooms and rooms ahead of my tour group.  For two reasons really, the first to get a seat and the second to look like I wasn’t part of a tour group (although the MI5 headpiece gave me away I’m sure).  There’s something a bit embarrassing about it all, being herded around like a flock of wayward sheep.  Anyway, our guide was good.  He was from the same tour company as the day before, so was also on speed and WAAAAAAY way over excited, even just saying hello to us he was jumping up and down. 

I really liked the cherubs and ended up taking loads and loads of pictures of them.

Angelic Innocence

Angelic Innocence

 I also really liked this picture, it’s quite gruesome but there was something about it that captivated me

Stunning yet gruesome

Stunning yet gruesome

Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel…   This little gem had been hyped from the start of our tour and when I first saw it I was like, is this it?  I think if you had a chance to walk through by yourself and contemplate then you’d be awed.  But wrestling through a throng of people, getting stood on, camera flashes everywhere and the noise level the same as a bustling market took away from it.  It was only when I got a seat, blocked everyone out and stared at the ceiling for ages that I got it.  What an amazing feat. Shame he was a grumpy bastard and that’s how he is remembered as well as being an amazing artist.

We left our tour group, I felt liberated, we could go anywhere we wanted!  So after a quick look see in St Peters Basilica we headed off through the square and out into the wilderness of Rome.  

Free from the tour!

Free from the tour!

We were starving!  We sat down for pizza anticipating a thin crust and lovely fresh topping.  That isn’t what we got, it was the worst pizza I’ve ever had.  We ordered a capriosca (spelling?) but when our pizza arrived it wasn’t the same as on the menu – it had tuna and some sort of mystery meat that I think was meant to be parma ham, gross.  I called the waiter over who informed me that the menu was more of a suggestion and yes, this was our pizza even though not one single topping matched the menu.  According to our waiter, the caprioscca is ALWAYS made with the closest things to hand.  Not in my world buddy, I sent it back.  It came back again totally wrong again, so we ate around the tuna wanting to leave as soon as we could.  The waiter came over again to repeat his story, like I was slightly dim and needed educating about the Italian pizza way.  I wanted to beat him with the dry disgusting pizza.  I gave him my most withering glare (as much as you can behind sunglasses) and he finally got the hint.  I warned some other friendly tourists not to eat there as it was so terrible, culinary justice was served and the world dining karma balance restored.

After a bad food experience you have to ensure that your next food experience is excellent, to ensure the great food equilibrium is maintained, so we had afternoon tea at our favourite local patisserie.  I had walked enough to build up quite a few calories in the food bank and spent them wisely on a cake AND some gelato!  They make all the cakes onsite and do a bloody fabulous job.  A thin wafer, dipped in chocolate, covered in jelly, sponge and creamy topping.  Fresh fruit toppings, tiramisu flavours, and the tiniest little wild strawberries I’ve ever seen!  I’ve made a pact to eat gelato, cake and limoncello every day.  You need rules to live by and these are mine for the holiday.

Heaven in a wafer cone

Heaven in a wafer cone

Loving the cake a day rule

Loving the cake a day rule

{July 11, 2009}   When in Rome…

Chad and I have been in Rome for a day and a half and I LOVE IT! What an amazing, chaotic, bustling, gorgeous city. Ancient ruins co-exist right beside modern architecture in a fabulous architectural mash up.

Italians are super friendly and take time out to explain to our dumb ignorant selves about items on the menu that we can’t read. We’ve just been to dinner, to a VERY busy, fabulous, yummy, local Italian restaurant (we were the only tourists, which is just how I like it) and the wait staff tried to help us out as much as they could explaining the menu. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t quite enough. Now I’d much rather take a chance on menu lotto than go to some shithouse place in a tourist trap area, so I no complain (well not much anyway). After I’d ordered my meal, which I’d been told was fish, I was telling Chad about how much I’d hate it if the fish came out with a head still attached (seriously, how can you eat something that’s staring at you) or if I was served up little baby squids and tentacles. Calamari, love it, baby squids (tentacles, GROSS!) not so much. This isn’t a thriller; I think you can see what’s coming. Yep, it was ‘The Tentacles’. I was grossed, a little tear came to my eye and a pout automatically appeared. Chad graciously let me eat some of his delicious pasta and I sorted through all the squidgy bits to find the rings and fish bites.

Here I am talking about food and I’ve been discovering so much more. YES, for a change, life to me is more than what I’m having for my next meal (or what everyone else is having). We’ve been ultra busy in the short time that we’ve been here. We’ve interacted with locals, found an A.Mazing local patisserie cafe/gelato yummy place and we’ve been VERY cultural. We started out yesterday, with a trip to the Colosseum. Wow, what an amazing place. Did you know that not all the gladiators died? If you think about it, that would be SO bad for business. Get a good gladiator and have him last one match? No, these guys were kept on for a while to earn their keep. When there was a match where someone was supposed to die, they’d meet before hand and do a bit of match fixing so there would be a draw. WWF took its acting style from the Romans it seems.


Love having a travel partner/picture taker!

Love having a travel partner/picture taker!

Colosseum 3










Then we went on another tour in the afternoon of the Roman Forum, apparently the heart, soul, business and political centre of Rome in the good ole days. Our guide was absolutely fabulous, granted I think she’d popped some amphetamines before taking our group around, but her hyper enthusiasm was welcome after a long afternoon in the sunshine. She filled us up with facts about ancient Rome, of which I remember absolutely nothing but it was nice feeling learned for a few hours anyway. I truly think the NZ education system has a lot to answer for. Neither Chad nor I knew any answers to the questions she posed. Romulus, Remus, Octavious… WTF!

Modern art amongst ancient ruins

Modern art amongst ancient ruins

There was a guy who was a total swot/teacher’s pet who delighted in answering every question, so even if I’d known an answer I wouldn’t have got a chance to say it anyway. He also wore socks with his sandals, enough said for crimes against fashion.

Crimes against fashion exhibit one

Crimes against fashion exhibit one

et cetera