My Sunshiny Life

{April 21, 2010}   Colourful Camden

I spotted this guy in Camden recently.  He sits there all day in his deck chair and people pay a pound to take his photo – or get their photo taken with him. 

He was mid-sandwich when I took this shot, so I didn’t stop long to chat.  I did ask what that big bump in his arm is, and he said it’s an implant. 

Why someone would disfigure themselves to this extent makes me curious about them.  It’s very odd that he wants to sit there voluntarily as a freak show. 

After I left I wondered two things; I wonder how much he makes in a day and I’d like to know how he gets on with metal detectors at airports!


{April 5, 2010}   My life is not complete!

Feelings of discontent and desire were awoken yesterday, after my visit to Shoreditch House, a private members club in Shoreditch.  It’s part of the chain that includes The Electric House and Soho House.

I want a membership and I want it now!  My life just isn’t complete without one!  They only accept one in four applications, so I’m trying to think up something exciting that I can write on my form, adding some spice to my life.  What could I be?  A secret agent, a hand model, maybe a best selling erotic fiction writer?  I’ll keep thinking and will report back on my progress.

What’s all the fuss then?  Well you’re not allowed to take photos there so I don’t have many to show you, but I managed to snap off a few before I was told off (and then one later on when no one was looking, although a staff member headed over straight away to find where the flash had come from).  There is a reason for this, celebs come here sometimes and need to know that crass and uncouth people like moi won’t pap their asses.  Eva Longoria was in Soho House last week apparently.

Members are carefully vetted, so the calibre of the clientele is cool and classy.  No riff raff in this establishment! 

We sat on the roof terrace around the pool, and my group sipped on lychee martinis and chilled glasses of wine.  I stuck with water champagne, and then to my delight, I discovered healthy smoothies on the menu.  Soon I was happily drinking a bright green spirulina smoothie (much to everyone else’s disgust).  Later on I had a bilberry and spinach smoothie, which was also delicious.

When the night started closing in and the warmth from our patio heaters were no longer doing the trick, we found a cosy spot on the 4th floor to continue our evening.  Comfy couches, yummy food, a pool table, foosball tables and plenty of people watching – what more could you want?

A membership. That’s what I want.

{March 19, 2010}   Tottenham Court Road

There is a tube culture in London, not surprisingly as most of us spend quite a bit of time underground!  The frequent tannoy announcements can’t help but get embedded into your brain.  Please mind the gap.  There is a good service on all London underground lines (yeah right).  More likely, the District Line has severe delays, the Northern line has signal failure, there is an out of service train stuck in the platform in front folks – we’ll be moving as soon as we can.  We’re currently stuck at a red signal and will be moving shortly.  Please move down inside the carriages.  Please don’t lean against the doors. 

No one looks at each other, ane we all sit there in silence staring at the floor or fully engrossed in the Metro or a paperback.  Kids are most entertaining, as they don’t conform to the strangely oppressive atmosphere and just remain as they would above ground, curious and loud.  It’s only the adults that go through transition from fully functioning, speaking and thinking to tubebots, that must not smile, make eye contact or show any emotion, as soon as they swipe their Oyster card.  In winter it smells like wet wool and it’s fuggy and hot.  In summer it smells like sweat and it’s muggy and hot.  If you’re not a frequent tube traveller then that was a little taste. 

So it’s not often that you have a delightful tube experience, especially as most of us are scurrying around like worker ants in rush hour.  Tonight I discovered a few little treasures tucked away in the grimy underground tunnels. 

I just had to stop and take a video of this busker in Tottenham Court Road station.  I’m not sure how often he’s there as I don’t normally pass through this station.  I have a feeling that he makes quite a bit of money.  I heard a fair few clinks of coins hitting his money stash.

Then, with a smile still lingering, I stood on the platfrom waiting for the train and noticed this billboard advertising the Tate Modern.  I think it’s a fabulous piece of advertising, witty, relevant and long enough to keep you entertained until the train arrives.

{March 8, 2010}   The Parlour

MIEN Magazine presents The Parlour

Pop up places are all the rage, and with all the empty shops at the moment they seem to be popping up (ha) everywhere!  I went to the Parlour last night in Clerkenwell.  The Parlour was created by Mien Magazine, in association with the council and a charity called Restore. 

The Parlour is all about nostalgic fun and civilised merriment, without the modern accoutrements.  Cell phones and laptops are left at home, meaning you actually connect with the people that you’re there with. What a quaint notion.

The space is fitted out with vintage, art deco type furniture, which is actually for sale from the charity Restore.  Go there for a cup of tea and some board games and leave with a fabulous wardrobe, chess table or couch!  What’s not to like? 

There was a real community lovely feel there last night, with people sitting in groups chatting and others playing board games. 

We had some herbal tea in gorgeous old fashioned tea cups, some of us (not me) had some delicious cupcakes from the Vintage Patisserie and everyone LOVED the entertainment from Barry’s Lounge Spins. 

It’s open until the 10th of March, so get down there quickly to get a taste of old fashioned, relaxed parlour living.

The Parlour 97-99 Clerkenwell Road, EC1R 5BX

{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. 

{February 28, 2010}   London Fashion Weekend

At the end of London Fashion Week they have a weekend shopping and fashion show for the public, which I went to with Bec, Ramona and co.  We met for drinks beforehand at Number 1 Aldwych.  Then we browsed through the designer sale and watched the fashion show.

Although none of us bought anything it was a lovely way to spend a girly bonding afternoon.  It was great to see the new Spring Summer trends on the catwalk (nudes, layers, cargo pants, studs) and heartening to see that the models didn’t look anorexic like the Jenny Packham show we went to last year.

{January 4, 2010}   Glimpses of London

I was wandering around in the FR-EEEEZING cold on Sunday after I’d been to the Tate Modern and snapped off these shots of London.  I’m so lucky to live in such a fabulous city and even with my fingers nearly falling off from the cold I took a moment to appreciate the beautiful city scape, the cultural diversity and the fact that you could never be bored in London.  Cold yes, bored no.

The Millenium Bridge

St Pauls Cathedral bathed in sunlight

London Eye at Twilight

London Sunset

I got to appreciate London even more on the tube journey home when we had a tube driver who was a real London character.  He sounded slightly frustrated with how his day was turning out.

Sorry folks for the unscheduled stop at this station.  The train isn’t meant to be stopping here but the system that updates all the platforms was second hand in 1976 and it has a big reset button on it that no one seems to know how to use.  The last person that knew died in 1994 so we’ll hold up here until someone can figure it out.

{December 10, 2009}   Ice Skating at Somerset House

Having annual rituals in our workplace is cool.  Each year, in addition to the Christmas party we also celebrate summer by having a picnic and celebrate Christmas by ice skating at Somerset House.  We’re lucky that our office is so close to it, so we can pop down for a quick skate and a mulled wine.

I had one go around the rink, clinging to the side like a scared 80 year old woman.  Then I let go and wobbled around quite capably.  Although, kids have no fear and they’d whizz across your skating path with no thoughts of broken limbs or cracked heads in their mind.  I came off 15 minutes early.  No queue at the bar and I hadn’t fallen over – I didn’t want to break my track record.

Note to self: Don’t give Regis your camera to take photos as you’ll get about 20 of them that look something like this









A cold dark winter night is the perfect time to skulk around the cobbled alley ways of London’s infamous East End.  Not by yourself obviously, that would be weird.  We joined our guide on the Jack the Ripper Walk and stepped back in time, to a dirty, grim East End.  Actually even with the East End being an up and coming area, it’s still dirty and grim, just a bit more expensive.

But we’re now imagining ourselves walking the streets that Jack walked over 120 years ago.  Times were tough, with unemployment figures levels high and crime rates even higher.  With no other means to support themselves, back in the days before women’s rights, some women had to make the choice between starvation and prostitution.  The going rate was 4 pence, which was also the price of a bed in a doss house.  Most women in this dire position were also alcoholics, spending their 4 pence before they got their bed for the night and being out until all hours trying to make some more money.

 The conditions were ripe for a serial killer, able to take advantage of vulnerable women, in a badly lit and crime ridden area.  Although he did have a lot of luck on his side to get away with as many killings as he did.  He is credited with five killings, but there are eleven Whitechapel murders that could be attributed to him.  The murders were brutal, with entrails tossed over the victim’s shoulder and in some cases organs were removed.  Faces and torsos were slashed and some victims could hardly be identified.  There are many theories about who he is, with a doctor (due to the organs being removed so capably), a midwife (who else could get away with walking around at all hours covered in blood) and even a member of the royal family. 

 We wandered around for two hours in the freezing cold, engrossed by the gory but intriguing tale that our storyteller spun.  I’m not sure why the world is still fascinated by these unsolved murders, but over 120 years later there were about 200 likeminded people traipsing around Whitechapel in different tour groups, imagining the unimaginable.

 The tour guide we had was John and he is an avid historian, not just with Jack the Ripper, but the whole East End. He is a wealth of knowledge and most entertaining.  I’ve done another tour before but it wasn’t that good – you really need a good tour guide.  I highly recommend Jack the Ripper walks for a spine tingling experience.

{November 30, 2009}   Vintage Clothing Market Brick Lane

Wandering around Brick Lane on a wet and cold Sunday sounds like a very unwise way to spend the afternoon, but Kylie and I had a fabulous time exploring, eating, drinking and people watching. 

Walking off our brick lane curry, we came across a vintage clothing market, which was a big warehouse with loads of stalls and a fabulous little cupcake and coffee area that had been decked out vintage styley.  There were some stalls with amazing furs, which I can appreciate aesthetically, but I just can’t go there.  This is slightly hypocritical, because I do wear leather and eat meat, but wearing an animal that is solely raised for it’s skin seems cruel – I’m not sure how eating them is any less cruel but there you go. 

What did get me squealing with excitement were the fabulous hats, that were just begging to be tried on.  Far from being annoyed by our antics, the stall holders were super friendly and even suggested different hats to wear and kindly took photos of us. 














et cetera