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24 June 2012

celebrate the city

this weekend, as always, we were busy. well, saturday at least. i had been sent some info at work from charlene that there was a lot of things on in and around london, and my mother - as always, was keen to partake in it.

we woke late-ish after a very late (but fun - more on that later) friday night, assessed the options, chose an east london street fayre - part of the 'celebrate the city' festival, and off we went. once we hit london bridge, it was around lunch time, and we hadn't yet had breakky. we though, seeing as we were there, we should goto borough market and see what glorious goodies we could taste test.. well! what an absolutely brilliant idea it was to go to a delicious outdoor food market on an empty stomach! starved, we weaved our way in and out of scented candles, freshly baked cakes, gourmet cheeses, dried fruits and meats, and - oh! the freshly squeezed juices, the food stalls offering delicious roast chicken wraps, pulled pork pitta, hand-made hamburgers, baked haloumi salads......with all the options, the free taste tests no longer sufficed! we needed to get involved with the real food.. so we did. and literally, we did not eat again until a late dinner that night. i was bloody full. *gorge*
one we had had our fill, of we (slowly) walked to st. paul's to check out the cheapside fayre. we arrived about 2:20, and all you could hear as you walked the streets, was the big, dumb, noisy bells of st. mary-le-bow church which begun to peel at 2:00. i think as a special one-off (you'd certainly hope so, as a resident), they rang straight for an hour. as a side note: i have been waiting a while to hear those bells. boyfriend is a proper cockney, and as the story says, was born within the sound of the bells. i wondered to myself how loud the bells actually could be, to be able to hear them 18 postcodes over. well, having heard them, i now believe it. they are bloody loud. and it carried on for an entire hour - stopping only once at 2:32 to announce that 32 minutes ago, when it first began tolling, it was 2pm. 

we wandered up through the streets and checked out all the little bits and pieces on show: a live zumba class, a face paint workshop (kids only), i saw warehouse was on sale, there was some livestock - chickens, goats, a few horses, a carriage taking people on tours, and other small things to look at. with all that though, mumma and boyfriend decided they wanted to go into the church and have a look around. there was a small orchestra practising in there at the time, so it was nice to sit in there and listen in for a while too. the church is lovely on the inside, and has some really pretty stained glass windows, and although it wasn't a really nice day, there was a lot of natural light streaming in too... really pretty.

boyfriend has been telling me for ages that he has always wanted to go and see the site of william wallace's castration and subsequent er -- death. so, seeing as we were done fairly early with the fayre (we thought it would be a bit more offering of time wastage), we wandered though the streets of east london, headed to smithfield market and st. bartholemew's church. the market was closed when we arrived - as it is a fresh meat market so trading hours would be verrrrrrrrry early in the day, so we were able to take it in without the usual stench that goes along with tons of fresh meat on display.. well, the smell was still there slightly, but at least the crowds were not. it's a really pretty old outdoor warehouse type set up, but really freshly painted and really pretty to look at. the story says that william wallace was castrated, hung, drawn and quartered in the centre of what now stands as this market. he was a scottish knight tortured as a traitor during the early war of scottish independence, where he was charged with high treason for opposing the king.. well, we've all seen 'braveheart', but i guess now we know how it really ends. there is a plaque commemorating his bravery and honour, while admitting he was killed fighting for his country.. sad stuff really.

it was a good couple of hours out and about, but i was sooo tired from the night before, and it was not a nice day, and i was under dressed, and ... well i was just being a brat and wanted to go home. the last few nights have been late ones for both boyfriend and i - thursday night i had a work dinner with one of our external clients (perks of the new job. even had to 'dress up'. i don't really have suity-type stuff, but throw on a blazer and you're halfway there. i rocked a hair-bow for shits and giggles, and in hindsight, will try and hide the hair tie next time..) - they took four of us out for a delicious meal at a french restaurant in covent garden, then out for cocktails after that. by the time i got home it was close to midnight, and i was buzzing from lovely delicious sugary and garlicy treats. very very lucky to have been invited, and was on my best behaviour ... until the first wine, then i was out of control! i keeeeeeed

the following day was our quarterly communication day at work, and this time instead of it being somewhere handy and local like last time, it was south of the river at the london film museum. which, to it's credit, is awesome. but, the weather was lousy, and my skirt was around my ears for the majority of the walk there. i was asked to be a 'hostess' for the day, which i naturally accepted, and as such got to leave work an hour early to get to the venue and help finish the organising. we were issued the standard 'music makes the world a better place' tee-shirts, which i accessoried by tucking it into my skirt and fitting with my new baby pink belt so i didn't look completely butch (tees aren't my style), and i was issued the task of 'security'. making sure that no-one entered the hall until they were ready. which.. an hour early, was really boring. after the show, there was a drinks reception, and quite a lot of alcohol was consumed in the allocated hour. part of where we were was the actual museum, which holds a lot of props from famous films. stupidly, i didn't take any pictures, except for this one of my friend tracey-anne who is petrified of storm troopers, being stalked from behind by a storm trooper. actual shrieks from an adult is funny. and i am plain mean. and she loves it.
after the drinks reception, half of our department headed back to work for a going away drinks near there, and the other half stayed local cos we just could not be arsed going anyway. we went to an expensive bar, i let people buy me drinks (lizzie, i will pay you back - you know i will see to it), and we had a great time chatting, laughing and drinking with people from work who we don't normally mingle with. after a few hours, a few of my favourites and i headed to an expensive wine bar near embankment station, where i (again) allowed people to buy me drinks (tina, i will pay you back - you know i will see to it), and we had a great time talking shit with each other for another hour or so... a great night. boyfriend was at the other bar, at the going away, and we got home within minutes of each other - even though i left a good half an hour before him.. thanks to a halted train and a mute train driver. had to ask mum to leave me some keys in the mail slot as i had no idea what time i would get home... the answer? late.

other fun things this week include but are not limited to: me wearing my new 'honeycomb' top to work on monday, me cooking an amazing lamb and cous-cous salad dinner on tuesday, me wearing in my brand new bright purple haviana's on wednesday, me rocking (although, not quite right) a hair bow and white blazer on thursday, and me enjoy the company of some amazing women and more amazing sights on friday night. FYI i have the best mates, of anyone.. except my mates, who have me as a mate.. they're pretty lucky too....RIGHT?? 

what fun things have you done lately?

erica x