Tag Archives: London

Oooh La La!

Schengen Visa.

Two words that strike fear into the hearts of South African travellers. If you don’t know what on earth I’m talking about, consider yourself lucky.

But, boy, were those Schengen visas worth the hassle. Boarding the Eurostar at Waterloo Station (yes, Waterloo back in those days – very very conveniently quick from Clapham Junction) was always the start of a wonderful journey for me. A good book, a sandwich, maybe some Millie’s Cookies, and the anticipation of arriving at Gare Du Nord… {Give me a whoop whoop if you know what I mean!}

Getting to Ashford was always a big deal. Into the tunnel, knowing that the next time you saw daylight you’d be in France.

Those trips to France to visit LOML (back when he was Boyfriend) every school holiday mean that I have not really been anywhere in the UK (*ashamed*), but they did expose me to another culture, another lifestyle, another world, that I would never have experienced if I had simply been on a quick weekend break to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and eat a Royale Cheese at McDonald’s. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Paris. I think it is beautiful. And as far as big cities go, it’s done well to retain it’s quintessential Frenchness. But there is just no way one can immerse oneself in the culture in a weekend to it’s capital city.)

I could go on waxing lyrical about the joys of arriving in France, but really what I want to write about (daydream about, think about, write songs about) is the food. Sigh. The bread! Oh, the wondrous bread! Pastries! Going to France made me want to become a baker. I’d still love to have a bakery one day – Born and Bread I’ll call it – but I fear I could never ever create a croissant that was quite up to French standards. And I don’t know how well I’d do with 4am starts…

But anyway, I am sidetracking myself. I had planned to tell you all about the wonder of the Tarte Tatin, but I have wasted used up all my space just getting to France in the first place.  You see, even the French can mess up a simple dish. But apparently they are just as good at rescuing things When Good Dishes Go Bad, as they are at creating incredible cuisine in the first place. The story of the Tarte Tatin is such an instance…  but that, as they say, is another story. The riveting details, recipe and lovely photos will have to wait till next time. Sorry!


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Filed under Oh Sweet Food

Anyone Know A Mr Rupert Holmes?

See if you can follow this train of thought:

Borrowed a baby walker = time to start thinking about babyproofing = sort through kitchen cupboards = remove anything sharp, fragile, poisonous from lower cupboards= find the cocktail ingredients from three years ago’s New Year’s Eve party = pino coladas = my first summer in London = cocktails and Rupert Holmes single

Phew. That’s quite a train.

But that is how I got to thinking about pino coladas and getting caught in the rain. About not being into yoga and having half a brain. And Mr One Hit Wonder Rupert Holmes.

We don’t drink very much (hence the cocktail ingredients [read: bottles of the hard stuff] still being in the cupboard, right at the back), but when I do it is usually for some special celebration, and if it doesn’t taste sweet and fruity, I can’t drink it. So pino coladas are my cup of tea (Heehee. Cup of tea. Cocktail. Weird combo). In fact, a pino colada was the first alcohol I ever (knowingly and willingly) drank…

It was 2004. We were newbies in the UK and loving it. It was the start of a great summer in London (yes, they are possible). Fab housemates in our new house. Certainly worth celebrating. Man, we went all out! We hollowed out coconuts and pineapples, bought curly straws and paper umbrellas, and – my first ever online cd purchase – had If You Like Pino Coladas playing in the background.

Ah, those were the days! I had great fun in that house. Some days it feels like just yesterday, other days it’s like another life… it’s a far, far cry from the life I live now. [Which is lots of cry and no far, far.]

Mr Rupert Holmes might have been forgotten, but everyone remembers the pino colada song, and I will always remember my first summer pino colada party 🙂


Now, who’s up for cocktails??

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Filed under Oh Sweet Baby, Oh Sweet Food, Oh Sweet Life