Monday, 25 May 2009

My other blog - updated

By profession I am a chef de patisserie, and more specifically, a cake / cookie maker and provider of afternoon teas. I have, up until now, had another blog for my business called Posies and Pearls. Sadly I've been having a few technical problems which has meant that I couldn't upload any new photographs (rubbish). The only remedy I could find was to start a new blog. It's taken me a little bit of time to get it sorted but now my new 'other' blog can be found here.

California - day one

We boarded our flight at Heathrow early on the Saturday morning - a little bit excited but knowing that the flight would be a long one.  We sat ourselves down, buckled in and made ourselves comfortable in our little square of space: stuffed books, newspapers, packets of mints and bottles of water into the seat-back pocket in preparation for the journey.  As soon as we had lift off I nipped off to the loos to change into ugly comfy clothes and big fluffy socks.  nice.  We were flying Virgin and I was really excited to see that you could pick from about 40 different films to watch.  I'd missed out on watching quite a few of the big films during the year but couldn't quite bring myself to watch them on a screen no bigger than my hand and so I watched:
  • Marley and Me
  • Fashion (a Bollywood film)
  • Vicky Christina Barcelona and (dare I admit it)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (or some such bizarrely titled teen movie)
Four films, dinner, afternoon tea and a choc-ice later and we were coming into land in San Francisco!  Finally!  I'd been feeling a little weary but the excitement of landing chased it all away.  Super quickly we were through immigration, had collected our luggage and were in a taxi on the way to Union Square.  

Our hotel was just a little door on a busy street.  We made our way up to our room which was lovely - compact but lovely.  We had opted for a street facing room so we could hear the trolley cars ding-dinging on their way down the street.  It was about half past two in the afternoon SF time and we'd been on the go for 15 hours so we decided to have a little rest before heading out to explore the city. Unfortunately  a Hare Krishna devotee chose that particular moment to begin a half hour drumming sesh just below our window.  My tired brain began to throb in time with the drums.  Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom.  We attempted to turn it into amusement by making up raps to the beat, which made us giggle.  N's raps were posh style and mine were yanked out of the 80's - lines tended to begin with 'Yo!' (to give you a flavour)  It soon became clear that rest was not in the offing.  So a quick freshen up and we were out on the sunny streets of SF and heading down the street to the end of the cable car line.  Passing the Hare Krishna man I couldn't stop myself from bestowing a scowl upon him...

We had to wait in a queue to get onto the cable car, so we shared a salty pretzel dotted with yellow mustard and observed what was going on around us.  This talented man was tap dancing:

These people were protesting:

and this beautiful working tram trundled past us:

Then the trolley appeared...

We clambered on and enjoyed the ride down to the waterfront (that's Alcatraz in the distance):

When we got to the waterfront, a little blustered and hair a little bouffed, we had a wander and found a fantastical sourdough bakery, meandered around stalls selling clam chowder in bread bowls and breathed in the reviving salty sea air.  

We didn't have too long to wander as we had plans to meet N's brothers: M and W, and W's lovely lady; L for dinner at 6.30.  They had flown to the US before us and had been exploring Yosemite.  That night was their last night in SF and our first so over a scrumptious dinner they gave us lots of top tips for what to see and do in the city.  Beginning to feel a little weary, but not wanting to bring an end to the evening we persevered and we went to this fab beatnik bar called Vesuvio in North Beach. We lasted until about midnight when looking over at N I realised he was pretty much asleep with his eyes open.   It had been a long old day and bed felt so good that night!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Last weekend / This weekend

Many apologies for the lack of blog posts! Everything has been crazy since I got back from holiday and I just haven't been able to get near to the great world of blog. I promise promise promise to do better next week! Starting with holiday pics which are now finally sorted (plus I have managed to thieve a few good 'uns from N).

Last weekend, N came to Wales and we went up into the mountains for a long walk. It wasn't a set route, we just parked up at a pretty looking spot and headed for the peaks. We walked for about 2.5 hours - along the way we bumped into a fair few sheep and three army men who were doing a spot of weekend training but that was it, apart from that we were on our own in the fresh sunny air walking away, lovely.

Being a girl of the country I keep a pair of wellies in the boot of my car so I was well prepared, N on the other hand had only brought a sturdy pair of shoes with him. At one point we hit some marsh land and there was I splashing my way ahead completely oblivious until I turned around and spotted N behind me looking a little disgruntled. So I trekked back to him... he'd walked straight through the marshyness - his feet and the bottom of his jeans were soaked through :o( poor N! In fairness he didn't complain once and we carried on walking away. I think he was saved by the little burger kiosk parked in a layby near the car. We purchased steaming hot polystyrene cups of nescafe coffee and a pack of home made welsh cakes and headed for the car. With the engine running and the heat on full blast (and directed solely at the feet) he soon dried out with a welsh cake to cheer him up! Last weekend was also the best boy (my cousin's son)'s seventh birthday so there was bbq to celebrate straight after our mammoth walk. I can't believe he's seven already!

This weekend (shock of shocks) I'm off to London again. N is helping out with a party his parents are organising on Saturday so I have a fine day of shopping and exploring planned. This will be followed up by meeting S the chef for a drink and a lot of gossiping after she finishes her shift at Claridges at around 4.30. Afterwards I'm off to meet another S - oldest friend S for cocktails and dinner - I missed her birthday while we were in California so this is a belated do! I am looking forward to hearing all about her new Australian fella!...