Sunday, 28 March 2010

Leading By Example...

As the General Election looms closer and closer here in the UK, there has been a lot of talk about the impact (or not) of the 'third' political party, the Liberal Democrats (or Lib Dems) and whether a vote for this party is a wasted vote.

I live in an area where Labour have no chance of winning the seat so the choice is the incumbent Lib Dem, Susan Kramer or the Tory candidate, Zac Goldsmith.  I am a Lib Dems supporter and while the dust-up over Richmond Park Car Parking Charges really got on my nerves, I think we have good representation from someone who is committed to making a difference for her constituents. 

That aside however, I have found it fascinating to see the strategies employed by the Tories to win this seat, namely 'you need to vote Conservative to oust Labour nationally' and 'this seat is important in the fight for change' which kind of implies that a Lib Dem vote is a 'wasted' vote.

I don't think that any vote is a wasted vote.  We are fortunate enough to live in a democratic society, giving us the right to be heard, freedom of speech and the opportunity to choose.  Voting is not compulsory in the UK as it is in other countries like Australia and I think anyone who gets to a polling station to cast their vote in the face of the current political apathy is to be commended.  But I also think that we make the bed we lie in - if we are 'tactical' rather than truthful in our vote, how does our message get heard?  And how do we build the case for new causes and new ideas to become viable options if we won't throw our proverbial 'hat' in the ring when we are given the opportunity?

Many people around the world do not have this opportunity to have their say...shouldn't we be teaching the next generation that they can make a difference rather than let them slide into apathy and disinterest?  And isn't the best way to do this by getting out and voting honestly - whatever that personal truth may be for each of us.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

A Good Sort...

What is it about a glimmer of Spring-like weather that makes us want to sort...and not just have a little clean out but to sort obsessively, without forethought or preparation.

Spring is start to...well spring here in the UK and I have found myself in the midst of a sorting frenzy.  Everywhere I look there seems to be something to sort - shoes, clothes, books, papers, recipes, filing, kitchen cupboards, plants, projects - and I can be meandering through the day completely on schedule only to be subsumed into an 'I've had enough/I need to sort this now' fugue from which I emerge with a flush of virtuous 'sorted' satisfaction...only to be followed by an 'oops that took longer than I thought and now I really need to crack on and do the things I was actually planning to do' feeling of slightly, mild-ish panic.

Does this actually happen to anyone else (apart from me & J...he's a sorter too but not a thrower-outer...which explains why we still live next door to each other!)

Do you think that there is a completely rational, scientific explanation for this seasonal bout of obsessiveness?  Or am I just Monica-Geller bonkers?

Maybe an intervention is in order....

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Date Night: Alice & El Peyote...

Being free of any commitments this weekend (beyond chores that is...ugh!), J and I decided that it was time to have a Date Night and what could be a more traditional choice than a movie followed by dinner...

So we hit the cinema for a 3D journey down the rabbit hole with Alice to Wonderland.  All the elements from the original story I remember were there but Tim Burton did amazing things to twist the story and make it more 'grown up' and relevant.  It was a darker Wonderland for sure but the cast was brilliant and the 3D-ness really worked with this flick (unlike Avatar in 3D which left me distinctly under-whelmed).  It always was a slightly 'trippy' story anyway but it does seem that this particular trip is a match made in Tim Burton's style-heaven...go see it on the big screen just for the experience!

And then it was off to a new (Mexi-terranean) restaurant in Kingston, El Peyote.  We found out it had only been open 6 weeks but let's hope it's open a whole lot longer than that because we had the best burritos...ever!  (And my prawn kebab starter - marinated in chilli and lime juice with a mango puree - was pretty scrumptious too.)  Fab food, quirky decor and great service - Long live El Peyote I say!

So that was date night...and now it's Sunday and chores still await. So until next time...

Adios Amigos!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Mum's the Word...

It's another gloriously day here in SW London, my front garden is dappled with sunshine and the light is streaming in through my front window (and actually making me notice that the windows need a clean).  I've just come back from town with the top down on my car with the spring air on my cheeks and I'm mildly excited by the mere thought that I might be able to put my wet-laundry-bound clothes horse outside.  Such simple pleasures!

But there's another reason that today is special and that is because it is Mothering Sunday in the UK.  (Yes, 2 whole months prior to the Australian one, giving me plenty of time to shop for a card before they all disappear and post it to Australia.)  I don't normally celebrate this early version but this year it seems important for three very important reasons... friend A celebrates her very first Mother's Day today...

...we missed celebrating with J's Mum last year (she passed away just 4 days prior)... Mum - who I will see for the first time in 3 years in May - is worth more than just one paltry day and in any case,should not have to wait until May.

So to all the Mums and Mums-of-Mums and Mums-of-Mums-of-Mums, and especially to my very own superstar's to you, to all the roles you play, all the things you are to every one of us and all the things you do.

Happy Mother's Day x

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Let Me Eat Cake....

With yesterday afternoon off, I was walking happily down Theobalds Road to start my tube journey home when I decided to return a missed call from my friend-who-became-a-Mum-on-Australia-Day-and-I-haven't-seen-her-since, A.  As it turned out, she was heading in my general homeward direction with baby N so we arranged to meet up half way for a spot of cake and coffee.

Well, it turned out to be a rather LARGE spot...

A has this favourite place for cake & coffee in Fulham called Del Aziz which not only has the most astronomical selection of cakes, pastries, breads, slices, tarts and pies I have ever seen but the slices come in my-eyes-are-too-big-for-my-belly proportions. 

(In mulling over what should make our shortlist, despite it not making it to the Final Cut,  I chose this one to help whet your appetite...

...see what I mean?)

I did not have the presence of mind to take a photo of my particular gastronomic delight but suffice to say it took lingering for 2 hours over both it and some lovely catching-up-and-cooing-over-baby-N conversation to empty the plate...and I enjoyed every richly deliciously scrumptious forkful.

Jealous yet??

On the down side, I did have a bit of a sugar headache and felt slightly ill afterwards.

But only a little bit...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Bus-blogging...of sorts

It has been a gloriously sunny weekend here in SW London and I was out and about on the bus (the No. 65 if you must know) yesterday capturing those blue sky moments lest they disappear.

It all started when I got inspired by the view of Ham Common bathed in sunshine....
...and I've always wanted to snap The Original Maids of Honour in Kew...
...and down by the river in Richmond is worthy of a pic anytime.

Did you see the crocuses coming up in the Richmond pic? And I walked past my first daffodils for this year (well they were in someone else's front garden, but there they were, all hopeful and happy.) 

Spring may have really sprung!