With rhyme and probably reason, today’s rain reminded me of a nursery rhyme book that I read as a child. It was my favourite book and I can recall a very clear image of my father reading it to me at bedtime. It went like this:
Dip dip dip, my blue ship,
Sailing in the water,
Like a cup and saucer,
Dip dip dip, your not it.
It makes me smile… which is a good thing on a dark and rainy day like today!
The November rain has been relentless. There has not been a single clear weekend and I can count sightings of the sun on one hand. The wet nights descend on the city at 4.30 in the afternoon. Winter coats and scarves are out, with gloves and beanies sure to follow as the day’s move from crisp to freezing.
But instead of winging like a… , and in true Jacqui fashion, I have decided to embrace everything that comes with it.
Last Friday night we wandered the Southbank Festive Markets in search of European treats and cosy winter warmers. And we were rewarded with the find of the century!
Two years ago we had stumbled upon the Southbank Good Food Markets and sampled a sweet, smooth toffee vodka that was like no other. Being the delayed start of our lives in London and at a time when we were rather broke, we swore that we would be back the following week (after payday) to make our purchase. But alas! Look as we might for the next 12 months, we never did find it. Until now that is!
So, with our freshly purchased bottle of toffee vodka, Daniel treated us to a range of delicious cocktails on a very rare Saturday night at home.
It was a treat after such a busy few weeks!
At the beginning of the month we moved into our new flat with our new house mates. Since then we have been gradually filling our new place with stuff – trying to make it feel like home. With a recent delivery of lamps, rugs, mirrors and a couch from IKEA, I think we are very nearly there!
Three weeks ago, after a night dolled up at Australia House for a very Aussie Melbourne Cup celebration, we went to the Tower of London for the quintessentially English Ceremony of the Keys. It was the second time we have seen the 700 year old ceremony, but this time we were treated to fish and chips and beer at the (‘Beefeaters’) Yeoman Warders Club – possibly the very first recorded such club… ever? (citation needed!)
Over the past several months the Tower of London has seen a phenomenal number of visitors for its latest installation. Blood Swept Lands & Seas of Red marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Between 17 July and 11 November 2014, 888,246 ceramic poppies progressively filled the Tower’s famous moat. Each poppy represented a British military fatality during the war.
The installation was moving, mind boggling, sad and almost overwhelming.
We were out every night that week, probably not great preparation for a raging housewarming party that we hosted that weekend. But it was loads of fun! Even the rain didn`t stop us from cooking up a BBQ in the garden.
On the 15th of the month, following a rowdy afternoon of drinking games for a friends’ farewell, Dan and I joined a crowd of people (we would not usually spend our Saturday night with) at a church in South West London. We were there to support our mate Dave as the first French horn player in A Brass World Tour with the Lambeth World Orchestra. It was a fantastic night of classical music and we were especially glad to see Dave perform his solo with the entire orchestra. While living with Dave for our first couple of months back in London we had only heard snippets of the piece as he practiced behind closed doors. It was amazing to see the whole thing played together!
In keeping with unusual (for us) gigs… we joined a friend at the Brixton Academy to see Austrian performers, The Parov Stelar Band. After a great concert and a fun night of dancing, I think I am now a big fan of their unique combination of vintage swing, jazz, house, electro and breakbeat, otherwise known as electro swing.
Other than that, we have been enjoying the spoils at of Brixton Village – a favourite haunt of mine on a lazy Sunday afternoon exploring London’s unique markets – …
… and preparing for a crazy December… it’s going to be a good one!