Friday 23 May 2008

Shock to the System

It's a bit of a shock to the system being back in the office after a week away. The first shock being landing in Rome airport to see suitcases lying on the runway - and I don't mean where the bags are unloaded (although there were some bags and prams lying nearish there too). Mr J and I immediately started praying for the safe return of our bags. This is where they sent the luggage after the terminal five fiasco. No wonder hardly anybody got their bags back. Even so I have spent most of this week thinking to myself 'this time last week....' (this time last week we were sunbathing in beautiful Taormina).

I'd done a bit of shopping in Sicily - the ceramics there are fantastic and having bought a birthday present for my sister and some presents for my parents and Miss F and having been bought a spectacular and extravagant bowl by Mr J as my holiday treat (as if the holiday itself wasn't enough) my hand luggage felt like a time bomb. I couldn't stand anyone to be within 1 metre of me in case anything broke. I think everything was fine but the bowl seems to have completed my set of kitchen things I've been accumulating over the last couple years and now I just can't wait to have my own kitchen. Chance will be a fine thing at the rate we get paid. I don't think we'll ever be able to find somewhere within our budget and specifications. But it's official the search is on so any suggestions...

What did help ease us back into things was a delicious supper at Chisou just off Hanover Square in central London. This is (probably) the best sushi I have ever tasted. It was my sister's birthday yesterday and it is family tradition to go for a sushi blowout for her birthday supper as it's her favourite. We'd never been to Chisou before but it was tracked down by her boyfriend and we left feeling completely full and very happy but also wanting to just wait another hour until we could have another round (the kitchen had closed so we would have been disappointed). This is not the cheapest of restaurants but it is definitely worth every penny my sister and Mumma B the sushi experts were both seriously impressed so I can but hope that someone sees fit to take me back there xx

Monday 19 May 2008

Sicily and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

Mr J and I have just returned from a fantastic week in Sicily. It did rain on and off for the first four days that we were there which was annoying but this did mean that we did a lot of sight seeing and the initially rather expensive hire car paid for itself with our tours of what seemed like the entire east coast.

The best bit was definitely arriving in our final destination, Taormina and our last hotel Hotel Villa Carlotta which is by far the most fantastic hotel I have ever been too. If you are wanting a romantic weekend away this would be a great choice with a lovely roof terrace restaurant, garden bar and beautiful rooms it wasn't exactly cheap but the situation was unbeatable too. Taormina is a beautiful town on a hill overlooking the sea (the hotel has a private beach). I did rather freak out when we left our restaurant on the second night to see Etna oozing lava in the distance but apparently it does that quite a lot.

As soon as we arrived at the Hotel Villa Carlotta I insisted on lying on my sun lounger in silence so that I could finish my book, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: Or the Murder at Road Hill House by Kate Summerscale. An investigation into the true and shocking Road Hill House Murder - one of the first murder investigations to involve detectives and and seen to invade into the lives and home of an upper class family. Using police notes and accounts of the time this is a genuine insight and assessment of a gruesome story that was never quite solved. I could not put this book down - the only bad thing about it was I struggled to find any book to follow it up with (thank god for John Irving). I really thought that it would be more miss than hit on the fact front and would be pretty inconclusive. But I was completely wrong. I really recommend this book it will appeal to everyone especially fans of non-fiction and crime. Endlessly compelling this book will keep your mind occupied for weeks after you've finished it xx

Thursday 1 May 2008

Book Worm

Miss M and I are trying to be more virtuous... there has even been talk of jogging but that has yet to be put into action. We have however joined the library.

It was Miss M's idea and I'm always easily persuaded into anything so I went along. Miss M says her flat is just too small for any more books and I've worked in the book industry for three years which means that my room is barely accessible from the book high risers all over the place. It was also a novelty for both of us to go to a library and not get out theological books from the 18th century (university library that is...). It was actually very calming to mooch around the shelves and inhale the musty old book wafts. I highly recommend it. Will have to get back to you about the jogging (last discussed whilst eating an entire brie) xx
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