Last week I had a bad day at work, mostly due to a horrific lack of sleep and the exigencies of the wonderful London transport system - my journey to/from work now takes up three hours of my day, and it all caught up with me last Wednesday. I was feeling a bit skint, and missing home, so I had to make my favourite cheap comfort food, Irish toast. I have no idea if it actually is Irish and it isn't toasted, but it's bloody wonderful. My dad always makes it for me when I'm at home, but I think I've got it down well enough to give the recipe here:
3/4 slices of bread (for 1 1/2 pieces if reasonably hungry, 2 pieces if starving. I had 2, obv. Works best with old bread, because it's a proper pauper's recipe.)
strong cheddar, sliced
ketchup (Heinz or why bother?)
Heat a frying pan to med-hot with some olive oil. Dip a slice of bread in the milk on a plate, lay it in the frying pan (milk-side down), put the cheese on it, and put another dipped slice of bread on it, milk-side up. Once the cheese melts, flip it - it should be golden brown and cripsy, but the inside will be slightly soggy melted cheese deliciousness. Ahhhh-mazing.
The book is Forever Amber by Kathleen Windsor, as recommended by the inimitable
- it's an absolute page-turner, even though it's set in restoration London - reminds me why I should stop being narrow-minded about historical periods I know nothing about.
ANYWAY, then on Friday I got paid, and obviously to REALLY make myself feel better I had to buy new shoes. I loooove them, but they aren't going to match many outfits.
I also got some amazing jeans from Forever 21 (new fave shop? mais absolument). High-waisted, skinny, dark indigo, zips at the ankles? Amazog. AND they cost all of £18.75. Bargain.
My bag is one I got made by this amazing guy called Kelvin via eBay - it cost £50 but he made it to the size specifications and colour I wanted, put straps on the back so I could attach it to my bike rack at the back and even made a detachable, adjustable strap for it - total legend. Should you even have cause, his ebay account is
Speaking of legends, Annie and I went shopping on Saturday and found this cake stall in a pub selling vintage clothes. It was called
(I urge you to look at their website - it's all sorts of delicious). Anyway, the cakes were ABSURD.
You know how Nigella is really greedy, and she just goes there when everyone else is having a freakage about calories? Well, this guy is a total Nigel. I had a Butterscotch 3 (sponge with flecks of fudge, toffee buttercream and an outer shell of what seemed to be melted Caramac - it boggled my mind. You can see it, bottom right, next to the chocolate one). Still not as unhealthy as
, though - which you can read about
. Sounds hideous.
This is Annie, trying on a dress in the ladie's;
I went up to find her, went through the wrong door and found...
Thankfully there were no people around.
We also discovered a place near Angel tube station called Camden Passage with loads of cool antiques stalls. Well worth a look of a weekend.
Annie lives in Muswell Hill, and was showing me the sights, including Alexandra Palace and these painted spots of chewing gum painted by an
who lives round those parts. There's definitely something a wee bit gross about it, but I can't work out what.
I love this poster, it's very Clockwork Orange (horrible flash because we were waiting for a night bus). I've learned some things about London transport this week which are very useful to know, so I'll share so you don't have to endure the same embarrassment as me.
1) Oyster cards have a wee chip inside them, so you don't have to swipe a particular side of them - I must have looked quite peculiar trying to get the right side downwards. I have heard of a man who dissolved his card to get the chip out so he could put it in a wand, Harry-Potter style, and just wave his wand to get through, so now I can stop looking for a nice case for my card and focus on this as a proper end-game.
2) Buses are pretty cheap, and you only have to swipe on, not off. Also, you aren't supposed to get off the bus via the front door, just the side one (another tragic faux-pas I made).
3) The fine for not having a train ticket is £20, but there are so seldom conductors on my train to work that even if I never bought tickets and got fined once a week I'd still be £30 up. I'm too chicken though.
4) You can use your Oyster card to go on a boat! On the Thames! After a roasting hot journey via car and tube today (it was 26 degrees, eurgh) I decided to go for a wander. I got off at Liverpool St and ended up at the Tower of London, then I saw this sign for Thames Clipper Boats.
It cost a fiver for a ten-minute journey to Canary Wharf, but it was the best! They go really fast, it zipped under tower bridge and I stuck my head out over the side for a look at the docks. I love how people down here really do pronounce Canary Wharf "Canary Wolf" (as observed by my sister). My favourite pronunciation, though, is the subject of a brilliant joke of Annie's - her Northern Irish friend lives in Isle of Dogs, to which Annie replies "I know you love dogs but where do you live?". Still makes me laugh every time I think about it.
When I got to Canary Wharf, my hair was all tangled and sticky from the finest Thames H20 splashback, but I was so gloriously cool that I didn't mind at all. I wish, wish that was my commute to work - beats the tube and the train hands down.