I think today might be the first day I've seen the sun in about four weeks. Add to that a three-week cold, and the wrath of Christmas shoppers, it's no wonder I feel like I need a holiday. Just before Christmas, to escape the winter chill, Dan and I went to see the Woman in Black at the theatre, then went to Polpo afterwards for a really late dinner at about 10.30pm (there's something very holiday-like about having dinner that late. Ditto eating dessert first).
, partly because I like the tapas-style scale of cicheti (pronounced chick-etty) and partly because it actually feels like you're in Venice. The decor was really similar to some osteria we went to while we were there, and I love their octopus emblem - I'm thinking of copying it for a print in my room. They also do
, as popularised by Nigella. I wanted to make it for Christmas, but I didn't have time. One of the things I love about London is that no matter where you feel like you want to be, there's probably a bar or restaurant where you can pretend you're there.
from Anthropologie reminds me of Venice too, I think because it like something a mermaid would wear/a golden fishing net - I was really sad it didn't suit me, especially since it's in the sale (their sale is an excellent place to look for an NYE dress, FYI).
How else have I been spending my time when I've not been at work? Well, eating and sleeping mainly.
Some of the best recently:
, where we ate a horrifying amount of steak (rump, fillet, sirloin AND rib-eye). It was deliciously juicy, but I have a more enduring fascination with their wine glasses - practically the size of fishbowls, they just seemed to make the wine taste even more delicious.
Speaking of wine, I quite like
, and not only because of the nice label.
Home-made garlic flatbreads and honey-nut root veg:
Looking forward to next year, I've bought a nice Paris calendar from
. I've loved their diaries for ages, and last year I had a wall planner I made myself with a library stamp. This one is printed on lovely tactile thick paper and is perforated under the ring-punch and above the dates, so you can save the pictures you like and frame them.
[View of the Opera, Paris]
[Even the paper bags from Taschen are nice]
[My favourite image]
In the interest of being a proper adult, I also got a nice vase so I can stop putting the flowers I buy in pint glasses. Onwards and upwards this year, eh? Best of all it cost a mere £2 from Habitat.
We had a look in the Saatchi gallery today too, at pictures of Russian prisoners' tattoos - this guy has the scariest ones (no amount of Touche Eclat will fix his under-eye circles, word).
Last new year I had loads of plans about what I wanted to do this year, and I've managed some of them. Career-wise I'm pretty happy that I've achieved what I set out to. I've moved to London, which I had planned to do. I've been to Venice, and I've wanted to do that for years. There are still loads of things I want to achieve though - I still haven't passed my driving test despite three attempts. I want to save up and buy a house (but probably not in London unless something mental happens to the house prices). I think I definitely want to learn how to make shoes. I still haven't been to New York despite so many of my favourite books and films being set there. Aside from those, though, my plans are pretty organic. You can plan, but you can't know what will happen, so sometimes you just have to wait and see what will unfold.
On the cards already, it's mainly just holidays: back home in January for five days for a proper rest, Berlin in February (for currywurst, techno and outdoor swimming), maybe France (to Dan's old house) in the spring. New York is pencilled in for October so we probably should start saving up for that now. And then there are two whole weeks in the summer to fill - what to do with all this time off?! Can't wait!