Thursday, 25 August 2011

Days 2, 3 and 4 - Sacred Heart Diet

Day 2

So today I intended to go for a run first thing, it was chucking it down...forget that! I still had tonight's zumba as a back up so didn't feel too bad listening to the rain out the window from bed...

Today's diet consisted of loads and loads o f veggies, the soup but no fruit. Due to this breakfast posed a challenge! Instead I opted for a mid morning snack of butternut squash. Now I also understand why I don't buy butternut squash even though I love took absolutely ages to prepare! Potato peeler?!? Who are they kidding! I used a healthy amount of chili powder and it was actually satisfying.

Lunch...soup easy I already made it! Day 2 also allows for a jacket potato, but that was waiting for dinner. And I was going to cook it microwave for me!

Dinner also consisted of loads of green veg - broccoli, sugar snap peas and spinach yum. The soup was only OK, I can tell I'm going to be sick of it. Still I'm sticking to it!

Day 2 dinner
 Day 3

I was actually looking forward to the fruit today, nice big juicy cantaloupe for breakfast. Day 3 allows all fruits except bananas and all of tr veg, plus the soup of course!

It's a lot of effort preparing all this for work. One carton of soup, one container of broccoli and sugar snap peas to go with the soup and 3/4s of a cantaloupe..that's all I could fit in the pot.

It was quite hard work having the soup again, the veg were nice but it also didn't help someone had clearly turned the microwave right down and I hadn't noticed, so 2 minutes hadn't even taken the chill off...back down 2 flights of stairs for a couple more minutes...I'm pretty sure all the goodness will be gone from veg having nuked them twice!

I drank a hell of a lot of water today and a cup of peppermint tea..and resisted office chocolates.
I'm quite looking forward to a bit of variation tomorrow...bananas and skimmed milk...hmmm well see! Isn't it steak day yet!

Oh and on the weights and measures front I'm not noticing anything yet, but I do have quite tight trousers on..I guess the proof will be Sunday!

It's also quite hard to resist lunch and dinner plans, being on a diet is so unsociable

Day 4

The banana and milk day! I was a bit apprehensive about the taste of skimmed milk, it's not something I normally drink unless it's in the form of a skinny vanilla latte with sugar free vanilla syrup compliments of Starbucks.

My mum had the good idea of mashing up the banana and fashioning some kind of milkshake, although in the distinct absence of a blender the plan was foiled. Turned out though skimmed milk actually just tastes like normal milk! I pretended it was a white Russian sans vodka and managed to (through the course of the day) drink a full litre of the stuff - and the required three bananas. This along with a full punnet of strawberries, half a mango and, you guessed it...soup. The soup part is really becoming a chore.

Still...something to look forward to, tomorrow is beef and tomatoes day!! YAY! Now for some more cantaloupe and possibly some spinach before bed. Weights of measures: feeling thinner in the stomach area, could be in my head. Also quite tired - lack of any real stodgy carbs.
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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Louboutin Love

I'm hard on shoes - I don't know why, they just seem to get wrecked really easily. The streets of London are harsh on a delicate stiletto heel. I always seem to manage scraping heels on stairs, in cobbles, drains - everywhere.

I love my Louboutins, and also believe you shouldn't keep things in cotton wool and not enjoy them - I love my shoes, I am going to wear them! Not that I pop to Tesco Express in my favourite nude pair, but you get the idea. SO last time I wore said nude pair was the wedding a few weeks ago, not really much opportunity there to ruin shoes, inside a reception hall then bused to a hotel - well somehow I manage to find myself making an emergency run to Morrison's in between the ceremony and the breakfast - yes in my heels, yes in my dress, yes in the middle of the day (being beeped by a garbage truck really was the highlight...hmmm).

My rationale is people who usually wear these shoes are driven everywhere, carried my a gorgeous man or on a cloud to some fantastic venue where they do not dance, but sit in a VIP booth and are then carried back to said awaiting chauffeur driven vehicle. Me? I have to travel the normal way. The non Louboutin friendly way.

Pending the imminent Vegas trip I decided to have them heeled (my favourite nude pair). They actually come with a pair of spare heels, so I foraged under the bed for the box and found my other, older more frequently worn black patent pair. Wow. Clearly they were put away immediately after a night out - a night out in which they got very messy and very, very worn -

Now this isn't solely (haha get it!) to blame on one night, this particular pair are probably 2 years old, but they don't get an excessive amount of wear - and really when you pay that much for shoes you will hope they last. I intended to take them to Timpsons - the most reputable well known shoe repair company on the high street - agree? Well on the way to Timpsons I walked by another company who I have previously had keys cut by. I figured I'd ask for the price. He then asked to see the shoes and recognised the red - and could do it there and  then, well ok then.

I reluctantly handed over my prize possessions and now know the reason it's best to collect at a later date! The pliers came out and ripped off what was left of the existing heels! ARGH! He was also trying to convince me to have them re-soled, isn't this blasphemy? Have iconic red soles re done?!! Never! Although they have red soles that don't wear, that's the point! Louboutins - genuine Louboutins do wear. Some fake knock offs don't as they are plasticy. I really wouldn't want to give that impression. He assured me people do have them done and also said they will not put a red sole on any other brand of shoe! Not a bad thing I suppose.

An amazing trick also, he used OPI nail polish in Salmon Sand to touch up the nude pair where I'd scuffed them! It's a really good match - will have to invest in some of that! Reminds me before of when my car was keyed and I tried - and failed to cover that up with the prescribed paint.

They did a fantastic clean up and polish on both pairs - something he told me Timpsons do not do! Also I got two new little dust bags for them! I'd purposefully left my real dust bags at home in case I was leaving my shoes to pick up another day and when I went to collect they were missing. Fab! And all for the grand price of £12 a pair - much cheaper than a new pair (I was going to resign the black pumps to the bin).

Here is the after - not perfect, but miles better. What I also really like was the slogan on the back of their t-shirts, I had to double take as initially I thought it was the old standard phrase but no (and this really is true!)

Time wounds all heels

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Monday, 22 August 2011

Sacred Heart Diet - Day 1

1 week today I will be jetting off to Vegas for a week - therefore I am in major bikini body panic mode.

I'm not one for diets - I love my food, I love chocolate and I love wine. Therefore I can never stick to philosophy tends to be if you work out enough and have everything in moderation - you're probably supposed to be that shape anyway!

HOWEVER all of the above has gone out of the window this week - well it's only 7 days, what can it hurt! The Sacred Heart Diet was recommended by a friend as a way to sensibly lose a few lbs in a week. It is supposedly used by doctors and overweight patients awaiting surgery to make it safer, well if it's doctor recommended that's good enough for me!

The principles seem to be a mix of a number of diets we're used to hearing about - minimal sugar, fat and meat and absolutely job lots of fruit and veg!

So day 1) now known as the day I broke my 'sturdy' bag for life carting an enormous amount of food from Sainsburys. Probably the healthiest trolley I've ever stacked!

The soup, which forms the basis of the diet is made of celery, onions, tomatoes, carrots, pepper, green beans, beef bullion and chicken noodles. I've made a lot of this to pretty much last the week (I'm hoping). To give you an idea we didn't even have a pan big enough, so I had to cook it in two!

Also on day 1 it's as much fruit as you like. Grapes and mango have been the order of the day. Cranberry juice is also allowed.

Tomorrow it's more soup (which I have spiced up with Tabasco and chili powder - that's also allowed) and loads of veggies. No fruit on day 2.

I've also managed a 4 mile run this morning, combined with the lugging shopping for ages I think that's a good day. Unfortunately I do not have scales so cannot give you a weight starting point, however I'm less concerned with what the scales say and more with how my clothes fit. Today, not well! I struggled to get into old faithful jeans. Lets see how it goes!
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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Cakes, sackrace, bouncy castle...and the great British weather

Prior to arranging Paris I had committed to volunteer at the 'Wacky Olympics', something I didn't want to cancel on - so catching up on sleep would have to wait. I was off to Sydenham to help a very inspirational young woman pull off an all day event involving a variety of activities, music, food, kids, prizes...all things that generally lead to mayhem!

It was a gorgeous day early on, I'd opted for jeans along with my fetching green Macmillan tee...I was instantly regretting the jeans, I was BAKING! Running around in these all day was going to be fun! Also at these things I don't generally like to bring a bag - too much open space and no security = disaster, therefore I had sacrificed bringing the shades in favour of my glasses.

The set up - as ever was manic but we managed to pull it all together in time for the Young Mayor of Lewisham to officially open the games. He was a lovely young man, it's really refreshing to see young people doing good in the community and being motivated to take part in schemes such as this, especially after recently in the news it's been about children looting, rioting and generally being a pain.

Somehow - again, I'd managed to be responsible for the kids! Now, hopped up on sugar, with the sight of space hoppers, welly boos filled with water and a podium they were hard to keep track of! The 'Olympics' consisted of three events and 6 contestants per set and it was my job to get the kids ready for each 'heat', remember their names, keep score of each of their positions and generally rein in the mayhem...easy!

By the second or third games I'd really gotten in down...and it was fun! The kids were thrilled with their medals (I decided bronze for all even if they didn't make a podium position, I'm so generous!) We also had a couple of adult events which were incredibly competitive....and our very own Bob the Builder (almost) even took part!

Inevitably it wasn't long before the Great British weather turned...epically. The heavens literally opened - turns out leaving the shades at home was a good move, being soaked through channelling drowned rat AND having shades on would have been far too tragic.

Kids however don't care if it's raining...even though I had to face the tube soaking wet - I didn't envy the Mum's taking mud soaked kids post sack race in the back of their cars!

Even with the washout the day was successful, we raised a lot of money for a great cause...all that was left to do when I got home was crash on the couch, sleep through Zumba then wake up and order a pizza!! Well...I'd earned it!
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Une Nuit En Paris - Updated

Considering I love to travel it is quite surprising that I've never 'really' been to France. Now it is so fast and easy with the Eurostar it really is travesty. This was rectified on Thursday.

Although it was a business trip I was determined to see a bit of Paris so I'd booked the latest train back on Friday night.

On arriving in Paris Gard du Nord I instantly liked it, it helped that it was a beautiful day. So in the taxi through the streets of Paris I had my camera poised (like a right idiot). The first thing I seen that got my heart rate up was an enormous Louis Vuitton shop! This is the point I realise we are approaching le Arc de Triomphe on les Champs-Élysées. It really makes you realise how much we now take for granted in London, I am usually the person judging the tourists taking the photos - now it was me! Here is the best shot I managed to get of le Arc.

The office is located in the North East of the city - I did however get ever so slightly excited every time I seen a boulangerie or patisserie! We actually ended up going for sushi at lunch - it was delicious, but as far away from French cuisine as you can get! Later on in the evening we went to a very nice square again in the business district to an Italian restaurant (getting closer!) After enjoying quite a few bottles of wine and based on recommendation I ordered buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad - it honestly was better than anything you would get in London - why is that? The tomatoes (which I'm not normally a fan of) were enormous, almost meaty - the mozzarella (cheese...yes! I'm in France now!) was parfait! Unfortunately I don't have a photo but the portion was not to be sniffed at - I of course devoured the whole lot!

The seafood pasta was fresh and tasty - but only as good as something you can find in England. What was nice though is that we sat outside all evening. And, although I had heard I really didn't realise how much the French smoke! As a non smoker I'm very aware in England of how much people smoke, generally because if you're with them they're disappearing outside usually once or twice in an evening (no?) Sitting outside in Paris however, it was chain smoking, and everyone does it!

I also (on recommendation!) had a delicious digetif that was very refreshingly mint flavoured and not harsh or strong at all (as some digestifs can be on the first couple of sips). It was bright green and mint flavoured but I cannot remember the name (potentially 'jet' something) so if anyone knows please let me know!

The next morning at breakfast I decided to go very French...cheese, cured meats, pain au chocolat, muffin (OK so maybe wanting the French tastes was actually a ruse for being greedy!) It was all delicious,, I definitely wanted to buy some cheese to bring home, but that would have to wait until after work!

Today much to my delight we visited a boulangerie! So for lunch more fromage et jambon! Baguette and crepes - yay! It was again, much better than you would get in London if you were buying a baguette! Why?! Why can France be so good at bread, cheese and meat...and we are stuck in Pret!

Thankfully everyone in the office was more than willing to help me out with where to go in my limited sight seeing tour - so it was deemed going back to Champs-Élysées, try and see the Louvre, take in a couple of shops and then work out from there how to whip down to the pièce de résistance - La Tour Eiffel. Also in this time I wanted to sit and enjoy a glass of wine in an outdoor cafe (standard) and buy some cheese and wine for enjoying back in London...all of this while learning how to use the Metro.

As you may know from prior posts, tourists on the London Underground irritate I was about to be one of those people! Reassuringly the Metro map looks a lot like the tube - so I knew the principles would be the same. My French is however basic so signage could prove a problem! Again my French colleagues were a god send! More than useful in telling me exactly what tickets to get, where to go and more importantly what line NOT to get on (the RER - I still don't know why!)

In the end I was really proud of myself, I took in about 4 or 5 lines by the end. Luckily I just got it. My personal directional ability did however leave a lot to be desired! I was very proud of myself when I arrived at the correct tube, but which way was the Louvre again?! I started off in the direction I thought it was (usually I can't possibly get lost with my trusty iPhone, but I would not be racking up £££'s in data roaming charges thank you very much!). I walked by a couple of really beautiful museums on approach to what looked like a palace (oh err!). Thankfully the bus stops have detailed maps on indicating 'you are here'. I wasn't heading towards the Louvre (whoops), however I was heading to the Eiffel Tower!

About this point I approached the Seine, and got a better view of the tower! This far all I'd seen of it was in the taxi - and managed to get this picture, which still excited me greatly!!

Walking along the river was very pleasant, even though I was doing so at quite a rapid pace! It took around 30 mins to walk to the tower. It was lovely, quite different in the surrounding area to what I'd expected previously only seeing it from other peoples posing pics. I was amazed you could walk all the way around and under it. Had I had more time I would have liked to walk up to the second floor - this also had the shortest queue!

So, I was hoping to kill two birds with one stone here and enjoy a glass of wine in an outdoor cafe but there was a distinct lack of them around the tower. There was however an ice cream stall! Oh why not...une boule please...leading to this pic!

 So back on the Metro - another place that had been recommended was Opera, why not it was in the right direction to the station. On getting out of the Metro here I was so glad I did! Exactly what I wanted! I sat outside Cafe de la Prix, parfait! Here I had my glass of wine and also a particularly delicious crème brûlée, as you can see here.
My people watching view - overlooking the Academie Nationale De Musique

It really was a special cafe - totally loved it, people watching and generally relaxing, I just wish I had more time!
Highly recommended
After this I decided it would be safer to head back to the station as to not miss my train (on the way to St Pancras on Thursday morning I was literally RUNNING through the station as the trains at that time were so infrequent - something which I hadn't accounted for in my timings! Luckily I made it but it was really stressful, this time I would not end up that stressed...especially as I'd never been to this terminal - in London I know exactly where I'm going.) The cheese and wine can be bought nearby (I'm hoping!)

The area around St Pancras isn't great from a tourist point of view, luckily around Gard du Nord it was a bit better! I found a local shop and was totally disgusted by the price - we get so ripped off in London! It was under €3 for a Grand Reserve Prestige Cotes du Rhone. How is that ever fair?! I also bought a nice looking camembert - less than €1.50, again so unfair!

On the Eurostar back the only time I didn't have any phone signal was when I got back into the UK! Typical, how come they can cope on the Metro with a bit of signal and we're so useless! I'll definitely be heading back with more time hopefully!

J'adore Paris!

Update: I have since learnt the real name of the fab drink, it's Jet butchering of the French language completely mispronounced the vignt sept!! I'll be buying some of that when I can!
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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Wedding of the year

Last weekend two of my oldest friends got married. We were in the same class at school from the age of 11 and would grow to be best friends still now.

I am not one to usually cry at weddings, but the night before writing our class name on the card sparked an inner pang of emotion. The wedding has also been a long time coming, the happy couple having got engaged in the spring of 2009, and they first got together in the summer of 2002!

The venue was three places over the day, registry, restaurant and hotel for party. The registry is in a great old building in a town not too far from where we grew up (a bus was laid on to take guests from a local venue, a surprise for me was that the groom was on the bus!) Here I am arriving;

Once the bride arrived she looked amazing, as all brides do! But there was such a feeling of pride that it had all come together and such a long time of preparation was about to pay off.

Once we were all congregated and she'd walked down the aisle and started saying vows, I'm not sure at which point I started crying - but I did! It then came thick and fast and by the time 'stand by me' came on for the signing of the registry I was a goner! My best friend standing court as a bridesmaid also looked over at me and laughed - also looking a bit teary, which made me even worse!

Once I got over this it was off to the wedding breakfast venue for pre-cocktails. Much needed as it was such a hot day and I needed to shake the emotion! Once we went into the breakfast the table settings were great we each had a chocolate with the bride and grooms name on, scratchcard and donation to breast cancer for the girls, and cancer research UK for the boys. More and more people are doing this and it's a really nice touch.
The food was amazing, duck pate followed by roast chicken with all the trimmings and vanilla cheesecake. I had another tear during the speeches - all three were excellent. The best man in particular (another great friend from the same class of 1997!) was working the room confidently and provided humour accessible by all. Very well done on what I'm sure is a very tricky task.

The bus back to the hotel for the reception was a sleepy affair! full of food, champagne and cocktails we definitely needed a second wind. As my parents live near the venue I was not staying in the hotel - a shame as I really fancied a quick power nap! It was a lovely evening so when we arriving there around 7 we could sit in the grounds - here I am with the beautiful bride!
Alex (housemate) Beautiful Bride and Myself
The room was decorated fab for the party, and something I think more people should do there was a guestbook on the way in which a whole page per guest. My writing took a bit of ribbing by a certain guest who then proceeded to spell both the bride and grooms name wrong. Whoops.

For the rest of the evening I danced like a nutter. There is nothing better than a good wedding! Oh and to finish, here is a close up of the back of the dress. Makes me want to get married asap...just need a taker now!

Congrats to my gorgeous friends! xx
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Circus London

I'm off to Vegas in 2 as part of the warm up myself and 4 other holidaymakers went to Circus London for a warm up. We'd heard about it before but none of us had been, but we vaguely knew what to expect.

We arrived about 6.30pm for cocktails in the bar beforehand, I like places that have an understated (take: impossible to find) entrance on a street, placed you'd normally just walk by tend to be the best you will ever find. In keeping with the theme when we walked in we were faced with all mirrored walls and changing colour lighting. It was quite a shock when the hostess greeted us from a booth amongst the mirrors - didn't see her at all!

We were shown through one of the mirrors which led into the main restaurant. We walked by the 'top table' and were led through to the bar. It was smaller than I had expected, I'd also thought there would be more than one main table for performances. The rest of the restaurant was very nice - but fairly normal.

The cocktail menu was eclectic - classics were available on request, however I opted for an orange daiquiri. Very nice it was too. Cocktails aren't cheap - starting at £9.50 and heading up to the £14 mark. After this I opted for a Bellini - this was no where near as good as the daiquiri it was overpowered with the fruit juice - it was almost smoothie consistency, not what I'd normally expect from a Bellini.

The first act kicked off when we were still in the bar - three ladies dancing en point and then one fire eating. It was really impressive, but we had the impression the best was yet to come. Once we were led to our table we opted for the sharing menu. at £50 it promised a taster menu of three courses selected by the chef. The first course arrived fairly promptly after we'd ordered. Edamame beans, chicken gyoza and salt and pepper squid. The beans were standard (impossible to get wrong!) the gyoza again was fairly average. The squid however was immaculately presented, crisp and delicious - with a fiery hit of chili.

The main course was amazing - were we however squashed on a table that was probably for 4 persons so 5 people, 3 drinks each (the sharing menu came with a glass of prosecco - with that plus our cocktails and water...) it was a tight squeeze and impossible task to fit everything on. It may have been better if the food was bought out in a staggered way. However on the tiny table we had: black cod (amazing) Thai green chicken curry and a veg version (fab), fillet steak (great but far too small for 5 to share) and then a selection of Asian greens, rice and baked aubergine. It was all fantastic. I was like a hungry hungry hippo eating everything in site, but mainly having to stick to what was near! Logistically tackling this feast was hard!

Act 2 - The best of the night

While we were enjoying this the second and third acts were on. The second by far my favourite of the night. Two girls dressed in vintage swimwear tackling the overhead hoops to the tune of 'Mr Sandman' fantastic. The third act was a young gentleman on rotating blocks (the picture explains it better!) He was good, but it didn't natch up to the second act.

Act 3 - Still impressive!

Once we had enjoyed the third spectacle desert arrived. Having perused the menu before we settled on the sharer I was looking forward to this course - brownie and creme brulee had caught my eye - so what would we get for 4 to share? Mini versions of each? Great big cakes to devour? No. A small jam jar with some mascarpone on a sponge?! It was nice enough but really disappointing. It was almost like this course was completely unconsidered.

After this we were also told our table was turning (it was 9.20pm on a 7.30pm booking) in 15 minutes. Disappointing especially as we'd just ordered a bottle of wine which was hastily decanted in huge quantities into 3 glasses (that wasn't going to stay very cold!)

Luckily before we were booted off the table another act came on, it sort of set the tone for the next sitting - it was much more risque and involved a date over the gender of the performer and culminating in nipple tassels.

We went to the bar to finish our drinks and then left getting the impression this wasn't a place that welcomed drinkers, much more eat and leave. On our way out the first act of the next sitting started - the same three girls doing a similar act to the first one we'd seen - so assume they rotate with slight variations.

I would go back, but next time I'd say the later sitting (10pm) and ordering from the a la carte menu. The main was excellent but the other 2 courses could maybe have a bit more thought on the sharer menu. Also in terms of value for money this is not a cheap night out by any means - but you have the cabaret aspect.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food 4/5
Drink 3/5
Overall 4/5

Good for a treat/special occasion
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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Looters, Yobs and Nobody's

London is a mess today. Last night when I got back from visiting the parents I came into Hackney, it didn't seem to bad and was no different to usual between the station and our place. Coming home to Sky News though was a different story. A couple of streets away was pretty much warfare. What really gets me is these opportunist kids will probably get away with it.

It's mob mentality and safety in numbers, hundreds of 'rioters' (actually I think the term petty thieves is more adept) were tearing through the streets. Some taunting police coming right up to them and basically showing no care or cause for their actions, and the police didn't even floor, cuff or arrest them, why not? Some of the footage I've seen these kids do not appear armed they are just gobby boys. Why aren't they being arrested and held accountable?! It's sick.

Then today, I didn't put any news on this morning, or switch on my Blackberry, the first I heard of trouble in Ealing was when I was a couple of stops away on the tube. On getting out there was a police corden a lots of people gawking and taking photos. From what I can tell it was mainly upturned bins, I later found there had been a fire near the station. On the way to the office it got worse. A lot of the shops had smashed in windows, it seems anything had been used to smash windows. One of the ones in the Arcadia shopping centre still had the cone lodged in the glass.

On the green however it got worse. The local corner shop was completely burnt down. The lady who runs the shop is lovely, what I didn't even realise is there are 4 flats above that shop - someones house and belongings just wiped out.
At lunchtime we were told local businesses were advised to shut up and go home - so we did. It was an eerie feeling basically evacuating the town. Since I've been home in Hackney there has been a spattering of sirens going all day and there is the ever present police chopper overhead (it was also there all night). Luckily we haven't been affected in the street. I'm hoping we're through the worst of it. It really does need to come to an end, I just hope the government and  the police actually made a real effort to catch these idiots and throw the book at them. It makes you sick to be British.
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Sunday, 7 August 2011


So I'm not sure if the correct terms is lampposts or lamp posts, but there was debate about them last night at home with the parents. Apparently Northants county council has come up with an excellent money saving initiative...turn off the street lights! not at any given time, or just in the summer...permanently.

Now as we know many walkers, cyclists and countless paper boys and girls count on the street lights, not to mention drivers seeing all of the above. Potholes, roadkill, broken glass, the hazards are endless, but the real sticking point for me was the next part of this 'money saving' initiative is not to just leave the lights off. They are going to dig them all up.

Now I am no expert in the costs of such labour, road works, machinery and people people it will take to dig up thousands of lamp posts across the county, but it sounds expensive! Oh and not to mention the persons job it has been recently to be employed to go around every post, un hook the fuse (or whatever you do with fuses) and then stick a sticker on it.

Excellent idea Northants County Council - money saving experts.
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Monday, 1 August 2011


So tonight I have had my hair cut and coloured - a deal through Groupon. Every haircut and colour I've had this year has been a Groupon deal. No loyalty for me - just give me the best price please!

Hairdressers however have this innate ability to make us succumb to their mind trickery more so than any other service provider. There is a recent advert detailing just this - the guy who walks into the barber shop and knows he has to leave but for some reason all his common sense evades him and he ends up with something he really didn't want. I can't say that has exactly happened to me tonight, but the whole experience is bizarre.

For a start, even though I've had my hair colours a number of times I was summoned 48 hours prior for a patch test, this normally wouldn't be an issue, but I do not live really close to the salon - hence the overspending in local shops near the hairdresser on Saturday (following brunch at the breakfast club in Angel, which was uh-mazing!).

Usually with Groupon deals the place is totally packed and you cannot get an appointment for love nor money. This place was quiet...worryingly quiet! However the girl was pleasant. And so begins the up sell...

First off I wasn't offered a drink (and it's boiling today) bye bye tip...and then the colour debate. I of course have my ideas which I need impossibly realised. 'Reddy brown, quite dark but not too dark, a brown base with red through it...maybe a copper, chestnut?? Now I'm hoping any hairdresser worth his/her salt can decipher this and transform me into something barely resembling what I walked into the salon looking like.

Once the colour was mixed up it was orange, like really orange. Soothed with the words 'don't worry about the stuff on your forehead we'll watch that up' I was glad I didn't have my glasses on! Speaking of that, she did however fashion some foil protectors for my glasses so I could wear them to read while the colour was setting.

So onto the wash, this really make or breaks a hairdresser. Massage chair, head massage, no water in the ears, fab smelling shampoo and conditioner...? None of this for me! I wasn't even stretched to ask if the water was an OK temperature! I was also asked 'do you want a treatment they are £5 extra' er no thanks...just stick with the conditioner love.

The most bizarre thing - I had to stand up behind the chair to get my hair cut?! Now my hair is by no means really long never mind floor length. Also the tugging! OUUUUCHHH!!! Finally a 'your hair is quite dry, I have these treatments you can buy...' er no thanks.

The result - not what I wanted, I look like me still but with slightly darker hair...I may upload a photo at some stage :)
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