December 2019 Things

For some indeterminate reason, my blogging really tailed off towards the end of 2019. I definitely still enjoy it, but the last year of the decade seemed much quieter for me than previous years. It’s hard to find inspiration when all you’re doing is working and sleeping! I’m sincerely hoping that 2020 has a lot more for me than 2019!

Liberty Advent Calendar
Another year, another Liberty advent calendar. Was there anything revolutionary in the 2019 version? Honestly, no, but I still find it immensely enjoyable. See you next year, Liberty.

Christmas in Norfolk
We (being me, Husband, and my Mum) decided to check out of Christmas this year and found a gloriously quiet barn in the middle of the Norfolk countryside. Hopefully a blog post will follow because we had such a lovely time.

Seals at Horsey Gap
Technically part of our Norfolk trip, but I had to have a separate entry on the list for the incredible seals at Horsey and Winterton. From October to March, thousands of seals descend on the beaches and dunes along the Norfolk coast to have their babies. We walked to Horsey on Boxing Day, really not knowing what to expect, but they were everywhere, including on the paths. It was amazing – truly a memorable sight.

Everyman Wokingham
Visits to the cinema are few and far between for me these days, but Husband was desperate to see the new Star Wars. Luckily, a brand new Everyman cinema has just opened about 20 minutes away, so I was more than happy to indulge him. It’s great cinema (and I have enough photos for a separate post. Promises promises).

Election
Boo!

November 2019 Things

November happened in the blink of an eye, and December rushed at me unexpectedly. I feel unprepared for the last month of the decade!

Eddie Izzard
The month started at an Eddie Izzard gig – the fifth tour I have seen of his (Circle, Sexie, Stripped, Force Majure and now Wunderbar). Honestly, if you don’t like Eddie, there won’t be much for you in his latest, and possibly final, show but I adored it. We had seats on the 7th row, so my idol was pretty much directly in front of me wearing an incredibly hot outfit. And an added bonus for Tim and I – we were sat just in front of Dawn French and Dame Judi Dench. Tim nearly lost his mind. The whole evening was a delight.

Vegan chicken
November was also the month I developed a short obsession with Absurd Bird’s Vegan Chckn tenders. I had them at both their Bath and Soho locations – I don’t have the best taste buds, but they taste exactly how chicken tenders should taste. Delicious.

Homewood Bath
We were in Bath for an overnight stay at Homewood – a beautiful country house hotel, restaurant, and spa. I do need to write a proper blog post about this, mostly because we had the most epic chandelier in our room which 100% deserves a separate post on its own.

Bridget Riley
I didn’t know anything about the artist Bridget Riley, but I saw mention of a Hayward Gallery exhibit on an It’s Nice That article and decided Tim and I had to go. Some of her prints made my eyesight go funny (and possibly led to Tim tripping up a number of steps) but I fell in love with her work. It’s on until January so go see if it you can.

Crafty Fox and ScandiMarket
I managed to get two markets done in one day at the end of November – the Scandimarket in Rotherhithe and Crafty Fox at The Department Store in Brixton.

The Scandimarket is a street market set up on between the Finnish and Norwegian Churches in Albion Street and is filled with amazing scandi food and crafts. It winds its way around both of the churches which were fun to go in, and I bought some incredble sourdough from the Bread Station.

We got the tube over to Brixton for a very warm Crafty Fox – I bought a beautiful ring from Tumble and Rose and I now want to cover my fingers with more of her beautiful work.

October 2019 Things

And just like that, the new academic year kicks off and everything starts to settle down. October is still a little chaotic at the start, but we’re almost back to ‘normal’ by the end of the month, which gives me more time for myself.

John Robins – Hot Shame
I adore the comedian John Robins and I was so excited to see his Hot Shame tour at the Hammersmith Apollo with my BFF (and fellow PCD) Tim. John told a masterful tale which had me laughing and squirming in equal measures, and as Tim noted, it was painfully relatable. I don’t know anyone else who can do a 20 minute section on dehumidifiers and still make me laugh so much.

Watch Number 18
I can’t go a couple of months without a new watch.

Living With Yourself
We watched the whole of the Paul Rudd and Aisling Bea Netflix show, Living with Yourself in one sitting. It was like an entire series based on the Buffy episode, The Replacement where Xander was split into two – one with good hair and styling, and one without. And I loved it, and couldn’t guess how it would end.

Vaporetto Pizza
I love food trucks, but living in The Country in the UK, they are few and far between. It was inevitable that I would get giddily excited when realising that a Vaporetto pizza truck had set up on my drive home from work. It’s just a little too far away for me to get them home warm so a little bit of re-heating is required, but they make beautiful pizzas. It’s almost like I’m back in Texas

Brexit
Still European. Thank goodness.

48 Hours in Copenhagen – Cisternerne

This last post about my 48 hours in Copenhagen (alternative title – “Did you really go to Copenhagen just for a burger?”) is about possibly the weirdest place you can visit in the city – Cisternerne.

The Cisterns is an old water reservoir found beneath the Søndermarken park in Frederiksberg. For some crazy reason, it was turned into an exhibition space for the Frederiksberg museum – the man who had this idea is a mad genius as it’s one of the most unique spaces I’ve ever been to.

We walked through the park on a wet and humid afternoon on the look out for the entrance to the Cisterns – the tall glass structures which house the stairs down into the reservoir (although one of buildings was closed for renovation when we visited).

Their website seems to suggest that one artist shows there each year, and 2019 was the turn of Superflex; a Danish art collective who flooded the Cisterns for their exhibition, It’s Not the End of the World.

Superflex are best known in the UK for the swings they installed in the Tate Modern. They focus on climate change and dystopian futures and play with this concept for It’s Not the End of the World.

When you enter the pitch black space, you’re asked not to use torches or your phone to light the way, and your eyes do adjust (well, mine did. Husband’s didn’t, so he held my hand most of the way around). There’s a glorious neon sign which illuminates the darkness and reflects on the water. A few other spotlights prevent you from bumping into the concrete walls.

Sidenote – how good is Night Sight on my Pixel 3 phone? It really is so dark down there.

After wading your way over to the neon sign, you walk over to peer into three ‘rooms’ through partially open doors and cracks in the side with light pouring out of them. The rooms are actually flooded decaying bathrooms – super creepy, made even creepier because there were very few people visiting at the same time as us.

Another fun element of It’s not the End of the World – you get super cute welly boots to wear around the reservoir!

The current exhibit runs until the end of November when it’ll close for the winter. Can’t wait to see what 2020 brings.

Mr Jones Watches – A Perfectly Useless Morning

As I struggled through my 11th year of start-of-semester chaos at work, I made myself a promise – just get through Registration and I will treat myself to a new Mr Jones watch. I had my next purchase picked out – A Perfectly Useless Afternoon designed by Belgian artist, Kristof Devos. I had missed out on buying one of the limited editions, but a slightly modified version has since made it to the permanent collection. I set time aside to buy my latest watch the first weekend of October to mark the end of an insane two weeks.

And then – surprise! – a new design was released before I could make my purchase. Called A Perfectly Useless Morning and also designed by Devos, it has a beautifully autumnal layered design which is so charming to look at.

The hours are marked by the trees, with the yellow leaf acting as the hour hand and the bird soaring around as the minute hand.

And I got my lucky number once again.

By the way, I’m not ruling out buying A Perfectly Useless Afternoon as well – I couldn’t possibly leave my Kristof Devos collection incomplete.

This is watch number 18 for me – take a look at the rest of my collection.

September 2019 Things

September always seems to come and go in the blink of an eye – we spend the whole month panicking about the students coming back, and all of a sudden, campus is filled with them.  This September was exceptionally tough and ended with me doing a 70 hour week.  Oof.  I need the whole of October to recover.

Richard Ayoade interviewed by Adam Buxton
A couple of years ago, we saw Adam interview Richard at the Emmanuel Centre in London.  This year, they were both at the Royal Festival Hall talking about Richard’s new book and his career.  Richard was definitely more relaxed this time around, but again the audience Q&A was oddly negative.  I don’t get why people try to be funny by being cruel?  Still, Richard handled the stupid questions well and they both made me laugh.

Louis Theroux interviewed by… Adam Buxton!
Continuing the theme of Dr Buckles interviewing my favourite men, we were back at the Royal Festival Hall to see Adam and Louis.  He was also discussing his new book, a memoir in which Adam was mentioned 7 times (he counted).  It’s always a joy to listen to the two of them chat, and the Southbank Centre has put it out as a podcast for everyone to enjoy.

Work
Normally, I pick 5 things each month for my favourite things, but I outside of the two Southbank Centre events, I have done nothing else of note other than work – no books, no TV shows, no new music.  I’m quite tired now.

48 Hours in Copenhagen – What We Ate

Copenhagen has some of the best and unique food in the world.  Unfortunately for my food-loving Husband, we didn’t try any of it.  It’s just not my scene, guys – I don’t think I could ever promise to be interested in a classic Noma meal or a trip around the iconic food markets.

I do however have my favourites – places I will go back to time and time again because I know I’m going to have an excellent meal.  They’re not to everyone’s liking, perhaps a bit safe or not particularly exciting, but they make me happy.

Always number one on my list is Halifax burger.  This was the very first restaurant we visited in CPH 8 years ago, and we joked that this was the main reason for our visit this time.  It sounds extreme – travelling 600 miles just to eat a burger – but this is an exceptional burger.  We visited the Amager restaurant on this trip (having previously been to both their Larsbjørnsstræde location on multiple occasions, and the Frederiksberg location) and once again received an amazing welcome from the staff.

I love this chain so much that I have their artwork up in my kitchen at home, and I was delighted to see a mural of theirs on the side of their building.

Another restaurant I go out of my way to visit is Gorms Pizza, specifically their branch next to Fields Mall.  I wouldn’t normally recommend a mall restaurant, but I just love the set up of this location – amphitheatre-style seating, and we got seated right at the top.  Husband had the Arendse special with mozzarella and proscuito and I had a Fields exclusive (I think.  Not entirely sure…).  Whatever it was, it was delicious.

On our last visit, I discovered Istid, but as it was Christmas and Istid is an ice cream shop, it was of course closed.  So this was the first time I’ve tried the store that I’ve followed on Instagram for 3 years.  We considered going to their new Nordhavn store, but decided instead to pick up our treats at Jægersborggade.  This is honestly the most incredible ice cream – making it with liquid nitrogen makes it so smooth.  We sat in the shade in Assistens Kirkegård across the road on the morning of my birthday eating spectacular sundaes – I was having the time of my life!

It wouldn’t be a trip to Copenhagen with some kind of kanelbullar.  On this trip, we had a kanelsnegl from Holm Bageri and a kanelstykke from Lagkagehuset (both in Frederiksberg).  Both were delicious as each other, with the coffee from Lagkagehuset slightly tastier making that our favourite breakfast.

And on the subject of coffee, we went back to the Original Coffee at the top of Illums on a few occasions because Husband became addicted to espresso tonics.  Even though the cafe is in a huge department store and we assumed it would get busy, we always found a seat so we’re now claiming this as our secret hotspot.  You heard it here first folks (to be fair, everyone probably thinks this is their secret hotspot).

One last place for a shout-out, even though we didn’t stop here, was the cafe in Magasin Du Nord which I think was called Coffee Industry Sweden.  There were very few people here, and the decor was beautiful.  If we hadn’t filled up on Espresso Tonic, we would have snuggled in here.

48 Hours in Copenhagen

We don’t normally celebrate our wedding anniversary – it’s too close to both our birthdays and the start of the academic year, so no really effort is made and we’re both fine with that.

This year however, we thought we should do something special to mark the big 1-0. Our immediate thought – Copenhagen. Our favourite city to spend time in. The last time we visited was back in 2015 when we spent 5 days over Christmas just wandering around with big coats on. This time, we’d have just 48 hours to absorb as much Scandi culture as we could.

We stayed at the Bella Sky again, which was mostly fine. We’re used to the hotel being very quiet, but as we were still in tourist season, it was fit to burst with huge groups of tourists. I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend this hotel, but it suited us for two days.

So what did we pack into those 48 hours? A lot of walking primarily, and visiting areas of the city that we haven’t visited before. Frederiksberg became our new favourite suburb, but we also had a wander around Amagerbro and the area around the DR studios (‘DR City’ as it’s known).

And we finally crossed the Inderhavnsbroen (Inner Harbour Bridge) from Nyhavn to Christianshavn after watching it being built over many years. We even got to stand on the bridge as it did the crazy opening thing (which surely cannot be safe???) – the middle of the bridge splits open to allow tall ships to sail through. Madness.

We didn’t eat loads of food, but enough to make a blog post about so that will follow, but definitely our favourite new stop for coffee with a view was the Original Coffee at the top of Illums. We went here several times – definitely a favourite new hang-out spot for us. And look at this view:

We of course explored both Illums and Magasin but we weren’t in the city to shop (which is just as well as the exchange rate was a disaster). Just across from Illums on Strøget is Hay House – an interior design wonderland. Two floors of beautiful Hay products, set out like a Danish apartment and almost like a museum. I was in heaven, but again that pesky exchange rate shattered my dreams buying it all. Instead, I just took a million photos so that when I win the lottery, I can re-create Hay House back in the UK.

I did manage to get a small memento however. Many years ago when Husband was on one of his many work trips to CPH, he stumbled across an independent jewellers called Ladyfingers – a shop featuring the work of female jewellery designers. I didn’t ever get a chance to visit on our previous trips, but I finally made it there this time and bought a beautiful necklace from Winberg Jewellery. The shop it situated on Jægersborggade which is an insanely trendy street and such a treat to visit. Wandering down here made for a pretty perfect Saturday afternoon.

In fact, everything we did made for a perfect trip. This was my 5th time in the city and Husband’s millionth, so we don’t feel the need to do all the touristy things. Just walking around, people-watching, and falling in love with the architecture (like the Mountain Dwellings building below) is satisfying enough for us.

August 2019 Things

I’ve seem to have had a summer break from blogging – completely unintentionally, but the month somehow got away from me. And now we’re in September, which is already shaping up to be incredibly manic (certainly from a work perspective).

Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine
At the beginning of the month (which feels like a lifetime ago), I dragged Tim to the Tatty Devine exhibition in the Lethaby Gallery, Kings Cross. It celebrates 20 years of the jewellery brand with exhibits showing off all of the beautiful things they’ve made over the years. It’s just started touring the UK and is well worth a visit for a Tatty fan.

Away Suitcase
I’m such a cliche. I became a little obsessed with Away suitcases after seeing them appear in various vlogs like Kara and Nate and when reading the rave reviews they received from other travel bloggers. So when I needed a new suitcase for a weekend away in Copenhagen, I decided to bite the bullet and buy one of their small carry-on bags in Coast. It was such a great decision – we managed to fit so much into it and it was so easy to manoeuvre around the cobbles in Copenhagen. Plus, the ejectable battery was a lifesaver when I realised I’d forgotten my plug adapter. Husband keeps mocking me for being so easily influenced, but I don’t care – I love it so much.

Copenhagen
Speaking of Copenhagen, we spent the last weekend of the month in my favourite place on earth. More on this later.

Neom facial
I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the new Neom store in Guildford offered spa services, so when I had a couple of hours of TOIL to take, I popped into town on the way home from work to experience one of their facials. It was heavenly, and entirely silent for a town centre location. I’m going to have to remember to blog about it because I enjoyed it so much.

Brunch at the Cosy Club
Another trip into Guildford to spend a £50 voucher I received from a bad meal in Bristol last year. We invited my Mum as we didn’t think we could spend £50 between Husband and I, so we feasted on eggs, pancakes, and assorted bacon treats. It was delicious.

July 2019 Things

July was an incredibly emotional month, and I was only at work for half of it!

Farewells
I said goodbye to an awful lot of friends and co-workers at work due to various re-structures. It was tough. I’ve been to 6 leaving parties in the past two weeks, and invited to a bunch of others that I couldn’t attend. Morale is pretty low at the moment, but we don’t have time to wallow as we have a lot to be getting on with in August and September.

Bom Dia!
I had my long awaited holiday to Portugal at the beginning of the month. We did nothing all week, which was perfect.

Moon and the London Contemporary Orchestra
The last time we were at the Barbican for the AI exhibition, we saw a showing of the Duncan Jones film Moon on the calendar. 2019 is not only the 50th Anniversary of the moon landings but also the 10 year anniversary of the film’s release, so the Barbican were celebrating by screening the film with the score played live by the London Contemporary Orchestra. It was spectacular – the score by Clint Mansell is so atmospheric, and it was so phenomenal to see it performed live.

Netflix’s Dark
I’m cheating a little with this, because we watched this last month and I overlooked it in last month’s Things, but I have remained obsessed with the German language show, Dark on Netflix. Season 1 aired a while ago, so it took me a while to remember who everyone was but I soon picked it up. This show continues to blow my mind (no spoilers) and I can’t stop reading articles, listening to podcasts, and scrolling through Reddit theories. Can’t wait until season 3.

Spa afternoon with my Mum
For my Mum’s birthday (which was a couple of months ago, I bought her a trip to the spa. The first chance we both had to enjoy it was earlier this month, and we spend a blissful couple of hours at the Brooklands hotel spa. Expect a blog post soon!