Yelp Picnic

Just to update quickly while I’m still glowing with post-picnic awe:

The picnic today at Hampstead Heath was fabulously outstanding.  There were so many people there, so much food, and so much booze that I didn’t get a chance to talk to everyone, eat most things and drink everything. 

A sign of a great picnic, that is.

After a somewhat uneventful and unmemorable pub-crawl day yesterday, this Yelp picnic was a great way to end the weekend.  I’m always amazed at how great Yelp events turn out, even unofficial ones.  I’m glad the London Yelp crew are so friendly and welcoming.

Social Weekend

Red and I went to Barnes last night for dinner and drinks with Molly and Phil.  We had a lovely Thai meal in a quaint little restaurant and then drinks at another equally charming pub on a residential street.  This was mostly a much-needed and much-enjoyed social outing, but also partly a reconnaissance mission.  You see, we’re going to be moving out of London Central in a couple months’ time.  While the areas south of the river don’t have great Tube transport lines, I think I’ve made it to the point where I really don’t mind this.  Red believes that as soon as I move out of the centre of London I will start complaining about the lack of convenience, but I would just like to have a little space to my own.  An area with restaurants, pubs and shops that aren’t filled with a bunch of French tourists invading my personal space and trying to jump in front of me in the queue.  An area that won’t ensure I get packed into a hot, sticky Tube elevator three times a week with a bunch of drunk Europeans shouting about one thing or another in a language I don’t understand at 12:30AM when all I could want for is some peace and quiet.

I’m old.

Also, it theoretically takes twice as long to get from Hammersmith to Westminster on the Tube as it does to get to the City from, say, Greenwich on the train.  London Transport Conspiracy?  Yes, yes, I know when the Tube was on strike two days ago that London was mayhem.  But, by ‘London’ I mean the area of London north of the river.  I’ve read that South London, without its heavy reliance on Tube transport, was fine.  Just, fine.

I was thinking I might be able to live with all the antipodeans in Hammersmith (just north of the river from Barnes, with two, count them, two Tube stations) earlier in the evening yesterday.  That is, until I got to Hammersmith from Barnes on the bus and needed a toilet.  And couldn’t find one anywhere.  All the pubs had doormen who wouldn’t let me in.  Fuck Hammersmith and its loo fascism.

Anyway.

Picnicking.

Tomorrow’s the Yelp picnic.  According to the numbers on the Yelp Event page, 24 people are coming to this picnic.  Massive!  Quite possibly the most successful London Yelp event to date.  I am supposed to be cooking right now.  Well, I suppose I’m not wholly behind on schedule, because Red woke up early to go into work (on a Saturday. Bleh.), so I ended up waking up with him at 8am.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not wont to wake up at 8am on a Saturday, so that already put me ahead of schedule.  So ease up on me, hokay?

I’m going to make the chickpea nuggets-of-awesome and some homemade BBQ sauce.  But it occurs to me that both of these things involve soy sauce.  And I know that Molly is allergic to soy.  And, being the observant and thoughtful person that I am (how self-deprecating of me), I couldn’t possibly in clear conscience elect to bring something to the potluck picnic that she couldn’t even try.  So my domestic-task-of-amazingness for today is making my own ‘soy sauce’, soy-free of course.

I’ll get right on that.

But before the Yelp picnic on Sunday, we have plans to hang out with Olly, Dan, Jay and Sarah this afternoon at the Lowlander Cafe in Covent Garden.  I’m still feeling the three drinks I had last night (lightweight), and I’m not too sure I’m going to be able to hack drinking Belgian beer all day .  Oi.  I’m going to have to get better at drinking if I’m going to keep having these social-filled urbanite weekends.