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.



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.


I’m lying in bed right now.  I seem to do a lot of writing in bed.  I just ate three chocolates and finished off the kimchi stew I made earlier for dinner before going out to meet some Yelpers at Bar Chocolate in Soho.


I officially hate Easter, by the way.  After Monday, we had no fewer than six chocolate eggs and numerous other chocolate truffles and treats.  That is obscene.  We are only two people.  How can we accumulate that much chocolate on a day that we’re supposed to be reflecting on how some dude died a horrific death by Roman crucifixion.  I tell you what, no chocolate and fluffy bunnies were involved in that one.  Not that I usually care about such things.  But, you know, Jesus is always trying to get me down, man.


In this case, it’s by chocolate death.


But, yeah, so Bar Chocolate probably wasn’t the best social outing venue to choose after everyone in the UK has gorged themselves on chocolate over the Easter weekend, but, you know, hindsight.  I got some wine because I couldn’t face any more chocolate, and the Malbec was good, I guess.  


Linzi, Lizzie and Laura were there.  A small Yelp event, for sure.  But I’m quite liking all these Yelp events going on.  I’m starting to really enjoy and appreciate London a lot more now that I actually have a social life and some burgeoning relationships with people.  Nothing against my husband, of course.  It’s just that I miss having friends, and this last year has been a bit brutal when it comes to that sort of thing.  


My dad and my grandparents have tried calling me in the last couple days, but I’ve been in full-on paper-writing mode that I simply cannot stop in the middle of my day to have a 45 minute conversation with them.  If they are reading this – dad and Grandmommy and Bobba, I am sorry.  I will try to remember to call you back soon.


But, yeah.  One term paper down, one to go.  It occurs to me that I ended up doing A LOT of research for the paper I just finished, with over 20 bibliographic entries for it, and I didn’t do nearly as much research for the one I have left to write despite being more confident in my thesis statement for it when the writing process began.  I think I might have to hit the library tomorrow.  Lame.


I think I’ll eat some chocolate.


Damn Jesus.

I’m reclining in bed currently, just having finished my Oatibix with banana, almonds, and raisins with two cups of coffee.


I’ve been trawling Yelp and generally ignoring the rest of the internetz.  I think Yelp has started to make my mornings less and less productive, as I’m less and less inclined to get out of bed and start doing things.  You know, like working on graduate school stuff.  


It slightly distresses me that I’ve been doing research for about a week now without any clear idea as to what my thesis statement will be on one of my papers.  I have an appointment to discuss my papers with Sarah on Friday.  I’m not so much looking forward to that one.  In part because every conversation I have with Sarah is stilted and awkward.  In part because I feel so dreadfully underprepared on Wednesday.  Perhaps I should get out of bed and start researching like a good student would.  Yeah.


Also, I still don’t have my passport and visa.  Red was reading something online about people who’ve been sans passport and visa for upward to 15 weeks with no word on where it is or when they will get it back.  I came to find he did this research online after finding relatively cheap airfare to Japan.  Ha, yeah.  We’re not going to Japan.  We’re not even going back to America.  I am stuck in this country with no way to work or leave.  It’s really a shit process this visa application, I have to say.


Well, I suppose I should get up and get moving.  Do the good-student thing.


I went to yoga yesterday after henna dying my hair the day before, and once I got the sweating going, all I could sense was the damp muck smell of the henna.  Ew.  I’m going to wash my hair.  Now.  


And then, to the library.  But which one??  Oh, decisions.