Thursday 30 June 2011

Today was....

Work. Run. Dinner. Laundry. TV. Book. Bed.

Simples, as the cute but slightly annoying meerkat telly adverts say. Today was a seven-word day and that's about as much as I can say for it. Does this make me sound as though I have the most boring life on the planet? I fear it does. Ah well, my 'pride' well ran dry a long time ago.

Check in tomorrow for the next scintillating instalment of Shazzy does Bristol...

(Pic: Google Images)

Wednesday 29 June 2011

There's lazy and then there's this guy...

Two students in front of me in the queue at Sainsbury's tonight were deliberating the finer points of purchasing a packet of chewing gum.

First student: "Which flavour do you think we should get?"

Second student: "I don't believe in chewing gum, it's too much like hard work.”

Tuesday 28 June 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Weekend


  • A Friday night catchup with two of my Bristol BFFs, Frenchie and Yoma. Featured lots of red wine, a random group of London lads on a stag weekend and much busting of moves on a too-small dancefloor.

  • Having a former colleague from Wellington and her lovely beau up from London on Saturday. We collected Heidi and Luke from the bus station and drove them to Bath where we did the usual tourist treadmill and caught up on two years' worth of gossip.

  • Another Sunday morning, another two car boot sales. More bargains.

  • The 'heatwave' promised by weather forecasters arrived with a whopping 29 degrees on Sunday. Yes, that was me you saw, down on my knees, singing Hallelujah.

  • Sunday lunch with friends on the top deck of a boat moored on the River Avon. You can never go wrong with sunshine, laughter and delicious food.

  • Having spent a good 10 minutes admiring a group of gorgeous ducklings in Bath, we watched in horror as a bastard seagull swooped in and cruelly snatched one of them. Heidi and I were beyond traumatised. Who knew seagulls ate meat? That's us below, cooing over the fluffy bundles just minutes before seagull Vs duckling began.


  • Knowing I had to rise early on Saturday morning to greet our Kiwi visitors, I'd vowed to leave the pub at 11.00pm on Friday. Ended up rocking in at 2.00am, throwing up several times and downing so many paracemetol I should be given shares in the company. Another reason to leave Blighty...

Monday 27 June 2011

A conversation

This is an honest-to-god conversation I overheard at the Bath Racecourse Car Boot Sale this morning:

Hugely obese woman customer, picking up a hideous pink elephant money box: "Ohh, I have to buy this for my husband, he is so into elephants".

Seller: "What kind of elephant-related stuff does he have?"

Woman: "Everything that you can imagine, and then some. He claims his love of elephants started when he met me but I can never quite work out what he means by that."

Seller: "You and me both, love."


Friday 24 June 2011

The six million dollar dog

On first seeing this piece on the Huffington Post, I immediately clambered aboard my soapbox and was all, "Why would you spend so much money on one dog when there are thousands of others out there that need help?"

But then I read this woofer's tragic back story, had myself a wee cry and adjusted my attitude. It's all kinds of wonderful that this tiny tyke gets to have a second chance at a normal life.

And don't look at me like that: if we're going to be grand old friends then you need to learn to love dogs too.


I'm not a woman who needs much of an excuse to be pampered.

Show me a darkened room, a massage table and a firm touch, and I'll be there quicker than you can say 'de-stress'.

A couple of years back, I lucked into reviewing beauty treatments and products. Which involved having things like chocolate facials, bamboo massages, cupping and lomi lomi massages (a bit like waking up in an oil slick – a very luxurious, relaxing oil slick) for free and then writing nice things about them.

But about 13 months ago, my marbles fell out of my head and I gave it all up to move to this side of the planet. Which meant the free facial/massage pipeline pretty much dried up. However, thanks to the generous birthday gift from my darling friend Gina, tonight I broke the drought with a facial and massage at the Lido Spa.

For an hour, the angelic Nosu doused me in creams and lotions, endlessly exfoliated and plumped my face and pretty much waved her magic wand over my tired skin. And although she weighed little more than a bag of sugar, this chick had hands of steel that convinced all the toxins and stress in my upper back and shoulders they'd be better off elsewhere.

I gave this woman my body and in an hour, she gave me back a completely new and improved one. My skin feels like cashmere and I was so relaxed, I almost stepped in front of a bus on the way home.

Welcome back luxury, you have been gone far too long...

(Pic: Freak Deluxe)

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Everybody loves Zara

Even monks like to shop at Zara...

(Pic: Cool Hunter)

Tuesday 21 June 2011


Last night was a night when only a bowl of hot soup would do. Yes, I know it's supposed to be summer.

Question: is it wrong to be obsessed with soft foods when you have all your teeth and are this side of 90?

I have started a relationship with the Covent Garden range of veggie soups and am currently having my wicked way with them. A lot. But in the overall scheme of things, there is very little a bowl of steaming carrots, oranges and dill can't put right.

(pic: BBC Good Food)

Monday 20 June 2011

Kiwi butter celebrates 125 years in the UK market

Apologies to UK readers as this is currently on high rotation over here.

But this advert, which celebrates the 125th anniversary of New Zealand's Anchor butter in the European market, makes me giggle every time I see it. Particularly the bovine Village People...

Saturday 18 June 2011

This is kind of how I feel today...

Today I am wearing that most important of British summertime accessories: a brave face.

It is raining YET AGAIN. The weather man tells me it's not going to let up for some time. They predict next week's Wimbledon, and Glastonbury, will be waterlogged.

Looks like the ark building project is back on.

(Pic: credit unknown)

Friday 17 June 2011

An open letter

Dear People of Britain,

Please could you do us all a favour and stop using the word 'lush'. It has, it would seem, become your word de jour. As in: 'That dress is so lush' or 'He is so lush'.

It is not clever, it is not cool and it is so many shades of wrong I can't even begin to describe them. It makes me want to stab myself in the ears with a very sharp pencil every time I hear someone use it. It's almost as annoying as Antipodeans' abuse of the word 'awesome'. Almost.

I cannot be held responsible for my actions the next time someone says it to me. Please God, make them stop...

(Pic: UK Human Rights Blog)

Thursday 16 June 2011

Oranges are not the only fruit

Saturday we found these odd doughnut peaches at a fruiterer on Gloucester Road.

Maybe I've led a sheltered life, but the words 'doughnut' and 'peach' have never left my mouth in the same sentence. Nor have I ever heard of the other names they go by: saturn peach, paraguayo peach, pan tao peach and saucer peach. Or donut peach, by people who don't know how to spell.

Whatever you want to call them, they're sweeter than regular peaches, with a top note of almond and wayyyy less juice. Which means you don't end up dripping sticky stuff everywhere and having to lick it off your hand like a dog (isn't that what everyone does?!)

I know what you're thinking: they look like nothing nature intended, and taste like a New Year's Eve party in the mouth. There's no way these puppies aren't genetically modified.

WRONG. Apparently doughnut peaches are a legitimate species of peach, first grown in China in the 19th Century. Who knows where the hell they've been hiding since.

Apologies, but a celebration of weird produce is about as interesting as it gets today. If you wanted cutting edge commentary, you came to the wrong blog....

Wednesday 15 June 2011

You're going to get that back to NZ how?

Yes, more stuff to confound and amuse the shipping company.

I am all about vintage at the moment and this is just a smidgeon of what has managed to find its way to our door lately.

I have discovered eBay and need to un-discover it. And stop trawling cool shops. And place a fatwa on attending car boots/antiques fairs.

As promised, here's what we picked up over the weekend.

Five vintage suitcases for the princely sum of £14. The fact that they appear to be on a lean in this pic says more about my photography skills than their actual state.

Old school film camera that is sooo cool it hurts. And only cost a tenner.

Vintage soda syphon for £14

Cool old stonewear jar for £8

Old bowling balls for £12 - inscribed with the words 'Hay & District B.C'

And I couldn't leave the car boot without at least one item of clothing. This GAP winter coat was mine for £1.

That is not a typo. It cost one quid. And it had just been drycleaned. Bargain or what?

Monday 13 June 2011

The Forest of Dean

Question: When driving from Bristol to Gloucestershire, both places in England the last time I looked, why do you have to enter another country to get there? Why do you have to pay £5.70 to cross the toll bridge into Wales? Why do you then drive 15 minutes through the Cymru countryside before re-entering England (thankfully minus another toll)?

Nah, we can't figure it out either, but let's just say it caused much amusement on Saturday. Well £5.70 worth of amusement, that is.

It's true I have somewhat of an uneasy relationship with superlatives but I'm not afraid to say that we had a FANTASTIC time in the Forest of Dean. First up there was a spot of sightseeing at Symonds Yat, which is tucked into a bend of the River Wye. It produces these kind of views across the green and pleasant lands of the Forest and Wye Valley:

Then we retired to Anita and Gary's house, Rose Cottage, the kind of place that in some people - me included - causes spontaneous weeping.

Later, Anita's dad and his wife joined us for dinner at the kind of country pub that England does so well.

Much, much later (and after excessive imbibing of alcoholic beverages), we joined the handful of regulars to do silly things with the publican's hair.

There was indeed the 5.00am wake-up call on Sunday when we drove to the famous Cheltenham Racecourse for a carboot sale. Yes, any time is a good time to shop.

Shame the weather gods were en vacances because from the moment we arrived, it peed down. Hard angry drops that provided the sound-track to our haggling and purchasing. Sadly it meant fewer traders but those that did show were, unsurprisingly, keen to offload their goods as quickly as possible (case in point: the five cool old suitcases we snaffled for 14 quid). Photos to come this week.

We called it quits about 9.30am and retired to the evil empire of McDonalds (the only place open) to drink hot chocolate and plan our next outing. A lovely weekend and a painful reminder of how much I'm going to miss the friends I've made in Blighty.

Saturday 11 June 2011

The week that was

I've said it before and I'll say it again - some weeks you're Superman and some weeks you're just plain old Clark Kent.

This week definitely belonged to Mr Kent. There was the juggling of deadlines, the Ebay item that STILL hasn't shown up, the sucky weather, lingering flu and the making of big, scary decisions about our future.

Fortunately Friday came along and made it all okay. There was the day off, some sunshine and lunch with my most excellent mate Gina.

Then it started to rain so we popped into a cafe in Gloucester Road to drink mint tea and consume delicious macaroons that would have given the temple of macaroons, Paris's Laduree, a run for its dosh.

To finish there were drinks and a curry with the animation boys.

Today we are driving over to the Forest of Dean to stay with friends and eat, drink and gossip until out tongues fall out of our heads. There is talk of a 5.00am start on Sunday to accompany them to an antiques fair (they are part-time dealers) but we shall see.

A nice end to a truly rubbish week.


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