Monday, 20 March 2017

The Jumpers

Dear reader, don't tell the fashionstas that read my style blog,  but I'm a bit of a cheapskate.  This cheapskatedness led me on an adventure on Saturday.  An adventure many fashionsta would be jealous of.
You see I have heard ravings,  absolute gushings and crushings over woollen jumpers.  Not any old woollen jumper though.  No. 'WoolOvers' woollen jumpers to be exact.  These jumpers are priced around  £60 £80 £100.  They are mail order. Generally.  They have one location in the UK which is office and warehouse in one.  It's near my home.  It behove me to investigate for my readers.

On Saturday I set my Sat Nav to 'seek WoolOvers'.   At first it misunderstood and sent me to Covers. .a fencing outlet.  Still I persevered. 

Next stop WoolOvers.  

There's the trailer ready to be loaded with your next lot of jumpers, dear fashionsta. 

There's the factory shop.  With a sale.

There's me 'in there'.

There's my haul. Several jumpers for £5 to £10 each.  

There's a pink loose fit jumper I bought miss 22. Silk and cotton mix.  £10.

They are listed on the invoice as samples.  Do I mind?  No.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Sir John Soanes Museum and Thames Walk, and Pubs

A day out for seven quickly whittled down to three.  The attrition rate increased as soon as the seven realised Mr Him was one of the 7. Excuses like having to fix a drainage pipe that miraculously just fell off (the trouble our friends go to to attrite),

 having to suddenly grocery shop for sudden unexpected guests, not to mention sudden surprise birthday parties.  Anyway the three,  Mr Him,  I and a 'friend brave ' took ourselves to a little known London gem or four.

The first gem was the Sir John Soanes museum near Holborn in Lincoln Inn Fields here  A treasure trove of a house, literally.  From the outside you wouldn't know it contained the likes of sarcophagus of  Seti 1 and 8 original Hogarths,  let alone a Turner.  Strict no photo policy but compensated by it being free to visit. I can only describe this like experiencing   the library in The Librarians but rabbit warren style, if you can imagine such a thing. 

Mr Him has write his impressions of this treasure maze below.

Tucked away in a tranquil oasis a couple of hundred metres from the very busy Kingsway in central London, was a four storey Georgian townhouse. Inside awaited a rabbit's warren of floors, rooms and corridors,,  designed and decorated by Sir John Soanes, celebrated architect. Artifacts from Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Babylonian cultures nestled cheek by jowel with Renaissance pieces and contemporary artworks (for his time). Funerary masks and pieces of sculpted stone overlooked one of the prize pieces of the collection, the sarcophagus of no lesser an individual that Seti 1! An awesome piece of masonry carved lovingly from a single piece of alabaster, almost luminous in the deliberate gloom of the cellar. In the upper rooms, whole walls were movable, in order to best display artwork collected by the insatiable Sir John. I was in utter disbelief when a wall was moved to reveal all of the 8 original series of Hogarth's "The Rake's Progress"! There was also at least one Turner, and some Cannelettos!! I left the museum pleased that I'd allowed Anna to persuade me into attending. I feel well and truly "cultureficated"....!!! 

Back to Anna

We then went to investigate a Wetherspoons called The Shakespeare.  

a  mural in the ladies restroom, spot the hand dryer 

We didn't see dogs.  Mr Him had a colourful beer as he had blackcurrant cordial added to a weissbeer. I suppose he thought if my wine was pink then his beer should be.

Next stop Bodeans for pulled pork and New York Cheesecake  (yes we can get it in the UK.  This one was similar to the Rockerfeller Centre one.  Not quite as creamy as a deli cheesecake),  and an Alabama Slammer or two.

The  men had banana splits

We needed a walk and Mr Him took us on a Thames Path walk to London Bridge vicinity.

machinery of days gone by along the Thames

Tower Bridge in the distance

I filmed the sound of the Thames lapping along and the night views for you here 

Custom House

lit up London Bridge and Shard

Borough Market empty at night

days of yore depicted in Borough Market near the bins

Under London Bridge train line

cheese shop closing for the day

Then onto a pub or inn called The Anchor.  Inside we found another warren.  This time rooms containing bars and seating.

a model of the Globe Theatre inside the Anchor inn
 It was an unusually warm night and we sat out on the roof garden to drink and look at the views of London.

I videoed some music and revellery going on below us for you here music by the Thames

Then a walk to the station admiring the moon over the Shard.

 and a discovery of what remains of Winchester Palace.

I like how they have planted in the ruins.  An attractive display

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Steam Punk

Mr Him (and please don't encourage him to be a blogger. You have no idea what you'd be letting loose) found what he called a steam punk themed pub on his trip to Leeds, England.  Actually the write up shows the Editor's Draught to be based around typewriters.  Now, here is why Mr Him should not blog.  No doubt any steam he found swirling around the vicinity  was coming from him as he wrote. It's happened before in our kitchen.

I,  on the other hand, did find a steam punk pub in New York the previous week.

Link here to the Lovecraft.  May be they could be sister bars.  Steam across the ocean, sort of thing. I hope the landlords find each other.  Comment if you do fellas.
Three weeks ago I'd never heard of steam punk bars. Have they cropped up in the last month? 

I feel an adjunct to the investigate journalism coming on. A spinoff as it were.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Mr Him Investigates Leeds and Pubs

Mr Him,  not content to sit back and let me have the limelight, decided he needed his adventure in a York.  No doubt in search of that taste sensation cheesecake and martini!   Anyway no sooner had I been home but 3 days when he grabbed a map. Thursday morning, before I awoke, he was out the door and pointing his car north.  North up the M23,  North around the M25,  North up other Ms. He didn't stop till he reached 'York'shire  (disclaimer - actually he did stop for an hours break on the way but that doesn't read so well). He then sent me a text to say he'd gone to do some research, or 'investigative journalism,'  for you.  'Oh good', I thought, ' I won't see him for a month.' 

For you he has investigated and reported the below.

As Anna has said, I had to go up to the "tropical climes" of West Yorkshire last week! I had to deliver a few items to the small town of Cleckheaton. I decided that I REALLY had to visit a proper Yorkshire pub whilst I was there. This was purely for the purpose of furthering the research for you all, her readers!  Here's the place that I was directed to, The Wickham Arms Hotel in Cleckheaton, made from local limestone. I didn't take any photos inside. 

After an exotic watermelon and orange fruit juice there,  I drove on to Leeds where I was going to be spending the night. Anna told me that I had to bring traditional Yorkshire food i.e. Wensleydale cheese and fruit cake (which are apparently eaten together). Aiming to please (particularly after the recent voucher debacle), I asked at my hotel reception for the best place to purchase said items. "You're best going to Leeds Market" was the immediate response. I received directions, and set off in that direction, taking photos of some interesting buildings (old and new) on the way.

Corn Exchange

John Lewis

Outside the market on the hunt for Wenseydale cheese

Once I got into the market, I was dumbfounded! I wasn't told that it was absolutely massive!! It turns out that it's the largest indoor market in Europe, with in excess of 230 stalls. Still, undeterred by the massive undertaking ahead of me, I travelled the aisles in search of comestibles.


Here be dragons!

 I was able to locate the cheese which was, I was assured, lovingly hand-crafted by local virgins (far be it from me to scoff in utter disbelief) but, despite hunting down 4 bakery stalls, the fruit cake remained an elusive quarry. I located an exit (eventually) and had to settle for a similar fruit cake from Marks & Spencers. Go figure! Having worked up a thirst, I decided that more"research" was in order.

I espied an alleyway between two large shop fronts. Thoughts of Diagon Alley crossed my mind. There was a sign for a pub pointing into it. Dare I risk it? Was I going to find myself assailed by enemies of Harry, Ron and Hermione?    Taking a chance, I entered the alley, ready to flee at the merest hint of danger. I was pleasantly surprised. Lights were strung up down the alley, and Whitelocks pub (established in 1715) beckoned to me from my left.

 I entered, and was overjoyed to discover a beautiful "proper" pub!

Attractive stained glasswork behind the bar

View down the bar and no, I wasn't drinking milk.  The very thought!

 Having slaked my thirst, and having slaked my curiosity about the establishment by speaking to the landlady, I ventured out  because I had arranged to meet a friend . It was time to catch up with each other, swap stories about our respective jobs, and imbibe some more beverages. Oh, the trials and tribulations of the stoic researcher!!! I found a pub just around the corner from that office, and waited for John to join me. The pub (The Editor's Draught) was unusual in that it had a sort of "steam punk" theme going on. 

Inside the Editor's  Draught (how fitting)

It was very pleasant, the food and drink were lovely, and the staff were wonderful. John and I had lots to catch up on once he arrived, so libations had to be slurped in order to lubricate our talking muscles! An entertaining evening was had.

The drive back the next day was awful. 250 or so miles, and most of it in driving rain. Still, on the plus side, I was feeling happy with myself, knowing that I had completed some invaluable research for you, dear reader...

Monday, 6 March 2017

In Search of Mighty Loft Part 2

Dear reader,  do you remember my Walk of  Lostness   'Loft'ness or to Mighty Loft    here.   That day my steps amounted to 23 311.  It was a record maintained for 7 months. It was surpassed last week when I did my second walk of 'Loft'ness.  Having walked the city of NYC for 28,646 steps I finally found the sought for mighty Loft.

And once again I quenched my thirst in a Hard Rock Cafe with a mojito. Strawberry this time. 

What did I buy and was Loft a coffee shop?  Two white T shirts, and no.   Honestly, 50 000 steps in total for 2 white T shirts! 

A warning,  if you decide to shop in Loft and visit Hard Rock Cafe in the same trip you better pack food and water in your bag and wear comfortable shoes.