19 January 2013

smoked tea

I smell of wood smoke at the moment. One of the fireplaces in my local pub has some venting issues, and so my jumpers smell like bonfires. It could be worse. James at work tells me I reek of a mixture of lapsang souchong and pepperoni.

I remember losing my last remaining respect for a particular wine writer when she was asked what wine went with kedgeree and responded ‘lapsang souchong’; that’s about a poor a wine recommendation as you can get.

I like lapsang souchong. It’s good for the mornings you want to be drinking Laphroaig or Ardbeg but still need to function beyond breakfast.  

The snow was supposed to start at eleven but actually started about quarter to nine. It was small flakes to begin with, no more than an icy dusting. It got thicker as I walked to work. I paused at the entrance to Chiswick House; the entrance with the obelisk. The icy dust lay unbroken, like the thin frosting on a cake. I wanted to turn in and wander the empty snow-covered grounds but instead I stayed my course. The growl of revving engines and shriek of slamming brakes reminded me that snow in Britain brings out the worst in drivers. I was happy to walk.


Buy My Book. Please.


16 January 2013

getting over the firsts

I'm not sure how we're already halfway through January, but we are. A 24th of 2013 is complete. It's disconcerting in that I've got quite a lot to do and instead of doing it, I'm sat marvelling at how slow the days go and how quickly the weeks pass by. 

I've only noted two firsts of the year - my first curry of the year and my first run of the year. Neither killed me. The former was something of a disappointment. There are dozens of good curry restaurants within delivering distance and yet I've found none that I like as much as the ones I left behind in Scotland. 

The latter felt great, and were there more light in the day I would be out there first thing, dodging the swampy puddles on the pathway by the river on the south bank. It's not the mud or the wet but the cold. The involuntary sucking in of air when that icy water charges through the thin webbing of my running shoes throws off my breathing something rotten. 

Cornwall sits relegated to memory now, though it was only a couple of weeks ago I was there to bring in the new year. It was a good trip, with a lot of laughs, good company and a sense of coziness that seemed taken straight out of a hollywood ideal. It seems now like stolen time; a brief week without worry, heading from cove to cove in search of pirates, antique shops and decent pubs (of which there were several). 

I'm off to France next, though that's for work. I would say it's my first trip of the year, but I started the year on a trip.

I'm not sure why there's a tendency to mark the first - it's not as though I'll be counting afterwards.