An Unusual Lunch Date

I’ve just had a beautiful butterfly join me for lunch. The weather really is so hot at the moment and I’m sitting here with the doors open for much of the day. I didn’t notice him fly through the open window but I saw him fluttering among the blinds at our patio window. A split second of panic made me grab my phone and nearly call Daniel to rescue me from the bird that had flown in, then I realise it’s a peacock butterfly. He stayed in the blinds for a few minutes while I ate my scotch egg, then fluttered out the door and over the balcony.

peacock

Peacock

Random Moment of Delight

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#100happydays Days 35 – 41

Day 35 – After nine days in New York I needed some healthy food, so a full fruit bowl made me very optimistic about the Summer coming up!

Day 36 – One of my Guides does Gardening Club at school and gave me a leek as a thank you. Cooked it up with a chicken and bacon and potato mess the following day.

Day 37 –  An invitation to my friend’s hen night. She’s been living in Australia for three years now so I can’t wait!

Day 38 – Our Spanglish got a bit out of hand when we invented some new words, on top of tidyupear, the versatility of this language made me happy on Thursday!

Day 39 – A big catch-up with my friend and a healthy walk in the park on a sunny Friday evening.

Day 40 – There’s this new loyalty card and our first use at The Warehouse Café was both our first use and their first customer to present it!

Day 41 – A surprise phone call from my friend to finalise our travel plans for a different friends hen party.

Glace – Artisan Ice Cream in the Ciudad

24.01.2014

Escondido en las callecitas de La Roma, se encuentra un heladería preciosa – Glace – que venden sabores raros pero deliciosos. Como los días de invierno mexicano son tan diferentes de los de Inglaterra, normalmente tomamos un “helado diario” en las placitas de Coyoacán, Querétaro, y claro en la Ciudad.

Glace in Mexico City

Glace in Mexico City

Nos fue recomendado por el padre de Daniel, y después de un par de horas en explorar los Parques de España y de México, encontramos Glace para probar un heladito diferente de lo normal de vainilla o guayaba. Situada al fondo de un calle casi anónima, nunca lo verías si no supiera. La tienda de madera y la dama muy amable dan la impresión de una operación muy artesanal y llena de pasión por el sabor. La dama nos permitió probar casi cada sabor, de miel con lavanda hasta el té verde. Si estoy honesta, no me recuerdo el sabor que tomé, creo algo de canela. Una delicia inesperada en las calles de La Roma y La Condesa.

No me recuerdo los precios, ni la dirección, pero el blog Sin Mantel me ayuda : Ensenada 8, $30 el sencillo y $50 el doble, @glacehelado.

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Hidden away in the beautiful backstreets of La Roma is Glace, a beautiful little ice-cream shop selling unusual but mouth-watering flavours. As Winter days in Mexico are so different to those we have in the UK, we usually enjoy a “daily ice-cream” in the little plazas and squares of Coyoacán, Querétaro, and of course in Mexico City.

It was recommended to us by Daniel’s dad, and after a few hours exploring Parque de España and Parque de México, we found Glace for an ice-cream, out of the ordinary flavours of vanilla and guayaba. Located at the end of an almost anonymous road, you’d never see it unless you knew it was there. A wooden shop front and very friendly assistant gives the impression of a very rustic operation with a passion for flavour. The girl let us try nearly every flavour from lavender honey to green tea. Honestly though I can’t remember what flavour I had, cinnamon I think. A lovely little unexpected delight in the streets of La Roma and La Condesa.

I don’t remember the prices or the address, but the Sin Mantel blog helps me out here : Ensenada 8, £1.30 for a single, £2.20 for  a double, @glacehelado.

Random Moments of Delight

10 Steps to Surviving the British Weather

Good old British Weather. A radio report mash-up inspires this post, they want you to send in embarrassing photos to win some prize, probably tickets to see some band I’ve never heard of because I’m not really into all this underground street culture that’s becoming more and more popular. I prefer my songs with a bit of a tune, actual singing and maybe a story rather than a misogynist/political/”insert-random-ideology-here” rant.

Car covered in snow

Car covered in snow

So I was flicking through the photos on my phone, and came across this. It’s my old car, covered in snow! We’re heading into Autumn now, it’s already been less than 15 degrees, and today it’s supposed to be getting up to 21C. It’s been torrential rain, but at the weekend I was walking around in just a t-shirt. Basically all over the place. I thought I’d give you a Girl’s Guide to Surviving the British Weather.

1. Umbrella – An all-year-round staple. And don’t invest in an expensive one, not even the most haute-couture designer can save you from that sudden gust of wind that gets you by surprise and nearly takes you flying because your brolly wasn’t facing the right way. In Summer especially the weather is so changeable you can need it in the morning but be peeling layers off in the afternoon. Plus it doubles up as a parasol, to keep food out of the sun on your picnic in the park.

2. Scarf – This actually is the best one. If like me your tummy’s a bit of a problem area and you don’t feel quite comfortable in those tighter clothes in the Summer, you’ve had a Pimms and a burger in a lovely beer garden, then you catch sight of yourself in a shop window and think “what the bloody hell I look pregnant!” Cue the scarf! Even just draped round, not tied it can hide anything. Then, it’s too bloody hot but it was raining when you left the house so you didn’t even think to take your suncream a light scarf can easily shield your shoulder and arms if you’re in the sun for a long time. It also goes without saying that scarves of varying thickness are essential all year round, especially in the Autumn and Winter when you can’t see my face anymore because it’s wrapped up in knitted scarf.

3. Cardigan – It’s boiling outside but everywhere inside’s got the aircon on too high so it’s actually freezing in the office, or in Forever 21. Plus, it can get quite chilly in the shade when the only table left in the beer garden is under a tree that’s still damp underfoot from the overnight rain. In the Winter you never know when you might want that extra layer, or lend it to your friend who didn’t think it was going to be this cold so came out with no coat.

4. Suncream and sunglasses – You might think you can only get away with factor 15, but never under-estimate the power of the British Summer. You’ve seen those photos of old men on the beach with their handkerchief hats and bright red faces, and the French do call us the “Rosbif” for a reason. And Sunglasses I think should be another staple for all year round, especially driving in bright Winter’s snow.

5. Bags – You’ll need something big enough to put it all in. I hate those big wicker beach-bags people have in the Summer. And in Winter I see girls walking round with those tiny little retro bags that can barely fit purse-keys-phone in. In the evening, unless you’re willing to pay for a taxi to take you from one club to another you really need to fit your brolly in there too.

6. Beer gardens  – One cloud-break and we’re all out. So get there early, or be prepared to sit at a table in the shade. Then there are those bloody bastard wasps, trap them in beer glasses, or better yet, move inside. More and more places are opening their gardens in the Winter too, with heaters and blankets on offer. What’s more cosy and romantic than snuggling up outside in your scarf with a hot chocolate? I love this idea, so find out what’s going on and get yourself an early spot in the warm.

7. The double-coat trick – In Summer not so much, but in Winter this is a godsend, remember it’s still going to be cold in those bars. And we have the reputation the world over for walking in all weathers between bars in heels and a mini-skirt, couldn’t possibly waste drink money on a cloakroom ticket now could we? So, just do it, just pick your coat up before you leave. I learnt this on my Erasmus year, there’s no shame in taking a coat, you can all leave them in a big pile together if you manage to get a table or a booth in a big enough group where at least one of you is always sitting down. You can even, I know it’s radical, but you can even wear two coats, a thin smart one for the bar and then your big winter one for extra warmth while you’re waiting for that taxi home.

Carol Kirkwood – Meteorlogical Godess

8. Watch the media – I know, I take them with a pinch of salt on other channels but I really do believe every word Carol Kirkwood says. Look at her there in all her BBC loveliness. She from Scotland, so if she says it’s going to be cold then yes, it’s going to be Scotland cold. Floods tell you which parts of the country to avoid, record highs tell you which part of the country to go to. Even social media can help you out, if your friend in Sheffield tweets that it’s raining, you can bet any money that rain’s heading your way.

9. Good hair products – Again, if like me your hair gets knotted in the wind, and whips you in the face so you can’t see anything you’ll need to prepare before you leave the house, or carry a comb and a bobble in your bag for those unexpected bastard gusts of wind. And for extra protection you can use the old reliable, your umbrella even if it’s not raining.

10. Book a holiday – In Summer, sod’s law that whatever week you book will be record high temperatures in the UK, but at least you won’t be stuck in a freezing airconned office or trying to find a tiny patch for your blanket in the local park or beach. And in Winter, get some sun! I used to live in Northern Spain, so maybe don’t try there, but I’m sure in Málaga or even Malta or Cyprus it’s still warm. The sun won’t have been out here all Summer, so take this opportunity to get yourself to Greece in the bikini you’ve been saving up while the flights are cheap.

Tulum - Caribbean Sea

Tulum – Caribbean Sea

British Summer finally arrives!

weather

The British summer is here at last. Whoever would have thought that just three months ago it was still snowing! We will probably take advantage and do a road trip tomorrow, at the moment we’re thinking into Gloucestershire – Tewkesbury has a river, and looks very pretty on the internet. It’s not often that we go out of Birmingham at the weekends, so I’m really looking forward to this tomorrow.

When we first got together, my Danielote and I wrote a list of the places around the world that we wanted to visit. We missed out a lot of British destinations in favour of far-away experiences like Macchu Picchu and New Zealand. Now I’m not going to lie, I’ve grown up into a city chick through and through, we go to Barcelona, San Francisco, the megatroplis of Mexico City… A small market town in Gloucestershire is hardly high on my list of priorities, but this weekend is going to be so sunny it just seems daft to keep cooped up in the shadow of skyscrapers and office blocks.