June 13, 2006

Hot in the city...

It's hot here, and sticky and humid. I was extremely pre-menstrual yesterday, and finding it all a bit much. Interesting fact of the day: I was going to tell you that your body temperature rises during your period (I read this at work), but the internet tells me that ain't so. Apparently your body temperature rises _before_ your period. What would we do without Google? I might just not have spent the last ten minutes reading about ancient traditions to do with menstruation. How much less educated would I be? What would I do with my spare time?

Luckily I spent much of the day on a heavily air-conditioned train to Sutton Coldfield. There'll be some more exciting train trips ahead of me, as I go to Cardiff this weekend, and Edinburgh the weekend after next.

We've had a week and a half now of beautiful sunshine and hot sunny weather. I spent all weekend just lying in the sunshine and eating good food. I have taken the last two Fridays off work for precisely this purpose.

I was going to take this Friday off too, but I thought it might start to look a little pointed, so I just took the afternoon off instead. ;-) I may yet take the next couple of weeks off, as it looks like that will be all the sun we're getting, and it would be a shame to miss it.

My current cunning plan on the food front is to eat at all the vegetarian restaurants in London. This week I went to Mildreds in Soho. It was surprisingly nice. The food is fairly solid, but tasty. We had hot chips to start with, absolutely delicious, and I had a fairly decent burrito and salad.

I am very close to the point of not eating dinner out anymore, because I can get much better food at home (especially if someone has visited the organic store recently). Although if any lucky reader would like to tell me about a fantastic restaurant in London, please do.

I have considered that I could just be insular. Some of my favourite places are run by New Zealanders (eg. Konstam, Providores). Or I could just appreciate fresh, well-cooked food. Hard to tell. Hence my plan to eat at all the vegetarian restaurants in London. This will sort out the wheat from the chaff.

On the New Zealand theme, I went to see the Pasifika Styles exhibition on the weekend at Cambridge University. It was super cool. The weird thing is that it's contemporary art based on traditional Pacific art, and it gave me a very uncomfortable jolt of homesickness/not-belonging.

I don't get that so much any more. It was just an odd combination of circumstances, and the contrast between the old college and the vibrant art. The exhibition is in an absolutely beautiful classic old Cambridge college, old stone building built around a courtyard from the time when masons cared about what they did, with a huge wooden door with metal ribbing built to withstand battering rams.

Inside on the ground floor is that sort of very traditional old museum which was made in the 70s and they haven't really changed much since. All brown, and a little dusty, possibly with type-written curling labels (I might have just made that up, but you know what I mean.. They could have been done on a typewriter not a computer... I kinda love that, the personal touch, you can almost see the academic with their square glasses, tongue poking out of the corner of their mouth as they hunch over the typewriter in concentration).

Then you go up the stairs and there is an explosion of fluorescent colour, pictures and paintings and hoodies and gang memorabilia - New Zealand images played with in clever ways. The sun was shining through the atrium, and I looked around me, felt the jolt, and wondered how many of the people around me understood any of the cultural references?

I didn't ask them, because they were probably all New Zealanders, going by current count of NZers in London. My hairdresser is a NZer, the guy who did our training at work last week is a NZer... I went to the Fat Freddy Drop concert the week before last and there were three thousand New Zealanders crowding the Brixton Academy. Who could feel homesick? Everyone is here. :-)

Posted by eithne at June 13, 2006 09:16 PM | TrackBack