Wednesday, 30 October 2013

After the storm

The morning I first walked down the street that was to become mine, and visited the flat I was to buy, was a sunny one. Surprisingly sunny, in fact, for early April.  I can remember what I was wearing that particular day three years ago, and even which way I walked down the street. And I remember being struck by all the trees - old trees, some as tall as the three-storied houses themselves - that lined the pavements.  I met the estate agent by the biggest tree of them all, and she led me up what were to become the steps to my front door.

Each day since I moved in, descending those steps I have looked onto the wide trunk of the biggest tree of the street. I have swerved round it countless times as I headed out into the city, dragged my wheeled-suitcase over its uneven roots en route to airports, cursed the way those same roots have been pushing up the paving slabs. Just a few days ago I watch downstairs' cat almost get stuck up it chasing a vociferously protesting magpie.  On Sunday, with the news of the approaching St' Jude's day storm, the Accidental Father had looked at my tree and wondered how shallow its roots were, and whether it might come down in a strong wind. Not wanting to alarm me however, he had kept this thought to himself.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Mad about Bridget: A night with Helen Fielding in Primrose Hill

When an old uni pal - let's call her the Accidental Classicist (for I know no one more geeky about the Romans than she) asked whether I fancied coming along to hear writer, Helen Fielding, talk about her most famous literary creation - the hapless, 'hopeless' singleton, Bridget Jones - I told her to count me in.  The fictional Bridget, via Fielding's 'Bridget Jones' Diary' and its sequel 'The Edge of Reason', had seen me through some tough times as a teenager.  During my miserably soggy final expedition for my Duke of Edinburgh award, my copy of 'The Edge of Reason' was the only thing in my backpack that wasn't soaked through after three days trekking through the Lake District. (It had been carefully stowed deep beneath my clean socks, safely water-tight inside, not one, but two zip-lock bags.) High on a stormy mountaintop in a dripping tent, I sought solace by the light of my headtorch in reading about poor old Bridget's trials and tribulations; forgetting for a few blissful minutes where I was and how much I was wishing to be anywhere else.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Giving a new meaning to the phrase 'cat burglar'...

I have an intruder. Someone that has taken to sneaking into my flat on a regular basis. All it takes is an unguarded front door, or a window left carelessly open, and he is in. I enter rooms to find this unexpected stranger making himself well and truly at home, without so much as a "Do you mind if I come in?" or a "Hi friend, you free to hang out?".  

He has no shame about attending to his personal toilette in the middle of my sitting room floor, regardless of whatever I might be doing, or whoever I might currently be entertaining.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

An Accidental Facelift

Anyone reading this post in a blog reader could be forgiven for not noticing anything new about The Accidental Londoner. All posts look much the same through the lens of Bloglovin' or Feed.ly, or even the dearly departed Google Reader. But over here on the blog itself, things have had a bit of a refresh.  We all need one of those from time to time, eh?
Whilst much of the content is still exactly the same as it was - just a much shinier, neater version of its former self - there are some new pages on the site.  You can find these on the smart new menu bar at the top of the page.
  • Accidental Eats you may recognise as my collection of restaurant and bar reviews.
  • Accidental Travels contains all my tales from my travels - from Ghana to Nepal and even only up to the soggy West Coast of Scotland.
  • Accidental Visits brings together visits to museums, gigs, the theatre, green spaces and iconic buildings in London.
Do have a poke around and see what you can find, and let me know what you think!  Is there anything you'd like to see more or less of? Would love to hear your thoughts...
Massive thanks are due to the lovely Bobbi of Ready To Blog for all her hard work on the new design and her endless patience in dealing with my odd queries and notes! If anyone needs a blog (re)designing, she's your girl.

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Saturday, 5 October 2013

And then something amazing happened...

There are several moments in a blogger's life when they feel like they're finally getting the hang of the whole blogging malarkey, and maybe even doing this weird writing-oversharing-communication thing pretty well.  One such moment might be the day your analytics tell you thousands of people visited your site in a day, or a month, or a year. Another is the thrill you get when someone you admire leaves a kind and generous comment at the bottom of one of your posts.  You might be awarded an accolade or even get invited to speak at an event. Or, the ultimate joy, you might finally be able to jack in the day job and dedicate yourself to blogging as a career rather than a hobby.

But I'm some way off that alas. Which is why a little something that happened earlier this week blew my tiny blogging mind.  It was Wednesday, a day in the middle of a week that has been slowly eroding my energy and patience at an alarming rate. I was delighted to leave the office to catch up with a couple of people and a couple of margharitas.  Needing something to counteract the latter of those two things, we whisked down to the home of the city's most addictive burgers, Five Guys in Covent Garden. We did the standard loitering outside in a queue, we pored over the list of additions to our burgers, filled our cups with ludicrously flavoured soft drinks and finally collected our food and headed downstairs to find a place to perch and tuck in.

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