Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wellcome weekend


Our warm and sunny Saturday began with apricot and oatmeal bread with thin slivers of hard hayflower cheese, big mugs of Colombian coffee, apricot sheeps milk yoghurt, the weekend FT and Monocle. We dropped off and picked up the weekly dry-cleaning, bought red snapper and king prawns from the fishmongers, beef and bacon from the butchers, baby aubergines, tindori, shim, paneer and a box of Alfonso mangoes from the Indian grocery store. Then we headed into town to meet an old Oxford friend visiting from Arizona.

The three of us had met in Oxford a few years ago. Like me, she was doing her PhD in anthropology, but a year ahead. Unlike me, she remained in the profession and is now an assistant professor, whereas I've moved completely out of academia after a brief spell as a lecturer and am now in advertising. We both specialised in Native American cultures. She lived on Zuni in New Mexico. I worked on two Lakota Sioux reservations in South Dakota. Now she is briefly back in the UK to finish off her book. Her partner is an artist, a photographer, based also in Arizona.

We wandered around the Medicine Man exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in Euston, featuring an eclectic collection including old Japanese sex aids, torture chairs, infant identification kits, snuff boxes and oil paintings of birthing scenes. We ate sublime quiches, a chicken and tarragon pie, a cupcake and some Black Forest gateau at the fantastic Peyton and Byrne cafe. Then we walked down Charlotte Street for beers and cocktails sitting outside the Charlotte Street Hotel, chatting about academia, photography and our personal lives. Our friend has that rare quality whereby she talks incessantly but her chatter is always interesting. Several hours rushed by immersed in talk.

M and I returned home, and he cooked me a meal of grilled red snapper, rocket salad and a pesto made from black olives, capers and basil leaves. The flavour of the snapper was delicate and fortunately there were few bones for me to contend with. This was followed by a big bowl of cherrries for dessert in front of the TV.

I awoke on Sunday still exhausted. My body refuses to completely recover from the stress of my week these days. I need a complete month off to do absolutely nothing. Alas, that's not going to happen any time soon. We lay in late then M went off to the gym and I settled in for a sunny morning with the papers and a novel. In the afternoon, we went into town to buy gym gear in Niketown and UniGlo. Then back home to meet M's sister and mum for a lovely vegetarian Keralan meal in the very cochineal-pink Rasa in Stoke Newington. Afterwards, we watched Maria Bello and William H. Macy in The Cooler on DVD.

7 comments:

Silent One said...

What a change from anthropology to advertising. How on earth did you manage that ?
Your weekends seem like so much fun. you seem to be a treasurehouse of information on good places to eat out in London.

Planethalder said...

It is easy having a busy, fun life in London when you don't have children. No doubt when M and I have kids, our lives will change considerably - no less fun or busy, but different, as I'm sure you know!

The change from anthropology to advertising is a post in and of itself - when I have a little time I will write that post.

Southways said...

All this while I thought you had blocked comments! Finally I can tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog.....
I still have not managed to shop at the Whole Foods Market. X spent two months in Boston recently and did not like the vegetables that were sold at the Boston outlets! I have been showing him the pictures on your blog to convince his that the London outlet is GREAT! We still buy our stuff from a lot individual shops.

Broom said...

The Girl was born in NM and is part Indian!
She was so excited when she saw that Whole Foods Market was coming to London.

Planethalder said...

Hi Broom, She was born in the awesomely beautiful New Mexico?!? Why did she leave, how long did she live there. What tribal blood does she have - there are so many tribes in that state.... Perhaps you could do a little post on The Girl ;-)

Anonymous said...

malayali or keraliya food, never 'keralan'.

Planethalder said...

Thank you for the correction Anon.