- I love the sunshine for many reasons, but the biggest one is having the perfect excuse to buy pretty, short skirts - like the cream and blue patterned cotton skirt I bought from Top Shop recently. I also need to buy some of those incredibly comfortable but trendy Havaianas flip flops. M has a blue pair, bought by his sister's friend from Brazil, and I am very jealous. In fact, they remind me of the blue chapals you can buy for a few rupees in India and that you wear around the house. I should have stocked up in February.
- No matter how tired we've been this week, M and I have been trying to set out for work a little earlier than usual for a couple of mornings just so we can stroll together in the morning sunshine, catching up with each other before we go our separate ways into work - he to Fleet Street, me to Oxford Street: walking through Fitrovia, through Covent Garden. We've both got some early meetings for the next two days but when we next get the chance we'd like to stroll through the quiet, leafy squares between Russell Square and the British Museum, and through Chinatown too. I can't think of a nicer way to start my day - well, I can, and we do, but... blush.
- Beth at The Cassandra Pages recently celebrated 26 years of marriage. I asked her to post on what it took to grow a marriage to 26 years; another commenter asked her to post on what not to do in marriage. Beth quoted her grandmother's words of wisdom: "If you and he think you'll always be glad to see each other and have something to say to each other when you wake up in the morning, and don't go to bed angry with each other, you'll be OK." Whole books are written on the subject and yet here is the secret of all good relationships in a nutshell.
On a related note, it annoys me when married people ask me how married life is treating me and then respond with "Oh, just you wait, it's all downhill from here". Some are jesting of course, but not all. So it was refreshing when I was sharing my irritation with a male colleague the other day. He's been married several years and he said marriage is the best thing he's ever done - despite the inevitable low points. He said that when people respond in a consistently negative way he wonders why the hell they got married in the first place. Or why they stay married.
- Madrasi Chick wrote of her frustration at seeing this on the back cover of George Alagiah's book, where the BBC newscaster is described as "From an immigrant boy to an English man". The phrase wound me up too. As I commented on her blog, I resent the implication of 'progress' being made. I also dislike the implication that identity is linear and straightforward. Most people have many identities residing within them. My own parents, for example, were born and brought up in India, came to the UK as immigrants and in the 1980s became British for a variety of reasons. Today, they see themselves as Indian, as British, as immigrants, as settled British nationals (as parents, as spouses, as professionals, as middle class, as... etc etc).
- This month's Good Food magazine has some lovely recipes for us to try this week: last night we made teriyaki beef and lettuce cups, tonight we're having pasta with parsley and hazelnut pesto, and tomorrow we'll most probably make the halloumi salad with orange and mint.
- Tommy has bought an old Cranks vegetarian recipe book and has blogged a wonderful recipe for wholemeal cheese bread. I once owned this book and her posts on it took me right back to my teenage years as a vegetarian and then as a vegan. I often used to eat at Cranks in London - their branch off Carnaby Street had an amazing help yourself buffet counter with phenomenal sprouted bean salads, lentils, smelly cheeses and wholemeal baps. Masala Zone is there now. I was an ethical vegetarian back then and I wonder now if I would have needed to give up meat had there been the abundance of free-range, organic and "humanely" slaughtered meat there is today. I resumed eating meat because my uncle tempted me with Italian salami and bacon at a New Year party in New Delhi - but I think I was ready after 11 years to eat meat again.
- I never have time to watch as much TV as I'd like, but I've been catching some Indian-related programmes on Replay: Anjum Anand's Indian Food Made Easy. I hate to compare, but it's difficult not to, but she's just a little bit more down-to-earth than Nigella Lawson. She wears an awful lot of makeup though. I want to see more of her family - especially her little girl. Sanjeev Bhaskar's trip through India. It's annoying when he makes comments such as how he experiences "a million exotic smells and colours" and how he finds it "unbelievably chaotic" but it's great seeing India behind the flacid commentary. And a documentary on the changes taking place in Calcutta. All part of the BBC's India & Pakistan 07 series. India should "turn 60" more often.