Willpower schmillpower

I’ve been thinking a lot about willpower recently as at the moment  I seem unable to say no to Starbucks every morning, yes to running more than 3km every weekend or no to bright coloured nail varnish. So whilst there are many many stories that I could tell you that would prove to you just how rubbish my willpower is at the moment I thought I’d focus on just the one story. After all a post about all incidences of my rubbish willpower would take about ten hours for you to read, let alone me to write! So here’s an example of my inability to say no to new books!

Recently I reorganised all the books on my shelves and got rid of those I no longer wanted, etc, whilst I was doing this I realised that I have a lot of books on my shelf that I still haven’t got round to reading. When I say a lot what I actually mean is 64 books (plus a good 20 on my kindle), um yeah I seem to have gotten carried away there. These are books I’ve accumulated over the last few years so it’s not like I bought them all in the last month and also a lot of these are charity shop purchases and not brand new ones. But still that’s a fair amount of books to be getting on with. You’d think, that seeing as I have this many books still to read, that I wouldn’t need to buy anymore at least for a few months, until say the pile is only about 40 tall. Right?

Um well no, you see this is where my lack of willpower comes in. As since I last counted I’ve gained the following books:

  • On Kindle: Dark Places and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Gifted: Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  • For my bookshelf: Wonder by R. J. Palacio, Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades, Rick Riordan and The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Yes so another seven books, plus the eleven I was sent by my new boss to read up on before I start my new job. And that’s in the last three weeks alone – what is actually wrong with me. I mean that’s obscene isn’t it? If I don’t stop this book buying obsessive route I appear to be on right this second then I’m going to have well over a hundred books to read really soon. And that’s going to take a hell of a long time to get through – I meant I probably average one book a week so that’s over two years. So yes as you can see my willpower is officially kaput, any suggestions on how I can kick my willpower back in to place? All and any suggestions welcome, I really need to get my willpower to start working again as my bookcases really can’t take it!


Theatre trips, the zoo and burgers

Over this last week I’ve barely been in my flat, it’s been absurd. I think I’ve forgotten what it even looks like and let’s not even think about the absolute mess it is in – it’s in desperate need of cleaning (and hoovering)! So as I’ve not been in my flat, what have I been up to I hear you ask? Well there was:

  • The Hot House play at Trafalgar Studios – AMAZING!
  • Drinks and dinner on The Southbank – Wonderland, The Prop Store and Pizza Express – with good friends. Only slightly stressful to organise and to find somewhere to eat…
  • Lunch at the Shake Shack – absolutely scrumptious burger, fries and peanut butter milkshake. The perfect way to spend lunchtime I think!
  • Dinner at Belgo’s before watching The Cripple of Inishmann starring Daniel Radcliffe – absolutely brilliant
  • Work, work and more work. In fact two days involved 10 solid hours of work. Not my favourite thing.
  • An evening run – just over two miles so not THAT bad considering the heat
  • Friday afternoon off – hooray for a bit of sofa time
  • The Ladykillers at the theatre – we were only five rows back. Excellent!
  • A saturday morning run before cake baking – could I be any more domesticated?
  • BBQ time at the parentals to meet the sister’s boyfriend’s parents – they were lovely FYI. BBQ food, sunshine, hammock time, giant garden games and cake: my favourites!
  • London Zoo with the cousins we saw penguins, giraffes, llamas, camels, turtles, fish, a hippo, tigers, gorillas and loads more! Such a lovely day in the sunshine, despite the resulting sunburn.
  • The Diner for good ol’ burgers and chips – yum!
  • Collapsing on the sofa for two hours of TV before sleep.
  • What an exhausting week!

Touristy times. Take one.

After very little deliberation I have come to the conclusion that I would be quite happy to spend my entire life being a tourist. There really is something wonderfully enjoyable about wandering around and ticking sights off of a list, and I don’t even need to go far away to enjoy it, being a tourist in my own city is good enough for me. I reached this conclusion after last weeks four days of touristy shenanigans with the Aussie cousins. Having them over for the first time in forever was the perfect excuse for some time off and a lovely four-day weekend. So what did we get up to, I hear you ask?

Well, Thursday started with a riverside walk from London Bridge to The Tower of London and then a rest stop at Zizzi’s – it’s a well-known fact that you can’t get fully into touristy fun without a full stomach!!! The next stop on the tour was the wonderful Tower of London, that place really is amazing. It’s been years since I’ve been there and I’d forgotten how fantastic it is. I could have spent hours there looking at the impressive buildings, gorgeous crown jewels, brilliantly shiny armour, searching for the animal sculptures and learning all about the history of the Tower and the original mint. It really was fascinating. The jewels are absolutely stunning, imagine wearing them! The other artifacts were impressive too, I particularly loved the massive punch bowl, which can hold something ridiculous like 50 bottles of wine – wow! Although it was sad that the King who commissioned it was unlikely to have ever used it as he died before it was completed.

After the Tower (and the obligatory photo of Tower Bridge) we headed on the river boat – my favourite form of transport – across to the Globe. I always love seeing that building, as it’s such a contrast to the surrounding buildings – it’s like being transported back in time. Sadly we didn’t have time to pop in and do the tour or museum, but one day I definitely will do it! From the Globe we went along to the Tate Modern and ambled around the different exhibitions. Whilst there were some interesting displays and paintings, a lot of it I just didn’t get – I’m sorry I just don’t see how it’s art. The view from the cafe at the top on the other hand, that is definitely art. It’s just amazing – you’ve got half of London laid out in front of you, beautiful! After the Tate we hopped across London to Harrods and explored the shop, saying hello to the giant bears and Playmobil people along the way – how cute.

Day two on the London sightseeing tour started at St. Paul’s Cathedral where we spent three hours exploring and learnign about this fascinating building. I honestly could visit that place every day and still find it interestingk. Now I’m not the best with heights, but I managed to make it up to the Whispering Gallery, but I couldn’t make it any further up as I started to feel a bit wobbly – apparently the views from the top are stunning. One of the great things about the Cathedral is that you get a free audio guide as part of your ticket, so needless to say I listened to every single bit of information on offer. I did a history degree – would you expect anything else? It really is amazing to see what was achieved with the building of the cathedral, especially considering the time – it’s amazing. Also, interesting fact alert, did you know that Wren’s design was built so fast that he was alive to see it finished, the first architect of such a cathedral. What a feat. From St Paul’s Cathedral we headed to Hyde Park, another must see site, where we ate lunch at the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen, one of my favourite eateries. Read more about my love for that eating place here. As the weather was so lovely – I know unbelievable right! – we walked through Hyde Park and Green Park to Buckingham Palace, before heading along the Mall, to Horse Guards Parade where we were in time for the changing of the guards. Then we wandered down Whitehall to the Palace of Westminster, always a bit of a pinch yourself moment I find. In the evening we went to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which was amazing, you HAVE to see it as soon as possible. My favourite bit? The Squirrels!!

So there we have it, that’s what we got up to on the first two days of our touristy fun. Check back soon for days three and four, where we ventured west to a very rainy Wiltshire!

Fun time lately

This week has been a fantastic week, it has flown by and it’s been absolutely loads of fun! It started with me having great intentions of snacking on healthy things rather than the usual collection of chocolatey goods. With this idea in mind I took all sorts of healthy snacks with me to work on Monday including  grapes, a banana and Graze boxes, sadly I failed to ignore the pull of the chocolate and I still have one Graze box on my desk, oops! Oh well, maybe this coming week then? On Monday night I watched Shrek with work friends and I still can’t decide what I thought about it. I have mixed feelings about it – I fear it was perhaps a bit too pantomimey, although I did enjoy the song at the end and all the nursery rhyme characters! The penny sweets from Hope and Greenwood were a revelation though – you can’t beat fried eggs and pink mushrooms can you!?

The Big Egg Hunt Launched on Tuesday and I headed to Covent Garden to see all the lovely eggs, this National Rail egg is my favourite one I think. Aren’t the colours wonderful and the papercut of the London skyline is just lovely and delicate, so not what I expected from the National Rail at all, but well done them! Tuesday night was full of pancakes, we made a tower of about 15 and had lots of scrumptious toppings, I have to say mini marshmallows on a pancake is certainly a revelation. I will definitely be a lot more pancakes with that topping in the future! I also got a bit carried away with Vine when I was making pancakes, it was sooooo much fun. Feel free to follow me on Vine if you’ve started to use it, I’m Fi Evans on there.

On Friday I headed to Peppa Pig World for a work meeting and it was such an amazing place! I wish I was a 4-year-old all over again so I could have felt the excitement that kids do when visiting it. It’s truly so much fun. We had a tour of the park and even got to go on the Dinosaur Ride – AMAZING!!! On Friday night there was a Disney Marathon with friends, where we watched Cinderella, Mulan and Beauty and the Beast and ate Disney inspired food. We had Ursula mac ‘n’ cheese parcels, Ratatouille inspired quiche, pesto pastries, princess cupcakes, princess popcorn and Minnie Mouse Cupcakes. The food was totally delicious and the films as wonderful as I remember. I do feel sad for our neighbours though as there was some interesting noises when we were singing – and I use the term singing in the loosest sense!

Saturday was a totally relaxed day with a little bit of pootling round the shops (I returned with no shopping bags though, hooray!), a trip to the cinema to watch Beautiful Creatures and a lot of slobbing on the sofa – perfect! Sunday in comparison was full on! It started with a 9am run along the river from The National to Southwark Bridge, then all the way to Westminster and then back to The National Theatre. It was 3.75 miles in total, in just over 40 minutes, so I think this bodes well for next weeks 10k. It was lovely to be out in London so early and see the city at it’s best, it really is so beautiful! Plus I also saw the Dalek Invasion on Westminster Bridge – very random! After an early morning run it was back to the flat for Lau and I as where we cooked our first ever roast dinner for a friend. It was a little bit stressful at times getting everything cooked at once, but it was definitely a huge success. It was simply delicious, the chicken was perfectly cooked and really moist and the potatoes were wonderfully crispy – I’m so impressed with myself. Thanks are due to the BBC Good Food site though as we did have to turn to this recipe and this one too to get it all done! The lovely roast was followed by a classic film, Three Men and a Little Lady, which I haven’t watched for years and absolutely adore. It’s just so brilliant, I think I’ve watched it about 150 times in my life, yet it still gets me at all the same points – Ted Danson’s vicar reveal, the liver mousse, the ingenious rap, playing hide-and-seek game with the butler and of course the cringe-making Fiona Shaw when she’s coming on to the wonderful Tom Selleck. Gosh I love that film. The Perfect Sunday was rounded off by snoozes on the sofa, finishing Insurgent, blogging and TV watching – win!

Work, running and cinema fun!

This week I’ve been crazy busy with work stuff, so busy in fact that I failed to take a single photo that wasn’t for my January photo challenge until Friday. How ridiculous is that?! Anyway as I’m sure you’ve guessed this weekend could not have come faster after lots of work, an early morning DVD workout and a fair amount of catching up with friends – yes I did watch Brave for the second time in less than a month, your point is?! Yes that’s been my week!

Thankfully the weekend was far, far superior than my slow work-filled week as it involved lots of fun things! Firs up was a Friday night trip to the National Theatre to see Alan Bennett’s new play People, which was absolutely spectacular. It really was wonderful and not just because they sang Sandie Shaw songs! We also had dinner at the Mezzanine restaurant in the National where the food was truly scrumptious. I had a delicious pork and duck terrine and mushroom Wellington, which was then followed by a Tiramisu during the interval of People.

Saturday started nice and slowly with a very lazy morning of eating Easter chocolate and reading before a hop, skip and a jump round the shops. Hello new shoes, jumper and leggings! Next up was a 10k run near my parents’ house, so queue gorgeous vistas and lots of mud, bogs and almost falls! Totally worth it though – 10k, hooray!!! Although I may have to reconsider letting my Dad choose the route in future – look what his route did to my nice trainers!
In the evening I finally watched Lincoln at the cinema, I feel like I’ve been waiting a lifetime for this film to be out. Thankfully I was not disappointed at all, it was superb. Both Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field were absolutely amazing, as was Tommy Lee Jones who I don’t think has been lauded enough for his portrayal of Thaddeus Stevens. It was amazing that they managed to make the film seem like it featured Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln in person rather than actors. There were two scenes that really stood out for me; the first was with Lincoln and his eldest son, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt which was perfectly done and you could see they totally understood one another even if they weren’t in agreement at all! The second scene was between the President and First Lady and involved an argument that was both heart-breaking and tender all at once. Truly brilliant

Sunday was all about the Super Bowl! After a morning of mooching around the shops and work – yes on a weekend, urgh! – I started on preparing the Super Bowl snacks of chocolate brownies and a popcorn concoction. Don’t they look delicious? Sadly I didn’t make it through the entire match – damn the silly power cut, although wasn’t it absolutely hilarious?! – but I did make it until about 3 in the morning, which I don’t think was that bad going considering I’d been up since 8am on Sunday!

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