Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Catching up, part 2

More catching up: We're in the market for a new kitchen - can't think of anything better or worse than starting off in Ikea / My daughter spent half term at a Les Miserables music and drama workshop and performed at the end of the week... Master of the house, doling out the charm -- Ready with a handshake and an open palm -- Tells a saucy tale, makes a little stir -- Customers appreciate a bon-viveur / We love Mishkin's, a Jewish restaurant in Covent Garden run by the Polpo & Spuntino guy - I'm particularly in love with their meatloaf, mash and greens / The Roy Lichtenstein retrospective at the Tate Modern was spectacular - it was particularly enlightening for us to see, for the first time, his recent Chinese landscapes which were ethereal and beautiful / The husband and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary at Dinings / Our daughter is heavily into Moshi Monsters now, collecting cards and characters, along with most of her primary school it seems - this is her own photo, taken at a family member's birthday lunch at Toff's fish and chips restaurant in Muswell Hill.

Catching up, part 1

We've been busy chez Shade family: Cakes at Patisserie Valerie on Old Compton Street in Soho / Rambutans and longans from Chinatown / Homemade Cambodian beef loc lac with lime, chilli and ginger dipping sauces / My daughter's favourite shop in Chinatown / Happy Chinese New Year! / Empty plates at So Sushi in Soho / Homemade habas con morcilla / Shopping in Brindisa, Borough Market / Our daughter recorded some songs on cassette tape at the Tate Modern / Tate Modern / Wahaca, Southbank / Churros y chocolate at Wahaca on the Southbank / Outside the Hayward Gallery, Southbank / Burgers in Byron on St Giles / A few trips to the British Museum / Asian rooms at the British Museum / I'm losing weight doing Couch to 5K (again) and fasting twice a week on the 5:2 diet - I'm fasting a full 24 hours each time and feel terrific.

Saturday, 19 January 2013



Eating... Chocolate from Madagascar and Venezuela.

Dreaming... This is the year we redecorate.

Viewing... Dayanita Singh's File Museum at the Frith Gallery.

Watching... Laptop by Kaushik Ganguly, and Akram Khan's Desh.

Winter wonderland

The snow fell briefly here in London, but we managed to enjoy it... Snowballing in our back garden / Blowing hot chocolate bubbles / A snowy stroll across Hampstead Heath

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Here are some of our highlights... A day out at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park / Making Christmas cake / Decorating the Christmas tree / Meeting Santa at London Zoo / Opening Christmas presents / Decorating the Christmas cake / Eating goose and all the trimmings for Christmas Day lunch / We ate an Indian feast for Boxing Day lunch / Our daughter went to see Disney On Ice at Wembley with some of her school friends / We spent New Year's Day on Hampstead Heath

Friday, 26 October 2012

Withdrawing into Winter

We've been making the most of the last Autumnal rays, trying to spend time outdoors during the weekends - exploring large gardens or stocking up on hardy plants to take our own little garden through Winter. But mostly I, for one, would like to withdraw - into writing and crafting. Creative hibernation.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

My favourite writing tool

For the past four drafts of my book, I've written and edited directly into Word. But for the fifth, and hopefully the final, draft I'm using Scrivener to help me scrutinise each and every scene, both in isolation and within context of the whole. You can do this in Word, of course, but somehow the visual nature of Scrivener makes it so much easier. It also organises all your research material within the same screen or window so everything is to hand. No more scrabbling through folders to locate something important. I love this tool and highly recommend it to anyone writing a book (fiction, non-fiction, academic) or a research paper.

I've been working on this book for nearly two years. When I first started writing it, I thought I'd finish within eighteen months at the latest. But I didn't count on three things: 1. Distractions. There is always something else I need to be doing (or others need me to be doing for them). 2. Fear. Fear of completing it because the next draft may be better; fear of completing it and sending it out into the world for fear of rejection; fear of being so stymied by rejection that I don't write another book. 3. Childcare. Looking after little R has been a wonderful experience. I rushed back, by my own choice, to fulltime work when she was just 10 months old so I feel blessed that I've been able to take care of her this past year and a half and experience her life and growth and personality to the full. Now she's four years old and at school fulltime so I can no longer use her as an excuse for not writing. That leaves distractions and fear, which I now have to resolve to ignore. Wish me luck!

PS This is not a sponsored post for Scrivener. They don't need me.