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    Olympic Village Wandering – Fail.

    So after months of discussing it,
    we finally got ourselves over to East London, to check out the Olympic Village.
    We were up early, settled into our Tube seats for the cross-London journey,
    and came out of Stratford station armed with a wanders map.

    I love the random industrial
    pieces of art that are dotted around the site, including the below. Irreverant
    and gleaming they are beacons for lost travellers hoping to see Olympic glory.
    Or something like that. They are awesome.

    Trouble is, the Olympic Park went
    into lock-down mode about 3 weeks ago. D’oh! We did however manage to check-out
    the shopping centres before pit-stopping for fro-yo. Mmmmmmmmmm.

    Todays workout: Rest day, but we wandered for a couple oh hours.

    What do you think about the Olympics?

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    Summer fun

    Yes, you read that correctly – it
    now feels like summer. The last few days here have been pretty good, and our
    28’ day today was amazing once we got away from our desks – sunshine, with a
    bit of a breeze – so we decided to get out our BBQ for the first time this year
    and fire it up.

    As a totally unexpected bonus, my
    box of New Zealand beer arrived which I immediately opened & popped a few
    in the freezer to chill down whilst prepping our dinner. I can’t tell you how
    excited I was – a taste of Summer, on a hot Summers day!

    Everything fell into place – our
    groceries came bang on time – 7.03 for their delivery slot of 7pm-9pm (well
    played grocery company – they must heard about our plans!) so hubby picked up
    charcoal whilst I put it away (aaah, domestic bliss). We pulled out a couple of
    sirloin steaks out & marinated them with Garlic and Worcestershire Sauce,
    accompanied by all the vege we fancied – Portobello Mushrooms, Sweet & Red
    Peppers, Courgettes and Cherry Tomatoes drizzled with a touch of Olive Oil.

    Oh, me, oh my.

    We sat outside in the sunshine,
    eating, drinking, catching up. It was lovely – my favourite day this summer so
    far. We were even joined by the wee beast, though I’m not sure if if was our
    company that she was there for, so much as the juicy steak she could smell.

    We even planned to cook way too
    much so we would vege in our salads tomorrow – yum!

    We always laugh about BBQ – it’s
    almost perfect food; slightly charred, healthy, great accompaniment to a beer
    or two, hubby gets to place with fire, and there is so little cleaning up. We
    always send a little laughing thanks to the caveman who first discovered that
    burning your meat improves the flavour.


    Todays workout: Rest day.

    Are you getting that summer feeling yet?

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    I think the sky is falling. It’s certainly raining poetry…

    Tonight I learned, as part of my ex-pat experience, that it’s really hard to catch twirling poems falling from the sky. As part of the cultural events
    around the Olympics, a friend of a friend who is part of the Chilean collective Casagrande has organised to drop
    10,000 bookmarks over Waterloo, containing an piece poetry from poets selected
    from each of the countries participating in the Olympic Games.

    We nipped out for a wee bite of
    Dinner then wandered down to the Southbank.

    It’s a bit blurry, sorry.

    It was so much fun seeing
    everyone dancing, running and diving for the bookmarks as they floated down. It
    transformed some very serious people into little kids again as they scooped
    bookmarks from the air. The look on everyone’s faces – including my friends was
    priceless as we caught them.

    The helicopter had problems to start with, but managed to adjust to the wind & direction. We managed to catch a few and my favourite is below. I have a confession to make, I lost the actual poem & who it was by, but it is beautiful.

    Todays workout; 30 minute walk from work to our meeting place for dinner, 20 minutes twisting, jumping, laughing = toning?

    Have you ever written poetry? I have, and it was terrible – I was an angsty teenager, with no real trouble.

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    Sunday Mornings

    There isn’t quite anything so
    lovely as a rare Sunday lie-in, with your best boy & fur baby. We treated
    ourselves to a lovely cup of tea, and gastronomes delight – Fish Finger
    Sandwiches. Between the
    crisp Fish Fingers, luscious white bread, the Tartare Sauce which was handmade,
    and well … why mess with perfection? Not super healthy, but we behaved for the rest of the day to make up for it.

    Queue the Maroon 5 (Edit: I’ve
    just noticed this should be cue – do you think this is a Freudian slip showing
    how I’m becoming Anglicized? The English love queuing. It’s quite refreshing though that people show such manners, and amusing  when waiting for something and someone butts in line out of place getting ‘the tutt’.)

    “Sunday morning, rain is falling
    Steal some covers, share some skin
    Clouds are shrouding us in moments unforgettable
    You twist to fit the mold that I am in
    But things just get so crazy, living life gets hard to do
    And I would gladly hit the road, get up and go if I knew
    That someday it would lead me back to you”

    It is surprising though, how many
    up-scale restaurants are beginning to go-back-to-basics pulling home comfort
    recipes out of their childhoods and are trying to re-invent or put a gourmet
    twist on them. Every cooking show you see lately seems to be harkening back to
    past favourites.


    Todays workout: Rest day + usual Sunday chores.

    What is your favourite way to begin a Sunday morning? What is your
    soundtrack?

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    Bank of England and £400,000 of Gold in your hands

    I held £400,000 of gold in my hands this morning, in the Bank of England, and no I wasn’t chased out by security. They let me.

    We couldn’t take any photos of it, but we walked through along the fabulous mosaic hallways, were taken through a brief history of the bank site (originally in rented accommodation, they moved to a purpose-built site in Threadneedle street, where they are now, then compulsory purchased the next-door church! which they bulldozed), wandered through the incredibly plush bank governers quarters, perused the Polish crystal-ware kept for the Queen luncheons, before we came to the highlight of the tour – the banknote museum. No really, the gold bar holding. Awesome. It’s 13kg and heavier than you think it would be.

    Cool geek fact – Queen Elisabeth II is the first UK monarch to be featured on UK paper notes. 

    I’m just disappointed we couldn’t keep the gold bar.

    I have however ever put in a good word for you with the security guards, and if you ask nicely you can play with 17kgs of a gold bar. How is that for an unexpected blog reading perk? It was pretty cool, an unusual ways to spend a morning. Check out their website if you’re interested (and get there early!). There are only a few weekends they open in the year, but it’s worth it.

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