Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Last Day in London!

Well its my last day today working in London. It's been 5 weeks of experiencing a very different type of life. Getting up going to work, standing on the underground for an hour, working till late, getting the underground home for an hour, having tea and going to bed!

It's not all been bad- as my blog shows I've had some fun times too. I think it would be different if both Nathan and I were down here and I had a home to come to each night. Although it was good to spend time with Mum in her flat and share her life in London.
Last night I was so tired I got a taxi home along the Embankment... it was so lovely. It looked so picturesque. And just as my taxi stopped at the traffic lights at Big Ben it struck 9pm... it was quite cool seeing it 'bong' in real life. (for the American's benefit Big Ben is always shown on the evening news! as it is beside the houses of Parliament.)
The one thing I will defenitely not miss about London is the Underground. Now it's a great system when it works but all this week Bank Stations escalators haven't been working so I've had to get off and get a bus after being on the District line for 45 minutes.. and it is SO overcrowded in the morning and sweaty! The number of times I've stood with seat dripping down my back after I'd just had a shower!! (I'm sure you wanted to know that!!- sorry!)
But it's been a good experience and I've enjoyed working with Martha Schwartz Partners. I've also learnt a lot and look forward to finding a similar full time opportunity in Edinburgh!

I leave tonight for a whirl wind 48 hour trip to Edinburgh- I have a second interview with a company on Friday. I am also going to see my Grandma- who has sadly not been well. And then Nathan and I are going for dinner on Friday night- I can't wait to see him. I'm glad I've had a chance to go back to Edinburgh as otherwise I would have only seen him once in 7 weeks!

As I am flying back down to London on Saturday night along with Becky and Dougie and we are off to join my parents in Cape Cod!! Hooray! I can't wait.
I am there for 2 weeks vacation in a house that my Mum has rented for us. We have family and friends coming to visit so it should be a great trip! We are staying in Woods Hole near the Martha's Vineyard ferry drop off. I think I should still have internet access when I'm there but if not that's where I'll be and I'll see you in 2 weeks!!

Re-inventing an outfit!

Well I know I should pretend that I never wear the same outfit twice but I have to confess my finances are not that extravagant right now!

So with three summer weddings to attend I wore the same dress at all three.. I just changed my accessories.. a different pashmina or bolero and a colour coordinating fasinator.

Annabelle and Pete's: Purply Pink fasinator and Bolero with gold shoes and matching bag.
Emma and Sean's: This is what I bought the dress for originally. With a big SJP corsage fasinator and pink pashmina... I loved my little pearl bag too. The shoes I bought for the outfit we decided were too heavy so we stuck with the gold shoes!

Lucy was not quite ready for this photo but you can see my fasinator better.
Amber and David's: You sadly can't see my fasinator in this photo- if I wear it again I have to remember to attach it to my left side- I also smile by tilting my head to the right in photos! (yes I do have a good side and a bad side!!)

So that's my new challenge for every wedding season- to buy one dress but accessorize it with different colours. It's so economic and I was lucky that there was not the same people there- but you know what even if there was... everyone is having to watch there pennies.. it's just reality!

Next we have Duncan and Rebecca's wedding when I return from holiday on the 4th of October- sadly it will be too cold to wear the cream dress but I have got an old pasmina and fasinator (which I made) to accessorize with a new dress. I bought the dress over a year ago so fingers crossed all the Portuguese tarts I've eaten don't prevent me from wearing it!

More Wedding Photos!

The Wedding was held at the Waldorf Hotel near Covent Garden and the room was beautifully laid out. There were 12 tables of 10 and ours is nearest to the front of this photo. Right beside the dance floor where the live band that was playing. After the reception there was also a disco.

David's Mum Cheryl gave her welcome speech which was followed by a warm hearted speech by Amber's Dad... those American's always get you with the tear jerking comments and sentiment!

Becky spinning Lucy aroung- alot! This is what Becky seemed to be doing for a lot of the evening. Then I took over and my arms were about to fall off! But she was great fun! So comical!
Below: Lucy, Becky, Dougie and Sarah. I really like this photo!
Becky caught the bouquet!! She text my Mum in America and told her and she replied that 'she'd warned Dad!!' It was very cute!! Dougie commented that it didn't count as Amber had a mis throw the first time.... I think it still counts though!!

This photo shows how lovely the dresses are. I wasn't sure at first but seeing them on the day they looked great and were a brilliant colour. I loved the backlessness of Amber's dress. Really simple and elegant. Gorgeous!!

Amber and David's Wedding!

Amber and David Goldapple after their ceremony. They had a civil ceremony and then a Jewish blessing which was very beautiful and filled with tradition. The Kiddush cup that they drank their wine out of was leant to them by David's Grandfather who has had it in his family for years.
Becky and Dougie. I have some beautiful pictures of them which are length ways- I will need to get them up! Becky looked amazing- I loved the bridesmaid dresses.
Me and Lucy Crawford- Wilkinson. Lucy sat next to me at dinner and was very entertaining!
Becky and I
Sarah Crawford-Wilkinson, Amber Goldapple, Lucy Crawford-Wilkinson and Karen Lindsey- Amber's Mum. Lucy is Amber's Goddaughter and Sarah's son Sebastian is Becky's godson- but he stayed with his Dad and new sister Claudia in Edinburgh.

I have loads more photos of the wedding! 150+ (I won't post them all!) But I need to flip them right side up and my photo CD is playing up for the moment so hopefully I can do it tomorrow.

The Emma's in Covent Garden!

Saturday 13th SeptemberThese two crack me up! But not as much as they make each other giggle! It was so good to see them joking around. Emma G (as she is now) was down with Sean, her husband (sounds so funny to say!) as they'd gone to see Stevie Wonder the night before. Emma B and I met them in Covent Garden (back at the same place we'd been the weekend before!) The Rock Garden!

It was great fun and we had a good giggle and catch up! I was just sad Hillary couldn't be there!

Not quite sure why we all look so jaundioused!! I think it was because the sun was setting!

Emma and Sean headed off about 6 and Emma and I went back to my Mum's flat to watch some tv and enjoy the evening... We had visions of sitting on her balcony sipping wine- relaxing. Only to get home and discover that she had taken the key with her to America!!

We felt like caged animals looking out at the gorgeous balcony and not able to enjoy it!

So we got our tasty M&S meal for 2 for £10- including a bottle of wine (what a bargain) and we settled down to watch the Proms (A summer classical music festival that accumulates in the last night of the proms where everyone is very patriotic) Emma's little sister Anna is in the Scottish National Youth Choir so we watched out for her- and sure enough we spotted her!
By the time the night was over we'd had way more than a bottle of wine (each!) and were dancing on the bed pretending to wave our Union Jack flags and signing along to Rule Britannia!! Oh! Dear!! Needless to say my head was a little sore the next day!

Office Eating!

Well since I have been down here I haven't been eating that healthly- Nathan and I usually make meals from scratch and although my portions are too big they are pretty healthy.

The first weekend I went to Borough Market with my Mum she bought me a Portuguese custard tart. They are gorgeous!!

Then I discovered that the Italian Deli I often go to for lunch makes them- as does this great cake shop called 'Sweet' and so when I have been stressed out I have been talking myself off for a walk and coming back with a Portuguese custard tart!!!

The ones I've been eating aren't as brown as this!

Portuguese-style egg tarts were evolved from "pastel de nata", a traditional Portuguese custard pastry that consists of custard in a crème brûlée-like consistency caramelized fashion in a puff pastry case. It was created more than 200 years ago by Catholic Sisters at Jeronimos Monastery at Belem in Lisbon. Casa Pastéis de Belém was the first pastry shop outside of the convent to sell this pastry in 1837, and it is now a popular pastry in every pastry shop around the world owned by Portuguese descendants.

To balance this out and so I don't turn into a total pork pie I have been taking advantage of one of the benefits of being in this office. They get fruit delivered twice a week! So good! Each floor has a huge bowl full! So it means that we all eat healthly and if you have no pennies for your lunch at least you can have a bunch of grapes and a bananna!

I think every office should provide this!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Dinner Parties

I just read this post on the blog on

September 16, 2008 posted by Pixi
Are Dinner Parties Off the Menu?
"Remember the days when Mum would usher you upstairs to be on your best behaviour as she entertained her friends with a lavish dinner party? The best china and glass adorn the table, ready meals turn into gourmet dinners and candelabras glow alongside fresh cut flowers . Well decades on we'd now apparently rather chuck out the candles and indulge in a relaxed supper !

I am much more at home creating a myriad of soul food dishes with friend bustling in the kitchen rather than running frantically between the dining room and kitchen a la 1950s domestic godess. To me 21st dinner parties are more about enjoying good food with good friends than getting busy with a full dinner service and polishing crystal all day. However, while I may be one of the new 'Jamie' chuck it all together generation of cooks, do you think tradition is best when hosting a dinner party?

So when it comes to dinner parties, are you a fussy Fanny Craddock or nifty Nigella when it comes to dinner parties?"It asked you to leave your thoughts and so it got me thinking!!

I have to say my informal dinners have the fresh cut flowers and the candles but not the pomp and ceremony! Best of both worlds!! ... come to think of it Nathan and I's teas on a weeknight sometimes have the candles and flowers too!!

Coincidently I was thinking about my parents dinner parties over this last weekend and I have so many memories of my mum getting ready the smell of her hair spray filling the top landing of our house. She always looked fantastic- most outfits I remember had brilliant 80's shoulder pads! My dad always smelled of shaving foam and after shave and then the two of them would run around like crazy people- either because they were late for someone elses dinner or they were rushing to finilize their own party.

It was always so exciting to hear their voices drifting upstairs and the roars of laughter!

My Mum is an amazing cook... this is the woman who on her own 40th birthday cooked Pigeon for 40 people as the main course- with an oven that was on the blink!! And it turned out brilliantly!

My Mum was always pretty strict on my sister and I's sweetie (candy) consumption (Friday treats were infact that.. a once a week treat!) but after dinner parties we would sneak downstairs in the morning to a room filled with stale cigar smoke (I love cigar smoke!) and there would be the coffee cups and remains of the petit fours... brandy snaps, viennese curled biscuits... (not sure why there such a cigar theme!) and mint chocolates... and we would eat as many as we could without eating too many so they'd notice it was us!

This has really got me thinking that I'd love to do a proper dress up dinner party and get everyone in suits and dresses... but it ends up being so much work and so expensive too!! Perhaps I can wait till we have a bigger house and a proper dining table!

Maybe I just need to stick to my suppers with friends and include the candles and flowers!!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Another Rugby Win!

Well my boy has been in the papers again!

There must be something about me being away that means he is playing better! Maybe it's the extra time he's spending in the gym (I really need to get myself there too!) or maybe he's not getting such heavy meals made for him...

Well whatever it is he is playing really well. On Saturday they won their game against Currie 17-10 and Nathan got Man of the Match- and a nice bottle of champagne as his reward!

Here is a link to his article in the local Edinburgh newspaper... Pike claims Accies have more bite after Anniversary struggle!

As you might have seen in my blog before last year was the 150 year anniversary of the club. It was their first time back in the first division in a few years and they struggled.. just managing to stay up!! What a nail bitter that was!

But they are 2 out of 3 so far this season and I couldn't be happier! They put so much effort into it. And it's really nice to see Nathan in the press!

His Mum has cut out all of his press clippings along the way and it will be a great heirloom to pass on to our children one day.

Friday, 12 September 2008


Well at the moment I am still in London working for my Mum in the Marketing Department... well currently I am the Marketing Dept!!

The Marketing Manager is on Sabatical to Bali for 4 months- lucky thing!! And the Marketing Coordinator in the US office is off on maternity leave... and yesterday my Mum headed out to the States on her 3 week vacation- so there is just little old me left!!

I have a HUGE Submission that I have been working on this week- it's been so frustrating! I don't know the past projects well enough and there is not enough information on the systems- it's in people's heads (not so good when they aren't here!!)

I know they are working on improving their systems but oh boy this week has been a test!

I am almost there though- I just need to get some info from the US office and they don't start their day until 2pm my time... I really hope I don't end up stuck in the office till all hours!!

Once I get past this week I have a great weekend to look forward to.. my sister is coming down tonight and we are meeting some of her good friends for dinner.

Then tomorrow some of my friends- Emm G and her new husband are coming to London and I am hopefully going to catch up with them and Emma B (who lives in London). Then in the afternoon Amber and David are having a BBQ to get everyone together the day before their wedding- which is on Sunday!

So Sunday I will be all dressed up and totting across London to celebrate with them and cheer on Becky as she is a bridesmaid.

Sadly Nathan can't come down but Dougie will be there as will alot of other friends from Edinburgh.

Then I have been asked back for a second interview for another job I went for... The main two interviews I have gone for in the last couple of months I have gotten down to the last 2 candidates but for different reasons I didn't make it over the finish line!!

So I may have to fly back to Edinburgh next Fri to interview- it depends if they can see me then- I hope so! As the week after when they are doing the second interviews I am away on Holiday and I'd really really like this job- it pays less than I want but hopefully we can meet in the middle!

So fingers crossed that I can go up on Friday- and if I can then I can also see Nathan that evening! Hooray! It would be great to see him before I head off to Cape Cod.

Well that's my update- I've had my 15 minute break from my Submission work- I better get back to it!!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Google Tag

Well I am pinching this Google Tag thing from my friend Heidi's friend, Chablis (I love nosing on friends of friends blogs!!) Thanks for the cute idea Chablis!

It's not really a tag as I'm tagging myself but hey if you want to do it too it's good fun!!

I'm just looking for some escapism at lunch time!! I have a huge submission to do for work- due on Friday so I need some down time!!

The rules: Answer all the questions and type in the answer into Google images. Find a picture on the first 3 pages and post it. Kind of fun!

My first name: JenniferMy Middle Name: Catriona- I am named after the main character in Robert Louis Stevenson's sequel to his famous book 'Kidnapped' .Catriona was written in 1893. It is Scottish for Katrina.

My last name: Landels

My age: 28My favorite place to visit:Loch Morlich, Cairgorms National Park, Scotland (I love this place!!)I had a really serene and peaceful moment here back in 2002 whilst sitting on the beach looking at the still water and the mountains and it has meant so much since then... it is so beautiful... and this might sound morbid but it's where I want my ashes to be scattered when I pass away.

A place I'd like to visit: I'd love to go back to the Almalfi Coast in Italy and also go to New Zealand. Both Nathan and I feel a draw to NZ- maybe one day we'll end up there!
Where I grew up: EdinburghMy first job: I worked in a shoe store in Princes Street called Cable & Co. Shortly afterwards I left to join Jenners Department store which I loved! My college degree: I studied Printed Textiles

What I'm doing right now: Eating lunchMy grandma's name: Ellen Landels.... and this is her!! Number 1 photo which comes up from my blog!!My mum might be right it is a little freaky what you put out there when you write a blog!

A nickname of a good friend: We all call Hillary- Hills... so it's not too far to leap on the image front!
A past love: When I was at art college I used to really enjoy the drawing classes, particularly the life drawing. About 2 years ago I took it up again and used to go to a class on a Tuesday night but I haven't made the time in the last year or so- plus Tuesday is my floristry course night!! A pet that I've owned: Fluffy, the Ginger Cat!

My favorite color: To many to choose! So Pastel Colours Mainly- also French Blue, Cornflower Blue and Mint Green and white!! (if that counts as a colour!)
A bad habit: I hate DISHES!! So I have been known- on more than one occasion! (try most weeks) to leave the dishes overnight on the work surfaces because I have no energy or enthusiasm for cleaning them after dinner... I do suggest though- if I had a dishwasher (which we can't fit in our tiny kitchen) I would be much better!! ... well maybe!!
... that's such a bad thing to end on!!!