The Gate Restaurant, Stand Up Comedy course, Prints Jackson music & not wanting kids

16 Mar

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the parks are full… Spring has come to London again. Which means I can actually leave work at lunchtime and go wandering (always nice until you bump into the tourists who want to know where Carnaby Street is…)

Anyway, my current project is trying to put together a costume for a fancy dress party I’m going to. I’m dressing as the Little Mermaid: partly because I have red hair and it’s an easy win and partly because I watched the film at least 200 times as a kid and I bloody love it.

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At the moment I think that I’m going to end up looking like the above. Clearly NOT going to happen, but I’m scouring the Soho haberdasheries for amazing mermaid-scale material and I even watching a ‘how-to’ sewing video on Youtube. This is dedication guys.

I will, of course, post photos of the finished outfit next month. But, for now, if anyone has any idea where I can buy a starfish to put in my hair or a Flounder bag then let me know… otherwise my outfit is going to depend FAR too much on my crafting skills!

EAT: I went on a date the other day and as soon as I was told he’d booked a table at a vegetarian restaurant I knew he must be one. No meat-eating man strays into a veggie place unless he’s being forcibly dragged there I’ve found.

Turns out he’s a vegan and the place we went to was wonderful. It’s a small chain called The Gate and we graced the Angle branch on a Monday evening. The place was quiet, but filled up quickly post 7.30. Lovely atmosphere, attentive staff that aren’t too pushy and comfy seats. I don’t go into enough detail about comfy seats in places I eat but it’s a big deal
*looks at trendy places which either squash you in or make you balance on a bar stool*

Anyway. The menu has gluten-free and vegan options and is a little on the pricey side. However, the price is completely justified. I know people get funny about paying out for veggie food, but when the food is fresh and tasty (and creatively served) it’s SO worth it.

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I went for the tortillas (above). I did what I normally do and can’t decide between two things and opted to make a last second panic decision. I was thinking about the Aubergine Schnitzel (mainly because it came with Applewood cheddar and you all know what a cheese fiend I am nowadays). But, the tortillas tempted me because I’m a sucker for Mexican food. Sweet potato, sweetcorn, goats cheese, chilli, lime and coriander. Baked beetroot, feta, parsley, guacamole, sour cream and black bean pepper salsa – YUM.

The food was filling, beautifully arranged and tasted great. All the flavours really jumped out and it just felt healthy (something I rarely experience since I made it my mission to discover the best burger in London….). My date tried the Wild Mushroom Polenta and said it was really good – in fact, he was baffled by the insane number of different mushrooms they managed to cram onto his plate (obviously a must for fungi fans).

All in all, it was a really lovely place for a meal. Lads and ladies: if your other half is veggie, vegan or just loves their veg, this is the perfect place to take them.

SEE: This is less of a ‘see’ and more of a ‘here’s a cool thing I’m currently doing’ kind of post.

My company offers a stand-up comedy course every year and this year, I signed up. Partly because my boss forced me to, but also because I dislike stand-up comedy and I’m hoping it’ll make me appreciate it a little bit more. I’m already hilarious, so becoming funny is obviously not a reason I’m doing this…. *tumbleweed* When I first started, I assumed this is how I’d get through the course:

However, so far, it’s going well. I completely zone out when I’m up on stage talking so I’m never really sure how I’m doing. Well, I say ‘up on stage’, at the moment we’re in a function room above a pub, but I’m assured it’ll be getting a bit more glamorous as the course goes on. Apparently I get the odd laugh – the stand-up comic teaching us even gave one of my lines TWO TICKS (big deal guys, let me have this one).

I’d say at the moment it’s simply something which is interesting and fun to do. A great way to socialise and I guess makes you a bit more aware of yourself when you’re up in front of people, which has its benefits. Whether or not I’ll be funny at the end of it is another matter, but if you’re ever offered the opportunity to take a class for free, for sure you should do it.

Even if I’m not funny (yet) or convinced that stand-up comedy is sort of unbearable to watch, at least I still have Arrested Development to make me lol.

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LISTEN: Prints Jackson has pledged to release one new song, every month, until the day they die. Quite a promise. And as a fan of quality over quantity I was a little sceptical.

However, if the rest of their offerings are anything like Law_A then I don’t think I have too much to worry about. It’s an upbeat mix of alternative electronic music with jangly, indie-pop roots. Law_A was released in February, so the next one should be up sometime soon.

I think this will be an interesting one to keep an eye on. True, there’s only one song to listen to right now, but so far so good (and that’s the main thing, right)?

Listen to Law_A below and visit the website here: http://www.printsjackson.com/

LOVE: I’ve been thinking a lot about the next 10 years and what that’s going to mean for me and my friendships.

I don’t EVER want children and I have no interest in marriage. I am well aware that I am ‘unusual’ – most men and women plan their lives around committing to the one and having a family. Now: it’s not that I’m not able to commit, I’m more than able to do so. It’s just becoming increasingly difficult as I get older to find guys who aren’t thinking about families already.

^ My general reaction when some tells me “oh, you’ll change your mind”

And again, this is fine It’s my life choice and I realise I’m going against the grain. But previously I was worried about what was going to happen to me when my friends paired off and ended their freedom. A kid and a marriage are wonderful ways to make sure you never have time to see your friends again.

In fact, I was recently chatting with a guy who is older and has chosen to not get married and won’t have children. And he confirmed the above: his friends pair off and he slowly hears less and less from them until they either get divorced or they completely fall out of contact. He has a wonderful way of working against this – get new friends and date. And this is exactly what I’m going to have to do.

I’d be really interested to hear from people my age or older who are either married or have chosen to not do what they’re told and have kids and a marriage. Those of you who are marriage, or in long-term, monogamous relationships: have you fallen out of contact with friends and if so, why? When I’ve been in committed relationships I never, ever, sacrificed my friends and it genuinely interests me when other people do. And for those of you more like me (either not interested in having kids or maybe you’re polyamorous?) then I’d be really interested to know how your relationships with friends have changed over the years. Comment, tweet me, email me – I'[d be really interested to hear about your experiences.

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