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The Wonder Years..how much of this life can we do? : March 2013

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Ruth Jones chats about 'Fella' and 'Stella'

Saturday, 16 March 2013

A little bit of holiday, even in the rain...

Well the St Albans Film Festival swept through town last weekend, and whatever your experience of it, I hope it made you feel like this city has the capacity to pull off a decent event. We spent Friday night at Cafe Rouge - such a gorgeous building, with wonderful vintage touches from the creative wonder that is Hattie and Flora www.hattieandflora.co.uk and what a treat to hear Leonie's Mum singing jazz. 

Saturday day more shorts in The Maltings Theatre (once I'd found it as I'm ashamed to say I'd never been.)  Saturday night was spent indulging in some delicious food at Darcy's. Ruth delivered a stunning menu, the most incredible lamb main and rum and raisin ice cream to die for! Our viewing was some hilarious choices from the Over 18 category, including two of my favourites.  'Legoless' a very clever parody of the movie Limitless , yes using LEGO figures. The other 'Phonesex Grandma' which doesn't need explaining - I hope it's on youtube.

Another highlight of the night being introduction from Katherine Kubrick, thanks to the boundless contact book of Ellie Ophira aka www.styleinmycity.com. Katherine gave such a humble and engaging speech -  which you can have a sneak preview of right here.

After recovering from the busy weekend, I then had the busiest week! Firstly in the voiceover world, recording two national TV ads, once for a new cat food called Butchers Classic Cat food - so if you have a cat who loves 'meaty chunks' then you need to keep an eye out for this. Later that day after rushing from Hammersmith to Soho, I was recording a second advert for Finish Quantum. It's always fun recording voiceovers, as your sat in a booth with a glass window through to the studio where there's a huddle of people deciding if your last read was right or not. I wasn't alone in the booth of the second, as to my left was a stuffed dog, which the editor told me his daughter had sent him to work with to look after him. That was 14 years ago he told me, but the pooch remained. It made me chuckle! As did my slight addiction to the pencil pot! You see, I always seem to acquire them from the Soho post houses. I don't know what it is about the freshly sharpened pot them that is always so appealing, I put it down to the novelty of that scratchy feeling when you're writing with them. Have you written in pencil lately - you should!

Later this week I was lucky enough to visit ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, for my breakfast radio show and believe it or not fed horse meat to very hungry lions using tongues and I was kissed by a sea lion! 

Yesterday afternoon, to celebrate the start of a week off work, and due the relentless rain, the hubby and I went to see Oz the Great and Powerful. I'd say 9/10!  I can't really do 3D, as the glasses give me a headache, so we went to see it in 2D.. you knew the bits that would have been awesome with the glasses but it still worked amazingly well. The magic I felt as a child watching the original Wizard of Oz movie was definitely recreated, with a wonderful Emerald City. The flying monkeys even more terrifying,  James Franco played a pretty good wizard, Michele Williams was a delightful Glenda the Good and I was impressed with the gorgeous Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis as the evil witches. Ladies check out Rachel's nail art when you see it. Gents, you can't help but see Mila's green cleavage, which I didn't think was necessary, they made her boobs look uneven! 

My favourite discovery this week in St Albans is Nimatts  Bar Meze www.barmeze.co.uk, you know the place hidden away on Adelaide Street. We'd tried to go before, but were too early and it was closed  and settled for the Greek Place round the corner (Anastasia's - won't be going back there sorry!). However 7pm, Friday night, we rushed out of the rain 

What a treat. Firstly we were greeted by fellow curly haired owner Fouad, who managed to squeeze us in his booked restaurant although  we were given a limited time to dine, which was fine. He was instantly welcoming and chatted us through our menu choices, recommending his own. Now if you don't mind the help - it's worth taking his advice. We had the most delicious food that tasted like we were overlooking the blue seas of the Greek Isles.

From our excitement to see a bottle of the delicious Gavi de Gavi on the wine list we yummed down the minted broadbeans, calamari and spinach and feta filo a little too quick! Luckily we were given a bit of breathing space before we were presented with a perfectly cooked piece of seabass , and some yummy keftedes (chicken and lamb patties). We didn't mind the hubbub that started to build as the Friday night parties came into the restaurant as we were in food heaven. Simply delicious homemade dishes served in a bustling restaurant, made us forget where we were . Yes the staff were a little to keen to take our cleared plates, BUT, you only need to look on tripadvisor to see this is another gem hidden in St Albans, that you need to visit. Best book if there's a group of you. We'll be taking friends next time. 

I'm now off on my first ever ski trip - to France tomorrow. So my next post will be at altitude! See you soon x

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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Tips to be a good Blue Peter presenter from @Stuart_Miles Did he do well? @KatyHillTV

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Discovering what's on your doorstep

I moved to St Albans in July 2010. I'd done a recce of the city, having cycled around on my bike, spent an afternoon on a date with my now husband which also involved an ice cream under a tree in Veralamium Park. I was pretty sold on this beautiful Roman city. Fast forward nearly three years, and hosting a breafast radio show and planning a wedding has meant I've been so busy that I only went into St Albans Abbey, yesterday for the first time. I wanted to have a chat with the staff at Abbots Kitchen for my next podcast on www.styleinmycity.com I've never had a cuppa there, as it's always so  busy, but it's so lovely inside. I'll definately be going back.

As I pootled back up into town, my curiosity continued as I popped into Raindrops on Roses www.raindropsonroses.org.co.uk - the gorgeous gift shop, selling lush items to raise money for the Herts Against Cancer Charity and found a couple of lovely Mother's Day pressies. Again my first time in, despite walking past several times.

I was in town to catch up with Leonie, organiser of St Albans Film Festival www.stalbansfilmfestival.co.uk and see how her nerves were holding out for Friday's launch. You can hear the podcast later today.

It was so lovely, basking in the sunshine as I proudly walked around my city, making new discoveries as well as popping into some established friends. As we're out on Saturday night at Darcy's www.darcysrestaurant.co.uk for a film festival party with a Hollywood glamour theme, I went to say hello to the lovely Leah at www.thegreenboutique.co.uk and get some inspiration from her beautiful gowns, all pre-owned but to be worn again. Once again there was a bargain pair of Jimmy Choos still too small for me.

You see, I've led a somewhat nomadic existence doing the job I do, often in radio you have to go where the work is,so end up leaving friends behind and it takes time to settle. I used to live in Brigton which I loved, for it's quirky commuinity and independent feel and I felt that when I moved to St Albans, which was another reason for moving here.

Now, for the first time since moving to St Albans it really does feel like I'm settled.

This is a special town, with a real community sense both on Twitter and in reality. I had an interesting chat with a friend the other day about the state of St Albans High Street now HMV is closing down and we both agreed that hopefully the independents will continue to flourish and the city maintains it's beautiful appeal as somewhere different. After all it ain't cheap to live here, so why shouldn't it be unique. Here's hoping the attention the film festival gives to the city this weekend and other exciting ventures maintains the magic this city offers. N x

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