Monthly Archives: June 2012

On… speeddatenighting

So, Fox and I stole Tuesday afternoon last week.
It was our last week in New York before a summer break in Europe. Fox had been travelling a lot, I’d been writing a lot, and between friends and work and Errol, we almost never got time alone that wasn’t about the baby, general life admin and planning, or sleep. We didn’t want a late night, or a big extravaganza, or a huge ‘date night’ dinner. We didn’t want to bother with booking a babysitter or reservations or tickets or any of that. We simply wanted a teeny weeny bit of alone time, out of the house, without the baby. Just the two of us.

So we asked our lovely nanny if she’d work a little late. It would be the first time that I’d miss doing the 5.30pm Hour Of Power (dinner, bath, bottle, story, bed) in the whole ten months since Errol was born, so I was extremely excited about seeing the world at that time. (And predictably worried Errol would implode without my calming, nurturing presence. Apparently he barely noticed.)

Anyway. It was raining in Manhattan, and we almost cancelled the night. Our original plan was to walk down to Nolita (sort of a Disney Does Manhattan type area), have a drink in the Spring Lounge or Fonda Nolita, grab a bite in Cafe Gitane or Cafe Habana, and generally meander and flaneur and window-shop and people-watch. But, given the rain, that was out.  

“What shall we do?” said Fox.

We stared at each other for a long moment.


At 5pm I closed my laptop. We didn’t bother to change or dress up. We kissed Errol goodbye, left probably over-specific Hour Of Power instructions, and got a taxi uptown.  

Looking out the window of the taxi at early-evening Manhattan, I got a delicious and unexpected tingle of excitement in my stomach. There’s an electricity in the air between 5pm and 8pm in any big city, and most of all New York. The night is very, very young. Everyone is finishing work and shaking off the day, everyone is planning dates or dinners or drinks or blissful nights at home alone with the box set of True Blood. In other words, everyone has something fun ahead of them, time that’s theirs and theirs alone.

And so did we.

PJ Clarke’sis the place we spent the day after our wedding two years ago. (Our friends and family took over the place from midday to midnight. It was raucous.) So, we took a seat at the bar and had a couple of beers and some sliders (tiny burgers that are, for some reason, way more fun to eat than normal burgers, and dudes, I like me a normal burger).

Then I had a martini, because I really like them, even though they are a starspangled rocketship of booze that my system is in no shape to process these days. Then we shared a Reuben sandwich. Because we like them, too. And talked and talked and talked.

Then we went to McSorleys, which is a famous old Irish bar in Manhattan.

McSorleys serves light beer and dark beer, and that’s it. It prides itself on being old school, and dude, it is. Sawdust on the floor, the whole bit. This is more of a Fox joint than a Gem joint, but I gamely soldiered on. (I know. I’m such a trooper.)

Then – it was just past 7pm by now – the rain was lessening, or maybe we were too tipsy to really notice is. So we skipped down to Whiskey Town.
Whiskey Town is just the kind of bar I’d like to lose an afternoon in, if I was still in the business of losing afternoons in bars. (Damn, that was a good business.) Gently dilapidated interior, cool but comfortable, chatty (but not overchatty) bartender, drinks that give you a gentle punch, and microwave popcorn. I was pretty goddamn tipsy by now so apparently I was slapping the bar in delight at my own wit a lot. (One of my more charming traits.) Just a really goddamn nice bar.

We rolled home at 8pm, relieved our lovely nanny so she could go home, checked on the sleeping baby and agreed we were extremely clever and talented for making such a perfect child, watched some Family Guy, collapsed asleep by 10pm and woke without a hangover. It was like speeddating, but in a slightly more boring married way. Speeddatenighting.

I highly recommend it.

On… Tatler and summer

Pick up Tatler this month to read an article by moi about the joys of stealing from your baby!

This is what the cover looks like. Run, run, run and get it, my lovelies. The perfect summer magazine.  For realsies.

In other news, I’m about to go en vacances. High fives all round. Heading to a wedding in Barcelona later this week, then to France with my folks and Fox and Errol. I will still be working because, hey, that’s just how I roll. Also because I have deadlines. And actually, I’m not afraid to admit it: I love writing, dudes. It’s one of the best things in my life. Taking a break from it makes me sad. So I never do. And I’ve nearly finished the second book in the series… (I know it’s a long time coming – but we are lauching them both close together so you don’t have to wait! Thank you for your patience, dudes. Really, really, thank you.)

Anyway, I need your help… what are the top three things I should do in Barcelona?  

I have never been, and know almost nothing about it apart from the whole Gaudi thing, La Rambla, the fact that everyone sleeps in the afternoon and parties all night. Oh, and I think there’s a beach, but I could be wrong about that.
Bear in mind that I am quite a lazy tourist and need a lot of pitstops and coffee breaks, and am only really interested in eating, drinking, and a sprinkle – just a sprinkle – of art and history. Oh, and I am almost never in the mood to walk too far. Or up more than ten steps at a time. No, really, I’m totally serious. That whole Montmartre thing in Paris? Could be a myth for all I know. I will never find out because of the whole endless stairway situation.

Below: the mythical Montmartre in Paris. God, I get tired just looking at that photo. Let’s sit down and have a drink.


On… Things I Like Right Now

Sea Salt Soap – the divine Lydia sent me a great stack of these as an early birthday present and I ADORE them. Anything with sea salt is pretty much guaranteed to be on my ‘fuck, yeah’ list.

(Image via @thesocialvixen)

Salty Caramel icecream from Steve’s Ice Cream. See above re: sea salt.

Per-Fekt Skin Perfection Gel in Luminous.
Let’s ignore the ridiculous brand name, shall we? This is like being airbrushed. By God.
In the UK you can buy it here.

Barleans Greens. If you drink this once a day you never have to eat a fruit or a vegetable again.

(Okay, that is a lie.)

These old man pyjamas. Fox, if you are reading this, I would like these for my birthday.

(Actually, can someone please forward this to him? Thank you.)

The Darlings by Cristina Alger. A Madoff-inspired tale with brains, wit and compassion. This book continually surprised and charmed me. Loved it. Just a damn good book.

This bikini
. Almost everything that Nasty Gal makes is too slutty-hipster for me, but I adore it anyway. Actually, Fox, can I have this bikini for my birthday too, please?

Le Fashion blog. I would wear anything this chick told me to wear.

Superbus. My band du jour.

You know what I don’t like? The new Blogger interface. It just took me half an hour to make the images and text line up for this not-awfully-impressive-anyway post. Ricockulous. Am I doing something wrong? Or does anyone know if I can do back to the old way? And how are you guys, anyway?

Edit: It turns out I was using the Blogger thingummy in HTML rather than straightforward Compose. I’m just gonna bite my finger and stare into space bashfully for a while, okay?