Something for the weekend

SFTW: Yellow satchels, northern soul and free food

June 7, 2015

SFTW: Yellow satchels and other stories |

Happy Sunday everyone! Are you holding a Big Lunch on your street? We are, and Rachel, Pete and George are joining us, so it should be a fun afternoon in the sun – which has FINALLY deigned to put in an appearance!

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week:

1. I am losing count of the number of times fellow Londoners are shouting ‘Snap!’ at me when I’m wearing my yellow satchel. They then point gleefully to their matching bag and give me a thumbs up. This is happening in London of all places – the city in which, as a rule, the only acceptable scenarios for engaging with a stranger are when either back-against-the-wall desperate or plain drunk. It is a bit like being a Mason, only with slightly less subtle ways of acknowledging each other. I wonder whether extroverts like me are attracted to this bright colour, and then they can’t help but announce themselves when they spot another of their kind. I myself have yet to reciprocate the shout-out because I am always in so much of a rush that my default method of getting across London is with my eyes fixed on my goal and my legs zig-zagging all over the place as I dodge everything in my path. But I will try to keep an eye out for fellow yellow-satchel toters from now on, as connecting with a stranger is a fun random thing to happen to you during your day.

2. I found Carry On Katy’s post about 17 more things you can be certain about in life apart from death and taxes very funny – especially the No More Tears and the biros observations.

3. Juan and I went to our neighbours’ London wedding last weekend, and the dance floor was the place to be. We got so merry with the free cocktails that Juan whipped out some northern soul dance moves I don’t think either of us knew he had in him – moves he had remembered from this documentary and this film, both of which we watched recently. It made me realise that although we spend almost every night sitting on the sofa in front of the TV, we are learning skills we can put to hilarious use when we do get out into the real world. By the way, if you have a wedding to attend this season, here are Rose’s tips for looking fab on a budget.

4. I have been lucky to not have had my summer hijacked by dozens of weddings and hen dos – my friends have been extremely good at spreading out the celebrations so far. This year I only have one more wedding to attend, and that’s in December, so plenty of time to think of a nice present and outfit. If you’re already suffering from wedding fatigue and want some off-list inspiration for a special present, Rachel may have the solution.

5. I am speechless at this Daily Mail article – but, for once, it’s for all the right reasons.

6. I tried – and once again failed – to make a doctor’s appointment at my local surgery. I am so sick of never, ever seeing the same doctor and always feeling like I am wasting their time that I am considering registering elsewhere – but is this futile in London, where I’m guessing all surgeries are similarly stretched? Anyhow, this post from Gomerblog on detecting BS in A&E patients reminded me not to be too harsh on our doctors and nurses.

7. I’ve suffered from particularly spotty skin of late, and was getting to the end of my tether, when I stumbled across this make-up range by The Body Shop. I haven’t gone near Tea Tree Oil since the 1990s, so the smell took me back, but it has really helped calm and control my spots – and its good value, too.

8. Finally, I’ve started a freelance gig at a company that is as famous for its secrecy as it is for its free food – we’ll call it Gargle. I can’t divulge anything about the company, as I signed an NDA. But believe me (as someone who’s used to free lunches): the food is every bit as incredible as people tell you. Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfast, with a freshly pressed green juice on the side? Don’t mind if I do. A fresh mint tea and some Green & Black’s chocolate for elevenses? Go on then. A selection of restaurant-style dishes that I can pile onto my plate willy nilly, followed by cream cakes or a salted caramel ice cream? Why not? By the time my contract is up, I’ll be twice the woman I was…

What have you been up to this weekend? Do you have a yellow satchel and have you noticed the ‘Snap!’ phenomenon? And how do you deal with spot attacks?

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