Friday 18 February 2011

bits of stuff n' things

I have so many random yet lovely things in my head at the moment, I feel I must share with the online world, whether it's of any interest to anyone or not. Because that's what the online world is all about: sharing your deepest thoughts and/or abusing celebrities on Twitter. Or griping about your angst-filled life on Tumblr using the medium of song lyrics and photos. Or blogging.

So, yes, sharing time.
  • Helena Bonham-Carter's acceptance speech at the BAFTAs: Brilliantly random, rambling, funny, and as far away from a typical acceptance speech as you can get.  
  • Adele's performance at the Brits: Simply stunning.
  • The Best Chocolate Ice Cream in the World: My friend Annalisa posted this recipe recently and my children agree, this really is the best chocolate ice cream ever. I got an ice cream maker for Christmas, so now I can make ice cream with the kids, containing ingredients I can pronounce. Also check out her recipe for mint ice cream, which is utterly divine.
  • Shock Absorber sports bras: They are the only sports bras on this planet (or at least in the UK) that allow me to run without giving myself a black eye. You bounce, you don't move and you don't hurt.
  • Top Chef returning to British television sets: Forget Masterchef (which has done Very Bad Things to the format this series), tune into Top Chef on the Good Food channel. We're getting season 7 (Washington), and it's brilliant. The challenges are creative, entertaining, and the lovely Padma Lakshmi is a  marvellous presenter. I give her extra bonus points for still having a very distinct baby belly that she makes no effort to hide, despite being two months postpartum and appearing on American TV.
  • Kindle: Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I seem to devour books much more quickly on this device than I do in their original paper format. The screen is so easy to read, remarkably so similar to paper that I actually caught myself trying to "turn" the page when I first started using it. It's lightweight, I love how easy it is to download and organise books, and hopefully sites like Lendle will allow non-US Amazon accounts to share books in the near future. I never thought that anything could come close to a paper book, but I've been converted. (Although I still love the look and feel of a real book.)
  • Oscar films: For once, in many years, I have managed to see a few films that are nominated for Oscars. Normally, the only nominated film I would have seen would be something I saw with the kids or on an airplane. This year, I've managed to see "Black Swan", "Inception", and "King's Speech"...along with the kids' films, naturally. All three "grown up" films were fantastic, in completely different ways. 
  • Good customer service: And last, but certainly not least, kudos to Hotel du Vin for providing excellent customer service after I made a complaint. We went to the Cambridge bistro for a friend's birthday and while we enjoyed our evening and the food was excellent, service was disappointingly patchy. I sent an email to the general address on the site, and got a response a couple of hours later from the manager in Cambridge. Hugely apologetic and stressing that this is not what the "Hotel du Vin experience" should be like, she invited the four of us to come back and have a meal, free of charge. No arguments, no need to ask for anything - exactly how a complaint should be resolved.

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