Seal of Approval

I’m dead happy today. I’m not entirely sure why. 

Nevertheless, my fantastic mood has inspired me to spontaneously write about all the stuff that I’ve recently discovered or rediscovered, which I now love. I feel like I’ve done a lot of discovering in the last few weeks – from coffeehouses to hobbies and music. Here is my official list of stuff that I currently love.


Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square
This is no ordinary cinema. A friend of mine introduced me to it a couple of weeks ago when he took me to a screening of the apparent worst film of all time, The Room. If you haven’t seen this film, I strongly suggest you do. It is pretty much like this clip here the whole way through. So, so funny. And no, it was not supposed to be funny. 
But anyway, the PCC! They run movie marathons that can go on for several days or so I hear, quotealongs (I fully intend to go and see the Anchorman quotealong in March), theme nights, the whole shebang. Definitely worth checking out.

Nude Espresso, Brick Lane
I was looking around Old Spitalfields Market one Sunday morning a few weeks ago when I got a text from my friend who lived in the area. I told him where I was and that I planned to pop into Costa with my friends for a coffee. This was probably the best mistake I could’ve made. Now, my friend has made no secret of the fact that he can’t stand Starbucks or Costa and is possibly what you might call (or what I definitely do call) a coffee snob. I’d never actually understood it until that day. Coffee is coffee, right? Wrong. He made it his duty to rescue me from Costa and show me the light. I met him at this little place on Hanbury Street which was absolutely crawling with hipsters. But, in East London, that’s not exactly unusual. It was so full inside that people were actually sitting on the doorstep, clutching coffee cups like they were homeless. As I carefully picked my way through the human barrage, I realised that if people would go as far as to sit outside at the beginning of February, this place couldn’t be half bad. I was correct. The two lattes I had made Starbucks taste like dishwater. I have been converted.
If you’re a lover of coffee and are in that general area, I’d definitely give it a try! 

Phoenix’s new album
…Which has not yet been released. Ok, I know it seems nonsensical to give something the seal of approval before it actually exists, but guys, I just know it’s going to be really good! I can feel it! 
When I discovered they were releasing a new album, I nearly died. I love Phoenix. They’re French and delicious-sounding. Their songs are sublime, especially when sung in that glorious accent. 
I’ll admit that there was some initial apprehension, too. When you love more or less every song a band has ever done in the past, there is a lot of pressure on their new stuff to be equally as awe inspiring. But you also think “how are they supposed to match that?!” Well, it seems they have delivered. I first heard their new song, Entertainment, earlier today. After that, all my apprehension melted away. Just as fantastic as their older stuff. 
If you have not yet become a fan of Phoenix, I strongly recommend you get on it. My favourite tunes of theirs are Rally, If I Ever Feel Better, 1901 and Sometimes in the Fall. Go listen! Go now! 

My friend Hannah and I have always had this pipedream of moving to a lovely hot, sunny country and setting up our own cupcake business. (How awesome would it be, though?!)
So my mum decided that she would humour us, and for Christmas she got me a book on baking. Probably a big mistake. So far I imagine I’ve spent a small fortune on cake ingredients and equipment. My kitchen is now more or less constantly covered in flour, cocoa powder, sugar and icing. 
Here is one of my most recent and successful creations. No honestly, I really didn’t mind spending Valentine’s day alone. Not at all. 

Adam Ellis’s blog
Or to give it its full title, Books of Adam. Adam is an American writer/blogger/illustrator and one of the funniest people I’ve ever read. I say ‘read’ because I’ve never actually had the pleasure of meeting him, so reading will have to suffice. I also realised this morning that he shares the same view of the Friendzone as I do (see his Twitter for reference – @mobydickhead, my earlier post ‘Friendzone’ for confirmation). 
I’ve been following his blog for a while, but I thought it was definitely worth a mention. His posts are wonderfully illustrated, hilarious observations of his life and the world at large. 
If that doesn’t sell it for you, he is also, to quote Zoolander, really, really, really, ridiculously good looking. Well, that felt creepy to write, but it’s definitely true. Sorry, Adam.
Have a look for yourselves –

Other stuff
Marc Jacobs’ “Dot” perfume. 1001 Nights, apple & cinnamon and lemon & ginger flavoured teas. Lena Dunham. Yoga pants. Tapas. Live comedy. And the fact that my mum ‘gets’ Peep Show and I now have someone to watch it with. 

Z. x


The Lady

It was a night like any other at Europa Gym. I’d just finished training and headed off to the changing rooms for the highlight of my session – getting out of my sweaty, chalky kit. (For the record, I’m joking – I do enjoy gym really. Sometimes).

It was surprisingly quiet, normally there are gymnasts and their parents wandering about, but not tonight. That was until two girls burst into the changing rooms. They’d obviously not thought there was anyone about either since they were having what I can only assume was quite a private conversation in very loud voices. 

They walked past me, continuing their conversation until one of them stopped mid-giggle to tell her friend “oi, shut up there’s a lady in here”. I thought nothing of this for a few moments, then stopped in my tracks. The changing room had been empty when I got there. The only two other people around were the gymnasts who were 7 or 8, and they obviously weren’t talking about each other. I gasped.


I was The Lady.

No, this couldn’t be right. There must’ve been an awful mistake. There’s no possible way I could be The Lady. 


Skip forward a week or so to the Olympic exhibition at my old school that I’d been invited to. It was a nice evening, showcasing some of the memorabilia some of the students had collected and photographs by one of the photography assistants. 

As the night drew to a close, I stood about chatting to one of my friends who was in the year below me at school, generally catching up. A mother and her daughter approached me and asked for some photos, one with me and her and one with the daughter too. I was happy to oblige, so the mother told her daughter to “go and stand with the man” while she had her photo done. The man? Which man? Then it dawned on me. My friend was The Man. 


All my friends and I are slowly turning into The Man and The Lady. 

When did this happen? When did I stop being That Girl or even Little Girl?! I specifically remember one day (probably almost 15 years ago now) when I was leaving my ballet class in the car. One of the girls in my class walked past and yelled out “bye little girl!” 

Amusingly, I think she was probably younger than me, but the point stands. I used to be Little Girl. And now I’m The Lady. Soon enough I’ll become The Woman and then move on to be The Old Lady.

The worst part is, you can’t even correct the person who has mistaken you for The Lady or The Man. Especially if they’re kids. As tempted as I was to interrupt their conversation with “haha, no, you are mistaken – I’m a GIRL, silly!”, I’m not sure whether I could’ve got away with it without being The Crazy Lady instead. And sadly, in true old person style ‘I remember when I was their age’. There were girls in my gymnastics class who were then about 18 or 19 and I remember thinking they were adults when in actual fact I probably couldn’t have been more wrong. To those girls (who are probably now a bit closer to being The Ladies), I am deeply sorry for any mental anguish I may’ve caused you back then by thinking you were old.

Maybe this is when the ageing process starts. As soon as you become The Lady or The Man, you’re no longer a child and it’s all downhill from here. For me, I know that it really has started. I keep getting crap post. Today it was something to do with my car insurance. Yesterday it was from my bank. It was all written in TImes New Roman. I’m doomed. 

Luckily I’ve not been called The Lady since that fateful day a couple of weeks ago, but I’m bracing myself for the next attack. I assume it’s like wisdom teeth. It can happen at any age after puberty, but nobody ever knows exactly when it’s coming, nobody prepares you for it, and it reminds you that you are turning into an actual real life grown up.

I’m just thankful that I’m not at the point of getting grey hairs and a mortgage yet and hopefully I won’t for a while. Until then, I am intent on acting like the biggest kid possible to reduce the chances of being called The Lady again any time soon. 

Z. x