February saw us hooked back on Glee, and totally transfixed by the second series. I was provided by a new heart throb in the form of Blaine, who alongside favourite Kurt was set to make me squeal with delight on a moment by moment basis. And by the time he performed Teenage Dream, Adam and I were devotees, and thus ensued the household Katy Perry craze. No greater craze was there to be set in February though than the Ballet trend set forth by Black Swan which I watched in both terror and delight….friends who had also danced were quick to judge Natalie Portman’s performance and the film’s shortcomings, but I was so caught up in the horror and hysteria of it all that I was able to take it for what it was, and by the end was egging the poor girl on just to finish the show and not caring one jot for her sanity or physical health (providing Adam with plenty of ammo in his ‘Ballet is bad for you’ argument!). I’ve loved what the film has done for fashion though and have pulled out the mid length full-circle satin skirts and wrap-around knits, and have been promising myself all year I’ll go back to ballet class to keep fit. The long waiting lists are a fine procrastination device though!
February also saw our first trip up to Hitchin (Adam’s home town) after Christmas, and with us we took late gifts of treacle toffee and ginger truffles for his parents. The truffles were a fine success….melt in the mouth, just fiery enough and ever so naughty. My first attempt at toffee however may well be my last. I would like to blame the absence of a sugar thermometer, although I did try the little ‘put a bit in a cup of cold water and wait for it to turn into a ball’ trick, which I thought would help, and still ended up with a batch full of jaw glue. It tasted good though. And not put off by this culinary disaster, we embarked on the delightful Lavender Tea Rooms which are found in an old village hall and are adjoined by a treasure trove of an antiques shop! We tucked into the most delicious home baked cakes and scrummy tea at our chintzy tables, set with tea cups filled with local flowers, before pottering around the shop….I found these amazing miniature coloured glasses which I decided to use for nibbles at parties.
Ever so less elegant was when we got home to unpack and do the weekend’s washing, and our wretched washing machine tried to escape from its rightful place in the kitchen. As we sat watching the TV, we honestly thought there was some kind of invasion occurring as the machine began making the most frightening noises, to the point where we though it was going to burst through the kitchen wall to join us in the living room. Machines are scary. I mean who knows what to do when that happens. I had Dorma sheets inside! I was terrified! Imagine if I had delicates in there! Thank heavens for dry cleaners I say.
And on invasions and terror, February’s next film was Paul….and rather less serious than the last it was! As huge Spaced fans, we joined neighbours and dear friends Jason and Kate to see Nick Frost and Simon Pegg release their inner (well not that inner) geeks on screen. I wish I’d been able to get all of the in-jokes, as with Spaced (although I’m still finding them in there and must have watched both series about 12 times) but the alien and Sci-Fi references were rather lost on me I’m afraid. The boys kept chuckling amongst themselves knowingly, but still it’s a terrificly hilarious film and I very much enjoyed Kristen Wiig‘s character who transforms from a Creationist Christian to a super-swearer.
Possibly the most exciting invite for February though was my pre-opening tour of the new 5* hotel, The Corinthia. Donning high-vis vests, hard and steel toe-capped boots, myself and the team all got to see the near-finished hotel before the grand opening. We loved the bright ballroom, finished with sliver detailing, and the central courtyard which will provide so much light to that amazing central chandelier in the foyer. But it was little touches as ever that set the place apart, like the books in each room specially chosen for each guest, and the wine drawers made up by their sommelier to their guests’ liking. The walk in wardrobes caught our eye too, and the must have tv in the bath…..we’ve started to set high standards now for these hotels, but then why ever not?!
Everything is Beautiful at the Ballet…..
Delia’s Divine Truffles….
Can you make treacle toffee…..?