What to wear? What to wear?

Oh dear! As you can see, I’m in a bit of a flap trying on outfits and I simply can’t decide what to wear.

You see, I’m going to London later today.

Yes! The BIG CITY.

While I may roam around the house here in Wales in my shorts and t-shirts, I think I ought to put in a little more effort for today’s trip. After all, I will be a V.I.S. (Very Important Squirrel) guest at the book launch for Without Alice written¬†by my very dear and lovely friend, D.J. Kirkby. It’s going to be a top evening, so if you’re near the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green between 7pm and 9pm this evening, pop in and say Hi! and buy a book or two. I’m sure the lovely D.J. will sign them for you, too.

I can’t decide whether or not to go beatnik squirrel or top hat and tails or grunge or…

I guess you’ll just have to wait and see what I finally decide upon. Come back soon and I’ll tell you all about my night out in London!

April blossoms

I scampered up to my former stamping ground of London yesterday and fell a little back in love with it again.

In the 10 years in which I’ve been away from London and in my new home of Wales, I haven’t really missed the hustle and bustle and smell and grime and rudeness of the big city. I love my new home and the big back garden, which would almost classify as a park if it were in London, but more often than not looks like a meadow (too much rain to cut the grass, is the standard excuse around these parts).

However, yesterday Kaff and I stumbled around London – we weren’t drunk, this is her term for just wandering aimlessly around – and sat and had lunch in Green Park with one of her friends. That was quite good fun. How I laughed at the people on their lunchtime workouts – there was one particularly sad group of three, who’d hired a personal trainer between them. He was not worth the money and it didn’t look as if any of them broke a sweat, not even the lardiest of them.

Once we’d dropped Kaff’s mate off back at her office, we walked on past the Canadian High Commission and into Grosvenor Square where we found this lovely park filled with blossom. I snuck out of Kaff’s bag and had a little scamper around while she sat and people-watched for a while.

South Chocolate Bank

When my mate Kaff got me up at stupid o’clock yesterday morning, I did wonder if the time had perhaps come to end our albeit immensely rewarding relationship. Not only did she get me up very, very early in the morning when most self-respecting squirrels – and even some of us reprobates – are heading to our hammocks, but she also told me we were going to London for the day. Yes, yes, I know. Wildly exciting and the place-to-be and all that congestion-charging traffic to dodge but really folks… I’ve lived there, I’ve done London like an American tourist could only dream of doing it, I’m an old squirrel and, quite frankly, not only do I have the t-shirt but I have the jumper as well (see picture if you don’t believe me).

Still, days out with Kaff are almost always fun and they usually involve road snacks, which are not the same as road kill, in case that’s what you were thinking. One of Kaff’s better (only?) qualities is that she is happily very squirrel-friendly. No, road snacks means chocolate or nuts, and sometimes both combined in a deliciously-wrapped but easy to open package.

The beginning of the trip started off at Victoria train station. I know what you’re thinking, less than auspicious. My thoughts, too, until we bumped into Kaff’s very lovely Swedish friend, Catti and her colleague. Apparently, that’s why we were there. Kaff and Catti (which is Swedish for Kaff – I don’t know why she picks friends with the same name as herself but she will insist on doing so and it is confusing, trust me) hadn’t seen each other for 7 years. Can’t really be that great friends then, if you ask me, but Kaff insists it might have something to do with the fact that they live in different countries and she isn’t a fabulously successful writer who can afford to jet around seeing her bessie mates yet. I told her, she shouldn’t be gallivanting about in London but perhaps ought to stay home and finish my decalogy of books. That’s when she zipped up the bag I was traveling in and wouldn’t talk to me for a while. Some people just don’t like hearing the truth.

So, she did let me out at lunchtime and we had a very pleasant, enjoyable time with Catti and colleague in benugo at the BFI on the South Bank but it was sadly over all too soon and we saw them off into a taxi so they could catch their flight home. But, en route to finding a taxi, Kaff and I stumbled across something rather wonderful – a Chocolate Festival! Yes, stall after stall of chocolate (and a goodly proportion of nutty) goodies. It was just the thing to wander around until it was time for us to wend our way homeward. We met up with a Twitter friend, the lovely @marmadale from Rococo Chocolates. This was brilliant because we’d only recently been unable to make it down to London for a chocolate tasting at Rococo when it fell on a school night. We made up for this by stocking up on some goodies and both Kaff and I love their Scorched Almonds and Scorched Hazelnuts – absolutely delish. (I have to say that neither of us were that sold on the Earl Grey chocolate though. Kaff drinks EG tea but doesn’t think the mix with chocolate was great.) We also made new friends and discovered some amaretto chocolates, which were sadly a bit bleh due to the low cocoa content choc used. I was so disappointed with those – amaretto is, after all, my favourite tipple. However, we also found some lovely nutty chocolate from the fine folks at Artisan du Chocolat – they gave us a selection which were super-yummy.

As you can see from the picture, Kaff made sure that I brought home a fair stash of goodies for me and the crew and they all went down very well, and very quickly. I wonder where my next nuts are coming from…