Sunday, 20 January 2013

How to make me happy


It's been a while, mostly because I'm mega busy at the moment, but also because I've been pouring my heart and happiness into wearing my blanket-pants. You can have your onesies, world, there's no beating leopard print jammies made out of the softest material known to man.

This is the happiest a piece of clothing has ever made me, which got me thinking about what else makes me happy. Here's my list! What's on yours?

I know books make basically everyone happy, but I'm no exception so they're going on the list. I love Bill Bryson so much,I'd invest my life savings in paying him to just sit and talk at me for the rest of my life. Money well spent, as far as I'm concerned. I'm also game for being best friends with Caitlin Moran, if she's okay with me gradually turning into her. And Simon Armitage if he's cool with me fangirling all over the show.

My new year's resolution was to have some more quality time with Emma, and we have been delivering. It might take her forty five minutes to leave the house to pick up a bottle of milk, but I can accept that, as long as she can accept me retelling the same anecdote for the fifth time and ending every sentence with #bestfriendever.(...#bestfriendever)

Rap Battles.
Yes, as a weedy girl at university, you might not expect me to be particularly enthusiastic about watching men in baseball caps shout at each other in rhymes. But I so am. I've got a particular soft spot for Blizzard, who has insane rhythm and seriously smart lyrics. Watch him destroy Don't Flop veteran Lego in round three (skip to 10.50 if you don't want to watch the whole thing)- and if you don't understand why this is amazing, just try it out yourself. 

There should a compulsory Beyonce night at at least one club every night, in every city. They could do it on rotation, I'm not being unreasonable. All I want is a night out where I don't have to listen to bullshit and can just have a night where I know all the words/dance routines and spend the night queening IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK? Sigh. 

I have a lot of time for food. Nothing pleases me more than going out for a meal, least of all because I get an opportunity to compare the service to my own waitressing skills. I had a bit of a fling with baking not long back, and today I'm making a Sunday roast for my four nearest and dearest, because I'm a damn good friend (and a well meaning chef).

Other things that guarantee a good mood, but require less of a blurb: getting a table seat to yourself on a train, reading strangers' blogs, poached eggs, driving around with my mum, umbrellas that don't instantly fuck up, playing with my new fancy camera that I don't understand yet, and trying to use phrases that don't suit me, like "dat shit cray". I'm pretty ease to please, really.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Lamb and Lion review: York's most 'York-esque' pub

"Don't look if you're squeamish."

Not something you expect to hear in the middle of your lunch, but I guess rare birds don't tend to make a habit of swooping, killing and eating a pigeon in front of a crowd. Not least while the crowd is halfway through their brocolli and goat's cheese soup, anyway.

This is why I love the Lamb & Lion. Not because hawks murder pigeons in the courtyard on a regular basis (apparently that's only happened once, we were -ahem- lucky to catch that spectacle), but because there really is something unusual about this pub.

Lamb and Lion, High Petergate

The food isn't the always greatest in the world- the horseradish to beef ratio on my sandwich was too disproportionate for my liking, and I'm not afraid of a good hunk of spice- but the setting is wonderful. Candles light up every cranny of the crooked ceilings, everything seems like it's eased into the building over a period spanning centuries. It feels like a proper York pub- one you couldn't possibly imagine in any other city.

The service, unfortunately, has let it down before. Having been twice, I was once overcharged (my maths didn't catch up with me until later that day, too late to ask for it to be recalculated), and when visiting with my parents, they managed to forget a main ingredient on my stepdad's order. When asked where the bacon was in the "Poached egg and bacon salad" at the end of our meal, having had no chance to catch a waitress beforehand, we were told the chef was having a bad day, and we could have a slice of bacon brought out if we really liked. We politely declined.

Despite this, I wholeheartedly recommend this pub to everyone. Yes, the staff may have sort of bumbled through service, but I genuinely think they were honest, mistakes. They're always lovely and pleasant, and the fact I'm overlooking being charged six quid for two half pints of coke to urge you to go should speak volumes, really.

The Lamb and Lion is the most York-esque pub in the city. The building is fascinating, and all food and drink is sourced locally. The rooms are a fantastic shabby-chic, and the service is well-meaning and the atmosphere is ideal for a good catch up and a little marvel on how beautiful this city is. And you might even catch a David Attenborough-style live show out of the window.