19 Oct 2010

Making More Of An Effort

So here I am again, I've not been hiding, I just had a week or two of the dizzies in September and with all the other s**t hitting the fan it turned out to be a full on sucky month. It took me a fortnight to get over it! That's in the past now, and I do not like to dwell on things, it just tends to make me miserable, and the nights drawing in earlier is making me miserable enough at the moment!  I think I was probably a squirrel or some other fluffy hibernating animal in a previous life. Don't do cold and dark nights, I just put me PJs on after I collect K from school and close the curtains and eat winter stews and pies!  October has been pretty uneventful so far, no big wins to report  but  I had a few nice ones, nothing spectacular but a nice addition to the Christmas cupboard!  I also have enough products to be able to write at least one review a day for a couple of weeks, but you all know I am totally incapable of sticking to that plan!  Still, I will definitely review all the products I have been sent it's not going to be that slow as a lot of them are food items! My greedy self can't keep them in the drawer that long! :D 
Work is really uber crap at the moment, it looks like the recession has finally hit the call centre where I work. I've lost a lot of my usual shifts, and seen as I only work 4hours a day five days a week, that has hit us hard! This week I brought home a grand total of £23.40, all I can say is that the comping fairy better be super nice to me otherwise I'm screwed! Because I love Christmas loads more than a small child, that thought has yet to compute in my brain! Christmas planning is well underway and usually I am so much more prepared for it than I am this year. EEEEK!  With only 67 sleeps to go and only half the things I need for advent boxes and Christmas eve survival packs combined with an empty bank account, penny jar and purse. I am more than certain that it is looking bleak :(  

But you know me, chin up and soldier on. It will all work out fine in the end... I'm actually seriously thinking about using all my holiday weeks for December so I can lock myself in the house and comp solidly like a mad woman on a mission. The question is, would that be a viable solution? Answers on my facebook or in a tweet and you could win a pat on the back! It would be a prize but at the moment I couldn't even afford the postage.

On the plus side, last weekend
Misteright, K and I went on our VIP Fruitini weekend to London. We stayed at The Grosvenor next to Victoria Station. We had rooms next door to each other, K in one and Misteright and me in the other. The hotel was magnificent, even though they were having some renovations done. The entrance was amazing to look at. I couldn't fit it all in so I took a picture from the balcony on the first floor.        

After we checked in and scoped out the swanky rooms. The competition winners had been housed on the first floor in a corridor that was not as nice as the rest of the hotel and the rooms were not as nice as I expected but it was free so I am not complaining. If I had paid loads of money to stay there and been presented with those rooms I would not have been happy! Both rooms had huge flat screen TVs with most channels I knew of and loads of foreign ones I had not come across before.  When we were settled we thought we had better go and have a wander so  we took a stroll up to Buckingham Palace, K wanted to see if the Queen was home! She wasn't but someone from the family definitely was, Misteright said that you can tell by the way that the flag is flying from the top of the palace! There is not really that much to see apart from the palace! So we took a walk into Knightsbridge and went to have a nosey in Harrods.  

On the way we passed this car outside Coutts, the Queen banks there, wonder if it was her car? 1R, 1 Royal maybe? 

I did have to stand at quite a distance before I dared take the photo as the enforcer looking huge muscle man in the drivers seat looked scary as! We got to Harrods and had a look around before accidentally coming across the sweets and chocolate, resulting in K being slightly ticked off that I said we could not really buy any of them at those extortionate prices and he would have to wait until we got nearer a corner shop, and as you probably know there are none of those in Knightsbridge! Before we knew it, it was almost dinner time and we were all still looking slightly scruffy from our four and three quarter hour journey.  We trudged back to the hotel and scrubbed up for what may have been the poshest food I have eaten in a bloody long while. 

The hotel restaurant, The Brasserie was reopened after a renovation in September. We had pre-ordered our food on arrival.  For a starter K and I chose the bruschetta with basil, tomato and mozzarella. This was the most normal thing on the menu. The soup of the day was cauliflower (YUCK) and so Misteright chose the ham hock and pigs cheek, it was like a meaty pate with crusty bread. It all went down well even if the portion sizes were tiny, I suppose that's how you know how posh and swanky a restaurant is. the posher it is, the smaller the portion sizes! 

For the main course the choices were pumpkin and butternut squash open ravioli, steak and chips or some fishy thing that did not sound very appetising at all, so much so that I don't even remember what it was called! K had the ravioli, he ate it and said it was nice, but he prefers the tinned stuff with tomato sauce!  Misteright ordered his steak rare and I had medium well.  We were not very impressed, Misteright is a big steak fan and was rather disappointed with his steak, it was not rare, more of a medium, almost well and the meat was not of a quality that you should expect in a place like that. I can cook value steak that tasted better. Mine was far too well done, and a little burned around the edges which left it rather chewy. I would have sent it back but it felt a little wrong to complain about it when it didn't cost us anything and the set menu for the three of us should have cost about £65 each. Again, not something I would have paid for but an unforgettable experience.  

Then dessert came! WOW! It totally made up for the rubbish steak! K and I had the lemon tart with mascerpone and mint. LUSH is the only word to describe it, it was velvety and ooh! The pastry was so buttery and crumbly all at the same time! Most excellent. Misteright had the pannacotta with fresh berries. He had never had a pannacotta before, I am now going to have to learn to make it as he adored it, which is quite surprising for someone who is not very puddingy. All the plates were empty and it was almost 9 o'clock which only meant one thing, almost bedtime!  It took a while to get K settled, he has never stayed in his own hotel room before and he was so excited about having a TV to watch as we don't have one at home! Had to resort to slight bribery to get him to bed, so we let him watch the X-Factor until 9:25pm. We were then grounded to the hotel room so we watched TV and had a bottle of wine.

On the Sunday morning, we had breakfast at the hotel, it was so much better than the evening meal the night before. We had full on slap up, help yourself full English, which we all regretted at 10:45am when we were being served lunch at the Rainforest Cafe! I felt sick just looking at the huge burger that was in front of me. I ate the salad and three small bites of burger but I managed a small bowl of fresh fruit for dessert.  Whilst we were eating, a magician, a face painter and a balloon modeller did the rounds of the tables along with a life sized rainforest frog                          

Then we all got on a big red London bus and went for a tour of all the sights!  After the tour we took a walk to Hamleys so K could have a look see!  It's changed a lot since the last time I went, but I suppose that was a long time ago now. To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed, it just seemed to be a selection of toys that you could mostly buy at Toys R Us at a great deal cheaper, and the boys floor was half toys and half cafe which was not good at all.  It's just a load of hype because it's Hamleys, some of the stuff was super cool though and K decided instantly that he would love to work there as a toy demonstrator. We did conclude that it would be a brilliant job to get paid for!  The LEGO section was amazing, the LEGO models were huge!

We made our way back to the hotel and collected our bags before the long journey home! I'll not bore you with it as it was horrendous! A good time was had by all but I was glad to get home and have a proper sized brew and I have nothing left to report about that!

Love Steph x
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