How you define yourself

I'm OK. 

Which is something I didn't think I'd ever be able to say, at least not when I was a great deal younger.

Not being OK, or partly broken was so much a part of who I am and was it's hard to separate it out. But now I look at my life and while its not perfect I'm OK. And I wonder does it still define who I am now? So much so that when something good happens,  a part of me is always waiting for the bad to follow. Because deep down I don't think it can last. History has shown me otherwise, or is that just self fulfilling prophecy or worse some sort of warped coping mechanism.

I don't really have the answer.

However questions remain, more so because when I encountered others that have shared this kindred path of being so disconnected from life that you are fatalistic in all your outlooks. You know how to recognise it. And I think do they see it in me? Do I wear it like a badge or am I now normal?

When is it safe to be happy?

Like millions all over the world I love watching Game of Thrones and the brutality of it doesn't shock me quite as much as it should. Not because I've read some of the books or because I can predict this or that in the plot. Because I already see a world where the hero dies, where evil flourishes. And therefore I wonder when I'm happy am I just sticking my head in the sand.

Or is it alright to pretend even for a short while.


12. Morelli's

Morelli's Gelato

The good news is there is more Gelato out there. The bad news was, this isn't a good addition.

This place has the advantage of being right on my door step, so this was a dangerous prospect. I've no idea how long the Portobello Road branch has been there but I've certainly never noticed it. Being in a rush and happening on this place after I'd already eaten a huge lunch all I could manage was one scoop.

Given the high price it seems all I could afford was one scoop anyway. This might sound pedantic but that scoop did not fill the cup - like all the other places that really pack it in there. Nor were the staff particularly open to letting us try other flavours.

But I digress. I have to say while this wasn't the worst coconut I've had it was very disappointing. It was heavy and tasted more like a cheap ice cream then a light gelato. I was also overly cold. One of the things I enjoy about gelato is that it is lighter and a tad warmer, which makes it super runny and you have to gobble it before its gone. I also don't think the taste had infused that well because it tasted more like vanilla. Now its possible I picked badly or this was a great batch. But given the amount of choices around, I don't think I'll be going back.

Flavour: Coconut - 2.5
Texture: Heavy - 2
Price: £3.80 (1 scoop) - 2
Experience: 3
Venue: 3
Total Score: 2.25



When I heard the Gelato festival was coming to London I knew I had to go. So I spent yesterday evening at Old Spitalfields Market breaking my fast in style, with some equally excited friends.

Those of you wanting to attend the festival is on for the rest of the week so hurry up and get down there. Also they are open fairly late so plenty of time to go after work.

As it's not very clear on the site or at the event, buying a Gelato card let's you try 8 specific flavours - which is a pretty good way to spend an hour. Do note the more cards you buy the cheaper they get so take friends with you.

I'm not going to review all eight flavours but I will say that number 4 coffee and fig was divinity in a cup.


Samson had the right idea

Yesterday my ponytail hit me in the face with a fair old whack, so after about 8 months I finally gave in and got a hair cut.

To most people this isn't a big deal, I absolutely HATE getting my hair cut - "With the Fire of a Thousand Suns".

Bear with me as a walk you through this trauma.

A few things to note, firstly I have no irrational attachment to long hair or anything like that. In fact once I'm in the chair I'm inclined to get everything taken off. Unless its winter, my ears get cold you see. I honestly don't know how men aren't in ear muffs all year round. The other thing stopping me going pixie short is that you then HAVE to get it cut more often, lest you resemble some type of Fraggle.

Secondly this has nothing to do with cost, well OK maybe a little, £50 a pop is a slight turn off. Sadly I don't have afternoons free anymore to attend the great £5 Vidal Sassoon Academy haircuts I used to get as a student - which were all fantastic so thank you.

What it boils down to is that I don't like being to focus of anything for too long. So a person with sharp point objects pawing at me, makes me uncomfortable. Then I end up looking myself for an hour, while they examine my head (for defects I fear). To make it worse they insist on talking as well.
It feels like being under a microscope and is there anyone who really enjoys that?

While I understand that it must be really boring to the stylist, one person after another sitting there, glum. I just can't cope with the small talk. The older I get the more I hate it. They are of course lovely, interesting people but I frankly don't care. And really I don't think they care either so why can't we just all accept it, stop being polite and embrace quiet.

While I do almost always appreciate the result - the whole experience is mildly disturbing. The way I tackle this is to just go to the nearest Salon on a day I can cope and let anyone who is free hack away until you can see my face again. If no one is free then I walk away and wait for the next window. The longest I left it was two years, it was so long it kept tucking it into my jeans. My mum walked passed me when I got it cut because she didn't recognise me anymore.

And did I mention the fact they now massage you too - insult to injury.

Oh well I guess until they invent some sort of instant laser cut process I shall endure but I don't have to like it.


11. Mantovani


Just when I thought I'd run out of Gelato places to review my friend find this gem, It is so good that it is on a par with the best so far - Gelupo.

Firstly I am very pleased that this shop is open until 10pm on most days, because I'll usually visit after the cinema. Which is exactly what we did. While the film we saw was mediocre this was not. I had a Dark chocolate and Coconut, yes they let me have two flavours in a small cup. A small that is a decent size I should add. So essentially I ended up with the BEST Bounty you could have. And this was better than a place in Sardinia I ate the same combination in two weeks ago.
The Chocolate was beautifully rich which just enough bitterness. The coconut was frankly the best I've ever had, so I'll be back for more.

While we arrived late the staff were still friendly and the seats comfortable. The shop was warm and pleasant and the fact they do an afternoon tea did not go unnoticed.

They also had vegan friendly flavours for those of you who don't get to indulge as much.

My friend had an Almond gelato which was divine and almost made me buy more. This place is fairly hidden away but worth seeking out.

Flavour: Dark Chocolate - 4 | Coconut - 5
Texture: Rich and Delicious - 4
Price: £3.50 (2 scoops) - 3
Experience: 5
Venue: 5
Total Score: 4.3


Things you realise

Friendship is a difficult thing.
People come in and out of your life, some making a lasting impression in just moments. Others are with you forever, like fixed points of safety in a vast ocean. The only truth is you never know who you'll be friends with and how long it will last.
There is a false idea that the longer you know someone the closer the bond. I'd argue you can find a bond with someone you've just met, and it might be more meaningful than all of you can fathom.
Friendships like romantic relationships need maintenance. The degree can vary person to person. I know I have some special people in my life that it doesn't matter how often we speak or how far away they are, I can pick up the phone, write a letter or see them after years of silence and some how its like nothing has changed.
Others can be so important in one period of your life and then suddenly vanish, never to be seen or heard from again. And that's natural, some friendships run their course, its no ones fault, nothing happened and there is no point even chasing after it.
Some people are by your side, sharing tears and laughter, no matter what. These are the rarest of all and we are lucky to have them. The family that you choose.
And then there are the painful ones. The ones we let close to our hearts but one day betray us, and when these start to die, the pain is a crippling as any break up or bereavement.
The sad fact of like is, that when you like someone, you can become blind to who they are. When that faith is broken, its hard to face the all too sore reality. This person is not who you thought they were.
There is nothing as cold as reaching out to someone you are invested in, only to find they don't care. This goes for family and lovers but especially friends. Why? Because we chose them.
Dealing with that rejection, coupled with the embarrassment and disappointment/disillusionment is not an easy task.
There are friends who I thought the world of, who abandoned me when I needed them the most. These still, despite the logic, the passage of time and new friends. Mainly because I'll never know why. Unlike a relationship they didn't fall out of love. Its more calculated, and therein lies the truth. Friendship is difficult. Its rewarding, enriching and endlessly unpredictable but also heartbreaking.