Saturday, 10 November 2012

"London Review Cake Shop" - or: Why I don't need a therapist.

Recently one of my best fiends asked me if I need to see a therapist. The answer was a clear, "no thank you." The thing is, I'm not depressed, I just secretly (ish) love to complain. If I got all of my complaining out of the way in the presence of a shrink, I'd have nothing to talk about to anybody else all day long. Moreover, if I never felt sorry for myself, I'd have very little opportunity to allow myself to feel better by indulging in cake.

I read somewhere this week that the amount of pleasure that any individual can enjoy is directly proportional to the amount of pain that they allow themselves to suffer. The further the pendulum swings, the greater the impact that any restorative can have. I like the impact to be huge.

The London Review Cake Shop is a small cafe in Bloomsbury, just around the corner from the British Museum, where one can go on a dreary day for a real wallop of sugary penicillin.

Nestled in the corner of a book shop about twice its size, the cafe, though unfussily decorated, is warm and inviting. Customers get to chose between slightly cramped tables for two lined up against one wall or a large rectangular table by the back windows, which seats around twelve. If not massively comfortable, it's cosy, and the atmosphere is cheering and friendly.

They sell Monmouth coffee (arguably the best in London) and the cafe sports a tea menu longer than the wine lists in most good restaurants. I opted for a green tea with rose which was, as expected, really good. The tea is brought to the table on a wooden board with a baffling array of different receptacles. The gregarious Australian owner came over and showed me how to infuse and decant my tea- a process that involved flipping a glass teapot upside down into a small jug and then refilling the first teapot with hot water from another, larger clay teapot.

I was told that the (very pretty) pink and green leaves in the glass pot were strong enough to make ten infusions worth of tea. Although this was far more tea than anybody would want to drink in one sitting, I tried my best anwyay, since I felt that doing so somehow justified the admittedly pretty hefty fee that the dainty tea leaves and hot water were going to set me back. (I believe it was in the range of £3.50- a lot, but well worth it for both the taste and the show).

The great selection of home-made cakes and pastries all looked glorious, and the proudly "full fat" muffin that I chose was extraordinarily yummy. They also offered a selection of salads, soups and sandwiches for those seeking savoury, rather than sweet treats.

Though £9 lighter, when I left the cafe I felt so uplifted that I practically frolicked back into the wintery air, taking a moment on my way to look around the book shop. In a world of soulless Starbucks and Costa Coffees, London Review Cake Shop is a place of robust character, seriously yummy food and damn good tea- the best therapy anyone could hope for. Foodies unite, you're bound to love it.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

WANTED: friends

So this is me today:

That's right. I am sad/bored/woebegone. Because all my friends are lame and stupid. They all either live too far away, are on exciting trips abroad, were more successful at attaining jobs than me, or just don't really give a damn. Either way, I've been sitting in the house for about two weeks now, searching for a reason to eat my own eye-balls, just so that I might have something the hell to do.

Thus, I have decided that selling myself is the only way. So here goes:

Young, dejected, 21 year old female seeks vibrant and interesting types to befriend her/ show her a good time. Sophie enjoys long walks on the beach, poetry, and water-painting. She likes dogs more than cats, and though somewhat socially awkward, Sophie is a valuable member of any friendship group, happy to assume the vital role of, 'the one who doesn't mind being laughed at'. All applicants please call: 0800-LONERSUNITE.

Monday, 23 July 2012


(To the tune of 'I'm Horny' by the epic Mousse T)


That is all.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Real People

I'm not sure if this is something that other people do too, but very frequently, when sitting upon a train or a bus or in a cafe, I'll look at somebody. Some girl with straightened hair and make-up on, a man in a business suit, and I'll think, that right there, that is a real person. All around us are these people. The people who look 'real.' They could be extras in Hollywood, they probably have very serious arguments on the phone, they look god-damned solid. If you pricked them they would bleed.

I, have never felt like one of these real people. I look at them with a mixture of envy and befuddlement. I wish I was real too, but I don't know how they do it. See, I do not look the same everyday. I look alright if I try, but often my hair is frizzy and there are spots under my nose clumsily plastered with the wrong colour foundation. I do stupid things like leave my purse on the underground, fall up stairs and go through phases of using expressions way too frequently. These days its, "shit's gwanin down" and "shit has hit the fan." For no apparent reason. Except that I wish I was more gangsta, perhaps. Fat chance.

I just know that I could never be a Hollywood extra. They'd look at me and think, nope, she's not palpable enough. Unlike that guy over there, he's a real bona fide, valid human. I'll bet he wakes up at the same time every day and walks his dog. He'll do.

I think that this 'real'-ness is something to do with a person seeming significant to themselves. Like their issues are really fucking important. They really fucking matter, like, even if its just to them, ok? Like, god. Have some fucking sympathy, is the kind of thing they'd say. I don't think I really have many issues and if I did, I'm really quite aware that they don't matter all that much. What can I say, I'm lucky.

Anyway the point of this post is that on Monday I am becoming a real live working woman with shit to get done, and bills to pay and a professional working appearance to maintain. And I'm frightened. I know that when I walk into the office all these solid people will be there. And I don't know how the hell to talk to people like that.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Tall Painting

So damn cool:

Full nakedness! All joys are due to thee. (John Donne)

(Mark Arbeit)

(Ian Rankin)

(Aaron Hawks)

(Andreas Bitesnich)

(Lauren Bentley)

(Christian Coigny)

(Courtesy of The Fine Art Nude Network -> procrastination that makes me feel cultured.. I obviously don't actually know anything about these photographers... But I know I like the photos. I think there is way too much pressure to know about art. It makes it seem an elite thing.. off-putting... I'm sure more people would go to art galleries if they didn't have to worry about knowing. Knowing is such a frightening concept. "Do you know...?" Ugh. Nothing worse. I hate people who feel like they have to tell you everything they do know like they're doing you a favour. What dicks.Tour-guides and the like; that snooty friend who studied art-history (no, not you, Flora). Knowledge may well enhance appreciation but it should never, never be a requisite.
End of pretentious rant. Thank you for your time.)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

My last year self:

Found this amongst my notes from a class last year - real, live stream of consciousness:


Friday, 11 May 2012

A list of words I can definitely spell except when I'm revising:

I've struggled at length with all of these words in the past week and thought it would be funny to make a list so that I can quantify scientifically how mushy my brain has become as a result of all this time spent with Shakespeare (and co):

  • Critacise 
    • admittedly that looks wrong, but a 'z' would be American and Americans talk funny, and I can't abide a word that only lets one vowel in. Its just not politically correct these days.
  • Implisit
    • "He implies it" that makes it "implisit." duh.
  • Sherriff
    • because two 'r's and two 'f's are better than one of each
  • Discribe
    • I can't believe I still get this one wrong: tragic.
  • Chosing
    • Tragic again
  • Anticipatioun
    • Probably how Chaucer would have spelt it...
  • Hartfelt
    • the emotions experienced by an adult deer/dear/deir
  • Heavie
    • A name for a Southern American hill-billie, perhaps Heavie-Joe-Bob in full.. or the 8th dwarf who loves heaving things about
  • Solemnoties
    • Aliens from Doctor Who-- they are naughty and solemn
  • Bascket
    • not sure what I was thinking here. Continental pronunciation perhaps?
  • Behavior
    • Still baffled as to why spell-check says this is wrong

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Bespectacled Dog

"Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children." -George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Side what?

I'm in a girly mood which is pretty rare for me so I decided to try and do something nice with my hair which has finally grown long enough to do cool things with after almost three whole years since 'The Big Chop.' I decided a pretty side bun thing would be cool so I followed a video tutorial on youtube step by step in time with the kindly woman on the video. She looked super duper sophisticated and elegant at the end. This is what happened to me:

I look like Pippi Longstockings but without her awesome gravity defying pig-tails. Sucks to be me. This is even worse than that time I tried to curl my hair:

I'm the shittest girl ever.

I was aiming for this: 


Friday, 6 April 2012

So Mrs. Squirrel, what do you think about love?

"Love is horses and hopping; hopeless dreams of being some kind of hawk. Goats and monkeys. Black rams and white youths."

Monday, 2 April 2012


You have to say that like Topol says "TRADITION" in that very remarkable way in Fiddler on the Roof.

Because revision is a grand and important process, not unlike the marriage of one Jew to another.

Friday, 16 March 2012


My friend Leon is a super-wizz genius at photoshop and did this to one of my poems:

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Self Control... something that I lack somewhat. Put a box of chocolate in front of me and regardless of how hungry I am I WILL eat every single one. Just the other day I ate a whole family-sized packet of Peanut M&Ms because my boyfriend left me alone with them for ten minutes.

Usually I'm pretty good when it comes to work though. Especially when I have loads to do and am on a tight schedule. The problem comes when I have lots of time in which to do something. I can never help but think that if I wanted to, then heck, I could just write it in the few days before the deadline. It would be much more stressful and all, but feasibly I definitely could. Even though I may have been given three whole weeks.

This is what has happened with my dissertation. I just can't bring myself to work on it for more than fifteen minutes without locking myself in a library or a nice cafe. There are just always so many other useful things I could be doing instead. Like revising for finals... or eating peanut m&m's... or playing Bubble Shootix (the best free Mac game ever)... or re-reading Twelfth Night or something.

So I've downloaded this app called 'SelfControl' which basically forces self-control upon the user by blocking all interesting websites for whatever period of time you decide you need. So far it hasn't really worked because I forgot to block my blog and I'm now blogging well into the half an hour time slot I set aside for writing about laughing madwomen in Victorian literature. But it's ok I'll do a proper timed session once I've got this out of my system.

The application seems to have slightly slowed my computer down but other than that I think its an excellent idea and I will be making use of 'SelfControl' from now until May 15th, when OMG my finals will be over and I will be free to face the real world again and frolic with facebook and twitter and all my friends and I'll be the happiest person in the whole world.

The logo is pretty intimidating though so I should probably get back to work for the next 7 minutes.

Monday, 20 February 2012


Hey team,

I haven't managed to blog in a while because I've been a bit of a stresspot of late. For those of you who haven't heard, I'm in my final year of uni now. My exams are in a couple of months and I need to sort my life out asap. Today, I went to my careers centre and a kindly woman made me feel better by telling me that I can just find a job after I graduate and stop worrying about it for a while. Here is a list of other things that make me feel better:

1) CHOCOLATE. Yeah, yeah I'm a fucking cliche of a female. But chocolate has endorphins or whatever and they make me happy.

2) Bubbles. Bubbles are awesome and I love it when they pop. I would have said bubble-baths rather than just bubbles but we don't get baths at uni, just delightful walk in showers with nasty tiles that make your feet hurt if you stay in for too long. But bubbles away from bathtubs are still delightful and make me feel joyous and free.

3) Doing outrageous things, like wearing your boots into the shower. I totally actually did that. I wore my big biker boots and took in my bed-sheet and spun around a bit, stomping like a child in a rainy puddle. It was great until the sheet got really heavy and waterlogged. Then I realised I'd probably not have a dry sheet that evening. But I felt better nonetheless.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


It is much more fun feeling crazy with an encouraging soundtrack.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

THE JOYOUS DONKEY (or is it a horse?)

I have finished my essay! Every time I finish an essay it just reminds me of how mentally unstable I am. BECAUSE IT MAKES ME SO FUCKING HAPPY. Like really bloody disproportionately so. I feel like I've just been accepted to read a degree in Fun at the University of Rainbowland. The fact that I have another one due in on Monday is just SO IRRELEVANT RIGHT NOW. Right now there are unicorns prancing through mid-air. Sliding down waterfally slides of bliss and singing happy songs of wonder! I feel like screaming FREEDOM from the rooftops Braveheart style. (I won't though, don't worry) But I might compose an opera, I could go to the shops, get some sweets, go on a swing, eat some food, watch tv. For now my essay is done and I can do anything in the world! Until Monday. But we are not thinking about that so shush.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Serpentine Dance (1896) -Loie Fuller

How pretty? The dress is made of white silk and this was of course made before the days of colour tv (or tv at all probably) but the Lumiere Brothers actually painted onto the film to make it change colour in that awesome chameleonic way.

I remembered this video because I'm thinking about writing my thesis on the relationship between dance and insanity- but Fuller looks anything but insane here, just free and beautiful.

Cheesy I know. But honestly, I just wish I was a Victorian dancer. So its a melancholic kind of a cheese and that is allowed. A dissatisfaction with the camembert of present and a longing for the cheddar of past... if you will. Mmmm.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Thursday, 12 January 2012

How I Feel Right Now:


Yumchaa is an incredible cafe in Camden Town about 5 minutes walk from the station. They have a collection of about a bajillion different herbal, green, white and black teas. This is perfect for my poor friend Flora who is allergic to caffeine. Since our friendship has always been centred around trips for coffee, we were concerned that this sudden allergy might throw a spanner in the works. But thank goodness for Yumchaa, where instead of nasty coffee we can have tea and bagels and cake. With loads of differently sized and coloured snuggly looking armchairs and tables of varying shapes and sizes (there is even an incredibly old looking velvet sofa) you can stay there pretty much all day. AND it even has wi-fi.

I got a carrot cake. That was crumbly and delicious as a carrot cake should be. But not at all dry. The worst sin a carrot cake can commit is to be dry, but this one was moist as well as crumblesome, and the icing was superb. The teas are scattered into lots of tiny tea-cups so that you can smell them all and pick the one you fancy. Slightly overwhelmed with choice I decided to abuse the poor girl behind the till. "WHAT IS THE BEST TEA!!" I exclaimed, fearing that I was holding up the one man queueing behind me with my indecision. After a slight conversation I decided to go for a tea called "Adventure"- because I'm a really adventurous person and all. It was divine. 

She had told me it would taste like harvest time and frolicking AND IT DID. I couldn't quite figure out what was in it. But it had a delicious apple-tang without being overly sweet.

Basically I seriously recommend.  Yum. (Chaa).

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

This website is beyond sexy.