While I do make the most of living in London it does become all too easy to take this wonderful city for granted, especially when the nights draw in and the temperature plummets. Yesterday was one of those non-descript, rainy, cold London days. Not quite fog bound enough to resemble a scene from an Arthur Conan Doyle novel, just plain old dull.
I finished my morning duties and was determined to get into town to see Let the Right One In at the fantastic Prince Charles Cinema on the edge of Leicester Square. The PCC is a proper cinema with red velvet seats which shows films a few months after they came out, as well as art house cinema and theme nights. My favourite thing about them is they are so much cheaper than most London cinemas which charge around £11 per person, I can go to the theatre and see real live people act for less. On the bus into town we got chatting to two Ethiopian ladies who lived in Boston and who were wondering what to see in London while they were here on holiday. We had a lovely chat though we did end up apologising for the weather. How very British of us.
Here’s our view of Shaftsbury Avenue from the top deck of the bus.
We made it into the cinema just as the film started. I loved the film but won’t say too much here in case anyone hasn’t seen it. The cinema was a tad on the chilly side which added to the atmosphere of the film. If you’ve seen Let The Right One In and enjoyed it I’d highly recommend The White Ribbon (Das weiße Band) which has a similar feel to it.
After the cinema we went into Chinatown (the cinema is right on the edge of it). While London’s Chinatown is small compared with other world cities it does have some great Asian supermarkets. I love trying new foods and we were also in need of new soup bowls. One of the supermarkets is spread out over three floors so I had a good look around. There were some things in there I’d never heard of and I wish I’d written the names down to look up on the internet when I got home. I did find Milk Peanut Soup which apparently is a “natural food for any season.” While this was intriguing I didn’t buy any on this shopping expedition.
I did buy some green tea noodles, teeny tiny fairy mushrooms, galangal for Thai cooking, dried jack fruit (we discovered this a few years ago on holiday in Malaysia) and beancurd skin. Yes, despite being a vegetarian food beancurd has skin. I encountered this a lot on my travels in Japan and developed a taste for it. I had it for breakfast on several occasions covering neat triangles of sticky rice. It’s the first time I’ve found it in a shop over here so I’m a happy bunny. I now need to learn what to do with it.
I’d hear a rumour that some Ravelers were in town so on my way home I popped into Loop, my LYS (Local Yarn Shop) to see what was occurring. My friend Rachel (aka knittingtastic) works at Loop so I expected to see her but also found Heather (aka cybil) who has volunteered with p/hop along with Rachel. They are both active members of Natalie’s (p/hop’s founder) group on Ravelry so while admiring some beautiful Shilasdair yarn with Cybil, who appeared coming up the stairs but Natalie herself.
Natalie & Cybil rummaging in Loop
I popped home to put my shopping away (I had galangal to freeze – yeah yeah, I know, how very Islington of me), then headed back out into the chily night to meet the Sheddites (the moniker for members of Natalie’s Ravelry group) for tea. We went to the Bangers and Mash cafe where everyone tucked into, well, bangers and mash. I’m surprised there was time for eating never mind pudding as there was so much chat and laughter from a funny, intelligent and lively group of women. It was great fun and I had a lovely time nattering with Cybil/Heather and Christine who is visiting from the USA.
There was the obligatory passing round of knitwear as well as a spot of knitting.
I have to say though, getting this lot to hold still for a photo was like herding cats.
After a fun evening of blethering I headed home and knit a few rows on my current project, the Citron Shawl from Knitty.com. The yarn is Rowan Damask which I picked up in a yarn sale a few years ago. I had started to make another Clapotis from it but didn’t like the way the drop down stitches looked in the Damask, it has a slight thick/thin quality to it which made the edges look untidy, even with knitting through the back loop. While I have a few spare balls of Damask yarn I have been knitting straight from the Clapotis to the Citron. I’m calling it Knitamorphosis, it’s fun watching a piece of knitting I don’t like shrink while the other grows. I’m much happier with the way the yarn is looking as a Citron shawl. This is part of the inevitable giftmas knitting. I should get it finished by the end of the week if I can cope with the last few rounds, 444 stitches anyone? I wish I’d taken it to the cinema with me.
You might already recognise me as p/hop Clare. This is me writing as my knitting alter ego, Gingerknits.
We’ve extended the blog-a-long to Friday 12th November. If you would like to join in (the more the merrier) details of how to take part are here.