Sunday thoughts: 13th July 2014

I cannot believe the Allergy and Free From Show (and V Delicious) was just last week! And the theatre! And brunch at Lotus Cucina! This week – and particularly this weekend – have been so full of people bouncing around, weather doing full 180s on us from one minute to the next, late nights and naps on trains and buses… I’m not entirely sure I can recall much before Wednesday, but I’ll do my best:

New things I have learnt this week

  • Just a little dabbling in some knowledge here this week. Some of the guys at the gym were trying out some Transdermal Technology Performance caffeine spray. We were all pretty sceptical about the ability of caffeine to permeate skin in any meaningful way, but beyond assumptions and logic none of us had real idea, so I asked the internet. Turns out the TDT guys aren’t the first to have thought of it, as there are newspaper articles dating back to 2003 (when I was still wearing shell-toe Adidas coloured in with permanent marker) reviewing caffeinated soap. The reviews are all less than encouraging, but this article quotes some nice stats which reveal that caffeine actually does get absorbed through the skin – and is one of the more effective compounds at doing so! However, the skin contact time seems to be key, and it is highly doubtful that anyone spends enough time soaking up the caffeine from a bar of soap – or, I would suspect, from a quick spray into the palms. Moreover, this study reflects the effects of different skin properties on absorption rates, suggesting that hair follicles present a quicker route past the skin barrier, so maybe rubbing the caffeinated Performance Spray into one’s palms is actually one of the less effective ways to use the product? Either way, if I ever feel I need caffeine that badly before my workout, I think I’ll continue to rely on a coffee or – if I really needed to get it down quickly – a cold caffeinated energy drink.

New things I have eaten this week

I haven’t eaten anything particularly new or exciting this week, but lots of tasty eats:

  • With the weather being so miserable, we were very much in the mood for a good old curry one night and a chilli later in the week;
  • I had dinner at a client’s one night, and at Bonnington Café with friends another (I had beetroot soup, tofu stir-fry, and apple-coconut crumble); last night we were invited to a wedding reception where we enjoyed some very tasty Indian food (vegetable samosas and aloo tikki for me for starters, chana masala and saag aloo for my mains with salad);
  • My friend Viv and I had a lovely improvised lunch of fresh bread, lemon and coriander hummus, beetroot falafel (from Waitrose), lots of olives, and crudités;
  • We got home late on Friday and Ben had a very early start on Saturday, so we ordered Thai food – I just got a side of stir-fried asparagus and mushroom as I had other bits and pieces I could throw together for myself.

It’s all just been quite low-key, no-fuss food, but because I deprived you of photos last week (well, technically earlier this week), here’s a picture of my açaì bowl at Lotus Cucina last Sunday:Lotus Cucina Açaì Bowl

Other highlights this week

  • Seeing Viv and having her stay over on Wednesday was awesome. I may have been fast asleep when she arrived but it was no less of a pleasure, even if my voice was a little croaky and my eyes a little cross-eyed still. We had a really nice, chilled day, then I gave myself an effective gym session before heading out to meet her and other friends at the Tamesis Dock floating pub. I thought it would be really tacky and/or overcrowded, especially on such a beautiful day, but I couldn’t have been more wrong – it was perfect!
  • Although I inwardly grumbled at making a three-hour round trip to spend an hour and a half with my friends at the Independent Label Market and London Brewers’ Market, it was so worth it. Turns out I hadn’t seen my friend Zoë since last year! I guess the thing about good friends is that you don’t need to see them that often to feel like you’re a part of their lives… It was so chilled out. Though it would have been better if we had travelled just a few minutes further East and spent our day at the London Vegan Beer Fest. I still wouldn’t enjoy the beer at all, but I’d have gotten to eat barbecued vegan food and by friends could have put their money towards animal-free breweries.
  • My client’s wedding last night was great – she looked beautiful, I got to wear my awesome new Nancy Dee dress and my super super high heels, Ben looked stunning in his new suit (3-piece grey-blue slim-fit reduced to £129!), the food was great and even included vegan-friendly options, we got to muck around taking silly photos in a photo booth, we got to take home the cute little flower arrangements, and we still got home with plenty of time to sleep before Sunday was over. And all this is despite our travel to the wedding coinciding with one of the biggest downpours I have ever seen – thank goodness we hadn’t left yet and were able to get a cab to the bus stop – I even had to put aside my loathing of umbrellas to avoid being soaked through within seconds!

  • Oh and I also won Lauren’s Urban Fruit giveaway over on Powered by Peanut Butter (what a great blog name!) – thank you Lauren!

And I think that’s about it for this week! Am I the only person not watching the football world cup final right now? I honestly had the best intentions, not having watched a single game thus far, but this post was happening and then dinner had to happen (tortilla dough is resting), and now we’re half an hour in and there’s not much point watching it now. Besides, tortilla dough needs to be rolled out in about 10 minutes.

This week will hopefully see me working on a big translation project, a brunch date, and miscellaneous friend hangtimes… I hope! I’d love to get some more writing done here too, the kind of writing that I can lose myself in for a couple of hours at once, but a couple of hours of uninterrupted headspace are hard to come by at the moment. But you can’t have it all, can you?

So whatever you have going on this week, I hope you make the most of it, and have a very happy week!

Wedding flowers