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This week's featured article is Som Saa, E1 6BD, a well-regarded Thai restaurant that I've been meaning to go to for ages, just on the Spitalfields/Whitechapel border. However, luckily an RGL correspondent has done so, and plenty of positives resulted, albeit clustered along the sour/salty ends of the taste spectrum. Kake also tantalises readers with a suggestion of weird over-intimacy but we shall have to imagine.

Three new articles:

* Lituanica, a Lithuanian restaurant in the charming and delightful eastern oasis of Beckton, and part of what sounds like a Lithuanian department store. Expect potatoes and meat.
* Cafe Le Jardin in Whitechapel. It's a decent greasy spoon, though it is unclear whether there is indeed a garden, but the map doesn't suggest any.
* North End Tavern in Worcester Park. Welcoming yet fairly standard as these kinds of things (chain pubs in suburbia) go.
 
 
25 July 2017 @ 08:21 am
 
Can we talk hobbies?

I recently gave up on the idea that I would ever make jewelry again and gave away nearly all of my beads. I donated the box and found a smaller box for the repair tools. The beads I kept are intended for adding to knitting projects.

Oh, knitting.

That large collection of yarn, patterns, supplies.

I decided to do something. I've long been on a "yarn diet" in which I do not buy new yarn. I do not go into the yarn store. I do not look at yarn online. I have accepted yarn from a friend when she moved--she has good stuff. But mostly, I am using up what I have.

I gave away some yarn I'll just never use. I went through patterns and got rid of the ones I'll never make. I gave away the stitch markers I don't like. I gave away knitting baubles I didn't want in the first place. And I am using up scraps in projects. My knitting things are more under control. I did buy some yarn that I've used immediately in some scrap projects. Now I am creating a stash of knitted things for gifts, or for charity auctions, or local charities, or whatever strikes me. I am making those projects I've had prepped for quite some time and I am taking apart projects I stopped working on to regain control of the needles, beads, and yarn. I will have to start over using some yarn. And that's okay. I keep it in check now.
 
 
25 July 2017 @ 07:34 am
Tuesdays here and it's time to tackle the anti-procrastination part of the week (well, today, tomorrow, whenever suits!) What will it be? What's been plaguing you that you're going to deal with this week? Tell us all about it.

Need a challenge? Here we go, let's head for the kitchen today and think about bite-sizing our way to progress. Set your challenge by taking into account time available and spoons left at the point at which you're going to do this and by assessing your starting point.

Suggestion 1 - pick a work surface and figure out what needs to happen for it to be in 'ideal condition' - clearing and packing away items to leave it empty? Cleaning the surface in some way? Be realistic - if the work surface is huge, don't tackle it all in one go, break it into sections and tackle one. Consider the ways of doing this - most important area first in terms of future use, most visible area, easiest to tackle area to provide the encouragement of progress quickly, worst area first because you've got the time and energy to make a good dent in what needs doing - you know best. Set a timer and go for it, how much can you get done?

Suggestion 2 - Open a cupboard and tackle a shelf - first identify anything that doesn't need to be there (our of date, wrong place, unwanted) and remove those items. Next step is to either move everything in there to wipe down the shelf (if you think this is necessary - this may depend on the contents of the cupboard that you pick) or to go straight to organising the contents in a useful/pleasing/practical fashion. If it's a food cupboard, remove anything that out of date and health harmful but also identify items which need to be used up quickly and bring them to a more prominent position to encourage yourself to use them up.


And with that I shall leave you and head to work for the day - I'll be back this evening to cheer, if anyone else can cheer and encourage please do.
 
 
 
24 July 2017 @ 10:27 am
How did everyone's weekend uncluttering go? I know I'm writing this a bit late (for me), but it is still Sunday for some of you, so I'm hoping that counts...

Saturday for me was a bit of a write off, with the first ballet class (for me) of term, and then going to an exhibition ice-hockey match in the evening, but I started a project that I'm hoping will lead to uncluttering the yarn stash -- I'm making multi coloured knit strips (30 stitches wide, 85cm long) which will be sewn together to make blankets to be donated to a local cat shelter. I'm very deliberately not thinking about colour order, or much in the way of yarn weight (I'm pretty sure most of it is 8ply, but at least one of them would have been 12 ply), and just grabbing everything out of the Basket Where Left Over Yarn Goes to Rot* that is a tiny ball of 'urgh, whatever will I do with that'. I've gone for the strips idea because the materials and tools for one strip will fit in a tiny carry bag (which I made from fabric I've been hoarding for years because I knew it was useful, but didn't have a specific task -- like soft tulle). Strip one is about 50cm, so I'm pretty happy with that!

And then I spent Sunday working on finishing existing craft projects, so that at least I can get those out of the work space, and know what is 'left overs'.

(Today, I'm going to take the big box of random Stuff from the front hall, and drop it in at an op-shop, on the way to do the school pickup. Not quite in the right direction, which is why I've managed to put so much Stuff in it).



* Sadly, not quite hyperbole -- one ball had weaknesses where it split about every 30cm, so in the end it was just pulled to pieces and shoved in the 'stuffing' jar.
 
 
22 July 2017 @ 10:13 pm
 
The local community theater guild is hosting a yard sale. I pay the guild $10, I get a space to sell my stuff.

Suddenly my "departing the living space for keeps" pile has grown by a dozen books and about three dozen DVD/Blu-ray cases.

Funny how that works. XD

(Whatever I don't sell will just go to the library book sale or the Goodwill as appropriate.)
 
 
 
21 July 2017 @ 03:59 pm
I have not done any big uncluttering, but a lot of little things. We have been knocking over a batch of paper bags storied near our utility room door for months. It finally got to both of us. About 35 small white handled bags went into recycling, and 6 big Barnes and Noble bags went to B2P to use at our fall book sale. Both these kinds of bags keep coming into the house, and they look so possibly helpful they get kept. At least for a while we will not knock bags to the floor when carrying baskets to the washer.

I also finally got to cleaning up my email account on the Snow Leopard laptop. My email comes to 2 different laptops and my iPad. I don't sync these because I do not want to sync other things, so email deleted in one place stays in another. Someday I hope to figure a way around this. Anyway, since I am going to clone the Snow Leopard laptop in preparation to getting a new iMac with Sierra, I though I should try to clean up my account on that laptop before the cloning. I have deleted over 1000 emails, mostly from places I shop on line who keep sending me ads every day. I also had a lot of political emails from various organizations, especially pre and post the election. I deleted them on my iPad, but they are now gone from the SL computer. This also means that when I do the data migration all that will not transfer to the new iMac. Managing computer data is a huge chore, and I am not done yet. I still have to look at the documents I kept on this laptop, and see what I do not want any more.

Paying attention to all this is important. When I stop watching what I save, or forget that I have other email records, or save webarchives that I never look at again is when stuff accumulates and gets in the way. I need to keep reminding myself of that.
 
 
20 July 2017 @ 09:57 am
meatball the cat chomping grass
Meatball doing his best pirate impression.

Every morning I take Meatball out to our vegetable garden. He likes to explore and chew bits of long grass. It's a good outdoor spot for him because it's fenced; I worry without some kind of boundary he'll run off after a chipmunk and get lost (or worse).

But today, there was a rabbit in the garden--almost full grown--and he went for it. (He was not pleased with me when I hauled him back inside.)

I know some cats are more confrontational than others, but is it common for cats to chase animals as big as they are? Does your cat do this?
 
 
Current Mood: surprised
 
 
via [personal profile] twistedchick

it's free, they even give you supplies necessary to take care of the kitten.

all you have to to is feed them, care for them & clean up after then for a few weeks.

not sure how to take care of a kitten? humane society silicon valley has a 2-hour orientation & will give you the phone number of someone that will answer your questions.

this article has all the info, including links the the HSSV page & calendar with the next scheduled orientation.

if you're not near this place, check with your local shelter, they might have a foster program of some sort.

 
 
Current Mood: determined
 
 
19 July 2017 @ 07:38 pm
What's an exciting way to spend an evening? Decluttering doesn't necessarily spring to mind (or at least for me it doesn't). Often it's fraught with emotions like guilt and frustration so not exciting or something to look forward to in my book.

By contrast though, how does relaxing in a clutter-free, clean and tidy room that you can look on with a sense of pride and the knowledge that it's done and you were the one who got it there. Better, right? So that's what I'm trying to hang on to at the moment - the goal, rather than the getting there. I've got an image in my head of what I want it to be like and now I'm determinedly trying to hang on to it while I get there. It doesn't get rid of the guilt and frustration, but maybe they last a little less each time or I can balance them a little.

A little bit of that pride is achievable in the moment, by rather than imagining the whole room complete, I try imagining the little bit I'm going to be working on - be it a shelf, a box, a pile of filing or whatever. I take a look and I imagine what's it's going to look like when I've finished 'today' because every little helps.

What about you? What helps you declutter emotionally or maybe that should be unemotionally? How do you stay focussed on the goal and what is your goal? And how's your decluttering been going so far this week?
 
 
19 July 2017 @ 07:23 am
Welcome to Wednesday and time to tackle the thing that has been lurking and needs to be done. What will it be? What is that PITA of a thing? Care to share, we're here for you and will be virtually behind you with all the encouragement you need.

In need of a little challenge to get you to start something? My challenge to you today is to check on the fridge. Depending on your energy levels and time allowance, select what's most appropriate for you. Remember if you do want to break it up or end up having more energy/time that you initially expected, you can always come back and do another step later today (or tomorrow).

Step 1 - Open the fridge and do a quick check for anything out of date and needing to go.
Step 2 - Spend a bit more time and do a thorough check to the back of shelves/bottom of drawers etc and make sure that you've checked everything in there - take mental note of anything that needs using quickly.
Step 3 - Starting with the top shelf, take everything out, lift out the shelf and clean it, dry it, replace it and put back in a more organised fashion - you may at this point realise that some things would ideally be in a different fridge location, whether it can be moved may depend upon there being space in its ideal location.
Step 4 - If you've still got energy/time, repeat with next shelf
Repeat Step 3 if you wish, until all shelves/drawers and the little door shelves have been checked and cleaned. If you can, as you go, wipe down the inside top and walls of the fridge as well with a cloth and some sort of light cleaner to get rid of any lurking invisible unwanted life forms. If you are tackling just a shelf at a time, don't get the top/walls too wet so that no cleaner runs down onto food stored lower in the fridge.

Remember that there is no obligation to do this challenge and also even if you do start it, it doesn't have to be done all in one go - a shelf a day for the week would be just as wonderful if you wanted to tackle it that way.

So with that I shall say goodbye (I'm not back until fairly late tonight, so please do cheer each other along), good luck with whatever you decide to tackle and a reminder that the optional challenge is OPTIONAL and also does not have to be completed as the WHOLE task - step 1 is a success, as is any other step. Look after yourselves, remember to think of your rewards for completing any personal pain in the tuckus tasks and let us know how you get along.
 
 
17 July 2017 @ 11:41 pm
Le Raj, Epsom, London KT17
Evening crew!

This week's featured article is for Le Raj in Epsom, a fancy joint that's earned a spot in the Good Curry Guide. The takeaway prices are a bit lower but you'll have to come and get it yourself, as they don't deliver.

New to RGL but certainly not new to me is the Soldier's Return, the third best pub in Ickenham. It's changed a little since I was drinking cheap lager there in the '90s - the tie's changed from Courage to Greene King, and they've apparently got rid of the (really quite manky) carpet. Also new is Karachi Cuisine in Norbury, a child-friendly Pakistani restaurant that does an interesting-sounding traditional breakfast on weekends. Try the chickpeas!

Finally, the Michelin-starred Dabbous in Fitzrovia has shut. Apparently the team will be opening a new (hopefully less noisy) restaurant next year.
 
 
16 July 2017 @ 12:32 pm
This is inspired by a place by my work that does something similar, but with pear compote.

Ingredients:

* Sharp white cheddar (mine came from CostCo, the Coastal stuff)
* Rosemary bread (mine came from Trader Joe's)
* Lemon curd (another thing from Trader Joe's)
* Butter (I did unsalted, the cheddar is plenty salty enough)

Tools:

* Toaster Oven
* Frying pan and oven

Steps:

* Lightly toast one side of the rosemary bread in the oven
* One one slice of rosemary bread, put a pile of chopped up white cheddar chunks on the toasted side. Put it back into the toaster oven until the cheese gets pretty melty.
* While that's going on, spread lemon curd on the other piece of bread, on the toasted side.
* Put a pat of butter in your frying pan and melt it
* Take your melted cheesy bread out of the toaster oven, put both pieces together so the cheese of one side is against the lemon curd of the other
* Put your sandwich into the pan, swish it around, flip it to the other side--this will make sure that both sides have butter as you pan toast.
* Toast both sides of your sandwich in the pan with the butter, flipping as necessary. When it's toasted to your liking, put it on a plate.
* Tada! Fancy grilled cheese.
 
 
16 July 2017 @ 05:31 pm
What uncluttering have you achieved over the weekend?

I did a lot of rearranging, so that we have more space, but mostly for a null amount of decluttering. Saturday morning we collected a table from one friend who has moved house (and can't fit it any more), Saturday afternoon we sent the old kitchen table out the door with another friend. The new table in the folded down size is the same as the old table in the folded out size, so the space taken up is the same (although we've since expanded the new one; not sure how long it will stay like that). And I've moved a number of books that were scattered over many horizontal surfaces (including much of the games room floor) and lined them up in front of the long (~3m) bookshelf, as if the floor were another shelf. As this only partially obscures the books on the shelf, I'm calling it a win. I found 6 books that I want to rehome, but three of them didn't make it past eldest (ooh, I like those two; I haven't read that one).

The only other thing I found to rehome was a solid shampoo from Lush that the two scent sensitive kids thought was fine while we were in the shop, but when it was brought home was found to be merely less offensive than the rest of the options. We've been using it (still wrapped) as an 'air freshener' in the kids bathroom, but when it was too much for me when I walked in there yesterday, and neither kid wants to open it, we passed it on to a visiting friend.

Today, I've found one DVD that I don't want to watch again (March of the Penguins), so once that has gone past the rest of the household, I need to find it a new home.
 
 
14 July 2017 @ 07:12 pm
I did not get rid of a lot, but what I did is very significant in my thinking process about letting go of stuff. I loved WordPerfect back in the day. It was much easier to use and to make corrections and edits than Word. However, as things go, Word really began to dominate in usage, and I was eventually required to use it at work. I had Wordperfect at home, but it began to fade in the early 90s. I bought an update, back when software came in big boxes, with lots of discs and handbooks - my box was about 4 inches wide. I also had 3 heavy user books, on that slick, heavy paper. I have not used WP in years - my computers are now Macs, and in any case WP is no more, but for some reason I held on to all this software and manuals. They took up about 9 inches of shelf space, on a high shelf in my office area. I think I was so irritated that the software I thought was much the best lost in the sales race and did not let go of useless stuff out of some kind of demented loyalty.

I am editing the desk and reference shelves over it because we are getting a new iMac with a 20 inch screen. B uses a laptop running Snow Leopard, and that OS is getting seriously out of date. He wants a bigger screen to watch various videos, and I would not mind using it either. So we are making space for this bigger device, and the extra stuff it will have - DVD/CD drive (Apple no longer includes them in their hardware) a touch-pad, 2 speakers, a back-up drive, and a lot of cords. This means I have to clear the shelf that will be behind the computer, and therefore find places for stuff or get rid of it. I gained 9 inches on my upper shelf, and moved the OS manuals for Snow Leopard and Windows XP (yes, we have old systems) to that space. I also discovered the reference shelf had 2 different editions of The Dictionary of Word Origins and 3 Bartlett's. One of the word origins is going to Books to Prisoners; I have seen requests for something like that and I am going to see that someone who needs it gets it. I am looking over the Bartlett's to decide which one to keep.

All this seems to say that I am getting over at least part of my need to hold on to books that I will probably not need again. It is a very small step, but I'll keep reminding myself that no evil happened from this action, and space was gained.
 
 
13 July 2017 @ 03:47 pm

I've added a thing to let us hide long blurbs on locale/category pages, since although it's good to have this info, it can end up pushing the lists of actual things in the locale quite a long way down the page.

To make this work, enclose your blurb like so:

<div class="blurb">
My very wordy essay on the history of Harefield.
</div>

You can see this in action on the Ickenham locale page, which has a great but long blurb written by [personal profile] katstevens.

Comments welcome!

 
 
Hello and welcome back and sorry for the delay this week; things got busy at work at then... Oh well.

Ferry House, Isle of Dogs, London E14

So the featured article this week is The Ferry House, E14 3DT, a pub on the Isle of Dogs, still very traditional though with fewer dartboards and less sticky carpet than that might usually entail. It's got Courage beer and Sunday roast, though.

One new article is Pivaz, in London-adjacent and Central Line-terminating Epping. It's a somewhat upmarket Turkish restaurant, with tasty breakfast options and attentive staff.

Our reported permanent closures are The Cricketers, a small pub in Croydon (just near the Lebanon Road tram stop), and Dirty Burger in Kentish Town, though it was never much more than an outhouse shack and I was a meat-eater the last time I went there, giving a sense of its long and storied existence (i.e. it's several years old).

Finally, we can report the reopening of Affogato, a Norbury coffee shop and cafe, so there's no reason now to cancel all your Norbury travel plans this summer.