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1 January 2009

Something Old, Something New

Unknowingly, I took a suggestion of Tyler Cowen's today (unknowing because he posted the entry after I had returned home from my day's activities), the suggestion being to have a *new* day, on or soon after New Year's Day where you don't do anything old but try out some new things. Actually, I did do some things I'd done before as well and being me, the new things weren't massively exciting or bold but then I didn't know that I was taking up a challenge.

So, today, I tested out a new running route. Not that I'm bored of Regent's Park and its environs but after last night, I felt I should give the Outer Circle a bit of a rest for a few days so instead, I did a couple of laps of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. I did not plunge myself into the Serpentine even though inclement weather and inconveniently timed illness meant I escaped the Med--this morning, it couldn't have been much above zero, though, and I don't really have all-weather swimming gear (my bikini isn't particularly suitable). I was pleased to discover that I could jog to High Street Ken in about 15 minutes so if I ever feel the need to do a Whole Foods shop, there are alternatives to the tube. 

I had lunch at Canteen, which isn't new, but I worry that if I don't go there often enough, it will close and they do make an exceptionally delicious bacon sandwich with perfectly crispy bacon--and the (Monmouth) coffee is great too. Better still, I didn't get served by the one waitress in there who doesn't know anything about customer service (the others are all great). I cut across Oxford Street, via Selfridges and Liberty, to Soho. The shops were all open, of course, but naturally, the only things I wanted to buy in Selfridges weren't on sale. I stopped for coffee in a new (to me) cafe called Canela. The coffee was good but I still prefer Fernandez & Wells, which is just around the corner on Beak Street (when it comes to getting a decent cappuccino in London, the motto "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" usually pays the highest dividends).

The only evidence of last night's firework extravaganza on the embankment was a scattering of barriers. The London Eye still looked pretty, all lit up for the evening, though not quite like last night. My next--and final--novelty was a film at the BFI. Of course, the cinema itself is no novelty for me but the film or, at least, the genre of the film was, I think, a first. I went to see The Wild Bunch, which, I believe, is the first proper western I've seen (excluding any that might have been on at home in the Shire while I was in the room) and it was a pretty good one to start with, although unsurprisingly, it's probably never going to be my favourite genre--wot, no dialogue? Wot, no character development? Wot, no women (apart from the Mexican bonitas, of course)? Anyway, it was frolic- and action-filled and had some funny moments and plenty of glory, honour, loyalty and brothers doin' it for themselves, although I'm probably not really qualified to comment further. At the very least, next time someone tries to persuade me to see a western, I probably won't say no, on principle (and it's another one to tick off the IMDb top 250).

That's quite enough novelty for one week, although that said, I really do need a new pair of gloves as all existing my existing gloves seem to have acquired holes or lacking a partner. Needs must, and all that, especially given the shopping dearth of France (OK, I did get one dress but that's not really very much at all!).


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