Tag Archives: Marie Curie

2012? When did that happen?

3 Jan

When I was a kid, any date after 2010 seemed an impossibility. I remember very clearly, sitting at home in a philosophical haze (as much as my 10-year-old self could handle) trying to envision the thought that by 2010, I would be 25. TWENTY-FIVE YEARS old! To my brain, that seemed an eternity away.

And yet, I couldn’t wait. Having a sister 11 years older than you, tends to make you want to be a grown-up much quicker – she was already off to university, living away from home, getting to “play house” as I called it.

So, now here we are in 2012. And all I can think is, “When did that happen?”

But, happen it did. And moving into a new year always makes me reflect on the year that was.

So, what was 2011?

Well…2011 was the year I started this site with a post on the food I savoured in Montenegro.

Hot air balloons drift in front of ours in the Napa Valley

It was the year I discovered fantastic wine in the Napa Valley and went hot air ballooning over the vineyards; worked on an organic farm; and, volunteered to take care of turtles in Costa Rica before returning to London to a new home with “the boy” and a new life writing about food, drink and travel.

A little girl runs after friends in the small village of Parismina, Costa Rica

It was the year I discovered my great weakness for whisky and created a site to encourage more young/female/people (!) to drink it, while also trying some fantastic tipples such as absinthe, tequila and cognac (the latter while sitting in a window at Harrods) through my work with Fluid London.

Glasses of Martell Cognac sit on the table in the window at Harrods

It was also the year I and the boy found out how absolutely, divinely incredible Ireland was with a series of posts (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) on our journey up the west coast.

The boy stands near yet another beautiful vista in Ireland

And, finally, it was the year I finished off by tasting some great mince pies for a worthy cause, going off the beaten path of food and drink writing, by thanking many supporters who donated to a fantastic charity night I helped organise with Marie Curie, learning about soup making with Nusa Kitchen and writing about some lovely wines I tried at a Virgin Wines event.

Me, looking incredibly cool, making soup at Nusa Kitchen.

All in all, very pleasurable indeed – and I have to say, far from what my 10-year-old self necessarily envisioned for my 26-year-old self.

And so, I say thank you to the people who have taken a spare few minutes to read my ramblings, and to wish you all the very best for 2012 – it’s the year of the Olympics, the year of the Jubilee, and the year of…well…we shall just have to see. I hope to continue celebrating London’s great food & drink, and maybe do some further exploring afield. And I hope for many pleasurable things all around for all of you (and your ten-year-old selves!)

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Massive Marie Curie Thanks!

14 Dec

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an event I was helping to organise with a fantastic group of people who are a part of the Marie Curie Camden fundraising chapter.

We had a night of music, comedy and raffle prizes planned and it looked to be coming along strong.

But, we had no idea just how strong it would be! In the end, more than 130 people came through the doors of the Fiddler’s Elbow music pub near Chalk Farm on the night of the 3 December – they braved the cold, the winter blues and missing Strictly and the X Factor to come and see some amazing bands and help raise funds for a great cause.

We Were Evergreen gets people dancing!

The evening started with some tunes from the lovely Jamie Gordon, who got the venue buzzing. The highly mesmerizing Holly Walker followed, leaving many people thoroughly absorbed in her tunes. We were then entertained by the rib-tickling singing comedian Jacky Wood, before our special guests of the night – the incredible We Were Evergreen – hit the stage. Their blend of funky, chilled out tunes and super sharp vocals propelled the night into one to remember and they certainly gained some new fans. The evening ended off with a great set from Kings of the City, who finished things off with a bang.

Kings of the City finish off the night on a high note!

And, I can’t forget the raffle. Throughout the night we sold tickets for some amazing items that some lucky people got to take home. All this would not have been possible without the help of those who donated things, so I would like to say thank you to the following people for their generous contributions: Robert Dyas, Dramatic Whisky, The Whisky Exchange, Virgin Wines, Jackson’s Lane Theatre, Rum & Sugar Bar and Restaurant, La Clandestine, Book Warehouse Camden, JP Pharmacy, Belsize Frutiers, Belsize Kitchen, Le Pain Quotidien, T-Mobile Camden, Triyoga, Suits Direct, Camden Mirrors and Charlie’s (our group’s president) mum and aunt for donating a private yoga class and a neck massage, respectively.

Phew! That’s lots of thanks.

Me (and the boy (background)) enjoy the evening.

But I also, of course, want to thank all of the people that came out and made it a truly spectacular evening! In total, we raised more than £1000 that night, which was then DOUBLED by the Big Give project to leave us with a grand final donation to Marie Curie of £2,100.

It was our first event as a group and I’m so happy to have been a part of it and to have seen so many happy faces coming through the door, making sure it was a success!

Thank you so much and happy holidays to you all!

The Camden Fundraising team thanks YOU!

 

Magnificent Marie Curie Event

21 Nov

As you all know, I’m a big fan of anything a little bit indulgent.

But, it is as true that not all in life is or should be just about pleasure!

So, when I’m not eating or drinking my way through London’s fantastic restaurants and bars, I spend time volunteering with the rather magnificent Marie Curie Cancer Care

It all started with a rather funny hat I wore last year – I had so much fun wearing the charity’s silly dafodil hat for its dafodil day (where I paraded outside of Camden Tube trying to sell as many dafodil pins as poss) that I decided I wanted to do more. So, when the call came for a new group to start in Camden at the same time I returned from my travels, I signed right up.

And a couple of weeks later, the Camden fundraising branch for Marie Curie was born. We’re a fun-loving group, and our aim is to get as many funds as possible for the incredible work the hospice does. And what, you ask, does the hospice do?

Well…each year, 2,000 palliative care nurses provide vital in-home and at-hospice care for those people in the final stages of cancer. For FREE! All 1.2 MILLION hours of care (the amount of work done in the last year’s count). No patient ever pays for this incredible care, which allows people to stay in a more peaceful space during their final hours. The charity also does huge amounts of research into tackling this disease AND provides care and counselling for families affected by it. In short, it’s incredible.

But – and there’s always a but – it costs a massive £13,000 a DAY to run these services. Only 53% of that cost is covered by primary trusts, and with government cut backs, that will likely change. The rest of it is funded through donations.

So, our fundraising group is here to do the little bit it can to help make sure these life-changing services continue on. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. For me, it was my mum. It was a horrible time in my life and I wish I would have had access to the incredible support of Marie Curie (given I didn’t live in this country then, I couldn’t). But, now that I do live here, I’m proud to help make sure that other kids out there get some support if they do go through something like losing a family member at a young age. It’s the least I can do.

But, this post is not just about telling you about this work or the hospice. It’s about also telling you about our hugely exciting fundraising event, happening in less than two weeks time!

The event takes place on Saturday, 3 December at the fabulous Fiddler’s Elbow music venue near Chalk Farm – the place is perfect for what we have planned and, given it recently won an award for being a top music venue in Camden, we’re really rather chuffed to get it!

The flyer for our big event!

Our night will include some fantastic up and coming London bands, including Jamie Gordon , Holly Walker, Kings of the City, and one other very exciting band which I am forbidden from revealing, so we’re just calling them our “Special Guests” but I will say, they are a great London band with a big following and certainly set to make some music waves in the coming months. The night will be hosted by Josh Lever and the fab Jacky Wood will be making us all laugh.

We’ll also be doing a load of other exciting things, like having a super cool facepainter (a professional, mind – no little-kid balloon drawings here!), a dress-up photo booth, and a big raffle which we have been getting some supremo donations for, including: a Kenwood food processor from Robert Dyas; bottles of wine from Virgin Wines; high-end absinthe from La Clandestine; tickets to a whisky tasting with Dramatic Whisky; a £100 voucher from Camden Mirrors; a £35 voucher from Rum & Sugar Bar in the Docklands; and, many more things to come!! So stay tuned!

If you want more info about the event, then head to our Facebook page here.

And, if you can’t make it, but would like to send over some funds, then you most certainly can at our newly set up Just Giving page here.

We do hope to get a sold-out crowd on the night so if you are free on the 3 December then definitely come on down. Tickets are only £5 on the door but all other donations are, of course, more than welcome.

All in all, I’d say it might not be what I normally write about, but our event and all the work that Marie Curie Cancer Care do, makes me rather happy inside…and that, my friends, is very pleasurable indeed.

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