Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cooling down a royal wedding fever.

After staying up until 5.30am watching the royal wedding live online here in San Francisco, I have to admit, I had pangs of homesickness seeing all the shots of beautiful London lined with people, full of festive cheer.

Being engaged and very loved-up myself, I was pretty excited to watch the wedding (and by default, my American fiancé also watched...and snoozed through...the proceedings). To be able to witness a royal wedding on as grand a scale as this, is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity and a moment that will be defined in history. It's pretty amazing to consider that William and Kate's big day made news headlines across the globe, and that I was able to watch them exchange their vows live, from the other side of the world.

Aside from admiring the breathtaking Westmister Abbey, I thought the ceremony was a lovely, joyous event. Other points of note - her dress was beautiful and she looked very elegant, it amused me when it looked like the ring may not fit her finger, and last but not least, who was it that sent out the silly hat memo? There were so many ladies with ridiculous hats perching right in the middle of their foreheads, sticking straight up!

But anyway, after sleeping until midday today and then turning on the television, it was apparent that wedding fever was still taking hold, so what better way to cool down, then with some delicious ice cream made in homage to England and the wedding of the year?

Humphrey Slocombe ice cream parlour on Harrison @ 24th Street had a special menu today, featuring the royal flavours: Spotted Dick, Eaton Mess, English Breakfast Tea, Butterbeer and Cucumber Ice Milk Sandwiches.

There were decorations set up both inside the shop and on the trees and awning outside the shop. The spoons were placed in commemorative Charles and Diana mugs, and the guy behind the counter was even wearing a veil and a tiara!

The ice cream was delicious....and who wants more? I do.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nobody puts baby in the corner...

After weeks of living as a virtual recluse, last weekend was spent making up for lost time. Three consecutive nights of fun on the dance floor left me feeling like I was living out one of my all-time favourite movies, Dirty Dancing...sans cloak-and-dagger relationship, holiday camp or any intention to join the Peace Corps.

On Friday night the The Uptown bid farewell to the Hi-Rhythm Hustlers at their last East Bay show (don't worry you still have a few chances to catch them in San Francisco over the next month). I love this band, so it was the perfect chance to reconvene on the dance floor with my sweetheart, where we pretty much boogied from start to finish of their set.

A very sweet dedication from the band congratulating Aaron and I on our engagement brought smiles to both our faces, as it was so thoughtful and lovely!

HRH were also joined by two members of Stompy Jones, which was a fun addition and they all seemed to be having a blast on stage.

In addition, I enjoyed catching up with friends who I haven't seen for a few months, and showed great restraint in successfully avoiding the lure of the late-night hotdog stand right outside the venue at the end of the night....

Saturday evening was spent at the San Jose Women's Club for the Yelp Spring Fling. It was a pleasure to get the opportunity to dance in this beautiful historic ballroom again (I went to a show here last year), which is home to a fantastic dance floor. Yelp pulled out all the stops for this 50s themed event, which ran from 7-9pm - ideal for me, because we had a super fun time and by the time we got back home it was 10pm (when the fun would normally just be starting) and my jet-lag was really starting to kick in.

Photographs courtesy of

DJ Tanoa Samoa Boy played a great selection of tunes, as ever, and as there were only a few of us dancers, we had the floor almost all to ourselves which was a treat! The room was filled with the usual Yelp swag (heads up: Yelpstick lip balm is amazing) and free food and drink was provided - almond champagne? Yes please! Bland Mexican food? No thanks, I'll just keep dancing instead.

When Do You Love Me? started blasting through the speakers, it only emphasised my theory that I am indeed having the time of my life as I seem to be morphing into Baby...

Sunday was all in the name of a good cause, as Cafe Du Nord hosted a musical extravaganza to raise money for the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund. The event started at 6pm, but I needed to take a nap to ward of any jet-lag induced sleepiness that would have undoubtably caused me to conk out by 9pm, which incidentally is roughly around the time we ended up arriving - in matching dungarees, no less.

The B-Stars played such a danceable set, that Aaron and I ended up dancing to every song they played. The addition of Lil' Anne singing a few songs was an absolute delight and complemented the band perfectly.

The Chazz Cats reunited to headline the show, and I was curious to check them out after hearing so much about them being a prominent swing band during the Bay Area's swing revival in the 90s. Well, they took to the stage, and proved that they were a veritable powerhouse of style and rhythm, belting out songs and looking like they were having fun doing it. I'm glad I was there to catch this performance and had no idea they would pack such a punch.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Blonde's back in the bay area.

I haven't been posting that much lately, but mostly, this is because I have been living the life of a house hermit (with the exception of going to the gym and the post office) in order to save my pennies for my latest adventure Stateside.

Well, I'm here now! Back in San Francisco and ready to hit the dance floor hard, so be prepared for me to remedy my blogging deficiency and unleash my pent-up musings...

I arrived on Thursday afternoon, and after what felt like an eternity on the aeroplane, I finally made it, but unfortunately fell into the unloving arms of customs. Uh-oh. Unfortunately I have too many stamps in my passport - they just ain't cool with the frequency and duration of my visits to the USofA. As far as I am concerned though, surely as long as I don't overstay my visa allowance, it shouldn't really be of such enormous concern to them as to how I support myself, what I do, where I go, what's in my bank account, who I stay with, what my partner does for a living....and so on.

This is not the first time I have been taken into a room for questioning for this same reason, and I understand that they are just doing their jobs, but surely they can see that I never overstay the 90 day tourist visa, I am in a relationship with someone who lives here, and frankly, how I fund my trips should not really be any of their business, as long as I don't work here illegally (which I do not).

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand breaaaaaaaaaaaathe...

In any case, I made it, was greeted at the airport by my loving fiancé, complete with flowers and a huge grin on his face.

I am determined not to let jet-lag kick my ass too much, as I am very susceptible to falling asleep at 7pm for a good two weeks when I arrive here. Thusly I decided to start as I mean to go on, and went out dancing with my sweetheart last night, over in Oakland at The Uptown (I shall blog about this later).

I have a fun-packed weekend ahead of me, so I had better end my rambling here...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the lovely mummies out there, and especially my mum, the best mum in the world...

Thank you for being wonderful and for supporting me and being my best friend. I love you mum!

Here's a photo of the two Incendiary Blondes (although back then, I was still a brunette) back in the 80s, and on skates, no less...

My beautiful mum...

Me and mum putting up the Christmas decorations last year...

Oh, and for all my non-UK friends and readers - don't worry, you haven't forgotten Mother's Day, we celebrate it at a different time here!