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Travelling on the tube seems to turn humans into vultures. Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but there are clearly three types of people who inhabit the underground. You get the predators, who have a eagle eye for an empty seat and pounce across the carriage as soon as one becomes available. Then you get those who seem to be wrapped up in invisible bubble wrap – no matter what they won’t move down into the space in the carriage. And finally those who clearly want everyone to know they exist. They will sprawl their paper across their lap (and mine), or irritate the entire carriage with their own music.

Last week I found myself in an awkward situation. I was on the Metropolitan Line, travelling home after yet another long day. Tired, hungry and did I mention hungry. Anyway, I’m sitting on a three-seater seat, perched next to the window. There’s a fairly large man, six foot five to be exact, who I’ll call Aisle Man sitting on the aisle seat. The space between us would fit a small child.

Man Number Two enters. He sees the small space and is determined to fit. Here we go, I think to myself.

Aisle Man points out: “I know this is a three seater seat, but I’m big, you’re not going to fit.”

Man Number Two replies: “This seat was made for three. I will fit.”

Typical male characteristics may I just point out. Too much testosterone and lose of common sense as you will soon realise.

So in Man Number Two climbs in, with his numerous accessories; bags, umbrella and brief case.  He squeezes. At this point, the way it was going, he might as well sit on top of me!

I turn to him: “Excuse me!”

He continues to shuffle himself on the edge of the sit pushing against me and Aisle Man. I couldn’t move. He was so close I could feel his body heat.

Finchley Road felt like the longest journey ever and he didn’t seem to be bothered at all. As he read his magazine I could hear peanuts being crushed by his teeth. Yes, he really was that close.

Finchley Road arrived and Aisle Man got up: “I told you I was big and there wasn’t enough room. The poor girl in the corner is squashed.”

Man Number Two turns and sees me, for perhaps, the first time in the journey. He moves over oblivious to the previous 15 minutes and continues his journey.

The end of that journey as you can imagine was a relief. Getting off that train, I walked home, taking in the fresh air and came home and immediately showered. It was definitely one of those journeys I was glad to see the end of. And as for Man Number Two – Think before you act!

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IMG_7105Everyone loves Friends. You know the script by heart (well I do) yet you still chuckle away to the lives of Ross, Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe.

Celebrating their 15th year anniversary Central Perk came to London. Drinking a coffee in the famous coffee house, whilst watching a selection of clips was the perfect way to spend our afternoon.

The replica coffee house took Broadwick Street for two weeks only and I just managed to squeeze in.  And it has it all – the redbrick wall, the high stools, Tiffany-style lamps, and of course, a completely worn out peach sofa you sink straight into.

Also filled with real artefacts we found ourselves cracking up at the Geller Cup, Science Boy, the turkey Joey got stuck on his head and oh-so-beautiful Gladys.

And to top of my afternoon, I won a Friends t-shirt by answering a question – What was the name of Monica boyfriend from the second series who was 21 years older than her? Richard!

Yesterday, I ventured into Harrow Town Centre in the hope to find some starter bits for knitting. So, as you do, I headed for Thursday market, which I remember to have the ‘market atmosphere’. Fruit and veg, men with money bags calling out their bargains for the day, locals hunting down a bargain, you know the drill. But instead I found a few quiet stalls selling dribs and drabs. 

Quite a pitiful sight because as I wondered around Harrow, I realised more poundstores, 99p world, and the alike emerging. Teenagers walked past arguing about who owes who money. Shops forced to leave “Back in 10 minutes” signs on their front doors due to lack of staff. It was sad.

Here are the effects of the recessions. The effect on small businesses is huge. Simultaneously city bankers head off on night out – all paid for by the company! Slight imbalance I think!

No wonder bricks were flying through bank windows during the protests!

The past week my body has definitely got its sweet daily doses, so I thought I’d share my latest antics with you.

PATISSERIE VALERIE
Patisserie Valerie is a café is just off Tottenham Court Road, about a two minute walk from Goodge Street. Perfect for taking a break in the hustle and bustle of London it specialises in cakes. Wedding cakes, celebration cakes or just a small slice of cake to keep you coming back for more.

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I did a little research into Patisserie Valerie after visiting it on Friday and found the company has been running for over 80 years and has about 26 stores in the UK. That’s lots of experience to perfect the cake recipe. So did it live up to its history? Simple answer, Yes. I ordered the chocolate gateau and it was delicious. The cake was light and fluffy squeezed together by chocolate cream. And just to add that extra sweetness, a little profiterole sat on the top waiting for me.

Nikhil had a simple chocolate sponge fresh cream cake. But with one difference. Instead of jam in the middle it had grapes. Quite peculiar you might say, but it worked. It was rather refreshing, and without being too sweet it was satisfying.

FLIRTEASE
Flirtease is a cocktail lounge and desert bar in Northwest London, Preston Road to be precise. I’ve been there on several occasions and each time, it’s been the perfect venue to just hang out. Its relaxed atmosphere welcomes a range of people, so if you hate loud music drowning out your conversations or pubs which are just way too crowded, Flirtease is ideal.

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Lets talk desert. Where do I start? On every occasion, I’ve ordered something different, and I’ve never been let down. The Make Your Own Sundae takes mouth-watering to another level. Chocolate and Vanilla ice cream sandwiched with a warm, soft brownie and lots of banana. Not to forget whipped cream and chocolate sauce! This combo is warm, cold, sweet, creamy, everything you need in a dessert.

I also tried the Chip of the Old Choc last week and let me tell you, this cheesecake is the best I’ve had. The menu description does no justice. I’ll talk you through it. A warm chocolate biscuit base, layers of vanilla and chocolate, topped off with chocolate chips and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Taste even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

THE WAFFLE HOUSE
A little further in distance yet me, Kavita, Mum and Dad still travelled to taste everything waffle related. Sweet waffles, Savoury waffle, even breakfast waffles – though we weren’t in time for them!

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Located is St Albans, The Waffle House used to be stables, surrounded by a water mill. So you can imagine the location is beautiful. River Ver and Verulam Park just across the road it’s the perfect place to relax and take a walk. That’s if you don’t mind ducks, birds, swans and any other water creatures we encountered.

Now back to The Waffle House. I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t that impressed. Though the waffles were baked to get the light and crispy texture and overall dish was lacking the extra touch. Mum’s banoffe waffle had no toffee. Saying that, Kavita’s chocolate sauce waffle was a lot nicer. I think at the Waffle House you need to pick a classic. Keep your choice simple and you’ll like it.

So there you have it. Heena’s adventure in all things sweet. And I’ll warn you, it’s far from over. Me and Nikhil are forever hunting out new places, and at home me and the family are always creating our own sensational endings to dinner.

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Over the past week, all I’ve been listening to is Michael Jackson. Album through album, his sound is electrifying!

Yesterday, walking though central, outside HMV in Piccadilly Circus lay a small memorial. The first I’ve seen, it was warming to see how many people one man has touched.

Later, fans danced to his music and celebrated the life of a pure genius!

And here’s a clip of his rehearsals, for the This Is It tour he was due to start this month. I’ve got to say it, I was surprised. He looks full of life and energy. Guess his passion for performing never died and never will.

But it doesn’t stop there. Look at the amount of happiness he has brought to individuals!

Rest in peace Michael…

Found a new, and pretty slinky website. Collaborating with Google Map, you can quite literally listen to London.

The website provides audio commentary on lots of London’s top landmarks. An interactive map! Visitors use a map of London to pick sites and listen to tips, interesting facts and history.

Check it out!

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So I’m supposed to be working on my Structure of Government essay at the moment, but just came across a story which some what angered me.

So I thought it was only fair to share it with you, and perhaps get a few different opinions.

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Boris wants to change laws. He wants to make it legal for cyclists to pass through red lights.

The mayor has written of the department of Transport, key word being TRANSPORT, saying we should scrap the £30 fine and let cyclists go through red lights at junctions.

Now to me, this seems like a very silly idea. Cycles are a mode of transport and should follow the general Highway Code. Changing rules here and there will only confuse drivers and pedestrians creating more dangers scenarios and a higher risk of accidents.

As a pedestrian there are some crossings, including zebra crossings where I’m scared that if I’m not going to get hit by a car, then a cyclist will hit me. Can you imagine what the new rules will do?

Now I understand that accidents can never be blamed on a single individual but I feel that existing rules and regulation need to be made clearer to ensure a safer environment.

Perhaps Boris should focus his attention on making more cycle lanes in Central London, making cyclists feel integrated in traffic. This way it will clear for drivers and give cyclists their own space.

Sorry Boris, but this is a bad idea.

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Random fact of the week…

In the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of 5 times around the equator.

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