#Je Suis Charlie

Thank god, the hostage held by the Charlie Hebdo killers is freed.
My heart was in my mouth as I watched the scene on the live TV, broadcasting the French police storming the printing factory in where two terrorists and a hostage were holed up.
Another siege simultaneously happening at the kosher grocery shop had also ended in the similar manner and it sounded like some of the hostages there were saved. Even though additional lives were lost today, the outcome could have been much worse, and therefore, I am relieved to know that these awful events are now finally over.
Who could have imagined on that seemingly ordinary Wednesday just a few days ago, the feeling of terror, which had been deep-rooted in everyone’s psyche since the 9/11 in NYC and the 7/7 in London, would come back and haunt us?
What kind of world is it turning into? It scares me. I don’t like to be afraid but against those rats who are just pure evil, is there anything I can do? I just feel helpless and depressed…

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Random Sceneries…

I am very shocked, outraged and saddened by the mass-shooting in Paris. I want the assailants to be caught swiftly so they face the justice of this heinous crime committed in the name of religion against freedom of speech. I can not condemn it any stronger! You cowards!!

Hubbie is still down with flu. He coughs incessantly and complains about sinus pain and headache. While he thrashes about in bed, I bring him endless cups of tea, Horlicks and Lemsip. Oh, is there any more I can do to make him feel better? I am so glad that I have had my flu vaccination done last November. Even though I do feel something unpleasant in the back of my throat for a few days, my immune system seems to be stopping the symptom to develop any further…

These images below were taken when I was around the town before and after Christmas.

An “Escher”-esque building under construction on City Road…

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On the platform at Moorgate…

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The day after Boxing Day on extremely busy Oxford Street…

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Inspired by the snow monkeys of Nagano, Japan? A poster advertising bottled alcoholic ginger beer in Old Street tube station…

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Christmas lightings on Bond Street near Fenwick…

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A cute black mutt on Great Marlborough Street…

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A quiet back street in Fitzrovia…

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A neon sculpture in the gallery near the Getty Institute reminded me of the works I saw in Martha, Texas when I was studying at UCL…

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At an empty platform at Essex Road station. Me.B and I were on our way home from his check-up at the vet…

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Now, I must fix another cup of Horlicks for Hubbie. Let’s hope he can have a better night sleep tonight…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

BOBO Social @ Charlotte St W1

Ugh, I am sporting a huge zit on my face right now and the location is so awkward!
A bump the size of a peppercorn is sitting between my left upper lip and my nose. The spot is one of those really angry looking kinds and sooooo visible. I try to hide it by applying extra layers of mineral foundation but the bulge is impossible to disguise. Putting back a concealer brush in my make-up box and I sigh ‘The same mistake every bl**dy year!’ This ugly zit is the result of scoffing too many chocolate truffles during the Christmas holiday. Yes, I do it every year without fail and as the result, I end up coming face to face with the predicament in the mirror. I hope I will remember this while I’m shopping for food next Christmas so comes next January, I will be less embarrassed…

Do you remember the public uproar a few summers ago which was caused by George Osborne the Chancellor by ordering a burger from Byron rather than opting for a quarter pounder from McDonald’s while he was working on the budget? Since then, a posh burger craze in London is still going strong and new artisan burger joints keep on sprouting here and there around Central London. And BOBO Social on Charlotte Street is one of them…

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This smart burger bar is a stone’s throw from Hubbie’s office and it is rather a handy place to resort if he and I are at loggerheads over what to eat, for example, between fish & chips and sushi.

The interior of the dining room is done in shabby chic style…

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While the mainstream upmarket burger restaurants tend to deck themselves out in masculine decor – dark wood panelling, soft furnishing in navy or British racing green and sports memorabilia, BOBO Social spruces itself up with clean white walls, light wood table tops and soft dove-grey cushions.

Being true to their principles, BOBO Social’s menu offers burgers only…

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Hubbie was tempted by Peanut Butter and I was attracted by Capsicum. ‘Do you think it is too naughty?’ ‘Will it be too spicy for me?’ We asked to each other. In the end, we came to our senses and opted for Bobo with a fried egg for Hubbie and with jalapeño for me…

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For sides, we ordered sweet potato chips with truffle salt and apple slaw with toasted pumpkin seeds…

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Their sweet potato chips is our all-time favourite. The sweetness of the spud is perfectly enhanced by deliciously scented salt crystals.

Apparently, BOBO Social holds an experimental burger creation session every Monday evening. If you fancy having your hands deliciously dirty with exotic minces while sipping on cocktails, this place is where you should be. I would be happily shaping a burger patty if I didn’t have a hockey practice on Monday evening…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Consciously Resting…

Yes, we are. But not for the resumption of normal working days from tomorrow but because of the head cold we picked up from somewhere and somehow during our post-Christmas excursions. Oh dear…

During the holiday, we weren’t holed up in the comfort of our den all the time. Even though Hubbie was taking everything very easy because of the hellish working schedule he had to endure prior to the Christmas time-off, we started to get a bit bored with the Christmas TV and slobbing around in pyjamas. Plus, the post-Christmas weather, except the one on the Boxing Day, was exceptional.
Almost every single day up to the New Year’s Eve was blessed with the gorgeous winter sunshine and a pale-blue sky fanned out above us was without a shred of cloud of any sort. And my usual deal-breaker, gusty wind, was utterly absent. So what more one could want for a perfect day out, we asked.

Last Sunday, we went to see “Conflict Time Photography” at Tate Modern…

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In my opinion, the exhibition was ok but not great. I found some of the works were poignant and educational, however at the same time, also too clinical and monosyllabic.

We were hoping to have late lunch at the gallery but all the eateries within were overflowing with the people with the same idea. So we decided to have a quick look at the bookstore and to find somewhere nearby to eat.

Hmm, this title interests me…

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Ever since I saw the original shark at Mr.Saatchi’s gallery on Boundary Road, Swiss Cottage, a money making mechanism of contemporary art in general really intrigued me. Hopefully, this book will decipher it for me.

At Albion, we were led to a cozy table by the window.
A patten on my latte reminded me the piece from the Matisse’s Cut Outs Exhibition…

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And I had a plate of kedgeree with boiled eggs on top…

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The hue of the kedgeree was as bright and vibrant as a sunflower glowing in the summer sunshine and it made me very happy indeed.

Then came Monday, we were out again into the bright but also very chilly outside for lunch at Rules in Covent Garden.
The Christmas decoration at the restaurant was very pretty, red and green throughout. By the entrance, there was a portrait of Winston Churchill with rows of medallions of some sort…

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We took our coats by the fireplace and ushered to the first floor dining room.
In the upstairs, there was another fireplace and facing it was a fully loaded bar…

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And we sipped a tall glass of Campari orange and nibbled on curry flavoured nuts while waiting for our lunch.

Voilà, our roast beef!

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We skipped starters because we knew the serving of the roast beef would be enormous. And also the dish was accompanied by Gratin Dauphinois. Therefore, If we didn’t square up to it with an ample room in our stomach, the good beef would most likely to be wasted.

Let’s tuck in…

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The roast beef was perfectly cooked and the Yorkshire pudding was buttery and light. However, in my god honest opinion, their side salad was sadly not. It was consisted of strangely limp Chinese cabbage and very little lettuce. Didn’t they receive any grocery delivery because of the Christmas holiday?! It didn’t meet the standard I expected from Rules.
After a cup of very well made cappuccino, we left the restaurant and walked to Charing Cross Road. A walk in a crisp winter air definitely helped our digestion.

Oh, I can’t believe our Christmas holiday is over! So sad that I will have to de-Christmas my windowsill…

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Bye bye 2014 & hello 2015…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Feeling Most Portly…

2015 has arrived after a raucous firework display, which scared the hell out of poor Mr.B, and I feel most definitely portly this gloomy grey wintery morning.
All those indulgence passed through my lips during the festive season definitely have taken up permanent residences here and there around my body! Eek!! How am I gonna do with this emerging muffin top? Well, I have a strategy – eating less & exercising more. And I must stick to it so my face won’t change into a muffin. Ahh…

These following exhibits were some of the sins consumed since last week.
A crazy cute Battenberg from Albion with my new headphones before disappearing into oblivion…

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And another banana & walnut cake with my copy of Magnum Contact Sheet…

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A gigantic chicken escalope with salad in a bap which was ordered at Shepherdess the greasy spoon. I did order it with salad, not with cheese. A small brownie points to be noted…

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A pan full of homemade meatballs pasta. Mmmmm…

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This murky concoction in the pot was actually lamb stew which I decided to make on impulse in order to keep my sleepiness at bay yesterday afternoon…

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I felt so sluggish and would have succumbed to the temptation of stretching out on a sofa for a leisurely nap. However, there would always be a risk of a short nap turning into a serious slumber and it would sap my will to go out in the evening. I was invited to my neighbour’s party and it would be a mighty shame if I missed it.
As I peeled and chopped carrots, celeries, onions, leeks and parsnips, the smells released from freshly prepared vegetables did help me to perk up.

Look, what I saw at my friend’s New Years’s do…

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Isn’t her headdress fabulous?

And at last, my belated greeting.
A happy new year to everyone! Wish 2015 to be happier, more successful and prosperous for all of us!! XXX

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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