ON.THE.UP. Yep. This week I started a (albeit part-time) job as an on camera presenter. This is pretty much the dream, so I am pleased. Anyway, this is how this whole week went
Sunday Will and I mostly chilled out; we took a walk to our mate Tim Horton’s (a coffee chain here in Canada that the Canadians go APE for!) They serve TIM BITS – which are teeny tiny doughnuts sent straight from heaven.
Later I made us a hearty semi-roast of chicken wrapped in bacon, roast potatoes, roast squash and greens. Comfort winter food for the win!
I had an interview for ANOTHER part time job on Monday. Following that, I FINALLY got a manicure. I feel like me again!
That evening, Will and I went to see musician, John Grant, at the Mod Club on College (really near our house.) It was AWESOME. He sounds INCREDIBLE LIVE. You should listen to him.
I started my job! Woo! I can’t begin to describe how cool it is working in an actual legit video studio. I used to work for Shoreditch Radio in London, which was good to get to know the sound environment, but the budget at Inform Overload is significantly bigger – they have many YouTube channels, the most popular of which has three quarters of a million subscribers!
That evening I was sent a car and off we hopped to Terra, an Italian fine dining restaurant in Markham (so just outside the city). I was reviewing the food, so we were treated VERY WELL. The food was SO GOOD.
The hard life continued as I had to review yet another restaurant on Wednesday. This time it was Mexican restaurant, Fonda Lola on Queen Street and this time I took the lovely Harriet as my +1. Such a babe.
We were treated with cocktails and a WHOLE load of dishes from the menu, my favourites of which included a taco soup and some fresh guacamole…oh and a life changing lime and tequila cheesecake.
Back to studio! I worked at IO again. I think it will take me a while to get over how cool a BIG old green screen is.
I had freelance work to do all day and then in the evening headed out to watch the Blue Jays playoff game. They lost. It was brutal. That said, I did have a nice time amid a pretty pumping atmosphere.
I did a little bit of shopping, buying a few bits for halloween.
I then absolutely dressed up like a bat and went out to a halloween theme club night with dinosaur Will.
Next week is a biggie, so we will see how that goes. Hopefully by the end if I will be able to say I am sorted…but who knows! Then all I will need is wifi so I don’t have to spend my life and all my dollars in Starbucks!
Do I feel settled in Toronto? I must do as this week has felt very “normal.” Things are slowly starting to take shape and I am almost starting to feel a sense of routine, or as much of one that one can have when they don’t have full time work.
SO this week.
Sunday and Monday were celebrated as Thanksgiving in Canada. I love a good food holiday! Will and I were kindly invited for lunch by Harriet’s mum, who was visiting from England and had rented a lovely downtown apartment.
There were around ten of us there and we had the most delicious spread of pulled pork, cold meats, potato dauphinoise and ALL THE CHEESE. Thank god. Cheese costs a small fortune out here so is best saved for special occasions and this was one such glorious occasion!
HI CHEESE. I LOVE YOU.
Thanks to the beautiful Harriet & family for having us – look how much of a mega babe the lady herself is!
Monday was ACTUAL Thanksgiving, but we had already celebrated so we watched the all-important Blue Jays game at a friends with some pizza.
Later we headed down to music venue Adelaide Hall to see rapper, ODDISEE.
I am not usually one for rap, but we thought we would try something new and I am really glad we did as this was great! He had a full jazz band accompanying him and just seemed like legitimately the coolest guy on earth!
After the pizza and cheese glory of the past few days, my body was screaming for vegetables, so I let her have it!
How do you like your eggs in the morning? I like mine with a creepy wide eyed smile! That’s all.
I was so excited to be finally going to see Motown the Musical! It has been on Broadway and is going to the West End next year but first it is hanging out here in Toronto.
Whilst I was on my own, I had all of the fun watching the show!
More theatre! My friends back home were concerned that there wouldn’t be as much to see out here and whilst that is undeniably the case, I am still going to the theatre every week! Hurrah!
I was invited to review Walter Asmus’s production of Not I/Footfalls/Rockaby, a popular Samuel Beckett trilogy. Oh my goodness I LOVED IT. I sat in the pitch black (ACTUAL pitch black, there was no light what so ever at points) and watched all kinds of lonely chaos evolve (“lonely chaos” is quite the juxtaposition, right?) Read my full review of Not I/Footfalls/Rockaby here.
Side line – also on Thursday I released my “music video” (ha!) for “Overground I Trusted You.” If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here.
On Wednesday the Blue Jays defied the odds and managed to win their series against Texas so on Friday they were beginning their 5 game extravaganza with Kansas City. As it was a Friday and as this city seems to be high on the Blue Jays success, Harriet, Sam, Ellie, Zack and I went to watch the game at a pub called Elephant and Castle (like home!)
Later I saw some bands play at the Smiling Buddah near my house. It was LOUD.
Will and I went for a browse around Toronto. The man himself picked up a pretty intense Halloween mask, deciding he simply must be a dinosaur/lizard for the occasion (I won’t share the picture of this as I think on actual halloween, with the addition of green body paint, it will be EVEN BETTER!)
We dipped in and out of vintage stores (hello Barbie “cake”) and later I bought an ice cream hot chocolate float from new love of my life, Bang Bang Ice Cream.
Late we headed out to the pub to see some ridiculous county music. Merriment, ahoy!
That was a week. Next week promises to be even more exciting as I have two restaurants to review and maaaay or maaaay not have some employment news. Awoooga.
I wanted to share with you the real reason I decided to up sticks and move to Canada. Like many tales, this is one of heartbreak, disappointment and rejection. There were countless cancellations and infrequent services. I just could NOT cope with the London Overground any more.
Just kidding. Sort of.
The London Overground always seemed like a beacon of light and joy to me before I had to regularly use the service. Firstly, look how gloriously orange it is! Secondly, have you ever been INSIDE one? They are so spacious and the interior is highly reminiscent of a 1970’s scouts camping trip; a much simpler era before the perils of the modern day grind could truly take hold. Don’t you feel at ease? Not yet? Okay well there is also air con. Sweat be gone! So long to the woes caused by the Central Line, or as many call it “the sweat glad of London.”
When I moved to Brondesbury in May 2014 I was about to get down and propose to this somewhat mythical and godlike mode of transportation. Unfortunately, like many things that seem too good to be true, the London Overground was nothing like I first anticipated. This started a series of unfortunate events that managed to firmly topple the Overground from its pedestal in my mind. Watch the video below to gain some insight into the full story that ended up with me moving continents and the Overground having to post notifications of apology at several stations about its shit service.
I absolutely recommend watching this full screen.
My knight in Orange Armour
My journey’s so much calmer.
You were so sublime,
You always arrived on time.
Upholstered in a 1970’s interior
(Just so retro)
You make all other trains seem inferior
(You always stock the Metro)
I could get a seat,
There was always room to eat
My breakfast on the train.
Oh how I can’t complain.
Oh Overground I trusted you.
One day you just flew by me
On your way to Highbury.
You never told me why,
You just left me here to die,
In EFFING Peckham Rye.
Oh Overground, I trusted you.
You made me think our love was true.
BUT, y’know, I thought “Honey,”
“Just because you’ve been ridin’ it for three months
Doesn’t exactly give you any rights,
So pop a fiver on that Oyster and get back on that train.”
I waited for you at Brondesbury
To catch the 8.43
But as time ticked on
I knew something was wrong….
Turns out you failed to function,
You were “stuck” at Clapham Junction
Oh Overground I despair,
I feel like you don’t care.
OH Overground I trusted you.
One weekend we had plans,
You were gonna take me to my nans.
Oh yeah, it was raining, but I was not complaining.
Until I saw your sign for a rail replacement service.
Oh Overground, you know I don’t deserve this!
OH OVERGOUND I TRUSTED YOU.
YOU SAID IT WAS JUST ME AND YOU.
INSTEAD OF ORANGE YOU MAKE ME BLUE.
IN THE TUBE STRIKE YOU WERE UTTER POO.
I’ll wait for you for hours
Then two will come along
And of course, fool I am,
I will just jump on.
Oh Overground, you are a joke.
But only you go to Gospel Oak.
I trusted you babe.
LOLZ see what I did there. This is a level of wit that the Overground could only hope to aspire to. However its only ability to make jokes is with its dubious service.
I wrote “Overground I Trusted You” as a piece for the Soho Theatre’s Comedy Lab. I took part in the Stand Up Comedy Lab and, amongst other things, I performed an early version of this song on our sharing day in December 2014.
The original “music” was “composed” (I am using quotations to demonstrate how un-legit my music and composition skills are) on a glockenspiel with a moustache whimsically pinned onto it. Since the original conception, I drafted in some super fabulous friends to help make this song a touch more profesh. My amazing friend, Emma Minihan, sat down and listened to me bash out this song on a glock and politely worked with me to create some actual music accompaniment on her guitar. She is a star.
Emma, my boyfriend Will and I got together one day to lay down the music and vocals (including Emma’s cameo for “just so retro” and “you always stock the metro”). Will then mixed it together and sent me the completed version.
Meanwhile, Emma, my friend Jack and I got together and ran around London on the Overground (which surprisingly behaved like a great sport on the day) to get some shots to make a music video. Jack shot all of the footage on my camcorder and made some great suggestions to the rough direction I had already thought of. For example, the rose at the end of the video was all Jack’s idea and I love it!
This crazy ‘ol project wouldn’t have been possible without a few major huns. Here are the credits and special mentions.
Conception – Rebecca Felgate
Music – Emma Minihan and Rebecca Felgate
Lyrics – Rebecca Felgate
Footage – Jack Ewins
Direction – Rebecca Felgate and Jack Ewins
Sound Recording and Editing – William Bembridge
Video Editing – Rebecca Felgate
Special thanks to the London Overground for being a nightmare (dressed like a daydream) and to the Soho Theatre and everyone from the Stand Up Comedy Lab.
Hello, hello, hello! So this week has been pretty good! Last week was cold and bleak-ish, but this week the sun has shone and prospects are looking up for Will and I, who have both started getting quite a few interviews. Hurrah!
I have wanted to go to SNAKES AND LATTES since before I moved here.I have begged Will time and time again and FINALLY on Sunday we met Harriet and whiled away the afternoon playing games and drinking great beer at the College St Branch.
For those who are unaware what I am harping on about, Snakes and Lattes is a board game cafe (like the pun?) that not only has every game under the sun, also serves good local beer (the Oast House Barnraiser is SO GOOD!) Even though Harriet and Will are much better than me at all games (see my angry “Will is winning Monopoly” face above!) I LOVE SNAKES AND LATTES! Post to follow!
Will has just got this app on his phone called “Jukely.” Essentially you pay $20 a month and can go to a gig for free every night. It has bands like CHVRCHES and Cold War Kids as well as stand up comedians. On Monday we headed to the super cool Drake Hotel to see comedian Owen Benjamin, who I had never heard of but was absolute LOLZ. He also sings comedy songs, so you can understand why I might like him. Check him out!
GUYS. Canadians are FULL OUT excited by Halloween. I took a walk to the supermarket on Tuesday morning and passed two separate VERY seasonally decorated houses. One had a blow up vampire cat that moved (accompanied by a ghost and a dragon – not pictured) the other had a lovely “fall” display with a few murderous pumpkins and ghouls thrown in because, why not!
Will and I went to see a show, They Say He Fell, at the Theatre Passe Muraille (review here.) The best thing about where we live in Toronto is that we can pretty much walk everywhere in under an hour. Whilst it is still warm enough to do so, this has been an amazing way to get to know the city. Here is a snap of Will ACTUALLY smiling near some cool street art we found on our ramblings.
Fall, fall, fall. Or autumn, to me. Autumn REALLY is a nicer word. Anyway, fall has fell and I have been enjoying the spoils as I roam about. I love a good orange leaf!
On Thursday night we went to a Halloween themed sketch comedy style show at the SOCAP theatre in East of the city. The picture above is a strange snap of the madness.
I have spent so much time in Starbucks recently. This is a place of free Wifi which is a saviour when one is job hunting and living in an internet-free house for a month. The upside is they sell gloriously naughty seasonal coffees, like this salted caramel mocha made with cream and dreams.
On Friday night, Will and I headed to a cool gig in a living room near College and Spadina. The music was awesome and the whole place had a super trendy vibe….until I merrily went to the bathroom and spotted this clown in a water bowl. HELP!
Saturday was SUCH A GREAT DAY! The sun was shining, Will and I went for brunch then took a ferry to Centre Island, a small bit of land off the main shore of Toronto. Oh my god the views were incredible.
We spent the afternoon walking round the island in the sun and I even went for a little paddle.
We watched an INCREDIBLE sunset over the water then headed back to the mainland. Beauty beauty beauty!
SO today and tomorrow are celebrated as Thanksgiving in Canada. Harriet has kindly invited us over to celebrate with her and her family so we are about to do just that. I can’t wait!
ALSO….one picture that didn’t fit in the post that I need to share…….curly pepper!
New York is a place so often portrayed in movies and literature that it is very much a “bucket list” city for many people, as it always had been for me. Luckily last week I was able to venture to the Big Apple for a second time. For all those wishing to follow suit I have picked out my favourite things to do in the city and the best part is you only need a few days to tick them all off your list!
New York is filled to the brim with a plethora of food options. From the delights of Chelsea Market or the hip Spotted Pig restaurant, to dollar slices and food trucks; the city knows how to tug at your taste buds. Personally, my favourite thing to do in New York is to have brunch.
New Yorkers treat brunch like a religion; every weekend they flock like moths to eggs benedict flames and I can’t blame them! On top of the gloriousness that is breakfast food, many places offer unlimited drinks alongside their entrees… can it get any better than that? My favourite place to brunch is Agave in Chelsea Village. Hello breakfast and bottomless frozen margaritas for under $30!
Broadway is pretty much the home of theatre and it would be criminal not to take in a show when visiting the city. My personal favourite Broadway productions are Finding Neverland and Kinky Boots. Whilst you might think this will cost you the earth, the TKTS booth in Times Square and websites like Playbill and Telecharge are often on hand to help with a discounted seat. Start spreadin’ the news!
There is so much to see and it needn’t set you back a dime! My favourite free things to do include strolling through Central Park, meandering the incredible Chelsea High Line and catching the Staten Island Ferry, which brings you up close and personal to the Statue of Liberty AND gives you incredible views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey.
This week has been lots of fun, although I feel a tiny bit guilty about it! It has got to the point where I am convinced that I need to spend every waking hour applying for jobs, which is insane but
On Sunday I was in New York, the BIG Apple. However instead of sinking my teeth to that ripe old fruit, I drowned myself in coffee whilst volunteering at the New York Coffee Festival. In was INSANE.
Remember how I attended the London Coffee Festival? Well my friend Michaela was organizing the New York sister fest and I thought I would help a honey out. I had a GREAT time manning the VIP desk but I did drink way way way way way way (WAY) too much coffee. Help!
Later we tackled our coffee come down with some late night Japanese food. Thankfully it was all kinds of glorious.
Monday was arguably one of the best days of the year as such fun was had! Michaela and I got the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, which was amazing and provided some incredible views of Manhattan! ALSO you can drink beer on the ferry, so obviously I needed a Samuel Adams.
Later we had a lovely dinner on a boat by the river then headed once again to see Sleep No More at the Mckitrick hotel, followed by a few cocktails on the roof. Lush.
AFTER THAT we went to another roof top bar which, er, had a pool in it. Weird. But all the fun!
I wasn’t exactly feeling fresh as a daisy come Tuesday morning so a glorious coffee and pastry combo was exactly what I needed. Yes, coffee again. On Sunday night I thought I would never drink coffee again but luckily I had had a day’s rest between then and Tuesday morning.
Our AirBnb host runs a coffee shop with his lovely wife and they invited us to try their incredible brews! I had a Japanese Kyoto cold brew coffee (it was a hoooot day!) and Michaela had an iced latte with vanilla soy milk. Both were delicious. What was arguably EVEN more delicious were the cream cheese and agave pastries we had along side them. #Swoon.
Later we headed to Dumbo in Brooklyn for a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, which was fantastic as you get to see the whole city.
After than we had some much needed dinner followed by a trip to see Finding Neverland. I have to say I thought the show was excellent – so watch out for a little review coming soon.
I was sad to leave New York but very happy to be going “home” to Toronto. New York is undeniably awesome but I have to say I prefer the vibe in Toronto. The city is very clean, there is loads going on and the people are very friendly.
I won’t hark on about the 12 hour bus journey, I’ll just show you what was waiting for me at the end of it…my lovely Will had made me a lovely dinner of roast chicken and veg. What a beauty.
As much as I LOVED my roast dinner the night before, I started to feel very guilty as I realised that we are currently sharing our garden with 12 chickens! As it was a nice day, I sat out on the grass for a bit and was joined by these huns!
After a few job applications, I headed to see a spooky show at the Theatre Passe Muraille with Harriet, which was good. We then had a cheeky post show beer and some potatoes bravas. Brava!
Thank the lord for sushi in this city! Will and I started the day by attending a slightly grim job expo in which a few people were a touch patronising to us… the less said about that the better maybe. After that we headed Bloor St, home of all the sushi, and chirped ourselves up with a glorious Bento Box filled with dreams and Teriyaki salmon.
I spent the wholllleee day apply for jobs in Starbucks, which was slightly dull but afterwards I felt pretty good about myself. Later Will and I treated ourselves to a nice home cooked dinner, a few gin and tonics and a night on the tiles. The good thing about our location is that we can pretty much walk everywhere fun. We saw this cool and apt piece of street art on our way to the DANCE PARTY!
We are currently living in an apartment with no Wifi for a month, so my blog posting may be slightly more sporadic than I want. That said, I will definitely keep trying!
Not only has JK Rowling recently admitted that it is the dawn of the age of Hufflepuff, meaning it is my time to shine, a Harry Potter themed bar has just opened up in Toronto. Obviously this must be a sign, right?
After a plethora of encouraging messages from my UK friends, I begged Will to accompany me to “The Lockheart,” obviously named after the golden haired Gilderoy. Personally I think Gilderoy is a bit of a dick and would rather they had called it “The Dobby” or “The Longbottom,” but a honey has to go where the magic is.
After queuing for just 10 minutes, Will and I got seated at a trendy wooden bench style area, that was a far cry from The Hoggs Head Inn. As we perused the “Potions and Elixirs” menu, we were tempted in by “The Lockheart” Caesar, a Bloody Mary type affair (that probably would have been better named “Bellatrix’s revenge.”) However, after careful consideration, will ordered “The Botanist,” a cucumber and gin delight and I ordered a “Ludo’s Debt” which was rather like a Negroni.
As we waited for our much anticipated elixirs, I had a little peruse at the decor. Some decorative nuances hinted at an affinity to the wizarding world. There was a huge sign repeating the “potions & elixirs” sentiment, some vaguely magical pink lighting, a neon quoting the last 3 words of the series, a mildly disturbing stags skull and a stag-key symbol I dint quite get? There were no couldrons, dry ice, or weather projections on the ceiling… Hmm.
Taking my mind off the lack of Harry Potterness, our drinks arrived and were looking pretty buff, even though they weren’t served in elaborate vials or delivered by an owl.
Will’s Botanist won the cocktail lottery; it was limealicious with fabulous blend of gin and cucumber. Plus the glass was quite fun! Mine was tasty and whole precious galleon (dollar) less than Will’s at $8 (that’s £4 back home guys!) although it tasted distinctly like a slightly weaker than average negroni. That said, I slurped it back and enjoyed every drop.
Surely a magic themed bar would have some kind of magically tempting food menu? No. It was very much bog standard trendy bar fare, including popcorn. Popcorn. Bertie Bott would turn in his grave (actually, I’m pretty sure he is still alive in the wizarding world…but y’know.)
The only thing I can think is that a) the newspapers blew this place out of all proportion creating unreal expectations for die hard fans or b) these guys took it is far as they could without getting sued by JK Rowling for Copyright infringement? That said, surely no one has ever got served for having just a teeny smidgen of dry ice or some popping candy?
My inner badger was a little bit let down. However I don’t think my disappointment will change anything; these guys have clearly swallowed a bucket load of Felix Felicis – by the time we left there was a queue round the block just to get in.
An open invite to my assorted plots, schemes and general ponderings.