I usually find myself feeling very melancholy on Sunday evenings, even if I don't have to go to work the following day. I'm not feeling that way this evening, at least not yet (maybe I will by bedtime) and it's really nice. It helps that Nic and I are watching Doctor Who and The Sea Devils (not quite as good as Doctor Who and The Silurians but it does have some really excellent exchanges between the Doctor and The Master) and that we have had a very lovely weekend.
I whiled away Friday afternoon by reading and pottering around while Nic got some work done. I'd had all sorts of plans for things I wanted to do, but in the event just reading and being lazy was just what I needed and wanted. Nic spoiled me for taking me out to dinner in the wonderful South Indian restaurant around the corner, Kayal. It was extremely busy, so much so that we were there for nearly two hours in the end. However, the food was excellent and the company even better and so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I wore my new navy dress, courtesy of ebay:
Fever Sparkle dress and Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon shoes
I'm very pleased with this dress. It cost the ridiculous sum of £6.99 and was brand new with the tags still on. It's 100% silk as well. I'm not sure that it photographs all that well, but I like it all the same! Anyway, after a delicious dinner we went along to the Somerville Arms to celebrate lovely Tom's birthday. It was a strange evening in some respects because the crowd was very mixed but I was pleased to meet some new people and of course, I always have an excellent time in the Somerville. Also, I think Tom was pleased with his Doctor Who related gifts, though they may have seemed incomprehensible to some.
As usual, we ended up having a very late night, much later than planned. I was somewhat bleary-eyed when I dragged myself out of bed on Saturday morning but a strong cup of tea and a very hot shower got me going. Nic and I were going to Northampton and I wasn't sure what to expect (the lovely Bec having described it as the 'Middlesbrough of the South' the previous evening!) I know, Northampton may seem like a strange choice but there was method to our madness as we were going to a talk given by Alan Moore in the Guildhall.
I really didn't know what to expect of Northampton. Predictably enough the railway station was disgusting but I was pleasantly surprised to discover a really interesting town beyond it. Nic and I had a little bit of time before the talk and spent it exploring around the town centre. I found an absolutely brilliant vintage shop in Gold Street Mews called Kontraband. I was very good and didn't buy anything but I was so pleased to find it. The prices were very reasonable, the owner knowledgeable and they even had a gorgeous Horrockses dress and matching bolero for me to look at and caress! I'd go back to Northampton just for that little shop, to be honest, and some research tells me that there are a few more such treasures to be found in Northampton. We were lucky enough to stumble on an antiques market being held in the Market Square and had a very enjoyable browse around that before taking our seats in the Guildhall.
I don't know a great deal about Alan Moore. When Nic and I started going out he gave me Watchmen and V for Vendetta to read, and later From Hell as a Christmas gift. I enjoyed all of them a great deal, and each of them were mesmerising reads. He's an interesting figure also, and one of Nic's favourite writers so I was keen to hear him speak. The Guildhall was the perfect setting also, it's a really beautiful building. The talk had been arranged by the Northampton Sight Savers and the proceeds were going to charity.
Here I am with my ticket, starting to feel a little bit excited.
Alan Moore was fantastic, a really engaging and entertaining speaker. He gave us a brief history of Northampton and its various troublemaking sons and daughters, as well as giving two readings. One was of one of his short stories, entitled Partners in Knitting and the other was a poem about Northampton's impoverished Boroughs. He took questions (including one from me!) and finished the afternoon with a signing. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and was very struck by how kind and clever and funny Moore was. A highlight for me was seeing the seven year old boy who was sitting in our row having his copies of Watchmen and V for Vendetta signed. Alan Moore was delighted to find someone so young reading his books and warmly said so, much to the little boy's delight. Nic had some of his books signed and we had a very nice chat too - but you will be able to read about that over at Squeezegut Alley soon!
After the talk and signing Nic and I wandered up the beautiful St. Giles Street, stopping in St Giles Cheese to buy some cheese. And a cupcake, which was so good it almost (almost) made me reassess my feelings about cupcakes. Still, this one was only good because it didn't have too much frosting on it. I thoroughly enjoyed our day out in Northampton and we plan to go back. I'd like to explore the Guildhall more, and visit St Peter's Church on Marefare and also spend explore some more of Northampton's independent shops.
We were lucky with the trains home and arrived back in Leamington earlier than we'd planned, which was lovely because it meant we had the whole evening ahead of us. I treated Nic to a chippy tea from Lansdowne Fish Bar, and we caught up with Friday night's episode of New Tricks which was really excellent. It was such a wonderful, relaxed evening. Nic was on a bit of a high from meeting one of his favourite writers and we were two very happy people when we curled up in bed with a hot water bottle and our books for an early night. Of course, the planned early night didn't quite come to pass because I was so absorbed by my book, but nonetheless, I felt very happy.
We've had a simple Sunday today. I wanted to take some books and videos to the tip shop and having a browse there is a good Sundayish thing to do. I bought Nic a few records, and added to my collection of Illy cappuccino cups (for 20p!) We played on the swings, had a browse in the market and a picnic lunch in Clarendon Square. All of this was unexpectedly tiring and I ended up falling asleep on the sofa when I got home, but that's not unusual for me.
Black dress from Oasis (but it came to me secondhand) Purple cardigan from Warehouse and purple shoes from Faith
I pulled this black dress out of the wardrobe this morning. I really like it, but so rarely wear black that I often forget about it. It's a great dress for the autumn and winter because it's so versatile and I love the little bow on the neckline. I must make more of an effort to remember to wear it!
The past few days have been excellent. I've been so low over the past few months and feeling like this again is so wonderful. I feel happy and hopeful for the future, and it's so good, I hope that it continues!
Now, Nic and I are going to give The State Within a go this evening. I think it's about spies. I really hope I can follow it!