I have this weird tendency to be sloth-like when I'm alone, but extremely productive when I'm with others. I'm one of those people, you might say, who always needs to have company in order to feel motivated. This explains why my house is always cleanest if I know someone is coming over, why I only cook really involved meals if I know Matt is eating with me, why my sole motivation for going to my water aerobics class last summer was the 70-year-old Pakistani woman named Gina I befriended there, and, finally, why I'm perfectly willing to tip-toe around what Matt refers to as 'my little piles'* for days at a time unless someone other than Matt is coming to the house.
Yes, he fought the good fight...and he lost. He came into the weekend swinging - determined to do absolutely nothing but lounge on his big, green, feather-filled couch by the olive tree and read. Sadly, despite Matt's personal "score" of the weekend (see below) and between the kid he had to interview for Harvard undergrad, the dinner plans we'd made with friends, and a bunch of other unexpected but highly exciting things that went down, he did anything but that.
I, on the other hand, found this weekend rather productive and am therefore feeling quite smug about starting off the week with the following pictorial recounting of the new and rather aesthetically pleasing bits of stuff we acquired:
Some Rather Aesthetically Pleasing Bits From This Weekend1. Matt's Personal Score of the weekend:
The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Middle Ages 3 Volume Set
We like to frequent the local Salvation Army in search of good books, cool used furniture and random other knick knacks for our flat. On Saturday, Matt scored big time when he found a giant pile of old history books in excellent condition. He got all 3 volumes plus a historical fiction novel for me for under a tenner. Rock on Salvation Army with your permanent buy1get1free book sale!
2. "It really ties the room together...":
And no, it's not a rug. After the Salvation Army we also hit the other local charity shop for a look at their furniture section. Just before leaving, we found this big guy who has now taken the place of the cool but unwieldy and definitely not-kitchen-esque wardrobe that used to sit in our kitchen corner. I gave the wardrobe away on Freecycle after we looted the copper plate in the door. I think we'll have it framed as a memento but for now it will sit in its place of honor atop my rustic pie-cooling cabinet-thingy.
3. Good News for Ludovictus:
After watching Gumtree like a freakin' hawk, I finally found the perfect piece of furniture for the baby's nursery! (Yep, I think I'm officially-officially nesting now.) We picked it up this Sunday in a streetcar van - which was an adventure in and of itself - and managed not to hit any of the numerous clueless old women that wander the streets of Chelsea (come on, we all know old women score low on the "people-you-could-hypothetically-hit-with-your-car-and-score-points" chart). Pictures of the finished room will be posted at a later date, no doubt, but in the meantime, here is the white behemoth of a changing table we scored.
Matt had to carry this in almost entirely by himself (until we begged the guys picking the free wardrobe up to help him). This combined with moving the wardrobe and the new cabinet proved enough to ruin Matt's plans to be a man of leisure this weekend.
4. The Culinary Dalliances of the weekend:
Two things that must absolutely be mentioned.
Always the eager and rather messy little chef, Matt made fried chicken with braised fennel. I wonder what his chef brother Marcus would have to say...well, at least this little foodie approves wholeheartedly. :)
We also recreated our French-Egyptian friend Nayera's simple but delicious Hummus (my own recipe to follow at a later date) with Tuna recipe. It is a combination we were not familiar with, but after a quick search around the internet, I see it is actually quite common. I highly recommend it. You can mix the tuna fish into the hummus or keep it separate like we did. Matt also added chopped green olives to the tuna for an extra touch of the Med.
Matt's little snack
Yep, snow day = extra blogging. Lucky you. :)
* Despite generally being a pretty tidy person, I tend to make piles of little things wherever I dwell or slink, as Matt calls it, for however short a time. They tend to consist of stacks of papers, collections of utensils needed for whatever hobby I'm on, or even piles of ingredients if I'm making something unusual to eat that day. This habit of mine drives Matt, a bona fide, self-professed neat freak, nuts.