Monday, April 23, 2007

Real world transition

I have several posts to post, all words in a cloud. All neatly written out on wide-margined foolscap paper with a blue-black ink pen, and laid in a neat pile on that beautiful crafted desk that resides in the book lined library in my head. It’s all there, the information about our holiday, neatly chronicling all the places we saw, food we ate, books we read, drinks we drank and trivia bits & bobs that are worthy of this ‘content low, experience medium' blog that I call home. But before I get to the ‘what I did last holiday’ post I must first get back into the groove of the real world – or at least my very real, very cluttered, very busy world. The one we went on holiday to escape from.

So back in town mid-week and on some crazy whim I have declared that the holiday is not over till I say so or Sunday. Whichever comes first. So for the remainder of the week this means that I shall behave like a slug, drink more alcohol than water, gorge on large plates of oily food and definitely NOT go to the gym. The first day back at work was a doddle. I spent all morning showing off my now sunburned skin and pretending that patchy black was the new black. And then all afternoon trawling through the 3476 e-mails that have made my out of office assistant a mad witch whizzing around that many other poor people’s boxes. Then I posted the short post below this and called it a day.

The rest of the working week flew by as I declared each day a holiday (in my head) and basically sat through VERY IMPORTANT meetings doodling palm trees and ocean waves on expensive stationery.

It’s not easy being on holiday at home. Mainly because there are no beach loungers on my terrace, no sand to cushion my footfall and most importantly, no colourful umbrellas to twirl around in my cocktails. Then there is the annoying business of laundry, cooking and dishes to contend with. I made the most of the first few evenings back in London town, just lounging around, moving from sofa to sofa, listening to ABBA on a loop and continuing a staggering pace of reading while nursing a wine glass to it's natural end. Until my eyelids would not stay open even with the aid of matchsticks.

Thank goodness the weekend arrived. We met up with friends to talk their ears off about our holiday. Thankfully (for them) they had just come back from one as well so we spent the better part of an hour swapping tales, covering trails, weather, food, highlights, booklists, sun screen factor and generally sighing about how it had all gone by way too fast. To celebrate our safe and rejuvenated return we had decided to go out for a meal.

So to Alounak we tubed it. Thankfully we had booked a table because when we arrived in this West Kensington eatery, the small narrow restaurant was bursting at the seams. Alounak was highly recommended by a trusted colleague of our friend who said he went there to get his “fix of middle eastern grub”. It serves Iranian food in what could be described a lively, bright yet softly lit and snug space. The skylight was mainly obscured by a large glittery chandelier and fake plants hung from various corners. An indoor fountain squashed next to a table had fish swimming in it instead of water spouting from it and we sat by a long aquarium built into one of the walls. We had a mixed starter which consisted of hummus and 3 other dips (one each of chicken and aubergine and a third unidentifiable flavour) and some taftoon bread, which is very similar to a tandoori roti only a bit thinner. We shared 3 main dishes including the special of the day which was lamb accompanied by some dill flavoured rice. The chelo lamb skewers (one each of mince and fillet) wrapped in the bread and the chicken skewers accompanied by a simple salad, made up the 3. Washed down with Persian lassi (quite like chaas) and the BYOB of Spanish wine the meal was a very pleasing start to the end of our holiday time. Persian food is very meaty and subtly spiced. The service was friendly enough and the meal reasonable enough at about £16 per head, given that after that starter and main course we stuffed a plate of zaloobias (jalebis) and some other sweets including some very below average pistachio ice cream and falooda down our throats. Alounak expects to turn over its tables a few times each evening so the meal was fast paced but not rushed. The slow shuffle back to Holland Park Station was testament to a very filling and utterly satisfying meal.

The rest of the weekend was slow and steady, with loads of naps and music and lovely meals to make that transition between my holiday head and real world head as easy as possible. Tried to get into the right frame of mind to attack the fat/ gym by cheering the London Marathon runners along on Sunday morning. Went and watched a movie but I need to mull it over a tad longer before I can be sure what I really thought about it.

And finally V downloaded all our holiday snaps. So my long posts on the holidays shall begin in a day or so and I'm hoping to do them in quick succession. And what a change of pace that shall be...

Alounak: 10 Russell Gardens, Olympia, London, W14 8EZ


  1. Anonymous8:24 PM

    Hey there, without you posting about it, I can make out that you've had a great vacation!! Good for you.... waiting for those posts though.

    And hey, I love your foodie posts! :)


  2. Yes, I love your foodie posts too!

  3. Your foodie post makes me sorta wish that I lived closer to London...

  4. I really like their Chelo Kebabs...

  5. Anonymous3:04 PM

    I agree, Alounak is fantastic. You've reminded me to go back again.

  6. Minus the trip part, this post is quite reminiscent of your older foodie posts.

    Burp!! Opps, sorry!!

  7. we do need mini-vacations to recover from vacations don't we? And mini-mini-vacations to recover from those again!
    The only silver lining is if I take a day off to lounge around at home before getting back to work from a vacation...

  8. Food, wine and sloth - my kind of week.
    There were so many lovely bits in this post that I feel quite relaxed to start my day.
    a very contended sigh. :)
    Thanks 30

  9. Sachin: I have had a great vacation - and soon I shall bore everyones ears off by talking/ blogging about it on a loop!

    Sachin/ Beks/ Shyam: Thank you kindly. Encouraging to know there are people in the world as taken with food as I am and NOT AFRAID to admit it!!

    Akkare: Me too....

    Planet H: I wrote this so when I look I back on a day I am unable to find somewhere inspired to eat out I am motivated enough to cross teh city for a chelo there! The more the merrier I say...

    J Mr.: Hmmm. Thanks I think!

    Shub: I agree completely. We had a day after we came back but just slept that off - the houseowkr took ages to get under some semblance of normality. Have a lovely holiday you!

    Me: Sloth has become my favourite word. And I can't seem to shake it...thank you for the contented sigh - we aim to please :)