The Forest (First Draft)

*This isn’t really a poem, more a few ideas I jotted down whilst running through the forest*

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The Forest.A leaf spirals down like a single confettiCongratulating the earth on all she has yielded
This be the birth of a season
Dead trees pose and posture likeSpidersSome fall into each otherAnd stay thereForever likeDrunken soul matesOld daffodils shrivel to barely a memoryFerns unfold and wave their lossTrees so high they touch GodAnd have beenTouched by GodLeaves the colour of wineForm a majestic chandelierThat casts a carpet of dancing foliageCrushed underfoot asBirds sing overear

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–Β  BF

Feelgood News

Thought I would share some positive moments:

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(Left) A one eyed old cat that disappeared for 5 years, finally found (living in a prison πŸ˜‚) and returned to owner.

(Right) Closer to home, my lovely cleaner finally reunited with her mother and daughter who had to flee Ukraine on foot.

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Your Monday Morning reminder that good things do happen!

B xx

London – Bray – Copenhagen – Heckfield

Enjoyed 10 Michelin Stars in 1 week(!) Heston Blumenthals “Fat Duck”, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, Alchemist in Copenhagen, and 1 Green Michelin Star at my favourite country hotel. And some shopping because naked people have little to no influence on society πŸ˜‹ I’ve also started reading “Putin’s People” a fascinating book recommended to me a while ago. Whilst I was away I’ve been trying to keep up with my fitness regime (although I think in some ways it’s best to just submit to these tasting menus and enjoy them for what they are). Still, I loved running through the woods at Heckfield, and it put me in a great headspace for writing and ideas. Wordsworth was right when he said “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” I love being outdoors and in nature, so with my makeup off an my wellies on, it was a nice escape from the pomp and pace of London – I could have stayed there forever! It may surprise you that my eventual plan is to live in the countryside in a house with a lot of land, a 3 car garage (even though I can’t drive πŸ˜‚) and a kitchen with a Sub Zero fridge (owning a Sub Zero fridge is the second fastest way to woo me πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚, the fastest way to woo me is to have a bottle of cold Champagne in said fridge and if you’ve had the foresight to put the champagne glasses in the freezer I’ll be moving in tomorrow πŸ˜‚). In Denmark, I also tried working out in a High Altitude room for the first time. Phew! A really exhilarating workout – I wish this was available in London.

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Many moons ago a gentleman took me to Copenhagen. We were both very into dining and a lady on the flight recommended we try a new, kooky 10 seat restaurant called alchemist. We enjoyed an avant-garde 100 course tasting, cooked by an unknown chef. A few years have passed and the chef has gone on to get huge investment, move to a warehouse space near NOMA, gain 2 Michelin stars, and create the most highly creative, ad best fine dining experience I have had. I remember who I was then and who I am now. And how the restaurant was then and how it is now. Experiencing the growth of this restaurant (and myself) was a moment of reflection for me. A lot can happen in a few years with hard work, persistence, self belief, and a little luck. **By the way – I do eat normal food too haha, but yes I am passionate about fine dining and creative restaurants.
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I keep forgetting to update my availability, but safe to say my pre-Covid travel schedule has resumed. If you know me you know I want to visit almost everywhere, but Singapore, Japan, Maldives, Sardinia, and South Africa are high on my list. Also, a road trip through Italy that mostly involves food, sex, and little hotels run by old ladies named Antonella who insist on feeding me gnocchi at every opportunity. Also the South of France but not the places with everyone in their Gucci loafers banging on about a yacht. Which I guess means I don’t actually want to visit the South of France πŸ˜‚. I wish they would open a private island for people who love luxury things but aren’t pretentious wankers.*
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*If you are a Gucci loafer wearing pretentious wanker with a yacht in the South of France, my last comment was a JOKE, obviously. Please take me πŸ˜‚
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** Seriously, please πŸ˜‚
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BπŸ’‹
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Humble Grape

Humble Grape.Hello yummies! Finally getting stuck into my little Cellar Plan and enjoying learning a lot (do wine tastings count as “Personal Development”? haha). Anyway, if you did want to bring a gift I would most appreciate some good wines for my cellar. I currently only have 2 cases plus a few bits I’ve collected over the years (mostly champagnes and a couple old reds). Feeling a bit embarassed to have so little but hoping I’ll build up a small but lovely collection. By chance I made friends with a really amazing sommelier and wine buyer and she’s promised to take me to some tastings and events, which I’m really looking forwards to. I once said (after a few Champagnes) that I’d drink anything if it’s free – ha! πŸ˜‚Β  – and although that’s true (I do draw the line at tequila though, horrendous stuff), I would particularly like to add Burgundy, Mersault, Champagne, and Rioja to my cellar. Actually, ignore me, beggars can’t be chosers! If you have any extra bottles or something you think I may enjoy in the future, I would be greatful for your insight and your generosity – you will probably know better than me. One day I’d love to have my own wine cellar (I love those spiral ones you can get that do down into he floor) but until then I’ve found somewhere that can store my bottles. Alternatively, I’m building a small wishlist through Berry Bros, if you wanted a peek let me know and I’ll send it to you.Thank you for your contribution towards my journey into acute alcoholism wine collecting πŸ˜‚πŸ₯‚Here’s to us!Kiss,Billie xx

Piste and Love

Latest Mission: Verbier.

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Dress Code: Sexy Ski Bunny/ No Makeup/ Big Smile

Outcome: Skied red slopes and didn’t die (successful).

Next mission: You Decide.

Please Don’t Waste Your Life

(First Draft.)

Please Don’t Waste Your Life.

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To waste one’s life is a cardinal sinTo do withoutIs a curse withinTo hoard your dreams is aHorrible thingPlease don’t waste your life.Living to labour is a losing gameNeglecting your leisure?A bothersome painBoredom and apathyAddle the brainPlease don’t waste your life.Pride is a poison that takes you by stealthSo remember this remedy:Laugh at yourself.On your mission for wisdom and womenAnd wealthPlease don’t waste your life.A ladle full ofSin and spiceCan much improve the soup of lifeA spoon of safetyWon’t sufficePlease don’t waste your life.When you reach for a breathAnd instead you find noneAnd it’s you and aNurseOr a hearseOr a gunIn the end you will only haveWhat you have done.

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Please don’t waste your life.

B.F

Catch – Kill – Eat

Woke up bright and early to collect some live langoustine I had ordered in at my favourite fishmongers. Scotland’s finest! And one of my favourite things to cook – I would only ever buy them live as they are incredibly fresh and cooked moments after I have dispatched them. People are always surprised to find out I am not squeamish about such things, but if you remember I completed a short butchery course last year but even before then I have always been comfortable with this part of cooking. Although I am quite sure I am the first woman to complete a butchery course with French Manicure! Grilled the Langoustine simply with confit garlic butter, then served with a home made wild garlic mayonnaise. So delicious – these were very big with delicate sweet tail meat. Perfect with a glass of rosΓ©. No I will not cook it for you take me to dinner instead πŸ™‚

March Update

Hi Yummies!Writing this on a cold Sunday afternoon, the end to a hectic but lovely week. One of the highlights was definitely a delicious and creative Japanese Omakase tasting menu in Fitzrovia. I love Japanese food and it was a spectacular experience (I even enjoyed the sake, which I usually don’t). I also had another dinner at an Israeli restaurant – such a joyful cuisine (lots of bread and sharing – my type of food! I’ve wanted to go to Tel Aviv for the longest time to experience the cusine). I also (phew) managed to finally dine at Le Gavroche – a restaurant that has been on my bucket list for so many years (one of those ones you never get around to because there’s always something cooler or more interesting on the list). Anyway, I found the experience to be a bit of a let down! It’s probably one of those lessons about what happens when you leave things too long before getting round to them. So much anticipation, a girlfriend and I booked weeks in advance – only to leave wishing we’d stopped by Barrafina instead. I wonder if these restaurants will still exist in 50 years time; Le Gavroche seemed extremely tired (I love classic restaurants but this I felt was more stale than old school, and the service was very much on the “looking down on you” side). Onwards and upwards I guess – I’ll update my restaurant list soon as I’ve ticked off so many (with your help!) but have also added lots to the list. Since starting this blog I’ve also enjoyed Rules (Londons oldest restaurant, excellent for traditional British fare. Very grateful for this experience as I love this type of restaurant) and also Sketch (the 3* upstairs restaurant). Pierre Gagnaire is one of my favourite chefs and was actually cooking there and came over to say hello. In terrible, shaky French and with sweaty palms I told him how much I loved his restaurant in Paris and what an amazing chef I thought he was – I’m not sure if he understood a word I was saying but he seemed rather charmed regardless. I’ve a general rule that the best way of communicating is to open your mouth – either to smile, talk, or… πŸ˜‰The latter would have been somewhat inappropriate – albeit rather thrilling – in a fine dining restaurant, so I made do with the other two.We are finally nearing Spring, my favourite season: the beginning of strappy sandals and outdoor dining, City breaks in the med and short summer dresses. The season of crab salads, warm evenings and optimism. In times like these optimism seems like it shouldn’t be possible, but if you know me you know despite the fact that I always always try to look to the future with optimism. I’m a firm believer of accepting the things you cannot change, but also that for the most part, things always work themselves out. Not wasting too much time stressing over other people’s decisions leaves a lot more head space for changing the things you actually have control over. I think a lot of people enjoy a feeling of control and I’d say for whatever reason I’m not one of those people. To the contrary I find more pleasure in giving up control! Its a complicated space being a woman who is outgoing(ish) but who also has submissive tendencies. Firstly, men won’t approach you because they are terrified. I think for some reason people judge (from looking) that I will be a stuck up person, or not veey frieny. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. I have a big heart and inside I’m just as uncertain as everyone else but people can’t see past appearances. How can I be intimidating? I’m 5ft 4 woman who enjoys cuddles, true crime documentaries, champagne, and shower sex (in that order!) I can’t remember where I was going with this… I suppose I was saying you can’t judge a book by its cover. The visually confident woman can also be the submissive woman (and often is!) The small effort can be appreciated greatly (and always is!) From the outside you can only see one face of somebody, or a situation, so it’s well worth diving in if you want to truly explore parts of a person, and of yourself, that you can’t see.So anyway, here I am walking through life with my stilettos on and one eye on The News (honestly one of my favourite indulgences on holiday is simply not checking the news, which these days seems to consist entirely of telling us all that the world will be ending soon in one way or another – my money is on Putins own people getting rid of him then climate change getting rid of us all. I’m deciding not to linger for too long on either of these subjects not because I’m flippant or dont have opinions, but because this blog is a positive outlet). Yes I’ve managed to squeeze some more travels in – travel is one of my favourite passtimes. I find it hard to pick my favourite places because for one, I’ve never been to a city I don’t like and for two, I love variety and am no sooner lugging my Rimowa suitcase out of Heathrow (always over the weight limit), than I am thinking of where next I’d love to travel to. Travel is an area of life where one must be a true slut: the best way to travel is to enjoy it as often and with as much variety as you possibly can. Travel in a romantic context is an entirely different genre from all other travel. Waking up in a new city with someone you have chemistry with and really fancy, morning sex then continental breakfast, cannot be compared to travel with friends or with people who you secretly don’t like that much. It’s to easy to write: stop doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t want to do them with, and start doing the things you want to do with people you want to do them with. And yet, many times I’ve seen people eating in silence in a restaurant, palpably miserable in each others company. Not me! Life is about enjoyment and indulgence. John Ruskin once said “Labour without joy is base” and I quite agree.But anyway, after a week or so of floundering, I’m finally managing to get truly stuck into Les Mis, one of the most beautifully written books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It’s one of those books which is physically imposing, but once you dive in, it’s incredibly gripping (another case of why you shouldnt judge a book by its cover – literally!). I’m about a third of the way through, and the other day I physically couldn’t put it down. I’ve not felt that way about a book in a long time. Having watched the musical I think in some ways knowing how it all ends makes the book more compelling. It’s like watching a murder mystery where you already know who did it but the true entertainment lies in how the director puts together the story. There are sections of writing that are so beautifully written that they genuinely made my heart beat faster. Writing is like music – there are only so many words in the same way there are only so many notes, and yet the gift some people have to put together words is something I’m in awe of. As a writer myself, I can’t help but feel almost jealous when reading books like this. What a talent! Difficult to carve out as much time as I’d wish to read but I’m trying to keep my brain as exercised as the rest of me!What else is new? Here, I had actually written out a moan about how this year for the 4th year running I hadn’t managed to go skiing (by which I mean hadn’t been invited skiing). I don’t believe in “manifestation” (or maybe I do but I’m old school and I call it “hard work and discipline” πŸ˜‚), but anyway so glad to just accept a ski invite for the end of the month. Trying (failing) to resist buying one of those sexy-ski-bunny one piece ski suits (I already have one but I’d like something new). Now to book a couple indoor ski lessons as the last time I went skiing you may remember I ended up having to get rescued. Traveling through France post-Brexit as an English person who’s French mostly stretches to names of foods and dirty talk is embarassing enough, I don’t need to add being a feeble skiier to the list of humiliations. It’s always exciting to travel to new places with an open mind and for me these adventures are the difference between living and dying. The mountains are of course very romantic – if you’ve never had sex on the floor next to an open fire you’re missing out (note to reader – most of my hair products read HIGHLY FLAMMABLE so don’t throw me around too much πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‚).Oops writing forever again – I sure you’ve got much better things to do than read my ramblings! I’m in London for the next few weeks so would be lovely to meet and/or catch up.See you soon,Kisses and licks!Billie ❀xx

Vinyl Love ii

For the size of my record collection (small) I would say my choices are extremely varied. Not many collections include Stormzy, Sinatra, and the Rolling Stones. My collection fits mostly into the following categories:80’s, Jazz, Soul, Funk, Hip hop, Rock, ClassicalUnder jazz you have everything from rat pack to smooth instrumentals, big bands to solo acoustics. Under instrumentals you have everything from Miles Davis to the soundtracks of many of my favourite films. Under Miles Davis you have rare live recordings to compilations of his favourite works and so on, and so on as the collection sprawls in various random directions. I thought I’d share with you some more of my favourites:

The Smiths – I started Something I Couldn’t Finish. Prince – Cream. Sade – Diamond Life.

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Miles Davis – Kind of Blue. Wham – Club Tropicana. James Brown – Showtime.

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Dean Martin – Only Forever. Eric Clapton – Eric Clapton. Stormzy – Gang Signs and Prayers.

Dizzy Gillespie – Concert of the Century. 2Pac – Greatest Hits. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon.

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Chet Baker – In Milan. Funkadelic – One Nation Under a Groove. Eurythmics – Touch.

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Bobby Womack – The Poet. Jamiroqai – Travelling Without Moving. Rolling Stones – Hot Rocks