The week that was

This week I …

- continued reading ‘Hitler’. I feel bad reading this biography with a toddler in the house. I know, that’s weird. It’s not that he can read. And one day, he will find out about WWII and Hitler and the atrocities that happened. I just want to protect him from any evil of any kind. But I know that one day he will find out. So I keep reading. And it’s fascinating and harrowing. And I still miss the footnotes (see last week’s entry). 

- gave 3 people directions. I hope they all got to where they wanted to go. 

- found Remodelista, a beautifully designed online magazine/blog ‘for considered living’. Lots of ‘I want that one day’ bookmarking going on. And great recommendations, amongst others in London one of my fave bookstores Luytens & Rubinstein and the Fernandez & Wells cafe in Somerset House. 

- am sad that Mitsukoshi Department store on Lower Regent Street in London is closing. Apparently the Japan Centre next door is moving too as the Crown estate is fixing up the building (though I can’t now find a link to confirm this).

- Koya bar has opened next to Koya. Can’t wait to go check it out (especially after reading this review). 

- and a last Japanese related item: very happy that Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Olympics! 

This week I …

… listened to the excellent podcast from BBC Radio 4, presented by Michael Portillo, called ‘1913, the year before the war’. Great insight into what life was like in 1913 in Britain, looking at politics, labour relations, suffragettes, culture etc. Can highly recommend (and yes, BBC, there is a Zune button on your website!)

… finished reading ‘Scottish Samurai: the life of Thomas Blake Glover‘ by Alexander McKay. I was inspired to read this after seeing a BBC documentary (I think it was a BBC documentary though I can’t find a link anywhere) about the man, and the book is fascinating. It shows the life of a Scottish trader in newly opened to foreigners Japan in the late 19th century. Amazing stuff (though the book itself is good, it isn’t great). 

… bought bread at Aux Pains de Papy, newly opened on Gray’s Inn Road. Absolutely fabulous bread and pastries. 

… started experimenting with If This Then That. Too soon too tell, but the geek in me is excited. Background reading on the company in Fast Company

… put this on my to-do-in-Paris list: Anne from Pretavoyager mentioned a lovely looking boutique called L’Illustre

… was reminded of this interesting article on Chinese tourgroups in Europe that I read a couple years ago in the New Yorker (on a plane to China ironically enough). Can highly recommend it for an insight into how Chinese groups travel around Europe. 

… am starting to read Ian Kershaw’s biography of Hitler. (as an aside: I opted to buy the 1-volume paperback, which is the abridged version without footnotes. @#$$@#. I didn’t know this when I bought it, that is, I was in a rush and didn’t pay attention. And now I miss the footnotes and the social background that are omitted from this edition. That’ll teach me).