Here are some products I wish existed

* a way to anonymously donate to charities without being on their mailing lists forever and ever. Let me choose a charity, an amount and when the site (not the charity) next contacts me (e.g. contact me every year on my birthday since that’s a time that i’m in the mood for giving)

* a way to recommend restaurants (and dishes in restaurants) to friends and friends of friends. I forever get asked where to go eat in London and end up sending emails which I’m sure isn’t the best way. 

* a Little Printer that’s easier to use on the software side (mind you, I’m saying this without having worked with a Little Printer, so I’m kinda guessing here what the experience will be like). I want something that I can use to install at grandparents so that we can send a quick photo of kiddo that will print out on their side. or a quick note to say what earth-shattering and remarkable things kiddo did today.

* an easy way to print photos that are on Flickr / Picasa. Now I seem to forever be uploading photos onto third party sites to print. 

Things I’ve loved in 2013 (pt 1)

So many good things in 2013, thought I’d share a few of my favourites. 

Book: Hitler by Ian Kershaw (though I would recommend buying the 2 individual volumes, this edition I link to is the one I’m reading but doesn’t have any notes/references). Haunting, well-written, insightful. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: not a page goes by that I don’t wish someone had taken him out right then and there. 

App/website: Citymapper. Not an original idea, but this shows that execution makes all the diference. Fab app to help you get around London. And best of all: it’s whimsical too. Yay! Not enough whimsy around, we need more of this (case in point: the release notes for each new app update).  

Place: Timberyard. I’ve hesitated about this for a long time. Timberyard is such a great place to sit down, have coffee, a wonderful cake, work a little, read a little, meet people. The staff are lovely and the place just so inviting. I’m worried if I tell loads of people, I won’t get a seat anymore though. It’s that good. 

Food: The Delaunay. Excellent place for food & atmosphere with a superb location. It’s roomy, stylish in a old-world-European-but-not-stuffy way, with lovely staff, scrumptious dishes. 

Meditative and mesmering TV

I don’t watch that much TV. I’m not a TV snob necessarily, it’s just that I tend to veer more towards reading and talking (that said, in our household we do watch quite a bit of ice hockey, courtesy of husband’s passion for it) and cooking in the evenings. And unfortunately to cleaning, doing laundry and paying bills too!

When I do watch TV, it tends to be documentaries* that I taped earlier, rather than series. I think this kind of reflects what I’m currently interested in: I seem to also be reading much more non-fiction than fiction. 

My favourite TV channel is BBC 4, which is all documentaries and some of them are truly excellent. I watched a documentary about Edmund de Waal the other night (if you’re in the UK, you can catch it on the iPlayer) and I was mesmerised. It was like meditating by watching TV. Ethereal, moving, humbling. Absolutely adored it, go watch it if you’re into this kind of thing. 

*in all honesty, documentaries I like secretly also include the decidedly more low-brow things like Extreme Couponing and house hunting programs!