23 December 2013

days 21, 22 & 23: a flurry, a star and whisky galore



Flurry: a small swirling mass of something, especially snow or leaves, moved by sudden gusts of wind; a sudden short period of activity or excitement; a number of things arriving or happening suddenly in a short period.

We have been bartering, my neighbour and I: her barely used spare mattress in exchange for hemming her curtains. It wasn't a bad deal, though I had forgotten what a pain net curtains can be. It was a lovely escape, actually, and as I sat at the sewing machine with the rain pouring and the long lasting leaves from the mulberry tree next door swirling around outside, I almost managed to forget that there were other jobs that needed to be done. I optimistically thought there might even be time to make a few late gifts. Wildly overambitious of course, especially when there was cake to be made for visitors, resulting in a flurry of flour and sugar instead. Then there was carol singing, social stuff, a bit of cheery jiving, shopping, deliveries. That flurry soon became more of a meltdown.

So to leaven the gloom of the heavy downpours this afternoon, we went off to find a star, and settled on the Star of the East in Limehouse. I've been curious about this old gin palace  for years. Back in the 50s it would have been packed with seamen or locals who left their bored children outside with lemonade and arrowroot biscuits. Outside there's a hint of the Alhambra, plus some original gas lamps. Inside it's more like the Wild West - bare floors, a scattering of seriously dedicated drinkers, and tables too heavy to pick up and throw through the windows.


We couldn't quite relive Whisky Galore which we'd been giggling over  this week. But we did our best for twenty minutes. Possibly the bargain of the month, if you don't mind a curious adventure thrown in.



7 comments:

ALoadofOldTat said...

A visit to a gin palace sounds good to me. Have a wonderful Christmas.

Felicity Ford said...

I love your adventures in the Gin palace, I too fell foul of over-optimism on the Xmas gift making score. Your card and present are here but I am hoping my tardiness can occasion a jolly meet up in January! Hurrah for your beautiful Advent Calendar and wonderful London Adventures xX

rachel said...

The Gardener says he's been to that gin palace.... He loves London blogs - after living in Brixton for about 20 years, he has the odd flash of nostalgia, before recalling why he settled in deepest Somerset instead!

Happy Christmas to you and yours....

rusty duck said...

This is what I miss, living in the back of beyond. Popping out for a drink is an expedition requiring months of planning here. And, of course, someone has to drive home.
Merry Christmas Colleen.

Shandy said...

Wishing you a merry Christmas. I'm hoping to see more of your sewing soon.

annjennyg said...

A definite flurry of activity! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

Liz said...

What a great looking place and window in your Advent calendar. I love old pubs (I put that down to growing up in an off licence and having a best friend who lived in the pub over the road). There used to be around a hundred in this small town (eight on my street), all established as watering holes for the workers in the iron and steel industry. Sadly, unlike your Star, most have been demolished or left in a dilapidated state.