Sunday, 30 December 2012

For continuity's sake

Because I'm anal, and I'll probably blog more in 2013, and I don't want to miss 2012 off the side bar, I'm writing this. 

And this is my solemn oath to actually write something next year. 

Sunday, 21 August 2011


Apologies for this blip and lack of availability. I have been manic with work since beginning of May through to mid-August (not really the best excuse but...). Also, there has been some intense personal admin that I've needed to take care of. Getting a new Canadian passport in Britain was very stressful as a) I wasn't sure of their time frame and needed it before my dad arrived second week of August, b) my dad as a dentist has always been my guarantor, and renewing your passport abroad, I needed someone professional in London, c) my friend Ed is a practicing barrister and I made the realisation that someone my age is professional enough to convince the Canadian consulate that I am who I claim to be, d) I'm so co-dependent, this is the first time that I've had to handle these official forms myself and lastly e) it was really quite straight forward and my passport came 9 days later thus rendering me feeling stupid for getting stressed over nothing.

New issue though- do I get a new indefinite leave stamp which can take up to 6 months and costs more money? And in five years time when my Canadian passport expires, I'll have to do it again? Or do I apply for British citizenship which again, can take up six months, costs more money but I'll be set for life? This is really interrupting my traveling plans as I can only go out of the country once with two passports (allegedly). I really dislike the feeling of being trapped and not being able to plan where we would like to go next. I'm desperate for another beach holiday, preferably Italy, preferably an island there. We are also considering Croatia and friends came back from Slovenia and said it was amazing too. It's frustrating to have Europe on your doorstep, the means to get there, but having to remain stationary. I'm still undecided what to do, and annoyingly when my dad came to visit last week, we didn't go to Paris as planned.

Even pausing to think about it now is frustrating. We were keen to go back to Bruges this winter, possibly convincing Chris' parents to take us there for xmas but we can't plan that far ahead. Still perplexed by the options, grimacing that there isn't a quick fix option.

Saturday, 30 April 2011


I was grossly surprised when on our flight to Berlin, it was announced that it would only take an hour 35 to get to Berlin. Now understandably as a Canadian, evem flights from Toronto to Montreal take 55 minutes and Germany is the largest country in Europe. Head scratching but a brilliant surprise as I thought it would be the length of let's say Toronto to Orlando (2hours+). Why had I not taken advantage earlier? Mainly due to the ease and simplicity of the eurostar and seemingly only venturing as far into central Europe as France and Belgium. Two places where I can speak the language (and at least when in Flemish regions of Brussels- everyone speaks English...). I had a German crash course with my sister over the phone and a girl I work with who taught me the correct pronunciation of toilet. Thankfully in Berlin you can get away with speaking English virtually everyone, except in the deepest recesses of east Berlin where a girl in a cafe who was our age had no clue what we were saying. But then Chris had such German bravado (plus he looks pretty German as well) that people would start to respond to him in German and he would have to shrug his shoulders and then say English. City is amazing and I'm already desperate to go back. Prague was gorgeous, and the language really made you feel out of your depth but again we could get away with English virtually everywhere. Not as much to do in the evenings as Berlin as it's either tacky stag dos in the new town area or techo/house nights which would be tortuous. We stayed in the posher area of town, right on the riverfront to evenings were spent wandering around dimly lit streets, mouths set to awe. Czechs are really friendly as well, and get apologising that their English wasn't good- we would then reply how sorry we were we didn't speak their language. That humbling attitude certainly doesn't exist in Paris and it was a fresh way of getting through a city without feeling too displaced. Also, the train we took from Berlin to Prague was incredible- once we got to Dresden which is one of the furthest points south east you can get before you hit Czech Republic, you go through the German country side but see the influence of east Central Europe. You bend around the river and there are incredible villages based on grassy hills.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

infinite admonishment

So just read that crap written below back, pile of shit. I'm also curious if these exercise references are really something to do with the fact that a) I can't button up nearly 2/3 of my trouser collection, hence skirts everyday and b) the fact that I just ate home-baked apple pie with whip cream on top.

This isn't self-criticism. No no. This is blame. I blame the feeder of the house, an unveiled brilliant cook who made oozing potatoes dauphinoise tonight that I was scooping the last dregs of cheese and red onion out with a fork and not an ounce of shame. He purposely makes bigger portions not just to plump me up so I can catch up with him and his belly, but also for the satisfaction of my persistent compliments of his cooking. Cooking, like writing, is simply an exercise in one's own vanity and boy is he basking in self-glory. Renaissance man in the kitchen.

Apparently you burn more calories reading than watching television. Positive thinking when reading 900+. Is the suggestion now, instead of smaller eating portions, larger reading targets?

infinite behest

Right so I've committed the cardinal sin of 2011. As one may remember from 3-4 posts ago, which was actually 2010, I vowed to a) read more b) write more. Moderately failing at point b). Point a) is far trickier as I'm currently reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest which I promise is not an easy read. Umm let me explain if you haven't read it or know nothing about it. I have two simultaneous book marks in it, one for the first 900 pages of the book; one for the 200+ pages of footnotes. When reading, I set myself targets (I'm a painfully slow reader, plus I have to wear reading glasses so my eyes get tired, pretty much the obligatory excuse one uses when working out (weak ankles, poor upper body strength etc...) but applied to reading). So the other day's target was 20 pages in 40 minutes. Reading along, hit a footnote which was an epic 13 pages. Hardly a dent made into the novel portion which again one could compare to the effort made when working, then realising the next day the effects weren't instantaneous.

Anyway, it's big and heavy and I've been carting it back and forth to work as the weather has been so nice and I could read outside. But instead, I sit inside, feeling guilty, reading the celeb section of the Daily Mail online.

Monday, 28 February 2011

little me

It's that time of year again, where I stop performing life and only focus on work. The two this year seem to have blended together however as I am currently struggling with a cold however have a national press campaign launching on Wednesday. I haven't read much in the past three weeks+ which is disadvantageous as I'm currently attempting to read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace which does require a) routine reading and b) my utmost attention.

I do however feel as though I'm now just a broken record, and hate that I'm fearing I have a become a moaner. Rather a moaner than a whiner though. That being said, it's now freezing again in London and my sicky body is hating that I'm currently cross legged, in fleece pjs, trying to warm up my clammy feet. Ever the picture of grace and dignity, I scratch my head in confusion...

In fact I wish I was one of those people, who crawled into bed and decided to never get out. You know the ones, who work from bed, eat, live from bed. I could absolutely be one of those, need a mobile phone and computer close. No doubt I would fall asleep on the job but the allure currently is making me salivate.

I think the most important thing right now though is Spring. There's more to this cryptic story but thought processes aren't synapsing and I need to find some slippers.

Saturday, 15 January 2011


Last night, whilst watching television, i couldn't for the life of me remember the Amer-Cana equivalent of candy floss- to the point where I believe that's what we called it. The deep, dark recesses of my mind finally pulled the file that it's cotton candy. And I assume I couldn't remember because being a dentist daughter, I was strictly forbidden to eat (except on special occasions such as a fun fair, or the last day of school when they brought in the machine and another side note: isn't calling it candy floss exceptionally offensive to those in the teeth trade?). Chris sadly has never tried it ever. This from the boy whose own mum still makes his appointments to visit the dentist (another side note: he's turning 27 in 3 weeks...)

Sunday, 9 January 2011


So rollicking good start to 2011. New Year's resolutions were to a) do the dishes every night before going to bed and b) trim up. Kitchen shimmers every night before bedtime, which is now 11pm- well it's get into bed for then but read for an hour. Which brings me to point c); not so much a resolution as a promise to myself which has thus far proved well; read more you silly girl. Success with a cult classic to ease myself into the habit (yet again). Funny to be making you take up the habit instead of kicking one.

Point b) trim up. Wine belly has deflated from one week of not eating any meet or drinking any booze.* When I was cleaning my room reflecting on 2010, I think because I was in a new job and on the constant defense of impress!, I didn't commit much time to extra-curricular activities such as reading and writing. But now that I'm settled (it has been over a year now, must end the neurotic backlash of full-time employment) I hope to do more things that I like, for myself. And not just because I should, but because I want to.

But really, who actually wants to do the dishes?

*minus the one g&t last night whilst watching the newest episode of Jersey Shore; alcohol is a must whilst watching.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

reading remorseful

I've had an atypical year of reading- mainly because I've hardly done any of it. I'm ashamed to admit that I've only read 4 books this year, one of which took me nearly 6 months to go through. I'm one of those type people who can't just put a book down and start something new; I either have to completely abandon which takes quite a bit of will and strength or slowly plod my way through to the end. Take for instance Ghostwritten which is a fantastic book, but take me ages and ages to finish that by the time I got to the end, it had completely lost its point on me.

It's now taken me ages and ages (real time, approaching 2 months) just to finish Brave New World- which in all honesty still isn't done yet, I have only 40 pages left to read. I found whilst reading that, I had zero attention span. Half the reason it's taking me so long to finish is that I'd be reading, get to the bottom and have no idea what had just happened, or really what I was thinking about to distract myself.

2011 is going to be tackled with a new, opportunistic attitude. We have to buy a third bookcase because we have so many books (helps when husband works in publishing, and I keep every issue of Vogue. These things all contribute to the bookcase pile-up). I was chatting to Chris about being in a reading rut which he claims is quite common. It's helped me decide the kinds of books I really like, and apparently I really do enjoy female writers, modern, strong characters and plot focused, intricate story lines, inter-woven and transcendental. If I could, I would ditch fiction all together and just read anecdotal essays by David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler (even though she's not that brilliant of a writer, but her life is pretty funny), Sloane Crosley (again not that brilliant a writer, but I enjoy her life as well). That and any form of transgressive literature, modern, so insanely boring! Ok, 2011 needs to be about expanding horizons and like my wardrobe, not buying the same striped sweater over and over again.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

bears in Belgium

Chris and I finally went on our honeymoon last week to Brussels and Bruges in Belgium. Great holiday- Brussels is a bit counter-intuitive for tourists. We couldn't purchase metro tickets with our credits, and the machines only accept coins, not cash so we were perpetually breaking €50 notes. Brussels itself to me was like a post-communist Paris, it was very wide with lots of marble and 60s tiling. I was trying to explain this to a friend last night as Belgium was never a communist country but it's merely based on aesthetic. Bruges is one of my favourite places in the world now. Everything is within walking distance and there isn't a corner turned that isn't exquisite. Food was beyond words and the beer! Our honeymoon was virtually an exercise in beer tasting. But I think this is paving the way for a different kind of holiday for us- we've only done city breaks but now we keep discussing staying in a gite at a French winery. Definitely something a bit more rustic with food and wine.

There were quite a few exceptional stories that happened but the one that lingers is our last night in Brussels, we went to a Japanese-French fusion restaurant. All very lovely, with tables quite close together. We're on the end, an empty table next, and a British/American couple after that. This other middle-aged couple come in, bloke is British, not sure where the woman was from but her sounded American. The woman is complaining that she wants to sit further back but there aren't any tables available so they seat them in between us and the other couple. Chris and I ordered the 3 course surprise menu so first course arrives. We're trying to eat but this hideous woman next to us starts complaining that she's cold and that she doesn't know what the food is. The man is trying to subdue her by saying, we can go somewhere else, but she's then placating him but insisting they can stay. Chris and I try to talk to each other to discuss the food we're eating but can't keep our ears off the car crash that's happening next to us. Next the server comes over the woman demands to the man to have the server explain to her the menu in French (she says this to him in English)- so the man then speaks french to the server and he then explains it to her in french (sorry if that's confusing- it was to us as well- at this point my mouth was hanging open and I was willing them to just leave because Chris and I at that point were just talking to each other as if we were strangers). She then makes snide comments and looks at both us and the other couple and says I'm not eating, I know the types of people who come to these places and pay these prices. The man insists on paying but she just sits there arms crossed and refuses to choose anything from the menu. I think out of sheer embarrassment, the obvious tension between us, them and the other couple, they finally get up and leave. I say thank God to Chris, that I hadn't been listening to a word he was saying for the past 20 minutes and the couple overhear this and we have a big laugh. My heart was literally pounding though, I was having an anxiety attack just being near that couple's presence. It makes my stomach churn just thinking about it.