Monday, June 30, 2008

strange coincidences

I got this necklace in the mail on the way to Manchester.

Looking at the postcode I realized it came from Manchester.

When we got to Manchester and told this to SJ's Mum we realized the necklace had come from a house about 2 blocks from her house.

Roundabout journeys.

(It's quite cute)

Necklace: Paraphernalia, Etsy

i'll take a quiet life

back in London. great weekend.

It took us 4 hours to get to Manchester from London, complete with moody conductors and train changes, but luckily we were whisked from the station and taken home where the smells of a grand home-cooked meal were already emanating.

Saturday night we went with SJ's Mom to see the new Narnia film, which I really enjoyed. Seeing it reminded me of reading to books when I was younger (and shyer) and imagining the possible fantasy world that I could live in. I was lucky enough to grow up in a magical landscape for a young girl with a wild imagination, and I would often pretend that the ruins of our barn were of an old civilization and that fauns and talking animals would emerge from our woods.

Sunday morning we woke up earlier to go off on a walk with SJ's Dad and girlfriend Martine. We ended up in Styal, a former cotton mill site surrounded by beautiful countryside.

vegetable garden in Styal

old cotton mill with water wheel

After a pub lunch (and praying for the rain to end) we went to see Radiohead at the LCCC! The weather finally cleared and the crowd was massive and really into everything.

Best songs: 2+2=5 and No Surprises for sure.
Best Radioheader: Thom Yorke (you can tell that he makes music he loves)
Best guest band: Bat For Lashes
Best non-music moment: SJ kicking a guy in the ribs after he tried to steal our "brolly" :)

Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke

Bat For Lashes (her clothes rocked as well, I want a sheer jacket)

A taste of the crowd

Now I'm back in London after a smooth train ride and catching up with everything. More updates later :)

P.S. Happy Canada Day

Friday, June 27, 2008

off to see the wizard

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Manchester for a couple of days... primary reason for leaving lovely London? Radiohead.

I will have some updates from this week when I get back. We went to Wimbledon yesterday and I have some great action pictures of Serena and Venus Williams. Tonight we're meeting Matt and Vicky and doing Critical Mass (the last Friday of every month when bicyclists take over the London streets). Lots of fun!

Until Monday :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008


No, not the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical from the 1960s (which my mom danced in when it was off-Broadway in NYC). My own hair.

Ever since I moved to London the hard water and lack of water pressure has reeked havoc on my hair. When my mom came to visit a month ago she actually told me that my hair had changed color, becoming darker and less shiny. Great. I've also started a new trend of getting mad split ends, not just on the tips, but actually one inch up from the ends. Strange or what. Sadly, I haven't discovered any solutions yet, different shampoos, new and expensive hairbrushes, nothing.

So in the meantime I give myself trims to keep the damage at bay and fantasize about what I will do with my hair once I move to nyc. There are three top choices right now.

1) Keep my hair the way it is and just nurse it back to health with good water, get a water softener if need be, and get monthly trims.

2) Keep my length and dye it a strawberry blonde or just my own hair color plus a bit of red. See below for inspiration.

or 3) Chop my hair off and start from scratch, going for a style circa Audrey Hepburn 1950s/1960s when she had her prixie-ish do. I don't want Natalie Portman's Vendetta cut, but something a bit longer, again see below.

I have some time to think about it, but by the time comes along I know I will have to do something for my poor damaged hair!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

tuesday inspiration: audrey et audrey

This week's inspiration partially comes from the fact that I recently watched Hors de Prix, starring Audrey Tautou, a modern (and French) Audrey Hepburn. Both petite yet very feisty and strong minded in the characters they portray, and of course, always elegant.

Audrey Hepburn is constant inspiration for me. What I find most extraordinary about her is that most men that I know are completely infatuated with her as well. What is unique about Audrey, from a Hollywood perspective, is the fortitude of her personal character. Her pre-movies life was extraordinary, descended from British royalty, left by her father (a Nazi sympathizer) in 1935, moved to the Netherlands to flee the Nazis, trained in ballet, her uncle and cousin shot in front of her for being part of the Resistance, after the war moving to Amsterdam and then London where she was encouraged to pursue acting because of her height (5' 7") and malnutrition during the war.

Of course, any Audrey fans know all of her plays/movies that would come afterwards: Gigi (1951), Secret People (1952), Roman Holiday (1953), Sabrina (1954), War and Peace (1956), Funny Face (1957), Love in the Afternoon (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963), My Fair Lady (1964), How to Steal a Million (1966).....

"By the mid-1950s, Hepburn was not only one of the biggest motion picture stars in Hollywood, but also a major fashion influence. Her gamine and elfin appearance and widely recognized sense of chic were both admired and imitated."

And then beginning with Amelie (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain) in 2001, Audrey Tautou entered most of our lives (though she was already known to our French friends). As an actress she is very grounded in France, but her charm and wit translates across screens. A Very Long Engagement (Un long dimanche de fiançailles) (2004) is a great love story of patience and devotion. And in typical Audrey style, she starred in a French romcom in 2006, Priceless (Hors de Prix), a story of two stylish gold diggers who fall in love.

Two lovely ladies with strong spirits, great film characters, and impeccable style.

Monday, June 23, 2008

twentysomething boys missing the window

Twentysomething boys confuse and allude me to no end, and I know I am not alone in this statement. I and my four closest girl friends have had many strange experiences involving them throughout our lives, and continue to be bewildered daily. Let me share some examples of typical behavior. I will try to keep each story as succinct as I can.

a) Irrational Decision Making: My one friend had been going out with the same boy for 5 years when they mutually decided that they had grown apart and should not continue their relationship, though they should still remain friends. A month later, during a telephone call to ask a question, the boy announced that he did have something he needed to tell her. He was getting married. And he did get married, roughly 2 months after they broke up. To a Romanian. I'm glad the Romanian isn't me, she thought. Chalk one up to irrational decision making. After he got married he tried to call my friend every day, multiple times a day, for one month, after which she did not hear from him until he left a horrible message saying that she was a horrible friend and he didn't know if he ever loved her. Perhaps a panic attack about his decision.

b) Too Busy: Another nameless friend had been going out with a great guy who was in grad school, quite intelligent, gentlemanly, and everything seemed to be going smoothly. Then about a week ago he called her while he was at his parents' to say that he doesn't have time in school for a relationship, but that they might be better for each other in a few years when he can treat her right. But he can't know that she will still be around and available in a few years. Now, I do think this is honorable, not dragging my friend through his stressful times, but at the same time, should you ever give someone up who you love and could see a future with? I'd like to think not, but then again, I'm a very romantic girl.

c) Commitment: This is a big one that many girls have been through, usually as a result of the guy having been screwed over by a girl or multiple girls in his past. One of my friends had a great month with a guy, fun times and good attraction, when all of a sudden he didn't call her for weeks and when he finally did, he said that he wasn't ready for commitment. Another friend was told by a guy she was madly in love with that he couldn't really go out/commit to her until he was ready to marry her, because going out with her would
amount to becoming engaged in his mind. He loved her very much, but was not ready for that. Well, I'm not ready to be engaged either, I'm 21, was her thought.

It seems that most men do not realize that women have windows of opportunity. They all vary in lengths, but when it comes to a relationship between a woman and a man, the woman knows (perhaps unconsciously) in her mind how long she can wait for the man to get the balls to make a move, either to begin a relationship or to propose. David once told me a story about a woman and a man who had been together for many years, but were still unmarried. One day they were walking together when the man turned to her and proposed. The woman looked at him and yelled "Too late!"

I believe that every man can learn from that. And I hope that late-twentysomething boys and thirtysomething men have a better idea of what it is that they want.

*all friends remain nameless in this posting to respect their stories

Sunday, June 22, 2008

through the rabbit hole

Ever since my arrival in London my bunny love has become more and more pronounced, primarily thanks to Chloe and David, and the book that we are writing. It may seem slightly absurd or childish, but to me, bunnies are important. So yesterday I went to Hamley's to see if I could remedy that. Sadly, all of their bunnies looked a bit strange, too scraggly or lumpy, just not right. Oh well, maybe someday I will find the right one (though I do have a lot from my youth back in the States).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

My brother sent me this today, saying "I heard one of my favorite "spoken-word" songs on the radio. Although I could not find a quick link to a free stream of the song version, I attach a link to the words, originally written as a column by Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune in 1997. I think that it is worth reading (more than once)."

I couldn't agree more. (He found the musical version above, the lyrics are below)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97... wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

in the navy

I love the ocean and boats and sailing. I think that in another life I would definitely want to be a sailor. In September last year I went back to the States for a couple weeks between summer and fall, and I went up with my friend Robert to NYC. He has friends who have a boat and they let us stay on it overnight. We ended up sleeping on the deck off of 79th St, under the stars, with cars vrooming by. Not quite in the city, not quite out of it. It was magical.



Thinking of the ocean also reminds me of this Edgar Allen Poe poem:

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Inspiration, TheCherryBlossomGirl

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

about time

I only hinted at what I do in my first post. Words do not really describe it well, so the best I can do is just show you through pictures...

yes. I work with knobs and around knobs. more on that later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I loved this video as soon as I saw it on ChildhoodFlames. It's exactly how I feel sometimes, and I do dance around on the street. Preferably in the rain.

if you love me...

So through some weird twist of fate I managed to snag two tickets for the free Coldplay concert here last night and it was amazing! I didn't get tickets for it the first time around, but then some more became available and I snatched two!

The best part was that it wasn't a huge venue (they had it at Carling Academy in Brixton), so not only was it free, but it was also much smaller than their usual shows, and it was my first time seeing them live. Full capacity is about 5,000 people, whereas the capacity at Wembley (where they will have their paying concert in the winter) is 90,000. Big difference. The sound was great, the audience was great, and their new songs were great too (regardless of what other reviewers have said). I took lots of pictures and video, but not so much that I missed what was going on. Chris Martin danced around the stage like a kid with OCD, the lighting was simple, and he talked to the audience a lot, mainly joking about no one asking for refunds and the high cost of the tickets.

Set List:
Life in Technicolour
Violet Hill
In My Place
Viva La Vida
Chinese Sleep Chant
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
Square One
Strawberry Swing
Death Will Never Conquer
Encore: Fix You, Lovers In Japan

All I have to say is, thank you Coldplay for a great (free) night out with you :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

ebay junkie

So I think I have to admit it now.... I am addicted.... to.... ebay.

But I am definitely not ashamed. In fact, I think it is a great way to find items that are exactly what you want and be eco-friendly at the same time. It's great to think that I can find things that I would otherwise buy from retail outlets, but that on ebay are usually cheaper and are being recycled, so I am not contributing to wasteful commercial consumption (or so I like to tell myself).

Here are some of my recent purchases:

Black Leather Fringe Bag £4.99 Ebay Seller

Tan Leather Briefcase £8.50 Ebay Seller

Vintage Green and Brown Leather Oxfords £11.54 Deja Blues Vintage

I have my eye on a few more items, so I will keep you updated on any new purchases. In the meantime, happy ebaying!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


"She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. It was an union that must have been to the advantage of both; by her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved, and from his judgment, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance."

I love Jane Austen and all things derivative of her. Her language and stories are enchanting and feel tied to reality. Mr. Darcy is by far the most attractive male love interest of all time. The perfect combination of aloofness, character, honesty, and affection. Colonel Brandon... Captain Wentworth... even Wickham and Willoughby are interesting characters. Her female heroines are also strong, but have their moments of weakness when it comes to the opposite sex (which I think we can all understand), but Elizabeth Bennett will always be my favorite :)

I also envy the clothing style of the early 1800s. The empire waists and gauzy fabrics. Women always looked feminine yet educated, sexy yet demure.

I think that the ultimate reason why I identify with the women in Jane Austen is that like all of her heroines, I am a family and friends person, which makes it very hard for me to be far away from everyone at home. I am lucky because they do try and visit and I have had many visitors in the past month. Another friend from home, Sara, is also doing a law internship over here for the next few weeks, so now I will have her company (for a short time at least :) ). But I am lucky even moreso because I have found my place and my new family over here in Chloe and David. The other day when they were driving me back to my flat we all got into a silly disagreement about how much a customer should be charged for some extra work that we did and it really felt like we were having a stupid family squabble. It was wonderful. When I was sick the past couple of weeks Chloe kept trying to find ways to make me well, mainly through making me ginger tea, rose tea, real fruit drinks, etc.

All of which adds up to me feeling like we all care about each other as if we are all related. It reminds me of a quote that says you can't choose your family. You take what the fates hand you. And like them or not, love them or not, understand them or not, you cope. Then there's the school of thought that says the family you're born into is simply a starting point. They feed you, and clothe you, and take care of you, until you're ready to go out into the world and find your tribe.

I've found my tribe

Sense and Sensibility (1811) (read)
Pride and Prejudice (1813) (read)
Mansfield Park (1814) (to read)
Emma (1815) (read)
Northanger Abbey (1817, posthumous) (to read)
Persuasion (1817, posthumous) (reading)

Cadbury's Gorilla Advert Aug 31st 2007

gorilla cadburys commercial

I know this was on TV awhile ago, but I sent it to some friends in the states recently and re-realized how hilarious it is.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

foodie but goodie

Lately I've been a bit more inspired in the kitchen. I think it may have to do with the recovery of my sense of smell and taste.

Saturday night was sushi night, supplies obtained from the Japan Centre in Piccadilly and Loon Fung in Chinatown.

Then Sunday night was basmati rice with oyster mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, celery, tiny corn, and pine nuts.

The next day for lunch I made an English style pancake (with just enough batter for one left over from bf making a snack for himself the night before) and put the leftovers inside as a wrap, so good.

And last night I was inspired to use up the rest of the tofu from the sushi and made a salad with roasted vegetables and pan-grilled tofu.

Yesterday I got some Tilapia at the grocery store, so I'll have to think up something good for tonight!


On Saturday I went to Liberty to check out their display of furniture and tiles from the Arts and Crafts period of art. Here's a few pictures of inspiration. I found it interesting to see how some of the furnishings could be seen in a modern furniture store today. Old styles really do come back around.

Total Pageviews