Posts tagged “london

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london in five days (V)

Our final day in London started bright and early for Lucas and I, like pre-7am early, which, for me, is unheard of when we’re home, because I go to bed so late. But here in London, fatigued from the day and with no Internet to while my nocturnal hours away, I’d been going to bed before midnight. Ordinarily, if I were up at that ridiculous hour, I’d be a groggy, grunting lump shuffling listlessly across the floor. But this time around, possibly owing to the fact that we were in London (yay!), as well as the fact that I likely had sufficient sleep, I was uncharacteristically alert, perky almost. And I hadn’t even had breakfast yet.

I put on my blue flowered polyester dress, the last clean item of clothing I’d brought. Up to that point, I’d always worn it over leggings, because British weather only occasionally gets hot enough to go sans leg-coverings, and it hasn’t been that hot since I bought the dress last year. In this heatwave, it goes without saying that I was going to go bare-legged. However, I didn’t account for the fact that the dress was, um, a bit short. After I put it on, I kept tugging at it, hoping that it was at least covering vital parts of my anatomy. Lucas very helpfully suggested that I could put on my navy blue shorts under it and his brilliant idea saved me from much potential embarrassment, as well as having to take small, dainty steps for the rest of the day. After donning the shorts, he said I looked more confident. Ha!

The early start meant that we could get everything packed up before Ares and Raspberry were awake. It also meant that we could chat with our one flatmate — a law student from Nottingham named Catherine who was on a two week work placement — before she left for work. She worked long hours and would return late, so we only really saw her at night when we were making dinner or cleaning up. Raspberry enjoyed talking with her and promised to make her a picture before we left. She drew one of balloon people, inspired by a balloon in the shape of a number five, that we saw on our train to London.

If there was one thing I liked about the apartment (besides the fact that the bed was a lot comfier than our own), it was meeting fellow travellers. I’d talked quite a bit with the Slovenian guy before he and his girlfriend left. We’d see each other in the kitchen, as he prepared a no-frills breakfast or did his dishes. He seemed quite nice, as he’d recount the places they visited, sightseeing the way we did, but probably in a cooler, edgier, we-don’t-have-kids-in-tow sort of way. Oh, and they hit up plenty of musicals too, which isn’t exactly our cup of tea. He offered us the sunscreen he bought just before he left, but we didn’t need it. I didn’t really get a chance to chat with the Korean girl who’s an art student from Seoul, although Lucas did. The day we first met her, she gave Raspberry a small package of chocolate biscuits, which she devoured while we were out at South Bank. Raspberry, who forms attachments quickly and easily, wished she could keep in touch with Catherine. We had to explain to her the concept of fleeting friendships, and how you can’t really form long-term friendships with everyone. I’m not sure if she quite understood though.

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london in five days (IV)

In my sleepy daze, I somewhat recall the sound of heavy rain sometime in the early hours of the morning. By the time I woke, it was dry and hot again and we were all set for our last full day in London. At 34°C, it was slated to be the hottest day of the heatwave (and I’m willing to guess, of the year too) and what better way than to spend part of it at Hyde Park?

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london in five days (III)

Well, the curtain thing did the trick and on our second full day in London, both Raspberry and Ares did not wake at a ridiculously early hour. Yay! Of course, I’m sure all the activity the day before had something to do with it.

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london in five days (II)

Our first full day in London started early. Like, “Why are you up?! It’s not even 7am!” kinda early. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I’d forgotten to draw the curtains in the room, which got the morning sun. I learnt that lesson quickly. For two kids who didn’t get their requisite amount of sleep, they sure were perky. Lucas and I were probably much less so. But no matter, because we were in frigging London!!!!!!!!!!

Lucas and I finished the muesli we’d brought, mixed with the granola we’d gotten the day before. Raspberry decided she only wanted the granola because clusters are where it’s at. Ares thrived on strawberries, because he’s a fruit fiend. Breakfasts for him have been complicated lately, as he doesn’t seem interested in what we have to offer, especially when there’s berries available. He took a couple of bites of our cereal, but mostly wanted the berries. We didn’t know it yet, but feeding him on this trip would prove to be a bit of a challenge.

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london in five days (I)

As a birthday present for all of us (well, namely Raspberry, Lucas and I), we took a trip to London this past Sunday for five days. Out of the four of us, I’m the only one who has been before, in 1984, 1994, and 2004. Yes, in keeping with the pattern, it would’ve been great if I could’ve made it last year but for some reason, we just didn’t (the fact that we had a cat with hyperthyroidism who had to be fed a couple of times a day had a lot to do with it). In any case, we went and had a a tremendous time.

However, the trip got off to a bad start, as one of the wheels of our brand new suitcase popped right off barely a hundred metres from home. Raspberry, Ares and I had gone ahead of Lucas and as we made it down the hill, Raspberry turned around and announced that Lucas was carrying rather than pulling the suitcase. Of course, that’s not what I wanted to hear and when he finally caught up with us, he confirmed the worst and had to lug the suitcase the rest of the way to Lime Street station. Once on the train, because the luggage space was full, the cursed suitcase occupied the fourth seat at our table, sealing Lucas into his window seat. There was a guy sitting in that fourth available seat when we first boarded the train, but he quickly moved when he noticed we had a lot of baggage (I’m talking about Raspberry and Ares here).

The train trip, which ordinarily takes just over two hours, was slated to take almost three hours on this cloudy Sunday morning. I’m not sure why, as it didn’t make more stops than it usually does, but at some points, it certainly didn’t travel as fast as the Virgin trains normally go. We saw a lot of countryside and kept wondering when we’d see the city limits. Arriving at London Euston twenty minutes later than we should have, we were all excited and antsy to get off and get our vacation started.

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gone


Beginning yesterday, I now have a whopping, indefinite amount of time on my hands. I’m temporarily jobless till they call me for the start of new studies, which will probably happen in early February. As a result of this unexpected break, I browsed for cheap plane tickets, hoping to get a nice two-week break at home. Coincidentally, the seat sales on Westjet, Jetsgo and Air Canada all ended yesterday. So I spent several tortured hours last night, wavering between going and of course, not. Reasons for not going included mostly feeling guilty about leaving Lucas (even if it’s only for two weeks) and the fact that the cheapest return ticket is just under $300. $300 for two measely weeks? It just doesn’t seem that worth it. On the flip side, a break from here would be really nice and it would be great to hang out with my family, even for just two weeks. In any case, I decided after about three hours that I would let it pass; after all, I’m going home in about three months.


hush


I realized recently that I can never be one of those beautifully, poetically sad people. Intrigued, I tried that route before but my creations at that point turn out to be heavily stereotypical, more of a point of embarrassment for me than pride. I feel bad being happy or content when there are people I love in the doldrums; it just doesn’t feel right, almost sinful — like throwing a party when there’s a funeral next door.


tie on the apron


With the advent of the new year, I’ve unwittingly adopted a more domestic aura. I’m convinced it has something to do with the fact that everyone and their dog has made new year’s resolutions and I’ve internalized all that hubbub and churned out my unofficial hopes for the year, even though I didn’t want to.

This afternoon, I scoured the Ikea catalog, all the while holding visions of decorating my future permanent home (a house or a loft, preferably). Lucas just shook his head and laughed, thinking I was reading something more intellectual. The high point of yesterday involved cuddling in bed and discussing biological clocks (guys don’t have any) and when would be ideal to have kids. Turning twenty-four in March makes me feel disgustingly old and I can’t help but think about starting a family; I’ve become more intrigued with the idea of pregnancy as of late and I get annoyed at news of young mothers and people marrying early (although technically, I can be considered unofficially married). Lucas promised me that when we return home, we’ll evaluate our lives at that point. I can and can’t wait.


stop here


Last day of work for the year. Christmas party with tons of food jammed into my bag till it looked beyond unnatural. Nonchalently sneaking out the door with too much food sandwiched between two styrofoam plates. You’d think I’d at least be in a joyous mood.

But alas, the end of work means the start of major cramming for my GREs. In exactly two weeks, at this time, I hope to be nicely buzzed or drunk and more importantly, to have burned put out of sight my multiple towers of flash cards. That’s not entirely bad, considering that was what I’d initially planned.

Rather, my mood was spoiled by an old hag at work who takes it upon herself to shush all young people in her vicinity who attempt to enliven our work environment. To which, we roll our eyes at her. This morning however, she ever-so-brusquely kicked me off my station. She didn’t ask, she ordered, dammit. And the worst part is that I took it, like a hooker charging $10 an hour to be bent over. I didn’t say anything partly ’cause I’d have to work with her again, I’m sure, an open bitter grudge anywhere, isn’t quite the way to go. The other part was because I was a tad shaken by her demand and subsequent invasion of my personal space. I suppose when you’re a bit rattled, you’d do anything, including give up your first-born child? In any case, I’m kicking myself for not flipping out on the witch. Then again, I could possible potentially be fired for doing so, or perhaps I could be imagining that part. I did take a bit of consolation in thereafter making fun of her and ranting with co-workers. But that of course, doesn’t make me a very dignified person. Although at this point, I don’t think I really give two fucks about being dignified.

Lucas’ last two exams are tomorrow, hence putting an end to weeks of crankiness, emotional distance and neglect and a waned libido. Actually, I don’t know about the last one.


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Singular (2004)


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I’ve inadvertantly broken three items out of our kitchen in matter of a week. Tonight, the plate I was holding literally snapped into half in mid-air. Granted, there was already a giant crack bisecting it, so it was just a matter of time before it fractured. I was the lucky one.


like mashed potatoes


Some days, I just don’t know how to feel.

My first thought upon awakening this morning was how I was going to structure my statement of interests, for my grad school applications. That’s really not the greatest first thought in the morning. I’d much prefer if I thought about having ice-cream for breakfast (despite having none in the freezer), or about how I could jump my guy, or about who stole the cookie from the cookie jar. This should’ve been the first clue that my day was going to be off-kilter.

I also once again learned today that sometimes, impulsivity is good! If you see something you want, you should get it, instead of mulling over it so long you lose your chance at it altogether. I seem to be famous for, “I’ll think about it” and “I’ll come back for it later” quips. Case in point: while on vacation this past summer, I stumbled upon a postcard with the signature image for Art in the 60s while at the art museum in Birmingham. Rather than get it then and there, I decided to wait till we were done checking out the galleries. Who knew that the gallery was going to close in less than an hour? I didn’t. And when the security guard booted us out at closing time, I frantically ran back, pleading with them to let me just get this one postcard. But of course, they all wanted to run home to their families and wouldn’t do this one thing for me. Now, I suppose if I offered them a significant amount of money, that would be another story.

Yesterday, I should’ve learned from this, but apparently, I didn’t. We were at a&b sound, getting Eminem’s Encore (which is great, if I might so add. Although not as great as the photography in the CD booklet). That’s when I came upon a $10.99 DVD copy of Ocean’s Eleven… it was the last copy too. Rather than get it then and there, I famously quipped, “I’ll think about it”. And think about it I did. I decided to go back for it this morning, only to find that final copy gone. Well, as they say, the early bird catches the worm, not the bird who thinks too much. This overthinking bird is kicking herself.

And to add to the feelings askew, Mac (four-time consecutive Yates Cup champions) lost the Yates Cup this afternoon… too many of their front-liners, including disasterously-enough, Jesse Lumsden, were injured. I stopped watching with five minutes left in the fourth, when it became painfully clear that Mac wasn’t going to be able to beat the one team that broke their four-year-long winning streak. I was grumpy thereafter.

And while being grumpy, I had to tackle more indecision about whether I should send a dud reference form to my referee for my grad school application. After consulting a grand total of two (count ’em) people, I somewhat-reluctantly sent it. All this just for a little peace of mind… or so they tell me.

At least my pink heart socks with the grippy heart bottoms and the useless pom-poms are keeping my feet warm. Which doesn’t make me feel so bad.


viewfrom23 – August 16-22, 2004 (England II)



August 21, 2004

a wrinkle


viewfrom23 – August 8-15, 2004 (England I)



August 11, 2004

just a smudge


all a daze


Everything’s so surreal. I want to be, well… not here. I opened my eyes yesterday to white rooftops — whatthehell, it’s early September and this is beyond shocking for someone who just spent time in thirty-two degree weather. And this eye-rubbing experience comes after spending half the night not sleeping ’cause of an unenjoyable girly infection I’ve got. I’m scheduled to be back at work next Thursday and since finding out about that two days ago, I’ve been in utter reluctance — I’ve been trying to find a better, perhaps more enjoyable job… something that won’t numb me into a mundane cycle. To no avail so far, though.

Actually, I think I’ve been in utter reluctance about my whole life. A few nights ago, Lucas and I had an uber-long talk that sprang out of nothing. For the first time for as long as I can remember, I was brutally and tearfully honest. And I realized a lot about my situation and about myself. I’m still in a huge dilemma as to what to do. But it feels a bit more straight-forward now, perhaps ’cause I learned some things about me (such as the fact that realistically, I can’t do anything decent with my lame BSc and I’d need at least grad school to get somewhere I’d want to be or that I don’t think I’ve found something I really, really like yet). And of course, my brain does stupid things like talk too much and I do stupid things like think too much about things like this, so in combination, I stress myself out a LOT. Tres uncool, especially when you can’t get back to sleep at four o’clock in the morning.