Sunday, 25 August 2013

Bank holiday weekend

This weekend was all about exercising the brain with chess and scrabble. The two games which I never get bored of and suitable for the rainy London weather. Yesterday was the first day since I was here that it rained heavily the entire day. Its a sign the summer is almost ending!

I have to admit that I am more confident in chess than scrabble. I played four games of scrabble with my brother yesterday and I lost all four! On a positive note, my loss was probably because I was a bit rusty. This morning I played three more games with random opponents and won two out of the three games. I am waiting for a rematch with my brother :):) 

Suddenly I realised how useful it is to have a brother. When I want to play tennis or ping pong, he plays with me. When I want to play chess, he does not mind playing too. He was also all gamed for scrabble too. Even when I ask him to cook food for me, he will do it!

The one thing he will not do with me is ballroom dancing.... Geli geli

For lunch I made something so simple but it turned out to look artsy-fartsy.

I showed my brother this picture of the egg I made:

My bro was saying he does not like eating eggs and he said my egg looked like it didnt like itself too because it was puking all over itself.

So I edited the picture:

Happy Bank Holidays!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Brothers Cider

Another pink coloured cider which taste awesome. It is a pear cider mixed with berries. It felt like I was drinking a fruit juice. Drink cider if you dont like the bitterness of beer. 

No, I did not finish the whole bottle alone.

On another note, its annoying to see people draw their own conclusions on someone else, especially when its fabricated. Just shows your own stupidity.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Absence and Loss

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that on Monday I went up to Liverpool to spend a last evening with my boyfriend, Ste, before taking him on Tuesday to Heathrow.  At 8pm I waved him goodbye and off he flew to China, for his year abroad studying in Beijing.

I anxiously followed his flight to Hong Kong, got a text from there, and then another when he landed in Beijing.  He was dropped off with his suitcase by a taxi driver in the middle of the night on a random street, because the driver couldn't find his hotel.  He eventually found it himself, at gone 1am, after a lot of walking around.  He must've been terrified: it was his first long-haul flight and has only been studying Chinese for two years as part of a joint honours degree. 

He hasn't had access to the internet properly, he's behind the great firewall of China (where Twitter and Facebook are banned) and texts cost 40p a shot.  Calls are £1.50 a minute.  He's almost as far away as it gets in the modern world.  He's gone for a year and I'm going to have to get used to it. All that said, we did manage to iMessage, and by using a proxy server we FaceTimed this morning for an hour.  So far, he pretty much hates it there. 

We've been together 16 months and "China" has been looming the whole time.  We knew he'd been going.  How do I feel about it all?  Well, his departure was quite surreal.  I cried, quite a lot.  Since then I've been expecting to be really down and upset.  Instead, I've been oddly at peace and oddly, I've felt quite happy.

"Happy" you say?

Is Ste that bad?  No, he's fucking amazing.  I love him.  We just click in such a natural, relaxed, wonderful way.  We haven't had one shouting match since we've met.  I admire and respect him, and he says I calm him down and support him.  He's a highly intelligent, feisty, confident young guy, and he's got some serious guts doing what he's doing.  I love, love, love the time we spend together.  I look forward hugely to his getting back, and our getting on with the rest of our lives together.  He's for keeps.

But I'm not feeling miserable.  Absence is such an abstract concept.  It's very much what I allow it to be.  As I touched on in my last post, I believe that life is chaotic and we can control only a very small proportion of what comes across our paths.  We can, however, control (or try to control) how we react to those obstacles.  I can let upset in, or I can look at the situation and see the good aspects.

When we were on FaceTime this morning, his face was on the screen, just as it would be if were talking with me at home and him at university up in Manchester.  Okay, we both blubbed a bit, but apart from the fact we were talking all about his experiences so far in China, if I take a step back this is still my Ste talking to me on the screen in exactly the same way as usual.  I can think "oh my god, he's on the other side of the world" or I can realise that it's incredibly fortunate we can communicate so easily.  When he gets his proper internet connection, it will be even better.

Somewhere in that strange city of 20 million... there's a Ste
My Mutti moved to England from Germany in December 1963 to marry my Dad, because he was due to go with the army to Kenya, accompanied.  A week after their wedding, the army changed his plans.  He went instead to a war zone in Aden, unaccompanied, for a year.  She was stuck in England with schoolgirl English and got a job in the local Smiths crisps factory.  They didn't have any internet, Twitter, FaceTime or iMessage.  It was letters that took weeks to deliver.  He was literally nearly killed.  An attack on the truck he was driving missed by one vehicle.  Mutti stuck with it and refused to run home to her own mother.  They were married 36 years.

It's more than just realising how comparatively well off Ste and I are, though.  It's about a feeling inside me that is joyous at the fact that his absence actually means so much to me.  I'd much rather be missing him, than not be in love with him.  It sounds mildly unhinged, but I guess we can say that I'm happy that I'm sad.

Grief is the price we pay for love

There's that quote on the British victims' 911 memorial in Grosvenor Square.  It has the words "Grief is the price we pay for love" on it.  It's a quote from a speech made by the Queen after the attack.  If we didn't love, we wouldn't feel the pain when our loved ones are gone.  There is so much truth in this.  It resonates inside me.  It's like that other much more hackneyed quote "better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all".  Fortunately it's not been worn out in the same way.

The Memorial to the British Victims of 911
Now, Ste hasn't died of course (!) but it has me thinking about the bigger picture of those whom I have loved and who are no longer alive.  My Dad is the big one.  If you have a moment, I'd love you to read these two very short pieces by me: telling your parents you love them and how he reacted when I put a dress on as a kid. I loved my Dad and have so much respect for him.  He was a phenomenal man.

My Dad died in March 2000.  I still have dreams where he's alive - not in some weird "he's the Messiah and he's come back to life" way, but just as if he's still there and never left.  You can't really control your sub-conscious, but I find this fascinating.  It's that thing about absence being abstract again.  I can't interact with him, but he is still there in my memories, in pictures, in my dreams, and I can hear his voice if I want to.  He's gone, but he's still with me.  His absence is real, but also not real at all.

My Dad (Davy is far right)
When I think about Dad and his beautiful funeral (his coffin was carried by 6 soldiers from his regiment into a medieval church by the sea, for the most perfect service, on a glorious April day), I start to well up a bit.  But then I'm also phenomenally glad that he existed and that I knew him.  I had him right through my childhood and into my adulthood.  Plenty of other people didn't have this.  Here I go again... I'm happy that I'm sad when I think about him.  I grieve because I loved him.

Collies and Grandmothers

Davy, my childhood dog, was born 27 years ago today.  I remember crying so hard it hurt when I got the call that he'd been put down.  I was in my law firm's office in London and my poor colleague didn't know what to do with me.  Talk about awkward for the poor sod.  When I lose Oscar, my incredible companion since 2003, I will be inconsolable for some time.  But I know I will be bursting with gratitude that he was in my life.  The pain will be worth it.

It's no insult to throw the only grandparent I knew into the same thought chain as Davy and Oscar (you have to be a dog person to realise, it's quite the opposite!)  My grandmother (Omi) died relatively recently, in January 2011.  Her death was the reason I started writing this blog and the story of her life was my first ever post.  When I think of her, my heart is full of happy thoughts, mixed in of course with the sense of loss.

Oscar and Omi.  I'm glad they met.
It's the same for anyone who means anything to us.  We are all temporary creatures on this Earth.  We will all experience loss and we will ourselves depart at some point.  We will mourn people we love, and there will be intense, sometimes crushing pain.  I may be an unbearable optimist, but I can't control the fact that for me, mixed in with the pain is also that huge gratitude and happiness that we had the chance to love them at all. 

Back to Ste

So, it's back to where we started.  Ste is in China.  Until July 2014.  I, quite frankly, would rather he were snuggled up on the sofa next to me.  He's not, and I can't change that.  I can, however, acknowledge what an incredible presence he is in my life and how fortunate I am to have him. 

Adorable cheeky monkey. What's not to love?
I can mope through the next year, or I can look forward to my trips out there (first one booked in two months' time!) and understand that his absence is part physical and part abstract - it's to a large extent how I view it in my head.  His being gone is pretty much what I want it to be.  Reflecting a little, I actually want it to be an opportunity to be joyful and grateful... and that's I guess why I wrote this piece.  Thank you for reading it.

Flying off



Thursday, 22 August 2013


Feels so cool to know I'm living in the same postcode as Victoria Beckham's office and its less than 10 minutes walk.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Of Nandos, Football and Battersea Park - London

A sunny day in London calls for granny sunglasses.....

And also ditching the jeans. These dresses are so beautiful OMG!
A walk around Battersea Park was amazing with such a great weather. I will make a special post on Battersea Park soon because it is such a beautiful and awesome park :)

Of course, too much time spent under the sun leads to ugly wrinkles and freckles. A hat and suncream is necessary!

Hello, Chelsea Football Stadium. I know nobody there except Ashley Cole because he cheated on Cheryl Cole. 

There is a game on tonight so there were a number of stalls selling Chelsea souveniors outside the stadium. I love blue colour.

Chelsea Footbal Stadium was located near Nando's. I saw a few people wearing Chelsea jerseys and football attire. Sorry, I dont watch football so if you are a famous person, I would not know ;p

A whole chicken for a meal in Nando's with the extra spicy sauce to give the extra kick yumyum.

The sunny hot weather and three hours of walking calls for almond magnum ice cream.

Lovely lovely day!

Instavideo of Chelsea Football Stadium:

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Prawn noodles - simple recipe

When you cook for one and eat at home, you get to eat as much TIGER PRAWNS as you want! I should add, it cost so much lesser than eating tiger prawns in a restaurant. 100% satisfied :):)

Meet my prawn noodle! It is so easy to cook. Just clean and remove the shell of the prawns and put it in a pot of boiling hot water. Then, put some noodles into the same pot. Voila! Its so easy because the prawn's flavour is all you need to make the meal tasty ;)

Oh, I should also say Chinatown is awesome because everything is so much cheaper there than the other supermarkets! Even a dozen eggs is 1pound cheaper than co-operative. My prawns came from Chinatown :)

On another note, one calorific meal I have been loving is my wholemeal bun with melted chedder mixed with mozarella cheese. 
Sometimes after sinfully satisfying my unhealthy cravings, I go back to being healthy by eating salad.

I am all about food heee

Monday, 19 August 2013

New bruise

Another day, another bruise. This time the bruise is as long as my iphone. It happened when I was in Banana Republic in Westfield Mall. I was walking around and I did not notice the table next to me because it was quite low. The sharp edge of the table scraped my thigh. It also did not help that I was wearing a short dress. So it was direct contact onto my skin. Im bruised and it hurts and this is one of my biggest bruise. Im so clumsy.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Something new

Not a blinging necklace but an elegant one. I have a matching bracelet too! Pretty but the picture does not show the real white marbel effect it has.

London: Old Bond Street

Old Bond Street is the street where you can find Shops like Alexander Mcqueen, Tods, Cartier and such. It is just off Picadilly Street.

Picadilly Street- rich in architecture and filled with shops and cafes. Plenty to do especially since its near Chinatown and Regent Street.

On another note, I am absolutely in love with the clothes from Abercombie & Fitch. It is located at Burlington Gardens. Its a huge building and it felt like being in a maze at first. I love their jacket!
Just so you know, this post started with a write up on Old Bond Street because it was directly in my view while I was in the bus, stuck in really bad traffic along Picadilly Street.