Tuesday, February 19, 2013


[travelogs : a series of short, minimalist posts about places I've been and things I've seen...]

A few memories from a fabulous trip/road trip with a husband and two dear (girl) friends. //  One of us, I won't say who (its a boy), fell over on the ice three times in less than half an hour.  I'm talking full on, slice your hands open and crack your tail-bone skids.  //  The wind was ice cold and so so so so strong - not for the dogs though - they thrive in minus forty degrees (celsius) and they towed us all around the place, those clever mutts.  One of the dogs is famous - she was in a music video for David Guetta (as a wolf) .  // Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) was on holiday, so we missed her this time - better luck next time I hope!  //  I ate an amazing steak sandwich at the oldest cafe in Iceland.  It was very cute and had a funky toilet whose walls were completely covered in signatures, words of wisdom, letters from around the world.  //  We had a swim in the Blue Lagoon, silica masked our faces and after that ate an amazing lunch, in a fancy restaurant in our bathrobes (so stylish).

Iceland was one of my favourite places that I've been.  It was brisk and welcoming, it was stark and beautiful.  It was harsh and it was empty and it was wonderful.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

[let it snow...]

Dear future me, 

In England there are two camps - snow haters and snow lovers and not much in between. It may just be that I have hardly seen the snow in my life, but I gotta be honest - turns out I'm a total a snow lover.

Haters, I get it - the slippery-ness and the dirty brown snow.  The layering up with ten layers of clothing and having to take them all off when one goes inside a store.  The slipping over in the snow and hurting ones hip, knee and arm (or so I've heard).  I feel ya, haters - snow is the nemesis of a summer bunny.

Oh, but the silkiness of freshly fallen snow.  The way the local pub suddenly becomes so cosy, and a hot chocolate a necessity.  The snowman almost twice my size with whole onions for eyes and coal for buttons.  The way it brings people together - adults smiling at eachother with cheer in their faces over children playfully throwing snowballs at each other...  wait, I think that was on a movie I saw...  You get the picture.  

It snowed here in London recently and we were lucky in that it fell, then got a wee bit warmer and then rained it all away so we didn't really suffer the slushy, buses-won't-run-and-trains-fall-off-their-tracks situation London often faces.

And guess what?  It looks like snow tonight.  Yes, yes it does.  Haters gon' hate.

Love, me.  xx

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

[what the bus just happened?...]

Dear future car owner and driver,

Just writing to fill you in on a perfectly normal trip home on the bus today.  London transport can be quite iffy at times but in any case it (usually) gets you from A to B and that's the main thing.  Today was no exception.

Diary of a bus trip
(*times are estimated*)
(*pictures are from my archives*)

1745:  I am luck enough to step off my bus and straight onto the one behind it.  I call this 'the speedy interchange', and today I'm super grateful for it cos I just had to wait almost 2 1/2 hours for my ten minute appointment, we have dinner guests coming and I'm a little over it. 

1746:  Two dudes practically push me out of the way to get on the bus ahead of me.  I'm not sure what happened to chivalry but I don't intend to let it die so I give one of them the opportunity to be a real man and I forcefully let him go behind me.  I'm kind like that.

1747:  I'm standing up, now in between the two dudes, under one of their armpit with my... ahem... chest in the ladies face who is sitting down.  Sorry lady.

Bus driver is ranting about how we need to move down inside the bus and no one listens - it's only safety after all, and we all just want to get home.  Every man for himself.  So the driver kicks the front-est guy off the bus.  There's a lot of yelling.  There's a lot of 'is this not polite enough for you, sir'.  There's a lot of 'it was my bag, not me'.  The guy eventually gets off and we leave.

1750:  A baby is squealing.  You know the squeal, that one where it climbs inside your brain and hacks away at your sanity with a small, high pitched chisel.  I feel sorry for the Dad, who does nothing about it despite death ray looks from other passengers.  He has probably learned to tune it out I guess.

1753:  We stop the bus, and let a few people out the back door.  Still we don't move down the bus, we're just glad we've got more room.  No more pit in face or boobs in head situation.  I'm actually breathing in my own air instead of recycled air.  A couple ladies are waiting patiently at the front door for it to be opened for them when the driver pulls away.  He's still too full.  I couldn't hear over the chisel in my brain but I think I saw her mouth the words 'why didn't you buckets move down inside the bus?'

1758: At one of the main stops, a whole bunch of people get off and I manage to move up the back.  There are graduated steps up towards the back seat and I sit in the first one up the step.  I choose the right hand seat because there is something wet on the left hand seat - a lady with a baby (not the screamer, but another one) is sitting there and I can only assume it's wees from her baby, or perhaps breast milk.

1759:  The guy I sat next to wants to get off so I get up to let him off and get my foot stuck under a bar so I'm kind of half up and half down, but he still tries to climb over me.  I manage to get my foot out and he's on his way.  Lady with the wee wee/breast milk baby now has a muttering talking shouting screaming completely losing his rag baby on her hands.

1801:  A couple of steps on, a man waits to get off the bus and I scope him out from feet to head.  He's in sneakers and cargo pants.  No biggie.  Further up I notice a dark t-shirt with a leather bomber jacket over top.  Little bit rocker.  Then we reach the top and I notice a head of completely grey/white hair and... wait for it... a sweat band.  I surmise he's off to band practice and he likes to keep the sweat out of his eyes.  Rock on, Gramps.

The guy behind me, in the seat one further up the stairs (as in, his knees are at my head) starts to cut his fingernails on his lap.  It may be my imagination but I'm pretty sure my hair is now peppered with dirty fingernail clippings.  I'll find them later.

1803: The wees baby is interrupted from his screaming by a man bringing his double buggy in the back door.  He moves wees babies pram over to behind the pole and parks his extra wide load in the gap.

Here's the kicker.

1807:  Wees babies Mum must remember at the last minute that this is her stop.  So she gets up with the screamer under her arm, and heads for her pram which is somehow wedged in the corner with a double buggy and twenty-five people in front of it.  The on and off process for this stop is coming to an end fairly swiftly so she does what any normal mother would do when their buggy is stuck on a bus with not much sign of release in the near future.  She walks calmly off the bus, puts the now eerily quiet baby on the pavement in the pitch black on a busy London road and gets back on the bus.

Let me repeat - bus is packed, buggy is stuck, Mother is on bus, baby is standing in the middle of the pavement.  In London.  On his own.  In the dark.

Driver shuts the bus doors and engages the gears to drive away. 

I am looking out the window at the baby standing with a quivering lip on the dark sidewalk, his face lit up by passing cars.  I send up a quick prayer to the One who listens and I ring the stop bus bell fifteen hundred times until the doors open back up.  By now, double buggy guy has lifted wees Mum's buggy over top of his mobile and biffed it at her.  She calmly walks off the bus and proceeds to wrestle her baby into said buggy, and although he has made himself into some kind of toddler shaped ironing board and refuses to bend at the waist, she straps him in.   Doors close, end scene.

1810:  We have arrived at my stop and I disembark from this normal, everyday journey in the London Transport system.  Let me tell you, it's never boring.

Love, public transport user and appreciater.  xx

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Dear future me,

I have been a long time between posts and it's a bit of a shame actually because a lot has been happening and I fear I'll forget it all.  I have been on trips and had situations and learned lessons and I have forgotten (or not bothered) to tell you all about it.  To be honest, sometimes I think things are just best soaked into our hearts, and kept to ourselves, yet the point of this blog is preservation.  So here I am, and here is a snapshot of life lately.

: :  We had snow.  I was like a kid in a sweet shop, I walked the slowest I've ever walked and had a giddy smile on my face the whole way to the supermarket.  Snow geek.

Let it snow!

: :  Yesterday on my way to work in the morning, an alarm bell was going off.  I couldn't really tell where it was coming from because it was echoing around the river, but I soon found out it was coming from the hostel across the road from the bus stop.  I saw people evacuating and heard (NZ and Aussie accented) voices yelling about how cold it was out here.  Three fire engines showed up.  Hehe.  I guess someone burned their toast.

: :  One of the London family, our friend E, went home to Australia on Thursday.  She surprised her family (love it), but saddened us.  It won't be the same without her.  She, like all good friends, adds something to a moment.  Least she'll be just across the ditch when we get home.

E and I...  Bye special friend!

: :  Speaking of home, there are apparently rumours we are coming home soon!  Please note in this formal environment - there are no definite plans to come home soon, and we are not surprising anyone with our arrival.  There, now that's thrown you off track.  Ha.

: :  I had brought a super awesome scarf, which I dropped at the shop when I was trying something on.  I went online to find a new one (they weren't in the shop anymore) and it was £7.85, with £3.50 postage.  So naturally I spent a further £40 so that I could get free postage.  Awkward.  Even more awkward when half of it didn't fit me.  Hehe.

: :  Tomorrow night we are having a friend over for tea and she is doing a vegan month for February.  What the bazooka's do vegans even eat?!  Well we'll soon find out - we're cooking for her.  Watch this space.

: :  Lastly but not leastly, it's this fabulous lady's birthday today, can you believe she's fifty?!

Mum and I in Santorini - Happy birthday Mum!
More posts coming up, dear future me.  I will not forget you.  (Or maybe I will, I guess we'll see.)

Love, daughter of a half century beauty.  xx