Thursday, January 19, 2012


People ask all the time if I miss Florida. The obvious answer is yes, of course. I miss family, friends, sunshine, beaches... the list is long. However, every now and then I am reminded of something that I didn't realise I even missed.
As I was about to step out the door this morning, the house was suddenly filled with an electric blue glow and there was a rumble in the distance, a thunderstorm! I stood motionless waiting for another bolt of lightning or clap of thunder but that was it. Just one lousy bolt and little rumble and all I had left was torrential wind and spitting rain.
London thunderstorms have nothing on Tampa thunderstorm! Storms terrified me as a child. At the first distant grumble of thunder our golden retriever would make a b line to the bath tub. The curtain would come crashing down and any unexpecting bather would have a surprise guest. However, as an adult I find them strangely soothing. Something about the quiet and calmness between rumblings and the safety of a home in the midst of a storm. Even better (and also missed) are the rainless storms, lightning spidering across a midnight blue sky in the heat and humidity of an August evening... yes, I do miss Florida. The scent of rain in the air, the steam rising from sun drenched blacktop and the feel of rain dampened skin as you dash umbrella less through a storm from car to destination. Lightning and thunder filled nights followed by warm, sunny mornings. Yes, I do miss Florida.
The last three years I thought I hated rain but now I realise I just hate cold, windy, 'I have to wait for the bus in this' rain. For the record, I don't miss the 'can't see the end of your car hood when your driving' rain or the 'I only have 1 day at the beach' rain. It's not all puppy dogs and cotton candy in Florida but it is easy to forget about the things that we couldn't wait to leave behind.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bitching, Moaning and Dancing

The danger of writing in the morning is that all my posts could easily become a saga about what has become a daily epic journey across London. There would be moments of pure delight and hearty laughter but mostly you'd be asking "Why do they live in London, again?" So for your benefit (and for my sanity) I am going to keep the morning journey saga to a minimum.

I woke this morning with my mom's voice ringing in my ears. For years I listened to her say, "its a school night, you aren't going to..." I hated the lecture that followed my persistence requests to go to where ever I had to be on that particular Wednesday at 11 pm. I don't remember the exact words but it was something like... If you could stay out late and still get up tomorrow without bitching and moaning then I would let you go. My argument would continue, But mom I can get up and I won't bitch and moan. I can close my own eyes now and picture my mother's eyes rolling like no teenager could ever even hope to duplicate. My mom knew the truth and there was no way she was going to deal with her spoiled rotten 16 year old daughter at 6 am without bitching and moaning.

So why was I left lying in bed thinking about this at 6 o'clock this morning? I went out last night. Defiant and confident that I would have no trouble getting up and making it in for my normal 8:30 start sans bitching or moaning. Not the first time I've set out to prove my mother wrong only to realise the lady was far smarter than her 16 year old daughter gave her credit for all those years ago. Somewhere Deb is looking down on me wiggling about with pointer fingers extended towards the sky doing a ridiculous victory dance and chanting "I was right!"

And in case you were wondering... It is 8:55 am and I am currently stuck on the jubilee line with 6 stops to go. The driver just informed us that there is a defective train ahead and we won't be moving for awhile. I am bitching, moaning and late. 0 for 3 on this Thursday morning. Dance away mom...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Things we learn the hard way..

1. To always lock your windows.
2. To take your umbrella even if Carol says it will be dry with sunny spells. Carol is crap at predicting weather.
3. That a 12 mile trip in London will likely take an hour or longer by car.
4. TFL's definition if good service does not always match your own.
5. The Metro does not use the non transferable newsprint ink.
6. No one will tell you about the newsprint ink smeared across your face. You will discover it yourself when you go to the loo around 11:45 am!
7. Wearing skirts in November in London is tricky business. London winds always know just how to blow even the snuggest of skirts straight up for every builders delight.
And 8. You will never be wearing the right knickers for the right occasion.

Just another manic Monday...

Definitely wishing it were Sunday!
Alas, it is off to work I go but got a nice little surprise when I ran into the hubby on the train. He left a good 15 minutes before me but is bus died and he had to walk. Bumping into each other on public transport is becoming a habit of ours. A sure sign we officially live here and are settled is when we run into other people we know while out and about on the city. Always nice to look up and see a smiling face on a crowded train full of grumpy Guses! Even if it only for one stop.
Changing the subject (as you already know how I feel about London trains!)... We joined Zipcar! Had our first jaunt about town this weekend in a VW something or another. The concept is simple , cars are parked in designated dots all over the city. You can reserve one online for as long or as short as you want paying a small fee by the hour including 40 miles and gas per rental. Our first rental taught us a fee lessons. 1. Never underestimate how long it takes to go 15 miles in London. 2. Returning the car late is a costly miscalculation. and 3. Always leave the house with adequately charged mobile phones.
Sunday's journey took us to IKEA for home purchases and then to a Christmas tree farm in Kent. We were able to walk through the fields and puck our tree! The man cut it down as we watched... the experience had a Griswold feel to it which added to the excitement. We gave the tree several good shakes to ensure any little critters had vacated prior to setting it up inside. Nothing ruins the holidays like a squirrel in the Christmas tree! A few finishing touches and the house will be ready for the 25th if December!
In that note, I am one stop away from getting this Monday officially underway. Thanks for keeping me company on my morning journey! X

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Renewed effort

So we all accept that I am rubbish at updating this blog. The main barrier is life... seriously real life is always getting in the way of the things I love. Writing, traveling, napping... I realised while in Hong Kong that I could get used to the easy, lady that lunches lifestyle. Alas, that lifestyle can only be mine at fleeting moments. Moments that I will take and cherish whenever I can get them, thanks to my fabulous husband and occasional Sugar Daddy!  But at the same time I am going to make a point to carve time out of real life for writing.
Currently, I am standing on the 6:45 am train into work, single finger pecking on my phone and not holding on... writing is a dangerous habit! Me being on the train with strangers before 7 am is even more dangerous. I think politeness and basic manners have lost there place in this word. Watching big burly men push ladies to the side as they head to open seats is common place. I get that we all have long days ahead and varying degrees of reasons for wanting to sit but to push another human to the side is just plain gross. Gross might not be the right word but I am in need of my morning coffee so gross it will be. After 7 am I am more likely to scoff, passively comment under my breath, shake my head and issue a dirty look at the culprit. Before 7 am, my mouth is making sounds before I have a chance to stop it."What is wrong with you?" "Seriously?" "Get up and let that poor lady you trampled sit down." "Yes, I am talking to you." All words accompanied with said scoffing, looks and head shaking... but nothing passive here. Just to put the icing on the cake, I thank him for ultimately getting up and tell him when he gets off (at the very next stop!) to have a good day. Chuckles erupt on the normally silent train and the ladies all share a knowing smile... a drop of water in the ocean but at least that one lady got a seat this morning.
Tomorrow commute will be an after 7 am'er.
On a side note, I have seen a man without pants (the American or British variety) two days running... and not the same man either. Here's hoping this won't be a hat trick!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day Five: Part 1

I define heaven as aNy place where I am treated like a queen. Silk robe laid out, slippers on stand by, bath waiting, room lit with candles and a specially chosen scent to match my mood wafting through the air. And of course my own personal (for 90 minutes at least) massuere to kneed away all my worries. By that definition, I have just spent the better part of my morning in heaven. Now I am sitting in the lounge sipping (free) bubbly and nibbling (free) treats. The only stress in my mind is knowing that as soon as I post this blog CK will get a copy via email while he is slaving away at work. Sorry dear... And thanks for bringing me to Hong Kong. X

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day Four: Hong Kongs Only Attraction

Shopping, of course.
I set out with a plan... Hit up the designer sample sales, then the Sosa Mall, maybe a few temples and then back to TST for an up and coming HK Designers mall. I have just sat down for the first time after 10 hours of shopping... No lunch, no water breaks and no temples... Just shopping except for the 60 minute semi lost excursion into lands unknown. I've been elbowed, kicked, stepped on and possibly poked in the ribs by little Asian ladies all day. They take their shopping serious. At one point I had a few things in my hands trying to decide on sizes when a woman took both items from my hands and walked away with them. I could have fought or said something but since I was slowly losing my will to live, I just let her walk away.I left the store and head out to ride the double decker trolley... because there is no other way to wipe away your shopping tears than on a trolley.
On I hopped and away it went (clang clang went the trolley), 15 minutes later I was suddenly aware that I had gone the wrong direction. So, off I hopped and then started the journey to the right place... 30 minutes, 2 buses and a subway ride later I was saddling up to mall number 3.
A good idea in theory as it was half way between the last destination, the next destination and the hotel. However, I quickly discovered that Ocean Galleria (or something to that effect) does not cater to my budget. I am pretty sure that only 1% of the worlds population could shop here. The mall itself was teeming with people but the shops (Valentino, Prada, etc) were empty except for security and the shop assistance. So needless to say I was on to the fianl destination rather quickly.
A lovely back alley, 5 story office building that has been gutted and filled with stalls. I had my heart set on designers manning their areas with needle and thread in hand but was disappointed to find most stuff was imported from Korea. The stall keepers were all painfully cool and did everything in their power to make shoppers feel uncomfortable in the stalls.
Not a total wash as I did make away with some bootie. Shoes, cardagian, vest top, jacket and scarf! However, there will be no photos to commemorate the adventure as photography is banned in the malls! Seriously, one snap of a poorly worded t-shirt sent security running from their secret hideaway threatening to take my memory card until I convinced them the blurry image had been deleted. Security told me in broken English that photos of public spaces were a threat to national security. I suppose if you want to inflict maximum damage in HK blowing up a mall would do the trick! Now this blog post will never make it past China censors! Just to be clear I in no way condone blowing things up malls or otherwise.
Tomorrow's plan... Traditional Chinese massage at 10:30 preceded by a ritual bathing to prepare me for ultimate benefit and followed by lounging at the rooftop pool. Closing out the afternoon with high tea at the Peninsula Hotel and then dinner with the hubby. A day of shopping followed by a day of pampering... Folks, you are witnessing the birth of a monster!