Monthly Archives: March 2014

Also known as “Thursday”.

WAH! Today did NOT go as I had planned. I woke up around 7:30 am and thought to myself “I’ve been putting off getting my birth control prescription refilled for too long. I will go down to the walk-in clinic as soon as they open and hope that I can be seen early”. I looked up the times on a NHS website, which said the clinic would open at 10 am. The clinic is just a 10-15 minutes walk from our flat. I went down, but when I arrived it turned out that the clinic didn’t open until 11 am. This was written on the leaflet they had on display in the reception, but not on the website, which was annoying.

It didn’t bother me too much though, as I decided to go to Nero and get a cup of coffee before sitting down in the waiting area. I had expected to have to wait an hour or so, so I had brought Anathem, a book I’m currently reading. At 11 am, the receptionist came and around 7 people started to flock around the reception. I knew I had been there before some of them, but didn’t really attempt to get in front since I thought we were few enough that it didn’t matter. One nice woman was kind enough to point out to the receptionist that I had been there before her.

Anyway, I really should have been quicker because I had to wait for aaages. There was a note in the clinic saying that “it may appear like patients are called out of order”. No fucking shit! I have no idea what the system was, but it certainly wasn’t chronological. I think I waited almost 3 ½ hours. When I finally saw the doctor she explained that it had to do with the new computer system, which is an reasonable explanation, but it just pisses me off that no one took the time to explain this to everyone in the clinic. If someone tells you “You will probably have to wait 3 hours before you will be seen”, then you are prepared for it. I waited and waited and didn’t know if I would dare to leave to go to the bathroom or the reception out of fear that they might call my name while I was gone. GRR!

Once I finally got out of the clinic with my pills, it had started hailing. It’s been weird weather recently. My boyfriend Tom has said all winter “Just you wait! It’s going to snow!” The last time he said it was a couple of weeks ago, when I yelled “OH GIVE IT UP IT’S 19C AND SUNNY! IT’S NOT GOING TO SNOW!” Of course it started snowing yesterday. Get a grip, England. Anyway, by the time I was out of the clinic I was starving. My original plan had been to go down to the clinic, get pills, go back home for lunch and then back into town for shopping. I ended up getting a panini and walking around the mall window shopping.

I literally window shop when it comes to jewellery. It just looks so expensive and serious that I never actually enter the shops themselves, I just stand outside looking in. I would totally buy myself expensive jewellery if I didn’t feel like I had to justify it to other people. I’ve been enamoured with Coeur de Lion necklaces lately, which go for about £100. I have the money to buy it, but every time I give it some serious thought I end up feeling guilty because “But that’s more than twice what I spent on a gift for x, y or z”.

I did get a small handbag for £27. It was in one of those weird shops where the shop assistants are overly keen to help you and at least 3 of them approaches you and asks you if you need any help. I had been looking at two bags and ended up putting one of them back. I had switched a bag that I had picked up for one that was a bit further down on the row, since the one I had picked up had a stitch that had come undone. I don’t know if one of the shops assistants saw this, because she approached me and said “Would you like me to get a new one for you?” to which I confusedly replied “… what, is this one not new?”. She said that she could get one that hadn’t been fingered by other customers. I said, uh, sure. I’ve never had anyone ask me that before. It’s a very strange offer which begs the question, how filthy are their customers’ fingers that they need to go down to the storage to get an untouched bag to sell? I should point out that the one I had wasn’t a display bag, there was four or five of the same bag on the shelf. Maybe it’s a normal thing shops keepers do, but it left me flabbergasted. Man, I’ve been dying to use that word!

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Above image displays an untouched, virgin bag.

 

Slursday

Birthday madness

We celebrated Tom’s 26th birthday a couple of days ago. I love birthdays, I know it’s not ‘cool’ to like birthdays anymore, but I do. Mine and other people’s. I’ve said it before about Christmas, that a lot of people just want a tradition as an excuse to show each other some extra attention and affection. Unfortunately, everyone seems to have their birthday in March except me. We call them ‘midsummer children’ in Sweden. If you thought that ‘midsummer children’ sounded a bit like ‘indigo children’ or anything spiritual/hippy, I’m sorry to disappoint you. It basically applies to the overwhelming amount of children who are conceived on midsummer’s eve, when Swedes get drunk and fuck around. Not as cute as “Valentine’s children”, I suppose.

Anyway, I had to work a morning shift on the day of his birthday, so I went up at 5 am and inflated some balloons and decorated before having my breakfast. I put a card on the table saying which present could be opened in the morning and that there was a surprise breakfast in the fridge in a white bag. Unfortunately, I forgot to tell him to read the card when he woke up, which ruined the surprise. Once I got home, I ran around cleaning the flat, baking a cake and cooking supper for when Tom would be home from work. Once again my plans were foiled by the fact that I couldn’t get the wine bottle (one with a cork) to open, which I needed to make red wine sauce. Anyway, Tom managed to get it open once he got home and dinner turned out fabulous. I’m pretty proud about the cake as well. It’s a traditional Swedish cream and strawberry cake.

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After dinner and a glass of wine, I immediately felt my eyelids getting heavy. I hadn’t slept well since I had to get up early and I had a fairly restless sleep. Most of the time I can manage on a few hours sleep, but this time my body just said “SLEEP. NOW.” without much room for argument, so I ended up snoozing pretty heavily on the sofa just before 10 pm. Good thing Tom unintentionally fell asleep at the same time. Man, we’re getting old.

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Schrödinger’s q-tip

I cleaned my ears with a q-tip after showering. I stuck the stick in and jiggled it around and something felt weird. I took it out and saw that there’s no bud on it, and now I’m left wondering whether the bud is stuck in my ear or whether I didn’t notice that the stick didn’t have a bud before putting it in.

I feel like the entire experience needs to be rewritten in poetry. 

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GOT season 4: What will happen with the “other” big scene

I can finally start to see the end of the tunnel in regards to the year long GOT hiatus. I’ve read all the books and the upcoming season is the only season where I genuinely don’t have a clue how they will write a very pivotal scene from the books. I’m not talking about the purple wedding, I’m talking about… [SPOILER WARNING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS]

… the one where Tyrion kills Shae.

First of all, his actions in the book are triggered by Shae seemingly betraying him during/after his trial. I say seemingly because it’s not unlikely that she was coerced by Tywin or Cersei, but book!Shae’s actions makes a lot of sense even if she’s just acting out of self-interest. Shae’s character in the books was a lot less sympathetic than show!Shae. We didn’t know much about her and it was always clear that she was a prostitute who was payed good money to act as Tyrion’s girlfriend. He took her at swordpoint and laid down the rules for their relationship when they first met, it’s not exactly the most romantic set-up. Tyrion had a lot of money and went looking for a prostitute who could give him the best “girlfriend experience” money could buy and that’s what she provided. In the show, Shae shows repeatedly that she’s genuinely invested in Tyrion and not just his money. We see how conflicted she is when he marries Sansa. Tyrion and Shae’s arguments makes them seem like a more equal couple than in the book; Shae is more like Tyrion’s paramour or sugarbabe, someone who is enjoying the benefits of sleeping with a royal, but isn’t afraid to tell him off or do her own thing.

Another difference from the books is Tyrion’s shady past. In the books, Tyrion has an extremely traumatic experience as a child/early teen, where he marries a woman he has just met, but is then forced by his dad Tywin to watch as his soilders rape her and is forced to do so himself. He was told that the woman was actually a prostitute and that the entire marriage was a scam set up by his family, which probably contributes to his issues regarding women later on in life. It’s revealed that this is a lie just before he kills Shae, the woman he married was never a prostitute and she was never set-up to marry him, something Tywin Lannister made up to punish Tyrion and/or protect the family name. While it’s clear in the books that Tyrion murders Shae in cold blood, which is indefensible, it makes sense from a character point of view due to his past experience with sexual abuse and issues with women. Book!Tyrion was always a “grey” character, who did quite a lot of questionable things. I think it’s pretty telling that book!Tyrion never expresses regret over murdering Shae, after the deed he is only obsessed with her betrayal. Show!Tyrion is lewd and arrogant, but he has been whitewashed to be more likeable and more of a good guy than in the books. His issues with women isn’t as obvious. I just don’t think it makes sense for show!Tyrion to kill Shae in a jealous fit, especially not since show!Shae is far softer and lovable than book!Shae. Not that it makes book!Shae’s murder any less reprehensible, but having Tyrion murder Shae in the show is going to cause so much more backlash towards Tyrion’s character since both are popular characters.

I don’t know how they will make Shae’s betrayal realistic in relation to the way she’s been portrayed on the show before, or how Tyrion’s actions will make any sense without any focus on his traumatic backstory. But seeing as Shae’s betrayal and murder acts as a catalyst for Tyrion’s arc in the later book, I can’t see an easy way around it without rewriting some major components. Granted, Tyrion’s arc in the latest book is pretty boring and if the show writers can come up with a more exciting story, I’m all for it. I don’t have faith that they can though. I think they’re going to pick one of these scenarios.

1. Shae is coerced by Tywin or Cersei to betray Tyrion to protect either Tyrion or Sansa. Shae is then murdered by Tywin/Cersei before Tyrion finds out the truth and he goes on believing she betrayed him.

2. Shae is coerced by Tywin or Cersei to betray Tyrion to protect either Tyrion or Sansa. As Tyrion murders Tywin, he also lashes out at Shae and inadvertently kills her before the truth is revealed.

3. Shae becomes more and more jealous of Tyrion’s marriage to Sansa and eventually betrays him out of vengeance or self-interest. In the show, Shae is very fond of Sansa so I’m not so sure about this, but something would have to chance about Shae’s character for her to betray Tyrion the way she did in the books.

Anyhow, can’t wait to see what’s going to happen. The show isn’t perfect, but I enjoy watching it and seeing the books come alive, especially as we probably have to wait another couple of years before the next book in the saga. Plus, Charles Dance makes me swoon and slightly more age-appropriate Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is an effin’ dreamboat. The Lannisters are like poisoned honey.

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Some springtime pictures

From yesterday 🙂

We walked in a park in Beckenham that has a lot of wild parakeets. It was weird seeing them in such a cold and urban environment! Figured they must have been someone’s pets at some point and been set lose or escaped. I bought a cheap point-and-shoot that I can carry with me everywhere, so here’s some photos from the park.

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Stopped by a coffee shop on the way back. Tom got a latte with a heart drawn with the milk. I got a cappuchino with what looks like a farting butt on it.

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4 Cleaning hacks

It’s funny how people can get used to the oddest things and how easily people get stuck doing something a certain way because it’s a part of a routine. From the little things to the bigger things. As an example, when I make the table I always put the knife to the right side of the plate despite that I almost always only use a fork when eating, and when I do use my knife I have to grab it with my left hand. It’s the dumbest thing, but ever since someone told me “that’s the right way to make a doily”, it irks me to do it in a different way. Yet I drink straight from the milk jug, slurp my soup and dip my sandwiches in yoghurt. I’m hardly proper.

I like to have a certain order in my life. That order may resemblance chaos to others, but I want every item in my home to have a designated spot. I hate filth and I hate not having clean surfaces; those are my two biggest pet peeves. I don’t mind other people’s homes being messy, but it makes me anxious when I don’t have time to clean my own home to the standard that I like, even when I don’t have visitors. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I like cleaning, because if I did I’m afraid my boyfriend and anyone else I might live with in the future might give up on it all together. It’s not so much that I enjoy it rather than I tend to get stuck doing it. There’s always something else that could be better, could be cleaner, could be tidier.

Anyhow, I’ve learned a few cleaning hacks (some might call them cleaning fixations) through my job and I thought I’d share them with a couple of crude paint illustrations. At work, I gladly take on the duty of doing the dishes. Doing the dishes is my least favourite chore to do at home, but at work it’s an easy task that gives me a chance to let my mind wander and it gives me a sort of zen-feeling to organize the dishes. Which reminds me, why do most people people fill the cutlery basket with forks, knives and spoons mixed when the baskets are perfect for putting them all separately like this before loading them into the machine:

 

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It annoys me to no end when I’ve started stocking a basket like this and someone comes along and puts a fork and a knife together with the spoons. It literally takes no extra time to put them in the correct section and it makes putting theram away afterwards easier! In the same vein, there’s a correct way to put up clothing on a collapsible clothing rack. The most essential rule here is to put your underwear and socks on the lowest rack first. If you put t-shirts and trousers on first, they will obsqure the lower racks and make it hard to see what space is available. You’d think this would be common sense, but nope.

Another good kitchen hack is to put a big siv in the sink as you’re doing the dishes. It’ll catch the food bits that come off. Once you’re done, just empty the siv into the food bin and you don’t have to mess about with trying to clean the drain.

To finish it off, here’s a coffee-making trick an old person taught me that just made so much sense:

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Sun, gorgeous sun.

It’s been almost summery goodness the last few days.

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Unfortunately this is how the street outside our building has looked like the last few days. I’ve seen the garbage truck drive by when I go to work at 6 am, but the trash remains. Probably because it’s illegal flytipping and if they remove it straight away, they think they’re encouraging it. Still sucks to live right next to it.

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We were supposed to go to the recording of The Last Leg yesterday, but bailed out a few hours before it was supposed to take place because we were tired and both of us realized that The Last Leg isn’t that good any more. They’re too obsessed with twitter and there’s just something off about the jokes and the interaction. The cute one from the IT Crowd was supposed to be on, but it just didn’t seem worth leaving our cosy home to go out and see it.

Instead we stayed in, which turned out to be a good idea as I was super tired and fell asleep on the sofa 8 pm and didn’t wake up until my boyfriend put a toothbrush in my hand and told me to go to bed. Apparently I screamed “YOU SHOULD DRINK MY TEA OR IT WILL GO COLD” at him and then went to the bathroom. We have a tradition of always taking a photo or making a video when the other person falls asleep ridiculously early, so here’s a video of me brushing my teeth in my sleep.

So today started at 7am with half a cooked breakfast. It’s been great weather today, it was almost warm enough to walk outside without a jacket or a sweater on. We had a look around Spitsfield Market, where I found a use for the otherwise pointless habit that my boyfriend has of randomly walking off. Whenever I was bothered by a salesman and wanted to leave, I just said “oh! Where has he gone off to? Sorry, I just have to find my boyfriend, I’ll see you later”. I’ve been informed that I’m a horrible liar, but I digress.

After Spitsfield, we went around Oxford Circus. It’s was packed! So many people about today. I ended up buying something from a fancier store (it’s a gift so I won’t reveal what or where) and got one of those really nice big paper shopping bags with velvet straps like you see in Sex and The City. Nice shopping bags make me happy. I tried to google which stores have the nicest shopping bags but it seems like that’s a list that hasn’t yet been made, which is unfortunate because I’d make sure to go shopping there.

On the way back we went past Scandinavian Kitchen and picked up my favourite crisps and chocolate, so the evening has been spent consuming far too many calories with no regrets. Yummmm, transfats and salt. Hopefully I burn enough calories at work to make up for it.

Happy weekend everyone!

Manic London

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Can’t drink to that pt: Grand Designs

I have graduated from “Homes under the hammer” and am now watching the slightly higher-brow “Grand Designs” vigorously. Obviously this requires some form of drinking game. After watching some 50 episodes of the show, some pretty obvious rules start to emerge:

Take a sip every time Kevin rings a doorbell and greets the owners and act like they’ve just met, but the camera team is clearly already inside.

Take a sip for every giant window that the house has.

Take a sip for double/triple glazing.

Take a sip for solar panels.

Take a sip when Kevin McCloud speaks in French or Italian.

Take a sip when someone goes over budget because “a house like this needs high-spec furniture and fittings”.

Take a sip when Kevin “helps out”.

Take a sip if the clients go 10 % over budget.

Take a sip every time Kevin says “labour of love”, “marvellous!” or “good lord!”.

 

Take two sips if the client is project managing the build themselves.

– Take another sip if they have no previous building experience.

Take two sips if the neighbours are unhappy about the build.

Take two sips if Kevin indirectly insults the clients, like “some people might say it’s ridiculous”.

Take two sips if the clients go 20 % over budget.

Take two sips if the clients are planning to spend all of their money to half-finish the build and then re-mortgage the build to get the money to finish it.

 

Take three sips every time someone ends up pregnant before the build is complete.

Take three sips if the clients have to import material from a different country to build.

Take three sips if it starts raining at a very inconvenient time, like before the roof is isolated.

Take three sips if the windows costs more than 10 % of the total budget.

Take three sips if the clients go 30 % over budget.

 

Down a shot every time Kevin uses a really budget prop.

Down two shots if he’s bought something just to use it as a prop.

Down three shots if the prop is edible.

 

Down a glass if the clients gets rid of their contractors and/or replaces them.

Down a glass if a part of the build breaks down.

Down a glass if a custom-made object has the wrong measurements/doesn’t fit with some other part of the build.

Down a glass if planning permission is denied.

Down a glass if the clients go 50 % or more over budget.

 

Down the entire bottles if the clients are outright refusing to reveal the total cost of the build.

Down the entire bottle if the clients have spent all of their money to half-finish the build and then re-mortgage, but the bank denies them the mortgage.

Down the entire bottle if the house isn’t finished when the episode ends (I hate those episodes!).

Down the entire bottle if the owners of the build appears to hate Kevin by the end of the episode.

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Badly visualized song lyrics

 

I was bored and slightly drunk the other night and decided to make doodles from song lyrics that makes me stop in my tracks and think “wait, what?”. I have a zillion other examples of this,- to be honest, lyrics often doesn’t make much sense or sound ridiculous when taken out of context or simply misheard.

Exhibit A) “Drinking freedom from a bottle to the tuna belowww” Blue October: X-Amound of Words (another gem from the same song, not yet visualized, is “So mistreated, I repeated never blessing your sneeze”). Googling the lyrics tells me the actual line is “to the tune of belong” but I visualized what it sounded like to me:

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Exhibit B) “Black lemon. So Juuuicy, confuuuusing.” Black Moth Super Rainbow: Hairspray Heart. According to the lyrics I can find online it’s supposed to be “Face like a lemon, so juicy, confuse me” which it doesn’t sound like and doesn’t make any sense either.

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Exhibit C) “I fought and I craved for the gravy of your soul.” Susanne Sundfør: White foxes. When I first heart it I assumed it was supposed to be “the bravery of your soul”, but it’s actually gravy. Yum, gravy.

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