Tag Archives: London

Oups! Seems like I haven’t posted that much lately. I blame not being near my laptop that much the last couple of days. I’ve been busy doing training for my new job. I would write about it if it weren’t for the fear of breaking their social media policy; seems like you can get in trouble for just posting photos of yourself wearing their uniform online, so it seems better to play it safe. It’s a shame because the uniforms are GORGEOUS. I’ve never seen such lovely health care uniforms.  I want to wear them in my grave.

Anyhow, my week started off with celebrating our 2nd anniversary by going down to Afters for desserts. Afters is a dessert place that serves desserts until late, late in the evening. To make it better, it’s literally just around the corner from where we live. I’m not a big anniversary person and I don’t really want to do the whole gift-thing when there’s only a month left until Christmas, but any reason is a good reason to have ice-cream. I had a £10 chocolate fudge sundae with strawberries and I was really happy that it didn’t even make my mouth tingle from allergies.

icecream

The following day was spent training while Tom was home making pralines, polenta-based sponge cake and mushroom risotto. He can’t be left in the kitchen without supervision for too long, or I’d come home to a functional patisserie. The same evening the following conversation took place:

Me: I’m really in the mood for Fanta, but I forgot to put it in the fridge so it’s not cold.

Tom: Just put it in the freezer and set a timer for 30 minutes and it will be cold.

Me: Good idea! But I don’t need a timer, I will just keep an eye on the time.

12 hours later, around 8am yesterday:

Me: Oh **** I forgot to take the Fanta out of the freezer yesterday.

It’s now 5pm more than 40 hours later and I’m still waiting for the ice in the Fanta to thaw.

Any reason is a good reason for ice-cream

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Can’t drink to that – pt 2: Homes Under the Hammer

Homes Under The Hammer is so amazingly budget that I just felt compelled to make a drinking game about it. It’s a show that draws you in with it’s incredibly bad (and many) puns and a music/special effects editor with an incredibly corny taste. I’m not convinced the show isn’t edited in Windows Movie Maker. What else could you possibly want to watch at 10am? If you still don’t know which show I’m talking about, it’s the one where every scene is shot slightly or incredibly askew.

So if you’re British and looking for a reason to get drunk at 10 am, I recommend Homes Under The Hammer and this drinking game… because you are sure to get hammered. (groan) Bazinga!

(And if you want to do the drinking game at another time, here’s an episode. Who uploads entire episodes of Homes Under The Hammer on youtube anyway? o_0)

Take a sip every time:

Anyone says “Needs a little love and attention”.

Anyone says “Right old state”.

Lucy says “Guys”.

The estate agents say the house has been done “to a high standard”.

The buyer or the estate agent pretends to look at a random item.

The scenes are shot from a very odd angle.

Martin is out of breath and tries to hide it after walking up a flight of stairs.

Martin is clearly avoiding angles that shows the balding patch on the back of his head/walks backwards.

Down a shot when:

The background music is a long piano piece.

The new owners are fans of Homes Under The Hammer.

Martin breaks something in the house (e.g pulls off a bit of wallpaper).

The owners never went inside the house before the auction/bought blind.

The owners make a loss (<10k).

The owners stuck to both budget and timescale.

Every time the bidding goes over £50k, £100k or £200k over the guide price.

Down two shots when:

The owners make a loss (>£10k – 50k).

Martin praises the garden or a feature in the garden and finds that it’s gone after the refurbishment.

The owners say “originally…” followed by the revelation that they went massively over budget/time.

The owners hired contractors for practically everything but claims to have done most things themselves.

Martin or Lucy indiscreetly namedrops the title of the song they want to be played in the background (e.g. “This house is truly ‘One in a million’ ;)”).

Down an entire bottle of beer if:

The bidding goes £300k over the guide price.

The buyer sells on the house before even beginning any refurbishment work.

The owners make a loss (>£50k).

__________________________________________________________

I have this fantasy, which may or may not be reality, that Martin and Lucy record all the voice overs at home in their underwear while having breakfast. I mean think about it: It’s edited in a way that makes you think Martin and Lucy returns to the houses several times. The layout of the show is like this: 1) Lucy and Martin does the intro bit 2) One of them go to the house and looks around. 3) An estate agent shows up and gives their opinion. 4) Martin/Lucy gives a brief summary and ends with “Lets see who bought this when it went under the hammer”. 5) The auction scene. 6) Lucy/Martin interviews the new owner in the house. 7) They do the pt 1 of another home before returning to the “after” scenes for the first home. 8) They return to the house after the refurbishment is finished.

I’ve thought about it and chronology behind shooting the show must be like this: 1) Martin and Lucy shoots the intro and outro scenes together. I’m pretty sure they do ALL of the season’s intro and outro comments in one day, just changing their outfits every once in a while and shoot from different angles to make the scenes a bit different. 2) A camera team is sent to an auction and makes a deal with successful bidder to come visit the house. 3) Lucy or Martin shows up at the house and gives a brief summary of it’s high and low points. The estate agent gives their opinion and then they shoot the segment with the new owner where they talk about the timescale and budget. This is all done in the same day. 4)  A camera team is sent back to film and interview the owners once the refurbishment is done. 5) Lucy and Martin record the voice overs.

So Lucy and Martin probably only spends a month or so each year putting together their scenes for the show, seeing as all the intro and outro are all shot in one day and that they’re only on site for the “before” scenes. They probably only see each other for work a couple of days each year. Martin always talks about how it is important to not “over do” a refurbishment, i.e, spending a lot of money on refurbishment without raising the potential profit due to the ceiling price of the area… I feel like that motto is something that works for Homes Under The Hammer as well. It’s a 10 am show, they probably have to stick to a pretty low budget to make a profit. Minimum effort for a little return.

Anyhow, I love this little campy refurbishment show and I think Lucy and Martin are both much more pleasant than the guy from Grand Designs. But I might make a Grand Designs drinking game in the near future.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Smelly cheese at the theatre

It’s been a busy few days! My dad came over for a visit so I’ve spent the last couple of days running around London city and haven’t had any time to do any updates here. Highlights of the visit included going up The Shard and watching Phantom of the Opera. I got some extremely smelly brie cheese from Borough Market that I put into my backpack before heading to Tate Modern. Embarrassingly enough, as we sat down to watch Phantom of the Opera, the cheese sent off the most horrid smell as I stuffed the bag under my seat, which must have seemed like I let out a incredibly toxic fart before I sat down. I’ve had spontaneous giggling fits thinking about it all day, clearly I have the mental age of a 3 year old.

I caught up with Fresh Meat this morning and I’m terribly amused that the gang are also addicted to Homes Under the Hammer. Every time I watch it I write down another line to improve the already existing drinking game. I guess I should post that at some point!

Hopefully I’ll have some time tomorrow to write a bit more. I’m starting training for my new job tomorrow so I’m a bit pressed for time! At least once I’ve posted this, the crude post from a few days ago won’t be at the top of the site. 😉 I haven’t had time to finish  the drawing, but I kind of like where it’s going.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Rainy day

Image

Woke up by the rain pounding against the window so hard that I thought it was hail. We’ve had a proper autumn storm today! Lightening and everything. Love it! The rain went away for a while during the early afternoon, but then came back and took me by surprise when I was out for a walk. I got pretty much soaked despite having an umbrella with me.

Image

Image

 

Tagged , , , , , ,

Saturday in London

 

Image

Today I visited the Scandinavian show in Tobacco docks to hunt for lingonberry jam. I was a bit disappointed because I expected more representation from smaller craft companies and delicacy brands, but instead there was mostly big names like Fjällräven which are already well established outside of Scandinavia. I did find my lingonberry jam so it wasn’t a complete disappointment. Oddly enough, Kimberly from The Great British Bake-Off was there too, although I’m not sure if she was there to shop and eat like the rest of us, or whether she was there on some form of business. Maybe she was there in hopes of learning more about the Swedish cinnamon rolls…? Anyway, I didn’t approach her so the only thing I can say for sure is that she’s taller than I imagined. I think she’s my favorite on the show at the moment, because I keep mixing up Becca and Frances, and while Ruby is talented she kind of annoys me by being so self-deprecating. I feel like her constant apologizing inadvertently makes the judges go easier on her than the other contestants and that’s not fair to the others.

On our way home we took the Emirate Airlines cable cars to the O2 and had a wander about, then took the tube to London Bridge and checked out Borough Market before taking the train home.

ImageImageImage

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Birthday photo post!

Image

Guess who turned 24 yesterday?! Me. 😀

I celebrated by going downtown and walking from London Victoria to Buckingham Palace around St James Park to Leicester Square and West End and China Town to Piccadilly Circus and then back. In short, I did a lot of walking and perhaps not in the best of shoes, but it was fun. I brought my camera and took some photos of the birds in St James Park:

Image

Image

ImageImage

Image

It seems like someone ordered some good weather for my birthday! Very thoughtful! I ended up stopping to rest my feet and have a bite in a little place near Regent Street where I had a delicious ciabatta with avocado, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Yum!

Around 3 pm my feet started hurting rather epically from walking, so I headed home and opened presents from my mum while Skyping with her. I got a bunch of baking and cake decorating things, which suits me perfectly. Once Tom got home, we celebrated with a bottle of “Horny Owl” and I made my ‘signature’ birthday stuffed bell peppers while blasting loud, upbeat orchestral music such as Champagne Galop, Beethoven’s Emperor Rondo and In the Hall of the Mountain King.

I call them birthday stuffed bell peppers because I made them for my last birthday. I was going to post a picture of them, because I’ve made them a few times and it’s really a great recipe, but I can’t find any! I guess you can take that as evidence that it’s a good recipe, since they’re all eaten and gone before I get a chance to take a photo. I’ll upload the recipe soon.

Image

Tom and I aren’t exactly wine experts, so we buy wine after how funny the label is. Through this method we have found great wines such as this one, Horny Owl, and Fat Bastard and Irony.  After dinner, we had a cheesecake and I opened my gift from Tom which was Cards Against Humanity, something I’ve been wanting to get for a while. It looks really fun and I can’t wait to get some people together and play it.

ImageImage

I didn’t even get any stomach issues (I’ve been having dyspepsia/indigestion problems) during the night, so all in all a good and calm 24th birthday. 🙂

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Croydon life

I have now been living in Croydon for almost 2 weeks. Croydon is, judging by people’s reactions when I tell them I live there, one of London’s more “ghetto” areas. When I went for my National Insurance Number interview, the interviewer straight up laughed at me and said “oh, no, don’t get me wrong, I love Croydon, I have lived there. I know all the right people” and then recommended me a couple of nightclubs (Black Sheep and Bad Apple).

Anyhow, the building I live in used to house a brothel little over 6 months ago so I guess there might be a grain of truth to Croydon’s bad reputation. A week before I moved here, my boyfriend got harassed by a man who showed up in the middle of the night wondering “where the girls where at”.

But aside from that I think Croydon is pretty nice. Wandle Park is the most depressing park I’ve ever seen, but Coombe Woods Garden is amazing. Aside from that, every country seems to be represented by a restaurant (or two or three) and there’s an amazing noodle place (called “noodles”) that will make you amazing noodles for under £5. But the best thing about Croydon is undoubtedly the food market. Everything there seems to be £1 pound or less. 2kg of tomatoes? £1. 5 avocados? £1. 5 bell peppers? £1. For someone who loves fresh vegetables as much as I do, it’s heaven.

Here’s an odd little thing I found out: Apparently the artist Mika filmed his music video for the song “Big girls” in the middle of Croydon market. Why? Beats me.

My photos from the market today:

ImageImage

Tagged , , , , , ,

a health rant and a little interesting fact

I apologize in advance for the disjointed post.

Yesterday was odd. After lunch, I went to Coombe Woods to check out the gardens and the park. On the way, I started getting upper abdominal pain and sort-of middleish back pain that came and went in waves. I even laid down on a park bench for a bit to see if it would pass. I eventually felt good enough to walk home (a roughly 30 minutes walk) and decided to lie down on the bed for an hour… but ended up falling asleep and waking up almost 2 hours later. I almost never nap after having a full nights sleep. I got up and laid down on the couch instead. After googling the symptoms and realizing it was probably just a part of my already established dyspepsia, I decided to eat something since someone on the Internet said it might work. Maybe I shouldn’t have picked nachos because the pain got far worse after eating them. After 2 paracetamol and 2 ibuprofen and 1 omeprezole (obviously not at the same time), the symptoms finally started to go away. I have some heartburn today but not nearly as bad as yesterday. Very annoying, since I don’t understand what triggered it. When I saw my doctor back in May, he said I should quit all the nice stuff (fat, salty or spicy food, alcohol and coffee). I cut down on fat and salt a bit. Maybe one day I will switch the coffee for tea.

Want to know something else that is annoying? Every time I’ve been to the doctor about something, their solution seems to be to avoid stress. Weird periods? Stop stressing! Losing hair? Stop stressing! Stomach pains and nausea? Stop stressing!!

But… I don’t even feel that stressed… and honestly if I knew how to stop stressing, I’d patent the method and make millions of it.

The doctors also always comment about how I need to be careful with my diet because I’m a vegetarian, despite that my blood test always shows that I don’t have any vitamin deficiency.

/rant. Here is something interesting though: when you puzzle together all the smaller British coins, they form the Royal shield, as seen on the 1-pound.

ImageImage

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

This is not your chic travelling blog XXX

[20:10:07] mindy: LOL your blog
[20:10:29] mindy: AHHAHA
[20:10:34] mindy: oh it makes me chuckle
[20:11:17] johanna: 🙂
[20:11:44] johanna: I think my friends were expecting some chiq travel blog
[20:11:51] johanna: boy were they wrong

Yes, I’m moving to London on Saturday, but trust me, there won’t be any fashion selfies of me in front of a shop in Seven Dials (love that place though) or of my extremely healthy food at a extremely chic restaurant. No, I don’t completely understand what “chic” means, but I have a growing dislike for the word and will do whatever I can to distance myself from it.

I’m very Bernard Black that way and I imagine he would agree with me on this (of course, he would view blogging as a tremendous waste of time in the first place…). As for traveling blogs? You won’t even know that I ever leave the house…! Just kidding, I’m just not much for documenting everywhere I go to. When I went to Kenya on exchange studies last summer I didn’t pack my camera because I felt like the urge to photograph everything makes me not “be in the moment” and not appreciate what I see completely. I’ve never done Instagram but I have a feeling that some people just do or eat things so they can post a cool photo of it, and that’s kind of tragic.

And the XXX in the title are kisses. Or hugs? It’s most definitely not a reference to porn parody titles. *clutches my pearls in horror* Although if someone was to make a sexy parody of chic traveling blogs, I might have to ask my resident boything to cut out the sex parts for me so I can watch it for the hilariously bad puns and cheesy acting.

PS: One of the tag suggestions that WordPress came up with for this entry is “blog”. Really?

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday was my last day at my summer job. I worked for 9 weeks straight, showed up on an average 10 minutes before my shift started, worked double shifts occasionally, often worked overtime and never requested to be compensated, covered other people’s shifts when they couldn’t work their days, never took any sick days and the only time I took a day off was when my mum was in the hospital. I offered to help out with coworker’s workload when they were stressed and I spent time on my spare time putting together an aid for one of the residents I worked with. I guess what matters in the end is if the residents I worked with thought I did a good job when working with them, which I think they did (at least a lot of them were very appreciative).

I never thought I would grow up to be someone who cared about work ethics.

But work is over and as I was biking home through the rain yesterday, it gradually hit me. The only thing that was keeping me in Sweden is gone. I could leave to London today, I have no obligations here anymore (although it would be silly to do so, as Tom is visiting in a week’s time). I have very little money and I have no idea what kind of jobs I can hope to get (if any) but like a wise old lady said at work, “The time is now”. Stockholm doesn’t offer me much anymore. I spent years in Linköping longing to get ‘home’ to Stockholm once I was done with my education and I don’t know why.  I think gradually I developed closer friendships at university and found someone I could really trust and share everything and at the same time became jaded and cynical about everyone left in Stockholm. It’s like I was seeing my life there through rose colored glasses and then someone punched me in the face. I want to and will live in Stockholm eventually, I like the city and I like being near (most) of my family, but if I do end up here permanently I will wipe the slate clean, make new friends, find new hobbies and live in another flat. Life is too short to keep doing the same thing, living in the same place and hanging out with the same people, not because you enjoy it but because of tradition and fear.

I need a break from Sweden for a while.  For once in a long while I like that my immediate future is unpredictable. Circumstances could be better but they might never be better. The time is now (or at least in 2-3 weeks 😉 ).

Home is where I rest my head

Tagged , , , , , , ,