Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A quiet one

I have an unanticipated free evening: a project was completed today and Friday's assignment can easily be done tomorrow, so for the first time in a long time, I'm finished with my work before 8 p.m. I feel positively buoyant at this gift of time, so rarely untainted by a niggling deadline. There's still light in the sky thanks to last weekend's time change, which serves to make the day feel earlier, the time more expansive. The world is my oyster! Should I take a bath and read? Watch an Audrey Hepburn movie? Watch an Audrey Hepburn movie while taking a bath and reading? I think I'll sit on the roof terrace for a while and be quiet and still while dusk approaches and then decide...

Monday, March 28, 2011

On a new blog feature, bowling, and Edinburgh Castle

So this morning I helped a friend of mine install some widgets and plug-ins and other such funtimes on her blog and while skipping around internet tutorials, I discovered that I could install a third-party commenting platform to my blog which would enable me to respond in-line to comments! (I know--I just revealed how behind I am in the blogging world. Don't judge me. And wordpressers and typepadders, don't you dare gloat.)  I scoped out review after review and finally decided to try one called Disqus. So if you go to leave a comment today, you'll see that it's a little different now, and I hope that's okay. If you find it difficult to use, please let me know; I'm happy to switch back to blogger's basic commenting system if that's the majority preference. Oh! And if you post as a 'guest' (versus, say, using your facebook profile), don't be alarmed when it asks you for your email; the information isn't displayed. I know, because I tested the new system by personally posting a dozen different comments with a dozen different log-ins, just to see what they all looked like. 

Because I apparently have loads of time like that.

Did you know right now at the Barbican there's this exhibit called Beat the Champ involving bowling video games? Ranging in history from the 70's Atari to the most current playstation/x-box/whatever, this guy created a loop on each machine to make it play a recurring gutter ball on a giant screen. It's awesome. It's also crazy how different each one is--from the sounds to the graphics to the varying degrees of the 'you are a FAILURE!' message. Check it out:

She was really good. Even though she got a gutter ball.

And now one last thing before I go tackle my laser-cutting homework. Which of the two below do you like better? Both are of Edinburgh Castle and I can't decide if I like the building in it or out:

Although this one is the clear winner:

Big hugs, and I hope your day was as productive as mine,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On coronation chicken, springtime, and very little else

I know this is incredibly unsophisticated of me, but I'm totally craving coronation chicken. I know. It's hard for me to say out loud. It's so outdated. And just now I caught  myself googling recipes. And maybe--just maybe--I'll make it today for lunch and then eat it in secret and love every bite. 

Omigosh. Coronation chicken was created by Constance Spry and a friend of hers! I feel so validated. I just learned about her in my design course on Tuesday. They Say she has single-handedly impacted the way that all of us decorate to this day, whether or not we're conscious of it. And when the Design Museum had an exhibit on her in 2004, it so inflamed the menfolk that James Dyson himself left the Chairmanship of the Board and Terence Conran--the founder of the Museum--also nearly quit. Isn't that crazy? All because of an exhibit on the influence of a society florist from the 50's. Maybe they were actually upset over her creation of coronation chicken. Someone should look into that.

I'm going to Luxembourg next month with Aya! We are going for spring break. One of our classmates, the Leggy Amarylis (see previous post), is from there so we're going to go stay with her and her family! I'm so excited. I can't stop thinking about the cheese. And Aya and I are spending a weekend in Paris on our way there, and a weekend in Brussels on our way back. And we're doing all our travel by train, which is SO NICE. I won't be stuck wearing nine layers of clothing (literally) to get my baggage weight approved, and I can bring back cheese food, and there's so much nice reading time on trains...* sigh * It's just the nicest way to travel.

Two days ago I was looking for some garden-esque pictures to use for a presentation, which led me to one of my old blogs, which led me to this picture that I took years ago, which makes me happy.

It's been so sunny and warm the past two days. It feels like spring and makes London seem like a completely new city, high-spirited and charming and not at all like the brown-and-gray depression-trap of the winter months. I feel high from the feeling of the sun on the back of my neck.

I'm defrosting my stash of corn tortillas right now! I'm going to make my friend and favorite food blogger Annelies's homemade tortilla chips. I can't wait. And then I'm going to spend the next two days eating chilaquiles and migas, also using her recipes. yumyumyumyumyum.

I shouldn't be hungry-blogging. Let's return our thoughts to Spring, in the form of Oxford, where I had the pleasure of spending a weekend a couple years ago:

Isn't it so charming and picturesque?

Ooh, I forgot the Dean made a scramble from the eggs straight out of his chicken coop. That was delicious.

Alright. I gotta go strap on the feeding bag. I'm starved. And I've got more school work to do. Or something.

Big hugs and love,

Monday, March 7, 2011

I can travel to other countries, but I can't take a bus across town.

One should always be a little improbable. - Oscar Wilde 

I was recently recommended a book called 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,' only I misunderstood the person and thought they said, 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wilde.'

It made sense at the time.

I need to go to the V&A today, but must admit to not wanting to make the lengthy journey there and back again. I just know I'll fall asleep on the underground and wake up feeling foggy and disoriented. I was encouraged to take pictures while I'm there to blog about it (this is how people motivate me now, and usually it works), but then that only serves to remind me that I'm behind on blogging my Stockholm pics and anyway, I've already done the V&A.

So...back to Stockholm! This will probably be my last post with anything Sweden-related, so quick-quick in list let me mention the highlights of my time there:

-the furniture fair and festivities around town for design week
-snow snow snow and wet nose toes and ice-crunchy mittens
-gastronomic delights: salmon and dill and red onions and gerkins and goat's cheese and sunflower seeds and anchovies and mustard and roe and herring and meatballs and lingonberries and hot dogs and oh I miss you already...

I should post the food photos--notably those of The Greatest Food Hall Ever--but a lot of that will depend on whether or not I photo any dead birds today and my blog path re-routes.


Without much further ado...Stockholm!
I don't think there are words enough for how much it snowed beautiful it was. Even with the storm that started on Thursday morning, when I took the bottom-right photo of the still-dry streets. I was touring with the school-friends below and we were about to embark on a 'scenic walk along the Soder cliffs' when it started to fall. 'Oh how charming!' we thought as the first flakes began to dust our pretty scarves. 'This will make the view from the cliffs so lovely!' And so we started walking. And it kept snowing, heavier and denser and oh so thick. By the time we got to 'the scenic views,' there was zero visibility ('Can you see Ostermalm?' 'I think it's that fuzzy mass across the water?'), Caio's Italian leather loafers were committing suicide, and we were windmilling across the icy footpaths.

It was fantastic. 

'Okay, Aya, now let's play that Amarylis is Mommy and Caio is Daddy and you're Baby!' 
I would like to point out that both Amarylis (Belgium-Luxembourgian) and Caio (Brazilian) come from modelling families. That's why they're so tall and gorgeous. Aya comes from a Japanese family, which is why she's so tiny and gorgeous.

The rest of the day was spent blissing in and out of warm design shops and boutiques, having a cosy, hearty lunch at a sweet little cafe, and taking one more view-laden walk. (small cough)

If you squint real hard, you may see the tower in the mist. This might've been a castle, or a museum, or a house of lords, or the most striking architecture in all of Stockholm. Either way, this is all we could see during our blizzard hike. That is, when we were able to blink the snowflakes out of our eyes. It was awesome. To me. Maybe not to the others, who were cold, wet, and bedraggled, coerced out by my promises of 'the best views of Gamla Stan!' My attempts at cheer were futile: 'Hey, forget that silly castle! I'm sure it's nothing! Look at all that ice in the water! Guys! Ice! In the water! Isn't that wild??'

I don't think they were impressed.

This photo was taken before the hike, when we were all still friends.

I should really be getting to the museum now. If I stall much longer, it will be closed before I arrive. Unless, of course, I just go on Wednesday...


Big hugs and love,