About Me

Living in the Caribbean is probably like living anywhere else, with the same ups and downs. But it does have its own vibe and flavour and gives me a unique perspective on most things. I'm often sarcastic, mostly funny, always looking for a new adventure. I have not boxed myself into any one category of life. I love a lot of things and dislike a lot more. I write about them all.

Mind The Gap

So last night, it seems as though everyone was up waiting for snow. I was up idling on social media and so happened to catch the many cries for snow from weird people in London. Don't believe me?

I called it the Great Snow Watch 2010. At a little after midnight, I put on the floodlights and sure enough, objects looking like specks of dust were floating past my window. Twenty minutes after that, the specks were gone and the snow watch was over?

Lie. I woke up to snowfall and cars covered in this white shit. Oh, was my first snow experience supposed to be romantic? I assure you - IT WAS NOT. Snow is a helluva nasty thing - it turns to brown slush, it floats down on you and melts, making you a soggy, cold mess. It's cold. Snow is not fun.

And yes...all the silly people who were wishing for it last night and so upset that places like Kent were under pressure while London was so pathetic for not having snow - I hope all of you were stranded at the train stations like I was because the "pathetic London snow" caused delays of up to 2 hours. The train to Sandwich lived up to its name today. I was clearly the burger pattie in a British sandwich on the train to Sandwich which I had to wait over 45 minutes for, while the little notice board ticker said "Due in 2 mins" for 45 minutes.

From the perspective of someone coming from the developing world aka Third World, into a developed country aka First World country, this was abysmal. It cannot be safe to have half of London packed like sardines onto these trains. I mean, people were hanging on for dear life out of doors while the conductors pleaded for them to move down into the train so the doors could close. And then when you get to your stop, noone wants to get off to let you off because there are another million people on the platform waiting to take that spot. It was a nightmare. And it was not even a blizzard. Okay, it got a bit heavier as the day wore on but I have seen images on tv worse than this. London worse than POS, man. A little bit of rain and we flood. A little bit of snow and the whole city shut down. Really?

And I ask again, how is this city going to host the Olympics in 2012 when it can hardly transport the people in the city now? Add hundreds of thousands of tourists and this has to be a recipe for disaster. I would love for someone to tell me how this is going to work.

This was the worst day of my life and I have at least 3 more months of this? Oh God. Winter wonderland, my ass. I foresee a few days of missing school. No lie.

But the good news is, I have a flask to top up with rum to keep the soul and bones warm during the nightmare called winter! And I just got some really sexy potatoes from the Afro Caribbean shop (run by Pakistanis) to make a vegetable and ham soup tomorrow morning. Cheers!

The Tale of Two Earmuffs

I came home with the expectation of doing some work. I have already said these next two weeks will be used wisely to put me in a good position to enjoy my birthday next weekend. Yet I came home and did nothing. LIE. I did laundry. But this is how my body and my brain work. I have been going non-stop for the past 4-5 weeks so with this downtime, it is a challenge to get going again. But go, I must. I will open up the books after I finish this. But it was my lovely lass who had me googling Ugg earmuffs. Aren't they beautiful?
OMG. (sob sob)

I have actually been looking for some nice earmuffs on a student salary, aka my allowance (lol) and the best I have seen are the M&S muffs, but then I have not looked really hard. I just pull my hat over my ears and recite a Novena (I am also at the doubling up gloves stage of sufferation). The Primark muffs were horrid. I chuckle at myself cause I always go into this store and always complain about the shit they sell and yet I keep going. The fact of the matter is I may be a Selfridges personality but I am on a Primark budget. Mind you, I got some long sleeved tees for bedtime and a scarf but that was it. I did like their warm and comfy bedtime robes as well though, so okay...they do serve a purpose. Bed wear for the winter. Nothing I would wear at home in 35 degree weather. That calls for silky niceness. But I digress.

I would love some Ugg earmuffs but they cost about 73 quid. That's a bit much for earmuffs, even if I was making a real salary. I stood on the platform today, waiting for my train to Sandwich (again, the train goes to a place named SANDWICH...I laugh every single time) and all the women were coming down the ramp with stylish shopping bags packed with Christmas goodies. I had a shopping bag on Saturday - from Poundland. lol. I got myself a new soup mug and some fake tupperware to store my soup in the fridge. I miss employment. God, I never thought I would say the words. Maybe I should be more specific and not mislead you wonderful people. I miss a hefty allowance. I chose those words carefully because it may not necessarily be a salary but maybe an allowance from a benefactor aka a husband. In any event, window shopping is zero fun when you cannot afford to actually buy anything. It's merely torture. I used to walk into stores, swinging my backside with confidence as I pulled out my Visa and swiped it. Now I pull out my Visa with dread and ogle the receipt, while doing the math in my mind. They say it's a small sacrifice for a Masters degree but it seems like a Herculean demand on my senses to live like this. lol. I am not like an obsessive diva or anything but I do love shopping and cute things. Sigh.

I tortured myself some more this morning by going on to the Macy's website to check out their Cyber Monday deals and there was a great little sweater dress, and a nice turquoise sweater, on ridiculous sale, that would have looked nice on my brown frame come Christmas morning and evening, but boo to Macy's for not shipping to the UK. Boo to my US contacts for not being online so I could beg them to receive said items for me and just forward it. No love for the poor, helpless student. This is the first birthday in eons where I will not be taking a shopping trip to Miami and it's a strange and not so wonderful feeling. But I will survive. I must.

I know my parents will not be expecting presents for Christmas but I would still love to get my cousin something nice, for putting me up and putting up with me. Just not sure what that will be yet. I just reminded him about my birthday so at least the suckage would not extend into that day. I know he would at least get me a card and maybe some nice white wine cause he knows I love my pinot grigio and my sauv blanc. And maybe some chocolates. I may be poor, but I drink well. Very well. I can drink away my sorrows in style. Not to mention the cold. They say snow tonight. I wait to see. God!

No-Assignment Weekend

I dubbed it my No Assignment weekend. Sure I still have an assignment due, and an exam looming but really...I had gotten to the point where my brain was over-subscribed and my body over-taxed and with a 2 week lead until said assignment is due, I dubbed the weekend No Assignment weekend. It was an added bonus that my regular group was not to be the group for the last assignment due, so we actually finished before the weekend, which really was the primary contributing factor to having a weekend at all. But I digress.

I just woke up from a 4 hour nap, after waking up at 1pm to start with; after getting home at 4.30am from a night out at Guanabara; after spending the day out with a friend having coffee and laughs; after spending Friday evening like a normal human being at the movies, checking out the new Harry Potter movie. It was a lovely school-free weekend, spent with good friends, good drinks and having good times. Well, with the exception of being doused with beer at the club, first when 2 chicks decided to have a go at it using drinks instead of fists; then when some clown decided to fist pump with the beer bottle in his hand; and finally, even after purposely staying out of the line of fire, or in this case, the line of beer, I still managed to have a bottle of beer tip over all over my boots. I was probably not the person anyone wanted to sit next to on the bus home.  A free review for Guanabara though - great nightspot if you love samba and if you love urban music. I was a happy Trini when the riddim section came on, so reminiscient of the Laventille Rhythm Section. The drums, the Carnival girls - I felt like I was back home. Pig in mud feeling, lemme tell ya.

It was also a cold one. The weather is terrible. Getting off the bus this morning, I almost did a Usain Bolt type sprint down the street to my house. I am wondering if I will even survive the winter. I am not good with cold. Hell, I could barely function in my office with the hostile air conditioning back home. This is a million times worse and if I could hibernate like bears and foxes for the winter and resurface in the spring, that would be okay with me. Sadly, with school, that seems improbable. Two fellow post-grads of the Trini persuasion will be heading home in 2 weeks and my jealousy knows no bounds. The sun, the heat, the food, the private transportation. Oh my God, waiting in the sub zero temps this morning for the bus that took its bloody time to get there was torture. How do people have a social life under these conditions? I had a good chuckle as I watched the female hamsters in their micro mini dresses and not much else, battling with the cold. I mean, is vanity so powerful that you prefer to leave home looking sexy, risking sure death from the cold? Really? It really is something else.

Watching State of Play and snacking on Cadbury dark chocolate fingers. I will be back to student life tomorrow but enjoying the last of human life today.

How I Have Managed to Survive Grad School

My status on Facebook today read:

If UK food chains like Sainsbury's and Marks and Sparks did not have ready-to-go meals, I think I would be dead.

I told you on Saturday that I went to the store and got some veggies and seasonings, including a great piece of pumpkin and some mushrooms. I managed to find time to finish seasoning the cuts of chicken and shove it all in a pan and into the oven. That's easy. As for the rest...no time allotted. I ended up hitting my neighbourhood Sainsbury's and getting some 2-minute meals to once again, fill the pasta drawer. I also bought stuff like bread and ham for breakfast-on-the-run.
The bread never made it into the real world this morning. In my morning "dash for the bus that comes whenever it damn well feels like coming" moment, the most effort I could put into breakfast was shoving a packet of Nescafe mocha mix into my bag. Thank God for Marks and Spencer's at Waterloo, and their cheese sandwiches. I also grabbed a bottle of water and I was reassured that I would not pass out from hunger at school.
I came home tonight and had an awesome salad with my chicken and some pasta - the salad being out of a ready-to-go box from Sainsbury's as was the pasta. I have 2 sets of research to do tonight, one for assessment and cooking is not really an option. So you see, despite my best efforts to "turn a pot", I always fall back on M&S, and Sainsbury's and now with the new Tesco's having opened near my final bus stop, well...I am surely the perfect choice for ready meals spokesperson/spokesblogger. Anyone out there willing to pay me to review these meals? 
This is probably why I have been unable to effect the same kind of weight loss I managed during my undergrad because with the exception of fast food, ready meals in supermarkets in Jamaica were nasty and few. It was either eat the nasty Grace ready meals, face the microwave and the ramen noodles cupboard or face the stove. In my first semester, I had every flavour of ramen noodles ever made. My mother did not recognise me when I got home that Christmas and her mission was to fatten me up, which she did. Here, I just go to frickin' Sainsbury's and have a decent meal, and worse if they are on special. They are in fact very good and I am really picky and finicky about food so that is saying plenty. I will though make some time for my pumpkin and mushrooms this week before they go bad. The life of a struggling student!!!
And speaking of my cheese sandwich, the Brits have some really odd names for towns here. It has now become a pasttime of mine to listen out for new place names while waiting for trains, and have a laugh. Today I got on a train heading to Sandwich. I kid you not...the place is called SANDWICH. Can you imagine sending a letter to someone living in Sandwich, United Kingdom? Hilarious. I also sometimes get on a train heading to Battle. That one is worse...
Oh where are you going?
I'm off to Battle.
Gotta love the Brits. Gotta love 'em.

Sexual Heeling...

I needed a sanity break today. I have spent 90% of my weekend on this bed, with these books and after a gnarly morning with the assignment, I decided to take a walk. My walk took me to the bus stop, and onto the bus and to the mall. I did not buy anything terribly exciting - needed some lotion desperately so went into Boots where they had a reduction on my body butter so I was able to buy 2. Also got some baby oil...never know when you will need it. You neverrrrrr know. I browsed through some eyeshadows but unless it's M.A.C., it's whack. lol. Actually that's not true. Revlon and L'Oreal are awesome as well. I then browsed the shops. I always shudder when I enter a Primark. The clothes are ghastly - cheap but ghastly. And not only that, but for my Trinis, it's like buying a blouse in Catwalk or Micles. Everyone else has it. And worse, everyone knows where you bought it. The stylista in me saw a very cute sweater, but I remembered seeing 3 women on the train in the same distinctive sweater. If it were a plain sweater that you could personalise with accessories, then great. But this one was very out there and screamed "assembly line"!!!

I wanted to get my eyebrows threaded but there were about 12 women in a queue waiting to do the same thing and I did not feel I wanted to stand in the middle of a mall floor with a bunch of bushy browed women, so I instead, walked into the closest shoe store. Oh God. The  lust. The longing. The depression. Heels. I tried a few pairs and saw myself floating around in 'em and then remembered the funny scene last week in Waterloo station:

Lovely young woman, with a dashing not so young man. She was dressed to the nines, and in some pretty funky heels. But she could barely walk and it seemed like they had been walking quite a while because she was in obvious agony and was being propped up by the gentleman. I was in my flat, comfy boots and I knew, right at that moment, as I stood there in my un-glam jeans and un-glam boots, that she hated my flat shoe wearing guts and oh so wanted to be me.

That's when I put the people dem shoes back on the shelf and walked out the store. As nice as it would be to be able to glam myself up one of these days in a pair of heels, the reality is, I used to slip my heels off to walk from the carpark to my office, and that was maybe a 5minute walk, if so much. Can you imagine me walking and running to the bus stop, the train station and the Underground in heels??? It's the reason I left them all at home. But, when my dad called tonight I asked him if he could arrange for his friend to bring me a care package. I have already alerted my mum as to what has to go in it

- Proper cereal
- A couple pairs of pants I would really like to have here with me
- Muffy...a must-have with the temperature dropping rapidly*
- And a pair of heels...

...if only to look at. Especially since I understand I am to potentially going to see and experience my first snow next week. Snow and slush + Heels = Bedlam. By the way, I am not one of those people who dreams of a white Christmas. I am not excited about the snow thing but I am mentally trying to prepare myself for it.

*Or I can just get one of the microwaveable stuffed dogs in the shops. Putting a dog, albeit a toy dog, in a microwave is just barbaric by the way. lol.

Falling Deeper Into the Hole...

Another Saturday night spent in bed, with my laptop and smelly books borrowed from the uni library. Oh the sexy! My life is an academic black hole. lol.

I left the house twice today - first this morning to go get some fresh seasoning. My cousin does not cook so there is never an onion or a garlic clove in the house. I walked to the Afro-Caribbean shop - the one run by Pakistanis - and got some chive, some garlic, onions, ginger. And then my eyes landed on a gorgeous piece of pumpkin so I got a piece of that. Then I saw mushrooms again so I got a packet of those. Then I got home and asked myself, what am I going to do with this pumpkin and these mushrooms? lol. Any suggestions? I will try supercook.com in a minute but what would you do with these?

I left the house for the second time at 7pm to go to the store to get some bread, and I ended up getting bread and doughnuts. Are doughnuts without the hole really considered doughnuts? These weren't the best doughnuts either. They seemed a bit raw to me. Not impressed at all.

I am working on what must be the millionth assignment. My God! When does it end? This assignment is really annoying too because the word count is inadequate for the level of detail required. I have given up! Eff it. It is going out as is. I cannot find another word that deserves the onslaught of the DELETE button.

I have so much work to do still it's unreal. Thank God for the little break last night when a friend asked me out to dinner. Now after last week's all day assignment bonanza when I ended up going to dinner in a hoodie and sneakers because I had no time to go home to change, I made a conscious effort to not let fatigue and annoyance with life get the better of me and looking presentable. So when the dude sent a text after 7 last evening to say he wanted to take me to dinner, despite the fact that I was in the frickin' library with books and my laptop, I still was looking restaurant appropriate. The lesson here is girls - never take for granted a little bit of mascara and a nice sweater.

Of course I did a little refresherising on the train and hoped the bags and books would be suitable distractions for the diminished stunnability. But in the end, we had a lovely dinner. He met my train, took the books and fed my hungry ass. The perfect end to a long day.

It's been a long day today as well and not in a good way either. The work is never ending, sleep and tv are luxuries. I am way behind on my streams of Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives, not to mention that I just had a doughnut for dinner. Yet I am smiling.

Super Stylin'

I have some housekeeping to do. I have been so busy that I have not blogged and forgot about this but...BOOM!!!

I got this award from a fellow blogger last week and just have not had time to celebrate my award. I also want to say she is the sweetest thing and say to her, thank you for the kind words and empathy. Yes, the London weather is atrocious and I know this is just the tip of the iceberg but you are too sweet. Thanks for the award and I know I should pay it forward but gosh...it's finding the time. Just to let you all know though, I had my mummy talk and mummy talks are great and what is even better is NEPHEW talks. I just skyped with my mum and my sis-in-law and the baby. Of course he just looked at me but at least he know his auntie loves him. So I have enough Skype mojo to last me to the end of the week now.

The award means I have to tag 7 other bloggers, but wooo...may leave that til after my assignment is complete. But I also have to tell you 7 interesting things about me. Hmmm...dunno how interesting I am these days but I can share 7 random things

1. I don't like soda and only drink it by diluting it with water or club soda. Soda is the ultimate "fat" drink!
2. My favourite place to sing is behind the wheel of the car and it makes me so happy. No wonder I am so grumpy here in London. I take the train everywhere.
3. I only eat egg whites. I bought a sandwich last week, not knowing it had hard boiled eggs in it, including the yolks. I bit into it and blech....dustbin. I would eat whole scrambled eggs but not very often.
4. I love buying heels but don't always love wearing them. They aren't the most comfortable things and I can admit that, but they look so good.
5. I did not bring a single pair of heels with me to London and this is so disturbing it hurts. I feel like a vagrant. But practicality won out over vanity.
6. On paper, I am bi-lingual having studied French for 7 years. In reality I am a hot French speaking mess. My fluency hit the toilet during hard core studying during my undergrad years. Now I am trying to rekindle it.
7. This one is a bit of a laugh and especially coming from someone with my hips, but..I don't like fat men. And I mean, obese - beer gut, moobs, double chins. There is something about a man letting himself go that really bothers me. Women have babies, stretchmarks, swollen legs and cramps and PMS to deal with so hey...give us weight gain. Men...you have nothing, so the least you can do is endure the pain to look good.

I also miss shopping and I am looking forward to seeing what "Black Friday" deals will be available on Amazon next week so I can make a purchase and feel somehow renewed as a woman!!! I used said credit card earlier this week to buy some Hilton points so I would not for a second time, lose the thousands of points I have racked up as a loyal Hilton customer. I am thinking of treating myself to a Hilton birthday treat - something to look forward to I guess. But we will see how that goes especially since I have...wait for it...another assignment due the Monday after (my birthday is the Saturday before), and an exam on the Thursday. Oh, how fate is conspiring against my social life!!! Again I say I am paying for this massacre of my social life!!! But I have to do something special for my birthday, right?

I just added some rum to my orange juice which I had with dinner to keep the cold out of my Trini bones. It worked for a while but these cold temps are relentless. I am now engaged to the heater...till death do I part. Now back to the assignment and hopefully some progress.

Desperately Craving...

This past week was a really horrendous week.I had a group assignment to complete and it was no fun experience. The assignment is now done (fingers crossed that some bright person does not decide to make more changes at this 11th hour...again) and I am about to get some sleep. I have not slept more than 4 hours a night in about 2 weeks and I do not see the trend changing during this upcoming week, so better get the worm while it's still wriggling.

The weather is also now, in my frame of reference, officially dismal and I may need to start visiting the school pyschologist. There is a heavy mist over the street and my window is all frosty and the heater went on earlier than usual today. I sat and wondered how people could live like this...and more specifically...how do SINGLE people live like this? This phenomenon is intriguing and now directly impacts me since this kinda cold breeze and not even Muffy to come home to is a daunting and terrifying thought. There must be a Rent-a-Man-for-Winter service somewhere and if not, someone needs to start one. Soon.

Coming from an island, the cold temps take some getting...well...used to, because what am I used to? Blue skies and flip flops, and where the coldest it can get is what....a beastly 23 degrees Celsisus? It is most likely 1 degree outside. Am I going to run out and confirm that for you? No.

After spending my entire Saturday sitting in a Starbucks that did not smell like coffee but like your grandma's dusty coat, I somehow managed to keep my dinner date with the girls, despite not feeling well and admitedly, looking worse. The plan was not to spend all my waking hours behind a laptop in a coffee house with this group, but that's what happened so instead of going home to change out of my university hoodie, fat jeans and sneakers into something a bit more appealling, I had to sit in the restaurant like something the cat dragged in from the rain. Needless to say, I did not care because hunger outweighed vanity and I look back now on just how much I ate and shudder. But always nice to be out, no matter what one's physical condition. We went to the new Wahaca - the one in Soho, where I finally...finally...after a week of wanting one so badly I could cry...had...my...burrito.

Just to say though, after a week of craving a carnitas burrito, it was more than salvation to sit and order and then eat this fantastically simple, yet delicious thing last night after a shitty week and an even shittier day. If only I could get some other things that I am craving, the frosty window would not be so depressing.

The point of this pointless entry is that I am tired, burnt out, a bit hungry (lol) and starting to feel myself going into that place - where dark coldness starts to obliterate happy thoughts and where I need a hug and other things of various rating levels, from PG to R. Plus I have not skyped with my mother in about a week and that is never a positive mood builder. My nephew's christening was yesterday and I cannot wait to see the photos. I am missing it all and it's so sad. I am hoping to talk to her soon so I can get on with the whole business of living. If you don't talk to your mother regularly, then you're a terrible person. Mothers are the best!!!

If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put A Ring On It

The thing is I don't like it.

Well, friends another assignment is behind me. When the file was uploaded electronically on Sunday evening, there was relief. When the hard copy hit the bottom of the assignments box 10 minutes ago, there was frickin' euphoria. I almost did a cartwheel. Two down, a million to go. I am unwillingly married to the books, the library, school - I shoulda put a ring on it!!!

The weather is shit today. I had read the forecast on Saturday to determine how early I needed to roll off my warm bed this morning to make sure thisn assignment was in on time. Gale force winds it said, and heavy rain. They weren't kidding. They need to give the Trini weathermen some coaching because the weather report was spot on. My umbrella - the one I tote when I suspect the rain will be more than a light drizzle, and not the cheap £4 shit from Primark - could barely take the pressure from the hurricane-esque winds. Weather for the mattress, NOT the library.

So though I still had 3 projects to work on this weekend, I managed to leave the house on Saturday evening to go on a pub crawl with a friend. Nice drinks, nice convo, nice time, not so nice weather. The mist hanging over the main street after 2am when I exited the final pub was enough to almost send me back to the bar. But I was too tired. So tired that I fell asleep on the bus, something I swore never to do, and sure enough...lol...when I next opened my eyes, I was in some odd part of the world, having missed my stop. It took me another couple stops to realise that yes, I was not going to magically be transported back to my stop if I did not get off this bus immediately. It was no fun standing in the same mist I was dreading a million stops before to get the bus back. Funnily enough, it was the same bus and the driver looked at me and smiled. I smiled back. Don't drink and commute, peeps.

I also felt very peckish yesterday. Not for the normal crap like cake or ice cream, though some Haagie would have been nice, but for tomatoes.

I just woke up craving a nice tomato. So after I uploaded said assignment, I chucked on some clothes and walked to the corner store. A note about my friendly neighbourhood veggie stop. It's called the Afro-Caribbean store, but it's managed by Pakistanis. I find that amusing every single time I see the sign. Every time. So I get there and my heart was lifted because there were the sexiest, reddest, most beautiful and orgasm-inducing tomatoes I had ever seen. I quickly selected 3 of the hottest, and some mushrooms and some other stuff, and I was set. My Sunday dinner was complete. Sorry I did not take photos but my camera is shit. But in the end it was a lovely veggie rice, with baked chicken in a red onion and mushroom sauce, and a marvellous fresh mushroom and tomato side, stir fried ever so lightly in some olive oil to keep my tomatoes nice and fresh. The magic. I felt human once more.

Until I opened up assignment #2 for the weekend. What a nuisance.

Anyway, it's been real. Hoping this week is less stressful with less time spent in the library than last week. Listening to some Movado, among others on the MP3 player. So he's not Trini, he does not have a "first thing I wanna see on Monday morning" kinda face, and it's not soca but it's great and it's one love. Take me home to the islands, Movado. Love you all. Coffee time!!!

Life of a Library Superstar

With another inane assignment deadline looming, I have found myself yet again in the library doing 12-hour stretches. I tried staying at home, in my jammies to work, but found it impossible, with so many distractions. The recliner is too comfortable and induces sleep; the kitchen with the goodies encourages foodie experimentation and consumption, the jumbo flatscreen encourages flipping to the movie channel. I had to stop myself from watching "The Hangover" for a sixth time, but when I weighed the options in a most self serving way, the books just seemed so incredibly boring.
And I always wondered why some people walked around with a suitcase in London. Now I know. My bag is laden with books and the shoulder I just mended is now taking a beating with the books I tote to and fro every day. And again I say to myself, I am paying huge chunks of money for this inconvenience. lol. Just reminding Mr/Ms Anonymous of the fact that I am not here free.

Man, I remember when mid-term breaks used to be BREAKS. I have fond memories of one lovely mid-term break spent on the beautiful beaches of Port Antonio in Jamaica, eating Boston Bay jerk chicken, sipping Blue Lagoons on the infamous Blue Lagoon and just unwinding from school work. Now I can barely make it to the corner store, and I am on the cusp of Europe. Ah, how life has changed. But seriously...

I am also concerned that my birthday celebrations will be severely compromised with not only an exam on the week after the birthday weekend, but an assignment due on the Monday. Tragedy!!!

I am also trying to see how best I can shuffle time and assignments to go see John Legend at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo. I mean, sure I have seen him twice in concert, but I love John Legend. And  it is JL and The Roots. Oh, Santa...you have failed me so many times before. Can't you do one thing for me???

I promised a friend I would meet him for drinks tomorrow and I promised myself I would have a weekend  and try to salvage what is left of this mid-term break, so the aim is to finish today and by finish I mean not just physically have a document in my hand but also do the usual anal, paranoid-driven things I do even when the essay is done, that prolong the completion by at least 12 hours.

So here I am again, in my usual corner of the library, with the sniffles and having a coffee, and pizza I baked last night, re-heated in the oven this morning and is now cold and soggy like the weather today. And as I eat my cold, soggy pizza, I think of the dhalpuri, the channa, the kuchela, the geera chicken, the kurma, the gulab jamun and the parsad I am missing back at home on this Divali day. I was invited a while back to spend Divali with a friend of my cousin's and his family, but not sure if that is on and besides, I am booked for the 12-hour library shift. I may attempt to chunkay a curry tomorrow.

Shubh Divali to my Hindu readers, a great Guy Fawkes night to the Brits, and Happy Friday to everyone else!!!

And you can get literally get that fun t-shirt here.

To the Anonymous Reader

If you wish to direct your boredom or lack of a life on my comments page, then be a star and leave your name and a URL. And if you don't like what you read, let me show you something.

Use it!!! Use it because noone told you you had to read it. Noone is forcing you to come here. Use it or get a life. Soon. I did a print screen in case you have trouble comprehending the concept of a back button, and because besides being daft and cowardly, you also seem to have some problems with proper grammar.

That's all. You be good now.

Ode to the amazing and so important...Shoulder

The shoulder pain is worse. This is not even funny. Taking a shower, putting on a t-shirt, holding a snazzy handbag, holding on to the rail in the train so you don't fall over on some smelly Brit, sleeping -  all very painful now. How, oh how, we take a healthy shoulder for granted. I miss my masseuse desperately. These are little perks that noone should dare try to live without. I have tried stretching it out but it is not working and the pain is mind-numbing. I got to the drug store too late this evening and so it will be yet another night of this agony.

So I went to the Halloween party. Not really my kinda thing. There were some live bands but they were horrible in my opinion and the deejay was a hot mess. But the company was great - had a nice time with the girls, and my "costume" turned out pretty okay in the end. I ended up going as an overdressed Playboy bunny. In this weather and with these hips, I was not going to be in anything looking like a leotard or nightie. I was aiming more for Easter bunny but the black and white bunny ear set called to me. Hop hop.

I am also a bit miffed that I have to go on campus 3 out of my 5 days off this week - one being today. Well I did not make it to campus exactly, but it was just a 1 minute bus ride away. Today was the scholars' tea which actually was quite nice. A bit posh, but really great people from around the world. I was surprised there were no cucumber sandwiches but there was lots of tea. Lots of it. I managed to be the rebel in the group and drink juice.

I have never been a tea drinker. I never really liked hot beverages growing up. I would have the occasional hot Milo but never tea. Only as I started studying in earnest around age 15 (O'Levels), did my fascination with coffee begin. I used to have it black with a couple sugars and strong. Then when in my first semester of my undergrad programme, I realised my hands were shaking after a 48 hour coffee binge during study season (aka beat season, alluding to the expression, "beating the books"), I cut back on coffee. Then I started working and getting up in the dead of morning to get to work and I fell in love with what some may call "girlie" coffees - mochaccino and cappuccino. And during my gym-crazed moments, I would drink copious amounts of green tea with one sugar. This is where I am at still.  I have some reading to do and just downed a cappuccino with heaps of cocoa drizzling my foamy top. I think I am ready to go.

How did I go from ode to the shoulder to ode to coffee? I am not sure. But I will end this now.

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