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.

Prince William and Kate Middleton are Hitched!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Congrats!
So after months of hype and media overkill, William, Duke of Cambridge, made Catherine 'Kate' Middleton, Duchess of Cambrdige, and his wife. The wedding was the topic of all conversation for weeks leading up to today, being the bane of many an existence for the same time. God, how does the media focus on one thing and then slowly and painfully kill us with it? Jesus.

In any event, though I am a sucker for love, the wedding fell flat for me. Tradition and the institution of the British monarchy overpowered any emotion that may exist within the Windsor/Middleton inner circles. It was just all too stiff and too formal for me and if I were to describe it in one word, that word would be boring.

Kate's dress was beautiful, though again, because of the hype, it was not a wowser for me. But she did look stunning. William and Harry looked dashing, and Queen Elizabeth showed us yet again that she leads by example with a burst of warm colour.

The House of Alexander McQueen lives on with the royal wedding dress worn by Princess Catherine

Kate Middleton. The dress of the century? What say you?

HRM Queen Elizabeth II in canary yellow. You show 'em Queenie!
But the true highlight of this wedding was undoubtedly the wedding fashion from the lucky suckers who managed to snag an invitation for the royal nuptials. The hats, especially, stole the show. Love 'em or hate 'em, the hats were the stars of this day - with most of them from Irish milliner, Phillip Treacy.

Everything about Tara Palmer-Tomkinson's outfit was shocking in electric blue! Love it.

Deputy PM Nick Clegg and his wife, whose hat was a bold statement

Victoria Beckham's hat was minimal but her best accessory was undoubtedly her hot husband

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie took ugly to new levels with these hats but kudos for being different

The queen's granddaughter, Zara Phillips - totally loved her hat

Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria looking rather sexy

And though she went hat-less, Sam Cam looked splendid

Now I want my own prince. Suggestions?

Warm Weather Vixen

Spring in the UK - pretty
I looked up the weather forecast in Port of Spain, Trinidad yesterday and it is forecast to have thundery showers for the next week. Compare this to the warmth and bloom of the London weather and I would swear someone is playing a joke on me. The weather really has been brilliant. I saw the family next door - husband, wife and four-legged son - sunbathing in the backyard 2 days ago and shorts and flip flops are everywhere.

It proved to also be a good sunny weekend for me as was evidenced by compliments from different people of the male variety especially, who commented that the sunny weather really flattered me and I looked so beautiful and glowing. I had to remind them that I am a child of the tropics and I was born in a sunny world. I feed off blue skies and sunshine and while any normal person feels better when the day is bright, for me, after a horrid first winter and 2 long semesters, I guess it just showed. As promised, I ditched the customary jeans outfit for dinner on Friday evening and wore a long summery sundress with a cute lightweight shrug and matching flip flops and accessories, and of course put the MAC and Sacha light eyecolours to work, so I had a fun, youthful and warm look. The reaction from said date was more than I expected, with compliments pouring like London rain, and based on this reaction, I applied similar mojo to my Saturday lunch date get-up. Friends, clearly winter and school life were deterrents to my love life...or at least to dating success! lol. Warm weather Vixen I am! (V for Vixen!)

Speaking of vixen, just indulge my feminine longing for a minute.  I have shared some photos of my recent trip to Bath and Cardiff with you in the previous entry but I forgot to share 2 awesome female sightseeing miracles.

We walked into Dune in Cardiff and there it was - the key to happiness, or at least to fierceness. I dreamt about this bag last night. The duo are a combined £190 - way beyond my student budget but one can live in hope. Very Vixen, don't you think?

Anyway, it is taking me an entire weekend to throw a couple sundresses, 2 pairs of flip flops, 2 pairs of jeans and some t-shirts into a suitcase. The inevitable But I might need this strikes again. Let me get back to that and some breakfast. Now I am not sure what rainy Trinidad is all about, but rainy Trinidad is still as good and better than the London "heatwave". Home is where the heart is, not where the heat is (though rainy Trinidad is still 10 degrees hotter than sunny London).

Splendid, Sunny Good Friday and Sights from My Travels

Stunning flowers in Cardiff, Wales
Happy and Holy Good Friday to my readers and friends. Wishing you all great blessings as we celebrate the lives we have been gifted. And after my staycation, I feel as blessed as ever. I have had many great moments in my life and while I am broke, unemployed, stressed, a bit fat and hopelessly single, I still have much to be grateful for. Great family, great friends who treat me well and look out for me, health and opportunities to go to great places that many people may never see. My friend invited me to spend time in Cardiff, Wales and we also managed to spend some time in Bath, England, which was just an hour away. Both remarkably beautiful and unique in their own ways, and excellent weather on both fronts. After so much stress and upheaval related to school, this trip was so appreciated. I look forward to repaying the favour one day soon.

What was NOT a blessing was having to clean up my bathroom at 3 this morning, after some drunk reveller decided to miss the toilet bowl and piss all over the place. I was NOT PLEASED!!! My cousin had a great time though and enjoyed his birthday party but still...his friends need to use the "drunk tank" downstairs and not the civilised loo. Ugh. Nasty.

I have also been mandated by my date tonight to not wear jeans to dinner. I must say, it is a fair request especially after I told him to dump the frowsy blue jacket he ALWAYS wears. I hate it. I cannot use the "I am a student" excuse anymore, and so will be donning a nice non-denim outfit tonight. I hope his heart can take it.

I will try to during the course of the weekend, put up some more photos on Facebook, where you really should be following me, but here are a few. Next up - the warmth of the beautiful Caribbean!

In honour of sailors - Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff kids made these patchwork quilts - they were very special

An old Welsh farmhouse on the grounds of St Fagan's National Museum
Norman Keep at Cardiff Castle

The Roman Baths in Bath, England
The view of the bridge, Bath


This devil is on the ceiling in the passageway
heading to the men's rec room in Cardiff Castle -
aimed at keeping the fair ladies out
R - Rest, relaxation. I just got back from Wales and it was a lovely time. I have not much time to blog about it cause today is my cousin's birthday and we are prepping for the party. But I had a really lovely time on my first trip outside of London. My first trip ever. I myself find that really hard to believe especially since I have been here so often and so long. But first time for everything. The funniest part which I did not catch on video was when we passed the motion detector that set off the audio that scared us SHITLESS. lol.

Great fun! I had a lovely time in Cardiff and sightseeing around the city, including Cardiff Castle. We also spent the day in Bath, with which I have fallen in love. Such a beautiful city - so clean, so green, so lovely. I will share a few photos when I have more time but til then, you can look at my "scary" video. Hope everyone is well. The weather has been brilliant and thankfully so, because my staycation would have been a whole lot different if it had rained. It is sposed to stay the same for the weekend so let the fun begin.

O - Out of Office

I will be gone for a few days so be good and be safe. And pray this holds...

Hair Raising Experience in London Town

The trininista hair trifecta -
shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner
N- for Nubian. Adventures into Nubian Hair would be a great way to describe the past hour of my life.

When I did my first degree in Jamaica, it was the norm for Trinidadian students to have 2 suitcases - one with clothes and books, the other with food - the story was that food was too expensive in Jamaica, so we "imported" via suitcase our own foodstuff. Now while London is not cheap, I was surely not about to forego warm clothes for a box of Cheerios. Besides, there are enough bargains around to ensure survival.

However, there was a mandatory shopping stop before getting on that British Airways flight. Pennywise, or as I call it, the Trini Boots. Being a black woman/nubian queen is a unique experience in many ways, but coming to London without products was not an option. White people seem to think we can all use the same things and be happy and beautiful. We cannot. Black hair alone is something totally different to white hair, so packing my stuff was not vanity, but necessity. As for London, I had been here before and experienced the nashiness of some of the black women here and did not aspire to look like any of them. So I can attest that half of one suitcase was filled with lotions, hair products, makeup etc.

Seven months later, I am still pretty good for beauty stuff but I realised last week that I was on the last of my post-shampoo leave-in conditioner, which can mean the difference between crackly and dry hair and shiny, healthy looking hair. Not wanting to wash my hair this weekend without it, I prepared myself for the wild adventure that is Lewisham. Now, I go to Leiwsham pretty regularly but I generally hit the shopping centre and Tesco, and that's it. Nothing against Lewisham mind you, cause my mother can attest that even in Trinidad, I avoid the high streets and prefer to get what I need within the confines of a mall - be it Gulf City Mall, Price Plaza, Grand Bazaar or West Mall. So nothing against Lewisham...

However, Lewisham is no Oxford Street either (which I also avoid 90% of the time in favour of Westfield Mall) and the characters I spot on the streets are cringe-worthy to say the least. I saw one white girl, with about 30lbs too much around her midsection in a bra top and low rise jeans, and I cringed.

In any event, my hair needed salvation so I traipsed through the streets in search of a hair products store. Even despite the fact that I knew they would not have anything, I escaped into a Super Drug hoping against hope that they would have what I needed. Nada. So on I went.

After 5 minutes of cat calls from Africans and Jamaicans, and some really odd looking white girls, I found a store - Shabba Hair & Cosmetics - and as I entered, the harps started playing. There it was - a plethora of black skin and hair products, a virtual Pennywise at my fingertips. It was great. Made me wonder then, why if such a store exists, do some of these girls look so pop-down! Nah man. I had expected to get something close to what I normally use but I got EXACTLY what I needed. And more...

Like the two cross-dressers looking at wigs. It was a scary sight let me tell you. Here were two black men - not men who could possibly pass as women - but two big, black, ashy elbowed black men, in lace front wigs, lipstick and heels. To say I was amused would be an understatement. The Indian dude showing them the wigs did not seem too aghast. This seemed like a normal thing for him - to show two black men the best he had to offer in wigs and weaves, and hair sheen. Very polite they were though as I said "excuse me" in an effort to pass. Not to mention complimentary, commenting on how lovely my eyebrows were and asking me whether I waxed or threaded. Too funny.

But at least I head to Cardiff with shiny hair on Monday, cause I am not quite sure how many black people I will find there, but at least I can well represent the sistas (and wannabe sistas)!

Memorable Mobile (phone) Moments

The vague twitterings
So I can finally blog about my day on Tuesday. So to make a long story pretty damn short, I won a competition and ultimately won myself a chance to be on the set of the new T-Mobile UK ad.  For those who don't know about the T-Mobile UK ads, they are loads of fun. I cannot decide which one I like the most but getting the chance to be on set for the new one was something I was excited about.

Now I was under the impression that I was just going to be on set, and see how they did the whole thing and for a Communications postgrad, that in itself is exciting. Little did I realise, I was going to be IN the damn thing. lol. When lovely Charlotte called me and told me to dress up in my "Sunday best", I was like "say what?"

Needless to say, the trininista is always prepared and despite being away from home, I did manage to throw a couple frocks in my bag while packing how many months ago, so I did in fact have an item which could be aptly described as "Sunday best". And despite all my quarrelling about no heels in London, I do in fact have a pair with me. I would never leave home without a pair of heels. AS IF!

Charlotte would not divulge much about the location, the concept, what I was going to be doing - nada. It was all pretty 007, and I showed up at the meeting point, which was not the set, and had no clue what I was getting myself into. I figured if I was in a silly purple dress, with a rose hair accessory, and heels, in the middle of rush hour morning - a dress which was more Caribbean than Britain, and on a cold English day, I was hopefully going to be indoors.

Furthermore, Sunday best typically means a) a church or b) a fancy schmancy dinner. The next stop was in fact a hall, where I assumed we would be for option B, but nope - just briefing. It was so clandestine, you would not believe. Not a peep from anyone. Zero. Nada. Rien.

There were probably about 80 other people there - all in fancy suits and fancy dress and hats. I loved the ladies in their hats. All sizes, all colours. Some of these gals took this thing really seriously, coming with suitcases with different outfits and hats to make sure they looked right for the part so they could be caught on camera. I wondered whether I could pull off a hat and decided that yes, I could, cause I am fabulous.

My lovely rose hair accessory
The other lucky winners - all great people might I add - were also clueless, as were the other 80-odd people. We then underwent a cursory once-over by wardrobe, who politely decided who was fancy enough to stay in what they were wearing for the shoot or who would end up in what I would later call, the dreaded choir outfit. I passed the test, in my purple Caribbean dress and rose hairpiece, but they took poor Sonso away from me and I had no idea where they had gone with my friend until later. I could not stop laughing after seeing the expression on her face when I next saw her.

At the church. Yes...the church. The concept was more than obvious by then, but will let you see for yourself below. Keep in mind where I am and what people are looking forward to here. I still managed surprise and enthusiasm because really it was loads of fun, even after doing the same take a million times and acting surprised every time.  Also there was Louie Spence, who I imagine is a big deal here cause everyone was like "Is that Louie Spence?" - just thought I would put that in there although even after Googling the chap, still have no clue who he is, except that I assume he helped choreograph the scene.

But the company was good fun, as I sat with 3 gorgeous and funny boys, who made laughing and smiling throughout the shoot rather easy. The other extras (sorry...the politically correct term is support artist) were superb and it was a good day out for the oft-frazzled postgrad. And while my classmates were pulling hairs out over their proposals, I was standing and smiling on cue, and later posing for photos, with "royalty".

The ad is not as great as the others they have done and I expected more actually, especially after all the secrecy and hype, but the fun factor was high for us there on the day. I can put that on my list of fun London moments.

Never a dull moment in trininista-world! Here is the ad, which was released today and which is why my code of silence is finally broken. You can see the edge of my dress but that's all and I am pretty happy with that. I am not a tv star!

L - Last One

My current reading material has
nothing to do with academia
It's my 200th entry! Cheers!

I woke up this morning, knowing no matter what, it was going to be an awesome day. Why, you ask? Today I submitted my final assignment with the exception of my Master's dissertation. After 6-7 months of sitting on a bed, in various stages of cold weather dress - socks, layers, sweat pants - with the night light blazing, laptop heat searing into the thick blanket I used to cover my legs to protect them from the laptop burn, heater blasting. Through snow, rain, cold winds, fox cries, hunger, cravings, coughs, colds, tears, headaches, frustration, tedium, mania, homesickness, creativity, stasis - through it all, I managed to not go crazy, but also got great grades and had some really great moments.

And today I kissed the cover page for my assignment in great joy. Needless to say, the dissertation is a whole other nightmare, but I don't have to worry about that for a few weeks, during which I will be sightseeing in Wales and soaking up the rays back home in Trinidad and Tobago. I won't have to, and this is for you, Kai (lol), Britishify my words, but can ask for a roti, curried channa and aloo and chicken, with maybe some pumpkin chokha and a Shandy. I walked to campus with my massive Sainsbury's bag filled with all the books that had set up camp on my bed and I brought them back home - their home. The library. My bed is a book-free zone, friends! Except for the Michael Connelly book I am reading at the moment.

Yep. Life is pretty damn nice today and tomorrow, you have to visit so I can tell you about the excitement earlier this week. Can't get into that today, but feel free to take some guesses. For the ones who know, don't guess - don't spoil the fun!

Hoping the sun comes out at some point today, but if not, believe me when I say there is sunshine in my world at the moment. Wear your sunscreen, peeps! I am bright and I am hot stuff! Dunno, but Arrow came to mind today - an oldie, but a goodie.

Knackered Technology and Knackered Biology

Red Rover keeping me company as my laptop slowly dies
I have missed Photo Challenge days as I knew I would, but the end is near. The end of student life, so bear with me. I did not take this photo and it's just a test photo actually but I added a border. lol. Hope that counts for something! And it goes with my A to Z Challenge post which is about the word - KNACKERED.

I always liked that word knackered. For the non-Brits, it means "tired". Knackered - exactly how I felt yesterday evening when I got home. It was a full day, which included a lot of repetition, digging deep for emotions and delayed trains. These things on paper may seem trite, but over a 12-hour period, it can be exhausting. But still, it was an interesting day. My computer is also pretty knackered. This laptop has seen more words and been through more article reading, article searching, referencing, assignment typing and editing and emailing and turning in, skyping, blogging and surfing, than the average laptop. Between rigorous student life, where 80% of my time is spent on the laptop, and staying in touch with family back home and friends around the world, my laptop has really been working hard. So when I saw the blinking red light on my battery icon saying I should definitely consider replacing my battery, I was not really surprised. The timing was shit, as I am praying it does not conk out before I finish my proposal today. I have overworked it and also I have fallen asleep over this laptop enough times, with it hooked up to the main, to know that this battery would die pretty soon. I hopefully get my new battery in the post before this one dies. Kudos - another K - to my wonderful laptop battery for braving the academic storm with me!

Knackered - it's a pretty cute word, as is its synonym shattered. These Brits have some great words let me tell you - some of my faves include plonker, naff, wonky, twit. There are some others like wanker,which are less PG and which I try not to use too regularly. To me, it means absolutely nothing but I could not tell a dude I thought he was a wanker. lol.

I had finished the proposal and was just editing and as in usual trininista style, I found things I was not happy with and I am now adding words instead of taking them away. It will be another long day but I am sure less enjoyable than yesterday especially since it is grey outside. The 5 sunny days of spring have come and gone. Back to London as I know it. I hope I get at least an hour of sun tomorrow as I want to spend part of my day in the park, because tomorrow marks the end of structured student life. Celebration weekend!

Impossibility... and Camera Emotions

It's been a long weekend, folks. I headed to campus on Friday, for an event that was clearly a waste of my time, and decided to make the most of the spring weather and take some London photos. Sadly, my bottle of water was not closed properly, and on the bus, the woman behind me said, Miss, your bag is leaking. Besides the fact that my bag was now a soggy, wet mess, my camera was also fully bathed in water.  I tried it up to yesterday and nada. My camera was gone.  But hope springs eternal.

The good news is that I have a replacement camera. My friend decided to give me his old one, which he was happy to get rid of, and I am now camera-happy once more. Friends are great!

The weekend was pretty good though. I had the most relaxing time - between meeting new friends, and having the best time over great Caribbean food, to spending a day yesterday cooking, watching movies and simply lying in bed, talking, then sleeping - it was a good weekend.

The bad news is, it is now Monday and I am almost 1200 words over the word count of my dissertation proposal.  I for Impossible!! Editing 1200 words out of an already abridged document will be a major challenge but one that will have to wait. I am going to take a shower and head to the mall - my eyebrows need to be threaded and no 1200 words can stop that from happening.

I also decided to pull out platforms this weekend and face the spring sun with style. Sure I looked good, but walking the length and breadth of London, chasing trains and buses in platforms is not fun. By the time I got to my last train, I pulled my ever trusty flat and comfy flip flops out of my bag and hobbled the rest of the way home. lol.. Will it stop me from bringing back another pair when I go home in a couple of weeks? Probably not. lol.

Photo challenge today - I do admit I am in a bit of a rush, but these are said platforms - both beauty and beast - and they fit in nicely with today's theme of lines. And these are my very first shots with "new" camera so will be testing it out over the course of the week. I will try to get some more shots later but 1200 words and neat eyebrows are priorities today.

SITS Photo Challenge - Lines and Repetition I

SITS Photo Challenge - Lines and Repetition II

And do you want a line of repetition? Here is my neighbourhood.

SITS Photo Challenge - Lines and Repetition III

Flip Flop Glamour

Have flip-flops made a comeback?
Today is the day! I am going to brave the elements and go forth - in a pair of flip flops. If you could not tell just from the title, having missed yesterday A-Z Challenge entry, I am doing F and G today. The weather is brilliant and though it gets chilly at night, I have pulled out a pair of flip flops. I will gauge the wearability of them later.

I crashed like a stone last night, after having not slept the night before, and I also woke up with a bleepin' headache so physically, I am not a star. But I am looking forward to a great day and hopefully an even better weekend- colour coordinated and all. G is for gorgeous and great, and I will try my best to be that today.

Today's winning fashion combo includes...

Exhaustion + Excitement Equal...

SITS Photo Challenge, Day III - Lighting
Exhausted. It's a rough week. I am struggling. Yet, I am bubbly today because I just spent an hour sitting on the lawn in the backyard with a glass of water, in a tank top, jeans and flip flops - no scarf, no jacket. Flip flops!!! The ecstasy!

The sun, high in the sky, did what a sun is supposed to do - give off heat. Friends, it is WARM in London today. Honest to goodness, Caribbean definition of WARM. I forgot how tired and annoyed I was with this mood board I am supposed to make, and just sat there - in the sun, never-see-come-see, baking my brown shoulders and chest and arms and face. I could have died from joy. So while E is for exhausted, it is also for excitement, enthusiasm and enjoyment - all in abundance in my world on this warm, bright,beautiful, sunny day.

And to prove it to you, my photo challenge today was about lighting and I think Pablo showed what he can do with some natural light indoors, but today it is all about the magical illumination in my backyard. I think the neighbours have absolutely given up on me now, cause I was laying on a towel in the grass, smiling, and then taking photos of a football. Yep. I won't be surprised if I see the NHS yellow ambulance pull up to get me later - to take me to the nuthouse. Envy. Another "e" word. Envious of my simple joy.

SITS Photo Challenge, Day III - Lighting
Football porn

And I had some water with me.

SITS Photo Challenge, Day III - Lighting
Bring out the lime wedges. The sun is here!

I used the photos I like the most in my collage.

SITS Photo Challenge, Day III - Lighting
I love photo collages

The Letter D and Yummy Close Up Perspective

My portable laptop desk
So I am hard at it in the library, and I am trying to kill two birds with one stone with this entry - my A-Z Blogging Challenge and my SITS Photo Challenge. So on to the first one.

Today's letter is D, and here is my new laptop desk. Well, it's really not mine per se. I had seen the ad on tv for it, and thought, dude, I need me one of those! I spend a LOT of time on my laptop, doing research, assignments, and of course, skyping, tweeting and FB-ing. I sit on my bed 99% of the time, so the laptop lives up to its name and is usually on my lap. Laptops get hot and they burn. I use my blanket as an insulator but when I came home last week and saw the magic desk and knew the owner was NEVER going to use it, I swiped it. It's really great. I feel so productive now that I have it. And it's really cute. It has a night light and a beer holder - well, okay okay...a drinks holder. Yep. I love my stolen desk.

D is also for dinner, which also allows me to segue into my photo challenge photos today. Though it was pretty simple last night - pasta and minced beef - it was fun to cook, and even more fun to eat and always fun to make into a photo star. I thought I would share this one. Perspective wise, I think getting close up to food is great and really highlights the yumminess of it and creates longing. Are you longing?

SITS Photo Challenge Day II
Macaroni with lean mince, chock full of onions, garlic, chillis, sweet peppers and tomato and herb pasta sauce

But this, a re-posted photo, is one of my fave food close ups ever. I got low and tried to get the flesh-falling-off-the-bone chicken at an angle. I can only ever take photos of my dinner when I am home alone. It looks a bit odd to be getting on the floor or on the chair to get aerials, side shots and table level shots of my food.

SITS Photo Challenge Day II
Slow cooked curried chicken, with curried chick peas and potatoes and warm chapatis

SITS Girls Photo Challenge - Pablo

I am deep into the books so going out to take photos was not an option. But, Pablo is the star today - both of my A to Z Challenge and my Photo Challenge. His sunny disposition is battling against the grey of the London outdoors. Poor thing, he is optimistic, and has been looking outside all afternoon - waiting for the sun.

SITSGirls Photo Challenge - Pablo

SITS Girls Photo Challenge - Pablo II

SITS Photo Challenge - Pablo III

C for Crazy

So I have also decided to try the A to Z Blogging Challenge and I am not sure I will be able to blog every day, but we will see. Though I have missed A-B, today is C and this was easy. I made this before I realised today was Day C.

Tired. I am so frazzled I completely forgot to turn in my assignment electronically this morning. The deadline was 9am and at 8.30 I was still living in ignorance, under the blanket. Not sure what sparked the memory but at 8.32,  as I put the pillow over my head to shut out the reality of another day filled with reading about evaluation models, source oriented perspectives and ROI, it hit me and I flew off the bed in a panic, hoping my broadband was working, cause it tends to do weird things at the most inconvenient of times. God. I cannot wait for it to be over!

Sigh. C for Crazy. Check.

Colour Me Beautiful, Colour Me Fashion

Spring outside my front door this morning
Beautiful day today. I am inside again, with the books. My room is a disaster, with books literally, EVERYWHERE, but it has to be done, right? This dissertation is not going to do itself. Sigh. Bummer.

The SITSgirls are also have a spring photo challenge for the next couple of weeks and I signed up to be part of it. Now I am no photo-take-outer, but I love photos, and I think this may be the only way to force me to walk with my camera and take some photos of London. I have been here more than 6 months and I have taken very few photos. Granted, this is not my first time here and I have loads of London photos I have taken before, but it would be a great aside from the books and Daddy Disso anyway. Good luck to me.

So yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine, who was going to a Caribbean themed party hosted by non-Caribbean people. He said to me "I have nothing Caribbean to wear". I immediately rolled my eyes, shook my head, and told him if he had a nice shirt in anything but grey, black or brown, and some nice casual trousers, he would be fine. I begged him not to wear any loud printed shirts - with coconut trees or sunsets. I told him if he took my advice, he would be the best dressed man in the place because my next words to him, in my best British slang were:

I will bet you that there will be someone in a naff tropical shirt and a straw hat looking like a complete knob!

He emailed me after 9pm, and it simply said "I just walked in to the party. You would laugh".

I should have bet him money. The photo he sent from his BB was worse than I thought - bright, hideous tropical shirts, straw hats, hideous tie dyed sarongs, coconut earrings. Hideous. The typical, scary stereotype of Caribbean fashion that Europeans typically seem to have. It's not funny. It's downright wrong!

If you have ever been to the Caribbean, you would be surprised that we dress pretty much like everyone else. We love style. Love. Style. We do love colour though - I love colour. I know what colours suit me and which don't. Black close to my face does not suit me so I never wear very dark shirts or jackets, without something in my key colours - I would look like a walking shadow. But I look good in reds and yellows especially, though my favourite colours are blues and purples.

Photo credit: Fashion Week of Trinidad and Tobago. Caribbean fashion is modern, fun and vibrant! No tropical shirts!

I am trying to get another Brit, who I shall call, the Nutty Scientist, to abandon his myopic love for brown jumpers, and invest in maybe a blue shirt. He claims he hates blue - blue is for the sky, he says. He also does not wear jeans. At all. I am aiming to get him into a pair of  grown-up jeans, as opposed to ratty, torn, jeans or skinny jeans. A Brad Pitt finish perhaps. If Brad Pitt, a man just a couple years shy of 50 (can you believe it?), can wear some jeans, then a young, 30-something, good looking, albeit nutty scientist can wear a pair. Can't he?

Brad Pitt - just awesome looking in general!

I can see Nutty shaking his head at me, but if not the jeans, then God - a non-brown shirt; a shirt that speaks more spring and less winter. There is nothing wrong with a bit of colour. I am not saying spray paint your entire wardrobe in neon pink, but a touch of it can really liven up your look. Do you hear me England? The browns and greys get old. I can wear a bright yellow sweater without blinking an eye and not care what anyone here thinks about it. It is who I am. Bright, sunny, warm.

With spring here and more sunshine, and thus no need for the ridiculous huge jacket I have been forced to wear since November, I can exercise my love for colour more often hopefully. And show off my ass.

In Beauty Terms, My Best Friend is not the Diamond

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend and I love sparkly, shiny stuff, but let's be real. Can I afford diamonds? I can barely afford a pack of pork chops. There are some things I have control over at this point and some things I do not. Diamonds - no control. None. But, my best friend in daily life, without a doubt is...

These days I use Maybelline XXL Extensions Mascara. It's really good.
 ...my mascara wand. I have said it enough times - my one beauty must-have is mascara. I can go with just about anything else, but mascara is a must. And there are varying degrees of mascaraliciousness. For a quick trip to Hi-Lo, one quick coat. For a night out, primer and 2 coats.

Sexy mascara!
I typically would buy Clinique's mascara and primer but before travelling, I could not find it, so I bought this Maybelline mascara, which is also pretty good and even better, the primer and mascara were in one tube. Primer. I never knew about primer until maybe 2006, when I bought my first Clinique mascara and primer duo. Now I swear by it. Not only does it condition your lashes and prevent that crunchiness that mascara can cause on your lashes, but it also works as a great base for the application of the mascara, and lengthens the lashes as well. For someone like me, who is not blessed with full, voluminous lashes, primer is a must. Maybelline's XXL has Step 1, the primer and Step 2, the mascara in the same tube which really is convenient especially when travelling, because you know my mascara must go in the little zip-loc bag in my hand luggage.

And second behind the Marvellous Mascara? Eyeshadow. I don't wear eyeshadow every day. There are some days I go to class, sans colour, either because I am late, feeling rather blah, or just prefer a clean eye. During the day, earth tones work best and I have a mixture of Sacha, L'oreal and M.A.C.. For night though, predominantly, the mysterious tones of M.A.C.

M.A.C. - my evening shades, though I have used them for daytime as well.
It's all about the application!

It seems almost anti-climactic to end this entry with my final must-have, but I mentioned before that I do not wear lipstick, and the British weather has caused me for the first time in my life to have dry, chapped lips. So bite me if you want to make a comment about must-have #3.

Vaseline Lip Therapy - a must-have for cold weather lips

 I do wear lipgloss as I said, but mainly to go out - not to sit in a lecture hall or in the library. C'mon. I got a laugh yesterday when Unilever posted this photo...

Marmite flavoured Vaseline? Nasty.

...which clearly had to have been an April Fool's gag, cause after trying marmite last weekend, I will not understand why anyone would want THAT taste on their lips. Blech.

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