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.

Penis on the Train and other Funny Weekend Moments

Nicki Minaj rocks this orange wig. Hot!
Photo credit: Thirsty Roots
Something is wrong with me. Why was I awake at 8.00am on a Sunday, especially considering that I have not had a full night's sleep in a few days, that I was up at the crack of dawn yesterday to keep my salon appointment, and that I was out late last night? I really do not appreciate you, internal alarm!

So as I mentioned at the end of the last post, my hair seems to be totally f...d. It was just falling out and was completely jacked. It caused some minor to major depression and I just decided my hairdresser in London would have to double as therapist. I was perfectly prepared to go pixie short for the cause, but she told me not to do anything that drastic just yet. So while it looks a bit better, it's still pretty crap. I'm not happy.

Needless to say, I joined the hordes of black women in London yesterday who wear fake hair as I pulled out my awesome wig for a night out. Funny, as I walked through the tube station, a gust of wind caught it and I was praying to all the gods under the moon and sun that this thing did not blow off. lol. I pictured the wig blowing off my head, landing on the tracks just before the train gets there, causing a disruption on the Northern line, thus causing hundreds of London commuters to be plotting to kill me, all because I am a bit vain. Well, I held on to said wig to avert this scenario.

Then I had a good chuckle when I went into Sainsbury's after dinner cause I had a craving for sausages again. You know how I love me some UK sausages. And behold, there were sausage bargains. And 25p bread. A student's wet dream!! The 25p bread caused a bit of a scene in the bread aisle as I, poor, hungry, unemployed student, thought - wow...25p bread. I must have this. On the other hand, employed Londoner, was aghast that I would consider buying bargain bread and made such a big deal about the bread. Really, buddy? But then he makes a big deal about a lot of things beyond my comprehension. Nothing was wrong with the bread except that its expiration date is Aug 2, by which time the bread would be consumed anyway. But noooo...it was a bread argument between me and the Sainsbury's girl, trying to explain that 25p bread was perfectly good bread, and employed Londoner on high horse, who felt I should get 89p bread. lol. Needless to say, the 25p bread is in my fridge and I had 2 rolls for breakfast and they were lovely. I have no problem in buying 89p bread, dammit, but why let a bargain pass me by?

And no Saturday night would be complete without a night cap and some penis. On the train, no less. Look away if you are a prude. Look away now. Faces hidden to protect the innocent.

Hen night, obviously. She and her tool caused quite a stir! lol.

Visiting the Queen and Rocking the Runway

In all the time I have been here, I had not yet been to Windsor.

Now you know I have a special relationship with the royal family, having been part of the royal wedding earlier this year. I loved Windsor and I had a great time. Being in London all the time makes you appreciate everything outside of London even more, especially a town as beautiful as Windsor. The tour of Windsor Castle was amazing, and though we did not meet the queen (we called ahead and she said she would be out), being a lover of castles, this was fabulous to me. I especially loved the Royal Exhibition celebrating Prince Philip's 90th birthday.  No photography was allowed inside the castle I'm afraid but here are a couple shots from outside.

Truly a lovely day out. The weather was perfect (it was actually warm!), the sights were wonderful, and the company was fantabulous. :-)

And after weeks of anticipation, Project Runway hit the tv screens last night and Anya Ayoung-Chee showed the "horrified" Tim Gunn and the sceptical Michael Kors and Nina Garcia that she can keep up with the fashion Joneses. Though she admitted she only learnt to sew after applying to be on the show, she showed that one can do anything if there is enough determinaton and commitment. She not only silenced her critics but she was one the designers with the highest scores this week. Trini power!

I was so proud of her - she did well and her outfit was totally fabulish!

Photo credit: Project Runway/Lifetime.com
Hope everyone has a great weekend planned? I will be dissertationing and trying to bring sexy back with a much needed visit to the salon. I may have to cut my hair off but anything is better than the dire straits it's in now - with hair falling out everywhere. Ugh. Depressing.

Norway Reminds Me...

Memorial for those who lost their lives in 1990
Photo credit: Newsday
When one thinks of Norway, one does not automatically think of strife and political upheaval. I usually think of pristine snow capped mountains and serenity. The horror which they had to face in the past few days is so foreign to not only the Norwegian people but to the world looking on.

When one thought of Trinidad and Tobago in 1990, one did not automatically think about insurrection and rampage. It was still fun, still flamboyant, still a gem in the southern Caribbean. On the evening of July 27,1990, that all changed.

As a child, the biggest crisis in your life, after a day of playing, is what snack can I get tonight, mummy? That night, after my brother and I were good little monsters all day, my mother was going to reward us with coconut sugarcake - my favourite!! We had grated the coconut, my brother and I, taking turns, and it was on the stove. We had taken our baths and we were all clean and cute, waiting for this magical treat to come off the stove, cool and set (sugarcake recipe here, for the curious).

We never got the sugarcake and for 2 little kids, this was a tragedy. A crisis! What could have been more important than the sugarcake? We had been good all day. We took our baths without fuss. But after talking to my the neighbour in the front yard, I saw my father put the television on hastily and then he called out to my mother in the kitchen to come quick, leaving me to stir the sugarcake mixture. But she never came back and only told me to turn the stove off. There was this man on television and men surrounding him, with guns, and they were on the Panorama primetime news set - but it was not the regular anchorman. This guy was not smiling nor was he welcoming. And guns!!

When I asked mummy later that evening what a coup was, she told me it was not a good thing. My parents explained to me that the man on television and his men had burst into the Red House - the official house of Parliament - and had taken the Prime Minister and members of the government hostage. They had set fire to the capital and the armed forces were now hastily being called out from wherever they were, to go face this unexpected monster. To some, this episode was thrilling, brought a rush - those who used the opportunity to loot and cart off appliances and clothes, while destroying property, and those who thought it would be a good time, by hosting curfew parties over the next few days.

Port of Spain, Trinidad as it is today
But even as young as I was, it was not fun for me. It became rather scary as I watched my own mother put her uniform on and head to what was now police headquarters, after the main HQ were firebombed and gutted in Port of Spain. I would see her sporadically over the next few days, when she came home to shower, grab a couple hours of sleep and head back. The rumours about the Muslimeen targeting the San Fernando HQ made it hard to sleep. Not even all the fast food we got - a great joy for kids who only got fast food as special treats - could make me feel better.

It was not a good time. The news that the insurrectionists had surrendered some 6 days later brought a huge sigh of relief. The mess of amnesty and the unforeseen release of all 114 men, after the tragic loss of human life and assault to the human spirit was insult to injury.

The world since then has become a truly evil place with many self-involved and delusioned people, taking matters into their own hands, at the expense of the innocent. But even in the darkest hours, the human spirit has the capacity to rise above the madness, narcissism and selfishness of those who seek to create turmoil and  darkness. We find the strength to move ahead. I believe Norway has started on the road to recovery. And twenty-odd years later, on the eve of our history's defining moment, I hope Trinidad and Tobago will learn from past mistakes and find the strength in solidarity.

Pinterest - Pin What???

So when I started using Pinterest, I was like...what the hell is this? How is this supposed to be interesting? What's the point? Who came up with this?

I just could not see the point. But after using it for a while, I have seen the point.

Pinterest is like an online/digital scrapbook, where you can "pin" things that interest you - hence the name. Duh. However, I would describe it as a great resource where I can put together things according to lists so I can go back to them, without having to bookmark them on my toolbar. And my mind is like a sieve these days - I often take a list to the supermarket to avoid catastrophe, like forgetting the macaroni when the plan was to make macaroni pie! This is perfect for me.

So for example, being a broke superstar, there are a lot of things I lust after at the moment that I simply am not in the position to buy right now. So I pin them. God help the retailers when I get a job! Beware!

My Style Pinboard on Pinterest
Another example, let's say I was lucky enough to have some dude get down on one knee and ask to spend the rest of his days with him, then I would need to do the dress, the invites, the honeymoon - all the bridezilla type things. Great tool for bookmarking ideas and stuff you like, and then going back to them to make final decisions.

I have this burning desire to have my own home and make it so me, and while I am not actively looking for ideas, sometimes you just come across things that you find interesting or "you". I say, pin 'em, suckers.

  • Home makeover ideas - pin those ideas.
  • Baby stuff or ideas for nursery - pin those ideas.
  • Books you simply must read one day - pin them.
  • Places you want to visit - pin them.
  • Hairstyle or complete MILF makeover ideas - pin them.
  • Recipes - pin them
  • Clever quotes you want to keep for posterity - pin 'em.
  • Party ideas - pin them
  • Carnival costume choices - pin them
  • Diets to fit into said skimpy Carnival costumes - pin them. lol.
  • Men you wanna date or marry - lol...well, maybe not so much. But hey, don't let me stop you!

As far as I see, if you have something that really rocks your world, and you want one place where you can keep it all together, then why not pin it?

I am not addicted but it can be addictive especially if you are indeed working on a personal project, and you can meet "pinners" with the same interests who may also have fabbo ideas that you can then "re-pin" to your own scrapbook. So there you go! Pinterest, in a few words.

For more step by step Pinterest stuff, visit here.
To follow me on Pinterest, click here.

Saturday Girls' Fun in London

Nature at Kew Gardens
On what was surely the hottest day this city has seen in weeks yes, I was in bed, laptop desk and laptop in full effect, transcribing interviews. Well, one interview. I had done the others during the week and left this one for last as it was the longest and from memory, the most convoluted. Tedious is not the word to describe the process of transcribing interviews. I don't think the word exists. Boring is another simple adjective. Mind numbing. It's not fun. But I finished it....some 7 hours later. Of course this included a lunch break, complete with a re-run of Grey's Anatomy, a snack break, Twitter breaks, supper break etc.

I'm a bit exhausted and my right shoulder and arm hurt, I guess from immobility and all this damn typing. But it's Monday - a new day!

My entire weekend was not crap though. The lovely Cat and I spent Saturday afternoon in Kew Gardens,and despite the chill which bored through my brown body early on, it was a lovely afternoon, with a great friend. With all the bad news this weekend - the Norway tragedy, the death of the ever talented but so troubled Amy Winehouse (huge fan here) - God knows we could use some light!

Kew Gardens is stunning and had it been a sunny day, this would have been just perfect. I highly recommend it, friends when you visit London. It's a great escape from the hustle and bustle and you can spend an entire day there and not get bored by its beauty. Nor from its many non-human residents, including my friend from yesterday's Silent Sunday post.

I will confess though - the Palace tour was amusing, though a bit disappointing. But even if you are scared of heights like I am, still do the Treetop Walkway. It's just as the name suggests - a walk in the trees.

It's back to the academic grind but at least we have the memories...

Silent Sunday: Natural Beauty

Silent Sunday

Can You Handle the Truth about Me?

Happy Friday everybody.

Now I am really terrible with awards. I get so many of these awesome awards from so many great bloggers and then I am so busy or just forget and the awards go unrecognised. I apologise belatedly and in advance. I have received the Versatile Blogger Award from the lovely Chasing Joy. Please go over and visit her blog.

I am supposed to tell you seven things about myself. Well, okay, if you insist!

1. I am one of two kids and I am the oldest. My brother is 4 years younger than I am.

2. I hate milk. I love telling the story my mother told me about how I stopped drinking all types of milk - breastmilk and formula - at age 3 months. She had no choice but to start me on solids, or risk ending up with a dead baby because I was just not having it! To this day, I will not have a glass of milk  - not regular milk anyway. I love soy milk. I live on Silk Vanilla soy milk which I cannot get here!!! Ugh. I will also have regular milk in fun stuff, like ice cream and milkshakes!

3.I love men with a full head of hair. I don't care if it's grey, once it's there. Bald men, I feel for them, but that is not really my problem is it? lol. Note: I have dated bald men, but it just..never worked out. Some of you may think that's really shallow but I have had one man already tell me he does not date women who wear glasses (the absolute horror, those glasses that cannot be taken off). So excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, if a girl wants a full head of hair!

Sundried tomato hummus and rye crackers. Yummers
4. I am the proud auntie of an almost one-year old nephew. Aunties' Day is this Sunday. Need to have a word with the little one!

5. I am hoping to have twins and not have to do that whole pregnancy thing twice. I am one of those women who don't think pregnancy is cute. lol. So while I really would like kids some day, for various reasons, some more sensible and rational and serious than others, I really do have a deep fear of the whole pregnancy thing. That being said, there are two sets of twins on mum's side, including the mum herself and one set on dad's side so there may be a way to have my 2.5 kids without going beserk with fear and angst for 9 months. God help me!

6. I love hummus. I think it's a great summer food. I had some again today, with a bottle of Swedish cider.

7. I attended all girl schools until I left high school at 18. It's not so weird in Trinidad, but something to know. We did not even have male teachers, except for one dude in secondary school and he did not teach me ever.

I'm not going to tag anyone because everyone who reads this blog (well, almost everyone) is awesome. Feel free to take the award and let me know if you do the Q&A. Have a great weekend everybody!

The Great Mother/Non-Mother Divide...and Pyjamas

So someone took offence to this post.  That's fine but I have a few things to say here, because it irks me...irritates me to quote said reader.

I am not a mother. My mother is eager for some more grandkids, but I have other priorities in my life right now. Some of my best friends are parents and I think it is a wonderful thing. Truly beautiful. But...being a mother does not somehow make you better than me. If you are like this, then you are to quote the reader's description of me, superior, snotty and judgemental. I posted this entry because of women like this, who think that populating one's uterus is the key to all understanding. One day, God willing, I will be a mother and I hope to not be like this.

I do not appreciate women like this, who think that their problems are better or worse than a woman with no children. I make no apologies for loving fashion and fabulousity, for wanting to travel and enjoy all that life has to offer. Am I rich? No. Am I spoilt? Hardly. But just as some women love craft, cooking, writing etc, I also have my interests.

My parents, who did not have all the opportunities in the world that my brother and I had, worked hard and raised us so that we would be able to access all these things. My father especially wanted me to be able to access these things without falling into the dependency trap. I had the gift of having the main man ...MAN...in my life tell me that he wanted me to have access to education so I would never have to depend on a man for anything.

I went without a lot to get a lot - I am paying for my Masters degree - tuition of over 11,000quid - out of pocket. Add living expenses, in a very expensive city, and it's a big chunk of my savings - savings I accumulated over the years not from being spoilt or born with some kinda golden spoon, but from doing without. I did without a lot of things. I love fashion, yes, but I don't own a single item of clothing that has an expensive label on it. I buy shoes at Payless, and guess what? I am still frickin' awesome! If you don't think you're awesome enough to pull on a pair of jeans and a clean shirt to go out in public, more power to you.

I live a poor student's life at the moment, in a country that is not mine, away from everything I know and love. I joke about these things because being a bitch about it will get me nowhere and I chose this, just as I am sure you chose to be a mum.

I joke about not being able to afford cheese or buying eggs or sausages on offer. It's hilarious to me how long it takes me to decide whether I will splurge on frickin' sausages. I joke about the 3-4 days I sometimes go, without sleep, so I can finish assignments and do well. I joke about sitting in my room during the day in winter without the heater on because I am mindful that I am living in my cousin's house rent-free and heating is expensive. I joke and gripe about the weather in the UK, where I have been sick and in bed more times than I have been in the rest of my life combined. I have medical issues I don't mention cause that is not really anyone's business. I have commitments and frustrations like anyone else. Before I left my job, my days started at 3.30 every morning and ended at 10, 11 at night. I did this EVERY DAY!!! To get to work on time, to face the music for 8, sometimes 12, sometimes 14 hours.

So don't think because I don't have sick kids or shitty diapers to wash, that my life is perfect and moving along swimmingly. As Trinis would say, yuh farse and bright! I get depressed sometimes but only sometimes because guess what - someone else has it worse than I do. Much worse. I have great friends, great, amazing family and a damn good life. Should I apologise for this?

And because you have a child, like the millions of other women on the planet, somehow you are better than me or your issues more important than mine? I don't think so.

Let me just add something else here - my mother had 2 kids. My parents were both public servants in Trinidad, which means we were not rich. My brother and I got sick like other kids. We had things we wanted and needed like other kids. They had to find money to get these things. And yet, my mother was and is the most beautiful woman I know. She had a very demanding full time job, 2 kids, a house to run, a husband to look after (you know these husbands are the other child in the brood), always had dinner on the table even after a hard day at work, and yet, she was always beautiful. Sometimes she would have to do without so we would have but she was always sharp, well put together and a queen. I never saw my mother leave the house looking less than she was. So lady with a problem, if I think leaving the house without having a shower, walking through the supermarket at 5.30 in the afternoon in your bathrobe is annoying, it is because I saw even with all her frustrations, my mother always looking like class. She could not always go to the hairdresser - I soon learnt the art of applying relaxer to her hair. She could not always buy a new outfit. But she was always taking a moment for herself and keeping herself looking presentable.

My friend who has kids, posted this in response to my question regarding your opinion:
when the babies come, time gets ridulously short. those leisurely hours at the hairdresser, getting mani/pedis simply no longer exist. you get so wrapped up in your role it is easy to let it slip because nothing matters more to you than the... baby at that time. BUT that is all the more reason why you need to take time out and take care of yourself. Its an easy trap to fall in but you have to make yourself a priority too.
I agree that it is too easy a trap to fall into and too easy an excuse to use all the time. My girlfriends have kids. None were privileged, some of them are single mothers and still, they manage to show that being a mother - single or otherwise - does not preclude you from being fabulous. And being fabulous does not mean expensive clothes, heels or makeup. Please read my posts properly before making comments. I go out in jeans and baby tees most of the time but I still think I am the cat's meow. All women, mothers or not, need to make time for themselves.

I am not saying there are not times when mothers will jump out of bed to run out the door, to do whatever - but to use that as an excuse for all eternity is a cop out. If you describe your life as a mess, then maybe it will be a mess. That's the trap my friend is talking about and you have clearly fallen in it. There are so many other mommy bloggers out there, and I am sure they will also agree with you, and don't get me wrong, I know it is the truth. But don't use that as an excuse to get away from having some love for yourself either. Me time, for anybody, is vital. So if I don't agree with you that life is a mess, I am sorry. I prefer to aim higher, despite its challenges.

I imagine motherhood is both rewarding and challenging. So is the rest of life and we non-mums live it as well. Just remember that.

Just a Little Bit of Bling Porn

I heart bling!

Bling. I love bling. I also love shoes and handbags and really great clothes, but I love jewellery. It’s funny that when people think of bling, they think of some tricked out, overly frosted, overdone person. That being said, I really loathe that look – rings on every finger, thick, heavy chains, with obscenely large pendants. It’s a trend especially among black men and it really boils my corn. Note to guys: you look like a drug dealer. Don’t do it.

But back to me. I prefer classic, less intrusive, yet beautiful pieces. You can make a statement without being in-your-face and gaudy.

I also rarely only wear non-yellow pieces. Somehow I never liked the way yellow gold looked against my skin, and always preferred items in silver, white gold or platinum. I would do a 2-toned piece though,  which allows me to keep my other accessory options pretty open.

My favourite purchase was undoubtedly my bling ring, which I bought on a whim one Saturday morning while walking through the mall. It was a rough week at work. I was a bit tired, a bit underwhelmed and there it was. Waiting. For. Me. It was worth every penny. I had to get it sized but other than that, it was made for my finger.

I also love blue, and is it any wonder that my birthstone is blue? So I have been looking forward to my graduation present and in times of blueness (the irony – the colour that makes me happiest is also used to describe sadness), I troll sites looking for bling. I found these gems this morning at Effy awesome store, guys. I also found the soon-to-be-mine watch, cause I could use a new one, from Macy's

The power of the bling! I feel better already!

Wordless Wednesday - Weird Guilty Pleasure

You Should Be Slapped For Doing These

There are no words to describe how boring transcribing is

So working on my dissertation at the moment is…how can I say this? Boring. It’s not fun, kids. It’s tedious. I don’t do tedious. I start daydreaming. I think of random things. And these were the random thoughts today – random things that annoy me to varying extents.
  • I really hate people who leave plastic on new furniture. It really makes me suck my teeth. I mean, how ghetto! You are basically telling me that I am not be trusted on your new sofa, that I am not an adult, but a toddler who cannot keep dirt off your spanking new couch. It’s ghetto. Don’t do it.
  • The same goes to you, car owner, who does the same thing. I also hate the doilies on the head rest. Ghe-tto!
  • I also think it is highly offensive if you offer me a drink in a disposable cup. What? You don’t have a glass?
  • On the other hand, I am extremely grossed out if YOU don’t use a cup. Went to the auto shop once and it was a hot day so the guy politely offered me some water. As you all know, I am a germophobe so imagine my horror to see the 5 sweaty, greasy guys (men I did not know from Adam!!) passing around this water bottle, drinking (slurping) from it, and then pouring my water into a cup from it. I started thinking of ways to dispose of this liquid cause there was no way…

  • This is a real killer for me, but I hate sloppy eaters and greedy eaters. I got into an argument with a dude about this recently. It is torture going out to dinner with him or having lunch at his house. He does not eat. He mows the plate. While I appreciate that you are enjoying that curry or that you absolutely love my cooking, can you do it with a bit more restraint and some grace? If he could lick the plate, he would. I sat in disturbed silence for weeks, as he smacked his lips loudly and greedily at every single meal, before I just could not take it anymore. Needless to say, it did not end well. Lol.
  • Love my relatives, but how do you come home from work, not even change out of the clothes you been vamping in all day, and just head straight for the tv and proceed to sit there for HOURSSSSSS???
  • I hate people who also like to pretend they are always in the know. It is impossible to know everything that is happening. Don’t fake it. You’re annoying. This also applies to name-droppers. You’re super lame. Don’t do it.
  • My ISP is annoying right now cause the internet service is atrocious tonight and I fear it will go on for 2 weeks like last time.
  • I also dislike immensely transcribing dissertation interviews.

When a Bra is NOT sexy

Plastic bra straps are a NO! Just don't do it!
This video (below) on being sexy, without being slutty, was too funny. But behind every joke there is always some level of seriousness. I agree with the four rules described in the video -

  • show either legs or cleavage, not both
  • draw attention to your best feature with accessories,
  • don't wear very tight clothes but
  • the NUMBER ONE rule - don't show your bra straps!

I cannot tell you how this annoys me. So you get out the shower, spend an hour or so of your life fixing your hair and your mascara, then you pick out your best strappy or strapless summer top, and then negate all that by wearing the wrong bra! It looks sloppy. It is the female version of men wearing pants that hang off their ass, thus showing their underwear. I don't even show my bra straps in the privacy of my own home. Worse, if the bra you are so intent on showing off is old, dingy and frowsy looking. Why would you want to show the world your dingy bra? Keep that under wraps! Please!

And let me emphasise, PLASTIC bra straps are not where it's at either and this is where I 100% agreed with the video. They are probably the worst idea ever concocted. Who thought wearing a bra with a cheap clear plastic strap was fashion-forward? Really? Ladies, the cheap plastic strap is simply clear. It is not invisible, which means I can still see it. My advice - spend a little money and invest in a good and reliable strapless bra. It took me a long time to find one that really worked for me, but when I found it, I made the investment. There are also different cuts of bra, with adjustable straps for different types of tops - racer back, low cut backs, etc. You can proudly wear your tube or halter tops this summer (well, not in England!!!), with a good bra!!!

A Squashed Social Life

When I woke up this morning, it was not good. Not good at all. I dragged myself to the bathroom, took a shower and went down to get myself some breakfast so I could pump drugs into my system. I am funny like that. Not about pumping drugs into my system, but about breakfast. I cannot, most times, eat breakfast without first having a shower. I guess I can add that to my list of neuroses - must be clean to eat a bagel. It's not as bad as all that. I have had breakfast in my jammies, but it's one of those meals I don't have as often as I would like, and it's also one of those meals that you can, when you do have time to have it, lounge about and relax - read the paper, read blogs, watch a little tv, etc. In any event, I don't like sitting around all morning in post-wake up mode - wake up face etc. Once I have rolled out of that bed, I like to have my shower first thing!

Anyway, despite feeling like rubbish, I still managed to do the house bunny type things. I cut up bits of dead chicken, seasoned and left to marinate, chopped veggies, and made not one, but 2 awe-inspiring meals - pelau and roasted butternut squash soup. The former I knew I could not stomach today with my poor tummy in knots, but which would be lunch/dinner for the rest of the week and it would be better to do everything today so I would not have to face the nightmare of cooking a second time this week. The latter, which I have been craving for weeks and which goes well with the crummy weather and crummy tummy, turned out pretty fabulous if I say so myself.

I was up until 4 this morning transcribing, and still managed to roll off the bed at 8.45, so I am pretty wiped out, especially after all the cooking and cleaning. I have not left the house since Friday and even though I am not feeling well, I sure as hell am looking forward to getting out this house tomorrow. I hope that's still on - no word yet from the tomorrow planner. But rain or shine, I am outta this dungeon.

One major plus of London over Trinidad is that the vast majority of my friends are all single, which makes going out more fun. Once upon a time, my friends back home were single and we would be out and about, enjoying life.

Then came men and marriage and babies and death sentence. Death sentence you say? Well, maybe that is being overly dramatic but while I recognise that life changes after marriage and I accept this - and would not really want to be friends with young mothers who stumble out of nightclubs drunk and disorderly after 3 in the morning - life really just ended. More so for the single friend. lol. Me.

Life definitely changed. For them - it probably changed for the better. For me - not so much. I think this is where my independent streak started - doing stuff I liked doing, no matter what. Going boldly where no cute Trininista had gone before...and on my own. It has made me bolder and more adventurous in some ways and more open to stuff I would not have done before while swathed in the normalcy of girlfriendhood.

Now my girlfriends had husbands and babies and somehow, despite our best efforts, we just did not do things together anymore that often - not even sister neutral things - things both the wives/mummies and the unencumbered single friend could do and enjoy. No resentment, but I just needed to fix my mix in my own way because life was still hurtling along - with or without them.

Still, it's always more fun to have buddies to share your interests with - even if you have to do them in the rain.  Thanks, London.

Why I'm a Great Catch

I was having a chat with a friend of the male variety last night, over some hummus (I love that I can just go to Tesco and buy any variety I want without having to make it myself), and he asked the million dollar question: Why are you single? Well, buddy, if I could give you an answer, I would have. I can probably say maybe it's my bad habit of rolling my eyes at men who try to impress me, or the fact that I don't tolerate nonsense, or the fact that I don't like bald or balding men which seems to be the norm here (snicker). But he did point out why I was a great catch, in his own funny "man" way.

The obvious - I'm cute. I won't go on too much about this for fear of being called vain. But I am.

Again, not going to expound but I am also smart and hella funny.

I love sports. I do. I love watching sports and going to watch sports. During the World Cup, if you are not a football fan, you are persona non grata in my life. Yes, I can appreciate the male form, but I also do appreciate the game. However, there has to be some balance as well. While I complain about my cousin watching football for hours on end, this is only because it interrupted productive student life. I also find something very pathetic about anyone who will sit for hours and hours and hours watching sports, or tv in general, when life is happening around them. It's the same way I feel about people married to their smartphones, Twitter etc. Go out...do something. But anyway, guys like a woman who not only loves sports but can appreciate THEIR love for sports. So when they are watching basketball or football, the woman understands why they don't want to snuggle at that exact moment. lol.

One of my many masterpieces
I'm a great cook. I love how he said this as he munched on store bought hummus. lol. There is immense truth in the saying, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I have spun my magic web around the fragile consciousness of male homosapiens just by twirling my pot spoon. I need to take greater advantage of this magic power.

I appreciate other people's space. I love having my "me" time and in the same vein, I appreciate the other person's space as well. I have seen too many girlfriends who do not give a guy a chance to breathe - always calling, nagging. My cousin had one of his typical boys' nights here and one of the girlfriends came over - uninvited. Why, honey? Don't you see there are only men here? What was even more annoying, somehow I was left to "babysit" this twit when all I wanted to do was watch my chick flick in the other room. By myself. Clinginess, on either side, is never cute.

To add to the above, I have my own interests and I am independent. Some men say they want an independent woman and then cannot deal with all that entails, but my friend pointed out that generally, the fact that I have my built a life and I am not obviously desperate to find a man is apparently attractive. My female relatives, in their sweet, old school way, would have me believe that marriage is the answer to all my problems. Getting a Master's degree and moving along in my chosen field, buying my own house, travelling - not so important to them. lol.

I am the anti-hoochie mama. Sure, I get upset and angry about stuff, but you will never see me doing a "Maury" in public or even in private. You know what a Maury is - a crazed woman who starts cussing, scratching, throwing things, having to be physically restrained from physically hurting the man. No. Or doing a Lifetime - the woman who starts crying and acting hysterical for no good reason. Yeah. That's not me. I stay pretty calm during disagreements. I think that is scarier - sitting and smiling at them, because then they go to bed with one eye open. lol. But seriously, I have crossed the threshold of teenaged behaviour. I believe there are definitely more grown-up ways of facing conflict. Yet I have seen women in my age bracket and older, who just simply act a fool, and then wonder, why the man vex!!!

All this however does not really help me at this point. But the hummus was amazing. I love hummus. Now, that's a great catch! The dude who can bring me hummus! lol.

Maxi Friday

Earlier this week, with some inspiration from the awesome CP, I bravely wore one of my maxi dresses out and about in London. Since "summer" began, I had not worn any dresses because the weather has been less than summery. I had worn one earlier - in April - when the weather was well and truly hot. However, the erratic summer has not instilled any confidence in me. But I have decided to give the other dresses some coverage and today is slated to be a stunner of a day so will go spend some time outdoors and out of jeans.

I love this dress because it is comfy, has a full, floor length skirt, and most important, it is low maintenance - it did not cost much so I feel free to roll around in it. Add a cute belt and simple accessories and a matching shrug, and I am ready to roll.

And of course - Flip flops!

Happy Friday everyone!!

140 characters will never be enough...

Retweeted the truth this afternoon:
Step away from social media. Real life is more important.
I am online a lot only cause I am on my laptop a lot. I am currently in the throes of the joys of interview transcription and God knows I could use a distraction from that.  But I don't have this overwhelming sensation to tweet all day or do a gazillion challenges or try every new thing. Sometimes I actually get bored with it. Honestly. Sometimes I don't want to blog, or tweet or update. The days I don't want to blog, I don't blog. And it's okay to not want to. I think it's great when you don't force it or make it happen because you think someone will miss it. I am sure noone misses it. I love going out, having a life and maybe blogging about it. I don't blog about everything I do either. Hardly. I love the convenience of online interaction, but cherish the richness of offline adventures and relationships, without the intrusion of online tricks.

I wrote this last year in  my other blog:
I remember the days when you could go to dinner with your girlfriends or go to the mall or take a nap, without a camera phone in your face. You would get home and not have to worry that already you had been tagged by Mary in 8 photos. Life used to be so simple then. You socialised without socialisingThat is, you went out and enjoyed the concept of going out and catching up and having a good time and did not get lost in the tomorrow of "I need to share this with my network" or "This will make a great profile photo". These days Facebook does not even need an invitation or to RSVP. It's the ultimate stormer, wedding crasher and boldfaced guest...
...I don't sit at the dinner table with my smartphone checking tweets or emails. I like looking into the faces of friends and hearing their laughter and being wholly part of the moment. And if I don't have tons of photos to remember the occasion, or some means to let my network know that the steak was spectacular, that's okay. 

It really is. Okay. I love this video as well. Is this you?

Trini Fabulousity Hits Project Runway

Trini girl, Anya Ayoung Chee
Photo credit: Project Runway/Lifetime
One of the shows I would not miss when I was back home, was Project Runway. Loved the show. It was fashion, but without being annoying (can someone say America's Next Top Model and Tyra Banks? Wow...that Tyra was really in love with herself).

So to learn recently that this season, there would be a Trini among the 20 new designers - totally fabulish.

Look out for Anya Ayoung-Chee on Season 9. Anya represented Trinidad and Tobago at the Miss Universe competition in 2008, and then really focused on her passion for fashion, making a name for herself in Trinidad and Tobago with her own line, Pilar by Anya.

I am excited to see how she will translate her very unique fashion style and love for bold prints to this season. Very excited. Best of luck to her!

 The new season starts on July 28 at 9pm, on Lifetime.

And I am just totally in love with the maxi dress she is wearing in her promotional photo. Oh...stop stop!

Wordless Wednesday: Summer Cherry Love

Thinking about the Afterlife (lol)

I am sitting in my room, desperately trying not to cry over my dissertation (well, maybe "cry" is an exaggeration, but I am in slight panic mode) which is always at the top of my mind. If you think going out is at the top of my mind, you are very wrong.  I go out to actually forget about the challenges I am facing with this dissertation. I doubt I am supposed to sit and sulk in my room about it when that changes nothing.

Anyway...I am keeping positive and I have had 30% success this morning, after yet another all nighter, stalking potential respondents and getting some early feedback, which are still bold MAYBEs, but better than definite NOs.

Then in the middle of the ever boring and tedious task of transcribing interviews, I started thinking about the afterlife. Not THE afterlife but life after my Master's, because there are definitely some things I am looking forward to.

Warm weather and sunshine. The morning chill, the midday chill, the afternoon chill, the evening chill, the night chill. And the dreariness. The gloom. Not fun. Yesterday was not too bad actually. I boldly left the house in a strapless maxi dress (with a shrug in hand of course), even though I was not sure how long the sun would last but I said, screw it...the dress is just taking up space and not being worn, so might as well risk it. Good decision all round!

Shopping trip - I was looking at old Miami and NY photos last night, and checking out the stock at my favourite retailers. lol. Shoot me. I love it. I cannot wait to get a good shopping trip under my belt. And not just that but it also incorporates travel, vacation, meeting up with friends - all in one shot!

Dinner party - I love entertaining and love having friends over. I am so going to have a graduation do once this is over and have my people over to celebrate my triumph over academia and student life madness. I can actually focus on cooking again, in the way that I like - trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen and entertaining and having fun and catching up. I really miss that. It's not quite the same when you're trying to save money and time.

Personal space - There is definitely something to be said about one's comfort level being back in one's own house. I miss my own bed, my environment, my bathroom. My Glade Plug-Ins and scented candles. lol. Living with a man is not always a winning situation. The smell of football socks and other such rank odours are not smells I may soon forget but I know I will NOT miss it.

Getting a cute someone in my life - A month ago, in an email to my friend, Nic, I wrote (Nic is Trini like myself so the email was in full blown Trini. I have not made any edits):

"I fed up with man though. They annoying. If I could, I would be down by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home adopting a lil dog to love. They cute, just need food and an ear rub and they doh answer back, and unless is a pitbull, they doh kill yuh either."

I really do miss having a dog and after having my own little princess dognapped almost 4 years ago, I never replaced her. Being here, in Dog Happy England, and being surrounded by the cuteness, I have finally decided I want a cute doggie in my life once more. I think I have suffered enough. So while the household has 2 dogs, whose main job is allegedly to protect the premises (what a laugh!), I want MY dog. My baby - to cuddle with and take on drives and greet me when I come home from work.

And just general well being. Sure there will be job stress and other such life challenges, but I am just ready to put this school thing behind me. Soon. Positive thoughts today!

Fashion Musings by Trininista

Yesterday's day out sparked a few OMG moments in my rational fashion mind and I just wanted to express just a few fashion musings today.

1. Try as much as possible to always put on a great show...or at least a decent show.

I love colour contrasts. You should too.
Looking good should not just be because you want to impress someone. It should be about how you feel and about feeling good about yourself. So even if you don't have a date, or you're not meeting anyone or going anywhere in particular, one should always aim to feel good about the way one looks. Aim for hotness, based on what hotness means to you. I don't know how many times I have to say this. Once. Twice.

When I got dressed yesterday morning, I had no idea I would eventually meet up with someone. I chose a t-shirt in my favourite colour (looking at my blog, do you need to ask what that is?), a pair of jeans and cute blue denim pumps. I accessorised with a blue pashmina and as the sun peeked out for a couple minutes, I used shades of green (MAC Greensmoke) and blue (Sacha blue something) on my eyes with just a touch of mascara (never leave home without it!). The end result was not Trinidad's Next Top Model but it was me and I was happy with it and felt I looked cute. So when with 5 minutes to catch my train, I got the text with my friend (a man) agreeing to meet me for ice cream, I was not scrambling to change into something presentable. And...I got a compliment, and coming from this dude - major win!

2. Don't be afraid of accessories.

One of my fave bracelets ever
You may think you can't pull off some of the summer styles, or may be a very easygoing, laid back kinda gal. I love comfort. Jeans, baby tee and flip flops. But you can always glam even the most middle of the road outfit and make it unique to you. Don't be afraid of scarves or cute hair accessories. Don't be afraid of big or colourful pieces of jewellry. Make them your signature pieces. A great necklace or bracelet can punch up any ole t-shirt. I have a cheap green t-shirt that I love wearing (i.e. beat to death) and usually pair it with jeans and gold coloured flip flops. For that reason, I add a great bracelet with it.

Yes. I wore blue twice yesterday. Bite me!
But don't overdo it either. My rule of thumb is, if the ears are busy, keep the neck free and vice versa - if you are going to wear a bold necklace, wear simple earrings. So I busied up the ears with these earrings last night and left my neck bare, but added a bold bracelet. I saw too many women with too many things going on last night - chandileer earrings with bold necklaces and huge rings and a million bracelets and let's not talk about the makeup...

3. Or let's. The makeup.

Gonna keep this one real simple. This may not be your bag of tea but it works for me. If, God help you, you are going to do a really heavy eye, like a smokey eye, don't add insult to the face with a bold, garish lip. A soft gloss would suffice. The bat wings aka fake eyelashes AND a neon lip just...wow...I am surprised these girls have significant others.

4. Please dress for your body

While I totally advocate hotness across the board, please understand that hot does not mean tight, revealing or short. You can look totally smokin' in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, with some flip flops (I have convinced myself of this). It's all about the way you carry the outfit and yourself. And while I am not myself a skinny minny and I think beauty has nothing to do with dress size, it does have to do with dressing to fit your body. For example: Ladies, if your breasts require a size 36D bra, please do not try to squeeze those suckers into a 36C. I cannot tell you how much boob spillage I saw yesterday alone. Isn't that uncomfortable?

5. Heels

I love heels. I mean,duh...my blog title says it all. However, I am also practical. Last night, despite modern convention, I wore a pair of flat pumps to a night out in the club. This after too many hellish London nights, trying to find bus stops etc and my feet screaming in heels. So I left the heels in the cupboard and bravely wore my black flats. They were cute, stylish and went nicely with my pants. Guess what? Noone cared. Not the person I went with, not the people in the club. In Trinidad, where I owned a car and would just need to walk from the car park to the venue, heels on a night out were not an issue. Here, where everywhere entails a proper walk, and where last night, I spent about 15 minutes looking for the rahtid bus stop, flat (cute) shoes were required. I was happy to see other sexy ladies rocking the summer sandals and low heeled pumps and also quite amused to see the skyscraper heels and the women who sat all night in them. I mean, why come to a club if you're going to sit, sour-faced all night, and then quarrel with your boyfriend or husband because he did not drive and you now have to face the walk to catch your night bus?

That's it for today. I get these sudden urges to speak out against the atrocities I witness sometimes.

The "Me" Day That Wasn't

The official mascot for my blog - Pablo!
Firstly, special thanks to EVERYONE who visited me and commented on my blog on my SITS Day. I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I was by your kind words about my little old blog. I have been really trying to visit everyone who commented/followed but it is a work in progress.If you have not seen me on your blog yet, have no fear - I will get there. Eventually. But thank you! I feel very blessed.

The plan yesterday was to have a quiet day with myself. I woke up late, took a shower, had grilled cheese on an onion bagel with some sorrel, and then looked up the trains I would need to get to Leicester Square to meet this overwhelming craving I have been having for Haagen Dazs. I had already packed my book, which was a freebie cause I am being asked to review it and freeness is and always will be a huge plus in poor student world.

I certainly, based on what I have read so far, recommend it

However, in the middle of my bagel, I got a text and then somehow invited this guy on my ice cream run. So we met and I ordered my Chocolate Waffle with extra whipped cream, cause yes, Valerie, I am bad ass! lol.

I think I had an orgasm after the first bite. God, I am so easy! I did struggle to eat it all though. Got some help.

We talked, and laughed and then the sun came out (eerie).

The plan after that was to just go to Tesco, make my groceries, head home, have dinner and get back to my book. My cousin was going to be out and I would have the house to myself. That did not happen either. We ended walking through Covent Garden, I tortured myself by trying on jewellry I simply cannot afford but which looked ravishing on me nonetheless, and taking in the quirky sights and sounds of the market.

The plan was further decapitated when after said Tesco stop, somehow I found myself dressing for a party and heading out the door, never coming back in until 4.30am*. The book is sitting on the bed, laughing at me.

Am I complaining? Hardly. I had a good time. Dude had a good time and was a good sport cause it was  mostly Caribbean music (of course) and Caribbean people, and he was very at ease in the midst of the bacchanal. I can have my me time today. The house is empty again and the book is next to me. And I probably should not answer any text messages today.

*Of course, I had to face my greatest nightmare which is having to take the night bus. I think the world knows I HATE the night bus, but luckily I had company. Still, it did not make it any less revolting. The young woman 2 seats ahead of me - if you cannot hold your liquor honey, don't drink. She was a total mess and sick too. She proceeded to "light" up my life and the bus, when she threw up in a bag. She then placed said bag on her lap, at which point it started to leak...all over her hands, her dress...and the floor! Her friends then proceeded to double bag the mess, but not before spilling some more of her puke all over the floor. I almost had to do a long jump over the mess to get off the bus. I kept saying to myself - I miss my car...I miss my car...I miss my car. 

Single and Fabulous?

Single and Fabulous? Is it possible to be both?
Hell yeah!
This evening, I was watching some simply prehistoric episodes of Sex and The City. This episode, "They Shoot Single People, Don't They?" was not only amusing but I am sure so many single people can relate. Carrie agrees to do a shoot for a cover story, and she has a late night and gets to the studio disheveled and ungroomed, but the photographer promises her she is just taking test shots.

Instead what ends up on the cover is a photo of a weary, frazzled looking, chain smoking train wreck, with the caption - Single and Fabulous??

I am not sure where the conspiracy began or who started it, but single people are not on the brink of destruction. Nor do we need rescuing or curing from this incurable disease known as singledom or spinsterhood as some may like to call it. There are many tired and lame stereotypes of single women especially that single women tend to be:

  • Lonely
  • Bitter
  • Aimless
  • Promiscuous
  • Confused
  • Incomplete

...and the list goes on.

I don't think single women need saving. I think sometimes society and some of the social norms push us into a corner and single women are somehow not supposed to be happy or feel fulfilled because they do not have a husband or a brood of kids. The lives we live, even if fulfilling to us personally, is never enough for the world in which we live. Careers and leisure and other pursuits somehow don't mean much to some. We have been brainwashed into believing that life does not really get going until you're hitched, but if your 30s come along and you're still not married - will you wait forever to start living? And while loneliness affects single women, guess what? Married women and women in relationships also feel lonely, even within the confines of marriage which is supposed to be a union of two souls. Loneliness is not limited to single people - or men or women. It strikes anyone at anytime and in any circumstances.

So why is it hard then for some to think that one can be single and fabulous? Maybe I am biased but I always thought being single was fabulous, having its own perks as does marriage and motherhood. There are pros and cons to every state of life. Husbands come in pretty handy when work life gets tough or you need a foot rub or a cinema buddy. Single women can wake up and jump on a plane and just go - no worries about babysitters, husbands etc.

It works both ways. So I denounce the question mark in the caption. Single and Fabulous?? Of course! Single and Fabulous!

Wordless Wednesday: Happiness in a Box

Bliss. It takes very little to make me happy!

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