Category Archives: UK

Fashion Innit ?!


Class by no other word!I realised after 2 years “blogging” (I really hate this term) that I have never EVER written anything about fashion… Now I am no fashion writer, but I suppose in my area (graphic design), if you dress like a weirdo, then you are not booking the client. So, what can I say about fashion?

For me, it is all about quality and a few keys pieces. I will add, that if I was richer, then I would be able to afford tons of clothes, but I am not, so I prefer to cherry pick my favourite brands and pieces. First off, my new obsession… and I mean obsession is “The Orphan Arms”. What I love love LOVE with this brand, is the fact that it is NOT made in China (hurrah!), made by hand and the designs are really what makes Britain! For me, it is not over feminine,  which suits my personality. I don’t wear pink, high heels every day, and I am not a big accessory person either. I like to keep it simple and casual. I usually pair my super cool Orphan Arms sweater, with a nifty little silver necklace, discreet, a pair of skinny jeans (various colours) and a pair of high top sneakers, or ballet flats. With that a lovely duffle coat, old school wooly hat and a scarf my mummy made and voila… here is Roxy’s new look!

For the moment I only have three pieces from them, but bit by bit I shall be adding to the collection!

 

So go shopping!!! NOW!!!

 

THE ORPHAN’S ARMSLOVE!

www.theorphansarms.com

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Filed under Culture, Europe, Fashion, Happiness, Love, NEW!, Society, UK

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with “C”… haven’t got it ? Okay… it’s a cheater !


Now, I am not one to comment on “gossip”, mainly because I like to think it’s beneath me (but who’s kidding, nothing is really beneath human nature). But, since I am a “woman of the world”, I shall comment on a “new fashion” shall I say?

“cheating”

I am lucky enough to come from a non divorced background, so I have (as some psychologists say) a good chance of recreating this same “mating pattern”, or at least be more optimistic about finding “true love” and what comes with that particular territory. In any case, my values have always been that you should not do to others what you wouldn’t do to yourself. In this case, I shall not fuck myself over, and thus not fuck others over. And so is my mantra. I am definitely not perfect (my bank account can credit to that statement), but in a lot of domaines, I have (sadly) sacrificed sometimes short “pleasures” (shall we say) for the greater good (or for my own self respect and/or better prospects) in the search for “something better”. Now… true, I will admit to never (yes NEVER) being in a LOOOOOOONG term relationship. No. Not me. Oh well. But, for my defence, I travel a bit too much, I’m very choosy and… I know that I’m worth more than just a “guy” to keep me entertained. Being very independent doesn’t always help either. I’m an only child (thus accustomed to my own company for long periods of time), and also fairly bright (I have been told?!)… and as a feminist, I know that a woman shouldn’t settle for any old “joe”. I have always said that you should do good, and not being religious (my defence being that religion has caused many more deaths (through history) than saved and that I don’t need God to live my life) I do (sort of) believe in “karma”… in that if you do good, you get good in your life (nothing is 100% obviously) and if you do bad, there is a sort of… balance…

Let’s get back on point.

I don’t want to give the example which influenced my desire to post on this topic (for the second time no doubt!) but cheating seems to be back with a vengeance. Many in the press say that the victim is “humiliated”. But I can’t help but say… really? It isn’t “him/her” that is… I would hold my head up high, yes I was cuckolded… but… I am not the one who did bad… so why should I run? I mean cry, sure, shout a bit, swear, scream… go for it, but no way would I feel humiliated or ashamed. For one thing, I’d probably go and get myself 2 or 3 bottles of whisky, a couple of bottles of diet coke and a game of Twister, invite some friends over, but on some Queen tracks and get drunk. I’d try and smile, I’d make a few fart jokes and watch some trashy TV. I think I’d also do some internet shopping (you know… ahem to… feel good…). All I can say, is the importance is actually to be the victim and not the cheater… because the victim always has their morals, and when you’re single, it’s better to have them that be on the dating scene where everyone knows you’re a cheater (who want’s to date someone who they know is going to cheat on them?).

So, to end I shall send a mini warning :

“If you cheat, be prepared to feel like shit”

Alright?

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Filed under Clichés, Europe, Hate!, Men vs. Women, Risk, Sadness, Society, Sorry, UK, USA

European Dating Update !


 

So... what do you want to do?

I know. I’m single. So you’re probably thinking I am not the best candidate to be giving out advice. Well you can eat your words, because I must be amazing… because last night someone came up to me, asked for my number and we even discuss world finance ! Now… I shall be honest, he was an overweight Iranian late thirty year old… so not exactly my “dream demographic” and yet… no no I’m joking! I did NOT go there! I had to pretend I was dating someone, but it shows that we British/French girls have got in “goin’ on baby”!

In any case, as many of my readers will noticed (all three of you!) one of my most popular posts is about European Dating! And I may say, many a google search engine has sent the lucky internet surfer on my blog! So… here is an update on the subject!

Lately… I have been traveling a lot less (too much work!) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t met the fellow European… or other people or the world! So here goes…

1) The French… I wouldn’t say the French are my speciality… but I do live here and have had the chance of dating a fair few! What are they like you may ask? I would say… mmm… there are two ways of handling a Frog. Being up front is probably the best possible game to play… either say you want… say a “sex friend” (“plan cul” in French by the way) or say you would like to see where this goes. That said, I am and have been always a very passionate person, so when I like someone, he generally knows it! But… since that technique hasn’t exactly been working in my favour, I’ve starting playing games… and I’m sad to say that it is working (argh damn you Jan Austin!). I’ve been playing it cool, been very “peace and love” and it’s working. He is running after me. I am doing less work that usual. It’s a strange feeling. But hey, if the shoes fits! I suppose another way to get a Frenchie would be sex. No, I know there’s no surprise there, but the french love it. I think they are literally obsessed. That said… I wouldn’t recommend using your body to get a man… I don’t believe it really works that well, unless you want to be perceived as a whore… and that’s fine… but I don’t think it works for everyone!

2) The British… I really don’t have very much experience with these guys. I think they like really loose, honest women. :-/

3) The Spanish… I actually really like Spanish guys. They are usually bright, funny and honest guys. That said, you can’t generalize but I have always enjoyed their company. Very laid back guys, and to be honest I feel that these are the guys you can really be yourself with… whereas the French are pretty judgemental (clothes and money), the Spanish don’t see to really care about the way you dress or things like that. I mean, I am sure that some people are of course, but I haven’t met any.

4) Moroccan/Algerian guys… are very upfront. I can’t say there is much romance here. If you want to snag the north african man, not much game playing or flirting is needed. Tell them what you want and it’s a done deal.

That’s all for today I’m afraid… I have work to do (and I really want to take a nap!).

ps: To get any guy, alcohol, pizza and sexy clothes usually work. 🙂

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Filed under Alcohol, Clichés, Europe, France, Men vs. Women, North Africa, Spain, UK

Snow and Why it Sucks


As usual when the christmas season arrives, most people take this as an opportunity to praise the amazingness of snow. These people are utter idiots and here is why. Snow is a wet, cold substance that when it comes into contact with heat, melts. It falls from the sky at exactly 0° annnnnd is rumoured to make children very happy. It is also useful when enjoying so called “winter sports” and various “snow like activities”. It also is a figure that is deemed “christmassy” and is a common theme found in cards during the holiday season. This is how this “substance” is perceived by the public.

THEY ARE MISTAKEN.

Snow is neither a “happy” outcome of the bad and cold weather. It is a pain in the arse. Snow only appeals to those who never have any where they live… or to those who live sufficiently far away to not be obliged to have to live with it on a daily basis, ie: a person who lives in Toulouse may LOVE the snow and enjoy going snowboarding… and yet doesn’t live in a place which say, like living in the Pyrenees mountains, would have much snow, (thus not having to live with the disadvantages of snow). This person may enjoy snowboarding… but doesn’t realise that there is such thing as having “too much snow”.

I know what it means (now at least) to have “too much snow”.

– Too much snow is… not being able to drive from A to B because between these two spaces… a tree has fallen down and no one has moved it.

– Too much snow is… being too cold (and thus too lazy) to go out and get food at the shop (so you eat very random meals such as pasta with tikka masala sauce (really not that tasty), tinned peaches with stale bread (also not that great) and tea with out milk (and to all British people the world over, this is a travesty).

– Too much snow is… having to dress up like the Michelin man every time you leave your dingy (yes… snow = winter THUS = less sunlight, and in my situation also means light-bulbs have also given up hope and I being lazy (cf: example 2) have not bought any new ones.

– Too much snow is… annoying when you have to wear boots that are not always that good when coming into contact with a wet, slippery surface (and thus falling down, to the amusement I have now discovered of the Swedish population).

– Too much snow… is spending your evenings cooped up inside because there is sweet F-A to do (because of example 2 again).

– Too much snow… is having to clear a path everywhere and also having to hold on to railings when walking down stairs in case you might DIE because of the risk of said “neck braking” incidents.

– Too much snow… is just an average pain in the arse because people seem to think its not “ok” to through balls of this horrible substance at you, and this in the name of “good old fashioned (and now deemed “wholesome”) fun”. No… you can keep you snow and it’s clichéd vision of winter. Snow is great when you’re inside, warm and eating mince pies and looking out of a window. Preferable with the lingering idea of never having to leave said “house” for a long period of time (i’d recommened the whole winter season to be on the safe side).

Not to mention the risk of ILLNESS when coming in contact with this wet, cold and slippery substance. People don’t warn people enough on the dangers of snow. When mummies little darlings are outside rolling around in the snow making snow angels and what not… they don’t realise in their innocence that they are in fact rolling in a danger zone for insects, excrement, bacteria… and of course the cold (which brings deceases that KILL (cf: the flu! Ok well maybe not as much any more… but it still kills old people and weaklings!).

I will concede that this rant has taken the form of a sort of soliloquy BUT in my defence… I am in Sweden where it is undoubtably cold, wet and snowing and I can’t say this is reminiscent of any “happy memories” concerning snow (apart from the occasional seasonal card with “snow” on it). That said, I have joined in on the “snow fun” on wordpress by making my blog “snow” (but only until January 4th that is). Why do I hear you saying at your computer? Well, because THIS snow is digital. It does not bring me any of the disadvantages of real snow, and yet it keeps what the lamen call  “a Christmassy feel” etc.

Having grown up in London, where “snow” (if you can call it that) is a sludgy greyish substance that you see maybe once or twice every two to three years, I didn’t generally associate snow with christmas and the winter season. Now, living in Sweden (but having may I add the same problem in the Pyrenees mountains) snow is an occupational hasard I could gladly live without. The extreme cold I can live with… snow… not so much. I neither snowboard, ski, or play in the snow. I merely look at it through my window with disdain while I see people trudge to university or to the shops for milk.

Does everyone enjoy snow really? Are those who enjoy snow those who never have it or those who in fact come into contact with it often?

A friend from India once said that she was “jealous” that I was surrounded by snow… I on the other hand was more objective saying that I didn’t mind snow in small quantities… but neither did I envy the heat she was accustomed to in India. Are we ever satisfied with what we have? Which leads me to wonder if some people will “enjoy” the change in temperature that the world is coming into contact with due to climat change. Of course the outcome is much different. The reheating of the planet melts more icebergs… which raises the sea levels… which then return floods certains very large areas (like the shores of Bangladesh for example). Thus giving us less living space for an increasingly large population (and thus less growing space for food and meat) and there are even more ecological aspects to take into account such as the inevitable loss of certain plant, animal species for example.

This is undoubtably another subjects… which leads me to say… (and I hate to admit it)… let’s leave the snow in Sweden (and where it’s meant to be) and instead find better ways to deal with the discomfort (at least for moi!) of having to live with it… all the while not polluting (would be good too).

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Filed under Asia, Bangladesh, Cold, Environment, Europe, France, Hate!, India, Politics, Sadness, Sweden, Travel, UK

Souvenir Shops & Clichés…


Yeah... right!?

Anyone been to a souvenir shop lately? Notice anything strange? The insane amount of crap sound is undoubtably a common part, but apart from the inane amount of boring and repetitive postcards, what else can you see?

CLICHÉS

Seriously you do though. Now, at the moment I’m in Stockholm, so i’ll concentrate on the souvenir shops here. Well, I was surprised, although when I think about it, I shouldn’t be, by the amount of Viking memorabilia, but also (for some reason) elves and hairy goblins Why? I don’t get it. That said, I can’t say I know everything about Sweden and it’s history, so maybe they do have a very… mythical and legendary past? I mean sure, I’m not an ignoramus, I have heard of the legends of Thor etc. But… I don’t really see where the elves and goblins come in. Anyway, the shops I have been to have rows and rows of miniature hairy vikings (which is a GIANT cliché in itself) and goblins with hats and shit.

But you see, people buy this crap… so I’m not surprised they still sell this stuff. The souvenir shop sells clichés. That’s the point. I mean objectively when I come and visit a country, I don’t to bring back some random object. I want what I would call a “typical Swedish ________”. So I suppose we can’t be too angry with souvenir shops (why someone would want to buy a plate with the Swedish Royal family is unclear to me, but hey… maybe I’m the one with bad taste?!) but we can, well I am at least at a loss why souvenir shops have started… to… sell… random… crap.

I mean, let’s be honest… if I’ve made the trip to say… mmm Sweden… tell me, why should I go buy a Tupperware box? Or mmm let’s see a postcard with the tour eiffel on it? Or a poster with the Coca-Cola logo on it? I personally don’t get it. Tupperware can be bought practically, if not everywhere in the world, a post card of the Tour Eiffel? Why? Who would go to Stockholm and send a post card with the Eiffel Tower on it? And… mmm I’m in Stockholm, not Atlanta (Georgia, USA)… so what’s with the Coca-Cola merchandise? You don’t get it either? Yeah, neither do I.

I can’t help going to souvenir shops and looking at the shit they sell, I mean come on… who doesn’t want to try a fake Viking helmet on and have a pretend sword fight? I sure do. But to go as far as buying one of those lame hats… maybe not.

Now I’m not Swedish, so I don’t know how they feel about the souvenir shops in their country, but being an Anglo-French person… I HATE going to souvenir shops in… say London and looking at the crap foreigners buy. I’m always biting my tongue not to say anything, but I secretly want to smack the crap out of their faces and say “Hello, why are you buying a Swiss Army Knife with the Queens face on it? Why the hell are you buying a postcard of a naked woman with a Union-Jack bathing suit on? Why are you purchasing a “crazy” jokers hat with bells on?”. You’re in London, one of the most amazing cities in the world. The British may not be famed for their food, nor their fashion sense (say some) but in Britain, we have some of the best beers in the world. We have a royal (yet a tad eccentric) royal family. We have  beautiful architecture and there is so much to see. Our museums are world renowned, and yet… you think that a bikini-clad woman with a bull dog depicts more than a thousand year culture? Thanks! No really thanks!

I’m not going to stigmatise and say it’s the Americans, or the Russians that do this, because it isn’t. It’s every Tom, Dick and Harry that buy this crap. But I say no! In the name of all that is holy, and all that is sacred to what we like to culture, buy something that represents the country you are visiting, even if it is a cliché, because at least a cliché has an element of truth to it.

Stockholm... as it should be!

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Filed under Europe, Fashion, Food & Cooking, Hate!, Politics, Sweden, Travel, UK

Yummy in my Tummy Chickpea & Potato Curry


Mmmm so yummy!

Well, when you’re on a budget a vegetarian curry is probably the best bet. Here’s a delicious variation on the recipe. You don’t have to add the sugar in this recipe of course. Serve with Indian bread and some rice (flavored or not).

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 chillies
  • 5 cm piece ginger
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp chopped fenugreek leaves, optional (see Cook’s note below)
  • pinches sugar, or to taste
  • 440 g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large potato, cut into eighths
  • 600 ml water
  • 1/2 lime, juice only
  • chopped coriander, to serve


Method

1. Using a mini-food processor or a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, chillies and ginger into a paste.

2. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the onions and cumin seed until golden. Stir in the garlic paste and cinnamon and fry briefly until the spices become fragrant.

3. Add the tomato purée, tomatoes, turmeric, fenugreek and sugar, and season to taste with salt. Cook this mixture until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce is reduced

4. Stir in the drained chickpeas and potatoes and pour over the water. Cover the dish and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the lime juice.

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Filed under Friends, NEW!, UK

Night & Day


Night

When you go to a Swedish University you soon notice that you don’t actually have that many classes during the week… well actually you hardly have any classes… Days and nights seem to blur together, you travel and visit things during the day, and work at night. You work during the day and travel and visit things during the night. A never ending cycle of fun! I personally enjoy working at night. It’s much quieter than during the day and it means you can have a nice lie-in in the morning!

In the near future in Sweden, the nights will literally melt into the days. They will in fact only be on average six hours a day of sunlight! Not being able to differentiate between day and night will be an interesting experience.

Living in another country teaches you to be humble, to appreciate where you are from and where you are going. I’m not saying you should get on your knees and kiss the ground, you should just be thankful that you are here and alive. The world is such a random place. Even our own existence is so random. We are just the end of a long chain of people, who my procreating ment that the chain didn’t break with them. Some people say that that is our sole purpose on earth, to continue our own personal path, but some people believe in a higher purpose. And that’s alright too.

It’s strange, in Stockholm nighttime feels strangely eerie… there is literally no sounds, no planes going overhead, no crazy amount of cars going past and no one stumbling around drunk under your window (well o.k, but really not often!). I like the quietness. I’ve always been a town person and living in the countryside, for now is not what I enjoy. I need to noise and bustle of a busy town, or at least I need to know that there are people around me, that I’m not alone. It is not as though in the countryside you think you are alone, but you don’t have that “presence” that I feel you have in town.

What’s amazing in Stockholm is that you can see the stars. That may seem trivial to some, but where I grew up in London, you couldn’t see the stars. In Toulouse where I now live, you can’t see the stars everyday. It’s beautiful to be able to look up and see so much light! (Which I shall probably get used to over the next few months!)

During the day, in Sweden or at least in Stockholm, the weather isn’t too cold, sometimes a bit chilly but surprisingly blue skies and sunny days too! Which as the year goes on I will be able to share photos on this site!

So until then, enjoy!

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Filed under Europe, France, Happiness, Sweden, Travel, UK