Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Deep in a duvet!

It snowed. I caught a cold. Couldn't do a thing for about a week, but I took some pictures of the snow. This is probably the coldest December I've seen in a long time. We still have frozen icicles in our back garden.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Something to brighten up the snowy weekend

Snow is here, and early. Glorious but just too cold to want to go outside. So here's something to remind you of sun and warmth.
*I took some great pictures last week, they were sort of end~of~autumn~beginning~of~winter ish. I'll upload them soon.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Smells like Christmas

Probably the main reason I love winter - and why sometimes I say it's my favourite season of the year although really it isn't* - is because of the Christmas adverts. There is something about most of them that makes me all warm and fuzzy, and usually leaves me feeling really lazy and wanting to snuggle and cuddle up deep in a duvet and never venture outside ever again, especially the ones that show snow. They make me ludicrously happy. Christmas movies make me feel this way too. Unfortunately up to date I haven't seen one to put on my favourite list. I usually have a favourite list for every year, but hey, it's still November, so I still wait for one. Although I'd like to say all the Co-op TV ads are great, mainly because of the use of Gabriella Cilmi's song (I don't like her but this song is her best)

Since I don't have a favourite Christmas ad yet, I'm going to post the ad I currently hate the most. It's not a Christmas ad but I seem to notice it all the time these days.

First of all, whoever is doing the voice over for this? Bad. Bad. Badly dubbed. There's the original French version somewhere on YouTube, I couldn't be bothered to find it.

Second of all, if the yogurt was sour why did she keep buying and eating it? I mean really who would put up with yogurt that made you pull such a face?

Finally, pleasure makes you beautiful? How exactly? I mean really, how? The girl's face is still the same before and after, and she isn't unfortunate looking before and after either, so what was the point of that line?

Yes, I have too much time on my hands. Slagging off TV adverts just happens to be one of the activities that I fill this time with.

*It shares the top spot with other seasons which usually change depending on the year I have.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Girl feels funny, sees Dr, or maybe not

I'm a hypochondriac. Every little symptom sends me in a panic. I imagine big life threatening things. Yet I'm not one to book an appointment with my GP just like that. I usually like to know what exactly is the problem. Get down to the nitty gritty. So I google, mostly.

And it's horrifying.

Google search results make you feel like you have a life threatening disease. You click on an article and see that although the symptoms you have may be for a particular illness, they could also be for X, Y and Z. And what do I do? I click and click. I want to learn, I tell myself. I want to be aware. Then I end up tossing and turning in bed in worry and fear. I still don't pick up the phone though, because if I'm honest I know deep down it really is nothing. I guess I'm one of those people who has to worry to feel alive? Do I make sense? I need to worry to feel like I'm doing something about a situation, as if worrying in itself ever gets anything done.

When the oft little and meaningless symptom is over, I'm back to my usual self. Hooray, death is not imminent after all, I shall live to conquer the world! I then forget about the whole thing and get on with life.

Having had enough of being unkind to myself, I decided I was going control this urge to use google as a medical consultant. I made a considerable effort this summer only for a cold sore to strike last week. Of course I've had one a zillion times in the past, mostly when I'm menstruating and going through a considerable amount of stress simultaneously, but I couldn't help myself. I was miserable so I went online looking for remedies when I know fully well that there are no remedies for this bitch, just your usual 'i got rid of it faster' vague anecdotes. There was the ice~on~sore trick, the keep~it~moisturised trick and even the apply~toothpaste~on~it trick - yes really, I mean the things that people 'try and test'. So which was it? I wanted to get rid of the thing as soon as possible. I failed at trying all of the above and because of that I now have the slowest healing cold sore ever since I can remember getting one when I was a child. Argh. I want my eerm...time wasted on the internet back? A case of too much tampering?

Google you've been great, but I've learnt my lesson now. I will be reaching for that phone next time - not because of a cold sore of course, but for other mildly important things, I'd rather be accused of wasting the doctor's time than endure prolonged and needless pain.

Go on, share your little foibles!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Envy by Judy Corbett (No, it's not a book review blog now, see: About the author)

This book made me go through a range of emotions so fluidly I didn't see any of it coming. One minute I was feeling really sad, the next I was filled with sentiments of disgust and hatred, then it's back to empathy or pity. When I started reading this book, I thought it was going to be a near-straight forward tale of childhood, adventure, maybe just a drop of jealousy mixed with an unusual friendship, then it would all end in the proverbial happily ever after fashion. I was wrong of course.

Diane and Isabel are two little girls with very different lives. Diane lives with her very poor mother and step father who are renting a derelict house on Isabel's family estate. Isabel's family is rich. While Isabel wants for nothing and spends her afternoons trying on elegant dresses in her room and being daddy's girl, Diane has to toil hard in the farm and put up with the cruel and repugnant step father - an alcoholic who physically abuses her mother. She hates the fact that she's poor, she's angered by it, ashamed, and very much resentful. One day while she's sitting under a tree reading a book, the 'perfect' and rich Isabel sees her. To her astonishment Isabel talks to her and almost forcibly and in a completely self entitled way whisks her off on a tour of Isabel family's magnificent house. Diane is mesmerized. She's never seen so much beauty and wealth. She's taken in. It's all too glorious and she wants it. So she keeps befriending Isabel, slowly warming her way in Isabel's heart until she finally gets the chance to leave her poor mother and move in with Isabel. It's what she's always wanted, to be loved and live in comfort, but it doesn't end there. Having nothing to lose, she embarks on a grand plan. She wants all that Isabel has, to herself.

It's such a powerful and sensual story. It left me hating Diane but also somewhat understanding where she was coming from. I highly recommend this, it makes for great night or very early morning reading. My favourite quote from the book:

I felt poverty glide out of my pores under his gaze...He made me feel as if my whole life was worth recovering from.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Somebody knock me out!

I went to the library and on the spur of the moment picked up a Danielle Steel book - among other books. The last time I read a Danielle Steel was about seven years ago when I was in high school. In total I think I've read about five of her books. Right, so I opened it and started reading. Page one, I thought hmm...Page two, again hmm...Page three, hmm...Then I thought, right, I can't take this anymore but let me give it another go. So I kept reading until I finished three chapters before deciding that was it. I couldn't do it. I put the book down and started wondering what exactly my teenage self saw in those books to read five of them.

The writing is atrocious I'm sorry to say. It's dull, repetitive and too simple. I don't know what she thinks of her audience to write like that. I mean I was just entering my teens when I started reading her books - for some reason these books were all over my school and since everyone seemed to be reading them I thought why not. Back then I thoroughly enjoyed them. I don't think I gave much thought to style at that age. I was an indiscriminate reader and relished being in the company of some work of fiction instead of finishing my homework. But really, it's puzzling so I kept wondering, is this her targeted audience? People who want simple reading? There is a great article on this blog and one commenter seems to think so. She targeted this particular audience and stuck with it, became famous and successful and that was it, it doesn't matter anymore. The same stuff keeps being churned out. How does she do it? People keep buying and reading.

Personally, I think her writing is mere chick lit. Indubitably romance although she insists it's not. If it's not romance, what is it then? Even when I was reading her books as a teenager I chose them for the sole purpose that they were romantic books. I was going to read about a tall, handsome man sweeping an equally beautiful woman in his arms, and they were going to have the best night of their lives together. I expected and wanted that at that age, and that's what I got. But now I'm so glad I know better. The book that I borrowed is Second Chance. Each time I turned over a page, I sighed. It's sucked the energy out of me and I kept asking myself why was I even wasting my time. In this book the protagonist is editor-in-chief of a leading fashion magazine. Danielle - on the word go - describes how beautiful and elegant she is, how hardworking, no nonsense but fair everyone finds her. They all respect and adore her. How she is content with her life and her dog and does not need a man. She is independent. Hmm...OK, great. But then she repeats this description over and over again. Protagonist goes to her house where she's throwing a party, party is over she goes to sleep, this description comes up again. Next morning she's awake preparing for work, we get this description again. I mean, just too much padding. Same goes for all her other characters. There is just too much filling you'd be forgiven for thinking it was written by an amateur. It's ludicrous and tedious.

I'm returning the book on Monday. That's me done with Danielle Steel I'm afraid. There are so many talented writers out there and so many more captivating books than hers. It was good while I was teenager and I'm so glad I never touched another one for a long time.

Discuss! I'd like to hear your views.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Forgive me but

I saw this and thought, 'You sexy thing!' :-) In fact why should I be apologising? I think he's hot, and I finished reading this book.

*photo courtesy of autoblog uk

Thursday, 4 November 2010

November in Falmouth: Cornwall Film Festival

The 9th Annual Cornwall Film Festival starts tomorrow. Film lovers can get all the information needed here for this great weekend event. The are also free workshops and talks on everything film related, so make sure to find out about them while buying your passes and tickets.


1. Free drinks and snacks during film breaks
2. Vibrant atmosphere (great place to network!)

If you do attend, don't forget to fill in the audience survey form because you might just find yourself on a luxury spa weekend or a wine tasting dinner.

Monday, 1 November 2010

They are coming to get you...

Hoping every one had a wicked Halloween. I spent mine in a state of near sozzled~ness. Pub walks, entertained some stubborn trick or treaters, then settled down for the usual dish of gore from the telly. Apart from the brilliant Psychoville Halloween Special, there was this extra special Agathe Christie drama - well to me at least - that was shown on ITV sometime last week, with the amazing Zoe Wanamaker. I missed it when it was on so I watched it again last night.

Why special? Because Mark Gatiss wrote the screenplay! I love the guy and I'm a big fan of horror and crime dramas. And as if they knew, they had him all over BBC Four in the last two weeks. Brilliant stuff. The writing was impeccable. I'll probably buy this on DVD.

Now I hope I can go to bed and get some sleep. I'll be busy buried in a book tomorrow but might probably find the time to go for a walk and put more pictures up.

**Wasn't that Halloween google doodle amazing?

What did you get up to this Halloween?

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

South West Coast Path: Falmouth

On a hot summer day, you just want to have your swimming gear with you for a cheeky one, just in case ;-)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Disappointed? Me? Not with a book in sight

I hate it when my plans don't come together. I wanted to go on a pub walk today and take some pictures of course, but alas, I was attacked by a serious case of stomach cramps, of the...eerm...women's problems variety. So I had to stay at home.

Finding myself almost bedridden for a day I decided to continue reading the book I'd started last night. This is not a book related to travel in anyway, bar the fact that you might be interested in the country in question as I am but I highly recommend it. Frankly, I'm not even keen on politics, but I like reading books like these.

Putin And The Rise Of Russia

And then of course there is a book that I really can't recommend enough.

Bangkok Days
I read it three months ago. It's hilarious, raunchy, sad, romantic. It's all there. You'll be captivated by the stories of shameless expats yet still be impressed by the chaotic beauty that is Bangkok. Osborne is an impeccable writer.

Here is a great and insightful interview with him.

What are you currently reading?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


I went to London town with a friend today. We had coffee at Greenwich Pier, hovered around Greenwich Park and Blackheath and then drove back. Sadly - maybe not?, I was too much in the moment to take any pictures! :-)


I was given a comprehensive history of the Cutty Sark - and watched a bit of the restoration process. Glorious day all around, with plenty of sunshine if I might add!

Here is something that'll make for great reading on Blackheath.

*photo courtesy of everything kitties!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Getting lost and loving it: The tale of the 504 coach

I wasn't planning to get lost - not that most people do - and I certainly didn't have the time or energy to derail in the slightest bit on my trip home from North Cyprus. Yet I did, loved it and would repeat the experience.

Here's what happened

There I was having landed at Stansted Airport, exhausted, famished (honestly the food they serve in KTHY) and mildly pissed off - you see this beautiful Cypriot baby that I spent the entire flight smiling and making faces at threw a massive tantrum towards the end of the journey and in the process made his mother pour the entire contents of his feeding bottle on me. Poor woman, she apologised profusely, she even followed me up to the customs queue, to tell me how sorry she was. I just nodded gingerly and gave a weak smile and told her it was fine. Of course it wasn't, my clothes were ruined, although admittedly it wasn't her or baby that I was angry at, it was my mum who up to that moment had not picked her phone.

So, feeling the way I did, I decided that I needed to get home ASAP. There was not point in resting at the airport or even getting something to eat, I could do that at a service stop, and finally at home. With my mum not picking her phone, I went to one of those flashy-and-inviting-but-really-expensive airport internet places and fished a £1 coin ready to go online with the intention of booking a last minute coach ticket. Destination: Penryn. Nationa Express coach route: London - Penzance. I had taken this route numerous times before, I could do it in my sleep...Number 500, book ticket, confirm, print...Go! What I did not do on this particular day was check. Properly. Being so knackered I just saw London - Penzance, number 50..., and click! I booked and paid for it. Checked to receive a mobile confirmation and off I went outside the airport to wait for the coach while trying to call my mother, again unsuccessfully.

I didn't bother with the confirmation text. I just saw that it was from national express and blissfully ignored the rest. My ticket was here, that was the confirmation that I had paid for it and that was that. When the coach arrived, I nonchalantly scrolled the message for the driver to read and my journey began. It was all smooth sailing until we got to Plymouth and I woke up from a deep slumber to catch the last words of the driver instructing those passengers going to Truro to get off the bus and get on the one next to us. I thought...Truro, hmm, that's my usual route. After Truro, it would be Penryn and I'd be home, but why would they want to get off? Surely this goes there too? Being in an overall lethargic mood, I decided to ignore it. It must pass through Penryn, it's the 500, I assured myself.

How wrong was I.

I woke up when the coach was making a stop at St Columb Major and came to the startling realisation that the coach was going nowhere near Penryn and it certainly wasn't the 500. I sat up and panicked a little. I could get off if I wanted and take the train home but it was starting to get dark and I didn't know the area well at all. I could also stay the night in a cheap B and B if I wanted, but I didn't - neither did I have the money - I had travelled with my credit card, which was by now blocked because my bank thought someone was using it fraudulently in Cyprus, hence the frantic calls to my mum. So there I was, it was growing dark outside and I was far from home as could be, and about to be even far from home if the coach left.

What to do? What to do? Nothing. I decided. I was going to go all the way to Penzance and decided from there. I had been to Penzance before, but not in the town centre and certainly not where the coaches stopped. In short, I didn't know Penzance very well too, but I ignored this fact. I decided I wanted to get lost. I wanted to be stranded. I wanted to look like an awkward tourist lugging her bags with her.

I fell back on my seat and off the coach went. At least I would enjoy the scenic North Coast.

Next: Getting lost and loving it: Penzance by night, The clubbers and The British Transport Police

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Unexpected finds

I realise I was just about to slag off Redhill here - and why not? :-P But, really it has it's hidden beauty. I woke up in it today, looked out the window and saw what a lovely day it was so I decided to go for a walk.

And look what I found...

Friday, 15 October 2010

Autumn days out: Falmouth Harbour views, good eats

Falmouth Harbour, the third largest natural deep water harbour in the world, offers some very beautiful views. A good enough reason for you to stay at the range of accommodation near it. I usually take a walk here almost every other weekend, can't get enough of it!
And if you are visiting Falmouth this autumn, you should check out my favourite thing to do at this time of the year: attending the annual Oyster Festival in October. Delicious and quality Cornish seafood galore!

And my favourite colour :-)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Autumn days out: Leith Hill, Dorking

Leith Hill is the highest point in south-east England, although frankly it didn't feel like much of an effort climbing all the way up to the top where there is an impressive Gothic tower - but then again, most of Surrey is relatively flat. The view across the English channel is breathtaking, however on a foggy day it can be a bit difficult to see. Still, if you enjoy walking in rugged woodland, and across beautiful countrysides, you are going to love making your way there.

Here is a guide on how to get there and walk all the way up.

*photo courtesy of Jono!!

Monday, 11 October 2010

In praise of...National Express Coaches

My bum hurts. National Express...Never again!’

That was the status update that stared at me on my now defunct facebook homepage. A friend and I had both arrived home from a glorious weekend away. Whilst I was revelling in my post national express coach trip afterglow, she was more keen to express her sentiments on that particular mode of transport to her online audience.

I love the national express coach experience. I’m known to refuse to take the train even when my time keeping reputation is at stake just to ride the coach. I like that feeling of being taken care of. I turn up at the pick up station, usually accompanied by heavy and awkward shaped luggage and wait for the coach to turn up. The lovely drivers then proceed to check my ticket cheerfully and help me fit my luggage and off I go. Into the glorious beauty where a comfortable seat awaits. On it, I can have unlimited daydreams, chortle from reading strange tales in a book, or simply just take in the view as the couch snakes away through the beautiful countryside (journeys I prefer the most.) I find this is the part where some people hate most, sitting there for long periods of time, on their ‘bums’, but really all national express coaches have plenty of space to allow for the stretching of legs, numerous shift positions, the little walk to and fro here and there, so there is no excuse for you to sit stiff torturing yourself throughout the journey.

And the best part? Service stops. Yes, I know technically these are not part of the service offered by the national express but it is part of the experience of the journey by the national express coaches. Service stops, especially give me the chance to get off the coach, refresh then walk again towards the coach whilst admiring its physical beauty. Again, perhaps it’s the sort of person I am. Very long journeys are perfectly OK with me. It’s akin to deliberately getting lost. And what’s not to love about their funfares and endless summer deals? For someone who seems perpetually broke, it’s a great, fun and convenient way to travel.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Virtual platform

I've never understood what the deal is with trainspotting. Why would anyone want to spot trains? Note down train sightings, railway equipment and then what? Do trains stir an a strange but wonderful feeling in the their groins? Is it the same feeling like the one I have when I watch cute kitty videos on YouTube? Or when I see a lonesome cat when walking in the street and get that weird feeling of wanting to stroke it, pet it or even steal and make it mine? Is that it? I've never known why, maybe an avid trainspotter would care to let me know because just the other day, I came across something that left me even more puzzled.

A website dedicated to the train geeks out there. It has a live web cam so you can watch the trains naked if you want, with a live chat room to engage with fellow trainspotters. The web cam features the West Coast Mainline Railway Line in Euxton, Lancashire and it is, apparently, one of the few live streaming railway web cameras in the world and the only one of it's kind in the UK. I found the idea quite amusing although it seems only natural what with technology creeping up in everything we do these days. .

Do you happen to be a trainspotter? Love the idea or do you prefer the 'real' thing?

*photo courtesy of ukrailwaypics

Sunday, 3 October 2010

One for those lazy summer days

Autumn is here and Tesco already has a Christmas ad out, but for me summer this year was glorious. A compensation from the awful snow we had last winter? Probably. Sometime in August a friend of mine invited me for a drink on a very lovely summer afternoon. We were in Redhill, Surrey and he mentioned a pub he loved.

The Inn on the Pond.

I thought, what a nice little name for a pub. And in Redhill? Not that Redhill is an unpleasant place mind, it's just a tad bland. Since I had nothing to do I agreed to the drinks. There was a surprise waiting for me. The Inn on the Pond, just like the name conjures, is a beautiful little country pub. A typical Surrey pub with a large bar serving a range of drinks including some great local ales, a spacious dining area and a fantastic view over Nutfield Marshes. On this particular day - because we had a lot of time on our hands - we ordered a bottle of white wine and headed outside to while the afternoon away. We sat on a bench right next to the pond. A few feet from us a white horse was idly grazing away, while behind him a beautiful country house stood there as if beckoning a photographer to capture it's elegance. Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me but I never stop thinking about that dreamy image.

The pub has a log burner and an open fireplace, which I'm sure comes in very handy during the dreary winter to keep you warm and cosy, if not eeerm, a bit drunk like I was afterwards!

*photo taken from the pub's facebook page

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Bar Number 20

This is the coolest hang out in Penryn. And as you guessed from the title, it's located at 20 Lower Market Street. Open from 3pm you can enjoy free internet access and a good cup of coffee in the afternoon while you catch up with friends or just have some time to yourself. This is somewhere you definitely want to find yourself on a Tuesday night because it’s Cocktail Night, two cocktails for five pounds. And it’s not just cocktails, it’s the good stuff! Wednesday night is Quiz Night, with loads of prizes up for grabs and the perfect opportunity to make friends. If you enjoy live sessions then there is a fine selection of local artists and DJs the rest of the nights playing everything from acoustic soul to funky jazz.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Style in Falmouth, Cornwall

Events Square, Falmouth. Five minutes walk from the High Street

I thought I'd mention two of my favourite 'not-your-usual' clothing stores in Falmouth.

Secrets Boutique
This is an impressive little boutique on Church Street. Inside, amazing beauty awaits. Stocked with colourful little dresses, skirts, scarves, hats and other eclectic accessories, you’ll soon find that you are spoiled for choice. A bit pricey if I might add, but this is not New Look. This is authentic material, carefully selected to suit a daring and experimental taste. Oh, and you can not find this online. I asked one of the lovely ladies why this was so, and she told me what I already suspected: They like to remain exclusive. Now there is a perfect reason to visit Falmouth.

You can call them on 01326 313003 for any enquiries beforehand.

Kit Boutique
This is another quirky and chic little boutique shop on the Falmouth high street. Head here for a selection of gorgeous ladies shoes, a collection of cute little dresses and other vintage treats. Kit Boutique, luckily enough is available online.

For phone enquiries call 01326 218778