Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Year... New You

So it's official - this is definitely the most depressing New Year's Eve late afternoon/early evening ever.

I'm in the office, all alone, it's about 4:30 pm and all of the three colleagues who turned up today have left to start their festivities. Since I've been on vacation for the last 10 days, and still left early yesterday, I'm staying til the end to man the silent phones for another hour.

Anyway, all is not lost - I have the trusty internet to keep me entertained for a whole 60 minutes before I attempt to lock up the office and set the alarm.

Since my brother and his lovely fiance are finally getting married this April - I've been searching for the perfect bridesmaid dress... which of course let me to NY Mag's shop-o-matic website, which then led me to what I call Irene's holy grail of wedding dresses.

Just like people believe in love at first sight with their partners, I feel this way about this dress...

You see, I'm not going to lie to you and say that I'm not interested in having a massive wedding with the whole nine yards. I WANT the massive wedding and the cake and flowers and live band, and yes, I'm probably going to be a total bridezilla. But if I ever do meet the right guy and have the money to spend on this dress, you can betcha I'll be running over to stateside to buy this.... (I've only been hankering over it for the last year and a half when it premiered in the Fall 2008 collection)

I love the detailing of the antique crystal broach and the oragami, japanese-influenced style of the bodice...

...but then the silouhette is simple and flattering on the figure at the same time... no poufy gowns, just elegant lines with a drop waist that elongates the torso.

anyway, tonight's festivities include the last meal of 2009 with a group of swedes and then a house party with strangers and friends and lots of bubbly!

thanks to my jet lag, I'll be wide awake well after midnight

Happy New Year kids - looking forward to seeing what adventures and surprises 2010 brings...

xoxo irene

Friday, 25 December 2009

Irene's knocked up again but...

Dear reader...

You know when you would sometimes get those letters around Christmas time from family friends or relatives? They would come in the mail, accompanied by the obligatory family portrait, where everyone's wearing matching t-shirts and toothpaste smiles. It didn't matter who the family was, the letters would always have the similar tone of smugness. Everyone was doing exceptionally well, and things were going swimmingly.

My brothers and I used to always joke that we'd send out spoof letters of our own to those families, but instead of boasting about someone's recent softball trophy or science fair award, we'd make comments like 'Irene's knocked up again, but we're happy to announce that she knows who the father is this time..."

Of course we never actually composed and sent out these letters; they never really got further than laughing about them in the kitchen, while my mother would scold us in mock despair and horror. (or maybe that was true horror...)

Anyway, apologies for the severe lack in updating. It's been a whirlwind of holiday stuff and while it's been nice being in my childhood home, surrounded by my entire family, I'm looking forward to going back to London. I actually can't believe my visit is over already, it feels like just yesterday I was getting onto the Heathrow Express and tucking in an overpriced breakfast at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant in Terminal 5.

I would make some sort of New Year's resolution that I'll try to update more regularly, but we both know I'm total rubbish at those. I will however try my best to stay not knocked up (for my mother's sake) and to have as many interesting adventures as possible when I get back to London so that i can share it all with you, my dear reader.

Until then, hope everyone's had a joyful, happy and relaxing holidays.


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

a little break

Ok so I know I said I would update with photos from the hip concert and the xmas party, but everything is still on my camera. I really hope that I'll have more time to blog in the New Year, as well more to write about. To be honest, life has been pretty ho hum, with work, hanging out with friends... there's nothing really exciting to report on at the moment.

But I will leave you with this - Glee is one of my favourite new shows out there, every thursday night I race home from work (if I'm not hitting up the pub first...) to watch the newest episode!

As they say over here, I'm absolutely gutted now that there won't be any new episodes until April. How unfair!

Came across this little tribute video from one of the main characters Puck - just loved it

Saturday, 12 December 2009

christmas tunes

I've just downloaded a mix of Christmas music to get me into the mood.

Tonight is the Wendover crew's christmas party and together with the viking and E. we packed one massive grocery cart with food. We have decorations (funny snowflakes made from magazine pages courtesy of yours truly), a fake christmas tree (or three!), a fridge bursting of food and a secret santa (of which I have the best gift ever)

Photos to come...

Just wanted to say it's beautiful out and Merry Christmas!!!

Going out to enjoy the sun now


Sunday, 6 December 2009

A Canadian loving the American Life

I woke up this morning with no voice - guess the Dutch Christmas party last night took a bit out of me.

So i spent the morning curled up in my duvet listening to the latest episode of This American Life. I think we're so busy in our lives these days, and have so much going on at once that entertainment ends up getting totally inflated to hold our attention. We have massive 3D movies in huge amphitheatres, huge singing competitions with interactive and cult-like followings, it's no wonder we have such short attention spans.

Having recently discovered This American Life, I forgot how nice it is just to sit and listen to someone talk. No television screen, no projectors and fancy special effects, just a voice telling you a good story.

i download new episodes and listen to it on my way into work. People probably wonder why I start laughing to myself, then again it being London, they probably just assume that I'm crazy.

Go and download the newest episode of This American Life. Curl up in bed or on a comfy couch and just sit and listen. It's like story time in grade school but so much more fun, and without the prickly 'magic carpet' to sit on.

Friday, 4 December 2009

this made me smile through tears

A big thank you to Cz for sending this through to me. His email was titled: Makes you smile... and in the email he wrote:

Thought these songs would cheer everyone up a bit :)

I've been so busy at work, and socializing afterwards that I didn't actually get a chance to open the two web links he had attached until tonight.

Playing for Change is a worldwide multimedia movement that tries to inspire, connect and bring joy through music around the world. They travel the globe and record artists playing and singing the same song, then mix it together to become what you see above. The idea is that music has the ability to break down borders, boundaries and distances. You have a singer standing on the rooftop in Israel, essentially singing along with someone on the back streets of Italy, or in a village in Africa. It's an amazing concept and put together is absolutely beautiful.

There's always these stories about how music has the ability to transcend anything. There's the story of soldiers in World War Two in their opposing trenches on Christmas Eve. The German side started to sing Silent Night and soon they heard the Allies join them in carol.

Or there's the more contemporary example of the West-Eastern Divan (orchestra). Founded by Daniel Barenboim (renowned conductor and pianist) and the late Edward Said (the great academic on Orientalism and who once wrote a personal email to my best friend R.) this orchestra brought together young musicians from countries in the Middle East, with the aim to promote understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.

I found this quote on wikipedia from one of the young musicians who sums it up perfectly...

Barenboim is always saying his project is not political. But one of the really great things is that this is a political statement by both sides.

It is more important not for people like myself, but for people to see that it is possible to sit down with Arab people and play.

The orchestra is a human laboratory that can express to the whole world how to cope with the other

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

reason #2396 why I need to move

The shower has been leaking for months now, actually it's never quite shut off since I moved in 6 months ago, but I never bothered to ask the landlord to fix it because:

a. He wouldn't
b. It was just a slight drip so not worth emailing him just to be ignored in the end

Fast forward 6 months and my shower is now like a mini niagara falls. For some reason, no matter which way you turn the tap and no matter how much you fiddle with it, the water just doesn't stop.

Not only is this horrible for the environment, but it also happens to be the hot water tap that leaks, so we're paying through the roof in heating.

Add that onto the fact that the bathroom light is still busted and you wonder why i showered at the gym this morning like a homeless person...

I REALLY need to move.