Wednesday, 24 November 2010

This is what a bad day at the office looks like

1 Pair of Black leather ankle boots with silver buckles - Russell & Bromley

1 pair of perfectly faded skinny jeans - Anthropologie sale section

1 dark blue long cardigan - Anthropologie sale section

1 knee length grey tweed skirt with pockets - Anthropologie sale section

...clearly if I'm having a bad day, I need to stay clear of Regent Street.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

we be huntin' wabbits

Just a quick post - it's been a hell of a weekend.

However, I must tell you all of my latest achievement. My crowning glory and triumph of having won the 'Bunny Hunt 2010' with my partner in crime - Dutch Alex.

The Bunny Hunt Game:

Take one girl dressed in a full bunny costume, another in a police uniform get-up. Throw in 8 other friends and lots of beer. Give bunny girl and police officer a wad of cash and then set them free into the bars and pubs of London.

Then throw back a 6-pack of beer before setting off in teams of two through the streets of London to find said bunny. Winner gets the remaining prize money that the bunny and cop haven't spend, but more importantly, they win bragging rights.

Any bar that the teams run and later on will stumble into to find the bunny cannot be vacated until each person has one drink, or in the case of some teams, shots.

Like I said... it's been a hell of a weekend :)

Monday, 15 November 2010

A Toast to the Eurostar Man

My fourth grade math teacher once wrote on my report card - "Irene is a very caring and bright child, but she needs to work on her attention to detail."

Those three words - attention to detail - would continue to follow me from simple algebra onto university, personal life and work.

Send emails without attachments? Yup

Show up on Wilson Road instead of Wilson Street, making me almost half an hour late for my date? Happened last week.

It seems like I rush through life without taking note of the little things, the small details. Typically this doesn't really matter, except for this past weekend...

I was due to travel via Eurostar to Belgium with a few friends. Taking after my father, I showed up at St. Pancras station much earlier than I needed to. But I like the feeling of having loads of time to get a coffee and relax before checking in for travel.

Upon meeting up with my travel companions, myself and one other noticed that our train was delayed. There it was in big capital letters - BELGIUM: DELAYED ONE HOUR.

After a little grumbling, we settled down to breakfast. Still relaxed. Still chilled out.

45 minutes later we walked up to the Eurostar gate.

Strangely enough, our ticket wouldn't scan. Upon closer examination, the Eurostar man said "I'm sorry, but your train left"

There were shouts of protests -

"But it said delayed on the board"

"We've been here for over an hour now!"

Which was followed by the Eurostar man asking us which board said which I triumphantly replied "That one!" pointing my index finger at the big capital letters that said "BELGIUM DELAYED ONE HOUR".

And there it was, just half an inch above where my finger was pointing at, in even bigger capital letters, the word "ARRIVALS".

Perhaps it was the prospect of dealing with four tearful (in my case, sobbing) girls that stirred some strings of sympathy in the Eurostar man, but he directed us to the ticket office whereupon we were booked onto the next train out to Brussels at no extra charge.

With that, I strolled up to the Champagne Bar in St Pancras, and amidst the trains rolling in and travellers spilling onto the platform, I toasted the wonderful Eurostar man.

Despite the mishap, the trip to Belgium was a wonderful albeit hazy 30 something hours of delicious beers, even better frites and countless chocolate shops.

As for train travel? I learned my lesson. Reading the wrong board? A rookie mistake surely. And even with that, we all agreed that going via Eurostar was a much more civilised way of touring the continent. For one thing, train carriages that rock from side to side make most people pass out. That means no annoying person sitting beside you who wants to talk for the entire journey.

Also, people just seem nicer on trains. Perhaps it's because they haven't been up at the crack of dawn to catch a bus to the airport, only to stand in a huge line for security and get stuck behind that person who has a bottle of water in their bag, keeps their belt and shoes on and has a piggy bank of change in their pocket.

All in all, it was a pretty amazing first foray into Belgium.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Faking it...

It's taken many years of practice, but I've become the master at faking it....

Honestly - I really thought I was good at faking until tonight's orchestra rehearsal. For some odd reason they decided to seat me up at the front, beside the concertmaster. This really means nothing in terms of my actual playing ability (which is pretty awful), but meant that I'm under even more scrutiny.

You'd think that under this added pressure I would put more effort into practicing. Obviously it doesn't - and as a result, I'm probably only able to play about 60% of the music. Even with that, I'm sure most of those notes are off by at least a tone.

In the last few weeks of rehearsals, I've gotten extremely good at following the concertmaster and imitating his movements. As a result, I look like I know what I'm doing. And with over 10 other players in my section, I can usually play quietly enough that my wrong notes remain quite hidden.

That is until tonight when my worst nightmare struck. The conductor in a purely sadistic, evil gesture, decided that we would play one by one, a particularly difficult passage in front of the entire orchestra.

...I'm still scarred by the experience.

I may even pick up my violin this week and practice.