Saturday, 26 February 2011

the end of an era....

Tonight I spend my first night at my new, albeit temporary, home.

It's a bit full circle really. When I first moved to London, this flat was my home away from home. I literally spent every free moment I had here, sleeping on the couch on the weekends, stopping by on my way home from work for dinner, and would only go back to my actual flat to sleep, change clothes and shower.

Still, it's strange not to be in my own bed, where I've slept for the past year. To not have the lights of the hotel across the street, streaming into my window. And even more strange, to not be able to call out and chat with my flatmate Suey in the next room.

After an extremely hectic day of moving, we had our last 'flattie' dinner at Pizza Express... and after feasting on pizza and antipasti, we walked out and were greeted by the most amazing sunset. Not a bad way to bid farewell to Flat 68...

PS. on an entirely separate note, I just found a bug on my pillow, scurrying around. not cool. I've done the obligatory search of the rest of my bed, but I still don't feel comfortable sleeping here... (whimper)

Sunday, 20 February 2011

my fastest half marathon - the small triumphs in life

Untitled by irenepoon88 at Garmin Connect - Details

This morning I dragged my ass out of bed to run 14 miles.

I got up to 13 miles and hit that dreaded wall. Actually I hit that wall around 12.02 miles and pushed myself to finish at least half a marathon. It's a bit funny how your mind plays tricks on you when you're running. The other week, I was finishing a 12 mile run, and at 8 miles I was convinced that I only had 2 more miles to go.

Today I willed myself to finish the fastest half-marathon distance ever. I was a good 25 minutes faster than my last half marathon, and about 12 minutes faster than my best ever time.

So I'm taking that away with me today. Not the fact that I just couldn't get that last mile in, but that I beat my best time. Next week will bring another long run for me to accomplish.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

my love for zara (uk)

When I lived in Toronto, I never bought anything at Zara. The clothes were always randomly thrown around the store in no real order, and the tailoring was so horribly cheap, you could tell from a mile away that the fit just wouldn't be right.

When I moved to London, however, Zara quickly became my favourite go-to shop to pick something up. No matter what, I always find something at Zara. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that at least 40% of my London wardrobe was picked up from wandering into Zara and walking out with a shopping bag in hand and a lighter bank account.

I've just had a peek at the Zara store online, and there's already a few items that I'm eyeing and will undoubtedly add to my wardrobe the next time I'm out shopping.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Fish are Fussy too (apparently)

I really do think that you learn something new every day.

Sometimes it's groundbreaking, life-changing bits of information. Like the realisatiion that you should never ever buy jeans that don't quite fit because they're on sale. Or maybe it's the fact that you've finally figured out which way the paper goes in the printer when you have to make labels.

Other days, it's really random stuff that is utterly and completely useless. Like Saturday, I went to Camden Stable Markets with Elke to try out the increasingly popular fish pedicure.

Imagine dipping your feet into a tank of teeny tiny fish (and as we discovered, a few bigger ones) and as you plunge your feet into the warm water, those fish instantly swarm towards your toes and all of the sudden, you feel the gentlest nibbling sensation.

it's rather unnerving, and unluckily for me, incredibly ticklish - especially when the little fishes decided to delve in between the toes. I spent most of my time giggling and having to lift my feet up every few minutes for a moment's reprieve.

Sitting across from us was a woman who had been sitting there for some time - but unlike the rest of us, her feet were completely free of mini-fish. In fact, Elke overheard her complaining that no fish were eating her feet - something you definitely don't hear everyday.

I always thought that fish were rather simple creatures with extremely short-term memories. But my revelation of the day was that these special piranha fishies, well they're actually rather fussy about what feet they'll nibble on.

The end result of the fishy pedicure? To be honest, I'm not entirely sure, my feet are pretty gross from all of the running I've been doing.

Would I do it again? Probably not. It was a fun, one-time experience. But if the fish decide to be fussy with my feet, I'm not sure me and my dry heels could take the rejection.



Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

It's the year of the Rabbit.

I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I'm sure that there are a variety of auspicious reasons to be getting married or having kids or changing jobs and your hairstyle.

Chinese New Year at home always meant one thing - food. My mother would spend days in the kitchen preparing the traditional dishes that go with the celebration, each dish representing something to bring in the new year. I would only ever remember that shrimp brought laughter and that noodles meant long life.

Once my brothers moved away and the house got quieter, she would still insist on making the 10 course meal - even when it was just a handful of us gathered around the dinner table to get through that mound of food. I would invite friends who had never experienced Chinese meals outside of the realm of sweet and sour pork, and watch in amusement when they were encountered with whole steamed fish with heads still attached and that funny black fungus that looks like a clump of hair.

Last year I rang in Chinese New Year with my friend Jess on the slopes of Chamonix. To be honest, I kind of forgot about the holiday completely. This year though, I'm going back to my roots and will be having dinner with some friends at a Chinese restaurant in London. Only a handful of us are actually of Chinese descent, the rest are a random assortment of backgrounds - such is my life in London. One thing's for sure though, there will be food - lots of it. Because nothing says Chinese New Year more than a marathon dinner of endless courses and food comas.

Gung Hai Fat Choy