Friday, December 2, 2011

I ♥ NY

Macy's, NY

Times Square, NY

Byrant Park Ice rink

Only in New York:
- I landed on Monday afternoon and the pilot said that the weather was 19 degrees!!! WHAT WHAT WHAT!!??!!! My colleague and I walked about in Manhattan without our jackets, having dinner by the sidewalk with no outdoor heater. This is amazing – it is like spring although the day is dark by 5pm. This must be what global warming feels like and I am liking it (I know so un-PC!)…..the weather is back up to its ‘norm’ (9 degrees today) so it was short-lived.
- Hot off the oven cookies are the best – I get served 2 plates of these a day to keep us going from 9am-9pm. Every little helps make the day bearable I tell ya….unlimited sweets, chocs, fruits, crisps, coffee, tea…you get what I mean
- Only in New York will a guy decide not to eat pizza because it looks processed and to quote him “it is not worth the calories!” – you go girl!!
- I love shopping here!!! Wanna know why? I am a XS size here – end of! I know it is shallow and it is all psychological blah blah but it works…I shop and I hand over my credit card and I feel better about myself. Those cookies must be zero calories!!
- I know what I will say next doesn’t sound right but I do not like shopping at Macy’s. Macy’s feels like the love child of Debenhams (standard brands and mediocre products) and TK Maxx (huge shops, discount tags on everything) and I can’t stand that place. Sorry…it did not rock my boat (wallet)
- Obama was in town yesterday to switch on the Christmas tree lights at Rockefeller Centre which is about 10 blocks from where I am based – I think this would be the closest I would ever be to the president – OK 10 blocks is still fairly far but I am in the same island as he is damn it!! I will take that
- Only in New York do I get asked “whey yur frommmmm?”

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The (work) travel bug bites!

Hola from Barcelona!


Flew in this morning and flying out tomorrow after a marathon of interviews here. Next stop next week is New York baby!!! One whole week – super excited as I will be based on Fifth Avenue Manhattan. I have plans on giving my bank manager a heart attack for xmas - he he he. Then all over China (and catching up with bro) and finally... home sweet home until Jan 2012!

I am liking my workload in December - stressful but perks like business class flights helps :)

p/s: it is 18 degrees here in Barcelona today - so wrong for November but so right for me!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back to Cambridge


deja vu: Scott and I graduated 5 years ago!!??! dang...we are no longer spring chickens

rooftop terrace, cambridge
One and only rooftop bar in Cambridge - not sure if I can /should divulge the location ...

Granchester, Cambridge 1
18 degrees in November! The warm spell continues!!! Avoiding cow dung while enjoying the countryside


The Orchard, Grantcester 1
Tea and scones at The Orchard at Grantcester completes the weekend

We make the trip down to Cambridge fairly frequently as we still have very close friends living/working there. I get excited every time we return, it feels like home and reminds me of being fresh off the plane and being in foreign land, trying to grow up too quickly and making decisions for myself. Very liberating and scary at the same time but all for the better I would think.

One of my first humiliating / cringing memories I always remember was attending the first morning roll call in my boarding house. Mum followed the uniform guidelines to the T and I was dress all proper: white shirt, skirt below the knee, flat shoes - Doc Martens no less (this was when the punk trend has passed but we went with it because it will be 'long-lasting'). I stood out like a sore thumb / obvious newbie amongst my housemates who are in miniskirt and 4 inch heels. Yup...I grow a thick skin,chuck the skirt and shoes pronto but - happy days overall!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Eileen!

Eileen + Kensington Garden Square
Happy birthday youngest sis! Have a good one and I hope Julius has a good pressie (hint hint: bag?) for you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The way he talks

So expressive - I was struggling to capture him without his hands movements...I wonder if this is what happens when you do lots of presenting as part of your day job? I am not viewing this as a negative as having some hand movements does help to home-in on key points if necessary - in this case...something to do with Rugby world cup I reckon

I should of the more useful/interesting training provided at my work was on presenting. We were video-ed doing it and they replayed it later. A completely cringing, seat squirming kind of scenario but very useful to pin point bad habits. Apparently I use just the right amount of hand movement to make my point - not too much to be a distraction whilst not shoving my hands in my pocket either. Born presenter? - nah...not even close. I still shit myself before each presentation!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Say what?? November???












We are back up north in good ol Scotland for the obligatory family visit - granny in Isle of Arran (and Uncle Ali who is visiting from Australia) was our first stop. Check out the weather....who would have thought this is November...the air was so crisp and calm - no wind and the sun broke out of the grey morning cloud, unbelievable!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A little something

Have I ever showed you the surprise present I gave Scott for our wedding registration?

any idea?

ke ke ke
I think he likes it cause he wore is for our wedding!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Autumn days + Chorizo risotto

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2011-10-30 14.36.05

Yup, it's officially autumn - the clock went back an hour today, leaves have gone a golden/reddish hue or fallen on the ground, I brought 2 pairs of boots to the cobbler to get it resoled and ready for the cold, my leather gloves are in my handbag at all times for 'emergency' sudden cold snap at night

It also signals the return of comfort food - starting with....drum roll....chorizo risotto....I love my husband!

Picnik collage

Picnik collage


Better late than never



Overall our tomato yield was a little disappointing compared to last year - I think we should stick to cheery tomato varieties next year. BUT...we finally (I know...its almost November!) harvest our tomatoes and check them out! I love the gorgeous shapes and ribs on the tomatoes - these are called Costoluto Fiorentino. Mixed in there are a few tiger toms with subtle dark green stripes

These are going into our risotto tonight - next post!

Monday, October 17, 2011

'Minimoon' at Puglia, Italy - Part 4

Food.....the number 1 reason we chose Puglia. We toyed with the idea of Croatia for our minimoon (Scott even went as far as buying a guide book for Croatia but it just didn't click. We had been dreaming and talking about visiting Puglia for years now - everytime we read an article it raves about the food...the slow pace of life...the food...the lack of tourist...the food...the wine...the food...the biggest producer of olive oil in Italy...the food. OK I think you get the gist of it!
We (ok I) put back on whatever miniscule weight I lost for the wedding and came home satisfied - a slightly heavier me and a very heavy luggage (4 jumbo bottles of olive oil + 2 bottle of vino). We kept our fingers cross and all survived the Ryanair luggage handler!

I do have to apologies for the pictures - half are gobbled down before I even remotely remember to capture it (we are such carnivores when it comes to food), the other half...when I remember to capture it...the picture didn't turn out as well. Blame it on my rubbish camera skill and bad night lighting.



stuffed crust with riccotta - out of this world!


popular local dish - mash broad beans and wild vegs. So basic but the mash was GOOD!I have not idea how they do it but it is the ultimate comfort food. I had it 3 times which says a lot when you are in Italy and you want to try everything on the menu!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

'Minimoon' at Puglia, Italy - Part 3

Polignano a Mare
Apart from the parking ticket, minor accident (one word: Italian drivers ...thank God we had full cover otherwise we will be about £750 poorer from the holiday) and Scott losing his wallet - the last 2 days in this seaside town was bliss. Fresh grilled octopus on the beach for 5 euros made my day. At least we have a story to tell for our minimoon.



This is where we suspect Scott's wallet was (and still is!) - under the sea!



Surreal town - an old town dug into the rocks creating cave like houses. Men are believed to have settled in this area since palaeolithic times and it is suspected to be the first human settlement in Italy. It was hidden away from the main road as we drove into Matera which caused much confusion as we were looking out for it and all we can see as we drove into Matera town are new builts. But we turned a corner and literally stopped dead in our tracks and were in awe. Pictures doesn't do it justice....narrow windy lanes that goes up-hill for a bit then curved down-hill then another curve and you feel like you are lost in this forgotten town. It was drizzling on a Monday afternoon when we were there - completely devoided of tourists, it was very quiet to the point of eeerie at some parts of the town. Mel Gibson shot part of Passion of Christ movie here - can totally see why

Not the clearest picture but you can see the town craved out of the ravines on the right



Scott was so pleased when he (accidently) found the exact spot the Lonely Planet picture was taken for the book. Quite an accidental feat considering the town is a bloody maze!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday in pictures

Hello autumn!

Scott's half marathon race
L: Before the start of the half marathon run (13 miles)
R: After the run. Doesn't look like he broke a sweat (so annoying!)

still smiling at the 9th mile

Just after the finishing line...1 hr 43 min 59 seconds

2011-10-09 14.36.26

sunday pub
Sunday papers in the pub

2011-10-09 17.24.55
Walk home for a cuppa

Picnik collage
Baking using Willy's cocoa - definately smell and taste more chocolatey but I'm not sure if it justifies the price

Sunday dinner - baked beans with brie on toast