Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I can't seem to pull together a post on one topic, so I'm doing bullets instead.

- Why oh why is it so hard to work out how much tax-free electrial goods are in Heathrow airport? I'm not going, but my parents will be going through it soon and I want to give them a shopping list. And if they're gonna be passing through the tax-free part of the airport, then I'd like them to buy it as cheap as possible. But then maybe I should just get it off ebay...

- I taught three English lessons today, which is unusual, but my lecture this morning was cancelled, so I took over one of my mum's lessons. I must say, it's nice to see my students making progress.

- I just typed the above a minute ago, before I accidentally hit something and lost it. The strange thing is that the first bullet didn't disappear. Weird.

- I'm going shopping tomorrow - YAY!! Don't know what I'm looking for, but I'm going shopping.

- I watched the Twilight Eclipse trailer yesterday and I really liked it. Believe it or not, I was debating whether or not I was going to watch it. Now I know that I definitely will. The only thing I don't like is Bryce Dallas Howard. She just looks so wrong, they really shouldn't have switched out Rachelle LeFevre. Here it is, just in case you haven't already seen it/want to re-watch it.

- Speaking of films, I can't wait to see the new Robert Pattinson film Remember Me. A friend told me the story line and it sounds great. Sad, but great. Furthermore, she said that he actually acts in this one, and does so really well (and she's not an RPattz fan, so I trust her). I don't think that looking washed-out and sombre in Twilight truly counts as acting. Just my opinion. Anyways, here's the trailer for Remember Me:

What's your take on RPattz's acting skills? Is there anything you're looking forward to over the next few days?

Monday, April 26, 2010

When In Doubt, Quote.

I have nothing worth saying today, nor have I had anything for the past few days, hence the reason I haven't posted for near enough a week. It's not because life has come to a standstill - because, let's face it, it never does that - but rather, because I have nothing to share. So, instead I'm just sharing other people's words, people who had some real wisdom to share.

"No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one" - Elbert Hubbard. Amen.

"Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn -- my God, do you learn." C.S. Lewis

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson (Who I keep confusing with Robert Frost, for some reason. I don't understand why - they lived at different times and they have very different names. I guess it's because I know they're both poets and I love their poetry, despite having read very little of it.)

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill

I don't know if it's the fact that I was born and raised in the UK, or just my personality, but I love Winston Churchill quotes. I always find them amusing, quirky and soooo true!

"You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her." - Winston Churchill

"Only the stupid need organization, the genius controls the chaos!" - Albert Einstein. This is quite possibly my favourite quote of all time. I'm thinking of making it my motto.

And my hands-down favourite poem of all time:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
- W.H. Davies

What are your favourite quotes/poems?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday Reminder

Wednesdays are my early morning days, as it's the only day of the week that I have to leave home at 7.15am (ish). (The rest of the days I get to leave home at 8.30ish.) It's not that big a deal though, because I only have one lecture and it's finished by 10.30am, so I'm home for dinner (I prefer to eat my main meal as early as possible). This tends to mean that I'm often extremely tempted to go shopping on my way home.

For some reason, Wednesdays are also my 'Ooooh! That's cute' days. You know, the days when you see loads of stuff and think 'Oooh! That's sooo cute! It'd look great with *insert any wardrobe/household item*'. I notice what other people are wearing, I see all the lovely clothes through shop doors and the shoes in the window displays... and I want it all!

As I finish early, it's very tempting to go shopping on the way home. However, this adoration of stuff is remarkably short-lived. In fact, I'm usually over all the cute stuff by the time I get to uni. Why? Because it's the only morning I hit the rush hour traffic and take forever to get to uni. Once, I was so late I actually missed my lecture. The only lecture I have to attend. I was so annoyed.

Anyway, back to topic. Being stuck in traffic on a bus that takes the busiest route, is a great incentive to save money to pay for my driving lessons, and therefore not shop. It's also a weekly reminder that keeps me on goal. Net result? I've now got enough money to pay for all the lessons. (I wanted to have all the money together before I start, just in case I somehow lose my income - I like to cover all bases.) I'm so proud of myself.

But now I seriously need to go on a shopping trip. I've only bought ONE pair of shoes this year and 11 DVDs. That's it. I need retail therapy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Why I watch The Biggest Loser. Sometimes.


I really like watching The Biggest Loser. I mean, I wouldn't add it to the schedule of TV programmes I watch, but when I catch it, I'm happy. In all honesty, I think it's because the size of the contestants scares the living daylights out of me. I'm terrified of getting that big. I know people who are obese and it's so not a walk in the park. They have issues with mobility, with seating (which is just plain embarrasing) and eventually with health. What's worse is that it's really difficult for them to lose the weight because there's so much of it.

I think the reason that it scares me so much is because an obese family friend once turned around to me when I was eating a huge plate of curry and said: 'I used to eat like that', meaning that now that she's older she can't eat such large portions. It freaked me out, because I started to think if she used to eat that much - i.e. doesn't anymore - and is that big, what the hell is going to happen to me? That's when I got into healthy living.

It's also why I watch The Biggest Loser: seeing people that heavily overweight struggling so much to get healthy makes me want to work even harder to not get there, to not become them. It makes me start eating more fruit and veg, cut back on portion sizes and make exercise a priority.

And funnily enough it's almost always on when I'm having my dinner. :D

Saturday, April 17, 2010


This week I took a time-out from ... well, everything really. I went to uni, but skipped my most depressing lecture, didn't exercise once and spent most of my time vegetating on the couch watching TV, drinking tea and eating. Basically, I took this past week to recharge my batteries and, thank God, it worked because I'm raring to go now as a result.

That and the fact that today is weigh-in day and I discovered that I've gained FOUR WHOLE POUNDS in just one week! And it's not even girly-time yet. *wail*

Mind you, I did have pasta twice this week. And a pizza. And a couple of croissants. Yeah, ok, so I know why I've put on the weight and yes, I know it's not really a big deal - I mean 4 pounds? People on The Biggest Loser lose 100s! So I know it's not that bad, it's just that this is the first time since last September that I've actually gained and it has basically scared the crap out of me.

But it's ok, because I have now recharged my batteries and, although I'm not entirely sure I've got my mojo back, I do feel able to take on my life again. I can do this. My only hurdle now is sorting out my sleeping pattern because doing nothing and eating loads totally wrecks my sleeping habits. As do mosquitos. *grrr*

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Path of Least Resistance.

For a while now - I don't know how long, but it's definitely over a month and a half - I've been stretching myself a little too thinly. Too much planning, trying to do too much, trying to do the absolute best, etc, etc, etc. Net result? I've run myself into the ground. Ok, so not quite into the ground, but I've definitely run myself down and I'm suffering as a result.

So, what to do? I've decided to take the path of least resistance. If there's a quick/easy route out of something, then I'm taking it. If I can get out of something I don't particularly like, then I'm gone. This week I'm taking it easy, because I need to get back to being 100%, but then after that it'll be a whole bunch easier. I hope.

Why the path of least resistance? Because sometimes water, electricity and volcanoes have the right idea: just take the easiest route to your destination. Ok, so pretty much all routes are easy for a volcano, but whatever. For me, the path of least resistance started yesterday when I changed one of my paper titles. Coincidently, it now just happens to have the exact same title as a paper I wrote last year. Don't you just love it when coincidences like that happen? ;) (FYI: I will be editing it - it's going to be an exercise in discovering the true extent of my perfectionism.)

Do you ever feel like following the path of least resistance? Does it work out for you (please say it does)? Are there some areas of your life in which you're more inclined to follow the path of least resistance?

Friday, April 9, 2010

What a week.

It's been one long, hard, horrible week. For too long now, I've felt that my life is overscheduled, and this week was burn-out week. Here's a run through:

- Monday:
Actually, this wasn't so bad, it just wasn't any good either. I didn't get much done and, well, it was just so meh.

- Tuesday:
This was so bad that I decided to cancel it. Seriously. I got home at about 5pm, had dinner, removed my nail polish and went to bed as there was no point in even considering continuing with this day. By rights, I should never have gotten out of bed. Want to know how bad this day was? Let me count the ways:

1) Up late. Ok, my fault, but it's not a good start.

2) Crazy lady attack. A lady in my neighbourhood called me (not by name she used mademoiselle) and I, innocently thinking she wanted directions or something, went up to her. She then, very loudly, accosted me for cussing the neighbourhood (not likely, seeing as I live in it). I realised she was a slice short of a sandwich, so I walked away to the bus stop. She followed me, shouting insults the whole way. Apparantly people who wear black (boy did I wish I'd stuck with plan A and worn green) are filthy sluts, bitches, whores, and a litany of other things and this woman was on a mission to out us all. In front of people in my neighbourhood who all know me. Yay. Admittedly, everyone else knew/recognised that she wasn't all there and they were nice to me, but still, it was kinda shocking.

3) I finally get to uni and my first lecturere doesn't show up, so I've got to hang around from 10.30am until 1pm for my next lecture.

4) I discover that for this semester my timetable is the same (which is good) and so too are my lecturers (which is not good). I do not like my lecturers because they are, for the most part, wasting my time.

5) My 1pm lecturer showed up and spent the entire 2 hour lecture talking about nothing. And I mean nothing. He didn't even have our program for the subject, so he couldn't teach us anything. But he didn't let us go home either. Instead, he gave us all headaches.
After that I just gave up.

- Wednesday:
Early start, trouble with transport, too many lessons to teach, a lecturer dictated the title of a research paper to me (and it's soooo boring).

- Thursday:
Ok, actually I enjoyed yesterday (a lesson with a 6 year old, which was great fun, and an afternoon at a friend's meeting a newborn), but I really just wanted a day away from scheduledness.

Today, however has been a blessing. I got up late, hung around the house in track bottoms and a sweatshirt, watched loads of tv, ate, and did nothing more strenuous than the washing up, making my bed and bringing in some washing from the line. I feel like I've recharged my batteries somewhat. Now I really need to sort out this coming week. I'm not looking forward to it, and in all honesty, I'm not loving my life at the moment.

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Quarterlife Crisis

image found here

I'm a big believer in labelling things. Putting a label on something makes me feel that there's something that I can do about it, that I can take care of it. It makes me feel in charge. And obviously I'm not talking about people here, cause that would be stupid (and prejudiced). It's like when I was diagnosed with PCOS: just knowing what was wrong with me made me feel better, that I could conquer it. (Soulcysters is a great support group, by the way.)

So, after doing a fair amount of harrumphing over my complete lack of direction in life, I have reached the conclusion that I am suffering from a Quarterlife Crisis. Of the extensive list on wikipedia, I've decided that I have the following:

- realizing that the pursuits of one's peers are useless
- insecurity regarding the fact that my actions are meaningless
- insecurity regarding present accomplishments
- re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships
- lack of friendships or romantic relationships (heck yeah!)
- disappointment with one's job
- nostalgia for my high school life, specifically my first year.
- tendency to hold stronger opinions (I've always had this, but, hey, if I can blame it on a quarterlife crisis then great!)
- boredom with social interactions
- loss of closeness to high school and college friends
- financially-rooted stress
- a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than me
- frustration with social skills.

Now that I've finally stuck a label on the way that I'm feeling/where I am in life, I can start trying to fix it. This is the bit I love the most: the reading around bit. Then I'll actually have to do something about it, I guess...

Anyone else feel the same way? Anyone??

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Some People I Knew ...

I was feeling completely uninspired to write anything today, but it's on my to-do list and I need to get into the habit of posting regularly, so here I am. In my search for inspiration I trawled through a bunch of old photos with messages from icanread for inspiration (I like to keep the ones that I find thought-provoking/interesting/true/funny for just such occasions as today) and found this:

image from this tumblog

It got me thinking of all the friends I've had that I'm no longer in touch with. People who were and still are very dear to me, but aren't in my life anymore.

First off, there's my best friend from pre-school. We went on to the same infants school after that and remained friends, but then I changed schools and that was that. I saw her about 10 years ago in my old neighbourhood, but she didn't see me. I remember playing in pre-school together on the plastic slide and having biscuits and juice in break time.

Then there are my two childhood best friends, two girls (unrelated) that I used to see really often. I lost touch when one of them moved away and the other's dad remarried (I don't know why that was, but hey..). A few years later I got in touch with both. One's parents had split and the other had gotten married. The first girl was dealing with a truckload of crap in her life at the time and we lost touch again pretty soon. I often think about her. The other girl got miffed when I didn't phone her back one week (ok, I know I said I would, but I'm terrible with the phone - everyone who knows me knows that, and I did phone eventually). She stopped talking to me as a result, and after my apologies were sadly unaccepted, I decided to let it be.

Then there's my aunty Aisha (who's not really my aunty, but always was an aunty to me) who passed away last month. She was the first person I knew who had a computer at home - back in the day when Windows 95 was the bees knees and paint rocked. But best of all, she had a swivel chair. Oh the hours I spent swiveling on that chair!

It's funny, of all the friends I've had that are no longer a part of my life, these four are the most significant. They are the ones that I often think of and wonder if they're ok now. I hope they're happy wherever they are.

What friends have you lost touch with? And what do you do when you're looking for writing inspiration?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Busy Lizzy

image found here - aren't these gorgeous? I love the colours!

No, this is not about flowers, although buzzy lizzys are amongst my favourite. They take me back to being a little girl and going shopping for seeds with my mum in early spring sunshine.

This post is about how busy my next few days are gonna be. :(

Today I was out touring the old part of Algiers, the Casbah, which was great fun - thoroughly fascinating (I'll be a-blogging about that soon, I just need to go through my photos first).

Tomorrow I will be going to a family friend's house for the afternoon and evening, which I'm not looking forward to, but feel that I have to go. I'll enjoy it when it's over.

Saturday I have an English lesson in the morning (which is nothing new - I have that student every morning) followed by an afternoon of socialising with a bunch of expats. With cream cakes and loadsa tea. Yeah, I'm looking forward to Saturday. :D

Sunday I'm back at uni. Bleugh. This means that I've got to clean house (my intended spring clean this holiday didn't happen), start my next research paper and prepare to present it as well as start thinking about my thesis. Eek! The mere thought of all that makes me just want to crawl into bed and pull the duvet over my head.

On the bright side though, I'm hoping to start my driving lessons soon - yay!