Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Bank Holiday Weekend

This weekend was a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK. I love long weekends. It started great on Friday, which was the last day I was allowed to take summer hours and left work at 1pm. I went home, hung out a bit and had a nice lunch with my bf who had taken the day off work. He had spend the morning at the immigration office and got a new visa. He is now allowed to stay and work in the UK indefinitely. Yay! We celebrated a bit but then I had to leave for a birthday party.

It was at one of my favourite pubs. Waxy's Little Sister, right between Leicester Square and the main street through Chinatown. They have a little food lift in the middle of the pub where you can order drinks to the first floor without having to go downstairs. It was brilliant! I forgot to take a picture of it, but you can see it on their website. It's the wooden box thing on their bar. They also have a couple of fireplaces which was perfect as it was pouring down rain when I walked from the tube to the pub. My legs were soaked!

Of course, when we got hungry we made our way over to Chinatown and had some food. I was expecting to get something really greasy, but we managed to squeeze into a nice restaurant and had really good and healthy Chinese food (who ever heard of that). I didn't mind since I hadn't been drinking anyway.

After dinner a friend of mine and I slipped away to make our way down to the Globe Theatre to watch Shakespeare like it's meant to be. It was very exciting. We went to the midnight showing of 'As You Like It'. I had not seen the play before and really enjoyed it. The atmosphere was brilliant. They sold food and drinks outside the theatre. Our seats were all the way at the top in the last row. But we could see really well. I thought it was a bit irritating that they left the lights on full even during the play. It's just weird when the spectators boxes are illuminated during a performance. And I loved that all the windows that were in the staircase leading up to the floors didn't really have windows in them. The windows were holes in the wall. Loved it!

 View back into the audience. It looks really dark, but was not at all. I am just photographing against the light.

We were sitting on the side of the stage. I liked how the stage had it's own roof. Poor people standing in the middle of the theatre. No roof at all. Luckily it didn't rain. I completely forgot to take a picture of the middle bit.

Notice the people standing in front of the stage. They had to be there for almost THREE hours! Play started at midnight and we got out at 2.45am. Only a small break of ten minutes in between. Gosh was I glad that we paid more for seats!

Overall it was a great experience. In the three years I have been here I always wanted to go to the Globe but somehow just never made it. And I think the midnight showing is just such a great idea. It was great to walk through the city along the South Bank towards the cinema. The area is really cool. You can see all of the old buildings on the north side of the river that give way slowly to more modern buildings the further east you walk. It's just such a nice walk. And I love the smell and sound of the Thames. Need to remember to leave the house more often and do new things!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Work, work, work

Work has been stressful the last few weeks. It seems like everyone is on holiday. Not only does it make it hard in asking questions and getting answers. I also need to check other people's inboxes and decide which queries are important and need to be dealt with and which ones to ignore. Ah well, only a couple more weeks and everyone is back from holiday.

Cannot wait for probation to be over. Holiday please come sooner.

In other news, the girl who has the same role at work that I have, but is in charge of Asia, while I do Europe, is moving jobs. She's staying in the department but joining another team. Now I'm thinking I should go in and say that I would love to cover Asia instead of Europe. But I think it's too early. I just started, so I shouldn't already try to move around. They are stressed enough, that they need to train another person. Plus I might also have to switch imprints then and I really like the one I am working on now. Ah I wish she would have switched next year and not now. Then it would have been totally ok for me to start moving around. *sigh*

Ah well, still love my job. And it's kinda handy to be able to speak German with some of my customers. Would have no advantage in the Asia market since I don't speak any of those languages. Darn.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

A Sunny Day

Felt like shit all day yesterday. I had a headache, the dissertation was not coming along as planned, the weather outside was bad, but really humid. All I wanted to do was just cry and sleep. Which I mainly did. I managed to leave the house for about an hour to get some groceries and bf got his passport pictures done for the visa.

I thought it would do me good to get out of the house and get some fresh air. Not really though. Headache got even worse. My whole head felt really tight and as if it was too tiny for my brain... So I just laid down and closed my eyes most of the afternoon.

Do you sometimes have those days where everything seems impossible and like it's too much and everything seems to go wrong or simply nowhere?
That was basically my day. No idea what brought it on. But it was a shitty, shitty day. I was really scared that today would be the same again and that stressed me out even more. Because I will need all the time I can get to finish my dissertation in time. Only six weekends left and I still haven't done all my interviews. Really need to ask people at work next week whether they'd be so nice and let me interview them.

To end on a lighter note. Today was completely different. I got up in the morning and felt a lot better. I got a bit done on the dissertation and read up on some methodology and listened to some lectures. Felt much better afterwards. Also, a friend of mine agreed to be interviewed because he work in the field I wanted to do my research in. So I met up with him this evening and had a 30 minute interview. And it was great! He told me so many useful things that I can analyse and contrast against another interview I did back in April during a placement. The sun came out and we were drinking frappucinos sitting in the sun and getting shit done for my dissertation. 

Now I'm back home and everything looks much better. This will mean that probably next weekend I can write up the interviews and really get into the nitty gritty bit. Yeah, things are coming together. Hurray! So weird how two days can be so utterly, utterly different. And to top it all off my loving bf has ordered us some sushi that is about to arrive. Here's to good friends and loving boyfriends!

Greenery just outside of Cambridge...

These are some of the pictures I managed to take in the gardens of the hall. They were amazing. Unfortunately, the only time I had time to sneak away to take them, it was raining.So they are all a bit grey. Hope you enjoy them anyway.

I love tree walks!

 What might be at the end?

 Peeking out the side...


I really have no idea what most of those flowers are. But they were all so colourful and bright. And smelled so so nice. Who would have thought they are planting all these nice flowers in the middle of nowhere?

Friday, 19 August 2011

Just outside of Cambridge...

A few weeks back I had to go to Cambridge for a couple of days. My whole department from work went to a conference. It was just outside of Cambridge in the most beautiful halls I have ever been to.

This is the view out of my bedroom.

View of the main building from my bedroom.

 My little tiny bed, in my little tiny room. It was student accommodation after all. But I loved it. It was even an en-suite!

View of the little courtyard.

Other side of the courtyard.

Parking lot overlooking beautiful countryside.
Cute hut in the garden next door.

View from the back of the main building, with the 'little' English Garden.

I didn't really have enough time to appreciate all of the surrounding countryside. Was too busy sitting inside listening to presentations, and giving two of my own. Yay. But it was really nice to be surrounded by all that greenery and have all that fresh air. Sometimes I miss the countryside.
I was only there for three days. Next year there will be a new conference, am already very excited about where they choose to send us then. I know last year they went to Oxford. So I guess the theme is university towns? But that's next year. Now it's back to normal work.

Speaking of work. In five days I will be done with my probationary period. Yay! Gonna book a flight home this weekend for November. Cannot wait! Haven't been since Christmas. And that trip was cut short due to the snow chaos at the London and Germany airports. So no snow in November pleases! I am planning to go see my new nephews. Yes that's right, my sister and sister-in law are pregnant. Due dates end of October. So I'm hoping going early November will mean I can meet both of the babies.

Wish me luck!

Busy Post

I finally managed to get off my ass and start my dissertation. Which now means that I work full-time during the week and spend about 6-8 hours each day on the weekend working on my dissertation. I did this for three weeks now and it's making me tired. Staring at computer screens every day is so exhausting!
It's only till the end of September, so I shouldn't whine too much and just deal. But I think a little whiny post is not too much... I feel a bit guilty complaining about it since I'm getting paid and get a good education at the same time. Boy but sometimes I wish I could just slag off for a day or two (ah, whom am I kidding, for at least a week or two). I guess that's what you get from going straight from classes into employment. I am very glad I got this job, since I love and was super scared that I would not be able to get a job in publishing like the last time I graduated. But still, I need free time to hang around and do nothing.

Now enough with the whining. In good news: It's Friday, I only have a half day today. And the later half of the day I will use to do ... nothing. Huzza!
In other exciting news (this is exciting, since normally I don't do anything special on weekends): next Friday I will go to Globe Theatre and see the midnight performance of As You Like It. A friend of mine booked us tickets on the highest floor in the back. Not gonna be a brilliant view, but it's gonna be so lovely. I hope it's a cloudless night so we can see stars (who am I kidding, no stars in London anyway). That will also be the day we will find out whether bf will get a new visa for the UK. If not, they will kick his ass back to Canada. So fingers crossed that everything will be fine for him that day.
The weekend after we will go to the Royal Opera House and get a behind the scene look at it and get to see some performances for a special they have on. Bf won those tickets at work. Not bad I say. I am very excited about all the culture we are squeezing into our schedule (and perfect excuses NOT to do anything on my dissertation, double win).
Yeah, that's about all that is happening over here. Now that London got all boring again and stopped the riots (thank you very much). Ok, should get my lazy ass into the shower and off to work I run!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

London, what are you doing?

My work send me home early today because of the riots. It feels very surreal to be honest. The area I work in was not affected directly. However, one of our London offices was close to a riot centre and the police advised businesses to let everyone go home early before the violence could spread. So they send us home as well.

The area I live in was not affected. It is a very residential area with no shops around. I live behind a prison. I don't know if that makes me feel any safer tonight though.

I heard a lot of sirens during the night. Today I found out that on my nearest high street people had broken into shops and destroyed cars and property. I go the opposite way to work so I did not see any of this. But when I came home today I popped into my local supermarket to stock up on food (just in case, you never know) and stores in that area looked very different. Lots of them were closed. The ones that were open left their shutters as closed as possible. Just open enough for people to enter/exit. The supermarket had put a really scary security guard in front and all stores had at least on person in front of their doors keeping watch. 

What makes all of this even more surreal is the good weather we are having. The sun is shining, it's warm and nice. Though some people are acting like complete assholes, there are also those that are extremely nice. Feels like they are almost trying to make up for it. When I went into the tube a guy who sells The Big Issue (magazine made by and sold by homeless people to have some income) came towards me and greeted me very warmly. 

Waiting for bf to come home now. I guess we will wake up again tomorrow and see what's happening. As long as the tubes are running I will be going into work. So far that has worked good. So fingers crossed that people will smarten up and things will calm down.

Everyone be safe tonight!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

HyperJapan 2011

A few weekends back I went to Hyper Japan 2011 here in London. I had won a ticket from Haikugirl for the Saturday. Originally I planned to go with a friend but he ended up not having time, so I went by myself.

It was a great experience. I wandered around on two floors. Being by myself meant I had plenty of time to linger as long as I liked at every stall. I think I was there for almost 4 hours.

I bought some DVDs that I have yet to watch (Fish Story, Turtles are surprisingly fast swimmers, and Lala Pipo). Really should finish (well start) my dissertation first though before getting distracted with fun stuff.

I am crap at taking pictures, but here are a few I managed:

Nanoblocks. I love Tokyo Tower in the background.

I never had takoyaki before, so this was the perfect opportunity to try. They were delicious!

Live show about how to make sushi and curry.

I'll definitely be back next year!