Saturday, 27 November 2010

No tech

After my iPhone let me down again by most inconveniently drowning in my bedside water last week, I had to go out and search for a suitable replacement.

I waited for my turn in the phone shop, playing some "burn ants" app with the demo iPhone. Once I'd burnt a few million ants, I went on to kill "sneezes" and then to gamble all my imaginary budget on pin ball. It was probably around the point when I moved on to bbq recipes, that I realised my life with high tech communication equipment needed to end. Seriously, who needs all this stuff?!

The row of familiar Nokia phones looked up at me like old friends, their clanky buttons and black and white screens like forgotten photographs. You know these guys last a lifetime, and if they decide to drown in a tea cup, you just have to open them up and use the blow dryer on them and they'll be as good as new. None of this superior, "you can't open me up because Apple is above tinkering." That love affair, my friends, is over.

Needless to say, I bought one of these trusty little Euros.

I've set the screen onto "reef" which has little fishies that swim across the screen. Ahh, it's in the little things.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Chicken soup

I was feeling rather the worse for wear when I arrived in Singapore last week. And, after spending two days walking around with tissues stuffed up my nose and rolled up in my pockets, I decided that maybe alcohol was the best remedy.

So, I joined in on a "team building" event. Read "team piss-up". A bottle of wine later, and I was feeling much better, and rather pleased that I'd been able to fight off the evil cold so effectively. I have always said that colds-should-be-ignored-and-bombed-out-with-Nurofen-cold&flu.

I regretted all my bravado the next morning. I felt terrible. My throat was a tight knot, my stomach had spasms of pain echoing through it and my head felt like it had been pulled off and then sewn back on the wrong way round. I lay in bed, curled up with my nose against my knees, hoping that this would all go away, and also trying to think up a plan as I had a meeting at 10am which I needed to be alive for.

So I called down to housekeeping and managed to whisper "panadol" and hang up. Just moving my head made me wince. Here's where the hotel recommendation comes in. The Intercontinental was jaw-droppingly amazing. Within minutes someone was knocking on my door, let themselves in when I must have mumbled something like "come in"(but probably sounded like "kill me"), propped me up in bed, gave me two panadols, had her sidekick boil me some water, asked me whether she should call a doctor (to which I shook my head and dove back under the duvet) and then told me she would call me in two hours to see if I was ok and to make sure I would be on time for my meeting.


Needless to say, I recovered and felt quite human by the time I had to leave. Nothing like a bit of TLC.

Did I mention that they enquired after my health with every wake up call for the rest of my stay? Along with whether I would like tea or coffee to help me ease into the day? I almost cried when I had to check out.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


If you walk around the shops in Hong Kong right now, you'll see rack upon rack of heavy knit jerseys, leather leggings and fur lined jackets. Erm, has anyone opened the windows? It's 26 C outside!

Anyway, I've been avoiding shopping like the plague but, with the prospect of a number of dinners and events this week, I couldn't face wearing my French Connection dresses again. I have two French Connection (I refuse to say FCU..) dresses to be precise and to say I wear them every time I go out is hardly an exaggeration. That's not to say I don't have other clothes, but they're a little sad looking and stare out at me from my wardrobe with such a look of despair that I can't bear the thought of donning them.

I do, however, occasionally try and break out from wearing the two aforementioned "favorites". Last week, for example, I almost left the house in something not dissimilar to an aerobics outfit, which I thought was rather "80's artsy chic", but I was stopped by a last minute glimpse of myself in the mirror looking like something out of Flashdance but with the additional flair of a trench coat on top. Clearly this was a cry for help.

So, I was in Singapore this week for work, and I found it to be a little more sensible than Hong Kong, as it isn't flogging the winter theme quite as effusively. That's not to say they don't have "Happy Christmas" written in red (and blue?!) glitter all over the place... anyway, I managed to squeeze in time to check out Topshop (which everybody loves for some bizarre reason - seriously, why would I want to wear a floral jump suit with a large necklace with feathers hanging off it?) and spotted some lovely shoes at an Australian shop called Witchery in the airport.

Here's what I found, bought, and will wear until they fall apart:

Yes, it's Topshop, no I don't generally like them, yes they sometimes have the occasional thing that I can actually see myself wearing

Refreshing discovery. Good quality leather, innocent prices and shoes in all sizes. If you're going through Singapore Airport, and you have big feet, here's your place. They also have clothes, but I thought they were ghastly.

P.S. If anybody is wondering how my fantastic gold Zara shoes are holding up, I wanted to mention that they died yesterday. They will be missed, and a note will be made that Zara shoes should only be worn on occasion and when the weather forecast is fair

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

A man of few words

The parental unit came and stayed with us last week and, amongst many other things, including walking around in the freezing cold for two days, we went to visit the priest at the Cathedral. Father Hogan. Now, Father Hogan is in charge of lining up T and my speedpasses to heaven and making sure no one thinks it's a really bad idea that we marry. He listened as I explained the ins and outs of the wedding, his hands folded in front of him. He nodded, listed off the paperwork we needed and then politely leant back in his chair and smiled. Silence. My Mum, an expert in eye contact when she's not wearing her huge shades - which-is-most-of-the-time - looked at him warmly and smiled back. I fidgeted.

We got up to leave, and as we did, I remembered to mention that it might be helpful if he could talk to Father Riccardo in Paros, but that-he's-Polish-and-only-speaks-Polish-Italian-or-Greek. (We're currently communicating through Google Translator - which is priceless)

Father Hogan nodded and said, "That shouldn't be a problem. I speak most languages fluently. I taught for many years in Rome, and you know the new testament was written in Aramaic."

Of course.