Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Sleeping with the suitcases

Final night in my flat, is this the time to become sentimental?

Spartan living

The rooms are almost empty, my luggage is waiting for departure. Unfortunately both suitcases are a bit too heavy for the airline, so I still have to prioritize what to bring. Luckily, I can keep some things at my grandmother's and then later on interchange them.

Bye bye sunny bedroom view

It's not bon voyage tomorrow though.  I'm staying with my gran until the 5th, and have two days left to clean out the flat. It's on with the rubber gloves and out with the nuclear oven detergent!


Sunday, 26 August 2012

Hair raising fire

Today I held fire in my hands, literally. Like any day, I plugged in and switched on my hairdryer, and boom, it caught on fire. Large flames were burning inside it.

I stood frozen for a couple of seconds, unsure of what to do. I could smell the burned hair and plastic. Then I quickly turned it off, unplugged it and dropped it into the bathroom sink. I waited a moment before pouring plenty of water on it, just to be sure.

Ironically, I had the moment before contemplated if I should bring the dryer to London. Now I don't have to make that decision. I'm just grateful I hadn't already pointed it towards my head when I turned it on, or I could have ended up with a rather radical hair do ...

It was a loyal and hard working hairdryer, and I will miss it.


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Say (heart shaped) Cheese!

Today I received a nice surprise from this happy couple. They had a professional photographer, Daniel Oros, at the wedding venue so that everyone could have their own photo op with the bride and groom. It was a very fun and efficient idea!

When I look at the photo I see happiness and summer. And I suddenly feel rather short ...

Hope your weekend is going well!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Bought myself some disposable eyes


Today I visited my optician to try out some new contact lenses. I wanted to change from monthly lenses (you use the same pair for 30 days) to daily (you use a pair for one day and then throw it away).

I only use lenses for special occasions so the monthly kind was often a waste of money. They also began to irritate my eyes after only one or two times, so I often changed to a fresh pair before I was supposed to. With daily lenses you always get that fresh and clean feel. (And that sounded like a totally different "ladies" ad.)

Anywho, my optician had a look at my eyes and said my right eye is horribly dry and some of the tear ducts were actually clogged. I told her that I've never had that problem before but since I've been diving in and out of dust drenched cupboards and corners for over a week now, it's probably due to the allergic reactions. She agreed that might be the cause of the problem, and gave me the new lenses to try out.

Bliss! They've been so comfy all day and I've had super vision. One reason I didn't change sooner was because I didn't think there were daily lenses that correct astigmatism (that's what they told me when I first got lenses years ago) but apparently they've been around for a few years now.

I've now ordered some more online and hope they arrive before I leave the country. They're not cheap, but they're not more than a daily cup of coffee either, so that's not too bad for a whole day of seeing what's happening around you, no?

Have a brilliant weekend and see you soon!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

A basic wish list

Rents in London are super high, but I'll still try to find a tiny place of my own. I don't want to be too picky when looking, but there are a few things I would prefer. For example:

  1. A relatively safe location and building
  2. Key pieces of furniture ( at least a bed, preferably without bedbugs ...)
  3. A washing machine in the flat, or in the building
  4. Fairly short distance to my university (which is in central London a k a a rather expensive area)
  5. Good transportation links to my uni
  6. Double glazed windows so I don't freeze to death (and proper heating)
  7. A kitchen or kitchen area with decent appliances, not just a hot plate. I want to be able to cook!
  8. A bathroom with not too much visible mould (and hot water would be nice) 
  9. A lack of vermin (including above mentioned bugs)
  10. Soundproofed walls 

These things might sound fairly self-evident, but having visited London I've learned a thing or two about their houses. Unless you're able to pay top prices, you might be in for a few surprises. Still, I have my fingers crossed that I'll find something decent without obliterating my savings.

One week left in my "old" flat, a few days at my grandmother's and then I'm off!


Monday, 20 August 2012

It makes me sick

I grew up in fresh country air, surrounded by all kinds of animals and dirt. Despite this, I've still managed to develop a few allergies.

First it was an allergy to raw eggs. It came almost over night, having eaten something made out of raw duck eggs. We had a few ducks at home and occasionally used their eggs. Duck eggs however are "stronger" than eggs from chickens and can therefore more easily trigger an allergy. I have since grown out of it, but for years I couldn't eat anything with raw eggs in it, without throwing up.

Next allergen that came into the house was my darling guinea pigs. I got them in my late teens and they followed me when I moved away from home. Unfortunately,  I soon realised something was wrong. When I came home from uni in the evening, my nose would start to run, my eyes itch and I would feel exhausted. Tiikeli and Punk-Helge were therefore re-located to my parents and allowed to live happy ever after (until their natural deaths).

Finally, the allergy that is pestering me right now, in the midst of clearing out the flat: Dust! I haven't been medically tested but it is quite obvious. Every time I come into contact with certain types of dusts (mostly the invisible kind) my nose (again) starts running, I sneeze, I have difficulties breathing and get really tired. And the symptoms usually clear up if I take an antihistamine. I first suffered from this when I came back from Australia in 2009 and I've been thinking it could have something to do with the carpet covered floor in my Sydney flat. Maybe all that dust sucking, mould growing fabric was just a bit too much for my allergy prone body?

One thing is certain, I will not choose a flat in London that has carpeted floors. It might feel cosy underneath your feet on a cold winter's day, but I'd rather stay healthy and invest in a nice pair of  slippers.

But until then, back to the cleaning and the allergy meds!


Saturday, 18 August 2012

Mess means progress

Looking through blog entries from the flat renovation in 2010, I came across another photo that feels very current. Different pieces of furniture, but the same growing chaos. It can only get worse before it gets better!

My hall in 2010, while putting down new floors in the other rooms. 

It's odd to see my old furnishings, I've grown so used to the "new" look in a couple of years. Though I really love my flat, I can't help being excited about the opportunity to start from scratch in London and perhaps end up with something completely different to what I have now. I have all these visions and ideas, but a lot depends on what kind of living space I finally get my hands on.

Anywho, back to the kitchenware me and my grandmother pulled out of the cupboards today. Plenty of nice things I had forgotten about!


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A wall of crime and passion

I now have two weeks to get my flat ready for the tenant. It basically means turning my one bedroom flat into a studio, sealing off the second room for storage.

I've lived in the same place for almost 10 years. During those years I've bought, been given and inherited items of every kind, including books. You might remember this entry where I showed all the books that were re-homed at my place after my mum's flat was emptied.

This time around I only have to move the books in my bedroom, mostly crime novels and chic lit. Some of them I've read, and some are still hoping for my attention.  They will all be waiting in the corner, until I've moved the bookcase across the hall.

I'm putting this moving business down as a work out!


Monday, 13 August 2012

A weekend with heart


I'm back home from the final wedding of the summer. It was a beautiful, heartfelt, multicultural ceremony and party that brought together people from all over the world.

I was impressed by the priest who alternated between English, Swedish and Spanish during the ceremony. Only once did I get the giggles when he accidentally mispronounced the word "spouses" as "spooses". It sounded so sweet and I couldn't help imagine two elks, or spoons for that matter,  standing together at the front of the church, wearing a wedding dress and a dark suit.

I enjoyed spending (a few hours of) the night at a hotel and having the hotel breakfast in the morning. Yum! It was also nice to travel light, something I definitely won't do the next time I leave the city. Oh dear ...

Have a great week!


Friday, 10 August 2012

Footprints from the past

This is one of my favorite photos, three generations of feet. My grandmother had bought new nail polish and me and my mum wanted to try it on.

It is now two years since my mum died, on the day. I can't believe it has been that long already, I would love to tell her everything that has happened since, and all the exciting things that are coming up. I hope she would be proud.

I lunched with my grandmother today. We had pizza. We both eat fairly salubrious foods normally, so when we meet up, we usually opt for something on the unhealthier side.  After all, grandmothers are supposed to spoil their grandchildren!

I hope you have a great weekend ahead!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Transparent money pit

I wonder how much money I've spent on tights this summer, due to all the lovely weddings and parties I've been invited to.

I know, you don't necessarily need to wear tights at summer events, but I usually prefer to. Tights keep those shoes and thighs from chafing, and they also give your legs a bit of colour and polish (I'm not big on sun bathing). Finally, I pretend they make it harder for the mosquitos to eat me. Or maybe they just see the tights as a table cloth?

Anywho, I've visited the hosiery department more than once this summer, leaving with new pairs of tights. Because you can't just buy one pair. Oh no! That's like defying all the tight-gods and devils.  If you buy only one pair it will without fail rip at an inopportune moment. And once a pair of tights begin to unravel, there is no stopping them*. So always bring back-ups!

My final wedding is this weekend and then it's all eyes on the move. I don't have a perfect action plan yet, but one thing is for sure; I won't wear tights cleaning out the oven.


*Some translucent nail polish might slow it down.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Behind locked doors

Good evening!

Today I did one of many things on my to do list, I got the flat's keys duplicated for my future tenant.

It struck me how easy it is to get copies of keys. Nobody checked my ID or my connection to the flat. I just walked in, handed them the original keys, waited, paid and walked out again 15 minutes later with two new sets.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it was such a hassle free operation, it saved me a lot of time, but it also made me think. What if someone you knew, possibly did not like, got hold of your keys for just an hour or so? Or the person who lived in your flat before you made extra copies and returned later to "borrow" all your stuff?

I know I have paranoid tendencies, but it wouldn't be so hard to get almost trace free access to a house or flat.

And now I've probably given some bad people some bad ideas. Sorry.


Thursday, 2 August 2012

My computer the Toddler

I should be packing, tomorrow I'm taking an early train up north to attend another wedding. Instead I'm on the sofa, sipping a brain freeze smoothie, trying to get my head on straight.

I've spent most of the day trying to get the happy couple's wedding program right. I agreed to design it, suspecting I would have one or two melt downs before it was finished. 1-0 Madicken. Why does computer programs always act up when you have the least time and energy to spare? Like a three year old deciding to protest "just because".

Anywho, the last pdf draft has finally left my e-mail, ready to be printed tomorrow. Since I made the design, I took the liberty to match it to my dress. Mua ha ha. If I ever get as far as packing it ...

Have a great weekend!