Thursday, November 29, 2007

Read Worthy: Human Cargo.

The IR student in me continues to crave non fictional books about life's truths, however horrific they may be. Caroline Moorehead gives us stunning accounts of refugees and asylum seekers and their paths to life and security in "Human Cargo". Not only does she describe the reasons and circumstance people are forced to flee their respective countries through short histories of the regions and first hand accounts, she shows the challenges people face in their journeys as well, their settlements, and sometimes their eventual return. Moorehead also writes of the factual regulations, laws, and prejudices towards asylum seekers in various countries such as Australia, the United States, and Italy which although I knew about the United States, others were shocking revelations. I recommend this book not only because Moorehead is a brilliant writer, but the number of refugees are ever growing in our world and their plight is one we must be aware of.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yes Please! Ornaments from Kath Kidston

The holiday season is upon us and what better way to give a little joy than to give these hand painted ornaments from Kath Kidston. The oh so girly retailer is a favorite of mine and I think these little goodies would be a nice treat for the hostess with the mostest or friends who have a new home. They are so sweet I am thinking of having them as decorations year round (one hanging from a doorknob would be nice)!

To purchase and find other gifts, check out Kath Kidston's website:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Filing in Limbo

After another fun filled weekend (thanksgiving fetes all around), I started a new temp job in a private medical office.

Having to get on the tube to go to work everyday fills me with mixed emotions. At times I like the human contact and the eye candy; the men dressed up in lovely suits and the various handbag observations. On the other hand, it is so hot, so slow, and sometimes the mixture of ladies perfume is just too much for one to handle.
When I arrive at the practice, my time is spent in a small room full of files. I have two supposed equals (my colleagues) that lack the spunk, having been at the practice for too long (or are lazy, sorry but true) that I try to avoid.
The offices are spread over four floors and I get my exercise running up and down the stairs, retrieving files, searching for files, and returning files. There are over 20,000 patients and it is pure file pandemonium. Being the overambitious employee (I was trying to make the time pass at rapid speed) I decided to go through all the files to make sure they were in proper order. As I did this I imagined the lives of the people whose files I held. I thought of them hugging each other in the real world as their files hugged each other, so close next to each other my fingers bled from securing the arrangement. I wondered if Brown and Browne would ever meet and how easy it would be if she took his name. I gave life to the drabness of those thin slices of manila and of the filing process. Between filing I skipped up and down the stairs and made faces at the CTV cameras that watched the buildings inside and out (the Brits love to spy). If this is how I am as a meager filer, just imagine how I will be when I actually like arriving to work I love! Ohh please let that day come soon so I can leave these files behind.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

London Living: I need a weekend to recuperate from my weekend!

It was a full weekend here in London and I would have loved to have shown you photos of it, but unfortunately I lost my camera. To be fair, it was on its last leg, but I had some great photos of my friends and I around about town. It started on Thursday when I went to a charity event to watch my house mate's band and Friday I met my London girls for the first time being back, in Holborn/Convent Garden area. It was great catching up!

Two mates on Friday came from the States. They were passing through on a backpacking trip and as my bed is so big, I had enough room to put them up and my other mates who came down from Oxford. I took the American gals to Oxford Street on Saturday for some shopping. The crowds were crazy! Later we met up with my Oxford friends who came down to party in Camden. We ended up at this random Kebab shop (great for the late night munchies. It had loads of people eating the fast food in the front and live jazz in the back. Most places close after 12 here in London unless you pay, but entrance into this place meant purchasing a can of beer. It was a blast. I finally gathered up the girls when I noticed it was three in the morning! We had a long bus ride home (not so cool when you're tired and cold). I realized upon arriving home, not only was my camera not in my friends bag, but my friend's phone was gone and so was another friend's gloves. I have lost many a pair here already!

On Sunday we went to Spitalfields market (see photo). Near the Liverpool street station, this covered market is the one I most enjoy and recommend in London. They have up and coming artists selling their prints, bags, jackets, and jewelry. They have vintage and retro wares for sale as well as flowers and food. I had the best organic African food and shared a massive french pastry with my friend, Nadia. Nadia scored a few rings for Christmas gifts and some handmade gloves (to replace the ones she lost). There are great pubs surrounding the market too and we warmed up in one after we shopped to our hearts content. Here is the website for future reference:

Still no job yet, but I am on the hunt and I did some temp work yesterday.

We are having thanksgiving here at my house! You Yanks know we don't have it here in Jolly Ol, but my housemate was excited about the possibility of pumpkin pie!

photo credit: No photos sign, Spitalfields Market, London,

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bounds Green

Luckily for me I have sweet friends. My friends Maggie and Joel who live in Oxford connected me with Gabrielle and Richard Lobb of Bounds Green who had a spare room needing an occupant. As I was looking for something temporary until I get my feet off the ground, it worked out splendidly for both of us. They have a three bedroom house in North London which they are fixing up....although the bathroom, (my favorite part) modern and plush, is finished....see the last photo. The first photo is Gabrielle in front of her red door (Great luck!) and the second one is of our street. The third photo is the fireplace in my is very pretty as is the view from my large windows. There is also a baby grand in the living room as Richard is a professional musician. It's so sad I've forgotten how to play, but no matter~ there is no shortage of music in this house!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New York Magazine: The Look Book

In ode to my fashionista friend Fabsugar (Sammy D), I decided to share with you one of my favorite places to view snippits of style on the streets of New York. As a person who always enjoys eyeing what other people are wearing, the Fashion Look Book by Amy Lorocca satisfies my cravings.
The people featured are real (and beautiful) and anything goes. Old 5th Ave women with Chanel bags, children on their way to school, and even the unemployed are photographed and interviewed. The fashion is personal and the questions asked show how individuals can be unique and Lorocca portrays them as if their life matters (Isn't that what we all want?). For instance this little boy is named Numa, from Switzerland, and he wants to be a baseball player. While Caroline (left) just graduated from St Andrews and she comments that if her style fails her, at the least she's got her locks. To view more: nymag and for the ever ambitious there is the Video Look Book at

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cousins are the best consolation for an only child.

And my cousins make the most beautiful babies!
Sophia Karras and my cousin Jen (Detroit).

Jessica Place and I in London, two weeks ago. This one knows how to have fun in the City!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Two weeks in Oxford.

Haiku for YOU:
Branch refresh.
Into the Light we go.
Hold on tight.

While passionately surfing the net and making connections for London jobs, I awaited the completion of my newly refurbished room in London at the expense of my fantastic friends in Oxford...they housed and fed me in my hour of need. Bless them! The weather, although cold has been are a few pictures at my friend Nadia's home.... so ok I admit I lounged a bit...taking siestas when the light came through her window.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

3 of my favorite places in Oxford.

If you ever get to Oxford I would recommend three places guaranteed to give you the best of what Oxford has to offer. For classic tea, head to The Rose on High Street. The food is fresh and homemade and the tea hits the spot.
For a new boutique with gifts and British style clothing (Orla Kiely is a favorite), carry on down the street to Aspire Style.
And one of my favorite pubs in all of Oxford is the Turf Tavern. Pubs are plentiful in this college town, but the Turf stands out (in reality it is hidden away and newbies have to be shown by a seasoned veteran where to go). The turf is famous for the place where Clinton "did not inhale", back in his Harvard days. Inside the Turf it is cozy and ceilings are low, keeping warm a mixed crowd of young and old. Outside everyone congregates, circling fires or heat lamps, telling tales of whimsical proportions.

Ode to Nadia's Italy

My good friend Nadia is from a little village outside of Venice. Her family lives up on the hill in a big bright orange house surrounded by her mother's vast vegetable gardens. She went there a month or two ago to visit her family. I hope to go there with her one day.

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