From london living

Scale: no longer a problem

We finally bought a kettle. It’s a Russell Hobbs, which is meant to be the leading brand in the UK.

This warning made me chuckle.

Descaling warning

Descaling warning

In Cambridge and London, I had to regularly cook my kettles with lemon or vinegar to get rid of the build up of greyish white scale.

I’ve now escaped hard water. In Melbourne, our water is sweet, our soap lathers and the only particles that float in our cuppas are tea particles.

London in Melbourne

My London workmates gave me a great present from Muji: London in a Box.

I’ve now set up the London skyline on my desk in Melbourne.

London city scape in my office

London city scape in my office

Here is a close up of a few pieces (from the Muji website).

London in a Box from Muji

London in a Box from Muji

Muji also sell New York in a Box (soooo iconic), Italy in a Box (the whole country? Surely Rome has enough landmarks?), Germany in a Box (heh, I wonder if they include a big broken wall), Paris in a Box (I don’t think the Eiffel Tower is much good), and Edo in a Box (very delicate cityscape).

Man, I love these wooden toys. By the way, this is not a paid advertorial for Muji.

The Roxy

After an evening of pub and bar hopping, my team at work often ends up at The Roxy. Somehow, I’ve managed to miss out on all these excursions. The next day, I hear the stories of my boss’s wild dancing, the who-pashed-who, etc.

I began thinking that I couldn’t leave London without experiencing the team night club. So I sent a meeting invitation to my work friends.

‘I would like to go to Roxys on Friday. Is it crazy to plan such a thing? Please join me.’

On Friday night, remarkably four attractive bachelorettes and I hit the town together.

First we went to the pub. I had pear cider. Then we had some filling and tasty burritos. I paid extra for guacamole, yum.

At a Scandinavian bar where my friends spun a wheel and made me drink whatever the arrow landed on. The drink was called ‘Chilly Willy’ and it turned out to be a spicy blackcurrant-flavoured vodka shot.

Finally, at the grand hour of 9:30pm, we arrived at The Roxy. We paid the discounted early bird entry fee and found ourselves alone on the dance floor.

I had the most enormous fun, leaping around the floor like a gazelle, shaking like a buffeted strand of seaweed, striding backwards. My mates had fun too. Some danced barefoot.

By 11:30pm, a crowd had joined us on the floor. It was a distinctively young crowd. I read that The Roxy is a hang out for University College London kids.

The ground got sticky with spilled drinks. By midnight, I had declined two invitations to dance with expressionless boys, and had shaken off another overly expressive one (who pointed at me, then pointed to himself, then I shook my head, then he pointed at me, then pointed to himself, then I shook my head, then realised he was acting out the song lyrics).

I love dancing but have never been clubbing. I never realised how much time is spent fending boys off.

It wasn’t one way traffic, though. Some of my eligible friends made their own successful approaches to their quarry.

My final words on Roxy: Value for money early in the night if you want space to be silly. Music was patchy at best. Male patrons tend to be young and assertive. Fruitful hunting grounds for pumas and cougars.

Blue stripes are the new pink

I got into the lift on the fifth floor. At the fourth floor, a man joined me. At the third floor, two men entered.

Suddenly, I noticed that they were all wearing blue striped shirts. The stripes were of different thicknesses and the blues were of different shades. Nonetheless, there was a clear mega-pattern amongst the three men.

Even more curiously, one of the man was carrying a plastic bag… full of what looked like striped blue shirts.

Two and a half years ago, I marvelled at a lift full of men wearing pink shirts.

Perhaps now, with redundancies looming large, people are retreating to safer fashion shores.

Taking it down a notch

It seems that everyone had the same idea. I’ve been at BBQs all day, as friends have tried to grab the last warmth of summer.

The final BBQ, hosted by Wolfgang and Rosangela, was a true gourmet affair. I ate trout, chicken, steak, fat sausages, spicy skinny sausages, juicy hamburgers, the most delicious home made tzatziki I have ever tasted, couscous and vegetable salad, Greek salad, salmon and potato salad, spinach and halloumi salad, grilled mushrooms, courgette, aubergine, peppers and onions.

Even taking half servings of everything, I was stuffed.

‘Are you ready for dessert?’ they asked. ‘We have home made ginger cake with chocolate chips, pavĂȘ (a Brazilian tiramisu-style layer cake), and grilled banana with chocolate and ice cream.’

‘Gulp,’ I said. How could I manage this? There was no way I could miss dessert.

I excused myself and went to the washroom where I moved my belt clasp back three notches.