Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Wednesday 23rd February 2o11

Ahhhhh, finally home! Been awake since 1am UK time, it’s as though one day is just merging into another. I feel jetlagged despite a time difference of just one hour... and I think I have more than compensated for my sleepless night with multiple “naps” on the bus to the airport, at the airport, on the plane, and then on the train home. Oh, and one more on the bus home from the station. But I’m still feeling sorry for myself, after all, I didn’t sleep all night! :p

The journey home was an epic, almost a full 12 hours. I arrived at Stansted looking like a complete idiot buried under thermals, snow boots, a scarf, ski jacket and ear muffs, having come from -16 to +13. It didn’t take me long to strip down to my sweat pants and T to soak in the near-tropical heat of North-East London. I have mixed feelings about being home, half of me doesn’t want to come back to reality, while half of me wants to take it by storm, get done with the mountains of work ahead and win the battles.

Unpacking. Done. Cleaning. Done. Washing. Done. I’m all set for a new day, a new start.

Stockholm was wonderful, and the people very warm. I went with the intention of disliking the city but when I stopped comparing it with London and saw it in it’s own, it really proved it's individuality. Cosy yet many open spaces and clean air. Modern and minimalist yet full of character. A world apart from mine, but beautiful in it's own right. Hopefully we'll meet again.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Tuesday 22nd February 2o11

Last day in Sthlm City today, and these my last few hours. Have you ever been so content, so happy in a moment, that you wished desperately for time just to come to a standstill? When you just wished you never had to say good-bye? That is how I feel. I'm not ready to go home as much as I miss it, because I feel as though I am leaving something behind.

The day has been a good one though, beginning with a delicious breakfast of home-made pancakes with whipped cream and jam and movies in bed. "Love and Other Drugs", "Life As We Know It" and "The King's Speech". All beautiful movies, definitely worth a watch.

I took my last trip into town, soaking in the city by dusk and by night; -12 celsius, but worth every goddamn minute. We took a tentative walk around the "Gallerian" shopping centre, savoured a peculiar but rather tasty cake by the flavour name of "pistage" (bright green cake with pistachios on the top, though the woman behind the counter assured us it contained just peanuts), took a walk through the "Harrods" of Stockholm and then stuffed our face once more at the food hall just off the market square. Yuuuuuumy :D

Now a painful start at 2am to get my flight at 7am in the morning. Not looking forward to the biting -15 outdoors, and the sleepless night ahead, but I suppose all good things come at a price. Tomorrow, back to my city, my home, albeit alone.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Monday 21st February 2o11

Still chillin' in Stockholm City, sorry to rub it in to those who woke up with the Monday morning blues! It feels as though I have been here forever now; memorised the stations on my train route "home" from town, recognise Swedish brands and chains as familar and even understand the odd word of snatched conversations in the street. Hell it's gone as far as having discovered my favourite place to hang out, a little coffee house called "Wayne's" just outside "T
-Centralen" Station in the heart of the city. It's a wonderfully cosy retreat, right amidst the chilly winter air, the busy city dwellers and the bustling shopping street yet secluded enough to make me a spectator, rather than a subject.
I find silent satisfaction sitting tucked away in the warmth of a coffee shop, a mug of steaming hot chocolate under my nose, watching the world go by. It's like time comes to a halt while I reflect. What I have come to realise that is that I can be in any city, any where in the world - the principle is the same. Everybody is rushing, rushing in the morning to get themselves to work, rushing at lunchtime to refuel, and then rushing in the evening to get to the place or the person they can call their own. A city is never still.

What I haven't gotten too comfortable with here, are...GUESS? Yep, food prices!!!! OMG! This "steaming hot chocolate" of mine, along with a small slice of cake cost me 80 krona (GBP 8) ! I have to say I can't help but feel conned, a little flutter of disbelief after each meal or coffee I have had. We thought we might save some money buying groceries and cooking at home – cheaper yes, but cheap? No. If I don't come home soon, I'm either going to starve to death, or be forced to rob a bank. Period. :D xx

OH, did I forget to mention the candy store I went in today? Literally, I was "that" child let loose - every type of chocolate, lollipop, hard sweet, soft sweet, liquorice and candy cane under the sun. Absolute heaven.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Sunday 20th February 2o11

Today has been a rather slow one - but then I suppose Sundays usually are. It was nice to not have to wake up at some unearthly hour to get to work for 6am, first time in a long time. I'm a little upset at having missed the 21st birthday party of two good friends in the UK, but it is definitely nice to have this break away from routine.

There are some days that I despise so much the limits that reality place on us and the potential to live our lives the way we really want. Bills and commitments, thinking about the long-term future, and the consequences of our actions.... sometimes I think it would be so liberating to live in a world that is "guilt-free", where we won't be held accountable for our actions. Why can't I just move to another country, or go travelling around the world, or sky-dive twice a week? URGH, life! Boring routines, duties and protocols.

I think I have the Sunday evening blues. :/ Enough ranting for now lol, hope you guys have had a great weekend! xxx

P.S. Don't worry, I'm not really moving countries, I will be back so stop panicking. Oh, and Little Fockers really is as disappointing as it’s made out to be, just doesn’t live up to its prequels.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Saturday 19th February 2o11

So I went to Drotninggatan today - I suppose the same to Stockholm as Oxford Street is to London. A shopper’s paradise - though I have to say from a Londoners viewpoint it's very "bitesize". Enough choice but not spoilt for choice, if you know what I mean? The -13 celsius did nothing to deter the Saturday shoppers as the pedestrianised street looked busy as ever.

I have to say I am rather shocked at the PRICES here! Everything is just so expensive, and that coming from some-one who has lived their entire life in England! I mean there are some places that have the cheek to sell a 500ml Coca-Cola bottle for 25 krona - are they insane?? The sky high prices were even more of a surprise considering the fare for a half hour train journey into town is just 9 krona.

But I am having fun. I guess I am growing used to the cold a little, and getting on with seeing the city despite the chill, just as the locals do. Having been up and down the train line numerous times now, I (rather smugly) feel familiar with the city - I think the place is growing on me! More tomorrow, time now for bed! xxx

Friday, 18 February 2011

Friday 18th February 2o11

It's as though I have blinked and the week has passed me by. That's not to say the days have been uneventful, just that there has been too much going on to stop and think! And now it's Friday again, the weekend once more. Technically, the week gone by was meant to have been reading week at university - unfortunately I'd be lying if I told you I had read anything other than Elle, BBC news, Tony Blairs Autobiography and the back of the food packets - Hmm... as far as reading goes, I'd say that's quite well-balanced assortment. If we're talking about the relevance of my reading to my degree, "no comment" :p

I find myself today sitting in Stockholm. New place, strange place. Well out of my comfort zone in more ways than one, but fortunately a familiar face lends me some solace; my boyfriend. As he moved here a few weeks back, I decided not to pass on the chance for a quick break... cold as f*** though! -9 celsius today, snowing and windy. NICE. However the serene white blanket is kind of pretty, it provides for a calm that cannot be matched - echoed by the silence in Stockholm City. London, New York, Mumbai - noisy, busy, dirty, thriving, and I guess that's how I imagined every major city in the world to be - I was mistaken!

Happy weekend to you all once again - who knows what this one is going to bring! :D Hope you're warmer than I am right now xx

Friday, 11 February 2011

Friday 11th Feb 2o11

I feel like smiling today. I feel like it is time to do something for me. You know when you have had a really tough time, spent so much time feeling low, crying and regretting.. .and you finally reach that point where you think “enough”? SO, the weekend's looking good – some old friends, hopefully a spot of retail therapy (ALWAYS lifts the spirits I find), comfort food and tons of banter.

Long afternoons of rom-coms and Disney movies with your oldest friends, chocolate brownies and Ben & Jerry’s for company make it simply impossible to avoid smiling any longer. Mysteriously, spoonful by spoonful of luscious milky ice-cream repairs a broken heart, revives dampened dreams and reinstates lost enthusiasm with a sanctity that simply cannot be matched.

Today has been a day of lazing, grazing and chilling – to top it off a date at 9pm eeeeeek with the sleekest gang of grifters I know. Though the guys aren’t too bad, I have to say it’s the blondie that’s the hottie! I was rather disappointed last week to see the removal of Hustle from the TV listings... but today I breathed a huge sigh of relief to see it has returned! Happy weekend to you all, it’s time for me to be with my TV xx

I Guess I Had Better Introduce Myself..

I have always been fascinated by people who write a daily diary – as somebody who despises rules and routines, I find I have always lacked the discipline needed to record on a daily basis life’s ups and downs, and the emotions that went with it. It seems so rewarding though to be able to read back your life, laid out so vividly, chronologically in your own words with not a day that you don’t remember. Even more it used to make me giggle that people wrote TO their diaries, instead of IN them as though the diary was a friend, an agony aunt, listening to your every woe and worry. I recall the time I began dating my first boyfriend as being the only instance I was motivated to write something down each and every day. Every moment of every day was exhilarating, I mean this guy I had been besotted with for my entire high school history had finally fallen for me too :D I wasn’t going to allow myself to forget even a second of it so each night I would religiously recollect my day’s escapades and pen them all down. Each day, a new experience – my first date, my first gift, my first kiss... I relished every moment of those beautiful, innocent days – and looking back at what I wrote at the time always brings a melancholy smile.

I sit and wish to myself sometimes that I still delighted in every day as avidly as I did back then, noting down the highs and lows faced and preserving memories for a lifetime. I guess though I am too set in my old ways now, doomed to be an “occasional” diary writer rather than the dedicated sort. So here it is, my “occasional” diary, filled with the hopes and dreams of every girl, some shattered some complete, the tears and the smiles, the daily grind and what gets me through. Some good days, some great... and some downright awful, but all worth remembering!



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