Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A Spring In Her Step

Do you remember how you felt when you got the grades you needed, when you got accepted into the university of your choice, or when you got offered your dream job? That rush of adrenaline when you acquired something following rigorous slash tediously pain-staking effort? Or perhaps you remember that flutter in your stomach, your racing heart when the love of your life told you you're the love of his too? The elation when somebody praises you that puts a spring in your step for the rest of the day? Remember how that feels? I speak at risk of sounding like a complete idiot but at this moment in time, I feel like exactly all that, rolled into one, pretty much all the time. I'm literally buzzing I'm so unbelievably happy - I've had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I'm not dreaming. High praise, I know, for a life that to outsiders may seem nothing more than ordinary. But isn't that the key - making the most of now, here? Following lesson number one (you know, that huge long speech on how you should never give up on love?), I'm ready to broadcast my second. And that is this: as much as we convince ourselves that we have control of our lives, life in fact takes most of our decisions for us. We don't know who we'll meet, what will happen or indeed how things will work out. In the given circumstances, the best we can do is take what is thrown our way in our stride, and strive to enjoy the ride. I say these words from experience, a former control-freakishness junkie who was put through cold-turkey rehab; I clawed to pull my life back together when I felt I'd totally lost the reins but the only way to continue living was conceding that my willing, or not willing, something to happen would make absolutely no difference whatsoever. To anybody who's a little down and out today, feeling a little bit worse for wear, just remember that bad times never last; so what if things went wrong today? Go to sleep, wake up, smile and start again (apparently England is expecting a mini-heatwave this week, so why not bask in that?!)

I'm back here tomorrow with maybe a bit of a fill-post on the antics of my past week - but until then, please think on my words and enjoy yourself, no matter what it is you're up to.



Thursday, 22 September 2011

Remember Me?



Hello there, remember me? I know it's been a while since I stopped by, but I'm pleased (and somewhat relieved) to note that you guys haven't yet completely given up on me (don't forget that little ticker on the right tells me all). So first and foremost I'd like to say sorry for losing my way. I've been so wrapped up in getting my life into order, setting up for uni, catching up with friends, working non-stop at 6am starts, sinking my teeth into the mountains of reading that beckon AND co-ordinating a quick getaway to India that, well… I guess I didn't realise I'd been away so many days.

I really enjoy writing my blog, I love to sit down and share my thoughts and experiences; we all go through similar feelings and fears, albeit at different points in life - and when I feel something, there's nothing I like more than to find a quote, an article, a song, something that sums up that feeling for me, in a way that I know I just cannot. Don't lie, we ALL listen to a sad song when we're feeling a bit melancholy, don't we? That's exactly what I mean and that's why I write here; in the hope that it may be a ray of sunshine for some-one, somewhere, when they feel like the only one in the world. So I suppose what I am trying to say is that I have been refraining from "fill-posting" while I have been busy elsewhere. I want to share only that what matters.

If you've been following for a while, you'll know that the past year has been a roller coaster for me. Though I'm by no means the first, last or only girl to go through it, it doesn't make it any easier to take. It's been a test of strength, of character and of integrity. It's fair to say though that the same year has probably taught me more than my previous 20 years, in terms of relationships and family. My message, on this fine September day, is this: no matter what happens, no matter who you meet and no matter what went wrong, never EVER give up on love. You might have wronged, you might have been wronged. But there is always a second chance. A third chance. Love is worth as many chances as it takes. I didn't believe it but I was wrong. For now, that's all I have to say, but I am preeeeetty sure I will be back tomorrow. I'm going to leave you with a song that's been playing on my iPod almost non-stop. If there's anyone in this world who doesn't know who Akon is, then based on this song alone, you'd probably think he's an Indian. Please excuse the slightly camp dancing though.



Sunday, 18 September 2011

Good Weekend?


Hello hello hello, good weekend everybody? It's been another blink of the eye for me, but, upon closer inspection, I'm most definitely a good few quid poorer (I take the Nando's loyalty card to another level), probably many kilos heavier, I've caught up on my sleep debt and actually watched the football with my brother. Good weekend? I think so. I know I still owe you that review, I'm working on it believe you me, so stay tuned.

I'm literally buzzing for some reason; bouncing off the walls - it's been a long time since I felt so good but I'm brimming to the point of overflowing with positivity. I'm already excited about Christmas (it's September, I KNOW!) and even more so about starting uni next week. Once again, I'd like to give a big shout out to readers & followers alike; your every comment, compliment and criticism is appreciated. I have to say I'd sort of expected my near and dears to read my ramblings (sorry guys, not that I'm taking you for granted or anything ;) ) but to receive praise from complete strangers floors me. I know I'm breaking the rules here, but I'm bursting to boast about the three lovely readers who've left me with "blog awards"; you have quite literally made my weekend! I promise to be back with a proper post on this too (hey, I do keep my promises, albeit with a lengthy time lag) but until then - just a very big thank you.

Warm wishes for the week ahead xx

Photobucket Photobucket

Friday, 16 September 2011

Friday Food, Family and Fun


So I'm really sorry for the random AWOL. I know I didn't give any warning; but to the lovely readers who've been leaving their footprints on my little corner of the cyberspace (that diligent little ticker on the right tells all), a heartfelt thank you to you all. I suppose the only explanation I have for myself is that "life happens" sometimes and I've found my hands fuller than I expected. With just one week of freedom left until uni begins and my hours at work are further bumped up (argh!) it's been a mad rush of setting affairs in order and getting my timetable organised. But boy have I have missed this little space, and I hope, once I actually sort myself out, to take out a little more time for our heart-to-hearts. Despite everything, I have another Orange Wednesday to share with you (didn't think I'd slipped up that much, did you?!) Albeit in the nick of time (and thanks to my lovely brother) I did manage to catch the last show of a little wonder called Colombiana - but more on that tomorrow. For now, I'm hoping to appease you with warm wishes for the weekend; here's to another two days filled with food, family, friends and fun. Happy Friday.


Orange Wednesdays: Colombiana

A Movie Review or Three


Seeing as this review has taken almost a lifetime to produce, It's hardly surprising that I've watched two more movies in the interim that I think are also worth sharing with you; I'm going to keep it brief-ish (after all, there's only so much I can expect you to put up with considering I don't pay you), but here we go. When I watched Colombiana, my reaction was whoah. Not WOW, but WHOAH. By my measure the action sequences were smooth, the plot slick and the actress fit (yes, I am easily pleased). So I came out of the cinema totally bowled over, which was kind of strange as my brother wasn't quite so impressed, when in fact he was supposed to have loved it, not me. So anyway, as per usual, when I got home I clicked onto Rotten Tomatoes to find out what the rest of the world was saying. Turns out my brother was bang on, not me. Apparently the film's unrealistic, nothing more than the tried-and tested little-girl-becomes-killer trope. So there I was, thinking oh sh**, here I sit chatting absolute breeze, telling my readers that good movies are bad and bad movies are good. Oh dear. Just to test this conclusion of mine, after watching 'Trust' on my brother's recommendation I went to find out if my opinion was agreeable on this one. This time, I wasn't so clean bowled but RT thught otherwise giving this one a hefty 78%. Not that it wasn't a good movie, just that it was very realistic. And that's when it came to me - what critics call patchy, I call escapist. I don't care for puny detail and intricate information - what I want is to be taken away from real world, transported into a fantasy where anything and everything is possible. I mean, if I wanted reality I’d watch the news or a documentary film would I not? I’m sure by saying these words, I’m officially the worst film critic/reviewer in the world - but this is just my opinion. At the end of a long day of work/university/chores/real world routine, I want appeasement, entertainment; not a hard-hitting social messages. I mean… let's even think books. Why are Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings so damn popular? Same reason if you ask me, the lure of being able to leave behind the real world for a few short hours with just a little imagination. So it turns out I'm probably going to give you reviews totally contradictory to what everyone else has to say. But if like me, you've a soft spot for Bollywood, Harry Potter is your childhood companion and you really couldn't care less that the actors should be speaking Spanish in Colombia and not English, then stick with me - I'll keep you posted on what you need to watch and what you don't.

Another one you could probably miss (unless you're completely in love with Mila Kunis, which I won't deny, she is HOT), is Friends with Benefits. The bottom line - it NEVER works. Think No Strings Attached established this fact… so errr, why the sequel?



Sunday, 11 September 2011

Monday Morning Blues


It’s almost time to bid the weekend good-bye and welcome (with open arms; yeah right) Monday :( It never fails to shock me how a weekend can fly by so quickly yet a working week can drag out, tediously, each moment like an eon. Let's hope this one isn't going to be one of them. Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.


Saturday, 10 September 2011

A Weekend in Heaven

Life’s so good right now I might as well have died and gone up to heaven because a weekend from heaven this is. Who’d have thought I’d utter such high praises for -

1) late-night movies on a Friday - I finally found the time to watch The Hangover following, I think, an all time record of two years procrastinating. And to no avail too because I actually rather like Bradley Cooper (come on, who doesn’t?!). So those of you who were on my case (you KNOW who you are!) can shhhh now. I liked the movie but for all the hype around it, I was a little disappointed. People warned me that it would be the funniest film I’d ever seen - but I think I only LOLed when Mike Tyson turned up. Entertaining? Yes. Amusing? Yes. Ridiculous? Yes. But crack me up hilarious..? No. I actually found Bridesmaids, dubbed the ‘girly version’ of The Hangover, a helluva lot funnier. So my theory is that that guys find the hangover funnier than girls? Dya think?

2) a lazy lie in on a Saturday - truthfully, the first time I’ve woken up later than 6am in around 3 weeks (DAMN YOU body clock).

3)...and then a day of shopping - I’m not really one for retail therapy, but when it gets to about two years since you last bought yourself a piece of cloth, I think a shopping date is pretty well justified (don’t judge me if I tell you that I actually spent half an hour mulling around the M&S food hall, choosing which cake to bring home). I bought myself my first pair of heels EVER too - and as though that wasn’t enough reason to celebrate? Following 20% promotional discount and the discovery of £50 worth of John Lewis Vouchers knocking around in my purse since Christmas, I paid £10 for a £75 pair of shoes. Score.

So, now we know - this is what 5 days of 5am starts does to you. Whoever said life’s about enjoying the little things said it right - it’s so important sometimes to just open your eyes and look around at what you have got, not what you haven’t. I’ll be back tomorrow with some more but until then, be good, make the most of your weekend, spend time with the people you love and never forget to smile. G’nite.


Friday, 9 September 2011

That (Familiar) Friday Feeling

Friday? Check. (Most of the) weekend off? Check. Almost snuggle-into-bed-and-watch-movie time? Check. Mother-daughter shopping date? Fixed. Sunday night curry session? Sorted. It looks set to be a smashing weekend - so I'm off to start mine. Happy Friday guys; wherever you are, whatever you're doing, smile, be safe and have a great one.



Thursday, 8 September 2011

A Little Annoyance

I had a ball at the cinema yesterday - I came out almost dancing, such was the spring in my step. All woes and worries long lost. I've left a little review here for you to have a sneak peek. Please do. It's absolute MAGIC. Really, mum, mission accomplished.

So, save a ‘helluva lotta’ hate mail heading towards the guys sitting behind the O2 customer services desk and mental cursing/telepathic trashing in equal measure of the bulk of the Indian population, I've been… well, fairly mellow today if I'm honest. Why I hear you ask, why the sudden disdain for these two random and otherwise very lovely groups of people. Allow me.

1) I walked into the O2 shop some three months ago when my iPhone packed it in, asking for suggestions on a suitable replacement (the iPhone 4 was not on the table at this point). I made clear what I expected from my phone - a qwerty keypad for ease of speedy texting and rapid access to mails, with emphasis on my desire to try something non-touchscreen. Sandra, if I remember right, looked at me as though I’d asked her the safest way to dispose of a dead body. I kid not. So, while she recovered from her embarrassment, I nosed around myself for a while, and then, in her own time, she suggested I try the Nokia C3-00; a cheaper alternative to the Blackberry, ultra-sensitive typing pad and the colour...well I'm sure you'll love the colour, she said. (I happened to be wearing pink that day - think she might have picked that up from there?!) But the internet, I demanded, will the internet load up fast? Yes, she assured me, yes. You can access your mails at the speed of a lightning bolt. Ahh the promise in the voice, the hopes in my heart. All dashed three months on, when I have finally reached the end of my tether with this one. The mails, let alone loading up at lightning speed, more often than not don't open at all. Should I have researched the model more myself? Yes. But is it easier to blame it on Sandra with the perfectly manicured nails at the O2 store, Watford? Ohh I think so. Grrrrrr.

2) Yesterday was not me at my absolute best. I won't lie. By the time I got to the cinema, I was a grouch bag by very definition of the term - note; n. a habitually irritable or complaining person. So when it got to 8.40pm (the film was due to start at 8) and they actually had to PAUSE play in order to seat the people still streaming in, it took a lot of restraining on mum's part to stop me getting up and saying "For the LOVE of god. Are you serious?!". For starters, homies, you're 45 minutes late. If you don’t turn up on time you can’t expect your seat to still be there. For seconds, we all paid the same price for tickets. So stop fussing and park bum please. What ever happened to that old phrase "watch and let watch” ey?! For thirds (more commonly known as dessert, I think), buy a watch. Indian timing *tut*. You ALL know who you are. *ehem*

From me, for today, that’s all. So here’s sending lots love and laughs your way, unless you work at the O2 store that is*. Or you're Indian* (yes, I KNOW I'm Indian! So?)


*DISCLAIMER: I love people regardless of race, religion, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, gender, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, occupation, and, time-keeping skills. So chill. I forgive you.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Mum's Medicine

I’m just here to tell you that Orange Wednesday has come round again already (before you taunt me, yes, I did finally get the Planet of the Apes review online - you can catch up on it here.) and, as per, I’m off to the talkies. I’ve had a bit of a miserable day - not exactly feeling great, little sleep and too much worry - so it’s good that I’ve spent the day hibernating, hidden away far from human contact, else someone was gonna get it. Mum’s medicine = delicious meal + Bollywood masala movie, by the name of Bodyguard, to cheer me up. Anybody seen it? For now, it’s over and out.



Orange Wednesdays: Bodyguard

Stars: Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Raj Babbar, Hazeel Keech & Mahesh Manjrekar


This film is a BOMB. And by that I mean explosive - hindi mein bole to… dhamakedaar. For those of you less acquainted with Bollywood, for your benefit, I'm going to start at the beginning. The formula for an entertaining Bollywood film has always been universal. You need one hench hero (preferably well-seasoned), one beautiful Indian princess (like in a fairytale), a villain (or two, as per taste) and plenty of laughs, tears, drama and above all - songs and dances!


So goes the tale of Bodyguard Lovely Singh, charged with the duty of looking after the daughter of a man who once saved his life. Though it's not much of a plot, and in places the screenplay feels rushed and lacking in depth, all can be forgiven as it's still the perfect frame on which to pin plenty of gags, dancing and romancing – plus, there are a few little twists at the end. Kareena has never looked better and has perfected the art of subtlety, never overdoing the somber scenes; her opening montage was beautiful. The cinematography was excellent and the action scenes were sleekly choreographed and quite fun to watch. In all, it's all top-notch stuff. This film’s a light-hearted, escapist relief from day-to-day realities; you’ll be whisked off your feet into a world of love and laughter - and Bollywood novice or seasoned-viewer, it’s a trip I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Mistakes and Milkshakes

So there I was, all set to rant and waffle on Sunday. To moan and complain, to share my disdain. To profess, confess and express my discontent with life (remember I told you I wanted to share my weekend of doom with you?) I could feel a potent ramble brewing in the very pit of my stomach - you know when sometimes, in the heat of the moment, you just need to vent, get it all off your chest so you can breathe again? I felt like I needed to do that. Alas, it’s a shame I didn’t post what I wrote on Sunday - or perhaps its a sign - because none of it makes any sense any more. I fell out with the one person who is probably my best friend - not a fight as such, just some silent assumptions and a rift that make it difficult to see eye to eye sometimes. But I figured, with a little time and the convenience of hindsight, that that’s okay. Every friendship goes through phases, some times when you get on less that others... right? (I mean even Carrie and Miranda fell out for God’s sake!) So, by some miraculous stroke of luck you’ve all been saved from my usual drama-queenesque style rambling. Count your blessings.

Today, after working, gardening, shopping and walking (ALL in the rain), I have just a thought for you. We all make mistakes - some big, some small. Some more easily rectified than others - but what matters is that we learn from them. One mistake doesn’t make a bad person of you. What matters more is your intention, your character and your heart. So what if people judge you, or even write you off? The people that have faith in you, won’t. And those are the ones who matter. So make mistakes as confidently as you make decisions, and then take the consequences in your stride. After all a very wise person said, it's better to live a life of "oh wells" than "what ifs". More tomorrow - time to try another milkshake flavour I think?



Monday, 5 September 2011

London on a Rainy Day


It's been a weekend of absolute doom (w.r.t. life) and gloom (w.r.t. weather). Nothing went to plan, I upset a good friend and I got absolutely soaked in London (though this was the good part). Seeing as I actually LOVE gloomy, grey, overcast weather, I’m going to stick with the gloom today and save the doomy story for tomorrow (I imagine you’re super excited for tomorrow’s post now aren’t you?) just to save confusion/contradiction. Cool?

With a half a Sunday ahead of me, and nobody who wanted my company (*wails*), I found myself alone, in London, on a very rainy day. Gloomy? Yes. Still my favourite type of day? Yes. As much as I like a sunny day, it always feels like the city's behaving out of character if the sun's shining. Almost like a naughty kid on his best behaviour, beaming up at you with all pearly whites. That's London on a sunny day, wooing you, conning you. Rainy London is the real London. The London that tourists are prepared for (
visitlondon.com says "…weather is very fickle, plan a picnic in the park on a bright, sunny morning and it could be raining by noon. So always be prepared, you never know what may happen." Say no more.) So around Leicester Square I traipsed along with the tourists, damp seeping through my clothes, lashings of rain matting my hair (yes, the tourists were better prepared than I was. Your point is…?), through the wonderfully aromatic Chinatown and onto Oxford Street. I haven't been to Chinatown for a long time - and I'd almost forgotten how good it smells (and looks - check out the cakes with the pandas on them!). The highlight - I doubled back on myself (I was too full of street-side pizza and Haagen-Daaz the first time), for some steaming hot coconut pearl bubble tea. Confused? Let me tell you. Just when I thought I'd entertained every possible combination/option/variation/experimentation of tea (hot/cold/spiced/iced/fruit/herb/you get the point), I stumbled upon Bubbleology in Soho. If you like your tea in a cup and saucer, stop reading now. Mesmerised by bubbling, neon beakers, I stood, mouth and eyes wide open in fascination, before being drawn inside. As I didn’t know really know what exactly I was here for, (and I was a bit too shy to ask seeing as EVERYONE was Chinese and seemed to know what it was), I chose the third drink on the menu (lucky number three) and fled for the awning of a neighbouring store to shelter from the rain. And there I stood, slurping something purporting to be tea through a straw (a straw!) that was fat as my forefinger. This was bubble tea, a long way from Earl Grey, a bizarre blend of a milkshake and a Lipton's: very sugary, and – here's the rub – filled with soft little tapioca pellets. (Or bubbles. Hence the name. And the fat straw.) Downing the glass was a surreal experience, not least because half of it wasn't liquid. There were so many bits of tapioca, it felt like I was having lunch (again). Of course when I got home I had to google the phenomenon and I was actually pretty disappointed to find that I’m rather late catching onto this one. Apparently it’s pretty big in New York. Anyone tried it?


Visit Bubbleology at 49 Rupert Street, Soho, London, W1D 7PF





Saturday, 3 September 2011

A Shaken Cow for Lunch

So, erm, every best intention I harboured of cutting back on the baked goodies in a crash-effort to salvage my health and fitness (!) was pretty swiftly wiped out this afternoon when my newly found work friends took me to "The Shaken Cow" where I was treated to the most lusciously indulgent Creme Egg Twister Milkshake I have EVER tasted (infact the ONLY Creme Egg Twister milkshake I have ever tasted). Shaken Cow, I hear you ask? It's St Albans' answer to Tinsel Town if you ask me. Minus the kitsch American diner style set up and Hollywood hall of fame. Moreover, there are 100+ flavours as compared to Tinsel Town's measly 50. Jealous much? I should think so… it's just amazing milkshake, and pretty smiley milkshake makers too. I can see where my lunch breaks might be spent hereafter.


I hereby solemnly pledge to work my way through the 100-strong milkshake menu, no matter how long it takes (or how much it costs - at £4 a milkshake, I think that comes in at around £400....!)


Shaken Cow Milkshake Bar, St. Albans, 17 High Street AL3 4EH

Friday, 2 September 2011

Friday Flues

So I've been a bit rubbish getting that review online. Bit, I hear you roar with indignation? Yes, okay, okay, an absolute complete and utter shambles. I hear you. Orange Wednesday become Orange Friday and a review is yet to be produced. Orange Saturday…? We can do Orange Saturday this once, right? The good news is that I have actually seen it (hey, give me some credit alright?!) so it's just a matter of time. Plus I'm hoping that if I cook up a top notch sob story I will actually win some sympathy? So the story (cross my heart, hope to die, it's not fictional) goes thus - inbetween 5/6am starts, 5/10 hour shifts, university enrolment and preparation, housework, chores, family life and the odd(!) night out here and there, I haven't been the most productive of people in the few moments of solidarity I find. I think it's all catching up on me too coz my back feels like it's taken a 10-tonne lorry and my legs are jelly. Im officially 'flued' up :( Is that an "awwww" I hear?! ;) Gettttt in.

In truth, I'd just rather not rush something I enjoy. Which would be writing, reviewing and rambling. Work and other commitments seem suddenly to be leaving me with time for little else - you may have noticed the sudden absence of chocolately-fatty recipes too (I know right?!). But I s'pose, somehow, that's a good thing. You should have seen me attempting to sprint for the bus yesterday. Wouldn't be surprised if residents of the Watford area felt tremors. Say no more.

Have a gorgeous weekend, make the most, and until next time (which, yes, will be tomorrow), here are some very wise words. G'nite all. xx



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