Me from A to Z

I have been "tagged" so in fulfilling my duty here goes:

Available or single: Neither, engaged--no date yet unfortunately
Best friend: James
Cake or pie: Chocolate cake (fresh, not from a box)
Drink of choice: Pomegrante Juice (Not from concentrate), Alchoholic--I'm a red wine girl (healthier)
Essential items used daily: Body shop lip gloss and lotion
Favorite color: Dark Blue
Gummy bears or worms: Neither, don't eat sweets anymore
Hometown: Lacey USA
Indulgence: Chocolate fondant from Carluccio's, Green & Black's Vanilla & Caramel organic icecream.
January or February: neither, prefer warmer and less 'rainy' months like May.
Kids and names: None--like the name Rachel or Emily though.
Life is incomplete without: Travelling, friends and family and yoga
Marriage date: When our job situation is fixed
Number of siblings: 1) Spencer 2) Scott 3) Miranda
Oranges or apples: Apples--less messy
Phobias or fears: 1) failure 2) heights
Quote (favorite): I have many but one I like in particular that I've actually had put in my blog heading is "Anyone who lives within their means suffers a serious lack of imagination" Oscar Wilde. I really think this says that you should always be willing to take risks and challenge yourself and improve in life. Its something that I'm always trying to do better on taking risks.
Reason to smile: Going to Paris again this May via the Eurostar (woo hoo!)
Season: Springtime
Tag 3 people: Jenny, James and Thomasina (Sorry I'm cheating and sending this via e-mail for two people)
Unkown fact about me: Unfortunately I don't know how to ride a bike or swim (hope to learn before I turn 35)
Vegetables you don't like: Love my veggies, particular favorite is steamed broccoli
X-rays: Last year (2 very expensive and painful root canals in one year, not a pleasant memory!)
Your favorite food: Too many to choose from--love mashed potatoes, anything warm and chocolate (DARK-70% or above and organic)!
Zodiac sign: Saggitarius



Finally got to use a gift card I got in my stocking this Christmas on a girly day out in Central London today. Saw Wicked the musical and it was absolutely brilliant! REALLY LOVED IT!


Free London

Apparently London is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world to live. Housing-you can't find anything habitable for under £250,000 ($500,000), Public transport is now £98 (about 200$) a month and I won't even get started on what it costs to feed or decently clothe yourself in a city which prides itself on being really stuck on "image". Even something simple as going to the movies seems to drain the penny jars with tickets going for £15 ($30)in Central London and my local cinema is now up to a whopping £6.50 ($13.00). Sometimes I get so fed up with what it seems like endless ways someone can take all of your money somehow in London and how they all do it with such smiles on their faces too. Its like they secretly know they are going to go to hell for doing this but are keen to do it anyway just to see the pain on your face as you part with your last crisp note. Oh well--I keep telling myself its all part of the gig.

This is why you grow to appreciate the few free things in London. I've already touched on Sunday walks in an earlier post but another secret hidden gem is nearly all of the major museums here are Free! (British Museum, National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, etc) No I'm not kidding--no charge, Free, Gratis, Nada, Zilcho. Most other European cities charge --Paris, Venice, Rome all charge. So to my delight London is setting itself apart by making the great art and treasures it holds available to us lowly people who don't make £100,000 a year like most of the city. Snaps for Free London!

So, I in my 'time of recent unemployment' (long story dont ask) today decided to venture out into the city to take advantage of the National Gallery, one of the FREE museums. The National Gallery is the main art gallery in London and one of the most famous in the world. You can see Canaletto, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and all the greats. It was so wonderful to be able to walk through and see wonderful 'artsy' things without worrying about cost or budgets or anything of this sort. Its amazing how human this can make you feel again especially if you've struggled a lot like I have recently with the job front. So, I say thank you to whomever or whatever made this decision--probably some fellow geek stuck in an office somewhere in the city. But anyway-- I thank you and my pocket book thanks you too.

My final thought is that art always should be shared so here's some of my favorites I saw today:


I think the blue one above is Titan and this drawing is by Leonardo da Vinci


The Best Place to Live

I live in South East London about a 15 minute walk to Blackheath Village and about a 30 minute walk to Greenwich. Blackheath is a huge flat stretch of grass--people fly kites, play football (soccer) and every year this is where they have fireworks for Guy Faulkes night. The village next to it is just really really cute and it has loads of Cafe's, bakeries and little shops---very very English and just darn fun. Greenwich is one of the best tourist things about London--it has Greenwich market, the Cutty Sark, the Queen's House, National maritime museum and the Royal Observatory where O degrees longitude is (yes there is a line!). The Observatory is in Greenwich park which is absolutely wonderful. There's loads of trees, gardens, a deer park and open spaces and I love how people bring their families for Sunday walks and picnics. Sunday walks through Blackheath and down into Greenwich park and then on to Greenwich Village is one of my absolute favorite things to do. London is such a busy hectic city and taking time out just to get fresh air and being outside really just makes such a difference (plus it's free and there's not much that's free in London). The English do the whole park thing really well I admit. It's honestly the best place to live in my opinion and I feel really truly blessed. Here are pictures from my Sunday walk today with James:

Pictures of Blackheath: Top--the Ranger's House (art gallery), Bottom--Blackheath Church next to the Village.

Greenwich Park--Love this tree very bushy. In the summer bands will play in the gazebo as well.

Royal Observatory (Greenwich Park)--this is where the line is for O degrees longitude and where the phrase "Greenwich mean Time" began. All time in the world (time differences/etc) is based off of Greenwich mean Time apparently.

Views of London from the Observatory: You can see nearly everything in London from up here--the eye, London Bridge, the Gherkin, Canary Wharf and the Dome. The picture in the middle with the white houses is the Royal Naval College with the Queen's House, the River behind is the Thames and the big buildings in the distance is Canary Wharf (the business district). The white building with spiky orange things coming out of it in the bottom picture is the Millenium Dome (I think they filmed some scenes for one of the James Bond movies here)