Sunday, 10 October 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 2

My second set of entries for Scavenger Hunt Sunday and I'm kicked about it..again! Just follow these rules and you are good to go!
1. Anyone can participate
2. You're encouraged to take five new photos this week for the challenge
3. If you get stumped, you may use one photo from your archive (although not too strict about it- I do my best to take fresh shots)
Link up here on Sunday (or Monday at the latest)- you can use the new button
5. Have fun!

Do hop on to Ashley's space to see what the others have done..they are all fab.
Now here are my interpretations:

This is a flower from my tiny garden and I thought the patterns formed on the petals were interesting...oh and the pink is absolutely gorgeous against that yellow, don't you think?

2. BOOK(S)
I don't have that many cook books and I tend to not use them even if I borrow it from the library (thanks to the world of food blogs out there). But I won a signed cop of the Masterchef cook book on a blog give away, a few weeks back and was adamant I would try at least a few recipes from those. Finally got down to it last week and this is what I tried :)

I live in London and that too pretty much central London and so don't really see much of the fall colours like in Connecticut (which is mind blowing gorgeous) unless you head out to the country side, and then its absolutely beautiful. This is one from the archives, but an absolute favourite of mine. We headed down to the quaint lil village of Salisbury last year this time and the fall colours were jest beginning to set in. It could also pass off for orange but I had something better for that. This is a self pic :)

I was out on my balcony on a cold, windy morning with a cuppa coffee and thinking out loud when they would all start shedding, when this leaf flew on to my garden table. I thought the contrasting colours look pretty. So here is one for the leaf.

Aren't these the cutest lil carrots ever??? All ready to go into a roasting pan along with chicken.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday the brain child of photographer Ashley Sisk and is basically a photography challenge wherein she gives you themes every week and you need to photograph them as per your creativity or interpretation. Sound fun? Yup it is. All you have to do is follow a few simple rules, and you are good to go!
I first stumbled upon the event on Kamalika's blog and she herself has done a pretty good job. Do hop over to both the spaces to see how incredibly creative people can be.
Since I am trying to improve my photography skills, I thought I'd give this a shot. Its my first week on the hunt and im pretty excited at what I've come up with.

Hopping on to this weeks themes:

This is my wedding ring, something which signifies 5 years of togetherness for me.

Baking one cake fills my house with the awesome smell..imagine two!!! Need I say more?

Left over oranges after baking an Orange cake. Yes, I bake a lot of cakes:)

An orange gerbera daisy in a used cider bottle now adorns my side table in the living room..simple yet gorgeous!

I'm wondering if I should start playing Badminton again.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Self proclaimed Hypochondriac and a few insignificant things

Ok I'm definitely a hypochondriac or there is something seriously wrong with me. My latest worry is my diagnosis of various ailments (well nothing less than cancer, if I may add) and Ro has had it with me and has threatened to cut internet connection if i didn't stop googling every little thing. Easy for him to say, he's not hypochrondiac (I just found out this term btw).
Last months PMS caused a whole lotta dilemma...i bawled my eyes out one night saying I was going to die and Ro didn't make it any easier, saying out loud he wouldn't make the same mistake again and will marry someone with a bit more brains the next time. Then I bawled at that for a while which confirmed it was PMS.
The thing is I see these symptoms online and then force myself to believe i have it, because the very next day I seem to somehow have that very symptom i read about. Oh my god, that sounds even more retarded out loud. Sigh! I also think its because I suddenly have a wee bit of time on my hands after a very hectic summer..which brings me to my apology..sorry about not being a regular here. A whole lot of you have asked me to continue writing here and I would be lying if i said i didn't miss this page.
The thing is, I started this space to vent out my anger and frustration and i have done it quite a bit. I guess I'm a much happier person now (touch wood) and have come to love London even more than Chennai. I just don't miss India any more. Should i be happy about that??? Still wondering.
Anyhoo, summer went by in a whiz and now signs of Autumn are here. I almost cried out loud when I saw a yellow leaf on the road recently exclaiming fall was here...and it is!
Leaving you with a few pics we took during summer.

First day of summer...Pub lunch at the Fullers Inn

Picnic at Regents Park followed by a game of Frisbee

Pretty Bonsai collection at the BBC Good Food Show, Birmingham (I won tickets to this show yaaay)

A bright and sunny day at Hampton Court Foodies Festival

White Cliffs of Dover

Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast in Dorset

Mayfield Lavender Field, Surrey

Autumn Showers

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Heaved a high sigh!

I am such a sucker for romance...really. Last night i saw this old chick flick Maid in Manhattan and it made me so badly want romance in my life...and that movie is not even that great a romantic movie. But as i sat there sipping a glass of wine, watching hunky Ralph Fiennes hold JLo...with 'Come away with me,' by Norah Jones playing in the background...i was all queasy and wondered for the hundredth time why romance just dies in a marriage...why we don't bother to keep it alive even after the honeymoon period, why we just take things for granted and why i so badly want it. I mean i know life is not like how it is in the movies, but it just cant 'not be there' right? Or am i just naive and refuse to accept reality?

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

'Spring' into action

I get so excited when i see the trees and plants in full bloom. I guess, when you have bad weather for the majority of days, and when you see the sun out once in a while, its definitely a day to celebrate. Yesterday was one of those days..after 4 days of terrible weather during Easter break...and so I went out and clicked a few pics. We live by the Thames river side and it is quite beautiful in summer. We also have a pub nearby that serves Sunday roasts and is a frequent stop for us. I did mention that it was Daffodil season and boy are they a pretty sight. Here are some pics:

Pilot Inn..the pub

The white variety

The bright yellow ones


I think its a dandelion, or maybe just a weed...I'm not sure


Thursday, 25 March 2010

I'm a year Old

My blog that is....and i don't have anything interesting to write about, which basically means there's nothing exciting in my life at the moment. I'm bored talking about the weather and the plants and trees and evil birds...there is nothing spectacular to write about that as well. I did 50 posts in one year and that's awfully sad...I again blame my food blog for causing this drift between me and my personal all-time-favourite this year I'm gonna try and keep this one more alive, even if it means posting just a one liner or a picture on and off.

On a positive note, I started my gym sessions and boy does it feel great to work out again. I'm aiming at being trim and well-toned to fit into my swimsuit and look as ravishing as Cheryl Cole (if not now, at least in my next life) if at all we go to Spain this summer or if we don't, I'll just have to flaunt it for Ro (grin!)

Hope all you guys are living life to the fullest whichever part of the world you are in. I'll check back in a few days. Adios!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

In Full Bloom

My Daffodils are in full bloom and i love love taking pics of the same.
'....When all at once i saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils' William Wordsworth
Well that's kinda what the scene is right now, in all the common areas around our apartment complex. Its like a lush yellow carpet and absolutely gorgeous. Although it was a bummer to know they grow like wild flowers, when we kinda paid for the potted ones, but nonetheless, i love it and if I'm not too lazy, i'll go out and click a few pics of the daffodils 'fluttering and dancing in the breeze.'
My basil, coriander and parsley have also started to sprout after we moved it from the balcony indoors. Even if the temp. is in double digits, the wind chill is quite unbearable. The Serano Chilli Seeds which we got from Wahaca restaurant is still shy to come out i signs of growth there.
Do i have a green thumb? I'm still not sure. I love to look at the plants and take pics, but not take care of it, like water it and think of 'how to create the green house effect' like Ro does. I just stand back and make fun of him :)
I can also see fresh green leaves appearing on the trees and shrubs and we have never been so excited about the weather this way. I even dared to go out to the store next door in my track pants and open shoes. The wind screwed my happiness, but atleast i didn't have to wear my thermals. Spring cleaning should start soon and I cant wait to stack away the heavy jackets and woollens. We used to make fun of the locals who used to get out when the suns shining and now we do the same, and have endless discussions on how Summer, in London this year, will be brilliant. I thoroughly look forward to it. Anyone who wants to visit UK..Summer should be your aim.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Back with a Bang!

I have ignored this space for so long and am feeling horrible about it. Even though my food blog seems to be more popular with 23 followers, Open Book is still my favourite space. I can actually blurt out whatever i want to and not care a damn about being judged, although i know a lot of em out there do judge me..but seriously, I couldn't care less.
My previous post was quite heart wrenching for me and now I'm embarrassed at having written all that. So you can say this post is to cover up the awkwardness. And as weird as it sounds, I got the maximum number of comments on that one. To an extent it comforted me...that i was not the only one going through emotions like that. Thank you all...
So whats been happening at my end..well, lets see...
1. I thought i should start job hunting seriously. I have a few projects in hand that i need to submit. But truth is, i haven't started work on that, neither have i started work on my resume. Honestly, I'm trying to figure out if its PR or Publishing or Editing or Writing or Events i want to work in. I have to undergo a proper interview if and when a consultant calls me. So i should be very clear on what i want and realised i cant play my way around like back in India..its a very serious issue here. And life would have been so much better if i could just for once decide what i wanted.
2. I have been putting off gym sessions for a while now. I decided to finally get off my comfort zone and start gymming on march 1st only to realize the package i wanted was not available in the gym nearby and i had to do a 15 minute bus ride to another gym to avail that package. If i took the one nearby, it was a 10 pound extra for facilities i would rarely or never use for that matter. After brainstorming with Ro, i am now pissed and am still in the process of deciding which one i should succumb to. Again we come back to making decisions.
3. I miss my girlfriends...I saw the Sex and the City 2 trailer the other day and wished for the 100th time i had them somewhere nearby, so we could all go watch the movie together and then go out and have Cosmopolitans and partay. Ro asked me why i miss them and i very openly told him i was so bored of hanging out with him. I got even more upset when i took a voice message left by one of Ro's colleagues about a project of theirs and i could clearly understand what that guy was talking about....IT related security solutions. That was an eye- opener. I need girl company and that too immediately.
4. I'm thoroughly enjoying baking. Its one thing i think i wouldn't mind doing even when I'm extremely tired. Like the other day, I was so craving some yogurt cake and at 10 in the night I decided to bake against Ro's wishes and it was one of the yummiest cakes I've ever made. Yes I'm blowing my own trumpet..somebody has to :)
5. I am gonna make it a point to go to church every Sunday henceforth and then compulsory brunch after that...that way i get to review various restaurants and enjoy brunch in one of the worlds greatest culinary cities. Although I'm now wondering if I'm doing church to have brunch on Sunday or vice versa. We went to St Pauls Cathedral the other day and what drama i must say. It was like theatre. Be it the sermon or communion or whatever it was, all had a bit of glamour added to it by the priests walking up and down with a sceptre and chanting and lining up and all sorts of stuff like that. It was highly touristy i guess. The choir was brilliant, but the echo was way too irritating. Ro- the non believer- attended the communion and he said the bread was stamped St. Pauls and that i missed it. I had to remind him it was a holy communion he was talking about and God would not leave him alone to which he replied there is not god. I wonder how ill convince him to head to church every Sunday.. maybe the brunch would do the trick.
6. The new DSLR has given a whole new perspective on least to me. We lug it around wherever we go and Central London is never out of new things to capture. Its so full of life and excitement and crowded and i love it. This pic was taken at Regent Street near Picadilly circus after a visit to the National Geographic Store and Cafe that was hosting a photography exhibition.
7. We very rarely have a full moon night or rather a clear night and when we did, we had to capture it. Didn't have a tripod back then, so its not picture perfect. Ro and me huddled together in the cold and managed to get this:
8. Its still cold and windy and pathetic and i cant wait for summer (note: I'll crib about it being too warm then). The only relief is that Spring has slowly made its way through and it wont be long that we are back in the green. To celebrate Spring, we went and got a few flowers and plants. I wanted fully grown plans with flowers and all the works and it just had to look pretty on my balcony, whereas Ro tried explaining to me it was a pleasure seeing the plant go from scratch..well..whatever that pleasure is...i really don't think I'll have it. We picked up Tulips and cypress and Iris and Daffodils and even a few herbs for cooking. I am not a gardening/plants/ flowers person at all. I don't even know how to appreciate it. You might wonder why i got them in the first place..have no clue... I wish I knew. Its like all other things in my life...after the initial excitement, I'm bored with it. A friend asked if we were watering it and I said its Ro's duty to which he didn't reply but gave me a stare that lasted a while. Our orange tree is so shattered, I think it will die completely by end of summer.
Some of the flowers bloomed and i clicked a few pics. I'm loving the new DSLR!
TULIPS & HERBS (in the pot..i am yet to plant it)

Friday, 22 January 2010

No heading ...its a state of mind for me

This is how i wanted it to be:

Pass out of college and get a kick ass job
Move into an apartment on my own and live life to the fullest
Take salsa classes
Make enough money to do my higher studies in a good University abroad, preferably the US..i say abroad because the course i want to specialise in is available only in Universities abroad..and US because half of my family is there and i have a soft corner for US;)
Pass out with flying colours and get a job
Think about marriage
Build my way up the career ladder
Visit loads of places
Take up a hobby and be serious about it. Pottery, painting, baking, candle making and so on.
Meet a Mr. perfect (and by that i mean someone in my wavelength..there is no Mr perfect in reality)somewhere along the way and get hitched for life
Have the most amazing, romantic wedding ever and be so smitten and in love for ever and ever and ever
Honeymoon for about 5 years and then decided to go the family way
Have kids and still enjoy life to the fullest and not fall out of love in the process
Not stop 'having a life' because you are all settled down
Chuck the kids out of the house by 18 and go ask them to live life the hard way, make money on their own if they want to have an extravagant wedding (if they want to get married at all that is. Living together..good enough for me)
By now i would have reached somewhere up the career ladder, prob own a business or something and so id be tackling other areas of interest or expanding my business
Take a holiday without having to worry about loans and ailments
Die before my husband does :)

This is how it ultimately IS

Passed out of college and did land a job
Moved into an apartment on my own and was just beginning to enjoy life to the fullest.
6 months down, i got engaged and quit my job (no not to Mr. Perfect but to Mr. systematic and I'm-serious-in-life-i-cant-do-things-for-fun)
Had a pretty decent wedding, but not the one of my dreams. Smitten yes, for a good 2 years, after that it was just plain annoying to have a nagging husband..yes in our case.
Honeymooned for exactly one week and after that it was eclipsed. Fought on all valentines days, birthdays etc. after that, religiously :)
Pottered around a newly set up house, threw parties, had a tough time adjusting to the new person in my life and married life in general
Missed being single, a lot
Went off to the US. Was beginning to like it there when we had to return back to India
Frustration set in and i got a job, again
Enjoyed myself to the max, loved the job, loved being independent, loved the appreciation, loved the money, loved the pressure, loved life in general
One year down, quit the job, relocated to UK. Within UK, relocated quite a bit. And yeah uncertainty rocks!!!!! You should try it sometime
Frustrated, friendless, fat
Struggling to freelance from home. Was doing OK, till a bunch of unprofessional f****** in the publishing business decided to keep my pay stalling and i decided to quit. Thanks a lot F----e (you know which mag right?)
Non stop harassment from people-i-don't-care-about, about stuff i don't care about at the moment
Did i mention FAT?
...this is the story so far

Yeah yeah, sob, sob, i know everyone has their share of miseries. I'm in one of those miserable moods and the rainy, gloomy weather inst helping much. I complete 4 years of wedded bliss (quite a strong word to use, if i may say so) in 3 days. What a pathetic time for me to remember nasty things. Well, if only the world was a happier place to be in and life worked out just the way you planned it.
As if that wasn't enough, I am entering the big three zero soon and i haven't achieved any of those things i wanted to. Reality set in last night and i recalled all those things i wanted to do and which i would have done if my head had made the decision and not my heart. I cried myself to sleep and actually woke Ro with my uncontrollable sobs. He thought i had a bad dream or something and in between snores consoled me saying, its all OK...well, little does he know!

PS: Even though i have an emotionless, unromantic goof of a guy as husband, he is the only one who can actually stand me (although I'm sure he's wished a million times he'd married someone else). Understand me, not quite well, but bear with what I'm going through, yes to an extent. I love you and I'm sorry for being a bitch right now. I love the fact that you are so organized and planned and know what to do when you are 80 (if you are alive that is hahaha) even though i will tease you to death about it. I love it that you are neat and tidy and shout at me if i don't fold clothes properly, roll the toilet paper right and leave the toilet seat down:). Even better, i love it that you willingly do all this and more and are never lazy or tired to do anything (except of course shop which im ok with). I don't think i could have lived with a guy who wasn't you. Happy 4th Anniversary. Lets get drunk and celebrate 4 years of achieving nothing.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Yaay im back!

All Christmassy @ the Canary Wharf

Hellow and happy New Year to all of you. Yes, i am back in London and thoroughly enjoying every bit of it. I just couldn't’t wait to get back to London and feel all Christmassy and in the thick of things. Weird right? The reason i went down was for a reunion we had planned...with the 2 most amazing friends in my life. R, i grew up with and we are neighbours ( my mom and her mom were friends and neighbours and expected us almost at the same time and we were born a week apart) and then S, we met up in College and have been inseparable ever since. We vowed to meet up once a year and we did manage to keep it all up when we were in India. Now that we are married and settled in various parts of the world, its become less frequent but still we try and get together whenever possible. Since R was going down for her annual vacation and S was in Mumbai, I just had to be all emotional for a week and ta da Ro buys me a ticket to go home for not 2 but 6 bloody weeks (i thought that was a tad too long a time at home..but whatever!). So we met up in Mumbai and oh my god we had a great time. Shopped like mad, talked about stuff in our lives, gossiped about ex boyfriends and bitched about husbands (wink!). R and i got back home and she had to leave in 10 days time after which it was torture for me. I was bored! As simple as that. To top it all, i had weather issues (this coming from someone who spent the greater part of her life in humid Kerala and the rest in hot Chennai). The clothes that I brought down made me itchy..the neck, the hands and even legs. I had no cotton clothes and so had to go splurge on that (not that i was complaining) and now have left them all behind because its is useless here in UK, even in summer! I couldn't eat spicy food. How can you be in Kerala and not succumb to spicy food. I however went ahead and ate it, which in turn gave me tummy trouble. Milk..i culdn't have the normal milma milk..can you beat that? Tried the tetra pack..even worse. I was forbidden the amazing filter coffee at Saravana Bhavan in Chennai. But i went ahead and did so anyway. Result...had a date with my aunts loo continuously for half an hr. Ro had the same issues the last time we were in India and i marked him as a stuck up Brit. Now i completely understand and wont make fun of him again. So basically, i hated this trip cos it screwed up with all the things i looked forward to. I have never missed London so much. I remember R almost in tears in having to return to work and me also almost in tears having to spend the rest 4 weeks with nothing to do.
Linking Road, Mumbai. One of the 4 pairs :)

Came back home and it was the 22nd of dec..London was so Christmassy and so full of life. I dashed to the supermarket fighting my jet lag and it was just awesome to be in the midst of all that Christmas shopping (even if it is just grocery). We decided to go to St Pauls Cathedral for their Choral service, but the crowds were massive and we had stand in line for about half an hour only to realise the seats were filled and so couldn't get in. We however went to St James Cathedral on Piccadilly Circus and attended the Christmas Carol service there. It was average...i wouldn't vouch for it. Christmas was however a small affair at a cousins place with turkey and the add ons.

Turkey Lunch for Christmas

26th Dec was the Boxing day sale and i basically went berserk at the Westfield mall. It was madness and so i ended up walking in and out of shops making a mental note of things to buy later (meaning when Ro is not with me)...ah and also making a note to get my own credit card and not an add-on card. I finally got myself something from a shop that had no sale and like losers we walked out. The next 3 days were spent at different shopping locales and if you have the patience i must say this is the time to shop..I have the patience but not with a man tagging along pretending i don't exist when i walk into a lingerie shop. Ultimately it was Ro who picked up stuff for himself and i have proclaimed myself as a very fussy shopper. I walked all over London, surfed various shops online and still haven't found that perfect trench coat. What i bought...a Chanel lip gloss which is out of this world. Now i know why people die for designer brands. Once you are addicted, you cannot think about anything less that me..its awesome. I was the type who used to love road side shopping, not that i don't like it anymore (picked up 4 pairs of sandals from Linking Road in Mumbai for 600 bucks..that's under 10 pounds and i couldn't help smiling at my achievement). The fact that i can only wear them in a warm country didn't cross my mind yes, they are all still in Kerala. (I am thanking God that Ro doesn't read my blog). Anyways, i have realised that it is better to spend money on something that will last longer. Seriously! no more spending money on cheap shit is my New Year resolution, unless of course they are incredibly cheap ;) and id be stupid not to buy them.

Talking about New Year..we decided to head to the infamous London Eye for the New Year's Eve fireworks display. Also decided to grab dinner somewhere outside and then head to one of the viewing areas. Since the plan was last minute, getting a reservation at the restaurants were a task. It was all sold out or the earliest we could be squeezed in was around 10ish. We however decided to hit Central London and by luck managed to get a table at Browns after ordering Martini's at their bar. I was a bit adventurous and decided to try the Guinea Fowl with a coq au vin style sauce and rice which was out of this world, and Ro went ahead with the 28 Day Aged Rib Eye Steak which was average. There was no space for dessert and so skipped it. We made our way through to the Thames river side and it was already packed with people..this was at 9pm. Got a pretty neat location on the Waterloo bridge and so began our wait. By about 9.30 i was freezing. I couldn't feel my toes, in spite of wearing knee high boots and 3 layers of clothing, gloves and the works. By 10 DJ Nihal from BBC started his work..which was getting to me by 10.15 and i started acting all cranky. I began convincing Ro to head back home and decided it was so not worth standing in the cold to watch 10 minutes of fireworks display. He however kept prolonging and finally when the countdown began on the big building next to the eye, i was in full spirit. The fireworks were nice, i wouldn't say out of this world, but the whole feel of the place was nice. The Big Ben chimed at 12 and the fireworks were in full swing, immediately after which everyone sang Auld Lang Syne and what do you know, it started to snow..flurries rather..but it was magical. We had carried a bottle of Champagne to pop open at 12. We couldn't even take our hands out from the pocket, leave alone the Champagne. We popped it open at home at around 2am. So New Years was kinda DJ Nihal was the worlds biggest street party with 250, 000 people.

St Pauls Cathedral. Its way too huge to get it in one frame

Ro got himself a very expensive Canon EOS 500D camera as New Years Gift (as he calls it) and so on the 3rd we went to St Pauls for the Sunday service (which was so dramatic and i shall blog about it later) and then went around town clicking pics followed by brunch at Tootsies on Bond Street. After 2 weeks of holidaying, Ro went back to work on 4th but stayed back and worked from home yesterday and today because of severe weather warning..and yes its snowing like crazy now.

Snow on our balcony


Each time i see snow its the same excited mode i go into.

...and ofcourse you have to taste it

I loved the holiday season and its just getting better with our wedding anniv and both our birthdays round the corner. Haven't started updating my food blog, but shall soon do so. I'm still catching up on all your blogs, so pardon me if i don't leave comments as yet.

A friend met with an accident and he's in hospital after a major surgery. Please do keep him in your prayers and deeps..i hope you have a speedy recovery. Enigma, a hearty welcome to the new born. I'm sure you are thrilled. Get back on your feet, and i cant wait to hear all the gory details :). All you others, i hope you have an amazing year ahead with loads and loads of happiness.