Saturday, December 09, 2006


Note for all to whom I am sending a parcel: Please forgive me if it arrives after Christmas!


I was "let out" of work early yesterday and I attempted to finish my Christmas shopping, but 6 hours later at 10pm I was still not finished. I DID, however, finally buy cards! And wrapping paper!

I thought I would be able to go out today - yes Saturday shopping is hell even when it's not December - so I am glad that I had a slow day.

Worst yet, I woke up at 2pm. By the time I ate breakfast, it was past 3.30. I have NEVER done this before, not even when I was recovering from the flu...! I bemoaned the fact to my mother on the phone later, and she told me, "It's ok, at least you rested. You don't have to report to anybody. You don't have to cook for anyone."

I also blubbered on about how I am nearly 30 and haven't done anything I should have by now, and how I feel I am in such a pickle, and so frustrated. She told me that when I go to the massage she has booked for me, I must learn to breathe out the negativity, etc.

I love my Mum to bits. She says the most wonderful things.


Now, you know I never talk about politics, but every now and then I feel strongly enough about something to mention it here.

Tony Blair said yesterday that if you don't like Britain, don't come here. About time. He said that the famed British tolerance can only go so far. Seriously, I have been saying this for years about the UK, the US and Canada. There is nothing wrong with keeping your cultural values alive, but if you agree to live in a new culture, try to assimilate a bit, please. Otherwise your life is hardly different to, and the quality hardly better than the one you left behind, and then what's the point?

I must say, though, that more so than in the UK, emigrants to the USA know what they are going for. They want to be there. They clutch their breasts and feel entitled to call themselves Americans, and are proud to do so. That is what America is all about, but the people who move there want to assimilate. They move to another country for a different and better life, and that is what they strive for. The American Dream is a reality; she is willing to help you on your way, and for some reason those who move there aren't interested in a free ride. They want success and they often get it. On the other hand, there is too much social exclusion in the UK, which is such a soft touch, and let's not even talk about France where there was rioting in the streets last year!


Wednesday I went to the interview at the agency but Friday found out I didn't get the job because I don't have a UK driver's licence (despite being willing to learn). But everything else was fine. I don't know what else to say other than I wonder if that was the real reason?

Afterwards, I went next door to Partridge's, somewhere I have meant to visit for ages. I liked it that the local customers know the employees by name. I got chatting with the very chatty lady who was serving samples of Calvados. Being that she was Austrian-Turkish and admitted she couldn't handle the French, I taught her how to pronounce it. I bought a few things there, and not wanting another plastic bag, I asked for the jute bag with wooden handles. It is actually a wine bag, but a perfect size for me. The bottle sections can be pushed to the side. The larger groceries bag would be dragging along the floor. And guess what? It's free. A jute bag like this for free, when even at the other shops you have to pay 10p for a strong plastic bag-for-life and at least £1 for a fabric bag at M&S.

Then I headed up to Finchley Road for dinner with the indomitable Mr B - finally free of all signs of chemo, but jumping back into life! Good stuff.

We went to the Fine Burger Co., and since I haven't eaten a real burger in many years and rarely manage beef, I went for the Fez, which was a yummy lamb burger. Nicely seasoned, with a yoghurt sauce, lettuce and topped with a yummy yummy harissa sauce - I can only liken it to Moroccan salsa.
And then we went for coffee/hot choc at Pizza Express. Not much of a cafe scene up there.


I have just submitted a review on the London Eats site for the Quality Fish Bar on King Street in Richmond. If you are within reach, please do go! You won't be sorry.
I am going there with my grandmother tomorrow. Wait, no I'm not - I've just called and they are closed on Sundays. Poo. I was craving a nice plate of chish n fips from there...

So on to Plan B, which is the yummy Christmas rack of lamb from M&S - covered in rosemary, pine nuts and dried cranberries. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

(Just a gratuitous hand shot.)


Jia Li said...

still no gift from me? me sad...alot of work went into it...I should email you about the hellvetica cool party I went to last night.

better yet go to my dwing or cyworld site...piccy's there

Anonymous said...

Love the bracelet! Very pretty. Your mom is indeed a wise woman. Breathing away the negativity is always a good thing.

amillionpieces said...

Oooh, I have to say, that Partridges bag has given me a very good impression of the shop. I like shops that put in the effort on design of such things.

Anonymous said...

Gonna be lazy and respond to both posts here! lol.

your party sounded very elegant, I could never stand ion a concentrated room of conservative politicians without spouting venom at them! I love how David cameron is pretending the real conservatives don't exist anymore and has kind of hiddent them away until after the elections, at which point they will start advocating peasant hunting as a national sport lol! OK they aren't that bad but they are fundamentally evil hehe!

While I have been guilty of voting for Blair back when they were still the Labour party (as opposed to a conservative party with a red logo), I can kind of understand what he is saying. Sadly his choice of words were far too mfunny for me to pay attention to the rest of the speech

"Tolerance is part of what makes Britain, Britain. If you don't like it get out!"

Doesn't exactly hang well as a sentence does it? also the fact that every example the gave was of Muslims gave the speech an incredible racist slant, he could have given a variety of examples but only chose the non-white elements of society to highlight his vote-grabbing point.

I still think you have a very romantic view of the 'American Dream' but if we agreed on everything there would be little poitn in me posting! lol.

Bad luck on the job application Liv, living in the southeast leads me to belive they hand out UK licenses in Kinder Eggs so get down the local news agent post haste!

Jia Li said...

oh, I got math final today. eep

Olivia said...

Jia Li - there is a week to go till i go away. If I get it, I will let you know.

They make you take Math???


Beenzzz - Thanks.
It is too easy for us to hold it all in and let it fester, isn't it?


Pieces - I'll bring one along when you take me out for a spin in your new E-Type! LOL


Matt - ooh long answer here.
I still can't tell the difference between the parties. No wonder no one votes.

Whatever the details of his speech (and the devil is in them as we know), the fundamental idea of all these people coming over to take advantage is just sad. What about that Muslim (sorry) guy who told the reporter that if he heard of a terrorist plot on Britis soil he would not inform the authorities? That's the type you have to ask "Why are you here?"

A romantic view on the American Dream...what, having seen all those people over there living it?


Anonymous said...

re: the American Dream - I was referring to the attitude towards immigrants rather than the immigrants who make it - I think much like Britain, attitudes have changed for the worse.

I agree about the feeling of 'why are you here then?!' I just wish that we didn't have to periodically pick a scapegoat, in this case Muslims. The sad fact is that the message will be compeltely lost in the indignant shouting of the Sun and the 'We're not proper racists!' Daily Mail. The message is we don't want hate mongers coming over here and disrupting the way of life. What the Wail and it's red-to counterpart will say is 'Look at their skin, isn't it swarthy?!'

It's the difference between illegal immigrants, immigrants and asylum seekers that ever blurring line and i think if anyone should be making clear distinctions it is the Leader of our country.

long replies cos a long time since I replied and i feel guilty! hehe

Jia Li said...

yes, MATH!!! argggggggggggg

The Moody Minstrel said... just reminded me that I've barely started my Christmas preparations and am in desperate need of getting my rear in gear. I also have all those Japanese New Year traditions to deal with.

I know what you mean about assimilation. When I first came to Japan on that government program I was so irritated with all those spoiled, young Westerners that insisted the Japanese go out of their way and change everything just for them. My own life has tended to be one of compromise. I have Japonified myself just enough to live and work comfortably in society here while still maintaining enough of my Yank roots to keep my wits (and principles) intact. Finding a healthy medium is good. Insisting that the strange land change to fit the stranger is stupid.

That definitely sounded like a nice shop!

Olivia said...

Minstrel - yeah, another thing is the whites here are making Christmas all PC and making it into a Winter celebration so as not to offend anyone, and every time they debate it in public forums, the Muslims, Jews and Hindus are essentially saying, "We celebrate our holidays. So why don't you just keep Christmas for heaven's sake? It's your heritage, and we like it anyway!"

Olivia said...

Jia Li - OMIGOSH! I got your gift! It's LOVELY!

Mikeachim said...

"Gratuitous hand shot" sounds extraordinarily rude. Fine work.
I'm not sure that Britain is so racially intolerant compared to the US. Ethnic minorities really aren't so minor nowadays, and in some areas (eg. former Iraqis in Hull) there are a hell of a lot of people getting on with their lives in peace.
(I never thought I'd say that about Hull).
It does seem that the media here is making more of an issue of it, however.
Comparisons with the US, on this issue and many others, are difficult: far more accurate, geographically at the very least, to compare Europe and the US.....surely?

tooners said...

You know, I don't understand why Christians are going all PC w/ Christmas. I don't get it. Is it something they're making up in their heads? - the offending someone? But you know, I've heard this all over the news as of late and heard that it's a big deal in the UK and has been for years. Shame really.

I have finished shopping - thank goodness I did it over a month ago, but I have yet to buy anything for the hubby. Maybe around the 21st or so. I didn't want to wait until late, but looks like I'm headed in that direction again this year.

The bracelet is gorgeous. I love pieces like that but rarely wear them.