Monday, December 29, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen 2008

I am happy to bid 2008 adieu and say bring on 2009. I'm ready for a new everything.

Here's what I think, in incomplete and non-exhaustive lists:

Fashion Fun from 2008
(1) Minis
(2) Leggings
(3) Shoe boots
(4) Zac Posen
(5) Cupcakes

Fashion faux pas of 2008

Sporting Moments of 2008
(1) 2008 Beijing Olympics, Gold Medal for Bahrain won by Rashid Ramzi (1500 m race)
(2) Manchester United 1 - 2 Arsenal (8 November 2008)
(3) Chelsea 1 - 2 Arsenal (30 November 2008)
(4) Brazil Formula1, Timo Glock leading Lewis Hamilton to become F1 World Champion

RIP in 2008
(1) Yves Saint Laurent
(2) Bernie Mac
(3) Woolworths
(4) Heath Ledger (**edit: merci June)

Revivals of 2008
(1) Britney Spears
(2) Lesbianism
(3) Take That
(4) Size 0

Notable Song Quotes from 2008
(1) "What do we do? Usually drink, usually dance, usually babble" Wiley, Wearing my Rolex
(2) "Half of the ring lies here with me, but the other half's in the bottom of the sea" Vampire Weekend, A-Punk (oh oh oh!)
(3) "We can go to the tropics, sip pina coladas, shorty I can take you there" Sean Kingston, We Can Go to the Tropics
(4) "My heart's crippled by the vein that they keep on closing, you cut me open and I..." Leona Lewis, Bleeding Love
(5) "Your sex is on fire" Kings of Leon, Sex is on Fire

Monday, December 22, 2008

Coffee Craving

I never liked coffee growing up. My family are big tea drinkers and even now, I'd still have a mug of special mum made chai in the morning over a cup of coffee, easy. I only started drinking coffee right before I turned 18 when the first Starbucks opened up and I was still young enough to drink Mochachinos - I was all about being hip and that's what branded cups of coffee were to me at the time. Back then, I didn't know things would change; it was a much simpler time.

I started drinking coffee more regularly when I went to university. We had an artsy café on campus where I would sip on lattes in between lectures and meet with my cool art history friends. We would talk about Titian and Klimt and Proust and Nitin Sawhney and Hideous Kinky while cute bearded barristas would bring us our coffees in chipped mugs - oh the character, oh the charm! We would meet after long lectures on cold days and watched the film students float in and out, carrying cameras and tripods. We would get our coffees and crowd over books with nothing in them but different coloured blocks and gasp over the pages. I felt cooler than your regular law student, I was in with the art crowd, I drank their brew and I loved their beautiful, quirky nonsense.

After discovering that our beloved artsy café had jacked up their prices (£1.80 for a coffee? Well I might as well go have a paper cup of crappy capitalist crap! they spat), the art kids disappeared for stranger places to drink their coffee and talk randoms and I went back to my law graduate friends where I discovered The Wonderful Nescafe Machine. This machine was a godsend during my post graduate days and we all loved the Wonderful Nascafe Machine with it's tacky picture of a chocolate dusted heart on a cappacino (cute and fitting at the time). It would be late at night and writers block would leave me wandering down to the basement of my college, drawn to the glow of the Wonderful Nescafe Machine. With my hands running against the grainy walls, I'd make my way in a trance to this beautiful piece of metal that would bless me with a cup of coffee for a mere 60 pence. At 60p a café au lait I could have three little plastic cups for the price of one dirty cup of artsy café sludge served by pimply faced history majors (charm my ass!), and at any time of day - it just made so much sense. All those late nights with that machine, I have so many fond memories… For 6 months, that Wonderful Nescafe Machine helped me through my thesis and afterwards I acknowledged that cheap coffee, even if not good coffee, can be good for you at certain stages of your life.

It started getting really bad when I landed my first real job at an American law firm: here, everyone drank coffee all the time and I did too. I wrote about it and I cringe looking back at it - how did I let myself get so bad? I was drinking 6 or 7 cups a day, mastering how to sweet talk the receptionist who would buy my favourite coffee blend and then how to sweet talk the temperamental coffee machine that broke down less as our relationship grew stronger (as did my coffees). That year, I would always wake up far too early on Saturday mornings with piercing headaches and would only start feeling better when I would smell the aroma from the coffee machine in the flat - advantages of having a flatmate who always woke up earlier than you. I had to have it every morning, every afternoon and every late night I was working. It was a bitter sweet addiction that I don't think I ever broke.

There are so many places that stay close to my heart that I associate with coffee and friends and good times. There was the Café Nero on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Tottenham Street, next to the little square with the giant mural (our Café Nero) where we spent most afternoons during law school in its smokey basement (pre-smoking ban days) moaning over our assignments and how we were never going to get jobs. There was the sweet Fitzrovia Café where a cup of coffee and a croissant was one quid in the mornings before 9 a.m.: the beauty of it was that it wasn't just a cheap coffee, the beauty of it was that I was lucky enough to catch the early morning brew before it turned into its usual Charlotte Street £3 a cup, which made it taste so much better (and the croissants weren't so bad either).

When I started my current job, I remember walking through the large glass building and trying not to squeal at the coffee shop in the entrance - subsidized corporate coffee, that's when you know you've made it. I would walk through the security gates and get my usual morning latte (extra shot, skinny, extra hot, wet - I'd sprinkle the vanilla powder on top myself), getting my little courtesy card stamped (your 10th coffee was free) and nodding to the regulars at the counter. Getting into the lift you'd see at least three other people holding the same coffee cups and you would feel like a part of a team - a tough corporate busting team. I would curse when the shutters of the little caffeine cubicle would come down at 6 p.m. because I know I would then have to resort to the vending machines in the kitchenettes, making sure not to confuse the caffeinated with the decaffeinated machines at 2 a.m. and other such possible disasters. When times were tough coffee was my friend, it kept me warm on those long, cold, lonely nights.

My friends laugh when we meet up for a coffee and I start reciting my anal orders - hey, I'm paying for all these choices they're offering, just let me be. I am marrying a man who is the exact opposite, who doesn't drink any hot drinks (unless you count soup as a drink - or do you slurp soup?) but tries to understand my need for caffeine speed. He humours me when I start flagging in the afternoon and start whimpering "I just need it..." I like my coffee extra hot, if it gets warm then I have to stop drinking it, which means that long meetings at work would leave me with a corner of my desk taken over by half filled cold coffee mugs. I like milky coffee but I hate foam, I like flavoured coffees but only if it's a hint and not too sweet. I only put sugar if I need it but I prefer without. I fold in my cappuccinos and don't touch my Turkish. I have a certain way of having coffee and I love the way I have it.

A very special mention goes to New York Coffee on Government Avenue, not only brews the nicest coffee around, but will also deliver all the way to your desk if you work nearby. They also put a piece of sticky tape on the mouth hole of the plastic cover, so no germs contaminate your coffee and no heat escapes while they walk over to bring it to you… Good fellas, you guys are good fellas…

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Living the life that I can't leave behind

New Order and Frente aside (the latter being my personal favourite), it is safe to say that I am back in Bahrain, whoop whoop.

I will probably be here for the next few years. I am temporarily ending my love affair with London.

I do miss my friends over there, more so then I imagined I would. You never realise how much fun it is to spend a lot of your working day with your friends, they made my days that much more bearable. Our daily Cake Break (which will not be known as CB) was very important for my overall sanity, especially when there is lemon loaf cake in the tuck shop - yum yum. Some of the best things about working with your friends is being able to go to someone when you're feeling down or share your feelings about certain skanks around the office (who wears multi coloured lace patterned tights to the office? Seriously, just take your job seriously). Plus coming back to a small office is difficult when you're used to being amongst hundreds of people every day, the element of anonymity is nonexistent here - but it's all about my favourite word, adjusting.

Living at home again is manageable, the promise of moving out in a few months is what is really keeping me going. Now all the grown up stuff comes along - planning a big do, furnishing a flat, sorting out little things that I never had to think of before like matching pyjamas and organising sock drawers. Can't put it off much longer, I'll be getting married in a few months to Mr. Seroo so we need to get cracking. I know that once we've synchronised our lives then things will fall into place and I can wait until then I think. I just have to keep focused at the task at hand and not get too emotional about it. One step at a time and it will all fall into place, insha'Allah (fingers crossed, knock on wood, kiss a shrunken rabbit's head and the whole lot).

I'm bored with blogging - is it now so 2004? I think so. I'm also sick of talking about the world financial crises but it seems that that is all there is to talk about so I think I can stick it out and make conversation about it for a little bit longer (remember, this is a recession and not a depression). The morale in Bahrain is no better and it feels as if people are finally realising that we are indeed destructible if the forces above chose to push us over. Depressing, but not the end of the world just yet.

Otherwise, I'm still skipping along. A few projects are in the pipeline and as always, I am doing too many things at the same time. What did you expect? I haven't changed at all.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Off again

Back to London on Saturday for two months. Anyone who's in the Big Smoke between October and November let me know and I'll be happy to share a brolly with you.

  1. (Ramadhan was nice, but I'm glad it's over)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Layaly Ramadhan

When: 6 September 2008, 8:30 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Where: Fatima Kanoo Hall, Tubli (near McDonalds)
Who: Young Bahraini Female Entrepreneurs displaying a variety of goods such as women's clothes, baby clothes, jalabiyat, handbags, handmade jewellery, photograph prints, crochet house goods, home accessories, photo albums, Quran covers, cupcakes, cakes, cookies, brownies, toffee, fudge, and so much more.
Why: To raise awareness as to young talented local girls and raise money for charity. Proceeds from the event will go to food and clothes donations for Ramadhan and Eid to less fortunate families in Bahrain. Ramadhan is a time of year where we can benefit from social gatherings to make a difference for our community, let that be your reason to come by and participate in the fun.
Spread the Word, Come to the Event, Donate Money to Charity, Buy Unique Pieces and Enjoy Yourself.
Entrance Fee BD 1, Women Only.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I never found haviannas comfortable - I know, a summer cardinal sin, but I prefer sandals over flip flops. That didn't stop me from buying my nieces a pair each so they could be the coolest kids on the Mediterranean beach this summer. Heck yes they are.

I am never full - and I just don't know what it is… maybe I have tapeworm? I'm also always tired, I think there's a correlation between the two...

M&S underwear just isn't comfortable - finally, someone had to say it!

I had a crush on Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid - if grown men can think a half woman half fish is attractive, then an 8 year old girl can have a crush on a cartoon character. He's charming!

I like my job - which is why I never complain about the work and try not to moan about it when it gets tough. I'm proud of what I do and who I work for.

I still sleep with a stuffed toy - two actually. Bryan the mouse (named after Bryan Adams) and Charlie the bear (named after Charlie George).

I used to hate the treadmill - and now I love it. When you need to run, you need to run. It doesn't matter where you are or how you do it as long as you do it. It's the only time my mind is completely clear and sometimes I go to the gym just so I can stop worrying and give my brain a break. I also find jogging in the park on the Wii Fit strange - jogging through a virtual world? Creepy.

I don't like trance music - or house, or progressive, or whatever it is that is so popular now days. Who are these DJs? Why is this music so cool? Doesn't it do people's heads in? There is some music that I find good, but a lot of the stuff is just beyond me, I just don't get it.

I swear a lot in my mind - but not so much out loud. Sometimes I shock myself with the creative swear words I can come up with but make it a point never to swear out loud because it's not ladylike.

I don't like going to the movie theatre - unless it's a movie I really want to watch. If I do go to the cinema, it has to be with one other person and a big bucket of popcorn. Otherwise, movies can wait until they're out on DVD and I'm in my pyjamas, ready to watch them from the comfort of my couch.

I think fireworks are romantic - something about them...

I'm old fashioned - and I like it. I like men opening doors for women, polite children, sitting down at a table for dinner with your family, kissing my parents foreheads, [not swearing out loud], little rituals I don't really see anymore but try to maintain as much as I can.

I like mums that looks like mums - and not mums that look like supermodels. No sharing R&R jeans with your mother, that shouldn't be permissible.

I like expensive things - and to follow that...

I love bargains - I don't blow my credit card every time I see something I like, but the word Sale sends palpitations through my body. I blame it on being a woman.

I hate adding cold milk to hot tea - hot milk, hot tea, that's the combo.

I don't like bananas - I just don't. The texture, the smell, the action of peeling a banana makes me feel like a monkey which I am not, therefore, I don't like bananas.

I don't know if I could go back to London long term without Mr. Seroo - now what says love better than that?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summmer is survey time

Because the sun has fried my brains - here's some mindless "one-word-reply" reading...

1. Where is your cell phone? Drawer
2. Your significant other? Hospital
3. Your hair? Curls
4. Your mother? Superstar
5. Your father? Humorous
6. Your favorite thing? Blushing
7. Your dream last night? N/A
8. Your favorite drink? Chai
9. Your dream/goal? Unique
10. The room you're in? Office
11. Your worries? Forgotten
12. Your fear? Unknown
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Partner (!)
14. Where were you last night? Restaurant
15. What you're not? Passive
16. Muffins? No
17. One of your wish list items? Book
18. Where you grew up? Village
19. The last thing you did? Coffee
20. What are you wearing? Pearls
21. Your TV? Unimportant
22. Your pets? Nonexistent
23. Your computer? AURGH
24. Your life? Progressing
25. Your mood? Antsy
26. Missing someone? London
29. Favorite Store? Selfridges
30. Your summer? Work
31. Like someone? Love
32. Your favorite color? Pink
33. When is the last time you laughed? Always
34. Last time you cried? Forgot?
35. Person who sent this to you? Asda
36. Who will resend? Anybody

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'm super busy but here's a survey while I'm at it...

I've been ridiculously busy since I've come back from Lebanon - not a spare moment. This week especially has been pretty hectic and has been a strain on my mental health. I'm looking forward to taking this weekend off from using my brain and maybe doing something mind numbing like (wait for it) watching a movie. Yup, you heard me right Momo, I think I need some 98% fat free microwave butter popcorn and a good filum.

Yesterday, in between waiting for things to download and people coming back to me I filled out a survey in my email. I thought I should post it here since I've got nothing else to say at the moment. Anything in italics is my comments from today... Enjoy some easy reading...


1. Male Friend: Mr. Seroo
2. Female Friend: A combination of my old friends and my sister - always
3. Vacation: probably driving to Cornwall with Wally

1. Time of the day: I think it's probably 6 a.m.
2. Day of the week: Sunday
3. Color Crayon: White - it was just useless

1. What are you doing now: taking a break from reading construction contracts (Today: Actually, right now I'm stressing, just stressing)
2. Wearing: a skirt and cardigan (I'm at work) (Today: Black cardigan and a black and blue dress with black shoes)

1. Is: Thursday… thank God (Today: Since today is yesterday's tomorrow, today's tomorrow is a Friday which means tomorrow is going to be a day away from the office, fingers crossed)
2. Got any plans: spending some time with my family, going to a theme party (Today: plans for tomorrow will be to chill out... Momo, I was serious, I may just want to watch a movie... crazy isn't it?)
3. Goal: to have my car sorted (Today: My goal for tomorrow is to relax and maybe go for a spin with Momo in my car...)
4. Dislikes about tomorrow: it isn't coming fast enough (Today: no change, I want tomorrow to come now)

1. Number: 4, because we are four kids in the family
2. Song: At the moment I can't stop singing "We can go to the tropics, sip pina coladas…" (Today: There is no singing in my head, just zoning codes and plot numbers)
3. Color: pink, always

1. Missing someone:
Yes - my parents who I only briefly saw at breakfast and haven't seen in a few days, my brother and sister who I haven't seen since last Friday, my other brother who I saw in Dubai this weekend and won't see for another few months and my nieces and their mum who are on holiday. Oh, and Mr. Seroo who's been on call. And my friends who I never get to see because I'm always working late. And Iris who is back in London, home alone, without me. And... (Today: Case is the same)
2. Mood: Indifferent - maybe a little tired. (Today: Stressed out, but smiling thinking of getting away from it all this weekend)
3. Wanting: another vacay (Today: bigtime)

1. I am a cuddler: true, cuddles more than hugs even.
2. I am a morning person: true, I like feeling productive
3. I am a perfectionist: false - I've never thought about it so I probably am not.
4. I am an only child: False - I am blessed with 3 cool siblings
5. I am currently in my pajamas: False - my boss wouldn't appreciate it if I were
6. I am currently pregnant: False *whew*
7. I am currently suffering from a broken heart: False
8. I am left handed: False
9. I am addicted to Blogging: False - but addicted to reading blogs? True
10. I am online 24/7: True
11. I am very shy around the opposite gender: False
12. I can be paranoid at times: At times, true I suppose.
13. I currently have a crush on someone: I've got more than a crush on Mr. Seroo...
14. I currently regret something that I have done: Putting sugar in my morning oats rather than honey, tsk tsk tsk... (Today: Nothing, haven't had time to regret anything)
15. I enjoy country music: True sometimes
16. I enjoy talking on the phone: True
17. I have a hard time paying attention at school/work: True sometimes, I'm doing this right now!
18. I have a hidden talent: True - like we all do
19. I have a lot to learn: True
20. I have a secret that I am ashamed to reveal: True

1. Are you currently mad at someone? Yousif, our tailor who hasn't brought our clothes back… grrrrr... (Today: I'm angry at the Ministry of Municipalities for being vague with their planning maps.... grrrrrr...)
2. Which of your friends has the worst temper? I'm not really sure, I think everyone has their bouts sometimes..
3. Have you ever thrown something at anyone? Yup, I throw stuff at Mr. Seroo all the time
4. Ever had something thrown at you? Mr. Seroo once threw a box of chocolates at me and Iris
5. When you’re mad do you prefer to stare angrily or yell and scream? I'm not a confrontational person

1. Has anyone ever thrown you a surprise party for you? Yes! How fun!
2. Are you easily excited? I am ashamed to say yes :)
3. What are you most excited about? Oh I don't know, probably seeing my nieces walk through the front door every Friday morning… joy :) And getting a new car very soon inshallah!
4. If you won a million dollars what would be your first thought? El7emdillah - now I can buy myself new feet. (Today: Or take a 6 month sabbatical from work)
5. If you could have anything right now what would it be? A hug from Papaya - I miss her

1. Name: Sara, Hebrew Princess
2. Where were you born? The International Hospital
3. What’s your main goal in life? To be good to others and to myself
4. How do you want to die? However God wills (this is turning a bit morbid, isn't it?)
1. Sex before marriage?
I won't judge
2. Gay Marriage? Garriages? Why not?
3. Lower the Drinking age? Doesn't really matter, if they want to get their hands on it they will...
4. Recycling? A must - we need to sort out this planet of ours before it disappears

1. What was your latest dream?
I can't remember, I've been having quite a few involving some friends coming over for breakfast… makes me feel like I should be inviting them over soon...
2. Have any of your dreams come true? Yes
3. What was the weirdest dream you’ve ever had? I had an awesome sci-fi dream with alien dinosaurs roaming the earth… it was wicked...

1. Straight, Gay, Bi?
2. Do you have a gf? I have many - yes!
3. Do you have a crush? On Mr. Seroo, he makes me swoon (sometimes).
4. How many beds did you lay in yesterday? Just one
5. What color shirt are you wearing? Just a cream cardigan, nothing fancy. (Today: A black cardigan)
6. Name one thing that you do everyday? Take off my makeup, every night
7. What color are your walls? At the moment, they're an off white.
8. How much cash do you have on you right now? maybe BD3? And AED 100 and US$ 1. (Today: Just the Dirhams and Dollars, I need to go to the bank)
9. When was the last time you saw your dad? This morning while he was having breakfast and I was heading out to the gym. I love him. (Today: Still the same, haven't seen him since yesterday morning. I took a peek to see if he was sleeping last night when I got home from work, which he was)
10. What did you have for dinner last night? McDonalds double cheeseburger and french fries and it was good but lacking BBQ sauce. Don't judge me! (Today: Leftover Kebab from yesterday's lunch, gross I know. My eating habits have gone down the drain)
11. What’s the last piece of clothing you borrowed from someone? I wear Mr. Seroo's scrubs to sleep that I've (borrowed).
12. Does anything hurt on your body right now? My arms (znood) from my workout this morning, which is a good sign. (Today: My punctured soul, I'm feeling drained)

Have you ever:
1. Have you ever failed a class?
2. Have you ever sung in front of a crowd? Yes! I rapped Britney Spears' "Hit me baby one more time!" and the few karaoke tunes here and there...
3. Have you ever not taken a shower for 3 days? Probably not.
4. Have you ever slept with a night light? Yes but I can't anymore, I have to sleep in pitch black.
5. Have you ever danced in the rain? Yes :)
6. Have you ever lied? Yes
7. Have you ever had contacts? I used to wear contacts when I was much younger, I think it was a vanity thing. It only lasted a few months until I switched back to glasses.
8. Have you ever tripped over something stupid? Probably, I stub my toe a lot.

Pick One:
1. Sambosa, Pakora, Kebab:
KEBAB for the meat, yum yum.
2. Bollywood, Lollywood, Hollywood: Lollywood, the industry just makes me laugh
3. Love marriage, Arranged marriage: Whichever works
4. Honeymoon, no moon: I haven't gone on one yet but I suspect I'll want to go on more than just one...
5. How many kids would u like 1,2, 3+: As many as God will give me inshallah
6. Kulfi, Ice cream: Mango Kulfi, Vanilla Ice Cream
7. Shah ruk khan, Orlando Bloom: Orlanado, my Chaucer Tale's homeboy!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"There's more to this place than ancient ruins and really good almond pastries"

I'm off tomorrow to Lebanon to attend a wedding. The big day will start off in a dusty village in the mountains (this is how I imagine it anyway), then will move to another dusty village on the other side of the mountains before continuing onto Beirut. I am only going for a few days but I can imagine they will be busy days and nights.

Having only ever been to Lebanon once before, I can sadly say I don't remember much other than smokey restaurants and busy streets, the leething lotharios of Hamra and the delicious street food. This time, I'm more excited about the company than the actual trip since I'm lucky to be travelling for the first time with my closest friends and the Mr. - I am very excited.

I knew this wouldn't be entirely a sightseeing trip, but I still thought I'd look up what the Lonely Planet has to say about my holiday.

"Overview: Lebanon packs a lot into its modest borders: ancient cities, ski resorts, impressive architecture and striking landscapes are just the start. Then there's great food (reputedly the best in the region), and great nightlife (Beirut claims to be the party capital of the Middle East). (So far so good, I like ancient cities, impressive architecture and striking landscapes. I like good food and I'm ready to hit the nightlife)

Best Time of Year to Go: The best time of year to visit Lebanon is spring (March to May) when the weather is mild and wildflowers are in bloom. (Not good, I'll have to bear the stifling heat)


Aanjar: Aanjar is Lebanon's best-preserved Islamic archaeological site and is the only significant Umayyad site in Lebanon. It's a wonderful place to spend a day. The most impressive remains at the site are those of the great palace, one wall and several arcades of which have been reconstructed.

Beiteddine Palace: Beiteddine (House of Faith) is the name of both the village and the magnificent palace complex that lies within. The palace, perched on a steep elevation, rises from the surrounding landscape like a fairytale vision, a Scheherazadean delight rendered with Italianate flair (in fact, the architects were Italian). (more on website)

Jeita Grotto: This grotto, with its extraordinary stalactites and stalagmites, is definitely worth a visit; the ticket includes a boat ride through part of the grotto, an informative film about the history of the caves, and access to a cafe and restaurant. The vast honeycomb of galleries and ravines was first surveyed in the 19th century and opened to the public in 1958."

Lonely Planet doesn't have much else, but I'm not worried as we're travelling with some Beirutites and the itinerary we have looks pretty packed. We've been recommended dozens of restaurants that I don't think we'll be able to fit into a five day trip including the ever so romantic Julias and one of our friends has been generous enough to book a nice intimate dinner there for me and Mr. Seroo. We won't have time for shopping but if we do I'll be stopping off at some boutiques for dresses and accessories, recommendations anyone? Apparently the Virgin Megastore is excellent so I'll probably make a pit stop there for books & DVDs. Anything else we should do?

Will be back next week, looking forward to a much needed break...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Do I have to support QPR Now?

I remember once how Michael Parkinson gave a speech on Sky Sports about how important Barnsley are to him and how important it is to support your local team. He spoke about how it's part of the social-history of the town and how you "can't choose who you support, it chooses you."

I never grew up watching local football, although I did watch our national team in "big" matches when they would almost-could-have-should-have made it to bigger tournaments. I envied people who used to spend every Saturday morning in their local stadium supporting their team, whether they were any good or not, because you could see it was a part of them. I so badly wanted a team to be a part of me too, even if they were pretty rubbish - isn't that the beauty of the game anyway?

Somehow, the English premiership was always more appealing to me. Looking up to a certain older brother and becoming best friends with an Arsenal supporter when I was younger pulled me into becoming a Gooners fan, which included watching matches on weekends and chanting the usual hooligan profanities when necessary. People were skeptical I wasn't a North London Skinhead, but eventually the regulars at my first local (Woody's) took me in. So when asked if I supported any football teams, I always said yes to the Bahraini National Team and Arsenal.

Now I read this: Gulf Air to sponsor QPR? Is this even right? I looked around the QPR official website and didn't see anything that said so - but maybe I just haven't had the time to read up on sports news. So this is a pretty big Bahrain stamp in international football, does this mean we have to all start supporting this team?

The GDN put up a sneak-preview photo of their new footie shirt:

I always liked the J-Crew Sailor stripes, so good enough reason?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Book Review: Brick Lane

Let me introduce my friend Shahnaj: Sylheti origin, South East Kent residing, hijab wearing, fish curry loving, hippie artist. We met at a party at college and I was immediately drawn to her paint splattered jeans and her ethnic jewelry - she was erratic and all over the place, spoke an excited British-English to her friends and a loud Anglified-Bengoli to her family. She was proud of who she was and where she was from, grew up in a predominantly white community as "the only Indian family in Folkestone". And she came from a big stereotypically Bengoli family - father owned an Indian restaurant, mother was quiet and always in the kitchen, lot's of siblings and lot's of in-laws straight from Bangladesh, all under one roof. From the outside, her house looked like any other house on a quiet suburban street, but when the front door opened the smells of freshly ground spices wafted into the street and the chatter of a foreign language with English words thrown in would stop those unfamiliar with the Islam family in their tracks - others just walked on.

I miss my friend Shahnaj. She showed me a culture I was oblivious to, the "Asians" of England. They all spoke English to each other but their mother tongue with their mothers, they knew the insides of Green Street and Southall and they had community gatherings every so often that were filled with music, gossip and gorgeous food. Perhaps I am lucky to have such ethnic looks to have easily blended in the background of Shahnaj's busy household, but I am even luckier to have made such a good friend whose family took me in and showed me what made them different from the Pakistanis, Indians, Sri Lankans and definitely the English. Spending time with them involved dressing me up, forgetting I didn't speak their language and a lot of "Gi Khala" and nodding on my behalf to old aunties who pinched my cheeks - it was always good fun.

I picked up Brick Lane by Monica Ali because I had always seen it on Shahnaj's bookcase but never read it. Upon reading it, I only hoped that it had some good descriptions of Brick Lane and East London and it did far more than that - it painted a beautiful story of a young girl's life and a funny but scarily accurate rendition of living as an Asian in East London.

The book tells the story of Nazneen, a "good Bengoli wife" brought to England to marry Chanu, overzealous council worker who recites English literature at any given moment and teaches his childern about the national symbols of their homeland Bangladesh. Nazneen plays the role of the dutiful wife and mother, sometimes an outsider London but through her Bengoli roots she finds a role in the Asian community of Tower Hamlets. The story goes back and forth between her memories of growing up in a village in Bangladesh and her life as a mother to second generation British Asians. Her pull to her homeland remains with letters from her sister Hasina describing the turbulent life back in Bangladesh and her involvement with a young Bengoli activist who captures her heart.

The story is that of love, betrayal, family ties and the need to belong to a world that any reader could recognise. Ali's descriptions of walking through the neighbourhoods of East London are spot on down to the Indian shop keepers outside their windows and the teenage boys smoking on stairwells. Through her descriptions of London and Bangladesh you are taken to a busy city or the dusty village alike in such a sweet and humble manner. The story is captivating to anyone because of its painfully funny descriptions and sweet story telling nature. Even the events which are somewhat dark are written in such a simple, matter of fact way and Ali shows an extreme comparison between the lives of characters without it seeming so alarmingly disturbing to the reader but hopeful that different lives take different paths.

The characters are charming in their own way: Chanu with his corns and bulging cheeks touches your heart somehow, Shahana and Bibi, the rebel and dutiful daughters, reach out to you by how they become less traditional in times when they don't want to wash their hair with fairy liquid anymore and want to use shampoo. You sympathise with Razia, the chain smoking neighbour in a union jack t-shirt, and her problems with her son Tariq and Mrs. Islam reminds you of the creepy old woman who carries a miniature pharmacy in her handbag and coughs orders to her sons.

The film was released earlier this year, I would have liked to see it and now that I've read the book I think I will duly enjoy it. Monica Ali was picked by critics before her book was even published and for a very good reason: Brick Lane is an enjoyable read and although there is little character progression and the story doesn't come to a big-bang ending, it leaves you feeling light heartened and again, hopeful, for the characters who you could see in real life one day walking down Brick Lane.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Songs that make me cry # 26

Wise Men say
only fools rush in
but I cant help falling in love with you..

Shall I stay?
Would it be a sin?
If I can't help falling in love with you...

Like a river flows, surely to the sea
Darlin so it goes, somethings are meant to be..

Take my hand, take my whole life too
for I can't help fallin in love with you...


I am a sucker for Elvis and UB40 alike - people just don't sing it like they used to.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Sales: Buy Me, Buy Me, Buy Me

I am not embarrassed to admit that I am one for a bargain - I am a woman after all.

The past 2 weeks have been reduction mad, from clothes to furniture and even places like Ashrafs and Yaquby stores reducing kitchen appliances and cameras - everyone's trying to get rid of all their stock in their air conditioned stores (what a way to beat the summer heat!). Soon enough all the high street stores will follow, but what has really kicked the boot are the designer sales happening around the islands… Looking at other people's baskets and bruised arms, here is a quick low down of what you fashionistas should be looking out for…

Villa Moda
50% off Bottega Venetta, Valentino, Marni, D&G, Dolce and Gabanna, and much more…
Damage: Bottega ballet flats for BD113, Bottega bracelets for BD20, Bottega Men's thobe slippers for BD100, Valentino Bags for BD500.
Where: Movinpick Hotel, until the 21st of June.
Worth it? Depends on what you're looking for… When a Marni dress is reduced from BD 800 to BD 400, you still have to think twice - there weren't as many women over the clothes as expected… The shoes and handbags went on Day 1 like hotcakes, but the clothes were still hung perfectly for people to sniff at their still expensive prices… New shipments coming in every so often and a prediction of prices falling towards the last few days…

50% off whatever is left from the massacre (shoes, belts, handbags, tacky accessories)
Damage: Work shoes for BD92, every day clutches for BD 63, nice leather handbags reduced to BD300, a beautiful box clutch for BD220.
Where: Basement of Al A'ali Mall, until the end of the month.
Worth it? The nicest stuff was gone in the first 30 minutes of the sale with women walking out with multiples of handbags on their arms to buy - so whatever left is the real tacky stuff or things that are too bold for anyone to buy.

40% off Paul & Joe, Manoush, Juicy Couture, French Sole and others
Damage: Paul & Joe shirts for BD80, Juicy Couture sweats for BD 60, French Sole ballet flats for BD 30.
Where: Al A'ali Mall, until stocks last
Worth it? If you won't leave your house to the DVD place without your Juicies, stocking up on a few isn't such a bad idea… Because it's not a massive sale everything is still intact with no snags on the delicate pieces and the staff are extremely smiley.

Jimmy Choo
Up to 40% (shoes and bags)
Damage: The cheapest pair of shoes were BD 147, everything else was still over BD200...
Where: Al A'ali Mall, until stocks last…
Worth it? If you only wear Choo's and only where Choo's, then it could be.

Special Mention to: Seventh Heaven 90% Sale, where I bagged two beautiful Stella McCartney dresses and two pairs of shoes, an Alexander McQueen handbag, all for 90% off. The bargains were ridiculous and for three days the exhibition center was filled with men and women digging under mountains of clothes for jeans, shoes, dresses, tops, handbags, you name it… The first day was the worst in terms of clean air to breathe in but the best in terms of bargains and after that the excitement died to a dull buzz. Most shoppers came out regretting not buying enough even after spending hundreds of Dinars - that is a sign of a successful sale.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Gymmin' It Up with the likes of Eric Prydz

I used to be the girl who would walk everywhere, so much that it annoyed friends to come out with me because I never wanted to use any form of transport. "It's a nice walk!" I would always protest because I liked stretching my limbs. I used to take the stairs up to my office on the 7th floor and enjoyed going out for a jog in the evening. I think I could still dance all night long so I would classify myself as a generally "active person".

Things have changed since I've come back home - my expanding waistline seems to be more than happy with the absence of any physical activity and low calorie pre-packed lunches. It wobbles its satisfaction ever time I gorge it with samboosas, cake, kebabs and the array of sweets my mother strategically leaves in front of the television when I come home from work. One day I started walking over to my car to drive somewhere for lunch with coworkers without thinking that it was only a 5 minute walk away - they looked at me like I was crazy lazy and that's when I realised that something bad was happening and it had to stop. This was far worse than not fitting into clothes, which had already started happening at this point: this was sloth, and sloth is a deadly sin (according to Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, of course). The obvious solution? To join a gym and get "fit" again.

This was easy - there is a large selection of decent gyms to suit your needs, whether you're looking for a women's only gym or somewhere to go and catch up with buddies while you attempt your "fat man's workout" (quoting my brother). I joined somewhere with a decent selection of machines, a nice pool with soothing music to relax in and a variety of funny characters that I cannot avoid sneaking glances at.

There is the Determined Young Man (DYM) who is clearly obsessed with the gym. He works in a bank/auditing firm/investment company of some sort, your typical 9-6 job, in his early to late twenties and goes to the gym 3-4 times a week right after work. He has the Puma t-shirt, the Nike shoes, sometimes even the iPod arm band. And he has "The Face". "The Face" isn't evident all the time; DYM walks around more than he actually works out because he is continuously comparing his work out techniques with others. "The Face" only comes out when he is pumping iron (because they all do, they all pump iron). He usually has another DYM spotting him, either a coworker or an old high school buddy, who prompts him to push/breathe/bench/or whatever it is they do. Shortly after you can hear a loud grunt which may make you look over and spot "The Face". It is a terrifying look of pure pain and agony where DYM starts shaking as he lifts X kilos of weight before the bar plummets back down to the safety holdings and not on his neck as you would probably fear if you were watching this for the first time. "The Face" is followed by a look of exhaustion and some heavy breathing and an encouraging hetro-pat from DYM 2, who is eager for his turn next to show off his strong Y gene. When these boys are working out, they can only imagine Peter Andre's oiled six pack in the Mysterious Girl video and that's what keeps them going.

There is the Old But Still In Good Shape (OBSIGS), who speed walks on a high incline with a look of boredom on his face. He uses all the weight machines and has friendly chats with other old men about going into the steam room to cool off. They go to the gym regularly but don't beat themselves out, they have their towels around their necks and slip out of the gym as quietly as they slip in. They never make an entrance, never speak too loudly and always spend the exact amount of time in their work out - 20 minutes on the treadmill, 10 minutes on the bike, 20 minutes on various machines and 5 minutes on either side stretching. Clockwork that works. They have a routine that their round wives are secretly jealous of.

There are always a few Gym Socialites (GymSoc's) who go to the gym in their Juicy Couture or Y3 gear, stop to say hello and air kiss friends. Females check their waterproof mascara abilities between sessions and males check the gelled hair. Workouts are never strenuous and sessions are never too long because they always have other engagements. Their bodies, however, are always perfect.

And of course, there must be at least one HULK at any given time (also known as I Only Drink Protein Shakes guys, I Work Out 3 Times A Day guys or Look At My Rippling Muscles/I Put Hercules To Shame guys). You cannot miss these spectacles and most other gym-goers openly stare at them with envy. Their bodies are bulky and the have smug faces when they nod their hellos to other regulars "Yup, I wasn't born with this body, I worked for it…" Imagine something superhero-like: Each muscle is properly defined and their arms seem to spread out from their bodies because they're just so big. They saunter in, rarely ever do any substantial cardio and go straight to the weights to lift what seems to be the weight of a small car. They stare at themselves in the mirror a lot and scope out their competition. They are usually the most talkative people in the gym because they always want to give you tips and watch you fail in whatever task they've given you to do. These are the guys with the closest thing to Peter Andre's oiled six pack in the Mysterious Girl video.

As for me, I fall in the HAPOTT category (Huffing And Puffing On The Treadmill). HAPPOTT's can easily be spotted as the person with the red and exhausted look on her face. You can probably hear her terrible breathing from across the gym and pity her. She refills her water bottle at least half a dozen times and watches the cooking channel during her whole session. She tries to go as regularly as she can, she is friendly to the people who work there but still tries to avoid old acquaintances who give her sympathetic encouragement for trying to keep fit. She is also the one who you will spot at the Dairy Queen drive-thru with a guilty look on her face while she orders sinnly onion rings with extra barbecue sauce. Sympathise with her, at least she tries.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Big 25 for Soos

I like growing older - older and wiser, I'd like to think. Funny, I usually forget how old I'm turning and have always been in the habit of saying I'm older than I really am. For the record, I am turning 25 on Thursday and that is a fact.

I remember getting birthday cards from my brothers over the years congratulating me on my 14th birthday (when I indeed turned 16). Although I made it seem like it infuriated me at the time, I was secretly happy they remembered. I'd like to think I'm easy to please like that.

I remember my old birthday parties in the garden at home, wearing big party dresses and ribbons in my hair. I think of my 5 year old niece a lot and wonder if she enjoys her birthdays as much as I did when I was her age - I'm sure she does, who wouldn't be happy with face painting and pony rides? I cried every year I was away at her birthday, her birthday feels just as important as my own.

I wonder what it's like for my parents to see me turn 25 - surely my mum is not that old? Do they remember the day I was born, do they think of it as a milestone in their lives?

I'm feeling a bit scatterbrained these days, so I think my only birthday wish is to be a little more organised, a little more considerate, a little more caring and fitter. I've been working on the last one the most.

Happy Birthday Me tomorrow, Happy Birthday Uncle Oni today.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I can't help but miss...

Knowing the back streets like the back of my hand, the Thames and the southbank walk, fry ups on the weekend, lazy Sundays, your mp3 player being an integral part of your sanity, reading on the tube, constantly moving, free trashy newspapers, Amy and Peaches always on the front page, our little Moroccan café before the ban, Pret, Wardour Street in all its glory, the Fitzroy on a Tuesday afternoon, VQ in the early hours of the morning, match days in your local, Radio 1 and Radio 4 (and appreciating the difference), being a trendy in Notting Hill, King's Road on a nice day, anywhere on a nice day, Trailer Happiness, the Baker Street and Prince Charles cinemas, Prime Time Video on Goodge Street and the guys who work there (thanks for all the good Korean movie recommendations guys), Oxfam Books, Bang Bang and their magazine cut-out wallpapered walls, obedient dogs in Southwark pubs, discovering Bloomsbury Bowl before it became trendy to bowl, Wembley Stadium, jogging to Cutty Sark, being so busy all the time, fresh coffee and croissants in the morning, Belgian chocolate courtesy of the Belgian flatmate, the laughter that came after the mouse invasion, cooking in the kitchen all the time, milk tea on the couch with plenty of gossip, always having people over, bargain shopping trips, Selfridges Selfridges Selfridges - could there be any other heaven on earth?, Boombox and Sketch, the smell of freshly cut grass, Roman Road market, the DLR during the day, Kate Moss with all her blips, penguin feeding time at the zoo, moody goth kids in Camden, the ruckus of Borough Market and the free baklava, worrying about your 5-a-day, Big Issue guys with a sense of humour, Friday evening after work sessions at the Bridge followed by dinner at that little Thai place, Dick and Dom on a Saturday morning, running to catch a bus and making it, the beep of my oyster card, chatting to taxi drivers about the price of property and football teams (all those QPR fans, who would have thought), awful 70's theme nights when you're the only person dressed normally, seeing other people grimace at the Hare Krishna Hare Ramas, taking in shows, the Young Vic, summer dresses the minute the sun comes out, boots and macs, Khan's, walking for an hour and not getting tired, giving up your seat for older women on the bus, buskers who play good old fashioned music (like George Harrison's "Here comes the sun"), nice streets off dodgy streets, words like "Fuzz" and "Cotch", Primark, the V&A, M&S, swans on the river, bold fashion statements, the satisfaction of slipping on the tube just as the doors close, walking out of work to breath-taking views of Tower Bridge and the lights of the City, appreciating the little things, men always holding doors open for women, always seeing the bigger picture, living in the City and feeling like you're going somewhere…

And there's always more...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Postsecret Dedication: For Mr. Seroo

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Charity Dinner/Concert for the Al Wafa and Al Rashad Centers

Charity Dinner and Concert for the benefit of the Al Wafa and Al Rashad Centers for Children with Autism.
Bahrain star Najma Abdulla will be singing a collection of Um Kulthoum's Arabic hits and all proceeds from the night will go to charity.
Date: 14 May 2008
Time: 8 p.m.
Fee: BD 20 (inclusive of dinner)
Tickets on sale at Seef Mall (Gate 1, 1st floor)

For inquiries, call 17623302 - 17795595 - 36424141

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Let's help one another

I park my car in a lot opposite the Regency Intercontinental Hotel which is run by the National Foundation for the Disabled. All the money from the car park goes to the charity and it even employs disabled people; it's a good cause that sometimes goes unnoticed.

I've been parking in the lot since June 2008 and now know the regulars who work there, a good bunch of lads who like to chat European football and always have a smile on their faces. They're forever friendly, even when they think they're done for the day and I drive up, apologetic to be waking them from their sleep to let me go - did I mention it's a 24 hour car park and there's always someone there? They do a good job those lads, they do a really good job.

I don't mind paying over BD2 a day when I know my money is going to a good cause. I received their publication appropriately named "Benevolence" (or "A'ataa" in Arabic) , a magazine with a variety of topics and news updates on different charity events and it's gotten me thinking of how else I can help.

I trawl the newspapers for upcoming events that I could participate in but I seem to be reading about events ended and not much that's coming up. I know the Internet is not the best place to look, but I'm sure there's a website or a publication that shows upcoming events and how you can participate that I haven't found yet. I've heard that now that the summer is coming up, things will quiet down so this may not be the best time to be active - or maybe it is? I have a demanding job that doesn't give me much time off, but I'm still keen to do something in my spare time when possible. Every little bit helps I suppose, even if it takes a while to find the people you want to help and organise the most beneficial way to go about it - as long as you get there eventually and you make a difference, big or small.

So, if anyone knows of a charity event or organisation that needs help, please let me know, because I'd like to contribute in any way possible. Post any events, organisations or even your interest in a comment: the more we spread the word, the more interest we can gather and the more people we can help out, in one way or another.

And if you happen to park in the lot opposite the Regency Hotel, give those lads some recognition. Like I said, they're a good bunch, even if they do support Chelsea.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Easy updates, Ea-sy

  • I'm consumed at work and it's going well. I have dreams that my clients are in big trouble and I solve all their problems. They pronounce me their hero and have a parade with me on a float and confetti everywhere (it's a nice dream).
  • I like work here, it's good quality stuff but I miss London. I miss the office and seeing so many people every day. I miss the bigger picture of it all and unfortunately there's not much I can do about it. Luckily everyone here has been very nice to me and has made me feel welcome - almost as if I've been here for months on end. There are still many things that I miss and wish I could go back to but I will try not to think about them too much and make the most of what I've got on my plate - which is quite a lot, Thanks Godness.
  • I like to read aloud the stickers on people's cars.
  • I like spending time with Mr. Seroo, it's nice being in the same country again. It makes me happy.
  • I still don't understand how time here either gozza by so slowly or flies. I still haven't settled into a good regime and really want to get a good system going where I make the most of my time and spend every minute wisely. I need to fit reading, exercising and alone time back into my days.
  • I had a problem with my cargo. The moving company in the UK picked my stuff up from my flat and promised to put it on the next day flight to Bahrain. I kept calling them from Bahrain and they lied for 10 days and said my stuff was "in transit". When I called a little exasperated they confessed my things still hadn't left the UK and were already damaged. After much shouting over the telephone and fist banging on my desk, I sorted everything out and got all my stuff. I'm still sifting through everything to assess the levels of damage, but so far, so good.
  • I went to an art exhibition by high school students and I have to say I was very impressed. For real, these kids are really talented and so bold with their work, I was taken aback by the levels of creativity I was seeing. A lot of the work was very smart and it was so refreshing to see the kind of crazy angles that were taken - older generation art students would have never been able to create stuff like this, it was whacky cool. I'm telling you, things are changing in a cool way for kids nowadays.
  • I still haven't had a Jan Burger. I know, I know, say what you want but I'm no traitor - I'll sort it out and be in Double Jan heaven soon enough.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

For how long? Indefinitely...

That's a lie: I took the tube to the airport.

It took one decision and one week for me to pack up my life for the last seven years and leave London behind. The one decision was based on work, and of course, as if anyone could expect any different, I was back in the office the day after I arrived. Hardcore.

I've been busy at work, will be busier as I think I've been given some leeway on my first week back and have been able to go home at a reasonable hour to spend time with family and friends (and Fiance of course!). Being busier will be good, I hope that it helps my "transition" into being back here and give me some time to "adjust".

Coming back was a big surprise to many people, especially Fiance whose jaw dropped open when he saw me walk through the door - the look on his face was priceless. Many are more surprised this could be "for good". Hmmm. Let's see how that goes.

I already miss my old life behind that I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to properly. Friends and favourite places still visit me in my few hours of sleep every night to tell me that they're carrying alright without me but if I need to come back they'll take me in. The Bridge misses me, or so it swears...

So now that I'm back, I will slowly give myself some time to put together my big plans and build things up for myself, maybe even to relax a little, if possible.

Here's to seeing a few of you around.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ally McBeal wasn't anorexic, was she?

Being a women lawyer has its pressures. It's very competitive and you give up a lot of things like your social life, time with your boyfriend or husband, everyday errands, not having grey hair, sleep. For me, one thing I stopped doing regularly was exercising, which is proof of the terrible, terrible world I live in. Going to the gym becomes something you talk about but deep down inside you know you never do ("3 times a week" you say when you really mean "3 times in the last 3 months") and you really start to feel terrible, especially when there's nothing you can do about it. I think I'm an active person: I will always walk if I have the choice rather than take transport and I like going to the gym, but lately that hasn't been the case and I've really been feeling it. Working in a city law firm isn't helping this ill feeling either, especially as I realised quite early on that there are only a few overweight female lawyers: Everyone looks fabulous and frankly, I just don't see how everyone can stay in such great shape.

When I first started, I was constantly in awe of the waif like creatures that floated around the office in their Dolce and Gabbanna silk shirts and Dior pumps. They would all turn their heads elegantly towards me to smile while I loitered nervously outside their offices for the horrors of more work. I would stand there, self conscious in my boxy suit while they crossed their pencil skirted pencil legs or lifted heavy boxes with their (deceptively strong) twig-like arms. How did they look so good? Fair enough, most of these model-like female lawyers were not junior lawyers (therefore have gotten used to the type of work and frazzle of it all), but if they were in the office with me at half past nine in the evening, when did they have time to take care of themselves, i.e. work out? They were always so perfectly presented, and moreover, they were were all "skinny".

Bar two of the junior staff who were edging on the curvy side, there are no "fat" female lawyers in my firm. These observations took months to reach a conclusion and I believe that after looking at a large number of successful, young, female lawyers, I can concur that almost all of them are slim. Most of the young female solicitors in my firm of a certain rank and above are even quite "skinny"; no matter how drab their suit jacket may be, tiny waists and prominent collar bones are abundant in the office. They all look extremely busy, too, running around, getting things done (what I would consider "corporate cardio"). Perhaps it's the stress, I thought to myself, that makes the weight drop off. Everyone was fairly busy, there were very stressful times, so perhaps with all the madness your metabolism goes up a few notches and you start burning fat like an Iranian kebab shop. This puzzled me, since most of the men seemed to be well fed, so why were most of the the women "skinny"? Surely no matter how stressful it got, you would still break for lunch and dinner, or give into that mind-block-chocolate-craving that everyone gets just before 4 o'clock...

I saw these Skinnies step into lifts during lunchtime or leave the canteen, but soon I realised I never saw them eat. You see, there were times where I spent many a late night in my office building with my only real companions being the other junior lawyers who were slaving away and the canteen staff. Come a certain time of night, I would ring the other young 'uns to see who was up for some grub: If I was still at work at 8 p.m. and it wasn't looking like I was going to be going to a homecooked supper anytime soon, I wanted to make sure I got a square meal in me right away. This was my logic, if I was still working at this time, I was entitled to take a break with some food and have all the high trans-fats cheesy trimmings I wanted. I would pile my tray high with whatever hot dinner was at offer (Lancashire hotpots and pasta bakes of the sorts) and sit down to wolf if all down in less than 20 minutes. In the mean time, I would watch the Emma's and Chloe's float in, pick up some fruit and float out. There were exceptions, some did pick up trays of hot food like me (the roast potatoes, oh the horror of carbs past 6 p.m.!) and even though I would smugly watch them sit down and pick up their forks and knives, I never saw more than a few bites go into their delicate little mouths. The rest of their 16 minutes would be spent poking and prodding at their plates until it was time to go back up to their desks, and with a knowing smile sent my way, I would wipe my plate clean of any traces of my canteen dinner and wonder how they do it.

Soon enough, I found myself inspecting my side profile in the bathroom mirrors far too many times in the day and becoming very body conscious. I too wanted to become a hard working, female lawyer climbing the ranks in a City firm, I too wanted to become "skinny." This was not good, considering I have average BMI and was never one to scrutinise my body. Suddenly, I was always digging for skirts in the morning to show my defined calves and erase the illusion of plank legs I was sure the other lawyers all had of me. I wanted to look the part, walk the walk, talk the assertive talk. I, too, wanted to skip meals when working around the clock for Client X's refinancing model or when Client Hippo's demands were my main priority, not my afternoon snacks of sugary treats.

I tried, I really did, but my stummy would cry out infront of my supervisers. "Maltesers, they're only 190 calories per pack" I would say, sneaking down to the tuck shop to pick up 3 packets of the said treats, a Diet Coke and a Geobar (I hear they're good for you). Along with your usual array of KitKats and Yorkies, our tuck shop is also equipped with all the right treats to keep you trim, with calorie indexes on everything and plenty of shiny apples to make your eyes sparkle like a horse at the Derby. Being a City firm, we also have your usual corporate coffee stand for your obligatory morning paper cup coffee: I would gallantly march my way in the queue to place my louder than usual order of "One 'Skinny' Latte, please", only to have my barrista answer back "All our lattes are "Skinny", Miss". You could not even be served full fat milk if you wanted it, you all had to aim to be "Skinny". All of you. Every, single, one of you.

My current supervisor, an exposed chocoholic, has been a great help by stealing any chocolate I leave at my desk, albeit not very sneakily as I always manage to catch him in the act of scoffing the end of whatever sad soldier I've left behind. If it's going to help me get to that high powered job in my size 0 pencil skirt, I won't say a peep, after all, being skinny and successful go hand it hand it seems in big city firms. Also, golden rule number 1 of working in a law firm is never deny your supervisor of anything on your desk, especially if you want to keep your job.

Perhaps I am looking too far into it and that it is just by coincidence that my firm hires pretty, "skinny" lawyers and sees potential in the younger, "chunky" ones. Already I have noticed a few baggy shirts and loose trousers amongst some of the girls from my intake, even though I do not witness it in myself. I can only pray that I do not remain as the exception to the rule as one of the few "chunky" ones that sticks out like a sore thumb in our group photos.

* The contents of this web site may contain offensive material towards lawyers and not-skinny people. The owner of this website has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all information provided in or through this website is complete and accurate at the time of inclusion. However, there may be inadvertant and occasional errors and omissions, for which the owner of this website apologises. The owner of this website makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided through this website and reserves the right to publish this information. The owner of this website accepts no liability for any direct or indirect damages or any other losses or other liability whatsoever resulting from whatever cause through any person's access or inability to access tihs website, or through the use of, and/or reliance upon any informaiton obtained either directly or indirectly from this website. Because frankly, if you were in my shoes, you'd probably be touchy about not being skinny, too, and just want to cover your own ass.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

My life at the moment

Clearly since my life recently has just been about my work, I haven't had much to say, or perhaps a better way to put it is that I just haven't had the time to sit down and blag away here so I've had to resort to showing you some measley photos I've taken and hope that it will suffice as an explanation of what it is I am up to at the moment.

Which as you can see, isn't much.

My phone.

My afternoon snack.

My walk in the morning.

My view leaving the office.

Maybe I'll do a camera phone "day in the life" as inspired by Twix. That could do it for me.

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