A Profile of London by A.A. Gill – NYTimes.com

A Profile of London by A.A. Gill – NYTimes.com.

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London Apartment Search, Day 2

Peace Pagoda, Battersea Park, London, UK
Peace Pagoda, Battersea Park, London, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I saw another apartment today.

This one was in the Battersea area.

It was a room in a house with a few other people, and everything looks really good. They’re teachers/admin people.

It’s also only about 20 minutes by bus to Victoria Station.

When I was waiting for the bus back to Streatham, there was a guy waiting at the bus stop with his dog. He was wearing a leather jacket with a Confederate Flag sewed onto the arm, and was walking his pit bull. Nice guy. Asked me why I gave up Canada for “this place”.

He was really surprised when I told him how old I was. He said he thought I was 17 or 18.

So, do the math ladies. You can officially all knock off close to 10 years off your ages…

Because none of you were doing that already.

Love ya bye,

Sarah

It Rained Again

Surprise!

They weren’t lying about that whole, “it always rains in England” thing.

The best part though, is that it hardly rained at all until the government said we were in drought. It’s rained every day since.

They put in a hose pipe ban and everything.

The only people who seem to be exempt from the hose pipe ban are the lovely folks over at the set of Les Miserables who were caught hosing down their set a couple of weeks ago.

I was feeling lazy again today. Josh likes it when I’m lazy. I called and emailed a few people to try and set up times to look at apartments. But people are very hard to get a hold of. I hardly ever hear back from the people I email, and the lady I called told me she would text me back. Which she hasn’t done yet.

Love ya bye,

Sarah

 

London Apartment Hunt, Day 1

Note that I used the North American term “apartment”, instead of the British “flat”. That’s because I’m pretentious enough all on my own, without pretending to be Madonna.

That said, I should probably recap what I did yesterday, lest I get another nasty comment 🙂

Josh.

It rained all day, so I hung out with Josh. He’s not a big fan of bad weather, and refused to go outside at all. For the past two days I’ve been woken up by a scratch at the door. Then he slinks into my room, and shoves himself in the small spot between my wall and the dresser.

This morning, I figured I should probably get on with the whole “not being a complete hobo” thing.

I finally bit the bullet and signed up with one of those agency things. It’s not an estate agent – meaning they don’t get a commission. Instead I paid them a one time fee for three months of their services. Which means they act as the middle man between me and various landlords, setting up appointments for viewings.

Inside the shopping mall where High Street Ken...
Inside the shopping mall where High Street Kensington Tube Station is, January 17, 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The place I looked at today was a semi-studio. It looked very similar to a dorm room. Mini fridge, microwave, shared bathroom. The place itself was fine, but the location was the best bit. It was a street over from the High Street Kensington tube stop. The landlord told me that a couple of the guys from Take That live in the neighbourhood.

The only problem is that I would have to sign for a whole year, and I still have no way of knowing if I’ll be here that long.

I think I should try and find a place that will let me sign for 6 months at a time.

I’m going to give the agency people another call tomorrow morning and see if I can set up some more appointments over the next couple of days.

I’ll keep you posted.

Love you bye,

Sarah

 

Review: Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

I slept in this morning.

And I plan on sleeping in again tomorrow.

Bobbi Brown cosmetics

This afternoon, I headed back over to Selfridges for my makeup lesson with the lovely ladies over at the Bobbi Brown Cosmetics booth.

The lady that did my lesson gave me the works. Skin care, moisturiser, serum, whatever else you can think of, it ended up on my face.

The makeup looked good, but it was a lot heavier than I would have liked. I’m not a big fan of looking like I’m wearing lots of makeup, if you know what I mean.

The most nerve-wracking part was when she pulled out a bright orange lipgloss. It turned out to be clear though, so it was fine.

The major problem was that my eyes started to get a little itchy after a couple of hours.

Selfridges is also having a “Delicious Ireland” event in their Food Halls. They’ve got lots of samples and guest celebrity chefs doing displays.

Today I learned how to cook wild rabbit. Which is a very useful skill when you’re living in central London.

Love ya bye,

Sarah

Today’s History Lesson: St. George

Today is St. George’s Day.

Aragonés: San Chorche por Gustave Moreau. Engl...
Aragonés: San Chorche por Gustave Moreau. English: Saint George by Gustave Moreau. Español: San Jorge por Gustave Moreau. Galego: San Xurxo por Gustave Moreau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He’s the Patron Saint of England.

No one really knows why.

 

From Wikipedia:

“Eastern Orthodox depictions of Saint George slaying a dragon often include the image of the young maiden who looks on from a distance. The standard iconographic interpretation of the image icon is that the dragon represents both Satan (Rev. 12:3) and the Roman Empire. The young maiden is none other than the wife of Diocletian, Alexandra. Thus, the image as interpreted through the language of Byzantine Iconography, is an image of the martyrdom of the saint.

The episode of St George and the Dragon was a legend[28] brought back with the Crusaders and retold with the courtly appurtenances belonging to the genre of Romance. The earliest known depiction of the legend is from early eleventh-century Cappadocia, (in the iconographyof the Eastern Orthodox Church, George had been depicted as a soldier since at least the seventh century); the earliest known surviving narrative text is an eleventh-century Georgian text.

In the fully developed Western version, which developed as part of the Golden Legend, a dragon orcrocodile makes its nest at the spring that provides water for the city of “Silene” (perhaps modern Cyrenein Libya or the city of Lydda in the Holy Land, depending on the source). Consequently, the citizens have to dislodge the dragon from its nest for a time, to collect water. To do so, each day they offer the dragon at first a sheep, and if no sheep can be found, then a maiden must go instead of the sheep. The victim is chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happens to be the princess. The monarch begs for her life to be spared, but to no avail. She is offered to the dragon, but there appears Saint George on his travels. He faces the dragon, protects himself with the sign of the Cross,[29] slays the dragon, and rescues the princess. The grateful citizens abandon their ancestral paganism and convert to Christianity.

The dragon motif was first combined with the standardised Passio Georgii in Vincent of Beauvais‘ encyclopaedic Speculum historale and then in Jacobus de VoragineGolden Legend, which guaranteed its popularity in the later Middle Ages as a literary and pictorial subject.

The parallels with Perseus and Andromeda are inescapable. In the allegorical reading, the dragon embodies a suppressed pagan cult.[30] The story has other roots that predate Christianity. Examples such as Sabazios, the sky father, who was usually depicted riding on horseback, and Zeus‘s defeat of Typhon the Titan in Greek mythology, along with examples from Germanic and Vedic traditions, have led a number of historians, such as Loomis, to suggest that George is a Christianized version of older deities in Indo-European culture.

In the medieval romances, the lance with which St George slew the dragon was called Ascalon, named after the city of Ashkelon in theLevant.[31]

 

But this might make more sense:

Ok, I’m Back

Josh.

A couple of days ago, I received this note in the comment section:

“Okay, Rann child, you need to understand something. Those of us toodling away back here in the colonies have come to depend upon your witty missives and experience a void when days pass without them. Not to put any pressure on you or anything but… where the hell are you???”

To which, I reply:

“Dude, do you really want to hear about my eye infection?”

I was held up for the week with puffy eyes the size of gold balls. Josh was very happy. He took it as his opportunity to claim his favourite spot on my floor.

On the plus side, I was able to take advantage of my free UK Netflix account. I haven’t found anything as exciting as The Only Way is EssexAll I’ve discovered is that Ashton Kutcher has never made a good movie.

Selfridges. Probably the most famous of the de...
Selfridges. Probably the most famous of the department stores on Oxford Street, viewed from the junction with Orchard Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, what I did today was explore some London clothing stores. I started out at Selfridge’s, on Oxford Street. I got myself a free Dior make up application thing, and I booked myself for a free Bobby Brown make-up lesson for tomorrow afternoon. Just to clarify, that’s Bobby Brown as in “celebrity make-up artist” and not as is “crazy ex-husband of Whitney Houston.”

I also got a free bra fitting, so I now know what my actual bra size is. Which is important – apparently.

So far the London department stores rank as follows:

1. Harrod’s – Thanks in large part to the free, no-annual fee, no questions asked about how much money you make, rewards card.

2. Selfridge’s – Nice staff, not too pushy. They lose marks for the atrocious bright yellow bags they make you carry your purchases in.

3. Harvey Nichol’s – Staff is kind of standoff-ish. No one has ever come up to me and ask if I need anything. Feels like they’re just waiting for me to leave.

There are a couple of more department stores that I haven’t ventured in to yet.

Back State Room

But I’m sure I will soon enough.

After Selfridge’s, I went up to the Wallace Collection for a couple of hours. I asked the lady at their information desk about their internships and…. it turns out I’m totally eligible! And there’s one that starts in October, conveniently just after I finish my summer job.

After the Wallace Collection closed, I took a stroll down New/Old Bond Street. Side note – Bond Street Station is NOT on Bond Street. It’s a couple of streets over.

I took a look through the flagship stores for Burberry, Ralph Lauren, and Chanel. And… I thought I was supposed to love Chanel. Not really sure what’s going on there, but it kind of feels like they’re hiding all the good stuff. Everything looks like it might be best suited for old ladies.

I really liked the Ralph Lauren stuff though. The lady that helped me was named Sue. She was very patient with me after I told her I was starting a new job, but that my personal style was a touch closer to “Brooklyn Hipster” than to “London Museum”.

It’s all fairly simple stuff – navy blazers, soft cardigans – think Gwyneth Paltrow in the Hampton’s.

The trick is making me fit in with the ladies that I’ll be working with – while remembering that I’m about 30 years younger than most of them.

I didn’t buy anything, because… obviously.

Their cardigans were like 200 pounds. And those were the cheap ones.

Love ya bye,

Sarah