Friday, 13 November 2015

Random musings going to Budapest

Please excuse the appearance of this post as I'm doing this on my phone.

I felt like writing a post now which goes against the grain because it's like writing a review for a show during the first interval.

I flew to Budapest, Hungary today to take the waters and see a friend. I was getting withdrawal factors of hot springs in Korea and Japan so thought this was an excuse to discover a city I kept meaning to visit.

I flew Ryan Air which is a budget airline.

Only budget airlines and private jets board from the tarmac nowadays.

Had the funniest guy who was part of one of many stag parties.  I asked why they chose Budapest and he said it was the only plane last minute that had seats for 6 people. Ryanair has changed the way people travel...

While chatting he told me how his girlfriend was a shopaholic. When they first dated his missus, she wanted to make an impression and bought a special dress she bought in town. ( I think they were from Essex/Suffolk borders.)

She asked him what he thought to which he replied, "nice" but he told me he thought it was too lacy but it was too early in the relationship to say.

She then said - Nice? This is "dolce gabbana"! ( but say it in a Essex/ east Anglian accent)

He went - yeah well it's a bit of dodgy garb on ya but you look lovely.

Dodgy garb?!

It's bleeding Dolce bleeding gabbana.

Apparently it's their inside joke now but I got such a kick out of the story so wanted to share.

Another highlight was a lady in the opposite row offered me ten quid for my pret a manger sandwich which cost less than half that. I say a black market of non Ryan air food is an untapped market. FYI - I didn't sell.

As I arrived in Budapest, I realised how in prepared I was. I brought Euros but they have their own currency even though they are in the EU like the UK.

I know they were part of the Austrian empire but not much else.

I can make fun of most nationalities but realised I couldn't mimic an Hungarian accent and how would I take the mick out of a Budapest resident? 

How do you even refer to a resident of Budapest?  Budapestan? Budapestian?

I knew about goulash too though I didn't have that for dinner.  I went retro and had a schnitzel with ham and cheese with a side of stroganoff spaghetti garnished with oranges which must be a communist vestige.

I then tried the Hungarian version of topfenknudel. ( forgive my spelling to those from Central Europe)

It was the size of two fists and the cottage cheese and curd mix was like dough polenta and stale oatmeal covered in sour cream and powdered sugar.

To burn off the stodgy fare I visited Szechenyi baths which was one of the main reasons I came here.

It's one of the most magnificent public institutions anywhere. If I lived here, I would be here with my friends wading in the 3 outdoor pools, double digit indoor pools and saunas. A nice way to socialise that is healthy and not sedentary.

Hope you have a lovely weekend x

Ps will be replying to any comments when back in London

Monday, 9 November 2015

Wardrobe Stalwarts Part 1 - Chanel flats and Champion sportstop

  Fashion has been on my mind a lot lately but
not so much in questioning what I was wearing any given day.

I had been feeling things about the whole rigmarole of 
fashion and trends and economic side effects 
but I kept telling myself I was becoming the old fart 
swore I'd never be.

But then like some of you I presume, 
I watched "The True Cost" which is still on Netflix 
in the UK and it solidified exactly what I'd been feeling.
If you haven't watched, it really is a must watch film.
I know that there are many crazy things happening in the world right now but this is one that actually affects our daily lives.

Clothes are a necessity still. 
That trend will never change.  
But it seems without exaggeration that a purchase of an item 
of clothing is as political as casting a vote for the next leader 
 your respective country.

But what can a civilian do?
Shares on Facebook feeds and a feeling of deflation right before you bite into a donut or drink.

I have been reviewing long term my relationship with items and physical objects.
It's a mid life thing I suppose.
I'm torn between "collecting" and a genuine attempt of collecting.
But during my last renovation, 
I felt embarassed by the things I had.  
I was never a frequent shopper to begin with but the forced move out of my house slowed that even further.

In the spirit of buying fewer but better,
 I thought I would do an ongoing series of short posts to share with you some items that have lasted at least 5 years but 
I will aim for at least a decade or so. 

It would be fun to see what readers who blog have as well that have survived a decade or so.  It might help us all when we go shopping not to waste money, time and resources?

So let's get down to business.

The shoes that have survived moves to Australia, New York, London, and Asia / renovations / wardrobe swaps are the following pair of Chanel flat two textured half patent half leather slingbacks.

These shoes were bought in.
Drumroll please........

20 years ago.

They were bought because I had my first serious job interview and I thought I'd be having a few more of those so would be used regularly. 
The cost was justified because feet usually stay the same size unlike jeans.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Elle Decor US Edition November 2015

I quite enjoyed this issue of Elle Decor because there was so much going on in my head while flipping through the magazine.

Of course, feel free to ignore me and just go through the pictures.

Isn't Jean-Louis Deniot the "It boy" of the design world - especially Elle Decor?
It seems he is featured every other month - probably not but it does feel that way.
The editors can do what they like but for a national magazine with an international presence you would think they could widen the decorator pool they feature.
It's funny because Deniot seems to decorate in a way that is very Elle Decor.
 ( US edition that is as each country has a very different ethos ).

If it wasn't for the sink and tap I would not have thought this was a kitchen.
Detail driven, materials that say custom made and not available on the high street, and expensive.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Highlights of October 2015 - Autumn Leaves, Chanel at Saatchi Gallery, Baths in Kyushu

Isn't this tree the perfect autumn tree with its color gradation from top to bottom?

I took this picture today on my morning walk in the park and it was oddly so crowded.
I think everyone was out enjoying the park at its peak.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Insta post September 2015: Autumn, Burghley Horse Trials, and other bits of London Life

It's Autumn in the northern hemisphere which means these striped deck chairs get packed away in London parks.
September is a busy month for everyone as everyone is back from holidays and going back to the grind.  Remember when Harry Potter used to go to school from Euston station?
Isn't it funny how large cities are culturally autonomous?
I left London and arrived in true blue England when I arrived in Stamford, Lincolnshire.
This is the Burghley Hospital that was started in the 1100's!
Now it is one of the quaintest and most charming housing associations in the country.

Stamford is a market town with all the trimmings of stone buildings and rivers.
My friends and I stayed in a private house that sometimes caters to guests if you know them.
It had bits of architecture dating back from the Domesday Book with the latest additions being from the Georgian period.
What made the home so special was that it was the size of a manor but situated in the town center with views from every window.