Sunday, 24 November 2013

House Prices and Social Anxiety

Even though I live in London and you live where you do I think I can safely say this is a topic that is relatable in the first world.


I thought house prices and the topic would have quietened down after the economic turmoil of 2007.  
But the subjects of home ownership and house prices increases are still being discussed at dinner parties across the globe.

The U.K., Australia, and some areas of North America 
for various economic reasons are going through a 
revived and ebullient housing market. 

Despite the recent economic crisis, house prices have not crashed and have depending on where you live maintained its price or increased in value. 


There are many theories behind this but the main simplistic reason seems to be financial security in bricks and mortar coupled with low interest rates.

One of the many theories behind house price increases via 

This may seem like it is a financial boon but to be frank all 
I feel is a collective social anxiety.  
I am not just discussing this topic with friends but am now overhearing conversations in cafes and on public transport.  


Alain De Botton discussed general status anxiety but this housing anxiety is something slightly different that people who have no intention of impressing anyone nor social climbers are experiencing.

People who already own homes are viscerally stressed thinking that they would have gone crazy if they needed to buy a home now.  
The common statement by home owners is that most could never afford their homes if they had to purchase it now.

People who don't have homes are obviously stressed as they have to endure the rigmarole of getting the deposit and mortgage but also the added burden of the bidding process.  They also don't have the security of being able to settle down in a rented flat as landlords have the right to exercise their right to sell or rent to someone else at a higher price.

Everyone is stressed about house prices.
There seems to be no true winners but only losers in this area.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Where Style is Subjective

I have always been aware of cultural differences due to my upbringing.  But not only manners and food vary according to region but I have noticed fashion varies depending on geography.
What is trendy in one country and even county doesn't always translate to another.

I used to live in New York for my first job at a company that had offices in other parts of the Tri-State area.
I had my nails done in a very pale and unassuming manner which were complimented by the girls in the Manhattan office. 
But when I crossed state borders 
I was asked why I didn't get proper nail art done.

 I had suggestions of upping my nail fashion and 
putting different Disney characters on each finger...

I resisted as it just isn't my style. 
In fact, before I moved to the States 
I was not in the habit of going for weekly manicures.
But the culture there is quite exigent when it comes to nail grooming.  I only had them done as I wanted to make sure I looked professional for my very first job.

In London, grooming and comportment has its own rules and standards.  People in this city by nature have a dual nature of not judging people at all by their attire or 
completely profiling people on general comportment. 
I tend to forgo judgement as 
I myself don't bother with fashion on a daily basis. 

Anyway, early today on the tube there was a group of American female tourists wearing tracksuits. 

 I don't mean the whole, 
"I just got off my private plane to perform a concert tonight so what the hell did you expect me to wear on a 13 hour flight" look.

It wasn't quite the "I am famous, sexy and beautiful and can get away with wearing what I want" look.

It also wasn't the 
"Hey, it may not be couture to you, but it is juicy couture for me. And I'll have you know I am queen bee in my 'hood " look.

It wasn't a professional uniform worn with conviction either.

The look was more...
Well, look for yourselves.


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Shhh...It's Victoria's Secret

It has now become a marketer's dream and 
the hype around this event is one of
 a funkier and more musical version of Miss Universe.

Miss Angel who forgot to wax the back of her neck, back 
and her ankles.

I am sure most teenage boys would view this differently but 
I couldn't help but mind read the following...

I am going to kill my agent.
 I finally get the Victoria Secret gig  
but instead I look I am dressed with the hand me downs of a 
Rastafarian and a clown.

 I hate this outfit and I don't know if even my underwear hanging out and my pout is going to distract anyone.
But some blogger out there will copy this outfit and 
I will get some extra publicity out of this.

 I haven't eaten in days so have no energy but 
I found my own way to elbow out my competition.

So I starved for two weeks and went to boot camp for one month and then they put this friggin' smiley face on my toned honed abs??

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Choice and Decision fatigue

I think we have at one time or another experienced choice fatigue and decision fatigue.


Maybe it was your first time at Starbucks?
Half and half, decaf, semi-skimmed, soy, coffee faff.
Don't worry we all held up the queue the first time we went too.

Mr CSW thought he was going on a carefree vacation when we did a driving trip circling America;
 until we had to order breakfasts.

In the UK, the land of the supposed eccentrics,
 choice applies to voting, how you dress and how you take your tea. ( Mind you even then, your birth has a lot to do with it but that's another post.)  
Otherwise, you eat what you are given.

Now for those living in North America, 
this is au fait for you but not for the rest of the world.

So at our first breakfast across the pond when he ordered sausages and eggs on toast, he was asked naturally,
 "How would you like your eggs?"

* He looked to me for assurance even though he was the one eating them so I looked down at the menu as I like to see him squirm *

Fried?  He questioned her back.

Without skipping a beat, she reeled off, 
"Sunny side up, both sides, runny or well done in the middle?"

He answered but took more than the 
customary polite time allocated to respond.

Just when he thought it was all over, 
"What kind of toast would you like?"

"Just whatever comes."

"Whole wheat, white, wonder bread, 7 grain, whole grain, 
sour dough, bagel, muffin?

Mr CSW's

Monday, 11 November 2013

Blogging treatise, crisis, and suggestions

I was going to post something else today but 
I feel rather deflated and am feeling a bit flat.

I just experienced my second blogging casualty.

Before I started blogging myself, one of my favorite blogs Decorno stopped without any warning at all.

She was the one blog I faithfully followed before I found the bloggers who I read now.
 I didn't understand how blogs worked so I didn't know clicking on the profile might lead to a blog or highlighted words were linked else where etc.  
Total blogging ding dong I was.

Half the enjoyment I get from blogging has been discovering so many blogs I didn't know existed!

I have enjoyed "meeting" so many people I would not have otherwise met.

As we get older, most people do fall into a routine and naturally fall back onto their own rhythm.

I love being able to go and visit, chat with people, and learn little tidbits about all sorts of subjects from all over the world without ever having to get in a cab in traffic to socialize.

There have been times even before and now still where I question myself blogging.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

HRH Kate and her roots (not ancestry but her hair)

 Completely last minute post here!

The Duchess of Cambridge met members of the Poppy Girls, daughters of military personnel who are releasing a charity song in aid of the British Royal Legion, today at Kensington Palace
This isn't a love her or hate her post, I am actually on the fence about her but I do try and show some respect to the crown. 
But this isn't necessarily about her but her roots.
Not about her mining / French Hugeonot roots;
 I mean her hair.

As you may have seen depending on which country you are in, Wills and Kate made a quick visit to their local tube station today and she was pictured with her latest hairstyle.

Looks like she called in her hairdresser but only for a blow dry and not to touch up her roots.

Kate looked radiant in a calf-length red coat from LK Bennett, happy to let a few grey hairs show at the roots - perhaps she's been too busy with George to get to the hairdresser?

Now I haven't forgotten she gave birth a few months ago.

I am not a mother but I can only imagine how little sleep she is getting even if she has a nanny because I am sure that a mother's instinct to look out for a baby is overwhelming.

But for some reason, I was a little disappointed and almost sad.
(Only being honest...)

I guess I do expect certain people always to look groomed and polished.  I just didn't realize she was one of those people I had any expectations of. 

I myself am in dire need of a haircut but just can't face making chit chat with my hairdresser but then again I am a civilian.  
But does she have a duty to always look good?

Am I being unrealistic or am I just afraid she might fall into that slippery slope of becoming "mumsy" which she is entitled to do as she is a mother now. 

Or have I just gotten used to this postmodern phenomenon of women giving birth and doing a photoshoot days after?

I don't actually have a definitive opinion on this which is odd for me!   I guess I am just thinking out loud...

 Would be interested to know your thoughts on this...

Sunday, 3 November 2013

November 2013 Instagram-y post

Full moons, eclipses, mercury retrograde, and a home renovation does not make a good combo.  
I know I usually stop at mercury retrograde but things have been quite frayed lately so this is my rationale...  

Still not very social but made a few exceptions.
Went to the new Ian Schrager hotel called Berners - Edition.
This is my iPad version of the same place!

Is that a gallery wall or what??

It has a great lobby culture as well.
Won't last long because the "pros" will find out about it soon enough.
The decor is exciting with a mix of modern and classic.
The cornices are insane and I have complete sofa envy...
Christian Liagre olive green velvet.

Guess which shot is mine?

Had a really good meal at Cheyne Walk Brasserie.
They even toast their bread with open flame so 
it has a richness that electricity can't mimic.

London is starting to decorate for Xmas.
Oxford street with baubles. 
John Lewis with Xmas tree cones

But Charlotte Olympia didn't fail to dress their windows 
according to the appropriate holiday.

Did you have a good Halloween?
I didn't do anything - not even a pumpkin this year.
I was into Halloween last year, this was my pumpkin.

Anglican Britain doesn't properly celebrate
All Saints Day but mainland Europe takes the day off work. 
It made me think of my trip to Paris exactly one year ago with one of my besties who visited from Oz.
Notre Dame - it was packed of actual church goers which one doesn't see in London.
Firemen doing their practice drills for their patron saint and
not putting flames out on the Seine as it seems.
The Seine is not just for tourists and has functional barges too.

Went to a milliner pretending I might go to the Melbourne Cup and had a browse.  Fancy that ceiling rose hat.

I always forget the name of the decor store in Holland Street but 
I always admire their wares.

I never see anyone in there though - 
not even a shopkeeper so I have never been inside.

Do you like cushions?
Rifat Ozbek has the best store right next to the one above.

Went to see a play that one of my freighbours was in.
Read it three times when I was the same age as Anne Frank.
But the play was so good and had me in tears.
By the way, did you know the furniture designer Jean Michel Frank was a first cousin once removed with her?

We had a storm in Britain that was one of the strongest I have experienced since living here.
A lot of trees were felled by the wind.

On the home front, delivery of my terrace windows came in.

My plasterer has these stilts he bought in America.
Michelangelo could have used some.

Do as I say and not as I do people.
I am tough on the pros but I am a civilian so to allay any fears for sharing your renos with me,
here is my living room at present!

Here is to a easier and smoother November!