Mo In London

Travel Blog - COMING SOON!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And because it's my blog so I can do what I want - lots more weekend pictures!!!


Our friends Sonali and Steve came over Friday night - this is how excited they were about Murray's cooking!

He made these really yummy (and VERY spicy) chili poppers for the appetizer.

Remind me never to make this face again!

One more for Sonali

Steve knew how hot the cream cheese inside was so took the proper precautions

WHEW - sweaty boys!

The main meal - tuna breast with home made onion chili jam on sweet potato mash topped with asparagus - REALLY fab meal!

A goofy pictures from the 3 work friends, they share an office every day and STILL like each other!

And a better close up photo (Steve, Sonali & Murray)

This is the face Abby puts on when she sees the camera (notice the professionally painted pumpkin)

Me & Eva carving our pumpkins & trying not to make too much of a mess

Abby checking to see what's in my pumpkin

Abby posing with her pumpkin cat

And a little ice cream for dessert

The pumpkin cat

The pumpkin bat (with a pumpkin's eyes & nose as buttons - as designed by Abby)

Don't ya just love the red streak down the front as well!

Abby having the cat and bat kiss hello

Monday, October 30, 2006

A London weekend in pictures...

We took lots of pictures this weekend - so here's my 'London weekend in pictures...'

Murray asked nicely - so he got breakfast in bed. Spaghetti on toast, fried eggs & roasted tomatoes with cheese.

Abby and Eva came over in the afternoon for some pumpkin decorating.
Abby brought her paints - you can just see in the this picture - I also bought these cute little wooden figures that have wooden bits at the end so you can shove them into a pumpkin. This is the cat's head.
You can see Abby's painted pumpkin to the right in this photo. It was just a blur of all the colours really, but she had a great time!
I went to the supermarket Waitrose Saturday morning & picked up this box which included a pumpkin...
and this great little carving kit (which included patterns)! Funny enough it said on the back that it was made in Florida!

Much to Murray's dismay I also roasted some of the pumpkin seeds - YUMMY! Murray claims they make my breath smell like a camel's bum - how he knows what that smells like I do not know!

My finished pumpkin

Eva's finished pumpkin

Saturday night we went into Central London for a night out to an engagement celebration. I snapped this photo from our bus - Harrods looks SO gorgeous when it is all lit up at night!

Sunday Murray and I went to Richmond. We had a LOVELY pub roast lunch and then spent the rest of the day walking through the gorgeous parks they have down there and shopping. Can you believe I am sitting outside - in a t-shirt - on OCTOBER 29th! WOW!
This is the squirrel that was stalking Murray. When it started running straight at him I yelled for him to be careful cause it might bite - which sent it running away - opps!
This flowers garden park is GORGEOUS! A hidden gem in Richmond that not many people seem to know about cause it's tucked away just outside of the centre of town. (The way to get there is to go left when you get down to the river and continue walking along until you come to a cute little tunnel that goes under the road (on your left) then you pop out in this great little park)! Richmond is so lovely and has SO much history - gorgeous! I could totally see living in that area!

We have loads more (and BETTER) pictures on Murray's camera - I will post them tomorrow....

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Friday, October 27, 2006

People don't bake in London

Last night in preparation for some friends coming over tonight I decided to make mini cheese cakes (using the mix my Mom & Dad brought over from the states). Thus, I needed cup cake holders (or 'cases' as they are called over here). I went to 4 yes FOUR different groceries stores.... and this is all I could find!

But I didn't want to make teeny tiny cheese cakes, but cupcake sized cheesecakes. :(

When I got home I peeked in our cupboard just to see if I by chance did have some left over from the last time I made something in a cupcake holder a LONG time ago and lo and behold I found THESE!!!!

THANK GOODNESS! The personal cheese cakes turned out perfectly. I love that they're the perfect size for 1 person and they look so cute! I even tried one out last night - just to make sure they tasted ok - he he.

I was however happy to see at the grocery store that Halloween is becoming a bigger deal over here in the UK. When I moved here 5 years ago I'm pretty sure they didn't have as much Halloween themed stuff as they do now. YAY! I got a bag of these for our Spanish class & one for work next week, because that's as close to 'celebrating' Halloween as I'm gonna get.

The only thing left now is to buy a pumpkin! I wanted to get one last night, but didn't want to have to lug it home on top of all the other bags I got. I DID however see that Waitrose will sell you the pumpkin in a cute Halloween box and it comes with the stuff to carve it - FUN!

Ahhhhhh but Christmas is coming as well - you know it's that time of the year when Starbucks brings out the red cups!!!!!!!!

Ohhhh Penelope Cruz - me like!

Idea stolen from one of my favourite bloggers A Novelist

I wonder who my matches would have been when I had blonde hair? Hmmmm will have to see if I can find a photo to try out.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I guess I need to eat more protein :(

A friend emailed me this yesterday. I admit it took me AGES to find the guy, and took Murray about 2 seconds. How fast can you find him?

This is bizarre - after you find the guy - it's so obvious. Once you find him - it's embarrassing, and you think, Why didn't I see him immediately?

Doctors have concluded that if you find the man in the coffee beans in 3 seconds, your right half of your brain is better developed than most people. If you find the man between 3 seconds and 1 minute, your right half of the brain is developed normally. If you find the man between 1 minute and 3 minutes, then the right half of your brain is functioning slowly and you need to eat more protein. If you have not found the man after 3 minutes, the advice is to look for more of this type of exercise to make that part of the brain stronger!!!

And, yes, the man is really there!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Billy Idol was my bus driver

Well, not really. But I forgot to mention yesterday that when I got on the bus home my driver had pink spiky hair, lots of piercings & had QUITE a resemblance to Billy Idol. I sang 'white wedding' to myself on the way home.

Last night was Spanish. The class itself is good (although very hard) it's just the transport to and fro that was annoying. I left work at 4:30 to make sure I got there by 6:30. It usually means I'm about 15 minutes early, but I give myself that extra time in case of tube delays (not that those EVER happen - ha ha). So class goes from 6:30-8:30. And wouldn't you know - I walk to the bus stop after the class and miss my bus by mere seconds! The sign at the stop said the next bus was expected in 10 minutes so I sat down and read my book. HOWEVER I ended up sitting there nearly half an hour, I was really wishing I had gloves a hat and a scarf cause it CHILLY! Then 15 minute bus ride and then 10 minute walk home. So all in all about 5 hours to get to and from Spanish - kinda annoying.

Oh well.

I'm getting kinda fed up with the buses.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's Winter

I feel like it's now officially winter - today is the first day I have worn my winter coat!
Last night on the way home from the gym it just felt REALLY chilly, a real bite in the air.
I'm happy though - was looking forward to wearing my cute winter coat:)

Last night I had a momentary panic when I was going back down to the changing rooms. I noticed that the locker key I had was missing it's number plate. I had a general idea where my locker was, but wasn't exactly sure about the number. I was super embarrassed when I had to try a few before finding the right one, didn't want people to think I just found the key and was breaking into someone's locker or something!

I started on my Spanish workbook last night. Our teacher recommended that we buy it as a supplement to our book and study it at home to help with our progress. It took me ages to get through just a few pages though because the ENTIRE thing is in Spanish. The instructions, the questions, the answers, etc etc. Good though I suppose, forces me to get my little translation book out and work through the whole thing.

Looking forward to lesson number 3 tonight.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! Hope you have a great day:)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Darker Do

I had a nice weekend. Saturday I watched Abby in the morning. We had a nice time, she was super cute as usual, and she brought us some LOVELY chocolates as a thank you for watching her.

When Eva came to pick her up in the afternoon she drove me to the hairdresser (which was fab since as soon as we got in the car the sky opened up and started pouring really hard with rain)!

I decided that I was fed up with the upkeep that was necessary for my blonde do. Also, since I have been dying for around 10 years now the condition of my hair was screaming for me to lay off the bleach for awhile. So I went in for a 4 hour session with a guy who called me Veronica the whole time. The first time he said it I thought maybe I had misheard him, so I didn't correct him. The second time he said it it was kinda too late for me to correct him, then after the third fourth and fifth time I just answered to it, oh well. He did a nice job, but he was pretty unfriendly (for a hairdresser) I won't be going back to him again.

A few notes about getting your hair done in London
1. It's expensive!!!
2. I think part of the reason it's so expensive is that they always have at least half a dozen girls (and once and awhile a rare boy) running around bringing people drinks and biscuits and washing your hair. Why the hairdresser can't just do this - I do not know.
3. It's nice that they serve wine - I figure if I'm going to be sitting there for 4 hours and paying an arm a leg for a new do I deserve at least one glass.
4. Why oh why does it take FOUR hours? Since he told me in my consultation a few days ago that I would need at LEAST that long (I had only booked in for 3), he seemed to be doing everything in slow motion just so that he wouldn't prove himself wrong (that yes a haircut really shouldn't take over an hour). Snip - look in mirror - yes, still about the same legth on both side - snip - etc (repeat many many times for at least an hour).
5. They REALLY seem to try to push products on you here. I don't know if the hairdressers get a comission or what? He set half a dozen products in front of me and told me I HAD to have them all (I chose 2 I actually did need and refused the rest).



Sorry it's poor quality. Best my camera phone could do at 6:30 this morning:)

Saturday night I met up with a friend at TGI Fridays for dinner & drinks. We were laughing about how funny it is when British people try to 'act American.' Our server was over the top friendly (well, for UK standards), although she was short with us and actually not a very good watiress, just fake over friendly. Below is a poor quality photo of when the severs made a guy sitting near us stand on his chair so they could very loudly sing Happy Birthday to him. Although you could see in their faces they were SO embarassed to have to do that in front of a whole crowd of people. But, I'm not complaining, I love that they say 'HELLO!!!!!' when you enter the restaurant and yell to you 'HAVE A NICE NIGHT' when you're leaving:)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Do I look THAT different? Mucho Gusto

This morning, for the 5th consecutive time this week, I was asked to show a second id this morning. The person who checked my badge coming into work looked at it, looked at me, looked at it, looked at me. Then he asked for a second id to prove I am indeed me. All I have with my married name on it is a credit card and my gym card, which was good enough Monday through Thursday, but today he wanted a photo id. So I showed him my MBA student card which has my photo and first name, but my maiden surname. I had HAD it today, so I asked WHY all of the sudden, after (officially today!) 100 weeks at this job, NOW you start questioning my photo? Do I look THAT different? He apologized, saying my photo just didn't look like me. Ok, fine. If this keeps up I may just have to ask to get a new photo for my badge as it's driving me MAD! Oh, and the bus went on a different route this morning, also make me late for work. Thank goodness it's Friday.

Lorraine came over last night and we went out to a nice dinner at our ever favourite place Il Mas Calzone. We gave them a good tip (well, a GREAT tip for the UK as no one really tips) and were thus rewarded for the first time ever with lolipops for all of us - what a treat! Then Lorraine and I practiced our Spanish (she's taking it too at her University). She taught me colours, I taught her numbers, she taught me pronunciation, I taught her a few phrases. It was good.

It's rainy & miserable again today - but still fairly warm - about 17c (64f). I wish the weather would just make up it's mind already and be done with the rain and just get cold. I wanna wear my super cute new coat darn it!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

London Sardines

Last night I decided to go to the gym, even though I knew there was a Chelsea football game on. Big mistake! When I got up to the platform it was packed - I was about 4 people back from the edge. So when the crowd surged forward I didn't even attempt to get on. The next train that came was also pretty full, but I was only 2 people back from the edge, so I thought I could probably get on. Nope. The people around me pushed so much that I ended up getting wedged back even further. Third train comes and I'm determined to get on. So I pushed along with everyone else and got onto the carriage. However, the people behind me KEPT on pushing after the train was already really really full. So when the doors closed I was literally smashed between two people on the most crowded train I have ever been on. It was so packed I didn't have to worry about holding onto something. No one was going to fall over when the train moved because we were so wedged together that we just swayed as a group. I could just barely get my hand up to pull my hair out of my eyes. The guy next to me laughed and asked how my book was. I said I guess I don't know since there's no room to even hold it up!

You know what the worst part is? I can get past having to be squished up against strangers (I have been here for nearly 5 years after all). However the thing that still grosses me out is when people breath on you. Weird, I know. But once we got a bit more space at the next stop when a few people got off, this one guy didn't back off much and his breath was going right on my face - ewwwwww.

Anyhow, got to the station where my gym is (which also happens to be the station where the football stadium is). It was madness! Tons & tons & tons of people. I quickly skirted around the side of the shopping centre to get up to where the escalator to the gym is. On the way I saw a huge crowd gathering right in front of the shopping centre - so I glanced over to see what was going on as I went by. A couple of policemen stood around a guy who was face down on the payment, handcuffed and screaming obsenities. A policeman was yelling at him to stop swearing and stop kicking them. Oh gosh, I hate to say it but, those Chelsea supporters are a scary rough group!

When I got up to the gym it was great, like a nice quiet, peaceful safe haven. That was, until I did my 'body pump' class. They have new songs for the routines which were fantastic - lots of great 90's tunes that I love. Although I did discover my triceps are still the weakest muscle I have while trying to keep up to the routine performed to

'Pump up the jam Pump it up
While your feet are stompin'
And the jam is pumpin'
Look at here the crowd is jumpin'
Pump it up a little more
Get the party going on the dance floor
Seek us that's where the party's at
And you'll find out if you're too bad
I don't want a place to stay
Get your boody on the floor tonight
Make my day
I don't want a place to stay
Get your boody on the floor tonight
Make my day Make my day Make my day Make my day Make my day Yo!'

And just because - how cute is this picture!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Late blog today

I've been busy busy at work, so a bit of a quick & late blog today.

Some cute pictures of Abby (of a MUCH better quality from Murray's camera).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On a happier note...

A friend of mine just sent this to me - I had to share it here. So touching, amazing, brought tears to my eyes:)

'A glimpse of the remarkable father-son bond of Dick and Rick Hoyt, and their inspirational journey together in a triathlon and life itself. The goal of Team Hoyt is to integrate the physically challenged into everyday life. One way to accomplish this is to educate the able-bodied, making them more aware of the issues that the disabled face every day. Another is by actively helping the disabled to participate in activities that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. Team Hoyt targets both of these areas.'

Click here for the full article from Sports Illustrated

And here is a video of 'Team Hoyt'

Advertising gone too far?

I was unsure whether to blog about this or not, but you know what? I can't stop thinking about it - so I'm going to.

These ads are all up over London at the moment. It would be different if they had said on the ad WHAT it was for. But to just write 'Nothing good ever came out of America' is just wrong. It's an advertising campaign for a new tv station here called 'US5' that has only US tv shows. The channel claims that we should wait for the rest of the campaign as it will move on to show that the UK really DOES love US shows (which is TRUE)! But to be so blatantly derogatory is really insulting. I read that the Advertising Standards Authority(ASA) has received numerous complaints, and may force the channel to cease this advertising campaign, and on that note I will be complaining as well.

The spokesman for channel 5 says 'The really unique element of the Five ads is the way they turn the anti-American sentiment on its head by eventually touting the country's cultural exports.'

I know that this is what advertising is about, grabbing attention and generating discussion, but why is it necessary to be so offensive and derogatory?

If anyone out there agrees with me - click here to register your complaint.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Is October really almost over?

Wow time flies. I can't believe it's mid October! This weekend we were outside a lot, and I couldn't believe how nice it was - for October!!!! Stayed around 20c (70f) all weekend which was lovely!!!

Saturday Abby came over. When I went down to meet her and Eva at the door she saw me from across the street and yelled 'HI NEEK.' Ahhhh cute. When we got upstairs she turned to me and said 'Where's Mooreee.' I told her he was sleeping, she accepted this answer, and we settled down in the living room to play with her toy farm she had brought. Had a lovely morning with he! We didn't go outside though because I didn't want her to get dirty or bump her head again as I knew they were going straight to church when Eva came to pick her up.

Her hair is getting so long & pretty!

Once this game gets going all we hear for ages is 'again - again!'

We watched the Wizard of Oz (cause if I have to watch Ice Age one more time I may flip out)! She really liked it and sat quietly on my lap watching it with me (which was pretty impressive).

This things squirts air (it's to clean a camera lens). She loves it though and calls it 'spots.' She pokes it on your 'spots' (birthmarks or whatever) and squeezes the air out to try to get rid of them for you - ha ha!

Abby holding the cow in leiderhosen that we got her in Germany.

She named him 'Baby Moo Cow.'

In the afternoon she ran into our room and said to me 'Neek - Drums.' I said no, you have to ask Murray - they are his drums. So she ran into the living room yelling 'MOOREEE drum peas' (that's please - ha ha). Mid drum session she turned to Murray and said 'I love drums.' Which we thought was hilarious. Sorry for all the play by play of what she said, but it's still a novelty for us because she's only REALLY started speaking a lot in the last few weeks:)

Abby jamming on the drums (please disregard the messy room in the backroom - opps!)

After Eva picked her up we headed into High Street Kensington for some shopping. We ended up buying each other our xmas gifts. I know it's early, but oh well, at least we both got things we actually want (cause we're both pretty picky). Murray got a cooooooool new pair of shoes and I got a gorgeous black button down 3/4 winter coats (loves it)! That night we went and saw the movie 'The Departed' (review on the sidebar) EXCELLENT movie!

Sunday Lorraine came over and we decided to go up to Oxford Street for a bit of shopping. We had a LOVELY lunch at our favourite savoury crepe place (mexicana - yummmm). Then we went over to Selfridges. They had a HUGE section of Christmas stuff set up (isn't that a bit early)? But it did get us in the mood. We looked around at the stunning decoration while singing along to the Christmas songs they were blasting.
I spotted this book in Selfridges. It sounds like something I need to read!!!!!!!!!

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