Thursday, March 30, 2006


It's 3:33am and this truck has been parked on my street for over an hour now, making the loudest goddamn noise on earth (the picture's not very clear because it's a dark part of the street). I don't really know what it's doing - I can't see the area where the pipe is leading to. It looks like a water tank but it makes no sense - it's a constant, loud, drilling-like sound that is actually making my flat vibrate a bit. I was in bed about to fall asleep when it started and now I'm wide awake and there are no signs of it stopping. This is it...this is how I'm going to die. I'm going to go fucking INSANE!!!!

This city it determined to make me have a nervous breakdown. I'm so tired, I need to wake up early in the morning to read two books for my latest paper, and it's nearly 4am. I'm at my wit's end and I just don't know what to do. I'm ashamed to admit it but after 45 mins of laying in bed waiting for it to stop I went out into the living room, stood in the middle of the room, and just burst into tears. I'm nearly 27 years old and I cried because of a loud noise. That's gotta say something about my state of mind right now...

Side note: Blogger hasn't updated the time for daylight savings so my posts are being recorded as an hour earlier than it now is. Anyone know how I can change this?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Random Update

So my landlord is sending a letter round to the other two flats in the building (and I guess mine too) telling everyone not to open the front door to strangers. That's the most they can do. Meanwhile, the you-know-whats upstairs had stuff stolen too (gal3at'hom) - but here's the thing: I went up to talk to them on Saturday and only one was home and he said he heard the buzzer ring but didn't answer it and didn't know whether or not his flatmates had, then when I went up on Sunday I spoke to another one and he said that nobody rang their buzzer. LIAR! Meanwhile, the girl whose name the lease is actually signed in is out of town and it was her stuff that was stolen - poor girl, but serves her right for choosing such rubbish flatmates. And to top it all off, these past few days the noise has picked up again (probably since the girl is out of town). Last night I got so fed up I picked up a book and started banging on the ceiling like mad - with every step they'd take I'd bang the ceiling with the book so hard, till they finally left the building (at like 2:30am!). Ironically, I was banging the ceiling so violently using a book with a picture of Gandhi on the cover.

I've finished two papers and have one more, which I am just starting on. It's exhausting going straight from one to the other. And I have very little background on the topic of this one I'm writing now so getting enthusiastic about it is difficult. But, no choice! I have about 100 pages to read tonight...

Our exam schedule finally came out. Mine are on May 16, 19, and 22. That means I will be able to come to Kuwait by mid-June (I'll need at least a month here after exams to do whatever research I need for my dissertation from the libraries here).

How pathetic...that's all I have to post about.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


I'm tired, I miss my P, and I wanna come home.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


I'VE BEEN ROBBED!!! Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I've had something stolen!! So I got home last night at around 1am, came up the stairs, all was normal. While I was sitting at my computer at around 2am someone buzzed on my entryphone but I ignored it because I wasn't expecting anyone and it happens sometimes on weekends with drunken idiots who think they are being very clever. Well, a few minutes later I heard the buzzer go off on the front door and heard the door open and close, so I assumed it was someone upstairs who maybe hit the wrong number to buzz up. Anyway, went to bed, slept, and didn't hear anything all night. Then just now I got dressed to go down to Pret a Manger to get something to eat and I opened my front door and suddenly I saw the box with my Christmas tree (in the picture) right in front of my door. I immediately instinctively shut the door again, freaked out. My mind tried to figure out what just happened, then I slowly opened the door again. I hit the light switch and looked around. I usually keep a bunch of stuff in storage on my landing - my Christmas tree and a box with tree ornaments, two extra dining table chairs, vacuum cleaner, and other cleaning stuff (bucket, swiffer, etc). Well, the tree box, which is usually in the corner behind the banister, behind the folded chairs and to the left of the bucket and cleaning supplies, had been moved quite a distance to right in front of my door. Then I realized that my vacuum cleaner, which is usually right in front of the small brown box on the right, was gone!!! It's a brand new £70 one too that I've only used once (I threw my last cheap one out cos it sucked).

What the hell?!?!?! I went upstairs and banged on their door and no answer. Went down to the old lady downstairs and no answer there too. I went down and checked the front door - there was no sign of forced entry. Which means that obviously someone buzzed the thief in - my money is on the bastards upstairs. The only explanation is that they buzzed someone up without knowing who it was, which warrants an eviction in my books, or they stole it themselves. Anyway, of course my landlord's office is closed so there's nothing I can do till Monday. I'm gonna wait till the bastards upstairs get home and I'm gonna go up and ask them if someone rang their entryphone last night - without showing that something happened. Wanna get a confession out of them first that they buzzed someone in. AAARRRRGGGHHHH!! I'm so mad I could burst. First they make noise and keep me up at night, then they create a mouse problem because they live like pigs, and now this?!

Holy crap my life has become an episode of CSI - searching for mouse droppings, checking for forced entry, investigations, interrogations. I GOTTA STUDY PEOPLE!!!

St. Antony's

My friends and I spent the day at Oxford today. One of our friends had a meeting with a professor there so the rest of us decided to hop on a bus to meet her there for lunch and to hang out for the afternoon/evening. We went to St. Antony's College (part of Oxford University) to check out the library (in the picture above). I'll be spending many hours of research perusing through the archives at St. Antony's library this summer when I start working on my MA dissertation, and certainly even more time when I start my PhD. The library was great - very cosy and nice. The university was beautiful, and the town had a nice feel to it. We spent most of the afternoon and evening just walking around the town for hours, talking and looking around. It was a lovely day. But at the same time, it felt good when our bus arrived back in central London at night - this city really has become home.

The rest of my weekend will be spent in major paper-writing mode! This was the last week of term. We have a one month vacation now but it'll be spent finishing up papers and then revising for exams in May/June.

Friday, March 24, 2006

For Raine and PlumPetals

Saw this on a wall on campus today, thought of you guys, and took the picture with my phone in a hurry so that people wouldn't think I was nuts for taking a picture of a brick wall. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Update on Lewis

The pest control guy just came. He was the same guy who came by about a month ago who had told me I had the cleanest flat in the building. Anyway, I told him what happened with the mouse and he said it had probably been a random incident since they had been here a few weeks ago and hadn't seen anything. Anyway, he checked behind the fridge, under the oven, etc, and no mouse - he also didn't find any droppings or any signs that it was a regular visitor there. He said most probably this was just one isolated incident by chance. He put down about four rodent poison boxes. I asked if that meant I was going to come home one day to find a dead mouse in the box and he said no, that they eat the poison, it makes them feel sick, and so they go back to their nesting place to die (which he said is most probably somewhere in the walls). Good news (!!) is they decompose within a couple of days so there shouldn't be any smell.

I asked if he had ever been called out to this building before other than for their routine checks. He said yes, that the people upstairs have had a few problems. Then he looked around and said that, as he told me before, my place is absolutely immaculate, and that if I saw some of the other flats in the building I would be disgusted (I'm pretty sure he was referring to upstairs because it's just them and the old lady downstairs, whose flat was...well...not to my standards by far, but relatively OK). So, again, it was probably just an isolated incident. I asked if the mouse might have come through when they had removed my washing machine from the pipe in the wall last week to replace it, and he said possibly. But that a normal mouse can get through a hole/crack as small as the diameter of a normal pencil!! Holy crap!

Anyway, he checked the rest of my flat and said there were absolutely no signs that I had any rodent problem at all and that everything was fine. What a relief. I was searching the web last night and saw a site that said that one mouse can multiply very quickly within a matter of a couple of weeks (into dozens), so all night I had visions of mice swarming around my flat!! Glad that this is (hopefully) all over.

Let's see what next Tuesday has in store for me (since this is turning into a weekly fiasco trend)!

When it rains, it pours

I have a mouse in my flat. I HAVE A GODDAM MOUSE IN MY FLAT!!! I spotted it running behind the oven/washer area in my kitchen tonight. WHAT MORE COULD HAPPEN TO ME THIS WEEK? Last Tuesday it was my washing machine, and tonight, a mouse. I don't get it. Nobody in London keeps their flat cleaner than me. Apparently it has nothing to do with how clean you keep your flat, if they make it into the building it's fair game.

What happened was a couple of hours ago my trash bag was full so I tied it up and removed it from the trashcan and put it to the side - I can't take out my trash to the street until around 8pm every night because I'm in a commercial area. Anyway, so I was sitting in my living room and heard a rustling in my kitchen and when I stood up to go see what it was I saw the mouse run from the bag to behind the oven. Sure enough, there were little teeth marks at the bottom of the bag.

Anyway, I called a pest control company and they said they charge £275 to come out at night, and the guy said that just because I saw it there's no guarantee they'll see it now that it's gone back into hiding, and yet they'd still charge me that much. I got through to the maintenance guy from my landlord's office and he said to call the Camden city council people and they have a pest control service. But of course, they're closed for the night so I have to wait till the morning. In the meantime, the guy I spoke to from the pest control company told me to turn on my radio and put it on the floor of my kitchen and the vibrations would keep the mouse from coming out again.

While sitting up on my kitchen counter and squealing into the phone to a friend I had called for moral support, I had to pick up the bag and put it into another bag so that I could take it outside. What an ordeal.

It is at times like this that I hate living alone. There's nothing I can do but wait till the morning. I have an essay I was hoping to finish tonight but now I'm so distracted it's gonna be hard to keep writing. I'm walking around my flat with my big 14-eyelet boots laced up over my pants combat-style (just in case). I know the chances of it coming back out are slim, but I just don't like the idea that there is another heartbeat in my flat with me tonight. Aaaaarrrggghhhhh!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I love academia

I found out today that the book being published in which I have a paper/chapter is being released this month. The first hard copies are coming out next week and are going to be sent to us (the contributers to the book) by mail. I'm not sure where/how the book will be distributed and if they'll get copies in Kuwait but if not I'll get some extra copies sent over to me. But I'm sure Kuwait will get some.

It feels so strange to officially be a published writer. It's a bit scary. You're putting yourself out there, presenting something you created to the world, and you have no idea what to expect. My paper received an extremely positive response when I presented it last year at an academic conference so I'm not too worried about criticism. Plus some of the other contributers to the book (we were all in the same workshop at the conference) are very well known academics in the field and are extremely well-established, so being in a book with them is a good start for me (especially the editors). But it's still nerve-wracking. I'm the youngest one in there and the only one who not only doesn't have a PhD but hasn't even begun my PhD (a couple of others are almost done and their papers were part of their PhD research). When I presented the paper I hadn't even begun my MA yet, which everyone was shocked about, in the best possible way (in that they were impressed that I had managed to do such high caliber work at such an early stage in my academic career).

You have moments in this academic world we live in when you remember exactly why and how much you love academia. I've had one of those weeks. It's been a tough one, with all the problems in my flat and simultaneously working hard to finish up two more papers before early April. But at the same time as all that stress, I've had a feel-good week. I realized this week exactly how happy I am in my particular department here. The faculty in the history department at my university are brilliant. Not only are they all top tier academics in their respective fields, but at the same time they are so supportive and helpful to students - which surprisingly is not necessarily the case in a lot of other departments - not to the extent that we get it in the history programme. Some of them just go out of their way to help you, even when you don't necessarily directly ask for it. For example, I had asked one of my professors (who is also head of the department) to write me a reference for my scholarship applications. His work is related to my field but not as directly as my supervisor's, so it really had never occurred to me to discuss my PhD proposal with him while I was working on it with my supervisor. Anyway, I sent him my proposal to read before writing my reference, and when I went in to pick them up from him he had prepared all this information for me - giving me names and Email addresses of other historians to contact, articles to check out, etc. Plus later he Emailed me more useful information, and then again later in the week he gave me some more leads. He really went out of his way to help me, just out of his own interest in my topic. Once you find that in a department, you know you're home. Now I feel so nicely cushioned in the department as I start to prepare for my next three years of research, with two (and in reality, even more) wonderfully helpful and brilliant professors to turn to for support.

And at the same time as all of this, I feel so happily settled in my university, and it's kind of sad because next week is actually the last week of term. After Easter break we only have exam revision sessions and then exams in May/June. Then everyone breaks off to go work on their dissertations. The frustrating thing about it is that, although some of my good friends here I have been close with since last term, only now do I feel like I have a group of friends that I get along with 100% on all levels. People who think like me, who enjoy doing the same things as me, who find the same things funny and same things annoying, who I can laugh for hours with, and who are starting to feel like old friends. It's a support system that you really need as a postgrad I've realized. A small group of people who are academically like-minded, who are in your same general field, and who approach life the same way you do. It takes time to find that core group of people at this stage in your life, and unfortunately, as this case is, once you do feel totally settled it's already almost over (I'm the only one doing the PhD for certain next year). Oh well, I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

The moral of all these stories: Academia is the best world to live in.

Friday, March 17, 2006

All cleaned up

After two days of floods, another two days of torment waiting for a new washing machine with my flat in disarray, three hours of cleaning this evening, and a full bottle of Dettol, I am happy to report that my kitchen and flat are back to normal. They delivered my new machine this morning, and when I got home at 4pm I started major cleaning - first my kitchen, then while I was at it I decided to have a mega-apartment-cleaning session. My place is always clean but after the floods and having maintenance men in and out of my flat and all it just needed a good rub down. Now everything is sparkling and fresh. Whenever I have a major cleaning session ahead of me (i.e. full scrubbing, vacuuming, mopping, etc) I usually dread it, but once I get started I actually enjoy it. And today I was like a cleaning machine! And it's even better when you get a new cleaning toy - like a brand new washing machine (MUCH better than the one before, and it's so nice knowing that nobody else used it before me!). It's bigger, easier to use, and much quieter. While I was cleaning this evening my neighbour from downstairs whose flat the water had leaked into came up to check on me and saw the new machine, and after being quiet for a few seconds said she wants a new machine now too. Something tells me the shop we live on top of is gonna get water leaking down into their store from an overflowing washing machine on the first floor! I guess something good came out of all this hell. Now if only I could figure out a way to make my oven break down without killing myself in the process, so that they can replace it with a nice new one too!

I am exhausted. Gonna take a long hot shower, make a cup of coffee, and curl up on the couch to do my reading for the night.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


What a rough 24 hours I've had! Water hell. It all started yesterday evening, when I got a call from my landlord asking me if I was home, which I wasn't. He said that the old lady who lives beneath me had called him saying there was water leaking down to her flat from mine. Luckily I was only a couple of blocks away so I ran home, and sure enough, my washing machine (which I had left running when I left the house, which I've done before and which has always been fine) had flooded...water of about one full centimeter deep totally covered my kitchen floor. Not only had it flooded, but the machine had managed to jump out, exorcist style, about one full meter forward out from under the counter right into the middle of my kitchen. Don't ask me why or how (I was immediately inclined to get out my holy water and shout "the power of Christ compels you!"). Anyway, so the landlord told me they couldn't get anyone out to me until 7am the next morning (i.e. today), so I had to just clean it up and wait it out. I managed to get to Argos before it closed and bought a mop and bucket set (cos a swiffer sure as hell couldn't do it) and mopped up all the water, went down to see my neighbour (she is an incredibly sweet old lady) and apologize and console her - her bedroom is right below my kitchen and her bed got a bit wet (not soaking wet, just a bit moist). She was more upset about the fact that the flood managed to leak to her place, because apparently she's had problems with flooding in the past and thought it had all been taken care of (she's lived in the building for nearly 50 years).

Anyway, this morning I woke up at 7am to the guy they sent to check it out. There was some more water in the kitchen but not severe. He checked all the pipes, leads, valves, and everything looked fine. He turned the machine on spin cycle to flush out the remaining water through the pipes, and nothing seemed to leak - everything seemed OK. Once the water flushed out (I had my towels inside by the way, and they were soaking wet), he told me I could now turn on the dryer and dry my towels, and then he'd see what to do - either send someone to find out what was wrong with it and repair it or just have it replaced. And he left.

I stood there watching the dryer for a while, and it seemed fine. So I went to my bedroom to do a few things and came back out ten minutes later. And lo and behold... the frickin' kitchen was flooded again!! Nearly an inch deep this time, and the machine was full to the brim with water. It's one of those ones with a glass door on the front of the machine where you can see what's inside. Anyway, I immediately called the guy who had been at my flat earlier, and he said to just turn it off, flush out the water, and leave it to be replaced. So while I had him on the phone, I stood in front of the machine, with my pants rolled up and my Doc Martens protecting my feet from all the water, and he told me what to do to put it in spin cycle to flush out the water. Well, that's when all hell broke loose...or rather, the door broke loose. Apparently this whole time the water had been leaking through the door, which was slowly giving way, I guess in bursts (i.e. not continuously because we would have noticed that). Anyway, as soon as I put the machine on spin cycle and hit the on button, the door latch suddenly gave way and hot water began gushing out - I mean a sudden burst like when a dam breaks. I immediately threw my phone on the counter and pushed hard at the door to shut it - pushing against the water flow, and managed to almost close it, but apparently in the process one of the towels inside got stuck and wasn't letting the door totally click close. So, as I stood there, pushing the door shut, with more water still pouring out through the crack, I contemplated quickly opening the door and pushing the towel in. But I absolutely couldn't because even one second of opening the door would let gallons of water out, plus the water was almost boiling hot and I would have to stick my hand through to push the towel in, and risk getting burned (more from steam than necessarily the water).

Anyway, I got my phone with one hand and the guy said he'd send someone immediately (cos he was too far away now). I stood there, in nearly two inches of water now, pushing the door shut with water leaking out, and finally managed to get the door to shut on its own. But, water was still leaking out from the opening caused by the towel so I managed to put a bucket to catch it. Finally, two guys came over. One went to work immediately cleaning up the flood, and the other one flushed out the remaining water, came to the conclusion that the machine was officially dead (ya think?!), removed my soaking towels, unplugged the machine, removed it from its place, shut off all the water pipes, and they left with the promise that my machine would be replaced. My landlord called me and I'm getting a new machine on Friday. Meanwhile, though, the old machine is now unplugged and off to the side of my kitchen, there is a big empty space under the counter where it used to be, I see more of the area under the counter and appliances than I care to (the area that doesn't see the light of day for years), and I have no clean/dry towels till Friday. I have to air-dry my towels between now and Friday, which is gross, and I'm seriously considering throwing them out and buying new ones.

Mind you, this was all before 10am this morning. After cleaning up, I got dressed, went down to Mailboxes, Etc. to make photocopies of all my scholarship application materials (each scholarship needs four copies of everything for some reason), then went to campus, met with a professor to chat for about 15 minutes about my PhD research, turned in my scholarship applications, and made it to my seminar by 11:30!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Jack + Niles = ???

As some of you know, my two favourite shows of all time are Frasier and 24. I watch Frasier all the time - I have the first seven seasons on DVD and refuse to download the later seasons (there are four more to be released) because I like owning them and watching them properly - when it comes to things I love, I hate downloading! But it's fine - I can watch 1-7 over and over again - I like to have it on in the background when I'm doing housework, or I'll watch a couple of episodes when I need to take a mindless study break. As for 24, I'm refusing to watch season 5 on TV here because I'm waiting for it to come out on DVD so that P and I can hibernate for a weekend and watch all 24 episodes of the season back-to-back, as we've always done with all the previous seasons.

So here is my question: Is it strange for the same person to absolutely love Jack Bauer and Niles Crane at the same time?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's March

I can't believe we are a full week into March. I have been here for more than seven months. I only have two more weeks of coursework, then it's all exam revision and finalizing essays, then dissertation. I can't believe it has all gone by so quickly. It's so scary, because to think of the amount of work I have left between now and May is mind-boggling.

I've been having a stressful week (and it's only Tuesday!). I'm finishing up a paper, finalizing my PhD proposal, working on scholarship applications, all the while freaking out about upcoming exams. Meanwhile, the university still hasn't released the exam schedule yet (they are anywhere between early May and early June!!). Also, all faculty across the country were officially on strike today, and a boycott of assessment (meaning they will not mark any coursework until demands are met) begins tomorrow. God knows how the rest of the term is gonna turn out!

Yesterday I nearly had a mini-breakdown from stress. My life is now at that point where I have so much work to do that every single minute of the day has to be accounted for - no more leisure time other than mealtimes. By the time I went to bed last night I felt so overwhelmed, like I should be doing work instead of sleeping, that I actually took my PowerBook to bed with me thinking I'd write some more before sleeping. But instead, I started looking at pictures from Kuwait. And it did me a world of good. Looking at pictures from chalet, Kubbar, gatherings, pool parties, dinners at Edo, Mitla3 ... friends, family, and my P - it reminded me that I need to relax. That this is only one part of my life and that I'm here because I want to be here, doing what I love, and once I'm done in another 1 1/2 years I get to go back to my life, to my P, and start.

But the next three months are gonna be hell!!

On the upside of things, my proposal is coming along very nicely. The topic I am researching/writing on is completely new and original and has pretty much never been done before (in my region of specialization), so hopefully (fingers crossed) that will help in terms of scholarships and grants. My supervisor is absolutely wonderful. I am actually really lucky to have the opportunity to be working with her. Not only is she one of the few academics out there who specializes in my particular field of history (and certainly the only one at my university), she is one of the best there is in the field, and our specific areas of interest coincide very nicely. I'm excited to start working on my research. Just gotta get through this coursework first!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Save Pinocchio

Is it true that they are going to be shutting down baqalas in Kuwait? I heard that they will only be closing down the ones that are on inner residential streets and will keep the ones on the more main roads running through neighbourhoods, but others say that they are closing them all down. Either way, if it's true, I think it's an absolutely useless and downright stupid law. As 'red' said in the comments to Raine's Lunchbox Nut post, "Baquallas, the guys with the ice cream carts, street side benek stands — these are the vestiges of a Kuwait that is too quickly disappearing." She's right. It breaks my heart to see the Kuwait that I grew up with, that I love and know so well, gradually disappearing and being replaced with all-too-many Starbucks'. As red said, I don't mind change at all, but does change always have to come at the expense of our past? It's bad enough all our old buildings have been, and continue to be, torn down. The ultimate irony is that the government has finally regretted what was done in the 50s and 60s and are building 'historic villages' meant to replicate what the old Kuwait town looked like before it was bulldozed to the ground, and yet while they do this they are simultaneously tearing down buildings in Kuwait City that were built in the 50s and 60s, which have by now earned their own historic value as part of Kuwait's heritage, in order to make room for even newer buildings. Umm, can anyone else see a pattern of stupidity forming?

Anyway, going back to the baqalas, what could possibly be the argument for closing any baqala down? They are convenient, don't take up much room, and for such small places they are jam-packed full of everything good in this world: Kitco cocktail chips, Kinder eggs, Shani, lollies ('muthalith' ice cream), banak, and packs of Uno. I loved going to the baqala when I was a kid - for me and my sisters, it was a proper outing. We called our neighborhood baqala "Pinocchio" - I'm not sure why. Whenever my dad would say "Yalla guys, wanna go to Pinocchio's?" it was like everything else in the world ceased to exist and we were on our way to a 3mx5m paradise! And right next door to Pinocchio's was Rifaei's bookshop, also baqala-sized but with a worn-out green rug on the floor and chock-full of old school kashakeel (the notebooks that were either red or black or green or blue with a different colour bind and corners, or the ones that had the Amir's picture on the front), erasable pens, magic markers, and those half-blue half-brown erasers (the blue side supposedly meant to erase ink but it never worked). Whenever Dad would take Raine and I to the baqala on the weekend, we would insist on having a "midnight feast" that night - inspired by the endless stream of Enid Blyton books we were constantly reading - but we barely ever made it up that late. But it was fun - happy, simple, innocent fun. Why would the government want to take that away?

If anyone has any information on this supposed new law, can you please fill me and the rest of us in by leaving a comment?

And finally, on the topic of growing up in Kuwait in the 80s, do you guys remember the huge store in Khaleejiya that sold all the fun stationery stuff? And "My Toy" that used to be in Salmiya in that same little complex where the restaurant Fresh is now, close to Berdawny. And Kids'R'Us on the old Salmiya High Street, and the one out in Shuwaikh, next to where there used to be a Safeway. What were some of the other stores we used to go to in those days (back when there used to be so few!)?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Love and Flowers

I finally bought a dining table today. I found this one at a store called The Futon Company, the same place I got my coffee table from, and it was a great deal. The table + 6 chairs came out to £190 (just under KD100). And, I got it delivered like 2 hours after buying it! No assembly required. I love it! It's very simple, and I was specifically looking for folding chairs so that I could buy six but easily keep two in storage on my landing. It kind of has a picnic table feel, which is why I opted for flowers instead of candles. I got these white vases from Habitat, and they actually have more texture than what shows up in the picture. There is a street florist just down the street from me and so I can pick up new beautiful flowers once a week. I need to get a nice print to hang on that empty wall now.

It's amazing how something so simple can put you in the best mood. All afternoon I was just sitting on my couch, looking at the latest addition to my flat, with the lovely flowers, and with Bic Runga playing in the background (mainly "Sway", "Something Good", and "Listening for the Weather" - perfectly fit my mood). I can't wait to wake up in the morning and sit at my new table by the window, drinking my coffee and reading the The Guardian.

There is something so wonderful about buying fresh flowers and carrying them home wrapped in brown paper. Flowers for the sake of flowers, not for some dinner party or hospital obligation. I know it must make me sound like such a lovelorn cliché but walking home with flowers in my hand made me feel so happy and in love and made me miss my P so much it hurt.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Urban vs. Semi-Urban

I've always thought of myself as a city girl. I could never imagine myself not living in the heart of a city (in terms of my own home). But lately I find myself thinking about the other alternative - living in a quieter area, in a bigger home, with more land. Maybe it's part of finding the person you want to settle down with - the idea of having our own little isolated life appeals to me. Not totally isolated, I know we would both want, need, to be very close to a city, but I like the idea of being able to get lost in our own little world, away from it all. I could never do the total suburban thing. In my mind I'm thinking more along the lines of beachfront property or something fun like that (keep in mind, in most areas in the Middle East a beachfront property isn't gonna be that far away from the city so it's still more urban than rural!). Basically, the appeal of always living in an urban flat, no matter how big or how nice, is starting to wear away from me. Certainly for a while, at the beginning, while we save, I would love to have a really cool flat in the middle of the city. But eventually, as we get older, I would prefer to invest in a home - a bit out of the way - to get lost in our life.

What do you guys think:
urban flat or beach/mountain/country(/desert?) home?