Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Read these words



I hate Mondays.  I know everyone says that, well must be at least 99% of people unless they happen to have Mondays off work...  So, in an act of revolt against it being Monday, last night I made myself a make shift version of the typical English breakfast for dinner.  It gave me a smug "take that Monday!" feeling.  I know, super odd, but I never have things like that for dinner, and never for breakfast on a week day, so for me it was a small act of rebellion.

You can see why it's not the real deal, ham instead of bacon, no tomatoes or mushrooms (yuck to the latter) and it's quite modest in size.  Tasted damn good.
That and a few episodes of Greys Anatomy, and it almost felt like my dull day at my new temp job had never happened.  Now for round 2, Tuesday...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A little Saturday something

Friday, 22 February 2013

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Grey sky... time to blog!

Hello ladies!

How the devil have you been?  Well, I hope?  And me?  Well, thank you for asking, I have been just fine.  Until today, the sun has been shining brightly and making it feel as though spring was peeking it's optimistic head around the corner.  But, today it's back to the classic British weather of grey skies, and classic Cambridge wind!  It is extremely flat around Cambridge, it is surrounded by an area called The Fens (drained of water way back in the day and now used for agriculture).  So, there are no hills to block the wind.

But, I digress.  The last few days have been spent moving into a lovely room, settling in, getting to know my fantastic house-mate, and doing a bit of job hunting.  All fun and games.  

Tonight, I will be going to the cinema to see  Beautiful Creatures.

I love a bit of the supernatural, and a love story to boot.  As you may have guessed, I shall be going with some of my female friends!  I'll let you know what it's like, although I have pretty bad taste in films so you may want to take anything I say with a pinch of salt (a large one).  

The last film I saw was Django Unchained.  Now that was quite different.  Being a Quentin Tarantino film, it had some great (dark) humour in it.  But, it also had some scenes that made me squeal like a girl and two scenes that simply made me cover my eyes and ears (if you've seen it you may know the ones I am talking about).  I'm a wimp, heck, I am queen of the wimps.  Before the film had even started they showed the trailer for a new horror film called Mama.  As Django Unchained is an 18 certificate, they showed the full trailer for Mama.  Seeing as though horror film trailers shown on TV make me turn off the sound and cover my eyes (yes, I really am that pathetic), you can only imagine how much I was trying to ignore the trailer when it was shown in all its glory!

The ironic thing is, that when I was younger (maybe 11/12) I would insist on watching these horrific horror movies with my brother.  He is older than me, and had a thing for all things dark and nasty, I was probably still playing with my Sylvanian Families.  However, we only saw each other now and then, and I wanted to impress him by watching the films (I think that must have been my motivation anyway).  I eventually realised the error of my ways after watching the film IT and being unable to ever look at clowns in the same way again.  But, before that, I have a vivid memory of watching Hellraiser with him and saying "Hello Mr Pin Head" to one of the characters every time he came on screen, he scared the bejesus out of me!  Needless to say, this annoyed my brother immensely...  Warning: click on links at your own risk, they freak me out.

Well, there you have it.  I had no idea that this was going to turn into an entry about just how much of a scaredy cat I am, but that's how the hobnob seems to have crumbled.  In my defence, I maintain that it is because of my vivid imagination that I am such a wimp.  I will literally imagine things coming to get me.  The fact that I am not a huge fan of the dark is probably a real shocker huh?

Ta ra for now!

Words for a Wednesday

(via Pinterest, from

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Tuesday thought

(via Pinterest - of course - from

Monday, 18 February 2013

Monday Monday

(Via Pinterest, at

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sunny Sunday words

ok. needed this
(found via Pinterest, at

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The hunt for free wifi has started

Hello everyone!  

Sorry it has been a few days since I was able to post more than a quote, I've been a tad busy.  I am back in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, and I have spent the last few days house and job hunting.  My friend Helen has been amazing and has let me stay in her spare room (she is fab), but tomorrow I should be able to move out and into something a little more permanent!  Woo hoo.  

Today, I am going to go on a free wifi hunt in Cambridge city.  I've googled and I have a few places in mind to try.  It may cost me the price of a light lunch or a drink, but hopefully I can find a corner somewhere and watch people going about their days.  Then, I hope to do some useful things and some blog catch up reading!  I haven't really read any in days, due to business rather than lack of internet, and I feel out of the loop!

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.  The birds are singing here and the sun is trying to come out.

Bis bald


Saturday simple thought

(via Pinterest, from

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's day

I'm not a big Valentine's day person, but the sentiment of showing someone you love how much they mean to you is a good thing.  So, I say, show it.  It doesn't have to be a lover, a partner or a spouse.  It could be a good friend, or someone that needs a little extra love right now.  It can be an overblown romantic gesture, with the cliché heart shaped box of chocolates, a meal for two at some overpriced restaurant (couples menu of course), or it could be a card, an extra cuddle and someone else doing the cooking for a change.  

As a single gal, it's pretty easy to be scathing about this day.  As a Brit, it feels like something that is growing in popularity and becoming bigger and more commercial every year, something that isn't truly "us" (although this may be the inner, deep down bitter singleton rearing her ugly head and not a universal opinion).  But, I'm going to take a step back and take it for what I want it to be.  I'm going to take this chance, via the glorious and impersonal internet, to tell my friends that I love them and feel very lucky to have them in my life, and my family that I love and appreciate them dearly.

In Korea, there are three days.  Yup, you read that right.  Three days.  Valentine's day is 14th February, and it is a day that the guys get spoilt by the girls.  They give them chocolate and make a fuss.  On 14th March, it is White day, the day where guys spoil the girls.  They give the girls sweets/candy (but not chocolate), and spoil them.  Korea is all about being in a couple, however they have provided a third day for the singletons that did not receive anything on those days, Black day.  This is on 14th April, the remaining, single, people go to a restaurant and eat jajangmyeon.  This is a dish of white noodles with a black bean sauce, it's tasty, and is an occasion where the single can celebrate being single (something that doesn't happen often in Korea).  Let me see if I can find a photo for you...

This has been borrowed, with no ill intent, from this blog.  If you take a look you will learn how to make the dish yourself.  You can buy these as instant noodles in Korea and Korean shops, although they are always that bit better in a restaurant.

So, whether you are loved up or young free and single, I wish you a lovely day. 

P.S.  As I was a teacher in Seoul this time last year, I was spoilt by my students, especially the kindergarten ones.  I spent the evening eating fried chicken with my amazing friend at Frypan in Hongdae.  Good times.

Gifts from my students last year.


V day good thoughts

Life is too short... Don't let people bring you down!
(Via Pinterest, at

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Just to cover my arse

Any of you who have read my "5 random facts" post will know that I am a little new to blogging.  

As such, I want to apologise in advance, in case I do anything that goes against blogging etiquette.  I don't quite know the rules, and as such, if I do anything that makes you think "what a plonker" do let me know!  Otherwise I am likely to keep doing it in blissful ignorance, I am very good at that.  

I've added some widgets/buttons/links (whatever they are called) that will take you to blogs that I enjoy following, you can see them on the right below the archive.  Now, I don't think this was a "bad" thing to do, I haven't asked permission, but it looked as though it was something you could just do if you felt like it.  If that was right, fantastic and do go take a look at those blogs because they are good, if it was wrong, let me know.  If you just want to rant at me for no apparent reason, then please don't.  Fair enough?

Thank you in advance for any feedback, and for stopping by my blog.  I received my first comments on this blog yesterday!  Two from two lovely ladies I have recently discovered through blogging, and one from a much loved amiga from South Korea (via Oz).  I just wanted to let you all know that you put a ridiculously big grin on my face, I literally sent my friend a Whatsapp (other instant messaging apps are available) message stating that "I just got my first comments!!!".

Wishing you a happy Tuesday, I'm off to stuff my face with some lunch.


Tuesday titbit

(Found, via Pinterest, at

Monday, 11 February 2013

5 random facts about me

I'm new to this blogging thing.  Not in that I have not blogged previously, I've had (and still have) a tumblr blog for almost 2 years, but in that I never really read or looked for other people's blogs until now.  One of my recent finds was The Closet Intellectual.  I just read this post, a challenge to post 5 random facts about yourself.  So, here goes...

1.  I was born in Germany.  For any friends following this blog this is not news.  But, to any newcomers it might be a little more interesting.  I lived in Germany until I was 8 years old, at which point I moved to England with my mum.  I did not live with my brother from that age onwards, I saw him and my dad on holidays to Germany, and later the Netherlands.  I flew solo, at first with an air stewardess taking me on and off the plane, and then (once my brother, who is 2 years older, was brave enough and therefore I wanted to be too) completely solo.  You could say I grew up in Heathrow and Düsseldorf airport.

2.  I recently had all of my wisdom teeth removed, right before Christmas last year!  I'm a complete wimp, and it was my first time having a general anaesthetic.  It is the weirdest feeling.  I just remember it hurting, rather a lot, when the dude shoved the needle into my hand, followed by a cold sensation spreading up my arm.  Next thing I knew I was waking up, and trying to spit out the wads of cotton wool they had stuffed into my mouth.  I felt spaced out for a good while, until the following afternoon in fact.  Unpleasant, but now I SHOULDN'T need anything else done (touch wood).

3.  At school I was a complete mess.  I'm talking oversized blazer (UK school uniforms), awful "free on the NHS" glasses, a terrible haircut, bad skin and a tendency towards the chubby side.  I was also the girl that the boys would run up to, shout an insult or nickname at (I had a few) and then run away from, knowing full well I'd be chasing behind them.  I was a first class shin kicker.  I had a, terribly trendy, lunch bag with a shoulder strap.  I went through a phase of throwing it at them (think Xena warrior princess with a bright yellow lunch bag whirling by her side).   Ooh, and I had braces!  For three years, how did I forget that horror?  In an attempt to be cool, I had coloured elastics put on my braces.  But, due to the reason below, I only allowed myself school colours, so I had alternating white and black (my teeth looked diseased).

4.  I'm a stickler for the rules.  It took me a while before I was happy walking without the "green man" leading the way.  I'm getting better with age, I no longer insist on being at an airport the full 2 hours before my flight leaves (totally unnecessary in this day and age when you've already checked in online and are only travelling to mainland Europe).  I also follow recipes to the tee, measuring ever so carefully and getting down level with a jug to make sure it's accurate.  I was a blast during experiments at uni...

5.  I always wanted an imaginary friend when I was young, but I never quite managed to convince myself.  I'd try really hard to act as though I had one, but I always knew it was a dirty, rotten lie.  I did, however, adore my toys, especially My Little Ponies, Barbie and, best of all, Sylvanian Families.  I'd make little books for them, sandwiches from clay, bedding from jay cloths and cotton wool.  I get nostalgic just talking about my Sylvanian Families!  I'm quite peeved with my 15 year old self who, trying to be grown up, sold them all.  I should have kept a family.

So there you have it, you have a little more insight to me.  Not sure it's an entirely good thing, but c'est la vie.

Monday mood lifter

(found, via Pinterest, at

Sunday, 10 February 2013

A walk down memory lane to Chuncheon (ROK)

I just saw this photograph and was reminded of a great day, almost exactly a year ago...

"What, where and when?" you ask?  Well, let me fill you in...

This photograph was taken last February in a convenience store in Chuncheon, in the Gangwon province of South Korea.  In the photo you can see me holding a little samgak kimbap triangle, this one contained Spam!  As you can see, the shelf behind me is covered in the stuff.  Samgak kimbap triangles are basically triangles on rice with a filling and covered in seaweed.  They are tasty (depending on what filling you choose), cheap and convenient (although the art of successfully unwrapping one took a while to achieve).  Briefly after this photograph was taken, we hopped into a taxi and headed to the city centre.

Chuncheon is a small city and known as the home of dak galbi, a delicious chicken dish.  It even has a whole street dedicated to restaurants selling this spicy morsel of flavour.

After arriving in the city centre, we wandered the streets to take a look.  The friend that I went with had previously lived in Chuncheon so I had a guide!  We went passed the city hall and on to the main street.  For me, it was one of very few occasions where I visited a smaller city, having lived in central Seoul, and it was nice to see the differences.  One of them was a random Korean guy spotting my blonde hair and calling me beautiful!  Apparently, it would have happened quite often had I lived somewhere smaller, ha ha.  

After walking the main strip we entered Dak Galbi Street (see picture above) and took our time to choose our restaurant.  We ended up in a cute little place and were served by, who we presumed was, the owners mother, a grandmother, who seemed to delight in serving us foreigners.  It was possibly the BEST dak galbi I had ever had, and that alone made me happy to have visited Chuncheon.

What exactly is dak galbi?  It is a dish consisting of marinated chicken (as with lots of Korean food, it contains the hot pepper paste called gochujang) which is stir fried with cabbage, rice cakes (tteok), potatoes and onions.  

One of the things I love most about eating out in Korea is that lots of dishes are prepared either by you or in front of you.  Dak galbi is no exception.  When going to a dak galbi restaurant, many restaurants specialise in one or two dishes, you will be seated at a table with a hot plate in the middle.  Once you have ordered, they will bring out the ingredients in order of when they need to be cooked, light the gas ring underneath and start cooking the food.  

Raw ingredients.

How much involvement you have in cooking dak galbi will depend on how Western you look!  When going for food with Korean friends we were pretty much left to do it ourselves, when out with other Westerners we were regularly checked on by the staff (the waiters are there to take orders and cook your food).  Now this is great, as it prevented us from getting food poisoning or ruining our dinner, but it got a little old after the twentieth time we had been out for it and were capable of doing it ourselves. 

As you might be able to see, we added udon noodles to our dak galbi!

Depending on which restaurant you go to, there are chains and independent ones just for this dish alone, the service and layout will vary.  Most will provide you with aprons, sometimes you need to ask, or bags to put your belongings in, to prevent everything from a) being splattered by red pepper paste and oil, and b) smelling of dak galbi!  The recipe used by the restaurant will vary, and the dak galbi found in Chuncheon can vary again.  There is also the option of adding rice, cheese, noodles and many other things to your dish.  One of our favourite combos was rice and cheese added to the dish, or to get rice cooked in the dish once the dak galbi was eaten.  The waiters would scrape out the burnt parts from the pan and put the rice in (with gochujang).  My friends and I always tended to drink Hite or Cass (Korean beer, very weak to most but perfect for me) with our meal.  This was truly my favourite food, and I am quite sad that, so far, I have not found it in UK!  

As in all Korean restaurants, you will be served side dishes with dak galbi.  In my experience these tended to vary very little.  Normally, we were given a cold soup (often a kimchi type soup) and a side of thinly sliced cabbage with a sweet salad cream like dressing.  We must have had sweet pickled radishes or kimchi as well, but I can't quite remember now.  Water (mul) is always free and provided, either upon request or by water cooler, in restaurants.

And look at that, I have massively digressed!  For a more formal description on dak galbi click here, and for a recipe that will allow you to try and cook it yourself (if you have a Korean/Asian supermarket near you) click here.  Now, I am yet to try cooking it but it looks fantastic and easy enough.  I am going to give it a go once I have moved back to Cambridge and have access to the Korean shop there (Seoul Plaza on Mill Road).

After stuffing our faces, we wandered some more and ended up in Baskin Robbins, for dessert.  Yes, there is a theme developing here, I like food.

I love how many dessert places there are in Korea!  Ice cream alone has a whole heap of establishments devoted to dozens of flavours of the chilled goodness, not to mention ice cream cakes.  I'll have to do another post about this later or I'll be side tracked again.

Back to that day.  After pudding, we hopped in a taxi and headed to one of the lakes that surround the city.  Now, being February in Korea, the lake was a little frozen.

Lured by the site of footprints on the ice, we crossed the bridge to the other side and ventured down onto the ice.

It was the strangest sensation.  Living in the south of Blighty, I've never come across a frozen lake before.  This all happened a year ago, but I can still remember the quiet creaking noises and the trepidation with which we took our first steps.  We were soon put a little more at ease as we saw families out on the ice, with their little kids running around.  However, when we decided to venture a little further out, towards the centre of the lake, a siren was sounded and a guy in some kind of snow trolley told us off.  I was quite relieved to be honest as I wasn't feeling too good about it, and we were actually about to head back to solid ground anyway.

Needless to say, we didn't get to pedal around in a swan boat.

We strolled along beside the lake, taking photos of random things made pretty by the snow and crisp winter air, and then headed back to the other side.  We found a random cafe/restaurant (I seem to remember it having a lot of African artefacts) and drank a nice warm hot chocolate to defrost.  

Cute spoons and free Danish butter cookies, score!

My memory is failing me, I must be getting old, I know we took the bus to Chuncheon, but I can't recall whether we got it back or decided to cheat and get the subway back (a long journey).  Either way, here is a photo of the deserted train carriage (we would have been on the subway at one point either way).  Korea has an amazing transport system, very cheap, very efficient and super convenient.

It was a fabulous day, spent in great company.   I hope you enjoyed reading about Korea and one of the fondest memories of a day trip that I have.  If you did, let me know and I will endeavour to write some more Korea based entries.  I really love the country and my time there was fantastic.

Sunday good feeling time

Be you
(Found on Pinterest, originally pinned from

Saturday, 9 February 2013


(Courtesy of

Friday, 8 February 2013

A quick pick me up

(Found, via Pinterest, on

FMS February 2013 photo a day challenge - catch up

3. Something beginning with 'E' - Edam cheese

4. Hope - I hope I've got myself together by then.

5. Something you smelled - Beef ramen

6. Soft

Bikes, viewings and coaches

I've been away for a few days, a visit to Cambridge, England.  

I lived there for 4 years as a student, not at THE Cambridge uni unfortunately, and then again for almost 2 years as an office temp.  Now I am heading there a final time, for a maximum of a year, whilst I work out my next move.  

Cambridge is a nice city, except that city seems the wrong word to describe it.  It is more like a biggish town.  It is beautiful in the spring and summer.  As you'd expect, it is swarming with cyclists, some on pretty Dutch bikes, some on proper road bikes, most on dodgy cheap bikes.  And then, there is that separate category, the tourist on a rental bike.  This usually takes the form of a gang of teenagers, on bikes rented from a place near the train station, that take up the whole road whilst chatting away in some other language.  As you can understand, they are not a motorist's best friend.

I arrived Sunday afternoon and spent my time a friend who was kind enough to let me stay.  We chatted, ate and watched "Pitch Perfect".  Have you seen it?  It is a really great film!  Well, it is if things like "Glee" make you happy.  It's a more grown up version, with a great sense of humour.  That does not mean that it is not still cheesy, feel good fun.  There's also a great scene where the main character performs a song whilst using cups as her background music, let's see if I can find a clip on youtube...

If you like that, you'll most probably enjoy the film.

What else?  I spent Monday afternoon with a good friend of mine, we wandered around town and then went to her new home for a catch up and lunch.  She had made the most amazing butternut squash soup, it had chilli and ginger in it.  I then headed to the house I used to live in, my old landlady was kind enough to offer me a place to stay for a few days.  I spent a lovely evening with her and her friends.  

The next day I scoured the internet for jobs and rooms to look at, before heading to the train station to meet my friend from the previous day.  Have you ever heard of "Strictly Come Dancing"?  I believe in America they call it "Dancing with the Stars".  Every year, after the live TV series has finished, the winners and an assortment of previous contestants embark on a live tour.  We headed to Wembley Arena to watch it, my friend had received tickets as a gift and I was lucky enough to be invited.  It was really great to see the dancers perform in "real life".  Watching the crowd as we headed to our seats, there were quite a few reluctant husbands in the audience.  It was a wonderful evening of disco balls, over the top reactions from the judges and sequins.  At one point one of the male contestants almost dropped his professional dance partner, the whole audience gasped and then let out a collective sigh as he managed to "rearrange" her at the last minute and save the dance.

That brings us to Wednesday.  A day filled with making arrangements and viewing rooms, none with any success.  A random day where I felt like a headless chicken most of the time.  I was reminded of how expensive it is to live in Cambridge, I may have to up my budget...  The places I saw varied from houses that were almost dorm like to lodging with an Italian family where I wouldn't be able to relax anywhere but my room.  No, no and no.  I will go back next week for round two.  Once I made it "home" I ended up curled up on the sofa, with my landlady and her friend, for the evening.

Yesterday, Thursday, was home time.  I was picked up by a friend and we went to Grantchester, near Cambridge, to walk a dog she is looking after for the week.  It was a beautiful morning, we were lucky.  Afterwards, we had time to drop the dog off and eat a biscuit (or three) before she took me to the coach stop to catch my coach.  It takes forever, but using the National Express coach to Victoria and then catching the train really keeps the cost of the trip down.  My mum was nice enough to pick me up from the station and I then crashed out on my bed with a cuppa and some crap TV.

The end.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Been a few days but...

(Found, via Pinterest, at

Monday, 4 February 2013

Monday words (just made it)

(kindly found on Pinterest, thanks to

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Sunday morning quote

life quotes
(respectfully copied from via Pinterest)

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Friday, 1 February 2013

Weekends and photo challenges

So, Friday is here!  Do you have anything fun planned this weekend?

Today I FINALLY made it to the post office to send my friend her very belated birthday present.  I love sending post, as you may be able to tell by the doodles on the jiffy bag...  But, is there anything more exciting than getting something special delivered to you by the postman (or landing on your doormat with a thud)?

This weekend I will be heading up to Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.  I am hoping to move there soon, I've lived there before (twice) so I know people I can stay with whilst I look for a house share and a job.  Will be nice to be near friends again, I've been a bit alienated the last few months.

This month I will be partaking in the Fat Mum Slim February 2013 photo a day challenge, I tried last month and did pretty well until the last few days.  If you are interested here is the link to the list.  I have done my own 365 project in the past, but at the time I was living in South Korea so taking a different photo every day was easy, everything was new and exciting!  However, having a daily prompt can be quite challenging, especially if I'm feeling artistic.

1. Fork
Hope you have fun, whatever you get up to.  I'm working on some posts at the moment, something way more interesting should be headed this way soon!

Friday feel good words
(taken from via the ever helpful Pinterest)