runawaykiwi-in-the-snow

I seem to bring extreme weather with me wherever I go. I was in Stockholm a couple of weeks ago and they had a freak blizzard. Me being the ignorant Kiwi living in London that I am, I assumed that Sweden was just snowy all winter, but apparently the locals were surprised by the snow storm as well. They have not had snow like that in a few years, and even then it is normally in January not the beginning of November.

When I arrived on Monday there was a light dusting of snow on the ground. Don’t get me wrong it was more snow than I had seen in years, about the same as London got on the snowiest day a few years ago, but nothing to stop life functioning as normal. I was so excited, I mean SNOW. And it was good snow, snow that stayed where it was meant to and looked great in the background on Instagram.

Tuesday the snow was in the air, lightly falling. It turned my 15 minute walk to work into a 25 minute walk to work, but I wasn’t mad at it because it was beautiful. Like Winter Wonderland but not full of fairground rides and terrible excuses for human beings. Tuesday was great.

Wednesday was the apocalypse.

Wednesday was so much snow that all public transport stopped, cars couldn’t drive, and I fell over twice. My 25 minute Tuesday walk turned into a 40 minute shuffle through the snow as svelt 70 year old Swedish men ran past me in the snow drifts. Why was I shuffling I hear you ask? Oh, just because I was entirely unprepared for snow and the only shoes I had were my Converse. My Converse that have so little grip in the snow that they may as well be roller skates.

swedish-dog-in-the-snow

If it weren’t bad enough that I had to walk in a snowdrift that was up to my knees (as I said, the Swedish were surprised too and hadn’t got the whole snowplough shindig organised yet) I had the lovely joy of a Swedish person stopping me every 15 minutes to tell me I was wearing the wrong shoes.

When you are standing in a blizzard with a dog trying to pee on your semi-frozen leg it is really hard to know what to say to the person pointing at your feet saying “those shoes are wrong”. I went with the “oh shit really?” approach, because it was better than weeping into the snow as I tried to get Amazon to deliver snow boots to ‘somewhere in the blizzard – Stockholm’.

First time it was funny, twelfth time I was ready to stab them with a frozen herring.

snow-in-stockholm-in-november

Side note: during winter in Stockholm they normally have handsome men roaming the rooftops pushing off the snow, they make sure the footpath is cordoned off first to avoid accidentally killing someone. However, because it was a surprise blizzard the handsome men were off undertaking other duties. This meant that every so often a significant amount of snow would spontaneously fall off the roof, and if you happened to be underneath it you may die. Snow is fun.

It was an amazing experience to be in a city covered in snow, from inside a warm building it was my favourite thing in the world. From outside? After falling on my ass for the hundredth time as a local pointed at my shoes and rooftop snow of death might kill me…. I will take London rain any day.

Oh, and dogs in the snow are perfection.

Hello my name is chaos street art

I know that to make this more click-bait-able the list should be an uneven number, and should have between 9 and 15 entries. But with such post titles as “the post about the chocolate butt plugs” and “Three brunches in three hours – oh god what have I done” in my archive, I don’t need any help making my blog more like click-bait. I also know that at this point I should be leading with a motivational quote about finding happiness inside and telling you to pause for 30 seconds to absorb the quiet.  Well, not that I don’t love a Pinterest motivational quote but London ain’t quiet. I mean at the moment there is a plane flying outside, I have Youtube in the background, my phone is beeping and the washing machine is struggling with life … LONDON DOES NOT DO QUIET. And I just ate an entire packet of biscuits and am indescribably sticky. Throw me at a wall and I will stay there for a week.

I made a vow that I would make my posts shorter and more to the point… that is going well.

I’m determined to keep this under 500 words.

First practical tip is one that I heard a million times before but ignored out of laziness and skepticism. People have always said that you should take Vitamin D tablets during the London winter…turns out you should take Vitamin D tablets to get you through the London winter. I think this is my first winter out of 5 that I haven’t felt a downturn of mood at the darkening nights. Yes it could just be a coincidence, a result of where I am in life or the packet of biscuits I just consumed – but seriously this is a total change to how I normally feel during London winter. This is the one I have been taking (click here) and I have NO IDEA WHAT THE 3 STANDS FOR. Three times the amount of D? Don’t we all just want three times the D….

I am 100% unqualified to give any kind of medical advice, so do your research and check with a Doctor if you are worried. All I know is that I think it has made a real difference for me.

Onto number 2 and I have 115 words to do it in.

I woke up on Sunday in a foul mood. Really raging at the world. I had been up late the night before at a wild puzzle party (Read: I did a puzzle) and I think the late night and sleep in just ruined my outlook. Normally I would reach for coffee to solve this, but yesterday I did something a little weird. I cleaned my bathroom. Just the sink and toilet, nothing too crazy, but holy shit it improved my mood. I think it was because no matter what else happened I had accomplished something with my day. So tomorrow pick something little, wholesome and life improving and do it the second you get out of bed.

499 words BITCHES.

 

Love runs the streets Paris Street Art

Any middle class white girl between the ages of 20 and 35 is super pumped for Friday. Friday is the day that we finally get the Amy Sherman-Palladino ending to Gilmore Girls, the show that meant so much to us in our formative years. Yes re-watching it in 2016 there is a seriously problematic treatment of race, the relationships are fucked and what the hell is up with Luke not telling Lorelai that he has a daughter – but it is nostalgia that I/we can’t shake.

But despite the Netflix powered build up, I can’t help fearing this Friday a little. At the moment we have videos of white supremacists (which we apparently have to call alt-right now to avoid hurting their feelings) doing Hitler salutes on mainstream news channels. There is unprecedented levels* of race based attacks in the UK and USA, the President elect has actively encouraged tension against minority groups, and the UK is still running full pelt towards the brick wall of Brexit. And on Friday, our glorious Gilmore Girls Friday, social media will be screaming about Rory’s job choices. BuzzFeed will have 18 quizzes so you can see if you are on Team Jess/Dean/Logan. Genuine grown up news sites will have light hearted opinion pieces about the revival, nudging it onto the front page to try and fill space. We will ignore the horror in the world in favour of something that feels hygge.

In the past I have been a massive advocate of turning off the news if it gets too much, protecting yourself and your mental health in the wake of terrorist attacks that were a little too close to home. But now? I keep wondering about how Londoners felt on the eve of the rise of Hitler in the years before World War Two. Did they bake cake to distract from the feeling of unease they felt when they read the newspaper? Did they throw a little too much effort into Christmas because ‘surely’ it isn’t as bad as they all say, someone will put a stop to it.

I might be overreacting, the Trump administration may not be world ending. But. But. What if they are? What if this is the point in history where we could be standing up, doing SOMETHING, and we are too busy using the #todayimgrateful hashtag to make the world seem a little lighter. I don’t mean to throw shade at anyone using the hashtag by the way, I understand the point and applaud the attempt to focus on the positive – but what if tomorrow Trump announces the Muslim register and we are being grateful for a good cup of tea?

I’m writing this because I feel truly impotent right now. I know that racism is not just a problem in America, it is 100% an issue in the UK too, and I don’t know what I can be doing to help. Retweeting is not enough. Sharing a status is not enough. Disagreeing when someone says something thoughtless is my jam, but waiting for mild levels of conversational cunt seems like a weak cop out. I hate how Brexit is dividing Europe (right at the moment when we need to have our shit together) but how can I actually influence change?

As we have seen from the last few referendums and elections, the social media bubble you are in is just an echo chamber. You surround yourself with people who think the same way you do, and then the big day arrives and your liberal castle crumbles around you. So how on earth do you reach people with a different opinion, how do you engage someone in a meaningful debate without searching for the ‘KKK London HQ’ on Citymapper. Actually I think that would be a bad idea. Don’t try to talk to the KKK. Or should we? Oh god I don’t even know anymore.

I know what will happen. I will watch Gilmore Girls on Friday and get entirely wrapped up in how ‘its not like it used to be’ and how neither of the girls has managed to have a functioning relationship in the intervening years. If this is the eve of World War three I will be discussing how Suki should be a Michelin starred chef and Michele should have been fired while the world burns around me. The way we live through binge watching and social media is the new opiate for the masses, and while we focus on the petty and the fluffy we are letting bad things happen. By doing nothing we are accepting the new status quo.

Any ideas?

*not unprecedented levels of racism, racism does not appear overnight – this current rhetoric is just allowing people to voice their bias as if it was mainstream and acceptable

How to get back to me

Well that has been an insane few weeks. Five countries, eight flights, too many early starts and a little bit of heartache thrown in. I have been pushing myself far past what I should have, and as a result have cold after cold after cold. But now I’m back, back in London, back in my flat, back to pre-Christmas and friends and celebrations, back to me. I’m home for a whole month before I head back to my other home for Christmas with my family. After such a crazy time at work my number one priority has been to get back to ‘me’ as quickly as possible, so I can enjoy life before more travel hits. Since you guys always ask me for the seemingly boring details of my life, here is how I get back on track as quickly as possible.

I arrived back from Tokyo on Friday at 2pm, and even though it was a 12 hour flight on the oldest 777 I have seen in a while (seriously British Airways sort your shit out) I managed to sleep for a good portion of it thanks to getting no sleep while I was in Japan and a friendly sleeping pill. So although I had the usual ‘feel like I’m swimming through treacle’ after a long haul flight thing, it wasn’t too hard to stay up for the rest of the day and head to bed at a normal time. I made the incredible decision to do an online shop while I was in Tokyo (can we all stop to ponder how amazing it is that I can do a supermarket shop from half way across the world) and it arrived around an hour after I got home. Sometimes I am shocked by my own forethought.

It has been so long since I have had fresh vegetables in my fridge, even the act of packing away food made me feel more human & permanent than I had in weeks. Once I had made the all-important cup of tea (with the milk the internet had just delivered) I unpacked. I never thought I would be the sort of person that unpacked the second she got home (normally I favour the ‘leave the suitcase half open in the corner for a week’ approach), but my god it really is the only way to expedite getting back to normal. So I fully unpacked for the first time in what felt like forever, put all my laundry in the hamper to deal with later and made myself a salmon stir fry. Which I only mention because I don’t actually like salmon. Apparently Tokyo-kiwi thought that salmon was a good idea. Eh. It tasted like fish.

Step two on my ‘me’ plan was Saturday where I woke up, cleaned my coffee maker (apparently you need to de-scale it once a year…I was only two years late with that), sat down with a banana and raspberry smoothie, paid my council tax and had a pressure free look at social media. I say pressure free, when I was in my permanent jetlagged, living out of a suitcase state, I was using social media as a mindless, time delaying scroll. Flicking from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram and back again to distract me from how sad I was feeling. But now, back in my home, surrounded by expensive candles (why the fuck do I spend so much on something you burn?) I was actually enjoying interacting again. Enjoying feeling surrounded by my online friends.

And then just to show how far I have come in my almost five years in London I went to hang with some actual real life friends (most of whom I met on the internet, but shush we won’t mention that here because I’m trying to prove a point or something).

Now it is Sunday and I have made muffins (my mums famous banana & blueberry recipe that I loose each time and have to text her to send me AGAIN, FOR THE HUNDRETH TIME). I made muffins, ate half the batter and downed it with two coffees. I watched a terrible Colin Firth movie where his love interest was Emma Stone (he is LITERALLY twice her age, I mean a girl can make her own choices in life but to go from Ryan Gosling to Firth is a bit of a fuck you ageist Hollywood moment), did some washing and I even got out of my pajamas.

And in the ultimate ‘me’ moment, I wrote this ramble. Hi team :)