30 April 2007

Queen's Day: The Netherlands

Today is Queen's Day in the Netherlands. For Suz, it's like her 4th of July...

"Every city and town in the country transforms itself into a fairground: bright orange pendants wave in the wind; town choirs welcome the day; all shops are shut and all trade is unregulated - the streets become a market place as attics are emptied for “hidden treasures” to sell. In Amsterdam, over a million people flock to the streets and there are parades, concerts, theatrical displays and street entertainment. Music is everywhere and boats with live bands line the canal as fireworks explode into the sky."

So get out your orange outfit and take it to the streets people. Suz and I are celebrating by going to see Billy Elliott. Go figure.


26 April 2007

Decision Time

This seems to keep happening to me.

Can any of you look back on your life and pick out those few defining moments where you chose one path over another? Those moments where if you went back and made another decision you would be in a totally different place right now? When you chose to break the rules. When you decided to follow your heart over your brain...or your brain over your heart. When you knew that by getting on that plane to London...

I think that most people only have one or two, maybe three of these moments in their life. I, however, seem to keep putting myself in a position to make these big choices. I'm staring down another one right now. And by "staring down" I mean I made the decision instantaneously and realize now what a big jump it is, even though I've been preparing myself mentally for months.

I've jumped over the cliff. The end is nigh.

Watch this space.

24 April 2007

Coconut Orchestra

We DID it! I am now a new Guinness World Record Holder for being part of the world's largest coconut orchestra! We played along to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" and KICKED USA BUTT with 4382 coconut bangers. They actually ran out of coconuts!

Highlights include:
"You must hold the left nut in the left hand and the right nut in the right hand"
"During the dance sequence, do not clap your nuts together"
"Don't break your nuts, tap them softly"

I do have a video of our successful attempt.
Maybe I'll get a You Tube account to share it 'round...
Days like this, you gotta love London!

23 April 2007

St. George's Day and Monty Python

Today is St. George's Day in England. St. George is the patron saint of England - it's his white flag with the red cross that you see displayed at most major sporting events involving England and another country. Which is funny, really, because he is apparently also the patron saint of Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Germany and Greece; and of Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa and Venice (second to St Mark).
Surprisingly, we don't have the day off but our office did celebrate with a traditional St George lunch of Pizza Hut pizza and Guinness. Who says PR people don't know how to party?

I for one plan on making sure to mark the occasion of today in a very special way...by helping make history:

Coconut Orchestra world record attempt: Monty Python's Spamalot, the London stage production inspired by' Monty Python and the Holy Grail', will lead on an attempt to break the world record for number of people playing in a coconut orchestra, currently held by New York with 1785 people. Registration from 5pm onwards. Coconut Orchestra rehearsal at 6.30pm. World record attempt at 7pm. Be there to guarantee your place in history. Coconuts will be provided!

I was skeptical until I learned coconuts would be provided.
Photos tomorrow!

20 April 2007

Friday's Top Five: Things That Made Me Laugh This Week

Starting next week, I get my life back. The launch happened on Thursday and now, it's back to a regular 40 hour work week.

For the weekend, I leave you with the top 5 things that made me laugh this week when stress was the highest order of the day. Enjoy!
  1. Will Ferrell
  2. Saturday Night Live
  3. The sneezing panda
  4. Sausages
  5. Kicking Monster Asks

17 April 2007

Me Today

14 April 2007

Seeing as how I have no life these days...

I might as well blog a little. I have a few monkeys on my back that I have been feeling ever so guilty about. Here we go:

I was in Singapore for almost a week, staying with the fab-u-lous Mr Wootton. His flat was the perfect Singapore launching ground. He has gorgeous wood floors, a rooftop pool that looks over the city skyline and a location that makes not shopping impossible. I walked to
Orchard Road everyday.

The Rob and the Shaun had warned me that the number one past time in Singapore was shopping but I don't think I ever really believed it until I arrived. If you are looking for a uniquely Asian experience...well, this is definitely unique in Asia. Singapore is extremely western tourist friendly. Everyone speaks English. The signs are all in English. The stores and brands are almost all familiar to Westerners (except the Japanese grocer where I got the best grocery store sushi EVER). There's a Borders Books, a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and we ate lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.

I kept trying to compare it to something I knew, because it felt like somewhere I had been before. I decided it was a hybrid of LA, London and Vegas. Everything was extremely clean and orderly and in most places shiny new and the warm/muggy temperature never changes (like the hotels in Vegas). Image was pretty important (like LA) as were labels and fine luxury goods (like London).
Then again, I don't think you'd ever see a Hello Kitty themed wedding in the USA or be invited to choose your own frog out of a tank on the street for your dinner (well, maybe in Vegas).

Tourist Highlights include: The botanical gardens, Chinatown, the constant queue to shop at Louis Vuitton, eating under the stars at IndoChine in Clarke Quay, eating in a hawker center, the midnight swim in the pool on Rob's rooftop and the spa on Sentosa Island.

Oh, and if you ever do make it Singapore, don't be disappointed if you spend a lot of time in the Changi Airport, the noodle bar, pedicure place, and outdoor pool are a holiday in and of themselves!

Many many thanks to the Rob and the Shaun for the good times.

13 April 2007

By the way...

It's 10.34 pm on Friday night and I am in the office.

It does help that Trish and I have opened a bottle of wine...but not much.

I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.

Friday's Top 5: In Honour of the Weekend

  1. "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."-Ernest Hemmingway
  2. "I drink to make other people interesting." -George Jean Nathan
  3. "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."-Homer Simpson
  4. "If you ever reach total enlightenment while drinking beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose."-Deep Thought, Jack Handy
  5. "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."-Frank Sinatra

12 April 2007

I've Got Too Much Time on My Hands...

Not me...these guys:

"A group of 10 UC Santa Cruz engineering students took five hours to create a four-story homage to the famous video game in the windows of one of the campus buildings."

(Is it just me or do you also have the Mario Brothers theme song on permanent repeat in your head now? (and don't pull that, "I never played video games" card with me, I know you did and probably STILL do). It's driving me crazy!)

We weren't allowed to have Atari or Nintendo or Game Boy or anything. We didn't even get cable until I was in high school. My brother and I had to go over to our cousin's house to play (for whole weekends at a time sometime).

I'd like to say I'm probably a better person and thanks for it Mom. However, it would've been a whole lot easier to beat the Legend of Zelda if you'd let me play at home!

10 April 2007

If we took a holiday...

Yesterday I got back from my 3 days in Portugal without luggage. Yes, BA did it to me AGAIN at least this time I had travelling companions who were well stocked with supplies so all I had to buy was 3 pairs of knickers, shirts for 3 days, pjs, (thank you H&M) a toothbrush, deodorant and lotion (thank you Mr. Chemist). Everything else I borrowed.

But I gotta tell ya, I am so sick of those jeans and shoes.

The first thing I did upon return yesterday was to start doing laundry. I think 3 days in the same clothes must instil the urge to clean not just yourself but also your living space. I changed the sheets, did 3 loads of laundry, vacuumed, ran the dishwasher, cleaned both bathrooms and
I considered dusting but then I considered better. Instead I opened all the windows and aired the place out.

Hmmm, maybe I should wear the same clothes for three days more often.

I will say the one thing BA did right was to give me a piece of luggage to transport my port and wine purchases back to the UK with (remember - no liquids through security!). Should I feel bad that, therefore, upon return my luggage was filled with 3 shirts, 3 pairs of knickers, 1 pair of shoes, 2 bottles of port and 4 bottles of red wine?

Nah. I don't think so either.

Porto was awesome by the way. We stayed at this great hotel right on the river in the Ribeira (older part of town). All of the port warehouses were just a short walk across a bridge away and we spent the first day port tasting and the second day touring around to all the churches and cathedrals.

I actually liked it a LOT because it 1) wasn't full of Brits or Americans, 2) wasn't super shiny and sanitized like so many touristy parts of Europe are, and 3) had awesome food and drink. The Portuguese take their meat seriously (so many years as a poor country were only the rich get the good meat will do that to you) and while I avoided the tripe I did feast on rotisserie cooked chicken (raised right), steak, and seafood galore. Oh, and the port and wine wasn't bad either ;-)

Be warned: Porto is a pretty hilly place and after all that steep walking in my H&M 4 euro flip-flops my calves are killing me today.

It was worth it.

04 April 2007

Terribly Poor Show

By now I should have recapped all my mad times in Singapore and Perth. By now you should all be well informed of my trips to the other side of the world. However:

2 weeks away + 1 PR launch in 2 weeks + 1 out of town visitor = 0 time to blog.


If it makes you all feel better I did manage to post some really boring but pretty photos of the orchids in the Singapore botanical gardens. Also, it's a 4 day weekend in the UK and most of Europe this coming weekend (Good Friday and Easter Monday). I am off to Portugal. We are going to drive up the coast to Porto and doing some traditional Easter port tastings and egg hunting while taking in the gorgeous 22 degree weather.

Picture me here:

- xo