Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My free and easy London story

Its been a while since I shared much of my travel photos - gambar from HK and Istambul trip last year pun simpan sesaje je dalam hard disk for my eyes only.  Not that I am short of choices of photos to post - there was just too many I can't really decide which to post anyway.  I don't really feel like writing a travel guide because over the past year my travels were simply out of whim and mostly on a free and easy basis - no stress to catch any form of sights or whatsoever so in that sense I didn't really bother to compare prices and whatnot, I simply just winged it and hope for the best.

Bertuah kan?

But then so far all my travels are within a certain budget and since it meets that particular pool of funds then I have no complaints but just had as much fun as I can.

The latest trip to London and Paris was no different.


I suppose its no big deal - a lot of people I knew had already set foot in this two places. I never cared much to visit it since I prefer beach holidays anyway. But then I can't scoot off for summer (or at least autumn) holidays last year because my sister got married in August so end up last year dapat la winter holiday.

Looking back I am now positive that I am not a winter person. For starters, the cold is such a hassle. Snow is overrated. It requires a lot of effort (and energy) to dress up. There's a lot of luggage to carry - its a nightmare la kalau lift hotel tu macam lagi kecik dari luggage. There is no way you could ever look thin in a winter jacket and lastly - I hate the pale look I carry through out the photos. The only time I look slightly okay is when I actually put on make up - in which I hate doing especially during holidays.

Sigh.

I miss the effortless chic I exude when I am sunkissed. I suppose Bali, Maldives and Hawaii is more my thing.

Grin.

But knowing me I never not have fun during a holiday. I am so easy to please with food and culture - and both London and Paris has lots of food and culture to enjoy.


For starters - I love Costa and Pret-A-Manger. I never thought there would come a day when I'd trade Starbucks for any other coffee chain in the globe but guess what, I only step foot in Starbucks in London and Paris to get those city mugs I collected, then quickly dash to the next Pret-A-Manger or Costa at the corner for either a coffee fix or the hot chocolate with marshmallows. I gotta say that cup of hot chocolate is simply divine and made exactly to my liking. Their coffee is a bit bitter, but its still fine. My fav at Pret-A-Manger on the other hand is their tuna melt or vegetarian wraps - which is to die for. Kenapa la kat KL takde benda ni? Its so simple yet very tasty. Especially when the wrap is all heated and the weather is cold....rasa macam saje nak beli banyak-banyak and sambung makan lagi.

Second off their fish and chips is simply out of the world. Selalunya fish and chips is just plain normal to my liking, its not something I'd crave for tapi kat London ni kalau tak try fish and chips dia memang rugi.

My travel buddy and I made a point to try local restaurants while we were there. The first few nights after the theater show we had light supper and cakes at a quaint italian restaurant in west end, and before we left we tried Jamie Oliver's Union Jack restaurant at Covent Garden.


The que was long, it took us 20 minutes before we got a table. The restaurant is located in an open market so we listened to people busking at the market while waiting and having dinner. The air was super pleasant, everyone seems to be on a holiday mood. Its past xmas and boxing day but there's still a considerable amount of shoppers hauling their sprees.
  


We ordered fish and chips (obviously!), pizza in pesto and salmon on rye.

Besides food, the highlight of my trip is experiencing my first west end theater production.

I was lucky that we stayed at Covent Garden which is smacked at the centre of all things artsy and culture. Across the corner to our hotel (we stayed at the Travelodge @ Covent Garden) are rows and rows of small theaters and production houses, with various shows running every night imaginable from famous titles such as Mathilda, Cats and Mamma Mia to the less famous once we barely heard of.

And it seems like the place was never short of people since most productions are sold out every night when we were there.

Ticket prices range from merely 20 pounds and up to over 100 pounds. Of course famous shows will be more pricey. I remember Mathilda was going for about 60 pounds, while Mamma Mia was almost 90 pounds per ticket.

Since I didn't budget that much for a ticket, so we opted for a new upcoming show called Memphis.


We got the early bird ticket (which is sold super early in the morning when the box office opens at 10am) and lucky us we got front row seats to a full house show. During the whole show I was simply mind-blown - its a musical and the arrangements, dances and vocals were simply amazing. Its worth every penny paid and more.

Thirdly I love the fact that London can be explored on foot. Their public transportation system is easily accessible and their roads are walker-friendly. When we arrived in London it was christmas day so most of the shops were closed - meant no shopping of course, but despite all odds, we manage to cover a lot of grounds on foot. In fact, I remember walking throughout the central zone from one end to another on xmas day itself!

During my stay I manage to catch a stroll at Hyde Park and Kensington Park - in which is amazing despite the cold weather because we rarely find such chill places back home.





If the park is not your thing don't worry - there's lots of attractions ; museums, art galleries, London tower, the big ben.

Sebulan pun tak abis visit I tell you.

Too bad Harry Potterland tix were sold out. Boohoo.


Nevertheless I sampai la jugak to Platform 9 and 3/4 kat St Pancras. Nak tangkap gambar dengan trolley tu but look at the line - hazab okay nak beratur so sampai situ je la then cepat-cepat lari lepak kat Costa.

Dasar pemalas. Lazy bum la katakan.

My 5 days in London is not complete without shopping!

We caught London's boxing day just in time and experienced the craze at Harrods and Oxford Street. People shop as if its the end of the world. 

Sorry no shopping pics. Insan punya la ramai macam kiamat sudah - tak kuasa la nak sibuk tangkap gambar. But it was super fun because the bargains were simply to die for. Kalau ada duit memang heaven.

Winks.

I should have done a flatlay of my shopping haul. But my room was so itsy bitsy - lepas shopping terus campak barang masuk luggage then forget about it till I get home to KL.


Okla - that's it.

Laters!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Here's to celebrating my loves

How was your long weekend?

:)

Was at work on Thursday - god bless that most of the stuff I need to do was done on Thursday itself so I get to have Friday to Sunday off. Not that bad huh? But I was really tired.....my body is somehow not working with me this round. I am starting to have my insomnia episodes - my eyes wide open at midnight, having trouble sleeping or stay in bed at night....the long hours making me emotionally and mentally tired. Sometimes I wish I can just drop everything and hide in some remote island without a single care to the world but then all those tinggal mimpi je la.

:P

Tried to catch up with some yoga but my body prefers sleep more.

Here's a snap at YOTIW new studio in Saville.


As always - that studio is awesome.

Its huge with lots of space and the sun beams through the window with so much love. But of course I love the DP studio more - YOTIW DP is like home. For the past half year it has been a solitude that I am ever so grateful for. I wish I could spend more time there. Practice more. My fiance always say that I am more zen when he first met me (oh yes, when we first met I spend almost every day at the DP studio) - now I am just a huge chunk of mess. Sigh. But then he did add on that despite all odds he loves me anyway. Hehehehe. So huge mess or zen'ed out - either way he's in for keeps.

*fly to the moon*

Too bad I missed the workshop last weekend. It would have been fun. But its okay - another month till everything settles down at work and then I can get back to my normal yoga routine - hopefully back to my 4 times a week practice before my long hiatus in November.

*winks*

And since I didn't have to work on Friday, I manage to catch my girlfriend's birthday party at Kokopelli's on Friday night.


Remember the chill babes?

It's raf and shaz's birthday celeb last Friday and of all theme parties its princess themed. Hence the princess cake, the princess hat and whistleblowers. The kids (not ours) were ecstatic....the moment the cake were out the guest list expanded immediately to include the whole restaurant - suddenly it didn't feel formal but so homey - macam buat kat rumah. Everyone in the restaurant sang the birthday song and they get to blow the candles twice because the kids (not ours) insisted that wanted to blow candles too.

*grin*

I knew them for 10 years now and its crazy like that every time. Obviously being stressed all week/month made me walk in the party with frown lines and a downside loop on my face but look at the pics - I had a good time no?

*grin*


Here's to another 10 or 20 years,

xoxo.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

CNY at work

Happy Chinese New Year Peeps!

I have been stressed out, cranky and moody since the past 3 days and despite today being the CNY hols, I am currently stuck at work because of my annual year end deadline crunch so here I am - finally succumbing to a slice of black forest cake while trying to figure out my work related algebras.

I love my algebras but there's just too much of number crunching and formula figuring since last Monday I am sort of burnt out.

Sobs.

Added to my stress eating list today is a slice of roti canai, two nescafe tarik, a bottle of coke and a bag of ruffles (which is just screaming to be opened right about now).

Sigh.

Not that I am hungry in any way. No sir. I am very much full. Hunger does not demand all this sugar, salt and carbs - stress does.

I still have quite a long list to do. I have been trying to look at the brighter side by parcelling my "to-do"list in small post its - they say if you take it in bite-size pieces it might just be more bearable hence we can get things done much faster but ho ho ho - no. It's not helping. Bite size pieces or not I keep on adding more post its and end up re-arranging the post its in order of priority again and again and again.

I might just go post it crazy.

It doesn't take that long though to gush down the whole slice of black forest cake.

Sigh.

Okay hate it if I crush people's holiday mood so I am signing off. Hope your day is way better than mine.

Laters.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Apa ni????

Its a sunny tuesday morning. The AC in the office is forever chilled - as if trying its level best to match the weather in UK and the sun shone right through the windows reminding the rest of us that no- its no winter. Its smacking hot out there. Go to work.

My schedule is kinda laid back all morning - having most of my to do list crossed by the time I leave the office yesterday. I had high hopes in hitting the gym later so I've packed my gym bag for my after work run. Such blissful thoughts. Sekali nanti around 5pm dapat kerja. Macam tak biasa. Lepas tu miss the gym run. Semua tinggal angan-angan.

Sigh.

And since I have some free time I decided to pay some bills. Oh my, dah dekat tengah bulan la kan baru nak bayar bil. Memang sengaja tempah maut. I think my home wifi has been temporarily disconnected - menggelupur la sekejap kan since nowadays all the tv series dah start balik. If I don't have wifi nanti tak boleh download!!! So no can do, ini soal hidup mati ni. I can live with not going to the movies for a while but please do not stop my access to free movies and tv series - nanti naik tak betul nanti.

So alkisahnya I have been trying to get into the unifi website all morning but......with no success.

Apa ni???

Asyik dc je. Lepas tu kena log in balik. Then it takes ages to generate the bill in which nanti dc lagi halfway then the whole cycle starts again - tak pernah la nak sampai kat page "PAY BILL".

Wtf?

Nanti tak bayar complain.

Sobs.Nak bayar pulak tak boleh.

Sobs.

I am giving up. Later je la.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cooing over babies, fretting over wedding woes and dreaming of chia seed pudding

Spent the weekend at my future MIL's place last weekend and had a blast playing with baby Azra. That bundle of joy is such a cutie pie she makes me totally forget about practically everything - all I want to do is play with her all day like my very own russian doll.

*grin*

My future MIL kept on cooing that it seems like we will be making one of our own as soon as the wedding is over and done with but I'm not really sure about it. Sebab personally main-main dengan anak orang is not the same thing like having one of your own. There's definitely a lot more to it. But then I suppose god knows best and good things will come when the time is right - so it could be next year, or the year after....who knows. I am in no position to argue with fate. Kalau ada pun tak pe, kalau takde pun I have 2 nieces and another baby nephew i think coming soon from my fiance's side so for the next 1 to 2 years I can keep my hands full cooing on my in law's kids.

*grin*

Spending time at future in laws also brings up some awkward q's about the wedding. Well its understandable that everyone is excited - tapi its also a bit weird that I am not freaking out about it just yet and hasn't done much for the big day considering now its February already.  I don't know why there are times when I feel like running away and hiding myself every time q's are raised and I blush all of a sudden and felt like I'm in a hot seat at the smallest of question (like dah tempah baju ke belum? Duh!!!! Soalan macam tu pun rasa panas!). Maybe because I know myself too well - that if I start taking things seriously I might get things out of hand and I might (in fact scratch that - perhaps the better word is I will) turn into a bridezilla.

It happened before. Ok segan nak admit tapi its the truth. And I don't really like myself back then. Not that I hated me - I just don't like what I had became back then. Too bad I can't take back certain things that had happened and I macam regret it - so I am not letting it happen again.

Sigh.

Nanti bila jadi bridezilla yang mangsanya my mom.

Poor her.

Sobs.

In some ways I wanna jadi like my sister - very patient, Steady je, I suppose she is a stronger person than me being able to take care of my mom and all and that quality is so admirable. Aku yang kakak ni kadang-kadang pun fius pendek, cepat je angin kan.  I never heard a single peep telling me that my sister experience any form of mental meltdown preparing for her wedding and at the same time caring for my mom during her chemo sessions last year. Aku je yang over.

And I should have been a better example.

Sigh.

Anyways - I shouldn't keep such things in mind too much. Tak bagus pikir benda benda negative ni. Thank goodness my kakak bestie nina sweettooth made me this delish looking chia seed pudding for lunch and I can't wait to dig in my spoon into my very own jar.


Okay. I ni memang tak malu sikit komen kat insta orang and then mintak satu for myself but wouldn't you want a jar of that???
\
Nanti I dah dapat I post ok.

Till later!

xoxo