Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Margaret Thatcher and Coding

In between reading about Margaret Thatcher’s privatization and the history of the Stasi (I’m doing a History of International Relations MSc…), I’m attempting to read Capital by John Lanchester. I say ‘attempting’ because it’s usually a matter of managing 2 pages in bed before I fall asleep with the book on my face. (It is a good book though!) In one of my recent 2 page sessions, the character Patrick – who has come to live in London involuntarily from abroad – described his dislike for ‘the big smoke’ as basically being manifested in the fact that Londoners always appear busy; always in a rush and doing too many things at once. 

It really struck a chord with me the next day, when I found myself running to the tube, texting, and looking through my diary. All while walking in the rain. Carrying an umbrella.

But on a serious note... I’m currently combining my full-time Masters with a job, and a full-time coding course. Too much?! Are we as people now only satisfied if we’re constantly ‘busy’ and ‘stressed’ and rushing around? When I stopped to have a think about this, I figured that yes, I am a bit rushed at times and yes, it does mean that I have eaten my dinner on the tube. (As far as I know, I luckily escaped the bizarre and creepy Women Who Eat on Tubes Facebook group!) But at the same time I’m quite happy to juggle various things. I definitely would rather learn too much than too little, and realistically, I’m just going to get older and crankier… If now isn’t a good time to learn to code and meet some fantastically motivated people to steal some motivation from, then when the hell is? 

At the end of the day, as long as I can still find the time to have a catch up with my buddies over a glass of wine, read 2 pages of Capital in bed, or simply sit in a Soho bar to people watch, then I think I’m doing just fine! 

Or another way of putting it:

Sunday, 26 January 2014

I stride with pride

It's happened. I've met my soulmate.

I was on my way home last Friday, basking in that Friday feeling, when I grabbed a copy of the Evening Standard's ES Magazine. I was apathetically reading the 'My London' feature at the back when I spotted it:

What would you [Simon Reeve] do as Mayor [of London]?
Introduce walking lanes for people who don't want to dawdle...

As I have often enough said, I am almost allergic to being stuck behind dawdlers. I am an inordinately fast walker, and to me the worlds of striding and stalling simply don't collaborate. Obviously I do love a good amble, however there is a time and a place..

Simon, let's meet for a coffee. Followed by a stroll.. ha.

Saturday, 9 November 2013


There's a very good reason for my protracted absence from this blog.

I have eloped with a divine Prince from a far-flung paradise. We are in the process of making a home for ourselves in the lap of luxury.

I'm lying.

I have started my Masters. MSc History of International Relations to be precise and it is FULL. ON. But certainly in a positive way! I'd like to think I have made a positive impression on course colleagues and professors alike.. Having said that, I did recently raise a few eyebrows when I compared foreign policy to an advertising pitch. But hey ho, objectivity and the forming of a specific argument and opinion is all part of the plan, non?

On a completely different note, I was recently sent this, and it made me so so happy! Sheer genius.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Hollerrrr! About 27 years after everyone else, I now have a Tumblr. 

Perhaps I'll be a little better at updating it. This poor blog has been frightfully neglected recently. Je suis désolé!

Monday, 12 August 2013

I'm not bored. I'm creative.

I recently came across two quite similar and interesting articles, one of them being a summary of Arianna Huffington’s speech at an event held at London’s Bafta on the 30th of July. Although different in context and audience, the underlying message of both pieces was simple: to embrace boredom. Yes indeed, be bored once in a while.

Rumour has it that Steve Jobs developed his amazing ideas for apple while Zen meditating. The article by Simon Attwater implies that dozing under apple trees gave us theories of gravity. My personal example? I have had some of my best and most creative ideas while out on a run – the epitome of boredom, if you think about it… It’s simply a long stretch of pavement pounding, perhaps spruced up a little by a ‘motivational’ playlist.

Although Huffington’s line of thought had a different motivation, it delivered a similar message: today we are so over- or ‘hyper-connected’ and always ‘digitally multi-tasking’ that we’re overstressed and suffering from burnouts. There’s simply no room for creativity or inspiration! She too mentioned Jobs, by suggesting that he certainly didn’t have his amazing ideas while ‘clearing out his inbox’.

I’m afraid to say that I do see some truth behind these ideas. In the past (wow I feel old) when had to get the school bus (1 hour each way, it was painful) and no one was there to keep me company or entertain me with school related anecdotes, I would put in my headphones and daydream. Now if I’m bored on the bus, train or tube it’s a different story. In my defence I must say that I do make an effort. I’ll read a book, newspaper or magazine if I can but often I end up playing on my iPhone. While I may not go as far as checking my emails, I’ll still be aimlessly fiddling around on some other app or messaging platform.

But now that I’ve read and digested these two articles I may just change my ways. I may just sit there and stare into space. Waiting for inspiration to come.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Sexism at the airport

On mashable today I stumbled across this article. It outlines a new idea put forward by Heathrow Airport that passengers in the terminals will be 'trackable' as "passengers who are running late for flights can cause delays." 

The idea is as follows: "To address this problem, Heathrow Airport has pioneered a new technology through its boarding card system that is designed to track the locations of passengers in the airport as well as direct the passengers where to go or what to do to catch their flight on time. With the new system, which the airport is calling "positive boarding," passengers simply present their boarding cards at an automated gate where the boarding card barcodes are scanned. The gate's computer cross-references information from the barcode with flight details and, once verified, the passengers may enter the departure area. Information about their flights also pop up on a screen, so passengers will know if they are in the right terminal or if they have to go somewhere else."

I didn't really have any strong feelings on the matter, positive or negative. When I carried on reading however, what did jump out at me was the following:

"If a passenger arrives at the gate less than 30 minutes before the plane is set to depart, she will not receive access to the terminal and will need to visit the check-in counter for more information."

Sorry what? she will not receive access to the terminal? Is the suggestion here that the women cause the delays due to their excessive duty free shopping? I'm hoping that a simple / was missed out here (which would make it a far more acceptable s/he).

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


Monday July 22nd 2013 was a pretty good day for me. Not only was it my birthday, but clever K-Mids and Baby-Cambridge (literally just announced to be called George) decided to reinforce the fact that it’s an excellent day for birthing. Congratulations Kate and Wills! I will now share my birthday with the future King of England*!

Their emergence from the hospital yesterday evening was pretty cute and they did indeed look rather happy. I did however, pick up on Wills’ comment along the lines of 'we've only just met him, this is a very special time' which I interpreted as ‘we’ve done out bit by showing you our baby, now please do your bit and give us some space and privacy!’ which I think is fair enough. I feel quite sorry for them and really do think that the media coverage is slightly excessive. Then again I think that certain articles such as this one are just unnecessary. I’m pretty certain that given the choice, they wouldn’t want any of this hype and they certainly haven’t asked for it. They simply want to enjoy some time with their newborn, like any brand new parents would! I think it would be wonderful if we could give them a bit of space, but also if people who are bitter / ‘pitying’ of the royals / whatever they want to call it, could just pipe down. If you don’t like the media frenzy, ignore it and go and read a good book. It will have died down soon enough.

*Not to put a downer on the mood at all, but wouldn’t it have been just a teensy bit more interesting if it had been a girl?! History would have been made, as she would have been Queen, regardless of brother or not!