Thursday Cravings: Grapefruit

I love pink grapefruit! I used to eat them all the time when I was a child, and have recently rediscovered them. How amazing is grapefruit? (Sorry, my excitement for a fruit might be a bit over the top). And, this is clearly also one of the healthier cravings one can have, so it’s a win on all accounts.

I’ve also recently read that grapefruits are one of the very few foods that contains less calories than the body uses to digest them, resulting in what’s called a ‘negative calorie count’. This is clearly not the main reason why I eat them, but it is quite fascinating I think. They are good for other reasons too, like supporting healthy skin, and helping to battle many diseases, as well as containing lots of antioxidants. Eating half of a grapefruit per day will meet 64% of your vitamin C needs, 28% of vitamin A, 2% of calcium and 2% of magnesium. (Source). So I mean, this is sort of a super fruit.

On top of all of this, they are also very pretty – At least to me. The colour and texture is amazing.

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All images taken by me – Please do not use without permission

It’s here! 

I made a big decision a little while back; to ditch my much loved Canon DSLR camera, and get a smaller camera. Mainly, because all too often I would let my Canon stay home because of its size and bulky-ness, and instead opt for my iPhone, which takes pretty decent pictures for everyday use – but nothing like a ‘real’ camera. 

It arrived today: my new Olympus Pen Generation. It’s the latest update of the camera, and is a rather popular model as far as I can see. And I understand why! It is a good size, exchangeable lenses, has a charming retro look, and loads of great photo capabilities and fun settings. I haven’t had a chance to properly try it out yet, but once I do, I’ll let you know what I think. 

  

Saying no and all that comes with it

As I’ve gotten older, I have become a lot better at saying no to things. Whether it be events, people, or something else. But there are still certain situations I feel slightly uncomfortable with, when it comes to saying no.

Joel and I live in a charming, yet fairly small London flat. It is perfect for the two of us, but when we have guests it can easily become a little crammed. Especially because we only have one bedroom, one 2-person kitchen (which is sometime a stretch), a bathroom and a fairly spacious and bright loft upstairs. So when we have people staying over, they stay in the loft, which normally serve as our living room.

I love having people around, but I am at the same time a bit of an introvert, who really value some time for myself. I would never say no to close friends or family members if they wanted to visit, even if it might not be so comfortable for either of us after a few days. They are more than welcome!

But I was recently faced with a slightly more distant friend wanting to stay at our place for 5 days. I could immediately feel that I wasn’t keen on the idea. Not because her and her boyfriend aren’t lovely people, because they are, but more because of the feeling of having someone in our little space for that long. this might be difficult for you extroverts out there to understand, and sometimes I wish I would just welcome everyone with open arms. But living in a city like London, means that we do have people wanting to stay with us quite often – Sometime clearly just to save a few pennies on a hotel, which i can completely understand, as London is expensive enough to visit as it is. It easily turns into a part-time B&B business though, which would be quite alright if we had a massive house with lots of guest rooms, but unfortunately that is not the case at the moment.

Knowing myself, I would feel like I had to entertain and ‘be there’ constantly. And in between work and other commitments, I would make it a tough 5 days for myself. Especially when it is people that you don’t know that well. I have close friends who I know are perfectly happy to do their own thing, happily buys food and makes dinner, and just make themselves at home, which takes a lot of the stress out of it for me, when I know I don’t have to be the tourguide.

After having been here for 9 years I have learned to listen a bit more to myself (and Joel) and draw the line sometimes. It is after all our home, and we live here, work here, and have our everyday routines. I know that it is perfectly acceptable to say no, but I still feel bad about it, as it is nothing personal, and I would love to help.

So after having spoken to Helene about it (who lives in an amazing, yet tiny, studio apartment in Copenhagen), just to verify that I wasn’t a total bitch for saying no, I offered that they could stay for one night at ours (as we would love to see them) but kindly asked them to stay somewhere else for the remaining nights.

I have also made a strict rule of NO SIGHTSEEING a long time ago. I have done my fair share of of that, so when guests spend their days trawling the pavements of London with millions of others, or stare at wax models of celebrities at Madame Tussaud’s, it is without me – with some exceptions of course. I’ll definitely be there for the evening drinks and dinner though ;)

What would you have done?

The struggle is real

Today has been rainy, grey and felt like summer has definitively gone away and made way for autumn. On top of that, the normally lovely (compared to the central line) Victoria Line is half closed, and has been for the past two weeks.

Which is why I today found myself running up and down a train platform at Liverpool Street with a bunch of other people, desperately trying to find a 5 cm gap to squeeze my body into, just to avoid having to wait another 15 (!) minutes for the next train. It didn’t happen. The ‘don’t you dare try!’ looks from all the already incredibly squeezed people on the train, desperately trying to stay on the ledge of the train hoping the doors would miraculously close around them, discouraged me.

It really is every man (or woman) for themselves on the London train network at rush hour. Just like 10 minutes earlier, arriving at Liverpool Street on the Central Line, and a very capable man snapped up a seat right in front of an elderly man, clearly struggling to stand. I noticed a seat and rather loudly said ‘there’s a seat for you here’ to the elderly man, hoping the other capable man would feel a little bad about his actions. I’m sure he didn’t! But because if this, I almost didn’t get off the train as people starting floating on with panic in their eyes. I don’t have much love for the London transport system these days, as you can probably hear. It does make me appreciate the rather dreamy commute, for London standards anyway, that I have normally.

Things I miss from Denmark

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Copenhagen colours

I have lived in England, more precisely London, for almost 9 years now. It’s quite insane to think about, and I’m not quite sure where the years have gone. There are many aspects of life in London that i love. It’s a big, stressful, dirty city, filled to breaking point with all sorts of people, but it’s also a city full of experiences, surprises and opportunities. I don’t want to live here forever, but at this point in time I’m quite happy here. I’ve done several variations of this sort of post before (This one for example, about Danish and English differences), but this time I’ve tried compiling a list of the things I miss the most:

  • Not having to say ‘please’ and ‘sorry’ all the time. Not because I want to be rude, but sometimes the politeness in the english language feels a little fake. A bit like as long as you say ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘Excuse Me’, you can do whatever you want, because you are being verbally polite. There is no equivalent of ‘Please’ in Danish, but somehow we all get along anyway.
  • The directness of the Scandinavian languages. Sometimes I feel like English uses about a million words for a point that could be made with 5 words. Perhaps because of all the “Excuse me”s and the “Thank you”s.  Again, we’re not being short with you because we are rude, we just like to get things done.
  • Proper rye-bread with loads of seeds, and not just brown bread that tastes like cardboard.
  • And while we’re in the bread category: Rundstykker.
  • Triple glazing.
  • Real snow, that stays for days during winter, and doesn’t turn into slush within a second of landing on the ground.
  • And following on from the two points above: Houses that are actually proper WARM in the winter. No better feeling that coming in from a freezing day to a house that is warm, and stays warm.
  • Underfloor heating as standard (We have this in our current London flat, and I LOVE it!).
  • Being able to take the bike to work. I wasn’t keen on this when I lived in Denmark, but living in a city where cycling equals risking your life, I’ve really started to appreciated cities that put cyclists high (if not at the top) of the list.
  • Smaller distances. It can easily take 2 hours to travel from one side of London to the other on the train/tube, which can make it quite complicated seeing people, even though you live in the same city.
  • Spaaaaaaace. This is a big one for me. There’s just people EVERYWHERE over here. Sometimes I like to turn down a street, and be the only person on it. This probably stems from me having grown up in country side surroundings.
  • Houses without carpets. The English love their carpets, and I have never understood why (I was recently told that in some buildings you have to have carpets, by law – Not sure if this is true).
  • Working days where working late means 5pm (and Fridays where you leave at 2pm as the norm).
  • Doors opening outward.
  • And windows opening inward.
  • Lots of lovely people, family and friends. And that is the most difficult part.

To be continued… 

When In France

The post holiday blues are strong this Sunday. That’s what a week in a South France villa with lovely people will do.

We got home yesterday after an amazing week full of sunshine, wine, cheese and quality time with the best people. I could definitely get used to having a pool in the back yard, a view of tree-topped mountains, eating incredible, fresh baguettes and croissants every day, shopping for local wine and cheese at the farmers market in the nearby village, and being able to pop in to Montpellier, or to the sea, in less than an hour. What’s not to love? Being back in a cloudy London is not really floating the boat today.

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All images taken with iPhone6 – I’m working on the camera situation :)

Yesterday I joined the Star Wars gang…

… more precisely, a Secret Cinema event. For one night, I was part of the Rebel X, opposing and infiltrating the Empire (e.g. Darth Vader and his people/Robots). As you have probably already noticed, I’m by no means a Star Wars fan or enthusiast. I’ve watched several of the films, but never in a very serious fashion – sort of the way I also watch Harry Potter. I quite like the universe and find them entertaining, but that’s about it.

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Image from http://www.thestage.co.uk

The whole idea behind Secret Cinema is that it is not just a film – You need to get dressed up as the character you’re given after answering a few questions on the website, and then the first 2-2,5 hours of the evening is all about being part of this special world. I can’t say much more, as that’s the whole point you see – It’s secret.

It was an amazing experience though, and even I, who is not a fan as such, really enjoyed it. There is constantly something happening, and the actors are amazing. There’s always someone running somewhere, and I spent a lot of time just running around after any action happening on the set. It’s a very real world, and amazing if you immerse yourself in it completely, and just go with it. Get involved with as much as you can, and interact with the actors – You’ll be surprised!

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Image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk

The tickets are a bit pricey at £75 each. On top of that, you can pay quite a bit for your costume too in the Secret Cinema shop (this isn’t a must though, but I would definitely recommend dressing up), and you’ll need to buy food and drink too – A cocktail is £7.50, a beer £4, and a water £1. If you are a hardcore Star Wars fan, you’ll have the time of your life. If not, you’ll still love it. It is so much fun! Just make sure not to drag a heavy bag with you, like I did. You’ll be carrying it around all night.

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Me, very excited, before the whole thing started

Airport tips

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Bangkok airport when I visited back in 2011

I fly quite a lot, both because I live on London, and my entire family is in Denmark, but also because I’m lucky enough to be able to travel regularly with my Job. This year alone I’ve been to Denmark twice, in Sicily on holiday, Cannes and Berlin with work – And now soon France, then Spain (with work) and another trip or two to Denmark.

Luckily I don’t mind flying at all. I felt a bit queasy after the latest accident, and did not enjoy flying over the Alps on our way back from Sicily (I kept asking Joel if those mountains weren’t a bit close). But overall it’s not something I stress about – I tend to quite enjoy it.

I do, however, have a need for being organised. There is nothing I detest more than faffing about with plastic bags and liquids when there are 20 impatient people standing in the line behind you, or not being able to find passports and boarding passes. Forget flying, THAT is my biggest fear right there. So over time I have developed a system. Most of it is probably something most people do already, but I thought it might be something that could be useful for some anyway.

  • Always check in online, and print your boarding passes before hand. Or, better yet: download your airline’s app (plenty of airlines have an app now, amongst them EasyJet, Ryanair, and British Airways).  The app lets you do pretty much anything AND keep your boarding pass on there, which means one less thing to keep track of. I am particularly fond of British Airway’s app. It informs you of traffic issues on the way to the airport, delays, and brings up your gate information as soon as it’s available amongst many other things. It’s brilliant.
  • If you are checking in a bag, make sure all your liquids are in that bag. No need to struggle with the plastic bag of liquids at security of you can avoid it.
  • If you’re not checking in a bag: Prepare your liquids in the plastic bag BEFORE leaving for the airport. How it can still come as a surprise to some people that there is a 100ml rule is beyond me. But remember that lots of things doesn’t need to go in the plastic back. Lip balms, lipsticks, and mascara don’t, for example. At least I’ve never been stopped when I’ve had these items in my bag rather than in the plastic bag for liquids. You do however need to keep shampoo, face creme, nail-polish, deodorants, etc. in the little plastic bag. Each item can be maximum 100ml big, and you are (mostly) only allowed 10 of these (a total of 1 litre of liquids). I recommend getting the travel sized versions of your favourite products, or buy small containers to keep it in.
  • Make sure none of your bags exceed the weight or size limit. We have all seen those people scrambling around on the floor desperately trying to repack, with their stuff all over the place. It’s not a nice place to be in. Either stick to the limits, or pay for an additional bag. Tough, I know! (Yes, I like rules too).
  • I recently discovered that you are allowed ONE disposable shaver (At least from UK airports – If you are not UK based it might be good to check with your local authority if this applies to your country).
  • Consider your travel outfit. Wear something simple. You are not Victoria Beckham. Consider that you will have to take your shoes off if you wear boots. Always take off your jacket/scarf/hat BEFORE reaching security – Save yourself and others time. Don’t wear excessive jewellery, as no one likes to stand and wait while someone removes earrings, watches, ankle chains, and necklaces. Make sure your bag of liquids is easily accessible (preferably at the top of you bag, or in an outside compartment) so you don’t have to spend 10 minutes looking for it.
  • Declutter! Make sure you have the important things within reach (e.g. wallet, passport, mobile phone, boarding pass, train tickets), but pack everything else away. If you don’t need a jacket, pack it in your suitcase (if there’s space). The less things you need to carry around, and keep track of, the better and smoother you will make it on to the plane and out on the other side. And, you have a spare hand for a cup of coffee (My mum would find this particularly convincing).
  • If you are flying crazy early in the morning, I can recommend booking a cheap airport hotel to stay at the night before. I have done my fair share of 2.45am wake-up calls, and it’s just not worth it. Although a 7am flight is still early, it is a lot mote tolerable if you only just have to get up and walk down the road a few hours before your flight leaves. And, if booked well in advance, a lot of airport hotels are no more that £25 a night. Also, I have been told that it is helpful for people that are a bit scared of flying – Both because it take some of the stress away, but also because you have time to slowly get used to the airport vibe, and seeing planes take off and land easily.

Travelling and flying really isn’t that stressful, as long as you are organised. Organisation isn’t the devil. It will make your life A LOT easier. Enjoy!

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Happy Monday!

Hello everyone! Monday again, hey? But for me it’s a happy one, as this week brings lots of exciting happenings – It’s my Birthday on Friday, so I have taken the day off, which means it’s a four day week. Wednesday is my company’s summer party, and this year we’re, amongst other shenanigans, going to the Star Wars Secret Cinema event. It will be epic (More about that later!). 

And if that wasn’t enough, we’re scooting off on holiday on Saturday, to spend a week in a beautiful villa in southern France with Joel’s family. Pretty perfect week I’d say. What are you up to?

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I took this shot on my way home before last weekend – Our little road on the hill with views over London was particularly peaceful.

Introducing… Myself!

What a self-important headline! But I thought that it might be the right thing to do, if I plan on making this blog-thing a more regular occurrence. So I have nicked these questions off my lovely friend, and fellow blogger Helene. I hate talking about myself, so this will be a ‘fun’ exercise. So without further ado, here’s bunch of questions I’ve answered about myself (sorry).

Occupation: I work for a Global design consultancy in London, in their marketing team.

Born: 7th August 1986

Living situation: I live in North East London with my lovely fiancé Joel

Interests: Blogging (I have to say that right?), taking photos of things and editing the pictures (see previous post for evidence), painting and drawing, music (in particular rock and alternative stuff, but I reckon this deserves a blog post of its own), and lots more really.

My Goal: Well, this is quite the question isn’t it. I’ve always been quite bad at setting myself tangible long-term goals, so I guess my overall goal in life is to be happy, stay curious, and continue to develop while being surrounded by the people I love. Oh, and get a Golden Retriever (or two)

Dream job as a child: Vet or horse trainer

Dream job as a teenager: Graphic designer (I would still like to learn this properly at some point – My photoshop skills have a lot to be desired!)

Favorite exercise: None? Nah, I do enjoy a bit of physical activity. At the moment I mainly do a mixture of yoga/pilates and weight training. When I was a child/teenager I used to ride horses every day, which is definitely my preferred form of exercise.

Favourite sport: Any type of pedestrian, and I love watching handball (and sometimes golf – I think it’s because it’s quite de-stressing)

Bad at: Small talk

Good at: Watching an entire TV show in a weekend

Worst trait: I’m quite impatient (Same as Helene!)

Best trait: I’m really organised. That sounds boring, but actually it’s not (Okay, maybe it is a little bit).

Favourite trait in other people: Kindness.

Best way to de-stress: Watch an entire TV show in one weekend. While flicking through Pinterest or Instagram.

I look forward to: Going on holiday in 6 (!) working days.

Listens to: Lots of rock and alternative stuff – to mention a few, there’s Depeche Mode, David Bowie, The Prodigy, Massive Attack, Mew, The Flaming Lips, Kashmir, Arcade Fire, Beck, etc. etc. Feel free to follow me on Spotify, and I’ll be happy to follow you back too!

Dance to: Depeche Mode and that ‘Blue’ song (don’t we all? The 90’s were the best)

Favourite gadget: considering the amount of time I spend with it, it must be my iPhone 6.

Favorite on Twitter: Cluedont

Favourite on Instagram: Tough one! I wrote a post about this a little while back – Check it out here

Favourite on YouTube: I have no idea! I’m not much of a YouTuber

What makes me laugh: tickles

What makes me cry: tickles

Dream life: A big house in the country with room for a few horses and some Golden Retrievers, as well as a nice city pad (and a lottery win to afford it all)

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Tonight’s blogging situation

/Ida