29 January 2009

The City of Dreaming Spires

On Saturday Mr B and I spent a freezing day exploring Oxford. We walked, we window-shopped, we sight-saw, we drank, we ate, we cinema-ed and I snapped...

a lot

so here

just for you

is our day

in pictures

Outside Christ Church College

It was so cold, but so nicely clear and bright!

Inside Christ Church Cathedral

One day, maybe, no hopefully, we'll live in a little house like this

Exeter College & the Bodleian Library

The Bridge of Sighs. I think we'll be seeing a lot more bridges like this one in May!!

I just love buildings like this!

A market stall on the high street. We were ever-so good and only window-shopped. I am very impressed with my willpower so far this month (we'll just conveniently forget about the necklace!).

We had refreshments in the 'Morse Bar' in the Randolph Hotel (named after Inspector Morse /John Thaw who frequented this bar lots). I drank a whole pot of tea (English breakfast of course) and Mr B drunk a beer made from champagne (very posh).

Then we went to the cinema and watched Valkyrie. After all the negative reviews it received I was not expecting much (even though the stellar cast excited me) but I was pleasantly surprised. As a big WW2 geek, I am happy that such an historically accurate, gutsy and sympathetic film was produced. The actors were superb, Bill Nighy especially. If you're interested in WW2, or are looking for a serious drama I recommend it.

We had a lovely day and hope to go again soon to try out this restaurant that we didn't get a chance to eat at... the queue snaked down the road outside and there was no way I was waiting an hour or two in the cold, even for a Jamie Oliver Italian. Can we go sometime soon though Mr B? Please? Pretty please?

28 January 2009

Thanking you

I would like to say a big thank you to all of you who wrote such lovely comments yesterday. It's always so difficult when a friend, furry or otherwise, passes away and it is really comforting knowing you all understand and sympathise.

Today has been easier than yesterday. This weekend we'll have a little send-off for Simba in my parents' garden.

Mr B and I had such a great time in Oxford last weekend. My photos came back from the developers today, so tomorrow I will tell you all about Oxford and share my photos (I'll be writing the post while at work of course)!

Thanks again lovely ladies.

27 January 2009


This morning we had to say goodbye to one of the sweetest little friends we have known, Simba.

On Sunday night she fell out of the hutch. We thought she was ok after the fall as she was hopping around, she just seemed a bit shocked. However yesterday evening she wasn't moving her back legs at all so we took her to the vet. He gave her painkillers and a sedative and she stayed there overnight. This morning she hadn't improved. The vet x-rayed her and saw that she had broken her back.

We held her while our Simba drifted off to sleep. She was so calm and so beautiful.

We will miss you.

26 January 2009

Blast from the Past

The first week after I joined Facebook most of my school friends added me as their friend. It was deliciously intriguing seeing what everyone looked like & what they were up to now, sometimes as long as 19 years on.

I couldn't get enough.

I was playing with sylvanian families and rainbow brite, receiving party bags on a regular basis and imagining that I would become a princess when I last saw some of these Facebook friends.

How wonderful it was to find these old friends again, after so long.

But now, a couple of years after I first joined, Facebook is not as entertaining as it once was. The initial finding friends frenzy has died and things aren't as interesting as in those first few months.
But this morning I had a friend request, from a friend from long ago. I had, I'm ashamed to say, completely forgotten her. The last time we saw each other was on my last day of my first school, when I was 7. When I clicked on her page I remembered her. She's hardly changed! How could I possibly have forgotten her? She has 2 gorgeous children now. I never would have known. When I looked through her photos I remembered I have photos of her, when we were the same age as her daughter now, and I smiled.

Facebook is just great sometimes, isn't it?

23 January 2009

I couldn't resist

Hooray I bought the necklace!

Thanks for the encouragement to buy it ladies (not that I needed much of a push)!

I hope you all have lovely weekends.

I will be exploring the towers and treasures of Oxford with my man...

Oh I do love England.

22 January 2009

The good, the bad and the not-so ugly

The Good
I am looking forward to yoga so much tonight. My back feels like one big knot. I keep shifting in my chair trying to make it click, but alas I'm no chiropractor. Stretching and rolling and lying on the wooden floor tonight will be heavenly.

Our celebratory trip to venice for my parents' ruby wedding anniversary is all booked!!!!! I am ohsoexcited!! I really cannot wait! Have any of you been to Venice? Have you got any recommendations? Can you tell just how excited I am yet? aaaaaahhhhhhh!

I am looking forward to spending a weekend with Mr B in Oxford. We will walk, go to a tearoom, enjoy dinner out somewhere nice, perhaps visit Christchurch College or the Ashmolean Museum and I will take lots of proper photos with my Minolta for your enjoyment next week.

I am loving 'her glossiness' lip gloss by Benefit. Mr B thoughtfully bought it for me for Christmas... high five Mr!

The Bad
I cut my own fringe last night. It needs improvement.

I think I prefer myself blonde but 1. There's no sun whatsoever helping my hair along in its quest for goldness. 2. The hairdresser is not embracing the credit crunch yet. Enzo (yes, my hairdresser is called Enzo, cool huh?) please realise that we are in a time of crisis and lower your prices, then I can get some artificial golden help.

I am struggling today at work. My eyes feel scratchy, I feel tired, grumpy and all the rest. I can tell how bad a day I'm having by how many times I press refresh on my hotmail in the hope of a friendly,fun, non-work message. This morning I've pressed refresh 4790 times. Not good.

The not-so ugly

How lovely is this necklace? I am trying my very best not to buy it...

21 January 2009

Lovey award

Pink Pearls & Muddy Sneakers has awarded me with this award!! Thank you PP&MS (an aside - we Brits call them trainers!) for thinking of me! Her blog is marvellous - she makes me laugh. Go and check it out!

The award states: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to three bloggers who must choose three more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I would like to give this award to:
Bama Belle

20 January 2009

Being Honest

Holly at In My Overactive Head has tagged me! Receiving this award really gave me a nice boost - thanks so much Holly!

The rules...
1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

Well, I've changed the rules eversoslightly and I asked Mr B to list 10 honest things about me! I thought this would give you some really honest, insightful points.

1. I am a Blog Addict. Yup, I may be just a tad addicted to blogging... but I do most of my blog-work while I'm supposed to be doing real work *shhh* so hopefully Mr B doesn't feel too neglected.
2. I horseride. I started learning to ride with a friend, just over 2 years ago. We go on hacks through the beautiful Berkshire countryside early on Sunday mornings. It's magical. We plod through idyllic villages and lope through forests and fields.
3. I love elephants. One of the best parts of our honeymoon was visiting the a haven for rescued elephants. On pessimistic days I prefer elephants to humans.

Taro. June 2008

4. I drive a 2-seater sports car. It's so fun, except in any abnormal weather. Then it feels like a death-trap. Not so-fun.

Windsor. Autumn 2008.

5. I love Bengal cats. After having Meisha I think I will now always own Bengals (sorry regular cats!) They are full of character and so intelligent. I will post the most fantastic You Tube video I found of some crazy Bengals - then you'll understand!

6. I achieved a merit in my Master's degree. 'Nuff said. (I was clever once!)

7. I take up 90% of the bed and use 90% of the duvet. A girl's got to keep warm!

8. I can never wake up in the morning. I am seriously like the living dead until I've had a bath or shower.

9. I love a drink called Cassis. It's fizzy blackcurrant and you can't get it in the UK. Whenever we return from Holland I weigh our luggage down bringing back new supplies.

10. I would drink martinis by the side of a pool all day long if I could. Actually Mr B, I think you'll find it's Margaritas, but Martinis will do...

Bali. June 2008.

I'd like to award:
Mrs Cup

and even though you've received it before, I still wanted to acknowledge the following ladies:
Newlywed Central
Mrs Stillettos

19 January 2009

Not me! Monday

Due to the rain last night my 6 mile journey to work this morning did not take me an hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic the entire way. British people do not let a little bit more rain than usual affect them in any way. Same can be said for snow, ice etc. We're a hardy lot.

Yesterday Mr B and I did not eat breakfast at midday then skip lunch in favour of mid-afternoon coffee and biscuits. We'd never do that. We eat healthily, 100% of the time.

I would never have to ask Mr B about something I was confused about in Hustle... even though it definitely wasn't something confusing that I would have good reason to ask him about. I never get lost in very simple storylines, never ever. (I don't have this problem with 24 you'll be pleased to hear... I'm too engaged by Jack for that.)

I wouldn't ever enjoy staying in on a Friday night. And I would never enjoy it even more by giving myself a homemade facial. No, I'm far too young, vibrant and exciting than that.

I would never stay at home ~tidying the house, duster in one hand, cup of tea in the other with one eye on So You Think You Can Dance~ instead of looking round car dealerships with Mr B (part of his new promotion is a new car, yay!). I am not stupidly pleased when the house is spick and span and of course don't enjoy time alone now and again to potter about.

What didn't you get up to? Whatever it was, I hoped your enjoyed yourselves!

18 January 2009

Under the Spotlight

Jennifer recently posted this post, where she was interviewed by one of her blog friends. Today she's interviewing me!

1. What is the last book you read?

Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie tells the story of Kambili, a teenage girl growing up in a politically unstable time in Nigeria. The book is beautifully written and deals with some rather hard-hitting topics, including the conflict between catholicism and the indigenous faiths. I couldn't put this book down and heartily recommend it, as well as Half of a Yellow Sun also by Adichie.

2. If you had to be blind or deaf, which would you be?

I'm so thankful for having such good health - I think it would be awful to loose either of these senses, but if I had to I would probably rather lose my hearing than my sight. I would hate not to be able to read, or take photographs, or go to an art exhibition. I'm quite short-sighted and wear contact lenses all the time... I sometimes dream about losing more of my sight - it's definitely something I'm fearful of.

3. What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

I'm afraid it's not at it's best at the moment! We have orange juice (no bits, Mr B doesn't like bits), carbonated water, butter, eggs, tomato ketchup, salad cream, mustard, tartare sauce, soured cream, marmalade, milk, gammon, vegetables (leeks, red cabbage, swede, carrots, broccoli), fritesaus (Dutch mayo that you eat with chips), amarula, artichoke hearts and some eye drops that have to be kept cold!

4. Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and what are they like?

We have a rescue kitty, she's called Meisha. She is a 5 year old spotted Bengal and we took her home with us in December 2006. She was very badly mistreated and it's taken us this entire time to get her to come out of her shell. I still don't think we've seen all of her character yet, even though she's come so far already! She's doing amazingly and is the most wonderful cat. She has glitter in her fur (honestly!) and is a very pampered princess. She talks to us constantly - Bengals have a range of sounds from normalish meiows to clicks, calls, wails... I can't even begin to describe some of the noises she makes!!

5. Describe your ideal day

Mr B asked me this only the other day!! I think he may be planning something....

My ideal day would be spent with Mr B. We would have some nice breakfast of croissants and coffee and go into London. We'd wander around Soho and Covent Garden and see the street performers, we might pop into Selfridges for a window-shop (if we're lucky we might buy a few bits too!), then we'd find a nice place to eat lunch - maybe a burger and a milkshake at Ed's. We might go to an art gallery, or museum, or to see a show. Then we'd go for cocktails and dinner before walking back to catch our train home.

So now it's your turn! If you want to be interviewed, leave me a comment to tell me and be sure to leave your email address. I'll then email you five questions and you must answer them on your blog. Then it's your turn to offer to interview others (in which case you will send them five questions)!

16 January 2009

In High Spirits

This week:

*Mr B’s promotion was finalized – I’m so proud of him
*We will be celebrating him this weekend
*My hair actually vaguely did what I wanted
*I met some lovely new yoga class attendees
*I’m happy you’re all liking the new look of my blog – thanks to Lyndsay!
*I’ll be using a voucher from Mr B for a mini-makeover in Benefit tomorrow
*Mama told us that her & my dad would like to take Mr B & me to Venice to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in May!!!!!
*This wonderful lady is back today
*We received lovely thank you cards from 2 of our nephews
*I’ll be spending the whole weekend with Mr B as he’s not working, woohoo
*I can post big photos (see below, oooh!)
*Jack's back
*We received 3 free items in our online grocery order

…it’s the little things

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

15 January 2009


From my Father:

Saskia, you blog is really super - you have great imagination and lovely ideas. I think you should start writing (and illustrating) children's books. Could do well ...
It's just your jolly-old spelling and lack of punctuation at times - usually missing apostrophes, that 'blot the blog'. Blog-blots recently spotted: DEFINITELY and NEW YEAR'S EVE ...!

Dear Papa,

I like my blog-blots. They show that I make mistakes (unlike you... how do you do it?) and that I am busy (which is surely a good thing?). Of course I am not, in any way, embarrassed (NB 'r' x2, 's' x2) that my former masters-achieving, thesis-writing self has slipped so much in 4 years, and in such a public place too (NB extra 'o' - I'm doing well).

Your idea about me writing children's books is undoubtedly biased (I am your only and therefore best daughter after all) but it is something I'd love to do... wouldn't it be a fantastic job? I will definitely have to ponder on some ideas. The best idea I have at the moment is to write about Meishathecat

That face alone would sell stackloads... wouldn't it? Perhaps, when I've written my first story's draft, you could edit it? We would be a dream-team. Lots of love, Saskia x

PS Do you like the new look?

Fell Short

As promised, here is my review!

Seeing Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych was fun, but I came away with mixed feelings. The dancers, dancing, set and costumes were absolutely superb.

However, the show seemed to rely on the audience having already watched the film and I would imagine someone watching the show without having seen the film having a really difficult job keeping up with what was going on. Also, the show included almost every scene from the film - these scene changes, though very imaginative and clever, happened every couple of minutes making the production feel disjointed. I don't think all of these scene changes were necessary and I don't think enough time was spent adapting the film for a stage production - the show would have benefitted from less scenes and more continuity and engagement.

I loved the performers' excitement, which was infectious, especially the finale which saw the audience all clapping and dancing along!

I love the film, but it's not one of my all-time favourites, and my feeling is that if you really, really love the film I think, unfortunately, you might be disappointed with the musical.

My all-time favourite, Guys and Dolls ~ this one might surprise Mr B I think his money would be on Chicago being my favourite! ~ has not yet been surpassed.

14 January 2009

I carried a watermelon

Tonight I'm seeing this!!
Full report coming tomorrow!

13 January 2009

I'm loving...


I have a very active and wondering imagination. Part of me, well a lot of me, still feels guilty when I give a particular cuddly toy more attention than the others.

My imagination does not extend to scary stories, horror films, monsters, bogeymen etc. I don't know why but I just don't get scared. Ever.

Mr B, however, cannot watch horror films. He hates them. He hates them more than, possibly, anyone else I know. He refuses to watch them. They affect him greatly. But not me! I take great pleasure in laughing at his fear when he catches a glimpse of an advert for say, The Ring, on tv. Sometimes I pretend to jump in a tense and scary film scene when I know he's feeling frightened, just to see him jump out of his skin.

But recently, well ever since I started driving across a train crossing each day on my way to work and imagining my certain death, I've begun frightening myself with other imaginings.

Last night, as I put the car in the garage, in the pitch dark, a thought came over me. As I drive in someone very scary could slam the door shut behind me, trapping me in my garage. As well as this horrifying revelation, said scary-person would also now have my keys and could ransack my house, possibly even letting Meisha escape in the process. Perhaps I should take the garage key off my house keys, so that the scary person wouldn't be able to unlock my front door. Perhaps I should try perfecting getting out of my car extra-quickly, so I wouldn't be trapped. Or perhaps I should stop these nonsensical thoughts and carry on as normal.

Mr B's paranoia is most-definately rubbing off on me...

12 January 2009

Not me! Monday

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Mr B and I certainly did.

Littlesack over at Navigating the Quarterlife has been playing 'Not me! Monday' for a while now and her "not me's" always make me laugh, so I thought I would join in! The idea is you just list a lot of things you "didn't" (read: actually did) do this weekend/past week.

This week I didn't...

skip the first yoga lesson of the year because I wanted to eat a late dinner with Mr B instead, I'm far too motivated and focused for that.

I also certainly didn't get completely paranoid about driving across the level crossing on my way to work, imagining my certain, inexplicable death-by-train, causing me to drive a little too fast over the crossing (to escape the aforementioned and imagined oncoming train). I have much more sense and reason than that.

I was definitely not very excited at all about going to the IMAX for the first time to see Madagascar 2... I'm much too grown-up and sensible for that. And I unquestionably wouldn't laugh much, much more than the 7 year old girl sitting next to me, no way.

Of course I didn't already forget to write in my gratitude journal for 2 days in a row this weekend and write both entries last night, postdated. I would never break a new years resolution in just 5 days, not me!

I most certainly didn't bother Mr B for a cup of tea incessantly in my best whining voice until he caved in and made me one (probably just to stop me saying "plu-eeese") to then forget about it and, out of pride, drink it cold. I am absolutely, categorically and undeniably much more mature and agreeable than that.

And finally, I would never hang out of a moving car just to take this photo, no not me!

09 January 2009


Thank goodness it's Friday. This has felt like the longest week.

I'm at home after a day when the hours were not kind to me. The minute hand was most certainly on a go-slow. I'm now celebrating being at home by eating the champagne truffles Mr B bought me for Christmas *yum* and drinking tea *yum* (I know, not a very glamourous combination, but going down very well all the same).

Tomorrow, while Mr B is out working hard, I will be lying in, reading, going into London to meet Mama, one of my oldest friends and her mum for lunch. I can't wait! My mum and I will then probably hit Old Bond Street. I will leave all money and debit cards at home, to resist temptation, and will definately be avoiding Selfridges for the same reason :(

On Sunday Mr B and I are going to the IMAX to see Madagascar 2... I am so excited about this that it's quite ridiculous!! I almost died laughing watching this for the first time (I am 9 years old at heart)!

Because I seem almost incapable of posting without a photo, here is a photo of some items in my house that I adore - my Oma's old tins... aren't they wonderful?

I hope you all have fabulous weekends!!

To work

6 miles
25 minutes

And I see

1 Bentley
1 Aston Martin DB9
2 Porsches
3 dogs

and a lollipop lady

...Only in Surrey!

08 January 2009

One day

One day I will have a house with wooden floors, big windows, [a plasma screen for Mr B], and pale walls that aren’t magnolia (we lived for too long in rentedmagnoliaaccommodation). One day this house will have flow-ey, prett-ey curtains, a picture wall and the space to display my old treasures like my Oma’s Pfaff sewing machine. One day I’ll have a garden where the Meesh can stalk, hunt and play, where I can keep chickens and where I will tend a vegetable patch (honestly I will!).

This means that one day we will have to move (probably far away from London) in order to have this dream (have you seen the house prices round here? Completely crazy).

In the meantime I’m taking a lot of pleasure from moving things around and giving new life to what others think is old tat. Amazing what colourful roses from Mr B and my newly-invented basket - with a few un-christmassy Christmas birds perched on top – will do for our bedroom.

06 January 2009

Blushing cheeks

The Truly Beautiful Kate has given me 2 awards!! Thanks Kate, what an honour!

I am giving the Truly Beautiful award to you...

yes you!

You who read my blog and brighten up my day with your comments are all deserving of this award!


The Happy New Year award!

Here are the rules. You must be a true lover of the New Year to receive this award. The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with the New Year.
List 5 things that you love about the New Year. If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space.
Pass the award along to as many people as you like. That can be 1 or 50. It's up to you! But keep the New Year cheer going.
Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving a comment on their site. Also, link back to the person who gave you the award.

Things I am loving about the New 2009 are:

  • Going skiing with some best friends of the Bees next month to Austria

  • Hopefully *fingers crossed* getting a new, exciting & more creative job in the next few months

  • Celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary (how quickly is this coming round??!)

  • Going on a chilled-out, romantic break to a Greek Island with my scrummy husband

  • Getting a new digital SLR and finally moving away from film *gasp* What will my Minolta think?

I'm passing the Happy New Year award to:


Mrs Cup

Newlywed Central


I'd love to hear what you love about this New Year!

05 January 2009

What I woke up to this morning!

Back to Reality

The decorations have all been taken down (except for some rogue tinsel missed by my colleague)

There’s nothing on TV any more… come on The Hills when are you starting up again? And when will The City start? I can’t hang on much longer!! (oops, I guess my guilty secret is out now)

I am currently in the office, sat in front of my mega-sized acer screen (and will be for 43 hours this week) typing, clicking, typing, clicking (it’s exciting stuff!)

The spammers are back in full force, no thanks I don’t want an MBA, Rolex, or any “enhancement”

It’s cold, really cold, and I can’t stay snuggled up in cosy houses any longer *sniff*

But it’s a New Year and in the spirit of new beginnings, even though I haven’t made proper resolutions before, this year I have! They are:
  • To drink more water. I’m doing well with this one so far. There was absolutely no point in trying to make myself give up caffeine so I thought I’d just dilute it a lot!
  • To bring a packed lunch every day to work. I’m going to be strict with myself and if I don’t bring a lunch in I will go hungry… that will soon teach me not to take my own food to work! Carlos deli I will miss you… lots
  • To be strict with my budget
  • And finally, thanks to Lulu at The Dirty Martini Diaries, I will be starting a gratitude journal from today. The idea is to write down 5 things each day that you are thankful for, no matter how small they may be.

Today I am thankful for:

Wonderful friends and family who made our Christmas and New Year so special

Having a job in a nice office with limitless free tea

Having the most lovely little home that is warm and cosy

The quiet white blanket that covered my world this morning (please snow, come again tonight!)

My wonderful supportive husband who I love unconditionally

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." -Melody Beattie

02 January 2009

The Bees Christmas... in pictures

Chinese food for just the two of us on Christmas eve

Christmas morning
We woke up in Ascot...

Mr B spoilt me
Then we travelled to Dunstable

My father handed out presents

Mama with her gifts

Look at the Christmas Pudding burn!! That's what 30 year old rum will do!

On Boxing Day we travelled to Wilden

The Three Kings

My Boxing Day playmate

27th saw us travel to the Royal Opera House to see the Nutcraker... it was magical.

28th arrived and we drove up the M1 to North Killingholme

Mr B's dessert skills

NYE 2008 was special. We spent it with Mr & Mrs B (Snr.)

I love Mr B's jaunty hat

Happy New Year everyone!