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Posts Tagged ‘purchases’

Three items arrived in the mail for me today! How exciting! I hardly ever get mail so it’s always a happy day when something bearing my name, other than a bill, drops through the letter slot. I received a glorious length of Liberty lawn fabric (quite thin, and $30(!!!) with the exchange rate, I’ll have to wear a crinoline and probably a camisole to “preserve modesty”), a pattern for a short-skirted dress from 1968, and this 40s Czech bead necklace with beautiful red translucent beads.

The pattern looks mildly complicated, but then I’m not 100% able to finish a commercial pattern without help yet, so any of them will be mildly complicated. In a few weeks, a sewing class opens up in my neighborhood, for £35 I can go in once a week for five weeks and get help on what I’m making. I’m not sure that’s worth it for me, yet.

Last night I got stuck on the pattern I’m making now, the white and yellow capped-sleeve version at the left. I couldn’t figure out what understitching meant and the glossary was no help. My mom was able to explain it via IM; free tech support is always better than paid tech support. The pattern has no buttons, no zippers, and is definitely a good place to start; it has already taught me how to understitch and a new technique for joining at the shoulders. I’m also pleased that even with all the mistakes I made and ripping out of stitches, I didn’t have a single hissy fit. Progress! It’s taken me two days already but I’m pretty sure I’ll have it done by today, at least I hope I will. Blech, it’s 1:30 p.m., I’d better get working on it!

In the coming days several more patterns will arrive but I will have to prioritize or I’ll overwhelm myself like when I ordered 10,000 patterns while in Florida. At least now I can make it all at my own pace.

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Last week I purchased the Limited Edition flavor Mascarpone, Passion Fruit & Truffles on impulse, lured in by my love of mascarpone cheese and passion fruit.

Due to consuming 1 bottle of 7.5% cider, this was a bit of a tipsy impulse buy, and that’s all I can come up with for my near-instant dislike of the flavor. It led me, also, to find the UK Häagen-Dazs website, to click on the “contact us” link, and to write an email all about how I thought it was an unsuccessful flavor combination and that I wanted my £4.79 (exorbitant!) back. The next afternoon, when I decided to give it another go, I found it unutterably delicious and finished off the pint. *shrug*

Today, the boyfriend came laughing upstairs and told me that Häagen-Dazs had sent me £5! I didn’t know if I would hear back from them, and thought that maybe if I did they would send me a coupon for a free pint (I had high hopes of several free pints). Instead they sent me a £5 postal order! How amazing is that!? So I have to write them an email thanking them for their good customer service and to tell them that I will continue buying their products (duh).

Brits, complaining doesn’t always get spit in your food. Try it once in a while.

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Damn, dudes! 10-14 days to be delivered from Israel to London when you say it was shipped today? I doubt it was shipped today. Though, come to think of it, maybe it’s Saturdays and not Sundays that the post offices are closed?

Going on an awesome group ride today – only ladies! 50 Fixed Women ride (though many of the ladeez won’t be riding fixed gear bicycles) from Buckingham Palace to Richmond Park where we’ll bbq or maybe just picnic. I’m bringing mangoes. Boys/stalkers/others may meet us at the Coach and Horses south of the river when we get there.

I’m trying to be proactive and get back on the bike ASAP but have a bit of nervousness b/c I’ll be riding about 7 miles by myself. Thank god it’s Sunday morning.

Coffee, toast, I’m off!

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I just made a giant jar of peanut butter-banana-honey conglomerate for a friend using Skippy creamy obtained from the American Food Market off Holland Park Road (just west of where it becomes HPR from Bayswater, it’s on your right if you’re going west, there is a pub and across the street from the pub is the shop). I bought two containers of peanut butter because we love it so and I didn’t want to run out quickly. As for peanut butter, when it is not “easily” obtained, crunchy will do in a pinch but it is better for snacking. For sammiches, creamy ONLY!

Today I rode another 17-something miles, there and back, from Ealing to Monmouth Road in 7 Dials, near Covent Garden, ostensibly to purchase coffee. I balked, finding nowhere near to lock up the bike, then dithered this way and that until I decided to go back to the dial and have a cider at the pub. I parked myself on the ground outside and read The Amber Spyglass for a bit. A word of warning to travelers in England: Even in May, even at 3 p.m., even on a lovely warm day, if you sit in the shade in short sleeves, the breeze will come for you. It is shocking!

Went round Oxford Street to Liberty on Great Marlborough and purchased summer blush (Maui) and looked for a bathing suit. I know this is England and I know I probably won’t wear one very frequently, but mine is shot to hell and I need a new one. But I failed, there, so I’ll have to look again. I really want this one but feel like I should wait until it’s on sale.

It’s awesome that I went out today; I was scared to pieces, there were a few big roundabouts, but even on those it’s nothing like being on the big highways in the States so I don’t worry so much. I was supremely pleased with myself for finding my way there and back alone. It lets me know that I can do that in the future.

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(Sung to the tune of a particular Van Halen song)

Got the headset in the mail about 30 mins ago and I’m so excited because last night, just before we left for West Drinks at The Crabtree (which looks different, is that b/c we only see it at night or b/c it’s not blue but possibly burgundy now?), I won the auction for these bike items which are EXACTLY what I needed for my bike. Well, we’re hoping that all the parts in there fit my bike but the most important parts should. Anything that I don’t need can be sold, thereby lowering the final purchase price.

The dude with the bike bits lives in Eastbourne and preferred pickup but would post everything for £20. For about £25 I could go out to Eastbourne, visit the sea, poke around, pick up my bits & go home. That is, if there’s anything in Eastbourne worth looking at. Turns out the guy works in Central London and has offered to save me postage by bringing them in next Tuesday! Estoy contenta! I’m relatively certain that by Thursday of next week my bike will be put together and I can show it around the other bike nerds at West Drinks. Whee!

I tried to make pancakes this morning but they were really just flat little cakes. That’s what happens when you accidentally read the ingredient measurement from one line down when adding the sugar (note to self: 2T sugar does not in any way shape or form approximate 130g of sugar). I can’t even eat them, they’re way too sweet. Que pena!

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I’m going to England tomorrow! I have to get up at 5 a.m. to make the flight! I’m bringing nothing but a carry-all bag! I can’t wait! This Saturday there is going to be a massive social ride (that means a planned bike route that isn’t a race) in London, I believe it’s sponsored, and is being co-run by a regularly tweedy group of London riders. Tweed Club? Yes, I think that’s it. Unfortunately, I have barely anything that would be considered acceptable wear, it’s down to tomorrow to scour thrift stores for woolen plus fours, harris tweed jackets, flat caps, fair isle jumpers, alpaca coats, merino wool team jerseys, cycling skirts and perhaps a jaunty cape for the ladies, cravats or ties for gentlemen, and of course a hip flask of brandy. Granted, we will find the brandy somewhere other than the thrift stores.

Does anyone know what in the world a fair isle jumper is? Oh, wait, jumper=sweater in England. That reminds me that I left a sweater behind with the boyfriend that I think will do nicely! I’m going as a boy, I can’t be bothered to spruce it up lady-style. Although maybe it would be fun to wear a cycling skirt, whatever that looks like. Perhaps next year.

Today I’m after alfajores to bring to England, porras y chocolate to eat in Spain, and perhaps that elusive pair of argyle knee socks which will match my cap and my sweater. Do I need to match? Maybe if I have every single item of clothing mis-matched I’ll win one of the prizes. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass to be a thin female, when you like to wear boy clothes is one of them. I can’t find any clothes in thrift stores that fit me, nothing fits because no one’s gotten A, nor will they ever get T, so I end up squashed into a tiny little button-up that gapes at the front. I suppose I’m the only one complaining about that. Eventually I’ll need to get fitted for real clothes at a real store selling clothes to real boys.

Returning to Spain on January 28th, I then turn around and go back a scant week later, for a week. When I return that time, I have vague plans to go see Lisbon with my American friend. As always, check back for updates!

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I’m in Spain! Wow! I wasn’t able to write during the first week, in London, as I am generally unable to when on vacation. That’s basically what being in London was like, going on vacation and now that I’m in Spain I’m supposed to be trying to start a life – however short or long a time I’ll be here. But what a life to try and start! Nothing is even remotely the same as any hispanic neighborhood I’ve lived in and I don’t know how easily I can fall back on English should things get hairy. I know I don’t want that, I need to keep speaking Spanish as often as possible, but it’s a scary prospect at first.

Just before the plane touched down in Madrid, I was offered refreshments and chose a coffee. In the two seconds between the man setting down a covered cup and asking me a question, I realized, “Uh oh”. You betcha, “Will that be euroes or Stirling?” Shit. I have neither, only dollars. I grudgingly handed the man a $20 and was returned 10 euros!!! They used rather draconian conversion rates of $2/£ then converted £ to euros. Basically, I paid $8 for a cup of airline coffee. Awesome, eh? At least this was the last in a long line of charges, hassles and difficulties spanning Friday to Sunday. All of it was travel-related, most of it London’s obscenely expensive Tube service. It’s NOT the NYC MTA, my friends, and we need to stop complaining about the “high price” of service. Imagine spending up to $3.50 on one leg of your day’s journey if you live anywhere but central Manhattan. Oh, and you can’t use it past 11 p.m. Oh, and you’ll pay double for bus tickets if you don’t use their little card that you have to pay a $3 deposit to use.

Back to the hassles and charges, I didn’t realize that I was bringing “too much” to Spain and was levied a £61 fee for my excess weight at the ticket counter. Yikes! This was the penultimate in the series, the night before when I’d gone to email my roommate I found out that I’d been somehow misreading the time of departure from London the whole time and I was to leave from a distant airport at 9:30 in the morning. Tube service doesn’t start until 6 a.m. thus I was obliged to take a £45 cab ride, but I made it on time! To anyone traveling in London – never take the first quote a cab service offers you, they would have charged me £60 if I hadn’t decided to try and look elsewhere.

When I arrived on Sunday, around 1:30 p.m., my roommate was visiting her parents for the weekend, she had Monday off as it was a Spanish national holiday. The guy whom I was supposed to call spoke in extremely rapid Spanish (dang, all those emails in Spanish to my roommate gave her a vaulted opinion of my abilities) that I basically misunderstood. Turns out he wasn’t in her apartment but close by and would be there shortly. It was raining, I had everything I brought with me hanging off my person, and I had to make two trips to nearby public telephones to try to sort everything out. It was, indeed, sorted, I was explained the intricacies of the apt. that he could remember (in English), then he blessedly left me to myself. I took a shower and regrettably slept the rest of the daylight hours away. With no internet (improper converter, no adapter for my computer), no books [I’d just finished the one Ollie gave me (The Back Passage, a hilarious gay porn “traditional English country manor murder mystery”)], and no television (it requires two buttons pushed, one on the set itself and one I wouldn’t have expected to push on the remote), I decided I’d go ahead and take a walk in the rain.

Being unsure what would be open for business, I decided to stick close to the apartment. Not much nearby was open but for gaming parlors and a few fried snacks/beer joints. This is not the swanky neighborhood. My new roommate didn’t come home until quite late from visiting her parents in the north, near the border with France. The bolt lock to my apartment door must be turned four times to open or lock it from the outside, that was quite a strange thing to find out. The rest of the apartment is small and definitely different than American tastes expect. Half kitchen, two electric burners, no oven. Whoops, there go my dreams of learning to bake better. But it will be fine for the two months I am here right now and until I decide whether I want to stay in Madrid or go home or to Barcelona. I need to get a job, first! I’ll go bonkers if I’m here for two months without some way to fill my time.

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