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March. 26. 2013. 01:25 pm

Rejuvenation

In the time since my last post I’ve been to Poland twice, back to Canada for close to a month and realised that regardless of the plan I’ve set for myself a wrench thrown in the mix can seriously change everything.

While I’ve never suggested I’m the best student out there; as I don’t read enough, have a rubbish memory for numbers and names, and generally procrastinate as though I’m being paid to do it. I have however, never denied that I’m on occasion bright and can usually get by with decent grades even if by the skin of my teeth.

This year I have been plagued by self doubt, a genuine lack of motivation, and my fantastic ability to over-think the most simple of tasks. These things have compromised my degree, and have slowly started to eat away at the core of me. In the last few weeks I’ve made plenty of jokes to about how stressed I’ve been and how I’ve felt as thou I was drowning in…well, life.

However, after a 3 day reprieve from university work, I feel human again. The last 3 days have been spent chatting, cooking, and just enjoying my time. I almost feel like a new woman with a newly lit fire under her backside. With one Assignment and 3 exams left to this leg of my university career I’m now excited to blow them out of the water and move on to the next stage of my life…perhaps one where I get to cook, read, and knit without the guilt of reading texts and course work hanging over my head.

November. 01. 2012. 12:30 pm

The Moustached Man Trappers

Ladies!

We’ve all come to the realisation that moustaches have become a fad of the hipster population. However, we all have a Grand Dad, Father, or Uncle that grows a fierce Mo that has made him the man you’ve come to know and love.

This November I thought I would pay tribute to the great men in my life (not by growing a moustache, as mine is a wee bit sparse), by supporting Movember in the effort to educate the masses about man cancer, and maybe raising a little cash to help the fight. At least one day a week I’ll be adventuring out of the house (shocking I know) for a few drinks wearing a moustache and preaching about the benefits of using sex toys to milk a prostate, the need to fondle balls, and the importance of regular check ups.

We all love the men we have in our lives and this is just one more way to help them stay healthy and be around so we can love them for longer. 

The Moustached Man Trappers aren’t looking for huge donations; we’re looking for a minimum £20’s in donations for the month from each team member. That’s some peoples coffee/tea budget for the week, and if you’re not keen to donate the money yourself I’m happy to help with fundraising efforts (bake sales, begging parents, and the propositioning of strangers).

Instead of focusing on money we’re focusing on the public support of MoBros. What could be more fun than a table of girls looking hot, drinking cocktails, all while sporting a Mo?

I’ll be placing an order for a couple costume moustaches this week and would be happy to include other people’s orders as well. However, I would love to encourage creativity in the moustache department. 

For Team information check out our MoSista Team Page or get in touch with JB or myself. 

October. 08. 2012. 02:05 pm 1 note

Getting in the #movember spirit! Ladies team ‘The Moustached Man Trappers’ #TMMT is looking for members! (Taken with Instagram)

September. 28. 2012. 04:25 pm

Starting over… (Taken with Instagram)

August. 15. 2012. 12:19 pm 2 notes

What is an expat anyway?

So this experience of expat blogging has been eye opening with regard to myself.

I’ve come to realise that I have incredible commitment issues and the attention span of a gnat. When I had started this I had made the promise to myself that I would continue with this regardless of how difficult I found it; and it has been difficult. In fact not just the blogging has been difficult the entire expat experience has been a challenge I wasn’t anticipating.

Recently, while at a networking event for people within the travel industry, I was approached by an individual asking me what had brought me to the gathering. I explained the story as the person knew the acquaintance who had introduced me to these meet-ups. At the end of the quick tale the person had taken two things away from what I had told him. Firstly, that I was Canadian (as though my accent wasn’t enough); Secondly, that I considered myself to be a Canadian expat living in London. On this second point he had come to the conclusion that I must be mistaken. In order to clarify the information I had provided he asked me where else I had lived outside of Canada.  Confused, I said “nowhere as of yet but the future could take me anywhere”. This was countered with, “Oh, you think you’re an expat, and you’ve only lived in one location out side of Canada?” This confused me. As I’m a diligent student, I went home and researched this concept of being an expatriate. Shockingly enough <sarc> you only need to reside out side of your home country regardless of duration and location (Wiki will explain this if you’re sceptical).

Needless to say this encounter got me thinking about the types of people I meet while living abroad and how I’ve approached living in London.

I like to believe that I’ve immersed myself inside of London. I’ve made the conscious choice to not be a tourist living abroad. When I read of people fleeing their small town for the thrill and lights of the big city, the story seems to go one of two ways; people lose themselves to the city or they integrate and go native.

In my perspective the first scenario is the tourist living abroad. These people are seduced by the glamour of the big city; they see this as one notch on their bedpost of life. They live and work to party, they have some image to uphold and eventually they will have “finished” with the city only to move onto greener pastures or to move home and have the same boring life they had prior to moving.

The second scenario is what could be seen as becoming the Jane Goodall of the city. Immersing oneself in the culture, but laying roots and creating a home within the environment. While it may seem boring to live in a colossal city like London and not “take full advantage” of the social opportunities it presents; there are the more subtle advantages to this subdued lifestyle. Familiarity, community, and comfort all fall within this way of life. It’s taken me two years to really reach the point where I feel more at home in London that I ever thought I could. I’ve reached a point where when I travel; I look forward to returning to the comfort of my little bubble.

While I fully understand that these are gross generalisations and there are always deviations from the norm in my experience these seem to be the two most prominent types of expat I run into and ”travellers” (not the gypsy kind) are a whole different breed of individual. But that’s for a different day. 

April. 06. 2012. 10:01 am 1 note

Posting this on the off chance anyone would like to know my obsession with photos of JB eating burgers. 

This is honestly what keeps me going some days. Knowing that in the future I’ll have the opportunity to see my sister meticulously remover her rings, tie her hair back, roll up her sleeves, and hunt her prey eat a burger. 

April. 05. 2012. 06:17 pm 1 note

The Bennett’s had Birthdays

For those of you unaware, I started on my downward journey towards 30 this week in February. (This post has been an incredibly long time coming…let’s just dive in - and I’m fully aware that one’s mid to late 20s are not old…It does however make my skin crawl that my Father jokes that I’m his daughter that’s almost 30).

While I’m not tremendously keen on birthday celebrations - primarily because of horrible past experiences. I, against my better judgement decided to have a wee get together to celebrate my voyage towards senility.

After a small melt down (which most of you will know (and likely hate), prefaces many of my personal social situations. I have a knack for setting my heart on, jeans that don’t quite fit, shirts that escaped the wash, new makeup techniques, and fancy hair. These generally lead to disaster and result in me wearing my fat day jeans, a shirt that I should have picked in the first place, runny smudged makeup that needs washing off, and wet hair. Fortunately, and unlike last year, my meltdown occurred the day before the party; leaving the day of celebration for just that.

Thankfully they evening was a smashing success! We started the evening in our living room with a Champagne toast and scalding hot oven baked snacks, and progressed with 12 of us eating dinner at a lovely Italian kitchen up the road, which was then followed by drinks, more people, some more drinks, and Kebabish. For those of you unfamiliar with the many delicacies London has to offer. One that very seriously tops the list is a late night Kebab. Everyone has there favourites (JB and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this place just down for the Blues Kitchen in Camden) and then everyone has the less than perfect place that is mere moments from your watering hole. Kebabish is just that place.

The night flew by, and as usual we were all on top form. Fiona was her regular irresistible self, flitting around like a social butterfly. JB as usual was tossing her bacon-mones around the pub, with men falling at her feet. I had so much fun, it felt like it could have gone on all night, which it did! I found myself awake until the early hours of the next afternoon. After breakfast with this the last few stragglers, I finally had the chance to get a few hours of shuteye.

As usual JB has provided me with the most incredible cards. The first being a Hannah Montana card, which sang. I laughed so hard I cried. (Ps. Click through any of the card if you want to know more about them; with the exception of the Hannah Montana card. Disney is everywhere…we know they own her, go to Hallmark if you want one.)

 

The second card (as usual) designed by Spike Milligan was heartfelt, loving, and was filled with willingness to turn a blind eye to murder.

More recently JB celebrated her day of birth. Her birthday, being the day immediately following St. Patrick’s Day, tends to lend itself to long drawn out celebrations involving a lot of recovery and pain. This year the choice was made to celebrate the weekend after, this allowed us ample time to celebrate the day where everyone if not Irish themselves will likely wake to find they’d had a wee bit of Irish in them (keep in mind I’m talking about Guinness, Baileys, Jameson’s, or the perfect trifecta an Irish car bomb). This was true to form for JB and myself, waking up on British Mothers Day/JB DAY, with tender noggins and the everlasting question…”WHY did I drink THAT much Guinness?” it really does horrible things to a person’s body from the inside out, it’s such a pity it goes down so well! 

I think it’s fair to remind everyone these photos were taken at noon on the 17th. 

  

JB DAY part Deux: Blue themed, was meant to be any number of things time changes, food, drink, and fun. It turned out to be one filled with delayed trains, forgotten burgers, double booking, and speedy cab rides. Despite these things the night was great. To be fully honest I wish I could have traded birthday parties with JB. She had great conversation, a great table, at a great bar. I know she was a little disappointed with how the entire evening panned out. In the end I was able to make her cry her eyes out over her incredible awesome birthday gift and even better birthday card. Shes my favourite person, seeing her cry is like angels singing inside of my brain. 

  

April. 04. 2012. 11:13 pm 2 notes

We all know about ‘Jerked Chicken’, I wonder if this comes in a jerked option as well?

London has the most incredible shopping selection. Doing the food shopping can be such an adventure!!!

March. 14. 2012. 02:19 am 1 note

Photo Booth snaps from Plus Hostels at TNT’s Travel Show on the 3rd.

This weeks plans involve: Blog post (Thursday or Friday), UNBELIEVABLE amounts of Uni work, cleaning of the house/more laundry than may every be possible and resting of the fractured right foot and sprained left ankle.

Saturday being St. Patricks Day is a write off of colossal proportions. Woe is me. 

March. 08. 2012. 06:17 pm 1 note

Travel Show, Territorial Ignorance, and TARDIS’

I’ve placed all the links in here to be CLICKED! Each one will lead you somewhere related to the post. Some special and some informative. 

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So last weekend JB and I attended the TNT Travel Show in Earl’s Court. While normally I look for every opportunity to avoid trade shows, I figured “what the heck; it wont be that bad, eh?” With this positive mentality, the incentive of foreign beer and time and place to meet Lele, JB and I ventured from our lair and headed west.

At this point I should probably digress and apologise for being the tardiest person alive. If there is a social aspect to our meeting I will guaranteed be I a minimum of 10 minutes late. The odds are more likely to lean in favour of me being 30 minutes late. It’s unfortunately something that can’t really be helped but it comes in terribly handy when planning a surprise party (for me…not other people) and I usually arrive fashionably late to parties; seldom am I the first, and never the last to arrive.

Right, where was I? West…

JB and I had the most incredible train journey on the way to meet Lele (If you’re ever looking she can continuously be found at underexperiment.ca). As we do, we get on the tube grab a seat and relax for the duration of our journey. JB has the most amazing luck sitting down next to a couple that could possibly (meaning probably not) be from Essex (I’m told the whole things sounds very East London as well…but really lets just go with Essex). Let’s also keep in mind that it’s 1:15 in the afternoon; meanwhile, the man in the couple starts cracking open beers (which I will remind everyone is illegal, tut tut tut) and essentially makes an ass of himself.  At one point he gets up to leave his beer bottle on the platform and someone sit in his seat. His wife glares at this new man, and Mr. Winner staggers over to start yelling “SON! SON! That’s MY seat SON! That’s mine…” as though he’s specially booked his public transport. As well, the guy Mr. Winner is yelling at is about the same age as him. At this point I’m beyond interested in what’s going on. Needless to say my iPad was open to make notes as opposed to playing Tetris as I had intended. The highlight of the journey was when Mr. Winner starts slurring in the direction of an Asian couple that were standing near him.

———-

The conversation goes as follows:

Mr. W: Konnichiwa

Asian Dude: (Looks Confused)

Mr. W: KOOOONNNIICHHIIIIWAAA

Asian Dude: HUH?!?

Mr. W: KOOOONNNIIICHHIIIWAAA. You’re Japanese.

Asian Dude: Ummmm… (looking VERY confused)

Mr. W: I’m saying HELLO. Aren’t you Japanese?

Asian Dude: (In PERFECT English – perhaps better than Mr. W) Nah, Mate. I’m not Japanese.

Mr. Winner and his lady person get up and exit the train.

Asian Dude’s lady person: I get that [kind of stuff] ALL the time in London.

Seriously. GOLDEN moment in my London transport adventures, it was amazing. Clearly Mr. W failed to receive the memo reminding him that the UK is a big ol’ melting pot and people can not only look different from him and still speak English/be English/or from ANY other country in the world.

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Back to the real story, JB and I meet up with Lele (tremendously late) and head to the travel show. 

TNT put on one heck of a show.  As far as trade shows go it was on the small side of what I’m used to, it was filled with friendly people, incredible information, and a very diverse showing of music, vendors and presenters. In retrospect I wish I had shown up earlier and taken in more of the lectures.  However, I’m not sure if it was just my shark eye but the yellow halogen lights were exhausting; I’m not sure I cold have made it much longer myself. Other than the lights, my only critique for the entire event was how unbelievably HOT it was in the venue (but again there is a very real chance I was the only person running hot that day).

After taking in the vendors filling our purses with leaflets, memberships, pens, and filling our shoes with itchy feet, we met up with the ever lovely and fellow Canadian Marie from EuroTripTips (If you’re unfamiliar with her blog you should get well acquainted, just click the link). We represented the Canadian contingent at Travel Massive (Quick How to Guide if you’re interested in becoming one of us). TM was full of people, conversation and as these things go more questions of, “what’s your twitter name” than “what’s your name”. I’m not sure if it’s something I can really get comfortable with, perhaps it’s because they are one in the same for me…maybe I should consider branding my twitter.

As the night moved along, the party gained momentum, and about 50 people.  After moving from The Pembroke to O’Neill’s for some food, we ladies parted ways.

In the end it was a quite night, but an overall-awesome day. JB and I have taken very quickly to Lele and Marie. We’re not sure they understand what that means for them; poor girls don’t know what they’re in for yet, we Bennett’s are a special breed! We’ve all started planning possible ladies trips and speculating about future adventures.

Thanks girls for a great weekend; we can’t wait to do it all over again!

On a side note I think the highlight of the evening was JB and I remembering to take a picture with one of the TARDIS outside of Earl’s Court Underground Station. It’s one of the only one’s left on the street in London.  It held more meaning for JB than her picture with one of the production models that the London Film Museum has in their showcase (this is because I’m slowly turning her into as big a geek as I am).