Tag: architecture

Zurich part 2: Architecture

My schedule in Zurich was subject to some last minute changes, with the result that I missed the art museums, which is a shame, now I will have to attempt to return, but nonetheless I have some nice photos for you. Zurich is a city with a 2,000 year history and I stayed in the Old Town, which is mostly mediaeval and some of which was built by the Romans. Here’s the area near my hotel.

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zurich door

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Stay tuned for Swiss chocolate.

Fat Girl Spring Fashions: Business Edition

I am so fat. I am huge. The scales said 163.4 pounds this morning but I am especially bloated right now because breakfast/lunch included bread, so I look pregnant.

I only have one meeting in Zurich but I have to look smart and I have outgrown all the clothes I have that are less than 10 years old. So while I was out and about in London this morning, attending meetings near Piccadilly, I had to go and buy clothes that are acceptable for business, are pretty, flattering, and fit me, because we are having a lot of client meetings at the moment. It kills me to admit that I am currently wearing a UK size 14/16. I had to buy a size 16 skirt, I could weep. To think that I own size 10 bikinis. On the positive side, the skirt is really flattering and usefully hides my fat gut, also Leroy doesn’t mind if I’m fat and even the Honcho doesn’t mind. I occasionally send him pictures of my tits, clothed of course, to draw his attention to how huge they are and implicitly point out that being a fat chick has significant advantages.

Anyway, so here’s what I ended up with.

This dress from Banana Republic was my best buy, and is what I am wearing to the Zurich meeting, probably with a navy cardigan. I am going to be wearing a size 14 and was amazed that it fit me, after the skirt experience. This is a great dress, it is so flattering, is made of sturdy material that hides the unsatisfying contours of my round tummy and gives me a waist. It even has useful pockets. It is great. Pretty but not too sexy. Not flimsy. Can be worn with either shoes or boots, I am wearing my tan knee-length boots.

floral dress

This is the skirt I was talking about, it is by Cath Kidston, I don’t really love her textile patterns as much as I could, but I do like this skirt. Again, it is sturdy material, it has structure, it is well cut. It gives me a waist and hides my bulgy bits. Has pockets. Can be worn with a white or navy blouse to smarten it up for a meeting. I am just going to cut the size label out of it.

floral skirt

Yellow is one of my very favourite colours and is in vogue this spring. I must draw your attention to this fabulous vintage-inspired coat by Marks and Spencer. It is on sale right now for half price. I have needed a spring/summer coat for a few years, since a white mac that I had several years ago met a sad end. I have a sturdy, full-length black winter coat that has lasted for at least a decade and I hope will last for a few more, but since my white mac died, in the spring and summer I have been wearing a short navy wool jacket that only covers my top half and is starting to look a bit ratty and felted from over-use. So that’s why I’m going to appear in Zurich in that blue dress that you see above and this retro wool-mix coat in a yellow that is about the same colour as lemon sherbert. I have it in a UK 14, and M&S sizing is generous enough for it to fit me in this size even though you should normally get outer garments in a size up to allow for knitwear, layers, etc.

yellow coat

American Apparel – I bought a very boring and sensible work dress in a dark check that I am not even going to describe, they kept me waiting for aaaaages at the till while somebody who was price checking was being incompetent, and then when I finally got served, the girl pointed out to me that she was putting an extra small parcel in my bag. I was doing stuff on my phone at that moment and nodded my thanks without knowing what it was. I’ve just opened it and she gave me three nail polishes. One pink, one glitter and one that is the blue of my new dress. Happy! Way to look after your customers. It is hard to capture the exact colours because we are running out of daylight here, but just take my word for it. The pink is really lighter and brighter than that, as is the blue, which is the same shade as the blue on that floral dress.

nail polish

It was a nice, sunny day again today. Here are a few photos from my runnings around London over the last couple of days.

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The Ritz.

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Gorgeous and VERY fancy 17th century Italian skin care company. Established 1620. Ultra premium. The girl in the pink and blue check on the left was smoking and talking on her phone in French.

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Let’s take a closer look in the window.

Soap. Now that is what I call soap. Probably made from the wings of angels.

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Rose water.

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Market outside St James’s Church.

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market ceramics

Glass jewellery.

glass bangles

Because I’ve been on tubes and buses a lot, I’ve managed to finish reading another book; Dolly, by Susan Hill, 2012. It is a ghost story. It made a very interesting change from the sort of thing I usually read. It is about two children and two dolls that age horribly, in the style of Dorian Gray. It seems that both children, later adults, are being punished, but one of them hasn’t done anything wrong so I don’t know. Anyway, it was quite atmospheric and earned me 1 Books point.

Right, I need to go. Am on a schedule here. Busy busy.

Amsterdam: Architecture & Shopping

I am finally home and I have a whole bunch of travel photos to show you.

So, as you know, I was in Amsterdam for work. Here are some shots of the city so you can see how attractive it is. It is very clean. A lot of people ride bicycles, which is obviously good for their health and the environment. By London standards, there is virtually no traffic.

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bicycles

Nice architecture. Tall, slender houses in elegant and restrained colours. Looks 1930s, not that I am an expert.

houses

The centre of Amsterdam is full of interesting, independently-owned shops. In London, the price of real estate would have forced these businesses into obscure parts of town, with wealthy chain stores moving in to take their place. It would have been street after street of Starbucks and Tesco Express. Instead, we have this:

The Extremely Serious Cheese Shop. These guys are not messing around, it is like church.

cheese

The Very Fancy Lingerie Shop.

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The Early Modernist Fabric Shop. My colleague loved this, he is into design.

quilt shop

fabric

Lighting and homewares.

lighting

Fashion.

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Contemporary art.

amsterdam art

My personal favourite, the Russian shop. Absolutely full of those nesting dolls, including lovely hand-painted ones, quirky ones with Putin’s face on, Christmas ones and the remaining space is dedicated to even more dolls.

russian treasures

nesting dolls

putin doll

xmas dolls

flower dolls

four dolls

Stay tuned for more photos.

France was Nice.

Sorry not to have posted for so long, everyone. France was quite challenging work-wise, and we have also been busy since I returned. News in brief.

– The house fly problem is under control but now there are moths as well so the new fierce hoover is getting some exercise.

– I am shockingly chunky and need to get back in the gym asap.

– Charlie and I are still getting on well, we’ve been dating for just over a month, if memory serves. There are plans to finally leave the house and go see some art, which will be good as you get TLYW Achievement points for that.

I haven’t finished sorting out all my photos from France but it occurs to me that that’s no reason to keep all of them from you, so here are some.

Nice is on the French Riviera and it is like stepping on to a film set from the late 1950s or early 1960s, where a romantic film is being shot about rich people who are on holiday. That blonde lady in the blouse and skirt is perfectly attired for the surroundings.

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The cooking was amazing of course and all the food was gorgeously presented, this is why I did not lose any weight:

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Lots of nice Art Deco architecture, like we saw when TLYW went to Miami a couple of years ago.

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Sculpture. I like public art. The one with the human head topped by a big cube marks the location of the library.

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I didn’t get to go to the beach because business reasons but I would most definitely consider the South of France for a late summer holiday another year, since they seem to have nice, hot summer weather well into September when all the kids are back at school and hence it won’t be overrun with families.

More pictures soon. As I sat on a roof terrace cafe one day, eating lunch next to the rooftop swimming pool, they played this song. It’s not particularly French but I liked it anyway. Tomorrow is the third anniversary of the day I met the Head Honcho. I only miss him deep in my soul some of the time.

Cash Cash ft. Bebe Rexha: Take Me Home (2013)

Santiago de Chile, part 11 (last one)

Crikey, sorry to have kept you waiting so long, everyone.

I didn’t make my huge work deadline exactly on time but it was within 24 hours. Can’t tell  you how relieved I am about that.

Nurse Moody is still here, for now. In the meantime, let me show you the last of the Chile photos. Just in the nick of time as I’m off on my travels again and indeed I think that is what is going to trigger Matron’s departure.

More nice sculpture.

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Central Station

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A beautiful merry-go-round at Central Station. I couldn’t stop looking.

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merry paintings

Look at that little boy having his photo taken. Isn’t that adorable.

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Small businesses outside the station obviously include hand-made knitwear.

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Local newspapers and periodicals. Capitalism trembles!

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And that’s all the Chilean news.

 

Santiago de Chile, part 9: In which I finally get some lunch.

After thoroughly absorbing all the beautiful sights of the 1970s yarn shops I continued in a southerly direction, stopping as necessary to take photos of the delightful historic fountains and churches and so on.

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Old men sit in the shade of the trees and play chess, and who can blame them. I wish I were there now. London is freezing cold and raining as usual.

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The National Museum of Santiago.

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Look at that church. I am no special friend of Jesus but you can’t argue with the architecture.

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A clothes shop. I know. All clothes shops should look like this.

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Just when you think it’s all about history, you rock up at Bellas Artes metro station and encounter these:

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Look at those colours. The whole city is like this. The sunlight and the colours are something to behold.

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The most excellent walking tour that I was following advised me that I could stop at this point if desired. However, the previous day I had tried and failed to find the museum of contemporary art, so I pressed on. When I eventually found it I had been walking around for about four hours, I was exhausted and ravenously hungry, so once I realised I was in the right general area, instead of charging directly into the museum which had become the final point of my personal quest, I headed for the nearest cafe and had a huge burger and more beer than was strictly necessary. That kind of behaviour is why I’m five pounds heavier than I used to be.

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And with that, fed and rested, I ambled away, slightly drunkenly, in the direction of the museum of contemporary art, my personal holy grail.

 

Love.

I am sorry it has been so long. What I would really like is to show you some more photos of Chile, but I am kept away from organising them by more urgent priorities, as follows. So this is what I have been doing.

  • Returned to London from Chile. This was a very long journey in three stages with a long wait at JFK airport in New York, like about 8 hours or something. The whole journey took from Friday evening until Sunday morning.
  • While I was hanging around the business lounge at JFK, needlessly drinking wine and surfing the web, I noticed a highly attractive profile on the dating website. When I say ‘highly attractive’, I mean it was one of those times when you read the profile of someone who thinks like you and you think ‘thank god, I’m not alone in the universe’ and realise that isn’t necessary to edit your profile to make it any nicer, which you were starting to wonder about. So I looked at this very detailed profile with considerable relief and made a snappy and probably pre-emptive decision that I can definitely have a relationship with this guy, meaning we are going to be capable of taking each other seriously and not secretly thinking that the other person is an idiot.
  • Waited around for two hours for him to come online. Engaged him in conversation. We immediately get along and talk over each other and say the same things.
  • Got on a plane, arrived home in London and slept for hours and hours. Talked to the guy a bit more. He is an artist. He is quite stroppy but when have you ever known me to find that unattractive.
  • Woke up in the morning to a huge pile of work.
  • Frantically cleaned my house because reasons. (1 Home point.)
  • Had a date with this guy. It went well. I wasn’t, like, romantically swept off my feet but it was really good and at least on some levels I think we understand each other and there is some kind of potential. He needs a name. God damn, I have no idea. Let’s go with Moody. Moody the Artist.
  • Sleep, work, sleep, work.
  • Thought about what to do. Talked to Moody online. Now we are seeing each other on Friday night and Saturday, a significant chunk of the weekend.

Brace yourselves, readers. I don’t know where this is going, but it’s going somewhere.

Photos of Chile as soon as I can get to them. I promise. As soon as I’ve done all my work and gone out on a first date with somebody else and cleaned my house again. Here’s a photo of an enormous, phallic office building in Santiago, to tide you over.

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