Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sarah's Best of 2006

Personal Highlights
1) Moving Back to London. The city where it is impossible to be bored.
2) Wandering alone through the Hermitage.
3) Catching both Wimbledon and the US Open.
4) Friday Night Club with the girls. Life is too short for house wine.
5) Hugging Camels in Dubai.

Honourable Mentions
1) A summer of sport - NHL playoffs after not seeing them for two years and the World Cup to boot. Many raucous afternoons and evenings in the pub.
2) Two weeks in January in Hawaii.

1) Volver
2) Little Miss Sunshine
3) Half Nelson
4) The Queen
5) Shortbus

Honourable Mentions
1) The Devil Wears Prada
2) An Inconvenient Truth

Books (Read, but not necessarily published in 2006)
1) Kafka On the Shore by Haruki Murakami
2) Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
3) The Nightwatch by Sarah Waters
4) Airstream Land Yacht by Ken Babstock
5) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Honourable Mentions
1) The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
2) Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill

Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006 in Cities

Criteria is any city you overnighted in during the past calendar year, minus your hometown, of course. (Which for me included both London and Toronto this year.)

Dubai, UAE
St. Petersburg, Russia
Hamilton, Bermuda
Kona, Hawaii
New York, NY
Vancouver, BC
Victoria, BC

Not as many as last year but some goodies in Russia and the Middle East. And three more cities are already booked for the first few weeks of the New Year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Holiday Read 2006

It was supposed to be a much shorter list than last year due to the amount of school work I have to get through before flying back to the UK. But I'm currently tearing through some great fiction at the moment.

Lullabies For Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Everything You Know by Zoe Heller
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Recovery

When I was thirteen years old, Boxing Day seemed like the best day of the year. Frenetic shopping with gift certificates received the previous day ensued. And now Boxing Day seems like the best day of the year again. I'm not leaving the house and am curled up with books and Turner Classic Movies and the start of the World Junior Hockey Tournament. It certainly has been a great few days leading up to Christmas. Connecting with so many friends in Vancouver that I haven't seen in awhile, including all the girls who showed up to my ten year high school reunion. Riding the ferry back to Victoria, Santa appeared and handed out candy canes to the kids. This little girl sitting in front of me, maybe four years old, turned to her mother with this terribly serious look on her face and asked, "Is Rudolph down with the cars?"

Best Christmas gifts received this year? Tickets to see David Hare's play Amy's View next month. And from my dear friend who is an ND, an extensive naturopathic regime for a healthy New Year, complete with supplements. I shudder to think how much this would have cost me! (Thanks B!)

Monday, December 25, 2006

West Coast Christmas

Christmas morning here on the West Coast. A calm ocean, unlike yesterday, with a lone merganser paddling by. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tony Soprano Is Everywhere

Do you find that your television watching world tends to seep into your real world? Maybe this happens to me because I tend to download a bunch of episodes of a specific show and watch them all at once - I'm kind of an addict this way. Recently I have been watching copious amounts of The Sopranos. Then yesterday, this is the scene:

The kitchen of my parents' house. My mother is watching an e-card on her computer. I am pouring a cup of coffee.
Sound of jingling bells and galloping horses from the computer. And then the sound of gunshots.

Sarah: Are they shooting the horses?
Mom: No, that would be the twelve drummers drumming, Sarah.
Sarah: Oh.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fortune Cookie Denial

I went to a friend's birthday party on Friday night. Someone had made her fortune cookies. This was my fortune. I vehemently deny this.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Blogging From the West Coast

I arrived on the West Coast yesterday. I think Air Canada has some serious hate on for me. After the Heathrow kafuffle, I was expecting some smooth flying yesterday. But there were delays and cancellations and flying standby and then even though I got to Victoria hours late, my suitcase didn't arrive for a further seven hours. No flying for three weeks now makes me a happy camper.

In Toronto a couple of days ago, I met a fellow blogger. As in, I "met" this person through our blogs and had never actually "met" her until this past week. After getting over feeling like it was a blind date, I had a wonderful time. Hilare is just as great in person as she is on the interweb.

This morning I was up early due to jetlag and volunteered to do some groceries for my mother. The shopping list contained the usual suspects and also 2 straight bananas. I have missed my mother.

My only task today is to ice a batch of Christmas cookies. My only task tomorrow is to decorate the Christmas tree and show photographs of Dubai to my grandparents. Lovely.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

All About the Holidays

As I took the train back to London after my last meeting with my thesis advisor before the holidays, I cranked up some Bing Crosby Christmas tunes on my ipod. Then I caught myself looking for postmodern metaphors in White Christmas and realized that it was certainly time for a vacation.

One transatlantic flight later (imagine long tirade about Air Canada inserted here...but why waste the energy by actually writing it down) and I arrived to a big hug by my doorman and a dozen beautiful roses from my neighbours sitting in my loft. Slowly catching up with my North American television and have been dealt with by my team. My team, you ask? Hair stylist, pedicurist, get the gist. Ahhhh.

Festive cheer with Canadian friends? Loving it. Christmas shopping? Done. Bring on the holiday. Bring it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Book Meme

I've been tagged by John. An interesting one. And I was actually pulling this book out of my suitcase when the tag alert popped up on my computer screen.

• Grab the book closest to you
• Open to page 123, go down to the fifth sentence
• Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog
• Name of the book and the author
• Tag three people

"Stieglitz's name for the cloud studies he did in the late 1920s - "Equivalents," that is, statements of his inner feelings - is another, soberer instance of the persistent effort of photographers to feature the benevolent character of picture-taking and discount its predatory implications. What talented photographers do cannot of course be characterized either as simply predatory or as simply, and essentially, benevolent. Photography is the paradigm of an inherently equivocal connection between self and world - its version of the ideology of realism sometimes dictating an effacement of the self in relation to the world, sometimes authorizing an aggressive relation to the world which celebrates the self."

- On Photography, Susan Sontag, 1973

Just too tired after my transatlantic flight to tag three people, so I tag YOU! Yes you reader!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Borough Market

Yesterday I spent much of the afternoon at the Borough Market. It was one of those times when I wished that photographs came with a "scent option" - the smells at the market were incredible. Cheeses, olives and various marinades, fresh fish and game, burnt espresso, curry simmering in huge vats for people to taste, and all mixed with the curiously pleasing odour of garlic and mulled wine.

I managed to get past the fudge stall without buying anything, but when I walked past the brownie tower (photo below) it was game over. And god, was it a good brownie. There was also a large red deer (headless) for £200 but however would I have carried it home?

Brownie Tower Bunnies