Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Letters from London #8

All right, my pretties, I know you're thinking that I haven't posted recently because I had a craaaaazy St Patrick's Day here in Paris and I've been recovering ever since, right?  Wellllllll, no.  I did go out for St Paddy's with a bunch of Irish people and we did go to some Irish pubs, but at a certain point we just got fed up with the crowds and ended up at a champagne bar instead.  Not very authentic, but far more relaxing...

Anyway, my absence was not caused by too much partying (unfortunately), but rather because I've been in London and my internet access there was very sporadic and I just didn't get a chance to post.  But since I'm mentioning London and since it's late and I just need to post something, how about another Letter from London?

Written somewhere around July 2001

Well, after the overwhelmingly positive reaction to my last letter, I've decided to turn over a new leaf.  Yes, I'm ready to become a kinder, gentler Miss K.  From now on, I shall be nauseatingly nice, sickeningly sweet and a beam of sunshine in the lives of all those fortunate enough to come into contact with my saintly-yet-humble being.  I will forsake malice, spite and cynicism in favour of graciousness, charm and generosity of spirit.  People will come from all around simply to bask in the warm glow of my goodness... Okay, did anyone buy that?  What, not even for a second?  Oh c'mon... Anyone?  Friends?  Relatives?  No one? Really??

Anyway, I don't have a theme for this letter, so here are some random thoughts about nothing terribly interesting.....

New Experiences (A) - One of the many things I like about London is the opportunity to try things that I might not have done in Toronto.  For example, I took a ballet class for the first time in my life a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.  For those of you who are rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically at the thought of me doing anything that requires grace and coordination, go right ahead.  Your mental picture is entirely correct - I galumphed around the room like a drunken lumberjack, sending willowy ballerina types fleeing in terror, and I made a total fool of myself.  Like I said, I had a fantastic time.

New Experiences (B) - Another thing I just tried was floating.  Huh?  What's that?  Well, it's a bit hard to describe, but basically you hop into a sensory deprivation tank and float in water that has about 800 lbs of salt dissolved in it.  And that's all: you just lie there in the dark and float for an hour like a cross between an astronaut and an embryo.  Question - why?  Answer - Because it's quite possibly the most relaxing thing you'll ever experience.  Strange but true.  Once you get the hang of it, you totally lose track of your body and you just feel like a big ol' head floating around in the dark.  I know, it sounds weird, but ohhhhhh, it's soooooo gooooooood....

Music - I've always been a fan of the blues, and it amazes me how well songs from the 1920s translate to the new century.  I recently picked up a Bessie Smith CD and really, you'd think she was singing about my life.  For example, here are some of the song titles: "Me and My Gin", "No One In Town Can Bake A Sweet Jelly Roll Like Mine"(if you know what she's saying, and I think you do), "Empty Bed Blues", "I'm Wild About That Thing", "A Good Man Is Hard To Find", "You've Got To Give Me Some", and my personal favourite - "Put a Little Sugar in My Bowl".  Sing it, girlfriend....

Fashion - Ladies: I hate to tell you this, but London fashion has clearly lost what passes for its collective mind.  You can be totally in style this season if you wear any of the following: 1940's floral prints, army camouflage, disco diva, cowgirl, or any combination thereof.  I've always prided myself on my eclectic style, but this might be a bit much even for me.  We shall see.

Work - I'm currently employed in Hell, which means that I work for the Devil.  Yes, the Devil has many names.... Satan..... Beelzebub..... Lucifer.... Stephanie. You might not have been aware that the Supreme Evil Being in the universe is currently incarnated in the body of a petite woman from New Zealand, but now you know.  Consider yourselves warned.

Today's Story - I thought I'd share this experience with you even though it has absolutely nothing to do with London.  When I was in Los Angeles a couple of years ago, I visited the famous slutty-lingerie store Frederick's of Hollywood (much to everyone's surprise, I'm sure).  As I was browsing, the following happened: a young English couple skulked into the store, clearly embarrassed at being there.  They approached the salesgirl next to me, and the English girl (who had a huge rack) shyly asked her: "Excuse me, but do you sell minimizer bras?"  An ominous silence fell.  The ultra-sassy black salesgirl (who had waist-length blonde braids, four-inch fingernails and more attitude than Madonna) looked at her with the undisguised contempt she might have shown for a urine sample and drawled, "Giiiiirl....this is Frederick's of Hollywood.  We MAXIMIZE!!!"  Hee!  Heeheeheeheehee!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shamrocks and shenanigans

Oops, sorry, my pretties - it's been rather a while since I posted, but I hope you'll forgive me as it's all a bit of a blur at the moment while I deal with all the things I have to do before I move away!  But Miss K has plenty to tell you - in addition to running around Paris like a maniac, checking things off my "must-see/do-this-before-I-go" list, I've been on road trips to the Loire Valley and to Normandy on the last two weekends, and as soon as I sort through the bajillion photos I took, I'll be sure to tell you about those rather fabulous adventures.  

But in the meantime, here we are on St Patrick's Day, and as it's my third (and final) one in Paris and I've posted about the last two (I still can't believe there was reggae in 2010 and  The eyes have it. Well, they used to in 2011, which happened right after St Paddy's Day, so let's count that as my entry from that year, shall we?), I should probably keep on with tradition and post about this one too.  Well, gentle readers, pray for me and my liver, because this year, I am spending St Paddy's with actual Irish people (and plenty of them)- which bodes extremely well for a good time, but I shudder to anticipate what sort of state I'll be in tomorrow!    Well, as long as there's no black eye this year, it will all be grand.  I'll let you know how it turns out as soon as I can string together a coherent sentence, so....probably somewhere around Tuesday? 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Big changes

Have you seen the movie "Up In The Air"?  Well, there's a scene where George Clooney's character describes being in an airport as his home - and I know the intention was to make everyone think "oh, that man's life is so empty", but honestly, it just made me envious.  Do you realize that it's been more than a year since I've even set foot in an airport?  This wouldn't bother a lot of people, but Miss K is a travel weasel and an airport is my natural habitat - I don't do well in captivity and for me, not being able to afford to travel has been like a prison.

But, my pretties, I have some big news - this travel weasel is staging a prison break, and this blog is going to be changing, for the very simple reason that my location and circumstances are going to be changing.  Yes, it's true - after two and a half years in Paris, I am moving on to sandier (and far more lucrative) pastures: Saudi Arabia.  

I hope that tales of my expat life there will still be of interest to you, but my plan is to change the Expat Postcards to more of a general travel blog - you seem to have enjoyed the Letters from London (thus far, there are still more to come) and I have a number of similar posts that I wrote about other places I've visited (which I'll post in due course), and since I plan to be on a plane to somewhere new and exciting every time there's a three-day weekend or a holiday, there is plenty still to come.  So I'm hoping that you'll still tune in for more of my silliness?

And don't worry, Paris won't be disappearing completely from this blog, I still have a zillion photos that I haven't posted and lots of stories to go with them, so you'll still get your Paris fix from time to time...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012


Well, gentle readers, today I hang my head in shame -  I just met fashion blogger extraordinaire Garance Doré, (one of my personal style favourites) and I was wearing the most boring outfit of all time.  Ugh.

Let me back up a bit - I like to keep a few outfits ready to go at all times (the clothes, the footwear, the accessories, even the underwear, all carefully chosen and hung up together so that I can just throw it all on and get out the door), which makes me sound like one of those ridiculously organized people who has their entire life under control, but nooooo.  This is actually the reason:  Miss K is not a morning person.  I can't even begin to tell you the number of times I've been late for work because I've been staring, slack-jawed and bleary-eyed, into my vast wardrobe, trying to find something, anything to wear (I'm not the only one, right?).  So a few years ago I got into the habit of spending a couple of hours on the weekend putting together my outfits in advance for the coming week:  outfits for work, outfits for social occasions, casual outfits.  And this has worked very well - no more last-minute panic about what to wear, with the added benefit of ensuring that I actually wear everything in my wardrobe.  Ladies, you know what I'm saying - there are always a few things lurking in the closet that never get worn because you never have time to figure out what it actually goes with, and so you end up wearing the same old things over and over again.  

So, as I was saying, this little system has been working well, but today I learned a valuable lesson:  one should also have an outfit ready to go in case one has the opportunity to meet a style icon such as the fabulous Miss Doré, as mentioned above.  I checked her blog this morning (which is - if you are at all interested in fashion, you should definitely be reading it) and she mentioned that she would be doing an interview today in Paris, to which she invited her readers.  Well, of course I had to go, but with only 10 minutes to get ready, what to wear to such an occasion?  Not that she would care what I was wearing, but I cared.  But I panicked, flailed around, threw on a black sweater-dress and went.  God, how embarrassing - dull, dull, dull

But at least I got to meet her - I have read her blog for years and I like her writing style so much, she really inspired me to start this blog when I moved to Paris.  And she was just as delightful in person- she stayed for ages after the interview to sign autographs and pose for photos with fans, which was particularly nice of her since it was boiling hot in the room and she must have been dying to leave.

Anyway, so the moral of the story is this:  always be prepared to be fabulous, even at short notice.  Really, shouldn't I know this by now???