Tuesday, January 19, 2010

18 Jan: Visa application

18 Jan: Getting documents together for my visa extension application, including passport photos.

Sometimes, I really don't understand how this country works. Or rather, how it can function when it is so hopelessly inefficient.

I'm trying to submit my application for a visa extension before the end of this month. All I need are:

  • an application form completed by me
  • my passport with visa sticker inside
  • bank statements for the past three months
  • a letter from my school verifying that I went there and earned a degree
  • passport photos on a cream or light grey background

Easy, right? I emailed my school for the necessary letter on 30 December. They responded on 4 January, saying I had been placed in a queue and to please allow 15 working days for the task to be completed. Three freaking weeks to print up a form letter? Really???

Fine. Letter arrived today, so no big deal. In fact, I foolishly thought to myself that I would be able to send off the application today. I just needed to get the bank statements from the bank and get my photos taken. No problem.

The photos were easy enough. Only £5, though I look awful in them (it wouldn't be an ID photo if I didn't). At the bank, the teller informed me that she could give me statements without my name on them, but in order to get ones with my name on them, as is required by the Home Office, I would have to wait TEN WORKING DAYS. To have my name on them! They could give me a document with all the necessary information, except my name, right then and there, but to have my name on them, that requires special powers. My bank can't put my name on my statements for my accounts showing my money. Well, they can, but it'll take 10 working days. Why? Why why why?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

12 Jan: Walking home

It's still a bit early, but I think I've found what I want for my birthday. The world time zone clock and/or the yearly planner from this website, but especially the clock.

Last night I was walking home and realized I hadn't taken a daily photo. I had just been hanging out with friends I hadn't seen in a month, including Tanya, who I won't see again until April! The fact that I failed to take pictures is tragic but whatevs. Instead, I took a (fuzzy) picture of my walk home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

11 Jan: turkey ham

Can someone please tell me what the hell turkey ham is? It contains no pork, only turkey, yet is pink. Why is it pink??? Is this something someone invented in order to trick children into eating a meat product they would otherwise refuse? Weird weird weird.

But yes, I did buy it. I'll let you know how it tastes.

I slept until 3pm today. I woke up at 12:30pm but couldn't think of a reason to get up, so just kept sleeping. I think I'm coming down with a mild head cold, so I'm using that as an excuse for sleeping so late. That's easier to handle than addressing the fact that I might be depressed. Or lazy. Or both.


I never make New Year's Resolutions, mainly cuz I can't be bothered to make goals for myself. But this year, there were a few things I wanted to work on, so decided to make it official and call them resolutions.

2. Take a photo every day (or at least every week)
3. Something to do with cooking

I haven't decided on the last one yet, again because I can't be bothered to learn to cook properly (or I would have done it years ago). And making "learn to cook" a resolution is not very satisfying because how will I know, at the end of the year, if I've accomplished that? I need to set a measurable goal, like "cook dinner at least 3 times per week" or "try a new recipe every week." The first one isn't quite right, though, because I do cook that often, it's just super simple stuff like pasta or frozen food. And the second one is a bit too ambitious for me. It's not that I need a whole bunch of new recipes. It's that I need to focus on quality ones. So something like, "cook a healthy, quality meal at least 2 times per week" might be more achievable. I just need to make up a list of meals that are healthy and quality, but that are still relatively easy (because there is no getting around the fact that, when it comes to cooking, I am phenomenally lazy).

Okay, time to get back to applying for jobs. Peace out!

Monday, January 11, 2010

10 Jan: Kitty cat

A kitty cat named Lizzy has come to stay with us for a week. She is a bit shy (aren't they all?) but very sweet and quite fluffy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

9 Jan: Fondue!

For her birthday a year and a half ago, someone gave Carina a huge wheel of gruyere. Well actually, they didn't give the cheese then, they gave her the gift of the cheese-making process. Or something like that. They made the cheese for her, and shipped it to her on Saturday. Since it was massive (bigger than your head!) and smelly, she decided to get rid of it as soon as possible. This called for a big fondue party! She says she went from 10kg to 4kg, so I think that was pretty successful. She made us all drink lots of red wine to aid in the digestion, but I ended up being quite tipsy and still getting a stomach ache. It was worth it, though.

Carina didn't quite follow the recipe for the first batch, because it called for corn starch and she didn't know what that was. As a result, it wasn't stringy at all, just quite liquidy. Still delicious, though. She added corn starch for the second batch and it was parfait! This is the lumpy-looking first batch.

After the fondue party, I headed to my flatmates birthday party at a bar in Islington. I invited James and Simon along and we had fun dancing. I think I'm seriously addicted to these boys.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

8 Jan: cemetery

I live next to a charming little cemetery, which gives less of a sense of cemetery than a sense of park-with-old gravestones. It's nice! When it's open, I can cut through it from the tube station so that it only takes me 2 minutes to walk home. Sadly, they close it as soon as it gets dark (which at this time of year is pretty doggone early), and then I have to walk around it, which takes 10-15 minutes. On Halloween, the moon was really bright and made the cemetery look really cool and I was sad that it was locked up cuz it would have been fun to walk through it.

Anyhoo, here it is with snow on it!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Daily photos

Okay, so my plan to take a photo every day failed on day one. And again on day 4. I knew I was going to struggle with this. I may decide to do a photo per week. That should still remind me of all the amazing things I will have done in the coming year. But for now, here's the start.

24 Dec: A triptych representing the frustration of trying to split the bill four ways, and the elation when the waitress does it for us.

25 Dec: Ready for the after-Christmas sales

26 Dec: Boxing Day

28 Dec: The Nutcracker
30 Dec: Panic

31 Dec: Happy New Year! aka How on earth did I get this drunk?

2 Jan: Sushi with Aleisha and Em

2 Jan: Bad hair day

3 Jan: Puppy!

5 Jan: Seven-hour layover in Calgary.

6 Jan: Home in London! (That's right, they let me back in!)

7 Jan: Rearranged my room