Tuesday 24 September 2013

Google UK

Google+ is getting local! This is the UK's own page. I suggested (I'm sure I'm not alone) the
London Eye, Forth Bridge, Angel of the North and Stonehenge. I tried very hard not to be too London-centric in my views!

Sunday 22 September 2013

Sunday Social (68)

Sunday Social


Linking up with Ashley and Neely
1. What is your favourite handbag you've ever owned?
I'm a handbag junkie; so that is a very hard question for me to answer!! As my long suffering husband will attest I am on the eternal search for the perfect handbag. Right now (due to my walking difficulties) it has to have a long strap... a zip pocket and easy access to the main bag which needs to have some pockets (preferably one zipped). I have one that fits the bill at the moment but it is synthetic not leather and means that it won't last forever.
2. What is your dream handbag you lust over?
I would love to have a Radley. They are classic and quality; but way beyond my budget!
3. What are the daily essentials in your purse or work bag?
Wallet, phone, iPad, keys. Everything else I have at work if I need it!
4. What's in your purse (with pictures)?
I famously carry way too much around with me... although people are always glad of some of the extra bits when it is something they need!
Phone - don't move without it!

Mobile 'tangle-teaser' hairbrush

Longchamps purse - cherished gift from
someone who know me very well (it's pink!)

Power equipment for iPhone. Soon to be replaced.

Pens and styluses

Decaf green tea bags for Husband

Fan in case it gets too warm

Sunglasses (just in case)

Shopping bag (again, just in case)

Manicure set. Currently redundant with my ruined nails.

Headphones. iPhone5 only because they hurt my tiny
ears less than most.

Contacts. Recent addition after a lens disaster the other week.

Tissues - always

Personal toilet paper for nights out where the facilities lack

iPod as other devices too full for music!

Another cherished gift (from same friend as the wallet)
Bus pass and Taxicard

Mints and energy sweets

Pretty tin for feminine hygiene products

Personal business cards (no longer have work ones)

Gloves for hand protection on crutches, etc.

Rain hat - walking aids make umbrellas impossible

iPad - of course

Parking badge

Medicines, tablets, unguents and the like
 No wonder my bag is so heavy! This is the 'lite' version; I used to use a laptop sized case... imagine what I could fit in that!!!

Thursday 19 September 2013



iOS7 has landed. You can visit Apple's page to find out what's new... not anything that other phones weren't already offering you I suspect...

I wasn't going to bother as when my contract is up in 2 months I'm jumping ship to Samsung and their Android system. Then, this morning, one of my Scottish colleagues rang me with the "You're and Apple girl, will (something or other I'd written instructions for) still work with iOS7. So I added another 800MB to over over the ASDL cap download woes and updated.

Does't it look pretty? Spot the non-Apple apps (Twitter here) who haven't updated their logos to match the new style. 

It is easier to use (once you get the hang of everything being different) and zoomy and accessible... and so very Android (but not as customisable) and not original.

I'm busy at work, so I've only had a moment to look at it - but so far I've fallen out with the Control Centre, the Notifications Centre, the Camera (Instagram anyone) and the Photos. Wait until it hits the iPad which has many more Apple products!

Tuesday 17 September 2013


Mindful Moments For Stressful Days: Simple Ways To Find Meaning And Happiness In Daily LifeWhen I was visiting my Mum last year I noticed a book on her bookshelf. I asked if I could borrow it, as some friends who work in the field of psychology had mentioned in passing that I might find this a useful technique.

I then forgot about it. Until one of the hospital visits when I bumped into a PhD student doing a study on the use of Mindfulness to treat aspects of life for people with MS. I gave my details, we did a telephone interview, and the lady conducting the study said that I didn't qualify as I was too 'mentally well balanced' (I asked if I could have that on a certificate!).

Then I remembered the book and read it. Quite a few of the concepts I had coincidentally been trying to incorporate into my life; so this just helped to give me some focus.

I'm but an egg in this field; but as far as I can tell it is about being 'in the now' and letting life go by without judgement on self and others. You can read the book or go and study the Wikipedia article for some more coherent, expert writing.

I am working on trying to use the techniques to improve my world. Having MS and its attendant irritations can take your head to bad places. Changing you working world and job so that you aren't doing the job that you trained years to do and spent 15 years doing and doing the new job in three days which leaves four days of nothing can take your head to bad places too. Getting married this summer took my head to good places, I like that and want to keep it.

Aspirations on the bedroom door

Observation on the back of the door

My world (at home)

My world (at work)

On my pin board; it came with the leather strip

I wear this most days to keep reminding me
One of my favourite things is the idea that when something is stressing you out, or vexing you... you take a look at a globe. You consider the size of the world, the global view... and then reconsider your problem. It really works!

I'm learning meditation. Mindfullness doesn't require you to clear your mind - just to be still and think. There are even apps for the iPhone that can help you with this. Or you can go the traditional route with some Tibetan beads.

I particularly like Headspace
Or go old-school with the beads

Sunday 15 September 2013

Sunday Social (67)

Sunday Social
Linking up with Ashley and Neely
This week (for new friends dropping by) we're introducing the blog again.
1. What is the name of your blog?
London Calling. Not taken from The Clash song (which I do like) but rather the bit in the Eurovision Song contest when they go round all the countries for the voting. They go to the capital
cities, each used to introduce themselves "Hello Paris (or wherever), this is London calling and here are the results of the United Kingdom voting". Because I live and work in London it seemed a great title to let everyone know what we're all about.

2. What do you love most about blogging?
I love being able to empty the contents of my head onto the page and put them out there for anyone to read. I love that I've met so many other people this way; reading their blogs, them reading mine...

3. Why did you start blogging?
I'm not sure I even remember! This is actually blog number 3... the first blog is possibly still out there somewhere... I can't remember it's address and the email address I used at the time is long gone... so hopefully it is still out there as a monument to my life then. Blog number 2 was hosted on somebody else's website. Big mistake. They shut it down without warning and the blog was gone. I'd backed up some of it... but not enough. So attempt 3! I first posted here on 5th October 2006 I then abandoned it; and moved off to MySpace. I hated MySpace and only used it for blogging; for four months... then I moved back here... copying all the posts from MySpace in the process!

4. What is something you'd want to tell someone just starting out in the blogging world?
Engage with your audience. Blog regularly and people will read. Write about what you want to write about; not what you think people want to read. It's nice to know that people read you blog... but just like Twitter and its social media friends... it is never about the numbers... it is about you!

5. Biggest bloging learning experience you've had?
I don't have a really faithful follower in Mountain View, California who comes to read several times a day. That's the Googlebot. That's where he lives.

6. What are three blogs you love?
I would direct you to my blog roll... but it is broken and undergoing maintenance! Being a spoonie and reading a lot of blogs by people with health conditions has its perils; they often get too sick to write and some of my favourite blogs have now gone. But those that are left... well I really want to introduce you to some that maybe you don't read already...
  • I love F1 and this blog keeps me going in between races! A Dash of Eau Rouge.
  • Chris over at Serendipitous provides a delightful mix of pictures and observations, you never know what you'll get next!
  • Steph (who I bump into on Twitter and Instagram) has a great blog over at Texas to London - another fabulous mixture of never knowing what you'll get next!!
Stop by and see my friends... and do stop by the blog roll when I've fixed it! See you next week Sunday Socialites!

Tuesday 10 September 2013

My bits of London (20)

Shepherd Market is located amongst the warren of one-way streets that make up the landscape of the north side of Piccadilly that is Mayfair.

Back in history (before London had become the joined up city it is today) there were two built up areas (Westminster and the City) surrounded by a lot of fields and monasteries. When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and took the land that had been there he revitalised a long tradition of monarchs giving land as reward (or incentive) to noble families.

In the 17th and 18th centuries a fairly riotous and protracted 'May Fair' was held in the area now known as Mayfair. The problem was as the land was parcelled up and given to nobility (who built fine residences on it) they didn't want the likes of the revellers of the May Fair on their doorstep. The May Fair was booted (not very far) to Haymarket and Mayfair was left to get on with its gentrification. Edward Shepherd was the architect who was involved in a lot of this 'town planning' of Mayfair and the market is named after him. No sheep then!

It is now a collection of art galleries and restaurants; where on a fine day you can dine outside continental style.

Walking from Piccadilly to Shepherd Market you can wander up White Horse Street or Half Moon Street. Fantastic road names in Mayfair.

Sunday 8 September 2013

Sunday Social (66)

Sunday Social
Linking up with Ashley and Neely

1. What is your favourite fall activity?
Specific to this time of year? The return of the NFL and the World Series (Fall Classic) which I always try and take a week off work for. 

2. Do you follow a football team? If so, which one and why?
Several! Watching college football it's the Florida Gators... just because it was on TV one day and I loved the Gator on their shirts! In the NFL then it's the Giants (New York all the way, only place I've spent any time in America); but I have a soft spot for the Jets (perennial also rans in NYC) and the Jaguars, who being just up the road from the Gators I view as their 'big brothers'.

Big Blue

Jaguars (the Gators big brothers)

The mighty Gators - where Tim Tebow started
Watching the Giants at Wembley in 2007

3. What is something fun about fall in your area?
I'm not sure there is anything! If you're a kid there is a horse chestnut tree at the end of our street that does a good line in conkers! 

4. What are your favorite fall staple outfits?
Layers and scarves - you can't tell what the weather is going to get up to so you need to be able to get warm or cool off.

5. What things are his looking forward to most about this coming fall season?
Two NFL games at Wembley this year!!  It's out big day out; and this year two big days out!

6. What is your favourite fall holiday? Tradition?
We might not be Americans but we celebrate Thanksgiving. We have our turkey and sweet potatoes (with marshmallows on top) and watch as much football as we can stay awake for. Husband always beats me on that one!

Slightly burned marshmallows

Friday 6 September 2013

Art on the DLR

The Tube started it with art and poetry... and now it has spread to the DLR. At Greenwich Cutty Sark I noticed a poster advertising the art first (I'd arrived on the opposite platform).

We're about to go to the RMG 'Visions of the Universe' exhibition (as soon as I book tickets)... and we went to the Cutty Sark on our honeymoon so this one seemed very appropriate.

Read more here:-

Sunday 1 September 2013

Sunday Social (65)

Sunday Social
Linking up with Ashley and Neely

1. What was your favourite trip/vacation/activity this summer?
What a choice to make!! We did so many amazing things on our honeymoon it is hard to choose... a toss-up between our day out at London Zoo and our trip on the London Eye. Just getting to spend time with Husband and enjoy London together was a fantastic way to spend summer.

2. What was your favourite outfit look/clothing item of the summer?

Anything that helped keep cool! Not stylish but a baseball hat and cropped trousers featured heavily in my wardrobe.

At the zoo

Of course (it's cheating really) but my favourite item of clothing was, of course, my wedding dress :-)

From the official collection by e-motion

3. What is one thing you wish you'd gotten to do this summer?

Oh the list! We had a huge list of places to go on our honeymoon; way more than could fit into two weeks. We'll get round to them later in the year... but Eltham Palace (bumped twice due to weather), Greenwich Ecology Park (closed the day we tried to go), the British Library (never found ourselves in that bit of London) and several museums (just too many to fit in) to list but a few.

4. What was your favourite song of the summer?

Because I'm massively sentimental 'What a Wonderful World'. It was our first dance at our wedding...

5. What was your favourite movie/tv show of the summer?

We went to the cinema (which we rarely do) and saw 'Now You See Me' which was fabulous. That wins through movies just for the whole cinema experience... closely followed by the latest Die Hard movie. As for TV - hard to choose... although I do enjoy our new 'Pointless' tradition. This again (sorry) started on our honeymoon; after a day out we'd get home and sit down watching of the TV show and having an ice lolly!

If you've never seen it; it's a quiz show (unusual as I don't usually like them) - the contestants, for every question, have to choose an answer which when the question was asked to 100 people before the show the fewest people gave that answer. One of the good ones the other week was 'countries with no land borders'... search your brain for the world of the South Pacific...