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Miss M

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Pub Crawl 19th March [Mar. 4th, 2011|11:53 am]
Miss M
Hi everyone,
Dewi kindly organised the route for the next pub crawl on Saturday 19th March and I am really looking forward to it and seeing you all there!
Here is the route:

Queen Victoria's Jubilee Crawl

2 pm Mad Bishop & Bear (surprisingly nice pub upstairs within Paddington Station)

Out of the station by main entrance, turn right then take a left into London Street

3 pm The Dickens Tavern, 25 London Street W2 1HH

Return to Praed Street and turn right to go along it

Near the end of Praed Street, before the junction with Edgeware Road, take a right down Sale Place

4 pm Royal Exchange, 26 Sale Place

Continue down Sale Place and take a right at the junction with Sussex Gardens, continue through Sussex Gardens until you are able to turn left down Sussex Place; at the end, turn left into Strathearn Place

5 pm The Victoria, 10a Strathearn Place

Continue to Hyde Park St., turn left, then right into Connaught Street

6 pm Duke of Kendal, 38 Connaught Street W2 2AF [for food]

Along Connaught Street again, crossing Edgeware Road into Upper Berkely Street

7 pm The Portman, 51 Upper Berkeley Street W1H 7QW

Into Seymour Place

8 pm Carpenter’s Arms, 12 Seymour Place

Continue down Seymour Place, taking a left into Seymour Street; after a bit, turn left into Duke Street

9 pm Devonshire Arms, 7 Duke Street

Then on to HDIF apparently! Where is it held this time? Will it be good? x
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In the search of female perfection [Jan. 11th, 2011|02:13 pm]
Miss M
I'm currently enjoying a two months free membership to LOVEFILM courtesy of my dad. I have been a member before but a vast improvement has surfaced since my membership expired last year: the ability to watch films online in a BBC i-player type set-up.
As I was spending a quiet weekend in Oxford, I decided to take the opportunity and browse through the online film library. As I was going through pages and pages of titles, I was starting to fear that even from amongst the 4000+ titles, I won't be able to decide on something to watch!

I started to short-list a few titles and decided to start with some old movies to ease myself in. I picked a Carry Grant film because of the title and the description: Penny Serenade...When a newspaper man falls for a record store sales girl, their whirlwind courtship does not prepare him for a life of laughter, romance and tragedy.... I realised after a while that this wasn't going to be about records but more about melodrama and also, let's face it Irene Dune is more your serious type of actress, not a beautiful screen scarlet that you can't take your eyes off. I made it to the end but decided to change genres and to try a light comedy: My Dear Secretary with Kirk Douglas and the much more attractive Laraine Day. Goofiness. A bit too much goofiness in fact so I decided to counteract this with a dose of film noir and chose, from amongst many respectable offerings, Scarlet Letter with female baddie and former silent screen star (you can tell I've done my fair share of wikipedia reading) Joan Bennett. Oooh, eviiiil. It was quite spine tingling naughty and the baddies reprehensible. Just as the doctor recommended.

The following day, and I don't quite know how I got to this, I came upon Yesterday, Today and Tommorow, a classic 1960s Italian movie with Sophia Loren. DRAMATIC PAUSE.
If you haven't watched Sophia Lauren on screen before, you do not know what you are missing. She is goddess personified and this 'feast for your eyes Italian comic anthology' showcased Sophia in three different roles of femme fatale, one more stunning and captivating than the next. You simply cannot take your eyes of her. The movie itself is quite funny, although it drags a little bit in the second part, it picks up with a vengeance in part three. This experience left me wanting for more so I decided to watch all the Italian movie classics starring Sophia and other beauties of the Italian screen that LOVEFILM online has to offer.

While googling photos of Sophia Loren, I came across Claudia Cardinale whom I remember seeing when I was a child as my uncle used to have postcards with famous actors. LOVEFILM had only one movie with her to offer which turned out to be quite a different kettle of fish from the comic frippery of the Sophia Loren film. Rocco and his brothers  is a realist epic drama about south to north immigration in 1950s Italy featuring Claudia in a minor role. I got to see a lot of the French pretty-boy actor Alain Delon instead but this was not enough to quench my appetite for female perfection. On the list next, back to Sophia and to The Black Orchid and It happened in Naples. I hope to keep you updated.
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2010 Update [Apr. 13th, 2010|01:12 pm]
Miss M
I am going to update because I feel like I am cheating by reading your updates and not sharing anything back - I still very much read LJ and I get a pang of excitement when I see a new entry from one of you, so here we go, albeit very briefly:

A snapshot of me in 2010:
- I am working at St Hilda's College as Development and Alumni Relations Manager which means fund-raising through events, publications etc and it will be 2 years in August since I've joined this place. I have finished the law-conversion course last summer but have not gone on to apply for the LPC or a training contract because I don't know if I want to be a lawyer! The job that I am doing is not very challenging but it has it has its moments. It also has its moments of frustration when I think: enough - I am leaving and going to earn big money in the City doing something interesting!!! Watch this space, we shall see. In any case, I wouldn't stay here for more than a year - I will be applying for better paid roles in Development in Oxford or elsewhere...I still have a phobia of moving to London...
- I have been in the same relationship for a few years but not many people have met my partner and this makes it somehow complicated - this year will be the year when I decide whether to go ahead and move our relationship forward or start again from zero...
- I still live in Oxford and I do a lot of things with friends I have made since I've graduated I also go to London almost every weekend to visit my family and my sister.
- I am constantly busy and that is great, I never feel bored or have too much time on my hands to contemplate on the seriousness of life although these things inevitably creep in my thoughts and I will need to deal with them at some point soon.
- I very much still love going out dancing and having fun though I have learnt with disappointment that not many people share my passion so I am trying to have different groups of friends that I could do different things with.
- This year I have completed a wine tasting course and I will join the different wine tasting societies in Oxford to continue this interest.
- I will also be dancing dabkeh with the Oxford University Dabhek troupe probably for the very last term as my friends who have been leading this initiative have finished their PhDs, got married and will be moving back to Jordan etc
- I am still in love with the idea of moving away to Spain, Romania or anywhere else but will this ever happen?? I don't know! In the meantime I plan to travel more widely and outside Romania and go back to Seville at some point soon!!
- I hope to still be as lucky as I am now surrounded by my family, my gran, my friends but also not to leave important things too late and be left behind...

This is all for now!
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London Pub Crawl [Jan. 4th, 2010|02:06 pm]
Miss M
Hello everyone,
I haven't written in this in a gazillion of years but what better intro than to propose that we organise a London pub crawl for February? Looking at old crawls it seems to have become the annual pub crawl. At Alex and Hanna's NY party, Hanna suggested that I should organise it and I am happy to so do. To kick things of, just one question - the date!
Which of the following dates would suit people:
February: Sat 13th, Sat 20th or Sat 27th? I hope that as many people can make it so let me know.
I will follow this up with a discussion on themes etc on the semi-defunct londonpubcrawl on Facebook.
I hope to see you all folks early this year - we can treat this as a reunion as we haven't seen each other in ages!
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Banging my drum [Jul. 22nd, 2008|11:46 am]
Miss M
Things of note today - I've passed the first Year Law Exams tantalisingly close to a Distinction which we all know is 70. I got 69. However I have 4 more subjects next year plus a Dissertation and the good thing is I think it wasn't a matter of luck but of cracking the technique of doing well in these exams. From the first exam which I got 64 in what I believed to be my best subject to an incremental 76 for Contract Law which I believed was my worst subject, something must have changed along the way and it wasn't knowledge but technique and a very good essay as well. So, the moral is, exam technique can be learnt to produce results! Well done me, pat on the back. :)
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A few things [Jul. 11th, 2008|12:20 pm]
Miss M
Last night I went to see two comedians: Andy Zaltzman and Dan Atkinson on their way to Edinburgh, wasn't too impressed but equally not too disillusioned, you can tell they had not finalised and fine-tuned their material, but it was a much better way to spend an evening that dowsing off in front of the TV. I plan to go and see more theatre and shows from now on.
Also the day before I watched this little movie at the cinema "Caramel" http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/caramel/ One of the reviews on there summarises perfectly well: "A lovely little comedy-drama". It reminded me of the cinematography of Volver and even the story was not too dissimilar, women doing it for themselves and beautiful Mediterranean women at that, always a treat!
Otherwise, I have visited my new place of work and was shocked to find out that they might actually require me to work and come up with ideas and manage and delegate.
Also, booked a mini-three nights stay in Bournemouth in two weeks and also might be going to Barcelona (yet again) for three days to reunite with my first Romanian school mates. And that sadly would be the extent of my summer holiday this year. Boo.
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Busy bee [Jun. 5th, 2008|10:25 am]
Miss M
It's been a very long while since I've posted but just to mention a few things coming up: law exams next Monday to Wednesday, the possibility of a new job on the pipe-line pending reference check and negotiations (tomorrow afternoon), Romania playing France on Monday in the Euro 2008, College Ball on Friday 13th, then my Birthday week (notice how I'm calling it a week...hehe) and then mini-pupillage one week, then big event at work (the annual Gaudy) and then starting new job followed by summer holidays to Romania??? Man this sounds like a handfull, hope to make it through! :)

Also hope to make it to MV's pub-crawl on Saturday afternoon if it reaches central London.
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Urgent times call for desperate measures [Jan. 29th, 2008|11:25 am]
Miss M
Why are you regular lj-ers not updating?!! It's been a weekend (which I will give you, is slow) but two days now and no lj activity to entertain the worker. Bad lj-ers! Bad!
Look what you've made me do, update my own lj!

So what have I've been up to since the gazillion of years since I've last updated?
Well, lots. Holidays, Christmas, NY all that. Though NY was a complete wash-out this year, in fact when hasn't it been a majoy come-down? Mock exams in college in January, and today handing in an essay! They are very strict with word limits so it's only 2000 and you MUST not go over the limit or you'll be penalised, so it's been quite tricky fitting everything in. Can't wait to get it off my hands really and then is just classes and lectures until the June exams, which at the moment I'm quite looking forward to.

Apart from law and work, I haven't been up to anything extraordinarly exciting. I've been getting more sleep and more weekends to myself and watching the occasional movie, though the ones I was planning to watch: 4 weeks, Charlie Wilson, Brick Lane I haven't made it to yet and others are coming on my list, including the Coen Brothers obviously (which incidentally I've had a long dream about, wonder if the dream will coincide with the movie!). I'm quite pleased about actually having movies on a list to see at the cinema as last year has been an incredibly bad year for cinematic expectation and delivery.

Yesterday, I've watched The Prestige in the Magdalen Auditorium, pretty entertaining if quite wacky and a bit over-the-top and cinematography quite bad. It had David Bowie looking quite bloated playing a mad scientist. And the woman with pouty lips, the more movies I see her in, the more I agree with a comment my dad made about her only ability being to pout in a disapproving/dispapointed (sexual?) manner. Scarlett Johansson. Hah, her name is Scarlett. Yes.

Anyway, enough from me for now. Don't want to spoil you too much. Arivederci. x
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Who makes this rubbish? [Nov. 5th, 2007|10:18 am]
Miss M
Monday again, this week went along normally, nothing much to report. Friday night I went to a Dabkeh practice and then joined Dave and a few Oxford people whom I haven't seen in a while with the occasion of one of the prodigal's return visits. Was nice to have a drink in All Bar One and a nice chat with Rosie, Dave and Rob mostly. I passed on the Cellar and just went home for a well deserved sleep. Woke up around 10 and went to work for a graduation lunch, entertained a Japanese Old Member and his family during lunch, gave a speech and went home. Got all my books and material in order and set off to NW London. Got to the parental home, settled down for the evening watching Saturday Night TV par excellence, Stricly Come Dancing, missed the fireworks, much at Iri's displeaure, and watched a famous Mike Leigh play, filmed for screening, Abigail's Party (1977). At first I was a bit unsure about watching a filmed play but it was absolutely engrossing, you could not take your eyes off the screen and in particular of the main character, Beverley played by Alison Steadman who I've watched in an actual play in the West End and also in the semi-amusing series "The worst day/week/ of my life". Great observation of awakard suburban/middle-class social situations that can be applied anywhere. Most of the dialogue reminded me of staff conversations at lunch and at the various "birthday treats." I would highly recommend it for viewing.

On the complete reversal of that, I hired a comedy last week Sleeping Dogs (2007) on the basis of a quote from Time Out on the front about it being quite good. I never read the back of dvds or books, but maybe in this occasion I should have done. The premise of the movie is that the main character once in college gave a blow job to her dog. Then she feels guilty, dirty etc and decides to tell her fiance. While she does that, her cracked-up brother (revolting character) overhears her and then tells her parents (disturbing chatacters, especially the mother) over Sunday lunch. I would just like to point that it wasn't the premise of the movie which upset me, in fact I couldn't see why everybody made an absolute issue of it when it was made clear that it was a foolish gesture, what sickened me was the movie itself, the execution, the filming, the ugliness, the seadiness, the repugnat characters (the main character rather ironically was the only decent/normal/sweet character), the indie vulgarity of it all. Although I was watching it alone, I had to stop because I could feel myself becoming increasingly revolted and sick. I can't believe when I've now googled it to read the overall positive reviews. "The jet-black comedy has a surprising sweetness that counter-balances the profoundly disgusting plot" Sweetness? If you don't like plain ugliness, stay clear from this one. Back to the weekend.

Yesterday I've started looking in more detail at my law work, also the moot problem regarding a contract problem and how I and my partner can argue and win next Wednesday. I'm pretty excited but also terrified! We then had dinner, watched the Stephen Poliakov drama on BBC 1, another let-down and then off to Oxford this morning. New week, hope you all have a good one.
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The week(end) that was [Oct. 29th, 2007|11:24 am]
Miss M
Wednesday First Law exam. Multiple choice. Not too bad and come on it's multiple choice. Should pass and maybe more. Finish by 7 pm. Go to the pub with all the others in my small group. Stay much longer that should have done. Drank a pint of guinness after several glasses of wine at some point. Big mistake. Moved on with a small group to UCL students' Union around 10pm. More drinking, background bad Karaoke sang by pissed UCL undergrads. Kept thinking I have to return to Oxford. Getting into a cab with the others destination Walkabout in Leicester Sq. Why? Getting increasingly dizzy. Late 'wake-up' reality call. Abandon the club idea and leave in search of food. Famished. Grab a tuna-sandwich. Wait for a bus. Where to? Baker Street hopefully for my coach. Realising I better jump on the underground instead. Still hungry. Grab a croissant with cheese. Finally make it to Baker Street. Wait for coach. Not too long happily. Get on coach, put on music, fall asleep. Get to Oxford. Hungover already deeply set in by now. Get to sleep. Wake up thirsty. Milk only liquid in house. Drink that. Yuk. Fall back asleep. It can't be 8 already!! Drag sleep until 8.30 then drag my sorry state to work. Death.
Thursday Cannot do work as brain is in tatters. Watch stand up comedy on You tube all day. Clicking from link to link: Omid Djalili, Chris Rock etc finally ending up watching some "clean Christian American comedy" Weird but not too bad. The main comedian was an American woman called sth or other Pomorelli? Hm. Intersting. Vowed to search for stand-up comedian dvds to watch at home. Plan failed as all they have in dvd rental shops is obnoxious Ricky Gervais stan-up.
Friday Plan: Attend a Birthday party for Sara, a girl whom I know from my Dabkeh dancing troupe at Al-Salam restaurant in Oxford. Preparations: go to TK Maxx and hope to find a new outfit. Find nice dress and shoes in clearance. Come back home cook spaghetti with fried German sausage. Eat while watching BBC Friday night comedy. Awful. Have to start getting ready and sadly miss Omid Djalili on 'Have I got News for you' in the process. Leave the house wearing new outfit, pick up friend from Hi-Los, (smoke-free that place now. Can you imagine?) head to party. Meet Birthday Girl just as she was walking in. Grateful for the first time for my friend delaying me at Hi-Lo's. Get drink. Make small chat with strangers. Start dancing. DJ rubbish. How can you play rubbish rnb at an Arabic themed party. Get some Dabkeh going finnally. Party in patches from good to bad. Music to blame. Feeling even I could have done a better job of djing. Despairing. Mmm distracted by cake. People leaving. Birthday girl in need of dancing partners. More dancing. Closing time. Sadly having to leave. Getting a lift to St Clements. I don't want to go home yet it's only 2am. Go to Maria's house instead. Make popcorn and drink Romanian Plum brandy (70% strength) Talk nonesense. Walk back home and go to sleep.
Saturday Wake up midday. Relatively hungover free. Must have built up drinking strength since midweek drinking. Potter around till evening time. Cook an even better version of spaghetti with friend sausage. The garlic was the clencher. Eat this while teleconferencing with parents and watching Stricly Come Dancing. Go to my room, gently fall asleep. Friend rings. Realise I'm supposed to meet in 20 mins to go to some strangers' house party. Only two streets down. Cool. Arrive at party. Meet a bunch of Polish people and a crazy looking Spanish neo-hippy. Looks so tame. Oh wow neon face paint. And honey-vodka. And extremely friendly people. And music. And oh the walls are all flourescent. Hyperactive Polish 4 year old. Nice people. Vey nice people. Getting more and more comfortable. Getting up and dancing. A bit hungry. Oh Polish food. Cake. Then soup and sausage. Bongs and marijuana. I don't smoke cause I know it has no effect on me. High tech and clean Polish neo hippies. Three macs. And music and wine and all sorts of other crazy drinks. And families. And crazy Polish people. And the time passes in a crazy whirl of face-painting. These Plosih people can drink the English dry. Friend makes of with Polish guy who looks just a little bit like a a young Brian Moloko. Hm. Maybe time to go home. 3 am? Definitely time to go home. Neo-Spanish hippy walks me home. Home. Sleep.
Sunday It can't possibly be Sunday. Get text from friend. We are cooking late lunch for people? Huh? Romanian cooking? Oh dear. Really not in the mood. Ok go to Tesco. Go to Russian shop. Go to Morrocan shop. Buy pumpkin (why?) potatoes. meat. Friend comes around. We start cooking. Old kitchen starts falling apart. Oven door gives. Grill doesn't work. Good thing friend bought ready-cooked chicken. Guests arrive. Finally food on table at 3.30. Garlic. Polenta. Sourcream. Goat's cheese. Butten. Cottage cheese. Chicken. Potatoes. Lamb sausages. Lamb chops slightly uncooked. Ok really uncooked. Wine. Yum. Nice food. Great food. Banter. Puzzles. Lunch becomes dinner. Night sets in. Friends reluctant to leave but have to move house. Hours pass. More laughter. Hmm arabic sweets. Coffee. Aparently if you drink your coffee without sugar in it for two weeks you don't need the sugar anymore. 7 pm friends finally leave by van to continue moving. Original friend stays. It's Sunday night. I don't want to do work. Should we carve the pumpkin? Sure have you done it before? Nope. Ok you start. Oh pumpkin so cute. Should we go and rent a cheesy horror movie? Sure best idea on a Sunday night with our carved pumpkin on the table. Wow the rental shop it's selling all its cheesy horror movies on tape. There are literally hundreds. Pick "The Day the World ended". 1950s sci-fie B-movie horror. Possibly the most unintentional funny movie ever. This is T.D. day (Total Destruction) by nuclear weapons—and from this hour forward, the world as we know it no longer exists...and over all the lands and waters of the Earth hangs the atomic haze of death." And on that note to bed.
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