Monday, 10 June 2013

A Walk in the Park

Last week we had some beautiful summery weather, and luckily for me I had a week off work so that I could spend some time with writing and getting reacquainted with my city. On the sunniest day, I took a walk in Holland Park.

I had never been there before and I made the mistake of entering Holland Park through the tube station of the same name (it seemed logical at the time) and ended up walking through and getting lost in some empty woodland where I feeling extremely anxious because I saw nobody for miles. But once I actually found the nicer part of the park, it was worth it. So now I will be sharing some photos with you all. I may not know what all parts of the park are, but I hope you enjoy the pictures all the same.

This section was a beautiful area with a fountain on one side and a mural across a wall on the other, which was just too big to take a photo of.

I came back later on to find people sunbathing nearby (who needs a beach anyway?)

Giant chess board. I watched as two families' kids decided to play chess and their parents helped them to set up the board only to have the whole thing demolished by a third child.


The Kyoto Garden where I just sat and got lost listening to the waterfall in the background. There is a sign that asks people to respect the area and use it for contemplation. Even if you planned to be a bit of a tourist and take photos, you find yourself just drawn to the benches and relaxing. And below is another photo from the garden.

So there was my day out in the sun. I didn't even have the opportunity to look at the whole park, but that's one of the things I love about London - somewhere inside all the hustle and bustle we have areas like this.

After that I went to Oxford Street for a bit of shopping where I walked past someone who looked a lot like a member of the Royal family (What would the real one be doing shopping on Oxford Street?). Not one of the next few in line to the throne, but it was still quite weird.

An update on the eFestival of Words nomination: First, thank you for the support, and secondly, the finalists will be announced on the 1st July - not June like I had initially said.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Arranged Marriages - Trying to Keep a Straight Face

It's been a while since I did a post on my experiences with arranged marriages. It's not that there hasn't been material. I just haven't had the chance to sit down and write about it. Until now.

Quite recently we were out at a function when we came across some old friends of the family. Being the polite and pleasant person I am, I stood for a while and had a chat. That was where the other person in the conversation decided to drop hints about their nephew. They managed to bring into the conversation (in several different places) the person's age, his job, where he lives, his property situation (owns his own home!), and that he makes good money.

When conversations like this occur, it is important to try and keep a straight face for as long as possible. This is especially true in cases like mine where I am not on the lookout for a husband just yet. As soon as you show the slightest bit of interest - a raised eyebrow, a nod, an "Oh really?", you are passed a telephone number in your hand before you have had the chance to change the conversation topic. These things are delicate matters, and this is just another way to deal with them.