There's Always A Reason To Be Thankful

Thursday, 24 November 2011

I am very thankful everyday for a lot of things, but today I am especially thankful for a few things because after almost eight weeks of overwhelming emotional and physical stress, things are finally beginning to fall right into place.

First of all, my mother is back to her normal health after a stroke scare. Although she still feels dizzy every now and then, she's a lot better than she was. So thank God for that. I must admit that a part of my stress in the recent weeks was family related. I'm normally quite good at handling problems, but when it comes to family I am at my weakest. It's really difficult when your family doesn't understand you and you feel like you are being blamed for a lot of things. And to make things worse, they say things about you that you know aren't true. It breaks my heart to think that the almost perfect family that I grew up with, has become quite dysfunctional. But despite the fact that things are not 100% okay between me and my family, I am still thankful that I have one. At the end of the day, they're my family and no matter what happens, I will always be there for them.

Don was made redundant not long ago, but luckily he found a new job straight away. But this opportunity means that we have to move to London. Honestly, I really don't have a problem moving to London. Actually I think it's about time for me to get out of my comfort zone and explore life a little bit more. However, as much as I was excited about the thought of living life in a much bigger city, finding the right place to live in became almost unbearable. I nearly had an emotional breakdown. That experience is something that I honestly don't want to go through again. Imagine, for 200 pounds a week you either get a flat in a good location and close to the city but with a size of a shoe box, or a bigger flat but miles away! It came to a point where flat hunting was not fun anymore and it was making me miserable. To be fair I probably didn't try hard but with a lot of things happening at the same time, I couldn't do anymore. Then one day, I found this good enough size flat five tube stops away from Don's workplace and that was it- my search was finally over! I know I might have taken the flat out of frustration, but we are only going to live there for a few months and we can always look for another flat while we're there, so it shouldn't be that bad! 

Yesterday, I finally had my pharmacology exam- thank God. This means that I can finally have my life back after spending most of the last six months studying and writing essays . The exam was not as bad as I thought it would be. I felt good after I submitted my papers, so I am hoping that I will pass. I don't care if I don't get a high grade as long as I don't need to do it again. 

There you go,  just a few things that I am most thankful for at the moment. What about you, what are you thankful for?

Anyway, I am going to end this blog with a song that I recently found in you tube.


Happy Thanksgiving!


tintin x 

No Other Woman

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Watching the movie No Other Woman last friday lead to a very random dream about an ex-boyfriend and his wife. Honestly I don't even think about these people, so why on earth would I dream about them? In the dream, I was flirting with the ex-boyfriend in front of the wife. Parang Anne Curtis lang. Naging kontrabida tuloy ako. 

Anyway, let's talk about the movie. First of all, I wouldn't have watched the movie if it were not for Carmi Martin's punch lines. I must say that Star Cinema made the right choice in including that scene in the trailer as it drew curiosity among people like me, who wouldn't necessarily watch Filipino films (anymore) but has a passion for funny and palaban punch lines. I couldn't think of anyone else who could have delivered those lines better than Miss Carmi Martin, so well done.

With regards to the main characters, Anne Curtis is actually the best among the three. She was perfect for her role and her acting was very natural. I think she deserves an award for this movie. Although I have not actually seen Derek Ramsay act before, I think he was good. And Cristine Reyes? Well for me she was not the ideal person to portray the role of Charmaine. I feel that someone like Angelica Panganiban would have done more justice to the role. Her acting was sometimes boring and quite pilit in some scenes. But otherwise she was okay.

No Other Woman is a typical Filipino movie about illicit affairs though. The story for me was very familiar. The scenes towards the climax became too predictable. But despite that, I certainly enjoyed watching the movie -thanks to Anne Curtis, Carmi Martin and the punch lines!

And to end this blog, here are some of the famous punch lines:

"Huwag mong sayangin ang lakas mo, kilalanin mo muna ang kalaban mo" - Carmi


"Anak, ang tandaan mo pag ang lalaki maya't maya nagpapalit ng babae, okay lang yun. Pero pag ang lalaki hindi na nagpalit at may suki na siyang kabit, dun lumaban ka na." -Carmi


"Hindi ko kayang makipag-agawan, at saka bakit ko kailangang ipaglaban kung alam kong akin?"- Charmaine


"Dahil nga ang mundo ay isang malaking Quiapo, maraming snatcher. Maaagawan ka. Lumaban ka." - Carmi


"Kasi tignan mo naman yang itsura mo. Panahon na para i-pack up mo yang Lucy Torres mo, ilabas mo na diyan si Gretchen Barretto. Ako na bahala sa red stiletto mo!"- Carmi


"Ano bang mas madaling kalaban, yung putang mahirap, o putang mayaman?" - Charmaine


"Pareho-pareho lang putang mga yun. Yung mayaman original ang Hermes, yung mahirap binili sa Greenhills! Yun lang yun." - Carmi

Speaking of Hermes, I loved the scene when Kara threw her Hermes at Ram. That was brave I thought. =)

Photo not mine

tintin x

London's Best Kept (Breakfast) Secret!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

If I happen to be in London especially on a weekend, I normally have my favourite longsiloglog (because I always have two eggs) at a Pinoy restaurant in Earl's Court. Either that, or I get my usual double sausage and egg Mc Muffin and pancakes at where else, of course Mc Donald's.  But when my friend Mila took me to the The Breakfast Club in Angel  last week, I think I may have found a new breakfast hang-out. So on Monday, I went there again, this time at their Soho branch.

We got there just after 8am, so the place was very quiet. We were greeted by a guy who looked like he just got out of bed and couldn't be bothered to go to work. He could be forgiven because it was early Monday morning. It's just a shame though because the place although rather small, had a very welcoming ambiance. So the experience would have been better if the staff was more accommodating. Anyhow, I would probably still go back for the food and the place, but not necessarily the staff.
This is what you see as you go in. A very cosy place. I guess we went there at the best time as there was not so many people. Apparently during weekends and towards the day, it gets really busy and you may need to queue.

Their wall is plastered with photos of people who have been at the cafe, some personal letters and notes from all over the world. Sweet.

Salt, pepper and your favourite sauces! And don't forget to drop a penny or two in the piggy bank!=)

I saw this first when my friend and I had lunch at the Angel branch. I thought it looked weird. So I tried it this time and it was not that bad. It's a smoothie called "Green is Good"- spinach, mint, mango and apple. It's worth a try at 3 pounds and 90 pence. 

And yes, take advantage of the free wi-fi, although the connection was very slow.
I have a bad habit of ordering the same food over and over again. The first time I ordered The All American, and last time I ordered the same again. The eggs normally look more beautiful than that, but because I asked for a well-cooked eggs, it turned out ugly. I love their bacon as it is crunchy and not too oily. The sausage was good as well. And their pancakes? Uhmmm, not sure this time. It tasted like it was not mixed very well. I could taste the baking soda. It left a bitter taste in the mouth. And if you look at it, it's burnt and looks like it may have been fried on the same frying pan as the eggs, the bacon and the sausage. I'm not sure but what do you think?

Anyway, as I said I would go back again, but perhaps I'd go back to Angel instead. But the one in Soho is easier to find, especially for someone like me who has no sense of direction at all. We got off the Tottenham Court Road tube station then walked towards Oxford Street. Then we turned left at Wardour Street until we hit the D'Arblay Street and it's there. You will not miss it as it is, as you can see -yellow!

The Breakfast Club
33 D'Arblay Street
Westminster, London W1F 8

How about you, do you have a favourite hang out for breakfast?


tintin x

The Hills Are Alive At Villa Trapp in Salzburg

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Sometime in December 2009, I was woken up at 1 o'clock in the morning with the nerws that we would be staying at the real The Sound of Music family home on our trip to Salzburg. That was the best news I've heard at that time in the morning. I have watched the film a few times and I absolutely loved it. In fact, we were watching it again last night that's why I was reminded of our wonderful trip and thought I'd share my experience with you.
                                                                                                                                                                     
The Villa Trapp is not the house that is featured in the movie, so don't expect anything too fancy like the lake terrace or the beautiful stairs. The real house is actually located in a quiet town of Aigen, few minutes away from Salzburg Old Town. Because we were coming from Munich, we took the train to get to the villa. The train station is actually the same train station that the Von Trapp family used to escape from the Nazis. It is just about 5 minute walk to the villa. Then we took a 10 minute bus ride to the centre. The villa is overlooking snow-capped mountains and forests, which was awesome!
This is the family's main living room downstairs. The villa was generally quiet when we were there. I felt like we were the only guests at that time. Probably because it was winter. This is the only area in the house where you can get a free wi-fi. I think it was around 9pm when we decided to hang out in the living room and boy, wasn't it creepy? The silence was eerie and the lights in the hallway turned off automatically. I'm actually glad that we didn't hear any "scary" stories (like boots trotting and everything else) until the day after, otherwise I wouldn't have even dared going back to the hotel late at night. The current owner told me that the house needed to be exorcized three times to make sure that all the evil spirits were completely gone. This is for the main reason that one of the rooms was used by Heinrich Himmler as his conference room. The room was then converted into a chapel. 
The rooms were named after each member of the Von Trapp family. We were given the Rosemarie room which was good enough for two people. Rosemarie was the eldest daughter of the Baron and Maria. The pictures of the Von Trapp family, especially the children were everywhere which is good because it gave me the "authentic" feel of the house.
In the lounge area we found this picture of Maria - the third child of the baron and his first wife. According to the host, when the Von Trapp family left Salzburg, it was Maria who closed the door of the house. And exactly 70 years later (in 2008), Maria formally opened the door to public. She was apparently flown from America on a private jet owned by Redbull company, hence this photo. =)
Meet Marianne and Christopher, the current owners of the Villa Trapp. Although we didn't see them on the day that we arrived (we were met by the cleaner), they made up for it the following day. The couple prepared our breakfast (of sausages, bread, ham, cheese, juice and fruits) and spent  a few minutes chatting with us at the breakfast table- in the same breakfast room where the Von Trapp family had theirs. They were very accommodating. If you happen to stay at the Villa Trapp, ask Christopher to take you around to learn more about the Von Trapps. It's free.
We only paid about 80 pounds for a night stay which included a full breakfast. I wish we could have stayed there longer but I will definitely go back, this time it has to be in the summer. 
Villa Trapp
34 Traunstrasse 5026 Aigen
www.villa-trapp.cc

*********

Salzburg has since became one of my favourite cities (so far), and here are some of the places that we visited:

Salzburg Old Town - where I finally learned how to read the map - up side down!
The Golden Ball in Kapitelplatz
(The white castle on top is the Festung Hohensalzburg or Fortress - a must see)
The Dom

Dinner was at the oldest restaurant in Central Europe. Their veal Offal in Vetliner and the Pork roast with bacon sauerkkraut and bread dumpling were super delicious!
Stiftskeller St. Peter
St. Peter-Bezirk 1/4
Salzburg, 5 5020 Austria
Since 803

St. Peter's cemetery and monastery and the Catacombs

And then there's always the fahion-fashion shot!
Inner Jacket - Primark, Cream Jacket- Topshop, Jeans- True Religion, Boots- Kenneth Cole, Bag- Burberry


So whether or not you're a fan of the Sound of Music, it's worth staying at the Villa Trapp.


tintin x

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