Lady Ascot

I love to people-watch. I do it at restaurants, sidewalk cafes and airports. I do it at events, parties and conferences. I do it wherever and whenever I can. On Tuesday afternoon my boyfriend and I headed out west to watch the horse races at Royal Ascot, the most famous horse racing venue in the world (according to the English, who can be trusted when it comes to such things, as they ruled most of the world for a time).

Colorful hats at Royal Ascot



Once upon a time there lived a lady. She was adventurous and restless, and she longed to travel the world and live in far away places.

Hampstead houses


Lady and the City

On Friday night I went to see the Sex and the City movie. I won’t lie; I never watched the show very much when it was on the air. However, I still wanted to see the film just to know what all the fuss was about.

While watching the movie I was a bit surprised at how little the film focused on “the city,” i.e. New York. While the principal characters were based there, significant parts of the film also took place in Mexico and California. So much for the Big Apple.

Reflecting on the film, I realized that there were some interesting parallels with my own existence in the UK. I have lived in London for almost eight months now (hard to believe!), but most of my exciting adventures have taken place everywhere but London. Uncannily, like SATC, some of my most recent stories were all about Mexico and California.

Winery in Russian River Valley in California


Lady Luck

“They call you lady luck
But there is room for doubt
At times you have a very un-lady-like way
Of running out…”
– “Luck Be a Lady,” Guys and Dolls

I am not a lucky person. I don’t win raffles, I buy losing lottery tickets, and I eschew the blackjack tables in Vegas for luck-neutral pursuits such as eating and people watching. Luck may be a lady, but it certainly isn’t this one.

On Friday I was wallowing in my misfortune over a down-to-the-wire flat search. The hunt had taken up way too much of my time over the past two months and yet had not turned up a suitable property.

Suddenly, I came across a listing for a flat in Hampstead that looked promising. I first noticed that the location was close very close to where I live now. On closer inspection, I realized that the property was in a beautiful historical building that is so close to my current flat that I can see it out my kitchen window.

I immediately read the details and was delighted to find promises of a two bedroom, two bathroom flat with a study and a private garden in a gated complex that boasted of a full gym and covered parking for our (imaginary) car. Upon viewing it, my boyfriend and I found that the flat was nothing short of everything we were hoping for. Not a bad find for an unlucky lady!

I didn’t want to get excited before the documents were drawn up. However, the landlady accepted our offer and the agent sent over the official contract tonight. On June 15, one day before we have to move out of our current flat, we will get the keys to our new one. Maybe I’m not so unlucky after all.

“Luck be a lady tonight
Luck be a lady tonight
Luck if you’ve been a lady to begin with
Luck be a lady tonight…”

Lady y la Boda

My first trip to Mexico took place at the impressionable age of five. My mother, enticed by the offer of free babysitting at Club Med Ixtapa, threw some bathing suits in a suitcase, loaded me and my brother onto a plane and whisked us off to the tropics.

Sculpture by the waterfront in Puerto Vallarta Mexico


Lady of the Land

Every year on my birthday my aunt and uncle send me a card. This year they sent one with a black and white photograph of rolling hills dotted with giant oak trees. Without having to read the description, I knew that the picture was of California. It made me homesick.

Being back in California this week made me want to see some of that beautiful land outside of San Francisco. Yesterday my boyfriend and I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and headed up to wine country to take in the scenery and taste some of our state’s famous Pinot Noirs.

Japanese garden at Arista Winery in Russian River


Lady to Breakers

This week’s adventure took me home to California, and I couldn’t have picked a better time to visit. The weather was hitting record highs in San Francisco just as the London heat wave succumbed to the London rain. As if that weren’t reason enough to be excited, there were two special events in the city over the weekend: Oyster Fest and Bay to Breakers. The latter is my boyfriend’s favorite holiday (“it’s like Christmas and New Year’s combined,” he says), so I knew I was in for a good time.

Oysters in San Francisco


Lady is Laughing

I love to laugh. There’s nothing more satisfying than sitting around with friends laughing until my stomach hurts, my eyes tear up, and I can barely breathe. There has been much to laugh about lately, from things that are uncannily bizarre to things that are culturally humorous to things that are just plain hilarious.

First in the uncannily bizarre category is an incident that happened to me earlier this week. I went out to the high street to pick up a scone from my favorite Hampstead bakery, Gail’s. As I walked, I passed by a dog tied to a solid wood bench outside Starbucks. I was tempted to pet the dog, but the loose muzzle around its nose was a bit of a deterrent.


Lady in the Country

Just as I really started to complain about the weather in London things warmed up significantly. This weekend temperatures have been in the high 70’s and I could not be in a better mood.

Oasts at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent England