Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sun-soaked Fun

it does seem that vacation breaks bring out the sloth in me. Amsterdam, followed by Yenz's foray to Scotland and swiftly continued by the Andalucian trip does not provide a condusive environment to blog update. but i do owe everyone a quike update, with a focus on the southern Spain trip, which was beyond gorgeous.

Amsterdam was good, but only with the company i serendipitously amassed. otherwise i thought the city lacked that omph that gives say Edinburgh and Paris that extra appeal you can't quite place a finger on. spacecakes and purple joints can only get one thus far, and a bad trip is going to make it all worse anyhow. even with the ubiquitous canals snaking through the city, i still felt it lacking in something that venezia has (even though it might be overrun with tourists of all sorts). however the lovely accommodation of Hilton helped, and as mentioned, the company made it all good.

Some reasons why Andalucia is so much fun and memorable: FOOD! Best food goes to La Sacristia (immediate right) with the winning grilled prawns wrapped in aubergines. The most 'haute cuisine' we went is to your bottom right- my monkfish and prawns in saffron sauce (pictured below and proceed to salivate). And of course what is Spain without its mad array of tapas.

Of course food wasn't the only thing preoccupying me, although Yenz would probably put her life on the line to argue otherwise, what with the incessant whines to meal and constant obsession with snacking on random stalls walked by. Malaga was passable and as chilled as we were we didn't feel quite prepared to waste another day in this slow-town. We proceeded to Marbella where white-washed boats are harboured aplenty and the beaches more welcoming. It was such a gorgeous day, we just enjoyed a leisurely day on the beach with semi-cold froths of water washing up our sun-beaten bodies. It was a magnificent feeling, one that you won't get to feel a lot, even in Singapore where the humidity just takes the kick out of sunbathing/beaching. Marbella, ah- my mistress of a beach resort. We had a wonderfully good day there, nothing short of hyperbolic relishing of joy. And after a terribly hard day's work of sunbathing and Mediterranean Sea forlicking we thought we might well deserve a popsicle to tame the heat but pictures turned out to be more suggestive than we thought,
especially since we were seen by passerbys to indulge in the 'eating action' and ferociously taking pictorial evidence of ourselves while the sticky fruity flavours dripped down our clumsy hands. Still, happy times.

I think both of us were rather taken aback with the architectural beauty and never-ending polaroid-worthy views of the city of Sevilla. Everywhere we turned we found something most extraordinaily sumptuous to human sight and marvel at the intricacies of the Moorish tiling or the symmetry of designs that make them all so pretty. The Sevilla Catedral and La Giralda humbled us and shut us up completely, even all the obscenely-repeated 'ooohs' and 'aaahs'. It was just that little crazy to see something so immensely grand, every single nuance in architecture, art and religious symbolism were all taken care of and each altarpiece, each nave, each sacristry were just overwhelming in their own rights and league. one has to be there to witness the looming beauty of it. La Giralda brought us to such heights that to catch the Reales Alcaraz and the Catedral all in a single breath, was a subsuming feeling. it definitely lives up to its affectionate nickname of Sevilla's Effiel Tower, only with more meaning and allegorical depth. This really brings our insight into Sevilla to new heights (pun unintended), a city highly recommended to anyone planning to visit anywhere in the Mediterranean really. Just keep practising at holding your breath.

Oh did i forget to mention Sevilla is also home to Zara. thus on the main shopping street alone, there was 3 Zara Women, 1 Zara Mens and 1 Zara Home. imagine how flighty Yenz got when she found 'home'. shopping in general was great as well, let's just say we returned poor but very happy people.

This trip was great really, some fantastic memories to keep and great anecdotes to share over wine and cheese. I think a good travel companion is vital in the impression of the trip overrall and thanks to mine this time round, our foray into Andalucia has been more than gorgeous. so here's to us, and more to come.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Invidious updates in an attempt to prevent a fall into desuetude

the otiose, academically-beated-but-now-arisen-and-about-to-launch-into- logorrhea me will now attempt to endeavour to say something here before i force this little space of mine to fall into desuetude, as with my former literary agogness and relevant linguisitic attainment.

after a rather rewarding vacation placement at the oh-so-mentioned Magic Circle firm complete with Mayfair dinner clubbing and expensive social events (where is the work bit?), a mad frenzy, head-first into academic catching-up was guaranteed, considering i took the chance to go to the Balkans + Venice for 2.5 weeks and blankly staring at my text in London, relegating it to bedtime hypnosis reading. well life is all about chances, the excitement comes with the unexpected result that is consequent- i need a blind woman from nip/tuck to tell me that. (Commercial: nip/tuck season 2 is the most lurid medical-human drama/soap on television hitherto, catch it and you will forever think twice about undergoing a comestic procedure) Well i was bored like that see, got hooked onto the Sainsbury's DVD rental services and trying to maximise it whilst i'm still on the 30-day trial. And can you not help yourself from falling hopelessly for Famke Janssen? That oneiric beauty, combined with a matured patina of feminine aura and downright raw sexuality that oozes like *rude analogy censored*... I do digress but can you quite blame me? Not that i need any sort of pictorial representation to remind myself of her, but beauty never hurts, or too much actually:

i CANNOT wait for x-men:the last stand, someone restrain me. And i'm getting hooked to this image attaching capability.

Moving along (i think i'm able to now), spring has finally arrived proper. apart from the rather annoying slaps of cold winds that would make you regret perambulating in your surf shorts, it is otherwise getting rather hospitable and proves to be quite that succor to the biting, dreadful winter not too long ago. i managed to trot up part of Arthur's Seat just to read my notes on a carpet of grass (flies and crawlies taint the lovely experience somewhat), under the glorious sun that refuses to play secondary to cumulonimbus- it was a gorgeous feeling. not that it was exactly a fruitful academic outing, but hey we need to feel good without unnecessary encrumbrances. i would proceed to attach another picture here but i really don't have one.

well thereafter were a series of wine sessions at mates' and catching up, having not seen them for quite a bit. also did catch MI:3 which turned out not to be quite the pablum of a 2. pace was good, suspense was biting at times and plot was tight, albeit still no comparison to the first instalment. but one can definitely see j.j.abrams casting out his own league in the action-mystery-thriller sphere. 2 claps.

not everything is quite that invidious as proclaimed. there were/are some menial errands to be executed, details of which i will not venture to bore you with. but what is the most invidious could be my plans for the next few weeks, leading right up to my eventual prodigal return to good-ol' Singapore. a string of trips and friends that give me that wee rush everytime i think about it. i see verdant patches clouding over some faces, so i will leave it at that.

well not quite, swallow this baby: munich (getting me some ball action, *wink*), paris (oh love me the same way as i love you), salzburg (the prodigal meeting the dead prodigy), malaga (think beach whale and liking it), sevilla (some Moorish jingle-lings), london (the future speaks), cambridge (friendly obligations) and amsterdam (stone me up). and company to beat. bite me.

with this salmagundi of activities that i leave you to digest and crunch over, i take my leave but i (semi) promise to do this more often, now that i don't have recondite concepts that i need to grasp but don't care about and i have regained my inner-equipoise (sorry tim, your time will come- with you in spirit though). Balkans pictures next chance.