Things of a cultural nature

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend one day of the first Stoke Newington’s (Hackney, London) Literary Festival

After negotiating my way through London traffic, on bicycle, I arrived safely in Stoke Newington. I decided to bike in honour of my get-bikini-fit campaign which has been rather unsuccessful lately (sweet tooth as per previous post!).

There was the obligatory photo snapping of parks, churches, graveyards,  recycling bins and what not.


I settled in for the talk on feminism (a first for me) which I found to be very thought-provoking. I was interested to learn that the Representation of the People Act in 1918, known generally as Fourth Reform Act is remembered for the first time extending suffrage to women.

Authors Ellie Levenson and Kat Banyard reading from their books the Noughtie Girl’s Guide to Feminism and The Equality Illusion stimulated very good discussion in the audience.

A treat for SF Fans

Following copious amounts of gin&tonic I excitedly awaited the panel discussion by China Mieville and Jon Courtenay Grimwood of their respective novels The City & The City and End of the World Blues.

Their talk was very well received by the die-hard SF audience and provided an insight in their style of authorship and influences.  Needless to say the allocated hour went past way to quickly and I look forward to future such events.

Look out for my review of all above mentioned books in future updates!

Sadly, due to other commitments I was not able all events of the festival but in all am very glad I managed to attend this event.


No I am no Julia et Julie

In this first installment of my bi-weekly or bi-monthly update (you pick) I thought I’d first do a write-up of some of the happenings at chez GlitterUSA.

Baking and related disasters

For the past fortnight I have been rather unsuccessfully trying to bake the perfect banana bread or something which resembles.

Partly because it reminds me of being home (1000s odd miles from here) and partly because I am currently suffering from the worst attack of sweet tooth in the history of my glittery existence!Everything I try results in a flat, gooy-eee lump black-burned (on top) lump which bares nothing of a resemblance to one of my gran’s many cullinary successes.

This is what I have done to date without any success

  • replaced self raising flour to normal flour
  • bought 2 new pots of baking soda just in case previously used batches were out-of-date
  • moved the pan around the oven just in case of a “cold spot”
  • bought a new baking pan
  • ensured that dry ingredients are carefully sifted before being rest of ingredients are carefully folded in
  • increased the baking time and lowering the oven temperature
  • composed an ode to the gods of baking

I think it is safe to say I have tried it all. however, I have not given up and hope that my next updates will be written with a nice, thick slice of banana bread with melting butter, next to me. I shall prevail!

  • No not my banana bread but instead what I aspire to create

Social media debacle

There has now been for months endless reporting about the sensibility and security of the use of social media such as twitter, facebook, blogs etc.

Words like security and protection of personal liberties, freedom and the likes are thrown around with a voice of doom and warning.

OK- perhaps facebook has been bit blasé for not putting the required (by who’s standards?) security settings in place but it is not as if they have put guns to our heads to divulge our information in the first place…?

There have been numerous scandals in other areas where our private information have been mismanaged. I am of course referring to banks that have left our bank statements in plastic bags on the street for anyone to nose through. Also what about those instances where someone has left either a pc or other device on public transport containing  information of customers, employees and the likes.

Going even further back nineteenth-century letters contained commercial, political, and academic business or about personal matters which may have been easily intercepted exposing the content. There have been books for example Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Purloined Letter” (1844) about a stolen letter containing compromising information and subsequently used in blackmail.

In my mind age old letter writing or today’s electronic media provide lifelines for many and the opportunity to interact with individuals one may not meet in what has become an unforgiving fast paced life. Although social media is not as eloquent as the communications of years gone by it provides a platform to discuss all current affairs. Anyone who is fortunate enough to have access to the internet can have a stab at it no matter how mundane or even illiterate you perceive yourself to be.

With the surge of electronic storage of data I don’t personally blame what is happening today but really am critical of the checks which should have been put in place since the inception of the internet in general.

It appears to be age-old  human nature to wait until something critical happens, one example being the oilspill, and then resort to witch hunting.

Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Use it!

Let’s try again

I started this blog some months ago in the attempt to have somewhere to blah blah blah about things. However, in the spirit of progress I need to change the original purpose and just chat about things I now find interesting, fun and sometimes damn right silly!

So bare with me as I get myself organised and act together!

Vroom vroom but no cigar

HUGE disappointment with the Alfa Spider. Looks fab, goes fast but is terribly uncomfortable!

I decided to take my Thelma-and-Louise like business elsewhere and this weekend a Saab convertible is mine!

Don’t take me wrong,  in the spider I felt a moment of recklessness, sauciness and all that is BAD but I do like my comfort.

I will be experiencing the wind in my hair with an extra layer of padding and stability 🙂

Heart over head

I need a new car due to a variety of circumstances.

Ok- maybe need is a bit strong but with all those great deals around one should really take advantage of it now. See it as my contribution to giving the economy a kick start.

To continue this celebration of single-dom and on the brink of 40  I am looking at convertibles!   I have booked appointments with two different car dealers of which one is a test drive with alfa spider. Oh what a beautiful car it is!   I have read many reviews stating that is exactly what it is- beautiful but not very functional.

But I think if you can  manage it then every one should at least once own a car chosen by heart rather than head.

Wish me luck as I plan to negotiate the best deal between to car dealers 😉

Viva la Creme!

I usually purchase your run of the mill beauty products, nothing fancy, not very pricey but just enough to keep up the beauty routine.

Today everything changed!

In support of my current self improvement regime, which comes sporadically!, I purchased the Rolls Royce of cream. The gift from the sea: Creme de La Mer.

I reckoned I deserve a little pampering as I nervously handed the smallest size tub to the polished beautician. I held a poker face as the total is read out to me and I handed over my credit card. Of course I ALWAYS use this cream, darling!

When I got home I removed the tub from the its square box just to find the smallest of spoons in the bottom.

I nervously read the instructions and went about cleaning my face. So as to get the ful benefit of my first attempt. I carefully dipped the little spoon in the Miracle cream and rubbed it between my fingers to activate the special broth.

After application I studied my face carefully in the mirror…yes, the lines did appear less!

Viva la Creme!

I think I am a customer forever as I eased the tub into a drawer overflowing with other inferior miracle tubs.