On leaving Amsterdam behind

September 27, 2012

Caught up in the last minute whirlwind of heading home, I made sure to sneak in some time with some of my favourite girls in Amsterdam. The roomies asked me if there was anything I'd like to do before I left the city and I insisted we check out the photo booth at Centraal station. I LOVE old school photo booths and I only recently discovered this one so near to our house. This resulted in me leaving the house looking like this:

I know the girls will hate me for posting these on here but we had such a ball cramming into that tiny booth and making silly faces that I couldn't resist. Millions of ridiculous poses later (with props) we were exhausted from laughing till our tummies hurt. 

Thank you ladies, for making my night.

I never, EVER, travel light. It just never works out for me, especially when travelling home from Holland. Dutch cheese and mayo are dietary staples in our households and arriving home empty handed is just not done, so we booked an extra suitcase to make sure I had enough room for everyone's favourites. This included 25 kg of cheese, mayo, coffee, stroopwafels, sausage, cooking sauces & Dutch magazines, to name a few:

I'm not sure whether my Mum was more excited to see me or the food...

And last but not least, I had to figure out how to travel with said suitcase. Thankfully, I live with a real life superwoman and Dotje offered to help me to the station with my 10 tonnes of Dutch food. I couldn't even lift it and I stood there in awe as she casually swung it onto her bike and into the train for me later on. Saying I felt pretty pathetic is an understatement.
I made a mental note to start working out when I got back.

I don't know what I'd do without the strong women in my life.
Actually, I do:
I'd end up using crocodile tears to get some unsuspecting man to help me lift my stuff....

So exciteddd!

September 26, 2012


After a few chaotic weeks of trying to plan my life it seemed like a good idea to head home for 3 weeks before the One Young World summit in Pittsburgh and starting my internship in November. This way I can brain storm with some pretty awesome people on how I should tackle my topic at One Young World and make the most of this opportunity to discuss Type 2 diabetes in the developing world.
I also get to do some research on island politics for my upcoming Master's thesis, so my trip won't be all fun in the sun. 
But who am I kidding? I ALSO CAN'T WAIT to jump in the ocean, go for a sail/surf/dive, catch up with friends & family, hang out with my mum, eat yummy good and just be HOME. 
It's been 10 months and I've never been more excited. 

Boobs, pot & flowers

September 23, 2012

A small group of Italian men stopped me as I was about to cross the street on my bike today:

Italian: Escuse, could you give me some directiones?
Me: Sure, of course. Where would you like to go?
Italian: We are looking for the place that sells boobs.
Me: Pardon? Boobs?
Italians: Yes, yes. The street that has lots of places selling boobs.
Me: Well the Red Light District and is on the other side of this square, to the left. But, seeing as it's 4pm on a Sunday afternoon, it may be a bit dead.
Italian: Do they sell flowers there too?
Me: No, I don't think so...they probably should actually. That's a nice idea.
Italian: Ah...so do they sell pots there too?
Me: Pot? Yea, loads! There are coffee shops on every corner.
Italian: Gratzi. I want to get some for my grandmother in Italy.
Me: Are you sure we're talking about the same thing? 
Italian's friend finally stops laughing and says: Yes, we are looking for the flower market. He wants to buy Tulip bulbs, flowers and pots for his grandmother.

What has this city done to me?

Sunday Snaps: Noordemarkt

My roomies and I were on a mission this Saturday: to finally take advantage of the incredible market that pops up every weekend right around the corner from us. 
Usually we're too hungover to  wake up before noon, far less leave the house, but this week only one of us was a 'brak' vegetable. Even then, Do was a trooper and came with us. I'm so happy we finally did this, not only because fruit & veg cost 1/4 the price here but the adult in me appreciated feeling productive on a Saturday for once. 
The Noordemarkt is exactly as a Saturday market should be; chaotic and colourful, with kids screaming as loud as the vendors trying to catch your attention. Grannys, yuppies and cute guys hustled their way through the crowds, arms full of flowers with dogs in tow.
We nibbled on samples of every variation of pesto known to man, a plethora of cheeses from all over the country and stuffed our faces with locally made, organic pizza {It's not bad for you if it's organic}
We were really disappointed in our dessert though, our chocolate cake was SO bland. If I'm going to indulge in chocolate cake I want something that's going to explode in my mouth and at least make me feel a bit guilty. 
This was soon rectified with a sweet Italian lemonade on a terrace in the sun.

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September 21st: World Peace Day

September 21, 2012

You can push the peace button here.
It'll be the best button you've ever pushed.
Go on, you know you want to.

Wednesday's Window to the World: Abergavenny, Wales

September 18, 2012
Woke up hungover yesterday morning to this view from the window of my friend's house. Made me smile! - Anne Barker, 2012


September 17, 2012
In all the confusion, stress & chaos of the last week {more on that later} I totally forgot to schedule a post to mark the 1 month countdown to ONE YOUNG WORLD!


Just watching this video gets me pumped; I can't wait to meet everyone from across the globe and discuss these important issues. I'm intimated as hell by some of the amazing kids {I say kids because some of them as SO young to be doing the things they've done!} and yet I can't wait to be around people who inspire me and push me out of my comfort zone.

I'm representing Barbados at the Summit and I'll be presenting a preventative healthcare intervention aimed at Type 2 diabetes amongst the Bajan youth. Quite a heavy and complicated issue and I'm really looking forward to hearing other people's opinions on it.


Manic Monday: Before I die

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you. When Candy lost someone she loved very much, the experience helped clarify her life but she struggled to maintain perspective. She wanted to know what was important to the people around her. So with help from old and new friends, she turned the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans into a giant chalkboard and stenciled it with the sentence “Before I die I want to _______.” so anyone walking by can pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in public space.
It was all an experiment. By the next day the wall was entirely filled out and it kept growing. Before I die I want to… sing for millions, see my daughter graduate, straddle the International Date Line, see the leaves change many times, be someone’s cavalry, live off the grid, help numerous children, hold her one more time, abandon all insecurities, be completely myself…  People’s hopes and dreams made her laugh out loud, tear up, and feel consolation during her own tough times. The wall transformed a neglected space into a constructive one where we can restore perspective, remember we are not alone, and understand our neighbors in new and enlightening ways. 

Roald Dahl Day

September 13, 2012
Dahl was celebrated for his whimsical, twisted, cheeky and simply gloriumptious stories of witches, giants and fantastic foxes. 

Here are some of my favourite childhood tales:

A sweet tortoise love story

The adorable book worm with magical powers

Disgusting, but oh-so-amusing!

This gave me nightmares as a child, even before the film.

Though Dahl is known for his children's books, his short stories for adults are equally as entertaining. My mum gave me her copy of 'The Best of Roald Dahl' when I was a teenager and I was shocked to read his dirty, macabre short stories of sex, murder and naughty things which wouldn't be allowed in the land of BFGs and oompa loompas. These stories generally share a dark sense of humour with a very surprising ending. 
A must read for all of Dahl's fans who are all grown up :)

6 photos that shouldn't be on Facebook

September 11, 2012
I don't know when or how this happened but the fact that I don't really blink an eye at some of these things on my news feed is kind of weird:

The self portrait of a 16 year old with massive cleavage, caked in make-up in front of a web cam? No big deal. 

Same goes for the album of my friend in a bikini (200+ photos of one.girl.in.a.bikini, I kid you not) 

Or way-too-many-post- work-out-shots at the gym.
 Or, better yet, the photo of someone puking. 
Sharing is caring folks, especially now in the voyeuristic, digital age of the 21st century but there are limits.
 Imagine trying to explain this to your grandparents: "well, you see, it's the norm now gramps, everyone shares photos of the placenta as soon as the baby's out" No lie, I have seen this. It's gross, weird and OTT and the fact that we wouldn't readily share some of these photos in reality is indication enough that we shouldn't be sharing them online. 
We get so caught up and overwhelmed with images everywhere on a daily basis that our perception of what's "normal" has changed.
Besides that, many of us are naive about who can see what online. Forget trolls & stalkers, I'm talking employers and recruiters; there are ample ways to find out about a potential job candidate who shares too much online or doesn't keep their profile as secure as possible. 
(Aforementioned girl in bikini is screwed)
Somewhere along the line someone figured it was OK to start posting the following types of photos and share them with our 1000+ friends on the internet:
{I was very tempted to use ACTUAL photos of people I know but I figured I'd somehow find myself in hot water even if I blurred the faces so I'll leave it to these celebrities to get the point across}

Drugged out photos

It surprises me how many of my friends post those pink eyed, spaced out shots of them at a festival, concert or a pool party with little concern for the fact that it's really obvious they've taken something. I'm not judging on the drug use but at least wear really dark shades to make it look a little more badass or don't post pics of you smoking/snorting/shooting/swallowing.


I love the love peeps, but please don't litter my newsfeed with a whole album of "us" kissing and macking out {Yes, mAcking out, far worse than making out} - save that for the wedding album.

Bathroom mirror shots

 I have an issue with this, perhaps because most of my friends missed the Twitter boat but I'm still a fan of candid photos & less obvious posing. 
Bikini photo of a girl having a good time in a suitable environment: cool. 
Bikini photo of a girl in a bathroom by herself with poor lighting: wtf? 
We can see that you have a nice body but for pete's sake, go have some fun.


The only excuse I can think of for a selfie is a travel photo. I've seen lone travelers struggle to get a shot of themselves in a beautiful place and my heart goes out to them but I also question why they don't bring a small tripod. Perhaps everyone needs said tripod to avoid those horrible arm-awkwardly-extended shots which often fail to capture the essence of anything, far less a flattering photo of anyone. Be creative and place the camera at a safe distance for everyone's sake.

Drunken/pukey/end-up-in-a-bush photos

 I've had to remove albums since graduating university in England because I realised that no one was benefiting from the disgusting photos of our drunken escapades in Tiger Tiger. Sure, we were in fits of giggles the next day looking through the evidence of our wild times but I'm not sure that my parents or potential employers would appreciate the humour. Definitely a 'guess you had to be there' series of shots.

Duck face

Enough said.

Manic Monday: Chillaxxx

September 10, 2012
I've been meaning to share some of these chilled summer tunes for some time now. They're a mix of what's hot here in Holland, in the UK & at home in Barbados.
 I'm sure everyone can find at least one they like in between :)

Sunday Snapshots

September 9, 2012

Awesome weekend spent with my 'other' Dutch family in The Hague, to celebrate G's 65th Birthday. {A whimsical  photo booth was thrown into the mix, more photos to follow soon :)} Lots of champagne, good food & catch up time with my bezzie; perfect :) 

A few things you should never give up on

September 8, 2012
These gems are sourced from one of my favourite daily reads: The Thought Catalog. The articles are written by like-minded twentysomethings who seem to be feeling the same way I do about life, love & other awkward tidbits and most of it is dripping in sarcasm with pinches of wit and humour. Chelsea Fagan highlighted a few things we shouldn't give up on and it's something I'd like to share with anyone who needs a pick-me-up. 


Having a job you enjoy

Keeping good friends

Your Body

Being loved

Personal Change

You can read the original article here.
Images all {via} edited by me.

Where my bloggers at?

September 5, 2012

I'm giving in to the urge to spruce up this blog again 
{Anyone else have this more often than not?} 
I'm constantly inspired by other blogs and recently I've thought that this fine ol' piece of internet of mine is looking too cluttered so I'm going to de clutter it bit by bit.
On that note, I've spoken to a few of you about doing button swaps and feature posts. If you're still interested, send me an e-mail and we can get back in touch about it! 
{I admit I've lost track of who I spoke to about this...}
And if we haven't spoken about it already, feel free to email me anyway! 
The more the merrier :)
I'm also starting to get back into the swing of things with the start of school and a whole new chapter in my life. 
Stay tuned :)

Wednesday's Window to the World: Manhattan Skyline

Manhattan Skyline - Chanelle King, 2012

No Behaviour at Notting Hill Carnival 2012

September 4, 2012

Notting Hill Carnival was nothing short of fantastic and I can't wait for my next dose of 'bachanaal.'
However, this last week has been a bit of a blur due to lack of sleep, too much rum punch & not enough hours in the day to cope with it all.

Luckily, I've managed to pull myself together and start giving this blog a bit of TLC and I've been geeking it out hard core. Part of this recovery process was creating this video of carnival.

I'd like to put a big fat disclaimer aimed at all those non-Caribbean readers of mine:
What you are about to see is what we call 'getting on bad', 'bachanaal' & 'wutless' behaviour. It's part of our Caribbean island culture and it's what we've grown up around. We don't consider it vulgar, promiscuous or inappropriate because it's keeping within the fun loving carnival spirit and it's one of the perks of being a West Indian.

Yes, we're actually wearing bikinis on the streets/tube of London.
No, we don't dress like that every day.
Yes, we're behaving like lunatics and dancing on everything that moves.
No, we don't behave like this every day.
Yes, we are respectable human beings with degrees & important jobs.
No, we don't really care what anyone has to say about this.
There's peace, love & a whole lot of rum punch flowing through everyone's veins because carnival is the most amount of fun anyone can have on a given day. I think everyone should try this at least once in their lifetime!
Just sayin'
Enjoy :)

Manic Monday: The Influencers

September 3, 2012

What defines an 'influencer'?
Is it someone who leads the pack & determines what's to come in terms of popular culture?
A friend showed me this great documentary that discusses what it means to be an influencer and how trends and creativity become contagious today in music, fashion and entertainment. It's based on Malcolm Gladwell's 'Tipping Point' theory, which is described as 
"the biography of an idea and the idea is very simple: ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do."   
I don't agree with everything that is said, this film attempts to understand the essence of influence, what makes a person influential without taking a statistical or metric approach. It's a Polaroid snapshot of some of New York's influential creatives (advertising, design, fashion and entertainment) who are shaping today's pop culture.

Notting Hill Carnival 2012 snapshots*

September 2, 2012