Sunday, 20 June 2010

Part 4: Friends in London: Lady Michelle of Malta, and Drunk Parishioners at Christmas Eve Mass

When I first came to London, I met this cool young lady in her twenties who hailed from Malta, I called her Lady Michelle. She was very tall, brunette with big dark eyes and long black hair, she looked a bit like an Italian goddess. She was intelligent, well read, super independent and strong. She always had five different things going on at once, and always knew what was happening at the latest minute. I kind of felt like she was my Matesian soul mate. She spoke with a funny Maltese accent, and a bit of an Italian lilt, ( Malta was under rule of Italy for many years and most of the homes get Italian TV). She also used "you know" after every sentence, which I found rather annoying, but I tolerated it because she was so charming and fun in every other way. She would say to me, " Sabrina I have a one off ticket to a rock Concert, you know, do you want to come?" It's in Camden town and we'd have to take a bus and get back home very late you know.  I often called it to her attention and she took it well, but she kept on doing it, so I just gave up and acceepted that is how she is. Besides, it's not that bad of a habit, considering all the myriad bad habits people have that are really despicable. Also she was so sweet, fun and smart that she won me over. She was also very helpful too. She had been in London I believe 2 times before me, so she knew how to take the bus, where the nearest hospital was, how to save money. She was my first friend in London, and we ended up spending Christmas Eve together 2009. During my first winter in London, I caught the worst cold, which evolved into bad bronchitis. The fact that the youth hostel I was staying at with Michelle had the worst heating of any hostel I have ever been. ( On top of that I had to keep borrowing blankets, I ended up having about 4 blankets, when I was only supposed to have a measley one. I had one to insulate the wall because the room was facing outside, and very cold, another one for the matress and then two on top). Man, I was bloody cold. Anyway, I was coughing up big huge gobs of green London phlegm and sweating so badly that I had to go the hospital, luckily Michelle geared me to the right place.

It was my first time in a London hospital and I was happy that they didn't ask for my papers or anything. They took me in right away without any questions asked. Th ey gave me antibiotics and I recovered quite quickly after that. I am very grateful to their kindness. ( Boy, what an experience, you know, I think I'll use this dialogue for audition material,You never know !)

Once I recovered, I was back to my party self again. At the last minute, Michelle had invited me to join her for a service at Christmas Eve mass. Why not? It would be fun to go to a Christmas Eve mass in London, England. I remember it was Christmas eve and we walked and walked in the cold London winter night, from our Hostel in Hyde Park for about another 2 miles to reach the Catholic Church. I remembered some lady walking right in the middle of mass, stone drunk and sitting right next to me. She smelled of hard liquor and decided to start hugging me, and crying all over me. I don't know why I attract such weird and out people, do I have a sign on my head that says " I am counselor, pillow included?" Anyway, Only in London.  The  Priest in the mass used such powerful incense,that seemed to hail straight from the Vatican, big huge balls of Frankincesse and Myrrh, that he kept swinging around to bless everyone with, while he recited some Latin phrases, I though he was going to hit us with it. I felt like I was getting high off them, between the choir and the incense, it  was indeed a spiritually transcendent experience. After mass, I wished everyone in my way "Merry Christmas" and  stopped to chat with  the Priest who had surprisingly had a  flute of champagne in his hand, and complimented him on the nice service. Somehow, he must have liked my friend and I, because he  went out of his way to give us both  flutes of champagne( perhaps, he liked my American accent), which made us both very happy because we were both to broke to buy our own. It was nice to sip champagne with an English priest. I was also wondering if he drinks like this all the time. Anyway, after we elegantly sipped the champagne and said our adieus to the priests, we walked swiftly home in the London cold feel very warm, fuzzy and not the least bit lonely that we weren't in each other's respective homelands to celebrate the Holidays.

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Saturday, 19 June 2010

Part 3: Friends in London

This is my friend Bader Mirza, he's half Egyptian and half Iraqi. He's very nice. I met him at the Queens Hotel when I was staying there. He worked part time as the reception desk. He was a first class gentleman, and would always carry my grocery upstairs. When I was sick he brought me some chicken soup to my room. I never forget his kindness, even though he's very mischievous. He also would invite me to all these parties with this Shiek that he met in his last trip to Dubai. Apparently, for such a humble job he had, he knew all these Sheiks and used to go to all these parties in London's classiest hotels. Bader means Moon in Arabic. He would call himself the King Bader, and he would call me Princess.

Aniello and Samantha Baldini in Twickenham, London

When, I first came to London, I did the COUCH SURFING thing . I stayed with this really charming Italian couple. Samantha's house always smelled like the LUSH store. I cooked a few times for them, and one time I made a Spanish  Tortilla and it landed on the floor instead of the pan. They were both very gracious about it.  They lived in Charming Twickenham, about 30 minutes outside of Central London. You had to take a train from Waterloo to get there. Twickenham is the home of the great rugby matches and the home of Orleans House. Well, Sammy and Annielo were very nice to me and made me feel at home. They also let me stay a bit longer, which I am very grateful, they left to go to Italy for about 4 days and left me the keys to their house. It was a great respite for me, at the time, because I after staying in noisy and populated hostels, I needed some private time to myself. It seems like my whole time I was in London I was always blessed with unexpected suprises and people supporting my life.  I was very much in rhythm. Sammy and Annielo, if your reading this, your the best, if you come to Los Angeles, mi casa es su casa. Millie Bacis. By the way, Annielo you look like Andrea Boccelli.

Hector is a reporter for BBC Latin America and I met him in London.
We met here at the Dublin Castle, where the 80's Ska Group Madness got their start.

Tanya Kwiez at Planet Organic Notting Hill
I used to go to Planet Organic practically everyday to stock up on vitamins and get a hot cup of tea during a break. The Internet cafe I went to was just across the street so I would often pop in just for a break of a cup of tea or some yogurt. I met the nicest people that worked there. Tanya Kwiez is a volunteer for project Watoto. Every year she goes to Africa and voluneteers at Paradiso orphanage with Project Watoto.
If you would like to work as a Volunteer or Donate to Project Watoto, please, go to

This is Heather Bowie,we met walking down Westbourne Grove street she asked me for directions in my neighborhood.  (I used to walk down Westbourne Grove and take it all the way to Notting Hill and then famous Porto Bello Road.). Heather Bowie hails from South Africa, and is of Scottish descent,  and we planned to go to Scotland together but never got around. She's very cuteand always sweet. She works in the fashion industry in London.

Sabrina's London Diaries: Part 1: Friends in London

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Monday, 14 June 2010

Part 3: Peace in the Middle East Tosos in London Monday Nights

Me, with four other Israeli Buddhist. Roshashana - The Jewish New Year- October 2008.

 Chanting for Peace inthe Middle East. This photo was taken with a group of Israelis, who also happen to be  Nicheren Buddhist,and chant a mantra ( Nam Myoho Renge Kyo), to awaken one's Buddha nature.Every Monday night, there is a tozo (an extended prayer session for more than 1 hour) for Peace in the Middle East.

Will there ever be Peace in the Middle East? Maybe not tomorrow, or the immediate future, but who knows maybe one day there will be peace in the Holy Land. The Zionist movement was created because the Jewish people have been a homeless people since the time of ancient Egypt. Israel was created in the forties right after World War 2 to create a homeland. But, Zionism started much earlier than this. If you like Literature, read Daniel Deronda (Oxford World's Classics)one of my favorite books written by George Eliot, she writes about Zionism in Victorian London. 

Perhaps,finally they will have a place to call their own without intervention from the United States, without dissension and agrimony from Palestininans. At last, Israel will at last have a harmonioius homeland.And,the Palestinians who have suffered tremendously against the very powerful force of the Israeli army, will also have PEACE. At this point, there can be no more blaming the other side. Each person, has to fight with their own fundamental darkness for there to be lasting peace, just like in your own family.

Either way, it is never a waste of time or waste of energy to do something positive for the world. To chant for PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.You may think it's naive,a waste of time to chant for Peace in the Middle East. You can think whatever you want. You may rather watch Seinfield with your husband and wife of Monday nights,than get off your tush and chant, but I am going to keep chanting for Peace in the Middle East and so will my other friends.

Me, with Yariv Perelmuter. Yariv is an Israeli Buddhist who has been practicing Buddhism for 5 years.
He's a Comedian/ Social worker. I met him when he was on Holiday in San Francisco and we stayed in touch for about 1 1/2 years, until  I came to London and he "dumped me upon arrival". Literally, just after arriving from Heathrow airport. Well, at least he didn't string me along like so many men do.  He was a bit rude like most Israeli men, but the positive side of being rude is that the people are usually very honest and sincere. My Buddhist training has taught me to see the bright side of everything and everyone.Needless to say, I forgave him, not right away of course, or I would be lying, but after chanting a lot and turning poison into medicine, and doing beaucoup human revolution,  I realize that he was my manivator and I should appreciate him for being a catalyst and getting me to London, otherwise, I just would have procrastinated. I  wish him all the best with in his life and career. I do hopes he finds the right deodarant and learns how to wash his clothes. ( LOL !) They had this moldy smell on them like he washed them in London rain and never brought them in to dry. Whoosh! and Pewie !! (Anyway, Nothing like a bit of light hearted humor. If you are reading this, I sure hope you can take a joke. God knows you like to dish 'em out. ) If your reading this I am chanting that you find the right anti-perspirant Yariv, or a woman who  can tolerate your Middle Eastern JUNGLE smell. Anyway, Yariv is a very funny and intelligent comedian, his humor is his weapon, making jokes about world issues,he sheds  light on some of the world's heaviest topics in the name of  Kosen Rufu (World Peace.) He didn't have to serve the compulsory 2 years in the Israeli army because he's Diabetic. I told him that was his good fortune. I have a feeling that he could eventually make it as a Comedian. And, I have a feeling I'll eventually find a man that knows a thing or two about hygeine. Everybody will get what they want in the end.

Like Shakespeare said, " All well that ends well".

It's really a wonderful world !

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Harry Potter's London

Harry Potter is myth, legend and inspiration to many people, both children and adults alike. The movies have been a phenomena in modern pop culture. I am still amazed how a young single mom would write these stories on a napkin, while writing she was receiving govement assisstance, wrote these magnficent stories for children that turned out to be such an amazing success. Her story inspires me just as much as Harry's story. I only started and finished reading the first book, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone.  I have yet to read the others in the series. So, yes, I am still a bit behind in the Harry Potter saga. Still, I was impressed with the storyline, and while watching the movie the settings always seem to transport me to some make believe magical place that only England with all it's grand history, architecture, castles and mystery can evoke.

1. London - Harry communicates with the snake at the Reptile House in London Zoo, Australia House on the Strand was the setting for The Wizard Bank, and King's Cross Station provided platform 9 and 3/4. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are seen on Harry's arrival in London.

Platform 9 3/4 Kings Cross Station. London.

Australia House.Strand, London. Home of Wizards Bank in Harry Potter's Movies.

Reptile House. Regents Park Zoo. London.

2. Black Park, Langley, Berkshire - The 600 acre park was used for the movie's Forbidden Forest on the edge of Hogwarts, and out-of-bounds to the students. Hagrid's woodland home is set here too (now demolished).

3. Picket Post Close, Bracknell - the suburban, mock-tudor home of the Dursley.

Picket Post Close. Home of the Dursley's

4 Privet Drive

4. Lacock, Wiltshire - Harry's classroom friends were filmed around Lacock Abbey, a former monastery.

Lacock Abbey

5. Oxford University, Oxfordshire - the ancient university city provided much of Hogwarts' architecture including the school's library and hospital.

Christ Church. Oxford University. Dining Hall in Harry Potter's Movies.
I did manage to get here. It was a very beautiful experience and I felt very at home at Oxford.

6. Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire - magnificent fan vaulted cloisters - setting for ghost scenes

Inside of Gloucestire Cathedral

7. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland - the exterior of the castle is used for exterior Hogwarts shots, the Quidditch match and broomstick lesson is set within the ramparts.

8. Durham Cathedral, this 12th century cathedral provided one of the Hogwart's classrooms. Harry walks through the cloisters of the Cathedral with his owl, Hedwig.

The cloisters is where Harry and his friends walk through
The cloisters, where the monks of Durham carried out their daily life. The cloisters were added in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were rebuilt in 1828. The roof is all that remains of the medieval original.

9. Goathland Station, North Yorkshire - doubled as Hogwart's local station.

Note Bene: I managed to see all the Harry Potter in London and in Oxford film locations, everything else I got from the internet. Perhaps, next time, in the UK, I 'll get to spend more time outside of London. I still would like to see Northern England, especially the Lake District,and the home of Beatrix Potter. As they say there's always tomorrow to make dreams come true.

love, Sabrina

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Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Last Tuesday Society Shop

Taxidermy was quite popular in the Victorian period.  The Victorians were fascinating with collecting stylish clutter. At The Last Tuesdays Society's Shop and Museum, you can unleash your inner gothic Victorian, and can collect all sorts of curiosities.

Photo of Victor Wynd in front of his shop

 Victor Wynd, Director of  The Last Tuesday Society, oversees the events at the Masked Balls, owns and runs The Little Shop of Horrors in Bethnal Green.

The shop of curiosities sells:
 "A wide variety of curiosities and oddities [...] from human fetuses to shrunken heads, chocolate anuses, carniverous plants, orchids and mutated teddy bears, not to mention a fine selection of speciality teas, broken children’s toys and dead plants."

In the Shops discover all kinds of medicinae, zoology , naturalia, osteology (study of bones), entomology ( study of butterflies). In the zoology department you can see all sorts of dead stuffed animals, including a monkey. LondonAntique Taxidermy, Victorian Taxidermy , Contemporary Taxidermy, including Stuffed Birds and Stuffed Animals, Game Heads, Trophy Horns,Skulls and Skeletons, Pickled Specimens,Curiosities,Glass Domes, Cases, Collector's Cabinets.

An Array of Beautiful Butterfly Species at the Shop. Endomology- the study of Butterflies.

Everything is for sell if your interested.

The shop is dedicated to all sorts of weird science and there is a charge to the Museum.

The Little Shop of Horrors Holds a Lecture Series . There you will find classes such as  HENDRICK'S QUARTERLY SEANCE with Richard Wiseman. " Why let Death get in the way of a good conversation."

Enjoy !

Viktor Wynd's Little Shop of Horrors & Museum.
11 Mare Street
Hackney, London E8 4RP
 and is currently open 12-6pm, Friday to Sunday.

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Thursday, 3 June 2010

re: PART 1: Tips on Visitors coming to London: Transportation

PART 1: Tips on Visitors coming to London: Transportation

A great way to see London would be just buying an Oyster card for 3 £ and then topping up as you go along. You can register your card online, just in case it gets lost. When you aer done using your card your £3 deposit will be given back to you. Your Oyster Card is King in the travelling business in London. The bus is the cheapest route to see London, it's just £1 one way. It's also the the best way to see London, high on the second floor of the double decker buses you can see all of London. Here you can see the architure, people, fashionistas, tourists,great monuments, parks and more people. You can just sit back and relax and see it all from the vantage point of the big double decker bus!!! You can also use the tube to get around the only thign is tube can be quite expensive, usually £2.00 one way. Also, the tube is hectic and cumbersome, they are high traffic areas. During rush hour it's hard to get a seat, so what you do is pretend like you are a Londoner and always always carry a book. This way you can pretend your deeply entranced in your book and can avoid any eye contact with people. Just in case, if they want to ask you where you are from, or ask you for directions or maybe complement you or strike up a conversation. If you hide behind your book, you look chic, intellectual. Reading a book on the tube is the height of sophistication. And,like you can't be bothered.

Another key note, many major cities in the world have the exact time arrival of the trains and departures, here in London, all you have to do is stand by the platform, and look at the screen as a guide. As far as schedule times, forget it. Just know that each tube takes about 2-3 minutes between stops. So, let's say if you are going to Oxford Circus on the Picaddily Line and you start at Greenpark. You'll arrive in just 2 minutes. Those trains are bloody fast. If you are changing lines, you have to allot for time travel inside the tube station itself, that could take another 10 minutes depending which tube station you are at. If you are at the major stations where other trains go outside London, it might take you ten minutes to go from one side of the station to the other. The major train stations are Waterloo, Paddington, Kings Cross, and Victoria.

Also, these train stations are enormous by the time you reach your destination, you'll probably have to use the loo at this point you'll want to make a beeline to the bathroom. They weren't kidding when they said London is an expsensive city, because once you get to the Bathroom or as the English say TOILET( taken from the French, as an American I still think the word bathroom is more elegant, I detest saying the word Toilet), there is gate that will charge you 30 pence each way. If you have to go to the bathroom on your way to depart the train station and then upon arrival, that could cost you just 60 pence just to pee. Multiplied by 5 days a week, that could be £3 a week. Multiplied by the many weeks in a year, that 's about roughly £10 a month. That's about £120 a year in Bathroom usage. (That's enough money to buy a one way ticket from LA to NYC) See, I told you London was expensive. Anyway, keep a lot of spare coins just in case you have that irrisistable urge. On a positive note, it's a good thing they also have showers just in case you want to be fresh for your next meeting or hot date. I think that cost about 1£. But, on a positive note, the pound you spend on a good old fashioned shower, is probably worth it because by the time you are done running around the tube and train stations like a chicken with your head cut off, dodging stressed out people with their luggage, handbags and big umbrellas, not only are you ready for a pint of Guinness you are ready for your second shower. of the day !!

Next London Diaries
Harry Potter's London
Dating in London Part 2


Shakespeare: Contribution to the English Language

This is my favorite of all the favorite quotes in the world.
"All the world's a stage"..


Life is like a play - we merely go through the stages of our life acting it out.


From Shakespeare's As You Like It, 1600:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

- Harry Potter in London
- Fashion in London
-Dating in London: Part 3. How to Cause a Stir

The Last Tuesday Society in London

The Last Tuesday Society The Last Tuesday Society is a pataphysical organization founded by William James at Harvard in the 1870s and presently run by The Chancellor, Mr.Viktor Wynd with the aid of The Fellows of The Society. It is devoted to exploring and furthering the esoteric, literary and artistic aspects of life in London and beyond.

The Last Tuesday Society attempts to recreate the decadence and naughtiness of the 19th century.

Typical Glamourous Debauchery and lots of drinking.

Suzette's Cheese Board.

Most their Mask Balls are from the Victorian era, however, they do mix things up. This Ball was the Renaissance Ball held on January 29, 2010, complete with regaled in authentic comstumes, mask and Renaissance attitude.

Unfortunately, my flight back to the USA was on February 2, 2010, I was running around like a mad to try and prepare for my big move back across the pond. I barely had time to eat, so of course,  didn't make it. There's always tomorrow to make dreams come true.In fact, I discovered that there is annual Edwardian party that takes place every Janaury in San Francisco. And, now Los Angeles has there own Last Tuesday Society. It's a big world that we live in, and the more you travel, the more you realize we are all the same.

For more information please visit:

More in Sabrina's London Diaries:
-The Last Tuesday Society
-Esoteric London
-Ghosts in London
-Harry Potter 's London

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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Sabrina's London Diaries: Finding Mr. Darcy: Israeli soldier vs. English Scholar; The Rugged vs. The Refined

I didn't post this blog a bit back when I wrote it. Melchett Mike is about an Expatriate Londoner of Jewish lawyer origins who decides he wants to live in Israel for a time in his life. It's an excellent and entertaining blog about every facet of Israeli life, including dating and relationships.
This is what Mike wrote about his brothers in Israel the Philistine with the small pee.. I always say consider the source.

Sabrina's London Diaries: Finding Mr. Darcy: Israeli soldier vs. English Scholar; The Rugged vs. The Refined


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