Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Random thoughts from here and there

The days are fast becoming shorter and it's rapidly becoming colder. I have a love hate relationship with the weather. I hate the rain, I hate the wind, I love the cold. It's not cold enough to turn on the heating, so I bundle myself into a shawl and sit all day at the computer.
I think I need a time-sheet because I have no idea how I spend the entire day in front of the computer.
Some more on the weather. Everyone is advising us to buy our overcoats now. So London people and those from other cold places.. need some help .. any hints / advice on what I should look for / avoid when buying an overcoat. Any particular shops you would suggest?
Today I had to step out to meet some people for potential job leads. It was better than a couple of days back when I went to a place and there were a bunch of kids who grilled me like BBQ meat and so far have done nothing about any leads. Am so mad! Today was better, but I froze since my jacket can't be worn over my suit. Worse, my suit is made for tropical weather, thus is more cotton than wool. Had to thaw myself with two cups of coffee when I got back.
Talking of jobs. I have tried to step up with an all out effort now. . and am talking to as many people as possible. But am so fed up at some level that answers come out taped. Predictable questions - what did you do in X role in abc company - I press play, answers start rolling and my mind starts wandering. Very bad!!
The height of excitement in my life at the moment is winning two free movie tickets in a competition and getting back half my train fare for a journey which got delayed (The national rail for however ridiculously expensive it is, has been the rare example of good customer service I've seen here. We were going to someplace when the train was delayed by over an hour. The staff came around handing out the refund forms and explaining the process). Given everything being low, low, low .. got cheap thrills from getting free stuff.
More unrelated stuff - last night I saw a rat in the kitchen. Urgh!!!!! Gives my shivers thinking about it. Shut myself into a room and sent Bee to chase it out with the broom. Fifteen minutes later he reports there's nothing. Not sure if it was hiding or I just imagined it in the shadows .. but am keeping my distance from the kitchen. Today I stepped in for five minutes to make a cup of coffee and kept looking around expecting a 'tiger' to jump at me.
All day I've been thinking of something I had studied long back. About anchoring (not the ship kind). It's about how people can't come up with a number / idea from thin air so when we have to come up with an answer for something totally unknown (like say the weight of a Boeing 777 aircraft) we try to work it out based on something we know.. however unrelated. (Sorry, that's a pretty bad explanation). Basically, we are not good at coming up with something completely random. I started thinking about it when I was thinking of names I use on the blog for people I know. .and how I always link it in someway to the person .. or use 'xyz' ... as opposed to a random phrase like say 'rgp'.There are many studies to show how we anchor etc and it's useful in negotiations / marketing where this is often used. It has been demonstrated in many ways and I find the concept fascinating.
Firefox 2.0 is out. It looks slicker. There's lots of interesting add-ons. - try it.


Beks said...

I have mice - I suspect a couple of them - which is freaking me out, because all my fruit have a small piece nibbled out of them, and worse by a factor of 100 are the small piles of shit, all over the place!!! I'm so grossed out I can't bear it.

John said...

Mice.. I saw on Nat Geo that they are invading UK like never before.. watch out.

Anchoring.. yeh it's that one question which stumps me. I rem one guy asking me to evaluate their annual profits and all I had to work with was the no. of products they sold.

End of day, I did good. I confused them all. :D

Nee said...

Mice, ugh! I am scared silly of them. In my book, you deserve a medal just for stepping into the kitchen!

Claire said...

A rat? A mouse?

*jumps up on chair to avoid critters*


mumbaiwallah said...

Hi Pea
If you're buying your first coat, I would recommend getting the best you can afford. Set a budget. Then pick a classic. Black, knee length or below (but not ankle length!).

Make the first one a classic - it will last you a long time and will save you in times of dire 'I-have-nothing-to-wear' crisis.

Next year, you can go buy whatever's trendy. When that's SO over, you can always go back to your classic coat.

Same rules apply to all other essentials for winter - boots, gloves, a warm scarf, thermals ... Brr :)

Pea said...

First, the rat update .. seems I must have imagined it since there are no further signs of its presence. Am very relieved.. but still wary!

[Beks] Oh no .. urgh.. can't you lay rat traps or poison or something. Or are you against such things? There's something call rat chocolate which was super effective. We had a massive problem in our place during college ..and this thing worked wonders. Not sure if you still get it..but they claimed that it made the rat/mouse want to go out after having it and so it died outdoors. Well our problem was solved..and we found only one dead rat so must have vanished or gone outdoors or whatever. Don't long as the bl**dy problem was solved.

[John] New invasion ?!! Shall continue to be wary.

[Nee] The only reason I even ventured close was because I started having doubts since B didn't find anything. But I assure you.. I am right eyeing every cupboard and corner suspiciously.

[Claire ] Ditto ..accompanied by a lot of shrieking.

[mumbaiwallah] Thank you, thank you. Some further questions .. what is the kind of budget I should have (have absolutely no clue how much a good overcoat would cost). Also, is there any particular material I should look for or avoid? And wouldn't it be too hot indoors with thermals.. am always confused about handling the outdoor vs indoor temp difference.

mumbaiwallah said...

Hi Pea
Coats can range anything from £40-£200. High Street staples like M&S have good ones for about £70, whereas I've seen some in Tesco and BHS for around £40. The up-market stores like Monsoon and designers at Debenhams will cost you more, but they are likely to be a better cut and design as well.

Look for wool. Wear it and it should fit well and look good on you (and feel warm!). I bought my first coat with Mr R and relied on his opinion (not a good idea!). I've barely worn it since. It's warm, but has a fur collar and is more like a trench coat. Mr R like most Indian men (or most men, in general) is not clued up to latest fashion trends and what NOT to wear :)

I'm looking for a coat myself this year. Want to go shopping? :)

With regards to thermals, I find them invaluable through the cold months. It's never TOO hot for me from November -April! The trick, I think, is to wear lots and lots of layers. Just having one thick polo necked sweater or 'jumper' as it is called here, doesn't help. It may keep you warm outside, but you may feel like taking it out indoors. When all you have is your thermals underneath...not a good idea.

Instead, use layers, thermals, a t-shirt, a regular shirt, a light sweater, your overcoat. When it gets too warm indoors, simply peel off each outer layer, till you feel comfortable. Layers also keep you warmer than just having one single sweater - it's been proven scientifically :)

The layering solution works for every season here. You will need a light jacket most days, except in the peak of summer.

Remember that for the next few months, your coat is the first (and sometimes ONLY) part of your clothing that most people will see. Make sure it is a good one and fits well.

*Lessons I must tell myself when I'm tempted to buy just anything*

Have fun :)

Grafxgurl said...


im baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

sigh and im so fed up of travelling! gah.SO glad to be back ion BLogland again

Pea said...

[mumbaiwallah] Thank you ..thank you ..for all the winter advice.

[Grafxgurl]Welcome back!

30in2005 said...

Mumbaiwallah has said it all - the complete rundown on coat buying. I just wanted to add that if finances permit you should in year 1 itself buy 2 coats. 1 classic black (and M&S will have the best range of semi-economical cuts & designs) and 1 in colour. This one does not need to be very long, just well fitted warm - monsoon, dorothy perkin, zara are all good options. There is enough black in the british wardrobe to drive anyone to suicide. I bought a red jacket and it cheers me up no end. Oh and wear a suit jacket under the ones you try on just to make sure it fits well and dows not crush the life out of you with all the layers combined. Hope you find the warmth!

Pea said...

[30in2005] Thanks. Oxford Street - Here I come!

mumbaiwallah said...

Yes, the color coat is a good idea. I'm always amazed that people here CHOOSE to wear gloomy colors to match the weather. Surely it would make sense to wear more color on gray and dark days?

I'm staying away from Oxford Street, at the moment. I was there a couple of weeks ago and it was like Kumbh Mela in England. The crowds! There was a queue in Topshop just to get to the displays! Really. I almost had a panic attack with the sheer numbers of people jostling you about in every shop!

With Christmas around the corner, it'll probably just get even more crowded. I think I'll stay in my corner for a while!

Enjoy your shopping and let us know what you pick up! Good luck with the job hunt as well :)

Pea said...

[mumbaiwallah] I hate Oxford Street on weekends.. you can barely move. At the moment ofcourse I have the luxury of being able to go on weekdays.