Refurbished Duke of Clarence pub and the Liebster Award

Brightoneagle / Our Osaka Blog nominated me for the Liebster Award, an award given to new or small bloggers by other bloggers with the purpose of giving them visibility and helping others to discover them as well. My blog is small but it isn’t very new any more – in fact, I wrote my first post almost a year ago and it was about one of my favorite pubs, a pub called the Duke of Clarence in South Kensington.

I’m not about to start re-posting about the same places I’ve already once written about, but in order to stay true to the original idea of my blog – telling about my favorite spots in London, offering tips about where to eat and drink and what to do in London – I think these pictures of the recently refurbished Duke of Clarence work as a nice background to this, a bit more personal post (which doesn’t really fit to any of my existing blog categories).

I do really love this pub – I think it captures the essence of the modern British pub culture and is one of the best examples of how a pub can be like a cozy second living room. I mentioned in my previous post that we are moving and this morning we had a viewing in our current flat. We had to go someplace for a while so that the letting agency could show our flat to the potential new tenants. We stopped here for a drink and did our grocery shopping online – an easy and productive morning! The best thing in the British pub culture is that even though you go to a pub already around noon, you won’t be labelled as drunk and you won’t be surrounded by drunks, because spending time in pubs in Britain is like spending time in cafes in most other countries.

Anyway, back to the Liebster Award – I was very flattered to get the nomination from Brightoneagle, because I’m still very surprised that someone actually reads let alone follows my blog.

The Rules of Liebster Award are:

  1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the nominator’s 11 questions.
  3. Nominate 11 (or fewer) small blogs who have less than 200 followers. You should believe that they deserve this award and include their link in your post.
  4. Create 11 new questions for your nominees to answer. Notify these nominees via social media/blog.

Please find my responses to Brightoneagle’s question’s below.

1. What is your favourite quote?

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” – Brazilian writer Fernando Sabino

I had to google who said this because the first time I saw this quote, was in one of those home decor quotation boards that are sold in markets all around London. I like it as it reminds me not to worry too much about little things, because usually things turn out okay in the end anyway. Worrying about stuff in advance is usually pointless and looking back, some things that seemed overwhelmingly difficult or distressing at the time have all been eventually overcome, so the initial worrying was useless.

2. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow what would you do today?

A really difficult question…I would spend the day with my boyfriend (or fiancé I suppose I should say nowadays, but I’m not going to start using that word because it sounds so pretentious) …and I would want the day to be a really relaxing one. I would want to eat lots of good food and just spend time with each other hanging out. One pretty perfect day was the one last February, when we visited Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon spa.

3. If you could go back in time, how old would you want to be again and why?

I don’t think I’ve ever been happier or more content with my life as I now am, however, I’d like to be just a few years younger in order to be able to postpone some of life’s big decisions a few more years and enjoy my life as it now is.

4. What is a place you would NOT want to visit?

Any of India’s big cities because they seem so chaotic and I’m not too fond of curries or vegetarian food.

5. Do you have a stereotype of a Finnish person?

As a Finn, I must start with the positives – I think the Finns are reliable, honest, responsible, effective and persistent (in Finnish sisukas). However, something I’ve come to notice while living abroad is that Finns are often also more jealous and pessimistic than for example the Brits.

I find for example working in the UK much more enjoyable compared to my previous jobs in Finland. All depends on each individual job of course and I have been pretty lucky with my current job, but in general I feel that the work environment is much more encouraging in the UK – if someone does well, that doesn’t mean that it is anything away from you. And surprisingly, even though Finland in general is more equal with regards to the position of men and women in the society, in Finland I always felt that I need to be more like men in order to be taken seriously, whereas here, I feel comfortable to be more feminine for example with regards to my business attire and that doesn’t diminish my professionalism.

With regards to pessimism, I am pretty often a pessimist as well and often I prefer pessimism, sarcasm and realism over being overly happy and optimistic, but sometimes I find the level of pessimism in Finland too distressing (just take a look at the 10 o’clock news – if there is nothing bad going on in Finland, they will report about all the misery and suffering all around the rest of the world). I’m not sure if it is the economic depression that has the effect on people, but I think people should find more joy to their lives and think more about the positive things in life. Life is not just to be endured, it is to be enjoyed.

6. What’s the first image/memory that comes to mind when you think about your childhood?

This is difficult, I keep mixing early photographs with memories…I think it must be the time when I was about 4 or 5, we lived in a small town in Southern Finland for a year and I remember that the regular walk to the town center to do the grocery shopping with my mum seemed to take for ever, but every once in a while we visited this small American style independent burger place and I remember being ecstatic about the burger – little food enthusiast in the making already then.

7. A mod con that you would not be able to live without?

I’m sure there are loads, I love my convenience, but I’m going to say a hairdryer – a hairdresser once said, when I was complaining about my flat hair, that I have plenty of hair, they are just so incredibly fine (like many Nordic people do). As a result, I need a hairdryer for volume and I cannot stand hairdryers that don’t have enough power and therefore take forever to do their job (like the hairdryers in most hotels).

8. Sport that you do not think is a sport?

Cricket – ok, fine, it is a sport, but it is a ridiculous sport! Typically cricket matches are played over three to five days with, at least, six hours of cricket being played each day. As they play up to 6 hours per day there are special rules about intervals for lunch, tea and drinks – the game actually has a lunch break and an afternoon TEA break. Furthermore, if it rains, the play is halted or if there is bad light. Come on, seriously!? I apologize for all the Brits, but I do not understand your favorite sport. Frankly, I think it is a sport for sissies.

Cricket is even more ridiculous than American baseball, which in my opinion is just bunch of overweight and overpaid players that cannot even hit the ball, except for maybe once or twice during the 4 hour game and the supporters spend more time in the food stalls than watching the game. They should take a look at Finnish baseball (Pesäpallo), which is a completely different, extremely fast-moving type of baseball, where every player actually runs and hits the ball.

9. Rice, pasta, or potato?

Potato – it is so extremely versatile.

10. Do you believe in aliens?

No

11. If you weren’t born as a human, what animal would you have like to born as? And why?

Nothing that lives in the sea…It would be nice to be able to fly, even though, I’m usually not too fond of birds. What is a nice bird…maybe an owl! They’re nocturnal as well, which suits me. Below is a picture you get if you google “cutest owl”.

Cute Owl

Quite many of the blogs I read have been nominated already, but here are a few I would like to nominate:

  1. Sateenmuruja / Crumbs of Rain
  2. Life in Nordic Style
  3. Kotirouvailua ja kulttuurishokkeja

and here are my questions:

  1. What is the best thing about writing a blog?
  2. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
  3. What is your favourite quote?
  4. If you could go back in time, how old would you want to be again and why?
  5. What is a place you would NOT want to visit?
  6. What customs that you’ve learned abroad would you like to have in your own country as well?
  7. What was the most surprising thing you learned / discovered about yourself or your new home country when you moved abroad?
  8. Describe your normal day?
  9. What would your perfect holiday be like?
  10. Fine dining, casual dining, home cooking or take-away?
  11. Name 3 things on your bucket list.

I look forward to reading your answers!

…and more details about the Duke of Clarence pub you can find on their website below or better yet, go and visit them!

http://www.geronimo-inns.co.uk/london-the-duke-of-clarence |

| 148 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London SW5 0BE |

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