Christmas lights on Regent Street

Christmas is almost upon us and the buzz which has been rising around the biggest annual holiday is reaching to a crescendo.

However, all the clamour will ebb away tomorrow afternoon as the city winds down and goes into temporary hibernation…

That is of course, until a tidal wave of the Boxing Day shoppers hits the street again…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Artist on Regent St

I saw a guy painting a streetsacpe of Regent Street while I was hurrying towards my dentist on Harley Street.

He was busy moving his brush on the canvas and completely oblivious of curious passers-by. In the distance, the spire of All Souls Church was blending into a typical wintry sky of London…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Super (wet) Sunday

London is wet. It’s very very wet. Incessant drizzle is drenching everything and everywhere. Amongst all kind of precipitation, drizzle is the worst, isn’t it? The droplets are so tiny, it doesn’t fall vertically like proper rain but it floats like an ultra fine veil and drenches everything and everyone in its path. My umbrella only keeps the very top of my head dry and the rest feels unpleasantly damp. Ugh!

Very wet Regent Street…

Is it still raining? Yes, it was. I sighed and picked up my crumpled brolly from the umbrella rack of my hairdresser. What a miserable weather!

Then, I had an idea. Why don’t I drop in an Apple Store and try AirPods? Conveniently, there was an Apple Store on Regent Street.

Who can ignore the lure of Apple…

Originally, Hubbie ordered a set of AirPods for me as a part of Christmas presents. However, the delivery date is pushed back to mid-February, and I am still waiting. Everyday, I pester Hubbie to check the order status, desperately wishing if they somehow manage to quicken the production and my new earphones are on its way. ‘No, the estimated delivery date hasn’t changed. It’s 16th February!’ Hubbie, who is fed up with my impatience, replies curtly. Damn…

It seems I will have to wait for another month before becoming an owner of the headphones, but there will be no harm in me checking them out at the store, I thought as I climbed up the stairs.

So is this the real McCoy?

A staff, who was manning the area showcasing headphones, brought out AirPods with its charger from the drawer upon my request.

‘Can I try them on?’ The staff handed me the charger, and I opened the lid. ‘They look like peas in a pod!’ I squealed with excitement. I pulled each earphone out of the casing and inserted them carefully in my ears. I had seen a YouTube clip in which a reviewer was test-driving AirPods in everyday situations, such as running up stairs, turning her head left and right (mind you, she wasn’t shaking it though), standing up & down and so on. In the end, she was resonablely impressed with the way the earphones stayed put inside her ears.

Ooh la la, they feel strange! I squealed again. It felt like ear plugs hanging loose. The sensation was so odd, I found myself swiveling my head so carefully, like I was balancing a book on the top of my head or recovering from a whiplash. ‘You will get use to them.’, the staff reassured me with a smile. Then, he played a track for me so I could listen to it through them. How was my verdict on the sound quality? It sounded as good as my B&O headphones. So it was a big thumb up.

Please, please, Apple. Please deliver my AirPods very very soon. Because the earphones are the only thing I am looking forward to recently as the world around me is so depressing with Donald Trump, Brexit and etc…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Benugo @ Hanover Street

I was just about to have a large bite out of toasted sandwich at Benugo, off Regent Street.
Next to me, a trio of Italian ladies were seated, chatting animatedly and having a hearty laugh. I wished if I understood Italian so I could participate in their fun!
West End seemed to have calmed down. People on the street were pushing suitcases which must be stuffed with the gifts for loved ones or sauntering with smiles on their faces. No longer, anyone was zooming around with a sense of urgency edged on its forehead. Just quiet expectation and satisfaction were sailing in the air.
My final task in London, apart from packing a suitcase for Japan trip, was a visit to a hair salon. My hair was to be highlighted, tinted & cut, therefore, I must have a proper sustenance before sitting down in front of the mirror or my stomach would ramble like a roaring lion!

Amongst many chain sandwich places in London, I single out Benugo for their more than passable coffee and good quality food. And today, I had egg Florentine and latte…

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I love their toasted sandwiches…

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They are even more agreeable when the outside is cold and windy.

Once my quick bite was finished, I was off to my hairdresser’s.
Highlighting and tinting took ages. The time was spent with chatting, reading magazines and looking the world went by through the window…

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Then, off to home to change for dinner. London was winding down for Christmas at last…

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And people were heading home too…

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Are you ready for Christmas too?…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Genius Bar @ Apple Store, Regent Street

2 days ago, my iPhone started to behave erratically. It stopped picking up wi-fi and refused to shut down properly. The battery was running out at alarming speed – I went to bed with my iPhone 100% charged and came next morning, found the phone only 36% power left. It was so unusual, unless I was sleep-surfing with my iPhone during the night!
As Apple’s help page suggested, I restarted the device, reset network, checked my broadband connection, etc, but nothing worked. A wi-fi setting button in my general setting was dimmed out, refusing to acknowledge all wi-fi networks around me. With a big resonating sigh, I made an appointment with the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, Regent Street. The nearest slot was at 1pm on Sunday so I grabbed it.

Oxford Street on Sunday…

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The pavements were choking with Christmas shoppers. Their hands were laden with shopping bags of all colours and sizes. Some people were even tagging along suitcases. Were they from the outside London, day tripping for festive shopping?

I arrived at the Apple Store 10 minutes earlier than my appointment…

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The inside of the shop was teeming with Christmas shoppers and tourists alike…

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I was checked in by a friendly staff and ushered to one of the stools by the counter…

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Another staff came and ran a test on my iPhone…

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Alas, my phone had some internal damage which could not be fixed! How could this happen?! My phone was only one & half-year old! However, I couldn’t envisage my life without my iPhone, therefore, I bought a replacement there and then. I was shocked and saddened…

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At home, I tried to restore my email accounts on my iPhone but for some unknown reason, it failed to connect to servers. And with my dismay, the same thing happened on my iPad!!
Does that mean I will have to go back to the Genius Bar again? I groaned. I really loathed all this chores related to tech stuff. I am just a user /consumer, not a techno wizard…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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