30 December 2005
29 December 2005
the centre were giving out mince pies all christmas eve and ended up with a box full that they couldn't distribute by the time they had to leave. for some reason they decided they'd dump them in our staff room. at the end of the day no-one else was prepared to take more than 1 or 2 individual mince pies so i took them all home. waste not want not etc etc. now i have 100 frozen mince pies. anyone hungry??
28 December 2005
26 December 2005
It's very weird having random strangers come in and rip out your windows then throw them onto your front garden. Grr. Thankfully I had Mr K there to remind me that my jungle of dearly tended flora might look like waste ground to the untrained eye. hmph.
They caused mayhem of course when they installed but it's suddenly warm. The motorbike that runs for half an hour every morning from 6 a.m doesn't wake us anymore and we have window sills which we didn't have before! Of course it's a bit of a drag that the dog bust the 50 quid cat flap in the new back door and now we have a door with a great big hole in it. Hey ho!
23 December 2005
19 December 2005
We just got back from seeing the consultant for the 2nd time and I was armed with a mountain of questions. The main news from today is that the tumour has been there for a long time. At least months, possibly years. He thinks it is stable because the symptoms are stable but changes can occur of course and there can be abnormal developments. It can be known to trigger blackouts but so far that hasn't happened. If it does we'd have to look at restricting activities such as obvious stuff like driving.
In terms of processes, this tumour cannot be operated on. It is on too many important parts of the brain to be cut out so we're looking at medical solutions. Chemo and wotnot. We will be getting a date for a biopsy with 'a small number of weeks'. The tumour is non urgent because there are no signs that it is going to significantly change in a matter of days or weeks. Of course there's no proven diagnosis yet so he was unable to commit to a prognosis. I asked blunt questions and got blunt answers. It was just what we needed.
So, we won't know if it's malignant or benign until after the biopsy and we can't be sure of what treatment will be needed until biopsy results are back in.
He was rather more human than when Mr K went in last time. He did say that he'd find things out for us and contact us. Also he said he understood that the waiting must be really difficult.
Now don't get me wrong. I haven't blogged this because I don't want calls or visits. I just don't wanna have to say all this a million times over. Yes, because I have at least a million regular viewers!
Don't let this spoil Christmas, even Mr K came out and said; 'You know how much I want this biopsy? Like a hole in the head!'
16 December 2005
I assume no-one apart from me is going to be pleased that we beat WTD figures yesterday and that one of our really good temps is working full time next week but these are the things that make me happy at work. who else is going to understand my frustration that HO thinks we're not zero model stocking when I do that every day and it must be a problem with IT? Or why does HH keep getting left off the company voucher tables? And I'm not even getting onto the OFT referral!!
I read 'Gaza Blues' recently and it wasn't bad. Thought it was going to be a lot better though. Short stories by a Jew and a Palestinian. Cute cover and nifty thinking but didn't blow my socks off.
Now I'm reading 'Ask the Dust' by Fante which I'm enjoying. I need lots of short novels for a while as my reading has been non existent recently. (it's the drive for uplift on LFL figures, you know...)
As soon as Mr K can find the lead for the digital camera I promise to give you pretty photos of Christmassy things and no more talk of missing POS headers and poor automatch results (also not our fault)!
12 December 2005
Could be fun getting in to work tomorrow.
Work has not suffered any damage but shops in the same area have big cracks in the walls. Seems we were protected by the car park which stood between us and the blast. My colleagues who live locally told me that things were flying off their shelves during the explosion and that town had a bit of a smoggy atmosphere all day.The motorway is shut down and everyone is going to be taking the back roads to wrok tomorrow morning!
10 December 2005
A man is drinking in the pub, and drinking, and drinking, when suddenly he realizes he is about to be ill. He heads for the Gents' toilets. He walks in the door and finds the door to the only stall locked. "Great time for the toilet to be out of order," he thinks. He's reaching the emergency stage now, so he assesses his remaining options in a panic...sink? Too small. The 'urinal' was one of those clever floor-based narrow trough thingies you Brits do so well (or not) in your public toilets. Not a proper receptacle for massive amounts of vomit, either.Finally, he has reached a crucial point, and he has no other options, so he lowers his shoulder and charges through the door of the stall and vomits all over...the stunned man sitting on the toilet.Our hero suddenly sobers up for a moment, as one often will do immediately after drunk-vomiting, and he carefully considers the situation: "This bloke's going to be angry...""...I'd better get the first punch in."So he punches the man, who is still sitting on the toilet, before quickly collecting his friends and leaving.
7 December 2005
Seems Monty learnt a bit of continental cooking while he was away.
He has developed a taste for KOURAPIEDES, that I made this evening from the Falling Cloudberries recipe book. Essentially, they are lots and lots of butter with icing sugar, flour and egg yolk. They taste amazing but next time I make them I'm only going to taste 2 or 3 at a time.
They may be small but I feel rather er...'full' now so I'm going to bed.
Bought my christmas present from Mr K (pair of growed up girls boots) and then accidentally found myself buying a skirt to go with it.
5 December 2005
Anyway he's back and we are all delighted. Panic over.
4 December 2005
3 December 2005
29 November 2005
went from rocking and playing pool in one of Bedford's earthier clubs to singing in the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday evening.
Quite a big ole do. The choir must have been 5,000 strong. Believe it or not, it has been a lifelong ambition of mine to sing Handel's Messiah (without a hairbrush in front of the mirror) though I never expected it to be in the Albert Hall. hey ho, life throws you some crazy ones occassionally.
It was amazing, of course. I sang alto and had a superb time. It's an annual thing called 'Handel from Scratch'. You literally book your ticket, turn up and sing. No rehearsals. I went with a group of friends who go every year and borrowed a score when I got there. Thankfully, I've (charitably) blasted it out to the rowdy neighbours to get my own back often enough to pretty much know all the words anyway. Who knows, I might go next year unless I get the chance to fulfil any different lifelong ambitions. So if you're reading this Johnny....
26 November 2005
The stamp on the back of my hand seems to be indelible.
Hung out with the ever lovely and interesting J&A and the ever lovely D. And yes Mole I did hear you say "she always needs you". ha ha ha ha! He doesn't know about this blog does he?? yikes.
Tomorrow's blog entry will swing from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch this space.
25 November 2005
20 November 2005
19 November 2005
So anyway, it was a splendid evening. Hope I didn't spoil an otherwise all male evening of intoxicated ribaldry.
Remind me Mole when the gig is next weekend. Friday or Saturday? Also, remind me for the nth time what your mate is called. The one who always thinks he's never met me and has the welded together dog you hate. He was very sweet last night talking to me about his family.
Also, remember the 27th January or whichever Thursday is closest to that. No pressure to let me know, just a reminder in case the mention of it last night got washed away by our starry friend, Stella.
All good fun.
18 November 2005
12 November 2005
11 November 2005
Looking through the latest Jamie to find a new recipe for lunch. Taking the MIL for her birthday treat today - manicure and nails. Having a friend over for said lunch. Going to my bestest mates birthday party this evening which involves me 'finishing' her present sometime today as well.
8 November 2005
uh huh today was fun again. something weird is going on with the time/space thingy round my way. i leave 15 minutes earlier for work every day but i still arrive at the same time. ie...5 minutes after the cleaner has left in a huff cos i'm still not there to open the door for her.
wore my rocket dogs and discovered one foot is wider than the other. i'm sure there was an easier way to find out. i will trust in the forgiving quality of leather until i'm crippled.
had a hoot sifting through cv's which i can't possibly divulge but 12 spelling mistakes on a page and a half is going some right? and whenever was tearing out a page of spiral bound paper from a playboy pad a great way to impress a prospective employer? i have a real soft spot for the applicants who tell me how competent they are on the computer but clearly haven't located spellcheck.
7 November 2005
Take the orange words and the laces from the shoe above and combine it with the round toes of the shoe below and you pretty much have what I bought. Someone out there is going to be as interested in this as me.... or not.
6 November 2005
today i did church as per usual then took MIL out for dinner. was heartily disappointed by my 'smash' potatoes and MIL's lamb and mushroom pie that had no lamb in it. also am turning into an old woman who gets riled by loud mouthed crass idiots shouting, f-ing and blinding about people getting smacked in and throwing up with all the sound effects to go with it. rahhhh.
talked to MIL about how I plan to put aside some extra money for emergencies such as the washing machine breaking down.
Got home. the washing machine broke down. spooky.
Spent two hours round MIL's with our washing.
Cocktails to walking up and down castle road in my pyjamas (oh did i not mention that?!) ... really quite a weekend. See? THIS is why work is such a pleasure!
Got home at half seven to be upbraided by Mr K for leaving my mobile at work and told to hurry up we had to leave in 5 minutes.
Off to fireworks at Smudgers. Really amazing generosity. Fireworks went on and on and on, enough beef and pork for 200 (?) people to get right royally stuffed and my mate Flow's band playing. Marvelloush. Took our own drink, as requested, and I nursed a bottle of chianti all night. I was outrageously drunk by the end but I only had to get up once in the night to throw up...! (eek)
so, i get onto the oxford park and ride and text that i'm arriving. only i don't have her mobile number in my phone. no problem, she emailed it to me so i'll find an internet cafe and get it. only, i seem to have deleted it when i get there. no problem, i'll just panic. always a good back up plan. i know, i'll post notes highlighting my stupidity on every website i know she visits. someone else will have her number and get back to me. only, they don't. but life saver Mr Self has her work number. no problem. I'll just ring her work place and ask them to disclose personal contact details of one of their colleagues with absolutely no reference point as to who I might be. So, that worked! Eventually met up at midday, though I should say I got lost trying to find her even once we had made phone contact.
I didn't stop there though. oh no. i came out with a volley of stupidity all day long. "oh i want one of those, what are they?" ... "wow, what's this unmarked book, oh, it's actually a divider on the shelf" ... "oh, i forgot i was meant to tell my son he's sleeping over at a friends house tonight and i'm two counties away" ...
I'm sure there were more. Feel free to chip in Digger, it's open season here today!
But what a fantastic fun day. It would appear that, with the exception of my idiocy, Digger and I are in fact the same person. Too many times we both talked about quirky stuff we both do or think or love to hate etc.
Wonderful mezze at Jericho Cafe, incredible cocktails at the QI bar, extravagant sausages and stories at The Big Bang.
This was a must repeat day.... unless Digger has decided I'm a full time loon.
(this post had to be red, obviously)
3 November 2005
( yeah sure, where d'you fancy?
[ sounds good to me.
tomorrow i'm going to be shown round some of the coolest locations in oxford by a girl who boasts the epithet of being as bright as her shoes.
today was surprisingly good considering I went to a funeral. don't take me for an entirely heartless wench but even though the day was solemn, it was really good to see people and chat about allsorts.
This evening we watched a very odd film. Kung Fu Hustle, I think it was called. Some very random stuffing going on there but funny as well.
1 November 2005
"The circle of black paving slabs lay at his feet, flat and glossy after the recent shock of rain. His rough blonde hair still held the painstaking look of careless coiffure. In his left hand dangled a cocktail glass and spilling out of his pockets were Imogen’s tights and the damp contents of a discharged party popper."
30 October 2005
the cat that left came back again.
i'm making jamie oliver meatballs for dinner.
the house smells of garlic.
i have a new jumper and necklace.
we kicked budget ass over the weekend.
i have new pillows.
i'm meeting 'digger' in oggsford this week. (small BDO)
28 October 2005
22 October 2005
My new boss rang to tell me that two of my colleagues were involved in a nasty car crash. One guy, who has moved from the MK branch with me to be our cash office lovely, is in hospital with a fractured collar bone and the other, his mother, who was the cash office lovely at MK, died. It is truly shocking and I find myself lapsing straight into those ridiculously irrational sentiments that you can only understand when you've experienced it first hand; I don't want it to be true, I'm sure I'll see her next time I go into the branch, perhaps if I wish hard enough and sincerely enough it won't be true after all, maybe someone got the wrong message. She was good fun to work with, excellent at her job and will be badly missed. The whole language of death is a cliche but it's all I can say at the moment.
But this is called a mixed bag and some fun stuff has happened too.
I've had my first week at the new job and it's going well. If it had a time lapse camera on it the shopfloor would have gone something like this; dark with black empty shelves, some people wandering about pointing at things, 1000 crates arriving, a bit of lighting here and there, an explosion of stock over tables and zipping across shelves, general mess, lots of people waving their arms or huddled into groups scratching and shaking heads, stock disappearing from the floor, crates leaving and people moving stock from one shelf to another and pushing tables about. That's how I left it Thursday night. By Monday we should be putting up POS and putting in the Christmas campaign. It's beginning to look like a bookshop now but outside is still a hard hat site. We're due to open Thursday!! Anyone in the area??
Other news. Sorry if this is sounding like a family Christmas newsletter. Ick, I have a horror of them!
Mini-me has his girlfriend staying down this weekend which is a new experience for me and Mr K. It's very sweet to see how Mr K responds to them. Hee hee. Trying his best to embarrass them by threatening to go out to the pictures with them in my hi-vi. (high visibility vest that I have to wear when crossing the building site! Must include a picture some time!)
Last night our errant mog returned home. We hadn't seen her for 2-3 weeks and we thought she had shuffled off her mortal coil. She is a tiny scrap of a cat and last night you could almost put your hand round her back bone and meet in the middle she was so skinny :( We fed her and fussed her as you can imagine. This morning she's nowhere to be seen again.
And now I'm going off to meet the kids in town and buy them lunch.
20 October 2005
After some brief discussion with Norm and Jesus we reached the conclusion (upon my request) that it is ok for anyone who accepts this declaration to receive immortality and peace in life right away.
So don't tell me I never give you anything!!!!!!
15 October 2005
14 October 2005
11 October 2005
Guess what I've just signed up to again? Am I a complete
numbskull? NANO time again. Another November where
likeminded idiots around the globe attempt to write 50,000
words in 30 days. This year, because of other commitments, I'm aiming for
30,000 words instead. If I get to 30K I'll be delighted, anything beyond that is
10 October 2005
I thought K.I would grab it because the theme has such a current feel but after the reviews this evening I have to say I'm drawn to JB (not Julian!)
I thought Ali Smith looked far too self confident looking to camera all the time and smirking pretend shyly.
Anyone read any of the short listers? Anyone going to buy the winner after this evening? I'm tempted but I have about half a dozen on the go or waiting in my urgent pile.
'Birdy', I got about 20 pages into then had to pause because of a billion things going on at work but I'll get back to it ASAP. I picked up Guillani's 'Leadership' and think it's brilliant so far. Also reading a book whose title eludes me...(enchanting? enthralling?) and plodding through Ackryod's 'Albion (fantastic). Vonnegut and Murakami sit on the shelf up here, looking delicious and tempting. I have an interesting one co-written by a Palestinian and a Jew downstairs. And don't even get me started on the proofs I have!
8 October 2005
First my customer asks for 'Knitting for Dogs'. This is enough. My face is contorted in an effort to stifle my laughter as I regrettably tell them that this gem is not in store:
So after they have left I call upstairs to our resident knitting knut and tell her I have an ISBN she needs to check out. We have a laugh but then comes the clincher. She outdoes the unspeakable horror of pet dressing:
Yes indeed folks, this book will teach you how to take dog hair, weave it and then knit it into snug items to keep you warm during the long winter months. Just think! Spaniel scarves, Golden Retriever gloves, Jack Russell jeans and Poodle pants. Contact your local dog groomer to start up your own business!
7 October 2005
This has to be the most amazing link I've ever seen! It's a webcam onto a pond in Botswana. Don't forget to turn up the volume. I sit for 15 minutes every night watching this before I go to bed. Things at the pond are livlier during the day but I've seen an elephant washing itself and some kind of deer creatures walking around in the evening. In the day I've seen these massive birds chasing each other about. I wish I knew what they all were. It's compulsive viewing! Hope you enjoy it as much as I am.
3 October 2005
Recruitment for two branches simultaneously is a challenge! Arriving at 7 a.m after an hour's drive to let the cleaning lady in is something I just can't wait for either. But it's a brand new store so I get to be Book Fuhrer from the word go. It's all good.
One of guys at work responded with 'Good, I never liked you anyway', which was momentarily unnerving. I manoeuvred that one then he came back with 'how soon are you leaving?' Touching.
27 September 2005
26 September 2005
15 September 2005
then i get to work, amazingly only 10 minutes late, to be faced with news that some wacko has gone straight to the MD because he didn't have staff bow to his every whim when he last came in.
then at the end of the day i realise i can't shut the back door at work so have to call out security to do a bit of man handling of the locks to get the place secure.
i get home after nine from a late shift, eat a bowl of beans for tea and now i'm going to bed.
11 September 2005
Thought I'd give you all a laugh at my expense on a Sunday afternoon.
8 September 2005
5 September 2005
A pleasant evening with rocket dog shoe-wearing friend round to see greyhound wannabe rocket dog, Monty.
Minime has first day at upper school tomorrow which pretty much freaks me out as it doesn't seem that long since it was my first day at upper school. My form room was the metal work room so it was smelly and there was nowhere to sit. I'm sure minime will get a better deal tomorrow!
2 September 2005
29 August 2005
27 August 2005
After the horrifying discovery that our son had never heard of the A-team, despite our repeated and frankly tiresome prompts with the theme music, we borrowed some old editions from a mate and gave the boy an education.
The building work in the garden did not take place as planned today because the mortar was too runny and will have to wait til tomorrow.
25 August 2005
24 August 2005
23 August 2005
Had a fun trip out to a local maze. Small but still very
easy to get completely lost in!
Of course, smarty pants here gets to the middle first
and has to give me directions!
In the afternoon I loitered round the Reclamation Yard in
the hope of happening across a lost national treasure. This
monstrosity made for an interesting second best.
Am now sated on the fruits of someone else's hard work; rhubarb
crumble from the allotment. Cheers JJ.
22 August 2005
20 August 2005
hurrah to the nice people i know. whenever you want the favour returning be sure to ring. there are a number of excellent building companies in this town. calls here are to be restricted to demands for dinners, drinks, nights out and heart to hearts. anything manual or technical is someone else's domain. which is why we asked you round today, duh!
So thanks for making my garden looks like a bomb site. Give it a month and I'll have a grin like the proverbial Cheshire Cat.
16 August 2005
15 August 2005
14 August 2005
11 August 2005
10 August 2005
8 August 2005
D R I N K / D E E P / O R / T A S T E / N O T / T H E / P I E R I A N / S P R I N G:
T H E R E / S H A L L O W / D R A U G H T S / I N T O X I C A T E / T H E / B R A I N
A N D / D R I N K I N G / L A R G E L Y / S O B E R S / U S / A G A I N . "
I did have very good African Peanut Soup for lunch though.
And I'm spending tomorrow night swinging round Soho.
Is that ying yang or karma? Or swings and roundabouts?
7 August 2005
The best we could offer in return was an afternoon kiting. With no wind. And too many glasses of wine and hunks of home made carrot cake.
As soon as this stupid thing allows me to put photos up again, I'll show you the type of insanity that visits me from time to time.
2 August 2005
Just had my head excavated and didn't feel a thing. The echoing has stopped at last. Have had more pain from getting my nails done or going to the hairdressers than I did having a drill in my head spitting out enamel across the surgery floor.
29 July 2005
Can't beat an evening that starts discussing slug psychology and ends with promises of more fine dining with best mates.
this blog entry comes with uncharacteristic sentimental hugs for all the people i know who are the stuff of happily anticipated evenings and days out.
24 July 2005
First course - avocado crisps, chilli crisps, olives, hummus and cucumber dip.
Second course - Stuffed vine leaves with hot tomato sauce and falafels.
Third course - Spanakopita, tabbouleh and mixed bean salad.
Fourth course - Marrakesh vegetable curry, filo tarts with pine nuts and Iranian rice.
Fifth course - Strawberries, raspberries, vanilla bean Green & Blacks ice-cream with single cream and creme fraiche.
Sixth course - tea, coffee and a slab of white and milk chocolate swirl with dried raspberries from Hotel Chocolat.
Celebrating nothing other than having good friends we want to spoil with good food and punish with our company.
18 July 2005
17 July 2005
I made £266 pounds for Cancer Research so it's well worth the effort.
The first 4k were easy enough but the last kilometre was a killer. Felt
pretty nauseous and done in by then. I just kept thinking I could never
face having to say 'I ran most of the way' so I kept going. The picture is
of me at 3.5k feeling pretty confident...by the end of the road I was wondering
where I was and what would happen if I collapsed. Quite a day!
16 July 2005
i think i'm going to curl up in the corner for the rest of the weekend and sleep. on second thoughts, i think i'll do a 5k run.
10 July 2005
Drinks at nice pub, chat, laugh, drink, slur, giggle, drink, interesting urinals, drink, strange foam tandoori pigeon poo on the wall, laugh, drink, not nice pub, rude people, swig, stagger, lurch, laugh, drunken heart to hearts, drink, slump, laugh, pizza, talk, where did dil go, taxi, noyoucantwalkmehome, slate very late, roundandroundaroundabout, dizzy, nothisroadnotthatone, hereyeshere, thank you, hello, dirty stop out, giggle, yeah well, all black, mmmm.
7 July 2005
I'm glad to report that both of my brothers who were on duty in London today are well. One of them was very close to the scene and heard some pretty grim things from colleagues who had been down in the tunnel.
I hope everyone you know in London was safe.
6 July 2005
5 July 2005
3 July 2005
30 June 2005
On Sunday I had a phone conversation with my son that went something like this.
'Hi Mum, can you come and pick me up?'
'Well no, you're on your bike. You can cycle home.'
'Well, you're going to have to really.'
'I have to go down to the police station to make a statement.'
Of course it was a conversation milked for it's last drop of drama by mini-me, so full points there. Actually some brattish thug had pushed him off his bike, ridden off with it, jumped up and down on it for a bit then noticed a police car hurtling across the grass and wondered if there might be a connection. Anyway, he was arrested and we have the bike back. Two buckled wheels and a knackered derailleur.
Tonight, it was hospital for Mr Kumquat. Heavy duty painkillers and a dose of anit-emetics later and he's sleeping off a nightmare migrane. You know the sort where you spend most of the evening making sypathetic noises and emptying buckets of puke.
Don't anyone let me near matches tomorrow.
28 June 2005
coffee back chez nous with all the lights out and the french windows open watching the spectacle.
26 June 2005
After the meal we staggered out, feeling excessively full, and headed into Islington to add decandence to indulgence. We sat for a long time at the organic bar putting the world to rights.
Heading back down into the underground we watched, with bemused horror, a young man lose his step on the escalator, twist 90 degrees, fall down several unforgiving metal steps and grind to a halt, legs showing ten to two. He said 'Ouch' in a overly controlled manner which made the whole episode absolutely hilarious. Gallant Mr Kumquat ran to see if he was ok but once he had dusted himself off and scuttled round the corner to hide his embarrassment, we all fell about.
Got home some time after 2. Great evening out. Must do more of this kind of thing.
24 June 2005
still ploughing through 'the dante club'. the writing is not great and the characters are rather dull and 2d but a couple of people have been murdered so i'll keep reading it just to find out whodunnit.
bought up a stack of penguin 70's yesterday and lined them up on a kitchen shelf so i can read while i cook. i anticipate the quality of our meals plummeting.
and now i'm off for two days in a row (gasp) with exciting plans for tomorrow evening, two friends, a large amount of money and the vain hope of seeing a celebrity with only the hope of copious amounts of alcohol to keep our spirits up.
join us, after the break.
18 June 2005
15 June 2005
12 June 2005
11 June 2005
we get inundated with calls from people trying to sell us new kitchens and double glazing but today was a call unlike any other.
the girl said what sounded like 'hello is that miss ***?',
'do you love me? i'd like to let you know that your house has been selected as a possible trial home for a new kitchen. can i ask you how old your kitchen is?'
i thought i MUST have heard wrong so i gave my usual line;
'thank you but i don't want to pursue this.'
to which she replied;
'yes but do you love me?'
i asked who was calling and she said something like never mind and hung up.
has anyone else had this???? does this person know me do you think? she sounded really quiet and upset, not like someone doing it for a dare. weird huh?
9 June 2005
4 June 2005
After that we went to the Leopold Museum where we saw lots more Klimt and Scheiler too. Some of the Scheiler was great but generally you could see why the police busted his house and chucked him in prison for having young girls visiting. Who knows the truth.
In the afternoon we wandered round and happened across the Town Hall and got escorted off the premises of the Leichenstein Palace. Long story.
After eating, we went to the cinema at 10:55pm to see The Third Man. It was superb. A first for me and it was so interesting to see Vienna at war and of course anything taken from a Greene novel is a delight.
2 June 2005
took the 930 train back from budapest and met up with a really interesting retired guy living in lichenstein. talked about a load of cool things hes got up to in the past... herding cattle in wyoming on horseback, skiing marathons in st moritz etc... Got off the train in vienna and had a drink with him for half an hour or so while he waited for a train to switzerland.
in the afternoon we made good from having spent a night without toothbrushes and deodorant!
Shopped again in the afternoon at the huge food market for our dinner.
This evening we went to the Vienna opera to see Verdi`s Don Carlos! Stunning. Of course it was wonderful quality but the coolest thing happened in the middle. We went for the first interval and there was a woman wandering round with a microphone so wherever you were in the building you could hear her. There were cameramen following her and projecting what she was saying onto a huge screen in the foyer. She was announcing the arrival of King Phillip and other members of the cast due to appear in the second half. The camera also scoured the audience having their drinks and watching the screen and chatting among themselves so we looked like extras in the opera waiting for the king to arrive! Then I noticed on the screen that the cast was back on stage so I ran over to look out of one of the boxes (not our seats!!) to see what was going on. Half of the act 2 scene I was taking place on stage and the rest was taking place in different places over the building. Wherever you were you could follow the story. Suddenly a gang of policemen were storming through the bar with a group of prisoners in chains! I was running from the box to the bar and back to try and work it all out!! If you didnt see it first hand it was on the screens. Finally the king and his entourage walked through everybody slowly gathering in the main auditorium surrounded by journalists with flashes going off everwhere. It was a real spectacle.
We came home on a real high, ate my seared tuna steaks in mustard marinade with avocado and lemongrass salad and drank coffee.
Dinner was in Pest and I think I would have travelled to Hungary just for this restaurant. We were given free starters of bread with apple pickle, dijon wholegrain mustard and piquant tomato sauce for starters. I had a beef tagine with vegetables in an amazing sauce. The meat was perfectly tender and the sauce was rich with a touch of sweetness. The couscous was amazingly light. Margaret had smoked chicken with honied pineapple and it was really tasty too. I had chocolate soup for dessert which I had never tried before and I could taste cinnamon and cardamon in there. Plus it came with fresh strawberries. Margaret had dark chocolate souffle with candied orange, morello cherry compote and ice cream. The souffle was so light really, you could hardly feel it in your mouth.
As you can see, Budapest is a city to visit!
We missed our return train by ten minutes so had to find accommodation. We stayed in a nice little apartment 15 minutes from the station rented by this older guy who told us about his daughter in Florida and showed us pictures of her winning tennis competitions! Quite an adventure.
Before bed we drank at a jazz bar and decided we were glad to have missed our train back to Western Europe!
1 June 2005
31 May 2005
Schnitzel for dinner set us going for an afternoon of walking around the Hofburg complex. After half an hour of looking at case after case of King someone or others cutlery, I was beginning to wonder why Id paid E9.50 to admire his silverware. Thankfully we moved on and saw some very cool art in the Imperial Apartments next to the Spanish Riding School.
After a foray into the cultural experience that is apfelstrudel, we took the ´scenic route´to the main train station to buy tickets for our trip tomorrow. Youll have to check in tomorrow to see what we have planned!
This evening I made a pretty good salad to go with our pizza and an unidentified baking object is in the oven. It looks like it might have chocolate in the middle but we may yet be eating minced beef patties for pudding.
30 May 2005
sat on the tarmac at heathrow for an hour which was a delight as you can imagine. of course, the air con had failed at that point and its been pretty much the hottest spell of the year so far. eventually took off and enjoyed turbulence a lot of the way there, but whats hurtling through the air if you dont notice how close you are to death every few minutes, right?
the apartment looked liked a dive from the outside and as finding accomodation was entirely my remit, i was nervous. inside, the place is lovely. really modern and clean, lots of beech wood and with free internet access!
i should say im here with my travel bud, margaret, that i met about 18 months ago on a trip to the states. off the cuff we thought it might be a crack to travel together so last may we spent a week in venice and now here we are in vienna. so although ive only known her for about 2 weeks in total face to face contact time, we will be travelling like this most years i think.
excuse the lack of punctuation, this keyboard is unfathomable.
ä ö ü § ß
so for the first time in weeks, my blog actually has something to say! watch this space for more kumquat adventures!!!
29 May 2005
27 May 2005
I got book vouchers and a miniature bottle of champagne. The champagne is still unopened but the vouchers went straight away! I bought Persepolis and Persepolis 2. Graphic novels about Iran. They look great.
The heat is ridiculous and I've promised to make moussaka for two friends to celebrate the new job.
Off to find the cinnamon and turn up Carmen on the c.d player....
24 May 2005
21 May 2005
One place round was my best friend (ex colleague) doing her best to encourage him in aforementioned military endeavour whilst getting him to try anchovies and bruschetta.
Three of us are leaving within a month of each other so we had a joint knees up eating far too much, drinking far too much and attempting to scale trees on the way home. Two of our number ended up in the gutter, one had to leave early they were so hammered and for once neither of them were in my immediate family!!
It was great. I should leave work more often.
18 May 2005
In the Sacre Coeur we sat watching the constant stream of visitors pouring in to stress out the attendant at the door. He made more noise telling everyone to shush and move along than the visitors themselves. Just as we were beginning to be irritated, eight nuns appeared at the front and sang the most amazing, haunting piece. It was a special moment.
At the bar, a German couple couldn't get the waiter to understand that they wanted him to make a recommendation from the menu. Eventually I couldn't stand it any longer and offered to help. They were all smiles and thank yous. It was most gratifying until the waiter, whose linguistic problem clearly wasn't limited to foreign languages, proceeded to translate the menu instead of recommend.