Monday, August 31, 2009


Mademoiselle the owner (aka Mom) , Clair (the dog) and I went to the country this weekend.

We were driving on a fairly desolate country road when we pulled over to go talk to some cows and calfs. The calfs were especially cute and they were quite close to the road so we had a good look at them for about 10 minutes when we suddenly heard a quite loud but intermittent car horn. We both turned around to see where this car was coming from and what they were intending to tell us with their horn and couldn't see anything, so we went back to looking at the cows. A few seconds later the horn sounded again in a constant unbreaking stream of noise. We looked around again and saw no cars but instead a very persistent Clair standing on the steering wheel of Mom's van and peering out at us.

My mother is now very concerned about what will happen when she leaves Clair in the car in parking lots as she appears to have learned "when I step on the wheel and it makes that noise the people get very excited and come running back to me". It's hard to be mad at the dog when she does something that cute and smart.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Total Sweetheart pt. 2

After meeting me, Rafiki's friend Mighty sent him a text that said "Looks like you found a good one. Happy for you bro."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Total Sweetheart

After he was hit on in a bar Rafiki told me he'd like a shirt that says "I'm taken, and I'm happy."

5 Things I Wasn't Supposed to Enjoy on Holiday

... but I really did.

1. Reorganizing the bookshelves. The novels are alphabetized by author.

2. Doing a puzzle with Flavaflav and her cousins.

3. Cooking and doing the dishes. Makes me feel at home, not so lost, and a little cosy.

4. The gardens of the Victoria & Albert and the Natural History Museum. I haven't really seen inside yet...

5. The plants! At least half my attention seems to wander from the tourist attractions to go, "ooo, isn't that a lovely vine-that's-supposed-to-be-an-annual growing up the side of a house? Where is my camera? Who cares if Someone Famous was once sick on that brick!" (actually I like learning about the famous people too, especially if they come with silly stories).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The National Gallery

I found the National Gallery more or less by chance one morning when, late for a walk I wanted to go on, I was left stranded at Embankment Tube Station. I went awandering to see what I could find, and no sooner had I walked past the Sherlock Holmes pub did the road open out into Trafalgar Square, and there it was before me, complete with gigantic lions, magic shows, double decker buses and a flood of tourists. Inside the National Gallery I started smiling almost right away when I found a Canaletto which of course reminded me of Ursula in the Gerry Durrell stories. I started grinning when I found the more modern rooms and painting after painting, artist after artist were ones I knew and loved. Here are five (of many more) that I stood in front of lost in happiness and thought.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jane Eyre

"It is a crime against God to deny yourself love. It should be the eleventh commandment!"

The BBC production of it is beautiful and haunting, all the colours muted and tone on tone; Ruth Wilson is perfect as Jane Eyre; and my favorite line in it is here recorded.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cops and Academics....?

1. Having dinner cooked for me when I get home. mmmm... bow tie pasta!

2. Spontaneous Morris Dancing in the street that made me forget about them wearing their leg bells in the bar.

3. Discovering a market where they yell in GENUINE cockney accents. Step aside Audrey Hepburn, the man in the bright orange hat wins.

4. 100% Pure LOVE!

5. Being offered a spoon in a bar for food brought in from outside. Yogurt and red vino: HURRRAH!

Kickin' mad flava in ya ear,

(guest post by flavaflav)

5 Quotes from Alex and the Ironic Gentleman

I like it's odd and rather tangled descriptions.

1. "You would have also noticed that the small man had a very pointy nose, greasy red hair that fell lank to his shoulders, and no eyebrows. Although you might not have noticed that he didn't have any eyebrows because this isn't the sort of thing one notices. You might have noticed that he looked Odd or Unsettling, without quite knowing why, as often we cannot place exactly the reason we don't like a person. And we think it is because of who they are and how they behave, when really it is all down to a lack of facial hair."

2. "Coffee-table books make whatever their content is infinitely attractive. This is because coffee-table books have glorious pictures in them with saturated colours. Often coffee-table books can make the dullest or most disgusting subjects seem romantic. Like mould. A coffee-table book about mould would have glorious pictures of emerald-green, glistening mould shining in the morning sun."

3. "Of course, Alex was short for ALexandra, but neither Alex nor her uncle liked that very much, so they shortened her name. They could have shortened it the other way, I suppose - Andra - but she and her uncle preferred Alex."

4. "Headmaster Doosy sat, dazed. When it seemed clear the gentleman would not be returning, he quickly turned to the school intercom and spoke. 'Good afternoon, this is your headmaster speaking.' His voice shook slightly.' All students with the last name beginning with 'S' will have detention for the next two weeks. Thank you.'
Headmaster Doosy sighed and leaned back in his seat. He was starting to feel magnificent and powerful again."

5. "The school Alex attended was called the Wigpowder-Steele Academy, and it was very prestigious. What made it so prestigious was the fact that it had the word "Academy" in the title and the fact that it was one of those schools you pay to go to. This ensured a Higher Quality of Education and, more importantly, a Higher Quality of Pupil, because if you spend all that money it means that your child is therefore really special. Of course 'special' doesn't always mean 'intelligent', and in this case, as Alex had most definitely concluded after careful research, 'special' seemed to mean, simply, 'rich.'"

The book is by Adrienne Kress.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Awash on British Shores

1. I arrived in Victoria Station safe and sound, once again with a great sense of victory at having traveled to a new strange land and having navigated the systems correctly (I felt like a wizard when I used a British pay phone. Not that difficult, but to me it's NEW. I take pleasure in small triumphs).

2. Flavaflav met me with a head of red hair a grin and a hug.

3. All the plants we struggle to keep through the winter are extra large here. Fushias are bushes, rhododendrons are mountains, montgomery ivies cover walls and I keep stopping and saying things like "A fig tree? Huh! That's just not fair."

4. We went to a flower market and all the voices were calling out their wares in genuine accents. Flavaflav bought an orchid with two flower stems for 5 pounds! I was overwhelmed by choice and randomly bought tiny deep red spray roses, rusty callas, and white callas, which are now sitting about the house in silver teapots since we have no vases.

5. There are parrots and magenpies in the back garden.

Friday, August 14, 2009


1. Princess Dragon climbed into one of my open drawers of clothing, curled up and went to sleep.

2. A boy was paddling a log about the lake, lying on it like it was the back of some great animal as he rode the waves about the lake.

3. I saw a fox. It was romping in the park like a kitten playing. It leapt up high and then pounced down, it would jump backwards, and then bat at the mouse it had found with one flat paw. It would pause and sniff, and then do it all over again.

4. The moon has looked amazing these past few nights, it fills the sky and creates rivers of light across the lake.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Princess Dragon Cat

My kitty decided it was bedtime. She came into my room and meowed imperiously, and when I did not respond she jumped up and sprawled across my keyboard despite my typing fingers and went to sleep. She didn't budge until I lay in bed and turned out the light; then she came and lay on my tummy and purred.
bed time NOW

She sleeps in the best places.
best paper choice

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Philosophy and Pheet

I was reading my book this morning and it made me giggle.

"That night, when Connie does her reading, she announces that it will be John 13:1 to John 13:12. That's the bit where Jesus, at His Last Supper, gets up, takes off His robe, throws it over a chair, wraps a towel around His waist, and gets down and washes His disciples' feet, which I had always thought was pretty humble and downright nice of Him. I thought that, I did, but then there was always the naggin' suspicion in my head that maybe some of the disciples' feet might have been sendin' something heavenward that wasn't quite so sweet-smellin' and maybe Jesus thought He'd have to put an end to it if He was to enjoy His last dinner on this earth. And we all like to enjoy our dinners, don't we."
~In the Belly of the Bloodhound, L. A. Meyer

ah religion, it's never simple, is it? :)
I'm quite enjoying this series. Pirates, disguises, kidnappings, and adventures on the high seas. Woot!