Sunday, 28 February 2010

Winter Olympics Closing

I've very much been enjoying the late nights watching lycra-clad sportsmen and women careen down mountains, icy tunnels and half pipes on skis, boards or tiny tea-tray like sleds. I've stopped paying much attention to the ice-dancing which was one of the favs when I was a kid (Curry, Cousins and then Torville & Dean) - now it seems like slightly more awkward come dancing. And anything that is judged just doesn't seem quite like sport anymore. Much keener on sports where there is an out and out winner. Loved the skeleton (dangerous, head first), luge (dangerous, feet first), bob (dangerous in pairs or fours), also the ski-cross and speed skating. Other events appeal to the altnerative in me like snowboarding aerials - athletes look like skateboard stoners, all long hair and outlandish outfits, doing imppossible-seeming tricks. Not that keen on the bowling-on-ice sport of curling. Don't seem to be clear enough about the rules and the tactics. And find it terribly irritating that they don't just toss the stones down as fast as possible rather than gently releasing them to waft gradually to the perfect stopping point. Also all the sweeping - at times its like watching street sweepers standing round having a chat.

In a phrase borrowed from cousin Tania (she'd just crashed her fiance's brand new ford escort who was hopping mad and irritable, she was in the kitchen with all the female relatives saying he was showing himself up in a very bad light) - the Canadians have shown themselves up in a rather bad light being stingy with access to the runs before the games began, which suprises me about them.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Train Presentation

Waiting on the train at Liverpool Street. Dreary wet day. Three of us in the carriage, heads down reading. A train presentation team member creeps through the carriage picking up discarded newspapers and rubbish. Think that team would have used to be called cleaners.

Friday, 12 February 2010


Is it strange that I think of myself as having grown up in Islington (aged 0-11), and only as living in Haringey (aged 11-present)?
Pink and Purple Don't Go

Not since the 70s when I coveted a pair of plastic clogs of my counsin's plastic clogs have I thought that a pink & purple combo was a good thing. I got a pair of plastic clogs and perhaps then outgrow the colour scheme. A woman at the station was wearing purple shoes, grey sparkly tights and a short bright pink coat. A complete clash of an outfit.
Tattooed Man

Morning train. Man with a full face tattoo. The design reached over his eyelids and spread down his cheeks. Lines ran down his nose from the ridge. Covered completely. Piercings around his mouth and rings hanging from his eyelids that must obscure his vision slightly. Both hands and wrists also completely inked. Impossible to see what he looks like through the mask of images.

Sunday, 7 February 2010


I've been trapped at home again this weekend - my friendly electrician is taking down all the 70s chandeliers that ran through the entire downstairs, wall versions, hanging versions. Finally got new lights in the kitchen - there was just one of three spots working before, now light floods onto all the working surfaces. There is light in the hall, and light on the side path to the front door. Its a revelation.

There were seville oranges in the supermarket on Friday. Small, soft, ugly oranges. My mum used to make marmalade. Sharp, thick cut and given away to friends. I didn't like it much. I bought some. One bag. Made 1.5kg worth of oranges into marmalade. The smell of cooking oranges is lovely. Citrus, pungent. Thickened and sticky, poured into hot jars. Lightly toasted a whole-grain multiseed slice of bread and tested it. Its good. Reminds me of her.
Going to the zoo zoo zoo, you can come too too too

Sis and family went to the zoo. Nephew liked the rhinosaurus best, neice liked the Rainbow Lorikeets that drank nectar by hand. Sis got upset when husband shouted to come and look at the baboon. And then shouted again because she didn't respond quickly enough. She was trying to ignore the masturbating baboon which other parents were rushing their children away from.

Saturday, 6 February 2010


Not real kissing, but air kissing. Mwah mwah. I don't think I'm prudy. Normally. But when did it become acceptable for work colleagues to kiss hello?

Visiting a partner organisation, standing at the door shaking hands with the person who we had met with, when the director (who I have had a working relationship with for 4 years) arrived and cheek kissed hello. In front of my boss. I was concerned that it would seem inappropriate. Uncomfortable.

Once, a colleague (and I can't remember who it was becuase I have blanked it out of my memory) came forward to cheek kiss me and because I wasn't expecting it I turned my head and the kiss landed on my mouth. !! Now that was uncomfortable. Its all such a minefield - never sure whether this is a kisser, handshaker or helloer. Get it wrong and its all so cringey.

I'm reminded of a meeting with a particular gentleman at Finsbury Park Partnership. We shook hands. I was shocked at how cold he was, and commented on the temperature of his hand (big mistake). But a warm heart, he retorted. When I got back from the meeting, I could never shake off the teasing of anyone who overheard (and that happened to be everyone).

Perhaps kissing should be added to the gift register along with more physical gifts and lunches paid for by partners. Wouldn't want it to be miscontrued as a sign of a more favourable relationship. You can let it happen but must delcare that it happened...

Cioa, mwah, mwah.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Big Garden Bird Watch

I was overly keen and actually initially counted the birds last weekend. Had to do it all again this weekend when I realised. Nothing like a trial run through I suppose. So I saw:
  • 3 blackbirds
  • 13 sparrows
  • 1 robin
  • 2 blue tits
  • 2 collared doves
  • 1 wren
  • 1 greater spotted woodpecker (new additional the regular visitors - I was quite excited - this is a rarer species - my only one)
  • 2 great tits
  • 1 magpie (one for sorrow - not so keen on the magpies after they killed the blackbird chicks we had a couple of springs ago)
  • 3 wood pigeons
  • 3 starlings (always reminds me of Pam Ayres - I'm a starling me darling - we liked her when she was on TV in the 70s but on looking back I really can't see why.
  • 1 chaffinch