Thursday, 3 December 2009

Life in the rainforest...

Hey, well guess what it's doing today? No, there are not blue fluffy things flying about through the sky (well, there might be, but only after the use of many illegal substances) - it's raining! Yes, that's right, ladies and gentlemen - there is water falling out of the sky, which has happened, oh, I don't know - nearly ever day for the past week or so (I've lost count). The trees are all (mostly) dead, but the grass is lush - squishy, but very lush. David and I went walking through Hampstead Heath last weekend, and I was very happy my hiking boots were (sort of) waterproof. But still I dutifully (that word doesn't look right) - anyway I get up at the crap of dawn (actually, even before dawn passes wind) to head out into the morning traffic. I was especially pleased with myself the other morning that I managed to find a side-street to cut out one of my least favorite parts of the morning commute. Simple pleasures...

Actually, I was thinking the other morning as I was weaving my way through traffic - I cycle every morning over Tower Bridge. People come from all over the world and take pictures of Tower Bridge. Apparently, it's one of the most famous bridges in the world. Yet, on my morning bike ride, it's just parked traffic, and moron pedestrians wandering out into the street without looking. I walked over the bridge the other day, on my way to a meeting at City Hall - it was really nice to actually be able to see the bridge, and see the view from the bridge, rather than just see the bus that cut me off, or the group of Japanese tourists who have not, it seems, encountered moving traffic in a road before. I like walking along my bike routes - it helps me remember why I think London is a fantastic city, and not just a moving obstacle course full of dimwitted numbnuts.

Anyway, we (the whole house) went over to friends of Robin's last Saturday for Thanksgiving dinner (as we all had to work on Thursday). It was, of course, raining. The food was excellent. The flat was, well, unusual. Both of the denizens are (gay) architects, meaning that everything was arranged just so. Even the books in the shelves were arranged by height order, whereas our books are generally arranged by where they get crammed. They had six gay men and one very neurotic Spanish woman (fag-hag) who had just moved to London from New York crowded around the table. Naturally, the conversation was, at turns, catty, bitchy, political and generally snarky. It reminded me a bit of the dinner scene in Beetlejuice, though, fortunately, our dinner didn't reach up and grab us.

David and I are heading off to Dublin tomrorow morning on the 0910 train from Euston. I've not been to Dublin in 14 years, since I lived there. It may have changed a bit! Actually, what I'm really looking forward to is seeing whether it still feels like travelling 50 years back in time. I doubt it does - there might even be real, live, non-white people there now! I do know that Ireland has just been decimated by the recession - but then, I lived there before I became the 'Celtic Tiger', so maybe it will feel as if nothing has changed. We're taking the train and ferry there, which takes all day. David's never been there, and he's never taken the ferry, so it seemed like a fun thing to do. We're flying back though. Once is fun, twice is a pain in the ass.

Blah - I suppose I should do some work before the bosses get back from whatever inane meeting they are at.

Oh, funny thing - we had our 'GIS User Forum' yesterday - which consisted of a few of us talking about various things to a room full of 20 semi-interested (or perhaps semi-comatose) people. I just sort of got up there and blathered, as opposed to some of the more organised talks, and people said they really liked it! I suppose all those years of teaching undergrads was good for something. The meeting was supposed to finish at 430, but it was dragging on a bit. Get this - people actually got up and left at 430. How rude is that? Some guy was still talking, and they just left! Stupid bureaucratic people. If I was up there talking, I would have shamed them, because the speaker was very English about it and just kept speaking, though I could tell he was very embarrassed. People suck sometimes.

Ok, work now. Yuck.


Katherine Plumer said...

But how was the pie?

dougzilla said...

The pie was fabulous - and they even got the crust right this year (it wasn't graham cracker, but whatever it was, i could have eaten just the crust). :-)