Tuesday 31 January 2012

Plague and Pestilence

Otherwise known as our house. So, I had a little bit of a cold. Robin got some full blown chest infection. And David, just to be a big showoff, managed to get both a chest and an ear infection. I'm thinking perhaps we should get the house tented and sprayed, or at least quarantine David and Robin. You'd think, given how crappy my sleep usually is, that I'd be sick all the time, but, touch wood, most things seem to pass me by.

Speaking of crappy sleep, my dreams are getting even stranger. Last night I actually had a dream that I'd had a dream, and I was trying to figure out if the dream (in the dream) was a dream or reality. Needless to say, I was completely freaked out by Inception. What if my entire life is actually a dream within a dream? I suppose if that's the case though, I should dream myself up a bit more money and a better night's sleep. Living in one's own head should confer at least some benefits, you'd think.


It's actually a bit wintry out now, which much come as a slight surprise to the crocuses (croci?) and daffodils that have decided to bloom. This being Britain, people are complaining about it like we've entered the next ice age, when, in reality, there's a little bit of frost and people's tooties are a bit chilly. Why I love England...

I went for a nice bike ride on Sunday. It was supposed to be 60 miles, but I just sort of kept going and it ended being 80. David is pretty sure I'm very silly, which is probably true, but I do really like to bike and bike and bike and bike! Actually, when I go to the bike store, and I get some pimply faced 18 year old trying to talk down to me like I'm sort of complete dumbass, I have to resist telling him that I've been biking longer than he's been alive. Yeah, growing old disgracefully...

The January people have yet to disappear from the gym. They are everywhere, being annoying and in the way. A guy actually showed up wearing a t-shirt and a pair of long-johns. They even had the little magic door in the front. Um, hello - on which fashion impaired planet did that seem like a good idea?

Oh, I've come up with a new capital crime... Previously, I had added getting the floor all wet in the changing room to my list. Now it's throwing glass on the road. The number of times I've had to pick out shards of glass from my tires (tyres even). Definitely worth the electric chair as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, not much else at the moment. Lots of travelling on the horizon, but not just yet. Just trying not to spend myself into oblivion (ha) and still trying to convince someone to give me lots of money for doing something interesting (also ha, thus far).

I'm particularly worried about those large plants...

Ok then...

What, even better than sliced???

Some ad campaigns you just think, eh? So, eh?

Sunday 15 January 2012

What could be more wintery than parrots?

So, a few mornings ago, in my usual early morning delirium, I noticed, through the skylight, a very pointy feather stuck towards the sky, out in the olive tree. Thinking that was a bit odd, I looked outside, to be met with a small flock of parrots sitting in the tree. Yeah, nothing says British winter like a bunch of parrots hanging upside down in a tree. Apparently, the story goes, they were either released from Shepperton Studios during the filming of African Queen, or are the descendents of released pets. Another story says that they were released by the King, at Hampton Court, sometime back in the 1600s (I think). Anyway, they are all over London - about 30000 of them, and they are increasing to the point where they are considering a cull (whereas with grey squirrels they have been giving them birth control pills (how???) and with Canada Geese, stealing the eggs. Anyway though, I thought it was kind of fun to have a flock of parrots in the back yard. How exotic.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

January people

There exist in January a certain type of people - possibly even a separate species. You see them predominantly at the gym, and, increasingly, on the roads on shiny new bikes. They tend to be fairly well dressed, or, at least, dressed in fairly new clothing. Shiny new lycra, bulging at the seams. Gym shorts that have never before seen a droplet of sweat. Leather gloves still smelling of curing agent. The prominant activity of the gym sub-set of these people seems to consist mostly of shuffling from weight to weight, pausing in between to examine them in great detail, occasionally by actually lifting them, awkwardly, over their heads in what appears to be quiet confusion (though sometimes not so quiet, as occasionally this ritual is occasioned by loud grunting and general noisemaking). They seem often curiously unaware of the non-January types in their midst, and can sometimes make nuisances of themselves as they examine their new surroundings. The other January sub-set, found predominately on the roads, usually spend their time pedaling slowly, awkwardly between lines of traffic, often pausing to further take in their surroundings. The non-January types have a tendency to find this sort of behaviour puzzling, sometimes shouting helpful suggestions about moving out the way, moving faster - encouragement really. Like mayflies though, these January people mass and then disappear, gone almost before you knew they were there. Almost.

In other non-related news, I have a cold, but am being very stoic about it and not complaining at all. Really. Brooklyn Bridge? Sale?

I tried to go for a bike ride on Saturday, but felt like poo, so turned around. Instead, Avi, David and I hung out, went for dinner at the local pub, and watched Forbidden Kingdom, which, I have to say, was complete pants, though it had some fun kung fu.

And yesterday I went for a really nice bike ride, though I still felt a bit like poo.

Pics below:

Oh look, it's Narnia!

Oh little town of Dorking-ham...

Tuesday 3 January 2012

The end of the world, or not.

So anyway, yeah - here we are in the last year of the universe, or at least the last year before they will have to come up with some new apocalyptic crap (I have no doubt).

We had a few people over for NYE - very nice - we tromped up the hill to watch all the fireworks shoot off the London Eye and Big Ben (ooh pretty), and then shot off our own, which weren't quite so exciting, but given that we bought them several years ago at the supermarket, and they seemed to shoot about 100 feet into the air and left a big flat patch in the grass (as well as lots of embers), they were lots of fun anyway. No safe and sane for us, thank you very much! A good deal of champagne was harmed during the course of the evening, meaning that NYD was a little on the lazy side (hard not to be lazy when one gets up at noon).

Yesterday I mostly made up for it by going for a very nice 68 mile ride and then taking the high-speed train back. It's a bit of an anticlimax when one's 5 hours of hard work are erased in 38 minutes. I guess I need to start biking at 140 miles per hour. I did make it to 42 miles per hour once - downhill - thought I was going to die.

Oh yeah - David and I went for a really nice 10 mile walk on NYE in the South Downs - hills along the south coast. Very pretty. I put pics for that up HERE. The weather was a bit schlocky, but it was warm (low 50s), so pretty hard to complain about that. Yesterday was chilly and sunny - perfect day for a bike ride - and today was blowy and pissing rain all day. I had all sorts of things I was supposed to do in the garden - didn't do any of them (but I did buy some new pants for work at the Gap, so that's almost the same thing... ;-)

It would have been funnier with the namesake car, but a nice pic nonetheless...

Yeah - This is the sort of reason I so like cycling around England...

Sunset, spines and fence...