Bad news and random musings

April 9, 2009

Yesterday I went to Pitzhanger Manor which was John Soane‘s country home that he would come to on the weekends (from central London) back when Ealing was a separate town. It was quite nice. I imagined living there, having breakfast in the breakfast room and reading in the reading room.

Then I borrowed the Outsider by Albert Camus from the library. I finished it this morning. I pretty much had Killing an Arab by the Cure in my head the whole time I was reading it!

When I weighed myself at the gym yesterday the scales said I was 5 kilos less than the scales at home which was a shock but kind of a relief – I couldn’t work out why I wasn’t losing any weight when I was exercising so much (well, I’m exercising a lot for me). I’ve asked Paul to weigh himself at home and at the gym near his work to see if there is a 5 kilo difference!

Today I went and had a look at the Whiteleys shopping centre in Queensway. It is a nice building and was probably once a really nice shopping centre but now it has lots of empty shops.

I had a look at the website for the X-Men Origins: Wolverine film and it looks like all the characters mentioned are men (Wolverine, Sabretooth, Gambit, Agent Zero, Stryker, Blob, Wraith). What a disappointment. I know it’s a superhero film and all but I really expect better of X-Men – they have so many characters, how hard is it to feature some women as well as the men? There’s a woman on the poster but now I suspect that she is Wolverine’s long dead love-interest and not an integral character/mutant. I’m not as excited about the film now. Damn Hollywood!

I had some bad news yesterday. A friend from Brisbane (who was living here in London) has gone back home because her younger brother has bowel cancer (she is only 23). They operated but it had spread and they couldn’t get it all so now he is to undergo chemotherapy. I hope the treatment goes well for him and they get it all.

A cool house, photographs and friends in London

March 30, 2009

On Saturday Paul and I fulfilled one of our longstanding London plans and went to John Soane’s Museum on Lincoln’s Inn Fields. It was really great. And free! Soane was an architect and a collector and his house is chock-full of interesting things. Go here to have a 360 degree look at some of it. Soane (1753-1837) was the son of a bricklayer, the personal architect of two prime ministers, and the designer of the Bank of England, the Dulwich Picture Gallery and Westminster’s Law Courts, as well as Britain’s red telephone box. The house has the sarcophagus of Seti I, other really old stuff and lots of paintings, including three Canalettos (‘Riva degli Schiavoni, The Rialto Bridge from the North and Piazza S. Marco) and two series of Hogarth paintings, A Rake’s Progress and An Election – I was so excited to see the Hogarths. Soane had a country house in Ealing, Pitzhanger Manor which is now a museum, so I might have to go pay it a visit.
Sir John Soane's Museum, London
Above and below, the entrance to the John Soane’s Museum.
Sir John Soane's Museum, London
On Saturday night we went to a housewarming party for someone from Brisbane who we met over here (through a friend from Brisbane).

On Sunday we went to the Photographers’ Gallery (which has moved to just off Oxford Street) and we saw the finalists for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2009. There was some good photography there. They also have a good bookshop and a nice cafe (I must remember that for if I’m ever near Oxford Circus and want a coffee and don’t want to go to Starbucks).

Then we met up with Cheryl and Alex and wandered around Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane, and surrounding streets, including the Gherkin and the Leadenhall Market.

I recently read that the Whitechapel Gallery is about to reopen after being closed for a couple of years. I’m excited about that. I’ve seen some pretty cool art there.

Weekend with Stu

March 2, 2009

Stu came to visit on the weekend. On Friday night we went to Brixton to catch up with Scotty who is briefly visiting London and will be moving back to Berlin shortly.

On Saturday we showed Stu around lots of shops so he could buy shoes and look at London stuff. We went to a street of shoe shops (Neal Street in Covent Garden) and a street of musical instrument shops (Denmark Street off Charing Cross Road). We went to Tate Modern to the Rodchenko and Popova exhibition and to the Kinetica Art Fair 2009, an exhibition of moving art near Baker Street. Then we caught up with a couple of friends of Stu and Paul’s from Brisbane (Rory and Anthony).

I have now been unemployed for four weeks and I need to step up my job-hunting efforts! While I have been going to the gym and working on my art quite a bit, not earning any money is not helping our plans to save money for travelling this year.

Cold weekend in Exeter

December 2, 2008

It’s been very cold lately – between 0 and 10 degrees (celsius) during the day – quite unpleasant.

On the weekend Paul and I went to Exeter for Thomas’ house-warming which was lots of fun – but very cold. Thomas wasn’t lying when he said he had a cold house. But there were lots of interesting people there to talk to and I got to see Felicity who I haven’t seen for probably 7 years and Michelle who I met at Thomas’ 30th two and a half years ago has recently had a baby (he is sooo cute) so it was cool to talk to her about that (and cuddle the baby).
Paul, Thomas, Daniel, Felicity in Topsham near Exeter
Paul, Thomas, Daniel and Felicity and I talk a walk around Topsham, a village near Exeter on Sunday.
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happy news and sad news

September 5, 2008

This week, the father of my brother-in-law Kini died. He was almost 75 and had been very healthy up until a day or two before he died. My sister Nicky and her husband Kini have gone to Tonga for the funeral. They are both very sad.

Paul’s grandmother, who lives in a nursing home in Cornwall, has taken ill this week and has pneumonia. Paul’s parents are heading over to the UK as soon as they can get a flight from Australia – actually, I think they are on a flight right now.

In good news, my friend, Richard’s brother, Peter’s wife, Sophie had a baby boy recently. Finn Tetsuya Scougall sounds to be doing well and he’s quite cute.

To Bath…

August 22, 2008

Paul and I are going to Bath this weekend – we go there today, Friday and are coming back Sunday. It’s a long weekend so we also have Monday off. I will be seeing Lucy on Monday as she is in town on her way to Australia! It’s her first trip back since she left a few years ago and she’s very excited about catching up with friends (oh, and she’s also giving a paper at a conference).

Weekend in Liverpool

August 8, 2008

My friend Helen has done a really good blog post on our trip to Liverpool which you can read and see her great photos! Helen stayed a couple of days extra but Paul and I came back on Sunday evening.
Looking out to sea from Crosby Beach, Liverpool.
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