What a fun weekend

May 5, 2009

I have had a really awesome fun weekend.
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The Monument to the Great Fire (of 1666)

April 27, 2009

A couple of weekends ago Paul and I climbed the 311 steps up to the top of the Monument (to the Great Fire of 1666). It didn’t seem that far – but we were climbing behind an old woman (who was going quite slowly) so I wasn’t puffing by the time I got to the top (that and my regular exercising at the gym also helped of course!).

Unfortunately the sun was right behind the monument when I tried to take photos of it so the photos from the ground are pretty dark but it was cool to look out over London from the top! I don’t actually think London has a very exciting skyline but it was still cool to be up there. We also got certificates when we came back down – which we thought was cool.
The Monument to the Great Fire of 1666, London
Above, the Monument, below, the entrance!
Inscriptions on the Monument to the Great Fire, London
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Some recent books

March 25, 2009

I recently read and really enjoyed the graphic memoir Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (of comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For fame). Subtitled A Family Tragicomic, Fun Home covers Bechdels childhood growing up in a funeral home, her coming out to her family as a lesbian at the age of 19, leading to the revelation of her father’s closeted life as a married gay man and his death shortly after. Bechdel looks back over her childhood and adolescence, coloured by her new knowledge of her father’s sexuality and his death at 44 which she believes was suicide. One of the things I loved about this book was the many literary references. Both her parents were interested in the arts and reading, especially her father, and the book is littered with classics and what their stories may have meant to her father, her mother and their lives.
The cover of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
I want to read more London-based and London-themed books while living here: Lights Out for the Territory by Iain Sinclair, Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd and Mother London by Michael Moorcock. I wonder if I should read a Charles Dickens novel or two while I’m at it. Has anyone got any recommendations? Yesterday I took a bus to Greenford library to borrow Lights Out for the Territory. The book is full of tales of wandering around London. I’m excited about reading it. When I left the library and went to Greenford tube station I was quite excited to find they have wooden escalators!
Wooden escalator, Greenford Underground Station, London
Wooden escalator, Greenford Underground Station, London
Greenford Underground Station, London
I had never heard of them until reading about the tragic fire at King’s Cross Underground Station in 1987 that killed a number of people and one of the changes made afterward was to replace all the wooden escalators with metal ones! I had never seen any until yesterday. Greenford tube is not underground so I guess they get to keep their wooden escalators!

I wanted to read A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, set in 1665 when the plague swept through London (and written in the 1720s). But after starting it, I think this may end up like Robinson Crusoe – I got less than halfway through and stopped because it was really long-winded and boring. Oh well.


Still unemployed in Meanwhile City

March 11, 2009

To allay my unemployment blues, last Thursday I went into town and saw the film The Baader-Meinhof Complex. Baader and Meinhof were communist terrorists in Germany in the 1970s. I didn’t have any sympathy for them or their fellow terrorists by the end of the film – not sure if I was expecting to sympathise with them or not. As is always the case with watching a dramatised version of true events, I was left wondering how close to reality the story was. Another dramatisation of true events I would like to see is Milk, based on the life of Harvey Milk, America’s first openly-gay person elected to official office. I have seen the (very good) documentary The Times of Harvey Milk which I would recommend highly (and so feel I don’t really need to see the dramatised version now).

On Friday night, Paul and I saw the film Franklyn. It was ok. Not brilliant but entertaining enough. It was set in London and Meanwhile City.

On Sunday we had yum cha with some people I used to work with and it was nice to catch up with them.

I have a job interview today (fingers crossed!). Afterwards I’m going to Queensland House to vote in the Queensland election and I might go to Tate Modern.

I have actually been spending a lot of time on an art project about positive and negative thoughts. See some positive affirmations below:
I deserve love and success and happiness, cross stitch, 2009
I am totally adequate for all situations, cross stitch, 2009
I am totally adequate for all situations (detail), cross stitch, 2009
I am good enough just as I am, cross stitch, 2009
Loving others is easy when I love and respect myself, cross stitch, 2009


Four days of snow on my balcony

February 9, 2009

1 February, 2009
Snow in London, 1st Feb, 2009 Read the rest of this entry »


Paul's snow photos

February 3, 2009

Paul has put up some photos of snow around his work so you can see the business park he works in and the golf course he sometimes walks through at lunch time.


Most snow in London for two decades!

February 2, 2009

Paul had a snow day today and worked from home as there was traffic chaos due to the 20cm of snow! It was the most snow in South-East England for 18 years. Very cool.
Balcony furniture and snow, 1 Feb 2009
Above, snow on my balcony just before going to bed at midnight. And below, snow on the balcony this morning.
Balcony furniture and snow, 2 Feb 2009
I watched it snowing for most of the day.
Balcony furniture and snow, 2 Feb 2009
Below, Paul got ready to go to work, went outside and came back home…
My little elf, deciding whether or not to try to get to work through the snow, 2 Feb, 09
…and in between working from home, Paul ventured out onto the balcony…
Paul opened the balcony door to run through the snow (bare foot)
…to gather snowballs…
Paul makes a snowball, 2 Feb, 2009
…which he threw out the window.
Snowy tree and rooves, 2 Feb 2009