Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sky High

My flatmate Lotte is going to do a skydive for charity - The Big Issue - on the 3rd of March ( Somehow jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet is not something I've ever contemplated doing, but I'm happy to cheer her on!

Having a job interview the day before the college breaks for half-term has meant that I need to wait until next week before hearing anything from them which is slightly frustrating. On the other hand I've started volunteering for the Richmond Environment Network. I volunteered expecting to help out in the office and do little things like that, but actually I've been given the opportunity to start (almost from scratch) working on the children and youth side, i.e. develop and support work going on in the ENTIRE borough. So, I'm going to have to pretend I know what I'm doing. Should be fun!

Our washing machine is refusing to open the door so there's a whole load stuck inside at least until tomorrow. Oh well, it's been a good excuse to borrow a towel off our neighbour (a new experience for sure).

UPDATE - Nobody can come to fix it until Monday 11am so the wet laundry will be in the machine all weekend!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Science of Sleep

Last night Lotte and I got our exercise London-style by rushing from the tube station and trying to find the Barbican Centre in the ten minutes we had before our film was due to start. As both of us had forgotten to bring along the London A-Z we had to do a fair amount of detective work too to find out which way to go. The Barbican Centre - once we had found it - was a maze of empty corridors and enclaves. It was a rather eerie place, especially when we emerged from the film (which is about Stephane mixing dream and reality).

'The Science of Sleep' is a beautiful film. I'm a big fan of Gael Garcia Bernal and enjoyed Michel Gondry's last film: The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, so I did have high expectations and thankfully I was not let down. It is a beguiling fantasy in a merry fluid mixture of French, English, and Spanish and shot beautifully. Besides, how can you not like a film with a one second time-machine?!

We wandered around Soho for awhile later on. What a fascinating hive of bustle and activity with rickshaws attempting to pick up passengers, lots of people walking around (a relief after the quiet and sterile finance quarters), loads of restaurants (we had a lovely Thai curry), and the China Town all decorated up for Chinese New Year.

On our way back, just outside the station we wanted, the train stopped due "to a slight fire outside the signalman's cabin" which damaged the cables a bit. A surreal end to the journey, but thankfully somebody managed to override the system and we did not end up spending the night on the uncomfortable seats. On "alighting" the train we saw no sigh of fire anywhere although I did spot a rat rustling around the tracks.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Recently I've taken it upon myself to drastically reduce the amount of my physical possessions. In part this has corresponded with a HUGE increase in technology. I have now joined the classes with white wires hanging out of their ears and am an iPod owner, and my gorgeous friends moving back to Australia (= free place to stay when I get over there!) gave me a dinky little iBook. Somehow I don't think the value of my possessions in under £20 anymore. It is a strange transition, but it is oddly enough helping me cut back in my habit of stockpiling stuff so it surely can't be all bad.

The major problem I can forsee is not understanding what the computer is saying to me or a paralysing fear of breaking it... However our new neighbour works for Dell, and the vicar's husband describes himself as a "techno-hippy" so there's bound to be help around - for a suitable bribe.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cold and wintry February - finally!

It's pretty darn cold outside, at least by our English standards, but so completely gorgeous I'll forgive it! Just the right weather for slipping into little shops to warm up for a couple of minutes before braving the outdoors again. I love this weather! The Pearl Month of the year... [That's a transliteration of the Finnish for February.]

I registered with the doctors surgery this morning and ought to get back to fill a whole stack of forms littered around my bedroom floor - there are just so many of them! Benefit forms, College forms, CRB checks the lot. I haven't been very diligent though and so my form filling sessions are spread inbetween Dorris Lessing's 'The Golden Notebook' and 'The Time Traveller's Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger. Writing down details of myself over and over again are a certain way of filling this form of my existence here, defining it and drawing lines around me... (Not sure I like that particular outline of the form I'm filling out hence all these books.)

I've started a Spanish course too; and again it's one of my get out of jail free cards...