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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Time and a Half

How did I ever manage to work full time? There's just so much to do, I wouldn't be able to fit it all in.

Last week seems relaxed by comparison to this. Even though I worked three days, I managed a zoo trip. I didn't manage to get any pictures of the tamarins in the rainforest exhibit invading the walkways and tempting the humans to touch them. No doubt, without the intervention of the volunteers,  a few bites and lost phones or cameras might have upset the enchanted visitors. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera out when they started to investigate my parrot-and-rainforest-pattern walking stick and contemplated climbing it.

But I did capture the clever idea someone had to both feed and entertain the meerkats. They'd dug up some old plants and their roots so the little mongooses could rummage for bugs and worms in the soil.

This weekend is promising to be more hectic than I could have imagined. Today there was an Art Deco fair at good old Eltham Palace, and I found a couple of jewellery goodies I couldn't resist: This necklace spoke to me right away, but I had to fight the urge to leave it behind (ie. more than I wanted to spend).

These three little duckies are a Lea Stein brooch. It's about an inch-and-a-half long:

After the fair I drove my friend to a nearby church hall where her opera group was giving an afternoon tea party concert (no, not Tea Party!) I helped to get the hall ready before and cleared up afterwards (actually, mostly I lounged on a table I could have been putting away and talked to my old PE teacher, whose husband sings with the group. She's 70 now, and has suffered from MS for decades. Though wheelchair-bound for many years, she is still going strong.) Tomorrow my friend and I are off to a dolls house fair.

On Monday I will need a rest! Thank goodness for Alex's cruise.

Vanishing Act - Day 8

This moronic woman is with Bobby and she apparently is still crazy about dork boy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Vanishing Act - Day 7

Silly man, do you really think Bobby believes your lies?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The People Are Revolting

My student Alex is off on a cruise, so today I got together with his other tutor to produce a presentation about our work with him. As I left, I was puzzled by the huge traffic jams in all directions. Overhead there were two police helicopters - I've never seen more than one at a time before. Not until I got to Trafalgar Square and lots of activity going on there did it occur to me that public sector workers were striking and demonstrating today. Not that the structures I saw being erected had anything to do with that. Apparently on Saturday the London Symphony Orhestra is giving a free concert there. Luckily it is supposed to be fine and dry for once. The public sector workers are mainly striking over changes in their pensions. Those on strike today, and teachers, who struck earlier, have to pay more for our pensions, get them mch later, and get less, while having our pay frozen for years on end. The police were strongly in evidence, though they are not very happy either. There are cuts in their numbers, longer working lives, and deterioration of their conditions. Off-duty officers attended, but the police are not allowed to strike.
I'm hoping they will start refusing to treat other workers with their usual contempt and turn a blind eye to demonstrations that are as much to help them as the people to whom they apply their kettling* techniques. They have to learn that they are on the wrong side.

*Kettling - containment or corralling of crowds into small spaces using police cordons.

Vanishing Act - Day 6

Who is this handsome man? How did he get so gorgeous?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Ancient History

Eight years ago last month, I had my right hip replaced at the very young age of 51. As I was sitting around recuperating, I passed the time watching Series 1 of LOCI over and over, taking notes about the doink doink days and dates and the outfits Goren and Eames were wearing, trying to see if dates overlapped from episode to episode and whether the outfits matched up. (The answer is yes, no and maybe - making the dates with their stated days correspond to a particular year was impossible, as they were fake.)

That June, still walking with crutches, I went on a day-trip to Salisbury, Old Sarum and Stonehenge. For those who don't know the story, Old Sarum was a medieval town that was moved to a more favourable situation, and rebuilt on a grid plan - a very early example of town planning. The base ruins of some buildings, including the original cathedral, are still visible.

Old Sarum on its bleak hilltop
The foundations of the old cathedral.
The cathedral in the new town of Salisbury is the pinnacle of gothic cathedral-building, completed (apart from the spire) in less than 40 years in the 13th century.

My own pictures of these places are not on my computer, and in any case they couldn't do the justice to these places that these online pictures do. However, when we went to 5,000-year-old Stonehenge, it proved impossible to take a bad or inadequate picture. Access to the stones is only allowed on a very few occasions each year, and is carefully controlled by English Heritage. As soon as the ordinary visitors left, the site reopened to us. For the first time that day, the rain stopped and the skies cleared. As if by magic, the lengthening shadows of the sinking sun transformed the site into a place of breathtaking beauty.

Vanishing Act - Day 4

So much Bobby, so much magic.

Monday, May 07, 2012


What? you wonder. All will become clear. Or not. 'Cos it's insane.

London just re-elected the ridiculous Boris Johnson, he of the uncontollable hair, as its mayor. During his first 4-year term of office he put forward the idea of a cable car across the Thames, to ease people's travel between Olympic venues. It was to be done by the sponsorship of business alone.

Then it seemed to be forgotten. I certainly hadn't heard anything more about its progress. Now I've found a map of the proposed route :

I was only looking for this because today, for the first time in many weeks, I travelled to the Greenwich Peninsula, and was astonished to see a sight rather like this:

The little dots are cable cars. The pylons are cable car towers. Here's a closer view of the system:

So it's happened. Apparently the first car crossed last Wednesday. Obviously it wasn't much in the news (maybe because it might influence the elections that took place on Thursday) because I read two newspapers a day, watch the local and national TV news, and listen to the news on the radio. But there it is for all to see, with a parade of cars going in each direction. BBCCC. Bonkers Boris's Crazy Cable Car.

Will I be going on it any time soon?

Will I fuck.

Vanishing Act - Day 3

This picture works on so many levels. Pick your own...

Sunday, May 06, 2012

My Old China

I have some rather attractive china cat sculptures that I bought for myself, but a few years ago a co-worker bought me this for my birthday:

I found it charming, but didn't think it was anything in particular. Some time later, I saw an article in Your Cat magazine about Winstanley cats, and they looked bit like my little fellah. Then I forgot all about it till recently they ran another article. I decided to photograph my kittie and send the pictures to the Winstanley cat makers, including this one of his base:

And lo! he is a Winstanley cat! They don't sell for huge sums of money, but enough for me to realise that my co-worker must have thought fondly of me.

For anyone interested in having a look at their products, here's the web address:

Vanishing Act - Day 2

Is Bobby taken in by the old has-been?

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