Saturday, April 30, 2005

It's official...

I'm bored!!!

The problem with the job that I do is that due to unpredictable working hours, if I know I am finishing late I don't generally make plans to go out - mainly due to the possibility of a crappy day leading to a crappy mood...However, tonight is different, I am at work, with half an hour more to go before I can officially escape - and bored out of my skull...desperately want to go out for a bit of excitement, but all my friends are either working late (love this job!) or having a nice cosy night at home! So, no friends to play with!

This can't be good...All wound up and nowhere to go! Feel like the Duracell bunny with brakes on!

So I guess it is back to the original plan which is home to The West Wing - Complete Season 5 which arrived from Amazon this morning.

Hmmm an evening with Bradley Whitford and glimpses of one of my favourite cities....not too bad a substitution! Which gives me the perfect opportunity for a few more pictures....!!

Down the Mall from The Capitol
Down the Mall from The Capitol on a very grey day.

Probably one of the most famous addresses in the world...

...and their press!

Looking across to the Jefferson Memorial

Korean War Memorial
The Korean War Memorial

Vietnam War Memorial. 1
The Vietnam War Memorial

The Vietnam War Memorial

Roosevelt's Four Freedoms

Arlington Cemetery


A quiet day....

"Brevity is the soul of lingerie"...was the quotation running through my head this morning as I got dressed......why...God alone knows! Couldn't attribute it to anyone...anyway the penny just could only be Dorothy Parker. During her life she came up with some cracking lines - although admittedly some (including some of the ones below, are only attributed to Ms Parker) of them in particular has been a favourite since I was about 15...

"Four be the things I'd been better without:
love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt. "

and a few others for entertainment....

I require only three things of a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid.

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

You can lead a horticulture, but you cannot make her think. (When challenged to use the word "horticulture" in a sentence.)

When a famous actress walked by the Roundtable group at the Algonquin, someone said, "There goes So & So. She is her own worst enemy." Dorothy Parker quipped, "Not while I'm alive."

"That woman speaks 18 languages and can't say 'no' in any of them."

Not much else going on in the grey matter shall keep quiet!


Friday, April 29, 2005

and in addition....

Have added a few new blogs that I read...both in HK and elsewhere...

also thanks to Hemlock and The Shaky Kaiser who have added me to their lists...

I used to follow Hemlock's "rantings" whilst in Jordan...would read the SCMP and then Hemlock to keep me up to date with life in HK! It worked wonders!


and over in Amman...

In the Jordan Times today there is an article by Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh (link only lasts a week)...about the rapid and huge expansion of Amman. It is a major concern for the residents of Amman as there is little infrastructure and there seems to be minimal planning for new residential and commercial projects...

"Purchases mean expansion. The story goes that Amman, like Rome, started on seven hills. Now, it is spread over more than 20. In fact, its borders have exceeded some of the neighbouring plains and towns...

...Should not expansion be done professionally and according to modern, meticulous specifications, standards and rules? We understand the messiness of east, southeast and northeast Amman. These areas were built when there was no modern planning, and continued to be built in the same vein. But what about the areas that lie to the west, southwest and northwest of Amman? Should they not be categorically different?..

...Look now at all “modern” parts of Amman. The streets are too narrow. More importantly, the streets have no “breathers”, proper sidewalks or protection. Anybody can build a shopping mall right at the edge of the street, a bakery shop, a mosque, a school, a hospital, etc. How many shopping malls (big or small) have adequate parking? In fact, most of the smaller shopping complexes do not have any parking space at all — which compels motorists to park in the street and cause traffic jams."

So far, I agree...however...there follows a sentence which I disagree with "There is a lot of talk about Jordan becoming Singapore, Ireland or Switzerland. I think this is good.". The beauty of Amman (and it is a beautiful city) is that it is totally different from these places, it has its own startling beauty and some of that lies within its mish-mash of streets and the little bit of chaos that Amman offers. By all means - develop the correct infrastructure, make sure there are pavements (from someone who used to walk to work...they are needed!), implement correct town planning...but do not try to become the Singapore of the Middle East...leave that to Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

The following pictures are not the best I have...but the ones I have to hand....I will try to find my favourite picture of Amman at sunset...

View over Amman at dusk
View over Amman at dusk

Amman in the snow
Amman after snowfall

Amman Inter-con in the snow
Amman Inter-con in the snow


To sleep, perchance to......

So, there I am sitting in the Lobby Bar at the Edinburgh Sheraton talking to two good friends of mine....we talk for hours about new jobs, future plans, family, travel, next holiday....the replacement for one of my friends who has just been promoted....apparently the replacement was hired by his boss without his say friend is not overly impressed with her previous experience...and in his own words "Would not have hired her"....the afternoon tea we were enjoying was very was good to have clotted cream for a change instead of the whipped cream that a lot of places pass off as clotted cream in HK!

And then the alarm clock goes off..........welcome back to reality in HK

I am known for my vivid dreams....the one that has caused most amusement to my friends was when I mentioned that the British Army were now using giant chipmunks for target practice on Salisbury Plain...cue hysterical was on Sky news last night....and I swear if I close my eyes (even now, three years on) I can still see the TV in my living room with the Sky TV banner underneath a report showing giant chipmunks charging down a hill into gun fire....the camera pans back and shows a row of soldiers firing at the chipmunks....



Many is the late night/early morning when I have been awoken by my cats chasing around the house and just generally making a noise....tonight...I cannot sleep (bad headache!) so have got up...switched on the lights so I can take some paracetamol....the moggies have been awoken and they are not best pleased!!!! last....!


Thursday, April 28, 2005

iPods are bad....!!!!

So...I pop into Wellcome on my way home...standing in the fruit and veg aisle (if you can call it that!) and suddenly realise everyone is staring at me......not surprising given that I am dancing in the middle of the aisle with a bloody great grin on my face.....(Note to self...dancing in public....only in a dark area, loud music, other people are dancing and with a fairly decent amount of alcohol inside!!).

A little last job involved a fairly turbulent two years due to the nature of the job and the surrounding environment...I was fortunate to be part of a very strong team and to make some very good of them a guy of whom I am very fond...and he liked the video of the song in question...for the girl!!! At the time the video was being played all the time and everytime my friend saw it he smiled this bloody great smile...and what made him smile...made me this song is on my iPod just for the memory of his smile!!!

The song in question... The Ketchup Song(Quicktime),


It's not a's a Kilt....

Whilst at the Sevens, amongst kilted friends...I got really irritated by people who kept telling my friends..."You've caught your skirt on the seat" or similar comments...I kept having to explain..."It's not a skirt, it's a kilt"....(by the end of the Sunday afternoon the words "a" and "skirt" had something else in between...but I blame that on the combination of Pimms, Beer, Sunshine and the air in the South Stands!). seems that a school in America has had much the same problem differentiating between a skirt and a traditional form of dress...I don't care if their school policy says that guys have to wear trousers.....would like to see them telling the likes of "The Hammer of the English" he couldn't wear his kilt.


A Woman's prerogative....

there are quite a few prerogatives that we women can lay claim I am laying claim to "It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind"

...the length of time it is taking possible "new job" to send me my draft contract has given me pause for I really want to go, do I really want this head is saying "yes, it makes sense" and the rest of me is saying "no, don't care about making sense"...the longer they leave it...the less likely I am going to be signing on the dotted line!

Whilst writing the above, I clicked over to Why is the Platypus? and have been reading about "Man Dates"....What the hell??!!! Any man who tells me he is going on a date...better be either going on a date with a woman or with another man because they are both gay...

I agree with The should be men and women, women. I too, was brought up in a household whereby the only thing limiting your achievement was your father insisted that I should have the best education and chances that he could possibly give me... and he has been the best supporter of my career and my choices...

I have chosen a career path which is very male-orientated after a certain level...that was my choice and it has been challenging...but fun. However, I have appreciated the male colleagues that let me do my job to the best of my ability and still respect the fact that I am a my last job all the men (bar one - so noticeable compared to the others!)...were gentlemen of the highest order...and I have to say deep down I appreciated that trait that they all shared more than anything else. Our General Manager used to argue, shout and generally give me a hard time (as bosses do!)...but he carried things for me that he could see were too heavy, held doors open for me etc.

I realise I have waffled a bit, but in summary...I agree with The Platypus that the cross-over between sexes has to come to a stop somewhere and I think that "Man Dates" are the limit. I also agree that traits I look for in a man include "Strong, Supportive, Provider, Loyal, Honest, Able, Knowledgeable, Athletic"...However, I disagree about "nice"!


Four Legs good, two legs bad....

Are the animals trying to tell us something....first this and then this and this.

Maybe George Orwell was onto something.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Now I'm scared....

The Daleks are returning to Doctor I followed the episodes of the new series I thought that my childhood terror had been forever laid to rest...I was wrong!

I remember as a child settling down with my father (I think it was on Thursday evenings!) to watch Doctor mother would make cheese straws specially for the weekly event...The Daleks used to put the fear of God into me...probably why now I can not watch anything more scary than Bambi...

Seriously...there are many, many films that I have not and can not watch due to the fact that they have something vaguely frightening, bloody or an element of suspense to them. I am what could be known as a "movie coward"...actually not just movie's TV programmes as well!

I used to think I could watch "true" stories that contained violence and then on one fateful night in Jordan I rounded up my friends to go and see "Black Hawk Down"....they raised eyebrows and questioned whether this was suitable viewing material for such a well known wimp..."Of course, I'll be's a true story" was my response.

How could I have been so wrong....I spent the majority of the movie staring at my knees and those of the people sitting on either side of me...after the movie we went for dinner and I was shaking so much I could hardly hold my cutlery and three nights later I finally got to sleep.


Another bird in the sky....

And this time it's big....

Yes.. the Airbus A380 has taken off on its maiden flight. And here it is just off the ground. Now that must be an interesting job....



Hotels and Restaurants are a personal and professional passion of I was a happy camper when I saw the May issue of Conde Nast Traveler(American issue...hence the spelling) had lists of all the new places..."116 best new hotels in the world", "80 great new restaurants" and "35 cool new night spots"....excellent reading material.

So this morning on the way to work I settle down to read about all the new restaurants and while flicking through the pages...find "Silk" in Frankfurt...this is accompanied by a picture of the interior so added interest...the highlighted text reads...."Servers float by in diaphanous Plein Sud, delivering Mario Lohniger's Asian-influenced take on Austro-German cuisine"

What sort of food comes under 'Asian influenced Austro-German cuisine'? Answers on a postcard to.....


Is it just me....

who thinks that this newspaper clip speaks volumes about the Mainland's way of controlling things that they don't like....

Hong Kong owners of Ming Fai Princess, a gambling cruise ship that sails from the mainland, will extend renovations on the liner until Beijing's gambling crackdown ends.

The Ministry of Public Security cited the suspension of Ming Fai Princess' cruises as one of the achievements of the crackdown in a status report published two weeks ago. The crackdown, which started January 11, runs until next month.

from The Standard


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

One more thing.....

Have just been over to Mental Mayhem and Natasha is off to Jordan for a holiday....her list of places she will be going looks wonderful and I am most envious....

One of my favourite restaurants in the world is Haret Jdoudna - both for the atmosphere/setting and the food. Haret Jdoudna is in a wonderful little town called Madaba...a friend of mine and I spent many a happy day off having lunch at Haret Jdoudna and then shopping for carpets (for which Madaba is rightly famous!).

My ideal two days off in Jordan...lunch in Madaba, a quick visit to Mount Nebo for a bit of peace, tranquility and the most amazing view......followed by dropping down to the Dead Sea for sundowners and overnight at the just doesn't get that good....some pictures below.....

Haret Jdouna
Inside courtyard at Haret Jdoudna

View from Mount Nebo over the Jordan Valley to the West Bank (Hazy Day)
View from Mount Nebo over the Jordan Valley to the West Bank (on a very hazy day)

Signboard at Mount Nebo
Signboard at Mount Nebo

Church at Mount Nebo
Church at Mount Nebo

Sunset over the Dead Sea - with salt clusters
Sunset over the Dead Sea...the patchy looking things on the surface are clusters of salt.

view across Dead Sea from Movenpick
View from Movenpick across the Dead Sea

View along the Dead Sea over towards the West Bank
View along the Dead Sea towards the West Bank


And so another day off finishes......

A busy day, but a nice day.....the Mandarin in the morning for a little grooming, the Vet at lunch, late lunch with a friend and then back home for a little reading time and then out with some friends for drinks and snacks....All in all a nice day....

I have a terrible habit of not sticking to my reading material of you can see from my "presently engrossed in..." below I have two books on the go...Disney Wars and a book about the IRA...however....have also started Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: What Makes the French So French? and this evening popped into the bookstore (not a good plan for me) and picked up Watching the English...and started reading is a terrible habit of mine to read all these books at the same time....just shows how my mind works!!

And bed, perchance to dream!


The importance of connections....

I have just seen that my Stat Counter has rocketed upwards with the number of hits....I hadn't looked at the details for a just went to have a shufti.....

It seems that links from three other sites have increased the traffic and miraculously people are sticking around to read it....also most of these new readers are from Hong Kong. In the past my readers seem to have been from everywhere but Hong Kong! This change makes me a little nervous in case my identity is blown!!!

So thanks to:

Discombobulated Mia
Hongkie Town
Why is the Platypus?


Fire in Hong Kong

A fire anywhere is frightening....a fire in Hong Kong terrifies me....tall buildings, crowded roads, blocked makes me shudder.

Today being my day off I am running around doing my messages and this took me to Causeway Bay (iPod doctor) I hopped off the bus and walked past the fire station...the alarms started ringing and the doors swung open....I was halfway accross their forecourt so just tucked myself in against the wall and stood and watched the engines race out past me with the fire men getting into their kit in the back.....

Music on my iPod at the time...Ultravox...Reap the Wild really fitted the moment...

As I watched them race off down the road I thought to myself - I wonder what the firemen are thinking.

For those of you who have been in HK for a will remember the Garley Building fire....the scenes from that terrible fire haunt me when I see fire engines racing with their sirens going...

I saw the same team about five minutes later...they had reached their destination...outside Times seemed, fortunately, that whatever was the problem was under control and they packed up and left about 15 minutes later...

Firemen the world over.... I take my hat off to you........


Monday, April 25, 2005


In the last two days...two references to men in kilts - the first from Discombobulated Mia, the second from Everyday Stranger which made me laugh...this vision of a Scottish engineer with no suit but a kilt will do nicely!

So at this point I can put up my very favourite picture of a man in a kilt....from our very own Hong Kong just before the handover....I remember it being on the front page of the SCMP!


(from Fu Chun Wai / Associated Press via Canadian Bagpipe Links)

Actually further down the Canadian Bagpipe Links page is a list of answers to "What are you wearing underneath your kilt?"..and an interesting picture of what really is underneath the average kilt!

Men in kilts...gets me everytime...the Scottish or Irish accent is just the icing on the cake!


And in Gaza last week.....

A murder
that seems to portray all that is bad about Hamas, stories like this do nothing to further the Palestinian cause anywhere in the world.

"According to Abu Khussa, official inquiries “have revealed that Hamas has established a special morality unit and the two suspects who have been arrested were part of this unit.”

Hamas has long enjoyed high levels of support in the deeply conservative Gaza Strip where extramarital liaisons are simply not tolerated.

However, Yusra and Ziad, were already officially husband and wife as they had a marriage contract which was to have been made public in a ceremony planned for April 15.

According to Palestinian security sources, suspected members of Hamas' religious police recently set fire to three Internet cafes which they also consider a source of vice in an echo of Afghanistan's ultra-conservative Taleban militia."

(from the Jordan Times)

How tragic.....


Only in Hong Kong #4

Horse Racing in Hong Kong.....until 2003 it was Hong Kong's only legal form of gambling....the racing facilities at Sha Tin and Happy Valley are amongst the best in the world.

Horse Racing here is like a religion...the horses, the jockeys and the betting....Saturday's and Wednesday are generally the racing days and outside the Hong Kong Jockey Club betting shops people lounge around smoking, reading the papers and placing their bets.

Silent Witness (named as one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential 'people'!!) is a horse that has now (as of yesterday) won 17 consecutive races (a modern racing record)and has therefore developed an almost God like status in Hong Kong.

Yesterday Silent Witness won its seventeenth race...its owner prepared 10,000 baseball caps signed by the trainer and the jockey to celebrate this momentous occasion. As the caps were handed out to the devote thousands....this happened.

Only in Hong Kong........



Woke up with a headache which never endears the world to me...slept badly...and still have not received draft contract for new job....So Monday is not looking good...iPod is on the blink again...will have to go back to the iPod doctor - again.....

I guess I should put a brave face on it...Tuesday is my day off so not all is bad!


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Not as well travelled as I thought.....

Visited 31 countries...13% of the world

Red is where I have been...the rest is obviously where I need to go....need to get my skates on....

And where my cats have been!!!

Create your own visited country map by clicking here


That makes me feel better!

Whilst doing my Sunday morning read of all my favourite blogs I found this
via Discombobulated Mia.....

and this was my final score....

English Genius

You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 86% Expert!

You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

For the complete Answer Key, click here for shortredhead.


Saturday, April 23, 2005

Mr Nice Guy....

I have dated one pilot in HK, it was a long time ago and the guy was a bit of an arrogant tosser (sorry, no other way to put it!!). This happened when I first arrived in HK, spending more time here I heard terrible stories about other pilots...untrustworthy, unfaithful etc etc. so I steered well clear of them.

I have recently met (blind date sort of thing) another pilot (did not know he was a pilot before I met him)...when I found out he was a pilot I thought to myself "ok, bail now - don't need that sort of hassle just now"!

However, I am glad to say that he has surprised me...charming, very sweet, well read, a good conversationalist and just an all round "nice" sort of a guy...contrary to what The Platypus says - this is not a bad does not necessarily mean boring and may mean dependable...which is a wonderful trait...this particular guy comes under the dependable heading..he calls when he says he will, he e-mails when he says he much better than all that game playing. "Bad Boys" are fun, but that fun is generally short lived and has a messy ending!

So far the only down side is that with my chaotic work schedule and his combined we don't get to see other too often (for that read almost never), anyway, as we are not 'dating' as such it is no big deal!

"Nice" may not involve slaying dragons but I have had my dragon slayers (actually am quite good at slaying my own!) and, trust me they are not all they are cracked up to be. In this case Mr Platypus..."nice" could have the girl if he wanted her!!


Unsung Heroes.....

I realise that I am on a bit of a blogging roll today but there is a lot going on within my grey matter....

I was reading Time Magazine today, the "Milestones section" and read about a scientist called Maurice Hilleman who died last week at the age of 85. I have copied a clip from his obituary from The Telegraph (requires free registration) so you can read about this amazing man who up until 5 minutes ago I had never heard of...

"...Over a 40-year career, Hilleman developed some three dozen vaccines, probably saving more lives than any other scientist in the 20th century. In addition he researched the behaviour of viruses and analysed the genetic changes that occur when the influenza virus mutates, work which has enabled epidemiologists to track its development, give early warnings of pandemics and design vaccines in advance of outbreaks.".....

"...In the early stages of the Asian flu pandemic of 1957, Hilleman deduced from press reports of the disease in Hong Kong that the virus might have undergone one of its periodic "shifts" and sent for specimens to enable him to isolate it. As he suspected, blood samples showed that nobody had any antibodies to the virus. Fearing a repeat of the 1918 Spanish flu which killed some 20 million people around the world, he immediately notified the World Health Organisation and vaccine manufacturers, to whom he sent samples of the virus. He also insisted that chicken breeders should spare the lives of cockerels they would otherwise have slaughtered, enabling them to fertilise the millions of eggs needed to prepare the new vaccine. By the time the disease had arrived in its full force in America, 40 million doses of vaccine had been delivered, saving tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives."

What an incredible person.


Thanks Robbie....

As I managed my crawl to work this morning I turned to Robbie Williams for some musical inspiration.....

One of the things that has been bothering me about my possible change in environment and my hesitation in changing my "comfort zone" is the fact that my friends keep saying that of course I can do this because you are much stronger than we are.....I am no stronger than the next person but sometimes I just have to get on with in the words of Mr Williams....

"You think that I'm strong you're wrong, you're wrong"

This line from the same song is not necessarily true for me...but I can see where he's coming from and it does make me smile.....!!!

"My bed's full of takeaways and fantasies of easy lays"


I know I'm blonde but....

could someone please explain why on the terrorism risk map that I posted a link to in my last post....the symbol for "Single Interest Terrorist Groups" is a bunny rabbit?


What's the connection

between.....Greenland, Vietnam, Uruguay, North Korea, Botswana and Mongolia?

They are six of the world's low risk countries as assessed by Aon, the world's second-largest insurance broker. Report from the BBC.

Here's the link to the full map (PDF)...interesting reading


Friday, April 22, 2005

Memories are made of this.....

A friend of mine sent me some pictures of planes landing at Kai Tak...I love airports, I love planes and Kai Tak seemed to be the most amazing place to indulge my love of both....Checkerboard Hill and at the top of Kowloon Peak were just the most fantastic places to watch the big birds swooping in (of course, that was in pre-pollution days!!)

As I am lazy I will not be uploading any of the pictures...just posting links. Anyway, go ahead, click and enjoy. For those of you who also had a chance to use Kai Tak - enjoy the memories...

Nice selection of photographs by Lawrence Chiu

A cracker of a picture! Enjoy!!

Korean Air on final approach...actually this whole site has some great aircraft pictures...not just at Kai Tak

Back to my love of is not the actual building...every time I step into an airport...I get this physical ideal surprise is someone taking me to the airport...looking at the departures board and saying..."Where do you want to go"......


Smoke Signals....

If I had a chimney I would be pouring white smoke to signal that I have made a decision...I have decided (conditions being acceptable) that I will go for this new challenge being offered to me...

Sod's law being as it is...I have just met someone that I actually quite like...why not a year ago? It is always this way...and then I have to leave before I can ever make a real decision as to if I really do like them...anyway - Que Sera, Sera...

I am a great believer in fate and at these crossroad points in my life I just let things roll along!!

One of the bigger issues that has been hounding (excuse the pun) me over the last few weeks is the question of my two moggies...I have no desire to give them up and yet the uncertainty of the next few years means that it was a very strong possibility that I would have to...however, a very good friend of mine came up with another option yesterday...if push comes to shove I can send them to her in her new posting as she will be more stable...she knows them both well and one of them prefers her to me - so it wouldn't be too bad for them!

Now, that is what friends are for...she realised the problem even before I had told her...and thought of the solution - what more can we ask from friends.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Escalator Rage....

I notice that someone came to my site via searching Google for "escalator rage"....I came in at second on the list....and there I was thinking that I had coined the phrase!!


A touch of class

I see that John Prescott is adding a much needed touch of class to this election campaign...""Bugger off. Get on your bus, you amateur.". The British Parliament and political system is much admired around the world for it's witticisms and rhetoric....not too sure if this qualifies.

But then what do you expect from "Two Jabs"?

This collection of pictures should give you an idea of the potential journalistic humour surrounding the British Deputy Prime Minister. Some cracking pictures!!!


Someone hire that person in marketing.....

From the BBC, British tabloid The Sun newspaper makes an important decision regarding the upcoming British election....

"In a clear parody of the Vatican's ancient method of announcing it has chosen a new pope, earlier in the day the Sun said it was "on the verge of an historic decision".

"The newspaper's executives have assembled in secret to debate which political party the newspaper will back at next month's general election.

"To mark the momentous meeting, a chimney has been erected on the roof of the paper's east London headquarters. A plume of black smoke confirms the discussions have begun.

"The smoke will turn white to signal a decision has been reached. The announcement of which party The Sun chooses to back in the election will be made by the smoke turning either red, blue or, in the event of a miracle, yellow."


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

a change in my scenery....

Yesterday was my day off...I had another job another city...a quick hop, skip and a jump to.....Manila.

It is a good job, great potential and full of possibilities for the future. It is a postion that I want with a company who I am honoured would even consider me....So why am I feeling so hesitant and nervy? My insides feel like an elevator in free fall!

A few possibilities...

1. It is a very challenging company and I fear I may not live up to the high expectations they have of me.
2. After moving countries all my life and being ready for all sorts of adventures...there is a part of me that is beginning to say..."no, stop, settle". Should I listen?
3. It would mean that in three years I have lived in three big deal other than the complete contrasts afforded by the countries...the staggering beauty and wildness of Jordan to the hustle, bustle and organisation of Hong Kong to the chaos that seems to be Manila....quite a change!
4. The actual job offered within the company was not the original job I went after...both from a geographical and an operational standpoint, so mentally I have still not managed to change what I wanted to what I have received.

I shall ponder a little longer....tomorrow I will give my answer...the little men in my head are debating heatedly...the "aye" side seems to be winning...


and so to the Vatican.....

so as I linked from one website to the next I found myself at the Vatican website...surfing on through I clicked on Peter's Pence....a beautiful engraving/sketching accompanying some script regarding offerings to help the work that the Pope does in helping less fortunate all looks very old worldly and genteel until you page down and see "Or if you prefer, donations may be sent by credit card". It all just seems a bit gritty next to such an "old" and beautiful picture.


Bidet Safety....

Whilst reading the April edition of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific (I was reading the hard copy - website is not updated). I came across an article regarding renovations of some of Hong Kong's hotels...

It put each hotel in its own column and then broke each hotel down into sections....What's it like? How many rooms? Restaurants? Bar? and one section called Room facilities...under the Island Shangri-La Room facilities section...the sentence reads.....

"Only the original chandeliers remain after the latest renovation. New features include big safe to hold your laptop, DVD player and bidet."

the laptop and possibly the DVD player I can understand as being necessary to lock in the safe...but the bidet? I didn't realise that there was such a market for stolen bidets...must look into it...

Realise it could be read either way...but my way is more fun....


Monday, April 18, 2005

Two things....

Firstly....have just noticed that the spelling in the last post was terrible...just copied and pasted the script from the time will proof read.

Secondly...have updated the blogs I read section and added in quite a few new ones that I have been reading and enjoying....


Naked Sky Diving...and other activities.....

Yes...I am messing around this morning...but some of this is quite true...although the idea of naked sky diving does not appeal AT ALL....!!! If anybody out there is know how to e-mail me!

Aries - Your Love Profile

Your positive traits:
You're quite the charmer. You've got the wit and attitude to attract almost anyone you meet.
Out spoken and honest, any date knows how they stand with you.
Fearless, independent, and willing to try anything twice - your dates should expect the unexpected.

Your negative traits:
You tend to be vain, and you expect your partner to feed that vanity often with complements.
Hot tempered and impulsive, you've occasionally ended things ... only to reget it later.
You're obsessed with being the best, most loved girlfriend or boyfriend your sweetie's ever had.

Your ideal partner:
A risk taking, free spirit like yourself - who can keep up with your latest wild child antics.
Someone stylish, attractive, and fit... who can keep you attracted for months.
Is hard to get - and lets you pursue things. You prefer to be the chaser, not the one being chased.

Your dating style:
Wild, unpredictable, fun, and daring. Your ideal date may involve a couple motorcycles or naked skydiving.

Your seduction style:
Honest and direct - you have no need for romance or much foreplay.
Show off. You like to show your lover how you're the best ever.
Ambitious. You often like to go all night - or aim for multiple orgasms.

Tips for the future:
Start to believe in second and third chances. You don't have to dump them so fast.
Savor the process. Sometimes the best part of falling in love is taking things in slow motion.
Let go of comparisons. If someone's with you, then you've already one. Stop worrying about exes.

Best color to attract mate: Red
Best day for a date: Tuesday

Get your free love profile at Blogthings.



So according to Who's your inner European?....this is the on earth..!!????

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.


Friday, April 15, 2005

Thank You

Just found the above
link.....what will people think of next?!


The Beetles.....

Now apparently these beetles have been named in "honour" of Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush..."One of the entomologists said he admired all three men for "having the courage of their convictions" and standing up for freedom and democracy." the world of fauna and flora now has:

Agathidium bushi
Agathidium cheneyi
Agathidium rumsfeldi

These beetles eat mould......I don't think I can add to that!!!!

More politics, different country (allegedly).....this is the latest anti-Labour ad from the Tory election campaign....actually truth be told it is more anti-Blair than anti-Labour. However it is quite entertaining....

Not as entertaining as this.....gets me every time!!!!! I love it when Blair starts singing. It doesn't take too much to entertain me!

BTW if the beetles (or Cheyney, Bush and Rumsfeld for that matter) are available any time...they are more than welcome to come and have lunch in my bathroom...lots of black mould on one corner of my bathroom!

And in other news...Chaz and Millie did their first job together as a married couple...poor old Millie, the press are already at her about her clothes...

From the BBC...
"The Duchess of Rothesay wore the same pink tartan-trimmed coat and shawl she had on for a service at Crathie Parish Church the day after the wedding. Her husband was in traditional highland dress."

From Sky News...
"The Duchess was dressed in the same pink coat, with Rothesay tartan trim, which she had worn on her two previous public appearances in Scotland this week."

From The Daily Telegraph...
With the headline "Camilla the lady in red (for the third time in six days)".........."The Duchess of Cornwall was commended for her Scottish sense of thrift yesterday when she performed her first public duty as a member of the Royal Family wearing the same outfit for the third time in less than a week."

...and it goes on...but I won't bore you!

Personally, I think it is a beautiful coat and one that should be used many times in the future.

As an aside.... this blog is not going to turn into a Chaz and Millie blog, but I am following their movements on the news out of interest.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Manila must be busy....

There seems to have been a rush on books on Manila and the Philippines from bookshops in Harbour City. Wanted to find something for a friend of mine....not a book, map or language guide in sight....when I asked at Swindon's the guy just said..."all gone".....same at PageOne. I can buy a guide book for almost anywhere in the world...including this new publication from Lonely Planet....Guide to the Falkland Islands. A book I will remember as the Falklands has always been somewhere I would like to visit if I were in that neck of the woods. Seriously.

Is there something happening in the Philippines that nobody has told me about....should I just head on out to Manila to find out what I am missing....?


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

It's life...but not as I would like it.....

Day off ended boringly...but my own fault...didn't go to see a movie...just came home and watched TV...very did not inspire me to do anything creative, due to the weather I even had to miss out on my favourite day off treat...a Star Ferry Tourist Cruise....only costs about $60, you get out on a nice ferry (all renovated) with a nice coffee shop on hour of sitting in the sun and getting away from it all.......perfect!

This morning on my ferry ride to work I had the "odd couple" again..they are an elderly couple who insist on sitting on opposite sides of the Star Ferry and carrying on a conversation by yelling accross to each other......this is not the first time I have had the pleasure of their company....and unfortunately I am sure it wont be the last time!

Made a major screw up in my job hunting company, two offices in same location, two similar positions and a bad telephone line...all ends up with follow up e-mail and details being sent to the wrong person in the wrong office.....aaaaggghhhh.....

And so my life goes on...!!!


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Day Off

Today is my day off and it is sodding raining...left my brolly in the Pen a few weeks back and am now having to face going out and getting wet...not smart.

Have had a lovely morning, reading interspersed with sleeping...lots of lovely fresh fruit for breakfast. Best part of day off mornings is having the kitties sleeping on the bed with nights they are banished to the living room as they can make an unholy noise chasing each other around.

Have a few errands to run today but also think I will take in an afternoon movie...such a decadant way to spend the afternoon! Not sure what I will see yet.

When I got up this morning there was a message on my voice mail from an old "French Fling"; we communicate by e-mail a lot but rarely by phone... he will call me later...should be nice to catch up...he is a great guy....

So am off to enjoy what remains of my one day of freedom!


Sunday, April 10, 2005

Chaz and Millie

Well the day seemed to pass of well and everyone seemed very happy - HM included.

I thought that Millie's outfits were great, very suitable and the dress she wore for the blessing was beautiful...

Most amusing moment of the day........seeing all the Royals pile into the coaches and be taken from the Chapel up to the reception! Princess Anne definetly seemed to be amused.

Glad to see that they stuck with traditional English 'Fayre' for the reception...the menu was described by Antony Worrall Thompson as very 'blue rinse'

The menu was as follows:

Egg and cress on granary bread (v)
Smoked salmon on brown bread
Roast venison with Balmoral redcurrant and port jelly on white bread

Open Sandwiches
Roast venison with Balmoral redcurrant jelly
Potted shrimp bridge rolls

Hot Canapes
Mini Cornish pasties
Mini vegetarian pasties (v)
Diced grilled vegetable tartlet with Parmesan (v)

Miniature Pastries
Caramel banana slice
Strawberry tartlets
Glazed mocha fudge
Caramelised lemon tarts
Plain scones with Cornish clotted cream and Duchy strawberry jam
Double-boiled fruit cake (Mrs Richardson's Welsh fruit cake)
Miniature ice-cream cornets


Simon and Garfunkel

Playing on my iPod this afternoon.....The Definitive Simon and Garfunkel. They really have written and sung some of the most amazing lyrics.

A winter’s day
In a deep and dark december;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

Don’t talk of love,
But I’ve heard the words before;
It’s sleeping in my memory.
I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

As a child, a teenager and now as an adult...I could swear that they wrote that final verse just for me.

And a love song that takes some beating....For Emily (whenever I may find her)

What a dream I had
Pressed in Organdy
Clothed in Crinoline
Of Smokey Burgundy
Softer than the rain
I wandered empty streets down
Past the shop displays
I heard cathedral bells
Tripping down the alleyways
As I walked on

And when you ran to me your
Cheeks flushed with the night
We walked on frosted fields
Of juniper and lamplight
I held your hand

And when I awoke
And felt you warm and near
I kissed your honey hair
With my grateful tears
Oh I love you girl,
Oh I love you.

There are two of their songs I don't like...mainly because they both creep me out!!! "Seven O'Clock News/Silent Night" and "Old Friends". Don't ask me why...but ever since I was a child they gave me the screaming heebie jeebies and always had to be fast-forwarded! I guess it just goes to show that their music has a deep impact on me...whether for good or bad.


Saturday, April 09, 2005

and finally....the big day....

So it is finally happening, some thirty years after they first met and almost a century after her great-grandmother was knocking around with his great-great-grandfather......

Hard to describe what I think about the forthcoming events of the day....

1. Charles has gotten, that which was "non-negotiable" - good on him.
2. Those that are/have been calling for him to give up his throne...have to wait for him to have it before he can give it up
3. They obviously make each other happy - vitally important in a marriage, particularly one within royalty
4. I do wish that they had managed to get their act together earlier (much earlier) in order to save the emotional rollercoaster that was Princess Diana
5. Charles must remember that British memories are and if he comes to the not impose Queen Camilla onto Britain....just the name alone is not royal enough!

Anyway, enough comments....

I hope the day goes well for them (heaven knows they have had enough turmoil getting to this stage). I hope that they will both be very happy and that this will be the last marriage for both of them...gainsaying the statistics.

On the same subject, but a different vein....I remember Charles' last wedding, sitting in my Grand-mother's flat in Royal Tunbridge Wells, with my parents and my brother, having egg sandwiches and copious amounts of tea!

This time around I will probably be working and will hopefully catch a glimpse of the wedding in summary on BBC world.


Thursday, April 07, 2005

Can't sleep

Am a little wired...have had a phone interview this evening...things have developed very quickly, however position is the polar opposite of anything I considered - different position, different type of job and all in a country that I never even considered as a possibility to visit...let alone live and work in.

All will be revealed if anything comes of the round of interviews. I have to say that I am surprised/impressed that they would even consider me for this position, obviously all my hard work is paying off.


Naive...or what....?

US man sells middle name on e-Bay.

Interesting tactic....however, his comment of "I guess I'm just surprised that this would generate that much interest" seems to me smack of either complete naivety or possible fibbing.....


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

My birthday

Well it happened..nicely!! I have finally hit 36....

Last night I was taken out for dinner to Kublai's - haven't been there for years so made a nice change....tasty food, enjoyable company - finished up at Klong Bar playing flip a stack of beermats!

Today lunch was at the Viceroy with a wonderful friend who treated me to lunch and a wonderful gift from this wonderful shop.

This afternoon was taken up by a possible future move...we shall see.

During the day lots of phone calls from friends and relatives - with the exception of one person who I would have hoped had called - guess he was busy....anyway, lots of goodies were opened and enjoyed!

This evening....perfect, at home, quietly, two movies and just some peace and quiet.

So there I am, another rung up in the age category on forms.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

and on a lighter note

Does anyone think that there is a remarkable resemblance between Prince Charles....aka "He with his foot permanently close to his mouth"...and Wallace from Wallace and Gromit....


Photograph: Arno Balzarini; via The Guardian

HRH Prince Charles (second picture from the left)

Photograph from via the BBC's Kiddie pages

Would you marry this man....??!!


to die for your country, your beliefs and violence.....

I have never been persecuted, discriminated against, arrested for my beliefs (either political or religious). In short I have led a privileged life whereby my beliefs, actions and patriotism has never been against the law of the land.

At present I am reading a book by Tim Pat Coogan called "The IRA" (link below). This is part of me brushing up on my knowledge on Northern Ireland and in no way shows that I support the IRA or their actions (or any other terrorists for that matter). The book is challenging reading and at times very disturbing ( I realise this was never going to be a fairy tale).

This morning's snippet of reading was a letter written (in 1922) from an IRA prisoner (Liam Mellows) about to be executed in retaliation of two assasinations carried out by the IRA in the preceeding few days. The letter was written by Mellows to his mother...

"...we were informed that we were to be executed as a reprisal. Welcome be the will of God, for Ireland is in His keeping despite foreign monarchs and treaties........My last thoughts will be on God, and Ireland and on you."

"Through you I also send another message: it is this, let no thought of reprisal or revenge dominate Republicans because of our deaths. We die for the truth, vindication will come, the mist will be cleared away, and brothers in blood will before long be brothers in arms, against the oppression of our country and imperialist this belief I die happy forgiving all, as I hope myself to be forgiven."

The letter ends with a comment that he he could not accept the Bishops' Pastoral and closes with the line "I believe that those who die for Ireland have no need for Prayer"

Here is a link to further reading on this particular incident - just to give more background and understanding.


Cold Food Day

Now there's an unappetising sounding festival if ever I heard one...

Whilst surfing around for information on Ching Ming, I discovered that today is also Cold Food Day. Cold Food Day is traditionally celebrated 105 days after the last Winter Solstice, it used to be Cold Food Month, then it was shortened to Cold Food Three Days (not it's technical name!) and then to just one day (which coincided with Ching Ming) - now it is no longer really celebrated.

There are a couple of different thoughts on the origin of this festival. My favourite is that back in the Chow dynasty fire was worshipped as a God so there were strict rules on how often it could be used and not worn out...hence the month long break in use of fire, resulting in Cold Food.

Anyway, today is Ching Ming (clear and bright - not today it isn't!)so graves will be swept, offerings will be made and the dead will be remembered.

On a personal over the 300 mark on visitors to my site...thanks to people in Romania, Holland and Qatar!


Monday, April 04, 2005

299 and counting....

Someone please click and take me over 300........

Am back to my cloudy mood of a last week...need something to buck me up... Just can't seem to get a grip on things....maybe it has something to do with my 36th birthday lurking around the corner...

36 seems so much older than 35...years older in fact...I guess because I will be, as of Wednesday, in the 36-40 section of boxes to how scary is that? I normally don't get affected by birthdays....but this could be the one that knocks me for six (no pun intended!) - we shall wait and see.


Saturday, April 02, 2005

Oh Dear.....

Planned reading for the day has gone down the drain.........have found a new blog that entertains.... It's Peru, Baby....the 'problem' with finding these great new blogs is that you have to start at the beginning and read all the way through....It's Peru, Baby started in February 2004 so about a years worth of reading to catch up on...

Must go....must read.....


Friday, April 01, 2005

Northern Ireland

In the wake of the killing of Robert McCartney in Belfast earlier this year, I decided that I should educate myself about the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland.

Up until now I have understood the basics and have known that Elizabeth the First in all her glory could have handled Ireland (the first English colony) better and saved us a lot of trouble. A friend of mine who was visiting just recently, grew up in Belfast and he obviously had fairly well formed thoughts on the subject, as I sat and listened to him I realised that I actually did know very little about the subject and decided that the time had come to educate myself.

Before I had a chance to go and settle down in the library and start my education, a second hand paperback crossed my desk - Fifty Dead Men Walking by Martin McGartland. So I started summary....Martin McGartland was a Catholic growing up in Belfast, as a kid he was involved in petty crime, as he got older he became an RUC informer and also worked for the IRA, his work with the IRA gave him the information that he fed to the RUC. Eventually the IRA realised what he was doing and there follows a fairly dramatic escape and a move to England and anonymity. I realise that books like this must be read with caution and preferably with background reading which I have done. However, even with the background reading, this book is quite an eye opener into the workings and thoughts of the IRA and is a simple account of the trials of life in Belfast during the 1980s and '90s.

My reading and education will continue, but this was a interesting way to start.