Thursday, August 18, 2005

My first filling: Nieve hurt me and charged £24, but she did clean me too

Not sure what to make of getting a filling at my time of life - not a very pleasant experience, but then first times usually aren't. Less mess and much cheaper than I expected though! And Cambridge dentists are convenient and kind, unlike those Oxford charlatans:)

Happy Mondays at Clapham Common

Last May - when I was happy and in love/lust just before the terrible Lena truth - I went clubbing with big Nick in Barcelona, to Razzmatazz, and we met - at about 3am thinking we were wrecked - guest DJ Sean Ryder. Only thing is, he was so much worse than us it was instant sobriety!
So a return to the great bloated Sean - Manchester's answer to Shane McGowan - with Alex and Michael next bank Holiday Sunday.
And The Farm - Scally heartthrobs all together...

Taylor-Burton and the magic man

I remember as a kid reading Saul Bellow, a novel about a magic man dragged down by his tedious colleagues and family. Rereading Richard Burton's biography by Bragg the last 2 days made me think about it - I always sought out magic women in the past, Astrid (pure brilliance and totally stairght-forward in her unaffected and shocking way), Lena (my Liz Taylor, all big Jewish eyes, very late appearances, flaming rows and sex appeal), even Daffy. But if they don't want to be magical, what do you do? Die or boredom at 36...I must stop consorting with girls with no magic in them at all - I don't want to be an average Joe.

Price of petrol since 1990

UK petrol is now twice as expensive, Japanese ony 20% more - but then we only make Japanese cars these days, so they support their industry and we tax ours out of sight...
Yes, I do have to fill up again after putting £42 into the Rover last time - might break £45. Up to Manchester to say goodbye to Greggie who leaves our under-vaunted shores for Perth for the winter next week.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

This is we...

Cuddly foursome after Liverpool Philharmonic at Albert Hall

Well, that's me anyway

Super Freddie Flintoff


Fast bowler and backfoot straight-back-over-Lee's head six-hitter. Thoroughly nice bloke but thumps the ground and bowls 4 bouncers in a row at tail-enders whom he's already injured...

Warne and Lee emerge 106 runs behind for ninth wicket stand - 10.30am 8.8.05 2nd Test Day 4

I was there - 2nd Ashes Test Edgbaston 8th August 2005

Mark Nicholas interviewing Michael Vaughan after he almost bolloxed it up and lost 'Freddie's Test'. It was 100 minutes of the most awful tension, broken only by Shame Warne's Gupta-like dismissal and the comic appeal of Ashley Giles' pie-chucking.
Worst moment - Simon Jones' drop or Geraint Jones letting 4 byes through, both in the last couple of overs. Nasty moment: Lee getting regularly thumped by Flintoff, then getting up to receive 4 bumpers in a row in the penultimate over.
Most pessimistic: Adam playing professional gooner next to me, 'how have we lost?' whining etc. Me saying 'Cometh the hour cometh the man', half-believing it but shaking so much with tension that I had to stand up between overs.
Brucie bonus: getting in with Neil to see the Aussies net, including Brett Lee joking so he couldn't be taking it seriously (but could he!) and John Buchanan with a face like thunder wagging a cricket stump in their faces to establish how serious it was. Punter looked sick, Warnie looked rough like he'd had a night out with Both, Both looks rotund.
Happiness: making throat sounds like nothing human, but then we all were, hugging and jumping up and down for a seriously long time. Punter being interviewed and the whole Hollies Stand chanting' You should have batted first'! The ridiculous fancy dress and the atmosphere all day - including after the match when we found Paul, who we'd given a lift to, watching WG Grace, the vicar, Queen Victoria et al playing cricket with kids behind the stands!
Roll on Old Trafford but an easier win please! England have 2 real bully fast bowlers and a pie-chucking spinner - tense, not much...

Finished 608th as a woman in Great City Race 5000m

Look there's a reason - I substituted for someone else in Daffy's McDermott team, so the tag on my foot was hers. But still - 23.37 eh? About a third of the way back but ahead of most of the girls so embarrassment avoided.
I was really nervous before because: [a] I hadn't trained in months - had 2 runs in 2 months; [b] I hadn't run a road race with 2000 people before; [c] I hadn't had a competitive sports event since my last game of cricket in 2002; [d] I have been told how old and physically inadequate I am by various people ever since my umbilical hernia op 5 years ago. So a triumph!
Mind you, it was bloody hot and humid - sunny and about 75 in the sun, 100% humidity, really warm close evening. Problem was actually not overheating, and in the last 500 metres I was struggling, couldn't raise a sprint. But still - we finished 77th equal in the mixed race and 21st in the women's - including me:)

Now getting ahead of myself and planning a triathlon - lazy bones me!

Friday, August 05, 2005

August in England

2 months in at RAND, and two outstanding thoughts - [1] there's a lot of proposal writing but not a lot of organisation, even if more than Oxford; [2] there's so much potential in the people/brains there, but it needs a lot of bringing out. Lots of people who need to know about RAND in Cambridge don't yet. AND of course this bloody laptop is rubbish and has been for 2 months - which proves point 1 above!
As for living in London - very pleasant, really enjoying it, good concerts, bars, restaurants and company. Commuting to Cambridge 3 times a week is great if you get the right train, and the cycling, fresh air, beautiful scenery really takes the edge of living in central metropolis.
The bombs - barely affect me however close they are. I've lived in far more interesting times - Yemen, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iran, India - so this is safer than my normal holiday.
Speaking of which - Menorca and Barcelona next month, USA October - and still hoping to get Kilimanjaro tied down for Christmas.
But first, Stourbridge and cricket! Cleshes for the Eshes!!!
So this is the pride of the Tokyo anti-war museum - a steam locomotive from the Death Railway, where 150,000 'liberated' Thais and over 10,000 Brit/Dutch oppressors died making a railway to supply Rangoon with munitions for the war. It's worth remebering, the day before the 60th Hiroshima Japanese commemorations, that the Brits had only just liberated Rangoon by the end of the war. So why drop the bomb? To save British, Japanese and American lives (as well as Thai, Chinese, etc) - or to stop the wholesale occupation of North East Asia that Uncle Joe was rapidly establishing?
Punter Ponting at Lords Day 1 - hopefully the same today at Edgbaston - and on Sunday when Adam, Neil and I gather to watch the cricket. "Shocking pitch, that, shocking, wouldn't make me girlfriend bat on that wicket..."