Archive for 2009

The theme of last night’s Butchers Shop, organised by hip indy magazine Bad Idea, was transhumanism. We drank a little gin, then settled into the body-warm Victoria operating theatre for a little slice-and-dice of two short stories of human augmentation: in one, our narrator upgrades his heart; the other creates a xenographic sommelier with the nose of a canine. A little role-play, some heckling, then a chance for Matthew de Abaitua to wax lyrical over Paris Hilton’s doggy palace, peacocks and peahens, and consciousness as a evolutionary frivolity.
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I wandered down to the Tower Of London from work one lunch-time last week, planning to mingle with the tourists and pretend/imagine I was one of them. Instead, I stumbled upon a demonstration of archaic weaponry! (Hopefully you can see the video above?) Last night we had a nice, grown-up wine-tasting session at Vinopolis, a massive wine centre near Borough Market. We started with a “How To” session, where the most patronising (matronising?
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I missed it when it was shown on television, but this week my boss (a motorcyclist) lent me “The Long Way Round”: Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor’s motorbike trip from London to New York via Siberia and Alaska. Arguably a mistake on his behalf, as Dee and I sat down this Saturday morning and watched the first three episodes with growing feelings of awe and shared excitement. And so, in 2010, we’re packing all our belongings into a shipping container, hoisting our back-packs and catching trains (and maybe some buses) from London to Singapore via Hungary, Siberia, Mongolia, China and Vietnam.
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About 2 months ago my entry/work VISA for the UK expired; two weeks prior I sent it away for an extension. Today I got my passport back and breathed a sigh of relief! It’s hard to believe it takes so long! I mean, they certainly took my money quick enough — that was taken out of my account before the first biometrics interview. Worse, the application form warns that it can take up to 90 days, and that if you need your passport back before then they will cancel the processing altogether.
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It’s day four of our holiday out of the city, and we’re sitting in the Hawk and Buckle Inn reading historical fiction, sketching architecture and writing weblog posts. It’s been incredibly relaxing. The town we are staying in, Llannefydd, is too small for even a general store. Apart from a handful of houses, there is the Hawk And Buckle Inn (where we are staying), a church and a primary school — such a cute wee school it is too!
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I use memiary.com, a tiny little “5-things I did today” diary that encourages you to write every day. It’s very little effort to use, since it’s only 5 lines; a “micro-diary”, like Twitter is a micro-blog. It’s also private, and I find myself using it more than not. As a result, I can easily see what I’ve been up to for the last couple of months! The snow has given way to warmer weather and even some sun, naturally interspersed with some grey, rainy and down-right miserable days.
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After a few hours walking around and bussing between shopping areas (like Oxford Street) we still hadn’t found the “new” netbook, a Samsung NC110. It’s the next version of the NC10, which was very popular (and therefore out of stock all over the place). I think the difference is the battery — the NC110 is meant to get 9 hours battery life on a single charge, which is pretty amazing. But it’s not in the shops anywhere (and Dee’s been waiting for ages) so this week she ordered it online.
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It is snowing in London today. The worst in 18 years, says Danielle’s cabby, and more set for tomorrow. Most of the tube is down, or severely delayed – not the Victoria Line, strangely – and my office is just about empty. Which is okay for me, because I’ve taken my shoes and socks off and sequestered a small portable heater that was on a colleague”s desk to warm my toecicles, legacy of a mis-step into an icy puddle only metres from my door.
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