Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Portobello Hell and the Green Invader

No work in the past week but I've not been...completely...idle.  As I said at the end of my last post, I was off to the Proms for some Mahler and it was excellent.  The seats were only eight from the front and about a dozen back from the stage, a perfect view really and sound was also great.  It was nice to see how the other half live for a while at least. 
Erica quite enjoyed her knitting cafe, albeit a bit different from the way it works in Sweden.  Once more its that general lack of inclusiveness and equality that she misses, which comes over a little rude.  I'm not sure why we have to be like that here, is it a shyness?  Or is it a lack of self confidence that makes us try harder to appear more important? Or something else entirely.

Anyway, on Saturday she got the chance to speak plenty of Swedish as a former Uni colleague was over with her own friends.  Unfortunately (at least from my point of view) we had to visit Portobello Market...on a Saturday...late morning...and it was heaving.  You could barely hear an english accent and it felt as if the whole of Europe had suddenly descended upon West Eleven.  And its not as if they even sell anything worth buying.  Does anyone really want old spoons with ivory handles or pairs of porcelain spaniels?  I only perked up at the sight of the wonderful fruits and veg, cakes and breads, further down.  Now that was a market I would like to have on my doorstep.  Nevertheless, the Swedish ladies were all very friendly, spoke to me in good English and enjoyed themselves.  We left them to visit Buck House alone.

Since then we've devoured three books between us.  Erica had Pride & Prejudice, which (based upon the number of snorts of laughter and giggles) she enjoyed.  I had le Carre's Mission Song, the best of his that I've read so far (still want to read the older cold war ones), along with Robert Harris' Fatherland which I have read before.  Still excellent however.  I now have one of his more recent Roman novels Lustrum along with a Jack Higgins.  Erica is sticking with Austen and Mansfield Park.  I have also been re-writing my CV into much more modern format and have to say I'm rather pleased with it.  Really could do with some more work soon, but have some better ideas about the future now.

Finally to a curious incident this weekend and the arrival of a green insect which may have been a grasshopper.  I have no idea how it got into my room but Erica suddenly spotted it on the carpet while she read.  I quickly caught it in a glass jar but was at a loss what to do with it.  After realising it had wings we decided to throw it out of the window (I am on the fourth floor) but this proved tricky since it decided to stick to the jar.  It then refused to move while I flicked at it with a piece of paper and if you excuse the pun, I was rather jumpy since I did not know what it was or what it would do.  Thankfully I got it to leave the jar and it has not been seen since.  We continue to keep a lookout, however...

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