Σάββατο, Νοεμβρίου 27

What kind of Sixties Person are you?

You are a Playboy. You perv.

What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Uh, say what?

Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 25

Only In America...

do police officers stop a child from hurting himself.... by hurting him.

Link from Re-minisce.

Walking on Air and Eggshells simultaneously

I swear, everytime I see Mirko, he compliments me. Last Tuesday, it was 'nice coat!' to my Mao Jacket. Thursday it was 'ooh nice coat' to the green Hugo Boss coat. Last night it was 'hey, nice haircut!' as well as telling me that i moved very gracefully and stylishly on the piste when fencing. I'm walking on air. Today I noticed he wore a signet ring on his right little finger. I asked him what it was. He said it was his family crest, and did I like it. I said very nice. I asked him if he had aristocratic ancestors, and he said one of his ancestors fought on the Russian side against the invading Teutonic Knights in the Middle Ages, back in Novgorod.

'Go on, play with it,' he said.

'Uh, what?' I replied.

'Play with the ring if you like... just don't take it off' said he, walking closer and extending his hand.

'Uh, isn't it then just playing with your finger?' I asked, seated, with his outstretched hand in mine.

At which point he smiled enigmatically, withdrew his hand and ruffled my hair. Alarm bells go off in my head.

'Do you like Beethoven at all?'

'Not particularly, a bit late for me, why?'

'My girlfriend and I are going to a concert tonight, would you like to come?'

and a voice goes off in my head 'a GIRLFRIEND??? He's such a player... '. From what I've heard, he has 4 girlfriends simultaneously. Yikes.

But still... CUTE!

In other news, I finally have a Net connection set up at home, and wireless too - I'm typing this in the kitchen. Now I have to get the flatmates to have theirs set up too. René's shouldn't be as much of a problem as it seems to be giving. Tatiana's laptop has French-language Windows. Benjamin's has German-language Windows. Buggered if I can figure either of those out.

Oh. and why walking on eggshells? Cos I still haven't done tomorrow's translation for class!!!

Oremus pro Ucrainam(?)

If the news is anything to go by, Ukraine is on the brink of a civil war, with the disputed election results as the cause. Spare a prayer for a country that has suffered so much in the last 100 years.

Δευτέρα, Νοεμβρίου 22

Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese!

Good grief.

Κυριακή, Νοεμβρίου 21

Gaydar Failed

So alright. René my flatmate tells me about Chris Bryant, the Welsh Labour MP (40ish) who was found to have a profile on Gaydar.com, and had a pic of himself in his underwear on the profile. René said at the time this happened, he was resolved to write a letter in to complain if the MP got the sack for it. He added 'It's in the minutes of the committee meeting of the UCL LGB Society if you don't believe me'.

And I thought, 'Wait a minute... LGB society? What's HE doing inthe LGB society?'

So I ask, 'Uh... René... you're queer?'

And he looks at me and says, 'I'm not straight, if that's what you're wondering. I'm surprised, I thought you'd had that figured out by now.'

Eep. To think I've been living with him for a month. Dear oh dear oh dear... GAYDAR FAIL!

Παρασκευή, Νοεμβρίου 19

Icons and Rosé

Soundtrack: "Return to Innocence" from Engima's Cross of Changes album.

Just emerged from the British Museum, where we had a handling session of Byzantine Icons, from the 8th to the 15th Centuries. *DROOL*. Aside from the presenter, whose name I forget, we had Maria Tsigakou, curator of the Benaki Museum in Athens, and who gave additional information and helped our understanding of the pieces being presented for handling. Naturally, I greatly enjoyed the handling section of the seminar. Yes, the icons were passed round for us to handle and examine - we wore white gloves of course. Wonderful. I had to resist the urge to kiss them, but I did cross myself before handling them.

Next session's Byzantine Enamels, and that should be interesting. Other topics to be covered include Byzantine Coins, Byzantine Ivories, Byzantine Silver...

Oh and I bumped into Mirko today at the Institute of Classical Studies as I was leaving to go to the British Museum... He was wearing spectacles and looked SO CUTE.

*heart goes aflutter*

Why the 'rosé' in the post title? I had a glass of wine at the pub after the handling session, together with the other academics =)

Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 18

A Night of Latin Verbs and Beef Stroganov

Soundtrack: "Post Missarum Solemnia", by an anonymous English composer of the early Tudor age, probably around Henry VII's time, sung by the Hilliard Ensemble.

Sartorial: white long-sleeved polo shirt, green short overcoat from Hugo Boss, khaki cargoes and tan suede sneakers, brown-strapped white-faced IWC Portuguese Chrono.

Did an all-nighter, revising Latin verbs for a test on Friday. In the middle of all that studying, I felt hungry. It was 3 a.m. and it'd been 7 hours since dinner. I figured I needed a bit of fresh air and a walk. So I walked out to the nearest all-night Tesco... picked up a pot of sour cream and a pack of beef-strips - both were on offer. I thought Hmmm. I walked over, added a packet of paprika to the basket.

Came home, made Beef Stroganov, accompanied with the buttered tagliatelle. Ah, it was a good smell to waft through the house at 4 in the morning. Later this morning at breakfast, René casually mentioned in that he'd dreamt of a smell of beef being cooked while he was sleeping. I just smiled.

In case you were wondering why it's called Stroganov, it was the invention of General Alexander Stroganov in the 19th Century, and this was his signature dish whenever he was entertaining guests to dinner. Yes, you'll be wanting the recipe for Beef Stroganov, so here it is!

Beef Stroganov

vaguely 700g Beef fillet
1 Onion; finely chopped
4 tb Butter, unsalted
1 1/2 lb Mushrooms, small; 1/2" or smaller
2/3 cup Heavy cream
3/4 cup Sour cream or plain yoghurt
2 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
2 tbsp Dill, fresh; chopped fine
1 1/2 tb Fresh parsley
Salt & pepper; to taste
2 3/4 tsp Flour

Hammer the beef till flattish, then slice into thin strips approx. 1 1/2" - 2" in length. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat, add half the butter and add the meat a few strips
at a time to sear the meat. Remove the meat from the heat and set aside.

Reduce the heat in the skillet to medium and melt the rest of the butter
Add the onion, sauté until soft . Raise the heat to med-high, add the mushrooms, sauté, stir frequently, cook for 15-20 minutes. Lower heat to med-low sprinkle in the flour, stir well for 1-3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, lemon juice, cream, sour cream, & mustard. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for for 5-7 minutes. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL!

Return the meat to the skillet, mix with sauce, garnish with dill &
parsley, and serve - with rice, noodles or chips.

This should serve 3 adults or 2 hungry male students.

Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 17


Soundtrack: Fourth movement (allegro) from Händel's Violin Sonata in A, played by Andrew Manze and Richard Egarr.

*Flutters about on cloud 9*

Mirko paid me a compliment last night!!! I arrived at fencing, he was in his white kit... all pink and sweating... he came over and gave me a hug and said "nice jacket" and smiled. I happened to be wearing my Mao jacket. Heh.

*titter and giggle and simper*

Meanwhile... will all these horrible fat english girls PLEASE stop wearing tight-fitting and low-cut garments. It's truly awful, the way they look like they were poured into those clothes and someone forgot to say 'when'. Especially the low-cut jeans when they're sitting down or bending over.... JUST SAY NO TO CRACK!

Oh, and I heard a really nasty one last night:

Why's an Essex girl like KFC?

After you're done with the breast and legs, you've still got a fat, greasy bucket to stick your bone in.


But Mirko... perfection :)

Τρίτη, Νοεμβρίου 16

Piste-Fencing Is Beginning To Annoy Me

Soundtrack: Third movement from the Third Brandenburg concerto by Bach.

Sartorial: White button-down shirt from Polo Ralph Lauren (button cuffs, shamefully), dark blue mao jacket, blue jeans, brown belt with silver buckle from Gap, brown derby shoes and a grey cashmere scarf.

Fencing is beginning to annoy me. It's so divorced from real fighting of any sort. There's that silly concept called right-of-way. There's the rule that one may never pass or go behind an opponent. The unarmed hand is not to be used, ever. Fencing may only be done in a straight line.

I'd score a hit with a thrust of my foil... they tell me i have to get more points before I win. I'm like WHAT??? I gave him a good one to the heart! He's dead already! Whaddya mean I don't win???

Gimme SCA fencing anyday... any combination of Rapier, Rapier + Dagger, Double Rapiers, Rapier with soft parrying device (hat, cloak etc)... and so on.

Dammit. I lke being able to circle my opponent. and strike ANYWHERE. and I hate this silly business about right-of-way.

So why'm I sticking with it? It's a pleasant way to spend an evening, I get good exercise, the people there are nice... and there's Fabian and Mirko.

And I'm seeing them this evening.


Παρασκευή, Νοεμβρίου 12

I am The Hermit

The Hermit often suggests a need for time alone - a period of reflection when distractions are limited. In times of action and high energy, he stands for the still center that must be created for balance. He can also indicate that withdrawal or retreat is advised for the moment. In addition, the Hermit can represent seeking of all kinds, especially for deeper understanding or the truth of a situation. "Seek, and ye shall find," we have been told, and so the Hermit stands for guidance as well. We can receive help from wise teachers, and, in turn, help others as we progress.

For a full description of your card and other goodies, please visit LearnTarot.com

What tarot card are you? Enter your birthdate.

Month: Day: Year:

a new recipe!

Had Mary Kan and Chongwei over for dinner last night. René jokes that it's like I'm running a soup kitchen. I'd run out of ideas on what to cook, so I decided to make something up on the spot.

The evening before, I picked up some pork loin, cut it into small cubes and marinated that in a mix of lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, pepper and salt... as well as lots of sliced lemon and a can of beer (both leftover from last Saturday's housewarming party). Left that to marinate in the refrigerator over night.

When it was time to eat, I put that in a large pan, quickly cooking the pork, removed the pork with a slotted spoon, and continued boiling the liquid (of which there was a fair amount) till it reduced. Added a small spoonful of tomato pesto, then added double cream to thicken it further. Put the pork back in and mixed it about, and served it all with boiled buckwheat.

Quite quite good!

galaxy bar
You are... Galaxy.
Smooth and cool, you always know what to say. Wll
at least, most of the time. Life's no big rush,
but when it coms to the one you love, you're
there in a flash.
sofisticated and smart, you're aquaintances are
many, but your friends are fewr. They are
slect, and will do most anything. You're lucky,
as people like to be around you. Well done,

What Chocolate Bar Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Have You Done These Things?

Got this off a friend's blog (Thanks Vic and Gloria!)... Bold indicates Yes, I've done that... And no, you may not ask me to elaborate =p

1. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said 'I love you' and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables

19. Touched an iceberg
20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby’s diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne (i didn't buy my own)
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse
30. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight

33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar

40. Seen a total eclipse
41. Ridden a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (when drunk )
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (there are times... )
48. Had two hard drives for your (Three actually)

49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe (YEAH!)
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government’s official in that country to avoid notice
61. Midnight walk on the beach

62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Benchpressed your own weight
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetized your records
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to 'Let’s Get It On' by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don’t regret it
81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who’s not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog.

83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class

88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
90. Gotten married
91. Been in a movie (YEAH!!! Starring rôle too!)
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn’t have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy

95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office
97. Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice

101. Gotten a tattoo
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an 'expert'
105. Got flowers for no reason
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don’t remember anything
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night stand
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a check

124. Performed in Rocky Horror
125. Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy (bolbol)
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congress person (does writing letter to an MP count?)
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over

134. ...more than once
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived.
140. Wrote articles for a large publication
141. Lost over 100 pounds

142. Held someone while they were having a flashback
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone’s heart (oh god please don't remind me)
146. Helped an animal give birth (do hamsters count?)

147. Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone
150. Killed a human being.
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle (as a passenger)

153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
157. Ridden a horse

158. Had major surgery
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet

161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states

165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about

174. Gotten someone fired for their actions
175. Gone back to school

176. Parasailed
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad (LIKE DUH, I'm a classicist! and in Greek too. Hah!)
181. Selected one 'important' author who you missed in school, and read (many of them)

182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
183. ...and gotten 86-ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream (everyday)
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196: Dyed your hair
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Been arrested

Everything's Made In China These Days

Soundtrack: "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben", the opening chorus of Bach's cantata of the same name, played by the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra, directed by John Eliot Gardiner. I love the way that trumpet bounces about, above and over the rest of the ensemble, delightfully joyful.

Now, we all know practically everything is made in China these days, and we've all heard about how Chinese-made electrical and electronic goods are flooding the Indian market, and being sold for less money than the cost of the raw materials in India (how to compete...)

But what really amused me was hearing today that China's even making Hindu idols for the Indian market - imagine that, cheap made-in-China Hindu idols in VERY many places in India, particularly homes.


Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 11

Inventive Duck!

Captain Quack Rubber Duck Quiz


So okay. I've never done foil or épée before... but I HAVE fooled around with broadsword and a wee bit of sabre...

but insisting that I need the discipline and focus of foil, the ULU coach has put me to start on foil. Admittedly, I lack focus and discipline and technique... broadsword was basically a case of 'grab the heaviest thing you can lift and whack away', so perhaps it's for the best.

Fencing is great exercise (Gods know I need it)... here's a pic of me looking suitable maniacal after tuesday evening's fencing.

Remember Fabian the cute German, about whom I blogged earlier? Here's a pic of him at the pub after fencing.

Enter Mirko (Miroslav actually), who's 20, from Bratislava in Slovakia, and is really really cute. He's reading History of Art at the Courtald Institute and fences sabre... lefthanded sabre. Needless to say, he looks absolutely spiffy in white fencing kit! I should ask him round for dinner sometime...

There... two very good reasons why I'm sticking with fencing... add the fact that I work up a good sweat and am actually losing weight... it makes for a very compelling set of factors :)

More Proof that Britain is a Third-World Country

Soundtrack: "All That Jazz" from the Chicago soundtrack.

I swear, Britain really IS a third-world country.

So finally, after a long fiasco of a wait, my Natwest bank card arrives. And so I go pick it up 2 weeks ago. On the day I pick it up, they tell me they'll now order me a PIN (Personal Identification Number), which will take 7 working days. 7 working days from the day I ordered... would have been Monday. Yesterday (Wed)... I pop into the bank to see if it's arrived. Note - this has been NINE working days. They say it hasn't arrived. They check the computer - apparently the PIN was sent out 2 weeks ago, but never arrived at my branch. They said they'd order me a new one - ANOTHER 7 working days. Brilliant. I swear these Brits are the most incompetent race I've ever seen, surpassing even the Malaise. I really lost it and said that with this sort of stupidity and incompetence, it was no wonder Britain lost her Empire. So now I wait in hope AGAIN. AND I've ordered another chequebook to replace the one they sent and didn't arrive. They're really brilliant. Fucking brilliant.

Even funnier is the situation with the broadband installation in my flat. René, the de facto landlord, ordered the line to be set up nearly 3 weeks ago. 10 days ago, when it should have begun to work, he checked and saw that they'd gotten the userid wrong, so the only thing to do was cancel that application and put in a new one. So another wait of ten days. Ten days was up on Tuesday. ADSL modem didn't work. we give it 2 days. No go. Today we call them... and oddly their records show that on the day the first application was cancelled, the second one was cancelled too - ON THE DAY IT WAS MADE???

So now we're waiting another 10 days. Third time lucky perhaps. I'm not holding my breath.

Hah. And to think they make fun of the Italians, the Spanish and the Greeks and everyone else for being lazy and incompetent.

And to think London wants to host the 2012 Olympics. They'll mess it up for sure. After all, the British way of doing things appears to be 'Why do anything properly when half-arsed will do'?

Τρίτη, Νοεμβρίου 9

Lit-geek Purity Test

From Mixolydian Mode:

Lit-geek Purity Test.

Whaaaat??? I'm only 31.4% lit-geek pure (68.6% lit-geek corrupt)? That's outrageous! Even tho I also answered yes to the following:
Do you know what the General Prologue is? (Hint: "Whan that April with his shoures sote / The droght of March hath perced to the rote...")
… and quote it in casual conversation?
… with a proper Middle English accent?
… do your friends join in and quote with you?

Hmph. And to think my flatmate and I will ask each other things like 'where are the cornflakes' or 'have you seen the vacuum-cleaner' in Classical Greek (ok, we supply words that don't exist in Ancient Greek from Modern Greek)... and in Iambic Hexameter - just like characters in greek tragedy.

Just for fun I also tried the following:

Jock Purity Test: You answered "yes" to 28 of 98 questions, making you 71.4% jock pure (28.6% jock corrupt); that is, you are 71.4% pure in the jock domain (you have 28.6% jock in you).
Your Weirdness Factor (AKA Uniqueness Factor) is 37%, based on a comparison of your test results with 90586 other submissions for this test.

Παρασκευή, Νοεμβρίου 5

Tobacco is an Indian Weed

Soundtrack: "Tobacco is an Indian Weed" - verses by King James VI of Scotland, later to become James I of England and Scotland, performed by the City Waites.

This one's a fascinating ditty - moralising too. Fabulous for quoting against fundamentalists who give one grief for smoking!

Tobacco is an Indian weed,
Grows green at morn, cut down at need
It shows our decay,
We are but clay
Think on this when you smoke tobacco.

The pipe that is so lily white,
In which so many take delight,
Breaks at a touch,
Man's life is such.
Think on this when you smoke tobacco.

The pipe that is so foul within,
Shows how man's life is stained with sin,
And then the fire
It doth require.
Think on this when you smoke tobacco.

The smoke that doth so high ascend
Shows that our lives must have an end
The vapour's gone
Man's life is done
Think on this when you smoke tobacco.

The ashes that are left behind
Doth serve to put us all in mind,
That unto dust return we must
Think on this when you smoke tobacco.

Here's the music if you're interested:

Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 4

Big Guy upstairs is smiling on me

I was at a housewarming party last Saturday evening. On the bus there, there was this really cute blond-haired blue-eyed boy, about 6'1" or so and rather buff looking. He turned out to be going to the house-party 2 doors down the road from where I was going (this is got from observation, not conversation). Co-incidentally, as I was making my way back, he was on the same bus back too, and got off (or alighted, if you prefer) at the same bus stop as I did. Hmmm. This is interesting.

So I walked home from the bus stop, and noticed he was walking behind me in the same direction. Oh he was CUTE. Dreamily cute. Then halfway home, I noticed the footsteps had stopped. I looked back. He was gone! Turned into a sideroad, no doubt. Drat!

So Tuesday I turn up at fencing practice - I walk into the room and guess who I see putting on his fencing kit? Yup. The cutie from saturday.

And he turns out my fencing partner for the evening.

Name's Fabian. He's from Frankfurt (no jokes about frankfurters please), and is a 2nd year student of Arabic and Semitic languages at the School of Oriental and African Studies. And he's been fencing for a while. Oh, and did I mention he was cute?

This should be an interesting year.

Essex Disaster

This just in from Andrij, and it's too funny for words, that's why I'm putting it on!


A major Hurricane (Shazza) ravaged Basildon, Essex in the early hours of
Monday morning. Victims were seen wandering around aimless muttering
"faaackin ell" ...

The hurricane decimated the area causing approximately £30 worth of damage.
Several priceless collections of mementos from the Balearics and Spanish
Costa's were damaged beyond repair. Three areas of historic burnt out cars
were disturbed. Many locals were woken well before their giro arrived.

Essex FM (County Radio Station) reported that hundreds of residents were
confused and bewildered, still trying to come to terms with the fact that
something interesting had happened in Basildon.

One resident - Tracy Sharon Smith, a 15-year-old mother of 5 said "It was
such a shock, my little Chardonnay-Mercedes came running into my bedroom
crying. My youngest two Tyler-Morgan and Megan-Storm slept through it all. I
was still shaking when I was watching Trisha the next morning."

Apparently though, looting, muggings and car crime did carry on as
normal.The British Red Cross has so far managed to ship 4,000 crates of
Sunny Delight to the area to help the stricken locals.

Rescue workers are still searching through the rubble and have found large
quantities of personal belongings, including benefit books, jewellery from
Elizabeth Duke at Argos and Bone China from Poundland.

This appeal is to raise money for food and clothing parcels for those
unfortunate enough to be caught up in this disaster. Clothing is most sought
after, items most needed include:

Fila or Burberry baseball caps
Kappa tracksuit tops (his and hers)
Shell suits (female)
White sport socks
Rockport boots
Any other items usually sold in Primark.

Food parcels may be harder to come by, but are needed all the same. Required
foodstuffs include: Microwave meals Tins of baked beans Ice cream Cans of
Colt 45 or Special Brew.

22p buys a biro for filling in the compensation forms
£2 buys chips, crisps and blue fizzy drinks for a family of 9 £5 will pay
for a packet of B&H and a lighter to calm the nerves of those affected.

**Breaking news**
Rescue workers found a girl in the rubble smothered in claret - 'Where are
you bleeding from?' they asked - "ROMFORD" said the girl, "woss that got to
do wiv it?"

Τρίτη, Νοεμβρίου 2

Operatic Misadventures

Annoyingly, the production of Händel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto I was supposed to sing in, has been cancelled.

Julie and I however, have the crazy idea to stage an opera. King's College's final year music students are studying Baroque Opera this year, and there are an awful lot of instrumentalists who can handle baroque style. We thought of a short work by Alessandro Scarlatti - Il Giardino d'Amore, which requires only two voices, and is a serenata lasting roughly an hour. String band, continuo, then recorder, violin and trumpet soloists. The two voices are Venus and Adonis. Amusingly enough, Venus is an Alto and Adonis is a Soprano. Julie's a Soprano and I'm an Alto. Yeah. She can sing Adonis and I can sing Venus. That sounds like an awful lot of campy fun :)