Sunday, 30 September 2007

why no plastic bottles at concerts?

i am hoping that someone will pick up this blog entry on a google search, and explain (in the comments, please) why you cannot bring in an already opened water bottle to a concert?

as s reported, we went to see gwen stefani at wembley arena on friday night. it was a fun concert and i enjoyed myself, but i was not happy to have to throw out my water bottle upon entering the arena. it was one of those cool bottles with a sports cap - perfect for the gym. weirder still, they wouldn't let me keep the sports cap and discard the bottle/water, although i was given the option to pour my water into a cup and discard the bottle/cap.


what possible harm could i do with a sports cap? i am genuinely curious, not because i want to hurt anyone, but because i cannot imagine why they are a security risk.

i was quite amused by the irony of it all, though. two guards made me throw out my bottle, but neither of them noticed that i had knitting needles, a crochet hook, a large stitch holder, and a pair of nail clippers in my bag. i had decided against bringing my scissors, but i shouldn't have worried. i could have had a scalpel and selection of box cutters in my bag and they wouldn't have noticed.

but ixnay on the ottlecapbay. whatever!

dubai wedding, bay-bee!

OMG OMG OMG i'm sooo excited!

my SOAS friend, h, is getting married! and my other SOAS friend, c, and i are going to the wedding!

in dubai!

h and c in cambridge, may 2005

we all did the master's in international management at SOAS. i focused on japan, and ended up working for a japanese food wholesaler in london. c focused on china, and currently works for an energy trading company in beijing. h returned to dubai after focusing on the middle east/northern africa, and fell in love with a co-worker while they were both at microsoft.

h, c and i truly became friends while revising for exams. c invited us to her parents' house in cambridge to get away from the library and we had such a good time. of course, growing up near cambridge university, c is a master at the british art of punting.


i love this photo. h looks like a queen, while c navigates along the river.

but h, characteristically, was not content to be swept along without trying it for herself.


this photo makes me laugh out loud every time i see it.

to be fair to the bride and her tongue of concentration, i looked like a dork when it was my turn.


no career waiting for me as a gondolier in venice!

sadly, after exams were done and dissertations were written, we found ourselves stretched across time zones. it will be so good to see both of them again and celebrate with h on such a special occasion. stay tuned for reports in late october after the wedding.

giving back


this is the ladder that we got on i joined the freecycle group for our area over the summer, and almost immediately found someone nearby who was giving away a 15' extending ladder. s and i walked over to the kind lady's house, carried it back home (insert slapstick joke here), and locked it to the drainpipe. amazingly, in the month or so that it lived outside our flat, no one thought to climb up the ladder and break in. whew!

we used the ladder to weatherproof the windows. we had intended to clean out the gutters as well, but it's really spooky up there! i know it doesn't look very high up, but you try balancing on the ladder while applying waterproof stain to the wooden frame (carefully avoiding the glass) using your left hand. we completed our window task and decided that that was enough.

as we had arranged with the kind lady who gave us the ladder, we passed it along to a deserving charity once we were finished with it. score one for the neighborhood!

s and i are not the "greenest" couple but i like to think that we are giving something back, if not fully reducing our footprint on the planet. i was happy to find a nice neighbor who would give us her ladder; equally, i was happy that it could go to a different home when we no longer needed it.

so in the spirit of giving back, or maybe more accurately, giving away... i took a load of old clothes and shoes to the local collection point for a cerebral palsy charity this afternoon. and then talked to my mom and sister in california, who had completed another monumental task: they held a huge yard sale yesterday (including many of my old things). it's nice that what is junk to one person is a treasure to someone else. right now, i feel like i have been given a gift simply by having all this stuff out of my life and into other people's. i hope they enjoy it while it lasts, and pass it on to someone else when they're done with it. and the cycle goes on...

Sunday, 23 September 2007

cycling the northern line overground

there was a city-sponsored cycling event through part of london today. s and i got a late start, but still managed to ride on streets we wouldn't normally dare. cool.

cyclists on the embankment




meeting k and c at temple tube


it was impressive to see so many cyclists in and around central london. while i had, in fact, pre-registered for the event, and received one of the coveted event packs, i did not wear my red reflective bib (seen in the photos above). perhaps wearing a neon yellow high visibility vest at work everyday made it seem a bit less exciting. still, i try to be a responsible cyclist - i always wear a helmet, use hand signals, and wear sensible clothes (most of the time.) the trouble is that no matter how safe you think you are as a cyclist, drivers have other ideas. it was amazing to ride along the embankment without the fear of being hit by a taxi.

and now for our route. i used google maps to get approximate distances.

flat --> wimbledon station: 1.9 miles
wimbledon station --> waterloo station via train: 8.8 miles
waterloo station --> temple tube station: 1 mile
temple station --> embankment station: 0.6 miles

break for lunch on villiers street with k and c

embankment station --> london bridge: 2.2 miles
london bridge --> flat: 8 miles

total cycling distance: 13.7 miles more or less

and now i'm feeling good from the endorphin rush, but my bum is sore!

Saturday, 8 September 2007


everyone is doing the simpsons thing:

s simpson

m simpson

even fake steve jobs simpson

so here i am, in all my yellow glory.

make your own at