Tuesday, December 27, 2005

And now, for something completely...


Ta-dah...presenting my best presentation of Sushi to date!

I used Seafood sticks this time, in addition to cucumber. I prefer the Maki Sushi, for some reason it seems to be the only way I eat cucumber! It had occurred to me to use smoked Mackerel but they don't seem to sell the type I usually get in my local supermarket anymore.

While I'm at it I should really remember to get that paste/sauce that I can use from Fresh & Wild, bless their little overpriced shelves. Weird thing is, I keep forgetting what the name of it is, until I get there. Yes, a strange dilemma indeed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

All Googled out

I've recently discovered Google Earth, and have spent hours entertaining myself and being totally fascinated at the places I can find.

So far I've found my location, could see the old Routemaster buses...so the pics aren't all that new, especially as they've been phased out in these parts for over a year. This fascinating adventure led to me looking for Dan's workplace across the pond, Tim's parents' place, I tried to look for where my folks are but it wasn't visible on the map....so I took a trip around the Thames, highlighting the London Eye...speaking of which, I should really look for the Great Wall of China...

It runs great on my laptop, but my pc is a bit older, but nevertheless I managed to get it working. The other day I mentioned to Chuck that I wanted to upgrade, for some reason he pretended he never heard me. I don't want to go out and buy a new one, but I might just try putting it together myself, seeing that I know quite a lot of the basics....

Friday, December 16, 2005

What would you do?

Today I was on the No. 29 bus. My plan was to collect my Sonny Neji CD and then complete the task I had originally set out to do, which I figured wouldn't take me long.

In fact, it was at the last minute I got off my bus and went to catch the No. 29. As a rule I don't look around in the bus unless I notice the people in front looking behind, but this time around it started with one or two people until everyone in front was looking behind; naturally I removed one of the headphones from my ear and looked back.

What I saw was a man standing up with an instrument in his hand - a stringed instrument (don't know of the country of origin, but it was a single-stringed reminded me of a very long East African instrument). There was shouting going on between him and the young man in the back seat with a blue hat, who then got up and walked towards instrument man. He said "you wanna fight? Go on then" and was up in the guy's face, doing that head shove/butt thing. The guy didn't move nor take him on. After a bit of this kind of jousting, a friend of blue hat also got up, then he went and sat back down with his friend.

I was aware that I was still looking at them when the people behind me turned around - almost as if to be invisible to what was happening. I was ready to spring up from my seat, but I sat and watched to see if the situation would accelerate or stop. The bus then stopped on Holloway Road, when I saw 2 No. 29s pass and I realized we might be there for a while.

Some people got off the bus, I stayed on and then decided, with other travellers, to get off. When I did, blue hat guy and his friend were outside the bus, shouting at the guy who was standing by the driver with his instrument. Eventually the bus driver started to close the doors, those of us who got off tried to get back on.

So I got on through the front door and was positioned opposite the guy with the instrument, who still had his mobile in his hand. The doors of the bus kept opening and closing, at first I thought it was the guys outside pressing the button outside opening the doors. The comments still kept going back and forth between the instrument guy and those outside. At one point the driver opened the door, a passenger jumped in just before blue hat guy outside came and grabbed the instrument guy by his backpack and jacket.

Without thinking I just stepped up and said "No no no, none of this" as calm as possible. If there's anything I learned from Angela Staples was to speak in a calm voice whenever tensions were high. My hand was on the guy who had jumped into the bus, and the other on the other guy. I didn't think about it, I just reacted instinctively. I said: "you don't really want to do this", whilst he was saying whatever he was saying. And I kept saying "no no no", and his friend with the cream coloured coat jumped on the bus, but because of my position he couldn't get any closer to instrument guy. Eventually the blue hat guy let go and stepped back off the bus. The driver fixed the window.

The instrument guy said to the driver "aren't you going to wait for the police?" and the driver looked at him and just drove off. The guy (who had an accent) said: "they try to break my instrument and then pull a knife on me". Up until that point, I hadn't thought that they might have a knife or any weapon on them. And the instrument guy was well riled up, and kept fiddling with his phone. Eventually I leaned across and said to him that he should go to the nearest police station and report the incident. The guy who had jumped on at the last minute obviously heard me and affirmed that he should, plus get the bus driver's number and report the matter the police.

I don't know if he will, or if he will, like he said to blue hat guy, "next time you see me I won't be alone". My head still can't get around the fact that these guys had a knife on them, and could easily have gotten themselves into serious trouble over something silly. This is the second bus journey I've taken in 48 hours where an argument broke out between young men. And I am convinced that the guy in the cream coat might have been one of those from the previous bus argument. The two are very similar, but in that fight he was half in the background and half pushing his friend, who was the one arguing with the other guy - just as in today's situation.

There are a lot of angry young men out there, but without their anger being channelled in the right direction. It saddens me because all it takes is a look, an accidental push, or an angry word to escalate a situation.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Happy St Nicholas

Today was not only my father's birthday, but it was St Nicholas' Day. Then I wondered why my father was never named Nicholas?

I found at my door a cute little Santa sleigh with biscuits next to it - the above I recognized first. Germans have some really cool traditions when it comes to Christmas. Unfortunately I didn't get time to take a pic of the little sleigh with the biscuits in, but this is all I could retrieve before I ate it.

And did it taste gooooood!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The long and winding road

The other day it occurred to me that my eating habits have changed quite a lot this year.

First of all, I'm eating a lot less meat. I don't eat much pork or red meat, sometimes chicken but mainly fish, and mostly prawns. I'm buying more organic food and eating more fruits and vegetables. And my greatest success, I'm drinking more water than ever before - in fact, since summer. Now that's a big change, and as a result I spend a lot less on fruit juice.

But - and there has to be a "but" - I haven't lost a stitch of weight! It's rumoured that I might have, but I really haven't. My weight has stayed pretty much the same. My skin is much better now, which I think is down to drinking more water. Drink more green tea and Rooibos tea, walk a bit less (or a bit more depending on my monthly pass)

The wrong men are always attracted to me, and the ones I'm interested in aren't interested in me. Isn't that life? At least this year is much better than last year, a lot less "casualties" to deal with, though I've met some fantastic people, like Toks and Josh.

Unfortunately I didn't have time to meet up with them as much as I would have liked, but they made the odd occasions that we met very worthwhile. And as far as I'm concerned, there's only one person I'm remotely interested in....and that is an eternal question mark.