28 April, 2007

Virgin HK-LON-HK

Back from London.

I was very grumpy on the plane because, when I got on, absolutely knackered and still jetlagged in one direction, first they put me in the wrong seat, then they left me hanging around in the aisle for a bit, then they moved me to yet another seat, so some stupid young Aussie mother could sit with her cretinous children, without so much as bothering to ask if that would be alright by me (which of course it would have been), then they didn't have the right size sleepsuit, then by the time they had finished faffing about, it was too late for me to change into said tiny sleepsuit before take-off, then when I went to get changed, some stupid Chinese tart beat me to the front of the queue for the loo, so I went off, then she disappeared so I went back to wait outside the loo, then she promptly reappeared again from around the corner. The staff, cleverly picking up on the massive grump-vibes emanating from me, were bowing and scraping and apologising for the next 11 hours. What a prima donna I have become!

On the way out I watched:

About 10 minutes of Borat, which was rubbish. He's not some radical free agent jester-type turning the mirror on society, he's just an irritating tosspot.
About 10 minutes of History Boys, which does not translate well from the stage. In fact, it was dull.
The whole of something called Employee of the Month, with Jessica Simpson. Jiggle jiggle.
The whole of A Good Year. People are right, Russell Crowe can't do comedy.
The whole of Marie Antoinette which looked like a fabulous rococo box of chocolates, but ultimately confirmed the utter vacuousness of Sofia Coppola's vision.

Realised that I don't like watching challenging movies on the plane.

On the way back I watched:

Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. They left all the swearing in. Troika would like it.
An Italian film called something like Romanza Criminale, which apparently means Crime Novel. Quite enjoyable. Anyway it was jam-packed full of the most lovely Italian men. Any lovely Italian women, asks LSS. Can't say as how I noticed.

26 April, 2007

Food Review

went out for dinner with Little Squish and her Architect-Fiance at an Italian place called Semplice on Blenheim St. I had calves' liver and spinach, which was fine, but a little calves' liver goes a long way I find. Particularly as I just read somewhere that even 2 oz of red meat a day increases your chances of getting some cancer or other. Dessert was some really good extremely light and delicate apple fritters with what I can only describe as custard spit. We also got (with our coffee) some little discs of dark chocolate seeded with grains of salt, which was not as weird as it sounds.

24 April, 2007

Homeward Bound

Arrangements for our return to UK are gathering steam. I’ve got an end date for HK of 30 June and when I’m in London this week I’m going to try to get a start date in London of 1 August or maybe even 1 September, leaving me with a nice month or two to get the family settled in before I start back at work. Someone told me that that lovely Blair government has brought in some kind of leave allowance for having kids under five - every bit of which I've missed out on by being out of the UK. But Curly is still under five, soooo maybe it's not too late to take advantage of at least some of it.

I’m getting quite excited about this – back in our own place at last! It may be half the size of our current place with only one loo, the paper may be peeling off the walls, and Mrs Downstairs Neighbour may hate us (because we are thin, brown and clever, and she is the opposite), but it’s our own place. And hopefully by the end of the year we will have found and moved into a house.

But I’m already beginning to miss Asia in advance. I know once we’re back I will find myself wandering down Gerrard Street, sniffing the smell of the roast pork, and bewailing my stupidity at ever leaving Asia.

23 April, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Twas my birthday on Saturday. I'm not going to say how old I am - although since I did say how old I was last year, my loyal and intelligent readers will probably be able to work out how old I am this year - except to say that it's a prime number.

And I FEEL pretty prime.

20 April, 2007

The End of Childhood

Miss Merde Alors said to me, Did you know Britney Spears shaved her head?

Britney Spears’ body hair is a favourite conversational topic of mine, so I gave a positive response.

Why did she do that, asks MMA.

I told her that she was going through a very stressful time because she had just split up with her husband, and as everyone knows, whenever women go through big changes in their lives, they always change their hairstyle.

Split up?! says MMA. What’s that? (Amazing that there is a single expat child left in HK who does not know this.)

I explained that once they were married and now they are divorced.

Why did they split up, asks MMA.

I told her that Britney’s husband was useless and it was the best thing that could have happened to her, but nonetheless it was still very stressful, hence the bald-look.

At this point LSS draws me aside and indicates that a simple “I don’t know” would have sufficed as an answer to all the above questions.

What did I say wrong? It’s not like I told her that there are men who like sleeping with goats.

19 April, 2007

Vole Joke

Where do voles live?
In vole-holes.

And where do they go when they die?


For some jokes that are actually funny, see here

18 April, 2007

Farewell Lamma Hippy

This is Lamma Hippy's last day in HK - sob! I suggested we go out for some food that she will not be able to get in Slovenia. She said that that does not narrow down the choice at all. So anyway we are going to Bombay Dreams for curry and beer. It'll be nothing but beets and home-brewed schnapps for her from now on.

I went to the doctor, who after keeping me waiting for half an hour, took one look at me (without even getting out her eye-peering-instrument) and said, "See our specialist on Saturday and in the meantime use a hot compress" (that's a teabag to you non-medics out there). Seems like you wouldn't need 7 years of dedicated medical training to be able to do that.

My Blemish

My horrible blemish has gone through several phases: first it started off as an itch. Then it became more like a spot. Then it flourished into a fully fledged thing that on any other part of my body I would have called a boil. Everyone kept on telling me to go to the doctor, and I kept on saying, No, no, I don't want to overuse antibiotics! like some kind of deranged Christian Scientist. Last night, I tried DG's application of hot teabag - which is indeed very soothing, thank you, DG - which caused the top to come off. Good, I thought, that'll relieve the inflammation. But no pus came out. I could see something whitish in there, but no amount of "encouragement" would make it come out. Overnight the thing crusted over nicely and is no longer so swollen, but that just makes it all the easier to see that there is a round blob of SOMETHING in there. I am now convinced that I am the unwilling host of some horrible organism, which is going to burst out of my head, like a hideous anti-Athena from the forehead of Zeus.

I may go to the doctor after all.

Apologies to anyone reading this over their breakfast.

16 April, 2007

Movie Roundup

Went to see Sunshine at the Palace last week. It was not too bad – what was strange was I was sitting there watching it, thinking, whoever wrote this has spent too much time on a tropical beach roasting in the sunshine – and when the closing credits came up (it is one of those films that takes itself too seriously to have opening credits), lo and behold, the screenwriter was Alex Garland (he of The Beach fame).

The other thing it made me think was that no-one has done anything really new with the sci-fi genre since Blade Runner and Alien. This film was definitely in the Alien mould (under-populated working ship, abandoned hulk, terrifying half-glimpsed monster). It also threw in some 2001 and Solaris for good measure.

I was pleased to see so many orientals (3 out of a crew of 8) on board the ship that was sent to save mankind – including of course the first Malaysian in space (and my aunt’s first husband’s third wife’s daughter) Michelle Yeoh.

Also saw Mr Bean’s Holiday, which I didn’t hate. And Glory Road, which was the usual inspirational rubbish, but starred Josh Lucas – yum.

Lamma Hippy has come up with a surefire product for the ladies – 100% Egyptian cotton bedlinen set with Viggo Mortensen’s head on the pillowcase, his (clothed) body on the duvet cover, and his (unclothed) body on the bedsheet. LSS thinks this is very sad, but I always say no-one ever went broke over-estimating the sadness of the human race.

Fed Mrs Frog some of LSS’s home-made burritos yesterday. She came up with a truly dazzling array of damning-with-faint-praise comments, including: Oh, the coriander is fresh! I hope it did not take you too long to make this! and, The wine helps!

I am collecting compliments that are really insults. The classic one is, oh, you’ve lost so much weight! Does anyone have any favourites?

Normal Service Is Resumed

Back at work after a blissful two weeks off. Not feeling too happy as I have developed some peculiar thing on my left eyelid – it is like a spot that has gone bad, or possibly an insect bite, anyway the lid is all swollen, and in fact the whole thing is making me feel a bit ill. That is why one should never go on holiday. It upsets the delicate rhythms of one’s ecosystem and everything goes wrong.

09 April, 2007


The wonderful thing about the great Christian festivals is that the congregation at SJC, which normally looks like a set of extras from the Vicar of Dibley, is swelled by an influx of much better-looking people for me to feast my eyes on. Yesterday there was a gorgeous man two pews ahead, who looked like a tough quizzical choirboy, perfectly positioned for me to admire his beautifully-shaped chino-clad posterior, as we massacred Thine Be the Glory.

There was incense too, cue Curly’s reaction to the centuries-old tradition so redolent of the heady atmosphere of worship and sacrifice: “It’s smelly!” Mo, Larry and I in chorus: “Everything that smells isn’t smelly, Curly!”

I see the Pope is bringing back the Tridentine Mass. He may be a misogynistic frothing-at-the-mouth Nazi but at least he knows that Latin is the tongue that God and his angels speak in Heaven.

Speaking of incomprehensible ancient tongues, we caught the last 20 minutes of Mel Gibson’s Passion on Good Friday, as we lay coddled in the bosom of the Four Seasons Singapore. Why is the suffering necessary, asks LSS. I don’t know, but it obviously is necessary, and I have an inkling that it has something to do with the question that is asked with increasing urgency throughout the Bible, from Job on down: why do we suffer?

Or maybe he was asking why the suffering is necessary in the context of the movie. I don’t know. Why is the suffering necessary in 24? Because we’re sick, that’s why! We’re sick bastards!

Or maybe he was referring to the fact that the Four Seasons had failed to place complimentary bottles of water in our rooms. Why, Lord, why?

Watched Freedom Writers on the plane going back (it’s not my fault – there was nothing else on, except an episode of Will and Grace with Josh Lucas guest-starring – yummy). Wept buckets. Always weep whenever people start going on about Anne Frank and the Holocaust.

LSS has deleted the White Album from my iPod and put on a whole sheaf of much better music. I’m positively looking forward to my run today! I have to run every day this week because I have just spent a week in KL and come back a stone heavier than when I left. Watched music videos on Youtube – Lenny Kravitz and American Woman, with Heather Graham doing rock-chick writhing around on the top of a bus. B52s and Love Shack. The Animals and the House of the Rising Sun. Queen and We Are the Champions at Live Aid more than 20 years ago! I mean I remember watching that live on Irish Sociologist’s telly in her old Queensborough Terrace flat! Oh, sweet bird of youth!

04 April, 2007

Holiday Update

In keeping with my strictly democratic and completely incomprehensible link protocol, I am adding Troika to my links list even though there is more swearing in one of his posts than in the whole of Midnight Run, which elevates use of the word f--k into an artform.

I'm on holiday in KL in case you're wondering at the paucity of posting (alliteration).

02 April, 2007

Live and Learnski!

In the spirit of our motto here at the venerable Moscow Institute of Theoretical Heuristics, this is the first and the last - absolutely the last, never again, cross my heart and hope to die - time I am mentioning work in this blog.