Friday, March 30, 2007

A Week in the Lone Star State

Back from Texas... Gran is going into a nursing home, not what anyone wanted for her, but she is too much of a handful for home care.

Thankfully, the major part of the family who did travel over had the opportunity to say goodbye, so we have closure before it is too late, I guess. She is ready to go - in fact we had a scare on Monday but she rallied quickly. Her body is still hanging on, and her mouth is back on turbo. Still, she told me wonderful things, I held her hands and kissed her face. That will be my last memory of her I think. Granny smiling up at me from the bed, calling me her pretty little Baby (as I always will be no matter what age), telling me all her lovely prayers for me, and the softness of her skin when I kissed her face.


I am currently having a moment where I can't believe I once lived there. In Texas!

Whilst I was there, I ate seafood galore, queso with salsa and chili and corn chips (made with love by my cousin Charlene), chicken fried steak with mashed potato and white gravy (twice)...but no real Tex Mex or IHOP pancakes.

We went shopping at the Vietnamese and Indian markets and had our fill of exotic fruits and tasty produce. And need I mention the awesome clothes shopping?*

I also bonded with cousins I hadn't spent that much time with before, and others who were sort of too young until recently. It was also great being with aunts and uncles I have always loved.
We cousins enjoyed a big meal together, and a few days later everyone who wanted (14 of us) got together for a seafood feast.

On the way back to London on Thursday evening, we flew out ahead of some destructive storm systems sweeping in from Oklahoma and there was a lot of turbulence. It is tornado season there. But we left behind temps in the low 20s C (low 70s F) and came to 9 C (upper 40s F) so I have felt cold all day with the grey dampness, tiredness, jet lag, and ill-timed hunger. I think I slept for less than an hour on the unusually long 9 hour flight. However, I did watch The Devil Wears Prada and then borrowed the book from my aunt when we got to her place.


I am no fan of cricket but I do keep hearing about the cricket matches being played in Georgetown, Guyana, the [somewhat faded] "Garden City of the Caribbean". So I went to the BBC Venue Guide for the England team tour of the West Indies. Three paragraphs in the middle were written in exactly this order:

Despite its beauty, don't be fooled into lowering your security precautions whilst you're in the city.

Never walk the streets of the city at night and always avoid the Tiger Bay area just west of Main Street and Albouystown south of the centre.

One thing you definitely should do in the city is join what appears to be most of Georgetown and take an early evening stroll on the seawall as the sun sets.

Do you detect a contradiction here?


Some pics from the past week:

Cousins Dinner - The Grill at The Galleria, Dallas

Clockwise L to R: Evadney and her longtime partner Stan (both personal trainers; they have kids). Nick (grew up in the UK and moved to Tx over 10 years ago, and now sounds halfway like a Texan). Charlene (Evadney's younger sister, very Texan though born in Boston). Elizabeth (one of my British cousins and my godmother). Me. Amber (on her last year of high school and wants to be a kinesiologist). Rachel (wife of Charlene and Evadney's brother Eddie, who is not there - he went out with the uncles). Sabrina (a bank manager at the WTC in the first bombing, worked nearby on 9/11, and now lives safely in Florida).

1994 Lamborghini Diablo:

Charlene's neighbour is an exotic car dealer who borrows the other half of her garage to store his latest acquisitions. Every couple of days there is a new surprise. This one is purple and we girl cousins got the keys and played around with it. He allows her drive them, but she wouldn't dare.

Liv (Nearly At) the Wheel:

I got in and could barely reach the pedals or the wheel. It was awkward fun getting the door open, though.

Gran's daughters stayed in her apartment; Elizabeth, being a director and all, got to stay in her own luxurious hotel room with adjustable air beds; I stayed with Charlene, though Liz said I could have stayed with her the whole time.

Charlene works for a financial software company, has a big new SUV, parked at her own two bedroom/two bathroom home in a quiet neighbourhood. She redecorated the place herself in really cozy velvets and suedes in warm neutrals with wood and wrought iron furniture in a sort of Spanish/ranch/prairie style. She has endless rooms and doors and storage closets, a deck built for entertaining with a bar, refrigerator, benches, jacuzzi, gazebo...very cute. It would have felt average to us coming from our place in The Woodlands, but after living in London, it looked like luxury. We never really liked the town they all live in, and yet after landing and finding myself appalled at the mess of everything in England on the drive from the airport, I found myself reevaluating my entire reasoning for continuing the struggle here...

Coincidentally, in the car this morning we were listening to the stories of other expats who, returning to England from Tanzania, Australia or the US, are never really settled in either place as they go back and forth over the years. I know what they mean. It almost makes you want to give up both and try another place, as if three makes a balance.

P.S. If you want to know how so many relatives ended up in Tx, I would be glad to share the story.

* Great brands for less than half the price you would pay in Europe.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Letter from Texas

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all your good wishes, thoughts and prayers.

Just an update:

My gran has improved a great deal. Monday she came out of the coma/delerium and started teasing everyone, but is refusing food and remains on IV drips for nutrition and antibiotics (to prevent infections). There are moments when she doesn't see us, or thinks we are other people, but then she figures it out later; she is also advising and encouraging us all for the future, telling a lot of childhood stories and seeing relatives that she will join on the other side.

It was touching that she declared my Mum was keeping her back - thinking that since my parents split up, she needed her mother.

We had a scare yesterday and we all gathered at the hospital, but she pulled out of that too.
This could go on for days or weeks. (I may have to come back...)

We are arranging for hospice care at home in preparation for when the hospital releases her. So yesterday we stripped the walls, wiped everything down, threw things away and gave away furniture in preparation for the hospital bed being delivered today.


In better news, 14 of us gathered at Red Lobster for a feast last night - my cousin Elizabeth paid and we teased her because she is director of London charities, but she said it was OK since paying dollars makes it half price.

Last Saturday, most of the cousins in town got together for dinner as well, at a fancy Grill at the Galleria. That was expensive but we split it.


I haven't been able to see my friends in the area because our car is the day taxi and my mother can't drive well at night. I don't know Dallas and am not allowed to drive her rental car - I've never been stopped by police in my life, but she won't relent. This sucks because you'd think there would be enough time in the day, but there isn't. Someone always needs to be driven somewhere, or there's shopping and cooking to do, or hospital visits, or something...I can't ask Gigi to come and get me because she can't drive outside of her familiar area, plus I am afraid of the disability controls she uses. It's not fair to ask my other friends to come here either...anyway, I leave tomorrow...

But we have to remember this is not a pleasure trip. Mum and I were arguing about that, on the way to Gigi's house because we were halfway there when Mum remembered that some family friends who had been keeping boxes from our house in their giant garage had finally allowed her to go there in the afternoon and pick up what she wanted. We argued because I had promised Gigi I'd see her, but I got blamed for an arrangement I had made the day before with her approval simply because she had found out later that we could get our stuff.

She had also given them a lot of things...It is weird going into people's houses and seeing your own furniture and decor integrated into every room. It happens all over the family now - reminders of our former life have been dispersed into all their homes in Texas, Canada, and England. Most weird to see my old Peter Rabbit keyring hanging out of my uncle's pocket...

So yesterday I was taking family photos out of frames and putting them in a folder so I can easily bring them with me to London. Some were specially mounted and framed, so those my mother will take to Canada and store under the bed.

Life is full of changes, isn't it? Sometimes we have no choice but to go along with it, no matter how much you must lose.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sad news

My dear readers, I have some sad news. I have booked a last minute flight to Dallas because my Granny is dying. She was rushed to the ICU this morning. Her systems are shutting down and the only thing keeping her alive are the machines. And so, we all have to be there and arrange her funeral before the end of next week.

She has had her ups and downs over the past couple of years, but was doing quite well this year. That's the way it is. We have known for a few years that this could happen at any time, but no matter how long you expect it, the actual event is always a surprise, so needless to say, today was all panic stations.

She has been a true matriarch. Mother of 10 children, 24 grandchildren and countless great-grands, and always the toast of every family gathering, full of spriteliness and never short of words.

Even outside her family, she was an influential lady and earned the love and respect of hundreds of people over the years. From being Lady Jo in Guyana, an upstanding member of the community, to everyone's granny in Texas and Sunday school teacher to kids who are now parents themselves - there will be a lot of love in the room when we say goodbye.

When I was born early in 1977, my grandfather, who was himself in ill health, sent her to London "to see the tiny baby". She spent 3 months here helping my mum, and she always had a special soft spot in her heart for me...I know what her greatest prayer has always been; she waited for so long, and it hurts that she won't be around to see it happen one day.

And so, within a month of the arrival of the youngest member of the family, the eldest has departed.


Don't worry too much about me. I am sure I will be fine when I come back. Don't forget the art history assignment from the last post because I look forward to working on that later.

See you soon!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Assign Me

I don't know what to blog! I am having a week in limbo. I didn't get the job at the arts council, but I have two applications to send in this week.


After a promising start to the spring (remember my London walk last week?), winter is back. The south of France and London were both cold as each other, about 5 degrees C (upper 40s F). The heating is back on, plus my little space heater is back in service, and it was even too chilly to have my window open a crack as it usually is in winter - I guess I had acclimatised to milder weather.

It is supposed to snow somewhere this week too.


I had an idea whilst I was washing dishes this weekend. I shall open the comments to anonymous voting - on any point of art history that you would like me to research and write about. (But please nothing after the 20th century.)

Go on, get your thinking caps on! But remember, make your vote anonymous so that I can't be accused of favouritism.


And finally for the listening (not necessarily viewing) pleasure of you old-timers out there.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Little Ones

OK, so where was I? Didn't blog much this week, did I?

I promised a baby blog. Selba tagged me last week for my baby photo, and then I got pics of my lovely goddaughter.

Look, the unruly hair hasn't changed much...check out the awful 1970s colours.

I can't believe my cousin is a mommy! Say hello to Jada Alyse, my cutie-pie goddaughter, born 1 March weighing 5 pounds. That baby carrier just swallows her up. Alyssa tells me she doesn't cry much. I love the top left pic because it looks like she and her mom are sharing a moment, and she looks like a doll.

I can't wait to meet her! I feel so loving in my heart when I look at her!

Have a great weekend, y'all. xxx

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fresh Eyes

A few points before I get to the meat of today's post:

I. When someone about to interview you says you have an impressive CV, are they just saying that, or do they mean it?

My "impressive" CV hasn't served me well since I got it!


II. Yesterday was a long hard day at a venture capital firm in the City, not far from where I worked last year at M-C.
The kitchen was fancy - red cabinetry and stainless steel fittings, all automatic soft-close. However, it wasn't stocked with as much tea or biscuits and fruits as at M-C, which definitely had a snacking culture as well as lunch delivered in. But...this place had a mini cafeteria with free food! So between midday and 1.30 pm you can go eat. Chili con carne and wild rice, tacos (the first I have seen on offer in London), baked potato, three types of salad, fruit plates, cheese and cracker plates...


Every spring, there comes one day when I fall in love with London all over again. Today was the day.

I went to the interview at the Arts Council this morning in bright warm sunshine. It was a straight shot down the Jubilee line to Westminster and barely took half an hour door to door. Whilst dodging tourists, I got to walk past the Houses of Parliament, ask a cute police officer if I was going in the right direction, and gawk at lots of exquisite architecture.

The building I went into was also lovely on the outside. Red brick with stonework, big vaulted wooden doors, and in the lobby there was a stone fireplace and oak "linenfold" panelling.

It was a casual interview with two people, so I was in for only 20 minutes. They liked some of the things I said. I was put on the spot a few times when I had to answer impressively about the role of art in modern life and why looking back at history is important. It's funny how in interviews you can come up with stuff you didn't know you knew. They made all the right sounds of approval. At the end I even asked some questions about which organisations were involved in the project and what they hope it will have become by the end of the year. They said that was a good question.

I got chatting with the receptionist. She is from Los Angeles, also with a master's degree in art history. She did a bit of finance here and nearly died inside, so she is happier earning less in a gentler environment.

I know I will miss earning that kind of money. It will be nearly half what I was getting at M-C, when all I did there was audio, and here I will be an actual project administrator. Oh bah humbug. The compromises we have to make...


When I left the building, I wandered around soaking in the warm sunshine, and taking in the beauty of Westminster Palace and its environs. In fact, I wished I had my camera with me. It's a good thing my phone camera is good for blogging. Unfortunately, I ran out of space faster than usual since I had uploaded some MP3s onto my media stick, not leaving much room for photos.

And while I was out, I fell in love with London again, as I do one day every spring. Life begins again. There were miles of daffodils in St James's and Green Parks, blushing blossoms on the trees, courting pigeons underfoot. The air was light, the sky was blue, the sun was warm, and the breeze was soft. I felt happy.

I walked through St James's Park, crossed Pall Mall and passed Buckingham Palace (Her Majesty was at home), then through Green Park to Piccadilly and along there to Fortnum & Mason. I haven't been there in many months.

I saw my old friend, a lady who has worked at the deli since I was studying at Christie's. I used to go there for more affordable sandwiches and wraps than those offered at nearby Italian cafes, and she and I would chat. She missed seeing me and said I ought to go round more often. They no longer make sandwiches like they used to, but she offered to make me one anyway, and any time I ever want one. She said she would have liked it if I got a job at the Royal Academy across the road.

I always treat myself after interviews, I don't know why. I bought my usual medium box of assorted chocolates, and she even managed to fit in a couple of marrons glaces (glaced chestnuts), a box of Rose Pouchong tea, a jar of rose and geranium jelly, a jar of quince jelly (I had to stop there or else I would have brought home the violet jelly, lavender jelly, earl grey tea jelly, pomegranate jelly, and rose petal jelly too!), some Bahlsen choc and coconut biscuits, a box each of Duchy Originals sweet oat cakes (the best) and cracked black pepper oat cakes, a lemon for my smoked salmon (forgot yesterday, and have discovered that undressed salmon is a bit ick), a bottle of F&M chili tomato ketchup, some old fashioned sausages, and a box of freshly handmade asparagus and padano ravioli.

Oh, me spoilt, I know :P


Westminster Palace:

Parliament Square

Thought the Americans would like this one. A bus, the bell tower of Westminster Palace (only the bell is called Big Ben!), and the London Eye across the river.

Westminster Palace peeping out from behind Westminster Abbey

Crossing Pall Mall between St James's Park and Green Park, Buckingham Palace is on the left. Her Majesty was at home...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Weekend Escapade

What a busy weekend I have had!


On Friday, Miss S and I went to the Viva Italia! exhibition. Ate lots of goodies and freebies. Alfa Romeo had a display area with two vintage models and three new ones.

There were two vintage Spiders with a new one, all three red. Beautiful cars. I was enjoying the aggressive front grilles. Ooooh and the new Spider was fitted out by Pininfarina!


After parting with Miss S, I kept walking up Kensington High Street, up Kensington Church Street, all the way to Notting Hill Gate. I was looking for the new Whole Foods Market that supposedly opened on the high street, until after I returned home I found out that's not until summer.

I was surprised that Whole Foods has reached the UK. It started in Austin, Texas in the early 80s! No surprise that the world's largest organic/natural food retailer comes from Austin (if it had to be from TX), otherwise it would have been California.

Apparently they have a few outposts in London already called Wild n Fresh. I saw one in Camden today.



On Saturday, I went to see my favourite anonymous commenter, the former Delightful, to repeat what we did last year in his first new sporty car, only this time it was a Porsche 911 in electric blue. He is the boy with all the toys, I tell you.

But because it was so fast, the drive this year seemed shorter. We went over 100mph so many times I lost count, and the Porsche is so solid and grippy that you don't feel it and don't notice it unless you're staring a the speedometer. He might not like to hear it, but he drives just like I used to. Boy do I miss taking corners diagonally to the inside, and doing The Sweep on cars littering up the fast lane.

Guess the top speed we reached, busy British motorways allowing? 134mph. But don't tell anyone.

Since moving to St John's Wood, where one goes by every half hour, I have learned to recognise the big hollow grumble of a Porsche driving by. This car, when you hit that optimal speed just right, sounds like how the sweet spot on a tennis racquet feels....know what I mean? There's a sort of a long ping...which I first noticed with my Dad's car, only better.

We were back in the abbey town of St Albans, this time at a trendy restaurant where we shared a starter of corn cakes with fresh salsa and guacamole - well made, considering. F-D was very good and predicted that I would go for it, bless his cotton socks, so he ordered it.

For mains he had spaghetti with crab and chili, and I had the best cod ever. Moist, succulent, tender, and falling apart on a bed of bok choi, in a miso sauce sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Then we went for another rather fast drive with the music cranked up. F-D thought Muse's Hysteria was a good fast drive track, so we played that a few times and I sang my heart out, though it didn't work so well going over bumps with sports suspension.

We ended up at the cinema in Finchley where we didn't like the lineup, so F-D suggested the O2 Centre near me, where we plumped for Ghost Rider and then when it was over I got the blame for choosing a bad film. He's such a cheery bugger. Finally we stopped at Sainsbury's and did a bit of shopping - well, I mentioned everything else so there is no point leaving that out.

Ghost Rider ... hm, the fiery bits were ok, but there were also scary bits. I jumped about 4 times and screamed twice. The Texas talk made me laugh a whole lot. "'re purdy and all..." There were quite a few laugh out loud bits.

I just knew it was Texas as soon as I saw the open country with the short trees and the meadows of bluebells. If you've lived there, you never get it out of your system. No sirreee.


Tomorrow, I am going to a seafood restaurant for my 2nd cousin's 6th birthday. We go there every year for birthdays, so it will be predictable. Adults, kids, food, toys. And an aunt who will ask me too many questions that I don't want to answer.

I had better end this on a better note:

Yes, the Porsche has hips!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bok! The Bunnies!

I love how the chickens

1) Run over to break up the fight with a few frontal shoves

2) Stare the bunnies down while tempers cool

3) Strut off together with a warning "bok!"

Keeping the mean streets safe from marauding lagomorphs.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

post PMS PMS

Gosh, what did they put in the water? I laughed at all sorts of things today:

Tom Hanks in Money Pit when he gets stuck in a hole in the floor for a day and a night and his girlfriend is going all over the house calling for him and can't find him.

Mel Gibson in The Patriot when he watches the French general primping before going into battle, and the embarrassed face when he gets caught looking.

All the way through a couple of emails from two friends.


What a busy day on the phone. A consultant called asking if I wanted her to put me through for a two-day temp at the Arts Council. I said yes please. She called back saying, tough luck, but the info to be dealt with was so sensitive that they didn't want someone who might potentially work for them again one day. (So when do I start???)

Later she called again asking if she could put me forward for a 9-day booking at an Italian oil and gas company (my dad worked for one of their subsidiaries once). But then she called back and even though recommending me first she said they chose someone with more PA experience. So she recommended me to a colleague who has a 2-month booking at the London Development Agency (2012 Olympics and all that!). Coincidentally, my landlord's organisation has regular dealings with them. I will hear by lunchtime tomorrow if I've got it.


Random stuff:

Ever since I told my friends I like Family Guy, I've been forgetting to watch it. Stewie is priceless, oh absolutely yes.

I found out that racecar backwards is racecar.

Just before my birthday, I should receive my free upgrade to Windows Vista Premium (yes!), I suppose because I have Windows XP Media Center...

I briefly considered trying a few months in France as I was waking up this morning. My 12 years of language study needs hammering back into shape. And, you know, maybe French guys aren't as "fussy" as English guys about what they want in a girl.


Speaking of which:

Trying to get a date is as hard as getting a job. Send a CV, no reply. Answer a personal, no reply. And the same principle applies to both: You can't get a job without experience, can't get experience without a job. Although by now, my job experience outweighs dating experience. What are they looking for???

And yet I get more replies from personals than from job applications, but it goes downhill from there. I am not tall, curvy, leggy, busty, blonde. I am also fed up of guys who say they want a girl with a brain and that looks don't matter. "You're smaller than I'd expected." "You've got short hair." Well, you knew that before, so what?

Recently a pretty good looking guy, my age, said that what I wrote him stood out "above all the rest" as something written by someone he would like to meet. After I sent my photo did I hear back from him? Well, let's just say how many times can someone claim not to have received your photos sent 3 times to both address?

Then there was the one who sounded just like Rupert Everett and shared so many of my more obscure old fashioned interests. He called me and promised an evening of dinner and the theatre after he finished marking his students' literature exams, and had even made up a fun nickname for me. Nada.

Who would be proud to have me on his arm? Probably someone I couldn't stand. For instance, a couple of years ago I went on at least 4 dates with an utterly boring man that I could not get rid of. He was nice in the worst possible way, but we had nothing in common and he had a very limited range of topics. He just seemed sort of intrigued by my way of life, and I started to feel like I was going to be his free ride into society. So I have learned that "just nice" doesn't work, there has to be something more.

Then there was the scary Slovak who practically stalked me for months. Well educated and intelligent, but so intimidating in an incessant Russian way. I didn't like something about his weak chin either. The worst thing is I met him through my aunt, who totally vouched for him. I didn't even date him, he just assumed I was and started calling me cringeworthy nicknames after the 4th time I saw him, and even assumed he could tell me what to do. When the sight of someone causes the smile on your face to drop, then you know it's time to escape. Like magnets repel.

And yet, after that I managed to wrangle 2 dates with a guy who looked just right for me, he played the violin, was Italian-Greek from France, and we had a load of things in common - very much with the same upbringing and foundation. His English was perfect as he had studied in the States, but we started to speak an English-French mix. He put me on the bus and I never heard from him again. A few weeks later I found his profile again, and guess what he had done? Essentially described me as his ideal match, down to the curly hair.

Only one normal, well brought up and very attractive person put up with me for 4 months, and I don't know why he bothered, as in the end it pretty much came down to the gap in experience between two similarly-aged people.

My barely recovered self confidence was shot for a year after that. It's back now, but I'm starting to worry about when I start going to those gatherings where people meet each other. Will my attitude be different to what it was a year and a half ago? My whole body of experience hasn't been very encouraging, and I am so I lost every ounce of confidence after my parents divorced a few years ago, and many would say that it should have no effect on me, but I am an only child and we were unbelievably close; still are, just not as a trio - I actually had physical reactions to the situation, and now am more cynical and put less faith in what men say.

The longer I stay single, the more difficult it is not to panic when a guy I like pays me attention. They just don't understand. They think that the way I am acting is me playing games, when it is actually me not being able to figure out how to handle things. It takes me weeks to get over the fact that he wants to hold my hand! It took me many months after the breakup with the last guy to stop feeling nervous around him, and of course by then it was way too late.

Make no mistake, there was a time when I thought that I could go out with nearly any man I chose, but of course after finding out that wasn't true, and just how different I really was, and that inexperience counts against you, well that was a huge shock.

God, I am in trouble...

Sorry. It's not like me to complain about these things to you, but sometimes it does overwhelm me. You see, I have found out that I am the sort of girl that everyone wants to pat on the head and protect. And they end up just being friends. I have this sinking feeling of disappointment in the pit of my stomach at the moment.

(I think I'm going to regret posting this, and I know what you all are going to say. You're all going to be nice and say the right things, but I'm not even sure I want comments.)

Ugh. This is worse than last week when I actually had PMS.....

I promise to be more cheerful next time I blog. There will be lots to talk about, anyway.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I watched I, Robot last night for about the third time. I've said it before, but I will say it again. I am intrigued by Sonny. I love the expression in his eyes, the vulnerability in his voice, and the way he makes us sympathise with him.
I also liked Teddy, the bear-bot in A.I.. But...they were not real...

Sony has discontinued its trainable robo-dog AIBO as well as the mini humanoid Qrio (cost: approx. $2500), and the Sega i-Dog (£12.99) is lame. Then there is the somewhat intelligent RoboSapiens (£200ish) by Wowee. But Asimo is pretty cool. You may have seen him in the last Honda ad. He's so adorable and seems so eager to please, you just want to bless his little rubber socks. And he looks like a wee little spaceman!

As long as they don't humanise them too much, I think robot helpers will be fine.

Check out the videos of what the lil' fellow can do, on the Honda Asimo website. He - I mean, it - can climb stairs, run fast and slow, run in a curve, sidestep, kick a ball, dance, recognise faces and simple gestures, walk backwards, respond to pressure by adjusting its stance, wait for someone to cross its path before continuing, hold a human hand and walk, carry a tray, push a cart...and it does have to learn these things on its own by making calculations and adapting.


That wasn't what I really meant to blog about. Last week I had a joyful reunion with the writings of Michael Crichton. I read Timeline. It's sort of about quantum physics and time travel to the 14th century, only the developers in the book don't call it that because they say time travel, per se, is not possible. Instead, they talk about multiverses. More than one universe - I suppose what we know as parallel universes. So here is the question I scribbled on a scrap of paper in the Tube one morning:

If it is not time travel but MULTIVERSES, then how can the Professor travel to the 14th century AND leave a note that will be excavated in the 20th century to be found by his OWN team and not some other team in another multiverse - or not be found at all, if in one universe the site has not been discovered or is inactive?

Because the rep from the company that developed the quantum travel described it thus:

"...the universe we see...was just one of an infinite number of universes, existing side by side.
Each of these universes was constantly splitting, so there was a universe where Hitler lost the war, and another where he won; a universe where Kennedy died, and another where he lived."

Most of us have had that sort of conversation before - what if he did, what if he didn't - but it's the crossover here that confuses me. The Professor visiting in 1357 loses his glasses in the scriptorium and his colleague Kate in 1999 excavates them the day after he travelled there. The manuscript specialist finds a parchment note in his handwriting asking them for help, including the date and the solution to a code.

Fine, if it were mere time travel...but how can he be in another universe?

Another thing that was mentioned but not resolved was the fact that the time travellers are split at the home end, and they disappear, but it is not they but their counterparts from another universe that are reassembled at the destination - because in our universe they figured out how to transport them but not how to reassemble them, so our scientists are relying on those from another universe that have reassembly capability...body swap? So, where do our travellers go meantime, into the ether? And how come their counterparts know the same things as they do?

And if they compress not a person but the information equivalent of a person, as in a fax, then how does that person go and fight battles and draw blood on the other side?

This is making the idea of the Matrix sound simple. So, enough quantum mechanics for now because even the physicist Richard Feynman said in 1967: "Nobody understands quantum theory."


Check out my new flipped hairstyle:

When I first cut it short 7 years ago, it was drastic. I never thought I could keep it at this moderate length and that it would still be (somewhat) controllable. But I did miss my curls and really needed to feel softer and more feminine, and wanted to see how far I could push it. I've been growing it since last autumn with only a couple of reshape trims since then.

At the salon on Friday night, the stylist only chipped the weight off the back so she could work it. She styled it carefully with her fingers - no tools - and a hairdryer, working out the top, straightening the strands, pulling out the sides (which is where she utilised the natural fannish tendency of the left side, of which the right was easy to imitate). Still, that frontal wave refuses to go. It now insists on returning to a distinct curl. Ah well. C'est ma vie.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Pass out the chocolate cigars - I am a godmother! (Or in our family, a "nen". It's a Guyanese thing.)

My Canadian cousin Alyssa brought daughter Jada into the world today, weighing nearly 6 pounds, reportedly with long limbs like her Mommy. And it was by C-section because Baby hadn't turned and they delivered her a couple of weeks early so that Lyss wouldn't go into breech labour.

It was Alyssa whose boyfriend Roger (her best ever and the one she was going to marry) passed away tragically and unexpectedly last September aged only 25 of a brain aneurysm, and I wrote a very distraught post about it. His family is standing by 100% and treats Lyss just like a daughter in law. This is going to be one very loved baby - all the families involved are over the moon.

Lyss was one of those mums-to-be who chose not to find out the gender of the baby, having the inhuman ability to wait 9 months to find out. Most of us wanted it to be a girl, even Lyss's brothers Mike and Paul. At least now I am totally prepared, thanks to my own godmother Elizabeth, who is also my cousin.

I am going to give her one or two Beatrix Potter books every year, like my Nen did. She contributed greatly to my early library and love of books and reading, as well as to my love of handmade boxes (though that is not exactly something I plan to pass on!)

Here's to years of Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter, Dr Seuss...suppose I should have brushed up on the new stuff too. Any suggestions?

Needless to say, I will be taking my place at the Christening.

Can't wait to see pics!