Monday, 31 August 2009

Riverside Park

Today is Dima's 2nd birthday...

Nobody bothered getting him a present so we took him to Riverside Park instead.I used to go there sometimes for picnics with my friend Sian- it isn't far away from here and it overlooks the Medway Estuary and the marshes.You can also see Kingsnorth power station,and lots of rusty old boats in the reeds.It's definitely a rather bleak place,but there's something I like about it.Sculpted parks and coastlines are all very well,but grim marshes can look just as nice in their own way I think.Dima enjoyed it anyway.Pictures are here if you're interested.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

So can they go anywhere they like?

We got back from Dorset last Sunday afternoon, after spending the day at Monkey World. Mother has wanted to go there for a long time, and we all used to watch the series filmed there (Monkey Business) when it was on a few years ago. Seems I didn’t watch it as much as them though, as I couldn’t remember the names of any famous monkeys :( We did get a few really good pictures, particularly of a 5 year old chimp called Rodders, who was born at the park and is clearly used to the camera as he sat there and smiled the whole time. But I don’t think you’re allowed to publish any photos taken there for some reason, which is a shame. It was nice though, I never realised lemurs are so cute, or that marmosets have such tiny faces.

Two days later, Keira came to Kent, and after a rather nice Chinese buffet in Gillingham, we went along to Priestfield to watch the Second Round Carling Cup game between the Gills and Blackburn. Yet again, there were soppy love ballads playing in the Chinese- Sacrifice by Elton John, Careless Whisper by George Michael... I don’t know why this is, but it does seem to be the case at every Chinese restaurant I go to- in any county. We also witnessed the most rubbish birthday party ever. A boy of about 6-8 (I have no idea how to age kids) was there with his immediate family- not even sitting anywhere near the birthday banners that the restaurant had put up. I’m sure they didn’t even speak either. A party complete with 80s ballads and just 2 other people in the whole restaurant. That’s the stuff birthdays are made of...

The football was good. I haven’t been to Priestfield, or indeed any other game since 2002, so I wasn’t really sure what I’d think. But I couldn’t pass up the chance of seeing Morten Gamst Pedersen in my hometown, so I had to go :) Keira had never been to a game at all, but I think she enjoyed looking at Morten, who seemed to be over our side of the stadium all the time, which was nice. We were of course, typically girly fans with our “ooh isn’t he lovely? “ “hasn’t he got a nice smile?” “he’s got a lovely tan- typical colouring for a Sami...” I’m sure the man himself would have been honoured, had he realised he was in the presence of (probably) the only people outside of Norway to have played his song This Is For Real on their radio show :) Anyway, apart from Morten (and his goal that I missed), it was a good game. It’s always risky watching your (small) local team play a Premiership side, not least one who had their first team players there. I was at Stamford Bridge when Gillingham got thrashed 5-0 by Chelsea in an FA Cup game a few years ago, so I wasn’t expecting much. But it wasn’t all about Blackburn. The Gills certainly had their moments, and although they didn’t have all that many chances (and let in 3 pretty lame goals), they didn’t just give up and let Blackburn trounce them. Final score 1-3, but it could have been worse.

And then of course the next day, we went to Ostend...

Saturday, 29 August 2009


Last Friday we went to Dorset.By "we",I mean myself and my mummy and daddy (it's OK,I never call them that in real life).Coincidentally,last weekend was also the Bournemouth Air Show- which isn't what we went there for,but it was a pretty good extra.

I've been to Bournemouth once before,2 years ago.Me and James decided to go Winchester one day because that's where King Arthur's Round Table is.We saw the Round Table and then realised there's actually nothing else to do in Winchester,so we ended up in Bournemouth.It was November,and therefore freezing and everything on the beach was shut.I'll never forget the tourist train that drove past us as we were eating chips fried in about 3 kilos of lard- I've never seen such miserable people.Anyway,this time around it was very nice.The sun was out all weekend,and about 250,000 people came to see the Air Show each day it was running.I have no pictures of the beach,but well,you've probably seen an English seaside before.Admittedly this one is super clean and tidy,but still- sand,pier,burnt people,you get the idea.

On the way into Bournemouth on Friday,we saw the Red Arrows above us in the car.Being a few miles away from the action is probably the best view you can get of an Air Show,much like I did from my office in Paris.But we wanted to see their whole routine,and so stayed in town to watch the entire show on Saturday,after a look around the town.At this point I have to mention that there is a crazy amount of very nice looking men in Bournemouth.Most of whom are Eastern European with lovely accents :)

My photography philosophy is to take as few pictures as possible (a necessity with the way my camera eats up batteries),but make them meaningful.A close-up of a detail of something is far more interesting to look at than a big panorama where you can't see anything in particular.This didn't quite happen on Saturday though.If you're interested,my pictures are (mostly) here.

I did feel like I was spending too much time taking photos and not actually watching the show,but when the Red Arrows were on,it became like a competition with my dad to see who could get the best shot.The speed also takes a bit of getting used to.My camera is quite old now and therefore a bit slow,which is a disadvantage when photographing 600mph aeroplanes.But this is probably my best,if you ignore the big pole and the windsock :)

Pas mal...

I liked my parachutists too.They jumped from a Chinook helicopter (literally the scariest looking thing ever invented) from 10,000 feet :/

Then there was the Eurofighter,which was at the Paris show earlier this year.By this time,I was so sunburnt and my head hurt so much,I thought my head might have exploded if I stayed to watch (and hear) this one,so I went back home.But my dad got a picture of it,which was pretty good.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


So apparantly for Freshers Week this year,my university is having a "Neon Night" with a DJ set from Calvin Harris.Now I'm no great fan of the man,but all those years ago when we were Freshers,we had this man.And he didn't even bother to turn up anyway.Though that was probably a blessing in disguise.

Miscellaneous post #5

Haven't been all that busy lately,I've just found myself in one of those moods where I just can't be bothered to blog you know? There's been loads of stuff in the news and going on in my head that I am bursting to comment on a lot of the time,but I just have no motivation to do it.I'll start drafting a post and then realise after about 30,000 words that it's just ramble and isn't going anywhere.Much like this one.

I've been home doing nothing for 7 weeks now apart from having the occasional swim,and actually my head isn't feeling brilliant.People have been annoying me from near and afar for no real reason.I know other people's lives are none of my business,but still,sometimes you just can't help but get involved somehow.The weight loss is also going terribly despite my eating around half of what I was eating in France,so that's rather depressing.Also,I've been having insomnia bouts (or whatever sleeping disorder it really is) again.I'm constantly tired,and I mean constantly,until around 10pm when I'm completely awake and my mind becomes very active.Sometimes this is good- I've been writing again,working on my existing story,and a plan for another one- but it can also be negative.It's at nighttime when I start to think about things that are out of my control and I become paranoid.About everything.Think of the least likely thing that can happen and I'll be worried sick about it,and won't get to sleep til 4 or 5am.I've concluded that nighttime is my enemy and I'm a control freak of the highest order.

I really hope things will get better in the next few weeks,and definitely by the time I'm back in Guildford.Guildford is of course,one of the things I'm most worried about.Having been away from people for a year,things are not going to be the same,and I feel I'm going to be permanently frustrated with everything except work.Though at least I have two more friends on my course this year,I think that will help.

In the meantime,I've got lots going on.Yesterday I got back from Bournemouth,where we went to the Air Show and also Monkey World in Dorset.A million people went to the Air Show apparantly.It was really good,and it was also great to be near the sea again.My favourite places in the world are on the waterfront (Oslo,Kiel,Flensburg,Levallois),and I find it a very calming influence.Actually I did feel quite chilled out this weekend,despite having bloody bad back pain,sunburn and a headache that made me feel sick.But more about that later.

Tomorrow,Keira is coming to Kent and we're going to see Gillingham play Blackburn in the Carling Cup.It's been a good 8 years since I last went to a football match,but I couldn't miss the chance of seeing Blackburn down here.Especially as a certain Morten Gamst Pedersen might be playing :) :) :) On Wednesday we're going to Ostend for the day.Ostend is obviously on the coast,so I should like that.There's also the added bonus of Belgian men being extremely good looking,so I should like that too.Also have to fit in a trip to the Hop Farm with Shabana and Emma while the weather is still nice,and then,the week after next,myself and Keira are off to Scotland :) And then it's just another 3 weeks before I go back to Surrey...

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Вперед, время!

Last night on Sky Arts (I don't normally watch it),they were showing Russian propaganda films.I guess maybe some people could be a bit offended by that,but I find all this Soviet stuff fascinating.Ignoring the messages behind them,I think they are a great art form.Soviet propaganda was used for many years,but the style remains pretty consistent,and I think the pictures and films alike are strangely intoxicating.As Westerners who've never lived through Communism,we could find all the "love the motherland" a bit lame and easy to mock,but I think in the right circumstances,it would be easy to be taken in by it all.This film,Vperyod Vremya (March on,Time) was on telly last night and is based on poems by Vladimir Mayakovsky.Mayakovsky was by no means a fan of the Soviet Union,but the film itself is typical Soviet propaganda style.It's colourful and brash,has a very romantic feel about it,and is at the same time very sinister.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Heia Norge!

So happy about Norway's 4-0 defeat of Scotland.Not because I have anything against Scotland (indeed I've been watching a lot of BBC Alba these days- can't beat a bit of Tir Is Teanga with the lovely Colin :) ).But Morten scored twice AND the gorgeous Per Ciljan Skjelbred who I've been in love with for at least 4 years actually got to play for like 3 minutes and was responsible for the free kick that led to the last goal.

Here is one happy blogger :)