Monday, May 10, 2010

Archived for the nation ...

I spent a really interesting day on Friday at the Science Museum large object store at Wroughton where Karen and I's project An Artists' Impression is now to live. Aside from the fascinating insight into life as a conservator for the museum (!) I was really struck by the amazing display of wild cowslips growing all over the enormous site!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

First cut flowers of the season

These are my first floral harvest from Abbey Gardens this year. I grew the aquilegia from seeds taken from my late Father-in-law's allotment.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Get over it ...

Lunch La Isleta
Originally uploaded by Nina Pope
This trip to Spain has been my road to recovery in more ways than a bit of Sun. It has also seen a return to seafood after a particularly nasty food poisoning 'incident' some weeks ago I felt to weak too recount at the time!

Some mussels, kindly purchased and deliciously prepared by Mr P&M (from that seafood stall near Hackney Central incase you are wondering) resulted in the most virulent food poisoning I have ever experienced. I was the second to go down with it and perhaps therefore a little underprepared. Getting up in the morning I felt a bit 'odd' and thought I'd just sit down for a minute on the spare bed. When what could have been anytime later I came to cold and sweaty lying on the carpet I just figured I'd forgotten lying down.
I returned to bed to join the first victim, who was disgruntled that I was no longer able to bring up hot drinks. Some hours later, it became clear from what can only be described as a huge strip of carpet burn on my forehead, that I must have passed out rather than sitting down. Later that week when I finally crawled into work even careful fringe management couldn't disguise the damage and I decided to mention it upfront in tutorials rather than leaving the students to speculate on the cause.

This week on the fantastic Cabo de Gata I finally ate another mussel, surrounded by other delicious seafood. That evening, on a very odd camp site, any problems lying down were only caused by the fact I'd let the batteries on the auto-air-bed-inflator run down.

"Green" Travel

Ferry Dog Deck :-(
Originally uploaded by Nina Pope
Since that last posting leaving Hackney has become pretty hard: The car never returned (now presummed stolen); I was knocked off my bike (I was fine, bike was not) and the overland train that normally takes us anywhere has packed up for months (no doubt part of 'Olympic preparations' a current catch all for anything buggered in the East End) so going anywhere by green means or otherwise has been pretty tricky.
In search of some flight-guilt-free sun and time off from the leaking P&M roof, we have been to Spain for Easter by boat. Yes, by boat and that means across the Bay of Biscay - the reputation of which failed to reach me prior to booking. Once we had the tickets everyone we know of course wanted to relate the nightmare they have had on this particular stretch of sea so why should I hold back?
Basically I had been 'off colour' prior to departure anyway so at the first lurch about 5 minutes out of Portsmouth I took to my internal cabin mini-bed, and there I basically stayed for the entire 24 hrs of heaving up and down. My only trip out was at around dawn onto the 'dog deck' to see a couple of the poor confused animals illegally running in circles around their owners on the helipad. They can surely have been the only things feeling worse than me! As we disembarked in Santander I would have happily bought a flight back on the spot ... And yet I type this now on a sunny return deck, 3 hours in and I'm risking a small glass of wine with olives ... This is more what I had in mind.

A quick postcript to the bike/car saga was that the repairs to my bike cost almost exactly the same as the insurance money we got for the Saab -(£250) and not quite as much as two ferry tickets to Spain. The price of green travel it seems.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Saab Sadness

Saab Sadness
Originally uploaded by Nina Pope
Have you seen this car parked on a Hackney Road near you!? Sadly I haven't ...

After a few days of disbelief I have had to accept that our much loved Saab, has, it seems, been stolen from near the P&M household.

Or was it? The whole saga has fuelled a rather paranoid "****ing council" element to my personality which I would rather not have encountered.
The saga began on the 19th of this month when I stepped out to drive over to Abbey Gardens and found that where I had left it a week or so earlier on Valentine Road there was now a series of road works and no car. After some rather worried calls to the council car pound etc. it seemed no one knew what had become of the car.
The next morning we took the approach of just directly asking the road works team what had happened. They gave us a scribbled address of where it had been lifted to and sure enough I found it in a disabled bay on Holcroft Road, I drove it back and parked on Poole Road a short distance from the road works.
A few days later I again went to find the car and found it gone, assuming the same thing must have happened (despite it not being in the road works area) I again went round the council car loop and no one had a record of moving it ... but come to that the company that must have moved it the week before also denied that.

Anyway to cut a very long saga short ... we have eventually had to accept that it was really stolen this time - or if it wasn't we will never find out where it was moved to until it's too late!

If it is parked on your road do let me know ... as I said to the police "I'm not saying the council stole the car I'm just saying it's all a little bit odd".

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's over ... Oh no it isn't ...

Oh yes it really is ...

The last piece of Christmas Cake really does mean for the home-worker that the holiday spirit is over and you might as well knuckle down for January.

As is now traditional in the P&M extended family we went to one of the last Panto performances at the truly fantastic Hackney Empire. So fantastic this year (Clive Rowe as the Dame is just the best) I just sent them some fan mail - I don't suppose it will cheer them up, if I think facing my January admin is bad what must the staff there feel like?

Guess what I got for Christmas?

Christmas flask!
Originally uploaded by Nina Pope
I also went to Mull ... very nice too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Florists VPL

Gill & Pam with Karen & I
Originally uploaded by Nina Pope
This week in Jaywick I learnt that "can you see my Oasis?" is basically the flower arrangers equivalent of "does my bum look big in this?".

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Mull Historical Society

I love a local gig nevermind a "homecoming" and Colin Macintyre didn't disappoint last night in Tobermory. You can't really knock a gig where the support band look about 14, but are actually pretty good, and the audience are either about that age or over 50. I particularly enjoyed the way folk shouted out "well done" in between songs (without irony). Karen has a special way of saying this learnt at guides or something ... Perhaps it's a Scottish thing.

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