Friday, December 28, 2007

Trying to count my blessings

Bad things:
Being sick for a week, thinking you're recovered, then relapsing even worse than you were before.
Missing your family and feeling lonely and sorry for yourself at Christmas.
About 4 measly hours of dull daylight per day.
Christmas television.
No appetite! At Christmas! The foodliest time of the year...
The ladybug infestation which is taking over the flat (true).
No flatmate to distract me from the bad tv and ladybugs.

Good things:
Spending Christmas Day with friends and a big group of lovely new people.
Playing sick scrabble (and winning!)
Sleeping about 11 hours a night.
A proper Wintry-Pine-smelling-Christmassy-Christmas tree.
Looking forward to New York in 2008!
Christmas television. It really isn't that bad. I have watched Monsters Inc, and Crocodile Dundee, and about a million old episodes of Friends.
Speaking of - friends looking after you when you're sick.
NYE in Bordeaux. Please God let me be recovered in time to appreciate all that wine.

Hope everybody has had a lovely Christmas and wishing you all a 2008 that is filled with love, bagels and adventure. Onwards and upwards, people.

Friday, December 14, 2007

90's gems rediscovered

God I love discovering some classic movie or artist which managed to slip under my radar while I was busy not existing/teething/obsessing about zits/pulling all-nighters at Uni. The latter applies here.

I got Rushmore in the mail the other night, and it is a serious contender for the title of My All Time Favourite Film (currently The Professional, or Leon as it is known over here).

I have seen many of Wes Anderson's later efforts - The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic* - but none of them have the wit, the grape-fruity freshness or the quirky verve of Rushmore. His later films feel a lot more contrived, and seem like they should be funnier than they are. But Rushmore - featuring a heart-felt nerd in Max - I loved. Possibly partly because I, myself, am a heart-felt nerd. And Bill Murray is great in it.


My flatmate, songstress that she is, has a vast and brilliant CD collection. I finally listened to the whole of Last Splash by the Breeders on the weekend, and damn if they didn't rock the 90's. I do love a bit of girl-rock (Liz Phair! Belly! Elastica! Wooo!). I really only knew Canonball, which is probably the sexiest song ever to feature the word "Cannonball", and Divine Hammer - but the whole album is full of dirty-loud goodness.

Go forth and watch/listen if you haven't already.

*Still worth seeing for the brilliant soundtracks alone.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Post-holiday daze

I am back from Melbourne after three glorious weeks, wrapped in a warm blanket of love from my family and friends to sustain me through the deep, dark London Winter. Which is not to say that I don't love my friends here; but Melbourne is my true home and will be forevermore. London suits me right now, and I will be here for at least another 7 months, but I am starting to think about heading home late next year.

It is strange, the time I spend back in Melbourne now. For the first days of my holiday I felt like Martin Guerre - struggling to feel like I belonged, feeling slightly oppressed by deeply familiar surroundings - despite my family welcoming me back with their usual love, manifested in bone-crushing hugs and random silliness.

After a shaky start, though, I started to really enjoy my time there and revelled in seeing old friends, basking in the sunshine, inhaling the sweet air and savouring every drop of tap water. Yes, tap water. Compared to London water, Melbourne water tastes like it is made from the tears of angels (they aren't salty like ours).

My time went by in a whirl of social engagements, which were spent breathlessly relaying the stories of our respective lives over the past year or more. Births, deaths and marriages, either real or rumoured. Home-purchasing, divorce, home-selling, new jobs. Religious revelations. Political persuasion featured a lot in conversations this trip, due to the looming election. Thank God Howard Is Out, is all I have to say on that divisive topic. One friend screen-printed her own climate change t-shirt (impressive). Another had a "Howard Exit" highway sign printed onto his top.

All up, I was very sad to leave. But the adjustment back into London hasn't been too bad, after the first extremely quiet weekend. The weather has been nice, which helps - the sun has actually made a few appearances. It is nice to see everyone here again, and there are many Christmas functions to look forward to. But I will miss everyone back home. I miss being more involved in their day-to-day lives, as opposed to the bi-annual flying visits where the babies have strangely mutated into walking, talking, tugging, emotionally-complex little creatures.

Ah well, there's always Facebook.
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