Sunday, October 29, 2006

Jamie's 31st Birthday

On Friday night, we celebrated Jamie's 31st birthday in a Turksih restaurant Tas at London Bridge. It was nice meeting again with Dan and Julie, Seema and Jamie. Last time we saw them was this summer in July for a BBQ at Dan and Julie's. It's shame funny guy Barry could not make it, Barry is Jamie's childhood best friend... and so half way through dinner Jamie realised that exactly 10 years ago, Barry could not make it for his 21st party and that he celebrated with just Dan and Alex... and in fact me too). We never reminisced about the old days, but we were quite taken by the fact that Alex, Dan and Jamie have been mates for over 10 years, and Alex and I a couple for over 10 years and although back then we did not know Julie and Seema, somewhere else in the UK, Julie and Seema were already best friends and would end up marrying into this friendship (Julie started dating Dan 6 or 7 years ago and that's how Jamie met Seema). That's brilliant, that we've been friends for so long and how things turned up so cool for all of us, and how we still haven't changed.

We also made plans to see each other more often, so we've booked New Year's Eve 2007 and New Year Eve 2008 and next Friday a dinner party at Jamie's and on Saturday celebrating Guy Fox Bonfire at Dan's sisters and dinner at our place for Alex birthday and of course, I made sure they booked their agenda for my upcoming 30th birthday party. Lots to look forward to!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Life on Mars?

A very lovely melody with mad lyrics from David Bowie. I liked the melody so much I went to look for the lyrics, but a whole different lyrics appeared on screen. Did he write two songs with the same title. Apparently he did, he wrote a gorgeous love song along the musique of French song "Comme d'habitude", better known in America for the Elvis/Sinatra version "I did it my way".

The hand that wrote this letter
Sweeps the pillow clean.
So rest your head and read a treasured dream.
I care for no one else but you.
I tear my soul to cease the pain.
I think maybe you feel the same,What can we do?
I'm not quite sure what we're supposed to do.
So I've been writing just for you.
They say your life is going very well.
They say you sparkle like a different girl.
But something tells me that you hide
When all the world is warm and tired.
You cry a little in the dark,Well so do I.
I'm not quite sure what you're supposed to say,
But I can see it's not okay.
He makes you laugh
He brings you out in style.
He treats you well
And makes you up real fine.
And when he's strong,
He's strong for you.
And when you kiss
It's something new.
But did you ever call my name
Just by mistake?
I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do.
So I'll just write some love to you.

However, the super lovely melody with the same song title by the same artisit has much more morose lyrics to it: but if you close your mind and just listen to the music, it takes you on a magical journey to Mars.

It's a God awful small affairTo the girl with the mousey hair,
But her mummy is yelling, "No!"And her daddy has told her to go,
But her friend is no where to be seen.
Now she walks through her sunken dreamTo the seats with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen,But the film is sadd'ning bore
For she's lived it ten times or more.
She could spit in the eyes of foolsAs they ask her to focus onSailorsFighting in the dance hall.
Oh man!Look at those cavemen go.It's the freakiest show.
Take a look at the lawman Beating up the wrong guy.
Oh man!Wonder if he'll ever know He's in the best selling show.
Is there life on Mars?
It's on America's tortured browThat Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow.
Now the workers have struck for fame'Cause Lennon's on sale again.
See the mice in their million hordesFrom Ibeza to the Norfolk Broads.
Rule Britannia is out of bounds To my mother, my dog, and clowns,
But the film is a sadd'ning bore'Cause I wrote it ten times or more.
It's about to be writ again As I ask you to focus onSailorsFighting in the dance hall.
Oh man!Look at those cavemen go.It's the freakiest show.
Take a look at the lawman Beating up the wrong guy.
Oh man!Wonder if he'll ever knowHe's in the best selling show.
Is there life on Mars?

... and I wonder why David put such ugly lyrics on this beautiful melody, but I guess it's the madness that usually accompanies genius.

Busy Waterloo Station

On Friday night, I was going to London to meet with the girls at All Bar One, I arrived in Waterloo station at 6.30 PM and there was a swarm of people, mostly business people going home, but also tourists and people of all ages going out like me. There were old people, young people, people with children, fat ones, skinny ones, fashion over-kill ones, and those for whom fashion is probably an exotic fruit. All of them had one thing in common they were rushing or running through the station to find their trains. And so I chose a slow song to listen to (Guillemots - Made up love song #43) and decided to walk very slowly through that rushing crowd - it felt funny, it felt like when you watch a movie in fast forward, or like a strange dream where you can't tell what's going on around you. The result was exhilarating, a cool experience.


The best show ever, if possible. It is funnier than the film itself! The musical version of the Monty Python’s and the Holy Grail, produced by Eric Idle, a former Monty Python’s actor. The scene was great, the decors were very Monty Python’s typical cartoonish designs seen mostly in their flying circus TV series. Tim Curry was absolutely brilliant as King Arthur, he is such a great actor and I did not know how well he could sing. Although he was made famous for the musical “Rocky Picture Show”, I only knew him for (often silly) roles in movies.
Sir Galahad was the pretty vain boy, who flicks her hair a lot, Sir Lancelot comes out of the closet (which solves the issue of Guinevere having an affair with him), the Lady of the Lake was a super cool and sexy drama Queen, Sir Francis a sissy scaredy-cat… and of course the French taunters were excellent and Alex bought me the Tee-shirt ‘Fetchez la Vache’ which I wear proudly! Anyone who reads this, please take a minute to book your tickets for the show, or make a trip to London (or Broadway) to watch the show, it is that worth it. I know I want to go back there every month, if finances allow until they stop playing! The songs were funny, the acting was funny and the story was silly. A terrific and hilarious show!


Today is Diwali, also referred to as Deepavali, depending on whether you are Indie or Tamil. Diwali was what it was called when I lived in Utah Pradesh, India and Deepavali is its name in Malaysia. Both countries celebrate the Hindu holiday of Light or fire, depending on the interpretations. However the party in India was a whole lot more fun. People would throw buckets full of paints at each other the whole day long, sometimes, it would take days for the paint to wash off our hair, skin and clothes, it was like a day-long water balloon fight, you're soaking wet and dripping with reds, yellows, blues, greens and purples. In the evening, everyone would light up candles and the whole place would be illuminated with the hundreds and thousands of candles.

Diwali Christmas 2002However, to me, Diwali will always be our lovely (late) Irish Setter. When we came back from India in 1987, we moved to a lovely town in Brittany and both Julien and I were off to a normal school and my dad was still traveling a lot for his work, so my mom who worked part time wanted a pet to keep her company. So it was a few weeks before Christmas that my dad brought her that cute clumsy silly and adorable 3-weeks old Irish setter. Maman named her Diwali, for her beautiful 'Fire' colour, a very appropriate name.
Diwali with Papa on the beach of Royan in late Summer 2002
Maman would walk Diwali to the beach everyday and even in the cold winter that silly dog would throw herself in the sea and shake off the water right next to us. And whenever we called her to 'come back' or 'come here' she would run even further away. My grandpa Papi Nono adopted her when we resumed our travels in 1990. He trained her to be an excellent hound dog, which is her breed. Whenever I came back home, she systematically behaved like a puppy, which proves that dogs have good memories. Miss her loads. Today, my parents remembered her too, because they were walking with an English couple who have two Irish setters, and were reminiscing about the good old Diwali.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Christmas is early this year

Actually, I have more interesting posts to make then get all excited about FF-XII, like sharing my new fascination with Japan, sharing the listing of my favourite music albums ever and commenting on the actual listing of best albums of all time, or sharing my travel plans for 2007 and how stressed I am at work and that when I'm stressed I make mistake, which is obviously even more stressful. But all these will have to wait. Internet was down lately and tomorrow night, Alex is taking me out to watch Spamalot the West End Musical of the Holy Grail by Eric Idle, former Monty Python actor; and Friday night is catching up with the girls whom I can hardly wait to see.

Christmas is early this year. For starters, we still have a lovely weather way into October, which is nice; then BBC is releasing their amazing documentary DVD Planet Earth, so I booked the DVD and will receive it in the mail on December 1st. If you get to buy/rent the DVD in your countries I highly recommend it. It contains amazing scenery and wild life of our planet and is accompanied with beautiful music from Sigur Ros, a band from Iceland. It is so mesmerizing and poignant that it almost brings tears to the eye. And still in the "Christmas is early" series, my favourite author, Terry Pratchett has released his latest book "Wintersmith" and tonight I found out that the new instalment of my favourite game is being released soon. I feel a bit silly getting so excited like a little kid about a game, a book and a documentary but hey whatever works, right?

Final Fantasy XII is coming out!

At last, the very much awaited game of the deceny is coming out. I had lost any hope to ever see the game but tonight I looked it up and the release is due October 31st!!! I have been awaiting this game since I completed FFX-II in November 2003. Since then the last game I played was Xenosaga II and Brotherhood of Steel, that was over 20 months ago.
To my Darling and to myself, I promise that:
1. I shall not hog the TV
2. I shall not hurry home from work to play my game
3. I shall not make lame excuses and cancel seeing my friends just so that I can continue playing
4. I shall not obsess about the game
5. I shall not miss interesting and intelligent documentaries
6. I shall not forget to maitain my blog

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ha ha! That's what love is.

I was quite interested in this article published in the Saturday Times on 07/10, so I though
t I'd share it with you all. It was actually an article about how or why people deal with their finances and one way to make people spend is to raise their levels of oxytocin. I hope this is something that will not be used because I am already guillible enough. But I was mostly glad to have an explanation of why sometimes to a very few people in the world I felt like I could trust them and tell them everything about myself... and later wonder why on Earth did I do that, well one explanation, one word: oxytocin. I'm satisfied with the answer. When you are aware of something it is easier to mind it in the future, if I feel compelled to tell my whole life to someone, I'll be able to moderate it because I'll know it's the oxytocin acting up.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hever Castle

On Sunday, we did not have any plans. I wanted to go for a walk by the seaside, so on the recommendation of Alex' friend we decided to drive to a small place called Rye on the English Channel. Half way there, it was past lunch time and we decided to stop in the lovely country side of Kent to have a pub lunch, while driving through charming little villages we were led to Hever Castle.

The 13th Century castle of the famous Kent countryside was the home of Anne Boleyn, Henry the VIII's second wife. The place comes right out of a fairy tale. It has a maze made of Yew trees and a water maze which sprays water according to where one steps. The castle looked very large from up the hill but was the size of a large house up close.

The lake was beautiful especially with the perfect clear blue sky reflecting on its surface. The walk up to the lake is lovely, I could imagine very well how the queens of Henry VIII must have been charmed by the place. I imagined, they occupied their time by taking walks long the garden to the lake and spending their afternoons in the spring and summer nursing the rose garden.

It was a very lovely Sunday and I look forward to our next spontaneous expedition to the English countryside or seaside.

Unreported World

I watched Channel 4 Unreported world about the illegal immigration in South Africa and the crime rate ensuing. It makes me a bit upset to know that my friends live in these conditions, but they don't seem to mind. It's normal for them. A few weeks ago, my colleague said he as driving out to lunch with his client and his car got caught in a shooting, he considered himself lucky that his car was not hijacked and his client not injured. the cute Alison also seems oblivious to the problem, and they are all a very happy bunch of people. It is a very good attitude, if you have to live with the problem you might as well not let it stop you from being happy and leading as normal a life as you can. I don't know why it surprises me though because that's pretty much how we made it through our years in India.

Anyway, if the Western world thought that immigration is a problem in their country, wait to read this:

This reminds me that I have yet to watch the Oscar winning Foreign-film 'Totsi' from South Africa about a man who steals a car with a baby in the car and facing a reality-check.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


my colleague from the danish office, Klaus the Viking
I was up in Oslo for three days this week. Unfortunately I did not see much of the beautiful Nordic city. I arrived late on the Tuesday night, Wednesday was a 18-hour business day and on Thursday night I was too exhausted to drag myself out. Indeed, Wednesday was very busy, we were at the exhibition at 8am and I stopped talking and demonstrating the products at 7pm. This is what I call a successful day when one can put in 11 hours straight and not feel tired, the clients were really good, asking questions and showing a genuine interest. At one point I realised that I had gathered a crowd of 9 people and I did not feel intimidated.

That night, there was the gala dinner, Klaus meand I sat at the table of the largest store in Norway, although we were not seating with our product category manager, it was interesting to find out how these category managers work. What I liked best is that they have their own corporate drinking song!!! So we were all invited to stand on our chairs with a glass of Jagermeister and sing along loud and proud the corporate song. I reckon we should have one too, since drinking is an important requirement where I work. When I suggested it to my boss, he said, any song and any drink is our corporate identity. hi hi hi.

Top 100 Cartoons

Last Sunday night there was a cool show on TV about the 100 best cartoons ever, I did not necessarily agree with their ranking, I should have written this update sooner 'cos I cannot report what their top five was, but No.2 was Family guy, a show I was not familiar with, but Alex say it is very good indeed and bought the DVD for me to watch, and no.1 was The Simpsons. My top 10 favourite cartoons would have to be:
10. Winnie the Pooh (I know they are not meant for me but they are cute and entertaining)
9. Nicky Larson (City Hunter in English) a very silly cartoon in the late 80's about a slizzy detective - very funny show that was.
8. Futurama
7. Who framed Roger Rabbit
6. The Beauty and the Beast
5. The Jungle Book
4. The Incredibles
3. The Nightmare before Christmas
2. The Simpsons
1. Shrek I & II

The Rose

Last Saturday night I met up with Sarah, Alison, Nicky, Orla and our respective partners at Alison's new flat, a very lovely two bedrooms, cosy garden flat, overlooking a well-kept flower court and with a roof terrace with a view across South London. I volunteered to be the designated driver, and I must admit that I enjoyed the evening very well without drinking.

Orla, John, Alex and I stayed back at Ali's while the rest of them went ahead to party, we had a fun chat about their house hunt and nurtured a silly conversation about sailing up and down the Thames from our place to their dream home.

Later we drove to the club, but the place was full and we had to queue, as we could not be bothered we walked accross the road to the Rose, a pub where our friend Griff worked evenings same time last year when I arrived in London and lived with Sarah and Orla. Griff now owns the Rose and he is doing much better for himself, it was very nice to see him in better spirits. Also, it was great when I walked in that pub and that I knew so many people, who all remembered me and cared about what happened to me in the last 9 months they had not seen me. It made me feel... grateful.

It was a lovely night out and I enjoyed going out as couples as much as going out just the girls. Next meeting will be with the girls only but sometime in early November, we'll have another comedy club night out. I should also invite them over now that my flat is fully furnished and cosy.