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Saturday, 11 October 2003
Les feuillage jaunissent

Master Park, Oxted

It was a pleasant autumn day in Oxted today. I took this photo on Master Park at about 15:30, facing north towards the church.  lil blue meanie went to a birthday party today - involving bowling and lunch. Afterwards she went to hang out in Master Park with her mates.  I was nagging her about going in warm clothes, etc. but really it was quite warm. It was about 18C at that time.

bluemeanie tells me she has been elected to the Surrey Youth Forum, as a representative of the Tandridge district. I think the forum consists of about 15 - 20 young people from across Surrey. Her first meeting is on Wednesday evening so perhaps we will hear more in due course.

flank sent me the following link which says that Mercury in fish is more dangerous than has recently been reported.  If you read to near the end of the article you will also see an interesting comment on the recent deaths during the heatwave in Europe.  Apparently air pollution is a big factor: this is noticable on a day-to-day, and city-to-city basis.

I spoke to dylan this week while he was in Paris.  He is doing a busabout tour of Europe.  He seems well and is enjoying it. On Thursday he sent a mail from Venice. He says Paris was ok, but got a bit boring after a few days after he had done everything he wanted to. He was raving about his latest stop:

venice however is just about the best place i could be right now and im sure rome will be the same. it is sooooooooooo beautiful here, it actually doesnt feel real walking over bridges and canals and seing the gondalas and being in st marco square with millions of pigeons and the beautiful old buildings and a small orchestra playing classical italian outside a cafe , its too amazing…and the food i cant even describe , but everyone thats been to italy knows

and

just had pistachio and banana ice cream and it was sooooooooooo good. will go on gondala this afternoon. (looking out for the scary little woman in the red rain coat).

I don’t understand this bit about the woman in the red rain coat - perhaps we are watching different movies, because the only one I can think of (the Hannibal Lector one) didn’t have a woman in a red rain coat. Did it?

Posted by bigblue on 11/10/2003 at 08:11 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (3) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Friday, 10 October 2003
Petite maman s’intèresse beaucoup au RWC

Rhine River

Bon anniversaire!  This week my house-mate anna-sofia celebrated her 22nd birthday.  Here she is (white cap) with her friend erieka, also from Sweden, crossing the Rhine into Germany [taken in July 2003].

Last night I travelled back from France to the UK. Therefore I spent most of the evening just across the border, at Baden-Baden airport, waiting for the other passengers (and airplane) to arrive, and listening to announcements like

Will all passengers for flight FR 9775 make
their way through passport control.

  The airport is so small it would be a disaster if everyone left it to the last minute.  There doesn�t seem to be much chance of that though � the enthusiasm and punctuality of the German passengers seems to match the anality of the announcers.  The other aspect of airports is of course listening to the conversations of your fellow travellers.  stuart brought along his laptop to play pinball and solitaire. In between we laugh and talk a bit.  The guy on the right says loudly into his phone:

I am actually at a place called Baden-Baden.

stuart laughs and looks at me. His response:

It is a bit like that. The other person says �Where�s that?� or you have to say �Nah, it�s not sarf ovva river�.

As stuart gave me a lift to Oxted from Stanstead Airport (1 hour drive), and he was travelling light (hand luggage only) I didn�t bring a suitcase. This saved us half an hour getting through Stanstead.  So I packed some dirty laundry into a small over-shoulder suitcase with my laptop.  Apparently the limit for hand luggage is 7 kgs. Mine weighed 10,5 kgs but they let me through. It can be a problem with these cheap (20 Euro) flights � they get pretty sticky with the rules and regulations.  Coming back they may not be so lenient, because they are pretty �jobsworth� in Stanstead. 

So today is the start of the RWC.  Can�t say that I�m particularly excited though. petite maman is of course, and she sent me a link to a TV schedule giving times and channels for a number of countries.

I was at her house-warming last weekend and must have said something because I had seen a print-out of the schedule on her TV. In the office today ashley, who is from Melbourne, was surprised when I mentioned the RWC. He didn�t know it was on, and isn�t interested in rugby at all.  Apparently they aren�t very big on the game down there.  I laugh Australia wins. His disinterest in this won�t go down very well in our international (though largely French) office.

Posted by bigblue on 10/10/2003 at 03:00 AM
Filed under: France • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Wednesday, 08 October 2003
J’habite

Chateau Fleckenstein, Alsace

So, where am I now? Above is a picture I took at (nearby) Chateau Fleckenstein.

I am posting from Haguenau, which Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described as:

“.... A quiet, quaint and ancient town
Among the green Alsatian hills,
A place of valleys, streams and mills,
Where Barbarossa’s castle, brown
With rust of centuries still looks down
On the broad, drowsy land below .... “

Posted by bigblue on 08/10/2003 at 06:20 PM
Filed under: France • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Tuesday, 07 October 2003
La verité, si je mens!

Vianden, Luxembourg

Here we go ... and here’s a recent photo from a day-trip to Vianden in Luxembourg.

Got this weblog up and running tonight.  Had a few problems. First I installed B2.  I didn’t like it too much - the look and feel was wrong, and I couldn’t easily delete my test posts.  This system should be better.  I’ll get around to enhancing the layout over time, but this is something that I can live with for now.

I don’t want to say much about the problems I have had with my webhost at this stage. Perhaps they were just teething problems.  If not, you will hear more from me about them in due course.

Posted by bigblue on 07/10/2003 at 11:47 PM
Filed under: EuropeLuxembourg • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
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