Monday, 30 October 2006

website of the day

What is your website of the day? Tell me what you are reading at the moment. I am looking at the Real Simple website. Who can resist (err, Paul, maybe?) a website that advertises meals that almost cook themselves, at home beauty products, and the best upright vacuum cleaners? Heehee.

Saturday, 28 October 2006

shape magazine recipes

I love Shape magazine. You may have already realised this from the links bar. It's their 25th anniversary and they've published a list of their twenty-five best recipes. I may try the yogurt mint marinated chicken this weekend since I have a pot of plain yogurt in the fridge at the moment. And also the roasted herb salmon sounds within my ability range as well.

round-up of my week

I had a lovely week off. It was so relaxed I didn't even blog. Shocking! I went to work on Monday. On Tuesday it was my birthday and Ant and I went to the Formula One exhibition at the Design Museum--my choice! It was really neat to read about the history of the cars and how their design has evolved. Designing an F1 car now is a huge business with a big team of engineers.

This is Michael Schumacher's 2004 Ferarri car.

To get to the Design Museum we walked along by Tower Bridge and through some quaint back streets.

I stayed Tuesday night with Naomi and Rhona, which was fantastic. We made a delicious dinner (well, the girls made it and I watched) and chatted most of the night about weddings and the like.

On Wednesday Justin and I took ourselves off to Oxford.

Unfortunately it was wet and cold there, but we did see some lovely buildings. Justin had not been before, so it was well worth it.

We visited Christ Church College, which was stunning. The quad is huge and the buildings are gorgeous. The cathedral was open and a service was just starting as we went in. So we were two of four congregants for a short communion service from the Book of Common Prayer. It was lovely to sit and hear the words in a beautiful building.

In Oxford we made sure to stop and see the Einstein blackboard at the Museum of the History of Science.

I believe this says something about the rate of expansion of the universe (D) and the density of the universe (rho). It's from a lecture he gave at Oxford.

After my day of wet and cold walking I was exhausted. On Thursday I lay about the house and relaxed. I surfed the web and watched TV and general loafed around while Ant was away. I cooked myself a prawn pasta sauce since Ant wasn't around to pretend gag at me.

I met up with Owen, a colleague from last year for coffee and then lunch. We chatted about maths and our situations. I got lots of good ideas from him, as usual.

And yesterday Ant and I went out to see April's band, The Fly By Nights. They were brilliant and the other two bands that played were good as well, most notably a Blondie tribute band called The Parallel Lines. The gig was in a studio in Hackney (North London). We were typical London partiers: a drink at the smoky club around the corner first, practically stuck together in the tiny studio, a tube ride home, and a kebab picked up on the way at a little shop by the bus stop.

Thursday, 26 October 2006

answers to some questions

I've been a bit confused about the violence in Budapest lately. it's been only partly covered by our news media, so I never seem to get the full picture sorted out. Here's a BBC FAQ about the whole thing that helped a bit.

Saturday, 21 October 2006

news to me

Apparently one internet user in ten has a blog now. Are you one? Or do you enjoy your surfing time by reading others' writings? Why not leave me a comment to say you have been? I see from the map on the sidebar that I have quite a few more visitors than make their voices known. So even a little peep would be a pleasure to hear. :)

Click on the comments link (at the end of this post on the right) and let me know you're here. You don't have to be a Blogger member. When you get to the comments page, click on "Other" if you'd like to leave me your name, or "Anonymous" if you'd prefer not to. Let me ask some questions to get you started. (Thanks to Sonya for the idea.) Please choose one or more to answer.

1. What's a good film (or TV show) you've seen recently?

2. What's your favourite fruit and why? If you could describe yourself as a fruit which one would it be? :)

3. What are you reading at the moment?

4. Do you think that a messy desk/room means a tidy mind? Or would you prefer to leave me an anti-clutter tip?

Thursday, 19 October 2006

"it's not immediately clear"

NewScientist reports that a working cloaking device has been produced in the US. It cloaks an object from microwaves, and so far only in 2D. It's the size of a movie reel and it cloaks a copper ring from one specific frequency of microwaves. Scientists say that building a cloaking device for visible light frequencies is currenly beyond nanotechnology possiblilties.

"It's not yet clear that you're going to get the invisibility that everyone thinks about with Harry Potter's cloak or the Star Trek cloaking device," says David Smith of Duke University.

Sunday, 15 October 2006

religious clothing debate

Recently in the news we have been hearing about a British Airways employee who has been asked to hide her cross necklace under her uniform. She is threatening to sue the company. They allow hijab and turbans, and they are discriminating against Christians in their request. Have a look at the debate on the BBC website. Many people have commented, including Muslims showing support for her. One has pointed out that many Christians think it is Muslims who are against their religious expression, but the commenter believes it is the atheists that are driving the anti-religious feeling. The employee has stated that she feels a particularly anti-Christian sentiment at work, not simply anti-religious.

Saturday, 14 October 2006

modern conveniences

I wanted to dry my hair today. I think because it is a bit colder now and having wet hair gives me the chills. But our flat is converted from an old house and there are not plugs everywhere you want them, particularly near the mirror. But that wouldn't stop me, oh no! Being a modern woman, I turned on my web cam and dried my hair at my desk!

Friday, 13 October 2006


Jayme and Donald were married last weekend in Miramichi, NB. What a beautiful wedding it was, at least it looks it in the pictures. I wish them so much happiness as they start out together in Canada.

Tuesday, 10 October 2006


Ant and I managed to pull off a little Thanksgiving dinner last night. Ant was the impetus for it, buying us a little roasting chicken with sage stuffing. We made roast potatoes, roast parsnips, boiled potatoes, honey glazed carrots, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and gravy. With the help of a store-bought pastry I made a pumpkin pie. We were so pleased about having pulled it all off! This was the first Thanksgiving that I have managed to celebrate away from home. It was well worth the trouble. And I took leftovers and pie to school today. Everyone in the staffroom who tried some pie liked it.

Sunday, 8 October 2006

baking muffins

My dad is a famous muffin maker. He has so many muffin cookbooks that he has an index book to help him find the muffin recipe he wants. I, however, have only one muffin recipe. I use it for everything. I like it because (a) it has hardly any sugar, (b) it has hardly any oil, (c) it contains lots of oats--and I make it even healthier by putting in oats and bran, (d) it only requires one mixing bowl, speeding up both the preparation and the washing up. Here it is. It's from the More with Less cookbook.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Mix together in large bowl:
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 T baking powder

Stir in:
1 c oats
1 c chocolate chips (or 1/2 c raisins or anything else that you fancy)

3 T oil
1 egg, beaten
1 c milk

Stir only until combined. Fill muffin cups and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Saturday, 7 October 2006

working on the weekend

Last weekend I didn't do any school work. My Monday was horrendous. I have vowed never to let it happen again. Sadly, that now means my Saturday morning is boring and work-ish. Blech. What did I expect? I hope it's worth it.

Friday, 6 October 2006

book club

I have joined a book club. I found it through the Canada Network after I went to the Canada Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square. I joined the mailing list and found out when the next meeting was. Then I went out and bought the book they were reading for the October meeting: Two Lives by Vikram Seth. I managed to read 400 of the 500 pages before the meeting this Wednesday.

We met at a little wine bar and restaurant called the Cork and Bottle in Leiscester Square. I knew the street it was on, but couldn't see it anywhere. I even asked a kebab vendor on the street about it but he didn't recognise the name. After a few more minutes of seaching, I located its tiny shop front--right next door to the kebab shop! I don't know how the vendor didn't know it and I'm surprised I missed it too when I asked him.

The group was quite small, and I'm told it usually averages around 8 people. We ordered a bottle of wine and I got a plateful of salads (yum; mozzarella, tomato, and basil; Greek with huge feta pieces; and chickpea and roast vegetables). The discussion ranged over numerous topics, using the book as a jumping off point several times.

The memoir focuses on Vikram's Uncle Shanti and Aunt Henny. They met in Berlin in the early thirties after Shanti moved there to study. He boarded at Henny's mother's house. Henny emigrated to England before the war, and Shanti, now qualified as a dentist, joined the British army. They met again when Shanti settled down in London and started a practice, even though he had lost an arm in the war. They didn't marry until they were forty.

We talked about whether their marriage was based on companionship more than passionate love. We sympathised with Shanti who lived a heart-broken nine years after Henny died. We were intrigued by the way both of them cut ties with their home country. To a group of Canadian women in London that seemed especially poignant.

Our next book is Booker prize-winning The Sea by John Banville. So I'll be out this weekend picking up my copy.

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

new for October

1. Chilly weather in the morning. I am not cycling in shorts anymore.
2. Ant's bike has been stolen (again). So he is less mobile.
3. The marking pile is tightening its grip on me. Its cobra-like qualities never cease to amaze me.
4. I am glad now that I bought cycle lights in the summer. Although it's not dark yet, but dusky on my way home.
5. I realised (in advance this year!) that Thanksgiving is coming up next week. What to do, what to do?

Sunday, 1 October 2006

Canada gathering

Yesterday Justin hosted a small Canadian social party. The food was imported by him or obtained from the Canada Shop in Covent Garden. I had a delicious glass of Canada Dry and this lovely Oreo cookie milkshake. The European Oreo box declares that it is the "World's Number One Biscuit!"

Not a great picture, but you get the idea. I also had a mug of Tim's English toffee cappuccino, carrot cake, and a mountain of carrot sticks with dip, all not in that order.