The Adventure Continues...

Rants, raves and random observations from an itinerant epidemiologist.

100 in 1000
  1. Spend a week up a mountain learning to ski
  2. Visit Karoline's place in Moravia
  3. Hold a conversation in Czech (only)
  4. Drink 500ml of each of the following beers:
    1. Pilsner
    2. Staroprammen
    3. Budvar
    4. Velke Popovice
    5. U Fleku
    6. Gambrinus
    7. Krusovice
  5. Respond to at least one GOARN request (WHO and MSF are also acceptable)
  6. Travel across the Atlantic
  7. Return to South America
  8. Read a book to, or with, an impressionably aged child
  9. Participate in one NanoWriMo Challenge and come within at least 10,000 words of the goal length
  10. Have my nose pierced
  11. Have my next tattoo drawn
  12. Purchase the perfect jeans (x 2 pairs)
  13. Attend a spin class 3 times a week for 8 consecutive weeks
  14. Bake Viv's cheesecake
  15. Make David's casserole
  16. Make David's Chicken Cashew-nut Stirfry
  17. Invite 4 people who don't know one another too well to dinner
  18. Ride from Vienna to Venice on a motorbike (pillion acceptable, those less desirable)
  19. Attend a book group for at least two books
  20. Go on a choir weekend (learn and perform difficult piece in two/three days)
  21. Visit Madame Tussaud's (in London)
  22. Take an architecture appreciation course
  23. Join an all-girl group and sing a solo
  24. Publish in a scientific journal (top two authors)
  25. Cook a duck or other 'waterfowl'.
  26. Locate the Al-Timimi's from Doha Veterinary Practise
  27. Have a pedicure
  28. Maintain a Brazilian (ouch) for three months.
  29. Find a trustworthy Czech hairdresser
  30. Treat my inner-6-year-old twice a week (at least)
  31. Do the liver-cleansing diet properly (12 weeks)
  32. Don't eat out for one month
  33. Find a flat and flatmate
  34. Purchase one Joseph sweater
  35. Purchase one of the following pairs of designer shoes (they MUST also be COMFORTABLE, and be able to be worn with 4 different outfits and 2 types of occasion): Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahniks, Christian Louboutin (Ebay or 2nd hand are acceptable)
  36. Send 5 books to the booksphere and track them.
  37. Go hanggliding
  38. Read 10 'classic' books (from 1001 Books to Read before you Die)
    1. Moll Flanders
    2. Everything is illuminated
    3. Madam Bovary
    4. Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance
    5. Catch-22
    6. Odysseus
    7. On the Road
  1. Run (non-stop!) for 5kms outside (preferably in a street race thingy)
  2. Send Christmas Cards on time
  3. Make a collage/mural out of street lights on my wall
  4. Buy a bed, build it, and sleep soundly in it
  5. Go to Africa
  6. Host an 'event' (classified as and when)
  7. Organise a 30th Birthday Party
  8. Wear a costume
  9. Sing on stage
  10. Buy a painting that evokes memories of Prague (cannot involve queues!)
  11. Learn a god-damned card game that stays in my memory (other than fish/snap)
  12. See sunrise. Be sober. Have woken for it. Excludes months Nov-Mar
  13. Take a walk and flip coins at each intersection
  14. Win something
  15. Draft a will
  16. Take a roadtrip
  17. Go to Italy already
  18. Sea Kayak around Abel Tasman Park (NZ)
  19. Get plants
  20. Take a train to another Eastern European Destination (accession countries are acceptable) alone preferably.
  21. Get UK to give me a provisional motorcyclists license and simultaneously get a 'card' license.
  22. Go SCUBA diving again - at least two dives lasting 30mins each.
  23. Go to a dentist. *sigh*
  24. Do a Czech Wine Trail. And live to tell the tale
  25. Make an 'outbreak emergency kit'.
  26. Go to bed prior to 11pm every night (inc weekends) for four consecutive weeks.
  27. Marvel over lack of tiredness
  28. Dine at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant (or Nobu)- preferably for free.
  29. Bet on the nags
  30. Do something for charity (applying and getting a 'red card' will count)
  31. Walk along the Champs Elysee
  32. Do 100 sit ups in a row
  33. Do 50 pressups (arms in tight)
  34. Make branston pickle (or nearest substitute)
  35. Cook something 'new' and 'adventurous' at least once a month
  36. Find a mentor
  37. Be a mentor
  38. Learn what mentoring is all about
  39. Meet an online person in real life
  40. Resist the flirt. Once. Just one night. It's okay if people don't immediately succumb to my natural charm. Really it is.
  41. Spend time at a spa (spa towns in the CR don't count)
  42. Send a care package to someone
  43. Get a Tata Bojs CD
  45. Order new contact lenses.
  46. Make a list of things I take with me when I pack for different occasions
  47. Eat lobster. Prepared by someone else.
  48. Back up the blog
  49. Put everything onto an external hard drive
  50. Find a DDR mat and console and 'dance, I say dance!'�
  51. Go to the beach and lie on the warm sand. For an hour. (with sunscreen on, natch)
  52. Take and complete a course in either: Tango, Salsa or Flamenco
  53. Join the Municipal Library of Prague
  54. Move to another country
  55. Go to a live concert of a band I actually like
  56. Pay off debts (student loan excl.)
  57. Send thank you cards for every gift I receive (other than the gift of happiness, blah blah blah).
  58. Get an agent (literary or theatre)
  59. Go to a sports bar without cringing, by personal choice
  60. Ride a rollercoaster
  61. Hold a snake
  62. Spend a day wandering around a museum (not art gallery!)
From a daughters perspective
Monday, 19 June 2006
The women in my family are almost certifiable (confirm at your peril - we may be insane, but we're very protective too!); recently there's been another incident of "loggerheads". Most of us (to date) have either married and left home, run away, or ‘gone tertiary’ between the ages of 16 and 19.

In our family, (and I have an Attenboroughesque voice saying, ‘as on the savannah’ in my head!) this is a matter of survival: a daughter will surely commit matricide if she resides in her mother’s domain any longer – and who knows what the mother will commit.

This is because we’re strikingly similar: headstrong, stubborn, wilful, ambitious, determined. All those ‘describing words’ that are look good on the CV if you’re a money-hungry CFO – but aren’t really personal characteristics typical of ‘peace-agreement’ negotiators.

So: we pack our stuff (sometimes the mothers do this) and we leave.

A few weeks ago, one of our mothers told one of our daughters that she has to go, that she’ll not be welcome back. It’s sad, but somewhat inevitable.

I’m not going to take sides (it’s unfair to do so, I can't be objective: I AM a daughter, I haven’t one of my own!), but I want them both to know that I love them dearly. One’s my sister-cousin, and always will be. The other is my girl, my little-sister-who-isn’t – in the same way I’m my sister-cousin’s little-sister-who-isn’t.

And so I wish cool-tempers (ha ha ha ha ha ha) upon them both (who the hell am I trying to kid?). Luce, I hope you get into the college you want and start thinking about the future. SC, I hope things are more peaceful now. And if you manage to keep a healthy distance (Mum and I like it at around about 5000miles, right Mum?) who knows what might happen with your relationship in the future. It can only heal. Albeit slowly.

Having been piggy-in-the-middle/triangle-girl on Friday night (hence BIG tears, random txts to NZ, calling flaky boy and snarky txts to those I stormed out on), and given the heatwave that’s currently over us (I’m not complaining - not really - I just wish I had suitable shoes!), my mind is reminiscing over summer days at the beach, on li-lo’s, washing in and out of the waves, or lying in the sun, or throwing a ball around in the shallows, or picnics in parks, or soundshell evenings, or wine on balconies.

It may be time to investigate swimming pools. They’re called ‘bazens’ here (sounds like ‘basins’) which is a little off-putting. But apparently there are some watering holes up around the river (what’s a weir? Answered here!) that may beg exploration.

It was free-museum night on Saturday. Apparently, this annual event is a great place to pick up get some culture. A bunch of us (Adam, TLR, The-Charming-David and Marcus) checked out the Narodni Gallerie for an hour. Saw the French stuff again, the cubist things and my Orpheus. Now, having done a bit more research, I find I AM drawn to Woman with a Guitar – but I’m still not drawn to Cubism in general (esp. furniture: bleeeee!). And I found that if you un-focus your eyes, you can actually see some of what might have been the original scenario that resulted in such an oblique canvas by Picasso. But it hurts.

Home early on Saturday *gasp* (by early, I mean 2:30ish!) having visited our Herna (and witnessed, once again, the sleepiness of Adam!) then a leisurely wake up on Sunday, complete with breakfast at ‘the globe’ (which always makes me wonder whether I should keep an eye out for Peter Parker…even though the marvel directory assures me that it was the "daily globe") then shopping.

By the end of the shopping disaster (I hate flat sandals *whinge*) I was ready to hang up my basket of food and get the hell out. Especially when we saw the queues at Carrefour.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I may as well remind those in the civilised world (express lanes, 10-items-or-less lanes; wherefore art thou?) that one of the most lingering (and soul-destroying) remnants of the soviet era is the queuing. Apparently, if you don’t queue for something, then perhaps you don’t really deserve it. Maybe, when faced with so much (still new) choice, people dither about whether it’s an impulse purchase by the time they make the checkout…and therefore need ample time to come to their senses!?

Despite the supermarkets having been designed by some architect/engineer to have banks of checkouts, stretching as far as the eye can see, only two of them will ever be operational. And then, the operator will be inept. SERIOUSLY inept. Swipe the yoghurt over the laser TEN TIMES to hear the beep, rather than picking up your second IDENTICAL yoghurt and giving that a go instead, inept.

I’ve clearly been completely spoilt for choice in NZ (understandably; it’s so bloody green they had to turn EVERYTHING into an edible item, simply to have reason to clear space for infrastructure etc.) but why is it so hard to get baby spinach here!?!?!

Anyway. There I was, fuming to Adam about this sort of thing, when the woman in front of us turned and said, “would you mind just shutting up about it?”

What. The. Prague?!?!!?!??!

I’m sorry, did you miss that whole revolution for freedom of speech thing? Are you telling me, in my language, to be quiet in your supermarket?!!?!? Aren’t you supposed to be passive-aggressive instead of simply-aggressive? And where the hell did you get your crappy haircut/dye job…because I think you should be complaining to THEM not to me!

Completely shocked and aback-taken, Adam and I kind of looked askance of one another and then sniggered to ourselves and cursed her using her shopping. “May your 8L of ice cream be mush and full of ice crystals when you refreeze it, may your breath be as smelly as the 2ks of day-old-out-of-the-fridge emmentaal, and may your arteries harden instantly as you deep fry your family bag of hranolky.”

Who’s the passive aggressive one now, huh bee-arch!?

But hey! The weirdos people at girls with hairy arms think I'm sexy (according to their flicker comment!) - and that can't be a bad thing. Or can it?

Most surreal Saturday moment? Discussing a bisexual friend whom both A and I think is hot...and who gets to try...
posted by Nomes @ Monday, June 19, 2006  
  • At 12:03 am, June 20, 2006, Blogger Mums said…

    Hi GNomes,

    Your last comment was a definitely TMI one for the ageds!

    You're right about distance lending enchantment, though as you rightly point out, we learnt this lesson early on in the piece (peace). Mind you , you did help by making your Father angry enough to lock the doors against you - I know you remember it well!

    I know that everything will turn out well eventually, but these things do take time. Hell, if we can manage it, so can they.

    Talking about being spoilt by New Zealand, even here in Australia we are missing NZ. Seems the unions have such a strangled hold here that nothing is imported if there is an Australian product. Consequently we get no summer fruit now that it is winter - because, obviously it doesn't grow here at this time of year. Talk about archaic. We're so used to being able to get strawberries at any time of year, that I'm totally nonplussed by only being able to buy apples and bullet pears. Not only that but they are definitely not export quality, so very very rough, yuk. I know it's bitching for the sake of it, but I do hope these new IR Laws will change things here - they came into being in NZ over 20 years ago with the Lange government. Which just shows how far in advance NZ is than OZ. Who knew?

    Todays weather is bleak, coupled with the workmen levelling the ground behind our house, I am full of joy. Still at least I'll be travelling soon. Looking forward to seeing you and your place in Prague - and if we meet the same woman in the checkout queue she may get more than she bargained for! You never mentioned the fact that together we women are definitely formidable!!

    Speak to you soon, love, Mums

  • At 6:27 am, June 20, 2006, Blogger Mums said…

    Hi GNomes,

    I must rid myself of this compulsion to read all your links. All it does is show me the deficits in your education. I can't believe you had to look up weir.

    I can remember walking by the weir in my youth, always wondering if I'd fall in and be crushed against the gates. I know that did happen to a friend of mine, so they had to open the gates to get her body out. Nice morbid stuff, just right for an eight year old.

    I just don't want to know what liking Orpheus of the Underworld says about you......

    And as for Marvel comics - they are perhaps more your Father's era than mine. I came to them lately - in my twenties, so I guess that makes you much the same as me (oh no, what have I just said???)

    Hey, what's with this not having the right shoes - how dare you and call your self female?? I can see some serious shoe shopping coming on when I reach Prague. Or is that the problem? Well, we'll have Saturday 19th August, so we'll just have to hit Ipswich - poor Ipswich, doesn't know what it's got coming!

    Gotogo, Love Mums

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