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!)
Monday, 2 October 2006
Friday night was delicious. There’s something so appealing about being out with a bunch of (predominantly) gay men. They’re all ‘lovely’, ‘fabulous’ and ‘darling’. The only downside is that when a straight guy comes and tries to join our group, guess who they target. Regardless of possibilities of acquiring ‘extras’, I simply wasn’t interested. Which is why I managed to obtain no fewer than three “pash cards” from the gay fellas (these are the “get out of jail cards” that one may require in the instance of unwanted ‘breeder’ attention). A 5:30am finish meant that I even made it home in the dark. First time in AGES. Thank goodness winter’s approaching and my chances of doing just that are increasing!

I’m developing a strange affliction that has peculiar results. Flatpackphilia.

Now, according to a few (now that my degrees have been formally ‘recognised’ and ‘similarly conferred’ by the nth Veterinary Faculty at Brno University) universities, I’m reasonably intelligent. Reasonably. However, somewhere between the world of intellect and real-life-smarts, something went slightly adrift.

Which is the ONLY explanation I can offer for my current situation (no Dad, I’m not pregnant).

See, a wee while ago, I decided I’d stop trying to live like an impoverished and bohemian artiste and actually sleep on a damned bed. This means that truth, beauty and above all love could actually have the potential to exist through means of nudity, sleep and well, the obvious.

So last month, I purchased a mattress, which I could lay over the top of the futon base I’ve been on since June. This mattress is 160 x 200cm, which meant it somewhat hung over the edges of the 140x180 futon base, but no matter. After the first few attempts of ‘perching’ which landed me on the floor with a bruised coccyx, I soon learnt.

This month, after the trip to Geneva, I thought I’d quickly pop out to Ikea and purchase the rest of my bed. Then: I’d be a real person (degrees recognised, almost a proper salary, AND a bed!).

After clearing my entire floor, washing my room down, and opening the flatpacks that were delivered early Saturday morning, I set to the construction bit. I hardly even swore: it was all easy. Suspiciously so. Once the bed was constructed, I looked at it and the bedside tables, which seemed ominously further apart than they had done. I retrieved the mattress from the bathroom (well, you try moving furniture in a tiny space like ours) and put it on the bed.

Alas, I’d gone from slippery sides to running boards.

Yes, this supposedly-smart-sassy-sex-symbol (I needed S’s – forgive me) managed to overestimate the size of the bed needed: and purchased one that was 180x200.

Were I in a country with a customer services industry (or charter/school/interest in etc.) then I would have immediately phoned them up, explained my moment of idiocy and asked them to suggest a solution that wouldn’t involve blue neon lights under the edges of the bed (in a cross between a disco bedroom and a boy racers wet dream). However, I’m not. So, I merely placed my (new cover!) duvet on the top, and applauded my sense in buying a bed which allows the duvet to tuck over the edges of the mattress and still fit within the confines of the bed base. Hoorah.

But, the bed that I now have is, well, large to say the least. In fact, it’s the same size as a small European principality. Thus, if I now allude to a ‘home-based grand prix’ you can all smirk. I shall refrain from referring to phrases such as ‘pole position’ though – I wouldn’t want to shock the father into atrial fibrillation!

I met a friend of a friend of a friends’ on Saturday afternoon, a charming kiwi/Czech (!?) lass who knows (via her flatmate) my oldest friend (from PRIMARY school) in NZ. We walked up Wenceslas Square marvelling at the number of police still around (following the ‘terrorist threat’ of last week). She mentioned that she still finds it disquieteningly weird (okay, my phrase, her description of the feeling) that the police here wear guns. I realised that I hadn’t even noticed – probably due to slight overexposure during the time we were in the Middle East, where if you wore a uniform, you probably also wore an M-16, loaded. I’m not sure which I prefer: a state of naivety (ignorance?) and surprise at seeing pistols on hips or my slightly more jaded perspective.

This Sunday has possibly been my best in Prague yet. I think it has to do with the (somewhat) phenomenal brunch I enjoyed at the behest of a new friend. She orchestrated it (thank goodness, my social organisation skills have run off with my dimension aptitude) which is how I found myself sitting in Café Savoy at 11:30am – perfect brunch time. At one point, we were the only ones in the place – recalling Joseph’s “this isn’t really a brunch kind of town, is it?” warning of yesterday. Apparently not.

However, I ordered (“dam si snidaně francousku prosim“) the french breakfast, while T had the English. Almost immediately the table was littered with the acoutrements of my brunch: croissant (buttery, crispy and squishy in equal measures), spreads (jams & butter), a bonbon (in it’s own sundae dish), cafe au lait (the most perfect latte I’ve experienced here to date), freshly squeezed orange juice, bread (sourdough: brown and white), french toast with maple syrup, an egg, french blue cheese, ham, sausage, lettuce and frenchfries (I left them – it seemed a little de trop!). After the consumption of which I just wanted to lie down and digest. All that for NZ18, 9E. Not quite to the same standard as the Berlin breakfast, but after a year of being too hungover/sleepy/still drunk on a Sunday morning, I was thrilled to have found it. And now all visitors will have to eat there too.

Since it was too rainy to ‘do’ Vyšehrad, we checked out the World Press Photo exhibition with a million other people instead. Then I was ready for more caffeine. So, I grabbed another latte from another ‘never-before-sampled’ café, only to find a) a hot barista and b) another delicious latte (hmmm…no secret ingredients one hopes). Interestingly (to me, at any rate) I learnt (when the hot barista came out from behind the counter) that I prefer my baristas in trousers than three-quarter-length pants. Who knew?

After this delightful, decadent sojourn into my old existence, it was time to return to the squalor and filth of the house (it’s our own fault, we simply haven’t cleaned much lately…eww!) to find that Joseph had braved the three thousand dishes that we (I) created last night imitating Gordon Ramsey. Despite (only) making broccoli soup (“look at the goodness in that!”) I managed to use no fewer than two mixers and three large saucepans. It wasn’t even that great (disappointingly – however, I’m still convinced the goose will be great for Christmas: to which Paul/Emily/Ems & Jo will hopefully attend!).

Having also watched Memoirs of a Geisha and the Inside Man (Clive Owen – swooooooon – he can rob my bank any day) this weekend; on the street today, I was torn between the idea of succeeding in committing ‘the best bank heist ever’ (from now on, there will be electronic ‘taps’ on my blog…beware) and seeing if I could make a man stop in his tracks “with just one look”. This resulted in three offers of assistance (clearly I looked as though I was lost – wrong ‘look’) and one person request for change, and some kid pointed at me and asked his Mama what was ‘wrong with that strange lady’. Not QUITE the tuk-tuk/chicken/bicycle collision of the movie world – but then, I wasn’t wearing a silk kimono.

Yeah, that was it.
posted by Nomes @ Monday, October 02, 2006  
  • At 10:40 am, October 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Nomes. I'm so EXTREMELY pleased they're finally recognising your PhD. I felt so disappointed / exasperated on your behalf when they didn't, and now, yay, they can recognise you as the Dr Boxall you are - how fabulous :) Your brunch, by the way, sounded delicious. Its lovely to hear you sounding chirpy again, and I wouldn't worry about your (enormous) bed - I think it'll be an even more marvellous piece of furniture for it. Big hugs, mx

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