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!)
I'm melting, I'm melting...
Monday, 30 April 2007
Last night, while on the phone to a good friend, I received one of THOSE sms's. No, not the 2am booty-call sms's - the ones that strike fear into your heart.

"Can we call you - it's important. It's not your father, he's fine."

Great, so finally the taxman had arrived at my parents place - were going to prevent them from buying a house because of three late payments on a personal loan I had when I was 18...and they were officially disowning me.

"Sweety, I have to later."
"Sure" I typed - stay with me here peeps - to my parents, "am home and awake."

Moments later the phone rang. Mum said, "here's your father." and it all seemed terribly cryptic and brought out the paranoid in me.
"I didn't mean to, I hope you're not too disappointed in me, I promise it won't happen again, I don't know why I'm so irresponsible." I started to blurt.

Dad got in first.

"Your Nan died on Thursday."

Oh. Back to Mum.

"We only just found out because your uncle e-mailed your father at work - I made him come home. We're skyping your brother now..."
"So, I'm, like, the first to hear the gossip?"
"Yes Nomes, you're the first."
"Just checking all was still right with the world."

It's sick, I know. But my Dad's parents have had the monopoly on 'death' as it affects me. And since we moved away from England when I was 6, it affects me only in a very abstract manner. I went to stay with Nan and Grandad when I was 11. That was the first time I ever really got to know them a little bit.

Nan would get me to help her peel the potatoes and apples before making a pork roast. Always with the pork roasts. She was tiny, a small bent over woman (she wore hairnets!!!) - who smoked rollup cigarettes that she let me make with her little machine. It was a cool machine - once you'd figured out how to make it work properly. She must have been quite a fearful woman, as she did not want her husband to have "possibly life-giving" surgery when he was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach. Nor had she wanted to travel with his career (in the Army) so they had remained in Hertfordshire.

She came to stay with us when we were in the Middle East. She smoked A LOT at that time - and in a non-smoking house, it drove us to distraction.

Actually, it drove us to have 'family chats' out in the Dodge (car big enough for us all to sit in AND wave our arms about as we do) to try to vent pressure. We'd do as much as we could to limit our time we spent with her - she was crazy.

She called me Kate, because that was the name she wanted for me. She asked the Indian souq shop assistants for 'nigger brown' material. IN THE MIDDLE EAST!!!! She ate slowly. She wore those weird brown wrinkled pop socks (there is no other term for them) that bunch in an old ladies ankle. She usually had ash resting on her "nigger brown" blouses.

But she was still my ancestor. I feel bad that I haven't seen her since I was - ooh - about 15/16 maybe? That's how long it's been - I can't remember. Apparently, after she fell on a bus and broke her hip and went to hospital, she slowly went senile - so there was no reason to see her. And I'm not blaming my parents here - I never made one iota of effort either.

Still. It's sad. I don't know how to feel. I don't know what I feel. I want to sleep. A lot. Except at night, when I (apparently) want to wake up every 30mins. Maybe it's guilt. Maybe it's the upsetness of a family who's only method of communication for important things is work e-mail addresses. Maybe it's empathy for Dad - cos having just received my care package from Mum, I think I'd be distraught not to have one. Maybe it's because the old girl is having her funeral on my 30th birthday.

Ha ha ha. She got me.

Rest in peace Nan.

P.S. And yes, fyi, that IS how you turn someone else's death/loss/grief into a blog entry about yourself. I know - it's a talent I've spent all my life honing. No - you'll never come even remotely close. Mwahahahaha!

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posted by Nomes @ Monday, April 30, 2007  
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