Wednesday, 29 July 2009
After extensive testing the answer is a rather disappointing "No, I don't have swine flu". I say disappointing because at least I'd have had something to boast about after a week of misery. Worst of all it has cost me the chance to help out a friend in need. Each month, she eagerly awaits her copy of Vogue only to discover that the local supermarket has scrawled the price in ugly ballpoint across the cover. Naturally she asked the manager to desist from such vandalism, but he just looked at her though if she were fit to be sectioned.
Clearly it was time for direct action, and the plan was to unleash me in the shop sneezing, coughing and gobbing over customers and cream cakes alike!
But it turns out I'm not that poisonous. Moreover, my friend has since discovered that the kind lady at the newsagents is more than happy to provide her with her monthly Vogue in virgin condition!!
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Last Friday, when I flew from Amsterdam to Dublin, the stewards gave detailed information on how to avoid swine flu: use a handkerchief or your hands when sneezing or coughing, and always wash your hands afterwards. All good advice, I thought, but swine flu is something that happens to other people, not me. Well, fate had bitten me on the bum and I've got sick. My room is full of rubber gloves, masks, tamiflu and the large, yellow bin bag pictured above, which is for all my used paper handkerchiefs.
I feel like a one-woman germ warfare weapon!
Saturday, 18 July 2009
I'm thinking a lot about my friend David Solomon, who's teaching English to Palestinians in Abu Dis, a town next to the Wall that separates Palestine from Israel. David, who is Jewish, has been writing a blog about his experiences, which included a meeting with his staunchly Israeli cousin.
David writes: "When I broke down in tears talking to my cousin Peter in Jerusalem, this was a reaction to six days of unremitting intensity. Life is so intense here, there is no let up from it, nowhere to go. People are talking about the Situation all the time: the wall, soldiers, detentions, prisons, roadblocks. There is absolutely nowhere to go to escape it. I wonder if they feel this in Israel too? But at least there they have the kinds of escapism also available to people in Europe and the US: shopping, getting drunk, going to nightclubs, taking drugs, the beach, the sea. Here most of these things are not available, except of course sociability which is on a very high level. As I have said, this is one of the most friendly places I have ever been to in my whole life."
Photo: David. Check out the site here: http://abudisvolunteer.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
How I wish I could just chuck a couple of t-shirts into my suitcase, grab my toothbrush and set off happy and carefree on my hols. But I can't. Last night I even dreamt that I forgot my passport. No, spontaneity is not my middle name. Instead, I plan my packing with all the precision of a military operation. Fortunately Alfie, my traveling teddy, is always there with a helpful suggestion... which mostly consists of pouring myself a nice long drink!
Photo: Annie. Alfie with one his mates.
Saturday, 11 July 2009
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Saturday, 4 July 2009
This is a haunted picture. It contains rather more than you can see. The woman, Myra Hindley, is sharing a secret with her lover, Ian Brady. Here, she is acting as a marker indicating the position on this Northern English moor where she and Brady have just buried the latest of the children they tortured and murdered in the mid-1960s.
The child's remains have never been found despite numerous attempts to decipher this photograph. Hindley died in prison 2002; Brady is currently detained "at Her Majesty's Pleasure" in an institution for the criminally insane, where he refuses to divulge any information about the child's whereabouts.
Photo: Ian Brady
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Take a tip from the Chinese. Their word for "crisis" is made up of two ideograms: one meaning "risk" and the other "opportunity". Apparently they believe that both meanings are inextricably linked.
And where did I glean this little gem of wisdom? From the introduction to the 2010 Fall-Winter Fashion Collections, as published by French Vogue.
It's not for nothing that they call me "Profoundly Superficial"...