Thursday, January 17, 2008


Cousinly love

I'd encourage any travellers, real or armchair, to check out my cousin Jane's regularly updated blog (she puts me to shame!) where she shares stories of her gap year journey through Asia.

Anna is staying with us! My lovely cousin has always been an inspiration. I'm taking much more of an interest in the family's meals: she's a veggie, and whereas this may seem a daunting prospect to some, I'm enjoying the challenge of creating meals under that limitation which we all enjoy, without wondering where the meat is. I took her on a mini-tour of St Albans, appreciating various historical landmarks but also doing some basic shopping. After India, she was amazed at how simple and easy it was to:

a) withdraw money
b) send postcards (queue up, buy stamps, stick them on and drop the cards in the letterbox outside - a 10 minute transaction here that in India would involve queueing at multiple counters)
c) buy a UK SIM card for a mobile - no registration required, we were in and out of the shop with her new number set up in less than 5 minutes.

We've been discussing social differences between Australia, where I lived for the last 2 years; England, where I'm from and she was born; and India, where she's spent several months. We were thinking about schools, and teaching, and changes in society - and I was surprised to come across this article - not from a source I'd normally read, but still an interesting topic from a teacher. My Mum is very well informed about the social changes in London, due to her working at one of the London hospitals.

How we use and create media sources is changing rapidly: I came across this post discussing the importance of social networking, a good summary of many trends I've observed.

The year in newsbreaks, from the New Yorker:
Without Comment.

Great name changes of English eccentrics:
Toasted T Cake, Daddy Fantastic, Jellyfish Mc-Saveloy and Mouth Who Wants to Know O'Mighty.

And finally, because we could all do with some sweetness and light:

This is the Tower of Ecthelion. If a candy tower could be measured in units
of pimpness, this candy tower would be off the f***ing charts. And if that
wasn’t pimp enough, in front you can clearly see the White Tree of Gondor,
which I made out of white chocolate pretzels. Give me my Nobel Prize now,
This is a quote describing a startling Christmas holiday project - the creation of the Battle of Pelennor Fields through the medium of sweets. This is from Lord of the Rings fans who last year brought you the Battle of Helm's Deep, also in candy (that's lollies, for any Australian readers.)

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