As of this moment, Project WeaponX (ask HyperHam, she decided on the name!) is due for delivery 15 January, 2011.
Mother is doing as well as can be expected – but tips for combatting morning sickness would be *highly* appreciated!
Ever since Hyperham moved in, life has pretty much been a non-stop whirlwind of relaxing on the sofa watching Dave, running around London, trash-talking each other and endlessly re-arranging stuff in the flat without actually deciding on anything. And tripping over socks and cables. It hasn’t helped that we’re also in the midst of some redesign projects at work, and I’ve volunteered for more late nights elsewhere (exciting details to come later!)
and I am *exhausted*. Sleep has never come so easily in my life before – hell, some nights, we’re in bed snoring away by 10pm. Especially at weekends. Which has severely cut into my social media time… Yet, people keep commenting that I look healthy and happy. Which sounds rather bizarre to me, because I’m usually looking at them with weary lidded eyes.
And yet, I must also show Hyperham the glory that is the United Kingdom, especially now that Spring has arrived.
Apparently, Hong Kong is all a twitter about the sit-in demonstrations (complete with riot police and pepper spray) that have been taking place as the Hong Kong Legislative Council rubber-stamped a decision to build a high-speed railway line through Hong Kong to China, demolishing ancient villages in the process. (Interestingly, the official Chinese news state agency thinks the protestors barely deserve half a sentence in their report).
Anyway, cnngo.com had a photo-essay featuring the village at the heart of the railway line, and it’s rather striking how it looks an awful lot like the village my parents grew up. Even if I haven’t been back there in 20 years.
Oh, while we’re here, 50 reasosn why Hong Kong is fab. Now if only I spoke Cantonese…
The scene is from that seminal street movie Breakin’ (the first movie all about Breakdancing) and the actress is Lucinda Dickey. Lovely lady though I’m sure she is, I can’t figure out why I had a crush on her. There were/are a huge number of “glam American” movies extolling the delights of living in a fantasy street-savvy America, so why she turned my tender young head/heart, I have no idea. And she’s not my usual type. Although she is cute. Fortunately, she’s still retained her looks today.
Thanks to the futuristic technology of YouTube, you can also watch the entire film online – or just the trailer, which has enough Lucinda Dickey goodness.
Around September 1992, I went to Bradford University (with a year off for good behaviour). And instead of doing the sensible thing like going to lectures, going home and then going to the pub, I did the insanely stupid thing of throwing myself headfirst (and very foolishly and naively) into student media/union life, alongside fellow students who seemed to take the Union far more seriously than I did.
Fast forward 17 years, and thanks to Mosh (who patently has nothing better to do), he sent me scurrying down the research hallways of the Web and Wikipedia to deduce that in those 17 years:
But most important of all …
Back in 1994/5, I ended up setting up the Bradford University Union website, back when most people didn’t even know what a website was. Somehow, I was given Lifetime Membership of said Union as a reward, although I’ve never been back since to claim my discount pints. And for all the confusing clutter that it has today, it still has the name I gave it back in 1994 – UBU Online.
However, I shall now shut up (chorus: too late), lest I become yet another one of those sad people who relive their student days through golden-tinted specs, and are so compelled to write themselves into the story of a student media radio station that they set up their own amateur press agency. Yes, Simon Sheikh, I mean you. I’ve been trying to figure out why he wanted to add me on Facebook.
With my glamorous international air travel lifestyle, I’ve been trapped on an airport or plane numerous times.
One time, I was at Philadelphia Airport when it was snowing outside. Despite the blizzard conditions, they still insisted the flight was going to take off, so we all schlepped onto the plane at 8pm. Which remained standing still at the gate, while my ridiculously tall seat neighbour tried in vain to find a comfortable position. An hour later, they started the film, while we were still standing at the gate watching the snow swirl outside. Two hours later, they started the on-board meal service – while we were still at the gate, watching men on the wing vainly try to sweep the snow off. At 3am, they finally conceded defeat, and we all trooped off the plane, to finally arrive at some stupidly plush hotel at 5am to sleep. 24 hours later, we were back on the same plane, in the same seat, shown the same film and given the same meal. Although at least this time we were in the air.
Of course, there’s also the last time I was in the US, where I was stuck at JFK Airport for 18 hours…
Still, none of this compares to the 50 passengers stuck on a Continental plane overnight by an airport gate, with no food and overflowing toilets, because most of the airport security staff had gone home.
While Mr McLaren (who I didn’t know at the time) took pics from his student union, I was a bit older – earning a wage in fact. So I decided to splash out and get to Cornwall the only way that was possible from London.
For the princely sum of £100 (which was very expensive in those days, but now is the average price of a ticket to Leeds), I could get a seat on the Solar Eclipse Express, a specially commissioned train that would get people from London Paddington to Penzance, in Cornwall to watch this once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event. (The next UK total eclipse being in 2090.
Of course, what we got for our £100 was a knackered ye olde train that had probably previously seen service during Agatha Christie’s era. Full of very sleepy, slightly grouchy passengers who weren’t looking forward to a six-hour train ride to Cornwall.
But somehow, the train wheezed past Paddington, and eventually arrived in Cornwall – to incredibly cloudy skies. You couldn’t really see much of anything in the sky – and the landscape was full of day-tripping tourists like me looking upwards for any sign of sun.
And when the time of totality came, it got dark. It got darker. People oooh’ed. Birds stopped crowing. Street lights came on – finally answering the question as to whether they had light sensors or not. People whispered.
Then it got lighter again – far more quickly than when it’d gotten dark.
And that was the solar eclipse. I was also trapped in Penzance for another six hours before the train back – and there’s only so many Cornish pasties you can munch on.