Friday, June 23, 2006
And I'll have you know that I spent this allegedly monumentously joyous day on active mould duty as this apartment (told you I'd complain about it eventually) tries to pass itself off as The Best Little Sporehouse in Texas. Ugh.
I have work again, starting in July. So that should keep me out of mischief for the next 6 months or so. It's in the nearby town of Armentières, an interesting little town. Visually. I wouldn't want to live there. It's like a town whose glory days have passed, the grand edifices that marked when it was more vibrant, more active have been boarded up and abandoned, but not torn down. Like they're just waiting for the day they can be opened up, dusted down and live again. In other words, it's a shithole.
But the run-down look is pretty common in the Nord generally I guess. It used to be a mining and textile region, but coal mining went out of style, and - like many areas in France - good quality textiles became a thing of the past. So the factories closed, and the slag heaps grew green and sometimes became little ecological zones of interest.
The Nord has had to branch out in alternative areas to compensate, and health, technology and research have filled in the void to a significant degree. I hope though, that should the region ever rediscover its former prosperity, and a use for some of those old buildings, that they'll be kept as part of the local patrimony.
*Austalia Day, Australia's Happiest Day TM
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
So, obviously I'm home. For those of you who didn't twig that I'd left, well, I left, and now I'm home. I had an awful trip back. Awful. I met the Winner of 'My most annoying travel plane seat neighbour. Ever' on the Darwin Bombay/Mumbai section(I was in high school during the fall of the USSR, surely that exempts me from having to learn the changing name of any more cities/countries?). I met the second runner up on the Mumbai-London leg. Karma just never gives me a break. I should probably never go to India.
Introducing our winner - an incessant chatterer with 2 like-minded 6 year olds and overly developed magpie tendencies, collecting as much as possible of every object possible on the plane in the 8 hours available to her. Including a lot of my seat space, not to mention making overt advances towards adding my pillow to her rapidly expanding collection. And consistently breaching my personal taboo of 'never talk to me while I'm watching wildlife documentaries. Ever. Especially David Attenborough. Unless you want me to gind me teeth at you and start twitching'. I mean, the overt wearing of headphones HAS to be a pretty big clue too, right? Well, obviously not, because our runner up - the old fart from hell - didn't quite get that I might not want to be asked questions every 5 minutes after not having slept for about 24hours. Especially when the questions were upwards of 50% in Hindi. Even when I told him. Repeatedly. Including requests that he stop ramming his twice-the-legal-size-limit suitcase pointy legs into my ribs (oh, that might explain some of the aches actually).
God grant me an eject seat button and beware of overhead storage cabins. Maybe he was the most annoying after all. They both managed to get entirely different flight crews on entirely different flights tetchy enough to want to hiff them out the airlock. It's not only that I'm just intolerant.
So I get home to an empty fridge AND one less bottle of champagne. It was the Moët. The bf is, frankly, lucky to be alive. I think he is under the impression that having bought a new car last fortnight absolves him of pretty much everything, somehow.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
I got an iPod! Yes, I have finally joined the apple generation thanks to an old dear friend of mine (a lot dearer since he gave me an iPod) who was offloading his iPOd mini since he's upgraded (it has a battery glitch, but it seems to be going ok for the moment). So you've been warned. This is what I have learned. If I support you for a good decade of changing hairstyles, partners, sexual orientation, clothes (which are sometimes mine) and coffee, then I expect a technological offering at some point
Well, my ever shortening stay in the land of Oz is drawing to a close. As always it has made me laugh, made me cringe, made me nostalgic, made me yell at the television a lot (yes, thinking about not pumping raw sewage into the harbour MIGHT be an idea to start thinking about - Hello! Darwin Council? ARE YOU PAYING ANY ATTENTION?!). I've caught up with most all the people I wanted to see, and haven't run into anyone I really didn't. Really. Didn't. I've played tourist, I've played local, I've played outback delivery driver girl. I am - like many politicians up here - wearing many different hats. But now I'll put my beret back on...
Friday, June 09, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Want a tip on how to fix a recurring lens jam problem? Drop your camera onto the street. Really hard. If that didn't work, then what are you stupid? Why would you voluntarily drop your fragile bit of electronics onto tarmac?
Anyway, Temporary Techniques For Startling Your Camera Into Working Properly tips aside, I think I have to face the fact that my camera is getting old and weary, and my constant habit of shoving it into my handbag sans protective covering to let it fight it out with other accesories has taken its toll on the lens mechanism. I hope it'll stand up to the next two weeks as I've been viewing the Darwin and NT landscape with a new 'tourists' eye, where mounted buffalo heads in pubs, beat up 70s Holdens and heck, even Red Rooster fried chicken signs become potential fodder for the lens. I can even understand why people might like to photograph road trains.
One thing I have noticed is the modern architecture in the city centre, having being (mostly) faced with centuries-old buildings for the last couple of years. Posting online is time consuming, I'd forgotten how painfully long everything takes with dial-up.
I'd write more, but I've been forced into slave labour by my father, as usual.
Some local news: they're seriously considering heating up the local pools up here because 'nobody goes' in the dry season (ie now). Heated pools, in the tropics...
If I find out they're thinking of using anything but solar power to do it I may burst a blood vessel
Because all the talk hereabouts is about nuclear...and 'going nuclear' and building nuclear. And why? Because dear George 'nucular' W., clearly having heard some vague rumour about excessive fossil fuel consumption or some rubbish, thinks the solution lies this way. And here, in Australia, despite all this bloody sun just gadding about and sunburning the country, despite having a population 1/10th size of the US, whatever George can do, Australia should do too!