an eye for the mundane

Monthly Archives: November 2003

we went to marwell zoo today. it’s our favourite local(ish) zoo.
it was chucking it down with rain and very cold, but we decided to do the British thing and go anyway.
here is kez in the car on the way there:
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one advantage of going on such a horrible day was that there was hardly anyone else there. this meant all the animals were really excited to see us ! The penguins were in an especially showy-offy mood:
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All the giraffes were shelting in their house, so i was able to get some close ups
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we all got very wet:
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kids love umbrellas:
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Here are some more animals:
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and here are some wallabies. also known as ‘wobbalies’ (esther) and ‘big mouses’ (kezia):
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Marwell Zoo is usually excellent for getting great animal shots, but the low light level and the fact most of them were hiding behind glass in their warm beds reduced the quality considerably !

the british museum is a great dry shortcut when it’s raining. it was drizzling today so i walked through. i always try and take a slightly different route through to see what i can see. Best of all it’s free and they don’t mind you taking photos.
today I saw the Rosetta Stone and some weird head thing.
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there was also a map of London from the 1750s. Where i’m sitting now was just fields back then:
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(click for big version)
The cool thing is that the George Bush Memorial walk was (mostly) possible back then too. perhaps some blogger from the 1750s proposed a similar walk for visiting dignatories making a state visit to the centre of the empire.

did you know there is a secret petition thing going on ?
check out this previous entry.
It was this that lead me to disable the display of email addresses on comments as i didn’t think it a great idea for me to be publishing young girls’ email addresses.
i’m going to write to the TV company and see what i can find out what they plan to do for the under 16s …

here is a device on the wall in the men’s toilets near the business lounge at Tegel Airport. it’s obviously measuring something, but what ?
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(click for big version)
Travelling is an education. whilst waiting for the plane i learnt how to grow very long parsnips (use a drain pipe) and whilst flying I learnt how to transport pets to australia (use a specialist company – allow for around £1000 per pet including flights (via Bangkok) and quaranteen).

remember this dog from Tegel airport ? The picture i took last time was quite simply rubbish as i’d taken it from the reverse side of the door and the lighting was all wrong. my bastest photoshopping still wasn’t good enough.
this evening i refound the cafe where the sign was last time and it was still there. i climbed across a customer and caputered this photo in all it’s glory.
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i was very pleased to get this photo and can only apologise for the poor quality of my previous attempt

berlin is famous (on this blog) for having fantastic transportation items chained up in the street. you may remember the flourescent bike from my last trip.
i wasn’t extremely happy to see this tricycle chained up to a lamp post. this would certainly be exempt from the London Congestion Charge
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the hotel i stayed in (and where the conference was) was called the Hotel Espanade. it was very nice indeed. here is a picture of a hallway and my room.
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rumour has it that this is the hotel where Michael Jackson dangled his baby out the window ! i’ve not been able to confirm this (jacko’s lawyers aren’t answering their phones at the moment for some reason)
there was some celebrity thing going on as there was a camera crew out the front of the hotel. I suspect it was some German celeb and i wouldn’t have recognised them anway. so i took a photo of the camera man instead.
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i was invited along by two colleagues for a meal and some drinks in the evening which was very good. it was weird going back to Berlin after only being there is September and i was quite impressed with myself for remembering how the different bits fitted together.
here are some sites (including a little bit of Christmas)
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(this is the outside of the inside). i did pop in to the church and there was an organist doing his thing which was very nice.

so, what have i been doing for the last day and a half ?
well, i went to a leaving do at oftel as some of my old colleagues from when i worked there are leaving Oftel.
here are my good friends/colleagues Phil and Keith. They mentored me when i first joined Oftel and i owe them tons for all the info and background on technical stuff they provided.
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not pictured are roy and roberto who were also leaving.
i caught up with a few other people i hadn’t seen for ages including this chap called Ally who i used to work with. it’s brilliant when you bump in to people you haven’t seen for ages.
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unfortunately i only stayed there for an hour as i had to rush off to get my flight to berlin. i had a real bad case of Beer Bladder on the way to the airport as there weren’t any toilets on the Heathrow Express. i managed, but only just !

last night whilst walking back to the train station i was listening to an FM radio. However, i experienced electro-magnetic fluctuations which caused the channel to become unlistenable. what else could this have been other than Bush’s secret agents secretly communicating ?
i’ve had enough of all this excitement, so i’ve decided to go to Berlin for 25 hours. It’s a business trip of the worst kind – fly to berlin, taxi to hotel, sleep, get up early for conference, taxi to airport, fly home. no site-seeing for me this time.
i’m not even taking my computer so there may be no blog updates until tomorrow (thursday) pm !

it’s quite easy to spot which hotel Bush’s people are staying in. It’s the dozens of police in flourescent jackets at the front of the hotels, the multitude of black cars with black windows, the odd stretched limo (!) and piles of very big blokes in very big suits standing around trying to look natural ! Usually there is nothing but a doorman and the odd taxi.
here is some rubbish i found in the street. i’m sure there’s a story behind it. maybe there’s an urban legend that if you mix beer and toothpaste you get high or something ? i’m sure 14 years olds would believe that !
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here’s another broken joke for you
a broken joke is a joke so well know from childhood that you can ‘break it’ and it still makes some sort of sense – but only if you know the original, so apologies if this is a culturally non inclusive
so eyes down, here we go:
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a man goes in a chip shop and says “can i have two portions of fish and chips please”
the shop owner replies “i heard you the first time”.
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