Tuesday, July 31, 2007

About bloody time

The UN should have sent a UN, not AU, peacekeeper force in YEARS AGO, 2003 would have not been too soon. There may not be enough of them, either.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Currently listening to....

Angels and Airwaves. For those of you who enjoyed "All the small things", and the more matured direction they took with the 2003 album, such as "I miss you", Tom DeLonge's post-Blink-182 venture features anthemic mantras of teenage angst and love and occasional actual enthusiasm ("The Adventure") over very competent pleasant soft rock, reminiscent of the Cure, U2 and, according to Scouse Doris, a 1970S prog rock band called Yes that I should probably check out.

Those of you who recommended Sigur Ros, you know who you are John B., may find A&A pleasant, in a more structured, teenagey way. Plus they're not singing in Icelandic. Although I quite like the Icelandic. I don't have a snowball's chance in Algeria of understanding it, so for once I don't try, and the vocals float about like another instrument. Quite restful, really.

I have a stinking cold but I've made chicken and leek soup out of some very fatty chicken wings, so if the rumours about the curative properties of schmaltz are true as the Jewish grandmothers always said, I should be right as rain in no time.

Friday, July 27, 2007

OK - review without spoilers

Well, it gets very much worse for Harry before it gets any better. You're going to need some hankies. The battle scenes are going to require some cutting-edge CGI work when the film is made. And a lot of mysteries are revealed, such as who dies, who ends up with who, and what's really up with Snape*.

But you all knew that.

However I was caught out by one element. All I can say is, Randall Sherman is going to find a particular scene of HP n° 7 extremely familiar indeed.

*IMHO the man needs a hot bath, some cocoa, and a few of my homecooked dinners, he'd perk right up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I have purchased the new Harry Potter. See you in a couple of days.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Alea iacta est again

From the finance point of view I could not have asked for a better interview. They asked me questions I could answer from my daily work. After my particularly thrilling exposé of the procedure for recovering funds from people who owe us money, which seemed to be received with every evidence of interest by the panel, if it had been appropriate to get up and run a little lap of honour around the interview room, whilst carrying a European flag and humming the Ode to Joy, and then slam dunk my coffee cup into the dustbin, I would have done so.

However I have muffed the Spanish a little. I was very nervous. I managed to blurt out that I can read it perfectly and I am attending the appropriate courses. I think they were satisfied that by next year I'll be able to work in it. I hope so anyway.

They said they thought they could confirm to me that I will get one of the countries I have asked for (yay!) but that they are running late with the interviews and so don't expect to be able to tell me which one until December (poot.)

I'm hoping I'll lose weight from nerves caused by the suspense, but it's probably more likely I shall take to chocolate to palliate the insecurity. This means I will blow outwards like a hot air balloon being inflated for air baptism rides at a provincial agricultural show. Teenage mothers will point me out in the street to their air-raid-siren offspring as a dreadful example of what happens to People With Ambition.

I can't influence it any further, but it ain't over until the fat lady sings.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I have taken two days off to study for this interview.

The Goth's Mariposa is kindly coming to lunch with me in Spanish twice this week. This in repayment for a favour I have done for the Goth that I'm not allowed to tell you about.
I have the manual of financial procedures for overseas funding.
I have the manual of financial procedures for the European Development Fund, in Spanish, and I have a handbag-sized paperback containing the 2005 revised version of Cotonou.
I have the general procurement manual for overseas funding.
I have a helpful little pamphlet on EU-South Pacific relations.

I have the Delegations' web pages for each of the countries in question.

And am I reading them? NO.

I'm tidying the kitchen, doing the washing, wondering what to put out for Mariposa's almuerzo, and, as you can see, procastiblogging.

I'll never get to meet this gentleman at this rate.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


My interview for Delegation has been set for 20th July.

I now have 10 days to learn how to talk intelligently about financing procedures in countries being encouraged towards regional integration processes, the reduction of vulnerability to natural disasters, the reduction in economic inequalities, through several budgetary mechanisms ranging from budgetary support to development projects, in Spanish as well as ye olde English and French, for at least half an hour.

I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

Excuse me, I have to go and swot.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bouncy Castles

Yes, I know I'm supposed to be studying, but...

Quarsan, who has hijacked MBIAT while Zoe is off you-know-whatting, is thinking of installing a bouncy castle in the garden. I'm not impressed with the choices he has found. He could get a much more risible feature, more pneumatic than even Kylie, second hand, and probably quite cheaply.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Dip Dop Crabtree, Sherman and Arthur Miller

Je ne sais pas quelle longue heure au blogroll m'est prise tellement Monsieur Crabtree. Il est particulièrement délicieux à le bilingue, comme nous pouvons passer les heures qui essayent d'établir ce que vraiment essayé pour dire avant Babelfish a obtenu à lui. Parfois il fait le cri à moi. Avec le rire.

Arthur Miller seems to have moved in with Sherman. A domestic tragedy has taken place, a father brought low, a spouse uninvolved, a secretary at fault. A reader ROFLing.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

How angels get wings

Tippler's boyish fantasy about a particularly unorthodox good deed that allows an angel, though somewhat fallen, to earn her wings, has triggered me to reveal to you a conversation I had a couple of Sundays ago.

A small child had been entrusted to us for the morning by her sporty and elegant mother, which explains the following exchange:

Small Child: "What are those flappy, wobbly bits under your arms?
Me (somewhat flabbergasted, and therefore operating entirely on reflex): Well, I'm trying to grow wings.
Me: Well, yes, you see you can't grow them overnight, it takes a bit of time, so this is just the beginning.
S.C. (horrified, but somewhat fascinated): How do you do it?
Me: Well, you go to the doctor, and she tells you what you need to do, and after a while you wake up one morning and there are these here wobbly bits (wobble them for effect) and then a bit later bones start to grow inside, and then eventually feather ducts grow in the skin, and then the feathers come out, and you can start learning to fly.
S.C.(turning to Scouse Doris for confirmation): Really? Is it true?
Scouse Doris (who has never, to my knowledge, actually lied) nods with a very serious look on her face.
S.C. thinks for a good 45 seconds, and then: That's NOT TRUE!

Well I can't think of any other explanation why I've got these (frankly rather modest) wobbly bits under my arms. So clearly it must be due to my impending ascension to a higher plane.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

New animals

Scouse Doris and I went out for lunch in Leuven and had a couple of glasses of wine. As a result a mother and child piéta of giraffes are now living in our sitting room. Unlike the pair in the photo, ours have leopardskin print cloth covers. The mother is about 1 meter 50 in height.

They look very surprised indeed.