Welcome to the UK…

They were initially bemused by the complexity of bus timetables, bin collections and—most of all—by the changeable weather. “In our country, when it’s summer, it’s summer,” says Ziead Alsaouah, Mr Batak’s son-in-law.

—The Economist | After the exodus


I had a very similar reaction to the weather when I moved here 8 years ago.

North India, where I spent the first 24 years of my life, has a very predictable weather. When it’s summer, it’s hot and dry for months on end. When it’s the rain season, it’s raining almost every day for a month. And when winter arrives, it’s bitterly cold, mostly dry, and frequently foggy (recently smoggy) for months on end.

Contrast that to the weather here on the island – it’s common to have at least two seasons in a day. Three’s not uncommon either. We had two months of constant dry, warm summers this year, and it’s already caused a mild panic. If we get a week of snow in the winter, news bulletins are full of ‘snowcalypse’ references.

It’s unsettling, at least initially, for people coming from places with stable, ‘continental’ weather patterns. Where culture, life, traditions, activities are based on the season, what do we do when the seasons just aren’t anymore?

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Mama mía!

Colin Firth was once asked what he would like to hear from God upon arriving in heaven. “I personally thought you were very good in ‘Mamma Mia!’”

Saw the new, second one last night, and enjoyed it just like the first one, and the play.

They should screen these in open lots, so people can dance along to the songs. I sure wanted to 🙂

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain - on life vs lazy
Anthony Bourdain – on life vs lazy

Some people leave a mark.

I have never met Anthony. I have never seen any of his TV shows. I have just read one of his books – Kitchen Confidential. I gave it 3 stars.

And yet, I’ve found him hard to forget since I finished the book. He has a way, with words, and a personality that makes him hard to forget. He should not be likeable, it’s hard to sympathise for him, he’s often an asshole, and very much proud of it. Yet, he’s also appealing, and often, surprisingly, likeable.

I guess his charm comes from embodying the hard bits of our lives – the grime, the slime, the hard knocks, the sweat, the wrong calls – and taking them on the chin (or dishing them out), casually. Like most of us do, yet refuse to accept that we do.

There were parts of his book where I wanted to punch him in the face, and ask him to shut his hole, and write something useful. There were other parts that I didn’t want to end. And then there were a few that I bookmarked for frequent return.

He seems my kind of screwed up guy. A guy I would love to know. A guy I would even love to hate to work with.

Continue reading Anthony Bourdain