Saturday, January 26, 2008


I'm not sure when an outbreak turns into a plague or when a plague turns into an epidemic. But, notwithstanding this, I'm willing to call it now that the number of weddings scheduled for 2008 has reached epidemic proportions. I'm almost scared to check my gmail and facebook messages these days for fear that another one of my friends has decided to get hitched later this year.

Of course, I'm always delighted when my friends manage to bag themselves a keeper in the romantic stakes. But my big problem is that with so many weddings scheduled for this year, I can't attend them all. It's mostly my own fault, of course, spending this marriage-friendly year in the wrong hemisphere, but it's still frustrating having to write emails apologising for being a bad friend and not being able to attend that special engagement party, wedding ceremony or reception. I tell you, it sucks. I'm down to make one wedding-related trip back to Oz later this year in September. And I'm ducking over to Italy for another wedding in June. But further intercontinental coupling-related travel is unfortunately beyond my means.

Luckily, I can confirm that I won't be getting married this year. So I'm not going to have to test any friendships by asking people to make like geese and travel north for the summer. Not that you're not welcome to visit of course - please do come, you're always welcome. Except you. You know who you are. Just kidding. You can come too if you like.

To finish off this rant, I would just like to say CONGRATULATIONS to my excellent mates Tom and Jenny who have just welcomed their first child into the world - Lara Clare (nice name, huh?). Top work Mr and Mrs Small. Can't wait to admire your handiwork in person later in the year. To all you other couples out there - don't feel pressured, there's no rush, you've only just gotten engaged - children can wait for a little while yet.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A new painting for 2008

Here's my first art work of 2008. Well, technically, apart from a few white dots, it was mostly painted over Christmas 2007, but since it's mostly white dots anyway, I think the work done in 2008 was significant enough to call this a 2008 painting. So what do you think? Honestly, when it was 3/4 done, I was pretty disappointed with it. But with the fourth row of dots, I think something happened and now I quite like it.

Anyway, this is the way it was painted.

But some people think it looks better this way.

Which do you prefer?

Friday, January 4, 2008

New years resolutions

Blogging more is one of my new years resolutions and, as with most people, you can expect me to start off full of enthusiasm and then basically go missing from the first week of February. Anyway, there will hopefully be a few January-postings on this site before things start to go terribly wrong.

I was lucky enough to spend NYE 2007 in Paris. Last year I was in Harare, so I've started a good run of special locations for seeing in the New Year. I'm definitely going to have to plan something equally cool for NYE 2008, but since my name isn't Joyce, I won't start planning it just yet ... Anyway, back to Paris, it was my first visit to the French capital (I'm still a stranger to most of Europe, somewhat embarrassingly) but it certainly won't be my last. I was very, very impressed. The town is just beautiful - everywhere you look you see breathtaking architecture. And it's all so close together! Walk for half an hour in any direction and you will pass stunning churches, amazing restaurants offering fresh oysters and flowing champagne, incredible galleries full of renaissance and impressionist masterpieces and a seemingly never-ending selection of shops selling high-end, French and surprisingly hideous fashion.

In the four days I was there, I ate a lot. And I walked a lot too, partly to balance out the pastry eating and partly because there was so much I wanted to see. And I drank a lot, because I was thirsty after all that walking and, hey, it was New Years after all. The only downside was the queuing to get into the Notre Dame and the Louvre and the restaurants and, well, pretty much everywhere else. It's always my least favourite part about going to any popular destination, but it's a good way to learn tolerance for your fellow human beings. Not that my tolerance levels are that impressive, but I'm working on it. And everyone needs more than one New Years resolution to break. So, if the world is listening, January is the time to test my patience because from the first week of February, I'm sure that my fuse is going to be getting extremely short again.

My last resolution is to be better at remembering things and, in particular, peoples names so I don't have to keep on being reintroduced. Usually it takes me about 6 meetings to get someone's name down. Before you think that I'm rude and arrogant, it doesn't mean I've forgotten them - I can usually remember most things about them like what they do for work, who they're friends with, what we talked about last time we met, but I just can't remember names. So I'm going to try and improve that. And in the meantime, I'm going to stick with my tactic of calling everyone mate.