It doesn't get any better than this

On a passing visit to London yesterday, I came across Art. Not a Monet, not a Warhol, and certainly not a Da Vinci. But I did see a Banksy with mine own little eyeballs! Somewhere between Kings Cross and Exmouth Market, we were greeted by it. (Click on the image for the full picture of the little girl at the ATM)

Banksy ATM artHe redecorated an old bricked up window with an ATM and a little girl. Without opening up the art vs vandalism issue again, I can’t help but feel thought-out social commentary graffitis are as welcome in the city as its own inhabitants. Banksy makes a point with his art, which is why I have more respect for a guerrilla artist who’s effectively building a brand for himself while making us think, rather than the cheap taggers who seem to have the London to Cambridge train line covered, repeatedly scribbling their name illegibly in spray paint.

I know his art hasn’t been appreciated everywhere, but in busy London, it just fits in. It’s part of the story.

Oh the sweetest things!

American Lard Gums

Mmmmm… only 59p too!

[Photo taken at Sainsbury’s this morning, hohoho!]

[Edit 20/08/06: Just to clarify, the sweets are “American Hard Gums”, but the packaging was folded to look like “Lard Gums” instead. Andrew does wish lard gums could be bought in shops though!]

Welcome to beautiful Germany

I’ve been happily showing off pictures of Sammy the cheetah, but it’s time to post a few of the other photos of our friends Alex and Eric’s wedding in Germany this weekend. Discovering where a friend grew up, who and what they were surrounded by is always interesting and eventful!

For those of you who know Alex & Eric and would like to get all the photos, drop me an email and I’ll send the rest over. 🙂

I blog, therefore I talk about cats

There’s an unwritten rule in the blogosphere that one should not talk about their cat on their blog. It’s cheesy and highly uninteresting to everyone but you. But I’ve decided to break the rule just this once…

This is my new pet cat Sammy.

Sammy the Cheetah, Park Villa Hotel, Heilbronn Germany

Ok, so maybe he’s not mine, and maybe he’s not really a cat either. He’s a 9 months old cheetah, an animal usually found in deepest Southern Africa. But this baby lives elsewhere. It lives in Heilbronn, beautiful Germany.

We spent a fantastic, if a bit too hot, weekend in Germany – a first-time visit for me – for our friends Eric & Alex’s wedding, but I’ll post those pictures later. Much too knackered right now from the flight back!

We had the wonderful chance to see Sammy this morning when the owner of the Park Villa Hotel allowed us to join him while he fed him breakfast – a nice big piece of meat. Sammy went on to also snack on the hotel’s pet tortoise’s breakfast as well – a leaf of salad – and moved on to main course by trying to take a bite out of Andrew’s thigh! It was like a giant cat who’s play-biting, so Andrew didn’t have the reaction to move away, but the owner quickly lured away Sammy with some leftover meat, to ensure Andrew kept both his legs.

And the purring, oh, the purrrrring! It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard, he really wants to be loved and cuddled, and purrs like a giant version of a house cat!

I’ll link to all the photos of the cheetah, as well as the wedding pictures tomorrow. But for now, danke schoen and gute nacht.

Lisa turns 30

This weekend was my sister in law Lisa’s 30th birthday party, and everyone had to dress up as something that starts with an “L”. Lisa made a (very camp) leperchaun costume for my other half Andrew, and I came as Lea from Big Brother (She makes Jordan’s implants look reasonable).

Before my mom freaks out, it IS a fake cigarette I am smoking halfway through the photo album Andrew’s put together in Picasa. So have a laugh on this beautiful Monday morning and see what I’d look like as a blonde.

PS – If anyone is wondering what my sister Julie is dressed up in all her Canadian gear, she’s a Loser – a Worldcup loser who has no team to cheer for.
PPS – Spot Lara Croft, a Lego man, a Lumberjack, a Lawn tennis player, Love and two Lazy people.

Because summer is finally paying us a visit

Hopefully this time, we’ll get more than a fleeting visit from the sun, warmth and vitamin D we’ve been lacking so much over the past few months.

To celebrate the sun (and to go annoy my sister), we went down to Scudamore’s for a river punt, with strawberries and beer. (Less classy that strawberries and champagne, I know… and opening bottles is tougher!) Annabel and I sat back and enjoyed the sun, while the boys (Andrew & John) did all the hard work.

After a few weeks of very chilled out holiday-like time, hanging out with my sisters, I’m jumping back into full routine as of Monday, so time to go spend some time in the sun (yes mom, I haven’t forgotten the sunscreen!) and finish the book I’ve started reading…

British weather at its best

I just can’t believe the completely wacky weather we’ve been getting these past two weeks. British weather’s gone bipolar, and it’s having a serious crisis. One moment, we get the tank tops and sunscreen out, the next we’re reaching for the coats and the umbrellas!

Today, it reached the peak of its insanity, hitting us with a full light and sound show, accompanied with some hail the size of blueberries from the Lac St-Jean!

We managed to catch a few shots before it stopped as suddenly as it had started! (Sorry for the quirk which causes photos to double up below. There are 5 pics, click on “View full gallery” to see all 5!)

There are bad drivers, and then there are BAD drivers!

This afternoon, while walking around Cambridge, I saw an impressive bit of driving.

Cambridge is filled with rising bollards, allowing only tagged vehicles (usually buses, taxis and emergency vehicles) to lower and cross the bollard. The unfortunate driver of this tractor-towing supposed-offroader was a bit of an idiot not to notice that he didn’t have the required tag, causing the road to be closed for the afternoon.

Car driving over bollard

Just click on the image to see the full-size version and savour the damage and ridicule of the situation. Even the policemen nearby were drinking tea and sniggering at the idiocy of the driver. They didn’t even seem to mind me (and many others) taking photos with our camera phones!

Moral of the story is that the roads are full of clueless people. Me not driving makes one less of ’em! … I mean, Cambridge is a dangerous place to cycle OR drive!

[Update 16/05/06 11:30am: Cambridge News have announced that the driver of the vehicle, a man, aged 55, died after being taken to hospital for his injuries following this crash. True shame that a moment of distraction may have led to the death of the driver.]

Best wishes!

This weekend, I visited for the first time a part of the country I hadn’t yet seen – The Malvern Hills (somewhere between Worcester and Hereford). Such beautiful countryside, and the weather held up all weekend.

Reason for such travel was our friends Claire & Adrian’s wedding, which was an absolute success in every way, with neither bride or groom attempting to run away from the ceremony 😉

Claire & Adrian's wedding

Aren’t they looking happy and gorgeous? Best wishes to the happy couple!