Saturday, 28 February 2009

Rupert the explorer

Today Rupert had his first adventure out in the big wide world. After helping me with the weeding (i.e. pouncing on each weed as I pulled it up) for a while, he summoned up courage to leave the bounds of the garden, and pay a visit to the next door neighbours.

He wasn't particularly troubled by meeting with their dogs - Max (a westie) and Yipp (a white scottie), and decided to venture on further, strolling along shed roofs and fences to the middle of the street. Meeting a brick wall, he decided that enough was enough and returned home filled with the joys of spring. After all that excitement, he's spent most of the afternoon snoozing.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Lest you think that there has been nothing but chaos...

... in my house recently (and I sometimes wonder, myself), here is the evidence of a brief moment of peace and tranquility.

Reasons why I haven't updated my blog much recently...

1. Rupert wouldn"?|||'t let me use the computer (see how he tried to take control again, even now?!)

2. I was too busy baking flatbread with Jen. (Rupert decided to check how the yeast was progressing.)

3. I had to fight Rupert for my dinner

4. I had to clean up all the cat food that Rupert knocked onto the floor

5. I had to make umpteen trips to the IKEA to buy rugs, to try and stop the neighbour complaining about the noise from the kittens running around

6. and last, but not least, there was play time

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Bamboo Graphics Tablet

I bought myself graphics tablet a month or so ago, but due to other commitments, I hadn't got much further than installing it.

Since my latest OU assignment involves writing an illustrated essay, I've been trying it out this weekend, and am slowly getting the hang of using it (although I do still surprise myself by sending the cursor to unexpected places when I have the mouse in one hand, and the pen in the other).

Here is my first drawing, created using Inkscape.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Revenge of the kroket

As long term readers will know, on Jen's last visit she fell in love with that humble Dutch snack - the kroket.

As an incentive to last the journey home from Amsterdam, I promised her that we'd pick one up during the stopover at Hollands Spoor station, as we'd done on her previous trip.

Imagine therefore our shock on arrival to discover that the Kiosk on platforms 3 & 4 has been completely renovated - all very nice and beautiful, I'm sure, but not a kroket in sight! Fearing mutiny, I led her out of the station, and braving the tram lines with the wheely-suitcase, took her across the road to a snack bar. Krokets in hand, we made it back on to the platform with a minute to spare before the train arrived...

... it was delicious!

Choral Evensong - 21st February 2009

I picked Jen up from the airport today on the way to Amsterdam. With perfect timing, we had just enough to find some lunch (sushi, what else?) before I went to my rehearsal, leaving her to explore Amsterdam for an hour or two.

Knowing that you have family or friends in the congregation always add something special to the singing, especially today, as this is the first time a family member has come to hear me sing in Amsterdam. But at the end of the service there was an extra treat in store - during the final procession I caught sight of my friends Frank and Brenda, who had also come along to listen. I was really pleased to see them, and also to have the opportunity to introduce them to Jen. We had a couple drinks together in a cafe before heading off home.

  • introit: Come my way, my truth, my love Harris
  • responses: Nardone (I love these, and they're great to sing in the accoustic of the St Nicolaas)
  • office hymn: Lucis creator
  • psalm 42, Wesley, Nicholson
  • canticles: Howells in G
  • anthem: The Lord hath been mindful, S. S.Wesley

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Choral Evensong - 7th February 2009

I was somewhat disoriented today at my third choral evensong with the Chorale. The reason, I realized, was that it is the first time since I have been singing there, that it was still daylight at the start of the service. What a relief that spring is finally on its way!

  • introit: When to the temple Mary went, Eccard
  • responses: Smith
  • office hymn: Alleluia, dulce carmen
  • psalm 119, chants unknown, Flintoft
  • canticles: Sumsion in A
  • anthem: O for a closer walk with God, Stanford

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Voyage en Antarctique

Part of the French course I'm following at work involves giving a presentation to the rest of the class (in French, of course!). Today was my turn, so I was to be found before work this morning, frantically putting together the finishing touches on the slides, and preparing my transcript.

Over the last couple years at work, I've given quite a few presentations, and I must confess that I still suffer from nerves every time. Giving a presentation in French however, causes stress of a new level of magnitude. Normally, I concentrate my preparation on the slides, and I don't put together an exact text which I plan to present. Since my French isn't fluent enough to allow me to speak off the cuff, I prepared a transcript for this presentation, which had the advantage of making sure I knew what to say, but the disadvantage of breaking up the flow of speech, and causing a higher level of stuttering than normal!

The presentation was titled "Voyage en Antarctique", and gave some general information related to the Antarctic and some more specific information relating to the trip I will take at the end of the year.

Voyage en Antarctique - Transcript

Voyage en Antarctique - Slides

View more presentations from growler. (tags: french antarctic)