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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Facebook game...on pg 57 instead (poem by Anne Carson)

XIII. IT IS A MONOPRINT OF DEGAS SHOWING A WOMAN'S HEAD FROM THE BACK CALLED THE JET EARRING

Inside information.
He sought her. He sought her everywhere. Through the nakednesses
of his imagination. In sorrow. In foxholes. As deer flicker way off in a wood in late
winter.

He knew he would destroy the deer.

He sought her in her virginity everywhere in it (fray'd and fled) from top to bottom
of the little looms of the whitish green and the shivering.
He sought her in the ribbon of her missal.
In the faded black smell of its sateen.
In punctuality.

He sought her in the word mistress but she wasn't there, he should
have sheltered in that doorway from the beginning but now
it was night.

He made night seek her too.

Possible night, impossible night, pegs, strings, stringing her to her own
impersonation of
him.

His hand to brush a mark from his face it was her face.

Hesitate,
oh hesitate.

from The Beauty of the Husband

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I've lost my mittens

Dessert table, Whippornock Manor, Thanksgiving 2008


Poor little kitten,
She's lost her mittens,
And has a good idea where to find them:
In gracious Virginia,
She's left them somewhere...
She's trying not to cry.

Poor little kitten,
She's lost her red mittens,
And shouldn't be sad that she lost them:
In gracious Virginia,
Remembering being there,
'Cos she had 5 kinds of pie.

Random posting to say sorry I've been away and more postings of a Virginia Homegirl to come later...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wot I Et: Minute Steak on a Friday Night


You know how Fridays are the ends of long weeks, and your energy is like the last little bit left on the soap-on-a-roap?? An easy dinner is what needs to lay the week to bed.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

New Poem - Thursday is writing day


Work (first draft)
National Poetry Day, Bath UK 2008

When the work of going to the office
Fell away from me
The smooth clack of to do lists ticking
The ordered stationery
The linear threads of projects following through each other
My hands were empty of myself
And full of uncertainty.

Full of tiny lives and the mad blue hours
Awake when the restless horde on trains seemed still
Looking out onto moonlit gardens
At our unkempt hedges
My own raggedy attempts
To claw back the ravages to my will
Say this is work.

Working love invisible
Each fold each smooth each bend
Soggy runnels of water
Clothes plates children floors eyes
Overflowing
I am more and more invisible
Each day full, each day filled
Needs more work, needs more love.

Needs the still center, like I need it
Walking the knife blade, burns
Meridians blossoming beneath my hands
Light crackling, intent on showing paths
Full, I am the empty vase
Trusting to the adept work of my palms.

by ppo

copyright remains with the author October 2008
Photo by Kak Teh

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Freesias and First Love


The bittersweet green smell of freesias reminds me of when we were young and starry eyed, and although we had no money and hardly a stick of furniture between us, I'd still sometimes get a bunch of freesias, or lilies or red tulips.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fireballs shoot up high in middle of new construction, Bath




It happened after 5pm so hoping there weren't any fatalities. Two or three big explosions and fireballs rose up accompanied by thick black smoke. It looks under control now although the sirens are still wailing through town and the train station is closed. Trains are stopping at the small station before the middle of Bath - Oldfield Park. BBC says it was just a gas canister...must've been a big gas canister!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Merdeka 51


Saw this is in an old framing shop!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

To A Lyrical Girlfriend

Lyrical Lady
Girl after my own heart
You’re the only one I’ll go handbag shopping with
The only one, I’ll consult
on egg tart.

Lyrical Lady
Girl after my own heart
You’re the only one who’ll drink chai with me
Warm, spicy one
From the start.

Lyrical Lady
Girl after my own heart
You’re the one who’ll discuss love lives with me
About The One,
Y’know, till death do us part.

Lyrical Lady
Girl after my own heart
You’re the only one who’ll write with me
But is the Blogger
Queen of Food and Art.

Lyrical Lady
Girl after my own heart
You’re the only one who’ll share sashimi with me
With the proper reverence and care
And get the closest we can park.

Lyrical Lady
Girl after my own heart
You’re the only one who can spank Kenny with me
And get away with it
In the dark.

Lyrical Lady
Girl after my own heart
You’re the only one I’ll make pavlovas for
When you visit me,
If I’m smart.

Lyrical Lady
Girl after my own heart
You’re the one I wish a happy day to
And would sing to,
Like a lark.

Happy Birthday to my special friend, Lyrical Lemongrass.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Blog Holiday

After my trip to Malaysia, it seems I am on Blogholiday too. My kitchen is still being finished, I'm cooking in it now and will post a few pics before and after. It has really taken all my attention to get it done. And we have had/ are having/ will have some wonderful and lovely people to stay - this house is an amazingly sociable house. I can't be antisocial and BLOG while they are here, can I? Sigh, it seems like I can only do this in the wee hours of the morning, with the rain drumming on the conservatory roof. I love that sound. I keep saying it on twitter. It's a lovely comforting sound. The wind blowing the leaves of the trees, make the lights of town twinkle even more madly. This picture is one of the alliums in my garden. It is quite a giant one, I posted this on twitpic - cool app. If I didn't have a blog I would just twitter and twitpic. I congratulate myself that I put enough sockets round the breakfast bar that I can sit here on my computer as long as I like, but since it is so late, dear reader, must bid you adieu. And I'll be back soon. Very soon.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sportsister! Check it out.


This is a screen shot of my friend's webzine. Click on it to get there. I've written an article in the clinic section about ointments and strains. Do have a look here. I hope I can be the regular aromatherapist on here. You don't have to be a girl to sign up and support sport and fitness! However, of course, the site will focus on women in sport.

Flying to Penang. Going home.



We are away for two weeks tomorrow, back home to Malaysia. Hope to see some of you while I'm there. Sharon has kindly asked me to read again at Readings! I'm really honoured. So be there 3pm 24th May at Seksan's in Bangsar, KL.

Just waiting for my first taste of nasi lemak.

Probably won't get a chance to post much till I get back, as my hands will be full of family.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Aqua on Walcot Street, April

Okay so it was my birthday in April and I didn't get a post in. I confess. My food blogging ability is only minimally improved since last year, so I better stick to Wot I Et, which is like a cafe version of a food blog.

I had a few celebrations, April is the cruellest month for cake in this house.

My littlest and I share a birthday, so we went out to Aqua for a posh I-talian.



The service was polite, and the children, very grown up, managed their cutlery without much mishap. They had pizza and garlic bread which looked like the same thing except the garlic bread had no tomato on it...

I had the seafood skewer to start - something with pesce in it. The maitre was somewhat approving of my accent while ordering.


It was juicy and came on a bed of rather delicious, tender green beans.

Mr G had the gorgonzola porcini. I was permitted one bite.



The mains were well cooked but not terribly exciting, however, perfectly nice as a family lunch. G had the stuffed chicken with chorizo on the bed of spinach and cream sauce and I had the calves liver with gnocchi. It was pretty good. It came with mushroom and onion. I'm always a little fascinated by the carb power of gnocchi, and the bits of sage involved.

I think Aqua is a chain restaurant and they have one in Bristol as well. It's nicely laid out, and when we arrived at 12 noon, there was no problem seating us, though we had booked ahead. They were nice to the kids, which is a plus in the UK. Many places are not very child friendly, though italian places usually are fine.

Well, viva la dolce vita, then. Another year passes by.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March Tooth Fairy pays us a visit

I am the Spring fairy
I am the fairy of Daffodils
I am the fairy of Hyacinths
I am the Snowdrop fairy.

I am the new green Grass
I am the Frost and Sleet
I am the Rainbow and the New Moon
I am the fairy of Beginnings.

I am the fairy come to take
your tooth
I am the fairy to fly it home
Home through moonlight
Owlight, starlight
Grasping the tail of a comet
Plunging through the heart of a secret lake

You can call me Serelia.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

We come full circle, blogversary

The wild garlic was unfurling along the cliff as it is now. I began writing this blog in March last year, tentatively, speaking to my many selves, speaking from my many selves. Hoping to bring them all together into a whole and connected one. I think I've succeeded, because nowadays, I'm a lot more comfortable in my own skin. I'm a lot less afraid of what I might find, well anywhere. Bringing light to dusty corners of your psyche can do that for you. Finding amazing friends and community along the way, that's a truly unexpected blessing. Thank you my friends, and my mentors, my guides along this journey.

Here is a poem about voice and grief. Many, many years ago now, I attended a funeral of a girl in my class, she was a young mother, she was diagnosed with a particularly fast acting form of leukemia and was dead before many of us even found out about it. As I drove through the evening home through the landscape of rural New York, this was just like what the spirit of place was saying:

Bare Boughs still this Spring
(In memoriam)

Rain and apple trees.
Lilac buds swell on black stems,
Secret, clitoral, rapt.

I can’t untie this knot, deep
where things come from, deep
at the bottom of my voice.
Joy, sprung rhythm,
clenched and petrified:
A fist, that born words batter against.
A fever in the blood.

By the stream, the clay leans
toward the water, eager for swiftness,
eager to reflect the sky,
Deadpan.

Only the colours of old paint,
Spread and bloom,
Like roots.


Don't let this be a gloomy poem - the spring here and now, is full of hope. Let's wish the knot untied. Let the fist unclench.

Happy Blogversary to me.

Sublime Juxtapositions

Who came up with the sublime juxtaposition of hot fat, fluffy potato and salt? These little critters probably contribute to the obesity of the western world, but oh, how many people can refuse some, just a few? I always nick a few off the children's plate if I make them with fish fingers and brocolli. They are only nice hot and crunchy out the pan, steaming in the middle, with the lovely shock of salt and olive oil. mmm.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Contraluz, Barcelona in February




According to the novel I'm reading by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind, the Sant Gervasio district to the northwest is the posh area of town. A Contraluz is tucked away in a little side street behind some artistically lit foliage. It has an outside terrace, probably for those desperate smokers who have to now abide by the european smoking ban. We have to thank Charlie for this recommendation, he was a local for 3 years. A Contraluz is a beautiful space with superb lighting and friendly service. It also has an English menu!

Mr. G agreed to have a romantic date with me that evening and we set out by foot for a brisk walk to find it. We had some nice fresh air and it wasn't very cold, palm trees lined the streets. here is a picture of Mr. G at the table:
OK that is a tired face, but it is about as relaxed as he gets. I wanted to bring home the picture behind him. We looked at the menu for a long time and fiddled with our cutlery.


And ate our bread, with pomegranate sorbet as a small starter from the chef.



Greens are so hard to find!! Parmesan and rocket Yum.
Mr. G left me to order some farfalle pasta thing for him but I had a short circuit and ordered this instead:

Some rather beautifully cooked lamb with jamon...he was a bit surprised when it arrived. Me: "blur". Oops, luckily he's a rather forgiving husband. I had the pretty unforgettable iberian roast pig - wow - I'll be still thinking of this for a long time:

Chinese people and roast pig, that's a symbiosis. Like the chinese character for "peace" - showing the symbol for roof with a pig under it. I'm sure I was silent while experiencing this pigness. The Iberians can sure grow their pig.

Despite stuffing our faces, there is always room for some adventurous pudding:



G had strawberry pannacotta with szechuan pepper (top) and I had the carmelised pineapple and cardamom soup with pineapple sorbet.

...and finished beautifully with peppermint tea. Contentment.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Chiho Aoshima Exhibit - Fundacion Miro, Barcelona



This artist is seriously cool.
The picture is a detail from a larger piece of work. All the details were amazing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Lunar New Year or Rats! I seem to have missed January


Gosh I seem to have disappeared off the inner worlds of blogdom for some time - what happened? Well, xmas hols with the kiddies is always distracting, time with family...pretty sacred I guess, walls in the house being dismantled by builders, spraining my ankle for a few weeks - still hurts, and err...probably the real distraction, Facebook, and a bit of block in my writing funnybone which I hope to oil up again soon.

So how should I catch up? I better write up my Vagaries of Memory II -review about the Book of Chameleons and Inheritance of Loss, and a triple Gaiman I've been meaning to do. Then I should do Paris with Grace, and Barcelona travel log as I ate really well and I have some food pics which I took in a posh restaurant to the amusement of the very polite waiters, even mr G got a bit enthusiastic about the food blogging lark. The Bath Lit Fest will be on soon...must get some tickets. And the Bath Marathon, I'll be massaging our local school running team who will be raising money for TESFA, my favourite charity for educating pre-school children in Ethiopia (more on this soon).

Well that's a pretty long list, I'd better get to it tonight after I cook the family New Year Dinner of Noodles - the girls are very excited and insisted on having special CNY hairstyles of mum's special high ponytail and braid set-up; wound in a bun and wrapped in a felt flower tie: exotic! let's hope it doesn't unravel in PE :)