Out and about

First of all, I’ve been AWOL for so long I’m amazed that my blog even responds to my password! Sorry about that.

And to kickstart 2011, I’m going to do a series of posts on my favourite city. Which is to say, there will be a lot of pictures taken when I’ve been out and about. When I can identify where I’ve been, I’ll caption it.

Kicking off with the unlikely Canary Wharf area then!

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When life gives you lemons, suck it up

“The tree shafted Fred by letting its fruit fall for the squirrels”.

(Please note that Fred’s abuse of choice is “Cats!” as opposed to “Rats!” Though given that he’s moaning about squirrels, ‘rats’ might have been more appropriate.)

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Summer Days!

..and hot air balloons! Oh, and ice cream!

"The lamp post's attempt to outdo the balloon was a bit unsuccessful."

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Orko. No, really.

And here is Orko, just where you would think to find a character from He-Man, in the middle of a crowded piazza in Munich (Marienplatz, since you ask).

At the risk of having mortally offended people out there, isn’t the resemblance uncanny?

That said, I would love to know from a more enlightened soul what this actually is.

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‘Nuff said

"She certainly didn't feel as pious as she looked."

Even my scribblings feel contrary today.

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The Prescience of Octopi

Going by the hoo-ha, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the past few days have been declared April Fool’s Week by the international press. Sure, make paella of Paul with lemon juice- football teams have been losing matches because an octopus lurking in a watery box somewhere feels the urge to have a particular mussel over the other one. Damn that insidious octopus sniggering in his tank! There could be no possible connection with, say, the skill of a team. Or plain old luck. Or incidental things like training, speed or strategy. Should the winning team consider their win pre-ordained and therefore not much credit to them, and the losing team consider that the fates stitched them up?

"Archibald just wanted to be left alone to hide under his coconut shells in peace. He failed to understand what the blinking fuss was all about."

Photo Credit:US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Wikimedia Commons

Octopuses (octopi??- anybody?) are controversial in a vastly different circle as well. Without meaning to insult its humble relative, the common garden slug, let me just say- congrats, octopi- you really made it out of that evolutionary bucket! The average octopus is supposed to be the smartypants of the ocean. On the one hand, they’ve been snapped pouncing on coconut shells and scuttling off with them at a clippy pace. You see, the coconut shell is the go-to body armour for your average octopus. Apparently they like to get double shells so they can sit inside. Check out the amazing video here of an octopus legging it with his precious shell. Then they’re supposed to be escape artists par extraordinaire- octopus Sid from New Zealand took escaping to a fine art. On the other hand you have other researcheres who say that we think the octopus is smarter than it is because its intelligence is of a different nature to human intelligence. The markers that we think are smart (such as using tools like coconut shells) are smart in our book but not necessarily for the invertebrate brain. 

Excuse me, but using tools should qualify as smart in any book! Let alone eat them alive, you’ve got to respect that sort of intelligence.. No cultural judgment; they would get eaten alive in the wild. But I doubt they would be kept alive by a natural predator so that someone could have the dubious thrill of eating them alive.

Personally, I stopped eating octopus many years ago when I was served a bowl of spaghetti with a whole baby octopus perched on top, looking at me with mournful eyes. Yes, weak stomach, that’s me.

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House of Kitsch@Munich

No, the name of the place isn’t actually The House of Kitsch, but it might as well have been. 

For instance- who could resist bearded sparkly frogs with exalted expressions in lotus positions? 

"The lotus position didn't sell. Next time they vowed to stock up on the bearded frogs in downward-dog. And a bit more beard."

Or the Sexy Apron (Purpose- Unknown. Stun factor- Tremendous). 

"For when a normal apron just doesn't cut it."

Or silver sofas. No? Come ON! 

"For that extra dash of pizzaz in your living room."

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