Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hippy Waitangi Day eviryone!

Hi all

Our usual weekend stroll was to the Vic and Albert Museum, or rather to the Chinese diner near there.

We did manage to see the Islamic ceramic/textile/metalwork exhibit prior to lunch which was AWESOME. And educational: Chinese artisans redesigned their blue and white china for the Middle Eastern market and flooded it with cheap ceramics in the new patterns in the 15th century. Result: market went crazy for the new blue and white china, and Middle Eastern artisans started copying the Chinese designs, including their maker's marks, which is actually the first example of someone pirating Chinese designs and trade marks I have heard of. Go Ottoman Empire! There were some beautiful rugs which were only lit for 20 minutes in the hour to avoid fading. And also some lovely embroidered robes, which are believed to have been worn by three of the 19 princes executed as children when their half-brother succeeded their father to the throne to avoid succession infighting, an exercise that was apparently never repeated.

Prior to V&A and lunch, we came across this scene. That would be the expat New Zealand Waitangi Day party, aka the Circle Line Pub Crawl 2007. Look, the New Zealand speed skating team! Here's hoping they don't steal our Australian tactics of hanging back and hoping everyone else falls over at the next Winter Olympics. They were all drinking Fosters though. Tch. Anyway, it is nice that trans-Tasman rivalry back home becomes antipodean brotherhood the minute you get to the other side of the world - we celebrated Australia Day in a much more low-key way with a New Zealander.

In other news, yesterday I rode the 10km to Uni only to find that my lecture had been cancelled, which in fact my lecturer had mentioned in passing some months ago. Didn't feel too stupid as there were 5 other people there, but still - further evidence that I am something of a brain in a bottle at times. That pretty much torpedoed my otherwise reasonably productive week as at that point I was too ticked off to do anything for the rest of the day.

Well, it's 5pm and still twilight so here's hoping we may be past the worst of the winter!

Thesis total: same (hey, I write thesis on Mondays, leave me be!)
Steps total: 70K and rising
Most excellent hummus recipe: one can chickpeas, 1/3 cup chickpea liquid, 1.5 Tbs tahini, juice of half a juicy lemon, 2 cloves garlic. WHIZZ.

There are some photos here from the various walks of the last 2 weeks - descriptions on the photos.

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