31 March 2006

The Portuguese. Men. Say no more...

Example of Portuguese male.

Now, unfortunately we didn't bump into Luis Figo, but there were so many others... Børge and I are the worst pair when it comes to discretion, so it has to be admitted we giggled our way through the streets of Lisbon. Sometimes turning around so simultaneously looking at some wonderful piece of Portuguese scenery that giggling simply wasn't enough - we screamed!

Like the night we were at the fado house. And our waiter was Jake Gyllenhaal's cousin. Must have been. And we spent 15-20 digital images trying to catch him but not managing better than this:
- and the rest turned out like this: Exactly. Me giggling again... But the fado was magnificent, though! I'll get back to you on that.

And the Portuguese women? Oh, yes, I suppose there were women. Hmm?

Can't get Lisbon out of my head...

29 March 2006

Subtle differences...

Sun, spring, green grass, HEAT (here in Parque de Martim Moniz) -

And then, taking Jakob to football practice yesterday, sleet on the ground and in the air...

Which would you rather have..?

28 March 2006

S. Jeronimo, Belém

Let me introduce you to S. Jeronimo and his church at Belém:

Quite possibly the largest - at least longest - building I've ever seen. (I walked through most of it, I thought, then realised half of it has been turned into a museum, and I hadn't been anywhere near it...)

To tell you the truth I got kind of lost in there, but somewhere inside was this monastery. Børge told me all about it and I should know, but I'm ashamed to admit I can't remember - still you can read up on the link I gave you...

The church was built on money from Brazilian gold, Vasco da Gama had paved the way (and is buried inside). The church is highly decorated inside and out, with oceanic motives as well as biblical and more "common" ornaments.

Grinning madly as I was for 4 days!

Incidentally, S. Jeronimo is patron saint of translators, did you know that? Which gives me the perfect opportunity to tell you about my new job; from June 1st I'm no longer a legal secretary, but back to my old trade as translator - I'll be working as editor-in-charge (is that a word?) for a dictionary company. I can work from home 4 days a week... The increased salary could pay for trips to Lisbon - with the entire family!

27 March 2006

I'm back! But I don't want to be...

Lisbon was quite simply fantastic! I'll get back to the details later, as I will definitely be going back to Lisbon later... Tonight I'll just show you some pics to give you a hint!

Oh, and to any who may have noticed - yes, my practising Portuguese was indeed Brazilian, but that's the course I had, and it would be understood in Lisbon too, if only I'd learnt some.. Besides, I might be going to Brazil some day too, right?

My friend Børge and his Daniel were the perfect hosts, as expected - thank you for having me! Lisbon was spring-clad and I just loved the whole experience. Stay tuned for more... And if you ever have a chance to go to Lisbon, just go, no jump at the opportunity!

All that being said, it was really good to see my kids and hubby again! (The snow I really could have done without, though... And I'm still waiting for my suitcase to arrive.)

22 March 2006

Ready, set, go!

My dad has lent me this:

- his 5 day-old digicam, 7.1 pixels, zoom, the works! (I'll pass time on the plane reading the manual...)

Hopefully, it will enable me to bring back a few good shots for y'all to enjoy!

Apparently Lisbon is cold and rainy these days, but that's really not very important. I can't wait to spend time with Børge again, and to be - it must be admitted - free from kids for a few days. Of course I'll buy them tons of stuff in return, and I'll miss them a lot! But I will also enjoy Lisbon like mad...

Next week, dear bloglings, I'll have work-related news. Stay tuned ;)

20 March 2006

Bits and pieces

A few quick notes:

Visitor no. 5,000 stopped by last night, turned out to be my mum! Congratulations :)

Congratulations also to Christine - who scored highest of all on my test, despite being a relatively new blogling. Well done to you too!

And about the test... Yes, I've worn make-up. Three times. First, when I was about six, my older sister and her friend held me tight while force-putting-on-make-up. Next time, on my wedding day. It turned out quite well, I must say, but I really can't be bothered doing it every day. (Not the getting married part either, for that matter - as much as I love being married, getting married was exciting, fun and then exasperating. We left early...) Third time, I 'won' a make-over in a magazine "tired quad mum gets pampered" or something of the kind. The make-up looked fine in the pictures, looked really awkward IRL...

I should have written my current favourite computer game (= Blast billiards), because I've spent hours and hours on Tetris, Minesweeper and BackGammon earlier. In the days before I knew blogging...

And oh, yes, I'd definitely be studying something if we could get by on just one salary (= my hubby's...) - but I guess I'd be blogging too. Only maybe 23/6...

The sleep level alternatives were ripped right out of Dave Barry's Parental Aptitude Test (that goes with his Natural Childbirth, a hilarious piece, by the way!). Alternative names for my blog were none - the options I gave you were only rewrites of bluddies' blogs!

19 March 2006

Just to rub it in...

Remember this?

It's not long now, and I can't wait to go there!! Børge tells me to only bring my toothbrush and tinsel for my hair... Friday night we'll go to a Fado club, and I'm sure we'll think of something to do the rest of the time until Sunday night as well!

And this is me practising Portuguese... I know, I started a little late - yesterday! - mostly just to get in the mood... (What, you haven't all got Portugues language tapes lying about? Oh, but you should... Ok, I do because I've got friends in Brazil and Portugal and always thought I'd do something about it, I just never got past Greek...)

- For some reason I can't make this work right now, even though it tells me it is working. I'll have to get back to this when I'm awake some time... In the mean time - try this. Boa noite!

18 March 2006

I'm a book

The name of the rose
Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose. You are a
mystery novel dealing with theology,
especially with catholic vs liberal issues.
You search wisdom and knowledge endlessly,
feeling that learning is essential in life.

I still haven't gotten around to write a book, so I may as well be one. And this is quite correct inasmuch as - unlike the film - neither the book nor I have got Sean Connery in us ;)

Which literature classic are you?
brought to you by

17 March 2006

21st Century farewell:

"Hi, nn!

I have come to the conclusion that it's impossible for us to live together. It's sad, but I see no other solution than us breaking up.

I wish to stay in my flat, so I have rented a terrific flat for you from this Sunday. It's in … and I've rented it for a month. I hope and think you'll like it.

Of course you'll have a fair economic settlement as well. I've paid your debts of X kroner and have deposited Y kroner [=a lot!] in your account. You can use the car until the end of the month, where I suggest you return it against the sum of Z kroner.

P.S. All locks in the flat have been changed. Your things have been neatly packed and put in the basement storage room where you may still use your key. I have also put a suitcase there with things I expect you might need in the flat that I have rented for you.


This is the actual note left by Mr. Anonymous a few weeks back, to his wife of less than a year. Now - I'd never suggest either of the two are simple persons to get on with, but is it just me, or is this rather tastelessly devoid of sensitivity?

(A true story, albeit not from any of my closest friends... And the original did have names and figures...)

14 March 2006

They could have been mine!

Possibly I have now managed to create my first video post... Let me know if you can see / hear / play this!

- Incidentally, I don't know these babies, but I wish I did!

13 March 2006

Really cool dudes (and dames)

I've had the chance to observe this phenomenon quite closely lately - it's been about -15 c (about 5 F) for days now. And what I've seen is mostly this:

Whereas this would be correct...
Now, I can understand insecure teenagers don't want to wear woollen hats and mittens and sweaters when they think it looks better wearing practically nothing - or at least baring their stomachs. And I consider underdressed toddlers the fault of their parents.
But why do grown people - men and women - go out in this cold without gloves? And hats?? And scarves??? Or even with scarves - but just loosely hanging around their necks, revealing their open shirts (and goosebumps)? I really don't get it. Now, I would have thought that by the age of, say, 40, people would be self-assured enough to dress like whatever they wanted. Why would anyone want to freeze?
Actually, the same thing happens during summer. People look out, see the sun, and walk out wearing practically nothing. It may well be 10 degrees (50 F).
Me, I'm boring, incredibly boring and sensible when it comes to clothing. Even at the age of 15 - at my mum's suggestion at buying new clothes - I'd say "why? I've already got clothes!" I just hate being cold. (I ventured out of my mittens to take this photo in the lift at work.)

09 March 2006

Didn't you just know it...

I ripped this off Graham's blog (but it's my score..)
I am 28% loser. What about you? Click here to find out! So, it's just another test thing, and nothing really interesting. But I ticked off that I wouldn't post it if I came out a loser, so now I didn't I feel kind of obliged (to a machine-made quiz?) to post it after all...

Speaking of quiz - yes, I have been scared by a crocodile in China Town NYC. The croc was green, plastic and about 4 inches long - and possibly the woman holding it scared me more (I was only 5!), but it's a genuine memory... If you haven't taken the test yet, run!! All will be revealed soon...

06 March 2006


Just outside his school, Jakob and I saw two squirrels playing Tag.
This one stayed long enough to be photographed.

Down at the quay, there was no room for all arriving buses.

Hopefully, noone had been seriously hurt.


Now, work was no charm, though. One of my colleagues has taken this week off, so there was enough waiting! By the end of the day I'd managed working through this pile:

Yes, it's an old-fashioned thingamajig, but no, they haven't all got computers (sic!) so there's me typing it all out...

Possibly the Kalahari Typing School for Men would also do well over here!

05 March 2006

Quote of the day (9):

Someone said:

Bringing up children amounts to just one thing -
teaching your children to be
able to postpone their needs.

Basically, if your child knows how to wait, you're home free...

I've been listening to 5 x "muuuuuummyyyyyyyyyy, you've got to ..." all day, I can't see it changing in the foreseeable future. Obviously it's going to take some more upbringing.

Patience to spare, anyone?

03 March 2006

Oops, they did it again

Transmitting my blog into space, that is. Apparently the aliens responded "Tell Scholiast their blog smells like eggs". Do aliens eat eggs? Is this a compliment?

Oh, I so love nonsense...

I admit it, I'm a thief

But I know so many brilliant lawyers, they'll help me out...

Anyway, I stole this quiz idea from Chloe (which probably was the idea!), so here it is! Should anyone (at all) wonder - the quiz is about yours truly.

If anyone ventures, and indeed, gets it right, I'll, erh, promise you something. Later. Alright? Sounds exciting enough...?

Apparently, there's at least one question, or answer, rather, that I'll have to get back to after a couple more of you have taken this quiz. Anyone?

02 March 2006

From the land of eternal snow...

It certainly feels like it at the moment, anyway. This was last night, it could have been tonight!
Now, contrary to many people's belief, there are in fact no polar bears in the streets of mainland Norway... (But there are in Spitsbergen etc.)
These were just so cute, though!
Polar bear tips on what you need for a great life:
Time for relaxation

Good sleep

Good looks

Good health and exercise

A bit of adventure

Someone to dance with

Bear hugs

Real love

But always - watch out for those bastard penguins!

01 March 2006

Modern times. Part three: Enchantment

On my return to England I found, much to my dismay, that the typewriter just wasn't enough. We had to do our work on the computer. So I ventured into the computer room, reignited my Word Perfect knowledge, and became a WP wiz (if there ever was such a thing). I was beginning to enjoy it!

Then I caught someone giggling by the machine. Now, even though I knew the codes for bold and italics by heart by then, I didn't giggle. Not much. So I asked what they were doing?! They told me they were talking to someone on a different machine. In the same room. (Bear in mind this was still in the stone age.) I figured it had to be some kind of telexing... I felt vaguely attracted to it. Then someone told me that only overseas students (I was one!) with a tutor overseas (I hadn't got one...) were allowed to even have a password for this strange kind of mail contact. It was way too expensive for the university if everyone were to do the same. I felt a keener attraction immediately...

An acquaintance helped me create a name ("Mowgli") and a password. He also told me the thing was called "isca" and that the address was a multi-digit number. I had no idea what he was on about, but I did as he said. And suddenly I was giggling by the machine too!

Being there really late (well, actually quite early in the morning), to avoid the inspectors who were out to make sure we didn't waste university money, I found I'd connected with people in the States and Australia, who were supposed to be up at those hours... I was awestruck! Then it turned out my most trusted "isca friend" was in fact in the same room as me. I know that for a fact, as he got up and waved at me... I was confused. Was this telexing within a room, or some kind of magic instant writing contact across the oceans???

As you'll all know, it was both. I stayed in that room and learnt a lot about it. I learnt that sleep was no longer interesting. (In fact, sleep makes me very irritable even these days...)

I learnt that even if I send an Irish Monopoly board game to my isca friend in the States, it doesn't mean he returns an American one. (I'm still waiting!)

But I loved it.

Isca had no images, no colours, just plain writing, black or blue screens with white print. Still, it was like magic. And then I discovered chat rooms... We even convinced some invisible managerial person to make us a Python quote room! Thank goodness we only had 9 hours class every week, and practically no homework!

Now all I've got to do is convince my boss and / or my hubby that blogging through the night makes me a better worker / wife / mum. Easy...

February's finest...

It's the carnival season, but still..!

Monday two Norwegians showed up at work dressed as Klan members, waving the South State flag and all. Almost half of their colleagues are non-Westerners.

They were given till the end of the day to hand in their resignations...

At least they didn't require medical assistance!