Saturday, 29 January 2011

Closed up shops

Was surprised on an outing today to notice that the Turf Accounts next to Tony's is shut. Then further down Griffin Road that the recently opened King's Restaurant has been shut and there is a bailiff's order on the door. Admittedly I never visited either establishment...not a gambler and found the King's restaurant to be a bit too foreboding. But it's a shame to see places closing down all the same.
Mind you, prime sites so they will, hopefully, be snapped up soon by some enterprising bods.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

My life in film

Sometimes, for fleeting moments, I feel as if I don't belong. I mostly attribute this to being born abroad though we came here when I was very young. It's also partly because of the schitzo existence of many Asians I know who are British in school/work but at home have an Asian family life. Very rarely, it's due to being the only brown face around though thankfully around Plumstead this is not an issue as it's such a rainbow borough.
In these moments, I find it hard to state where home is. But the other day I caught "Last Chance Harvey"* on the box featuring Dustin Hoffman and the excellent Emma Thompson - large parts of the film are shot on the South Bank around the NFT and Royal Festival Hall. As I watched, my heart soared as this is one of my favourite areas of London, second only to the British Museum. The film also struck a chord as it was about finding love late in life rather like Mr Plummy Mummy and I who got together in our late 30s. Our first date was at the NFT and we have subsequently returned there to watch films. I have other fond memories here of walking around the second hand book stall in front of the NFT cafe, of having drinks in the Festival Hall bar and going for countless meals around the area.
I didn't get quite the same feeling when the British Museum featured in the Mummy (it made me laugh with joy rather than feel gooey eyed) but I did enjoy when it showed up in Doctor Who and in the recent TV adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. So though not my life in film, these locations have been wonderful parts of my life and let me feel very much at home and that I do in fact belong in this wonderful city.

* Last Chance Harvey though not a bad film, is nowhere near as good as Stranger than Fiction...if you haven't seen the latter, give yourself a shake and order it from LoveFilm, or should I now say Amazon?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Sexism among the mini masses

I'm horrified to discover that my tot is a bit sexist and a little bit girly which I'm not so am having to adjust my way of thinking. She has definite ideas of what boys and girls should do. Here are a couple of examples:
  • When asked who she plays with at nursery she gives me girl's names. If I ask about any of the boys, she looks at me with exasperation and declares that "They are boys, boys play with boys mummy". This even extends to friends we visit where she will only play with the girls. The only exception is when there are only boys and she will then want to join in but goes all girly if they want to do anything involving mud or monsters (except dinosaurs grrrrr)
  • She refuses to wear or use anything blue and is determined to only wear or use pink, purple or red. Of late, she has conceded and will wear light blue so perhaps this example is a short lived.
To an extent, nurture is to blame as she has only girl cousins to play with. However, there have been boys in her circle of friends (until the age of 3 that is), and she sees plenty of examples on TV of boys playing with girls (Ben and Holly, Noddy and Tessy Bear, Tinkerbell and Terence, blah blah, yes we watch a lot of TV I'm not ashamed to admit it).
It's all bizarre, and in some cases leads to a mini case of Mean Girls since she isn't the only girl with these views and then they all act like teenagers (which just cracks me up, naughty mum).

On the bright side, we should encourage this as come her teenage years, we will be trying to keep her away from men as I'm not having some oink mess with my princess. Anyway, it's for their protection really as we know that the female of the species is deadlier than the male.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Interactive art

If you have a kid that likes mucking about on the computer then you may enjoy these sites that let you create a piece of art, or the other for music. Just fun.

Creators project: Silk

Andre Michelle: Tone Matrix

Let me know if you have come across anymore to save me from once again being on the Cbeebies site. :)

Co-op cafe

Don't get excited - I'm not about to announce a new cafe or anything but am only going to rehash what so many of us have said/dreamt of.
I've just been into the Plumstead Common Road Co-op and saw 3 other parents there and a neighbour. Wouldn't it be great if there was a cafe on-site where we could sit down and have a quick natter before going on our merry way. Mind you, I wonder if the Co-op staff would be able to run it as some of them seem slightly thrown by queues - as soon as one forms, the turnover of customers seems to slow down.
Another great place for a cafe would be the new Sure Start centre on Erindale. Not sure if that's included in the plans.
Sigh. Back to mine for a cuppa then.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Mobile death

My handset, a Nokia 6120, is sounding it's death rattle. It went a bit crazy last night and started shifting through profiles and then randomly putting 9s all over the screen. Today, things are progressively getting worse and I fear I may need to call for a phone priest soon for last rites.
I can't type w,x,y,z or 9 which is not great in an emergency situation let alone for typing in text in the browser.
Still, I've had it for four years nearly which in today's world of built in obsolence or inferior manufacture is not bad.
And what's the effect of not having a handset to hand - I have to resort to my PC to use Facebook, twitter, look up recipes, jobs, email, craft stuff, gossip and the thousand random things that pop into my head that one day will form a masterpiece to be proud of. Still, I wonder if I could survive without a phone - do I really need to be contactable and connected all day / night long?
I may have mentioned in the past, I used to be interface designer for handsets and one of the essentials of the job was using handsets which were usually loaned to our team for free. For a company handset again supplied free, I would just select a mobile plan (that would be discounted for employees) that fitted my needs and far greater budget. If a handset didn't perform well with my team's use cases, we would discard it and write a report on how to improve it for the manufacturer...sometimes they even listened to our team's ideas.
Choosing a phone and mobile plan, when I'm on a budget and when I can't try out the UI and hardware is a freaking nightmare. I find going into phone shops dispiriting as the models are static and most of the staff annoy me.
The network websites do not make it easy either especially when you also want to find out about PAYG and what the available data bundles are.
My dream handset would either be a HD Android 2.3 with a 8 megapix camera or a Windows 7 one (i.e. not now or ever an Apple, don't even bother trying to convince me). I also want to leave 3 as the network, how to phrase this politely, is a bit poor in Plumstead, North London and most of Scotland and basically anywhere esle I seem to go apart from Central London. dreams far outweigh my needs and means and I'll probably settle for something less. It's so rubbish being on a budget and not being able to play with technology anymore :(

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Events: 8/9th Jan Moon Watch

I was gutted to have missed the lunar eclipse last month - an event which won’t happen in our or our children’s or their children’s lifetimes again. If you were the same, then you could console yourself with a session at the National Maritime Museum - Moon Watch. Unfortunately our tot is too young so we will have to wait a few years as the event is for 5+ year’s children. It also seems to be a monthly event so if the weather is awful is Jan, wait until a clearer sky presents itself.

Full details for January can be found here: Moon Watch

Monday, 3 January 2011


Hello Sweet Plums (and non Plums). I've been gone sometime. I ventured North of the Border with trepidation having watched the days of doom/gloom snow reports. But it was easily the easiest drive we have had and made it in record snow and sod all ice. I feel a bit cheated. It was the same back too.
This succinctly describes Xmas for me as I came down with a seriously painful case of tonsillitis. So all that planning, present buying and general dizziness came to nothing as I spent most of the holidays asleep doped up on drugs (medicinal not recreational). By the amount of moaning/complaining/bewailing that I did, you would think that I had Man Tonsillitis (like Man flu but much worse). Does explain why I was in such a bummer mood in the run up, I was run down.
Luckily for me all my packages arrived so bods got their Xmas gifts. Not so for my Dundee lot who snow to deal and a rather inefficient re-org at their local Royal Mail depot. It's probably why no-one thought to buy me a family calendar this year....going to be hitting the shops for that one soon.
The upside off all this:
1) I absolutely love my hubby even more. He had a tonsillectomy as part of his battle against snoring and for over 2 weeks put up with pain that had me reduced to a snivelling wreck after 3 days. He's so very, very kind for doing it for me.
2) I lost weight. Wooooohoooooooooo. Usual Xmas pounds are no-where to be found. Now I just have to keep them off and the old Doctor will be happy with me too.
3) Being confined to bed was great for my bank balance as I couldn't spend any dosh.
4) I appreciate my beautiful big bed even more after having been sleeping elsewhere for nearly 2 weeks.
5) I watched quite a lot of TV. Not a lot on but I was glad to have watched Doctor Who and also the BBC show on Eric and Ernie. Who knew that Eric was such a pushoever.
6) And lastly, the most surprising for me ....I missed Plumstead Common.

I hope you all had a good one and that your New Year is getting off to a great start.