Blood on the walls

We like the villa we’re staying in very much. Unfortunately, so do the mosquitoes from down the hill, and an army of them flew in last night and spent the limited time they had before we got to them drinking our daughters’ blood. The rest of the family are pretty much unscathed, but La Serpiente and Destroyer had a miserable time of it, legs, arms and faces riddled with bites. Once we noticed our insect visitors, we got to work with the fly swatter; by morning the bedroom resembled an abbatoir. There’s smears of blood on every wall, on the mirror, on the ceiling when I could reach a satieted mosquito or two, even on the back cover of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom when the swatter wasn’t to hand. Continue reading “Blood on the walls”

Waiting for a number

Says it all, really

Tonight after work I went to collect my number for the marathon. I’ve done this lots of times before, in Singapore and round the world. The organiser rents the biggest hall they can find, fills half of it with vendors selling running-related tat, and the other half is full of volunteers handing out race numbers to the entrants. It’s pretty simple. In Tromsø they had about 300 runners so they had a trestle table in the town hall and a few people with a clipboard and a big box of t-shirts. In Tokyo they had the expo centre and they processed 20,000 runners in the couple of days leading up to the run. And in Singapore they usually hire a hall in one of the millions of convention centres that adorn this isle. 

But not the Sundown. Not this year. This year had to be special. 
Continue reading “Waiting for a number”

Dangling by a thread and a safety pin

When I took La Serpiente to school this morning, after she’d eaten the exterior of a pain au chocolat and drunk her baby combo, she told me she was tired because she’d been walking around last night, looking for me. Why? Because she had had a dream about me, and she was sad. No further detail was forthcoming.

This evening, after I’d put her to bed (with one complaint about a possibly or possibly not imaginary splinter in her finger) I went out for a punishing 10k run, that turned out to be a 5k run after I managed one loop and then conked out. At least my neck and shoulders weren’t all screwed up like yesterday.
Continue reading “Dangling by a thread and a safety pin”

Quick quick slow

After my longest run since before I left Singapore and then came back to Singapore, after a week of constantly drinking and then going spinning while hungover at the weekend, after staying up late watching every single episode of Children’s Hospital and playing too much Township, and after a day at work where I was in constant (and almost constantly aggravating) meetings until late late late, there was no better way that I could think of to relax than to go running at the track.
Continue reading “Quick quick slow”

Hypocrisy is not a luxury good

Killing time in WHSmiths before boarding my train tonight, I saw the Daily Mail’s entire front page is a headline complaining about the hypocrisy of cinemas. This is because several large chains are not playing an advert for the Church of England, but do show violent ads for booze to children.

I’m not sure who should be angriest; alcohol advertisers who aren’t able to reach their target audience (and exactly how violent have ads for beer got while I’ve been away?); the Church of England, for being equivalent to alcoholic beverages (since the cinemas’ stance is that they don’t show any religious or political advertising, they’re only being hypocritical if you feel the Church of England is a brand equivalent to Heineken or Stella Artois); readers of the Daily Mail, who will now not be sure what hypocrisy means (isn’t it something like “whipping up paedophilia scares with one hand while obsessing over underage movie actresses with the other”?) or me, for filling some part of my brain with this.

At least the Daily Mail is concentrating on the most important issues of the day.

Walking Backwards

I had to go to the hospital twice today; once in the morning to sort out registration of our second daughter, who now has a name and paperwork and all the stuff required to start being a legitimate resident of the country, and again in the afternoon for a check in with our doctor. For the second trip, I left La Serpiente Aquatica Negra to be watched over by a friend, and then managed to get a taxi that was lurking in the car park of our block.
Continue reading “Walking Backwards”

Unboxing

This evening I decided to find the family iPod. It has a bunch of Spanish podcasts on it that I wanted to listen to, and I haven’t seen it since we moved into the new flat.

To be honest, the flat is still a bit of a mess, six weeks after we moved in. In the living room, everything within reach of La Serpiente Aquatica Negra is tidy, but all the surfaces above toddler height are covered in accumulated detritus. Our bedroom has four cardboard boxes cluttering it up, but the worst is the spare room: it’s wall to wall and floor to ceiling full of cardboard boxes, and somewhere in all that mess was the iPod.
Continue reading “Unboxing”