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Quote to remember

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A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.

The Everlasting Man (1925)

Four things

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I fell for the old fashioned, tag, you are it… Sorry. Here we go:

Four jobs I’ve had:

  • blogger
  • broker/analyst
  • management consultant
  • translator & interpreter

Four movies I can watch over and over (yeah, I am rather old fashioned in my tastes it seems):

Four places I’ve lived:

  • London
  • Oxford
  • New York
  • Bratislava

Four TV shows I love (a bit more modern, just):

Four places I’ve vacationed:

  • Maldives, Male
  • Sinai, Egypt
  • Brittany and Champagne area, France (on a motorbike)
  • Rome, Italy

Four of my favorite dishes:

  • Peking duck
  • Sushi
  • Steak
  • Crêpes

Four sites I visit daily:

Four places I would rather be right now:

  • on a beach
  • in a wine cellar
  • shooting
  • in New York

Four bloggers I am tagging (you’re it!):

Surprised that there four books that I like are not on the list… well you can see them in the right sidebar under the Reading stuff.

Banana past

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While hunting for a quick snack in the kitchen earlier today, I came across some overripe bananas overlooked in the haste of the last week. Their particular aroma brought memories of things I thought I had forgotten. When I was growing up bananas used to be rare (note: I grew up during communism not WWII to avoid confusion :-) ) – supplied to the shops occassionally and obtained by queueing for a long time unless you knew someone from the shop who would put some aside for you. This was buying under the counter, as we used to call the widespread practice of getting hold of both staples and luxury items, a rather dubious and fluid distinction due the vagaries of socialist economics (and economies).

The best time of year for bananas and other ‘exotic’ fruit was before Christmas and as children we would get a bunch of them on St Nicolas day. This holiday would not be known to the Anglosphere crowd – it is based on a Catholic saint St Nicolas and a particular tradition attaches to it. On the night of December 5 to 6 children put a boot on the window sill in their bedroom, which gets filled with gifts. We used to get chocolates, nuts and bananas, all of which rather precious and not to be eaten all at once. The trick was to make them last as close to Christmas as possible when the next batch of goodies was due. This can get rather tricky with bananas, as you can imagine. As a result, the smell of overripe bananas has strong association with something to be treasured and savoured. Strange, but true.

All this I have forgotten, or thought I had. I have spend the last decade or so trying to get away from it all, not by forgetting the limited and unfree world I was born into, but by building a better one of my own. The tiny joys found in the previous life, despite its twisted nature, were never enough to outweigh the damage done to people’s lives. And this should never be forgotten.

One of the reasons I find so hard visiting my native country is that I resent the fact that people back there carry on as if nothing happened. I bear a grudge against the easy forgiveness (or forgetfullness?), with which those who lived there in the past 50 years seem to treat the past.

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  • Author: Adriana
  • Published: Jan 29th, 2006
  • Category: Quotes
  • Comments: 2

Quote to remember

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If you dislike change, you will like irrelevance even less.

- General Eric Shinseki, 34th Chief of Staff, US Army

F*** O** restaurant

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I often walk past a place called Foxtrot Oscar, which I think is a marvellous name for a restaurant serving English cuisine. Finally, tonight I went for a dinner there.

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The place is typically Chelsea posh – local, with a no nonsense, laid back atmosphere and very pleasant service. Interestingly enough, the paintings on the walls were on loan from various galleries and museums.

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And before you wonder ‘what’s the point of paying for English food’, let me say that the meal was very palatable. My lamburger was deliciously melty and for dessert I had the most amazing banofie pie I have ever come across.

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The place is not exceptional for a one-off visit, it’s a place to be frequented and adopted as one’s favourite local hang-out.

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And now you can Foxtrot Oscar

Fine wines of Burgundy

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To balance out my geeky exploits, tonight I have engaged in a wonderfully snobbish, intoxicating and refined on the finish experience. Yes, I left my laptop behind and I went to Burgundy 2004 tasting at Handford Wines shop in Old Brompton Road, South Kensington.

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A line formation of Burgundy heavy-weights…

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The scene was set for some serious tasting, with appropriate appliances…

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…and expression of ‘I know what I am doing’.

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Drinking wine in such rarified, musty air of a wine merchant’s cellar, I am reminded of how little I still know about wine. Nevertheless, one thing I do know – what I tasted tonight was certainly not the Australian table wines although most of the wines were for laying down and avoiding… until they mature to their full exquisite potential. Here are some that were enjoyed tonight.

Of the whites it was Rully 1er Cru Grésigny 2004, Domain Michel Briday, a nice little buttery surprise, and, of course, Meursault 2004, Domain Joseph Matrot which was no surprise, just pure pleasure.

For a red wine person like me, it was hard work – I didn’t know which cluster to attack first.

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My favourites were Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru les Chenevottes 2004, Jean-Marc Pillot.

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Puiligny Montrachet Vieilles Vignes 2004, Nicolas Potel.

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Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes 2004, Domain Amiot-Servelle.

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And finally, the memorable Grand Echézeaux 2004, Domain René Engel, of which, alas, there is no picture. I was too busy enjoying it. Described in the tasting notes as…a rich core and a thick texture, ripe tannins, hints of wood tannin, bags of mineral, slate and gunflint with the shy red fruits. My own tasting notes during the evening included comments like ‘overtones of wet hamster’ and ‘catwalk wine’. One does get into the spirit of things… Salut!

  • Author: Adriana
  • Published: Jan 19th, 2006
  • Category: Events
  • Comments: 4

Girl geek dinner

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She’s looking at you! I am at the 3rd girl geek dinner in London at the Texan Embassy. The female geek is a different creature to a male geek and there were many glam girls tonight. Moblogging this so will add links later.

‘White’ NYC

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There is something magical in the nippy Sunday morning in New York as I was walking down Bleecker street in the West Village to get my morning dose of coffee…

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Yesterday was warm and pouring down with rain, today snow and freezing!

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I’ll have what she’s having… or a shiksa in a Jewish Deli

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I spent Saturday roaming downtown Manhattan starting with a knish in Yonah Schimmel – good food that ’sticks to your ribs’ as they say.

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Accompanied by a friend knowledgeable in such matters we moved to Katz’s for a feast of corned beef and pastrami sandwiches…

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..complete with sour kraut, pickles and Dr Brown’s sodas (you can see the sign in the picture on the right). Katz’s is a real New York institution and we sat two tables from the (in)famous Meg Ryan moment seat.

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  • Author: Adriana
  • Published: Jan 10th, 2006
  • Category: Travel
  • Comments: 1

New York blues… again

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In the US at the moment, doing dark and mysterious things. But plan to be back with a vengeance.

Quote to remember

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Moderate strength is shown in violence, supreme strength is shown in levity.

- G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who was Thursday

Quote to remember

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Modern-day cleavage is a tricky issue for us men. Remember Jerry Seinfeld’s warning? "Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun — ya don’t stare at it!"

- Clive Davis in The Importance of being bosomy

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