Thursday, 21 May 2009

Calling all lego and architecture lovers!


Who didn't play with Lego when they were younger? I used to love those shiny little bricks. It wasn't all happy days though, the Lego officially belonged to my older brother and as I was quite a bit younger I was relegated to Lego for babies - in other words big fat clumsy blocks of Duplo. Whenever I could, I'd get my hands on my brother's proper 'grown up' Lego and go straght for Princess Leah from his Star Wars set (she was really quite realistic, complete with double-doughnut hair!). Anyway, enough reminiscing, what I wanted to say is that Lego is launching a new series, 'Lego Architecture' (coming soon, apparently), and in a sneak preview I've seen that they will be offering the Frank Lloyd Wright set in the photo above. The Falling Water house looks pretty cool, but just think of the other possibilities: Guggenheim Bilbao (not for beginners), the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Burj al Arab in Dubai... I think this could be a hit with grown ups like me who like both architecture and Lego. I would happily while away a Sunday afternoon makling one of these (geeky, don't you think?). I wonder if they plan to include figurines in the collection? On second thoughts this would just consist of a bunch of bespectacled, balding male architects in black polo-necks... so maybe not.

Monday, 18 May 2009

In the office

I've long prescribed to the thought that being in the office is bad for your body (a no brainer I guess). Whilst the mental effects of being there are, at least for me at the moment, not too bad, I do get quite scared at the thought of what spending a life time sat on a wheely chair in an air-conditioned box hunched over a screen can do to your body (on second thoughts, it doesn't exactly sound like a walk in the park for your brain either... but at least you are hopefully using your brain to some degree). I even have a theory that humans will start to evolve according to our delightful working habitats... flat yet cushiony butts, moulded to the shape of your office chair, extra long arms to reach that keyboard, we'll be unable to straighten our legs and will walk around with slightly bent knees, a bit like Cromagnon man or whoever it was ;-) We could even develop extra big-bladders to avoid trips to the loo interrupting our concentration... Ok, I'm being a bit silly, but on a serious note it's obviously not a good life-style for us former hunter-gatherers. I wouldn't mind getting an ergoErgo chair, which has the same benefits of sitting on one of those inflatable exercise balls, forcing you to straighten your back and tighten your tummy, but without any of the falling-off-the-ball-in-the-office-and-suing-the-company 'health and safety' bans. I remember visiting a friend's office in the UK a couple of years back and wondering what the hell they were all doing sat on yoga balls?? Well, now I know, but think this might be a better alternative...



Monday, 11 May 2009

Coveting things


Recently I have been coveting a pair of beige high-heeled shoes. They are elegant, go with anything and make your legs look endless. These Christian Louboutins are to die for.

Another food post


This blog is called (somewhat unimaginatively) My life in Madrid, but recently it seems like a more apt name might be My weekends in Barcelona, or Planes and Trains. Well, in my first Barcelona-related post I wanted to make mention of a restaurant we have been to several times in BCN, simply because I can't think of a single bad thing to say about it (which is a very rare thing for me :-)). It's a pseudo Japanese called Kibuka and the food is great, the decor is stylish, but in a completely laid-back, effortless way with no attempt at giving it that tired zen-garden look and as a bonus the staff are quite nice too (oh, and it's cheap too, what more can one ask for?). I've been there about 3 times now and tried various dishes, but one thing that stands out is the menu of 'special makis', which combine traditional maki ingredients with others such as Thai curry or even fruit like banana. The other day we tried maki with soft-shell crab - I was slightly alarmed when they brought out this maki with a load of crab's legs sticking out of it - but needless to say, it was delicious (silly me, it didn't click at first that soft-shell crab would mean edible-sheel crab). All this talk of maki has reminded me that somewhere on my 'list of things to do in life' I put down learn how to make Japanese food, and as I've been on a bit of a health-drive lately plus I do have at least 2 Japanese cookbooks, I feel that I now have no excuse. My only worry would be poisoning all my guests with raw fish :-/

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Proud

Peter Presta Remix of Proud (Heather Small) from the series Queer as Folk. Always cheers me up!

video

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

More thinking out loud...

I have to make a public apology (if this can be considered public).

I have recently taken to ridiculing the hippy-druid-shop near my house; it's middle-earthian customers, its no-plastic-bag policy (which, by the way, I kind of agree with), Its wind-chimes and insence, its shelves of druid-supplies with names like quinoa, patchouli and seitan... Guess which 2 of the items in italics are edible*? Most annoying was the way that every time I went in to pick up a loaf of organic bread there would be 'unemployed layabouts' (yes I know, I'm evil and have an acidic tongue) in there chatting leisurely to the shop assistant about their every ailment (from warts to dread-lock rot) preventing busy-me from being served immediately.

Well the other day I tumbled into the druid shop, out of breath and stressed, the way I am every day after work, and did my busy-Madrileño-in-a-shop routine: quick scan of shop to see what I want; decision making process over need for basket or not; removal of cash to save time later at till; impatient manouvre past people blocking access to my product of choice; death stare to anyone in my way; grab products; analysis of queue situation (dive in now? Or, wait a second and risk someone getting in ahead of me? Start putting products on counter to save my 'space' in the queue?)... I was about to make my lunge for the till when the shop assistant looked me in the eye and said 'no te preocupes, aquí no tenemos prisa'. These simple words, rather than annoying me, made me calm down, take a deep breath and realise that not every second of the day needs to be a fight. She then took the time to listen to my questions about what vitamins I wanted and advise me, tell me where I could get good organic vegetables and she even gave me a free tube of my 'special' toothpaste as I had run out. I left feeling much more relaxed than when I went. Now I know why my fellow customers take their time. I have learnt a little lesson today. Ommm (and sorry for being an impatient city-dweller).

* Seitan and Quinoa are edible, but are not worth explaining. I don't think patchouli is edible as it's a perfume, but who knows??

Little things

Several nice, silly little things happened today, the most important being that I saw my lower teeth on my 'bad' side for the first time in 2 months :-)
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