Monday, 30 January 2006

"Listen to the Music" - Doobie Brothers, 1972

"Listen to the music..."

Or perhaps not...

John has found a very interesting article on the BBC's website about people suffering from something called "amusic". Take a look at the article, called "Listening Displeasure". It's fascinating.


Wednesday, 25 January 2006

"I've Just Seen A Face" - Beatles, 1965

I saw a ghost this morning, on the Thameslink commuter train into London from John's house. It has disturbed me all day.

Soon after I first started my oil industry career, I met my friend Penny. She worked in the Texaco Houston trading group with me, and we became very good friends. Although we lost contact over the last few years of her life, I always thought of her fondly...she was a unique, special person, although her personality could sometimes be exasperating.

As you might have guessed from what I just wrote, Penny is no longer with us. She died just prior to the 9-11 terrorist attack in 2001...from breast cancer. I found myself feeling a bit relieved that she didn't know what had happened on the 11th of September, as Penny loved New York City so much.

But this morning, her ghost was sitting there on the Thameslink train heading into London. It was Penny -- frozen in time, just as I remember her from the early-1980's.

The woman could be her twin. She dressed like Penny. She moved like Penny. She was the same height and body shape. She even wore lots and lots of eye makeup in Penny's famous style. The only thing I couldn't compare was her voice, as she was too far away from where I was sitting for me to hear any of her conversation with the man in the next seat on the train. It's probably just as well, too. Penny's ghost is probably an Englishwoman, and hearing her speak would have completely spoiled my fantasy.

When the woman-from-the-train got off at Farringdon Station, I had to resist the urge to follow her to see where she was going. But I had work of my own to do today, and there was no time to indulge my curiosity.

Never in my life have I ever seen the "twin" of someone else I know. It was spooky that it was Penny's twin, and I remain haunted by her image even tonight.


Saturday, 21 January 2006

"Rescue Me" - Fontella Bass, 1965

Since yesterday, Londoners have been mesmerized by the sighting of a bottle-nosed whale in the Thames River. That's right. A whale -- swimming in the Thames, spotted near the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

If I'd had time to write this blog entry last night, my story would be different from the one I have to write now. After enthralling London and the nation, sadly the rescue of the wayward whale ended sadly today. The whale has died.

But it's heartwarming to see how one of nature's creatures can stir the souls of big-city folk as this one clearly did.


Monday, 16 January 2006

"Hungry Like The Wolf" - Duran Duran, 1982

The newlyweds are back in the UK!

Our heads clearly aren't in the correct time zone yet. We're horribly jet-lagged -- or are we just looking for an excuse for being so lazy, maybe? In any event, we had a wonderful wedding trip to the States, and we're starting to post some of the photos online. (If you'd like the URL for my Smugmug page with the wedding photos, just post me a note here and I'll see that you get it.)

But why the title song?

It's because of a TSA officer who went through one of my carry-on bags at the Houston airport, as we were being screened for our flight back to Gatwick on Friday night. She must have been hungry. Very hungry, I suspect -- and in fact I subsequently saw her and a colleague nearly running to get some food from one of the myriad of vendors in Terminal E.

But I digress.

Within one of my two carry-on bags, the TSA screeners saw what they suspected could be a knife. So they sent one of their employees off with me to a table for a full take-everything-apart-inspection of that bag. And in it, I'd put several zip-lock bags with various munchies for John and me for the 9+ hour trip back to the UK. One bag contained the remains of a can of Planter's deluxe mixed nuts we'd bought at a Walgreen's in New Mexico. There were Mini Oreos. There were two Snickers bars. And there were several cereal bars, too.

When the young woman working for the TSA hit that section of my bag, she loudly exclaimed, "Man, you've got some good snacks in here!".

I couldn't help but chuckle. In the UK, she might have simply said...."Wicked!".

Nice to be back, folks, but it'll be very hard to go back to work tomorrow. I still spend 'way too much time playing with and admiring my new wedding ring!


PS I wasn't really carrying a knife in my bag!

Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Photo: Lobby of the Otero County Courthouse, NM -- 4 January 2006

Bill, thanks SO MUCH for this terrific photo, taken during our wedding last week! Once John and I are back in the UK next week, we'll start posting some of the MANY photos taken by family and friends that day. Meanwhile, though, I thought Lord Celery's readers might enjoy a preview here...while we're still in the States, on our honeymoon.

What a fantastic day! Thank you to EVERYBODY who helped make the event so special!

By the way, you can click on the photo to see a larger version.


Monday, 9 January 2006

Photo: The Happy Couple - 7 January 2006

Here we are near my brother's house in Mesilla, New Mexico -- the happy couple! We'll get photos of the wedding events themselves posted as we can. We're still happily on our honeymoon! (By the way, Ruth, note the earrings...I love them!)

Click on the photo for a larger version, if you'd like.