Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Cape 'fijnbos' plant kingdom

Blog to follow... something I wrote a few days ago...
Getting a bit tired now, as I wait around London City Airport for my VLM flight back to Amsterdam where I will go home for the first time in over a week. Looking forward to seeing Fred again. He is still on half term and has had to spend it all alone, but I think he has seen quite a few of our friends and the weather has been exceptionally good, I understand. In London, which was ‘rocked’ by an earthquake last night, they are saying that it will be the driest and sunniest February on record, beating the previous 1920 record. In Johannesburg, conversely it has been a cool and wet summer, the hottest weather being when I visited.

So, I am a lucky bugger – they did NOT take away the suntan lotion bottle I had in my rucksack, despite it being over 200 grams. I paid my now customary visit to Marks and Spencer this afternoon to pick up my biscuits and cheese (funny to be going to England to buy cheese – west country farmhouse cheddar and Blue Stilton, when in the old days English people would go to the continent to buy their cheese. The € 1.33 pound makes it worthwhile to go the other way. Anyway, my rucksack was full and I spent the DLR journey trying to arrange everything in there to take all my provisions, which I succeeded except for the two bags of hot cross buns. They watch the number of bags like hawks here. However, it turns out that they have changed the rules and are now allowing two bags and so I am hoping I have not crunched the biscuits up too much that we end up with crumbs. In the meantime, the Dutch will be relaxing their rules on liquids in the summer, but have to be strict now because an undercover journalist from a commercial TV station recently exposed lax security at Schiphol – the bastard…

Anyway, reading ‘thelondonpaper’ in the train when I wasn’t reorganizing my bag, I read that there is a direct action targeting the M&S website today in protest against the company’s exploitation of casual workers and dubious labeling practices in respect of beef imported from Brazil and Thailand…. Hmmm… with so many causes around, I am not feeling too guilty about having gone through their doors today.

The battery is running low and I have probably written enough today, so I will close down the laptop and go back to the excellent ‘Notes from a Small Island’ by Bill Bryson. It really IS very funny… and a nice way for me to end my week long trip away from home.

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