likes, loves and lusts

"New Questions Arise in Killing of Ex-Premier"

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I read this headline this morning, and thought what? who's dead? what happened? I've been so unplugged over this season that GW Bush could have defected to Ireland and I wouldn't have had a clue. But this story sends a chill down my spine.

Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's ex Prime Minister (twice!) was killed on Sunday. This, after only recently returning to her country after a self-imposed exile of nearly ten years.

She was the first women to be elected to lead a Muslim country. She was elected into the position twice, and twice removed by presidents at the time on alleged charges of corruption. Her chosen exile to Dubai followed. Her recent return was based on an agreement with the current government that these charges would be dropped and she be granted amnesty.

Her death comes just two weeks before the scheduled Pakistani general election of 2008 where she was a leading opposition candidate - again. And from her position in the news lately, it's likely she would have caused a serious stir in these elections.

I've been watching news stories about her with interest. This woman so strong in an unashamedly male-dominated society. This woman not only willing to take on the status quo, but who's been garnering more and more support as she goes along. Not even in a Western country can we point to a woman this strong. Not a single one. She stands alone, and she's intrigued me for a while now.

And now this... :

"Athar Minallah, a board member of the hospital where Ms. Bhutto was treated, released her medical report along with an open letter showing that her doctors wanted to distance themselves from the government theory that Ms. Bhutto had died by hitting her head on a lever of her car’s sunroof during the attack."

Where are we in the world where someone like this can be swept away, and there's precious little we can do about it. Who will take her place now?
Someone asked me on Christmas day to name a hero - someone in the world I admired. Anyone. And I couldn't think of anyone. I wanted to pick a woman and couldn't think of a single strong woman to choose. Yet here she is, a woman to inspire us all. A beautiful, strong woman who was leading a nation. For me she's woken something up, and I hope her death does a lot more than that around the world...

An interactive timeline of Benazir Bhutto’s life and career


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A few weeks ago, Robin took me to the golfing range to go hit my very first golf ball. I loved it! My little balls went shooting all over the place - anywhere but straight - and not at all far, but what fun! As a result, I decided I wanted to take up golf. Or at least give it a fighting swing.
Three weeks ago we found ourselves in a Pro Golf shop and there were SALES! I walked out with a full golf kit - my very own set of ladies clubs, a Puma bag and a little Puma outfit to match - not forgetting my little white glove of course. I was ready and set! Bring on the scorecards! Unfortunately, my one day swinging wildly on the driving range was still my only experience.

On Friday though, we went for our very first lesson. Robin to improve his game, me to start mine. After half an hour, and a few tweaks to what I had been doing, I can now swing a golf club, and get my ball to actually go some distance - and in a straight line! So it's started. I've embarked on my new hobby and I'm thrilled. We live next door to a golf course so what better time to take advantage.

Did I mention we also own Tiger Woods' PGA Xbox game, and a net a tee pad in our backyard for practicing at home...? :)

merry kissmas!!!

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Merry Christmas everyone - hope you're relaxing and enjoying the time off. And that you're playing with the spoils of yesterday - I know I am ;o)
That red box in the front - that's MINE!

a smile for a december afternoon

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it just doesn't get better than this :)

cigars, old friends, new friends, spicy fish, good wine

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I feel I need to write something today - it's been too long since I did. But I'm hung-over. I can't think straight. I'm tired. So instead, here's a toast to the old friends I've re-found, the new ones I've made, and the wonderful spicy fish my husband made for us all last night :)

oh - and a picture of the new guy that arrived yesterday! Cute but macabre, meet Andrew Bell's Kanser:

call me in the future

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"Concept" models are always really great. And sometimes we're lucky - sometimes they get made (to a degree of their original design).
The BMW concept store in Paris is amazing - cars that run on grass, flowers that sing - all that fun imaginative sort of stuff :)

Here's a concept phone I'd love to see made: the Nokia 888 Communicator

"The bracelet-like 888 is envisioned to use a liquid battery, feature speech recognition, a flexible touch screen, and a touch sensitive body cover."

Can't you just SEE the fab accessories!

that 70's fashion

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Someone sent this to me, and I thought it was pretty funny:

"Last weekend I put an exhaust fan in the ceiling for my wife's grandfather. While my wife's brother and I were fitting the fan in between the joists, we found something under the insulation. What we found was this:

A JC Penney catalog from 1977. It's not often blog fodder just falls in my lap, but holy hell this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking."

This one's a gem, but read the full scathing blog post here:

finding a silver lining

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On Saturday, very excited about the new apple OS Leopard, and dying to try out things like time machine, quick view and build stacks - I mean, who doesn't want a 3D dock with STACKS!!!! - I tried to upgrade my little iBook.

I suppose "little" is the key word. Or "outdated". Or "defunct". Either way, the upgrade crashed my entire machine. And after two days of trying every trick I could find online, I eventually went with the clean-and-sweep. You effectively overwrite the upgrade with your original OS - everything from scratch. There was a "previous system" folder which I think a higher power probably could have used to reinstall all my preferences and info. But with just 2G now left on my machine I opted for the clean up. And watched glumly as 15G worth of data was wiped out... *sheds a tear*

As you can imagine, what I was left with was a lot of nice clean fresh empty space. Not a single preference. Not an image. Not an email. Not an address. Not a wallpaper. Everything i've saved and customised over the last two years is gone.
And while on the verge of tears I started the job of bringing my beloved little iBook back to life - internet bookmarks, msn profile pics, mail setups - everything.

It's the kind of story that would send a shudder down any tech geek's spine. Losing all that data and info. Spending weeks remembering what it was you lost. And having to start again.
But I've found my silver lining. I'm treating it as a much-needed spring clean. I now have only the applications I really want, I'm filing stuff properly and finally see the value in apple's little colour labels for files. I'm making my machine better than it ever was.

So, apple, while you refuse to even ackowledge the existance of my little Acorn on your site (just try searching "ibook" on mine has once again become my little companion I couldn't do without.
So there.

Zaha Hadid

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When we were in New York in 2006, we came across a vase in an Alessi store that Robin fell in love with. After a brief exchange with the sales assistant, we found out it was designed by a woman named Zaha Hadid, and that she was currently exhibiting at the Guggenheim museum right there in NY. The next day we took a trip out there to find out more about her, and so we stumbled on yet another amazing designer...

She operates primarily as an architect, and has been designing the most amazing buildings since the 80s (most of which couldn't be built at the time because they just didn't have the materials and know-how to put such fantastic creations into shape) but designs furniture, bags - just about anything. A true designer who can put her flavour on to any object.

I saw another exhibition of hers in London at the London Design Museum with a friend, and while I'd seen most of it already, she had a whole new floor of material that was just astounding. Aside from the couch I wish wish wish I could somehow fit into our home, there was also this set of cutlery. I love it. Besides the fact that it retails for $250 for a five piece set (!), I would be eating with them tomorrow if I could. :)

Other projects by Zaha Hadid:
BMW Plant in Leipzig, Germany
London 2012's Olympic aquatic centre
Opus, to be built in Dubai - pretty amazing
The Z Car - a hybrid car
Alessi vase - the one we have

I Heart Design

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It's been a while since I blogged here on my little space - Facebook really does seem to be the all-encompassing. But I've decided to change that. My blog has been important to me as a place to keep those little things I find that I like along the way. Facebook can now just be the bin for all those pics blogger finds it so hard to deal with :)

So as my first post back, let me join the two...

I've started a group on FB called "i heart design" - it's for those of you who enjoy design, love finding new ways to structure things, and love things that are quirky and beautiful. It's here: i heart design

I've also created various albums on that side which I think I'll link to from here as we go. But, it's nice to be back... :)