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Monday, July 12, 2004

Give me Moore!

Saturday was decidedly "ad-hoc". Only one thing was planned - we were going to Camden Town so that I could attend a talk at the Open University on their flexible PGCE course and on post-graduate study in general (this being one possible career direction I've considered). Other than that, there was a vague idea of visiting my friend in Chingford, since we were North of the river (oh, to be North of the river, where they have tube lines and no Millwall supporters....).

So, we go to Camden. While I'm at the talk, BF takes a stroll up the High Street - his mission being to seek out a haircut and a luncheon venue.

The talk was informative, though it could have been more so if people hadn't spent so much time pondering over whether their foreign degree was equivalent to a UK honours degree and whether the exams they did at secondary school were equivalent to GCSE maths and English and whether it mattered if they didn't know where their GCSE certificates were... Call me Miss Picky, but I would have liked to have known a bit more about the course content. I do get annoyed when people spend time on details relevant only to them which can be worked out at a later date... But I did learn about the course structure and the limits of flexibility dictated by the TTA which will determine how I could fit the course in with work if I chose to take that route...

I came out to find BF waiting for me in the chosen lunch venue - an Italian style "tapas" bar. The food was good, but I was disappointed that they couldn't provide me with a mixed leaf salad on the side - they only had rocket leaves. There were some French people on the table next to ours who couldn't quite understand the concept of everyone sharing the dishes - the manager had to explain it to them, bless. They call us insular...

BF mentions that he noticed that there is a showing of Fahrenheit 9/11 at the Camden Odeon, and we had discussed seeing it, so we decide to go - but not before a quick foray into a couple of shoe shops and an excited look at some Snoopy bags (why *didn't* I buy one? But I couldn't decide - pink or black? Large or small?).

The film was fascinating. What I liked about it was its accessibility. It's not presented in a high-brow way like many documentaries - it uses a kind of "faux-naïf" style, partly playing on Bush's reputation of being a simpleton, but that was handy, as I'm a bit of a simpleton too! It doesn't assume that you know certain things already, everything is presented "from scratch" so if, like me, you don't keep up with all the news and find yourself lost in the fog of ideas about Bush and the wars in Afghanistan and the Gulf, this film presents the whole picture - albeit in a one-sided way of course, but there do seem to be many facts which are undeniable - the investment of Saudi money in the US, the links between the bin Ladens and other eminent Saudis and the Bush family. I guess, as a Brit, I wanted to understand more of Blair's role in the whole débacle, but that was the only thing which I felt was lacking for me personally. As BF said, the audience applauded at the end of the film, which is a rare thing in my experience.

The BF was in thoughtful mood when we came out - "I feel I need to *do* something..." he said on the way back to the car, and was restless as we drove up the A503 towards my home town... He found a leaflet I'd picked up from the OU talk and the keyring pen I carry around in Cat Bag and started scribbling his thoughts as we headed toward my friend B's house...

I had phoned B from the restaurant and, not knowing how long the film would be, suggested a vague arrival time. In fact, we arrived at her house at exactly that time and spent an enjoyable evening eating her home-made curry and discussing the film further.

Our evening was only spoiled by the fact that the Blackwall Tunnel (our most direct route home) was closed Southbound. Now, I had checked various teletext pages (I maintain that "old skool" teletext is far superior to the nonsense offered by Sky Digital...) to check if it was closed, as I knew that there had been closures some nights, but no information was forthcoming so we assumed that no news was good news. No such luck - as soon as we got on the North Circular, heading towards the A12 and Northern Approach to the tunnel, the signs indicated that the tunnel was closed. My first thought was to take the A13 further into town and use the Rotherhithe tunnel. This, apparently, was everyone else's thought too, so a swift U-turn later and I'm heading out towards the M25. A circuitous route, but we got home eventually... on checking teletext again at home, it tells us, after the event, that the Blackwall Tunnel is closed Southbound. Thanks for that!

Now, if you don't mind, I've got various things to attend to now that I'm a lady of leisure, so I'll be off now...


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