Having chosen to swallow the red pill...

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I may have given-up cigarettes, but baby, I'm still smokin'

Originally uploaded by Bat21.

From midnight tonight, all bars and cafés in Sweden will become smoke free and that is a good thing. I am not one of these radical health-freak anti-smoking lobbyists but I will be glad to eat and enjoy my food without someone blowing smoke on my plate. I will be glad to escape the negative effects of passive smoking, where my only choice up until now has been 'like it or leave' and I will be glad to come home from a night out and not smell like an ashtray. I guess what I like most is having my choices back. Instead of having to accept smoking as the status quo, the balance has been redressed and maybe, just maybe, this bold move might help a few more people to give up, especially as they are freezing their asses off outside during winter!

But thinking about it on a wider scale, it represents a pretty giant leap for society, kind of a 'if you show me where to put my pole, then I will move the world.' I mean that look back to the eighties, for instance, it seemed as if everyone was smoking, smoking was the new black and you brought shares in tobacco companies as a fast track way to your first Porsche. But slowly but surely as society has been footing the mounting health bill and research has proven than smoke is negative to both smokers and passive smokers, be they adults, children or babies, things have been changing. More people than before have been able to 'kick the habit' and are feeling much better for it, then it was banned on airlines and now it has finally been banned in cafés and bars. That's not a step, that's a giant leap. (Good luck trying to do it in Paris though...)

Yesterday, Monday 30th May was a bad, bad day

It was an inevitability, but I didn't get any warning, I didn't get any time to mentally prepare myself. I just sat down yesterday, as usual at 18:00 and BANG! there it was, Scrubs will be taking a break for a while and has been replaced by Sex in the city.

Every once in a while, I obsess totally about a TV series and it can have serious consequences. The last TV series I obsessed about was Ed and when, mid series, they took it off TV quite unexpectedly, I vowed not to watch TV again until it was back on. Because I didn't have a TV paper, I abstained from TV for almost a year, until I discovered that it was on again, just at a different time and on a different channel!

But this is different. This time with Scrubs, it is personal. They didn't tell me damn it. I feel as if I have lost a good friend. My evenings, when I am not at swimming, begin with 30 minutes of pure silence as I enjoy Scrubs, Ellie knows not to talk and my friends know not to ring me (not that they ever do anyway) and on Sunday, there is a double bill from 20:30-21:30... and now, suddenly, I am left with silence. The TV set is black once again and our living room is somehow colder and I am left to stare soulfully at the scrubs website: http://www.scrubs-tv.com/ and wait like a sick puppy...


NBC have anounced that there will be a 5th season of Scrubs and I have just found out that I can purchase the entire first season from Amazon! There will be TV for me afterall.

It would seem that one good thing follows another. By missing Scrubs, I was forced to channel flick to curb my fristration by criticising all the other crap that is on TV, but I came across one of the most surreal animations I have seen since Katja-Kaj, Bengte-Bengt and their moose of roller-skates searched a whole city to find the old lady who dropped her zucchini in the supermarket. The series is on MTV and is called Weebl and Bob. This is there website http://www.weebl.jolt.co.uk/ ... click on the Episodes menu on the right hand side of the site and get ready to spit out your beer and popcorn! ... unless you have no humour, in which case use this as a test to find out.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Mañana, mañana, oh shit, it's Monday!

I am almost glad that there is less sunshine today, than over the weekend and that the forecast for the next few days is slightly colder and some rain. The problem is that I have one week left of the university term and a lot to do (group presentation, two seminars and a paper to write) but the moment I go out in the sun, all sense of discipline melts away and I find myself just saying, 'Mañana, mañana' and reaching for the gin'n'tonic.

It is now Monday morning and I don't have too many mañana's left before it all has to be done! So, véale mañana good people, I have to bust my chops and get working!

p.s. Welcome back today Dom, I hope that you had a great holiday and that the first day back isn't too evil.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Hell yeah, it's FRIDAY!!!

I love these random question things, this is another one I have borrowed/stolen from Dom. Reading them on other people's blogs gives you an interesting insight into them and their reality and it also saves me having to think too hard about something to write for y'all today. Have a great weekend...

01. Take the book that is closest to you, open it in page 18, what does line 4 says?
Styrbjörn (it is a book of Swedish baby names)

02. Extend your left arm all you can. What’s the first thing you can touch?
The teddy bear I have had since I was born that now chills-out all day on our sofa

03. What was the last thing you watched on TV?
Scrubs (my current 'can't live without' TV series)

04. Without looking, try to guess what time it is.

05. Now look at the clock, what time is it?
actually 08:47 so I guess that means I am really in synch with nature ;-)

06. Besides your computer, what can you hear?
The hushed sound of anticipation as Friday 27th May waits for me, Paul Noble, to stop writing my blog and get my shit together!

07. When was the last time you walked on the street?
Yesterday evening

08. Before coming to this page, what site were you visiting?
Dom's blog (http://domsjourney.blogspot.com/)

09. What are you wearing?
Red polo shirt, blue jeans, currently barefoot

10. Did you dream last night?
Really don't remember. Slept well though

11. When was the last time you laughed?
Yesterday evening whilst out with Ellie and her Grandmother

12. What’s on the walls on the room where you are?
Two beautiful paintings by the artist Helena Bergenrud, an enlarged photo from our wedding and two framed 'natural feeling' photo montages from IKEA.

13. Have you seen something weird lately?
Yeah, when I went into a local supermarket the other day, there was a Grannie in a pink jogging suit on her way out. I just needed milk, so I picked it up and quickly went to the checkout, only to find that the same Grannie was infront of me, somehow, with loads of shopping on the checkout belt. How did she do that?

14. What do you think of this test?
Random questions give a surprising insight into different people's universes!

15. What was the last movie you saw?
American Pie: The Wedding

16. If you became a multi-millionaire tonight, what would you buy first?
Something pretty impressive for my Mum's 60th birthday, which is next week!

17. Tell me something I don’t know about you. Be sincere:
I am a published poet.

18. If you could change something in the world, that wasn’t politics related, what would it be?
I would like to re-introduce politeness, manners and respect for your fellow human being.

19. Do you like to dance?
No, I feel that my arms and legs are controlled by a puppet-master who is tripping on some pretty wacked-out shit!

20. George Bush:
Is this the world we created?

21.a. Imagine your first kid its a girl. What would you name her?
Amelie or Annabell

21.b. Imagine your first kid its a boy. What would you name him?
This is currently giving us problems, hence my answer to question number 1.

22. Have you ever thought of migrating to another country?
Yes, been there, done that and haven't got home yet :-)

23. What language would you like to learn how to speak fluently?
Swedish would be a good start!

24. Name the top 3 TV shows you like the most right now:
... and you guessed it, Scrubs. My life is simple, TV from 18:00-18:30 then I'm happy for the evening.

25. Say something profound:
Each and every one of you reading this has the power to change anything you want in your life this very moment!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Go Barbie! Go Barbie!

Yesterday, Ellie and I decided to get it over and done with and attend Försäkringkassans course on maternity/paternity leave & benefits. Not the most interesting way to spend an hour of your Wednesday evening, but nevertheless, something that needed to be done as the 'bump' keeps getting bigger.

Anyway, the course was meant to run from 16:30-17:30 and so we were waiting outside at 16:20 with about 20 other couples, most of which contained heavily pregnant ladies. 16:30 came and went and no-one opened the door to let us in. Finally at 16:45 some poor lady opened the door to inform us that the two ladies who ran the course (at the same time every week) had forgotton about it and had gone home! So we should all go home and come back again next week! - Not a good move with 20 heavily pregnant and hormonally charged women who had been standing around getting more and more frustrated. I heard everyone draw a deep breath, their hands went to their hips and then, as one group, they attacked.

It was a bit like throwing a hamburger into a bus of hungry Americans and needless to say, even though the poor woman who opened the door was a specialist in housing benefits (bostadsbidrag) she had to let us in, find the right information and give us a 45 minute presentation on family benefits! - Talk about a shitty day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Music et al

Got tagged by my friend Dom (see: http://domsjourney.blogspot.com/) to complete the questions and give an insight into my strange music tastes, so here goes...

Total volume of music files on my computer?
on this mac... 4.77 gb (feels pathetically inadequate compared to Dom's gargantuan 18.92 gb, but then again, I'm pretty confident as a man!)

The last CD I bought was:
Snoop Doggy Dog's: Rythmn'n'Gangsta

Song playing right now:
Listening to a podcast, a philosophical discussion on 'What is beauty' from the BBC!

Five songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me(in no particular order):
These are what I'm listening to at the moment:

- Be Like That - 3 Doors Down - like the tone of the song and like the lyrics
- Stella Del Mattino - Ludovico Einaudi - piano music that reaches places that other music can't
- Touch Me - DJ Tiesto - part of the thumping music on my ipod that helps me cycle the 5km to university in 12 minutes (when I am running late, which is like always!)
- Swords - Leftfield - love the lyrics, sort of a Zen-dance track
- The closest thing to crazy - Katie Melua- Refreshing to find an artist who can actually sing

Which 5 people are you passing this baton to, and why?
Since Dom has already done this, I have no-one in the blogging universe to pass the baton to. I guess my time is better spent rapidly leaving comments on everyone else's blogs to drum-up some interest!

Helping strangers

I was on my way back from a job interview yesterday afternoon when I saw a guy at a crossroads trying to push his broken-down car on his own. The other people in the traffic were just getting pissed at him, honking horns and making impatient hand-gestures as, because of him they would arrive wherever they were going all of 30 seconds later.

I pulled my bike over, crossed the road and helped him push his car across the junction and up a hill into a garage. He was both surprised and very grateful for the help, but that isn't the point. Ask yourself this... would you have stopped or just cycled on by?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

After grading

Two new orange belts after a hard morning's work!
Originally uploaded by Bat21.

The boys

The boys & Anna
Originally uploaded by Bat21.

Paul - Kamae

Paul preparing to 'get in the ring'
Originally uploaded by Bat21.

Fight club

Helped by the enormous pasta carbonara that Andreas and I made on Saturday, I am happy to announce that on Sunday, I was awarded my orange belt in Ju-jutsu, after what was a tough 1.5 hours of grading. In a hot and stuffy dojo, two of the boys almost fainted and techniques kept slipping in the contact of sweat on sweat as our instructors urged us to increase the pace to make both attack and defence as realistic as possible.

The result was a fast and tough grading, with credit going to Anna, our instructor and to the hard work we all put in, as we all passed without comment, which is unusual. It is nice as it is a good bunch of boys that I train with, and this means that we all advance to orange belt together, which is both a good thing for us and a good thing for the club.

Photos above are of me in my scary fighting stance, Thomas (my grading partner and me) looking a little tired after grading and the happy boys and Anna, at the end of a hard morning’s work.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Carpe Diem!

Fisherman's tale
Originally uploaded by Bat21.

Today was a fantastic guy's day for me. I woke-up feeling well rested and had a leisurely breakfast with Ellie. I then met my friend Andreas and spent the afternoon out by the sea, fishing for Horngädda and, as is rare for me, I actually caught six fish of varying sizes. We then tried in vain to wash the smell of fish off us, then it was time to go to the cinema to watch Star Wars Episode 3 : Revenge of the Sith. After the movie, we came back home to me and made a huge pasta carbonara, so that I can load-up on carbohydrates ready for tomorrow's ju-jutsu grading, then we watched American Pie 3, before calling it quits for the day. Now that's how a Saturday should be!

Friday, May 20, 2005

broken bone

broken bone
Originally uploaded by Bat21.

I was rushing to get ready for university, as usual, yesterday and in the rush, dropped the Maori carving that I wear around my neck and it landed badly and broke in two places.

Ellie brought the carving for me one year ago. The Maori believe that the carvings have a significance based on their design and that in the working of the bone, the carver imparts some of his or her spirit into it. The wearer then recieves the ivory white bone and as it absorbs their natural oils, it turns a beautiful honey colour, both imparting the spirit of the carving into the soul of the wearer and absorbing some of the wearer's spirit into the carving.

The carving I had was a one off, commissioned by a talented artist called Lilach Paul, and purchased through a lovely place called The Bone Art Place. The carving was called 'The Union' and represents an insight into the bigger picture, strength and protection.

I am a spiritual person and truly believe in the significance behind the carving according to the Maori traditions and the carvings significance for me. Since having the carving I have a desire to be a better person, I have changed my direction and found my purpose, things go well for me and I feel better within myself than I have for a long time.

Needless to say, when the carving broke yesterday, I was gutted and took it to be a bad omen. I got in touch with The Bone Art Place straight away, and Don, the owner, assured me that the Maori people believe that when a carving breaks, it is the meaning that the spirit inside has moved on to join the ansestors. Ellie also felt that there may be meaning with it, as I am nearing my 30th birthday and she is pregnant and maybe a new carving, given to me by both her and the baby, may provide me with what I need to move into the next stage of my life.

Anyway, my good news is that it may be possible, if Lilach wants to, that she can carve me a new carving, incorporating the centrepiece of my old carving, bringing both the spirit of the old carving and some of the new carving. The possibility made my day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Originally uploaded by Bat21.

May's wine recommendations

Better late than never... wine recommendations for May. Staying loyal to my tradition of making sure that my cellar is well stocked with South African wines, I purchased two bottles of Allesverloren's Tinto Barocca 2004 for the cellar this month. This promises to be a fantastic wine, to be eaten with meatier dishes, which comes into its own during this year and improves up to 2008.

My second purchase (to kind of make-up for my lack of purchases during the last few months and to help me keep fulfilling my New Year's resultion to take care of my wine cellar!) were 4 bottles of DÃo's Primavera Reserva 2003. 4 bottles on a student's income?? I hear you asking. Yes, the great thing about this wine is that is received 5 stars from Anders Rottorp, (the winer critic whose taste best aligns with my own) will be at its best between 2005-2008 and only cost sek 54 or £4 a bottle. I shall have a bottle out next year, two in 2007 and the last in 2008 to see whether it improves with age!

Happy drinking...

Back on the air

OK, the most inconsistent blogger is back on the air. No real excuse for not blogging recently, just been immersed in school work, still it seems to be paying off as I just scored 92% on my pschology exam. Anyway, as a way of warming myself back into blogging, I have filled out this fun little questionaire that I stole from Dom's site.

1.First name: Paul
2. Were you named after anyone? Don't think so
3. Do you wish on stars? No, I reley on myself to make my wishes come true
4. When did you last cry? When I received the plumbers bill for installation of three new radiators at home.
5. Do you like your handwriting? Yes
6. What is your favorite lunch meat? My Mum’s lamb roast
7.What is your birth date? 03/07/1975
8.What is your most embarrassing CD? A Gift of Love featuring Deepak Chopra and friends performing Rumi’s poetry to music.
9.If you where another person would YOU be friends with you? Yes, if the ’me as someone else’ is playing their sociable role.
10. Do you have a journal? Yes, keep meaning to write more in it… more time, more time…
11. Do you use sarcasm alot? Yeah, right…
12. What are your nicknames? None that I know of
13.Would you ever bungee jump? No. Don't do heights
14.Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes, unless I am drunk and the knot is tricky, then I leave them until the next morning.
15. Do you think that you are strong? Compared to whom? Not compared to some of the saskwatches I train with at ju-jutsu. Note to self, must get every muscle tight, starts tomorrow.
16.What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Clotted cream vanilla
17.Red or Pink? Red
18.What is your least favorite thing about yourself? Bitten nails currently
19.What do you miss most? Brian Pickerings sausages
20.What color pants and shoes are you wearing right now? Dark blue pants, no shoes (working from home, currently in surf-dude mode)
21.What are you listening to right now? The lonesome electric chicken clucking on my desktop.
22.Last thing you ate? Three different types of vegetarian curry
23. If you where a crayone what color would you be? Yellow
24. What is the weather like right now? overcast with breaking sun.
25.Last person you talked to on the phone? The plumber (see question 4)
26.The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Breasts (just being honest)
27. Do you like the person that sent this to you? Yes, Dominic is my kind of guy.
28.Favorite drink? Red wine, shiraz, cabernet-shiraz or pinotage
29.Favorite sport? Ju-jutsu
30. hair color? Brown
31. Eye color? Blue
32.Do you wear contacts? Nope, 20/20 vision at the moment
33.Favorite food? rocket salad with ripe cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and pine-nuts, with a lemon olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey dressing, accompanied by freshly baked brown-bread with olives in it.
34.Last movie you watched? Tomb Raider (it was late, I was bored, and Angelina just beckoned to me from the DVD box)
35.Favorite day of the year? Any day that is warm enough to wear a t-shirt
36.Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings
37.Summer or winter? Summer
38.Hugs or kisses? Kisses
39.What is your favorite dessert? Créme Brulee
40.Living arrangements? I live in a house with my wife.
41.What books are you reading? The Carl Roger’s Reader; Interaktionistisk Förändringsarbete, Familjterapins Grunder and Reflekterande Processer
42.What on your mouse pad? Don't have one, work of my beloved Power Book
43.What did you watch last night on t.v.? Was out drinking beer with friends
44.Favorite smells? Freshly opened bag of coffee, certain perfumes and a warm dawn in Kenya
45.Favorite sounds? sea
46.Rolling Stones or Beatles? Neither
47.Whats the furthest youve been from home? Australia
48.Do you have a special talent? Seeing into people. High pain threshold. Great with children.