Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Greetings from Slovakia.

I've been in Slovakia now about 24 hours and it's yet to make an impression on me. The communist past is evident in the sturdy public architecture and the nondescript highrise housing. Slovakia seems like the forgotten relative of eastern europe. The Czech Republic sparkles for the world whereas Slovakia seems to be in a state of disrepair void of any tourist.

The one thing I have noticed however, is the strong sense of community. In the large housing districts, neighbours congregate to gossip and children play (like they used to before Xbox's, playstations and internet porn).

I have met my partners family which has been very special. They don't speak English and I don't speak Slovak, so we have had to rely on Enrique as translator.

Stay posted, I will do a heap more exploring and I'm sure I will love this place.

Bye for now.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Big Brother Burma Style!

What the fuck! After 17 years, Aung San Suu Kyi will not be hearing, "It's time to go Aung! Her house arrest, which was due to expire tomorrow was extended by Burma's military rulers.

I can't understand how someone who is 61 and who resembles a field mouse is considered a threat to public order?!

There was huge international pressure to end Aung's house arrest. Not to mention a record amount of votes to evict her from Burma's Big Brother house. But Burma, who has proven to be an international pariah, ignored the pressure to release Aung.

This means that the people of Burma will ultimately suffer as western nations step up their sanctions. It also means that Aung will spend another year in the house with no eviction in sight AND no prize money!

Could we at least put in a jacuzzi for Aung and someone to snog?

It's time to leave the house...... Burma's military rulers!

Friday, 25 May 2007

Living the 'high' life!

What is it that intrigues me about council towers? I don't believe its a psychosexual/phallic facination.... I like them big but not dirty you see.

Anyways, here are some towers from Old Blighty. I read that Blighty originated from the Indian word bilayati (which means foreign). The British then tweaked it to Blighty.

Old Blighty, very foreign indeed!

It's in the stars!

I love Jonathan Cainer's astrology forecasts. He always seems to pump up my already inflated ego by telling me what I want to hear. Below is my forecast for today:

People, thankfully, have short memories. Obviously, because of your high intelligence and your exceptional ability to retain detail, it is a little harder for you to put the past aside. There is now, though, something that you may as well put to the back of your mind. You do not have to forgive but you certainly should forget. For if you do not, you will not become free to move on in the way that you need to. This week, for you, is about letting go. It is about embracing the rather wonderful future that now awaits you.

Question is, how do I forget the past or put it aside? Take copious amounts of meth for a month hoping that it fries my hippocampus?

I read his book, Cosmic Ordering, which I thought was deadful. I also think he looks like a gypsy paedophile however his
astrology forecasts are accurate ; )


Slut of the day.... Beth Ditto!

I hate the mundane and mediocre, so when I discovered The Gossip and in particular lead singer Beth Ditto I was overcome with lesbian love. Ms Ditto is a fat lesbian feminist, civil libertarian, style paragon, gay and lesbian crusader and did I mention she has a sublime voice too? She also eases my guilt when I devour a tub of Ben and Jerry's and for that alone she should be canonised.... when her lard covered heart packs it in of course.

I read an interview where Ditto spoke about a nude photo shoot she did for a lesbian wank magazine. "It was a big moment in my life, It was kind of a radical thing to do. I got my period just 10 minutes before we got there, and I was totally bleeding. I was doing it with my tranny boyfriend, who I’m in love with, and I was totally bleeding — how radical is that? — and I’m a fat person, and I’m a femme. It felt really good." My admiration for Beth would have been elevated if she was photographed smeared in her menstrual blood. Anyways.

I also watched an interview with Ditto, Yoko Ono and Ana Matronic (Scissor Sisters). Ms Ditto spoke of her excitement regarding Paris Hiltons impending incarceration (I hear you). When asked what she learnt being on tour with the Scissor Sisters, Ditto replied, "That Ana Matronic has a cock"! Ms Matronic looked mortified! Throughout the interview Yoko Ono and Ana Matronic looked like fluffy cushions proping up the supreme Ditto.

It's girls like Beth Ditto who fill my heart with joy. Big, beautiful, sassy and not afraid to be themselves.

Fucking Incompetence!

Ok, I understand that Australia can't just open it's borders. The country is experiencing it's worst drought on record. I believe it's a result of the delicate environment unable to cope with the population (and of course dumb-fucks washing their cars and watering their 'gorgeous' European style gardens).

I'm not claiming that my experience can be added to the list of egregious abuse of human rights that we have come to expect from the Australian Immigration Commission. However....

My partner Enrique, a Slovakian born, British Citizen, and I met in Australia whilst he was on a Student Visa. We both deferred from our studies to return to Europe so he could spend some time with his ill mother.

His student visa, however, was cancelled due to a lapse in communication at his college. The outgoing International Student Manager didn't action his deferment nor handover his request to the incoming International Student Manager.

Did I mention a cancelled student visa carries a three year exclusion from Australia!

We have applied to have his cancelled student visa reinstated but as there is no paper-trail of his deferment (thanks to TAFE Queensland) our chances are looking grim. The staff at his college International Office who we have communicated with countless times regarding his deferment won't co-operate. It appears admitting his intentions to defer would be admitting their incompetence (as they didn't action his deferment in the first place)!

The Australian Embassy here in London have been equally indolent. Phone calls are never answered, messages never returned and emails ignored.

It's now three months since this rigmarole started with no resolve in sight. Meanwhile, our lives will continue to be on hold.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Come Clean

I've adjusted to the high prices and cold weather but the one thing that irks me about life in England is the litter. In Australia, if you litter, your branded a 'tosser' and the populace have a strong dislike for tossers. In England however, nobody minds a tosser. This is evident when you walk through any urban area. The streets are littered with cigarette butts, shopping bags, fast food packaging, beer cans, fizzy drink bottles and pages of newspaper.

My issue, apart from poor aesthetics, is litter doesn't break down. Imagine my suprise when I saw a tree adorned with eastern european-style Easter decorations in London.... it was actually a tree draped in litter. The Czech author, Ivan Klima highlighted the same issue in his novel Love and Garbage.

'No matter ever vanishes. It can, at most, change its form. Rubbish is immortal, it pervades the air, swells up in the water, dissolves, rots, disintegrates, changes into gas, into smoke, into soot, it travels across the world and gradually engulfs it.'

Yesterday I went into the country for a stroll. As I admired the countryside, I had a lingering feeling that something was amiss. Only when I returned to the train station did I realise there had been no litter. Perhaps I am starting to adjust!