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Naomi


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For the past three weeks I have been receiving French lessons from Macsen's mother, Jackie. I took three years of French in school which helped me learn the basics, but it is very different being taught by a native French speaker. It's been fun and feels more relevant now that I have French family. Jackie says my pronunciation is perfect which is a relief since it was what I was the most nervous and shy about. When I feel my vocabulary has expanded well enough Macsen and I will only speak French in the house (he's fluent) and we receive the French tv channel TV5 which should help me along.

Last weekend was spent at our long-time friend's house near Oxford. Jocke and Caz have had a rough year. They're both avid motorcyclists and Caz took a bad spill which put a massive dent in her helmut and landed her in hospital for several weeks. Jocke said she was walking around the house speaking like Ozzy Osbourne for months after. She's only 22 and tremendously lucky that she hasn't ended up dead or as a vegetable for the rest of her life. She seemed well-recovered when we saw her last weekend, but she still has hearing loss in one ear. As if that weren't enough a few months ago Jocke was walking to the pub and accidentally bumped into a 18-year-old kid and his mates in a narrow alleyway. They proceeded to kick the living daylights out of him so severely that Jocke could tell what kind of trainers one of the guys wore by the imprint on his face. Caz followed the gang from a distance in her car to find out where they lived and reported them to the police. They only received an 18 month supervision order.





























On Sunday we test drove a Citroën C4 coupé VTS with a 2.0 litre diesel engine (the one with the Transformer commercial, but that's not what swayed us, honest). That is one awesome ride and we both liked it much better than others we've tested. We're pretty certain it's everything that we want so we'll probably put in an order for one this month. We intend to do some road trips across Europe either this year or the next so the new car has me full of anticipation.

For Macsen's 30th birthday on tuesday we went to The Connaught for lunch. That kicked some serious ass, my taste buds are still in bliss. We started the meal off with vintage Veuve Clicquot and then moved on to wine. They had some that went up to £2,000 a bottle, but we happily stuck with a sancerre. They started us with an amuse-bouche of silky smooth and rich cauliflower cream and red wine reduction and then moved on to starters of pan-roasted scallops with pancetta and chestnut butter and jerusalem artichoke soup with herb butter and fois gras. My main was dover sole with celeriac canneloni filled with succulent lobster, asparagus, and a parsley butter sauce and M's was the sea bream with celeriac mash, capers and olives. Dessert was roast pears with salted caramel millefeuille and blueberry marmalade with olive oil cremeux, lemon sorbet and apple. Another complimentry bite was a small cup of tiramisu and chocolate cardamon and apricot petit-fours. We left the dark restaurant after over two hours and wandered down New Bond Street, Savile Row, etc. until we came upon Alphabet in Soho where we stopped for cocktails. I sipped down a Lotus and then we caught the tube and train home before the rush hour crowds.















original old maps of europe and america




golden square




alphabet


A few weeks ago we stopped by the RHS to pick up some herb plants, the only section in bloom were the orchid glasshouses.. beautiful green orchids and rare breeds under lock and key.







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On March 24th, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC), miabella commented:
what a delightful feast for the senses - all of them! : )
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On March 25th, 2005 12:39 am (UTC), nomi replied:
thank you! :)
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On March 24th, 2005 08:02 pm (UTC), weetanya commented:
I love Oxford, I love food, and your photos are vibrant.

Also, kudos on speaking good French! That's something that I will never be able to do.
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On March 25th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC), nomi replied:
I haven't explored Oxford nearly enough yet. I need to go to the botanical gardens. :)

(I'm assuming here.. ) Do you speak Thai? I could never speak Thai in a million years! ;)
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On March 25th, 2005 01:03 am (UTC), weetanya replied:
No, can't really speak Thai, although I sort of comprehend it.

I am lobbying to begin teaching myself Thai this summer, however.
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On March 25th, 2005 01:21 am (UTC), nomi replied:
I started learning French at age 8 and it wasn't until I began learning again that I realized how much starting at a young age has helped my overall comprehension of the language.

I wish you well! I'm glad that the French alphabet is the same, it makes it a whole lot easier. The Thai alphabet is quite beautiful, I will envy your ability to decipher it. :)
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On March 24th, 2005 08:17 pm (UTC), opalfruit commented:
I LOVE your entries...

I just stuffed myself to sickness on Pakistani food in Tooting, but that food still looks tempting..
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On March 25th, 2005 01:36 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Pakistani food sounds gooood. I regularly go to Giftos Lahore Karahi in Southall for my Pakistani fare.. you now have me thinking about Tinda Gosht (baby pumpkin with lamb) and peshwari naan.
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On March 24th, 2005 08:55 pm (UTC), vizzygoth commented:
so glad macsen had a nice birthday, and that you guys are still living the gourmand lifestyle. ;) that cocktail looks especially nice, and somewhat hearty!

and i think this will have to go down in the "best naomi photos of all time" hall of fame. it reminds me of a scene from a merchant and ivory film, especially with the wee chap out on a walk. :)

ps ~ like your new icon, too. it's so neat how the various cloud layers and earth blend into one pastel mesh in the view from a plane.
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On March 25th, 2005 02:01 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Macsen wanted the celebration to be low-key and it was, except the food. It was actually better than I expected, the photos don't do it justice.. everything was cooked so perfectly.

They always do a pretty decent cocktail at Alphabet.. I prefer it to it's sister bar, Amber, because it has a more laid back atmosphere.

re: the photo: thanks! The light that evening was incredible and I love photographing misty scenes, it gives such good depth and layers.

That aerial photo is my desktop right now, it seems to suit my mood this month.



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On March 24th, 2005 10:50 pm (UTC), sapience commented:
this picture is fucking gorgeous, and the large version is now happily residing on my desktop:

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On March 25th, 2005 02:02 am (UTC), nomi replied:
thank you! I love it when people use my photos as their desktops. :)
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On March 25th, 2005 02:28 am (UTC), heuteistmeintag commented:
unrelated, but...
thought you might enjoy this...

banksy strikes again!
On March 25th, 2005 02:45 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Re: unrelated, but...
____________and here >>> (http://www.woostercollective.com)




<3!U   XO!






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On March 25th, 2005 05:39 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: unrelated, but...
Love you!
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On March 25th, 2005 05:36 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: unrelated, but...
I saw, Banksy rules. :)
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On March 26th, 2005 05:02 am (UTC), thesofterside commented:
I love your pictures!
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On March 30th, 2005 12:24 am (UTC), nomi replied:
thank you!
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On March 26th, 2005 08:21 pm (UTC), eyean commented:
nice... les fotos...

happy easter.

=)
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On March 30th, 2005 12:24 am (UTC), nomi replied:
merci!

happy easter to you, too! :)
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On March 30th, 2005 12:41 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: nice surprise reading your entries
wow, thank you for your kind compliments. How wonderful
to know that my words and photos have brought you enjoyment
in difficult times.

I hope you visit my journal again and please take care.

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On March 31st, 2005 06:16 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
learning french
Bravo pour les leçons de français.
Don't be shy about your accent, nobody cares : it is so beautiful when a foreigner makes the effort to speak to you in your own language. Everytime, somewhere, someone learns french makes me happy (and should I say proud?). As you noticed my english is a perfect mess and I don't care (my italian and german are worse and my arabic is so... well, let's say I try :) Bon courage.
Eloi
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On April 14th, 2005 11:49 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: learning french
Merci, any encouragement helps.. this is a really nice comment. You've made me smile (and want to hit the books even more. :)

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On April 1st, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC), heatherland commented:
hi.
ooh french eh, i want to learn russian myself. and i heart orchids!
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On April 14th, 2005 11:56 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: hi.
I would love to learn Russian, but I'll focus on one
language at a time for now. :) I wish you well!
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