Monday, April 30

Eitan does footie


Madeleine observes a variety of performers compensated for their services as we stroll along the Southbank Center on the Thames. Quick as a bat she has Eitan's sweatshirt on the ground and begins tap dancing (Eitan is a bit shy and watches mostly from the sidelines and clearly impressed). Amazingly people toss coins Madeleine's way - I think from bemusement - a powerful reinforcement indeed. She begs to continue after I tell her she is being unseemly.

A bike is stolen every 71 seconds in Britain.

London Eye

Bill and Martine visit London to see Sonnet's exhibition and we spend Saturday afternoon on the London Eye. From London they will head to Croatia to check out some Baltic culture and beaches. Bill tells me that the Colorado winter has been fierce with a major snow-storm last week (how different from the UK, which is fast becoming the South of France climate-wise). The Minis's keep their horses in Denver during the cold-season as their ranch may be snowed under for much of the season. We will see them in July and Madeleine chatters away about Charlie, Nugget, Praline, Buckwheat and her other pals.

Sunday, April 29


Brit shoppers will spend £42 billion online this year - up 35X from 2000's £800MM during the Internet "bubble." According to Internet research group IMRG, 860MM parcels will be shipped to Britain's 26MM Internet customers in 2006. Each will receive, on average, 33 packages over the year. Online shoppers are expected to splash out £1,600 per surfer in 2007 when IMRG guesses that the global Internet shopping marketplace will equal £250 billion. Pictured is the Apricot F1 personal computer which was U.K. released in '83 based on the Intel 8086 microprocessor running at 4.77MHz with 256KB of RAM and two floppy disc drives. The Apricot could not store one MP3 file (my photo from the WWW).

This morning I show Eitan how to construct a paper-airplane using Todd Price's classic design back in the day on San Ramon from 1974. Life was good and I recall standing on our pink porch watching our simple creations circle around and through (and in) the trees. Eventually we graduated to model-rocket kits and other heart-quickening pursuits. Eitan tells me that he will take his planes to show-and-tell.

"There's a lot of weirdos on the Internet." Miss Texas Teen USA (during 1998 pageant)

Friday, April 27


Eitan and I listen to our favorite Sheffield Brit-band Arctic Monkeys. In '05 we grooved to their debut and Internet phenomena "Whatever You Say I Am, I'm Not" from '05 and are equally happy with today's "Favorite Worst Nightmare." The Monkeys crest the Brit-pop wave which includes The Kooks, Hardfi, Maximo Park with heavy midlands accents and ripping guitar, along with a fast pace and snappy beat. UnlikePublish the others, ours keep their edgy garage sound and troubled cul-de-sac youth.

She must be a Republican

Or a business school student. It was reported today that Marilee Jones, an outspoken critic of students falsifying their resumes for elite colleges, resigned Thursday as dean of admissions at MIT after acknowledging... wait for it... that she had misrepresented her academic credentials when applying to MIT 28 years ago. Marilee says: "I did not have the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since." What tosh.

Thursday, April 26

Copter down

A Virgin mobile lands about 100 yards from where I am sitting in Green Park on a lovely Tuesday morning. The bird does a low circle, brushing back a maple or two, then lands on the green attracting several curious Japanese tourists and a raised eyebrow from the local morning sun seekers. Out jump two yellow-attired medivacs, complete with O-2 and moon-boots, who cross the common to Mayfair. I stroll over to the pilot who munches a sandwich and refuses to take my question.


Madeleine at Climber's and Creepers. This morning on the school run I respond to a Madeleine-ism saying "sheesh". She tells me to "shush!" and I say: "Are you shushing my sheeshing?" And around it goes.

Eitan's bad behavior loses him the Chelsea-Liverpool UEFA cup semi-final televised on Sky Sports. Both kids excited to wear their new football colours and my punishment comes as a startling blow. Feeling sorry for the kid (and wanting to watch the game with him), I propose that Eitan swap Chelsea-'pool for Sunday cartoons. He accepts the deal and draws the contract, signing his name in black ink.

Wednesday, April 25


Stan and Silver at Kew Gardens. Eitan is a bit grumpy being forced to pose for the photo, which he doesn't. We play tag whereby the winner earns a "double ice-cream" for not being "it". The kids run with an urgency reserved for, well, nothing else. Both are fast and slippery and I can still scoop up Madeleine on the fly. From the park to home where Sonnet has prepared a roast beast and three-berries tart. The weather is spring-like and the bluebells are in bloom. Not a bad Sunday spent.

Neues Museum

Sonnet at the National Gallery in Berlin, artist unknown by me. Sonnet studied art history at Smith College which she puts to good practice here or in London. The night before we join our friend Dr Frank Albrecht for dinner at the Borchardt restaurant. It is a local and we each order the weinerschnitzel and potato salad and bottle of rieiling wine (white). Frank was born in Berlin shortly before the wall and there to see its end. After receiving his PhD and re-unification Frank worked for the Treuhand which privatised the East's national enterprises. He now works for CAM, a substantial private equity investor.

La Reine

At the antiquities museum, Sonnet and I see Queen Nefertiti or translated: "the beautiful woman has come." This is one of the most famous and beloved of all ancient Egyptians and here is her bust. Nefertit's orignis and life are shrouded in mystery but the speculation has kept many a PhD program going. She surfaced with King Akhenaten during his fourth year at el-'Amarna 2500 years b.c. The city was dedicated to the god Aten. In the sixth year of his reign, Neferiti's name was changed to Nefernefruaten, which means "Beautiful in beauty is Aten". This we know. And too that she was a lovely.

Tuesday, April 17


Thinking of last night's opening, I use my mobile to snap this strange horse-manequin on rue due Faubourg St-Honore in Paris where I am staying in the 8th. The shop is Levan and other window-displays show a well presented gentlemen with a rooster's head. And a dressed-to-the-nines goat with a snake on his lapel. Go figure. But hey, if it sells it sells.

Eitan is sad that I am away tonight but cheers up when Aggie takes the kids to McDonalds and Mr Bean, a new movie showing at the Richmond Odeon. Sonnet arrives home at a reasonable hour with plenty of sunshine to focus on Eitan and Madeleine and unwind from New York Fashion Now. Me, I have a drink at the swank l'Hotel Costes surrounded by models and the uber attractive then head back to Le Faubourg to have dinner and finish some work.

This morning on Radio 4 Eitan heres about Virginia Tech where 33 are murdered. While we filter most adult news, the outside world encroaches and he is curious.

New York Fashion Now

Sonnet at the V&A. Her dress by Osman Yusefada, London.

Sonnet's Big Show last night opened without a hitch. The press and celebrity arrived in high spirits for the museum's fashion and sipped vodka fizzies under the Chihuly chandelier. In the house were Tom Ford, Ya Ya Yas and David Furnish. Sonnet was interviewed by Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune. Of importance to Sonnet, many of her designers made it to London happy to see their couture in bright lights. Bravo.

Monday, April 16


Katie at Kelly Flynn's wedding last month at Barney's, New York.

Did you know?

Over 80% of those working in central London travel to work by public transport compared to 14% in Great Britain as a whole.

Over three million trips a day are made on the London underground system. Over 5.4 million trips are made by bus each day in London.

Overseas visitors spend over £100million on London's tubes and buses and account for 25% of taxi fares.


A CCTV camera that can detect potential criminals, then follow their movements, is being tested in shopping centers in the U.K. This following the recent announcement that CCTV will be hooked up to bull-horns. The so-called "Bug" is fitted with a ring of eight cameras which record a panoramic view of the street below. The footage is scanned by software that "identifies 50 behavioral traits" and determines whether someone is acting "out of the ordinary." When a suspect is spotted, a ninth camera automatically locks on to them and follows their movements. Their are 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain, or one-fifth of the world's total. Comments Simon Davies, director of Privacy International: "We do not know what the psychological impact will be on the population."

Sunday, April 15

Hard Knock

A sunny afternoon yesterday and Eitan must decide what he wants to do: backyard gardening, football at the common, quiet play in his room... he chooses none so I drag him to the drug store. He is clearly pissed off and I tell him: "In life, if you don't decide somebody will take the decision for you."

Mitch and I go to quasi metal band The Deftones at the Brixton Academy in South London. The Deftones are from Sacramento, cA, and influenced by hip hop. Their music is loud and satisfying . I get home around midnight buzzy and tone-deaf. Sonnet takes a pass on this one - which is just as well as she would have bolted for sure.

Sesame St

Katie enjoys the Upper West Side sunshine with a neighborhood friend. She has received a considerable positive feedback to her New York Times profile and the Women Op-Ed project. Last week she dined with Phil Donahue and his wife Marlo Thomas, the creator of "Free To Be You and Me" which Katie and I listened to as kids and Madeleine and Eitan experience now.

My Little Girl

Madeleine is in a good mood this morning as it is is spring and Silver and Stan are in town with presents and attention. Yesterday we play in Hyde Park with the grand-parents and Uncle Anthony sporting the latest cool facial hair. The only downer occurs when I exuberantly push Madeleine on the swing and... she falls off! The tears. The pain. The guilt. The playground's mums are like meercats: heads pop up and point directly at me. Madeleine hams it up and is only placated with a hug and promise of ice cream. For shame.

In this photo, she counts her coins separating Euros, pounds and US. She knows the equation: money = candy.

Friday, April 13


This image is the cover-page passport of Heyman and Catharina, the parents of my French instructor and friend Suzette, who has been kind enough to share a copy with me and allow me to poste it here. Heyman and Catharina are Jewish and their documents date-stamped to expire January 7, 1941. It allowed the family to leave Antwerp for, eventually, Britain and the remainder of the war. The Benelux countries were invaded by the Nazis on May the 10th 1940 and Antwerp Jews shared the same fate as the other Jewish people in Nazi-occupied countries: many were transported to the concentration camps. The Nazis were frequently angered by the 'soft' attitude of the Belgians towards the 'Jewish Problem'. Indeed, a lot of Belgians managed to save Jewish children by hiding them in schools, monasteries, sometimes by 'adopting' them into their own families.

Thursday, April 12


"PVC and steel" by Anish Kapoor was on display at the Tate Modern from October 2002 to April 2003 as part of the Unilever Series. Looking like a giant cochlear space-ship, the thing occupied the entirety of the museum's turbine hall or 200 meters by 35 meters. This image from a post card and photo taken by John Riddy.

Stan and Silver arrive today and Madeleine is up at the crack-of-dawn and full of anticipation. I note that this is the first time that she has seen the sun-rise, which she contemplates for a moment: "but I have seen the sun-set and that is like the same thing." Smart kid.