Thursday, May 31

Big Skies

Here's a photo from last summer in CO. We will return Out West in July and already Eitan and Madeleine are dreaming of Martine and Ray's friendly horses. Last night, Madeleine dresses up her elephant Babaar after an evening bath which leaves the stuffed animal soaked. She then wraps a plaster around his trunk to take care of a scrape and tucks him into a make-shift bed next to her own. Finally, Madeleine places an open book next to Babar so that he may read before sleep. I find the two happily asleep, side-by-side.


Sonnet in Berlin several weeks ago. On a lovely spring-summer day I am in Paris for some meetings and to see friends. It is a quick trip returning me to London tomorrow in time for Shakespeare in Regent's park with the Fishers. I watch the French Open as I work. Life is good.

“We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out”

Winston Churchill

Wednesday, May 30


Nathan patiently listens to Madeleine, who may be describing her "worm house" which unfortunately was left uncovered and got flooded this week. The creepies seem to have survived and are set free by Sonnet not to be seen again by us let us hope. Nathan is an avid tri-athelete and may be found on his bike where he rolls 40 miles a day. He also surfs and plays a mean game of fooz ball. Nice rounding skills for the Oxford graduate that is he.

He Must Be A Republican

He sure is a retard. Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons announced a plan to turn coal into jet fuel to raise money for the state. Unfortunately for him and Nevada, Nevada has no coal. Jim also proposed paying for a $3.8 billion shortfall in highway construction money by selling water rights under state highways - it turns out (of course) the state does not actually own the rights. Jim then told a local editorial board he could not pronounce the name of his energy adviser because she was “Indian” — she is Turkish. He is also the subject of a FBI enquiry into whether he failed to report gifts from a military contractor while serving in Congress. The governor has denied wrongdoing and suggested (of course) that Democratic operatives might have paid off newspaper reporters who have written about his troubles with the F.B.I. There is more - like his threat to shut down the state budget unless he gets a security fortress in Carson City. Or his ambitious plan to cut taxes to small business by two one hundredths of a percent. He is indeed a Republican.

Still, Jim retains support from 28% of the state, or about the same crowd who now back our President Bush. These couldn't be the same voters, could they be?

Tuesday, May 29


Eitan at Waterloo station this weekend. We (I!) survive the bank holiday and Eitan begins a football clinic as there is no school (halt-term break). The clinic is three hours each morning beginning yesterday - Madeleine refuses - Eitan loves the footie practice. Today Aggie returns from Poland where she has been on holiday this past week. Eitan and Madeleine greet her with a home-made chocolate cake.

My intern from Columbia Business School begins today and most of the morning is spent getting him settled. Mathieu is from Paris and will cover several countries looking for secondary venture deals.

Monday, May 28

Pet Shop Boys

Sonnet and I re-live the 80s and 90s seeing the band which brought our culture "West End Girls", "It's A Sin" and "Suburbia" which they play to our great delight. Think synthesizers, bright neon and disco. Favorite baby-sitter Renata gives us her Sunday evening and with Eitan and Madeleine they watch a movie and eat pop-corn.

Trafalgar Sq

We end our morning at Nelson's column and Madeleine and the kids are drawn to the fountains (surprise). While the idea of wetting themselves attractive, the wishful coins awaiting their collection also tempting. The adults keep their eyes open for a splash or disappearance as the square is crowded on the weekend. Here Madeleine explains that that "money is free" after all and she will dry off "straight-away, dad."

"How poor are they that have not patience!" Othello. ACT II Scene 3


We visit sculptor Antony Gormley at the Hayward Gallery on Saturday. Happily Emily has interviewed Gormley for the BBC and gives us the inside. Gormley is known for his fixation on the body, which he describes as "an attempt to materialise the place at the other side of appearance where we all live." Many of his works are based on moulds taken from his own, or "the closest experience of matter that I will ever have and the only part of the material world that I live inside." Outside the gallery his statures are placed on 32 roof-tops visible from the museum's outdoors. Here I photograph one on the museum concrete.

Skate rats

As with so many Many Bank Holiday Weekends we have experienced in the UK, this one is wet and cold. Our first summer in London I recall a weekend-weather cycle which brought the fowl by Saturday clearing up for work. We use today to visit the Southbank Center with the Bilefield-Kasriel s - kids pictured. James Bilefield was an early fellow in Skype, which was sold to eBay for $4.3 billion last year. He is now looking into next start-up opportunities and not too surprisingly has a good selection. His wife Emily Kasriel is at the BBC and recently moved from the art's desk to oversee religion - an important assignment for them and her. This photo taken underneath the Elizabeth Hall - a typically terrible '60s design with an open, dark space perfect for riff-raff now fortunately occupied by skate-boarders.


Madeleine is up before Eitan and chomps some fruit. Eitan rolls downstairs rubbing the sleep from his eyes and the kids discuss the fact that Madeleine up before he. Eitan plays the Arctic Monkeys and blasts away - until Sonnet beseeches him to turn down the "noise." We wink at each other - damn the neighbors.

Friday, May 25


This is the Thames on a muggy afternoon where the river kinks at Mortlake famous for its cemeteries. It is also about where the Oxford-Cambridge boat race finishes at the Budweiser Brewery - smoke-stack pictured. Famously the Thames is tidal until the Teddington Lock or another two kilometres west, "down" stream. Many thousands of years ago the Thames was 10 km wide at this point forming an abundant marshland.

Jan Faber and I catch a matinee at The Globe seeing the bard's Othello. It was riveting through-and-through made graphic as Desdamona's death-bed is sprayed with hot blood. Bravo.

I ask Eitan what he will do with his stack of money accruing on his desk. He replies without hesitation: "save them until I have half a million pounds."

Madeleine fills a clear plastic container with dirt and makes a "warm farm" for a number of her pink friendlies. She fills the "trap" with apples, bananas, leaves and grass so the warms can eat. Sonnet puts her foot down when asked to bring them inside "so they can sleep."

Thursday, May 24


After saying good-bye to Rob, I visit the modern art Museum Ludwig and see some old friends. Ludwig has the largest collection of Picasso's in Europe and also features works of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichenstein.

I arrive home in time to join Sonnet to pick up the kids from school. Sonnet has taken the week off and today assists in Madeleine's class with bakery and other school-time activities. According to Sonnet, Madeleine was proud to show off her mum and introduce Sonnet to her friends. She squeels when she sees both of us at the pick-up point.

Wednesday, May 23


This remarkable cathedral in Koln I photograph at midnight. It is the city's center point and a magnet for young people and visitors.

Construction of the Gothic church began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, more than 600 years to complete - it was finally finished in 1880, a national holiday celebrated across Germany. The two towers are 157 meters tall and 86 meters wide. At its completion, the Cologne cathedral was the world's largest building, losing the title to the Washington Monument in 1884. During WWII, the cathedral suffered 14 hits by aerial bombs but did not collapse; reconstruction was completed in 1956. In 1996, the cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List On. On August 18, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI visited the cathedral when an estimated 1 million pilgrims visited the Dom plaza during the festivities. Resting underneath one has an other-worldly sensation:
how could such a thing be built, by human beings, so long ago?


I'm in Cologne meeting with investors and Rob, who is here on business and me for business and a goof. We stay a the Dom-Hotel next to the Dom Cathedral, which is impressive. More on that later. I arrive after a short flight from London and look forward to a productive day and visits to several museums including Römisch Germanisches, which is about the Roman history.

Switching gears and since Labour came to power in 1997, Britain has granted citizenship to one million immigrants including us. The numbers have increasingly gone up from 37,010 in 1997 to 154,095 in 2006, according to the Home Office. British nationality is entrusted after five years in the country and under one or several continuous visas. It helps if you have have a transferable skill and are not a terrorist, which is asked on the application. When sworn, the soon-to-be citizen must pledge God or the Queen. Sonnet chose the former and I the latter.

Tuesday, May 22


Sonnet and I see Wilco at the Shepard's Bush Empire last night (this the venue were The Who and Oasis first performed). The band is excellent and play super-intense alt-country tunes - nothing similar to current faves The Kooks or Arctic Monkeys. Lead singer Jeff Tweedy uses six or seven instruments but Nels Cline steals the show with his electric guitar that he pounds mercilessly for three hours. The audience and band have a love-in and Sonnet and I enjoy the music. My photo from a mobile.

Sonnet turns a year and we celebrate her birthday. The kids make a mural buy taping 12 blank pieces of typing paper than spend the morning colouring and gluing.

St James's Palace

Here is the image every American so cherishes and nets the UK £15 billion a year from tourist receipts (Office of National Statistics). In this case our valiant guard has to fend off - or rather ignore - a bus load of Japanese and Asian tourists who, rest assured dear reader, are queed up the Pall Mall for their chance to mug for photos and make the poor fellow blink. Or move. Or breathe even.


Rob is in town for business and Sunday we meet in Primrose Hill with Dana and Nathan. Already Rob's influence is having an effect on the boy. Rob's trade-finance company is growing and his trip to meet existing and new investors. From London he travels to Amsterdam and Cologne, where I will meet him tomorrow.

"When your back is against the wall, it is time you turn around and fight."
John Major, former Prime Minister of Britain

Monday, May 21


Eitan looks pretty good in his all-70s 'fro and shades. Costume from Paul.

As today is Sonnet's birthday, the kids great her with an early morning cheer then spend the morning crafting a "mural" to mark Sonnet's occassion. First they tape about 12 pieces of white paper together then begins the writing, gluing, coloring, smudging, irritating and fighting. Eitan: "No! Madeleine - that is not how you tape the papers!" Things calm down and a nice work vibe is reached pre-school drop.

Jerry's Girl

OK, we are all mourning Jerry Falwell's passing - may he go to where he deserves. With the living, religious tart Monica Goodling, a former top Alberto Gononzales aid who has pleaded her Fifth, received her law degree from Pat Robertson's Regent University School of Law, formerly known as CBN University School of Law, after Christian Broadcasting Network. Regent's web site, as reported by The Boston Globe, boasts that "150 of our graduates were hired by the Bush administration." This despite a U.S. News & World Report ranking in the FOURTH QUARTILE. In Goodling's graduating class, 60% failed the bar exam on the first try. Whether the 150 working for Bush got there because of merit or insider dealings it makes one mad.

“AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”
-- Jerry Falwell

Fall sports

Cal shared a piece of the Pac-10 title last year but Jeff Tedford's squad wants nothing less than a BCS berth this time around. One of the nation's most electric players, DeSean Jackson, and very dangerous offense return to help the Golden Bears knock down that barrier. Christian Wright has purchased tickets for the USC game at Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, on November 11. I will do my best to to make the re-union. Photo from the Cal Athletics website.