Sunday March 8th:
I had Sunday Roast with Ji. It is a traditional English meal that people usually eat on ... Sundays - duh :P. I had agreed with her on Friday to have lunch together, so all weekend I knew I was gonna have Sunday lunch with her which was a weird feeling because it reminded me of the feeling I used to have during weekends at home because I would know that my family always has Sunday lunches together.
I then went shopping with Sheena, George, Becky, and Fleur - to ASDA of course *roll. I bought a new oven casserole because I had dropped the one I had before and it broke. I also bought a new dish because I broke two! OK, so I am clumsy ... :$ and this doesn't even count as news :P. The news is that I washed the new casserole and put it on the dish rack to dry. Then I was putting away the dishes and I took out two dishes and turned my back on the rack only to hear a crash and see George's puzzled looks. The new - washed and UNUSED - casserole had fell on the ground! Sometimes I feel so stupid because I am so clumsy :(. I later bought another one ... let us see how long this will survive :P
Monday March 9th:
Reena and I went to an event organized by BCS (British Computer Society) and WES (Women in Engineering and Sciences) for the occasion of International Women's Day. It was an OK evening. I was handed the task of giving raffle tickets to a free prize draw. The prize was a book published by BCS. I didn't win this time :P. The evening wasn't a big success because the organizers expected 50 people to show up and only about 15 came! There were two talks by two women; the first was a lady from WES who talked about the evolving role of women in science and technology over the past 100-and-so years. The second was a lady who described how they changed the IT structure and applications of the company that runs the airports and flight management. The second talk was really boring for me and I couldn't wait for it to finish. After the talk we had dinner and did a bit of 'networking'.
There is one thing I want to add. An English lady asked me where I was from and I said Lebanon. She then looked at me - in a strange way - and said: "I see you are keeping yourself warm; it must be really cold here compared to what you are used to". That frankly pissed me off. OK so I know that most people are ignorant about the weather and geography of Lebanon and think that it is some hot desert; and I sincerely don't expect people to even know what Lebanese is or where it is. But what pisses me off is when people make assumptions about things they don't know about then declare those assumptions in a not-so-friendly-way. But, I kept my cool and didn't say anything because Reena started talking about something related to the whether blablabla. Then I told the lady: "That reminded me of one winter when we were children and my grandmother came to take care of me and my brothers because my mom had to stay in the hospital with my youngest brother since he was sick and also my dad wasn't in Lebanon because he was travelling. Anyway, it was a very cold winter - we do get cold winters in Lebanon - but it was the first time my grandmother took care of us. So, she was afraid that we would get cold so she would dress up in a lot of heavy clothes. One day she dressed my brother in 7 blouses and sweaters! Can you imagine that! We still joke about it till now!" The lady was dumb-founded ... good thing I didn't tell her that my grandmother made my brother wear three trousers and three hats as well LOL
Tuesday March 10th:
I was intending on going to a talk about swarm robots organized by the IEEE chapter in ECS ... but I totally forgot D'oh! I don't know what is up with me these days - I am very forgetfull!
Thursday March 12th:
ECSWomen and Careers Services organized a Coffee and Cake event. I went along and enjoyed coffee, cake, chatting with people, and a tour in the careers services building. They are moving out of their current small building to new offices next year and they needed to hear people's opinions about how they can improve their services and what services people need from them.
Saturday March 14th:
I went to the zoo :P. Fleur, her uncle Mac, her grandpa Opa, and I went to Marwell Zoo. We spent the day there and then had lunch in Winchester. It was a really lovely day with nice weather and a great company. Fleur's grandpa is so nice and cute ... but hey, I think all grandpa's are cute :P. I miss my grandpa :( We took a lot of pictures of all the animals. I found the nicest were the leopard, flamingos, arabian cats, and lemurs - no wonder I don't get all excited about regular cats and dogs ... it is the leopards and other animals that are interesting to me LOL
Mother's day is in a couple of days and as previously mentioned I was the one who came up with all the ideas for gifts. We have settled on the presents; let us hope the two men in Lebanon (dad and Yahya) are capable of following gift-purchasing instructions :P LOL
Thomas Friedman at the Saudi regime lobby
4 hours ago