Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane, London SW8

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Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane, London SW8

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Beach volleyball masters, Margate

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Beach volleyball masters, Margate

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Our living room view

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Our living room view

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Anna Calvi at Glastonbury 2011, Pilton, BA4

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Anna Calvi at Glastonbury 2011, Pilton, BA4

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Champagne glasses waiting for guests to arrive, Cinnamon Club, Altrincham WA14

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Champagne glasses waiting for guests to arrive, Cinnamon Club, Altrincham WA14

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Olympic glowsticks at Jo’s 40th, Trafford WA14

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Olympic glowsticks at Jo's 40th, Trafford WA14

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Mobile phone charging lockers, Virgin first class lounge, Euston station, London NW1

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Mobile phone charging lockers, Virgin first class lounge, Euston station, London NW1

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Hyde Park, London

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Hyde Park, London

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Park Lane, London W1

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Park Lane, London W1

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My Glastonbury 2011 playlists on YouTube and Spotify

Tracks from 10 of the girls and 10 of the boys I am most excited to see live at Glastonbury this year.

Links to playlists on YouTube and Spotify:

Tracklists

Glastonbury 2011 – The Girls

  1. CocknBullKid – One Eye Closed
  2. Clare Maguire – The Shield And The Sword
  3. Oh Land – Sun Of A Gun
  4. Robyn – Indestructible
  5. Janelle Monáe – Cold War
  6. Crystal Castles – Celestica
  7. Lykke Li – I Follow Rivers
  8. Jessie J – Nobody’s Perfect
  9. Katy B – Broken Record
  10. Beyoncé – Run The World (Girls)

Glastonbury 2011 – The Boys

  1. Pendulum – The Island – Pt. 1 Dawn
  2. Friendly Fires – Skeleton Boy
  3. Fenech-Soler – Demons
  4. Caribou – Odessa
  5. Wild Beasts – Albatross
  6. Plan B – The Recluse
  7. Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work
  8. Tinie Tempah – Wonderman (feat. Ellie Goulding)
  9. Jamie Woon – Night Air
  10. Chase & Status ft. Liam Bailey – Blind Faith
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Pimm’s no. 1 and slimline tonic

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Pimm's no. 1 and slimline tonic

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@jorgekhawam’s home made Venezuelan reina pepiada (left) and perico (right). El nom!

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Visualisations of my iPhone location data

It was recently revealed that iPhones collect time-stamped location data. Many complained, and Apple released some changes with iOS 4.3.3 to reduce the data that is collected and allow users to opt out.

So here are my movements in the UK since I got my iPhone 4 last July (made with iPhone Tracker). See if you can spot my Great North Run (Newcastle), Great South Run (Portsmouth) and Brighton Half Marathon. Click on the video below to see a larger version on Flickr.

More views (Europe, World, USA) on my Flickr set:Visualisations of my iPhone location data

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Three words I learnt last weekend

Buzzard: a large hawk-like bird of prey (unless you are in the US where it is some sort of vulture). Not an uncommon word, but I’m a city mouse so I just gathered it is a bird, and that it is feared by the fauna in the inlaws’ garden.

Finial: an ornament at the top, end, or corner of a structure or object. I learnt that one of Stuart’s maternal grandfather’s many hobbies was to restore grandfather clocks (and their finials).

Skein: a coiled length of thread or yarn (or a complicated situation). Stuart’s aunt mentioned it and then had to show us what she meant.

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Recipe: quick egg and beans breakfast on the go

Ingredients

  • 125g egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • half a tin red beans

Instructions

  • grease a microwaveable bowl with a teaspoon of olive oil
  • whisk eggs in bowl
  • stir beans in
  • cover loosely with a plate
  • microwave for three minutes (or longer depending on oven settings) on high

I often have this on the way to work when I’m in a hurry, and it keeps me going until lunchtime. Approximately 290 calories. Best eaten on Vauxhall bridge with Battersea Power Station in the distance like in this photo.

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They did not teach me zouk in school

It was the end of summer 1991. I’d just arrived in Paris. It was my first time in France, I’d studied French for six years but had never spoken it and so I was unable to even ask for change to make a telephone call to a friend who was putting me up while I looked for accommodation.

I soon realised that everyday spoken French is filled with slang words and expressions they did not teach me in school. I was confused. ‘Je vais au travail en voiture’ often becomes ‘Je vais au boulot en bagnole’ when chatting with friends. You can even play around with words swapping syllables (an argot called ‘verlan‘). It was like cracking a code.

The fact that this Zouk Machine song was playing everywhere did not help. My French was so bad I had not realised it was sung in Antillean Creole! Close enough to make me think it was the language I learnt, yet different enough to make me panic that I’ll never learn French – let alone write a whole dissertation in it by the end of the year!

Enjoy the video. Guaranteed to shower you with warmth and colour on a cold grey day like London today.

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My 40-pound tweet

Last week I bragged about getting a high score in my Mensa test, this week I am embarrassed to say that I just got charged 40 pounds for downloading data on my phone while abroad this weekend – not a smart thing.

At the gate before boarding the flight I started updating apps on my iPhone. Once abroad, I kept data roaming switched off because it costs 3 pounds a meg with my O2 contract.

But then the next day I found myself suspended mid-air on a chairlift that had stopped and thought it would be fun to post it on Twitter.

Minutes later I got two text messages from O2, the first informing me that I had used 20 pounds’ worth of data, the second when I reached the 40 pound cap that was introduced after that chap who ran up a £22,000 phone bill for watching TV abroad.

I guess not all the apps had completed their updates before the flight, and resumed as I turned data on. I felt so mortified that I could not even mention it to Stuart. I am so getting a much-deserved snigger when he reads this. I believe his exact words will be ‘You stupid man‘ (probably with ‘René from ‘Allo ‘Allo!‘ accent).

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One point short of Mensa

I recently failed a test to get in the high IQ club Mensa. You need a score in the top 2% to get in, and the tests were so fast that I did not have enough time to answer all the questions.

What surprised me is that I was only one mark short of the minimum necessary to gain entry, which supposedly puts my score in the top 3%.

Here’s the results letter, which does not mention that you only need to pass one of the two tests to qualify, so I needed just 132 instead of 131 in the Culture Fair test. Yeah I am bragging just a little bit. But I wonder how the other 97% cope with life as I am far from being one of the sharpest tools in the shed. It

Anyway, as Groucho Marx said,

“I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”

And yet, I might try once more in a year’s time when I’ll be allowed to sit the test again.

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Ten years today since my first blog post

On 10 March 2001 I published my first blog post.

I had had a personal website since 1999, but from that day ten years ago putting some of my life online became part of my daily routine.

Over the years, the process evolved and now there are bits of me everywhere, mostly on Flickr, Twitter and Facebook, but I always wanted to maintain control of some web space I could call my own entirely. Initially this was on some free web space provided by my ISP, then moved on to Blogger when I started blogging, later on I registered lucabelletti.com, and finally I put my name to it and moved everything over to lucabelletti.com.

Blogging was also a way to explored different publishing platforms, from Blogger to Movable Type and then WordPress and Posterous, only to come back to WordPress because of the full control it gives me.

I don’t think I’m going to have a blogging revival, but I’m still very much attached to it, and it’s worth celebrating.

So happy 10-year anniversary to the online me!

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Late night sugar craving

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Hello. We’re ugli [sic]. You could be too. (photo)

White City, London

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Tea makes everything better

Twinings english breakfast decaff tea packaging quote

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Soaking a terracotta chia planter


Preparing it as per instructions. Got it at Christmas, finally something will grow hair in this flat! Though not too sure of that, I’ve been known to kill even the hardiest plants.

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View from Vauxhall Bridge

One of my favourite views from my walk to work. Houses of Parliament
and London Eye in the distance.

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Lights in the sky with diamonds


Taken at The Village Westfield White City

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Making piparkökur

Loving the colours of all the different spices.

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Dinner (carb-loading binge-light)

I need lots of energy to go running tomorrow, haven’t been in two month!

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Mall rink

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I wish I was still playing cards for coppers with the inlaws

Instead, back to work tomorrow.

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Jelly baby family in Marble Arch

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