Milan: Creature of the night

2005-12-04

in Daily updates, Rants

Telephone in Claire's flat

One seeming property of the end of term is that I am becoming properly, vampirically nocturnal. My mean sleeping time is pushing onwards and onwards towards dawn, as my mean waking time descends past noon and into the afternoon. I hope the powers will follow the lifestyle, if not the thirst for blood. At some point, it’s a trend that will need to be beaten back. For now, it feels like a fairly appropriate extension of my personality and general state in the world.

Unfortunately, it seems that I won’t be seeing my mother in March, on her way to Iran. According to a message she sent me today, she was denied a visa on the grounds that she has American citizenship, worked for the American government, and is a feminist. I don’t know how the Iranian screening process would have identified the last item, or why they would be particularly concerned about it for a tourist, but it must be highly disappointing for her. I hope her appeal will be successful.

In an inspired piece of bureaucratic nonsense, I got yet another letter from NatWest today. This one says that, after receiving my fax, two sets of written instructions, and going to my home branch so they could record and verify my signature, they need to send banking details to my permanent address, in Canada. This is so that I can use their web banking and actually know how much I need to pay off for my credit card. They say they can only send the precious access code to a permanent address, for security purposes. Even though I won’t be there and it will surely be opened by someone else who will send it to me by email, this is obviously an intelligent security step. Their concern is that they think the code will expire before I am able to get it: perhaps because they are planning to send it by elite-trained homing pigeon. Given the fact that Britain is a major exporter of financial services, you would think they might have the slightest smattering of sense about such things.

Claire’s party tonight, at Wellington Square, was good fun. Somehow, the people present, the decor, and the overall character of the experience were all reminiscent of parties in Kits, such as the one where I met Meaghan Beattie, during my UBC years. In particular, the much-enjoyed and somewhat infamous ‘Dirty House’ parties. That’s not a pejorative description, in any sense, but a reflection of a kind of academic-bohemian fusion upon which good parties are often predicated. I ended up talking about Pink Floyd and biofuels with several individuals. I also got involved in a passionate and protracted argument about the plausibility of string theory, and the likelihood that evidence for it will be found at CERN. Ah, Oxford. My thanks to Claire for the invitation.

Now, I should get to sleep.


  • Nick has some very nice photos from India on his blog.
  • My brother Mica is looking for comments on his videos. If you leave them here or send them to me, I can pass them on. See if you can spot my brother Sasha in this one (it’s not hard).
  • Here are links to my Oxford Facebook photos, for non-members.
  • The third book of the five part trilogy called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fell out of an eddy in the space-time continuum and onto my hard drive. I have been enjoying it.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Hilary December 4, 2005 at 6:49 am

I know just the sort of party you mean. And today is Jack’s birthday too. Although he’s no longer there of course, and neither is the house.

Milan December 4, 2005 at 6:51 am

Alas. A poetic lament for the Dirty House is clearly in order.

Please pass my birthday wishes on to Jack.

Hilary December 4, 2005 at 6:56 am

I most certainly will, if I ever get ahold of him…..

B December 4, 2005 at 6:42 pm

This video is really good. You have a talented family.

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