Monday, April 18, 2005


It's a year since we bought this place here in EH1o. About time I sorted out the kitchen, thinks me. Anniversaries seem to have that effect - a good motivator to do something.

I thought it would be a small job, just stripping and painting a couple of walls. But then A said all the woodwork should be painted too. Fine. Still should manage this long weekend. Hah!

Stripping the walls started well, with the paper coming off easily. The second wall, though, had seven layers of paper (including quite a few vinyl layers). Aagh. It soon became apparent that all that paper was holding the wall together - as the paper came off, so did bits of the wall. Lucky I'm so experienced in the art of Polyfilla.

Back to wall one, which seemed so easy. But the wallpaper paste was actually superglue, unbudgeable despite sugar-soaping. Only sugar soap applied with sandpaper would do the trick.

A bit more sanding this morning, then I'm ready for painting.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

No posts

This blog has been a bit gappy lately.

During the last couple of weeks, work has been keeping me busy and away from internet access - I was at a conference in Milan, and before that a meeting at the gorgeous Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio. If only our punishing 8am-10pm schedule (wall-to-wall stem cell science!) had afforded more time to enjoy the stunning and luxurious surrounds. At least I had trompe l'oeil ceilings, elaborately carved columns and huge gilt mirrors to distract me when the data, proteins, transcription factors and other scientific detail became too much for me. And meals were always a welcome interlude - especially the "molecular cuisine" we enjoyed on the first night. This meal included nitrogen-frozen ice-cream of the smoothest possible texture, created right in front of us by a virtuoso chef of the Ferran AdriĆ  school of cooking.