Who knew

Jul. 21st, 2012 05:17 pm
alithea: (Default)
Turns out a 6.6km hike is not the best way to prepare for getting work done. *yawn* am tired now :( But yay, exercise and daylight, although annoyingly it was actually sunnier back in Dundee than it was out at Haliburton/Ballo. But we didn't get wet despite somewhat foolishly heading off without waterproofs, so we have to be grateful for small mercies. Also, opportunistic labrador did not succeed in stealing our lunch ;)
alithea: (Default)
*Big work meeting on Thursday went pretty well - have comprehensive plan of attack for getting paper accepted in GCB and detailed to do list. Spent the evening at the student union creating my character for the Boy's 7th Sea game inspired by the Dorothy Dunnett books we have both been reading. Can't wait to play her, she's a beautiful and deadly Castillian mercenary with a very bad attitude.

*The Boy had the day off on Friday so we went out for lunch & a spot of pottering, I did two of the three things I've been putting off for ages, and then worked in the evening while the Boy was out anyway.

*On Saturday, I felt a bit crap (that'll be spending Thursday evening in a warm box full of germ-ridden students) so taking it easy won over going swimming. I finished off the work I needed to do for a colleague for Monday, spend 1 1/2 hours on the phone to my folks who had been away on holiday for 2 weeks, and then spent the evening catching up on TV. Dr Who was filler (part of me wondered whether the baby was to convince us that we wouldn't have wanted them to go back and rescue River as one), True Blood was an improvement (I'm remembering there are other characters I love too, primarily LaFayette, and the vampire politics plot should be less irritating than all that Marianne nonsense, which got on my wick heartily by half way through last season), and I'm also watching the re-run of Misfits season 2 because it turns out to be much better than I expected from the trailers.

*Sunday, we took a couple of friends out for the afternoon and visited Balvaird Castle in Fife, which isn't usually open for internal viewing, and Stanley Mills outside Perth (which was more interesting than I was expecting having grown up in a mill area and been dragged to them for umpteen school trips - we got to play with waterwheel models complete with gushing water and sluice gates!).



*And yesterday, I spent my lunchbreak trotting round Templeton woods with the Boy and we saw 5 red squirrels and a waxwing, and had a picnic by Clatto reservoir.


Today is work and hopefully swimming, tomorrow is work and t'ai chi, Thursday is work and roleplaying, and we have plans for 4 out of the next 5 weekends - I approve of autumn :)
alithea: (Default)
* I walked about 5 miles along Tentsmuir Sands barefoot yesterday. I'm quite surprised I don't have sore feet or a dodgy hip today but then I guess soft sand is quite supportive. It was very pleasant, although the sea was unsurprisingly rather colder than Brighouse Bay was (North Sea vs Irish).

*My second Joe Browns sale order arrived today and the frock fits over the bust without needing a top underneath and the skirt fits just right on the waist. Wonders will never cease, particularly as La Redoute finally managed to send me a matching pair of curtains for the bedroom (they sent one, then the second one had the wrong header on it and had to go back, then the reorder failed because it had been out of stock so long they couldn't use my card details). I only persevered because my window is too tall for UK ready-mades and they were about 10x cheaper than getting specially made ones.

*I watched Torchwood: Miracle Day yesterday. My reponse was mostly 'Meh', I half wish we'd watched The Killing instead, as I found the first episode of that rather more engaging; oh well, that's what the catch up service is for. I'm also loving Castle and quite enjoyed Sirens (the lad who plays Rob Stark in A Game of Thrones is surprisingly sexy with a Scottish accent, while Nathan Fillion is unsurprisingly sexy).

*I'm reading Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier at the moment. It's not very thrilling. The Boy is engrossed in A Dance of Dragons but I suspect I need to reread the series from the beginning to follow it so I'm debating waiting until he finishes the whole set. The TV show has made me want to reread the first ones but Dear Lord, did A Feast for Crows drag :(

*I really need to get out of holiday mode and do some work!
alithea: (Default)
*York was lovely - I'm a big fan of medieval architecture so just wandering around the place is lovely, especially when the weather turned out to be far less wet than I was expecting, but we also did something of a museum tour - the Merchant Adventurer's Hall (we are roleplayers, how could we resist something so named?!), the Jorvik centre, York Castle Museum and Clifford's Tower, plus a lot of walking on the walls and in the Yorkshire Museum Gardens. The hotel was pleasant enough but buying food out the whole time reminded me why we usually do self-catering holidays!
The Merchant Adventurer's Hall )

*Scotland has not set up border controls in my absence although you'd think it was imminent from the UK media response to the SNP victory. I'm a little surprised at how much of a drubbing they gave Labour but pleasantly so, given the scare mongering and authoritarian nonsense Labour was campaigning on up here. I'm not sorry to see the back of either the Scottish Labour or Lib Dem leaders either. Interesting times ahead I feel - personally I'm hoping we get stronger devolution rather than independence and I suspect the majority of Scotland agrees with me, although the more damage the Tories do, the more appealing a firmer border looks...

*I suspect the least said about the AV referendum the better.
alithea: (Default)
So there was a wedding on Friday; rather nice, liked the dress which was nicely understated and more about the shape than the decoration which is just my taste (although I wasn't the biggest fan of the neckline), and the trees, and enjoyed critiquing the hats and frocks on twitter. Rather a lot of fuss for my tastes but there were no street parties around here so I just turned the TV off when I got bored after the balcony scene!

On Saturday, I met up with June, had a cuppa and a good natter and bought 2 new pairs of shoes in Clarks so I now have MJs that aren't red!

And yesterday, the Boy and I headed off to Aberfeldy and walked the Birks of Aberfeldy, which was beautiful, especially given the glorious weather, and visited the Scottish Crannog centre on Loch Tay, where we got to walk around a reconstruction of an Iron Age crannog and have Iron Age crafts and farming demonstrations with a rather entertaining guide.


The Falls of Moness in the Birks of Aberfeldy


The Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay

All in all a fantastic weekend, we really do have some most beautiful countryside round here (okay, so Aberfeldy is an 1 1/2 hours drive away but still, easily daytripable) and for a heat-averse person like me, the weather was just perfect, gloriously sunny but not hot.
alithea: (Default)
Home to civilisation - internet, mobile signal and running water! Yes, Christmas break was memorable for not all good reasons. Still, have returned with nothing worse than a headcold and, when The Boy's brother gets around to sending them over, should have fantastic photos of proper winter wonderland, complete with fantastic ice crystals as it got down to -18 degrees C one night before xmas! Great for pretty views, less good for water pipes...

Proper update tomorrow, hope you all had a lovely xmas and less drama than we did!
alithea: (Default)
This is the most snow I've seen since I was a teenager growing up at the bottom of the Pennines. We've had about a foot and a half and it has snowed everyday for the past week - I never thought I'd see snow like this in Dundee, and certainly not this early!

The college was shut yesterday so the Boy and I decided to take advantage of the weather by doing some shopping in the, extremely quiet for the time of year, city centre. It was supposed to be Christmas shopping but I got one present and then spent too much money on a beautiful new smart wool coat - navy Victoriana double breasted military frock coat. Still, it was on sale and we had vouchers we hadn't used since February. I wanted to spend them on something for the flat because they were an engagement present but The Boy said he'd rather I bought the coat - he was enjoying oogling me in it and isn't a big fan of soft furnishings at the best of times! And then we had a pub lunch before trekking back up the hill to the flat just as the blizzard set in again.

Today, the sun is shining at the moment so it is beautiful and festive, and very quiet because the buses aren't running again, but there was a blizzard when I woke up this morning. I'm just hoping the sun lasts for my afternoon constitutional - I need the exercise with no t'ai chi this week and the pool at the uni shut again.
alithea: (windswept)
This morning, I got up at 8 am without even a proper cup of tea for assistance, did a circuit of Dundee on various buses and was told I have a beautiful pancreas by a radiologist. The sun has been shining all day and apparently my insides are all looking suitably healthy so I guess there are far worse ways to start the week.
alithea: (Default)
The Boy is the sort of person things happen to. I don't know quite how he manages it. This week, he had lunch with Brian Cox (the actor not the Professor) and got hit in the mouth by a hailstone, which managed to break a filling and crack one of his wisdom teeth. Cue neither of us getting much sleep on Tuesday night because he was in agony :(

On Wednesday, I just about made it through pottery, although all I did was glaze a bunch of beads (don't get excited, they need to go in the kiln on their own so whether they'll be fired before xmas is anyone's guess!) and manage to rub what I later realized was probably Norwegian Blue glaze over something thinking it was iron oxide... that'll be interesting when it's fired! And we did make it to t'ai chi because we didn't want to miss the next section of the 108, but I yawned all the way through and Kev was high on painkillers!

Yesterday, we caught up on much needed sleep with a long lie-in and then pottered into Broughty Ferry, intending to buy a rug or two for the flat from the Gillies clearance sale but it turned out the style we wanted was still Very Expensive, so instead I bought a denim skirt, a brown and cream tweed skirt suit and a copy of Wolf Hall from various charity shops. Which I think neatly proves [livejournal.com profile] mimmimmim's theory that if you give stuff away, good things come back to you :) Although, the skirt suit needs some work as the jacket could do with being cinched in a bit at the waist while the skirt is too tight (strange really given they are the same size) so I think I'm going to hack it off at the hips and redo the waist band. We really need to get the sewing machine fixed!

Today, I need to have a good crack at the much overdue report for Tim, although the fact that I'm typing this with a Gizmo laying over my right arm is not going to help on that front...
alithea: (Gizmo)
I never thought I'd see a grown woman playing pattercake (words and actions) with a jack russel on a train. And this is coming from a woman who speaks to pets and regards them as members of the family.
alithea: (Hope (made by lady_wormtongue))
- The only areas of the bathroom that are still lacking any coats of white paint are around the door and the outer window sill
- I have travelled on 9 trains in the past few weeks and they all ran on time
- I seem to have acquired the ability to wake up at 7.30am, which is decidedly handy in allowing me to get a full day's work done while still having time for fresh air and exercise
- I don't have a cold any more
- The Boy and I have been together for 3 years today and I still love him even if he does make the flat a tip ;)
alithea: (Default)
Provided you are wrapped up nice and warm, the weather has been glorious up here for the past few days - I'll take cold with glorious sunshine and lovely pink wintery sunsets over wet and miserable any day. It is *cold* though, subzero all day despite the sun; only time I've ever wished I owned a down-filled winter coat. Still, what I do now own after braving the sales today, is a proper pair of fleece-lined winter walking trousers and a thermal base layer top, so I'm hoping it lasts into the weekend so the Boy and I can go out playingwalking in the snowy countryside. I'm also wishing I owned a sledge, I haven't been sledging since I was a teenager...
alithea: (Default)
After the stress of Friday afternoon, I had a nice relaxing weekend. Friday evening was spent enjoying a Masterchef: the Professionals marathon and then Saturday dawned every bit as sunny and gloriously autumnal as predicted so, after an abortive attempt to go out in the car (it has developed loose distributor cables), The Boy and I caught the bus to St. Marys and walked to Templeton Woods for a lovely wander.

The woods were really quiet so we trotted all round, right up to Clatto reservoir and back, and we even saw a pair of red squirrels when I stopped to take some pictures in the lovely afternoon light. We did about 8 miles all told because we walked home through Camperdown Park and down through Lochee rather than catching the bus.

On Sunday, I pottered into town and did a bit of shopping, and then we spent the afternoon on the sofa watching the Grande Pix while the stew cooked down for dinner. We've just eaten the left overs for lunch and it was thoroughly yummy both times, if I do say so myself :)
alithea: (Daydreaming)
Had a really good week in (Northern) Ireland (we crossed the border a couple of times) last week - the weather was mostly lovely and the countryside is beautiful.

We arrived on Saturday evening having ended up getting the train down to Edinburgh and then the shuttle bus to the airport because the car is having a fit again. Our flight was delayed by an hour but The Boy's folks were there to pick us up from Belfast so we didn't do too badly. On Sunday we pottered around Rostrevor and went for a walk along the Fairy Glen, and then after lunch we headed across the border to Carlingford on the other side of the Loch, which has some lovely Norman architecture and a castle built by King John in the 13th Century. On Monday, we wondered around a lovely local graveyard and then went up to Belfast, visited the cathedral which has some really beautiful mosaic art work in it, and met up with a couple of the Boy's old school friends. Tuesday was hiking day - we walked up through the forest park to the Cloughmore Stone and then up and across the ridge line to Slieve Martin, which is almost a mountain.

Wednesday, the Boy drove us down to Newgrange and we visted two neolithic burial mounds. Knowth is newly opened to the public and you can't go right into the burial chamber but the stone carvings were fantastic and it feels a bit more authenic than Newgrange, which has been 'recreated' in a way. Still, both sites were really interesting and it was great to be able to go into the chamber at Newgrange and see a demonstration of how the sun enters at sunrise on the winter solstice, even if it is full of Victorian graphiti! We entered the lottery to get to be there over the Solstice but I don't expect we'll get picked. The Boy got selected a few years ago but his work wouldn't let him have the time off :(
Thursday, we went to Carrickfergus castle, which is really good except that they have ruined the inside of the Keep, which is now Disney Medieval style. Then we headed up the very scenic coast road to the Giants Causeway, which is really fantastic:
I won't be forgetting it in a hurry because I got absolutely drenched by a rogue wave while posing for a photo - unfortunately, the Boy has too busy trying to keep the camera dry to capture it.
After that excitment we just pottered around the local area on Friday and walked into Warren Point and back, via the monument to General Ross, who is supposed to have burnt the White House. And Saturday, we headed home to a very clingy Gizmo and something dodgy going on with the wiring of the oven switch, oh the joys of home ownership...
(more photos on Facebook BTW)
alithea: (windswept)
I've been moping about for the past 2 weeks because I've had annoying mild flu and head coldy-type symptoms and felt too crappy to do any exercise, which is what I really needed after the double disappointments of no pottery and the poor Boy missing out on his uni place, putting all our future plans back by another year. But we are off to Northern Ireland tomorrow to stay with his folks for a week so hopefully the change of air will perk me up and I'll feel better by the time we get home. I'm trying not to be nervous about meeting his parents by remembering that we are grown adults who live together and are being treated as such, so it won't be like going to the South Coast at the tender age of 19 and being disapproved of for going to the bathroom in my nightshirt! I'm actually more nervous about meeting his other old friends but at least it looks like I've avoided having to go to the pub with them all, so my aversion to drunken people won't have them thinking I'm a joyless stuck-in-the-mud.

While we are away it will be the 10th anniversary of my move to Scotland. I'm good at feeling stuck in a rut but the fact is the Boy, a bunch of good friends, the Turret, money in the bank and a PhD isn't a bad showing for that time even if I do have no career to speak of. And hopefully I'll come back to news of a new contract and pottery classes starting up again. Besides which, it is almost autumn and that is never a bad thing.
alithea: (Pottery)
Looks like my pottery instructor will be holding some classes at her home workshop so *fingers crossed* I will get my pottery fix after all, although delayed by a few weeks while she gets it sorted.

In less good news, I feel really rather rough today and am concerned I am coming down with the lurgy again :( I am really fed up of recurrent viral ick. Maybe I'm just going to have [livejournal.com profile] thebirdwoman's cold from spending Sunday evening over there. That wouldn't be too bad, it was probably worth it for the lovely dinner she cooked ;)
alithea: (footprint (made by girlyboheme))
Having consulted the map, we headed off to the Rossie Estate in Perthshire on Saturday for a wander around in the sunshine. The estate is absolutely beautiful, I wanted to live in one of the little cottages:

We had a lovely walk (oh, how I love the lack of trespass laws in Scotland*) and then a potter around the Scottish Antique and Arts Centre where we had left the car. And I found The Ring - no, we aren't engaged but we have talked about getting married at some point in the future, so now I've put my order in ;)

*Actually, all this furore about the Lockerbie bomber being released (see my previous post) is in danger of turning me into a naturalized Scot. I've realized that after 10 years up here come next month, I've started to use 'we' when talking about Scots (although I'm still disturbed to find myself agreeing with the SNP over an issue, although maybe that is less to do with national pride and more because I think they are incapable of basic maths). I'm a big fan of the marriage laws up here too, because they mean I'll get to have a minority religion wedding that is actually legally binding.
alithea: (Default)
Not an awful lot has been happening around here recently, although I do have a guy phoning me about doing some work for a farm scale greenhouse gas calculator at 2pm so *fingers crossed* that will happen.

Things happened as planned following my last post - Eurovision was fun, birthday also (although slightly marred by the Royal Mail depot, who decided not to bother providing proper cover while our regular postman was on holiday, meaning some of my parcels took 9 days to arrive 1st class!), and I've posted about the re-enacters at Edzell Castle and Potfest over on my ceramics blog.

Last week I had an annoying migraine, which didn't shift properly for days and left me rather out of sorts, but the weekend just gone was good. The weather was glorious and on Saturday, the Boy and I headed out to Arbroath and walked along the Seaton Cliffs towards Auchmithie, although we didn't make it the whole way because we had to get back in plenty of time for the DAFTAs (annual Roleplaying Society Awards Dinner), which was good fun. On Sunday, we headed over to Halliburton and walked around a forest park on the Angus/Perth & Kinross border, which was very pleasant, although a miscalculation involved having to walk about 2 miles back to the car park along the main road was rather less pleasant.

On Monday, I spent a chunk of the day reading Living with Honour: A Pagan Ethics by Emma Restall Orr, which was interesting; discussion and mini-rant ) And then I went running, and yesterday was swimming; I'm on an exercise kick at the moment because I need the endorphins, I want to be much fitter, and also all my summer dresses and several of my tops are too tight across the rib cage where I have acquired flab, and I don't want to have to buy something new to wear for this summer's crop of weddings, when I already have several lovely frocks I have hardly worn. This may have to involve stomach exercises though, which I'm not very taken with...

Plans for the next few weeks involve hopefully some work, job hunting, and lots of flat wrangling - bought the paint for the bathroom woodwork yesterday so need to sand it all down in preparation for the undercoat.
alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
I'm hoping the weather will be better tomorrow because we are off to St. Andrews Castle to the Medieval Beltaine Fayre for the day with some friends and I'm particularly looking forward to May pole dancing as I've never actually done it :)

Today however, it is wet and horrible. I need to pop into town to run some errands and I'm trying to talk myself into going swimming (going to get wet anyway, may as well have exercise at the same time!). Have been a complete funk all week, mostly due to feeling a bit yuck, and could do with the endorphins now the lurgy seems to have abated.

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