alithea: (windswept)
Great t'ai chi class last night - we did a warm up, animals (bear, tiger, stag and monkey), worked on the 37 (Yang style short form), went through the Poem once (Daoyin form set to music, although our instructor has lost her CD so I've yet to actually do it to the music! The Boy reckons he found it on Youtube the other day but I could only find every other set of daoyin exercises I've ever done when I looked earlier), and then did the 5 Element Dance which I haven't done for ages. And I got used as a teaching tool without Carol having to correct any of my postures (smug face). We're starting Palm 2 next week, which I'm excited about - it's a great work out, all low stances, punches, stabbing people in the throat and twisting balls (ah, martial forms!), and I've never managed to learn it all the way through yet (it's nightmare to follow because you are always changing direction).

It's back to the adventures of Dona Alicia and co at the roleplaying soc tonight, which is also good, except that I haven't done any exercise again today. I ought to walk to the uni but that means walking back at 11 pm, which results in me being wide awake when I should be in bed already.
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 [ 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: (Default)
I've actually managed to achieve stuff today which is a rare for a Monday. That's what happens when I do things before turning the computer on! As a result, I have a tea loaf cooling in the kitchen and had a lovely walk earlier before the sun started going down. We're in the midst of our first really cold snap of the season at the moment - it's been beautifully sunny for the past 2 days but the pavements are thick with frost in the shade and the big pool at the Swanny Ponds is about 3/4 frozen over.

I can't believe it's the second week of November already, this year is going so fast. I've given up on getting the bathroom finished before the new year, it's just too cold and damp to get the paint dry now. Instead, my plan for this month is mostly to get organised for the festive season in the hope that I'm busy working by December. Speaking of work, what I should be doing is the final edits on That Report as the IFA sent it back again; they are really taking the micky now! Still, it is mostly just proof-reading errors now so shouldn't take long.

In other news, I am frantically trying to avoid succumbing to the lurgy that has hit most of the roleplaying society over the past week. I'm not doing too well because I already have a bit of head cold but I'm dosing myself up with paracetamol and decongestants, and trying to do some gentle exercise, and get sunlight and fresh air every day. Went for a walk along the water front on Saturday and swimming yesterday (although that might have been a bit much, my head was noticable worse afterwards), and a walk around two local parks earlier today. Mage game tonight, which I'm looking forward to except that it involves spending another evening with the plague bearers, still at least they won't be in my home this time ;) Trying to decide if I want to go to a T'ai chi workshop in a couple of weeks despite having not been to a class since January...
alithea: (Spring (from nomnomicons))
I'm in a contented little bubble at the moment because I'm not actually unemployed until a week on Friday but I don't have any work to do until the funders come back to us with comments, which won't be this week because our contact is on holiday until Monday (yes, for once in my life I submitted something earlier than necessary!).

Weather is rather lovely, sunny but still cool and too early for hayfever. Pottery is back on after the Easter hols tonight so I get to catch up with my girls and get my hands dirty :) I have a long To Do list but it's all domestic stuff or pottery-related, like updating my blog with new photos, setting up an online store, and emailing a guy about making him goblets and stuff for LARP.

In other news, we are once more a car-enabled household so are plotting an outing at the weekend to celebrate. At the moment I'm torn between Perth, Elcho Castle and maybe a walk in the Moncrieff woods, or St. Andrews and either a coastal cliff walk or up the Tay estuary to the ruined monastry. Need to start getting out and about in the countryside at the weekends again. And doing some exercise! The only damper on things is that my t'ai chi instructor appears to have quit since I last made a class back in January - I hope she isn't ill or something, must find out what has happened, I was going to go back next week :(
alithea: (Procrastination (made by anabel_icons))
Off to bed as have just spent 2 hours reading my flist and chatting to a friend online, but have achieved work today (because I didn't turn the internet on until 10 pm (that's right, it didn't exist before then, it's all just in your head)), been to t'ai chi, and went swimming yesterday, so life is pretty good.

I might be a bit quiet around here while I attempt to make more progress on project-don't-stress-at-the-last-minute but bear with me.
alithea: (LittlesoulRiver (made by enriana))
Have finally been paid, which is good because I need to do my Yule shopping and find a replacement for my favourite winter skirt, which is falling apart.

Am achey but contented today from lots of exercise over the weekend - went swimming on Saturday and spent all day Sunday at the Rokpa, doing a T'ai Chi workshop run by our head of School. Got to do advanced dar-lu with one of the other instructors as my partner so that was good, although my flexibility is crap because I can't do snake-creeps-down or bend-bow properly :( Oh well, can really feel it today so must have done some good! Hopefully, class tonight will stretch me out a bit and I'll be less sore tomorrow.

Also got treated to a lovely lunch at the DCA after swimming, yum, yum. Although, the poor Boy then proceeded to come down with a nasty cold and was too sick to come to the workshop and has been sent home from work today :( Am hoping I can avoid it, since I had the horrible head-explodey lurgy last week.

Weather is cold but frosty, and sunny and clear, so lovely to my mind :) The Coat even got an outing on Thursday night for roleplaying. Sunsets have been gorgeous and there was the most beautiful reddish tiny crescent moon yesterday evening, She almost looked like a solar eclipse.
alithea: (Default)
- Making a decision, acting on it and moving on. After procrastinating for a week, any decision is better than none.

- A good swim (40 lengths in under 40 mins) which restored my sanity and cheered me up despite it being a grey, damp day, that doesn't even have the decency to be really cold so you can snuggle up in something warm for comfort. More sociable than usual too, I got chatting to the rather cute girl I was sharing the slow lane with, and [ profile] mcwoof amused the life guard by waving and gesticulating at me through the window in the Union foyer.

- the Gizmo creature, despite the fact she tried to eat me when I got home from the pool. Chlorine must be tasty to cats...

- T'ai chi was good on Monday, we went through the 108 twice, and I'm starting to get the sequence into my head again. Next week we are doing the Poem and then I get the relearn Palm II. I love Palm II, it's a great workout and all that stabbing imaginary opponents in the throat and such is quite theraputic ;)

- last night at pottery I glazed two pots ready for trying Raku for the first time next week, and loaded the rest of my unfired work into the kiln for biscuit firing so I'll have more things to glaze next week, when the rest of the glazes should have finally arrived (who moves their business and neglects to inform any of their costumers for 10 months??).

- I get to play an ex-pirate in Victoriana escapades tonight :)

Time for a cuppa.

EDIT: Oh, and a merry afternoon chatting with [ profile] thebirdwoman yesterday while pottering around town in the sunshine, and potentially converting someone else to the wonder of Martin Millar's novels while borrowing the rest of season 3 BSG in return!
alithea: (Kaylee (made by viadisaster))
- Bob is coming to do a T'ai Chi workshop on Sunday. This may not sound awfully impressive to most of you, but Bob Lowey is internationally (in)famous if you move in t'ai chi circles! Hopefully, I will get to learn some of the new Wudan form so I'm not left watching the Monday night people practice.

- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles season 2 starts on Virgin1 next week. Season 1 was very shiny indeed, I highly recommend it.

- My mortgage is going down again next month thanks to the interest rate cut

- thanks to the restorative power of tea, a hot shower, a bowl of museli and a glass of orange juice, I no longer feel like death warmed up

- I'm meeting friends for a cuppa and a good natter later

Actually, I should really go and get dressed now, I'm going out in 40 mins!
alithea: (Default)
The Boy and I went swimming on Saturday lunchtime and then yesterday we headed out to the Sidlaw Hills, and walked through Balkello woods, and up Auchterhouse Hill and Balkello Hill, so I'm feeling cheerier for the exercise and fresh air.

I'm supposed to be going out for dinner with t'ai chi people tonight but I don't know if it's been confirmed because last week's class was cancelled due to Carol being ill. I should probably pop into the Rokpa this afternoon and see if anyone knows what is happening.

This week is crunch time for The Boy's car, she's a bit tired these days and if she fails her MOT and needs very much work doing, she'll be off to the scrap yard and we'll be a car-less household until December at the earliest. Hopefully, this won't be too hard, I managed for the whole of my adult life without one until he moved in anyway. And at least I won't have to feel guilty about not being as green anymore...

I have to go to the dentists tomorrow afternoon. Normally, this doesn't bother me as I've been incredibly lucky with my teeth, health-wise (I had to have umpteen braces and teeth that I didn't have room for taken out as a teenager, but they are good and strong), but last time I went, I found out my wisdom teeth are going to need filling sometime soonish, so now I'm dreading that I'm going to have to pay for that out of my savings too (and dreading the fillings, because I have a really small mouth so they are quite inaccessible, and I detest those numbing injections). Oh well, at least the Oxfam shop just down the road from the dentists is normally good for comfort book shopping ;)
alithea: (Rainbow River (made by hollycore))
Dialogues of Wind and Bamboo is the event at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens on June 21st which I will be involved in, doing a T'ai Chi exhibition with the 7 Stars School, led by Bob Lowey (if you scroll down, we are part of Act 3).
alithea: (Rainbow River (made by hollycore))
Since returning from holiday, there has been a masquerade party, which was very good fun indeed, and the usual weeks activities - t'ai chi (still learning 108, looks like we might be doing a demonstration in the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, which is exciting), pottery (I actually threw things on the wheel and they aren't all wonky ;)), board gaming (Ticket to Ride European edition), and roleplaying (Changeling finished with a victory kiss between Miss Finchley and Ash, and we all lived to serve the rightful King!). Saturday night was the DAFTAs (annual roleplaying society awards dinner) which was also good fun, and on Sunday, [ profile] thebirdwoman came over and took me out to lunch at the DCA, which was lovely.

I finally finished reading Otherland, which was definately worth the effort - excellant sci-fi with strong fantasy elements (it's mostly set in a virtual universe and a lot of the worlds are taken from literature), much recommended to all who enjoy such things, and am now thoroughly enjoying Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar, which is madcap, wacky urban fantasy featuring warring werewolf clans and fashion obsessed Fire Elementals!

And Dr Who was brilliant, very Time Traveller's Wife, and a bit Otherland too.
alithea: (Kaylee (made by viadisaster))
On Saturday, i had a lovely day out with [ profile] mcwoof, which involved oogling beautiful Fiona Haldane pastels at Alessandro's which neither of us can afford (scroll down to the forest ones, they are my favourites), buying a really nice moss green, fitted, short suede jacket in a charity shop for £6.50 (June is my shopping luck!), and having a very pleasant walk around the loch in Crombie country park (bracing but very good for blowing the cobwebs away).

I have made it to all my usual social activities this week - T'ai Chi on Monday (where I quickly remembered the chunk of the 108 I have learned despite a 3 week gap), pottery on Wednesday (made another plant pot, poured a goblet, and glazed my Celestial Goddess which has turned into a flat-backed plaque rather than a 3D statue), and roleplaying last night (Jakob and I ended up taking over the session with character angst, but no-one seemed to mind too much :) Only problem is, now Miss Finchley has been cornered into basically confessing her feelings for Ash, I have to decide what she is going to do about it, aside from angsting and being repressed!).

On top of walking and T'ai Chi, I also went running yesterday and practiced T'ai Chi in the park afterwards.

I have comics to read, mostly notably Buffy season 8 up to issue 12 (yay!)


I've even achieved some work!! Although now I need to spend the rest of the weekend writing stuff up, but hey, it should be ready to submit sometime next week and then I am FREEEEEE ;) (And soon to be unemployed, but one thing at a time, hm?)
alithea: (Rainbow River (made by hollycore))
When I was snowed under trying to finish that report, i had several posts going round and round in my head, but of course, as soon as things eased off a bit, my brain juices dried up and nothing was forth coming. Am still feeling rather stuck and stagnant but need to get stuck in again fast or the last report will be a nightmarish last minute rush too...

Anyway, did manage to go running twice last week, although I intended to go today and haven't, but at least I have t'ai chi tonight so will be doing some exercise. I'm finally learning the full 108 posture form so I'm all on my tod as the rest of the class are either complete beginners or about 1/2 way through the 37 short form. It does mean, however, that I'm having to learn it properly, because I have no-one else to follow.

My creative juices are also starting to flow again at pottery - I made my celestial Goddess statue idea as a flat wallplaque last week, hopefully she will still be in one piece on Wednesday after drying out a bit. Haven't decided how to decorate her yet though, I have little silver stars and silver and gold enamel paint but I don't know how much of her to glaze first, or whether to use velvets or coloured slip to put more detail on her. No rush to decide I suppose, I have vases and at least one more goblet to pour, plus several coil pot ideas, and another plaque or two in mind.

I finally finished reading The Court of the Air too, which I did enjoy, although I think it might have been a better book if he'd spent less time cramming in all his myriad ideas for the setting and a bit more time on his characters instead. It was particularly annoying when the head of the Court was introduced in a teaser-esque segment that made me think she was going to be a really interesting character, and then never featured, or was even mentionned, ever again! So while I enjoyed its inventiveness, it did read a little bit like he was determined to put all his ideas in one book incase he never gets published again. And the plot reminded me of some kind of mad anime series, it was a bit demented in places.

Anyway, t'ai chi beckons.
alithea: (Default)
Yesterday, the weather was not foul and I finally managed to motivate myself into exercise. I walked to a local park, spent 25 minutes doing the jogging for 60 secs, walking for 90, that the training programme I found recommends starting with (which is a good idea, I've come unstuck many times trying to get back into training by flogging myself half to death straight away rather than building up gradually), and then did the 5 element warm up and ran through the 44 posture T'ai Chi form in the park before coming home. I'm not sure I've ever done T'ai Chi in the park on my own before, I had a small audience of 2 or 3 dog walkers and a random group of business men, but I feel fairly competent these days as far as my form goes so I didn't let it bother me. Of course, the head of the school has now decided that everyone should go from learning the 37 posture short form to the full 108 postures, so the fact that I can do the 44 posture version is now as much of a hindrance as a help, but never mind...

Today, however, the weather is utterly foul, although it has brightened up slightly in the last hour. And obviously, because we are going up north for the weekend for a friends' wedding, it is forecast to pour down all weekend up there and be nice and sunny here :( And it is supposed to be windy with poor visibility for the drive up tomorrow too. *sigh*

On the plus side, I also made it to pottery yesterday evening. There was a slight mishap involving exploding plaster moulds, which meant I came home covered in slip but I did manage to make a coilpot vase, which will hopefully not disintegrate as it dries out!
alithea: (Arty thoughtful)
Good things:
The Boy
Aching because I've actually done proper exercise for a change
Being better than I expected at partner work at yesterday's T'ai Chi workshop

I really need to make more effort on the exercise front. I spend too much time inside sitting on my bum, am appallingly inflexible, have no strength whatsoever in my arms, and I really need to get my resting heartrate and blood pressure down. And I need to get into better habits before it's the time of the year when I need those endorphins and the proper daylight exposure to stop me turning into a jibbering wreck. Must go out on the bike this week. And buy new trainers, and try jogging with my knee support on, because it really helped with the hill walking.

Fundamentally, I need to get some self-discipline and stop procrastinating, as per usual. But first, I need a cuppa...

I really wish I wasn't still living in the city though, I find it so much easier to be motivated to go out in the fresh air, when it is fresh air, and not traffic and concrete. I went out for a walk for 1 1/2 hours last week but I still couldn't get away from the traffic noise and it just wasn't the same even though it was a nice, wooded park.
alithea: (Default)
Have been a mite busy recently but the big report is all done now - yay! So just have a bit more prep for the project meeting at the end of the week and life has calmed down somewhat.
Actually managed to be sociable at the weekend and headed out to the pub with all and sundry, and made it over to Amy's to model various bits and pieces for some marketing shots, and have a good natter and fuss the kittens.
Have only been out on new bike twice so far, due to busy-ness, but T'ai Chi is going well, although I need to drag Jakob to the park to practice Palm as we are not doing it in class now the Monday regulars are back.
Other than that, life proceeds merrily enough, still loved up ;) I'm really looking forward to the bulk of this project being over so I can de-stress and NEVER get this stressed again (I'm sure my blood pressure was through the roof at times last week :(), and Dear Gods am I looking forward to my holiday!
Anyway, should be making powerpoint slides so I better stop procrastinating :)

Oh and, after I said it had gone autumny, we had the most beautiful week last week, proving the Indian Summer theorists at least partially correct, although today it is back to grey and cooler.
alithea: (Rainbow River (made by hollycore))
Been a tad busy and/or slightly incapacitated so far this week, thus the delayed update:

Booklist is finally up to date if anyone is interested.

Friday, I went out for a walk for 1 1/2 hours and felt much better for it. Saturday, there was pottering and housework, then into town for lunch and cooking supplies, and then spending the afternoon cooking. The games night peeps descended, were fed, watched Dr. Who (another fine episode, very entertaining), and played Witch Trial. I won (*grin*) and am currently 2nd in the league. Was a good night, even if I soo do not have sufficient crockery to have a 3 course dinner for 8 people :) Sunday, there was more pottering and another 1 1/2 hour walk - I figured this is good way to build up to running again without nearly killing myself or my knee/hip. And catching up on TV from Saturday night and being very happy to discover that Lee won Any Dream Will Do, and sang Paint it Black again *swoon*

Monday and Tuesday, i was mostly suffering from a migraine, but i did make it to T'ai Chi, although I'm not sure how. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon in a teleconference with half of Europe (well, okay, Belgium, Bulgaria and the Netherlands) and then writing stuff up. And then went to pottery, late but nevermind, and spent a happy evening glazing my latest vase. Next week is the last class until the new term in the autumn, I have a lantern to decorate and that's it. I'm sooo going to miss it over the summer :(

Today, I am mostly feeling a bit bleurgh due to being awake at 3 am with stomach cramps, but the sun has finally come out and I'm planning another walk later so things are pretty okay. Hmmm, I think tea is required, tea and then fresh air and not staring at this screen for a while.
alithea: (Warrior_River (made by brokenharlequin))
Bird song on the radio makes for a very entertainly confused kitty :)

Have watched the latest Bond film (Casino Royale) and Shaun of the Dead recently - Bond entertained me and both my parents (no mean feat) and I really enjoyed Shaun... despite my famous dislike of ick in films, which tells you something about the quality of the writing - great fun.

Am reading great Victoriana - Sally Lockhart books by Phillip Pullman; highly recommended if you like tales of dashing adventure and scheming evil villians, with a good dash of authentic period darkness. And Watchmen, which is grim and... well, we'll see.

Made it to T'ai Chi last night (much needed) and have achieved work (yay!), although still much to do, for tomorrow (boo!)
alithea: (Imagination (made by celandineb))
On Friday, Jakob and I met up and practiced T'ai Chi in the park - I'm gradually getting the 37 and 44 move form versions into my head as two seperate entities, and we did Animals too - ahhh animals ;) Also, there was comic borrowing:

Strangers in Paradise - the 2nd to last issue EVAR. I'm not going to squee at great length, but everyone should read this, despite its faults (and i admit it has them), at its best it's one of those fantastic character stories that really has something to say about what it means to be human, and to love. Also, I *sooo* identify with Francine's journey these days...

Buffy season 8 - ohhh shiny! Joss Whedon is writing it himself at the moment, although I think only the first story arc (oh and the last apparently, if all goes to plan) and so far (I've read the first 3 issues) it's rather fine and the art work is good too. If you are missing the TV show (who isn't???) then I highly recommend checking this out! I can see certain peeps may have the fantasy dream image from the beginning of issue 3 burned into their imaginations for sometime to come ;)

Am also reading Joss Whedon's run of X-men - Astonishing X-men, which is rather good, although I've been a bit lost more recently as characters i'm not familiar with (not having read any other runs of the comic) have been showing up, and now I've missed an issue or two, and his new (to him) Marvel comic Runaways, which is about a group of supervillians' kids on the run, and is very funny indeed!

Speaking of Marvel - went to see Spiderman 3 last night. Enjoyed it in general, it was good but not fanastic, but was worth the £4.50 especially since the trailers were Pirates 3 (shiny, shiny, shiny!!), Shrek 3 (shiny!), Transformers (hmmmm...), and Harry Potter 5 (shiny, shiny, shiny!), and therefore would only have been improved if we'd got Stardust too. I was particularly entertained by how hopeless he is with women, and the obligatory 'black suit = brooding on gothic cathedral spire'. And that Saturday Night Fever-esque strutting down the street scene was soo cringeworthily funny I nearly cried. Overall, pretty entertaining I thought.

And of course the other cathedral and sound weapon featuring thing this week was the latest episode of Dr Who. I missed the first episode of this series but have seen all the others and while I've yet to be really grabbed by any of the new stories, I'm liking the less-manic post-Rose Doctor, and continue to be amused by their Whedon-esque ability to mix pop culture references - this week's mix of everything from Eliot to This is Spinal Tap was particularly notable. It was probably my favourite so far along with the Shakespeare episode. And the trailer for the rest of the season looked somewhat shiny - ummmm Captain Jack ;)

alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
I'm doing well at the moment - I have 3 holes in my feet from the vampiric new shoes which demand blood sacrifice, what appears to be heat rash all around my neck (which anti-itch cream from the chemists has done nothing to soothe :(), and this morning, i had to extract a deer tick from my leg in the shower (which presumably had been lurking in my trousers from walking on Saturday and had attacked me yesterday when I put them back on to go to T'ai Chi) - yuck! Also, looking up Lyme's disease is scary!

Anyway, walk which led to evil tick was very pleasant - Alex came over on Saturday and we went to Perth for lunch and then wandered around Moncrieff Woods in glorious sunshine. It's a bit close to the main road really but the woods were very nice, wood sorrel and violets flowering everywhere and the later trees, beech and oak, just coming into leaf. And deer, thus the evil tick.

Sunday, Lodger made himself useful fixing (*touch wood* it's on at the moment) the washing machine which had decided it wasn't going to spin properly anymore, and there was general pottering, and yesterday, we finished the 44 move version of the form at T'ai Chi - now I just have to remember it.

Today, I'm intending lots of spring cleaning and tidying - time to banish stale energy and invite some action and motivation into the flat! So i best get on with something more useful than sitting here wittering :)

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