alithea: (Rainbow River (made by hollycore))
Lights on, heating on, and I saw snow flakes amongst the rain battering on the window. Having planned to put away my winter clothes today seems rather premature now!

I think we might be making good use of the stove in the summer house over my birthday.

ETA: Oh joy, now the kitchen ceiling is dripping! I obviously jinxed us remarking that it hadn't happened all winter a few days ago :(
alithea: (Default)
Back from holiday, had a lovely time, filled with coastal walks, castles, Roman sites, and paddling (we had 3 days of proper summer weather). And wildlife and not quite getting trampled by cows (yes, there's a story there, the moral of which is never assume a footpath marked on a map will actually be usable if you're in England). There will be a proper update with photos but LJ was down for *hours* earlier and now it's bed time so you'll have to wait.

In other news, I watched Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this evening - my, that's one trippy film...
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: (Starbuck bang (made by amiyuy))
Have been quiet around here recently due to a combination of factors, including lots of work to do and silly headcold/viral ick, combining badly to produce major funk. However, we had summery weather for a few days and I seem to have finally banished the ick so I'm feeling perkier, or would be if I wasn't very tired because the Boy spent the weekend doing cross-country pantomime (AKA larping), came home absolutely shattered last night, and proceeded to keep me awake half the night snoring, tossing and turning, and groaning.

Anyway, still have stacks of work to do but have booked a weekend in York early next month so have something to look forward to. And I spent a good chunk of the weekend lounging on my sofa with all the windows open, and bare arms and legs, reading Maggie the Mechanic, which is the first collection of the 'Locas' storyline from Love and Rockets. It's an utterly mad punk/SF/something soap opera, featuring a bunch of mostly female punks and their trials and tribulations (frequently involving trying to get money out of their friends and relatives), spiced up with robots, space ships, occasional dinosaurs, and all manner of shifty unhanded dealings of a very human nature. One particular character has so far alternated between turning up in the middle of the jungle looking for treasure, begging her billionaire boyfriend (with horns...) to make her into a super hero, and getting sacked from the local cornershop - which I think nicely illustrates its utter randomness. Really quite entertaining once you get into it though!
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: (Rainbow River (made by hollycore))
On Friday night, the Boy took me to see Stardust. I love the book to pieces and was really looking forward to seeing it, knowing that Neil Gaiman had been closely involved with it, and I wasn't disappointed. It's quite different to the book in places, but the changes work for the different medium, and it's beautifully done. I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it - Robert Deniro's camp sky pirate is not to be missed and Claire Danes is brilliant as Yvaine. And it's very funny in places, as well as being a classic quest story and a love story. All good :)

Saturday was mostly spent flat wrangling, and I'm really appreciating having a clean and almost tidy flat ;) Then peeps came round for dinner and we had Irish stew and a yummy fruit salad (cantalope melon, satsuma, apple, pomegranate, fresh fig and grapes in orange juice), and played Puerto Rico, which was good fun.

Yesterday was grey and miserable so we mostly pottered around doing shopping and more flat stuff, and catching up on the TV I had recorded on Thursday and Friday evening. I did manage to get a lovely grape velvet skirt in TKMaxx though, so I do actually have a choice of dressy skirts to wear for occasions this winter.

Today, dawned grey and miserable again so I gave in and put the heating on because I was washing my hair, but it's brightened up a bit now. This may be my favourite time of the year, but I do have to remember to get out in the daylight enough or it really doesn't agree with me. Still, lots of exciting things to look forward to over the next few months - meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] thebirdwoman on Friday and hopefully catching up with some old friends who have moved down South later that evening, Samhain (must make up my costume for the party this weekend!), going down to my parents' in November for my Dad's 60th birthday, Yule, Christmas, Hogmanay... *beams in anticipation* And the Boy has to book his holidays for next year this week too so this lunchtime we have been plotting trips away for our birthdays (May and July), and late September again. Vancouver is on hold for the moment, but we are planning Stratford for David Tennant in Hamlet, and to meet up with some of my old uni mates, Northumberland, the Boy's homeland, and the Lakes again :)
alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
Last Tuesday evening, I was curled up with my lover in front of a crackling log fire, and on Wednesday night, we were huggled together on a bench in a churchyard, under a gloriously bright full moon, watching shooting stars. I don't think I've ever cast a shadow just from the light of the moon before, I felt like a proper little country witch.

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