alithea: (Default)
The monthly changing headers are all well and good, some of them have been really pretty, but I do hate it when they end up clashing with my default userpic. Oh well, it's rather late in the year for daffs now, I guess it was about time for a change anyway.
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: (Pottery)
Mostly for [ profile] rosathome who commissioned some:

pictures of buttons and rambling about the joys of things not coming out how you expect )

I also have a pile of porcelain stuff, including these buttons and a stack of pendants so I'll be updating my pottery blog at some point. Anyone know of a good online source of silver findings for jewellery making, preferably in the UK? These definitely need something more delicate than the steel jump rings I used for my stoneware stuff.

alithea: (Default)
This was the view out of my living room window this morning:

And this is my seasonal greetings card image of a local school I walked past on my way to the shops this afternoon, which looks very pretty but does not illustrate the ~14 inches of snow we now have!

More pictures available here
alithea: (Gizmo)
Gizmo was looking particularly like butter wouldn't melt this morning... probably because she woke us up several times in the night, being a little madam and demanding attention!

it's a hard life being Gizmo )
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)


Feb. 28th, 2009 04:54 pm
alithea: (Pottery)
For [ profile] anthrokeight, [ profile] catfink and whoever else is interested, here are some piccies of the ceramic jewellery I've been busy making at my pottery classes:

Painted stoneware pendants with crystal glazed or glass beads (both spoken for!)

more pictures here )
Top row: crystal glazed pendants with glazed or glass beads (purple heart spoken for)
Middle row: dark red glazed pendants and beads (heart with two drops already spoken for), and round crystal glazed or dark red glazed pendants, plus a painted pendant with a glass centre (blue, yellow and red one)
Bottom row: crystal or dark red glazed star and leaf pendants, and stoneware painted pendants.
alithea: (Snow & lights (made by boundary))
This was the view from my lounge window when I got up this morning:
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow )

And then it stopped and the sun started to come out:
winter wonderland )
I can't remember having this much snow this early before!

ETA: I know it isn't a lot of snow in the grand scheme of things, but it's a lot of snow for Dundee.

ETA mark 2: And our neighbours are having double glazing fitted today of all days - so don't envy them that, their flat must be freezing!
alithea: (Arty thoughtful)
As is somewhat typical after a week or more of stressing and not getting out much, I came down with lurgy on Thursday :( Particularly unpleasant, feeling like my head was going to explode lurgy, which resulted in several days on the sofa feeling very sorry for myself. Today, I am mostly feeling better, although still a bit achey and heavy feeling, but in the kind of funk brought on by sulking inside for days :( Nothing is happening on the work front - no comments back yet on the report and still awaiting news of funding for the next potential project.

Still, I made another raku glaze at pottery on Wednesday (the Boy has started referring to it as my alchemy class!) and will hopefully get to see what they come out like this week, it snowed on Saturday night (in the city centre, in November!), and we had a yummy roast dinner on Sunday, involving acorn squash (yum, yum!) so it could all be worse.

gratuitous snow and kitten pics )
alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))

Gizmo on Christmas night - sound asleep still wearing her Christmas ribbon, after a hard day of pestering for food, filling her face with treats, and getting plenty of cuddles from assorted humans :)

Hope everyone else had an equally enjoyable day!
alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
Since I suspect people will start heading offline for the holidays pretty soon, I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy and peaceful time over the festive season; whatever you are celebrating, I hope you have a joyous time with your loved ones!

Tree and festive Gizmo pictures )
alithea: (Red Inara (made by singingrl))
My cactus flowered at the weekend:
behold its alien glory )

And the Lodger cooked me the most delicious dinner on Sunday night - roast lamb with black cherry glaze, roast parsnips and onion, mash, steamed carrots, asparagus and greens. Very, very good!

Book list is also up to date again and I've finally read the last ever Strangers in Paradise... On the one hand, the characters deserve a happy ending after all they have gone through over the past 15 years, but on the other, i can't help feeling it would have been more poignant if it had been a bit more bitter sweet. Mind you, to the fans of a certain character, it was probably very bitter sweet! I need to reread the entire lot, but they are bringing it all out in one volume next year apparently so I'm going to hold off buying it until then.
alithea: (Delirium (made by lady_wormtongue))
For those of you not on [ profile] frankie_ecap's flist, where Amateur Gardening is currently being discussed - here's me showing off my clivia (ooh uuuhhh ;))

alithea: (Warrior_River (made by brokenharlequin))
I've uploaded all the random icons I had stored on the laptop (and I still have spaces *grin*) and made a new Gizmo icon and a candle icon from pictures I finally got around to uploading from my digital camera. If you ask nicely I might even post some of the others ;) I'm trying to decide if i should actually have an icon of me and shatter the mystery for the entire 5(?) of you who have never met me in the non-virtual world...

EDIT: You can tell a lot about a girl from her bedroom... Check out my pictures (linked from info page) ;)

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