alithea: (Rainbow River (made by hollycore))
My Saturday involved doing my kitchen chores while singing along to loud 80s Bon Jovi and then an evening of TV entertainment which involved Strictly, awe-inspiring record-breaking Grand Prix Final figure skating*, and Red2 (I want to be Helen Mirren when I grow up).

*I really don't understand why figure skating isn't more popular, what they are doing on ice these days is fantastic. Mind you, it doesn't help that it never gets any coverage on the UK media because we are crap at it these days.
alithea: (Rainbow River (made by hollycore))
You can always rely on a Poliakoff drama to look ravishing if nothing else. I'm enjoying this one rather more than the last (Glorious 39) so far and Angel Coulby has a beautiful voice. Is it just me though, or is he a bit obsessed with sinister government bureaucracy?

In other news, the Boy found a copy of English Costume - painted and described by Dion Clayton Calthrop in our local Oxfam bookshop the other day, which has caused squeals of joy in the house. It was originally written in 1906, although our edition is from 1931, and covers 1066 to 1830 arranged in chapters by the ruling monarch of the time, and is utterly utterly charming, with its delightful turns of phrase and beautiful illustrations. She finishes with some observations about the lack of colour and pomp in 'modern' dress and I can't help wondering what on earth she would make of the clothes in evidence on a London street today!
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 :)


Sep. 12th, 2011 01:37 pm
alithea: (Default)
*Saturday started off very badly, when I woke up to Tony Blair being interviewed on the Today programme and wanted to stab his eyes out after about 2 minutes. I then spent the rest of the weekend avoiding all news and coverage of the 9/11 memorials like the plague, which did wonders for my sanity.

*I went swimming on Saturday afternoon and ended up in the sprint lane, which was a bit full on. I love my new goggles soo much though - they don't leak or steam up!

*The Boy and I had dinner with a friend we don't see enough of on Saturday night and it was lovely. Also, her pet rats are incredibly cute.

*Dr Who made me cry. That's the first time I've been emotionally engaged this series and therefore a win (ETA: okay, I forgot about The Doctor's Wife). My only gripe is that the writing *still* seems to be ignoring the fact that Amy and Rory are supposed to be parents.
alithea: (Default)
Achey head on Monday turned into thumping head and feeling sick by late afternoon :( Annoyingly this meant I missed the last session of Star Wars, and yesterday I did the washing up and spent the rest of the day on the sofa feeling sorry for myself and watching The Mysterious Cities of Gold* because my head hurt too much to read.

Feeling more human today, although somewhat zombie-like. Hopefully some fresh air in a bit will perk me up.

*Fantastic 80s children's animated series about the search for El Dorado in the 16th Century for those unfamiliar with it. Turns out it holds up to rewatching as an adult pretty well. Unlike Ulysses 31, which we gave up on after about 4 epsiodes because it was too painful (although the theme tune is still fantastic).
alithea: (Default)
*Booked a ceilidh band for the wedding today.

*Have given up on new Torchwood, really can't be arsed with it as I simply don't care about the plot or the characters any more. Am enjoying The Killing though so my Thursday evening TV viewing is sorted anyway.

*Am reading Nicolo Rising by Dorothy Dunnett at the moment and thoroughly enjoying it. I see why some of my favourite authors cite her as major inspiration and am wondering why the current craze for historical novels hasn't led to them being reprinted. I can only guess that it is because she doesn't spoon-feed her audience; the plot is majorly twisty and I'm more than half way through with very little clue what is going on (oh, and I guess it isn't Tudor England, renaissance Europe just isn't as fashionable). [ profile] ankaret, have you read any of her stuff? I think you would really enjoy it.

*Oh, Doctor Who is back next Saturday!

*Not done as well on the exercise front this week because I missed t'ai on Wednesday (particularly bad because there is no class next week) and have only managed my 3000+ aerobic steps twice so far this week, although there is still this evening and the weekend to improve this and I am planning to go swimming tomorrow.
exercise log )
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: (Being human (base by ahlai))
Waterstone's sent me a email plugging reduced top sellers and one of them is The Carrie Diaries, a Sex and the City prequel, except I have The Vampire Diaries on the brain just now because it is the season finale tomorrow so somehow this has become Caroline and the gang taking a young Carrie down a peg or two in my head. It's very like a girly version of the Preacher comic where Cassidy (the most ungothic vampire in the history of fictional vampires) meets the Ubergoth vampire in New Orleans and is Highly Unimpressed.

This probably means nothing to 90 % of my flist. As you were :)

ETA: now with awesome ficlet in comments courtesy of the very talented [ profile] ankaret!
alithea: (Being human (base by ahlai))
- Am reading Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente at the moment. It's like the novel version of some kind of mad Studio Ghibili film with added sex, written in incredibly flouncy language. The poetry and imagery is impressive but the characters seem completedly empty so far, it doesn't seem to have any heart underneath the surface. Maybe I'm just an old prude but I'm not particularly impressed by the first 3 chapters ending with the characters having seemingly meaningless sex with random strangers... Still, I've only read the first section so far so we'll see if it gets deeper when we get to know the characters better. (N.B. my reading list for the year is the top post on my journal for those of you who are newer around here)

- The weather is utterly foul. I am not a fan of February.

- The builders have almost finished doing up the flats nextdoor and downstairs. I'm very relieved because the novelty has worn off with the amount of noise they have been making this week - hammering floor boards at 10.30 pm on a weeknight when The Boy has to get up at 6 am for work, for example.

- Did anyone else watch Michel Roux's Service on BBC2? The last episode made me teary eyed - who says today's teenagers are a waste of space! It just shows that sometimes troublesome young people really do just need to be given a genuine chance to shine.

- Speaking of TV, I'm loving the return of Being Human and The Vampire Diaries - very different but equally dark and angsty in their own ways. I'm loving Nina in Being Human even more this series and as for TVD, I could watch Damon being angsty all day ;)
alithea: (footprint (made by girlyboheme))
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

I don't generally start books that I don't think I'm going to like from the offset but there have been a few I've struggled to get into but ultimately enjoyed - One Hundred Years of Solitude and Wicked immediately spring to mind, as does Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Preacher is probably the most extreme example though, there are bits of it I found incredibly distasteful but I was too caught up in the main characters to give up on the story. The bit where Cassidy meets another vampire in New Orleans is particularly enjoyable for anyone who gets fed up of whiny goth vampires!

In other news, the Boy and I watched Wild Swimming on BBC4 last night and it was a little gem of a programme. We are Dr Alice Roberts fans anyway but outdoor swimming, profound reflections on the link between water and humanity, and even the ever informative Prof. Ronald Hutton musing on the topic, made for a little bit of magic. I haven't been swimming outdoors for years and it made me long to redress that sooner rather than later.


Mar. 19th, 2010 06:07 pm
alithea: (Default)
I'm feeling rather cheerful indeed this afternoon because it looks like my work contract is going to be extended until at least April next year, which is very handy money-wise, and the projects sound really interesting too so it might even be enjoyable! Also, I've written my paper for the meeting down in London next month and Pete said it was great and didn't make any alterations at all when he read it. I still have to prepare my presentation of course, but at least I've stopped having kittens at the very idea...

In other news, I finished reading An Echo in the Bone and spoilers... not anything I would describe as a major spoiler about what happens to any of the individual characters, but I'm warning you anyway )

Also, anyone who hasn't been watching The Wonders of the Solar System on BBC2 really should be. As someone with strong pantheist leanings, this programme has been a complete revelation to me (quite literally, when it comes to understanding why I'm so drawn to spirals as religious symbols over any of the more common pagan symbols), but you don't have to hold the Universe sacred to find this an awe-inspiring programme; it's definitely the best science programme I've ever seen. And very engagingly presented too. I'm also loving Mastercrafts, Caprica and Glee.
alithea: (Being human (base by ahlai))
The last couple of nights, I've been watching Electric Dreams on BBC4 - it's a reality show documentary thing where a family live like people from 1970 onwards, with all the gadgets of the period to see how it affects their family life. The first episode which covered the 1970s reminded me very much of my childhood even though I wasn't born until 1978. I grew up eating home cooked family meals together when Dad got in from work each evening, playing on bikes in the street, and watching TV on a big set with push buttons and fake wood trim, in the lounge with my parents.

Much of last night's 1980s episode was completely alien to me, I never ate microwave meals or hid in my room playing hand held computer games. We did have a spectrum computer though, I remember it having two games which you had to load on little cassettes. One involved swimming a little man through shark infested waters and then dodging coconuts thrown by monkeys, and the other was a treasure hunt text adventure thing where you just had to type commands and text descriptions came up. It recognized hardly any commands and we always ended up locked in a dungeon with no way out! After that, we had an Amiga, which I used to get copies of games for on floppy disk from the lads in our tutor group at high school.

Even in the early 90s, I only had a little Morphy Richards radio alarm clock with a cassette deck in my room, which I used to listen to Atlantic 252 and homemade mix tapes with dodgy clunks and whines between tracks. If I was hidden away in my room as a teenager it was because I had my nose firmly buried in a book, and the only time I've ever had a TV in my room was when I was doing my PhD and that was black and white and had been given to me (funnily enough, the TV licensing people were somewhat disbelieving about someone only owning a black and white TV in the year 2000!). My parents bought me a stereo with a CD player for my 18th birthday and I still have it, and I was given my first CD by my then boyfriend in my first year of university (August and Everything After by Counting Crows, incase you were wondering).
alithea: (Spring (from nomnomicons))
It's sunny but very windy here, winter hasn't quite given up just yet and my windows are whistling as usual.

Ended up taking a proper break over the weekend, which is probably a good thing, although I'm still tired today as I actually got up at a sensible time this morning because I'm expecting a heating engineer (who, of course, will now probably turn up at 4.30 pm!). Highlights of the weekend were:

- Ray and Maria winning the ice skating (Robin Cousins soo wants him to turn pro but I think he's going to take some persuading given I very much doubt there is much money in it, still it would be nice to actually have a decent British skater again)

- Managed to get hold of a copy of Fantasy & Science Fiction in Borders - the Ellen Kushner short story is rather good and now I want to read Swordspoint again!

- The Kingdom Beyond the Waves is really rather good; if you enjoyed The Court of the Air but thought he crammed too much into one book, I'd definately recommend the sequel, it's more streamlined and the characterisation is better. The 3rd one will be on my wishlist when it comes out in paperback.
alithea: (Default)
Pride and Prejudice as a Facebook news feed

ETA: There's one for Hamlet too!

Was laid up with a nasty cold all weekend and still feel rather crappy :( Did spend Sunday afternoon watching Brideshead Revisited though, thoroughly excellent TV drama.
alithea: (Warrior_River (made by brokenharlequin))
The other night, I was watching The Daily Show mocking Nancy Palin over all her nonsense about the "Real" America, which apparently doesn't include vast swathes of the country and quite possibly a majority of the population, and then last night, Gok Wan was at it too, insisting that "Real" women are a size 14 in Miss Naked Beauty on Channel 4.

I didn't think it was a hard word to use correctly, but apparently I was wrong. Maybe that comes with being a fake woman.

Grrr. When will people get the fact that size acceptance should be about accepting that women come in all shapes and sizes...
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: (altar candle (please do not take))
Between being ill and the Boy being away, I've watched rather more TV than usual over the past few days. The Olympics has been pretty entertaining, especially with the women doing so well (although the girl my sister went to school with didn't make it into the final of her rowing event EDIT: I spoke too soon, apparently her and her partner qualified in the repechage), but I think my favourite thing so far remains the Monkey and friends Journey East animation, which is rather fab indeed.

I've been watching Bones on DVD too. It's a cut above CSI and the like because the characters are so well written, although now I'm on season 2, I'm missing Goodman and the guy who ran the chinese restaurant and always knew what to feed everyone.

Last night, I watched Make me a Christian as I'm always interested by the portrayal of faith and religion on TV. The voice-over got my back up straight away with overblown comments about British moral decay straight out of the Daily Mail, and the basic assertion that one must be Christian to have strong morals is a pet hate of mine. I suspect the way the programme is edited and narrated will mean we don't see a true reflection of the experiment, which is a shame. It is clear that most of the volunteers are lacking any kind of spirituality in their lives but for a lot of people, I doubt having a very 'avoidance of sin' heavy message forced down their throats is the way to encourage that. One of the participants featured heavily in the first episode is a tarot-obsessed, practicing witch with body dismorphia issues and a taste for hideously expensive shoes. It was sad that she had focussed on the paraphenalia and casting spells to get what she wanted and not into the spiritual side, where the notion of the sacred feminine might have helped her to address her body issues and self-worth. But then these people volunteered so they are unlikely to be secure in a different faith. I'll be interested to see more about the guy who is a muslim convert.

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