In the mist

Sep. 17th, 2017 06:06 pm
dolorosa_12: by ginnystar on lj (robin marian)
[personal profile] dolorosa_12
The weekend has been a good mix of social and hermity stuff, and I think I managed to strike exactly the right balance between the two. On Saturday we had four of our friends over -- [ profile] ienthuse, her husband E, and our friends V and P. Last year, another friend had given Matthias and me a jeroboam of champagne as an engagement gift. Now, as much as we'd like to, the two of us are incapable of drinking three litres of champagne in one sitting, so the bottle had sat undrunk in our house for a year and a half. We finally decided that we'd have an afternoon party with champagne and snacks to celebrate various successes in our friendship group: Matthias has just started a new job, E recently got a new job (actually working as a library assistant in the library where Matthias is now working), as did [ profile] ienthuse, V recently won a very prestigious translation award in Iceland (she translates Icelandic books into English), and I'd recently started a new and challenging secondment.

We had been intending to have the party outside in our courtyard, but it ended up pouring with rain, so instead we sat in the living room, eating, drinking the champagne, and generally having a good time. Given that most of my Cambridge friends are people I met while we were all MPhil/PhD students together, people tend to move on once they've finished their degrees, so I'm glad that at least these four are still around. Afternoon snacks turned into dinner, and we ended up getting really delicious takeaway from the south Indian restaurant down the road, which I hadn't eaten at for ages and really enjoyed.

Today I woke up good and early and made my usual trip to the markets in central Cambridge. It was a really beautiful misty morning, and everything looked gorgeous. I love this kind of weather, so cold and stark and still. Once I'd got back from the market, Matthias and I went out for brunch, and then stopped by the food fair (which happens about four times a year in one of the parks in the centre of town) to pick up stuff like olive oil, vinegar and other sauces.

I've spent the afternoon finishing off Ruin of Angels, the sixth book in Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence, which was absolutely wonderful, as all the books in the series are. I realised about midway through that about 95 per cent of the characters with speaking roles were female, whiich pleased me immmensely. The world of the series is just so clever and inventive, and has this unbelievably lived-in feel, and a sense of place that's stronger than pretty much any other fantasy series I've read.

I'm now just hanging around online while tonight's roast dinner bakes in the oven. It's proper autumn here in Cambridge now, which is my favourite time of the year. There's an icy undertone to the air, the trees are at their most beautiful, and my nesting tendencies go into complete overdrive. This weekend's been a good start!


Sep. 16th, 2017 10:16 pm
hooloovoo_42: (Default)
[personal profile] hooloovoo_42
I have a list.  I have heaps.  I have packing cubes.  Somehow I have to combine all of these and make sure I don't forget anything.

I am going to be spending 11 days doing sailing, swimming, windsurfing, cycling and possibly stuff like yoga.  I've packed a lot of PE and swimming kit.  I have not yet packed the non PE type stuff and I'm wondering just how respectable I need to look when I'm not sailing, swimming, windsurfing or cycling.

Tomorrow I shall try and get it all into my luggage.  

I need to not forget the suncream, which is not currently on the list.

The only not so bright spot in all of this is the 5.40am departure from Gatwick.  I'm really not a morning person.  

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:22 am
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
[personal profile] tvordlj
Vacation! (or nearly there, just the day to get through).
Lovely pedicure yesterday. I really have to do that more often! I do plan to get it done again before we go out west/Hawaii in November. I don't plan on doing any swimming but I might want to wear sandals with a skirt if we go out somewhere nice for dinner.
Didn't sleep well last night, in addition to having a sore hip periodically, I was too warm even with the ceiling fan on. You just can't win. It's going to be a long day today.

And just to catch up on books since I don't know what kind of time I'll have for reading over the next two weeks. This lot of books were all top marks for the most part or almost. I really enjoyed all of them for various reasons as they were mostly quite different from each other.
2017 books )
I'm currently reading several books, each by classic Canadian authors and a Jane Austen. I think I'll try to read all of her books. Not by the end of the year but over the coming months at least.


Sep. 14th, 2017 11:12 pm
hooloovoo_42: (Default)
[personal profile] hooloovoo_42
In the last few days, I have looked at getting on for 500 slides.  I've finally found the box that has me as a tiny baby in.  There are far more pics of Bro as a small and I was beginning to get a complex.  

There are probably more somewhere, but I think there are about 800 in total including the 2 boxes I've had sitting on my desk for some years.  I need to work out whether we want prints of any of them.  I also need to get them back into some better order.  I know that there are some from different sets in separate boxes, which need to be reunited with the rest of their own series.  At least cataloguing them means it's easier to resort them.

This is in addition to the approximately 1200 b&w negatives that date from about 1948 - 1968.

I recognise some people and can guess at others, but there are a few who I have no idea about - mostly university and TA related pics.  It's very interesting to see the photos of Very Small Us with Granny & Grandpa. 

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 11:13 am
tvordlj: (Default)
[personal profile] tvordlj
Having a pedicure this afternoon, first one in well over a year. My poor toes and feet need moisture badly.
Took a selfie today mainly to show how the grey in my hair is coming in (My sister posted one where mostly it's coming through as in grey roots with hers and mine is sort of overall fading into the grey even though I had my hair coloured as well. Think perhaps the shampoo was stripping the colour so it worked out better i guess). Point is, my face is looking longer, I think sagging down a bit and the jawline is definitely softening into jowls. No surprise at my age, nearly 59, of course. Neck is definitely not as tight, either. But the eyes, oh god the bags and wrinkles under the eyes and sagging bits over the eyelids. I put some of it down to not sleeping well but it's a kick to the vanity nonetheless. Doesn't look quite so bad when I smile because it kind of compresses the skin around my eyes, something like that so it's a good excuse to keep smiling, eh? 

No, i don't sleep that well these days. I can get to sleep ok, but after the first 2 or 2.5 hours, i'm awake every hour. The problem is that I sleep on one side mainly and my hip hurts a lot after about an hour. I have to sit up and wiggle it around to loosen it. I can lay on my back but then I can't fall back to sleep and I don't know why because I can fall asleep on my back when I first go to bed. The rest of the night, I'm on one side. with someone else in the bed, I can't easily flip over to the other side without disturbing him. In my single days, I'd just flip over and sleep on the other side of the mattress but there's someone there now. I wouldn't give that up but it means I modify how I sleep. I should try though. Often when I sit up to ease my hip, i then have to get up to pee even if it's only a little one. I can ignore it and lie down again but often I'll get up anyway because it eases my hip, too. I do go back to sleep quickly when I lie back down on my side, I just can't sleep for more than an hour. If i take advil before bed, I get a bit more time, but still don't sleep all night through.

And no, i haven't been to the gym in awhile and I suppose that would help my hip. I will get back but i might as well wait until after vacation which starts tomorrow at 4:00. Two weeks off, then back to work for a month before another three weeks off for our big trip to the west and Hawaii. I would have a month at the gym between the two vacations and that should be a good start.


Sep. 13th, 2017 09:53 pm
hooloovoo_42: (Default)
[personal profile] hooloovoo_42
I've been sleeping better recently, which means I'm generally much livelier and not so grumpy during the day.  But the way the nights are drawing in means my hibernation genes are kicking in.  I got home from Jado around 8.30, ate my McDeadthings, hung up the laundry, got changed and flopped on the sofa to read email and listen to Jo Wiley.  It's not 10pm yet, but I'm ready to hit the hay.

I should be doing things like sorting travel insurance and currency, but I think I'm going to go to bed and play on my tablet for a while, then get some kip.   

Aaaaaand yet more clutter

Sep. 11th, 2017 08:47 pm
hooloovoo_42: (Book tower)
[personal profile] hooloovoo_42
Another couple of days spent rooting through the stuff in Pa's house and extracting the bits worth keeping.  Yesterday Bro and I started on Pa's bedroom.  Between us, we probably put in 12-14 hrs of time.  Pa's bedroom is maybe 11' x 9, with a built in wardrobe along one of the short walls.  Apart from a rail of clothes the complete width of the room, there was a shelf full of stuff above the rail and a stack 2 to 3 high of crates and boxes all the way along underneath the clothes.  There were several references to Narnia as I disappeared inside to haul things out.  At one point I collapsed in a fit of hysterical laughter about something, probably to do with camels.

This last few weeks is the longest Bro and I have spent in each other's exclusive company for a very long time and it's been nice just to get back to our old sense of humour.  Our childhood was much influenced by the Goons and Flanders & Swann and all the assorted TV shows from the late 60s onwards and those are the things that will still crack us up.

Before we got to the wardrobe, we cleared enough space to move the bed against the wall.  Then I worked through the contents of the chest of drawers in front of one of the wardrobe doors.  

Amongst the haul from the drawers were:
  • a wallet from his student days including several letters from his room mate, his student union card, a receipt from the caterers for a hall party, a receipt for his (plain) monocle, several payslips from a holiday job and a letter from a female who was clearly less taken with him than he with her!
  • a wallet from after his student days including 2 photos of Ma, a letter from his mother dated just after we'd been to visit in 1975, several assorted business cards and a receipt from a hotel where he & Ma stayed for 3 days in February 1962 (married for more than 3 years at this point), which Bro thinks may be a significant moment in *his* existence!!!
  • An old passport of Grandpa's from 1959 onwards.
  • An old passport for Grandpa's parents dated 1929.  Both Grandpa and his father were railway agents and traveled extensively on the continent. This contains only the third photo I've ever seen of my great grandmother.
  • A bag of lead soldiers that are clearly pre-WW1 and therefore probably Grandpa's
  • A pocket watch - probably Grandpa's
  • A box of assorted cap badges and uniform badges/patches/pips etc from assorted uniforms that would have belonged to both Pa and Grandpa
  • A large quantity of assorted old coins - UK and foreign
  • A large quantity of assorted decimal coins of various ages, including 20 or more pound coins
  • A quantity of assorted UK bank notes - all now defunct but interesting for collecting.  
  • A receipt for the burial of Ma's grandfather, who was interred in Keighley cemetary on 10 September 1935.  Ma was born on 9 October.
Amongst the other things we found were
  • Grandpa's beret and forage cap as seen in assorted war time photos.
  • A photo of Grandpa's unit in Italy at Christmas 1943
  • A photo of Grandpa's cricket team either just before or just after the war
  • A 14" bayonet 
  • Pa's stamp album with a pretty darn good collection of stamps - including several with the pre-War German Chancellor and one wartime German field post stamp.
  • A copy of  "The Efficient Use of Fuel" which was awarded to Pa in 1953 for "The Headmaster's Prize for Work of Special Merit" in his last year at school.

and many other things that are equally interesting and a whole heap more things that have been earmarked for disposal.  Bro messaged me as I was driving home to say he had finally found Pa's  blues uniform, which hung in the wardrobe in my bedroom all the time I lived at home. 

I found some marbles, which were probably Bro's, but then found a large bag of marbles which were definitely Pa's.  Much hilarity ensued as we discussed whether giving him his marbles back would improve his current situation.

I have brought back another car load of stuff and am continuing to sift and sort it so it can be catalogued and shared with the cousins.

(no subject)

Sep. 10th, 2017 04:29 pm
tvordlj: (Movies)
[personal profile] tvordlj
The remake of IT was quite good. I haven't read the book since the 80s so I couldn't say whether it followed it well or not but it only focussed on the part to do with the kids, not the adults years later like the original mini series did. I would think they are planning a sequel for when they come back and fight it again as adults. All of the child actors they had were very good, unusual really, there's always at least one that irritates me or more. Not all of the kids themselves are likeable but then that's just me probably but it don't put it down to the actors that irritate me, just the character and I would think the actor must be doing a good job if he's making the character annoying! The one playing the girl in the group was good, too. Really pretty. She's gorgeous now, she's going to be a stunner in 5 or 10 years. She's 15 now and kind of reminds me of Deborah Messing from Will and Grace. Her name is Sophia Lillis. Watch that space.

The man that played Pennywise the clown is Bill Skarsgard from the Swedish family of actors. You've seen his father in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and his brother Alexander was in True Blood. We've only just seen him lately in a creepy series called Hemlock Grove. Excellent stuff with vampires, a werewolf and lots of other creatures. Tim Curry played the original Pennywise but Bill did just as good a job, I think.

Since this movie was all about the kids and their experience, it went into more detail about the lives of most of them and about their fears which is what the entity feeds on. Their parents are not major characters and only appear if it contributes to either the child's state of mind or to their personal fears. If they do make a second movie about the adults, it should be interesting.

Afterwards, we found a place for a bite to eat along a little street in halifax that's lined with pubs and cafes. There are 2 or 3 places along there that are long standing, with the rest seeming to come and go. It's been difficult for the businesses this summer because they have been doing construction on the street all summer, between a major trade centre going up at one end and redoing the other end for pedestrians and making it look "pretty". Most of those businesses usually had outdoor patios built for the summer but most of them haven't been able to and the foot traffic is down a lot because of all the uproar. It's too bad because it's worth the inconvenient to find a decent place. Our meal was quite good. I had fishcakes made with garlic mashed potatoes and the salad was gorgeous, with apple and goat cheese and walnuts with a raspberry vinegarette. The slice of cheesecake, on the other hand was nasty. I don't know what htey used to thicken it but it was almost gluey and sticky. Horrible. I don't mind if it  isn't homemade on the premeses. I've had some decent cheesecake that was premade and even probably frozen but which came out creamy and soft. This could have been sitting on a shelf for a month.

All in all a Grand Day Out. Our houseguest comes next Saturday so we'll get a rental car on Friday and stock up on groceries.


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