sea_thoughts: (Courage)

  • Spent the first two days of February sick. Yaaaay. I'm really hoping that I don't have to take any more time off for at least the next two months.

  • Forgot to mention that I went to Sunday lunch at my friend's house in late January. Similar to my previously mentioned friends, this couple moved into their cottage in the Forest of Dean last year but have only just felt able to invite people around. The cottage is mahoosive and Edgar, their toddler, is a cheeky chops. The roast was amazing.

  • Had Mum's birthday at The Suffolk Kitchen in Cheltenham. Everyone had a good time and enjoyed the food. Mum liked it so much we went back a couple of weeks later to take advantage of their early bird offer - £10 for three small plates or £14.95 for a starter and a main. I had leek and potato soup, then fish of the day. Mum had cured mackerel with horseradish creme fraiche and citrus salad (segments of grapefruit and orange), then mussels in white wine & garlic sauce with chicken goujons.

  • I finally ate out with my friend again after she spent January fighting a resurgence of Crohn's disease. We went to the JRool Bistro in Stroud. We were the only customers in there from the time we arrived (just after eight) until we left (just before ten). Slightly worrying. I hope this was because it was a Thursday evening as it's a great place to eat.

  • I have finally decided that I will go to Cornwall for my holiday this year, but ALONE this time. I realise I didn't actually make an entry about what happened when I went to Cornwall with my friends in September 2015, because it ended up being exhausting on both a physical and emotional level. I may write one later just to get it all out. This time I will be going down by myself and staying in a nice B&B in St Austell, five minutes' walk from the train/bus station.

  • I just found out that the Dulwich Picture Gallery is hosting an exhibition of Vanessa Bell's paintings COMBINED WITH Patti Smith's photographs. I have now bought a ticket to London for April Fools' Day on National Express to see this.

sea_thoughts: (Turning Point)
Sorry that I haven't updated the journal in a while. I have finally moved back to my old department (after being kept in the 'temporary' one for the first two weeks of January) and I'm able to take part in team activities, actually rely on my shifts, swap the times and book holiday knowing that there'll be space on the calendar for me.

My sister is going to have her baby on May 6th (well, that's the due date). We still don't know if it's a boy or a girl. Her husband's family haven't had a girl born into the family in a century, so if it is a girl, I will be suggesting Ginny for a middle name. ;)

I'll be posting the list of books I read and films I saw last year this week. I didn't read many books last year, which is a shame. I'll try and read more this year.
sea_thoughts: (Autumn - sunlitdays)
September kind of sucked until the end. The third weekend I went to stay with Grace in her new townhouse in Bristol so we could see First Aid Kit. The date change from Sunday to Friday led to a lot of grief with my shifts being changed without me being told but the concert was worth it. They went off mic two times and sang by themselves, which was so intimate that it brought tears to my eyes. The second time was when they did Emmylou and invited the audience to sing along. Magic! Grace's townhouse is smart but the parking is terrible. I like it but I am not sure if it's worth the rent they ask, which they only ask because it's in Clifton, the posh part of Bristol.

I went on holiday to Canterbury with the family for my birthday. It was wonderful being back in Kent again. We stayed in a house in Whitstable which had three double bedrooms (one of which had a dormer roof so that was mine) and an enormous kitchen. Mum, Dad and I ate fish and chips on Friday evening (since sister and brother-in-law weren't going to arrive until 9pm) after happily wandering around Canterbury for the afternoon. Then we all wandered around Canterbury again on Saturday and actually found a restaurant in Whitstable that could seat us that evening. H and D had been recommended a restaurant by someone who came from Whitstable but they had not informed us of this until we were actually there, so of course, we didn't end up eating there as the restaurant was fully booked. And then we went to The Sportsman on Sunday, of course. I had been especially looking forward to D's reaction and he was very pleased (if D had enough money and capital, he would be a chef).

Cheltenham Literary Festival Part One )

Monday, I didn't have anything so I just relaxed and went into Gloucester to sell some DVDs and donate some books to charity. I'm trying to declutter. It's not easy as I get very attached to possessions but I did make nearly £20 off the DVDs so that's something.

Cheltenham Literary Festival Day Two )

Days three and four coming soon!
sea_thoughts: (Summer - eowyngiulia)
Currently looking for new jobs. I've applied for one in Buckinghamshire, so I'd have to move if I get it. I'm nervous about moving but the job sounds ideal - translation checker and proof-reader, with potential to become a junior translator. I should also apply to translation companies here and see if I can get in, to stop me having to move. Still exercising and trying to lose weight.

Watching: Sailor Moon Crystal and the new Doctor Who (soon).
sea_thoughts: (Facepalm - miss_jaffacake)
I managed to scrape the car along a car park wall before my sister's wedding while driving up a ramp, so I've been busy trying to get estimates for that. It's now at a body shop and should hopefully be repaired by the end of next week.

Sister's wedding went well. The weather was beautiful, everyone turned up, and people complimented me on my reading.

Just spent Midsummer's Day in Oxford with [livejournal.com profile] vifetoile and her friend. It was just what I needed after the past couple of months. The sun was out, we managed to have lunch at Pierre Victoire, which was delicious but glad we arrived early as it was packed by the time we came down. Then Vifetoile and I had ice cream from George and Davis (I had Greek Yoghurt & Honey plus Lemon Sorbet, she had Dimebar Crunch and something else). We wandered over to the Botanic Gardens (first time I've been there) and she finally found Will and Lyra's bench, along with a touching note from someone who'd made a pilgrimage to sit on that very spot because His Dark Materials was the only book series which had ever made them cry actual tears. Sadly, they'd been too shy to actually say anything to the people around them. We also watched inexperienced people trying to punt down the river, which was incredibly amusing.

"I think I'm doing quite well - oh frigging hell, there's a wall!"
"My arms are sooooo tired..."
"Try turning it around!" "I AM TRYING."

Fantastic spectator sport, could have sat there all day.
sea_thoughts: (Christmas - ibroughtuflours)
Tried to post my UK and Europe Christmas cards today, only to find the main Post Office in Gloucester was shut because of union strikes. Will try and post them this week. In other news, have been sick with a nasty head cold all week but still managed to go to work!

Sick :(

Oct. 10th, 2013 06:30 pm
sea_thoughts: (TWDoctors - holo_daxy)
I've contracted an inner ear virus which means that I've spent yesterday and today at home, the world literally spinning around me if I move too quickly. Fortunately, my mum had booked this week to come up and stay with me, so I haven't been alone in this. Just wanted to let you know why it's taking so long for me to post about Prague.

(My sister finally gave me the photos of Paris from my 30th birthday last year... in a photo album. So I guess I'll just have to finish the Paris travelogue without them. :/)
sea_thoughts: (Crazy - technographics)
I am still uploading the house tour photos from my phone. >:( Basically, Photobucket doesn't let me upload from the mobile, so I have to email the photos to myself and THEN upload them to Photobucket. As you can imagine, this takes a while and I can only do so much before I get frustrated and give up. But I haven't forgotten about them and I will eventually post them all!

Prague this weekend! So excited!
sea_thoughts: (Summer - eowyngiulia)
I'm sorry that it's been over a month since I posted in this thing. July was actually a busy month. I got my new car (well, second hand, it used to be my mum's) and spent a week getting used to it and driving around. I had the whole week off so I was able to do this without worrying about work. Unfortunately I managed to rear-end someone on the second day of driving it. Fortunately, it was only a small bump and the man I hit was a gentleman. I drove my friend R to see Stonehenge (so she could say she'd seen it) and then we went to Avebury, a first for both of us. Avebury is a lovely little village and the stones are amazing. Because we went during the heatwave, they provided shade and they were cool to the touch and it felt like leaning against them was okay, it felt like they were old friends. (Well, they are old!)

I drove all the way to Canterbury, which was nerve-wracking because it involved at least three M roads (major motorways) but we made it there in one piece, even if we were almost two hours later than planned due to horrible traffic. The owner of the B&B was gobsmacked that I'd managed to get a reservation at The Sportsman, huffing that he'd never managed to book a table for himself or for any of his guests.

"Are you someone special? Is she someone special?" he demanded.

Maybe I am? :)

I drove R to The Sportsman with an unplanned but pretty detour to Whitstable on the way (Seasalter is not well sign-posted). I gorged myself on bread and rock oysters (not at the same time) so I didn't have enough room for my main, which I still regret, because it was roast chicken with lemon truffle sauce and potatoes and it was utterly delicious. I did have enough room for my dessert though (jasmine tea junket) because priorities. I showed R around Canterbury, around the cathedral, and we saw The World's End, which is hilarious and highly recommended. (We also saw Pacific Rim and if you have not seen that, get thee to a cinema.)

I miss Canterbury so much. I had a pain in my chest on my last morning that refused to go away. Only the anxiety of driving all the way back on my own was able to vanquish it. I miss Canterbury and I want to go back there, not just for a visit but forever.
sea_thoughts: (Spring - luna_ann)
I went to see Iron Man 3 on Saturday May 4th with my friend R, who is studying in London for her PhD. I took her to Ed's Easy Diner because she was missing root beer and she complimented the chilli con carne. Unfortunately, we missed the Thor 2 trailer because of severe delays on the Central Line. The ushers kept telling us we hadn't missed the film, but that wasn't why we were rushing! At least we saw the Man of Steel trailer. I enjoyed the movie a lot (I always like it when Tony is stripped of his trappings and shows just how smart and resourceful he is). I was pleased with the increased focus on Rhodey, wish there had been more Pepper, loved every scene that Ben Kingsley was in, and was disappointed that Maya and Pepper did not team up to be snarky badasses on the run. Ending credits scene was perfect, well done, Marvel.

Sunday May 5th and Bank Holiday Monday were spent with my sister at her flat in Bristol. The weather was beautiful and we had a barbecue on the hill outside her house on Sunday afternoon. I was able to meet her cat properly for the first time and we finally watched Rise of the Guardians together. (This also turned out to be the last time as they had to put the cat to sleep at the beginning of June. ;_; ). On Monday morning, we went to Rocotillos for only the second time since I've been living in Gloucester (six years) and I had a butterscotch milkshake with the Breakfast Club meal (bacon, fried egg, sausage and toast all for £3.95).

Tuesday, I went to the Guildhall with Lorna and saw Cloud Atlas. Some of the storylines were interesting, some were not, and the digital make up they used to make the Caucasian actors look Asian was discomforting and smacked of latent racism to me. I would recommend it for rental.

Wednesday, I went to see Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty with Mum and Helen at the Bristol Hippodrome. It was funny and beautiful and tragic, but we had to leave before the end because I had to catch the last train back to Gloucester. I can't wait to pass my test so I can drive myself about.

Part Two coming soon!
sea_thoughts: (Spring - luna_ann)
The second half of April was not as much fun as the first: I broke the frame of my glasses; the new pair cost £134, which took a big chunk out of my bank account. Then the back wheel of my bike was punctured and I had to leave it in the shop over the weekend until I could pay for it.

The first half of May has been very busy and deserves its own post, which will come soon, just wanted to update this and let everyone know I'm still here. :)

Theory Test

Mar. 3rd, 2013 07:11 pm
sea_thoughts: (W00t! - ibroughtuflowers)
Passed my driving theory test yesterday! What a relief. Now all I have to do is pass the practical and I'm free and don't have to listen to my driving instructor. Also went to London to see Wreck-It Ralph (which FINALLY opened here last month) and really enjoyed it. Have to say that all the "duty" jokes will fly over the head of anyone who isn't American, though. I'm glad I went with my friend from California, who was able to explain the pun to me!
sea_thoughts: (Crazy - technographics)
So my granddad dies on Monday, then I find out today in the space of two hours that not only is Benedict Cumberbatch going to be at the Cheltenham Music Festival READING POETRY but the Fabulous Baker Brothers are also coming to Gloucester that weekend.

What is going on, universe?
sea_thoughts: (HPEasy Riders - ajcher)
Part II of my June Adventures

Go Ape - June 11th )

Science Festival - June 9th, June 11th, June 12th )

Part I of my June Adventures

That was my June! Hope you enjoyed this update from the West Country! :)
sea_thoughts: (Friendship - mars-mellow)
Fleet Foxes - June 2nd )

Cotswold Olimpick Games - June 3rd )

Here endeth Part I of my June Adventures. Part II will be up soon!
sea_thoughts: (Thoughtful - helensheep)
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The Guildhall and its independent cinema. I'd miss the cathedral and Stroud Market and being so close to the Literary Festival but DEFINITELY the Guildhall.
sea_thoughts: (Forget Growing Up - enhancedminds)
Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] margaret67! I know it's the next day for you by now, but I hope you had a great time. :)


There's a song called 'Gloomy Sunday' and I think there should be a song to counteract that, but until then, there's just the title of this entry...

Today was a beautiful day! Not a cloud in the sky, do you know how RARE that is in England?! In Britain?! (Obviously, this is a rhetorical question for my UK flisters, hope it was just as nice for you.) The sky was pure, endless blue from horizon to horizon and the sun beamed down on us. It was a perfect(!) bank holiday weekend.

The parents visited today, which meant I spent most of yesterday cleaning and making sure that everything was reasonably tidy. Mainly because if I don't clean, they will. Especially my father, who inherited housepride from his mother. My mother isn't particularly bothered about cleanliness and I've inherited her attitude. Strangely, she loves cleaning MY flat when she's here, though. I kid you not, she will do the washing up (without me asking, by the way) and wipe down the kitchen and happily change my bedding. She thinks she would have been good as a chambermaid or cleaner, as she doesn't mind doing other people's houses, just her own! The irony.

We went food shopping (again, I did not ask, but as I am broke, I was very grateful) and visited the big Sainsburys in Barnwood, which is one of my fave superstores of all time, as it always has what I want (the one in town is tiny by comparison but there are no buses to the big one and it would take over an hour to walk there and back). I finally sampled the new innocent kiwi smoothie, which I have been wanting to try ever since I heard they'd finally made a smoothie with NO bananas in (I hate bananas) and it's delicious. I'm in a bit of a dilemma over innocent at the moment as I am not that happy about Coca-Cola having a minority investment in the company. So what if Coca-Cola doesn't have any say in the company procedure, it's still freaking COCA-COLA, people. *sigh*

Then we drove off to Cranham, which is a little village five miles out of Gloucester deep in the Cotswolds and my rural heart just melted, because it is so beautiful around there. The trees meet in an arch over the roads, dappling them with light, and the countryside plunges into soft green valleys between steep woody hills. Cranham is built from Cotswold stone, which is a soft, pale yellow that just gets better and better with time. The pub we went to, The Black Horse, is up a sharp incline on a turn that is easy to miss. The carpark is beyond the pub, further up the hill, so you walk down to the pub and back up to the car (good thing, too!). You can tell how old the pub is by the stone hearth and the low ceilings, which actually made me feel tall. We ordered our Sunday lunch (beef for me and Dad, sausages for Mum), but they'd just run out of beef, so we had pork instead. It's a good thing I ordered bread for a starter, because it was quite a long wait, but the bread was obviously baked nearby if not on the premises and the butter was great. And when our meal finally arrived, that was even better. Mine and Dad's plate were filled with roast pork, new potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and covered in gravy. We also had a dish of local veg (cauliflower, carrots, greens and peas) to share. Mum had a trio of sausages and sweet potato mash, which was also lovely. In the end, I could only eat half of mine, it was so filling (the crackling was to die for). We decided to have dessert back at my place as we were so full. Dad had a bowl of honey and ginger ice cream (also made locally) and I had the rest of my kiwi smoothie. Mum had a mug of tea, of course.

This Saturday, I'm off to London to visit a language fair and then I'll see my friend Claire. There's an exotic butterfly exhibition at the Natural History Museum and then a Wallace & Gromit exhibition at the Science Museum. Yes, I am a geek. ;P Then seeing my sister on Sunday to celebrate her birthday.

If I can only just get through the week, the weekend will be fabulous.

Currently listening to: Saltbreakers by Laura Veirs
Currently burning: Honeysuckle Glow by Lily Flame
sea_thoughts: (Embankment - sunlitdays)
Hello everyone!

It struck me that I haven't written much about myself lately... so I will try and remedy that.

I got my sample sale package from Green Knickers today, a company that makes knickers (underwear) from organic cotton. I already have a pair of Green Knickers cycling pants which has a special pad to make cycling more comfortable (very good if I want to wear a skirt). The sample sale allows you to choose three pairs of pants in your size for £10 (which is a saving of over £5). I got two pairs of cream side-ties and a pair of bright pink high-thighs with an embroidered Earth on the front. :) I've never had side-ties before, so it's a new experience for me! Side-Ties

London: Three Days of Rain )

Cheltenham )

Mother's Day Weekend )

So that's my March. Currently obsessed with Fleet Foxes.

MYKONOS<333333

White Winter Hymnal

Lydia and I discovered a mutal love of Fleet Foxes when I was in London. And then, the Friday after I came back, I get an email from Ticketmaster. I see that Neil Young is playing in Hyde Park this June. I'm quite fond of his music so I click on the link. This is my thought process looking at the Saturday line up: Neil Young, cool... ooh, The Pretenders, love them... oh wow, Seasick Steve, excellent... ZOMG FLEET FOXES?!!! I called Lydia up, so incoherent that I sounded like Beaker from the Muppets and proceeded to flail all over my living room. Good thing I live alone, I'm sure I would have been sectioned if anyone had seen me. And the upshot is we are now seeing Fleet Foxes this summer. EXCITEMENT! :D
sea_thoughts: (TWSurvivors Together - angelfireeast)
Just off to collect the keys FOR MY FLAT! YEAH, BABY, I AM NOW A HOMEOWNER! :D
sea_thoughts: (HPSnape's High Point - potterpuffs)
I was reminded that yesterday was the one year anniversary of the publication of Deathly Hallows. It was also the weekend when the floods became really serious and I came back to a house with no running water and, for two days, no electricity. I didn't talk about that much at the time because... well, I didn't see the point. Very British of me, I suppose. The managers at my work were amazing: they stocked in preparation for the worst and had baby wipes, food, perishables, everything for us. People who still had running water offered us their baths and showers and their washing machines. The managers also arranged for us to take a minibus to a leisure centre in Swindon (neighbouring county) and have showers there. Looking back, I wonder why I wasn't more upset. I'd been in Gloucester for less than a month when we were flooded. It took a month for things to get back to normal for us. Some people in Tewkesbury, which was worse off, have only just moved back in. Some are still living in caravans. I was lucky, since my sister lives in Bristol, just an hour down the train track but unaffected (despite living on the mouth of the Severn!). I probably used all her hot water with my washing and my shower.

For all my HP friends on the flist, what are your memories of 21/07/07?

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