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: (London - sunlitdays)
I'll post about the rest of my Cheltenham Literary Festival later. I went to London this weekend to see the poppies at the Tower of London or Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red as it's officially called. While I am happy I was able to see them in person, the actual experience of seeing them was deeply unpleasant. They don't really have a system in place to let everyone see them so you're basically shoving your way to the front and crushed on all sides. This is even more unpleasant if you're under 5'7" or 170cm, like me. I was glad when we left (still haven't managed to eat at The Kitchen @ Tower, next time). I discovered that my father has never actually visited the Tower of London (despite the fact he studied in London in the 1970s) and I promised to take him next time we're there.

We then went to the Constable exhibition at the V&A. It was great to see his big works right there with all the details I usually miss: The Hay wain, Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Ground, Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, as well as many of his studies and full scale sketches, including his watercolour of Stonehenge. The exhibit was really good in that they'd managed to gather paintings from the Old Masters (primarily Dutch) who had influenced and inspired Constable so you could see from where he drew his influence. In some cases, he'd just copied the painting and had to add something to make sure they knew it was a copy and not the original!

Dad and I wanted to eat at our favourite South Kensington Italian, Pierino, but it was full when we stopped by, even though it was half past two in the afternoon. I spotted another restaurant around the corner and we were able to get a table there. This restaurant is called Daquise: Daquise happens to be one of the oldest Polish restaurants in the UK, dating back to 1947, and unbeknownst to us was a key location in the Profumo affair of the 1960s! Dad had tomato soup to start and venison meatballs for main, while I had bigos (hunter's stew) to start and veal schnitzel to follow (topped with a fried egg), but the bigos was so filling that I had to leave some of the mashed potato and carrots behind. A little expensive but very, very nice food.

After that, we went back to Waterloo to catch the train home and I bought a couple of things from Lush. We drove through the rain that had been lashing the west of the country on our way back home and I decided that I was too tired and it was too wet to go and do some more standing, even for fireworks.

And then I had my heart broken by Doctor Who. All in all, a great weekend.
sea_thoughts: (London - sunlitdays)
Better update before March is over! It's hard to update when I feel like I'm wasting my time in this place and like everyone is achieving things when I am too scared to even write a word sometimes.

The big excitement is that my old team leader's secondment has ended unexpectedly and she is now coming back to my department. However, my current team leader wasn't even allowed to tell us this herself: the head of our call centre (who is also the one who agreed to our training over the busiest period) went ahead and sent out an email announcing it to EVERYONE. Even the head of our department wasn't told about this and had to scramble and send out ANOTHER email explaining what was going on. Needless to say, my current team leader was severely unimpressed by this mess. After having one team leader leave without explanation and then being split into other teams, then having her announced as the team leader with no warning, the last thing she wanted was for us to find out this way. I told her to her face that I feel she's been badly treated and none of the team blames her for what happened. Not only did she have no control over leaving the job, she had no control over telling us. And so now, she's leaving the company completely and it's her last day tomorrow.

The good news is that my LBT (Legs, Bums and Tumms) class is starting to have an effect on my legs and my bum. Still waiting to see an effect on the tummy but I only go to one class a week at the moment. I'm thinking of going to the gym where the class leader works to see if I can make a bigger improvement. My mum has been staying with me so the flat is clean and I can talk to someone after work about how frustrating it is.

Dad and I went to London yesterday to see the Turner and the Sea exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich (aka the place where Jane and Thor confront Malekith in The Dark World). It was a beautiful sunny day, the exhibition was stunning and we had a great home-cooked lunch at the Green Pea on Trafalgar Road. Then we slogged up the hill to the Royal Observatory so Dad could look at the clocks. I was more interested in the beautiful Dolphin Sundial in the Titanic Memorial Garden. The tips of the two dolphins' tails form the line of the hour. It is extremely accurate.

Currently reading: The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands
sea_thoughts: (Spring - luna_ann)
Thanks to everyone who responded to my last entry about the death of my best friends' dad. I met up with my friends a couple of weeks ago today since I was in town to see a concert with my parents. I introduced them to a new café, we sat there and talked about films and actors and boys. They laughed, I laughed, and I think it was good for them to talk about something else for a change.

The memorial service is this Friday. I hope the weather is nice. It's taking place in the New Forest and apparently we're having a hog roast afterwards, since that was his favourite meal.

The V&A - Lacquer and Furniture and Ceramics )

Manet )


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: (London - sunlitdays)
It's now two weeks since my birthday and I finally feel ready to write about that amazing week; that is, say goodbye to it. Writing about my birthday celebration is putting it into the past and I was reluctant to do that.

Part One: London )
sea_thoughts: (Happy - ajcher)
For those who just want to read what I though about Deathly Hallows: Part II and Much Ado About Nothing with Tennant and Tate. (OH YES.)

DH Part II - what I didn't like )

DH Part II - what I did like )

WTF moments )

Really, one of the things that bothered me most was the simplification of the characters (Petunia, Lavender, Snape, and DUMBLEDORE) but that has been a problem throughout the series and is sometimes unavoidable when you're compressing literature into a film. I'm glad I went to see the film and would like to see it again to spot the things I missed.

Much Ado About Nothing )
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: (Default)
A couple of weeks ago, Mum and Helen and I went to see Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (which is where J.M. Barrie conceived of the story in the first place). It was in a great big pavilion in case of bad weather. Of course, that day, the weather was perfect. We came up on the train, the first time we'd all been to London together. My mum loves the train; if she could, she'd travel by train and bus all the time, so she was already happy by the time we got to Waterloo.

Where we saw PAUL McCANN. Yes, Eight himself was standing there by WH Smiths on his mobile phone. I did not quite turn into a screaming fangirl but I did stare, because I was so excited. Fortunately, if he noticed me acting like an idiot, he was too used to it to react.

We then headed off to Portobello Market (which is on Portobello Road in West London). Portobello Market is one of the largest weekly antique markets in the world, mainly because Portobello Road is very, very looooooong. It was packed and full of people who wouldn't move, which is exactly what I hate about shopping in crowded place. My sister was in her element, though. We saw lots of beautiful things which would not fit in our flats and found a little undercover market called The Good Fairy which is one place I did like. Lots of little stalls, each specialising in different antiques.

We had lunch in Kensington Gardens and then went to the pavilion. The stage was round, almost 360, so even though we were near the back, it didn't matter because we still had a great view. There were so many little kids in the audience and they were all enthralled. The cast all had harnesses, so they really could fly, and the ceiling was a green screen so they had a CGI background of leaves or the sky, whatever they wanted. But the best thing about the play were the animals, which were perfectly made puppets: Nana was a life-size dog, animated by a man who walked around and made amazing dog noises; the Lost Boys were followed about by a tiny white ostrich-like bird; and then there was the crocodile. The crocodile was a massive wooden contraption, moved by two men, and when it came on stage, the crowd went completely silent. When it finally moved off, there was a round of spontaneous applause, just for that animal. During the interval, when I went to get ice cream, a mother behind me asked her daughter what her favourite part was. "ALL of it!" came the immediate reply. I grinned to myself.

Okay, here's the spooky part. This is the actor who plays John Darling. Not only does he look like Robert Sean Leonard's little brother but his name is - get this - Arthur Wilson. Thank God it wasn't James Wilson, or it really would have felt like the fabric of the world was wearing thin.

I have a new iPod! <3 It's a purple Nano and I can't believe how much lighter and thinner it is than my old one, which was an original and was only three years old (lost in June after coming back from London). I'm making a playlist for my holiday to America and I can't wait to upload it with all the old music and especially my Exiles playlist.

And my desk is finally here! My beautiful mahogany writing desk! I will post some pictures later so that you can all admire it. I'm going to have this desk for the rest of my life, it will always be my writing desk. Now I just need a letter opener to go with it.

I should try and finish my challenge entries. *scurries off to write*
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.


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: (Embankment - sunlitdays)
Hello, everyone!

It's been a while since I updated about my life instead of fandom-related activities, so here's a quick recap: I've seen The Dark Knight and Wall-E, loved both of them, want to see Hellboy II.

London Part One )

London Part Two )

Come hell or high water, I am going to try and get tickets for the 2012 Olympics, preferably the swimming, since I know we'll do well, or the equestrian events, which are my favourite. Carrie, if you make it over here, I'm definitely taking you to Le Relais!
sea_thoughts: (HPGinny - royaldawn_uk)
I woke up late today for the coach, but I needn't have bothered, as it didn't arrive until five minutes after 07:10. The journey was fine, but they need to do something about their reservation system, as there weren't enough seats when we got to Swindon and some people couldn't get on (the coach seated 49 people), so we had to miss out Reading completely. At least this meant we arrived at Victoria twenty minutes early. I had to queue for ten minutes just to get my travelcard! I seemed to be around a lot of Spanish and French people today, not sure why. Oh wait, I'm in the capital now, that's why. :)

[ profile] dogstar101 kindly gave me some toast, as I hadn't eaten anything except an apple and had some water. Then we went to have lunch at Strada, she showed me the official entrance to the Ministry of Magic and I went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum to find something for my mum's birthday (my sister and I are buying her a new mobile phone, but I want to get her something just from me). Then I met her at Tate Britain and we saw the Turner Exhibition. It's the first time I've been there (this is the original Tate Gallery, as opposed to the Tate Modern) and it reminded me oddly of El Prado in Madrid in its look and situation. The exhibition was amazing: a lot of the pictures were only sketches or preliminary drawings, but with only a few brush strokes, Turner can create an immediate sense of dawn or dusk and the rolling mass of the sea. His paintings of Venice are particularly amazing because of the way he captures the way the light moves on the water and over the buildlings, how the buildings seem to melt into the water, as if the whole city is one big mirage. The big celebration for this exhibition is that the Tate Britain managed to acquire The Blue Rigi, one of Turner's most famous and most important Italian watercolours, for public viewing. The use of blue in this painting is, naturally, very impressive.

Then we decided to go and have a look at the Curzon cinema in Soho, which required walking down Tottenham Court Road to Shaftesbury Avenue. We passed by the Palace Theatre, which is currently hosting Spamalot, the Monty Python musical. I pointed it out to her and said I'd like to see that. She said that she'd been thinking about it, too, and after some humming and hawing, I decided we should go and see if there were any tickets available. It turned out there were, right in the centre about six rows back from the stage (the floor is sloped, so no problems with viewing). So I bought them, because I'm on holiday and I haven't seen a musical in years and I deserve a treat, damn it. We went and had supper at a nice little restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue, then came back for the musical. Now, [ profile] dogstar101 must have some kind of Harry Potter magic because not long after we'd sat down, she leaned over and said, "That man in front of us really looks like Alan Rickman from the back?"

"You think that's Alan Rickman?"

"No... just looks like him."

But apparently she was more suspicious than she let on, because she kept looking at him throughout the first act. And then, at the interval, he gets up and turns around and [ profile] dogstar101 goes into shock. I don't see him, because I'm not looking, so we spent the entire interval waiting for him to come back, with [ profile] dogstar101 worrying that he might not come back, even though I told her it would be so rude of him to walk out half-way through. It's very hard to look for somebody without showing that you're looking for them, but I just about managed to catch a glimpse of his face and IT WAS ALAN RICKMAN! We were now both in shock, sitting there and trying to rein in our excited fangirl instincts. Fortunately, we were aided in this by someone who came up at that very moment and asked him for an autograph. The man is trying to enjoy a night out at the theatre, why do you have to go and do that?! It's not like she was obnoxious about it or anything but it still embarrassed us both.

Spamalot was very good, especially all the mocking of musical conventions (and the scene at the end with the Lady of the Lake's name was priceless). The scenes with the Black Knight and the Killer Rabbit were, naturally, the best ones. And Peter Davison was King Arthur. Seriously, can you get any better? Doctor Who and Professor Snape in the same room. How lucky were we?! And at the end, there was a massive explosion, with gold, silver, yellow and white confetti showering down on those of us in the stalls. And I mean massive. We almost drowned in the stuff, it was so thick!
sea_thoughts: (Ginny - royaldawn_uk)
First of all:

Happy Belated Birthday to my dear [ profile] amamama!

We haven't known each other that long but you've been a great comfort to me in many ways and I always know when I see a comment from you that there will be wise, soothing words for me to read and savour.

Secondly, I'm off on holiday! Not to foreign climes, but just travelling around dear old England. I shall be off to London on Saturday morning (I'm catching the 7:10am coach, to be precise) to meet up with [ profile] dogstar101 and then spend Saturday and some of Sunday with her. Hopefully I shall also see my friend Pid and then on Monday afternoon, I'm off to Canterbury!

I heard cathedral bells tripping down the alleyways...

When I started this LJ, I'd already left Canterbury, but I've never forgotten it. I've missed it so much in the three years I've been away that just the thought of being back there makes my heart skip.

I need to be with people who are on my wavelength. I was just talking to one of the girls I sit with today. She doesn't find Mock the Week funny. Enough said. (There are clips on YouTube for those who haven't seen it.)

Man, I really need to download this song.
sea_thoughts: (Happyness - royaldawn_uk)
So a week on Sunday I went up to Paddington for the Innocent Village Fete. Innocent is a company that makes fresh smoothies here in the UK (just crushed fruit, no concentrate) and their Guava/Mango/Goji Berry smoothie is my new favourite drink ever. I phoned up my friend Lydia on Saturday and she was immediately up for it. Unfortunately, Sunday is the unofficial Day of Engineering Works in the UK, so I had to get a bus to Cheltenham and then a train to Swindon. The train from Swindon was slightly late and so the train to Paddington left just as we arrived. The football fans who were going to the Man United/Chelsea football match were not happy. I upgraded to first class on the Paddington train just so I could get away from them (they were already singing Puppy Love). I sat opposite a lady from Oregon and we talked about the Cotswolds. I got the train to Baker Street (where Matthew lives) and met Lydia there. The fete was in Regent's Park, but first we sat on the riverside and caught up and put on our sun cream (because I'm too pale to go without and when I'm with her, she's sensible) then wandered up. The tickets were only £5 (which is incredibly CHEAP for London) and then we just wandered around taking in the bands (free music!) and the food. There were free tasting stands for all the Innocent smoothies and if you visited all four, you got your card stamped and entered into a draw for a year's supply of smoothies. I converted Lydia to my favourite smoothie and bought myself a pie, a Heidi pie: red onion, goat's cheese, potato for the filling, with gravy. Yes, it was blazing hot, but there you go! Lovely pie. Later, I had a gourmet steak sandwich for tea, which was also delicious. I also bought some proper cider (which was expensive, but they put it in a massive glass, so I only drank half). Have no fear, Mums on my List (maybe I should make that an abbreviation? MOML? Almost 'MOM'!), I drank water for most of the day and we rested under the shade. There were fairground rides (a Helter Skeltzer and a carousel!) but Lydia and I went on a swing ride (swings fly out to the side as it gets faster). I absolutely loved it. Lydia entered a book raffle draw in the Penguin tent and WON! It was a £1 per ticket, she only bought one, people were buying loads and she actually won! What did she win? TEN FREE BOOKS! All the bookworms here (and I think nearly everyone on my friends list is a bookworm or at least enjoys reading) will understand how fabulous that is! I was more excited than her, but she was in shock and kept repeating afterwards, "I WON!" Made me smile. The journey back was long and I was stuck in the carriage with yet more football fans (Man U won, of course) so I put on my sunglasses and pretended to be asleep. To be fair to them, they didn't bother me and some of the songs they sang were pretty funny but my God, I'm glad I'm not from Liverpool.
sea_thoughts: (Happyness - royaldawn_uk)
Okay, thanks to my dear friend, [ profile] fellytone_k8, I have now seen the rest of the third series of Veronica Mars, from 16-21. So I know how it 'ends'.

Veronica Mars 3 )

Dickens World )

I had a phone interview on Friday, so I'll hear about that next week and I also wrote something so I've been creative, too. Good times.
sea_thoughts: (Default)

SQUEE! I love the name Achaean. (I tried twice and got a golden ocelot each time.) We'll see if you change him. ;)

Today I went to a seminar in London about Living and Working in Spain. There was lots of useful information about what you need to emigrate to work there and the fact that there is a huge British ex-pat community working there, which was not a surprise. What was interesting however was that 25% of this community was self-employed. Concha, the woman who did the presentation, said she'd noticed that the British were go-getting like that. Although I do wonder if it isn't because they don't want to be told what to do by a Spaniard. I was sitting next to a nice girl called María. She turned out to be Spanish, but she's lived here since she was seven, so she's bilingual. Actually, she's trilingual, since she speaks English, Castilian and Galician (which is where her parents are from - biggest place there is Santiago de Compostela). She bumped into another first-generation British Galician while she was there as well but he had red hair whereas she was far more typically Spanish looking. Anyway, she was really nice and we had lunch together (in Marks and Spencers because she works there at the mo and gets a staff discount). We then had a nice rant about living with our parents and how the job market sucks. I've got her mobile number so we can keep in touch. I'm sure she'll get where she wants to go.

I got the latest volume of XXXHolic and five volumes of KareKano! I'm now up to Vol. 8, which is so great. I love Blackwells on Charing Cross Road. <3
sea_thoughts: (Happyness - royaldawn_uk)
GCHQ have decided not to continue with my application. That's fine, I'm happy I got selected for the test. I hope my friend Emma makes it. My dad seems more disappointed than I am. I don't know whether to feel guilty about that or not.

Wednesday )

Maundy Thursday )

Good Friday
Spent most of it sleeping.

Saturday )

Easter Sunday )

Bank Holiday Monday )

Cool YouTube Videos
The Founders of Hogwarts - any Harry Potter fan will love this. It's a really good video of the beginnings of Hogwarts, effortlessly combining clips from different films in order to portray the Founders. The films used are Pride and Prejudice, Tristan and Isolde, and King Arthur.

Harry's Potter Bohemian Life - clips of all four films set to La Vie Bohème from RENT. Sounds crazy, but it works, and it's hilarious.

We Didn't Start The Fandom - the complete history of Harry Potter fandom by the founders of The Sugar Quill, sung to the tune of We Didn't Start The Fire by Billy Joel. Very funny.

Potter Puppet Pals 1 - Bothering Snape - hilarious animation of the Trio doing just what the title says - and suffering the consequences.

Potter Puppet Pals 2 - Trouble at Hogwarts - Voldemort invades Hogwarts! Oh noes!

Potter Puppet Pals 3 - P-P-P-Potions - now actually using puppets! Snape 'shares' his Potions knowledge.

Potter Puppet Pals 4 - Wizard Angst - possibly my favourite of all the PPP videos, even though it's very difficult to choose, but this one has some amazing lines. Takes the piss out of Harry's 'teenage' moment in OotP. "I'll WOUND you!" XD

Potter Puppet Pals 5 - The Mysterious Ticking Noise - Snape hears a mysterious ticking noise. The whole gang becomes hypnotised by the sound. Then they find out what it was...

Snape Angst - Snape runs Heartbreak Hotel!
sea_thoughts: (Happyness - royaldawn_uk)
Okay, so this week has been a busy week. You already know what happened on Monday.

Wednesday )

Thursday (Graduation) )

sea_thoughts: (Happyness - royaldawn_uk)
So I went to see the recording of Chain Reaction, a BBC Radio 4 programme, with my friend [ profile] godricgal today. It was at the Duchess Theatre in Catherine Street in London and it was so much fun. The programme will be broadcast either this summer or autumn (hopefully this summer) and will be on Tuesday evening. I will be checking the Radio 4 website regularly to let you know.

Cut for spoilers )
sea_thoughts: (Your Hand In Mine - sunlitdays)
Monday: Go to London, have a wander around. Meet up with [ profile] godricgal and go see Catherine Tate interview David Tennant.

Tuesday: Nothing yet. Go to gym, probably.

Wednesday: Interview with Smallworld Translation at 11am. Possibly meet Jo on Wednesday afternoon for Equus or just for general chat.

Thursday: Graduation ceremony for MA. Meet up with my friend Laura, catch up, maybe discuss flatsharing.

Friday: Nothing yet. Go to gym probably.


sea_thoughts: (Default)

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