I am visiting my sister. I brought my laptop but forgot the charger, doh. Luckily she is married to a gadget geek and I am using one of their tablets, however I cannot remember most of my passwords and bookmarks. Boo. Also I may get his old smartphone, but I find it slightly terrifying.

Baby is due soon-ish but probably not while I am here. People at Key suggested I stay until babby arrives but that was not the plan and I feel like I would be in the way, I am not so desperate to see the baby that I am willing to wait in a hospital for several hours.

Um. Anyway. I woke up and needed food or I would still be in bed. Never mind, I can nap later.
"Come and sing," says my sister G.

"Yeah, ok," say I.

G didn't mention the part where she was one of the people organising it, and thus I was automatically drafted to carry things hither and yon, and watch the ticket table for a bit. I didn't mind, really. The whole thing was quite fun, we were singing Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen, which is generally reasonably simple with some tricky bits, so we managed quite well on just a few hours of rehearsal. Also various people talked to me. (Also some people thought I was G until they got closer.) Also I drew a bit, which is something I have been trying.

I finally got to meet her cats, as well! Random was fairly aloof; about the closest I got to him was when he emerged from under my bed. Cassie was willing to share her couch with me (and is kind of a slut for pettings).

Also I was reading books about proper diet and such and today when I got back I ate a pack of meringues and a big bar of chocolate. Hmm. I have been trying to be wheat-free, and I thought it wouldn't be a problem this weekend because G has a bunch of intolerances; but every day I was there, I was too tempted - chocolate cake, a little sponge cake with awesome icing, yorkshire pudding. Maybe two weeks mostly-free was enough and now I am trying it again? I dunno. But I am quite worried I might have to give up flour, because apparently if you crave something particular it might well be bad for you, and I do love my bread. And cakes. And biscuits. :(

Also we watched the new Sherlock Holmes film, which I didn't get round to seeing in the cinema, and I have little to say except omg Holmes and Watson with the snark and the kickass and the clothes-sharing, yes please.
If you would like to see them, there are about fifty photos from Colonsay on flickr.

Here are three. )

I have been thinking about my, like, philosophy of photography. I don't generally take pictures of other people, because I know I don't like having my picture taken and I just assume other people hate it as well. But when I take landscape photos, I like having man-made things in. Like, I was going to take a picture of a hill, and then a tractor started coming down the track, and I was delighted. I like juxtapositions, and combinations. I also like water, and reflections, and clouds, and shadows, and broken things. I like the play of light. I guess for some of that, it is the idea of capturing an instant, because things change from one minute to the next, and even if someone is standing right where I did, they still won't get exactly the same picture.
I got back from Colonsay a few days ago. Since then, I have mostly been sleeping, but today I went to the shop and to parentals for dinner. I have a few hundred photos and I will upload the best at some point soon, but cannot be arsed right now.

I drank lots of tea. I got wet and muddy on a regular basis. My hands have suffered brambles, burns, lots of pulling plants (the sides of my index fingers are callused), and wind-burn; I did have gloves, but they weren't waterproof, so most of the time wearing them was kinda counter-productive. I have a few dozen bruises on my legs. All my clothes smelled of smoke, and it was smoke from rhododendrons and griselinia which smells weird. I reached exciting standards of cold, involving visible breath and hurting nipples (and this was inside the house). My knee has been sore for about a week; it stops hurting after I've been moving for a while, but it goes sore again pretty fast when I stop. Sometimes it was sunny. I saw some pretty cool old stuff of various oldnesses. There were quizzes. I ate a lot. I had someone knock on my door because I was late for breakfast four or five times; I had my own room because of odd gender numbers. I bitched out one of the guys and spent a few minutes shaking afterwards, but he said after that he wasn't upset. I pulled, lopped and sawed a lot of plants. My boots are probably now beyond saving (they were already cracked). I did some cross-stitch. I saw lots of geese and sheep, some cows, various other birds and goats. I walked up and down hills. The ferry was over two hours each way; I like the sea. There were eleven other people and I liked them in varying degrees but I don't think any of them are friends for life. Also I don't think I was the least-liked/most-annoying, despite my failings.

It was a good holiday.

I have seen DW and liked it quite a bit. I like Amy more than Eleven so far, but I liked little Amelia even more. But yes, promising, I think. I have not really caught up with flist, it gets weird. And I think now moar sleep.
I keep forgetting to post but I am in Newcastle with an [livejournal.com profile] edithmatilda and a Kitten and a Jack and a Clancy, and have been since Wednesday, and shall be until tomorrow.

I wore my new boots and did not realise that given how new they were they would need broken in so I took some skin off the back of my ankles and immediately upon arrival went to find flip-flops, which I have been wearing since. It was very hot and sunny. Then the sky opened and threw water at us.

I have yet more burns on me. Ho-hum.

Note how I completely fail at updating, or doing much of anything, really.

Still, here are some photos from Sweden. I do still intend to do a write-up. I might even do it tonight, but not on this computer.

Ho-hum. Stuff. Etc.
I am returned in my haus. I am eating food. Soon I shall sleep. Probably tomorrow I will inflict descriptions on you. Summary: I went to lots of museums, and lots of talks, and mostly (but not entirely) failed at human interaction, and my feet are really quite sore.
Today I walked some more. Also I got buses. Also I saw bears and peacocks and a wolf (yes, I went to a zoo). And stuff. I am still sore and when I sit down I get stiff. Poo.

I am a bit sore but not so much as I was. I have more pages of notes which I may inflict on you in future. I am currently sitting in the common area, at one of the tables, because the woman in the bed next to mine was trying to sleep, I believe. I may go hide again. I was considering going out but that would be effort and... ooh, shaky hands, that's not good.

There was a man snoring last night but I think he was one of the ones that left today.

I am going to... check tourist sites, perhaps. Be small. Eek, more people, and some at my table. Eek. Etc.
I aten't dead! I am hiding in the currently-unoccupied dorm of my hostel for the next two nights - check-in started a little over an hour ago, and I got here and I got set up and I may not move, even though I only have half a pack of biscuits as potential dinner.

I walked, y'see. Quite a lot. Well, it felt like a lot when carrying two bags, though neither are particularly heavy. But my shoulder-bag was already ripping and it continued quite a bit.

I have pages of notes. Maybe I will transcribe them and ETA. But, to hit the highlights.

Stockholm is pretty. Especially on a day like today when the sun is shining. There is lots of water, as it is built on islands, and also there are fountains and things; this pleases me. A lot of the buildings are old and interesting, and there is public art, some of which is really weird, some of which is only somewhat.

I went on a little boat cruise, and the historical buildings and natural beauty was all very well and good, but what entertained me most was the dock with cranes painted like giraffes.

I then tripped over a curb because I was dragging my feet due to exhaustion, distraction and pain. And the bags threw off my balance - what little I have - and I went splat. Bruised knees and a hand. Oh, and my cable needle snapped. That seems to be the extent of the damage. I am very glad the laptop is okay, if only because I wouldn't want to ditch it and it would be a real bugger to have to carry this lump around without being able to use it.

Then I went to the Music Museum, which was ace. It is aimed at kids, I guess, but who cares? They have all sorts of things to play with! There's a theremin! And the temporary exhibition is drums, and there are all sorts, and there's a bunch of kitchen stuff to improvise with (and a video - "Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers" - as exemplar.)

OK. Now I'm gonna... excerpt this for family, I guess. Maybe play some freecell. It's gonna rock.
I am in the airport waiting for my plane and trying not to freak out and run away because my bag is already checked in and I have bought swedish moneys as well.

agh agh agh.

I am going to check where the airport bus goes, and how to get to the tourist information place. Oh, damn, it seems the information place is not open 24hrs after all. boo.

yeah. I guess I didn't mention part of what I am freaking out about is that, well, I don't have a place to sleep tonight. I'm supposed to get into Stockholm at around half-past-one, and I guess I'm going to wander around for a few hours. I was hoping for an all-night cafe, or something - I was looking at nightlife pages and seeing comments about people going to eat after the clubs close at three or five, and yet... I guess I'll find out. Or just hunker down in the main station for a while.

I am sorted for all the other nights. And I am going to get a tourist card for my three days in Stockholm and go to a bunch of museums, and I am going to go to all the things at the conference, and and and all shall be well once I get past tonight. Eek.

I have my laptop, obviously, and I am sure I will be freaking out at all of you on a regular basis, because there is free wifi in my hostels.

Ooh, there's a salsa club quite close to one of them. That might be fun. Oh, wait, right, I could only possibly go tonight, for the last hour or so, if I could find it, and I don't know what the hell I'd do with my bags. So never mind.

la la la la if I am not online sometime tomorrow night then you're allowed to worry but not until then, 'k?

Oh, here goes, people getting up to line up. Hmm. Maybe I will go to the loo first.
I haven't slept yet, I'm supposed to be going out of the country in fifteen hours, and I can't find my #!?"$%~#! passport.


Shit. Wouldn't it be ironic if, after all the agonising and the panicking over accommodation and the freaking out about people and the eventual kicking-my-own-ass and reminding myself how I would hate myself if I let my fear stop me, I couldn't go because of paperwork? Though, really, it's my own disorganisation to blame.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

Oh! Oh wait a minute! Oh yeah! I checked the jacket I was wearing last time - when I flew down for the interview (which I still haven't heard back from, btw, which I'm guessing means "no thanks") - and the passport was in the pocket. Phew.

OK. Maybe I can crash now. Then when I get up, I shower, get dressed, pack toiletries, maybe print a couple of maps, maybe not, and I have my laptop so I can do research at the airport if I don't get it done beforehand. All right. OK. That's fine.

Ooh, my hands are shaky, that's awesome. Or entertaining, at least.
if you care... )
I back.

is good.

will tell of my holiday in Holland. probably. possibly. at some point. or maybe just now. I'm tired, you see, and still hungry, and I'll be going to Tesco soon, but... hmm. and I have to catch up with all the stuff I missed while I was off my lists, etc, etc, etc... yawn.

Holland. flat. snow rain wind wind cold wind rain cold wind. flat. museums, paintings, postcards of paintings. flat. Amsterdam but no drugs because with 'normal' friends. flat. shopping for clothes with Euros. flat. tacky souvenirs. flat. Milosevic in trial. flat. tour of canals. flat. wooden floors and no soundproofing whatsoever. flat. many languages, little Dutch. flat. trains. flat. Leiden and Haarlem and Den Haag and Bergen Aan Zee. flat. delays at the airport each way. flat. Catullus and Pliny and teacher-parents. flat. writing and telling and reading and shops and museums and walking and carrying and flat, flat, flat.

I did, when we got back to Scotland, say with joy, "hills!"

my room smells of smoke - thanks, nostalgia. think will go to shop now, or won't bother to go today so will have to go tomorrow which won't happen and... yeah.

did a bit of writing, mostly for the Valentine challenge I'm doing - that's about sorted. I got a few ideas when we were watching films, but they were all things like "Room With A View" and "Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow"

I used the computer there once or twice, and the keyboard had extra letters, and so some of the symbols were in the wrong place. was irritating. and (horror of horrors) I couldn't find the slash!



June 2012

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