kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Anyone interested in doing Kew the Movies with me? I've booked tickets for myself and a friend for the Star Wars showing already, but I'm happy to have others join us and I am 100% up for seeing any of the other showings (Jurassic Park, Mean Girls, and Labyrinth). I am similarly up for potluck picnic dinners.

On the heartbreaking difficulty of getting rid of books:
After all, the romance of minimalism relies on invisible abundance. The elegantly empty apartment speaks not to genteel poverty, but to the kind of hoarded wealth that makes anything and everything replaceable and available at the click of a mouse. Things and the freedom from things, and then things again if you desire. If you miss a book after getting rid of it, Kondo consoles, you can always buy it again. Dispose and replace, repeat and repeat.


What should student doctors learn about sexual healthcare? This survey is being run by the University of Oxford:
We are redesigning courses for medical students to teach them what they need to know about sexual and genital health. If you have experience of going to the doctor for these issues, including asking about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, screening, or any concerns about your genital or sexual health, we would like to hear from you.


I am spending a lot of time at the moment watching two eaglets grow up.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
These are things I would like to go to. For exhibits at the NHM and Kew Gardens I can get people in for free; for exhibits elsewhere it is typically the case that I get in as a concession and get a free carer i.e. we can split the ticket price. I can be very flexible about times; please do let me know if you're interested in any of these (or make counter-offers of things I'm not aware of that you'd be into!).

kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
It's a facsimile copy of Nairn's London, bought from the Graun bookshop because of course, and the blurb is
'A record of what has moved me between Uxbridge and Dagenham', Nairn's London is an idiosyncratic and intensely subjective meditation on a city and its buildings. Including railway stations, synagogues, abandoned gasworks, dock cranes, suburban gardens, East End markets, Hawksmoor churches, a Gothic cinema and twenty-seven different pubs, it is a portrait of the soul of a place, from a writer of genius.


The Graun review features the line It is a wonder in itself. Compact – 280 pages with index – and yet enormous in scope, it is a detailed vision of a city, and what a city should be like, that has never been bettered.

They've met me three times.
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)
I can't make it, alas, but on the 23rd of October the GSL are holding a screening of the speech given by the first geologist on the Moon (Apollo 17 mission) upon his return: Through the wonders of 1970s video technology, Schmitt will be beamed live from 1973 to once again present his lecture ["Apollo and the geology of the Moon"] at a special screening in the Upper Library of the Geological Society, Burlington House. 7pm, approx 75 minutes, tickets £12.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
  • go to Kew. Always. Let me know if you want me to get you (and a third party!) into Kew for free.
  • the Barbara Hepworth exhibit at Tate Britain (until 25th October)
  • probably a general wander around the Tate Modern? I'm increasingly clearly Into modern sculpture and am trying to clarify my tastes further
  • I am caving and buying myself a membership to the Natural History Museum; anyone want to be got in to any of the exhibits there? (Probably going to see the Natural Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit - until 31st August)
  • ... which means I'm also going to want to go see the Coral Reefs exhibit.
  • and I'm going to see Much Ado at the Globe on the 7th of September with [personal profile] me_and (if anyone wants to join in groundling-ing)

Holler if interested in joining in on any of those :-)
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
In small text in the middle of a banner, approx:

  If you're reading this,
         you're inquisitive. Free thinking.
You're curious about other perspectives,
     determined to develop your own.

Or you thought this was one of those
                 Poems on the Underground.


... for theguardianmembership. They have absolutely met their target audience, and know exactly what they are doing.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
I have more-or-less finished reading the entirety of Michael Donaghy's work: three slim volumes. I first came across him (as so many others) in Staying Alive, with Machines. This morning I lost my heart to two more pieces; Poem On The Underground, which contains the glorious lines
But Harry Beck's map was a circuit diagram
of coloured wires soldered at the stations.
It showed us all we needed then to know,
and knew already, that the city's
an angular appliance of intentions, not
the blood and guts of everything that happens.
Commuters found it 'easier to read'.

Here is the other, in its entirety:
Midriver

- and is a bridge: Now to either then:
child to lolly: spark across the wire:
lover to the target of desire:
Lambeth to Westminster: back again.
Verb's a vector not a monument,
but someone skipped a stone across this river
fixing its trajectory forever
in seven arches after the event
- so stops halfway and, neither there nor there,
but cold and rained on and intransitive,
watches London switch from when to where,
why to silence in the traffic jam,
thinks I can see the borough where I live
but here is temporarily who I am.
kaberett: Yellow gingko leaf against teal background (gingko)
First and always: Cambridge. Cambridge, which I've seen through enough different eyes -- town and gown, resident and caretaker, political and utterly independent of any given inhabitants -- Cambridge, which had me for two decades and change, and has me still. My parental home is a 1960s newbuild semi in Arbury; my college contains an archway that predates its foundation in 1350, that's had chunks carved out of the limestone by bicycle pedals over the last hundred-odd years. I've laughed, fondly and otherwise, at the new undergraduates with their shiny new college scarves and no idea how to cycle; I've dodged punt touts and helped my baby brother pass his hiring test to be a punt chauffeur; I've rummaged through the stacks in the University Library and put up and repainted street-signs. I know where the permanent graffiti is and I remember some that's been and gone; I've delivered leaflets at 6am on election morning and I've observed the counting of votes and I've walked across town at four in the morning from the Guildhall (where the outcome was known) to a common room (where people were glued to the news); I've walked across town at two in the morning (Homerton to Trinity Hall) very solemn and slightly wobbly with a viola; I've leaned my forehead against stone and felt where it's come from and been reassured by its solid indifferent presence; I've punted to Grantchester and back and eaten strawberries in the meadows in the sunshine. I've lost and found and found and lost religion and confidence and friends and trust and love. Cambridge is mine, or I am Cambridge's, and so it shall be forever, amen.

Zürich was next. I spent a summer soaking up sunshine, glancing up from my commuter paper to see the Alps crowned with glaciers as we crossed the river, looking out the window on my way to tearing down the stairs from the eighth floor to see the turtles and the fish in the pond way below. There are fields opposite the Spital Limattal -- apple orchards up the hill, but immediately opposite - by the bus stop - pick-your-own flowers and an honesty box. I found cafes and restaurants and friends and I learned a whole new language and I lived by myself absent a support network for the first time, and I explored and I fell in love with museums and was baffled by art and I swam in the lake and learned to like blue cheese on a Roman customs point in the rain overlooking a river with P. I miss pear bread most of all.

I didn't learn how to love LA. Mostly I got as far as baffled affection: for the sky that only ever got as dark as a glowing orange-purple, that turned opaque blanket of smog when you drove high enough into the mountains to see the stars, that left my lungs a wreck for six months; the fantastic street art and terrible public transport; the storm drains and dry river; the jacarandas and the humming birds. My experience of LA is less that, more a haze of heat & food & Caltech campus, with a dream-sequence weekend-long road trip up to the Bay Area somewhere in the middle.

And, of course, London. London, and its river-that-is-a-dragon. I would (as I thought) have hated moving here when I was 18; now I find myself delighting in how joyfully small it makes me, in exactly the same way I am small when I look at the stars or (closer to home) the Moon. I don't belong here but the river-dragon will let me stay a while, and so for now I will fling myself into proms and parks and concerts and gigs and museums and the poetry library; I will stand breathless with delight on the bridge at Embankment or at St Paul's; I will be a mirror for this city and the city shall be a mirror for me, and I will learn more about how people work and more about how I work and I will adore its trees and mysterious statuary and, most of all, I will learn.

(Honourable mentions go to Oxford and to Edinburgh, neither of which I understand, in part because of how intensely my experiences of them are bound up with how I relate to the people I love who relate to these cities; to my patchwork understanding of Heidelberg, all castle and computational linguistics and music and cheap beer by the river; to Rome; and to Paris, and in particular the sunrise walk between Gare de l'Est and Gare du Nord, and a toast to fifth-floor balconies and wine, and croissants by the Seine at dawn.)
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
Honestly? I live in a sedimentary pseudo-basin, so to me the most exciting things are the building stones. Which -- don't get me wrong! There's some lovely ones! There's a garnetiferous marble used to face this one building, which has streaks of tiny garnets pressed into waves and curls and it's great. There are also My Favourite Kerbstones, full of great big semi-aligned plagioclase laths; and lots of nice labradorite granites.

Much more interesting is the coast around the Mouldering Ancestral Pile: the beach a five minute walk away (Polurrian) features an outcropping of the Lizard Boundary Fault - the join between continental and oceanic crust. And then there's the Lizard complex as a whole, wherein what-used-to-be-the-mantle is actually exposed at the surface - over a few miles of coast you can actually walk from the base of old oceanic crust up to the surface, through gabbroic cumulates and sheeted dykes and pillow basalts; you can literally stand on an exposure of the Moho-that-was, the boundary between crust and mantle, and it's really cool. SO: for these purposes, Cornwall is home much more than London is. ;)

[poem] &

Nov. 27th, 2014 12:29 pm
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
What joy, this, to learn what others find in you:
to watch people I love adore anew, to take reciprocal
delight as you illuminate each others' facets
too often hidden from my view by busy-fingered fates
and orbital mechanics. Yes: this too
expands the borders & horizons of
my familiar faithful heart. I'm astounded
by how much I can encompass; by how large
I grow. I learn from you.

Without: the patchwork of the comforting dark,
the sheets of rain, stitched firm
with nets of light we've wrapped round trees
as reminder, to help us find our path.
Bubbles, catching street lamps, float like stars.
Look up. You blaze. You, too, are a landmark.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I am going to try to get to:


(I am still apparently too brainwrong to reliably book tickets for myself for things I want to go to, let alone other folk, so it'd be lovely to see you but I am not going to cope w organising because brains; sorry!)
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)
I really want to go and see Die Zauberfloete (The Magic Flute) at the RCM, in German with English subtitles, at the end of November. Who wants to come with?

I am also quite keen to make it to Silent Partners at the Fitz in Cambridge, which closes end of January. Takers?

[rec!]

Oct. 9th, 2014 01:22 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
So I was proper impressed by cliniQ when I swung by this evening as a walk-in patient after a sexual health screening. Actually finding the clinic was a bit confusing - the numbering on Dean Street didn't make a great deal of sense to me and I was initially directed to the first floor where I had a rather confusing conversation with a receptionist before making it to the second floor - but once I was there they were great. I was seen quickly - I think I was in and out inside half an hour - and people were calming and lovely and really just brilliant, and there was step-free access throughout.

Details! )

It was really really good; I was, as I say, impressed (enough to want to give them some of my time); strongly strongly recommended if you're ever in London (you don't have to be a London resident) and they're relevant to you.
kaberett: Stylized volcano against a stormy sky, with streams of lava running down its sides. (volcano)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I have kind of handwaved about this, so here's a better list of shit wot I want to get done:



To be added to as I think of things... please shout if any of these particularly grab your attention!
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
  • visit the Tower of London (probably just wandering round the outside) while it's covered in ceramic poppies
  • do some slightly more serious wandering around the parks (gardens!)
  • bimble off to Kew for an afternoon
  • museums various, and also art galleries, because having got the hang of the thing in Musee d'Orsay I kind of want to have another go
  • Proms various, list available on request, mostly the Russian/Bohemian stuff because I am not at all predictable
  • blackberrying in Hyde Park
  • ... probably some other things? Being flippant about alcohol consumption and opiates. ) Will attempt to be more coherent... later.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
Thank you so much for letting me play with your ideas. Mass spec time largely done now - data! - but if you still wanna leave something please by all means do and I'll try to get to it. <3

Poetry
Ficlets
Other
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Suddenly the smell of rain:
and every cloud alight, and sun
cascading down the brilliant balustrades:
a stunning ordinary moment in a London day.

So many conversations still to have
about honesty and inspiration--
about the turning cog-wheel clockwork of the earth, the universe--
about the merits and otherwise of metaphor--

If you were beloved of all the world
still I would find new ways new reasons (new hope with which)
to love you.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
Item the first: I turned Rilke's Briefe an einen jungen Dichter into an ebook. Here's the epub; if you'd like other formats let me know, because I can trivially do conversions (with calibre) and upload. (There's a free translation into English as HTML; if you want that ebooked too, get the translator's permission and let me know and I can do that for you.) A favour request: Rilke's letters aren't up on Gutenberg, hence making the conversion myself. I'd offer my ebook to them but, er, they appear to require signing up to a forum to go "here I made you a thing", and I absolutely cannot face that, so if any of you are already involved with them, I'd appreciate it if you'd pass this on? (And, you know, if they wanted to compile it into a volume with the rest of his letters, that'd be nice too, but I'm not going to bother doing that til I've decided whether I get enough value out of this set for it to be worth it.)

Item the second: I've taken a small pile of not-terribly-good photos of entertaining/otherwise pleasing bits and bobs in my area. (I am... getting used to my point-and-shoot. The last one I owned took 35mm film, didn't have any ability to zoom, and I haven't used it in, er, A Very Long Time.) Seven photos below the cut. )

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
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