kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
  1. Waking up to (mostly) clear streets, against a backdrop of snow on the hills.
  2. I have in the fridge my first ever tub of The Collective Dairy's passionfruit yoghurt. It... is my new favourite? It is very much my new favourite. (I was forever into the limited-edition raspberry trifle which is, alas, no more; the plum and honey is also Good; but I think passionfruit is My New Fave.)
  3. The ritual of sourdough continues soothing.
  4. Today I finally had a proper poke around the Professional Caterers' Shop in the centre of Belfast and successfully didn't buy anything, though honestly this was mostly because they only sell cheesecloth in 10m rolls and I thought A would be... Unimpressed... if he came home to find one.
  5. To my minor astonishment, I have actually managed to string words together today in the context of the PhD! More words than I have managed for the past week! It is a relief, and also things continue slotting into place.
  6. A & I have been having a bunch of Conversations that on the one hand have been hard work, in terms of leaky feelings and vulnerability, and on the other feel immensely productive and positive and affirming.
  7. Nice clothes today: the mostly-cotton definitely-peacock-blue V-neck sweater and the black-blue-purple-white striped herringbone shirt, both from a charity shop (and specifically the BHF). They're both new-to-me enough that I'm Wearing Them A Lot and being delighted.
  8. I have been playing... a lot... of Dominion Online, mostly against the bot but sometimes against friends, and (1) enjoying it (!) and (2) getting to try out a bunch of ridiculous okay-but-what-if-I-don't-buy-any-money decks (to go with the okay-but-what-if-I-do-endless-gardening ones).
  9. Problematic Aunt got me cheese for the new year, from the Snowdonia Cheese Company; the Little Black Bomber is always a win, but I hadn't had their vintage Red Leicester before and it is good.
  10. I am struggling somewhat with uncertainty around illness, but: I'm being kind to myself, and letting myself rest, and doing a bunch of self-soothing and self-care around No, Really, Love, You're Ill. I've got so much better at this specific skillset, and it's such a relief.
kaberett: A very small snail crawls along the edge of a blue bucket, in three-quarters profile with one eyestalk elegantly extended. (tiny adventure snail)
... because I was most of the way through doing morning balance work while brushing my teeth when I abruptly needed to Not Be Upright, Right Now.

So I e-mailed in! And spent the morning feeling groggy and miserable on the sofa, and sometime in the early afternoon checked my e-mail to discover... that the mass spec was broken today anyway, so I didn't even lose any lab time, and saved at least a 3-hour round trip on public transport.

WHICH MEANS: I should update you all on The DPD Saga before going to bed.

Read more... )

Most of A's flying 34-hour visit back to London was thus eaten up wrangling DPD, wrangling the resulting wheelchair parts (successfully), and packing, but we did also do a Date Activity we booked lo these many months ago long before we had any idea that Belfast was going to Happen, being specifically Glow Wild at Wakehurst -- an illuminated sculpture/lantern trail in grounds owned by the National Trust but used and managed by Kew. I was telling A fondly, on our way around it, about my year 6 art project that involved making lanterns from willow and paper, so I was delighted by the sign toward the end explaining that over 200 primary school pupils had been involved.

The lanterns were divided into two approximate groups: one set of abstract or geometric solid-colour lanterns strung in trees (some exciting rounded octahedra in various colours; some more like Physalis alkekengi) and FIGURATIVE WILDLIFE. (There was also a grove of moon-and-stars with beautiful architectural willow frameworks silhouetted against their skins, but that appeared to be thematically disjoint from everything else, or perhaps more accurately at least as thematically disjunct as the ten-foot-long floating sky koi, if less disjunct than the ???Weeping Angels???.)

The exciting wildlife started with OWLS and continued largely on a theme of birds (robins! swallows! a heron! a bluetit! a green woodpecker! probably-a-chaffinch!), with BONUS HEDGEHOG AND FOX AND BADGERS. The badgers were wonderful and A Friend and I was delighted by them; A very indulgently took some photos for me, and I provide two here to give you a bit of a sense of being Personally Judged by a Passel of Glowing Badgers.

This willow-and-paper hedgehog lantern is a couple of foot tall, and was displayed at Wakehurst as part of the 2018 Glow Wild trail. Five badger lanterns made out of willow and paper, glowing in the dark. On display at Wakehurst as part of the 2018 Glow Wild trail.

And with that: A collected the keys for the Belfast Penthouse this morning, established that most of the unopened post dating back over a year was for Game of Thrones cast and crew who really don't care and have long since moved out, and I bid you goodnight.
kaberett: A pomegranate, with eyes and mouth drawn onto masking tape and applied (pomegranate)
Adapted by A from the smitten kitchen essential raised waffles recipe; when we got a waffle maker and he was unimpressed by the recipes in its accompanying books, I just pointed him at the SK waffles tag.

After some experimentation, etc, I present his written instructions for himself verbatim under the cut; you will note he gives rather more detail and explanation than I typically do. ;) The key point is that the amount of liquid has been dropped by a third; this gives a better, more consistent rise, and a better-to-our-minds texture. We use the Allinson Easy Bake Yeast, which we get in tins for the breadmaker, which does a very good job of making everything taste of yeast friend; the Dried Active Yeast tastes less good. We do also have some fresh yeast in the freezer (Ocado imports it from Sweden for hipsters) but have not yet tried waffling with it.

This makes a big brunch for two, or a reasonable breakfast for four.

Read more... )
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
In my last post about the NHM there was a Good Bat Fact I failed to include: the pitcher plant that has evolved to be a bat roost. It doesn't bother eating insects any more, really, even! It lets the bat catch them for it! It is So Good.


Meanwhile, I am currently in the Peak District; A brought me up this way yesterday. Prior to setting off, however, we had Things To Do in Enfield: we'd been expecting our ex-landlord (!) to come by to pick up his Misc Shite (incl. half a box of Cuban cigars, obviously) from the garage, but by the time he'd come down with a bug on Friday we'd already made plans around existing in Enfield 'til early afternoon, so we stuck with those. First up was a local repair cafe, where I got someone who knew what they were doing to tell me how to fix a slipper sock and also a fabric bottle holder for t'wheelchair; A got talked through mending some trousers in the other half of my slot. (Skill acquistion dates are the Best Dates.)

Following this A very Patiently drove me out to Waltham Abbey so that I could collect some freecycled Phormium tenax clumps; my mother is fond of the stuff and wants to deposit some in the grounds (ha) of the Mouldering Ancestral Pile, so when I saw it going I very cheerfully said "yes please". A had... not quite appreciated that these plant clumps were going to be almost as tall as me, and sort of trailed after me going "... what the fuck, Alex" as I loaded them into the back of the car... before taking me on a tiny single-track road ("not suitable for HGVs") through a tree-tunnel in London, what even, it was an excellent adventure. (And then I heeled the plants in at the allotment, where I also fed the compost bin and went LOOK AT YOU AREN'T YOU A SPINACH, before we went home to eat lunch and feed the tomatoes and actually pack.)

Today I have mostly been attempting to build LineageOS for the new kitchen tablet (it has been An Adventure but is now almost 25% done), along with cooking some of the quince (quince and rhubarb cobbler, using allotment-rhubarb that I dragged up with us) and A Lot of roast dinner for seven. I am shortly to curl up in a sleepy pile, and Lo, It Will Be Good, and there are Rocks and Pointy Bits and Sheep and I am very contented.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
  1. I wandered up behind [personal profile] me_and while we were getting dressed this morning -- or, at least, while I was getting dressed -- to discover that he'd got distracted by entering the search query "how to attract bats", presumably inspired by our having see A Bat over the back garden at dusk the past few nights. "We could get a bat box," he said, slightly defensively, "and put a camera in it." "... and stream it to the big TV?" I asked. "..." said A, to whom this had not occurred, and who had suddenly discovered a potential New Best Friend. Don't get me wrong -- I am utterly delighted by getting to sit on my sofa and watch the bats for half an hour or so; even down in Cornwall you've usually got to wander down the lane a little to get to where they hang out. I am just, also, utterly charmed by A. Which is convenient, really.
  2. Speaking of which, he continues An Actual Hero in re mortgage applications. Meanwhile, I am sublimating my anxiety about Whether We Get To Keep The House into Welp I'm Just Going To Act Like I Get To Keep The Allotment, so despite no actual paperwork having arrived for me U & I have decided that probably the council is just being slow... so when I went over yesterday evening I took some proto-compost over and fairly thoroughly weeded the smallest raised bed. During which process I found the BRAVEST of tiny carrots, which U has carefully planted in their just-dug-out bed along with some nasturtium seeds, on the grounds that the poor thing deserves a fighting chance.
  3. I am reading Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor (released in the UK as Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi) and am consequently, as usual, craving jollof rice and plantain. I have put together tomato stew based on three online recipes, and I've got two ripe plantain plus some bonus cauliflower to cook it all up with for dinner.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I was sat on the sofa discussing house misc. with A, as one does when one is in the process of inexplicably buying a house, and there was something FLITTING AROUND ABOVE THE GRASS outside the westward-facing window, and I said BAT??? excitedly, and we both jumped up and turned off the lights and stood arms-around-each-other watching the bat for Several Minutes, and it was lovely.

We are choosing to believe that it was Our Friend Bat, you know, the one that emphatically does not consider us a friend.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
... which I only made for him for the first time earlier this week when he came home at lunchtime to hold my hand through a phonecall, and which we've had about three times since. It falls into my broad category of "comfort food, not Company Food", not least because it takes Approximately Ten Minutes, which means it just... doesn't occur to me that anyone else might like it? But hey, A might want to make it himself at some point when I'm not around, so.

Read more... )
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. Yedi Kocalı Hürmüz at the Arcola several weeks ago now, performed by the in-house Turkish-language company (Arcola Ala-Turka), with my friend D. A little rough around the edges (e.g. the surtitles frequently just sort of... didn't) but the energy & the audience engagement were fantastic, particularly in the segments that were just sort of... mini interconnected folk gigs? Lots and lots of clapping (and singing) along. I was very entertained -- there was comedy "whack people over the head with an inflatable stick and over-the-top sound effect" that worked really well -- and I even understood the occasional word and sentence fragment, go me.

2. Baby's first paper has been formally accepted. It is going into various preprint archives as we speak; I will link once it's actually usefully available. (Did I mention how good it is that I fixed the graphics driver issue with my desktop such that it's actually usable? It is SO GOOD.)

3. Off to Cornwall on Thursday, for approximately a fortnight, for the hundredth-birthday-that-isn't, coming back for the middle weekend because Reasons. I am looking forward to it. I will be bringing wild garlic back to plant out. Cornwall in early May is, in my unquestionably objective opinion, the best place in the entire world.

4. Frantically getting lab work finished up for pre-interruption-of-studies before that, so far as possible. Cocked up yesterday in a way that adds an extra week in lab (boo) but it was one I would otherwise have been anxious about not doing (yay), so that's worked out fairly well.

5. British strawberries, reduced in the supermarket. Yes. Good.

6. Started thyroxine (low-ish dose) on Friday last (the 20th). So far no conclusive changes, but excitingly the water is muddied by the part where I finished the most recent course of iron supplementation right before I started the thyroxine.

7. Have had first salad-and-cheese-and-bread dinner of the year on the PATIO. We have a PATIO. It has been WARM. I am very excited by this, and also by linens.

8. I have participated in A Bunch of research recently -- autism + the social model of disability in higher ed, intersection of trans status + disability, Being A Grumpy Tran At Market Researchers for fun and profit (and actually they were really great and give me hope), miscellaneous cognitive function for the long-term psychiatric study I'm participating in (£15 in vouchers, whoo).

9. Voucher has thus far been used on a bamboo travel mug, with a succulent pattern and duck-egg-blue silicone bits. ([personal profile] staranise, I keep restraining the urge to put together the succulent-themed care package you did not ask for and probably don't want because it would be silly to do the Shipping To Canada thing if you don't, but if you'd like preposterous succulent-themed tat let me know and It Will Happen.)

10. I spent a lot of the weekend making friends (at A's step-relative's Significant Birthday Thing) with both nibling S (who has, correctly, decided I am interested in them, and now greets me with enthusiasm) and -- which is what I was going to go with when I started this point -- a ridiculous ornamental cherry, which had the big-blousy-white blossoms as most of its canopy... and one branch, comprising about a third, that had been grafted on from a dark-purple-leaves and bright-pink-flowers tree. It was Good. I went and patted it on the graft and told it it was good, and made A admire it.

(The mint I rescued from the supermarket has established itself sufficiently aggressively that I'm starting to worry for the parsley it shares a tub with. I shall clearly just have to consume more of it.)
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Currently in this household: putting https://www.dceaglecam.org/ on the big TV in the background, and yelling EGGS EGGS EGGS EGGS EGGS at each other every time they're visible.

This is Particularly Exciting this year because big TV means we can Do That while actually getting on with useful things (as those of you who have visited Will Appreciate) rather than dedicating a laptop screen to the job. I am v much looking forward to the yelling turning into SMOL BIRB and FEEP, in due course and the fullness of time.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
A thing I learned yesterday and forgot to mention: charity shops are called solidarity shops.

This morning we were Mostly Asleep (which is, er, not surprising, at least on my part); once we had wrangled ourselves into clothes and through the boulangerie I got A to plot us a route to the Musée d'Orsay, where I dragged him round the Impressionists and had a lot of feelings about Monet; we had lunch in the cafe behind the clock, accompanied by a baffling dessert -- floating island with pink praline in custard flavoured with poppy -- before Investigating the way to the van Gogh. I am NOT SURPRISED I didn't find it last time, okay. (We also paused by all the scale models of Great Exhibition and opera house buildings, while attempting to navigate the lifts.)

Subsequently we wandered down the river a little to Notre Dame, where A was baffled by the sheer architectural scale and especially the little red doors; along the way I was particularly charmed by a set of three adjacent doors getting progressively bigger -- one small narrow single-storey, one slightly taller double door, and immediately adjacent that a bloody enormous two-storey-high set of double doors with a balcony and a two-storey window right above them. We also v much appreciated the various blocks that had just... had another entire house dumped on their roof, because why not.

And then ever-so-slowly back to the hotel, via the exterior of the Centre Pompidou and the Centre LGBT and dinner & some Pokemon & an adventure in public transport i.e. a bus that believed in two wheelchair spaces.

Somewhat clarified thoughts on Impressionism: part of what makes it work so well for me in person and fall so flat in reproduction is the fundamental three-dimensionality of the oil paint. Given that three-dimensionality, and given Monet's depiction of light, and given my short-sightedness, and given the light in the exhibition space, I end up feeling a very strong sense of realness, of miscellaneous complex sensory input: sun-warmth and movement-of-plants-in-wind and smell-of-hay-dust and all that sort of thing. In conversation with A I articulated that at least some of what's going on is that the nature of Impressionism is representing a probability envelope, if you will, of places the scene might be, in contrast with the static frame of photorealism: Monet's paintings look like how I perceive trees-in-motion without my glasses. Combined with the way the three-dimensional painting of the surface catches the light and my own motion, I perceive motion in the static-yet-not canvases, too. Which turns into "wind ruffling plants or grass" and "hay-dust haze" and "moving ripples in water", which means I want to sit and stare at all of the overlapping pictures for a very long time.

To my amusement, this works much better for me with the intimate landscapes than the buildings or the mountains; on a scale or in context where I wouldn't expect the subject to move (even if I might expect changes in light or cloud!) I don't get sucked in in the same way.

So yes. There you go. Probability-envelope articulation, along with why-reproductions-leave-me-cold.

(I was also very pleased by coincidence of the lit buildings and the brightest stars and their reflections in van Gogh's Starry Night Over The Rhône, which I hadn't previously noticed.)

Tomorrow, if we wake up in time: a flying visit to the interior of the Centre Pompidou, and then hooooooooome.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
... actually starts at KGX, where we rocked up nice and early and had lunch at Dishoom (Indian food, uncomfortable colonialism chic [I stand corrected, see comments], very hip, generally highly recommended for the food incl. by some of our relevant friends), on the grounds that A had not been there, followed by dessert at Ruby Violet, because it was right there, followed by cheerfully jumping all the (utterly miserable) Eurostar queues and inviting ourselves into the business lounge. (Sort of. The person checking me in told us we could use it, so I went and told the doorman that, and he was all "..." and checked with his superior and we were waved in). Whereupon I established (thanks to A) that the developed-as-a-symbol-of-Anglo-French in-collaboration-with-Raymond-Blanc Eurostar-21st-birthday-special gin goes really very well with fizzy rhubarb drink.

Between all of that and the light meal served us on the Eurostar we did not in fact require dinner. Also, we were very tired. Via a slight detour around the sculptures Les Marines and a decorative bench at the Gare de Lyon, we got into the hotel (the chair just about fits into the lift and through the door to the room) and curled up on the bed and watched an episode of Elementary and ate some more of the raspberry-and-treacle tart we picked up cheap in Waitrose the night before and fell asleep and it was great.

Today we achieved breakfast at the boulangerie just over the road (A had not previously met the tiny pistachio-and-raspberry financiers and is a convert), walked from our hotel all the way over to the flea market, poked around there with mild amusement for a little bit, acquired some entirely cromulent pasta-and-pizza for lunch because Hungry, got the bus over to État Libre d'Orange, indulged me in some perfume, and then wandered very slowly back to the hotel again. (We set off around 5:30 and had declared that Dinner And An Early Night would be a good idea. We... finished our bibimbap round the corner from the hotel at 9:30, and got in fairly recently. We were slow in part because A has blistered feet & I have blistered hands, and in part because Pokemon.)

I have been absolutely delighted by the dates in all the paving; the art; the Viaduct Of Art including this preposterous furniture and particularly the Square 38 desk nonsense; the churches various, some of them in the middle of terraces and some of them by themselves, and especially the beautiful clocks designed to match the rose window; the ironwork and doors, everywhere; the duck house in the gardens. I have learned A Thing about Parisian buses, as well, which is that unlike London the route maps have a symbol indicating if a stop is inaccessible (i.e. there isn't space to safely get the ramp out), which is useful, especially as we're intending to mostly do public transport tomorrow, see above re blisters on our motive extremities.

At ÉLdO, I ended up acquiring a small bottle of Tom of Finland (because A went "oooooooh" when I waved the paper strip at him, and obviously I need to expand my collection of woody leathers), plus samples of The Afternoon of the Faun and Putain des Palaces. I also ended up trying on Je Suis Un Homme; amusingly, it starts out smelling like I've spilled orange essence on myself and ends up a slightly odd powdery leather, which I think is mostly the fault of my skin not enjoying patchouli much. This is a Bit Of A Disappointment given how much I love the bergamot in Penhaligon's Endymion, but ah well.

Also smelled: Rien Incense Intense (much smokier; A definitely prefers Rien itself and I think I probably do too); Antiheros, indeed v lavender; Attaquer le Soleil Marquis de Sade, which smelled on the strip exactly like Rien does on me and is therefore gorgeous but of limited interest; Eau de Protection, which was a powdery rose; You Or Someone Like You, a rather aggressive apple made interesting through rose and mint and general cold freshness; and, of course, Sécretions Magnifique, famed for giving [personal profile] rydra_wong nightmares. Disappointingly, on the strip it seemed to me pretty much a slightly odd metallic tang; I didn't quite dare put it actually on my skin to see what it did.

Irritatingly, looking at the full note listing I realise Putain des Palaces contains lily-of-the-valley so I'm almost certainly allergic to it, so once I've tested it I'm likely to be looking to give it away -- shout if interested!

On the upside, despite not having properly done my homework in advance, I think the only thing I'm particularly sad about not having smelled is the cologne -- and given that I've already got four of them (... or is it five?), I think I can manage not adding another to my collection...
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Because I have left planning this trip awfully late: anyone particularly want to recommend anything in Paris for me to do? Vegetarian food esp. appreciated. I am already planning to take full advantage of the free queue-jump at all the museums and galleries (I particularly want to stare at the Impressionists some more but recommendations for bullshit optionally-ceramic sculpture very much appreciated); A has been Informed that I will be going to visit État Libre d'Orange (so that I can smell some of their more horrifying perfumes without having to buy them); and depending on the weather I intend A Stroll Through Some Gardens. Any other requests?
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
A. very kindly indulged me today, to the tune of driving me down to New Malden to pick up a folding ramp for using with the Tramper, which I got on eBay for the princely sum of £83.20 as opposed to its price of £605 ex-VAT new. (Which is most of a week's PIP, but given that this sort of thing is Exactly What It's For I will somehow cope.)

So given that we were in Malden with a car, we headed over to Kew via Richmond Park and a mildly fascinating public house Experience. Whereupon A. accompanied me around the orchid festival, and also Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death. Orchid festival: I was less impressed than I have been in previous years, which might be because I've acclimatised to this specific spectacle or might be because this iteration was in memoriam of the previous organiser. Or because it was hideously crowded and moving around was difficult, WHO KNOWS, but I was excited at A about various Crassula and lithops, and showed him the turtle, and nonetheless I enjoyed a bunch of the flowers.

Life in Death was very much My Kind Of Nonsense; here's TimeOut compiling a bunch of Instagram photos and utterly failing to give image descriptions, and here's House and Garden giving slightly more description. To my intense frustration the path was narrow enough to be strictly single file, so you were forced through at a sufficiently rapid pace to not feel guilty about holding up the people behind you; it was beautiful and intricate and I'd like to go back at a point when there's fewer people and just sit and inhabit it for a bit. I was getting glimpses of things organised by... cultivation? colour? -- but I wasn't managing to put any of it together. Some of the garlands were soliflore; I particularly enjoyed the star anise and the agapanthus for their colours and density, and the enormous structural soliflore garlands for their beautiful architectural use of space. I adored the Short Garlands hung above the path, but kept forgetting to look up. I loved the mixed garlands that evoked the edges of fields in spring.

Highly recommended, price of entry is included in entry to the gardens, if it sounds like your kind of thing and you want to organise a trip with me (before it closes in mid-March...) I'd be happy to take you in for free. Offer is good for up to two people at once.

Also, there was pineapple-and-lemongrass upside-down pandan-coconut cake, and I was very pleased.

(When we got in, A very reasonably curled up on the sofa under a blanket and went thoroughly to sleep, whereupon I periodically patted him gently on the head while getting the vacuuming done. All round excellent day, would recommend.)
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Backstory: I use my AIDe (see what I did there) for a bunch of health-management crap, and also for a bunch of Pokémon Go (for the last year). I am also, as I believe is well-established, Rather Tough On Hardware, and was Impressed yesterday with some of it, so here is another round-up of what all I am doing and routinely using at the moment.

Hardware )

Software )

Aaaaany questions? I imagine not, but I am very happy to natter about this stuff!
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. A remarkably efficient trick to stop me neg-stimming over People Who are Wrong on the Internet, particularly on Facebook: message whoever the host is, and ask if it's okay to continue to respond or if they'd rather I dropped it, making very clear that my default course of action is to drop it. (Their space, their rules, their capacity to moderate, etc.) At the point at which they say "actually I'd rather that thread stopped there" I feel basically completely fine about not continuing.

2. Minor hand injury, everything is fine, I'm just amused. Read more... )

3. Oh also: I got an e-mail from the Irish government today! ... I submitted the wrong form of my birth certificate and need to submit a different form within 21 days. I have made this my mother's problem. And they didn't specify any other issues with my application, so...? Maybe Irish citizenship soon.
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
The Red Turtle is a collaboration between Studio Ghibli and Oscar-winning British-Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit. Having premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, it's had a general release in the UK this week. [personal profile] me_and spotted a poster in one of our local stations; I've just started showing him the Studio Ghibli back catalogue; he suggested going. (It's Ghibli! It's turtles! These seemed like good things.)

The Guardian, in one of many rapturous reviews, says:
Suffice to say that the official one-line synopsis of The Red Turtle – "the milestones in the life of a human being" – rings entirely true; the cycle of birth, death and rebirth is expressed with piercing clarity.


... which is sort of accurate, but very telling about expected audiences, and reviewers, and... everyone involved in the thing.

'ware spoilers! )

To be clear, I'm glad that I saw it: I loved the animals and the textures and the ways in which one got to know the small island; I loved the atmosphere and the great sweeping shots of tiny people against a vast expanse of sea and sky; I loved the detail of the glass bottle that washed up on the shore, echoing a much earlier barrel.

I just really wish that it didn't, in framing itself as universal, once again write the experiences of anyone who's not a factory-default man completely out of the story.
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
1. Food. )

2. I received a quotation for the wheelchair repairs currently ongoing; they're somewhere under half of what I was bracing myself for, which is a great relief.

3. Excellent lunch with a good friend in a small friendly deli in South London. I was particularly intrigued by (but alas did not sample) the tiny gluten-free strawberry-and-elderflower cheesecake.

4. The trip to and from same: a beautiful cherry-blossom mural on a building's front wall; a garden riotous with poppies somewhere between bud and full bloom; irises and weird little fuzzy orange things and colours everywhere.

5. Physio, on the train to and from, and reading books with it: still working on Hope In The Dark, but I'm about halfway through now and then I'll move on to Hugo reading.

6. I dyed A's hair again last night, and am pleased with the result. (It is all-over red, because red seems to wash out of his hair more quickly than blue, in the interests of i. checking whether the new red is actually a red and ii. getting it to a state where I can actually try putting a rainbow in it with minimal rebleaching of previously-bleached hair. In fact, because this means I put a lot of red on over blue, he's got what is in essence a red-into-deep-purple ombre going on, with a darker red layer on top and a lighter red layer underneath.)

7. I am delighted by the conversation that's going on in comments over at the enchilada recipe. Thank you, folk, I keep cackling with delight. <3

8. Academia. )

9. I am continuing to sincerely enjoy Pokemon Go.

10. Chelsea Manning.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
On Tuesday I turned 27; [personal profile] me_and got me a set of lockpicks and a practice padlock, and took me to Ottolenghi Spitalfields for dinner.

The morning of, they called A to confirm the booking -- and, he tells me, followed up with "... and there's a note about a wheelchair in the booking...?" So, naturally, he braced, and was very pleasantly surprised when what they actually wanted to say was "... we've got a folding ramp and we can get it out for you."

We arrived. "Just one moment," said front-of-house, and went to get the ramp. They did not try to grab me as I was going up it. "Through this way," they said, and showed us to a table for two that was easy for me to get to, adjacent a wall neatly out of the way of everyone's path, with the sensible chair already removed for me to just slot in.

This is much better than even fancy restaurants normally manage; I was -- we were! -- impressed.

Also, they fed us really very well.

Read more... )

... and then, after a little extra faff involving buying one of the cookbooks, they got the ramp back out and held the doors open and cheerfully let me back out into the outside world, with some commiseration about the part where it had started drizzling gently. However, as I said to A, while it might not have been the best kind of rain it was definitely in my top five, so I was absolutely fine with that.

I had a lovely evening and was delighted; A has, as mentioned, been before and been a fan, so I rather suspect more visits are (however sporadically!) in our future.


Unrelated (except insofar as it's about food, and specifically pistachio cake): someone I know tweaked last month's Smitten Kitchen pistachio loaf cake recipe to include blackberries and lemon.

peak Alex

Apr. 27th, 2017 07:18 pm
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
"how much do you know about atomic ground states and the quantisation of energy?" I ask, while making custard

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