Apr. 4th, 2019 10:56 pm
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
  • apparently nobody had ever explained to A how to navigate the garlic bureaucracy. he was startled and dismayed when I looked at him mildly baffled the other evening and pointed out that if you squish-and-twist the cloves a little with your fingers before Dealing With The Paperwork it goes more easily. I... am not entirely sure how he'd been dating me for four and a half years (more or less) before discovering this.
  • HE FOUND MY DRESS SHIRT. He! was putting together kit for a LARP this weekend! And rummaging through a wardrobe I had already been through at least three times increasingly frantically! and found a wing-tip pleated-front dress shirt, and was surprised and dismayed that it no longer fitted him really, but hey it worked tolerably well with a cravat for the purpose he had in mind! it was not until he was taking it back off... and putting it back into the wardrobe... that he started going "... hold... on... a second..." so NOW I HAVE MY DRESS SHIRT AGAIN. (This is particularly exciting to me because it FITS, and I had thought it lost forever but had not quite got together the cope to buy a new one, for which I am at this point very grateful.)
  • Ein Teufel sitzt darauf, Mama always used to say of this manner of thing: there's a devil sitting on it (to hide it, to spread misery and strife, as of the M25, thank you Crowley). Ergo I should probably offer a small prayer to St Anthony.
  • A small blessing also upon the gods of cut-price supermarket cheese, for the Cornish yarg wrapped in wild garlic.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
  • Movement. Read more... )
  • I got a phone call from a Dublin number while I was at the gym. ???, I thought. And lo, it was the passport office, wanting to confirm my card details so they could take a payment. (This does not mean I'm getting the passport any time soon; it just means they're processing it, which means that in the next phone call we'll get to discuss a. my name and b. my godmother's phone number, I expect.)
  • A's lavender -- that we got for 50p from a stall by the side of the road on our trip to the south coast to pick up [personal profile] chiasmata's wheelchair, and which has spent the winter resolutely grey and miserable and dormant -- is sprouting with enthusiasm from its base, and getting visibly larger day by day. (This is going to be one of the plants that lives on the back porch at home, at least until it gets big enough to layer, at which point I might move a baby plant over to the allotment for the sake of pollinators.)
  • w8rose had more reduced thyme! so I have another bucket of thyme that I HOPEFULLY won't kill off instantly, which gets to go live... on the porch. (Also there were reduced tiny carrots and cavolo nero, so dinner tonight was sausage + mash + veg, and reduced yarg, so belated lunch was cheese + ajvar + Ryvita + cucumber.)
  • I have allllllmost finished moving the furniture around. (It's not perfect but then it wouldn't be with the constraints we're working with; it is nonetheless an improvement, I think, and I'm appreciating having A Book Corner.)
  • On Monday I collected some rhubarb from the allotment; we have spent the week consuming pear-and-apple-and-rhubarb crumble.
  • Bread bread bread. A continues to set the oven to be hot when we actually wake up, which is making fresh sourdough for breakfast a much less time-consuming and sleep-disrupting process, hurrah. (Still working on the timings of feeding the tiny god for optimum rise. Unfortunately, this means lots of experimental bread. It Is A Trial, etc.)
  • I have more-or-less decided where I want to stick the comfrey on the plot. At least one of them can go under the cherry tree, and I will probably attempt to distribute the other two in the Awkward Corner.
  • [personal profile] rydra_wong has pointed me at some footage of Beth Rodden being amazing, and I have the firm intention of curling up with it tomorrow afternoon in the post-meeting adrenaline crash (if I don't just disappear off to roll around in the mud, which is also a possibility).
  • A is great and has spent the evening wrangling soldering irons and heatshrink in service of streamlining my life; we have sorted a batch of towels for disposal; more bits have been put on freecycle/freegle; I have Progressed Some Of The Mending (by which I mean "I have taken the memory-foam travel pillow out of its wrapper in order to facilitate sewing repairs to the disintegrating wrapper, also lol whoops the pillow... has a massive tear? never mind", but this is a significant executive function step); make house a home, etc etc etc.


Mar. 20th, 2019 10:50 pm
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
not braining content notes for this but There Are Some

Read more... )

Stubborn positivity:
  1. A came home via the big supermarket the other evening, bearing gifts: specifically, cut-price nonsense geometric chocolates in a variety of flavours. I had in fact been eyeing that very box up every time I went past and feeling like I couldn't possibly justify getting it, so it was a Very Nice Surprise.
  2. Movement: my knee is still coping with increased resistance + cardio at gym, and I'm starting to feel like I'm getting meaningful exercise out of it, as well as increased stability/physio work.
  3. Kew is putting on a massive bullshit sculpture trail this summer, which I found out yesterday, and I am really looking forward to it. I am intending to make at least one evening-opening visit, along with hopefully multiple daytime visits. (Specifically, it's bullshit abstract glass sculpture by the dude responsible for the V&A chandelier, which I'm enormously fond of.)
  4. I have used up all the ravioli filling... and still have an eighth of the dough left, so that's going to get turned into another batch of tagiatelle, I think. (Dinner was ravioli. It was good.)
  5. M posted new fic and I spent Some Time rolling around in it and asking yet more questions.
  6. A is making great strides towards (i) sorting the Piles such that we can meaningfully get rid of them and (ii) putting things on Freegle (after Freecycle didn't bite). Order is emerging from chaos and it is doing my brain a good.
  7. I managed to leave the house today while it was actually still light -- down to the end of the road for a Pokémon raid (hiiii Shinx). AND on the way back from the gym we got a NEW SPECIES, which, yes hurrah good there had never previously been one of those spawned that I could actually get to.
  8. w8rose does a raspberry-and-passion-fruit cheesecake, it's currently cut price, and it's exactly what I wanted.
  9. I do in fact have a bunch of useful How To Humaning-related expertise, and I am in fact managing to help people make their lives better using it, and they are in fact learning principles and frameworks from me such that they can work more of this shit out for themselves independently, and I am pretty fuckin' proud of them.
  10. I am, very shortly, going to go curl up in a bed that doesn't actively hurt me, underneath an anger blanket, with a hot water Adam, and I am going to sleep.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
Film/TV. The Dawn Wall! Free Solo! On the whole I found The Dawn Wall much more enjoyable and am seriously contemplating a near-future rewatch. This also means that I am grudgingly allowing as I do like documentaries, then, fiiiine, which maybe means I want to start making a list of things to watch that A Won't Want To for while he's away. (The to-watch fictional-TV list includes Sens8 and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and maaaybe The Good Place, once we've finished Orphan Black and Leverage, but A is actually interested in most of those so I'd rather watch with him for the first time in the interests of optimising for audiovisual processing.)

Reading. Still finding The Audacity of Hope a bit of a miserable slog, but I am also nearing on the end of the chapter on Opportunity, which mi-i-ight mean I'm about to get back onto topics I care about more than a deliberately centrist and anodyne appeal to the American Dream. (I'm being slightly unfair, but there we have it.) I've also been working steadily through [personal profile] rydra_wong's linkspam on Free Solo, along with digging through various comments over thereabouts for links to More Discussions About The Dawn Wall. I have also put a library hold on The Push, Tommy Caldwell's memoir, because actually I was sufficiently into that film to read an entire sodding book by a cis straight white guy. (AFAIK; there is precisely 0 indication in anything I've seen so far that he's in any sense An Queer, though I suppose it's not implausible that if he were he wouldn't notice.)

Growth. TWO PASSION FRUIT EMERGE. Read more... )

Cooking. Read more... )

Living space. We have a new internet connection! Via a new master socket! (We previously had a master socket for Virgin but not for BT; we have just moved to Andrews & Arnold in part because they're xkcd/806 compliant and A was thoroughly sick of Virgin Media's thoroughly aggravating tech support. This in turn means that I am making progress on rearranging bookshelves and the living room more generally, and hopefully fairly shortly the hallway (though we'll need to put a shelf up to finalise that). There is still A Pile in the living room but we might be making progress toward Getting Rid Of It For Realsies, maybe.

Movement. Read more... )

Language. I... whoops, I have done 0 on FutureLearn this week, but I have... kept Duolingo up? I have kept Duolingo up and I continue to Learn Things or at least Revise Them.

Pokémon Go. Wild-caught shiny Psyduck sodding finally (when I was racing from the allotment down to the middle of Enfield in order to do a legendary raid). Small blue sparkleduck yes excellent.
kaberett: Stylized volcano against a stormy sky, with streams of lava running down its sides. (volcano)
the context: [personal profile] rydra_wong has been telling everyone about The Dawn Wall and Free Solo emphatically and with great enthusiasm for Several Months at this point. I kindasorta tried to get my act together to see Free Solo in the cinemas but I... don't go to the cinema alone (at the moment I'm managing to leave the house by myself twooooo to three times a week, and only going to places that are super familiar -- making it as far as work is happening maybe twice a month?) and it turns out that A super did not want to watch it without being thoroughly spoiled by someone who is familiar with his twitches in this area, which as it turns out is Not Me because I... wasn't aware he had them until I was all "wanna go see this movie with me?"


He's currently up in the Lake District being idk a space orc or something, and I'm currently failing to remember how to make pasta (there is a lump of dough on the pastry board and I'm not thinking about it), so last night I watched The Dawn Wall & tonight I am curled up on the sofa with Free Solo, and in between I watched a bunch of related shorts.

([personal profile] rydra_wong, my questions so far are approx (i) do people... memorise the sequence of moves for lengthy pitches? is it like bellringing? (ii) was KJ not interested in the Fitzroy Traverse? what is the politics of who you ask to go to a climb with you??? (iii) MOUNTAINS)

Herewith I flail as we go along, starting fifteen minutes into Free Solo. (Did you know that VLC now has Chromecast compatibility? I DIDN'T and I am pleased.)

Read more... )

Gosh that is some feelings.

And b'loved? Yeah I'm pretty sure you were absolutely correct that you did not want to watch this. xx
kaberett: A green origami stegosaurus (origami stegosaurus)
Reading. Read more... )

TV. Leverage Leverage Leverage. Aaaaaaaalmost to the end of this season, at which point we will switch back over to Orphan Black for a season.

Music. A concert! EChO's spring offering, as an audient rather than a player, as mentioned yesterday. Our Patron's latest, Mozart's second horn concerto, Beethoven pastoral.

Living space. Garage storage has arrived! Which was very helpful, because the bubble wrap et cet it was delivered in proved extremely useful for Transporting Greenhouse Bits. We haven't yet started filling it up but we are making progress on sorting the next box of charity shop stuff. Finalising bookcases is currently blocked on sorting out (i) where the new Internet comes into the house (which means I need to speak to a neighbour), and (ii) some bonus shelves for something that looks for all the world like an IKEA Billy bookcase but is 24cm deep and 68cm wide instead of... anything even remotely standard for the Billy system.

Growth. SO MUCH HATCHING (peep peep peep peep). Both kinds of pea (in an egg box in the bathroom) are determinedly Wearing Hats; several of the chillis are now coming up with visible leaves and all, and stems that are starting to be purple; comfrey continues enthusiastic in spite of today's actual literal snow; Passiflora edulis is not doing anything detectable, but then I wouldn't expect it to be. Infrastructurally, I've acquired scaffold boards and The Greenhouse (including water butt, gutter connection kit, and some staging). The compost bin is slowly heating up again (and I've got some more food for it to eat tomorrow); I've ordered some legs to arrive later this week, and at some point will get A to drive me over to B&Q to buy some concrete to anchor the legs with. (And dither over paving slabs. And whether to use cheap flower pots or cheap pipe to contain the concrete. And and and...) But: Adam's away next weekend, which means I can just spend the entire thing rolling around in the mud, which in turn means that hopefully I'll at least take steps toward getting it up then or thenabouts.

Cooking. First batch of bread since getting home (which reminds me, I need to get the tiny god out of the fridge so that I can cook with it again tomorrow). Spinach for ravioli outards prepared; butternut squash-roast garlic-ricotta-pine nut innards likewise prepared. Fingers crossed for scraping together the brain & cope to make a big batch tomorrow.

Language. I am... not getting on terribly well with the FutureLearn Irish 101 course so far; I find "here's a bunch of set phrases and we're not going to give you the grammatical background to understand how they're being constructed for an indeterminate time" stressful, so I've stalled partway through the first week. This is frustrating but, eh, maybe I will manage to scrape together brain and cope.

Board games. Read more... )

Pokemon Go. New-to-me species this week: Dialga (BLUE SPIKEY BIOLUMINESCENT DRAGON FRIEND, current legendary raid boss), Mantyke (oh NO it has a SMILEY FACE on its back), Happiny (I... am not sure about this baby Chansey). I caught my first wild Shieldon (having previously hatched one), along with A's first one full stop. I also hatched a shiny Budew and caught a shiny Mankey. (Hopes for a shiny Machop or Makuhita before the end of the current event are... dwindling.)
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
greenhouse: gutted, flayed, dismembered! to my astonishment we... did not? break any glass? we bent a strut but that! appears to be all! we managed to unload the glass at the other end and it was all still in one piece??? HURRAH for toughened safety glass.

we did not erect it again at the allotment for A Variety Of Reasons, including (1) it was 6.30pm by the time we'd finished unloading and was Getting Dark, but more pertinently (2) there are gale-force winds predicted this week and I need to buy the necessary aluminium brackets (... and some quick-setting concrete...) to actually anchor it to the ground. (... also I need to level the ground a bit more and probably dig up the grape vine, BUT HEY.)

So my allotment is currently... mostly... covered... in dismembered greenhouse but IT'S OKAY I might make people take me to a garden centre tomorrow morning so I can spend the next week stubbornly constructing it solo.

And then I made A dinner, very gratefully, and disappeared off down the hill to listen to the concert I wasn't playing in. There was a new composition by Our Patron including A Paean To Voyager, and the second Mozart horn concerto played by a kiddo from the local borough music service, and the Beethoven Pastoral, and I enjoyed all of it and AS A BONUS my godmother + her children were present (in addition to her husband), so I got to very cheerfully greet all of them and chat a lot and also! my godmother! signed a bunch of paperwork for me! including witnessing me finalising the application paperwork for SMI and also MY IRISH PASSPORT APPLICATION. FINALLY.

SMI paperwork is in the post; passport application I'm gonna finalise tomorrow and then take into the post office on Monday. It is good to feel in motion.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. I waited in all day, slightly fretfully, but shortly before 6pm UPS actually arrived with... ten... large... cardboard... boxes... of Stuff... for A. (Specifically, garage storage; two sets of three-by-seven Really Useful Boxes, in rainbow colours.)

2. In turn this means that (i) I am about to have WARDROBE SPACE (at least assuming A is as excited about filling the boxes up with stuff as he was about constructing them -- we spent a significant chunk of the evening in the garage...) and (ii) conveniently we turn out to have a bunch of Very Large cardboard boxes and an enormous volume of bubble wrap... just in time for them to be incredibly useful transporting a greenhouse across London. (Whereupon they will GO ON FREECYCLE and vanish fairly rapidly and be No Longer Our Problem, also hurrah.)

3. I finally remembered to actually cut a tag out of a shirt (by dint of hanging it up to dry inside out so that I'd have a shouty visual prompt when it came to putting it away) & suddenly I have an actually comfortable black button-up, instead of one that seems like a good idea until I've been wearing it for longer than about five seconds at which point it becomes Unutterably Wretched.

4. I am almost done wrangling an Enormous Spreadsheet. It is Large, and also Big, and if there is a way to usefully tell Calc "I want everything in this row to three significant figures" I haven't found it yet, but -- one of the big tedious data-wrangle jobs I've been stalling on for the current paper is NEARLY THERE.

5. Bodge-repaired oven meant we got sourdough breakfast bread, hurrah, and maybe I'll manage to deplete stocks enough that I can actually start feeding it again. (I took a small aliquot to Belfast, and ended up bringing back... a significant quantity, so I now have two healthily-sized household gods and it's A Problem and I might actually have a go at pizza dough.) (There was OVEN PHYSICS and it made us both laugh.)

6. TOMORROW I will LEAVE THE HOUSE and GO TO THE ALLOTMENT and SOW SOME NIGELLA SATIVA because having got The Wretched Spreadsheet mostly wrangled I will gleefully and with relief Take A Morning Off. I am really looking forward to this.
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: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

April 2019

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