slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
I had a DELIGHTFUL night last night with [ profile] tiniago. We met up years ago when I used to come down to London regularly to museums and theatre, and since I moved back have been playing an excellent game of "leave several weeks between responses so that the plans originally mooted are out of date", which I think we shall call a draw as we were both very committed to it before cracking and making yer actual arrangement.

We went to a life drawing class at a gallery in Haggerston. I could have done with a chair. )

Check out my nudes! )

After our escape at the break we boarded a bus to ToCoRo and went to Flatiron, where I had AMAZING steak. [ profile] tiniago urged me to get the chips, saying they were great, but I wasn't feeling that hungry. Then she offered me one of hers, and it was clear I had made a dreadful mistake, as they were DELICIOUS and I ate the vast majority of what was in her serving, which is terrible manners about sharing food (that wasn't even supposed to be shared) but there was no helping it. Here is a picture of my steak with the brilliant knife we got to use.


The man next to us had a large bone on his plate, so I don't know if there was a special offer for him, or if he had that particular cut, but the main menu is, in its entirety "steak, £10". Then there are sides you can add on, a single dessert, and what looked like some nice drinks. I plan to queue there to eat at every conceivable opportunity for the rest of my life.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
The Problem with Forever - Armentrout, Jennifer L
The It Girl: Team Awkward - Birchall, Katy
The Making of Mollie -Carey, Anna
The Lost Twin - Cleverly, Sophie
The Girls -Cline, Emma
Between the World and Me - Coates, Ta-Nehisi
Where Have All the Boys Gone? - Colgan, Jenny
Sisters by a River - Comyns, Barbara
One - Crossan, Sarah
Reading the Ceiling - Forster, Dayo
The Secret Pilgrim - Le Carre, John
The Russia House - Le Carre, John
Call for the Dead - Le Carre, John
Anna-Charlotte - Mallory, Clare
Arrest the Bishop? - Peck, Winifred
The Empty House - Pilcher, Rosamunde
Diabolic Candelabra - Punshon, ER
Me Talk Pretty One Day - Sedaris, David
Hole and Corner - Wentworth, Patricia
Seems Like Old Times - Coren, Alan
More Like Old Times - Coren, Alan
The Carousel - Pilcher, Rosamunde

December Books. )
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
Since there seems to be a resurgence of interest in lj I thought I would try anonymous comments: for others who are at work and in a better position than usual to skive; for those who are too busy (perhaps as a result of other people's failures) and cross about it; for those with scandal; for those who wish to share embarrassing medical details- for all of us, frankly. I'm just hoping for enough comments that I can slip some of mine in there casual-like, and it wouldn't be blatantly obvious.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
Today I am wearing a short tunic (over tights and boots) and my legs look fantastic. Aren't my colleagues lucky. I wrote that yesterday but I was so pleased with the effect that I wore another tunic today, and if anything I look even better.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
Girls of Riyadh - Alsanea, Rajaa
The List - Bolouri, Joanna
Night School - Child, Lee
Terms & Conditions - Graham, Ysenda Maxtone
A Civil Contract - Heyer, Georgette
Independent People - Laxness, Halldor
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold - Le Carre, John
Beauty Tips for Girls - Montgomery, Margaret
Dear Committee Member - Schumacher, Julie
First Class Murder - Stevens, Robin
Thalia - Faviell, Frances
NW - Smith, Zadie
What Are Ya - Pausacker, Jenny
Keeping On Keeping On - Bennett, Alan
Frozen Charlotte - Bell, Alex
Dietland - Walker, Sarai
The Late Scholar - Walsh, Jill Paton
The Bookshop - Fitzgerald, Penelope
My Animals and Other Family - Balding, Clare

November Books. )
slemslempike: (x: legolas in weasley jumper)

The LotR actors asking each other a question in a round. Sean Astin's, of course, is deeply bathetic, asking Dom why they haven't seen each other in forever. Elijah is pretty much the only one who takes it seriously about film and asks a proper question - my favourite is Sean Bean's to Orlando. SIGH.

I recently finished Jill Paton Walsh's DLS continuation The Late Scholar, and it was DIRE. I have been spoilt by the quality of fic of DLS writers on my friendslist, but even so. I wasn't this put off and slogging through to the end in The Attenbury Emeralds, surely this marks a new nadir.

I had bread and butter pudding at a conference yesterday! Not as good as the SG canteen one, but very welcome nonetheless.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
ATTENTION please for a good joke I thought yesterday, based on true events.

At fencing I am now allowed to use a foam sword to attack a wall.

A foam sword? That doesn't sound very scary.

On the contrary, my opponent was bricking it.

Your praise, adultation, and reports of injuries sustained through laughter will be welcome in comments, as will jokes you yourself have thought up.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
I have realised that I am too far behind to post my proper book posts, so I am dumping everything here and mentioning a few that stand out, however if you've read any of the others would be delighted to discuss.

May to October books. )

I am now using google docs to keep track of my books, and have started inputting the previous years into it, so I can do retrospectives with lots of statistics. Lovely.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
Good LORD how is it not yet three o'clock? Today is far too long. I have done pretty much nothing today, though I can at least pretend to be waiting for something to come in to enable me to work. Fortunately it's DFID Friday, when everyone works from home and so there are only a few people in the office who might notice my frequent trips to Buzzfeed to seek yet more distraction.

I was supposed to go to Scrabble speed dating last night, but it was cancelled, so instead I went to Bridget Jones's Baby. I really liked it! I haven't seen the film for many years, and judging by the sounds of pleased recognition and affection that the other audience members were making, most others were in the same boat. Spoilers. )

I was a bit miffed about the last minute cancellation of the Scrabble, I had managed to get myself in the right frame of mind to look forward to it, rather than viewing the whole enterprise with resentment and suspiscion.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
Help! Friend is making Korean food for me next week. I have already said I don't like spice much, is there anything else I'm likely to need to warn for? I don't know her quite well enough to give the usual list, but don't want to offend by not being able to eat things. Does Korean food generally contain: eggs, sweetcorn, cauliflower, mushrooms, banana? There are (many) other things I dislike but those I can probably force down.

There are some more entries on

I am going to the Tate Modern this afternoon to visit the Guerilla Girls' complaints department installation. I tried to see the Guerilla Girls speak in Kendal once, but got the day wrong and showed up 24 hours too late. It was very upsetting, and I hope this will make up for it. I also plan to see the Georgia O'Keefe exhibition. I bought a Tate membership with the plus guest option, so in the future if anyone is in London and wants to get in for free, hit me up.

I meant to go to the Guerilla Girls yesterday, but got lost looking for a post office to send back a box full of bras in which the larger sizes were all too big and the smaller sizes were all too small, and missed the opening times. So instead I went to Poundland and Peacocks in Elephant and Castle and bought a reduced Christmas jumper and stocked up on bags of mini party rings.

The Simpsons All Tapped Out is celebrating halloween this year with monsters, and I find it very trying becasue they are large wormy creatures and there is one variety I simply can't bear to look at.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
Normally when I buy a sandwich for lunch I have Boots just ham, which is just ham NO BUTTER on plain bread, (unlike Tescos and Sainsburys "just" ham, which also has butter, which is therefore a lie and one that they should be prosecuted for). Boots Just Ham is also only £1, which means I don't normally get extras for the meal deal as it doesn't work out any cheaper. Yesterday, however, I plumped for a chicken and bacon wrap which was amazingly sans mayonnaise AND claimed it would be good for me, with nutrients. Since my diet in the past few days has mostly been cake, squirty cream directly into the mouth, cheese and ice lollies (hashtag no regrets), this seemed like a good idea. Thus, I was in the market for a free drink. I have heard people talk about coconut water, which sounded fairly rank as I only like coconut in curries. I had not previously, however, heard of birch water (which has never actually been mixed with any water, said the label), so I got some to try. Why do people drink it? It was like water (but not water) with a sort of synthetic taste to it, and it was slightly thicker than water and rather expensive and it didn't seem to have any vitamin claims attached to it. What is it for?
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
Although I have a ticket to see L7 tonight, who I have loved forever, I am not going because I have work to do and I want to make sure that I'm doing it properly not squidging it into the margins of the course I'm on tomorrow. So I want 1) sympathy and 2) PRAISE for doing so, however grumpy it is making me.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
As you can't do spoilers, this might not work so well. Basically I would like to know, if you were reading something and a little snippet of a lyric was written down, which of the following would you be more likely to think of? No "other", as this is all about MY ideas, but you could tell me in comments.

[Poll #2053286]
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
A man and woman just came and rang our indoor doorbell, and asked whether we lived above number 27. I have no idea, given the way that the flats zig zag from side to side, and said so. She asked if my windows were open, and when I said yes, said "oh then it MUST be you" and started saying that a lit cigarette had been thrown out of the windows, and she was an artist... at which point I said "nope, not us, we don't smoke in this flat" and she huffed and said "well who IS it then" and I said that I didn't know, because why would I, and then she started saying crossly it wasn't the first time it had happened, so I said again it wasn't me and started to shut the door. She looked outraged, and I went back to bed. Then the two of them clearly went outside to the garden and staged a loud conversation saying that people were very UNPLEASANT and such LIARS and if they had to be so disgusting then they could at least PUT IT OUT FIRST and it was so RUDE not to be allowed to explain what the problem was. (I am not sure what explanation is needed beyond "someone threw a lit cigarette".) (Nor do I know why artists are more affected by fire than other people.) Though I obviously know it wasn't me, and I don't think Ray is in and pretty sure he doesn't smoke, the conversation was right outside my window. I could have stuck my head out of the window to ask them which windows they were being passive-aggressive about, but if they'd decided it was mine then it would only have led to more ridiculousness.

So if you hear my block has burned down, it is because I have taken up smoking as an act of petty revenge and it's escalated too far.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
Because it is no fun being virtuous in private, I wish to announce that I have deliberately not gone looking for those naked pictures of Orlando Bloom, even though since I like looking at 1) Orlando Bloom and 2) most penises, it seems like something I would very much enjoy, as I assume they are paparazzi pictures that he would not want to have got out. Even though it was mentioned several times in Edinburgh shows I saw so on my mind a lot. I just have to hope that he will take a leaf out of his one-time co-star Viggo Mortensen's book and star in more films where his penis makes an appearance, such as Captain Fantastic.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
I went to see a preview of Captain Fantastic with [ profile] cakesy last night. Spoiler cut. )

I wish to buy myself a new carry-on backpack, as my first one (Cabin Max) has a broken strap and the padding is too abrasive for my shoulders, and the replacement one (Dussel) is broken in all sorts of ways. I would actually still recommend Cabin Max to people, as it is a brilliantly low price for a bag that is exactly what you need for maximum carry on - a large rectangle without internal divisions, pocket on front for ticket/book, and compression straps outside, with zips that have held very up well to me abusing them for many years with far more weight than is suggested. Dussel on the other hand showed strain at the seams the very first time I put it on, and is not worth the very low money it charges. I thought the laptop pouch and separate place for shoes would be better for my needs - they're not. ANWYAY, while a second Cabin Max is not off the cards (they have really nice colours and designs too), I thought I could be picky and splash out on one of the ones recommended by serious round the world one-bag travellers. The things I want are:

  • The main space of the bag should take up almost the entirety of the volume, without fixed subdivisions. Internal/external flat pockets are acceptable, but nothing whose bulk would encroach on the main space.

  • The zip for the main space should be at the EDGE of the space, not in the sodding middle so that everything spills out when you open it. It should ideally zip down a full three sides of the bag, though a 3/4 length can be acceptable.

  • A mesh pocket or similar on one side of the bag that I can put a water bottle in. Not on the front of the bag. Something I can reach without taking it off.

  • I think hip straps would probably be a good idea, as that might make it more comfortable to walk around in when it is full up, and ditto I need to have nice padding on the straps themselves, and the back panel too.

  • No wheels or sticky up handles, even if there are also straps.

  • Not to exceed the maximum carry on allowance in ANY direction. And I want these measurements to be clearly stated on a webpage or store tage, I don't want to have to go around guessing, or relying on reviews that say "well I've never had a problem with it" as if that is some sort of guarantee.

I have decided that I don't care about a laptop pocket at all, that I am happy to have a backpack that is smaller than the maximum size as long as it's not smaller than about 35L, and I couldn't give a shit about a rain cover.

The ones that are lauded by travellers are the MEI Voyageur, the Tortuga, and the Minaal. The Voyageur is probably the very best in terms of providing maximum space, though it doesn't have a water pocket, and it apparently takes a minimum of six weeks with no communication from the company before it gets shipped. The Minaal is newer, it was a kickstarter thing for "digital nomads" (ugh), and has been super well designed. I don't really like that the main zip is on the edge by the straps, rather than the outside, and is very expensive ($299 I think). The Tortuga might not fit me, as they say you have to have a longer torso, and also I hate their comparisons page where they just rubbish the competition, but otherwise ticks all the boxes. The Osprey Farpoint 40L comes up a fair amount as well, especially for women, but the top zips weirdly, the straps make it difficult to open up the bag without effort, and the waterbottle mesh is on the front.

... and having written all that I went to the Cabin Max website to see if I could find a nice example of a pattern to show you, and they've started making a new model that has EXACTLY everything I want. The Equator even has a bungee cord I could stuff a coat in. It fits all the luggage dimensions, although Easyjet might do that thing where you get it back at disembarking rather than letting you have it on board. Brill. I'm definitely going to order that.
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
I thought I would try something different with my gym class vouchers so I went to a Zumba class. Or rather, I went to probably less than 10 minutes of a Zumba class. To start with, we started about 15-20 minutes late because the instructor had a problem with something at the start of the previous class. To end with, it was shit and I hated it. I should probably have looked up something about Zumba classes before I went - I didn't realise that there were no instructions, just vague pointing from the person leading it. So the instructor launched straight into something, and then I had no idea what was going on. Having now googled "first zumba class" (and "i hate zumba", for which most of the hits are people saying why you're WRONG to hate Zumba, and how they used to but now it's AMAZE) it seems this is normal. I don't know if it's also normal that I had to beg her to tell me what her stupid hand signals meant, and that she only explained after the first song. To be fair, I think I'd have hated it anyway, as I don't like dancing in the first place, the music was awful, I get grumpy very easily, and since half the time I was just trying to work out what was going on, it didn't even feel like any exercise was happening. And I was cross and resentful, and wanted to leave, and then I realised that I COULD. Quitting is the best, I commend it highly to all of you.

On Sunday I went to barre concept (another voucher, I love vouchers). This was also something I'd never done before with difficult things and terms (attrape, battements, tendus, which I know from Ballet Shoes but little else) but with an instructor who bothered to find out who was new, and told us where to stand to get the best view of what was going on, and smiled at me whenever I gave up and just lay down on the mat. Though I didn't do that as much as I'd expected! It's basically pretending to be a ballerina. Though one doing training, rather than one with a pretty tutu on stage. The blurb about it says it's a celebrity craze that Mick Jagger does. I suspect that by the time anything ends up at the voucher stage it's well past being "in", but since Mick and I have had a connection ever since people I was with saw him at [ profile] lsugaralmond's wedding, I thought I'd give it a whirl. I liked it a lot. The first part is warm up with kicks and arms and balancing, and then you move onto use the barre. You get to do pretty arms and match them with legs, but sometimes it goes a bit wrong because you have to change positions quickly and you find yourself giving your ankle a Nazi salute. I kept up reasonably well, though when we were resting our legs on the barre I used a screw halfway down the post instead. When we moved to the warm-down on the mats I did okayish at the start, but when we were told "you can go into your split if you want", I sat down and idly stretched one leg out at a time. i am quite pleased that I have more classes next to go to. Maybe I will have Mick Jagger's body in no time!
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
I wasn't christened, and don't have godparents. So I don't really know what it entails. Things I know about godparents mostly come from girlsown, where they are good sources of postal orders, random items during rationing, and unexpected school fees. Someone also once told me that in France the godmother (marraine) buys her goddaughter's wedding dress for her. However, I have become a humanist godparent to some excellent children, so I would like some advice.

1) Did/do you have godparents? What did they do for/with you when you were growing up? What would you have liked from them?

2) Are you a godparent yourself? What do you do with/for your godchildren? Do you wish it was different?

3) Have you chosen godparents/equivalent for your own children? What did you expect from the godparents? Did it pan out that way?

I already know my role will involve playing board games a great deal, but it feels like that is not the sole purpose.


Jul. 20th, 2016 09:04 pm
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
I am having a pedicure tomorrow in advance of a thing on Saturday. I have just realised I have no flipflops here. Can I put shoes and socks back on after getting it done? Or will that RUIN the polish?

I am thinking of getting contact lenses. [ profile] felinitykat, you have the long-term ones, right? So for you and anyone else with experience, how long can you leave them in for? Can you swim in them too? And shower? How much do they cost?


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