ladyofastolat: (Vectis)
So, I did it. 71 miles in two days, with surprisingly little rain.

A very long ramble about rambling )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
I decided that it would be nice to have a few days in Bath to celebrate my birthday. Unfortunately, what I failed to realise was that Bath has a famous Christmas market, and half the population of the south-west of England would be there. Apparently there was barely a hotel room to be had in the entire place, so travelling there for the weekend is a thing. Had I known, I would have arranged the trip for the previous weekend. Oh well. We still had a nice time. Here are some pictures that - unusually for me - are NOT of comical medieval animals.

A few days in Bath )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
I've been meaning for a while to walk to Winchester and back along the Itchen Way and/or the Itchen Navigation, but when deciding where to walk on a day, the extra time and expense of the ferry journey has always led me to reject the idea in favour of a more local walk. Although the lack of daylight hours means that the "and back" part of the plan is not feasible at this time of year, I thought it would be nice to combine the "there" part of it with a nice, leisurely pub lunch, and perhaps a bit of sightseeing in Winchester.

Rolling ones along the Itchen Navigation )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
We were asked to dance at a firework display last night, down on the seafront in Sandown. I don't think I've been to a Bonfire Night firework display since I was... ooh, 9 or 10 years old, when, armed with bags of Bonfire Toffee (which meant black treacle toffee in my house, although to others it's cinder toffee) we headed out to a Field of Mystery. I say Field of Mystery because, chasing down my vague memories the other day, the only conclusion I could come to was that the display had taken place on a recreation ground not far from my parents' current house, where no such rec exists. I asked my parents, who also had a think, and concluded that it had been on a farmer's field not far from their current house, but they had no idea which field, or how on earth any of the audience got in or out.

More on fireworks, including a whole series of absolutely rubbish photographs )

And a few pictures from a death-defying walk )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
I'd intended to do a full day walk in West Wight, but when the day dawned, I decided that I'd rather spend the morning drinking tea and reading, so instead headed off after an early lunch for a walk that started from the front door.

Things seen )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
I got a new phone this week, prompted by the fact that my old phone's battery was struggling to survive half a day. I would like to say that I approached my purchasing decision with intelligence and sophistication, carefully reading up on all the specifications and making Lists, before dazzling the phone shop staff with my clear and incisive articulation of my conclusions. Well, I still could say that, but it would be a lie. What I actually did was go into the shop and say, "I want a phone that will cost me about the same as I'm paying now, works the same as my current phone and fits into this nifty little pocket in my handbag." The chap brought me two options. One didn't fit into the little pocket. One did, and as an added bonus, was a nice shiny pale gold. "I'll have it," I said.

And so I have a new phone. You are probably interested in all the technological specifications, so here are its key features.

1. It is very fond of skating, or maybe downhill skiing. I could put my old phone on the couch beside me, and it would usually stay where it was put. My new one slowly, inexorably skates towards me, gradually gaining speed until it hits me on my toe. (I always sit with my legs curled beneath me, which is why my toe is beside me on the couch.) I can press down the couch cushion and ensure that it absolutely, inarguably flat, and what happens? Yes, another ski run, terminating on my toe, even as the remote controls that were next to it are still sitting there unmoving. "Right!" I can say to it, as I slightly press down the far side of the couch cushion, so that if the phone decides to go skating, it will skate away from me, to nestle safely in the slight indentation between the un-sat-on cushions. And what happens? Yes, once again, it skates towards me, defying gravity, and hits me on the toe.

2. Actually, writing up point 1 makes me wonder if it has some sort of magnetic attraction towards me. I did wonder why the phone shop man spent quite so long setting up my phone. I thought he was just registering things and transferring data, but maybe he was also establishing some sort of new-fangled homing magic, so the phone would always find its owner. Or its owner's toe, at least. I can see that this would be quite useful.

3. My old phone had rounded edges, so when I put it down on a hard surface, I could easily pick it up. My new phone is thinner and less grippable, and when it's on the glass surface of the coffee table, it strongly resists any attempt to pick it up. I often end up having to slide it off the edge, and trying to catch it before it decides to do an Eddie the Eagle impression and land on my toe. Sometimes random buttons get pressed as I do this. As is the habit of random buttons pressed by accident (or cats), this will probably result in an awesome feature opening up, one which I will never again discover by design, as long as my phone and I both shall live.

4. It's shiny!
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
Some 15 years ago, we bought a piano. Very soon after we bought it, an blanket of caterpillars appeared on its surface, followed by battalions of moths. We reported this to the piano vendor, who denied ever having seen a caterpillar or moth in his entire life. There was no possibility that the infestation could have originated in his warehouse, and the piano was definitely caterpillar-free when we bought it. To be honest, we doubted this, but what can you do? I hate killing things just because they're inconvenient, but we really didn't want armies of moths in our house, possibly eating clothes, carpet, curtains and cat. We put moth balls inside the piano, and the armies slowly dwindled. No caterpillars or moths were seen for years, and the whole affair was almost forgotten.

But nothing is forgotten. Nothing is ever forgotten. A few weeks ago, I noticed that there were a lot of small dead moths on the carpet underneath the piano. I hoovered them up, but by the next day, they were back again. They are all concentrated in a square foot of visible carpet, next to one end of the piano. A few small moths have been spotted flapping around the house, but most of them are evident only by their corpses.

Are they the same colony? 15 years ago, when we thought we'd beaten them, had we just driven them deep within the piano, where they have spent 15 years digging a vast underground metropolis and perfecting their revenge? Are there whole moth generations reared on tales of the cruelties of the two-legged masters of the plinky-plonk keys? Admittedly, it's not a particularly impressive revenge thus far, since it appears to consist of emerging from beneath the piano and keeling over within a few inches, but it's early days yet. Will their masterminds learn from the failures of the first wave, and tweak their tactics accordingly? What dread fate is being prepared for us?

I know we ought to move the piano and look beneath it, but I'm scared to.
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
We got back yesterday evening from a week's holiday in South Wales, where most of our time was spent in castle or in tea shops, with occasional diversions up tea-less mountains and nostalgia-fuelled trips to random Arthurian themed stones in the middle of nowhere.

Holiday, part one )
ladyofastolat: (Vectis)
I started my coastal path walk at 16.10 last Saturday, having managed to leave work a little early. I finished on Monday at 15.06 and 30 seconds. Yes, the 30 seconds is important, since I'd spent the last two miles walking as fast as I could, desperately clock-watching as I aimed the 15.08 bus.

A rather long walk, with pictures )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
This is what greeted me on my doorstep when I came home. It amused me quite a lot. The postman normally makes a token attempt to "hide" packages - under the doormat, perhaps, or in the shadow of the Looming Choisya that guards the empty milk bottles, or under the random black plastic box that hasn't been used for recycling for three years and therefore serves no purpose but still hasn't been tidied away - but in this case, he's gone out of his way to pose it carefully. Was he trying to portray a disembodied foot trying to kick down my door? Or maybe he wanted it to look like a threat - like that horse's head thing, but with a foot? I sometimes wonder if how often postmen are intrigued by the packages they deliver, desperately wishing they could find out what all the strangely-shaped or interesting-sounding things actually are. (I would be, at any rate. But, then, I still think that anyone out travelling at an unusual time or in an place should carry a placard saying why they're out, since I'm always consumed with curiosity about it. Perhaps I'm just nosy, and most postmen would happily deliver shrink-wrapped unicorns without batting an eyelid.) But in this case, I don't think he could have been in any doubt. :-D

A not very mysterious package )
ladyofastolat: (Winter is coming)
We spent Easter adventuring in Westeros - or, rather, Essos. This write-up will be of no interest at all to anyone who wasn't there - and of minimal interest to those who were, since, well, they were there. However, it's good to have a record for future reference.

How to annoy people in Essos )
ladyofastolat: (Vectis)
I spent rather too many hours reading in bed this morning on my day off, so decided to do a walk that started from the front door, rather than spend an hour driving out to and back from a car park in a more pretty place.

Here be many pictures of a walk dogged by trolls, monsters and many, many warnings of deadly danger. )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
You'd think I'd have learnt by now.

Since I'm an infrequent visitor to London, and not someone who needs to traverse it daily, I always opt to walk across it rather than descend into the abyssmal depths of the underground. I check on walkit.com to glance at a recommended route, and then... entirely fail to follow it. The trouble is, I get bored with main roads, and especially bored with returning from anywhere by the same route by which I came. Plus, main roads are big, roary things, quite overwhelming to poor provincials like me. Towering buses conceal any interesting buildings that might be lurking on the far side of the road, and there are far too many side streets, where the pedestrian crossings sternly display a red man, even as all the traffic appears to be halted and all the locals are flooding across the road. I end up hovering nervously, torn between the belief that if I step out, the roaring traffic of That London is suddenly going to descend on me from a hitherto unseen direction, and the fear that if I stand there despite the total emptiness of the road, all the locals are laughing at me for being a law-abiding provincial who Doesn't Understand How We Do Things Here.

Adventures in that London )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
I had great fun last week doing the Great Sporcle Puzzle Hunt, which occupied me for the best part of a day. It's 15 quizzes, most of them of the general knowledge type, but also including anagrams, ciphers and so on. After you've solved each quiz, you have to study your answers and derive a further answer from them. When you've got all 15 answers, you enter them in the Meta Quiz which gives you a further puzzle to solve. From this, you derive one last answer, which you enter in the Final Answer puzzle, and yay, you're done!

Since you need to get well nigh 100% in quizzes that cover a wide range of categories, you are actively encouraged to use Google, reverse image searches, anagram finders and any other tool you can to solve them. This is NOT considered cheating. There's a time limit on the quizzes, but you can pause it while you go off and do your research on a different tab, and retry as often you like. There's a hint giver if you're having trouble finding the single word answer that's hidden in your quiz answers. I resorted to this several times. In some quizzes, the final answer leapt out at me straightaway, but others had me stumped for a considerable time.

If you choose to do it, good luck!

Heatless

Nov. 5th, 2015 05:40 pm
ladyofastolat: (Night gathers)
Our boiler broke on Tuesday. Again. It's only two months since it last failed, and it failed several times last winter, too. In the past, we've always managed to get it fixed the following morning, although for a while now, the nice (and prompt) British Gas men who have saved us have shaken their heads and sucked in a disapproving breath, saying that the boiler is out-dated, and, to be frank, a bit rubbish, and we really should replace it (at great expense, naturally.) We've got quotes, but haven't yet taken any decisions, so still have the old (is a 14 year old boiler really as antique as they're making out?) rubbish one. Hence the latest failure.

This time, although the nice British Gas man turned up with his usual promptness the day after we reported the problem, he needed a part, so had to return again this morning. He fixed the issue, then realised that he needed yet another part, and will have to return yet again tomorrow morning.

So this is the third evening without heating and hot water. We're having to remember those long-neglected arts of washing hair in the sink using a kettle, of bathing in half an inch of kettle-warmed water, and so on. The strange thing is, though, that I keep acting if other utilities have failed, too. I keep finding myself wandering around in the dark, and repeatedly have surprised moments of revelation when I remember that the lights do indeed work. I keep suddenly realising, with surprise, that we DO have a working kettle. I've several times found myself thinking that our dinner plans will have to be changed because the gas hob isn't working. It seems that my subconscious is a bit confused about utilities and where they come from, and assumes that if one of them isn't working, the whole lot has failed.

Boots

Sep. 10th, 2015 08:30 am
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
The time has finally come. My old boots are finally getting thrown out. The bin men will take them away shortly. I clung to them desperately for so long after they started to fall apart. When it became clear that they couldn't go near water without leaking with a sieve, I bought a new pair, after trying on pretty much every pair of boots on the island. I didn't like my new ones. In fact, I HATED my new ones. I did a few short walks with them, grumping all the way, then put them in a cupboard and returned to my old ones. By then, they were leaking even if they as much as glimpsed a drop of dew from 100 yards, but I still clung to them. In my mind, the New Boots were hideous monstrosities that weighed a tonne and had enormous solid heels ten inches thick. I tried repairing the old ones, but they were a lost cause. I scoured the internet for second-hand pairs of the same type, but found none. In the end, I pretty much stopped walking entirely.

Then, after months of impasse, I tried my new boots, and realised that they weren't the hideous, heavy monstrosities I thought they were. I tried ten miles in them, and had no problem. I tried 16, and had sore shins, but it was a walk entirely on hard surfaces, so perhaps that was only to be expected. Grudgingly I had to admit that perhaps I'd misjudged them.

I'd done very little walking this year, but yesterday I did 21 miles in my new boots. No problem at all. No sore shins, and no blisters.* I hate to admit it, but my old boots would have given me blisters on my first walk after a long hiatus. So the time has come: the old boots are going out to the bin men, and will be no more.

It seems a bit harsh, really, after all the good and loyal service they've given me. I feel I ought to be taking them out to my favourite part of the Coastal Path and giving them an honorable burial. Not only would it honour them, it would also baffle future archaeologists.

* Well, actually, I DO have a blister, but can't blame the boots. Not only do I wear boots until they fall apart, I do the same with socks. I ended yesterday's walk with a blister on the sole of my foot. The fact that there turned out to be hole in my sock in exactly that place is, I suspect, significant. Pellinor is now tutting and shaking his head and saying "I told you so," since he doesn't approve of my holey socks, and thinks I should chuck the entire lot out and get a drawer-full of new ones.

The old boots: Rest in Peace )

Topiary

Jun. 8th, 2015 12:52 pm
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
Our Morris dancing gardener has Plans for this bush in our front garden. Topiary type Plans. Realisation of said Plans is in its early stages at present. Any ideas what the end result might be?

bush
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
On Sunday, the adventurers returned from their sojourn in the Western Lands beyond the Tamar. Many Things had they performed, and great were the mountains of food and towering was the pile of empty bottles left after their carousing. Many are the tales that could be told, but for now, let me tell you the Tale of the Deathless Tomato.

The Tale of the Deathless Tomato )
ladyofastolat: (In comes I)
We've spent the weekend in unexpectedly bright sunshine in Arundel, on the sort of "dancing weekend" that our mixed team favours: i.e. one in which we occasionally fit in a dance or two in between the meals. I've go no time to say much about it, since I've been writing like mad these last few weeks, trying to finish an epic fanfic before going away on Friday. This hasn't been helped by being away for the last 3 weekends. But have some pictures, anyway, and a few bullet points of Stuff Seen.

Pictures of Arundel )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
We were away last week, in a strange and bitty week with lots of travelling, much of which was spent with various relatives. Despite frequent reminders to myself ("must charge my camera before I go," followed by, "oh dear. Oh well... Must remember to pack the charger so I can charge it when I'm there") I managed to go away with a camera that claimed to be Very Ill Indeed, and sighed long-sufferingly whenever I asked it to take a picture. I retired it after the first day, and subsisted for the rest of the week (mostly spend in places we may well visit again one day) on a diet of no photos, photos on my phone (rather rubbish, and not helped by the fact that I kept forgetting to charge that, as well), phones on Pellinor's phone (even more rubbish than mine, I think) and Pellinor's Mum's phone, wielded by Pellinor's mum. I pulled it out for one last hurrah when we reached Lincoln, and got a few more pictures out of it before it keeled over limply, and lay there blaming me for my cruelty in driving it to this dire state of affairs.

I'll get around to wrangling all the phone photos one day, but here are some pictures that I managed to persuade my grumpy camera to take for me in Snowshill Manor on the Monday.

This was the day when people first started turning to each other and saying, "Wow, it finally feels almost like spring!" (By Wednesday of this week, we were full in Summer territory, and today we seem to be already hurrying into autumn, judging from the wrapped-up nature of the people walking past the window at work.) My Mum spent most of the day marvelling at their audacity in daring to Go Somewhere on a Bank Holiday Monday, rather than cowering inside in fear of the rampant swarm of humanity expected to descend on the Cotswolds. "It was actually quite nice!" she said, in amazement. "We sat outside! On a Bank Holiday! In a National Trust place! But I did wear a coat," she added, lest she be thought too daring.

Snowshill Manor, plus tadpoles )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
This week we learnt:

A. A brand new uplighter shade made out of thin parchment-coloured material leads to a much brighter room than an old, broken (thanks to Wii Sports and drunken folk dancing) ochre-coloured shade, made out a fairly thick fabric and lined with the Dust of Ages.

B. When you remove a rotary drier that's been sitting in the middle of your rather small lawn for years, stuck permanently in the "up" position and now distinctly unpleasant, suddenly your garden looks MUCH bigger, MUCH nicer, and with a reasonable sized space to sit in.

In other words:

A. Reducing the barriers between light bulb and room leads to more light visible in room!

B. Removing large item from small space leads to a larger expanse of useful space!

The questions now are:

A. Why did this fail to occur to either of us years ago, when I first started complaining about the poor light in the room?

B. Why did this fail to occur to either of us years ago, when I first started complaining about the lack of useful space to eat al fresco summer dinners in?
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
So we were staying in the Wye Valley Youth Hostel (and that's another story.) It's in Welsh Bicknor (so called because it's in England) and it's a strange place: the former rectory of the church next door, a church that sits in the wilds of the river bank and appears to administer to nobody at all except for passing water creatures. In the grounds is a dark abandoned railway tunnel. Across the river (in English Bicknor, so called because it's in England) is a deserted 1930s factory complex, long lines of red brick warehouses; I am sure I once killed zombies in a place just like that. The lane down to the hostel is steep, narrow and pot-holed, with a precipitous drop on one side, and a wall of stone on the other. (Even in our small car it felt scarynarrow.) A hairpin bend lies half way down, and there are no passing places whatsoever.

Confused ramblers, missing castles and undead white van men )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
A couple of years ago, my Mum made the shocking discovery that I didn't have a kitchen timer, but relied on looking at the clock and remembering the time. So outraged was she that she got me a kitchen timer for Christmas. (It was the Best Christmas EVER!) It was a cheery green plastic egg with spots on, and you set it by rotating its two halves. Unfortunately, as I soon discovered, if you rotated it with greasy hands - a common enough situation in the kitchen - it rubbed the numbers off. After a few months, I was left with a green plastic egg with spots on, still cheery, but with no markings other than the spots. It still worked, but it was like a lucky dip. "Well, I've set the timer," you could say, "but what I've set the timer to, I have no idea."

So I bought a new timer, since my few weeks with a functional cheery plastic green egg with spots on had showed me that Mother Knows Best, and kitchen timers were indeed a Good Thing. This time I got a non-cheery dark maroon one, with a shiny dial that you twisted around. It worked excellently, at first. However, it soon became apparent that although it worked excellent nine times out of ten, the other time it decided to keep secrets. "Hmm," you would think. "It seems like a very long time since I put that cake in the oven." You'd go through the investigate, and once you'd put the fire out and waved goodbye to the fire-fighters, you would confront the innocently-smiling timer that was sitting there with its dial at zero. "Why didn't you tell me?" you'd shout. "Why didn't you jingle loudly to announce the achievement of your mission?" "Well..." it would admit, "I decided that it was a bit boastful to shout about it, so I thought I'd be modest this time, and not breathe a word."

So I bought a new timer. This time I went for a digital one, although I soon discovered that it had some annoying features. It turns out that I do not like having to go click click click click click (or click, hold... and agh! Overshoot!) instead of just whizzing a dial around. Additionally, instead of giving a nice quick brrrring!! it went "BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!" and went on until you did something about it. So if you were cooking something that could take a bit of slack in its timing, and were busy doing Very Important Things when the timer went off (like posting cat pictures on Facebook, or something) you couldn't continue what you were doing for a minute then wander through to deal with the cooking. No, unless you wanted to be driven to distraction by the frenzied beeping, you had to drop all your Very Important Things and rush through to the kitchen and sort things out. However, that was an irritant, not a fault. The fault was that after a few months of working just fine, the timer decided that it knew best. You'd set it for ten minutes, and it would dutifully count down until it got almost to zero... whereupon it would sometimes suddenly decide that of course you didn't really want to cook your bhajis for ten minutes, you'd meant 15 all along, so it would helpfully jump back up to 5 minutes and start counting down again.

So I bought a new timer. I went back to mechanical this time, and bought a shiny silver egg. I took it home. It didn't work. Not one bit. I wound it up, set it... nothing. It just sat there. Dead. Dead. Dead.

So I rummaged through the recycling and found my receipt, and took it back to the shop. I chose a replacement and took it to the counter, and asked if I could check it first. The lady wound it up to 20 minutes... BRRRRING! it instantly went. She tried again. BRRRRINNGG!!!!! So I went and got yet another one. Same problem. Another one. Same problem.

I now have a new kitchen timer. I wonder how many days before I will need to have another shopping trip...

EDIT: Just set the new timer for 40 minuets (or even minutes, timers not being that good at old-fashioned dancing.) Ten minutes later... BRRRRIIIINNNGGG!!!!! What is it with me and kitchen timers?

Winchester

Feb. 2nd, 2015 06:33 pm
ladyofastolat: (Greenman)
We had a day trip to Winchester on Saturday, where we managed to squeeze a small amount of history and heritage in the small gaps left in between mid-morning tea, lunch-time tapas and mid-afternoon tea, after which we discovered that all the history and heritage closed at 4 in the winter, so we headed back to Southampton to wrestle with shops for a bit, then have yet more food.

Some photos )
ladyofastolat: (Jayne hat)
We spent last week adventuring in the far reaches of space (or the not-so-far reaches of space, since Space is Big.) This was the continuation of the campaign we started two years ago, which culminated in a super-powerful Ancienty chap telling us that All The Things were at risk unless we joined him in his fight against The Destroyer. We decided that said super-powerful Ancienty chap was a capricious, arrogant twit. We suspect strongly that other characters in other campaigns have tangled with said Destroyer, who is also a capricious, arrogant twit, but our current characters don't know this. "Can we have a year to think about your job offer?" we asked, and, faced with the news that All The Things were potentially under threat... we decided to ignore it, and continued to visit wacky tourist attractions, search for elephant tusks, buy quirky robots and go to concerts.

Duct tape was the prevailing weapon in our arsenal, most notably when we spent about two hours trying to work out how to detain 4 prisoners in the toilet of our passenger shuttle. Few guns were fired, and these often ineptly. One of the few fights we engaged in involved using pasties as a weapon. (It made a strange sort of sense at the time, honest. We were on a mining planet, you see?) The most passionate debates - apart from the duct tape/toilet thing - revolved around PR and marketing strategies, HR and recruitment issues, childcare, contract law and the financial management of ailing steel farming companies. Can we conclude from this that we are getting old?

We found the elephant tusks, and all finished happily for every past owner who had become fond of them during their chequered career! We rescued an 8 year old telepathic girl from a life of brain probes and hideous tesssts! We saved a planet from being crashed into by a comet! We launched the career of a rubbish film star! We discovered a boy band! We captured a pirate! (This was the long-term nemesis of Pellinor's character. I thought that he would feel a little sense of sadness at finally being rid of his nemesis, but he is made of less sentimental stuff, and captured him without a qualm.) We even got a medal ceremony! I have always argued that all games should end with a medal ceremony, ever since I took 2 days destroying the Death Star, only for the game to cut instantly to credits without letting me bask in my hard-won victory.

As well as fighting fictional pirates, most of us ventured into Plymouth - most of us in appropriate costume - for a pirate-themed metal gig, which was fun, but very very hot. Two days later, the dreaded lurgi began to sweep through the party, clearly the fault of those pesky pirates. It reached me on the journey home. I thought I was past the worse today, and ventured into work, but was sent home after a few hours, on the grounds that I was "as white as a sheet," and was sitting inside shivering in two coats, while everyone else was in short sleeves and saying how hot it was. Illness is giving me interesting dreams, though. Last night, I dreamt a long and very vivid adventure prompted by the government making possession of 20-sided dice a capital offence...

Shopping

Aug. 16th, 2014 06:08 pm
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
Today I made the mistake of visiting our local hardware and homeware shop. I found myself getting ridiculously - and uncharacteristically - excited by all its wonderful wares, especially kitchenware, storage solutions and anything involved with food service. Some of the things were so teeny! And so cute! 10 cm frying pans and saucepans! The teeniest, teeniest, cutest little mustard pot - and I don't even like mustard! "Step away from the spice jars!" I kept having to tell myself, and "NO, YOU DO NOT NEED ANY MORE TONGS; you bought two just yesterday, AND THEY WERE UNNECESSARY, TOO," but that voice was warring with the one that went, "A terracotta garlic roaster! Garlic! Roasted! Garlic! A timer in the shape of a pig! Ooohhhh! Look at the magic knife block! Ooooohhh!!!! AND A 10cm FRYING PAN! LITTLE POTS! Storage solutions. Storage solutions! STORAGE SOLUTIONS!!!! TINY TUPPERWARE!. HOW HAVE I LIVED SO LONG WITHOUT A CHEESE GUILLOTINE??!!!"

This is all quite worrying. All of this is behaviour is something I have frequently observed and laughed-at in Pellinor. What next? Will I soon start emulating his addiction to stopping off at market stalls to buy shiny costume jewellery?
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
We've spent the weekend in Wiltshire, in what felt like a proper holiday, even though we were only away for one night. Pictures follow, rather more of them, it seems, of quirky captions than actual scenery and Stuff. Oh well...

Painted churches, strange topiary, talkative trees, and the like )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
Ooh, I didn't notice at the time, but I appear to have achieved my annual walking target in just over 6 months. (The reason I didn't notice was that I didn't actually set the target on MapMyWalk until January 17th, although I was counting miles from January 1st. Since I couldn't set the target to start in the past, officially I've still got 35 miles to go until I achieve my target. I'm hoping to get these 35 miles done before July 17th, since that would be neat, but I'm not sure I will, since I've just started a cold, and am due to dance all day tomorrow, and the forecast for Sunday is grim. We'll see...)

mapmywalk
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
As you could probably guess from all the comical animals I posted yesterday, we returned yesterday from a week exploring the Bay of Naples. Here follows far too many photos, and much rambling.

Roman bits and pieces, entertaining fumaroles, and a goat: rather an epic post, with loads of pictures )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
Here is a collection of vaguely comical animals from Roman art, with a few humans and gods thrown in, plus a freaky Renaissance poodle.

Mildly comical Roman art )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
You know how it is when a little voice pipes up inside your head, and says, "Hey! I've got a great idea!" It proceeds to suggest some wild, crazy, stupid goal or challenge, and tells you it would be SUCH FUN and SO SATISFYING if you managed to do watch an entire TV series boxed set in a single day/do every single workout DVD you possess on the same day*/get gold medals in every single Survival challenge in Left4Dead**/kill the President of Paraguay with a fork.***

Internal dialogue )

A foolish challenge )

You can guess the result )

Footnotes )
ladyofastolat: (Vectis)
Since we can't do Walk the Wight this year, due to being in Italy, I thought I'd do the route of its second half today, coming back by a more scenic route that took in the coast and lots of bluebells.

Here be far too many pictures )

May morning

May. 1st, 2014 04:04 am
ladyofastolat: (unbowed)
This is my traditional "we were up long before the day-oh, to welcome in the summer, the summer and the May-oh!" post. Judging from the number of black raindrops on the weather map, the summer isn't going to bother turning up at the party, even though we're getting up extra specially early to welcome it, too. Oh well. English traditions feels all the more traditional when standing there getting cold and wet, telling yourself doggedly that you are having fun, aren't you? And there's an excellent Full English breakfast afterwards, and good bacon makes everything worthwhile.

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ladyofastolat

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