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Thursday, 14 July 2005 13:55
and I'd really rather not be, since my books look like they've bred and colonised the study while I was away. I missed most of the excitement here last week ('here' isn't too far from Gleneagles) - some anarchists smashed some things, some roads got blocked, and the train station was closed for a while. The highlight was a panicking woman in the town centre shouting "Get inside! They're coming from KFC and they're destroying everything in their path!", which everyone found quite funny.

I went home via Glasgow and did some touristy things with a couple of friends. There aren't really many touristy things to do in Glasgow, especially if you're all broke and none of you can drive, but we saw the Cathedral and the Museum of Religious Art (which has Salvador Dali's 'Christ of St. John of the Cross' - it isn't the same to see it when it's not a huge picture at the other side of a big empty space, but you can imagine), and then wandered round shops designed for the rich and trendy to try on a series of increasingly amusing hats. The Wetherspoons in George Square was giving away free cups of coffee, too.

Home feels like going back to the Shire (which would make this either Rivendell or Mordor, depending on how many deadlines I have). It's sleepy and summery and green, and full of people who don't entirely approve of all this going-off-to-have-adventures nonsense.

Pictures behind cut )
And feeling really guilty about it, even though I'm on holiday and with family and so on. I'm not doing much of anything else either - it's too hot. Spent most of today sat by a lake with one of my oldest friends, eating ice-cream and deciding we couldn't really be expected to walk anywhere in that heat. My dog (hyper-intelligent and overprotective border collie who looks quite like this one) ran up to the lake and plunged her whole head under the water. Good plan.

Happy belated birthday, [livejournal.com profile] deborah_judge!
So, from what I've gathered... )

This means the voting process goes like this:
1) Spend a few years months days shouting at people on TV.
2) Spend a far more satisfying thirty seconds replying politely yet firmly to the Tory campaigner who asked "Is there any way I can get you to consider voting Conservative?" Haha. No.
3) Wonder if there's some meaning to the arrangement of placards on lampposts (LibDems highest, Labour next, Tories-pretending-not-to-be-Tories next, Greens fourth, lunatic fringe independent candidate fifth).
4) Read manifestos, trying absolute best not to tear out hair.
5) Go to polling station. Recieve ballot.
6) Resist urge to write 'BWAHAHAHAHA' next to the UKIP candidate.
7) Discover to your horror that the 'Christian Voice' party was not in fact some kind of belated April Fool's joke.
8) Whittle it down to two candidates by process of elimination
9) Chew pencil. Worry.

(no subject)

Tuesday, 26 April 2005 16:45
Via BBC News, hidden away in one of those 'news in pictures' slideshows about another story altogether:

The best election photograph of the year.

- 22 days

Wednesday, 13 April 2005 15:06
...and those Tory posters were just asking for it, weren't they? (Bonus feature: make your own. Maybe with 'Are you Photoshopping what we're Photoshopping?', or something.) Ah, well - maybe they'll drift so far right they'll lose all their voters to UKIP and Kilroy-Silk and spend another four years kicking themselves in opposition. We can hope.

Also, The Great British Meme: )

While it lasts:

Monday, 4 April 2005 11:49
On Google's UK site (google.co.uk), search for 'liar' and hit 'I'm Feeling Lucky'.

Now it feels close to election time...

it's what time?

Friday, 1 April 2005 02:20
A whole day spent in a town of secondhand bookshops. And I have no money or shelf space for these, but who cares: )

Also, I've been walking dogs and negotiating diplomatic settlements between cats and learning about the world of buying houses with friends who can afford to (apparently there's an important difference between 'Bedroom 3. Built-in cupboard...' and 'Bedroom 3, built in cupboard', and the estate agents will not give a discount for a house which has obviously been a little bit on fire at some point not too long ago), and reading a book of sci-fi short stories that I've owned and lost and found again and never read for years, and this image has been stuck in my mind for days. Philip K. Dick and a story called Autofac, set in a post-apocalyptic world where Something Big and presumably Nuclear has happened:

The pipes lay cracked and broken, jutting up into the night darkness, overgrown with creeping vegetation. The wind raised clouds of black and ash that swirled and danced among the weeds. Once an enormous mutant wren stirred sleepily, pulled its crude protective night coat of rags around it and dozed off.

I will have nightmares for months.
Brother: How do you know that the light in the glove compartment goes out when you close it?
Dad: It just does. Leave it alone.
Brother: But how do you know? I bet it doesn't.
Dad: Leave it alone.
Brother: Look, if I press this bit in, then it thinks it's closed but the light stays on.
Dad: Leave it alone.
Brother: I'll fix it. *muffled clunking sounds*
Dad: Leave it alone.
Brother: Okay, it's fixed. Um, but if you want to turn the light on again, you have to sort of pull this bit out at an angle so it-
Dad: Leave. It. Alone.
Brother: All right, I'll fix it properly. Do you have a screwdriver?
Dad: Leave it alone.
Brother: It's okay, I've got it
Glove compartment light: *dies completely*
Windscreen wipers: *also die*
Indicators: *also die*
Dad: *carefully navigates around other traffic, going steadily paler*
Brother: You need a new car, Dad. This one's useless.
Beginning Easter Sunday tired and grumpy because you've spent the whole night arguing politics and religion with one of your best friends doesn't seem like the best start. Neither of us are very good at agreeing to disagree, and we got exhausted because we couldn't convince each other and angry because it mattered. By the time the sun was rising, we were a couple of angry words away from stamping off back home and not speaking to each other for a week, so we decided to shut up arguing and take her dog for a walk instead. The dog was puzzled and looked sceptical when we tried to throw sticks ("for heaven's sake, woman, it's what time and you expect me to run?"), so we sat down by a tree and talked about how we used to play in the same fields years and years ago. We still haven't managed to solve all the world's problems, or even agree on what they are, but we're good friends again. Which seems like quite an appropriate beginning for Easter Sunday, after all.

Also, vicars handing out Cadbury's Mini-Eggs (allegedly for the kids, but that didn't last) would serve as a decent reminder of why I've missed going to church at this time of year even if nothing else did.

Home is good, friends and family are as wonderful as I remembered them, and it's great to come back to a house full of music, plants and a cat lying upside-down with his head wedged under a radiator and purring loud enough to wake the dead. I've been sorting through old bookcases, and finding nothing I need but a whole stack of books I love and haven't seen for years. One of them is the collected poems of Charles Causley, who wrote weird and gorgeous war poetry and poems in the form of traditional ballads:
Jack o' Lent )

For an ex-Far East prisoner of war )

If you should go to Caistor Town )

Finally, the meme that's been going around looks quite fun. So:

1. Pick a fandom (one that I know, for preference).

2. Choose a pairing or characters, and one more specific (word, idea, line, whatever) if you'd like.

3. Or, pick a Wild Card - choose a fandom and I will write a drabble that combines it with one of your interests listed on your LJ profile.

I will bust out a drabble somewhere between 75-150 words for you.

Consider it an Easter egg.
1) Sung 'Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer' in Esperanto on TV
2) Been stuck in Venice for two hours while Silvio Berlusconi and police escort arrived in speedboats
3) Rode through the Alps in a train that was a) carrying Rolls-Royces with jewels embedded in the dashboards, and b) on fire
4) Played football with, and scored a goal against, a man who used to be on the England team
5) Seen all the air turn blue when lightning struck something a few feet away from me
6) Spent the last £1.37 I had buying bread and cheese, because food was more important than heating or electricity
7) Been the microphone-runner for Germaine Greer
8) Had weird fever-induced visions/hallucinations of Mary sitting with me and stroking my hair until I was better
9) Called the police on a landlord who was standing on my doorstep screaming threats at me
10) Won a game of poker with a perfect royal flush of spades
I'll begin by doing no work at all.

That 'Last Year In School' meme: )

Films (and we'll go with the TV idea too) meme from [livejournal.com profile] selenak:

1. Pick one dozen movies
2. Pick a few lines of dialogue that mean something to you.
3. As people guess the film, strike out that entry.
4. If possible, after the film is guessed, explain why that movie made the list.


Films:

1) I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.
2) Don't you blame the movies. Movies don't create psychos, movies make psychos more creative.
3) Of course, killing you is killing myself. It's the same thing. But, you know, I'm getting pretty tired of both of us.
4) My pop was real big. He did like he pleased. That's why everybody worked on him. The last time I seen my father, he was blind and diseased from drinking. And every time he put the bottle to his mouth, he don't suck out of it, it sucks out of him until he shrunk so wrinkled and yellow even the dogs didn't know him.
5) This is from Mathilda.
6) Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
7) How do you shoot the devil in the back? What if you miss?
8) You think I just want another puzzle to solve? Another John G. to look for? You're John G. So you can be my John G.
9) Let's have a whip-round and get Dad repatriated.
10) At school, they said segregation is what's said in the bible. Genesis 9, Verse 27. At 7 years of age, you get told it enough times, you believe it. You believe the hatred. You live it, you breathe it. You marry it.
11) Still whining, Louis. Have you heard enough? I've had to listen to that for centuries.
12) "He's got a gun!" "Your security isn't worth a damn. Everybody's got a gun."

TV:

1) Why did you resign?
2) I'm looking for my dog. His name is Heinrich. He's a Norwegian elkhound. I use him to hunt moose.
3) "Nothing, just named after the Greek god of violent death, that's all." "Why can't we ever get a planet with a friendly name? You know, like the planet Chuckles or something?"
4) I'm just trying to get home.
5) Among other things, yes. Looking back on it, though, I think I just tried to make people happy.
6) Aunt Maureen. Hey, it's me. Um, what? Oh. It's, uh... actually it's healing okay. That's pretty much the reason I called. Um, I wanted to ask you something. Is Jordy a werewolf? Uh-huh. And how long has that been going on? Uh-huh. What? No, no reason.
7) They'll never stop coming, you know. Trapper left, and they're still coming. Henry got killed, and they're still coming. Wherever they come from, they'll never run out.
8) Did you threaten to overrule him?
9) "You remind me of Donnie Osmond with your partner's personality." "Agent Frances, I'm proud to say I've got all of Donnie's albums, including Mormon Hymns To Federal Agents Who Steal Their Weekly Paychecks."
10) "Also, you left £17.50 in your bank account. Thanks to compound interest, you now own 98% of all the world's wealth. And because you've hoarded it for 3 million years, nobody's got any money except for you and Norweb." "Why Norweb?" "You left a light on in the bathroom."
11) London. Birthplace of the waterproof teabag and the clockwork steam iron, and home, in a red pillarbox cunningly disguised as a red pillarbox...
12) Goodnight, America, wherever you are.

(no subject)

Friday, 7 January 2005 14:04
Young, Very Drunk Man In Expensive-Looking Suit: *weaves across pavement and 2/3 of road*
Me: *waltzes neatly past him*
Him: Hey, you! You there!
Me: Uh-oh. *keeps walking*
Him: Hey! Girl with the boots!
Me: Yes?
Him: Your boots!
Me: Yes?
Him: They were made for walking, weren't they?
Me: ...yes. Yes, they were.
Him: My shoes weren't! Have a nice night!

They were ordinary black ankle-boots, last I checked. But I was tempted to click my heels three times and see if they took me somewhere less odd.
Sitting around a table in a pub that my friend's father owns, which would hold a lot of memories if my mind was a more helpful thing ("Remember when you were seventeen and we were all here to dye your hair blue?" "Blue? Why?" "It was your idea."). There's snow outside. I might've been dared to make a snow angel. And it's been such a long time since any of us went sledging...

"You had two sledges. What happened to the wooden one?"
"Woodworm happened. Look, she's got two, you've got one, we'll manage."
"And if we can't we could always get, I don't know, a baking tray or something."
"We're too big for baking trays. Oooh! I've got a lilo!"
"The cool kids will laugh at us."
"Yeah. Anyway, we should get something that all four of us can fit in."
"There's a skip outside."
"I think you just reinvented the tank."
"No, she reinvented the Star Destroyer. A shadow falls over the hill..."
"Anyway, I might have an extra sledge under the canoe in my garage."
"A CANOE! Perfect!"

I have a childhood to relive. I'll see you all later.

(no subject)

Saturday, 25 December 2004 00:04
Tired, tired, tired. And sulking, because I got home too late (bah to ten-hour shifts with not enough sleep in between) to make it to church with my family, and I'm too tired to brave Midnight Mass and getting there an hour early for a not-sitting-in-the-aisle seat. Not that I go to church much anyway, but it feels like something is missing when it's Christmas.

Still. We drove home in heavy snow, crawling along the motorway at thirty miles an hour grumbling about why all the ploughs were going in the other direction, and there was a choir singing carols on the radio, and it was beautiful.

Happy Christmas, everyone!
Tremble in your boots, fellow politically-correct-liberal-killjoy-scum of Britain. The Sun, that bastion of - well, everything you'd expect from a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch - has discovered our evil plan to destroy Christmas omg. Or omSanta, since apparently he's the main target of our leftist fury.

Luckily for the shining armies of truth, goodness and consumerism, the Sun has organised a Save Our Christmas! campaign and is taking the Nativity on tour. "Thank goodness somebody has still got the guts to celebrate Christmas in public," a delighted lorry driver said as the crowd in Trafalgar Square burst into spontaneous applause. That'll show us meanies. (They used the word 'meanies'. This is the Sun.)

Okay, Sun. You win. I freely admit that my generalised griping about consumerism is actually a ploy to make decent people suffer, and that I'm trying to ban much-loved traditional Christmas songs like 'Mistletoe And Wine' and 'Simply Having A Wonderful Christmastime' on the pretence that they're offensive to people of other religions. (Granted, I might have said 'people with ears', but you all knew what I meant.) From now on, all my thoughts on Christmas will be perfectly compliant with tabloid ideology.

Asylum-Seeking Migrant Teenage Single Mother Swamping Bethlehem Public Services! )

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