chaletian: (eddie techno fear)
Being a big fan of the old Marvel Cinematic Universe or whatever they’re calling it, I was super excited about Agents of SHIELD, and was commensurately disappointed when the first couple of episodes failed to hold my interest. Having a heavy TV schedule as it is, I do not watch things that don’t grab me, however much I love their origins, and we removed it from the FT calendar.

Last Friday, however, I popped off to see Catpain* America 2 which I really enjoyed (I loved the central idea – so thrilling!) and as I needed to find something in which to drown my own private sorrows, and having heard that Agents of SHIELD improved in later episodes, I decided to try it again, not least because I really, really wanted to see what they were going to do in the light of Catpain** America 2’s events. I ended up watching episodes 10-15, then backtracking a bit, then watching ep 16 this week (OMG).

You know what? I really enjoyed it. I mean, first I was just enjoying it, then I started getting a bit invested (FITZSIMMONS), and then I was on tenterhooks, and now I can’t wait for next week’s episode! So much fun! So, yeah, for anyone who was similarly disappointed at the start of the season (and I know quite a few people were), it’s definitely worth giving a second chance.

SOME THOUGHTS (1): Spoilers for Catpain America 2 )

SOME THOUGHTS (2): Spoilers for Agents of SHIELD )

SOME THOUGHTS (3): Spoilers for both )

* Hilarious Blackadder joke that brings me much joy.
** STILL FUNNY.
*** I LAUGH EVERY TIME
chaletian: (p+p lydia)
Hullo! I have returned, once more, to share my fulsome thoughts on Life and also Art. To kick us off, let’s have a brief overview of what I’ve been doing. Ein minuten bitte, whilst I consult my diary.

Theatre-wise, since last we met, I saw Macbeth (again) at the Globe. This was just as good – loved everything about it, possibly the witches most of all. I am genuinely pissed off with our education system, though. I was into Shakespeare as a teenager, and my school was really good, AND YET being forced into studying Macbeth for GCSE English was so fucking boring and annoying that I hated it, and it has taken me this long to go and see it again. It’s such a good play, probably one of my favourites; the language is just dazzling. And school almost managed to ruin it. So thanks for that, chaps. I also saw Rory Kinnear’s play, The Herd, which I thought was really good, though the sort of structure of the narrative meant that the ending (not just what happened but how it happened) was painfully apparent. Still, I thought it was a good play; the dialogue really rang true.

I have also, rather late in the day, finally taken advantage of the NTLive broadcasts, and in November saw Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art and the RSC’s Richard II. The play within a play is one of my favourite tropes, so that was enjoyable. Thought Alex Jennings was spectacularly good as Britten, and loved Adrian Scarborough’s actor desperately trying to find a connection and a point to his part. Also bonus John Heffernan as the assistant stage manager. Richard II was also really good, once I got past the first section. I am a bit of a philistine, but I think the play is a bit boring until Richard gets back from Ireland and it all kicks off, but after that it was great! The broadcast thing is not, of course, a patch on seeing a play live, but it was better than I expected (I think seeing it in a cinema rather than on a little tv screen did help), so I will do that again, I think.

On Tuesday, I went to see Romeo & Juliet at the ROH, which I enjoyed (highlights: the music, always; Prokofiev’s score for R&J is my favourite ballet music, hands down; Mercutio and Tybalt; the scenes with Juliet where her parents are trying to force her to marry Paris (and the way she danced with Paris was great – so unwilling!)). That said, I do think I preferred the National Canadian Ballet production I saw at Sadler’s Wells.

So, that’s that. Saw Thor 2 (very enjoyable) and the new Hunger Games film (ditto). Have done and seen other things too, but nothing much I can be arsed to talk about.

Right, now, I have a confession to make. Despite, as you knowing, being distinctly pro Bard, and despite the fact that the history plays are my favourite, I had not, until now, actually watched The Hollow Crown. I know, I am ashamed. I’ve had the DVD for the better part of a year and everything! And I have still not watched Richard II (I’ve started it about three times and kept getting bored and stopping, but now I know it gets properly good, I shall be watching it soon). I have, however, now watched the Henry IVs and Henry V.

I think Simon Russell Beale is great. I’ve seen him in quite a few things at the National over the years, and he’s always tops. I have to say, however, that I did not enjoy his Falstaff. I almost said he was too seedy, too craven, but of course that’s just Falstaff: what he wasn’t, was charming. He was a rogue, but not a particularly loveable one. I felt that spoiled the dynamic between Hal and Falstaff, because you couldn’t really see why Hal was so fond of him, and lacking that affection, I think Hal came across as a slightly crueller character. That said, I thought Jeremy Irons was brilliant as Henry IV, and the relationship between Henry and Hal was much more affecting than I’ve seen before. Loved John of Lancaster, as usual. Returning to Falstaff, again, that scene at the end of Part 2 (“I know thee not, old man.”), which I almost feel is one of the most tragic lines in Shakespeare, lost a lot of its impact because of my lack of sympathy for Falstaff; frankly, I just wanted Hal to ditch him.

Moving onto Henry V. Oh, Henry V. Well, they sucked 95% of the fun out of that, didn’t they? I thought the acting was great, Tom Hiddleston really pulled it off, Anton Lesser was great as Exeter, I loved the way they chose to do the Crispin’s Day speech, Catherine and Alice and the comedy French is always a delight; but they made some very weird production choices, I thought. I was sad to lose the Southampton section, though I can see why it would be an easy option to chop for time constraints. They cut out everything that was remotely comic (excepting the first scene with Catherine and Alice, which they basically have to keep because otherwise you don’t even know who she is, and a bit of Bardolph/Pistol/Nym). Inevitably, the live action renders the Chorus a tad superfluous, so that what is genuinely quite powerful on the stage becomes voice-over fluff on the screen.

For me, however, the main thing that just confused me was the way they cut out the section with the boys being killed. Except, they didn’t cut it all out. So, Henry has this wonderful, outraged speech that is a reaction to this terrible act by the French soldiers, and Tom Hiddleston delivered it so well, EXCEPT that they cut out the boys being killed so the speech ends up being a reaction to – what? – a couple of French soldiers riding along a hill a mile away? It’s ridiculous, completely disproportionate and makes Henry look like a bit of a dick because then his army is just killing prisoners with zero moral high ground. So weird, especially because it felt like they had really set up to kill at least one boy, and then that plotline fizzled out and, as a viewer, I felt completely wrong-footed.

Has everyone else watched these? Thoughts? Feelings?
chaletian: (spock fucking serious)
Jizzy fucking Chrizzy, will someone please just shoot Osborne. He’s such a fucking tosspot. Please explain to me, Georgie, what the fuck is the point of forcing a whole load of people to go to a Jobcentre every single day. Oh no, wait, there is no point, plus I find it hard to imagine that Jobcentres these days are actually staffed to be able to cope with that level of activity. Just a stupid way of punishing people who can’t get a job. Vile. This Government’s obsession with vilifying the unemployed and in fact anyone who needs any kind of benefit (despite the cold, hard fact that the countless number of people on minimum wage are not in fact making a living wage) is revolting, and the way the majority of the media seem to be playing along with it is doubly so.

In other, more localised news, I had precisely zero 3G this morning (not exactly a surprise) and a similar level of mobile service. So, thanks Orange/EE. Shit as ever. I spent half my way into work trying to text Katie to ask her to take some chicken out of the freezer; will now have to revisit dinner plans. Vexing, vexing. I am so fed up with the lack of service in London. FFS, it’s London. I really don’t understand. I was opposite the Hs of P on Friday afternoon, and there was just no service at all. Honestly, you’d think our noble parliamentarians would have got pissed off to the point of getting it fixed by now. Or probably they have a bubble of wifi and are thus unconcerned by the problems the rest of us face*.

Anyway, in happier news, as previously advertised, went to see the National’s Edward II on Friday. Oh, that was good! I can see why it would be polarising, but I really enjoyed it; their choices really worked for me. The staging was fantastic – loved the shack-of-plotting where baronial whispering went on (set in the middle of the stage, you couldn’t really see inside, but the scenes were projected onto screens – I thought it was a brilliant way of representing all the secret conspiring that went on, and the implicit danger of those meetings). Also there was a comedy portacabin of terror which tickled our fancy. I thought the characterisation of Isabella was fascinating – she seemed simultaneously to have agency and yet to be dependent on the man in power, whether that man be her husband, her lover, or her son (and that final scene with Edward III was mesmerising). That one line, “All live to die, and rise to fall,” I think perfectly captures the mood of the whole play and that medieval view of the progression (or cycle) of life: the wheel of fortune, indeed. All in all, fabulous.

Saturday, as planned, we went to Ham House, where it was fortuitously open cabinet day! Open cabinet day is the best day. An update on Ham House (as I am sure you have been eagerly awaiting): the Duchess’s bathroom smelt very vinegary; the paintings on the staircase have been taken away for cleaning or summat; they’d left the door to the lumber room off the beer cellar unlocked so I had a little look round (it’s full of lumber); we discovered where they must have barred the kitchen door to the outside world; the library was, alas, locked, so we couldn’t go in and instead peered longingly through the window; they’ve got a new second-hand bookshop (thumbs up).

Didn’t do anything on Sunday except roll around the sofa like a would-be potentate whilst Katie brought me a bacon sandwich for lunch and squash & blue cheese riz for dinner. TV watched over the course of the weekend included Agents of SHIELD and, natch, Downton. My feelings on Downton:

1. I’m sorry, I’m not happy about Edith’s fella. Very concerned he’s going to turn into a Nazi. Back to the drawing board there.

2. Well. At least Matthew left a letter with testamentary effect, but I still find it massively a) out of character and b) fundamentally unlikely, given his profession and state in life, that he did not just make a fricking will. And, in fact, he says he never has made a will. Not when he became Robert’s heir. Not when he inherited Ginger Lavinia’s dad’s fortune. Not when he got married. Not when he bought half of Downton. Really? Really? DO NOT BELIEVE.

3. FFS. Cora’s credulity and Robert’s blind bullheadedness are really giving me the pip. I harbour a longstanding fondness for Robert, but he is being a complete dick.

4. Bates should not look twinkly-eyed; it is extremely disconcerting.

5. There is not permitted to be any conspiracy against Anna. Unacceptable.

6. There is an unwavering truth about Downton that has been apparent from the very first: the Dowager is the best thing.

7. The new lady’s maid. No. Must go. Cannot bear all the petty plotting and mean-spiritedness.

8. Rose is annoying, but that chap she danced with was A+ adorable.

9. The footmen are also annoying. Daisy, you deserve better and one day your prince will come.

10. Molesley. Oh, Molesley. No words, really.

Also watched Atlantis, which I have to say I thought was a bit shit, so I probably won’t bother with it again.



* Huh. It’s like a little allegory, right there.
chaletian: (percy lj)
Ugh, life. What a trial, eh? Every Thursday morning we have what we laughingly call our multidisciplinary team meeting which consists of the screening team plus an ophthalmologist or two. This is at 8am (which I already consider to be a TRAVESTY). Today I arrived at work at 7.05, headachey and starving hungry (for no reason, given that I could have stayed at home for another 55 minutes, come to, had a cup of tea and a lovingly prepared egg/toast combo, and generally segued gently into the morning’s travails) because I am an idiot. Still, I will go home at three (via Waitrose for a year’s worth of chocolate granola, assuming it’s still on special offer), so that will be nice. Tea tonight (and I am sure everyone feels spiritually starved from the long absence of updates re the Fangirl Towers menu) will be tomato and lentil soup* with a hearty crust of rustic bread.

Anyway, let us return, clawing fitfully through the mists of time, to yesterday evening. Katie and I went to see Rush (top notch – really enjoyed it and would recommend to all, F1 fans or not), then returned home to a tasty pasta parcel. Good times. Also, I watched the season opener of NCIS. I cannot lie, chums, I am concerned about the non-appearance of Certain People, espesh since I have heard Rumours. Prepare yourselves for wails of outrage and copious fix-it fics should the worst happen.

Moving on to today’s topic: what I’ve been reading. Actually, I’ve been hijacked a bit by my peripatetic interest in Richard III, so recent reading has consisted of Josephine Tey’s Daughter of Time, as well as Walpole’s awesome Historic Doubts and Markham’s original article in the English Historical Review** (this can be found online); the same issue includes Gairdner’s rebuttal of the Henry VII accusation and the corresponding flurry of letters couched, naturally, in the language of scholars. I have also, finally, got round to reading Kendall’s Richard III, which is extremely readable and I would definitely recommend it (also Walpole: his history is not beyond question, but it’s beautifully written).

Simultaneously, I am reading Peter Ackroyd’s The History of England vol. 1, which is also enjoyable, interspersing what is essentially a narrative divided by monarchies (arguably the most coherent way to structure a chronicle of medieval England) with snippets of social and economic history. I would definitely recommend it. And tonight’s reading will be the Holinshed’s Chronicles account of Edward II’s reign, so that I am fully prepared for the theatre tomorrow. (My edition is the Folio Society’s, and it’s beautiful.)

In conclusion, ooh, we went to see White House Down in the kino the other week and it was fucking glorious! The best kind of ridic action film, up there with Die Hard and Con Air (the twin towers, if you will, of the ridic-but-actually-genuinely-good-action genre).



* I say soup. By the time I’m done with it, it’s usually struggling bravely into stew territory.

** Yes, yes, this is because I can’t be arsed to read the whole book into which he expanded his article; maybe one day…
chaletian: (blackadder news)
So, I have decided, in my infinite wisdom, to try and rejoin the world of LJ, as it’s really the only blogging (lol that word seems so dated now) that I’ve been able to do successfully. And frankly who doesn’t want to hear about my ever-growing tea towel collection*? To that end, let me get you up to date with my life. Settle down: it’ll be a rollercoaster ride**!

Work

Is exactly the same. Oh, except all the commissioning in the NHS has changed and we have a new patient management system that is for shit and absolutely nobody has a clue what’s going on. Good times. I have my own office now, though.

Family

Is exactly the same. Grandma turns 85 next week. My father’s still in the middle east. My mother gets to retire next December; that’s exciting! My brother’s contemplating going round the world but in order to do that he needs to save money and not spend it all on wine and cheese and music festivals.

Home

As you can tell (unless this is a cunning ploy 0.o), Katie has still not killed me; we continue on in domestic bliss. Her parents are visiting next month and we’re getting the kitchen painted and (after a mere six years; we’re so proactive) we’re getting an actual kitchen light instead of a lightbulb dangling sullenly from that attractively unpainted patch of kitchen ceiling it calls home. Hmm, what else? We bought two beautiful bird glasses in Liberty as part of our snail-paced quest to replace our boring crocks with a kaleidoscope of beautiful crockery/china. To that end we also have the hen bowl and the bunny bowl, not to mention the gnome glasses. (Also, I bought some earl grey chocolate in Liberty that was absolutely gorgeous. Prestat. I recommend it wholeheartedly.)

Larking

I have been to many places and many exhibitions and seen many things. The Pompeii exhib at the BM was amazing. Also interesting were the Propaganda exhib at the British Library, Treasures of the Royal Courts (Russia & England in Tudor and Stuart period) at the V&A (some ridic massive silver, and interestingly the Lord Chamberlain’s little record book thing for a production (poss the first production, actually) of Twelfth Night, at which the Russian ambassador was present), and The Lost Prince at the NPG.

We went on our traditional holiday-in-a-cottage, this year to Ludlow in Shropshire. Had a smashing time, as usual. Saw the Mappa Mundi in Hereford which was amazing. Ludlow itself was a lovely town, and Ludlow Castle was smashing – it’s tumbledown, but in the best kind of way. We also went to Hay-on-Wye, where I was astonishingly reticent on the book-buying front (and also refrained from buying a beautiful tiny jug with a bee and a ladybird on it because it was about a million pounds***). I really like Hay Castle – the way it’s just sitting there atop its little hill, not doing anything except enact the role of local safety hazard. And then we went to Ironbridge twice. Ironbridge is ace. We saw the Iron Bridge itself (the only surviving bridge on the Severn from the 1795 flood), and the tile museum (tops) and the china museum (less tops, tbh), and the Victorian village, and the iron museum, and the old iron forge from the c17th. Fascinating stuff.

Hmm, what other thrilling little adventures have I been on? Katie and I went to Haddon Hall in Derbyshire with my mother. It’s been there forever (the curtain wall dates to King John’s reign), and is just the prettiest house. It’s got a chapel where they’ve restored the c15th wall decorations, and they’re amazing! It was interesting, you could really see the period’s influence on the Arts & Craftsy designs (and also, speaking of, the influence of the art in Pompeii on – of course – Adam’s designs of the c18th (cf the deliberate imitation in the Etruscan room at Osterley Park) but also on some of the motifs of later Victorian art).

Katie and I went to Osterley with Katherine the other weekend, largely, I cannot lie, in order to buy a marrow which, per autumnal tradition, we later stuffed with sausage and ate with gusto. There was a mini exhib about the East India Company (the Childs family, which owned Osterley, was heavily involved), and the amount of money they made was absolutely ridic! There was a room pretending to be a merchant ship, and we wore high-larious sailor hats while poring over an c18th merchant map. In the bookshop between Osterley and the Great West Road I purchased a book about Edward IV and another about Roger Mortimer.

Let’s see, what else? We walked a bit of the Thames path, between Ham House and Hampton Court, and saw many a crenellated building; also the remains of the medieval Kingston Bridge underneath John Lewis.

Theatre

After a couple of lacklustre theatre years, we have kind of gone all out on the theatre this year, so I’ve seen lots of things. The Globe season has, as usual, been excellent. I loved Macbeth (we’re going to see it again next week), and Dream was excellent. Also enjoyed Bluestockings (with a couple of reservations) and Lightning Child (even though I remain a bit confused by it all!). I was delighted by the Henry VIs – part 2 in particular was amazingly good. I do love a history play.

General thumbs up for the Michael Grandage season. We missed Privates on Parade, but saw Peter and Alice and The Cripple of Inishmaan, and are going to see Dream shortly; also, I need to get around to booking Henry V.

We went to Bath (lovely day out) to see Jamie in Candida, which was very enjoyable. You can’t go wrong with a bit of Shaw, I always say. Enjoyed Othello at the National (far more than Hamlet, I have to say; a far more convincing production). We’re going to see their Edward II on Friday, which I am looking forward to.

I have also expanded my cultural horizons and been to the ballet a lot more. Seen some good things at the ROH, but the highlight has to be the Canadian National Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet at Sadler’s Wells – I really loved that. Prokofiev’s score is basically the best thing ever. Going to see the ROH’s version in November, so will be interesting to see how they compare.

TV

What is life without TV? A barren, featureless wasteland is what. A few things I have watched:

All of Justified. Amazingly awesome and hilarious. Can’t wait for January!

Hannibal. OH MY GOD WILL GRAHAM! OH MY GOD HANNIBAL IS THE WORST!****

The White Queen. I can overlook many, many anachronisms, but giving Elizabeth fricking Woodville a French manicure is surely gratuitously evil? What even? Still, Richard and Anne were adorable. I haven’t been able to watch the end because I know how it ends. :’( [Historical sidebar: leaving aside objective questions as to whether Richard did usurp the throne or was justified, he must surely have felt that God was not on his side, what with his son dying and then his wife dying and everything going to shit.]

Peaky Blinders & Sleepy Hollow. These are both new and I am enjoying them in different ways.

Downton. That is all.





* Ha. Joke. We have an extremely strict one-in-one-out tea towel policy at Fangirl Towers.

** No, it won’t. Literally nothing has changed in my life.

*** Exaggeration.

**** 100% accurate summary of season one.

Things.

Nov. 3rd, 2011 06:41 pm
chaletian: (and and bee)
1. This post made me happy.

2. K and I went to see Tinker Tailor yesterday. VG.

3. So, I found my copy of Evelyn Finds Herself (on my bookcase). With that success behind me, have I lent anyone my copy of The New School and Hilary? Can't find that either...

4. I am selling some books. Buy them!

GGBP - Falconer's Lure, Antonia Forest - excellent condition - £40
Greyladies - Twice Dead, EM Channon - excellent condition - £7
Charlotte Sometimes, Penelope Farmer - HB/dw in vg condition - £4
The Parrot and Other Poems - PG Wodehouse - HB/dw in vg condition (collection of PGW poetry) - £5

PBs in vg condition (unless otherwise stated) £1 each: Willard Price - Gorilla, Amazon, Diving, African, Arctic, Cannibal, Lion Adventures; MC Beaton - Sick of Shadows, Hasty Death, Our Lady of Pain (the Edwardian Lady Rose series); Noel Streatfeild - Gemma, Gemma and Sisters, Goodbye Gemma (all good, 50p); Meg Rosoff - How I Live Now; EBD - Chalet School Fete (80s white spine ed).

P&P extra. Post or email me if you're interested.

5. Merlin spoilers )
chaletian: (oth brooke)
Dear Mark Schwahn,

This is what I would like to see in the last series of One Tree Hill:

1. A ridiculous future episode, where Lily, Jamie, Madison, Chuck, Sawyer etc are the angsty teens. Jamie wearing the Scott Body Shop hoodie is a must.

2. A ridiculous musical episode. Why hasn’t this happened yet? Inexplicable.

3. A ridiculous amnesia event (possibly Nathan thinking he’s about fifteen again, for maximum angst/lolz). Why hasn’t this happened yet either? Also inexplicable.

4. A ridiculous coma event. Possibly to precede the ridiculous amnesia event. (Clay, I am afraid, was not suitably dramatic in this role.)

5. Spirit-guide!Keith. You know you want to.

6. For Dan and Nathan to reconcile tentatively then moments later Dan to sacrifice his life to save someone else. Both dramatic and karmic, plus we can all shed a tiny vicarious tear for Nathan. (Also, more Dan generally. There is not enough Dan.)

7. Alex to find someone better than Chase.

8. Hilarious hijinks from Julian’s and Brooke’s mothers, possibly involving losing their grandchildren (temporarily).

9. An, as usual, hilariously ridiculous and beautiful wedding for Quinn and Clay (don’t pretend it’s not on the cards).

10. A finale that is befitting the full glory of One Tree Hill. This will be the one where Dan dies. There might be zombies. There will be some sort of gathering at the river court (maybe after Dan’s funeral). Quite possibly Nathan and Lucas will play a bit of one-on-one (in suits, natch), because, of course, Lucas and Peyton will return, along with Karen, spiritguide!Keith, Grandma Deb, and anyone else who’s been misplaced. There will be loveliness and a spot of weepiness (not just after Dan tragically dies only moments after reconciling with Nathan). Karen’s Café will, again, be used heavily as a motif for community cohesion. Haley will sing. Jamie will have a few words of wisdom. Brooke will be awesome. Julian will be adorable. Nathan will be noble. Chester will be fluffy.

This is all. Thank you.

Love, Laura
chaletian: (Default)
Why have One Tree Hill and Nikita not been renewed yet? I mean, obviously I get One Tree Hill (though IMO it should last FOREVER and also have more Evil!Dan Scott) even though surely, surely, Katie and I cannot be the only people who love it so much. But Nikita? C'mon, chaps, it's been excellent. I want another series!!

In other news: OF COURSE RORY POND IS THE PRETTY ONE!!! ♥
chaletian: (Default)
LOL at The Shadow Line: "I am on foot! I am on foot! Typical British fucking car chase!"

In other TV news:

Nikita - this series has been really awesome - so much better than I anticipated. The last couple of episodes!!! :O

Game of Thrones - watched the first couple of eps and actually quite enjoying it. It's like imaginary history! I approve. Also, there's a little girl who's made of win.

NCIS - not sure why I'm still bothering.

Hawaii Five-0 - What. The. Fuck?
chaletian: (buzzcocks reading chantelle)
How have I never watched Veronica Mars before now? I love it!
chaletian: (Default)

Helen and Carolyn: Pillars of the Earth started on Saturday on C4. I imagine the first ep will be on 4OD. VG.

chaletian: (Default)
I'm so excited about Pillars of the Earth being on TV! I read it in my mid teens (about the same time I read things like Scarlett and The Far Pavilions - the only time in my life I've been prepared to spend more than a day or two on a work of fiction), and loved it so, so much. And now it's on TV!
chaletian: (being human)
Jizzy Chrizzy, I can't believe I subjected you all to such an epic essay on my transport decision-making! Ah well.

So, Saturday, eh? Well, I've been at work for most of today, trying to make sense of some foul research data that just made me want to kill people. And then I had a bit of a methodology crisis which I need to discuss with Prof, which made the whole exercise a bit redundant, so boo swizz, basically. Now I'm trying to copy all my music to my new laptop so I can actually sync my ipod. I am also doing some laundry. You can't say I don't know how to live it up.

In other news:

- FT smells of bacon.
- OMG the fig jam I made is SO TASTY LIEK WOAH. Mixed with yogurt, it's my new favourite pudding.
- Fig man was not in Tooting today. Hopefully he will be back on Monday.
- [livejournal.com profile] balooky: you have one birthday present so far.
- It's time for me to hit the board up for money for hosting. Ugh. Hate it.
- I'm actually quite liking Nikita, but I'm struggling with Shane West as Michael - not because he's bad, but because he really reminds me of Austin Nichols, and the idea of Julian as a super-secret assassin is a bit hilarious.
- A confession: I do actually and really love One Tree Hill. Not even ironically any more. (Though I'm hoping Evil!Dan Scott will return, because that's OTH gold, right there.)
- Supernatural Season 6: not quite completely shit. Frankly, that's an post-apocalyptic angel miracle in itself.
- Went to Brownies, which is always a tiny bit hilarious. News from the front: (a) Elves won the quiz; (b) I now know more about Dutch Brownies than I did before.
- The Dutch equivalent of Brownieland is Bambilie.
- I am going to see My Chemical Romance in a couple of weeks. Actually quite excited about it. Na na na na na na na na na na na na na...
- Board meeting on Monday morning. Hopefully it will be good - plenty of reporting done for them, I've done all my action points from the minutes, we've got a new programme manager who might actually be half way decent, we're coming closer to resolving our prison screening situation; things are looking up.
- On account of board meeting, I have been devising a new transport plan. Oh yes. Usually, of course, I just get the 493 as far as Wimbledon, but this time, with my travelcard, I thought I might change it up a bit. 337 to East Putney then the District line to Wimbledon, anyone? Sexy, don't you think?
- I bought Gizzi Erskine's cookbook a few weeks ago, and have already cooked three things out of it (southern fried chicken, salmon and pea spag thing (tea tonight, nomnomnom), and passion fruit pudding - all very tasty) - this may be a recipe book record for me.
- Also made crumble out of some quince, but I think I might've been better just making jelly out of it. It was a bit too aromatic for normal consumption, and also a bit gritty, so I should probably have prepared it more carefully. Still, fairly tasty and an interesting culinary experience.
- FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGS.
- Also, Merlin tonight! With Arthur and Gwen hugging! Be still my shippy heart!
- Downton Abbey. Oh, Downton Abbey. A tiny bit ridic, but I'm rather loving it anyway.
- I have a voucher thing for tea at the Ritz. Must actually book a table. I love tea.
chaletian: (buffy british summer)
I CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVEN'T LJED IN SO LONG! I am genuinely shocked by my own lacksadaisical approach at telling you about what I've been doing. SHOCKED. GENUINELY. So, in the seven minutes available before the Lego Head Man lets out his traditional plaintive cry that dinner (in today's case, chicken cacciatore à la Nigella - tasty tasty) is ready to be fettled, I shall update you.

This is, of course, hampered by the fact that I can't remember what I've been doing.

♥ WEDDING! Jess got married to Douglas in the darkest depths of Gloucestershire, and I, along with Katie, Pim and Katherine, went to watch. It was really nice, and we saw various people, and Megan and Hannah were bridesmaids and supercute (they went off rollicking on the grass at the reception place and in their white dresses and Megan's hair up like a little C17th girl, they did look like they belonged in a timeslip story). So, wedding was good, speeches were very good (Jess, I love you and your mother forever for both doing one), realising that the Kate and Fliss I'd been talking were in fact [livejournal.com profile] chiasmata (well, Kate was), which fact apparently everyone else knew, was VERY EMBARRASSING but tant pis. Plus Travelodge/Little Chef hilarity, SO MANY TAXIS, and CELIA IMRIE being awesome. A good weekend.

♥ Our balcony garden is not yet dead. I know. We're amazed too. In fact, it's thriving: herbs are merrily growing away, we have tiny green strawberries, and our tomato plants are AS TALL AS THE SKY*. There has been a lot of watering, and also spraying of the mint with washing up liquid, as it has traumatically become infested with greenfly. Boofaces. Still, the washing up liquid is doing its promised job (god save Katie and her arcane childhood knowledge), so all is not lost.

♥ I feel I should let everyone know that, when the apocalypse comes, FT can survive for a month or so on baked beans, orange juice and yogurt. But I cannot share this information without attaching a grave warning: don't, when you find yourselves stumbling along the Strand, dodging zombies and trying to scavenge ginger nut biscuits from the bin (I'm looking at you, Helen: I know your tendancies), attempt to breach the barricade of 22 The bally old W. We will react strongly and sternly, and you will find yourself tumbling back down the stairs with the tiny remnant of a hacksaw sticking out of your eye.

♥ So, about that tiny remnant of a hacksaw. We bought a garden cane to be a curtain pole for the balcony door. So far, so good. But we knew it would be too long, so we bought a little hacksaw to cut it down to size. "Hmm," said Katie dubiously, "a hacksaw won't actually saw through wood." "La," said I, ever the optimist, "it will be fine." Came the day, came the garden cane/hacksaw attempt. Which lasted approximately three seconds, up to the point that the hacksaw blade snapped into three. "Ho hum," said I, and began my attempt to saw through a garden cane using the aforementioned tiny remnant of a hacksaw. It was about two inches long. My progress was not inspiring. After a while, Katie came to see what havoc I was causing. After putting newspaper down in a bid to stop me getting sawdust everywhere, she attached herself to one end of the tiny two-inch hacksaw blade remnant. I maintained my grip on the other end. Together, in a thrilling display of teamwork, we sawed that fucker in half. Oh, how we chuckled - near insensate with mirth, we were, and then I said (hilariously, I think we can all agree), "And then they realised they were punching a baboon!" which led to more laughter. Good times, readers, good times.**

♥ In other news, I cracked open my sewing machine, and hemmed the curtain that is to go on the hacksawed garden cane. I also made a top (rough draft with not-so-great material), which needs some work before I make it with proper material. But it's fun to be sewing again - I haven't really for ages (except for curtains etc when we moved in).

♥ Also, I have done other things with my time. I did the Remix Redux challenge, which was quite exciting because I've never done a proper challenge before. Maybe this will be the year I actually sign up for Yuletide! I wrote a Merlin fic which I quite liked in the end, so I will post that here soon.

♥ In other fanfictional news: Chalet School. Zombies. Coming soon to an LJ near you.

♥ Anyway, returning to the previous point. Other stuff. Katie and I went to see Iron Man 2, which I loved because RDJ is the king of ace. We went to a party at Nellie Dean's new house, which was vee nice. Also nice: the gather, the highlight of which was undoubtedly drinking many cocktails (and stealing bits of Kathryn's kumquat liqueur-themed ones) and trying to sing along to Joseph without Helen changing the playlist. After the gather we went to Ikea, and Katie and I bought things we needed without going crazy (the ultimate Ikea challenge). TRAGICALLY AND INEXPLICABLY the Swedish shop did not provide us with salmon paste. We are confused and desolate, just as if a treasured chum had kicked us in our lady bits.

♥ I have become indoctrinated into Criminal Minds. OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS SHOW. I love everything about it. I love how the nice people at the beginning don't happen upon a grisly corpse, thereby setting in train the events of the episode. Oh no. They are the grisly corpse(s) setting in train the events of the episode. Also, Garcia is so rocking awesome. And Spencer Reid is made of love. And Jane Lynch may be the most superdooper thing ever. And Hotch is so stern and so adorable, and Morgan is just so stalwart. Anyway. Love.

♥ People should read this fic: Bredon in Narnia - The White Witch tries to tempt a child of Peter and Harriet and fails utterly. As, of course, she would. Also Rain Check - An investigation takes Hotch into Harvelle's Roadhouse. Because it's so just who Hotch and Ellen are.

♥ So, there you are. The last month or so of a squeenly life. I clearly haven't written this is the seven minutes before the Lego Head Man let out his plaintive cry. I have now nearly finished both my dinner and my yellow milk. And so I bid you adieu.

xoxo, Suburban Squeen ***




* Or about two feet tall, depending on how you view the situation.
** Which no one will appreciate, because no one ever does appreciate our hijinks. :-(
*** STILL AMUSING IN MY HEAD.
chaletian: (life dani)
Ouf! I am ker-nackered. I have foolishly invited around a coterie of chums for lunch and tea tomorrow, and have spent all day shopping and domesticking in anticipation. (Also I went to Roehampton Library, whose online catalogue had LIED to me, but which contained an assortment of other books that looked interesting, and bought a top; more anon.) Anyway, living room and hall are now mostly tidied, I have made our starter (vee delish - always a possibility there will be none left by the time folk arrive), our pudding, and prepared veg etc, so all is going well. I have even written a timeline for tomorrow morning, which will probably be abandoned by approximately 8.03, but nevermind.

Anyway, in other news: on Tuesday night Katie and I went to see Steve Carlson and various other people perform at Underbelly in Hoxton, which was jolly nice. Nice venue with some epic sofa/throne action, and just a nice chilled-out evening. (And chilled out is right because the temperature dropped liek woah and it was fucking freezing. And raining.) On Wednesday night, we went with Chloe to see a hideous, hideous dance film at Bad Film Club chez Barbican, which may have ruined me now for life. On Thursday I had the day off (very nice; very unproductive) and buzzed into town to meet Helen and Katherine for dinner off Trafalgar Square, moving onto drinks in a random pub, where Helen made me do her work for her. Harsh, Helen, harsh. However I was bought a lemonade to compensate, so fair enough, really. Katherine and I ended up getting the 9 to Hammersmith, which was hijously slow through traffic, and then I just missed the 33 so had to wait 20 minutes, but not too bad. Friday evening, I am happy to report, I stayed in and did not communicate with anyone. Actually, I can't even remember what I did yesterday. Acquired groceries, mostly, I think. And watched the end of the last series of Doctor Who. (I love John Simm as the Master. And I love Timothy Dalton being a baddie. And I love Wilfred. And I love Ten and his epic lonely dark angst. And I love Jessica Hynes. AND I LOVE MARTHA JONES TILL THE END OF TIME.)

So, that brings us back to today, encompassing, as previously noted, a visit to Roehampton Library, a visit to Kingston to buy possibly the world's prettiest top (even though I am supposed to spend no money this month) and a roasting tin to accommodate the massive leg of lamb currently taking up our entire fridge, a fleeting visit to Sainsburys in Kingston for rosemary (which they did not have) and pancetta (which they did not have), a fleeting visit to Tesco in Richmond for rosemary (which they did not have) and pancetta (which they did not have), and finally a fleeting visit to Waitrose (also in Richmond) for rosemary (which they did not have) and pancetta (which they did not have). Poo. Then I came home and instead of collapsing with exhaustion, as every instinct begged me to do, I instead embarked upon my ambitious plan of works to get Fangirl Towers shipshape and Bristol fashion. Oh, and I laid the table, but failed to iron the tablecloth. Whatevs. And then I watched Doctor Who, which I really enjoyed (and loved young!Amelia Pond).

But I am very tired now, and so to bed.
chaletian: (blackadder lord)
Ah, the dulcet tones of The Antiques Roadshow, so reminiscent of my youthful Sunday television watching... Not, of course, that I was particularly enamoured of antiques as a teenager, but it was very parental viewing. Personally, I love the old dears who are all "Yes... yes... yes... really... yes... yes..."

Anyway, I come to you exhausted from a day spent largely tidying my room. I have decluttered quite a lot, so I am rather proud of myself. Sadly, however, it has meant that I could not take advantage of the National Trust's (rather poorly advertised) free weekend, which is rather a shame, given how beautiful the weather's been today. Tant pis. Tidy room is more important, because (a) it was a shit tip, and (b) now the weather's nicer, I like to be all fresh and clean.

Yesterday, with a collection of chums, I went to Hampton Court, which was lovely. Katie and I went with the Kings four years ago, but it's different with a small child because you can't focus as well on what you're looking at. Looked at the C17th apartments, and the Tudor bits, and generally wandered around and had a nice time. It closes bizarrely early, though, and I was horrified to discover the "Henry Shop" giftshop had closed! Shock horror! As you may or may not know, my chosen memorabilia is always God's honest tea towel (functional and stylish), and I had, after considerable reflection, chosen the Hampton Court tea towel I wanted to buy. However, Hampton Court has several gift shops scattered about the place, and I didn't want to run the risk of missing a potential tea towel choice owing to an ill-advisedly early purchase. But the gift shops were closing! The horror! What was I to do? Actually, Kathryn and I just ran away to the main shop by the ticket place, which, praise the sweet baby Jee, was still open, so I bought my hilarious King Henry tea towel and all was well. After that, we returned Chez King and had mexican lasagna (yum yum yum) and cake.

However, the most exciting part of yesterday was our bus travel. At lunch time we caught the R68 from Richmond, which was jolly nice, out over the bridge, through Twickenham and Teddington and finally Hampton. And then, oh then, we found we could get the bus home from Kathye's! How exciting is that?! We went to the bus stop just at the end of Kathye's road, caught the bus to Twickenham, and picked up the 33 back to our house! We were home just less than hour after we caught the bus, which, door to door, is about the time it takes on the train! Yay buses! We talked about how exciting this was all the way home. It was hilarious.
chaletian: (life dani)
Given that I have only so far posted once this month, I thought I might make the effort and double it. Wowzers. So, words, eh?

♥ Oh em gee, Being Human. Awesome show. Love it so much.

♥ Dancing On Ice continues to dominate our Sundays. Danniella in the skate-off, though - wtf, people? I am now resolved to stop my habit of pity-voting, it is clearly IMMORAL. Also, ITV should hire me and Katie as commentators because we rock. Also, STFU people when Jason gives people perfectly valid criticism.

♥ I had soup for lunch and soup for dinner today. Huh. Also, two slices of M&S giant hot cross bun in a loaf.

♥ Day off tomorrow - GP then off to Staines to buy ridiculous cheap scarves in the market bit (actually, assuming there is a market bit on weekdays) and t-shirts and cardigans from Matalan. I will also, natch, be visiting the old BFF.

♥ Apparently Wil Wheaton is in The Big Bang Theory again. I am very excited by this. WHEEEAAAAAAAATON!!!!!

♥ Work is still awesome in itself, though we are now having a few staffing difficulties which makes things uncomfortable. Also, mental copy-and-paste girl at the last job seems to have gone off on one again. LOL apparently it's all very haircutgate over in St John's Wood at the moment.

♥ Speaking of, it was Cath's last day last week, so I went out with them all to see Sister Act (slightly hilarious "And I don't even think it's real fake tigerskin!" with a really good set - loved it) and have dinner etc. Nice to catch up, and see everyone (especially Emma and Ben, natch). Still need to organise my leaving do. Will not be inviting Rachael.

♥ Have been reading lots of trashy romances recently and not much else. Boo.

♥ I bought a necklace on Etsy and am quite excited. It looks beautiful.

♥ In glorious news, ITV3 have started showing Heartbeat from the beginning. Oh, Nick Rowan, I'd forgotten how much I loved you!! What with that, and the X-Files and Voyager, my early evenings bear an eerie resemblance to my teenage years.

♥ ^^^ CLAUDE JEREMIAH GREENGRASS LOL

♥ Are we having a general election soon or what? I'm fed up with all the campaign post we're getting at the moment.

♥ In other televisual news, we have rediscovered the joy of Roswell. Well, I say the joy of Roswell. It's not really that, let's be honest. It's the joy of Michael and Maria. I have been reading fic. (Also White Collar fic, when I can find stuff with Neal being a woobie and Peter having to be the FRIEND WHOM NEAL TRUSTS MOST IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD etc.)

♥ Katie introduced me to Katzenjammer. They totally rock. I have listened to their album approximately fifty thousand times. I feel like everyone else should do the same.

♥ Amanda and I keep bursting into song in the office camper van. It's hilarious, but tragically we are the only ones who think so. Nobody understands our genius. WE KNEW ALL THE WORDS TO AMERICAN PIE, PEOPLE!

♥ I don't know how to bowl.

♥ I ordered vol 13 of Fables and am really quite excited about reading it. Also, I got the first issue of the spin-off thing about Cinderella, which I reckon must be finished by now, so surely that'll be out in a trade soon, right? I love her character.

♥ I keep meaning to do a post of women in TV that I love at the moment. One day, people. One day.

♥ I have a diary full of meetings now. It's slightly comical.

♥ Apparently, according to my grandmother, people are related to monkeys. Who knew?

♥ ITV had an ad for a new show with Piers Morgan. Is it wrong that I want to punch his annoying face in?
chaletian: (Default)
Oh, Dr Hilary, I think your feeble attempts at skating will be insufficient to win the day.

Anyway, sit down, everyone, there's a sorry story to tell. I made bol tonight and (ein minuten, let me have a little shudder) I forgot to add a bay leaf. Truly, Katie is sadly neglected. Plus she did all the cleaning and I sat and read a trashy romance. *shrugs*

Work's still joyful. New programme manager, which is... interesting. Time will tell and all that. I did a load of data cleansing on Saturday, which was actually quite satisfying, then went on to Pim's for a partay, at which I consumed more gin than was advisable. Katie and I then got several buses home across south London, which is always quite entertaining.

Also, last week, we went to see Cobra Starship! Woo! Hilariously awesome yet again, and got to have chatty fandom

(Interrupted to swear at the annoying face of Piers Morgan on the tellybox)

joy with [livejournal.com profile] yan_tan_tether, [livejournal.com profile] _emeraldgreen and [livejournal.com profile] wildestranger, and was reminded of my Holmes/Watson joy and sort of maybe pimped into the world of Adam Lambert (there were pimping posts which were a tiny bit intriguing - music pleeeeeeease!) and thus had to spend part of today on YouTube. No judging.

Hmm, what other news? Well, none, really. Katie and I are continuing our plans for a house with a bit of a garden and a giant kitchen and maybe a conservatory and living in Wandsworth where the council tax is less than half what we pay in the goddamn fucking London borough of Richmond. (I think we should have a space for growing rhubarb, Englebert. Also, as previously mentioned, an apple tree, raspberry canes, and a giant rosemary bush. Also maybe lavender, if that is acceptable.)

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] pim2005 makes me lol, and I ♥ her.
chaletian: (glee sue sylvester)
So, I've been a bit quiet recently, and will continue to be so: new job means no internet (or time) during the day, and I'm too tired/have too much stuff to do in the evenings. Or something. Anyway, meme! (Saving me from having to actually structure my thoughts or my head in any way.)

You know how sometimes people on your friends list post about stuff going on in their lives, and all of a sudden you think "Wait a minute? Since when were they working THERE? Since when were they dating HIM/HER? Since when???" And then you wonder how you could have missed all that seemingly pretty standard information, but somehow you feel too ashamed to ask for clarification because it seems like info you should already know? It happens to all of us sometimes.

Please copy the topics below, erase my answers and put yours in their place, and then post it in your journal! Please elaborate on the questions that would benefit from elaboration. One-word answers seldom help anyone out.


1. First name: Laura/Liss/Squeen/Miss Laura/whatever.

2. Age: 29 (fuck me, when did that happen?)

3. Location: London. Woo. I love London liek woah. I've lived here for just over nine years. More specifically, I live sort of on the Barnes/East Sheen border (like such a thing exists...)

4. Occupation: I work in healthcare, and mostly faff on computers in a nonchalant auditing kind of way.

5. Partner: Meh. I am a lone wolf. A LONE WOLF, people. Also a functional mute*.

6. Kids: None. I sort of like the idea in the abstract, but I don't know how I'd feel about the reality.

7. Brothers/sisters: I have a younger brother. His name's Chris, he's 27, he recently got engaged to his girlfriend, which is quite exciting, because Bex is ace.

8. Pets: None. I'm not big on animals, although I have perhaps foolishly promised Katie she may have one real cat when we're old.

9. List the 3-5 biggest things going on in your life:

1. Work. I recently left my job in a private hospital to return to the NHS, which I'm quite excited about. It's quite a bizarre mix of uber-concentration at new things and boredom at not really having a proper thing to do myself. Also, I have no desk yet so my wheely chair is my kingdom. I have good feelings about this job, but I seem to be getting up very early to get there and I'm really tired! Early nights for me.

2. CHRISTMAS!!! I love Christmas so, so much. I love the lights and the music and the smells and the presents and being allowed to watch A Muppet Christmas Carol (this weekend! this weekend when we put up the tree!) and going home to see my family and parties and clementines with leaves and just the whole exciting awesomeness of it all.

3. Pop culture. I love pop culture. TV and films and (these days) comic books and all that. Currently obsessing totally over Merlin, which is so adorable. I am a full on Gwen/Arthur fan, because they are ♥. But I'm watching loads of stuff: Supernatural (one has to get through it, after all), One Tree Hill (Naley!!!), White Collar, The Mentalist, Castle (OH NATHAN FILLION YOUR STUPID FACE), The Big Bang Theory (Katie and I sing the theme tune; it's highly amusing. Also: Sheldon!! ♥ ♥ ♥), HIMYM (when Katie watches it when I'm there - NPH, how are you so awesome?), NCIS (although Ziva seems to have gone quite bland these days), NCIS LA for the lolz, and probably random other crap too. Oh, TV... ♥

4. Katie, Katie, Katie, my tiny darling. Katie (as I can't imagine people haven't guessed) is my flatmate and WAS PUT ON THIS EARTH PURELY TO STOP ME KILLING MYSELF FROM MY OWN STUPIDITY. That is all. And she totally gives me all the attention I need (A LOT), which makes me happy. And she is full of win and comic genius and is a SKY FAIRY!!!!!!

5. My hair. Of course. I think the roots need dying again and my fringe needs a trim, but my hair's generally so amazingly good at the moment I'm scared to do it myself. Hmm. Quandary.

10. Parents. My parents are brilliant and very funny, and also incredibly annoying and spesh. My mother went to Abbeydale Girls' Grammar, and my father went to Abbeydale Boys' Grammar, and they met in the sixth form, started going out, went to university together and got married. My father likes going out walking. My mother has this thing for ironing. When Katie's parents have dinner with us, it's very chilled and laid back and nice. When my parents have dinner with us, there's lots of talking loudly and being ridiculous and taking the piss out of everyone and everyone being drama queens (mostly my father).

11. Who are some of your closest friends? Well, if we take a list and organise it from 1 to 10, where 1 is my best friend and 10 is someone I secretly hate... Quelle ridiculous question. [livejournal.com profile] weird_bird is my BFF. [livejournal.com profile] katie__pillar is the tiny flickering light in the otherwise tragic gloom of my soulless existence. I have lots of other chums too, all of whom are ace, otherwise I would not be friends with them, as I am a bitch, and do not really make any effort to be friends with people who aren't ace.


* That is a hilarious NCIS joke.
chaletian: (p+p mr collins shelves)
OH MY GOD, WHY AM I ALWAYS SO STUPID? WHY? I need to be in bed and asleep now because of getting up at some godawful hour tomorrow to go to Sheffield pour visiter la grandmère, except there's an awful lot of faffing going on, and we watched Bones and Supernatural when Katie got back from Brownies. Firstly, can someone please to be explaining to me a spoilery thing )? I do not understand. Also, I want to write fic RIGHT NOW with Jo finding Dean/Jo porn online, not to mention the Merlin fic I got three-quarters of the way through today, and the Dean/Jo fic I've been messing around with for the last month or so. CAN'T SLEEP, FIC WILL EAT ME. Actually, it's more CAN'T SLEEP, WILL NOT GET UP IN TIME.

I LOVE TV. I LOVE FIC. I LOVE THE INTERNET. I LOVE THAT RPATTZ DOES NOT BOTHER TO WASH BEFORE PIMPING THE NEW TWILIGHT FILM AND THE GFY GIRLS SEEM TO HAVE GIVEN UP ON HIM. I LOVE JIM PARSONS ON CONAN O'BRIAN. I LOVE THE STUPID CHEESY OPENING CREDITS FROM LAST WEEK'S SUPERNATURAL. I LOVE THAT A ONE SECOND SNIPPET FROM A MERLIN TRAILER MADE THE CAMELOT_LOVE COMM EXPLODE. I LOVE THAT BOOTH COULDN'T SHOOT STRAIGHT (HEH). OMG, HOW IS THE WORLD SO AWESOME?!

June 2016

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