Brisbane

Thursday, 10 August 2017 22:17
strange_complex: (Strange complex)
The second in my series of travel replication posts.

4th July: first impressions of Australia )

5th July: actual conference )

8th July: post-conference curiosities and miscellanea )

10th July: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary )

In this case there's not terribly much I want to add, as the phone pics and FB posts pretty much covered my experience of Brisbane. But I will just pop up this one photo of me delivering my conference paper, which I was sent by the organisers after I arrived home. It shows me pretty much as I would want to think I look when giving a talk - engaged, confident, enthusiastic. And it proves that I really did do some work while I was out there, and not just swan around hanging out with exotic animals all the time! ;-)

Me delivering my paper
strange_complex: (Claudius)
I believe I may have mentioned as much on this LJ before, but just to reiterate - my Dad is teh aces! When he arrived at 9pm last night, I only had one working telephone socket in my house - a bit inconvenient, since it was in my study, and I couldn't guarantee to hear it if I was downstairs and the study door was closed. Now, I have no less than four working telephone sockets - a little excessive for my needs, perhaps, but they were all part of an old system which was just there anyway, so he figured he might as well reactivate them all while he was at it. I am incredibly impressed at his cleverness.

He also brought a plastic outdoor table and chairs, which will be nice as [livejournal.com profile] hollyione is coming to visit me tomorrow, so we can enjoy sitting out in the garden with drinks while her daughter plays around us. We decided to take them straight through to the garden from the car when he arrived, and of course being 9pm it was dark, and the automatic light I have above the patio doors switched itself on as I opened them. And what should I see in its beam, sitting in the middle of the lawn? A hedgehog! I wasn't terribly surprised, as I see foxes and squirrels all the time, but hedgehogs are a bit more secretive, and I obviously haven't been out at the right time to encounter one yet. He didn't even seem very scared or anything - he didn't roll up in a ball, but just sat there, and after a while decided that maybe he would shuffle off somewhere a bit quieter. It was very exciting, and I hope I shall see more of him.

Anyway, now Dad has headed off towards Dundee, where he will be picking my Mum up from a Medical History conference and then going to the Moray Firth area for a holiday. Apparently the main attraction is dolphins, which can be seen by the dozen in the bay.

Meanwhile, in completely unrelated news, a film of I, Claudius is apparently on the cards. Could be very exciting if it happens, although I may be forced to kill myself if Leonardo DiCaprio is cast as Claudius. As Caligula, though... I could go with that.

Holiday snaps

Wednesday, 5 September 2007 15:19
strange_complex: (Hastings camera)
Right - it's time we had this canal holiday in pictures, then.

Warning - there are 86 of them )

strange_complex: (Cities Esteban butterfly)
So - yeah. Now that I am over the immediate trauma of breaking my glasses (but not by any means the underlying *grrrrr*), let me tell you about my weekend.

Friday night was very sociable - you could even have accused me of being a bit of a butterfly. First an hour in the Wrens with [livejournal.com profile] nalsa, [livejournal.com profile] maviscruet, their young ladies and assorted other friends, during which we discussed flickr business cards, the top three best-known British monarchs and the fall of the Roman empire. Next, a curry at Hansa's with [livejournal.com profile] hieroglyphe and [livejournal.com profile] johnnydefective, over which we talked about academic job prospects, [livejournal.com profile] johnnydefective's naughty office pranks and filmage in general. Finally, down to the station to meet up with The Sisterly One and her partner (Nicolas), who were coming to stay for the weekend.

We were all kinda knackered after we got back to my flat, since they'd had a whole day of work plus a long train journey, while I'd been cleaning the house all day and then butterflying all evening. But not so knackered we didn't have time to chat for a while and for me to give Charlotte an early birthday present (her actual birthday is today - woo!).

Saturday saw us heading off on a big adventure - to Roundhay Park Tropical World! Yay! It was very hot inside, but we saw lots of extremely cute and interesting animals, such as ring-tailed lemurs, bushbabies, lion-faced golden tamarins, blue macaws, enormous carp, bats, striped grass mice, turtles, snakes and meerkats! (*squee-squee-squee*) They were definitely the best - and come to think of it, I'm not sure I've ever seen them in real life before. So that was cool.

After Tropical World, we ate much-needed ice-creams, and took a long walk round the park, seeing people playing cricket, a fake castle and millions and millions of seething tadpoles as we did. Then it was across Leeds by bus to show off my new house and have coffee in Headingley, before heading on down to the Hyde Park Picture House to see Sunshine - more about that in a separate 'films watched 2007' post.

Sunday was quiet and chilled, after a lot of walking around outdoors the previous day But we did find time to simultaneously look at architecture and do some shopping in Leeds city centre. Charlotte got some nice skirts, I got rechargeable batteries for my digital camera and some pretty sandals for the summer, and Nicolas got some good photos of the Edwardian arcades.

Finally, they headed off to catch their train, since Charlotte wanted to be back in London for the day of her actual birthday, and I pootled off home to enjoy the previous evening's Doctor Who. Which seemed solidly back on track after the slight wibble that had been the Dalek two-parter.

So nice all round, really. Just a pity I had to top it off today by breaking my glasses!

strange_complex: (Snape writing)
1. Last Wednesday - went off for the day with Mum on the Severn Valley Railway. We saw partridges, pheasants, rabbits, butterflies, great crested grebe, elephants, bison and gazelle. Although I suppose it's only fair to explain that the last three were in a safari park visible from the railway. Enjoyed a lovely picnic at Arley, then walked along the river a bit, glorying in the warm weather. All the way there and back, I examined properties along the route with a buyer's eye. I can't help it now - force of habit.

2. On that note, I'm still waiting to hear about the house. My first offer was rejected; I raised it to what was my absolute upper limit and said so; the seller relayed that it was rather less than she wanted but she'd think about it; I enquired again of the estate agents on Friday, but they said she still hadn't decided. I do know that no other offers have been made, though. So ideally she'll wait a bit longer, see that no-one else is offering and accept my bid. Two people saw it over the weekend, apparently, but I know a lot of people have seen it by now and very few have offered, so I'm cautiously hopeful.

3. Thursday to Saturday saw me attending the annual Classical Association conference. Well, actually it carried on this morning too, but I decided to bunk the last part for the sake of a lie-in and some more relaxed parent time. I must say it was probably the best CA conference I've been to (out of three altogether) in terms of papers and general conviviality. Logistics perhaps not so great - it was in a fairly second-rate hotel, with not wonderful food and tedious queues at the lifts to move around the building. But I spent the conference dinner last night (in the much nicer surroundings of the University of Birmingham's Great Hall) with a big grin on my face, feeling on a high from the whole experience. There's too much to record now, of course, but highlights were the comedy caretaker during John Henderson's opening lecture, some cracking panels on Roman cities and all flavours of Classical Receptions (including Buffy and Achilles / Patroclus m-preg fanfics), and all the lovely people I got to catch up with.

4. Did some enjoyable shopping in Brum on Saturday afternoon - scheduled as excursion time for conference-goers, but I'd been to all the places they suggested visiting many times before, having grown up here. Surprised myself slightly by buying some baseball boots - not my normal style, but I really was desperate for new shoes by this stage, and I think they can become my style. Also got CivCity: Rome, which I've wanted for about a year now, ever since I first heard it was coming out, and was reminded of by a great session on Classics in computer games at the conference. And I enjoyed just generally wandering around Birmingham city centre, experiencing the weird combination of things which haven't changed at all and things which are totally unrecognisable, and exploring the various memories which streets and buildings threw up in my mind. I'm proud of my roots here.

5. Term starts again tomorrow. Wah! Only two weeks of teaching and one of revision classes, but they're going to be pretty tough. I'm more-or-less ready, but have a lot to do over the next few days.

6. Haven't seen this week's Who yet, as I was out at the dinner last night, and now my parents' cable box is broken! So that will have to be squeezed in over the next few days too. Have been reading people's online reactions, though. It seems to have provoked quite a lot of discussion and some division.

7. I am travelling home first class in the train tonight, because there was a cheap weekend upgrade available, and I've always wanted to try it out. It'll be a bit different from the Severan Valley Railway, where we were in a third-class compartment!

strange_complex: (Claudius)
So, the noble whale of London town is dead. What's more, a dead porpoise was found yesterday on the shore at Putney (I can't seem to find an online source for this Important News Item, but I assure you it's true - I saw pictures yesterday as part of Sky News' continuous live whale coverage).

In summary, dead and dying marine mammals are hurling themselves at our shores. You know what Cassius Dio would say. Get out of the stock market - now!

The next stage, apparently, is for experts to examine the body to ascertain the cause of death. I do hope they will pay special attention to the liver, since everyone knows that's where the gods most like to leave their messages to humanity.

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