strange_complex: (Janus)
The Year of Augustus is officially over at last, and it's time to wish you all a happy and healthy 2015! May it be full of goodness and satisfaction for you all.

I spent my New Year's Eve this year seeing Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Apartment (1960) at the Hyde Park cinema with [livejournal.com profile] ms_siobhan (both of which I shall write up separately), before returning to my place where we were joined by [livejournal.com profile] planet_andy and Mr. & Mrs. [twitter.com profile] ZeitgeistZero for champagne, canapés, a cosy fire and lots of wicked laughter. It was a lovely evening, and has only left me feeling moderately delicate today, so all in all just right.

Under strict instructions from [livejournal.com profile] glitzfrau, we made sure to compile the annual Death List and Scandal List, which we do most years and which I have occasionally published here (example), but which I don't think we got round to last year. The rules are that if anyone on the list dies or becomes embroiled in a scandal in 2015, we all get 10p, though I'm not sure from whom - ourselves, probably. Also, it's fine for people to be on both lists. Re the Death List, some people are on there in hope, others as a protective charm (since people on the list very rarely actually die), and some out of pure pragmatism, but I will leave it to you to guess which. And re the Scandal List, we have suggested specifics in some cases, in which case we get double points if those come to pass, but we still all get our statutory 10p if those people are involved in any kind of scandal, even if it's not the one we predicted.

So, without further ado, and in the utterly random order we wrote them down last night while drunk, here goes:

2015 Death List
Prince Philip (who has now taken Mrs. Thatcher's traditional place at the head of the list)
John Craven
Ex-Pope Benedict XIV (oops!) XVI (natural causes)
Current Pope Francis (suspicious circumstances)
Elizabeth Butler Sloss
Beryl Bainbridge (ah - actually, just looked her up on Wikipedia now, and it turns out she died in 2010. So nul points for us there I think.)
Katie Hopkins
Michael Heseltine
Kirk Douglas
Terry Pratchett
Alan Bennett
David Hockney
Mark E. Smith
Paul McCartney
Ken Dodd
Rolf Harris (in prison)
Stephen Hawking
Clint Eastwood
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran
President Muhammad Fuad Masum of Iraq
President Assad of Syria
George Bush Snr
Bruce Forsyth
Jimmy Tarbuck
Mickey Rooney
Maggie Smith
Paul Daniels
Any current Blue Peter pets
Mike Lee

2015 Scandal List
Justin Bieber (glue sniffing)
Nigel Farage (auto-erotic asphyxiation and / or found with an orange up his arse)
Boris Johnson
Katie Hopkins
Bono
Gary Barlow
Ed Miliband (turns out to be a LARPer)
Richard Dawkins (converts to Islam)
Jeb Bush
Jedward (it's possible that at this stage we were drifting into playing word association)
Any male BBC news reader
Lorraine Kelly
Neil & Christine Hamilton
Noel Edmonds
George Lucas
Damien Hirst
Paul Daniels
The McCanns
Noddy Holder

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strange_complex: (Penny Lane)
I have been out in my garden doing some weeding this afternoon, and am impressed to find that the top of my garden has become a genuinely pleasant place to be. This is what the garden looked like when I first moved in:



Basically featureless and neglected, and set on a very steep slope complete with the sunken ghosts of old grassed-over flowerbeds, which meant that my poor little electric lawnmower simply couldn't cope with the job, and kept overheating and conking out.

Most of it, to be fair, is still pretty much like that. But just over a year ago, I got my gardener to rip out all the wild brambles and ferns from the bank at the top, and plant a nice mixture of flowering shrubs, heathers and ferns instead. Then this January, he also replaced the awful dangerous rotting wooden pallet which was serving as a flight of 'steps' to go up the bank into the area behind where the shed stands with a proper flight of nice brick steps with Yorkshire stone treads:



So this is what the area looks like now:



There are even branches with apple blossom and weeping willow fronds drooping down from the adjoining garden, and eventually the rose bushes which I have planted either side of the arch in the trellis will grow their way up and over and make a lovely conjoined bower.

There's still a lot wrong with the garden as a whole, but this does feel like a genuine 'step' (boom-tish) in the right direction.

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Oh, FFS!

Friday, 19 November 2010 12:05
strange_complex: (Penny Dreadful)
So, remember how last Friday morning I woke up to find out that my fence had blown down? Well, this Friday morning I've woken up to this:



It seems not unreasonable to start feeling a little put-upon at this stage.

Thankfully, unlike with the fence, there is no ambiguity this time over ownership or insurance issues, so I have already made all the necessary phone-calls, and a very friendly-sounding chap from Autoglass is coming to replace the window at some point within the next couple of hours.

But I really don't have much in the way of spare time to be mucking about dealing with these sorts of things at the moment, given that I have an article due for December 1st and am already working every single evening and weekend in a desperate attempt to get it finished.

It is also galling to recognise that I could probably have saved myself the trouble of this particular incident. I did know that one is advised not to leave even the suction pad for a Sat Nav visible in a parked car, since it alerts thieves to the fact that you own one, and encourages them to break in in the hope of finding it in your glove-box. Given that I'd blithely ignored this advice (on the grounds that it's inconvenient to keep detaching and re-attaching the pad), and given where the window has been smashed, I'm pretty sure that is the story here. I'm not keen on victim blaming, so I'm trying to avoid doing that to myself in this particular situation. But I think I've learnt a hard lesson there. I've certainly taken my Sat Nav suction pad out of the car this morning, and will make sure that I don't leave it in there again.

Going back to the fence, I have made some progress, in that my gardener has said that he (and some contacts he has) can do the work to fix it. He's great and very reliable, so I'd entirely trust him to do it and charge fairly for the work. And I've also established that my own buildings and contents insurance does not cover me for fences blown over in storms. :-( But the issue of exactly who is responsible for the fence remains unresolved - and I'd value some advice here from the legally-trained types on my friendslist. I have found the following paragraph in my land registry title:
"The walls fences spouts and fallpipes separating the property hereby conveyed from the adjoining property of the Vendors or from property formerly forming part of the Vendors said Moorfield Estate or used or enjoyed jointly therewith or with any part or parts thereof are mesne or party walls fences spouts and fallpipes and shall forever hereafter be upheld maintained repaired and enjoyed accordingly."
Does that actually mean that the fence is the joint responsibility of the owners of the two properties which it divides? It sounds a bit like that to me, but I could be wrong. If you're in a position to confirm or correct that impression for me, I'd be really grateful.

If it helps, 'Moorfield Estate' is simply the name of the land on which the 1930s Art Deco houses that make up the development where I live were built. It's pretty obvious that the ruling concerns fences that stand either between houses within the 1930s development, or between the edges of the 1930s development and any adjoining land still owned by the original vendors. But does the phrase 'mesne or party' indeed mean (as it seems to me) that responsibility for maintenance and repair is joint? Tell me if you know!

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strange_complex: (Tacitus on Brit weather)
Oh dear. This is not the best way to start a morning's serious research:



I did go to bed last night feeling really quite nervous about how windy it was - though my concerns centred mainly around the enormous trees on the road outside, which I am often scared will fall over in the night and crush me in my bed. Happily, as it turns out no lives or limbs have been lost, but there clearly is now going to be tedium involving insurance companies and fence constructors. :-(

I've started the ball rolling this morning by calling the people who manage the adjoining property in an attempt to find out who is actually responsible for that fence: them or me.It's never been clear - you can't work it out by looking at which side the posts are on because they're in the middle, and I've been told conflicting things by different people who live up and down the road, too. The lady on the phone didn't know and said she would ask the owners, but of course when someone phones you up and says, "A fence has blown over: do you think it's yours or your neighbours?", any normal human being would obviously reply, "Oh, well I always thought it was theirs", wouldn't they? So I think I can guess what their answer is going to be.

Damn, damn and triple-damn.

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strange_complex: (Me Art Deco)
Three years ago, I had just moved into my current house, and jointly celebrated that event and my 31st birthday with a 1920s and '30s-themed housewarming party. Lots of my friends and colleagues came along, as did some of the cheekier neighbourhood cats, and a marvellous time indeed was had.

This year, I decided it was time for a similar celebration to mark my 34th birthday (which is actually on Monday this year), but this time based around a barbecue and without the period theme. 'Cos dressing up is fun, but you can't do the same thing every time. A man turned up from Sainsbury's with eight boxes full of STUFF at 10 o'clock on Saturday morning, and I sprang into action - chopping vegetables, marinading meat, threading things onto skewers and (most importantly) mixing cocktails!

The weather looked decidedly shady for most of the day, but thankfully around 3pm rays of sunshine started to appear, and by the time my first few guests arrived the skies were blue and almost cloudless. My colleague's children ran around the garden while we got the barbecues going (two of them, because they were only diddy ones), and began grilling the first few burgers. And after that everything became a bit of a blur as people arrived, and handed me presents and cards, and I whirled around the place making sure everyone had drinks and introducing people to each other and so forth. But it was a very nice blur! I just have a kind of vague general impression of being surrounded by lovely people all being witty and sociable and exciting and beautiful all around me, and lots of hugs and laughter and (though I say it myself) delicious food and so forth.

Around 9ish it began drizzling a little, but that was OK really, as most people had finished with the barbecues by then, so we just carried on the party inside. An interesting spontaneous gender division occurred, as most of the ladies present ended up in the kitchen discussing various types of relationships, while most of the gentlemen were in the dining room discussing joke websites. But hey - both rooms seemed to be having an awesomely good time, so that is fine. Then around 11ish most of the further-flung guests decided it was about time they started their journeys home, so the scene shifted again to a more intimate gathering of myself, [livejournal.com profile] ant_girl, [livejournal.com profile] ms_siobhan and [livejournal.com profile] planet_andy, chilling out in the lounge discussing serial killers for another hour or so.

And now this morning, here I am browsing through last night's photos, eating delicious Belgian chocolates which somebody gave me and generally basking in the afterglow of a most excellent evening. Many thanks to everyone who came, and especially those who helped keep an eye on the barbecue, which I could not really have managed on my own alongside meeting and greeting everyone and generally being the charming hostess. I'm slightly delicate today, and unlikely to move terribly far from the sofa, but it was definitely all worth it. Give me another three years, and I might be ready to do it again... ;-)

Photos follow under the cut )

Oh, and if anyone wants the recipe for the marsala peaches we had, and on which I got several compliments, Delia is your lady. I shall be enjoying the few which were left over with my lunch today. :-)

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Holiday!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010 01:34
strange_complex: (Silver Jubilee knees-up)
There will be no research leave updates this week, because the master plan advises that May is 'probably a good point at which to take a clear, structured week off'. And this week I am taking that advice.

Holiday Tiems actually started late on Friday afternoon, when I set off for the station to catch a train to Tunbridge Wells for the wedding of [livejournal.com profile] swisstone and [livejournal.com profile] ladymoonray. I'd never been there before (and of course its reactionary reputation precedes it), but it is all very idyllic and leafy and Edwardian-looking. I stayed at The Royal Wells hotel, where allegedly Queen Victoria liked to go in her youth, but I expect her room was a little bit bigger than mine.

The setting and the ceremony )

The people )

As for the rest of the week, I have spent today busy doing nothing at all. Well, no - I have caught up on LJ, Facebook, emails and the weekend's TV, in between watching the snooker. That is still going on now, and looks like it could go on until about 2 in the morning. Both players are clearly very tense, and playing quite scrappily as a result. At the time of writing I think all of about 6 points have been scored in the last half-hour - or that's how it feels, anyway. But I do not care! I am on holiday, and can stay up as late as I like!

Snooker spoiler under here )

My main goal for the rest of the week is to de-blue my kitchen. Currently, it has duck-egg blue units, bright blue tiles, a pale sparkly blue floor, pale blue doors and blue walls. Even if I liked blue, that would be a bit much. Meanwhile, for some reason, someone has at some point chosen to paint the door-frames and skirting-boards a shade which the half-empty tin left behind in the shed reveals is called 'urban grey'. It's about as attractive as it sounds. So the blue walls and the grey woodwork are going, in favour of pale creams of the type which will complement the remaining blues without overwhelming the room.

I'm also having some local chums round for an election 2010 all-nighter on Thursday, in honour of which I shall be popping into town tomorrow to buy an assortment of red, blue and yellow sweets for consumption when the relevant parties win seats. It should be a good night - clearly it's going to be a very close-run election, and probably also one which has a major long-lasting effect on the political landscape in this country. It's not like the snooker, of course - it's our collective future at stake, not a shiny trophy. But all the more reason to go through it in the company of friends, I think.

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strange_complex: (Me Art Deco)
A couple of weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] ms_siobhan and I spent a day in Saltaire, with the particular aim of checking out an antiques dealer with a bit of a line in Art Deco furniture on the top floor of Salt's Mill. I was looking in particular for a largish sideboard / cabinet to go in an alcove next to my fireplace, and I'd hardly got inside the shop when I saw an absolutely wonderful example, in a golden maple-wood finish with a bowed front and lots of lovely storage capacity. The price was high enough that I had to spend quite a bit of time thinking it over and psyching myself up before I took the plunge - but eventually I did, and it was delivered today.

This is what was previously in the alcove which it now occupies )

Perfectly all right, but not really making the best use of the space. What I needed was something that would look good and allow me to stash lots of crap inside it!

So this is what I have now )

Meanwhile, the old low-level beechwood sideboard which used to stand in its place is now surplus to my requirements, and therefore for sale to anyone who might be interested. It's good solid wood furniture, with a lovely spicy smell when you open the drawers, and there are a couple of pictures here if you want a closer look )

In other news, I spent this last weekend in Birmingham visiting the parents. Mum is still doing pretty well - enough to go to a jazz concert on Friday, have my sister and fiancé (!) round on Saturday, and then go and visit some local gardens which were having an open afternoon on Sunday. While there, I also stocked up on floaty purple skirts at The Oasis, because (despite the rain today) there is clearly no way I am going to make it through the summer without a good selection of light-weight medieval princess skirts that ripple around my ankles when I walk. I also spent Saturday afternoon reading in dappled shade on a deck-chair in my parents' gloriously beautiful garden while my sister and fiancé (!) planned wedding stuff, my Dad made random observations about the state of the world and my Mum sat in the summer-house. It was a perfect slice of English summer, and I hope there will be more in the same vein over the next couple of months.

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strange_complex: (Room with a View kiss)
I finally finished painting the back bedroom just in time for [livejournal.com profile] redkitty23 and Vincent's visit last weekend, and I must say it looks very splendid now. It is the only room in the house that's actually in a colour-scheme I have chosen, although I will gradually be moving more of them in the same direction as time goes on. The previous owners were clearly a lot keener on blues and greens than I am, whereas I think that creams, biscuits and mushrooms are more the way to go for a house like this (a view forged mainly via extensive watching of Poirot and Jeeves and Wooster). So that is what I have done, and I find it much more warm and inviting now.

Anyway, while finishing the job, I notched up one more Eighth Doctor audio. I'd heard the last two episodes of this one previously on Radio 7 and been impressed, so it was nice to come back and fill in the rest.

Eighth Doctor: The Stones of Venice )

strange_complex: (Me Art Deco)
On Saturday, I reached the grand old age of thirty-two, and went on an outing to Castle Howard to celebrate. I had [livejournal.com profile] redkitty23 and her partner, Vincent, as house-guests for the weekend (en route to a Primatology conference in Edinburgh), so we were able to pile into Anna's cute little retro-style Fiat 500, swoop [livejournal.com profile] big_daz up from Wortley, and head off out into the countryside.

At first, we were guided on our way by 'Ken', the Australian voice on Anna's Tom Tom, but he unfortunately let us down by taking us straight into an all-but-stationary traffic jam going past York. Luckily, however, we had an alternative Yorkshire navigation system available to us: Daz Daz, armed with Local Knowledge and a road atlas. And so it was that we found ourselves bowling through Georgian brick-built villages and along sunlit country lanes, listening to The Cure while our hair whipped around in an invigorating breeze, and only got to Castle Howard half an hour later than Ken had said we would. [livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe and [livejournal.com profile] matgb, alas, were not so lucky, and despite gallant efforts to join us were eventually forced to turn back before they had even arrived. :-(

And this was a great pity, not only because it deprived me of the opportunity to lust over their new purple Ka, but also because Castle Howard is ace! It really is a stately home par excellence, with expansive grounds, beautiful formal gardens, fountains, peacocks, endless opulent drawing rooms, rococo furniture, plutocratic portraits and so on. But I think what I liked best about it was the extensive collections of Classical sculpture (which seemed to go on and on in every hallway and corridor), and the answering neo-Classicism of the building itself and the works of art which adorned it. It began to feel as though you couldn't turn a corner without seeing something Classical or Classically-inspired: which is quite frankly exactly how I think the world should be. ;-)

Anyway, a day like that is probably best told in pictures, rather than words, so here are some of my favourite photos from our outing )

... and if you liked those, you can see the full gallery here.

As we left in the late afternoon (Ken still relegated to the boot in favour of Daz Daz), Anna suggested that we should eat out in the evening. I'd planned to cook us a casserole, but who would cook on their birthday when friends were offering to take them out instead, eh? So we ended up at Jino's, where we guzzled delicious Thai food, and the waiters put a candle in my ice-cream when Anna told them it was my birthday, and then returned home to mine for frighteningly potent cocktails.

Presents were mainly books from my family, but Anna got me a beautiful orchid, while Daz (who clearly knows me far too well) got me an enamel K-9 pendant like the ones shown below (just one, though!), and my parents got me a Tiffany floor lamp to go in my dining-room:

Presenty goodness )

So, all told, an excellent day, and some nice mementos of it to take away with me. So far, I'm enjoying being 32. It feels like a nice solid, self-confident age to be - properly into my 30s, in contrast to 31, which felt a bit apologetic about it. It's also a multiple of eight, which I've always thought of as being 'my' number - not necessarily my lucky number, but just the number that signifies me. As being born on the 2nd of the 8th and growing up in a house with the number 82 will tend to make you think...

Here's to my thirty-secondthird year on this planet, then. I intend to make the most of it.

strange_complex: (F&L Geek pride)
I am nearing the end of the latest chapter of my (stupid) teaching portfolio, which is Good News. Soon, I shall be on to the final phase of putting the whole thing together and submitting it, and then you will not need to hear me complaining about it any more. Don't let your guard down just yet, though, as I'm sure that final phase will warrant griping of its own.

Anyway, I'd done enough by the end of Friday to head off with a clear conscience and the knowledge that I would not need to think about it again until Monday, and catch the train to charming Hebden Bridge; there to meet [livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe, [livejournal.com profile] matgb, [livejournal.com profile] burlesque_bunny and her fella, and attend a performance of Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf )

Saturday then saw me spending a tiring, but very satisfying, day painting the back bedroom in my house. And I took it as an opportunity for further Whovianism, in the form of some Eight audios. Something like painting, of course, presents the ideal opportunity to listen to stories like that, because the painting itself doesn't make any noise at all (unlike vacuuming, for instance), but it does successfully occupy those parts of your brain and body that might get bored just sitting still listening to a story, while leaving those parts that would definitely get bored just painting to enter entirely into the world of the drama.

Eighth Doctor audio: Storm Warning )

Eighth Doctor audio: Sword of Orion )

Navigational failure

Wednesday, 11 June 2008 11:34
strange_complex: (Cities condor in flight)
I feel very, very sorry indeed for the bird who left the following all-too-eloquent imprint on one of my upstairs windows:

Ouch! )

I did not actually find its poor, crumpled body on the ground below - but given how many foxes live in my area, that's no guarantee it wasn't there, for a short while at least. :-(

strange_complex: (Snape WTF?)
So I'm sitting at home in my study, working away at a lecture for Monday, when from the street outside I hear a distinct *clip-clop, clip-clop*. "Er, that's a horse, isn't it?" I think. "A horse is going by". That in itself is surprising enough to make me dash to my bedroom window (which has the best view out over the street), and peer out, expecting to see police horses in training or maybe a particularly foolish leisure rider.

But no. The sight that in fact greeted my eyes was a lovely light-coloured shaggy-footed cart-horse, pulling what was quite clearly a traditional rag & bone man's cart, loaded up with old unwanted domestic appliances. (And a rag and bone man, natch).

To which I can only say - *boggle*. A rag and bone van used to patrol my parents' neighbourhood in Birmingham back in the '80s. But I literally don't think I've ever seen an actual rag and bone cart in my entire life, anywhere.

Wish I'd had me camera.

Poot!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007 22:01
strange_complex: (Vampira)
I am disappointed.

See, now that I live in my own house instead of a flat for the first time ever on Halloween, and in a reasonably family-ish neighbourhood, too, I figured I might get kids round trick-or-treating. So I was ready! I had a huge bowl full of yummy treats. And I made sure I left the porch light on, and all. But no children came. :-(

I wanted to ward off evil spirits with propitiatory offerings, dammit!

I guess now I will just have to eat all those sweets myself...

Domesticity

Sunday, 9 September 2007 14:58
strange_complex: (Penny Lane)
My weekend plans got changed at the last minute yesterday, when [livejournal.com profile] hollyione's car broke down, rendering it incapable of bringing her and her daughter here to stay. That was a pity, as I'd been looking forward to seeing my friend, but then again an unexpected free weekend can be pretty handy sometimes. So I've been putting it to good use attending to domestic matters.

I have:
  • Done four loads of washing.
  • Mended / shortened / hemmed five curtains.
  • Successfully extended my Sky cable, so that I can now have the TV where I want it, rather than where the wires will stretch to.
  • Vacuumed the house.
  • Bought some very tasteful paints in complementary colours.
  • Applied them to the two curtain pelmets which my Dad made for me a few weeks ago.
I've now reached the limit of what I can get done in the painting department for the moment, as each coat takes 16 hours to dry properly, so you basically have to wait a day in between them. But my pelmets are starting to look very nice already, and since I've sorted out all the curtains which need to hang from them now it is only the painting that I need to finish. By mid-week, they should be all up in place and looking very posh, and I will be able to shift my full attention to the next domestic task I need to accomplish - buying some furniture. I mean, I'm getting by, but I'm still using cardboard boxes as a wardrobe and sleeping on a rather tiny single bed. I miss the quality of weekend lie-ins you can get on a really good double, and am sick of having to rotate carefully and precisely on the spot every time I want to turn over, or risk falling out onto the floor!

So yes - there is some serious browsing of furniture catalogues to be done in my near future. For the time being, though, you will forgive me if I use the afternoon to catch up on some overdue LJ posts. Apologies for the spam, but they are only book reviews - feel free, as of course you always are, to skip if you're not interested.

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.

strange_complex: (Me Half Age party)
Well, that was an absolutely lovely birthday.

I spent the morning loafing around in my dressing gown, opening presents, responding to LJ comments and setting up a Scrabble game on Facebook. My sister had sent me a Porpora CD from my Amazon wish-list that I'd wanted for ages, so I'm really happy about that although I haven't listened to it yet, as well as a brilliant book on Art Deco houses, which wasn't on my wish-list, but was a really excellent choice. I spent ages sitting on the sofa, poring over it wonder and awe, and occasionally getting to say things like, "Ooh, my window catches are like that!" It's great, and will be a very handy guide to choosing the right sorts of rugs, light-shades and so on.

Mum and Dad had also sent me a couple of CDs, but they weren't my 'real' present - just copies they'd made, in fact. No, my real present is this lamp:

Pic under here )

It's stood for years in a pub in the centre of Birmingham, where my Dad likes to go on a Saturday afternoon to mark people's PhD theses, and whose landlady he has become good chums with over the years. So of course he told her about my new house, and she'd already said that if he ever wanted any of the nick-nacks in the pub, he just had to make an offer. And he did! It's not here yet, but it looks like Dad will be making another visit late next week to help me sort my curtains out, so he will probably bring it with him then.

After lunch, I finally got dressed, and headed into town for some Serious Shopping. Two pairs of shoes, innumerable hair accessories and biscuits and a large roll of fabric later, I arrived in the Swan so laden down with packages I was having trouble getting through doors, to be joined by no less than six lovely friends. And since I'd only decided to do anything on my actual birthday at 1pm that day, I was touched beyond belief that so many people were willing to come out and join me with only 4 hours' notice. I think that's a real sign of being properly settled in here now, if I have friends who'll do that.

Finally headed home at about 7pm, and then just whiled away the rest of the evening eating my dinner, watching House and working out how to use the staple-gun I've bought in order to re-cover my dining chairs. Just perfect, really.

I has a sofa!

Wednesday, 25 July 2007 19:41
strange_complex: (Chrestomanci slacking in style)
Those were a busy few days, then. My ever-generous parents have been here since Sunday morning, lending their driving and DIY skills to another round of house-sorting-out. Since they arrived, we have done all this! )

In the middle of it all, [livejournal.com profile] kernowgirl visited, with husband R and friend G, who had always wanted to live in one of these houses. They were given the obligatory tour of the house, sat on the new sofa, and met Cheeky (whose real name I now know to be Dexter - and am going to ignore because 'Cheeky' is better). It probably all seemed somewhat chaotic to the three of them, but it is less chaotic each day, and I think will be looking quite passable by the time my house-warming party comes round.

*satisfied sigh*

strange_complex: (Purple and black phone)
We're in. Completely moved. We did it, and we're here, and I own it, and now I get to live in this beautiful house for as long as I like.

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