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 [ profile] swisstone and [ 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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May morning

Monday, 1 May 2006 07:58
strange_complex: (Wicker Man sunset)
We totally made it through the night: me and Spiky Neil playing Worms and Puzzle Bobble, and then [ profile] oxfordgirl joining us for the ritual viewing of The Wicker Man, and by then it was 4am and time to start phoning people like [ profile] redkitty23 and [ profile] stompyboots to chivvy them up and out for meeting at the tower.

It rained, but the freshness was perfect, and we walked in clutching sprigs of cherry blossom, me feeling more alive and alert than I think I've ever felt on May morning before, despite having been in such a state of extreme tiredness on Saturday that I was seriously afraid I was about to suffer internal organ failure or something.

And we had the best spot ever, right at the base, and when the Hymnus Eucharisticus rang out, I gazed up through the rain at the impossibly looming tower, held my blossom aloft and felt the hush and the still and the awakening summer all around me, and remembered all the previous times and the powerful magic of the morning and cried softly to think I might never be there again.

And then it was a damp picnic and dancers in the Radcliffe Camera Square, and some guy taking pictures of me and [ profile] oxfordgirl laughing and waving our blossoms, and a physical manifestation of Apollo, and champagne and free hot chocolate and giggling at the extreme spaced-outness of [ profile] stompyboots, [ profile] edling and Cat WINOLJ.

And then it was home, and crash and burn, and my fingers feel like putty now on the keyboard. I think I may possibly need to sleep for a very long time, very, very soon.

But I'm so glad I did it, because I LOVE OXFORD. And it tears my heart to think I must leave it all behind. :(

This post brought to you by sleep deprivation and Piper Heidseick champagne.
strange_complex: (Default)
Whee! May Day is fast approaching, and today was the first truly hot day of the summer: here's to many more like it.

At this time of year, I always find myself going round singing 'Sumer Is Icumen In', and so I post here the splendid Old English lyrics in celebration of my approaching favourite season:

Sumer is icumen in:
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springst the wde nu.

Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteth after lomb,
Llouth after calve cu,
Bulluc sterteh, bucke verteth,
Murie sing cuccu!

Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes thu cuccu,
Ne swik thu naver nu!

If you don't know the tune, you might like to check out this page, which offers midi files of the different elements in the round, plus a translation of the lyrics into modern English.

Ardent students of linguistics may like to note that there is a debate over the precise meaning of the phrase 'bucke verteth'. On the basis of the preceding lines about ewes bleating after lambs and cows cooing after their calves, it's likely that the bullocks and the bucks would be doing something similar to one another: hence the line often gets translated as 'The bullock leaps, the deer capers', or something along those lines. But another distinct possibility is that 'verteth' actually means 'farts'.

I look forward to seeing as many Oxfordy types as possible at the forthcoming May Day celebrations next Saturday morning. I shall definitely be there for the choir-boys at dawn, but may have to renege on my earlier intention to stay up all the Friday night, on the grounds that I have a job interview in Nottingham during the day on Friday, and am likely to be mentally and physically exhausted by the end of the day. I'll see though - maybe I will be so buoyed up by the experience that pulling an all-nighter is no bother? ;-)

In any case, I'm still fully determined to organise delicious picnicky joy for the morning of the 1st (strawberries, sparkly booze, a thermos full of coffee and pain au chocolat are just some of the things I have in mind: further suggestions welcome). Anyone who wants to play picnics, wants to stay up all night and has a good venue in mind for this, or just generally wants to come along to the tower, do let me know so we can all meet up. Anyone who owns a thermos flask and wants to volunteer to fill it with coffee will also be much appreciated.


strange_complex: (Default)

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