leedy: (Optimistic)
Hello! I have been in Mallorca! I have not caught up on the internets, so please tell me if anything thrilling has happened in my absence.

Mallorca was lovely, with much fine scenery and beaches and food and whatnot. Though I would have liked the GREAT HEAT OF THE DAYSTAR to maybe turn itself down a bit when we were climbing up a very steep hill on our second day's hiking. I may have shaken my fist at the sky, a bit. Though at least, unlike B, I wasn't carrying 13.5 kilos of toddler on my back at the time.

Also re: hiking, a big red flag to watch out for in guidebooks is "little-used path". Well, not unless you like bashing your way through extremely spiky vegetation/slidey gravel/steep rocks trying to find said path, eventually giving up and making your noble driver [livejournal.com profile] niallm come and meet you at an entirely different location to the one you agreed on earlier.

Also A is obsessed with the sea. I am fairly sure he doesn't have the Innsmouth Look...
leedy: (Musical)
We played at yet another festival at the weekend - Castlepalooza, which had many things to recommend it, not least being a half hour's drive from B's parents house. Babysitting and comfy bed to sleep in ahoy!

It was kind of a weird 'un. As Vin said, "it doesn't seem to be really about the music, more about the concept, but I'm not sure what the concept is, other than 'drinking beside a castle'". Unlike its predecessor at the castle, the Mor festival, which was very chin-strokingly beardy indie, this was all a lot more "young people's local singalong indie" and a lot of, as I discovered while sitting around on Sunday afternoon, total shite. Yes, band on the main stage with about eight million people who still sounded like a particularly twee and poorly amplified busker, I am talking about you. And you, band who sounded potentially interesting until your crap singer started and you added that four to the floor bass drum.

Still, though. I kind of liked it. The admission fee was small (hence the lack of big name bands) and it was on a train line and there wasn't anything too frightening on the bill, basically aiming it squarely at The Young People while not being a teenage pissup. More "early 20s want to go to a boutique festival but can't afford/amn't so muso I'll save for Electric Picnic et al" than "I've just done my leaving and want to get drunk and burn things at Oxegen".

And the setting was lovely, our set went well, I got to spend the afternoon swanning around sans babyman in manner of young carefree person, and Adebisi Shank (who were on after us) were tip top. Glenn from Somadrone (also top) said they were like listening to Thin Lizzy IN THE FUTURE.
leedy: (Default)
Yesterday afternoon was unexpectedly, gloriously sunny, so B and Karl and I girded our loins and went swimming off the Bull Wall. I've walked down the wall umpteen times, past the ancient bathing shelters, but always kind of saw them as relics of Auld Dublin, not something to actually use, with their LADIES SHELTER and MENS SHELTER signs and their peeling paint and slick steps down into the unappealing freezing sea. But actually, when it's warm, they're a perfectly pleasant place to change and launch yourself into the waves, and the sea was glorious. Calm and cool and a view of ferries and container ships coming in and out of the docks. One old bloke said he'd been swimming with a seal earlier.

The other thing I really liked, though, was that far from being moribund conveniences that were only used on the very rare occasion of sunshine, there appeared to be an established Ancient Bathing Shelters social scene. The men's shelter (from what I could see) had a bunch of chatty auld lads sunning themselves. And when I went in to the ladies' shelter the first thing I saw was a tiny birdlike old lady in an enormous hat and a floral frock with rolled down stockings, perched on a deckchair and discussing flipflops with her slightly younger friend, who was sunbathing topless and reading a trashy novel. A bunch of elderly ladies towelling their hair and inviting another young(er) arrival to lock her bike to theirs, sure the bike was the only way to get around, I'd prefer it to any ould car, and isn't the sea lovely today.

It was great.
leedy: (Grumpy)
Habitat in Dublin has closed! I am really quite cross about it - not just because I very much liked a lot of their designs, and because they seem to have done it so suddenly, but also, as I said on Zee's site, the closure has taken away one of the few furniture shops in Dublin that wasn't out beyond the M50 and was easily accessible to non-car-owners. Not to mention one that sold furniture that works in small spaces - one thing we noticed when we were sofa-shopping was that a lot of the out-of-town superstores sold absolutely enormous suites, etc., that would be fine in a suburban enormogaff or a palatial redbrick but simply wouldn't fit in our titchy 1920s front room, while Habitat had a choice of compact couches (which, yes, you can get made elsewhere, but for lots more money). Oh well, at least I got my ANTLER LIGHT out of them in time.

In happier news, I completely failed to do any painting this weekend AGAIN (bad Lisa) but did other fun stuff, viz:
  • Planted out my baby grape vines and lavender bush, ALSO more weeding, ALSO planted herbs, ALSO randomly sowed cornflower seeds in few bare bits of garden. I also rather optimistically planted the top of a pineapple in a pot, though that's living in the closest approximation I can manage to a tropical rain forest (in the sun on the front room windowsill, with occasional blasts from a water mister) rather than the garden.
  • Went to see Jonathan Richman on Saturday night, who was most entertaining. Though dear God, people who go to quiet acoustic gigs and then TALK ALL OVER THEM need to be KILLED. At one point Mr. Richman even stopped a song because there was so much yapping from the crowd. Do these people not know how to attend public concerts, or something?
  • AND THEN went to the pub to meet Former Bandmate John and his wife, over for a visit from the US. Much chat was engaged in, much beer consumed, necessitating post-pub falafels.
  • Vowed to do painting on Sunday, and then entirely broke vow because the weather was nice and [livejournal.com profile] inuitmonster and his lovely consort were cycling up to the Botanic Gardens and would we like to come too? Cue much happy wandering, the TRAGIC DISCOVERY THAT THEY HAVE CLOSED THE GARDEN OF DEATH (hopefully just for renovation, where else can one blithely amble through such a fine selection of plants with "all parts: poisoning, man"?), a futile search for a pineapple plant so I can see what mine might look like if it doesn't die, wondering whether the squirrels were being particularly winsome because they feared we might eat them, lots of looking at trees in the sunshine, and the traditional post-Gardens pint in the Gravediggers. Top. Also I wore an orange frock and red sandals and felt terribly summery altogether.
Right. Must work.
leedy: (Closeup)
I went to London! It was great!

We arrived at our friends Will and Mary Kate's flat in Greenwich on Thursday night and drank wine and admired their many nice house things that we couldn't have because they were from IKEA and we live in an IKEA-free wilderness and were very impressed by the fact that they left cinnamon mints in a little bowl for us in our room and then fell into a DREAMLESS SLUMBER. Woke up to a lazy lazy breakfast, followed by a train into London Bridge for a mooch around Borough Market avec copious snacking, because, really, how could you resist the yumminess? I bought posh lip balm in Neals Yard and we ran into Mary Kate completely by accident in the street (because, y'know, London is small and villagey like that, erm). And then we went to Tate Modern and had lots of fun. We gazed at THE CHASM and then watched small children gaze at THE CHASM, then gazed at the Rothkos and watched small children ditto ("Mummy, it's like a picture of a headache!"), and saw lots of other brilliant art, then had rather excellent brownies, then saw more art, then I was arted out so B went back to worship the Rothkos some more and I went to the shop and bought a birthday card and kaleidoscope kit for sister Jen, perpetual postcard calendars for us and our hosts, and a necklace for me. Result.

Because our friend Shane is very organized, there was an actual Evening Plan, so off we went to meet Shane and Emma and Will and Mary Kate in some sort of Indian tapas restaurant (no, I'm not sure what that means either) which fed us tasty grub and beer and thyme lemonade. I legged it to the pub once I'd finished in a panic of OH GOD I HAVE ARRANGED TO MEET PEOPLE HERE AND THEY DON'T KNOW EACH OTHER, and lo, there was [livejournal.com profile] ultraruby outside having a pint and we managed to immediately recognize each other despite having only met once before in the middle of a muddy field. Then there was my friend Sara from college and all the folks I'd left in the restaurant and [livejournal.com profile] biascut and [livejournal.com profile] whatsagirlgotta and [livejournal.com profile] braisedbywolves and much talking and ending up in a dubious Soho drinking den that I will swear I have ended up in on several occasions before, when it used to look even more like my late Nana's front room only with a bar in it. There was drinking. Oh yes. It was a most excellent evening with excellent people. Taxi home and sleeeeeeeeep.

An even lazier and slightly but not too hungover breakfast on Saturday, and then I went off on AN ADVENTURE: viz: to [livejournal.com profile] bextera's flat for a bookswapping lunching gathering with, it appeared, half the internet. It was great - Bex is a fabulous host, I met several of my lovely friendslist (some for the first time) and adorable bity internet celebrity baby Gnipper and many other delightful folk, I ate tasty food and laughed a lot, and (despite my vows not to take anything) ended up with two excellent books with Murder in them. [livejournal.com profile] majea, I will send you that CJ Sansom when I'm finished with it, or bring it to the next book swap! A somewhat circuitous tube journey (because HALF THE TUBE WAS SHUT) with [livejournal.com profile] cigogne later, and I met up with B and my sisters and others in Finsbury Park for food, and then a taxi to Angel for Jen's birthday do in a very funky-looking bar with big comfy sofas and twinkly lights and W H Auden poems written in marker on the toilet doors. Heaps of enjoyment was had by all, despite bar staff so spectacularly useless that poor Kellie spent about forty five minutes waiting to be served at one stage (resourceful girl that she is, she then ordered two of everything so we wouldn't have to deal with the bar again for ages) and they closed half an hour early because they were understaffed. Hmph. A last one in a late bar, an eventually triumphant attempt by B to find falafels in a sea of poncy wine bars, what I think of as an Archetypal London Minicab Journey home (sense that driver had no idea where he was, ineffectual attempt to overcharge us at destination), and yesssss, more sleep.

Sunday I had planned to meet [livejournal.com profile] braisedbywolves again and possibly go to see the Peter Doig stuff at Tate Britain, however Jen and I had remembered the night before that We Have A Song To Sing At [livejournal.com profile] stellanova's Wedding And, Er, Hadn't We Better Practice It? and decided to do that instead while B went off to have fun with art, etc. Due to HALF THE TUBE BEING SHUT AGAIN, I had a Commute Of Great Randomness to Jen's, involving, amongst other things, a boat. Song arranging/rehearsing/teadrinking went well despite our rather fragile state, and I hope it won't be spoiling the surprise too much, [livejournal.com profile] stellanova, to share our discovery that C & C Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now" (complete with moves) makes a very special end to a Wedding Medley. Then back to town, quick pub pie, train to Gatwick, boring Gatwick delay, plane, etc.

AND THEN I went home. The end.

November 2016

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