vanessarama: (merlin boys)
The white hot rage of last night has TIM ) I mean, honestly. This is why I normally supress my anger - it's so all-encompassing that it Does Things To Me. It was seeing other people's difficulties in getting this "service" switched off, plus finding out that this company rips people off all over the western world, That Done It. (Google "airg unsolicited charges" - it's interesting)

So, in the interests of determining to be less negative, here's a list of Good Things.

1. Knitting. I began a sock on Sunday night and finished it yesterday on the train. I knitted half the foot of a second one last night under the influence of White Hot Rage. Turns out it's a good and productive channel for anger. It's just as well, because I may have gone slightly crazy with US yarn purchases when the dollar began dancing with parity. Especially with this, which is beautiful yarn and only $12.95 and free worldwide shipping. I mean, come on! I also have a couple of shawls on the go including a beautiful silk/wool one.

2. Speaking of parity, I also went to Fyrinnae, which I believe [personal profile] anneheart put me onto. I love love love sparkly and coloured eyeshadow but I don't wear them often (y'know, professional image and all that). The great thing about Fyrinnae is that you can buy tiny samplers of their colours, only 1/3 of a teaspoon but easily enough to last me forever. I've basically spent $30 and got a lifetime's worth of different shades. And free shipping worldwide over $20! And it's beautiful, beautiful stuff. Many of them are sparkly but some are neutral and subtle - today I'm wearing Atomic Afterglow which is a perfectly worksafe shade.

3. Sharing photos of Bradley James with Ben. Lots of fun. And speaking of cute boys, [livejournal.com profile] a_shot_of_colin continues to be my go-to happy place during the day when things are getting rough.

4. I continue to adore Merlin and have so many fic ideas that I can't decide which one to do first. Although I need to finish the giant KMM WIP first.

I'm going to the doctor today, to get my cough checked out. Poor Rohan is being very patient but being woken up half a dozen times a night is undoubtedly getting on his nerves. It's certainly getting on mine!

ETA: A very helpful Telstra guy who posts to Whirlpool.net offered to sort my problem. I called AirG on his suggestion and said that I did not agree to the subscription, had done nothing to be subscribed, would not pay the charges and want them reversed on my account. He assured me that would be done. The Telstra guy on Whirlpool said to let him know if the charges aren't credited and he'll sort it out.

The AirG guy (obviously US based) didn't even seem surprised and didn't try to argue. I reckon they get this a lot, and they probably just figure it's worth their while when A) there are a lot of people who don't check their bill, and B) they get to use those people's money for at least a month or so.
vanessarama: (merlin: team camelot)
We have now been home for almost 36 hours and the ground has stopped swaying. The trip home was about as good as we could expect - I think I'm actually getting better at this 21 hour plane trip thing. The first shower afterwards is always wonderful! Jet lag has not really hit yet although we are waking up way too early. We picked up Oliver yesterday and he has been punishing us by yowling every time there are no humans directly within his line of sight. He's very purry and cuddly and affectionate though :)

While I wait for my 1500+ photos to download to the computer, I will list some of the things about the UK that struck us as very different to home and which either bemused or delighted us. List made by me with help from [livejournal.com profile] vissy and Rohan:

1. Blackberries (and other weeds) aren't sprayed! In fact we saw people out picking blackberries on a Sunday morning! Here in Australia blackberries are a noxious weed and are regularly sprayed with weedkiller by local councils; you wouldn't dare pick them unless you were very familiar with your council's spraying dates.

2. Sheep have tails. I have mentioned before how weird this seems to us; sheep's tails are docked here to avoid painful death by flystrike. I did observe some British sheep with only partial tails, or no tail at all, so they evidently don't keep them universally, but here they're pretty much universally not there. To my eyes British sheep seem to have an extra leg :)

3. Pubs are actually good to talk in! Most pubs here (in the city, anyway) seem to fancy themselves as pseudo-nightclubs and consequently are full of doof-doof music turned up loud. British pubs are far more pleasant and people even take their kids there.

4. We stayed in eight different places and every single one of them had a different shower arrangement. There were dials, knobs, levers and buttons, but never had a simple pair of hot and cold taps.

5. There seems to be an aversion to using £2 coins. If you got £4 change, it would almost always be all in £1 coins. This is heavy. Also the money is all paper, not plastic like here, so the notes can be really tatty!

6. There are dogs everywhere. Even in castles and historic monuments! Even in pubs! People bring dogs into pubs!

7. People take strollers and prams everywhere. Including up spiral staircases and over very rough ground. I fear for the number of kids we saw who may get brain damage from the banging of their strollers over massive cobblestones!

8. England is amazingly set up for walking, with 'Public Footpath' signposts everywhere, even going across private property. I can't imagine how most property owners here would react to people walking across their private land. Also, most country towns are so far away from each other (and most properties out of town are far enough out of town) that you wouldn't walk it.

9. Roads. Oh, the roads. See, with the exception of Sydney and Hobart, Australian towns and cities were (mostly) planned during the era of motorised transport. Roads here tend to be wide and to go in relatively direct lines from A to B. Cities and towns tend to be grids. This is not the case in the UK where roads have occurred more organically. Roads are wee and winding and may loop and double back, and they are all connected by a massive network of roundabouts. Sometimes double roundabouts. There are also about a hundred times more cars on the road then here. Peak hour in a country town like Warwick is as bad as peak hour in the Melbourne CBD.

10. SO MANY PEOPLE. How do you fit so many people into such a tiny country?

11. SO MUCH VARIETY IN PRODUCTS. Even in the Boots near our hotel in London - which is a pretty small Boots - there were at least 15 different varieties of bottled water and a dozen different flavours of chips.

12. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. People are always banging on about how athletic and outdoorsy Australians are. I tell you, British people, and elderly British people, put us to shame. To SHAME! They're always outside. They walk everywhere. THey're tough as boots. Everywhere we went there were elderly people out for a stroll over insanely rocky and treacherous terrain. People with walking sticks! People with wheely-walkers! Clambering over rocks and up steep hills with nary a murmur! I salute them.
vanessarama: (happy merlin)
This is our last day in the UK! Sorry I've been such a crap updater while we've been here; sometimes we didn't have internets, and most of the time we just didn't have the energy to update because we were so exhausted from sightseeing most days. Even my photos need a bit of setting tweaking which I can't really do here; I am planning a few big photo posts when I get back.

There have been many awesome highlights of this trip:
- meeting [livejournal.com profile] loreley_se, [livejournal.com profile] rodneyscat and [livejournal.com profile] ladymoonray, all of whom have been on my flist for years and all of whom are absolutely lovely
- being in the same room as Colin Morgan :)
- seeing the first two Merlin s3 episodes on the big screen with other fans and the cast
- seeing dear old friends [livejournal.com profile] merlinc and Jo again
- finally seeing a red squirrel! (sadly, not in the wild)
- discovering scrumpy in cider country
- being introduced to bellringing at Yaxham, in Norfolk, where we'd gone to check out the ancestral tombs, and being so warmly welcomed by the bellringers
- two of the most mouthwatering Indian meals I've ever had, both in Wales
- wandering around a beautiful ruined abbey in Wales
- watching the sun go down from atop Glastonbury Tor

Tonight we're going to see The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Globe, which will hopefully be a fitting and cheerful end to our holiday. Tomorrow morning we begin the long trek home :)

<3 to you all.
vanessarama: (cat!colin)
I am not dead! I am in Wales!

For most of the past week we've been in Llangollen, in north Wales, where we had no internets. We did, however, see ruined abbeys and castles; we rode on two separate steam trains; we ate at two of the best Indian restaurants it's ever been my pleasure to experience; and we have seen many sheep. Many, many sheep.

Now we are in Abergavenny, the Town Of Cats (we saw 5 in our first evening here) where we have internets (although the B&B seems to have blocked Facebook) and today we have visited three Merlin locations (two of which were also Doctor Who locations) and one Doctor Who location (they were: Raglan Castle; Puzzlewood; Clearwell Caves; and Skenfrith Castle, respectively). I have over 1200 photos to sort and work out, and then I'll post some of the best ones.

Oh yeah; MERLIN. Was awesome.

I'm not going to catch up on LJ, so be sure to tell me if I've missed anything important, ok? <3
vanessarama: (merlin: slightly amused)
Bennetts Boots are having a sale! I popped down there for an early lunch break and got two pairs for $470. Very indulgent of me but they will last for years if I look after them.

I got these as sensible work boots and these as sheer indulgence going-out boots. I love them both!
vanessarama: (happy merlin)
... because I am using this post to show off my Best Shawl Ever! This is my second go at knitting Brangian. This time it's the large size. The yarn is the Holy Grail of colour, Wollmeise, in 'Ruby Thursday'. No outside glam shot today, alas, it's been cold and rainy all week.



I love love LOVE this shawl. The colour is fairly true in the photo - it's a gorgeous, glorious deep rich red. The shawl is big - it's six feet along the top. The yarn isn't squooshy, but the colour makes up for that, and the drape is wonderful. It's glorious. GLORIOUS.

Win

Jun. 1st, 2010 06:25 pm
vanessarama: (merlin: happy merlin)
Attention Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England: Hamish and Andy are currently touring throughout your fair realms in Sir Vancelot, the Caravan of Courage. Two things:

1. YOU CAN'T HAVE THEM. THEY'RE OURS. You're just borrowing them for a bit.

2. If you see Sir Vancelot or get the chance to interact with the guys, doitdoitdoit. You will not regret it.

In other today news, I was a bit grumpy so I went for a walk round the shops in our building. I bought a handbag. Correction: I bought the world's most awesome handbag. I defy anyone who knows me to look at this bag and not believe that it was intended for me, only me and nobody else but me. It is dark purple leather. It has embossed flowers on it. In some lights it looks shiny deep purple and in other lights it has a teal green shimmer. MY COLOURS. MY BAG. I love it so much.

And in news which will be news to nobody who loves Merlin, Colin Morgan is looking exceptionally fine at the moment. Exceptionally fine. I have much love for the hair.
vanessarama: (merlin: happy)
Crispness in the air. Scent of wood smoke. Trees shading to the red end of the spectrum. Wearing delicious cashmere and wool and silk handknits. Coming home to a warm home, a purring cat and knitting.

I love autumn so, so much.

Herein my latest creations. )
vanessarama: (merlin boys)
It's been a quiet weekend with lots of knitting - I finished a shawl, although I've yet to block it so you can't see it yet. I failed to resist the siren song of naptime this afternoon, so now I'm wide awake.

On Friday I met [livejournal.com profile] tetsubinatu for the first time, with [livejournal.com profile] vissy and we discussed many Merlin-related things (and many things in general). It was a lot of fun; I'd forgotten about the innate coolness of just being able to comfortably rave on about fandom stuff with people who understand. Fandom FTW!

On the minus side, writing has slowed to a syrup-like trickle. It is still happening, just very slowly. I have a kinkmeme fic partway through and I'm determined to not leave it hanging.

Last week I bought two books on special which I think encapsulate the essence of me. They were 'The Letters of Ted Hughes' and 'The Maitland Double Headless Murders'. The latter is poorly written and disappointing - what is it with Australian true crime? There are so few good writers. The former is far more satisfying, especially since I have Sylvia's journals and letters as well. I feel enormous sympathy for Ted; I don't think either he or Sylvia were particularly easy people to live with. What startles me in these letters (apart from the occasional racism which is of-its-time and no less startling for that) is the palpable emotional connection he had with Sylvia, the care he took in his dealings with and about her, and the respect he quite clearly had for her throughout his entire life. It's a bit of a revelation. Surprising to realise that people used to write so much - although I suppose that people who don't have nine-to-five jobs and who write as their profession might have more reason and opportunity to write than the rest of us poor slobs.
vanessarama: (merlin: slightly amused)
1. LONG WEEKEND YAY!!!

2. Rohan took the day off yesterday and [personal profile] true_statement came around and we crawled all over a big map of the UK until we had a travel plan nutted out. WOOT.

3. I went to the doctor to get my prescriptions renewed. It was a new doctor, and he is English. I asked him about getting the flu shot since we're going overseas, he asked me where, and it turns out he grew up on the Welsh border and had lots of suggestions about places to visit. He drew me a little map of Wales on his prescription pad! We spent 5 minutes talking about my health and 15 minutes talking about Wales, and he said I can call him if I have any questions. I think he was so happy to have something to talk about other than work for a bit. DOCTOR FTW!

4. Did I mention it's a long weekend? I have lots of knitting and yarn cataloguing to do.

5. Oh yeah. MERLIN. Silly silly show with pretty pretty people, you make me happy.
vanessarama: (merlin: loldragon)
[livejournal.com profile] doidydoidy pointed out the awesomeness of paragraph 70 of the judgement in Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Limited:

To use the rather colourful imagery that internet piracy conjures up in a highly imperfect analogy, the file being shared in the swarm is the treasure, the BitTorrent client is the ship, the .torrent file is the treasure map, The Pirate Bay provides treasure maps free of charge and the tracker is the wise old man that needs to be consulted to understand the treasure map.

I lost it when the wise old man was brought up. Cowdroy J, you hip young thang you.

RELIEF!

Jan. 7th, 2010 10:45 am
vanessarama: (merlin: happy)
I have returned from my appointment with the dentist recommended to me by [livejournal.com profile] tetsubinatu. He was lovely! And to my relief, I have two "very small" holes, and although I needed a clean, he said I've looked after my teeth and provided I keep doing so, they will last me the rest of my life. Not bad for someone who hasn't been to the dentist since... well, since the early 1990s.

In fact, he said I have the teeth of an 18-year-old. Sadly, I don't have the body to match.

Progress!

Jan. 5th, 2010 08:49 am
vanessarama: (merlin: happy)
Progress was made yesterday. I bought a 2010 diary, picked up a 3-month supply of contact lenses (daily disposables, the boxes are big) and thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tetsubinatu and [livejournal.com profile] piratesorka even made a dentist's appointment! That's my first resolution down! WIN.

I cannot stop staring at this picture of Colin Morgan. WEAR MOAR FITTED JEANS COLIN. And fewer stripes.

You know, it strikes me that Merlin's the perfect eye-candy show for me. I have two physical types; dark-haired skinny pale boy, and fit blond Englishman. This show provides me with one of each, and both of them funny and charming, which is my other Big Red Button. What more could a girl want?

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