tinyjo: (jasmine)
Went to my first flower show yesterday, with [personal profile] cleanskies and my mum. Lots of beautiful gardens, and I enjoyed looking around the conceptual gardens much more than I expected to - it was like visiting a really accessible exhibition at the Tate Modern. Managed to survive without getting dehydrated but it was a close thing in those temperatures - the organisers really didn't put enough thought into providing shade and drinking water. Festivals do it much better in my experience, with stands pipes and so on. Bought some lovely plants, now planted out in the garden but failed to take any photos. Have realised that I'm really not much of a photo taker, generally - it just doesn't occur to me most of the time. Ah well, that's one of the benefits of going with [personal profile] cleanskies :)

Just entering that tag I notice loafs of word stuff on my symbols keyboard. What's this for, for example: ₩
tinyjo: (who's a rock star?)
Well, so far, 2008 is alright with me. Saw it in over at [livejournal.com profile] coalescent and [livejournal.com profile] bibliolicious' flat, already fully unpacked and looking great. Didn't actually stay up much past midnight - we started moving around 12:20 and finally managed to get out of the door by 12:50 :)

New Years Day was lunch with [livejournal.com profile] white_hart, [livejournal.com profile] topicaltim and [livejournal.com profile] lslaw, which is becoming a New Year tradition. Managed to downgrade [livejournal.com profile] topicaltims computer without anything horrible happening (bar one problem with the sound that they didn't discover until yesterday but has since been resolved by Google) which was a relief. Lunch was delish as always and it was followed by the also now traditional showing of films that I haven't seen but really should, in this case It's a Wonderful Life (liked it) and Monty Python And The Holy Grail (v funny indeed).

Just to round it off, Alex and I had a nice walk back from the centre of town to home instead of catching the bus and then I played Guitar Hero III for a bit, scoring my first perfect - 100% of My Name Is Jonas on medium.

Not a bad start to the year, all told.
tinyjo: (xkcd-21st century)
Finally managed to find the link to the ticket shop for this after a lot of hunting! If you fancy some lovely carols from a great singer and folk band come to the Oxford Town Hall for Maddy Prior and her Carnival Band on Saturday at 8pm. I've got MP3s of the Radio 2 broadcast they did years ago of carols and I love it - it's one of the major parts of Christmas to me getting it out again. I'll upload God Rest Ye Merry for people to sample.

Also, saw this XKCD and had to iconise it. I do this sometimes and the intonation is all. Today it's bouncy and enthusiastic, tomorrow it might be disappointed...
tinyjo: (butterfly)
Driving into Sainsburys to get Pritt Stik for tonight, I noticed a sign saying "Petrol station closed". "Ah, well", I thought, "I don't need to get any for a while" and glanced down at the gauge to see it well into the red! Cue a hasty diversion to Tesco for the requisite and I am no longer in danger of breaking down on the way to Brownies!

Girly night on Weds was fantastic - significant drinking took place, and lots of random stuff was talked. I know we agreed to have another one before Christmas but I can't remember when - anyone?

I'm all on my own this weekend as Alex is off to ATP. Quite a contrast from last weekend :(
tinyjo: (cat don't care)
I see that in my posting fit on Friday, I failed to mention the fact that I did my history exam on Thursday! Yes, it is finally all over and I think I did pretty well. I got lucky with question selection and think I produced a pretty creditable pair of essays and source questions at least up to my usual standard. I didn't end up feeling I should have worked harder or anything so I think even if I only get a grade 2 pass (I definitely didn't bomb it) I'll be happy that I did my best and gave myself the best chance of a distinction I could.

After the exam was over, Alex and I decided to have curry for dinner (well that was mostly me, but he agreed :)). We ordered and I watched some Location, Location, Location while we waited. The doorbell rang, I paused the computer and got the curry and then sat down to a blank screen! Our first instinct was to blame the computer. We fiddled with the connection, changed the wire & rebooted with no joy. Eventually we decided we must have somehow shafted the graphics card and decided to watch a video. I connected that to the scart and we then discovered that it wasn't the computer, it was the scart socket on the TV :( We managed to watch a video over the old fashioned aerial connection but now we need a new TV as all our other tech will only communicate via SCART, unfortunately. TVs have got a lot more complicated since I last bought one as well. Any recommendations? Brands to avoid?

Saturday was Jeremy and Jo Go To Ikea day! It was fun, and productive but extremely exhausting. I came back with a car literally completely packed with stuff, 2 items I hadn't managed to collect (sofa and TV table - the original items I was looking for :)) and a vision of the living room and how it's actually going to work and be transformed into a really nice room (Alex looks at me like I'm odd when I start squeaking about my rocking chair :)). Also, complete crockery set so that all our stuff will match and other miscellaneous bits and bobs which are of win. Of course my living room currently looks like a bomb has hit it because it's full of flat packs but I'll work on that tonight.

Sunday we went over for lunch with Sadie & Tim and managed to get onto the "shocking people with films I have never seen" game :) They were particularly shocked by Casablanca so after we'd eaten and drunk we repaired to the living room for a double bill - Airplane followed by Casablanca. Airplane was kind of fun in a silly way (and funnier by recognising bits from a House ep where he has to treat people on a flight). Casablanca was awesome. I had somehow managed to not know the story at all, just the famous quotes so I came to it completely fresh and had to have a little cry at the end, it was so sad. I was fascinated by the fact that it was made during the war, which to me made it more poignant because no-one writing or seeing it knew how the world situation would turn out - they really could have been stuck in Casablanca forever. Also, there's presumably a propaganda motive in there too - showing an American in the centre of the action, making a heroic sacrifice for the good of the war effort must have been a popular message.
tinyjo: (candle trail)
I'm feeling restless today - not getting on very well settling down to do any work. Perhaps when I've had some lunch I'll feel better.

Had a lovely time at the weekend. Niall, Nic and I all went cheese festival visiting, which was really fun, even if Nic and I did both end up going to get extra cash for cheese purchases out! Still, some of mine are freezable so I don't have to gorge myself or anything. After that we headed back to the old homestead for cheese, pork pie, wine and West Wing - all very convivial.

Sunday was rather unexciting in comparision but I did get some revision done, which was good. I don't seem to pick up on the same things as the people who wrote the commentary on the sample exam paper though, which is a little worrying. Not sure how much leeway there is in what sort of material you can discuss - I think my answers have been relevant to the question and so on but they still seem to be off base from what they're expecting. Ah well, I suppose I'll just have to see how it goes. I really want to get this unit of revision over with though - the Civil War just doesn't really get me going.
tinyjo: (relaxing)
Saturday
+ Fantastic Saturday morning with Alex
-- Discover once have arrived at Ballroom that have left keys on table in garden while dealing with latest mouse.
- Nothing I like at Ballroom
- Roadworks of doom on the Plain
++ Find beautiful dress in Monsoon for party.
- Fail to find bra in M&S to go with
+ Resist buying beautiful sundress that I don't need.
+ Resist buying perfect handbag that I don't really need.
+ Find that alice bands are back in fashion and buy several.
+ No-one steals bike while out despite inability to lock it up
++ No-one steals keys from back garden while out. And they are where I thought they were.
- Decide should have bought shrug to go with dress after all when already back home.
+ Relax with Earthly Joys in garden
- Unconvinced by historical accuracy of Tradescant having sex with the Duke of Buckingham
+ BBQ in garden with Alex
+ Lounging around all evening

Sunday
+ Just enough cream cheese for Sunday lunch recipie!
+ Remember about making rhubarb crumble in time to actually make some
- Turns out [livejournal.com profile] topicaltim isn't a rhubarb fan.
+ But is OK with icecream
+ But [livejournal.com profile] white_hart is.
- Have made some mistakes in Brownie accounts
+ Only small ones. Am pronounced not an embezzler.
+++ Lunch, wine and conversation.
+ Port & more conversation.
+ more conversation.
- more wine. (Note that this is only a - in retrospect)
+ Yes Minister episodes
- Pizza and garlic bread for dinner
+ Veronica Mars episodes

+: 24. -: 11.
tinyjo: (candle trail)
Just had a really lovely bank holiday weekend. I actually got all the things I wanted done as well as a tonne of relaxing, a bit of socializing, plenty of cooking and lots of being very soppy with Alex.

It was so nice to have some good weather so that I could relax in the garden and enjoy my swing seat that I spent a lot of time out there reading. I finished 2 Ellis Peters', a Dick Francis and a Jim Butcher - quite unlike my recent reading habits! I'm now part way through Earthly Joys, another Phillipa Gregory book, about John Tradescant, which is pretty good although I'm not enjoying it as much as her first person narrative ones.

Socializing was achieved by going to see Space Heros of the People on Saturday and having Ian & Ruth over for dinner on Monday. SHotP were really good - I enjoyed this one much more than I did the Port Mahon gig last week. Better sound balance, I think, and more energy on my behalf. Also, the support were pretty nifty, which was nice. I cooked like crazy for dinner on Monday - tandoori chicken, saag aloo, naan breads and cumin shortbread for dessert! I was really rather pleased with myself, I have to say. We got Settlers out, which I haven't played for ages and really enjoyed and Ian & Ruth had bought Thurn und Taxis which was also pretty good fun. Must play more games.

And now back to work. Sigh. At least it's a four day week :)
tinyjo: (jasmine)
Had a good day yesterday. Woke up before alarm and stayed awake reading which was a nice mix of tiredness avoidance tactics and weekend relaxing. Alex was in really quite a ropey state with his cold so I encouraged him to stay in bed and sleep it off while I got up and put my day's energy to work on a cleaning blitz. I decided to get the last of the mud out of the house by washing all the downstairs floors. The conservatory never stays nice for long, what with kittie footprints but for now everything looks great. I always get such a sense of wellbeing from sitting down in the newly tidy house as well - I love it.

The evening was cocktails at Julian's, which turned out to be really fun. It was a nice chance to catch up with old workmates, although I fear I may have come across as too smug when describing my current position. Then settled in for a really fun chat with [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com] and [livejournal.com profile] tortipede which was good - I think thats the first chance I've had to get to know him. It always surprises me when other proper geeks turn up from completely outside our circle - I wonder how many groups Oxford can/does support? The relative lack of snacks even meant that I stayed in calories for the day overall (assuming my cocktail recipe guesses are roughly right), which was a nice surprise. Of course, today is BBQ day so chances of repeating that success seem really low, but at least it's a start...
tinyjo: (me - b&w)
I see that the Truck lineup is up (you have to click on the guy with the sign board in the middle of the page - lame, I know). Most of the regulars are there, although no sign of Fell City Girl this year, to my disappointment - I always like my late afternoon FCG. Still, looks like fun. I haven't been to a lot of gigs this year so there's quite a few names here I only recognise from other people's reviews. I feel sure I do know Idlewild, although I can't bring any of their songs to mind right now.

My plans for this weekend include a BBQ and a picnic. Looking at the forcast, I somehow doubt that I'm going to manage that! Actually, with the remains of the post Glastonbury cold still clinging on, I'm considering just staying at home - I don't think I could face being stuck at Didcot with the railway lines flooded out and given how suceptible our public transport is to that kind of stuff, I just don't have the energy. I guess I'll see how I feel tomorrow - this has been receding so maybe I'll be more energetic tomorrow.

I'll need to be if we're going out because the house is in a bit of a state. Drying washing and tent as well as piles of to be washed and books and all the other various bits of our luggage spread across the place! And on top of that there is my course books and all the post I haven't processed yet - I got back from Glastonbury to find that I have 20 credit points from my first two courses! I was amazed that it took as long to mark my sociology course as it did for me to take and then have marked my science course! Hopefully my history exam (arg!) when I get it won't be anything like long to wait. I also got the sample paper in the post but I'm trying not to read the notes so that I can try to do the questions under timed conditions and then read over the notes and see where I need more work. Once I've got my slavery essay out of the way, that is.
tinyjo: (froggie)
Since Alex fixed the roof of the conservatory I actually quite like sitting in here when it rains. The sound on the roof is really loud (because the roof is made of corrugated plastic, for those of you who haven't seen this) but I like that. I like the sense of being safe indoors while the elements rage. I guess the fact that it used to be so leaky exacerbates that even more. When we have the extension done, gone will be this simple pleasure, I guess, but to be replaced with a whole range of other pleasures :) We've asked the architect to make drawings and he's coming over tomorrow lunchtime to take measurements & photos of what's here already.

I'm just having a bit of a relax, having finished the mad hoover and clean-up of doom, for we have Alex's sister and her man staying over after Ben's gig this evening. And this requires a more than usually thorough job as Jo is allergic to cats (amongst lots of other things!) so I've been scouring the spare room (usually the province of Cassie) to within an inch of it's life. I suspect she's still going to need anti-histamines though.

Currently, both cats have joined me to watch me write. Cassie has bagged a spot that Charlie usually uses when I'm hanging out in here (the canvas bag that came with my OU opennings course - Charlie has a big thing for sitting on bags) and Charlie is wandering round sniffing at everything, trying to decide on a second choice for curling up.
tinyjo: (relaxing)
So, I ended up having a really lovely birthday on Tuesday. As we'd been down to my folks a couple of weekends ago I wasn't really thinking of making much of a thing of it at all and hadn't really made any plans. In the morning I got an extra big hug from Alex and my pressie (which he'd cunningly tucked away on his side of the bed) - all the CDs of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again*! Which represents an act of heroic self sacrifice on his part as I cackle and know the words to some of those episodes :)

Off to work, as per, and I get a parcel. Ooh, thinks I :) It was actually gifts from Alex's mum, including Dance Factory from my wish list, which is one of those dance mat games except you can use your own CDs for the tunes instead of being stuck with the ones they pick, which is pretty awesome. Alex and I made IM plans to meet up after work for dinner at my favourite resturant and then a film. I also got Happy Birthday'd by quite a few people online, which made me feel all warm and glowy - as I hadn't really mentioned it this year, I hadn't thought anyone would remember, so thanks, guys.

Dinner was lovely, and then we went to see Hot Fuzz, which was a lot of fun (if a bit gory in places). Pub, with birthday hug from [livejournal.com profile] cleanskies followed and then it was off home again. It was here that my equilibrium slightly broke because we went down the river path and as we got across the first set of bridges onto the straight, we could see a fire in the distance. Not a big one but it seemed odd. Alex thought it might be on the other side, where he's seen fires before but actually, we got up to it to discover that it was a bin fire. Fortunatly, there seemed to be no fire setters hanging around nearby! It wasn't too big but it was obviously burning away merrily and close to overhanging trees and a wooden fence so we decided to play it safe and called the fire brigade, delaying us slightly as we had to head back up to Folly Bridge to guide them in. Very odd.

Overall, birthday rating = excellent.
tinyjo: (Queen of Cups)
Finally, I have managed to finish my Christmas shopping! I've done everyone, oh yes I have and Mum, your pile is no longer meagre :) Now I just have to wrap it all up. I ended up stashing it at Alex's office because I didn't think I'd be able to bike it home but in the end I could have kept hold of it as I ended up taxi-ing home with Ruth :) We were out celebrating the end of term and talking of Brownie stuff and everything else in the world. We always seem to have quality nights out - it was really good, although probably not fantastic for the diet :) Actually, I'm not going to worry too much about the diet until after Christmas - after all, I wouldn't want to spoil the gourmet feast Dad's preparing for us!

When I was at the gig on Sunday, the idea suddenly popped into my head that I would try to do a post every day next year. Could be fun, although it's unlikely I'd actually manage it. Still, I might give it a go. Something about the Pindrop Choir put me in a very aspirational mood - I was making plans to hand on the cello and start playing the violin again and join some kind of choir (again!) and all sorts :)
tinyjo: (jasmine)
So, yeah. I should actually write entries instead of just thinking of entries more often. *goes to check last update* Hmm, not quite so bad as I thought, but still...

Finally finally managed to shake my cold and am hence in a much better mood. I've even cycled to work again the last two days (still horrible, but at least it's exercise). I put the Christmas tree up on the 2nd, and very nice it looks too. I now have an old fake tree which I decided to replace on the basis that it was getting slightly tatty - I wonder if you can recycle them? Probably not and I should just put it out for the bin men. Charlie has once again decided that the tree is her natural enemy. There is one particular bauble (fortunatly made of cloth) that she loves to grab off the tree and chase round the floor. Last night, she surpased herself and managed to get it into the coal scuttle so that she could combine playing with it with her other favourite game, getting things out of the coal scuttle to chase. She hasn't yet climbed up into the branches but I'm hoping for more cute Christmas photos.

I managed to have a very restful weekend last weekend while Alex and co were at ATP. I managed to paint nearly all the woodwork in my bedroom with the chosen purple colour except for one cupboard door which I forgot. I've been not getting around to this for weeks so it was very satisfying. I'll take pictures soon, honest. I also managed to keep Teasle company (what a nice cat!) and socialize with people as well as watching the most recent Veronica Mars. I'm all caught up now - I had been binging on it and watched seasons 2 and 3 (such as it is so far) in about 4 weeks so now I feel I've got nothing to watch again!

I still haven't written my Christmas cards - I wonder what the last posting date is? As in previous years, I won't be giving cards to folk I see regularly, who will get a Christmas hug instead on personal application.. This, fortunatly, reduces my list to a much more manageable level but I'm still not sure when I'm going to get to them.

We went to see the Prestige last week. Fantastic film and you should all go and see it. I loved the way it all tied together so well - nothing missing and nothing wasted. A very satisfying film indeed. We're going to Pans Labyrinth tomorrow, which I'm slightly more apprehensive about but, based on the Kermode's enthusiasm, I'm giving it a go. Prior to that, Christmas shopping - I really need to get finished off and hopefully, late night shopping won't be as crowded as weekends. We can but hope :) Then it looks like on Saturday I'm going to the Tate Modern to play on the slides (Niall, do I need to confirm that to anyone?), rather unexpectedly! Alex will be at Oxfam, unfortunatly, but it should be great fun all the same.

Tonight is bingo with the girls of OCC, which will be interesting. I've never been to bingo before and I kind of associate it with my Grandma, who always used to do rather well. It'll be good to see the OCC girls again though so I thought I'd indulge my curiousity. Wish me luck!
tinyjo: (relaxing)
From somewhere I have managed to collect a rather unpleasant cold which blocks my sinuses and saps my energy. I spent most of Saturday lounging around on the couch and watching Veronica Mars, which was very enjoyable. I may even be enjoying this second series more - it certainly has less flashbacking, which is a relief.

Sunday was Rabbit Day. Alex had collected a rabbit from the covered market for me on Friday which I turned into stew, Ellen bought pumpkin pie (not rabbit related but very nice) and we watched Watership Down and Svenkmayers Alice. I quite enjoyed Watership down, although I wouldn't say I loved it. I missed the stories they tell each other in the book but at least they didn't make any substantial plot changes (although one or two of the instubstantial ones baffled me rather - like why did they kill Blackavar off? I'm sure that didn't happen in the book). Overall, it felt a little like a summary of the book but was fairly enjoyable.

Alice, on the other hand, I found so incredibly dull that I ended up reading a Dick Francis book while it was on. Very pretty and arty, yes, but no actual characters or interaction. Thumbs firmly down. I also made people watch, in the gaps between the action, as twere, the first episode of Dinnerladies, the first Yes Minister and the first Yes Prime Minister, which is about the nuclear deterent.

I got the impression that the others didn't think much of Dinnerladies, which is a shame. It's one of my absolute favourite shows. Not often belly laugh material but it makes you smile and puts you in a good mood, I find. It's a very gentle humour and it doesn't have a nasty character in it really. I just don't have a proper vicious streak :) The Yes Minsters were great fun, as expected. I think they should arrange a special showing of the Trident one in the House of Commons. I love the fact that it dates so little (apart from the costumes :) ).

By the end of the evening I was starting to flag rather, the cold and the warmth of the fire conspiring against me, but it was a very enjoyable weekend, I would say. I didn't get a lot of the stuff I'd planned done, like going to Halfords with bike and car, but that can wait. When I've got rid of this cold, then I'll get on it.
tinyjo: (who's a rock star?)
I haven't actually written a proper what I've been up to entry since ... looks back ... last Monday, by the look of things, so for the benefit of posterity, here are the highlights in +/- form

the details )

So, on balance, I make that +2. So that's OK :)
tinyjo: (Default)
Hmmm. I have a dither. Alex has got a DJ session tomorrow night and I really want to go but he's not on til 1am. If I go, I'll be completely ruined for work tomorrow possibly to the extent of not even making it in although that seems unlikely. Basically, it's a very bad idea, but I really want to go.

And I want to play with my camera but I'm not going to until lunchtime. See. I can be a good minou. Sort of :)
tinyjo: (Default)
Once again, I discover that eternal truth. Writing documentation is boring. In fact, it's very boring. But, I've been putting it off for ages, and I really should do it. There's actually no technical documentation at all for parts of my system because people keep asking me to add more bits without giving me time to write up the older ones and this is bad and naughty. So I've convinced my boss that it's important that I take a week and write it all up and make sure all the code is neatly commented which is good. But boring. So I take a break to tell you about my lovely weekend.

There's quite a lot of it... )
tinyjo: (Default)
Well, I was going to stay in, watch TV and get an early night, possibly doodling some website designs. In the event, Ian and Ruth's housemates hadn't done any washing up so they wandered over to see me and fortunately I hadn't yet started cooking so I fed all of us with pasta and salad and Ian bought wine and we just sat around and chatted which was pretty cool. Unfortunately, now I am slightly drunken and so don't want to take my lenses out until either I get a bit steadier or Alex gets home and can watch me do it. Still, I stayed in.
tinyjo: (Default)
Seeing [livejournal.com profile] truecatachresis's post reminds me. At the OUSFG agm I was elected Genital Piercing Officer (or GPO for short). For those of you unaware of the duties of the holder of this august post, I am required to revive flagging conversations, the suggested method being by talking about genital piercing as then other members will hasten to change the subject, thus reviving the conversation. Oh, and I am required to help out should the society become boring. So, all in all, not an onerous post :)

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tinyjo: (Default)
Emptied of expectation. Relax.

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