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South of North Wales

Here we are, the first of my posts about Wales. Hopefully I didn't leave it too long this time!


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Part 1: South and NorthCollapse )

Update

I just want to say that I haven't forgotten about my Wales pics, I'm just being really bad at finding the time to post them! As usual I took far too many photographs so it's taking me a while to go through them all. I'm also getting more hours at work, so less time to plan LJ posts.

I also spent much of last week feeling like my mind was in a fog, which was disconcerting and unpleasant, but the fog seems to be lifting now, so that's good.

Another thing that's taking up my time, though, is fanfiction. And not just reading stories, which I already do extensively and is nothing new to me, but for the first time in ages I have a proper idea for writing one. At first I planned to write it just for me and not share it anywhere, but I'm now wondering if I might put it online. That does make it harder to write though, cos it means I feel self-conscious about the work and spend ages on research and word-choice rather than just writing whatever I like knowing no-one else will ever see it.

In England Again

I have returned from Wales! I had a lovely time and the weather wasn't too bad. Some days were lovely and sunny, some days were grey and rainy, and a couple of times we had proper downpours but it definitely could have been worse!

I do plan to make proper posts with pictures when I feel up to it. Which may be next week or next month. Who knows with me and my procrastination? Hopefully before next year though!

In other news, Photobucket reduced their monthly rates to a reasonable amount and while I didn't really want to give any money to such a terrible site, I am incredibly lazy and still haven't moved my screencaps over to another image host and this way I wouldn't have to, so I decided to bite the bullet and pay the subscription. But despite them taking my money Photobucket haven't actually upgraded my account and so far haven't replied to my emails so I'm really not happy with them at all.

Birthday Time!

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Pretty good haul for my birthday this year!

I'm not doing much today beyond relaxing at home. Tomorrow Paul and I are heading off for our week in Wales, which should be a lot of fun. I'm hoping it's not going to rain too much, but that may be a vain hope where Wales is concerned!

Mum and I will be drinking champagne and watching the Strictly launch show later, followed by take away pizza for dinner. I feel a bit at a loss right now though, like I should be doing something to celebrate but I'm not sure exactly what.

Either way, I couldn't let this day pass without my epic poem of birthday brilliance:

Ten years ago I was in a fix
For what to rhyme with twenty six
I find I still have no idea
So I'll just say cheers, here's to another year

Hello, September!

I know months are arbitrary divisors of the year invented by humans which the natural world has no concept of, but I could swear that the air felt different yesterday. Almost as though it knew it was September.

I've made no secret of the fact that I love this month. Autumn is right around the corner (or already here if you go by the meteorological calendar, but I'm a traditionalist so I wait until the Equinox to consider the season to have changed) and it's not long until Halloween and Bonfire Night!

Also, Bake Off is back which always makes me feel super autumnal (which is kinda weird cos it's filmed in spring, but whatever) and I'm already lining up my favourites. I love the goth lady who dresses her daughter as a bat. And the guy who managed to injure practically every one of his fingers in a single episode.

Strictly is back soon too. The launch show is on my birthday, which is a lovely present to me, so I'm very much looking forward to watching that with champagne and pizza. I wonder who Oti will get as her partner. I hope it's someone I like cos she's my favourite and I want to vote for her!

Joseph, Codes and a Quiz.

On Tuesday I went to see the new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and it was brilliant. Last time I saw this musical was over ten years ago when Lee Mead was in the title role (and wow, now I really feel old!) This time Joseph was played by a total newcomer, who was excellent, but the main names were Sheridan Smith as the Narrator and Jason Donovan as Pharaoh. Both clearly having a whale of a time! The whole production was so much fun and it completely embraced the kind of musical Joseph is, never taking itself too seriously. I wouldn't mind seeing it again but it's completely sold out now, so I was lucky I got tickets when I did.

And I'm really glad I got to see a production with Jason Donovan in, even if he wasn't playing Joseph himself. I was also a huge fan of the giant guitar playing Egyptian gods that were in the Song of the King set piece!

Then yesterday I went to the Science Museum cos I was interested in their Top Secret Codes and Ciphers exhibit. It was pretty interesting, although I was disappointed that all the puzzles were aimed at children. I had been hoping for some codes to try and work out myself. The rest of the Science Museum was pretty cool too. I forgot how big that place is and managed to spend about five hours there in total.

And last night my friends and I did the pub quiz. It was great to see people again, and we won which made it all the better!

Living in the Future

I had last week off work, which was lovely and relaxing. I've only been back a day and I'm already counting down until my next time off!

Mum's birthday was last week and, as is now my tradition, I locked up her presents and made her solve puzzles in order to get to them:

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Can't make things too easy, now can we?

I've also started my Dark Angel rewatch. dustinw5220 and I thought this would be a good time to do it since it's set in the far flung future that is 2019. It's interesting to see how much I've forgotten in the years since the last time I saw any episodes. More than I expected, to be honest!

The Crystal Maze

As someone who was around in the UK in the 90s I of course watched and loved The Crystal Maze and often wished that I could go on myself. Well, on Saturday that wish was granted as my pub quiz team and I went into London to go to The Crystal Maze Live Experience. I was so nervous going into it cos I feared I was going to do absolutely terribly and make a huge fool of myself and have an awful time. Fortunately that did not happen.

It was just like I imagined going on the TV show would be. The four zones were all there; Medieval, Futuristic, Industrial, and Aztec and we got to play four games in each one. As there were seven of us in the group most of us only got to play two games each. I took on a Mystery in the Medieval zone, which I was very happy about cos the Medieval zone was always my favourite and the game itself was one where you had to solve a series of clues which I loved doing, and I won the crystal. The second game I played was a Skill game in the Aztec zone. This involved playing shuffleboard against the Aztec God. If I had any idea about shuffleboard I might have done better, but as it was I lost 3-2 so did not get a second crystal.

Overall our team won seven crystals, but we had to hand two back over the course of the maze cos two of the guys got locked in. We immediately bought them out both times cos we're nice like that. (Interestingly enough it was the captain and the vice-captain who got locked in so I wonder what would have happened if we'd decided to leave them both. Anarchy I suppose.)

The dome itself was probably the only disappointing part. The fans weren't great so the tokens weren't really flying around, they were all concentrated in one small area. And the whole thing was almost like an afterthought. Probably because there weren't any actual prizes to be won, so it didn't matter how many tokens we got. (Which is a good thing cos we did pretty badly, getting something like 68 or so...)

Of course I had to buy a crystal from the gift shop and I plan to proudly display it cos even though I may have never been on the TV show, I still have a crystal that I got from being in The Crystal Maze and I think that's pretty cool.

Health Update

I went to the dentist on Wednesday and he told me that everything was great and I should continue to do what I've been doing. I'm choosing to interpret that as saying he approves of my red wine and chocolate habit.

Last week I went to the doctor cos I've been having problems with my ears again. He said they were very blocked and he couldn't see anything so I had to get them syringed. Yesterday I went to see the nurse to do that and she said that she could clearly see my ear drums so she wasn't going to syringe them. She said that the olive oil treatment I've been doing must have cleared them, but I'm not sure it could have done that much. I'm also a bit unhappy cos my right ear still feels full and uncomfortable and I was looking forward to getting it fixed. Now I'm not sure what I can do about it other than hope it gets better by itself soon.

Speaking of hoping things get better by themselves, the ring and little fingers on my left hand as well as part of my palm have been tingling and kinda numb for a while. Doctor Google would seem to indicate that this could be Cubital Tunnel Syndrome but if it doesn't go away soon I'm probably going to have to go to a proper doctor to get it checked out.

Friday!

It's finally Friday! Yay! I'm completely worn out from this week at work and am very much looking forward to two days of doing absolutely nothing but building jigsaw puzzles and watching Leverage. I had been thinking that I should be productive and do some gardening this weekend cos the plants are getting a bit out of hand, but then the sky decided to open and a ridiculous amount of water decided to rain down upon us today so that's probably not going to happen. What a shame.

It is a bit of an abrupt change in weather though. It was lovely and sunny yesterday. I went outside to take my picture of the day and ended up making friends with the neighbours' cat. He was walking up our garden and I thought he would run away when he saw me, but he came up and rubbed his face against my hand and let me stroke him while he rolled around in the sun. It was very sweet. I hope he's somewhere warm and dry at the moment.

So yes, my plan for this weekend involves watching a lot of my latest binge-watch, Leverage. After watching through The Mentalist twice in a row I thought I should probably go for something else before cycling round a third time! Leverage came highly recommended by someone on Tumblr, although it has taken me a long time to actually get around to watching it. At first I was a bit unsure, I thought it was ok but not great, but I'm loving it more and more as it goes on. So far I've avoided reading fic for it but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I get sucked into that too. Especially since the show has two couples that I'm shipping equally at the moment - Sophie/Nate and Parker/Hardison. I'm also being very good at avoiding spoilers so far and hopefully that will continue.

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