windemere: (Default)
Sorry that I've been quiet. Although I'm not entirely certain how many people on my f-list actually read my LJ posts regularly anyways. Sometimes I definitely feel like I'm talking to air! Which is okay; air doesn't care what I say or answer back.

I've been trying to multi-task, only somewhat successfully, these last two weeks. It's kept me very stressed and busy this month and will into October too. I probably won't be around much until November, in fact!

A short update though:

Went to the gym yesterday for 45 minutes. I was pretty bad last night on the pain scale, but okay today. Going to go again in...wow, as soon as I finish this! It's free at the moment, in order to make up for being closed all summer. Already bought the stupidly expensive membership, however, so I'm 'paying for it' anyways, really.

To my NA-list, I'm not watching premieres and television, by the way. I can't risk sending up a red flag on my landlord's internet service by downloading stuff illegally. So I'm going to be without TBBT, Castle and Fringe. VD shows here next month though. And, honestly, I'd give up Fringe anyways. I'm really going to miss PoI though, because I have to wait. They're just showing season 1 here now. TBBT I can probably find somewhere else, or wait until it shows over here (which it will, eventually). Ah well, just Castle then. I'll catch up eventually. Honestly, there's lost of fun shows on UK telly you can't get in NA, so we're probably even. Just letting you know, don't ask me about the current season, because I don't know anything! However, I get DW tonight before ANY OF YOU. Come join me in a cry when you can.

This fasting diet is getting a lot easier the longer I do it. I don't even notice I'm hungry until well into the afternoon now, which is when I get to eat anyways. I'll fit into those skinny jeans again soon, especially now I'm back at the gym.

I think tomorrow I may be posting the last chapter of the last fanfic I may ever write. Tragically, it's Twilight. I may have to write something else just to...make up for that. Not this year though! I need a new fandom. I wonder about Star Trek next May...
windemere: (garden)
It's been exactly 3 years since the last time I was in the Lakes. Last week wasn't quite exactly 3 years, but it was as close as I could come. And four days wasn't enough, but it was all I could spare. I could have stayed a lot longer, but then, I always can.

I can't explain the Lakes to anyone who has not been to them. I can sort of explain Muskoka to someone who's never been, but add in a few mountains and an ocean a stone's throw away, and I can't come up with words to describe that perfect little paradise that is North-West England. Between Carlisle and Kendal is this stunning area of countryside. Almost all of Britain is beautiful, but there is something about the quaint towns of slate houses, curving roads, little lakes, and a beautiful history that makes me happiest. I want to retire there. Hands down.

IMG_1891a

I saw more of the towns this time around, since last time I spent most of it hiking in the mountains. This time, Trina and I toured Grasmere, Rydal, Ambleside and Windermere (and Bowness). Each one is so different to look at, though they all feel just a little touristy, a little quaint and much too busy. We did do one of the higher climbs (1000ft), which was mostly straight up a Cirith Ungol like staircase, under the sunny skies and then down a progression of short hills (not in as bad shape as I thought!). We walked around Rydal Water too, which is an easy and pleasant walk. The temperature was mid-teens, which was perfect weather for hiking and we had only a brief spell of light rain on Friday in Windermere. We also saw three museums and the Beatrice Potter Experience. And shopped...a lot. And ate...a lot.

IMG_1893


Already planning a grand trip next year, which will involve renting a holiday cottage for a week, a district bus pass, and Hadrian's Wall too. Sounds perfect for next September when I finish my field work.

IMG_1915
windemere: (there yet?)
Right, I'm going to the gym. Right now. This very second. Yes I am. I'm dressed and have shoes on and everything.

(It's 50km/h winds outside and raining).

I WANT SUMMER. I promise to not complain about the hot weather again! I swear!!
windemere: (there yet?)
Just watched 'The Descendants' with George Clooney. Truly lovely movie. It's nice to see him in a well-written and well-acted drama. A sad, but still feel-good movie. Definitely recommend!

Also, Mummy went to the 70th Anniversary celebrations of 'my' museum and saved me a cupcake. It's in the freezer a la a wedding cake and being saved for December. This makes me stupidly happy for no apparent reason other than CAKE.

I sort of did work today. And I went to a meeting (one meeting; I should have gone to two) and I actually made dinner. Like, cheesy chicken bake, potato and apple salad and properly cooking (non-frozen) veggies. And then I had fresh berries and custard for dessert (and yes, the custard may have been the leftovers from last night's fish fingers and custard - it's damn well growing on me!). And then there might have been candy again because I have no will power anymore. I should really, really stop. This much sugar definitely makes me feel ill fairly consistantly.

I really need to go to the gym tomorrow. Today I just didn't have the energy after yesterday's swim. Tomorrow I will do better. With work too. And then I am going to Dark Shadows, because Johnny Depp a la the Adams Family? Just what I need.

I used 'a la' twice in this post. I don't think I've ever used it in a blog before.

Yeah, I've totally been reading Jane Eyre too.

And I have my name down for tickets for the torch relay in July here in Leicester. I missed it in Toronto (and it was bloody cold that day anyways) so I hope I get to see it this time! There's a whole big ceremony, because there are lighting 3 torches in Leicester that will burn through the Olympics.

Also, in honour of June 3rd, I have the following day planned: brunch at Mrs. Bridges Tea Rooms, Food Festival in Stoneygate, afternoon 'tea' in the park (tbd) and then probably a nice long leisurely evening at a beer garden. This is how you celebrate the Jubilee people, take notes!
windemere: (Scotty)
I miss Scotland. I make no pretenses about that. No matter how much I love living in England, and being in Leicester especially, I miss Scotland almost daily. And it's funny, because I've spent about a grand total of a month of my life there, but it feels like a lot longer. It feels like I fell in love with a country I was born to - even if not born in - and it's been ages since I last saw it. It'll be a while longer, and probably not this year, before I see it again.

[To think, I could have gone to Newcastle. Or maybe not.]

Last night I went to my first ceilidh in 3.5 years. It was rather awesome, despite the fact the teenagers couldn't learn the dances, and the caller sort of sucked, and they always picked the hardest variations because there were so many people. I stepped on toes, had mine stepped on, bumped into people while whirling, and very nearly lost my glasses at one point, but much fun, cider and exercise was had. Hell, I feel skinnier this morning than I have for months, which I then completely negated by eating an entire English fry-up (minus the black pudding, as I forgot to buy it). The first dance last night hurt and then the rest were just exhilerating. By night's end I was on a high, despite the vigorous dancing and the alcohol (1.5 pints of cider, thanks very much).

I didn't sleep particularly long, as someone kept waking me up [to be entirely fair, once was the fire alarm at 1am at the building behind, not the flatmate beside me] but when I did sleep it was very deeply. Woke up before 8 to sun, birds and no wind. It appears to be the perfect day outside, all the more as I slept with my window open, so my room actually smells fresh and aired out for the first time in ages. Will keep it open the whole week, if possible.

Now there will be a very long walk, to work off breakfast (ceilidh worked off the entire pizza and garlic bread I had last night, my treat for being awesome with the diet all week!), and hopefully a book read. I've already lazed the morning away watching a pretty good movie with Anna Friel set during WWII and a London girl who marries a Canadian serviceman and gets sent to rural Alberta to wait out the war. It was a feel good movie; sometimes I need those.

I have to book Ireland today; I really do. At least the hostel only needs a deposit, but the flights have to be paid for up front.
windemere: (Nothing happened)
I have concluded that the majority of a PhD is taken up by emailing people, waiting for people to email, setting up meetings and going to meetings. Seriously.

I feel a good deal better today. I felt so much better, in fact, that I walked 6km and went shopping! Most of it was not for needed items, but retail therapy makes me feel better and all of it was on sale. And I'm going to be very good and not shop again until I'm back in Canada (and maybe not even then). I think I am going to have to book Ireland soon, or at least the hostel, but probably the flights too, and that's my birthday money gone two months before I get it. There better be two tax refunds this year!

I also had a flapjack cookie. It was a thing of wonder.

Ross made fun of me today. In a way that reminds me of how Schaus used to make fun of me (ie. kindly and all in good fun for everyone). It was amusing and very weird at the same time. How do I manage to attract these sorts of lecturers and why can't I attract more of them? There were two not great supervisors in between R and S. Oh well. I've got the good one for the next three years! Petrina and I are having an odd amount of fun with that. I'm sure it won't last passed October when the new batch of students arrive.

Tomorrow night I will be stripping the willow. Ah, memories.

I may have added the marathon walk to Lindisfarne to my hiking list this summer. I must actually start hiking, but I really need to get boots or figure out what the blast hell is wrong with the right boot I have (can't walk ten feet without it hurting my sole these days).

I feel calmer these days. I'm certain it's a phase and I'll get over it, but for now I am taking nights of good sleep (even if I don't get long ones), low anxiety levels, and increased willpower to not curl up in my bed and never leave as good signs. I hope it lasts the next month through. Because as of April 10th, it'll be gone for the rest of that month. It's probably a sign I need therapy that my family automatically causes me anxiety issues. Actually, I take that back; it's a sign my family needs therapy for causing me anxiety. That's much better.

I'm reading Dracula. I keep having this feeling I've read it, but then remember it was The Historian.
windemere: (books)
Somehow, it's all gone a bit wrong. An announcement was made to the PhDs today by email that the APG exams will no longer be held in June, but in September. This annoys me for a lot of reasons, not the least is which that I will be ready in June to do it. Now I get to spend the summer...reading? Certainly won't be able to get started on a methodology that hasn't been approved by the board yet! So I can read and I can...email people and twiddle my thumbs a lot.

Oh, and go hiking. A lot.

Like a lot.

And join the gym, but I was going to do those things anyways. I can multitask, but apparently my department thinks otherwise. The kicker part is that no one told the lecturers, so they all still think it's June.

Blog meeting on Tuesday! Will have all my volunteer jobs organised by the beginning of March (except that week of filling in for Catarina).

Walked 3.3km in 35 minutes today. Am quite certain I could have done 5km at the same pace. Now I just have to times that by 6 in the next 12 months. I've decided to do a hiking trip in September; Horseshoe in the Lake District, and then 4 days along the Wall. Nice 7 day trip, though the timing will now depend on the exam schedule! Before that, there is the Peak District. And before that there is the countryside 3km east of here. Will slowly build up to 10km in the city and then start going up into the hills on higher ground. Will definitely be ready for a week in September and my first real experience walking with a pack. Though, I might end up going in August. Least the weather will be cool that far north, though the tourists will be many.

I hate when plans get messed up.
windemere: (Default)

This post will not be about pancakes.

It is, only very rarely, that one may watch a film that changes your life - or at the very least makes you think about your life - and take away from it some appreciation that, with a little hope, will last you some years.  It is only very rarely that a film maker manages to make such a film.  And when they do, the results are spectacular.

'The Way' is the story of a journey - or rather, many journies and yet all the same - that does not preach, it does not demand, it does not tell, it does not even imply anything beyond the natural inclination of the human brain to be moved to consideration.  However, I think I would be hard pressed to find a viewer who did not take something of measure from the tale. 

The film is not about the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.  It is not about the relationship between a father and a son.  It is not about the friends you meet on the way or the journey you undertake to get somewhere.  It is not about religion or God or penance.  It is, in some ways, a measure of all and none of these things.  Like the Way of St. James, each viewer will take away their own enlightenment from watching it.

And, like those that reach the end, it is not about who you were before, but where you go afterwards.

One day, I will walk the pilgrim road from St Jean Pied to Santiago de Compostela.  I will not do it for religion, as I am not a Catholic, but I might do it for belief, and for The Road and for myself. 

Most of all, I'll do it for myself.  As everyone does. 

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windemere: (Default)
Amy

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