wonderlanded: (Shark)
[personal profile] wonderlanded
Oh, I am rubbish at updating, n'est-ce pas? Anyway, here are some numbers for your edification.

1. As [livejournal.com profile] lsugaralmond has pointed out, our nerdy commitment to pub quiz totally paid off last night when we were presented with a case of Taittinger champagne for winning the quiz league. This has essentially offset our quiz entry costs, so hurrah! We are ace and we have much champagne which is exciting. And we are planning a braniac quiz night which will be even more ace. We might even let you have some of our champagne.

Top quote of the night goes to Lizzie's other half, with the line: "See, David? Who said getting an education wouldn't get us anywhere? It was totally worth it. Look at us. We've got fit birds and champagne."

2. We had a lovely time on our first-anniversary trip to Barcelona, though I wasn't quite so taken with Barcelona as some people seem to be. It's a perfectly nice city, and the weather was perfect, which absolutely made the time away for me. The food was good, the Gaudi stuff was very interesting, and it's a great city to walk around. But I found Barcelona a bit unremittingly tourist-oriented for my tastes. I just didn't get what all the overwhelming fuss was about, you know?

3. We went to see WALL-E on Sunday. It is my favourite film of the year. I think it may be one of the more beautiful films I've ever seen, in every sense of the word. I will not go on at length out of respect for those of you who haven't seen it, but yes -- I cried.

3. My mother is coming to visit in November (yes, again -- she approaches international travel as others approach childbirth. Each time she says "I can never face that flight again". Then the memory fades, and she finds herself booking another flight). We are going to get on the train and go from London to Switzerland then on to Italy, for two or three weeks. At this point it looks like we'll be stopping in Montreux, Bern, Venice, Florence and Rome -- three nights in most places. Mum's never been to any of those places, and I'm quite keen to revisit the Italian ones. I've never been to Switzerland at all, which seems odd. So: I am 30 years old, and I am going Interrailing with my mum. And we are going to spend her 55th birthday in Venice -- which, considering that's where I spent by best friend's 30th, seems fitting.

4. We had a fabulous French street market on the next street last weekend. It was great -- crêpes and galettes and saucisson and cheeeeese. Sunday dinner involved a sausage, four different kinds of cheese, bread, crackers and wine. Completely brilliant.

5. I am all cookingish at the moment and am having to restrain myself from going down to John Lewis and filling my arms with all the saucepans, grill pans, and specialty cookware my arms can carry, if for no other reason than we cannot fit one more object into the flat.

6. Speaking of the flat, there is still one lone box on the floor. Five months after we moved in. I do not know how long before I simply throw it out the window. (This is separate from the two boxes on the table in the bedroom that are covered by a tablecloth and on which the TV perches at an increasingly Pisaesque angle, the four boxes artfully hidden by cushions between the side of the sofa and the wall, the eight boxes on top of the wardrobe, the two boxes that are increasingly being moved into big Muji drawers beside the desk, and all the boxes of books under the bed, in the boiler cupboard, and in the corner between the bed and the bookcase. It should be pointed out that none of these boxes contain anything that belongs to me. The word 'box' now makes me flinch.)

7. I still hate my job. It is rubbish. One year, seven months and one day.

8. I have taken up knitting again. I have managed a lacy shawl for myself which has many creative mistakes to individualise the pattern, and I'm nearly finished a very nice scarf for David which is very simple and in moss stitch.

Goodness, my life is really quite dull, isn't it? Apart from champagne, obv.

Date: 2008-07-22 11:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cangetmad.livejournal.com
Hello you! Your life is excitinger than mine.

Date: 2008-07-22 11:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonderlanded.livejournal.com
Well, you know, free champagne and quiz. Can you come to our brainy person party?

Hello back!

Date: 2008-07-22 11:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cangetmad.livejournal.com
Would love to, if possible! I'm more "formerly brainy" than brainy, though.

Date: 2008-07-22 12:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonderlanded.livejournal.com
Doubt that very much! You could come and inspect all the boxes in our flat and everything...

Date: 2008-07-22 11:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cellardor.livejournal.com
I cannot WAIT to see Wall-E! I'm going on Thursday. I will most definitely cry, seeing as I tear up at the trailer.

Date: 2008-07-22 11:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonderlanded.livejournal.com
Yeah, I welled up at the trailer, too! It was magical and marvellous and you will adore it.

Date: 2008-07-22 12:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alltheleaves.livejournal.com
I can see what you mean about Barcelona completely, because if you're there as a tourist, it's impossible to find the non-tourist bits. I think I was really lucky that when I went to Barcelona I used to stay in my cousin's flat and we didn't have to adhere to eating out in expensive restaurants. Instead I had the experience of shopping in the markets and cooking enormous meals in her home with her flatmates. Having huge Jewish meals with 4 different languages being yelled around with the wine flowing for hours. But this could be an experience that comes from anywhere. It just so happens that mine came whilst in Barca and made it such a perfect time for me. It also meant that when I first arrived, shattered from work, I could chill for a couple of days, lying on her sofa doing nothing (or watching The Simpsons in Spanish) and not feeling like I should be Out and Exploring or I Will Miss Out. Instead I'd be there for a couple of weeks and know that if I didn't get round to seeing it this time, I'd do it on the next occasion and we could just head to the beach instead if we wanted. Although that also means I am yet to see inside La Segrada Familia. Oops.

Date: 2008-07-22 12:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alltheleaves.livejournal.com
No grammar is there that comment in. I give up. I try to write coherently but I have no brane.

Date: 2008-07-22 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonderlanded.livejournal.com
I was also still a bit ill which probably didn't help. Luckily we were staying in a thoroughly non-touristy area, but even so the entire place was a bit of a theme park compared to places that have really grabbed me and that I loved. I suspect if I'd gone there years ago I might have enjoyed it more but it just left me a bit cold.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed myself and there were some lovely places and we had a great time. Good place for a city break Sagrada Familia was brilliant, Park Güell was lovely, the beach was great but crowded -- but I'm from Australia, you know? It's hard to impress me with a beach because it's a rare beach that compares favourably to Queensland's best. But overall I just didn't get all the hype and that so many people think it's the Best Place Ever.

I was discussing with Lizzie last night and comparing it to Venice -- which is another city completely oriented towards tourists but somehow managed to retain its soul and discrete identity in a way that I just didn't feel that Barcelona quite managed.

Date: 2008-07-22 01:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] orionnebula.livejournal.com
Oh, congrats on winning the pub quiz! That's quite a nice prize--I wish I could be there for the follow up trivia party.

And knitting and good food and good friends mean your life is definitely not dull.

Date: 2008-07-22 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonderlanded.livejournal.com
I wish you could be there too!

And yes, you're right, all those things are great.

Date: 2008-07-22 03:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glitterboy1.livejournal.com
Congratulations! Winning the league is pretty impressive going, and clearly a sign of all-round excellence. And what a brilliant prize! I don't think I've ever heard of one that good!

I remember in one house, I gave up with the boxes, draped some nice fabric over them, and pretended they were tables. I hope you can be rid of them (or at least, of the sight of them!) soon.

Boo to your job! Can you find any more exciting secondments?

Date: 2008-07-22 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonderlanded.livejournal.com
I think I may well have reached the secondment ceiling. I'm doing lots of development malarkey for my team which basically ties me to the office, boo.

I am thanking the fates for the spare tablecloths and cushion covers we have hiding the boxes, beause without them I think I would go thoroughly spare...

Date: 2008-07-22 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debodacious.livejournal.com
I am very impressed by the champagne. Many years ago I was in a pub leaque winning quiz team and we just got a horrid cup. Which I seem to have lost.

Date: 2008-07-22 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonderlanded.livejournal.com
I know! We were expecting a bottle of champagne and we were pretty pleased -- Lizzie texted us last week to tell us! Then the giant box came out and we just went overboard with excitement. I'm still enthusiastically telling people about it.

Date: 2008-07-22 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pisica.livejournal.com
One year, seven months and one day.

Hooray for The Countdown.

Mine is getting uncomfortably close, as I not only have to do the damn application, but renew my passport (thankfully I got photos in the states) and take the stupid test.

Date: 2008-07-22 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonderlanded.livejournal.com
I just SAW a copy of the purple book in WH Smith yesterday and it made me depressed for an hour.

A friend and her husband recenty sat the test and both aced it. I'm sure you will do the same!

Date: 2008-07-23 11:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pisica.livejournal.com
I hope so!

I really should take it in August, as once the semester starts everything will get crazy, but I don't want to risk spending £34 only to have the HO say 'we're changing the rules AGAIN'. Still, if they change the test (as they did once) they will accept a pass on the older version, and the longer I wait the more chance the fee will go up...second-guessing the HO: not a fun game.

If you want my purple book after I'm done, I'm happy to sell it on for a fiver.

Date: 2008-07-23 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonderlanded.livejournal.com
Sadly, as I still have a good four years to wait until the book is of any practical use to me (except for making me obsess about the fact that I might fail), I think it's a pretty safe bet that they will have changed either the book or the test by the time I need it!

Date: 2008-07-23 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pisica.livejournal.com
Sorry, I was mentally going with the one-year-and-seven-months but of course that's the FLR stage. Clearly, in my head you are much closer to citizenship.

Though heck, by that point maybe they'll be demanding the test of tourists. :P

Date: 2008-07-23 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slemslempike.livejournal.com
It sounds great except for 7. And the b*xes. But I'm very impressed about the champagne win!
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