FFS

May. 7th, 2017 12:33 pm
prunesquallormd: (Effy - Lost in thought)
I've lived in Liverpool 27 years and never been to Chester zoo. A bunch of my friends went there at the end of my first year at university and didn't ask me, which I was rather upset about, and I've wanted to go ever since. 26 years later, I finally managed it.

It was a lovely day. We arrived about 1pm so we had 4 hours to wander round and then we headed to the Wizard at Alderley Edge for dinner and got home some time after 11pm.

It was supposed to be 4 of us. I said I'd pick Cath up at about 11am then Tarek after and then hopefully be at the zoo some time around noon. We got a little delayed so I sent Cath a text at 11 to let her know that we'd be a little late. Finally got on our way at 11.30ish. I received a text a few minutes into the less than 10 minute drive to Cath's which I didn't check till we were parked outside her flat. It was from Cath and it read:-
"Hi. I think I'll have to pass. Not in the best mood and can't be doing with the lateness. Hope you have a lovely time though."

I replied from the car park saying we were there 'but if that's the way you feel..' and gave her a few minutes. She didn't come out and there was no response. Just after we'd picked Tarek up she emailed him the e-ticket that she'd spent £20 on that morning.

I dunno. It could be that it that was a perfectly reasonable response to someone being half an hour late and I'm just clueless. Is it just me?
prunesquallormd: (Effy - Lost in thought)
A little while ago I found a cover of Del Amitri's 'Nothing ever happens' done by Mesh. It's one of my favourite songs from the 80s and the cover is approximately 472% more awesome than the original. And that's very awesome indeed.


Did I mention that, since my wedding, I now have a handful of Donald Trump fans on my FaceBook friendslist? I met them at the wedding and they were very nice. Only when I added them back did I discover the horrible truth ...
Oh, and someone gave Brie a business card for a website called vocalcitizens.com. We had no idea what it was until I looked it up and it turned out to be a pro-Trump superPAC. Ugh.

Martinsburg is a more affluent town than many in West Virginia, but I saw this and in may ways it talks a lot of sense. If Trump wins it probably won't be because of racists, bigots and idiots, it'll be because of desperate people who just need someone, anyone, to take notice.
And then there's the person on my friends list who said she was dedicated to Trump "because his goals are not the destruction of the constitution." I don't even know what that means, but yeah.


On a lighter note, if on the same subject, here's John Oliver
prunesquallormd: (Shrooms and sparkles - Skins)
Stolen from [personal profile] lokifan, the username music meme. I don't do memes very often and this one looked fun. It took me longer than I thought it would and I'll admit that I had to google 'songs beginning with Q', and for the second 'U' as well, (The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove was an easy pick). Though as you can see, I struggled to keep it to one song a letter for some of them. And there's a rather depressing bonus track.

So, without further ado!

Psychonaut, Fields of the Nephilim - Not my favourite of theirs (that would be Elizium it its entirety, which is without any doubt at all my most played album) but still amazing. I've loved them since I was 17. More than a quarter of a century later, I still do. And when they're on form, their live performances are nothing short of a revelation.

Red Right Hand, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - I first heard this on the dance floor at Invocation (still my favourite London goth night even though I haven't been in ages). It's dark and sensual and brutal and wonderful.

The Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove, Dead Can Dance - Gloomy, sexy, and gorgeous.

A New England, Billy Bragg - Always a high point of his live performances. It's too long since I've seen him live. He hasn't come to Liverpool in 10 years. *pout*

Bonus N
Nothing Ever Happens, Del Amitri - An 80s classic, bleak and beautiful. I don't know anything else by them but I'll always love them for this.

Exhale, Plumb - I don't own much Christian rock but Exhale is certainly the best of the ones I do have and the title track is beautiful. I don't tend to talk about my faith. I'd rather let songs like this say it for me.

San Diego Serenade, Tom Waits - I first heard this as a cover by Nanci Griffith. Her cover is prettier but the original has a tenderness that's hard to beat.

Bonus S
Stúlkan sem starir á hafið, Hera - Hera's English language stuff is rather wonderful too (see below) but this (in her native Icelandic) is just beautiful, even if I don't have the first clue what it's about.

Queen of the Reich, Queensryche - The video for this is hilarious, 80s hair metal at its finest. To be honest, I don't really like the song. I was a huge fan of later Queensryche (especially Operation Mindcrime and Empire) but none of their later songs begins with Q. So frankly this is just here to make up the numbers.

Unbelievable, EMF - Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove came easily but I really struggled with a second U. EMF were never favourites of mine but Unbelievable certainly brings back memories of the early 90s and my first years in Liverpool. Oh nostalgia.

As Is, Ani Difranco - Ani Difranco is amazing. Nuff said.

Bonus A
Alice's Restaurant, Arlo Guthrie - I first heard this in 1995. I was suffering from pretty bad depression at the time so this gives me conflicting feelings but it's a '60s classic. If you have 20 minutes to spare give it a listen. It's hilarious. As far as I'm aware, Arlo Guthrie is a Republican these days. Woody will be spinning in his grave.

Lucretia My Reflection, Sisters of Mercy - Andrew Eldritch is almost certainly a bit of a dick but Floodland will always have a piece of my heart. (Mind you, First and Last and Always, and Vision Thing, will too).

Love, Ire and Song, Frank Turner "Leave the mourning for the morning, pain can be killed with aspirin tablets and vitamin pills, but memories of hope and glorious defeat are a little bit harder to beat". ♥ ♥ ♥

Bonus L
Lettting the Telephone Ring, Ani Difranco - I did mention that Ani Difranco is amazing, didn't I?

Overwhelmed, Tim McMorris - This is one of the first songs Brie sent me. It speaks for itself, I guess.

Bonus O
Ole 55, Tom Waites - again, I first heard this in a cover version (by Sarah McClaclan). This is all gravel-voiced, whisky-soaked beauty. I don't actually know much Tom Waits but given that the two here are among my favourite songs in the entire world I should probably rectify that.

Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3, Ian Dury and the Blockheads - Not a band that I heard much of but this and Hit me with your Rhythm Stick bring back so many memories of the early 80s for me, it's scary. He died too young.

My Fidelity, Heather Nova - Her later albums suffer a little from overproduction especially when placed side by side with her debut (Glow Stars). It's heart-breakingly beautiful.

Day of the Century, Seabound - this song is summer for me. I don't know why, it just makes me happy.
(I can't find this online which makes me sad :()

Bonus D
The Drowning Man, The Cure - I had to have at least one Cure song and while this isn't a favourite it ties perfectly in with my username (both being Titus Groan references and all). The song is somewhat spoilery if you haven't read Gormenghast.

Bonus bonus D
Don't Play This, Hera - because I had to include a Hera song in English.

Bonus bonus bonus D
Disappoint, Assemblage - this speaks for itself.


And finally, ones that I couldn't fit in my username but will always appear on any list of songs that I love.

I Will Follow You into the Dark, Death Cab for Cutie - I had this on repeat the day I was told of the suicide of a very close friend. I still can't hear it without thinking of him.

Gypsy, Suzanne Vega - written about a young man from Liverpool whom she met when she was a counselor at summer camp. If I was ever to make a list of my 3 favourite songs this would have to be in it.



Well that was longer than I planned. 25 songs, 27 different performance. I hope you like at least some of them.

Read more... )
prunesquallormd: (Default)
10 hours to raise $67000. I hope they do it. I do rather love their stuff.


prunesquallormd: (Effy - Lost in thought)
"The Journey Of The Magi

'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kiking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death."

T.S. Eliot

**

Home from my travels. Haven't slept more than 5 hours since Friday night so I'm sleeeeeepy.
The flight back was made more unpleasant by being too hot and by me forgetting to reserve an aisle seat beforehand. However, I watched The Martian for the first couple of hours, which was fabulous. Engaging, life affirming, and far funnier than I'd expected. Exactly what I needed to take my mind off the angst of separation.

Christmas was lovely and I was lucky to find West Virginia unseasonably warm (20C a couple of days before Christmas; I was expecting it to be well below freezing. Less than two weeks after it was down to almost 10 below).

Parting was horrible, but that's long distance I guess. It gets harder, not easier.

I need a nap. There'll be another update somewhere down the line.
prunesquallormd: (Default)
Less exhausted, if not much.

I now have a ticket for the US for Christmas. It will be 6 months since the last time. 6 months away from the person you love is a painfully long time. We're more than half way through though. Here's hoping the next 2 and a half months fly by.

After 6 years of trying (and failing because no woman of his own station will look at him) my little Pictish knight in Pendragon finally has a wife and a natural born son. Yay! (We have a good 50 years to run on the Great Pendragon Campaign and I'm gonna need another character to play when my little pict becomes too old and decrepit, so). I was surprised at how happy I was.

I have more photos to post. Soooooon :)


Sursum Ursa does Frozen. Oh my gosh XD
(She has a surprisingly good voice!)
prunesquallormd: (Shrooms and sparkles - Skins)
Far too exhausted to write anything much but a few weeks ago I went with [personal profile] alobear and [personal profile] cholten99 to Scotland for the weekend. We stayed in Rosslyn Castle, a just a stone's throw away from Rosslyn Chapel (and built by the same family, at roughly the same time - 1400-ish). The castle proper was badly damaged by Cromwell in about 1650 and shortly afterwards a lovely little 2 storey stone house was built in its places. It's an extraordinary building, like nothing I've ever seen: built on a rocky outcrop reached by a stone bridge, about 60 or 70 feet above the river valley below, and providing direct access from a stairway within the house, to the three remaining levels of the castle (uninhabitable but completely intact). The current Earl of Rosslyn and his family don't live there (it's too cold apparently, and I can see why: we were there on a gloriously warm early September weekend and the inside of the house was by no means toasty. In the middle of winter it must be bleak as anything) so they rent it out all year to cover the cost of upkeep, which must be eyewatering.

I took loads of pictures and I'm struggling to upload them all, so here's a few as a taster. A weekend wasn't enough to truly appreciate it but it was certainly a wonderful experience.
Cut for pics that really don't do the place justice. )
prunesquallormd: (Default)
I have a whole bunch of piccies that I've been meaning to post and I'm too exhausted to actually write a proper update (I have been for most of the last few weeks. Ugh) so I think the next few posts are going to be photo dumps. Sorry for my lack of photography skills.

A weekend of games and good company was a nice way to distract us from the worst possible election result and Bath is a lovely city that I'd only been to a couple of times before.
cut to save your friends-page )
prunesquallormd: (Effy - Lost in thought)
"Though we come and go, and pass into the shadows, where we leave
behind us stories told – on paper, on the wings of butterflies, on the
wind, on the hearts of others – there we are remembered, there we work
magic and great change – passing on the fire like a torch – forever
and forever. Till the sky falls, and all things are flawless and need
no words at all."

Tanith Lee
prunesquallormd: (Shrooms and sparkles - Skins)
Apparently there's still 3 weeks to the election. It seems like they've been campaigning for the last 6 months at least. But I guess it's not as bad as the US Presidential elections: even from the outside it feels like the race starts about 2 years before the actual election.

All the pollsters and politicos seem convinced that there's going to be another hung parliament (you wait 35 years for one and then they all come together in a bunch, apparently). I'm not entirely sure who I'm voting for yet (Green or Labour) but I live in a very safe Labour seat so it's not too much of an issue. Years ago, the Conservative Party building near here had 'Tories hate you' painted over one wall. They took a surprisingly long time to paint over it but when they did I admit to always being slightly disappointed that the original culprit didn't refresh their handiwork ('Tories still hate you' would have been fitting, I guess).

One of the reasons I like this part of the country is that the balance of politics is far more to the left than where I grew up. That's been a Tory constituency since since before my parents were born (and they met in the Young Conversatives, so yeah. They always told me they were just members for the social part of it...).

The point of all this is this, I guess: I'm not sure I care who forms the next government so long as the Conservatives and UKIP have no part of it. How doese the saying go? "Vote early, vote often ..."

***

This week's kind of dragged and it's been exhausting, but we played Mice and Mystics last night, which is always fun, and I have exactly nothing planned for the weekend except reading, watching TV, Skyping with Brie and sleeping. I'm rather hoping than the sleeping takes up a larger proportion of the whole than usual.

I'm exactly one episode and a final miniseries from the end of my rewatch of Farscape. It's taken me ages but I've very much enjoyed it. Gonna get on that now.

xoxoxo
prunesquallormd: (Karen Gillan 1 ♥)
3 days into Lent and while I do rather fancy a G&T, it's actually the chocolate embargo that I'm struggling with more (had I thought about it properly I'd have just gone the whole hog and gone vegan again for the next 40 days - I haven't been vegan for 4 years at least - but it's kind of late for that). One unforeseen consequence is the my caffeine intake is up again. I'd done a fair job of not drinking tea or coffee after midday during the week but since Wednesday, yeah, not so much. I'm so tense and twitchy most of the time I really need to get that under control.

I didn't do pancakes - I never do pancakes; obviously for over 10 years I didn't eat two of the major ingredients and I couldn't make a vegan version work. Maybe at the weekend. It's been so long since I had pancakes (the American versions don't really count :p).

Pretty songs, mostly Christian, under the cut. Don't say I didn't warn you ...

Clicky )

Righty. I seem to have got back into Final Fantasy X so I think I might go have a run around Spira for a bit. Fun fun.

Love to you all ♥
prunesquallormd: (Default)
Back in Liverpool. Yay.
Rest now.
*zzzzzzzzzz*

(So many posts to catch up on. Soooooon).
prunesquallormd: (Default)
2.30am. Showered, almost completely packed (just gotta sort a space for my wash bag in my hand luggage) and I even managed to get a couple of hours sleep. Fly at 6.45 so I'd like to be at the airport at 4. The roads should be fairly clear at this time, at least :D

Wishing you all a wonderful festive season and I hope next year is full of light and love and joy <3

Love and hugs!
xoxo
prunesquallormd: (Shrooms and sparkles - Skins)
I'm a little early but as I'm getting up at 3am to go to the airport tomorrow and I haven't finished packing yet and I still need to do the washing up and ugh, so much else ...
By Halloween proper I should be holed up somewehere in the Shenandoah Valley. I have no idea what to expect, but I'm looking forward to it.
I'll be back next Wednesday. Till then!


prunesquallormd: (Shrooms and sparkles - Skins)
I know I'm a bit late but yeah, favourite month and favourite season :D
Once I finish packing and washing up and stiff I'm off down south for a few days so I'll be away from a reliable internet connection for a week *shudder*
But I'm so needing the break right now and I'm so looking forward to it.

Because it has an autumnal feel but mostly because it's a favourite of mine right now here's a lovely little duet on the Hang drum. I hadn't heard of it till recently. They're new (invented in 2010 by a Swiss company) and very rare and expensive - I saw one on ebay recently going for in excess of £5000 - but they make a gorgeous sound and I love this track. Also the guy on the right is super smiley and cute.





Laters :)
prunesquallormd: (Effy - Lost in thought)
- I had a somewhat heated conversation about climate change today. It was pretty much a case study in climate change denial - the other guy citing some recent statistic saying that average temperatures hadn't risen in the last decade, extrapolating it out to 30 years (I'm not sure how he did that, I'd pretty much given up listening at that point) and concluding that global warming obviously couldn't be a thing. He talked about how the majority of climate scientists were persuaded by the promise of extra funding to draw conclusions favourable to the received opinion regarding climate change, and at some point even talked about how the person who first argued that the Earth went around the Sun was 'poo-pooed' as some kind of example about how good science isn't about following the consensus.
I put my headphones in and stopped even trying to argue the point when he told me that I'd been brainwashed. Ugh.
cut for rambles )
prunesquallormd: (Shrooms and sparkles - Skins)
Soooo, just cos I took a few piccies (which I don't do much. I really must get into the habit of it more. It's nice to look at them, even if I have no eye) here's foggy, pretty Whitby, in all (or at least a small part) of its glory.

Ridiculously big piccies - cut to save your f-page )

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