kneeshooter: (whistler)
This time next week it will have begun. All I have is 16 working days between now and the end of January.

Woo!



More photos by Toby )
kneeshooter: (serenity)
Just two more sets of photos to pimp, but in the meantime I'm going to take advantage of the fact that I'm not in work to do a bit of an update.

Firstly thanks to all for kind birthday messages. I feel very much of the age where a birthday becomes less of an event, so that people sent best wishes and came out last night to watch me fall asleep in my curry was appreciated. I get the impression from now until about 65 it's the wilderness years of increasing bitterness about lost youth and other opportunities.

The weekend itself was spent in a muddy field. Sometimes this is just shorthand for "LRP" but in this case it's true. Though "cold muddy field" would be more accurate. The advantage of modern/sci-fi LRP is that wearing layer upon layer of technical ski thermal is not only permissible, but advised. At least (with a nod to a Labyrinthe experience) the "cold moon" was represented by a "cold campsite" and very little imagination was required.

The game itself had a slow start for us, but Saturday picked up and there were lots of bits and pieces to play around with to keep us busy (or not). My fear of dancing kept me (literally) in the cold for brief periods but at least my reputation survived. Do spare a thought for poor [livejournal.com profile] bacony though who had to drink two bottles of port on her own, then was literally rained out of bed by a hole in the tent. One new crew member recruited and if the MIA ever do return it's going to be very cosy onboard.

After the game were brief moments of "Oh, I recognise your shape - you normally wear a big pointy mask" and "You made me a cake - and I have only just realised". Unfortunately these were in the car on the way home so I must try and be more observant in the future to avoid appearing rude. Thankfully being in an observant mood by this point meant that I was able to survive the driving snow and rain.

Sheffield tonight is off, which saves me some driving - so more chance to attempt to absorb my OU course by staring at the covers. I must take some more photographs (concluded over curry) but at least it's nearly time for skiing. At which point I'll disappear from LJ again but suspect few of you will notice!!!

Oh yes, photos under the cut from (other) LRP.

Read more... )
kneeshooter: (Default)
... it feels like a very long time since my last confession.

Today I have governors meetings so have the excuse of working from home. Actually I'm having to work pretty hard, but this is a moment of diversion. One of my new colleagues said to me the other day "You've fitted in very well. It feels like you've been here forever." - I think it was a compliment. Needless to say my performance review started with "You're doing very well" and then went on to "Like me, you might find you have to be more politic and less direct at times". I smiled, which was probably the best thing to do in the circumstances.

I'm not sure when I last updated, but since then work has been mostly fun and in my spare time I've been mostly exhausted. Of course I missed Whitby, but then I went skiing in Tignes IN MAY. A long weekend (out Thurs, back Monday, Ski 3.5 days) was just what I needed. We even had snow. There are some pictures here. For the first time I dragged an SLR up the mountains and despite falling on it a couple of times the results were good. I was with a guide off piste for a couple of days (though one was cut short with a hospitalisation) and actually felt my skiing was good enough to make it worth it.

Read more... )

Other than that, weekends have been spent quietly contemplating taking over the world. But more of that in 2009/10.

Last night, because I can remember it, I'll talk about Ian McKellen. Everything [livejournal.com profile] oxfordgirl said is true. He did seem to be very well endowed. Sylvester McCoy also looked alarmingly like a hobbit which added to the confusing buzz in my head. Oh, it was King Lear in Stratford if you weren't sure what I was on about.

This weekend is secret plans, next weekend is WGT. Hi-ho hi-ho it's off again to the Eurozone I go. Though I'm not sure I should after the travesty of the 2007 ill-fitting trouser competition in Helsinki. Go Moldova!!

Now, to work. Still love you all, etc. Even if I don't reply to your emails in a timely fashion and so on...
kneeshooter: (Default)
This week has been one of endings – though not of life, pets, hobbies, computers or even phones; but of television. The end of Rome (forever) and BSG (series 3) leave a hole in my viewing schedule that is unlikely to be filled by Lost (getting a bit rubbish) but may be by Heroes (which has taken 6 weeks off while they celebrate having a whole series and desperately try and write some more story).

Rome seemed to go out with a little bit of a whimper – mainly due to my knowledge that it is not going to get another series. That’s a shame because although it’s a bit odd in places and Series 2 has not been as exciting as Series 1 (we’d seen it all before tbh, and even the abundance of orgies didn’t excite) – it was worth watching.. If for not other reason than it reminded me about Odyssey.

BSG was an odd beast. Old friends returned as expected and the missing Cylons appeared to (maybe but lets not get carried away) be uncovered. The court scenes were tremendous though – brilliantly done and worth watching for the “let’s catalogue the plot holes in the series to date and use them rather than do like every other TV show would and ignore them” speech. I wasn’t sure about the end of the last series and that turned into something very powerful, so I suppose I should have faith.

Perhaps one of the reasons I don’t is last weekend. A visit to Preston coincided with Matt crewing Vikings so I packed a shirt, some woollen trousers and a couple of stabbing implements and went with him. On paper it sounded reasonably fun – a chance for some relatively relaxed roleplaying (try saying that when you’re drunk). However despite some highlights it suffered for reasons both in and out of the organisers control and basically overall didn't impress me. I like to think it wasn’t just because my shoulders aren’t used to chain mail for extended periods. Mind you, elsewhere people are raving about it, so perhaps my “good” and other people’s “good” is a completely different thing and I should stop moaning.

Of course it’s likely I’ll never get invited back there now, after having committed the cardinal sin of criticism.

One surprising discovery, visible from the motorway, was the 52nd Mormon Temple near Chorley. It’s a very impressive building – a classical cathedral style, simplified, that looks like it’s made of concrete. I’d love to get a closer look but you need a letter from your bishop to do so and I’m not sure I know any who are the “right kind”.

Today I’m in London, enjoying the benefits of a little laptop with decent battery life. Except I can only see out of one eye due to a dodgy contact lens so focussing is especially tough. To add insult to injury I didn’t get any Brown Sauce with my veggie sausage sandwich earlier and this evening’s train is “old-style” so might not even have any catering. I was down for a sustainability conference. My organisation now has an active policy in this area which should allow me to claim carbon footprint reasons for working from home… in my dreams at least.

This evening I will post this journal entry and share some pictures, before doing a bit of freelance work. What a life eh!

Next financial year I hope to spend £5k on a new laptop and camera. It will both make me a better photographer and allow me to carry two phones and two laptops around with me. I will then write long epic livejournal entries on the train and maintain a pretty reasonable policy of not abusing work’s laptop too much. Now all I have to do is find the £5k before claiming some of it back from the taxman.

Which reminds me, I’ve just been playing with Adobe Lightroom and I like it. I possibly even like it enough to buy it. It runs, does what I want and while it isn’t as good a UI as Potatoshop it is pretty much there.

And I’ve booked some more skiing. Dark City be damned.

Life is...

Mar. 6th, 2007 11:00 pm
kneeshooter: (pooh)
... interesting.

I'm still shattered. I'm still under the thumb of a massive to do list and I miss the snow. It's never really gotten to me before but this time I'm feeling it a little. Maybe it's the commute.

Today I braved the train for the first time. It wasn't too bad and I could even have gotten my bike on it - once I've sorted out the changing/shower arrangements for the other end. This is the only light at the end of the tunnel.

Yesterday I sat in a room for most of the day with headteachers. It was all rather predictable. The women had too much make-up on and smelled of middle-aged lady; while the men looked around and wondered what the hell they ever saw in this profession - and were obviously dreaming of retirement.

That's not to say the job isn't all bad - I know more about underachievement in minorities than I did yesterday and can recommend the publications of the National Audit Office to insomniacs the world over.

It'd be all too easy to get dragged down by it all, so instead I'm going to take a couple of minutes, look at the new photo-book I've bought and dream of creativity.

And try to forget the credit card bill - brought this month by North America ski passes; the Hilton Bradford and Easyjet flights to Berlin.

I did get some free champagne from British Airways after they cocked up our online check-in. Anyone want to help or watch me drink it?
kneeshooter: (whistler)
One day down.

The commute is long, but Radio 4 keeps me company.
The AUP is horrendous, but it kept me off LJ all day.

I have no phone, no laptop, no idea.
But I am determined to make something of it.

My colleagues talked about their children.
But I didn't rant.

The AUP particularly singles out blogging as something only to do if you want to be bodily ejected into the lake outside. I think this is a little bit unfair. I'm even contemplating buying a personal laptop rather than settling into a pattern of abuse.

---

In other news I've been skiing. It was in many ways the oddest holiday I've been on. The first week there was very little in the way of snow. Indeed at one point I hit a muddy puddle, left a ski behind and ended up covering my entire right hand side in mud. Not what you expect.

This was the week we chose to do an off-piste skiing course. Actually it was amazing amounts of fun. Even the day where it was raining up to about 1800m and we were skiing the same moguls over and over again in the pouring rain.

The second week was with some new recruits. I got some air (which felt like much "bigger air" than it probably was) and managing to score through the base of my skis in about three places - like they had been attacked by a very annoyed three-clawed bear.

The real tragedy I had was one of poles. Just before Christmas I bought some nice new poles. But they were stolen one lunchtime. So I bought some more not-as-nice-but-still-nice poles. But they broke a couple of days later. So I bought some cheap poles. Then the not-as-nice-but-still-nice poles were replaced - with a pair of an identical model to the original nice poles. Round and round in circles.

Sleep soon.
kneeshooter: (whistler)
Of course it's actually many weeks since Christmas but now I've fought my way through the work-slog, the London-slog and the alcohol induced haze from last night I need to take advantage of my last day of work and the associated very little to do to crack on with my rather long list of personal activities.

Christmas passed me by wonderfully. My best of intentions fell at the first hurdle and spending Christmas Day mucking about up a mountain on a pair of planks proved to be a lot more fun that eating too many Quality Street and fumbling through conversations with relatives. Despite the terrible snow warnings where I was (Zermatt) was reasonably adequate. The upper pistes were in pretty good nick and the lower pistes interestingly hard and/or bare. A little off-piste was possible in Cervinia and my only face-plant was without long term injury to anything other than my pride. Christmas in the mountains is lovely - simply because everything still opens, people don't make a fuss and just carry on as usual.

I do like skiing - it really might keep me away from Dark City this year. But I'm not sure.

New Years Eve I spent with an amount of fine company at the Custard Factory in Brum. It was an interesting experience - I nearly got in a fight; I spent a lot of time listening to FC Kahuna and was surprised by the friendliness of people on drugs. I never get indiscriminate smiles normally... I was mildly amused by people coming up to me asking if I was ok when just standing still. Something about K-holes apparently, so the kids in the know say. Home about 5:45am felt very reasonable.

I do miss a good goth club though.

The last couple of weeks have been a little busy at work, which has been nice. The last two days in London have been mostly as waste of time but it's been sensible to update some of my contacts on what I'm doing next, and better still have some of them say "You should do well at that" when I'm frankly a bit terrified of what I'll be expected to do. Turn the blag to 11...

On Wednesday night I saw 586, Bolt Action 5, White Light Parade and David Ryder Prangley and The Witches at the Purple Turtle. Good lord - I feel cheated and it was only £5 to get in. Respectively they were "she can sing, he can't; mediocre idea, mediocre execution" "jumping around doesn't compensate for lack of musical talent, though they had moments" "competent indie guitar" and "whine whine whine; sure you're not a goth?". Still, company and food were pleasant. Last night I had tapas which was frankly rubbish for a vegetarian and I can still feel every glass of the wine. I abandoned my hotel at 6:30 to come back.

Resonance Live was much better.

Media wise I'm finally reading The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever after trying once as an early teen and giving up. He doesn't make his life easy... reminds me of so many people I know and indeed myself in the way that most (fantasy) literary characters don't. I've also watched The 4400 which was good. Reminded me of the investigatory style of our group in [livejournal.com profile] pax_draconis's Call of Cthulhu game. Except the investigators in the series seem much more capable.

Photography is kinda good - in the sense I'm happy with the results - despite the fact this is silly season and I'm not taking much. Anyone want to share the costs of hiring studio space in Brum? £25 per week for the "space" at the Custard Factory. It's a pipedream.

And tomorrow? To the Alps again. For any passing burglars reading this the alarm code is &^**

Tuesday

Oct. 24th, 2006 04:14 pm
kneeshooter: (whistler)
... is too early to talk about the weekend so instead, something different.

I'm in a bit of an odd mood at the moment - I've been out for 24 hours at a procurement workshop where I managed to stay on my best behaviour for the first half, then drunk some wine with the VC of UCE and it went downhill. This morning I was saying what I thought.

I've also spent about £400 on two pairs of shoes. As I'm not a girl this is big news. Actually, most girls I know would probably take it seriously too. I'm a bit concerned about owning any footwear called Hot Rod Top Fuel though - sounds more like, well, I'll let you use your imagination.

While I try and get down to work - I've found a wonderful advert on MySpack for a personal trainer where they spend their time "... constantly re-educating our staff to ensure you get the best service possible". I wonder if it's a pleasant experience, or they'd be better off with some training.
kneeshooter: (Default)
So, it's getting to the end of the week, so I write about last weekend. Only I don't have to bother really as [livejournal.com profile] lupercal has done it already, perhaps with a few tweeks.

B-Movie was good, though I felt like a stranger in a strange land. Vegging in Ilford was good though I felt like I should have the energy to do more. Instead of the gig that Jane/Simon did I spent the evening on a train, reading a Tim Powers book loaned by [livejournal.com profile] jfs that felt like PotC with a little more attention to history and a lead that wasn't Orlando Bloom (though he should still consider legal action!). Sunday was pottering around the Festival of History where re-enactment started to appeal.

Other than that, it's been a non-eventful week. I've played badminton, I've spent too much money on stock for the Dark Arts stall at Infest ("Roll up! Roll up! Buy a print!") and have had a second jab (which only took an hour and a bit in true NHS efficiency). Apparently [livejournal.com profile] pax_draconis reckons each shot costs £800 so I suppose I should just be grateful that I'm getting some kind of refund off the NHS. In truth I was more driven absolutely nuts by the crap TV in the waiting room.

Today I have to finish booking a skiing holiday (the excitement! the cost!) head south, tomorrow is Evita, Saturday is excising all traces of my existence from my parent's house and Sunday is SBA in Southampton.

In the meantime I've been enjoying Radio 4 too much, been attempting to get enough sleep and trying to avoid panic about work/photo backlog/Infest/other stuff.

This morning? I feel I've passed the worst. I'm strangely optimistic. How long will it last??
kneeshooter: (Default)
It seems like an age has passed since I updated here. I'm sure it's less than that - but going away a couple of times gives the impression of large gaps in the reality-that-is-my-LJ. I suppose I'd better get started before I lose more readers.

This spring I have managed to fill pretty much every weekend with something to do. This is mostly a good thing, but does mean that pausing for breath has become a luxury rather than commonplace.

Anyway, I've done some LRP, planned for more LRP, been to the sea, been to France and been to London. I've applied for some jobs, I've taken some photos and I've wondered how to get to London for 9am on Sunday morning.

So, LRP. My enthusiasm goes up and down faster than a tarts knickers, but is probably cheaper. Maelstrom was a jolly jape in some respects but there were some ugly management issues, a sprinkling of ugly politics and I wasn't terribly happy with my photos. Hmm, reading that I'm not sure how I can say it was jolly at all. Oh well. Some photos will follow - you know you want to look...

The next one is in a couple of weeks and I'm determined to get more out of it. In fact, determination seems to underline my mood at the moment.

In the meantime there is NWO. Worship at the twin idols of [livejournal.com profile] pax_draconis and [livejournal.com profile] immerwahr has begun and the highlighter pen has been out. It continues to be terrifying and exciting in equal measures. I hope not to take a single picture all weekend, but you never know quite how it will go.

The Ski season is over. It lasted longer than it normally does, thanks to an awesomely extravagant trip to Tignes that worked out at something like £200 per day on the slope. If I'd have done the sums before I went... I'd have probably done the same thing. The most interesting discovery from the weekend was introspection on my nature. When I wasn't getting a lot out of the first day I had two choices - be a wallflower or say something. I've always liked to think I would do the latter, but in all honesty that's not true. However after some soul searching and rehearsal I let my mouth run away with itself - and got pretty much exactly what I wanted.

No sniggering at the back

Somewhere was the weekend that was Whitby. I wasn't especially keen to go just before, but after making an arrangement with [livejournal.com profile] kantti I got in the car and drove up. However, after an initially rather dull evening with a book, I relaxed and had a most pleasant holiday. I tried to enjoy myself, I tried to spend time with my friends, I tried to make new ones - to a pretty resaonable success. The only problem now is finding the time to do the photos.

It's in danger of becoming a habit, so I shall be careful in October, but that's months away.

The job situation continues to be an irritant. I have employment until the end of June but really need something better. I've applied for jobs in Coventry, London and Amsterdam; with varying levels of pay compared to my current salary. Where it stops - nobody knows...

Now the trivia, to remind myself of things I might forget.

"Dear Simon, indulge your passions more and don't forget to do some writing. The ideas are bubbling".
"Dear Simon, avoid romantic comedies. Tristan + Isolde: Ultimately hollow dribble that shows perfectly well that pretty costumes can't compensate for characters without substance that you can't care about no matter how much you try."

The weekend is coming soon, there is probably FNGS on Friday, something on Saturday and possibly London on Sunday. Original plans have been rather compromised so it's the state of blissful anarchy again.

Anyone still there? Hello?
kneeshooter: (Default)
I enjoyed skiing down bumps, when some of the bumps had trees on them and some were steep.

This is what happened when I tried to ski too fast down a bump run through trees. My best side?

kneeshooter: (Despair)
In perhaps one of the most ridiculous things I've ever done, I've managed to book a holiday for the wrong week and as a result am feeling, to put it mildly, rather silly.

So, it looks like instead of going to Canada this Friday (which I thought I'd booked) I'm going next Friday (which is rather less convinient).

Bugger said Pooh.

Little makes me more unhappy than my own idiocy. I might not be in a good mood for a bit.
kneeshooter: (camera)
This is probably very dull, but once again "justtoproveIcan". Kinda.

Photos )

Finally a pretentious group portrait...

Chairlift

Mostly taken with my phone as I was trying to have a camera free week. I was particularly happy with the first one, which was taken by putting the phone on self-timer and swinging it in front of the chair on a long bit of string.

Click for larger, as usual, but no-one ever does.
kneeshooter: (Default)
So, this is Christmas...

Hang on - I'm sure I've done at least one update since then. It probably wasn't very good mind.

The short story is that I went skiing, I came home, I went to London, I looked at photographs of miserable ginger girls with freckles, I went skiing again, I came home, I was made redundant.

The long story is a whole lot more rambling...

Skiing over Christmas was great. Much better than the whole family thing and was a mix of scratchy skiing, cheese and Kafka. I can't say a lot about the Kafka yet as I've not finished it* as this last holiday I instead had Sudoku.

Back in the UK I had a tough week at work and pretty much failed to answer any emails. Then it was off to London for the annual BETT show and (more importantly) visit to the Schweppes Photo Prize 2005 at the National Portrait Gallery. This was, as with previous years, dominated by pretty ropey pictures of people looking very miserable. However the company of Chiara WINOLJ and [livejournal.com profile] ruana1 gave me an audience and a reason to vocalise my amusement.

Then it was off skiing again. Christmas was Saas Fee and this week was St Anton - my first time in Austria - which was pretty much like all the other German speaking countries I've been to, except there were fewer locals and most of the shops and bars were populated by Aussies and Brits. Skiing went Scratchy-Scratchy-Blizzard-Blizzard-Lovely-Lovely-Blizzard. By the end of the week I was shattered.

Highlight, at least in terms of physical "highs" was when, on a ski route, I literally took off after misreading the terrain - shot straight up in the air and landed on my back with my skis buried 2ft vertically in the snow - with the rest of me still attached. Yikes.

There will be a handful of photos soon - but I only used by phone so don't expect anything special.

On the flight back [livejournal.com profile] quondam and I were discussing how if we were in LOST then the passengers would need to be a whole lot better looking to survive.

Yesterday I had my redundancy notice. This is both bad (in terms of losing my job if people don't agree that I'm worth employing after the end of March) and good (in that they'll give me nearly £3k and I'm ready to leave). I think I'd like to be made redundant - as long as one of the many other things I've got on the go sort themselves out soon.

Following this I had notification of a paper being accepted at TNC 2006. This shouldn't impress the many proto-distinguished academics on the list but should be fun if I actually get there***.

Finally today I've been enjoying Life on Mars and The Virgin Queen on Telewest - Teleport. It is strangely convinient and could definitely grow on me.

Now I have the urge to paint people and take photographs. Volunteers?

Working through emails slowly. If I owe you one, then expect it soon...

* Mind you, I'm told he didn't either
** Those other than us of course
*** If I have a job to give me the time/air-fare
kneeshooter: (camera)
Oh, and just to prove that I can, kinda...Read more... )
kneeshooter: (Default)
Number of times both skis lost in single incident and ending up on face with wrenched shoulder and leg: 1
Number of times slept awkwardly resulting in wrenched shoulder (the other one): 1
Number of times almost slipped over walking on ice in German Army boots: Countless
Number of times actually fallen over on the ice after aforementioned wrenching incidents: 1
Number of pairs of new boots purchased: 1
Number of DVDs watched: 2
Number of meals consisting entirely of cheese: Numerous
Number of irritating children told that if they are really vegetarian they can't eat most of their favourite sweets: 1

In otherwords, "Ow!".
kneeshooter: (pooh)
Number of times fallen over and lost ski: 1
Number of times crashed into by fellow skier: 1
Number of skiing partners with grotty colds and occasional grouches: 1
Number of LJ friends entries missed: Who cares!

Snow not bad, holiday fun. Had a fantastic Christmas Day dinner of ... Cheese Fondue.

Other than that typing feels strange - which can only be a good thing.

There might be another update before I get back, but if not - I hope you all had a lovely time and I'll try and catch up when I return, but in the meantime - bye from Switzerland!

Oh, and I forgot to bring the camera charger - so I'll not be taking that many pictures this time.

February 2012

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