vervet_monkey: (Default)
 I cannot learn languages. This is what I have decided.

I'm trying to learn Swahili before going to Tanzania. Just a little to give me a starting point. I can't. I can read the book and listen to the CD and do the exercises, but as soon as I put them away, they're gone. Except for the odd word, which gets stuck in my head and won't leave (ninatoka at the moment, meaning I am going to...). I'm trying, really. Lots of short bursts and writing and speaking and listening to it when ever I can, but no. Nothing. Hello, how was your morning, how was your journey and I am going to. That is the extent of my vocabulary. Grrrr it's frustrating. 

Spent this weekend visiting the parents. Built a log store with Dad on Saturday, as well as pulling up lots of beetroot and picking raspberries. (The raspberries all got eaten, but I managed to accidently steal some beetroot). Brother and his girlfriend joined us out to dinner, which means we spent the meal acting like 5 years olds. Me and my brother tend to get excitable when we see each other, I think his girlfriend must think I'm insane, I'm always giggling and talking complete rubbish. Shopping with parents on Sunday. Not that I needed anything but it seems to be the default activity. Although I do now have a pair of jeans without any holes in them (Mum did confiscate my old pair of jeans before I came back home, I definitely missed out on her fashion genes completely).

It was also apparently my birthday. I always thought I was born in December but Mum has decided that in order that she doesn't get sad this Christmas it was my birthday last weekend and will be Christmas when I return. I had cake and presents and everything (Biodegradable soap, hand sanitiser and a waterproof laptop case, they know me so well!). All a bit odd but who's going to say no to cake (chocolate and beetroot, yum) and presents?

No newts to report, as per usual. My normal partner has gone on holiday, so I'm being very nice to people still in Southampton and a surprising number are willing to get up at stupid hours to help me.

There is a spider trying to climb up my wall but he keeps falling off. I thought spiders were supposed to be good at climbing?

Sticking with the wildlife theme, we have a sparrowhawk in our garden. She's visited us a few times now, generally with a frog to eat, perching next to the compost bin. She is very beautiful, I keep trying to photograph her but I left my long lens at my parents so I haven't been able to get anything passable yet. But it does please me to see her out there every so often.

Sherlock is rapidly becoming another obsession. Which is daft, I've only seen them once and there's only three of them. But apparently my head likes it and isn't letting go. I've been reading fanfiction for the first time in about 4 years (I'd forgotten how sad it could be...) and brought my copy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles books back to Southampton with me. I may have to see if I can aquire a second hand copy of the DVD's at some point soon.


Aug. 7th, 2011 11:45 am
vervet_monkey: (Much Ado)
 Just seen the last episode of Sherlock. Really? Really? That's how it finishes? Not Fair!

I hate that man!
vervet_monkey: (Default)
This entry is basically me trying out whether I have dreamwidth crossposting to LJ. Which means I don't really have anything interesting to say, but I will anyway.

Went riding on Saturday. Was a little disappointed when I arrived as I had been promised a horse (we have some amazing horses, £30,000 competition horses. Amazingly talented but also very capable of just pinging you out of the saddle because they are so powerful, and their owners are normally scared we'll break them) but because of the other people riding (who are far better than me) I was riding one of the ponies instead. We were going to go out and bomb round the field, popping over a few of the cross country jumps with him, but took him into the small school first as he was trying to break out of his stable, which can mean he's in a foul mood. Except this time I think someone must have told him I was supposed to be riding one of the competition horses, he was amazing (and worse on the ground than normal, which is typical of the competition horses!). Didn't end up taking him into the field, he was just so responsive and off the leg and coming round. Really beautiful. And I could just hear my old instructor in my head going "a horse is only as good as it's rider" when people would turn up to comps with horses that were too good for them, and we'd beat them on our little riding school ponies. So not so disappointed after all.

Spent yesterday in bed with a cold that was actually trying to kill me. I knew it was coming, but being me rather than taking it easy so that it didn't get worse, just ignored it until it wouldn't let me any more. Watched a lot of Who and read the briefing for Tanzania. Feeling mostly better today, have come into town to do shopping for Tanzania and use the internet. And buy ginger beer, which I was craving yesterday. 
vervet_monkey: (Default)

Just discovered Sherlock, on account of being away when it was first shown. Most definitely enjoyed, more please :)

Also, little bit in love with Sherlock himself, but [ profile] _stolendreams_ assures me that is completely normal.

vervet_monkey: (Tee Hee)
Been in the new house for 2 weeks now. Feeling settled in, although I don't think it is going to feel like mine as I'm just staying 3 months. Still no internet, which is rather annoying as the small amount of work I do have relies on it (and, well, I like it!), but the guys I'm living with don't seem in much of a rush to sort it, and as I'm not around for long I don't feel like I can just do it. Just means I'm spending a lot of time in the library or various cafes in town. Which I do kind of like, but when you just need to check what time you're working in the morning it's a tad annoying. And with our council workers STILL on strike (or mostly on strike, I'm not entirely sure what's going on) the public libraries are not the most reliable places atm.

Newt work, the whole reason I'm hanging around for three months, is not really going anywhere. As is always the case with field work we are waiting on equipment. Which, when I'm in the middle of no where I can forgive, when I'm in Southampton and said equipment is sheets of wood, not so much. I'd go get them myself except their barely paying us as it is so really no room in budget for buying of wood as well. Have been doing research for the time being though, and we know where the refugia is going and such. Just need the actual refugia and we'll be off. Absolutely have to have them by next Monday though, otherwise we are going to run out of time to run the project before I leave for Tanzania.
Have been doing outreach work alongside the lack of newt work, which is good as it pays me. And not too boring either, but will dry up after this week, given that the schools break up.
Went riding on Saturday on a ridiculous pony. To start with she is tiny, no more than 12hh (120cm) so really tiny. Which is OK, so am I, but still. But we were jumping, so normally, nice collected canter would be good. Nope, this tiny little thing runs at them flat out, but she can jump. I have no clue how, we were doing 2'6", but I had her owner on the edge telling me just to let her do it. And she did, bless her. Also, and the real reason I was riding her, had a nice bronc session to start the lesson. She's been being ridden by the kids and had learnt a few bad habits when they ask her to work. But again, tiny, so I wasn't going anywhere, just providing entertainment for everyone watching. Ache so much now though, from clamping my legs round her sticking to the saddle. Might have found my project for the summer!
Graduating next week. Parents, Grandparents and brother all coming down, which will be good. Off out to dinner the night before, to the Olive Garden, which sounds good although I've never been (bit outside the student budget!). Bit worried about Grandad as he hasn't been well and I know he really won't speak up if he's not feeling well on my graduation. I'm the only Grandchild to attend (my cousin went to Uni but was disappointed with his grade so didn't go) and it's been paid for by my Grandparents (I know, I'm amazingly lucky), so it's a big deal for them. 
And quick note on Torchwood. I like the concept, wasn't overly blown away the show, but it was good enough, no real complaints more substantial than there being perhaps a few to many guns.
Oh, AND, just booked flights to Tanzania!
vervet_monkey: (Default)
Continuing in the Shakespeare theme of late I took Mum to see Hamlet on Saturday for her birthday. Her birthday was actually in May, but I wanted to take her to a show I know she knew, so we didn't go until now. Also given that my Grandma's funeral actually fell on Mum's birthday it was good to be able to celebrate again and properly.

Spent the day wandering round London on my own with my now fixed camera. Lots of fun and I felt very much the tourist. Visited Big Ben and the Houses of Parliment, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and St James Park. Got some pretty good photos too that I will share should my laptop stop being stupid and actually let me download them from my camera.

Met Mum outside the Globe and went for a posh dinner at the Swan (the resuarant attached to the Globe) very tasty and dessert was by far the biggest portion, as I think it always should be!

Our seats weren't great, but I knew Mum wouldn't want to stand for the performance and my budget would only stretch to the cheap seats. We were to the left of the stage, slightly angled behind the actors. Not too much of a problem, but it did mean that they were often hidden behind the pillars in the middle of the stage.

The performance itself was very well done, particularly Hamlet and Ophelia. I've never seen Hamlet on stage, only the BBC production on a few Christmases ago. This was different first in that it was in period dress, and that it felt a lot more dramatic. Not over acted, but Hamlet was played much more, I almost want to say loudly? While Tennants speeches felt like he was talking to himself, this was proclaimed for the world to hear. Which works beautifully in the Globe, especially with the audience standing below. It was also surprisingly funny for a tradegy, which I hadn't really realised before.

The Globe always makes Shakespeare feel more accessible (in fact that's exactly what Mum said to me as we were leaving), this production did so more than Macbeth which I saw there last year. Which is particularly surprising as I didn't know the story of Hamlet, while I studied Macbeth and generally consider it to be my favourite of Shakespeares plays. It was big on the physicality of it all, so even if you're not understanding all of the words (which I never do!), you can still understand. In fact we shared a booth with an American family with children who must have been no older than 12, and they seemed to grasp it just fine.
vervet_monkey: (Default)
 Back home in Southampton after a week with the parents. Week was nice but it's always good to be home and back to independence. 

Spent this week training for my job with the City Council, surveying Great Crested Newts on Southampton Common. Unfortunately our training was done by a botanist who seemed to think his book was the most important thing in the world, and therefore at least 4 hours of the 2 days was spent IDing plants using his books. Which is fine, if that's what you need to do, but really not relevant and, umm, zoologist, so anything more complex than 'leaf' or 'stem' is going to mean nothing to me. Very dull 2 days.

Meeting with supervisor next Monday though, so hopefully we will then get going on Tuesday, at least setting out the refugia. As we still need GPS and the refugia however it might take a little longer. Actual surveying has to take place around dawn, so starting at 4.30am this time of year, so my sleep patterns are going to be all screwy for the rest of the summer.
In town today looking for another part time job to go along with newts, got to be the most depressing thing, especially as I don't actually want any of the jobs I'm applying for (and there's not that many jobs about anyway!). But grit my teeth and I'm sure I can cope for three months. Plus money would be good, as payment from newts only barely covers rent and food (I have savings so it's not vital, but would rather not be using them!).
No internet at home, so have been sat in a cafe for 3 hours, trying to remember everything I need to do online before I go home. Hoping I've remembered it all!
Tumblr has also made me all nostalgic for Harry Potter now. Damn all the books being at my parents. I haven't even seen most of the films, but suddenly I want to go and watch them all.

Off to London tomorrow to see Hamlet at the Globe with Mum. Can't wait, Mr Tennant has stuck me on a bit of a Shakespeare kick at the moment!
vervet_monkey: (Willow and Xander)
Oddly, I'd say Bargaining. But bare with me here! There are no episodes that I wouldn't watch again, although there are some that I would only really re-watch in the whole series re-watch rather than choosing to watch them alone. But even the silly ones with no substance are generally witty and easy watching.

Bargaining however I think perhaps suffers from the curse of being a two parter. Obviously Buffy coming back was a huge storyline, and I can see why it got a two parter to tell it. But I find it quite slow, considering the story. It feels isolated from Buffy herself, wrapped up in monster of the week, when it shouldn't be, and missing the big bits. It's one of the few times that I don't feel the story is told properly.
No pics today as I'm sat in a cafe in town and the connections not that great.
vervet_monkey: (Willow and Xander)

Least Favourite Relationship )

I am now back home in Southampton, however the new house doesn't have internet connected yet, so I will be online when I get to the library, but less regularly than normal.
vervet_monkey: (Buffy)
In my re-watch it appears season 5. Which is odd, as I think that's the season I started with, so clearly it's not that bad! Although unlike many I am a fan of Dawn (and kind of wish I had been involved in fandom trying to work her out...) Glory just annoys the hell out of me, and as the arc is most important to me, and she features heavily in it, kinda sours the season. 

It does however have some amazing episodes (The Body for one, which didn't make me cry the first time, but did this time watching it), so like I said, not all bad! 

Still at the parents so no time for picspam today, back to Southampton and normality tomorrow though. (Well, as normal as my life ever is...)
vervet_monkey: (David)
 Have been visiting the parents all week, they go out to work during the day and have a computer with photoshop on it, so these are the product of my week:

Much Ado About Nothing Icons )
vervet_monkey: (Willow and Xander)
 Couple of days late. Lack of post on Monday can be blamed on meeting school friends and then seeing a certain Shakespeare play. Not sure what to blame lack of post on Tuesday on, although I did read the entire of said play in one go (not that it's one of the longest or most complex...), maybe that used up my geekiness quota for the day (That's a lie, I also watched the Shakespeare Code and a couple of Donna's episodes, I'm not sure I have a geekiness quota)

Favourite Friendship )
vervet_monkey: (David)
Last night saw me and [ profile] _stolendreams_  heading off to London to see the wonderful Mr Tennant and Mrs Tate in Much Ado About Nothing. By some miracle we also managed to do this (and have dinner) without getting lost ([ profile] _stolendreams_ I'm assuming you didn't get lost on the way home?)

Short version... It was good. Long version under here. )
vervet_monkey: (Tee Hee)

This is very very exciting and rather unexpected! Knew it was possible thanks to viva but still did not expect! Think I might still be in shock... apparently just kind of stared at the wall with them on for a while until actually grinning, as I have been ever since.




vervet_monkey: (Default)

August 2011

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