Nov. 4th, 2012 11:22 am
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 Yesterday I went to Oxford for lunch and somehow now possess a Waterloo Chess Set. :D

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 Today, for the first time in seven years I drove a car for almost four hours (with two substantial breaks). This was occasioned  by the fact that I now actually have a car, which we picked up this morning from the dealer's. I was rather terrified throughout, but I am booked for a couple of sessions with an instructor this week (and more the week after, I am sure), so here is hoping for some actual patient instruction, rather than us having a shouting match as I freak out over the concept of roundabouts. XD

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67. "Is it really me? Oh, God!", Oleg Basilashvili
68. "Beware of the trains", Edmund Crispin
69. "Roman Nights", Dorothy Dunnett
70. "Journey to the centre of the Earth", Jules Verne
71. "A Word about words", L. Uspenskiy
72. "Woe from wit", A. Griboedov
73. "Eugene Onegin", A. Pushkin
74.  Selected Works, A. Chekhov.
75. "Dry bones that dream," Peter Robinson
76. "Well schooled in murder", Elizabeth George
77. "Death in holy orders," P. D. James
78. "The long dark tea time of the soul", Douglas Adams
79. "Unfinished Resume," E. Ryazanov
80. "Speedy Death," Gladys Mitchell
81. "Is that a fish in your ear", David Bellos
82. "A Suitable Vengeance," Elizabeth George
83. "Mysterious Affair at Styles," Agatha Christie
84. "Murder Room," P.D. James
85. "Wilt," Tom Sharpe
86. "Innocent graves," Peter Robinson.


Sep. 20th, 2012 01:38 pm
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 I was just watching the s07e12 of the BBC Pointless tv show (don't ask). For those who don't know it, in this show the object is to score the least number of points by giving a correct and hopefully obscure answer. The first category was English football team captains and the clubs they played for and the players did pretty well on them, girls too. The next category was Famous Russians. Ok. I am not saying every British person should know Kandinsky or Kapitsa (whom I struggled to remember) but failing to answer Lenin to the question of "Who masterminded the October revolution" is kind of... I don't know. Where do they find these people? Cause frankly I've not met a British person yet who didn't know Lenin, well, if we happened to touch on this subject. O_o

P.S.: Tolstoy was given as answer to the "Mad Monk" question. XD
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     53. “Rum Affair,” Dorothy Dunnett

     54. “Ibiza Surprise”, Dorothy Dunnett

     55. “Wages of Zen,” James Melville

     56. “Operation Nassau”, Dorothy Dunnett

     57. “Convergence of Circumstances,” A. Marinina

     58. “Whispers Underground”, Ben Aaronovitch

     59. “Coincidence Engine,” Sam Leith

     60. “Do we know Russian language?” M. Aksyonova

     61. “Wash this blood clean from my hand,” Fred Vargas

     62. “Violinist's thumb,” Sam Kean

     63. “Disappearing Spoon,” Sam Kean

     64. “Diary of the The Lady”, Rachel Johnson

     65. “Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now,” Craig Taylor

     66. “Stop me if you've heard this: A History and Philosophy of Jokes,” Jim Holt


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 It rained. Hard, but thankfully by the time we got there it wasn't raining quite so hard. We got there about twenty to 7, when it was going to start and we put our chairs and umbrellas very near the field set aside for the Cavalry display. 

The display was very cool. The first part was riders picking up things off post as they galloped past, then trying to do the same with a sword (1796 pattern :3 ), then cutting cabbages, then using, I am tempted to say lances, but those things looked more like spears to pick up small paper targets from the ground. :D

Then they did a Jubilee cannon and musket salute (there was only one regiment represented, dunno which, but there were some "civilians" and a rifleman keeping them company) and the concert started in earnest. The first half consisted of Elgar's Nimrod (unfortunately the Spitfire didn't make it because of the rain), couple of arias and violin concertos and it ended with 1812 overture with canon fire and fireworks at the very end. MY GOD. IT WAS BEYOND AWESOME.

Second half consisted of Thunder and Lightning polka, Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker (people were encouraged to waltz to it, so my mom and I did, though I slid through mud several times as we were going fast XD ). then the Cavalry did another display set to music, which consisted of doing things like going in tight circles, two horse lines weaving through each other etc. :D Then. THEN. It was Beethoven's Battle symphony, he wrote on the occasion of the battle of Vitoria. They attempted all the 193 cannon shots, Beethoven set in his score, and though I didn't count, there were a hell of a LOT of them. Plus it was accompanied by musket fire and fireworks at the end. It was pretty spectacular. The only problem is that unfortunately this symphony is nowhere near as gripping or memorable as the 1812. :( 

It all ended with the, as my husband informs me, traditional trio: Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. The last was especially spectacular, because again, that is a gripping piece of music and the FIREWORKS WERE BLOODY AMAZING and they were exploding pretty much over our heads.

So all in all, it was all v. enjoyable, the rain did stop around the first piece of music they played and didn't start until it was time to go, but the field was a bloody swamp, our shoes and pants were caked with mud, and my ankle was HUGE, cause my leg was hurting as is and all the waltzing and walking through mud didn't help. XD But it was so worth it if only to hear the 1812 with cannon fire. :D

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 Tonight we are off to the Battle Prom Concert at Blenheim Palace, but for now I am blissfully alone, having packed off mom and husband to go on a trip to Warwick Castle. I can hear myself think suddenly! :D

I now have a bike. Mothers. O_o And I also booked tickets for the Long Day's Journey into the Night with David Suchet and Sunshine Boys with Danny DeVito. :DDDDD
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The BBC Top 200 Read.
1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
Read more... )
 And for something slightly different:
This is a list of the 106 books most often noted as unread by users of Library Thing. Bold for books you’ve read, italics for books you’ve started but haven’t finished, strikethrough for books you found unreadable.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi
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Big Read

Jul. 11th, 2012 02:16 pm
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Stolen from [personal profile] sharpiefan and [personal profile] latin_cat

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.
1.) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2.) Italicize those you intend to read.
3.) Underline those you LOVE.
4.) Put an asterisk next to the books you’d rather shove hot pokers in your eyes than read

01. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
02. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
03. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
04. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
05. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
06. The Bible
07. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
08. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
09. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
*50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
*100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
le_russe_satan: (Default)
 Today I went to London to submit my husband's documents for a Russian visa. I thought I'd avoid bureaucratic brain rape, but while it was a mild case (a sort of intercrural brain rape), I didn't and ended up spending almost two hours at the visa centre. But! It ended up being a Good Thing, since a girl asked me a question about a spousal visa application and we got chatting and... It turned out she's not only Russian but comes from the same city, she's only a few years older than me and he husband's slightly older than mine (we both have antique husbands <3 ) and she lives about 40 mins from us. :D We chatted very happily, went for coffee afterwards and exchanged phone numbers. :D And then I went for book/food therapy. 

And I dunno what is it about me, but why do I always get stopped and asked for directions/help so often? Today it was four times. Yes, I counted. XD 
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 I am an atheist and I think I should not feel uncomfortable saying that.


Jul. 1st, 2012 11:10 pm
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 Best thing about geeky things is sharing them and having friends who share your geeky interests. But I feel especially lucky that my parents also share some geeky interests of mine, or maybe I share their geekiness. Most of our shared geekiness usually concerns books or specific authors, but my dad is great for discussing Napoleonic stuff and weaponry with, and my mom can go on mile-long monologues about detective stories of Agatha Christie/Ngaio Marsh/Dick Francis/Nero Wolfe. It is an AMAZING feeling. 

Napoleonic stuff is especially good, as I've found out recently, to get most of my dad's side family members going though. XD 
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This a sort of a table listing the Cabinet positions during the period of the Peninsular War and the names of men who held them. It is by no means a definitive list, as I am sure there were Cabinet positions that I have missed. If you know any others, please do comment, so I can edit and update the file. There are a couple of normally non-cabinet positions I included, judging them to be of interest/importance.

Page 1

Page 2

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  1. “Operation Viking”, N. Leonov and Y. Kostrov

  2. “Shield and Sword: Book One” Vadim Kozhevnikov

  3. “Have Mercy on Us All”, Fred Vargas

  4. “Seeking Whom He May Devour”, Fred Vargas

  5. “Death and the Olive Grove”, Marco Vichi

  6. “Shield and Sword: Book Two,” Vadim Kozhevnikov

  7. “Keep Your Legs Crossed,” Denis Tsepov

  8. “Notes of the Psychiatrist,” Maksim Malyavin


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So we have two box sets of Sharpe (without the last two episodes with Old!Sean Bean) and 4 Die Hard Movies, because I married someone with very similar tastes. XD 

GIVEAWAY: posting free of charge, first come, first served.

Die Hard Box Set
Sharpe Box Set


Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl DVD
Stargate Atlantis Season Two DVDs

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 So. The House. The house that Andy and I have recently moved to, Andy actually bought pretty much straight after separating from his wife. And then he didn't really live in it until now. Which means that it is full of junk. I've been able through the heartless tactic of "If you can't tell me in 15 seconds what this thing is and whether you've used it in the past month, I'm throwing it away,' to sort out the living room, kitchen, bathroom and the guest bedroom, but the dining room and what I call 'the tiny bedroom' were still of things and boxes. So what with the long weekend we decided it was time. TIME FOR BOOKCASES. 

Andy loves books, but  while he does have some in the house, pretty much all of his books went the way of rubbish heap when he separated from his wife, and that's the one thing I could punch his ex-wife for. >.< So up until we moved in he had just enough shelving for them. And then came my boxes of doom. 

So over the weekend Andy made three big bookcases (well, five big shelves each with a little space on top to put outsize books lying down). And he actually entertained the foolish hope that that will be enough. HA. While I managed by 'double-rowing' the top shelves with small books and by putting books flat on top of the ones standing up to fit in pretty much everything I had in the house (thankfully I got two small bookcases for the bedroom, so there was some space there. :) ), there are still four boxes of books in the storage Andy has been using for them and some books at Andy's mother's house. 

Andy has promised me two more bookcases. XD The Napoleonic Wars and Era took up one entire bookcase. Wellington has his own shelf, and some of the books didn't fit so I had to put them lying down on top of others. This was the first time in my life when upon taking out yet another Wellington biography I said "Oh for fuck's sake'. XDD

And there was also cleaning and stuff involved. I hurt now. x___x

GIVEAWAY: It turns out that I have two copies of "Life in Wellington's Army" by Antony Brett-James. If anyone's interested, I will gladly post it to you for free. First come, first served. :)  Has been claimed.

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 Wellington's Busaco despatch on-line at the University of Southampton. It's a bit difficult to read, but there's a transcript available. :)
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 Went to the Russian Museum today for the special exhibition of Nesterov's (1862-1942) paintings. Recognised a lot of them, fell in love with this one. Why do I like it so much?!
Read more... )UPD: Also liked these quite a bit:

Read more... )


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