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I hope everyone had lovely holidays and a good start to the new year! :D I myself just came back from Portugal on the 10th, where my mom took me for 8 days. :) We visited Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto and briefly Batalha and Obidos. :D Once I sort through the photos, I will give a fuller report.

Husband and I have started looking for a house and have a few possibles already, should be looking at some this weekend. God I can't wait to be reunited with all of my books, that are currently in storage.

Just one more book and it would've been an even  hundred, but Christmas and New Year got in the way. ;D I am struggling to pick books I've enjoyed the most, except for Dorothy Dunnett's Niccolo series and "The Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe", but if I was forced I would pick the Jonathan Cabal the Necromancer series, Ben Aaronovitch's, Gladys Mitchell's and Colin Cotterill's books.


Full List of Books Read in 2011 )
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Just returned from a brief sojourn in London, but while it was brief it was certainly not uneventful.

On Friday, a friend of mine and I ventured to Cinnamon Club restaurant for lunch. It is a very short walk from the Houses of Parliament and is one of those places where you are convinced that there are more waiters than diners even though it is busy. While the food there is definitely of a high quality, it is not exactly my cup of tea, so to speak, the restaurant has a very good atmosphere, which probably explains why we came to the same place for lunch and dinner on Monday.

Saturday was the hen party day. :D We were really quite decorous, even though we imbibed at the afternoon tea and then ventured into Soho for the cabaret show. We of course managed to forget that it was the Gay Pride day and it WAS AWESOME. Not forgetting, but discovering it as we walked though Soho. Added to it was the fact that when a couple of us came out of the club, where the show was, for a smoke, Stephen Fry passed by us holding hands with a pretty young guy. As one may imagine we were extremely excited and squeed like idiots. XD

Sunday was a quiet day, we did a little shopping and retired home early. London does exhaust me a lot despite its awesomeness. >.<

On Monday, I saw my lawyer, had lunch, as I mentioned above at the Cinnamon Club, came home for a rest and a change of clothes and went back to the Cinnamon Club with two other friends. IDEK. One of them brought her boyfriend with us. OMG. While we weren't exactly a crazy bunch, the conversation became merry very fast. When the waiter brought us some complimentary sweets (an assortment of truffles) with our dessert, we started naming them:

- This one is George Osborne. Dark and delicious.
- And this is Ed. He looks weird.
- Which one's Clegg then?
- The saddest one.
- Oh we need a Cameron.

We had to name the decorative rose petal Cameron in the end. Earlier in the evening we were actually having a much more sensible political discussion, but at this point it was double entendre all the way. "Do you like George?" "Mmm, he's delicious." / "Who ate Clegg? And what did he taste like?!" 

The boyfriend's comment was my favourite though. He shared a truffle with his girlfriend and when she asked why, he sais: "It's like the coalition. I'm Cameron, you're Clegg."

At the table next to ours two Americans were struggling to choose something from the menu, and one of them regaled the other with stories of trying Indian food in Omaha, Nebraska. Somewhere close by people were talking about the Greek bail-out. I think I ruined their appetites by pressing red rose petals to my cheeks and quoting Cameron on giving pleasure to Mrs. Bone. I may have been quite drunk at the time.


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Book List )

Apparently I'm in a sci-fi & fantasy period. Huh.

Today is the second day I'm having to pretty much spend sitting at home, since bloody delivery companies are not delivering stuff on time. My poor mom was quite disappointed since she ordered some flowers for me to come on Monday and they only came yesterday afternoon. My fiance's facing the same problem, I'm hoping flowers from him arrive today, cause while I can afford staying at home today, tomorrow I have lectures (and we'll be starting Marketing, which I am excited about XD )

Last weekend (29/30) I was in London, saw quite a few of my friends from uni and stayed with two who I went to school with. On Sunday my pumpkin came down for the day, so we could go out to my pre-birthday lunch with my friends ( I counted 4 lawyers at the table, aaargh XD ), then we went to China town for bubble tea (love!) and raided Foyle's. :D

One my of school friends I stayed with is the furthest from being a geek as is humanly possible has been initiated into World of Warcraft a month ago. She is now only 20 levels behind my main character and I've been playing for a while. XD She gave me the new WoW add-on and a beginner's textbook for learning Mandarin: I think she's tired of me only knowing several words and phrases in Chinese (though I think knowing how to say "help me!" and "sexual harassment" is very important ;D) and wants me to learn some everyday phrases, possibly since I'm hoping to go with her to China next year and her parents don't speak any English. :)

Gonna make cheesecake today, maybe a friend will come over to eat it. Looking forward to Friday: booked a table at my fav French place for a b-day dinner. :D Until then it's lectures and watching "The West Wing" (which is completely awesome) and the first two seasons of X-Files (they are too XD ).  And playing with my yellow rubber duck.
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On 27th of December my fiance and I flew to Russia for New Year. Let me tell you people, I don't know how it is for others, but in my case having an ex-military fiance who still has atavistic/irrational fears of KGB is pretty hilarious. As we were landing I mimed attaching electrodes to him and made "Bzzzt" sounds. It was childish. I loled a lot.

Read more... )
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Vienna is AWESOME! :D Though tiring... >.> Report with pictures to follow. :DD

Phrase of the day: "Soup with quarks - yummy!"
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Off for a short trip to Vienna tomorrow. Am making a list of places I want to try and see because Welly was there. Am sad. XD
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- Back from spending a few days near Leeds. 6 hour train journeys are not very fun at all. :(

-  Prompted by [personal profile] latin_cat's post on Bolitho series, I got back into reading them and am up to Passage to Mutiny now, I believe. And yet, Patrick O'Brian will always be THE naval author for me. Which is not safe, since my pumpkin's favourite naval author is in fact Kent and bickering on the topic of Aubrey vs. Bolitho is now a normal occurence. >.>

Hawaii Five-O (2010): MAJOR SLASH POSSIBILITIES me thinks. :D


P.S.: As of last Thursday (23rd) I am officially engaged! O__O 

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My friend has kindly allowed me to use her computer since apparently she can't be bothered to move after our huge dinner. :D Which means I can boast about my new books (LONDON, I HATE YOU. XD )

1. "The Grand Duke", Arthur Bryant
2. "At Napoleon's side in Russia: Memoirs of Armand de Caulaincourt"
3. "Men of Steel: Surgery in Napoleonic Wars" by Michael Crumplin
4. "Memoirs of Baron von Muffling, A Prussian officer in the Napoleonic Wars"
5. "On the road with Wellington: the Diary of a war comissary in the Peninsular campaigns," by August Friedrich Schaumann
6. "Wellington's Headquarters" by S.G.P. Ward
7. "The man Wellington through the eyes of those who knew him." by Muriel Wellesley.

8."Marco Polo: from Venice to Xanadu," by Laurence Bergreen.
9."Silk Road Folio"
10. "On Alexander's track to Indus: Personal Narrative of Explorations on the North-West frontier of India" by Sir Aurel Stein.


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Just a flying appearance to say that... LAWYERS MAKE ME BRAIN DEAD!!! And I am very pathetic because I went and bought 3 more Napoleonic Books which I will boast about in due course i.e. when I am back in Aberdeen. :D 

Also went to Nando's for dinner and had Extra Hot chicken. *feels awake finally*

Oh and the night train was totally awesome! And I was reading the History of the Silk Road on it, so I kind of had a very interesting feeling. O_o
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You know what I did? That's right. I went back from London to Aberdeen, and LEFT my keys to my flat in LONDON! *headdesk* Thank God a friend agreed to put me up until tomorrow when I can go to the agency and get some back up keys. But the day turned out to be pretty good despite four hours of sleep, getting up at 5 a.m. to get the flight and LEAVING MY GODDAMN KEYS IN  ANOTHER CITY.

We had coffees in the  city centre after she picked me up from the airport, then we sat in her back garden, played scrabble, then poker. XDD I also wrote fic in my new and shiny notebook. :D Awesome!
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Whenever I go to London I always have some sort of adventure. I am currently staying with a friend who is renting a house in a nice, quiet residential area. Yesterday, I decided to have my first cup of coffee and cigarette outside in still bareable heat. I took my computer with me. OF COURSE, I got locked out. Three hours spent in the freaking sun, in pjs with NO shoes on, waiting for the locksmith to arrive and try to open the door. XD Later on, I refused emphatically to go anywhere and stayed in the whole day. XD

At night I was rewarded by an animal 'show'. At about 1.30 a.m.  I went outside for a smoke. At first I got stared at by a fox, then by a white and ginger cat, who was following the fox. Awesome. :D

Back.

Jun. 28th, 2009 01:03 am
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Oh, God. The trip was awesome! Let me tell you all about it!

On Thursday I went to Inverness, which for the next two nights was going to be the 'base of my operations'. Next day, I got up at 5.15 a.m and caught the bus to Fort William. There I had breakfast and saw Ben Nevis. :D From Fort William I took the steam train to Mallaig. We passed over the Glenfinnan viaduct (Harry Potter!) and the scenery in general was amazing. On the way back, as we slowed down to pass over the viaduct again there was a huge stag standing very close to the tracks. So freaking amazing! I've seen deer in the 'wild' before but only the young ones. This was a proper regal stag with HUGE antlers. So beautiful.

Also, I fell asleep on that journey and woke up to find self covered in soot. Steam trains FTW. There is something so real about them. So much sound.

Saturday was devoted to Dunrobin Castle, which has a 'private' railway station, where the trains only stop at a request. It's huge and very different from other Scottish castles. And I got to see a falconry display. Joy!


 

Beware, Pictures! )
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Back from Inverness! A little tired, a little more suntanned. The Loch Ness tour was amazing, but unfortunately I didn't get to go to Dunrobin Castle due to train trouble. Instead I went to Fort George, which was pretty awesome. Pictures to follow! :D  The journey gave me a chance to finish 3 books! Hehehe. In light of this and seeing as we are about half way through the year, I decided to see how many and which books I've read so far this year. Need to crosspost it in the challenge community too. XD

Oh, and I booked a ticket for the Jacobite Steam train for the next week. :D

The list of books read so far this year. )

And the most recently finished:

44. 'Inspector Singh Investigates' by Shamini Flint
45. 'Georgette Heyer's Regency World'
46. 'King Solomon's Mines' by Rider Haggard
47. 'The Red Box' by Rex Stout
48. 'Eaters of the Dead' by Michael Crichton
49. 'The Voyage of the Short Serpent'  by Bernard du Boucherone
50. 'Died in the Wool' by Ngaio Marsh
51. 'Final Curtain' by Ngaio Marsh
52. 'Swing, brother, swing' by Ngaio Marsh
53. 'When the bough brekas' by Jonathan Kellerman
54. 'Equivoque Principle' by Darren Craske
55. 'Allan Quatermaine' by Rider Haggard.



Scotland

Jun. 15th, 2009 05:21 am
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Yesterday, I went to Scone Palace in Perth. Just wow.. It's amazing. Especially the grounds. They even have a proper hedge maze there, in which of course we got lost and laughed like idiots. I will post some pics as soon as photobucket starts working. Grrr.

And sleepless nights of seeing one's mom off on an early flight lend themselves to booking and organizing things. So...

Next weekend.

20th of June.

7.14 - 9.40 a.m. - travel to Inverness.
10.30 a.m - catch the 'Jacobite Tours' bus.
11.00 a.m - 17.15 p.m. - boat tour of the Loch Ness & Caledonian Tunnel, two hours tour of Urquhart Castle, visit to Corrimony Cairns.
6.00 p.m. onwards - check in to the hotel, have dinner, collapse onto the bed. Thakfully, it's a double bed.

21st of June.

8.00 a.m. - wake up, eat, check out of the hotel.
12. 46 p.m. - arrive at the Dunrobin Castle station. (It'll be the northernmost place in Scotland I've been).
2.00 p.m. - falconry event at the castle
17.52 p.m. - catch the train back to Inverness, then at 21.00 p.m. - train to Aberdeen.


And maybe the weekend after that I'll go to Fort William and take the Jacobite Steam Train to Mallaig and go up Ben Nevis. x _ x I don't know if I will, it takes 7 hours only to get to Fort William, but I sure as hell will look into organizing it.

Pics of Urquhart Castle, Dunrobin Castle and Jacobite Steam Train )
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Last day in London and tomorrow I shall be going back to my pretty cold Scotland. ^^ Don't know how I am going to manage with my luggage, since I have almost zero available space for my books and that's taking into account that a few books I wanted to get I actually didn't. 
 
Last night I got a DVD of the old black and white 'Scarlet Pimpernel' and watched it after coming back from dinner. OMG, it's so made of win! XD

- Who, sir? You, sir?
- Me, sir.
- No, sir!
- Yes, sir!

Also turns out that that book by Cao Xuequin is one of my friend's favourites, though she says she is not sure how the book bears up in translation from Chinese. Oh, well, I am sure it's gonna be awesome! :3


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It's cloudy again here, which is good cause I doubt I have the strength to spend another whole day out and about. XD Yesterday, after 5 hours of sleep I grabbed my friend, who was successfully bullied into coming with me, and went to Huntly.  There we saw the castle, went to the 'Dean's' shortbread factory to see shortbread being made and packaged (OMG, how awesome the smell was in the viewing gallery!). And then we walked about 3-4 miles to the Castle Hotel, where we got some afternoon tea (mmm, fresh scones). My friend was taken by the hotel manager to the train station so she would not be late for an appointment and I stayed on the hotel's terrace, reading and drinking cider and generally enjoying the sunshine. Then I had dinner and finally went home. It was such an awesome day! And my face is becoming tanned! ^^

 

Dinara and me at Huntly Castle. ^^ )
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Yesterday I took my aunt to Dunnotar Castle. This time I actually had my camera with me, and this time I was high from Francis Crawford of Lymond, so much squee ensued. Also much screaming ensued when we distrubed some bats. I am scared of bats *remembers that time in Montenegro*. But the was weather was amazing, and I wore my slash t-shirt!
Many pictures here )
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From [profile] teh_elb1. Reply to this post, and I will pick five of your icons.

2. Make a post (including the meme info) and talk about the icons I chose.

3. Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.

4. This will create a never-ending cycle of icon glee.

Icons this way )XD





 
More answers for the association meme, from  [profile] generals_best 

Answers )

London Book Shopping:

1. 'Talking with Serial Killers: the most evil people in the world tell their own stories' by Christopher Berry-Dee.
2. 'On Beulah Height' by Reginald Hill.
3. 'The Affair of Thirty-Nine Cufflinks' by James Anderson.
4. 'A Plague on both your houses' by S. Gregory.
5. 'Vlad: the Last Confession' by C.C.Humphreys.
6. 'Marlborough' by Richard Holmes.
7. 'Redcoat' by Richard Holmes.
8. 'Beau Brummel: the ultimate dandy' by Ian Kelly
9. 'Cochrane The Dauntless' by David Condingly.
10. 'A Social History of the Navy 1793-1814' by Micheal Lewis.
11. 'The Russian Officer Corps in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815' 
12.Maxwell's Life of the Duke of Wellington in 3 volumes (published 1852).
 

Dufftown

Jan. 10th, 2009 05:18 pm
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I have made my pilgrimage and my soul is for the time being at peace. XD Dufftown is... well, what can one say about it? It is a small town  whose livelihood depends on whiskey distilleries. It is quite new (the town itself): founded in 1817 by James Duff, 4th Earl Fife *sqeals like the fan girl she is*. There is a castle, well, a very well kept ruins of one, and of course cattle!

The story of getting to the castle is ridiculous. Having lost our way in the forest surrouding a part of the hill on which it stands, we of course, came out on the side opposite to the entrance, to reach which we'd have had to circle back. The castle was right there on the hill, but there was a fence. So in the traditional manner of a Russian, I said: 'Screw going around, let's hop the damn fence and climb!' Once we reached the summit, I, a little breathless and dirty said: 'I just went up a steep castle hill with a bottle of whisky on my back, I feel truly Scottish'. ;)



As a souvenir I brought a bottle of whiskey from one of the smaller distilleries and a book, I paid a somewhat ridiculous amount for, but at least I got to pet the shopkeepers cat Sally, she tried to go to sleep on my five-pound note, but she was friendly so we'll forgive her that.:)
 

The book is: The Queen's Scotland: The North East by Nigel Tranter, published in 1974.

Through here you can see how it all went. )
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I really, really wish I slept more than 9 hours today, because tomorrow I want to find it in myself to make a 'pilgrimage' to Dufftown (insert fangirly squeals here) and for that I will have to get up way earlier than I usually do. And tonight I am going to Aberdeen's Music Hall to listen to Strauss and watch it too! They'll have performers dance his waltzes! God, The Blue Danube!

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