Below are the 16 most recent journal entries recorded in the "mair" journal:
So um yes, I bought a house. What shall I do with it?
It's in Germany and has apple trees in the garden.
So I said, "Badger Badger Badger"
And she said, "Mushroom Mushroom"
And I was all, "See! Finally! Someone who shares my cultural background!"
(And then she said, "gosh, I haven't heard that since I was in Year 7". But anyway. BADGER BADGER BADGER).
Meme of the year|1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?( and so it goes onCollapse )
So, I'm in Courchevel
.Christmas is coming.
PS I might write my annual update sometime soon, but if you want to know, I am off to France on Monday to seek my fortune.
I got post! To my address! It contained an address book! Send me your address and I'll put it in my address book and send you a postcard! How about that? I have screened the comments so that the rest of the internet cannot send you a postcard. How about that?
(If you are clarehooper
, you do not need to send me your address because I HAVE IT ALREADY. This is not because I am a mad stalker but because it is in my address book already
. Like magic.)
Notes from a small island (and why I don't post much)|
I couldn't make LJ lay this out how I wanted, so have a pdf: Notes from a small island
Here I am, where are you?|
The Isles of Scilly are in the Atlantic Ocean, 28 miles off Penzance. Today I can barely see the other islands in the archipelago, never mind the mainland.
I last visited the mainland back in early June. My abiding memory is of cycling through wide flat fenland with the moon hanging huge in the sky.
I came here in March, for a few weeks. I'm staying on for the summer, I told my friends in May. I'm staying on through the winter, I told them in August.
I've resigned my job, I told them in September. I shall be a lady of leisure, and study
and make rag rugs
and read poetry. I shall go on holiday and bake cakes and take walks and dream. Perhaps I'll write
The season is changing, and jobs are coming up all around. I'll probably work some of this winter. I expect to work here next summer. I have my room on a week's notice, and from the window I can see the sea
Current Mood: peaceful
Walking through cobwebs|
It's nearly a year since I got back to UK, and I kind of made a book about my travels. There's quite a lot of it but if anyone is interested in dipping in for a page or two I made an accessible-ish online version here: http://maircrosoft.com/doom/html/png/
Current Mood: dubious
Home sweet home|
My clock says in small print, ©1985 American Greetings Corporation. On its cardboard face – by now rather sticky and dirty - are five carebears playing among rainbows. I've liked this clock enough to have hauled it with me through the last ten years, and now it's residing with me in Bradford-on-Avon. It's a little piece of home, this clock. When I packed for this stay, my goal was not to bring all my favourite clothes, nor all the books I've wanted to read in the last few months – my goal was to bring the bits and pieces that would make Flat 5, Westbury House, home for the next four months.
I wanted to write something about the last year's travelling. But it seems so... so past. And I'm so... so here. ( I did it anywayCollapse )
Current Mood: content
So we cycled... |
Ride report from the Way of the Roses in flip-book form http://t.co/Phvht26v
(Uncaptioned photos at http://maircrosoft.shutterfly.com/pictures/841
Bulawayo in ten minutes|
As seen on facebook: Bulawayo slideshow (by me)
Current Mood: uncertain
my soul is the soul of a whale|
We were talking about this daemon animal thing
. Whales, said jhadur509
. They travel. They sing. "And they're very peaceful and sociable, in an independent kind of way. Singing to each other across oceans and all". I like it, I said. I'll be a whale.I'm going to Africa. Africa! On Sunday.
I might not be reading Livejournal much for the next four months. Then I'm going to Australia and then New Zealand and then Canada and then America. Then I think maybe Kent. I've not been to Kent yet, except to catch the Dover ferry lots, and it's Quaker gathering there next August.
It was like this. I was at EMEYF in April. In Ireland. With too much bread and not enough vegetables and Liz's awesome home baked cookies, oh yes. We were talking in my small group about what we might do with our lives. Several of us seemed to be at that point where we had the whole world in front of us and didn't know quite what to do with it for the best. Ben suggested a friend had once told him; "just get a ticket to Nairobi, and when you get there, look around and see what work you can do... ". Sleepy after a surreal week on the Isle of May, curled in a chair in Cath's house in Langley Park a couple of weeks later, I sent my parents' friend Jan a facebook message "still not sure what to do with my life. Shall I come and help you in Zim for a bit?". She said yes, and here I am six months later hunting down such necessities as brazil nuts and 13A fuses that are apparently hard to find in Zimbabwe.
Between then and now I've been to Ireland, and back to Scilly, and lived on Cheltenham racecourse for three weeks. I've zoomed up and down the country, been to AVP workshops, bicycle workshops, folk music workshops, leadership courses. I've been on holiday (a nice thing to fit into a gap year), on cruises and to weddings, parties, ceilidhs. I've spent time with family; found old friends and made new friends. I've loved and left behind so many people and places.
I'll be in Zimbabwe for four months. That's the longest (by over three months) I've stayed anywhere since I finished my PhD. I can't imagine it. It'll be hot.
If I get the chance, perhaps I'll sing to you across an ocean.Ask me anything
. I'll answer if I can.
Current Mood: omg you guys
"What will you do when you've finished your PhD?
", people asked.
"I'll throw my computer out of the window and take up strawberry farming", I declared.
"What will you do now?
", they asked.
"I'm going to party like it's 1999!", I announced.
- o 0 o -
In June, I was staying on a farm in the Cévennes, picking strawberries for jam to be sold at the farm shop in the nearby town. Does that count?
In Sweden in August I darned every pair of trousers I'd brought, and broke three borrowed needles patching up my collapsing boots. (In Lincoln in October two guys in the market fixed them in 45 minutes for a fiver).
In 2008, I took up Scottish dancing and French conversation.
In 2009, I spoke French in France (and Syria!), and ceilidh danced in Shetland.
- o 0 o -
I started writing this on the first day of Advent - a Tuesday. Picture me sitting alone in a bunker on a hilltop on St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (nb: not Sicily), with a mug of tea beside me, a ball of wool and some scraps of material at my feet. Behind me a musical corner houses a flute, recorder, guitar and an eclectic selection of music. I'm hugging a hot water bottle as the room isn't quite warm enough, and a BBC accent is reading John le Carré on the tape player. It's not strawberry season, but I've been gorse bashing and working with beautiful cows. I've been lucky enough to be welcomed here by Wildlife Trust staff, the bellringers and the newly formed craft club.
I left there at Christmas, but I plan to go back for some weeks next year.
- o 0 o -
I began this year in Co. Durham, having impulsively hopped off an Edinburgh-bound train with an unusual desire to get some work done. From Durham I travelled to Coleby, Lincoln, Southampton, Lincoln, Southampton
, Dorset (Golden Gap), Ty Mawr (Wales), Totnes, Cleobury Mortimer (Shropshire), New Quay (Wales), Brecon, Morvern Penninsula (W. Scotland, via Inverness), Lincoln, Southampton
, Leigh (Surrey), Lincoln and Coleby
, Birmingham, Southampton
, Polgooth (Cornwall), Damascus and Seydnaya (Syria), Baalbek, Brumanna, Bcharre (all Lebanon), Damascus and Mar Musa (Syria), Southampton
, Helston (Cornwall), Bradley Stoke, Lincoln, Wray (Lancs), High Wray (Lake District), Beddgelert (Snowdonia), Vauxhall, Thuir (Perpignan, France), a farm in the Cévennes, Taizé (and Ameugny), Southampton, Vauxhall, Southampton, Lincoln
, Voe (Shetland), Haroldswick (Unst, Shetland), Nyköping (Sweden), Junosuando (Swedish Lapland), Norderåsen (Sweden), Lesja (Norway), Leigh, Vauxhall (Meadow Road), Lincoln and Coleby
, Hereford, Bradley Stoke
, Southampton (Clare's), Bradley Stoke, Lincoln
, Preston, Ty Mawr, Vauxhall
, Brussels, Penzance, St Mary's (Scilly), Townshend (Cornwall), Bradley Stoke, Lincoln
- o 0 o -
It's inevitable, in reflecting on the year, that my thoughts tend towards the end of the year. Events that seemed important months ago have faded. I can no longer muster aggression to chop down acres of brambles by merely thinking of my thesis. But also, seeds planted months ago have gradually come to fruition. For example - in April in Syria, I added "buy a flute" to my todo list. Now, in Scilly, I am playing my way through a book of Irish reels, as well as some other music borrowed from a local flautist for variety.
- o 0 o -
My goals for 2009 were to wake up before midday every day, and to visit all the counties of Britain that I didn't already know. I mostly managed the former but I have many places still to visit.
I'm not sure what my goals for 2010 should be. I've started a lot of sentences lately with "when I'm grown up, and have a house, and a dog... " (she's going to be a collie), so perhaps I should think about growing up and acquiring a lifestyle suited to a house and a dog. Not just yet, though...
- o 0 o -( pictures: giant collageCollapse )
Current Mood: enthusiastic
Not of interest outside Southampton|
Online voting is now open
for the people's millions. Of the four projects, only one would affect communities right across the UK; the Sustrans Connect2
project, which would divide the funding among 79 projects from Scotland to Southampton which aim to improve walking and cycling connections between local communities. One of these projects is to build a footpath along the Itchen parallel to the Empress Road Industrial Estate - read more about it from the Daily Echo article
. For those of you not in Southampton, visit Sustrans Connect2
to see which of the 79 connect2 projects would be nearest you. Please do go and cast a vote
(for whichever of the people's millions projects appeals to you, of course).
bells and flowers and trees|
So, I spent last week working on the draft of my report. I worked through Saturday night and finished it on Sunday, and then ran around like a bit of a headless chicken wondering what to do since I was supposed to have got it to my supervisor before he left on Sunday. Missed two of the three things I'd hoped to do Sunday, but I managed to get to Hursley for ringing.
I came into Winchester on the train and cycled over from there; my bike was stuck in top gear since the gear cable broke (a year to the day since I'd replaced it) and I hadn't had time to replace it before I left, so I had to walk up the steeper bits of hills, and eventually collapsed on a sunny bench outside the church about half an hour early. After a little while I got up and went to wander around the church itself, where I saw cards with bluebells on and thought of squirmelia
's wow moments
, and couldn't find any water but bought some Elderflower cordial (dilute to taste).
There's something about being tired-but-awake; not so sleepy I'm dropping off lines all over the place, but the edge taken off the tendency of my mind to flick all over the place, and I maintain concentration better. I only missed a dodge once (I think); of course every time I get through a dodge and am impressed at myself for remembering it, I realise that everyone else managed it too and struck it better into the bargain. I went round in the same loop for about half an hour; I noticed after a few repetitions, but continued to make the same striking mistakes rather longer - anyway, it was a nice quarter. I enjoyed it.
That was Sunday and then I went home, still in top gear. It also started raining on my way home. Hot bath...
Monday night was local ringing. Tuesday, I went out to Eling (no bicycle mishaps this time, and I'm getting used to top gear...). Asda on the way back. I've been sleeping by the window. Wednesday was the cycling forum - I posted about that.
(On a related subject, lnr
posted earlier in the week requesting people to print and sign a petition for David Howarth to take to parliament today. Apparently it had 1190 signatures when he took it in - in such a short time. The power of the internet!)
Thursday afternoon I went to hear Ted Nelson speak. As lionsphil
noticed, my mind wandered as much as his oratory, and I spent a good deal of time trying (once again) to see the patterns in London and Bristol (ringing...). However, just to prove that I did take notes... ( Ted NelsonCollapse )
Then I went to Bishopstoke for ringing, where we had a good practice and didn't ring any of the things I'd been trying to get straight during the talk anyway.
Now I'm sitting by the window, and I've run out of hayfever tablets so I'm happily sneezing away. I oughta get on with stuff...
Currently reading: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which is a great book to read by the window at night, and not particularly interesting by day. Which is just right...
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: John Denver - Sunshine on my Shoulder