selenay: (Default)
I'm working on a very long software release on a Sunday night, waiting for people to finish things, so this seems like a good time to write up my Worldcon experience. The rest of the trip will be a separate post :-)

As I said before, [personal profile] bookmonster was my roommate for just over a week and she was an excellent one. We had so much fun, she even put up with an accidental sugar-and-caffeine induced late night giggle-fest (pretty sure that Diet Coke was *not* diet), and we're plotting Dublin 2019 so I don't think I scared her too badly! We did a couple of days of sightseeing in Helsinki before the con, which was terrific fun despite the distinctly soggy nature of Monday's weather. Buying umbrellas on our first walk into the city centre was a good plan.

We spent Monday wandering through Helsinki, visiting a Lutheran cathedral, the harbour market (where we had excellent smoked salmon on rye for lunch followed by delicious pastries), riding the tram, seeing a gallery...despite Helsinki's tendency to close most things on Mondays, we did a *lot*. Supper was in an Italian restaurant we returned to a few days later. (It's just occurred to me this is where we ate on both rainy days - there's something about pasta/risotto and rain, I guess.)

And then bookmonster dragged me (kicking and to an Irish theme pub because how could we not and we got to sample the breath-taking expense of Finnish alcohol.

On Tuesday we met [ profile] embraceurfandom, who gave us an amazing tour of Helsinki's natural history museum. Everyone should get a tour from a trained biologist of the natural history museum they worked at! After that, we set out for a late-afternoon visit to the Russian Orthodox church, where bookmonster got to discover why I'd declared the Lutheran church very restrained. Talk about BLING! We had coffee and pie and relaxed on the steps below the Lutheran church, enjoying the sunshine, before trotting off to Zetor for supper with a bunch of friends and some tractors.

After that, it was CONVENTION TIME.

Bookmonster and I didn't have any panels we were interested in until 12pm, so we pottered down to the convention centre late morning and managed to miss the worst of the registration queue. It was incredibly smooth and quick - I think we were through in under two minutes. And I got into the first panel I wanted to see, so that was good. In fact, I don't think either of us ended up not seeing anything we'd really earmarked as "must sees", and we had very few times when we were unexpectedly not in panels because nothing we wanted was accessible. I think that's probably because we were both marking at least one back-up for any slot we wanted to fill, which is a trick learned from 9W and Loncon3.

There was definitely a crowding issue on day one, but that eased a bit afterwards as the con staff handled the ticket situation (very few tickets available on the door after day one) and got extra space arranged so panels could be moved to larger venues.

I had a fantastic time and I have to give the staff a lot of kudos for working so hard to keep the convention rolling and fun for everyone despite challenges. They really worked their socks off.

One con staffer in particular needs a shout-out and I wish I knew his name. On the first day, there was a presentation scheduled in the evening on bad book covers, which bookmonster and I both wanted to go to. We joined a big group outside the room...and after a while, it became apparent it had already begun. The room had filled up so fast that they'd closed the doors and started early. The con staffer who appeared on scene realised they'd massively underestimated the popularity of that item and, because it was day one and not all the rooms were in use yet, he decided to fix this. He asked the presenter if he'd be willing to do a rerun of the presentation. Then he led his merry (and ever increasing) train of con goers through the halls on a search for a suitably-sized room with AV equipment. It was a little Goldilocks-like, stopping in rooms and then moving on when they weren't quite big enough, until finally we settled on one that could hold us all. At a conservative estimate, there were over two hundred of us...for a panel they'd only expected a max of eighty to want. Wow.

The presenter looked slightly surprised by the huge number when he arrived, but he did a fantastic job of rerunning his presentation and it was AMAZING. The combination of his good humour and some astonishingly awful book covers was perfect. Thank you to everyone who made that happen!

Before this turns into a 5k word essay, I'll retreat into a system of highlights and so forth. I had a fantastic time at Worldcon, thanks to a wonderful convention and some excellent friends. Hopefully we'll all do it again in Dublin 2019!


- The aforementioned bad book cover panel

- The short stories for novelists workshop by Mary Robinette Kowal. I didn't expect to get into this because I was on a waiting list, but Mary was lovely and allowed in everyone who could find a seat. It was totally worth it. I learned so much! I think I even learned how to improve a short story I've been fiddling with for a while and, more importantly, how to write better short stories. Things she said made so much sense, particularly about pacing and tension issues my critique partners always point out. I know why they're happening now so I can fix them! I think this may have been the most useful and productive panel I went to.

- Live Tea and Jeopardy recording. Who knew GRRM was such a fantastic sport? I'll post a link when the episode goes up, because it's hilarious.

- The imaginary book club. Four panellists each make up a book and then review/discuss it, with a Q&A session on each book. This was exactly as hilarious as it sounds :-D

- Authors and their cats. It followed an intense panel on high fantasy, so it was a perfect and beautifully restful session of authors talking about their cats, showing photos and highlights from twitter feeds, discussing why cats are so important in the authorial process...I loved it.

- Surviving the two panels I was on. I had a lovely little panel on shipping non-canon pairings and a terrifying panel in the biggest room on the site about beta reading with Real Published Authors (including Charlie Stross) on either side of me. Apparently I didn't sound little a total idiot and someone talked to me after about how lovely and validating it was to see a fanfic writer on that panel :-) I also picked up some great tips from Charlie Stross about beta reading that I want to try out (more on that another day).

- A panel on systems of magical healing that went to some dark places and birthed some plot bunnies for me.

- Babylon 5 vs Star Trek: Fight! A funny and thoughtful panel debating the merits of each show, the parallels and differences, with a vote that ended up with B5 winning (their team sold their case really well) and a promise from bookmonster to finally watch B5 (I'm holding you to that).

- Playing Exploding Kittens and discovering [ profile] selcaby is a total shark despite being a newbie to it.

- So much giggling and laughter and discussions of geek things with friends, I can't express how important that is to a good con experience.


- The overcrowding on day one was a bit trying on day one, but not enough to spoil anything.

- Um, that's it?


Worldcon75 was fantastic and it was hard to come out of the con space, which is the sign of a good con. I wasn't ready for it to end. At the end of a five day con, that's impressive. I remember being quite con-and-people-ed out at the end of Loncon3, but that wasn't how I felt this time.

Bookmonster and I did a bit of sightseeing in the morning the day after (a nice tour of the Rock Church, which was beautiful and peaceful and exactly what I needed as I came down from the con high) and then we flew back to London. It was nice to have that transition day before reality really hit and I think we were both glad we did our sightseeing before the con, because we were exhausted. There was a fair bit of napping on the plane back!

Worldcons aren't for everyone, but I've loved both the ones I've been to. Spending several days talking about nerd stuff, seeing other people get excited about the same things I am, is a fantastic experience. I've returned with new ideas, new plot bunnies, and new lists of things to read and watch. I got to meet people I've only talked to online before. I got to see old friends. It was everything I wanted it to be and that's really the best anyone can hope for out of a Worldcon.
selenay: (Default)
In less than a week(!!!) I'm catching a flight to London for the beginning of the Epic Wedding and Convention Tour TM, so I feel like it's time to note dates and maybe plan any meet-ups that might be possible. Thus, itinerary!

1 August - Flight to London leaves at just before midnight. Hopefully.
2 August - Flight arrives in London.
2 to 3 August - At parent's house, wedding prep.
6 August - Fly to Helsinki.
7 to 8 August - Sightseeing in Helsinki.
9 to 13 August - Worldcon in Helsinki.
14 August - Fly back to London.
16 August - Day trip to Cardiff for Doctor Who exhibition.
17 to 20 August - Pottering around my parents house/home town.
21 August - Fly back to Canada.

I'm currently noodling around a trip into London for books and cake-eating on August 18 (Friday). If anyone is free to meet up for lunch/cake/drinks/supper, let me know and we'll arrange it :-) I usually hit up Foyles for a few hours because I'm a nerd, so I'll be pretty centralish.

And anyone going to Helsinki Worldcon should raise their hands so we can figure out meeting for coffee or panels or whatever.

This trip is going to be EPIC.
selenay: (Default)
[community profile] femslashex sign-ups are open and I'm having my usual flailing internal debate about what I want and why and so forth.

And also, my huge flailing ARGH over the fact that, in all likelihood, I'm the only person who even knows what Holby City is, which means I'm highly unlikely to get Bernie/Serena fic in either offer or request. Woe and so forth. I just...I need it. My show isn't giving it to me yet, despite Bernie's realisation that she's falling for Serena, and I need to read the slow burning fall as Serena has her revelation moment and they finally get together...

::sigh:: I'll request and offer, with no expectation of getting anything. And try to narrow my other choices down to something reasonable :😁

My other thought is...huh, my holiday didn't turn out to be as horrible for my credit card as I expected. That's quite nice. I was expecting to have a much bigger bill to pay. What a lovely surprise!
selenay: (Default)
I've been back home in Canada for twenty-four hours, and I'm feeling much more settled than I was on Friday. This is why decisions like "moving across the Atlantic" take a long time and are best made on the side of the Atlantic you're currently living on, not the one you're visiting and missing :-D

This is not to say that I'm never moving back to England. I'm still thinking that, eventually, it's something that may happen. Probably will happen, actually. But not for a few years. Probably not for at least ten years, I suspect, because I wouldn't do it until Mum decided she wasn't up to the regular transAtlantic crossing for her prolonged visits.

And getting back here has been lovely--sleeping in my own bed and seeing my cats and being surrounded by familiar things. Mum and I were looking at the Ikea catalogue last night and I realised that I'm still excited about getting the apartment in 2018, so moving back to England definitely can't happen for a few years yet.

For the first time, though, I'm letting myself admit that Canada might not be my always and forever. I'm not afraid to think that. It's a thing I wasn't even letting myself think before.

And now, I'm going to put that all aside and concentrate on living my best life here for a while. Tomorrow I go back to work and find out all the things that went terribly wrong while I was gone. This evening, I plan to relax and prolong the sense of being on holiday for as long as I can 😁
selenay: (Default)
It's my last day on holiday in England. Woe.

It's also a little odd, because for once, I feel like I've had a really long holiday and my mourning isn't due to not having had enough time. It's an acknowledgement that I miss this place at times, and being back here fills a need I work hard to ignore the rest of the time. This year, for the first time, I admitted there were circumstances that could pull me back.

Before, I've always said that doing the trans-Atlantic move again is not something I'd voluntarily consider. Of course, if family circumstances required it, I'd do it. That's never been in question. But this is the first time I've admitted to myself, or to anyone else, that I'd come back if the conditions were exactly right.

Note: these conditions would consist of a job offer so good I couldn't pass it up, with a pay packet that would enable me to keep the kind of lifestyle I currently have in Canada. So, unless someone knows of an incredibly high-paying job in data warehouseing somewhere in the South East or London, it won't happen any time soon.

Maybe that's why I'm feeling a bit melancholy today: I've had a wonderful holiday, I've crammed in a ton of stuff, I've properly forgotten all about work and the crap back home, and now it's the last day and I'm secretly wondering whether that perfect set of circumstances will ever happen for me. Is it time to give in and put a profile on Linkdin, just in case someone headhunts me, or do I potter along as I am for a few more years and see what happens?

I'll think about it some more when I'm not here and surrounded by only the good parts of living here. There were good reasons for me to make the move eight years ago, after all.

I refuse to waste my last day being sad, though. I'm going to get some writing done, spend some quality time with a book (or maybe more Holby City), and spend an afternoon with family having a cream tea and a nice walk by the Thames. Sadness can happen when I'm back home in Canada, with cats to cuddle.
selenay: (Default)
So, as I haven't updated here, over six months (barring a couple of fic posts), maybe I should note a few things? Possibly.

1) I'm going to be in England from Thursday for a couple of weeks, which will be epic. There is a con. A visit to Jersey. A prom concert. A Harry Potter studio tour. Many family events. It's going to be big.

2) Mother is visiting for her annnual six months in Canada. We're having a surprisingly good visit.

3) Related to that, a decision has been made regarding...well, many things. Mum and Dad aren't moving to Canada when they retire. That's the big thing we've been working through.

4) Mum (and probably Dad, but we'll see whether it really happens) will be spending three months here/three monts in England after Dad retires. They're selling the house I rent from them in 2018 and Mum will use the profits from that to rent an apartment for them.

5) I'll be (FINALLY) moving into my own apartment at that time, too. It's a good decision for both of us and Dad's mood has improved so much since he decided not to move (yeah, it was not a joint decision for them) that Mum and I are both happy with this now that we've got used to it.

6) Mum and I plan to get apartments in the same building. Not the same corridor, that would be too weird, but the same building. It will make it much easier for me to keep an eye on her apartment and car while she's in England. And we'll be able to share stuff--like the sewing machine and our huge collection of baking equipment--and visit each other for coffee when she's here, so that'll be quite lovely. We've been plotting and planning this and getting excited, so I think we're making the right decision.

7) I'm still writing, but not as much fanfic as I did. I'm currently working on a fic for Marvel Big Bang and an original novel that I'm ridiculously excited about. We'll see what happens :-)

8) This will be my third original novel. The other two aren't quite trunked, but the first one needs a total rewrite and I'm still not sure the second one is viable, either. My current WIP? I'm feeling good about it. Really good. Of course, I haven't hit the stick middle yet...

9) My sister is engaged to a lovely, wonderful man. They're planning to get married next August. My attendance at Helsinki Worldcon is now dependent on what their wedding date is. Hold on tight.

10) If you want to hear from me more than once every six months, I'm on Twitter: [ profile] selenay. And I'm on Instagram sporadically. My username there is selenay936. I also post those photos to Tumblr ([ profile] selenay936, which is about the only thing I'm still using Tumblr for these days.

And this concludes the updates :-) Tune in same time, same DW maybe six months.
selenay: (Default)
As anyone following me on Twitter will know ([ profile] selenay), my flight to England last night was cancelled. It was supposed to leave at midnight, but by 11.30pm, it was not looking good. We had to wait another three and a half hours, though, before they decided to cancel the flight and send us all away.

At 3am.

In a mostly closed airport.

Yeah. This was not a fun night for anyone. The taxi station was overwhelmed, so I didn't get home until 5am.

(Mum asked why I didn't call her to get a drive home. I did. Over a dozen times. Dad tried her, too, from England. She sleeps like the dead.)

Dad and I were in contact through the night, thanks to the airport's excellent wifi and our mutual love of tech, so we both had iMessanger going. He was lovely about all of this and kept me cheerful even when I was too tried to think anymore.

So. New plan.

I'm booked on a new flight tonight. Initially it was tonight's midnight flight (although I could see that was going to end badly, if we were all on it, because most of us would have to be bumped) but they've laid on an extra flight three hours earlier, and I'm booked on that. I'm checked in, my seat is assigned, let's hope this plane doesn't break and get cancelled!

I've had some sleep this morning, so I feel slightly less awful. This afternoon I'll just flop around and wait to try again to go to England. This...this is not the holiday I planned.

I mean, why couldn't my flight get cancelled at the end, rather than making me miss the first day of my trip? I had plans! I had tickets to the women's FA Cup Final tomorrow!

Everyone cross you fingers that my flight happens and I'm not so completely dead that I can't do football?
selenay: (Default)
I'm flying to England in eight days (squee!) for a fifteen day vacation, with Nine Worlds in the middle, so clearly it's time for my annual Kindle book buying splurge so that I have lots of reading material with me.

Theoretically, I'm going to have loads of time to read. Masses. So much reading to do. I'll, er, let you know how well that theory works out for me.

But in this day of Kindles and ebooks, I no longer have to restrict myself to the five or six books that'll fit in my luggage and that I'm absolutely certain I'll read. I can take 200 books if I choose. Which only seems to make my choices harder.

So, with that in mind, I need some help. Take a look at this list. Take a look at the potentials. Is there anything there that you adored and think I should prioritise? I can probably only justify four or five new books, but I have...a lot more than that on my list.

Thoughts, anyone?

Already on the Kindle:

Sailor to a Siren - Zoe sumra
Liesmith - Alis Franklin
Trade Me - Courtney Milan
Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch
Heartstone - C J Sansom
Hounded - Kevin Hearne
Think of England - KJ Charles

Definitely maybe purchases:

Slightly Scandalous - Mary Balogh
One Salt Sea - Seanan McGuire

Potential purchases:

Ink and Bone - Rachel Caine
For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund
About a Girl - Sarah McCarry
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater
Sparrow Hill - Seanan McGuire
The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith
Pheonix Rising - Pip Ballantine
The Tropic of Serpents - Marie Brennan
Delia's Shadow - Jaime Lee Moyer
Celebromancy - Michael R Underwood
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe - Jenny Colgan
London Falling - Paul Cornell
The Master of Heathcrest Hall - Galen Beckett
Iron and Velvet - Alexis Hall
The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath - Ishbelle Bee
Captive Prince - C S Pacat
I Can't Think Straight - Shamim Sarif
Just Three Words - Melissa Brayden
The Princess Affair - Nell Stark
selenay: (Christmas Doctor Who 1)
I'm starting to count the days until my Christmas break. Due to my compressed work schedule and the plethora of federal and company holidays, I've managed to get a Christmas break that runs from 20th December to January 5th while only using five vacation days. In other words, I'm off work for nearly two and a half weeks over Christmas.

*flail arms*

So, I'm now counting the days until December 19th when I skip out of the office singing silly carols and relishing the idea of not returning for a very long time.

Not that I don't enjoy my job, I do, but it's been a long time since I had a break that didn't involve travelling or dealing with parents and parental expectations of what a 'vacation' is. Often both. My mother's idea of a good vacation usually involves getting lots of DIY jobs done around the house and travelling places to get administrative stuff done or shop for curtains. If I take a staycation when she's here, there's usually no chance that I'll get time to sit around reading books and fic or writing for hours on end or marathoning entire TV series.

Take a wild guess at what I've got planned for Christmas :-D

So, yes, countdown to vacation is started. Nine days to go!

I'm feeling ambivalent about my preparedness for Christmas. On the one hand, I've got the turkey (stuffed turkey breast, actually) ordered at the butcher's and the Christmas pud is in the freezer. On the other hand, I got as far as mixing up pastry and mincemeat but haven't actually made and frozen the mince pies yet. Nor have I ordered the Christmas presents.

I got three quarters of my Christmas shopping done tonight. Tomorrow I make mince pies and finish the shopping. When those things are done, I'll feel much happier about the entire thing.

Shockingly, my Yuletide fic may be the only thing I feel relatively calm about. I finished it last night leaving me with well over a week for editing, beta-ing, and re-editing. I'm even feeling fairly happy with it. Huh.

And I still have two weeks to get the big crackfic C/C fic edited for Christmas Eve posting :-D
selenay: (ace vs dalek)
In three hours, I leave for the airport. Hopefully that's enough time to exercise, shower, finish packing, and eat.

Well done, Air Canada, for having your online check-in system go down. Thank you, this has in no way added to my stress levels.

*deep breath*

It's going to be fine. Fine, I tell you.
selenay: (anti-social)
Today I am highly unimpressed by the surprise snow storm currently still raging outside my office window. This was not in the forecast! It didn't start until I was part way to work, which is why I'm staring at it from my office window and wincing at the notices from the RCMP about staying off the road due to whiteout conditions.


I'm hoping it's cleared off by the time I need to leave tonight. I've got various things I need to do on the way home from work, including picking up food at the vet's, and then I need to pack up the cats and take them to my aunt's. It's already looking like I'll be very late getting back from doing all that, I don't need snow making it worse.

Worse yet, I don't need snow forcing me to do it tomorrow. I need to be ready to leave for the airport at 8pm and me just getting back at 7pm, still needing to cook supper, check in on line, and finish packing will make Sel a very unhappy person.

Dear winter: You are really pushing the limits of my patience now.

At least I'm feeling semi-organised about my packing. It's not done, but I've got a lot of it figured out and sitting by the suitcase. Unfortunately that's as far as I can get for now because there are things I need tonight and tomorrow that I can't stick in the case yet. But I'm getting closer to being done and ready.

Argh, travelling in winter. It sucks so much.
selenay: (hate mornings)
In a few short hours, I'll be winging my way back to Canada. Um, yay?


I'm all packed (if I can stop finding stuff that needs to go in the case, that would be good) and partially caffeinated. I've rented The Three Mustkateers for my iPad because the movie selection on the way out was pretty dire. There are still a few unread comics and I'm enjoying Mira Grant's first novel on my Kindle. I've got Chicks Dig Comics for my reading while they don't let me have my Kindle on.

BTW, I'm flying with mother. Um, I see to have planned not to talk to her...

She's stopped panicking now.

When I get home we have to dump luggage and immediately run out to buy food seeing as I've got nothing fresh in. That's going to be fun. Not.

So, I'm ready. Better get started, I suppose.

Last day

Jun. 1st, 2012 11:51 am
selenay: Made by <lj site="" user="inkvoices"> (coulson 1)
Today is the traditional packing and panicking day before I go back to Canada tomorrow. I'd like to point out that Mum is doing the panicking. I'm packed, everything fits, and the only things left are the bits and bobs that I can't sort out until tomorrow morning.

Mum has been packing for two hours, she's panicking and I'm staying out of range. Mum does not pack well.

My plan (unless it's undone by panicked mothers) is to have a quiet day of reading, writing, possibly puzzle construction and lots of tea. This evening my sister and her boyfriend are arriving so that we can all go out to celebrate my sister's birthday. I have been promised Thai food. Hopefully Mum will have stopped climbing the ceiling by then.

I'm not sure what Mum's plan for me involves. Whatever it is, I'm definitely not running around like a headless chicken. I've got everything, it all fits in the case with room to spare and thus I'm ready. No, Mum, I cannot pack my PJs, skin care products or a lot of my hand luggage yet. They are all things that I'll need before tomorrow morning.

I think that I prefer traveling sans mothers.
selenay: (hawkeye 1)
I have finally finished the third Song of Ice and Fire book *does the dance of joy*

So very happy about that. Now I'm reading the first of Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy and enjoying it more than I expected. Not being a zombie reader normally, it's different and I'm more entertained than I thought I would be. It helps that it's so different from GRRM.

Today we went to London for Matilda and it was brilliant. I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone who loves musicals and it's easy to see how it did so well at the Oliviers.

Finally, any impression anyone thinking that they might have seen me signing up for the Marvel Big Bang has is probably wrong.

Except where they're not. Drafts due in September. Anyone fancy beta-ing for me? Probably Avengers...
selenay: (avengers 1)
It's been a fairly quiet few days. My mothers's family visited on Saturday and it was great to see them. I spent Sunday doing quiet family stuff as my sister was staying with us.

Yesterday I wandered into town to do a bit of shopping - picking up some stuff to cope better with the heat wave we've been having. I resorted to t-shirt and PJ trousers on Sunday after overheating on a short hike with Dad and my winter PJs are definitely too much at night. So I now have shorts and some lighter sleep attire.

I packed for everything except a big heat wave. Argh.

In the evening I made the terrible sacrifice of going to The Avengers again with my dad so he could see it without being lonely. Aren't I a good daughter?

Black Widow gets more awesome each time I see her. I really want to see an origin movie with her and Hawkeye now. Or just any movie with her being awesome and Hawkeye doing improbable archery. Pretty please, Marvel?

I am absolutely not in any way considering signing up for [ profile] marvel_bang. Nu uh. No way.

I've got that Doctor Who fic to finish, right? Even though the deadlines for the Big Bang are far enough away that I could probably do both and...

Good thing my writing mojo is returning?

Today I'm off to Manchester to visit [ profile] historyterry. If this train ever moves. Shall post this when I get back as the cost of wifi on the train is insane.

ETA: 500 words of Avengery fic committed on the train home. Suspect I may be having a problem...

Yay tea!

May. 25th, 2012 08:11 pm
selenay: (blackberry moment)

London was very hot. My feet are three times larger than normal.

It was great fun, though :-) The Eye was great and I took tons of photos. Must transfer them to my iPad tomorrow.

Then we stopped for a cool drink because we had a couple of hours before tea. That was followed by a wander in Fortnum and Mason to see how the other side lives (and because they have air con) to kill more time.

Tea at Brown's was amazing. It's in a wood paneled lounge in the hotel, very discrete and comfy. They bring you a menu to chose your tea from and then you just have to make the decision between traditional tea, healthy tea (pfft!) or champagne tea.

We opted for a traditional tea which meant a beautiful stand with plates of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries with big pots of cream and jam plus our selected type of tea. And they keep replenishing the plates whenever they get low, so you unconsciously eat so much food. I lost count of the scones and sandwiches I ate. I never get proper scones with jam and cream in Canada so I was taking advantage :-) My sister worked her way through sampling all the pastries and my mum loves sandwiches, especially egg ones. They did come round with a trolley offering us slices of Victoria sponge, but we'd rather filled up by that stage! It's so elegant and lovely, definitely a treat worth doing.

We've now done Claridge's and Brown's. So mum and sis have decided that we have to work our way through the Dorchester and the Savoy over my next few visits so that we can properly assess and compare. You don't have to ask me twice!

I'd say that I enjoyed it equally as much as Claridge's. The sandwhich selection worked slightly better for my pescetarian sister (only two meat in the five flavours) but Claridge's had a longer tea menu. The plus point to Brown's is that they didn't refresh my teacup every time I put it down so I drank a reasonable four cups of tea as opposed to ten. Thus although I'm very full of scones and sandwiches, I don't slosh as I walk :-)

If people are planning to do tea at a posh hotel in London, I'd definitely advise skipping the Ritz and going for one of the hotels I've mentioned :-)
selenay: Made by <lj site="" user="inkvoices"> (coulson 1)
Today is a big day. I'm off to London with Mum and sis for a girls day of extravagance. Around noon we'll be on the London Eye, which is huge for me because I have a terrible fear of heights.

Hopefully I'll be so distracted by taking photos that I won't be terrified :-)

Then we're off for afternoon tea at Brown's hotel, which is where Agatha Christie set Bertram's Hotel. I'm very excited. The dress code is rather smart, no jeans, and as the weather has turned very hot that meant a shopping trip yesterday to source me a suitable outfit that I won't overheat in. I'll be very stylish in linen.

If this is anything like Claridge's tea, we're going to be stuffed with finger sandwiches, scones and cake and we'll slosh as we walk from all the tea. It's going to be epic :-)

Cut for Avengers fic talk )

Time to run! Must pretty myself up and catch a train :-)
selenay: (books 2)
I figure that I should probably 'fess up about the books I bought, particularly as I just spent some time carefully listing them for my own anal cataloguing purposes.

Cut for list length )

Listing it out somehow makes it that tiny bit worse...

I couldn't remember where everything came from, which is why some have nothing next to them. I kept feeling guilty for leaving shops without at least taking one thing :-)

The Chalet School books are things that I'm especially proud of, particularly that first one. The School at the Chalet had major cuts when it was put into paperback so I've been itching to get hold of the full text for ages. Admittedly, those two books cost about four times what the rest cost combined but I honestly don't care. After all, I saved for exactly this kind of thing :-) It was so tempting to leave with more - Rose's had loads of great hardcover Chalet Schools and I'm sure that I'll be ordering from her in the future. She also had a terrifying cabinet of "things too expensive for mortals to touch" with more Chalet Schools. That kind of thing, I suspect, will always be out of my price range and I'd be terrified to actually touch and read them even if I did have them.

It did make me wonder whether I should, at some stage, get my own books assessed if only to make sure that my house insurance covers them.

I'm planning to hit another bookshop this afternoon but it should be much less disasterous. Although I do have plans to visit Foyles tomorrow and Forbidden Planet when I'm in Manchester on Tuesday as well, so there is still disaster potential.

It's a good thing my luggage only weighed half my allowance when I left, that's all I'm saying. I'm going to dread weighing this lot when I'm going home...


May. 23rd, 2012 10:30 pm
selenay: (bookshop)
This was written several hours ago and I forgot to post it when I finally had wifi. I blame the ridiculously hot weather and lack of AC in Dad's car that resulted in me being to sticky and overheated to think about it.

And so, this is what you nearly missed:

Driving back from Hay on Wye after a lovely two days. We hit three more bookshops this morning before declaring ourselves bookshoppped out :-) I managed only to buy four more books for less than £10, including an Anglo Saxon Chronicle that I'm particularly pleased with.

My book buying is eclectic.

My parents also bought themselves a puzzle and a puzzle roll and Mum and I have plans to reverse engineer a puzzle roll for me so that I can do puzzles in Canada without kitten-shaped interference.

I'll do the full roundup of books when I can lay them all out. Suffice to say, I found almost everything on my list plus a few things.

Our journey home just got broken for a nice reviving cup of tea. I may also have taken the opportunity to have a scone with cream and jam for the second time in two days :-)

Canada just doesn't have the right type of cream.

Tomorrow is a rest day. Er. I'll have to take a trip into town to buy dress trousers and I'm also planning a trip to the local second hand bookshop to say hi to the nice ladies and check their childrens' stock. But that's mostly restful, right?
selenay: (books 2)
I'm typing this on the road (yay iPad) - theoretically there will be wifi at the hotel tonight so that I can post this. We'll see. I'm on my way to Hay on Wye with my parents where I will hopefully not be buying my weight in books.

Only half my weight :-)

Yesterday was a busy day, my first big day in London. I got fitted in Bravissimo (can't afford to lose any more weight - I'll never be able to buy bras in a small enough back size if I do) and bought some new, properly fitting pretties. Then I had lunch and a stroll with [ profile] gmul, which was great fun. I even got some of my souvenir shopping done and some photos of key London landmarks for friends at home. We ended up sitting by the Serpentine in Hyde Park where nobody was selling us ice cream. Very disappointing in the ice cream.

Then it was on for coffee and supper with an old school friend. Loads of catching up and we discovered a mutual love for Strictly Come Dancing :-)

I didn't get back to my parents' place until nearly midnight which made this morning's five thirty rising mildly painful, although insomnia did me a favour there because I was already waking up when my alarm went off.

Now I'm driving through Oxford (huh? Probably a good thing that I'm not navigating because I don't understand how this gets us to Hay) in lovely sunny weather and looking forward to buying all the books. This is turning out to be a great vacation :-)


selenay: (Default)

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