anarchist_nomad: (A Crown of Flowers)
( May. 4th, 2009 09:29 pm)
When last we left our intrepid Nomad, he was writing during the tail end of an international T2K SK video conference, following a day of theatre that kicked off a holiday weekend.

The story continues.....

After said video conference ended, certain other activities -- all in line with the spirit of the season -- kept me preoccupied. No complaints per se, but said activities resulted in this Nomad getting only about an hour of sleep before needing to wake up at 4:30am to partake in the May Morning festivities here in Oxford. We left the Flat With No Name shortly after five and, despite the closure of the Magdalen Bridge[*], we made it into the city centre by half five. Walking to the Magdalen College chapel tower, we passed the usual array of drunken college students -- some in very colourful attire. We made it to Magdalen with plenty of time before the college choir sang the Hymnus Eucharisticus from the rooftops -- a tradition dating back more than five centuries.

Once the singing had ended, we wandered through the city centre, taking in the Morris dancers, and the people dressed as trees or bushes, and the other street performers. At half six, I broke away from the group to transition from spectator to part of the entertainment. I joined a band of ringers from the OUSCR and we rang the bells at the University Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. This is only the second time that I have rung at SMV -- the first being May Morning last year -- and it is good to get some practice on heavier bells. Also good to ring for such a festive crowd and, best of all, the aerial vantage point from SMV provides some of the best views of the May Morning excitement! Looking out from the tower, one can simultaneously see the Rad Cam, the campuses of Brasenose College and All Souls College, the crowds, the Morris dancers... and more!

By half seven, I was done ringing. Our group reformed and we made our way to the Queen's Lane Coffee House for breakfast. We were home again by nine, at which point I collapsed into bed instantly, grabbing another two hours of sleep before needing to wake at eleven for a T2K UK analysis meeting. When the meeting ended at noon, I promptly fell back into bed, to collect another three hours of sleep. At that point, I was up for the rest of the day and proceeded to cook for [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip and the two eldest leverets.

Once fed, we left Oxford and made our way back to [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip's home. During the journey, I introduced her to a number of my favourite David Rovics songs. I may not have done much to celebrate May Day as an Anarchist this year -- something that I plan to make up for in 2010 -- but it was good to get in a sampling of my favourite Anarchist holiday.

After arriving in Northampton and bringing the children to their fathers, [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip and I were able to have a date night to ourselves, in which we were able to celebrate Beltane properly. Again, Not Enough Sleep ensued -- I estimate five hours on Friday night.[**]

On Saturday morning, we had a failed attempt to bake bread and a successful attempt to hold a private Beltane ritual[***]. Afterward, we made our way back to Oxford to collect [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and [livejournal.com profile] dr_jen. Together, we all headed to Leicester, specifically to the home of [livejournal.com profile] thehalibutkid and [livejournal.com profile] sanjibabes. As always, it was nice to see the lovely [livejournal.com profile] sanjibabes and, for that matter, [livejournal.com profile] skibbley. However, our main purpose in making the trip was to hold our group Beltane ritual. Ever since Samhain, a group of us have been working together regularly, with organisation done by yours truly and High Priestessing done by [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat. I don't think that I have ever formally worked all the sabbats in a single turning of the Wheel of the Year before; the experience is turning out to be quite the positive one... not just for me, but for everyone in the group. These are not closed rituals -- most have had "guests" in addition to the regulars -- but the same five people have been at all five rituals thus far, which makes for a nice flow of continuity.

For Beltane, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat had organised a fairly traditional ritual: We did a Maypole, we jumped over a bonfire, we feasted, et cetera. Nothing terribly esoteric, but the way that Chesh had assembled the usual elements was excellent -- everything flowed together powerfully. It did not hurt in the least that the weather was good and so this became our first outdoor ritual in this sequence[****]. Flowery head dresses were assembled -- mostly with nimble expertise by [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip, though the talented and charming [livejournal.com profile] dr_jen made quite a lovely one on her own. Here are a couple of photos from just before we started the ritual )

After the ritual was done, we all sat around the bonfire and talked for a bit... just enjoying the energy and the warmth and the flames. Then we hugged [livejournal.com profile] thehalibutkid and [livejournal.com profile] parallelgirl goodbye and returned to Oxford. Not quite sure how much sleep I got on Saturday night, but I estimate that it was another five hours.[*****]

Sunday morning, I spent a little more time with [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip before sending her on her way and spending the day with my beloved [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat. I finished the first Sandman trade paperback -- Preludes and Nocturnes -- and then she re-read it so that we could discuss. We got in a fair bit of cuddling. And we managed to spend a bit of quality alone time together.

Today, Monday, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I took a day trip to the Stowe Landscape Gardens, a National Trust property about twenty-five miles from Oxford. The gardens were founded in the 18th century by Sir Richard Temple, also known as Lord Cobham. The site takes up 750 acres, though much of it is parkland. The gardens themselves are quite beautiful, with several lakes and valleys and fields. It is then further enhanced by forty-two monuments scattered about the grounds. There are sculptures and temples and columns and bridges (oh my!), so that our map became a sort of checklist guiding us around the gardens today. We spend most of the day at Stowe and managed to take in the entirety of the garden, much to our pleasure! At the end of the day, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I wound down with cream teas before heading back to Oxford and home.

Overall, it has been quite an excellent weekend! Happy Beltane! Happy Spring!

Now then, time to end the weekend by ringing up my darling [livejournal.com profile] tawneypup, who has also been away. Cannot properly claim to have celebrated Beltane without including her!


[*] To prevent drunk students from jumping off and breaking their legs in the very shallow water below.

[**] Bringing the running total for the two nights to eleven hours thus far.

[***] As distinct from the celebration of the night before.

[****] Not counting our Yule ritual, where the circle did remain open through the longest night... which included our trip to Stonehenge to welcome in the dawn.

[*****] Raising the running total for three nights to sixteen hours. Not serious Sleep Deprivation -- certainly nothing like what I pulled last Decemberween -- but definitely not running on a full tank, either!


Whilst I may continue to be delinquent in updating with my January/February summary, I can at least get three thousand words (and change) closer by employing the PIWOTW rule[1].

On February 21st, I went with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat, [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip and [livejournal.com profile] darkfloweruk to the British Museum to see the Babylon: Myth & Reality exhibit. Whilst waiting for the time on our tickets, we explored other areas of the museum, including the Michael Cohen Egyptian gallery -- newly reopened after ten years of conservation work and research. There, I met with definitive proof of my ancestry! If [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip and [livejournal.com profile] darkfloweruk had not previously believed me when I said that I was of Egyptian descent[2], then this picture provided sufficient proof[3,4]:



Meanwhile, the following week I was in Essex with [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip to celebrate our 0.5th anniversary[5]. We visited Colchester, with its awesome castle/museum; Southend-on-Sea, where we took a long walk on the world's longest pier; and Chelmsford. The trip was most excellent, and deserving of a true travelogue. In the meantime, however, here is an inspired photograph that we took on the Southend Pier (as well as its inspiration):



And, on that note, my coach has arrived in London. So heigh ho, heigh ho, to study neutrinos I go...


[1] Known in less acronymic language as "Picture Is Worth One Thousand Words".

[2] Which, I might add, is different from Arab descent. The Coptic Egyptians, of which I am ostensibly one, did not interbreed all that much when the Muslim Arabs arrived. Hence, the Copts are genetically the direct descendents of the ancient Egyptians.

[3] And I swear that I made no adjustments whatsoever to my hair before the picture was taken!

[4] It is worth noting that, whilst our hair has not changed in the last five millennia, our eyes have moved from the side of the face to the front. Evolution at work!

[5] Also known as a demiversary.


The past couple of days have been busy, but lots of fun. I will write about them later. In the meantime, because it is Samhain, I hereby give myself permission -- just for a little while -- to stop being the World's Biggest Mother-F*$#ing Optimist.




Checked out the flat in Headington this morning... and decided that it is a winner! Put down the money to hold it and start the application process this afternoon. Looks like we will be moving to east Oxford in a month.

The main motivation for the move is location. The new flat is as perfect for our new jobs as our current flat was for our previous jobs. Overall, the inside of the new place is also an improvement over our present flat.

As an added bonus, it turns out that the front door of our building is just half a block from the [in-]famous Oxford shark house. If I look left when leaving the building, this is what I see: )
Snippet of conversation from our office today:

"You don't love me enough to get me a piece of the Challenger!

Ah, I do so like working in this office. We even still have the giant stuffed dog that AB kidnapped -- er, dognapped -- several weeks ago. Don't believe me? Then see the kidnapped dog here )
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Returned to Skullcrusher Mountain late last night after a four day holiday weekend exploring the so-called[*] "frozen North" with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat. Leaving SCM and Oxford again in under forty-eight hours... so just a quick travelogue now, with more to come later[**].

The short version of the trip is this: Just like during the August bank holiday weekend last year, we drove up to Yorkshire.

Unlike last year, though nearly everywhere that we went this past weekend was different. On our 2007 trip[***], we spent two days in York, one at Fountains Abbey, one in Whitby, and one exploring the North York Moors.

This year, we spent our first day at the stately Georgian home known as Harewood House, and then spent the evening in the spa town of Harrogate. On day two, we went exploring in the Yorkshire Dales. Day three began at Castle Howard. We had not planned to repeat any of last year's trip... but spontaneity kicked in when we left Castle Howard. As a result, we ended up driving back up into the North York Moors to watch the sun setting below the fields of bright purple heather... then returned to Whitby for a stroll on the boardwalk and a dinner of fresh fish and chips[****]. Final day was spent at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, with the evening in Stratford-upon-Avon watching the Royal Shakespeare Company perform Hamlet. Finally those tickets -- purchased last November -- put to use![*****]

All in all, an excellent weekend! We did a lot and saw a lot, and I will try to write it all out properly in good time. Meanwhile, here are a couple of the highlights )

[*] Actually, as irony would have it, the weather on some of those days was amongst the best I have seen all month! Not frozen a'tall!

[**] Hopefully.

[***] Alas, the tale of that delightful adventure fell prey to the beast which prevents travelogues from being written.

[****] For [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat, anyway. I remain a vegetarian.

[*****] I think that [livejournal.com profile] maufry may Officially hate me now.


Long time readers of this journal will be aware that travelogues are not exactly an area where I shine. When I do write them, they are full of detail and pictures![*] However, all too often I never end up writing a memorable account for an adventure and too many trips (e.g., Ireland, the second half of my time in Rome) never get the write-up that they deserve.

Two weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I took a four day trip to Cornwall and Devon, where we celebrated our fourteenth anniversary. In a few hours, we leave Oxford again for another four day trip on this bank holiday weekend. If I am ever going to write a travelogue for the anniversary trip, it really needs to be now.

Of our four days, we spent the first two and a half in Cornwall and the remaining day and a half in Devon. In Cornwall, we started with a visit to The Eden Project. Simply put, the Eden Project is the largest greenhouse in the world. It was constructed in an old clay pit and, at its heart, consists of three biomes, two of which -- the Rainforest Biome and the Mediterranean Biome -- are covered in enormous domes. Since the first day of our trip was the rainy day, we decided that this would be a good place to begin. We were not mistaken! Eden is quite an impressive site! We started in "The Core", which is the education centre, then spent the afternoon wandering about the biomes. It was all magnificent, though I think that the indoor waterfall in the Rainforest Biome might have been my favourite part. I am, after all, such a water elemental!

The weather on the second day was much better, so we paid a visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The gardens were originally built over four hundred years ago, when the estate was the residence of the Tremayne family. However, most of the twenty-two gardeners died whilst fighting in the First World War... and the garden fell into a state of neglect afterward. A couple of decades ago, they were restored to glory and are now quite a splendid way to spent a sunny summer day!

Of course, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I did more than just visit gardens while we were in Cornwall. We did quite a bit of driving about, especially when the sun was shining, to admire the landscape, the coast, and the beach. We also did a bit of random exploring, diverting from our path when something interesting (or interesting sounding) caught our attention. This led us on little side adventures through villages with names like "Gweek" and -- in Devon -- "Crapstone".

Being in England's SouthWest peninsula, I also could not resist making trips to Lizard Point and Land's End. Lizard Point is the most Southerly point in Great Britain... though it is still about thirty-nine miles North of the most Northerly point in the contiguous United States. Land's End is the most Westerly point in England... though not in all of Great Britain -- Scotland extends twenty-two miles further West. Although many (most?) of my friends may not care about such geographical silliness, longtime readers of this journal -- or anyone who knows me well -- should not be surprised! After all, on our anniversary three years ago, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I paid a visit to the supposed "Southernmost Point in the Continental USA" whilst we were visiting Key West.

When we arrived at Lizard Point, it was getting close to dusk and it was raining... so [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I were the only people there. I was seized by a bout of mania when I realised that I was THE most Southerly person in ALL of Great Britain! If you have ever played Four Square with me, you can imagine what this looked and sounded like. There is also a picture that [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat took behind the cut below. During our visit to Land's End, the weather was much better and shared quite a delicious dinner in the most Westerly restaurant in England, watching as darkness fell over this small island.

The last thing that we did in Cornwall was visit the Tamar Otter Sanctuary & Wildlife Park. This is the project that can be credited with saving the otter from extinction in Great Britain. Although they no longer need to breed otters for conservation reasons, they still have a goodly number of these cute little guys on-site. We watched them play and get fed, then we wandered through the Wildlife Park, feeding deer and [successfully] seeking out a waterfall. Finally, we fed ourselves before moving on to the Devon part of our trip.

In Devon, we drove about Dartmoor Forest, looking for interesting views and picturesque villages. We were not disappointed! At Postbridge, we found a fourteenth century Clapper Bridge -- of course, I had to park the car and cross it on foot! We also made a point of searching for neolithic stones. Although I have been to Avebury four times and Stonehenge six, it has been quite some time since [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I visited any new ancient Stones. I believe that our trip to the Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake District during our May 2007 trip was the last time. So we hunted out the Spinsters Rock, an arrangement of four Stones -- about five thousand years old -- that marked a pre-historic burial mound.

The final day of our trip -- our actual anniversary -- was spent mainly in Devon, with a little time in Somerset. We began at Exeter Cathedral, founded in 1050. At this point, I have been to a fair number of English Cathedrals -- eight, I believe -- and have started to consider myself something of an amateur connoisseur. By my standards, Exeter Cathedral was very nice... but not overly spectacular. The bits that most caught my attention were:
  • The vaulted ceiling, which is the longest in England.
  • The canopy over the Bishop's throne. Built between 1313 and 1316 by Thomas of Whitney[**] -- without the use of a single nail! -- it has the largest canopy in Britain. During the Second World War, this wonderful piece of fourteenth century woodwork was preserved by disassembling it and moving it elsewhere for safekeeping.
  • Not one, but two colleges of Oxford University came from Exeter. Bishop William Stapeldon founded Stapeldon College, now known as Exeter College in 1314. Meanwhile, two hundred years later, Bishop Hugh Oldham co-founded Corpus Christi College in 1517.
  • The astronomical clock, because it is old and cool!
  • A long woven cushion that tells the history of the cathedral. Although modern -- from the late 1980s -- it is still an impressive accomplishment!

Upon leaving Exeter Cathedral, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I headed to Exmoor National Park, which we proceeded to explore in much the same way that we had done with Dartmoor on the previous day. We had picked the right time of year to visit Dartmoor and Exmoor -- the purple heather was blooming in both parks, much as it had been when we explored the North York Moors last August. We drove North through the forest, then West along the coastline -- stopping whenever a nifty village or a beautiful view caught our collective eye. It rained lightly from time to time and, as a result, we were treated to rainbows on no fewer than four occasions! One of these rainbows was the largest that I have ever seen, and the full hemi-circle of the arch was visible from our vantage point! We drove up the Porlock Hill and made our way to Lynmouth, where we stopped to watch the setting of the sun and then got ourselves a nice dinner in the village before making our way back to Oxford and Skullcrusher Mountain.

One would think that this would mark the end of a very enjoyable trip... but not quite. The drive home took place in the dark and, as chance would have it, less than twenty-four hours after the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. Thus, our return journey was punctuated every now and then by a shooting star zipping by, interrupting whatever conversation that [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I were having at the time. Definitely not a bad way to end a long weekend!

For those who have read this far, there are pictures from our trip beneath the cut. )


[*] For a recent example, see how much I was able to write about the short (day and a half) trip to Belvoir and Lincoln last month.

[**] Which, apropos to nothing, is right near Oxford!

anarchist_nomad: (Big Hair)
( Jul. 8th, 2008 11:48 pm)
As promised at the end of the last entry, today's post is meant to share some visual stimuli. So here goes!

Here are three different photographs from the sculpture exhibit at the Savill Garden on Saturday )

The hand puppets also wandered off by themselves for awhile -- taking my camera with them! When they returned, I noticed that they had done some photography of their own; a sample of the results can be seen in their own journal.

Meanwhile, adorable videos of kittens playing can be seen here and here. The videos are all of nine seconds and thirty seconds long, respectively... so don't be shy! Click away!

Finally, some time was spent this weekend brainstorming names for our newest furball. No decision has been made yet, but here are some of the top choices. Which do you prefer:

[Poll #1220065]

A decision needs to be made by Monday, as that is when the little guy -- currently sprawled out and sleeping on our hassock while [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat watches Doctor Who -- makes his first trip to the vet. We need a name to attach that new medical record to!
The collective reply to yesterday's party announcement post was more or less what I expected: The UK party looks like it will be relatively small, partly due to me still not knowing many people here -- especially local to Oxford -- and partially because it is on short notice. In contrast, the Event Horizon party looks like it is shaping up to be the blast we have come to know and love, with twenty or thirty of the usual suspects expected. With more advance warning and a greater number of friends in Chicago -- not to mention some brave souls possibly venturing out from my East Coast crowd -- this is also not surprising!

However, as an added incentive for those who are not sure about coming, look behind this cut! )
anarchist_nomad: (England sightseeing -- Mind the monument)
( Jun. 21st, 2008 09:06 pm)
Good morning!

Yes, nevermind the time stamp -- I just got up a short while ago, having spent all of the shortest night awake at Stonehenge to celebrate the solstice with my dear [livejournal.com profile] ms_katonic and the lovely [livejournal.com profile] lydiasings.

This was my second year of spending the Summer solstice at Stonehenge. Just as I wrote last year, it was intense and fantastic! Druidic rituals at sunset and sunrise, fire, giant horns, drum circles, dancing upon ancient fallen Stones. All within a Stone circle that is five or six thousand years old... and in the company of about twenty-eight thousand close friends! Lets just say that the energy levels were pretty darn high!

Same as last year, sunset was at 9:26pm and sunrise was at 4:58am. Funny how that works, huh? With the long twilights, lasting at least an hour and a half, there were less than four hours of true darkness. Unlike last year -- which was clear until just before dawn -- there was complete cloud cover throughout the night and a light rain the entire time. Thus, instead of watching the sun come up from the Eastern edge of the Stone circle, we went to the heelstone at dawn to be in front for the Druids' ritual.

Due to the rain and the clouds, I got fewer nifty pictures than the ones that I took last year. However, here are a couple worth sharing:

Sunset at Stonehenge -- believe it or not, this is before most of the crowd had arrived!


Getting a bit intimate with one of the sarsen Stones...


As far as I know, no pictures of me ended up on the news this year -- my ego will just have to cope somehow!

Overall, Solstice at Stonehenge is an incredible experience and I expect that I will do it yet again next year. I know that last year, several people expressed interest in joining this year... but were not able to come for various logistical reasons. If you are one of them, mark your calendars now and come with me in 2009!
Kitten pictures: Four weeks old! (Taken 15-Jun-2008) )
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Still a bit sore in the wrist, so I shall be keeping this entry short. Much has been going on, but I will try to make a summary about it all at some future point.

Tonight was the final class of my level three ice skating course. I managed to pass the skills test for both the level three and the level four techniques (see here for list). Very cool!

I now have two more cheesy badges to prove my ice skating prowess...

After the class, I enrolled in the level five course for next term, which begins in one week. Although we have already started practicing level five skills during our level three class. By now, we have covered three of the four skills from level five -- forward crossovers, backward snowplough stops, and backwards one-foot glides. Fun times!

Meanwhile... )
There is a lot going on that I could write about.

I could write about how, after ringing practice at St. Cross yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I went to the Oxford Playhouse to see a production of London Assurance. This brilliantly witty play, written by Dion Boucicault and performed by the famous Watermill Theatre company, inspired Oscar Wilde... and it is easy to see why.

I could write about development and progress at work with the R&D for new cryogenic detectors.

I could write about ringing practice at St. Giles tonight, and how I practiced -- several times -- ringing the treble for a touch of Grandsire Triples in the [slightly ambitious] hopes of being ready to ring it for a quarter peal in the not-too-distant future.

However, even with all that has been going on, I was not planning to write a LiveJournal entry tonight. In just over sixteen hours, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I are leaving Oxford to spend the holiday weekend exploring the Peak District... and there is much that remains to be done before we go! If you were expecting to hear from me, via e-mail or LJ comment or some other medium, it probably will not happen until next week. Don't take it personally; now you know why.

But if there is so much that needs to be done, why am I sitting here writing this? Good question!

Well..... tonight, at Saint Giles, I had a bit of a surprise )

[*] One thousand points to anyone who can correctly tell me what I am quoting in my title. I doubt anyone can do it... but surprise me!

anarchist_nomad: (Doctor Nomad)
( Apr. 7th, 2008 04:21 pm)
Another half a page of scribbled lines about my presentation at the "Dark Side of Astronomy" weekend. Probably not nearly as interesting as the story I have already told. On the other hand, it is far shorter and does document some statistics that I would like to remember.

There were about 110 participants who came to the Astronomy Weekend -- this number is constrained by the size of the lecture theatre; the event actually sold out. The talk lasted for seventy-five minutes, including a break partway through where I invited questions (to make sure I had not lost anyone in the audience yet). At the end, there were another fifteen minutes of formal questions before the audience was dispersed by the chair. However, I was then set upon by a fair number of people who asked questions privately for another half hour, until dinner began.

Also worth noting is the fact that this is the first time I have gotten paid for speaking. It was not much (£84), but it is still a first. Indeed, when I was contact last May, I had agreed to give the lecture before learning that I would be paid. So the speaker's fee is more of a bonus for my ego than my pocketbook.

Speaking of money -- yet switching topics entirely -- the new designs for the UK coins were finally revealed last week! After waiting months to see them (and periodically checking the Web to wage a futile hunt for them), it was [livejournal.com profile] ms_katonic who learned that the designs had been announced... and she was kind enough to text me to bring it to my attention. For those who don't know -- probably the majority of my f-list -- the Royal Mint is completely revamping the backs of all the British coins this year except for that of the £2 coin.

There are eight coins in common circulation (1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2) so seven are changing. The pound coin, which has changed from year to year anyway, will now have the shield of the Royal Arms on the back. The other six coins will each have a fragment of the Royal Arms so that those coins, when placed together, will join to form Voltron: Defender of the Universe the shield as well. (Sort of)

According to the newspaper reviews that I have read, the new design on the coinage is not being well received. Two particular complaints are that (a) for the first time since 1672, none of the coins feature the image of the Roman Goddess Britannia, and (b) Wales -- being the only UK country not represented on the Royal Arms -- is not featured on the new coins. Oddly enough, the man who came up with the design is Welsh. Go figure.

Personally, I go back and forth in my opinion of the new coins. I think that they are pretty cool, although perhaps they would be better as a one year, special edition, commemorative release... rather than the new standard UK currency for the indefinite future. Here are images of new and old -- let me know what you think! )

Regardless of whatever opinion I settle on, I did go to my local bank a day or two after the release, trying to procure the new coins. However, I do not think that they have actually been circulated yet. The teller, for one, looked at me oddly when I asked if he had any of the new coins. Indeed, he asked me what I was talking about... having not heard the news about them himself! Ah, well. They shall come in time.
Oh, wait. It is Sunday! And I don't think that it could be properly described as a "lazy Sunday", either. To summarise, here is what I have done so far today:
  1. Finished the novel that I was reading
  2. Went to the final two lectures (and the final lunch) in the Astronomy Weekend
  3. Took a nine mile walk with C&M
  4. Rang my first ever quarter peal
  5. Swam a mile
Not a bad day at all! Here are the details )

Finally, just for fun, there is one last detail from today. Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat, here is the view from the Skullcrusher Mountain this morning:




Footnotes )

It has now been three weeks since we received the terrible news about Foxy's cancer. She is still with us and, for the moment, seems stable. Had we rushed to get her into surgery the same week that we learned about the biopsy results, the odds that she would already be gone are twice as great as the odds that she would be recovering happily right now, with eleven to twenty-four months left to live. This tells me that we did indeed make the right decision in choosing to spare our little girl this invasive procedure. Meanwhile, while she is still here, we are making sure to spend lots of time lavishing attention on her... and, until the inevitable comes calling, I will continue wishing for that miracle.

Last weekend, the knitten that [livejournal.com profile] resourceress made of Foxy arrived in the mail. She did a pretty good job, and I phoned her to tell her so and to thank her for her loving gift. But no need to take my word for it; here is a picture of Her Foxness inspecting her newly-arrived knitten:


While I am showing off picutres of the Fox, there are two more under this cut, one of which is also features a half-naked man (thus may not be safe in some work environments). )
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