This weekend was most pleasant, thanks to a delightful combination of the charming [livejournal.com profile] danaeris and beauty that is Oxford.

I met up with the lovely [livejournal.com profile] danaeris, who is visiting from across the pond, in London at the end of our respective workdays. We made our way back to Oxford, where I re-introduced her to Giles and The Boy at the Flat With No Name. Giles has grown considerably since the last time that she saw him, in June 2008. Then he was just a few weeks old -- now he has grown into a grand kitty!

Eventually, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip arrived and the four of us made our collective way to the Pink Giraffe for dinner. Without a doubt, the Giraffe is my favourite Chinese restaurant in England -- their selection of fake meats makes their vegetarian menu a veritable cornucopia!

At the end of the evening, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip headed out to the Leveret Warren.

On Saturday, after a lie in, [livejournal.com profile] danaeris and I headed out to explore a bit of Oxford. This weekend, the Oxford Preservation Trust was running their annual Oxford Open Doors event, in which a large number of colleges and historic buildings open their doors[*] to the public. I do so love my city and have not done any new exploring in some time... so away we went!

We started at Exeter College, founded by the Bishop of Exeter -- Walter de Stapledon -- in 1314. Exter is the fourth oldest college[**] of Oxford University. Fans of Phillip Pullman should note that it is also in the location of the fictional Jordan College from the His Dark Materials series. At Exeter, we strolled the quad and the Fellows' Gardens. We also took a peek in at the dining hall and the chapel. I was particularly struck by the chapel, where the design and stained glass windows reminded me of Sainte Chapelle in Paris. I was pleased to later learn that the coincidence was not a coincidence -- the Exter chapel was indeed modelled on Sainte Chapelle.

After leaving Exeter College, we visited the Baptist Chuch in Bonn Square, which was not nearly as spectacular. Then we headed to the Oxford Castle to join in on one of Bill Spectre's Oxford Ghost Trail Walks. [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I have seen Bill Spectre before, last Halloween at Blenheim Palace. He is an excellent storyteller... and very funny, too! Many laughs during his ghost walk..... and I also found myself tapped twice on the shoulder by an old ghost!

Finally, we made our way to Cowley to get dinner at a new Indian restaurant there. The food was phenomenal, and I shall most definitely be returning there! When done eating, we returned home and spent the rest of the evening sharing some quality alone time catching up.

On Sunday, the day began with another lie in, followed by a trip to Hythe Bridge to see a slide show and a talk about the floating chapel that used to be moored there for the boatmen on the Oxford Canal. We then strolled alongside the canal until we reached Jericho, then walked over to Green Templeton College. At the college, we listed to two lectures about the Radcliffe Observatory, it's history, and the discoveries made there. The first talk seemed more like advertising for Green Templeton College, but the second was quite fascinating!

When the talks ended, [livejournal.com profile] danaeris and I got Thai food for dinner, then ice cream at G&D's for dessert. We returned home and were greeted by the beautiful [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip and my belove [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat, and we all got to share some more time together. When the hour started getting late, [livejournal.com profile] bunnypip drove home. [livejournal.com profile] danaeris used some of her ice skating expertise to help me understand why my skates have never stopped being intensely painful -- a fact that seriously curtailed my figure skating progress. Thanks to her, I now know what I need to do to continue making progress in my skating classes. Finally, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat shared some cuddle time before drifting off to sleep.

Overall, a most pleasant weekend! Now a most hectic week awaits, as I depart for Japan in just seven days!!

ETA: Also, a most happy birthday to The Boy, Chirp, Stumpy, and Nona! Hard to believe that, as of Saturday, my litter of little kittens is seven!


[*] Hence the name. Clever, huh?

[**] After University College (1249), Balliol College (1263), and Merton College (1264).


Monday December 29th: Woke up at Mom's place[1], brought Lucretia II in for an overdue service, had breakfast, and got showered.

After all was in order, [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 arrived. She and The Kiddo and I went out bowling. I had brought my ball and shoes from the Event Horizon; it was nice to have them again. The last two times that I bowled -- in October (with [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42) and July (with The Kiddo) -- I had to do without. We bowled two games and I did very... average. My long term mean score is 150 points per game. On this day, it was 149.5. Like I said, very average. Actually, if I had had time to warm up, I suspect I would have done better than average, as the first four frames of my first game were much poorer than the rest of what I bowled.

Once we had finished bowling, we went back to Mom's apartment. [livejournal.com profile] gyades had arrived and was swapping presents with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat. When they finished, the four of us -- [livejournal.com profile] gyades, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat, [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 and I -- piled into Lucretia II and drove into Manhattan.

Our first destination was Madison Square Park, where we often go to feed the squirrels in the shadow of the Empire State Building. That park has the friendliest gray squirrels that I have ever met! Although I enjoy feeding them on my own, I particularly like to go there with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat because she gets an enormous "little girl smile" on her face! Whilst we were in the park, the scrumptious [livejournal.com profile] pomoloco joined us... complete with a pink fuzzy hat (replete with pink fuzzy ears).[2]

Two bags of nuts later, we met up with [livejournal.com profile] resourceress and AP[3] at a diner to share a late lunch as the sun went down. I had an excellent dish -- macaroni & cheese topped with vegetarian chili! Yum!

On leaving the diner, [livejournal.com profile] pomoloco (and her furry pink hat) had to depart. The rest of us headed onwards to the evening's adventures. We made our way up to the Macy's holiday windows, then to Lord & Taylor for more of the same. En route, we passed the New York Public Library, with its giant stone lions in the front. Of course, this meant that we[4] had to stop to climb on the lions for a photo opportunity. When we arrived at Saks on Fifth Avenue, [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 made a very interesting observation about the version of Carol of the Bells that they were playing this season. She noted that it was very, very familiar. It turns out that the recording is of a bell choir that she was a part of! Wowza! Very nice!

As we proceeded along the streets of Manhattan, our group had a remarkable synergy. You see, Gentle Readers, although [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat has been steadily recovering from her injury since the September surgery, a full day of walking about New York City is still beyond her current capabilities. She can walk just fine over short distances -- often without a crutch or even a leg brace now. Still, hours of walking in crowded streets would not yet be wise for her to attempt. As such, we borrowed a wheelchair to make the outing possible for her. During our travels, we all came together as a team to protect my beloved [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat. AP pushed the wheelchair; [livejournal.com profile] resourceress and [livejournal.com profile] gyades stood at the sides to prevent any clueless pedestrian from crashing into her; [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 was our "lookout" to run ahead and check around corners. Finally, in the front of this procession, I stood with one crutch, politely shoving people out of the way if it looked like they might run into Chesh's recovering leg.

It made me quite happy to see some of the closest people in my life coming together as a team to protect one of our own. It was in this configuration that we entered Rockefeller Center. The crowds there were wall-to-wall[5]; I began carrying both crutches to shove folks aside -- still being ever so polite about it! In this way, we got [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat a ringside seat to watch the skaters gliding about on the ice. We have done this together many times before, of course. Indeed, during our very first December together -- back in 1994 -- I took her out to eat at one of the restaurants that has windows looking directly onto the ice rink[6]. Still, it is always nice to come back to this place. Despite all the crowds, it is always a very peaceful experience.

Once we were done at Rockefeller Center, our group split up. Everyone who is not named [livejournal.com profile] anarchist_nomad eventually went to get food. Everyone who is named thusly stood in line[7] for about two hours to spend too much money[8] to become one of the skaters. Ever since starting my ice skating lessons, I had been wanting to skate on the ice at Rockefeller Center -- gliding along beneath the giant Christmas tree and the statue of Prometheus. The last time I was on this rink was December 31st -- nearly fifteen years earlier -- and back then I could only shuffle about on the ice, not skate. I did very little in the way of tricks, but it felt phenomenal to glide elegantly along this very famous patch of ice. The lovely [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 took pictures[9], and I am very much looking forward to seeing how they came out!

I remained on the ice until they closed the rink and kicked us out at midnight. Then I rejoined the rest of the group which, in my absense, had acquired a new member: The enchanting [livejournal.com profile] ms_redcat! This brought the total number of people taking place in our outing to eight... all of whom, I noted, are P**T*** attendees. Most nifty! It was like creating a little microcosm of P**T*** and carrying it along with us! I did not get to enjoy [livejournal.com profile] ms_redcat's company for long, but it is always good to see her... and she used the opportunity to give me my 2006 Yule presents, too!

Soon afterward, we all went our separate ways, with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I heading back to Staten Island to spend another night at Mom's apartment. We got in shortly before two o'clock in the morning, and went to sleep soon thereafter.

Total Miles Driven: 1492


[1] Not surprising, as this is where I went to sleep.

[2] One bonus of this hat is that the strings hanging down from it made it very easy to steer [livejournal.com profile] pomoloco in whatever direction I chose. Very handy, that!

[3] AP == "husband of [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 with no LiveJournal"

[4] In this instance, "we" really means me. And then, after some encouragement (from, um, me), [livejournal.com profile] resourceress, too.

[5] Or would be, had there been walls.

[6] It was a belated birthday dinner and we waited at the front of the restaurant until they had a window seat available so that we could watch the skaters whilst we ate.

[7] It was in the US, so it was not a queue.

[8] Twenty-eight dollars, as opposed to the four to six quid that I spend at the Oxford Ice Rink.

[9] As well as fetching the car from the carpark before it closed, thus making it possible to fulfill this skating dream. Thank you, Squeeky!!


Monday December 29th: Woke up at Mom's place[1], brought Lucretia II in for an overdue service, had breakfast, and got showered.

After all was in order, [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 arrived. She and The Kiddo and I went out bowling. I had brought my ball and shoes from the Event Horizon; it was nice to have them again. The last two times that I bowled -- in October (with [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42) and July (with The Kiddo) -- I had to do without. We bowled two games and I did very... average. My long term mean score is 150 points per game. On this day, it was 149.5. Like I said, very average. Actually, if I had had time to warm up, I suspect I would have done better than average, as the first four frames of my first game were much poorer than the rest of what I bowled.

Once we had finished bowling, we went back to Mom's apartment. [livejournal.com profile] gyades had arrived and was swapping presents with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat. When they finished, the four of us -- [livejournal.com profile] gyades, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat, [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 and I -- piled into Lucretia II and drove into Manhattan.

Our first destination was Madison Square Park, where we often go to feed the squirrels in the shadow of the Empire State Building. That park has the friendliest gray squirrels that I have ever met! Although I enjoy feeding them on my own, I particularly like to go there with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat because she gets an enormous "little girl smile" on her face! Whilst we were in the park, the scrumptious [livejournal.com profile] pomoloco joined us... complete with a pink fuzzy hat (replete with pink fuzzy ears).[2]

Two bags of nuts later, we met up with [livejournal.com profile] resourceress and AP[3] at a diner to share a late lunch as the sun went down. I had an excellent dish -- macaroni & cheese topped with vegetarian chili! Yum!

On leaving the diner, [livejournal.com profile] pomoloco (and her furry pink hat) had to depart. The rest of us headed onwards to the evening's adventures. We made our way up to the Macy's holiday windows, then to Lord & Taylor for more of the same. En route, we passed the New York Public Library, with its giant stone lions in the front. Of course, this meant that we[4] had to stop to climb on the lions for a photo opportunity. When we arrived at Saks on Fifth Avenue, [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 made a very interesting observation about the version of Carol of the Bells that they were playing this season. She noted that it was very, very familiar. It turns out that the recording is of a bell choir that she was a part of! Wowza! Very nice!

As we proceeded along the streets of Manhattan, our group had a remarkable synergy. You see, Gentle Readers, although [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat has been steadily recovering from her injury since the September surgery, a full day of walking about New York City is still beyond her current capabilities. She can walk just fine over short distances -- often without a crutch or even a leg brace now. Still, hours of walking in crowded streets would not yet be wise for her to attempt. As such, we borrowed a wheelchair to make the outing possible for her. During our travels, we all came together as a team to protect my beloved [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat. AP pushed the wheelchair; [livejournal.com profile] resourceress and [livejournal.com profile] gyades stood at the sides to prevent any clueless pedestrian from crashing into her; [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 was our "lookout" to run ahead and check around corners. Finally, in the front of this procession, I stood with one crutch, politely shoving people out of the way if it looked like they might run into Chesh's recovering leg.

It made me quite happy to see some of the closest people in my life coming together as a team to protect one of our own. It was in this configuration that we entered Rockefeller Center. The crowds there were wall-to-wall[5]; I began carrying both crutches to shove folks aside -- still being ever so polite about it! In this way, we got [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat a ringside seat to watch the skaters gliding about on the ice. We have done this together many times before, of course. Indeed, during our very first December together -- back in 1994 -- I took her out to eat at one of the restaurants that has windows looking directly onto the ice rink[6]. Still, it is always nice to come back to this place. Despite all the crowds, it is always a very peaceful experience.

Once we were done at Rockefeller Center, our group split up. Everyone who is not named [livejournal.com profile] anarchist_nomad eventually went to get food. Everyone who is named thusly stood in line[7] for about two hours to spend too much money[8] to become one of the skaters. Ever since starting my ice skating lessons, I had been wanting to skate on the ice at Rockefeller Center -- gliding along beneath the giant Christmas tree and the statue of Prometheus. The last time I was on this rink was December 31st -- nearly fifteen years earlier -- and back then I could only shuffle about on the ice, not skate. I did very little in the way of tricks, but it felt phenomenal to glide elegantly along this very famous patch of ice. The lovely [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 took pictures[9], and I am very much looking forward to seeing how they came out!

I remained on the ice until they closed the rink and kicked us out at midnight. Then I rejoined the rest of the group which, in my absense, had acquired a new member: The enchanting [livejournal.com profile] ms_redcat! This brought the total number of people taking place in our outing to eight... all of whom, I noted, are P**T*** attendees. Most nifty! It was like creating a little microcosm of P**T*** and carrying it along with us! I did not get to enjoy [livejournal.com profile] ms_redcat's company for long, but it is always good to see her... and she used the opportunity to give me my 2006 Yule presents, too!

Soon afterward, we all went our separate ways, with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I heading back to Staten Island to spend another night at Mom's apartment. We got in shortly before two o'clock in the morning, and went to sleep soon thereafter.

Total Miles Driven: 1492


[1] Not surprising, as this is where I went to sleep.

[2] One bonus of this hat is that the strings hanging down from it made it very easy to steer [livejournal.com profile] pomoloco in whatever direction I chose. Very handy, that!

[3] AP == "husband of [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42 with no LiveJournal"

[4] In this instance, "we" really means me. And then, after some encouragement (from, um, me), [livejournal.com profile] resourceress, too.

[5] Or would be, had there been walls.

[6] It was a belated birthday dinner and we waited at the front of the restaurant until they had a window seat available so that we could watch the skaters whilst we ate.

[7] It was in the US, so it was not a queue.

[8] Twenty-eight dollars, as opposed to the four to six quid that I spend at the Oxford Ice Rink.

[9] As well as fetching the car from the carpark before it closed, thus making it possible to fulfill this skating dream. Thank you, Squeeky!!


There is an awesome feeling that comes from skating backwards whilst doing half a dozen backwards crossovers in a row -- push, cross, push, cross, push, cross, push, cross, push, cross, push, cross! Yeah -- go me!

Week four in the Level Seven course did not go badly! I am not at all certain that I will pass the level in the next two weeks... but somehow I am okay with that. If I do, great! If not, there is next term.

Meanwhile, the new skates hurt tonight... but far less than they did last night, when it was all I could do to propel myself forward. Somehow most people in my class noticed them, too. That was a little odd; it is easy enough to tell that somebody is not wearing hire skates from the rink. Still, knowing I just got new skates means that people remember what I was wearing last week! In any case, I got several compliments on my snazzy new blades!

As I start to break them in, I can feel improvement in my control already. My instructor is one of the people who noticed the new footwear. I mentioned how badly they were hurting and she said: "You are supposed to suffer at first." I assured her that I was. Later in the evening, she noted how much better my balance seems to be when skating on one foot, and how nice my backwards crossovers are coming along. She went on to ask if the new blades had come "pre-programmed" with some moves! That made me smile!

Most important of all -- I am having fun! Looking forward to getting more and better control as the pain of breaking in the skates continues to subside. When I do pass Level Ten, I will have to choose a specialty to continue with for the SKATE UK STAR programme. The choices are (a) singles skating, (b) synchonised skating, (c) speed skating, or (d) ice dancing. I have started to ponder which discipline to focus on if I do decide to continue. So..... who wants to see the Nomad learn to dance on ice?
Tags:
There is an awesome feeling that comes from skating backwards whilst doing half a dozen backwards crossovers in a row -- push, cross, push, cross, push, cross, push, cross, push, cross, push, cross! Yeah -- go me!

Week four in the Level Seven course did not go badly! I am not at all certain that I will pass the level in the next two weeks... but somehow I am okay with that. If I do, great! If not, there is next term.

Meanwhile, the new skates hurt tonight... but far less than they did last night, when it was all I could do to propel myself forward. Somehow most people in my class noticed them, too. That was a little odd; it is easy enough to tell that somebody is not wearing hire skates from the rink. Still, knowing I just got new skates means that people remember what I was wearing last week! In any case, I got several compliments on my snazzy new blades!

As I start to break them in, I can feel improvement in my control already. My instructor is one of the people who noticed the new footwear. I mentioned how badly they were hurting and she said: "You are supposed to suffer at first." I assured her that I was. Later in the evening, she noted how much better my balance seems to be when skating on one foot, and how nice my backwards crossovers are coming along. She went on to ask if the new blades had come "pre-programmed" with some moves! That made me smile!

Most important of all -- I am having fun! Looking forward to getting more and better control as the pain of breaking in the skates continues to subside. When I do pass Level Ten, I will have to choose a specialty to continue with for the SKATE UK STAR programme. The choices are (a) singles skating, (b) synchonised skating, (c) speed skating, or (d) ice dancing. I have started to ponder which discipline to focus on if I do decide to continue. So..... who wants to see the Nomad learn to dance on ice?
Tags:
Friday / Saturday: Thanksgiving Party
Friday evening, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I hopped into Peter, our trusty steed, and drove to SouthEast London to visit with our friends D&J. D&J are fellow Yanks -- brother and sister-in-law to the breathtakingly beautiful [livejournal.com profile] pomoloco -- who moved to London just three months before we moved to Oxford. Although we didn't know each other well when we all lived in Lawn Guyland, [livejournal.com profile] pomoloco wisely put the four of us in touch soon after we moved.

Since then, it has become tradition for D&J to host a Thanksgiving party each November, on one of the two Saturdays closest to the actual holiday[**], and to invite all of their expatriate friends. This year was the third in the tradition[***]. We went out on Friday to remove the stress of travelling out from Oxford on the day of the party... and also to get a little extra time with D&J, who we had not seen since their housewarming party back in September.

The party was good fun: We got to see people that we don't often spend time with, I have an invitation to go boating down the Thames next Spring with the St. Pancras harbormaster, and the food was excellent! In total, there were twelve of us there -- nine expatriated US-ians and three Brits who came along as partners of the expats. Given the demographics, D&J's flat became a temporarily extension of US soil. In particular, somebody decided to forbid the use of British English -- anyone using "top up" or "queue" or "zed" or "bloody" would be penalized by having to take a drink. It was an amusing suggestion... though I am not certain that it is directly responsible for most people ending the evening quite tipsy!


Sunday:
Sunday was a busy day, filled with a variety of activity -- some social, some productive, some fun! Just the sort of day that I like!

We stayed over at D&J's placeon Saturday night as well and had a nice lay in on Sunday. As if making an enormous Thanksgiving dinner wasn't enough, J prepared a lovely breakfast spread on Sunday at around noon -- fruit, pancakes (with real maple syrup), bacon (for the meat eaters), cheese, scrambled eggs, tea, juice! Yum!

After breakfast, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I headed out. Before leaving London, we swung by Imperial College and I showed her the building and office where I now work. Then it was back into London traffic as we made our return to Oxford.

Upon returning to Oxford, I headed to St. Giles Church and rang bells for Sunday evening services. Nothing terribly noteworthy here.

When services ended, I met up with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat at Skullcrusher Mountain. On Tuesday, we had moved the last of our belongings into the [as yet unnamed] new flat. However, before leaving SCM for good, we wanted to do a thorough cleaning and perform ritual to release any of our energy -- or that of our kitties -- that still lingered. It took a couple of hours, but we managed to accomplish this. When we left SCM, it was for the final time. Interestingly enough, I think that this is the first time [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I have moved house without any help from anyone else or a moving van! We did it all ourselves, using Peter as the only transport vehicle. Admittedly, we moved from a furnished flat to another furnished flat, but still...

Next, I dropped [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat (and our cleaning supplies) off at home, picked up my new ice skates, and made my way out to the evening session at the Oxford Ice Rink. There, I debuted my new skates. I learned two things: (1) The blades are so obviously superior to anything that I have previously skated on, and (2) The new skates hurt. A lot. My feet were killing me, and it was all I could do to do some basic forward skating all the way around the rink without stopping! I am not entirely surprised -- the lovely [livejournal.com profile] danaeris once warned me that new skates feel like that until you break them in. Still... ouch! It was a bit disappointing to not be able to do much on the ice; still the only way to break them in is to wear the things!

When I got home from the rink, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I got takeaway Chinese food for dinner. I walked five minutes to pick it up -- I do enjoy living in a much more active area than we previously did!

Finally, it was getting late so I tucked [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat into bed, then wound down my own evening with a phone date with the adorable [livejournal.com profile] livetbd. It is always nice to hear her voice and it was good to catch up on each others' lives. We made plans to see each other when I am in the States next month; I am definitely looking forward to spending time with her again in the not too distant future! We also need to find a way to see a Broadway musical together, as we are both huge theatre geeks![****]

As I said -- the sort of active and varied Sunday that I like! When my head finally hit the pillow, I was thoroughly ready for it... and asleep almost immediately!


[*] One hundred points to the first person that identifies the source of my subject line!

[**] As none of us actually get Thanksgiving Day off here!

[***] Interestingly enough, each year they are living in a different flat from the previous November!

[****] Unless you compare to the spectacular [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42, who is the Queen of Musical Theatre. Even if she cannot identify Into The Woods quotes.


Friday / Saturday: Thanksgiving Party
Friday evening, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I hopped into Peter, our trusty steed, and drove to SouthEast London to visit with our friends D&J. D&J are fellow Yanks -- brother and sister-in-law to the breathtakingly beautiful [livejournal.com profile] pomoloco -- who moved to London just three months before we moved to Oxford. Although we didn't know each other well when we all lived in Lawn Guyland, [livejournal.com profile] pomoloco wisely put the four of us in touch soon after we moved.

Since then, it has become tradition for D&J to host a Thanksgiving party each November, on one of the two Saturdays closest to the actual holiday[**], and to invite all of their expatriate friends. This year was the third in the tradition[***]. We went out on Friday to remove the stress of travelling out from Oxford on the day of the party... and also to get a little extra time with D&J, who we had not seen since their housewarming party back in September.

The party was good fun: We got to see people that we don't often spend time with, I have an invitation to go boating down the Thames next Spring with the St. Pancras harbormaster, and the food was excellent! In total, there were twelve of us there -- nine expatriated US-ians and three Brits who came along as partners of the expats. Given the demographics, D&J's flat became a temporarily extension of US soil. In particular, somebody decided to forbid the use of British English -- anyone using "top up" or "queue" or "zed" or "bloody" would be penalized by having to take a drink. It was an amusing suggestion... though I am not certain that it is directly responsible for most people ending the evening quite tipsy!


Sunday:
Sunday was a busy day, filled with a variety of activity -- some social, some productive, some fun! Just the sort of day that I like!

We stayed over at D&J's placeon Saturday night as well and had a nice lay in on Sunday. As if making an enormous Thanksgiving dinner wasn't enough, J prepared a lovely breakfast spread on Sunday at around noon -- fruit, pancakes (with real maple syrup), bacon (for the meat eaters), cheese, scrambled eggs, tea, juice! Yum!

After breakfast, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I headed out. Before leaving London, we swung by Imperial College and I showed her the building and office where I now work. Then it was back into London traffic as we made our return to Oxford.

Upon returning to Oxford, I headed to St. Giles Church and rang bells for Sunday evening services. Nothing terribly noteworthy here.

When services ended, I met up with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat at Skullcrusher Mountain. On Tuesday, we had moved the last of our belongings into the [as yet unnamed] new flat. However, before leaving SCM for good, we wanted to do a thorough cleaning and perform ritual to release any of our energy -- or that of our kitties -- that still lingered. It took a couple of hours, but we managed to accomplish this. When we left SCM, it was for the final time. Interestingly enough, I think that this is the first time [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I have moved house without any help from anyone else or a moving van! We did it all ourselves, using Peter as the only transport vehicle. Admittedly, we moved from a furnished flat to another furnished flat, but still...

Next, I dropped [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat (and our cleaning supplies) off at home, picked up my new ice skates, and made my way out to the evening session at the Oxford Ice Rink. There, I debuted my new skates. I learned two things: (1) The blades are so obviously superior to anything that I have previously skated on, and (2) The new skates hurt. A lot. My feet were killing me, and it was all I could do to do some basic forward skating all the way around the rink without stopping! I am not entirely surprised -- the lovely [livejournal.com profile] danaeris once warned me that new skates feel like that until you break them in. Still... ouch! It was a bit disappointing to not be able to do much on the ice; still the only way to break them in is to wear the things!

When I got home from the rink, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I got takeaway Chinese food for dinner. I walked five minutes to pick it up -- I do enjoy living in a much more active area than we previously did!

Finally, it was getting late so I tucked [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat into bed, then wound down my own evening with a phone date with the adorable [livejournal.com profile] livetbd. It is always nice to hear her voice and it was good to catch up on each others' lives. We made plans to see each other when I am in the States next month; I am definitely looking forward to spending time with her again in the not too distant future! We also need to find a way to see a Broadway musical together, as we are both huge theatre geeks![****]

As I said -- the sort of active and varied Sunday that I like! When my head finally hit the pillow, I was thoroughly ready for it... and asleep almost immediately!


[*] One hundred points to the first person that identifies the source of my subject line!

[**] As none of us actually get Thanksgiving Day off here!

[***] Interestingly enough, each year they are living in a different flat from the previous November!

[****] Unless you compare to the spectacular [livejournal.com profile] squeektoy42, who is the Queen of Musical Theatre. Even if she cannot identify Into The Woods quotes.


anarchist_nomad: (Sunset over Key West)
( Nov. 19th, 2008 05:59 pm)
I have ice skates!!![*]

Today I took a big step forward in my figure skating "career"[**] -- I invested in a pair of skates. I have been meaning to do so for months, since the Level Five course started back in June. However, I have not made it happen -- for one reason or another -- until today.

On Monday, at the ice rink, I was really feeling like I needed my own pair. All but three of the people in our class have bought their own by now. On Tuesday, I did a web search for skate shops in London. Turns out that there is one just about a mile from where I work! So in I went today... and out walked I with new figure skates! At one hundred twenty-nine quid, they were a bit more than I had wanted to spend; I had been hoping to spend eighty to one hundred and prepared to spend up to one hundred twenty. However, they are well padded on the inside and feel quite comfortable -- the most comfortable out of the pairs that I tried on. Also, important to me, they were made in Italy. The pair I liked second most -- while prettier and cheaper[***] -- was made in China, most likely in a sweatshop.

Thus, I am all excited now! Indeed, I almost wish that I didn't have theatre tickets for tonight, so that I could go break in my new blades at the ice rink instead! Almost. Theatre dates with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat are always much fun... and I do have an extra practice scheduled on Sunday evening with one of my classmates.

One added bonus as I was leaving the skate shop. This place sells skates in the most generic sense of the word: figure skates, ice hockey skates, quad roller skates, inline roller skates, skateboards, et cetera. Just before I left, my eye caught the row of inline roller skates on the wall. Learning to "rollerblade" is something else that I have long been interested in. I turned to the store owner and said: "Just out of curiousity..."

Without waiting for me to finish the question, he answered what I was about to ask. He told me that the same skills used for ice skating apply to rollerblading. Indeed, he said, it was the same skill set but... rollerblading was considerably easier than ice skating. Much more stable skates, he told me.

Very cool! I am not about to splurge on a pair of inline roller skates now... especially not after dropping nearly $200 on ice skates! However, I will keep that bit of information in the back of my head for later. Perhaps I will buy myself a pair of inline skates as a present when I pass my Level Ten figure skating class.

Speaking of which! On the phone with Darelle yesterday, I realised that I do indeed have a goal for my figure skating "career"[**]. Up until now, I have just been doing this because it was fun. I started because I wanted to learn how to get around on the ice. I can now get around far better than I had ever thought when I started the Level One class nine months (and a day) ago. I had never envisioned myself doing the backwards crossovers or spins or turns that I can now do! Thus, I have surpassed my original intentions. On the other hand, I know that I will never be a competitive figure skater. Not going to happen. I see what the future competitive skaters can do -- it is much more than I can... and they are aged six or seven! That's fine; I am not particularly interested in competitions.

So where does that leave me? Until yesterday, I was not quite sure. The National Ice Skating Association (NISA) runs the SKATE UK programme, which has ten numbered levels, plus the bronze, silver, and gold stars. The ten numbered levels each have four skills that are to be learned (see here). After that, one selects a discipline (e.g., ice dancing, speed skating, synchronized skating) and enters the SKATE UK STAR programme. Each of the disciplines has three levels -- Bronze, Silver, and Gold; the STAR programme serves as a bridge from SKATE UK the the NISA Test System, and the Gold badge leads into the first NISA test.

Whilst talking with Darelle yesterday about ice skating, I realised that my goal is to pass Level Ten of the SKATE UK programme. I have no idea if I will then choose a specialty and enter the STAR programme, but finishing up all the levels of SKATE UK is my current goal. After that? Well... we shall see when the time comes.

Meanwhile, I think that I really need a figure skating icon. Most of my icons are either photos of me or photos taken by me. Perhaps a shot of me holding a skate and one of my NISA badges would serve for this...


[*] If I were a fan of LOLcats, I could probably phrase that differently. However, amazingly enough, I have never found them amusing. I know, I know -- I'm the only person that doesn't. Sacrilege, I realise.

[**] Such that it is.

[***] Though, as already indicated, not as easy on the feet.


Tags:
anarchist_nomad: (Sunset over Key West)
( Nov. 19th, 2008 05:59 pm)
I have ice skates!!![*]

Today I took a big step forward in my figure skating "career"[**] -- I invested in a pair of skates. I have been meaning to do so for months, since the Level Five course started back in June. However, I have not made it happen -- for one reason or another -- until today.

On Monday, at the ice rink, I was really feeling like I needed my own pair. All but three of the people in our class have bought their own by now. On Tuesday, I did a web search for skate shops in London. Turns out that there is one just about a mile from where I work! So in I went today... and out walked I with new figure skates! At one hundred twenty-nine quid, they were a bit more than I had wanted to spend; I had been hoping to spend eighty to one hundred and prepared to spend up to one hundred twenty. However, they are well padded on the inside and feel quite comfortable -- the most comfortable out of the pairs that I tried on. Also, important to me, they were made in Italy. The pair I liked second most -- while prettier and cheaper[***] -- was made in China, most likely in a sweatshop.

Thus, I am all excited now! Indeed, I almost wish that I didn't have theatre tickets for tonight, so that I could go break in my new blades at the ice rink instead! Almost. Theatre dates with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat are always much fun... and I do have an extra practice scheduled on Sunday evening with one of my classmates.

One added bonus as I was leaving the skate shop. This place sells skates in the most generic sense of the word: figure skates, ice hockey skates, quad roller skates, inline roller skates, skateboards, et cetera. Just before I left, my eye caught the row of inline roller skates on the wall. Learning to "rollerblade" is something else that I have long been interested in. I turned to the store owner and said: "Just out of curiousity..."

Without waiting for me to finish the question, he answered what I was about to ask. He told me that the same skills used for ice skating apply to rollerblading. Indeed, he said, it was the same skill set but... rollerblading was considerably easier than ice skating. Much more stable skates, he told me.

Very cool! I am not about to splurge on a pair of inline roller skates now... especially not after dropping nearly $200 on ice skates! However, I will keep that bit of information in the back of my head for later. Perhaps I will buy myself a pair of inline skates as a present when I pass my Level Ten figure skating class.

Speaking of which! On the phone with Darelle yesterday, I realised that I do indeed have a goal for my figure skating "career"[**]. Up until now, I have just been doing this because it was fun. I started because I wanted to learn how to get around on the ice. I can now get around far better than I had ever thought when I started the Level One class nine months (and a day) ago. I had never envisioned myself doing the backwards crossovers or spins or turns that I can now do! Thus, I have surpassed my original intentions. On the other hand, I know that I will never be a competitive figure skater. Not going to happen. I see what the future competitive skaters can do -- it is much more than I can... and they are aged six or seven! That's fine; I am not particularly interested in competitions.

So where does that leave me? Until yesterday, I was not quite sure. The National Ice Skating Association (NISA) runs the SKATE UK programme, which has ten numbered levels, plus the bronze, silver, and gold stars. The ten numbered levels each have four skills that are to be learned (see here). After that, one selects a discipline (e.g., ice dancing, speed skating, synchronized skating) and enters the SKATE UK STAR programme. Each of the disciplines has three levels -- Bronze, Silver, and Gold; the STAR programme serves as a bridge from SKATE UK the the NISA Test System, and the Gold badge leads into the first NISA test.

Whilst talking with Darelle yesterday about ice skating, I realised that my goal is to pass Level Ten of the SKATE UK programme. I have no idea if I will then choose a specialty and enter the STAR programme, but finishing up all the levels of SKATE UK is my current goal. After that? Well... we shall see when the time comes.

Meanwhile, I think that I really need a figure skating icon. Most of my icons are either photos of me or photos taken by me. Perhaps a shot of me holding a skate and one of my NISA badges would serve for this...


[*] If I were a fan of LOLcats, I could probably phrase that differently. However, amazingly enough, I have never found them amusing. I know, I know -- I'm the only person that doesn't. Sacrilege, I realise.

[**] Such that it is.

[***] Though, as already indicated, not as easy on the feet.


Tags:
The past thirty-six hours -- from Monday evening until this morning -- have been really good! There hasn't been any one single Major Good Thing... but there have been loads of little things conspiring to put me in an excellent mood!

It started with quite a nice ice skating lesson on Monday evening. I had a couple of breakthrough moments where various and sundry maneuvers seemed to click into place. I still can't reliably do an inside three-turn[*], but my backwards crossovers are looking good and my continuous curves -- both inside and outside edge -- are nice, too!

After skating on Monday, I had a lovely phone date with the even lovelier [livejournal.com profile] tawneypup! It is always good to hear her voice... and it will be even better to see here again next month! It was also a good way to end my evening; after getting off the phone, I collapsed into bed with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat.

Tuesday began with the perfect commute, as I wrote about yesterday... and the day just got better from there. Apparently, I was right about the perfect commute being a good omen![**] For one thing, the weather was clear and sunny -- at this time of year, I will take all the daylight that I can get! Also, over the course of Tuesday, I received word of various and sundry bits of good news -- much of it I cannot repeat in the public domain -- which left me feeling bouncy and happy. Indeed, the bouncy happiness threatened to bubble over... so I went up to the level eight terrace and had a phone chat with Darelle so that I could bounce at her from the roof for a bit!

Tuesday evening was bell ringing practice with the OUSCR at Mary Mag. The return commute was nearly as smooth as the morning's -- only a three minute wait for the Oxford Tube -- and the ringing was quite nice. In particular, I fell into a groove whilst ringing the treble to St. Simons Triples and was ringing impressively well (for me)! These days, I am working on improving my ropesight and my listening skills. Also my bell handling, so that I can make more natural distinctions between a slow stroke, a steady stroke, and a quick stroke.

When practice ended, I picked up noodles for [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I for dinner, then met her at Skullcrusher Mountain. We ate, then removed the last bits of our things from the old flat. With all of our stuff gone, the last task was to get the kitties moved. We had left them to the end, visiting daily with food when we came to pack. The idea -- which seems to have worked -- was to set the new place up reasonably well before unleashing them to destroy it! Before moving the kitties, we bathed them. We do this once or twice a year with our cats, using baby shampoo with conditioner to clean them up. So long as you start them on it young, they tolerate it. They never like it... but they tolerate it. For Giles, who was six months old yesterday, this was his first bath ever! He squirms like a wild thing when we so much as try to clip his claws... so both Chesh and I had anticipated the bath as being quite a challenge. Giles surprised us by taking it remarkably well -- mainly he just went limp and let us get on with it! Good kitty!

Once Giles and The Boy were clean, we put them in the car and left Skullcrusher Mountain. We need to return for cleaning and to do a farewell ritual for the space... but we are now officially moved out! Nice! Indeed, this has been one of the easiest moves I have ever done[***]. We did it all in eleven days, all by ourselves[****] and using only my Red Rover for transport. The new place is not fully set up set... but by spreading the packing over eleven days, we have had time to get a good fraction of our things into place as we went along.[*****]

The poor kitties didn't quite know what hit them! First, Mommy and Daddy take away all the things that they are used to! And go away each night! Then they get shoved into water!! And put in a carrier!! In the car!!! Then taken to a strange place!!!! Poor The Boy, he was very clingy and vocal as he explored the new place -- I made sure to lavish tonnes of attention on him! Giles, being a kitten, was less traumatised and happily explored his new home. Even though it was late, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I stayed up with them for some time, helping to acclimate them.

Finally, Chesh fell into bed and I hopped into the shower to wash the yuck of the old flat off of me. Then a "quick" hop online to check for mail from one or two certain someones... and into bed myself!

All in all, quite a nice day and a half!

The one downside to it all has been that, amongst all the activity of the past few days, I really have not enjoyed a full night's sleep since Saturday! I will endeavour to rectify this tonight. This evening, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I have theatre plans at the Oxford Playhouse. I don't know what show we are seeing yet -- this is the second-to-last of the "surprise theatre" tickets that she bought back in August -- but their shows usually let out shortly after ten pm. With any luck, I can grab a quick dinner and be in bed by shortly after eleven o'clock, thus luxuriating in the luxury of eight hours rest!


[*] But that's okay as the term is only half over. I have three more weeks to learn how!

[**] Certain good wishes from certain special people probably didn't hurt with this, either!

[***] Not counting those rare times that we have had professional movers, like when I moved from Arizona to Chicago to start work at Fermilab and the lab paid for the relocation costs.

[****] I believe that this alone is a first!

[*****] We were also able to re-use boxes after unpacking them, which is a nice eco-bonus!


The past thirty-six hours -- from Monday evening until this morning -- have been really good! There hasn't been any one single Major Good Thing... but there have been loads of little things conspiring to put me in an excellent mood!

It started with quite a nice ice skating lesson on Monday evening. I had a couple of breakthrough moments where various and sundry maneuvers seemed to click into place. I still can't reliably do an inside three-turn[*], but my backwards crossovers are looking good and my continuous curves -- both inside and outside edge -- are nice, too!

After skating on Monday, I had a lovely phone date with the even lovelier [livejournal.com profile] tawneypup! It is always good to hear her voice... and it will be even better to see here again next month! It was also a good way to end my evening; after getting off the phone, I collapsed into bed with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat.

Tuesday began with the perfect commute, as I wrote about yesterday... and the day just got better from there. Apparently, I was right about the perfect commute being a good omen![**] For one thing, the weather was clear and sunny -- at this time of year, I will take all the daylight that I can get! Also, over the course of Tuesday, I received word of various and sundry bits of good news -- much of it I cannot repeat in the public domain -- which left me feeling bouncy and happy. Indeed, the bouncy happiness threatened to bubble over... so I went up to the level eight terrace and had a phone chat with Darelle so that I could bounce at her from the roof for a bit!

Tuesday evening was bell ringing practice with the OUSCR at Mary Mag. The return commute was nearly as smooth as the morning's -- only a three minute wait for the Oxford Tube -- and the ringing was quite nice. In particular, I fell into a groove whilst ringing the treble to St. Simons Triples and was ringing impressively well (for me)! These days, I am working on improving my ropesight and my listening skills. Also my bell handling, so that I can make more natural distinctions between a slow stroke, a steady stroke, and a quick stroke.

When practice ended, I picked up noodles for [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I for dinner, then met her at Skullcrusher Mountain. We ate, then removed the last bits of our things from the old flat. With all of our stuff gone, the last task was to get the kitties moved. We had left them to the end, visiting daily with food when we came to pack. The idea -- which seems to have worked -- was to set the new place up reasonably well before unleashing them to destroy it! Before moving the kitties, we bathed them. We do this once or twice a year with our cats, using baby shampoo with conditioner to clean them up. So long as you start them on it young, they tolerate it. They never like it... but they tolerate it. For Giles, who was six months old yesterday, this was his first bath ever! He squirms like a wild thing when we so much as try to clip his claws... so both Chesh and I had anticipated the bath as being quite a challenge. Giles surprised us by taking it remarkably well -- mainly he just went limp and let us get on with it! Good kitty!

Once Giles and The Boy were clean, we put them in the car and left Skullcrusher Mountain. We need to return for cleaning and to do a farewell ritual for the space... but we are now officially moved out! Nice! Indeed, this has been one of the easiest moves I have ever done[***]. We did it all in eleven days, all by ourselves[****] and using only my Red Rover for transport. The new place is not fully set up set... but by spreading the packing over eleven days, we have had time to get a good fraction of our things into place as we went along.[*****]

The poor kitties didn't quite know what hit them! First, Mommy and Daddy take away all the things that they are used to! And go away each night! Then they get shoved into water!! And put in a carrier!! In the car!!! Then taken to a strange place!!!! Poor The Boy, he was very clingy and vocal as he explored the new place -- I made sure to lavish tonnes of attention on him! Giles, being a kitten, was less traumatised and happily explored his new home. Even though it was late, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I stayed up with them for some time, helping to acclimate them.

Finally, Chesh fell into bed and I hopped into the shower to wash the yuck of the old flat off of me. Then a "quick" hop online to check for mail from one or two certain someones... and into bed myself!

All in all, quite a nice day and a half!

The one downside to it all has been that, amongst all the activity of the past few days, I really have not enjoyed a full night's sleep since Saturday! I will endeavour to rectify this tonight. This evening, [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I have theatre plans at the Oxford Playhouse. I don't know what show we are seeing yet -- this is the second-to-last of the "surprise theatre" tickets that she bought back in August -- but their shows usually let out shortly after ten pm. With any luck, I can grab a quick dinner and be in bed by shortly after eleven o'clock, thus luxuriating in the luxury of eight hours rest!


[*] But that's okay as the term is only half over. I have three more weeks to learn how!

[**] Certain good wishes from certain special people probably didn't hurt with this, either!

[***] Not counting those rare times that we have had professional movers, like when I moved from Arizona to Chicago to start work at Fermilab and the lab paid for the relocation costs.

[****] I believe that this alone is a first!

[*****] We were also able to re-use boxes after unpacking them, which is a nice eco-bonus!


I am taking a page out of the tantalizing [livejournal.com profile] tawneypup's book and organising a museum outing! Or, at least, putting out feelers to see if setting one up is a reasonable endeavour!

So..... here goes!

Click here if you are in the UK-based portion of my f-list )

We now return you to your regularly schedule LiveJournal. (And me to my regularly schedule ice skating lesson...)
I am taking a page out of the tantalizing [livejournal.com profile] tawneypup's book and organising a museum outing! Or, at least, putting out feelers to see if setting one up is a reasonable endeavour!

So..... here goes!

Click here if you are in the UK-based portion of my f-list )

We now return you to your regularly schedule LiveJournal. (And me to my regularly schedule ice skating lesson...)
Hurm. I have been informed by Secret LJ GnomesTM that it has been too long since I posted an entry to journal my life. Well, gentle readers, I'm afraid that you all know what this means! That's right -- it's the Return Of The Return Of The Week In Review Post! In fact, it has been so long since I made a proper journal entry that this becomes the Extended Edition of the RotRotWiRP!

So what has your Friendly Neighborhood Nomad has been up to? )
Hurm. I have been informed by Secret LJ GnomesTM that it has been too long since I posted an entry to journal my life. Well, gentle readers, I'm afraid that you all know what this means! That's right -- it's the Return Of The Return Of The Week In Review Post! In fact, it has been so long since I made a proper journal entry that this becomes the Extended Edition of the RotRotWiRP!

So what has your Friendly Neighborhood Nomad has been up to? )
That's right! It's time for the dreaded "Week In Review" post![*] What has your Friendly Neighbourhood Nomad been up to this week?

Monday: After work, I had a tight commute, but got back into Oxford just in time for my ice skating lesson. Actually, I had thought that I would be late for the first time ever -- very glad to have been wrong on that count! This was the first week of the Level Seven class. We are learning inside edge three-turns[**], backwards crossovers, continuous circles on the inside edges, and continuous circles on the outside edges. The first two seem a bit tricky, but I have a fair bit of confidence that I can manage to learn them all in the remaining five weeks of the class. Eventually, I know that I will have to re-take a Level... but it hasn't happened yet, and I'd like to put that off for as long as possible!

Tuesday: Missed the Oxford Tube in the evening by about two minutes, so I had to wait fifteen for the next one. This made me late for bell ringing practice with the OUSCR at Mary Mag. Thankfully, I was only seven minutes late to a seventy-five minute practice, so it all worked out. Indeed, it is quite likely that I didn't actually miss out on any ringing. There were twenty-two people there, so I only rang every third or fourth go. I also stayed up far too late watching the election results come in.

Wednesday: This was a free evening -- a rarity during term time. Since I skate on Mondays and ring on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wednesday evening is the only one that is potentially open... and often [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I fill it with theatre dates (like we did last week and like we will do in two and three weeks time). I used the opportunity stay late at Imperial College. This seemed like a good idea, especially since I had arrived late, thanks to the long election night on Tuesday. Once I arrived home, I ate dinner quickly, then had a phone date with the tremendously terrific [livejournal.com profile] tawneypup! It had only been about a week since we had last talked -- which is normal for us -- but it was still quite lovely to hear her voice! Before the evening was out, I also got to catch up with [livejournal.com profile] frogcastle for the first time in awhile, and speak to the delightfully delicious Darelle, too.

Thursday: Today has turned out to be very different than planned. In fact, it has been a bit of an annoying day. Nothing serious has gone wrong, but I am non-plussed. I'm going to rant about my day, just to get the annoyance off of my chest. However, it really is just griping, so I will place it behind a cut, and please feel free to skip it! )

Friday: Tomorrow, we pick up the keys to our new flat! At which point, we officially start moving! Looking forward to this -- I like the new place, and it will make the commute a bit easier in a couple of different ways! Then there is a very busy weekend ahead... but I will write about that as it unfolds.


[*] Or, to be more specific, the slightly-less dreaded "Week In Review So Far" post.

[**] These involve skating forward, then pivoting on one foot, and ending up backward in a one-foot glide. We did them on the outside edge of our skates in Level Six.

[***] As anyone who knows me will attest, waiting is not my strong suit.

[****] Three cheers for mobile broadband!


That's right! It's time for the dreaded "Week In Review" post![*] What has your Friendly Neighbourhood Nomad been up to this week?

Monday: After work, I had a tight commute, but got back into Oxford just in time for my ice skating lesson. Actually, I had thought that I would be late for the first time ever -- very glad to have been wrong on that count! This was the first week of the Level Seven class. We are learning inside edge three-turns[**], backwards crossovers, continuous circles on the inside edges, and continuous circles on the outside edges. The first two seem a bit tricky, but I have a fair bit of confidence that I can manage to learn them all in the remaining five weeks of the class. Eventually, I know that I will have to re-take a Level... but it hasn't happened yet, and I'd like to put that off for as long as possible!

Tuesday: Missed the Oxford Tube in the evening by about two minutes, so I had to wait fifteen for the next one. This made me late for bell ringing practice with the OUSCR at Mary Mag. Thankfully, I was only seven minutes late to a seventy-five minute practice, so it all worked out. Indeed, it is quite likely that I didn't actually miss out on any ringing. There were twenty-two people there, so I only rang every third or fourth go. I also stayed up far too late watching the election results come in.

Wednesday: This was a free evening -- a rarity during term time. Since I skate on Mondays and ring on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wednesday evening is the only one that is potentially open... and often [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I fill it with theatre dates (like we did last week and like we will do in two and three weeks time). I used the opportunity stay late at Imperial College. This seemed like a good idea, especially since I had arrived late, thanks to the long election night on Tuesday. Once I arrived home, I ate dinner quickly, then had a phone date with the tremendously terrific [livejournal.com profile] tawneypup! It had only been about a week since we had last talked -- which is normal for us -- but it was still quite lovely to hear her voice! Before the evening was out, I also got to catch up with [livejournal.com profile] frogcastle for the first time in awhile, and speak to the delightfully delicious Darelle, too.

Thursday: Today has turned out to be very different than planned. In fact, it has been a bit of an annoying day. Nothing serious has gone wrong, but I am non-plussed. I'm going to rant about my day, just to get the annoyance off of my chest. However, it really is just griping, so I will place it behind a cut, and please feel free to skip it! )

Friday: Tomorrow, we pick up the keys to our new flat! At which point, we officially start moving! Looking forward to this -- I like the new place, and it will make the commute a bit easier in a couple of different ways! Then there is a very busy weekend ahead... but I will write about that as it unfolds.


[*] Or, to be more specific, the slightly-less dreaded "Week In Review So Far" post.

[**] These involve skating forward, then pivoting on one foot, and ending up backward in a one-foot glide. We did them on the outside edge of our skates in Level Six.

[***] As anyone who knows me will attest, waiting is not my strong suit.

[****] Three cheers for mobile broadband!


I PASSED LEVEL SIX!!!!!



Ahem. Tonight, I had originally intended to have a social night, either at either the London Poly MeetUp or at Coffe, Cake and Kink. Those plans got the axe, however, on account of the need for an additional ice skating lesson.

Yesterday was week five of my Level Six course. At the end of it, I had passed three of the four skills for this level: a two-foot slalom, backwards chasses around a circle (both directions), and turning from backwards to forwards on one leg. I had not yet passed the "forward three-turn" -- a maneuver wherein one begins by skating forward, raises one leg, pivots to backwards on the other leg, and ends in a backwards glide on one foot. To pass Level Six, it was necessary to do the move on either leg. My turns weren't bad, but I found it difficult to end in a one foot backwards glide; the second foot kept coming down too soon.

Normally, this would not be a problem. After all, there is one week left in the course. However, I leave for the States (and P**T***!) on Thursday and will miss the final week. Whoops. To make up for the loss of a thirty minute group lesson, I sprung for a fifteen minute private lesson tonight. I would have preferred a different evening, to preserve the social night. Alas, this was the only evening that my instructor had available.

In any case, I am very glad that this worked out. We got me through the three-turn relatively quickly... so I am now certified as a Level Six NISA skater! We also had time to start looking at one of the Level Seven skills for next term: Backwards crossovers. Astoundingly enough, my first attempts at them were not bad!

Oh, my goodness. Eight months ago, I could barely stand up on the ice. Tonight, I just did backwards crossovers.

I can't wait to get to Rockefeller Center in December!!!
Tags:

I PASSED LEVEL SIX!!!!!



Ahem. Tonight, I had originally intended to have a social night, either at either the London Poly MeetUp or at Coffe, Cake and Kink. Those plans got the axe, however, on account of the need for an additional ice skating lesson.

Yesterday was week five of my Level Six course. At the end of it, I had passed three of the four skills for this level: a two-foot slalom, backwards chasses around a circle (both directions), and turning from backwards to forwards on one leg. I had not yet passed the "forward three-turn" -- a maneuver wherein one begins by skating forward, raises one leg, pivots to backwards on the other leg, and ends in a backwards glide on one foot. To pass Level Six, it was necessary to do the move on either leg. My turns weren't bad, but I found it difficult to end in a one foot backwards glide; the second foot kept coming down too soon.

Normally, this would not be a problem. After all, there is one week left in the course. However, I leave for the States (and P**T***!) on Thursday and will miss the final week. Whoops. To make up for the loss of a thirty minute group lesson, I sprung for a fifteen minute private lesson tonight. I would have preferred a different evening, to preserve the social night. Alas, this was the only evening that my instructor had available.

In any case, I am very glad that this worked out. We got me through the three-turn relatively quickly... so I am now certified as a Level Six NISA skater! We also had time to start looking at one of the Level Seven skills for next term: Backwards crossovers. Astoundingly enough, my first attempts at them were not bad!

Oh, my goodness. Eight months ago, I could barely stand up on the ice. Tonight, I just did backwards crossovers.

I can't wait to get to Rockefeller Center in December!!!
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It is Tuesday afternoon. This morning, I took a short trip to the United States.

Yes, gentle readers, you heard right. I needed to visit the U.S. Embassy here in London to get some papers notarized for the refinancing of the Event Horizon. It was weird to walk off the streets of London and be back in the United States again, including paying for things in dollars (and needing my passport to get in!). I took the underground from Imperial College to the Embassy, but walked back. Oddly enough, the return trip, on foot, was shorter than the outbound one!

It is Tuesday afternoon. Since Monday morning, I have:
  • Found a new flat for [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat and I to move into
  • Had a follow-up meeting at the hospital with [livejournal.com profile] cheshcat's surgeon[*]
  • Gotten Peter the Red Rover through his MOT, making him legal to drive for another year
  • Gone ice skating
  • Visited the Embassy to finish the final (?) papers needed for refinancing the house
  • lots of other little niggly bits, like arranging cat care for our upcoming trip to the States, that I won't bore anyone with here[**]

Whew! Good thing for those super powers, or I might be feeling a bit worn out after all that!

Right. Back to work then. Let's see if we can't get some physics done before it is time to pack up for the day and head back to Oxford for tonight's ice skating lesson...

[*] There was some good news to be had there! I won't discuss it, as it is Chesh's to tell, but good news should be acknowledged!

[**] I realise that this journal is boring enough of late already, seeing as I have not jumped out of any planes, walked on hot coals, climbed the ruins of a Norman castle, witnessed any exploding Time Machines, danced round any seven story bonfires, visited any extreme geographic locations, attended any historic concerts, or mudwrestled since the end of August. [Note to new readers: The above paragraph is the summary version of my July and August] Ah, Summer, old friend! How I do miss thee!


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