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Am home! Had good fun in the States. Massachusettes is a good bit, methinks. Still have little access to the series of tubes, so I'm gonna be scarce for a while.

Will update with my American exploits at some point, but there were margaritas, buffalo wings, planes flying into buildings next to us and some other stuff. All good stuff.
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Okay, so. I've spent the last week manically trying to finish my dissertation before I left the country, but to no avail. I'm flying home on Saturday, and my work is coming with me. I have to leave my very useful liberry books here, however. Bugger. Also, have been trying to pack and clean and keep my luggage under twenty kilos so I don't get screwed by Aer Lingus. I have to send a box home to Ireland tomorrow, which will cost fifty quid I don't have, and also go out for goodby drinks with friends. When I get to Ireland, I have to drop boy off to the airport the next day, then try and finish my dissertation in four days before my deadline, but also see everybody at home who wants to see me, seeing as how I haven't been home in six months. Two days after my deadline I have to fly to America to meet lots of new people and also get married. Also while home I have to see about getting a haircut and finding something to wear to a wedding. Mine.

I realise that this is not a very clear timeline, but that is because my brain? She is giving up.
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That cliche about needing a holiday to get over your holiday is horrifyingly true.

Last Sunday we slept through our alarm, and only my panic upon waking up and checking the time whenever I'm going away, regardless of alarms, allowed us to catch our Sheffield to London bus on time. From central London we got a train out to my aunt's place, which is in a little village on the Thames. As it was Sunday, bloke got to see his first cricket match. It was lovely to be able to see my aunt and my cousin, as they've been having a rough time of it lately. The next day we trundled from there to the British Museum, where the day was spent in geek joy. We also managed to squeeze some shopping in, in preparation for France. We woke up at seven the next day to catch our train to London, from where we caught two tubes to another train station to catch another train to the airport. With very heavy bags. Always fun.

We didn't arrive at the airport with a huge amount of time to spare because of some tube delays earlier in the day, but we weren't in too much of a rush. Until, that is, bloke's bag got pulled out for a search at security. The guy searched for about fifteen minutes until he found what he was looking for - a tiny swiss army knife that bloke had forgotten he had. We were thus late to arrive at the gate and didn't get to sit together. Other than that it was an easy flight and we arrived at Toulon in plenty of time to pick up our rental car and navigate our way to Avignon. We had to stop by the coast first as bloke was most excited at seeing the Mediterranean for the first time. We made it to Avignon by about eight that night (Bless the French roads and their signposts) and ventured into the city for some dinner.

Avignon is a gorgeous town a walled medieval city, dominated by the Palais des Papes, the seat of Rome in the (I think ) 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. At night it was just stunning. Our hotel was small and basic, but very central. If it weren't for the creepy dolls littered about the dimly lit hallways, I'm sure I'd have liked it very much. The next day we headed out into the old city to do the tour of the Palais. They're big on audio tours in France, apparently. Which I always think are faintly ridiculous, but it was handy to have. We have many, many photographs, but as they're on bloke's camera, it'll be a while before I can get them up. Late in the afternoon we left Avignon to get to Nimes, which took about fifty minutes. The driving around Nimes looking for our hotel took another two hours, however, at the end of which we were both quite snippish, to put it mildly.

The next day in Nimes we spent looking at the Roman remains - a temple facade firstly, but also an ampitheatre in amazing condition. They still do bullfights there every year, and the festival had just finished when we arrived. The tour was fun, but I didn't really learn anything I didn't already know. From Nimes we drove down to Marseille airport to pick up my friends Pob and [livejournal.com profile] lil_nibbler, who had arrived with [livejournal.com profile] jaaam, her boyfriend Harry and her parents. I was given directions on how to get to the house in Provence, and off we set. After about ten minutes driving and looking at the map however, I realised that the directions were wrong, and we headed back the other way, eventually getting to the right road. The other car didnt realise so quickly however, and we had to wait quite some timebefore their car caught ours up. We reached Varages (a lovely little town in Provence) a bit before midnight, found the house up at the top of the tallest hill, had a cup of tea, and headed to bed.

The house was really lovely. It's used as a yoga retreat by the owners, who are friends of [livejournal.com profile] jaaam's parents. The list of fabulous things about the house is far too long to mention, but my favourites included - the pool, the five-ring gas hob, the balcony outside my bedroom window and the hammocks littered throughout the grounds, the Irish teabag supply already in the cupboard when we arrived. The views and the weatehr were spectacular the whole time we were there, though we got a little chilly at night, being so far up in the mountains. Our time at the house was pretty uneventful - lots of bread, cheese, wine, reading and Pictionary. I think it's the time of year for them too, but I saw at least ten shooting stars while I was hammocking at night. Myself and bloke drove down to the coast one day so we could swim in the Med too, but it was less than two hours each way, and not too strenuous. It was brilliant being able to hang out with ma buds and such, seeing as it's been so long since I've seen them, and just doss for five days.

Yesterday we left early in the morning so we had time to stop and take pictures and buy presents. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time, but our plane from Stansted was delayed becaue of the security restrictions there, which we'd only vaguely heard about. We were thus two hours late landing at STansted, and even the hour and a half cushion Id given us between landing and catching our bus wasnt enough. Also, bloke has an American passport, for which the queue was an hour long coming through customs. As he had to be up at six this morning to catch a flight to Boston from Manchester, this was not a great state of affairs, especially seeing as when we asked about coaches, we were told the next one would get us into Sheffield at four in the morning. Eventually we decided to rent a car that he could drop off at Manchester this morning, as it was cheaper and quicker than getting the train. We even got back home earlier than if we'd caught the coach we weremeant to get, which made up for the crapiness, if not the extra expense.

So that was my holiday, and I went back to the lab today, and I am tired.
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The entire department has run out of ethanol. So I can't do my work. Which is actually okay, because I'm going on holidays on Sunday! Yaaaaaaaaaay! First we're going to my aunt's in London for a couple of days, and then we're heading from there to Provence, where we're going to Avignon then Nimes and then up to a villa in the moutains to hang out with my homies. Yes, you heard me, my homies.

In conclusion - YAY HOLIDAYS!
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Have arrived in Dublin. On stupid dial-up. Internets will remain sporadic, no doubt.

About to go to organic market. Am going to eat ALL OF THE OLIVES. So if anyone wants some, you better get them in the next few minutes.

Malcesine and the wedding were both fabulous. Will update a bit more when I'm back in the Shef.

Still hope no one's done anything interesting in my absence.


Apr. 8th, 2006 04:27 pm
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So, what happened was this.

I got a phonecall at about four on Thursday afternoon telling me to get an overnight bag together because we were getting a train at seven. Where to, I hear you ask? I did not yet know. Le Bloke wouldn't tell me, so I had to figure it out myself at the train station.

He took me to York! Where I've been planning on going forever but hadn't managed to get around to yet. We stayed in an utterly gorgeous hotel, where our room had two tv's. For why, I do not know. So Thursday night we went out for Mexican food, and once again indulged in our quest to find the nations finest margaritas. Mmm, frozen.

The next day we had breakfast in the room, hugged it, and said farewell so we could explore York. Le bloke's been there a few times already, so he knew where and what I'd want to see. First off we walked around one of the city's parks which has ruins of a Roman fort, a Norman fort and a medieval hospital and abbey. After that we wandered around the touristy street areas before going to York Minster. It's one of the most gorgeous churches I've ever been in, just glorious. Almost enough to convert a body to religion. Just not this one. We decided to climb to the top of the tower - all two hundred and something spiral steps. It was a bit of a struggle towards the end there, let me tell you. The view from the top was absolutely cracking though, if a bit windy. After a pub lunch and a few ales, we caught the train back to Sheffield, where the first thing we did collapse into bed for a nap. What a wild birthday, eh?

Post-nappage, we met up with friends in the pub, where I got some lovely cards and presents, then later moved on to a bar, where, again, I felt it my duty to partake of the margaritas. And le Bloke felt it was his duty to make me drink tequila shots. Was home in bed by about one, as pretty much all my friends had to be up at eight this morning for fieldwork. I was thinking of them as I was lying in bed 'til eleven. HAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA. That was an untruth.

And now I have to pack for five days in italy and six days at home. In a tiny backpack. Huzzah!

All in all though, a pretty rocking birthday. You hear that, next year? You see what you have to live up to? You better pull out all the stops, is all I'm saying...
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Edinburgh was just flipping fantastic.

Saturday we arrived around lunchtime and headed to the hotel, which at that point was still a 'surprise' because le Bloke likes to play mysterious buggers. Turns out we stayed in the Balmoral, which is the most gorgeous hotel I think I've ever seen. [livejournal.com profile] lil_nibbler - it was the hotel where we went to see the Serenity press conference. It was so very much too fancy for the likes of me. We had a king-size bed and, best of all, a king-size bath. I think it would probably be vulgar to talk about how many baths I took. Mmm, bath. The massive fuck-off wide-screen tv was nice too, but my heart truly belongs to the bath. Oh, and thingy, whatsisname, him, whatever. Yeah. Mmm, bath.

We headed out to Rose St. to find a place to watch the ruggerby, which was, if anyone watched it, an incredibly frustrating match. Yes, we won, hooray, but my lord it was tough going. That night we found a little Thai place for dinner. Mmm, Thai.

Sunday morning we (and by 'we' I mean 'he' because I was still dead to the world in the Bed-that-All-Other-Beds-Fear-and-Worship at that point) opened the curtains to find that a blizzard had hit Edinburgh. Now to fully understand the joy that this brings, you would have had to be listening to our endless conversations for a fortnight before we left Sheffield about how great it would be if it snowed while we were in Edinburgh. There may have been bouncing. And squeeing. I was quite pleased too.

So out we struck into the storm. Which - yay snow! Our first stop was the castle, but alas it was shutting because of the snow as we got there. The best thing about this is that we now have a fine excuse to go back. A FINE EXCUSE. Next stop was Greyfriar's Kirkyard, on [livejournal.com profile] siriaeve's recommendation. I imagine it's a gorgeous place at the best of times, but in the snow it was unbelievable. Plus, I found Voldemort's family! I'll get some pictures up when I get them off the camera. As we were right next door, we had lunch in Greyfriar Bobby's pub, over which I fought a long-drawn battle of Connect Four, which I'm afraid to say ended in a draw. Though at least that prevented either one of us sulking for the rest of the day. Refuelled on fishcakes, haggis and beer, we popped across the road to the Scottish National Museum to while away a few hours. After quite a bit of whiling, we though we'd better drag ousrselves away or waste the entire day looking at flint flakes, so off we headed to Mary King's Close. Unlucky (some might call us 'unprepared', but I would call them 'shut up yer face') bastards that we are, all the tours for the day had already sold out by the time we got there. Lucky for us, neither of us particularly minded heading back to the hotel room of wonderment and joy very much at all.

After a little more rugby, and yet another bath, we navigated our way to a Mexican place where, as well as a rather unpleasant amount of food, we put away a possibly illegal amount of Margaritas. But they were really, really good Margaritas. We stumbled our way back to the hotel where we felt that, though we had probably had an elegant sufficiency of Margaritas, we're not very elegant people, so we made our way into the hotel bar for, wait for it, more Margaritas. And after all those Margaritas I really felt I needed a bath, because, well, because... shut up. I wanted another massive bath. Screw water shortages, I was on holiday.

Stupid today of course, I had to come home. Today sucks. Except for the room service breakfast. That bit was okay I guess. But the rest sucks.

In conclusion, yay Edinburgh!
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for a bit, thank Christ.

So I'm off to Edinburgh for the weekend. This a very YAY state of affairs. I've only been for one night before, and that was for the Serenity premiere last year, so I didn't really get the chance to see much of the city.

I know that a lot of you on my flist have been to Edinburgh, some of you pretty recently, so any recommendations on what to do and what to see would be great. Hop to it!
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Lordy, but it's been a while since I've updated.

There were many things, including , but not limited to: project writing, funerals, flying home, starting classes, playing computer games, having to turn my computer off for nearly a week to catch up on reading.


Hm, things. Once you get out of the habit of doing this it's hard to remember anything interesting, isn't it? So how's about this - ask me questions and I'll answer them. Truthfully, unless it's easier to lie. As it so often is.
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As I was, as previously mentioned, on STUPID DIAL-UP at home, here's a quick summary of the whats and whens of my trip home -

Things I did -

1. Ice skating (So much fun)
2. MiniChristmas! (Cooking Christmas dinner for 11 people!)
3. Lots and lots of shopping (Some of it for other people, even)
4. Visited many different kinds of family (Where it snowed!)
5. Ate. Then ate again. Then ate some more. Followed up by some eating. (I'm hungry)
6. Went to the Leinster v. Munster match (GO ON THE LEINSTER!)
7. Had a fun NYE with the likes of [livejournal.com profile] jaaam and [livejournal.com profile] trinityofone (Absinthe - say no more)
8. Ate some more. (Still hungry)
9. Geeked out in a serious way with [livejournal.com profile] trinityofone (More on that later)
10. Also hung out with such luminaries as [livejournal.com profile] the_deb, [livejournal.com profile] lil_nibbler and [livejournal.com profile] siriaeve (YAYS!)
11. Played Trivial Pursuit (And didn't lose) (But didn't win either)
12. Played fast and loose with my punctuation in this post (!;!)

Things I saw -

1. Kong (Large and in charge, but a wee bit flabby round the middle)
2. The African Queen (Which I hadn't seen in years, so it counts as new)
3. Mysterious Skin (ouch)
4. Boa vs. Python (I wish that was a joke)
5. Brokeback Mountain (Broke my heart; [livejournal.com profile] lil_nibbler is still crying, I'm pretty sure)
6. Season 2 of Peep Show (The awkward would melt your face right off)
7. Where the Heart Is (Baby David Hewlett)
8. Copious hours of SGAquarium (most often with [livejournal.com profile] trinityofone)

Things I gotsed

1. The Naming of Names by Anna Pavord (Best. Book. EVAR.)
2. Paradise Lost, with introductions by Phillip Pullman (Mmm, gratuitous in the best way)
3. Clothes! (A lot of which Im wearing right now, I notice)
4. Blender (Now I can make soup!)
5. Hair dryer and straightener (And look pretty!)
6. MONEY! (Donations always welcome)
7. Perfume (Do I smell or something?)

So all in all a pretty productive break, methinks. Now if only I'd done ANY of the work I'd had planned...
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I'm here! And I have a place to live! Huzzah! I'll email the particulars to those who'll be wanting them.

I was up at five yesterday morning to get the boat, which would have been fine but for my mum who can't look at water without puking everywhere. The rest of the journey, in the car, only served to remind me why I was leaving the country in the first place.

Mum: Snipe
Dad: *mutters under breath*
Mum: Snipe
Dad: *mutters under breath*
Mum: Snipe
Dad: *Screams so loudly people in the cars next to us turn to look*
Mum: Snipes and *continues to make scene*
Jars: Can you two act like grown-ups for five fucking minutes please?
Dad, Mum: Shut up Karen.

For most of the day. And navigating for my Dad is never the mostest fun in the world ever, because it inevitably ends up being my fault when roads aren't signposted, and stopping for directions is like cancer, apparently.

But. We got here in the end. My room is bigger than I thought it would be, so that's good. Also, right in the centre of the city, and only five minutes from the department.

I've three flatmates; one from Leeds, who's also doing an Arch science course, but not the one I'm doing; one from Greece; and one from the Netherlands.

Our tv has Sky, but the channels are in a completely random order, and I'm not sure what the other channels are. I might go through them and write it down.

Anything else people want to know? I think I've spent all my loan money already, so people who come to visit will be buying ME dinner. Just so you know.
jarsy: (Default)
Okay, so. Tomorrow I move to Sheffield.

I have no idea when I'm going to see the internets again, but hopefully it will be very soon. Very, very soon.

Bye Dublin, and all that dwell in ye.
jarsy: (Default)
Looks like I actually will be escaping the country after all. On Friday morning. Very, very early.

I have some packing done. Maybe I can make [livejournal.com profile] lil_nibbler and [livejournal.com profile] jaaam help me with the rest of it tonight. I want to buy boots in town before I go too... hmmm. Things to do.

So anyway, Sheffield here I come.
jarsy: (Default)
Headed out for going-away dinner and drinks on Friday night. Dinner was delish, as even the people who were shouting at me for my lack of organisational skills had to agree. On to Sin E afterwards for pinting. I don't think I bought myself a drink the whole night; they just kept appearing in front of me. And how. Harry got us all onto the guest list for The Gaiety after Sin E, which was a whole bunch of fun. Oh my God the 80's cover band. There are no words. Much like there are no words for how drunk I was. I think I got sick once, but I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that I kept sneezing. So much snot. I'd forgotten to take a decongestant before I went out - not a good idea. I had to keep running to the bathroom to get toilet roll, then forgetting to bring some with me, then sneezing again and having to run back to the bathroom. I found it hilarious at the time.

I'm sure I was horrifyingly rude to some of the people who came to say goodbye to me. In fairness, I had no clue what was going on by the end of the night. So, sorry.

Apparently I was less drunk than Pants though, as she had the worst hangover of her life yesterday, just before she set off on the plane to Spain. Delightful.

What I should be doing now that all my socialising is over with is washing, packing, probably a little panicking. Instead, I'm sitting here updating my frigging livejournal, which is a far more constructive use of my time.

Also, looks like I'll be leaving on Thursday, not Friday. But we shall see. I'll probably never manage to escape this country at all.


Aug. 24th, 2005 02:44 pm
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I realise I don't have very much perspective on it yet, but i'm fairly sure that Monday was the best. day. of. my. life.

Who knew that could happen when you have to get up at four in the morning to catch a plane, after not sleeping because you can't breathe for snot? Not I.

[livejournal.com profile] lil_nibbler and I got in to Edinburgh by about half eight, which wasn't the most fun thing ever as we couldn't check in to the stupid crappy hostel until three in the afternoon, but whatever. We hung about 'til about ten, when we met up with Kevin, who gave us our tickets for Serenity, and is therefore the best man on the planet. We faffed about the town a bit, waiting for check-in, so we could have a nap, when who should we see but Nathan Fillion doing a bit of shopping on Princes Street. At that point Nibbler pretty much had a psychotic break, and the hero-worship part of my brain overloaded. Us being polite Irish girls who hate making scenes, we continued on our way. Until lunch time, when Kevin sent me a text asking if we might like to go to the press conference. Why yes Kevin, I think we might like that. Like it LIKE A FOX. Which is how we ended up sitting in on the EIFF press conference for the premiere of Serenity. Nibbler almost couldn't stay in the room she was so excited. Also, afraid that people might speak and do things (everyone who knows Nibbler knows what I mean right here). It was much fun. Joss, Chris and the cast all seemed really excitede to be talking about the film, and being at the festival, and the press all seemed pretty positive, though I guess that's par for the course. Nibbler managed to sit through the whole thing, and only gasped a few times when the cast came in. Which didn't give us away as not!press at all, no not at all.

After that we headed to the hostel for a nap, but were too excited to sleep, perhaps understandably. About half six we left the hostel to meet up with some other fans for drinks before the movie. And we didn't nearly forget the tickets at all, no matter what anybody says. We hung about outside the cinema waiting for the cast to arrive, which was cold but fun, talking to other fans. The talent arrives, cue lots of photographs and screaming. And cue queuing for another forty-five minutes to actually get into the theatre, though at least it was indoors queuing, for which I am eternally grateful. So we hand over our cameras and phones and after an introduction from the Director of the EIFF, and a few words from Joss, we watch Serenity.

Yeah, I'll talk about that another time. Suffice it to say, I felt feelings. Many feelings.

Brief Q and A afterwards, mostly crap questions, though Nathan did the Dance of Joy, which can't be a bad thing.

Back to the hostel, to sleep for the first time in about forty hours.

Yesterday there was some pottering about Edinburgh, which is lovely and all, but did kinda get eclipsed by the whole Serenity thing in my brain.

jarsy: (Default)
So thanks to certain BRILLIANT people who shall remain nameless, [livejournal.com profile] lil_nibbler and I look to be going to the world premiere of Serenity in Edinburgh. I refuse to believe it's real until I actually have the ticket in my hand and am sitting in the cinema, but am still ridiculously excited.
jarsy: (Default)
Still in Egypt, still having fun, still have an egrregious case of diarrhoea. Huzzah!

Will be ballooning on Tuesday morning. We're both very excited. I'm assuming if I fall out, I'll bounce. That's how it works, right?

Sunburned my back. Argh. It itches.


Jun. 12th, 2005 03:28 pm
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Have finally managed to get to an internet cafe. Woo!

We've been SO busy since we got here. I think we've done nearly everything that the east bank has to offer, and we'll start on the west bank tomorrow. We're having an amazing time, Luxor is so beautiful. It's around 42 or 43 degrees during the day, and goes down to 35 or so at night. We usually nap in the afternoons to get out of the serious sun. This is costing me an extortionate amount of money, so I have to go. SO sorry for any spelling mistakes, don't hav e to spellcheck. Might get to a computer agin befor I come home, I hope.

Yay Luxor!


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