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annwfyn: (Mood - unicorn)
And, since I just got back from Morocco and my mind is filled with travel, have five “top fives” that no one asked for but you’re getting anyway.

Read more... )

Morocco

Mar. 6th, 2017 11:36 am
annwfyn: (Misc - journey)
Five more sleeps...

annwfyn: (seasonal - December)

So, I'm in Germany for the first time since I was fourteen. Also, driving in Europe for the first time ever.

Thoughts:

...German drivers are definitely more polite than English drivers. And the autobahns are fast, but in general I think Is a feel safer driving here than the UK.

...driving on the right is ok. Driving in a car with the gearstick on the wrong side is terrifying. All my autopilot driving has to change.

...I can't quite describe Cologne. It doesn't feel like any city I know in the UK. It's lovely, though; I suspect hip, not too expensive, feels like there's a lot going on without being too crowded. Would happily stay here more.

...the Christmas Markets here are lovely. Some mass produced tat but a lot of genuinely lovely crafts with enough variety to keep you trundling on.

...I know understand entirely that the Germans invented Christmas. And the spirit is strong here.

...German food is really underappreciated. So far we've had amazing curry wurst, delicious raclette, glorious waffles with cherries and hot chocolate, fresh baked pretzel and a hog roast roll with sauerkraut. I have not been fed this well in forever.

...German dress sense is definitely more conservative than British dress sense. Cleaner lines, sober colours and less variety.

...my spoken German is truly appalling. I need to practice!

Today, another two markets, Cologne Cathedral, and New Model Army this evening!

annwfyn: (Nonsense - hedgehog courage)
So, last night was the Glasgow gig as part of the Levellers 25th anniversary tour for Levelling the Land. And Jeremiah and I went. I don’t normally do reviews, but I was filled with thoughts and feelings this morning and so felt the need. As all my reviews are, it is divided into three parts. The good. The bad. And the ugly.

So, without further ado.

The Good:

  • The support acts. Ferocious Dog & Gaz Brookfield were both awesome. Gaz Brookfield is a very warm and witty acoustic singer and songwriter, who did a fantastic job of getting the crowd engaged. Ferocious Dog, it turns out, have Fruitbat from Carter USM as their guitarist, and also an unhinged tattooist as their lead singer who lists Lenin, Scargill, and Marx as his influences on their website, thus indicating a great deal of resilience in the face of an unforgiving political world which probably does help when trying to make a living as a folk rock musician. I accept that my political views are, compared to him, practically Genghis Khan like, and he probably doesn’t want the likes of me appreciating his music, but I really did. And their violinist was flat out incredible.

  • The venue – lovely bouncy dance floor, decent space, small enough to keep the buzz focused, large enough that it was easy to breathe. And it was less than an hour to get home which is a distinct improvement on the last Levellers gig I went to and no mistake.

  • The audio-visual at the beginning. I liked the neat little summary of the world according to the Levellers, from the 1980s to now, and it really put them firmly back on track as protest music, which is something I think they’ve drifted from slightly in recent years. Again, I know I’m definitely way to the right of the average Levellers fan (for I am a fickle bitch and have not kept the faith with my teenage politics) but I really appreciated that they were focusing on that edge to the songs.

  • The music! Of course! They basically played through Levelling the Land entirely, which pretty much doesn’t have a weak song as far as I’m concerned. I danced until my knees gave way and dear gods, I was happy. They remain absolutely reliable – decent vocals, decent instruments. Maybe they are getting old but they are not out for the count just yet. And, unusually, they played Julie! It was their encore song and as that’s the Levellers song which reliably makes me cry this is good. Then the final song was ‘Beautiful Day’ which is my least favourite Levellers song, so meant I could get my coat from the cloakroom before the crowds dispersed.

  • The entire gig made me think. Which is always a good thing. I’ve not yet sorted out my thoughts, especially the coherent rational ones from the ‘I used to be really passionate and idealistic and have all the answers to what made the world good and then I got old and also, I was thin when I believed that stuff, and my hair wasn’t at all grey. If I believed that stuff again, would my hair change colour? Is grey a sign of the evil in my soul’? But I do have thoughts and it was nice to have them.



The Bad:

  • The crowd booed Thatcher. Loudly. They booed Blair. Loudly. They stared in baffled silence when Farage appeared on the screen. This vexed me hugely for reasons I’m still trying to articulate. Probably mostly that I think if you are going to be so politically bloody engaged, then how about engaging with the actual political villainy of the now. This might, however, be me being unreasonable.

  • A slightly odd running order to the gig meant that they basically really front loaded the whole thing. They started with ‘One Way’, and then played through Levelling The Land, which really pushed their good stuff to the start of the gig, while the crowd were clearly getting on a roll. And that then meant their second half was slightly more random which was not bad, exactly, but could have been better.

  • More screens than I would like. I love my mobile as much as the next girl, but there is a time and a place. And if you’re in the middle of the pit at a Levellers gig, that is not the place to stand rock still, hold your phone aloft and mutter between songs about people jumping in the way.

  • The amount of pain I’m in this morning. I don’t want to admit this, but I think I might be getting old. I certainly am not in a place where I can go to a gig, dance all night and go to work in the morning feeling good about the world. Well, maybe mentally about the world. But not physically. I ache!



The Ugly:

  • Here I can only offer advice. If you’re a middle aged punk, I’m glad you’ve kept your individuality and spirit. If you want to go to a gig wearing a kilt – that’s awesome. If you want to take your shirt off then I even support that. But if you’re going to do these things, might I suggest you ensure your kilt is securely fasted to your belt, and that said belt is solidly in the middle of your stomach, before you start jumping around enthusiastically during the songs. Thank you!



Also, Ferocious Dog are playing in Glasgow again in January. I would very much encourage anyone who likes music of the New Model Army/Levellers persuasion to give it a go. Jez and I will definitely be there.
annwfyn: (Misc - journey)
This is a follow on from a conversation on someone else’s FB and my finding the CV of Failure that a Princeton professor wrote a while ago online again.

Today I have been thinking about the failures that at one point felt soul destroying. But which, with time, I’ve come to realize were the best things that could have happened to me. There are many, but for simplicity, I list the top three here for you.

Read more... )

My lecture

May. 23rd, 2013 11:38 am
annwfyn: (Studious - worst witch at desk)
So, today is my lecture on the Witch Hunts of Essex for the University of the Third Age. I'm hoping it goes OK and fearing that it won't, but we shall see.

I've got a head filled with bibble about witches, and witch hunts, and walking, and swimming, and familiars and religion and the English Civil War. I just hope it all stays in place when I'm in front of everyone.

See you all on the flipside.

Cornwall

Oct. 27th, 2012 10:44 am
annwfyn: (Mood - unicorn)
Eeeeeee! I'm going to Cornwall in January. Four days in a little cottage, in Bude, by the sea. And I shall go to Tintagel Castle, and the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle and eat Cornish pasties and cream teas until I am fat but happy.

It is going to be awesome.
annwfyn: (mood - ordinary princess)
This morning, I was a very sad Sally. I didn’t sleep well last night, and the morning was heavy with mist that made me feel like I was even more disconnected from the world than normal. I could have been anywhere, just me, in my car, driving into endless nothing. This was particularly appropriate considering my dark conviction last night and this morning that in the eyes of many I am best off kept entirely segregated from the rest of humanity entirely, ideally in some kind of small neat box containing radioactive material in order to maintain quantum ambiguity.

Around 9 am I decided that I was not going to spend a day being a pile of misery and woe, however, and decided to remind myself of things that are good, and bright and shiny.

I reminded myself that the clothes I am wearing are fresh washed, and as such have that lovely clean linen scent, which made me feel a bit better. I reminded myself that I cooked food last night, and got the salmon absolutely right, and that I think I will be cooking every night this week, which is fun, and there is a Tesco delivery arriving tomorrow which will help.

And the mist seemed to clear a little bit. No, not just metaphorically! It really did!

Then for some reason I had one of my occasional flashes of memory. I remembered the Temple of Monkeys in Kathmandu. I remember how the sun shone between the trees, and the steps leading up to the temple had this weird dappled light effect. I was wearing my favourite blue and grey shalwar kameez that day. I still have the shawl from it, and feel better whenever I wear it. There were monkeys everywhere, watching us with open curiosity. At the bottom of the hill, women were lining up to make offerings, with red smudges on their foreheads.

I went there, and I saw that. And sitting in my office, I remembered that is something I have, and that I can’t mess that up now. No one can take that away from me. It’s mine and it makes me feel a little bit brighter inside.

And then I looked out at the window and saw that the sun had finally broken through. The mist had faded and instead there were bright blue skies.

It has encouraged my god complex no end, I must say.
annwfyn: (mood - ordinary princess)
This morning, I was a very sad Sally. I didn’t sleep well last night, and the morning was heavy with mist that made me feel like I was even more disconnected from the world than normal. I could have been anywhere, just me, in my car, driving into endless nothing. This was particularly appropriate considering my dark conviction last night and this morning that in the eyes of many I am best off kept entirely segregated from the rest of humanity entirely, ideally in some kind of small neat box containing radioactive material in order to maintain quantum ambiguity.

Around 9 am I decided that I was not going to spend a day being a pile of misery and woe, however, and decided to remind myself of things that are good, and bright and shiny.

I reminded myself that the clothes I am wearing are fresh washed, and as such have that lovely clean linen scent, which made me feel a bit better. I reminded myself that I cooked food last night, and got the salmon absolutely right, and that I think I will be cooking every night this week, which is fun, and there is a Tesco delivery arriving tomorrow which will help.

And the mist seemed to clear a little bit. No, not just metaphorically! It really did!

Then for some reason I had one of my occasional flashes of memory. I remembered the Temple of Monkeys in Kathmandu. I remember how the sun shone between the trees, and the steps leading up to the temple had this weird dappled light effect. I was wearing my favourite blue and grey shalwar kameez that day. I still have the shawl from it, and feel better whenever I wear it. There were monkeys everywhere, watching us with open curiosity. At the bottom of the hill, women were lining up to make offerings, with red smudges on their foreheads.

I went there, and I saw that. And sitting in my office, I remembered that is something I have, and that I can’t mess that up now. No one can take that away from me. It’s mine and it makes me feel a little bit brighter inside.

And then I looked out at the window and saw that the sun had finally broken through. The mist had faded and instead there were bright blue skies.

It has encouraged my god complex no end, I must say.
annwfyn: (Mood - unicorn)
I've put in an application to work as a Volunteer Coordinator for VSO. I don't know if they will accept me. If they do, I don't know when or where they would want me to go, although from what I've heard, it is quite a slow process and so it wouldn't be for quite a while. Looking at their website, they are looking for Volunteer Coordinators in Sierra Leone and the person profile matches me very closely, but I suspect that the placements they have on their website are just sample placements and it could be anywhere.

I don't even know entirely yet whether I'd want to go. I just think I want to find out if that is even an option. After all, I am only really committed to staying here until April and after that I kind of like feeling like the whole world might be my oyster.
annwfyn: (Mood - unicorn)
I've put in an application to work as a Volunteer Coordinator for VSO. I don't know if they will accept me. If they do, I don't know when or where they would want me to go, although from what I've heard, it is quite a slow process and so it wouldn't be for quite a while. Looking at their website, they are looking for Volunteer Coordinators in Sierra Leone and the person profile matches me very closely, but I suspect that the placements they have on their website are just sample placements and it could be anywhere.

I don't even know entirely yet whether I'd want to go. I just think I want to find out if that is even an option. After all, I am only really committed to staying here until April and after that I kind of like feeling like the whole world might be my oyster.
annwfyn: (mood - salt flats/arid)
My weekend, away from the pretend people…

This is more a collection of snippets than anything else.

Read more... )
annwfyn: (mood - salt flats/arid)
My weekend, away from the pretend people…

This is more a collection of snippets than anything else.

Read more... )
annwfyn: (mood - salt flats/arid)
VSO are recruiting right now for people with experience in volunteer management. Like, you know, I have. With some fundraising experience in there too. Like, you know, I have.

There are currently jobs going in Cambodia, China and Sierra Leone.

I know I can't really go right now, due to [livejournal.com profile] pierot's course and things, but my brain is tingling, just with the knowledge that that's something I could still do, and, in fact, somewhere where I'd be far more useful than I was when I first ran off to go volunteer overseas. The world has a lot of earnest 20 year olds who want to change the world. There are fewer thirty-something professionals willing to put their life on hold and go.

My other dream right now is going backpacking again. I didn't think I'd say that for a while; after my last backpacking jaunt with the glorious [livejournal.com profile] quisalan I said I would, in future, either do a proper stint working abroad (a la VSO) or I'd go on holiday. I'd either get to know a place properly, or unapologetically bounce through. However, the longer I leave it, the more I realize how precious my memories of that time in my life are. At the time, spoilt and far too used to regular travelling (I travelled a lot between the ages of 18 and 25 - Nepal, Croatia, Tanzania, USA, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Sri Lanka) I didn't realize how incredible my experiences were. And they've stayed with me. I still remember sunset over the Amazon. I remember how bright the light was on the salt flats of Bolivia, how clear the stars were on the Inca Trail. I remember the amazing huge waves off the coast of Chile. I remember the silly moments too; my threatening to throw Krys to the piranhas (they weren't dolphins!), the crazy stories we told each other to amuse ourselves on long bus rides, the way we giggled at the guy who kept trying to chat us up when we claimed we were married but fled when we said we were protestants.

It was an awesome, awesome experience. And I think I'd like to do that again.

So, I guess this is a continuation of 'where would I like to be in ten years time'. I'd like to have found a way of taking off again and finding some more adventures to have. Because I might be 33 but I'm not sure that I'm done quite yet.
annwfyn: (mood - salt flats/arid)
VSO are recruiting right now for people with experience in volunteer management. Like, you know, I have. With some fundraising experience in there too. Like, you know, I have.

There are currently jobs going in Cambodia, China and Sierra Leone.

I know I can't really go right now, due to [livejournal.com profile] pierot's course and things, but my brain is tingling, just with the knowledge that that's something I could still do, and, in fact, somewhere where I'd be far more useful than I was when I first ran off to go volunteer overseas. The world has a lot of earnest 20 year olds who want to change the world. There are fewer thirty-something professionals willing to put their life on hold and go.

My other dream right now is going backpacking again. I didn't think I'd say that for a while; after my last backpacking jaunt with the glorious [livejournal.com profile] quisalan I said I would, in future, either do a proper stint working abroad (a la VSO) or I'd go on holiday. I'd either get to know a place properly, or unapologetically bounce through. However, the longer I leave it, the more I realize how precious my memories of that time in my life are. At the time, spoilt and far too used to regular travelling (I travelled a lot between the ages of 18 and 25 - Nepal, Croatia, Tanzania, USA, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Sri Lanka) I didn't realize how incredible my experiences were. And they've stayed with me. I still remember sunset over the Amazon. I remember how bright the light was on the salt flats of Bolivia, how clear the stars were on the Inca Trail. I remember the amazing huge waves off the coast of Chile. I remember the silly moments too; my threatening to throw Krys to the piranhas (they weren't dolphins!), the crazy stories we told each other to amuse ourselves on long bus rides, the way we giggled at the guy who kept trying to chat us up when we claimed we were married but fled when we said we were protestants.

It was an awesome, awesome experience. And I think I'd like to do that again.

So, I guess this is a continuation of 'where would I like to be in ten years time'. I'd like to have found a way of taking off again and finding some more adventures to have. Because I might be 33 but I'm not sure that I'm done quite yet.

Cornwall

Dec. 19th, 2010 08:11 pm
annwfyn: (seasonal - christmas (snow falling))
My holiday! )

Cornwall

Dec. 19th, 2010 08:11 pm
annwfyn: (seasonal - christmas (snow falling))
My holiday! )
annwfyn: (love - robin hood)
And goodness, I am sleepy.

For reasons of mostly not wanting to lose my Sunday to driving back from York, [personal profile] bringeroflight and I drove back from Shek and Emma's wedding last night. We actually made good time. We left around 10.30 pm, I think and I got home around 2.30 am real time and 1.30 am freshly adjusted time. So, all good, even if my driving was getting a leeetle erratic by the end and I was solely going on Walker's Ready Salted Crisps and Twirl bars, which are my Sally wake up juice off choice when driving very late.

I have to say, I'm really glad I went. I had a bit of a panic in the morning, where I didn't want to go; I was a bit stressed about the drive, unsure who else was going and generally feeling quite run down after a week of work (ummmm...not to mention cyclically hormonal) but I didn't want to let down Shek and Emma and I had offered Tim a lift, and so off I went.

And it was fab.

About a wedding... )
annwfyn: (love - robin hood)
And goodness, I am sleepy.

For reasons of mostly not wanting to lose my Sunday to driving back from York, [personal profile] bringeroflight and I drove back from Shek and Emma's wedding last night. We actually made good time. We left around 10.30 pm, I think and I got home around 2.30 am real time and 1.30 am freshly adjusted time. So, all good, even if my driving was getting a leeetle erratic by the end and I was solely going on Walker's Ready Salted Crisps and Twirl bars, which are my Sally wake up juice off choice when driving very late.

I have to say, I'm really glad I went. I had a bit of a panic in the morning, where I didn't want to go; I was a bit stressed about the drive, unsure who else was going and generally feeling quite run down after a week of work (ummmm...not to mention cyclically hormonal) but I didn't want to let down Shek and Emma and I had offered Tim a lift, and so off I went.

And it was fab.

About a wedding... )
annwfyn: (Mood - bedtime bear/sleepy)
About to set off to Shek and Emma's wedding.

I am very sleepy and also freshly overcome with traditional SallyFear of strange places and strange people.

I have no [profile] pierot which makes it slightly scarier. I do have a [personal profile] bringeroflight who I am hoping will look after me. I shall see you all on the flipside!

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