mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
I've been really slack in updating over the last few weeks. This is largely due to the amount of things that have been going on. If you follow [profile] seraphs_folly you may have picked up on some of what has been going on.

Basically, of the last month or so, much of it has been away from home, and much of the "away" was with [profile] seraphs_folly. But I want to try and capture some of it while I can still remember it, so here goes, an attempt to capture over a months worth of life in a single post. Note that it is huge, and has pictures!

Read more... )

Phew that'll do me for now, I still haven't covered our adventures looking for houses while [profile] seraphs_folly house-sat for [personal profile] tyellas, or Conscription last weekend!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
I'm in the Manchester Airport Raddisson. Like most of the good hotels I've been in over here it's got free wi-fi. You can also get a cable connection if your laptop is so old it doesn't have wifi, but to do that you have to go sit in the lobby.

I'm sitting in my room feeling rather disconcerted at the eye-shaped mirror facing me across the desk, which has it's own eye motif going. Even the soap here is special, smells lovely and made specially for the hotel chain. This one is a little more expensive than the Mercure St. Pauls, but not as expensive as the Brittania.

This evening I had a Beck's and a "Hawaiian" pizza. It was actually the best Hawaiian pizza, I've ever had. Loads of big chunks of pineapple, and the ham wasn't your normal pressed ham, it was thick chunks of real ham off the bone that tasted like it had been honey glazed. And there were spices in the cheese that made it fresh and tasty. Of course it cost £11, but although that's about NZD $28, it's only a couple of pounds more than a similar one at Pizza Express, and the difference is defintiely worth the price!

Tomorrow morning I fly out of here via Singapore, arriving in Auckland around midnight Sunday. Then I stay at the Ventura over night and fly back down to Wellington in the morning of Christmas eve. As long as all goes according to plan. It's been a close call so far, employees of the airport operating companies here have given sixteen day notice of a strike today. Actually things have gone pretty well, a nice train from Sheffield to Manchester, sitting next to a guy who was flying to Australia tonight, got my bag in a good place and got a seat, not like some of the journeys I've had. Hotel check in went smothly, though it seems most hotel reception desks over here are staffed by East European women.

All I have to do is get up at six to be checked in three hours before the flight leaves, though I only have to check out and walk down the travellator.

A weekend

Nov. 5th, 2007 10:34 am
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Tyler)
This weekend I visited M&C in Manchester.

I took the train to Altrincham (pronounced "Altringam" which I'm told is mispelt because it means "Tring's hill fort") and got picked up, C going off shopping for a bit while M & I chatted, catching up. C returned and provided a yummy lunch. In the afternoon we went for a walk over various trails that due to laws protecting customary rights of way, meant we could wander across golf courses and across fields that were ploughed except for the track, past houses that would make many back home drool, to what M called the "Stile Mill", though I thought he meant "Style Mill". I was going to pretend to be Dr. W, to get in free, but the house was closed. But the deer were cute. It was surprising how tame they were , even with dogs being led on leashes nearby, and the walk was a good thing given all the yummy food I'd eaten!

When we got back, we watched Thunderball on TV having great fun MST3King it, and was introduced to C's passion, Strictly Come Dancing. Then my hosts introduced me to John Barrowman ( Captain Jack from Torchwood) being very gay on the TV show Never Mind The Buzz-cocks. To keep up my end of the cultural exchange, I introduced them to Brett and Jemaine, and the Wet-Spots. We ended up watching much of Four Weddings and a Funeral while continuing to chat.

Interspersed thru this [ profile] seraphs_folly kept popping in and making her presence felt via the net. It was welcome contact, and between us we managed to buy a print! We exchanged photos via the net, M finding this pic of [ profile] argentbear and [ profile] seraphs_folly very quickly, and talking about old friends in common.

I don't know what it is about them, but after not seeing them for two years, two years that have seen massive change in my life, we're just into chatting and joking and it feels like no time has gone by at all. It feels like "going home" somehow. Thanks guys, for having me over, and to C for all the yummy food!

Came back to Sheffield and headed down to a classic old pub, The Rutland Arms for the Sheffield Munch. It's good to find that kinky people are friendly the world over! :)

Now for the Pics! )
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Captain Jack)
I should have taken my camera! There were people getting married in the cathedral and having photos in the Peace Garden. There were morris dancers! There were punk morris dancers! There were hundreds of Breast Cancer Appeal collectors dressed as Smurfs! There was a peaceful and quiet demonstration in support of the Kurds against the Turks.

The day started well with a nice breakfast that was included in the room price. It was in the restaurant I can look down on from my window (and you can see if you look at my last post),

I went out this morning with some specific goals in mind. I wanted to buy a body brush, and I wanted to get some new shoes. The body brush was a necessity as the one I have at home is worn down almost to the wood! So I left my brush behind when I flew out to force myself to buy a new one. I also knew that they were easier to find over here in the UK than in New Zealand.

I accomplished these goals relatively easily. The brush was available in Marks & Spencer (UK equivalent to Farmers) and I luckily ran into a sale at shoe chain The Office. Designer leather shoes, made in Portugal with leather soles, normally selling for £64 were going for between £40 and £45, and if you bought two pairs you got the cheapest pair at a further 50% off. So I ended up spending £65 (or about $175 for two pairs of really nice (or at least I think they are) designer leather shoes. My normal Floorschiems go for about $160 a pair. They threw in a nice branded shoe horn for free, which looks much stronger than the one I had to pay for in Wellington, and which is now cracked and was another thing on my list of things to replace.

It seems so much easier to shop when there isn't anything else to think about, and there's nothing else one can really be working on. I suppose I could actually write something, but that's not (to me) the same sort of pressure as having actual work, ongoing house work, things to throw out or sell on TradeMe, other people's websites to work on, etc. It is really quite a good little holiday I'm having here! :)

I popped into the Lush store over here, and they look exactly the same as they do in NZ, with the same massage bars . And they employ the same sort of cool people too. I got nice smiles from the bright red head with tats, and got a sales pitch for their Halloween special shower wash called Ghost (do they have that in NZ?) from a bishy bald punk with multiple facial piercings who smeared the fruity stuff on his wrist and got me to sniff it.

For the war gamers, I dropped into Wargames Emporium, an independent game store who sell a lot of second hand equipment on behalf, and from whom I've bought some good stuff before. I can buy the Games Workshop Apocalypse rulebook brand new in the UK for £30. With the current exchange rate this means the book will cost me around $80. It sells for AUD $95 from the GW website. Plus postage. I can buy the Dark Angels codex for £12, around $32. It sells for AUD$38 from the GW website.

It seems there are definitely things that cost less money in the UK!

And there is a gold rush in Ireland!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Somewhere over Australia I read yet another Australian-written aftermath scenario. Is it because of Australia's great deserts that the land generates so much armageddon fiction? Or is it that belief, perhaps first articulated in On The Beach, that Australia's remoteness and the hardiness of Australians both native and imported would mean they would be survivors of any old world catastrophe?

I say "yet another" aftermath scenario, but that is not meant disparagingly, because most of those others are great, such as Greg Egan and Sean McMullen.

There is something freeing about a long distance flight. While in the back of my head is sorrow for loss of the weekend [ profile] seraphs_folly and I were to share, and worry for her distress, and our missing of cuddles, there is nothing I can do about it now. In fact, there is nothing at all I can do about anything but sit, relax, read, eat good food, and and string together words into sentences.

No matter what is happening in the world, I don't know about it, and I can't affect it. We could be in a Down to a Sunless Sea situation I would not know and I would be powerless to act. Which why I feel reading Tess Williams' Map of Power is somewhat ironic. One part of the book's heroic tryptych Kass, is in just such a situation aboard a moon-orbit habitat, whose populace try to continue with the orders to preserve Earth's genetic heritage, while going slowly crazy because it seems no-one on the post-apocalyptic planet remembers them.

I think Map of Power is a book [ profile] seraphs_folly would like. The phraseology reminds me of hers in some ways and one part of the tryptych, the arctic-dwelling huntress Cheela, named "Heart of the Tribe" by the Mythmaker, embodies a pagan outlook that I think would resonate. The final part of the tryptych, and the only male, at this stage of the story seems bent on recovering hated civiliizaton but is being used by his step-father to create another empire. Pretty sexually stereotyped at present, the characters, so we'll see how the rest of it goes over the remaining hours of this flight.

But I was speaking of the freedom of flight. Not being able to affect anything outside this winged cigar, and not having anything pressing I can do in this unconnected space, I can fully relax in a way rarely possible when on the ground. This frees my mind to play with words and thoughts in a way I have not done for some time. I'm actually finding it pleasurable to write for no other reason than because I can and because I feel like it. Self-indulgent of course, but to paraphrase Wilde, there's no one else here to indulge.

Looking out over the sea of clouds buffeted in a fragile aluminium eggshell kept aloft only by the continual burning of kerosene offerings to the gods of aerodynamics, I am inspired by it's vastness. Looking down on New Zealand and Australia, I am struck by how small we, and most of our works are, but at the same time the pervacity of our affect on the surface. Thousand year old red deserts are marked by thousand mile long die-straight trails

I am somewhat annoyed at the luck of my colleague G though. He's the one who ended up sitting next to the hot Asian chick with the interesting flame tattoo on her hip whose name is Kae for ten hours. Why is it I kept expecting her to turn into a cat?

I have been getting nice food, but it keeps reminding me of [ profile] seraphs_folly. For instance the lovely salmon appetizer reminded me of the salmon that she cooked for me once, showing me salmon could in fact taste nice, and the bite of the slices of ginger in the stir-fried chicken reminded me of other gingers I have known. :)
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Raffles Class Lounge, Singapore Changi, 29 Celsius at 10.08pm (it's around 2.00am Saturday morning in NZ, still Friday night here ) but free drinks and free net too so not complaining much. Got to chat to [ profile] seraphs_folly and [ profile] kittyfarmer, cool! Dealt with email and stuff. Flying out on next 14 hour leg to Manchester in about an hour. Will sleep then. All going good Arty farty post written at 40K feet posted tomorrow when I get my own computer on line. Thanks for all the hugs! kthxbai!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Angel Sanctuary Lap)
Last night [ profile] seraphs_folly took me along to something that pushed my boundaries.

We went to the that I mentioned yesterday behind the Lung Ta, the Gu-Chu-Sum Organization of Ex-Political Prisoners, where we helped a couple of Tibetan refugees, Lobsang and Twang(?), with their conversational English.

I'm glad that Sally pushed me into it. I found it hard, not being one to chat randomly with strangers normally. But it is certainly a different experience knowing that China and has invaded Tibet, and is supressing political and religious freedom, and talking with guys who have experienced it.

There were two butterflies on the wall. When questioned about the one over his bed, Twang said that when he missed his mother still back in Tibet with the rest of his family, he touched his butterfly to remember her.

He showed us photos of his family, and told us how he reached Mcleodganj by travelling via Nepal, the Nepal border being easier to cross.

Today we shopped and ate and rested. The place is becoming quite familiar, and I'm forming my own opinions on the bets spots to go.

Went to Carpe Diem tonight. Very freindly and helpful waiter, probably the best I've had in India, a young Tibetan I think. We wathed a Nepalese guy play chess with a Korean girl. Sally has photos!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Angel Sanctuary Lap)
Yes, thats what I thought as well. Here I am in Mcleodganj, a tiny Indian Himalayan town and last night I ate okonomiyaki and drank miso in a Japanese vegetarian restaurant, with the wall behind me covered in manga. I looked at some Full Metal Alchemist whilst waiting for the meal.

Go on, you know you want to )
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Tsume) Commander Oates said.

Work ends in just over two hours. Any further communication from me until the 17th of August, or thereabout, may involve WAR-driving with NetStumbler running. Or not The area may be connected better than Delhi for all I know.

Tonight [ profile] seraphs_folly and I board an overnight train for Dalhoussie in Himachal Pradesh. We'll end up at some point in Dharamshala. I need to be back in Delhi by the 15th to get my plane out of here. We want to take the Shivalik Express from Shimla at some time. I wish I was more of a rail buff. I know enough to know that this would be a far more exciting trip for some one who was really into trains

Other than that, we don't know what we're doing. We're going on an adventure!

We may see leopards, we may go on a jeep safari, we may ride horses, we may just lie next to each other in comfort and enjoy the view. Who knows?

As I observed last night whilst we were laying in bed watching Charlies Angels on cable, if someone had said last year in August that in a years time I would be with my lover in the Himalayas, having an adventure, I wouldn't have believed them!

Life's a funny old thing....


Jun. 27th, 2006 04:04 pm
mundens: Two anime lovers kissing in the snow (Couple Kiss)
So I got here in one piece.

Read Peter Hamilton's Misspent Youth on the light over, finished it in bed last night. Will comment more on that later.

Arrived in Adelaide got off the plane and spent fifteen minutes standing in the boarding tunnel, because they'd lost the key to unlock the door. Adelaide's airport is bigger than Wellington, but not by much.

Chatted with Aussie customs officials for a while because they hadn't seen an EU biometric passport before. I explained to them how it was really a kiddy-grade biometric passport because all it stored was facial measurements digitised from the photograph to assist in machine-based face recognition, and how the tech was pretty unreliable anyway, as even a frown or a smile will change the facial structure to not match. One of the people I was taking to speculated on how easy iit would be to remove and replace the chip. Interesting. I decided I shouldn't make too many comments about faking passports! :)

The taxi ride from the airport to the Oaks Embassy was short and cheap as expected. My room has two separate bedrooms both with double beds!There could have two couples in this room quite easily. KItche design is crappy as far s functionality goes, but is complete. Lots of space and two separate balconies. I may take some photos of the view from the twelfth floor and upload them.

It's a nice city, though it seems I'm only one street over from the red-light district. Wandered around briefly, lots of girlie clubs and "Cosmic Dreams" style shops. One very nice shop full of gothy boots and clothing, though I think they aren't used to guys in suits appreciating their merchandise! There's some sort of gothic horror-styled night spot I can see from my balcony.

The hotel is about three buildings from the one I'm working in, a short walk indeed. That's how I like to work! And the the provide toilet paper and coffee is much nicer in this building than in Wellington!

Last night was woken around three in the morning by car horns and football hooligans in the street, Australians drowning their sorrows over the loss to Italy in the World Cup, and Italian Australians celebrating Italy's win. At first I thought, my god, that's keen, partying till three on Monday night!

There's a Nando's here. I may eat there tonight. . .

Hotel internet is 55c a minute so probably won't use it.

Looks like Indian trip is a necessity, so is almost certain as long as the Indian authorities don't decide they don't like me when I apply for the visa.

I am missing my lover though. Already. Saw her just a week ago. Chatted by phone with her almost every day since until yesterday. Somedays twice. I think I'm in serious trouble. This love thing, wanting to be with someone all the time, who lives in another city, is a real pain. How does one fall in love like this? I feel so silly and teenage. And extremely lucky and blessed. I really didn't know it could be this good. Well, actually I suppose I knew it could be this good, but I never expected to find it so quickly.

We've been discussing buying a house together in Christchurch. Nothing will happen shot term, but there is the possibility I may be heading back to Christchurch in the long term. Unless we can find a functional teleport device. I may also be selling up Pinehaven and taking an apartment in town.

The time since we first met on-line seems to have passed so quickly. This time last year I thought my life was over, and now I'm planning another life with some-one who seems ideal. (I.e.: just as perverted as I am! )

Sorry for the dump of gushy love talk, but being alone in a hotel with nothing to do makes me think about things and then I ether get depressed or, as in this case just think how good life is and can be.


mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)

February 2016

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