Why can't I travel light?
List of items packed for overnight trip 20-21 June 2014 - including clothes worn at time of setting out
(number in brackets is number actually used if not full total)
Other items including bicycle, hearing aid, glasses are not counted
3 pairs socks (2)
1 pair running (trainer) socks
3 pairs pants
1 T-shirt
2 short sleeved shirts
1 long sleeved shirt (0)
1 Brompton bike cover
1 bicycle lock
1 mobile phone
1 tablet computer
1 running shirt
1 pair running pants
1 zip-through running top
1 waterproof (0)
2 pairs trousers
1 pair pyjamas
1 lightweight jacket
1 zip-through cardigan-type top
3 packets tissues only 1 of which unopened, all 3 opened by end of trip
1 washkit
1 shoulder bag
1 diary
1 paper notebook (0)
1 paperback novel
1 wristwatch
1 hearing aid case
1 bumbag
4 pens (1)
1 lanyard (found in shoulder bag)
1 pair black shoes
1 pair running (trainer) shoes

Not the best possible taste
There is something really wrong with the way things taste at the moment. I know I'm slightly intolerant of milk though not cheese so much. But this is a very odd taste and smell that has been around for a while now. Had some beer last night that may have been it as well.

I am currently RTing Tweets that relate to Hammersmith and Fulham, that council having gone Labour in the recent changes. However Kingston upon Thames has gone Tory as presumably the only way it could go with not so many people voting Lib Dem any more. Among other things the Rose Theatre will not get any funding from the new administration. Nobody seems to want the damn thing anyway which is a shame and even local arts stalwarts like Matt Rees are prepared to say 'go to Riverside Studios instead'. Yes but Matt, we could turn the Rose into a local equivalent of Riverside Studios only not now.

Honestly, you go away for a little while ...
... and when you come back LiveJournal looks different and also Firefox has a new version that looks more like Chrome and keeps giving me 'not responding' messages. I have sympathy with those who have talked about GRR Martin's use of an old-school WP package; less to go wrong. And one might keep a separate writing PC and internetting PC (my Acer tablet does the internet thing but I don't really trust it for anything that requires money to be changing hands. I am not by and large buying things online at present but rail tickets etc are an exception).

I've also moved the website/blog to Typepad and embarked on cafe reviews and what I want to call something like Midlands Book Reviews - except that it will be West Midlands, and not 'Birmingham Book Reviews' either because other WM places such as Wolverhampton, Solihull, Dudley, Tamworth, Rugby, Coventry, Bromsgrove etc will get in. This is all about writers from the West Midlands or books set in the West Midlands, including serial-numbers-filed-off ones like David Lodge's "Rummidge" series. Which are set so much here that their primary location (Birmingham University) is just over the road and I regularly make use of its swimming pool. (though not regularly enough recently).

Not doing a lot of writing at the moment apart from those reviews -- one of the writers' group members thinks it might be because I'm changing my style / methods even if I don't realise it and the transition is difficult. I suspect she is right.

(no subject)
Recently I've been to Iceland and the Pennines.

Points in common: moorland scenery, steam coming out of the ground.

Iceland: expensive but especially for booze as the Icelanders don't have an alcohol culture being more likely to drink coffee and Reykjavik is a touristy city which explains why it's so nice (although the outer 'burbs are as dismal as they are in, say, Bordeaux - I mention Bdx because I shared a flat in its cross-river suburbs for six months at age 20-21 and it was the most soulless place I've ever lived in. Resolved after that, that if I lived in a town I'd actually live in it not its outliers. Justified Kingston at the time by saying that it was a town unto itself but in the years since 2005 - really since 1998 or thereabouts - it's lost a lot of what gave it that individuality).
Iceland: also, geysers, waterfall, fermented shark. Recommended: Cafe Loki but not the Sea Baron which despite its reputation (apparently good) - a waterfront cafe restaurant it is not all that. It's ok but I don't see why the hype. Likewise the art galleries trail we went on was expensive and not as good as the small one-woman gallery near the port that we stumbled upon by chance. Whose artist reminded me not a little of my Kingston friend Hanna - her style is not the same but her approach is.
Icelandic language fascinated William Morris and JRR Tolkien if I remember correctly. Forms very long compound words.
Travelling was by A320 of Easyjet on the way out and B757 of Icelandair on the way back. Icelandair have an all-757 fleet having pre-banking fail experimented with 767s also.

Pictures are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chramies/sets/72157643665424484/
and here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chramies/sets/72157643665381533/

Pennines: too much walking if you can have too much walking without it leading to actual injury (it didn't). Walking 10 miles round trip to buy farm eggs is pushing it a bit really. New word: swithering (I think): burning heather off a hillside. This looked alarming to the point that there were panicked questions asked. Small scale swithering being done led to the steam coming out of the ground in the Pennines also.

Pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chramies/sets/72157644268806435/

Power in the Blood
Someone at work mentioned Alabama3 recently. That was a bit of a surprise.

(no subject)
A recent mention of Dreamwidth was underlined when I looked for "Sonja Kristina" + "Kingston Green Fair" and found one of the results was my Dreamwidth posting from 30 May 2005. I was quite honestly gobsmacked as hadn't realised I'd been on Dreamwidth as well for the best part of 9 years. But actually no it isn't as at some point I must have imported my entire LJ!

A happy mothers* day to my Mum who I phoned this morning. Yes, she is actually my stepmother but she married my Dad when I was 17 or so, so she's been there most of my life (cf. a certain person saying "They're not your real family." They think they are and so do I). Also remembering my birth mother who in truth I hardly do remember although I have a picture of her in the living room.

*mother's because she's your mum or mothers' because it's all mothers everywhere?

Bits in the right order?
Goldfrapp at the Symphony Hall on Wednesday night. Never heard them 'live' before - was going to go along to Shepherds Bush Empire in 2001 but they cancelled due to illness. An all-seating gig despite which people were encouraged to get up and boogie, to the displeasure of the Symphony Hall staff -- this reminded me of a much earlier incident which can go into the story I'm writing (the person it happened to was chucked out of a gig for dancing! wasn't me, he came crashing back to my flat at some late hour and complained about this). Goldfrapp's support band was We Were Evergreen who are French and interesting.

Am doing some writing but not sure when this story will have all its bits in the right order. It's actually quite straightforward but the ending I bolted on to it is not enough. I do reckon that if a story has an ending of any kind then you can give it a better one - which I suppose is really saying that you can put the last paragraph in and work back from there.

Did the Cannon Hill Parkrun this morning - my second Parkrun - 5k in 32 minutes 3 seconds. I came 404th in a field of 500 but still. Some of them are proper runners after all.

I've applied for another job with the company I'm working for at present which will be interesting if I do get it - a similar job but less public facing and 35 hours instead of 20 (though recently I've been doing 27 hours a week due to doing late shifts on a Friday).

Naan kebabs
I like naan kebabs. Kebabs in naan bread that is. I've only had them in Brum.

In the last three weeks, I've done two runs of my local 3k circuit, one Parkrun (Saturday before last) and one unmeasured one around Kingston on a Saturday afternoon (which illustrated why people there run in the morning -- afternoons are busy!)
Parkrun was 5k in 33 minutes 31 seconds. 3ks I haven't timed but are in keeping with that time. The circuit is also a bit hillier than the Parkrun one.
Today's run was with my other pair of trainers which aren't as good - I keep feeling my toes want to tilt in sideways to fill the gap. Admittedly they weren't bought as running shoes so perhaps I shouldn't use them as such.
  I do like running though - swimming is all very well but it's so much simpler to just put on the running kit and go for a run.
I'm aiming for the Great Birmingham Run (half marathon) in October. We are entering a team at work. Our previous Centre Manager who is a gung-ho cyclist has swapped bike for running shoes and will probably leave us all in his dust.
However taking part in that is not the reason I'm running. I just like it.