luckykaa: (Wolf)
So my parents came to visit.

This had several practical upshots.

I had much nice food. They stayed in a hotel with a very nice restaurant attached. They seemed to think it was a good place to eat. I had a very nice game pie one night and an equally nice slow cooked belly of pork the next. I now have al my folders full of assorted paperwork. Way too much paperwork but at least it's here. I am rid of a surplus TV that was just taking up space.

So pretty nice weekend. Was good to catch up wioth the parents and exchange holiday photo viewings. They went to South Arfrica. I still hadn'e shown off my Dubrovnik pics.

Really wish I was more set up for entertaining though. I guess I could have cooked a meal for them but I'd prefer to have a proper dining room to do that. And roast carving equipment. Still maybe that will come.
luckykaa: (Yarr!!!)
Parents are visiting me in Leicester so we decided to see Richard III (Or "Uncle Richard" as the people in the hotel called him).

Interesting exhibit. The history is a little dense. Lots of political shennigans, and confusingly everyone is called Richard or Edward. Richard Duke of York had several sons, the notable one were called Edward and Richard. Edward became Edward IV and he had two sons called Edward (later Edward V) and Richard. Edward IV's brother, also called Richard became Richard III. It seems there were allegations that Edward was illegitimate and therefore so was Richard and Edward, giving Richard the claim to the throne, being the oldest legimitate son of Richard. Richard allegedly killed Richard and Edward. Still, the history lesson was informative, once I'd worked out which Rich was which, and I learned

Actually Richard III, despite the character assassination done by Shakespeare did establish some reforms in the legal system and generally try to be a good king (and therefore was a good thing). It is quite possible that the princes dies of natural causes.

I actually found the science bit upstairs a lot more accessible. Various interviews with the archaology team, and lots of tech used in the forensics. There was a wealth of information. Still surprising that the remains were lost for so long. The MRI tells us all the injuries he received. The mitochondrial DNA tells us that this is the right guy. Basic analysis tells us that he did indeed have a distorted spine.

Seems a little pricey for quite a small exhibition, but not a bad place to visit.
luckykaa: (Wolf)
As mentioned, my mum and a friend came to visit. They were actually feeling a bit rough which was a shame. The trooped on though, determined to have a good time. I was working so mostly we just met to eat.

Tuesday: Met at a Christmas market. Can now claim to have done one of them. Bit too crowded for me.
Wednesday: Went for meal at a very german restaurant. It was a very german meal.
Thursday: The Wyld. Awesome show. See previous entry. Visitors had been to see the TV Tower but didn't get a fantastic view. Really need to go there some time.
Friday: Visitors had been to see the Reichstag and saw Angela Merkel. Italian meal. We got shafted on the wine. We saw a bottle advertised for just under €20. Bill came. It was €40. Turns out that the €20  was for a 1 litre jug rather than a .75 litre bottle. Disappointed that they didn't make that clear. Probably should have realised that it was different. Pledged never to go back there.
Saturday: My full day with the visitors.

Met for breakfast at a place in Potsdammer Platz, then went to "The Hollow Tooth" - the remains of Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church, kept in its bombed out state as a memorial. Lots of information inside including a somewhat over apologetic note on a translation of the plans of what to do after the Germans won the war.

went to Charlottenburg Palace. Here I discover that my mum's friend, while being quite assertive and being German is actually not very useful when it comes to public transport navigation. She assumed that the correct station was Charlottenburg. Actually some way away. Still there is a bus that goes to the palace. So we arrived. Included a free audio tour, which was nice. I was impressed with how many different ways the announcer had to tell me to press the green button at each room.

Always seems rather sad how many people died at such a young age. There's always a "never lived to see it completed"  in these places, and these are the rich! Also always sad how much was destroyed by the Second World War. The palace is essentially a 1940's building built around 17th century plans. We went into another room and saw a huge collection os porcelein. Seems King Friedrich was something of a porcelein nerd. History was interesting. Upstairs was basically just a museum. Not very interesting to me.

Went back to place where visitors were staying. Bit drab. Also my mum seems unable to operate the keys.

Decided we'd go back to the German restaurant to eat, but they were full. The Italian place wasn't but they'd gypped us on the wine. Found a nice place in Freidrichstein. A little chain-y but did good steak! This place was halfway between where I lived and where my parents were staying. Got home. Got a text. "DDo you still have my key"? Turns out I had. Dammit, I'd just got in!
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
Something about the royal wedding.  Really felt the archbishop should have started the sermon with "Mawwiage".  I guess I've seen that film too many times.

It was a curious day.  My mother, generally a royalist, had volunteered to do some tour guide without realising that it was the same day as the Royal Wedding..  The "guiding" was simply a matter of getting the tour party from the airport to the coach.  But that was happening at about 10ish and there was no way of getting back from Heathrow by the time it starts. I volunteered to go with her, keep her company and help find somewhere that might show the wedding. 

So, set off early to make sure that even with traffic there would be a good hour's leeway before the plane landed.  I'd persuaded my mum to take her car (A sporty 2 seater convertable Daihatsu COpen), rather than the shared Fiat Punto they share.  Weather wasn't good enough to take the lid down but it's more fun to drive.

It being first thing in the morning on a bank holiday the drive took just over an hour.  but at least that gave plenty of time to get bearings, work out where the coach stop was and we could sit amusing ourselves watching the pre-wedding stuff on one of the screens in the arrivals hall.  It's an amazing skill those presenters have.  Finding inoffensive stuff to talk about for several hours when absolutely nothing is happening.  I'm actually rather intrigued by the Household Cavalry.  Firstly, how many other countries still have Cavalry? But also they showed a shot of the stables.  Of course it's the army, so they don't have grooms.  Those smart elite troops who escort royalty spend a huge chunk of their time shovelling horse dung.

So, further pictures of other royal weddings, speculation about the weather what might Kate Middleton be wearing, what hats people are wearing - all thrilling television. 

The airport played the national anthem in honour of the royal wedding.  Which was bizarre and slightly awkward since we're really not sure if we should stand or not.  Nobody else was so we didn't.  Costa was giving out free tea in honour of the event which is something I can get behind, and fully support this Britishness.

Anyway, the plane landed, the group arrived, and were directed to the coach, and I vanished to keep out of the way.  Once that was dealt with there was a good 15 minutes or so until the wedding started.  I was prepared. I'd searched the night before and one of the first hits for pubs that seemed likely to be showing the event was The White Horse in Heathrow.  I know this pub.  It's a regular food destination for us at conventions.  And I know how to get to Longford, at least once I get my bearings.  It's a lovely old fashioned 16th century pub very well kept and does good pub food, real ales and soft drinks.  There was seating outside and a television and we arrived just in time to see the bride arrive, so that all worked out well.  Rather charmingly, the pub staff were all dressed up in their wedding clothes and were planning a street party later on which alas we didn't stay for.

I'm not actually a huge royalist.  Still, I do have a fondness for the pomp and ceremony this country does so well, and rather like this sort of major national event.  It's not for the royal family.  It's for us.  The smattering of people in The White Horse were all watching and commenting and sharing the event with each other.  We felt we were sharing it with everyone else in the world who was watching.  It's a shared experience brings people together.  I think we need more of that.
luckykaa: (Default)
Picocon

Once again Picocon was fun!  Not all the people I'd have liked to have seen there.  Was disappointed that my cousin couldn't make it.  Did spend a reasonable amount of time in the bar with [livejournal.com profile] tlanti , [livejournal.com profile] one_true_bee , and pirate_ninja (WINOLJ).  Since I was somewhat stressed, after limited sleep and a bit of a rush, I was pleased to have a couple of drinks with friends.

Got mixed up and muddled and confused about when stuff happened so missed half of Destruction of Dodgy Merchandise. Damn tiredness!

Panel was on Steampunk - literary genre or harmless fun.  Felt the Victorians were rather hard done by by the panelists.  While people didn't have a good life in those times, social conditions were a lot better at the end of the Victorian era than the beginning.  Would have raised the point but I'm shy and the panel came to the end. 

Was pleased not to have missed the quiz.  Seems only [livejournal.com profile] scotiva  and I were interested (wouldn't have done it if I didn't have any friends there).  Our team did pretty well actually.  I even got a few of the answers. 

Sunday

Went to visit parents in new temporary accommodation while their house dries.  Quite nice in many ways.  We can park easily at least.  Brother came with my nephew and we took scooters to the Old Fort in Shoreham.  It's fun!

In the evening, new geeky friend came. I made dinner.  We watched Stardust.  There may or may not have been smooching:)
luckykaa: (Default)
Okay, it's not a perfect match, but I'm applying for a job that wants C, C++ OpenGL, and a games background, including graphics optimisation (which I have) as well as Windows mobile (which I don't have).  I've applied for considerably less appropriate jobs.  Somehow selling myself for this one seems to be pretty tough. 

In other news, In the end, I got nephew a toy toolbox. Has an electric drill and screwdriver and a hammer and nails.  Hope it's fun:)
luckykaa: (cortina)
It's my nephew's birthday soon.

What do you get for a 3-year old who loves cars? 

Somewhere in the £20ish area. 
luckykaa: (Default)
As the family geek I still tend to get called on to fix all computer problems.  (Even if it's a problem with Word, which is an application I never use, but I digress).  I don't mind this.  Family will usually do stuff for me as well. 

My parents call.  I talk them through the menus, they gingerly press the buttons, and leap back before the machine bites them and eventually the problem is usually solved. 

When my brother calls it's a bit different.  I've no idea how but he's pretty computer savvy himself.  When he rang up, he'd already tried every possible solution to any networking problem.  I suggest a bizarre incantation like connecting to 192.168.1.1, and he's already tried it, and tried pinging it.  Really clobbers my reputation as a miracle worker.
luckykaa: (ceroc)
It was my mum's 60th Birthday party. She had a Wild West themed party. 

Great fun and it meant I got to introduce [profile] wolfie_sara to everyone.  They all loved her :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)  And she liked them:) :) 

So, as usual with this sort of thing, I rifled through my wardrobe to find a costume.  Leather waistcoat, chinos, fedora, cowboy boots.  Shame I had no holster. Wolfie dressed as a confederate.  As a  reenactor she was dismayed that she didn't have exactly the right hat.  As a costumer, I thought it looked great.

Fantastic party.  Looooaaads of food.  Live music and we had a barn dance with a caller and everything.  Dad running around like crazy getting all the food sorted (I think he enjoyed himself really). Dancing was fun.  People beaing really really bad at it was also quite funny.  Wolfie did well, although was offended that she had to be the girl.  Immediate family all dressed up and so did most of the friends. 

So, all oodles of fun. 

08/08/08

Aug. 8th, 2008 11:49 am
luckykaa: (Default)
So, it's the second luckiest day of the century in China, Japan and Korea.

It's my mum's 60th birthday.

It's the day the Bejing Olympics starts (chosen for obvious reasons. Starts at 8pm)

Also the day Nixon resigned, The Great Train Robbery was committed, Wilbur Wright flew the Wright flyer in the first public demonstration, and the US joined the UN.

080808 Is also a very dark grey, which won't show up if you have a black background:P
luckykaa: (Default)
My dad is 65 this year. 

I have no idea what to get him!

The thing is, he doesn't really have a lot in the way of hobbies.  He likes food, drink, West end musicals and classical music. 

Ideas so far...

  • Tickets to some event.  Mum suggested Glyndebourne but that's way over the £50-100 budget I'm aiming for.
  • And expensive bottle of something.  Or a bottle of something expensive.
  • Uhm...
And my mum's 60 this year but that's easy enough.   She's getting a Nintendo DS and Brain Training. 
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
For a nice long Christmas break. And lots of food and presents. 

Just wish I knew what to buy for my brother.

And for my nephew for that matter.

Suggestions are hereby solicited.
luckykaa: (Default)
I need to get my mum a birthday present. 

Options are something dull but useful that she wants (from a list) - like a DVD player or a digital radio, or something interesting but not on the list. 

Thing is she'll never get round to buying useful stuff for herself.  My parents just don't do that.  They are incapable of grasping just how cheap electrical equipment is these days and just buying one next time they see one.  But I don't like buying stuff from a list.  It always feels a little unimaginitive.
luckykaa: (Tardis)
My dad's 60 next month. What shall I get him?

I was thinking something food & drinky, but I still can't think what. He does have the problem of not using things I get him, which is why I like the idea of food and drink. Need a few more suggestions though. Something that will keep might be nice.
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