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Travels With My Brain

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Friday, October 22nd, 2010
11:24 pm
Peter is currently having an Hetalia thing. Partly because the Other Half is Italian and I am having enormous fun pointing out 'Look, it's YOU! You do THAT! You You YOU!'.

I am often compared to a donkey.

A Stubborn Donkey..

But at least I have more clout than the Principality of Sealand.

Which reminds me, where's my croci?

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Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
8:57 pm
Peter had a marvellous time out in hills of Connemara on Sunday, but seems to have knackered himself or made himself ill or something. Meh.

So I have prescribed myself a scrict diet of pasta, swimming and ranting about this whole 'which bit of Britain are we dismembering today?' thing...

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Monday, August 23rd, 2010
10:45 pm
Mutter and grumble,

So here I am, back in Galway. The weather forecast is STILL saying how wonderful it will be next weekend. Never jam today, you know - always next week by which time it is pissing it down, hailing, storm winds etc. etc.

Given that I have to travel to Craggy Island to look for some sea-kale samples, I rather hope it is nice, though. Springs eternal y'know.

In other news I saw a goooooorgeous barrel jellyfish!

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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
10:27 pm
So I am back!

The hot springs were lovely, and relatively free of hi-jinks. Yes, unlike the average anime girl I went four whole days without accidentally allowing my swimming costume to be ripped off by thorns, stolen by an otter or set on fire in a freak camping accident. Which was frankly best for all concerned.

I also ate yummy sea urchins and visited some of my favourite Saints. It's all good.

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Saturday, July 17th, 2010
8:28 pm - To the FUTON STORAGE ROOM
I think it's time for a William Walton Phase. Viz a viz English composersk, my opinions run along the lines of 'Anthing from Tallis to Purcell good' then we thank God that Handel took British citizenship to save the next two hundred years from total misery... then Twentieth Centurry wise it's Purcell good, Holst not bad, Britten no thanks. I regard Elgar with hearty  scepticism.

But I don't know very much about William Walton.

I'm off to Italy on Tuesday for a week with the boyfriend, and we are heading down to the island of Ischia for a few days of relaxation in the hotsprings. And if ANIME has taught me one thing, it is that when the obligatory hot-springs episodes comes around, HI-JINKS will INSUE. Except in that murder mystery anime in which the second corpse was floating in them. And even then they contrived some jokes about fan service! There wasn't really a buried treasure anyway. But I digress.

Having been born in Oldham, William Walton naturally used his success to move to the south of Italy with his young Argentine bride. By 'eck. His villa was landscaped over the years into a beautiful botanic garden in the north of the island which stands as a monument to him. Of course, we are planning ('I am planning') to go there, so I thought I'd investigate his music. So far... well some very lovely stuff although not as haunting as Vaughn Williams... strange juxtaposition between the Stravinsky-inspired surrealist pieces of his youth... and the later parts where he started becoming 'establishment' (he even accepted a knighthood, which a good socialist like RVW would never have done). This leads to some very melodic but rather pompous film scores, the march 'Crown Imperial', and some fanfares for royal occasions. I'll give him a 7/10 which is not bad. Harrum.

Actually, if Anime has taught me one thing it is that giant robots are more symbolically charged than one might think but I am rather hoping this is unlikely to be helpful on holiday.

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Thursday, July 15th, 2010
10:01 am
Yes, Aunt Julia, it is St. Swithin's Day again.

St. Swithin, for them what don't know, was Bishop of Winchester many years back and was responsible for converting one of the last pagan areas of England - which, logically, was in the wilds of Surrey. They were known as the 'Infidel of Gatwick' as I don't recall.

In them days, this was the kind of thing that got you right on the road to sainthood (you have to be nice to people these days, or worse, get shot by Communists) and his manky remains were venerated as Holy Relics. As we all know from watching Sir Derek Jacobi pretending to by Brother Cadfael, these were big money spinners and the relics were moved from their original resting place in umble mumble mutter don't know, to Salisbury Cathedral. For the tourist trade, you know. This angered the saint, who sent forty days of rain (*inside* the cathedral according to some accounts, although one wonders if leaks in the roof might have been responsible for that).

Hence the tradition that if it rains of St. Swithin's Day, it will rain for another forty days.

I hardly need add that it's raining, do I?

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Saturday, July 10th, 2010
12:27 pm
I spent most of yesterday travelling to Dublin (aka 'The Big City', at least on the Irish scale) on a big aul' bus, to visit the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Like most prominent buildings in Ireland, it used to be a lunatic asylum - many of these were needed, as the definition of 'madness' at the time included some dangerous symtoms as dyslexia, homosexuality, atheism, Fenian tendencies, unwarranted sobriety and being a woman.

Anyway, it's a modern art gallery now, though of course we didn't go in it. We were having a meeting to discuss conservation of plants and animals of Irish interest. Hence we were sat in the cafe in the basement, discussing such issues as the Wrong Kind of Thatch, the conservation of proper Irish asparagus and sea kale, the parlous status of the Kerry Bog Pony, and of course, whether we can get a government grant to buy pig semen. I am sceptical of this last one.

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Monday, July 5th, 2010
9:31 pm
One of these days they will finally get around to inventing tartan paint, the marvellous dream invention of a thousand cartoons. People fuss about why the horrid flying cars jump-packs haven't come about yet (nevermind the wretched robots who, rest assured, will rebel against us after becoming Self-Aware). But what Peter wants is tartan paint, hopefully manufactured for the benefit of those Comedy Scotsmen, so conspicuously absent from actual Scotland. Largely because none of them are ducks.

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Saturday, July 3rd, 2010
7:52 pm
"Our World Cup thrashing can be traced to the ban on competitive school sports, says Boris Johnson."

1) No it can't.

2) Competitive sports haven't been banned. If sodding only. Would have saved me suffering the ignominity of losing at badminton every single week against a girl who was at least two feet shorter than me.

3) Therefore see 1). QED.

Besides, the Spanish are doing much better and they're not competitive at all, unless it's some sort of 'who has the highest unemployment rate in Europe?' contest which they tend to ace. Or that deeply competitive sport where they throw a goat off the top of a church. In short, get on with you job, Boris. Or better yet, just don't.

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
11:35 pm
If Peter had a pet peeve, and let's be honest I have several hundred million - but if had one it would be having to update to new versions of EndNote. I'm still in a sulk that I'm not allowed to keep all of my references on little pieces of parchment with notes written on in quill. Mutter mutter mutter.

Also it's raining again and that rhubarb I bought is ridiculously tart.

Must be Wednesday. I never could get the hang of Wednesdays.

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Saturday, June 26th, 2010
8:21 am
So, a cat from the ridiculous tax-cheating bailliwick of Jersey, after having the dim-wittedness to get his legs cut off by a combine harvester like some Satanic version of a Wurzels video, has been fitted with prosthetic peg-legs. Oscar is now the world's first 'bionic cat'.

Now this means that

(a) he is probably going to become a pirate now, which, when I mentioned it on my Facebook led to various Lolspeak shenanigans.

(b) Professor Kevin from Reading will now try to kill him because, as he has often said 'I'm the only cyborg in this village'.

and (c) wasn't this the plot to Mervin Mouse? He is supposed to swim the channel next, I read the sequel.

current mood: Going to look for more seakale

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
8:37 pm
If I were to have such a thing as a 'Heroes and Villains' sections in these occasional murmurings, then today would run along the lines of :

HERO! Tasty Irish cheese - Cashel blue, the perfect partner to a glass of red and a yummy pear after one's dinner.

VILLAIN! 4od. It seems to want to strictly ration my consumption of 'Come Dine With Me'. probably just as well...

And tragedy of the day - fare thee well to Titch, the Franciscan Well's Barcat, who has shuffled off this mortal coil and ascended to join the pussy cat choirs. He had an endearing habit of trying to follow me through to the bar in search of warmth and stout.

Miaow.

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Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
9:53 pm
We've moved again,

Yes! I'm in Galway - home of Galway Bay, Our Lady of Galway, the Galway Oyster and Guiness Festival, the National University of Ireland Galway (the current employers), and any number of people humming merry tunes such as Galway Bay, etc.

Epigenetics going well. Seed analysis, driving lessons fine. The Other Half excellent and passing his exams with FLYING colours.

Why is he dressed like a frog?

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Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
7:04 pm
Okay, so I've decided to learn to drive.

Not in the good way you understand, with a chaise-and-four and six-thousand-a-year and a large estate in Derbyshire, no, I mean an automobile. And even then now the decent steam-driven variety (I've looked, they don't make them any more) so one of the horrible petrolly ones it will have to be.

It turns out that this 'driving' business is more difficult than I anticipated - there is Beurocracy to be dealt with. Yes, I share your surprise - no doubt you fondly imagined that one simply pressed the horn a few times, yelled 'Poop poop!' and 'It's the ONLY THING' a la David Jason and chocks away! But no - first there are Exams to be taken.

The first one is a test on the so-called 'Theory' of driving. It is for this that I am currently revising... The questions that I can be asked divide in my opinion into two varieties, to whit:

(a) the incredibly easy... these usually involve choosing the option that ISN'T 'Mow down the pedestrian'. Sometimes they tempt you with options like 'Mow down the pedestrian but only if you really want to'. Don't be fooled! And remember, it turns out that children count as pedestrians too, even though they can't buy cigarettes or vote.

(b) the incredibly difficult, relating to horrid things like tyre grip and thrust and what to do if you crash and set yourself on fire. I don't know! Panic? Panic sounds plausible... that or organise a tiffin and 'Carry On Regardless' after the manner of Sir Sydney Ruff-Diamond when the savage Burpas attack. Oh, if only our Cabinet had watched 'Up the Khyber' more often we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now.

It's all very vexing.

And they don't even make wooden cars run by clockwork like Tobermory made.

Humbug.

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Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
6:06 pm
I spent four years working on the nucleolus - a little whatsit buried inside the cell nucleus.

Now, it turns out that there might be an even littler whatsit inside THIS - the 'nucleolinus'. And what's more it seems to be defined by the presence of non-coding RNAs which are involved in running the centrosome and could be taken to define an 'RNA genome' for this organelle. Which means that Lyn Margulis might have been right all along and it's a symbiont. My flabber is, officially, ghasted.

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Friday, November 13th, 2009
12:37 pm
So here I am, again and still and anon.

No, I haven't been dead, not this time. I merely had a spot of bother with the local populace, got meself bricked up behind a big ol' wall in the cellar. Not a dungeon, I hasten to add, just a cellar. So nothing at all weird about that.

Today's insect, by the way, is the Cicala:



Isn't it a beauty? Evidence that frogs really did evolve from insects. Or perhaps the other way around.

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Sunday, October 12th, 2008
1:20 pm - Genuine Hungarian cuisine! Tastes better than it looks. Dial VOMIT!

I giggled when I saw that 'Lakenham, Norwich' made the Times Top 10 'worst buy-to-let property investments'. Not quite sure which bit they mean - I didn't know there were any new flats in Lakenham itself and how property so near that sublime public house, the Trafford Arms can depreciate I know not. Maybe it means the new developments on Riverside - I can't believe they are now worth what people paid for them on account that the trains are too unreliable to commute to London (although if you work in Marks Tey all is well!) and because the whole area foams with rivers of vomit every weekend.

We picked up a four volume edition of Rememberance of Times Past for 50p a volume (from the Trafford Arms, that is, not the streams of vomit). Ex-the local girl's school library, never touched. Ha! Probably thrown out to make way for computers. Although probably not back-copies of White Dwarf which was the only thing I ever used our library for and which one doubts the local Catholic schoolgirls had much call for.
 
Wikipedia informs me that its original title was Owl and Weasel. (White Dwarf, that is, not Lakenham. Or Notre Dame High School for Girls, although both of those are entertaining options).

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Saturday, October 11th, 2008
3:13 pm

Baking, cleaning, laundry, bread-making.

Did somebody say 'domestic goddess'? All that, AND I've got the piano score to the Rocky Horror Show out of the library. All I need now is for that bloody printer to start to work and today will be chalked up to victory.

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Saturday, October 4th, 2008
11:18 am - The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, so a good one for penguins.
"It is an annual task for the Brazilian air force to help return penguins to their native territory"

I dunno, you sign up for the armed forces and this is what becomes of you?

"Found yesterday at entrance to Park & Ride Car Park:
 
Key with tag reading "Dungeons".
 
This key has been handed in to Bishopstown Garda station."

Yeah. Can't see that one being collected somehow. Some poor gimp will never see the light of day again. Public transport - when will they learn?

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2008
6:23 pm

If one searches for 'Metazoan' on Wikipedia, one gets a page headed with this:

the main animal that populates this planet is the mathew hicky animal they are ginger and live in the wild jungle of tiland the main source of there diet are bananas and they climb trees to get them. they avarage around 6ft three and walk around like chickens. they tend to hunt female humans but never suck sede as they are the slowest mamal on this planet.

Which just goes to show. 

I wonder if I could persuade Shakespeare to pretend to be the author of my LJ as well as Sir Roger's plays. Vortigern - distinctly childish. Last role ever for the late Sir John Gielgud, poor old duffer. And poor ginger chicken-walking Mathew Hicky. He must have a high calibre of friend, and witty with it! It could be worse - if he actually sucked sede (Lat: seat) he might catch something. Lefevbrism, possibly.

None of which helps me find out if animals are monophyletic, the original point of the exercise.
 

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