Jul. 20th, 2010 11:04 pm
dark_litany: (Leafy Castiel)
Me and mama have only just discovered we have resident bats (common pipistrelles because I am geeky and happen to love knowing about strange-looking, fluffy things that fly) - well, next-door-neighbours to be exact, as they seem to live in our Irish neighbour's roof. Mama caught one creeping up the wall and disappearing under the guttering, so we spent about half an hour with our necks craned back, waiting for it to emerge. It did us a nice flight display for a while when it did, so we have been horribly unoriginal and dubbed it Pip the Pipistrelle Bat and intend on looking out for it in future. I wonder if Irish neighbour is aware he's living with bats? Though, as they're protected, he can't get rid of them (muhahaha) or anything - I'm just sad they're not my bats.

And, on the theme of strange-looking, fluffy things that fly, mama had two days off work, so we went down to Kent on Monday to visit the Hawk Conservancy Trust, which had lots of lovely raptors like owls and vultures (because vultures need love too) and falcons and eagles. Even a bald eagle, terribly patriotic and huge and apparently a very sulky individual. There were Secretary Birds too, which seem to be the drag queens of the bird world with reverse knee-caps. There were a lot of shows through the day: the Vulture feed in the morning (where a little French guy called Cedric spoke about them in a thick accent) and another general display with barn owls and falcons and other raptors, where you also got the chance to hold an owl. Well, I leapt at that opportunity, having a bit of a barn owl fetish, and it was wonderful - the way the bird shuffles onto your hand and you can feel its little feet gripping hold of you and everything. I was a little bit in bird heaven after that.

The best event, though, was in the afternoon, out over their wildflower meadow, where you had about half a dozen vultures doing laps over your head - so close you had to duck or have a collision! It was amazing, even if you were terrified you were about to have your face clawed off half the time - just to have them so close. Then they set loose the peregrine falcon, which zipped about like a mad thing and also almost snatched your scalp off. So, terror and excitement were pretty much the themes of the day.

The bald eagles also did a flight display for us, catching fish off ponds to demonstrate their hunting habits, and a score of black kites wheeled about catching food on the wing and tearing over our heads. The woodland owl talk was on after we all had the time to recover from the adrenaline with ice creams and tea, and the vultures got a look in again (I got the feeling the Trust was trying to give the visitors as many opportunities as possible to fall in love with them - though, as a staunch vulture-sympathiser, I don't understand how you can't love the poor birds <3). Also got the chance to hold a Tawny Owl, which happens to be Britain's most common owl, a really gorgeous bird with a kind of russet, auburn-y coloured plumage (so, as a fellow redhead, we just had to bond) and these huge, adorable, dark eyes. I was a lot less nervous with the Tawny than I had been with Barn Owl (guess jitters of first-time handling of an owl was the case before), so I really got to relax and appreciate how lovely it was.

We went back to Kent today - we haven't really explored the area as much as the rest of England (well, apart from school trips to Rocheter Castle and Canterbury), as mama hates the M25 and reaching Kent involves traversing quite a long stretch of it. I mean, seriously, we got caught in four traffic jams across two days, two of which involved stand-stills with the car engine turned off for about twenty minutes and everything. It made you understand the advice of 'don't leave dogs in hot cars', as it was BAKING and it stank of petrol and the air's been so heavy with humidity the past few days, so it was painful. I spent the entire time sheltering under a roadmap, hoping not to get sunburnt.

We visited Emmett's Garden, anyway, which isn't far from Chartwell, and did what I proclaimed to be the 'bench tour' - basically ambling about the flowerbeds and orchards and making sure to sit on any bench available, between eating National Trust cake, and dancing about the acer palmatums and acer japonicums (which almost happen to be my favourite trees - I have a bit of a fetish there, too, and this irrational need to photograph any I come across. Seriously, I should have a folder on my computer dedicated just to maples).

Mama's back to work tomorrow, so I plan to get back into my books, maybe order some more manga to satisfy my aesthetic shelving impulse and do some writing. I've had the incredible urge to write the past few days - one night I couldn't sleep because my brain was whirring too much and kept regurgitating up little snippets and turns of phrase I had to scribble down. All for this one piece, more a file of miscellaneous paragraphs loosely tied together than anything cohesive, tentatively dubbed 'Blue Highway', which seems to be the hybrid child of a Star Trek fanfic I read that was set in the Rocky Mountains (I really, really want to go there now and see the place) and the whole Supernatural conceit of 'life on the road', which makes me want to write about shitty motels and vile diner food and epic landscapes and existentialist shit. Writing's always an interesting experience after you've read a few books, as your style seems to have undergone a shift, whether subtle or dramatic, so it'll be good to see what's been added to the box of tricks after I finish 'House of Leaves'.

Urgh, mama's also threatening me with a trip to nanny's this Saturday - a hell of cheap trifles, stomach upsets, family gossip and the habit of staring at the television with glassy eyes.
dark_litany: (Cloud Holding)
Woo, all my manga lovelies arrived in the post today. One of which I had to do a crazy dash down the stairs for and answer the door with gunge in my eyes and my hair mad and wearing very little while still half asleep - I did try not to breathe on the poor delivery man and not frighten him too much by looking anywhere but his face. Still, why did amazon have to up and change from Royal Mail? I mean, you don't have to do mad dashes for the door or sign things or generally be woken up from a very nice dream (unlike the one yesterday, which involved a bomb in a London that really looked like a London-Cardiff hybrid) with Royal Mail, and if a package is too fat they just stuff it in the bin cupboard. Seriously.

But, yeah, unlike last year, which involved a lot of anime purchasing over the summer, this seems to be Year of the Manga Tome instead. I think it has something to do with having those shelves which gloriously display all my lovely, lovely literature, including my manga, and therefore shunt my book collection in my face. But I got a bit bored with actually BUYING manga a few years ago (nothing shall be said of scanlations, which I've never seemed to become bored of reading) and got more into anime, so a few of the series I was collecting sort of abruptly stop about three volumes before the end. And, as I am a perfectionist in terms of aesthetics, it doesn't look RIGHT to have my manga on the shelves looking all sad and incomplete. Thus the buying and manic hoarding, like how I'm surrounded by about ten volumes of stuff right now after gleefully picking up the post - one is an edition of those big and beautiful Vizbig editions, which have an average of three volumes in them (this one has four, as it's the last few vols of Rurouni Kenshin), bigger pages, lots of pretty colour pages and more bonuses. It seems to be a nice way of getting the old series, though my problem now is I have an odd pick'n'mix of editions.

And, horrors of horrors, I have actually sunk low enough in purchasing a YAOI MANGA. I thought the day would never come. I actually feel kind of shifty and dirty for it, which is hilarious. It's not even an explicit one, though it does have a parental advisory warning (ha! As if you'd tell you parents you were reading YAOI MANGA. Not that mama would understand what that even means) and warns that the volume may include 'explicit sexuality, aggression, mild fanservice', which made me giggle. I'm guessing the 'mild fanservice' might have something to do with the appearance of penises. But there be no members in my yaoi manga. Though, the Japanese do seem to love their fanservice *can't help thinking of the Evangelion franchise and certain scenes involving nudity and beer cans* I bought it because I already have it on disk and the art is so pretty (damn yaoi mangas get all the great mangaka) and is actually hilarious. Do I sound like I'm trying to excuse myself for the buying of naughty BL porn? Hm.

Not that it's porn.

Vaughnsy was around for the start of the week, as she had her journalism exams on Wednesday and Thursday, and couldn't study at home because of the noise. Though, I have no clue what made her think she could study with ME around - she ended up pulling stupid pranks and throwing banana skins at me most of the time, so I don't exactly know how much work she got done.

Daddy's been oddly silent, as well. I know Dominique was moving out to live full-time with Antoinette last weekend, so I was expecting a lot of phonecalls about his empty nest syndrome this week. Instead there hasn't been a sausage. Not that I'm complaining - especially when he has a tendency to tell me about his sex life and last time actually told me HE'D HAD SEX FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AGES. Counselling sessions, this is the stuff they're made of.

Had a minor blip in regards to uni accommodation this week - they'd allocated me this hideously overpriced room that made me so suspicious I actually emailed the residence people about it. Turned out to be a 'Superior room' (hilariously located only two doors down from my old room) and I still don't really understand what that's meant to mean - probably that it's huge and you're paying five hundred quid extra just for space you don't need. So, the residence lady re-allotted my room and I'm now comfortably situated slap-bang next to my old bedroom in room 11. It'll be like I never left! I mean, it's probably identical in size and furnishings, and I already know it has the same view out on the East Wing rooms like my old room. I'll even be using the same bathroom facilities and kitchen! It feels weirdly like I won't have progressed at all, like I'll still be in my second year.

But third year doesn't bear thinking of at the mo - the thought of graduating freaks me out too greatly.


Jul. 13th, 2010 03:30 pm
dark_litany: (I <3 Anime)
I have just bought (as in purchased, given money for, been an official consumer of) my first yaoi manga.

I feel kind of dirty now. Like I've done something completely socially unaccepted and need to go scrub myself thoroughly.

Oh well, it's not exactly an explicit one with giant, hairy members splashed across every page - 'Kawaii Akuma' by Hiro Madarame is actually pretty funny, though it does have sex scenes (where the naughty bits are prudently kept out of the shot, muhahaha).

Does this make me an actual fujoshi now? I mean, I can actually list my favourite yaoi mangaka now (Hiro Madarame, Akira Nozikazu, Masara Minase, Kano Shiuko, Setona Mizushiro, Hinako Takanaga, Ayano Yamane, Hyouta Fujiyama, Hidaka Shoko), so I must be in too deep.
dark_litany: (LOTR Rambling)
"It may be a bit unstable but it does the job": Strange how mama can take an idle comment I make about a clothes horse and turn it on herself. Though, thinking of it, maybe it is weirdly applicable to her. She is a bit of a nut, after all. And three weeks? a month? (see, this is the point where time goes wacky and vaguely unimportant, what with being a hermit and my world seeming to extend only to the boundaries of the house) into summer break and the idea that mama is completely cracked most of the time has only been further compounded by everyday events.

She's infected me with Springwatch fever, too, which only shows how much of a loser you become when you're stuck indoors all day (which is wholly my fault as I seem to be terrified of this thing called employment). I think I'm going to be completely distraught when the series finishes tomorrow - my Monday to Thursday evenings will be horribly barren with it. Though, here's hoping the webcams stay up, another little geekery I'm completely hooked on.

So, recent weeks seem to have been a merry-go-round of late night anime viewing, yaoi reading (yes, yes, I'm completely cursed and going to hell but the stuff is like CRACK, I just can't stop it, I can't go back - I will forever blame the eerie homo-eroticism of Naruto and Sasuke for driving me to this black hole of fandom), sleep and twitching. We have a family of blue tits and starlings that visit the garden, babies and all, so I've been peering out the French windows too often in the afternoon, armed with a pair of binos. I'm surprised no one's accused me of being some sort of pervert.

Daddy has, surprisingly enough, been down to Rickmansworth once a week since I've been back from Cardiff. I might have had a bit of a heart attack thinking about the frequency of his visits - usually it takes my impending move back to uni for him to appear and recently he's been unusually eager to take me out. I blame his loneliness. He probably sees me as a kind of receptacle for his woes and marital angst. First week back he took me out to West Hampstead for a fish and chip (being horribly mortifying and making loud, bawdy Jewish jokes while sitting across from a couple he judged to be Jewish purely because of their noses) on the bike and I kind of misjudged the ensemble, so I was madly clutching at my skirt as it bunched further up my thighs on the drive down. I definitely do not recommend sitting on the back of a motorbike, driving through heavy London traffic, while wearing quite a short skirt. We did go down through the back roads of Mill Hill, though, past the Rising Sun pub and all the posh, lovely houses of Totteridge, so that was good for nostalgia. Almost made me forget that the hem of my skirt was closer to my bum than my knees.

Second week back daddy brought Dominique around, which was oddly disturbing because she's sprung up like a weed, becoming all skinny and gender awkward, being a bit of a tomboy now. She also has the lovely, apathetic voice of the teenager, all 'alright's and 'yeah's and 'dunno's when you ask her a question. We bonded over our humiliation and disinterest regarding daddy, and she told me some of the gossip regarding Antoinette, who has apparently become rather fat and watches a DVD of her sister's funeral every day. Macabre.

Daddy's third visit was this Sunday. He had Antoinette's Audi for the time being, as A's popped off to Africa with her boyfriend and he has to collect Dominique from St Ethelburga's (that name will never stop being hilarious to me) next week for the last time (she's being shunted off to a new boarding school in Cambridge next year called the Leys, which J. G. Ballard and Stephen Hawking's son apparently attended). So, seeing as the weather decided to be benign, we went on a pseudo-road trip down the M3 and into Hampshire, taking some of the tiny B-roads past all those very English villages, which all seemed to have fetes going on for some reason, with Pimms tents and everything. We stopped off in New Alresford and did this whole illicit, climbing over fences thing (which wasn't very graceful, seeing as I was wearing skimpy tights and a dress. More ensemble challenges) to get down to the lake (which might of been private, IDK), before continuing on to Winchester.

I haven't been to Winchester in YEARS and I have this rather twee little memory in my head of going to visit the cathedral with my grandparents, getting the rather morbid map of the graves and going off to find particular author's and poet's graves like it's some oddly macabre treasure trail. Also remember nanny wounding herself on a railing and one of the priests having to do a bit of first aid in a little broom closet of an office off a transept.

This time, daddy and I just took an amble along the river and came across one of those wonderful second hand book sales that spring up in sloane-y places, round the back of the cathedral. I always end up thinking how easy it would be to take off with a stash of books in those places because you only pay for them by putting the donation through a letter box. It would be so easy to make off with a load of free books. Not that I'd do it, of course. I could have stayed there for hours sorting through all the old editions but daddy's never been much of a book man, so I just got myself a 1960s copy of 'The Painted Veil' and had to be happy with that.

Also, a few weeks ago now (I've been meaning to write about it since but I seem to be a completely lazy bastard when I get going), I went to the London MCM Anime Expo with Hayley, which was brilliant and hilarious and wonderfully geeky in equal parts. I have never in my life considered cosplaying but that event just might had made me reconsider that, because it looked like such a laugh. We had to recover a bit after battling our way through the crowds in the main venue, so we sat down on the floor by the escalators, and it was so much fun picking out costumes and matching them to the anime and character. Predictably, Naruto and Bleach were both fertile animes in the cosplaying arena but my favourite costume of the day had to be the girl dressed up Jareth, who I really should have chased down and begged for a picture with.

A huge Mokona plushie was my first purchase of the day, which was quite amusing to drag around on the Tube afterwards before I lost my geeky nerve and stuffed poor Moko-chan in a carrier bag. I'm wanting the black twin now, though, so I expect a trip down to Piccadilly Circus is on the cards when I make it back from the North York Moors. Got myself some completely random carrot earrings, too (which mama keeps eyeing covetously), some posters, a Hetalia badge, a yaoi keyring declaring myself a 'seme lover' (oh yes) and an onigiri plushie (handmade and everything! I'm thinking of getting Vaughnsy one as part of her birthday present). I seriously could have maxed out my loan in there, what with all the artbooks and mangas and random, nerdy paraphernalia, but I managed to control myself. We had a pick through the yaoi stall for a joke (probably rubbing shoulders with some serious fujoshis, I suspect. There were some Hetalia fans in there, I know, looking for SpainxRomano doujinshi) and generally fought our way about until being completely exhausted. So, great times - I smell a tradition in the making.

I'm off to the North York Moors for a week this Saturday. Mama's been doing (and is currently doing) her geeky thing all week, laying out Ordnance Surveys on the floor and sitting on top of them, planning out walks to break my spirit with. She keeps asking questions like 'Thirteen miles isn't too much is it, Sinead?', which have put the fear of God (or the rambler, really) into me. She has many a Cicerone guide, too, and I always look upon their appearance with a wary eye, as from my experience of walks from their pages, they always end up being the most crippling of the lot. Mama's already bribed me by having us stay at a working sheep farm, though, so I can only steel my energy reserves into a tiring week.

We'll have fun, though. I'm really only being sarcastic (well, not over being crippled and tired at the end of it). We'll do our usual random thing and probably end up lost and wet and laughing at inappropriate things, so I'll cautiously look forward to it. Plus, another bribing technique from mama: she's taking me to visit puffins on Saturday, on our way up, and I've been wanting to see puffins for a LONG, LONG TIME, so I've been officially pacified with weird, beaky animals. Also, we'll be visiting Whitby and it may be completely and irrevocably fictional but I WANT TO SEE DRACULA'S LURKING SPOTS. I'm going to climb up to that abbey with the ridiculous amount of steps and nose around the cemetery where Dracula did his vampire thing. It'll be an unleashing of the literary geek within. Or, well, not so much an unleashing - it's not like my literary geekiness (or general geekiness) is hidden very far under the epidermis.
dark_litany: (Bang - Dean Shoots You Down)
Fuck. Just... fuck.

Grey's Anatomy can be lame and kind of boring for an entire season and then they bring out THAT. It was epic. Monstrously epic. Just went ahead and smacked me right in the face - the drama! The angst! The suspense! I think I almost had a heart attack about six times.

God, Grey's, I love you. I'm sorry for being so unfaithful for so long. You are officially back on the awesome spectrum.

(And that icon is so appropriate. Except shooter was crazy grieving guy instead of Dean.)

Also - discovered another creepy, cockroach-relative, bug-thing in the bathroom. Again the thing met its demise via period bin squashing. There must be a nest around somewhere - Hayley was saying at dinner that these things go around in swarms, after all, which greatly disturbs me. Makes me very happy to be going home for summer break on Saturday, where I will profit from mama's OCD cleanliness and shiny, shiny bathroom.


dark_litany: (Default)

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