webcowgirl: (flower)
This was such a great weekend that I'm hoping I can make it my "Groundhog day" and just do it over and over, or preserve it in amber so I can enjoy it at my leisure.

Friday was Pinter's Moonlight at the Donmar Warehouse with [livejournal.com profile] dreamsewingmiko. Not only did I get a really engaging, intelligent play, but I got four hours with someone who's company I really enjoy. Lots of girlie bonding time and catching up and discussing plans for the future, like the Jerez flamenco festival and that trip to Patagonia I'm dreaming of (after seeing the article in the New York Times). On top of it we had Mexican food at Lupita and then gelato at Scoop, and the weather was amazing.

Boat on banks of River Stour, Fen Bridge in the background (n... on TwitpicAmazing weather was the theme for the weekend as [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy and [livejournal.com profile] wechsler and I went to Colchester (awesome ruined monastery!) to canoe on the River Stour with Nomad Sea Kayaking. Not only did we get a lovely paddle on the river (with flowers blooming everywhere!), we saw some gorgeous country, literally right out of (or in) Constable paintings, and we had so much fun afterwards we went and took a walk down the banks of the same river, from the Dedham boat house to the Fen Bridge to the town of Dedham. It was a gorgeous little wool town that looked like a movie set. Then it was taxi to Colchester, nap to London, taco making and Alhambra. Really, it was such a nice, nice day and evening.

Sunday was London time, starting with the recording of the "As Yet Unnamed London Theater Podcast" that I'm getting involved in. It was nice talking shop about shows with people that I mostly know, and much easier (if less social) than meeting up in a pub. Then it was off to the Southbank for the London Chocolate Festival with [livejournal.com profile] exedore. We had a nice visit with each other and wound up sitting around in the sun doing nothing at the Victoria Embankment besides admiring the tulips and talking BS - we both had time to kill before seeing our next people of the day. I tried (once he left) to squeeze in the "British Art in the Age of the Comet" at the Hayward, but either it wasn't very exciting or the sun was just too awesome for the gallery to compete.

Beautiful wisteria covered house in Dedham #fb on TwitpicAt any rate, next stop was Euston to pick up Lisa Crispin, a very nice lady I met at a testing conference last year. I took her and her husband to the Wellcome Collection to see the Dirt exhibit, which was a nice collection of narrative, medical specimens, literature, and some nice fresh art (includingn a piece by Bruce Nauman). I thought it was fairly thought provoking but am afraid I had to rush through the last room due to running out of time! Then we headed over to Angel to see the puppet theater version of the Tempest they're doing in conjuntion with the Royal Shakespeare Company. People, do not be mistaken: this is not a puppet show, it's a cut down version of the Tempest with world class actors that just happens to have puppet versions of Ariel and Caliban (most appropriate ways of depicting them, I think). Tickets are only £12 and it's a STEAL at the price, I tell you, a STEAL. Buy yourself some tickets while they're still available and go go go. I think it's probably suitable for 8 and above (it's about 90 minutes long, no interval) - I haven't had time to write my review up yet but I was embarassed by how little I paid.

I forgot to mention: we ran into a pirate while we were canoe... on TwitpicAnd then it was home and a nice long chat with my new roomie and dishes and laundry and MAN I was tired. What a great weekend it was though! I had fun, I was happy, all my self doubt and self loathing were nowhere to be seen ... Where is the amber that it's hidden in? All I have is a few photographs ... but at least I can share them with you. Just imagine our terror as this pirate-captained boat bore down on us as we headed upstream ... yes, the weekend was just that fun.
webcowgirl: (Kayak)
Today was full of awesome with awesome sauce on top. We started off at a Venezuelan restaurant down the street, where we had fried bananas, rice, beans, an "arepa" (like a muffin made of grits) and eggs scrambled with salsa for breakfast. Wow. Share photos on twitter with Twitpic So good and so filling!

Then we headed to Wekiva Springs state park (per [livejournal.com profile] lastwordy_mcgee's recommendation). I was kicking myself for not looking up what was going on there before we left, but the center of the park was this amazing, clear pool people were swimming in and I didn't have my suit. Aargh! Still, that didn't stop us from going kayaking, so after we did the little boardwalk nature tour, we headed down the river in a double kayak. It was a totally gorgeous day although just a bit on the warm side, but it was nice and cool on the water.

This kept us going until about 2:30, when we headed back into Orlando. I collapsed for a bit, then revived myself in time for us to head out to see Xanadu: The Musical, which we both loved (review to follow, I think). Then it was slices of NY style pizza and back to the hotel, where we swam, then hung out by the pool and did more catching up (me with a margarita). It's really been a fantastic day. Tomorrow will be Cocoa Beach and a manatee tour! I can't wait. We're even going to play some miniature golf. I can tell I'm going to be sorry when this vacation is over (though technically the vacation part has been very short, just the last two days and tomorrow).View of the kayaking path from Wekiwa Springs - a nice day to... on Twitpic
webcowgirl: (Kayak)
I know what I want to do in late September now.

EEE! Time to start saving!

Pilates last night was a load of fun. I think next week J and W and I are going to go to the Wednesday night "reformer" class, which will be a load of fun. J's rejoined the gym and what with him riding his bike to work yesterday, the three of us are ALL getting a lot more exercise. I think I'd like to look at rejoining the gym downstairs just to do cardio again, but I wish there was a nicer gym closer by I could use instead..

I'm also considering seeing Don John April 17th at the Battersea Arts Centre. Anyone interested? I'm afraid it's kind of pricy, £22-27, but I'm trying to get details about the pricing structure there as I can also see £10 seats and those are much more my style. LATER: £10 seats are available, though there in the back. Still, works for me!
webcowgirl: (octopus)
I haven't read the article yet, but this slideshow on sealife on the New York Times was really enjoyable. I love sea creatures. Man, I miss kayaking! I need to get my app together for that job in Australia!
webcowgirl: (Kayak)
woo hoo!
picture.jpg

This is of course [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy. And can someone please explain why Helston is "home of the furry dance?"
webcowgirl: (Jizo)
Urgh. Feel naseous and emotional this morning. Still discouraged from yesterday and not excited about going out today. Slept poorly again (thus emotional?) and a bit sunburned (but only on my right arm). Gah. Everything's moving too fast except for me ...
webcowgirl: (Kayak)
Quite a day of kayaking with the Cornwall canoe crew (led by Jeff today) and I am right worn out. We were picked up and taken to Maenporth Beach. While the class was advertised as intermediate, in fact it was quite mixed, with one "five star" certified guy who, with two other dudes (including "Wenley Kayak," must look him up later) was basically there to learn sea rescues, and two other guys who were fresh out of the beginners class from the weekend.

So off we set. I immediately fell over while attempting a surf launch; comic in one foot of surf but still good for a lap full of water. J, meanwhile, made it beyond the break before he fell in, though I missed it all. It was an inauspicious beginning and a blow to both of our confidence levels.

Once we got out, things were lovely. We coasted through seaweed encrusted rock channels; I marvelled at a shipwreck so huge it looked like a dinosaur's skeleton, and so barnaclized it looked organic; a seal watched us for rather a long time and was watched right back by me.

However, I'd got it in my head that the order of the day was "taking the newbs out," and I began to feel very nervous that we were being set up for failure in order to give the other guys something to practice on. Happily, I didn't fall out all day, but sadly, my knee didn't cooperate and I began to ache rather a lot come hour four. Rather pleasantly, I got to be the "incapacitated tow victim" (rather than completely wearing myself out) and got a nice break even though I could have made it in fine. And J and I were more than happy to sit on the beach while the big guys headed back into the surf for a "cave rescue." Tea on the beach on a lovely day; what's to complain about? Crazy to think we'll be doing it all again tomorrow. Now, time for steak at the pub.

webcowgirl: (Default)
Right, sleeping in was achieved by all, and no one made it into the living room until 11:30. That is what I call getting the weekend off to a good start (after a Friday that included a trip to the Bricklayer's Arms, duck salad with orange dressing, and [livejournal.com profile] wechsler whupping me and J at Cartagena). I put in laundry (to have an appropriate shirt for today's nice weather), made breakfast, took a shower, then hit the reset button and took a nap.

Now it's time to go see art - the Keith Arnatt exhibit at the Photographers' Gallery and the prison art exhibit at the ICA. We've altered our plans and will be going to [livejournal.com profile] booklectic's for games tonight rather than going to [livejournal.com profile] robot_mel's housewarming (apologies, but I thought skipping crowds was my better bet), then tomorrow is Cornwall (which reminds me of the Corn Palace in South Dakota but probably shouldn't)!
webcowgirl: (Kayak)
Right, I'm mad for kayaking, and I'm frustrated that I've done so little of it since we've been here! We had a great time the weekend before last, surfing in the waves around the rocks off of the Devon coast, and now I'm just frothing to do some more, especially since we've got a three day weekend coming up and we've got two extra days off for that weekend. (Here we are with our group from Jurassic Kayak Tours, which I recommend highly as a really good morning or afternoon out, if you like that kind of thing, which I do.) I got excited about trying to get British Canoe Union "star" certified. "Five star next year?" I proposed. We'll see - I think I'm already at the two or three star level.

And how will I find out? Because I've found another company, Sea Kayaking Cornwall, which offers intermediate sea kayaking classes. The one this weekend is closed, but they'll let us in on the first two days of their five day class next week - so bank holiday Monday and Tuesday. We can just squeeze it in, and frankly since it's not the Saturday and Sunday, travel is much cheaper. All I need now is a place to stay near Falmouth. W00T! I'm going for it.

PS: Tailbone much better, also went out to lunch with one of my reports and a friend of his who was sitting at another table treated us and told us about it as he was leaving. How cool is that?

LATER: Done! Have booked rooms at the Seaward Guest House, have tickets on Sunday's 11:57 out of Paddington (and 17:51 back on Tuesday), and the nice folks at the kayaking place will pick us up from the hotel! YAY!
webcowgirl: (Default)
1. Get cat litter.
2. Get clothes line.
3. Aquire feather boa (not sure where my old one went).
4. Buy green nail polish.
5. Buy groceries.
6. Touch up hair.

And of course, pack ....

Letter of acceptance ("upon receipt of contract") has been sent.

Am trying to get a hold of Sea Kayaking Cornwall to take their two day intermediate class the following weekend.
webcowgirl: (Kayak)
Okay, we're off for our kayaking trip in Lulworth. We're going to ride the Swanage Railway, and, I'm excited to say, go to the Spirit of the Countryside fair. The lawnmower racing looks especially good. See you all Sunday night.
webcowgirl: (Default)
I have a job interview today, and I'm dressed fairly nicely (but not too well, like not, "Hey, she's in a suit" well) in a red and black paisley silk shirt and smooth black cotton side zip pants. I think it says "IT professional, but not a banker." Basically, they'll see the hair and either they'll run or they won't, and I don't have suits, so there you have it. Pretty, clean, neat, coordinated. I'll try to scrape the remainders of the nail polish off while I'm on the tube. After my interview tonight, I'll be off to the Great London Beer festival to drown my sorrows - which I'm happier to report are certainly less than they were this time last week. Hopefully I'll see [livejournal.com profile] indigo_violet there - anyone else I might expect?

Last night's Paco Pena show was quite good, though it was really more about music than dancing (as I had wrongly thought).Read more... ) I did think it was a bit sad that Spain got the Flamenco and England got the Morris Dancing, but we can't control how things like Moorish invasions will play out in the long run, can we?

Alas, I was feeling distracted by matters financial during the show and wasn't able to really lose myself due to getting caught up in the magic of My Brain Doing Planning Things. Money talk, considered crude to some. The upshot was that I realized I can't take a job that means a big pay cut. ) So I was sitting in Sadlers Wells, juggling mentally between our different bank accounts (where money lives) to our various credit cards (where money dies), and realizing I can't afford to take a job that's going to mean a £8000 pay cut, no matter how much less stress it is, because I just can't afford it. Maybe I could in October, but I can't now. I also figured out we probably can't afford to go anywhere over the bank holiday. We have big sucking debt that needs to be paid off NOW, and the £500 a month we've been using to chip away at it since [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy got his job hasn't done it in quite the style I'd like.

So I sent an email to the recruiter and cancelled the interview. I'm back down to one now.

Weekend away in Devon this weekend; car rental plus hotel plus kayaking, adding up to a bit more than I really want it to. Grr. I'll do my best to enjoy myself, anyway. I want to do lots more kayaking, though - I really miss being outside!
webcowgirl: (Kayak)
Well, I'm not sure how "severe" this weather is, but we're looking at highs around 60 degrees and humidity at 95% and higher! Wow! I'm really glad we're not in the midwest, because there's no WAY it would be this cool at this time of the year - it would be a little sweat box. I'm not sure how this will feed into my planned trip to "kayak the Jurassic coast!" this weekend - if the weather is extreme they'll cancel the trip. I just hope they figure it out before we buy our tickets to the coast.

Meanwhile, the walk back home Wednesday night has aggravated by knee. This bites as I really dislike to think a mere half hour's walk would leave me sore for two days. I like to walk! Walking is good for you! There is no reason I shouldn't be able to manage a measley two mile walk! Grrr ...

Off to work today. My enthusiasm is underwhelming. At least I got another application out last night.
webcowgirl: (Kayak)
I realized last night as I was riding the tube back home (stretching my leg out, then pulling it back to a 90 degree angle, so as to keep it from going stiff) that with my knee going to pot like it has in the last month, it's likely that I may no longer be able to do the kayak trip from Loreto to La Paz I've been dreaming of doing for the last three years. I just don't think I could get my knee to handle it.

Or who knows, maybe I could spend six hours a day in a little boat, stretching my leg straight, then nuzzling it up against the side of the boat again, repeating and repeating just like I'm having to do at the office, only with the glorious seascape of Baja cruising by me. I'm pretty sure I'll not be able to hike again, though.

When summer comes, I'm going to get back in a boat and see how I hold up. I don't want to have to give up the sports I've learned to love just a few years after I've found them. That would make me sad.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Made it to "That Night's Wife" (another Ozu silent) tonight with [livejournal.com profile] stolen_tea and [livejournal.com profile] varina8 in attendance. Afterward we talked about how the accompaniment we keep getting for these movies seems to eschew the form of silent movie accompaniment in favor of a "sound track" style form, which is inappropriate, we think, for them. Monday's Male and Female with Dennis James at the keyboard will likely be much better. I'll hit Sunday's silent, but I may be sticking to the talkies after this - not like I have much of a choice given that I'm leaving before the end of the festival.

I was too tired afterward to see the 9:15 film, but we decided to get a pint at the Comet along with [livejournal.com profile] stolen_tea. We broke out the Gloom game, which we decided was silly but a little lacking in game mechanics. A lot of time was spent discussing the "what-if"s of the move - when I might leave, if [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy might need to get roommates while he was trying to get a job together, how long it might take him to make it over - all stuff that was mostly irrelevant without knowing the results of tomorrow's conversation with the hiring manager, which will be along the lines of "might you actually consider me for this job anyway?" I'm worried because I sent her my resume two weeks ago and she didn't actually respond to my email, but I'll either email or call tomorrow and see if I can figure out if I might even be in the running for the job, and if so when she might be looking to have it filled.

I also found out today that with a travel agent discount I could do the Eurostar ( 1 passenger) to Paris for $40 each. That's peanuts! Of course the trick is that you can only use that deal once a year, though apparently I can get swinging deals on lots of different train destinations. The picture of Algarve made it look really nice, too, even though I don't know a thing about Portugal and 60° still seems a little on the cool side to me - not really swimming weather. Meanwhile I'm mooning about the fancy kayaking trips off of Vancouver Island - mostly focusing on the west coast (though I do like the idea of kayaking from a mother ship or - better yet - from B&B to B&B).The Nutchatlitz is the one that's really appealing to me right now, but there's no way this will happen unless I stay here all the way through July ... and we need to get the house worked on and I need to get that horrible periodontist thing attended to and there's a million other things going on between now and then. It'll be nice to get to Orcas Island in two weekends - maybe that will muffle the call of the ocean to a dull roar.
webcowgirl: (kayak)
.... and I discovered I'd missed some kind of message about an all-hands meeting. But there the buses were, waiting for us in the middle of the road. I had my bag with me anyway, so that was convenient. I was ready to go somewhere.

The buses didn't go to the Convention Center, however, they kept heading across the bridge, all the way into Seattle and across town to the shores of Puget Sound. They let us out in West Seattle near the ferry terminal. Below the bluffs of the park (I always forget what it is named), all of these kayaks were lined up on the pebbly beach. Cool, a team building exercise with kayaks! I grabbed a PFD, a paddle, a spray skirt, and one of the few singles and got in the water. It's a little cold for boating today, but not really a problem!

What's crazy though is that they thought we could all paddle over to Vashon Island, which isn't so far if you're on the ferry but which is a long damn drip when you're under human power. And no one bothered to explain to anyone about the currents, how there's one that will basically just send you round and round the island with no hope of getting back to the mainland.

So here I am, writing from my little boat, long separated from my group, but with plenty of time to type this all in my cellphone, which doesn't seem to be able to actually call anyone right now. The water is deceptively calm and I seem to have drifted into a fog bank. A cute little fish just decided to beach himself in my lap, and I can see him gasping for air. Or maybe he's talking. I swear he's saying, "Can you hear me now?"

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