Day 18 - A Song You Wished You Heard on the Radio
Again, given I never listen to the radio, this is something of a redundant question. So I'll just go for a sorely-underrated band in the first place.
Catatonia - "Don't Need The Sunshine" - from International Velvet
Way back in 1998, from their first mainstream album, and it's still a firm favourite for me. It's lighter than their usual fare, with just the guitar accompaniment under Cerys. I usually tend to prefer the songs which show off her lighter range, rather than her trademark smoke-destroyed gravelley drawl, but this has the added bonus of being very catchy.
Okay. Embroidery pics follow.
This one shows another shade of green in the grassy bits. Unfortunately, I actually ran out of thread (OH NOES!) and had to abandon the colour whilst I ordered some more online.
Next is a lighter yellow-green, and I also finished the rest of the darker green from before. (Sorry about the quality, I managed to blur the heck out of it.)
And finally, some work on the other small trees. I have since done two more colours, but the photos aren't uploaded yet...
My week off is almost over and I have no idea where the time went... In brief:
Saturday - I made my first ever curry! We went to a nearby supermarket and got £15-worth (a full carrier bag) of spices in order to make said curry, followed by a trip to Moseley Farmers' Market for sausages, cheese, local ale, wine, etc. Spent rather too much money, but meh. Anyway, I've now rebagged all the spices (including a 1kg bag of garam masala - I'm going to be making a LOT of curry now...) and my kitchen smells divine. :D As for the actual curry, I did spiced fishcakes to start with a coriander chutney, followed by Anjum Anand's "Punjabi Chicken Curry", which was lovely. I forgot to put the chillies in, and also I put in too much water so it didn't quite go as the recipe stated and I had to thicken with cornflour, but it tasted delicious. Definitely going to make that again. :)
Sunday - I think I had a migraine. Can't remember.
Monday - went to visit jackiesjottings in Oxford, which was a lovely day. We had to change at Milton Keynes, where the structure they laughingly referred to as a bus station consisted of three portacabins and some pavement, with only a cricket ground nearby to break the tedium. It was about a 15-minute walk from the actual bus station in the city centre and thus not worth the effort. Milton Keynes is poo; everything is square and all the buildings are identical. Give me an organic rambling city any day.
As for Oxford, it was beautiful. I wish I'd been clever enough to go there for uni, really. Something about the surroundings inpsires you to Be Academic. We wandered around several of the colleges, found lunch in a quiet pub, and were briefly followed around by a strange-but-friendly cat. Photos are here.
Tuesday - nowt. Recovering from the day before!
Wednesday - we went out to see Avatar in 3D at the IMAX, having missed it the first time around. Overall, I very much enjoyed it, though that was more to do with the IMAX experience and less to do with the film itself. IMAX is so thoroughly immersive that it took at least half an hour for my brain to get to grips with the 3D. The opening sequence, where the main character / narrator describes a dream in which he is flying and the camera swoops over Pandora, literally felt like flying. It was almost like a simulator. In fact, for the first 15 minutes or so it actually made me dizzy. The various shots looking down from a great height also created an effective sense of vertigo. If you are going to see it, I would definitely recommend IMAX over your standard cinema, because what the film lacks in plot, it makes up for in special effects.
As for the plot? As I said on Facebook, it's basically Fergully for grown-ups, without the added bonus of Tim Curry, and involving aliens rather than fairies. The aliens even live in a tree. It hits you with cliché after cliché, presumably hoping you'll be so stunned and blown away by the pretty that you won't notice. :D The themes are simple: the US Military = evil; science is superior to warfare; the Na'vi lead a simple life and the humans don't understand why that's better. It's all you could expect from a film that repeatedly bludgeons you with morality and comparisons to your own existence.
That said, I did enjoy it, despite getting a crick in my neck. I can see why people who have been to IMAX go back there. I wanted to see Alice in Wonderland there but couldn't afford it at the time, but will definitely make the effort and spend the extra few quid in future. On first walking into the auditorium, my immediate words about the screen were, "That's mahoosive!" - it was almost like those early cinema-goers iwould have felt when they first saw Gone With The Wind - that sense of grandeur and wonder. I am also glad I saw Avatar there, because if I'd just seen it on DVD or Sky Movies I don't think I would have been as impressed by the special effects. We get so used to CGI these days as to take it for granted, and 3D is going the same way, and the 30-foot screen at IMAX definitely took that to another level entirely.
Thursday - more nothing. Did some more embroidery.
Friday - we were supposed to see Toy Story 3 but neither of us were particularly in the mood. Spent the afternoon searching for shoes for Paul as he's at a wedding today, then he went off to stay over at the bride's mother's (don't even ask, it's the weirdest wedding ever - Paul is a "bridesmate" for starters...) and I came home and watched Marie Antoinette, which we'd picked up at Blockbuster in the cheap sale DVDs rack. Quite an interesting film... Internet was deaded all last night (in addition to cable telly being half-b0rk all day yesterday and again today - you suck, Virgin). I stayed up til about 2.00am in order to knacker myself out before attempting to sleep, otherwise I wouldn't have managed it. Surprisingly, I actually had a fairly good night's sleep, although did have a very odd dream this morning that Paul had briefly come home before going back out to the wedding again...
Today - nothing much at all. Got up 10.00ish after finishing my current book ("Loves Music, Loves to Dance" by Mary Higgins Clark) and have pottered on t'internet since then. Should probably straighten my hair and get ready soon as I have to be at the same wedding's reception at 6.00. Given I hardly fit into any of my clothes any more, I have no idea what to wear. Meh.
Tomorrow - chillaxing and enjoying the last day of my leave. I should have booked another week. Hopefully I will be having another week off after my birthday anyway.
And that's it.