The Mystery Worshipper report I did recently from our holiday is now up: read it here.
Today it is 4 years to the day that HD and I got married. He still makes me go all goofy.
This is one of my favourite pictures from the day, taken by a friend:
This is the song we danced to at our wedding (all nearly 7 minutes of it!!!). The lyrics are here. It’s an amazing song which stops me in my tracks every time. I have also found rereading the lyrics quite comforting – after both starting and ending the year with a shocking bereavement on Ship of Fools. Miserere, yes.
First flapjacks of the year. Rather lovely, though I say so myself.
This is Bertha and the duck-whose-name-I-forget, hogging the booze. We had a shipmeet yesterday to say farewell to Surfing Madness who is off to the wilds of Dundee.
This afternoon we went on our first shipmeet of the year. Normally we will meet in either Edinburgh or Glasgow, but today for a change we went to Linlithgow (west of Edinburgh). I’d not been there before, it was really lovely. We started off walking round the loch (about 2.3 miles), this is the view on the far side looking towards Linlithgow Palace. After the walk we decamped to a pub called The Old Post Office (you’ll never guess what it used to be) and had an earlyish dinner. There were about 20 or so of us, it was good to catch up with old friends and new people. The furthest people came were from north of Aberdeen, so that was very impressive.
One thing I’ve loved about Ship of Fools is just how many enormously talented and entertaining writers and wits there are there. This book is written by one of them (without wanting to out him, let’s just say he’s the ship’s most prolific poster by miles), the wisdom and advice of Father Vasiliy (and his trademark catchphrase “Is Outrage!”) provides all the 19th century Russian Orthodox comedy you could possibly wish for. I’m really enjoying this.
It’s available to buy here.
This is not the photo I had intended (or ever wanted) to post for today. In answer to your question Chas, yesterday’s photo was taken from the southern end of Bute, from where we have just got home after a few days much-needed R&R. I took a couple of pictures today, of the Victorian toilets in Rothesay and the view from the ferry window (we didn’t stand outside as I prefer, as it was really not the weather for it!). However, when we got back and I went on the internet I discovered that Erin, who pretty much led the Ship of Fools bulletin boards for the last 12 years from their inception, died suddenly on 30th December. Although I didn’t have loads of interactions with her, and she posted much less frequently over the last couple of years, she was still a towering presence, and will be sadly missed. This screenshot has added poignancy because of the reply from KenWritez, who himself died a while ago. I predict a lot of laughter in Heaven at the moment, with those two there.
How spooky is this? HD asked me what Monty Python DVDs I had as he fancied watching one. While we were clearing up after our evening meal on the news it said the surviving Monty Python members are planning on getting together again. Then we watched the Holy Grail (with me probably being very irritating and quoting large chunks of it), and then I logged on to Ship of Fools to find someone had started a thread to say she was going to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the first time tomorrow and asking for advice. Ni! 🙂
It’s that Jungian synchronicity thing.
The world continues to shrink and collide. I remember when I first started getting involved in online communities, talking about my “real life” and “virtual” friends, and then getting really startled when “real” and “virtual” worlds started to coincide and overlap, and “virtual” friends became as “real” as “real life” friends. People from the wibsite and Ship of Fools turned out to know/have grown up with random people I knew in real life (especially people from madchurch, bizarrely), and since being on facebook it’s been amazing to see how many people have unexpected mutual friends with me – a few people I know from online are friends with a friend of mine from uni, whom they know from GCN, for example. I’ve had several facebook exchanges along the lines of “where on earth do you know x from?!” – one madchurch friend saw a comment from someone (whom I got to know through a friend of HD’s) and messaged me to say “I was at a Crusader camp in the 80s with someone called Jane Bloggs*, I wonder if it’s the same one”, so I messaged her and it turned out they were indeed already acquainted but hadn’t been in touch for 20 years, and then they spent a fun evening reminiscing together and catching up via facebook messages. I’ve also had a couple of “real life” friends come up to me and sheepishly confess that they think they’ve been reading my blog. One of whom as lots of people already know now has her own blog here too – we first met in the early 90s, and I think at first we were both a bit freaked out by the real/virtual overlap.
Now it’s my various virtual worlds that are colliding. I’m really delighted that Katya, one of my most faithful and regular commenters over on my Glasgow photo blog, has started to comment here too. I can thank Ian for following her comments on Glasgow DP and starting to comment on her blog for her getting to know the wibsite a bit.
Every time I experience one of these mini-world collisions I get a bit of a jolt. A pleasant one mind! I think I didn’t realise until I had lots of friends in lots of different places coming together the extent to which I choose what I reveal about myself in each different context. I think all of them are authentic expressions of who I am, whether it be the creative, spiritual, pseudy, or whatever sides of me, but I always wonder if those who know best the spiritual side of me will be surprised by the slobby side, or those that know the creative me will be put off by the more spiritual, even though it’s all me. I think I’m rambling (Shurely not – ed), not to mention getting a bit “me, me, me” on you – anyway really all I want to say is despite the momentary discomfort I think the coming together of these different worlds is fun and helps make the world both a smaller and bigger place. Yay!
In other news, working at home hasn’t worked at all. I have no self-discipline whatsoever (she says, like that’s news). Tomorrow will be better (actually maybe I’ll go into work after all). Sigh.
* Name changed to protect the guilty, obviously!
Today HD and I went into London town to meet up with some people from the Ship of Fools. We started off at Tower Hill and then crossed Tower Bridge and walked along the South Bank. I have to say, some people walked really really slowly! But, I did have a good time, it was great to get back into London (and out of Luton for a bit!), and brilliant to see a number of people I’ve not seen since Greenbelt, or in some cases since I left London over 3 years ago, as well as to meet a few new people, including Kelly the guest of honour from California. I took some photos which are here.
We stayed as far as the Tate Modern, but apart from looking at the big spider (brrrrr!) in the Turbine Hall HD and I only had time for a quick look round the shop (for a birthday present for a friend) before we had to head back to Luton. Everybody else carried on walking and were aiming for a pub near Waterloo, I was really sad we couldn’t go but needs must this time. If anyone fancies saying a little prayer for us, HD has a job interview next week (this is why we headed back, so he could spend some more time to prepare a rather scary-sounding – not to mention rather long – presentation he has to do). His contract here finishes in a few weeks’ time, so it would be good if we knew what life might hold in store (and at least where we’re going to end up) sooner rather than later. Thank you 🙂
Last night we had a good shipmeet up in Glasgow, meeting up with MrSponge and his friends from across the Pond, and catching up with fisher, derf and scz. We went to Waxy O’Connors, and had a good old time discussing English/Scottish/American pronunciation (!). At one point we did divide up into boys talking politics and religion and girls talking weddings and babies – no gender stereotypes there obviously (we didn’t talk about knitting though).
Later today I’m heading down to London, as tomorrow I am going shopping with my bridesmaid. I can’t wait, I haven’t seen her for ages so it will be great to catch up with her. On Sunday HD and I are then going to have lunch with his parents AND my parents – this will be the first time the two sets of parents have met. I hope they behave themselves!