Sunday, April 9, 2017

First thoughts on Glasgow, from the evening of my arrival

This city is WAY more beautiful than I thought it would be.....WAY!!!  And seriously rich, in the past and now.  There are tons and tons of amazing buildings.  As my offspring puts it, based on shipping spices, slaves and tobacco.  Well. We can feel good about the spices anyway. 

There continues to be some really amazing architecture being put up too.  It is also bigger than I thought it would be.  Clearly my assumptions about the city weren't accurate.

Flying in though....the Scots are different than the Catalans in one respect anyway, they've cut down every god damned tree for hundreds of kilometers.  Every last one flying in was like a freaking moonscape.  Weird.

The brits do know how to do milk products.  Eating cheddar (how I miss it!) and having double cream in my tea!!!  (Heh, I'm on vacation!!!)

Thoughts on a day in Geneva

Oh, OK, the city is fine, the public transit bus drivers are complete a**holes.  OMG.  'Nuff said.

CERN, super cool, but without a tour, only sorta kinda worth the effort. I'd still love to go on a tour, so someday I'll have to book the tour and then the flights.

Geneva itself, not a lot there, honestly.  Banks, watches and super high end shopping.  Most people were doing shopping with only a few tourists wandering around the old part of town.  I think it must have been one of the very first warm sunny days they've had, cause man, the folks who live there were out in DROVES!

Food, insanely expensive.  8 Swiss francs for a sandwich!!!!  I'll grant, it was a good sandwich, but still.

I was so tired, so so so tired..... I ended up having a nap in a park, along with about 20 other people.  Just lay out on the grass.  That was marvelous.

I can understand quite a lot of French, but remain largely mute.  It was coming back quickly, so I would probably be able to function in a relatively short amount of time, but goodness, the brain is a funny place.


I didn't get to see the following two pictures, you don't get to see that even on a tour, but they had some very impressive images up on the wall.....



These are actual CERN particles!!!

video

A CERN smile.


Had a nap under this magnolia....


The archaeological museum I wasn't willing to pay to go into.


Neptune, out for a walk.

Finally, there's all that Swiss efficiency, but honestly, a certain lack of information for tourists.  It was all a little confusing, and not just cause I was tired.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Reading

People seem to differ a bit in their approach to reading. 

Well, that's an obvious comment isn't it...let me be clearer, readers seem to differ in their approach to reading.  My husband, for example, far prefers to read a number of books at the same time, up to 5 of them, and he alters through them via some kind of internal algorithm or emotional guage.  I have always preferred to read one book, finish it and start the next. 

This difference may have to do with my husbands rather formidable ability to remember.  Really, it is amazing.  However, if I leave a book too long I lose track of some of the details of the story.  Though for me it is also about sinking myself into the story and entering the world, so switching frequently between them is not what interests me terribly. 

Right now, however, for powers beyond my control, I am reading 5 books at the same time.  Kinda not enjoying it.  I gave up last night, stayed up late and finished one of them.

Bliss.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

This is not a humble brag

This is straight up amazement.

I've been studying Mandarin a bit, and look what I can understand!  (Only in the context, not sure I would be able to on the street, but still.....)

你好吗?

我很好,你呢?

我也很好。

And it sounds like this:  http://materials.cv.uoc.edu/continguts/PID_00236109/Texts_Interactius/U1-4/data/material/17039_textu14_1.mp3

I only have to check 10 or 11 times to write it correctly too!  Not only that, but I understood it right off....the characters are hard though, and they need to be written in a specific order, which does actually have a lot of logic to it and makes it easier to understand.

Here I'm writing (more or less, I am sure my handwriting is appalling) Hello!

video

Oh, and it says...

Hello, how are you?

I'm very good, and you?

I'm also very good.

Cool, no?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Flowers in January

I'm Canadian, and seeing flowers in January continues to amaze me.  You see it's hot here compared to Canada, but it's not THAT hot, it's not tropical.  If you go somewhere tropical, you aren't surprised by flowers in January, but here, it is chilly...our high today was about 14º and the low about 5º.  OK, but Canada standards, that's pretty darned nice, and it is pretty darned nice, but not something that shrieks out FLOWERS!!!!

So I am utterly delighted when they show up....

There's only one of these irises, and I think they may be my favourite flowers.....



This bush is madly pumping out the roses, we have them in all stages, and they smell wonderful.


The lemon tree has more lemons than sense, which I suppose is to be expected, but really, it grows so many lemons that it gets literally doubled over from the weight of them.


Jasmine, we have lots of this too......


Another rose, these don't smell as strongly, but are lovely, we've got one bloom and some buds.
 

Such a treat.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

holidays

These holidays are maybe a little boring, and maybe it would have been great to go and do something, like tour Italy, but that was not in the cards financially this year, and you know what? 

It has been (and continues to be) great...at least for me!  The Man and I have seen almost all of the exhibitions that are on in BCN (including a surprisingly crappy one yesterday), and I have read a book almost every day after the Christmas excitement ended.  Not doing much of anything, walking the dog, reading and doing the necessary chores.

It has been great.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Yesterday was marvelous

Really!  I had the most amazing start to the year!  Went for a walk in the hills with the dog and the man, went to friends and had a marvelous New Year's day lunch, read a fantastic book (The Martian), had a nap and went to a stunning concert here in the village.  The musicians were having fun, at the end they had santa hats on, or police hats (?) or barratines, they played a weird instrument they'd made out of bottles filled to different depths and lit and suspended.  It was fun, it was great music beautifully played, but the highlight was the tenor....OMG

It isn't a big theater and it was like a private performance.  Josep Fadó  I mean, good lord.  We even got to sing Silent Night, which was cool, I love that carol....but everyone was singing different words than me (in Catalan)...no big deal.....he sang this piece among others.  It was amazing, make your hair stand up on end.