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18th September 2017

V&A, tamara

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Today I went to the V&A,to see tamara, whom I had not seen in a while.


We took a tour that was especially for London Design Festival, so it took in several different installations, some of which are in conversation/reaction to pieces in the Museum. And because there were several different ones in different places and themes, the tour - and we - went over a wide range of the museum, from the Raphael galleries (where there were dancing robots!) to the glass galleries, the ceramics, furniture, via a gallery of paintings to see tapestries and a reaction to the tapestries, and to an opera display, and an installation of blue light and red light, so many things! It was about an hour and a half and had a lot of walking and climbing stairs and so on. "My fitbit will be happy", Tamara said.And so it was.
There were two guides, the one we got was called Dan Nuvo, (like the art, he said). He pinged gay (and then he made a skipping leg day joke and I was sure) and later in the Ceramics gallery he pointed out a display of a rainbow of glazes that was installed by a gay man, and said that he did the LGBT tour in the V&A, on the last Saturday of the Month at four, Derek do you want to go?

Anyway, the museum is huge and it was nice to see so much of it. And it was good to see tamara and do an thing with her.
We exited through Exhibition Road, there is a new! Shiny! entrance there that I had not seen before . I came in through the Cromwell road entrance. Then made her come and find me under the Chihuli chandelier.

After, we travelled together to Liverpool Street station, and met Nicole (or possibly another name, I am bad at names). She's doing comms for the concom. She was friendly and polite. Apparently she had slightly alarmed some police officers earlier by being friendly and polite at them. People don't seem to understand that in a big crowded city, ignoring people is the best way one can give them space.

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17th September 2017

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On Saturday I went out to see "God's Own Country" which is also known around these parts as Brokeback Yorkshire. (These parts being both friends' brains and the internet).

I twote about it a couple of times after seeing it mentioned and seeing the trailer, and the director of the film and the producer of the film have both retweeted me.

There was much Yorkshire, and [personal profile] apiphile said it was "graphically farming and graphically gay" which is accurate.

(those mean there are scenes with dead animals in them, and there are scenes with pretty graphic gay sex)

*

I went to see Much Ado About Nothing at the Globe with Random, because she had a spare ticket. We had awful seats and then realised that where we were sitting was actually a continuation of the bench all the way to the wall, and the actual marked seats had a better view - we moved to the actual seats during the interval.
I liked the Beatrice, she was charming and funny. I also liked the bright costumes.

(I think I nodded off at one point, so still low energy/ not enough stamina for an play, but if I'm sitting down I can just do that and not be in anyone's way - and then I wake up and keep watching, I don't get the huge energyy drop from trying to stay standing up)

*

(Today I looked at the BBC iplayer website, and BBC Alba had Oran Na Mara/Song of the Sea - that beautiful animated film - available. But it is dubbed in language I do not understand - Scottich Gaelic, perhaps? and no English subtitles, either.
It's still very pretty.

*

I went looking through the iplayer films and they had Pedro Almodovar's 'I'm So Excited' Which is on an airplane that has a fault in its landing gear so instead of flying to Mexico is circling Toledo, waiting to get a place to land. It is full of sex and alcohol and drugs, some - especially the drugs - non-consensually, and it is very very silly. Everyone on economy is given 'muscle relaxants' and is fully asleep for the entire flight, for example. This is very very silly and also unethical and impossible. They all wake up fine for the landing and evacuation. This is also impossible. It's taking itself about as seriously as a eurovision song. Once I totally accepted that mindset, I enjoyed it. (Also there is a suicide attempt that is averted - person is about to, phone rings, they don't - but they are shown walking onto an ambulance, to be hospitalised).
The mood is light, there are bright colours, cheerfulness, and a happy ending.

*

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1st September 2017

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I went to the Globe, to see Lear.

The weather forecast had said there'd be rain - I even found my rain-poncho to bring - but the day itself was sunny and warm, and the globe near the stage was in shade, it was good weather for open-air theatre.

I had a yard ticket, because I enjoy the experience of standing, close to the stage, and being close to the action, and so on -
and I was enjoying the play - except I was feeling weak and wobbly, so I ducked down a few times, and finally just sat on the floor - I was feeling a bit of nausea as well by then. That was about half-way, maybe, through the first half of the play.

A first-aider came and fetched me out, got me to a bench, and then brought a wheelchair and wheeled me to the first-aid room, where I had a lie-down and then a couple of glasses of water.
I was sad to miss it - I'd never watched the whole of it, I wanted to see what happened next - and I was frustrated. And I was angry at being unable to do this thing, which I had done successfully in the past: standing all the way through a play.

I had slept the night before. I had eaten food and drank water that day, though maybe not enough. I am bleeding though, which dehydrates me more quickly. And I had not had enough water the previous day.

The other thing is that this had happened once before: I'd gone to see Taming of the Shrew with people, and I felt woozy and faint then, too, and had a nap in the first-aid room for most of the play. But that time I had not slept at night and had had three bites of cheese for breakfast, so. I thought it was just a one-time thing. I thought those were specific circumstances which I could avoid with a bit of care. But no: this meat-suit seems to have developed a new fault.

At the interval Derek - who had been watching the play, but not enjoying it as much as he'd like - came and found me. I was feeling a little better by then, but I couldn't tell if I'd be up to watching the rest. Mostly I wanted a nap. So we changed plans: we went to the cafe and he got me a cup of tea and an apple and a brownie, had a bit of a sit-down, and then he helped me find Southwark station and I went home.

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30th August 2017

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On Tuesday Derek and I went and had a raindrop cake, at Boba Jam, which is a place that does desserts and bubble tea.

I'd seen photographs of raindrop cake online -- it looks like a solid, clear drop of water.
It pretty much tastes like that, too. It was served with a sweet molasses syrup and with roasted soyban flour, which add flavour. But the thing itself feels like slightly more solid water, like --like water in the studio ghibli animated films. It was cool and refreshing on a warm day.
(It says it is made of waer and agar, so it is also vegan).

Derek had expressed interest in trying raindrop cake,and I was curious too. so before we were to meet on Tuesday I googled where in London served it, found a few options, and Derek helped me choose a suitable one.

After that we went to watch Angels in America part 2: Perestroika. (It was an encore screening of an National Gheatre live filmed play). It was good. It had dark humour and optimism and male nudity. It had a lot of optimism, too.
The good ended happily, and the bad ended unhappily: that is fiction.

*

On Wednesday I got up early -- the beloved woke me up. I had missed one alarm and the other alarm I had set for 7:30pm - the evening- by mistake.
Made my way to Marylebone train station, picked up the train tickets, bought foods, and met Derek.
We journeyed up to Stratford-upon-Avon by train. The cotswolds are pretty and feature green fields and sheep.

We found the Swan theatre - there was a swan outside, that helped.

We watched the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Salomé.
Matthew Tennyson played Salomé. In a dress and high heels, and in a veil and a dress. And for a short while during her dance, in nothing at all. There was a sign in the entrance to the theatre - no the building, with all the cafes, bars, gift shop, etc, but the theatre proper, where people who already had tickets went - that the performance featured full frontal male nudity. ]]


Basically it's a play about how much desire - specifically desire for white bodies - fucks people up. How desire is a powerful force, but that it doesn't give people power.

I liked it! I liked the design and the music and the use of the space. I thought it was pretty. Derek thought it was not great.
We both liked Herodia, we have an affinity for bitter old queens.

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11th August 2017

Enhanced eyes

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I booked an eye-test. (Online, at Specsavers). Then I realised I wanted to have it on another day, so I moved it, twice, via the email booking notice they had sent me and their webpage. It was easy.

I finally had the eye test done today, this morning.
And it was fine. Much looking at bright lights!
Many: which is better, this one or this one? I felt so free to know that 'they're the same' is a valid answer.

The conclusion was basically that my prescription has changed a tiny little bit but not really that much. So I do not need new glasses.

I told everyone I had an eye test last year, but actually now I have looked it up it was two years ago. Mostly I am writing this post to have a record of when this eye test was.

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July was a month with much theatre. Two theatre:

Derek had booked us tickets to see Angels in America: Millennium Approaches ,Read more... )

Friend Hunter mentioned a musical - Yank! - because a friend of his, Sarah-Louise Young stars in it. So I looked it up, and it is set in WW2 and has men soldiers in love in it. Read more... )

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7th August 2017

I hope you're keeping some kind of record

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Went to the Pride in London™ Parade™ on July 8th.
Read more... )

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6th July 2017

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Washed myself, got out and realised all the towels were in the washing-machine. Stood in front of the air-conditioner and set it to dehumidify.
(The towels are now hanging out to dry).

*

Went out and saw a Tom of Finland film: Daddy and the Muscle Academy, 1991. There was talking before it, with an artist doing Tom of Finland inspired art, and people doing talky bits and a woman from the Finnish embassy (I think) who said she was married with 4 kids and a dog , and Tom of Finland tea-towels.

Anyway the talking was interesting and amusing, and the film was full of the art and men talking about how important the art was to them, and Tom of Finland talking about making the art, and inspirations. Just the way art and representation matters, and gives permission to be yourself. (even when it's kitschy porn, sometimes especially because it is kitschy porn).

Also there was a video greeting from Jean-Paul Gaultier, and he was funny and charming and talked of the art of Tom of Finland as inspiration.

After, there was a party at Ku bar, mostly to promote the Tom-of-Finland brand vodka. Everyone who came got a ticket that could be exchanged at the bar for a vodka-and-ginger, which tasted very much of the ginger-beer (Fever-tree, I think) and not at all of vodka, to me.

There was also a raffle. Derek won a set of coasters and a tray with Tom of Finland illustrations on them.

*

I went to Distraction Club this week, it was good. There was Pippa Evans, with some older stuff and some newer stuff,
Mr Mannish as Richard Carpenter, doing very slight variations on Carpenters songs, honestly, you could hardly tell the difference .
Kirsty Doody was back and it was good to see her, she's so great.
There was an allegedly impromptu performance of the beginning of Enter Sandman by Mitch Benn and the Distractions, because Ivan Shepherd was going to play the first two minutes of it with some people sometime soon.
Er. There was Matt Blair, who did a Wolverine song to celebrate the forthcoming release of Logan on blu-ray, and Ben Norris, and Rob abandoman Broderick, who did freestyle rap about random things people had in their bags. I was very impressed, I handed him a fidget-toy of colourful blocks onna string and he sang about it *while* trying to figure out what it is.
There was Ben Norris, and he was funny.

*

The other day my brain told me Mr Brightside by the Killers would work well as bossa-nova. This seemed like a fine idea that I have not the skills to execute, and I was worried I would be ear-wormed with the first two lines of the song, bossa-nova style, forever.
But then I searched for it on the internet, (using duck-duck-go, so I can't even say I googled)
And it had already been done! Mr. Brightside Bossa Nova style cover on youtube.
So that saved me :)

I also found this cover, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxg4a6on_y8 , which is not bossa nova, but is pretty.

*

I just finished reading Concourse, by Santino Hassell, which is a M/M romance about a boxer and a socialite. I liked it a lot, even though at one or two points I was yelling at the book, 'Just talk to him!' 'just *tell* him, he'll understand!' He did tell him in the end and he did understand. I read romance because it works out in the end, that is the point. But also I enjoy the sad longing before it works out.

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18th June 2017

Musical: Come From Away

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This weekend [tumblr.com profile] fahye mentioned Come From Away, which is a musical.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_from_Away

It's about the town of Gander in Newfoundland, and about how the people there welcomed the nearly 7000 people who were stranded there in the aftermath of the September 11th 2001 attacks. "It's not a 9/11 musical, it's a 9/12 musical" the writers have said in an interview. There is a big airport near the town, and 38 planes were diverted to land there after USA closed its airspace.

The cast performed the opening number at this year's Tony awards, and it is on youtube: Welcome to the Rock.

The other song it was easy to find - and stands well on its own - is about a woman who was piloting an American Airlines Boeing 777 and landed in Gander on 9/11. She was the first female Captain in America.
Me and the Sky.
And it's based on a real woman, and she has attended the musical a lot, and brought tens of women pilots with her to see it, too.

So I listened to the entire soundtrack on Spotify, and it's about people coming together and being kind to strangers, and people being stressed and getting through this stressful situation. And I got so much catharsis and I cried a lot, in a really satisfying way.

So now you know about it, and if you like musicals and people doing the work of being kind, you might want to seek it out.

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12th June 2017

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When I was a child, I wanted to be Vincent Van Gogh.

Oh, you wanted to be a revolutionary artist, whose paintings sold for millions?

No, I wanted to be supported by my hard-working sibling while I engaged in my useless hobby.

I mean, yes, the previous one is great, but I didn't believe it was possible for me, as it wasn't even possible for Van Gogh while he was alive.

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9th June 2017

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I thought I had longer until the next election to finally sort out being able to vote, but then sudden new election, and not enough time.

Friend M had trouble registering to vote after a recent house-move, but went to extra effort and got it done. I am proud of her.

On election day (8th June 2017), she posted to facebook that she had a migraine, and couldn't face going anywhere.
I had the spoons, so I offered to come around, and she said yes please, and bring ibuprofen.

It turned out she'd ran out of painkillers and had none in her home at all.

I came over, and she was in great pain and hiding from light. She took a painkiller and we discussed getting an emergency proxy vote, so I could go vote for her. But he painkillers seemed to start working and she felt better - enough to want a cup of tea, then enough to want a second cup of tea, and tolerate more light, and then - like a miracle - she was better enough to get up, sit in the light from the open window, and chat. And then she realised she was feeling up to going to the polling station to vote, and I walked there with her, and she did vote. \o/

I felt better about myself for helping.
(the Labour MP where we are got 81% of the vote).

**

I made plans to go out dancing with friend Derek on election night, we thought it was a better idea than sitting watching the news and being on social media all night. And it WAS.

We met at the Montagu Pyke.

Tracy Chapman's 'Revolution' was playing in the background, and he said that the JD Wetherspoons was a good place for a revolution to start, with it underpaid staff and the people who come to drink there probably underpaid as well, because people come to drink there because it's cheap.

Anyway.

We went to G-A-Y Late, because gay, cheap entry, cheap cocktail jugs, also there is space to dance and some aircon.

And it was mostly empty around eleven when we got there, but it did fill up. It felt friendlier than usual, I think.

There are screens all around the walls, usually showing the music video of whatever song is playing. That evening that was most of the screens, but a few screens were showing the bbc election night broadcast, and showing the results.

There were people in LABOUR shirts and people were checking out the screens and enthusiastically cheering for labour gains :) Or for Tory losses.

People danced with both of us and with each of us, enthusiastically, happily.

They played 'Survivor' by Destiny's Child *and* 'I will Survive' by Gloria Gaynor, I think those were going to be played for election night whatever happened.

I took a nightbus home, it arrived at 3:19, and at 3:30 dawn started, the sky got lighter and lighter from then.

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26th May 2017

Fanfiction

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I want to write Harry Potter and the Sleepover of Plausible Deniability, but what seems to e happening is that I am turning into Pierre Menard, author of chapter four of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


"We are here to persuade an old colleague of mine to come out of retirement and return to Hogwarts.”

“How can I help with that, sir?”

“Oh, I think we’ll find a use for you,” said Dumbledore vaguely.


and:
“This,” said Dumbledore, moving forward to make the introduction, “is Harry Potter. Harry, this is an old friend and colleague of mine, Horace Slughorn.”

Slughorn turned on Dumbledore, his expression shrewd. “So that’s how you thought you’d persuade me, is it? Well, the answer’s no, Albus.”

He pushed past Harry, his face turned resolutely away with the air of a man trying to resist temptation.


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Monday I went and posted back a couple of dresses that I thought I'd buy from the internet. I ordered three, sent back two. The one I kept I have already worn several times. (I also kept a pair of multicoloured palazzo trousers - a skirt for each leg! Yess!- but I need to get them taken up because they are too long).

Tuesday I was outdoors because I went to visit [personal profile] morwen, in her new flat. It was good to see her again, it had been a while.

Wednesday was the first time the air-conditioner was on this year. It was a hot and humid day.

Thursday I went out to King's Cross to meet Derek and Muffy, and there were food stalls outside, so I bought myself a Crosstown™ gin-and-lemon doughnut. We sat in the sun and talked, then took ourselves indoors, away from evil daystar, and talked more. It was good.

Later Derek and I went to a delayed NT Live screening of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, the Old Vic production, with Daniel Radcliffe at a cinema inside King's College. I enjoyed it, I laughed, and then I was sad. Because Rosencrantz and Guildenstern die. Hamlet in it was very cool. There was David Haig as The Player, and he was good. Funny and attention-capturing and that.

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16th May 2017

Book Quotes

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Poor Harry has a very uncomfortable first time:

Harry felt Dumbledore’s arm twist away from him and redoubled his grip; the next thing he knew, everything went black; he was being pressed very hard from all directions; he could not breathe, there were iron bands tightening around his chest; his eyeballs were being forced back into his head; his eardrums were being pushed deeper into his skull and then —”

He gulped great lungfuls of cold night air and opened his streaming eyes. He felt as though he had just been forced through a very tight rubber tube.

[...]His comprehension catching up with his senses, Harry realized that he had just Apparated for the first time in his life.

J.K. Rowling , Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4



And here's Dumbledore offering Harry up to Slughorn:
“This,” said Dumbledore, moving forward to make the introduction, “is Harry Potter. Harry, this is an old friend and colleague of mine, Horace Slughorn.”

Slughorn turned on Dumbledore, his expression shrewd. “So that’s how you thought you’d persuade me, is it? Well, the answer’s no, Albus.”

He pushed past Harry, his face turned resolutely away with the air of a man trying to resist temptation.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4
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3rd May 2017

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http://painesplough.com/play/every-brilliant-thing

How does one tell people about a play with a child with a suicidal mother without automatically turning them off the idea and making them never want to see it?

I read about it via the man who stars in it, who I know of because he's Johnny from Johnny and the Baptists, and they do musical comedy , and I saw them perform multiple times at Mitch Benn's Distraction Club.

And he has a very warm and friendly persona, and I've seen little video trailers and it looks like it's actually sweet and possibly hopeful.

The reviews quoted also say it is funny.

Welp. I bought tickets for Wednesday evening. Possibly someone will want to come with me and make use of the second ticket. Possibly not. Either is okay.

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1st April 2017

birb music

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Today I went to the Wellcome Collection with [personal profile] apiphile. we saw two free exhibitions:

one about animals and how we see them: Making Nature: How we see animals

and one about electricity: Electricity: The spark of life


I learnt a new thing! the animals exhibition had a section about songbirds, with old records of birdsong.
Used to be, songbirds were trained when they were young to sing specific songs, and they provided entertainment by repeating the song. So the song would be recorded into the bird. They used to use a specific kind of wooden flute to play the songs to the birds, and that's why it's called a recorder.

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30th March 2017

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Here is a link to a page with a video on it: Turning over a sheep that has fallen on its back.



A couple of weeks ago a man on the internet went all 'real names, that's what would make social media a better place!' I considered arguing with him, and saw that a)people already were, and 2) he was not taking it in. But one of the people arguing gave a link to information I had not been aware of before: https://blog.coralproject.net/the-real-name-fallacy/
Why the thought was that anonymity was the problem.
(Anonymity isn't the problem, and I, and probably you, have seen enough pictures from facebook of people not being their best selves under their own name, where their friends and relations can see them)

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28th March 2017

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Today I was awake and focused enough to take in culture.

I watched, via Netflix, the film Robot and Frank. It has an old man whose memory is failing, his dutiful son, and a robot-carer that the son provides.

more about Robot and Frank )
It was fun and I liked it, and it's also a bit sadder than I was expecting.

Also today a friend linked to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl/episodes/downloads Where there are episodes of In Our Time where Melvyn Bragg and guests talk about things

So I listened to The Fighting Temeraire , where they talked about Turner's painting, and about Temeraire the ship, the battle of Trafalgar, and mentioned things like Turner's cockney accent and the sun setting over the Thames. It was fun and interesting.

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26th March 2017

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Last Saturday I went to see taming of the shrew at the globe and I felt faint half-way through.
I sat down so as not to fall down, and a kind usher directed me outside to a bench. I sat for a while bt energy to get back up did not appear. Then I was taken to the first-aid room, where I had some water and a lie-down with feet up. So I had a nap, and some more water. I missed the rest of the play. Part of me was curious as to how they had done it and part of me was glad I'd missed the part after the wedding where it gets more abusive. I don't know why they still do this play.

As the play was about to end I got enough energy to stand up and go back to my friends and be active.
I realised I had failed at sleep - I stayed awake all night and fell asleep at seven in the morning, I had not eaten or drank anything before I left the house, and while I had meant to do the 'food as a substitute for sleep' thing, all I had actually eaten was about three bites of cheese at Neil's Yard Dairy in Borough Market on the way to the Globe.
I did have some fruit juice, but it was not enough.

So that was half a play. I liked the actors and I liked the blinged-up moblity scooter the old suitor was using.


After, I walked with friends across millennium bridge - it was v. windy and gulls were riding the wind, and pigeons were flap-flap-flapping about and not coping with the wind well. Friend G told how he had got a pigeon to the face earlier, delivered by that wind.

I went with friends to a pub, had a couple of soft drinks, sat down a bit, and then went home.

On the way home I bought a small bunch of narcissus flowers, and they smelled lovely, and they have lasted a full week. They are wilting now.

*

On wednesday and thursday and friday I celebrated my birthday. A robot reminded some friends it was my birthday, and they sent me greetings.

The beloved brought me a bouquet. I did not have a vase of a fitting size, so I put them in a Kwak glass instead.

Family sent greetings from afar (which is where I like to keep family).

I went out for an evening meal with the beloved and had delicious food, with chips. The chips were not as good as the best chips I have ever had, so I felt a little sorry for them.

I was brought delicious doughnuts from Crosstown Doughnuts,
descriptions from their website )
because I'd mis-ordered myself cake for next week by mistake.

Also friend D has bought us tickets for a cinema screening of the NT production of Angels in America - Millennium Approaches, which we both want to see, and it is a present and it is in the future.

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18th February 2017

On taste and scent

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Tolu balm has that unfortunate smell that I associate with the Sano™ Ylang-ylang air-freshener that has made me dislike Ylang-ylang.

Bloom Perfumery have a sample of Tolu balm with some perfumes that use it -
The one currently on me is PG10.1 Bouquet Massaï
And it goes on and is very floral and then dries down and does the thing that says 'ylang-ylang' to me, even though it does not list ylang-ylang in its notes. So maybe that is the Tolu balm. Which is handy to know. It's ... sort of warm and floral-ish?

...I like knowing I dislike some rare and expensive ingredients, because often on a list of things to buy/ on a menu / the thing that most appeals to me is the most expensive one.


I went out for a meal with the beloved.
We went to Tozi, which is an Italian restaurant near Victoria Station. We went there in December, mostly because we'd been to Shepherds to buy wrapping paper, and it is close. And Tozi was so lovely we decided to go again at some point.

We ordered almost entirely different things from what we had ordered before - some of it because they have a seasonally-changing menu, some of it because other things caught our eyes this time.
But the beloved still had the agnolotti in brodo, because it is a fantastic dish.

There was a dish of Buffalo ricotta ravioli with black truffle, that the beloved ordered. And the ravioli were good and the sauce was good, and I discovered that I do not like black truffle. It has a kind of metallic taste to me, and it feels a bit bitter and - off.
Hurray! another thing I can know I do not like.

*

I got around to trying Poudre de Riz in the perfume samples and it has tolu balm in it, but it's a gourmand, not a floral, so I do like it.

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