I've been meaning to post for AGES but have been generally useless lately, for reasons which I will now explain. But first! A couple of quick happy updates:
1) I've been in my flat for just over a year and it is wonderful. I love it so much and sometimes still can't believe it is mine. Garden is coming on amazingly too.
2) As of lunchtme today I have THREE nieces, woo hoo! Which also means I need to get on with the crochet things I'm doing for the baby.
Anyway, update: I have been rubbish at everything for a while because work just got worse and worse, and there was some fuckery I still don't entirely understand, added to the fact that the department I worked in was being run very oddly and with no real thought for how the people there were supposed to cope BUT upshot is I found another job and do not have to care about this anymore, hurrah!
I left my job (with three months' notice, mind you) at the end of July, and jumped straight into my new job, which thus far is fab. It is properly in the City of London, which is AMAZING, and I have been doing a lot of walking and wandering. The hours are set at 9-5 which is pretty great as in my last few months at Pearson there was a) way too much to do and b) extended hours, which meant I was pretty regularly working 10+ hour days, so it felt like all I did for months was work, eat and sleep. Suddenly a) I can do things in the evening and b) I'm not completely fucking exhausted all the time.
It does feel like my head is so much clearer these days, and multiple people have told me I seem more relaxed (I aaaaam), but it is also the culture of the new place that makes a difference. Even the idea of starting a job and not immediately getting thrown in is a novelty to me - I was speaking to another new starter (who had worked at Pearson in the past) who said the same thing. It's just really, really good so far.
What this has meant is that I've made bugger all progress on anything, although I have made a couple of updates on metropolithan.blogspot.com
, and recently got back to posting on emptylondon.tumblr.com/
(possibly my favourite thing I've ever done, if I'm honest) so I am trying to get back to normal and not progressing on stuff because I have too many hobbies, and not because I'm too knackered for any of those hobbies. I also get to take a WHOLE HOUR for lunch at work, which means I have been able to do some crochet, so I am currently trying to finish a shawl and then can take in another project to work on. Amazing.
What I haven't been doing lately is writing, which is disappointing to me but every time I think about it I just have other things that come first (even when it comes to non fiction like reviews or Metropolithan). I didn't have the spare brain power for months and months so I just stopped, apart from a couple of hundred words on an original thing which is purely for my own amusement. I think I'm just going to have to be disciplined and sit down with no distractions to see what is still salvageable and what isn't.
I have recently been watching Hannibal (amazing), one episode of Daredevil (liked very much), Witnesses (stupid, chucked it in), Odyssey (daft conspiracy nonsense but enjoyable), Brooklyn 99 (hilarious), Long Lost Family (makes me cry every episode), Undercover Boss (surprisingly good workout tv, also semi-regularly makes me cry), Cordon (daft but really enjoyable OH NOES A VIRUS QUARANTINE ANTWERP drama) and probably a pile of other things I have forgotten. Oh, Orphan Black, I'm about three episodes into the latest series.
I think that's it for now, but I will attempt to come back more regularly, if nothing else I need to do some fic recs!
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/66547.html.
AND I HAVEN'T STOPPED CAPSLOCKING SINCE.
Oh. My. God, everyone, it was basically exactly what you'd want from a Spooks movie. It was RIDICULOUS. It was AMAZING. There were fights. A whooooole bunch of people got shot. People get questioned A LOT. Things went boom. London (love of my life) looked fantastic.
SO MANY SPOILERS AFTER THIS. DO NOT READ UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THE FILM.
Also now I've linked to this on spooky_doings
I feel obliged to say: 1) this is overexcited word vomit, not a sensible review and 2) I have a terrible memory and have probably got stuff in the wrong order/forgotten things. ( SPOOKS SPOILERS ACTUALLY REALLY HAPPY I GET TO TYPE THOSE WORDSCollapse )
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/66269.html.
In conclusion: go see it, but go see it expecting a very long episode.
I have a couple of weeks off work for craft stuff (yes, this is what I choose to do with my holidays, NO REGRETS) and decided I would take at least one day to comment on fics. That day is today because my hands hurt after spending all yesterday on hairpin lace (I am blogging about my craft stuff at my new FB page here: www.facebook.com/HanlondonCrafts
And because I like reccing stuff, here are some recs from the fics I have commented on today:Musketeers
Liminality by shecrowsarchiveofourown.org/works/3525722
Really lovely OT3 ficThe sunlight tells him Porthos has already risen, shutters long since opened out of a habit Aramis has never quite decided whether he loves or finds regrettable.
In quella parte del libro della mia memoria by cherryfeatherarchiveofourown.org/works/3636597
Aramis tries to keep his vow after the end of series 2. This is AMAZING and did a really good job making me feel for Aramis.
Pas de Quatre by zelda_zeearchiveofourown.org/works/3491519
Lovely fic that develops slowly towards OT4 Aramis looks at him sideways, arching a brow. “There is nothing Porthos and I can do for him. We do not have that power.” He studies Athos a moment, stroking his beard, then sighs in apparent frustration.
“You and Porthos do not?” d’Artagnan asks. “What do you mean by that?”
But Three's a Crowd by stardropdreamarchiveofourown.org/works/3514376
Aramis/Porthos progressing to Aramis/Athos/Porthos, modern au“Not dancing?” Porthos teases and his smile lights up his face.
“No, thank you,” Athos says, quiet but quick, just in case Porthos gets the idea to ask him himself. Porthos shrugs and downs his little flute of champagne in a way that probably shouldn’t be charming – but then Porthos manages to be charming in most things.
They come crashing down by stardropdreamarchiveofourown.org/works/3766282
Aramis/Porthos, post s2
This fic just about killed me but then made it better, thank goodness
(He can remember the morning after Aramis leaves – the day warm but dulled, early autumn, the leaves turning and the cracks in the walls around his window letting in cooler morning air before the sun warms it; he remembers dressing for the day and realizing just how much of Aramis’ things had managed to migrate into his room without him fully realizing it, over the years. He touches at the blue sash he’ll wear to d’Artagnan’s wedding and he clamps down on the urge to long for something – for someone.)
You're Not Alone by misanthropiclycanthropearchiveofourown.org/works/3681450
Athos & Porthos gen
This fic is tagged emotional hurt/comfort which is really the best description of it - it is lovely. It made Porthos’s heart ache.
If the most he could do was ensure Athos made it home safely, he would do it gladly and without complaint. The resistance he encountered at first was not unexpected, but Porthos was nothing if not stubborn. Athos had no choice but to surrender and accept the resolute support.
Musketeers Series 2 - Athos/Porthos-centric Episode Related Fics by Suzie_Shooterarchiveofourown.org/works/3159077
I have loved Suzie_Shooter's fics since s1 and this whole series was great. The episode 10 fic was a fitting ending, considering the events of the episode. His hand drifted to the pommel of his sword. He remembered Athos' only half-joking suggestion of arranging 'an accident on the road' for Rochefort. Something similar would surely be appropriate here. He could claim she'd drawn her pistol, that he'd acted in defence of the King.
The thought lingered throughout the wearying hours of the journey back, a half-formed intent that never quite became action. Porthos was not a man to strike down a woman in cold blood, but as far as he was concerned, this was no woman but rather a snake in the bosom.
Rivers of London
That What Brought Him Back by linpatootiearchiveofourown.org/works/1944330
Peter finds out what's behind the door in the Folly - love this, funny and actually pretty plausible (presuming the door thing has not been answered, I'm only 5 chapters into Foxglove Summer).Nightingale had expressly forbidden him to, but what was a young constable to do when faced with a mysterious door and a mentor who had, so far, refused to tell him what was behind it?
Fast and Furious series
Generally Psychotic Behaviour by khaleesianarchiveofourown.org/works/177898
This is an old fic and I had a vague memory of reading it after seeing the first film, so I went looking after seeing Fast and Furious 7. It is a pretty short fic that still manages to show just how much Dom takes over Brian's life. “That was weird, huh?” Brian cursed himself for that weak opening. “That whole scene back there.”
L'enfer, ce n'est pas les autres by cjmarlowearchiveofourown.org/works/2845172
This is a short fic but both of their voices are great (also yay new series soon!!)For it's because the knives glance off him that Dorian is able to cut everyone else so deeply, and that's not something Ethan could live with forever.Music video/RPF but not really
Mean Low Water by pyrimidinearchiveofourown.org/works/249832
Brandon/Charlize (Crossfire video)
The Crossfire video is here www.youtube.com/watch
, and I recommend you watch it because a) the song is great and b) the fic won't make any sense without the video. The fic is great."You?" she yells over the sound of the generator exploding. There's a bright flash of orange and a confetti of sparks raining down everywhere.
"I know, right?" he yells back. "I'm really sorry."
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/65992.html.
Over the weekend I dragged my sister to see Fast and Furious 7 with me (to answer the questions everyone has asked: no, I don’t care about cars, but I love action movies, all the films from this series I have seen are super fun, and I haven’t seen Jason Statham on the big screen for a while).
IT WAS EXCELLENT. And ridiculous. But excellent. Highly recommended.
VERY SPOILERY Thoughts, in no particular order:( So many spoilers withinCollapse )
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/65658.html.
After leaving Parc de la Villette I carried on following the walk in my book, heading towards Parc des Buttes Chaumont. This turned out to be a very nice park with a weird island in the middle of a lake thing, and on seeing it my thought process was basically ‘is this a thing I can climb for no other reason than it is there??’
The answer, sadly, turned out to be not all the way, for construction work is being done to it. However I intend to go back because it looks a bit spooky and mysterious, this thing plonked down in the middle of an urban park:( loads of photosCollapse )
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/65513.html.
Last week I went to Paris on the Eurostar, having booked myself a short trip just for the heck of it and because it is just so easy.
I stayed at the Hotel Paris Louis Blanc, right on top of the Louis Blanc metro station, and about ten minutes' walk from Gare du Nord. www.hotel-paris-louis-blanc.com/uk/index.php
I chose it because it was central and vv cheap and I have to say, it was lovely (also has free wifi). Would definitely recommend. The room was small but as it was just me I didn't really care. I was on the fifth floor (woo!) and this was the view from my window:
I got the 7.01 train from St Pancras, because I am an idiot who didn't take into account that I would have to get to St Pancras for 6.15. However this did mean I was in Paris by 10.30, and after stopping at a supermarket to get chocolate I walked straight off to the Parc de la Villette to see La Géode and have a wander.
( Many many picturesCollapse )
More pictures in the next post (coming later as I have to add more stuff to my shop now)!
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/65053.html.
Sporadic TV update time!
1) Weekly Wipe is currently on, cynicism yay! (presume everyone's seen this now, but in case not - www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/feb/10/nathan-barley-charlie-brooker-east-london-comedy
2) Musketeers has been great so far this series, Marc Warren (ugh) notwithstanding. I only got round to watching last week's (2x05) last night, and I enjoyed it a heck of a lot more than I expected to (based on comments people had made and spoilers I hadn't managed to avoid). Everyone is still incredibly attractive, damn them all.
3) Call the Midwife has been amazing this series, but also pretty fucking upsetting, frankly. However Patsy is AMAZING and I love her.
4) I am really enjoying Catastrophe - Sharon Horgan is brilliant in sitcoms and I really love her writing on this one. I adore the relationship between Sharon and Rob in this show (for anyone who's not heard of it, Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney play a couple who meet in London, have a lot of sex, and then decide to make a go of it when Sharon gets pregnant) and it s hilarious. It's all on 4oD if you want to give it a go.
5) The Last Leg is currently on Channel 4 and is as funny as always, although it is still suuuuuper dude heavy which is disappointing (so far this series the only female guest has been Kathy Burke, which was great, and apparently Sarah Millican is going to be on next week).
6) I have finally got Sky Go sorted out (thank you parents!) and have watched the first 3 episodes of Fortitude which I have really enjoyed so far. I loooooove the atmosphere and the setting and the occasional hints that it might turn into The Thing (it won't, I know this). Everyone is a little bit dodgy so far.
7) Also on the Sky Go theme, I can now watch Psychobitches properly instead of just the clips on Youtube \o/ oh, the Brontes are the best.
8) Up the Women has also been great this series (second Rebecca Front thing on this list), and I have just remembered that I need to dl some more episodes!
9) Spiral series 5 was fantastic. Gilou and Laure's relationship is the best thing on television - I could watch them forever. Everyone was super attractive and super screwed up this series, but the actual plot was really exciting too.
I think that's it, though there's a 90% chance I'll come back to edit this entry later when I think of something else I've watched recently.
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/64801.html.
I decided a while ago that I would start putting up short reviews of all the books I read, partly so I could actually remember them. I decided to start from the beginning of 2015 and have been piling books up on the sofa for the last six weeks, well done me.
So, in no particular order:Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon
I really liked this book about two Jewish adventurers who get involved in a rebellion - it was written in a very engaging style, it was funny and I like the adventuring of the main characters. It was pretty short, which was a shame - I could happily have spent more time with the characters. Very Musketeers-y (shut up, that is totally a word). Dream London - Tony Ballantyne
I made it a grand total of one chapter into this book. It was London-based urban fantasy, which is basically my very favourite genre, but it was so bad
. The main character referred to himself in the third person, loads of women want to shag him and men want to be like him, everyone spoke in a weird pseudo-Victorian style for no reason I could see, apart from the main character's ex women were mentioned as whores. Somehow I carried on after that (shouldn't have done) and then a really weird gay character turned up who was an incredibly camp cliche who for some reason kept speaking in alliteration. Oh and he wanted to shag the main character, of course.
I have no idea what the London part of the plot was, save that London is changing in some mysterious way. It wasn't well set up and I couldn't dredge up any interest in ploughing on through the stereotypes and the Gary Stu. Alex + Ada Volume 1 - Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
This was a graphic novel I really liked. Alex is lonely in the future and his grandmother buys him an android, and the story develops from there. I read the Luna Brothers' Girls years ago and really liked the art style, and this is the same kind of thing. I loved the atmosphere and world building of this and definitely want to keep going with the series.Room - Emma Donoughue
This is our latest book club choice, and it was the one book on the list I didn't want to read, but the popular vote decided it, so I got it out of the library and DAMN it is readable. I mean, DAMN. The main character lives with her son in one room, where they're being kept by the man who kidnapped her seven years ago. It's pretty upsetting - not least because there are multiple cases of this situation in the real world - but the mother character is really strong. I think I got through the book in about two hours. And I could tell I was being emotionally manipulated but I almost didn't care (almost). I don't know, I really liked this book, heartwrenching as it is. Looking forward to the book club!A Child's Book Of True Crime - Chloe Hooper
I have forgotten how this book - about a teacher having an affair with one of her pupils' fathers - ends. I seem to remember losing sympathy for pretty much everyone involved over the course of the book, including minor characters. There was a device of a book within a book, a reimagining of a local murder told for children that didn't quite work (even within book world it wasn't a real book, and this is getting confusing), and I just don't think anyone was as interesting as the author thought they were. The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
This book is a brick and I do most of my reading in the bath these days so this took me an absolute age to get through. I enjoyed the story of the Chase sisters but I'm not sure my interest stayed consistent all the way through. It was very well done, and I loved the newspaper articles and the way that the perception of the girls' lives were shown versus the reality.
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/64677.html.
So for AGES I have been wanting to make myself something to hold all the brooches I don't have on my coats. Currently I only have a small collection of brooches (compared to everything else, ahem) and I had the vague idea of making some sort of frame.
Recently I found this project to make an earring holder and thought I could repurpose it for brooches:www.laylock.org/blog/2011/05/sunday-morning-knitting-project/
However when I started the knitting I got frustrated very quickly, and went looking for a different pattern. I found this crochet blanket pattern on Ravelry: www.virkaholic.com/2010/02/att-virka-gallerfilt.html
It's a very simple pattern that ends up looking like a grid, so won't be flashier than the brooches.
I crocheted it with some scrap yarn and got a photo frame from Poundland, and this evening I pinned the crochet work to the frame and stuck some patterned paper to the back of it before putting it all together.
And this is what it looks like. I am really pleased with how it turned out!
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/64359.html.
I thought it might be a good idea to post links to some crochet patterns I've used since learning to crochet, as I started as a total beginner and have since managed to teach two other people (more to come hopefully) so I have a good idea of what to rec.
A few times I've failed to take a photo of something and only realised once I've given it away, so some of these are just links.( toysCollapse )
I have also made three blankets on a granny square theme, but as one of them was a granny rectangle here is a link to the pattern anyway: ( blanketsCollapse )
I actually did not realise I had made this many things. Go me, frankly :D.
ETA: am idiot, forgot to mention the excellent www.planetjune.com/shop/
where you can buy many animal crochet patterns including DINOSAURS. So I bought some patterns and have so far made these:
Worth spending the money :)
(I also have some little bunny patterns from this site I want to make at some point soon)
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/64200.html.
got me some looooovely alpaca yarn for my birthday (alpaca yarn is my second favourite after cotton yarn, although I use them for different things) so I decided to make myself a scarf. I did look around for patterns but eventually decided to make up my own.
It is very simple but the finished effect was pretty so here is a drop stitch pattern by me:Drop stitch scarf
Most patterns of this type recommend using needles bigger than usually recommended but in this case I used 10mm needles with 10mm yarn. However you can really do what you want with this kind of pattern.
Use a chunky yarn of whatever type you like (this is Blue Sky Alpacas in Atlantis and it is NOT this colour but neither of my cameras seem able to pick up the green so this was the best I could do - anyway it is lovely).
Gauge is unimportant for this pattern.
Cast on 12 stitches
Row 1: k
Row 2: k1 (yo, k1), repeat to end
Row 3: k (drop the yo, k1), repeat to end
Row 4: k
Row 5: k1 (yo, k1), repeat to end
Row 6: k (drop the yo, k1), repeat to end
Row 7: k
Row 8: k1 (yo twice, k1), repeat to end
Row 9: k (drop the yo twice, k1), repeat to end
Repeat rows 1 - 9 until the scarf is as long as you want.
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/63995.html.
I am wiped out from work this week but managing to get through the episodes, hurrah!
Still cannot get over how young MM looks. ( 103 and 104Collapse )
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/63623.html.
While I am on a roll with posting, let's try to get back into this and talk about TV (because Silent Witness fandom has dropped off the internet I think, so I'll have to talk to myself).
1) Foyle's War has been excellent, and last night's episode managed to be very timely (by accident) as it dealt with anti-semitism. I am finding Foyle's new position quite interesting. Also Sam's inability to stay in the car.
2) Atlantis somehow went away and turned into a good show for series two. HOW. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? I'm not kidding, it has actually become enjoyable to watch for reasons other than laughing incredulously. I can't even refer to it as shirtless nonsense hour anymore ffs (more shirtlessness pls).
3) Sleepy Hollow is ridiculous and I love it. I don't care if it doesn't make any sense. Also ( casting spoilerCollapse )
4) I REALLY LOVE GOTHAM. Once I've done this and put away all my bills etc (boring) I am going to watch episode 11. I love everything about it, especially Alfred. Ahem.
ETA: EPISODE 11 IS AMAZING. Jiiiiiim! HARVEY! <3
5) MUSKETEERS! Musketeers has been very good, though I cannot fricking stand Marc Warren and that stupid voice he is doing and his stupid face and his stupid attitude and I don't care if it is all intentional I wish he would just fuck off. Ahem. However the main cast are still incredibly
attractive so good for them.
6) Silent Witness returned with the usual 'but it isn't remotely accurate!' articles blahing on about how forensic scientists don't do any of this, as if people who are watching a show in its EIGHTEENTH series don't know that. We know, we don't care, can't we talk about how attractive Jack is or how Emilia Fox manages to keep having amazing hair or how excellent Clarissa is? There's bugger all fandom for the show, sadly (even less since Harry left) so apparently no we can't. Anyway there was a sniper and Richard was an idiot (SHOCK - I hope his characterisation is intentional because he is always an idiot) and it was very good.
7) Brooklyn 99 is amazing and hilarious but I've forgotten what episode I'm up to so I won't go into details.
8) Broadchurch came back and I watched the first episode (not by choice, I was at my parents') and it was miserable from start to end. Hoping to avoid the rest of the series.
9) THERE IS MORE LUTHER COMING :D :D :D :D :D
10) Recently I have watched Inglorious Basterds (enjoyed it a lot) and rewatched Hot Fuz (still perfection). Thought there was something else but I've forgotten now.
11) Spiral is back and it is great. Roban :D I love watching Laure and Gilou attempting to be sensible adults. I think only one of them can be at a time because they do seem to swap.
12) On Emmerdale, I am enjoying the current round of Aaron Makes Terrible Life Decisions up until any point when Robert is onscreen. I hate him SO MUCH. Elsewhere, Cain is an idiot, Charity is annoying, Adam is being sweet and I am feeling very bad about the Belle storyline (I actually dropped the show around the time she killed Gemma as it was all quite depressing).
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/63352.html.
This is really just an excuse to natter about Surrey Quays but hey, when do I ever pass up a chance to ramble on about London? NEVER.
1) Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace is amazing, and sadly half of it is going to be built on because money. This includes rebuilding Crystal sodding Palace itself (WHY???). Being a public park in constant use with a fucking athletics stadium on site is no match for money, obviously (/super bitter).
(further info, which includes the encouraging information that these plans may not actually come to fruition: insidecroydon.com/category/environment/crystal-palace-park/
The other tragedy of this redevelopment would be the loss of the Crystal Palace dinosaurs (they're not all dinosaurs, in case any pedants are reading), which moved with the Crystal Palace from Hyde Park after the Great Exhibition. They are Grade 1 listed so would presumably not be got rid of entirely but who knows where they would end up?
ANYWAY, the good bits: Crystal Palace park is obviously named after the Crystal Palace, which was moved from its original location in 1852. The Palace burned down in 1936 but the park is still there being huge and interesting and ripe for exploring. cpdinosaurs.org/
Also in Crystal Palace itself there is a branch of Noodle Time. I have not been to this particular one but the Noodle Time chain of restaurants is amazing and cheap.
Catford is a bit of a nothing place between Forest Hill (where I used to live) and Lewisham (start of the Docklands Light Railway). It does have a lot of food stores, which is nice. For some reason, however, it has two separate train stations servicing two separate lines but located right next to each other.
3) Charing Cross
Charing Cross is the station of my heart, and yes I know how that makes me sound. But consider! It is the terminus for trains coming in from SE London. It is the station I used to come to to get to my parents’ office when they were in Great Titchfield Street. It is the station I come to to get to work. More importantly, it is the station which allows me to live and work in London without getting the tube 90% of the time, therefore it is the best.
I realised recently that since my starting this fic and finishing it, the interior of Charing Cross has changed a lot, as the little unit of shops right in the middle of the station has just plain disappeared now (it is very odd to see the amount of space there now!). Also Charing Cross seems to be last on the list of stations to get loads of money chucked at them so it’s a bit beaten up and less shiny and new than the others (Kings Cross/London Bridge, I’m looking at you) and in a city that’s becoming increasingly shiny and new that is something quite nice, I think.
4) Surrey Quays
Surrey Quays is the WEIRDEST place. One day, if I ever have the money to have two properties in London (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *takes breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA), one of them will be in Surrey Quays just for the weirdness factor.
To get to Surrey Quays you either have to be taking the Jubilee line (changing to the Overground) from out Canary Wharf way, or taking the overground through Forest Hill etc. When you get there you will find:
- that the station is very close to Canada Water station
- there is a shiny new library just over the water
- there’s a massive Tesco with a small shopping centre attached to it
- lots of birds
- lots of shiny flats
- very few people
I used to go off to Surrey Quays for walks when I lived in Forest Hill. I liked the quiet, the space and the water. I found an ecological park with amazing views of Canary Wharf and, one New Year’s Eve, a city farm. A city farm! I’d been there for four years at this point, had been to Surrey Quays countless times and then found this place by accident. Everything is hidden away which makes it a great place to go exploring.
In conclusion, I should get myself down to Surrey Quays again and so should you.
(for more of my London stuff, see metropolithan.blogspot.co.uk/
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/63010.html.
I found the Google docs I mentioned when I posted about my fic! Well done me.
Having finally posted a Rivers of London fic (which took forever to write), I thought I would talk a bit about a) the bits of London I used in the fic and b) London-based UF/horror book series I love.
I’ve been meaning to do a post or seven about Rivers of London for ages but never quite managed it because I could never quite get to a stage where I was able to be objective about the books (I think writing this fic finally did it for me because it was such a slog).
The books, by Ben Aaronovitch, focus on PC Peter Grant, a mixed race copper from North London (it shows) who accidentally finds out about magic and starts training to become a wizard under the tutelage of the only wizard police officer left in the UK (DCI Thomas Nightingale).
The mythology of the books is that after WW2 magic faded away, more or less, leaving just Nightingale (who is a lot older than he looks) and a few scattered practitioners, but it is gradually starting to come back.
Peter is an entertaining narrator, easily-distracted but funny and quick with a pop-culture reference. The supporting characters are usually intriguing with a big chunk of mystery in their backgrounds.
The main draw for me is that the author is really really good at portraying London, even if there is a bias towards everything North of the river (says someone just as biased towards SE London). The city in the books is very close to the city I know, and the way Peter feels and thinks about the city is pretty close to the way I feel about it (and London trivia spotters will have a great time reading the books and thinking ‘well yes but I already knew about Leinster Gardens’ etc etc).
There are currently five books in the series (I have yet to read the fifth), and apparently the fifth book takes Peter out of London, not that I know why you’d want to /only half joking.
The ROL series is not quite my favourite London-based urban fantasy series, however. That would be the Matthew Swift series of books by Kate Griffin. In this series, most of the sorcerers in London were killed two years before the series starts, and Matthew Swift (a sorcerer, which is apparently a bit different to a wizard) starts the series being brought back to life by the blue electric angels who live in the telephone lines.
Everything in Kate Griffin’s London has some sort of magic to it, from the magic of routine and rules (such as escaping from something chasing you by going through the ticket machines on the tube when it doesn’t have a valid ticket) to pulling power from the streetlights and everything upwards.
(where dryads in Rivers of London still live inside trees, in the Matthew Swift series they have moved to lampposts)( cut for brief spoilersCollapse )
The reason I ended up liking Griffin’s series more is probably that she really covers all of London, having Matthew venture out over the sprawling suburbs instead of mostly sticking to the central boroughs.
There are currently six books featuring Matthew, four where he is the central character and two in the Magicals Anonymous spin-off series, which focus on Sharon Li, a woman who finds out she’s a shaman who can become one with the city, and the group of people/supernatural beings who come to meetings after she puts a post up on Facebook.
Most recently I’ve read London Falling by Paul Cornell, which I think is due to become a series. I meant to write a review but never got round to it so I might as well do one here.
I didn’t like the book when I first started it - I had been saving it for months and had been expecting an instant love the same as I’d felt for ROL/Matthew Swift. I persevered, however, and by the end of the book I was really enjoying myself.
The characters in London Falling (three police officers and a data person) initially don’t get on with each other, which was one of the reasons I didn’t get on with it - I don’t expect everything to be sunshine and rainbows in my UF books, obviously, but I couldn’t work out why they seemed so reluctant to work together. By the end, though, the characters had been developed well enough that this didn’t bother me any more.
The characters in LF were all prickly and complicated in different ways, which I really liked. They only find out about/get involved with magic by accident and I thought that the ways they each dealt with this were interesting. ROL only really has to deal with Peter finding out about magic (and anyone else we hear about through him) so Cornell had quite a bit more work to do.
The plot of the book was nicely creepy, and the villian did some pretty horrific things - I think possibly this book is a bit closer to the horror end of things rather than urban fantasy (actually I’m not sure where the division would be). Sometimes the other series are a bit meandering without being particularly scary or creepy, but this book had some properly tense moments. I am looking forward to reading others in the series.
As a glancing final mention, there is of course the Felix Castor series by Mike Carey which predate all of these, but it’s been ages since I read them so all I can say is that I enjoyed those too and I’ve been meaning to do a reread (iirc they were also more down the horror end of the spectrum).
I’m sure there are others (lucky me, there’s always someone writing something magical set in London) so do let me know if I’ve missed anything.
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/62732.html.
As you may know, delgaserasca
has posted about a Spooks rewatch over onspooky_doings
and as I have the day off today I decided I'd make a start (I will inevitably fall behind and not finish this thing in time for the film release, so nobody expect anything from me). ( Episodes 1 and 2Collapse )
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/62592.html.
For New Year's Eve this year I went up to the golf club with Dad and Lesley (as Dad is Captain this year). It was a good night - amazing
food - and the club is up on a hill in SE London with fantastic views into Central London (it is very close to my old flat).
My photos were not as good as they could have been - tbh as you'll see we were too far away to really be able to make out buildings clearly without context (luckily I have all the context stored in my head, lol). I probably could have done with taking some practice shots but I didn't get the chance (there were a lot of people there so I couldn't faff as much as I wanted). However I thought I would post the pictures as I do quite like them anyway.
Obviously the pointy thing with a light coming out of the top is the Shard, so you can sort of get your bearings from there (most of the fireworks were at the Eye):( PicsCollapse )
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/62396.html.
I have some entires planned around this fic (when I work out which Google Drive I've got them saved in, ahem) but for now, holy crap I have posted a thing:
Regret, or 14000 words of Rivers of London/Luther crossover caseficarchiveofourown.org/works/2840381
I have been working on this fic for about two years (including a huuuuuge rewrite) and am so fucking glad to be done with it.
Also I've been putting off reading Foxglove Summer until I finished this so I can now go read that yay!
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/62051.html.
I have watched a bunch of things recently. Currently I am watching the third episode of The Driver, a David Morrisey vehicle (PUN SO INTENDED) which is essentially what would happen if you set The Transporter in the real world and then gave the guy a family to stress about. I love it. OBVIOUSLY. I now fully intend to watch The Transporter this weekend, if not 2 and 3 as well. It also made me dig out my most self-indulgent wip and do some work on that (yes, I am still writing, and yes, I do intend to post things eventually).
(I am still avoiding the TV series on the presumption it will be utter rubbish, but if anyone knows different, do tell!)
I am also watching Our Girl, though I am currently three episodes behind. Enjoying it a lot - I think Lacey Turner is great in everything and it is nice to watch a military-based show with a female lead character.
I have watched the first three episodes of Brooklyn 99, all of which were as great as series 1. SUCH a funny show.
I watched episodes 1 - 3 of Gotham while we were away and really really enjoyed it - far more than I expected to as I was literally just watching for Sean Pertwee (who is lovely as ever). I actually really like Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon but have seen a bunch of reviews talking about him being boring, oh well.
I have also picked up Emmerdale again recently and am loving/hating shouting at the screen as per usual. Declan is SUCH a bastard. The Dingles can mostly fuck off. I keep forgetting both Alicia and Leyla are in it again.
Lesley and I watched the first two episodes of Grantchester but then gave up because a) we did not find the main guy sympathetic, b) it didn't really hang together and c) everyone was very much a stock character with one or two personality traits. And when both Lesley and I lose patience with a show that is a pretty bad sign.
The latest series of Lewis started up two weeks ago, (I still don't like having it on Friday nights in chunks), and hm. Well. I had gone off the show a bit in the last series (it just didn't seem to be going anywhere new) but now apparently all my Hathaway feelings have come back. OH, HATHAWAY. DAMN YOU. Anyway, I really enjoyed this story (I hate calling them 'stories' when they split the episodes but I can't think of a better word) and am considering going back to rewatch the last series. Perhaps I judged it too harshly.
I am sure there is more - I must have watched other TV - but can't think of anything right now.
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/61931.html.
This is so niche - even more so than my London stuff - but I am currently on holiday in Eastbourne with kikishua
and have been to some fab restaurants (have also cooked some nice food too but I cook nice stuff all the time). So in case you ever find yourself on the south coast of England, here are some restaurant recommendations:The Cavendish Hotel, Eastbourne
What I ate: seafood platter - amazing grilled salmon, smoked salmon, green lipped mussels, prawns, scallops in ham, salad, potato salad. I know this one was good because kikishua
tried some stuff and liked it and she doesn't even like fish. Baltica, Lewes
What I ate: Leek and Potato soup and Fasolka Po Bretonsku, a dish so good I wrote down the name so I could look up the recipe later on. Butter beans, bacon, Polish sausage, tomato. I plan to add this one to my stock dishes.
As an excellent bonus, the cafe is attached to a pottery shop with some lovely lovely stuff. I got a lemon squeezer, a little plate and a decorative candle house thing (I will take a photo at some point). Chaula's, Brighton
What I ate: Lunch menu (two curries, rice, chappati, snack << their words, it was a samosa, chutney)
This was lovely.
We got to Brighton for around 2.15, which is firmly into 'oh my God I need to eat something' time, and this restaurant was just outside the car park. The waiter did attempt to ask me what I wanted but I was basically at the point of going FOOD. I WOULD LIKE FOOD.
I ordered the small lunch menu and got a chicken curry, a lentil curry (which was yum), a samosa, some really nice chutney and a chappati. It was very good and stopped me from falling over with a massive headache for the rest of the afternoon, and was very reasonably priced (£7). The Belgian Cafe, Eastbourne
What I ate: All you can eat mussels (NB they may not have been prepared for how many mussels I can eat).
So The Belgian Cafe does mussels, as all good Belgian restaurants do, and they have an offer on Wednesdays where you can pay £13.95 to eat as many types of mussel dish as you want (same type of mussels, different sauces). I went this evening and I had the following: thai green curry, herbs, lemon, capers (unexpectedly gorgeous), lobster bisque, teriyaki, seafood pot, paella. Oh and it came with amazing fries and bread.
Yes that is six sauces. They weren't full dishes - I'd say they were maybe around a quarter or a third of a normal dish - which is just as well, as even I would struggle to eat more than two. I had a fantastic time continually requesting more, and the rest of the menu looks pretty amazing as well.
I was not actually expecting to have this many fantastic meals on this holiday (I usually save the foodie stuff for when I am in Europe) but it has been amazing so far. I am probably done with restaurants for this week but if I do go anywhere in the next few days I will update this post :D
This entry was originally posted at http://hestia8.dreamwidth.org/61648.html.