crystalcazzie: (Moulin Rouge Done Sex)
Secret Cinema was a mixture of good and bad. I wanted to like it a lot more than I did. I wanted to throw myself into it and enjoy it all without worrying and feeling self-conscious but, unfortunately, that's a lot easier said than done. I think my main problem was with the uncertainty of it all. During the first part of the evening there was no indication of what we were supposed to do and I hated that. I always like to know exactly what's expected of me and what I'm meant to be doing, but here I spent the whole time on edge worrying that I was going to get it wrong.

Then we moved into a room with loud music and a crowded dance floor, which has never been my idea of fun, so that did nothing to help my mood.

As we took our seats for the actual film I was feeling stressed, anxious, and hugely disappointed by this thing that I'd been so excited for for so long. And then it got a million times better. Moulin Rouge is one of my favourite films so I was determined to enjoy it anyway, but seeing the people acting it out on the stage in front of the screen was brilliant. And everyone sang along really loudly, which is exactly what I wanted because I love singing along but I didn't want to risk anyone hearing me. I also managed not to cry at the ending. Partly by imagining that this was all a clever ruse for Christian and Satine to escape and make new lives together, and partly by thinking about my icon.

So I left the experience feeling conflicted. I really wish I'd been able to enjoy the whole thing, because it was a spectacular set up and the costumes were amazing. I also worried far too much beforehand about making sure my costume was right. I could have worn almost anything as long as it was vaguely Moulin Rouge-esque and would have been fine. I kinda wish I had just worn a corset and Victorian skirt. I'd probably have felt more comfortable (emotionally, if not physically!)
crystalcazzie: (DW River hair)
I'm heading off to London in a couple of hours to go to the pub quiz this evening and then tomorrow Paul and I are going to the Secret Cinema Moulin Rouge event. I'm really looking forward to it but I'm also really nervous cos I didn't realise quite how much audience participation was involved! Still, I'm hoping that it'll be fun and I'm going to try my best to throw myself into it and not hide away. The character I've been assigned is a rather horrible snob, so we'll see if it's true that playing baddies is more fun!

I also got my hair cut and I mentioned that I would be going to a Moulin Rouge themed party so she styled it for me. It looks so good but I fear it won't last until tomorrow evening:

Hair )

Also, that photo is completely unedited. I just managed to catch the light in such a way to wash out all of my imperfections.
crystalcazzie: (Christmas Decorations)
I went up to London at the weekend for mine and Paul's annual Christmas shopping trip. I think I might be getting a bit old for it though. Maybe next year I should do all my shopping online and we can just spend three days drinking mulled wine and eating gingerbread. Although if we do that then we do miss out on finding cool little shops and craft markets, which would be a shame.

On Saturday we went down to Brighton to have a look at what was there. The seafront was very bracing (read: windy) but I still loved it. And we found a lovely little craft market in a seafront tavern where I picked up a few things including some cute little Star Wars decorations which are now adorning my tree.

I didn't end up buying as much as I have in previous years, which is good. Still felt quite loaded down by the end of the weekend though!

In other news, my ear is bothering me again. I managed to go quite a long time without any issues, but it's now swollen and painful. I'm just taking ibuprofen and hoping it sorts itself out soon. Really hoping before Christmas and preferably before Friday evening when I have my work Christmas meal. I'm bad enough at socialising as it is without adding not being able to hear well into the mix!
crystalcazzie: (Pearlswine Rat Greatness Personified)
Pub quiz yesterday went well. We were only a team of four this week but we still managed to come second, so yay for that! =D

I didn't spend long in London this morning. I walked along the river to Kingston and had a quick look in the shops before heading back. I was home before midday and then spent a lot of this afternoon making Christmas cards. I'm actually really pleased with how they've turned out and am very much looking forward to sending them to people!

Onto the November meme:

14. If someone offered you $1,000 to give up your cell phone for a year, would you do it?

Probably not, to be honest. Not because I'm a phone-addict (which I don't think I am. I still use pay-as-you-go and can go months without topping up.) but because it's so important to me to know I have a way to contact people. If I'm meeting up with someone it means we can let each other know where we are or if we're running late or if something has happened and plans need to change. When I had trouble with the trains on Sunday it was so useful to be able to call home and explain the situation and work out my next move. It's so freeing and reassuring to know I have that method of communication and I don't think I could give it up.
crystalcazzie: (Shalott)
I have this week off work and had all these plans of things I wanted to do, but now I'm just spending most of my time online. And going out. I'm off to the pub quiz again later today and I'm not sure what time I'll be back tomorrow. Hopefully it won't be too late and I'll get some stuff done then. I do like the pub quiz and it'll be lovely to go to one and not have to get up at 5am the next morning, but part of me was really looking forward to a few days uninterrupted at home to build jigsaws and make Christmas cards and watch films.

Anyway, I'm going to answer three of the November topics again today to try and catch up a bit more cos otherwise I can see myself answering these questions into next year!

11. If you could move anywhere, where would it be?

Probably London. I already live pretty close and go fairly regularly, but I'm still far enough out that it takes a while to get there and I have to get a lift to the station. I'd love to live somewhere with such good public transport that I was confident I'd be able to go where I wanted without having to rely on someone else. And there is so much to do in London.

12. If you could anonymously ban any pet peeve, what would it be?

People using 'immaculate conception' wrong. Jesus was not conceived by immaculate conception, Mary was. And it involved her parents having sex. The immaculate conception and the virgin birth are two different things, so stop throwing around the term when talking about pregnant girls who say they're virgins. It drives me up the wall!

13. If you could gain any skill/talent, what would it be?

To sing well. I've always loved singing and was in various choirs throughout school, college, and university, but I was never that good and always tried to hide my voice. I'd love to have been able to properly join in with confidence. And I always wanted to be in musicals. Still do, really.
crystalcazzie: (DW Amy/Rory)
On Saturday morning I was up before 7am to get a train then a tube then the Emirates Air Line cable car to go to the ExCel in London for the second day of the Doctor Who Festival. I was in my cosplay, with added fez, and I'm so glad that I didn't chicken out and just wear my normal clothes because it really was so much fun.

Here I am at the welcome sign in all my Eleventh Doctor glory:



(That photo was actually taken at the end of the day, but shhh. Let's pretend it was the beginning!)

Inside the Festival Hall there was a giant Lego Tardis. Two things I love brought together!:



I took quite a few photos of the talks, but they didn't all come out very well cos I was a bit far back. I've put a few of them up on Tumblr. The ones from the Meet the Cast talk are here and then I have a separate post with pictures of Mark Gatiss with Mr Sweet because I loved how adorable it looked. Far cuter than any poisonous, blood sucking leech has any right to be! Those pictures are here.

The props and prosthetics were really interesting and I bought quite a lot of things including a little plush Eleven that talks when you squeeze him, a Sonic Screwdriver bottle opener, badges, a Tardis necklace, wristbands, a lanyard, a mini Eleven vinyl keyring, a random Titan figure (I got regenerated Nine), a Tardis tote bag, a Festival tote bag, a Festival handbook, a Festival t-shirt, and a Sherlock mug that I'm planning to give to Rob at Christmas cos I know he likes Sherlock.

Overall I didn't spend too much money, and, like I said before, I once again resisted the lure of the purple coat. Despite how pretty it is:



Really brings the whole cosplay together, don't you think? (I wish I had a better picture of me wearing it though.)

Once the convention was over we headed back on the Emirates Air Line, which gave us beautiful views of East London at night. It was pretty windy too, so we swayed quite a bit along the way! We then had cocktails and dinner in the O2 where my clothes probably looked quite a bit weirder than they had in a convention centre full of other cosplayers!

Overall it was an excellent day and I'm hoping that I've converted Paul to the joys of cons so we can go to more together in the future. I'd definitely like to cosplay again. =D

Off I Go

Nov. 13th, 2015 02:51 pm
crystalcazzie: (DW Eleven/River)
This is another flying post as I am about to head off to London to spend the afternoon/evening with Paul before we go to the Doctor Who Festival tomorrow. I have my cosplay packed and ready to go. I also bought a fez to go with it so it'll be even more clear who I'm supposed to be!

Weekend Fun

Nov. 8th, 2015 07:58 pm
crystalcazzie: (DW River hair)
This has been a good weekend. I downloaded a Bluetooth tracker app and used it to find my FitBit yesterday and felt very accomplished for doing so!

Also yesterday I went up to Surbiton to watch fireworks with Paul. It was a small local display, rather than the fancy ones at Battersea we went to before, but it had the advantage of being within walking distance of his flat and that's a definite plus! And it was still very pretty. We were also able to see quite a few other displays around the area, which was fun.

Today we got our first Starbucks red cup drinks of the year and walked by the river to Kingston. We had a look at the Christmassy stuff in John Lewis and I resisted the temptation to spend lots of money. A drink in the Surbiton Flyer topped off our time together before I got the train home.

I'm going to leave Topic 5 of the November meme till tomorrow when I have more time to write a proper entry cos this is really just a flying visit so I can post something today.

I also may be talking about Downton Abbey tomorrow cos tonight is the LAST EPISODE EVER. Except for the Christmas special, but whatever. Apparently things are going down and getting wrapped up tonight. Maybe Mary will marry one of her cardboard suitors who are all so boring I still can't tell them apart or remember their names. Maybe Mrs Hughes will stab Mr Carson (and no one would blame her if she did.) Maybe Thomas will get his happy ending (which is something I never thought I'd be hoping for, back when this show started, but now I really want.) And maybe Edith will also marry her suitor who is also so boring I can't even remember where he came from (I know he helped her get the magazine out that one time but how did they meet before that? Who is he?) So many questions. So many possibilities. They just better not kill off Violet cos she's too awesome to die. And, actually, if death tried to take her she'd probably just send him packing with a withering put-down and a baleful look. Violet Crawley is most likely immortal.

Wine & Gin

Sep. 22nd, 2015 07:09 pm
crystalcazzie: (Minerva Drunk)
I should probably have made this entry a week ago but, as we've already established, I am absolutely rubbish at updating Livejournal in a timely fashion, so here we go.

I finished by birthday week on a high. I went up to London to meet up with Paul and we went to Vinopolis for a wine tasting. We did the self-guided tour, which meant we had credits loaded onto cards that we used in the funky machines to select our samples. So that was fun and we were able to try a lot of samples! =D We ended the visit in their bar where I had a By the River cocktail (a drink that I may or may not have chosen based entirely on my love of River Song...) while Paul decided he simply had to try some absinthe. Judging by the staff's reaction I'm guessing they don't sell much of that particular spirit! And judging by Paul's reaction he won't be ordering it again! Although I do think that that probably wasn't the best setting to try a drink like that and maybe he'd have liked it better in the right circumstances.

The next day we went to the Beefeater Gin Distillery where I discovered a gin & tonic that I didn't hate. Normally I can't stand the taste of tonic but this one was pretty nice. It had a bit of a grapefruit flavour, which I liked.

Later that day we went to the City of London Distillery, where we did not go on a tour but we did spend a lovely hour or so sitting in armchairs while drinking gin cocktails. Paul's experience with absinthe the day before had led to a discussion about bucket lists and we continued the conversation that evening, coming up with ideas for our lists and things that would be on them which we've already done. I may have to write out a proper list at some point.

The next day saw less drinking as we decided to try our hand at baking. We made a chocolate bread pudding, which turned out pretty well, and watched Doctor Who. Paul is now up to the Eleventh era, which pleases me cos Matt Smith is the best and I'm very much looking forward to being able to flail over and discuss his episodes! (Of course if it turns out that Paul doesn't like Matt's Doctor then I'm afraid our friendship won't survive.)

And speaking of Doctor Who, how good was The Magician's Apprentice? I loved it! Mainly because I love Missy and want her to stay forever. But this does give me hope that I'll actually like this series, unlike the last one which I didn't really care for. I'm still not completely sold on Peter Capaldi, but this was a much better first episode than Deep Breath.
crystalcazzie: (DW River hair)
Pub quiz went well, but for some reason I am filled with anxiety today, feeling like I must have said or done something stupid last night and everyone on the team hates me and doesn't want me there any more.

I keep telling myself it's probably not true, but then I remember something silly that I did say and I wonder if they all picked up on it and I'm right in thinking that they all hate me.

I hope it's not true.

On the bright side, we did win again. That's good because it makes me feel like my presence is more of a help than a hindrance, which is another accusation my anxiety likes to whisper in my ear. At the moment I can say we have a 100% success rate with me on the team!

Getting up this morning wasn't a problem, probably because I was so worried about missing my train if I overslept. It was interesting to see how many people are already up and on public transport at 6am. I do like being up early and sometimes I wonder if I could do it regularly, but I'm not sure I'd be able to keep it up. Although having said that, it's not like I'm up late at the moment. I do start work at 8am after all.
crystalcazzie: (Ophelia Grass)
Today I feel mostly tired and sad and like I just want to go to bed and stay there for the next three days.

Instead I'm going to Surbiton later for a pub quiz. Hopefully it will be as fun as the last one, and I'm looking forward to seeing people again.

I'm a bit worried about the fact that I will have to leave Paul's place at 6am tomorrow in order to get to work on time, though. I hadn't thought it would be a problem, but with the way I'm feeling at the moment I think getting up at all could prove challenging.
crystalcazzie: (Laura Roslin)
And this brings me to the final part of my London Adventure: Wednesday.

Once again, I found myself alone in London for most of the day. I started by going over to Kingston and watching Cinderella in the cinema. There was the usual part of me that was a bit worried that it was weird to go to the cinema by myself, especially because I was seeing a family film, but I told myself that it didn't matter. And the only time anyone looked at me strangely was when I ordered my large popcorn and coke. But that's a non-negotiable part of the experience, in my opinion. I don't care that it's only 11am, I'm having my popcorn dammit!

And the film was really good, so I'm very glad I did go in the end.

I emerged from the cinema into lovely sunshine, so took a walk along the river before deciding to get a boat up to Hampton Court. I didn't go inside, but I did go into the maze. As soon as I went in I wondered if it was a mistake cos I had to be on the last boat back in 45 minutes and I started having visions of wandering the hedges for hours, lost forever in the Hampton Court maze! But fortunately I made it to the centre without much difficulty. I then went back and tried to work out if there's a knack to it. I think keeping hedge on your right hand side the whole time will see you through. It led me to a dead end just before reaching the middle, but other than that it seemed to work.

Wednesday evening saw me joining Paul's usual team for his local pub quiz. I absolutely love pub quizzes and it makes me sad that I haven't been to one in years, so I was very excited about joining this. And, best of all, I was actually useful! There were lots of answers I knew that other people knew too, but there were two that I alone gave the answer to (What item of clothing is named after an atomic testing site? Bikini. Which Roman emperor apparently tried to make his horse a consul? Caligula.) So I feel that I actively contributed to the fact that we won! Yay!

And now, because I don't feel that I have spammed you all with enough photos yet, I present some more than I took on my trip:

Birds and Flowers )
crystalcazzie: (DW River hair)
On Tuesday evening Paul and I made our way over to Camden to see Dar Williams at the Jazz Cafe. It was our third time seeing her, and hopefully not our last, but our first time at this particular venue. It was a nice place, smaller than Bush Hall, but very dark. Even before the concert started the lights were all down and it was a bit odd.

Dar was amazing, as usual. I was closer to the stage than I have been before, although off to the side so I got a bit of a profile view. And I really loved Lucy as well, so I was happy when Dar brought her out to join her on the last couple of songs. In fact, this was actually the very first time I've bought the supporting artist's music at a concert I've gone to. She signed the CD for me too cos she's lovely. Dar came out as well but I didn't get her autograph this time cos I already have a signed copy of Emerald that I bought from PledgeMusic when she was funding the album. I thought I should give other people a chance to meet her and get theirs signed!

Just like with the DWSS I put some of my pictures on Tumblr, and I'm going to post them here as well so you can all share in the joy:

Lucy & Dar )
crystalcazzie: (Shalott)
Day two of my London Adventure saw us baking biscuits and watching Eurovision. I absolutely love Eurovision and think it is one of the greatest events of the year, representing the pinnacle of human achievement in the modern age. Paul does not share this viewpoint. But I made him watch it anyway.

I must say that I was very disappointed in our entry. It's a really good song and I thought we had a real chance of finishing in a decent position this year, but it just did not sound good live. And I definitely could have done without the neon light-up clothes and weird dance moves that had nothing to do with the song. But we didn't come last, so that's something! Although I definitely don't think that either Austria or Germany deserved their nul points.

But I think the biggest surprise of the night to me was that Serbia didn't do better. I mean, tenth isn't a bad spot but I thought they were going to be right up at the top fighting it out with Sweden for first place. It was a lovely song with a wonderful message and I expected it to be a huge success. But apparently Europe did not share my view.

And now the contest is going to Sweden. I'd love to actually go and see it live one of these years. I just need to find someone who'll go with me cos Paul is... not keen. At all.

~*~

Bank Holiday Monday saw us head over to East London. We drank in the pub where Jack the Ripper apparently chose his victims, because Paul likes to take me to only the nicest places. We tried to get into Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, but alas it was fully booked. And then we had some English wine in another pub, because it was English Wine Week and on a 50% off promotion.

Monday was also the day when I discovered that the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square is no longer home to the big blue cock (I'll miss that cock), but now houses a creepy skeletal horse thing with a stock ticker ribbon tied around its leg.

Seriously, What? )

~*~

Tuesday was my first day of entertaining myself while Paul went to work. I think I got the better end of the deal though cos while he was stuck in an office doing boring office stuff I was sitting in Green Park eating strawberries in the sunshine and reading my book.

Also, there were pigeons:

Pigeons )

After spending a while in the sun with some pigeons I decided to head on over to Tate Britain and spend some time staring at my favourite painting:

Art )

The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse. I could just sit and stare at this painting for ages. And did so. I had a wander around to look at some of the other art too, including Millais's Ophelia and a creepy painting of two women holding two babies that do not look human at all (otherwise known as The Cholmondeley Ladies), but I kept coming back to this one. Because I love it.

Tuesday evening saw another concert. But I'm going to save that for my next entry because I have even more pictures to inflict on share with you all and because Dar deserves her own post.
crystalcazzie: (DW Eleven/River)
A week ago today I started off my London adventure by going to the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular! It was amazing and I love Murray Gold's music so much. I do wish there had been more of a focus on the music of the Eleventh Doctor's era, but that's just my personal preference. I would have loved to have heard Together or Not at All - The Song of Amy and Rory (even though it would totally have made me cry right there in the arena) and The Wedding of River Song. I'd also hoped they would play the full version of I Am the Doctor, which is one of my favourite pieces ever, but I had to make do with it being part of The Pandorica Suite. Not that I'm complaining, because it is used so perfectly there and is one of the most epic things I've ever seen/heard!

I knew of two people I'd met before that were planning to go and hoped to meet up with them for a drink or something beforehand, but it didn't really work out. One of them was ill and had to cancel. The other one I did manage to see for a couple of minutes before she hurried off. I fear I was a bit awkward and didn't do a very good job talking to her, which upset me a bit. I thought I was doing better with things like that but it was like my brain froze and everything inside me tied up. I made sure to text her during the interval to ask what she thought of it so far, cos I didn't want our last interaction to have been so awkward! And I think it was ok, she texted back and we had a conversation about stealing one of the Daleks that went right past me, and afterwards she mentioned a video she'd taken where a Cyberman looked right at her! She put it online and it is indeed very cool!

I had a really good seat too. Right at the front of C-block, so there was a walkway right in front of me which meant I had a really good view when the monsters came out and into the audience. The Dalek going right past me was brilliant. And I got terrorised by a dream crab walking right towards me! Sadly the Cyberman bypassed the bit I was in, which was a shame. But at least there was no danger of being upgraded!

I took a load of photos and some of them came out really well. I put them on Tumblr, but I'll share them here too:

All the Strange, Strange Creatures )

Peter Davison was a wonderful host; very funny and charming. I loved all his references to being replaced by Colin Baker, and David Tennant being his son-in-law, and the fact that the venue had had to be evacuated a couple of days before because they found an unexploded WWII bomb nearby. I was especially fond of one of his comments near the end where he said "This evening has been a blast. And I mean that in the sense of it having been a very good night and not in the sense of an unexploded World War II bomb."

So overall, it was a brilliant evening. Topped off by a drink at the Udderbelly on the Southbank where Paul and I proved that we were hip and down with the kids by taking a selfie of ourselves with our drinks and posting it on Twitter.



So cool.
crystalcazzie: (DW River hair)
I have returned from my London adventure! Which, I realise, I didn't actually mention that I was going on, but yeah. I'm back now. I went to London on Saturday and stayed with my friend for the next few days. We went to a couple of concerts, watched Eurovision, baked biscuits, and, on days when he had to work, I found ways to amuse myself out and about. (I'm really proud of myself for that last one cos my social anxiety was like "Just stay inside and watch his Netflix all day" but I told it "NO! No, I am in London, the sun is shining, I have no work and all this free time. I am going to DO STUFF!" And stuff I did.

I'm going to come back and make proper entries later cos I want to give my adventure all the detail it deserves and I don't really have time for that right now. Hopefully tomorrow. It'll give me another excuse to put off tidying the living room, which I desperately need to do but keep not doing. Yay procrastination!

Also, I am currently drinking T.E.A. It's a bitter, which I never thought I would like but it's actually pretty good.
crystalcazzie: (DW River hair)
Well, me and five other people. We did one of those Escape Room mysteries where you get locked in a room and have to find clues and solve puzzles to open the door within an hour. It was so much fun! And, best of all, I wasn't completely useless! One of my main worries going into it was that I wouldn't be any help and would just tag along while everyone else solved everything, but I actually did pretty well for myself. I solved the map room on my own, which our guide was very impressed with. She said that most people use one of their hints for that room. Clearly all these years of doing word puzzles has not been in vain!

Because we were able to escape the room under an hour (51:46!) we got our picture taken and put on the wall. Hopefully we'll see it again when we got back and do the other room they have there. Because we totally have to do this again!

That was Friday evening. I then stayed over with Paul and yesterday we spent a lot of time discussing our upcoming Ireland holiday. We now have a pretty good idea of where we'd like to go and a vague idea of how long we want to spend in each place. But I was looking up hotels earlier and a lot of them are already booked up for the dates we're planning to go. I really think we need to get a move on here otherwise we could end up missing out on staying where we'd really like to.

Happy 2013!

Jan. 5th, 2013 06:54 pm
crystalcazzie: (DW River hair)
Happy belated New Year, everyone! I know I'm a bit late with my annual memes. I blame a combination of LJ being down and me being distracted with other things, ooh, shiny...

Anyway:

Meme One:

The Questions )

Meme Two:

The Sentences )

*waves*

Dec. 13th, 2012 03:15 pm
crystalcazzie: (Snowman and Santa)
I'm off to London to go Christmas shopping! Yay!
crystalcazzie: (Picard Squee)
So... you may remember that a few weeks ago I asked if anyone wanted to see Dar Williams with me cos she was coming to London and I've loved her music for well over ten years now but never had the chance to see her before.

Well, my brother bought me tickets to see her for my birthday and I dragged Paul along with me and it was absolutely amazing! The venue was tiny and informal and absolutely lovely. She sang some of her older songs as well as ones from the new album and she was so nice and chatty between each one.

Then she hung around afterwards to sign things! I was not expecting that, so I didn't bring anything. I asked her to sign my ticket and apologised for not thinking to bring a CD. She said she was happy to sign anything so I said I'd make sure to bring the weirdest thing I could think of next time!

And then I got my picture taken with her:



I'm sorry that I look so bad. Paul and I had shared a bottle of wine and it stained my teeth rather badly! But it's a picture of me with Dar Williams! asefdakgjhdafgkjhdfagjkhdagjkv!

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