Friday, 31 August 2007

HP Friday 5

1. What's the nerdiest thing you've ever done in the name of Harry Potter?
Probably my spew badges, which I made in a heap of different colours, not because I needed that many but because I wanted to have a big range of colours like Hermione does in book 4.
2. How many people have you peer-pressured into reading the series?
I know I've had an influence in some people's decisions to finally start reading it, but the only person I am actively peer-pressuring is Alison because she still hasn't started reading them and I KNOW she'll love them.
3. What's the biggest misconception non-HP have about the series and/or fandom?
That they're kids books. Sure, they're not highly intellectual in content or writing style, but there are themes and ideas, especially in later books, that are beyond the grasp of the ordinary 13 year old.
4. What is your favourite piece of HP merchandise?
My books. Not only do I have my full set of well-read ones (6 from Australia, 1 from UK), I also collect them from foreign countries when I travel in place of usual souvenirs - I have French, Dutch, Romanian, Portugese, Swedish, Greek and American.
I don't own much of the movie merchandise stuff, because I think most of it is cheap and tacky.
5. Do you think the HP fandom will still be strong 10 years from now?
I think there will still be plenty of fans, but I think the 'trendiness' will have worn off and those people who are more a fan of the movies and online communities will have drifted away.

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August 30

august 30
my sewing machine

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Thursday, 30 August 2007

August 29

august 29

A little embroidery detail on a thrifted sheet that I bought - I started cutting it up for projects today.

In other news, I sent out an email about our upcoming trip to Australia today. If you are reading this from Sydney (or somewhere nearby) and/or feel like you should've got the email, but didn't, let me know.

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Wednesday, 29 August 2007

August 28

august 28

The sun is out! I tried to take a picture of the steam rising off my drying jeans, but it didn't work out, so instead you get this one of some of the plants in our back garden. I just hope it stays out long enough for the washing to dry...

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Tuesday, 28 August 2007

August 25-27

My daily photos from the weekend - a sneak peek at what we got up to. Dunno when I'll get around to uploading more, but they'll be on my flickr eventually, I'm sure.

august 25
the angel of the north

august 26
alnwick castle
aka hogwarts

august 27
goathland station
aka hogsmeade station

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Unread: 62 emails and 83 rss items

We've only been away for 3 days! There are travel diary posts to type up as well as lots of photos to copy, go through and upload. I think I'm going to be on my computer most of the day...

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Saturday, 25 August 2007

HP Friday 5

It's been awhile since I've been avoiding the ones directly relating to the 7th book, as well as being lazy or forgetful...

Pick one character per question
(I'm going with the assumption that everyone is alive and the kids are still kids...)

1. Who would you become for a day using Polyjuice Potion? I'm stuck on the fact that you would take on their appearance but not any of their knowledge so you'd have to try and play the part all day. Probably just a random inconsequential Hogwarts student so I could go to class and stuff (obviously not during book 7). Although they'd have to be a Gryffindor so I could go in the common room and a member of Dumbledore's Army would be good. Let's say Lavender.
2. Who would you like to have around if attacked by Death Eaters? Dumbledore
3. Who would you spend a day at Hogsmeade with? Fred (and George, obviously, but it said to pick one and Fred has a cooler name)
4. Who would be the person you'd like to give you a tour of Hogwarts? Luna, because she knows all the secrets by now and she would be just as entertaining as the castle.
5. At whose house would you like to spend the night? Ginny's

on a related note...
So, you all know Harry's birthday falls almost exactly between mine and Graeme's, right?
I've decided we're going to have a combined 30th birthday party on Harry's 30th birthday - July 31, 2010. I'll expect you all to be in costume so I'm giving you plenty of notice :)

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August 24

This is what happens when it gets to almost 10pm and I haven't taken my daily photo...
I ask Graeme what I should photograph and he starts listing various silly things, including his nose, so I oblige.

Then, not believing the flash is as bright as he seems to think, I blind myself taking a self-portrait.

august 23

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Friday, 24 August 2007

August 23 - I made a book

august 23

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Thursday, 23 August 2007

August 22

Another reason (on top of still being sick - ugh) why going outside is much less appealing than curling up on the couch and watching movies...

august 22

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Wednesday, 22 August 2007

oh yeah

a quick update on the card race - Mum's arrived today (Tuesday), so 3 posts later than Elizabeth's...

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August 21

I'm still not 100%, so you get another "oh crap, it's getting late and I haven't taken a photo because I've barely left the couch, let alone the room or the house" shot.

august 21

Apologies to all those people to whom I owe return emails and whatnot - I will get around to it...

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Tuesday, 21 August 2007

August 20

I've got emails and blogs to catch up on and a website to redesign, but I've spent most of the day curled up on the couch reading because I don't feel well...

august 20

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Monday, 20 August 2007

August 19

august 19
the flag in our hallway
taken from the floor

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Sunday, 19 August 2007

August 18

like looking in a mirror
like looking in a mirror

We went to the zoo for my birthday - yes, I am a big kid. Graeme actually took most of the photos, so you'll have to wait for an upload from him to see the gorillas and cute little monkeys (he got some really good photos). Click on the photo above to see the best of the ones I took, including the meerkats.

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Saturday, 18 August 2007

August 17

august 17

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Went for a walk today, visited some charity shops and the community recycling places, as well as a couple of pound shops (you know, as opposed to dollar shops). Without spending all of my tenner, I came away with a piece of brown (cotton, I think) fabric about 1400x1450mm, a single white bed sheet (both will be used for a project I'm planning), a purple scarf, an A4 ikea clips frame and all the things you see in the photo above - a sticker booklet, a beaded bracelet kit, a mickey mouse camera strap still in original packaging and a set of 8 Winnie the Pooh cookie cutters. The cookie cutters were only a pound - I feel like I should go back and get a couple more sets - you'd like one, wouldn't you mum? Anyone else want me to bring them some cookie cutters home? (no guarantees obviously, but I can try)

Anyway, I also had an awesome lunch of a chicken, avacado and salad baguette, which I ate in the town square, laughing (though not out loud) at the guy sitting near to me who had paid 3 times as much for a similar thing from Subway. And now I think I'm going to play with my new stuff...

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Friday, 17 August 2007

Elizabeth Wins the Card Race

...although Mum may still win overall if her card arrives tomorrow because mailing a birthday card to arrive on the right day is impressive enough, but when that card has to travel from Sydney to London (and therefore be handled by both Australia Post AND Royal Mail) it's just WOW. Apparently Elizabeth only mailed hers on Tuesday lunchtime in Melbourne, so that's quite impressive. I'm not just telling you this to remind you that tomorrow is my birthday :D They actually asked me to tell them which one got here first since they mailed them the same day. So I guess, in this case, Melbourne beats Sydney.

Oh, I should say that the packages from Graeme's mum and grandparents both arrived ages ago (thanks) and I couldn't resist opening them. His mum sent a travel book, of which we're building up quite a collection. His grandma always sends me socks... but that's because she's like me and has big feet and knows how hard it can be to get decent socks in larger sizes... and they're bonds. I love bonds. Plus a cool hat from Target. It's probably hard to imagine how much I miss Target - lame, huh?

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Reconsidering Renting

Gee, I hate this - pumping so much money into someone else's mortgage because even though we could afford to pay off a mortgage, we can't get a big enough one to get a decent place. Anyway, since people have been asking and I'm sick of typing variations of this out on messenger over and over, this is what's happening with us.

If we'd really wanted to, we could've stayed in this house until March with the same rent, because the lease we signed was kinda weird - basically 2 years with an 18 month get-out. We're going to be here 19 months though, because with the trip back to Australia and Graeme's inability to read the lease conditions properly (we had to give 60 days notice, not 4 weeks) it just worked out better that way. The reason we decided to move on is two-fold: primarily because this place just doesn't work for us like it should, in terms of liveability and value for money; secondly because we are already starting to think about what we will do when Elizabeth comes over and wants/needs some living space in our place. So we decided to look for somewhere now that was big enough to accommodate all three of us with the knowledge that even if we pushed our budget for 6 months to afford it, once Elizabeth arrives and contributes to the rent we will actually be better off. The idea was to sign an 18 month lease so we would be in that one place until we head home in (northern hemisphere) Spring 2008. So we started looking and saw a couple of places that were awful, a couple that were too far out of our budget and one that seemed ok - a garden flat in a converted terrace house, same sort of thing we have now but slightly bigger and laid out much better, including a second bedroom that is actually big enough to live in. We decided we may as well put an offer in for that. Yeah, an offer. Real estate here is SOOOO dodgy - it's not regulated properly and all the people who work in it seem totally untrustworthy in everything they say and do. Anyway, if you see a place you like, you submit a thing saying "this is who I am and this is how long I'd like to live in that property and how much I'm willing to pay" and then it becomes a big long process (especially when, like us, you submit an offer under the asking price and can't move in for about 7 weeks) where you know the agent is trying to play both sides and get the best possible commission for themselves - will you pay more, can you move sooner, etc. Since we've got so long, we're not budging, figuring we can let that come to whatever conclusion its going to come to (you're not obliged in any way, even if the offer is accepted, until the contract is signed) while we look at other places. Here's the catch. Everyone else Graeme has contacted basically isn't interested in helping us because of the fact that we're still so far out from the move. Because it is summer and actually warm enough to be moving house, the 'market is very active' so unless the place isn't available until October, we're not going to be the most attractive tenants. And since most leases do only require 4 weeks notice, we really need to give it a couple of weeks before we start really searching again, which is fine, because we've now decided we need that time to decide what we're going to do...

We're NOW thinking that we might completely downgrade for 6 months. We're not expecting any visitors or anything and we still don't know how much work I will or won't get, so maybe we should just get a studio or one-bedroom for less money so we can be saving more. (we're well aware that a share house would be even cheaper, but that's so not going to happen) Then, when Elizabeth gets here, or is close to arriving, we look for somewhere bigger with the knowledge that we will have 3 people contributing to expenses. Of course, this means moving twice, which I can't say I love, but since most rental places here are furnished, it's nowhere near as big a deal as moving an entire house-full of stuff. Plus we'd be living in the smaller place over winter, when you don't need things like gardens, because you never go out in them anyway.

OK, that was long, but I think I've explained what the situation is so I shouldn't have to do so again. I've been thinking a lot about my ideal living situation and dreaming of a cool little community with family and friends all living in well-proportioned houses on a giant property that has a communal swimming pool and play equipment and lots of space to run around...

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August 16

august 16

Our dvd collection...
well, a small part of it :)

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Thursday, 16 August 2007

August 15

august 15

This photo kinda sums up our day...

My laptop screen (on the left) shows one of the crappy photos I took of the fair setting up as I walked home from seeing some potential new homes (although the word 'potential' implies any of them were actually worth considering moving into, which they weren't really... ok, the one that she sneakily showed me that was way higher than our price range was nice - river view and everything, but I digress). Obviously, i wasn't happy with any of the photos so had to take some more.

Graeme's laptop (right) shows house-hunting in progress.

The tv (in the middle) is showing ads during Match of the Day on BBC1.

We've been here for the last 20 minutes or so and probably will be here til we go to bed. Basically, our lives have once again become consumed with trying to find ourselves a place to live for the rest of our time in London... I'm already sick of it and we're pretty much only 1 day in.

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Wednesday, 15 August 2007

August 14 - Free Book

When we went to the innocent village fete the other weekend, there was an area set up by Penguin Books with lots of beanbags and bookshelves full of books that you could just sit and read. We didn't stop for long, other than to look at the cool mugs and stuff they had with book titles on them (I'm sure I took photos, but I haven't uploaded any of my photos from that day...). Anyway, I picked up this bookmark about blog a penguin classic, a thing where you sign up online to review a book and they send you out the book for free. You don't get any choice about what book you get or anything, but a free classic novel in the post is always good, right? Then the idea is you read it and write a review for their site. My book arrived today (which is fortunate, since the weather is terrible and I was wondering what I would photograph for my daily photo) - The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. I haven't started reading yet, but I noticed it has one of those long introduction things by someone other than the author which I can never decide about reading - I don't want to be influenced in my reading of it, but I do want it to make sense.

I was about to suggest that others in the UK should get in on this, but it seems as if all the books have been assigned...

august 14 - free book

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Tuesday, 14 August 2007

August 13


I went for a walk in the park near our house today - it's probably about the only thing I'll miss about this place when we move, although there are plenty of little parks around London, so hopefully we'll find a place near one. There's a cool carved tree and a little field that just gets to grow wild and a bunch of trees and stuff. There's also a playground, football field, tennis and basketball courts, although we haven't really used any of them, other than to run around. More photos on flickr.

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Monday, 13 August 2007

August 11 & 12

Complete with the exact captions I gave them on flickr - I'm feeling pretty lazy right now. I know I owe you a proper post (or 5) but this is all I have for now.

august 11
a flower in our backyard - I spent most of the day watching series 1 of Heroes, so this was the best I took...
oh, and I know its not really focussed but I like it

august 12
C salad for dinner
using everything we had available - Carrot, Celery, Cucumber and Capsicum (although they call that peppers here...)

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Saturday, 11 August 2007

August 10

Two photos today, partly because I couldn't make up my mind which to show you, partly because they were the only 2 worth uploading. I only had my little point-and-shoot with me and while it has the ability to capture great shots, I sometimes struggle to readjust my mindset from the dSLR. I guess I could've got fancy and combined the two photos into one and all that, but the purpose of this project is purely to get me taking photos more often.

august 10

august 10 part 2

Taken in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens respectively. I went out for the day, mainly just to get out of the house and into the sun, and spent some time in the park on the way to shopping and again later to eat my lunch. I amazed myself by buying a dress and a skirt - I haven't even found clothes I like lately, let alone buying them. The dress alone was £135... of course I didn't actually pay that much, they were both on sale :D

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Friday, 10 August 2007


We've known of the existence of this tv show for awhile, but we missed the start of the series on the sci-fi channel and just hadn't actively pursued it yet. However, they started showing it Wednesday nights on BBC2 a couple of weeks ago and we were hooked. Last night, after watching the episode on BBC2, we remembered that my brother had actually given us a disc with the first 11 episodes on it. We've just finished watching the last of those episodes and Graeme is already on the hunt for more episodes. It's weird how I have a real objection to obtaining films and music in a less than ideal way, but don't have the same issues when it comes to tv. I know I'm not the only person in the world who feels like this - really, if the networks want us to watch it when they broadcast it, they should actually show it sometime near when it premieres in it's country of origin. I know they are starting to do that sort of thing more now, both here and in Australia, because the television networks are slowly realising that people don't want to wait when they can get it online much faster and actually be up-to-date with their friends in other countries. Anyway, BBC are showing it without ads (as they do everything) so I don't feel as though we're costing them any revenue or anything. So yeah, I got a bit sidetracked, when all I really want to say is we're on the Heroes bandwagon and are enjoying the ride.

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August 09

august 09
reminders of home

I didn't set this up for the photo - this is on one of the shelves in our living room. There are also more photos, a couple of soft toys and some random other stuff. Click on the photo to go to its flickr page and see what everything is.

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Thursday, 9 August 2007

now we have to move...

We just gave our notice that we're going to end our lease in this house. It's a big relief in many ways that we've made the decision and followed through on it - we should be able to get somewhere bigger for the same amount of money that is better suited to our needs and able to accommodate Elizabeth when she moves here. But now we have to actually start finding that place. And we'll be moving the weekend after we get back from Australia...

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August 08

august 08
laundry day
just thought you'd all like to see our undies

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Wednesday, 8 August 2007

August 07 & Project ??

august 07

Yeah, I still haven't got around to counting up my projects, but here's another one - a custom dress form that I finished today partly so I had something to photograph for my daily photo. It started as two old t-shirts, a couple rolls of tape, a wire coat-hanger from the dry cleaner and a cardboard tube that I can't remember acquiring and is now a near exact replica of my torso that I can use to drape fabric and make patterns and stuff - I am hoping to make a couple of dresses, hopefully ones I can wear to the upcoming weddings, because I can't find anything in the shops. It is stuffed with two things I was glad to get rid of/put to a more positive use - our big pile of plastic shopping bags and a bunch of shredded documents from last year at that craptacular job. Its kind of weird being able to look at your body shape without looking in the mirror.

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Tuesday, 7 August 2007

August 06

august 06
sorting out photos

posts with actual sentences coming tomorrow...

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Monday, 6 August 2007

August 03, 04 and 05

Totally buggered from our packed weekend, but am slowly working my way through the things I need to do to catch up. There are heaps more photos to come, especially from the 3rd which, on top of all the things I would've photographed anyway, I did as a "my day in photos" for an online community I'm part of.

august 03
me and graeme

august 04
scottish parliament building

august 05
fair rides at the innocent village fete

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Friday, 3 August 2007


Never got around to those updates, did I? I guess it's kind of a good thing, because I've been spending time doing things not on my computer, but I feel bad because I said they were coming and they didn't. And they're not even that exciting (just what we did on the weekend and the latest films we've seen and things like that) but now I've stupidly built them up so when you read them you'll be all like "is that it?"

And now it won't happen for awhile because my next three days will be busy. This time tomorrow I'll be sitting outside Edinburgh castle watching the military tattoo. We're catching the train up tomorrow and coming back on Saturday. And just today we bought tickets for this on Sunday which looks really cool. So I might not be around to do updates (and upload all those photos I will be taking over the next 3 days) until Monday. A part of me can't quite believe I'm going to post that info on my blog and feels like pointing out that we have locks on all our windows - why is that?

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August 02

august 02

My collection of Harry Potter books - click on the photo to see where they come from.

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Thursday, 2 August 2007

August 01

august 01

#54 on my 101 things list is to take at least one photo every day for a month. So here is day 1. You can expect to see the photos virtually straight from the camera, because I'm not willing to set myself up to spend a lot of time every day on post-processing - I'll just upload and post. I kind of have this idea that I would love to take a photo every day of my 28th year, which doesn't actually start until the 18th I know, but I decided to start now, aim for a photo every day of August and hopefully have it so built into my routine that I continue with it for the rest of the year.

#52 on the list is to identify and photograph 101 things that make me happy, so if I'm not doing anything very interesting or not super inspired on any particular day, I aim to kill two birds with one stone. And that's how this image came about - it's not the fanciest collection of water colours, but I still love the way you add water to the hard blocks of colour and suddenly have paint.

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Wednesday, 1 August 2007

apparently we have a mouse

I say apparently because I haven't actually seen it or any evidence that it exists. But right now Graeme is creeping around the dark house trying to find it or catch it or something. I don't really know what he's doing, but this is the second evening in a few that he's been sitting next to me and suddenly jumped up because he claims to have seen a mouse run into the hallway...

In other news, I've got myself into one of those states where I have a heap of things to post here, but to post them all seems like a daunting task and I end up avoiding it all together. You can probably expect a few posts over the next couple of days now that I've told you that though, since telling people generally makes me more accountable.

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