Thursday, 29 July 2010


Apparently, I got used to not blogging.

Lo, behold and beware, then. I'm not-exactly-holidaying in the mountains. It's a combo of hiding from people in order to write my thesis and asthma treatment. I've settled in my hotel suite in this Podunk (tomorrow's quest is to go to the nearest ATM. 3km through the woods or 8 km on the road) and so far, I've procured a decent writing table and gathered an armful of St. John's wort for dyeing wool which is not exactly the sort of productivity I expected. Well, yeah, I've made around a bajillion of decants I've sent from the local post office (and ran out of cash to mail the rest, thus the trip tomorrow) but no really serious work was done.

Also, my usb ports ignore data storage media so there will be no pictures until sometime later. Only words.

To start with, we're buying the next door house. I prefer to call it chalet, it's one, after all. We being me and my father, whom the hotel belongs (1). Because, for some reason, the ski lift belongs to the hotel. The ski slope, on which it stands, belongs to the chalet and its five or six hectares of land. Apart from the actual slope, there are some woods and meadows uphill.
Have you noticed that I'm not overly enthused about academic career?
Have you noticed that I've got some inexplicable affinity to sheep? Well, not yet, I still need to write about my trip to England but say Yes to yourself and ignore the doubts.

So, obviously, I've been wandering around, planning the landscaping (my own garden, yay, and there's a spring and a swamp for swamp irises!) and the general style (village chic or some such. No 'folk' crap bought wholesale, homegrown mint for mojitos and teas and such), the bar (homemade crisps? not sure whether it's doable but certainly homemade cakes from whatever the garden yields) and... sheepies.

You're officially permitted to call me silly. Or even worse. No, I know nothing about sheep but that they are stupid and produce fibre. Recently, I've learned that they are loud and that they can run really fast. Yes, sheep in full gallop are something memorable. Meantime, I've found out that they are even stupider but docile (thus manageable, one hopes) and that they tend to get all parasites imaginable. But, squeeeee, my own fibre (2). And if it fails, the sheep can be made into kebabs and served to the hotel guests as a special attraction for the New Year's party or something. (3)

Now I need to cool down and wait until my enthusiasm is gone. But, hey, I could grow my own garden without my mother and her Prussian gardening style! Damn.

(1) My family is not filthy rich, just mildly stainedly rich, that's it.
(2) I produced two hanks of handspun. Bulky and underspun, to be exact. One was in ghastly colours and I traded it for something I found more reasonable but the recipient glowed with glee, the other I still have. And, well, metre and half of superwash merino and Meezer blend. Still a way to go.
(3) Mental note: try on something less expensive than, say, California Variegated Mutant.

Monday, 19 July 2010


Yesterday we made a day trip to Oxford. Which was full of the !@#$% tourists and larger than tolerable amounts of Italian brats. After fighting the crowds for a while, we decided to seek refuge in the Ashmolean museum for a while.
Some five hours later, the custodians chased us out because they were closing. Then we sat in front of the museum building, mom was having her nicotine fix, and we decided that we need to go back because we hadn't seen the reliquary of Thomas Beckett, we never found that room with textiles again and the majolica collection would deserve a closer inspection.
I don't totally mind spending a day, two or ten in a museum, it seems to me that the average specimen of fellow citizen is usually much less enthused by endless cases of things of rather obscure nature while I'm running around and shouting See! Deruta! (that comes with lustre glazes) or That's Urbino there! (1) while that fellow citizen who accompanies me thinks something about maybe not actually benign fools. Ashmolean is an archeological museum plus somewhat eclectic collection so apparently, it entertained even my mother (albeit sometimes on the Oh, shiny level).

The detailed account of the journey including various interesting accidents, of my cold, of the conference and such will be given later. No worries, I can't deprive the world of the story how we... Just you wait.

(1) I'm no expert on majolica, I've only spent a few uneventful afternoons, two, to be exact, in the municipal museum in Arezzo where they have humongous collection of them and I sometimes get it right.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

In other news

It appears that I have a slightly significantly disgusting microbial garden in my throat, Eustachian tubes and surrounding spaces.
It's my day 2 on antibiotics and they work, or at least the infected bits now don't hurt like hell, just in sort of discreet and tolerable way. No allergic reaction either.
I have no appetite and even if I had, I can swallow only liquids.
I'm exhausted so don't expect any cool blogging in the next few days.