cowgrrl: (Jack-Ianto-yes)
Of course the groundhog saw his shadow today, meaning six more weeks of winter. (Or, I suppose, six more weeks of summer for those of you below the equator! Does it work that way too? :-) ) Eh, whatever... it means we are at the winter halfway mark's getting noticeably lighter outside, and Spring will come!!! Yes!!!
cowgrrl: (10-sarahjane-hug)
On Tuesday, January 8, we left Cardiff and took the train to Birmingham, checking our luggage at the station and heading to the Hippodrome to see John Barrowman in a Panto of "Alladin". I had no idea the Panto itself was going to be so fabulous. For my American readers (who are sadly without this art form because they don't do Pantomimes here in the States) you can read about it on Wikipedia. An excerpt from wikipedia: Traditionally performed at Christmas, with family audiences consisting mainly of children and parents, British pantomime is now a popular form of theatre, incorporating song, dance, buffoonery, slapstick, in-jokes, audience participation, and mild sexual innuendo.

Words cannot begin to describe how much fun this was. Between the sense of humor, the 3-D glasses that actually worked (3D glasses usually make me ill), the audience participation, and OMG, John Barrowman! It should be illegal for anyone to be that beautiful! And there we were in the second row! *swoon!*

But the best is yet to come... After the show, we noticed a small group of people at a side entrance to the theatre so we decided to join them there. We didn't really expect to see John Barrowman, after all, they had a second performance to do that same day. But then I noticed the two actors who had been hilarious as the policemen in the show, but before I could go photograph them, I realized John Barrowman was now there, signing playbills.

And now here's when things get really interesting. In Cardiff, we'd used a guide to Doctor Who/Torchwood filming sites written by a fan who'd stayed at the Inn. Her friend, who'd also stayed there, had gotten her photo taken with David Tennant while they were in Cardiff -- he'd been amused to see that she was dressed exactly like his Doctor Who character - and this photo was in the guest book at the inn. So, back to the present: we're with a small crowd of people crowded around John Barrowman, and suddenly I notice a woman who looks exactly like woman in the photo at the inn, dressed, once again, like David Tennant's Doctor Who. And I went "omg, it's YOU!" totally startling the poor woman, who wasn't expecting to be treated like a celebrity. :-) I found out both she and her friend (the one who wrote the guide to filming sites, who was dressed that night like "The Master!") are on livejournal - and since returning home I've been in touch with both of them, exchanging photos, that sort of thing, and you can read their versions of the event at their LJ's if you choose: they are [ profile] nightbeast and [ profile] todd_loves_mc. Both of them of course had their writeups of that night posted long before me since they didn't have to travel all the way home to the States.
and now for the photos! squeee!!!!! )
cowgrrl: (ducky)
As you might guess, the title of this post contains a bit of foreshadowing...

Our original plan for that day was to take the train to Caerphilly Castle. However, the forecast was rain (surprise!) and we'd heard from Michael, another guest at the Inn, that this castle is mostly ruins and therefore mostly outdoors. Few chances to get out of the cold and rain. But we were still wanting a road trip. One of the innkeepers suggested Merthyr Tydfil, a town that also has a castle to explore, but is also much more of a town so there could potentially be other places to see. Upon closer examination of Merthyr's castle's brochure we discovered the castle is closed on mondays during the winter. Drat! But at least during the train ride we'd get to see some of the Welsh countryside. We decided to go to Merthyr Tydfil anyway.

When we arrived in Merthyr, the sun was out! We found the visitor centre and got walking directions to the castle. I'm sure the castle is walking distance from the center of town, but definitely not a short walk. Probably a couple miles. I wouldn't know because we never got there. We stopped to take photographs of a rainbow and behind the rainbow there were ominously dark clouds. Did we want to continue onward, toward a castle that's closed on mondays? Nope! We turned around and started trudging back toward the center of town but the sky soon opened up, bringing with it a wind-swept rain and we were drenched by the time we reached somewhere we could duck into for lunch.

As we were getting on the train to return to Cardiff the sun came back out again! Upon returning to Cardiff we set out toward Cardiff Museum, which we'd heard is quite nice, but when we got there, the sign said "closed on mondays!" Oh joy. :( We ended up in the Cardiff City Centre visitor center, where they had a display about the history of flooding in Cardiff (extensive, and going back many centuries.) And that was our museum for the day. three photos including the above-mentioned rainbow )
cowgrrl: (shaun)
Our first full day in Cardiff it rained almost continuously. That didn't stop us from riding the buses out to Cardiff bay, where we visited the Millenium Centre and the Doctor Who exhibition. The following day the weather was much better so we walked to Cardiff Bay (a little over a mile from the B&B), revisited many of the places we'd seen earlier, took photos of filming sites (using as a resource a really helpful list a previous guest at the B&B had given the innkeepers--it was better than the map from the Doctor Who exhibition), and eventually making our way to Cardiff Castle. We'd hoped to take the waterbus to the castle (getting in both sightseeing and transportation) but it wasn't running on sundays in the winter. (grrr...) Meanwhile, back at the B&B, I'd gotten my own room so I was able to sleep a little better, and I'd sampled laverbread, a traditional Welsh food that my stomach hated, and bubbles & squeak, a traditional British food that my stomach quite liked. and now, on to the photos! Lots of photos! )
cowgrrl: (shaun)
We checked out of our blah hotel in London and made our way to Paddington station where we took a train to Cardiff. Unfortunately I was stuck riding backwards the entire way but I discovered if I kept my eyes closed most of the time I didn't end up with motion sickness. And it was just a 2 hour ride. It was raining when we arrived, and it took us a while to find the B&B host who was kind enough to come pick us up, but at last we arrived at the fabulous Ty Rosa B&B. The proprietors, Stuart and Paul are warm and friendly, they have a wonderful dog, Max, and the decor was great. I highly recommend this place, if you're ever in Cardiff. (And I'm not just saying this because Paul is likely to read this, LOL.)

By the time we were settled in it was already getting dark (it's dark by 4pm this time of year) and the rain was really coming down, and we were in an unfamiliar city so we decided to stay in for the evening. The B&B has an assortment of DVDs guests can borrow (and leave some spare change in the piggy bank which goes to charity). We watched some episodes of Shaun the Sheep, and the guys fixed us tuna sandwiches and a yummy apple crumble dessert. And of course we photographed the decor. wanna see? )
cowgrrl: (geekycow)
(I'm currently having a weird problem with photobucket--the photos are appearing in LJ really large even though I reduced their size. Right now the only thing that's working is for me to post thumbnails instead. When you click on them they should enlarge to the size I actually want them. What a pain. Sorry to make you take that extra step to see the pics larger! Next time I'll use another site, but photobucket used to be so easy!)

Ok, on to the trip report, continued. We saw two museums and one play. (Denice saw two plays.) this will be mostly photos )
cowgrrl: (plane)
I've spent the past two days recovering from severe jet lag and sorting through 160 photos, photoshopping some, resizing, etc. And I'm still not done. But here's a start, the first of several posts about the trip to England and Wales.

The weather: chilly (though never below freezing, hurrah!) We experienced drizzle, light rain, showers, heavy rain, and (my least favorite) wind-swept rain. We also saw blue sky and glimpses of the sun at least daily. And there was very little daylight. By 4pm it was completely dark, and we never seemed to get our act together to leave the hotel or b&b until 11am.

My health during the trip: sleep-deprivation with continuous low-level anxiety. Bleh. I now know I need my own room as much as possible when I travel, raising the cost even more. :( But it was still worth it, of course!

Ok, so on to the first of the photos! view from the hotel window, followed by several pics for Harry Potter fans )
cowgrrl: (Default)
Here in the US, anyway, Ringo Starr is being broadcast live right now on the Early Show. FYI, for anyone near a tv.

Edit: it's over now--sorry, I wish I'd found it sooner. I only discovered it because I needed to set the VCR for tonight's Moonlight episode. (Yes I still use a VCR -- I'm always the last to adopt new technology. :p )
cowgrrl: (cow)
[ profile] denicemarcell and I went to see the movie "Romance and Cigarettes" today. It has a great cast. It's a Coen Brothers film. It's got singing and dancing. What's not to like? A lot, unfortunately. It was an effort to sit through this without putting my coat on and leaving the theater. "Weird" doesn't quite sum it up. Try "disjointed". After the film was over Denice said something to the effect of "it couldn't quite decide what it wanted to be". However, Susan Sarandon is fabulous (as ever!) and the reason I was able to stay in my seat. We give the movie two thumbs down. :p
cowgrrl: (Default)
I am in the process of making the butternut squash soup I'd intended to make a week ago (for a snowed-out event.) I'd bought pre-cut butternut squash - already peeled and cut in half. I chopped up the first piece, no problem. When I picked up the second piece it was all slimy, eww!! I threw it out, obviously. But here's my question: since both pieces were in the same wrapper, is the non-slimy piece ok? If I boil it for a long time (which I will be doing, obviously) will it be ok? I don't want to poison myself or anyone else.
cowgrrl: (geekycow)
Thank you to the many of you who helped identify my morning bird yesterday: a red-tailed hawk! This morning out my window I saw two squirrels scampering on the ground. It looked like there was no action in the trees but I watched for a few minutes, saw something small and dark flying around (I have no idea what) and then I saw something small and quite red. Definitely a cardinal!

hmmm...I think I may need to shop for binoculars so I can better see those blurs in the trees. (I wonder how well they work when you have to wear glasses...?)
cowgrrl: (Default)
Here's a photo of a bird I saw out my bedroom window just before 8:00 this morning. click here to see the birdie )
Does anyone know what this bird is? It's a large bird (definitely bigger than a pigeon!) I did a quick google search but since I'm lazy I thought I'd ask here. Whatever it is, it's willing to hang out here in the snow. Dark feathers on top, white on its belly. I don't know if those are speckles on its feathers, or snow. :-)

And just for fun, here's the view from my kitchen window this morning. winter is ok as long as I don't have to go outdoors! )
cowgrrl: (TARDIS)
Last night [ profile] sophiaserpentia and I watched episode 12 of Torchwood. The episode aptly titled "Jack Harkness". Yeah, that episode (for those of you in the know.) Wow, what a fabulous episode - great story line, intriguing unresolved plot detail, and OMG! OMG! OMG!

spoilers here, lj-cut for anyone who hasn't seen this episode yet and plans to someday )
cowgrrl: (Default)
Article about aging, and love. It also helps me understand why I suffer so much less from depression than I did when I was younger. My favorite quote in the article: “Young love is about wanting to be happy....Old love is about wanting someone else to be happy.”

Carrot tops

Oct. 8th, 2007 10:18 am
cowgrrl: (Default)
I bought a bunch of carrots at a farmer's market that had the green stems attached (you never see that at a supermarket!) I understand the carrot tops are edible but don't know what to do with them. Have any of you found a use for carrot tops?

And while I'm on the subject, I've been buying just about all my produce all summer long at farmer's markets, having been inspired by the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. And just this week I realized this is the last month here in New England for most (maybe all?) farmer's markets. I don't want to go back to supermarket produce! *waah!*
cowgrrl: (ducky)
My toilet is leaking. A slow drip, drip, drip from the tank. I've put down an old pot to catch the drips and phoned the apartment management company to let them know. Right now I'm very happy to not be a homeowner! :-) And I'm also very happy that I no longer have a landlady who I would dread calling with a problem like this (and who would no doubt try to blame me for the toilet leaking!)

Of course I should be outdoors on a gorgeous day like this, instead of down on all fours in my bathroom wondering why the floor is refusing to dry ... but what the heck...I'm going out later to sing so I know I'll get outside sometime today. :-)
cowgrrl: (cow)
Don't you hate when you eat every morsel of your lunch, and then say "ok, that was a tasty snack--now where's my lunch?"


Sep. 18th, 2007 11:19 am
cowgrrl: (Default)
In case anyone was wondering what [ profile] sophiaserpentia and I ended up doing last weekend after we canceled our New York trip, here at last is the answer. We decided to go all the way to Rhode Island (a whole hour away by car!) to go to Waterfire. Neither of us had ever been to this event before. We thought about getting a hotel room and staying in Rhode Island but decided it wasn't worth spending the money so we went there and back in one afternoon/evening.

here's what we saw. Sorry I take crappy night pics but I did the best I could. )
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