Photos! Pretty dramatic.
This phenomenon was unexpected!
( Whups, L2LJ Cut. I'll resize them later. )
The EDFAA library looks like it's been completely destroyed. It's a travesty.
Anway! Question for people who know things about computerrrs.
The backlight on my laptop's monitor has died/is dying. I'm sure it's the backlight, because you can still see the screen if you look really hard, and it died in sections. Also it flickers on and off like a broken light.
This is really bad, because my parents brought the laptop from me so that I could put that money towards my new macbook, and I feel really bad that it was fine when they gave me the money but now it's broken! The thing is out of warranty too, so no amazing next day on site repair for me. I want to fix it though, preferrably before I give it to my parents. Any suggestions for where I should take it, or what it should cost? Or should I just call Dell?
Long flights are weird things. It still feels like it was just one day - woke up in the Walrus in London, went into town, saw snow, watched Top Gear, went to airport, got on plane, 13 hours, Singapore Changi airport, got on plane, 5 hours, Perth airport.
Long-flight plane food is heaps better than short-flight plane food, by the way. We had chicken tika masala and er, Chicken... curry... and it was gooood.
Watched a fair few movies - Public Enemies, which was good but surprising at the end, Bruno, which was actually pretty terrible - doesn't have the "unscripted" feeling that Borat had, and I think it was a bit too crude... and District 9, my favourite of the bunch. Too tired/lazy to say much more than that.
Might be time for a midafternoon nap, soon.
Proper entry laterrrrz
Um, there are various typos in here. Too tired to fix. Appologies. My favourite is dispoportionately.
I can't remember if favourite is meant to have a 'u' in it, or if it's just LJ's spell checker being reta- I mean American English.
Oh man nap time.
( 2009 meme )
Turns out that our flight leaves at 9:15 pm instead of 5:15pm so we have the afternoon to watch the snow through the window (it's changed to rain now I think) and tv.
The weekend - I am going to see how my parents feel about me having a bbq at my place. More details to come, probably? Party party.
Non-holiday related stuff - I'm reasonably sure that I want to get a Macbook Pro at some point in the not-too distant future (before I go back to uni next year definately), but I have some questions and I think people in the Livejournal universe may be able to answer them. :)
( In which I ask boring questions about the 15 inch MBP )
Can anyone suggest a good mac community website where I could learn things/ask questions? All I've managed to find so far are dumb fannish websites with really biased reviews.
I hope they feed us on the plane. I am going to be sooo hungry by 9pm tonight.
BA has quite good plane food actually.
So I want the sun to go away, and I want it to snow.
People should watch this. It's awesome.
I'm looking forward to going home now, as I think I've said, but I'll definately miss London. It's an awesome city. The only downsides to it are the weather and the huuuuuuge distance from home.
We overestimated how much money we'd need for food and such for our 9-day stint in the city, so we're going to splurge today and spend more than £4 between us on dinner - we're going to Nandos! Nandos in England costs the same number-value as it does at home - so it's about £20 for the two of us to eat.
Which is a fair bit... But it's still great. And Nandos here comes with bottomless softdrinks.
But let me tell you about our amazingly cheap dinners!
So there's this supermarket called Iceland, where you can buy a 1kg bag of frozen veggies for £1, and a 1kg bag of frozen chips for £1, and deeeeelicious minted lamb chops for £3.
It sounds boring, but it's actually amazing. Because - and this is the bad bit - we cook the lamb chops in a baking tray in the hostel oven and then we cook the chips in the saaame baking tray after we cook the chops.
SO the result is amazingly delicious chips... But it's probably not very good for us.
I like to think that the veggies cancel out the badness of the other two... but I know that it doesn't.
How lucky is it that our flight is tomorrow and not next week? British Airway Cabin Crews are planning to strike over Christmas.
Striking has to be the most retarded thing ever. Ok, so you're not happy that you're not getting paid enough. But that's not the customer's fault.
Basically, BA is in a fair bit of financial trouble, from what I have heard, and they have offered staff wages cuts or they lose their job. This is what's causing the planned strikes. Yes, this sucks, but the company is in serious trouble. They have to cut jobs, they don't have a choice. If I was in control of BA staff, I know who I would fire first - anyone that strikes.
Er. I just really hate striking. It's the most inconsiderate, stupid thing ever. Strikes almost always hurt the customer/whatever more than it hurts the CEOS or whoever are making the strikers angry.
In another ranty rant, the Australian Internet Filter is retarded. Why the hell would you waste money on something that isn't going to stop everyone? Even if it's only going to slow our internet connections by a negligible ammount, our internet is already beyond woeful for a nation of our standing. In this hostel's average by English standards internet connection, on a computer that is in no way fast, we downloaded a movie in under 8 minutes. A whole movie. To do that at home on a pretty great connection takes hours!
Well, gotta go pack, re-pack and weigh our bags now! It's a delicate balance. Basically if the baggage lady asks to weigh my carry on, we're boned. If she doesn't, we're sweet.
I'm going to catch up on aaaall my friends page stuff when I get home. And then I'll be a good LJ-user again.
I will share one thing though, my accumulated knowledge of Arabic words!
<lj-cut text="I know five!">
La! - no
Shokran - thankyou
These two words combine to form one of the more important phrases to have in your Egypt vocabulary. For some reason, "No, thankyou," doesn't stop people from hassling you. Sometimes, "La Shokran!!" does. The exclamation marks are entirely necessary. If you just say "La" you will offend people, and this will make them hassle you more.
Salam - Hello
Masalama - Goodbye
Sadik - My friend. Maybe. A taxi driver told it to me, and they are of questionable reliability at best, especially this one.
The spelling is probably all wrong, but you pronounce it that way. Kind of. Roll all the 'r's.
So, this is my meagre knowledge of Arabic. Also, 90% of camels are named Rambo, if it's a tourist who's asking.
Today though, Gavin and I fed squirrels in the park. Green Park, apparently. See, our incredibly loud Canadian dorm-friends left late last night and left behind a tin of roasted peanuts and some bananas, and I hadn't fed a squirrel successfully yet so this presented a big opportunity!
Squirrels are awesome. They're pretty bold and nowhere near as skittish as birds. Once they spot the fact that you actually have food rather than empty peanut shells (which is what we've tried to feed them with in the past - they don't appreciate it), they come running up to you from quite a long way away. Before long, they were climbing up our legs! They liked Gavin's jumper and he had more than one climbing up to look in his jumper belly pocket thingy for food, or up onto his shoulders. At one point squirrels were jumping on and off, and I had two squirrels on my legs, and I felt kind of like some kind of squirrel conveyor belt.
So that was pretty fun.
Home time in 6 days! It'll be good to have some nice sumery weather, and the beach, and of course catching up with everyone.. which naturally contains some amount of boring you all with photos. XD
I'm going to keep this short so that I sound more interesting when I come back and tell you all my stories. This is also why I haven't added any Egypt photos yet... to be interesting in the flesh. Ha ha!
Quite looking forward to coming home actually, I feel that the holiday has come to its natural end. It has been amazing. I can't wait to see everyone again! And to get back to Australia where the weather is always great and the people do things that make sense. Not that different is bad, it's just that travelling has made me appreciate Australian culture a little more, I think.
See most of you soon!
Pretty excited. We're leaving on a plane at 9:15 tomorrow morning, actually. We're at a fantastic hostel in central London at the moment, (The Walrus Social, we stayed before, it's right on Westminster Bridge Road) so we just get on the underground at Lambeth North, which is on the Bakerloo line, change once to an 'Overground' train, then we hop on the express to Heathrow Terminal One.
Terribly exciting, wasn't it?
We handed the van back to Wicked Campers yesterday, it was a bit of an end of an era kind of moment. The only problem with spending so long in the van, where we didn't have to fit things into our suitcases & backpacks because we just kind of put it in the van and throw a duvet over it, is that now we have super amounts of stuff.
Hopefully we're flying British Airways all the way home because they only (seem to) charge you a flat £30 fee for hand luggage over the weight limit up to about 30kg, whereas Quantas charges you $50 per kilo that you're over. Which sucks, by the way. So yeah. *cough*
I have a bear who is dressed up as a red-coated bearskin (hat) wearing Queen's guardsman. His name is Winston and I ♥ him.
Agh, I cannot actually express how excited I am about Egypt. A little apprehensive, too, because I think this will be the biggest change in culture that I've experienced so far, but moreso because remembering not to drink the water, while seeming simple, may be a little hard, and food poisoning is seriously the worst thing I've experienced in a good few years.
AND my camera seems a bit bung lately. I think there's something wrong with the focus, because quite a few of my photos lately have been blurred or slightly out of focus once I get them onto a computer screen. (The most frustrating were my Stonehenge stone circle photos - argh!) But I have been learning new photography techniques, so hopefully I'll be able to get some good photos.
It was looking a really nice day outside, but now it's gone all grey and chilly. However, I still want to go to the park and feed some squirrels. Squirrels are awesome, although the grey squirrels that I've been seeing all the time are actually a horrible pest that are killing all of the native red squirrels, which are smaller and less agressive. We've only seen one red squirrel on the entire trip!
Looking forward to getting home now, although of course I'm still having a blast! It'll be good to catch up with everyone. I'm also looking forward to going back to uni (haha) because Europe and the UK have been so inspiring. I have so many ideas I just want to get stuck into!
Well, hope you're all doing well!
None of them were as happy as I think that kids movies should be! Why?
They were all a bit sad, 9 was pretty dark (and in the end I thought they could have done something else really obvious that would have been heaps better and less predictable... obvious and less predictable ? ..Yeah!), UP was just sad in places although definately the most joyous of the lot, and Imaginarium was dark-ish too. And sad! Why?!
I can't say much without spoilers. Yep.
Also I'm in Brighton, it seems a pretty cool place but everything only opens at 10am, so getting up at 7 and driving from Chertsey (West London) seems kind of pointless because it didn't take us 4 hours to get there like we thought it would. Oh well! It's a lovely sunny day.
Went to Charles Darwin's house yesterday. Pretty cool stuff!
Brought The Origin of the Species, should be an interesting read!
I went to Christ Church College yesterday and visited the great hall. Better known as the Great Hall at Hogwarts!
I grinned like a fangirl.
Oh yeah! Something I've been meaning to ask for ages - I've found out that a macbook is basically superking for Architecture programs, but how is the gaming? Uni is mooore important and I do have like, old computer and stuff but I was just wondering... it's not that good amirite? Thanks!
There's Newgrange (which was named relatively recently "new farm" by the Cistercians), one of the most famous chamber toumbs, or passage toumbs, in the world. It's oriented to the rising sun on Winter Solstice, so that the chamber is flooded with light just after dawn for I think 5 days surrounding the solstice.
We got to go right inside Newgrange, which was pretty cool. The chamber has an awesome vaulted ceiling that nobody has touched since it was built 5,200 years ago. It also hasn't leaked a single drop of water in that entire time! Remember that this is Ireland, where I think even fire is wet. So that was a pretty awesome thing.
Then there is Knowth, which is a lot bigger than Newgrange, the two passages within it are the first and second longest known to exist in the world. It's kind of a necropolis, too, because there are lots of smaller passage toumbs surrounding it. It also has I think something like 35% of Europe's neolithic (megalithic?) art on the stones that border the mound and within the major complex. Which is quite a lot!
Dowth, which means 'darkness,' apparently, in an ancient dialect of Irish or Gaelic. We didn't get to visit it, as it hasn't been fully excavated. I kind of think that this is a good thing. Interestingly, Dowth is oriented to the setting, rather than the rising, sun. Interesting. Spooky? That's what our guide tried to impose on us!
Yeah. Neolithic stuff is really cool.
Tomorrow we leave Ireland and head back into England. Well, Wales.
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They include a possible sighting of the Loch Ness Monster, and Robin Hood caught in action, among other things. Like miles, and miles of peat bogs.
Fun stuff, I promise, and it won't take you nearly as long to look at them as it did me to upload them on this slooow (but free) computer.
Erm. I'm in Londonderry, or Derry, which is an old and turbulent city in Northern Ireland. Tomorrow we'll probably see the Giant's Causeway, which should be neat.
When we were in Dublin we went to the Chester Beatty (Beaty?) Library and saw the world's first exhibition open to the public of a dead religion called... Er, Mani...churianism? Probably wikipedia Mani or Chester Beatty. Anyway.
What it is, is this thing called the "Sod of Turf." In the 1920s, discovered in a box in the deserts of Egypt was found a wad of papyri, and I really, really do mean a wad. They have what's left of it in this state on display and it looks like a slice of peat with writing on it. Really faint writing.
What they did was, by MAGIC, retrieve individual pages from this sod of turf, and managed to recover books from this religion that had been completely lost.
So yeah, that was pretty awesome, and I forgot to mention it yesterday. Crazy archaeologists! Probably with eye strain.
We've been lucky enough to get free internet tonight, AND free laundry! I can't explain how exciting this is. I have run out of socks, you see. The ones I'm wearing now, well, when you take them off, they smell like vinegar. Yep. I think they've started to ferment.
Yesterday, we did some spelunking on our own, private tour - just the two of us, and our lovely and enthusiastic Irish tour guide, who knew lots of things about rocks and junk. It's interesting though, because this is (why, yes, I have forgotten what it was called.. Er.. awkward... I'll get back to you on that!) reputed to be one of the best caves for formations in Ireland, and while they were very beautiful, they weren't nearly as plentiful or developed as the ones in WA - just another reminder of just how much older Australia is geographically than places like this. Plus, it's much drier at home so the sparkly crystalisation comes out a lot more. We only got to see 3 or so areas that had dried out and were all sparkly - apparently we were very lucky!
Also, there is a witch in the cave. It's an awesome rock formation that looks uncannily like a witch sleeping in the back of the cave. Neat stuff.
We also visited the Blarney Castle, and yes, I did kiss the Blarney stone. It's a lot harder... well, it's not exactly hard, but it is kind of tricky... than I thought. You really have to scoot right out over this big great hole, and then lean riiight back, because it is the very bottom stone. A few older people didn't quite make it but I did. :P
Oh yeah, we had TV last night. It was way exciting.
Ok, I'm done I guess.
And yeah. I like the song. It's caught in my head!
Just a quick update to say that I am in Dublin and it is Guinness' birthday and it is craaaaaaaazy.
Had a half-pint, not too bad, markedly better than (other kinds of?) beer. Yeah.
So we saw a half-riot in the street, people were smashing bottles and glasses of Guinness in a mad, dancing circle, one guy was crying blood, and then the police broke it up. And all this before 7:30pm!
We're in Ireland until the 6th of October. Wanted until the 8th but... but I guess you just take whatever customs officers give you, eh? We're going all around the coast. Can't wait!
And I am reading Pyramids by Terry Pratchett and it is so good.
And then... Glasgow!
Loch Ness is pretty cool. It's nice and vast, you can really see why it has bred such intrigue and mystery. Urqhart Castle (the castle on the shores of Loch Ness) is a bit less exciting though. It's just a little bit too ruinous - you can't really make out what it would have been like to be in the castle when it was whole, which is what I like about ruins. Interestingly, this is easier to do in ruins than in well maintained castles, often because well maintained ones have been renovated, and messed with, and you know, changed from the original design.
We didn't see the monster, but I got some cool photos...
Errr I have to go now... Never enough time on the internet. And that's a lesson well learned, kids - never leave home without your laptop!
I hope you're all well! :)
P.S Happy Walk Talk and Act Like A Pirate Day!