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June 29, 2004

more welshy words

"a-right?" instead of 'all right?' or even, 'how are you?'

"more welshy words" was posted by dogpossum on June 29, 2004 3:18 PM in the category

st fagans: welsh life museum

i went to st fagans (pronounced "saint faggans") yesterday, and it was mighty fine. and mighty big. it's a lot like port arthur in tasmania: the grounds are basically historically accurate recreations of houses and their contents. but st fagans pisses all over port arthur as it covers about 90 million more years than port arthur. the central feature is st fagans castle. or rather, the big house built on the site of the former castle. dotted around the landscape are a range of houses from different historical periods.

there was a fair bit of walking involved, but it was nice walking... this pic is of a couple of buildings (whose names i can't remember or figure out). note the green expanses.

not all the buildings were actually on the site to begin with. seems they've raided the welsh countryside forlikely buildings, undone them and then rebuilt them on the grounds.

this church, llandeilo tal-y-bont, was a work in progress.

this bit facinated me. they had all these crates full of stone tiles around the place (and requests for further tiles, if anyone could help... which is a concerning thought. welshies raiding historical buildings for tiles?). there was a work room where the builders were building things, and a little demountable explaining the process. they were using historically accurate construction techniques, and had lots of useful pictures. and dual-language explanations.

there were all sorts of buildings, ranging from a working woollen mill (wool's a bit important to welshies, so i gather), through an old tannery, to a bronze age wood circle, and on to various farm and towns buildings. there were also livestock.

sheep are something of a national icon. and these were nice sheep. there were also pigs (in two different types of stys), cows and giant chooks.

the little village not only had a working bakery (where i sampled the disturbing scones, and one very heavy, but still warm 'cheesy' bun. in the name of research, of course), but also a WWII period series of shops, including this tailor:

it really was a top day out. i saw a lot of tourists, i took some nice photos, i poked about in some old buildings. i might have learnt a lot if i'd been paying attention. but i was really just wondering about enjoying the lovely weather and getting some exercise. oh, and oggling old stuffs.

"st fagans: welsh life museum" was posted by dogpossum on June 29, 2004 4:40 AM in the category



that's cardiff in not-welsh. i'm facinated by welshie talk. full of w's and andy's dd's and ll's. i like saying words with 'll'.

that photo there is of Castle St in Cardiff. it's one of the main tourist spots, and runs perpendicular to st mary street, which the markets are on. there really is a castle. it's right there, on the left, behind that big stone wall. i will go there later this week.

this next photo is of st mary street, looking up towards the castle. you can see the castle there at the top.

"Caerdydd" was posted by dogpossum on June 29, 2004 4:04 AM in the category

ah, the markets

provider of welsh cakes.

an entertaining photo-essay on one of my favourite welsh things: the cardiff markets.

and here's a detail from the entry...

i love the cardiff markets. what is that bird on the front there? is it an eagle? a phoenix? a gryphon? who can tell... i did read the info thingy inside, but i find the dual language thingy too distracting.

and the interior, from the balcony/balconi (i'm trying to be dual language, here).

just in the bottom left corner there you can see the edge of a stall called 'the bread stall'. that's where i get my welsh cakes. same stall, slightly different place, where i used to get me welsh cakes 5 years ago. what's a welsh cake? think pikelet in shape, pikelet in form. but add sultanas, and make the texture more like a very soft scone. i think they're cooked the same way. and cover them in castor sugar. make them soft and kind of crumbly, and let them leave that sort of bitter floury feeling on your teeth.

ah, welsh cakes.

the welshies seem to like sultanas.

welsh foods i have eaten this trip:
i ate some disturbing sultana-ry scones at the welsh life museum that were stuffed with tarnies. they also have these things called faggots.
no, not bits of wood. nor gay blokes. weirdo meatloaf sorts of things. i'm not sure i'm interested, thanks.
i've also eaten an awesome beef and stilton pasty, two packets of cadbury's chocolate buttons, two packets of hula hoops (salt and vinegar and plain) and two punnets of beautiful raspberries. i'm almost done with nostalgia food: only jaffa cakes to go. and i'm particuarly keen to chase down some dried fruit i had from a market in london: tiny, delicate and wonderful dried figs (not like the big ones you usually see), dried strawberries, and other fancies.

"ah, the markets" was posted by dogpossum on June 29, 2004 3:38 AM in the category

travelling alone: the photos are so exciting

today the weather is amazing. but i'm inside. the weather's been pretty good, except for saturday, and the day goes on forever: 10pm and it's still light. i am having no trouble falling asleep, though, as i tire myself out with walking all day.

yesterday i went to st fagans university of welsh life. i took a bunch of irritating tourist pictures, which i will upload for your no doubt excited perusal. ah, travelling alone: the photos are so exciting!
i have also taken some snaps of cardiff. you will love them too.

"travelling alone: the photos are so exciting" was posted by dogpossum on June 29, 2004 3:23 AM in the category

29 June 04: castles


the keep in the middle of cardiff castle.

i did both cardiff castle and castle coch today, both belonging to the relatively eccentric bute marquis, who was Scottish, obsessed with historical recreations, and decided he'd like to have a few restored medieval castles. cardiff castle was a bit on the tacky side, if you ask me.

coch, however, was a fairytale castle. round. and sort of sticking up out the trees. this is what it looked like from the front:

this is a crappy photograph of a sort of overhead view:

the insides of both castles were designed by the same bloke (who's name i can't remember). he was into elaborte ceilings. the drawing room in castle coch - a sort of garden of eden thingy - was my favourite. but mostly there was a lot of stairs at castle coch:

and the world's smallest toilet. a tiny internal room with no windows. i took no photos. that seemed obsessive.

castle coch was in the village tongwylnas . that's a totally fun welsh name to say.

"29 June 04: castles" was posted by dogpossum on June 29, 2004 2:15 AM in the category

June 27, 2004

things welshies say that everyone should say

"tarrah!" instead of seeya
"never!" instead of you're kidding?
"mate" instead of... mate.

"things welshies say that everyone should say" was posted by dogpossum on June 27, 2004 3:34 PM in the category

16 hours, baby. aw yeah.

well, i arrived here in the uk yesterday at about 6:20am, after hours and hours on the plane (24 or so). i slept about6 hours on the last leg, came here to a wonderful, sunny day, and fell asleep at 2pm, ostensibly for a quick nap. 12 hours later i wake up. and i go back to sleep. and i get up again at 6am.
aw yeah.
that sleep is some good shit. woke up feeling awesomely good.
and launched my attack on cardiff. i still feel good, but now i'm pretty tired.

wales totally rocks. and i STILL totally love the welsh.
today i've had a great many conversations with strangers, most of whome have tried to help me a lot. and i LIKE it.

tomorrow i take on the castle. and then the breacon beacons. and then ... hm. more welsh stuff.

yay wales!

"16 hours, baby. aw yeah." was posted by dogpossum on June 27, 2004 3:51 AM in the category

June 23, 2004

lesson: colour blindess has wider consequences than those particular to the realm of website design.

ok, so i'm a complete tight-arse. too tight to pay for a hair cut or colour. so i cut my own hair (very excellently, with more enthusiasm than... well, anything other than randomness). and i get The Squeeze to colour it.
now, i'd thought his inability to get it right last time was just inexperience. so i figured i'd give him another go.

sunday afternoon, i'm half covered in bright red colour and he mentions that his colour blindness means that he can't really tell which bits of my hair he'd coloured already. it seems he was just 'getting it all wet', or 'colouring in the blonde/light bits'.


so i did the front bit again myself. who knows what the back looks like. who cares. but the front is still crappy.

lesson: colour blindess has wider consequences than those particular to the realm of website design.

"lesson: colour blindess has wider consequences than those particular to the realm of website design." was posted by dogpossum on June 23, 2004 6:32 PM in the category

still coughing

so now doc flower says it's not asthma. if it was, i'd have made a postitive response to the steroids.
oh well.
now she thinks it's a post-viral cough. right. ok

i've decided to just pretend it's not there, and to go on about my business as usual. i've had enough of being ill. i'll think about it when i get back.

today i went to buy some sexy athletic shoes. no joy. they're all baby blue or white, which i'm not comfortable with. so i'm delaying.
meanwhile, i need to redo the front bit of my hair. and watch more Buffy!

"still coughing" was posted by dogpossum on June 23, 2004 6:29 PM in the category

June 22, 2004

goobs and nearly ready to go.

well, i'm still coughing my lungs up, but dr flowers says it's nasty asthma, provoked by the chest cold thing. so i'm on a millon different inhalers, and had a few days on steroids.
i've not noticed any vast improvements, but we'll see what she says tomorrow.

i leave day after tomorrow, so i've been fussing over travel things. all i've got left to do is get some travellers cheques/cash in foreign money and a uk/sweden adaptor my electrical goodies and possibly check out some sandshoes. the sandshoes are a luxery.
then out i'm flying! meanwhile, i've neglected this blog for freeswingpress, which is going well, aside from some minor technical issues on the main index. ho hum. the lovely marcus is assisting me in what is proving to be the Most Annoying Bug Ever.

my next challenge is to make it so that the search on fsp only searches fsp entries, rather than the dogpossum ones as well. right. i'll get onto that right now.


"goobs and nearly ready to go." was posted by dogpossum on June 22, 2004 6:43 PM in the category

June 17, 2004

de facto marriage definitions

i've had my interest peaked by the whole same sex marriage thing. i'm wondering exactly what the legal definition of a defacto marriage is.
so i've checked out some online sources. including this one.

it's too hard to find out. but i remmeber centerlink's definition was quite precise, and really quite broad. so as to limit their responsibility to provide financial support, i reckon... more research is in order.

"de facto marriage definitions" was posted by dogpossum on June 17, 2004 3:25 PM in the category

June 16, 2004

busy busy

i'm busy busy with my other online project, Free Swing Press at the moment, so i'm not posting here regularly. hopefully my new skills, gained from fsp, will benefit this site. go have a look and tell me what you think...

The Squeeze and i do own, but i think it needs to be sorted out... which i'll do asap. hmf.

otherwise, i'm still ill. got a horrid chesty cough, am run-down, weak as a kitten and not terribly well generally. oh well.
the trip is totally planned, i can fit my shit in the back pack The Squeeze's sister kindly lent me, and i'm all sorted for accomodation with the 7 sets of people i'll be staying with. only one more to sort. but i'll do that from the uk. it's all looking aok. now, if only i could shake this goddamn coldy fluey thing... doctor flowers will sort it on friday. you'll see.

"busy busy" was posted by dogpossum on June 16, 2004 8:05 PM in the category

June 12, 2004

more dancers!


i've been playing with photoshop and dave's photos again.
here's a still of shaz and shacks in the hellzapoppin' comp.
the original was not so interesting...

"more dancers!" was posted by dogpossum on June 12, 2004 8:43 PM in the category

June 11, 2004

hey man, dancers!


i'm feeling terribly clever. this photo's of two friends from dancing (crinnie and brannigan's law), which The Squeeze took at the mlx. i've actually done some fiddling with the original in photoshop, which looked like this.

i must credit the photographer: well done Dave Cheney. i'd send you to his site, but it's bung.
seems every hardcore IT nerd i know has a crappy or defunct website.

but i adore this pic. it's just a wonderful moment in the swingout - right there, somewhere round 1 and 2 or 7 and 8, where crinnie's pulling out her gorgeous swivel and b.l. is pulling it right out.
i love the way they're oriented towards the camera with their bodies, but looking at each other. i like the way b.l.'s eyeline suggests he's checking out crinnie's awesome shit. and look at those fabulous big arms!
i also like it that they're sweaty and look like they've been working. this isn't some poncy staged shot.
the fact that b.l. is in sharper focus draws our attention to his face, and then this draws our attention back to crinnie with his eye-line.
i also like the way their clothes are coordinated.

oh, aren't lindy hoppers clever and pretty?

"hey man, dancers!" was posted by dogpossum on June 11, 2004 8:53 PM in the category

remember the dog-faced girl's blog that i couldn't keep away from?

well, i can't keep away from it. i just keep going back. and she's so rewarding. she writes frequently. she writes about personal, private things (which, in the spirit of big brother, i adore). she's so painfully... painfully... you know, painful. it's nice to read through her blog and suddenly feel a whole lot better about myself. i mean, she's a total fashion victim, she has no clue about academic politics, she's loathed by half the cultural studies nerds in australia and mistrusted by the rest and she has these hopeless crushes.

i haven't had a crush in ages. crushes also came up on swingtalk again recently.
but i can't really contribute. i get briefly passionate fits of admiration and hero worship occasionally, usually for middle-aged women with abominable dress sense and stunning vocabularies, but not real, honest-to-betsy crushes. i had a disturbing dream about a dear friend recently, but that's not the same thing. that's just disturbing (goddamn unconscious - what are you trying to tell me?).

but this chick has like three crushes on the boil. and text messaging plays a role in her love life. i don't own a mobile, nor do i wish to, so i can't understand this text message romance thingy. i don't want a mobile - i like to be Unavailable. i'm more of an email girl. or an IM girl.
but it seems the Young People have integrated mobile phones indelibly into their social lives.
i remember the days of phone cards and home cards (or whatever they're called).

but this chick. i can't stop reading her blog. so long as she doesn't talk about her academic work, it's ok reading. but i want to punch her in the head when she brings up university stuff.
let's hope she gets bullied at the cssa conference...

but you know, i feel sorry for her. maybe i'd even like her if i knew her more? i'd certainly feel it was my duty to enlighten her re politics and, well, using her brain if i was her friend.
but i don't have the energy for her particular brand of tragic, almost pathetic -ness. i do feel sorry for her when she goes on about her weight or how she feels she's unattractive or ugle or whatever. that's sad. and i want her to feel better about that stuff. but i also want her to start feeling bad about her abysmally crap knowledge of her field. honestly, she should be ashamed.

"remember the dog-faced girl's blog that i couldn't keep away from?" was posted by dogpossum on June 11, 2004 1:47 PM in the category

apologies for the site stuff

i know it's looking dumb. i hate that big 'miscellany' over there on the left, too. i'll try to fix it soon.
and i know the comments thing is annoying. and i still haven't fixed up the search results pages. i'm sorry. i'm sorry.

"apologies for the site stuff" was posted by dogpossum on June 11, 2004 1:51 AM in the category

my world is smaller since i've gotten ill.

see how excited i just got about what amounts to a portable tape recorder?

"my world is smaller since i've gotten ill." was posted by dogpossum on June 11, 2004 1:29 AM in the category

i've also been discovering technology

so while i've been sick, i've also been discovering technology. i'm going to take The Squeeze's little laptop, memory stick and little digital camera to europe with me.

the mem stick is actually totally bitching.

i was considering buying a little tape recorder thingy for interviews, when The Squeeze remembered the mem stick. it has a microphone built in. and it ROCKS. you can fit 8 hours of voice on it. then you just insert it into the side of the lappy and upload. or you listen with headphones. utter simplicity.

hoorah for media convergence.

hoorah for digital thingies.

the mem stick is also ace for listening to music (like an ipod, except better because you can then upload the music to other computers) and for carrying around other computer files (like word documents), and then uploading other places. it is utterly excellent.

i'm not much of a walkman technology type of person - i'd rather read a book on the bus, keep plugged into the world around me. it's more interesting.

but i had a great big stack of interesting and thought-inspiring fun recording the sounds all around me on the bus.
it's so small and unobtrusive, you can do it without people noticing. then you just plug it into your computer and play with the file. no need to digitise from casettes or any of that rubbish.
aw yeah, baby.

it is SO good.

"i've also been discovering technology" was posted by dogpossum on June 11, 2004 1:28 AM in the category

itchy and vomiting? cool.

i've had a busy few days. busy being SICK, that is.
i'm in stage three with the cold. week three, stage three. from head cold to chest cold to horrid, tight chested, wheazy dryish cough where i get dizzy from lack of oxygen because my lungs don't work. i'm run down, i'm tired, i'm dizzy.
this is fucking shit.
i've been to another doctor since, today at uni, who offered me antibiotics with side effects i had to press him to explain. spew guts. great. i'd blotted that out of my memories of last time with this cold. that 'wonderful new top drug for respiratory infections in europe' antiobiotic makes me spew up. vigorously. it's also likely to give you thrush. so i'll really enjoy the next week. itchy and vomiting.

so i pocketed the script with a 'yeah, right i'm going to take this without checking it's not the one that makes me spew' and no intention of shelling out the dosh until i'd double checked it with a real doctor.

i'm going to go to dr flowers. couldn't get an appointment til next goddamn friday (a week! A WEEK!). so i'm going to stalk her at the drop-in clinic tomorrow. not the derro/junky drop in type clinic. the sad, desperately ill student drop in. where we fight for a last minute appointment.

meanwhile i'm filling my head with nasal spray, ventolin and pulmucort, and decongestants. symptom management is go.
i've done no exercise in three weeks, so i'm stiff and sore and cranky. i've tried walks, but i get tired and faint and feel spewy.

this has to end.

"itchy and vomiting? cool." was posted by dogpossum on June 11, 2004 1:17 AM in the category

June 7, 2004

submariner flicks

seems that there's a sudden rash of submarine film interest in melbourne. The Squeeze has a long standing interest in the genre. which i will foster as it allows me to 'watch' a film while crocheting that subtitled flicks do not. plus there's lots of audio-centred content (ie being very quiet so we don't let other subs know we're there; and 'pinging' other marine vehicles) to cue you in on the narrative development.

personally, i don't care much for submarine films per se, but they have their place.

"submariner flicks" was posted by dogpossum on June 7, 2004 2:52 PM in the category

June 4, 2004

iÂ’m not sure exactly what she thinks iÂ’ll be doing in europe, and i didnÂ’t really want to disappoint her

Today I went to the doctor on Sydney road. I usually go to the uni doctor, pretend like I’m still going to unimelb so I can see the excellent doctors there. But when I’m too sick (or lazy) to ride the 20mins to Carlton, or ride the annoying tram 15mins then walk 20 slow minutes across to the clinic, I go to the medical centre on Sydney road. It’s where I go when I want antibiotics and a complete lack of patient-doctor rapport. I’d never go there for anything important, like a pap smear, or an ongoing problem. I go there when I want a Quick Fix. And I know this cold. It needs to be Fixed, or I’ll be sick forever. Just like last time. I’ve been sick since last Thursday – that’s a week of sickness. I’m finally riding my bike again (though, as I learnt today, it’s a slow, coughing-my-guts up and arriving really exhausted sort of riding), but I’m not properly well yet. My voice is weird, I’m coughing and snorting up discoloured goobs, I’m run down, etc etc etc.

So I went to the doctor. I donÂ’t want to fly with buggered Eustachian tubes. Pain really isnÂ’t my thing.

I saw a nice Indian lady doctor (rather than the somewhat disturbingly overweight middle-aged man doctor), for oh, about 10 quality minutes. I’m usually all about booking double appointments with doctors so I can actually get some useful communication going – I don’t really feel that 10 minutes is sufficient time for a discussion about, oh, contraceptives, say. It took the doc, what, five years of study to figure out contraceptives. I think I’ll need more than 10 minutes.

But because I was at the clinic, I was prepared to spend 10 minutes. It was a nice 10 minutes. We talked mostly about that Moulin Rouge program thatÂ’s on the ABC at the moment. It's about these Australian dancer girls who go to France to dance in some can can show (the actual Moulin Rouge may be involved, but IÂ’m not sure). I think we talked about that show because I said I needed to be well to go dance in Europe. IÂ’m not sure exactly what she thinks IÂ’ll be doing in Europe, and I didnÂ’t really want to disappoint her. Though that quick look up the back of my shirt while she plied her stethoscope should have cued her in on my actual status as a Dancer. Maybe she though I was sporting some fashionably European curves for the new season. Or maybe she wasnÂ’t really paying attention when she watched the naked dancing episode.

We did, though, spend a fair few minutes discussing the naked episode. I was assured that it wasnÂ’t just nakedness. It was well, you know, dancing nakedness. I assured her in return, that I understood. We talked very much in subtexts.

Seems the doc (whoÂ’s name I donÂ’t know) is mighty keen on the Moulin Rouge show, that she works long, hard days on Tuesdays (hence the programÂ’s appeal) and was interested in the ethical dilemma posed for the girls by the naked episode. And by their living conditions in Europe.

Well, I guess it was far more interesting than the content of my lungs.

I will have to go see the inestimable Dr Flowers to discuss this ongoing cold situation, though. Wonder what sheÂ’s been watching lately

"iÂ’m not sure exactly what she thinks iÂ’ll be doing in europe, and i didnÂ’t really want to disappoint her" was posted by dogpossum on June 4, 2004 2:40 PM in the category

June 2, 2004

blow you off your bike windy

it is 11 degrees here. day before yesterday it was 10, but 'felt like 6' according to that was cold. and i had to go out in it. it's so cold because it's crazy windy here. really really windy. like, blow you off your bike windy. despite this, and lungs full of goob, i struggled up to sydney road to pay the rent, buy some veggies so we don't get scurvy and spend some restorative time in spotlight (having discovered i'm too fat for my emergency wedding dress... wearing-to-wedding dress, that is).

but i'm still cold. it's cold. cold. cold. cold. 11 isn't so low, but it's rainy and windy and very overcast. very drab. but soon i wil be getting some summer (piss-poor british summer, but still, summer).

i really need to get some exercise... oh god, now i really am the queen of dullness. i blame it on my illness. i don't have the energy (intellectual, physical or emotional) to be witty or scintillating. all i can talk about is the weather, work and sewing. not even dancing any more...

bah, humbug.

"blow you off your bike windy" was posted by dogpossum on June 2, 2004 3:54 PM in the category bikes

dullness update

p>I’m almost through the horrid admin stuff for the trip. Well, I was until I remembered that the scholarship people demand to know your whereabouts at all times. Now, as per pgrad usual, I’d not bother filling in this form. But seeing as how the bureaucracy will know I’m gone (via the sneaky grants people), it’s best to cover your bases. So I will. With about three weeks to go, I’d better get a wriggle on with that form – requires signatures from supervisor and head of school (whose name I’m yet to learn, despite having spoken to his PA and a number of other people)

Still no word from the grants people re the dosh. When it arrives I’m dashing into the uni to pay my ticket

And my only other real business is paying for the savoy camp

More sewing has taken place. A couple of cute little dresses to go over pants and a nice pair of trousers.
The cold is easing . Well, it’s gone south, and is now smeared all over the bottom of my lungs. Interesting vocal effects from stuffed up sinuses remain. My cough is impressive, but I’m finally feeling a bit more alert. Still very tired and quite dull to be around, but definitely more alert.

And I’ve noticed that this blog is very dull at the moment. Well, that’s a natural consequence of my own dullness. I will try to be more interesting. Do more interesting things

There is an interesting question percolating in the back of my head, though to do with doing online research and ethics of fan-scholar research hmm

"dullness update" was posted by dogpossum on June 2, 2004 3:40 PM in the category