charloween: (Default)
[personal profile] charloween
As promised, here are some more pictures from the trip to Wales. I'm home now, and I think I might be on Eastern Time again. Maybe. It sucks that I'm not in Denmark right now as the original plan had it, but you know, maybe next time. (sigh)

The view from our hotel room. Right on the water! On some water, anyway. The entire area is reclaimed docklands. 30 years ago I guess all of the bits south of the city centre in Cardiff were covered in barges and industry. Now it's low-income housing, hotels and a tourist area.

Seagull, seagull, seagull. One seagull per post. There were swans everywhere, too.

C, my roommate-for-the-weekend, and I were to meet the conference organizer down at the Plass. We'd walked from our hotel, and saw her standing down near the water tower. Rather than walking towards her like sane people, we did the giddy-excited thing of starting to walk a bit faster, and a bit faster, and a bit faster again, until we were running towards her. Then we realized we were running across the Plass towards the water tower and started yelling for the TARDIS to stop and wait for us. An auspicious start to the weekend. ^_^

Somehow last summer we missed it, but this time around I got a shot of the entrance to the tourist information site that's the non-invisible entrance to Torchwood.

See? There's the broken intercom and everything.

And the best part: they've still got the old newspapers from "Boomtown" on the windows. Permanent set dressing, how about that?

Good to know Captain Jack is a fan of the Cullens. And Christmas. Can you imagine the hell that would be the Torchwood Christmas party?

The city centre had its lights up, which were quite pretty. I think this is St. Mary's Street. They'd used LED lights to animate dripping icicles.


One of the conference organizers went to Build-a-Bear and made a Gwen, Captain Jack and Ianto bear. Apparently there's an lj comm somewhere that's devoted to making Who-ish bears. (Still not as strange as Santa's Grotto.)

We bought little souvenir dragons, little Welsh dragons with adorable little fangs and what looks like a tat on their wee red arms. Cute! I've now got a stuffed dragon to go with my stuffed bat, stuffed pterodactyl and stuffed whatever-it-is from Nightmare Before Christmas. I think I may have to start collecting odd stuffed animals. And maybe a Ianto-bear?

Monorail dragon!

More from beside the hotel. It really was nice there.

Next door to the hotel. I think Frankie Boyle was there the night before I arrived. Alas!

And finally, from the inside of the entertaining teeny-concept hotel (Yotel) at Gatwick. Forking out the cash there for a bed was probably the best decision I made about the entire trip. *nod*

The flight home was entertaining. I was sitting with two guys (both in their mid-30s) who're both travelling because of job interviews. The British guy was moving to Canada to be with his wife, and had a job interview or two lined up for when he arrived. The other guy, a Canadian, had been at an interview in the UK somewhere. The thing was, the British guy totally had his shit together and the Canadian guy was well on his way to being a whiny loser. He wasn't a full-on complainer just yet, but he was getting there.

As for the food, well... Air Transat's "hot meal" is a President's Choice tv dinner. If you're into that, cool, but if you're expecting food, then you'll be disappointed. It wasn't totally inedible, but I've had better meals in my life. The movies (that I didn't watch because the earphone jack was broken) were: Get Smart and something I slept through on the way over, with Hancock and The Incredible Hulk on the way back. The Incredible Hulk is hilarious on mute, or rather, when the soundtrack is the folk-rock, indie cool and classic metal on your unPod. Some of the green screen looked really bad even on the crappy tiny airplane televisions. Hancock I might go back and watch properly, instead of sleeping through it and watching the rest without sound - but I still can't look at Jason Bateman without thinking "Michael Bluth", which could be a problem.

The flight was good, though. The worst I've ever been on was a terrifying trip from Atlanta to Asheville where even the scary tattooed biker guys thought we were going to crash and die. Air Transat's not spectacular, but they get you where you're going with a minimum of fuss. The strangest thing was that it totally feels natural now. This year I've taken more flights than in the past ten years, combined. It's all rather old hat. I feel so grown-up. :D

Also, back in July and with this trip both, the customs guys at Pearson were super-interested in what I was studying, where I was studying it, making me prove I was a real student, etc. Nothing major, and nothing to complain about, but it's still funny. The complainer from the plane found me again at the baggage return, and complained about the last time he flew into Pearson the baggage handlers dented his luggage. I probably could have cared less. Then he went on about how the customs folk figured that he's dealing drugs and so he always gets hassled. By this time I really don't want to hear him say anything more. So imagine my glee when he gets pulled off for a full search just before we make it out of the customs maze. Karma for being tedious, I tell you.

I bought the Long Way Round book at the Cardiff train station, which means I had to start downloading the series (and the sequel) as soon as I got home. It's quite adorable, and far better than I thought it would be. I also bought-and-read Pratchett's Nation on the way back. Such a good book. No words to describe. Just: good book.

Edit: swapped in the proper photo for a repeat.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Then we realized we were running across the Plass towards the water tower and started yelling for the TARDIS to stop and wait for us.

You guys win so hard. Heee!

Good to know Captain Jack is a fan of the Cullens.

*dies a little inside*

One of the conference organizers went to Build-a-Bear and made a Gwen, Captain Jack and Ianto bear.

And Ianto is holding a hockey stick! WIN!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 01:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was one of those things you do and then you realize that you're supposedly a mature adult in a foreign city, having traveled there for business or at least for the sake of our careers... *facepalm*

Jack totally read all the books in a single sitting and then made everyone else read them and then declare whether they were Jacob or Edward fans. And when Ianto showed up wearing a Team Jacob hoodie one night Jack wouldn't speak to him for hours.

And the Gwen bear's bad hair? Lolz.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-25 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, at least you got to have the joyous moment and then restored decorum and all that, right?

I think that Jack might try to go days without speaking to Ianto, but Ianto would probably withhold coffee and Jack would fold like a cheap deck of cards.

Seriously, the Gwen bear's bad hair is amazing!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-25 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh totally. Decorum. All the way. 100% decorum. Like the time I was explaining Year That Never Was rape-fic...

The breaking point would be where Jack gets sick of having to run up to the coffee shop up on the quay to get his perfect cup, and makes the mistake of trying to operate the espresso machine by himself. Ianto could hear the hissing (machine) and swearing (Jack) from across the Hub, but he did nothing to intervene (everyone knows Jacob would be the better boyfriend). When Jack finally gave up, he yelled at Ianto to fix the machine without remembering that he was supposed to be not talking to Ianto. A short while later, after order had been restored and the milk was steaming properly, Ianto delivered a mug of coffee to his boss. He held the cup just out of Jack's reach until Jack admitted that, okay, perhaps he was irrationally biased towards the immortal ("and gorgeous!" "Yes, sir.") Edward. When asked, Jack blamed caffeine withdrawal.

Gwen bear's bad hair is troubling because it's nearly accurate.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-10 02:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Caffeine withdrawal is responsible for MANY things so it is highly probable that it would be responsible for irrationally biasing Jack to Edward.

And seriously, there needs to be a Twilight drinking game. It would be a hilarious way to get plastered quickly.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-16 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
God, the rules would have to be something like, "When something credible that doesn't make you facepalm happens, take a drink".

I think if/when Alina makes it up here next summer, we'll have to take the time for a Twilight screening-slash-evening-of-liver-damage.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-22 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree whole-heartedly.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-23 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And don't forget: this Christmas, make sure you sparkle!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good to know you're back and had a good time!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 01:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was a nice soft entry into academic conferences. *nod* And more enthusiastically nerdy than any convention I've been to. (Which was strange but still okay.)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Can you imagine the hell that would be the Torchwood Christmas party?

Would it be hell, or would it just be a big ol' drunken orgy precipitated by Jack dressing in a Father Christmas costume and inviting everyone to sit on his lap?

Welcome home!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I suppose if you're part of Torchwood you'd be expecting, nay, anticipating the orgy.

Thanks! Home to the snow. And a zillion emails. (sigh)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 07:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree on the creepiness of Santa's Grotto o.o

And, Eeeeeee! Those little Welsh dragons are adorable!

I also like the Torchwood bears, aside from the shoes. I never understood the point of putting shoes on bears. Clothes? Ok. Shoes?...why?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Grotto thing is very Hogfather, isn't it?

I love how the dragons have little tats... of dragons. Those Welsh are tough if their cuddly tourist stuffed animals have ink done.

The shoes seem odd to me, too. You can't cuddle a bear if it's got shoes on, you know? Plus, according to the Build-a-Bear website the shoes cost an additional $10. Wasteful and nonsensical! (Though it does suit the Captain Jack bear, I do think.)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're right. It does remind one of the Castle of Bones only a little more...neon. Spooky. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find Death and Albert in there.

*hugs the tough dragons*

Yes this. The whole point of having a bear is cuddling! Need I point out that none of the bears of our childhood ever wore shoes. Yogi, Care Bears. Ok, so it's a short list. But still no shoes!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 12:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep, that's grey, depressing Wales alright... :(

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It wasn't so bad, you know, indoors. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 03:29 pm (UTC)
alexmegami: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexmegami
As for Hancock, I'm pretty sure Jason Bateman is playing Michael Bluth with a slightly different name, so it's all good.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-11-20 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ergh. Poor guy. At least his character in Smokin' Aces was a bit different. Problem is, he did Michael Bluth so well...
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