nanila: fulla starz (lolcat: science)
( Mar. 18th, 2014 09:59 pm)
I felt the urge to rewrite my introduction so I thought I’d use it as a starting point for a Subscription Meme, as I haven’t seen one going around for a while.

I’ve made a template, which I’ve filled out very wordily below. Please feel free to adapt it to your wishes, and please link this post wherever you like. (Please participate or share? I'm going to feel very sad if this entry sits here alone with 0 comments...)

Subscription Meme template:
<b>People in this journal</b>
<b>About my job</b>
<b>Some random facts</b>
<b>Things I like to do</b>
<b>Fandom</b>
<b>Social media usage</b>
<b>>Subscriptions, access and commenting</b>
<b>What I’d like to get from my participation here</b>


My responses! )
tags:
Mine, all mine
Keiki and "his" box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Thanks to him, I have discovered that if you manage to prise the leftover milk from a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch out of your possessive baby's fingers and add it to your morning cup of filter coffee, you can create a pumpkin spice latte.
Keiki with Grandma & Grandpa
Grandma and Grandpa teach Keiki how to make a grass blade whistle.

The wild Keiki in the grass
Behold the wild Keiki in the grass.

It has taken three days of my six-day trip here to sort out my parents' internet connection, which is a bit longer than I'd hoped to spend on it. The important thing is that it seems to be working now. There was an intermittent problem which took a while - and multiple calls to service provider & visits by technicians - to fix. They ended up replacing all of the coax cable ends and connectors from the pole to the wall socket in house and that did the trick. The last tech also found a problem with the incoming signal from the roadside, which has presumably been affecting all my parents' elderly neighbours whether they knew it or not, so that should get fixed as well. Probably after I leave, which is non-ideal, but it will hopefully end up helping to vindicate the World's Most Expensive Tech Support Trip.

Last night I made the mistake of going to bed at 21:30, which meant I was wide awake at 04:30. It's going to take a lot of cups of tea to keep me awake for another 2.5 hours. I'd better get started on that.

ETA: Forgot to tell the best part of the story so far, which is the bit where my parents meticulously recorded my flight details on their wall calendar...on the wrong day. This resulted in me popping out from baggage claim after my (delayed) 9.5 hour flight and an hour's slog through immigration/border control with my suitcase and a delirious baby in a pushchair and not finding my father, who is usually strolling up and down the Arrivals hall.

I got out my mobile and dialed my parents. Dad answered after three rings. "Hello?"
"Hi Dad, it's me. Where are you?"
"I'm here!"
"Okay, where?"
"What?"
"Where, specifically, are you? Are you in Arrivals, or the car park, or outside?"
There is a long and ominous pause.
"I'm at home. Aren't you arriving tomorrow?"
"...No, Dad, I'm in the airport."

NB: My parents live over an hour's drive from the nearest international airport. That was an expensive taxi ride.

I'm sure this memory will be funny eventually. Like in five years or so.
Since I knew we were going to lean heavily on the grandparents for child care on Wednesday and Thursday, I used Tuesday to take the children out as much as possible. (As it turned out, I overdid it a little, both for them and myself, as I was shattered during the evening conference session.) In the morning, we explored the many playgrounds in the enormous Prater Park near our accommodation. We sampled no less than four different ones. Our favourite was the last, as it featured a generous sand pit. In the afternoon, we took the tram to the Belvedere, the mansions-turned-museums with formal gardens that we stayed over the road from the last time we were in Vienna.

Humuhumu & Gryphon 1
Humuhumu in front of one of the many gryphons guarding the formal gardens.

+14 photos )

We walked up to Karlsplatz and the U-bahn in the late afternoon sunshine. For the first time since we'd left the house in the morning, Humuhumu asked for a pick-up, and as she lay her head on my shoulder I suddenly realised that she'd walked (or run) at least five kilometres that day. Not bad going for three-year-old legs. And we'd even forgotten to celebrate Cake O'Clock. We compensated by having Chocolate O'Clock when we got home, with Manner wafers and Mozart balls.
Drive-by post to point out that cake-eating has been happening along with conference attendance.

Hazelnut cake & hot chocolate
Humuhumu with her slice of hazelnut cake and hot chocolate.

Have some of your cake too
Humuhumu sampling my truffle cake.
We spent most of yesterday getting here, and our reward today was the most glorious sunny weather. So we went to the Schoenbrunn, the opulent summer palace of the Hapsburgs and a regular destination for us on trips to Vienna. Still never actually been inside the main building, because when I was younger I wasn't interested, and now because tiny children + priceless furniture & artworks == bad mixture.

It's totally worth the trip for the gardens, though. Also, the cake. My Austrian colleague, bless him, e-mailed me a pictoral guide to his favourite cakes before I left, giving us whole new avenues to explore in this land of magnificent pastries. Today, we had our first encounter with Kardinalschnitte and I'm 100% certain it will not be the last.

Schoenbrunn: running outside
Humuhumu, clutching her green jelly baby, running along the pavement toward the front gates of the palace.

+15 photos & more words )

The EGU conference begins in earnest tomorrow, so we may not get to do a lot of sightseeing again until Friday. I may not be posting much between now and then. Although I may do a daily cake update as I make my way through my colleague's list. Because CAKE.
My friend Holly ([personal profile] hollymath) is writing a book about being an immigrant. Like me, Holly has lived in the UK for many years as an immigrant and has written poignant posts on the subject, as can be seen the foreignness tag on her DW. She has a gift for voicing thoughts for which I often struggle to find the words.

The Kickstarter for her book, Duel for Citizenship, has just 12 hours left. It can be found here. Most levels of support include a copy of the book as an incentive. If you can support her project, which I see as a vital response to the clamour of toxic and xenophobic anti-immigrant/refugee rhetoric currently dominating the public narrative, I would appreciate it too.
Humuhumu has begun to drop her T's, replacing them with glottal stops. Wa'er. Beau'iful. Floa'ing.

I presume she's picked this up from nursery somehow, but I haven't worked out from whom. It sounds very peculiar when coupled with her otherwise Brummie pronunciation ("I loike oice cream").

It also sets my nerves jangling. "Floa-ting, darling," I say calmly through gritted teeth, "Not floa'ing." Inside my head there is a tiny rage-filled fiery-eyed Nanila screaming, "IT'S GOT A T! IT'S GOT A FLAMING T IN IT! PRONOUNCE THE T!"

I'm trying to unpack why this gets up my nose so badly. I have mental mechanisms in place for suppressing the confused welter of emotions, including sadness, that assail me when she speaks and she doesn't sound American. I know that once she realises I sound foreign, she'll never be able to un-hear it. I take delight in the Brummie accent, even though I'm fairly certain that in this rigidly stratified, classist, and small-c conservative society*, she will either have to learn to code-switch or train herself out of it to achieve material success. It doesn't bother me - much - when Londoners drop their T's. I have a terrible suspicion that I've managed to internalise a certain amount of class prejudice, given that when she says "free" instead of "three" or "bahf" instead of "bath", I have the same reaction, though reduced in intensity. I don't quite understand why it applies to my child and not to anyone else, though.

* Gross generalisation, #NotAllBrits, etc.
Sorry guys, I've been working almost every night for the past couple of weeks. I got nothin'. Except cute baby photos.

Midwest love from the West Midlands

Here he is in the garden, wearing his Midwest Love onesie from [livejournal.com profile] dizzykj, which works nicely in the West Midlands as well.

Yay watering can

And here he is, still in the garden, still in the onesie, with a watering can. Sometimes I don't know why we bother to buy toys. He played with that can for a good 45 minutes. There isn't much else that holds his attention for that long at this age.
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
( Apr. 2nd, 2016 08:15 pm)
World's least comfortable pillow
[Telstar using what looks like the world's least comfortable pillow.]

Today did not get off to a promising start. It was freezing and sodden and for some reason we decided to put on our waterproofs and go do Parkrun (or more accurately, "Parkswim") for the first time since last year. We ran some errands, came home, ate lunch, looked out the window and suddenly it was sunny and warm enough to work in the garden in t-shirts. So we spent the rest of the day outside. Telstar circled us while we dug, pruned and weeded. He had a dirt bath. He lounged in the grass. He lounged on the bench. He lounged on top of the shed. And then, he lounged in the position photographed above, on top of some scratchy blue tarpaulin with a rough stone for a pillow, just to remind us that cats are capable of taking their ease literally anywhere.
Poll #17390 Important bacon question
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 52


I prefer

View Answers

thin-cut/streaky/American-style bacon
21 (41.2%)

thick-cut/back/British/Canadian-style bacon
21 (41.2%)

not to eat bacon
9 (17.6%)

If you eat bacon, do you prefer it

View Answers

crispy
26 (57.8%)

chewy
19 (42.2%)

If you eat bacon, do you prefer it

View Answers

smoked
29 (69.0%)

unsmoked
13 (31.0%)

For those who eat bacon: Here is a food that is *not* improved by the addition of bacon:



Today's Unscientific Poll was prompted by the realisation that after all these years in Britain, I still (not-so-)secretly prefer thin, crispy, streaky bacon to the thick-cut back bacon that gets served with a full English.
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