tysolna: (music with rocks in)
Here we go again, the second semi-final!
Again, I'll italic those who actually get into the final.

  • Serbia - Sounds good, this. A love song, ok, but with folk-like influences, which I always like. In fact, that song could have been longer, I missed an instrumental bit.
  • Macedonia - First song I'm actually going "wow" at. She can definitely sing, and I like the arrangement. This would have my vote, if I had a vote to give.
  • The Netherlands - A young Cher in a huge Native American headdress and more than a little sharp, painfully so, with a slightly Country & Western thing. Early 1980s, they would have had a chance, but today?
  • Malta - Solid performance, happy pop, can't find fault with it for what it is.
  • Belarus - The song doesn't keep the promise the outfits and mike stands make. Run-of-the-mill pop which could come from any country at all.
  • Portugal - A "classic" kind of Eurovision song. I'd be surprised if it made it into the finals.
  • Ukraine - What I like most about this are the peonies in the singer's hair. Very dancefloor-poppy.
  • Bulgaria - A spiced-up Space:1999 uniform costume, a good voice, and this actually sounds, how shall I put it, regional? And at least they don't pretend to have a band on stage.
  • Slovenia - I see they raided a bridalwear shop for the costumes. The song's corny, but for some reason, I find I quite like it. 's good.
  • Kroatia - Again, not bad, but as well as she sings and as cool men in black skirts are, I don't think I'd be able to recognise it if I were to hear it again.
  • Sweden - She does remind me of a young Kate Bush, if a young Kate Bush were to sing early 2000 technopop. On the other hand, I can imagine her winning. She's good.
  • Georgia - Alright! Not only can that guy sing, but this is the first song that's actually made me smile. I want to see this again!
  • Turkey - I usually like what Turkey sends to Eurovision, and with the exception of the singer, this holds true this time as well. Music's good, dancers are good (oh yes), but the singer's just too, well, young - this needs a stronger voice.
  • Estonia - Quite beautiful, actually...
  • Slovakia - They have zero chance of winning, but for me right now, it's a breath of fresh air. Rock on! (For some reason I want to hear some Faith No More right now...)
  • Norway - Kind of cool. Could see this playing in a disco somewhere, wants me have a nice cold drink. Sounds very Eastern for some reason. This is Norway?
  • Bosnia & Herzegowina - Good voice, pleasant song. Make this the soundtrack of a romantic movie, and it's a hit.
  • Lithuania - Lithuanian Michael Jackson? But he is good - he can sing, he can dance, he's got cheekbones. I'd like to hear him with a different song.

    Right, so much for the semis. Tonight, the final!
tysolna: (music with rocks in)
Catching up on what the Eurovision is doing these days. It has become a tradition of sorts after all. Two semi-finals to watch, and then the actual Eurovision tonight. Coffee's ready! NB: All opinions are mine, no offense intended.

  • Montenegro - Rambo Amadeus? Uh, no thanks.
  • Iceland - Nice beginning, love the violin (of course), could be more like Garmarna for my taste.
  • Greece - A little like a Greek Shakira. I could make a quip about the Greek financial situation and how the money obviously wasn't enough to buy decent costumes. Good thing the BBC commenters did that for me. Interesting to see a second singer standing still at the microphone in the semi-dark on the other side of the stage.
  • Latvia - Another song commenting on the Eurovision. How tall is that woman? The song itself is not very memorable I'm afraid.
  • Albania - She looks like a Time Lady, but she can sing! I am impressed. Bet she won't make it into the final.
  • Romania - Another Shakira. This one's a little flat I think. Nice choreography.
  • Switzerland - Hola! Not bad, not bad at all. Rock! And the lady bassist, very cool. This is a band I hope has success on it's own, because again I am sure they won't be in the finals.
  • Belgium - Nice enough, her voice is a little breathy for my tastes. She wouldn't make it into third round on The Voice UK.
  • Finland - I like it! This one I can imagine having on my playlist. Three-quarter time, a cello, a good voice and melancholy-happy melody, pushes buttons. Nice!
  • Israel - I'm wondering which decade I'm in, late 1970s probably, but why not? Kind of cool.
  • San Marino - Social Network Song? Cute idea. I seem to have heard the melody before though, it'll come to me eventually. Something from the 1960s.
  • Cyprus - Books and dancing librarians. Another Shakira-clone. Europop. Forgettable.
  • Denmark - Yep, that one I like, too. The band is cool in a slightly retro way (a little 4 Non Blondes), and the song could be played on any radio station I know.
  • Russia - Words fail me. But I LOVE IT!!! Eurovision needs more grannies. I wonder what's in those cookies.
  • Hungary - It kind of washed over me without making an impression. Maybe I'm still overwhelmed by the grannies.
  • Austria - That's a Summer song right there. Kind of fun (though I have no idea what they're actually rapping. What's noodle soup doing in a song about shaking your butt?)
  • Moldova - Pretty but unfortunate dresses for the dancers. The singer I wouldn't push off my bed. Trumpet, eh? I kinda like the song too.
  • Ireland - Oh god please not Jedward again! As if there are no other musicians in Ireland. Please. And those costumes? The song is forgettable. As expected.

I would have liked to see Finland and Israel in the finals, myself.
tysolna: (nervous nails)
I spent some time these past few days doing my nails.

What? Me, little miss "I don't do make-up"? Well, yes. Beats me where this suddenly came from. My nails are still violin-short. I never got into the habit of growing them, firstly because of the violin-playing, which I maintain you cannot do with long nails, and secondly because the one time I tried long falsies, they snagged on everything and I couldn't type.
But then I saw this beautiful azure nail polish (which of course immediately had connotations of TARDIS blue) and I thought, why not. One thing led to another, and I now have not only the azure, but also a stunning peacock, a burgundy, a metallic black cherry, as well as my current favourite, silver lilac. These are not colours I associate with nail polish ("back in my day, it was red or nothing!"), though I probably won't try the canary yellow or turqoise. A nice shade of green, however, might still be in the cards. I also got white, and I want to try red with white polka-dots.

I will not grow my nails long; I need to type and play the violin. I won't paint my toenails. Yuck. But colour on my hands, great! I wonder what is going to be next, eyeshadow? Lipstick? Who knows, I might just get colourful in my 42nd year. And why the hell not.


May. 12th, 2012 02:27 pm
tysolna: (knit old woman)
I am now as old as the answer to the question of life, the universe and all the rest. Maybe that means this year will be even more confusing than the 41 before this one, or maybe I'll finally get the answer. Either way, I had a great birthday, with two days off work and a visit by my oldest, bestest friend. We only left the flat twice, once to have dinner at the nearest best Indian restaurant, once to buy groceries. Other than that, we sat and chatted, watched TV (How I Met Your Mother and The Voice UK, mostly), had tea and talked, hung out, caught up, taked shop (aka writing)... It was wonderful. I'm lucky and thankful to have a friend like that.

In other news, the morning of my birthday brought an email from Australia (and I do owe you one in return) which had me grinning all day. One more step in boosting my confidence in my writing.

In yet more news, there are a handful of currently living authors that I would be over the moon to meet (one of them I owe an email to, see above). Thanks to the Sherlock fandom and the contacts I made through it, I will most likely meet another in London later this month. I've been reading her books since I was 15. I hope I will not embarrass myself by fangirling overmuch or not being able to speak.
tysolna: (pedals of fury)
Just got a letter sent to everyone in the building from the management company of the building I live in. Oh no wait, let me first elaborate.
There is a nook in the hallway, totally out of the way, where three parties in the building store their bikes. There are another two bikes out of the way on the first landing. Disturbing, oh let me think, nobody. There is nowhere outside the building where we can safely store our bikes (say, a communal bike shed), and there is no room inside the flats for bikes. Even if it were, there would be dirt and oil and whatnot in the flats, and I don't think the owners want that.
The letter asks us, in the management-speak I know so well by now, to remove the bikes as they are a trip hazard (they are not, but oh well).

What I will do is put a little letter on all of the bikes asking whether we want to ask the management company for a communal bike shed on or at the property. There is certainly room enough outside for one. It's not like we want to be a trip hazard. But we also don't want our bikes stolen.

Does that sound like a good idea?
tysolna: (walking past with a smile)
Still here. Editing pictures from the Spain holiday (which by the way was marvellous, so many beautiful things to see, and so many lovely people!). Just thought I'd drop y'all a line.

My knee is still buggered, more so since yesterday. I went out to do a little light shopping and then to the allotment, which looks terrible. Seems the only thing that really wants to grow is weeds. But then, that was probably to be expected in the first year of a piece of land that's been out of use for years. On the way back, I took a step and the knee joint sort of went backwards, as if I wanted to lock it but almost futher than that. Suffice it to say that I used a bag of frozen peas to cool it town once I got home, and there is now ibuprofen salve on it. Hobble, hobble. But I know that it is not the joint that is hurt, it's the muscles and sinews around it, so that should heal at some point, yes?

It appears I needed a lot of sleep. I woke up at eight this morning, had a cup of coffee, ate a slice of bread, got a migraine, went back to bed at ten, woke up again at three. Headache's gone, but so is the day.

Good things: I can see the sun! It just poked below the cloud cover and is now shining into my living room. There should be a beautiful sunset in a few minutes. I've been using the remainder of today to get some of my writing in order and have a look at works in progress. I've watched a little bit of TV and finished a sock. And tomorrow is another day off so yay!
tysolna: (Default)

In Marbella, to be exact. The weather is glorious, if a bit chilly in the mornings. Tomorrow, a week of "seeing the sights" begins - Gibraltar, Ronda, Sevilla... Today is a day off, just hanging out and enjoying the holidays. I'm watching the swallows and drinking coffee while mum calls dad (who's at home while mum and I travel).

I am starting to relax.

Leg update

Apr. 3rd, 2012 12:33 pm
tysolna: (walking past with a smile)
Got that elastic bandage from Boots. Should have done so sooner. It works. I can walk! I can walk!

Damn my leg

Apr. 3rd, 2012 10:13 am
tysolna: (no thanks)
The thing with walking is that once you learn how to, early in your life, you forget to think about it and just do it. Unless something demands your attention.

At some point during the first part of last week, I must have somehow wrenched my right knee or overstressed the muscles around it, although I do not remember doing it. Ever since then, though, the muscles about a hand's width above my knee are hurting, not so much when I'm sitting or bending it - in fact, I can do that fine, which is a relief because it means that it is a muscle and not the joint that's hurt - but when I put weight on it when I stand up, and even more so when I walk, then the muscles feel like they're seizing up and it is rather painful. Running is out of the question (makes it feel as if the knee is trying to reverse directions), and even my usual walking pace is too fast, much to my annoyance. I've been treating the muscles with Voltaren, and I'm going to get a knee stabilising bandage from Boot's today.

Of course, the fact that I'm limping along and favouring my right leg means that my left leg wants to join in the fun, giving me a cramp in the calf. I am conscious of every step I take.

I've just this year realised that I like long walks, and now even walking to and from work is annoying. I hope this is over sometime soon, because I don't want to limp through Marbella later this month.
tysolna: (Default)

Or the many other culinary choices London has on offer: Every time I'm here, I wish we had a Pret a Manger in BiSto.

tysolna: (London towers)
I just don't know, I am typing so much all evening, why is it that I never type an entry?

I'm sitting at my laptop because I'm using it as it was intended, a mobile computer. Outside, people are having rather vocal fights with lots of swearing, but then it is a Friday evening in central London. They can't be drunk because they are getting into cars and driving away, or at least I hope they're not drunk.

Of course, my laptop has a continental keyboard, something I'm not used to any more, which feels weird. Earlier, in the train wich was hurtling me towards London, I was hit over the head by the realisation that somewhere along the line, when I wasn't looking, when I was doing something else, this place has turned from foreign to home.

Must be the spring.
tysolna: (typewriter)
Hello, new friends. :) This is my blog where I keep my real life, as real as it gets at any given point in time. If you're looking for my fic, of which there shall be more soon, that's over at [livejournal.com profile] a_bit_not_good.
tysolna: (book on head)
These days, when I sit down at the computer to type, it is incredibly likely that I am writing a story; LJ is taking a back seat. My preferred writing position is not at the desk/table where the computer resides. Instead, I turn the screen around to face the sofa, grab the keyboard and lounge in a relaxed position on said sofa while typing, and that's good for first drafts.

I'm still (and more and more) into this "fandom thing" (I can see your eyes roll from here but I don't care because I like this fandom and being in it). This weekend was once again spent in London. A meet-up was organised for Saturday, and instead of the handful of people I had thought might be there, we were about, oh, 40 all told, some of whom had made rather long trips to be there. I was surprised and delighted to meet German Sherlock fans, an unexpected pleasure. We all hung out at the National Theatre for a few hours... not that I was able to talk to everyone, I'm not a social butterfly and not good in large crowd situations anyway, but I got to meet a few people. And no, they weren't all teenagers or early twens, but also in my age group. I'd like to meet a few of them again some time.

Today, I went to the V&A. They are doing a series of screenings of the National Video Archive Performance which has started in January and is going on until June. Screenings are free, entry is on a first come first served basis, and today they were showing Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler", recorded in 2005, with Eve Best as an absolutely amazing Hedda, and (yeeeees here we go) Benedict Cumberbatch as Jørgen Tesman, her husband. Yes, I went there because of that actor (and so did quite a few people in the auditorium), but what I had hoped for happened - the performances and the play drew me in, and for a moment, I even forgot that it was a recording. Damn, but British actors are good, and this was high class.
Next week Sunday, the V&A is showing "Waiting for Godot", the Patrick Stewart/Ian McKellen version that I saw live in 2009, and I am very tempted indeed to go see the recording too. Very tempted.
Of course, there is also the NVAP itself, which is an amazing collection of recordings of theatre performances that are available to view by booked appointment; together with the National Theatre archive of recordings, which are also available to view, I am looking forward to putting together my very own list of past productions to see live-once-removed.

Combine my re-awakened love for theatre with the huge and varied amount of reading I do, and it's hardly a wonder that I am pretty much constantly coming up with story ideas. All I need to do now is write...


Feb. 26th, 2012 08:54 am
tysolna: (Default)

It's not even 9 o'clock yet and I'm standing in the train station waiting for the Liverpool Street train.
I'm quite happy about this.

Fan Walk

Feb. 23rd, 2012 01:56 pm
tysolna: (muse on)
I'm still here, just in case you're wondering. I also have blisters on the soles of my feet, where I never had blisters before in my life. It's not surprising really, after all I've been walking through London for eight hours on Sunday. Twelve hours, to be exact, although we did take coffee breaks. We being myself and Atlin, a fellow writer, Anglophile and Sherlock fan - and walker! I didn't know you could walk from Baker Street (always relevant to our interests) up to Regent's Park and back, then through Hyde Park and Holland Park, and then back via Knightsbridge, to end up in China Town for dinner, and then head back via Regent Street and Marylebone Road. London is still pretty damn big, but with all the walking, it seems smaller.

Meeting Atlin (not her real name, d'uh) was a total surprise, in more ways than one. You know me, I'm usually the introverted, hesitant one, especially when meeting new people, but the instant rapport and joy at meeting a fellow fan my age who's also a writer put paid to my usual behaviour. And pretty much the minute we met, we started walking. Our excuse was to find a cafe to sit in, but then we just kept on walking in a long, random circle from Covent Garden via Strand to South Bank to almost St Paul's and back to Charing Cross. And that was just the first evening.
The next day, we met again, and we walked again. I think that was the day we started at the British Museum. What I need to add is that while we walk, we also talk, pretty much without stopping for breath. I know only three other people with whom I am able to do that, and all three I count as very close friends. Seems I gained a fourth.

Last weekend we walked our way through London once more, talking life, the universe, writing, Sherlock, and all the rest. I took the last train home and slept the sleep of the exhausted, and woke up with fan fiction in my head.

It has been decades since I wrote fan fiction, back when I was in the Star Trek fandom, and I entered a story into a fan club's writing contest - it won by dint of being the only entry. I was roundabout 15, and I admit that the story was a shameless Mary Sue / Space: 1999 mash-up. I guess we all do that at that age, and look back on it cringing. But now I have fallen so completely into the Beeblock (=BBC Sherlock) fandom like I've never fallen for a fandom before - probably because of the instant feedback and feedback loops you get via websites such as tumblr, which we just didn't have "in my day". And it is amazing how many talented, professional people are doing fan things in their spare time (there is at least one video editor, a large handful of writers, and even a concept artist for Disney doing Sherlock).

Last night, as I was doing the dishes, a fully-formed ficlet sprang giggling into my head, and I sat down instantly to write it down and post it to tumblr. It was a bit of fun, but it was also like stepping in front of a jury of my peers, and whaddaya know, my peers liked it. (Kate Orman liked it, I am over the moon with pleasure!)

Now I have all these ideas popping up like mushrooms after the rain. Oh this is going to be fun.
tysolna: (tea)
Drive-by post: I just bought a ticket to see Barry Cryer in BiSto next Saturday. With Colin Sell at the piano. Yay! \o/
tysolna: (Default)
He was a prime example of studied indifference. Of course it was a day like any other day. There was a rather tedious case which Lestrade nevertheless asked Sherlock’s opinion on, but nothing more (even though Sherlock had secretly expected Lestrade to make some sort of fuss, he was the sort of man who would). But nothing happened except that Sherlock solved the case, and that was not really a surprise.
Unless you’re a consulting detective who has a quite formidable inner child that’s hoping for a surprise on this of all days.
tysolna: (walking past with a smile)
Sorry for the current lack of posts, but I am rather preoccupied these days with writing, a fandom, walking through London, walking through London with a new-found friend, tumblr, writing, fanfic, and... uh, did I mention writing?

But I have to tell you about this weird dream I had a few nights ago, where I was standing on a pier - Mrs Padalecki, you may want to stop reading here - with a calm sea in front of me, when suddenly this large black thing like a smooth, featureless whale with lots of teeth rises from the depths right in front of me, among a huge amount of spray, and I am delighted and frightened at the same time, but walk back two steps - and it appears again behind me, again rising up from the waters, picks me up in its teeth and hurls me into the air, while I shriek with joy.
Subconscious, much?

Okay, back to writing!

I wish...

Feb. 4th, 2012 01:02 am
tysolna: (book on head)

I don't usually wish for things, but right now, I wish I had something with a keyboard because damn, I'm not used to writing longhand any more.

tysolna: (Default)

Did I mention that I love London?

I had a ticket for last night's recording of the BBC radio panel show The News Quiz (which was hilarious and well worth the wait, though I wonder how much of what was said can actually make it on air), and since I am still house-sitting a flat close to Barbican, I decided to take a day off for a city break.

I'll be hitting the museums today in the hope that there'll be less people on a Friday; I need to revisit the V&A for research purposes (as if I need a reason). Not sure yet what I'll do tomorrow, but it will involve walking until my feet fall off, and quite possibly Covent Garden.

Gods I love this city.


tysolna: (Default)

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