liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
[personal profile] liv
Things that are very, very good for Liv: time with friends, and new learning. And I've done really well with those these last few weeks. Last weekend in January, I decided to run away from all the Holocaust Memorial Day stuff, cos I wasn't really needed, and it tends to make me uncomfortable participating in genocide-themed civic jollies. So I went home to Cambridge, and had a completely lovely quiet day with [personal profile] jack, playing Ingress in central Cambridge while we did some errands, and had dinner with [personal profile] cjwatson which was ever so friendly.

And I got up earlyish on Sunday to head to Croydon for some of [personal profile] nou's ever-wonderful Croydon fun weekend. In some ways I wish I'd devoted the whole weekend to it, because the Saturday programme looked really fun, and because I missed [personal profile] pseudomonas and [personal profile] nanaya and some other people I'd have liked to see. But also I really needed downtime and one-on-one conversational time, so I think on balance I made the right decision.

So there was lunch in Uncle Lim's in the Whitgift, which does the kind of good ethnic street food I just really appreciate. And behold, [livejournal.com profile] j4 and [twitter.com profile] addedentry and their daughter were there, and [livejournal.com profile] taimatsu, very old friends I hadn't seen in far too long. Also I had some brief conversation with [personal profile] kaberett, which is always cheering. And those people all headed on after lunch, and I was still kind of greedy for more conversation but lots of interesting cool people took part in the afternoon walk, too. Which was a guided tour of some bits of Croydon's industrial history, the sort of thing I almost certainly wouldn't do spontaneously if it weren't part of the CFW, but I found really interesting when somebody else had organized it.

It's probably a sign of getting older, but I'm no longer fully capable of tramping about on roads for several hours at a time, two days in a row. By the time I got home Sunday evening, I was actually limping, not just tired and footsore but my feet were swollen, tender and painful. I don't know what to do about that; I was wearing decent shoes (Ecco lace-ups with cushioned soles and plenty of room for my wide toes), and I'm enjoying being fit enough that several hours of walking is no trouble to me in terms of tired muscles. Almost certainly getting better undergarments would help; tights keep me warm, but they never fit me properly and they always chafe my thighs, which probably means that I was altering my gait in a way that isn't sustainable. And I know this is a very small complaint in the scale of things, plenty of people wouldn't even dream of spending hours walking about town. But I really like urban walking, and I don't at all want to have to cut back on that, so I'm a bit pouty about the signs that is getting to be bad for me.

Anyway, the following weekend was my long-planned visit to [personal profile] withagreatlove. I decided against trying to get up early enough to make it to shul the other side of the country, so arrived at lunchtime, and was duly fed and we settled in for an absolutely perfect Shabbat afternoon of drinking tea and setting the world to rights. Just so incredibly revitalizing and sustaining.

And Sunday we went to Manchester day Limmud, which was exactly what I needed in terms of getting some of the Jewish learning that I'm really missing at the moment. I do want to write up the sessions, because putting notes on DW is a much better way of archiving than trying to keep lots of bits of paper and handouts, as well as being available to any of my readers who might be interested in the topics. Basically I want to follow [personal profile] lethargic_man's excellent example and record stuff here, though I'll probably summarize rather than transcribe. But I also want to get this post written, and it's already blocking other things I want to talk about, so I'll leave writing up what I learned now, even knowing that might mean I never get round to it. So it goes.

This weekend just gone included more quiet time with [personal profile] jack, which is not at all interesting to journal about but it is so, so important to me. And my aunt showed up from Australia (!); I had been vaguely aware she was over here at around this time of year, but I'd forgotten until the last minute exactly when, so I'm glad I did manage at least a little bit of time chatting to her, and that I was able to introduce her to my husband, whom she hadn't met due to ridiculous amounts of geography.

In the evening we went to [livejournal.com profile] ghoti's completely breathtakingly amazing dinner party. She wanted an excuse for people to wear over-the-top fancy clothes, so she made an eye-poppingly fancy dinner with multiple courses and everything all beautifully presented on plates. There was even wine matched to the dishes. The only person I know who can do this kind of cooking is my sister, who's a pro chef, I mean, [livejournal.com profile] ghoti just did it on a whim and in parallel with parenting young children, I am in awe.

It was an excellent party even apart from the food, too; [personal profile] ceb and IWJ were the other guests, and there was so much good conversation and gentle teasing of the ways I ended up silly happy squiffy. And lots of purple, I wore my completely excessive dress that's made of layers of red gauze and layers of blue gauze, very shimmery and very intensely optically purple. And it's the shape that really suits my figure, the same shape I asked for for my wedding dress, tight bodice a sweetheart neckline and a dropped waist, big foofy balldressy skirt. So I was really happy when [livejournal.com profile] ghoti also picked a purple outfit, a very nice close-fitting lilac dress, and [personal profile] ceb wore a purple formal shirt with an amazing tailcoat. The guys were traditional in black and white, and very decorative with it :-)

We kind of stayed up drinking and talking until about 3 am, it's been a long time since I've been moved to do that. So Sunday we didn't really get up until lunchtime, but hey. [livejournal.com profile] ghoti joined us for lunch, and we had a completely delightful afternoon together before I had to get the train home. Which ended up being over an hour and a half late so I didn't get in til nearly midnight, but it was totally worth it.
From: (Anonymous)
To be fair 'on a whim' isn't quite accurate. I started basking in the compliments people paid my cooking at about 6 or 7, considered going to culinary school instead of university, decided that that wasn't going to be as much fun long term and I should stick to amateur, gave my first dinner party at 19, with multiple courses and pretty clothes, decided that was so much fun we should keep doing it, did so for the next 7 or 8 years, got married, moved into a smaller house and somehow stopped cooking anything more complicated than Thanksgiving/3 or 4 course romantic dinners, but still did those occasionally; in particular, the intervening years of ice cream practice really paid off, that was my best sorbet ever; and then as we started focussing on what sort of socialising I like, and as our house started to become presentable again, I remembered that I really miss being the sort of person who gives dinner parties and wanted to regain that.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-13 01:45 pm (UTC)
withagreatlove: (Default)
From: [personal profile] withagreatlove
Yay!!

It was so lovely to have you and catch up, and so refreshing and recharging to catch up with a new friend, especially as I find myself in a new place and a new job. And it was great getting some Jewish learning done.

Ghoti's dinner sounds fab... I might have to come along one day :)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-19 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
Ooh, yes, that would be lovely!

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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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