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29 December 2009 @ 11:52 pm
When I was young, we had slide shows ...  
A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to aldehyde ! May you and your fabulous new hair have a spectacular 2010, filled with fandom glee and decent weather!

And a slightly late but very happy birthday to jadzialove ! May this year be smooth and highly entertaining for you! And may all the people you beta for be as organised as joanwilder  ... I had a brilliant idea for a pressie, but failed miserably. So instead, here is a shot of where Draco could have ended it all if things had turned out differently in your present from the other year.
Poor bugger, he must have been very cold! I choose to believe the weather was better that year than this!

Which leads me to a brief picspam! There were many signs of the credit crunch around London, but also some of the boom period that had come before. I like to call this short photo essay from Belgravia: 'Old Money: New Money'





One of the silliest thrills of the trip for me, for the first ten minutes at least, was waking up one chill morning in Paris to look out the window and find that it had snowed. It gave a veneer of beauty to everything, here one of the Jardins (I think des Tulleries, but have the memory of a fish today) beside the Louvre was made marvellous with a few inches of snow dusting the sculptures.



It also brought out the humour of the city. While walking down the left bank, we encountered this little fellow: 


and were thoroughly charmed. pingrid , raitala  and I decided he needed a companion. 'He is Harry!' declared Pin, 'we must build him a Draco!' Alas, our intentions were not quite matched by the quality of the snow (this is our story, to which we are sticking) and after cries of 'Oh no! His head fell off!' and 'Pin, did you mean to make a snow cock?' this is what we ended up with:
So he was downgraded from Draco to Goyle.

One of my most hilarious adventures was visiting Versailles with Rai and Pin. Sadly, they are both reasonably tall and long legged, so I was trailling along stumpily, but here they are (excuse the coat bulkiness, it was a very cold day): 


Being us, we found the gayest painting in all of the palace, Pin howled down our suggestions that it could be depicting a father and son's re-union after battle, pointing to the onlookers and stating that they were obviously keen, no matter what the two main characters were thinking.


Back at the hotel, we were greeted enthusiastically by Isis the Hotel Cat, who thought we were demented to go out in that weather. Generously, she allowed us to warm our hands by patting her. SO GIVING!


Though much as I enjoyed Paris, and I did!, I regretted taking the time out from London. I fell back in love with London, before I was trapped in Paris. Walking about London so much, even if mostly on the way to one museum or another, brought me many reminders of its joys, not all of which were fabulous shops or artefacts. About five people will laugh as much as I did at this final photo, but for me, this Kensington family's Christmas decorations were absolutely, utterly perfect. Bugger lights and reindeer, tie a ribbon on the fo lions!




 
 
 
It's a Deensedeensey on December 29th, 2009 12:56 pm (UTC)
Isis is adorable. As are the lions!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
She was hilarious! And for the first day she was all 'Oh yes, more worshippers ...' but after a few days she became 'You! It's you three! Yay!'

Cookie and Mon have been impersonating her since I came home ;-)
It's a Deense: Kitty!deensey on December 29th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
Ahhhh, she was a wise cat, on to your feline friendly ways. :D

I can't imagine why. Kees is much the same when I go visit him each day for his noms. Then he scratches/bites. Silly kitty.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
Kees scratches as a sign of love! Cook and Mon have been taking turns to supervise me and ensure I cannot make another getaway. Little muppets that they are!

It's a Deensedeensey on December 29th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is it. He scratched me and bit my mum. It must be love.

N'awww.

You have to come over one evening and have a proper meeting with scaredy cat. She's much braver post 8 pm when she thinks there's a chance of being fed her mince.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
Your family is genetically tasty!

That sounds very good. I had an idea we would go to Canberra this week, but Newtown seems a much better idea ;-) I can bring mince!
It's a Deensedeensey on December 29th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
Mudt be!

Oooh. We can watch westcwing and sew!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC)
BARTLETT! I will have to dig out the embroidery, as the idea of making a new frock is filling me with horror. Though maybe I should, Anne might kill me if I bail on the next event ...
It's a Deensedeensey on December 29th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
Anne will kill you, yes.

Embroidery works!
The Ramblings of an often very distracted person.annes_stuff on December 31st, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
Beware my homicidal ways ;-)
Vaysh Swiftstormvaysh on December 29th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
Aw, Goyle is soooo cuuuuute!! As are the ribboned lions. :)

That pic of Rai and Pin in Versailles makes me envious all over again. *grumbles*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
Versailles was, however, filled with monumental art of great ego, and on the whole had more parts of aesthetic terror than loveliness, though there were a few of the latter.

Though you are right, the company was excellent. You were missed!

Goyle was very cute, if a little penis-y ;-)
anexianaanexiana on December 29th, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
*grins at kitty and lions*
*gapes at Versailles*
*giggles at Goyle*
*hugs you*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
*Hugs back!*

Though don't gape at Versailles! That's what it wants you to do. The correct response is: 'It's all a little bit OTT, don't you think?' ;-)

(On a serious note, you do end up with a sore head from the level of gilding and mammoth artworks, I can't help feeling it was probably less bonkers in the pre-Imperial era.)
anexianaanexiana on December 29th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Haha, it inspires a multifaceted awe. Like, holy shite! It's so big. And then the extravagance of the big shiny structure hits. And then come the faint recollections of history class and the insane amounts of money put into construction and upkeep...honestly, if I had that much money...*daydreams*

It's completely ridiculous. And yeah, less bonkers for the royalty, maybe. Probably even more bonkers for the peasants of the time. =P

Although, I definitely wouldn't pass up a chance to see it in person. Lucky you!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
If I had that much money, I would build Hampton Court Palace and a writers' retreat ;-)

I find places like Versailles, for me, inspire an awe that is very tempered: on the one hand I am impressed by the scale and by the craftsmanship displayed, but on the other hand, the complete lack of sanity on the scale has me wishing for the comparative tastefulness of Palazzo Pitti.
being_herebeing_here on December 29th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
All hotels should have a cat! Great photos
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
I agree! It has now become one of my criteria for hotel choice. Though not restaurant choice, charming as eating with a cat in your lap is, it's no substitute for good food.
being_herebeing_here on December 29th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
and you get very little good food with a cat on your lap as i know to my cost!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
HA! That's true at my house, though Penelope the cat was very restrained and just after pats.
Agrevaagreva on December 29th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
Isis is so cute and yay, for gay paintings!

This shows me how much I'm missing out having never traveled, or seen snow... One day, and I'll make a snowman with a penis too.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
Travel is always fun, even if you only go across to a part of your local area that you normally don't see. People are fascinating and it is always interesting to see how they work in different environments. Plus, there are so many cute cats in the world!
Hueyphoenixacid on December 29th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
Penis!Snowman ahem, Goyle is the CUTEST snowman I've ever seen. Serious. He's so so... penisy. XD

Versailles looks amazing and Isis seems almost majestic, doesn't she? I love the lions and the ribbons! They are adorable.

Anyway, if you want to feel tall, hun, feel free to walk beside me for a day. I'm definitely more vertically challenged than you are.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 30th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
I think that pingrid has a gift for cock sculpture, and that she could make a fortune if she deserted her high-powered IT world for smut. But does she listen to me? Oh no.

And Isis was quite the queen of the hotel, bless her scruffy little heart ;-)

I'm 5'1" and a half, you? My 4'11" friend moved to New Zealand, curses!
Hueyphoenixacid on December 30th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
Giving IT up for smut is an excellent suggestion. Too bad she'll never listen to reason. XD

Oh. In that case, I can lend you my mom for the day. She's 4'11'' and a half. (I'm 5'4'' and a quarter - sorry :P)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 30th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
It is rare that I am out-stumpied by one of my generation ... alas, I fear I am probably closer to Huey Mom age than Huey age ;-)

The motto to this story: feed your children meat! I swear I was on track for normal height before my childhood vego and vegan periods!
Snape's Angelangela_snape on December 29th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
Lovely pics... the snowmen are fun.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 30th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
They were hilarious. I love the fact that someone just built the first one randomly!
Meredythmeredyth_13 on December 29th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
apparently I am a complete slash pooper - I looked at that pic, and my immediate thought was 'Oh, there's a lady who has dressed up to hide in the army and be with her man - and he's just found her after a battle'.

*rolls eyes at self*

I dunno, there's just something about the shape of the body, especially across the back and side of bust, and the legs, and the cheek ... hell, all of it screams woman to me. I don't want it to, but it does.

I love your pics. We drove up to Mt Macedon on Monday, just to get me and my lungs out of the house for a bit, and it was beautiful, true Bowral-esque old estates and big trees and even patches of real green grass. All I could say to C was 'I miss Wiltshire'. Apparently there is no hope for me.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 30th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
It's the style of the coat, take a look at the chaps in the background: it was basically a way of giving guys curvy bits, which were briefly fashionable. Don't ask me to explain why, it's no more sensible than a peascod belly ...

Poor lungs! I do love it up that mountain, though. There's an excellent tea room up there that has the most astonishing desserts, a week's worth of lactose in one sitting, but completely worth it! And I am sure that Wiltshire misses you at least as much!
Meredythmeredyth_13 on December 30th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
Hmmm, I will always bow to your exquisite knowledge of historic costume, but the impression sadly remains. Don't think I don't want to see the slashy goodness. *stupid brain*

Given that I have achieved zero exercise in the last week and a half, I'm kind of glad we didn't find the dessert shop. I will definitely keep it in mind, though. :D

btw - I got your postcard from London today. It's lying here beside me, making me smile while I read angsty H/D fic.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 30th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
Read Wemyss's Zyder sequel when you finish the angst: it is as cheering as having a great-uncle read Kipling on a winter's evening (I say, fully aware of the fact that he is less than 10 years my senior ;-)

Hope I made some kind of sense: I wrote it after the Great Eurostar Saga of 09, at which point I was mildly deranged.

Will find you something slashier in the stash soon!
Jaeenchanted_jae on December 30th, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
Isis is so cute! And I love that gay, happy painting!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 30th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
She was very sweet, and tiny, and had the stumpiest tail!

That was definitely our fave painting of all the mammoth canvasses. I kept singing Waterloo quietly to myself, which may not have been politic ...
Dedicated Escape Artist: peppermint pattyjadzialove on December 30th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
Thanks for the wishes -- late or otherwise, it's always nice to know people are glad you were born.

And the photo! Thanks for that. I'll admit my mental image is a bit more picturesque, but seeing the real thing is a kick. I just re-read that story before Christmas, btw, when I was wallowing in holiday woe. Draco helped. *nods*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 30th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
It is a bit more picturesque in reality, alas it was about 3.45 and the light was going: I tried to take a good shot of the London Eye view, but cars kept getting in the way!

Draco always helps, I find, if only in a 'at least there are no Death Eaters at my house' kind of way ;-)
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα: Kendra_inbetween_ on December 30th, 2009 08:41 am (UTC)
I was going to ask WHICH HOTEL COMES WITH COMPLIMENTARY CAT but I'll never in my life afford it, so I'll just enlarge all the pretty pics yealously, hi.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 31st, 2009 08:35 am (UTC)
Hotel Europe Saint Séverin, on Rue Saint Séverin, very reasonable rates! I found that putting a set amount away every week was a very easy way to raise the money, and it can be spread over a year or two, so hope is not lost!

I will be inquiring as to cats for all my future hotel bookings ...
grey_hunter on December 30th, 2009 09:33 am (UTC)
LOL downgraded to Goyle... just because he can't get it up?
silent hallucinationalex_s9 on December 30th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
I want to go to London. NOW.
shadowclubshadowclub on December 30th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
!!! I want to see this painting! I have yet to go to London (it is on my to go list next year), but I really did enjoy Paris :)

Hahaha, Goyle looks a little skinny, but very amusing!