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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 ;-)
(no subject) - deensey on December 29th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deensey on December 29th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deensey on December 29th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deensey on December 29th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - annes_stuff on December 31st, 2009 12:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
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.)
(no subject) - anexiana on December 29th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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.
(no subject) - being_here on December 29th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 29th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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!
(no subject) - phoenixacid on December 30th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 30th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
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!
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on December 30th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 30th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
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!