03 January 2006

Winterval Summary

Well, I've had a very satisfying, if not terribly relaxing or recuperative, Christmas and New Year break. Since the last time we saw one another I have, in no particular order:
  • travelled some 800 miles visiting family and friends in Richmond, Norbiton, Worthing, Petersfield, Bristol, Malvern Wells, Oxford and Leeds;
  • met my brother and sister-in-law's new dog;
  • been to midnight mass;
  • eaten a disproportionately large amount of Christmas pudding, mince pies, veggie sausages, nut roast, brandy butter, chocolate, etc;
  • put on more than half a stone, which I now need to take off again;
  • been presented with many splendid presents, including the following bookish offerings:
  • , not all of which I asked for but all of which will, I'm sure, be fascinating;
  • written a review of this book for these people, which I'll post a link to when it's up;
  • picked up a crateful of other S.F. and fantasy books (mostly by people I haven't read much or any of, like Stephen Baxter, Greg Bear, Frederick Pohl and Tim Powers, but also including some Paul McAuley and Kim Stanley Robinson, and many of the Larry Nivens I remember devouring as an adolescent) from my Dad, who's trying to have a bit of a clear-out;
  • been given a thali tiffen and its contents;
  • visited the Mappamundi and Chained Library at Hereford Cathedral;
  • been to three thoroughly excellent, one middling and two dire pubs, where I drank a variety of interesting and appalling beers;
  • also been given, and watched, the wonderful and highly-recommended Casanova, featuring Mr David Tennant;
  • also watched The Christmas Invasion, also featuring Mr Tennant, on Christmas Day, which I really need to see again before I'm ready to review it on Parrinium Mines;
  • broken off reading Perdido Street Station to read Thud!, and become more convinced than ever that China MiĆ©ville is Terry Pratchett's evil twin (only much younger -- it's probably a similar arrangement to Picard's clone in Star Trek: Nemesis);
  • drank Caol Ila for the first time;
  • stayed up till 3am with a large number of friends in a total stranger's flat on New Year's Eve singing along to CDs of 80s music, as you do;
  • not slept nearly as much as I'd have liked to.
I'd love to go into more detail about some or all of those, but rampant lack of time sadly prevents me. Some of them were very lovely indeed, though.

Back to work tomorrow. Ho hum.

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