I had a wonderful holiday in Tromsø, Norway!
I learnt to cross-country ski, and actually glided down a hill! Wheee!
I watched the wing of a plane being de-iced by a robot arm.
I saw many humpback whales and a few orcas from a boat which sailed around the fjords, and found that the moment when a whale flips its tail up seemed magical.
I saw the aurora borealis and it was totally amazing! The sky glowed with swirls of white, tinted with green and pink, but in photos, it all looks more green and even more dreamy. The lights danced and twisted and twirled, and looked like dragons, a piano being played, ribbons, a laser beam, fireworks, and heaven. Oh, it was wonderful.
I managed to say my room number in Norwegian and be understood! Sju hundre og ti.
I walked to the beach, past pedestrian crossing signs which had pedestrians with wings, and around the coast, which was pretty and snowy, and I stared at the distant mountains.
I played on the swings in the most northerly botanic garden in the world, which was covered in deep snow.
I went snow-shoeing amongst snow covered trees and gosh, it all looked so pretty. The trees were bowed with the heaviness of the snow and the light was soft and pink and blue, and it seemed magical, wandering through the deep snow in the forest. The guide told us that hanging from the tree branches was troll hair, and gave us lefse to eat.
I was taken to a frozen lake, which was covered with a thick layer of snow, and in the distance I saw a reindeer, and in the sky, a brief appearance of the northern lights, a single streak that soon vanished. It was cold that night and my hair became frosty as I looked up at the stars. The snow glistened in the lights of my head lamp. Then, on the way back to Tromsø, the aurora borealis became visible again. "Bellissimo!" one of my fellow travellers repeated excitedly, "bellissimo!" And then, at about 4AM, when I returned to my hotel room, I saw a ship outside the window, the MS Trollfjord, but before I could photograph it, it sailed away.
I ate brown cheese.
One afternoon, in Tromsø, I walked across a bridge to get to the Arctic Cathedral, which was an interesting looking building.
I visited the Perspektivet Museum and saw an exhibition on The Believers, which had photos of people with faith, and objects, from different religions.
I caught another glimpse of the aurora borealis from a plane.
I walked from Osterley to Boston Manor, on a tube walk. We walked through Osterley Park, and then through another park where there were intriguing arrangements of stones. We also saw cows and horses. I tried a sip of strawberry pepsi at the pub afterwards. I also remember seeing a sign that said, "Only the M4 passing by overhead is a rude reminder of the modern world."
I went to the private view of Neoliberal Lulz: Constant Dullaart, Femke Herregraven, Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion, and Jennifer Lyn Morone, and also Manfred Mohr: Artificiata II at the Carroll/Fletcher gallery. I remember staring at samples of different artificial gold products.
I attended Pub Standards.
I attended Kay's work hen do and drank ice-cream cocktails. We had to write embarrassing stories about ourselves and she had to guess who had written what. Mine was a fictional story about the time I got turned into an ostrich, but she managed to guess correctly anyway.
I visited the Riverside Gallery in Richmond and saw The Surgeon's Scalpel exhibition, by Haydon Williams, and enjoyed looking at the otherworldly pictures of trees.
I attended darklily
's wedding reception and ate cake, chatted to friends from NaNoWriMo, tried to avoid the plastic plant that kept trying to get me, and listened to darklily
sing beautifully. Congratulations to you both!
I stared at colourful and elaborate, but oddly still, mobiles in the Tate Modern, with my mum, at the Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture exhibition. We also admired the views from the roof garden at One New Change, and saw some of the Sculpture in the City exhibits - shoes made of copper, a structure made of many bicycles outside the Gherkin, and Damian Hirst's girl giant.
I went to Dorkbot and listened to talks on haptical feedback and biosensors in interactive dance, games such as Punch the Custard, DOOM piano, and Fabulous Beasts, and 3D printed sound sculptures, and papercraft electronics in schools.
I attended a focus group and watched people through a one way mirror.
I saw the Memepunks and danced until 4am at Club Antichrist with doseybat
I went to pplfichi
's birthday party.
I read How to make sense of any mess
and attended UX bookclub and discussed it, as well as time travel and super powers.
I went to the Magical Lantern Festival in Chiswick with Monika and saw pandas, zebras, dragons, flowers, jellyfish, wine glasses, sphinxes, and phoneboxes, that were actually lanterns.
I ate bright green pandan cake at Coffee Geek and Friends.
I marched against the Trident with my mum, and then had coffee with my brother and sister-in-law.
I saw Little Ben, which had returned to outside Victoria Station, after a four year absence.
I had a fun birthday. I wore a captain's hat and played in a red, yellow and purple ball pit and ate creme egg toasties at the Creme Egg Cafe. Then went to Fed by Water and had a spanky and a tiramisex. (Spanky was a vegan pizza with sausage and portobello mushrooms, and tiramisex was vegan tiramisu.) Also, played games and had game themed cocktails at the Scenario Loading Bar. (Deus Ex on the Beach! Skyrum! Final Fantas-tea XV!) And I saw lots of my amazing friends at these places! An excellent day!