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Optimistic
Hello! I have been in Mallorca! I have not caught up on the internets, so please tell me if anything thrilling has happened in my absence.

Mallorca was lovely, with much fine scenery and beaches and food and whatnot. Though I would have liked the GREAT HEAT OF THE DAYSTAR to maybe turn itself down a bit when we were climbing up a very steep hill on our second day's hiking. I may have shaken my fist at the sky, a bit. Though at least, unlike B, I wasn't carrying 13.5 kilos of toddler on my back at the time.

Also re: hiking, a big red flag to watch out for in guidebooks is "little-used path". Well, not unless you like bashing your way through extremely spiky vegetation/slidey gravel/steep rocks trying to find said path, eventually giving up and making your noble driver niallm come and meet you at an entirely different location to the one you agreed on earlier.

Also A is obsessed with the sea. I am fairly sure he doesn't have the Innsmouth Look...

in which i done a festival

Musical
We played at yet another festival at the weekend - Castlepalooza, which had many things to recommend it, not least being a half hour's drive from B's parents house. Babysitting and comfy bed to sleep in ahoy!

It was kind of a weird 'un. As Vin said, "it doesn't seem to be really about the music, more about the concept, but I'm not sure what the concept is, other than 'drinking beside a castle'". Unlike its predecessor at the castle, the Mor festival, which was very chin-strokingly beardy indie, this was all a lot more "young people's local singalong indie" and a lot of, as I discovered while sitting around on Sunday afternoon, total shite. Yes, band on the main stage with about eight million people who still sounded like a particularly twee and poorly amplified busker, I am talking about you. And you, band who sounded potentially interesting until your crap singer started and you added that four to the floor bass drum.

Still, though. I kind of liked it. The admission fee was small (hence the lack of big name bands) and it was on a train line and there wasn't anything too frightening on the bill, basically aiming it squarely at The Young People while not being a teenage pissup. More "early 20s want to go to a boutique festival but can't afford/amn't so muso I'll save for Electric Picnic et al" than "I've just done my leaving and want to get drunk and burn things at Oxegen".

And the setting was lovely, our set went well, I got to spend the afternoon swanning around sans babyman in manner of young carefree person, and Adebisi Shank (who were on after us) were tip top. Glenn from Somadrone (also top) said they were like listening to Thin Lizzy IN THE FUTURE.

belt and braces

Shoes
Is it my imagination, or is this basically suggesting that you pay twelve quid to hold your trousers up with a piece of rope, in manner of elderly Irish farmer at the mart (though, come to think of it, that might be baling twine)?

In other entirely frivolous news (and the reason why I am looking at belt shops on the internet), some years ago I had a belt that looked a bit like this, only less old and rainbow-coloured. It was extremely comfy (being very flat, thin, and stretchy) and v handy if (like me) you have a hip/waist ratio such that trousers tend to gape a bit at the waist. Has anyone seen such a thing anywhere else? Web searches for "elastic belt" are getting me a)trusses, b)wide fancy-buckled eighties monstrosities, and c)belts aimed at the sort of person who also buys extra wide sheepskin booties from ads in the back of the Daily Mail magazine.

Also small child slept well(ish) last night! I am as ONE REBORN.

lisa's music corner

Musical
Right, you should all rush out and buy the new Wire album. Because it is a thing of poptastic loveliness, and the end of the last track feels like light pouring out of your head. Or something.

music goes better with you

Optimistic
Arlo just stood up from the ground, unsupported! Rather fantastically, he did so, as far as I can see, in order to dance to ultraruby's Best Of 2010 comp.

before falling on his bottom.

next up: hails of frogs?

Penguin
Apparently a house round the corner from us was struck by lightning last night.

nom

Penguin
Many thanks to shermarama, who posted a link to this roasted squash pasta recipe on The Community That Dare Not Speak Its Name. I made it this evening, and not only was it greatly enjoyed by the adult members of the household, I have also discovered that Arlo would quite possibly sell us into the white slave trade for butternut squash.

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famous last words

Penguin
So, er, the thing I said yesterday about not pulling himself up on things...?

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digging your scene

Penguin
Yesterday afternoon was unexpectedly, gloriously sunny, so B and Karl and I girded our loins and went swimming off the Bull Wall. I've walked down the wall umpteen times, past the ancient bathing shelters, but always kind of saw them as relics of Auld Dublin, not something to actually use, with their LADIES SHELTER and MENS SHELTER signs and their peeling paint and slick steps down into the unappealing freezing sea. But actually, when it's warm, they're a perfectly pleasant place to change and launch yourself into the waves, and the sea was glorious. Calm and cool and a view of ferries and container ships coming in and out of the docks. One old bloke said he'd been swimming with a seal earlier.

The other thing I really liked, though, was that far from being moribund conveniences that were only used on the very rare occasion of sunshine, there appeared to be an established Ancient Bathing Shelters social scene. The men's shelter (from what I could see) had a bunch of chatty auld lads sunning themselves. And when I went in to the ladies' shelter the first thing I saw was a tiny birdlike old lady in an enormous hat and a floral frock with rolled down stockings, perched on a deckchair and discussing flipflops with her slightly younger friend, who was sunbathing topless and reading a trashy novel. A bunch of elderly ladies towelling their hair and inviting another young(er) arrival to lock her bike to theirs, sure the bike was the only way to get around, I'd prefer it to any ould car, and isn't the sea lovely today.

It was great.

and then I see a boldness

Optimistic
Perhaps inspired by hfnuala's tales of her daughter's crawling exploits, Arlo has suddenly started crawling forwards. FAST. So far today I have had to rescue him from the fireplace (repeatedly) and from trying to eat the bin. Nothing is safe. Eep.

I am just not going to tell him about her pulling up on things, I think...

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