Thailand #5

Jan. 4th, 2017 10:43 pm
miss_squiddy: (Default)
Day 9 - Chiang Mai
Our last full day of holiday was spent in Chiang Mai. We were scheduled to go on a longtail boat ride but our day had a rather bizarre start: the boat jetty was right next to a small but very beautiful local temple and as it was the (deceased) king's birthday, it was a national holiday. The temple was very busy and had been decorated with ribbons and flowers and lots of people were lighting candles outside. When we came back, people were releasing fish into the river (you can buy a big bag full of fish and frogs and turtles) and letting birds out of cages (it's a Buddhist thing).

Back to the mountains! )

Thailand #4

Jan. 4th, 2017 09:31 pm
miss_squiddy: (Default)
Day 7 - Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai
OK. This might well be one of my favourite days. Chaiyan went completely off programme to take us to a place he thought was brilliant - and he was not wrong! In the morning when he told us he was taking us to see another temple, we all inwardly groaned a little - but this one was designed and built by a contemporary artist who studied in London. And it was bonkers. The White Temple essentially takes traditional Thai art and architecture, mashes it up with pop culture and then turns the whole thing up to 11!

There are elephants in this one! )

Thailand #3

Jan. 3rd, 2017 11:41 pm
miss_squiddy: (pink)
Day 5 - Sukothai
On 1st December I woke up at Sukothai Heritage Resort, stepped outside into the sunshine and enjoyed looking at the beautiful pools full of lotus flowers, hanging orchids and dragonflies. What a wonderful way to start December! We boarded our bus and set off for Sukothai Historical Park, a set of absolutely stunning ruins framed by pools full of bright pink lotus blossoms. We had the option of travelling around the site by bicycle or motor transport but as it was so hot we chose motorised and got chauffeured around on some sort of reverse rickshaw - motorbike at the back for the driver and seats on the front for us! At the park instead of lots of towering stupa, we saw giant Buddha statues set amongst columns and highly decorated stonework covered in carvings of dancers and devotees. A couple of really rather grand standing Buddhas were so gigantic they had walls built around them which I assumed were to hold them up. It sort of gave the impression that they were standing in cupboards though! This was the first capital of the kingdom of Siam, so an important place and a completely different style. It was also the only place we were able to go inside a stupa - and although a little small and dungeony, still interesting to finally look up and see the wooden structures supporting the tower interior.

We visit some farms, meet a hill tribe and feed some monks... )
miss_squiddy: (Default)
Day 3: Ayutthaya
Our first destination this morning was the Bang Pa In Summer Palace. I have to be honest. I was expecting something similar to the Grand Palace, just a bit further out (in a Buckingham Palace - Windsor Palace sort of way). It was a bit of a drive from Bangkok but we suddenly turned off the morotrway and started making our way along smaller and smaller roads. Very oddly, although a lot of the land was agricultural, we only really saw crops and not many animals at all. When we arrived at the Palace we made our way into a small (and not terribly grand) entrance hall for a passport check - and then out into what appeared at first just to be gardens.

The Summer Palace actually consists of beautiful gardens, parkland and lakes with ornamental buildings dotted around throughout. We first visited a small shrine then made our way to a recreation of a 'European' bridge (which had a frankly terrible mish-mash of knock-off classical figures and fairies cemented to it but you could see what they had been going for) - and then to a pavilion overlooking a lake where we bought bread and fed it to the fish - and turtles! (There were some real whoppers in there too!) Apparently, it's a Buddhist thing to do...

In which we leave the city and enjoy some beautiful scenery and magnificent views. And more temples. )
miss_squiddy: (Default)
So yeah. I went to Thailand on holiday by myself (Mike didn't have enough leave and I had loads of TOIL to use up). As I can't speak or read Thai and didn't really have any time to plan what I wanted to do in any kind of detail (but wanted to do more than just sitting on a beach), I decided to book a package deal and settled on a trip with Kuoni, who offered one with lots of variety on some very do-able dates. It's not what I would normally do, but it was about all I had the energy for...

Kuoni were actually really great. They sent me an itinerary with vouchers in for all of my hotels and the details of all of all my flights and basically sorted everything out for me from the moment I arrived in Bangkok. I was really impressed with their service and would definitely recommend them: I worked out that the difference in doing the tour with them and by myself roughly equated to £800 - but that was easily recuperated in transfer, travel, efficiency and time saving!

Buckle up kids, this is a long one! )


Feb. 8th, 2012 07:18 pm
miss_squiddy: (obligatory hat picture)
Does anyone use RSS to export their friends feed to an alternative reader? Does it work, and what's the deal with locked posts?
miss_squiddy: (calvin and hobbes)
Here's an interesting thing from Dr. Steve Jones (he's an amazing guy and knows lots of cool stuff).

"For dyslexics, there is an unfathomable fit between how a word is written and how it sounds. English spelling (which makes dyslexics feel like ghoti out of ghoti, or fish out of water - the fish with 'gh' as in rough, 'o' as in women, 'ti' as in nation; and the water with the same letters but as in plough, cord and tin) makes no sense.

Italian is much more logical. The Dantean 'Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura...'both sounds and look better than 'In the midway of this our mortal life, I found myself in a gloomy wood...'

The forty distinct sounds in English can be spelled in over a thousand ways. Italian is more economical in its utterances, with just over twenty-five sounds and a mere thirty three ways to put them on paper. Italy has, a a result, only about half as many dyslexics per head as does England, and Italian children learn to read their logical language well before their anglophone cousins."

So there you go. If you're dyslexic, try Italian.
miss_squiddy: (gungirl)
How wonderful.
RSS feed goes haywire and I get spammed by Romantically Apocalyptic... ♥


Jun. 6th, 2011 07:39 pm
miss_squiddy: (brom)
I have 700 unread emails in my LJ inbox.
So not reading them.

Read this!

Mar. 10th, 2011 11:34 pm
miss_squiddy: (Banksy)

I have just finished reading this book. It's amazing. A huge mix of interesting things collected by this guy who has essentially travelled around the world being all cool and down with the kids. He writes like Tim Westwood speaks but he's been to a lot of amazing (and scary) places and talked to a lot of crazy, influential people.

Yeah, it's got Banksy and Obey and the nems you would expect, but also Benjamin Zephaniah, Paul Hartnett, the KLF and a whole heap of talented young people doing interesting stuff.

I have about a billion websites to check out now...

Feeed me!

Nov. 29th, 2010 09:18 pm
miss_squiddy: (marge 2)
Nowadays, I use LJ quite a lot to syndicate blogs and make it easier to see the cool stuff I enjoy looking at. I've set up (and pilfered) a fair few feeds over the last few months so here are some of my favourites (I like Hyperbole and a Half too, but you all already read that!)

[ profile] gothiccharmsch - Pretty things and pictures of goth related stuff
[ profile] hautexmacabre - Mostly clothes of a goth type nature
[ profile] nowthisisgothic - Photos from the 1980s of - you guessed it - goth type people (Empty because I just set it up!)

[ profile] marriedtoseafee - Old engravings with funny captions
[ profile] myfirstdict - Excellent 50s style subversive picture dictionary
[ profile] nataliedee_syn - Cute and amusing cartoons
[ profile] postsecret - Anonymous secrets on postcards
[ profile] rmntcllyapclypt - One of the most gorgeously illustrated web comics in a long while
[ profile] theoatmealrss - 'How many otters could you hit with a shoe?' etc
[ profile] tooth4dinner - Wobbly little cartoon people living sad little lives

[ profile] sweetstation - New favourite addiction! Weird art from around the world
[ profile] toxeldotcom - Amazing inventions
[ profile] welshview - Weird stuff from across the web
[ profile] hideyourarms - Awesome t-shirts, amazing deals. Can be post heavy.

Anyone else got any faves they'd like to share? I always have time for pretty pictures and silly jokes...
miss_squiddy: (panic)
I'm not doing that meme. I'll forget, and I ramble on about myself enough anyway. Instead, here's a question for you.

One morning, you find a genie in your cornflakes. Best free gift ever. The genie says you can have 3 wishes, but there are some conditions.

1. You can't wish for world peace or repair the environment or anything like that.
2. You can't make anyone fall in love with you or otherwise mess about with anyone's emotions.
3. You can't have eternal life. That would be daft.
4. You can't wish for more wishes. This genie isn't a sucker. Three, tops.

Oh, and one more thing. You probably shouldn't trust genies, especially the ones that come free in the cornflakes so you have to be clear.

Go. :)


Aug. 18th, 2010 12:56 am
miss_squiddy: (Tarsier)
New Futurama just keeps getting better and better. You should watch it.
miss_squiddy: (skull)
This is definitely worth the read. An amazing story about some admirable people. :)
miss_squiddy: (UV me)
On September 19th this year, I shall be taking part in the Marie Curie Driving Challenge. (Again.)

Yeah, it's a bit sexist, but it's a fun way to raise money which may involve tanks. And because it's fun, I shall be contributing £100 in sponsorship myself (that's the amount you have to raise to take part). No point asking you lot to pay for me to have fun, is there? My target is to match that through donations!

This is my Just Giving page. If you can afford it, please sponsor me here (and tick the gift aid box for extra bonus money).

And just because I want to play with my new badge machine, everyone who sponsors me can have a badge. (Hooray!)

To design your badge, you'll need to draw a circle 35mm in diameter - but fit your design in the centre space (25mm in diameter, so it doesn't get squished over the edge). And if you aren't feeling terribly creative, you can just link me to a photo or choose an amusing slogan. Of course, I will have to buy stamps, so if you want one, sponsor me £1 to make it worthwhile!

You can stick your design and postal address in a screened comment below, message me on facebook or email me...
miss_squiddy: (panic)
I have a magic credit card. I was shopping online today and something very strange happened...

I was merrily buying things to assist my nice postlady in her daily exercise when I got to one of those card verifaction things. I entered my password. There was an error. I realised it was the wrong password and entered the right one. Another error. Perhaps I mis-typed. I tried again. Nope. I clicked 'Forgotten Password' and entered all my details.

Computer says no.

'Some of your details have been entered incorrectly and do not match our records. Please try again.'

I tried again.

'You are clearly a fool who does not understand the internet. Stop mashing the keyboard and call this number.'

So I called the number. Nothing for it as the verification thing wouldn't do anything any more. Nice bank man asked me for my card details. Then asked me again. And again.

Apparently, the security number on the back of my card isn't the number it ought to be. This means my card (which I only use to buy things online and have been using to buy stuff from places like Amazon, John Lewis, Zavvi and Play in the last few weeks) suddenly won't work any more.

Nice Bank Man was totally confused as to how this could have happened and didn't know what to do.

So now I have to take the card into the bank to prove that they are wrong and I can actually read three numbers in the right order without getting them completely and utterly wrong. (Because the security details on the card suddenly don't match the details on file the bank can't accept that I am me over the phone and give me a new card the normal way.)