August 19th, 2017
naye: the sky and mountains above lake geneva (mountain dawn)
posted by [personal profile] naye at 11:32pm on 19/08/2017 under ,
Sharing a couple of pictures from our trip before bedtime. ♥

Just one to start with over the cut - lots more below!


20170812_090000

Lake Geneva Panorama View


Lake, castle & mountains here )
August 18th, 2017
kjn: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kjn at 11:28pm on 18/08/2017 under ,
Apart from Fantastika 2016 (where I edited the con newsletter), I have only had light duties at most cons I've been to recently. At Worldcon 75 I was the Area Head of childrens' programming. To make matters worse, my co-Area Head (and wife) [personal profile] thette had been battling exhaustion due to work for the year before the con, and busted her knee the Friday before the con started, so she had to strictly ration her work.

I'm not even that good with kids, especially when they are excited and in a group. Luckily, I had some excellent staffers, who did most of the work with keeping the kids happy, while I did most of the behind-the-scenes jobs. So this report is dedicated to Silja Lampela, Mia-Pia Asomäki, Katherine Catchpole, Marie Engfors, and Therese Norén, my excellent staffers. (Technically Katherine was "only" a volunteer, but as she joined our security briefing, I thought it simplest to just declare her a staffer as well.)

Pre-con travel and work )

Wednesday )

Thursday )

Friday )

Saturday )

Sunday )

Post-con )
naye: view from an airplane window with the text "new horizon" superimposed (new horizons)
I'm back! And just in time for the sweet Bannishment schadenfreude following another harrowing week (we watched Last Week Tonight from two weeks and it felt like everything John Oliver joked about happened months and months ago because this is apparently the curse of 2017).

Here's a super brief itinerary:

Aug 9th: To in-law's home in Switzerland
Aug 10th: More in-law's place
Aug 11th: Random hotel in Montreux
Aug 12th: In-law's mountain village chalet
Aug 13th: Back at in-law's place
Aug 14th: Flight home
Aug 15th: Home
Aug 16th: Flight to Sweden + apartment hunting in new town
Aug 17th: Meet ALL the new colleagues + fly back home
Aug 18th: Back at work

Or for anyone wanting to catch up on what I've been up to  in slightly more (but still brief) detail:

Aug 9th: Woke to new plans announced by Family causing me to stress out and then calm down. Flight to Switzerland (resigned to Heathrow's awful Surprise Gate system); family dinner 
Aug 10th: Lovely steam boat trip on Lake Geneva, the mountains still shrouded in clouds
Aug 11th: Original New Plan suddenly replaced by on the spot plan conveyed by phone after fun castle outing; causing me to... just kind of deal because this is what the in-laws are like and stressing out won't change anything. Night unexpectedly spent in random hotel!
Aug 12th: Family thermal pool trip; night spent in mountain chalet... really can't complain.
Aug 13th: Broke away from family to visit my home village & good friends there. Lots of time on trains. Also news from cat sitters that Meenie had escaped and been recaptured!
Aug 14th: Trip home; dealing with crappy Geneva airport (it really is the opposite of what you imagine when you hear the words "Swiss airport"), delayed flight, and general exhaustion from family + too little sleep.
Aug 15th: Errands including dentist (extra fun: discover at 2pm out on run that the 3pm appointment in calendar was 3pm SWISS TIME because Google was being "helpful" and appointment is actually due right now across town from where you're on a run...), unpacking Swiss bags to pack bag for Sweden trip.
Aug 16th: Up at 5am to catch flight out of Gatwick, then tight connection to arrive in New Town for the first time and scout it out before heading to apartment showing.
Aug 17th: Spend all day meeting new people, being introduced to new workplace and new town and doing a ridiculous amount of walking in nice (i.e. not my most comfy) shoes before catching a flight back and arriving home after 10pm.
Aug 18th: Back at work

I am deeply grateful for the Compeed band-aid/plasters that kept my heels from fraying completely, have broken all my steps per week records, and my legs are giving me a preview of what they will feel like in another thirty years.

That said... 

More details about the whole New Job New Town situation )
August 15th, 2017
naye: the sky and mountains above lake geneva (mountain dawn)
posted by [personal profile] naye at 09:46pm on 15/08/2017 under , , , ,
20170811_153625
Just a glimpse. More to come. This is Lake Geneva from a window in the Chateau de Chillion.

The week in Switzerland was, despite the in-law stressors, an amazing experience. Being near the mountains of my birth always recharges my soul in a way I can't put into words (but I have some pictures for later that might help). Seeing stars wheel over the jagged black alpine silhouettes against the soft summer sky and then waking to slanting light cut by mountains as it streams into a valley is home. Walking along the lake so wide it sometimes seems like a calm green sea as seagulls whirl overhead is home... and of course restful hours spent gazing out the window of clean and spacious trains that (mostly) run on time is also home (though not as home as the backseat of an old SAAB struggling up the hairpin curves with the smell of hot asphalt and fresh hay wafting through the cranked-down window).

And I got to visit the home of my heart; my mountain home. I was in my grandparents house (if not their exact flat) again, where they lived from the early fifties and until the end of their lives. I walked the corridors and lawns where I roamed as a child, and I saw lizards and friendly cats and swifts and sparrows and clouds coming to sweep the mountains in their soft embrace.

Plus I got to spend time with people I love and kids I adore and family whose lives I want to be a part of.

Leaving was hard (leaving home is hard and I missed my grandparents even though I've had years - years and years and years for some - to get used to them not being around and I missed childhood) and our flight was late and today was full of errands and dentists and an embarrassingly slow & halting 6k. There was Twin Peaks to make up for it - we rewatched last week's ep and new-watched Sunday's ep back to back with cherry pie - and that was pretty awesome.

And then tomorrow - 5am start ugh - I'm going to Sweden by myself to look at (and hopefully secure!) an apartment where we can make our next home. In our new home town. Where neither one of us has ever been. And if that flight is late... Well that's a disaster to deal with then. (I'm nervous. Of course.) Then Thursday I meet my new library and my new colleagues (gulp) and then I fly back in time to sleep and go to work on Friday in our current home.

It's... it's A Week, that's for sure. (And that's not even going into any of what's happened in the rest of the world this week!)

But when I'm back - really back, properly rested and recharged back - I have pictures that I want to share. Of my home. The mountainous one. ♥
August 10th, 2017
naye: ruby and sapphire from steven universe hugging (hug - su r&s)
posted by [personal profile] naye at 06:13am on 10/08/2017 under
At in-laws. Kids are delightful. Adults are being very nice to us but the fact that my wife's brother-in-law got annoyed at Steven Universe while drinking beer elsewhere in the flat and now tells his kids (8 & 10) that it's stupid (!) and they're not allowed to watch it (!!) is upsetting. The kids even told us he thinks we've been a bad influence because we introduced them to the show when they were younger and now when they try to watch it he gets mad and turns it off.

I know I shouldn't be judging people on what TV they let their kids engage with but... seriously who bans Steven Universe of all shows?! (It's not cartoons in general or anything like that either. It's specifically this cartoon being "stupid".)
August 8th, 2017
naye: zoro cradling his sword with a smile, with the word "breathe" (one piece - breathe)
posted by [personal profile] naye at 10:07pm on 08/08/2017 under
Ways of staying sane: occasionally allow self to forget all about #45, including the really terrifying newsflashes.

In other news... Tomorrow we're off to what was originally planned to be a visit to my wife's niece and nephew, where we'd hoped for maximum kid time and minimum in-law interaction. However, a little while ago my parents in law decided to invite themselves to come at the same time. And I can't fault them (or, well - we keep inviting them to visit us here and in five years they've just... not), because it's rare to get their two kids and grandkids at once but. Well. It'll be different than originally planned.

But it's just for the week. It'll be fun seeing the kids and good - if not entirely thrilling - to fulfil family obligations. I will give my in-laws credit for being very sweet and completely accepting (to me - my wife gets low-key hassled by her mom) of our very gay relationship. Considering they grew up during the Cultural Revolution, this is probably not something they ever imagined dealing with, and they're showing admirable grace with the whole queer thing.

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