storytimewithbuffy

Posts Tagged ‘London’

He Blinded Me With SCIENCE!

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2013 at 11:43 am
The Science Museum in London

The Science Museum in London

Hello there, bloggy friends! Hope your weekend is going well. My weekend has been really nice.

Just a bit of background before I tell you about it. Mr. Buffy is a freelance cinematographer, so when work comes along, he pretty much has to take it. Well, work has been coming a long quite steadily (which is good) but a lot of that work has been happening on weekends (kind of sucky). With me working a 9 to 5 Monday through Friday job and him working something like 18 weekends in a row, we haven’t seen each other much lately. Ok, I’m being dramatic. It has only been 4 or 5 weekends in a row. It feels like a lot though.

Anyway, I was thrilled to find out that he was finishing up some work on Thursday night and would then have three days in a row where he didn’t have to work. Three days, people!

The obvious thing for me to do was to take Friday off so that we could spend them together. So I did. And we decided it would be fun to head into London for some sight-seeing and shopping.

Our first stop was the Science Museum. It’s been a few years since we last went there so off we went.

My favourite part was the space stuff. There were lots of rockets and space shuttle parts. There was even a small piece of the moon. There was a floor dedicated to genetics and what makes us who we are. There were a lot of interactive booths, mostly for kids, but we pushed them out of the way. We got to see what we would look like as elderly people. The software wasn’t really great. They pretty much just put lines on my face and gave me kinky grey hair.

I'm going to relish my role as a grumpy old lady!

I’m going to relish my role as a grumpy old lady!

The hubs pressed the button to see what he looked like as a baby and it was super creepy because it didn’t edit out his beard. I wish we had gotten a picture of that!

Anyway, after the museum, we went for lunch and then we went shopping and ended up at my favourite store: Forbidden Planet!!! I bought Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer because it’s gorgeous.

A must have for anyone who writes sci-fi or fantasy. and it was £2 off!

A must have for anyone who writes sci-fi or fantasy. and it was £2 off!

Like I said, it was a good day.

We spent Saturday at home together. We had a massive cleaning session and then chilled out. Oh and FYI to my male readers: DO NOT underestimate how attractive you are while you are cleaning the house. I’m just putting that information out there, free of charge. Do with it what you will.

So, that was my weekend. I hope yours was nice too!

Oh and here’s the video that inspired my blog title. This song runs through my head any time I think about the Science Museum.

Come back on Wednesday as I’ll have a book to talk about with you!

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Sixty-One Nails

In Book Reviews on October 20, 2013 at 6:00 am
Sixty-One Nails

Angry Robot 2009

The tiny motes left hiding there were consumed almost incidentally as the flood of dark power swept through the the debris, the dark-spore sparking tiny flares in the roiling darkness as it was consumed. In those flares, I heard the echoes of distant screams as they boiled away.

It made me smile.

Nutshell blurb: Niall Peterson collapses on the London Underground and is revived by a woman who goes by the name of Blackbird. She is one of the Feyre and he must help her ensure that an ancient ritual is performed in order to prevent all of humankind from being enslaved by the Untainted.

I’m following Ben Aaronovitch on Goodreads and I saw that he read this book and gave it 5 stars so I thought I’d check it out. I can totally see why he did. This was an engaging read that kept me gripped. Anything that keeps me reading during times when I’m not meant to be doing so can only be a good thing.

There were a couple of things that kept me from giving it 5 stars (I gave it 4). I felt like there was a lot of exposition in this story. One character in the book gave us complete histories of the Feyre and various aspects of this other world and I just felt that it happened way too often. Sometimes it felt as if this woman was talking through the entire book and it got a bit tiresome.

I guess the question is: how do you convey the finer points of your world to your readers without straight out explaining every detail? (If you know, please tell me because I’m world-building in my own writing.)

There was another point that made me scratch my head. When Niall and Blackbird first met, she gave him the name Rabbit because names have power and the Feyre and Untainted don’t give out their names for fear of giving others an advantage over them. However, throughout the book she constantly calls him by his given name but it never really seemed to have any consequences.

Those were a couple of things that bothered me. Nothing too earth-shaking.

On to what I liked.

The hidden world and the folklore of the Feyre and Untainted were really well thought out and completely absorbing. It is really rich in detail which is hugely appealing. The characters are interesting and believable. I loved that the main character is a forty-two year old man with an ex-wife and daughter.

What I really loved is that it’s set in London. As with Moon Over Soho (if you haven’t read my post about it, you can find it here) I totally dig the mixture of fantasy with modern day London. There were so many places that I ‘recognised’. The story starts on the District Line which I take every day to work. I love reading about various places and picturing where they are in my head. It adds an extra level of detail that makes it even more charming.

Definitely a great read. Unfortunately, Goodreads doesn’t allow 1/2 stars or I would have given it 4 1/2. I’ll just have to settle for giving it 4 1/2 stars in my head.

I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for the second book.

My Saturday of Culture and Geekiness

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2013 at 6:00 am

So, I don’t actually have a book to talk about this Sunday. Again. I’ve got about 2 weeks until I take my exam for work so, as I mentioned last week, that’s where all of my energies are focused. Urgh…

Anyway, I took an afternoon off from studying on Saturday to spend some much needed quality time with the hubs. We ventured into the vast wilds of London in search of culture and unadulterated geekiness.

Our first stop was the National Gallery. If you aren’t familiar with it, here it is: April-London 005

(I didn’t take this picture yesterday, by the way. We go here often. I don’t know why I felt the need to tell you that, but there you are.)

Here’s the view if you’re standing with your back to the National Gallery: April-London 001

We like to visit every now and then when we feel like we need some inspiration. There’s some really cool stuff in there. This time I felt like the impressionists were really speaking to me. Not literally, just so we’re clear. I just really felt drawn to them. Perhaps that style of art represents what my life is like at the moment: messy but beautiful.

I feel that I have to tell you that I know next to nothing about art. I like looking at it, but I don’t have anything profound to say about it. So, I bought postcards of these paintings to remind me of a couple that really moved me.

The Boulevard Montmartre at Night by Camille Pissarro (From National Gallery website)

The Boulevard Montmartre at Night by Camille Pissarro (from National Gallery website)

A Wheatfield, with Cypresses, 1889 by Vincent van Gogh (From the National Gallery website)

A Wheatfield, with Cypresses, 1889 by Vincent van Gogh (from the National Gallery website)

After the National Gallery, we went to Forbidden Planet which is my most favourite shop in the whole world. It’s full of wonder, geekiness and so much win! We probably spent as much time there as we did in the National Gallery. No, I’m serious. We perused shelves full of comic books, many of which I’ve earmarked for Christmas. Then on to the books. *sigh* The books.

The past two weeks I’ve been such a good girl, studying hard like I should, but I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss reading books for fun. Half an hour before bed each night is not even close to being enough time to read!  I’m suffering from withdrawal and an intense envy every time I see someone reading a book for fun. I must soldier on. Only two more weeks…

I’m sure that you can imagine, given the above information, how sad it made me to walk through the shelves and look at all of the books that I won’t be reading in the next two weeks.

Poor me.

However, I did treat myself to a sliver of awesomeness to dull the ache. Feast your eyes on this!

Jake and Lady Rainicorn

 

Now my oyster card can travel in style! (For those of you unfamiliar with the oyster card, it’s how we Londoners get around on the buses and underground.) I would have preferred a card featuring Lumpy Space Princess, but alas, they didn’t have one. This one is really amazing, though, as I do love Lady Rainicorn and it makes me smile every time I use it.

It was a lovely way to while away a Saturday afternoon.

Hopefully I will have a book to talk to you about on Wednesday. I’m halfway finished with one, so the outlook is positive.

Anyway, I must go study.

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