July 28th, 2007


Saltwater Rhapsody

2AM until 10PM the following day. That's only 44 hours, but the trip to Eutin and back again seemed like a whole week. No wonder, then, that I've spent most of today half-asleep, and even now am still pretty exhausted.

As such, the report on that trip will wait until tommorrow morning. I was going to do it today, but somehow, today just seemed to fly by. Maybe time from today went to yesterday, as to even things out? In any case, I won't go into much detail quite yet.

Instead, I'll detail a few of the things I did today:

Collapse )

I finally caved in and added the iLike application to my Facebook profile. Most people who I know who use it have 3 or 5 songs on their profile, often to give an idea as to their character and taste in music, such as one of my friends whose songs include Counting Crows and Steeleye Span. My usage of the application may well give a better indication of character than of musical taste, however, as I found it impossible to select a mere 5 songs, or even 10, to represent my tastes, and as such, I now have about 340 songs, with 10 selected at random appearing on my profile. Ideally, it will show a variety of genres (Tchaikovsky, Ralph McTell, Sonata Arctica, RENT, Wir sind Helden, Mike Oldfield, R.E.M, The Cardigans, The Killers and Duran Duran), but it could just as easily end up showing either lots from one artist (such as Nightwish or Dido), a lot of well-known tracks ('Sit Down' by James, 'Affirmation' by Savage Garden), or just the more embaressing ones ('House of Fun' by Madness, 'Blame It on the Weatherman' by B*Witched, 'Queen of Hearts' by Juice Newton). All in all, however, I think it gives a good indication of my taste in music, even if it might be hard to find a linking factor between traditional Celtic ballads ('Ansacht n'Ansacht'), ska ('Beer'), modern classical ('Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity'), prog rock ('Xanadu'), and 60s anthems ('Mr. Tambourine Man'). Maybe sometime I'll transcribe a list, but of course, I'm limited to those tracks that are on iLike. I had no success trying to add such tracks as 'Lithium Flower' by Scott Matthews, 'Highland' by One More Time, 'Doctor Faustus' by the Cyber People, 'Wolkenberge' by Schandmaul, or 'Neo Universe' by ~L'Arc~en~Ciel.

I tried that Sorting Hat meme that's been going around, and got the result 'Squib'. I then realised that this was because I had chosen Ravenclaw as my assumed House, when actually, I was about even between Gryffindor and Slytherin, with one or the other coming out on top depending on my mood. I had honestly believed myself to be Ravenclaw too, but oh well, these things matter not.

Photography by Candlelight

The Hold Steady's 'Stuck between Stations' blends seamlessly with The Who's 'Won't get Fooled Again' when they're put back to back. Interesting.

Anyhow, I recieved my new camera this morning, and after battling through about 10 layers of packaging, managed to pick it up and place the memory card into it. After a second of tension, I found myself looking at a photo of the back of the coach that took us to Hunstanton a fortnight ago. In other words, the memory card survived, and didn't even need cleaning. Well, that's not quite true: my father actually cleaned it whilst I was running around like a headless chicken in the minutes after I fished it out of the Ostsee (as the Germans call the Baltic). Somtimes it pays to be level-headed, rather than emotionally panicked. On the plus side, whilst I was worrying my head off, a helpful German called down from the pier where my camera was, and suggsted that it may work if I dried it. I didn't answer with a long response, but I realise that understanding, and replying in, German in such a state is a good sign. My German isn't that bad, then.

So, yes, Eutin photographs have been uploaded and are safe. I was a little disappointed to discover no photograph of the sea rushing towards my camera, but at least two photographs show where the camera fell, so I know to avoid that bedeviled spot during next year. My new camera is taking some getting used to. It may be of the same family as my waterlogged camera, but it's 2 or 3 years newer, and thus has better resolution, more modes (including a Candlelight mode), and a bigger LCD, which won't turn off, so batteries will run out quicker if I leave it on. I'm still getting used to where the new buttons are, but what's also taking some getting used to is the colour. It's white rather than silver.

I'm still feeling slightly uneasy. It's still two months until I begin my Year Abroad, but the Eutin visit has re-inforced what a big deal this is. It's looming over me, and will be all Summer I feel. I can distract myself by thinking about what I can do from Eutin (travel to Lübeck and fly to Stockholm / Danzig (Gdansk) / Andalucia, travel to Travemünde and take the ferry to Sweden or further, travel to Lübeck and then take trains to other parts of Germanty), but it's Eutin itself that presents the greatest oncoming headache. Bank accounts, phone contracts, accommodation, internet connection and so on...and that's forgetting the matter of speaking German. My spoken German is still A-Level standard (or so I feel) , so that's still quite a worry.

As a bizarre aside, I maintain that Waltzing Matilda ought to be the Australian national anthem, and formality be blown. The problem with many national anthems is that they're not national, in that the style is universal. Advance Australia Fair isn't anywhere near as moving at Waltzing Matilda, the latter of which has often brought tears to my eyes. Yes, I realise as a Brit, I'm not qualified to judge, but I think our national anthem ought to be replaced with Jerusalem anyhow. Why should God save the Queen more than anyone else?