alexandral: (Photos - Summer red)
Today is the day Christmas is celebrated in Russia: I wish you all a wonderful year ahead, happiness, love and want to tell you how much I appreciate you! I don't know if I say this often enough, but your posts full of fun and information is something I would not imagine my life without!!



** big hugs **
alexandral: (Default)
It's holidays! School's half-term! I am also on holidays for a week, and so is Mr.Alexander. We are having all manner of good family time together, all three of us, so I will be off LJ until the next Monday (31st of October).

I hope all of you are having a good time too! Love to all!

PS: We have been caching on some TV as well, and finally watched through the season 3 (and the current episodes of the season 4) of Merlin. So far, I am loving the season 4. It seems somewhat darker and less Disney than the other seasons. What has changed? the new writer? Anyways, I am finally enjoying this show for real, rather than just watching it because my daughter likes to watch it together.
alexandral: (Default)
I could not access LJ at all for several days - another DDoS attack? Just managed to do so by using an old version of IE I have for testing, still can't access it through Firefox or Chrome.

Just wanted to say good bye as I am going to Prague for holidays with the family. My love to you all!!!!!! Happy birthdays to everyone having birthdays soon and all good things to everyone!!

** big hugs **

I will be back around 8-9th of August!!!

PS: If you know any news about the LJ issues , please let me know!!!

I am alexandral on Dreamwidth - I hope some of you are there!

alexandral: (True blood - she was sure)
I have missed you all so so much, please let me know of any major news! My belated birthday wishes to the fantabulous [livejournal.com profile] baleanoptera!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holiday rep:
The holidays were wonderful. Scottish West coast is one of most gorgeous places on Earth. We had wonderful time with our small family and my daughter’s friend: swam in the sea, did long beach walks, biking and even mountain ball rolling. The girls made us play scrabble during the evening , but I had some time to red as well.

Books:

Kresley Cole, Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, Book 1) - This was absolute rubbish, not even worthy of the paper it was printed on. I haven’t really “read” it as much as I quickly looked through it (and put it promptly in the bin).

Peter F. Hamilton, The Dreaming Void (Void Trilogy) – I liked this one, it was just the kind of mind-bending sci-fi that I tend to like. The only minus is that the book was too huge. I think everything could have been much better if one half of the characters was omitted. I really want to finish reading this trilogy and want to know what happens at the end, but the prospects of reading two more books of this size are daunting.

William Gibson, Neuromancer – great book, true classic. I need to do a proper post on this, if I start talking now I might end up talking too much. :D

J.R. Ward, Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series) – I have promptly gotten myself ABSOLUTELY COMPLETELY obsessed with these series. I am still reading through the books properly (book 4 at the moment), but I have read in quick-and-spoilery manner through all 8. And the last one, “Lover Mine” is the best so far. I am obsessed. I can’t say that the series are good and it edges precariously between romance, vampire fiction and porn, but it has done something to my “emotional” side that not many books do.
Plus the vampire world-building part is really quite neat and there are plenty of strong female characters.

“Black Dagger Brotherhood Series” even has got me on board with gay romances. Right. This was something I thought would never interest me, but as always – “never say never” and Blay/Qhuinn (from the last 3-4 books of the series, and "Lover Mine" in particular) is my pairing of this summer, and may be of this year. And may be one of my favourite pairings ever. If they don’t end up together, I am going to hunt the author down. Seriously.

Iain M. Banks “Use of Weapons” – I have finished this on holidays. I love Iain M. Banks and this was the best book in the “Culture” series so far. Really strong , stone-in-your-heart , invade-your-mind, change-your-views kind of book. I was spoiled for the ending (I always spoil myself) but I think I would have guessed the ending anyways.

The result: 7 books in 14 days? This made me happier than anything else, for years it have been bothering me that I can’t read in English as fast as I do in Russian. It seems I am getting better.

TV
Vampire diaries: There were some really good recs on my friends list for this show, so I went ahead and marathoned it last week. And I am glad that I trusted the recs as this series , even though it starts truly badly, ends up to be really quite good , world-building-strong, Angel-like assembly cast show. If you are willing to ignore Stefan/Elena boring romance, that is. Personally, I promptly closed my eyes and had regular naps during Stefan/Elena scenes, and luckily, towards the end there are less and less of these. The guy is ugly and self-righteous and .. boring. Elena is interesting when she is not with Stefan. Stefan’s brother Damon is, of course, the main attraction of the show, and I think the creators realised this truth towards the end. The guy is delicious.

And then there are Bonnie, Caroline/Matt,Tyler and Jeremy , who was my daughter’s favourite. And aunties and uncles and all other interesting characters.

Supernatural: I am ploughing though the season 4 and although I frequently want to ask “What?” types of questions, I think my interest in Castiel is strong enough for me to keep going.

True Blood: I am up to speed with this, still - not really enough Eric. :D
alexandral: (Default)
I just realised that we are going away on Saturday but my ironing is not done and my things are far from being ready! I am going to be strong and stay away from LJ , do ironing and all such things. I will see you all after the holidays, at the beginning of August!

Dalbeattie woods:


See you all soon! Have nice time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
alexandral: (Sita sings the blues - Reading and cat)
Woo-hoo! We are going on holidays next week, like it often happens in our family, this is a last-minute booking and we are going to Scotland,Kirkcudbrightshire,Dalbeattie! The place seems to be handy for exploring Scotland and Lake district; we are taking Sasha's friend with us and Sky-the-dog!

I have found a lovely old photo of Dalbeattie:






I am taking following books:
1. Kresley Cole, Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, Book 1)
2. Peter F. Hamilton, The Dreaming Void (Void Trilogy)
3. William Gibson, Neuromancer
4. J.R. Ward, Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)

But any last minute you-must-read-this-book recommendations are welcome.

PS: We have also booked plane tickets to go to Moscow during 2010/2011 winter holidays!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!
alexandral: (Art - Vrubel Swan Princess - head)
I think I must have said this millions of times, but I don't really like "Mother's day" (celebrated in the UK on the fourth Sunday in Lent ) , the holiday has a problem by definition - What about women who lost their mothers or their children? "Mother's" day may not be the happiest time for these women. But this doesn't stop me from greatly enjoying the presents my daughter gives me every year for Mothers day, I love presents.

But International Womens day!! I love it! Let's unite, celebrate each other and think what we can personally do to help displaced women (this year's attention point).

Happy International Womens Day, everyone!!!!!! ** big hugs **

alexandral: (Polka will never die)
We are back from Florence. I must re-write my list of 5 favourite cities because Florence will be right there at the top. We had wonderful holidays and Mr. Alexander made some gorgeous pictures. In short:

- I have seen so many paintings and sculptures by Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo Da Vinci that my head is still spinning

- Ice-cream in Florence is the best in the world

- In Florence everyone has a bike or a scooter and uses these means of transportation whilst wearing high-heeled shoes and without wearing any protective suits.

- I have developed a great like for Mr. Iain M. Banks' novels during the course of holidays

Fannish metters

I am in desperate need of a new Western show to watch and will be thankful for any recommendations. Just before the holidays I have discovered absolutely great (although short) Canadian show "Durham county". I highly recommend it and will try to make a proper post.


Asian drama matters

I am watching "Orthros no inu" and loving it. OMPH! Takki is so grown up and pretty! If only Nishikido Ryo and Takizawa Hideaki were cast in the Japanese re-make of "Mawang" instead of the ugly leads that were cast for "Maou"!!!!!

alexandral: (Alexander Rodchenko - mother)
Happy international woman's day to everyone!!!!!!!!! An old card from 1932 USSR (image from Wikipedia) is the absolute best!!!!!

The text is as follows:

At the top-left:
"8th of March is the day of the rebellion of the working women against the kitchen slavery"

At the bottom-right:
"Away with the oppression and narrow-mindedness of the household work!"

alexandral: (The last of the Mohicans - so happy)
Happy Valentine's day to everyone!!! I have been looking for something Valentine-like and the picture below made me giggle. :D

alexandral: (Default)
I was a bit silly and managed to contract a chest infection. But no fear - I saw a lovely doctor this morning and he prescribed me some antibiotics. I will be as good as new soon!

We are going away to Moscow the day after tomorrow!!!! This journal will be on a short break until about the 15th of January. See you all soon! ** big hugs **

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone and your loved ones (including pets :D)! Have a lovely time doing whatever you like to do on holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ** big hugs **



Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] bambinainnero! I wish you every great and wonderful thing, sweetie!!!!

PS: In Asian-drama news, "Terroir" totally rocks my socks and is helping me though the coughing times.
alexandral: (Yerko - The Snow Queen)
EEEEEEEEEEEEE! My dearest family is back!!!! Mr. Alexander made some glorious photographs of the surrounding scenery that just ask to be posted soon. We went to see a shiny fireworks display yesterday in our park for the upcoming Guy Fawkes Day.

I must say that this time of year is The Time of Confusing Holidays for me. It all started from :

a) Russian October Revolution Day, 7th of November. This used to be one of the biggest holidays of the year when I was growing up. And then it stopped to be celebrated and become the National Unity Day which is celebrated on the 4th of November. I wonder what does the National Unity day mean??? They say on Wiki that only 25% of Russians know the name of this holiday.

b) Halloween, 31st of October. I tend to forget about this holiday every year because of one thing or another (usually Sasha has her school Halloween celebrations much earlier and the 31rd of October often falls on the time of school holidays) and then someone rings on the door on the evening of the 31st of October and I open it and then NOOOOOOO! I have a fright of my life because there are people in masks standing at my door and it is night and I am home aloooooooooooooooooooooooooooone!!!

c) Guy Fawkes Night, November 5th .

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot

Now, this is a good old British holiday that is very big around here ,but still, burning a figure of a man in a bonfire for already over 400 years because he didn't succeed in Blowing up the Houses of Parliament seems to be over-doing it. However, having the fireworks EVERYWHERE in the UK for two consecutive weeks is nice, and so are toffee apples and baked potatoes. And I admit I like family bonfires too. :D Right now I am looking out of the window and there are fireworks everywhere, very pretty. Yesterday we had a magnificent fireworks display in our park. This is a very bad time of year for cats and dogs, though.

I am wondering - this seems to be the time of the year that is rich in various holidays. Are there any others in some other countries/religions that you know of??
alexandral: (Default)
I had a wonderful weekend, in short:

a) my house is at it's peak of cleanliness
b) weekend was spent at the church's convention which was fab
c) had some friends staying with us for the above mentioned convention which was great

d) I HAVE RECEIVED THE RESPONSE TO MY CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION!!! I AM A BRITISH CITIZEN NOW!!! I AM GOING TO GIVE AN OATH TO THE QUEEN ON WEDNESDAY!! AND SHAKE HANDS WITH THE MAYOR!!!

e) Today is the birthday of talented , sweet and funny [livejournal.com profile] dianora77! Happy birthday, dear!!!!!!!!! ** confetti and chocolate eclaires **

Something for dianora77 behind the cut )
alexandral: (Pink Panther - Armed and dangerous)
I am so sorry - I have forgotten that yesterday was St.Patrick's day. Later is better than never! Happy yesterday's St. Patrick day!

Below is "Oh, Danny boy" sang by Muppets. Totally hysterically hilarious. Muppets are the best:



The song is brought to you by Sasha's discovery of Youtube. I am not sure if I like her interest in Youtube or not as there are so many things on Youtube I DON'T want her to see or listen to. So far I am doing "parental control" by only allowing her to browse Youtube whilst i am at home and can supervise.
alexandral: (The Wire - Omar)
This is one of the strangest and also one of the biggest Russian holidays. The history of the holiday itself is interesting. In 23 February 1918, during the First World War, an enrolment into the newly created Soviet "Red" army was announced because of the wide advancement of Kaiser German troops and fleeing of Soviet Russian troops. But this was unsuccessful and on 24 of February Soviets signed German ultimatum.

The holiday itself was introduced in 1923. Later on, a mythical story of the Russian victory over German troops on that day in Narva and Pskov was invented. Stalin himself was responsible for support and propaganda of this myth. I remember being told about the "victory over German troops on 23 February " on my history class.

There are some talks at the present about moving the holiday to a date of some real victory, but I don't really know how this will go.

But not surprisingly, people of Russia over the years widely ignored the propaganda-relatedness of this holiday. By "my time" 23 of February became a Russian version of Father's day when women give presents and cards to the men in their life.

My favourite 23rd of February card is below. And speaking of strong women! The lady wishes good health to all "blokes", by the way..



Some more cards, old and new )
alexandral: (Photos - Wolf - pink tongue)
Happy Valentine's day, dear friends! You make my day and make me happy. All of you together and separately! Much love to you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some cards behind the cut. Happy Valentines day!! )
alexandral: (LOTR - journey)
First of all – happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] lage_nom_ai!!!!!!!!! I am so sorry I am late with this! I wish you every wonderful thing and more!.

RL update: Holidays were great as holidays usually are but I missed you all. Things experienced:

Good
- Visiting my dearest's parents

- Cooking roast dinners and consuming them

- Attending the church convention thingy, much fun for young and not so young.

- Visiting Hampshire. It is beautiful, especially New Forest (it is only as new as 1079 and was created as royal forest by William the Conqueror). Lyndhurst is as pretty as a gingerbread village.

- Going to see Isle of Wight on a ferry. Isle of Wight is one of the places I really would love to live in if I was sure about the quality of the Internet access there.

- Doing obligatory sales shopping with our Russian friends. I have bought 3 new pairs of work trousers a three pairs of new jeans. I like sales shopping.. :D

Not So Good
- During the first half of the Hampshire adventure I went sick with Once In 5 Years Flu. The type of which makes you want to lie down and die and after you start getting better makes you sweat.. But there is an upside to this as I have lost some weight and now I can fit into all the trousers I have bought on sales nicely.

Pictures of few peculiar houses seen in Lyndhurst and Isle of White )

Please let me know if I missed anything important..
"Moonlight" haven't been cancelled yet, right?
Anything I should be watching/reading RIGHT NOW?
alexandral: (Takyua - Long Vacation -Talking)
Holidays
EEEEEE! I am back from holidays!! They were wonderful!! We stayed with my sister-in-law and her family in their nice house in London suburbs. They are lovely family and Sasha enjoyed playing with her cousins very much. Weather was wonderful and this made these holidays even more special (we don't have much of the really good weather here, so we treasure it :D) We also attended our church's convention in one of the hotels near Richmond Park and this was a fabulous experience. Venue was nice, Richmond Park is beautiful and we visited few wonderful little cafés and restaurants in the Richmond area. EEEEEEE!

Spooks
Even more EEEEEEE! I am full of the new fictional loves. I am quickly going through 4 season of "Spooks" which is so fabulous and intelligent and stylishly filmed! [livejournal.com profile] baleanoptera, have you watched "Spooks"??? For a long time I was lamenting Tom's departure, but I must say, Adam (Captain Wentworth in another life) and also Harry And Ruth are so great!

Anego
And another new love is Japanese drama "Anego" of which I have watched 5 episodes already and I am absolutely in love with it. I think this is something I would really recommend to a person who never watched an Asian drama before. It is impeccably written and reminds me more of some Western films and shows like "Bridget Jones Diaries" then of any Asian drama I have watched previously.



Why do I like it so?

+ I really love the main heroine, Noda Naoko (played by Shinohara Ryoko who is GREAT), a 32 year old singleton in her search for happiness. She is warm-hearted, she is altruistic, she is brave and she is beautiful. Take me right, I love spirited teenage girl characters, but I seem to reach my saturation with this type of character and someone closer to my age group with problems I can really relate to makes such a welcome change for me..

+ Akanishi Jin who is playing Naoko's love interest Kurosawa Akihiko is gorgeous!! So gorgeous that his levels of gorgeousness are enough to make any show good.

+ Some really interesting cultural and social issues are raised in this show. It was, for example, very interesting for me to discover that Japanese workers normally start as temporary workers in a corporation and only if they show themselves well can they progress to the permanent worker level. Another interesting thing is a whole elaborate culture of "blind date" in Japan . And hhmm, married women with children in Japan still seem to be mostly staying at home. (I wonder if this is correct?)

So EEEEEEE! I love it!!! I would really love some recommendations for shows with Shinohara Ryoko and Akanishi Jin!!

PS: I have uploaded "Mansfield Park" and "Northanger Abbey", I will post the links as soon as I check them at home!!
alexandral: (Default)
Holidays highlights: Singing "We don't need no education"("Another brick in the wall") in the car together, very loudly. This is an excellent thing about this week of holidays - they moved onto golden oldies on Radio 2.

In a spirit of holiday indulgence, this is the post of Daniel Craig pictures from "Layer Cake" (which is an excellent and clever film in more then one way). But I can't say that I was concentrating on some intricate bits of the plot well enough because, oh man! Blue eyes! I am thinking - surely the brightness of Mr.Craig's eyes must cause some problems with traffic?

Layer Cake, screencaps. I warned you!!! )

PS: Thank you very much [livejournal.com profile] ginger001 for your fantastic present!!!!!!!!!! I absolutely adore it!!!
alexandral: (Pink Panther - Flop)
Holidays!!!!!!!!! I hope all of you are having a wonderful time. And all my best wishes to anyone having a hard time!!! ** Hugs **

Alexandra's holiday sitrep:

- Successful Roasts - 2. A Lamb Roast with Jamie Oliver Rosemary and Lavender seasoning was particular delicious and Mr.Alexander roasted some scrumptious potatoes and parsnips. I am mad about parsnips.

- Chocolates, mince pies, cakes of various kind, ice creams, etc. YUMM!

- Having walks in the park as "a family with two dogs" . Our friend's chocolate labrador Borbon is on holidays in our house.

- Resting together doing nothing and watching TV. "Tops of the Pops", "Doctor Who", the works. Doctor Who was great - being a little more serious suits David Tennant much better. And Donna is such a love!!!

- Watching Asian dramas as they are suitable when having children around. "The Snow Queen" is my latest dorama love, I have posted more about it Here in [livejournal.com profile] dorama_chat. And Japanese drama"Remote" is awesome too. I like it even more then "Kurosagi", I think!!!

- Watching films late at night and sleeping until at least 10.00. I have watched "Layer cake" (visually stunning, great ending, Daniel Craig's blue eyes, some good twists), "Children of Men" (great and great and even more great when I start thinking about it, I must make a proper post about this film with pictures), "The Island" (OK, but nothing to write home about, Sean Bean is the best thing about it for me).

- Going to the sales "with girls". Buying shooooooooooooooes.

Pictures of shoes. Yes I am a shoes addict )

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January 2012

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