* * *

Jan. 28th, 2012 03:24 am
taelle: (Leningrad)
I was reading a blog of a fannish not-quite-acquaintance and, looking at the blogger herself and her commenters, realized suddenly that there's a lot of people who buy fannish stuff online on impulse and then when it comes, they're not so enthusiastic and don't know what to do with it - and still do it next time, just for the thrill of "want => have". ... now, I suspect there's people who do this not only in fandom circles and with fandom stuff, but I feel like fannish shopping is more relevant to my life (also, I don't buy stuff like clothes and makeup etc online). Especially with Takarazuka as my new hobby, as it's rather shopping-heavy. But still... this is a sin I do not commit - I am the reverse, I plan a lot, and I get my thrills by buying after a long time of planning. Double thrills: (a) I have this cool stuff, and (b) my plans were realized.

Otherwise, a slow day at home, mostly working. I am still kind of cold, and have my period, and a lot of work. And between work I am still watching the Takarazuka Anna Karenina bit by bit. I spent some time wondering why they cast such a young actress as Karenin, and then I stopped seeing her as book-Karenin and decided to view her character as a rather young man, who found himself in a high position and tries to compensate for his youth for being extra serious. ... this way it was far more sensible. Also, I enjoy a lot how they do emotional scenes through dancing, very lovely - and the race scene is a dance too. Fun; though I am not up to finishing it now, I still have half an hour of the show left.

Also, today - well, yesterday, the 27th - was 65th anniversary of the end of Blockade. I did not go to the Piskarevka memorial - I don't do it every year, and it's _cold_ - but it's not as if I can forget. Not as if anyone can forget these graves, marked with the year only. My great-great-grandfather is there somewhere... maybe. He was an old man already, so he did not survive the winter of 1941/42. And I still cry every time I read things about Blockade.

The past is still here, hidden under the present of the city.







... the first photo is very close to where I live. It was a heavily bombed area. The second is Nevsky Prospect, the main street.

* * *

Nov. 28th, 2011 12:28 am
taelle: (crafty)
I read a story today which involves an Englishman from 1911 travelling in time and arriving in 2014, IIRC. Upon learning that his female acquaintance is a published writer, he is very surprised that here women can write and publish books. This Englishman in his time is a footman in a big country house, with just four years of village school, but specifically described as someone who loves books and at night sometimes takes books to read from the house library.

... it seems to me that stories about people from the past either have them have too modern ideas, or paint their time as way too backwards to believe. Or both.

Also, today I have been watching the Takarazuka version of Captain's Daughter in the living room, to the lively interest of family and friends. And no, nobody objected to kitsching up Russian culture. ;) (me: Where are these Oriental dancers entertaining Pugachov supposed to come from? Mother: from Bashkiria, obviously). Though nobody, including me, could guess at why they renamed Grinyov Nikolai.
taelle: (crafty)
I finished the job.

So I spent today thinking deep and weighty thoughts. Like "I'd like to rewatch Elisabeth, but what version should I choose?" Those thoughts were so deep that in the end I watched three episodes of Britain's Best Drives while cross-stitching. Watching-wise, it was very pretty, but it got me thinking about how people's attitudes to the past are coloured by their own aging. The presenter kept thinking whether the 1950s were a happier time, and many people have said that yes, they were, but of course, everyone who remembered the fifties has their opinion coloured by personal memories of being young... Then again, can a society be considered happy, or it is always 'golden past', etc.? (once I asked my LJ flist which is fairly multinational, whether any country is currently happy/pleased with its political leadership. I think the best case for 'yes' was fairly tentative...)

Cross-stitching-wise, I am still stuck at the most boring stage of having to finish the last colour - a corner of the sky. It so much looked like it would never be filled that I started alternating: a bit of the sky, a bit of backstitch. I like backstitch.

Also, trying to bring a bit more order to my craft corner I suddenly made a skirt for one of my doll. Well, cut it out and roughly sewed together, I was too tired to deal with the sewing machine. That's for tomorrow (hopefully). I'm not much for sewing and patterns make me headachy, but the dolls do not mind and I keep hoping I'll get better.

And, of course, after an interval in writing, it's difficult to start again. I wanted to start a short fanfic based on a Takarazuka musical, a basic fix-it, but then my brain told me that I haven't dealt with _all_ characters who needed fixing. Oh right, and that included one that was arrested - rightfully. Now, how do I make his future life happier? I'll try to convince my brain to limit myself to planning the future of sweet, simple and nice characters. Maybe.
taelle: (Default)
" I thought I was coming to Russia’s second city, but now think it is better described as Europe’s fourth city." - UK's Consul General in Saint Petersburg. I can't help wondering which are the first three, by his count.

Actually, I've been thinking about accents. For anyone dealing with English as much as I do the importance of accents for Englishpeople is fairly notable (am I the only person in the universe who thought the accents in Life on Mars sounded rather lovely?) But as for accents in Russian... I do have rather a tin ear, as I've been repeatedly told by my phonetics instructors at the uni, but still. ... I remember being trained out of the local accent in primary school - "No, you don't pronounce it in this uncultured way, you pronounce it [like they do it in Moscow]". Which is especially funny in view of eternal argument of 'we're not the capital any more, but we're more cultured than Moscow - we're the _cultural_ capital'. And now I am not even sure there's much of the local accent, phonetics-wise (tin ear, as I said; perhaps to a trained observer my speech would be instantly identifiable).

There's still vocabulary arguments, the more common the differing words, the more active the argument. 'They're using their quaint way of calling it X instead of Y as it properly is' (actual article critiquing St. Petersburg translators), and eternal joking arguments with Moscow friends about how I keep calling types of bread incorrectly. ... I don't know if it's still accent or not; I clearly wasted my uni education.

However, my bank happens to have series of ads with pairs of words of the 'lift-elevator' or 'apartment-flat' type and the slogan 'Two capitals, one bank'. There are banners with these ads on the railway station from where the trains to Moscow go, and I walk along the platform sometimes, checking what words they used.

... and I don't know the point of it (I also don't know what my accent would sound to a native English speaker. I have the pronounciation of a bookish child who learned her words by sight, I have far more practice writing than I do speaking, and, naturally, I mix English and American words (I mostly spell English, though - that's the way I've been taught).

Apropos of nothing, some people are now trying to convince me that there were witch trials in USA in early 20th century, only they can't remember where or the exact date, I can't find anything on my own and I don't particularly trust those particular people (well, in the accuracy of statements; I do not believe they'd steal my silverware or something).


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