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Posted by Bugs and Fishes

I had a really special treat at the weekend: spending Friday night and Saturday at the gorgeous Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel with a whole bunch of bloggers.

This was quite an exciting invitation to pop into my inbox! I blog about my Nice Days Out and my holidays exploring the UK's cities (and their excellent museums) but I've never really thought of myself as a "proper" travel blogger... and I definitely haven't had any invitations before from hotel chains to come stay at one of their recently refurbished hotels and eat nice food and generally have a very fancy time for free.

There was a time in my life when impostor syndrome (and general anxiety about going on my own to hang out with total strangers) would have gripped me pretty hard and I would have emailed back with sad apologies, pretending to be busy that weekend or something. But (happily!) that time has passed, so I sent an email back which was only slightly more restrained than YES PLEASE OMG THAT SOUNDS AWESOME... and rocked up at the Grand on Friday afternoon, ready for some fun times.

Normally when I blog about my travels I don't tend to mention the hotels I stay in because, honestly, they are really not worth mentioning. I'm usually on a tight budget and stick to the absolute basics hotel-wise to save a bit of cash. It was a wonderful treat to stay at such a nice hotel, one where just sitting in your room or having a shower in the morning feels like a delicious luxury (let alone the possibility of a dip in the hotel pool).

I feel like I might have to stretch my budget a little for my future trips! I mean, how nice is this hotel room? I am particularly in love with that chair.

All serious travel bloggers take stupid selfies in hotel bathroom mirrors, right??

After taking a lot of ridiculous selfies (you think that one's daft, you should have seen the ones I deleted...) I made tea (of course, gotta have tea), tested out the bed (v comfy) and the biscuits (v tasty)...

... then headed downstairs to the bar to meet everyone for drinks and dinner.

The Grand has beehives (housing 40,000 bees) on its roof, which were the inspiration behind Keepers Kitchen & Bar (Keepers, geddit? Like beekeepers?). The restaurant's decor has a subtle bee theme, with hexagon motifs and pops of yellow, and their homegrown (harvested? whatever the right word is, please imagine I wrote it here like someone who knows about this stuff) honey pops up in a lot of the dishes on the menu.

After some introductions and lots of oohing over the fancy cocktails, we sat down for dinner. It was steak night and the steak proved a popular option...

... but as I'm vegetarian, I opted for a veggie pizza (yum).

There was much photographing of the food, of course, and lots of Instagram-ing during dinner - the great thing about hanging out with other bloggers is that no-one minds when you do this stuff cos they're doing it too!

We all even took our phones/cameras to the loos because it turned out they were really rather fancy and definitely photoworthy...

After dessert and a lot of nattering, I decided to call it a night and went back to my room to get a good night's sleep...

... aaaand I'll be blogging about what we got up to on Saturday on Friday. Now I come to type that out it sounds a bit confusing but basically, come back soon for part two :)

Disclosure: as mentioned above, I was a guest of Mercure Hotels UK and received a free night at Mercure Bristol Grand and free meals during my stay, but this is not a sponsored post - I wish I could get paid to blog about staying in lovely hotels but, alas, this is just an ordinary blog post about a very fun weekend!
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neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
[personal profile] neotoma
I harvested two of the candy roaster squash today -- on was 8lb and the other was 13.5lb.

Someone stole the third one out of the garden sometime in the last week -- so I have a terrible neighbor, somewhere.

The table gold acorn squash are progressing well. I might harvest one of those soon as well.

remix and other festathons

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:30 pm
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
Hopefully if you're planning on signing up for [community profile] trickortreatex you've already done so, as sign-ups close in under 3 hours. (Of course, you can always write treats!) I've been diddling with my offers but I think I'm set. Ordinarily I think of it as warm-up for [community profile] yuletide, but considering that I've been doing a lot of exchanges recently (maybe too many) it's not exactly that for me this year!

Speaking of exchanges-in-progress, I've got the next two weeks to finish my [community profile] femslashex fic - I finally got a good grip on what I want to write and it's going like gangbusters now - and to incorporate beta changes into my [community profile] crossovering fic. Then it will be time to write whatever I get assigned for [community profile] trickortreatex, and to sign up for [community profile] yuletide. Whew!

But one exchange is done and dusted, and that is [community profile] remixrevival! There are two remixes of my work, one in the main exchange and one in madness, both in Raven Cycle fandom, and I have no idea if they are by different people, though each was done with a different approach. And even though this isn't a gift exchange, I'm delighted by both of them and happily ticked the "link to this related work" button, because they're both great, and I enjoyed reading them even though I'm not really in the fandom any more.

But to return, and view the cheerful skies (1727 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Raven Cycle - Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Ronan Lynch/Adam Parrish
Characters: Ronan Lynch, Adam Parrish
Additional Tags: Post-Canon, Long-Distance Relationship, Murder Squash Song, Remix
Summary: Come visit, Adam didn’t say, because at some point before he even met Ronan, he had set himself this idiotic challenge: he would do everything he could to prove to himself that he could make it alone.

This is a sequel to a ficlet I wrote for [personal profile] jain a few years ago for [community profile] fandom_stocking, but it also stands alone as an exploration of the same basic idea (so therefore it's a legit remix), and the author very subtly brought it into compliance with the last book in the series, which hadn't been published at the time I wrote the original. Stylistically it's fabulous (and exactly the style I love to read), the details are delightful, and the ending made me grin a little and tear up a little and I'm not even in the fandom any more.

Disappearing Act (the Smarter than I Look remix) (950 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Raven Cycle - Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Noah Czerny/Joseph Kavinsky
Characters: Noah Czerny, Joseph Kavinsky, Ronan Lynch, Richard Gansey III
Additional Tags: Non-Consensual Oral Sex, Ghost Sex, Supernatural Elements

Kavinsky's still around, which means he's still dangerous. There are ways to change that. But they're not fun.

This is a remix of a nasty little noncon story I originally wrote as a kinkmeme fill, but what's brilliant about it is that the author used a POV shift to completely change the meaning of the original story, revealing the original POV as an unreliable narrator. This is one of my favorite devices in fiction - it's a feature of the brilliant Iain Pears book An Instance of the Fingerpost, and I've used it in remixes before - and it shows that Noah has agency, rather than being the victim.

While I'm talking remixes, have a few recs:

Underworld (the Etruscan pottery remix) (5 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Etruscan Mythology
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Original Female Character/Original Female Character
Characters: Original Female Character(s), Vanth (Etruscan Mythology), Karun (Etruscan Mythology), Tuchulcha (Etruscan Mythology)
Additional Tags: Digital Art, Fanart, Etruscan mythology - Freeform, Red-figure vase painting, Underworld
Summary: "I could not leave you here alone," Thana said./Velia folded her hands over Thana's. "I wanted you to live, my love."/"I know," Thana said. "But I could not leave you here."

This is beautiful fanart, which makes a bit more sense after you've read the (linked) original story, which is a sort of f/f Orpheus story, also very good and makes sense even if you're not familiar with Etruscan mythology.

Down the Garden Path (and what Alice found there) (4517 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 5/5
Fandom: Alice In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
Additional Tags: Dreams and Nightmares, Dreams vs. Reality, Non-Linear Narrative, Board Games, Pastiche, Poetry, journeys, Nursery Rhymes, Werewolves
Summary: Alice throws a six, and finds herself on the square of the hypotenuse. But she's been here before, and she'll be here again, and perhaps she's already here...

This amazing expansion of the original ficlet is fantastic, in both literal and figurative senses. The early bits are perfect pastiche of Carroll's nonsense, and then the later chapters are really quite transcendental, bringing sense to the nonsense and gathering all the elements together in a lovely way.

Of course I wrote something for the exchange as well, though it's unlikely that you'll stumble over it unless you know the fandom. I'll post about it when works are revealed next week.


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