skyscrapers, booksellers, and school horses

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Last weekend, I was lucky enough to go to a physics’ work party (not my work party…but hey, scientists generally throw good ones) that was held on the 43rd floor of the Hilton, the tallest building in Manchester (by a “wide margin” according to Wikipedia). The views were excellent; pizza was consumed in copious amounts, and the beer was cold. It was also fun to get a look into what is definitely one of the premier addresses in Manchester. The views are amazing, but we’ll probably stick with our quieter, cheaper, flat for the time being. Although being able to see the (now under renovation) Central Library (it’s that circular building on the left of the photo) from above was seriously cool. I still can’t believe that that was my public library. The new one isn’t as impressive on the outside, but it’s equally gorgeous on the inside. So cool.

The second highlight of the weekend was a new book, a new series, and a new author. (Colin) Bateman’s Mystery Man is one of the funniest books I’ve ever run across. The combination of random references to classic detective novels, what must be one of the few laugh-out-loud grammar jokes in literary fiction, and an unnamed, totally wacky, detective made it the highlight of my month, if only for quotes like this one (prompted by our not-so-intrepid detective trying to deny both that his store is named “No Alibis” and that its motto is “Murder is our business”.)

Noahbylies–yes, indeed. It’s an….Elvish word. Elvish for bookshop. We specialise in science fiction and fantasy novels. You know, Lord of the Rings. Mordor is our business.

Hee.

I’ve also settled in a bit more at the new riding stable.  I’ve gotten to ride the same a horse a few times. His name is Alfie, and he’s a six year old Section D/Tb cross.  So cute.  Pictures will certainly follow, as I am totally smitten. He’s a very cuddly young horse, if a little bit silly at times.  He’s an excellent riding school horse–very calm and reassuring, but still has enough going on to keep it interesting. Hopefully, I get to keep riding him and pick up a few more lessons there as well.  (I’ve figured out when the instructor I like best is teaching).

Right now, we’re getting ready to traipse off to Sri Lanka for two weeks for a wedding and some sight seeing. As the weather has turned decidedly Fall-like here, it’s nice to look forward to a couple of weeks of sunshine before the second, and stressful, bit of my project starts up.  This week I’ve mostly got to send off a million emails, and frantically send out some audio files to my transcriptionist.  Hopefully, it all goes well when I get back.