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Lovely to read of so much exhilaration and hope on the many marches.  I'd been anxious - about communications systems, amongst other things - and it was so good to find that it wasn't necessary at all, in the event!  :)    (But it was interesting to see it confirmed by some people involved, that mobile phone/cell phone coverage does indeed falter in large crowds - something to be aware of, going forward.)

In more local news:

The Tet goldfish have all been released into waterways, to become celestial dragons for the three kitchen gods to ride back to heaven.  I mentioned last year that student groups and other young volunteers were asking people not to toss their fish-carrying plastic bags in when they released their fish - this year that's become a campaign, with posters and more volunteers and council workers, stationed at the likely places (where there are steps down into the water, mostly).  



The poster says: Let loose the fish, hold onto the plastic bag!  

I have new glasses, and the world is crystal-clear.  (Or as close to it as my eyes allow, anyway.)   I am being amazingly conscientious about putting them back in their case, but I expect it won't be terribly long before they're being slung around casually, and ending up as battered as all previous pairs of glasses have been.

Yesterday I made crumpets from scratch!   I used this recipe, which weirdly doesn't reveal that the crumpet so made should be toasted later - i.e. that it's not intended to be eaten in its flabby original first-cooked state.  The dough/batter was really strange - very gloopy and gluey - but the result on cooking was instantly recognisable as crumpets, though not exactly round due to my not having the poaching rings to make them in.  They toasted up well this morning, but were regrettably doughy inside.  :(  If I do it again, I'll cook them longer at lower heat, in the first cooking.

Thanks to a tip from puddleshark, I've been looking at and enjoying Nirvana in Fire, a 54-part series (I'm up to part 9) set in eighth-century China.  There's a marvellous plot, involving the redemption (I trust) of a family's supposedly lost honour, and the reunion (I trust) of a pair of separated lovers, and recognition of the importance of justice and courtesy and loyalty, and much, much, much palace intrigue and politicking.  There's lots of highly unlikely martial arts encounters, with flying leaps and spinnings in mid-air and so on, which I tend to skip, though I did watch the encounter of the three children with the bear-like suitor.  And there's landscapes and streetscapes and architecture, and sumptuous, sumptuous costuming.  So... what more can I say?  :)

I've been watching it in free versions from the internet, with various subtitling, depending what place I blunder into.  The subtitling isn't perfect in any of the paces I've got to, but I'm enjoying it, including the variations in translation: what one subtitler bills as "martial arts", another has called "kung-fu", what one calls "the Divine Talent", another calls "the genius from Kirin"; one word - it seems to be the same word - I've seen variously translated as "mountain", "castle" and "hall".  (I'm thinking the various shades of meaning in "burg" (historically) are somewhat parallel?  Or "fastness" might cover it.)  The version I like best included explanatory notes, such as "affectionate term for an older female servant", but I don't seem to have cracked the system to get that reliably.  All up, lots of fun, one way and another.


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