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I went to the gym the other day and took advantage of a special deal that gets me a free one-off session with a personal trainer. We did various strength-training exercise and he listened to what I wanted to do regarding muscle-building. I won't be able to afford weekly sessions for another three months, but that would be something worth doing in the future, I think.

On the job front, the good news is that I passed a preliminary telephone interview. The bad news is that the job doesn't exist (yet).

I saw both Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises in the cinema the other day. I enjoyed them both, probably equally. Yeah, I know. One thing I was disappointed in with TDKR is that they included two key scenes from the movie in the trailer. I knew what would happen as soon as I saw the football pitch. Why would you do that?

And, of course, there was the Olympics Opening Ceremony. I'd been sceptical about it, and it didn't start off very well, with the camera meandering up the River Thames and disturbing twee little animals. But then it started for real and it was stunning and engaging from start to finish, celebrating things that really are unique and worthwhile about Britain. No, not the rain, that's just what we tell everyone else. :)

Unfortunately, Americans didn't get to see it because the media told them they wouldn't understand it without editing, ads, and a Michael Phelps interview inserted, which meant that indeed many of them didn't get it because it was edited, had ads added, and had a Michael Phelps interview inserted. The quote of the day seems to be: "Our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience. It’s a tribute to [producer] Danny Boyle that it required so little editing."

On Saturday, I got to see The Crüxshadows live in London! They were amazing! They sung one of my favourite songs ever, Winterborn, and I got to talk to Rogue and he said it was his favourite too. Maybe he says that to everyone, regardless of their favourite song, but he signed a photograph of the band and then hugged me. Definitely one of my favourite bands.

We got to hear Sleepless, which will be on their next album (As The Dark Against My Halo), which was awesome too.

Finally, since J and I were in London, we went to London Zoo. There are forty photographs behind the cut, divided into rough groups so you don't have to look at snakes and bugs if you don't want to.

Regent's Park (4) and birds (3). )

Lizards (7) and a tortoise (1). )

A snake (1). )

A giraffe (3) and some monkeys (2). )

Butterflies (4). )

A caterpillar (1) and a locust (1). )

Pelicans (1), servals (2) and a llama (1). )

Underwater worlds, mostly coral and clams (9). )
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I have just returned from a creative retreat in Yorkshire that involved meditation, Qi Gong, crafting sessions and afternoon tea.

Of course, that isn't quite the whole truth, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I hope the name doesn't give away anything.

These are the photographs with no people in them, because everyone's a little shy. I'll try to figure out how to put the rest of the photos under a Squee Fest-only friendslock later

Click on any photo to see a bigger version in a new tab.

Squee Fest 2012 Photographs )

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