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One of the things which made Eastercon go very smoothly for me was not having to worry too much about what I ate. I did have to be wary of anything with too much fibre, which to be honest isn't that difficult in a hotel like that, but I picked up some lactase pills in Birmingham and made good use of them over the weekend. It made a huge difference to how well I felt over the course of the weekend, since getting completely lactose-free food in a hotel is not usually easy. This is something I shall do again at future cons.

I think I mentioned before that Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London was a good read, urban fantasy with a very well-presented London sense of humour (in particular, he's nailed the way policemen talk, it's beautifully done); the sequel, Moon Over Soho, is just as good. Can't wait for the next book in the series, which I think should be published in November, if I recall correctly.

I am not sure whether I should be excited or nervous about the discovery that a film of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is in the works. On the whole, I think nervous, especially since it's apparently going to star George Clooney (I am assuming as Napoleon Solo, though I don't know for sure; wonder who would be Ilya Kuryakin...).

Back to books, and another rather good read is S.M. Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers. It's 2025, and a dastardly plot is under way to destabilise the British Raj... which is ruled from Delhi. In this world, a cometary impact took out chunks of the northern hemisphere and caused major climatic upsets. The Raj is the major power in the world, its main competitors Greater Nippon and a deeply unpleasant Russian Empire. France outre-mer is a potential ally. There's no real surprises in the way the story is resolved, it is pretty much a straightforward, old-fashioned adventure with no pretensions to being deeply thought provoking, but it is well-told (in particular, the action sequences are well-done). Plus, analytical engines and dirigibles!

There's just been an ad on TV mentioning a luxury weekend break in a converted jail... I don't think I've eaten any strange mushrooms...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 04:50 pm (UTC)
ext_58972: Mad! (Default)
From: [identity profile] autopope.livejournal.com
The Malmaison boutique hotel chain has bought and converted at least one Victorian prison, turning it into a luxury hotel. That's probably what you saw, right?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanngrisnir.livejournal.com
I don't know, it could well be, I wasn't really paying attention until the combination of "luxury hotel" and "former prison" made me look up. It must be some conversion, prisons aren't notable for their large windows and airy rooms.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bopeepsheep.livejournal.com
Was it Oxford? http://www.malmaison.com/hotels/oxford/oxford-mal.aspx

It really is a spectacular building - but it always was quite interesting-looking, even when it was a prison.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanngrisnir.livejournal.com
I don't know; that is a pretty impressive building, right enough.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 04:55 pm (UTC)
julesjones: (Default)
From: [personal profile] julesjones
Glad to hear that the lactase tablets worked for you. I found them extremely useful when I was going through a phase of being able to tolerate very little lactose at all, but not everyone gets on with them.

I was *very* happy to discover last year that there is a lactase-treated milk now widely available in British supermarkets. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanngrisnir.livejournal.com
It really did help; and the lactase-treated milk has been a boon, too (I seemed to having some trouble with soya milk before that). I have also been slowly trying to reintroduce fibre to the diet. I have to be very careful, but it's easier than trying to keep the fibre as close to zero as possible. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 08:23 pm (UTC)
julesjones: (Default)
From: [personal profile] julesjones
As I mentioned when you originally ran into the problem, if you can keep the chief culprits out of your diet you can often handle reasonably large quantities of less problematic fibre sources once your gut settles down a bit. I'm fine with rolled oats as long as I don't have wheat bran, which is why my weekday breakfast consists of porridge with currants and/or half a banana, made with lactase-treated milk. Plenty of fibre there, but none that will make me regret it the next day.

Of course, hotel breakfast are easier for me, because I will happily eat the bacon and eggs. I tend to avoid the vegetarian sausages, because they're likely to have trigger materials in quantities big enough to be a problem.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] banhe.livejournal.com
I'm not so much on the luxury hotels, but one of the nicest places I've ever stayed was a Communist-era secret police cell-block that'd been converted into a hostel. That totally counts, right? Mind you, there they kept the history in mind, and I'm not *quite* sure I can see a hotel doing that...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanngrisnir.livejournal.com
I've always thought hostels reminiscent of Communist-era cell-blocks. ;-)

BTW, I sent you a text, just in case you're having problems with your phone...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] banhe.livejournal.com
Not dignifying that comment with an answer, O denizen of expensive hotels that you are ;-)

And I've answered your text now.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanngrisnir.livejournal.com
I didn't say that that was a deal-breaker... ;)

(Expensive hotels! Ha! Recently been a habitué of Travelodges.)

This 21st Century communication thing, it could catch on...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-21 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cobrabay.livejournal.com
Just finished Rivers of London myself, and looking forward to Moon over Soho.

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