Category Archives: Laughing

Things that make me gigglesnort.

This weekend I mostly…

Watched: Neverwhere the play and Otto the puppy

Read: craft books

Listened to: my friends laughing

Ate: an absolutely stupid amount of chocolate, curry and twiglets

Drank: wine (but not from Atlantis, sadly)

It was completely gorgeous but almost completely photo-free… The only thing I do have is this rather lovely set of Otto.

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Long dog is long...

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srsly?! I was snoozing!

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centre of attention during Articulate

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with Auntie Sar (he belongs to her twin sister and her husband)

But lack of photos aside, it was wonderful to be back in Berkshire for a bit and to see everyone. Neverwhere was amazing and I’m muchly proud of Lou for putting so much love, talent and effort into the costumes. Kelly was fab as Lamia and I even found a previously unknown coincidence with a friend on Twitter with whom I share a hometown (and we’re both ex-librarians).

Back to the real world today… I was as unimpressed as Richard Mayhew.

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Filed under Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Twitter

Things that make me happy Thursday – overdue edition!

Ooops, I don’t appear to have done one of these since before Christmas! So, the run up to 2012 and the first couple of weeks of it… They have made me smile muchly…

Catching up with family over the festive break
Having a festive break – in my adult life I’ve never had more than four or five days off in a row due to work, and this year I had ten!
Getting unexpected Christmas presents
Celebrating New Year for the first time in a long time
Experimental cocktails with Rob’s new blender (notes: lime is good in SMALL quantities. Do not always follow the recipes to the letter. It is perfectly acceptable to mix two litres of lychee daiquiri, take it to a party and drink it all yourselves.)
Cooking from a Jamie cookbook. Several times. And succeeding!
Starting 2012 how I’d to continue it
Swapping socks with Holly
Seeing Anna on new years day :)
Enjoying the commute with my new toy
Dan not recognising me from behind because my hair’s so long
Amanda’s zombie app comment
Wearing floral trainers
Two of the girls who keep me sane at work going permanent
A label on a pack of ibuprofen tablets instructing me to remove all packaging before microwaving. Sure.
Catching up with Val via email
Making my resolutions/hopes/thoughts/dreams list for the year ahead

From the sublime to the mundane to the ridiculous and back again!

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Filed under Baking, Christmas, Family, Friends, Happy Thursdays, Laughing, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Technology and gadgets, Thinking

An unplanned but fabulous weekend

Unexpected weekends are always the best ones, aren’t they? This one was meant to  involve lunch in London and then home to tidy up and do useful things.

I’m not going to share a photo of why i should be tidying up :p

Anyway. I came down to Reading to meet Wendy, then went to Lou’s for dinner (VIA Waterstones which was almost very dangerous) with her, Paul, Kelly and Mike, then spent this morning in town with Sar and Dan, and then back to Lou’s for much, creativity and planning. Perfect.

Now on a train home, and hoping to get back and rustle up a roast while I do some washing, then maybe do a little bit of crafting this eve before bed! Currently struggling to keep my eyes open so we’ll see how that goes!

Hope you all have a gorgeous Sunday evening!

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A perfect Christmas Eve

being very silly with my lovely cousins :)

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Filed under Christmas, Family, Laughing, Loving & Living

Contrariety Rose’s Vintage Tea Party

Last weekend I traversed down to Reading (complete with Rusty’s vintage suitcase, pretty shoes and vintage-style party dresses) for a weekend with one of my best friends. She just happens to be behind Contrariety Rose (new site almost done! I’m working on the last bits!) and organised a vintage tea party for a few people while I was down there. It’s always wonderful to see Lou, but this was a specially exciting prospect after a fairly hideous week!

We went to a vintage fair at the Hexagon first (I bought a headscarf “for wearing in a sportscar”, said the lady at the stall. I couldn’t not buy it after that, could I?!) and Lou found this lovely little dress. Rachel found a beautiful 60s shift dress but I couldn’t get a photo :(

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And here is Lou (first pic) and me (second pic) next to where we’d set out all the bits and pieces…IMG_6930IMG_6934

Tea party details:

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Cucumber hearts and lollipop sandwiches from the Vintage Tea Party Book:

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Cakes made by Lou’s partner’s mum – a Contrariety Rose cake and lovely little sparkly fairy cakes:

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And the forks that made me think of the Mad Hatter’s tea party – there’s something wonderfully Alice-ish about them!

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It was a fabulous afternoon, and so lovely to see all the girls – some of them I hadn’t seen since 2007, and a couple not properly since school. It was gorgeous! :D

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Filed under Baking, Blogging, Clothes, Cooking, Friends, Laughing, Loving & Living, Photography, Recording, Wearing

A weekend in the life of me

So, I had every intention of participating in the One Day On Earth project, until I realised that a) 11/11/11 was going to be super-busy, full of train travel and that the project wanted video and I very much work in photos not videos. So here, instead, is a selection of snapshots from my weekend…

This was actually on Tuesday, eating ice cream on the back of a Vespa at Joe Deluccios in Westfield Stratford City.

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On the train. My handbag (the red and beige one) snapped on the way to the station, so I had to hastily repack, then ditch it without looking like a terrorist. Not easy when you go through London train and tube stations looking shifty!

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I spend quite a lot of time doing this – sitting on the floor of a train, reading books. People think I’m mad for sitting on the floor, but I like being able to stretch my legs.DSCF5018 

Twitter Mafia love on a Friday morning – love these ladies!

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The reminder email that came round from lovely Kim just before the two minutes’ silence for Poppy Day.

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Biscuits! Work has a delivery of biscuits and other groceries (tea, coffee etc) every month, and this is what the cupboard looks like just after delivery!

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Impromptu trip to Moorgate to buy a new handbag. London is grey but has some striking buildings if you look up while walking.

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Mid-afternoon Wispa. Is any day complete without chocolate?!

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The emergency/accidental new handbag, to replace the one that snapped in the morning. I like it!

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St Pancras station – took this on my way home after a fabulous weekend. It was utter carnage on the way in, and I was trying to sprint which is never a good idea!

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And finally home again, with the awesome vintage suitcase we took to Romania. That case started off full of 80s porn magazines, went all the way to Romania on Rusty’s roof, and came home with Team Allegro on their roof. It has a lot more character now than it did when we bought it, but I’m in love and it improved the journey home enormously – I felt like a 40s starlet! (for the first couple of hours, anyway – six hours later I just wanted to be back home, lol). The wheelie case under it was bought for Poland and also came on the rally with us – my luggage is well travelled :)

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Filed under Adventuring, Collecting, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Learning, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Photography, R2R 2011 (Banger rally), Recording, Travelling, Vintage, Week in pictures

Catching up with myself…

(edit: just realised I’ve forgotten the cocktail pic… will add this weekend! Bad squishy…)

Wow, it’s been a busy few weeks! Any notion I had of life calming down when I returned from the rally and ‘settled down’ to real life again has been firmly squashed, if anything it’s got even busier!

Haven’t even had time to draft a Happy Thursdays post, but instead I thought I’d post a few photos of the rally as a) they’re nowhere else on the internet yet (this is because there are 2101 of them and I have no idea where to start editing that number down to put online. They’d also cost me over £100 to print), and b) it made me the happiest I’ve ever been. Ever :) I clearly have some adventure in my heart!

So… (warning, this doesn’t really even start to cover everything we did, but should give a glimpse.) Don’t forget full write up (well, of the rally – I’m still faffing with the two extra days) is at rustymclusty.wordpress.com :)

The P-reg Laguna we bought, after a weekend of Nitro-Mors on the bonnet. See how pretty she was… but I think we made her prettier :P

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Trusty Rusty McLusty (ok, that was terrible, but she was very trusty) in my aunt & uncle’s field:

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Rusty & Allegro in Germany, camped near the Nurburgring:

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The view we woke to in Switzerland (the coldest night of my entire life, I swear):

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View from Rusty’s rear window in the Swiss mountains:

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Some proper extreme ironing, not far from Stelvio pass:

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Popping to Italy for lunch:

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Trying to fix Rat Patrol’s car in Budapest:

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Me on Rusty’s bonnet at the Romanian border:

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A bunch of us parked at the Romanian border:

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Scaring the bloke in the petrol station – I think he thought we were about to hijack him!

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Some shots of us driving, just to prove we did:

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Group shot in Sibiu, somewhere around 2am:

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DONKEY! On the Transfaragasan Highway (as seen on Top Gear – the road, not the donkey):

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Group shot at the foot of the south side of the Transfaragasan, left to right me, Andy (Rat Patrol), Graham (Rat Patrol), Rob (Rusty McLusty), Craig (Allegro), Jenny (Allegro), Pete (Allegro):

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This was a single vodka and coke in Brasov, celebrating the end of the rally. I dread to think what a double looks like!

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Me at the top of Brasov, breathtaking view but I did not like being that close to the edge!

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Rob and I on the very last day at Peles Castle in Sinaia:

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Yeah… there’s so much more I should put into this post but I don’t want to crash anyone’s computer or bore anyone out of reading my blog :P Will link to Flickr album when I’ve evntually got them all up there in some kind of order. But you get the idea. Best nine days of my entire life :)

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Filed under Adventuring, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Loving & Living, Photography, R2R 2011 (Banger rally), Recording

Things that make me happy Thursdays – 18 August

Despite the rain and the dreariness of being back at work after nine days off, I have found some happy things this week…

  • The rally car has a name and is beginning to take on a personality :) Rusty McLusty has very nearly no paint on her bonnet, a roof full of random stuff and a shed load of stickers to be applied.
  • Finding Breyers at a car boot sale for the first time EVER – I haven’t bought any model horses for a couple of years, and these were just waiting for me to take them home. I’m not sure Rob was that impressed… but the little girls I bought them from seemed pleased!
  • Bristle-and-nylon hairbrushes like this one – I now own two and they’ve changed my life and my hair drastically for the better.
  • Lie-ins – I went out for dinner with work people last night, and stayed at my ex-housemate’s new flat in Marylebone. Which is close enough to work that I was able to get up at HALF PAST SEVEN this morning and still be at work just about on time. (As opposed to my usual 5.30am alarm followed by staggering out of bed at 6am and running around like a headless chicken).
  • Getting locked out of Julia’s flat and sitting on her stairs having the most random conversations while we waited to be rescued by her housemate
  • Living on my own. I miss Jules, but it really is lovely having all this space to myself, and when I came home on Sunday night and let myself in, it really felt like home :)
  • Jess’s skates have arrived! Which means we can go skating in Hyde Park next Tuesday… assuming the weather picks up and becomes more like actual summer.

I promise I’ll kick myself into gear and do more posts with photos soon – I have loads drafted of stuff I want to share but haven’t been able to get the photos sorted (either haven’t been able to take them in daylight, or have them but have had no time to edit them!)

Hope your weeks have been as full of happy things :)

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Filed under Adventuring, Collecting, Friends, Happy Thursdays, Laughing, Loving & Living, Model Horses, R2R 2011 (Banger rally)

CAE 2011 – the ultimate epic weekend, 22-24 July 2011

Bit of a late post, but here goes…

So first of all, CAE stands for Camping Auto Extravaganza. Which should give you some idea of the type of event it is. Last year was the third, and my first. And the first time I’d met the majority of the club members, even though I’d spoken to them all online via the club forum.

In the intervening year, friendship and bant has developed and I now consider them all to be friends and some of them to be close friends.

I had Friday off to get ready and get there, and Brad suggested I join their convoy from Birchanger Green services. So I got there ridiculously early and sat and sunbathed and read a book in the sunshine (and had a sneaky KFC for lunch!) while I waited for him, Jim & Karine and Nigel to turn up.

(Can’t find a pic of my car in the car park )

As it happened the traffic was completely horrific so I had longer than planned to read and chill out, but eventually got a call saying they were there and to head off, and they’d catch me up. Knowing they were all in turboed cars, I did.

And spent the next 30 miles driving as slowly as I possibly dared, letting trucks overtake me and desperately looking in my mirrors for signs of MR2s coming over the horizon! Eventually decided to go off at a junction and over the roundabout to delay myself – got back on the sliproad and they all shot past me! But I beeped and they’d seen me so I caught up, and then the drive got fun! (the traffic was stil horrific and there was lots of stopping and starting, but it’s fun driving in convoy with friends. Jim & Karine livened up the journey by dropping back and chucking jelly babies at us – hit my car but not me, sadly, but the thought was there!

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We arrived in Peterborough about 4ish I think, although I was so excited to be there I didn’t actually look at the time. The rest of the afternoon passed in a blur of chatting and hugging and catching up with people, it was so lovely to see old friends, and be introduced to new ones! It was also fantastic to finally meet the people behind the usernames I’d been chatting to for so long J

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Michelle and Ian’s place is beautiful, with space for us all and beautifully put together both inside and out. The pool was warm, the hot tub was warmer and they had two BBQs and several fridges for all our drinks J and a BAR!

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Friday night was spent munching takeaway, deciding on treasure hunt partners (for anyone curious, this is the closest we got to keys in a bowl, lol – just names in a hat for who drove and who navigated the next morning!) and then drinking, dancing, swimming (Anna and I got in the pool at stupid o clock) and talking. I even braved the hot tub. I drank far too much, to the point where I flashed my floozies (only a little bit!) for Rob and Russ (and Luke – who I then spent ages trying to convince I was normal. I hope I succeeded!) and had an unexpectedly fabulous time – much better than every time I go out clubbing and try hard to have fun. I think I eventually went to bed about 2am, and did that really annoying thing where you try to be quiet and make more noise than you would have done normally. Oops.

Saturday morning was a convoy of all of us, which definitely ranks among the most exhilarating experiences of my life – was such a kick to see so many roadsters and other toyotas all together, revel in the looks we got and know that every car contained a friend of mine J (yeah, I’m a sappy idiot, lol).

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IMG_4407  My Poppy is the car on the very far end :)

Then the treasure hunt was on, and we all met back at the house for a photoshoot and lunch. Look at the pretty cars…

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Took the opportunity to get a new profile pic too..

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Saturday afternoon was really chilled, involving chatting, playing pool, reading magazines and in my case napping *blush*. I came back outside blinking at about 6ish and asked if I’d missed anything. Someone said ‘yeah, you’ve slept so long Amy Winehouse is dead’. Which obviously I dismissed as the usual bant. Then realised it was true and was actually quite sad!

The chilled vibe continued into the evening, only with added alcohol, and I remember sitting at one point by the pool, lit by candles, laughing at something ridiculous (I believe spiderman pants and a drawing of thongs and mankinis were involved) with some of my favourite people in the world and just being the happiest and most content I can remember for ages.

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IMG_4564 Hou in foreground, Anna and someone headless in background

Then we had dinner, then we drank and danced and talked some more, I dropped my duvet in a puddle, we realised it was actually quite cold and broke out the sleeping bags, and I continued drinking and got sleepier and sleepier. We had some ridiculous but wonderful conversational moments (and ahem, educational too) and I gave up trying to stay awake and went to bed somewhere between three and half three.

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Anna and I having a silly moment in the hot tub

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L-R Brad, Luke, Jim

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Sunday morning… was mostly full of people ambling around sleepily, talking about the weekend and their plans for getting home. We had an amazing full English breakfast, then people started to wander off. Which made me really sad, actually.

So we said our goodbyes and promised to get on facebook/keep in touch/do this again really soon, and then Anna and I went and spent the afternoon sat in a pub garden talking about how lovely it had been.

Returned home, helped my housemate pack some of her stuff, and then settled down to the flurry of photos, new friends, messages and comments on facebook. Turns out that this year, it’s not just me that’s soppily nostalgic about the weekend and would much rather it hadn’t ended. Everyone’s struggled to get back to reality this week. And I’d like to think that we’ll all stay friends for a very long time, having experienced it together. There’s not many groups of people I could have an entire weekend with without getting seriously cross with some of them at some stage. And I’ve never in my life met so many new friends at once!

Best. Meet. Ever.

And I really hope we do another big one before next CAE – I can’t wait a whole year to see these guys again!

*apologies to anyone reading this who went, my words and photos don’t do justice to how awesome it was.

**apologies to anyone reading this who didn’t go, who is probably bored senseless. But really – if you do one thing this year, buy a Toyota and join us next year!

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Filed under Adventuring, Blogging, Driving, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Photography, Poppy, Recording, ROC

Fling fabulousness 2011

Oh, how do I describe the wonder that is the Fling? Here’s the website and last year’s video, for a flavour…

2010 Fling goodness…

Last year there were a few of us. This year, there were a LOT of us. I had the obligatory zebra picture (I want to take that zebra home – suggestions on a postcard as to how I can smuggle him home please) on my own and with other people. I’ll just post the one for now…

me with the zebra - the equivalent pic last year is one of my favourite photos of all time

(I could do a separate outfit-of-the-day post, but I won’t… the corset is one from a boutique in Loughborough, the skirt is a vintage French Connection one, bracelet is my favourite steampunk-ish one which I bought from a car boot sale a while ago and while I’d usually wear heels with such an ensemble, the flipflops are gold leather ones from New Look. Comfortable and much more appropriate for ambling around a field! (I actually spent a lot of time barefoot… it’s that sort of a place where you feel more at one with everything minus your shoes. Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway.)

A ridiculous number of my favourite people in the world were there, and it was so gorgeous to catch up in such an amazing atmosphere. There aren’t really words to describe the Fling, it’s just magical… seven hours of wonder and escapism, and there really is something for everyone.

Lou and Kelly getting into the festival spirit

I did less activities this year than last year, because I was having so much fun catching up with everyone, Pimms in hand, and just soaking up the ambience to sustain me through another year… the weeks after the Fling feel distinctly tedious.

There was music, wordsmiths, burlesque (squee!), sewing workshops, clay, more music, a beach, random performers, a peep show, a silent disco, a fire garden, and far too many wonderful things to mention. My personal favourite was the fairy crown workshop, run by the Fairyland Trust, who do some fantastic conservation work throughout the UK, as well as raising awareness and working with children to preserve our woodland and learn the magic of nature. Our crown-making workshop (complete with storytime!) is usually aimed at 7 year olds, but I fell totally in love with my crown and will be renewing the willow base with season-appropriate foliage for each of the eight season celebrations through the year. I always mark them in my diary but never actually do anything to mark the festivals. And I’d like to.

I was so chuffed with my crown... do I look fairy-like?

(unrelatedly, this photo shows I’ve achieved a lifelong ambition of having my hair so long it doesn’t always fit in photos. Yay!) I am nowhere near as trashed as I look, either – it’s just the sun in my eyes. Honestly!

Here are a selection of photos that made me smile – I’ve not seen the ones taken by other people yet, but I’ll remember this Fling forever… and I’ll be at the next one come hell or high water! Sending huge hugs to everyone who came this year, it was even more fabulous with you all there :) And my apologies for my waffly lack of eloquence, it really does defy words. But it makes me quite ridiculously happy!

Me with Karen - being experienced Fling-ers!

Naomi sewing :)

Me with Janine and Heather. Lovely Heather is getting married next weekend!

Wendy and Apryl with the results of their sewing workshop

There are quite a few more pics – more than last year! Waiting to get hold of Lou’s and anyone else’s too, and then I shall sneak a link to a Flickr album into a future post. Massive thanks to Nastassia, Anna and their team at Chelmsford Borough Council – you guys have done an incredible job and made a large number of people very happy. Should any of you lovely readers be in Chelmsford in July next year – go. Really, it’s a perfect seven hours.[Edit March 2012: due to the Olympic Flame celebrations, the Fling will next be held in July 2013.]

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