Feb. 15th, 2013 02:27 pm
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
My mother was born 100 years ago today. This gives me a very weird feeling.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
The Suez Canal, allowing ships bound for the East to bypass the Cape of Good Hope
The Panama Canal, allowing ships bound for the West to bypass Cape Horn
The Manchester Ship Canal, allowing ships bound for Manchester to bypass Liverpool.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
Sometimes television scheduling gets things more right than I could have thought possible. "Cat Ballou" AND "Support Your Local Gunfighter" on the same day

*reaches for chocolates*
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
Now on chapter 9 and I've got the next few planned out, and a number of problems have been sorted. The holiday has not been completely wasted. I don't think I've written so intensively for a long time. I can even start wondering now what to do with it when it's finished
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
Scene: A telephone booth at night. A woman is on the phone. Suddenly there is a rapping on the door. She tries to ignore it but the rapping becomes more insistent. She covers the mouthpiece.

Woman: What is it?

Man's voice: Excuse me, ma'am, but are you going to be much longer?

Woman (who had been enjoying her conversation and doesn't want to end it) If your call is urgent, there's another booth just up the block.

Man: I don't want to make a call, I just want to get my clothes.

Deeply embarrassed, the woman hurriedly ends her call and flees, averting her eyes. Also embarrassed, Superman dives into the booth to retrieve his Clark Kent gear.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
Slightly over, actually, but now I am at last properly mobile though walking is still uncomfortable - some of that may be due to some muscles not being used properly for two weeks.

I have never been more grateful for the internet. How else could i have written five chapters with all the incidental research involved, giving a new twist to this part of the story? How could I have checked the medieval forms of the names of Burgos, Zaragoza and Barcelona? How, for a critique of another group member's story, could I have checked the nature of Venetian? Come to think of it, until Manchester Central Library is back in full operation, this would have been well nigh impossible even if I were fully mobile.

Cue for rant: if I, with no more than a general interest in a period, can check facts with a few clicks, why the blazes can't the writers be arsed to do some basic research into what is supposed to be their period? Yes, I know about the fallibility of Wikipedia, but no reference work is perfect (see Christopher Tietjens' tabulation of the errors in the Encyclopaedia Britannica) and it's generally sound on broadly non-contentious matters. Even if you're stuck on your backside as I've been for the last two weeks, you can nose out an amazing amount of detail. THERE IS NO EXCUSE. If you're writing for an online group, well, obviously you have access to the internet.

ETA: there is one excuse, and that is the famous "unknown unknown". However, once attention has been drawn to it, it becomes a known unknown.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
If I couldn't, I wouldn't have been able to check out the details of the Cid's burial before his body was taken to Burgos; there is a very full entry for the monastery in Wikipedia in Spanish, but no English version.

Very briefly: his embalmed body was on display till around 1116, when it showed major signs of disintegration (the nose fell off the previous year) so it was buried beside Jimenez, who was buried at his feet originally. There is a tradition that Babieca was buried outside the monastery.

All very useful info for "Leila and Lily*"; Don Miguel Diaz, who has family connections with the Cid and is devoted to him, wants to visit the grave.

*This is a story prompted by a storytelling workshop that I am concentrating on for the time being as a break from David and Anna. I'm having fun with it, and it's going better now that I have been to a lot of the places. I've also had plenty of time while my leg recovers from the fall; I don't feel that my holiday is being wasted since I am doing something really constructive - two new chapters completed and a third in progress.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
It wasn't a problem with my daughters as a) they could have things explained to them and b) they didn't follow me round clutching toys that they then dropped on the stairs. The item in question was a short section of knotted rope that she is very fond of, particularly when I throw it for her, and she often brings toys up in the hopes that I will play with her instead of working, changing clothes etc.

I stepped on it coming down the stairs yesterday, it rolled under my foot and I came crashing down more or less on my behind. Specifically, right thigh down, which connected with the step. I now have a painful lump the size of a duck's egg and walking is very, very painful. The down side is that I'm actually on holiday this week; but on the other hand it doesn't stop me from working on Old English, doing some crits for the Historical Fiction group. doing some work on "Leila and Lily" and practising the ukulele, so it's not a total loss.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
I've just got back from a week and a half camping trip. No, I am not a total masochist: it wasn't in a tent, it was in a vehicle that started off life as an ambulance-type minibus. It has good lighting and heating and a rear lift designed for wheelchairs but which often takes G's motor scooter, and so it is easy to load. All but three pairs of passenger seats have been removed, and one pair turned round so that I can have a table with four seats, and there is ample room for a double airbed (essential with two dogs sharing it).

I wanted to check out Pevensey Castle - the Anderida part, as I wanted to get a handle on one of the most puzzling part of the earliest section of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: how Aelle managed to take it. I'll be posting separately on this whole issue, so for now I'll just say that I do indeed have a better idea now. I found a good site on the coast, just across a private road from the beach where doggies had good walks. They weren't impressed by the sea, or the pebbles, so we mostly stuck to the scrubby land between the pebbles and the road, which they did enjoy.

Next stop was East Anglia. We camped in Thetford Forest (excellent for walks; I'd been there before, with Bran and Llew, and an incident took place which is now the climax of "Unicorn Evils"). The focus this time was West Stop Anglo-Saxon Village, which I intend to visit again when re-enactment is going on; that was great, as nothing gives you the feel for a building like going inside one. What with that and some excellent books I got there (bank balance now down by £60) practically the whole of what I've got so far of the sequel, "The Man in the Wind", is being rewritten.

The weather was not good, but it didn't matter except when I was driving, and extremely informative: pouring rain and howling wind every night in Sussex, mist in Norfolk. A total break from modern technology and I came back feeling refreshed and renewed.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
After three hours, significant frustration and a lot of text messages to miapatrick, I am now up and running with my new iPhone 4, I have my Kindle books and a considerable amount of music. I am happy.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
Normally when I write there is a certain amount of staring into the middle distance, but not this morning.

A couple of days ago I realised something about the Magnum Opus. Originally it had been two books but the point at which I split them was unsatisfactory as there was no real story to the first part so I combined them into one. The problem with this was that it was unwieldy as it was and unless I rushed the last part it would be far too big. Then it struck me that there was a logical break point, about six chapters into what was originally the second part, and with just a bit of tweaking it would hold together very well; there is a big change after that break, in that the MMC is no longer travelling to find his dream post, and instead of being something of a via movie it all takes place within the same community.

This meant, of course, a new start to that part, to give some idea of what had been going on for anybody who hadn't read the first part without lapsing into "As you know, Bob". I started getting ideas this morning so sat down to a sollid hour flat-out writing, trying to get it down as fast as I thought it (but not so fast that I won't be able to read my handwriting when I type it up - I never type directly as I use the transcription process as an opportunity to revise as I go). I now feel a bit tired in a contented sort of way, in that I have achieved something useful.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
From everyone, though I think [personal profile] oursin started it.

Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don't use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of. And (my suggestion) add any items that you have that aren't on the list:

I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers (nowadays I use the side of a broad bladed knife), martini glasses (not quite sure what is meant by this, but cocktail glasses), tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers , piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle maker (what on earth are they?) s, cookie presses (ditto), gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers, fondue sets, healthy-grills, home smokers (don't get on well with smoked food apart from kippers and mackerel), tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks (actually the same gadget as the blender; over 20 years old and still going strong), potato ricers, pea servers languish dustily at the back of the nation's cupboards.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
I clicked to this when I first came across it. I remembered being aware of the phenomenon at the age of six: as a game, I was running away from my grandmother, and realised that as I ran I was becoming genuinely frightened, though there was no reason to.

I came up against it again this morning. I discovered that two large spiders had moved into my bath, which I did not wish to share with them.

Now, understand that I do not see myself as afraid of spiders. I have evicted spiders for my daughters at a time when I bribed them to disposed of dead mice, which I could not go near despite their being no threat. At one time I actively encouraged a spider that settled in my kitchen window as it dealt very nicely with flies. I worked out the perfect thing to do with them: get them into a box, cover it, take it out to the shed and liberate them. Spiders are useful members of the household ecology and above all I didn't want to harm them, but I don't want them in the bath; one crawled onto my shoulder once when I was in the bath, and all I did was stand up a bit abruptly, reach for the toothmug, scooped it up and did a lovely kottabos shot into the handbasin.

But things didn't go completely according to plan. I carried out the actions, but afterwards found I was shaking in a way that puzzled me until I thought, "Oh, yes, things change, I must have been scared of them."

Not a new thing. All through my life, from childhood onwards, I have operated very much in James-Lange terms, with a slight twist: I am aware of physiological sensations, then track down what the emotion must be. My mother used to accuse me of being too self analytic, but it wasn't a matter of choice, it's just how things are.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
The good: I have done a lot in various places this year.

London: for the Flying Dutchman.
Liverpool: for the Giants
Upton upon Severn (part of it still under Severn at that point): for the folk weekend, and bought clothes for my new look.
Sidmouth: for the Folk Week (in uur case week and a half), where I bought more clothes for the new look and more flower wreaths and learned to play the ukulele - and took part in my first session playing anything but a drum.
London again: for the Notting Hill Carnival.
Preston: for the Preston Guild trade parade. As it only happens every twenty years (with a 30 year gap, for obvious reasons, between 1922 and 1952), it was impressive to see one firm stating that it was their 9th time.

The bad: in the week after Liverpool I felt rotten. I thought I might have picked up flu, probably on the journey back, as I was cold and tired and my resistance would not have been at its best. Then the cough set in and I whooped several times. Thoughts that it couldn't be whooping cough because I'd already had it skidded to a halt when a bit of arithmetic showed me that that had been over 60 years ago, and I suppose even naturally acquired immunity doesn't last for ever. Hearing the figures for it this year suggests that I was right and that was what I picked up during the Liverpool visit. Not nice, but could have been worse, and probably means that I am extremely unlikely to catch it again in future, when my general health might not be quite as good as at 65.

On balance, good, and probably more to come - might go to Preston again once if not twice, will almost certainly go to see the Blackpool Illuminations (12 years in the North West and I've never been to Blackpool at all) and there are a couple of other things brewing.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
Given that I have been a driver for more of my adult life than I was a non-driver, I am ridiculously pleased to have, once again, got myself, two doggies, G and G's motor scooter to Sidmouth and back safely. The ex ambulance minibus is a splendid thing to drive, but it is BIG. So big that as well as said motor scooter it took three tents (one not used in the event), everything we thought we would need for over a week at a folk festival and then some, and half my drums.

I did not buy any instruents. I gazed longingly at some drums but G dragged me away.

I did buy music books, and this affected my choice of workshops. I had intended to go to the Melodeon Improvers, but one of the books was by the person doing the workshop, complete with CD and DVD, so I decided to go to the Ukulele Beginners instead. 20 were expected; over 60 turned up. We made so much progress that many of us went to the Improvers next day. One of the others (a genuine Improver) talked me into coming to the Swan and joining in a session. When I got there I explained that I only knew the three chords we had been doing, so she said, "OK, we'll stick to the key of C; just follow me." I did, and I kept up. Afterwards she complimented me and asked if it was my first session. I said it was only my second day... this is the sort of thing that daydreams are made of. I finished the week in a state of blissful happiness (and yes, I played in the session next day too).

I also went to the Barefoot Flamenco, which was a great physical workout. Anybody who thinks that dance has nothing to do with PE has never tried it; plenty of aerobic stuff and I was running with sweat afterwards, and that's in addition to the coordination and balance involved. I can't think offhand of any muscles that we didn't use.

Lots of singing, lots of music (involving several of my drums) and I managed not to drink too much beer. I really need a week to recover, but on Friday I'm off to Moira Furnace for a weekend more of the sae.

Oh, I didn't mention the Loathly Wyrm. I'm hoping it'll show up on Youtube; it's a sort of Chinese dragon type thing. It appeared last year and we took it back this year by special request for the procession; on Friday night I was in the tail. If I find myself there again, I shall wear my black lace-up clogs and if anybody wallops me again as we go past, they'll know all about it if my kick connects.

Too tired now to do anything but collapse and watch the Olympic closing ceremony. Must feed doggies first, though.

ETA I clean forgot to mention Chris Barber. The man is AWESOME - where does he get the stamina from? Dammit, he's 16 years older than me.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
I'm watching BBC News this morning and there was, of course, a bit on the Tour de France.

At one point, in a field between the camera and the cyclists, there were three donkeys wearing brightly coloured coats. wandering around. Then they all lined up, side by side, facing the camera. Very sensibly, for a good few moments, the camera operator focussed on them.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
When making a soup that contains both whole green chilis and French beans, do not, repeat NOT cut the beans to the same length as the chilis.
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)

I O thee:
Y O A O?
O O me!

Solution in cut )
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
In July the sun is hot.
Is it shining? No, it's not!

    Michael Flanders
sollers: me in morris kit (Default)
because it would take too much research.

A Neonazi group develops a time machine. They send an agent back to a school in South London to kill a schoolboy, because eliminating this individual would, by itself, give Germany a far better chance of winning WWII

Agent carries out mission and returns to base. Nothing has changed.

Boss: You idiot! You killed the wrong boy!

Agent: What do you mean? I killed Jones.

Boss: You were supposed to kill R.V. Jones!
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 07:17 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios