For the past week, until about the middle of last week, work was really quiet. I was getting some non-project work in and other people were scratching about for things to do. And then suddenly all our clients decided to launch projects before Easter, so now we're really busy and I'm hoping I won't be spending too much of my Easter weekend working.

That heartbleed bug meaning everyone needs to change all their passwords. I only just changed mine a month ago, so I'm really not looking forward to spending my Easter weekend changing them all again.

Mirrored from my blog.


Board Games

This week I don't have anything going on any evening. So rather than spend every evening at home, last night I went into the city to the board games cafe for their open night. It was fun - I played a few games and met some fun people. The Discworld Ankh-Morpork game was fun - I can recommend it. And the orange juice and mango smoothie was so nice I struggled to drink it slowly.

It's quite a strange place in that they come round and take your drinks & snacks order, then on the way out you pay your tab, plus your entrance fee. It's very trusting.

The downside was that I didn't get home until past 11pm and then I woke up at 6.30am for no reason, so now I am really tired. The other downside is that it involves driving into the city (trains aren't very frequent late at night and then I'd pay more to park at the train station/get a taxi home). On the plus side, at least the roads were empty on the way home so it didn't matter when I got confused, and I think I have now got the multi-storey car park sussed.

I can't go back next week as that's Rotary, but while I'm in on Thursdays until choir starts back in September and only out ten more times for ballet as the summer holidays for that are lone, I'll take the opportunity to go back a few more times.

Mirrored from my blog.

Back to Middle earth Month recs

March was Back to Middle-earth Month, which I always enjoy. I don't tend to read a lot of LOTR related fic these days, let along write any, so it's good to have a month where I read/look at other creations on the [info]b2mem comm and then I try everything.

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Mirrored from my blog.


What I am reading Wednesday

A rare Wednesday when I am in! While ballet stops for Easter.

What I Just Finished Reading
When I last posted one of these it was before I went to Torquay and after a look through my shelves I decided I didn't want to take anything new in case I didn't like it (and there were only so many books I was prepared to take - and paradoxically the more I put on my ebook reader the less I want to read any of them). So I followed [info]watervole's advice and went with some Bujold. I read Shards of Honor and Barrayar while I was away and Captain Vorpatril's Alliance when I came back (because it was too big to take). Cordelia never stops being awesome and I do like Ivan's take on the Vorkosigans.

What I'm Currently Reading
We Bought A Zoo by Benjamin Mee. I hadn't heard of it at all, but Benjamin Mee was one of the speakers at Conference (his zoo being local) and his talk was so interesting I bought the book (and got it signed). The story starts when his father dies and his family decide that rather than let his mother move to a smaller house, they'll buy something bigger and have a few generations living there. They end up buying a run-down wildlife park in which a lot of things don't go to plan. He was a journalist, before he ended up being a zoo director, so his writing's good. There is a film of it. I don't know if I'll look for a DVD of it because it'll be weird seeing Matt Damon playing Benjamin Mee, having met him.

What I'm Reading Next
I'm back to I don't know. I have a few books I need to buy second hand, which the library did have, but I waited too long and now they don't. In the meantime I really should get to some of my unread books. Or admit I'm never going to read them and get rid of them to make some space.

Mirrored from my blog.



The reason I haven't posted much lately is that I spent last weekend in Torquay at the Rotary Conference. We went for a longer long weekend, so we could have some time in Torquay, as well as conferencing. Of course it was the one weekend this month when it was cold and windy and rainy...

The hotel we stayed at had gluten free bread and Lactofree butter. One of the places we went to eat had three different sorbet flavours for dessert, none of which were on the menu, but they told me about them because I'd asked them what I could eat. Although one restaurant where I asked whether the sauce had milk in came back and told me I couldn't have it because it had flour in, but I could have another that had garlic butter in... I discovered Booja Booja chocolate ice cream was really nice, even though it was too cold for ice cream.

I also didn't go to bed until 11.30pm most nights and woke up at 6am most mornings even though I didn't have to be up that early. So it's taken until now for me to catch up on my sleep.

And my legs have just about recovered from all the hills and the stairs and me making them worse at ballet on Wednesday...

Mirrored from my blog.


What’s tired me out this week

Thursday was foggy. It was foggy in the morning, it was foggy in the fields when I left work, it was foggy when I went to choir - so much so that walking into the church hall and being able to see clearly was really weird. It was so foggy on the way home that all I could see was the patch of road in front of me. The only reason I knew where there were parked cars is because they're usually in those places - I couldn't see them until I was nearly on top of them. So that was a long, hard drive home at max 30mph (on roads with no parked cars, 20mph with). I had to drop a friend off at her house and we went for somewhere in the vicinity because I couldn't see it and I had a van up my arse.

And then when I got home I had to do some work.

Yesterday evening I was so tired I was tempted to go to bed at 7.30pm, if I hadn't been doing work at the time (I would have left it for today, but the software we use was being upgraded all day - suffice to say bits of it now don't work. I'm really looking forward to Monday...).

And now today I'm just too tired to do anything. Well, except for watching wheelchair curling, which would have been more interesting if Channel 4 weren't so desperate to give me the result before I could start the video of the semi-final.

I'm sure I'm not normally this tired on a Saturday, so perhaps it's just as well that choir is stopping for five months over the summer. I should have more time to rest and do a few things that need doing that I end up saving for the weekend because I don't have time during the week because I'm either out or too tired to do anything.

Mirrored from my blog.


What I Am Reading Wednesday

I thought I would give this a go for once.

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Mirrored from my blog.



Originally uploaded by paranoidangel

It's spring in my front garden!

Mirrored from my blog.


Back to ballet

I finally made it to ballet last week, after not having been for the previous six classes (which actually spanned three months). Last week we had a new teacher and lots of new people, so it was all very slow. Which was just as well because three months was long enough for me to have forgotten a lot.

And then tonight was still fairly slow. We did a step that I've hardly done before and I could never get, but I finally got it tonight. I didn't think the teacher saying "pretend the floor is hot" would help, but for some reason it did. It was a really good feeling to finally be doing it and not just going through the motions in vaguely the right direction.

However, we did do a lot of going up and down on tiptoes and a lot of stuff holding onto the barre and moving one leg, therefore make the one you're standing on ache. And holding your arm out. Walking out of there afterwards to the car park involved my slow walking and made me wish I could have walked home because pressing the clutch down basically involves going on tiptoe with your leg stretched (I can't move the seat closer or I hit my knees on the bit of dashboard below the steering wheel). Basically, I hurt.

Mirrored from my blog.


Livejournal protected feeds

Yesterday was mostly spent trying to find out how to see protected posts on Livejournal in a feed reader. Or more accurately, narrowing down what doesn't work. Between me and Dad we tried three different feed readers on five different computers. Eventually (eventually being the operative word) we discovered that atom feeds only show you public posts, rss feeds don't show you any posts until they update, then it shows you all of them, including the protected posts. Which goes a long way towards explaining why my test accounts are working better than any I actually want to follow (I now have four test accounts).

On the plus side, I can now see friends only posts. Or I will be able to, to be more accurate.

Strangely, I can't currently post to Livejournal from WordPress, which I haven't investigated very thoroughly. Mainly because I can post this to Dreamwidth, which will then crosspost it to Livejournal. Which won't look any different at all, since I told Dreamwidth not to add anything to the post in either location.

So that was my weekend. Plus going to see Ghost the Musical, which had very good special effects. Shame about the plot - the cheesy bits are meant to be mocked. There were some people crying, though, no idea why.

Mirrored from my blog.


Fandom snowflake day 14

I've been saving the best for last:

In your own space, write a love letter. Write it Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to.

Dear everyone who is reading this, everyone who has commented on my posts, everyone who I've had conversations with, everyone who I've talked to at conventions, everyone who I've met in real life, everyone who has ever helped with a fic, betaed a fic, commented on a fic, everyone who's run a challenge/ficathon I've participated in or just enjoyed reading, everyone who has written great fic that I've loved reading, everyone who has inspired me, everyone who entertains/informs or otherwise keeps me up-to-date on LJ/DW/Twitter etc, everyone who I keep in touch with via the internet, everyone I've met via the internet, everyone who's ever introduced me to a new TV show or recommended a book or an author (even if I turned out not to like them), everyone who's been there when times are bad and when times are good, everyone who's linked me to bunny pictures.

I love you all. Thank you.

Mirrored from my blog.

That writing thing

This evening I had a free evening, not going anywhere and with nothing that urgently needed doing. So I told myself I would get the first draft of my [info]b2mem fic finished and I did. It's due 12th March so I spent yesterday thinking I needed to start, but being paralysed by the fear I've left it too late. But now I have 800 words, some of which will hopefully be usable by the time I next look at it.

I was more successful with my [info]blakefest fic, which I finished and posted on time: Grains. My recipient asked for an AU of Sand, that had Avon down on the planet with Servalan. At the beginning I had an idea of writing something long (for me), but then I got dizzy and I have no idea what long thing I might have been thinking about. The prompts for the ficathon were all quite general and given that my first thought was more about Avon and Servalan than the four left on Scorpio, I mainly focused on that.

I received 11:50 PM, a story about an ordinary person living in the Federation and was just exactly what I wanted.

Mirrored from my blog.

Things that went wrong this week

This week seems like it's just been one of those weeks.

Wednesday I got to work, parked the car and then realised I'd left my computer at home. So I came back home to work, which did mean I got to see the curling semi-finals. Although by see I mean keep half an ear on the commentary and look up to discover I've missed a good/terrible shot.

In the evening I went to out to dinner and found that although Prezzo do gluten free pizza bases, they still put milk in them. When I first asked I was told they didn't, and then they came back and said, oh, there is milk powder. Which is not milk? And apparently they also put milk in their gelato...

Thursday I was planning to stop off at Tesco on my way home for bread and use their pharmacy to put my prescription in. Except I packed the prescription, then found I needed to re-pack my bag. I discovered later (before I left work, fortunately) that I'd then left the prescription out. Also, someone at work blurted out the curling result, which I had taped. I still watched it and I still found it exciting, but I don't think I could have said the same if we'd lost.

Friday I stuck the curling on, watched the first ten minutes, then they announced they were moving to BBC1, but we wouldn't miss a minute! Which is of no use at all five hours later. But I thought it'll be ok, I'll just watch it on the iPlayer. But the iPlayer said it was coming soon and would be available soon after the programme had finished. It still wasn't available five hours after it had finished. I ended up having to watch it yesterday morning.

Today I discovered why some of my RSS Feeds on Livejournal and Dreamwidth have been so quiet - because when I changed my passwords last weekend I forgot to tell my feed reader. So Livejournal was happily giving me the public posts, Dreamwidth just gave up. Once I'd put them in it decided, for some of the feeds, to show me posts from years ago, which is very bizarre.

Mirrored from my blog.


This is not a post about anything

I could post about being dizzy again this week - I felt great on Monday evening and terrible on Tuesday morning. And then did a nine hour day with no breaks on Wednesday, which didn't help, funnily enough.

Or I could post about the Winter Olympics, which started with me watching various sports and ended with me taping curling. Although I did like snowboard cross - it's like BMX with mass carnage and half the people that start not finishing.

Or I could post about discovering my twitter account was hacked and then spending most of yesterday changing passwords, and not therefore being able to concentrate on yesterday's curling matches.

But then I decided not to post about any of those things.

Mirrored from my blog.

It’s all about me

I do have one more fandom snowflake day to do, and the fake TV show for the "I surrender" meme (I sometimes think about it, but have yet to write anything down so I keep forgetting what I thought). I will get to them at some point, but I'm trying to work and do Rotary/ballet/choir and that saps all me energy.

Including the drive to work. On Wednesday I couldn't get the car out of the garage due to the wind, Thursday I spent in traffic jams because an accident had closed the main road and roadworks one of the alternatives, leaving only one route to work, then Friday involved driving through a river. There were a couple of puddles about, but this involved water pouring off a field onto the road. So this week will involve checking the roads before I leave in case the river gets bigger or the puddles freeze.

I have just about got over this week's work and now I have go back for another week. And the curling starts tomorrow. But I have established it's on all day on Saturday, so then I can watch so much curling I'll be sick of curling.

Mirrored from my blog.


The effect of wind on garage doors

Today I worked from home and didn't go to ballet (for the fourth week in a row - give that you can buy five weeks at a time if I'd had a crystal ball I'd have just not signed up for this half term). Although it was nice to have a day when I could work from the sofa whenever I liked and an evening in (which included fixing my bedroom light switch, although we accidentally managed to get it upside down).

The trouble was the wind. I was doing well with getting my car out of the garage because I had it in the centre before it was that far back. Sadly, at that point the garage door blew closed. I squeezed out the car, opened it, made sure it was up as far as it would go (which is hard because I have to stand on tip toes and stretch one arm to do it because it was designed for tall people*).

I stood and watched it while the wind blew and concluded that it would stay. So I got back in the car, started it back up, reversed it and didn't get out of the garage (fortunately) before it blew closed again. I took that as a sign and gave up.

This evening the wind sounded even worse, so I decided it wasn't worth trying it. The only other way to have got to ballet was by walking, which I didn't fancy in this weather or in the dark (I do it quite happily in the summer when it's light). Theoretically all you need to do is to drive the car out quickly between the gusts, but you can't tell if the wind's gusting from inside the car inside the garage. And earlier this evening there was a lot of gusting close together, which I wouldn't have liked to predict.

So in future if the weather forecast says it's going to be really windy, I'll be leaving the car out!

*Definition of tall people: anyone taller than me

Mirrored from my blog.


Cotton candy bingo card

I went and signed up for another bingo, this one has a deadline, but it just involves writing fluff of at least 500 words which shouldn't be too hard...

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Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflakes days 7 and 11

Day 7
In your own space, create a fanwork. A drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. A picspam. Something.

Day 11
Stretch yourself a little and try something new. Go play in a new fandom or with a new pairing or trope. Try creating a different kind of fanwork. Or check out some types of fanworks that are new to you.

I covered both of these by writing a House of Eliott ficlet set after series 3: Caught in the Middle.
Summary: Caught up in Bea and Evie's quarrel, Jack tries to get them to make up.
On AO3

Mirrored from my blog.

A few bits

I was going to post earlier in the week, but then I spent half of Wednesday afternoon when I should have been working, trying to establish why my internet was down, which knocked me out for the evening.

In other news:

My bedroom light switch fell off. In fact it was about a week and a half ago, but of all the things that have broken/fallen off in this house it's one I've never come across anything like before. But given that it's fixed with clips on other side (which have broken) and it regularly gets moved about when I turn the light on and off I suppose it's not that surprising. I am hoping that when I'm well enough I'll be able to find something to replace the switch, rather than needing to get the whole box on the wall replaced.

The people across the road have moved. Which wouldn't ordinarily been that exciting news, but they're the ones who owned the friendly cat and I will miss him (if not hi 'help' with the weeding).

The advantage of working from home this week is that I've been able to have the Australian Open tennis on in the background. Although I've been too busy to pay it much attention and this morning it was only on the TV, not on the radio and you can't do anything else while watching tennis. And it seemed like every time I looked up they were spinning the camera around. I am looking forward to the Men's Final on Sunday, though, it could be interesting. Or it could be a complete thrashing.

Mirrored from my blog.


Me update

The thing with being dizzy is that when you're really bad, lying down and doing very little makes you better. But after a while you have to remind your brain that actually it's not normal for the room to be spinning and lying down and not doing much doesn't help with that. So this weekend I decided I'd done enough lying down and I was going to sit up as much as possible. And then I decided I was well enough to work today (from home, car journeys when dizzy can make me travel sick, even when I'm driving).

Today I nearly got through a whole day with only lying down at lunch, but not quite. So definitely just as well I didn't go in. But after dinner and a lie down I feel better.

The most annoying thing is that getting up makes me dizzy. Because being asleep only helps me gain energy, it doesn't help my brain work out what signals it's being misfed from my inner ear. So I still had to get up ages before I started work so I could spend most of that time lying down and recovering from getting up, getting dressed and having breakfast.

I missed the first class of the term of ballet last week and am likely to miss the second this week (especially annoying as I missed the first two last term due to being ill, plus I have to pay in advance). And a dinner last week that took a month to organise because it was so hard to find a date we could all make, so now needs reorganising. But the timing could have been worse as next week I'm going to the theatre twice (once to see Punt and Dennis, the other time to see the local amateur panto). One time has e-tickets, so if I couldn't go I could at least email them, but for the other time I'm the only one who can pick the tickets up, since they require my credit card.

On the plus side, I managed to finish the first draft of my [info]blakefest fic. What I found helped was Written? Kitten!. Before I was ill I set myself the goal of writing 100 words before I went off and watched TV or whatever. I opened the page in such a way that I couldn't see the word count and then all of a sudden a kitten would pop up. And then generally another one would pop up before I stopped. I did have a read through of the whole thing at the weekend, when I deleted 300 words and added a question mark. At some point I will go back and put something in between the dialogue, although typically for my first drafts I have two people speaking, so every other paragraph is the same person. And then somewhere in the middle one person must logically have two paragraphs in a row. At least I can bung the whole thing in Written Kitten and at least I'll get kittens for adding non-dialogue.

I have also just got round to watching the first episode of the second series of The Bletchley Circle (ie the one from two weeks ago) after someone told me just under two weeks ago that it was good. And it was - so I'm glad last week's episode is taking up space on my PVR (recorded just in case I liked it). ITV Player was not a help, though, as it showed me three adverts during the first advert break and then refused to show me any more, telling me that Adblock was preventing me from seeing the adverts.

Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake days 6, 12, 13 and 15

Aka the ones I'm not (properly) doing.

Day 6
In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. Something that impacted on your consciousness in a way that left its mark on your soul.

I don't think there's any one thing that changed my life. I could point to lots of things that had I not seen/heard/read then I wouldn't have gone somewhere/met someone/etc, but the same could be said of everything in life. So I really don't have an answer to this one.

Day 12
In your own space, talk about what you think the future holds for fandom. What are your hopes and dreams for fandom? Do you have any predictions about what the next five years holds for fandom?

I think it'll still be there. Beyond that, I have no idea. I'm not Arthur C Clarke. I'm still happily on email lists and forums.

Day 13
In your own space, talk about setting yourself a fannish goal. Big or small, it doesn't matter. Some great examples include: complete a bingo, sign-up for a Big Bang, write that fic you've been thinking about for years, podfic that story that you love, make a fanmix for your fandom, post that bit of meta or reclist you keep postponing. Maybe resolve to be better at leaving feedback, or answering comments.

I've already done this one with the gen prompt bingo. Which I used to help me choose a prompt for [info]b2mem.

Day 15
In your own space, create your own challenge. What’s something you want to see more people doing in fandom? Is there something fun you’ve tried that you think other people would enjoy if they gave it a go? Dare your friends to try it out, and have fun with it.

I'm not going to challenge anyone to do anything - I think people need to decide what sort of thing will challenge them and whether they want to be challenged in the first place.

Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake day 9

In your own space, rec at least 3 fanworks you thought you wouldn't like (because they weren't your fandom or they pushed against your boundaries or you thought you just wouldn't be interested) but you ended up loving.

I'm sure I have more than three of these, but the ones that come to mind are Yuletide ones that wowed me at the time. They are all in fandoms I never thought to read in the first place, and more so, never thought I'd like any fan fiction for.

The Running Order (698 words) by AdaptationDecay
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Drop the Dead Donkey
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: And now... Drop The Dead Donkey. This fanfiction was first broadcast in December 2008 when Jonathon Ross had been suspended from the BBC for leaving abusive messages on Andrew Sachs' answering machine, the collapse of the Icelandic banking industry was pushing the UK further into a recession and retail chain Woolworths was about to cease trading after sixty years on Britain's high streets.

Money Is Cheap (3983 words) by Ayla Pascal
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Keeping Up Appearances
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Richard Bucket/Hyacinth Bucket
Characters: Richard Bucket, Hyacinth Bucket
Summary: The global recession is hitting everybody hard. But none as hard as Hyacinth Bucket. With her financial situation growing dire, Hyacinth is faced with the decision of whether to shop at Aldi and if own brand biscuits ought to ever grace her kitchen table.

Apocalypse Farm (1081 words) by beedekka
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Edwardian Farm RPF, Wartime Farm RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn, Henry the Dog (Wartime Farm)
Summary: Oh no! Those pesky zombies get everywhere. Ruth, Peter and Alex may be experts in recreating life in the past, but can they escape a future of UNDEAD DEATH?

Mirrored from my blog.


I know I have comments to reply to, loads of posts I have starred in my RSS reader, and Fandom Snowflake days I want to do. But I came over dizzy on Saturday night and am still recovering. I am at least now well enough to be really bored and frustrated at not being able to do anything - or I can at least start something that involves sitting down and end up having to lie down before I finish it.

On the plus side, I have re-watched all but the last episode of The House of Eliott, thanks to the BBC for putting it on YouTube and [info]lost_spook for telling me it was there. I'll probably have a whole post about it when I'm well enough, but for now it's perfect because it doesn't move much and it doesn't require much brain. It's a bit longer than I can concentrate for, but it doesn't require me to watch a whole episode in one sitting (or lying) anyway.

Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake day 10

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts.

I have three things, not all necessarily fannish.

I'm counting my 'which Swordspoint book to start with' request I made to [info]just_ann_now as my first one.

The second is for wallpapers I can use on my computer at work, as I get bored looking at the same wallpaper for a while. It doesn't have to be fannish, bunnies and kittens work too. But my monitor's resolution is 1920x1200.

The third is for interesting blogs/LJs/DWs/Twitters/Tumblrs etc (ie anything I can follow by RSS feed or in TweetDeck). Also doesn't have to be fannish - it can also be funny or bunnies.

Mirrored from my blog.


I am tired today because I spent last night learning and dancing Ceroc. This is all the fault of my sister's friend, who danced with me at her wedding, I enjoyed it and decided to have a go.

It is partner dancing and at first I had a horrible revelation that I was going to have to touch men's hands! I'm not that keen on touching as it is, but with someone strange who might have sweaty hands... But I got used to that and mostly you're just linking two fingers, so you don't get too much sweaty hand experience. And some of the women who knew what they were doing were pretending to be men.

In one sense it's easy because the men lead, so they signal and you do what they tell you. On the other hand, it's hard to work out what they're telling you sometimes and also hard to toe the line between guessing what they're trying to do and going too soon vs being cautious and therefore not really doing anything. Also there's the trouble of not being able to choose for yourself what to do, which the women there kept pointing out they all struggle with. Which is perhaps why they like dancing the man's part sometimes...

I haven't decided whether I'm going back again yet. On the one hand I enjoyed it, and I remember (if vaguely) starting ballet and having no clue, so if I kept at it I'd be less lost. On the other hand, there is quite a bit of spinning - as far as I can tell a lot of the moves involve the man or the woman or both spinning. I left before the end (mind you, the end is at 11pm and I usually go to bed at 10pm) because I was dizzy. And I'm tired today because of the dizziness from last night, not because of the lack of sleep (I went in to work an hour late).

So if I go back I'm going to have to make sure to dance less, which is hard because I'll try and sit every other dance out, but then people come up and ask you to dance. Partly they don't want to take no for an answer and also I feel bad for saying no. And I'm not sure I really want to explain all that to everyone there.

Mirrored from my blog.