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Merry

I've been neglecting this blog a bit. I realised since I post at [info]tardis-library every week (ish) I could post here every week too. And I've been very remiss on not introducing you to Merry, since I've have him for four weeks.

Merry in travel cage

He loves running on his wheel - it's pretty much the first thing he does when he gets up at night - he only goes and looks for the food that's magically appeared around his cage later.

He's used to be handled, so I can pick him up and stroke him, but he lumps it rather than likes it. He's happy to take treats (and food, but he prefers treats) off my hand. But unless I'm feeding him or sorting out his wee, he's scared of me being around - if he gets up for a drink and I talk to him or move, he freezes. He's a silly boy (as I tell him often).

Merry on the sofa

Hopefully he'll be up for coming out to play a bit more, so then there will be more photos of him. Photos of just his head don't come out well after dark, and in a dark corner of my lounge/

Mirrored from my blog.

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What I am reading Wednesday

What I Didn't Read
Carry On Jeeves by PG Wodehouse. I've been borrowing the Jeeves and Wooster books from my sister and she told me she had a system where she left a space for the book I had, so when I took one back and borrowed another she'd know what was next. When I got this one she told me she didn't know what was next. I picked this one up, noticed it was a collection of short stories, which therefore must be next because the only collection of short stories I've read was the first book she gave me.

And before I'd finished the first page I realised this was the first one she gave me. I still read the first story, since I'd started it, but not the rest.

What I Just Finished Reading
It's Not Me, It's You! by Jon Richardson. This is all about why he can't get a girlfriend. Which is a bit weird because it was published a while ago and he's got married since! But it was still an interesting book about all his foibles and odd ways of thinking.

What I'm Currently Reading
Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes by Virginia Nicholson. I've returned to this - I handily stopped at the end of a chapter. I'm remembering how interesting this book is. The chapter I'm currently reading is all about marriage and there are a couple of quotes about how to have a happy marriage that show how it's all about the man:

Love him, feed him, sympathise with him, stimulate him, admire him.

Always have his meals ready, nice clean house and home, listen to all his troubles about what a horrid day he's had, even if yours has been dreadful. Above all, look clean and attractive yourself.

The divorce rate was going up at the time because women weren't satisfied with this. I can't think why...

What I'm Reading Next
While reading Perfect Wives I realised Virginia Nicholson has written about women in the 20s and during the war and this one was the 50s. I wondered if she would write one about women in the 60s. I just look and turns out it came out in March! But I will not be reading it next, I'll be saving it for my Chanukah list instead, and reading one of the three books on my bedside table that I've started or one of the two books on my Kobo that I've started or one of the books on a bookshelf that need reading or one of the books on my Kobo that I haven't read yet.

Mirrored from my blog.

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What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
Theodora and the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. This was a re-read because I got the GGBP version. And I needed something easy to read. And then right at the start I got so annoyed with Joey for deciding what name Theodora should go by. I wanted Theodora to refuse to go by Ted and insist on Dora or something else that Joey didn't suggest. And then after the beginning being about how she'd been expelled from three schools, nothing really happened with her at the Chalet School and it was really all about Margot with a side-order of too much Mary-Lou. I think me mostly reading it at a chapter a day before bed didn't help because it seemed like the longest Chalet School book ever.

What I'm Currently Reading
Death on the Nile by Robin Stevens. I discovered there was another Murder Most Unladylike book recently. It was reasonably priced on kobo, so I bought it. And I'm not reading it very fast because although I'm liking the characters and the plot, right at the start there was a "horrible thing will happen" and either it will or it'll be a "ha ha fooled you" moment, both of which will annoy me when one of them happens. So I'm not in a rush to get the being annoyed part of reading the book.

What I'm Reading Next
Carry On Jeeves by PG Wodehouse. Because I visited my sister and did an exchange for the last one I read.

Also, Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes by Virginia Nicholson. I stopped reading it during the heatwave because it was just too hot to concentrate on anything. And since then I got distracted b y other easy-reading books, but I must get back to this one.

Mirrored from my blog.

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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – pay at the pump

Last week I paid for my petrol at the pump. I've never done it before, I've always gone into pay. But I thought this would be easier, no need to interact with people and since I have a small tank and I fill it up when it's half full, then I could just wave my card at it.

Except that wasn't the case.

I went to Tesco, where I never usually get petrol. Every other pump has a system where if you lift the pump it assumes you're paying inside. If you want to pay at the pump you press a button before you lift it. Tesco is different - you have to press a button first to tell it which you want to do. I automatically lift the pump first, get in a mess and end up being shouted at over the tannoy. So I don't get my petrol at Tesco, it's just too complicated.

But this time I was there to pick up a prescription, I needed petrol and there was no one there. Since I was paying at the pump I knew I'd have to press a button first.

After you press the button it asks for your clubcard and Debit/credit card. You wave the clubcard beneath the scanner, as you do when you get the scanner to go round the shop with. I also find it takes quite a bit of waving for it to recognise the card. With the pump I gave up or I'd have been there all night waving the card at it.

And then I had to stick my debit card in the slot and type in my pin number in order to authorise the pump for £99. You can tell it you want a specific amount, but since I knew I needed about half a tank that wasn't that helpful. It only charged for what I used in the end, but it meant I couldn't use the chip and pin which was the whole point of trying pay at the pump in the first place.

I suppose it makes sense because then people can't drive off without paying. But it was disconcerting and since I was the only car there it would have been far quicker to have gone inside and waved my card at the card reader. At least it wasn't cold or raining while I was playing around pressing buttons and waving cards. But I won't do it again, it's just not worth it.

I'll give it 3/10.

Mirrored from my blog.

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What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
A whole lot of fanfic. I put a load on my ebook reader and worked through it. In the meantime I've bookmarked more, but at least my AO3 reading later page is only one page. Because I've been catching up on stuff from a while ago, it's been interesting to see who replies to comments. Some authors reply to all, some reply to none, some reply for a while and then stop (sometimes that's years sometimes that one day of replying and then stop). I know there are lots of reasons authors don't always reply to all comments, but when I see that none have been replied to and I'm not sure I liked it or it was just ok I tend to veer on the side of just ok and not leaving a comment.

What I'm Currently Reading
Back on the non-fiction: Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes by Virginia Nicholson. I've enjoyed two of her other books, on women after WWI and during WWII. This one is about women in the 50s. It's strange because it's so recent but so different. We had two world wars where women worked and the 'surplus women' after WWI meant marriage wasn't the be all and end all for women. And yet the 1950s might as well be the 1900s for all that's changed. At least so far, we're only on the early 1950s.

There was a chapter on the queen's coronation and I knew it rained that day but I didn't know it had only been 12C! And to think I thought this June had some cold weather, it wasn't that bad during the day.

What I'm Reading Next
The book I'm currently reading is 500 pages, and heavy to read in bed, so it's going to take me a while. I don't know, I'll see what I fancy off my to read shelf.

Mirrored from my blog.

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Whose Line is it Anyway?

Back in December, when I was ill, I started watching Whose Line is it Anyway? on All4. Earlier this year I got into a pattern of watching it at lunchtimes when I worked from home. This week I finished all 136 episodes.

I did enjoy it, but sometimes it got samey. Watching a lot in a short time would expose the times they repeated a joke. Authors was good for being able to make lunch while watching it, because there wasn't much to see, but I often wouldn't know the authors they were spoofing and it was only really funny when someone did a silly author. And Film and Theatre Styles got old quickly, especially when they did it twice per episode. That was also not helped by me not knowing some of the styles. Hoedown/Gospel/March gets old after a while too.

My favourites when I watched when it was first on were Josie Lawrence, Tony Slattery and Ryan Stiles. They're still my favourites, but to that list I add Sandi Toksvig, who is really funny and really quick. I was pleasantly surprised this week to find her in an episode I watched, because I thought I'd seen them all (she wasn't in many).

There was a surreal point where I watch the What's the Matter with Tony Slattery? documentary and they showed some Whose Line clips, all of which were from the first series, which I'd just been watching that week.

During this time I also saw The Comedy Store Players, who had an hour's worth of one evening's performance that you could pay to watch in a 3 day window. All but one of those had been in at least one episode of Whose Line. That made me laugh so much it set my asthma off. It helps that they've been doing it a long time so they keep getting better at it and also that I'm not struggling for 20-30 year old references. And they had different games, so it felt more interesting.

As to what I'm going to watch during my lunchtimes now, I don't know. I've reduced them to 30 minutes, so I can just about get Whose Line in, but anything longer is trickier. Although I could made my lunchtimes however long I want at the moment, as long as I get 7.5 hours of work in each day. Or I could watch half of something at lunchtime and the other half after work when I need a lie down before starting on something else (watching something helps better than reading). I don't know.

Mirrored from my blog.

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Yes, Minister

I've been thinking about Yes, Minster recently.

Yesterday I read a headline that said one-sixth of British people wouldn't take the Covid vaccine when we have one. At first I thought this is just clickbait, but it was The Guardian and I was curious, so I read it. And it was all about how people who get their news from social media rather than traditional channels are the ones who won't have the vaccine. It told me how many people the survey asked, but not anything else. Like what question did they actually ask.

It reminds me of a scene from Yes, Prime Minster where Humphrey demonstrates how to get specific answers out of people in surveys.

Leading questions

I've also been rewatching The West Wing. I got through series 1-3 and then stopped three and a half years ago. I re-started from the beginning of series 4 and am now halfway through series 5. There was recently an episode talking about the muclear threat. Which reminds me of this scene where we prove that Hacker would never press the button (it's the way he says "Picadilly?!" towards the end that really gets me)

"Would you press the button?"

Mirrored from my blog.

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Titles meme

Look at your most recent 20 fanwork titles and answer the questions.

1. How many are you happy with?
One of them came from another fic, so doesn't count (You, Me, Red Wine, and the Edinburgh Night Sky). But of the remaining 19, I'm happy with 12 (which is a pretty good ratio):
Teatime Stories
Baby, Baby (Between You and Me)
Banned Books
More Trouble Than They're Worth
Willing to Walk Away
Runaway Colleague
The Thing's the Play
But for the Grace
Strictly Romance
The Time Lady and the Lamp
Love Me, Love Me Not
Bloomin' Aliens

2. How many are... not great?
Giselle's Honeymoon I really struggled for a title for and then pretty much gave up. It really wanted a Rocky-style title and it turns out that that's really hard.

3. How many did you scramble for at the last minute?
Amazingly, the answer is not all of them! But the last 20 go back three years so I don't remember how many. It's probably all of the ones not listed in the next question, though.

4. How many did you know before you started writing/creating, or near the beginning?
This is unusual for me. But it's two!
Baby, Baby (Between You and Me)
Strictly Romance

5. How many are quotes from songs or poems?
Just one, Bed of Roses.

6. How many are other quotes?
A whole lot - or at least variations on quotes:
Banned Books
More Trouble Than They're Worth
Willing to Walk Away
The Thing's The Play
But For the Grace
A Last Supper
The Time Lady and the Lamp
Love Me, Love Me Not

7. Which best reflects the plot of the story/content of the fanwork?
Giselle's Honeymoon does what it says on the tin. As does Ghost in the Bathroom. Baby, Baby (Between You and Me) is reflects the plot and how it was remixed. Strictly Romance is a romance set during a time when one half of the couple is on Strictly Come Dancing.

8. Which best reflects the theme of the story/fanwork?
Memories of Home tells you it's nostalgic. I think that's the only one, really, it's hard to tell.

9. Which best reflects the character voice of the story/POV of the fanwork?
I think Bloomin' Aliens gives you a clue that it's Gita.

10. Which is your favourite?
Baby, Baby (Between You and Me). I did think 'If I do the remix like this I can use this title' because it was just so good. Second favourite is Strictly Romance.

Mirrored from my blog.

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What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
Peace Comes to the Chalet School by Katherine Bruce. It's typical Chalet School stuff, so not much to say about it really. Although the author chose not to focus on just one girl/form, which makes sense since it's about the end of the war, but it does feel more like I've read a selection of short stories rather than a whole book. Which is not to say that it's a bad thing, it just makes it different from other Chalet School books.

What I'm Currently Reading
Funny Ha, Ha by Paul Merton. I'm more than two-thirds into my library borrowing period and less than halfway through the stories. I've not been reading them in order - I've mostly been going backwards through the authors. The trouble is that some of them are just a bit dull and it always seems to be the longest ones! But then there are also some gems. Like all of Victoria Wood's ones and one of Oscar Wilde's ones. I'm currently enjoying one by Jincy Willett, who I've never previously heard of.

When I'm reading a good one then I'm keen to read it. But when I'm reading a dull one, more so if it's a run of dull ones, then I struggle to motivate myself to get through it. Overall I think the book would be better off having a few really good stories rather than lots of stories that include some really good. When I have to return it to the library I will probably read something else, then get this out again and read some more.

What I'm Reading Next
Some fanfic. Which counts as a book because they're on my Kobo. I had loads of catching up to do because I was too busy to read any from October to mid-December. Then I got ill and couldn't look at a screen (or read much at all, to start with). I finally managed to get my AO3 to read later down to one page, and had a few long stories left in the SGA Secret Santa collection. So I've put everything that's left onto my Kobo so I can finish them off.

And I keep doing my (virtual) choir recordings in front of my to read shelf and therefore keep thinking about how much I want to read them. So I will probably one of those next - maybe some non-fiction.

And maybe also one of the three books on my bedside table that I'm currently reading...

Mirrored from my blog.