PA

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars March

This month I'm going to do 100 days of code. Obviously not all 100 days in March. Not even all 31 days in March because there are some days when I'm only in the house long enough to eat and sleep. And I already missed yesterday's because I was reinstalling my operating system.

But I will do some of the 100 days of code and doing that this month should then keep me going to finish it - which will probably be around the end of summer (depending on how hot this summer is).

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars February wrap-up

This month I've been reading Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. On the whole, I enjoyed it, although if it was made into a TV series or film I would definitely not watch it.

It was a murder mystery with magic and I like both of those things. I didn't like the gory bits or the sex-related bits (I am generally not interested in reading either of those). I did find the plot got a bit convoluted and I wasn't quite sure how exactly the whole thing ended up being solved. But that might have been a side-effect of me reading more than one book at a time and taking a while to read this one. I spent a lot of the book trying to work out why it was called Rivers of London and eventually worked out it referred to the B plot. It was really specific about London and Covent Garden, which I liked.

However, there was one massive thing wrong which annoys me every time I read/hear it, and that is the police caution. It's not specified in the book, but at one point one of the characters arrests another. The arrested character carries on talking and the police officer then points out that she just said that anything this character said would be used in evidence against them. That's not how it works, it just isn't. For a start, the caution just says that anything they say will be taken down and used in evidence. Full stop. And logically, anything they do say could be used for, as well as against. It's lazy research - the caution is literally written on the government website.

I'll give it 7/10.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Stuff I love: Sammy

Stuff I love

I haven't done much of this meme, but I couldn't not include Sammy.

Sammy

I discovered recently that he is tame - the definition is pretty much not scared of me, trusts me, doesn't freak out immediately if you hold him. He has had all four feet on my hand a few times. It's just hard to get him to do it because he's big enough to stretch to get all the food on my hand. He still freezes if I talk to him when he's up - as if he's been caught out. I think he's just not a people person. Which is fine, because neither am I.

He is all about the food. I don't put very much in his food bowl because he gets all his food from my hands or from the food I've buried around his cage. Not that he realises I'm the one who buries it. A while ago he had a couple of days of getting up earlier and went around his cage looking for the food that I hadn't buried yet.

He is pretty lazy. I put a treat in a cardboard puzzle. Missy would have destroyed it in less than two minutes. I make his easier and he finally gets round to them after two weeks. Male hamsters tend to be more laid back and Sammy is as laid back as it's possible to get.

Sammy

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hive by Brannon Braga. One of the squares in LJ Book Bingo is graphic novel or comic. I was intending to swap it, but I thought I'd look at the graphic novel section in the library just to see if there was anything interesting, as at least graphic novels are really short. I found this one, which I did not enjoy. The plot was confusing and it was about the Borg which was dull. They had an OC important to the plot who looked just like Beverly Crusher but with slightly differently shaped hair. Plus it's a comic, which I just find hard to read when it's more than just a three square strip.

Sunny Side Up by Susan Calman. It's hard to say what this is about. She meanders a lot, but it's partly about how she's now happy (mainly thanks to Strictly) and how everyone should be more kind. Despite the meandering and hard to explainness, I enjoyed it anyway.

What I'm Currently Reading
Still Dune. Very slowly. It's getting interesting, but hard going. I am half-tempted just to look up a plot summary because I am interested in the mysteries but don't care about any of the characters.

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. I am enjoying it, it's an easy read. I definitely wouldn't want to see a TV series or film of it, though, because it's a bit gruesome. I am just glad I skim read descriptions at the best of times. I am liking all the police stuff in it, though, with the added supernatural makes it interesting.

What I'm Reading Next
These will keep me going for a while, but I'd like to read the Roswell High books. Watching Roswell New Mexico is reminding me of the series and I'd like to see how similar both series are to the books.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Clocks

It's all been going on with clocks recently. Well, two of them. Well, my alarm clock and my watch.

One morning I went to turn my alarm off and the button disappeared into the clock. Fortunately I could still turn it off by unsetting the alarm. But the button that no longer existed was necessary to change the alarm time. The clock is over twenty years old and a piece of it fell off years ago. I thought I'd glued it back on but found that was not the case when I turned it over to take the battery out.

I did consider for a while whether I needed a new alarm clock. There is an alarm clock on my iPod and my phone and my travel alarm clock. And I have one of those clocks that gets light before it goes off. Which I've found good for being able to wake up in the light in the winter, but frightens the life out of me when it goes off (it has 16 volumes, they are all loud). It also doesn't do the waking me up gradually thing, so is useless in that aspect. It also doesn't have a battery back up if the power goes. It does take a battery, it just doesn't do anything useful.

I also don't use it as a clock. It's just too far away and too big, so if I need to know the time I pick up my small bedside clock and put it up to my nose. It also has an alarm, but it's a very unreliable clock and a more unreliable alarm.

My alarm clock is a radio alarm clock, but I don't listen to the radio either. I've had it for so long that I associate the slightly tinny radio noise with annoyance and it makes me want to turn it off the second it's come on.

But I ended up buying a new radio alarm clock for £7. You can spend ridiculous amounts, mainly for the ability to charge your phone with your clock. Even though it would be cheaper to buy a plug. Since the new clock is smaller I've moved it further away from the bed so I now have to get up to turn it off, rather than just sitting up. This is because the traffic on the way to work got hideous so it would take 10-15 minutes extra to get to work. Considering my journey is generally only 20 minutes, that's quite an increase. Since I tend to spend about 10 minutes after my alarm goes off trying to get out of bed, putting my alarm clock further away means I have to get out of bed and am not going back again afterwards. Of course, once I'd shaved 10 minutes off my morning routine the traffic went away and I was 10 minutes early. I've started leaving a bit later and it's all fine now.

On Friday I looked at my watch and realised it wasn't vaguely telling me the right time. Or ticking. After thinking about what a pain it would be to take it somewhere to get the battery changed and how it would cost nearly as much as I paid for it and it didn't look that hard, I thought I'd have a go at changing it myself. I did manage to prise the back off, but broke off a plastic piece that held the strap. I have now bought a tool so I can get the strap off and not do that again. And glued the piece back on - I've been trying Gorilla glue and it is really good. I glued the hoover back together and after it set I couldn't get it apart again when I pulled.

The battery was the tiniest thing in the world and needed a magnifying glass to see what type it was. At which point I realised I don't have a magnifying glass. I found an app for it, which unhelpfully turned the torch on, which reflected off the battery so I couldn't see a thing. I eventually managed to find the battery type, established it's not one you can buy in the shops and ordered one for about £1. So on balance it's probably cost me more than I would have paid if I'd gone somewhere, but it will at least be cheaper next time.

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

Stuff I love: Jeremy Hardy

A meme for the month:

Stuff I love

I was going to post about this already, but it fits nicely into the meme. What with the snow today I worked from home, which meant I could check Twitter from time to time. I half-joke that my Twitter is basically just comedians and tennis. The tennis twitters are pretty quiet this week, recovering from the Australian Open and us with a bye in the Davis Cup. So my entire twitter feed this morning were people talking about Jeremy Hardy, how funny he was and what a nice guy he was.

For those who don't know, he was a stand-up comedian, well-known these days for being a panellist on The News Quiz and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. There was a page about ISIHAC I saw years ago about the singing rounds as being funny because the panellists can't really sing and in Jeremy's case, really can't sing. Which just makes his singing funnier - and the audience cheer louder. ISIHAC have a tribute of his best One Song to the Tune of Another and Pick Up Sung rounds at http://isihac.net/jeremy-hardy/

I saw him in stand-up years ago and he was funny. But I particularly enjoyed him on ISIHAC, for his jokes as well his singing. I particularly remember one Christmas special where he did a duet with Andy Hamilton, who really could sing. It was hilarious.

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

Books

Reading Wednesday and I've Never Seen Star Wars in one post again.

What I Just Finished Reading
Fanfic. I've had so much marked to read for a while and then in December there were about ~30 SGA Santa fics. And SGA Santa fics tend towards the long. So I've put a load on my ebook reader and am reading through them in alphabetical order.

What I'm Currently Reading
Along with the fanfic, Dune and a Jeeves and Wooster book I can't be bothered to look up the title of, but the cover is green. For Dune I struggled to make it to page 50 - my copy has 561 pages, so I thought I should at least make it a tenth of the way through. But I heard it improves and I wanted to give it a go, but when I'm tired the fanfic and Jeeves & Wooster is so much easier. They have finally made it to Arrakis and it is picking up, so I haven't given up on it yet. Although I think I may have done it the wrong way round and should have watched the film first.

What I'm Reading Next
Rivers of London. Because it's come up a few times recently in different places and it sounds interesting.

I've Never Seen Star Wars January: this was Dune. I might update the score once I've read it some more, but for now it's 4/10.

I've Never Seen Star Wars February: I am going to read Rivers of London for this. Since I'm getting an actual book (rather than an ebook) from the library, I will therefore have to finish it or give up on it three weeks after I get it!

In other book news, I signed up to [info]ljbookbingo. It'll be a little while before I get a line because Dune, assuming I finish it, would qualify for six squares: sci fi, ebook, one word title, made into a movie, a new-to-you author, and a book that is part of a series.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Car

I now have my new car and I have driven it. I want to say that I like that it starts when I turn the key, except that it's a button, not a key, and because it's a hybrid when I press the button it's silent. It starts up the petrol engine when it needs to, which it did when stationary the first day I had it, because I couldn't work out how to turn the heating off (after pressing all the buttons I discovered it was the one marked 'off'). At one point it frightened the life out of me when I got out to check that the lights were on and not the fog lights or anything else and it started up just after I got out of the car.

I like that you can move the seat up. So I can now sit up straight enough to get the sun behind the sun visor in the mornings. And the lights of cars coming towards me aren't so blinding. I feel like I'm driving a 4x4. And have a tendency to hit my head on the sun visor.

It has a lot of gadgets, most of which I haven't used yet because I'm still getting to grips with the driving and the heating. The driving especially, because it's an automatic. I was fine the first day, but ever since whenever I want to put it in any gear I end up in neutral. I'm very glad the screen tells me what gear I'm in because I keep wondering why I'm not moving. And my instinct after putting it in reverse is to go upwards (for first gear) and then end up in park (which also means the car doesn't move).

When they redesigned the car they made it 20cm longer, which is in the boot. Although given that there's less space between the front and back seats, I don't know where the rest of the length went. I have, however, managed to make the boot smaller. In my old car there was a part of the boot that lived above the main boot that meant it was all flat if you put the seats down. Since the new car was the same width, and the old car was only going to be recycled, I took it out of the new car. It does fit, but not quite as well, so you have to be a bit careful about where you put stuff. Which ends up in having less space overall.

But I have less in the car. I found a lot of stuff in there I didn't know I had. I remember what the sellotape was for (making sure the headlights stayed attached after a pheasant flew out in front of me) but I have no idea why there was blu tack in the car. I don't remember ever needing to blu tack anything in either of my previous cars.

After buying a new car for the first time, I am going back to second hand after this. It's just such a lot of faff, whereas buying second hand is so much easier. And I feel like it's a bit posh for me. I miss having a bottom of the range, doesn't do anything fancy car (as much as I liked listening to the tennis on 5 Live Sports Extra on the way to work this week).

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

What I’m Reading Wednesday on a Thursday and I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – January

What I Just Finished Reading
The Book of the Year 2018 by No Such Thing as a Fish. Having read The Book of the Year 2017 I knew what to expect with this one and it was just as I expected. Interesting, informative and a bit silly. Only trouble is that I've forgotten all the facts I read.

The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov. This was a re-read for Redemption, where I volunteered to be on a time travel panel. I knew this one was interesting, but couldn't remember the ending. The first time I read this I wanted to go back and read it again because everything that happens is a clue to the ending. But I didn't. This time I read it carefully and the ending still came as a surprise. It's a good book and throws up some interesting morals about messing with history.

What I'm Currently Reading
Nothing because I just finished those two.

What I'm Reading Next
Dune by Frank Herbert - for I've Never Seen Star Wars. Because I've never read it. I have the film on DVD - it was free - and I've kept it thinking I'll watch it one day. So now I'm going to read the book. Depending on how it goes, I'll try the film once it's been long enough for me to have forgotten the book. Getting hold of this is the reason this post is on a Thursday, rather than a Wednesday.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Andy Murray

So Friday was a bit of an unexpectedly big news day. To the point where I wasn't at all surprised at the end of an item on 5 Live with kids paying tribute that they clarified he wasn't dead. As sad as it is that he's having to retire rather than deciding to, I still prefer his brother. And there are plenty of other British players around - it's looking a lot better than it has for years. And I realised last year that although I'll miss the Big 4 and the ones below them, I'm ready for the next batch to come through.

I have two Andy Murray memories that are not at all like anyone else's that have been retweeted on Twitter.

The first time I saw him play was at an exhibition. They were trying to do things to pep the sport up a bit. This was to have just one set - an idea that didn't catch on. We saw a few matches and Tim Henman was due to play in one. But he was injured, so he commentated and a 17 year old Brit who I had never heard of called Andy played John McEnroe. He lost 6-1.

Afterwards McEnroe said that Andy was going to be good one day. I didn't believe him, partly due to losing 6-1 (although in retrospect a 17 year old losing 6-1 was not a surprise) but mostly because he was British. And British players never do well.


Then there was the 2012 Olympics where I didn't see him win a gold medal. I was in Court 1 watching the bronze medal match between Del Potro and Djokovic. We were sitting at the back where there was a gap between the side and the roof and it was freezing cold. It says something about how long ago it was that the crowd were all supporting Djokovic. We were supporting Del Potro, partly to be contrary. At Wimbledon, during the sit downs, they show you the scores from other courts. But not at the Olympics. We were following the progress of Murray vs Federer via the live scores on my sister's phone. And updating the crowd in our vicinity, mostly due to our surprise at the scoreline.

The bronze medal match finished and unlike at Wimbledon we couldn't get on Henman Hill (it was manned and ticketed) and there were no screens around anywhere else. We ended up stood watching a scoreboard while my sister ate ice cream (it had warmed up a lot). I've been to Wimbledon before on the final Sunday, sat on Court 1 and had no idea who had won the men's final. There was clearly no point in bothering this time, as God Save the Queen was a bit of a dead giveaway.


Speaking of not knowing results: when Andy won the US Open I had no idea until I finished listening to the match the following evening. I'd gone to bed after the first set. At the time the only way of following it was on the radio and it's really hard to listen to that and not fall asleep. As I remember from listening to Greg Rusedski in the US Open final. People were amazed that I managed to have no idea he'd won (I avoided all internet, TV, radio, shop and told people at work I didn't want to know).

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

Car

I have solved all my car problems (and I realised I have four things about it that aren't quite right) by buying a new car. It's the same as my old car, only newer and a model up. And still red, of course (I have found that it's not just me who finds having a red car makes me invisible on the roads, but how can I have a car that's not red?). Which is about the only thing I didn't compromise on when I bought it.

Toyota seem to have decided, in updating their cars, to make them 20 cm longer. That 20cm is in the boot, which is fine. But then to make up for that they made it so the back seats don't go forwards. And I think they made it so there's less leg room in the back, but it's hard to tell because I test drove a car where you could raise the front seat, so then I had to have it further back. I really wanted a car where I have to move the seat all the way forward, but it seems that the only way to do that is to buy a car for tall people, in which case I can't reach the pedals. Or chop my legs off, but that seems a bit drastic.

They have removed a lot of storage from inside the car. According to the salesman this is to accommodate air bags. A comparison of the car I sat in and my car tells me this is completely and total rubbish. The trouble is that I have a lot of stuff in the car. On the other hand, I might not need it all in there. I opened a compartment I hadn't opened for ages and found, among other things, an ice scraper. I own four ice scrapers, in various sizes. Last winter I used one once to remove snow off my car. I think it's safe to say I don't need four of them. Especially as the new car will have heated wing mirrors. Although I have no way of knowing if they ever work because I haven't seen my wing mirrors with ice on them since before I moved to a house with a garage.

I have got a hybrid. They are more expensive, but you save on petrol. I reckon by the time it dies I should break even on that... Annoyingly hybrids only come in automatic (which are completely unintuitive to drive - and since the left foot isn't doing anything, why not have some controls down there? It would be the perfect place for the radio volume controls). The only thing that reconciled me to the automatic is some research that tells me that's how hybrid/electric cars are going, so by the time I need another new car manual won't be an option any more, so it won't matter that I've forgotten how to drive it.

And it's a 1.5. I currently have a 1.0 which is enough power 99% of the time. It's possible I won't notice the extra power because I've never had a car which can pass a lorry while going up a hill on the dual carriageway, so I'll probably forget that it's a possibility with the new one. Although in the new car I won't be able to go down to fourth gear to try it. (The more I think about it the more crazy it is that there's nothing for my left foot to do)

The hardest thing to figure out will be the lack of CD player. I had to compromise on that to get a digital radio (for 5 Live Sports Extra tennis listening purposes) and more important a digital speedometer (and not to end up with a car that felt like a downgrade from my last one. I tend to listen to all the Big Finish CDs (and sometimes some music CDs) in the car. The new car does have a USB port, so I can always put whatever I want to listen to on my mp3 player, if it doesn't work with my iPod. But I have a load of CDs hanging around and I like the CDs. Even if they take up space, I still like them. But when I get round to getting rid of my old computer I'll only have two CD players in the house (and I did look into plugging a CD player into the USB port of the car and it can't be done due to lack of power).

(I know I need to do a Never Seen Star Wars post for this month, but I'm still deciding what it should be - and have spent a lot of my free time lately researching cars).

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

Yuletide 2018

When coming up with what I wanted for Yuletide I hesitated to put The Avengers on it, despite having rewatched some recently and wanting it. My first Yuletide I got an Avengers fic and it was perfectly tailored to what I asked for. I thought what are the chances of getting something like that again? Turns out, the answer is 100%.
Must Be Tuesday (2959 words) by rabidsamfan
Fandom: The Avengers (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Emma Peel, John Steed
Summary: Steed Takes a Fall
Mrs Peel Rises to the Occasion

Then despite being busy I somehow managed to write three fics. The first was Galaxy Quest, which I saw in the tag set, thought maybe I'd like to write that, rewatched it during sign ups, then decided I would like to write it, so offered it. And ended up being assigned it. For some reason it ended up taking four drafts before it got to what I was trying to do with it, but I still really enjoyed writing it. And doing a lot of rewatching.
Willing to Walk Away (4610 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Galaxy Quest (1999)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Gwen DeMarco/Jason Nesmith
Characters: Gwen DeMarco, Alexander Dane
Summary: Life on the new Galaxy Quest series is better than on the original series. But it's still not good enough for Alexander.

And then I really liked dbskyler's Randall & Hopkirk prompt. I had the beginning in mind for a while, and once I'd written my assignment and had a lot more time at home than I was expecting due to my car not starting, I ended up writing the rest.
More Trouble Than They're Worth (3436 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Marty Hopkirk, Jeff Randall
Summary: It's just a simple divorce case, until it isn't. As usual for Randall and Hopkirk.

I wanted to write Belinda Blinked and I had an idea as to how to start the story. Then we finished book 4 and I realised I could use my start to take it in a slightly different direction. And then it turns out to be harder to write like Rocky than I expected and I just couldn't work in any semi-colons. But I did manage to have Giselle blinking.
Giselle's Honeymoon (585 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Belinda Blinked Series - Rocky Flintstone
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Giselle Maarschalkerweerd de Klotz/Tony Sylvester, Tony Sylvester/Original Female Character, Giselle Maarschalkerweerd de Klotz/Tony Sylvester/Original Female Character
Characters: Giselle Maarschalkerweerd de Klotz, Tony Sylvester
Additional Tags: badly written sex, No semi-colons
Summary: Giselle's on her honeymoon with Tony, but she's not satisfied yet. Spoilers for book 4.

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

I've Never Seen Star Wars December and 2018 wrap-up

This month I was practising standing on the tiptoes of one foot. I thought things would calm down this month and this wouldn't take long. I was right about it not taking long - I've either been busy or dizzy or both and ended up hardly doing it at all. I did do it a few times, but that was it. I know it's better than nothing, but it doesn't really feel like I've done it at all.

But here's a summary of the year:
January: My Dad Wrote a Porno 10/10
February: Podfic 7/10
March: AngularJS 6/10
April: The Death of Stalin 5/10
May: Jeeves and Wooster 10/10
June: The Greatest Showman Soundtrack 8/10
July: The Americans 6/10
August: Trying hair styles 10/10
September: Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) 10/10
October: The Martian film 7/10
November: Swimming with Men 10/10
December: Practising standing on the tiptoes of one foot not rated

In summary, I've watched/read/listened to a lot of great stuff this year - five of them were rated 10/10. I'm still listening to My Dad Wrote a Porno and went to the live show. I'm still working my way through the Jeeves and Wooster books. I'm still trying out hair styles.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Comedians

At the end of last year I was lamenting about how few comedians I'd seen. This year I set about changing that. As a result this year I have seen:
Dara O'Briain
I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
Lucy Porter
My Dad Wrote a Porno
No Such Thing as a Fish
Sara Pascoe

Which doesn't seem like that many now I write it down. But I enjoyed all of them.

This year I have already booked to see:
Ellie Taylor
James Acaster
Josh Widdicombe
Lucy Porter
Mark Watson
No Such Thing as a Fish
Rhod Gilbert
Rob Beckett
Romesh Ranganathan

Which doesn't seem like that much either written out, but it looks like more in my diary. Mostly because thy are quite bunched up - to the point where I'm seeing one on a Friday and another the day after!

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

What I am reading Wednesday

I updated WordPress, found the new Gutenberg editor confusing, then the template I have for this post wouldn't load. So back to the classic editor it is... until 2023.

What I Just Finished Reading
Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser. This was all about the women in Louis XIV's life. I didn't know much about him or this time, at least in France. His reign coincided with that of James I of England (VI of Scotland) who came up quite a bit in Edinburgh (albeit just called James VI). So bits would be mentioned about what was happening in England (and other parts of Europe) and I'd think ah-ha - I know about that. But even apart from that I found it interesting to see how the women in hi life affected him and how he affected them. And it's made me want to go to Versailles, since the book talked about what was being built and what it looked like.

The Boss of Bethnal Green by Julian Woodford. This is about a man called Joseph Merceron who was in local government in Bethnal Green in the late 18th and early 19th century. He was the original Godfather, controlling everything and stealing from the poor and ending up the equivalent of a multi-millionaire (while the poor died of starvation). It was interesting to hear about him and what he got up to, and also what else was going on in England and Parliament and the amount of corruption going on. In complement to the last book, the French Revolution happened during this time.

Terms and Conditions: Life in Girls' Boarding Schools 1939-1979 by Ysenda Maxone Graham. This book starts from a position of what we know about girls' boarding schools coming from books like Mallory Towers and the Chalet School and then we learn how different it was in reality. There are a lot of differences between schools, but a lot of them didn't really teach girls anything much academic, some of them had incredibly strict rules, horrible bullying, but most meant the girls formed close, life-long friendships. There were bits that were some bits that were similar to the stories, but I definitely learnt how idealised they are.

What I'm Currently Reading
Diary of a Wartime Affair by Doreen Bates. This has the tiniest text I've ever seen. It also starts in 1934, so it's going to be a while before it's very wartimey (I'm currently in 1937). But it's the diary of a woman who is having an affair with a married man she works with. Which is not exactly accepted these days, but really not in those days. I can't decide if I like it or not because it's a bit samey. It all depends a bit on what happens.

What I'm Reading Next
I haven't decided yet, but it will be one of the following:
The Book of the Year 2018 by No Such Thing as a Fish (I read the 2017 one last year and enjoyed it - but it is in hardback, so a pain to read lying down)
The Chalet School Annexe by Adrianne Fitzpatrick (Chalet School written by someone else and set in the Austrian era so I am looking forward to it)
Joy in the Morning by PG Wodehouse (next Wodehouse borrowed from my sister)

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

Why I’ve not been posting

I have all sorts of things I've been wanting to post about, but haven't had the time or the energy. Work always gets busy around November/December, but this year it started right on 1st November. It usually gets so quiet the week before Christmas that I have plenty of time to write Yuletide treats. So far it's only calmed down to normal busy levels. We are all tired and ill.

And I've had trouble with my car, which has not been helping. Despite the bus service around here having improved massively, it's merely gone from completely useless to pretty useless.

As a result all I've really been doing is reading and catching up on TV. I shouldn't need to work on Wednesday, so hopefully I'll manage a reading Wednesday post because I've been reading some interesting books.

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

Sammy

Sammy is as cute as ever.

Sammy and a cube

The good news is that he's no longer scared of me! It used to be that he'd hide when he heard me - unless he decided to come out, in which case he was quite happy taking food with his two front feet on my hand. Now, though, if I talk to him he'll come out and ask for food. Last night I was watching The Last Leg and he got up, so I spoke to him. He gave me a look that said "You're talking to me but not offering me food". So I offered him some food.

He is, generally speaking, very laid back. It takes him a while to get round to chewing up cardboard with treats in because there's food in his bowl, so why go to the effort? Although he does go round his cage looking for the food I hide. And if it's not the bits he's so keen on, I sometimes find those bits when I clean him out.

He has been out of his cage once. He ran around on the sofa investigating his toys, but after a minute he decided he didn't like it and hid down the back of the sofa cushions. Bum side up. Fortunately he was willing to use my hand to get himself the right way up and into his travel cage, so I could put him back in his cage and he could hide.

He also makes happy noises. I've been wondering what they were, but I would describe it as snuffling and apparently it's actually chirping. Hamsters make those noises when they're happy. The loudest he's made them was when he found half a walnut in his cage.

I did have to buy him a new wheel recently. He had a wooden one which was so quiet all you could hear was his feet padding on it. Sadly, even coating it in pet-safe varnish was not enough to deal with all the wee on it, nor the poos that he'd ground into it. He's now got a more expensive, slightly less quiet, plastic wheel. It is a lot easier to wash. But at least he runs on his wheel (unlike Missy) - he loves it.

Sammy

Mirrored from my blog.

Tags:
PA

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars December

At some point work/life will stop being it's usual stressy self at this time of year and normal service will be resumed. This is not that time, but at least I am (mostly) keeping up with I've Never Seen Star Wars.

This month I am going to practise standing on the tiptoes of one foot. This is partly because I realised it's been a year since I did ballet (my last class was the day after Missy died). I intended to practise it, but I always intended to practise.

I can stand on the tiptoes of both feet and I can stand on one foot, those are easy. It's standing on the tiptoes of one foot that's hard and I'm hoping if I practise (nearly) every day I'll get better at it.

Mirrored from my blog.

PA

I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – November wrap-up

This month I watched Swimming With Men.

I saw them the actors do some synchronised swimming on Sport Relief last year and it looked interesting. I saw some reviews when it came out at the cinema which sounded disappointing. So I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I sat down to watch it.

And then I really enjoyed it. It was really uplifting at the end. It was really interesting to see all these men doing synchronised swimming (and everything you see was done by the actors). And I learnt afterwards that the Swedish team in the film were played by the original men this film is very loosely based on.

It's about eight men who all come together on a Thursday evening to do some synchronised swimming to forget their crappy lives and to make friends. I could relate to that because it's the same reasons I do the things I do.

I give it a 10 out of 10.

Mirrored from my blog.