themis1: Lightning (Default)
Weekly(ish) update:  We started the week on Sunday with a visit to the annual Christmas fair at Nature in Art - picked up a few small presents and had a walk around the photography exhibition.  NiA is a local treasure - a lovely old building dedicated to displaying art.  There is an exhibition space frequently used for textile exhibitions, and a full programme of lessons for adults and children.   Sculpture is displayed in the gardens, and there are some lovely old trees.  Sadly one of the pines (it may well be, by the size, a Redwood) appears to have died :-(

The week whizzed past.  Four out of five days had Sean, our painter, working in the new workshop area in the barn - this is going to be a sewing area.  I measured it this morning and it's 14' x 23'.  It's going to be a lovely space we can hold small workshops in, should we want to.  We also picked more apples, we have now got most of the ones we can reach but as usual there are still lots up there.  We're hoping the reduction that's going to be done to the tree at the end of this week will solve some of that problem, but when you have a tree that's several hundred years old, it's going to be BIG.  Note to self: must remember to tell the guys to preserve our mistletoe.  We rather like the fact we have mistletoe in our apple tree :-)  Nanowrimo started this week, and so did my scifi romance; despite several very busy days I have so far managed to keep to target.  Day two was a little annoying, as I hit my word count and posted only to realise it was gone midnight so it counted as day three, not day two - spoiled my perfect record of posting every day!  Never mind :-)

Penny had an embroiderers' guild trustees meeting in Hoddesdon on Thursday so left early and returned late - a long, long drive for her.  Friday it was my turn to do the shopping with Lynn.

Saturday Penny and I headed down to Oxford for Queer Company 2, an event for writers of m/m (mostly) erotic fiction.  I don't write in this genre (although Penny won a stiffy some years ago for a Quantum Leap story) but there are always writing tips to be picked up whatever your genre.  The event is run by an old friend of mine and it's always nice to offer her support.  This year's event was enlived by an afternoon talk from Farah Mendlesohn, who I have corresponded with on LJ and Facebook for some years but hadn't previously met.  It was lovely to finally meet her.

I don't know what's going on in Oxford - well, I do, but I hadn't realised before we got there: they seem to have completely demolished the main shopping mall, and are rebuilding it, resulting in street closures and bus re-routings that nearly had Penny and I stranded on the wrong side of town before I realised we would have to walk to Debenhams to get the bus back to Peartree park and ride.  Also, the area around the castle, much touted when it was opened as THE place to be of an evening, seemed strangely deserted and rather run down.  Some of the lights weren't working, and there didn't seem to be half the restaurants and bars there used to be - despite the rest of Oxford being as busy as ever on a Saturday evening.

Sunday - I may as well cover it since I'm not writing this until Monday! - I headed up to the Blue Ginger gallery, where Hannah Willow was running a silver workshop.  I went to a workshop with her earlier in the year but didn't manage to finish my piece, so she kindly invited me up for free to sit and do the beading.  Piece now finished, hooray!   I have now been to Blue GInger so frequently that the proprieter, 

Update LJ: Sun - Nature in Art, a bit queasy; Mon - unexpected painter, picking apples; Tues - start Nano, usual GC, home alone, NAYJ paperwork; Wed - no painter; Thurs - Penny away; Fri - Shopping; Sat -


themis1: Lightning (Default)
 Or other celebrated festival.  We actually celebrate yule, but that doesn't stop us celebrating Christmas too.  There will be much good food and good cheer, and presents to open later.  And Jennifer would like it to be known she doesn't like my Christmas jumper, it's prickly.  Molly is still asleep on Lynn's bed as usual.  Chasing the wrapping paper?  Not for my cats!
themis1: Lightning (Default)
 I did promise to update more often, and have failed - part of the reason for that (I'm good at excuses) is that I spent all of November doing Nanowri, and actually managed to finish a close-on-60,000 novel.  A whole novel.  Including the ending!  (I'm pretty good at getting within a chapter of finishing and ... not).  So on the whole I was pretty chuffed with myself.  I like the world I came up with, and the characters worked well, and there are possibilities for sequels too, all of which pleased me enormously.  I'm not convinced it's very exciting, mind you!  The current plan is to do an edit, probably in February, and then think about maybe recruiting some betas.  Maybe.  If I still like it when I re-read it (as much as one ever likes one's own writing).  At any rate, I enjoyed the process and the looming deadline I did actually find helpful, so I'll probably do it again next year (maybe I'll write the first sequel!).

Builder has just arrived on the doorstep, so I'll get back to you <g>
themis1: Lightning (Default)
 I keep thinking I should post something on here, but I'm not convinced there's anybody reading when I do.

So if you see this, please let me know, so I can decide whether it's worth doing a blog post.

I was thinking of working my way through my TV obsessions over the years :-)
themis1: (Annoyed Lee)
The people whose garden backs on to the side of mine have been pruning the beautiful row of conifers at the end of their garden each year, and every year I've muttered in annoyance at them doing it.

Today I came home and found all the conifers were gone.  Completely gone.

All the privacy my garden had is now gone.  I am going to have to buy net curtains for my bedroom window, which never needed them before, and the garden looks - naked, and dull.

I think this weekend I will be at the garden centre investing in the fastest-growing leylandii they can find me.

I'm really upset!
themis1: Text icon says I'm not very competent (Competence)
The plan for this weekend was to get the 'Every Child Matters' articles sorted out and ready for insertion in the relevant bit of the thesis (which is pending, really it is - I finally figured out where Neighbourhood Policing fits!). On Sunday, when sun was expected, I had a list of gardening things to do.

What actually happened? For some bizarre, inexplicable reason I found myself sorting out the box of accounts papers that's been sitting around for over 2 years waiting for me to do something with it. I have sorted, typed out, thrown away and shredded at length. And the sun barely put in an appearance today, so although I did some tidying up in the garden and watered in the greenhouse, that's all I did.

Sigh. So much for plans. Oh well, I'll just have to force myself to do some thesis work in the evenings this week ...
themis1: Text icon says I'm not very competent (Competence)
I was somewhat surprised, whilst wondering whether or not to get up this morning, to hear what sounded suspiciously like a steam train whistle. We just heard it again, and I checked, and yes, a steam train *did* pass through Bicester North station today. Which must have surprised the regular travellers no end ...

Also, it demonstrates an amazing ability to notice something out of the ordinary, since we don't normally notice train whistles - except for the one a few minutes after the steam train went through, which caused Phoebesmum to say, "THAT'S what trains are supposed to sound like!"


Jul. 27th, 2009 03:49 pm
themis1: Text icon says I'm not very competent (Competence)
To the writers on my F-list, a plea - when someone asks you for tips on writing their first novel PLEASE tell them NOT to include cutsey genre in-jokes (unless the plot requires it, of course). I have just finished reading a book which managed to THREE TIMES jerk me out of the narrative because of very blatent and unnecessary fannish cross-references. I probably missed others - but these three jerked ME out of the author's reality and back into my own, rather less interesting, one.

So please, ask them not to do it - because good writing doesn't need in-jokes.

I thank you.
themis1: Text icon says I'm not very competent (Competence)
Let's see ...

Upset stomach - check
Headache - check
Feverish - check
Aching - check

*sigh* Looks like I got whatever Phoebesmum had last weekend. I guess I won't be getting as much done on the thesis this weekend as I'd planned ...


Jul. 12th, 2009 11:49 am
themis1: (Annoyed Lee)
I feel I should say something about Torchwood, but I'll do it under a cut since US readers probably won't have seen it yet.
Well, that was a waste of five evenings )


Jul. 10th, 2009 05:48 pm
themis1: Text icon says I'm not very competent (Competence)
GC went to battle last night with our internet provider, having established that the problem was definitely BEFORE the house, not after. We are still running on the old routr, since the new one doesn't work as well with the intermittent signal as the old one does. Having said which, the signal has been much better all day - I wonder whether they have boosted our feed until such time as British Telecom admit where they've screwed up the wiring? Anyway, GC is much better at arguing with people on the phone than we are, and they can't blind him with science, either, so he did a jolly good couple of hours work arguing both with BT and with Force9. Fingers crossed the good signal continues ...


Jun. 7th, 2009 08:08 pm
themis1: (tvp rose)
A day of mostly rain, although I did manage a bit of gardening between the showers.


And, Pennski, we forgot the fireworks (but perhaps you let them off after we left ...). Excellent party, as always. We really must reciprocate sometime soon!
themis1: Text icon says I'm not very competent (Competence)
There will be one, I'm sure of it. The stacks of paper are reducing - although I must confess much of what I'm looking at is what my professor would call 'background'. However, how can you talk about the foreground if you don't understand the background fully?! At any rate, the piles of paper are going down, and I'm not adding anything new any more (there was a point where every new article I read led to me collecting another 5 or 6 ...). So, well behind schedule, but still plugging away!
themis1: (Genny and Molly)
Kittehs: toads caught (that we know about) : 2
Mommy: toads rescued : 2
themis1: (striped rose)

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

themis1: (tvp rose)
... I have lost one whole stone in 8 weeks with Slimming World. So thanks, National Health Service, for coughing up the vouchers. One down, five to go ...
themis1: (Blue rose)
Because once you start collecting, you just can't stop ...
Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!
themis1: (Blue rose)
.. this morning I spotted the first toad of summer. Fortunately the kittehs were eating their umpteenth breakfast at the time and missed it.

I'm on holiday today. So far I have:
(a) got up to take Phoebesmum to work
(b) had a bath
(c) done some Phd reading
(d) loaded car up with trash from garage
(e) had blood pressure taken (I am, the nurse said cheerfully, perfect!)
(f) drove to the tip and emptied trash into appropriate skips
(g) gone to Home base and purchased stone slabs (the 3 I laid at the weekend aren't enough - the area outside the greenhouse needs to be double the width), pansies, compost, a new watering can (I broke the rose on the old one) and a clematis
(h) had healthy lunch.

Now I am going to play computer games for a while to recover.
themis1: Text icon says I'm not very competent (Competence)
Upgraded my virus checker this morning, and it seems to have solved the issue with MSM not logging me in. However, all kinds of websites that used to work fine are bleeping and protesting and throwing up error messages right left and centre. Is this an indication that chaos is winning the battle over order? None of this modern tech seems to work particularly well, or work for as long as it used to (take boilers. The one we had in London worked fine for some 20 years, with just an annual clean, until they made back boilers illegal and it had to be replaced. The one we have here has had six or seven call-outs in the 5 years we've been here). And nobody seems to complain about it much.

I blame Bill Gates. Just because.
themis1: (striped rose)
I did this ages ago (Guardian website link, I think) and never got around to putting it together. It was a link to random pictures, a link to random Wikipedia articles, and a link to a quotes page. Put together for random album cover with random title and group. I rather liked this (which I got on the first attempt, no cheating):

Picture is 'Gnome woods' by Molly258, Flickr


themis1: Lightning (Default)

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