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So after fucking up the first delivery attempt, John Lewis managed to send a couple of competent washing-machine installers round today and I have a new washing machine, and a new appreciation for not having been burnt to death by the large lump of polystyrene that had been left under the old one for n years; luckily the machine didn't have any programmes above 60C. The previous owner of this house really made some… interesting choices.
I'm reading Steles of the Sky finally, which is good but a bit high stakes, so I reread How To Be A Victorian at the same time (it's so practical, and understatedly funny, and truthful about the bad bits, and oh I love Ruth Goodman), and I'm also reading Dracula and a Dave Barry and some 30s mysteries by people I'd never heard of for light relief.
Tomorrow I need to wrap another batch of Christmas presents and bottle up the blackberry gin. I think it may need a bit more sugar, but I have sugar.
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Based on one that was quite American-centric, Britishish version created by cmcmck on LJ, I saw it on Gillo's LJ.
Curry, Corrie and King's Cross )
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sorry for never updating; i just seem to be really boring this year... it's probs just winter and sleeping ten hours a night. very dull. like, the most interesting thing that happened to me yesterday was two separate people said "hey folks, suggest [tv shows/books] to me!" and I went, "ohh, these [shows/books] fit your criteria and are awesome!" and the person ignored the comment, while replying to other people before and after me in the thread. so that was nice. who wouldn't want to read a blog post about that?

Oh, i went to halifax at the weekend. nice place, i didn't know they had a minster. cool gargoyles.

yeah so anyway. tediousness and non-blogging will probably continue. sorry. i occasionally tweet something if you want to know how DEEPLY i care about some random TV thing or other? Same username.
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List post: Things that I have been doing when I have not been updating my blog

Mostly nothing.
Seeing Alexei Sayle, Stewart Lee, and the Hitchhiker's Live Tour (before its untimely demise).
Not seeing a couple of other things I'd booked, because STRESS and needing to go home and eat soup.
Rereading comfort books (see STRESS) while still buying new books, and thus building up a big to-read pile (though that's OK because I can't buy any books now till after Xmas, so I can go through what I already have).
Not getting blown away by the storm.
Helping Sibling unpack a moving van.
Pulling out michaelmas daisies.
Watching the Food Network.
Reading old Copperbadge fics.
Not painting the house.
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One of those two-worlds-collide things happened yesterday, as I was rereading Elizabeth Barber's book Women's Work (about the history of textiles). Did you know that there's a garment still in use in bits of Europe that has clear antecedents back to the Bronze Age and possibly the Neolithic (see Venus statues)? It's a string skirt/fringed apron/girdle with fringed ends, which has something to do with fertility, being either worn by marriageable women, or young matrons; the Greek version, the girdle, was being used as a charm in childbirth into the mid-twentieth century.
Anyway. The fringed apron from Macedonia and parts surrounding is called a zostra; whereas the Greek girdle- what Aphrodite would put on when she wanted to be completely irresistible- is called a zone (the English sense of the word descends crookwise from this.) So, in Donne's To His Mistress Going To Bed, [1] "Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glittering/ But a far fairer world encompassing" it doesn't mean "your girdle, which glitters like a bit of heaven" but "which glitters as much as a goddess's one." Nifty, eh?


[1] You know, the one with the sexy colonialising metaphor?
"License my roving hands, and let them go,
Behind, before, above, between, below.
O my America! my new-found-land,
My kingdom, safeliest when with one man man'd,
My mine of precious stones: my emperie,
How blest am I in this discovering thee!"
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As a result of trying to get my notes off the tablet, I seem to have found a really odd limitation: documents created on it are invisible to everything except itself; Windows Explorer sees the folder but not the files, and email programs can't find them to attach to an email. (And it's a micro USB connector, so I can't try sticking a memory stick in.) So I need to remember that anything that will want to be transferred out needs to be created elsewhere and uploaded, then it can be edited on the machine and downloaded again with no problems. Strange.
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Comedycomedycomedy! I've booked a bunch of stuff in Yorkshire (including, like, theatre and stuff. But mostly comedy; Tony Law, Lucy Porter, Reduced Shakespeare Co, etc.) And! I'm going to Edinburgh in August, at only an arm and half a leg for the hotel so I can afford to go to some shows. I've been firmly intending to do this for years so I'm v. glad I actually got it together this time. And! I mayyyyy have just applied for a ticket to see Secret Dude Society recording in Glasgow in April, which just happens to be during the Glasgow Comedy Festival.
Live stuff yay!
(Not that podcasts aren't excellent because they are.)

Oh, I'm still reading all the Yuletide stuff I downloaded. Here's one I just got round to today which was nice. Arthur Dent deals with Christmas after the Earth is destroyed.

I had an enormous lunch, why am I starving again now? Is it cold or something? *Eats something with suet in it*.
(Perhaps I should start using my twitter. I seem to only have teeny things to say at the moment, not long enough for a real blog post. Except squeaking about comedy! from time to time.)
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I am periodical, cold-ridden (the sort of cold where you have to sleep sitting up or you DROWN), cold, hungry, overworked and grumpy (I was going to a gig tomorrow in York and they cancelled it, like, yesterday. Now I have to decide if I feel like having a night in York anyway- which, I mean, yes, York, but floods, and see above re: feeling like Death From Snot.) It is the perfect day to wade through tumblr! This picture alone has cheered me up enough to go and make myself some lovely soothing porridge. [Warning! Half-naked men!]

Also I have done all my Christmas shopping already. (Easiest Year Ever, because we've been told to do homemade stuff and I made marmalade in January. Mwahahaha.)
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So far today I've fallen over twice in five yards (on a freshly-washed shop floor, clearly I either need to wear my other shoes or stay away from clean floors); found out I sent a cheery "accept whatever meeting time you want!" email to the wrong person, who needs to come to a completely fixed appointment time; and walloped myself in the nose with my headphones. I think I want to go home and eat cake. (And listen to Pappy's Bangers and Mash podcasts which I have suddenly developed a massive fixation on. Very comforting to giggle over with a cup of tea.)

My sweet peas are still flowering. So that's nice.

Some THINGS

Sep. 3rd, 2012 06:42 pm
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I lost an earring, and found it again

I'm watching much more (=any) of the paralympics than I did the ablebodiedlympics

my house has not taken long at all to get back to its usual state of casual comfort (=slobbiness)

I have been prescribed some pills where the possible side effects include restlessness, drowsiness, diarrhoea, constipation, and suicidal feelings. Yay pharmacology!

I've been enjoying Tabletop; the only game it's made me fancy playing is Fiasco, which seems to be cooperative storytelling with the aim of terrible things happening to all your characters, rather than necessarily having a winner. Not that interested in the out-of-the-box scenario, though.

I'm reading Georgette Heyer and Mercedes Lackey (=am feeling stressed)

DWJ's Reflections is about £12 for Kindle. I'm deliberating it. (Better or worse value than the £250 vacuum cleaner reduced to £120 which I just bought?)

laundry needs hanging up. *drags self from chair*

bleagh!

Aug. 22nd, 2012 10:09 pm
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I've just spent the best part of three days cleaning the house because family are coming to visit, including my stepmother, who is a lovely woman but has STANDARDS. Two binbags full and the recycling bin up to the brim with paper (GOD WHY DO PEOPLE POST ME THINGS, FUCK OFFFFFF WITH YOUR BROCHURES AND BANK STATEMENTS AND BIRTHDAY CARDS, ALL IN FRIGGING ENVELOPES THAT NEED THE FUCKING ADDRESS TEARING OUT BEFORE YOU CAN CHUCK THEM, AND THEN WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE FUCKING BITS WITH THE ADDRESS ON???) and a hoover gone pfft (good excuse to get a bagless one, emptying them is nasty but at least you don't have to have an eidetic memory for which of the 50000000 practically identical but actually incompatible bags you have to buy).
Apparently one is supposed to feel all cathartic and calm and lord of infinite space with a clean house, but I just feel knackered and resentful. (And I know that the house is still cluttered by the standards of a neat freak with a cleaner, [let alone all the decorating that still needs doing] but FUCK IT, I'M NOT DOING ANY MORE BASTARD TIDYING, I still have to clean the bathroom and make three beds.) What a waste of life! And then I'm supposed to cook for the buggers as well, and like, go out and spend time with them, when I just want to SLEEP.

And I've just finished the last of the chocolate vodka.
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Book statistics for the whole of 2011
Read more... )
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I had some trousers altered and now I have trousers that aren't falling off me and I haven't had to go shopping.

Over the long weekend I ate at the Fountaine at Linton (yum), saw some weeny wild violas, did not go for a walk round Malham Tarn because there were many other people already doing that, watched a couple of overs of village cricket (there kept being pauses while they dashed over the bridge and across the road to get the ball back), planted marigolds and pansies, replanted sunflowers because the last lot all died, did no tidying or DIY, and watched much rubbish TV. It was very nice.

I've ordered series 3 of Naked Video, series 5 of Spitting Image, and The Best of Friday Night Live; nostalgie de la recession precedente, perhaps. (Naked Video certainly is terribly terribly Eighties, from the animation in the titles to the sketches about nuclear war, and the huge amount of parodies and references to then-current TV mean that there's a good half of it that you wouldn't get at all if you weren't here then (remember whan Taggart was in Taggart?). Perfectly OK gags if you do remember the referents, mostly, though I think the best things in it, like John Sparkes doing Siadwell- so uncharacteristically sweet!- Helen Lederer's upbeat woman, and the early Rab C Nesbitt, are the fairly timeless ones. (And breathe. Sometime I must learn to write without overlong parentheticals.))

I wish it'd rain. My waterbutt's already half empty.
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I've seen Richard Herring's Christ on a Bike tour and a two-hander about Doctor Johnson this week, which were both good fun, and also listened to the last episode of ISIRTA series 6, which I've just got hold of- the last part of the Electric Time Trousers serial is amazing- David Hatch, the narrator, recaps the last episode and then goes "rocks fall, everybody dies. Now, I shall sing!", and then Cleese says he can't do that and resurrects them, only to make his character into the star, and then all of them push themselves to the mike and take over (particularly the ones who play several characters each), and at the end they all get killed again so David gets another chance to sing... anyway, the Herring show, the play and the serieal all do one of my favourite things, drawing attention to their medium and playing with what you can do on stage or on radio, making meta-jokes, even deconstructing themselves for the audience's delectation [1]; which just makes me wonder slightly about why I don't like litfic much, when one of its selling points is just this sort of messing about with form and levels of reality. Maybe it's just that there has to be something there to mess about *with*, and I've got more patience when there are jokes to be had than for the beauty of language on its own?

([1]See also, Dick and Dom's Funny Business, eg, holding up little signs that say "Tenuous link alert"; Kenneth William's rants in Round the Horne; everything Foley and McColl have ever done; the "backstage" sketches from Mitchell and Webb; the front-of-curtain chats in the Boosh live shows; Absolutely's "This. Is. RADICAL. Television" series opener; etc- I *said* this was one of my favourite things.)
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Two dreams in the same night: one was a base-under-siege, but it turned out that the problem was actually that one of the workers was a serial killer (a bit derivative, and although the way that people disappeared leaving their lungs behind was fairly nasty, I hope my conscious mind would have thought the logistics through better), and the other was Jeremy-Brett-as-Holmes, except he was detecting criminals in order to get money from them- I'd like to see more of that one if I did lucid dreaming.

I have been to foreign parts and eaten strange food, such as cheese for breakfast and pancakes for supper, and I will tell you all about it tomorrow (if I remember).
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Read 355 books
Of which rereads 204 (57%)
Read more... )

Mean no. read per month: 29.6. (Per day, 0.97.)
Month most books read: October (41)
Month least books read: April (20)
Highest proportion of rereading: Other (general fiction, poetry, children's etc). Next highest, mysteries.
Lowest proportion of rereading: Non-fiction
Most fluctuation in numbers read: SF/F (22 in Oct, 2 in Dec.)
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I posted a massive rant about topping up a T-mobile dongle and found the original top-up card a couple of days later. D'oh. But their staff training, website and phone helpline are still shit so I'm not that eager to give them any more money anyway.

Um, er, also... oh, yes, a lovely weekend with [profile] devongarden last weekend- we didn't do anything touristy, just lots of gardening and hanging out, and it was really nice.

I'm feeling a bit boring. I think the trouble is that I'm between obsessions- no more Who till Christmas, the new series of Top Gear is fun but I'm not in massive squee mode over it any more, and I've run out of Bottom (ha ha). I'll have to go through the DVDs again to find something nice and voluminous. (Red Dwarf's always reliable but I don't want to end up actually knowing all the lines. Absolutely? Drop the Dead Donkey? Buffy?) And there are a bunch of new books by authors I like, but they're mostly still in hardback, and anyway a book only lasts a couple of hours and I want something I can immerse myself in for days (with a bit of rationing it out to give myself some rewards to look forwards to!)- but on the other hand, the thought of a hundred hours of Collings and Herrin podcasts seems like far too much of an effort to get through. Seek out something new or fall back on rubbishy comfort food for the brain like Mercedes Lackey where you can zoom through 20 books all with the same plot.... Oh I dunno. I do miss London, I'd really like to have a massive choice of people preparing their Edinburgh shows right now.
And! I had to rescan my freeview box and Dave+1 has now dropped off (I never got Dave in this house.) Yes indeed, my choice of rolling news channels to be depressed by has now gone up to five (BBC, ITN, CNN, Russia Daily or something and now Al-Jazeera), all the blasted shopping channels are still there, but no more reruns of HIGNFY and QI. Grr.

At least it's looking like it might rain. (Not sarcasm. I like cool and damp. No sunburn, no watering the garden!)

Foy

May. 4th, 2010 04:23 pm
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I stopped off at Sheffield for an hour on the way and there was a French-ish market, which was nice. Saw lots of friends-of-parents, [1] did workshops on humour (the ones Colin organised I tended to know as much as the speaker, but there were some terrific practical ones by guest leaders on Shakespeare, stand-up and music hall), wimped out of party games in favour of sleep but stayed up for stunt night, walked about a mile and a half (the slightly bigger triangle, via Grindlow), drank very little but ate a lot (I think every meal was a three-course one), was the only person who skived off to watch Doctor Who(!) [2], didn't volunteer for anything at the AGM, sang a bit, and altogether it was very fellowshippy and we all had fun. The next one sounds interesting too but the venue is more difficult to get to without a car, apparently.

I may have half-promised to go to the Music Society weekend in August.

(Anybody who may care about specifics of 'oo did what to 'oo, please ask. I will say that Jimmy Timiny does very good deadpan and Josh H's rabbit impression was inspiring.)

[1] One "You look just like your mother", and also someone who'd gone on walking trips from London and had hospitality at Tenterden. (Did Grandad do ghostwriting? It wouldn't surprise me but I hadn't heard it before.)

[2] Loved the opening, liked the Doctor's teenage panic at the end, bits inbetween OK as well.
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I've got my twitter login vaguely working; any recommendations of amusing people to follow? Are any of y'all on?

(Don't worry- I have no plans to start passing off lists of tweets as blog posts.)

Um, things are going on, like I have been to see Dara O'Briain and doubled up laughing, and watched Catterick and had meta-y thoughts [1], and been outbid for a League of Gentlemen tour programme on eBay, and the snowdrops and crocuses are out in my garden but sadly so is next-door's #|~*&! cat, and the hay-fever is starting up again, and I need to decide what I want to do this summer, and such. You know, life.

[1]Uneven in several different ways at once- level of unreality, performance style, kind of humour- tempted to say "an interesting failure", except with Vic Reeves involved, it's probably exactly how he wants it to be and thus a success on its own terms, or something. Also, Morwenna Banks!
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I know descriptions of dreams are dull, but, really, after a day of going to the shops and scrubbing a wall, what was there in my subconscious that led to "escaping through South American jungles with a woman who could knit bridges as we went along" and "reluctantly arresting two Elizabethan poets for sodomy"? I mean, not that they weren't intriguing. (I'm a bit cross that I dreamt one of the poets had some MS circulating, but didn't actually get to read any of them.)

Also, Top Gear may be slipping over into self-parody. This is not a complaint. (I love the way that descriptions of bits of it can sound like dreams themselves. It was amusing when the bacon flew up the funnel of the steam train, for example.)

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