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I have just discovered Irkafirka, courtesy of James Blue Cat's comfortable owl - it's a site which randomly draws pictures illustrating particularly odd and wayward random tweets. This one has just reminded me out of the blue of the Very Odd Dream I had last night about zombie arms. I think I may have been trapped in a sort of Sheridan-Lefanuesque haunted house, where people kept disappearing bloodily, including the portly older guy who went out to the outhouse, and the cute young babysitter. The slightly creepy Victorian-clad mistress of the mansion was able to keep track of who was alive and who was dead by reading a rack of blue, rotting, wrenched-off zombie arms she happened to have, possibly on a principle not unrelated to the I Ching and yarrow stalks. This caused me (who was for some reason a four-year-old child at the time) to realise that in fact she and her portly husband were the actual killers, and I cunningly hid in the roof to escape them. Fortunately I phoned the police - or possibly a posse of blonde Scooby-Doo-style investigative teens - before I did so, and they arrived just as I fell through the ceiling.

Why, yes, I am still walking in my sleep. Last night there was a giant steampunk button on the wall opposite my bed that I'd stupidly neglected to push weeks ago, and now everything I'd done didn't count.

I actually meant to post today just to show you how pretty the setting full moon was over the mountain yesterday morning. Because it was.

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We've been a scannerless house for a few years, and I finally caved and acquired the cheapest scanner I could find, the better to facilitate various French legal document-providing wossnames as well as my obsessive blogging pursuits. Ceremonially, I have scanned the first photo. Inevitably, it's a wol.

This is Fred Wol, a family pet for most of my high school career and into my university days. She was one of a pair of spotted eagle owl chicks who were dumped in my dad's lap when the parents were stoned to death by the locals (there are huge tribal superstitions among the Shona about owls, they're supposed to be evil). We christened the chicks Fat Fred and Slim Jim, more or less randomly on the basis of size difference - Fred was the female, which in birds of prey are usually larger. They both grew to adulthood and remained hopelessly imprinted on humans and more or less tame. They used to fly around the garden and come in for their supper at night; we moved house at least once with them hooting indignantly in boxes. Jim unfortunately flew into a phone line and killed himself, but Fred stuck around for years, finding a wild mate despite the imprinting, and raising several generations of chicks on the workbench in my dad's shed. I cherish very happy memories of her coming into the house in the mornings when she was broody, stomping down the passage with her rolling sailor gait, going "hoo hoo hoo" to herself, and trying to nest in my mother's cupboard in the remains of a straw hat. The photo shows her sitting on the old wooden chairs on the front patio. Spotted eagle owls are large, substantial-looking birds, and incredibly light to pick up. Fred would usually let you, although she would be rather talkative about it.

Owl chicks are incredibly ugly and very, very cute, with legs like fluffy tree trunks. This is a scan of a very old and faded black and white photo of Fred and Jim I found in my dad's stuff - they're on the shelf on the verandah where they used to live. The indignant look is more or less endemic.

I have been privileged to live with wols; an owl calling at night can still move me to tears. Also, I love my scanner.
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As I mentioned yesterday, this dratted conference wanted a photo of me as well as a bio paragraph. Oh, and a topic, but I wasn't really worrying about that, I can cobble words together on the fly with a dashed sight more facility than that with which I can find a photo of myself I don't hate enough to actually disseminate. I don't have any decent, recent photos of self, on account of being incurably camera-shy as well as being completely non-photogenic. (And, weirdly enough, on account of being single. Count up how many of the good recent photos of you are taken by your loving partner).

However, the Dynamic Duo of jo&stv herded me up to campus yesterday morning, on a beautiful autumn's day, and proceeded to charm, browbeat and otherwise coerce me into a number of attitudes while Stv clicked the camera. This process revealed the following:

  1. I work on a beautiful campus. It's easy to take it for granted until you show it to photographers, who proceed to wax lyrical about its buildings, trees, ivy and what have you, and you realise they're right.
  2. Unleashing an amateur photographer is like unleashing a professional obsessive. "I need a bio pic, please" translates to over a hundred shots, in quite a few of which I look OK. I expected him to take a dozen or so. Silly me. Also, I'm grateful he didn't actually make me climb the library.
  3. Watching him up close like this makes me realise how many technical aspects of photography there are of which I remain blissfully oblivious as I take my own photos. Gawsh, no wonder they're not good photos.
  4. While I hate, hate, hate being photographed, having jo&stv clowning around does make the process at least somewhat amusing, to the extent where I'm either smiling or packing out laughing in about two-thirds of the shots. So not academic and sober. Sigh.
  5. These amateur photographers know their stuff. Stv selected what he thought were the best 10 or so shots out of the 100 or so total. I looked at these, did the classic "aargh they're photos of me and therefore hideous", rifled madly through the rest of them, and returned to his selected 10 having finally admitted that of course he's right, they're the best.
I sent the conference this one:

But this is my favourite, just for the composition:

That's me, that is. That's my Cherished Institution. I don't even look drunk.
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We have a house! almost. Still a bit gritty, but most of the furniture is in, and I actually cooked supper last night. Yesterday the EL and I sallied forth and bought furniture, including a set of six birch bustle-back chairs for the dining room, to replace the benches, which were starting to look rather more than rickety. I'm very enamoured of the new chairs: curvy and minimalist and attractive, and rather feminine in shape. I am also amused and distracted, however, by the fact that the furniture store had them labelled as "busselback chairs". I'm assuming "bustle" here refers to the curvy item of Victorian clothing attached to a lady's waist to make an extra sort of false derrière: there is, after all, considerable correspondence of shape. Viz:

DSCN1800, originally uploaded by extemporanea.

Please also to note the new hanging lamp, produced after two days of looking at lights while arguing gently. Given this, it looks surprisingly serene.

The furniture is mostly in thanks to the sweating, heaving efforts of jo&stv and sven&tanya who assisted the Evil Landlord yesterday afternoon. My role was restricted to plying them all with gin, as I've once more buggered my dodgy wrist (the one that's attached to the dodgy arm with the dodgy elbow joint lacking a piece of bone), and singing "Right Said Fred"1 to myself under my breath ("Charlie had a think and he thought we ought to take off all the handles, And the things wot held the candles...") - this last occasioned by the fact that we borrowed the furniture delivery people to help move the piano, a minimally six-person operation productive of swearing, cursing, more sweating, backing and filling, shouted instructions, repeat tries in new configurations and almost, but not quite, ending up with it magnificently wedged in the door to the passage. (My piano is heavy. They had to tilt it up on its end, finally, which is probably a Piano Solecism of the first water, but I figured rather that than having to access my bedroom via the garden door for ever after.)

In other news, Golux amused the crowds yesterday by turning up in little black booties, suggesting she'd wandered through an ash pile or something, but she callously cleaned them up before I could find the camera.

Right. Now I shall go and immerse myself in jo&stv's pool, on the grounds that once more it's STINKING HOT!

1 Which I always thought was Flanders and Swann, but apparently it's Bernard Cribbens, of whom I wot nothing except that he has a rather irresistibly Goon-Show name.

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'Tis a momentous day, oh yes. Today is the day that the Army of Reconstruction, or rather the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Army of Reconstruction, rolls in with its panzer division and proceeds to lay waste to all before it. I came home to a house infested with a choking pall of dust, through which the kitties peered all wide-eyed and jumpy. Oh, and the builders have done the usual, which is to put the pile of bricks flat down onto a reasonably flourishing piece of lawn. I am not destined to grow lawn. Between the plane tree, which is ridiculously shady, the fact that I park my car on the poor struggling grass, and my Erratic Hosepipe of Ineffectual Druiding -2, it's pretty much doomed even before the builders implement their scorched earth policy.

I have to report, they're clearly not amateurs in the Destroying Things category. This was the courtyard yesterday afternoon:

This was the courtyard when I got home this evening after a jolly orientation-preparatory 11-hour day:

(I think Hobbit thinks this is a new, giant litterbox especially for him).

I'm beginning to think my fondness for disaster movies is actually a deep-seated psychological response to renovations, the latest round of which is extra-traumatic because it's entailed my book collection being reduced to forty-two boxes, all carefully packed, with the contents printed clearly on each, and I get downright twitchy when I suddenly can't access my Bujold collection at 2am on an insomniac whim.

Golux is also a bit traumatised, one of the minor unnecessary walls which bought it today was the randomly curvy one on which she was wont to imitate the action of the gargoyle, all medieval-like:

I'm going to book club now, where I shall proceed to get drunk, on the excellent grounds that work is horrible, and there's grit in my teeth.
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This city nearly washed away on Sunday. The new parking garage behind the Pick'n'Pay has clearly been designed by incompetent desert-dwellers who don't grok this weird Cape Town "rain" business, because it was about a foot under water when I tried to park there on Sunday afternoon. Either that, or aliens stole all their drains. I believe that Camps Bay and river-adjacent denizens had a really bad time of it, but even Main Road was interestingly ankle deep:

I loved it. I know floods are hell on the Cape Flats shanty towns, and I'm sorry for them, but excessive, exuberant rain makes me deeply happy.

Next up in Random Ginormous Fantasy Epic month is Sharon Shinn. I found her Twelve Houses series in the Evil Landlord's bookshelves, source of all that is self-indulgently pulpy, although these aren't, strictly. They're not stunningly original but are immensely readable: their fairly standard political fantasy setting has enough quirks to be arresting, and in fact serves as the giant disguise for a whole series of romances. The recent success of the paranormal romance category suggests that I am in fact not alone in having no objection at all to fantasy with a hefty dose of emotional and romantic angst leading to eventual happy endings, so it's all good. I also rather like the way she's handled the magic: I don't usually enjoy the Spanish-Inquisition-style persecution of magical practitioners, but the interweaving of that with feudal politics is nicely done and the magic itself is interesting.

In a nutshell: politics, romance, highly specific magical powers only partially understood, resulting in a lovely sense of exploration. Kick-butt riders, kick-butt mystics, spies, assassins, nasty bigoted moon-worshippers, giant evil-minded feline killing machines. Romance in the categories Giddy, Soppy, Forbidden, Cute, Sexy and Doomed. Rather endearing close-knit friendships and warrior bonds between practically everyone. Back rubs. Lots of aristocratic parties. More good names. Marlords and serramaras. Emotionally damaged underdogs. Neat, unrealistic and reasonably satisfying Happy Endings. Mostly.
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That was a slightly frenzied week, during which we packed up my dad's house, sold half of the contents, arranged for the other half to be collected by a charity group, chivvied the renovators finishing the two sets of renovations, cleaned the house intensively, cleaned his other appartment intensively, sold his car, selected a trunk full of vital personal items for shipping, threw out a metric buttload of inessentials, and said goodbye to a fair proportion of his considerable social circle in France. At least half of the above was conducted in French. I'm ... buggered, actually. The drive back from Bristol airport at lunchtime was in a sort of detached, floaty state which was rendered the more lateral by the fact that we were drifting through a fine selection of British hamlets called things like Nemphet Thrubwell, Chew Magna and Gurney Slade. Can there honestly be a place called Nemphet Thrubwell? I mean, it's on the map and everything, but I darkly suspect it of being some sort of deadpan British joke.

Mother's computer, while being infested with the kind of nanny software which refuses to let me read, among other things, comovedy and the Whatever, is speaking kindly to my camera, so therefore, photos! On broadband, too. The heady rush of broadband is only exacerbating the feeling of being slightly high. If I ever move to the UK it'll be for broadband and Doctor Who. Anyway, as promised, have a Scabby!Cat. He's rather Ounceish. Also, unimpressed. Pictures severely uncropped or otherwise primped, as the school system also refuses to allow me to install programmes, which means I am Picasaless and lost in the wilderness.

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Weddings, and other rantage. )
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In the Department of Ironic Retro 80s Love, two items. Ironic Retro 80s Love is ordering a copy of Eurythmics's Peace album off Loot, tearing off its sealed wrapper and opening the cover to discover that, in addition to the beautiful packaging and artwork it didn't actually contain the CD. I call shenanigans at the factory. At the other end of Ironic Retro 80s Love is also, courtesy of James Blue Cat, the Literal A-ha "Take On Me" video, with absolutely pitch-perfect rewording. Hee. Except now I have a yen for pale girly 80s pop. Someone protect me from myself.

The mountain was doing particularly beautiful, wispy, veily things with clouds and light yesterday, apparently prompting my camera to come all over abstractionist. Viz:

And, talking about absence of content, Making Light made me all happy by posting a link to a tip about disabling blinking text in Firefox. Blinking text gives me the pip, as it does to all right-thinking people. Also, I love fiddling with the about:config page, which I have to do on campus quite often owing to the idiosyncratic connection protocols. It makes me feel as though I actually know what I'm doing.

I have a four-page two-column index printed out and sitting on my desk, preparatory to swooping through the PDF doing manic text searches to make sure I've caught all the instances. This whole process is giving me fascinating new insights into the indexing process. Half the works I consult regularly are, in my educated opinion, indexed appallingly badly. Huh.

here, kittykittykitty

Wednesday, 2 July 2008 03:45 pm
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This week of leave is beautifully timed, I'm beginning to feel almost human after a couple of days of doing not much. On the downside, my brain is apparently disconnecting, leading to strange manifestations such as completely random posting on the subject of cats. I suppose it was inevitable after all the ranting yesterday about Tolkien's palpable cat-hatred1.

Courtesy of Making Light, observe the perverse beauty that is Torchwood LOLcat fanfic. This is very funny. Trust me.

The Evil Landlord has a flourishing second career as a sort of extended cat-cushion, and of an evening submits to being multiply felinely draped with astonishing patience. Occasionally, cuteness results. I leave the LOLcat caption as an exercise to the reader, although YR NOZE I CAN HAZ IT does spring inevitably to mind, as does the kind of swelling violin music associated with the fade-out clinch in a chickflick. You should also note that Todal is sitting on the EL's lap at the same time as Ounce is sitting on his chest, evidence here. The Dear Little Felines don't do it to me, on account of how (a) Ounce is still convinced I kill and eat him daily, and (b) being grumped at and flung across the room often offends.

1 Isn't it amazing how you can post a carefully-considered dissection of Lewis and sexuality, together with a random segue into Tolkien-dissing, and have the comments spring to life with an impassioned discussion of The Incredible Hulk? Human perversity is a strange and wonderful thing.

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One of my students has insisted on writing her vampire essay on Queen of the Dammed. This is clearly about repression on a scale I have hitherto failed to associate with Anne Rice.

Amusing student errors such as the above are somewhat necessary this afternoon, since I'm menstrual, sore and grumpy as hell, and the continual stream of more than usually lost and hopeless students is irritating me beyond belief. I shall console myself with random photography. There's an Egyptian goose sitting on a chimney on the roof opposite my window, looking somewhat morose in the rain. Every now and then it has itself an enormous conniption about somethingorother, and flaps around honking. Then it goes back to pretending it's sort of weathervane silhouette without the actual vane part.

It's always fascinated me that birds stand on one leg when they're contented. Do you think they like to keep one foot warm, or indicate their basic subliminal trust that no-one's going to sneak up and push them over?
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General joy, as the geeks in the IT department have apparently managed to wrestle to the ground the malware Godzilla which slowed our bandwidth to a dodgy and intermittent crawl over the last week. (500 zombie spambot computers infected. Darned student unsafe data transfer muttermutter. And this the country of AIDs awareness). The posing of geeks with one foot on the recumbent trojan corpse does mean I can post photos. Herewith the one I wanted to post on Monday, yet another in the series of Unreasonably Beautiful Dawns. Now with added lowering clouds, fiery skies and, what was it? "portentuous effulgence".


Disclaimer: probably not as good as the one you obligingly imagined.
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I really don't like getting up early in the morning while it's still dark, but occasionally it's actually worth it. Improbably Beautiful Dawn on the Common, no. 2 in a series which will probably continue because I quite enjoy the weird looks I get when I pull the car over to take random pics of a fine morning's rush hour.
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There are some compensations to this working lark. Not just the money (which I have to admit is compensatory), but actual bright sides to the ungodly hour of the morning at which I have to stagger forth if I'm not to have an Unpleasant Traffic Experience and slay six by bludgeoning them to death with my gorilla lock in a fit of road rage.

The Common is quite pretty in the early morning, particularly when it's come all over delusion of Gothic:

I have all sorts of interesting things to blog about, including John Scalzi, the scourge of board schedules, crispy Chinese duck with pancakes, and the status of my bruise (green! and now resembling nothing so much as a slightly flattened version of the Eye of Sauron), but it'll all have to wait until I've finished one paper, one book, one medieval play, one medieval feast, one office move and a huge pile of admin.

Look at the pretty picture instead.

Last Night I Dreamed: I was living in Hollywood on a sort of exchange fellowship thingy, learning about movies and locking myself into my bedroom at night. From this slightly paranoid existence I was rescued by David Tennant, who arrived to collect me, and turned out to be married to Dayle (score, Dayle, although no offense to your actual Nice Man). Fortunately he had a vehicle large enough both to tow the boat and to pack in all my junk, and we fled the scene just in time to miss the awards ceremony for the enormous crowds of film students.
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Good grief. Today's completely surreal experience: shopping in the local supermarket, wherein a scheduled power cut (they're digging up cables in the road outside) had caused a total and absolute failure of interior lighting, although the emergency generators were keeping the vital areas of the store going, viz. the tills. Spurning the attentions of rather archaic shop assistants bearing lighted candles, I found my way around by means of the torch which lives in my Capacious Handbag o'Doom. I felt pleasantly superior, but ended up accidentally buying all sorts of things I thought were actually something else.

This post is completely and absolutely for [ profile] schedule5, who is reportedly champing at the bit somewhat, exiled as she is in the benighted North and away from the hot reproductive action. [ profile] wolverine_nun's baby shower was this morning. I took photos. They're here.

Caveat: I am locked in an unrelenting death struggle with my camera, which has its own, idiosyncratic ideas about settings, speed and light. I nonetheless feel, as the legitimate owner of the camera and despite my complete and absolute absence of photographic skill, that my own preferences have some right to expression. A certain lack of harmony is inevitable. As a result, this batch of photos was uniformly awful. The seven I have actually put up are the best of a truly horrible lot. They're all yellow-lit because of the walls in [ profile] first_fallen's living room, but the blurriness is all my own work.

I shall attempt to assuage my wounded artistic feelings with soothing clouds, spotted on the way to the baby shower this morning.

I feel better now.

slightly sadistic

Monday, 22 October 2007 11:27 am
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My favourite World Cup1 story: one of the parents of the Toddler Horde2 yesterday was limping rather severely. His wife, in tones of miff, was recounting to all comers the source of the injury. Hubby, plus two friends (also male), allowed themselves to become (predictably) very inebriated during the World Cup. Afterwards, in celebration of our victory, all three of them climbed exuberantly on top of their car and jumped madly to the ground. Result (respectively): one sprained ankle, one dislocated knee, one broken leg. I bet they feel silly.

In other news, Da Niece is cute.

Pics up on Flickr. Readers who are not actually members of my immediate fambly are to feel free to ignore this completely. Instead, courtesy of thakaryn, here's a cute cat cartoon:

1 Nice that we won, but rather a boring game, all thumping pile-ups for two-inch progressions, no running. I do like watching rugby players run.

2 I survived! Even the psychological scarring was minimal.

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I love my nice new digital camera, but generally speaking I take pretty dreadful photos, mostly because my timing is inventively bad and I habitually photograph things a few seconds after they've moved from the position I think is interesting. Static targets help, which is why Todal's habit of playing the Inscrutable Feline Supervillain ("So pleasant to see you, Mister Bond!") is rather helpful. Here I think she thinks she's the fiendish Fu Manchu, artistically posed in half-shadow.

I frittered away a few hours on YouTube this morning. Belle and Sebastian are rather endearing in live performance, not least because they're one of those gratifying bands whose stage output is tightly faithful to the studio recordings. Despite this I have spent the bulk of the day in the mad academic see-saw, currently in the swooping downswing/nasty jarring thud bit in which everything I've written is clearly crap. Shall move onto Disney criticism instead, since there at least I can content myself with the realisation that a lot of what other critics write is also clearly crap.

B5 is at T+2, and I am losing all faith in the postal service. I was hoping that the arrival of the series yesterday would allow me to hijack the planned Magic evening with Evil Landlord and jo&stv, thus directing attention away from the fact that I have the tactical ability of a stunned herring. No such luck. Got pwned. On the other hand, as a random consolation, feral strawberries.

Bunny Threat Level: rising to yellow, since I am somewhat galvanised by this morning's polite e-mail from the press, asking for an update on the book status. Alarms ring! lights flash! the nice editor lady is back from maternity leave...
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The dread day looms! tomorrow an army of builders descends on my bedroom and reconstructs it from the ground up! In the process they will dig up the floor, damp-course it properly, re-lay it and surface it in wood, sort out the cracks in the walls, damp-proof the walls, raise the roof a foot or so, raise the roof and ceiling of the bathroom a foot or so, deconstruct and reconstruct the shower in order to make it flow uphill into the grey water system, and otherwise make merry in a generally positive builderly1 fashion. This means I've had to move out of my room and bathroom into the guestroom, which has been entertaining as the guest room is a third of the size and already contains its own furniture and the entirety of the Evil Landlord's fantasy collection. Also, I have a fair amount of Stuff, TM, even given the amazingly cathartic throw-out sessions I've been having all week. I love throwing out stuff. It makes me feel lighter.

Being squeezed into a small, cluttered space for the next month is going to give me the pip2, but I console myself with the thought that it'll also give the Evil Landlord the pip, given as how he'll have to endure not only my whinging, but the temporary transformation of his bathroom into a deeply girly space. Callously, I consider that it'll do him good to get in touch with his feminine side. I may go forth and specially acquire some heavily floral bath products.

I know only too well that the latest incarnation of the Army of Reconstruction, even if utterly dissimilar to the last lot in all other ways, will follow their brethren in their absolute disregard for the green things that grow. Consequently, herewith some pics of my courtyard, just for posterity, before it's trampled by a herd of plaster-dropping, cement-mixing, brick-fondling reconstructive elephants.

Also your last chance to experience the Horror That Is My Bedroom, current alias the House of Usher (cracks, dank, strange fungi, although mercifully as yet no incestuous corpses).

1 Almost but not entirely unlike bildungsroman.
2 Good lord! Who knew that "the pip" (colloquially "a fit of disgust, depression or bad temper") is more literally a disease of poultry or hawks, characterised by throat mucus and white scale on the tongue? Eeuw. But linguistically interesting.

Whups. Hungover.

Monday, 22 January 2007 10:07 am
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A weekend of giddy social whirling - two birthday bashes (curse all you Capricorns, clustering in the social circle in a sort of astrological clump), plus a lunch in honour of [ profile] herne_kzn's flying visit to the Mother City (more notice next time, damn you!), and the dread jo&stv's extremely enjoyable housewarming last night. Not only is their new house ideally suited to entertaining, with its deck, pool and open spaces, but they're dashed good at putting together a perfect people-mix: enough close friends to be safe and familiar, enough new faces and people I don't often see to be interesting. The visit of everymoment and family to CT did, I have to say, up the quotient of Small Humans to hitherto unknown levels, but I think the non-reproducing Scrooge-like die-hards among us survived the experience fairly well. A swimming pool is apparently a very levelling thing, and happy kiddies splashing around in the water are curiously heart-warming. Not that I was in the pool any stage, the crowd levels being a bit high for my comfort in a swimming costume, but I went mildly mad with my nice new camera. Fruits of the labours available here.

The first few weeks of this year, with their combination of heatwaves and the horrible angst, guilt, self-loathing and conviction of my own worthlessness engendered by these thrice-damned book updates, came to a sort of head last night, and I proceeded to become somewhat sloshed. Apart from rendering me prone to attacks of the dreaded Comedy Hiccups, this usually makes me extremely voluble and determinedly polysyllabic. (Random snippet from a conversation with one of the new faces: "Are you tipsy? because if you are, you're also very highly educated.") 4am-wake-up with pounding headache aside, it also seems to have been cathartic and positive, because in between waiting for Flickr to cogitate over my uploads, I've done a stonkload of work on the book this morning, and am comfortably within an up-swing in terms of thinking that what I've written may not actually be all bad. I may not have Chapter 1 done by the end of the day, [ profile] wolverine_nun, but it'll be bloody close.

I should add, for the sake of posterity, that my Evil Landlord was considerably drunker than I was last night, owing to the equally evil jo&stv feeding him quantities of Pimms. My sense of the later parts of the evening is a little blurry, but I do seem to remember him being thrown into the pool with all his clothes on. I am relieved to note that the perpetrator of this outrage was one of jo's seedy actuarial co-workers. It is reassuring to consider that our own social circle is beyond such infantile high jinks. Or, at the very least, considerably more aware of said Evil Landlord's skill with a rapier.


Tuesday, 2 January 2007 09:43 am
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Welcome to 2007. To mark the start of a fresh year, yesterday, with exemplary skill, I emptied the greater part of a cup of hot Earl Grey all over the keys of this computer. Moppage reveals that damage has resulted: I am forced to type without arrow keys, Del. or several letters, the precise details of which I must leave for the reader to work out.

This is a far from auspicious start to the year. Apart from high rage levels the whole issue makes the style of this post somewhat stilted, far short of the loquacious ease with which I prefer to witter. Also, actual work is somewhat outside the limits of the likely. This day I shall go forth to achieve a fresh, glittery item of typage. Yesterday, I merely seethed.

However, comfort exists: the jo stv duo has acquired small cats. They are awash with the cute.


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