My thanks for all the birthday wishes. They are much appreciated.
I had planned to go for a birthday lunch at one of our favourite local restaurants, the Bluebell in Chigwell, but the road on which it stands was closed for repairs on the 16th, and anyway we had an agility class, which meant no drinking in the daytime - driving to the venue and getting the dogs round the courses is difficult enough sober! So I baked some mini cakes (using a packet mix - yes, I know, but it came with a sweet little daisy cutter which I will be using for other bakes in future) to take along and deferred posh lunch to Friday.
AS it turned out the other road, between us and the restaurant was closed from Friday to Monday (in this case there had been no prior warning notices, and since it's also the road to one of our favourite dog walks some warning would have been helpful, though it is definitely in urgent need of de-potholeing - we suspect that diverting all the Thursday traffic down it may have opened up some more which needed emergency filling). Our taxi driver didn't charge us any extra for doing the long detour and we arrived at the restaurant on time and had a wonderful meal which was punctuated with little chef's touches, an amuse bouche of salmon with a tomato consome between starter (hadddock) and main (duck) and a palate cleanser of Mohito sorbet before dessert (rhubarb and pistachio).
I am still using Lil's laptop for internet connection - really must phone the helpline and see whether I can get mine connected again.This entry was originally posted at http://inamac.dreamwidth.org/96713.html. You may comment here or there (or not).
On the very rare occasions when I have been eligible to nominate or vote for the Hugo (or any other literary award for that matter) I have not done so because I've never had the time, inclination or opportunity to read/see all the candidates, and I feel that an uninformed vote is worthless. I have subsequently read some of the winners and nominees and liked and loathed them in roughly equal proportions.
So I do not have a horse in this race.
Nevertheless I confess to having spent some time indulging in the game of designing this year's Hugo award trophy as a way of lulling myself to sleep in the stilly watches of the night. Better than counting sheep.This entry was originally posted at http://inamac.dreamwidth.org/96293.html. You may comment here or there (or not).
I decided to wear mostly tourquoise for this con. Have made a new belt for my old faithful con dress which is currently blocking (and will hopefully be ready to wear soon) And I know I purchased a tourquoise halter top ages ago, but can I find it? Heck as like!
Also, since netbook is refusing to connect to the internet I'm wondering whether to take it with me (it's not my machine of choice for actually working with, though I do have a deadline on this Holmes fic. Decisions, decisions...This entry was originally posted at http://inamac.dreamwidth.org/96161.html. You may comment here or there (or not).
Mt netbook is refusting to play with the internets again. Just when I have my story to post to Daily Deviant, and patterns to download from Ravelry. My thaks to Lil for allowing me access to her machine. Off now to get more stuff ready for tomorrows trip ti the Museum of London, and for Eastercon.
Hae not dared to take the dogs for their normal walk in the woods today as the wind is strong enough to actually have taken a tree down in the village. Though the sun is dazzling.This entry was originally posted at http://inamac.dreamwidth.org/95923.html. You may comment here or there (or not).
It has been an intermittently successful week. I did some trial baking, got my hair cut, took Draco to agility class (where he decided to emulate Bren and refuse to go over the dog walk, without the excuse of having fallen off it, and to Lurk In Tunnels (it's a terrier thing)), enquired about getting a new stair carpet (I still have to give the stairs a second coat of paint and do some filling), and put out a load of new-but-unworn shoes and outgrown (size 14) skirts and jeans for one of the local charities.
I have not finished Draco's new dragonscale coat yet, and have to sort out Stuff For Eastercon (including finding a complete list of all the TV SF shows created since 2000 - not as simple as it sounds).
We are also catching up on DVDs of Arrow series 1. which is enthralling. I am contemplating recycling my DVDs of 'The Wire' and 'Game of Thrones', which I've found less than enthralling (the first because it is unintelligible and the second because I do not follow any shows where they make the cheap decision of killing the dog (I am listening to the current episodes of 'The Archers' with growing trepidation)).
Next week will be even busier, I have a fic to post (almost finished!), I'm off to the Museum of London's Holmes exhibition (my sister got discount tickets) in hopes of material for another fanfic fest, dogs and cats go into kennels and we're off to the con. Will probably be driving the long way round as the North Circular is under construction. :(This entry was originally posted at http://inamac.dreamwidth.org/95715.html. You may comment here or there (or not).
At one time I was a member of the Richard III society, I let my membership lapse not for any idiomatic reason but because I had other things to devote my time to.
I have followed the latest events in his sorry saga at something of a distance. It's all very undignified and theme parkish but I suppose that Leicester needs the tourist cash and I can't blame them for that in the present financial climate.
One thing it did prompt me to do was look up (nice internets) the burial places of the English Kings, only to discover that Richard is not the only monarch to have been reburied (leaving aside his nephews - assuming that the Tower staircase bones were theirs), or even the only one whose burial place is now beneath a car park (or similar). It's all Henry VIIIs fault. If he'd not dissolved the monasteries none of this would have happened.
Most of our monarchs are buried in Winchester, Westminster or Windsor (what is it about the letter W?), with a handful in France.
But a handful are buried elsewhere. For example:
This somewhat boring lump of stone is the grave marker for a King of England who died on the field of battle and whose body was variously reported to have been buried where it fell or transported to an abbey for burial beneath the High Altar. The original church has long since been demolished (along with two of its successors) and the position of the former High Altar (and therefore of the possible burial) is a matter of some dispute but for the purposes of paying respect this is where one would go to pay tribute to the last English King (before his place was taken by a usurper).
It’s King Harold’s memorial at Waltham Abbey.
Somehow I think our local authority is missing a trick here.
In other news I have attempted to book a haircut online before Eastercon, but have no confidence that I have succeeded ( should really have popped down and called in in person, but their online booking is doing a discount offer so worth trying.
And I have made a trial batch of tiffin to take to agility class on Thursday. I hadn't realised until looking it up just how many tiffin recipes there are (Wikipedia does not even mention melted chocolate as an ingredient - in this case The Internet Is Wrong!.)This entry was originally posted at http://inamac.dreamwidth.org/95377.html. You may comment here or there (or not).
Wretched LJ code changes mean I keep having to log in when I go to the LJ page, and then am presented with a new layout and instructions on what to do if I want to change to it, but not how to get it back the way it was! And I still can't get it to display more than 10 posts on the Friends Page, even though I clearly put 30 in the relevant format box.
Just as well I do all my posting from here on DW.
Tonight's dinner was a scratch cassoulet from Delia's 'Frugal Food' - made less frugal by using spicy lamb chipolatas from the salmonella cabinet. It was absolutely delicious. I did have to do a dash to the nearest supermarket as we'd run out of milk and I really needed some bacon chunks for the recipe. Since the nearest supermarket is the new Lidl I was lucky with the milk, unlucky with the bacon (it tasted just as good) and browsed home a lot of chocolate and a bottle of Sauternes. I could never shop regularly in Lidl, they never have the vital things I need. (Well, except chocolate, obviously. And wine.)
Am still failing to write anything - though I do have some odd lines to fit into the eventual stories I have on the blocks. Need to do more research on European politics in the late 1800s (for Holmes). Apart from 'The Timelines of History' our bookshelves have nothing on Victorian Era - they start in pre-history, gallop through the Persian and Roman Empires, stroll through the Middle Ages, terminate at Bosworth and don't really pick up again until WWII. Both Lil and I 'did' Victorian History for O Level and haven't had any urge to revisit it since.
Thank Goddess for the shelves on the occult - researching for Potterfic is a doddle!This entry was originally posted at http://inamac.dreamwidth.org/95049.html. You may comment here or there (or not).
Every now and then Little Dog Draco dives at the window and barks like crazy – there are pigeons in HIS GARDEN! Then out of sheer frustration, he grabs the nearest thing (if I’m lucky it will be one of Bren’s toys, if not it will be one of our shoes) and shakes it exactly like a terrier (which, of course, he is) shaking a rat, until it is thoroughly dead.
This week, reading the internets, I know how he feels. Since I do not have a toy to shake, I’ll vent here.( Warning – this post contains rants and opinions of a politically incorrect natureCollapse )
It all makes me want to go out and kill something.This entry was originally posted at http://inamac.dreamwidth.org/94846.html. You may comment here or there (or not).
The weather this week has been lovely and sunny and warm. Draco has not been wearing any of his coats (though I am working on a new one) and I have abandoned the jeans and went out this morning in a skirt.
This morning's walk was in Fairlop Waters. We intended to walk round the lake, but the place was crowded with people enjoying the Sunday sunshine so we walked out on the newly laid back path where the dogs could be mostly off lead. Though I put Draco back on his as a golfer was actually using *his' tee to practice his swing and I had visions of Draco galloping up and chasing the golfballs as he does when I throw his toy from there. Further round I was not quick enough to stop him catching his ball and then galloping off onto the course where he dropped it in front of another group of golfers before returning to me. Fortunately they were not actually playing and graciously returned his ball.
The lake itself was fantastically blue (reflecting a clear sky) and with the yachts tacking around looked positively Mediterranean. Lil has pictures.
We have also been watching Crufts and doing quite well at picking out the winners. News today that some dipshit fed one of the setters poisoned meat (so must have come equipped to kill), my condolences to the owners. Hopefully Crufts security may be able to identify the culprit.
In better news, was very impressed by the lurcher who helped his team win the Flyball competition. I do not usually like flyball (it's more fun for the dogs than the spectators) but good to see something other than a border collie show how it's done. The dog is Stryder and is justly famous in flyball circles - a Beardie/Whippet/Greyhound cross. And I want one!
Mostly I've been doing crochet rather than knitting, but I did buy a book of dog coat patterns in order to have a go at a knitted (and therefore slightly warmer), coat for Draco (for those who don't know Draco, and object to 'dressing up dogs' I should mention that he is practically bald underneath as a result of having had puppy-mange and is of a breed designed to live in stables (lots of warm straw) and hunt rats (with a very short single coat that they can't get a grip on)). He has a selection of practical fleeces and raincoats, but since I am capable of making my own...
Anyway, I started with a simple plain design - but it has certainly been a learning curve!
It was pretty obvious from early on that the neck was going to be too large (the pattern for the back and the front start with the same number of stitches), so I frogged it back and reduced the cast on for the front/underside to half for the ribbing, and did a row-by-row increase to bring the width back to his chest measurement then continued as pattern from there. Blocked the result before assembly.
Then I sewed up the sides and tried it on Draco.
Er. Yes... I think his expression says everything.
I contemplated doing another disassembly but unpicking my sewing and end-weaving would just leave me with hundreds of short lengths of yarn. And this is a pretty expensive yarn (note to self, do not try experiments in the good stuff).
So I decided to finish off the border in the grey yarn and send it off to Wood Green for their poorly puppies (should fit a Staffie puppy perfectly).
Unfortunately all the patterns in the book seem to be the same size, none of which are designed for slim, fit dogs so I'll be using it for photo-reference only in future and Draco will be measured to within an inch (or millimetre) of his life. I have purchased some acrylic purple yarn to have another go - won't be so warm, but at least it will be wearable.