Tottering, multitasking

Staged Series 2 - Is that a shark?

I hate it when a well loved series jumps the shark and becomes unwatchable. Usually though there are at least three series of some quality first. And I have a solid 20 or 30 hours of TV to rewatch.

I have just been catching up with Staged 2. I watched the first two epis as broadcast live after 'true crime reconstruction series 'Traces', which should really be called Treacle given the pace of the plot) but missed the second two in favour of ITV 'true crime reconstruction series 'The Pembrokeshire Murders'), so on caught up on i-player. I bailed before the last epi because I couldn't cope with the utter chaos and triple-layered self references.

They're trying too hard.

Series one was a classic theatrical two-hander about what lockdown is like for two friends who are unable to carry out their normal business due to the pandemic, so get together using Zoom to try out a working alternative. The fact that their normal business happens to be acting wasn't really relevant. It spoke to everyone attempting to wrest normality out of the abnormal. We didn't even hear anything of the play they were supposed to be rehearsing, and the majority of the action was taken up with relationships with their partners and neighbours (and occasional work colleagues).

Series two ditches all that. It starts (after a teeth-grindingly embarassing cod-interview show featuring Romesh Ranganathan) with the frankly nonsense premise that Staged 1 is going to be 'remade' for US TV, but will keep the same names and characters (and scripts).

This is not something that anyone outside the profession can relate too. It introduces a 'cast of thousands' (presumably because no one could say 'no' to mostly B-list actors who were also fed up with not having work), most of whom are unrecognisable even if, like me, you're not face-blind (real Zoom calls have the option of having the names of the participants appear on screen and I can't think why they didn't use this at least for people 'playing themselves' (mostly unsuccessfully).

There were no sub-plots (where is Michael's neighbour? What happened to Georgia's novel? How is Myrtle coping with curtailed walkies?), and far too many in-jokes about agents, writers and awards (I confess that I have written the 'actor loads mantleshelf with awards for Zoom calls' trope myself, because if you've got it, flaunt it, but FFS don't telegraph it!). Not to mention a certain amount of 'fanservice' ('Saddle Up Sheen' indeed - and yes, there was something under that title on AO3 within 24 hours of broadcast - and not by me.)

So I still love series 1 for its originality and humour. But series 2? What series 2? This entry was originally posted at You may comment here or there (or not).
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Tottering, multitasking

Live getting back to normal

It has now been 9 weeks since my accident. I am pretty much doing the everyday things without getting too much stick from the arm, though it still won't go above shoulder height, and I have no intention of testing it with carrying any sort of weight. It would probably have helped if I had been doing the exercises, but I keep forgetting (I guess I will have to confess to the physio on Monday). I managed to lace up my walking shoes for a trip to town yesterday, but if we have any snow or ice I have no intention of venturing out until I can use my cane properly.

The first of my Holmes stories has been lined up for posting in the Holmstice exchange. I am working on the others, though the lack of deadline means I am mostly using the plug for the sewing machine rather than the laptop, since I want to finish the christmas tree hanging by 1 Dec, though I have had to rip it back twice and hand tack, which is slowing me down.

Kitten has met Flash, Flash is not impressed. Someday the animals will be at the stage where they an be left together without the worry of coming home to several bloody corpses... This entry was originally posted at You may comment here or there (or not).
Tottering, multitasking

Archers Halloween Fanfic

I hadn't intended to write anything for Halloween, especially as the Holmestice fic is taking priority, but after yesterday's Archers I couldn't resist adding to my Alternative Ambridge drabble series.

Pointless fluff. This entry was originally posted at You may comment here or there (or not).
Tottering, multitasking

Painful update

I am still typing left handed. Two consultants had a look at the shoulder yesterday. One wanted to rush me into surgery this week, though couldn't say whether it would be successful, the other said that support and physio would probably have the same result in the long term, and did I want to risk surgery in the middle of a pandemic? To which the answer is no. They will see me next Monday for further assessment. Meanwhile I am running out of painkillers, and my teeth hurt more than the shoulder.

Google confirms a recent study that says for over 65s surgery doesn't have a very different outcome to natural healing (big blind trial of over 200 patients) and while I am wary of trusting the internet over my personal specialists, what is one to do when one has conflicting advice?

Meanwhile writing and crafting is still on hold. This entry was originally posted at You may comment here or there (or not).
Tottering, multitasking

Oh look,a journal!

I haven't used this DW acount or LJ for a year now - have mostly been on Facebook and Ravelry (and the DW journal that links to Ravelry to note down patterns - nothing to see there!) This is mainly because I haven't been writing due to the lack of inspiration, though I have at least three works in theoretical progress I should do something about. I also have very erratic internet access due to the good machine not connecting to our wi-fi (or at least, not without disabling the high end security of the router, which seems couter-productive) and the netbook having insufficient ooomph to do all the stuff I need. We do not speak about using a tablet to write fic.

Ravery tells me I have knitted 64 things - so I have not been entrely unproductive.

Off to the second Archers Conference tomorrow - and taking more knitting.

This entry was originally posted at You may comment here or there (or not).
Tottering, multitasking

Fanfic and the BBC

Last week's final episode of 'The Museum of Curiosities' had a very good discussion on fanfiction - though I do wonder about the Harry/Ron shipper in the audience who could not contain their excitement. On i-player for another 28 days (relevant bit is the last 5 minutes - but always wroth listening to the whole prog for scatologial information).
Tottering, multitasking

Filk Con

I spent last weekend at the UK Filkcon in Colchester (or possibly Chelmsford - I always get those two muddled - especially when half-way along the A12). The animals went on their own holiday to the Animal Country Club.

As we were installing the cats the kennel assistant asked me about food. "They have dry food, and the three boys share a couple of sachets of wet in the evening - Zara won't eat wet, unless it's fresh tuna." "Oh," she said, "I can give her fresh tuna." Which explains why, when we picked them up, Zara came running - and was first down for supper on Monday evening (and most miffed that tuna is no longer on the menu).

The hotel was wonderful - also the food (better organised this year). We got to see most of the con sets - I missed the Aquapella session in the pool one of the highlights of my con last year, because I woke up on Sunday morning with exploding bowels Went into town to shop on Saturday morning, and came back with a light bulb to replace the one which blew in my bedside lamp on Friday, three new cordial glasses for my collection from the PDSA charity shop, and a new pack of Tarot cards* from the esoterica shop by the castle - which has survived there for at least 20 years since we first moved to Essex.

I took the almost-finished cardi I'm knitting and finished the border ribbing - and then had to frog most of it back because the sides came up uneven. Was about to sew in the sleeves but the shape is out - so I need to frog those back by 30 rows and re-knit.

It was a good con though. Looking forward to next year.

*A reproduction of the Visconti-Sforza, cards of the Milanese tradition, originally commissioned in the mid 15th century and extensively copied and reproduced in the Renaissance period. These are also the most complete of all the medieval card packs known today - 74 cards of the 78 still in existence, scattered in several museum collections. The Devil, Tower, Knight of Pentacles and Three of Wands are missing and have been recreated by a modern miniaturist working in the traditional style to complete the deck.

This entry was originally posted at You may comment here or there (or not).
Tottering, multitasking

(no subject)

My sister gave me a LeKue bread maker for Christmas - at my request as I'd seen rave reviews and am a Lakeland addict. Yesterday we were planning a post-holiday-blowout dinner of soup so I decided to make some bread to accompany it. Using a packet-mix for speed (Sainsbury's multi-grain) so I didn't actually have to weigh out the ingredients,, but apart from that it was a good test of the gadjet which is essentially a silicone bowl with two 'ears' that clip together to make a part-closed roll to go in the oven.

The loaf came out ok - though Paul Hollywood would have poked it and made comments about 'part-baked dough'. The I put the following on Amazon.

This is designed to weigh the ingredients, mix them, prove the dough and go in the oven to bake. Like most multi-purpose things it does all these adequately but none well. It makes a very floppy bowl, (though light enough to use on an electronic scale), which is quite tricky to mix in (I used a spatula) and impossible to actually knead. I took the dough out and did it on my usual marble board - you have to take the dough out anyway in order to wash and oil the bowl for proving. The 'ear' means that you can't put cling film over the bowl to seal it for proving and I found my first batch didn't rise as much as I like. It makes a fairly small loaf (500g flour is about the largest it will take). It's probably better in an electric fan oven than my gas one (the open bits at the end burned a bit). I shall continue to use it for measuring and baking, but do the rest the old-fashioned way.

On the other hand the present of two Knit-Pro Symphonie knitting needles is working superbly.
Tottering, multitasking

That Was The Year That Was

I haven't been posting much to LJ partly because I've been using Facebook for everyday stuff, partly because I've been concentrating on knitting and updating my Ina-Jean DW account so can't be arsed to switch to the Inamac one for cross posting, and partly because (I imagine because most people use i-phones to post these days) no one seems to use cuts anymore and I spend too much time scrolling past long posts.

This is where I should put in a cut, but I've forgotten the code so feel free to scroll on by.

I pretty much gave up writing last year. There are two things I did for challenges (one Potter one Holmes) that I need to put on AO3. I also dug out an old Pros story written mostly in longhand and have been slowly re-typing it - though deciphering my scrawl from 25 years ago isn't easy.

I haven't been reading much either - mostly Shakespeare criticism as a result of picking up two Jill Paton Walsh books at the library - one pseudo-Wimsey (The Late Scholar - irritatingly ill-researched) and one Imogen Quy - The Bad Quarto - which sent me to our copy of 'What Happens in Hamlet' and snowballed from there.

I have been knitting. One cardi finished, another on the needles, and any number of hats and dog coats for Draco (also a Christmas Hat With Antlers about which he is Not Happy)

Dracos Xmas Hat

Draco continues to do well at agility classes - and badly in competition - he went to his first KC show last year and while he behaved beautifully out if the ring he took exception to the aluminium dog walk and see-saw, which are standard KC equipment - so will probably be his last KC show too. One other show got rained off, though he did do a couple of clear rounds at Jumping Jacks - so we have one rosette.

Went to the cinema a few times, and saw two films that kept me in my seat (I have given up on blockbusters which consist solely of unfeasible fight sequences.) Spy and Mad Max (well, OK...))

And now back to the knitting.

Happy New 2016.