I ate'nt dead.

  • Feb. 1st, 2012 at 3:18 PM
pepper: A red chilli pepper (Chilli pepper)
Hello world. Well, hasn't it been a long time? I have many things to update you on, but I keep starting posts and then running out of steam before I finish them. Someday I may go into all these things in detail, but for the moment, to sum up:

  • Christmas was great.

  • Work continues to suck.

  • I saw a fabulous version of the Robin Hood legend at the RSC this January - and it was all about Marion. Robin had the "steal from the rich" bit down, but the "and give to the poor" was all Marion. Plus the staging was amazing. The whole stage, from about halfway back, was one giant, grassy slide, right up into the rafters! People slid onto stage - ouch - and had to climb back up with ropes! It's the most athletic play I've ever seen.

  • Castle! I have burned through all the seasons currently available, and now impatiently await more of season 4. I have no patience for open canon shows. I want it ALL, NOW. Will they/won't they? (Oh, they totally will.)

  • I finally read all the Tiffany Aching / Wee Free Men books, by Pterry. *happy sigh*. In possibly related news, I've not gone to sleep before 2am for most of the nights this week. I. am. so. tired.

  • I'm thinking of trying to run a 10k this year.

  • Kat continues to be adorable, although I do wish she'd stop eating her toys.

ION, I'm finally conceding that I don't like some taste combinations that are generally considered delicious. Coffee and chocolate, for example. I like coffee, I love chocolate, but together? Yuck. Ditto fruit and chocolate - I just don't really like them combined. I feel that togetherness makes them less than the sum of their parts - it takes away from the freshness of the fruit, and the richness of the chocolate. And yet it always seems to be, "What could be better than fresh strawberries? How about STRAWBERRIES DIPPED IN MELTED CHOCOLATE!" Give me my strawberries unadulterated, and my melted chocolate with a big spoon, pls. Also, baked potato and baked beans is just wrong, I don't care what people say.

ETA: The Heart of Robin Hood. )

Aug. 23rd, 2011

  • 3:50 PM
pepper: Cat playing a piano (Kat sharp)
I thought of an excellent time-travel story name: Imminent Victorians.

No, I don't have a story to go with it. Just the title. But it's a very nice title, don't you think? *pats it*


I'm on leave next week, hoorah! Which means this week I'm panicking slightly about getting a load of stuff done. 'Tis always the way.


Tea and biscuits was the only sensible way to deal with today's miserable weather.


Argh, I am a bad person: I have two fics that I said I'd beta ages ago and haven't yet (I'm sorry!), and one fic that someone kindly beta'd for me but which I haven't given a final tidy up so I can post it. And I started on the end run for Valentines, but now I've stalled again. Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail.

On the other hand, I'm getting along awesomely (at last) with your thing, [livejournal.com profile] lolmac! So... nearly... finished...


Kat has a new "lawn" (patch of wheatgrass growing in a tray), and it makes her a happy kitty. Without it, she was a sad and mopey kitty, who liked to sit and poke at her old, decrepit, dried-out lawn and then stare at us, meowing pointedly. She hid while we got rid of it, and then helped out with planting the new one, patting down the earth and supervising the watering. While it was growing, she kept running upstairs to gaze longingly at it on the windowsill, out of her reach. It took forever (five days), but finally it was ready to give to her, and once she'd pigged out on grass stalks, she was a sleepy, purry, mellow kitty all evening.

She tries to pounce on the water whenever it's being watered, and then sticks her nose right into the damp earth and sniffs and sniffs and SNIFFS.


Hey, there are still some excellent episodes available for recapping on [livejournal.com profile] redial_the_gate! This is Season 10, your last chance...

Flesh & Blood, Uninvited, Counterstrike, Company of Thieves, The Quest pt 2, Family Ties (go on, you know that would be awesome to mock), Dominion (I think that and Family Ties may be partially optioned...? It's in some way negotiable? I can't see LJ at the moment to check what exactly the situation was).

ETA: Someone has claimed either Dominion or Family Ties, so I guess if you particularly want one of those, you can probably have it.


I... have forgotten what I was going to say here.


Aug. 19th, 2011

  • 1:49 PM
pepper: A red chilli pepper (Chilli pepper)
Crap, I've just realised that the urgent telecon I was so pleased to have finally arranged for tonight at 5pm... is tonight, at 5pm. Friday night, goddammit. I had dinner in a pub planned. It wasn't a big plan, but it was mine and I liked it. *sulks*


Me: "All the calls and emails today have caused me to turn to ice cream (as opposed to drink)."
A: "If you overdo it we may have to take you to a clinic to thaw out."


I took some time owing this morning and came in an hour late. I spent the extra hour mostly playing with the cat. I think she appreciated it. We played Catch Mr Spider, and then we looked out of the window for a while, and then she had some cat milk, and then we played Catch Mr Green Fuzzy Thing That I* Keep Trying To Eat And Then Have To Regurgitate Because It's Nearly A Foot Long And Made Of Feathers And I Get Yelled At Before I Get More Than An Inch Or Two Down.

It's kind of a disgusting object, by now, but she loves it.

* Kat, that is - not me. Hopefully that was obvious.


pepper: Cup of tea (Tea)
I'm okay, and in no kind of danger, in case anyone was worrying. I was in London on Monday, but I saw absolutely nothing of the riots. It's a remarkably big city. It's more like several cities stuck together.

This all reminded me of the Brixton and Tottenham riots back in 1985. They began for similar reasons, in a similar climate - economic depression, Conservative government, the possibility that the police had caused the death of an innocent. That was a scary time. I lived close to Tottenham, and I went to school with the son of a policeman who was violently killed in the Broadwater Farm riot. I didn't know him that well (I didn't like him that much, either, but then I was eight and he was a BOY), but I keep thinking of him now, wondering how it affected him, and how he feels about this current situation. It must be difficult.

Broadwater Farm is a name fixed in a lot of North Londoners's minds as a Place You Do Not Go. Reminded about it, I looked it up. It's been reconstructed, both in the local organisations and in the buildings themselves (although the ugly high rise blocks are still there). The results are amazing:

Since the regeneration, Broadwater Farm now has one of the lowest crime rates of any urban area in the world. In the first quarter of 2005, there was not a single reported robbery or outdoor assault on Broadwater Farm, and only a single burglary, from which all property was recovered and the suspect arrested; this compares with 875 burglaries, 50 robberies and 50 assaults in the third quarter of 1985 immediately preceding the riot. In an independent 2003 survey of all the estate's residents, only 2% said they considered the area unsafe, the lowest figure for any area in London. The estate also has the lowest rent arrears of any part of the borough.

In 2005 the Metropolitan Police disbanded the Broadwater Farm Unit altogether as no longer required in an area with such a low crime rate.


Clean ALL the things... bit by bit.

  • Jun. 13th, 2011 at 9:46 AM
pepper: Swan on green river (Swan)
I came across a very useful comm the other day: [community profile] bitesizedcleaning. It's all about cleaning in small increments, and every week there's a small list of tasks that should take no more than 5 - 15 minutes each.

Cleaning more often and smaller sounds like a much better idea than saving it all up for one massive blast of time and energy, as is my usual practice. It was odd, forcing myself to stop cleaning after doing one or two things from the task list - I had loads of energy left. So I did stuff not on the list, like sorting my sock drawer and the wheeled box under my bed that holds all my jumpers (so Kat can climb into it to sleep, apparently). I figure I can do extra things like that when I have the cleaning energy, and when I don't, I can just do what's on the list.


I gave up on the Grand Prix when it seemed like the rain would never end, and now I wish I hadn't. "It will surely go down as one of the most amazing grands prix in history," says the Beeb. Well, nuts.


I would like to be a wizard at Unseen University. Their idea of a 3am snack is cheese boards one to five, cold roast beef, ham, biscuits, and the pickle carts. Oh, and the fruit cart for the Librarian.

I wouldn't be able to sleep after that, but it sounds delicious.


I bet I'm not the only one.

  • May. 13th, 2011 at 12:46 PM
pepper: Pile of old books (Books)
Do you read to go to sleep? I've never managed it, but it seems like most people do. I can't allow myself to read at bedtime any more, because I can't stop. Time vanishes. I have no willpower. It's partly that I'm a night-owl - but even when I want to go to sleep, when I'm really tired and my eyelids are heavy, my eyes are gritty, if I pick up a book, I feel compelled to stay awake and keep reading, fighting sleep all the way. I know that, if I try to put it down, my mind won't shut off - it's generally the only time I'm insomniac - so I might as well just stay awake and keep going. Eventually, I realised that I had to make a choice between reading at night and functioning at work. Sometimes I lapse (damn you, Hundred-Thousand Kingdoms), but mostly the latter is the only real option.

Some thinkiness. )


Mar. 18th, 2011

  • 1:17 PM
pepper: Jack thinking empty bubbles (Jack bubbles)
Having a quieter day today. Not that I'm not busy, but m'colleagues are away / in meetings for a large part of the day, so I can put on some music and work my way steadily through stuff. It's kind of pleasant.

Yet more wittering about my kitty. )

Done 2/3rds of Week 3 of C25K. Last one tomorrow (schedule got thrown by a late telecon on Weds). I'm enjoying it. Keep picturing this scene from Past The Bleachers, and all those fanfics where Sam goes for a run to shake off her problems, when my legs threaten to fall off.

Rewatch of Avalon pts 1&2 tonight. I'm trying to think of how I'm going to do my own recap (for Babylon). Hm... *eyes The Art Of War*...

p.s. Buy me, [livejournal.com profile] help_japan.

Hullo clouds, hullo sky

  • Jan. 10th, 2011 at 3:27 PM
pepper: Jack and Daniel, "I bringed you a cookie, but I eated it." (Cookie)
I keep starting posts to say "hullo world", and then running up against the too-much-to-say problem, you know? So, in summary, or I'll never post again:

- Nice Christmas, thanks. Quiet. Ate too much. Nice presents.
- Eventually got to see my family. Ate more food, played Trivial Pursuit. Me and my brother and mother are triviaholics. Fun game.
- Boo at being back at work.
- Boo at other stuff.
- Off sick Thurs & Fri. Watched all of Sanctuary season 2. Someone please tell me... )
- Spoiler-free warning to [personal profile] ultranos: if you're anything like me in your reading habits, only read 'The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms' by N.K. Jemisin if you don't have to get up the next day. I started it on Saturday evening, and read it until I fell asleep at about 8am on Sunday. (I have the second book, and oh dear, I better hide it until the weekend, my sleep cycle is screwed up enough as it is...).
- Phoned the cat protection people (left a message, they will call back) to arrange a home visit, to really begin the kitten-getting process. Eeee...
- I really should do that 2010 fic summary thing.



  • Dec. 14th, 2010 at 3:59 PM
pepper: The cake is a lie! (Cake is a lie)
Blergh. Doughnuts made with artificial sweetener: why would you do that to me, Greggs? If I wanted diet food, I wouldn't be buying doughnuts. And why was there no warning? "This will taste disgusting, don't buy it, it won't satisfy your doughnut craving at all, and the flavour will hang around all day."

Peh, peh, peh, peh, peh.


I am not the only one, I'm sure, whose criteria for buying a new fleece top goes something like this:

- Not the same colour as the one I've got
- Not too expensive, it's only to wear on the journey to work or around the house
- Pockets
- ...Ooh, that one will make me look like a Muppet!

It's purple, and it's FLUFFY!


Dec. 13th, 2010

  • 2:04 PM
pepper: Cup of tea (Tea)
My brain is being very tricksy, lately. It's messing with me, via dreams. It's trying various different ways to keep me asleep.

The other day I woke up with the alarm, but dozed back off again, and dreamed that I was getting up and getting dressed - my brain's way of saying you don't need to worry about getting up because you're already doing it, shhh, go back to sleeeeep. It's tried this before. Sometimes it's successful. Fortunately, A woke me up, this time.

Last night I dreamed that I went to a bakery, and bought a load of cakes, including some particularly lovely cinnamon doughnuts, to take to a party. Then I dreamed that I woke up, and thought 'ooh, cinnamon doughnuts, what a good idea!', and on my way to work I went to a bakery and bought some.

I'm fairly sure I'm awake right now, if only because I don't have a cinnamon doughnut.


I was innocently playing on my computer on Sunday, while A played console games - and then I heard a familiar voice purring smart remarks laden with single-entendres. "Hello," I thought. "That's Vala!"

A was playing 'Uncharted 2', in which Claudia Black does indeed voice one of the characters, Chloe. And Chloe is enough like Vala to make the game much more entertaining for me. For instance, the main character asked to be left in prison rather than deal with her - he said it was safer. It was very Vala-and-Daniel-esque. Or this:

Chloe: The files are in his tent, and his tent is in the middle of the camp. It's like an armed compound, there are soldiers everywhere.
Nathan: Well, that's why it has to be an inside job. From someone they know and trust.
Chloe: Oh, okay, I see where this is going.
Nathan: I'll just need a diversion. You give me five minutes in that tent, that's all it'll take.
Chloe: Really, five minutes? Well, that's great, I won't even have to get my top off.
Nathan: Chloe, I was thinking more like an explosion.
Chloe: Or that... can be arranged.


I wish I had a cinnamon doughnut.


Jul. 12th, 2010

  • 4:01 PM
pepper: Pile of old books (Books)
Is there anything more wonderful than a new bookcase? Okay, yes, there is, but it's still pretty great. My dad brought me one down this Sunday, one he was getting rid of, and I put it together and fixed it to the wall and filled it with all those little piles of books that have been growing like fungi in corners of my house. I might just have given it a hug and a little kiss this morning.

With that and the clothes swap I'm going to today, I've been inspired to get rid of some stuff. I gave my dad the walking machine that I never use now that I walk 5 miles a day. I took a trip to a charity shop with the clothes I don't want to show my friends, and my dad drove me to the dump where I was heartened to see how many different things I could recycle. I still need to have a phase 2: The Glassware Strikes Back, and maybe even a phase 3: Recycling of the Jedi, but it's a good start.

Ohhhhhhhhh, so not in the mood to be at work today.


Jul. 5th, 2010

  • 10:18 AM
pepper: Mary Pickford with roses (Mary Pickford with roses)
Went through my wardrobe this weekend, culling the stuff I don't wear. I'll take some of it to a clothes swap, after which I'll take the rest to a charity shop. I've been meaning to do this since - well, since I last moved house. I can be quite ruthless when doing clearouts, but I was a bit soft-hearted yesterday and still got rid of a ton of stuff. Clearly it was about time. I might have to have a phase 2.

As well as the old and decrepit and the looked-better-on-the-hangar, I'm letting go of all those if-I-just-drop-a-couple-of-dress-sizes clothes. Well, except for one - I let myself keep one: a blue flower print dress, embroidered with unicorns and lightning bolts and skull & crossbones and pills and stars and locks and rainbows... I had to keep that one. And when I drop a couple of dress sizes, and my magnificent but rather cumbersome bosom no longer forces the buttons down the front to gape, I will wear the hell out of it! :)


The best thing about having read Twilight is getting the jokes. )


ETA: Hey. Has Sam / anyone invented a remote dialling device, like they have on the ships, only one they can port around with them? So, like, when they need to report back to the SGC, instead of schlepping back to the SGC, they can just dial in the co-ordinates on a nifty armpiece, and tell Gen. Hammond they're okay and need another couple of hours to look at some important ruins? Because, were I in charge of SG-1, that would be my first order. "Make something that means we don't have to keep walking back and forth from the Gate or rely on the SGC dialling in. My feet hurt." Of course, I am quite lazy, plus sometimes I wear impractical shoes (but only if they REALLY go with my outfit), so.

I can't remember if that exists outside of the ships. Am I being really forgetful? If not, Sam should get right on it - after the hoverbikes.


Jun. 3rd, 2010

  • 11:16 AM
pepper: White dog against blue sky (Dog)
Note to self: P-90 and P45, very different things. Not interchangeable in conversation (or otherwise).

It's just lucky no one listens to me. :)


Hi. I'm not around much at the moment - not bad stuff, just general BUSY. And I'm thinking I should stop looking at DW during work hours, anyway (paranoia strikes). But I am still here and reading, and hopefully life is going to settle down in a few days and let me get back to the normal posting. I have a lot more scifi grammar to talk about, and a few stories brewing...

We'll keep the red flag flying here

  • May. 13th, 2010 at 9:42 PM
pepper: A red chilli pepper (Chilli pepper)
Today I thought I'd share with you a... curio, I suppose. A past memory; a book from my childhood.


Essential reading in the household I grew up in. )

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