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[13 Apr 2014|04:02pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

Because I downloaded a bunch of fic yesterday in preparation for going away next weekend, have some recs from Yuletide 2013! (They're mostly 1-2,000 words or so; they tend to the funny or fluffy rather than angsty but check each one's own tags if you're feeling fragile.)
cut for lengthCollapse )



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New this week [13 Apr 2014|02:26pm]
[ mood | spring! ]

Akebia and wallflowers, violas and lobelias and forget-me-nots, snowflakes and white violets and sweet peas and campanula! (And dandelions).
Also the clematis that dies every winter seems not to have died this time, so perhaps it'll get tall enough to get some sun this summer and bloom next year?



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It lives! It grows! [05 Apr 2014|02:46pm]
[ mood | annoyed ]

Lots of things in blossom in my garden- mini daffs, white narcissi, hyacinths, rosemary, aubretia, alyssum, juneberry, primroses, ladies mantle, violets. Oh, and the sweet peas that survived the winter are in bud…



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[26 Mar 2014|10:39pm]
[ mood | sleepy ]

Reading: Heavy Ice, by Ankaret Wells. (Has lots of plot and intrigue, and very vivid settings, and societies with incompatible world views, and economics, and religions, and an ambiguous villain who's never met a problem that couldn't be solved by marrying a few more people. Favourite character: Strat, aka Hawkwood Stratagem. I want a xenoraptor who'll knock my enemies flying with a nudge of her skull. ) Also The Flavour Thesaurus and Fellowship of the Ring.

Just finished: Stained Glass Monsters, by Andrea K Host; and then a reread of her other books… she's quickly become a comfort author.

Will read next: a bunch of documentation for a meeting. And The Two Towers, of course.
(Also does anybody have any fic of Belladonna Took and the other "remarkable daughters of the Old Took" going on adventures with Gandalf?)



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[11 Mar 2014|03:29pm]
I am having my arse kicked by a cold. (Given to me by an adorable toddler, I think. That'll teach me to admire friends' children.) It's at the stage where I've gone from admiring the hard work of my immune system to wishing that it would just give up and let my whole body become a virus factory because at least then I would be DEAD.

But I've done a Harry Potter rewatch, so that was fun.



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Reading Wednesday [12 Feb 2014|08:40pm]
Just read: I've been on a Mercedes Lackey binge. Just finished Holy Disorders by Edmund Crispin and The Sleeping Partner by Madeleine Robins, too.
Reading: Beauty by Robin McKinley, Emma Thompson's diaries from the filming of Sense and Sensibility, With Bold Knife and Fork by MFK Fisher.
Will read next: Not sure. I've still got some things on the kindle that I got after Christmas, so probably one of them.



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[06 Jan 2014|02:21pm]
Had a nice break, despite the floods- need to find a way to say to a parent "you know, I gave you a wishlist with like 60 things on it. What made you decide that what I really needed was some horrible musk-smelling scented oil and a prescriptivist grammar book by a tory?" but hey, I was always going to get myself the things I most wanted if I wasn't given them (Hyperbole and a Half, Libriomancer and Ancillary Justice are on their way, woo!) And they did give me a couple of decent books as well.
Finally watched the newest Jane Eyre film, which was better than I'd been expecting.
Anybody have any Yuletide recs? I seem to have only read about five things this year.
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reading [04 Dec 2013|03:57pm]
[ mood | cold-ridden ]

Just finished: Digger (the omnibus volume)- happy sigh. (Best bits? The messenger rats, perhaps. Or the shrew troll? Poor sweet Ed? Or Grim Eyes being patronising to the guide? Librarian Vo? Vampire squash? Digger's reaction to being stabbed? All of it is best bits.)

Reading now: Rereading Dave Langford's Critical Mass.

Next: Not sure. Perhaps Terra, or Andrea Host's new Darest book.



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days off, and comedy [09 Nov 2013|01:05pm]
So I managed to get leave midweek and have a few days in London; did sort-of-sightseeing that involved lots of eating dim sum and accidentally getting people Christmas presents, and mainly went to see comedy things that I was very excited about, and they totally lived up to expectations. (NB: as with Edinburgh stuff, this is a transcript of scribbled notes and may not make sense to anyone who isn't me.)
Alternative Comedy Memorial SocietyCollapse )
Here are a whole bunch of photos and short video from lots of Soho ACMSs, including the 4/11/2013 one I was at. (And here are some five-minute films they did for Channel 4's Comedy Blaps, they're funny.)

AustentatiousCollapse )

I also went to see The 39 Steps on a half-price ticket for the matinee, and that was excellent fun as well.

Thom Tuck- Straight to DVDCollapse )
tl;dr- Laughing is good. And if you get a chance to see an ACMS or several, TOTALLY GO IT IS AMAZING.



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[03 Nov 2013|03:26pm]
I just started watching Freewheeling, which is a show on Dave with Ross Noble going round the country and following suggestions from Twitter about what to do next? And it was OK, quite funny... and then he turned up at a soundcheck for Eddie Izzard's show and they're doing bad impressions of each other, and Izzard went, "Oh, you're doing early me" and did an impression of *his own early persona*, and I just had to pause the show because it's all a bit too exciting. I do like being fannish about things.



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[28 Oct 2013|06:01pm]
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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Of course John Donne assumed his readers had Greek [15 Oct 2013|03:12pm]
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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Part 3 [23 Aug 2013|12:13pm]
Edinburgh notes

FridayCollapse )

Sat 16th
Really exhausting day- badly planned, with 6 gigs going New Town-Old Town-New Town-Old Town- West End-Old Town. Some very good stuff though.
SaturdayCollapse )

SundayCollapse )



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Part 2 [22 Aug 2013|03:20pm]
Edinburgh show notes again.
WednesdayCollapse )

ThursdayCollapse )



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Part 1 [21 Aug 2013|03:49pm]
Notes from Edinburgh shows; this will be tl;dr for most people and somewhat incomprehensible for the rest, probably; it's as much to remind myself of what I saw as anything else. That being said, here we go...
SaturdayCollapse )

SundayCollapse )

MondayCollapse )

TuesdayCollapse )



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Edinburgh excitements [20 Aug 2013|11:29am]
[ mood | rushed ]

So I spent 8 days at the Edinburgh festival and went to 49 events, featuring well over a hundred performers. List post! (I'll post brief notes from the gigs later with a cut so non-comedy-obsessives can skip it.)

Days that went entirely to plan: 2 (not bad!)
Things I intended to see but completely forgot about because they were free and therefore I didn't have a ticket to remind me where to go next: 2
Things I missed for other reasons: 4 (misread time on ticket, left stuff at hotel and had to fetch it instead of going to next gig, realised I had overestimated my stamina for walks at 10 in the morning, realised it was too far from the next gig)
Things I walked out of: 2 (one too loud, one turned out to be audience-walks-around-performers and my joints hurt)
Days it rained: 4
Days of rain that coincided with days I had hopefully put on sandals: 3
Most alcohol drunk in a day: 3 units (not in my twenties any more)
Most servings of fruit/veg in a day: 3 (oops)
Most coffee drunk in a day: 3 cups
Doughnuts eaten: 9 (but six of them were those mini ones)
Least hours of sleep in a night: 5 (not in my twenties any more)
Paracetamol: 8 (see above re: joints hurting)
Number of times crossed North Bridge: at least 20
Number of people killed for getting in my bloody way and blocking the bloody pavement, don't they realise there's a whole bloody festival's-worth of people behind them trying to get somewhere, for god's sake: 0 (excellent!)
Number of free shows attended: 6
Number of non-comedy events attended: 4 (Japanese theatre, Baroque music, meditation, circus)
Number of shows featuring at least one woman: 24 (Shows that didn't were a mix of solo male stand-ups, showcase things with changing line-ups that didn't have women that day, and all-male sketch groups)
Number of shows featuring at least one person of colour: 3 (two of which weren't comedy.)
Amount of beer spilt over my bag: 1/4 pint
Shows where an audience member was chucked out: 2 (both for drunkeness in the middle of the day)
Favourite things seen in the street: A chap flyering in a dragon costume and carrying a chihuahua, a woman telling a children's story about a tiger eating somebody's mother and meeting a gory end.
Show I most regret missing: Voices In Your Head
Best show seen on a whim: Squidboy
Performers/gigs I hadn't seen before but will definitely try to see again: the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society, Set List, School Night, Mischief Theatre, Casual Violence, Beta Males, Theatre Beating, Late Night Gimp Fight, Jigsaw, Giraffe, The Horne Section, Croft and Pearce, Birthday Girls, John-Luke Roberts, Caroline Hardie, Mike Wozniak, Rachel Parris, John Robins, Chris Coltrane, The Boy With Tape on his Face.
Badges won for being best audience member: 1
Times I wanted to come home: 0



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[19 Aug 2013|04:38pm]
I had an excellent time at the Edinburgh Festival! The hotel had claimed to have free wifi but that turned out to mean "Free for gold members or people in suites, £15 a day to peons such as yourself, budget scum!" (I paraphrase their little bit of paper) and in a choice between carrying my tablet around all day to try and find wifi in cafes or carrying extra water, the option that stopped me getting dehydrated won out every day. So I have no idea of what happened in the news or my friendslists' lives last week, and I'll need extract my brief notes from the tablet tomorrow to try to do a sort-of-review post.



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[02 Aug 2013|09:36pm]
Holiday was nice; swam in sea and lake, saw cormorants, loon, dragonflies, enormous tadpole (bullfrog?), beach foxes, blase juvenile gull. And family. Ate much seafood. Airline squashed my suitcase, but colleague watered my plants and nothing died, so a net positive result.



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[10 Jul 2013|08:15pm]
Just finished Second Summoning by Tanya Huff, which is fun but slight, and Ring of Guilt by Judith Cutler, which was pretty good. None of the others in the series seem to be on special offer, though, so I probably won't move on to them yet. In the middle of rereading The Best of Myles again (collected columns of Myles na Gopaleen, aka Flann O'Brian).



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A thing, I went and did a thing! [08 Jul 2013|07:51pm]
[ mood | exhausted ]

So tiiiiired; hotel room for last couple of days was spartan to the point of amusement (mirror right height to use sitting down; no chair), but not having a fan was a Bad Thing.
Was on visit in Camden to go to ARG Comedy Festival (some photos of acts), 32 Edinburgh previews over two days. (I saw... 14, I think?)
Very brief reviews after the jump, see above re: tiiiiiredCollapse )
Really looking forward to Edinburgh now!



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