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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in sweetheartwhale's LiveJournal:

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    Sunday, September 7th, 2014
    10:38 pm
    Three line fic
    Leonardo da Vinci woke with a yell, catching his breath as he saw Riario leaning against the dungeon wall, tapping the whip against his thigh.

    "Thank fuck," Leo breathed, "it’s actually you, and not that fork-tongued Scottish madman with the box and all those automata…"

    Riario smiled slightly, and said, “Hm, perhaps, Artista, you should give serious thought to acquiring your choice of recreational powders from a different source than our Turkish friend.”
    Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
    9:08 pm
    The Revengers - Call for Submissions
    Dave and I are helping out Fringe Works (who are publishing A Study In Steampunk) by editing an anthology for them. Or a series, if there are enough stories...

    Basically The Revengers is a Renaissance-themed collection. We're looking for stories of plotting, conspiracies, feuding, vendetta and revenge - with a genre bent to them.

    We're basically going to define Renaissance here as from around 1400 (late enough for places to have recovered somewhat from the Black Death) to around 1650 (so the Musketeer era is included, cos we all love a bit of Dumas!)

    Details are in the link - or should be shortly - so just be imaginative and original. You can have horror, fantasy, SF, steampunk (or Swashpunk, perhaps), so long as it has that plotting, feuding, vendetta theme...

    http://www.fringeworks.co.uk/blog/?p=929
    Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
    3:42 pm
    Bank Holiday Musketeering
    Captain Treville of the King's Musketeers has made it plain that I will not be excused from daily guard duty (well, working) on the grounds of aching ribs gained while using the English Bank Holiday as an excuse to invite the Cardinal's Guards round, get in my cups, and then say "of course we can spar full-contact, don't mind me, just go ahead..." while drunk.

    To put it another way, we were visited by blazingskies and greyfore​, who brought rum and fencing advice from their styles, and I couldn't resist free-sparring when I learned that Tony had done taekwondo before.

    We also tried duelling - I could block him, usually, but not beat him, especially since he was using a sabre style.

    Hopefully I didn't dishonour my master too much!

    Of course lonemagpie​ beat him best two out of three, but mostly they seemed to get a draw: they'd both die. It was amusing to hear Becky declaim "you both continue on a quest for mutual annihilation!" when Tony's blade along Dave's chest at the same time as Dave's blade slid along Tony's neck.

    They also repeated Dave's complaint that I need to get stances and footwork right, though they call the relevant exercise "monkey-walking" rather than horse stance/back stance etc as we do at taekwondo.

    They seem to feel I practice in German Tempo, which I guess is the outcome of Dave's training.

    There also seems to be a thing among people I know who fence - especially in historical/HEMA fencing - for having a sort of fencing alter ego, so I guess I shall have to choose one.
    Friday, April 25th, 2014
    4:33 pm
    Satellite 4 Eastercon
    Thursday

    Up on the train to a Scotland I haven't visited in four years which means Dave has practically become an exile from his own people - and these are interesting times. While I'm fascinated by all the dual language signs and trying to work out where the heck the "t" in the English version of "Stirling" came from Dave tries to explain the in and outs of Scottish Independence to a charming American family, choosing to forego six hours of debate and answer the twelve year old's question of "Am I in a different country" with a resounding "yes". I then elaborate the linguistic differences between two related languages on the basis of the phrase "gonnae no dae that." While doing this, we've crossed the border and are soon sitting in Dave Snr's living room after an invigorating walk, drinking Sweetheart Stout, wondering why Scots' twenty pound notes suddenly look suspiciously like Euros and assembling costumes. It's a cosplay trope that 95% of costume assembly gets done the night before con which is why we're painting a fleur de lys on fake armour, graphic designing a Papal logo, assembling a Milliput key to the Vault of Heaven and a pair of Renaissance sunglasses from a pair of expensive prescription varifocals, Boots cheap shades and garden wire while writing panel notes with the other hand. I'm usually open about my con characters but the owner of the "safety glasses" as Dave Snr puts it has been advised to keep a very low profile as Dave Snr is a big Rangers supporter and there's a fair possibility that Girolamo Riario might be relegated to sleep in the garden. Last pre-con action is to fill any spare space left in the bags with chocolate, carefully set Da Vinci's demons on record for Friday and make sure a camouflage sword bag with three inches of rapier sticking out of it, peace- bonded with a shirt, doesn't look at all suspicious and then we're off.

    Friday

    We've been here before haven't we? Well, not the con hotel, nice as it was, but that glorious moment when the suitcases are strewn over a nice big bed, the programme book's open on the table there's three days of con to look forward to and while the other half showers and picks up his email and does everything you do when you first land in a hotel room, I'm stood in front of a mirror, fitting an alter ego to a costume, attempting stance and voice and gestures and expressions and all those things that go to make a half-decent cosplay homage to one's favourite antihero. I remember doing this back in 1999 only then I had a frock coat, a wig a mile high sealed in my own hair with industrial glue and an accent from somewhere outside Romania by way of Belgrade. I think there was someone called Vir I kept shouting at, some guy in a lizard costume who wanted to strangle me and a blue drink that made my voice go a lot lower. Also I had a sword. I've still got the sword, and its the same one, half crusader and half(-)claymore only now the drink, if there is one, appears to be a glass of red wine,the hair's a lot shorter, the wig's been replaced by a pair of wraparound steampunk sunglasses, the voice is as low as ever but so RP you could cut yourself on the vowels and Vir has unaccountably disappeared and been replaced by someone called Nico. I'm not sure if anyone wants to strangle me yet but give me five minutes and there'll probably be a queue.' In place of all those "Great Maker's" and "dear good friends" we're now calling for "Artistas,"wondering if anyone knows who we are and wondering if everyone in the place is damned for not knowing their Bible. We're also wondering if possession of a hand-drawn Papal badge on Good Friday in the middle of Glasgow a few miles from Govan is going to get us all seriously lynched. Well, I am anyway. My cosplay character doesn't appear to care about that. He dismisses my concerns with a series of contemptuous blinks, hangs a crucifix and key round his neck, pulls on a pair of black gloves, twirls his dagger, selects an apple from the con food bag and idly tosses the forbidden fruit in the air. He then berates the "Artista" for being far too long in the bathroom while he's crossing his black-trousered legs and suggests he might be excommunicated if he doesn't exit it pronto. Cosplay Riario exits the room, gives a curt nod and a "Happy Easter" to a maid staring at his crucifix and stalks the short distance from the Glasgow Hilton to the Crowne Plaza like a self confident cat. His first action on arrival at con is to offer his forbidden fruit to a lady on registration desk whom he presses into his service ( she accepts) the second to stalk across the room and help himself,without being invited, to the wine provided for a civic reception, and the third is to establish lasting political alliances with the bar staff. Despite eruditely addressing the question of Scottish independence in that accent he doesn't actually get himself lynched, in fact he gets directed to even more free booze and within minutes I can count on the fingers of both hands the friends and acquaintances who've walked past me in the sunglasses and totally failed to recognise me. Not so my own Redemption con committee ( especially big Da Vinci's Demons fan Steve) who take one look at the cross and immediately ask me to absolve them of several administrative sins of omission including failing to set up the con -table before I arrived. Also Redemption Vice- Chair Eddie is suggesting I turn his glass of water into wine to save time waiting at the bar. Definitely all damned then. I'm beginning to wish I could do the opposite trick with my wine, in fact I might have to, because I've now had four glasses of Merlot in short order, no food except apples and have a panel in less than an hour.

    So-how did we get to this? I remember choosing Londo as a cosplay character back in the day because I was fascinated by a potentially good guy with a sense of honour doing very bad things for what he believes to be the right reasons. Riario strikes me as something similar and as a refugee from Academia with a desire to administrate knowledge, an upbringing which means I really ought to go to confession on Easter Friday and who writes, among other things, on the History of the Occult, I'm kind of attracted to Riario and his Quest for the Book of Leaves. ( Of course I should point out that this has absolutely nothing to do with him being portrayed by one of Britain's best and most good-looking actors in the marvellous Blake Ritson. Honest, straight up. Would I lie to you...) Add in the penultimate episode of Season 1, one desperately undervalued Nico Machiavelli looking cute in a cage, that" knowing the desires of men" line and all that sniggering and meaningful blinking and hey presto, another soul fallen. It's out with the fanfic pen and all together now - "Ship Ahoy!..."

    Ahem. That brings me to the Renaissance of the Renaissance panel which discusses, apart from the delicious possibilities of Nico in tight denim ( which was actually invented in the thirteenth century), whether there is a resurgence of interest in history in genre shows at present or merely a resurgence of interest in swashbucklers in big shirts. I've worn my big shirt for this - also my leather trousers, and am justifiably proud of them, having lost two stone to get them on. An enquiry as to whether there are actually any Da Vinci's Demons fans in the room ("or are we all etc etc") gets a decent display of hands and the presentation of forbidden fruit mark2, together with Papal indulgences in saecula saeculorum, to the very well-dressed Mr Peter Harrow, Eastercon stalwart and veteran Steampunker. We spend a pleasant hour post panel sourcing pocket sundials and discussing con hotels, joined by Judi Hodgkin with whom we earnestly discuss the future of fandom and Eastercon bids and my crucifix falls off while speculating on the location of Redemption's next con hotel. The keys to the Vault of Heaven have long since broken and been sellotaped by Chris O' Shea in ops.

    It's in the nature of panels, like Vampires, to sire other panels so when I realise belatedly that, despite discussing Renaissance high heels on men, erroneous make-up on historical characters, laces on bodices, court dress versus peasant dress, why leather trousers are a good idea in a workshop where you smelt bronze, how much history is acceptable before you put off an audience and a host of other things, we never covered some of the really fun stuff such as pre- watershed Musketeer foreplay ("excuse me, Constance, while I whip off these pistols...") what you can really hide under a Georgian skirt and how the hell to get out of a sash full of weapons in order to use the bog. Redemption therefore acquires a panel on historical dress and wardrobe malfunctions and the perils of cosplay. Meanwhile "Riario," tiring of Papal negotiations acquires the bar, which, unlike the real ale table, has no queue. Somewhere around 1am he realises he's dropped the Key, contemplates reporting it as lost property, decides this would be way too embarrassing and orders a triple rum.


    Saturday

    Good morning mirror. "Riario" has slipped out for air and to attend early Mass, leaving his second-best jacket neatly folded in the day bag, and in his place we have the Comte de la Fere resplendent in a black leather jacket, grey trousers with gold buttons,hat with enormous feather, sash and cloak expertly made from a charity shop curtain by the Royal Dressmaker. Or he would be resplendent if he didn't feel the sudden need to stick his head in a bucket of ice water. He should also have been resplendent in a pair of leather trousers but somebody split them while thinking about Nico. Breakfast in full musketeer outfit, then swagger - or is that stagger?- to con. "Athos''" weapons are examined and peacebonded in Ops which is good for "Riairo" because otherwise he would be about to get a serious lesson in manners. "Athos" is pretty certain that his purse, after one day at con, should contain change from one hundred and fifty pistoles and not an apple core and a credit note on the Pazzi bank. Ops get it right when they decide that I look the "epitomy of a dishevelled and down on his luck Musketeer."

    So, how does a penniless Musketeer with a newly acquired vendetta against spendthrift Italian churchmen survive at a convention, especially when he has only his honour and sword arm to offer and no saddle, horse or servant to sell? Well, first he gets a new badge because" Riario" lost that as well and pleads his purse so he doesn't have to pay. Then he goes up to the Gopher Dad, signs up for three hours of duty and asks for three groats in advance. Secondly, he borrows the remaining fifty p(istoles) required for a pint from a friend on the Redemption desk. Thirdly, he finds someone to remind of a dinner invitation previously sown and now reapable. Charging about outside in a photoshoot with sword and musket also encourages praise and drinks ( and the understandable wrath of the ConChair for hurling the pistol without due care and attention).Stewarding with rapier in hand reaps the admiration of both sexes alike and the welcome gift of coffee. Et voila -an entirely successful day living the life of a Musketeer. No money, some glory, plenty of honour, constantly in trouble and constantly saved by the bell and the indulgence of ladies. "Athos" is even pardoned by the Gopher Mum for accidental desertion of his post on the grounds of not having enough volunteers to hang errant cavaliers. "Athos"got his sword admired - and handled - a great deal despite promising Ops to keep firm hold of it though whether he actually received any offers to polish it we must leave entirely to his discretion as a nobleman, far be it from us to compromise the honour of any lady, and surely it was Aramis and not him who was observed repeatedly falling on his knees before Anne de Breiul in the disco and inviting her to study theology?. Then along comes Stevie Carroll looking for newsletter items and "Athos" makes an impromptu and ill-considered challenge to the Cardinal's Guards to a duel in the Redemption cabaret over the money "Riario" spent in the bar. "Riario" is,according to tradition given one opportunity to explain himself and apologize and the excuse that he thought the twenties were Euros and thus mistook the exchange rate does not go down at all well. "Athos", suddenly remembering that he has only a beginner's sword skills and is actually D'Artagnan in disguise repairs himself to ops in search of seconds among Redemption's usual suspects. Zoe Sumra and Sarah Brider agree to be fellow musketeers and save their convention chair's ill- covered derriere while my husband delightedly claims the title of Comte de Rochefort, placing him on the opposite side of the duel to me, and Nik Whitehead offers the services of the as yet undefeated Donna Elizaveta de Vasquez, Spanish swordswoman extraordinaire, for the Cardinal. Finally, the redoutable Michelle of Gallifrey,cosplaying Milady, charms the doomed "Athos" to the extent that he forgives his ex-wife. He then presents her with the Queen's diamonds and is immediately rewarded by imprisonment in a virtual dungeon and a boot planted firmly on his chest. He is rescued by Grimaud who turns up in the masquerade in the persona of a charming gentleman in a doublet named David. Plus ca change.
    The musketeer accompanied by the War Doctor, gets second prize in the masquerade, rails at the Cardinal's guards and is rewarded by a very rude gesture from a man in a red T-shirt who is obviously on the papal side.

    One thing I love about cons is the late night conversations, in fact I often , as on this day replace going to panels by sitting around and talking in the bar and Satellite4 had more than its share of good ones, notably with said David about costumes, with Richard Stephenson and David Uliscak on religion, Nik Whitehead on swords and Christine Davison on whether time runs differently at a con ( we concluded that it's the same as faster than light space travel, which is why everyone feels so young and invigorated at con and committee feel four months older when they walk out the door at the end). Unfortunately I'm driven out of the last conversation by the hotel staff cleaning with something I'm allergic to and have to run for fresh air.

    Sunday

    Took my time to arrive at con and decide which costume to wear which meant my old stalwart Londo Mollari finally got a look in and I hadn't even finished putting on the coat before he had been given a Hall costume token. However, he didn't stay around long before he realised his brand of drink was expensive for a purse depleted by Italian counts and Musketeers and it was too warm for his wig so we went back to "Riario" to plan the day. This didn't get far before I remembered I was in Man of Iron, Paul Darrow's unproducable Blake's 7 script - and con amdram staple - later that day. I've always fancied doing this, always missed the item at Redemption and in the end it was the most fun I'd had in ages. I was playing the villain, mad scientist and robotics expert Algor, and spent most of "Riario'"s sole stewarding shift,for which he refused to take payment from condottiere, reading through the part followed by a fun rehearsal with Lexin, who was playing Servalan, in the bar, interrupted briefly by tweeting the appropriate punishment for male Redemption ConCom members who loudly discuss football at cons. Followed, shortly thereafter, by the appropriate punishment for male ConCom members who win arguments about discussing football at cons by using excessively long words.(Kin-Ming Looi,this means you.....)

    Now for a costume for the play. After a rummage through the con bag I opted (approved by Lexin) for white big shirt, black leather jacket, black trousers and "Riario"'s sunglasses as being sufficiently Blakes 7 and villainy. It also meant I could blame Da Vinci for anything else I got up to at con. The whole thing seemed to go down well,the audience was fantastically receptive and fellow cast members went beyond the call of duty. Special mention to Tlanti as a hilariously athletic Avon, Chris O Shea as my "masterpiece" Mary Shelley- inspired robot Gabor,( "AAARRR") Dave as various other robots played as Minions from Despicable Me and, last but not least, Lexin who must have iron will not to have corpsed when Algor got a serious case of wandering hands in a seduction scene. My part ended when the evil scientist was finally drowned by Avon-Tlanti in the bath. I threw a glass of water in my own face for realism, Algor fought hard and devoured a great deal of scenery on the way down and since that's the first time I've ever been killed on stage I realised the hard way that however much you try, post violent action the choices are 1) be a body that lies there breathing heavily for several scenes or 2) Asphyxiate. I briefly chose 2) which meant that noticing hands shaking with adrenalin-rush post play we had to rush off to dinner. Unfortunately,I'd left my badge lying on a table in the programme room in Castle, Dave had spotted it and having made several attempts to tell me and being interrupted and ignored, decided instead to put it in his pocket and present it as a trophy to Gopher Mum Misha Sumra. Since I already had several offences of badge loss and one of being late for duty under my belt, Monsieur Sumra was unable to spare me chastisement this time and once I was revived by food and coffee I had to go red-faced up to the Ops room where I found my name prominent on the Wall of Shame. At which point "Riario" decided it was a prudent course of action to be very sarcastic to the Head of Operations for misspelling it. Thank you so much for that, Girolamo, and I understand said Wall is now being renamed in my honour for future cons...

    There's always a point at a con in which you wish you could split the River of Time, sail down both branches and be in two places at once and this was around 10pm desperately desiring the con disco while wanting to take part in Blakes 7 Wobblevision. Directed as ever by the redoutable Steve Rogerson this time's effort, the Syndeton Experiment featured me snogging Avon, two guys, one as Servalan in a (PG) seduction scene, me tied and menaced by a South American priestess and a series of deleted scenes which may appear on Tumblr and - in the event of his Holiness ever enquiring - were most definitely perpetrated by Leonardo - or possibly Zo - in "Riario's" hat, especially as "Riario" now has the dubious honour of being the only cosplay character in fifteen years of congoing whose trousers I have had to peace-bond for the safety of the con. Post Wobbling, I was having a very interesting conversation with Stevie Carroll on fanfic and writing and cats and horses and many things. I've never really had a chance a long conversation with Stevie at a con before, though I've been on plenty of panels with her and didn't want to leave it so I took the (afterwards identified as wrong) decision to swallow a caffeine tablet to keep going and was thus up to 3am drinking in the bar.

    Monday

    The most unreasonable expectation in the "Dealing with fannish expectations" panel appeared to be for the ConChair of Redemption to cope with my first ever fourth day at a con and turn up on time which was somewhat embarrassing. Possibly the rum and coke I requested from Green Room at 10am was also a bit unreasonable as well but since half an hour earlier I'd been convinced I was about to die and calling for the confessor it didn't seem that way to me. In that way conventions have of turning up what you ask for, my cries for help were met with coffee and advice from a couple of Redemption stalwarts, ethics experts and humanists who concluded, having heard my innermost secrets that between Riario and Redemption's Con Chair, Riario would get away with it so long as he doesn't completely lose his faith in the face of death and anyway going to find the Book of Leaves to save the world counts as a good deed and recognising you've done terrible things is contrition whereas Con Chairs who have been known on occasion to formally curse non congoers for being in their space, and forget to acknowledge and thank whatever they perceive to be higher powers will probably be damned for sorcery and hubris unless they mend their ways. Forgive me Secret Masters of Fandom, for I have sinned and I promise to do better in future!. Joking apart, it was one of those meaningful interface of con/real life conversations and I have to say I felt a lot better for it, especially for knowing that probably my cosplay character was going to be saved even if I wasn't! Time for Athos and Milady to say long goodbyes, "Riario" ends the con having his arse handed to him on a plate in Ops by the Donna Elizaveta dual- wielding pen and cloak and then off in a taxi back to Stirling due to the volume of luggage Dave having promised to buy no more than 5 books but acquiring fifteen freebies as well.

    To sum up - Great con, many new friends, two new alter egos. I expect they'll be back again for Dysprosium, but first I need to be very very lucky at Red15, not sure if I feel lucky, looking at the opposition...and well, you'll excuse me. I've Nine Worlds and a Worldcon to prepare for, my own con to run, sword skills to acquire, boot camp to attend and I'm wanted in Mr de Treville's office at 12, in Cardinal Richelieu's at 1 and at 2, I'm given to understand that I'm expected in the Piazza Navona by someone who will be carrying an extremely large hand cannon. Survival, I have to say, seems impossible, but then, hey - conrunner. Impossible, a man once told me, is just a word that makes us try harder.... -))
    Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
    9:12 pm
    I seem to be getting into better shape
    I bought the largest camo combats I could find about two or three weeks ago, with the intent of being able to fit in them by Nine Worlds in August. They fit yesterday... The low-carb and swashbuckling/historical fencing exercises are really working.

    I also went back on to the oven fresh department for this week, on my feet all day with a 6AM start this morning, and am a lot less tired after that, which I'm sure is down to the low-carb and Musketeer training.
    Saturday, March 29th, 2014
    10:58 pm
    Low carb and fencing is a winning combination
    I've definitely got into the habit of doing those sword exercises every morning. And I now get why low-carb people like snowgrouse are so obsessive about making sure they check all the percentages of what's on ingredient labels, to work out where to stop at the daily limit of carbs.

    The mix of carb-counting and rapier-learning seems to be having an effect. I don't know about dress sizes, and haven't stepped on a scale, but I *have* dropped two work uniform shirt sizes in about six weeks.
    Monday, March 17th, 2014
    8:39 pm
    Angry Birds
    Cleo brought in a blackbird last night, just as we were about to go to bed, and it got loose in the house with Cleo chasing it - until lonemagpie just reached up and snatched it out of the air! Just like cats do too, with both hands (its chest bumped into the arc between thumb and forefinger, and he was already folding his other hand around it, without hurting it), so she probably thinks he's learned what she does.

    That's kung fu master stuff, that is. I've never seen anybody do that before!

    So then Dave calmed it and checked it was unharmed (apart from losing some down), but it bit me! It didn't break the skin, but I was surprised how strong its grip was. And it really looked just like those Angry Birds as well- round, with a pointy yellow beak!

    So I took Cleo upstairs while Dave released it out of the back door...
    Monday, February 24th, 2014
    5:04 pm
    13th anniversary
    Today is David's and my 13th wedding anniversary. I feel sure there should be a Goth ceremony or something for this occasions. I've settled for doing the housework in a velvet bodice, cooking duck confit, opening a bottle of wine that retails at forty quid but was given as a present a couple for Christmas's ago and fighting with live blades on the terrace. Some of these elements, I recall, were also present when we got married. Those 13 years have been a blast, here's to the next lot!
    Friday, January 31st, 2014
    12:14 am
    For those wondering what makes a lasting marriage
    If anybody's wondering about the secret of a lasting marriage... we had some Cadbury's "Pots of Joy" earlier, I saw some streaks of chocolate on the bottom of the pot... which were gone after someone in the house put the pot up to his mouth...
    Thursday, January 30th, 2014
    11:39 pm
    So, mum's coming out of hospital tomorrow
    To an interim bed in a nursing home here in Wetherby, while her house gets sorted.

    It turns out that Morrisons personnel dpt, not being morons, didn't actually adjust my hours yet - so I'm having this week and next rather short, but will be able to work full hours while mum is in the nursing home, before dropping to just a few hours when she gets home - huzzah!

    They seem to know what's better for me than I do! And I have the time to get writing and sorting stuff too...
    Sunday, January 26th, 2014
    12:51 pm
    Booze and Blake Birthday
    Since it’s my birthday I’ve had caviar and cava for breakfast - haven’t done that since Moscow in 1999 - and now watching the ITV Billie Piper version of Mansfield Park cos even though I don’t like Jane Austen, because I *do* like Blake Ritson, who’s in it.

    Apparently Austen fans dislike this version because Billie Piper isn’t sickly and weak enough. Maybe that’s why I’m liking this, when I usually dislike Austen, because I hate weak and sickly female characters…
    Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
    9:57 pm
    Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
    10:20 pm
    The pointy end


    Since I'm already a martial artist (taekwondo) and have liked to dabble with swords before, getting into all the Renaissance stuff - Musketeers, Da Vinci's Demons, and writing Da Vinci's Demons fic, and being a fan of the duelling conducted by the German Romantics, I'm pressing Dave to teach me how the characters would have fought, so that I can write good fight scenes in the fic.

    He's been doing that kind of thing since, like, 1985 or so, and tonight he insisted on putting this movie on - apparently he feels more and more like Hopkins, and wanted me to see the training sequences.

    He's right too - I do try to go too much into "let's swordfight" and get pwned. He tells me I have "a really funny 'where the fuck did that come from?' look" when I try to play around and suddenly notice his (not sharp!) sword-tip pressing onto my breastbone...

    We're thinking that for the purposes of knowing how it feels so I can use that in writing, he should probably teach me some other weapons too...
    Wednesday, December 25th, 2013
    11:14 am
    My songs for the year
    This is my song for the year.



    And this would be Riario's Xmas song; I like the words.

    Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
    9:03 pm
    Aten't ded
    Mum's recovering and I admit I'm burying myself in writing to keep cheerful. I have a pile of stuff to read. I am also currently committing the grevious sin of writing adult fan fiction - which most Neil Gaiman calls "training".

    Have been writing a lot - and getting Dave to teach me some appropriate sword and dagger stuff for the fight scenes in fic! I dunno what the neighbours think when they see that!
    Saturday, November 23rd, 2013
    6:41 pm
    Sorry I've been a bit quiet- Dear Muse,
    While I appreciate you letting me spend a long time in the company of gentlemen in large shirts and tight breeches, be they in 19th century Germany or 15th century Italy, please can I have a rest now?. That's one Da Vinci fic, both violent and dirty, one fairytale, one plot for an original novel and 4000 words on German Romanticism IN FOUR DAYS. Did I mention to you that I worked full time? My pyjamas are on under my work trousers and Pope Sixtus IV has had a lot more baths than I have. In better company. Is it always like this?

    PS It was fun.

    What are people's thoughts on the best place to post fics? Fanfic.net or AO3, or somewhere else?
    Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
    4:20 pm
    Finally...
    Solicitors just rang to say my mother's house sale completes on Friday. After 8 weeks of to-ing and fro-ing to a gradually emptying house, she's gone down today to say a last farewell to her family home of 40 years. And, no doubt, to check it hasn't exploded/fallen down or flooded If I wasn't laid up with vertigo/the ongoing female problems which have delayed my going back to work today after 2 scheduled weeks off to recover from the stress of the incident I mentioned on Facebook- and my injured hand, I'd have gone with. I probably won't get a chance to say properly goodbye to the place myself.

    SO, two months of trying to stop a 78 year old with a pacemaker travelling back every day on public transport to the place you just moved her from to opposite you so that she wouldn't be exhausting herself every day travelling on public transport workstress,physical illness, one violent incident,one panic attack in the doctors, one constantly shifting book deadline while DM was ill as well, one finanical crisis when we found over a grand of rent money had somehow vanished and God knows how much money spent on removals, we can haz peace and quiet now?

    If you've kept me sane at any point through the last 8 weeks -DM my love, cheyanne7, my closest neighbours and the staff of Morrisons Personnel Department,this is you, a huge thank you. If I've pissed you off at any point ignored you or not paid you. I apologize

    But still...result.At last. And before winter.

    Current Mood: ecstatic
    Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
    11:56 am
    Winter is coming... to the garden
    Anybody got any recommendations for plants/shrubs to give the garden a bit of colour over winter, or things we might want to plant over winter to come up in spring?

    I've spent the morning with mum clearing out the garden, it's about 15x20 feet, though there's still things in it - a blackcurrant bush, gooseberry bush, japanese maple, etc. We've cut back the raspberries and chucked out some pots.

    Want to leave some space for veg though.
    Thursday, June 20th, 2013
    3:30 pm
    Annoyed with BT
    I'm getting increasingly pissed off with BT. Several weeks ago I contacted them to ask for a replacement payment slip as I'd taken the cash out of the bank to pay their bill but misplaced the slip while decorating. I'd assumed a reminder would be along shortly. Right, customer services. First bit of idiocy " we don't send reminders". Ok. So if I forget to pay your bill I won't know till you cut me off?.Er,yes. Can I pay online? "Yes, madam if you have your customer number". "That would be on the lost slip" "Oh, we don't send out reminders." As you said. "So, how about a replacement payment slip. Since the cash is here in my pocket and the bank is inconveniently in Scotland. Certainly, madam, five working days.

    15 days and more phone calls later... and we're no further on.

    They've also caused Dave related hassle by having to friend someone he'd defriended on LJ in case they popped back up while he was offline if this goes pear-shaped- which of course upset them further. Dave takes that sort of thing very hard of course where as I've always been well, y'know people are people, let them be, look after number one first or how are you able to look after other people. Or I'm just actually the more ruthless one of this partnership. Whatever.All the relevant work due has been sent and invoiced, con arrangements made, holiday arrangements made and I'll be away for some of the potentially affected period so we can sit this out. I can wangle it somehow over internet banking on July payday if need be.

    Anyway
    while I wait for these silly BT buggers to sort themselves out, if you *are* waiting for a mail from me or for me to answer a friend request on Facebook and I disappear for a couple of weeks, apologies. I've got my stubborn head on now ( I'm descended from Vikings. I have stubbornness issues.) and won't part with my money till the incompetent f**kwits do what they originally agreed.
    Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
    2:08 pm
    Out of the brig
    Heheh, I'm out -didya think for a moment I wouldn't still have River's hallucinogenic lipstick hidden *somewhere* about my person post wedding,hm?. Poor guards, still, I expect they get decent danger money...

    Now to wrangle the washing -and the fridge-while he's at the shops.

    No coincidence, either, that its suddenly summer and 20 degrees just after the wedding of the most magical couple I know....

    Current Mood: accomplished
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