Angelic Paranoia

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Things
Sunday 21st October 2018 2:23 pm

I have totally got out of the habit of posting and commenting. I must try and get back in it. So here are some things I've had going on recently.

1. I had a flu jab at the start of the month. Usually it just makes me feel like I've been punched in the arm. This time my arm swelled up and was hot to the touch and hurt so much that I really didn't want to be using or moving it at all. It also made me feel really ill, so I spent some time catching up on TV. I caught up on Midsomer Murders, which included an episode about a small pet show and was all about the rabbits. Obviously I loved it, aside from the rabbit cages being too small, and for some reason they were kept in a tent on site overnight, which makes no sense. But now I am being stalked by the murderer - he popped up in Doctor Who and then in Johnny English. He's everywhere!

2. I've been watching a lot of hamster videos and got into the crafty DIY side. It's possible to make nearly everything in a cage with wood and lolly sticks - and if you're good with DIY you can even make a cage. I'm not quite that good, but I did make a log cabin (out of 15 toilet roll tubes), a small rainbow bridge (that isn't rainbow because I couldn't be bothered to pain it) and a climbing frame. Now I've got the hang of the glue, and a lot more lolly sticks in three sizes, I might try making more things.

3. Sammy is still cute. He'll happily put two feet on my hand (even if there's no food) but won't put a third on (even for a treat). I've got into the habit of giving him some of my boiled egg at breakfast at weekends (sometimes in bed, sometimes he gets out of bed for it).
Sammy

4. I had the last big thing done on my house (where big means getting workmen in to do things). All(!) I have left is getting rid of stuff and deciding which cross stitches to put on the walls where.

5. Dancing - but I've been meaning to write a whole post about that for the past couple of months, so I will save all of that for its own post.


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Not summer any more
Wednesday 29th August 2018 9:08 pm

While it was summer and hot I got used to not doing lots of things, including posting here. It got less hot, but then I did some of the things I intended to do over summer, but it was too hot to do. Except for when I was too busy working - we had a couple of weeks of it being crazy busy.

But it really feels like it's not summer any more. It's nearly September, the weather is very autumnal and the things I do in the evenings are about to start up again. So I should get used to posting here again.

I bought two amazing things this month: a shower head and a fidget ring.

My old shower was a bit like a dribble. I did some research and came up with one that most people said was more powerful than what they had before. And bought a new shower hose as well, as the old one looks old and dirty, plus one of the rings is coming off, which made me wonder how long it would be before it sprouted a leak. It turned out to be a good decision because when I took the old shower hose off, green stuff came out... And the new shower head is so much more powerful. I can't believe how much cleaner my hair is. I possibly don't need to wash it as often any more. I should have done this years ago!

Fidget jewellery was something I learnt about on Ask a Manager, of all places. I am incapable of sitting still. I used to have Russian wedding ring type rings, but then it became impossible to find new ones cheaply (because I always lost them) and I just had ordinary rings, which I couldn't play with as much. Now I have a fidget ring from etsy. It's just two beads on a band, which doesn't seem like it's that exciting, but I very quickly found there were an awful lot of things you can do with two beads that really keep my hands occupied. It is great.

In non-buying things, Sammy continues to very slowly mostly get less scared of things. I am still on step 1 of hamster taming, which is putting food on your hand, so they have to put their feet on your hand to get at it. He does it quite happily and is really interested in sniffing my hand, but the slightest hint of any movement and he's off. He was toilet trained, then he moved his bed and now doesn't wee in his toilet. He is anti-toilet trained...

In a new record for me, within the space of a week I managed to injure both big toes, bruise both knees and burn two fingers and a thumb. Plus plenty of other bruises. Housework is bad for you.

And that's pretty much the highlights of my news.


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Too hot for this
Sunday 1st July 2018 9:25 pm

I was fine with the hot weather when I didn't need to go out in it (we have air con at work) and the worst part was my seatbelt getting hotter than the sun on my drive home. I'd be cold in the mornings before work and the house would be not too warm when I got back. Until today. It was particularly hot and humid today and not cold last night. And I was so tired I went to bed early and then slept late. So at no point when I was awake was it colder outside than it was in. I am tired of the hot weather.

I have been procrastinating on my Unconventional Courtship fic, which is why I haven't done anything else. I sit down in the evening, intending to write it, dick around in the internet and go to bed having achieved absolutely nothing. I have been listening to some First Doctor audios in the car in the mornings and it's been good to re-listen to them (and justify having kept the CDs).

But tomorrow Wimbledon starts. I'm looking forward to not quite wall-to-wall tennis due to the football. But I am glad I have a digital radio, as 5 Live Sports Extra is pretty much constant Wimbledon. But I have my Fantasy Wimbledon team sorted and my finalists prediction in: Federer vs Djokovic in the final. I'm not feeling terribly confident about that, but all the people I thought could get to the final are in Federer's half of the draw.

Sammy has been fine in the heat. I still don't see much of him and he's still unsure of me when he realises I'm in the room. But when he surprises me, he's much better, coming to the front of the cage for food. Although he only takes a few bits before going back to his bed and store/eat them.

I need to post about Never Seen Star Wars for July, but since I'm not doing anything for it until after Wimbledon, it can wait.


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Various things
Monday 11th June 2018 8:53 pm

All the things I've been meaning to post and haven't got round to.

1. There was an interesting episode of Timeless this series where they went back to 1919 and it was all about women's suffrage. Which was interesting because there's been so much about a hundred years of women's suffrage in this country. I never considered what it was like in America. The answer, when I looked it up, was complicated, because different states had different things going on. But Alice Paul, who was in the episode, really existed.

2. In May my morris side started dancing out one evening a week. Although due to illness and holiday and a clash with choir, I've only made it to three so far. Given that I don't hate driving to places I don't know, it's been a bit nerve-wracking. Especially to one pub in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, and I only knew the first five minutes of the route. I am very glad of my sat nav and Google Street View, so I can do the route the night before and know what I'm looking for. Although Google's directions were a bit interesting one week when they told me it was right by the dual carriageway, so all I had to do was to turn off it. Completely ignoring that I can only come off it at a junction.

We dance in clogs, which made things interesting to start with. There's a lot going on underneath, so it's a bit like walking in platforms, which I've never done before. At first I felt like I was going to fall over just walking, never mind dancing. But now I've got used to them and my only problem is going too excited and ending up on tiptoes. And dancing on ground that turns out to be uneven, which can make things a bit interesting.

3. After looking through a load of summaries for [info]unconventionalcourtship, when I came to sign up I picked the first one I have saved. I have 800 words on it so far and I know where it ends, just not quite so sure on how to get there yet. Some of the wording still might change a bit, but the summary is:
Coming home to the country offered Barbara Wright the chance to make a settled, secure life for herself. But there was a complication – in the shape of her ex-fiancé, millionaire ex-colleague Ian Chesterton. He was still the gorgeous man who had swept her off her feet before – and the attraction between them was electric!
It would have been easy for Barbara to let Ian seduce her seduce Ian. But not so simple to explain the secret she'd kept hidden for years she was keeping hidden. If Ian learned the truth, would he be so keen to reclaim his runaway bride colleague?

4. I have a hamster - his name is Sammy. I've actually had him for three weeks, but he's scared of everything. It's only in the past week when he's started to take food from me. Although that can take a while because he's scared of the rustle of the bag of treats and scared of the noise the box of food makes... The cage is in a bit of a dark corner, but I managed to take a photo one morning, when he got out of bed when I was having breakfast.

Sammy

Sammy


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Long weekend
Monday 28th May 2018 8:33 pm

The weather forecast said it was going to be hot this weekend and I needed to clean the house, so I got most of the cleaning done in the week and just had a bit to finish off on Saturday morning. Which was good, but it's been chilly in the mornings and hot (if not as hot as forecast on Wednesday) in the afternoons and evenings (not to mention hayfevery).

With all that time I finished off my Fandom 5k fic. And then didn't quite know what to do with myself. I have started collecting possible Unconventional Courtship summaries for a few pairings. Although there are only so many Mills & Boon summaries I can read before I can't deal with all the clicheness any more. And why do so many of the 'Classic' ones involve Amish?

I did make a start on the mess of the spare room. I realised if I freecycled one pile, charitied another, and took a third to the tip that would be much of the stuff gone. And then I could put away the stuff I'm keeping but can't get to where it needs to live. And go through all the crap in the wardrobe because there's stuff in there I could also get rid of, if only I could get to it. Of course now I need to go to the charity shop and the tip. Since I didn't start this until Jo Konta's match was on the radio on Sunday it was after the charity shops were closed for the weekend and I'm not going to tip on a bank holiday weekend, it'll be too busy. And too hot to sit in a car in the sun, roasting.

Speaking of tennis, the French Open started yesterday. With a re-designed website where it's impossible to find the order of play. At least the BBC have it. They had Jo Konta's match on 5 Live Sports Extra, but then switched over to 5 Live. Except there was a gap where the news was. So I was listening on the BBC website, which had all the sound from the court, but no commentary. Which is fine on TV, but not as useful on radio. Unless you know who is serving, the scores during the games are particularly unhelpful. I know I could have watched it on ITV whatever number it's on, but it involves adverts, Jim Courier and a love of swirling around the crowd and zooming into the court. So I'll save that for the final because that's probably as much of all three of things I can take.


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Ill (again)
Saturday 5th May 2018 11:36 am

I've been ill this week. But since I only felt terrible for one day, the rest of the time I was fine if I was lying down, I managed to work on my fandom 5k fic, albeit in small bits. I now have 5000 words and am more confident about getting it done. The reason I didn't blog before I was ill was because I was busy working on my fandom 5k fic.

Weekdays day time is quite good for old TV. Old TV is good because it doesn't move much. So I watched some Star Trek and The Bill (from 2000, so it moves, but not too much). And listened to podcasts, read some stuff that didn't require a brain and I can't even remember. And I've nearly caught up on Wil Wheaton's Tabletop, which I was very behind on.

Its made it hard to get excited about a three day weekend when I've already not done anything for a week and am not well enough to do too much yet.


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Ikea and Hobbycraft
Sunday 8th April 2018 9:30 pm

I went to Ikea and Hobbycraft this weekend. I haven't been to Hobbycraft for years, which is just as well: it's a dangerous place. I spent more money than I did in Ikea and can not say I don't have enough card making stuff (it only just fits in the drawer). And I also now have plenty of Aida, as I am close to finishing my last cross stitch kit and then will do some from patterns using up the approx 70 million threads I have.

Ikea is lovely and empty at opening time on a Saturday. That's the only good thing I can say about it... I've never been on my own before had to be told by the cashier what to do with everything I had. I didn't bother with a trolley and although I happily carried a bag of cross stitches that needed framing, some frames, a lamp shade, a back door mat and a 10kg 100x50 cm table to the till, afterwards I couldn't work out how I'd done it. I had to go on a mission to find a trolley without dropping anything.

I managed to cut my thumb open in the middle of Ikea: I had a frame with broken glass courtesy of the window men. Since the glass was sitting in there and not moving I thought it would be fine to take it like that. I should have known that a) that's not a good idea and b) if I can break something/injure myself I will. Fortunately I had plasters with me, but I was miles from a toilet (probably).

And then there was the car park. I've only ever parked in one multi-storey car park before and that was in the evening when it was pretty empty. I'm not really fond of going up ramps in multi-storey car parks as a passenger and I think I've only done it once as a driver. This one required me to go up a spiral ramp. Theoretically it's fine once you have the wheel turned correctly because it's all the same. But I went up on level to a closed floor, decided I couldn't manage another level, got most of the way there and then hit the side. Going down was much better, although I was glad I was behind someone because you pretty much had to drive round the whole car park to get out and I'd have got lost. When I did get out I ended up in the wrong lane, as I assumed that on a roundabout with two exits the left lane would go left and the right lane would go right. Which it didn't. And I knew that from looking at Google Street View in advance, but was so freaked out from the whole experience I had forgotten.

If I ever decide I need anything from Ikea again I am only going if it's with someone else who is driving or I'll get it delivered. £7 seems like a small price to pay (and probably what it costs in petrol to get there anyway).


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Other things
Wednesday 4th April 2018 9:09 pm

Every time I think work's calmed down it calms right back up again. It is currently calm, and with choir having stopped for Easter I am enjoying having more free time and energy to enjoy it.

I signed up to Fandom 5k. My self-imposed deadline on my 25k fic was so that I could sign up. Given that I wrote a 5k fic for Yuletide and a 5.5k fic earlier this year because I was a bit sick of the endless long thing and wanted to write something short(!) I think I should be able to do it. So far there's one person I could write for, a few more days of sign ups and some other possibilities I might yet offer.

I finally managed to work through [info]b2mem at the weekend. Somehow it's become traditional that I don't have time to read any of it in March and then as soon as April hits I do it all in one go.

I am used to watching non-fictional things on TV or saving them up. So when I watched Episodes on Friday (series 5 finally on in this country) it felt strange that I'd have to wait a whole week to find out what happens next.

The Commonwealth Games starts tonight! On the other side of the world, again. I looked at the schedule, couldn't tape all of that, so I am hoping the BBC will make it easy to watch things later (especially the swimming). And then I'll catch up at weekends. Hopefully.


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Stuff and nonsense
Wednesday 7th March 2018 3:14 pm

(I can't keep titling posts "Things")

While I didn't have a hamster I thought I'd get some holidays in. I was going to Chester anyway for a wedding and I'd already made some tentative plans to go to Edinburgh. Said plans got less tentative and then I thought I could go somewhere else. The only weekend I had free when it wasn't the Easter holidays was last weekend. I then discovered that staying on a Friday or Saturday night was twice the price. Which worked out well because I ended up going to Bath on Sunday when there were trains running (if not all of them).

I've heard a lot about the snow elsewhere in the country, but it wasn't as bad where I was. It still wasn't great, but we didn't have the 7 inches of snow they apparently had in Bath. I worked from home on Thursday because although there wasn't enough snow to completely cover the ground, the weather forecast said it was going to get worse. I was at the point of deciding the forecast was wrong when people at work went home because it was so bad there. Work is only 10 miles away!

After being out in -4C (in seven layers, not including coat, scarf, hat and gloves), 5C (ish) felt really warm. Bath was good, although I did loads of walking. The Waterstones there didn't have a separate social history section, but their 20th century history section had quite a few books I'd got or read, which was pretty good. I looked in the crime section for Daisy Dalrymple, because having read ebooks I'd never seen any covers in person. They had three, very brightly coloured, one of which was Superfluous Women.

One of the things that has bothered me about the books is the way all the women are married off (or about to be). Yet after the war there were a lot more women of marriageable age than men. Which turned out to be a good thing in the end because no longer were women expected to just get married. They could have jobs and no longer was spinsterhood something to be pitied. Turns out this is the book that does deal with this. And in the acknowledgements, the author has read the same book I have on the subject. On the basis that money spent on books when you're on holiday doesn't count, I bought it.

While I was there I went to a comedy club that had a few new stand ups doing short sets. Some of them were funnier than others. Some of them were better than others. Although the best ones were the ones that were confident. The nervous ones didn't come across as well. It was interesting that quite a few had notes written on their hands to remind them of their jokes.

Between my cold and the cold I've been in a lot, so it was good to get out and about. Although I seem to have ended up going out nearly every night this week. And I like Bath: it's pretty and you can get to everything in the city centre. I was sad to leave until I was walking home from the station and it was so quiet. And then I realised how much I missed the quiet. I like cities to visit and they're handy to have nearby, but I couldn't live in one.


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Chester and cold
Sunday 18th February 2018 2:42 pm

I went to Chester last weekend, came home and then got a cold. Work has been busy before and since, hence the lack of posting.

I wouldn't have chosen to go up north in the middle of winter, but I went for a wedding and since it involved four trains, I stayed for a bit longer. I ended up doing most of Chester in a day, which involved being out in the sun, wind, rain, hail and snow (not all at once). It was nice when it was sunny and the wind wasn't blowing. But not otherwise. It was pretty though.

A combination of lots of walking, going up four flights of stairs to my room, swimming 500m every evening (there was an 18m pool in the hotel), wearing my warm winter boots rather than walking shoes meant I ended up with shin splints. Which I've never had before, but I was glad I wasn't staying longer because I couldn't manage any more walking. But my feet were warm.

I got back, woke up the next morning with a cold. I can't just have a cold, it also sets off my asthma and dizziness, so it saps all my energy and I can't breathe. At least it waited until I got back.

I am getting some holidays in while I don't have a hamster, so I'm off to Edinburgh in the spring and another holiday in a few weeks. Usually I plan where to go and then take the time off. This time I've found a weekend I can have off and am yet to decide where to go.

In the meantime I am enjoying the Winter Olympics. A lot of the sports I just need to see a bit and then I've seen it all (except for people falling over). And a lot of them involve so much movement and camera movement that I got too dizzy if I watch too much. None of which counts for the curling. Which this morning included an excellent view of the Norwegian team's trousers.


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2017: the year of babies
Sunday 7th January 2018 7:48 pm

It feels like everyone had babies in 2017. Although in reality it's only three and only if you count the beginning of this year as 2017. Which isn't that much of a surprise in some ways, because I went to a lot of weddings a few years ago (where four counts as a lot). But it's had a terrible effect on my social life.

When I went to the tennis or to see comedians, I used to go with my sister. Which was fine until the end of 2016 when we saw Adam Hills. And then she very selfishly had a baby this year (who I plan to use to go to things that would be odd to go to without a child when he's old enough, but that's not going to be for a few years yet). Between that and other babies and illness (and weather) I haven't been to any tennis, the only time I went to the theatre was to Harry Potter, which I booked in mid-2016, and the only comedian I saw was Ellie Taylor, when the local theatre emailed that week to say she was on. Amusingly, her set was all about how she was in her 30s and everyone was having babies...

But this year is going to be different. I've decided that if I want to go to something I will just book it and go. Then it doesn't matter what anyone else is doing. So I am already going to see Lucy Porter and Dara O'Briain in the spring.


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Christmas
Saturday 23rd December 2017 4:35 pm

I hate Christmas. I hated it more when I was a child because I got two weeks off from school and the only difference between Christmas Day and every other day was that everything was closed, everyone else was too busy eating turkey and arguing with their family, and there was nothing on TV. These days it's different because Christmas means two bank holidays. And I like that that they mean not having to see anyone. There's still nothing open, but these days it's when all the TV is on.

I was starting to think I was in a minority about this because there are other people at work who aren't Christian and still do Christmas. And on The Last Leg they went all Christmassy on 1st December, and it turned out both their guests were Jewish. But both of them did something Christmassy or at least didn't hate it.

And then Captain Awkward had a question about Christmas and a lot of people in the comments saying how they hated it too.

It's not the actual day I hate any more, it's the lead up to it. It's not being able to go into a shop without having to listen to Christmas music that I've heard a hundred times already. Or listen to the radio without the same problem. And people who ask what I'm eating for Christmas dinner. They might as well ask what I'm eating for dinner a week next Tuesday for all the sense that makes. Or worse, ask if I'm ready for Christmas. I don't know what that means. (I'm always ready for Christmas to be over).

I don't mind people asking what I'm doing for Christmas, because it's the same as asking what I'm doing for any bank holiday or weekend. Although I keep my answers vague because they're not actually interested in the specifics.

And there are some Christmassy things I do like. Like mince pies and Christmas pudding (as long as there's no brandy butter - that stuff is disgusting). And Christmas trees (I especially like that you can get them in colours other than green), and tinsel. I have no interest in baubles, they're not as pretty as tinsel. Or fairy lights that flash. I like the white lights on people's houses that hang down. And the really OTT people you can laugh at on the way past.

So there are good things about Christmas, I just wish it wasn't so in your face, with an assumption that everyone does Christmas. (Besides, passover is much better, which is why it's the only Jewish festival I still do every year, even when it's not at Easter)

For me, this is an appropriately timed post: since yesterday was the last working day before Christmas, therefore yesterday was Christmas Eve and today was Christmas Day.


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Busy fortnight
Sunday 17th December 2017 5:27 pm

The week before last was really busy at work. My evenings felt long because most of the things I do in the evening had finished for the year, and I didn't have to play with Missy. So I got a lot of TV watching done.

This week work is quieter, but I've either been woken up really early or not been able to get to sleep or woke up early for no reason, or some combination of the above, so I've been really tired. And watched a load more TV.

I'm hoping next week will be better...


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What I’ve been up to
Friday 1st December 2017 7:37 pm

I am doing better. Although my lounge still looks big and empty with the spaces where Missy's cage and toys were. And my evenings seem so long now they've not interrupted.

I decided I didn't need to do anything unless I had to. So possibly the most productive thing I've done is to watch all of season 3 of Dark Matter, which I'd had sitting around for months. Handily, I'd done all my Christmas shopping and sent my Yuletide fic off to beta.

I also listened to a lot of podcasts at work and while I was doing things around the house. I seemed to be permanently 10 episodes behind on Confessions, but now not only am I caught up but I'm working my way through episodes of The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry from before I started listening. Although the one about itching made me itch all the way through...

I went to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Wednesday. It was well-timed really, as I wouldn't have really been up for it the week before, and before Missy died I was worrying about leaving her all evening (as I didn't get home until midnight). I was excited about it when I booked it a year and a half ago, and I bought the book. And then I found the book disappointing. However, seeing the play is a lot better than reading the script. I thought the kid who played Scorpius was particularly good at getting the laughs, and the actor who played Ron looked most like the film actor (although I was quite a long way away from the stage).

What was also good about going was that there were quite a few people there on their own or not sitting with the people they'd come with (due to the difficulty of getting tickets) and I learnt all about returns. So if anyone wants to go it's well worth rocking up on the day because chances are you'll get a ticket.

The part of the programme I read first was the actors and what they'd been in in case I recognised any. I was literally reading the TV and film bit and not taking any notice of the actor's names when I noticed one had been in An Adventure in Space and Time. It turned out that Jamie Glover was Harry Potter. It did distract me a bit, thinking about how good an Ian Chesterton he'd be on audio. I eventually concluded he'd probably be quite good. Given that I've already bought the First Doctor audio Big Finish are doing with The Adventure in Space and Time cast, that's just as well.

And in the chorus scenes I was distracted trying to spot Ged Simmons (DI Cullen) in The Bill. I think I did, but then I also noticed he'd been in Outnumbered, and I don't remember him in that at all.

And I wasn't the only person there with a scarf from the first two films (before they changed the uniform). But all the staff had the new uniform ties and scarves.


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The saga of the bathroom light
Sunday 29th October 2017 5:50 pm

Because nothing can ever be simple.

A while ago I changed all the lamp shades in the house. This is because everything was non-coloured (ie beige) and I wanted to add some colour. The bathroom had a beige that was pointed at the bottom and then tapered out, so as to collect the maximum amount of dust. At least I assume that's the only possible reason for having one of those. I climbed up on the bath, had a look at it, established there was so much dust that it looked like there was a normal bulb under it. And then decided I wasn't going near all that dust.

Thursday morning I turned the bathroom light on and it flickered. I thought "maybe if I turn it off, when I turn it on it'll have got over it and the bulb won't have gone." Unsurprisingly that didn't happen. Although it didn't trip the switch, which was something. It was dark at the time and there was not enough ambient light coming in from the landing.

But it was fine, I had a solution. I got the spare desk lamp from the spare room, took it out of the box and then there was plastic all over the floor. It turns out it didn't like being folded up in a box and the plastic covering the bendy bit had fallen off and fallen apart.

After I picked that all up I plugged it in to the plug socket handily just outside the bathroom door. I then had mood lighting in the bathroom. You really don't need mood lighting for going to the toilet.

Although it got light before I left for work, I didn't try changing the bulb. Because I'd woken up an hour and a quarter before my alarm went off, and I'd been going to bed late due to Missy playing late, I was tired and therefore dizzy. I can't climb ladders when dizzy. So I left it until I got home - except I left late and it was cloudy and it was surprisingly dark in the bathroom when I got home. Friday was no better, but I thought it was ok, I could last until the weekend.

Saturday morning I went for a flu jab. Which doesn't hurt going in, but afterwards it feels like someone's punched you in the arm. It hurts to touch it and it hurts to raise your arm. Which was perfect for changing light bulbs.

The lamp shade just required me to unscrew the pointy bit. I say just, but it took a good five minutes. So I was glad I didn't try that before or after work when I didn't have much time/light. There was about an inch thick of dust on the lamp shade, and some dead things. The bulb was so dusty it was a job to find its wattage (60W).

I went to my drawer of light bulbs, intending to stick something in temporarily. At which point I found that I have a lot of 100W bulbs (most of which I got free). I did manage to find a 60W bulb. I put that in and turned the light on and my bathroom is now so incredibly bright. All of a sudden it doesn't look dull and colourless, it looks bright and clean.

The saga doesn't end, of course. It has what looks like a normal light fitting, albeit much closer to the ceiling than in other rooms. I thought it would be easy to find something to go over it. But all the bathroom light shades seem to fit to the wall. I think I will be taking a photo of it to B&Q/Homebase to see if they have anything, and inevitably ending up buying something that I'll need to pay an electrician to fit.

Nothing is ever simple.


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Popular things
Saturday 23rd September 2017 12:17 pm

I'm really not good with popular things.

I am sorting out avoiding Star Trek Discovery spoilers at the moment. This is because it's only on Netflix and I plan to only have Netflix for the one free month. So I need to start late in order to get all the episodes into one month. I am only having Netflix for one month because I don't like Netflix because:

  1. It refuses to tell you what's on there until you sign up - what if you signed up and then found there was nothing you wanted to watch? You've then wasted your free month.
  2. Everyone has it.

I've also got annoyed with the amount of Discovery stuff I've been seeing on Twitter and RSS, not that I've been reading it. It makes me feel like everyone is going to watch it, which makes me not want to.

I had the same thing earlier with Strictly, when I saw a stat for how many people watched it two weeks ago. I made me feel like if all those people were watching it, I don't want to be one of them.

It's one of the reasons why I can't stand Converse shoes and you couldn't pay me to wear them. I dislike the way they look anyway, and I wouldn't wear branded clothes or shoes (except DMs if they were cheaper and I wore skirts). But everyone wearing them just makes them that little bit worse.

It's not everything. I wear jeans, I watch Doctor Who, I love Wimbledon. I don't know what the difference is. It's not just coming late to the party - I read A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and only after that did it seem like everyone was reading/had read it. At which point I wished I hadn't, even though I liked it. It's very irrational. But at least it gives me plenty of thing to try for I've Never Seen Star Wars.


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What a week + Yuletide
Saturday 9th September 2017 7:39 pm

I thought this week I'd get more done than I have. Especially as more things start back after summer next week and I won't be as quiet again until half term. And then it was just a ridiculous week at work. On paper it wasn't busy, but there was just shit going down all over the place and I spent the week cleaning it up. I got to the point on Friday where I couldn't see properly looking at the screen.

Today, though, was a day off, so I cleaned the house, watched people running about in Newcastle and am watching live scores at the US Open (I'm interested in Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis winning the mixed doubles, and Alfie Hewett vs Gordon Reid, but the BBC and Eurosport aren't).

Tomorrow there are more people running about in Newcastle, followed by some more work. I was thinking this would be a quiet weekend, with the US Open finals being on so late, so I'd watch the latest series of Game of Thrones. But it turns out there was other sport, so it will have to wait.

I did, though, think about my Yuletide nominations. I had a not-very short list of 11 fandoms. I narrowed it down by thinking about what I really wanted for them and ended up with The Last Leg, Taskmaster and 40-Love. The latter was at the bottom of the short list because I got it last year but a) you can't have too much of a good thing and b) the US Open is currently on, so I'm feeling all tennisy.

SJA was just pipped at the post when I realised I'm mostly interested in Gita, thanks to Mina Anwar at the SJA Reunion. Which isn't a bad thing, but I went for fandoms where I'd be happy to write any of the characters. Everything else was mostly just there on a whim. And a couple of them where Twitter things that I found I only liked in small doses. 1000 words is a lot more than 140...


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Various things
Monday 28th August 2017 11:52 am

I've been meaning to post all week and keep getting distracted by other things. Sadly not sport (mostly). Although the US Open tennis starts this afternoon.

I had a busy week and a half - I pretty much did all my summer socialising in that time. Most of it was Rock Choir, who did some summer workshops. It was fun to be doing some singing when usually everything stops for the summer. There were a lot fewer people than during term time, but it didn't feel like it when we were singing. I wondered why until the ceiling was pointed out. The room we rehearse in has really good acoustics. I will miss that about Rock Choir - the hall my other choir rehearses in is terrible for sound.

I discovered I'll be watching (some of) Strictly this year. I meant to watch when Judy Murray was on, but never quite got round to it. People have told me I'd like the dances, but the camera constantly moving around is so distracting that I can't concentrate on the dancing. And it makes me dizzy. But then I found all of Judy Murray's dances on YouTube and watched them on my iPod and using such a small screen was such an improvement. (I really should try watching Class on there) I did enjoy the dances - I like how they got tennis in it and other stories. I don't know why people thought she was terrible because they seemed fine to me - although I don't have anything to compare it with.

Although I will this autumn. Susan Calman announced on Twitter she was on it. It sounds like she'll be a laugh. And Jonnie Peacock is on as well. And what with them on Twitter (mostly Susan Calman) I've ended up following Rev Richard Coles (after a brief moment of wondering if it's wrong to follow a vicar on Twitter if you're not Christan). Although he tweets quite a lot and I started following him at the same time as the US Open draw and Andy Murray withdrawal and that end of TweetDeck got a bit crazy.

What I've seen most of, Strictly-wise, is the back stage stuff. When I was lodging my landlady would be watching It Takes Two while I was cooking dinner and watching rehearsals was much more interesting than watching the final dances. I will probably tell my PVR to tape it all and then sift through it sometime.

Otherwise I have been getting some jobs done. I now have new curtains in all the rooms (blinds for the kitchen and bathroom are next). Although in order to get something I liked for the lounge and would keep the heat in in the winter and heat out in the summer, I ended up with black out curtains. Since the lounge is south facing and it is hot and sunny out today I'm therefore sitting in quite a dark room. Although it is getting lighter, the closer the sun gets to shining directly at it.

After owning my new computer for three and a half months I finally got tired of turning the old one on to print and decided to install it on my new one. And then I discovered it doesn't work on Linux Mint over 17. And possibly doesn't work on Windows 10 either. It is an old printer. So now I have a new one. At least they're cheap. Of course installing it and getting all the functions working wasn't easy, but it wouldn't be Linux if it all worked out of the box (and who wants something that just works and doesn't let you tinker with it - where would the fun be in that?).


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Too much sport on TV
Sunday 23rd July 2017 5:21 pm

I've been very watching sport. And some other things, but mostly the sport. Wimbledon fortnight is like Christmas to tennis fans. Only better than Christmas because it lasts two weeks and the shops aren't closed.

Jo Konta was great. What gets me is less how good she is and more how calm she has become. 5 Live played a clip of her and Clare Balding where they were talking about her muffin making like it's tennis. Which was funny. I correctly predicted the men's single's finalists and therefore beat my sister at Fantasy Wimbledon.

Although the men's and ladies singles finals were more one-sided than expected, the doubles were good, as were the wheelchair doubles. Due to rain the men's wheelchair doubles were on at the same time as the ladies singles. So I had the singles on the TV with no sound, 5 Live on the radio, who were covering the singles and were two shots ahead of the TV, and had the wheelchair doubles on the computer with the sound turned down low.

And then Wimbledon was over. It was so hard going to work on Monday without being able to listen to the 5 Live commentary team chat about tennis while I work. The Para-Athletics World Championships helped, though. I have been enjoying that, although I record it all and start it late because athletics involves a lot of chat and a lot of re-running races, not to mention the adverts, and I can get three hours of it into one hour.

Today is the last day of it, but that's ok because the World Swimming Championships starts today. In fact it just started 15 minutes ago, but I am also recording that. After that there's a whole three days with no sport on (that I'm interested in) before the World Athletics Championships start. And I thought this summer would be quiet without the Olympics and Paralympics...

In other, non-sporting news, I got a new sofa last week! It's blue, making it the most colourful thing in my mainly brown/magnolia lounge. It's too tall for Missy to get at, but she thinks there is a way in, she just has to find it. Which means that every evening she climbs up me to get on it, runs about, digs a bit, chews a bit* and eventually slides off it without realising how high up she is, so I have to catch her.
*Yeah, it's not going to look new for long with Missy about

I also got new windows this week. The old ones had gaps between the window and the frame, so the new ones should keep the house warmer in the winter. But the old ones were wooden and it was windy and as a result there was wood dust everywhere. I had to clean the toilet before I could go the toilet. So I've spent most of this weekend cleaning. What with all the wood dust about I've had to hoover everything and wash everything. I ache, my knee hurts and I'm looking forward to going back to work for the rest. But it is so good to have everything so much cleaner than usual.


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Not blogged for a while
Wednesday 31st May 2017 7:58 pm

I haven't blogged for a while. Partly because I've been busy setting up my new computer (I'm going from a Windows laptop and Linux netbook to a Linux laptop, so there's a lot to do), partly because the weather recently has been too nice for computers and partly because my body hates me and has decided not to let me sleep in, so I am tired.

But I have changed my LJ layout. I found that the old one having a fixed width was a bit annoying some time ago and started on a new layout, but didn't finish it. Now I have a new computer the old width has gone from exactly filling my browser to a tiny thing in the centre (my resolution on this computer is ridiculous - and that's after I took it down from 3200x1600). The good thing about having not worked on the layout for a bit is that I've forgotten what it was I wanted to change. So I did a few bits and declared it done. Once I use it then I might find some other things I want to change. I want to change the DW layout too, because it's so very white when commenting, but it wasn't as simple, so I'll leave that for another day.

Ballet is back! Or will be, in a couple of weeks. I have missed it, although when I'm back in a boiling hot dance studio I might change my mind. The dance studio is on the south side of the building, with one wall of windows and is the only room in the building that doesn't have air conditioning. But this time of year it's light enough in the evenings that I can walk there, which is so much better for my leg muscles, if not for my hayfever. It does mean that in June I'll have three weeks in a row where I'm out three nights in a row, so how much else I'll get done in the meantime is another question. At least I have my weekends mostly free because….

Tennis! The French Open has started, which means that I can now tell you how many weeks it is to things, if not the date. I haven't watched any of it so far. The trouble with it is that it has adverts every time they change ends, which drives me mad. I could live with that if they didn't have Jim Courier commenting - he likes the sound of his own voice and makes it so hard to concentrate on the tennis. The best commentators find something pertinent to say that fits between serves, but he can't manage either of those. It feels like the points are just a pause between what he's saying. And to top it off, the cameramen like to swing round and zoom into the stadium, which makes me dizzy. So I pick my matches carefully.

I have, though, been listening to it on 5 Live Sports Extra, for the few matches they've broadcast. It was good to have tennis on while working. Although when Andy Murray was carrying on and losing a set I'd rather have been listening to Kyle Edmund, who managed to win in straight sets. Brits aside, it's looking like an interesting tournament, although I can't see how could possibly beat Nadal. I have the second Friday off and I'll have to decide what I want to do most: stay up for the election or watch the tennis.


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