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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars June wrap-up
Sunday 25th June 2017 7:50 pm

This month I listened to Ed Sheeran's album, Divide. In fact, I listened to it last week when it was too hot to do anything else.

I liked that it had different styles on it. I was put off by the first one being rap, because I don't like rap - I like music to have a tune. But then there were two rap songs, there were a couple of slower ones, and generally a variety. Which was unexpected - a lot of artists have songs that all sound the same.

Otherwise, though, it was nothing special. I knew one of the songs and quite liked that. But there was nothing exciting in it - nothing that really grabbed me as having particularly interesting lyrics or a really nice tune. It was just blah and non-offensive.

I suppose being middle-of-the-road is why he's popular. But otherwise I wouldn't mind either way if I listened to him again or didn't. It's like most of the music I listen to on the radio - it's not something I love or something I hate, it's just there and it's all right, but nothing special.

I'd give it a 7/10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – June
Thursday 1st June 2017 9:11 pm

Since this month is looking a bit busy, I thought I'd do something that wouldn't take too much time. So I decided to listen to a (music) album. Which is something that's been done on the radio/TV series. But also, I tend to listen to random songs that I hear on the radio and don't always find out who they're by. I loved Pandora, because it gave me new things to listen to, but then they made it US-only. I've listened to very few whole albums.

Which gave me a vast list to choose from. So I picked the current top album, which is apparently Divide by Ed Sheeran. Which I'm interested to listen to, so that works out well.

I have heard an Ed Sheeran song once and I quite liked it. Other than that, all I know about him is that he's really popular, not a cricketer and looks like Ron Weasley. So it'll be interesting to hear an album of his.


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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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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars May wrap-up (Rogue One spoilers)
Sunday 21st May 2017 4:20 pm

In May I was watching Rogue One. Since I saw it this afternoon I thought I might as well talk about it.

In summary, I found it dull and give it 2/10. The 2 is mainly for the last two minutes. More detail about what I thought, with spoilers are below: Read more...


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All change
Sunday 7th May 2017 6:05 pm

This week has not been what I expected at all.

First, I'm now going to Rock Choir this term. This is because ballet was cancelled for the term (long story), so I thought I'd replace it with Rock Choir. Whether I carry on after this term depends on what happens with choir, because I'd like to only go out two nights a week and having them both be choirs is a bit much. But I enjoyed this week more than last week. Partly because I knew what to expect, but I also ended up sitting at the back, rather than the front, which was a different experience. And it was less repetitive since we went over the song we learnt most of last week, then learnt the bits we'd skipped, which were the hard bits.

Then this weekend I bought a new computer. I was planning to because mine is very slow. There are websites, which if I want to visit them, I open them up, then go away and do something else while they load, it's that slow. But I was planning on getting it after Wimbledon, when things stop for summer. But I randomly checked on the one I wanted and it was a third off, so I got it. I am, in fact, typing this on it. Although in a terrible Firefox because I haven't copied over my settings yet, and the resolution on this computer means I keep having to zoom into websites. And that's after I dropped the resolution - it was originally 3200x1600 and I needed a magnifying glass to see anything.

And I had to install Linux twice because 500GB and 500MB are very hard to tell apart when it's written in bytes.

But those websites that took so long on my old computer open instantly on this one. Mind you, I don't have any add-ons in Firefox yet, slowing it down...

And then, for the first time ever, I picked up a pinch hit for Not Prime Time. I'd read been reading through the requests while sign ups for open and there were a few I liked the idea of writing for, one in particular I really wanted to write. The trouble with not having a deadline is that I don't prioritise writing and instead do the other 1001 things I need to do. So as much as I wanted to write a treat I knew it probably wasn't going to happen. But there wasn't anything I really wanted to receive. So I was very excited when I found the request I really liked was a pinch hit. It was the first time I've ever put in for one and now it's all mine!

I have some ideas, they're just percolating before I write it. The deadline I don't need to write down because it's the start of Wimbledon...


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – May
Monday 1st May 2017 12:10 pm

This month I'm going to watch a film. There are a few I have on my list to watch, but given the title of the original radio series I am borrowing, it seems fitting to watch Rogue One.

I didn't see it at the cinema because my main interest in Star Wars is lightsabers, lego and Ewan McGregor, and it didn't look like this film would include any of those things. So I saw Fantastic Beasts on Rogue One opening weekend instead.

But, watching from home means I don't have to sit through the whole thing at once (or even the whole thing if I don't want to) and I can crochet or cross stitch while watching it.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars April wrap-up
Sunday 30th April 2017 12:08 pm

This month I went to Rock Choir. It was fun, but it was different to the choir I'd more used to.

Rock Choir say that they don't ask you to read music, which I was fearing meant that they would only give you words and no music. Turned out I was right. At choir, whenever we've had words and no music it's made it so hard to learn anything.

Although having music doesn't necessarily make it easier to sing - I can tell you what the note's called and I can play it, but not sing it. However, at Rock Choir, because no one is expected to know it, it's all learnt by repetition - a lot of repetition. Which did mean that we sung far fewer songs: we learnt most of one and sung through one they'd previously done. Which did make it a bit samey.

It is all pop songs, which is a change from choir, where we never do anything that recent. So it was nice to sing something a bit different.

The most different thing were the parts. In choir women sing soprano or alto, men sing tenor or bass. In Rock Choir there are three parts, which are called soprano, alto and bass, but are really just top, middle and bottom because anyone can sing any part. Which was just as well because at my local one there weren't any men.

Once you join you get to download your part - as an mp3 - you never get the music. But that does at least mean you can practise in the car or wherever, you don't also need to be able to play it (which got tricky for things with seven flats).

I am definitely not going back this term because it will mean going out three nights a week (in a row) all term and I will keel over. I may go back at some later date, but it depends on a whole load of other things. I am glad I tried it, because now I actually know what it's like, since all that anyone was prepared to tell me was that it was fun and/or expensive, which is not that helpful.

Overall I give it 8/10, those two off are mainly because of the (necessary) repetitiveness.


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Things
Monday 10th April 2017 9:37 pm

This weekend we managed to have a rare combination of nice weather, time and energy, so I could do gardening. Of all chores it's the most annoying because it always seems to be nice when I'm busy or don't have the energy, and as soon as it's a good time to garden it's blowing a gale or raining. But yesterday was good and my garden now has fewer weeds, which is always an improvement.

After that I spent the afternoon in the traditional manner of Sunday afternoons when it's nice weather: lazing around reading.

Missy is an idiot. She's an intelligent hamster, but useless at finding food. Hamsters are supposed to be good at finding food using their sense of smell, which is really good. She can't find food when it's right under her nose - she just looks in places where she's used to finding it. Then when she does find it, after I've hidden it among her toys, she sticks it in the sofa. I dread to think how much food is in there.

My hoover died, so I bought a new one. It took me forever to get it out of the box. I ended up having to open it at both ends, remove the vast amount of cardboard that wasn't doing anything (except preventing me from getting the hoover out) and then managed to pull it out. At one point I thought I was going to have to cut the box vertically. I piled the cardboard up, as I thought Missy would like something new to investigate. But she wasn't interested. She's quite keen on the hoover box, though.

My RSS feeds went from silence about LJ to lots of drama the past few days. I still much prefer commenting on LJ because the email notifications tell you the post title in the subject, unlike on Dreamwidth. But if anyone has strong feelings about preferring me to comment on DW rather than LJ*, let me know and I can change my RSS feed.

*Assuming I currently comment on LJ, obviously.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – April
Tuesday 4th April 2017 8:00 pm

This month I'm going to go to Rock Choir.

I've been a member of a local community choir for a few years (I've completely lost track of how many), but it's recently shut down. For now I'm going to enjoy having an extra evening in, and hopefully therefore have the energy to get some more swimming in. And do all those million other things that always seem to need doing.

All sorts of people are very keen to tell me how terrible Rock Choir is, and I have a whole load of other things I could do on that evening, so I am very unlikely to join. However, you can go once for free. So I am going to go on their first rehearsal back after Easter, and then I can see for myself what it's like. Because I'm curious what other adult choirs are like.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars March wrap up
Monday 3rd April 2017 7:48 pm

In March I went to Aldi. It ended up being towards the end of the month, as that's when I had the most time, but I knew that when I set it.

I purposely went on my way to somewhere else, so I could justify seeing what the car park is like. The minute you turn off the main road, half of this side of the road is a cycle lane. Except that the road is narrow and only fits two cars (one in either direction). So who thought putting a cycle lane that couldn't possibly ever by a cycle lane is a good idea, I don't know.

Whenever I go anywhere I generally park as far away as possible so I can drive straight through two spaces and therefore don't have to reverse. The car park was tiny and didn't have any spaces you could drive straight through. Which came as a bit of a shock.

The actual shop smelt of something I couldn't put my finger on - it wasn't food. Which might be something to do with half the shop selling non-food items. Which would be fine, except that it's only a small shop. It's also the third supermarket of four in this town (and it's not a big town) and most of the rest of the shops are cheap ones. Some of the non-food things were strange (paint, children's shoes, backpacks, car things) so I'm not quite sure what market they're trying to capture here. I didn't see anything you couldn't get elsewhere.

What with food only in half the shop there were only a few half-aisles of it. The only one I found at all interesting was the chocolate aisle, where I found some ridiculously dark chocolate for my sister (she likes it dark) and some (dairy free) minty thins for me and Mum. Otherwise there were a few things I could probably get cheaper than elsewhere, but the amount it would cost me to drive there would negate the cost saving. There was no free from section, so I definitely couldn't do my normal grocery shop in there.

It was interesting that they had a shelf at the back where you could go and finish packing, which I thought was a good idea. But the tills were odd - they were designed for trolleys and meant there was no where for the checkout person to put stuff after they scanned it. There might have been basket only tills, but it was busy and I just went to the shortest queue.

I also have big problems with where they built it - I'm pretty sure it's not helping the traffic problems when I'm trying to get home after work. So I am feeling justified in never needing to go there again.

As an experience I give it 5 out of 10 - it was interesting, but not one I need to repeat.


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Getting out of the habit
Sunday 2nd April 2017 7:35 pm

I've got out of the habit of quite a few things over the last few weeks. Work has been busy and I've been out a lot of week nights, so I haven't had energy to do anything at the weekends. So I have got out of the habit of blogging and fic writing and TV watching (evenings in involve playing with Missy).

But now I have a few weeks off going out for Easter (aside from a few nights) so hopefully I will get back into these habits.

But this weekend I've had energy, which has made a nice change. The weather being sunny and warm helps. I went swimming this morning - and purposely didn't do many lengths because I knew I had to come home and hoover.

I did manage to get my [info]dw-guestfest done on time this year! Although it's not the fic I meant to write. I meant to write one that would fill a square on my Gen Prompt Bingo card and cross off a WIP from my list. Except when I opened it I realised I'd left a gap between the end of the previous Tenth Doctor & John Chesterton fic and the beginning of the this, so I wrote the bit that goes in between (this time without a Press Gang title*).

*Although a "write a fic for every Press Gang episode title" would be a good (if big) challenge.


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Things
Sunday 12th March 2017 1:50 pm

I've been busy, no surprises there. But after being out three nights, playing with Missy when I've got back and not going to bed until late, then waking up annoyingly early on Friday, I ended up too tired to do anything yesterday (and Friday). So I did the two things I had to get done this weekend and then just read, watched some TV and dicked about on the internet. It was nice. I'm looking forward to two weeks time when I have four weeks off where I only go out twice on weekday nights. Of course I'm then busier at the weekends, but that's not nearly as tiring. Although on the nights I'm in Missy gets up after dinner (if I'm lucky, sometimes it's during) and that's my evening gone.

Although Missy hasn't forgotten about her desire to live in the sofa. She's just got more crafty about it. She doesn't fill her pouches up so much before attempting to run to the sofa and avoid me catching her. I have got similarly crafty and wait until she's busy stuffing her pouch (rather than chewing) and attempt to catch her. I am amazed what big pieces of cardboard she can fit in there. In her cage she absolutely stuffs her pouches full of bedding, so then I don't let her out. After a while she empties one and I still don't let her out. She gets to come out when both are empty. At some point in this process she throws a strop because I'm not letting her do what she wants.

It wasn't just tiredness that led to me not doing much yesterday - I've also hurt my feet, so I'm spending the weekend resting them. I think what I've been doing is wrapping my feet around the legs of my wheely chair at work (even though I have a footrest). And then I went to ballet, which finished them off. After standing up quite a lot at choir, I then attempted to limp on both feet on my way back to the car.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – March
Saturday 4th March 2017 5:32 pm

This month for I've Never Seen Star Wars I'm going to Aldi. I've never been to an Aldi or Lidl, because I've never lived near one. Until recently (where recently is a couple of years ago now...) when an Aldi opened up nearby. We're already fully stocked with a range of supermarkets and cheap shops, so I wasn't exactly desperate for another one. And it's in a really annoying place that's made the traffic jams worse.

But having never been, but learnt a bit about what sort of things they sell, I'm intrigued to know what's it like. I know the search on their website is crap because I looked for chocolate spread and it returned over 100 items, most of which had nothing to do with either chocolate or spread.


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Where did the week go?
Sunday 19th February 2017 5:26 pm

This week was half term, which meant I had nothing on in the evenings. I felt sure this would mean I'd be able to get lots of writing and TV watching done. On Monday I did some work on my hetswap fic and watched the earliest of the four Cats Countdown episodes on my PVR. And then it all went to pot.

Missy was ill. She's fine now, but she was sleeping a lot. So theoretically I had more time to get stuff done, but in reality I was too busy worrying about her. And being distracted by the internet.

And then once she was better I decided that I'd do some of the house cleaning in the evenings so I wouldn't have to do it all at the weekend. So between playing with her and cleaning that was my whole evening.

And then work was busy and I didn't have enough sleep so of course I then kept waking up before my alarm. And not much later today and yesterday. So even though I've had a quiet week, I am tired.

This week I'm out every night. But it's fine that I have four weeks of TV recorded, plus stuff from Christmas I haven't watched. And writing deadlines are for watching them whoosh by...


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Busy
Sunday 12th February 2017 3:17 pm

This week has been busy. I had one of those weeks where I was out Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Monday I went food shopping and Wednesday I played with Missy until I was struggling to keep my eyes closed. So Friday I watched TV and played with Missy and that was pretty much all I had the energy for.

I have three more of those weeks between now and Easter. But this week is half term, so I have nothing at all on any evening.

An I have my hetswap fic to write. I started late because I had Chocolate Box treats to finish. I now have three first drafts of my hetswap fic - I hope the third time is the charm because if I don't get it finished this week I'll be back to having no time to do it in.

And after that, no more exchanges for a bit. I want to be able to write for myself, talk about what I'm writing and not have to have this unbreakable deadline. And work on my WIPs. I have signed up for the Doctor Who Minor Characters Ficathon, but I am writing one of my WIPs for it and it's not the end of the world if I miss the deadline - as evidence by last year when I finished my fic about six months after the deadline.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – February
Saturday 4th February 2017 11:50 am

This post is a bit later than intended due to being dead of work.

This month I'm going to read The Martian by Andy Weir. I first heard about this book on an unrelated forum where someone was asking for SF book suggestions. Amazon had the read inside bit on this, so I read it, thought it sounded good and intended to read it sometime.

And then the film came out.

I have trouble reading anything or watching anything that everyone is into. I am so bad with it that after I'd read A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and it felt like everyone had read it, I wished I hadn't. Even though I'd liked it. And intend to read the sequel (once it's out in paperback).

So with The Martian it felt like everyone had seen the film, so I lost all desire to read the book. Or see the film. So I am using I've Never Seen Star Wars to actually read it, given that I wanted to once. It's handily available as an ebook from my library, so I will be reading it later this month when I have a long train journey.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars Jan wrap-up
Wednesday 1st February 2017 9:34 pm

This is not about the films, it's about trying one new thing a month. In January I tried Instagram.

When I set up my account I had to find people to follow. It suggested some and when anyone on Twitter posted anything from Instagram or mentioned they'd just got an Instagram, I followed them. I think whether it's interesting to depends a lot on who you follow. On Twitter I follow a lot of comedians who make jokes and tell you when they're on telly or on tour. On Instagram they're not as interesting or as funny. It's fine, but I'm not really missing anything by not following them.

I got lucky because two weeks of my trial included the Australian Open and the Tennis Podcast posted lots of related things that I found interesting. I briefly followed the Australian Open and then had to unfollow them after a day because it was a lot of random photos of players in the night. And it's not like on Twitter where I can have a column just for that sort of thing and therefore either read it or mark it as read depending on time.

It took me a little while to work out that the new posts were the ones above the suggestions of people to follow. But I found the website easier to use than the app because it showed you the whole of the comment related to the photo or video.

I posted 11 photos or videos overall. Although I started with it set to private, mainly because my Twitter is, it seemed silly when I'm just posting the same Missy photos that I post in public to Flickr. So you can see all the things I posted at https://www.instagram.com/paranoidangel42.

I wanted to try out all the things, so I posted photos and videos and a set of photos and I used the filters. The filters are not easy to use because their names are completely random. They might as well have just numbered them, for all the good the names are. You can add additional filters, but since there's no way to tell what they do that's not very useful. Initially I thought they were pretty useless, but I did use one to brighten up my snow photo, taken on a bit of a dark morning. And looking at the one of Missy I put a filter on, it does really bring out the colour of the floor.

I liked the odd thing (probably as many posts as I've liked on Twitter, and I've been on Twitter for years). I wanted to comment on something, but couldn't find anything where I had something worth saying.

I tried using IFTTT to cross post my Instagram posts to Twitter - just doing it from Instagram posts a link to Instagram, so you have to go to Instagram anyway, which is a bit pointless. But I couldn't get it to work, I don't know why. Admittedly, I couldn't quite be bothered spending a lot of time on it. I feel like I should post more Missy photos to Twitter and I could do that via Instagram if IFTTT cross-posted to it. Except that posting photos to Twitter is the same amount of work.

So overall, I don't know. This is why I put off writing this post for a day because I just don't know if I like it. I've still been looking at it today. And I did get excited about the QI Elves getting Instagram because the two things they posted were Quite Interesting. So how much I'll post to it I don't know, but I'll continue to read it from time to time, and maybe put some more effort into working out who I really want to follow.

Since people on the series had to give everything a mark out of ten, I'm going to say 6/10.

Tomorrow (ish) I'll post about what I'm going to try in February.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars
Monday 2nd January 2017 1:24 pm

I have seen Star Wars, this is the title of a radio series (and one TV series). The idea is that they get celebrities to try something they've never tried but lots of people have. So it can be a book, a TV series, a film, an album or an experience. So the experiences I can remember are: camping, drinking coffee, baking a cake, buying jeans, playing a video game.

If it's an experience then they film/record them doing it. For whatever it is they report back afterwards how much they enjoyed it (or didn't).

I've decided that this year I'm going to try one new thing a month. This month is going to be instagram. I'm paranoidangel42 on it, if anyone is interested in following me/looking at it. I have set it to private, so if you're not following me you can't see them.


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Ugh
Saturday 31st December 2016 5:49 pm

2016 has been characterised by me getting ill every time I have some time off work and can get some things done. Christmas was no exception. Theoretically it's a cold, but I've had asthma for over a week, a cough for nearly two weeks and a blocked up nose for a week and a half. I only (ha!) felt really crap for most of a week.

As a result I spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day watching The West Wing and reading Yuletide (I got through a third of a series of The West Wing and most of the Yuletide archive I have any interest in). I'll post about Yuletide (what I got and what I wrote) in a separate post on another day. And post about all the other things I was thinking of posting about but didn't really have the energy to do.

I have seen one episode of The Grand Tour. It was funny, but laughing makes me cough, so I can't watch too much of it.

I have also read Five on Brexit Island and Five Go on a Strategy Away Day. The latter was funnier. They told me I remembered very little of the Famous Five (it has been a long time since I read any of it).


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Busy week
Sunday 11th December 2016 2:20 pm

This week has been busy:
Monday I spent part of the evening sorting out sending out things I'd sold on eBay and Christmas presents to go overseas. All while Missy complained and carried on because I should have been playing with her. As soon as I'd finished she went for a nap.
Tuesday was Rotary Christmas dinner.
Wednesday was ballet.
Thursday I went shopping, and tried to get as much as possible that I might need this month so I don't have to go too much more.
Friday I left work and got to my car to see one of my tyres was flat. So I got home late after that.
Saturday I got up early to get my tyre fixed (driving on the spare is horrible). I spent the rest of the day alternating cleaning the house and working. In the evening I drove into the city.
Today is my day for relaxing, catching up on TV, catching up SGA Santa reading, since that's started posting this week. And maybe attempting to write some Yuletide Treats.


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