(no subject)

Apr. 27th, 2017 08:49 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gumbie_cat!
oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
[personal profile] oursin

Yesterday, bound for a conference. Got the train okay.

About a third of the way into the journey, train stops.

Someone had collided with a train further up the line.

In due course we are informed that train will be terminating at a station not previously on the schedule, where we can change to a train going, presumably by some more circuitous route, to the next scheduled stop, but not, however, onwards to my destination.

When we arrive at designated point, it is chucking down rain. Fortunately the next train is in and we only need to cross the platform. It is, however, rather full, though I did manage to get a seat.

Another, local, and very crowded train at the next change.

My dearios may imagine that all this was by no means conducive to reading a serious academic study for review purposes.

Once at my destination, some 2 hours later than anticipated, there was supposed to be a taxi booked for me - I had been in touch with the conference admin person anent delays - what I had not been told was that it would be round the back rather than the main exit.

Not that it was there when I found the spot, and cameth not as I waited in an increasing state of fume - it would always have been tiresome but after the preceding misadventures this was particularly infuriating - and a chilly wind. Fortunately, what did turn up was the taxi for one of the other participants, so I went with her.

I do not mention the faff over my ticket - got details and booking ref latish previous afternoon.

Inadequate curtainage in hotel room meant undesirably early waking....

And now I have to present a paper, sigh.

oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Down the JA Jance Ali Reynolds rabbit hole: Fatal Error (2011), Left for Dead (2012), Deadly Stakes (2013). I did start the novella A Last Goodbye, but am now holding off until I get to the right place in series internal chronology.

Alexis Hall, How to Bang a Billionaire (2017). This is a book that one would think had a lot of my NQOSD things all over it - at first glance it was the m/m version of 50 Shades, but I looked at the preview just to see, and okay, it still has a lot of things that are not my usual things, like it is All About The Relationship, at least so far there are no other stakes in place (but there is a sequel forthcoming), and the billionaire thing means a lot of plain practical difficulties do not operate. The title is a bit misleading, on account of the billionaire character is what in a woman would be considered pretty much stone butch - does but will not be touched or done to - it's more 'banged by the billionaire'. The narrator is a somewhat hapless and gauche, though at least not completely naive, gay guy just on the cusp of graduating from Oxford. The billionaire is pretty much on the Violet Winspear romantic hero template:

I get my heroes so that they're lean and hard muscled and mocking and sardonic and tough and tigerish and single, of course. Oh and they've got to be rich and then I make it that they're only cynical and smooth on the surface. But underneath they're well, you know, sort of lost and lonely. In need of love but, when roused, capable of breathtaking passion and potency. Most of my heroes, well all of them really, are like that. They frighten but fascinate.
But, dr rdrz, I could hardly put it down.

On the go

The end is almost in view with the Inchbald biography!

I am on the edge of my seat in re The Course of Honour

Up next

Well, the thing for review I intend to read on the train.

And new Sara Paretsky VI Warshawski!!!

(no subject)

Apr. 26th, 2017 09:12 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] ookpik!

So, farewell then...

Apr. 25th, 2017 07:05 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

#mylivejournal #lj18 #happybirthday

Haven't yet actually deleted my lj - there are still - probably less than a handful? - people posting there whom I read who haven't made the switch to DW - though I rescinded auto-payments back when the server move happened.

What cheered me about this was when I tried whether it would work in DW and previewed the post the misspelling of 'received' that showed up at the LJ is 18 page had been corrected. I was going to say something about it, I R pedant, but it seems I don't need to.

It's been a long time and I've made many friends, I've done things I wouldn't have done if I hadn't been on LJ and made those friends, it's a pity it had to end like this, even if my life has been predominantly at Dreamwidth since 2009, which is, in fact, for somewhat longer.

The agreeable and the weird

Apr. 24th, 2017 06:50 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

Dept of Serendipity: discovered that I had already ironed in my last massive ironing session the two tops one or other of which I intend wearing for giving a paper later this week.

Also, in Dept of Things I Should Have Remembered: the existence of an article I did c. 20 years ago bits of which I can reasonably recycle for A Thing I have been asked to do in a couple of weeks. However, the other paper of a similar era that I am similarly cannibalising had, once upon a time, a very fine set of slides to go with it. Not all of those images are now readily available for insertion into my Powerpoint, maybe I should have done the 'convert my slides' thing when I had the relevant hard- and software.

Dept of, Still Got It: 'We have the reader’s reports back... and your essay was summed up as ‘an excellent contribution’'. Though it then occurs to me that the essay in question is but the latest iteration of a paper that goes back a fairly long way.

Dept of, Oddness of People: The former inhabitants of the lower flat moved quite some months ago (didn't leave us a forwarding address). We are still getting post addressed to them, though I think it must be just about within the period for which the Post Office would be undertaking routine redirection, if such had been requested. While a lot of it is junk mail and catalogues that people might not bother updating on new address, I have become a bit perturbed by, firstly, notifications from dentists and opticians concerning coming up of next appointment due dates, and secondly, even more so by a package that I took to be the next X months' supply of disposable contact lenses. WTF?

Culinary

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:20 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

During the week, a loaf of Khorasan (kamut) flour.

Got in too late on Friday evening to make rolls for Saturday breakfast, so we had toast instead.

Today's lunch: fillets of lemon sole clear-simmered and served with a dipping sauce of soy sauce and ginger paste (these were a little bland and mushy. which may be because previously frozen, rather than fresh?); served with sticky rice with lime leaves, samphire steamed and tossed in butter, sugar snap peas roasted in pumpkin seed oil and splashed with bramble vinegar, and padron peppers (which Waitrose now stock, apparently).

Probably bread-baking during the week.

(no subject)

Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:25 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] damnmagpie!
oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)
[personal profile] oursin

And I was already out of charity with charity shops after the preceding one I'd been in had completely run out of change and kept me hanging around while, I suspect, they nipped next door to see if anyone could change a tenner.

And then I went into another one and found two books I was prepared to take a punt on at that sort of price, and moseyed up to the cashdesk with the exact money in hand, and found myself stuck behind that situation which is someone who is apparently in the process of paying for something - i.e. there is a something on the counter and the volunteer behind it is looking noticeably patient, while the person whom we presume to be making the purchase is making a great production of finding their purse.

And when this is finally brought to light, they spot something else on a counter display that they think they might like -

And really, I would have fumed a whole lot more, had it not been that this extended delay in making my own purchase gave me ample opportunity to admire the elaborate and beautiful henna patterns on the volunteer's hands and forearms - quite spectacular.

(no subject)

Apr. 22nd, 2017 11:37 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] mme_hardy and [personal profile] polyamorous!
oursin: Picture of Fotherington-Tomas skipping, with words subversive male added (Subversive male)
[personal profile] oursin

To George Henry Lewes, born 18 April 1817.

Best known, I guess, for being a rare male instance of supportive helpmeet to a woman (to Mary Ann Evans, better known as George Eliot).

Even to the extent that it's possible that his own achievements get overlooked because of the shadow he was in. We also note that he pursued what has sometimes been a more feminine trajectory of doing a Lot of Different Things, from experiments in relationships to dramatic criticism to philosophy to biography to physiology, rather than pursuing a single course.

Spinach Daal with Spiced Eggplant

Apr. 21st, 2017 07:44 pm
highlyeccentric: Demon's Covenant - Kitchen!fail - I saw you put rice in the toaster (Demon's Covenant - kitchen!fail)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric
This is really a mash-up of two recipes, with the ultimate aim of providing Sufficient Nutrients in a single meal. The first is Jack Monroe's Spinach & lentil daal, from their second book; the second recipe is the Epicurious Indian spiced eggplant recipe. Both have been customised by me, for me.

Access and dietary notes )

What you need and what you do with it )

(no subject)

Apr. 21st, 2017 09:12 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] ankaret and [personal profile] lexin!

Further adventures in executing

Apr. 20th, 2017 03:27 pm
oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
[personal profile] oursin

In which I provide a learning experience.

So, I had an appointment to see a customer service person about setting up the account, and I was under the distinct impression quite early on in our transactions that there had been little or no information passed on from last week.

But after a certain amount of 'we don't do that' and similar, and my throwing something of a strop, we at length discovered that, yes, we could do that, and after quite a while of general faffery, lo and behold, hedjog can haz executor account!

Though it will take the usual week to transfer the money from the old accounts into this one.

But at least I was able to pay into it 2 cheques I've been toting about.

RESULT!?

Mind you, this is Financial Institution from which only today I received statements on two accounts of my own I thought long defunct, which apparently still have minute, really, really, minute, amounts (not literally tuppence ha'penny, but pretty close) in them. And I now think cannot be the same FI that sent me a letter within the past year saying that there was some similar derisory sum left after I had transferred the funds elsewhere, did I want the money or could they give it to one of the designated charities and close the account?

(no subject)

Apr. 20th, 2017 09:18 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] forthwritten!
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished Legenda Maris - fewer previously read stories than I expected, or maybe I just don't remember. V good.

JA Jance, Trial by Fire (2009) - another Ali Reynolds, I am finding these rather more-ish, and this was, I think, one of the better ones.

Elizabeth Moon, Cold Welcome: Vatta's Peace 1 (2017), picking up on a previous sequence that came out some while ago. Once I had got through what seemed several interminable sections involving survival after sabotage of spaceship by liferaft in wintery sea, picked up a bit, but not, I think, for the ages.

Probably also not for the ages, but fun, do what they say on the tin, fast-paced and short, more novella than novel: Zoe Chant, Royal Guard Lion (2016) and Royal Guard Tiger (2017), which might reasonably be described as Ruritanian shifter romances, well-done.

On the go

Max Gladstone, Three Parts Dead (2012). I have heard well of Gladstone's Craft sequence, but at the moment I am going, hmm, interesting, but not feeling entirely engaged. Is it a slow burner?

JA Jance, Fatal Error (2011) - which is engaging me.

Avoliot's The Course of Honour is cliffhanging like whoa.

Up next

Well, I'm trying to resist the temptation to go straight on to the next JA Jance in the Ali Reynolds series, though there is also a new one featuring Joanna Brady...

There is also a book I must read for review, fortunately I have a fairly lengthy train-journey in prospect next week.

Unexpected (depressing) prescience

Apr. 18th, 2017 07:03 pm
oursin: Animate icon of hedgehog and rubber tortoise and words 'O Tempora O Mores' (o tempora o mores)
[personal profile] oursin

One of the things that is leveled against science fiction of previous eras is that it assumes the continuation of existing mores, yea, even unto the far distant future. And even if it extrapolates that certain current trends will continue, this assumption has been overridden by events.

However, there has lately been something cropping up via various social media that made me go, but that's almost Stand on Zanzibar (John Brunner, 1968, multi-awarded).

SoZ is a long dense sf novel set in 2010 (which very little resembles the 2010 I knew), but one thing I remember about it was that not only did most people even with fairly high level jobs have to share accommodation with room-mates (as happens with the dual protags of the novel, insofar as it has protags), because overpopulation, but that young women ('shiggies') seem to survive by moving in with one or other room-mate, in the assumption that they will sexually service both, or at least be available to do so.

While there are women in the novel who do seem to have jobs and professional status, it's not entirely clear to me (though it is a long time since I last read the novel) how far these young women are simply serially living off men and how far this is their best option even though they're holding down jobs, but maybe there were underlying assumptions about the kinds of jobs they might have.

And this came to look pretty much one of what that Wikipedia article calls 'ideas [that] clearly show their 1960s mind-set' with the rise of second-wave feminism, etc.

Except over the weekend I saw various links to various articles reporting on the advertising of accommodation in exchange for some kind of sexual service. (I am not sure what the status of this would be under the laws pertaining to landlord and tenant, but presumably would be considered an informal arrangement?)

The other work of approximately the same era that I was reminded of was the dystopian future section (as opposed to the fairly dystopian present-set section) of Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time (1976) - where women with 'grotesquely exaggerated sexual features' (which, as I recall, they need to keep maintaining) contract to live with men and 'put out' for a given (usually fairly limited, this is an insecure means of sustenance) period of time.

Depressing.

*Waves*

Apr. 17th, 2017 08:42 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

Hello, new DW people!

Most of you seem to be people I know from That Other Place, but in case you are not, the introductory post is here.

In order to provide a little more content, I might add that I discovered that the poet Edward Thomas was killed at Battle of Arras, Easter Monday 1917. Apart from a handful of poems within his relatively small oeuvre, he's not really a War Poet, even if his starting writing poetry fairly late in life coincided with the Great War.

I also observe that there is a commemorative exhibition + conference happening at the University of Cardiff, somewhere I doubt I am likely to get to within the relevant time frame, alas.

My love for his poems is a shining example of 'being made to read a thing at school' (in this instance, in the anthology set for O-level English Lit) being a good thing rather than a turn-off. (On the other hand, being made to read great chunks of The Prelude for A-level ditto did not endear Wordsworth to my heart.)

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2017 10:34 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] linzer and [personal profile] shezan!

Unculinary

Apr. 16th, 2017 05:58 pm
oursin: The Accomplisht Ladies' Delight  frontispiece with a red cross through it (No cooking)
[personal profile] oursin

Because visiting family. However, during the week I was obliged to make bread, a small brown wheatgerm loaf with the remains of the buttermilk: nice but rather close in texture, possibly an ageing yeast issue.

Also, for breakfast yesterday, brown grated apple rolls, with molasses, which I don't think I've tried before and worked rather well.

In general food-related stuff, would I be alone in thinking that in spite of her protestations about not wanting to give her child an eating disorder, this mother is more likely to do so than the chocolate-giving grandmother? Or, alternatively, that it is the site upon which more general in-law tensions are being played out.

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