First things first: Felicitations of the Season to all and sundry!

Christmas was good; I had Christmas Eve off work so I boiled and baked my ham (with cloves and maple syrup) which worked fantastically well once again so Chum #1 was happy, as was I. Christmas Day I made my cranberry sauce with ruby port which went down well, and as that was the only cooking I had to do all day I was pleased too. We went to Chum #1's parents' house for dinner, along with my mother and another friend - we didn't eat too much, it was all just right, and we played an excellent game of Trivial Pursuit (the new one with a twist - abbots, no less). Then we went to my mother's for Boxing Day and ate and drank with the pseudo-nephews and nieces and their parents.

Yesterday, we rested by going to see Sherlock Holmes which I thought was good, silly fun. The relationship between Holmes and Watson was reminiscent of that portrayed by Roxburgh and Hart in the more recent Hound of the Baskervilles, and Watson came across as being smart which was a relief. I can't stand the depictions of Watson as a bumbling idiot. >.<

Christmas presents: a fantastic telescope that the chum and I will have to put together (the horror of instructions that start with an item's individual pieces set out on a big sheet on the floor o_O ); lots of non-fiction books on Georgian history/ society; Doctor Who Season 4 and other lovely things (including socks!)

Tor.com are having a 'December belongs to Cthulhu' fest and although December is almost over I had a Lovecraftian moment while dog walking in the woods so a story will shortly be committed to paper in honour of the Old Ones. Cthulu ftagn!

It's strange to think that 2009 is almost over. Britain is still in recession and looks as though it may be for some time to come (not to mention being horrifically in debt as a nation) but I hope that 2010 will be better; higher household bills notwithstanding. The family's healthy; we all have roofs over our heads, and we're all in work so we have no complaints on that score. We are content with bursts of happiness.

So here's to the impending 2010 - may we all be, if not perpetually happy, then at least content with bursts of happiness and rich in friends and loved ones.
feed_your_muse: Kneeling woman with Ravens (Default)
( Dec. 1st, 2009 09:58 am)


December is here, the start of winter, and to get it off to a good start we had the first hard frost of the season this morning which meant that I froze my hands scraping the car windows.
It was dark when I set off to work but as the sun rose and turned the sky pink, the frosty ground looked gorgeous. I wish I'd stopped at the side of the road and taken a picture of it; it was glorious.

What wasn't glorious was the black ice that I'd forgotten would be on the rat-run to the motorway. Hairpin bends on a steep hill past farmers' fields where there's runoff onto the road. Luckily, because I usually forget not to go on that road in winter at least once a year, I've become accustomed to steering off ice. Also, there was no-one coming the other way which was a bonus. Unless it rains I'll be going the long way until March.

With it being December the first I have the joy of a carol service at work today (as in, I will be singing in it) which will be nice. Rehearsal at lunchtime and then the service at 17:00hrs GMT. Hopefully we'll be singing all the jolly carols rather than weepy ones. Normally I miss the service because it's always on a Tuesday and I work 'til 21:00hrs then, but this year I swapped, so we shall see how it goes.

NaNo Update: did I win? No. Did I progress? Yes, absolutely. I've added two characters I hadn't planned on in the initial outline and I think I've managed to push them into the shadows a bit for this story. They're there, but they won't elbow their way to the front as they were starting to for a minute. Hakon and Snorri will just have to wait for a different story to take their spot in the limelight.

Current word count: 71,871
Chapter: Midway through chapter 19


The start of term rush has begun and we've all been inundated with tours and resources sessions. It's been rewarding to see people get what you're trying to teach them, but it's knackering on the legs and feet and all I want to do when I get home is lie down in a hot bath with a nice cold drink in my hand. Unfortunately, by the time I get home I've got time for a bath and a cup of tea, a bit of dog walking, and then it's in bed to rinse / repeat the next day. Due to an increase in traffic, I now have to leave the house at 07:00hrs which is awful but at least I get to work c. 07:50 so I've got time to get settled before I have to start work.

(I am looking forward to Saturday; I have an appointment with a pillow and a duvet and only the postman and the imminent threat of post being savaged by the hounds will change that.)
Another reason I'm looking forward to Saturday, other than the lie-in, is Dorian Grey. I'm going to see that when Chum #1 gets home from work, and we can see how much it differs from the book.

I am currently re-reading Green Rider by Kristen Britain. I've just received my copy of The High  King's Tomb but it's been so long between books that I thought I ought to re-acquaint myself with the first two. (With some books, they come out so far apart that I'm just not bothered in the end.)

So, coffee; a few more tours; then home for spicy bean stew and dog walking.

I did get some words done yesterday, as well:

Project: Unnamed UF
New Words: 810
Present Total Word Count: 46,831
Goal: 80,000
My plan is to do more at the weekend and hopefully, once everyone's settled in, I'll be able to get more done at lunchtime/ in the evenings in a couple of weeks as I'll be less tired.
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The last four days have been nice and relaxing and full of sloth. There, I said it - I was bone idle. My brain was fried so I've spent most of the past four days re-watching Supernatural and reading a couple of Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins novels (crime with a paranormal/ Deliverance (as in exorcism) twist.) Good stuff, and nothing like the books I'd been reading prior to that, or anything like the book I'm writing so it was a bit of a headspace holiday.
I'm now on Day Five of the holiday and I thought I'd better get some writing done, just to get back into it before I head back to work; but the drain man's just arrived so I'll blog first and write when he's done. (Victorian drains - you've just got to love them. Sigh.) The dogs are bemused, the tap's running in the bath, and a no-doubt fragrant odour is wafting in the hot sun in as welcome a fashion as a bloated rat at a barbeque. Hopefully, most of my neighbours are still at work.

In other news...I've re-visited a flash piece that didn't work too well and I think I've figured out how to make it better (and, by virtue of it being me, longer.) I've sketched out the first page or so and will work on that as a 'down-time' piece to give me a break from the unnamed one - I shall have to think of a working title for the unnamed one at some point; at 40+K it ought to be called something other than Unnamed UF, eh?

In other, other news...it's boiling. Autumn arrived with crisp air and hazy light, the sound of rooks in the trees; and now, the sun's out, the air is muggy and yellow (thunder on the way perhaps?) and the collies are restless - only one walk so far today, so they're feeling fractious. More exercise for me later then. :->

Back to the day job tomorrow which is good, although it does mean that I'll have to leave the house early as the kids are back at school from today so the roads will be clogged with the school run if you hit it wrong. So I need to be on the road for 07:15 at the latest. ::phbbbbt:: And in a couple of weeks the universities crank up to speed to welcome all the new and returning students and we'll all hit the ground running and won't really stop until mid-October when we'll all collapse into jelly-like heaps and gibber quietly in our offices. But it's all good fun, so bring on the circus!

Right. Enough chit-chattery. Time for some work.

I'll leave you with an update of where I got to last:

Project: Unnamed UF
New Words: 2,392 (over 2 sessions)
Present Total Word Count: 40,235
Goal: 80,000 (although, the first draft is likely to be waaaay longer as I'm pretty sure that I started it in completely the wrong place. Nice to know that there are some constants in life.)


The squeaking, furry, oh my god hide from the cat/ dog behind the bookcase kind. Normally, our cat will start to torment and consume the little rodents during the autumn; occasionally releasing one into captivity in the house for us to race round in an attempt to capture it before it hides in the walls and breeds. The second year in this house we had an infestation of mice. It was like living in Lovecraft's The Rats in the Walls. Seriously. >.<

Sunday night she lost one in the back room and we couldnt' get it. An hour later, Baby Bear wandered in and gently deposited something on the living room carpet, then stood back and stared at us as if to say What do I do now?
Yes. He'd found the mouse; gently picked it up and carried it in for us to deal with. (I deposited it back into the wild.)

Last night, she brought in a tiny field mouse which Chum #1 managed to trap under one of the dog's dinner bowls. Again, it made it back outside.

If she's doing this now, god only knows what she's going to be bringing in during the autumn/ winter months. Capybara's?
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