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Getting ready to go....

♥Aug. 4th, 2017 // 11:21 am
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We're off to Helsinki tomorrow, via a night at Heathrow. I'm not really looking forward to it, and would much rather stay at home with my pooch, but Mike assures me I'll have fun when I'm there.

Yesterday, the power went off and on again with no problems, and the boys were surprisingly good going up there, with the digger going, and back again in the evening when it all looked different, which was a relief.

The day before, after going through the power cable, they also went through (just that house's) water pipe. As Mike said to Mr Up The Hill, at least they didn't take the phone line down as well....

Bloody rabbits have eaten (entirely) two of the French bean plants and chewed through the stem of one of the borlotti beans, which does at least explain the wilted leaves I saw yesterday. One of the tomatoes is very nearly red, though!
Link1 kiss // Who loves you?


♥Apr. 19th, 2017 // 08:53 pm
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We had a nice time at Innominate, which seems to have gone very well indeed (I only heard about three or four proper problems, and most of them were very quickly resolved). Sadly, I woke up yesterday rather off-colour, and spent most of the day feeling (and occasionally being) sick.

Fortunately, given Mike had to be in London, I'm feeling much better today (which makes me think it was a food thing, not an infections one).

It did mean that we couldn't plant the tomatoes out in the polytunnel as planned, but then again that was probably for the best as we had a frost last night!

In the interests of experimentation, can anyone not see two photos in this post? Some people seem to be having problems with access-locked images not being visible to anyone, and as I didn't even realise that DW had image hosting (I'm sure it didn't last time I checked, or I'd have used that rather than my faffy work-around via LJ) it's not something I've ever played with before.

Link13 kisses // Who loves you?


♥Nov. 18th, 2016 // 06:36 pm
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[xpost |http://flick.livejournal.com/1186533.html]

Novacon was mostly nice, and fairly quiet, but involved late nights (as ever).

I decided that I wasn't enjoying my pilates class enough to make up for the driving there and back in the dark part of the experience, so I've swapped to a different class (daytime), with a different instructor but at the same place. I had the first session yesterday and, even though the people in the class were generally creakier and less good, it was a much better workout. Fingers crossed.

TWWOTV is having various building work done. GB is unimpressed: he can hear it but not see it, so he's a bit stressed by it all, poor lad.

The house Up The Hill has finally completed on the sale, so we now have new Mr and Mrs Up The Hill, and two small girl children ditto. I'd better put together a little welcome hamper, though it's a shame the ducks are off lay.

I continue to be impressed with Freddie's Flowers. I've still got about half of the bunch from two weeks ago, and this is today's selection:

I've finished the little table runner I was making using English Paper Piecing. I enjoyed the actual EPP part of it but found hand quilting to be very tedious, fiddly, and hard on my hands; it is very lightly quilted as a result. Still, I'm quite pleased with it even if I did realise about three days ago that I'd cocked it up right at the beginning and have bought another pattern that I'd been vaguely admiring for some time.

For about six weeks now, I've had a plate full of this year's medlar crop sitting on a plate in the hall, bletting. Bletting is a bit like rotting only less so, and you have to let it happen for a couple of weeks in order to make the fruit usable. Today, I decided that they must have had long enough and took them to the kitchen to make jelly from. When I cut the fruit up, about a third of it looked like it was actually rotten, so I stuck that in the compost and put the rest on to simmer. An hour or so later, they were all still rock hard and the liquid was mostly colourless, which rang alarm bells: when I looked online, I discovered that actually my rotten ones were correct and the rest should have had longer to blet. Fortunately, they were only in the indoor compost bin, so I rinsed them off and stuck them in the pan with the rest and stuck them back in the Aga for another hour. The juice is draining off now, we'll see whether the jelly is actually usable tomorrow....

(Many of the recipes call for a mix of bletted and fresh medlars, if in the reverse of the proportions I ended up with, so it's hopefully not too much of a problem!)

It's definitely getting wintery, now, and we very much appreciated the fire this afternoon. On the other hand, my parents had about six inches of snow this morning, so it could be worse!
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Catching up, yet again

♥Mar. 31st, 2016 // 06:50 pm
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[xpost |http://flick.livejournal.com/1149537.html]

Eastercon was good, except the bit where I woke up snotty one day and voiceless the next. I'm back to talking again, but still sniffly and with a bit of a sore throat. Still, an almost-entirely enjoyable con, other than a few wobbles that were either relatively minor or only short-lived. As I am weak-willed, I managed to get roped into doing things next year and the year after. As I am feeling crappy, I have failed to do most of the post-con jobs that need doing.

While we were in the area, we had dinner with my parents (but not my sister and other half: he tripped over one of the dogs, fell down the stairs, ripped the child gate (there to keep the dogs from going upstairs, um), and came to a halt on the back door, which is now needs new hinges. In one of those 'could have been worse' ways, he's got a broken wrist and toe, is black and blue, and only didn't break his hip because he had it replaced a year or so ago). Mike also had dinner and some time wandering around town with his mother, but I didn't make it along as they were running late and I had jobs to do by the time they went to eat.

We had a crappy journey up but a fairly good run coming home, so I suppose that it balances out. Mike finally gave in and got the Tom Tom app on his phone, so that I no longer have to spend the journey hitting refresh on Google Maps and trying to work around problems (which Google seems to be frankly crap at: there's no point telling me that Route 1 has a one hour delay and Route 2 a two hour one, tell me Route 3 that - gasp - leaves the motorway for a couple of junctions to avoid it!), although I did spend the trip home being an occasional stunt iPhone holder (proper one now acquired).

We don't seem to have suffered much damage from the storm, other than one of the stems of the elder on the drive having split and (fortunately) landed on the fence rather than the sitter's car. There are a lot of broken branches on the roads and in the woods, though. Animals all seem fine, although Bugs was a tiny wee bit lame (in the same leg again) today: worrying but probably not reliably enough present for a vet visit.

Today, my new iPhone arrived. I didn't make it to the Virgin shop at weekend, and I failed to order a new SIM yesterday, so that will be arriving tomorrow. It's a moot point anyway, though, as it turns out that I once enabled encryption of my iTunes phone backups and none of the passwords I'd expect to work did so. We're now, very tediously, doing an iCloud backup: it's been wandering between 19 and 22 hours remaining for about the last two hours. And, of course, once it's done and I've got the SIM, I'll have to re-download it, and then download all my apps. Mike's in work tomorrow, and if the process is at a stage where it makes sense to do so I may have him take the new phone and syphon off a bit of the office wifi.

I also made wild garlic pesto, so there's a stock of that in the freezer. There's also still masses of garlic left, and I'm vaguely wondering if I could bottle it instead of freezing.
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Novacon and coming back home

♥Nov. 16th, 2015 // 04:22 pm
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That was Novacon, that was.

I had a nice time, although some of it involved drinking too much. I did have some epic lie-ins, though, so result there! Very glad we left before people started plotting Eastercons and Worldcons, though. Got a reasonable amount of sewing done, which was good. I even went to the art show and bought a book from a dealer!

We had a very good run home, so somewhat surprised the sitter before she was ready for us. Jo was, as ever, very pleased to see us, though. "It sounds like she's eating you!" the sitter said as she put her boots on to come outside and say hello. Today, I am somewhat grumpy with her (the sitter, that is), though: she's obviously not actually read the notes we left her, just done stuff based on what she remembers having done before, some of which has changed and some of which she's mis-remembered. I don't think that the bird feeders have been filled while we were away, but the ducks had a big pile of nicely mixed poo and corn on their floor where she'd over-fed them but not cleaned up the poo properly, for example. I also suspect that she's not included the weight of the nets when doing the boys' hay, because the ones I put in last night felt heavy and GB didn't finish his. Sigh. We'll have to Have A Word next time she's here.

She said GB felt a bit off when she rode him, which was worrying. She didn't ride Bugs (we'd told her she might be safer lunging him, and it was very windy so he would have been hard work anyway): he had a terrific time leaping around and throwing his heels up in the air, so I think she made the right call. When we went to poo pick this morning, GB looked very lame in his bad leg, which worried me even more. I think he must have just tweaked it shortly before we went out, though, because I got on him this afternoon and he was a little stiff but basically fine. After I'd decided that, we swapped horses and I gave Bugs a bit of a run: no problems, thankfully.
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Novacon, and combusion, and banking

♥Nov. 9th, 2015 // 08:05 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1120477.html]

Ladies, are we frock swapping next weekend? I have a bag o'stuff, as does [livejournal.com profile] helenx. Anyone else up for it?

In other news, today we finished the first half of the leylandii: hurrah! It now no longer looks as though we randomly started in the middle of the row and worked outwards!

(It wasn't actually random, it was the place with the fewest plants between the lawn and the hedge.)

Then, the wind being right, we burnt them.

I also decided that it was nearly as easy to move the contents of the other bonfire pile over to the existing fire as it was to pull it apart and make a new fire, so that's all done now as well.

In Adventures In Bureaucracy, the Charity bank account is with Barclays, and on Friday I received a Very Large cheque for the charity, from a company that apparently still operates in the stone ages* and does things like posting cheques to people, done on their special cheque printing machine (seriously, wtf? Is it just that they foolishly bought a few pallets of the custom paper and now feel they must use it? I can't decide if it's more or less bizarre than the people who do a BACS transfer and then print and post a remittance advice, thus telling you that they've sent you some money a week or so after you saw it appear in your online banking).

* Although not as antiquated as the people behind direct debits. Why on earth do I need to write the address of 'my' branch on the form? More to the point, what is it? It's not on my bank statements. My cheque book contains the address but -- wtf -- not the post code. Googling for "'bank name' + 'street name'" gives two results at opposite end of the country, and only the one that's obviously wrong includes a postcode in the excerpt on the search results page....

I was going to spend an hour and a bit driving into town, walking from the carpark to the bank, paying it in, and then reversing the process, but it was pissing down and I couldn't be arsed. On Saturday, I needed to go to the Post Office anyway. "Hmmm," I said to Mike, "Is Barclays one of the banks that I can do transactions at the Post Office?" He looked it up and reported that the Post Office website said I could indeed pay in cheques at a Post Office but needed a Special Envelope, which I could order from Barclays (unlike, say, the bank that we use personally: there you also need a Special Envelope, but you can get them from the Post Office. Natch.).

Although I didn't have a Special Envelope, and being a cynical sort, while I was there I asked at the Post Office. "You can pay in cheques to Barclays accounts here," I was told, "as long as your paying in slip has a barcode on it." Hmm. (Mine does not.)

Today, I decided that I really had better get it paid in, and anyway Mike needed a chainsaw chain sharpening, so I went into town and visited Barclays. While I was there, I casually said to the Nice Young Man "So, is there any way I can pay cheques into this account without coming into the branch?" Well, he explained, there was a pilot scheme, but it had been a pilot scheme for quite a long time now.... "So I couldn't pay it in, say, at the Post Office?" Oh, there was something about the Post Office, he'd just check with his colleague. Apparently, I can pay cheques in at the Post Office as long as I had a special Paying In slip, which I could get from the Post Office.

Sigh. To give up or to face the torment that is offshored customer service helplines...? Ok, that's not actually a question, is it?
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Oh, yes, I remember: posting is a thing!

♥Jul. 5th, 2015 // 04:30 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1091734.html]

I seem to have been failing to post very much lately. I have been doing things, though. Here are some of them:

- Killing horse flies (nasty little buggers. At least they're easy to squash). Bugsy has already trashed his (brand new) fly sheet, and is now wearing Baby's old one, which mostly fits him. They both have lovely posh new fly masks, which they are mostly not removing and leaving at the top of the field.
- Making Interesting Drinks, such as elderflower vodka and wild strawberry vodka.
- Having several sets of Lovely Visitors.
- Working on my quilt, which is still not finished on account of Busy. It's only the actual quilting part that still needs doing, though.
- Looking at orchids: we've now seen early purple, common spotted, pyramidal, lady, monkey, fly, butterfly, man, fragrant, musk and twayblade orchids, mostly at Park Gate Down. The orchid twitchers are very helpful, as they comb the place methodically, plant book in hand, and you just have to wander over when they start getting excited to see what it is they've found!
- Ragworting. Bah.
- Going to Finland for Archipelacon, which was a very laid back con for us. Had some lovely dinners (turns out that our hotel restaurant was the best in town), tasty ciders and several nice walks around Mariehamn, which has very variable ecology that's mostly about six weeks behind here (daffs in one garden, and lilacs everywhere) and which never seems to get dark.
- Being Much Too Hot, which I suspect wasn't helped by coming back from Finland (c20-23C) and into The Hottest July Day Ever (c34C here). The Aga is now firmly off. This afternoon is much nicer, after a very wet morning (which we really needed).
- Boggling at the way that the garden has exploded while we were away. The first tomatoes are ripe, and the wysteria is taking over the house, patio, and several adjoining shrubs. There are some lovely cornflowers and poppies in the orchard, which is nice.

And now we have a day off between sets of visitors: just long enough to do laundry and tidy the house....
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♥Sep. 6th, 2014 // 07:36 pm
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We were vaguely thinking about going to Archipelacon. Is anyone planning on being there?
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♥Aug. 20th, 2014 // 11:38 am
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1031169.html]

Here's a time-lapse of the set up of the Fan Village: YouTube.

At Loncon, I did the newsletter, with help from my wonderful minions. I also ran around a lot on the first few days, answering random queries. In retrospect, I should have had a radio, at least at first, because as I passed people they kept saying "I don't know, but Flick might" to the person they were speaking to, which usually resulted in another errand to run or person to pass a message to: thanks to the Ops team for all the radio calls they put out for me.

On the plus side, at least I waited until I got home to have my voice vanish.

I had a lovely time, though, and towards the end of the con things even calmed down enough that I had time to stop and have actual conversations with people. And no terribly major crises! Thank you to everyone who helped out.

We got home to find a very happy Jodie, and even the boys came over for snuggles. The ducks seem to be much more socialised than they were: I suspect that the sitter spent a lot of time in the front garden playing with Jo, because they're now much more likely to follow us around. The sitter was even kind enough to drive half-way to London to meet me when I realised I'd left all of my evening clothes at home.

The only down side was the boys' beds. I was a little unhappy with them the last time, but this time I am really annoyed. They had both gone from a nice thick bed covering most of the stable to a thin metre-wide strip at the back, and even that (in Baby's case) was full of poo and (in GB's case) had a wet patch in it. GB's stable *stank*, and had an actual puddle of wee on the floor. After I'd cleaned up what was there, we put two new bags of bedding into the Baby's stable and three into GB's, and it looked like the sitter had put at least one into each while we were away as well: they normally get through a bag a week, so he has both left them sleeping on what is little better than bare, wet concrete *and* been incredibly wasteful with the bedding.

We only had the one sitter this time, as his wife was on another job, and I think she must have been in charge of the mucking out previously. I've just sent an email off to the agency to complain.

(New LJ iPhone app is apparently unusable even by the standards of LJ apps. So you're spared the photos of GB's stable, at least.)
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Ah, email....

♥Jun. 17th, 2014 // 06:43 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1019898.html]

I've just got a shiny new Worldcon-related email address, and today I was trying it out.

It turns out that I can email X's loncon3.org address, and Division A, but I can't email Y, or Division B. I can email Division C, but only on two out of three occasions.

When the emails don't go through, they don't bounce. They go to the catch-all address that receives emails to non-existent addresses at the domain. That's annoying but, on the plus side, that address is the next laptop over on the coffee table, so I did at least find out (when Mike had finished mowing the lawn).

The best solution that we could think of was for Mike to change that address to be me, and then I could also forward any occasional mis-addressed emails as well.

Then we sent a test email to a wrong address, and it didn't come through.

I went and looked at the web interface for my L3 account: there it was, it just wasn't auto-forwarding. Hmm. That's probably the bloody stupid can't-see-emails-that-you-sent-in-gmail thing, we decided. So, I now have an extra forward on my L3 account, which sends the emails to an internet-fairy.org account, which then autoforwards to my main gmail account.

I think it should work.

Now, if I could just figure out some way to filter them to a different folder. Hmm. Seems silly that you can't put a [thingie] in the subject line automatically when you autoforward an email.

Edit: Inevitably, I spoke too soon: Mike is still getting at least some of the mis-addressed emails, and I'm not getting some others of them. Sigh. This May Not Work.

Edit: And, I've just realised, my getting the mis-addressed emails doesn't actually help, because it just means that I get them if they worked, because I get All The Email, and I get them if they didn't, because they didn't. Except when I don't, in the latter case, but that's not helpful, really. Have to try a different approach.
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♥Apr. 22nd, 2014 // 12:09 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/992088.html]

We have Eastercon'd, and now we are home.

There was a deal on Business Parking at Heathrow, so we got to use the Pods. Very cool, if deadly:

We had a nice time at the con, though, even with the frequent outbreaks of smoffing, and there was barely *any* drama at all, which was just peculiar.

Glasgow was bizarrely warm and sunny all weekend. It was terribly disconcerting, especially in the period of time before we'd figure out how to work the Newsletter Office AC. It was only as we came home that this started to happen:

and it was raining by the time we got off the plane. Still, good for the grass....

Jodie was very pleased to see us, which was nice. The sitters seem to have had a lovely time with her and the boys, and were very pleased that we'd marked the good wildflower patches on their map. On the down side, GB's (and, to a lesser extent, Baby's) feet were full of bloody rocks gravel (they're obviously not used to barefoot horses, which wasn't an issue last time as they didn't take them hacking), and GB's bed was nasty where he'd kicked dry stuff over his wet patches and they'd not seen them. We'll have to have a couple of little demonstrations next time they come, in August. Plus, with both written and verbal instructions about which rugs to use, they had them both wrapped up too warm overnight. And who knows what possible reason they had for using GB's warm raincoat....
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♥Apr. 17th, 2014 // 03:30 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/991435.html]

Also, fiddly. And hard to trim the ends off neatly.

Quite cute, though:

Things To Do. Packing. House sitters arrive tonight, we leave for Glasgow in the morning. Poor Mike: I've done my nails, so he's having to do *everything* around here.
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Back home

♥Nov. 11th, 2013 // 12:55 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/920600.html]

Novacon was Novaconish, and I had a lovely time chatting to people in the bar. Mike points out that I could just invite all of the people I like to chat to in the Novacon bar to our house for the weekend and save lots of money. He's probably right. Plus, the tedious people wouldn't be there....

In the loos of the Novacon hotel, there are both paper towel dispensers and hot air driers. The former is above the latter. This leads to an occasional problem:

The pooch seems to have survived without us, which is good. When we got back, she was asleep on the kitchen floor. She woke up, and went 'oh, people, suppose I'd better check them out', and then walked all the way over to the door before she realised who it was and started leaping around. The boys, predictably, didn't really seem to notice that we'd been away.

Anyway, she seemed ok after we'd been back for a while:

It turns out, though, that she *hasn't* been spayed. Our bedding is now in the wash, and she had to stay at home when I went for a hack this morning, much to her distress: I'm pretty sure I can control her from the back of a horse, but not a randy dog that sniffs her out....

As I came back from the woods, there was a kestrel hovering about fifteen feet away from me over the field. You'll just have to imagine the lovely picture that I took of it, though, as GB started fanny-arsing about and made me miss the shot. I did take a picture of the trees, but the colours don't come out so well on grey days:

Today, we have a couple of blokes in the garden, cutting down some of the bloody leylandii so that we can actually see the field without going upstairs:

They're going to come back and take out the enormous tree in the next couple of days, too, it looks like. That should keep us in firewood for the next few years!

We've finally actually sold the London flat! It's been very quiet for a few months, but then things started happening again and we've just got the money.
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Bits and bobs

♥Apr. 9th, 2013 // 03:58 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/898132.html]

The thought occurred that a) my sewing machine's not been serviced in at least a decade and b) I will shortly not live a short drive from a sewing machine repair shop. So I thought I'd get it de-fluffed and oiled before we move. Just called the shop, mostly to check that I could park, and he said that it would be from £50 for one of that age (I don't know exactly how old it is, having stolen it from my mother, but it's a New Home, and New Home rebranded at Janome a decade ago). I foolishly then thought "I wonder if it's worth spending the money?" and have now been drooling over the features of modern sewing machines. There's one that's got a built-in mini-overlocker, and it's only £200!!! I always wanted an overlocker, they're fabulous...

At least, I hope to only live a short drive from said shop for a little longer. The people we want to buy from did have a second viewing at the weekend, so fingers are firmly crossed. Today was frantic tidying for a viewing of our own, after I got back from the yard. The people we've had seem to be fairly equally split between those who do and do not want to knock down the wall between the kitchen and the living room; I can see both sides, but I do like being able to shut the door.

While I was at the yard, I took GB out for a plod in the woods. As I left, the girl who runs the yard was just finishing up a lesson in the school. Only slightly more than half way around the woods, she overtook me, which was a touch embarrassing. On the other hand, after she walked alongside me down the hill she said "Is it ok if I go off?" and headed on at full-tilt. For about twenty yards, at which point her horse saw an unfamiliar log and went nuts: GB gave her horse a slightly bemused look and then kept plodding, at which point it realised it wasn't actually a tiger and followed him.

We remain, however, a one-horse household. We thought we'd found a good one last week, but the vet comprehensively failed him yesterday ("There's no point charging you for a five-stage vetting.... It's £150 for a two-stage, but I barely got to stage two so call it £100"). Have now started phoning people like GB's chiropractor, and stopping to chat with people I know to say hello to on the lane, to see if they know of anything.

(There's a slight deadline on this, as a) I don't want GB to be on his own at the new house and b) I want Mike to have lots of lessons with our current instructor as he's getting used to the new horse.)

Next weekend, we're going to have a few days away from home, and maybe we'll try and find some horses to look at as well.

Last weekend, we went to see This House, where we sat in the Opposition and got swooshed around the stage a lot. It was very good, although I fear I may have missed some of the references. I did, however, know who Finchley was when she got mentioned, so she'd already been on my mind.

Eastercon seemed to go well, and we seem to have escaped the various con cruds, which was a relief. We were probably protected by the power of Mike's dongle. The auction went suspiciously well: would anyone like to own up to stuffing the Smash Tin with £20s, or will I have to live with having more money than my records suggest I should?

I'm off to the GP tomorrow, to follow up on my blood pressure. I've bought a little machine since then, and have been taking it every week or so, so I have a nice little graph showing that it's consistently on the boundary between "normal" and "go to the doctor if you feel faint", so hopefully that will put this silliness to bed. Of course, then there's the other row to have, but one thing at a time. And at least I don't have to carefully not get annoyed now. Am torn between demanding a cholesterol test to prove my point and not wanting to risk it in case it's fractionally high and they spend the rest of my life trying to put me on bloody statins.

Work continues, much to the surprise of Some People. Boss needs to make up her mind what she wants to do when I move, though, and continues to put it off as she is Too Busy And Doesn't Want To Think About It. I keep meaning to nag her, but she's frightfully stressed.

Link8 kisses // Who loves you?


♥Feb. 10th, 2013 // 05:24 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/893933.html]

Does anyone want to buy my LSC3 membership? Probably should have done this before the nomination eligibility deadline, huh? $150.
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♥Nov. 28th, 2012 // 11:11 pm
[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/886434.html]

I know that lots of people don't give a toss about protecting their personal information, but really, is it that much of a leap that people might be annoyed that you have given their data to a third party in order to have that third party ask if they mind their data being given to a fourth party...?

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I seem to be busy lately....

♥Nov. 18th, 2012 // 04:11 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/885997.html]

Last Thursday - Country Life Christmas Show: overdose on orange and cinnamon scent, bought a few bits, thought "I could do that" about many bits, thought "I would do that" about slightly fewer.

Last weekend - Novacon, lovely. I really enjoy Novacon, these days. Lost of nice chats. Contrary to popular opinion, I did not spend the entire weekend sitting in the same chair, and most certainly had not in fact been there since last year.

Monday - new job, first day, sort of. Seems to be doable. Proper start this week.

(An observation: About six months ago, one of my big toes started hurting (ultimately, I think, due to a single side saddle lesson in which I Did Something Wrong and kept scrunching my foot up). It got randomly better and worse, until Mike made me go to the GP who gave me a leaflet for a foot clinic, which I never got around to going to. Then I was jumping up in the air trying to read a price tag in Costco when I landed, hard, on the ball of that toe, which was excruciating. Ever since, it's been pretty much fine: I remember thinking, as I walked down the road on the Thursday, that it seemed to be better. I wore Proper Shoes on Thursday, Saturday and Monday, as opposed to the usual yard and riding boots. My toe hurts, now.)

Tuesday - went riding in the woods, in the sun. It was lovely. We have very pretty colours this year. At one point, a small tree has fallen annoyingly and (bottom of a hill, just after a corner) dangerously across the path. As I was later planning on coming around that corner and up the hill at speed, I jumped off and moved it. GB happily stood and ate the bits of leaf growing out of the tree stump I'd thrown his reins over. The horse I was with was utterly terrified by the crashing noises. C'est la vie. GB, incidentally, has been a little out of sorts this week: grumpier than usual, although I accept that most people can't tell. Not sure what's up, hopefully it's just the change in the weather, or something.

Wednesday - side saddle: getting better at making him listen to the cane, but the grumpiness didn't help.

Thursday - stayed at home. Was Domesticated: I'd decided to make bath balls and bath fizzers for people I want to give small presents to (eg, woman who cleans up my horse's shit). Made them all, much to my pleasure, and put them in the spare room to dry out without stinking the flat up. Went to check on them a few hours later and decided that it was probaly worth, for the sake of avoiding the risk of damp in the books, putting the heating on in there a little: the bath bombs were fine, but the ones that were supposed to fizz up as soon as they went into the water had, um, fizzed up. I should have taken a photo, it was quite impressive....

(Relatedly, I've had terrible trouble buying peppermint essence. I tried in Tesco last week, and found the empty place on the shelf where it should have been. Tried again a day or two later, hoping they'd have re-stocked, and found that they'd rearranged the shelf and got rid of the label. No job in Lidl, or Holland & Barrett, either. Gave up and bought it from Amazon, which feels somehow wrong, but there we go.)

Friday - felt distinctly crappy (someone at Novacon is to blame, I suspect: coff, choo, sniff), so went to see GB but didn't ride him. Came home and lurked on the sofa.

Saturday - went to France and Belgium. Failed to get preferred brand of dishwasher tablets. Refuse to go to Germany just for dishwasher tablets, have set Mike back on the web searching. On the way home, sms from Teenage Girl's mother saying there was a problem, could I call. Later, found out that Teenage Girl has been having "trouble" with other Teenage Girls at the yard, and is too upset / scared to go, hence a morning of sobbing and she didn't go to see GB today. I shall start making enquiries at the yard but I think it's too late; wish Girl had said something to either me or her mother sooner. On the one hand, I could find something else but, on the other, I think I'll just let GB have two days off a week, instead of one, and this means Mike and I can have more flexibility about which weekend day we ride.

Sunday - went to the new Horse World Live show, at ExCeL. Crap. I can't imagine there'll be another next year. Dealers were all going mad with boredom, there was pretty much no one there. Stayed about an hour. Came home. Lurked on sofa.

On Friday, one of our fish died. Given that it was one of the five still-live members of the batch of ten glowlight tetras that were the first fish we put in the tank (after we gave up on the manufacturer's instructions and just set it up properly) three years ago, this is pretty impressive. Looking at the others, I note that one of them is rather lying on his side and another looks worryingly skinny, but the rest of the fish seem to be doing ok so it's probably age, not a water problem. They've had a pretty good run.
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Worst. Flights. Ever.

♥Sep. 4th, 2012 // 09:49 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/881399.html]

Going to Chicago: got to the west coast of Ireland, turned around, came back, hotel, 4am start, 19 hours late.

(Faulty altimeter. Same flight two days previously lost an engine at a similar point, so it could have been worse. Same plane, next day, got as far as the runway and gave up.)

Coming home from Chicago: got to the airport, flight cancelled, queued for bloody ages, opened by insisting on same-day flights, started with via Amsterdam and about an eight hour delay, got down to via Zurich and a five hour one. Still have a nagging suspicion that the guy didn't check any airlines not in his alliance.

Never flying United again, that's for sure.

Can't really comment on the con. London parties seemed to go well. AC too ferocious for me to spend time on the bid/con desk, so I spent an awful lot of time thinking "Hmmm... if I were at home, I would be reading my book on a much more comfortable sofa, and I wouldn't have to wait until four for the bar to open. Plus, ponies."
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Oh, right, yeah, you have to actually make updates, I remember.

♥Apr. 17th, 2012 // 06:55 pm
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Things that have been happening:
- Appendix appears to have decided to shut up and behave itself. This is good.
- Leg is still numb. Riding side saddle today made it neither worse nor better, so I'm going to declare it to be ok to carry on riding!
- I'm becoming increasingly concerned and annoyed with the place I took a shirt into to get it taken in (for The Wedding): the woman must have had it for a month, now, and is *still* being vague, slow, overworked and taking at least a week between communication. Hopefully, this is going to stop soon: the last fitting seemed pretty much done, to me, and I've told her I absolutely have to have it by Friday. On the other hand, I told her that last Wednesday, at which time she said she'd do some work and want me to come in today for the honest, promise, last fitting. When what she actually did was phone me this morning to say that she'd been really busy and it would have to be tomorrow. Sigh.
- [livejournal.com profile] erikvolson came to see me! Yay!
- There was an Eastercon. I seem to have done even worse than usual in the not managing to actually speak to people stakes, which I put down to a) lack of proper bar and b) being busy on both Saturday and Sunday evenings. On the plus side, although I was moderately busy with it, manning the Chicon table wasn't exactly a busy and stressful thing to be doing. The Hugo nomination reception seemed to go ok, even if Costco failed me on the cake front.
- I went to Sheffield, where it is really bloody cold. And not terribly organised [g]. Still, at least we mostly managed to dodge the rain. Interminable train journey, on a Sunday, though. Mike has deeply suspect plans for split site Eastercons.

[livejournal.com profile] vgrumpybastard continues his delightful mix of charming sweeties and vicious bastard. I must confess that he seems to be leaning a little more than usual towards the latter, lately. I have had complaints mutterings about his behaviour when he's being mucked out, for example, although in his defence on that day T's Mum had unilaterally decided to tell the staff not to turn him out, because it was *raining* (oh, poor didums... also, he has a bloody mountain of rugs to choose from! Also also, not made of sugar!), so I'm not surprised he was pissed off; I have had words, but I suspect it may be a duck's back situation.

I think he may be a little bored. I've not been schooling him as much as I like, frankly, quite apart from the fact that I've not been riding him as much as I'd like. Must do better. Quite convenient, this quitting one's job thing, then.
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I'm very worried about the weather....

♥Mar. 30th, 2012 // 03:44 pm
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... if it's going to be hot over Easter, I may have to re-think my planned outfit for the Hugo reception!

(Speaking of which, I need to get a box of fliers to Eastercon on the Thursday, and won't be arriving myself until the Friday: I don't suppose anyone would be able to take them? I'll have them on Tuesday, I expect: they're being couriered and it looks like they'll arrive on Monday, so I'll be having a Driving Adventure to go to the depot in Dartford on Tuesday after I've ridden.)

But it is quite nice, there being a drought and all. The woods, where I've been riding loads lately for one reason or another, are drying out nicely, so that GB isn't having to pick his way through mud, and it's all very nice. I even went out there with the side saddle on Sunday, but I don't think I'll be repeating the experiment often: I was incredibly achy for my side saddle lesson on Tuesday, and I have a patch of skin on my right leg that's been vaguely numb ever since. Plus, GB found it very hard work, as I couldn't get my weight off his back on the hills, and he's now got a bit of a rub from the girth.

(I didn't go in the woods today. I was feeling guilty about not having practised anything I'd been doing in my lessons for the last couple of weeks, so I was a good girl and went in the school to give us both a proper work out. And then I succumbed to peer pressure and did a few jumps to give him a change. He likes his jumps, does my little shit bag.)

Yesterday, I got the sewing machine out for the first time in ages and made a mock-up of a side saddle apron. I think it's probably doable for me to make a proper one, so I'll have a look for some fabric and give it a go, after I've sat on the horse in the mock-up to check the fit on the legs.

Work is almost unbearably tedious and dull. I may give up.
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