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♥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.

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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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Impulse purchases

♥Apr. 7th, 2015 // 05:30 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1082712.html]

Last summer, I bought a pineapple sage (on eBay, I think), and it was very pretty and did well, so I thought I'd get a few more for this year: we did take some cuttings, but unfortunately they were the plants that revealed that the conservatory heater wasn't actually working.

Suttons don't have that sage, but they did have some other, pretty looking red salvias. Their pricing system is fairly simple: the bigger the plant, the more you pay. So, if I wanted a couple of them in 6" pots, it would have been about £20. Or I could get 3" pots, or plugs, or... hey, what's this? 500 mixed bedding plants for £30? That sounds like a bargain!

Inevitably, they arrived on Thursday. I put them in the conservatory with some fleece under them and hoped for the best. In fact, they're grown visibly, and today we potted half of them on into bigger containers:

Just got the rest to do, tomorrow. (It turns out that it's quite hard on your back, even sitting down.)

We also planted out some of the veg, into the container with the teeny tiny polytunnel: everything except the aubergines, which have moved from the kitchen to the conservatory to harden them off a bit first. (The first aubergines went out there with everything else as soon as they'd been potted on, and quickly became very sad until they were brought back inside.) We certainly will get more frosts (there was one this morning), but probably only light ground frosts. As the containers are raised up on the patio, we should be ok. And we have spares still inside!

This weekend was, of course, Eastercon: I had a lovely time, other than the fact that / possibly because I pretty much didn't leave the newsletter office: normally I wander off to find people to sit and chat with, but the thought of trying to find a chair was too depressing. So, I didn't talk to as many people as I usually do, which is a shame. I also utterly failed to do diary synchronisation with at least three people, so that'll have to be by email.

On the way home, we picked up Agnes (apricot) and Eskarina (chocolate):

This morning, we discovered that one of them lays pink eggs (and I suspect that the other one lays blue). They're still quite wary of us (and Jodie!), but hopefully that will improve. Slightly alarmingly, none of them came for their corn this afternoon, not even Esme who I'd been worried would eat the lot of it. Hopefully they'll have had it when we weren't around.

It's interesting that Magrat has started going around with the new girls, leaving Esme on her own: that's what always used to happen when we had Gytha, as well. It's not a great shot, but here are the three of them: the new ones are visibly longer and thinner than the old ones.

I'm not sure if that's because the new ones are six months or so older or if it's one of those things that's down to breeder preference, like the difference between show and working versions of the same dog breed.

(I'm utterly bewildered that the sitter, who has been here before and therefore knows that I always say "eat as many eggs as they lay", has left some shop-bought egg shells in the compost bin!)
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And so it begins....

♥Mar. 30th, 2015 // 03:33 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1079926.html]

(Even GB's started shedding, a little! He must be trying to avoid getting a dodgy late clip again this year.)

Are we clothes swapping at Eastercon this year? I have a load of stuff that was left over last time but Too Nice To Charity Shop.
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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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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.

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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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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/869593.html]

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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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/868436.html]

... 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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