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14th November 2016

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Notes:
Friday 4th November, went to Museum of Last Parties with Derek, had a fantastic night. There was dancing and cocktails - 20's pseudo-speakeasy style, and then a singalong with a piano and songs from "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts" through Beatles to Abba, it was silly and fun, and then moar dancing elsewhere in a more contemporary style, with Derek showering glitter everywhere, and then a pause for Morris Dancing in the middle of the dancefloor, with a Morris side with sticks and hankies. And people were dressed up magnificently, in all sorts of eras and styles, one was dressed as a Chanel Bag, one had shiny pyramid breasts, There was a lot.

October 22nd, went to the Welcome to Night Vale show, met a crow from twitter, left seat for worse seat to sit near Abi, had a burger at new-to-me fast-food chain.

Saturday 12th November, drinks with Derek, then dancing at Duckie's , where I unexpectedly ran into the crow again. Hi crow.

Sunday 13th November: Life Begins at Party, by Kirsty Newton, musical comedy solo show , with Johnny and the Baptists as special guests.

Not actually entirely hibernating! So proud.

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8th November 2016

Hunterian Museum , Evening Visit

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On the oneth of November I had a ticket to the late-opening at the Hunterian Museum. I met Derek and Holly and Emma there, and Fiona joined us later.

There were many preserved dead things, behind glass. Some in jars. Some dried. Derek pointed me at a skeleton of a giant - Charles Byrne. He paid to be buried at sea, but then Hunter bought his corpse to be museumed anyway. for £130 , said the story on the board next to the skeleton. Which is more money than he saw in his life, I suspect.

There was an open workshop - preserve a thing in a jar - but I was too worried, because I did not know what would be available or demanded for preservation, nor what liquid they'd offer to preserve it in.
Then Derek came out of the workshop with a plasticine penis in water in a jar, and it was all much safer than I'd feared.

There was a lecture about the hanging and how people died of it, by a volunteer retired surgeon. He explained about hanging by the neck until dead, and about the newer method of breaking the neck by hanging, and demonstrated on a member of the audience. Who had volunteered. Also he told about beheading, and about {hanging, drawing, and quartering} (which I first read described in 'A Dragonfly in Amber', I mean 'Outlander', by Diana Gabaldon. She wrote it more bloody and distressing.)
(This talk about executions was a nice companion piece - in my head - to the talk by a yeoman warder at the Tower of London.)

There were dried wasps preserved in jars, one was with a bit of its paper hive. The label said: Unspecified social wasp. Bzz.

There were pin badges to buy to support the museum - I nearly bought the skull one, but it was a picture of a child's skull, with double rows of teeth. I find that too creepy. So I bought one with a skeleton hand on it, instead.

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11th October 2016

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Sunday: went to meet Derek to watch a film, War on Everyone. It's about bad cops. They're bad. It seemed like fun with characters I could enjoy hating.
The film (or the projector?) failed ~15 minutes in. The cinema (Crouch End Picturehouse) was brilliant and gave the viewers a free cup of tea (when it seemed like it could be fixed soon) and a refund (when it turned out that it couldn't.)

We went to have dinner in a Japanese restaurant.
Read more... )

*

Monday:
met Derek for continuing tour of London cafés.The Attendant café )

Read more... )

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3rd October 2016

I went to visit a friend outside london!

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I went and visited [personal profile] ailbhe in Reading. It was good.

I had not seen her - except on the internet - since the Convention in August.

I traveled out to Paddington with the beloved, who was going to visit a friend in Oxford, and then we got different trains.

I like my Citymapper app so much: when I missed the train (I got distracted buying myself a soft drink) it showed me the next several trains going to Reading. Then, when I got to Reading it told me where Eclectic Games was, so I could walk there and say hi to Becky and wait for Ailbhe.

Eclectic Games is fantastic, it is a beautiful board-games and card-games shop. It is bright, well-lit, has nice wide aisles. And it has upstairs large gaming rooms, with tables and chairs, and vending machines for snacks, tea and coffee, and soft drinks. Also there are booths to sit at which are not *in* the gaming rooms, so I sat at one with Ailbhe, and Becky joined us, and we had a hot drink and a chat. We also discovered that we actually do believe in weather magic: The rain the previous day was because one of us had hung out washing.

After that Ailbhe took me to Nibsy's, which is a Gluten-free cafe. I had a delicious scone with clotted cream and raspberry jam, and Ailbhe had a vegan cupcake with no allergens (that means none of the allergens on some official list. People can be allergic to many different things and some allergies are less known.) I think those cupcakes are made with sugar and good wishes. I mean, I have no idea what's in them. I also had a coffee and walnut cake, it was delicious, and the icing was sweet, gooey, and generous.

After Nibsy's we went to Tiger - it is a very pleasing shop of random things - they have Halloween things in now. I like it and it is only the second time I have been in one. I bought myself a small pencil-case (among many other things). Today I found I have many many pens and could use a larger pencil-case, which I had not expected. I might have to go to Tiger again, to find a bigger pencil-case. It is a chain, there are Tiger shops in London too.

We finished the town-visit and continued (by taxi) to Ailbhe's. Once we got there I gave her the eraseable pen and re-fills I got for her at Muji. I am so proud and glad I remembered both to bring them, and to hand them over. (Of course when I got home I realised I'd meant to bring some comics I have for the comics-interested children, and I forgot those. Oh well.)

There was also some drawing for inktober - I tried to draw one of the cats, it was sitting conveniently close, but it kept changing pose.
Also I mentioned non-newtonian thixotropic fluids, in the context of a silver-ink pen that would not flow. It did flow much better after it was shook. (That also works for shampoo and for ketchup).

We watched Strictly Come Dancing, and that was fun.

I was fed salmon-less salmon risotto, and it was good. The salmon was left out for me, and added for the other people. Because of thoughtful asking by Ailbhe before food. And thoughtful cooking and serving by R.

Then I went home - updating Ailbhe per her request at every stage of the journey, until I was safely home.

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14th September 2016

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Recently read stories:

http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/hungry-daughters-of-starving-mothers/
It is in Nightmare magazine and categorised as horror. I liked it.

http://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/magic-realism/s-qiouyi-lu/th-fifth-lttr
Which is fun. Remember to click the button [display entire story] to read the whole story.

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26th August 2016

Short visit by Derry to London. No Casualties.

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Saturday I had a visiting [personal profile] derryderrydown . She brought chocolates, I recommend her as a guest.

We got out to town and ate at a new place - Tombo - that does Matcha drinks and deserts, and Poke food.

Then I took her to Gelupo, because: Gelupo! I had my favourite of theirs, which is fresh mint stratciatella, and it is entirely unlike mint choc-chip, which is why I love it. She had white chocolate and lavender, and it tasted like I thought it should.

We went to see the Doug Anthony All Stars.
And it was fun and funny and Tim heckled my laugh with "Fly, my pretties, fly!"

And afterewards I used my superpower of asking questions, and got told they'd be coming out in a bit and people were waiting to say hello - so we waited and Derry got to say hello, and I took a photo of Derry with Paul, (and almost tripped over Tim's chair.)

So that was fun.

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9th August 2016

The Next Big One by Derek Des Anges

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One of My favourite new books this year is The Next Big One, by Derek Des Anges.

It's about Ben Martin and how he finds things he wasn't looking for, like a maybe? conspiracy! with the new deadly virus.
And maybe other things, like new friends.

It's set in London, which functions quietly as a background. It's a very clear place, where people have to travel to get to places and background characters interact. It is solid, not vanishing at the edges. I feel like the author knows where every thing is, but I don't need a map to understand what's going on.

It features our main character, Ben Martin, who is young - but not that young, he's really a grownup, shut up, dad -

Wait, I'll come in again.
Ben Martin is our anxious bisexual hero!
He sorta stumbles into heroing, it's not really what he meant to do. But he heros anyway. I love him.

He goes to a Further Education college to study Journalism. The tutors we meet are Sherazi and Victoria, and they are sharp and witty and sarcastic. And slightly scary, to their students. I like them a lot.

Then Ben gets an assignment that leads him to meet and befriend more interesting people, like Tasneen, hijabi geek girl of awesome and joy. I love her.

And Dr. Natalya Yagoda, transwoman, science-heroine, cooler than anyone ever. She's amazing.

And Dr. Bill who is a wheelchair user and enjoys arguing with people about SCIENCE (and is pretty obviously based on Dr. Ben Goldacre so if you like him, you're likely to like Dr. Bill)

And the abrasive but attractive Dr. Daniel Khoo
who led me to do research and find Hao Yun Xiang looking like https://www.instagram.com/p/BGufhxnHgE0/
But he also looks like: this

Here are links to buying the book:
The Next Big One in paperback
The Next Big One for kindle UK
The Next Big One for kindle US]

Also Kieron Gillen liked it: I have failed to find the tweet where he said so, but he did tweet a recommendation for it.

So I liked it so much I wrote it fanfic, which is set before the book, and is spoilery, and contains non-con. It is here: The Invention of Loneliness.
It made the author hate a hated character even more. People who liked the book seemed to like it, but it is not a happy story.

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5th August 2016

More from the visit to Glasgow

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More things done in Glasgow:

Some postcards purchased, written, and sent.

Went to the Hillhead Bookclub (a pub, not a place of books) and had the Bookclub punch which is served in a gramophone base, and not- as fondly imagined - drunk out of a gramophone horn.

It tasted very much of fruit juice, so we wondered if it was alcoholic, and then suddenly we were quite tipsy and quite certain that it was, in fact, alcoholic.

There was a sign that said 'GIRLS' and indicated a direction. I went where it told me. There were no scantily-clad girls dancing. I was disappointed. But I did find toilets.

There was ice-cream! A Nardini's which had many flavours of ice-cream. I had Irn Bru ice-cream, which was nice. I think an Irn-Bru sorbet would have been even better. The bellini sorbet was entirely delightful (peaches and champagne flavour).

I stumbled on the top-stair that had warning signs about it prominently posted, because I got distracted for a second. I fell to my knees and caught myself with a hand. It hurt a little in the moment but then I was fine. Disappointingly didn't even get a bruise.

Wandered around the Glasgow botanic gardens. There's a big pretty glass house, where [personal profile] valtyr told me about Andrew Marvell's ornamental fish and I told [profile] vigilantejam about the proverbial beauty of insect-trapping plants.

They also had Camellia Sinensis bushes and a tea-tree tree, next to each other, so I could see how different they were.

And! I learned that rice-paper is not and has never been made of rice. Hurray! I learned a new thing! Boo, I had not known this.


oh hey also I had pulled pork for the first time, I think. [personal profile] valtyr let me use a Penguins mug, which must mean I was a very honoured guest.

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30th July 2016

glasgow visit

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I flew up to Glasgow to visit a friend!

Read more... )

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28th June 2016

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Currently open tabs:

  • http://www.unitedagainstracism.org/archive/pages/info30.htm#1
    WHO, IF NOT YOU?
    How you can intervene when witnessing racist assaults

    "This leaflet provides some suggestions for courageous action and shows that some small steps can change a lot."

  • http://tellmamauk.org/faq/

    In the wake of the Brexit referendum, racist attacks have gone up.

    I've seen someone reporting hearing that they thought voting 'Leave' meant voting for the immigrants to leave.

    :(

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  • 19th June 2016

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    Someone elsewhere complained about the abrupt reveal in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street and I was very surprised because to me that was not what the book was doing at all.

    spoilers for The Watchmaker of Filigree Street )

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    10th June 2016

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    Yesterday I went out and met [livejournal.com profile] apiphile for all-you-can-eat sushi at Saki in Crouch End.

    That was delightful. The conversation was good and the food was delicious.

    I ate until I couldn't move, then Derek rolled me down the street to the cinema.

    We watched The Nice Guys, the newest Shane Black film. I cheered when the Christmas tree showed up. Okay, being me, I actually cackled. But I was looking forward to seeing Christmas there, and it was good to see that I was not wrong.
    The Nice Guys is a very very violent rom-com with a private investigation plot. spoilers )

    *

    Today someone came and fixed the toilet finally, and it no longer makes a very loud noise when flushing.

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    4th June 2016

    I made a thing. I'd be sorry if I could

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    Some of us are broken children. We can't conceive of someone caring for us for our own good.

    Sometimes, when one of us imagines being loved and cared for by someone in a position of trust and authority, it looks like this:

    Harry Potter and the Trouser Snake

    Harry Potter/Horace Slughorn

    A teacher/pupil relationship

    An enthusiastic review says:"Go read this, it's disgusting."

    Kudos and comments appreciated.

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    2nd June 2016

    Dumbledore

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    Dumbledore 'let me just leave you with an abusive family for the first 11 years of your life'

    Dumbledore 'and send you to them every summer for the next six years'

    Dumbledore 'Let me isolate you just when you've discovered you are extra-vulnerable to mind invasion by Voldemort'

    Dumbledore 'you need to learn occlumency, let me send you to learn from a teacher who hates you, that is the best learning environment'

    Dumbledore 'You've learned not to ask questions, let me not give you useful information about your life and family - and about fighting your enemy - until the last moment, or possibly not at all'

    Dumbledore 'I warn you not to make contact with your godfather, just about the only adult who loves you unconditionally'

    Dumbledore 'It is very important that you learn occlumency, I will not follow up on your progress or take any action if your teacher refuses to keep teaching you'

    Dumbledore 'trust me, Harry, I am good'.

    I like Dumbledore the gay man and I am angry that his gayness is not textual, but word-of-god.
    I hate Dumbledore the benevolent wise reckless endagerment of children for the greater good.

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    1st June 2016

    Harry Potter and the Sleepover of Plausible Deniability

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    So I am rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - having Stephen Fry read it to me, because hey, I can do that.

    Harry Potter, the horror that is Harry's life, ephebophilia, consent invalidating scenarios )

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    Harry Potter Headcanon,

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    Moar Potter Headcanon, due to demand. I wouldn't go so far as to say 'popular', but three different people have expressed interest.

    This is jumbled with source and influences
    Read more... )

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    29th May 2016

    Horace Slughorn, you horrible cunt

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    So in my recent re-read of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

    Harry Poter spoilers, also ephebophilia, child abuse, etc. )

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    12th May 2016

    Ready? Achieve

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    Today's achievements:

  • Caused a man to assert his hands were not fictional

  • Ruined a song for a friend before she even heard it.

  • Called a pair of rare-pair shipping fans 'filthy shipsters'.

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  • 25th March 2016

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    Went out and had lunch with the beloved. He was on his way to LARP, camping in the rain and playing an game.

    On Tuesday we went and had a meal at Yo Sushi.

    So um.
    food and eating animals )

    I have started watching 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' which is a television comedy series with musical numbers and high self-awareness. So it's clever and funny. But sometimes still I have to pause and hide because cringe or embarrassment. But I go back, because clever and funny.

    I started watching The BBC's The Night Manager starring Tom Hiddleston.
    (In the first episode I was annoyed by small things, like the manager not calling a receptionist to cover for him at the desk when he went off to attend to a guest, or opening a swimming pool when there is no life-guard on duty. Probably the more you know about any thing, the more small things annoy you in television and other works of fiction.
    Part of me is just thinking: go full Xena. Make *everything* ahistoric and wrong and off, so that

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    22nd March 2016

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    Yesterday I went to see Alex Watts who I follow on Twitter do a show: 25 Stories - at the Blue Elephant theatre in Southwark.

    It was a good show, I enjoyed it.
    There's a review here:
    http://www.theatrebubble.com/2016/03/25-stories-at-the-blue-elephant-theatre/
    And it does say what the show is like.


    Getting there was hard - because getting out of bed and out of the flat is hard, but also the travelling - I kept doing it wrong.
    I underestimated how long it would take, so I told a friend we could meet for an impromptu cup of tea. Then my app told me no, travel actually takes time, and the show has a set starting time. So I had to cancel the tea.

    Then I missed my bus-stop because I was busy looking at my app looking at twitter. But luckily! I looked up in time to get off the bus and get on the tube at the next tube stop.
    Then I got the tube in the wrong direction.
    I noticed! After two stops and went back, in the correct direction.
    And so on.

    But I managed to get to the theatre in time, and I enjoyed the show.

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