Wednesday is positively summery

August 16th, 2017 03:53 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished The Color of Fear: up to usual standard.

PC Hodgell, The Gates of Tagmeth: these have definitely succumbed to a kind of Dunnett syndrome, in which there is some huge mysterious meta-arc going on, occasionally alluded to, but each episode deals with some particular problem that Jame (mostly) has to face (there were a few other viewpoint sections in this one) in the foreground and doesn't seem to be advancing the longer game particularly. On the other hand, kept me reading. On the prehensile tail, so not the place to start. (Are there really only 8 books in the Kencyrath sequence? only I have been reading them for decades, so it seems more.)

JD Robb, Echoes in Death (2017), as the ebook had finally come down to a sum I consider reasonable for an ebook. The mixture as usual, pretty much. Okay, not the most sophisticated of mystery plots, I got this and the twist very early on, but it's the getting there, I guess.

On the go

Discovered I had a charity-shop copy of PD James, The Private Patient (2008), the last of the excursions of Dalgleish, which I had not already read for some reason - possibly because I wasn't at that time sufficiently keen on PDJ and AD to shell out for a trade paperback.

Up next

Dunno, really.

Interesting Links for 16-08-2017

August 16th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

Hei, Helsinki! Worldcon 75!

August 15th, 2017 12:08 pm
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Posted by Jeffrey A. Carver

This is a catch-up series of reports, so set your Wayback Machine to last Wednesday, and join my ride, starting with lift-off:

We arrived in Helsinki, Finland, early this morning for Worldcon 75, this year’s World Science Fiction Convention. At the moment, sleep deprivation and jetlag are making things somewhat of a blur. (Finland time is seven hours earlier than Boston time.) I think half the people on our flight from Iceland to Helsinki were on their way to the con. My daughter arrived a few days earlier, and to my immense relief, she was able to straighten out an issue with the hotel, so we’re not paying an extra thousand for days of an empty room! 

Tomorrow, I start things in earnest, with a signing session at noon, and a panel on how to motivate yourself when writing is tough at 15:00. (Everything is on the 24-hour clock here.) The hotel is a brisk 15-minute walk from the hotel, which is good. I need the exercise.

Friday I’ll be moderating a panel on space opera, and another on writing collaboratively. Saturday, I’m the one non-physicist on a panel on the future of physics (I guess I’m the wild card in the deck), and participating—in my last panel—on one on world-building, a panel that might or might not include George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones, depending on what listing I believe.

Once the worldcon is over, we’ll be taking a few days to see Helsinki and Finland, and then a couple in Iceland on our way home.

I’m looking forward to seeing many friends!



All the sluts at once

August 15th, 2017 07:03 am
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Posted by Jennifer Stevenson

Sounds like some guy’s dream come true, doesn’t it? Well, it’s also mine. I’ve spent three years working on this series, and today the omnibus edition launches at Book View Café: All the Coed Demon Sluts under one cover, for a terrific price, done and dusted, whew.

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth by Jennifer StevensonFor the past year I’ve worked twelve to fourteen fourteen hours a day, no days off—on one memorable occasion back in January, forty hours out of forty-eight.

I’ve lived and breathed this series so intensely that sometimes when I was half-asleep I actually expected to get a visit from Delilah myself, take the offer, do something radical with my life and my body the way these women do…maybe not quite yet…but someday…

I’ve really loved writing these books. They’re funny and feminist and fantastical and finally off my desk, featuring succubi, shoes, and shopping, massive quantities of food and controlled substances, boots-on-the-ground empowerment, all-girl hot tubbing, riot-grrl rage, rollicking, revenge, renewal, rejoicing, and six women who find out what they’re made of by making themselves into something totally other.

Coed Demon Sluts: Melitta by Jennifer StevensonBy the end of the series they’ve turned a corner. They’ll have to make a plan.

Good time for the author to do a quick sneak.

So what do I do with myself now?

Coed Demon Sluts: Amanda by Jennifer Stevenson(After the longest hot shower ever and a bottle of wine.)

Additional coed demon sluts will be on the knees of the gods. (There’s a sentence.) The Hinky Chicago series is missing its final episode, which sits half-written in my hard drive. Four contemporary romantic comedies about exceptionally sneaky people, ditto.

Coed Demon Sluts: Pog by Jennifer StevensonOr this four-fat-book series of apocalyptic magical realism that’s been brewing since I wrote Trash, Sex, Magic, universe-building slowly through Hinky Chicago and Slacker Demons and Coed Demon Sluts…oh, man. I don’t know if I have the energy to destroy the world yet.

Sheesh. Take the rest of the summer off, Jennifer. Take up yoga. Breathe.


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Posted by News Editor

Coed Demon Sluts Omnibus
Coed Demon Sluts: Books 1-5
by Jennifer Stevenson

Aren’t you tired of doing everything right?
Wouldn’t you like a second chance to go back and do it wrong?
Coed Demon Sluts: There’s always room on the team.

This series of feminist women’s fiction novels features shoes and shopping, massive quantities of food and controlled substances, all-girl hot tubbing, riot-grrl rage, rollicking, revenge, renewal, and rejoicing. Six women find out what they’re made of by making themselves into something totally other.


The Coed Demon Sluts Series:

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth
Coed Demon Sluts: Jee
Coed Demon Sluts: Melitta
Coed Demon Sluts: Amanda
Coed Demon Sluts: Pog
Coed Demon Sluts: Omnibus

Buy Coed Demon Sluts Omnibus at BVC Ebookstore



Monday 15 August 1664

August 15th, 2017 11:00 pm
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Posted by Samuel Pepys

Up, and with Sir J. Minnes by coach to St. James’s, and there did our business with the Duke, who tells us more and more signs of a Dutch warr, and how we must presently set out a fleete for Guinny, for the Dutch are doing so, and there I believe the warr will begin. Thence home with him again, in our way he talking of his cures abroad, while he was with the King as a doctor, and above all men the pox. And among others, Sir J. Denham he told me he had cured, after it was come to an ulcer all over his face, to a miracle.

To the Coffee-house I, and so to the ‘Change a little, and then home to dinner with Creed, whom I met at the Coffee-house, and after dinner by coach set him down at the Temple, and I and my wife to Mr. Blagrave’s. They being none of them at home; I to the Hall, leaving her there, and thence to the Trumpett, whither came Mrs. Lane, and there begins a sad story how her husband, as I feared, proves not worth a farthing, and that she is with child and undone, if I do not get him a place. I had my pleasure here of her, and she, like an impudent jade, depends upon my kindness to her husband, but I will have no more to do with her, let her brew as she has baked, seeing she would not take my counsel about Hawly. After drinking we parted, and I to Blagrave’s, and there discoursed with Mrs. Blagrave about her kinswoman, who it seems is sickly even to frantiqueness sometimes, and among other things chiefly from love and melancholy upon the death of her servant, [Servant = lover] insomuch that she telling us all most simply and innocently I fear she will not be able to come to us with any pleasure, which I am sorry for, for I think she would have pleased us very well. In comes he, and so to sing a song and his niece with us, but she sings very meanly. So through the Hall and thence by coach home, calling by the way at Charing Crosse, and there saw the great Dutchman that is come over, under whose arm I went with my hat on, and could not reach higher than his eye-browes with the tip of my fingers, reaching as high as I could. He is a comely and well-made man, and his wife a very little, but pretty comely Dutch woman. It is true, he wears pretty high-heeled shoes, but not very high, and do generally wear a turbant, which makes him show yet taller than really he is, though he is very tall, as I have said before. Home to my office, and then to supper, and then to my office again late, and so home to bed, my wife and I troubled that we do not speed better in this business of her woman.

Read the annotations

Well, yes, provided that they are public

August 15th, 2017 06:38 pm
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

London garden bridge project collapses in acrimony after £37m spent.

And I can't help wanting to say to Boris J that in Ye Bygone Days when people built follies they did so on their own estates and with their own money (though on reflection this was probably ill-gottens from the Triangle Trade and dodgy dealings in India) and didn't ask the nation to pay for them.

(And aren't there already memorials to Princess Di? How many do we need?)

And, you know, it's a pretty idea and in theory I am there with Thomas Heatherwick that 'London needs new bridges and unexpected new public places': except that that is not a part of London that required Yet Another Bridge, there are so many that taking the boat journey along that stretch of river is more like going into a tunnel.

Also, it was not properly a public space:

a link that would be privately run, would be able set its own rules for access, and would close at night and be available to hire for private events.
Not dissimilar from those gardens in London squares to which access is by residents' key. I do not think that is a definition of 'public' that would have been assented to by those urban planners and reformers creating parks and spaces for the benefit of the inhabitants of the metropolis.

I am also boggled by the suggestion that the river is not already pretty much 'centre-stage' in our great city.

I think Mad William would have had things to say along the lines of

I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow.
and whether if crowds flowed over the bridge, so many, common and routine usage would have meant that
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.

I might go along on the line suggested by this to comment that what good is a garden bridge if the land lies waste?

Interesting Links for 15-08-2017

August 15th, 2017 12:00 pm

Local history

August 15th, 2017 10:17 am
shewhomust: (mamoulian)
[personal profile] shewhomust
At the dentist's this morning (just a checkup, thanks, and all is well) I noticed for the first time a picture behind the reception desk. It's a slightly generic painting of a stone bridge over a river, with the title in bold capitals: Victoria Bridge. It looks like a pub sign, and come to think of it - yes, says the dentist, we just brought it inside when we converted the pub (which I remember well from when we used to live up that way).

Things change, but the past is not effaced.

(no subject)

August 15th, 2017 09:25 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] jcalanthe and [personal profile] muckefuck!
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Local clinicians: I just got the mailing for this fall's Harvard Med Psychiatry Dept CE trainings, and at the Dec 1 & 2 session "Treating Couples", kinda buried in the list of presenters are Esther Perel and Terry Real. It's astronomically expensive, like all Harvard Med's stuff, but if you're a sufficiently hardcore fan, there you go. (Some of the other names on this list may also be famous people I don't recognize.)
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Posted by Marie Brennan

Diana Wynne Jones is the reason I became a writer.

For those who aren’t familiar with her work, she was a British writer of children’s fantasy who passed away a few years ago. One of her odder and more difficult works is the novel Fire and Hemlock, which riffs on the Scottish border ballads “Tam Lin” and “Thomas the Rhymer.” The friendship of the heroine and the hero, Polly Whittaker and Thomas Lynn, is built partly on the epic fantasy story they are writing together, sending chunks of manuscript back and forth in the post as each of them adds a new section.

I read that book when I was nine or ten years old. And I distinctly remember putting it down and thinking, I want to tell a story.

In Reflections, a collection of DWJ’s essays and speeches, there’s a piece called “The Heroic Ideal: A Personal Odyssey” where she discusses Fire and Hemlock in depth, tying it in with her childhood reading and thoughts on heroism and gender. Naturally, given my love for DWJ’s work in general and that book in particular, I devoured this essay. It discusses Odysseus quite a bit, and in passing says this about his wife:

In the Odyssey, Penelope can only stay good by tricksy passive resistance which doesn’t do much to get rid of her suitors. But at least she was using her mind — like her husband.

I’d never thought about Penelope as a trickster before. But isn’t it by deception that she fights against her enemies? She tells them she must weave a funeral shroud for her father, but each night she undoes her work, stalling for time. The essay made me see her actions in a new light.

And then one day I thought, hmmm. Is there any way I could reinterpret Penelope to make her more active?

The story fell out of my head in a single sitting while I killed a few hours at an airport, waiting for my flight. Because of course what is weaving associated with, in Greek mythology? With fate. With the three Fates, to be precise — who in some theogonies are said to be the daughters of the goddess Ananke, “Necessity.”

What if, with her weaving and unweaving, Penelope wasn’t just trying to stop something? What if she was trying to make something happen? And failing, again and again, but she keeps on trying, because she has a gift, even if she can’t fully control it.

“Daughter of Necessity” is one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written. And I owe Diana Wynne Jones thanks twice over for it: first for making me a writer, and then for writing the lines that brought this story into being.


The Eclipse Is Coming

August 14th, 2017 05:59 am
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Posted by Diana Pharaoh Francis

The full eclipse will happen next week. There hasn’t been another in my lifetime and I’m incredibly excited. It doesn’t hurt that I live in the path of totality. I’m super excited to see it. I’m less excited about the influx of people. It’s not that I begrudge people this opportunity. I would certain come hundreds of miles to see it. It’s just that it’s going to be almost like a midwestern blizzard in terms of the need to stock up on supplies and stay home. In my town alone, they are expecting around 500,000 visitors. Restaurants are worried about employees getting to work since the roads will be packed. All business are worried about credit card transactions, because they think the system will be overloaded. Emergency response people are worried. Part of the reason is that there’s a river bisecting the city and only ONE bridge. If something happens there–like an accident or suicide attempt (which in fact did happen)–then no one crosses the river, and if you’re not on the side of the hospital, you’re in trouble.

The city is opening all the city parks to overnight camping, which could be interesting. I’m hoping they’ll have at least some bathroom facilities. Oh, restaurants are also figuring they are going to be running out of food.

My plan is to grocery shop this Weds. and Thursday, and the hunker down and plan not to do any driving if I can avoid it. Oh, except I ordered a bushel of fire roasted hatch chiles, (a local market here does the fire roasting and so they will be super fresh). It will be in this Saturday. Luckily we have friends coming in for the eclipse and will press them into service helping can the chiles. Speaking of which–I don’t have to skin them, do I? I planned to de-seed and stem them, chop them up, and then can them. If you’ve advice, I’d like to know. I plan to can in water, not oil, because that’s very much like the store bought fire roasted chiles that I get.

Also, we picked blackberries today. Lovely, fat, juicy blackberries. I’ve frozen at least three gallons so far, and have probably ten or more gallons left. There will be pies, and then there will be more freezing until I can get around to making jelly or something else. Oh, and I picked two quarts of blueberries off one bush yesterday. A bush I’d already picked. I have another six bushes to pick.

Anyhow, back to the eclipse. I’m planning my menu for my friends and planning on enjoying the weekend and staying out of businesses as much as possible. Also keeping cash on hand as they’re saying with the credit transaction issues, cash will be critical.

Anybody else have plans for the eclipse? Are you as excited as I am?




Sunday 14 August 1664

August 14th, 2017 11:00 pm
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Posted by Samuel Pepys

(Lord’s day). After long lying discoursing with my wife, I up, and comes Mr. Holliard to see me, who concurs with me that my pain is nothing but cold in my legs breeding wind, and got only by my using to wear a gowne, and that I am not at all troubled with any ulcer, but my thickness of water comes from my overheat in my back. He gone, comes Mr. Herbert, Mr. Honiwood’s man, and dined with me, a very honest, plain, well-meaning man, I think him to be; and by his discourse and manner of life, the true embleme of an old ordinary serving-man.

After dinner up to my chamber and made an end of Dr. Power’s booke of the Microscope, very fine and to my content, and then my wife and I with great pleasure, but with great difficulty before we could come to find the manner of seeing any thing by my microscope. At last did with good content, though not so much as I expect when I come to understand it better. By and by comes W. Joyce, in his silke suit, and cloake lined with velvett: staid talking with me, and I very merry at it. He supped with me; but a cunning, crafty fellow he is, and dangerous to displease, for his tongue spares nobody.

After supper I up to read a little, and then to bed.

Read the annotations

Note of Some Potential General Interest

August 14th, 2017 06:13 pm
jsburbidge: (Default)
[personal profile] jsburbidge
 Today (August 14) is the Feast of St. Arnold, Patron of Brewers. 

Enjoy responsibly.

Wonderful Radio London

August 14th, 2017 09:57 pm
shewhomust: (Default)
[personal profile] shewhomust
On 14th August 1967, the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act came into force, closing down the UK's pirate radio stations. I remember listening to the last broadcast of John Peel's Perfumed Garden. The show had always run on the basis that no-one bought advertising during its late night slot, and no-one listened, including management, so Peel could ignore the station's top 40, and play what he liked. As the station's last day began, he just extended the show until morning - 5.30 am, according to Wikipedia (and here's a track listing).. I won't say I heard it all, but I slept and woke and slept again and as it came to an end I was still there. I remember Peel saying that 'they are closing the gates of the Perfumed Garden, but we are on the inside' - and I got up and went for a walk, because that was what I wanted to do. And realised when I got home that I had gone out without a key, and had to sit in the porch until someone else woke up to let me in.

Later that afternoon I turned the radio on again to hear Radio London sign off (with the station signature tune, which was known as Big Lil.

It was 50 years ago, I was in my teens, and Wikipedia says that the Perfumed Garden had only been running since May '67.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

So, farewell then, printer which has been with me some dozen or so years, also previous computer.

Take it away Bessie Smith:

The usual sturm und drang over setting up the new All In One Computer and the printer which purports to be wireless, but refuses to connect thusly: however it will connect by cable.

Though alas, all the USB ports are on one side of the computer, the one away from where the printer has to go (unless I do some major rearranging), but I think I have contrived.

And of course, various other things still to get sorted.

But, getting there, sorta.

Interesting Links for 14-08-2017

August 14th, 2017 12:00 pm
bibliogramma: (Default)
[personal profile] bibliogramma

Craig ​Timberg's Tinderbox: ​How ​the ​West ​Sparked ​the ​AIDS ​Epidemic was, as far as I can tell from reading a few reviews, somewhat controversial when it was first published. Certainly there's a lot in this book, which looks primarily at how the AIDS epidemic started, and the conditions that both encouraged and hindered its spread in Africa, that makes one stop and think.

Timberg begins with an anti-colonialist narrative of how AIDS finally, after centuries of being confined to the simian population of Central Africa with no significant or recorded crossing of species lines, erupted into the human population. He identifies Western engagement in Africa as the catalyst, from the vast social disruptions caused by European projects intended to steal the resource wealth of the continent by forcing its people to do the work of harvesting and transporting, to the effects of both Christianisation and forced separation of families on traditional patterns of marriage, initiation rituals and sexual activity.

In particular, he points to a history of circumcision as an initiation ritual, and the tendency to have polyamorous but closed circles of sexual relationships as two traditions that might have limited the spread of AIDS throughout Africa had they not been lost in the decades of colonialist exploitation and ' modernisation.'

Timberg presents considerable evidence that the greater resistance of circumcised men to HIV infection was noted on many occasions during early research into risk factors, but never considered as a potential part of prevention education and programming.

He also notes that in those instances where African nations focused on trying to change sexual behaviour, stressing the idea of faithfulness within relationships and partner reduction in general (such as the 'zero grazing' program in Uganda) rates of infection fell significantly.

The narrative he constructs around attempt to slow the rate of infections across Africa contrasts the mostly African-based programs focused on changing sexual behaviour with programs imposed from outside along with Western aid money, which stressed condom use. He also contrasts attempts to introduce multi-faceted prevention programs, such as ABC (abstinence, be faithful, condoms), with programs focusing only on using condoms. Summarising the findings of one epidemiologist who examined the effectiveness of condom-centred prevention programs, Timberg says:

"Hearst found that condoms rarely failed when used properly by individuals, but he couldn’t find any examples of condom promotion campaigns slowing HIV’s spread in African societies with widespread epidemics. He acknowledged their role in reducing infection in epidemics such as Thailand’s, where transmission was concentrated within the sex industry. But while African men often used condoms in casual hookups or with prostitutes, few did so with their wives or girlfriends, despite years of public health campaigns encouraging the practice. He also raised the unsettling possibility, stimulated by some disturbing findings his research team had made in Uganda, that aggressive condom promotion campaigns, often featuring racy images and double entendres, may make casual sex seem more acceptable, potentially helping to spread HIV."

Condoms seemed not the be the answer for Africa, a possibility that few Westerners were willing to accept. Instead, Timberg suggests that the program ultimately championed by his collaborator in this book, David Halperin, focused on circumcision, partner reduction and changes in sexual behaviour, would be more effective in African nations: "What existed in Africa’s AIDS Belt, and in only a couple of other places on earth, was a “lethal cocktail” of extensive heterosexual networks and low circumcision rates. Changing either factor, on a broad enough level, could cause the pace of new infections to slow dramatically."

While Timberg deplores the imposition of Western ideas of how to fight the spread of the disease on African cultures, he does not ignore the mistakes made by African governments - often prompted by a desire to refute Western perceptions of Africans as promiscuous, primitive, and sexually over-active, or by resistance to conditions attached to money intended to help prevent the rising number if new infections and treat those already infected.

It is an interesting book, and one that tries to look at the ways in which Western imperialism and ignorance have affected the path of the disease in Africa. I find myself wishing, though, for a book that covers similar ground written by an African.

siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Via [personal profile] conuly, Why Medicaid Matters to You, by Prof. Sharona Hoffman, of CWRU. tl;dr: Because Medicaid is not just for poor people, it's how old people (and younger disabled people) pay for nursing homes. So it's for you, too, unless you plan on dying young and healthy.

The article has some interesting stats in it.

(I'm morbidly curious to know where you can score a private nursing home room for only $92k/yr. I presume it's somewhere very rural and far away from here, with terrible care, because by Massachuetts prices that's an incredible bargain.)
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Posted by Jill Zeller

The Twins, House of Frey. MKomarck


The Twins of House Frey are impressive. They rise up from the river flats, two hulking sentinels occupying either shore of the swift Green River. Joined by a bridge and the center Water Tower, if is a challenging fortress to assail and conquer.

So far on our trip we’ve walked through museums rife with emotion. One of the worst is the Twins, the infamous site of the Red Wedding. The hall is normal, now, draped in tapestries of fishing folk and portraits of the Frey family. The wooden floors gleam with wax, and the air is floral. A fire burns in the center of the hall—not a real fire but a hologram of one—making the hall welcoming and even homey. But I couldn’t wander through without pondering the horror of the murders that took place there.

The view from the causeway is stunning. The silver river is broader than the Mississippi here as it flows south through the valley to join the Trident. Tawny hills with every shade of orange and brown roll up to a sky mottled with clouds. Gulls wheel in the sky, and along the river banks herons stood and geese floated in the shallows.

We’d booked too late to land a two-night stay in the guest quarters of the Water Tower, to share the same room Catelyn Tully occupied. But our room in the eastern tower was room, and warm, and I spent long minutes watching the river.

My husband was very much looking forward to the Iron Islands, and I have to say I was sorry to leave the Twins—despite their horrific past. We travelled to Seagard to embark on the several-hour catamaran cruise to Pyke. This was a lovely trip, as the Iron Islands rose out of the windy sea, rocky peaks topped with fortresses, seabirds circling the cliffs, and not a tree of blade of grass in sight anywhere.

We’d been warned to dress warmly and were glad of our down jackets, woolly hats and thermals. It was cold!! Worse, I thought, than Winterfell, and probably because of the damp. Moisture was everywhere, coating the slate-colored bluffs, the stone castle walls, and everything else.

Magali Villenueve. Asha Greyjoy

But there was no time to fret about the cold, and the staff kept us busy as if to keep our minds off our numb fingers. They staged a Drowned God ceremony that was scarily authentic. We boarded a war galley and sailed out into the bay—here we had our chance at the oars, but I declined. My husband tried it and kept up pretty well, even at “ramming speed”. He earned a special button emblazoned with the Ironborn kraken.

The ships are amazing and huge. There were hundreds—it seemed, anyway—in the bay. Their bowsprits were carved into krakens, resembling giant squid with blazing, even eyes.

We stayed at Great Wyk, the outermost island, as we had been advised that was the most sheltered place. But “sheltered” on the Iron Islands is relative. It was so windy the sand struck our faces if we ventured out onto the walkways.

There is a fine portrait of Theon Greyjoy. The staff have hung it alongside that of Asha Greyjoy, despite his spotty reputation. Many of the halls have been dedicated to the warrior-like, violent Ironborn: Euron and Victarion among them. There was a startling depiction of Aeron “Damphair”, before his devotion to the Drowned God. In the painting he is really the prettiest of them all.

Tower of House Baelish. phatandy

After three exhausting days on the Iron Islands, we returned to Seagard and were flown to Baelish Keep on the Fingers. It was prettier than I expected and very relaxing. There was even a spa! This, of course was all in preparation for the Eyrie, as we had been warned that this leg of the tour was the most vigorous of all.

Next week: The Eyrie, Riverrun, Harrenhal and Dragonstone.



Saturday 13 August 1664

August 13th, 2017 11:00 pm
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Posted by Samuel Pepys

Up, and before I went to the office comes my Taylor with a coate I have made to wear within doors, purposely to come no lower than my knees, for by my wearing a gowne within doors comes all my tenderness about my legs. There comes also Mr. Reeve, with a microscope and scotoscope. For the first I did give him 5l. 10s., a great price, but a most curious bauble it is, and he says, as good, nay, the best he knows in England, and he makes the best in the world. The other he gives me, and is of value; and a curious curiosity it is to look objects in a darke room with. Mightly pleased with this I to the office, where all the morning. There offered by Sir W. Pen his coach to go to Epsum and carry my wife, I stept out and bade my wife make her ready, but being not very well and other things advising me to the contrary, I did forbear going, and so Mr. Creed dining with me I got him to give my wife and me a play this afternoon, lending him money to do it, which is a fallacy that I have found now once, to avoyde my vowe with, but never to be more practised I swear, and to the new play, at the Duke’s house, of “Henry the Fifth;” a most noble play, writ by my Lord Orrery; wherein Betterton, Harris, and Ianthe’s parts are most incomparably wrote and done, and the whole play the most full of height and raptures of wit and sense, that ever I heard; having but one incongruity, or what did, not please me in it, that is, that King Harry promises to plead for Tudor to their Mistresse, Princesse Katherine of France, more than when it comes to it he seems to do; and Tudor refused by her with some kind of indignity, not with a difficulty and honour that it ought to have been done in to him.

Thence home and to my office, wrote by the post, and then to read a little in Dr. Power’s book of discovery by the Microscope to enable me a little how to use and what to expect from my glasse.

So to supper and to bed.

Read the annotations

andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Instead, I was seen by a doctor last night at the Out of Hours service, who checked with the Eye Pavillion, who told me to come in at 2pm today. So Jane got me there in one piece (crossing roads and navigating festival-goers being tricky when any change of brightness causes intense pain), the doctor checked it was nothing unexpected, and that my iris was not stuck to my cornea (like last time), and then handed me some Maxidex and Cyclopentolate. The former reduces inflammation, the latter stops anything sticking to anything else while it recovers.

It's a pain, because I have to take the Maxidex hourly for the next two days, then 6 times a day for a week, then 4 times a day for a week, then thrice daily for a week, twice daily for a week, once daily for a week, and then I can finally stop. So I've installed an app on my phone to tell me when I should, and am letting that worry about it for me.

Also, the Cyclopentolate seems to cause my eye to focus slightly less well, so for the week I'm using that I suspect I'll have a bit of a headache (as I do now).

But! I am not in as much pain as I was, and my eye is probably not going to explode. So yay!


August 13th, 2017 08:58 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Bread during the week: a Standen loaf, v tasty.

Saturday breakfast rolls: brown grated apple with molasses and ginger: using up two bags of flour probably a) rather more wholemeal than strong white b) probably quantities a bit more than usual; also using up ginger so these were quite gingery.

Today's lunch: small whole sea-bream baked in foil with ginger and lime; served with purple crinkle-cut sweet potato fries, garlic roasted sweet-stem cauliflower and bellaverde broccoli, steamed samphire tossed in butter, and padron peppters.

Notes from the travel supplements

August 13th, 2017 04:34 pm
shewhomust: (mamoulian)
[personal profile] shewhomust
But first, a sidelight on the subject from the Guardian news section: a recent report on the changes in British holidays over the last 20 years - with thanks to [personal profile] durham_rambler for remembering the magic word which allowed me to track down the article online: the information comes from the ONS (and here's the ONS report itself, which clarifies what is meant by words like 'average'). I read the headline, "Britons shunning two-week holidays in favour of short breaks" and thought it confirmed my suspicion, that these days it's all about the weekend break - but no, although these are now more popular than they were in the 1990s, the real growth is in the ten-day holiday. Which makes our Easter trip to Europe bang on trend - as was our choice of Germany as a destination! Another surprise is that Spain is by far the most popular destination (that may mean, overseas destination - I'm not sure), and has about doubled in popularity in the period we're looking at: I'd have guessed that package sunshine holidays had shifted from Spain to Florida, with the help of Disney resorts, but no - or perhaps that had already happened when the baseline was drawn. Yesterday's travel supplement notes that Barcelona is suffering from tourism overload, and blames AirBnB, cruise ships and the Olympics. So that's all interesting.

Meanwhile, back in the UK, an article about hill forts begins "As a nation, we’re not very good at appreciating our prehistory. We can just about take in Stonehenge, but prefer our history to start with the Romans – more manageable and all written down." Speak for yourself, sir! The article is linked to a new online atlas of hill forts, which is rather fine. If you search the Guardian for 'hill forts', the top result is this rather more sceptical article (but its main reservations seem to be about the terminology.

We could go to West Jutland and see the Vikings.

I probably won't take an island holiday in Croatia, not even for the pleasure of tasting a wine called grk - I'd be more tempted if it didn't rely on cycling (and scooters) to get around.

But we are plotting a few days in France in October, since we have an engagement in London: time to make some decisions about that...

Interesting Links for 13-08-2017

August 13th, 2017 12:00 pm

[domesticity] That Damn Lamp

August 13th, 2017 12:00 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
1) I feel the need to share that the lamp in question, I got from Aunt C – who spent her entire working adult life making lightbulbs for Sylvania. The fact that I can't manage to find adequate working replacement LED bulbs his is either the most ironic or most appropriate thing ever.

2) Okay, I'm now in correspondence with the manufacturer of one of the sets of 5W bulbs that didn't work. They asked about the competitor bulbs that worked, and said they will scare some up to compare with their product. ETA 8/13/17 11:10PM: I have just got a full refund and a thank you note for supplying such detailed information, which is being passed on to the R&D team.


wolfinthewood: Wolf's head in relief from romanesque tympanum at Kilpeck, Herefordshire (Default)

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