bunn: (Dark Ages)
2017-07-11 06:01 pm

Tintagel

An old friend is on holiday in Cornwall, so we agreed to meet up and wander around Tintagel.
I don't normally venture to a touristic spot in July!  It was busy. (I knew it would be, so for possibly the first and last time in my life, I actually arrived somewhere first and had to hang about. Fortunately, there are lots of places to get icecream in  Tintagel, and about 999999999 friendly dogs to talk to, so I was well occupied eating icecream and petting friendly dogs.  I could have quite happily done that all day.

The tide was low, so we went and had a look in Merlin's Cave:


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bunn: (canoeing)
2017-07-08 05:34 pm
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Saltash to Wilcove

On Friday evening, we decided to set off from Saltash and go downstream.  The nice thing about launching from Saltash is that it's practically seaside down there, so the water is clear and salt and the bottom is all sandy and there is no mud!  The slightly alarming thing is that the river is wide down there, so it can get a bit windy, and there are a lot of boats.  If you go down towards Plymouth, there are frigates and submarines, too.   I find  being in a canoe and sharing a river with a frigate a bit alarming!

 But fortunately there were not many boats moving on a Friday evening, and all of them were tiny.  The wind was quite calm too, so we crossed the Tamar just downstream of the railway bridge, went downstream and found ourselves outside the naval dockyard.  We weren't sure quite how close to it we were supposed to paddle, so we crossed the river to the Cornwall side again, which was much less daunting.

I forgot to bring the SD card for my camera, so you'll have to imagine the three egrets, the heron and the oyster-catchers, and the deep clear green water under the trees leaning down from the rocky shoreline.    We went downstream a little, then went around into a cove, where we saw a labrador sitting sadly by the river waiting for its person to stop doing other things and throw a ball into the water.  The labrador's person told us that the village was called Wilcove.   I've never been there before, so we paddled in to have a look, and found that it had a pub, and a driveway going behind the pub that was currently underwater.  I liked seeing the cars parked as far up as they could go, unable to escape until the tide went down.
bunn: (House of Fëanor)
2017-07-08 04:42 pm

Awkward moment in Nargothrond

"Then King Felagund spoke before his people, recalling the deeds of Barahir, and his vow; and he declared that it was laid on him to aid the son of Barahir in his need, and he sought the aid of his chieftains.  Then Celegorm arose amid the throng, and drawing his sword, he cried  ‘Be he friend or foe, whether demon of Morgoth, of Elf, or child of Men, or any other living thing in Arda, neither law, nor love, nor league of hell, nor might of the Valar, nor any power of wizardry, shall defend him from the pursuing hate of Fëanor’s sons, if he take or find a Silmaril and keep it. For the Silmarils we alone claim, until the world ends.’"

bunn: (canoeing)
2017-07-01 03:15 pm

The sun has returned!

And it is hot and I am eating ice lollies, although it's not so hot that I can't sit here wearing a thin fleece, which is About Right.  It's a pity it's horsefly season.

I have killed my laptop mouse yet again, and am having to operate with a touchpad until the new mouse comes.  I don't like it, it feels weird and unnaaaaaaaatural and horribly slow and fiddly.

Also I wrote yet another thing where people in Tol Eressea hang around after LOTR thinking 'we've run out of canon, what shall we do?  Eat cake and talk about canon again?  Why not?'
Even The Very Wise : 7367 words of Lalwen, Galadriel and Nerdanel chatting and eating cake.  Plus a phonecall with Fëanor.

bunn: (Logres)
2017-06-30 01:04 pm
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Buzzard v Heron

I came back to the house this morning to find a duel going on in the skies above it, between a heron and a buzzard.   The heron won.

I wonder what they could possibly have been arguing about?  The argument was rather loud. 
bunn: (Bah)
2017-06-26 04:01 pm

recaptcha

I really hate the style of form captcha where one must demonstrate that one is a human being by choosing all the photos that contain cars, or all the photos that contain street signs, for example.

I don't know how people with vision impairments get past them at all.  You have nine poor quality fuzzy images, some of which show part of an item that might, or might not, be a car or a street sign.  And then there is the 'is this a car /  street sign?' question.  I just failed a captcha because an image showed me a thing that I would call a bus.  But apparently to a captcha, it's a car.   And if the 'street sign' shows a different language or indeed alphabet, sometimes you can't work out exactly what it is.  Or it shows you a photo with what are probably cars, but they are tiny and far away!

Aaaaaaaaaaa!   Come back, mental arithmetic captchas, all is forgiven! 
bunn: (canoeing)
2017-06-25 02:15 pm

Some horses and dogs, (with Maedhros, Maglor & Finrod)


“… in the days of the Long Peace, Finrod Felagund lord of Nargothrond journeyed East of Sirion and went hunting with Maedhros and Maglor, sons of Feanor”  – The Silmarillion

I am quite pleased with the horses and the landscape.  The lurchers don't quite have the awesome fluid elegance that I would like my paintings of lurchers to have.   The people are...  not utterly terrible?
bunn: (House of Fëanor)
2017-06-24 10:02 am
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Back to the Fourth Age

Mereth Aderthad : Once More: With Feeling : 7687 words

Contains root vegetables, Elven politics, the powers of the princes of the Noldor, consideration of the Gimli Question, contrasting leadership styles among Elves, party planning, and background hobbits. Also, Maglor's thoughts on the whole 'when did Amrod die' issue, expressed somewhat forcefully.

Seeds of Lies: 10528 words
Maglor, returned to Aman with Elrond, makes new songs, gets drunk with Fingon and his aunt Lalwen, and runs into trouble with the Oath of Fëanor.

Not sure about the ending of this, but it was stupidly long already for a thing I didn't really mean to write.

Still rather surprised by the sudden appearance of all these words.  The problem with writing Fourth Age Aman is that you have pretty much the entire cast of the Silmarilion, plus Frodo and Bilbo.   So many characters, all with so much to say!

bunn: (Wild Garden)
2017-06-19 10:02 am
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Things Seen (and heard)

I can't find my walking boots so ended up walking in socks and crocs and getting my feet soaked by dew in the long grass. A less unpleasant experience in the heat than it would be usually.

Incredibly loud liquid warblings from the hedge, produced by a very tiny wren that looked as if it should not possibly be able to produce such a mighty song.

A very tiny rabbit, poised in front of me in a gateway, staring into the shadow where I and the dogs stood with that innocence that very young rabbits have, limned with bright sunlight, with its long delicate ears glowing red with the sun behind it. It stood there for a very long moment, till Brythen snapped at a fly and it suddenly realised we might be dangerous and fled madly into the long grass, huge back feet flying, appearing not entirely under conscious control.
bunn: (Logres)
2017-06-18 03:07 pm

Ooof

It is hot. I walked in Deerpark wood, hoping to avoid too much sun and flies. Most of the year, Deerpark wood is a walk that definitely requires wellies, because there are so many small streams running everywhere through it that it gets quite muddy, particularly where riders have taken horses through, but on a day like this, there is little mud and the many tiny streams are clear and sparkling. I know it must be really hot because Rosie got into one stream right up to her elbows! Most unusual behaviour for Madam I Can't My Feet Might Get Wet.

She also spent some time huffing and puffing down rabbit holes, like the Big Bad Wolf. She sticks her head in as far as it will go, and presumably, she can see or hear or smell the rabbit, not far away. Because once she has jammed herself in there, she huffs and blows. I am not sure if she is hoping that if she puffs hard enough the rabbit will shoot out of one of the other holes? That's certainly what it looks like.

The foxgloves are still in bloom and there are places where you have to scramble your way through tall purple groves of them. Down by the lower streams, the yellow monkeyflower is everywhere. It's not a native plant here, so I would guess that someone once dumped some garden waste in the wood and the streams have carried the seeds everywhere. And in between the foxgloves and the monkeyflowers, the white foamy flowers of wild carrot, which I usually call Queen Anne's Lace, but for some reason they looked more carroty today.
bunn: (Bah)
2017-06-14 04:04 pm
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Bah

Edged out of a wobbly old Cornish junction with a building hanging perilously over it, into an unexpected!Landrover.

Lost a chunk of Helga Saab's bumper and probably responsible for repairing a dent in the Landrover. Oh well, at least my no-claims bonus is protected. Surprising it doesn't happen more often, I spose. Someone came running out of a building,having heard the bang: "That's the third time this week on this junction!" she said.
bunn: (House of Fëanor)
2017-06-04 12:54 am
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Come Home

In which Maglor and Elrond meet Maglor's mother Nerdanel, Finrod makes a miscalculation, Maglor is princely, and Elrond is amused. And Finarfin is reluctantly kingly, even when surprised in his gardening clothes.

Come Home 6450 words.

Apparently I cannot get enough of Maglor being embarrassed about kinslaying, Elrond gently winding him up, and Finrod complaining tolerantly about Feanorians.
bunn: (canoeing)
2017-06-02 09:58 pm
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High tide paddlings.

I think these are from a couple of canoe wanderings.  This was the day that we arrived a little later than planned and found that there was a lot of high tide to go around!   That granite lump is actually a bollard on top of the quay, and behind it is a bench for people to sit on.  It was hard to tell where the river began!
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bunn: (Brythen)
2017-06-02 04:42 pm
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Me and Henry


This photo someone sent me makes me laugh, because Henry and I (I am in hat) are clearly so delighted to be meeting one another, and Henry's owner is just full of 'oh god, my dog is doing it again, I'll just stand here and wait'.

Henry was entirely adorable.  He was 9, I think, and had that just grey muzzle starting.  
bunn: (canoeing)
2017-05-30 10:32 pm
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Boathook

I just had a moment of 'how do you spell boathook, does it have a hyphen' and googled it.   And was disconcerted to see lots of photos of boathooks with nice safe round blobs on the end of the fending-off spike and the hook.

I just wrote a story in which someone wields a boathook as a weapon (hence the belated doubtful googling) and so this disconcerted me.  I had a clear idea of the sort of boathook I meant, which is the sort that my Dad owned, which was an object you could quite easily kill someone with, possibly by accident.

I had to google some more to discover that I wasn't misremembering the configuration of old boathooks. I remember it as basically a spear with a barb.

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What is the spike for?  I've always wondered this (particularly when my sister was holding the other end and pointing the sharp bit at me. Oh, how we laughed).  Why did it used to be so sharp? (Pirates? :-D )
bunn: (Baying)
2017-05-29 10:25 pm
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Dog show report

So, it turns out that if you are running a dog show with someone who has also never run a dog show before, there are a few non-obvious points.

1) tiny puppies under 6 months are not supposed to be in it.  Who knew!

2) Take a clipboard or something for each class so that you can see the full list of everyone who has entered without scrabbling madly through a notebook.

3) it's PHENOMENALLY DIFFICULT to remember which dog is which and which owner is which when you have 10 classes, most with at least 10 dogs in.

4) Labels for people to write their names on would be a good move.  Or write down the breed.

5) don't dogs come in a lot of shapes!

6) there are more miniature schnauzers in Devon than you'd think

7) it's best not to try to guess if it's a sprollie or a springer.  Just don't go there.

8) you may regret giving a prize to the nice old lady who then yanks her dog away rather too roughly by the collar.

 9) Try to make sure everyone gets a rosette. Having places 1,2,3,& 4 in all classes helps a lot with this.

10) I'm so glad I have a REALLY LOUD VOICE because there was no loudhailer and there was a band playing!

In other news, we gave Best in Show to the big brindle rescue lurcher called Mr Darcy.  Bull mastiff x greyhound x saluki, temperament to die for, my god, he was GORGEOUS.  I got lots of cuddles! 
bunn: (Bah)
2017-05-29 10:05 am
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Random things

On Friday evening after we got back from canoeing, the most enormous storm came up.  It had been the clearest, hottest blue-sky day, and then suddenly, rain was beating down, thunder grumbling all around and lightning everywhere: really everywhere, all around.   Very spectacular. Poor Brythen was most upset, but Rosie wasn't, nor Henning or Yama.  Odd, the things that do and don't spook them.

Pp has bought an airbrush and is excitedly trying out new miniature-painting techniques with it.  His paint attitude is diametrically opposed to mine: I seem to be slowly reducing the number of colours I paint with, to Paynes's Grey, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Titanium White, and Naples Yellow.  It's surprising how far you can get with just those...  Whereas he has LEGIONS of tiny paintpots in every possible shade and texture.

I'm supposed to be helping judge a dog show later today.  The weather forecast looked hot and sunny.  The actual weather looks grey and opaque: I can't even see Devon at the moment for the fog.  Hope it cheers up or I shall be judging dogs by feel : "This one seems to have... a tail. And fur! Well done!"

I've been having some difficulty sleeping, recently, which I know is par for the course for some of my friends but normally I can sleep almost any time so for me it's weird and upsetting!  Oddly, it was sleeping at night that was the problem, I'd sleep till maybe 4 or 5am then wake and not be able to go to sleep again.  I can resort to naps in the day, but those eat so much time!  I should probably cut back a bit on coffee.  *but I love coffee*  *laments*. And probably go to bed earlier...    It seemed to be related to writing, too: I kept waking up with ideas and thinking 'Oh, OK, I'll just note that down' and then two hours later...  Which would be fine if writing were a paid job, but since it's a hobby it's really silly.  Bah.

I have a bad feeling that the lack of sleep may also relate to the fact that I've taken a nose-dive this year into just not looking at the news, for the first time ever.   This is a bit cowardly and I should stop doing it.  Maybe next week.
bunn: (Smaug)
2017-05-29 09:21 am
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More writing of the Tolkien Things

I unintentionally went on writing.  I don't know why.  I intended to finish writing Dead Feanor and the War of Wrath, then finish my old Arthurian story that has been sitting around for ages.   But Dead Feanor got to rather a gloomy bit that I seem to find difficult to finish, so instead I wrote some cheerier things:

Love, Politics and Pastries 6327 words of Elrond, newly arrived in the West, and Celebrían in Tol Eressëa, discussing the House of Fëanor as pastries, and the Breaking of the World.

Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima 5525 words in which Frodo Baggins and Maglor, son of Fëanor have a chance-encounter with Elrond's father on the shores of Tol Eressëa,  take him back to meet Elrond and talk about song and stories.   I suppose technically this is a post-LOTR story rather than a post-Silmarillion one, since Frodo has quite a large role, but I feel obscurely awkward about tagging it as LOTR.   And I think it would not make much sense to someone who has not read the Silmarillion, whereas surely everyone who has read the Silmarillion has also read LOTR.

There seems to be a lot of chat and drinking in this series and not much actually happening!
bunn: (canoeing)
2017-05-21 10:19 pm
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Halton Quay to Calstock

We meant to go out on the river on Friday evening, but misread the tide times.
We meant to go out on the river on Saturday, but the skies were black, the rain fell, the wind blew and the storm warnings warned dolefully.
We meant to go out on the river today, and made it!
Halton Quay is a very convenient quay in some ways: it's easy to get to, has plenty of parking and is used almost entirely by fishermen and canoeists, so it's not too busy.  Unfortunately the other thing is has in generous quantities is MUD.

Not too bad on the way out, because we arrived not long before high tide.   The tide and the wind together helpfully wafted us up the river, listening to the sound of the wind in the reeds.  I love that noise.  It reminds me of childhood holidays in the Norfolk Broads.

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