bunn: (Kettlehat)
I just drove past the old railway embankment where the Terror Goat brought fear to Rosie and Brythen a couple of days ago, and can report that it has ESCAPED.  Its enormous shaggy form is now wandering free among the old mine buildings, munching on brambles and looking ridiculously smug.   If it jumped off the railway embankment then it has survived a 20ft fall, but I suppose that is nothing to a goat.
Read more... )
--
In other news, I'm still writing that 'what if Feanor didn't go to the Halls of Mandos after his death' story, only it has sort of segued into the Silmarillion from the Feanorian point of view that I have vaguely thought of for years but had always thought would be too long and boring to write.  Apparently I am now writing it.  I can tell you are gripping your chairs with excitement :-D

In further random animal news, I have just stopped Yama Bungle cat from trying to climb up the chimney.  I don't know if he can actually get up there, but I'm not keen to find out that he can and has got stuck.  I guess this means he is feeling better. 
bunn: (Car)
Driving back from walking the dogs, I had the Ipod on random shuffle. First it gave me 99 Red Balloons, which for those with imperfect memories of 1980s pop, is a dystopian tale of how a day beginning with a minor act of environmental vandalism ends in global nuclear catastrophe. It ends with the singer standing in the dust that was a city.

And then my Ipod, which, it appears, is an unsung musical genius, swung straight into Bill Bailey's Cockney Medley : I swear the join was completely invisible, I didn't even realise the first song had ended until suddenly the lyrics. (And wtf, youtube, with the visuals on that Bill Bailey video? But it does start at just the right point).

And Helga Saab, whose internal IT originates from 2002, and so has a somewhat shaky relationship with the Ipod, who she considers newfangled and confusing, announced the second song on her display by saying BILLB LOONS

... perhaps you had to be there. But I almost drove into a hedge I was laughing so much.
bunn: (Rosie Down Hole)
I spent two hours yesterday walking, and then running through increasingly darkening woodland in woeful pursuit of Rosie Roo, who had somehow lost me.

In the woods, where black shapes of trees stood starkly against the darkening sky, strange noises came out of the dark: most notably a vast grumbling hissing rumble which I cannot explain except by introducing a dragon.
I became convinced Rosie had somehow got into a field and had been trompled by cows, for the cows were wild and frisky and kept gallopping about madly in the manner of cows that have seen a dog and trompled it.   But Brythen assured me that all would be well.  I was covered in mud, soaking wet and well scratched by this time so it was all very hurt/comfort.

At last, we heard a terrible unearthly wailing upon the mire, which turned out to be the missing hound, who had finally looked around and realised I was no longer behind her, and therefore believed I had abandoned her.  She was very pleased to see me, when Brythen and I finally staggered out of the bushes (well, I staggered.  Brythen pranced, strong, elegant and not even muddy).
If there is a next time, I am just going straight back to the car, since clearly she has no difficulty finding her way back there on her own, and she, too, was not even particularly muddy. She stood there glowing in the moonlight like a unicorn, only prettier.

Whoever is scripting this stuff seems to have absolutely no concern for realism or indeed my dignity.
bunn: (dog knotwork)
I wrote this intermittently through the day while waiting for things to transfer across the internet, half-expecting LJ to lose it, but it hasn't.  It's a bit rambling.

Read more... )
bunn: (Bah)
The walk:  The sun was shining, and although some of the trees have lost their leaves, there are enough leaves left to make good reflections in the river.  The trees that still have leaves are mostly beech and sweet chestnut, which are both trees with good colour, although there were a few oaks still be-leaved too.

Read more... )

The whinge:
Read more... )
Finally, here is an article explaining how to turn Barbie dolls into Weeping Angels.  
bunn: (dog knotwork)
While walking the dogs, I met in passing a chap in our village.  He was outside a house having a smoke, and he greeted me with some observation about the weather, and patted Brythen.

Normally I would have chatted back in a more enthusiastically friendly manner, but I had a vague feeling that someone had told me something was suspect about this particular person, so while polite, I made rather more of an effort to move on quickly without engaging than I would do normally.

Only about five minutes later did it occur to me that my vague feelings of distrust and suspicion had their root in the fact that he bore a noticeable resemblance in appearance and clothing to Owen Harper, from Torchwood.   Whoops.

People who tell you to 'go with your gut instinct' presumably don't suffer from this kind of problem.   My instincts are constantly swayed by being bathed in a sea of suspicious and dubious characters and improbable scenarios from around the galaxy.  They rarely seem to have any validity.  
bunn: (dog knotwork)
Is a very fine name, but personally I think the name Thorolf Mostbeard may be the finest of all Viking names.  I hope he really did have Mostbeard, and it wasn't one of those Little John style names, making fun of his weedy and inadequate chinfungus. 
bunn: (Rosie Down Hole)
Things had been going rather well with Brythen and Rosie Roo over the last 2-3 weeks. They were mostly staying close and coming when called on walks. We've had several nice walks with lots of games of hide-and-seek. Rosie has visibly relaxed : she's much better at greeting other dogs (although she may still have a grumble if she sees them when she's on-lead and Brythn isn't), she's getting better at ignoring them rather than haring up madly. She's started playing with toys in the house, and haring around the garden with Brythen playing daft saluki chasing games. And she's eating more, which given her Size Zero figure is good news.

Read more... )
bunn: (upside down)
I seem to have been a bit flighty and scattered about Sutcliff Swap this year.
Read more... )

Finally I realised that at this rate I wasn't going to finish *anything*, and hurriedly wrote for melannen : 'Not The Emperor's Bodyguard' which is basically about how, when you get orders to go and re-occupy a remote Scottish fort that has been standing empty for about a hundred years, the place is going to be in the most awful mess when you get there.

If you are in the mood for art, I muchly recommend the painting 'Into the Emptiness Within Him' by [livejournal.com profile] motetus which captures that lovely moment where Aquila meets the High King Ambrosius and is given a sword superbly well.

My gift was "When in Calleva" about Cottia's Aunt Valaria's experience as an Iceni girl trying to settle into Romanised British society in Calleva after her marriage to Uncle Kaeso. It's a terrifying portrait of not-so-subtle social pressure, and really made me think. I had previously seen Valaria as almost a comedy cutout, but this gave her much more depth.
bunn: (Wild Garden)
I did finish Bride of the Spear in the end instead of pitching it into the charity shop pile. (And OMG, look at that cover on Amazon.  My copy does not have that cover.  I nearly fell over laughing when I googled it just now.)   And goodness me, she almost won me back as a loyal reader.  Almost...

 Owain of Rheged comes good and rides heroically in a Theoden-like manner to the help of Pict-besieged Bamburgh!  Loyalties are confused because the king of Lothian has some Pict followers who look at everything from a matrilinear perspective, whereas the British are patrilinear, and although everyone knows this, it's still hard for them to understand each other!  Healing happens not just with 'herbs' which magically make everything better -  but with specific, named herbs with specific properties! And the healer is very conscious of all the stuff she can't fix, and the difficulty of measuring an accurate dose!

(This is probably the kind of thing where many people will be thinking 'who cares!' but I do love heroic rescues and accidental cultural mixups and accurate herb-descriptions.)

I can't remember feeling this conflicted about a set of books... probably ever.    If only the characterisation /plotting was different!  I love the worldbuilding so much, but...
bunn: (No whining)
http://imgur.com/a/9fJLP

I particularly like the Disorderly Bookshelves. 
bunn: (No whining)
Finally having Something Done about the ancient underpowered shower that very occasionally decides to cascade water into the kitchen ceiling below, and is surmounted by the ancient extractor fan that wheezes, groans and hiccups.  I mean, it all works, more or less.  But this state of affairs seems unlikely to continue indefinitely.   Anyway, in pursuit of this goal, I had to clear out the cupboard in the shower room.  I have always thought 'what a good idea to have such a generously sized cupboard in here!'  But now I am thinking : excessive bathroom storage : it just SUCKS IN CRUD!
Probably of interest only to me. But if you *really* wish to read of the crud I found... )
bunn: (Default)
A duck egg in a fried egg and black pudding bap is an egg too far.  I had to take a shower afterwards to get the yolk off.

Tommy Shortlegs still has a limp.  To vet tomorrow.  Still no enquiries for him!  We have asked Corgi Rescue if they might know of a suitable home, since he is more or less corgiform.  Apparently they have 140 people waiting for corgis, and no corgis! 

Terry Pratchett's 'Nation' is sadder than I expected.  Not sure why I didn't expect this, given that the 'entire people being wiped out' aspect is trailered on the back of the book. 

Channing Tatum has ridiculously small eyes and a quite absurd amount of forehead.

Despite this I am having fun illustrating the Eagle Big Bang story I volunteered for, as it is well written and has huge amounts of landscape in it.  Plus, the next picture doesn't feature CT and his tiny eyes at all, but Cottia!  With a knife!   Need to find someone to draw as Cottia. 

Mollydog is *almost* 100% again, and has become loud and importunate.  I shall start her on her painkillers again tomorrow as I think the arthritis is getting to her. 

Rosemary Sutcliff's Simon is very much a local book (for local people?)    Very definitely grounded in Torrington, right down to the individual fields and the river.  Less sad than I had expected, given the whole Civil War setting, though the internal angst of best friends on opposite sides is quite well handled, the ending is perhaps a bit too happy to feel real. 
bunn: (Default)
In which I am Baffled by 4th Century Iron Things.  )

Skipping back a couple of centuries, I am intrigued by Hadrian's Frumentarii secret service, but wish to put a cherry on the top.  Would it be ridiculous to invent a Senatorial secret service working in parallel and sometimes at cross purposes with the Imperial one? 

In other news, I am unconvinced by rhubarb jam. It doesn't seem to be very... jammy. It is more like a pie filling in a pot.
bunn: (Default)
I find that one effective method of forcing my brain to do the things I want it to do (ie, work), rather than the things it wants to do (ie write long confused posts about undocumented Cornish history, doublecheck exactly what the Ring of Barahir looked like, rashly offer to foster a coonhound, Hack All the Garden Things,  and write short stories including ravens)  is to tell the bloody thing that it will just have to stay up all night, and I *will not allow it to go to bed until it has done its homework*. 

Eventually the damn thing knuckles under.  This technique is not great for getting things done the next day, but at least I do actually get a really surprising amount of stuff *done*.  I do wish my brain would be more cooperative. Sometimes it seems like the thing belongs to someone else entirely. *kicks brain* 

So far I have resisted the temptation of fostering the coonhound.  He looks very cute in his photos, but I think my hounds are quite enjoying being a twosome for a bit.
bunn: (Default)
 We have had a bizarre leak in our house,  which sent water trickling down both sides of the kitchen window & through the wall.  It started last night, and we could not work out where it was coming from. First we thought it was rainwater coming in through the roof, then we thought it might be the loo, then the radiator, then the loo again: plumber was just about to start taking the floor up & knocking holes in the wall - when he finally worked out that it was being caused by a knackered old washer on the tap in the basin which had been standing innocently to one side pretending not to be involved.

"I feel like Columbo sometimes in this job' he told me, with enormous satisfaction.

Why do plumbers always SHOW you the knackered washer? Is one supposed to go round checking them every week or something?  What are you supposed to say?  (I always nod sagely but I have no idea if there is an expected response...)
bunn: (No whining)
- Our washing machine has died. Debating whether to buy a new one (probably more efficient, will take more stuff in one load!) or see if I can find a repairer (more economical and more green to repair than replace - IF I can find a repairer that will come out here for not-astronomic sums and who can actually fix a machine that's about 8 years old and was cheap to start with...)

- Not only does it keep hailing, but I see from my window that Dartmoor is covered in snow! It's nearly April, this is most unexpected.

- forecast for the weekend is dire, so for a change I don't have Gardeners Guilt for going away rather than trimming and pruning madly. Fingers crossed the advent of Aaargh Day will be late this year.

- I went to Milton Keynes with my mother, two collie crosses, and a working Saab. I came back with my mother, two collie crosses, a whippet, an attack of the lurgi, and a Saab with a knackered thermostat.

- The thermostat is fixed and only cost £50 inc parts & labour. And because I'd topped the oil up, I didn't get charged for it by the garage (which tends to do stuff like that and ask later). Am rather cross with Helga Saab for going wrong when I'd bought her new tyres and everything...

- I wrote to my MP about the Digital Economy Bill, which seems to be being shuffled through in a bit of a rush, containing many worrying ideas. There is an Early Day Motion to delay and debate it properly, which I have asked him to support.

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