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ningloreth [userpic]


December 8th, 2018 (04:12 pm)
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I came back off holiday on Wednesday and stepped into a Kafka-esque nightmare.

The front door was stuck, but that wasn't a problem. (I got in through the back door and managed to open it from inside).

The heating was broken, but that wasn't a problem. (The wind had blown the pilot light out).

The problem was a note from my brother, P, saying (suspiciously, I thought): PHONE ME WHEN YOU GET HOME NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT (my italics).

It seems that someone has reported me to the RSPCA for swanning off on holiday and leaving my cat to fend for itself.

I don't have a cat.

I've never had a cat.

My brother phoned the RSPCA to tell them that I don't have a cat. It took him half an hour to get through to someone.

P: She doesn't have a cat.
RSPCA: We still have to follow up a complaint. We need to talk to her.
P: She's not here. She's on holiday. I'm just coming in to feed the fish and water the plants.
RSPCA: Are you feeding the cat?
RSPCA: We still have to follow up a complaint.

I phoned them myself, first thing Thursday morning. It only took me a quarter of an hour to get through.

ME: I don't have a cat.
RSPCA (as if the informant might have mistaken the species): Do you have any animals?
ME: Just some fish.
RSPCA (as if making an important note): Fish...
ME (breaking down): Surely you can understand how upsetting this is? I would never be cruel to a cat. I don't have a cat. There are cats living on my street, and I sometimes talk to them, but they're not my cats.

Never let yourself get upset when you're talking to a complete arsehole. It will only encourage her to treat you like shit. Yes, I know that the RSPCA is doing an important job, but treating a person as if they're guilty based only on some anonymous person's random accusation is a slippery slope, however good the cause.

I've been waiting for over two days for an inspector to call, and...

Well, how can I prove that I don't own a cat? Obviously, saying that I don't own a cat (until I'm blue in the face) isn't enough. And the absence of food, a litter tray, and a cat flap might merely prove to them what a crap cat owner I am.

God, I'm fed up.

ningloreth [userpic]

Some ramblings...

November 27th, 2018 (05:22 pm)

I'm setting off on holiday tonight -- a week in Krakow with my brother and sister-in-law -- so I've been very stressed, what with deciding what clothes to take, washing them, packing them, weighing my suitcase, finding my passport and travel insurance -- nearly forgot those! -- cleaning the fishes and clearing out the fridge, and doing all those last minute things at work that just have to be done before I go away because, well, the business will fall apart otherwise. Obviously.

Cut to save space...Collapse )

I'll be taking pictures of Krakow and will post them when I get back ;-)

ningloreth [userpic]

The Shieldmaiden, the cheese, and more of the 100 Questions

November 11th, 2018 (06:50 pm)

I'm not mathematical enough to know whether it is amazing that the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day should have fallen on a Sunday, but it's very appropriate. At the same time, it feels like there's no possible way to properly commemorate the end of something so apocalyptic.


I had a busy couple of weeks, then it took me another couple of weeks to recover, and then I got so behind with work, and so worried about it, that I got up at 6 am yesterday morning to catch up, only to find that, when I finally put my mind to it, the totally impossible took me less than two hours!

Unfortunately, posting here has also slipped...

But, thanks to bogwitch, who did some research for me and then suggested a body-swap solution, my ridiculously-expensive-but-bought-off-ebay-for-only-£16.99 Eowyn doll no longer looks like one of Michelangelo's female nudes...

Cut for plastic nudity...Collapse )

ningloreth [userpic]

Christmas Blanket and Questions 32 to 42.

October 8th, 2018 (02:38 pm)

I've decided to make a Christmas blanket (though the jury's still out on which particular Christmas we're talking about).

Last year, at about this time, I saw a lovely pattern on Pinterest:

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ningloreth [userpic]

Well why would it work? And some birds.

September 29th, 2018 (02:20 pm)

Sod's law: having decided to make the effort to post here more, I discovered that I -- and at least some of my f-list -- couldn't see the pictures I was posting, or only see them intermittently. In recent posts, I solved the problem by using LJ Scrapbook to host the pictures, but that didn't fix my earlier posts...

Cue lots of support requests to LJ, to my service provider and, since I've done something I've always said I wouldn't do -- imported my journal into Dreamwidth -- to Dreamwidth, too, because although there's no problem with the pictures there, crossposting isn't working for me. Honestly, why would it?

It turns out that LiveJournal handles images hosted anywhere that doesn't uses the https protocol via a proxy, causing all sorts of firewall and timing problems. My service provider has now whitelisted the IP addresses LJ provided, so the pictures are back -- fingers crossed! -- and they've also told me that 'you can call your images over https'. So, belt and braces! I'm going to experiment with https under the cut.

Cut for some icons and more answers to the 100 Questions...Collapse )

ningloreth [userpic]

Some Photographs of my Narrowboat

September 26th, 2018 (11:32 am)

I've found a few pictures of the boat. They're old transparencies, which I've scanned, so the quality isn't great and some are a bit... well, hairy!

Here is the narrowboat Akhenaten:


It was 30 feet long, but the rear six feet or so was D's workshop, so the living area was about 18 feet, half of it sitting room -- with wood-burning stove, seating, TV shelf, and lots of bookshelves -- and half kitchen, loo and wardrobe/storage. The middle porthole (in the picture) was over the sink, so we could see to wash & wash up, the opposite porthole was in the loo.

The front deck was big enough for two folding chairs but, in the end, we spent most of our 'outdoors' time on the back deck.

The boat was named after the Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaten (Tutanhkamun's father -- that's him in my icon). I painted the cartouches; D did pretty much everything else!

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ningloreth [userpic]

Questions 15 - 20

September 24th, 2018 (01:38 pm)

After a hair-raising one hour phone call to Canada (or possibly the US -- not sure) I think I have sorted my ticket problem, except that I have now received several emails from Ticketmaster which don't quite seem to relate to the phone call and one rather dodgy-looking, misspelled one that says

There was some sort of issue with the payment. Contact first your financial institution to see if maybe there denied the charge because it was oversees? Then call us back at 1800-653-800 to attempt another try to charge the card.



More answers!

15. Have you ever been on a road trip?

Britain doesn't really lend itself to road trips; there are few places you can't drive to in a day, though our roads are very busy so driving for several hours can be tiring.

I suppose the closest I've come to a road trip was actually a boat trip.

Cut for pictures...Collapse )

ningloreth [userpic]

Some Bonkers-ness and Questions 12 - 14

September 21st, 2018 (01:41 pm)

I'm not sure whether a person living alone in a house with lots of funny dark corners is bound to go batty but, over the years, I've often felt there is someone else living here too. Last night, I found my bedroom window wide open and, although many of the strange things I find are obviously things I've done myself and forgotten, I am absolutely sure that it wasn't me who opened the window. Anyway, the open window, and something odd in the bathroom, prompted yet another search of the house. In the roof, part of which has been converted into a child's bedroom, I found the little door to the rest of the roof space, open. I immediately closed it and jammed some stuff in front of it... Then I thought, as I was coming downstairs, "If there is somebody living in the roof, I've just killed him!"

One of the perils of writing murder mysteries :-)

(Now I'm thinking it must have been the wind that blew the door open, and probably sucked the window open, too, somehow).


I answered the following questions last night but, as I was about to post them, my computer crashed. It's been doing that a lot since a major Windows 10 update a couple of weeks ago. The Microsoft Support site says it's a hardware fault and that I need a new processor. I think it's suspicious that when I began typing 'Windows 10' and the error message into Google, it came up as the first option, just as if lots of people had recently been Googling it... Hmm.

Anyway, here's the next batch of answers, as best I can remember them:

12. What is your aesthetic?

Cut for lots of pictures...Collapse )

ningloreth [userpic]

The Subsequent Life and Opinions of Thomas Haxby, Chapter 1

September 20th, 2018 (09:22 am)
Tags: , ,

It's ages since I've posted any writing here, so I've decided I'll gradually add a few of the Draco/Hermione stories I've written recently, plus the story I'm currently writing (and have been for over a year!), The Subsequent Life and Opinions of Thomas Haxby.

Harlots is a tiny fandom; I'm the only person on AO3 writing this pairing in English! The TV series is set in 1750s London, where one in five women, it says, makes a living from sex. It follows the adventures of a group of prostitutes, and its message is that, although women are always at a disadvantage in 18th century society, if they're willing to use their sexual assets, with skill and with some luck, they can still have agency. The women refer to themselves as 'harlots' as a positive alternative to 'whores'.

This story is a sort of spin-off, giving two of the characters their own adventure, which starts in the middle of an AU season two. It's called 'subsequent' because, in canon, poor Mr Haxby suffers a disastrous 'change of circumstance' at the end of season 1 (and doesn't appear in season 2).



Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Thomas Haxby/Charlotte Wells
Summary: Mr Haxby is obsessed with God, eternal damnation, and Miss Charlotte Wells—though not necessarily in that order—and Miss Charlotte Wells is looking for a man she need not pretend with.
Author's Note: The entire story so far is already posted here.

Chapter 1...Collapse )

ningloreth [userpic]

Aaaargh! And Questions 5 - 10

September 19th, 2018 (01:21 pm)

Good God!

One of the reasons I never joined in the '3 good things' meme that was popular a while ago is that I'm a very glass half empty sort of person -- a bit of an Eeyore, really, except that I also get stressed.

You've been warned!

Anyway, every year I buy tickets for several Vancouver Canucks ice hockey games, and every year Ticketmaster makes me jump through a different set of hoops.

This year, I got a special code from the Canucks, allowing me to book a day early. It came yesterday afternoon, whilst I was in the office, and the email displayed a clock, counting down to 7 pm (11 am Vancouver time) -- Bugger! -- slap in the middle of my journey home. No problem, I thought, I'll set an alarm on my iPad for 11.15 pm, so I don't forget, LOL, and book the tickets the moment I get home.

Just outside Stafford, at about 9.00 pm, the train stopped. And stayed put. For over an hour. The signal box had, apparently, caught fire -- a first for everyone, it seemed, especially the very enthusiastic young Train Manager, who kept bing-bonging us 'to keep us on the same page'. After an hour or so, it was decided that the driver should move from the front engine to the rear engine -- a difficult manoeuvre, we were told -- and back us up about 2 miles, then turn us off onto the Stoke-on-Trent line. We got to Manchester at 00.16 -- I made a careful note -- 140 minutes late, as I said on my delay refund claim.

I'd missed the last tram, so it cost me £30 to get back to my car by taxi. Once we reached Prestwich, the driver was in uncharted territory and stopped to phone a friend, whist I sat watching the clock tick over. Eventually, I managed to persuade him that I could give him directions...

By then, I'd decided that it was best to leave the ticket buying until the morning. After a miserable night, due to my new next door neighbour's smoking in bed -- how does smoke come through a brick wall and, more to the point, how do I stop it? -- I tackled Ticketmaster Canada.

This year, the only option they gave me for delivery was 'Go Mobile'. Your phone, they said, is your ticket.

No it effing isn't! First, I can only install a Ticketmaster UK app on my phone, which seems to know nothing about my Ticketmaster Canada account. Secondly, when, in desperation, I tried to 'Text my Ticket' to my crappy little phone, all I received was a link to the Ticketmaster Canada website -- and I daren't open that because they have Draconian security measures in place to foil ticket touts, so who knows whether, if I open it now, I'll be able to open it again next March?

Canada's a long way to go only to find that you don't have a ticket to the event you've gone the long way to see.

I've emailed Ticketmaster Canada, asking if I can change delivery to 'Collect from Venue', which is what I've had to do for the past two years, thinking that that was inconvenient! Gone are the days when they just sent you a pdf, you kept it on your computer -- or in, my case, on multiple computers, including the office server, and on various storage devices, just to be on the safe side -- admired it periodically, then printed it out and handed it in at the door. Bliss!


I've decided to post my stories here, like I used to, so don't be surprised if you see a second post from me today!


A few more questions.

5. What was your favourite cartoon as a kid?

Goodness! The cartoon I watched most was probably Tom and Jerry, because it was shown at tea time. (My dad had built a special shelf over the dining table for our TV, so we were a very progressive family: back in the '60s, we were watching TV whilst we ate!) I remember, at school, being asked to draw up a list of violent TV programmes and being surprised when most people listed Tom and Jerry. I realised I'd never thought of it as violent because the violence obviously wasn't real. (Interestingly, the teacher agreed with me. I wonder if teachers would now?)

I think the cartoon I liked the best was Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The only thing I remember about it was that they were searching for Arnie Saknussen. I still sometimes think I might come across Arnie Saknussen when I'm trying to find the loos in some restaurants.

6. What’s your favourite cartoon now?

I don't have one as yet but, when I was making the goody bags for writerconuk, I found myself intrigued by Pixie Barefoot's favourite fandom, The Mysterious Cities of Gold... So I've bought the DVD!

7. Do you read the newspaper?

Not regularly. I read the Metro on the train, and I like The Week. But I'm a historian by nature, and -- although I have strong views -- I'm not much interested in the details of the present.

8. Who was the last text you sent to?

LOL, me! See above. I don't text, on the whole. I sometimes Instant Message, but I prefer to Skype.

9. What does the last text you sent say?

"Click the link below and sign in with your [email address] account to view your Vancouver Canucks vs Ottawa Senators tickets."

10. If you could have any hair colour what would it be?

My hair gets whiter by the day and my brother, having seen a woman with pastel coloured streaks in her hair, suggested I should do something similar. I have bought some hair chalks but, so far, I haven't had the nerve to try them!

11. Do you like nature documentaries?

No. I avoid them like the plague unless they're about dinosaurs. Even then, they have far too much death and misery in them for my taste. I understand that when you're filming live animals they'll kill and get killed, and they'll eat and get eaten, but why, when you're creating the animals in CGI and as puppets, and can make them do anything you want, would you show them suffering?

I don't like seeing bugs in close-up, either!

My dad loved nature documentaries, though, so I watched a lot of them as a child and I think I got a bit traumatised.

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