This is called cheating

Oh, cripes, it’s 11pm already. And I have teeth to brush and hair to disentangle and shrieking urban foxes to throw saucepans at from the upstairs windows before I turn into a Cucurbita moschata.

So, denizens of the Internets, any of you that are reading this, that is (hi!) – what shall I burble about next? You tell me, and at the weekend, I shall get out the Hay Festival Limited Edition Coffee-Mug, for there is no prolonged blogging without caffeine, and, indeed, burble. Literarily [Is that a word? It shouldn't be - Ed].

Posted in NaBloPoMo 2010 | 5 Comments

Here is my oar. In Boston Harbo[u]r.

Dear USA,

You must understand that most of my understanding of Tea Party politics comes from The Guardian and the BBC. The Guardian, I agree, is a rather woolly-liberal left-of-centre rag, but the BBC? Prides itself on making sure both sides think her reportage is biased.

The basic ‘idea’ behind the Tea Party Movement – outrage at the government bailing out the banks, resentment of ‘government interference’, being pro-free-markets – are all comprehensible, even reasonable (not that I agree with free markets, what with being a raging Communist European cheese-eating surrender-monkey [Mmmmm, havarti - Ed]). But then the Tea Party fields Mid-Term Election candidates like Christine O’Donnell [moron], Glenn Beck [media whore. Shouty media whore], Rand Paul [misogynist thug.] [STOP PRESS - oh good God they've elected the misogynist thug]. Dear, dear, beloved USA, what the fucking fuck?

And the whole ‘Obama is a Muslim (despite the fact he goes to a Christian Church regularly) and wasn’t even born in the USA’ thing (poor Hawaii. It may have only been a State since 1959 but it’s been part of USA territory since 1898). It looks call-for-the-men-in-white-coats insane this side of the Atlantic.

I assume Tea Partyers [Partyites? Partinis? Partaloons?] don’t give a flying-fercrying that We The Rest of the Planet think they’re insane. I assume, in fact, that giving a flying-fercrying would be seen as an act of weakness and the giver of the flying-etc. would be hunted down by an armed Sarah Palin in a helicopter. [Is this the one who thinks New Hampshire is in the great Northwest?]. So there’s nothing any of us this side of the Atlantic can say to the USA about politics that would have any kind of useful impact. [The Guardian (bless, the patronising eejits) even tried it in 2004 and the good denizens of Ohio were, unstartlingly, deeply unimpressed.]

And yet, dearest USA, best friend and closest ally and child of our loins, grown up so very tall and strong, whatever you do, whatever you decide, fucks directly with us Europeans. We’ve helped you fight your wars, we’ve bolstered your economy and bought your pretty computers. We eat, drink, love, breathe and shit your culture. When you rile up Differently Religious nations, they bomb us as well as you. When your economy tanks, it takes ours down with it. When you shout ‘jump!’ we all shout ‘how high?’ (and then argue about whether that’s too high or not high enough, admittedly, but at least we react). You are now, whether we commie bleeding-hearts like it or not, the Alpha of the Western pack. You are responsible for a great deal more than the shenanigans going on inside your own borders. Your shenanigans, no matter how much we protest, are our shenanigans too. Thanks for that, oh Globally Dominant ones. Any chance of electing some people who could point to us on a map?

Posted in NaBloPoMo 2010, Politics | 3 Comments

Updates and vacuuming

Well. This is a cobwebby, rusted-shut sort of a blog at the moment, isn’t it? My blog-roll has disappeared altogether, look. Can’t find the bastard thing at all. And my categories are scattergories (but I think I know where they are. At least, I think I saw NaBloPoMo 2007 laughing at me from under a table just now). Whenever I think of the work, oh God the work it’s going to take, sorting this be-damned blog out again, new-and-improved style, with a shiny updated blog-roll and nice new categories to fill with wit and charm, I feel quite sick.

Maybe I shan’t bother. After all, eating dinner off a packing-case and making a bed out of sofa-cushions and sleeping-bags is quite fun, isn’t it?

But I have a new template! I have been thinking Big Thoughts about the template for months now [She is not kidding. Not even a little bit - Ed]. An Ideal Template, of course, would be winsome yet authoritative. Funny yet high-minded. Just a tad geeky, seeing as geeky is cool, yet classic. Hinting at long nights of Turkish coffee and political discussion in chic slightly distressed apartments in Paris or possibly New York, yet down-to-earth, cosy as an Amish quilt and smelling of cocoa and lavender.

Eh.

How about this one? It’s… well. It’s Not Annoying. And I can play with the pictures in the header. I’m happy.

So, where have I been, while this blog grew toadstools and the mice chewed its edges?

It’s a crappy question. Well, it’s not a crappy question, but the answer is crappy and can get out of hand and next thing you know you’re holding my hand and passing me tissues and refilling my glass with gin all at once while I repeat ‘no, no, I’m fine in an increasingly shrill and wobbly voice. Aren’t you glad there’s all this internet in the way?

When I last crashed out of this blog, I crashed back in again to let you all know that while doing my MA in Librarianship, I had finally-at-last-hurrah gotten pregnant, and then lost the baby, which broke my heart. Since that time, I have had four more miscarriages. Given that my heart was already broken, they between them broke me instead. I am not entirely like the Reed of old. I am a very tired Reed. I find writing creatively painfully hard now, and have written very little poetry or done much to my novel drafts. I work full-time, in a more senior post at the same old library (the MA was useful). Whole days spent reading or dicking about with wool and needles? No longer exist. And my health has not in the least improved – my insides are a mess, and I am in violent, not-even-the-morphine-touches-it, throwing-up-and-passing-out pain from time-to-time.

OK, that last paragraph was fairly foul, wasn’t it? Cheer up, it’s over now, and you don’t have to read it again.

On the plus side, I do have a full-time job, which in this Age of Scary Economy is a blessing and a marvel. I am still married to S, who is still wonderful and adorable (and currently has a vile stinking cold and looks utterly miserable, poor sod). I still have all my own teeth and no fillings. And I still have internet access. So.

What to write about tomorrow, that’s the question.

Posted in Bibliothecaria, NaBloPoMo 2010, The Capacious Hold-All | 3 Comments

A terrible thing happened on the way to the blog

Good Lord, has this place really been in bubble-wrap and dust-heets for two years? Oh dear. And I had such plans. Grandiose ones. Book reviews. Theatre reviews. A poetry column. A political rant every single week. Could any plan be more exciting and fulfilling?

And yet I fell off the edge of the earth in 2008, for months and months and months, and only briefly reappeared to, well, complain, really, and then realio trulio fell off the edge of the earth for (oh my God) two years.

So. Um. Plans. Now neatly reduced to ‘do NaNoWriMo, and if you haven’t died by the end of it, have an ice-cream binge’.

This counts as a post, by the way. Whatever the Editor says.

[... - Ed].

Posted in NaBloPoMo 2010, The Capacious Hold-All | 4 Comments

The world is my teeny-tiny mollusc

I have just this week been radically re-evaluating what I am capable of. [But see NaNoWriMo counter - Ed]

I told you all that I had passed my MA, making me a BaMaMa, which is just stupid. Well, last week the University finally got around to sending back the dissertation, all 15000 miserable last-minute-scribbly panic-welded words of it. But for insane, possibly-involving-vast-clerical-error reasons of their own, they marked it A+, 75%, jolly well done and thank you.

What? What on earth? [And, I repeat, see NaNoWriMo counter, for the full brain-wrenching paradox]

I assure you people, the dissertation was shit. I knew in my bones it was shit and I would just about scrape a pass, mostly out of the pity and embarrassment of my tutor’s hearts, and I’d have to bury it in the Council compost heap when it came back, after two goes through the shredder, naturally. And I had good reasons for knowing it was shit. I was grieving for my lost baby, I had been very ill and I can see now I panicked and went back to work [full-time work! Reed, you ARSE] far too soon, I hated the subject I was writing on, I procrastinated by reading and reading and reading and S was beginning to panic for me as bloody hell, I was leaving the writing part late, I typed the whole thing out in a last-minute frenzy [there's a king-sized typo in the Introduction that swallowed a whole sentence. How unsurprised I was to see it there].

The only people I have told about the A-freakin’-+ so far are my bestest friends, some colleagues, and the internets. No, not any family. Why have I not told family? Well, frankly, for their own safety, for they will say ‘I knew you’d be fine, I really don’t know what you were making such a fuss about’ and a red mist will descend and then eight police-men will be holding me down and prying the shattered remains of the twelve-foot solid oak dining table from my bare hands.

[Which somehow makes the NaNoWriMo belly-flop A-OK, does it?]

Posted in NaNoWriMo 2008, University | 3 Comments

Friday is for poetry. It just is. I’ve decided

Holy Innocent

In Spring this old magnolia puts forth
White hands held up in prayer, is
One hundred saints on one worn trunk,
And passers-by lift up their faces.

Oh birdie, I would have shown you it,
And you, just old enough to see,
Raising your own white hands, so tiny,
Astounded at the sudden brightness -

Your absence underneath my heart
Still haunting me in all things perfect,
Weightless as just one hand praying,
My clenched fist in the midst of glory.

Posted in Poetry | 7 Comments

An omnivore’s 100

As well you know, because I am supposed to be working on the Novel, I am drawn irressistably to memes. This is a humdinger of a foody meme I found on Aphra’s blog a while back, and promised myself I’d do when [If - Ed] when I resurrected Out of Ideas. So. Here it is. With all the [peculiar] glimpses it may give you of my upbringing [also peculiar] and Food Issues [deeply peculiar]. Enjoy.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

1. Venison – Lots and lots and lots and lots of times. My step-father has a deer-shoot on his land every year.
2. Nettle tea – I have some in my cupboard here. Purifies the blood, allegedly. Also, tastes like nettles.
3. Huevos rancheros – I make a mean Hueveos Rancheros.
4. Steak tartare – Yes, but, really, what’s the point? The taste may be good but the texture is disgusting. Must be the raw egg they add. Do not like bracing myself against the gag reflex during dinner.
5. Crocodile – Nope.
6. Black pudding – Mmmmm, black pudding. So very nearly horrible, yet so yummy.
7. Cheese fondue – I am the unfortunate twerp (there’s always one) who burnt her tongue so badly on cheese fondue she couldn’t eat anything at all for two days afterwards.
8. Carp – but not gefilte fish! How have I reached the grand age of tumpty-three and no gefilte fish? My Jewish blood is turning watery and pink in disapproval.
9. Borscht – yes.
10. Baba ghanoush – yes. And I know how to make it. Mine never quite as good as the restaurant version. Hmmm.
11. Calamari – goodness, yes.
12. Pho – yes, me likey. We used have the most fantabulous (friendly, cheap, peculiar linoleum) Vietnamese round the corner from our first horrible little flat.
13. PB&J sandwich – Had an American step-mother. Ate these by the metric ton in adolescence. But as I have bread issues (it’s a texture thing. Again) I prefer PB&J on toast.
14. Aloo gobi - This is exotic? To whom is it exotic? My Mum used to make this as a side dish all the time when I was a kid. In No-Running-Water, Illiterate Peasantville, Up Medieval Mountain on the Med.
15. Hot dog from a street cart – not always to my subsequent distress.
16. Epoisses – ooh, ooh, I have a good story about this. One of my many, many, aunts brought some back from France. We were staying with Section Zero-Zed-Alpha (as opposed to Section Zero-Zed-Bumpkin (aka Dad in Brigadoon), or the In-Laws) of the Parental Units, and the cheese was brought out in triumph after a somewhat boozy dinner, and we all scooped foul-smelling, eye-watering, pungent, creamy, fabulous lumps of it onto out-cakes and nommed away, and then staggered off to bed, leaving the detritus all over the table. Next morning, clearing up with a mild headache and a peculiarly horrible taste in the mouth, one of us lifted up the empty box the cheese had come in and… the cheese fumes had burnt a perfectly circular black mark on the wooden table. It’s still there. Faded, but still there.
17. Black truffle – oh yes. Oh my. *swoon*
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes – yes. Aunt known as ‘Mad, Baskety,’ makes elderberry wine that tastes like a yummy innocuous little cordial and has you lying on the floor and clinging on to table-legs for dear life after two glasses. She unforgivably once did this to the vicar during a village fete.
19. Steamed pork buns – I love these.
20. Pistachio ice cream – yes, the proper ‘kulfi’ kind and all, moulded into a dear little cone-shape.
21. Heirloom tomatoes – What the hey is an ‘heirloom’ tomato? *google google*. Oh, well, yes, then, OBVIOUSLY. We used to grow them on the farm, on account of that being, you know, tomatoes. The irradiated genetically fucked-about-with poly-tunnel supermarket versions did not enter my universe until I was well into double-digits.
22. Fresh wild berries – It makes me sad that this needs to be asked. Are there that few people who’ve gone blackberrying? And, in my case, because I seem to have been, unbeknownst to me, spoilt rotten, elderberrying, wild-strawberrying, wild cherrying, and mulberrying.
23. Foie gras – Oh, golly, but this is yummy. I haven’t eaten it for years for Moral Reasons, but oh, golly. I still dream about it.
24. Rice and beans – yes, both the Venetian version and the Caribbean version.
25. Brawn or Head Cheese – yes. Also, brain fritters, which were disgusting beyond very nearly all other things I have put in my mouth.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper – once. Because Mad Basketty Uncle thought it’s be a laugh to make me nibble one, under the impression it was sweet like a bell pepper. Bastard.
27. Dulce de leche – oh God I love this. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I haven’t made it for ages. Oh, now there’s a thought…
28. Oysters – yes, and frankly, you can keep ‘em.
29. Baklava – yes. But I have nothing amusing to say about baklava.
30. Bagna cauda – yes, often.
31. Wasabi peas – yes *cough*, yes I ha *cough cough* have. *Splutter*
32. Clam Chowder in Soudough Bowl – yes, once. Fab.
33. Salted Lassi – yes. I actually prefer it to the sweet version.
34. Sauerkraut – yes.
35. Root beer float – No. Because, well, no.
36. Cognac – yes.
37. Clotted Cream Tea – yes.
38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O – alas, yes.
39. Gumbo – yes.
40. Oxtail – yes, was practically brought up on things made out of boiled extremities, what with the self-sufficient farming hippy up-bringing thing.
41. Curried goat – yes. We bred goats. I’ve eaten them curried and roasted and stir-fried and boiled and stewed and made into soup. Sorry.
42. Whole insects – only by mistake. The very idea gives me the yips.
43. Phaal – no. Do not wish to die in coughing, gagging, choking, bright purple, blinded with own tears and streaming snot accident.
44. Goat’s milk – yes. Raised on it, when we weren’t stewing the buggers. Then, as an adult, worked out cow’s milk gives me eczema, so back on goats milk, now handily sold in all good supermarkets for, ooh, only twice the price of cows.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more – *Does monetary exchange in head* yes, once or twice. Wasted on me, as I only like whisky diluted with ginger ale, or ginger wine, or soda water, so I may as well stick to Famous Grouse.
46. Fugu (aka pufferfish) – no.
47. Chicken tikka masala – This is supposed to be exotic? WTF? It’s practically replaced fish and chips as Friday Night Carry-Out in Britain. Oh, right, yes, of course.
48. Eel – yes. I find it acceptable smoked. I find it unacceptable jellied.
49. Kispy Kreme original glazed donut – yes. I’m not proud.
50. Sea urchin – yes. I like Japanese Raw Things What Lived In Oceans. The only one I don’t really care for is the large orange fish-eggs.
51. Prickly pear – I’m sure I’ve had this candied at some point or another.
52. Umeboshi – yes, lots.
53. Abalone – yes, see point about Japanese Raw Things.
54. Paneer – yes. I even had a go at making it once (abject failure).
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal – yes. Please don’t hate me. I was young, I was foolish, I suffered agonies of self-disgust.
56. Spaetzle – yes. Also, we used to make these in Italy for New Year. We called them ‘orechiette’ because we’d squish them between finger and thumb with a sort of pinch-and-slide movement that would make them into little curled shapes very like ears. Took bloody hours.
57. Dirty gin martini – yes, once. I like olives, I thought it would be nice. Turns out I prefer vermouth to olive brine.
58. Beer above 8% ABV – yes. Jeez. Ugh. Never again.
59. Poutine – no. Not yet. I will go to Canada one day, and then by GOD I will eat poutine.
60. Carob chips – When I first stopped eating cow’s milk products, my family went through a phase of raiding health-food stores to buy me dairy-free treats. Bless their little hearts, they were alas also flavour-free treats. Carob is now on the Absolutely Verboten list.
61. S’mores – I went to an American International school for a couple of years. S’mores are, actually, kinda dull.
62. Sweetbreads - these are not, contrary to popular belief, the knackers of an animal. They are the thymus glands, which even humans have, but which wither away in adolescence. They are part of the immune system. Thymus glands, therefore, are from young animals, calves, lambs, piglets. They are quite nice for the first bite or two, then cloying, then hideous. Incidentally, I have also eaten pan-fried testicle. Not my husbands, whatever my family like to believe about my virago stridency. They were a very-nearly-a-ram’s. And they were… quite nice until I asked what, exactly they were.
63. kaolin – This is medication, not food. But considering the amount of toothpaste, paper scraps (I used to chew paper. Sue me) and organic fruit (permitted spray to protect apples from excess sun) I have eaten in my life, I have probably ingested enough for a good-sized tea-cup.
64. Currywurst – no. Absolutely not. You must be joking. Curried wurst? Sheesh.
65. Durian – yes, once, while in Australia. It smells exactly like over-excited brie, and tastes like vanilla ice-cream. Splendid stuff. Hold nose tight while inserting mouthful.
66. Frogs’ legs – yes, often, they were a local specialty in the valley I grew up above. They are the most pointless thing to eat I have ever eaten. Taste of nothing, texture of very tired chicken, very little meat on them.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - I think I’ve eaten all of these. I think we Europeans call Elephant Ears, Palmiers. If I’m wrong, then I haven’t eaten Elephant Ears.
68. Haggis – ooh, yes, and we do get one for Burns night, and I do shout ‘Proud Chieftan o’ the puddin’ race!’ at it. Sorry. And then we drink Whisky Macs and I get sentimental and sing ‘Green Grow the Rushes’.
69. Fried plantain – yes. Not keen. Too starchy. S likes it.
70. Chitterlings – yes, and never ever ever ever again. Also tripe. Never never never never again. The texture – erk – I think I’m going to retch…
71. Gazpacho – yes
72. Caviar and blini – yes. I made the blinis! Underwhelmed by the shockingly expensive caviar though. It’s, fishy and salty and bobbly. Ho hum. I prefer smoked salmon.
73. Louche absinthe – yes. And I liked it rather a lot. (Louche is when you add water and it goes milky and pearly). (You have to add water or you die). (Joking.) (Or am I?). (In any case, always shake the bottle so you don’t get a concentration of wormwood in the first shot poured). (What? I’m serious. Someone murders someone like this in a short story by Dorothy L. Sayers whose name I can’t for the life of me remember).
74. Gjetost or brunost – yes. Very very nice.
75. Roadkill – no. Yes. No. Well. It was a pheasant, and my Dad hit it, and it was wounded and fluttering about in hysterics, and so we wrung its neck to put it out of its misery. And then, well. What else could we do? So not exactly road-kill. Also, I strongly suspect it was illegal of us to take it home and so we technically poached it. In wine! Haha!
76. Baijiu – no, and I hadn’t a clue what it was. I think if I tried it my stomach lining would burst into flames. I’m not much cop with strong liquor.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie – I really can’t be arsed with American diabetes-in-a-carton when Britain, France and Italy between them purvey the best fruit-based desserts in the known Universe. Now if the American pie was made from scratch by a real live person out of actual fruit, I’d eat it and nomnomnom it and exclaim over it and everything. But being proud of a thing in a box? Made by the people who brought you Twinkies (also known as Die Now As Your Corn-Syrup Clagged Arteries Clang Shut)?
78. Snails - yes. Kinda chewy.
79. Lapsang Souchong – oh, look, I’m drinking a cup of Lapsang right now this very minute.
80. Bellini – yes. Also, we make them ourselves for birthdays. One of the few ways I can take sparkling white wine/ champagne (it SHOULD be Prosecco, but, oh well), without my entire digestive tract from lips to ileum screaming in protest.
81. Tom Yum – oh yes, lots.
82. Eggs Benedict – yup.
83. Pocky – Is this the long stick of biscuit dipped in chocolate? Then yes. If not, what the hey is it?
84. 3 Michelin Star Tasting Menu – nooooooo alas wail wail sob longing face pout.
85. Kobe beef - once. Crikey, it’s expensive. And exactly like beef-flavoured butter.
86. Hare – yep. I jugged one once. It wasn’t brilliant. Poor hare. Sorry.
87. Goulash – oh, come now, this is silly. Who the heck hasn’t eaten Goulash?
88. Flowers – yes. Namely, roses, lavender, violets, nasturtiums, thyme flowers, borage. Candied, sugared, in cakes, in salads, in soup, in chocolates, in trifles. All very lovely. Oh, and geranium, but that’s the perfumed essence of the leaf, not the actual flower, no matter how floral it smells.
89. Horse – not that I know of, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had. My parents made me eat astonishing things. What’s a little horsey?
90. Criollo chocolate – yes, made me high. You have been warned.
91. Spam - yes, but only so I can sing the Spam Song.
92. Soft shell crab – yes. See Japanese thing above. Though this one was deep-fried.
93. Rose Harissa – I love this stuff. Love love love.
94. Catfish – yes. Tasted like mud. Bah.
95. Mole Poblano – yup. On chicken. Nummy.
96. Bagel and Lox – yes
97. Lobster Thermidor – was mildly disappointed. Too much thermidor, not enough lobster. Also, sheesh, but it’s rich. Felt slightly sick afterwards.
98. Polenta – yes, I grew up on it. Unfortunately, the One I Cook For hates it, and I don’t like the pre-prepared brands and I can’t be arsed to make it from scratch just for me. *sigh*. I miss it. Maybe I should be arsed.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee – I love coffee, and this is the coffee of the Gods, and I can’t really afford it, but I once gave some to my step-Dad (who understands these things) for Christmas, and he and I sat down and drank coffee together in perfect, reverential silence. It really is really good. But not quite as good as the price-tag says it is.
100. Snake – no.

I agree with Aphra that it’s a bit USA-ean – hence rant about Hostess pies up above [Oh, God, we're going to get sued], but I am startled, startled I tell you, by the sheer amount of weird stuff I’ve managed to eat [I'm not]. Out of 100 items, I have eaten 93. Some of those were admittedly hideous mistakes, and some were one-offs and unlikely to be repeated, but, yea, verily, I will try everything once, except incest and folk dancing (with thanks to Thomas Beecham, who said it first).

[I hate to disturb and upset the masses, but you have done folk-dancing].

Posted in The Capacious Hold-All | 3 Comments

Obama BAMAMA

I got home this evening vaguely pissed off with the entire universe and especially those parts of it that have got to their mid-forties without realising that, actually, they are not entitled to stand in the train doors and bellow into their phone when others are trying to board and/or dismount from said train. I had spent the entire afternoon ‘doing metadata’, which is nowhere near as cool as it sounds and frankly, my eye-balls have screen-tan. Lunch had been eaten with one hand at a cafe table outdoors in the drizzle, other hand fending off falling leaves and pigeons. NaNoWriMo’s lack of ‘Wri’ and also lack of notebook was beginning to prey on my mind. I was tired. I had spent entirely too much time the night before last dancing about infront of the telly shouting ‘Ha ha!’ every time another county turned blue. Wednesday morning all the Americans in the office were delirious with joy, and there was much Avoidance of Work and festive biscuitry (or, I suppose, cookieness). Yesterday was fun. I think I have an optimism hangover. Today was positively Stygian in its gloom and existential ‘meh’.

But there it was, when I got in. A small flimsy envelope all over slightly crooked University stamps, and a wildly excited husband standing over it and jigging impatiently from one foot to another.

Ah. Yes. That MA I was doing. Yes.

I opened the envelope. I read the first few lines of the letter. I passed it to S. I felt bemused. I felt… empty. Oh, I said. Oh. There was much hugging.

And S got out the champagne.

At which point I started grinning like an eejit.

Ah well, what’s another happy hangover between friends?

Posted in Politics, University | 11 Comments

So. Well. So. There you have it. Hmmm

Dear dear Helen, Lilian, Archie, Sol and David,

Hello! Have you ANY idea how lovely it is to find the internets haven’t forgotten you as you so richly deserve to be forgotten? Any idea at all? I think I shall cry real pearls and sneeze opals. It’s that lovely. And then we shall all have tea.

Anyway. This year’s novel is a fantasy [Oh, so very true, in so many ways - Ed (you didn't think you'd get her back without me too, did you?)] about, well, stuff. Politics, ambition, sibling rivalry, loveless marriages of state, nations on the brink of war, assassination attempts, journeys across two continents and woolly mammoths [In a word, and I use this word judiciously: Overambitious].

Progress on novel so far: Me tearing house apart looking for marvellous, fabulous, glowingly wonderful notes I made last year, listing really cool names for all the characters, complete with etymologies. Tolkien would have been so proud. Have I found the notes? Have I buggery. Am I saying ‘Never mind!’ and yomping cheerfully onwards? Am I buggery.

Also, my NaNoWriMo word counter isn’t updating properly.

It’s day 3 and I’ve lost the will to live. Go me.

Posted in NaNoWriMo 2008 | 10 Comments

She’s back.

My God, look at the dust in here. Look at it. I can’t even see the colours of the upholstery.

It’s disgusting.

We’ll have to redecorate.

*Whistles through teeth*

Someone mentioned the old blog to me a couple of weeks ago, and it dawned on me I’d been away for nine months. Nine whole months.

Normally, when a woman goes off to concentrate on ‘higher things’ for nine months, she comes back cheerfully brandishing a whole extra tiny person and a very smug expression. Well, I had a go at that, and it went very badly wrong, and I was rather ill for a while. Then I started a full-time job before finishing my degree, the which I think is absolute proof I had lost my tiny mind. And then term started again and I had handed in my dissertation and the NHS suddenly remembered my existence and lumbered back up to offer me some more invasive physical tests and maybe another go at this tiny-person-making business. Yes, I said. Why not. I can’t be unlucky every damn time, can I? Can I? Just give me a moment to consider how to explain further medical absences at work.

And naturally I decided to do NaNoWriMo as well. What the hell.

NaNoWriMo 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008

Posted in NaNoWriMo 2008, The Capacious Hold-All, University | 8 Comments