Thursday, April 30, 2009

Taters! And other stuff...

Spuds are in the allotment; tomatoes are in pots (and cloches) in the garden, along with some spinach, and a lot of weeding / de-nettling of areas has taken place.
There're still a number of spinach / cabbage / chinese cabbage plants to go into the allotment, but now that I've found the fleece I can protect them from any frosts we may still get in the next month.
Will it get warmer; colder; wetter? Usually if it's nice in April we get huge amounts of rain after that with the odd frost - hopefully it won't be enough to kill any of the veg off.

I planted a lot of hundred-weight pumpkin seeds, as well as a whole tray of sunflower seeds, so we'll see how many of those come up and can be transplanted. I've still got beans to plant along with sweet peas for pollination and I have a packet of tagetes that I can put in around the cabbages etc. which should encourage pollinators and (hopefully) keep most of the munchers away from the food plants.

We live in hope.

The chap with the allotment next to mine has moved his ferrets & polecats down from his old plot. They look sweet and are apparently very friendly and don't bite, so I may end up holding one at some point.

Joy for yesterday: My car passed its MOT (eventually - needed a few things fixing) so I can keep going for at least another year, unless something drops off.

Joy for today: a 3 1/2 hour meeting for work (interesting subject - all about student induction - but I hope there will be a decent break for coffee in there somewhere)

Joy for tomorrow: taking the day off so that I can have a long weekend to go with Bank Holiday monday.

Monday, April 27, 2009

[travel] Oxford jollification

Lots of jollification lately!
Went to Oxford on Saturday to have the extended tour of the Bodleian. We travelled from work so I had to leave home at 06:30hrs to get there for 07:15; we made good time and got to Oxford's park and ride at about 09:20 so we had a nice, steady walk to the Library.
The tour started off in the School of Divinity and headed off to Duke Humfrey's library - he was the person to first set up a library here in the 1400s; Thomas Bodley restored it around 1602. Duke Humphrey's library contains chained books and was used in the Harry Potter films. We weren't allowed to take any photos there, so here's a link to a picture of the restored ceiling.

I did get to see Convocation House where Parliament met during the Civil War:
Convocation House1

and also managed to get into Christ Church cathedral to see some of the windows:
Christ Church_Jonah Window

More pictures can be seen here

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bath Pic Spam

So, a bit late but, I was in Bath last week for a bit of a jolly and took some photos of interesting sculptures that were placed around the Abbey. I also took some of the buildings as a visual research guide for the Georgian WiP.

The Big Bull and the Big Hare were right next to each other on plinths.

The Hares and Dogs were outside the Pump Room (which does nice, but expensive, afternoon tea)

All in all I had a nice time despite being ill, and it was nice to visit the town again.

A few other pictures can be seen here.

Edited to add: Sculptures are by Sophie Ryder.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunny Sunday

Well, I've just had a gloriously sunny day which has more than made up for the grim hanging disease I've had over the Easter break. The cough is still with me, but at least I can go out in public without twenty boxes of tissues to back me up.
The spa was great. I had reflexology in the morning which was incredibly relaxing - I could've gone to sleep quite happily - and then went and did all of the water treatments & had a swim after lunch (after a decent interval, naturally).
The day after that I went down to Bath and had a lovely time wandering around and getting some pictures of the streets and houses. I also had a gorgeous, cinnamon butter Sally Lunn bun on one day, and a Lady's Tea on another - very nice.

Came home and spent a few days in bed with the chest infection, but got out and about in the last couple of days. Yesterday, I got a load of veg plants to go in the garden / allotment and today I weeded one of the beds and planted some peas, while a mate dug another bit over. There will be be fresh veg throughout the summer! Also, there will be fresh eggs as the chap with the patch next to me has chickens who are good layers and he has more eggs than he knows what to do with!Back to work tomorrow, and there will be a lot to do, so it will be busy, busy, busy but I'm hoping to get the second draft of Wish Child done as it does need tidying up, but at least the core is there.

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter break (of whatever duration it may have been) and that Spring has finally sprung.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Joy, joy feelings...

First draft of Wish Child has been completed and comes in at 9,316 words so I'm pleased with that. I'm away at a Spa tomorrow - sort of a birthday present to myself for Monday - and then I'm down to Bath for jollification on Thursday so while I'm there (in between sight-seeing and eating) I can revise Wish Child in the evenings in the Youth Hostel. Ah, the glamour!

Next up
-- More research for the Georgian novel
-- More worldbuilding for the paranormal YA novel
-- Revising Sokoll's Hawks
-- Fairy tale re-telling of Beauty & the Beast (or Rapunzel - haven't quite decided)

On the (immediate) TBR pile
  • Deader Still by Anton Strout ([info]antonstrout ) (this one is actually on my desk at work, staring accusingly at me because the bookmark is still stuck in the back where I put it on Sunday afternoon - my excuse reason for that is that I'm really tired and looking forward to a few days off work)
  • The Immortal Hunter by Lynsay Sands
  • Georgian London by John Summerson
  • The Cipher by Diana Pharoah Francis ([info]difrancis ) (a re-read in preparation for The Black Ship)

Friday, April 03, 2009

[Links] Link Salad: Writing

Almost, but not quite, caught up on the blogosphere after having been away at a conference for three days (leaving Cardiff ahead of the Wales-Germany match) and I've come across some interesting / useful links. Which you may have already come across as I'm a bit late to the party. But, hey.

[info]valarltd talks about writing now, rather than waiting for that mythic golden (time) egg to land in your lap

[info]seanan_mcguire talks in a similar vein about managing your time against the time-suck of life (and she has other useful / interesting opinion pieces of which this is #26 out of a proposed #50)

[info]jimvanpelt has an interesting post on dialogue (and a lot of posts generally on writing which are linked at the end of this post)

And Melanie & Steve Tem have a post at Storytellersunplugged about fitting writing in, finding bits of time to write, and also making time for life as well