April 2017

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lexin: (Default)
Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 02:19 pm
Our Prime Minister, Theresa May, has called a snap general election for June 8. Because we don't have enough shitty politics going on as it is.

She's picked that date because her party (the Conservatives) are so far ahead in the polls that she thinks they are unassailable and the opposition (Labour) are in what you might kindly call disarray largely (IMO) because the Blairite right of the party are hell bent on undermining the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. From this you might guess (correctly) that I loathe Blair and his followers with a deep, poisonous loathing.

We can but wait to find out what happens.
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Thursday, April 6th, 2017 10:20 pm
My computer has been a nightmare. Latest game was just going black, and it was by accident that I remembered that I’d left the HDMI plugged in to the television, and that was causing the problem. I did have, though, to reinstall my anti-virus program and hopefully that’ll last a while. I hate it when my computer collapses like this, it’s just a nightmare.

I must reset when it goes to black, though, because currently it does so if I turn away for more than three minutes. I live alone with Smokey and I’m sure she’s not interested in what I have on my screen, except for the background screen of kittens. I can’t enjoy the kittens if it goes to black in three minutes.
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Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 06:44 pm
I have been having one of my occasional computer meltdowns.

It started with my PC making a strange buzzing noise when I tried to listen to music. I put up with this for a while. Then it started to slow down, as if either I didn’t have enough RAM (one can never have quite enough RAM, but at 8MB (or is it 16?) I do have enough for most purposes). Or it could have been a messed up PSU or a grabby background program. Still don’t know which.

So I tried to put it right, but it got worse and worse, and in the end I have had to reinstall the operating system, and then reinstall my major programs, assuming I can remember what they are. Thankfully I’ve a record of most of the reference numbers, and I pay for M$ Office 365, so I can install that as much as I want. Until my eyes bubble, as they say. Reinstalling Win 10 was a minor pest, but I found how I could do it without annoying my poor sad brain.

Now I’m reinstalling my Campaign Cartographer files, which is a program for designing cities, overland areas and dungeons for roleplaying games. It’s a great program, but seriously takes a lot of installing as it comes in little sections which have to be installed in the right order or they go weird. Pretty maps, though. Very nice for the gamer who likes maps. My Mum, who loved maps, would have adored it.
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Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 07:36 pm
Still no job. Sigh. Still trying hard to find one, eventually someone’s got to be fooled into taking me on.

In other news Smokey gave me a scare by not having a poo for two days recently. I was all set to take her to the vet to check for a blockage of some kind when she finally gave way and did the biggest poo I’ve seen a small cat do. You would have thought she was the size of a Rottweiler.
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Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 02:27 pm
I’m safely back from [livejournal.com profile] redemption_con; the journeys were totally straightforward and the trains were on time there and back.

I enjoyed the convention. Numbers seemed down (if you like a fan-run convention do go along to Redemption in 2019, it runs better with more people) and the convention over-organised for the numbers (at times there were nine streams of events), but that didn’t bother me. I just went along to what appealed to me and dodged anything that didn’t.

I spent a lot of time with [personal profile] legionseagle and [personal profile] julesjones over the weekend, and with various other people whose LJ and DW names I have forgotten. Much gossip was gossed.

Guests were Dr Lynette Nusbacher, Steve Lycett , Miranda Gower-Qian, Thalia Evans and David Wake. Probably you’ve never heard of any of them, I had only heard of Dr Lynette who is one of the presenters of the wargame TV show “Time Commanders”. She was lovely, though I didn’t go to any of her talks she was very nice and approachable when out and about and she always wears lovely clothes, which she told me mostly come from TK Maxx.

The only complaint I heard about the food offerings in the restaurant was from the two people I know who can’t cope with spices. All the cheap restaurant meals (Chinese, Indian and Mexican) were not suitable for them. But they had the option of pizzas in the bar, though one person did mention that it was a bit same-y to have a plain pizza two nights running. I liked the desserts on the cheap restaurant meals, the fudge cake was yummy, and they were quite happy to supply cream if asked.

One night I had the New York hot dog pizza and that was very nice, though I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so physically hot for some reason, and hot cheese is a really hot thing when you bite into it.

The carvery baps were very good, decent portions, as were the sandwich bar options.

Breakfasts were adequate mass catering, though I liked the fact that they were frying eggs practically on demand.

Other things: yes, some of the panels were under attended, but I put that down to the convention being somewhat under attended overall and the sometimes nine streams meaning that people were spread a bit thin. The panels I attended went off well, even if there weren’t that many there. I thought six streams would be fine for the number we had attending, with room to expand it if more sign up.

I forgot about slash Pictionary. I’d have been there if I’d remembered.

One thing I would like to see for Redemption 19 is a slash/adult stream as there’s no general slash con (that I know of) being run in the UK currently.
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 02:32 pm
Still no news on the jobs front. I put in a couple of applications where I was hoping for an interview (even if only on the ‘pity the poor disabled’ front) but have heard nothing yet on either of them. Sigh. So I put in a three more today. I must say, some interfaces are much harder than they need be. London Borough of Waltham Forest, I’m looking at you.

I had a long wait in the doctors yesterday waiting to give a blood sample. I arrived at 10:10, and was number 65 – it’s a take a numbered ticket and wait system. The current number on the screen was 79 – of the previous 100. Nightmare.

It took over two hours for the phlebotomists to work through the numbers to get to me, and I was last but one of the people in the room. Phlebotomy in that doctors (it’s not my normal one, my normal practice does not offer that service) is only on weekday mornings, so they stop people taking numbers when they reckon they’ve got enough to finish at 1pm. Anyone who comes late has to come back the following day. They used to have three staff on, but yesterday they only had two. I don’t know if that’s down to staff holidays or whether we’ve had staff cuts in that doctors.

In other news, I’ve knitted myself a pullover. It even fits, which is a surprise. Plan for next project is a beanie with beads, though I could not find the right kind of tooth floss for the system that [livejournal.com profile] aunty_marion showed me. So I’ve ordered some crochet hooks as there’s another system using them that could work. I’m also warned that cats (hello Smokey!) are a hazard to bead work.
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Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 02:53 pm
I am so bored with applying for jobs, I’m afraid my boredom shows in the applications. It’s very hard to remain ‘up’ and ‘bubbly’ for weeks on end. And what’s with this desire that applicants should be ‘bubbly’ anyway? I suspect it’s a dog whistle for ‘female’ as it tends to crop up in administrator posts, or receptionist posts.

In other news, there is very little other news.

We played Call of Cthulhu last weekend, and had a good time. Our little party of three danced around the edge of confronting the gribblies (generic name for creatures from another world) refusing to go into the ancient stables, the deserted chapel or the sinister house.

My character (a doctor) and my friend Jo's (a dilettante) both saw visions when we looked between two standing stones with suspicious scratches on them. Visions like that never presage anything good.

Finally, we had climbed over the wall of the sinister house and through the creepy woods so often that our luck gave out and Jo's character stepped on a bear trap and it closed on her leg. Ooops! My character did what he could, but we had to get her to hospital and explain the injury as best we could.

I think the gribblies may be winning.
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Friday, November 11th, 2016 12:20 pm
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


John McCrae
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Thursday, November 10th, 2016 04:39 pm
I discovered today that my Aunt Irene died on the 1st of November – I got a letter from her son who lives in Australia. She didn’t have a note of my phone number, but had my address. Odd, because I put my phone number (and email address) into all my Christmas cards, and I always sent her one.

She was a dear. Straight spoken, always, but someone you could rely on in a pinch. She was amazing when my father died in 1997. She came down to our place from Doncaster and helped me and my then sister in law nurse my father until he died. For eight weeks, she was there, talking to him, fetching drugs (and his doctors were always updating his pain meds), cooking, whatever needed doing. She and I did most of it, because my sister in law’s children were toddlers meaning she couldn’t stay for long and my mother was no help because she’d disappeared into a weird 1941 world of rations and blackout. I’d always loved Auntie Irene for her wit and her kindness, but after that she could do no wrong in my eyes.

I probably won’t be able to go to her funeral, what with the cat’s teeth and new glasses, but I will raise a glass to her on the day.

International news

Trump won? TRUMP won?! What madness is this?

He’s a lying liar who lies like a cheap rug. I could not forgive him that impersonation he did of that disabled journalist, let alone his attitude to women. What a scuzz-bucket the man is.
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Wednesday, August 31st, 2016 02:07 pm
I took my darling Smokey for her annual kitty wellness check up with the local vets. Her general health is excellent, though she is a bit podgy (5.02 kilos) and yet again I need to cut down her kibble. I’m sure it’s those treats; probably if we stuck to food she’d lose that weight.

The down side is that she has dental disease on two bottom teeth either side and will have to have them removed pretty sharpish. I have made an appointment for 28 September for this. Probable cost (sharp intake of breath) anything between £800 and £1,000 once you’ve taken into account blood tests, x-rays, anaesthetic and so on. This is more than my monthly income, and will have to come out of savings. She is insured, but I don’t think it covers dental problems; in fact I’m sure it doesn’t because I just checked. Interestingly, it covers things like acupuncture and homeopathy, neither of which work.
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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 06:13 am
It’s 5am and I have given up any pretence of sleeping. I have no idea why I have insomnia tonight. As has the cat, who is meowing round me as if I might have a clue what she wants. It’s probably food, but Smokey is not a cat who fusses for her food usually. I have put food out, but she’s not eating it. Maybe she’s just worried about me.

It doesn’t help that I have in some way banjaxed my back and hip. They are ouchy. And I’ve had a couple of goes of cramp in my right calf, leaving that sore. I found some painkillers in the back of a cupboard and they’re about cutting in now.

In other news I’m playing a couple of computer games. Skyrim retains its interest, not least because you don’t have to rush around beating creatures up to get anywhere. Building your own house can take up hours of innocent fun. Not so Shadow of Mordor. Oh, what a dull game that is if you’re not very quick with your button recognition. I frequently mix up square and circle, and thus end up dead more often than alive. Plus, the baddies level up if you don’t kill them quickly and I’ve ended up with a couple of bosses at 20th level that appear whenever I do and I can’t kill them because they’ve about 25 supporters who appear likewise. Largest number of orcs I can do away with is about six. More than that and I’m outnumbered. So it gets a bit boring.

My brother bought me Arcania for my birthday, and that’s a bit more interesting. Doesn’t require me to learn any button combinations to hit things, and that’s always good. Not as pretty as Shadow of Mordor though, or rather, not as well drawn because I wouldn’t call Mordor pretty but they’ve really put a lot of work into how it looks.

There’s another game a friend bought me for my birthday, a game set in modern times, but I’ve put it somewhere and don’t remember where it is or what it was called. Maybe it’s in a box I still haven’t unpacked from the decorating.
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Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 01:44 pm
On April 30th [livejournal.com profile] gloria1 and I went for my birthday tea at the St Pancras Hotel - I totally recommend it, the tea was brilliant, the scones warm, the sandwiches toothsome and the cakes excellent.

So that was good.

On the way home, though, I fell down a short flight of stairs at Kings Cross and was taken to University College Hospital in an ambulance. I mean, how embarrassing and ouchy. I don't recommend it as a hobby as I fell down at 17:30 and didn't get home until 23:00 (UCH are very thorough and they wouldn't let me go until they were sure I could climb stairs). I was lucky that [livejournal.com profile] gloria1 was there as I don't know how I'd have managed if I'd been alone.

Since then I've spent my time pottering about the flat watching my bruises turn green.
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Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 01:56 pm


[personal profile] legionseagle writes more meaningfully about Hillsborough than I can. I just cried, at last they got the truth.

Scousers never buy the Sun.
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Thursday, April 14th, 2016 12:09 pm
I read today on the Redemption community that Gareth Thomas passed away yesterday from heart failure.

He was such a fine actor and a great raconteur. I was lucky enough to meet him when running the Who's 7 conventions in the 90's and he never disappointed the fans. Such a genuine man.
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Monday, March 28th, 2016 06:18 pm
Am back from Mancunicon, and setting down with drinks of choice and cuddles from my kitty, whom I missed far more than I had reason to given that she was being properly cared for by [personal profile] aunty_marion.

Had a great time, much gossip was gossed, costumes were worn, drink taken and fun had.
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Saturday, March 19th, 2016 04:29 pm
Had a sudden random update of Windows 10 this morning. It took ages, but seems to have cured the buzzing that was making using this PC such a pain in the neck. Yippee?
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Saturday, February 20th, 2016 01:56 pm
Again I’ve been silent for a while; it’s curious that having had all this work done, the flat doesn’t feel like it’s ‘mine’ any more, and I’m waiting for this feeling to pass off. Which I’m sure it will.

The illness I mentioned last time is still with me; I’ve been to the doctor and he sent me for blood tests, which I did a week ago. My HbA1c result was not good – which didn’t surprise me, given what I’d been mostly been eating during that period.

It should improve when tested next because I’m currently bothered by a lack of appetite. I’m managing very small meals of not very interesting things. So instead of breakfast being one or two portions of porridge, it’s one and I can’t always finish that. Grump. I can’t manage anything sweet, either. People would say that I could stand to lose a bit of weight, but I’m bothered about it not being exactly my choice.

The rest of the blood test results the doctor didn’t tell me in detail, though I gathered my white blood cells are either low or high or something they shouldn’t be, but he has decided that the upper respiratory tract infection I have can’t be viral because it should be self-limiting and isn’t being. I’ve had it since the middle of December. So he’s prescribed an antibiotic in the hope that will work. Fingers crossed.

It is good to have Smokey back, she’s been home about a week or a little longer. She’s getting used to the changed flat quicker than I am.
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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 11:29 am
I have been away from LJ and DW for a little while and I can see that some of my friends have been having worrying times. I’m sorry if that’s the case. I can only offer belated hugs and commiserations.

I’m very close to the Great Work on the flat being finished – Marius the builder says it should be today or tomorrow. More likely tomorrow. At which point I’ll be able to get Smokey back from [livejournal.com profile] gloria1 and bring her home. I think I’ll put a Feliway plug-in thing in, because a lot has changed and it will smell rather different, not least of paint. I will try to post before and after pictures.

It has, and is currently still being little short of hell on earth, not least because since December, and worse since the middle of January I’ve been struggling with some sort of viral infection as well as the builders, and with a flare up of my IBS. It’s been horrible. Everything still tastes of metal. I did go to the doctor and he gave me a cough medicine call pholcodine, a medicine of evil that is banned in the US but is supposed to calm your cough. Did it hell. He also gave me, because I had oral thrush, a medicine called Nystatin which is quite the foulest thing I’ve ever tasted, even including that ‘lamb kebab’ from the nearby kebab shop that looked and smelled like poo.

Next Tuesday the Bulgarian cleaner mafia (Niki and Vesi) are coming over to put everything back in the right places and sort everything out. I’m so looking forward to it. I’m paying them well since I don’t know how much use I’m going to be.

I want my kitty back, I want my flat back and I want my cosy things around me. First world problems.
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Thursday, January 21st, 2016 01:34 pm
Current progress is that I have a bedroom almost finished (there is some electrical work to do) and the builders have started to work on the living room. All the furniture is in my spare room and the hall cupboard is full of stuff which made it into boxes as opposed to being hurled into black bags to be thrown out. The other place full of said boxes of stuff to keep are my new wardrobes. I do need someone, though (looks at [livejournal.com profile] clare_nce in a hopeful way) to go through the three (!) boxes of wires with me. This is truly a flat of a million wires.

Not that everything made it. Over the last couple of days, Marius and Nico (the builders), Niki (my cleaner) and I threw out in excess of twenty black sacks of stuff, and I have a bankers box of stuff good enough to take to the charity shop, though for some reason best known to themselves the builders have stored it with the stuff I’m keeping. I presume they don’t read enough English to identify the note that says “charity” across it in big red letters.

Currently I’m ironing my bedroom curtains because it’s odd sleeping in a room with no curtains. Odd and unpleasant. Slightly creepy, even.

Smokey is safely at [livejournal.com profile] gloria1’s and I took her treats yesterday. She was so pleased to see me that her tail did that quivering thing that cats do when they’re delighted by something. I suspect it was the treats but [livejournal.com profile] gloria1 says it may have been my visit that did it. She did seem very happy to see me.

Work on the living room continues at speed. Niko is currently scraping away at the old woodchip wallpaper that I hate so much, and I expect him to finish that today as he really puts his back into it. Not like me who loathes ironing to an intense degree (I’m ironing the freshly washed curtains) and keeps on taking tea breaks to get through it. Not to mention the fact that I find it painful to stand for that long.

So there we are. Progress, but not yet completion.
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Monday, January 18th, 2016 08:38 am
I have wardrobes. I'm not completely certain the builders are ready for me to start putting things in them, but they better be because tomorrow I have Niki (my cleaner) arriving to help me move stuff from the current boxes to the wardrobes so that they can start on phase two of the work, which is the living room. Exciting stuff.

Smokey is currently a guest at [livejournal.com profile] gloria1's pad.

It took me an hour and a half yesterday to persuade the kitty out from behind the sofa and into her cat carrier. I tried blandishments. No dice. I tried treats. No dice. I tried silence. I tried conversation on the phone to people - she would come out from behind the sofa but never got near enough to catch.

In the end I looked for sounds of kittens wanting to be fed on YouTube and tricked her into investigating the noises of desperate kittens by putting my iPad on the floor, and scooped her up when she got close enough.

I feel like a complete heel tricking her that way, but it was the only thing that worked.

She's much safer at [livejournal.com profile] gloria1's than she would be here just now, because they're painting and I don't want her to get paint on her fur, they're going to be replacing the floor in the hall, kitchen and bathroom and doing the work on my living room meaning there will be nowhere for her to just be for about three weeks.

She's much better off in the warm, peaceful flat that is [livejournal.com profile] gloria1's, but of course you can't explain that to a cat.
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