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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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Thursday, January 14th, 2016 04:28 pm
Another of the greats gone: RIP Alan Rickman.

2016 seems to be starting where 2015 left off.

Not impressed.
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Sunday, January 10th, 2016 09:12 am
Meme collected from [personal profile] legionseagle.

Rules: go to page 7 of your WIP, skip to the 7th line, share 7 sentences, and tag 7 more writers to continue the challenge.

Elrond waited for the other elf who did deliveries for the bakery to arrive and she, too, said she’d not seen anyone around in the street.

Elrond sighed. So that was the end of that possibility.


Finding a residence in a fold of hills leading down to the sea outside the city proper, it had amused Elrond to call his new home Rivendell. The only resemblance it bore to his house on Middle-Earth was that it was, if possible, even more rambling than his former home, and had been built over a long period in a variety of styles and painted a number of colours. His amusement, he knew, was not shared by all of his household, but at least there was little confusion about who lived here.

He’d chosen it because it was the only house available that seemed large enough to contain his household. He’d arrived with a few friends, the Ringbearers among them, but his foresight had not failed him and in time the numbers grew.

I don't tag, it always strikes me as unfair.
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2016 04:50 pm
Am back from spending New Year at my brother's place. Yippee!

Though, remind me never to watch Jools Holland's "Hootenany" ever again. Complete and utter tripe from start to finish. What waste of time and effort - and not even live, or so I understand from my brother. Apparently it's filmed in September.

On the other hand, my train journeys went well and the taxis were on time.

My brother and his girlfriend were very nice (they are just nice people), my nephews are very tall - six foot now - and my brother's dog is sweet and not at all smelly.

We ate very well. Vegan mince pies are actually quite tasty.

[personal profile] aunty_marion looked after Smokey and fed her and gave her fuzzles as and when required, so that was good of her. Smokey looks well and is a happy cat.

I lost my iPod and it remains AWOL somewhere in the tip that is my flat, plus I left my reading glasses behind, meaning I was reading my iPad by holding it up near my nose, to everyone's amusement.

That's it, really. On my return, the flat is still a tip and I have yet to find out when the builders will be back. Possibly Monday. Possibly the 6th. We'll see.
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Friday, January 1st, 2016 12:10 am
Happy New Year, everyone! Let's hope it's a good one!
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Thursday, December 31st, 2015 12:11 am
From here, which was drawn to my attention by [personal profile] legionseagle, this frequently gets missed when people talk about decluttering:

"No. I can't just "go buy another one" if it turns out I needed it after all. They cost money. Shopping costs gas and travel time (or shipping costs and time) (or spoons). Often, if I only need one once in awhile, I would have to buy a whole box every time, and then throw out the extras every time. Or I could just keep the box, and always have one. Also I hate retail stores, they make my head hurt, and I'm a bred-in-the-bone cheapskate, so chances are if I have it, I got it used for little-or-nothing, so no, I can't just stroll into the once-a-year rummage sale and buy another one for a quarter. Of course, I am not someone who is going to hire an expensive and prestigious clutter consultant, either."

These days, I live on a low fixed income and I can't just buy anything that I might want on a whim. Those days are gone, gone, gone never to return.
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Thursday, December 24th, 2015 10:46 pm
Well, the builders have not finished the first tranche of the work. Ho hum.

Smokey spent the last few days at [livejournal.com profile] gloria1’s house in the peace and quiet. It took her a day or so to settle in, but once she had she was stealing [livejournal.com profile] gloria1’s seat with the abandon with which she steals mine. I missed her dreadfully, but it was better that she was out of the noise and disruption.

Disruption continues – my stuff is around me in boxes and I have three outfits which I’m swapping into as and when two get dirty and have to be washed, which is going to make Christmas interesting and memorable. On the other hand, the fridge is stuffed with food, which will make it tasty and fun.

The builders start again on the 27th. Yippee.

The bad news is that the wardrobes aren’t going to be delivered until the 6th of January, meaning that they won’t be installed until the 8th or so. I’ve arranged for my old cleaner, Niki, to come and spend six hours with me on the 9th Jan putting my clothes away and preparing the living room for the work. Once that’s done, on the 10th, Smokey goes back to [livejournal.com profile] gloria1’s to stay with her while the floors are done and the living room is renovated. It should all be done (!) by the 31st. Hm. We’ll see.

The second tranche of work starts properly on the 11 Jan, and that’s also the day my new fiction writing course starts. I hope they won’t want printouts, because my printer will be put away until the second tranche has finished.

I will be putting pressure on the builders to have it finished before the 13th of Feb, because I have a get-together to play Call of Cthulhu that day and as I’ve had to cancel the one on the 9th of Jan, I don’t want to cancel the second one.

Still, Happy Christmas or whichever holidays you’re celebrating this weekend, and cuddles to everyone’s kitties and doggies.
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Friday, December 18th, 2015 09:14 am
Life is somewhat uncomfortable Chez Lexin just at the moment. I knew when I scheduled building works that it would be, but really hadn’t realised – I don’t think anyone ever does – just how disruptive it would be. And this is the ‘easy’ part, the work on the bedroom. Tranche 2, the work on the living room, is going to be hell on wheels, I already know it.

Everything I own that was in the bedroom is currently in boxes, and they are all over the rest of the flat. My bed has been disassembled and is leaning in bits against my living room wall, the pictures that were in the bedroom are leaning against the table that was there, and are slightly in front of the TV – not greatly, but enough to annoy me.

Even with all this, the builder asked me if we could clear out the hall cupboard. I said well, we could, but where would we put it all? He didn’t have an answer to that, so the work on the hall cupboard hasn’t started.

On the other hand, we have progress. In the two days since they started, they’ve scraped the wallpaper off the bedroom walls and ceiling (yes, for some reason the ceiling in that room was papered. Go figure) and taken the old wardrobes down.

I just don’t know if we’re moving quickly enough to get all of tranche 1 done by December 24th, which is the date set in the contract for the conclusion of this section of the work. I hope so, it’ll be a bit of a grumpy-making Christmas if I have to have my Christmas dinner with my belongings in boxes. I have only three outfits accessible to me, and two of those have to be washed today.

I did wash the bedroom curtains yesterday, and it was astonishing (or perhaps not given how long they’d been up there) how much dirt came out of them.

My poor cleaner is coming today – it’s going to be heart breaking for her to see the state the flat is in given how much work she puts in to keep it tidy and clean. But she’s only really coming, and I have told her this, to collect her pay and her Christmas present. If she can empty the bins and unpack the dishwasher, that’ll be nice but not required.

Smokey is doing well given that cats don’t like changes, but if the work gets noisy today she may be going to [livejournal.com profile] gloria1’s today until the 24th. We’ll see how she gets on, because having her here is a comfort to me, but I’m not about to let her get too stressed.

In other news

The builders were a day late starting (!) and in that day, I toiled my dress. The only problem I can see is that the sleeves are a bit narrow for my taste. Georgian dresses do have tight sleeves, but I like to be able to move.
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Saturday, December 12th, 2015 10:30 am
I’ve been a bit quiet, what with one thing and another.

Smokey has been quiet the last few days. She seems to have picked up now, but I don’t think she was too impressed by the Christmas tree I put up. The flashing lights bothered her and she seems happier now I’ve put the lights to ‘always on’. I also changed the dangly thing on her thing on a string on a stick because she’d destroyed the old one, and she doesn’t like the new one, so I’m going to have to buy a replacement, perhaps with feathers. She likes feathers.

I don’t like it when she doesn’t run about after the dangly thing. I think she needs exercise and not just to lie about the place like a little furry cushion.

It could also be the weather, which isn’t all that cold but has been quite grey and depressing. As I type this, she’s sitting on her cat tree looking out of the window at the gardens, I think hoping for signs of birdies or other cats.


No news on the sewing front. I’m waiting for beads to be delivered. I could be getting on with doing a toile, but haven’t.


The reason for the above is that I bought at PS4. It took a while for Amazon to send the games I’d ordered (of which more below) but now they have I’m spending time playing LotR: Shadow over Mordor. details of interest mostly to other gamers )


Amazon pissed me off somewhat mightily over delivering my latest batch of stuff, most of which was for Christmas or for my dress. They managed to fail to deliver nearly all of an order (how? I’ve been a customer since 1999 and only one other thing has ever gone astray) and when I contacted them to get it re-delivered, they re-did the order, this time cocking up by sending me a second PS4. Getting that collected was far more difficult than it should have been.

In other news

I’ve been setting up having my flat decorated next month. So far, I’ve two really interested firms, but no actual written quotes for the work.

I did have a third firm come round and look at the job, but he didn’t strike me as really interested – the other two were full of ideas about how it could be done, but the third just noodled about, took my bit of paper explaining what I wanted doing and disappeared. I’ve heard nothing from him since, so I don’t know what’s going on there.

Running as favourite to get the work so far is the Italian girl (and her friend who didn’t speak English) who took photos when they first came to scope the job, then came round with samples a couple of days ago and are taking the whole thing very seriously. Second is the firm run by a Greek bloke called Demis, but I haven’t seen any samples of the stuff he wants to use so he is definitely as second choice.

We shall see.

While the work is done Smokey will become a lodger at [livejournal.com profile] gloria1’s, and [livejournal.com profile] gloria1 has kindly agreed to take her in and treat her as her own.

This is because the work will include floors in the hall, kitchen and bathroom, decorating my bedroom and decorating the living room, which takes up most of the flat. I can’t keep her shut up in the spare room for several weeks, so have to find somewhere she can stay in peace and quiet. I will miss my baby girl, though!
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Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 04:08 pm
I throw this out to the multitude because I forgot to ask my creative writing teacher.

How do you pronounce the name Proserpine? Is it Pross-er-pin-ay or Proser-pine or Proz-er-pin-ay or what?

I've seen it written down. I know she's in a poem by Shelley (I think it's Shelley) but I've never heard it said.
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Saturday, November 14th, 2015 12:11 pm
The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repending Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)High
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8 - The Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test