New-old games

Mar. 28th, 2017 08:27 pm
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
I took a couple of days off so I could have a four-day weekend, and didn't commit myself to excessively many social things, so I was able to spend lots of time gaming.

reviews )

I made this

Mar. 26th, 2017 11:00 pm
ceb: (I made this)
[personal profile] ceb
This weekend I have made a thing! Which is neither for Worldcon nor the BSFA, unlike everything else I've been doing in the past 6 months.

moon box

Fish Pie

Mar. 25th, 2017 07:20 pm
angelofthenorth: (Hedgehog)
[personal profile] angelofthenorth
This is tasty.

1kg bag of baby spuds
3 small carrots
1 large leek
Odds and ends of fish from the reduced section. In this case:
2 fillets of salmon
3 smoked cod loins
1 haddock fillet
most of a bag of prawns
half a bag of mussels
1 pint boiling fish stock
1 large tub Quark
2 tbsp cornflour
Cracked black pepper and salt

Heat oven to 200C
Put the potatoes to boil until nice and crushable.
Cook the leeks - slice them, fry them till soft, then add a little water and evaporate that off. Put in the large pyrex that I hope you're using for this dish. Small one won't cut it.
Meanwhile put the boiling fish stock in a pan with the odds and ends of fish and chopped carrots, and cook them through. With a slotted spoon, lift out the fish, and put in the pyrex with the leek.
Put the prawns and mussels in for a couple of minutes into the hot stock and fish them out as before.
Now, make up the cornflour with some cold liquid, and then add to the hot stock, along with half a tub of the quark. Pour over the fish mixture.
Drain the potatoes and crush with the rest of the quark, and some salt and pepper.
Place over the top of the fish mixture, and put in the oven for 35 minutes till golden.
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)
[personal profile] happydork
I have been daydreaming about f/f regency romances.

I may plausibly one day write one of these, but then again I may not. And either way, please do borrow/steal/adopt if you are so inspired — the world needs all the f/f regency fluff it can get.

The one that is really just Pride & Prejudice fanfic

Edit: FRIENDS!!! THIS ACTUALLY EXISTS!!! ~60K OF MARY/ANNE FANFIC!! I haven't read it yet, but eeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Edit 2: I HAVE READ IT NOW IT'S AMAZING GO READ IT YAY!


Mary, the priggish, unlovely and unloved middle daughter of five, is packed off to be the next in a long line of particular companions to her cousin-by-marriage Anne. She hopes that by her strong moral example and deep interest in scripture, she can become an inspiration and a comfort to poor sickly, ill-tempered Anne.

Chronically ill and utterly fed up Anne just wants everyone to stop fussing about her, but at least this latest nuisance is amusing — not least because of how much she annoys Anne’s mother.

Out from the hustle and bustle of her busy family, Mary finds a place to grow into herself, and learns that humility and humour are not always at odds. To her great surprise, Anne finds someone who actually listens when she talks, and may even have something worth saying in return.


The one that’s a bit my favourite Georgette Heyer set up, but also very clearly not

Stately, proper Mrs Sophia Banks, recently widowed after a not too unhappy marriage to the well-respected Reverend Banks, has always been conscious that while Caesar’s wife must be above reproach, that is far too low a standard for the daughter of an English missionary and his Yoruba wife. Her own youngest daughter is about to make an advantageous match, but a visit from a distant cousin on Sophia’s mother’s side may throw everything out of order.

Iron-willed Dowager Lady Margaret is charmed and delighted by her only son’s fiancee, Charity, the beautiful and modest youngest daughter of the Reverend and Mrs Banks, but privately worries that she is perhaps too good a match for her much indulged son, who does, after all, resemble his late father a little more than one might like. When Charity’s distant cousin, a bright young girl not at all impressed by this cold and stupid country and its cold and stupid people, comes on the scene, Lady Margaret wonders if perhaps the mistakes of one generation will not be repeated on the next.

Sophia’s hopes for Charity seem to be in direct opposition to Lady Margaret’s privileged idealism, but could their wishes for a better future and shared amusement at the vagaries of youth help them find common ground?


The one that’s In Orbit but longer, set slightly earlier, and with a bit more plot. (If you haven’t already read In Orbit, my one bijou published bit of original fic, this kind of spoils for it. Go read In Orbit first. It’s very short, and I’m still very proud of it.)

Sarah, raised by her grandfather the golem-maker, has only ever wanted to take apart the sky to see how it works. When the time comes for her to marry and continue the line, she dutifully goes to meet her grandfather’s friend’s three sons — and his one daughter, Naomi. Unbeknownst to the oldest son, she begins a correspondence with one of his tutors under his name, positing ideas about the inner workings of golems that raise questions about the nature of the universe and the structure of stars.

Naomi, fascinated by the witty, driven woman one of her brothers is to marry, begins her own preparations for adulthood. She dreams of a loud family, of love and laughter and her own secret life away from them. She can never settle on anything — not an ambition, not a husband, not a direction for her life — until somehow, without her noticing or consenting, love finds her.

Will Sarah’s academic dreams be crushed when her identity is revealed? Will Naomi pick a path and follow it the whole way? And what do the golems think of all this, if they think at all?


The one that’s a country house mystery

Sweet, good-natured Modesty is quite sure she doesn’t have an enemy in the world. Her only flaw, if indeed she has one, is that she is perhaps a little too much of a credit to her name — despite a very proper settlement from her loving uncle and not unappealing features, she has been out for three years and failed to make a match. She prides herself on seeing the best in everyone, and finding fault in no one. But during a fortnight in her uncle’s country estate she may finally meet her match in the cruel and quick-tongued wife of the internationally famed detective Mr Ghatge. Surely this wicked, heathen woman would try the patience of a saint?

Baiza and Daulat are the perfect double act. She plays the self-important fool, he the quiet genius, and together they solve crime and seduce men and women across three continents. But when they are hired to protect the naive Modesty from an unknown threat, Baiza finds herself a little more invested and a little less objective than she might wish to be. What does Modesty know that she’s not telling them? Why is her uncle so insistent that she shouldn’t find out about the Ghatges’ investigation? And would it really be so wrong to mix a little business with pleasure?

Winning, Wan Nil

Mar. 25th, 2017 12:49 am
hairyears: (Default)
[personal profile] hairyears
This is not, I think, an occasion for modesty:
https://twitmericks.com/2017/03/24/prize-limerick-competition-results/

...See if you can guess which one of the winning entries is mine.

worklog

Mar. 24th, 2017 02:05 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
[personal profile] artsyhonker
This morning: Juice vocal ensemble workshopped my setting of O nata lux. It went well; I have a few minor changes to make based on the feedback: slightly faster tempo indication, two bars made slightly shorter, see if I can get the pitches sorted out better on the last page. Maybe an open 5th at the end.

Then I had a meeting with 2 of the other composers on the Beethoven project with me. That went...reasonably, but we need more information to proceed.

One of them has an upper-voices choir and asked if they could perform O nata lux, so that's pretty neat.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
[personal profile] artsyhonker
Wot it syas in the title, basically. But the supervision was okay, even if I felt a bit under-prepared; and the tutorial was excellent: a good balance of encouraging and stretching, with some recommendations for my composing and for my listening. I've written up the supervision and the tutorial for my reference.

The concert was also good: Juice vocal ensemble doing their stuff excellently despite malfunctioning lights and heating (actually rather appropriate for the spookiness of the programme they were singing). I particularly enjoyed Philip Cooke's premiere... perhaps because in a programme that used what I would think of as non-standard techniques in almost every piece, something a little more normal was welcome.

In the interval a cathedral organist was talking to my someone else and asked about an unaccompanied Nunc dimittis suitable for Compline, which the someone else hadn't written; so I piped up and said he could have mine if he likes. I sent the e-mail when people were leaving the concert, then went along to the pub. I hope I didn't appear too keen, but... it's a risk, I guess.

On the way home from the pub I was caught up to by another PhD student who studies remotely, and who is staying in the same place as me. Lovely stuff, and good not to walk on my own. And we'll breakfast together with a third person, who I also met (earlier in the day) and who is staying here... good. I mean, I'm also perfectly happy to breakfast alone, but part of the point of being here is networking, and I may be better at this over breakfast than in a noisy crowded pub anyway.

Reading Wednesday 22/03

Mar. 22nd, 2017 10:26 pm
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
Recently acquired:
  • Can neuroscience change our minds? by Hilary and Steven Rose. Steven Rose was a big influence on getting me into bioscience, so I'm excited to learn that he's written a new book about debunking neurobollocks, a subject close to my heart. And that he's written it in collaboration with his wife, a sociologist of science.

  • Three non-fiction books to give as belated bar mitzvah presents: I went with A history of God by Karen Armstrong, 1491 by Charles Mann, and The undercover economist by Tim Harford in the end. I reckon that gives a reasonable spread of perspectives, periods and cultures to get a curious teenager started.

  • A whole bunch of mostly novels for a not-very-sekrit plot.

Recently read:
  • This is a letter to my son by KJ Kabza, as recommended, and edited by [personal profile] rushthatspeaks. It's a near-future story about a trans girl, which has minimal overt transphobia but quite a lot of cis people being clueless, and also it's about parent death among other themes.

  • Why Lemonade is for Black women by Dominique Matti, via [personal profile] sonia. Very powerful essay about intersectionality between gender and race. I've not actually seen Lemonade yet, because everything I've read about it suggests it's a large, complex work of art which I need to set aside time to concentrate on, I can't just listen to the songs in the background. And I'm a bit intimidated by the medium of a "visual album".
Currently reading: A Journey to the end of the Millennium by AB Yehoshua. Not much progress.

Up next: I am thinking to pick up How to be both by Ali Smith, which has been on my to-read pile for a while. We'll see.

worklog

Mar. 22nd, 2017 10:50 am
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
[personal profile] artsyhonker
Monday: A four-hour-long meeting that basically ate the entire rest of my day. Oof. It was good, it was just... long and tiring.

Tuesday: My Evening Canticles were sung at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, Parliament, by ULCC Choir (in which I sing tenor, unless I'm singing alto). This was very nifty. I couldn't hang about afterward but I am told that the chaplain (one Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who I believe [personal profile] liv encountered recently) was pleased, and that one person in the congregation asked if they could have Evensong every day. That latter strikes me as a bit odd as Westminster Abbey does, in fact, have Evensong most days. And it was good to see Nicholas O'Neill again, and I met a former member of the choir who is interested in hearing more of my work.

I then went and caught a train to Aberdeen. I think I like the concept of the Caledonian Sleeper more than the reality; and that is mostly because, well, I don't get a lot of sleep on it. I have been contemplating alternate names, like the Caledonian Lie-er Awake All Night, or the Caledonian Tosser; obviously these would be unsuitable for promotional purposes. But I think I am gradually settling on the Caledonian Dozer, as that was what happened last night; I dozed for a few hours, then gave up on trying to lie down and read a book for a while, and then dozed a bit again before the 6.30am breakfast call.

Tomorrow I have a supervision, a tutorial with Michael Zaugg, and there is a concert by Juice vocal ensemble in the evening. So I am attempting to take today gently; I'll mooch around town a bit longer, then when I'm allowed to check-in to where I'm staying I'll do that, hang up clothes so the wrinkles come out (they'll have been stuffed in a bag for 24h by then), have a nap, and then figure out whether there is a concert I'm suppposed to attend tonight as well.

Internet here is rather bitty, so I may end up posting this later.

Venison and bacon casserole

Mar. 22nd, 2017 05:20 pm
angelofthenorth: (Cliff in Clouds)
[personal profile] angelofthenorth
2 packs diced venison
5 medallions of bacon
Frylight
1 large leek - sliced
3 small carrots - chopped
1 large parsnip - chopped
1 small red chilli - chopped
half a dozen small potatoes
1 box of passata
Bouillon
garlic salt & pepper
boiling water to fill the crock pot

Put the crock pot to heat on high
On a high heat, spritz a pan with frylight, and fry the leeks and bacon.
Put the carrot and parsnip into the crock.
Add chilli and venison to the pan and fry with the leeks and bacon
Put all the ingredients into the crock and cook for ~4 hours on high.
ceb: (exams)
[personal profile] ceb
FLOATING PENNYWORT WORKING PARTY ON THE UPPER CAM, SATURDAY 1ST APRIL
2017

The invasive Floating Pennywort has in recent years colonised the lower
Bourn Brook, the River Cam and some of its minor tributaries, and is
affecting an SSSI near Wicken. It is also spreading down river on the
River Ouse and has been found as far down river as the Denver Sluice.
Since 1990, when it was first found in the wild on the River Chelmer in
Essex, it has spread rapidly and each year the number of affected sites
is expanding exponentially. In high season there are long stretches of
the Cam where dense mats reach out towards the centre of the river, and
in one part it has grown from bank to bank. It is a threat to
bio-diversity, a nuisance to river users and could increase the risk of
flooding.

This week contractors for the Cam Conservators have been removing as
much as they can from the upper Cam by mechanized means, but inevitably
this will leave floating remnants and inaccessible patches. If left,
these remnants will soon grow. The Cam Valley Forum and associates are
organising a major volunteer punt day on SATURDAY 1ST APRIL ON THE UPPER
CAM, and we are inviting you to join us. The target is to remove as much
as possible on the day, from Byron’s Pool to Scudamores boat station.
Scudamores are kindly giving us ten punts for the task, which will need
a minimum crew of one experienced poler, a raker and a netter. And just
as important, we also need people on the bank to rake out easy-to-reach
Pennywort and to help with lifting out filled bins from the punts and to
dispose of the material on the bank. Not everyone feels comfortable on
a punt in which case a bank job would be ideal. Up to forty people may
be required to take this project forward and we hope that you have the
enthusiasm and time to be part of this unique experience.

If you would like to take part, or have any queries please contact Mike
Foley (Cam Valley Forum) on mfpfoley@gmail.com

We envisage a early start time between 9 – 10 am and those punts that
go the furthest (Byron’s Pool) will not necessarily be out for longer
as there is much to do in the Grantchester Meadows area. It would be
very useful if you could supply details of your experience, how long you
want to be involved, and whether your role would be on land or on water.
An indication of whether you possess a long handled rake and are
prepared to bring it would also be useful.

More detailed information will be available to those who express an
interest.

Mike Foley

Tower of London

Mar. 22nd, 2017 01:00 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
[ghosts, death; parody of "Streets of London" by Ralph McTell]

Have you seen the old girl
Who walks the Tower of London
Face full of grace with a queenly charm?
She's no breath for talking,
she just keeps right on walking
Carrying her head
Right underneath her arm.

So how can you tell me you're ghostly
And say your life has run out of time?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you round the Tower of London
I'll show you something
That'll make you change your mind.

And in the topmost turret
You'll meet Sir Walter Raleigh
Cursing at his fall like an angry tar
Looking at the world
With a chip on his shoulder,
Each and every midnight
He smokes a mild cigar.

So how can you tell me you're ghostly
And say your life has run out of time?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you round the Tower of London
I'll show you something
That'll make you change your mind.

And have you seen the playroom
Of a pair of ghostly princes?
Such endless games in a place like theirs!
Careful where you sit if you
Accept their invitation:
They don't have ghostly cushions
On all their ghostly chairs

So how can you tell me you're ghostly
And say your life has run out of time?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you round the Tower of London
I'll show you something
That'll make you change your mind.

Full

Mar. 21st, 2017 09:48 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
So this weekend I went to two synagogue services (in two different cities) and one church service, and I had a quiet going out for lunch and talking date with [personal profile] cjwatson and a bouncy metal gig date with Ghoti. And went to the cinema to see Beauty and the Beast and just about managed to squeeze in a little bit of time talking to [personal profile] jack. Um, it is hypothetically possible that I may have over-scheduled myself a bit.

I had fun, though )

Sweet Chilli Chicken

Mar. 20th, 2017 04:45 pm
angelofthenorth: (Default)
[personal profile] angelofthenorth
Ingredients

110ml soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp harissa powder
6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
Garlic, pepper and salt, combined in a pestle & mortar

Method

Make up the marinade with the soy sauce, harissa, Sweet chilli and seasoning, and toss the chicken through to coat, then leave for a couple of hours.
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6, and place the chicken as a single layer in a non-stick baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes or so.
I served with Thai rice and ratatouille. Would work very well with Quorn fillets or tofu.
watervole: (Default)
[personal profile] watervole
 I've just finished this book.  It only cost a few pounds for the Kindle version, so it was worth what I paid for it, but I didn't enjoy it enough to buy the next in the series.

It's an urban fantasy featuring Dina, who is an innkeeper.   Innkeeper in her case means that she has a symbiotic relationship with a building that is semi-intelligent, can modify its shape, produce defensive weapons and various other tricks besides.

The task of an innkeeper is to provide a safe place for aliens visiting Earth.

Rather disappointingly (from my viewpoint) the aliens to date include vampires and werewolves.   I must admit that I've had too many vampires and werewolves and I get bored with attempts to use bad pseudo-science to make them believable.  I cannot think of any kind of twist on genetic engineering that will convince me a werewolf can gain large amounts of mass when it changes form.

The inn suffers from the same problem.  I love the idea, but the claim that it is advanced science that can't be distinguished from magic fails to convince me.

I'd rather have real science or pure magic.  One masquerading as the other just annoys me.

On the plus side, the novel is very well written with excellent descriptive text.  The characters are engaging (I particularly liked the mass murderer using the inn as a safe place.  Not a character I would ever want to meet, but well and entertainingly written)

If the book had had original aliens I'd probably have enjoyed it more.  However, what is a minus for me may well be a plus for others.

If you like your werewolves strong and with buckets of sex appeal and your vampires to be clannish, scheming and to have complex, devious politics, then I recommend 'Clean Sweep; to you.

worklog

Mar. 18th, 2017 01:36 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
[personal profile] artsyhonker
Thursday was a day off, and mostly stayed that way.

Friday... not as productive as I'd have liked, and I had a social engagement in the afternoon. But I had an idea for a sort of folk-y setting of yet another of [personal profile] marnanel's poems, which I'll get in touch about in due course. I think it's folk-y enough to not really work as a choral piece; I still want to explore what to do with some of these pieces. When my body is behaving, I think "folk-y album on Bandcamp" is the way to go,

I've realised that for the Malta competition I'll need to make an international bank transfer for the fees, and do it in time to be able to send them the proof of the transfer happening. That would be fine, except that I'll be in Aberdeen and my address is in London, and the bank isn't going to send me the bit of paper to the right place before the deadline of 31st March.

I'm not sure what I can do about this. It's possible that I could get on the phone and wrangle the bank into giving me either a) soemthing in print to the address I need or b) something I can print out myself, but given there is another deadline the same day, and also one the next day, and neither of them have the same problem regarding payment and I haven't written them yet either... I'm thinking I should drop it unless I actually write three pieces between now and then, and focus my admin energies instead on getting the next West Gallery piece ready for publication online so I can get paid.

Book prices on Amazon

Mar. 17th, 2017 06:21 pm

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