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A belated update

  • 4th Aug, 2015 at 6:26 PM
nikau (NZ!)
I realised that I haven't posted for a shockingly long time though I've been reading and commenting. I also haven't taken part in the two months of picowrimo, nor am I doing the current month of naarmamo. OK, three months of daily posts (and loads of commenting on everyone else's work) is a bit much in the miserable depths of winter, but I've also been very distracted.

We've decided to move to Oamaru, a small coastal town in the South Island. Why? Because Auckland is incredibly expensive, moving is a way of actually having money to spend, I've had my hours cut back, Greg and a partner (a guy we've both worked with) are starting up a new venture I'll be able to work for along with my current work, and besides, Oamaru has a lovely climate and is already set up for fibre - we'll need fast internet to work from home.

Tomorrow we're flying down to look at properties and other stuff we'll need to know about. The move isn't going to happen right away, but if we find a house we like, we can rent it out while we put this old place into slightly better order to sell. It's a lovely place with beautiful private grounds and I'll miss it, but the tired (original) kitchen and bathrooms need a bit done to be acceptable. That was something we'd been intending ever since moving in but were never able to manage.

What else? Sebastian had an injured leg and had to wear the Cone of Shame and Jasmin had her 7th birthday last week. I'll post photos when we get back next week; I've got some accumulated.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Happy birthday!

  • 28th May, 2015 at 8:57 PM
Feliz cumpleaños a quabazaa! Espero que usted está teniendo un gran día con buena compañía y sabrosa comida.

Happy birthday!

  • 24th May, 2015 at 4:09 PM
me with cat and wine
Happy birthday to sallymn!

I hope it's full of good company and good food!

Happy birthday!

  • 14th May, 2015 at 9:13 PM
Happy birthday to lost_spook!

I hope it's an excellent one!

Fic: Vilanix and the Magic Potion

  • 9th May, 2015 at 1:39 PM
comic relief
This is my latest intoabar story.

Title: Vilanix and the Magic Potion
Prompt: Vila Restal goes into a bar and meets... Dogmatix!
Fandoms: Blake's 7, Asterix the Gaul
Word count: 3,712
Rating/Contents: General audiences

The Asterix the Gaul comic-book series is brilliant, trust me. If you don't know it, this page about the first book is a good start.

Vilanix and the Magic Potion (on AO3)

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Ashley is 7

  • 4th May, 2015 at 9:22 PM
We celebrated Ashley's observed birthday on Friday 1 May - she's now seven. She still seems like a teenager, with her smallness (she weighs just over 3kg) and her kitten squeak.

Three photosCollapse )


Happy birthday!

  • 29th Apr, 2015 at 10:01 PM
Happy birthday, vjezkova! I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Let there be cake for the hedgehogs! (Yes, a little Czech joke.)

Happy birthday!

  • 17th Apr, 2015 at 10:38 PM
Happy birthday, imhilien!

I'm sure there was chocolate. :-)

Studio Ghibli cosplays

  • 9th Apr, 2015 at 9:44 PM
For fans of Studio Ghibli anime, and I know at least one big one, here are 16 impressive cosplays. My personal favourites are the Porco Rosso - he's perfect! - and the tabby kitten bus. Arrietty's excellent too; her accessories are perfect.


April Fools Day at ThinkGeek

  • 3rd Apr, 2015 at 11:46 AM
loose cannon
Once again ThinkGeek have done themselves proud. And you never know - some of their joke products have become real ones like the Tauntaun sleeping bag.

Steam-powered gaming cabinet. Well, it's really the controller I lust after.
Wearable interactive quest thingy. Look, this one could a possible future real thing.
Voltron cat condo. Just YES, YES, YES!
StarTrek Enterprise frisbee. This one actually shows as being in stock and according to the videos does fly. Hmmm.
Rosetta Stone Learn Klingon.  Qapla'!

NERF nuke. Mutually assured destruction is right. Do you want to play a game? How about thermoNERFlear war? Fun video!
Eye of Sauron desk lamp. Maybe for a colleague or two.

360° selfie rig. Nuff said. Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Planes, trains, automobiles, and ferries

  • 8th Mar, 2015 at 2:44 PM
holiday vila
We're off for our first holiday away from home in three years tomorrow. Greg was given two free nights in a lake-front hotel in Queenstown along with flights and a rental car for being 10 years at his company, so we're basing our holiday around that. After that it's a night in Christchurch (staying with Greg's mother who has Alzheimer's so that'll be hard going) and an early start the next day to catch the wonderful Coastal Pacific to Picton. A ferry will then take us to Wellington because, sigh, Greg has to work there on Friday while I meander about the city, probably spending most of the day at the Te Papa national museum.

So not a particularly restful holiday, and I'm a bit nervous about driving around the Queenstown area as tourists who can't handle the roads in the area have been having or causing fatal crashes there recently. One of Greg's colleagues who was there a couple of weeks ago (on the same deal) said tourists kept stopping in the middle of the road to take photos. :-( We plan to visit the Clyde dam (probably not a tourist attraction, I hope) because I like dams and bridges and all large engineering projects and maybe Alexandra which might be dicier as it's a pretty place overseas visitors might go for. Plus there's a steamboat trip on the lake. :-D

I'm just sorry we won't be in Christchurch long enough to see the new cheetah cubs at Orana Park, but hey.

We have to put the cats in the cattery in an hour or so which always upsets me. It's the worst part of going away and the best part of coming back.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Pity this person wasn't one

  • 20th Feb, 2015 at 9:17 PM
I went to look at the national SF and Fantasy convention's site, only to find this in the first paragraph:
With a heavy emphasis on Steam Punk and Cosplay, the Convention never the less caiter's for the professional writers of Science Fiction.


And I'll now vent about the highly paid new marketing person at work who puts apostrophes in all her plurals. All of them. So far I'm biting my tongue but I'm going to have to tell her at some point that I'll have to proof-read anything she wants to send outside the office. I'm just not sure how to go about that.

At least she's not doing it to verbs - so far.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

nikau (NZ!)
A naive soul posted this question on Reddit. The answers are hilarious and, um, mostly untrue; I spent half an hour laughing like a maniac at them. Brilliant, wonderful stuff, and it'll give you a good idea of our sense of humour, culture, and what those childhood summer holidays were like.

This totally made my day.
Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Happy birthday to two Ks!

  • 9th Feb, 2015 at 9:46 PM
Happy birthday to katriona_s and kernezelda!

Spring flowers and cats about to spring

  • 20th Jan, 2015 at 10:53 PM
spring (kowhai)
Our bedroom is 26C, even with the windows wide open since I get home, and too hot to sleep in right now so I decided to do the first of my planned picspams in the hopes that it'll cool down.

These photos were taken in late October/early November so yes, they've been languishing on my HD waiting to be cropped and resized etc. I am slack.

10 springy photosCollapse )

Next up: the airshow. Maybe even this week.

LJ, DW, and a weird pancake meal

  • 11th Jan, 2015 at 7:02 PM
I saw this on FaceBook: 10 signs you were obsessed with LiveJournal. Only numbers 1 (You bought a premium account just so you could have more icons), 8 (You had a love/hate relationship with image hosting sites), and 10 (Your LJ friends became real friends - YESSS!) really applied to me. #8 still does apply to Dreamwidth. Having to resize, upload, then link photos is a right pain and one of the reasons I keep putting it off, so I've decided I'll restrict pic-heavy posts to LJ because of sheer galloping laziness. Even though it will store said pics on LJ's execrable Crapbook.

In other news it's back to work tomorrow and this is very depressing, also because the offices aren't air-conditioned and it's very hot very early in summer; usually this sort of heat is February weather. Plus my work laptop's solid state drive went belly up just before the break, Greg thinks because of the heat, but surely they're used in hotter countries than this. Anyway, it'll take me a while to get the rebuilt laptop back to the way I like it. At least I had a daily backup.


imhilien and I went to see The Hobbit: Battle of 5 Armies in 3D this morning, me for the second time. Not enough Bilbo but I have to say I love the 3D. Afterwards we went for lunch and decided to have pancakes. "But I don't want eggs or bacon," I said, regarding the listing with misgivings:

From memory: Pancakes with scrambled eggs, bacons (sic), banana, maple syrup, ice cream, cream.
Most of the brunch items had bacons. :-P

imhilien was sure they were just options, but nope. I asked for banana with no bacon, and got the puzzled question, didn't I want the scrambled eggs? In the end we got our sweet pancakes plus some nice boysenberry preserve, but seriously, who would eat such a strange taste mishmash?


What I wrote in 2014

  • 2nd Jan, 2015 at 6:29 PM
Not a lot. Work has been stressful and tiring, and it was only in the last week after several days' holiday that I actually got round to the last two trope_bingo stories.

Sleer and Back Again (Blake's 7 / The Hobbit fusion) - Vila's sitting outside his comfortable homey hole enjoying the morning when a series of unexpected guests turn up. Trope: futurefic (though it could have been 3 or 4 of the available tropes).

A Chemical Bond (Blake's 7) - Vila and a number of Blake's 7 characters, too many to list individually, are at a present-day high school. One of Vila's pranks brings him to the attention of a senior boy. Trope: AU high school.

Little Red Lobster-Suit (Blake's 7 / fairy tale fusion) - One day Little Red Lobster-Suit sets off into the woods to bring Blake a basket of food, drink, and his latest gadget. Trope: AU fairy tale.

In a Pinch (Blake's 7 / Discworld) - Vila Restal goes into a bar and meets... Mustrum Ridcully. An intoabar story, just for a change.

Commission (Blake's 7) - Vila and Soolin are buying curtains. But is that all? Trope: yep, curtainfic.

Outsider (Blake's 7) - After Anna's death, Avon records his thoughts in the hope that it will help. Trope: character in distress.

The big AU I've been writing on and off for a while (25k words and counting) should be finished this year. I suppose then I'll have to tackle one of the other unwritten ideas lurking in my head.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Happy new year!

  • 1st Jan, 2015 at 12:07 AM
We're 7 minutes into 2015 after watching the Sky Tower fireworks.

Have a great year, everyone!

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Summer pohutukawas

  • 31st Dec, 2014 at 6:11 PM
summer (beach)
This summer the pohutukawa trees (known as the NZ Christmas tree) are especially beautiful. When we drive around the city, we keep spotting more and more gorgeous examples (it's almost supplanted the Cabin Pressure yellow car game*), and the footpaths and gutters have bright drifts of crimson needles.

Trees either side of our driveCollapse )

* For those who don't now the wonderful Cabin Pressure, Yellow Car has no rules or scoring apart from noticing, well, yellow cars. We've also added the cyclist subset of MAMILs (middle-aged men in lycra) and the rarer MAFILS. I've seen two MAFILs in yellow lycra and that's worthy of scoring, so 2000 points to me. Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Trope bingo story: Outsider

  • 30th Dec, 2014 at 10:41 PM
avon blue
This one was much harder to write.

Title: Outsider
Fandoms: Blake's 7
Trope: character in distress
Characters: Kerr Avon, Tynus, Anna Grant
Length: 1,259 words
Summary: After Anna's death, Avon records his thoughts in the hope that it will help.

Outsider (on AO3)

Or right here:

OutsiderCollapse ) Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Trope bingo story: Commission

  • 29th Dec, 2014 at 8:11 PM
galactic hero
Just two days till the end of round-three amnesty so I whacked this one out today. Another one tomorrow! It's surprising how almost a week off work has refreshed me. Another week and a half to go, yay.

Title: Commission
Fandoms: Blake's 7
Trope: curtain fic
Characters: Vila Restal, Soolin, Servalan
Length: 1,321 words
Summary: Vila and Soolin are buying curtains. But is that all?

Commission (on AO3)

Or right here:

CommissionCollapse )

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Happy birthday!

  • 21st Dec, 2014 at 8:41 PM
me with cat and wine
Happy birthday, jaxomsride!

Happy birthday!

  • 21st Dec, 2014 at 2:59 PM
xmas, party
Happy birthday, aralias!

I hope you don't get combined birthday and Christmas presents like a guy I knew whose birthday was on the 24th. He cured that by giving one of the offenders a jandal (flip-flop / thong / rubber summer footwear thingy) for Christmas with a note that he'd get the next one on his birthday. He always got two gifts from family after that. :-)

What I've done and am about to do

  • 10th Dec, 2014 at 6:43 PM
summer (beach)
Yes, I've been slack. Slack all round about posting, writing, you name it.

Work's been a bit fraught lately and today was worse than usual. The run-in I had with a colleague about her rudeness got, as always, turned back on me. Sigh. Note to self: It's always my fault. Second note: keep feelings to yourself. Not doing so will never work out.


Things I have yet to post:
  • all the lovely spring photos I took (even though it's now summer, i.e. hot and sticky if mostly grey)
  • photos from the air show two weeks ago which was on a gorgeous summer's day
  • photos from the very cool upholstery course I went on last Sunday
And tonight I'm off to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 12:01am, yes, one minute past midnight which is the first public showing in the world. As usual we'll be in the luxury cinema and will order food and coffee to be delivered to our adjustable leather reclining seats. A pity the dragon earring I ordered hasn't turned up yet.

In the meantime I have to catch up with OUaT.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Thank you!

  • 23rd Nov, 2014 at 9:54 PM
plot tribble
Thanks for the replies to my previous post; they were very helpful and I have ideas now for both stories. I haven't responded yet because today was mostly spent at a Warbirds airshow on a lovely hot almost-summer's day. There was a Spitfire. :-D I love Spitfires.

There will be photos tomorrow I hope, or this week anyway, for those interested in old planes.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Help me, Obi-Wan

  • 22nd Nov, 2014 at 6:35 PM
Now that my intoabar story is out of the way, I should write the two outstanding trope_bingo stories before amnesty runs out at the end of the year.

The thing is, I'm still out of ideas. I've never written "curtainfic" and and I've done far too much "character in distress" so I want something a bit different there. I'm open to suggestions for both, and in any fandom.

I've found I work better when challenged, even (especially?) in weird ways as shown by past "stories I will never write" prompts. Bring it on!

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

In a Pinch

  • 19th Nov, 2014 at 11:11 PM
This is my latest intoabar story: this time Vila finds himself on Discworld. Once I figured out a plot, it was a lot of fun to write.

Title: In a Pinch
Prompt: Vila Restal goes into a bar and meets... Mustrum Ridcully!
Fandoms: Blake's 7, Discworld
Word count: 3,408
Rating/Contents: No warnings needed
Summary: The Liberator is in a bit of a pinch and Vila needs Ridcully's help.

In a Pinch (on AO3)

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Vila goes into a bar and meets...

  • 6th Oct, 2014 at 4:53 PM
I am once again going to do the [community profile] intoabar challenge, yet another in the now longish series of Vila meeting people in all sorts of spaces and times. However I'm running short of crossover fandoms as I've covered several, and not just in various bars either.

Any suggestions?

I've got one fandom. I need two or three more. Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Life without the internet - or power

  • 6th Oct, 2014 at 4:45 PM
When we woke up yesterday morning there was no power over a huge swathe of the city which was a bit annoying as we couldn't make espresso coffee or a hot breakfast. It got more than a bit annoying though as the day went on and we shivered in the 14C of the current antarctic blast. I read with a blanket over me and Greg took to bed with his radio for most of the afternoon. I have a camping stove that went all round Europe with me so we could boil water, but in the evening we drove to a suburb with power and had some dinner. That drive was the first time I'd been warm all day.

The power's still out today but it came on at work so that's where I am. I heard home should have power late tonight but I'm not holding my breath after all the other false predictions.

And what do we got for compensation? Maybe $50 but probably zilch. Why yes, I'm somewhat pissed off to say the least.

I have to say though, that the Kindle's great for reading after dark. [hugs Kindle]

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


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