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Happy birthday!

  • 28th May, 2016 at 10:34 PM
Happy birthday / feliz cumpleaños, quabazaa!

Happy birthday!

  • 24th May, 2016 at 5:10 PM
me with cat and wine
Happy birthday to sallymn!

I'm sure it's a good one!

Ashley is 8

  • 5th May, 2016 at 1:24 PM
ashley art
We're not sure when Ashley's birthday is, but we celebrate it on 1 May. She's the oldest of the three by a couple of months, though she seems the youngest, being so small (3kg), soft, playful, and kittenish.

Ashley standing on her tail on a windowsill. She's the only cat I've known who does that. She wraps her tail around herself and deliberately places first one front paw, then the other. I love the stripes between each toe.

Four more Ashley picsCollapse )

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Trope bingo banner

  • 5th May, 2016 at 1:16 PM
I got a banner for completing [community profile] trope_bingo!

Powered by BannerFans.com

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

sherlock and john
And here's my intoabar story, which means I've met all my deadlines and can relax and do other things like posting Ashley photos because it was her birthday this week.

Title: The Case of the Time-Travelling Rebels
Prompt: Vila Restal goes into a bar and meets... Sally Donovan!
Fandoms: Blake's 7 / Sherlock (TV)
Word count: 1,799
Rating/Contents: G-rated. No warnings needed.

The Case of the Time-Travelling Rebels

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Fic: (S)elective Memory Loss

  • 30th Apr, 2016 at 4:21 PM
vila blue
My final [community profile] trope_bingo story. I had planned to write a rather angsty one that's been in my head for a while, but it was going to take too long . So here's a shorter, lighter one that was all written today because I've been offline for two days due to painters being in and everything being piled in the middle of each room making it hard to find anything, let alone my computer. Man, I hate this whole process of getting the house ready to sell. The disruption's being going on for months.
Title: (S)elective Memory Loss
Fandoms: Blake's 7
Trope: amnesia
Characters: Vila Restal, Soolin, Kerr Avon
Length: 1,410 words
Summary: Vila wants to forget and will pay to do so.

(S)elective Memory Loss

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Fic: Beginning Again

  • 23rd Apr, 2016 at 9:44 PM
vila b&w
[community profile] trope_bingo story number four. Just one to go now!
Title: Beginning Again
Fandoms: Blake's 7
Trope: trust and vows
Characters: Vila Restal, Kerr Avon, Roj Blake, Del Tarrant, Soolin, Dayna Mellanby, Deva
Length: 1,436 words
Summary: When the crew hear that Blake is alive, they change their plans.

Beginning Again

This is a sequel to Taking Charge.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Fic: Taking Charge

  • 21st Apr, 2016 at 1:16 PM
vila really
[community profile] trope_bingo story number three. I might actually get all five written at this rate!

Title: Taking Charge
Fandoms: Blake's 7
Trope: role reversal
Characters: Vila Restal, Kerr Avon, Soolin, Dayna Mellanby, Del Tarrant
Length: 1,120 words
Summary: Vila decides that enough is enough and takes over.

Taking Charge

There's going to be a sequel to this using another trope because more Blake is always a good thing.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Fic: Other Customs

  • 17th Apr, 2016 at 12:07 PM
A second [community profile] trope_bingo story. Not the one I had planned, but I wanted to write something especially for Blake, and of all tropes, I got an idea for this one.
Title: Other Customs
Fandoms: Blake's 7
Trope: marriage
Characters: Roj Blake, Kerr Avon
Length: 1,385 words
Summary: Blake and Avon run afoul of local customs.

Other Customs

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Happy birthday

  • 16th Apr, 2016 at 6:39 PM
to imhilien!

I hope you had a great day with family and friends - and lots of chocolate!

Fic: Impulse Purchase

  • 14th Apr, 2016 at 2:28 PM
avon blue
I finally got the first trope-bingo story for this round written, though it became a lot longer than I'd planned.
Title: Impulse Purchase
Fandoms: Blake's 7
Trope: slave fic
Characters: Kerr Avon, Servalan, Dayna Mallanby, Vila Restal, Del Tarrant, Soolin, Nebrox, Benos, Verlis, Cancer, Piri
Length: 2,804 words
Summary: Avon gets sold twice, three slaves get freed, and some get what they deserve. Why yes, the trope being "slave fic", this one's an Assassin AU.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

All clear

  • 6th Apr, 2016 at 2:00 PM

I went to see the surgeon yesterday for a follow-up appointment and what they took out was completely OK. So, yes, they didn't have to do the surgery, but it was the only way to find out.

I can't go back to the gym for another couple of months but apparently Pilates is OK. I'll have to look for somewhere around here.

Basically I feel pretty much back to normal except for the scars and muscles needing to heal completely. As for the move, we're making plans at last. We've contacted a guy to do the floors before we move (pull up all the tired old carpets, sand, and treat the wooden floors. I wanted to use oil but if there's any evidence of borer due to the age of the house (1928), it'll have to be polyurethane. We also need to get the kitchen completely gutted and a new one put in, and for that I'll probably go down for a week or so and stay next door at the Bookbinders Retreat - yes, Michael really is one. Our property is to the left of that with an equally lovely and extensive garden and views.

Bloody annoying

I am so pissed off with our bastard neighbour. A couple of years ago he cut the lovely high hedge by the shared driveway down to about knee-height exposing the ugly garages of the college flats next door. We asked him to let them grow and maybe let us look after them because of the huge effect on property values (including his) and I really thought that would get to him as he's a mercenary bugger. But no, the hedges were cut right back again yesterday. He will no longer get to use our garden bags or our big flexi-bag rubbish thingy bought for the declutter. If he says we said he could, I shall reply that as he ignored our wishes, we'll ignore his. Also, no more computer help, you swine. Roll on Oamaru where we won't have to share any driveways or access with annoying neighbours. BTW he's the one with the wife I will run to avoid because she tries to sell stuff from her weird pyramid scheme whose name I can't remember. Ugh.


In other news, I have about three weeks to write 5 trope bingo stories. I could actually do a whole line of 5 tropes in one fic but that doesn't count unless you've already done 5 fics. Damn. I'm still shilly-shallying about which line to pick.

And that baby blanket. Good: the colours are perfect. Bad: With one (very long) round to go, then the I-cord bind off, I ran out of both colours and had to order more.

Good cup of tea needed. Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


  • 22nd Mar, 2016 at 5:07 PM
I should have posted before this but I haven't been online much at all.

The op went well on Thursday, being keyhole to my relief. I spent the rest of the day and night in the high-dependency unit as my blood pressure was so low, then was moved to my room on Friday. These days they get you eating and out of bed almost right away, and walking bigger distances around the hallways each day. I was so much better by Sunday morning, they sent me home. I knew all that weight training would pay off!

The food was delicious, all cooked to order, but why do hospitals serve margarine to spread on toast? I refuse to eat that ghastly artificial crap. That's my only reservation though. The nurses were just lovely, all from different places like China, Ireland, the Philippines, Denmark, India...

So now I'm up and out of bed just about all day, taking mild painkillers when needed. For some reason I have a sore lower back, maybe because I'm using different muscles for support. I have to say, every day I feel better than the last. Not that my appetite's come back properly yet.

imhilien, thanks so much for the cute card with a knitted Gromit on it! OK, I know according to the card he's called Boofle, but he's Gromit to me!

I've read several books and done a bit more on the baby blanket, but so far no writing as I'm just taking it very easy. Re the books, if you like fantasy, do check out Brian McClellan's Powder Mage trilogy which I am sad to have finished. It's a well-thought-out world with characters I really cared about and was sorry to say goodbye to.

Thanks to all of you for your good wishes!

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


16th Mar, 2016

  • 6:55 PM
avon and zen
I finished my current job yesterday, and, typically, they decided to have me put all my redesign suggestions into the website this week. [rolls eyes] But it's much better: nice and simple, just top-level menu items, and clear, elegant pages.

No more meetings! No more technically challenged people! Well, maybe. I'll do some consulting to them in future but charge enough that they don't take advantage.

Speaking of websites, I moved mine, Breaking Orbit, to Weebly so that I can make quick and easy updates. In fact now that I don't have to use obsolete software on a virtual old OS to change anything, it's all up-to-date! Yay! Redoing all the pages manually was a nice distraction at the time - and I finally got round to reformatting Vila Restal's Emails so that I could also post them to AO3.

The op is tomorrow; here's hoping it will all go smoothly and I'll be home in 3 days or so. It's at a private hospital where the food (they have menus online) actually looks palatable, and I have my own room with en suite and TV. Not that I watch much live TV. Anyway, I'm all set with my Kindle and some cool digital art phone apps plus a huge library book (the third of Brian McClellan's superb Powder Mage trilogy).  I will not have my laptop despite the free wifi as I'm just going to relax and take it easy.

So, until next week! When I will once again sign up for [community profile] intoabar and try to write my outstanding trope bingos. Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Huge info dump

  • 8th Mar, 2016 at 9:23 PM
I know I said I'd post more often but I've been putting it off because of Things. Lots of Things. These ones.

The house
We're moving to Oamaru this year (sometime after April) and are finally doing all the things to the house I wanted done for years. YEARS. We have a new kitchen benchtop and have painted our old grey tongue-and-groove cupboards and put new handles on so they look almost new and very smart. Next up is replacing the tiles (the previous owners never even bothered to tile behind their oven and we have a smaller one). We now have new carpet in two rooms and on the landings to replace the crappy old dark brown stuff. Still to do are the bathrooms (new basins and taps, reline one shower). A lot of this I've had to do look after myself because Greg's been away for a funeral, a wedding, a conference in Seattle, and this week another funeral; more on that below.

And oh joy, it'll start all over again in Oamaru as I plan to rip up all the carpet and oil the lovely wooden floors under them, completely replace the ancient kitchen, and add a small en suite. Plus paint various walls at some point.

The visitor
When we went down to look at houses (and buy one) we stayed at a B&B and got to know the owner well. He's a retired guy who does painting and other handyman stuff so Greg got him up to paint our house because even paying for flights, he's a lot cheaper than Auckland tradespeople. The only thing is, he only eats the plainest food and all the meals I'd planned I couldn't serve. Oy. He didn't even like the wholegrain bread we use. He also has plain taste in TV so he and Greg are watching a doco about trains right now and I'm in here biting the posting bullet. So there you go.

Through no fault of Doug's, Sebastian the wimp cat is scared of him (and the plumber and carpet layers etc etc) but at least he's starting to venture inside so that's a relief.

Greg's family
Greg's mother has dementia and the family get rung several times a week because she's: 1) wandering; 2) reporting her car stolen (she doesn't have one); 3) trying to get her house, now demolished after the Christchurch earthquakes, moved to a new area; 4) complaining that she has to live in someone else's house (it's hers); 5) telling the police "the boys haven't come home"; 6) telling the police her daughters have been in and wrecked the house (nothing has ever happened, it's always tidy); and so on. And now she has been diagnosed with cancer, having smoked for most of her life. This week she's been put into respite care. Not that Greg's brother, the one with power of attorney, bothered to tell anyone so everyone else was frantic last night thinking she'd wandered off and got lost or injured.

Greg's aunt, who has had cancer for years, died today, a couple of months after an old family friend went. It just goes on.

My job
I resigned effective the end of this month and am training a replacement who seems to take ages grasping the various processes and paying proper attention to detail. I am happy to Skype and share screens with her which has been a good way to teach the marketing person how to do website updates, but her home connection is so crap and slow, I have to go into the office every morning to train her in person. We're both meant to be working from home and I was enjoying being able to do that. Seriously, having to get properly dressed and show up every morning is NOT FUN. Plus it's really hot in the office with no aircon or fan. Blecch.

My health
The biggie. Remember when I tripped and cut my head open last August? I had to go to hospital to get stitches and they kept me in overnight for observation, an MRI, and X-ray, all of which were fine. However the blood tests showed I was anaemic so they had a look to see why a couple of months later and took two bits out. One was fine; the other wasn't. So I have to have a larger bit out next week, and if that's fine, ll's all good; if it's not, then it will be "mild" chemo. What scares me though is the long list of potential complications of the surgery which are only 5% likely, but still. I have to keep telling myself that there's a 95% probability they'll do a keyhole and I'll be home in a couple of days.

Actually, tripping over, the doctor tells me, very likely saved my life. So that's good.

So yeah, lots of stress.

I did plan to write my trope bingo stories while Doug's here but yeah, I'm just reading and knitting, both of which help me relax and forget about next week.

What am I knitting, you ask? (Or probably not.) My very first baby blanket for 2-month-old Quinn, the latest addition to my own extended family. My blanket (this pattern) is charcoal and white - no pastels for me or Quinn who was wearing black-and-white striped cotton overalls when I met him.

I think that covers pretty much everything. Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Happy birthday!

  • 10th Feb, 2016 at 9:31 PM
me with cat and wine
... to 2 Ks: kernezelda and katriona_s!

Wishing you a great day, and many more of them!

Star Wars Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

  • 31st Jan, 2016 at 11:14 AM
This sounded good so I went on the waiting list for it at a the library. I picked it up yesterday.


Crap style. Seriously bad writer. Short sentences. Choppy and disconnected. Many with no verbs. Present tense is OK for good writers. But not bad ones.

Did this guy have an editor? I ask myself.

Can't cope. Giving up.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Trope Bingo card

  • 5th Jan, 2016 at 10:08 AM
I signed up for [community profile] trope_bingo again because I need to get back to writing and fandom because that will also mean more posts. (I've come to the conclusion that only posting about real life means hardly any.)

My card:








What amuses me is how many tropes I've already written in these challenges. This card contains nine. However it also has several I've never had a go at, and I think the right two columns look good, each having three new tropes. Or the third row with four new ones. Let's see what ideas pop up before I decide.

Unless you have any thoughts. :-)

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

The return of my Sherlock speculation

  • 2nd Jan, 2016 at 10:41 PM
sherlock and john
We just watched the Sherlock special and it was as superb as I expected. Excellent stuff!

And it's led me to reanimate an old idea.

SpoilersCollapse )

Not that I'll know till 2017 apparently. But I'd love to know what others think (so comments may well be spoilery).

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Happy new year!

  • 1st Jan, 2016 at 2:35 PM
xmas, party
It's already the afternoon of the 1st here, but for most of you it'll be much earlier. So I wish you all a great 2016!

The champagne is cooling in the fridge for tonight - we didn't have it last night as Greg had to go to Christchurch yesterday for a family friend's funeral and got back very late.

Happy birthday!

  • 22nd Dec, 2015 at 6:50 PM
me with cat and wine
To aralias and jaxomsride!

Have a good one! I hope you get both birthday and Christmas presents. :-)

The Force Awakens

  • 17th Dec, 2015 at 4:05 PM

Just as fun and exciting as Episode IV which it references more than a few times. Though I really loved seeing old friends (especially Han Solo and Chewbacca - and even Admiral Ackbar and others!) the new characters are so likeable and interesting. I hope they explore their backstories in future films - and bring 'em on!

Right, I'm going back in the holidays to see it in 3D with imhilien. :-D

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.

Star Wars tonight!

  • 16th Dec, 2015 at 11:18 PM
We're off to Star Wars shortly for the 12:30am (yes, am) showing, and I'm ready with my new Rebel Alliance pendant. :-D Once again this will be at the Lux (luxury cinema with recliner seats and snacks and coffee delivered to said seats). Because: no kids, no kicking of seats, no babies!

I know I haven't posted for ages and didn't even take part in the November picowrimo, but Things have been going on. I will explain soon.

But in the meantime, STAR WARS!

Sherlock Special trailer

  • 10th Oct, 2015 at 10:26 AM
sherlock and john
Ooh, this looks interesting! As are some of the comments: will there be a TARDIS in the background, will Sherlock see movement out of the corner of his eye while passing a graveyard with stone angels...

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Happy birthday!

  • 18th Sep, 2015 at 11:17 PM
Have a great day, jhall1!

Happy birthday!

  • 16th Sep, 2015 at 10:39 PM
me with cat and wine
Happy birthday, nautile26!

Have a good one!

Oamaru, here we come (eventually)!

  • 1st Sep, 2015 at 6:58 PM
nikau (NZ!)
Oamaru is a great place: a fraction of the rain here, great weather, beautiful Victorian limestone buildings, friendly people, excellent amenities, and there are no mosquitoes and flies in summer. Or insane traffic. I can't wait to move there!

Our offer on this house is about to go unconditional, though we won't be moving for a few months yet as we have to do some alterations here (kitchen and bathroom) and sell our current place. It was built in 1927 of the beautiful Oamaru limestone and looks out over the Oamaru Gardens and sea, and you can even see the snow on the alps in the other direction. We'll rent it out till we move down; apparently there's a shortage of rental places there. Once we do, there's some work to be done, but it's worth it.

I have some cool photos (incl. the Steampunk Museum) but I lack the energy to edit and post them. Oh, and all the streets are named after British rivers. Our new place is in Stour Street (which rhymes with "tour", not "sour"). For B7 fans, Avon Street is on a hill with magnificent views (I took a photo) with a B&B called Federation House a couple of blocks down the hill. :-) We considered staying there, but instead chose a much smaller place, and this worked out well as we made friends with the owner who is also a builder; we'll be hiring him to do some work.

In unrelated news, I bought something called ginger nuts from the supermarket last week. No, not the dunky biscuits, but nuts coated in ginger, and they were so yummy I polished the whole lot off this afternoon.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


Happy birthday!

  • 11th Aug, 2015 at 9:33 PM
me with cat and wine
Happy birthday to she_of_emeralds. I hope it's a great day full of good things!

Delayed by accident

  • 8th Aug, 2015 at 12:46 PM
own goal
We had to cancel the trip as early Wednesday morning I tripped over in the dark and cut my head open, stunning myself. I was taken to hospital where I had stitches, an MRI scan and X-rays, neither of which showed any problems but they kept me in for two days for observation.

Man, I had cabin fever after a few hours; I'm so glad Greg brought my Kindle in.

Do we'll be going down in 2 or three weeks to look around. Yeah, I'm so pissed off at myself for being such a stupid klutz.

I heard it might be snowing down there! I haven't lived anywhere it snowed since Germany, and having four seasons will be wonderful, not to mention a LOT less rain.

Also posted on Dreamwidth, with comment count unavailable comments.


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.


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