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It hailed today. Like seriously, WTF.

This better be the last of the cold, because hello, weather, do you realise it's nearly May?

I don't think I'm getting much done this evening (or any of the next two, really) fandom-wise, seeing as today was one of those days where something I hoped to complete in the morning ended up taking the whole day plus extra time working into the evening. Tomorrow iCafé is back, and Friday night I have tickets to see Beauty and the Beast. (Yes, way after it premiered, but I'm a Scrooge and waited for the cheap tickets for my school showings.)

But Monday is a bank holiday! I'm toying with the idea of cycling into a quaint tea shop in a different village for tea and scones and writing with a change of scenery.

Anyway, I hit the halfway mark of my fic outline for CoL! Definitely on track for the Big Bang timeline. Which is good, because the first check-in is this Sunday.

April showers

Now that I think about it, it hasn't rained all that much here in the last term. We had a full on downpour this afternoon, though. And yes, I'm talking fully chucking it down rainstorm that would make Singapore proud.

Fortunately it lightened to a drizzle by the time I headed out home.

I was tempted to stay a while longer in the office because I'd got to the final bits of the discussion I was rewriting, but then I looked at the last couple of paragraphs and realised if I were to get into it, I'd be there another 2 hours without realising it.

The point of setting aside time over two weeks to plug away at the article is so I don't have to squeeze it all into a single Monday. Plus, I did get through a good chunk of three open projects today, so yeah. I'm learning when to call it quits for the day!

Last night I found a whole bunch of writing music playlists and that kind of made time fly while I was working on my articles and experiment code today because I put them on the whole time. (I have new poundland headphones, too, which served me well since the usual pair I was using for non-running stuff only play out of one ear bud.) The 'writing music' theme is really meant to go with writing fic, but hey, I can go through it and pick out the ones that work while I do the academic writing, anyhow.

There's a scene in the current chapter of CoL that I've imagined backed by this Grey's Anatomy score since December. I'd love to find a playlist for all my writing if I could. Kind of like a side project--a fic OST, if you will. I've already found some gems off the playlists I collected last night, though I don't know yet which of my scenes (if any) they actually match.

Still, music is amazing. The way it can pull out emotions from deep inside and create an epic scene right in your head ...

How about an old music meme, then?

iTunes shuffle memeCollapse )

And since we're also talking writing, how about a book meme to round things off?

Books books books!Collapse )
I thought I was going to be blocked on the current CoL chapter, but I've got a good way into it. Yay me! (And thank you, little miss muse, for soldiering on.)

It's been a fairly productive day. Laundry done, house cleaned--swept, mopped, and the kitchen and bathroom sinks and stove scrubbed--and food cooked for the week, including a batch of granola and a big batch of pasta which was lunch today. (Also, yay back to regular food. Cheese! Yoghurt! Pasta! Chicken! Lent was cool, but I've missed sinking my teeth into some of the good stuff.) And of course, church.

After all that, let's play some old memes, shall we?

Slang and dialects, because languages are fun!Collapse )
Since not all the shops are open on Sunday, we did our café hop on Saturday this week, at the St Helena's Hospice Books-and-Coffee shop. Secondhand books and a café with tea and cakes (excellent cakes, by the way--I had a raaspberry crumble and Tania a carrot cake and both were delightful) made for a cosy afternoon.

I finished off the day with a birthday party for a church friend--a '175th' birthday party in fact, which sounds impossible until you realise that it's a combined age party ... although 70 + 105 is pretty impressive in itself.

I don't think I've actually known anyone over a century old before this lady. (The oldest of my relatives died as 92, I think.) And her daughter, you would never believe is 70, given how sprightly she is. The party was lovely, though. They had it at the church, and I had an interesting conversation with our minister about Berlin and what I should see there.

All in all, a lovely Saturday! (And yes, I did get some writing done, although this was one of those chapters that wasn't flowing; I managed to pull out 1,000 words before I called it good and went for my second run. It wasn't coming to me over the long distance either. Ah well, writing's like that some times.)
At the time I did this challenge, I hadn't started sailing the FX. I don't think it had even been introduced yet (or maybe it was just newly established as the new female double-handed skiff Olympic class). Anyway, I first started sailing this boat in 2013. And it was love at first launch.

So here's a bonus 11th item for 10 types of boats, because I cannot believe I have next to no mention at all of the FX here.

Skiff sailing is the most fun you can possibly have!Collapse )

Take the 100 things challenge @ 100things_index!

Masterlist Progress: 67/100

Yes, it's 3am.

I woke up and needed food. It was a weird feeling. Anyway, I hit the WeetBix (there's not much in the way of food left since I'm headed off to Congerstone today so I've kind of depleted my cupboards because why leave food to waste?) and now I'm just awake.

Maybe my body just wants to start my holiday early ... :P

Anyway, since I'm up, I sent along my second chapter of CoL to my betas and spent about an hour rearranging my Google calendar.

No seriously, I do that shit for fun.

And I realised I must have left my USB in the office so I shall have to make a stop in there to grab it. So much for not going in at all today. At least I was already planning to do my PT at the gym, so it's not an extra trip.

(I'm wondering if it's just God's way of saying seriously, just plug off for the weekend!)

ETA because I'm still awake (yeah, definitely not going to be sleeping any time soon now), I did a sailing things post.

Also, how could I forget I have frozen bagel thins in the freezer?

Ah, it's been so long since I've started the day with good old bread and butter and jam.

Yes I know it's not Easter yet. But I was trading off the last three days with three days next week after Easter anyway, since I'm visiting.

The ol' WIP meme

I had 2 WIP memes in my archive, one of which is a single sentence one, so I shared that on tumblr.

I still say LJ is a better place for long ramblings, though, so it gets the more meaty excerpts!

Previously done here (and here for the single sentence one).

When you see this, post a little weensy excerpt from as many random works-in-progress as you can find lying around. Who knows? Maybe inspiration will burst forth and do something, um, inspiration-y.

The buns in my oven.Collapse )

Survey help!

If anyone has 15 minutes to spare (hello procrastination!) I have a survey that needs doing! It’s about associations people have with terms used in food labelling.

Apologies in advance if the thinking about food makes you hungry … do it before lunch, maybe? ;)

Right over here!


So, a thousand five years ago I started this 100 things blogging challenge where I set out to post 100 things about sailing. I got all the way to #65 before I ran out of steam. But it was a nice resource that I actually came back to when I wanted to explain things to people sometimes, and today I thought about it again because I was helping a friend out with boat work. And so, I'm reprising this. With something I did today: climb the mast.

Where the worlds of sailing and rock climbing collide.Collapse )


Take the 100 things challenge @ 100things_index!

Masterlist Progress: 66/100

Caffe Sala

Today's café Sunday outing took us to Caffe Sala, which was just a random pick because the books and coffee/tea place we hoped to try was actually closed on Sundays (we'll have to do a café Saturday one of these days instead!).

I loved the design of the place--very artsy and they had upstairs seating with some cosy armchair in a room with a bookcase wallpaper so it looked like café and books after all. I got a chicken chorizo sandwich with sweet chilli mayo, and it was delicious. Loved the fluffy granary bread they used.

The one drawback of the place, though, was that their acoustics was terrible. The room we chose to sit in was nice enough, with a blackboard customers could draw on in chalk, and kid-friendly so there was a corner with toys for children. It was empty when we first went in so no problem, but then a pair of ladies came in with children and just having another set of customers made it difficult to hear my own conversation with Tania; add to that the kids playing (on a floor with wooden boards) made their bumps and thumps echo all about so that got quite annoying.

I know, maybe we shouldn't have chosen to sit in the kid-friendly space. But it felt quite noisy downstairs and in the other room, too (although the café wasn't even crowded) so I think it really was something about the rooms themselves. I guess it would be an okay place otherwise, but that one drawback makes me hesitant to go back, given that the food was decent but not outstanding.

This book!

It played with me, drew me in, got me involved with the characters, and then broke me as much as it broke them.

A Torch Against the Night reviewCollapse )

An Ember in the Ashes

So I mentioned yesterday that I was reading An Ember in the Ashes and I'd got to the good bits.

Read more...Collapse )

There's something invigorating about being up at 6am to write.

Figures the day I don't set an alarm as I don't have to be up before half 7 (yes, I don't bother with alarms if I can sleep past 7 ... that tells you lots about my body clock, doesn't it?) is the day I wake up naturally before 6.

But since I was up anyway, I tackled all the connections in my monster chapter! (Which will now turn into 3 when I edit, I think ... making what was initially intended as one chapter a total of 5, since I already split it once. Eek!)

Speaking of fic, fernwithy has a new chapter of her AU Neville-as-chosen-one fic up! I'm so glad she's still working on it!

Cafe review--Bill's Colchester

Today's Café Sunday adventure took us to Bill's, which turned out to be a fancier place than we'd anticipated. I'd say this was more of a restaurant than an actual café, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. We tried the halloumi burger, which came with a side of chips and dressing (a cross between salad cream and mayo is how I'd describe it). And chocolate bombe for dessert, which was exactly how it sounds--a delectable blend of lots and lots of chocolate.

Another good outing to end the week and get prepared for the one ahead!

We have our eye on a café bookshop for next Sunday. Food and books--how can it get any better than that?

Coffee adventures

They say becoming an adult involves an initiation into the world of coffee. If that's the case, I've waited 30 years to become one.

Today's café hopping took us to Slice of Colchester, where I got a delicious sweet chilli chicken panini. I liked that the sweet chilli had at least a hint of proper spice, and the panini was well-toasted so it was satisfyingly crisp. Very affordable, too, at £3.75!

I've been thinking that I really need to keep track of all these cafés I've been checking out, so that I have a record, and I should probably make it a project to write up all my café reviews. So far, I've checked out Harpers Café and The Den.

Others I've tried earlier this year or last and would definitely go back to include The Art Café, The Purple Dog (okay, so it's a pub, but let's just make this a list of eateries, all right?), The Black Buoy, and a new place at the bottom of North Hill that I can't seem to find a website for, but had awesome pizza. Oh, and Sonali's deserves a mention, too, though I never ate there, because it's my favourite take-away.

But back to the coffee. I decided this was going to be my week for taking the plunge, and I got myself a mocha to take my first baby steps into the world of coffee.

And Tania kindly took a video to record any potential ensuing hilarity. (There turned out not to be any, as it really just tasted like extremely dark chocolate with additional bitterness, but the chocolate-y sweetness was sufficient to mask the espresso.)

When we were walking home, though, my head had a really fuzzy, buzzed sort of feeling, a bit like after I've ingested even the littlest bit of alcohol (I definitely don't do that well either). It was sort of bordering on a headache, but fortunately it didn't last the afternoon, and I'm feeling more normal now.

Apparently the next step up is a latte. Or a flavoured latte and then a normal latte. If I do it, I think it's going to be more for the lols and adventure than an actual desire to drink coffee, though.

Baking misadventures

Note to self: next time, wait for the cookies to cool before attempting to ice them.

Sometimes my baking works out. Sometimes ... well, it sort of does, just not in the way I expected.

Hey, as long as it tastes good, right?

Sundays are for breaking fast

In honour of the one day a week that isn't part of Lent, I went café hopping after church (is it still hopping if you only check out one a week?) Today I popped into Harper's Café, which had a nice, local-run establishment sort of feel (as opposed to the big chains, although I'm not particularly averse to Costa and Starbucks and the like). I had a great panini, hot chocolate, and chocolate square for dessert.

Chapter 4 of TGF is also posted, and I've done all but one of the fic stuff I've had on my to-do list for the weekend (which is a lot, because I had stuff postponed from last week to this week), so I'm going to call it good and say I did everything I intended to!


How about some music memes for a change, now? My iTunes library has changed quite a bit since the last time I did them, so here we go again!

1. Put Your iTunes on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.

Ones That You Leave BehindCollapse )

There are some old soundtrack memes too ...

Here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

The SoundtrackCollapse )

ETA: I forgot to mention I finished The Scorch Trials last night. I don't know about this series. It's just not really cutting it for me, but it's like reading a technical report. I want to know what the conclusion is, even if I'm not particularly fond of the characters. I need to know the outcome of the experiment! Moved on to The Fever Cure while in the café today. (I know ... I read fast.)
My name is on the PJOHOOBigBang participants' list! Whew, that means my sign-up has definitely got through. And seeing that this morning was motivation to work on my fic outline this afternoon. I'm pretty well outlined with all the bullet points I want to include up to chapter 7 now, with some work on chapter 8 as well. Hopefully that's going to keep me on track when it's time to start writing! (It worked for NaNo, after all!)

This detailed plot outline thing is starting to become my preferred way of writing these days. It does mean I spend ages planning before I actually start writing, though. And that I end up dealing in multi-chapters as opposed to one-shots.

Having done that now, here's an old fandom characters meme from this post.

Favourite characters.Collapse )

Meme of the morning!

I was going to call it meme of the day, but I anticipate more meme-age coming up after church later (hey, whatever I can do to take my mind off the stress, right?) so morning it is.

Here's one on writing, which I did twice before in 2010 and 2008.

Post the first line from your last 20 stories.

I think I have enough for this to be different from the last time I did it, so here goes!

20 storiesCollapse )

Reprising some old book memes!

It turns out that I haven't read much more from these old lists since the years I did them.

Combining all the old what-have-you-read memes ...
1. Bold the books you've read.
2. Underline the ones read since you last did the meme.
3. Italicize the ones you started but never finished.
4. Star/Asterisk the ones you loved (***).
5. Strikeout the ones you hated. (I'm going to go with 'didn't care for' because hate for a book is pretty strong.)
6. Mark ones that you intend to read with carets (^^^).
7. At the end, add another book you've read and loved.

106 top unread books
Unread booksCollapse )

200 from this entry
200 booksCollapse )

One with an add-on at the end!Collapse )


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