we went to dinner at katarina and see how much baby Alex has grown
Friday 19 August
we went to a Nepalese restaurant in Balham to see Pauline for her birthday
Saturday 20 August
After doing my hybnotherapy through Skype with Stephanie, i join Simon, Nev and Tory in Camden for some shopping, Bento food and a few cocktails
Been wanting to check it out for a while but this year it sold out, luckily Amanda managed to find me a ticket (not for simon sadly so he went re-enacting instead)
It was so lovely to be back in pretty Burley and all its witchy shops and wandering horses. A perfect location for a festival. I hadn't been to that one before and it was so lovely. Caught up with lots of friends i didn't see due to missing faeryfest this year , spent too much money in all the lovely stalls and what a brilliant relaxing atmosphere. The unexpected sunshine also made the day...definitely one to revisit next yearnewforestfairyfestival.com/
( Photos )
Full album of photos : https://ceciledubuis.smugmug.com/
What I read
Finished The Private Patient, which was readable enough, I suppose, but felt not exactly as if PDJ was phoning it in, just proceeding along well-worn ruts. Found it hard to believe in the characters. Also, while PDJ does have a sense that there is Modern Life, and makes a nod to it in Miskin, she still feels in a bit of a time-warp (unlike Rendell/Vine)
Read Ginger Frost's Illegitimacy in English Law and Society, 1860-1930 (2016), which was a freebie for reading a book proposal and I have been trying to get to for months, because Frost's work is always good and going into areas very under-explored. This one looks at illegitimacy from the angle of the illegitimate children (rather than the fallen mother) and is densely researched. Also more than a little depressing - illegitimate children had a very high mortality rate, if they weren't the victims of infanticide by desperate mothers they were subject to neglect or the general problems of poverty. Also the cruelty of the laws took so very long to change. But Frost does get the ambivalances: courts and local officials being sympathetic to the plight of unwed mothers and thus giving merciful judgments in infanticide cases, giving mothers out-relief rather than obliging them to go into the workhouse, demonstrating a certain flexibility; while thinking actually changing the rules would lead to the downfall of morality.
Also finished one of two books I have for a joint review, which also deal with a rather depressing topic.
On the go
Tanith Lee, Nightshades: Thirteen Journeys into Shadow (1993, and collecting some much earlier material). Some of these have been in other collections of hers I've read recently. Very good, if creepy.
Also, have started second book for the joint review.
If it ever arrives, the new Barbara Hambly Benjamin January mystery.
Yes it can, so long as the strike lever has not been released. And that is the position we are in with Brexit. In theory, article 50 can be revoked if we act fast, but the clock is ticking. And According to both Emmanuel Macron and Alastair Campbell, editor of the New European, we have little time left. At some point, the EU will go into full self-protective mode and focus on performing a clean amputation. In grenade terms, the strike lever will have been released and the explosion will be inevitable.
That is why we have to move swiftly. According to Campbell, the time window after our August holidays will be slim. “When the political season resumes, we had better have got our act together”, he writes, ”or else this thing is happening”.
There are formidable difficulties facing us. Though we see tantalising signs of a national change of heart, a lot of energy has built up behind the Brexit juggernaut which means that simply aborting it is well nigh impossible.
Disarming the grenade
Brexit has been aptly described as an act of national self-harm, and self harm has a considerable cathartic value. It is like a wave which rears up before crashing and dissipating its energy on the beach. Anyone who has ever been distressed enough to think of harming themself will tell you that it is not much use being told “forget it, and just carry on as normal”.
So any move to stay in the EU cannot be case of “forget Brexit and carry on as normal”. Whilst I don’t fool myself that I know what the answer is, a couple of modest suggestions would be:
1. The EU assure us that they will tighten their borders. Chastened by our threat to leave, they should address our Leavers and promise them a secure ring right round the EU, including ourselves. Protecting us all from uncontrolled immigration from the rest of the world.
2. The BBC come off the fence and support the EU. As a respected authority they could be a counterweight to the strident din of the Brexit press, ensuring that the information hitting the public has some degree of balance. Why shouldn’t we have a few David Attenborough style documentaries alerting us to the fact that our liberal values are an endangered species?
So what can we do?
Nobody has much control over how the EU plays it, and the BBC is certainly not likely to jump to attention merely because John King says so. In my campaign group we are playing our small part, talking to people about their right to have a say on their future. Once it is in the air, a realistic possibility, I believe the forces demanding another vote will grow.
These are my thoughts as a non-expert, pending the appearance of Nick Clegg’s handbook for remainers. His book “How to stop Brexit and make Britain great again” is due for publication on 5th October. Billed as a step by step guide to defeating Brexit, the book sounds almost too good to be true. I am presuming of course that it won’t divulge everything, no point in letting the other side know our complete strategy in advance. But if it encourages some action, it will come not a moment too soon.
* John King is a retired doctor and Remain campaigner.
That day i made my way to St Albans, to be collected to Martin and Amanda who kindly were taking me along with them to stay at Amanda mum in the New forest and then onto the festival the next day.
Catching a train to St Albans , I am not sure that my attempt to make my staff more discreet has completely worked
you know in the new forest wild ponies everywhere :)
That evening I went for a gorgeous evening swim with the isle of Wight in the background
What an unusual and incredible place to visit yesterday. They have clothes from Victorian to 1970 you can handle, archive boxes full of haberdashery, accessories, underwear, buttons, laces, frills. Some can even be lended to study r be inspired. A varied collection of vintage comics, including underground, children and Sci fi. Loved their Ephemera collection with postcards, flyers, matchboxes, cut outs, very wonderful and random. The Sample collection was also fascinating to touch and understand all the different textures and surfaces. Some great rare art books, fanzines, artists one off, pop up…such a varied place. All there for students to handle, study and be inspired.
full album : https://ceciledubuis.smugmug.com/2017/
Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
Photography breaks magic by embalming a specific moment—one version of reality—into a recorded image. Once that moment is so recorded, then all other possible versions of that moment are excluded from the world that contains that photograph.” [p. 35]
I was really looking forward to reading this: perhaps that's why this is such a negative review, reflecting the depth of my disappointment.
( spoilers )
Title/First line of text
Composer: Last name, first name, initials, birth year, death year, nationality, website, e-mail, role, link to contact composer, link to composer's website, notes
Arranger: all the info from Composer.
Date of composition/publication
Publisher (if applicable)
Genre (e.g. hymn, chant, anthem, canticle, responses, voluntary...)
Metre (for hymns)
Tune name (for hymns)
Duration (in time)
Duration (in verses, for hymns)
Hymnals the work is published in
Anthologies the work is published in
Url to order a deadtree copy
url to buy a download
url to a free download, if any legal
url to contact composer
Liturgical context: seasons, saints, services, themes, where in the service it might fit,
Scriptural references (this is fairly complicated because a piece might be relevant to one verse or to a range of them and it might skip some within that range, but at least someone has numbered the chapters and verses already, thank you Dominicans; I almost want to do this with a link to bible.oremus.org because that is a sensible site)
Lectionary Date (there are three years worth of these)
Related works (e.g. a Magnificat may be linked to a Nunc Dimittis)
Some of these are one-to-one relationships, some of them are one-to-many. I don't really get how to do the one-to-many thing, yet.
I think I need the following tables:
Relationships between works
But, I am not quite sure what I am doing...
I'm saddened to suddenly realise that that today is my fourth wedding anniversary. Would have been. Our.
Which means I'll end up crying hard at some point, just hope I can avoid it happening at work.
I was in Oregon, in the totality zone, for the eclipse; this is more or less my trip report, written as fiction in the Fear of Spiders/Overwatch universe. The eclipse really was indescribable - you have to be there - but this is my best attempt to relate what I saw and how I felt.
All the locations are real world locations, accurately described, and specifically relate how I got down to Shiniko, Oregon for the totality, and back, after crossing the Oregon border from the north. All of Venom's and Widowmaker's lines are basically my commentary while being the one driving... inappropriately quickly... with my road trip crew down a surprisingly empty Highway 216.
"I loved it," said the Widowmaker, her voice fluid, "when the spider ate the sun. Slowly dimming light, then sunset all around, in all directions, and then - gone, but for the corona. Exquisite."
"That was wizard!" agreed Venom, speeding along Highway 216 west from Highway 97 to Highway 197 in the Oregon high desert. "The sky went violet! Blue, dark, rich, with extra violet, somehow. The pictures always made it look black, but it wasn't! So intense!"
"I think that was partly ultraviolet, from the corona," suggested the elder assassin, as the old-style automobile - a Spider, appropriately enough - barrelled down the road into the canyon, chasing the water. The speed limit sign said 55kph. She hit it at 120. "The light had such intoxicating depth."
"Felt like time just stopped! And I know from time." She giggled at little at herself, and shook her head. "Pictures just can't tell the story, can they?" said Lena.
"Not at all. One cannot even describe it, one must experience it. The changes in the air, the blue and violet glow, the heat vanishing with the sun..."
"And then, and then, the last bit of the sun goes out, and you look past the glasses, and - wow! The sun is, like, whole different star! And the sky is a different sky! It was like - it was like bein' in space, like being on a whole 'nother world!"
"The black hole sun, the streaming flares of fusing hydrogen writhing in the sky, the glowing colours - I never imagined the colours would be so intense." She sighed, wistfully. "I do not think my cameras captured the violet, only the blue."
The tires screeched at the first downhill hairpin turn. The road carried with it no forgiveness, no margin - cliff wall to one side, sheer drop to the other. A few guardrails buffered against the worst of the turns, or, at least, the first couple, and then not the next, and not the one after that. The Spider held the road, if barely, as the Talon assassins drifted in their vehicle, across the road, into the opposite-direction lane.
"I remind you," said Amélie, "despite having applied to the Commonwealth, this country is still right-hand driving."
"Yeh, yeh. Curve speed signs are for wankers."
Widowmaker smirked. "That one, if anything, seemed overly permissive."
The junior assassin slowed the vehicle, but not much, and sped it back up at every opportunity. "Nobody's usin' the other lane, I might as well."
It was true. Even with the tens of thousands of tourists flooding back from the zone of totality, Highway 216 sat empty of traffic, out in the high grassy desert, barreling down towards the Deschutes River, splashing and rushing at the very bottom.
"Even so," said the spider, "this road does not seem very forgiving."
Venom chuckled, and hit the accelerator again. "Feeling nervous, love?"
"Feeling impressed that the Cascadians do not seem to care about guard rails, perhaps." The car's right mirror - still just within its lane - came within a few centimetres of the cliff wall. "Or margins for error." She looked out over the cliff the road hugged. "This countryside - it is almost painfully beautiful."
Off to the left, a series of canyons, or one long, split canyon, almost cartoonish in perfection, stepped down towards the water, a mix of steep rocky slopes and bare basalt column cliffs, volcanic, spotted with the occasional first-coloniser plants, mostly gold, some auburn, some ash, and, almost inexplicably, splashes of dark, vivid green, the green becoming dominant the further down towards the river, but really, anywhere water might run or pool or even be slowed down, even a bit, for the thirsty plants to grab it up.
"Whole bleedin' country's a bunch of picture postcards, innit?"
"Glad they had the sense not to muss up the view with fences." Venom floored the antique Sypder into the next hairpin curve, not quite fishtailing, not quite sliding away and to oblivion. "I can't believe we're the only ones on this road. Look at what they're missing!"
"It's not the eclipse, but it is fascinating. Perhaps the tourists are afraid of the heights," said the spider.
"You mean, it's just us 'cause they're too scared?"
"And therefore, do not deserve to see this."
"Fair cop," said the younger assassin. "Woah!" she said, surprised by the severity of yet another hairpin. "That was a tight one!"
"Be careful, we cannot crash this vehicle here - we might start a fire."
"Blimey, that'd be a right cock-up," the junior assassin replied in all sincerity. "They have fires all summer already, don't they?"
"It seems so," the senior assassin said, gesturing back towards a burnt out patch they'd driven by, some 30km before.
"Well, good thing we've got that car park all lined up."
"Indeed. Just be sure not to hit the river. Fish and gasoline do not mix."
"Easy peasy. Reach 'round, pull the body forward, will ya?"
She pulled the middle-aged man forward, from the - well, it wasn't really the boot, not one worthy of the name, not in an F430 - and propped him up against the centre console, between their individual seats.
The Ferrari flew over the first river bridge, as Venom let the engine really open up. "May as well go out in a blaze of glory, y'big ugly monster," she said, made the final turn at a desperately dangerous 220kph. "Good handling, I'll give you that. Right! Whenever you're ready, love..."
"Grab hold, cherie, and ready your grapple," the Widowmaker said, grabbing her lover and launching the two of them out of the automobile. Venom kicked the wheel hard to the right, and the Spider flipped over, briefly flying, then bouncing down the road, hitting once, twice, a third time, and skidding into a gravel parking lot before bursting into flame. Widowmaker's chain retracted, pulling the two Talon agents high into the air, and just short of apogee, Venom launched her chain, and up they went again, a second arc, and again, at apogee, Widowmaker's grapple made the top of the butte, where their ship sat, concealed, and waiting.
From atop their high vantage point, they could see the local wardens rushing forward with emergency fire suppression, the wreckage of the convertible already burning itself out, the body of Roger Müller - well-known multi-millionaire playboy and less-well-known deep financier of ultra-nationalist media and neofascist politicians - already well-crisped. His remains would show a blood alcohol content well above 0.17, over twice the legal limit, but entirely in character.
"And that's why y'don't drive pissed." Venom said to her partner, cheerfully.
"That was magnificent."
"Such a shame when people overindulge, innit, love?"
Widowmaker spun on her lover, pulling her abruptly, roughly, against her own body, eyes wide and open. "Yes. Let's balance it by overindulging ourselves."
Venom shuddered with quick arousal. "Fast cars and fast kills? I like the way you think, sweet. But let's move the..."
"So now I'm the sensible unf " - she said, as Widowmaker bit into her neck - "...we can't stay here, love. Somewhere else. The way we went south. Nobody's on that road, either."
"Fine. Bakeoven, then. How quickly can you fly us back?"
"You just saw how quick I got us here in an antique, didn't ya?"
"Point made. Go."