la_marquise: (Caspian)
So it's been a while since I last posted. I'm not entirely sure why. Some of it was the familiar feeling I always have that my life just isn't that interesting. To me, living it moment by moment, it often seems to be a cycle of mundane things -- landry, cat-feeding, staring at the computer trying to find the right words. Christmas was quiet and pleasant, which was good, as 2014 was not, I think, my favourite year (though there were some excellent parts: waves to [livejournal.com profile] aliettedb, [livejournal.com profile] kateelliott, [livejournal.com profile] rcloenen_ruiz and Rhi). I didn't get the novel into shape, which was frustrating, and there were too many distressing personal things. Moving into 2015, things are easier for the marquis and me, but not for all those I care about, and that's a concern. And the books is still sitting there glaring, though after a brain-storming session with the marquis at the weekend, I now have a better sense of it.

What else? Tomorrow evening (Thursday 15th) I'm giving a talk on The Vikings to the Fulbourn History Society, at 7.30 pm, in the Fulbourn Centre, which should be fun. I like the vikings: it's a very dynamic field and there are new finds and ideas all the time. And in just over a week, we're heading off on the annual Cambridge fan ski trip. (I will try not to break anything.)

How's everyone out there in lj land? People are posting more, which is good to see and enthuses me to do the same, if only I can think of something to write about. Any suggestions?

Skirt of the day: blue flags
la_marquise: (Default)
1) A circular black and white gingham miniskirt (and matching net petticoat)
2) A toy raccoon.
3) A small embroidery frame
4) A ten-sided die, with the numbers in Chinese
5) A pair of small hand-weights.
6) A Saint Francis de Sales medallion.

No, I don't know how this happens. My desk does this. It also currently holds a dvd set of the 1966 BBC series of The Three Musketeers, a folder, lots of pens and pencils, my lectern, a couple of books I need to return to other people; a pair of scissors, a wooden ferret (carved out of sycamore, and beautiful), a mug of water, several notebooks and my kindle (as well as the keyboard and monitor). But these are more normal.
So, what's on your desk?
la_marquise: (Default)
It's almost that time again, when the marquis and I head off with assorted other Cambridge fen to slide down mountains and try not to break ourselves. We're going to Arabba in the Italian Dolomites this time, and the flight is at really silly a.m. on Saturday. So tomorrow is all about packing and doing and getting down to Gatwick.
The book is pottering along. I'm taking a notebook -- the old-fashioned kind made of paper with a binding, that you write in with a pen -- so I shall be off-line until I get back (on the 28th Jan.) Have a good week, all.

Aha!

Jan. 13th, 2012 11:58 am
la_marquise: (Default)
I have fixed the spelling issue -- it was a Firefox problem, not LJ (Firefox had re-set itself to US English last time it upgraded). Thank you to everyone who made suggestions, and my apologies to LJ for maligning it!

So...

Jan. 3rd, 2012 01:56 pm
la_marquise: (Default)
It looks to be 2012. How did that happen? (I'm sure it was 2001 just now.) I hope it has started well for everyone and continues well, too.
I'm not doing a full review of 2011, if only because I'm not sure I did that much that was unusual (for me). It was an okay year, with good bits and bad bits, and no-one close to me died, and that works for me. Things that immediately come to mind about it: Eastercon and accidentally starting an bid for 2013 during the Closing Ceremony, because both [livejournal.com profile] jemck are Too Responsible; skiing through trees in Sweden, with only the marquis and birds for company; a squirrel taking revenge for his species and biting Horus back; Mooncat meeting [livejournal.com profile] a_d_medievalist and demanding she move in at once; discovering that [livejournal.com profile] desperance finds me humming while I write distracting (who knew?); amazing scenery in Oregon and unreasonable heat in San Diego; watching eagles from a Moorish fortress with the marquis; finding out just how many of my neighbours are visited by Ish at a local Christmas party. I went to a whole bunch of places I've never visited before, which pleases me (because, y'know, itchy feet). And the contract on The Grass King's Concubine was signed.

And today we've had high winds and heavy rain and hail and sunshine, all before lunch, and Ish has dried himself on me twice. The holiday season is done and this afternoon -- once I've been to the Post Office -- it's back to the writing mines.

Speaking of which, my friend and fellow historian [livejournal.com profile] helen_lerewth is now on lj. And she's published some of her short stories. I've been reading her stories for about 12 years, I think, and I've always hoped to see them in print. They are fabulous: barbed and witty, sharp and devious and strange. And right now, she's offering them for free, which is a gift, if you ask me. She has a really interesting take on the world. Please go and say hi, and do read her writing. It's well worth it.

Skirt of the day: black cord with purple piping.
la_marquise: (Goth marquise)
So today is mainly about packing for [livejournal.com profile] richardrampant's weekend-long birthday extravaganza in North Wales. I have jeans, walking boots, tops, underwear, my hairbrush, my huge silk net petticoat and a corset... (And my toothbrush.) I guess if I've forgotten anything, I can always take a side trip to Bangor (no singing at the back). It should be a lot of fun, if last year is anything to go by. I've got my rewrites, too, as I still have about 4 chapters to tidy up.
And yes, there will be castles. They are everywhere....

And meanwhile, how did I come to forget how awesome this is? I mean, Marc Almond has half the voice Gene Pitney has, and his top notes are dodgy, yet somehow instead of being unbalanced, this is pure magic.

No skirt today -- I have to drive across the country, so I'm in jeans. (The long blue linen skirt is going, though. A girl needs at least one skirt. [Apart from the Huge Silk Net Petticoat, that is, and its demi-skirt.])
la_marquise: (Default)
Just did my tax return. I think it's right. Now all I have to do is send it in, assuming I can find my online filing details.
The marquis held my hand. He made me create a spreadsheet.
I am so not good at things involving numbers. (Useless writer is useless, sigh.)
Goes away and shivers, possibly with beer.

Skirt of the day: lilac, was petticoat under Gudrun blue dress.
la_marquise: (Horus)
So, one of the things I have trouble with, sometimes, is believing that I exist. (Yes, I know. That sounds stupid. But it's how I am.) There's a piece of me that finds it reasonably clear the the external world is real, but not that I am. Certain things/events/behaviours make me wonder if I am, in fact, just a fiction.
The marquis, on the other hand, is pretty sure he exists, but isn't always so sure about the external world.
What about you lot out there? Do you believe you're real? If so, why and how? Conversely, do you believe that the external world is real, and if so, why and how?
(I believe in the external world because that's clearly where all the power and control and entitlement comes from, and where all the important things are.)
la_marquise: (Moon cat)
The sun is shining, a light wind is blowing and keeping the heat down, and Mooncat is helping me with everything I do by sitting on it, patting things and generally being underfoot.

Outside, the building work in entering its final phase (I hope). And our primroses have survived the experience, including being buried for a while under three feet of soil (the marquis dug them out and they have responded wonderfully).

Our rhubarb, in the front garden, is flourishing: fresh rhubarb pie is on the menu for the very near future.

Regular gym visits and work with fixed weights are keeping my shoulders mostly mobile and relatively pain-free.

And here is the extraordinary story of Kazimierz Piechowski and his friends, who escaped from Auschwitz.
la_marquise: (Iskander)
Cambridge is waking up. As I drift about my city, its gardens are filled with massy magnolias, laden in blossoms of cream and raspberry. Cherries shake their pink petals over the paths, blackthorns hide their dangers behind clouds of white. In our front garden, the greengages have hearts of white blooms and soft green leaf buds. The borders are filled from side to side with the green and blue of grape hyacinth. To the back, the snowy mespil enjoys its short burst of fragile lacy flowers. The last of the winter jasmine winds yellow through the hedge. On the big roundabout just down the road, tulips stand to attention, clad in glossy dark purple. The cats chase petals across the lawn and yawn happily in the big pool of sunlight that falls across the floor.
It may be spring.
la_marquise: (Default)
The marquis has arrived safely in Nagoya, after travelling for roughly 24 hours. He likes the hotel and says all seems calm and orderly. He did have to sit on the tarmac at Nagoya airport for 45 minutes before being obliged to fly on to Tokyo and take six more hours getting back to Nagoya, which was tedious. The plane made an extra stop to let off emergency supplies for transportation (Nagoya is nowhere near the affected areas) and he asked if he could disembark too, but it was not to be. The cabin crew tried quite hard to help him, but couldn't get authorisation. (He only had carry-on luggage.) He's now gone in search of food before bed.
la_marquise: (Horus)
Reports have reached this office of the theft of The Marquis earlier today from Marquis Towers. An Evil Power (TM)(Mrs) is believed to be behind this outrage. The Marquis was last seen been escorted to a Sinister Dark Vehicle headed for a location referred to only as 'Heathrow'. A source close to The Evil Power (TM)(Mrs) suggest that this theft may last for as long as a week and that during that time The Marquis may be shipped to A Foreign Destination. Sources close to the marquise tell us that she is 'underwhelmed', 'fretting', and, most tellingly 'late with our breakfast.

The marquis' employers have elected to send him to Nagoya for a week. It's a long way from those areas of Japan effected by the earthquake and tsunami (and, indeed, the power station). It's been on again off again on again all week, which has been somewhat stressful, but despite their country (let's call it A) deciding to remove their own citizens from the whole of Japan, his immediate bosses are happy, it seems, for him to go. (Their bosses, who are in a more sensible country, are recommending avoiding areas of Japan that are affected by the earthquake damage and where there are food and power shortages.)
I'm pretty convinced he'll be safe. Part of me is slightly startled that [Company Name Redacted], who he's going to see, still want foreigners turning up for a business meeting when arguably resources might be better directed elsewhere for a while. But economic life goes on. I'm not impressed by his colleague from country A who has dropped out using the circumstances and potential danger as an excuse (though coming, as he does, from the country that's consumed itself out of iodine tablets in the last week, this is perhaps understandable). But I never like it when he's away for this sort of length of time. I miss him and the house feels weird.
The cats are pointing out that they are still here and that the effect on them is far greater. Play Human is away. The standard of Play they'll receive for the next week will be grossly inadequate.
la_marquise: (Living With Ghosts)
And the rewrites on the first five chapters, as asked for by nice editor, are done. Colour me happy. I've had a lot of fun with this, in fact and am feeling a bit more love for Grass King again. Again, no word count today, but here's another snippet.

"She glanced across at him, said ‘I used to use a hatpin. But the lock on my old bedroom was a lot smaller than this one.’ In her hand was the small stiletto she kept in her bodice. She waved it at him. ‘I think this should do.’
‘But…’ Jehan said. And then ‘How?’ There was always something new with her. Something else to startle him.
She smiled, ignoring the but. ‘My uncle used to lock me in when I annoyed him. So I learnt how to let myself out. It was a lot safer than climbing down the ivy.’
‘Oh.’ His sisters would never have done such a thing. He thought they wouldn’t, anyway."


In other news, I have new kettle. And thus tea. And thus life is good.
And even better, the marquis comes home from Germany tonight: I shall be heading off to collect him in about an hour. And then tomorrow comes cleaning and looking at ch. 6 and packing and heading off to Herefordshire for my mother's birthday.
And then off to France on Sunday for a week's skiing. My life is full of go.

Skirt of the day: blue flouncey.
I'm thinking of starting a photographic record of the members of the skirt mountain. Possibly with cats. What do you guys think?
la_marquise: (Default)
So, yesterday, it being fairly bright and crisp here, the marquis and I decided to go for a walk in a local country park. It was lovely -- waterfowl, trees, happy dogs and lots of mud (fun for the under-fours, if their behaviour can be trusted). However, the mud was also in the car park, and, leaving, I skidded and went into a fence post. Result: dented bumper and associated damage. The idiot girl strikes again.
Car is now at the car spa, awaiting mending. Bill anticipated as around £800 (around $1250, for the USians). That about accounts for the payment for the sale of the German rights of Living With Ghosts, then. Bah, humbug.
Of course, this run of poor luck that I've been having this new year may be good in other ways. (I have a theory that luck is limited, and there is only so much to go around, so me having rubbish stuff may be good for others. Well, I can hope.)

Silly Rules

Jan. 5th, 2011 12:00 pm
la_marquise: (Default)
It's a new year. Happy New Year, people.
I don't do resolutions -- the marquis made me give them up a while back as I am too good at frighteningly punitive ones. But, having said that, and with his permission, I have made one for this year.
I'm giving up paying attention to silly rules acquired from other people.
What, you may ask? Let me explain.
I have a silly rule. It goes like this: 'If I ruled the world, nobody over the age of 10 would be allowed to appear in public wearing shorts (short pants, for the USians) unless they are exercising/playing sport/on the way to or from doing same.' I don't like shorts, I find them aesthetically ugly. I don't wear them. My characters don't wear them. In my world, nobody would wear them, except as outlined above.
I occasionally express this thought, and other people laugh at me or express disagreement. As far as I know, no-one has every felt that they should obey this rule just because I expressed it. (If there is anyone out there who avoids wearing shorts at me, however, then thank you! It's not necessary, but it is appreciated.) I don't expect other people to obey it, I have to say (even if I wish they would. But that's my problem).
Everyone has silly rules, things they don't like or wish others wouldn't do. Most people ignore these.
I don't. I am far too prone to taking stray remarks as absolutes that *must* be obeyed lest I cause terrible offence. Even if the person is not there and has probably forgotten what they said. And if I do find myself breaking one of these silly rules, I feel horribly guilty, I stop enjoying whatever it is, I feel I am a bad person.
This, frankly, is daft. I'm not talking rules around courtesy or consideration. I'm talking the 'Kari hates shorts' kind of rule. I waste time and energy fretting and feeling I should make amends even if the person in question is miles away and will never know that I read X type of book/dyed my hair X colour/wore X item.
So, as of this year, I'm resolved to stop doing this. Yes, [livejournal.com profile] desperance, this means I may occasionally wear blue in your presence. I know you hate blue. You know I like blue (and I know you don't mind if I wear it, because you're a grown up and you don't expect me to adopt your rules, and you think it's daft that I do). It means I will read certain subgenres without fretting (even if Y thinks it's a waste of time), enjoy cloudy weather, talk to friendly dogs, and generally let myself have my own reactions to minor things rather than feeling obliged to be a walk-on in my own head.
So there.
I also need to do some work around more serious rules, like the one that tells me that if someone else expresses a need, I must prioritise that over everything else in my life, even if to do so causes me direct damage. But that's a lot harder.... I'll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, anyone want to share their silly rules? I promise to flout them.
la_marquise: (Default)
My kitchen, it shines with a mighty glow. They can probably see it from the space station. I have Nice Clean Kitchen. And the ironing pile is conquered. No writing done, alas, because I am disorganised otherwise, but I have cleanth.
The marquis, of course, will come home and use the kitchen. He has the strangest ideas about what kitchens are for sometimes...1

Skirt of the day: long silky purple, with red crinkle doing petticoat duty. It's cold out there.

1 They are for keeping in bright shiny order, of course. Not for anything messy, like that cooking business.
la_marquise: (Goth marquise)
On Tuesday, I drove 230 miles solely and simply to take [livejournal.com profile] desperance out to dinner, stayed over night in a cheap hotel, and then drove back yesterday. I spent 9 hours on the road for about 4 hours with Chaz. As he said, it was a completely mad thing to do, but... Well, this is why. Read more... )
la_marquise: (Iskander)
So, last night, Ish decided to play dirty stop out and drive us nuts with not coming when called. He eventually strolled in at around 12.30, looking smug and wondering what all the fuss was about. And this reminded on an invention I really want.
I want a GPS locator as part of a cat's identity chip, such that when said cat plays hookey, I can log on and see when he or she is.
(I know there are radio collars, but they're not very practical as they presently stand.)
I want someone to hurry up and invent this, please.
What inventions do you really, really want?

An appeal

Jun. 25th, 2010 04:46 pm
la_marquise: (Horus)
It occurs to me that I've been slacking rather with this blog recently, and mainly just posting metrics. Because, you see, I don't really know what to post about. My life just isn't that interesting. So: what would you lot out there like me to write about? My rant about the excessive amount of chocolate in fandom and books? Why I have so many skirts? What music I listen to? Places I've visited, books I've read... Even that messy Celtic history stuff? The humidity is eating my brain and I need some suggestions.
la_marquise: (Default)
So, in the Good column:
I am up-to-date with the laundry.
Lovely afternoon yesterday with [livejournal.com profile] tamaranth
New dress! (Black and white and short.)
Cats are happy
The marquis, who was feeling unwell yesterday, is much better today.
I'm in the middle of reading a series of fascinating recent feminist books.

In the Bad column:
I am not up-to-date with the ironing,
Or with my writing,
Because my shoulders are cr*p plus I seem to have some kind of sleeping virus
Fascinating feminist books are fascinating, but they also make me sad, at how much ground we have still to go and how much the gains of the 70s and early 80s have already been eroded


Skirt of the day: cream patchwork.

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