westernind: (Ilford BBQ)

Dear iPhone,
Why have you become randomly incapable of matching mobile numbers with names? And why pick only a selection of relatives and good friends?
If your parents hadn't picked a fight with Google, perhaps I'd be able to find the answer there.
No love,

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

westernind: (Ilford BBQ)

Mooching along the Llangollen Canal at less than two miles an hour, and my brain slows down to the same speed. Dragonflies. Something furry in the weeds. Green. Water.

No need to think or bestir myself, even to moor or cast off. Alec is a master at handling the 60ft Gaia single handed. It's a joy to watch his elegant accurate efficiency, and even more of a joy to watch nearby holiday hirers watching Alec.

The rain starts eventually, followed by a thunderstorm. Four of us drink fearsome coffee and eat my homemade ginger cake. Simon, reverting to the mode of childhood holidays, is buried in a book. Gaia is snug.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

westernind: (Ilford BBQ)

Today I used the following phrases in work meetings:
"steel cage deathmatch"

Still at work. I suspect I'll be here for a while.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

westernind: (Ilford BBQ)

I just used the phrase "the beady eye of Sauron is upon you" in a phone call to an external. Muhahahaha!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

westernind: (Ilford BBQ)
... I must not do wolf howling for freedom impressions whilst leaving work late at night. Even to make the nice security guard laugh. Happily the camera crew encamped across the road (why??) weren't on the ball. And a passing bus provided an escape route. Whoops.
westernind: (Ilford BBQ)

Are any of you school governors? I've been asked to be a governor of a local special needs school. Apparently business knowledge and common sense are valuable, despite the fact I don't have kids.

Advice welcome.


westernind: (Ilford BBQ)

Am avoiding FB, but LJ is OK - it doesn't eat my head.

We're in Crete. Today we went to Knossos. We saw the supposed throne of King Minos and spent time considering the dimensions of the fraternal royal behinds. My money is on Sarpedon as the likely occupier of that particular piece of furniture. I think the other two would find it a tad uncomfortable. As we're in Odyssey/Atlantis alternate universe mode, we weren't at all bothered about Evans' speculative 'reconstructions'.

Then we drove out into the hills and took a wrong turning. The hire car is giving off a nasty smell (in the scheme of things better than dead rat but not much) which I suspect is clutch related. I'm a reasonably skilled driver but reversing up that narrow rocky track with no turning place and slipping handbrake is not an experience I want to repeat.

On the plus side we discovered an abandoned monastery and a teeny tiny abandoned Byzantine church with thousand year old frescoes and an icon of St George being mean to a dragon. And the sun gives more light than it does in London.

westernind: (Ilford BBQ)
We decided to stop being wusses and investigate. To be honest, it's a nasty pong but not overwhelmingly rank. It was a bit hard to tell when I got home last night, because Simon had lit a lot of candles, and I was going from his description.

Turns out the pong is not in the attic at all. In fact there is a fresh breeze when you stand below the hatch, and only fresh air up in the loft space. The smell is in the back room, with a tiny tiny whiff in the kitchen below. So I reckon it's one or more mice, under the floorboards. There's no way anything larger like a rat or a squirrel is in there; whereas we've spotted a mouse in the house recently and are trying to get rid of them.

I called a local pest control company. He thought it would take around three days for a mouse smell to go. Mice decompose pretty quickly, down to skellingtons. And more like ten days or fortnight for a larger rodent. I asked about the flies. He thought that we should be OK; there are no flies in the house currently, and there won't be any light to attract them into the main rooms. His advice is to go on holiday and forget about it! Pulling up all the floorboards would take hours, and be a nightmare to fix again. We definitely wouldn't get it done in time to go on holiday. And we can't get anyone to do it today in any case.

We're going to risk it...

Edited to add: FOUND IT! cut for squickery )
westernind: (Ilford BBQ)
A hypothetical rodent hypothetically dies in your attic. You suspect the corpse is the source of a rather unpleasant pong seeping down the stairs. You can't face investigating before going on holiday tomorrow.

Do you reckon the pong would persist for longer than the two weeks you're away?

Hair woe

Feb. 19th, 2012 12:38 pm
westernind: (Ilford BBQ)

My hairdresser of the past 12 years has moved to Cyprus. I am bereft, of her serialised company and wisdom as well as her skills.
How does one grow out a 20s bob, without it looking rubbish?

westernind: (Ilford BBQ)

I have just fished my iPod from the mug of distilled water wherein it has lain soaking for the last quarter of an hour. This was occasioned by an unscheduled encounter with an uncontrolled tub of honeyed yogurt, in the depths of my handbag.

Now to allow it to dry out. Very, very slowly.

westernind: (Ilford BBQ)

I go back to work tomorrow, having been on holiday since Christmas Eve. I've managed to see friends in Manchester and Birmingham, have welcome visitors, and make progress on the house.
I even cut all the glass for a simple square lamp this afternoon. The innards are from a nasty Ikea lamp that got broken a few weeks ago. The glass is in red, orange and opalescent cream, and when finished it'll live in our bedroom.
I don't have much else to say, because my brain's flywheel has spun down to a gentle low speed. My mind is on idle, my body is relaxed. This almost never happens. If I have any sort of New Year's resolution, it's to achieve this state more often.
Now to light the fire, and work on the recit from Smanie implacabile (Dorabella, from Cosí fan tutte). I'm learning it in the ENO translation for my Thursday night class at the City Lit.
Definitely just note bashing this evening. I'm not in the mood to throw a vocal tantrum!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

westernind: (Ilford BBQ)

I'm on a sofa in Oldham, next to a contentedly purring cat. In the next room my beloved is running a game for our friends. I can hear them laughing. There is home-made chocolate fudge. Life is good.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

westernind: (Ilford BBQ)
On Sunday I committed utterly horrifying calendar crime. Helen and Richard were expecting us for dinner and we didn't show up, because I thought it was next week. Simon says this has not happened in the ten years we've been together. Auuuggggh. I'm still a bit discombobulated. We'll go round next week, with more apologies!

Yesterday Ser Polley (on LJ? I forget usernames, I use this thing so infrequently) came round to visit, and gossip about life, work, weddings and Odyssey.

Today I played took part in a real-life freeform business continuity exercise at work. Ninety organisations participated. So... being able to absorb 30 pages of detailed brief is a useful skill after all. My boss thought the exercise was a special form of torture and couldn't wait for it to be over. I thought it was fun.
westernind: (Ilford BBQ)
I'm in somewhat of a blue funk about a paper that I'm writing. It's on cybersecurity, a subject in which I have been dumped up to my neck since early July. Now has come the time to draw a line, accept that I can't know everything, and just write the damned report. It doesn't help that every manager, analyst and his/her dog keeps making helpful suggestions which would involve more data collection.

Instead of getting on with it I have been engaging in avoidant behaviour, messing about on social media; you name it. But time is ticking on, and I have to have a reviewable draft by Monday morning.

Thankfully [livejournal.com profile] ellefurtle has broken the paralysis. She makes the excellent suggestion that I should explain the subject verbally to someone, because a verbal explanation will have a structure built into it. If I ask that person to take notes (and [livejournal.com profile] forbinproject has kindly volunteered) I can then use the narrative structure as the outline for the written paper. This is going to happen later today.

One might well ask why, knowing I have this mental block, did I move into a job which requires me to produce this sort of written output on a regular basis. Part of the answer is that I used to be able to write with ease, and lost it somewhere along the line when I moved into the zeros and ones world of programming. I'm hoping that the enforced change in behaviour will facilitate a change in mindset.


Sep. 14th, 2011 07:35 pm
westernind: (Ilford BBQ)
Off to Toronto on Saturday morning. I have Sunday in which I can sight-see, before four days of banking technoloarrgghy conference and having to be permanently 'on'.
Tourism recommendations?
westernind: (Default)
I am ridiculously pleased with the blue and white horizontally striped cream jug, which I acquired from eBay for a surprisingly low sum. Also a blue and white butter dish.

There is a blue and white striped pudding basin calling to me. Those with long memories may remember a scaled-up version used, once upon a time, as a key component in a Cake Ritual. Things with thing-ness have magic in them.
westernind: (Default)
I've been gardening this morning, planting out the cucumbers, and rigging a net of jute string between the eucalyptus and old house bricks, for the young plants to start climbing. Jute is so much nicer than the nasty green polypropylene stuff, and actually better, due to its innate non-slip nature. I also used it to lash together a tent of bamboo poles for the runner beans.

Then I disentangled a nest of old hanging baskets, including one that was self-watering. It has a cone-shaped reservoir underneath, and a wick that runs between the reservoir and the main basket. Aha, thought I, this must be the wick. But no, it wasn't. It was the scaly tail of a desiccated, mummified, flattened dead rat.
westernind: (Mongolia)
We're considering going back to Mongolia, either later in the year or next year. This time the Mongolia trip would be largely riding, and by not going with a top of the range travel company, it would cost significantly less money than our 2009 trip. (No need anymore for the mollycoddling.)

Or possibly Iceland again. Or somewhere new.

Just a thought - anyone else interested in riding holidays? (Sprogs welcome.)
westernind: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] forbinproject has been thoroughly converted to Wagner. We went to the Met live HD performance of Das Rheingold at the BFI on Saturday and he frothed enthusiastically all the way home. This on top of Janacek's Makropoulos Case at ENO a couple of weeks ago, qualifies him for his certificate in Advanced Opera.

I might add that this hasn't been a one-way street. I now have opinions on various comics writers.
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