( Fandom tropes I've written, might write, probably won't, and JUST NO )
( Fandom tropes I've written, might write, probably won't, and JUST NO )
We don't have either of those sizes. In this country they go up in this order: single, double (really 1.5 and to be avoided for two), queen, king, super king. We have a queen. Twin beds are plural here, referring to two singles in one room.
2. How many pillows do you sleep with?
One normally, two if I'm not feeling well.
3. Do you have a weighted blanket? If so, does it help you?
No, and I'm not sure I'd like one. We used to have heavy wool blankets in winter when I was a kid and I didn't really like the weight on me. I prefer a duvet now, or just a sheet in summer.
4. Do you sleep with any stuffed animals?
No, not even as a child, as I didn't have any. That sounds sad, but I had loads of wonderful toys (mostly for boys), just not stuffed ones. I do now though, all bought as an adult. Most of them are cats but I do have a magnificent black bear, though not a teddy: it's very realistic and unrealistically soft and cuddly.
I do however sleep with at least one cat, my much more cuddly black Sebastian, and that's more than enough softies in the bed (though with sharp bits). :-)
5. Do you have to have the TV on to go to sleep?
No TV in the bedroom, but if I'm tired, I might doze off in front of the telly in the living room. My usual bedtime ritual is to do a cryptic crossword in bed before turning the light off. It's relaxing and distracts my brain from any worries.
2. Make an entry in your own journal (or just reply if you prefer) and talk about the icons I picked.
mab_browne asked about these icons, all three made by me:
This is Elim Garak from Star Trek:DS9, ostensibly a "plain and simple" Cardassian tailor who enjoyed the holodeck, but in reality a lot more complex, being an exiled spy and former member of the Obsidian Order, the Cardassian intelligence service. He was one of my favourite characters.
Servalan, the elegant and evil Supreme Commander of the Federation's Space Fleet from Blake's 7, swanned about in formal gowns that proclaimed her power: who needs uniforms and rank insignia when you can dress in white and never actually get your hands - or clothes - dirty? She's here at Space Fleet HQ with her glass flower, smiling sweetly and being evil.
Vila Restal, also from Blake's 7, a very clever thief and often the comic relief though he was at heart a sad character who had no self-confidence outside his skills and was often picked on. His and Avon's witty interactions in the first two seasons (they were at that stage sort of friends) were what attracted me to the show when I found a list of quotes online. He was my favourite in B7 (as you can tell from my username) and one of very few faves who aren't alien or androids, oddly enough because he was so very human.
This icon was made years ago when I went on a comic-making kick with the GIMP image software: reduce an ordinary screencap to outlines, then fill them in.
1. What are your feelings about winter?
Fear and loathing when I lived in Auckland because it was an almost unbroken stretch of grey miserable wetness and often illness. I feel much more positive down here where sunny days are much more common, and when it's not windy, actually very nice to sit outside a cafe in and enjoy coffee with friends. And I keep hoping that we'll get some snow. :-D
[Edit] I should add that I loved winter in Germany when I lived there because it was very different: crisp, sunny, lots of snow...
2. What is your go-to drink in the winter?
Coffee, specifically a flat white (good description here along with a photo of the usual NZ fern version). Mind you, coffee all year round is pretty good too. Breakfast is not breakfast without it.
3. What are your favourite things about the winter?
Now I'm living here, the sunny days and lower rainfall - so much more enjoyable even though there are still occasional storms and floods.
4. How do you deal with the wintry blues?
Much, much better than I did! Vitamin D helps when there's no sun. They didn't call this country Aotearoa (land of the long white cloud) for nothing.
5. What are your least favourite things about the winter?
In general* there not being anything for everyone to look forward to or celebrate while northerners have Christmas, New Year, and various other fun things to brighten them up depending on where they are.
* But hey, at least there's the Steampunk festival here in early June, so that's something that for me puts Oamaru a big step above anywhere else in this country. Even though it's limited in its appeal to others, including friends, lots of people from out of town or even overseas come to here to join in the fun.
Last night at a friend's place though I took a photo of their only Christmas decoration.
( Haha, I would love one of these! )
1. Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas – which one do you use?
Mostly "Merry Christmas" because most people here celebrate it. "Happy Holidays" isn't really used by people (companies do though) but it actually applies here since most people take their summer holidays now. (Not me though; I prefer it when schools are back and the weather's more settled.)
2. Do you own an ugly Christmas sweater?
It's summer, so no one here does that. Why does anyone though? Just asking - is it a sort of joke, like wearing the ugliest thing you can find?
3. Do you celebrate the Winter Solstice?
Unfortunately our winter drags on with nothing to enliven it. (Except for this town with steampunk weekend, so that's something, though it's not at the solstice.)
4. Now that you are ‘in the know,’ what would you leave out for St. Nick on the 24th?
I was always in the know, never having believed in Santa / been told that particular lie. St Nicholas however was a real person and if he happened to pass while throwing dowries in the windows of poor girls, I'd offer a bite to eat and a cup of tea.
5. Tired of the snow and icky weather yet? For those fortunate people in the other hemisphere, are you tired of the humidity and hot weather?
I'm sick of rain like everyone else in this country. Summer's been very late this year, what with cold and rain for two months. The sun is shining today though - YAY -and I'm hoping it will for more than one day this time.
Soldiers and poppies outside the town hall
( Five more photos under the cut )
... and when I got home, we found a single poppy out on our rock garden! I am stunned. We also had a first poppy bloom on 11 November in 2016. The blue tiles are a garden seat.
This evening we went to see Peter Jackson's film They Shall Never Grow Old which was commissioned by the British Imperial War Museums in association with the BBC. It features 90 minutes of restored and colourised archival footage and a soundtrack created with voice-overs from archival interviews with British WWI veterans recorded in the 60s and 70s.
And man, it was intense.
A veteran told me about it when I was a child, how a shell blew up the man next to him, how he and others drank from a shell-hole for three days until they found a dead German at the bottom, how he was gassed (only slightly compared to others), and he let me feel the pieces of shell in his arm. I was only about 8 but I remember it vividly.
Title: In the Company of Strangers
Fandom: Blake's 7
Pairing/Characters: Cally, Kerr Avon, assorted assassins
Summary: A woman without a past... She didn't know her name; she didn't know her home planet. "Mina" knew only that her martial-arts skills and weaponry and assassination techniques went far beyond the average person's.
A mark that became a death warrant… The people who'd tried to assassinate her all shared one common trait: a tattoo of a winged horse, like the one on her ankle.
Notes: Based on the plot synopsis for The Business of Strangers by Kylie Brant
Link: In the Company of Strangers
It's a PWB about Avon working in the Aquitar Project, and was for the prompt "Office".
A Human Resource
( The parade, steampunk morris, a chap on tracks, a wizard and an author, and Splendid Teapot Racing )
On Thursday, the shortest day (yay, past at last!) I went on a Tiger Moth flight from Omarama over Lake Benmore, a gift Greg ordered for my birthday. It was freezing (literally: -1C) but totally awesome! The plane was one that took part in the Warbirds over Wanaka and is based there, but I got a 30-minute flight from Omarama (a place famous for clear skies and great gliding weather) on its way north to Auckland for winter maintenance.
( Photos including me, aerial shots, a shining sword in the lake, and two Shreks )
Title: The Delta Hoard
Prompt: Vila Restal goes into a bar and meets... Andy Stone!
Fandoms: Blake's 7, Detectorists
Word count: 2,728
Rating/Contents: Gen, No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Vila needs to retrieve two Terran Federation credit coins, so he enlists the unwitting help of two metal detectorists.
The Delta Hoard
( Five photos of Ashley Riverstone )
Stargate fans, look for the surprise Goa'uld!
( Photos, plus bonus airfield cat )
( Tiger Moth, Herc, the mad Lithuanian )
Plus bonus photos from the day after in Wanaka.
( Includes Roman and other toilets )
Here is a small selection of the many photos I took.
( F16, WW2 dogfight, the Harvard big wing, and more )
( Six photos )
We had to follow cryptic clues taking us all around the gardens answering questions on our forms and keeping an eye out for Octavia and the more rarely seen Septimus. Our team found them both, plus a third unnamed plushy. It was a fun day, but very hot and humid; I admired the fortitude of those sporting more elaborate and heavier regalia than I did.
Music for our picnic in and around the rotunda was provided by this chap with his gramophone.
( More photos of splendid explorers and octopodes )
I just got back from a wonderful time at the Chinese New Year celebrations in the Oamaru Gardens down the hill from us. There was lots of yummy food, we were entertained by beautiful dances, and I even scored a relaxing massage for a donation. It was a brilliant evening - no fireworks though because there's a fire ban this summer.
I should add: the cultural dance group from Dunedin was led by... a Dr Hu!
It was enormous fun, and tomorrow there's yet more with a steampunk octopus hunt, also in the gardens.
( Four more photos of dancers )
I keep meaning to say, I have several invites to AO3 (Archive of Our Own), the fanfic archive which will avoid waiting in the queue. So if you want one, message me with your email address and I'll send you one.
Which reminds me, I must get round to posting an Avon story, and writing some more. (Lazy summer days...)
This is what I found in the car when we went to the vet to get supplies and left the windows down because it was a hot day. I laughed as I do love an unexpected cat.
This cat lives at a nearby house but hangs out at the vet, testing their cat beds. She's pretty friendly and was happy to be picked up and carried away. Her nose is slightly green; she must have had it buried in the grass.
( Three more seasonal ones including Christmas lilies in our garden, the Christmas Farmers Market, and a stuffed Queen Victoria )
And with that, I wish everyone who celebrates a great day, and everyone who'd off on holiday safe journeys and a good time.
I should add that the milk and biscuits/cookies are an American import. Note: yes, it's summer here.
There's also a cute series of short ads about a man called Noel who might be Santa working at New World supermarket:
New World Christmas
It must be Christmas (we don't drink milk like Americans do so that's why the stares)
Santa stocks up on carrots
Are you Santa?
We went to the midnight showing (well, one minute past to make it the day of release) so this is a couple of days late. I could say a lot about it, but selenak has said it so well already. (but spoilers, of course).
If you're a fan and you haven't already, go, enjoy!
The story of the mistaken cat
It's worth looking at a few others of his tweets. My favourites:
His response to the account set up in their cat Paddles' name
Paddles' response to the media mobbing their house
Swearing-in day - 'lady' for Labour?
The kea, bird of the year - YES! I absolutely loathe our people being labelled - and labelling themselves - as a stupid, shy, nocturnal bird that can't fly. If people can't handle the four syllables of New Zealander (the same number as in "American" or "Italian" - c'mon!) than let's go with kea. They have personality.