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17 May 2020 @ 01:04 pm
Hi Friends, LJ Users, Nigerian Scammers, Russian Bots and sundry others!
Thanks for taking a moment to read my sticky post on friending.

On the whole, there's no need to friend me if you just want to read my fics, since they are posted unlocked. In fact, most of my locked posts are me ranting about the state of the world (usually from a politics or media slant) or some such.

Generally, I am a ready friender. If you friend me and you have entries in your livejournal or have commented on some of my posts, you can usually expect to be friended back, unless:
* There are no entries in your LJ.
* I do not recall us ever having 'spoken' online (given how selective my memory is, you should probably assume this.)
* Your LJ is written wholly in a language I do not speak (pretty much anything that is not English, or French or Italian (both of which I speak poorly), or German, Spanish, Latin, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Welsh or Irish (all of which I have a smattering of and enough reference books to get the gist.) (Though if your journal is in actual Latin as opposed to Lorem Ipsum, I will probably immediately friend you on principle.)
* Your journal consists of several entries a day concerning My Little Pony, school and whether your hair looks better in plaits, pigtails, or with a fringe pouf. You are probably adorable, but should not be subjected to my occasional flocked rants.

SO, if you've friended me (thanks!) and I've not friended you back, just drop a brief line saying 'Excuse me, oh vague and neglectful one, could you friend me back please?'

I can't guarantee that I will ever have time to be a good lj friend, but I will try and provide you with amusing content and I always try to read my whole flist. Well, the stuff before the cut at any rate.
01 January 2020 @ 04:42 pm
For me to keep track of!Collapse )
19 November 2015 @ 11:23 pm
It is 11pm and 24 degrees C (75F), which is at least an improvement on today's 34. But tomorrow we expect 41°C (105.8F). It's spring. My hottest Sydney day so far was 46°C (114.8F), there is a strong chance we will pass that this year. On a day that hot, if it is dry you cannot walk outside for more than a few hundred metres at a time because the moisture is sucked from your body and you need to seek out water or cool shade. You need to wear shoes with thick soles,or you will burn your feet. If it is humid, it is like walking through soup and you need to pack spare clothes, because at some point your clothes will become so clammy that you are unable to shed heat and you quickly sicken with heat exhaustion.

This is not usual heat for spring. It has spread across the continent. Four young people died in a bushfire in WA the day before yesterday, one a local farmer, the other three German backpackers. They had no hope in the wall of flame driven by the great wave of heat that is sweeping from west to east. They were kind people, out trying to save animals from the flames, but caught unawares by the fire's speed and ferocity.

The president of Kiribati is in Australia. He is begging our government to step away from its reliance on coal, because his country is sinking beneath rising waters. Our energy minister alleges there is a moral case for coal.

This year, as in most years for the past 15, more Australians will die from heat stress than have ever been killed by terrorism. It is yet right that we spend money to stop the evils of IS; it is, however, criminal that we spend money propping up the coal industry while killing the renewables industry in this country.

When I moved here, Australia was making millions from its developments in solar and wind power. Howard gutted the industry, which saw its top names move to California and China – where they now make billions and do not risk the future of Kiribati.

Tonight, I watered the garden and covered swathes of it in shade cloth. It will probably survive better than I do tomorrow.
14 November 2015 @ 02:03 pm
In French, you say je suis désolé. It comes from the Latin desolare. We have a word in English from the same root: desolate. I am desolated, and I am sorry. You have my love and I hope that all your loved ones are safe.

I know that you are strong and resilient and will stand in solidarity against radical hatred like this. I wish you never needed to do so. The generosity and beauty of #PorteOuverte humbles and inspires. You are magnificent, Paris. No malignant fools can ever change that.
14 November 2015 @ 02:23 am
Mediocre: 1039 words for a cumulative total of 13,845.

This has been a hell week, though, and I had to go out to lunch at the pub yesterday and today in order to hold the hands of my work colleagues as we have lost some hugely valued people and are responding with a Blitz mentality of all being in it together and we will fucking lynch any looters (I'm lookig at you, ad department.)

So I do need to knock out something over 11,000 words this weekend including the Friday count, which I am too tired to type up tonight. It's possible. The forecast is for lots of rain ...

I did see the Greatest Ever Bus Hail yesterday. My work bestie and I were walking to our bus stp to come home and there were a young couple just ahead of us, he with a roller bag, she with a small backpack and white jacket. One of them shouted that they could see their bus pulling in. They started to run. At this point they were still about 80m from the stop.

Now they ran fast, and in New Zealand and much of the UK and Europe, their obvious effort would have been enough to guarantee them a bus driver who waited. But this is Sydney, where buses are mostly driven by people who are too misanthropic to work in HR or politics. And despite the fact that the young woman stepped out into and then ran down the bus lane waving at the bus to let it know they were coming, the driver let the last of the people already at the stop on, then closed the door and turned on his indicator to pull out.

'Oh no no no no no,' she shouted, and moved from running down the bus lane in the gutter to running down the bus lane in the centre of the lane with her arms outstretched doing her best Gandalf 'You shall not pass!'

It worked! The bus (which was both early and mostly empty), waited and the driver let them both on, while all of us who had watched applauded her determination and were very relieved that her belief in the technical safety of the bus lane (it's meant to be what it says on the label, so if the bus can't go, it should be empty or maybe have a bicycle) was borne out in the absence of the common Sydney arse driver who just leaps into bus lanes at will.

A nice man walking near us said, 'I wonder what she would have done if the bus had tried to go anyway?'

My friend shook her head. 'She wouldn't have let it, she'd have slashed the tyres.'

'She'd have leapt in the window and thrown on the handbrake,' I suggested.

'Someone would have paid,' he agreed.

The three of us walked on, sharing the knowledge that at least in one part of this dark city, there is a woman strong enough to make a Sydney Bus driver back down. And lucky enough to survive the experience.
12 November 2015 @ 01:48 am
Poor total again today: 771 for a cumulative 12,806.

But I did have dinner with the lovely pollymel, which was terrific. And had awful news about changes at work, which are ridiculous, so if anyone needs a good editor or communications manager in Australia, feel free to call, as my willingess for life and health have outgrown my determination to fix the unfixable.

Nearly sprained an eyeball over the whole Remebrance Day sagas of poppies and bows and competitive memorialising. I have developed a theory that anyone who wants to make an issue that someone else is 'Doing it wrong!' must first donate the equivalent of £10,000 of their own money to a veterans' charity that deals with PTSD and homelessness. Otherwise, fuck off. It is not a place for petty point scoring, and to do so is a far greater dishonour than not having a piece of paper pinned to your breast or enough of an angle in your bow.

I am fine with people who want to ignore the day and people who want to make it A Very Very Big Thing, but I do wish that some of the more powerful members of the latter group spent half as much time thinking about the veterans still living as about the protocols of the dead. Some get it right. His Excellency General The Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove is a wonderful advocate for veterans' mental health and also for general health programs and other support to benefit the people Australia has asked to risk the ultimate sacrifice. I know there are other excellent examples in the UK and US; mostly former military. So why are politicians so utterly bollocks at such a simple thing? The living (including partners and children) need help. The dead do not give a damn.
11 November 2015 @ 01:27 am
Updates needed. 6/11 turned out to be 1881 words, which is better than I had predicted. 7/11 still 0. 8/11 84, but LOVELY time hanging with people I care about, so still a win. Monday 9/11 a paltry 1020 as I started to sicken, then today = 0 as I felt like crap all day and so typed up the remaining words from previous days and slept a lot.

Did I mention on here that I have a stomach ulcer? I have a classic stress-induced stomach ulcer. It does not like cheese poisoning. I have only myself to blame. For the cheese. The ulcer I blame on the ad department.

Anyway, Day 10 and am at 12,035 words, which is about 4,600 down on where I should be. Tomorrow has a dinner with a friend I really like who is moving away, but then the rest of the week is looking free. Fingers crossed it goes back to raining and I can avoid having to water my garden!

And now, back to bed!
09 November 2015 @ 11:47 pm
Word count: about 150

Pitiful, I know. But I had a dear friend visiting ad her gorgeous little daughter, so we decided to go to the park and get ice-cream instead. I support my decision! And now to desperately type up day 9's slightly better but still not great total. WIll need to be on fire for the rest of this week!
08 November 2015 @ 01:39 pm
Abject failure: 0 words.

I have an excellent set of excuses, though. We were up in the mountains for Mr B to compete in a martial arts tournament, which ended in us spending hours at the hospital checking to see if he had had his wrist broken when it was thwacked soundly. Happily, it looks as though it might just be a massive amount of bruising and his tendon hating on him, as well it ought.

We made it back in time for the food afterwards (and to find that really lovely people had come first and second on the day), but alas, disasters were not concluded. One of my favourite kids sai 'Have you tried my meatballs?' I asked him if they contained pig, to which I am allergic. 'Nope, all beef,' he replied. I bit into one, which was very tasty, but seemed a bit odd to me though I couldn't tell why, so gave the other half to Mr B.

And then I realised. Cheese. To which I am also allergic. Happily, both my food allergies are minor: I just throw up rather than collapse. And I nearly got away with it, as sometimes it just nauseates me when I have a small amount of something. But sadly, it was not to be. My deepest apoologies to anyone in Hazelbrook who used the bus stop around 10 last night. At least it was a bit away from the stop, but I didn't quite make it as far as the garden bed I was aiming for. Happily, it was raining, so evidence should have been washed away before too long.

A bugger of a day all round, as there were many of our favourite people there who we wished to spend more time with, and the whole thing was beautifully run and catered. And now I need to tidy the whole house for my friend who is staying tonight, so I suspect today's word count will also be pants. Ah well. Tomorrow will be better!

PS: One upside in all the running around sorting Mr B's kit and getting him cuppas while at the hospital: 18,000 steps in just normal activity with no set walks involved!
07 November 2015 @ 01:32 am
Estimate only today as I have been writing everything out longhand during the day and typing up at night*, and tonight and tomorrow night are totally out of the question with Sunday 50:50. So about five pages of notebook = about 1500 words, which is under the daily goal, but still on track for weekly.

MASSIVE storm rolled through the city today and everything is sticky in its wake. A poor young Japanese woman got on the bus utterly soaked and was enormously sorry when she dripped on me and I was just wishing that I had thought to pack a towel in my bag, so we had a brief polite-off before just grinning at each other and the ridiculous weather. I'm hoping the plants get enough water to see them through the dry that is likely to follow with this huge El Nino.

* I know this sounds mad, but I am catching the bus at the moment and it takes forever, so between two buses and lunch, that's a few hours writing a day that I can do with a pen. Then, when I type it, I can do the first round of edits. It's like going back to the 1980s and t's working surprisingly well!
06 November 2015 @ 02:06 am
Today: 1829 words, cumulative total: 9050.

Was slowed by doing a reread and copy edit of all that is in this fic so far. It is going to be in the 'Yes, I meant to read that, but it was so long …' category I fear.

Lost 20 tomatoes to birds and caterpillars today. Have hand-picked off dozens of caterpillars and bought netting for the birds. I am feeling at one with my swearing Greek gardening neighbours and will soon start netting the entire back garden in a fit of pique, as they do.

Also went for a lovely walk along the river today (day off!) and bought some chocolates from the chocolateria on the other side of the bridge. There was a wonderfully huge 10-month-old American Staffordshire terrier that apparently weighs 50kg. Its owner was all, 'Fear not, miss! I can control him!' while I was holding out my hands with glee and saying, 'Let me pat you, happy doggie!' Dog and I both pleased by the encounter, owner enjoyed himself telling stories of how much work the dog is to train and walk.

Then, on my walk home, I was going to come up the mid-way path that leads straight up the hill from the river to my street through two parks. The path travels away from the river in a series of switchbacks, with fences against the 'cliff' (more a cutaway into the already steep hill) edge so people can look out over the water. I glanced up to see how wet the path was and saw a man and a woman standing at the second fence, looking at me anxiously. Then I realised that they were standing very close. And her skirt was up around her shoulders. I continued along the river to the next path.

A friend rang as I finally made my way through the park near the top of the hill, and we had a lovely long talk with me sitting under a flowering gum. The whole time I wanted to say, 'Three-thirty in the afternoon is a wholly inappropriate time for public sex, don't you think? Think of the schoolchildren walking home and people out for walks, trying to mull over their fest fics!' But I just couldn't find a way to work it into the conversation.
05 November 2015 @ 02:06 am
Word count: 1654, Cumulative total: 7671, I think but I am too tired to do maths.

Nothing broken on my body, but my favourite handbag had a strap give up the ghost. It is about 10 years old, though, so gold star for long service.
04 November 2015 @ 12:46 am
1841 words. Cumulative total: 6017 words.

Nothing broken! Also, no dishes done. However, tomatoes have been sprayed for caterpillars, so that's something.

Beaitifully written story in the Sydney Morning Herald today, on the disaster that was Yitzhak Rabin's assasination. (http://www.smh.com.au/world/yitzhak-rabins-assassination-proved-a-perfect-way-to-kill-arabisraeli-peace-20151030-gkmqnq) I remember hearing the news: I had the radio on in the shower and was drying myself off when the bulletin came on. I felt as though I had been punched in the stomach, and sat on the side of the bath and cried, because I could feel the hope that had been so cruelly and stupidly extinguished, and because a genuinely good man had been cut down by a fool. It's hard to believe it was 20 years ago tomorrow. I still miss him.
03 November 2015 @ 01:20 am
2126 words. Still no broken limbs. Hurrah! Cumulative total: 4176.

In other news, a belated well done to the All Blacks, who won in absolute style. You Kiwis deserve a great deal more gloating than has been in evidence!
02 November 2015 @ 01:30 am
Every time I commit to doing NanoWrimo, something awful happens. So I am not committing.

Day 1 of my casually coincidental focussed writing: 2050 words.

No wrists broken, still likely to need a fest extension at this rate.
31 October 2015 @ 11:30 pm
Tony Abbott has been let out on an unsuspecting world. Just a reminder that his party, which won the most recent Australian election because the Australian Labor Party were so diabolically self-destructive that the country couldn't face another three years of watching them rend their own flesh, went against every political instinct imagineable to roll him and replace him with someone who less resembled a lizard.
15 September 2015 @ 02:14 am
You may have been wondering what’s been happening in Australian politics lately. Haven’t we all, kids, haven’t we all.

One or two people too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia have been waiting longer for a sequel to this post than I’ve been waiting for Jo Rowling’s Potter Encyclopaedia. The difficulty has been that the recent government has been unsatirisable. Because they are so ridiculous, it's hard enough to convince non-Australians that the reality is real – actual jokes about them are doomed.

However, recent events have left me with no choice but to hit the keyboard. Thus, I bring you:

Vincent Crabbe and the Goblet of Bile
This may not actually make it any clearer for most of you ...Collapse )
31 August 2015 @ 10:40 pm
I swear to you it was August the first three minutes ago!

The month in notes: Erised story 5000 words in. Two new garden beds created. No ad staff murdered. No one else dead. Wedding of nice friends! Stomach ulcer mostly under control. Month flown by.

BUT, I bring you all a wacky Australian news story. Because it's what we do. The Australian, Murdoch's 'serious' paper here (once good, now mostly tin-hat), ran a story:

This was the official Australian Unions Twitter response:

Sharing the love, guys. Sharing the love.
31 July 2015 @ 11:25 pm
I've signed up for hd_erised.

Now, the fest itself is MAGNIFICENT! The mods are excellent, the particpants gems, the works produced splendid. But I feel it may be cursed for me.

I can't quite remember everything that went wrong last year, but I know it inncluded being ghastly ill and breaking my wrist. I'm afraid to reread the journal entries.

However, this year, I've had Mr B out of work for months, brilliant friends unfairly and unreasonably ill or dealing with very hard crap, work being run by chaos demons, two friends dead long before their time, a stomach ulcer from stress and the flu (which I at least got over quickly due to living in a light airy house now). So I may have actually used up all the available bad luck.

If you hear of me being snatched by aliens, you will know that I have an erised curse!

And worse – I have just read literally the most perfect promp for me in the history of all time, and now I will be aggravating my stomach ulcer for AGES until assignments go out worrying that I may not get it because it doesn't say 'I would like political comedy, please.' (It's OK, mods who have ever given me those assignments in the past, I absolutely would have done the same in your place.)

Off to join the dozens of participants in exactly the same boat!
21 July 2015 @ 07:17 pm
I'm guessing most people have seen Mick Fanning's escape from that shark at J-Bay in South Africa. If you haven't, the video is below, but I warn you, it's not the sort of thing you want to watch if you're planning to go into the water this week.

Mick kicked and punched the shark and was able to get away, despite losing his board. Another surfer, Julian Wilson, started powering in towards him to get him onto his board, while jetskis and boats swiftly closed in on the two of them and hauled them out of the water while shark sirens blared and everyone else rushed onto dry land.

After the incident, Fanning realised his Mum must have been watching the broadcast and so went out in front of TV cameras so he could show her he was OK. Wilson was interviewed and started off with a standard courageous 'Well, it's just what you do, isn't it?' before he got further into the story and said 'and then the wave came up and I couldn't see him' and he dissolved into tears because he thought he'd just watched his mate die.

And I just want to give them a jolly big hug and call them good boys, if it wouldn't all sound as though I was being a middle-aged lady treating them like labradors.