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05 August 2008 @ 10:44 pm
My brilliant flist, and inner city adventures!  
My favourite thing about lj is my brilliant and talented f-list. Allow me to show you some of its cleverness.

The lovely leochi, whose work reminds me of nothing so much as the illustrations for the nice quality children's novels I would receive for birthdays (Quentin Blake illustrated the naughty ones), has drawn a prompt from me in her 50 Gazes series. I asked for a joyous gaze between Harry and McGonagall, because I love Minerva's fierce affection for all of her Gryffindors. This was the result. It's a perfect young Harry and his mentor after the first of the Goblet of Fire trials. Tartan and happiness – just delightful.

Not satisfied with working on one series at a time, she also produced a set of three tarot cards for hp_tarot. They are  brooding, dramatic and technically assured. She is as home with this more adult style of art as with the illustrative book form, wholly lovely stuff.

One of my flisters who particularly evokes the word brilliant is wemyss, a man who never fails to make me think even when I am coming at the issues under discussion from the opposite direction. He has posted an enormously funny take on my recent rantings about readers who wish to be spoon-fed. You can find it here and, while you may need to be English to fully appreciate it, it contains the most magnificent description of Slough that it has ever been my privilege and pleasure to read.

And, Bubba, aka eynhashofet, suggests that the answer to yesterday's question may well be Anais Nin. Let's assume it is, research will continue when time allows. Thanks, too, for the walks through musical memory lane!
Tonight we had another spot of the excitement that only comes from living in a thriving and vibrant part of the inner city (read gentrified former slum with expensive delicatessens 50 metres away, but housing estates just up the road).

We returned from our evening constitutional a short time ago to find papers scattered about the bottom of the lane. This is not an uncommon sight in these parts, and the reason our little cottage has an assault course in front of every access point (we make people WORK to burgle us, it's been an effective deterrent so far). We stopped and collected a pile of papers, then looked in nearby shrubs to find keys, laptop charger and headphones, and a jacket and a bigger pile of forms, which were all for a volleyball team.

After sending J back with the torch I sat down and did a spot of internet detecting and found the owner of the papers (head of the volleyball team) lived five minutes' walk away. I had popped everything into a bag and we were about to go for a walk to deliver them, when we opened the door to find a young man wandering about crankily. "You'd be Mr Stuff," I said. "We have some of your less valuable stuff."

He seemed happy to get the bundle we had found back, and has learned a valuable lesson about what can and cannot be left in a car in the inner city. He is also obviously not poor and had his laptop backed up onto his USB key, which was on the keychain, so not a terrible result.
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It's a Deensedeensey on August 5th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
Duuuuude. He did NOT leave that stuff in a car. Bad bad bad. Never in the inner city. Ever.

You, however, are good people.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
We are normal inner urbanites, who work to return things (like cameras, unlike SOME). Besides, you can imagine my glee at being able to solve a puzzle!
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 5th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
never anywhere is more like it. suburban, rual, city...it's all open season. :)
(Screened comment)
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 5th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
New Zealand is still the promised land.

apparently it is. at least according to peter jackson. although christchurch still has the reputation of being the home of the notorious pauline and juliet. some scary ladies if you ask me. ;P
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
Oh one of them went back to England and the other writes novels now. Perfectly well behaved these days.

(I have a terrible crush on New Zealand.)
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 5th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
that's juliet for both i believe. (i was obsessed with their story for a while after i watched Heavenly Creatures)

and new zealand...*sigh*...one day i will get there. it's high on my list of things to do before i die.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
Wellington is my favourite NZ city, but the South Island's dramatic landscape beats out the North Island's volcanic drama for me.
shadowedkit on August 5th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
first off- ah hi. I'm a lurker on your flist and thought it was about time to comment. Your humour in your posts and fics is very refreshing and thankyou for it:-)
Dunedin is even better than ChCh in that regard. Due to the 'student' population it attracts, you can actually walk along North Dunedin and most of town without getting attacked/hurt.. as long as you know how to avoid certain crowds
I am suprised about the bus thing. Is it rare to not let your children to do so, or are these chldren young? And a steep hill in ChCh? May I ask as to what suburb they are in?
If you like a lot of scenery, NZ is excellent for it. I agree with Christchurch being lovely- it was a very English feel to it and being in Lytellton and Aakaroa was very good. However I actually prefer Dunedin as it has some excellent Scottish heritage to it and the architecture is also very good.

The North Island is excellent in getting a sense of the Maori heritage and still has some scenery wonders... if you stand the smell of mud pools..
Seriously there are wonderful parts in it.

Ironically, I have a crush on Melbourne :-) Never been there but have heard some good things about it. Went to Sydney about 10 years ago.

And yay for giving papers back :-)

*heads back to lurking*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
Hello! Lovely to meet you!

Sadly, Dunedin, like the entirety of Estonia, is one of those places that sees the universe thwart me every time I plan to visit. I may make it next February, when I will be in Christchurch for a week or two.

Kids jumping on the bus alone seems normal in most of NZ, but is unusual in Australia and pretty much unthinkable in a lot of England these days. I would not jump on a bus alone in the US and I am over 40. Well, that's a fib, but I sit on them looking about me suspiciously and with a hand on a knitting needle in my handbag.

NZ kids seem to be having proper childhoods still, the sort that we had in England in the 60s and 70s, and which my partner had in northern New South Wales around the same time. They are dying out elsewhere.

My friends are in Redcliff (or cliffs), a little out of town, along the estuary. They live up the hill that forms the ridge separating the city from the old port on the other side of the peninsula. It is SO beautiful. Though you're right about the Englishness, I was coming down with flu once and we stopped the car to sit in a ditch beside the road while I breathed fresh air, I started to laugh -- every plant and animal I could see was an English import, even down to the valerian and ditch grasses.

I do like Auckland and Welly very much, but the south is prettier, and I WILL make it to Dunedin!

Melbourne is lovely! And Sydney has a lot to recommend it once you get past the petty thieves. Do pop out from lurking more often!
shadowedkit on August 5th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
Nice to meet you too. Sorry I will try to pop out more. However working full-time and studying full-time tends to give limited constraints. I get about 15 minutes a day where I can look at my flist, read posts and comments :-)

The bus thing suprised me; I have family both in ChCh and Dunedin, but actually lived halfway between the two cities in Timaru. Despite this, I spent about a 1/4 of my life in ChCh and 1/2 in Dunedin. The only place I stay neutral in is the rugby :-P.
I can distinctly remember as a young child using the bus system in all three cities alone. However I do remember my mother freaking out at me when we were in a Sydney mall and I went to the toilets on my own.. I was ten. (12 years ago). I admit, compared to friends I have in other countries, NZ is still safe to wander around in. We must be behind the other countries, if it were childhoods in the 60s and 70s :-)

Redcliffs is beautiful! I loved that suburb in Christchurch. Wow, I never knew we were that English down to the valerian and ditch grasses :-) I'm suprised there is no accent.

Dunedin is lovely if you love history, architecture and scenery. Its breath-taking at night, alot like Wellington in that regard. Very cold though, usual temperature in winter is around 4-5 degrees celsuis.

Sydney was excellent and I enjoyed the trip :-)
Bubbaabsynthedrinker on August 5th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
I thought you were the one with the raving hots for Estonia?

blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 6th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
I am going to marry Estonia, but in the meantime the passionate affair with New Zealand is going well.
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 5th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
i still say she shoulda done part two to get an even greater point across. :P
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
Or she could have just bought him a copy of Breaking Dawn ...
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 5th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
nah. cause then she'd have to face the accusations of having bad taste in literature. everyone in the office would paint a scarlett letter on her just for even knowing of stephanie meyer. I personally could not live with that embarassment. :P
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
Good point. I annotated an SM interview in a friend's magazine at lunch today. She made statements along the lines of "I wasn't in to vampire novels when I was growing up" (yes, this is painfully obvious) and "I love my older fans, they have internet sites, I love reading what they have to say" (erotic furries have internet sites, too, but they should not be listened to, either!) (and so on).
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 5th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
stephanie can go jump into a volcano and burn. she really bothers me. it's not the fact that she's mormon, but the fact that if she was in fandom, she would be a sub-par author at best, yet she gets a multi-million dollar book deal for writing about safe and sparkly vampires.

Edited at 2008-08-05 02:19 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
On the upside, she has given everyone renewed faith in their own talent! And a single direction to target our crankiness rather than turning on each other ...

(How long do you give it before the SM backlash focussing on her inferred soft paedophilia?)
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 5th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
OMG that's the other thing! this woman publicly said that she gets turned on by the idea of underaged vampires. why would you say that?? if a man had said that, there'd be a congressional hearing investigating him on peddling child pornography. but stephanie is "safe" and a "housewife" and a "stay at home mom" and a freaking set back for the women's movement...so it's ok?

holy moly woman, you are really bringing out my SM rage today! :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
Sorry, my typing has been slowed by having a giant kitten cuddling my shoulder.

SM rage is righteous rage! She is not a good influence for children. I even encouraged a young person to read Anne Rice instead and I NEVER thought that day would come. Perhaps we should buy copies of Diana Wynne Jones books and offer to trade them for SM to save the young from themselves.
pingridpingrid on August 5th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC)
Hahah! Not letting that go, are you? :D I still say no; the surprise element and the pizazz of the urination would surely have been spoiled by a red straining-face. ;)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
The bad part of all this for me is that I know what she looked like and so can visualise.

Edited at 2008-08-05 02:06 pm (UTC)
pingridpingrid on August 5th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
That's a good thing, if you ask me! How did you like the casting of Maria de Medeiros as Nin in Henry And June?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
I've not seen H&J. I've been meaning to, but it's on the long, long list of films I have failed to see.
pingridpingrid on August 5th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
The comment edit feature is no use to me; I never spot a spelling error before someone replies to the comment and by then it's too late! *grump*

It's not a great film, but I found it worth the watch for some reason I can't really describe.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
Oh typos in emails and lj comments are wholly acceptable, it's informal usage.

I'll get there one day, I only just caught The Dark Knight the other night (gosh that was good).
pingridpingrid on August 5th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
It was! Could have benefited from a bit tighter cutting and being 15 minutes shorter, which is far better than most action films these days which could usually stand to lose 45. Heath Ledger was actually as good as the hype, which is saying something!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
Every time I thought I was about to yawn, it would twist again and I would be on the edge of my seat. Gordon! And 140 no votes! And "what you should have done 10 minutes ago"!!

I agree with you about Heath, it makes his stupid death even sadder.
pingridpingrid on August 5th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
It's just tragic, isn't it. I normally don't care one way or another when famous people I don't know snuff it, but his death really made me sad.

I really liked Maggie Gyllehaal, too! Finally a gorgeous female lead with a few lines on her face and a look that's a little different from the standard Hollywood starlet. A good female villain and it would be perfect.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
Yes, Maggie made you give a damn about Rachel. A villainess as good as her would make the next film ideal.

I normally feel cranky, but Heath, like River Phoenix, genuinely shocked me.
pingridpingrid on August 5th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
The most interesting thing about Heath's Joker, which I haven't seen anyone manage in any comic or movie before, is that he kind of made you see the Joker's perspective as sensible for a little while before your brain got back on track and you realised he's completely mad. So much better and scarier than the complete loony variety!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, his madness was very internalised; you believed in the logic of his personal world.
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 5th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)

um...that was supposed to originally go HERE. **headdesk**
pingridpingrid on August 5th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
I'm *this* close to challenging you to rehearse doing #2 in a hat and then wiping on the brim so that you can prove to me it can be done with style if we ever meet. ;)
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 5th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
who says i haven't tried it already?
pingridpingrid on August 5th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
Intriguing! In that case there's no need to practise, I shall bring a bottle of Champagne in keeping with the class and style of the practical demonstration.
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on August 5th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
see? that's why we get along. most people who i'd say something like that to would say ew and think i was a weirdo. but instead, you nodded and offered me champagne. you're like my soul mate. :D
pingridpingrid on August 5th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
I know! There's so much secret twinnery in Brammers's journal it makes me wonder if she puts something in the water.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
this mundane stuff called lifewinnett on August 5th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
Some thieves I can forgive... (is that odd?--I really am a 'what are the circumstances' kinda person.) but usually it just pisses me off. Go get a frelling job and stop taking from others who are working for their stuff!

Pisses me off... *growls*

This is not an uncommon sight in these parts, and the reason our little cottage has an assault course in front of every access point

What is this assault course you speak of?

I don't usually even lock my door and my windows are open all day without me at home.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
Bars on the windows, double doors front and back, and a judicious combination of spiky climbing roses and barbed wire across garden access points. I have scared people off from both neighbours' gardens, so we try to look poor and difficult ;-)

I agree, if you are starving and need my video, feel free. If you are a lazy junkie, get a job.

Where do you live? Actually, don't answer that, I will just envy you and not alert burglars to the land of the free.
this mundane stuff called lifewinnett on August 5th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
Nice deterrents! I'm impressed. I especially like the vicious roses.

I live in the PNW, USA. Washington State. I probably shouldn't do that, because everyone else in town locks up, but I'm just a kicked back kinda girl. I wish I lived in a smaller place, even.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
One of the rose bushes lifts my cap off if I don't duck walking up the path of a morning. The postman knows to be careful now.

I have not yet made it to Washington State, but I plan to. Seattle looks good for a start!
this mundane stuff called lifewinnett on August 5th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
Seattle is very cool, but the traffic sucks. I lived there one summer and worked downtown. I live about 3 hours away now.

You should come visit! I live in the SW corner but can certainly be a tour guide if you need one. :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
I will at some point! Though it is more likely next year than this.
Leochileochi on August 5th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
*muah* You get a big fat kiss for this post, even if you aren't the "huggie sort", and I'm not the cuddly one. But still, I really feel deeply touched. <333
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 9th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
From you, I'll take a big fat kiss ;-)

BTW, could you please email me on blamebrampton at gmail.com? We have a cunning plan you might be interested in!
violetagevioletage on August 6th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
Oh dear, a bit daft to leave stuff like that in the car. You are good peoples, but i knew that already. :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 9th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
Oops! Forgot to reply! Yes, it was pretty silly, especially since it was a sedan so he could have popped the bag in the boot. Oh well, he's learnt a valuable lesson!