missingopossum: (Raka - big!)
So. Mostly here is where I put reviews of films - I have an 18 screen cinema nearby that doesn't balk at small and/or non-English language productions so I go to the cinema a *lot*.

I've been working on an intro post since I saw the phrase that I magpie'd for my title - but it's being slow going. Apparently, talking about myself doesn't come naturally. Well, who knew?!
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List of films, plus ratings )
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Cinema visit: True Grit

The good ones are hardest to review )
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I've not been posting as much on here lately, mostly because I've been busy but also because the writing habit is taking off elsewhere from here. However, I'm back again for a while because I'm slipping again; I've been writing my reviews but never actually getting around to posting them. Must try harder!

Eastercon was a *silly* amount of fun - lots of catching up with old friends and also making new ones. I ended up at some excellent panels, and only one that I didn't enjoy which is an *amazing* hit rate! And I'm making plans for next year already, I have to say.

I might try to put together a more substantive review at some point - but for the moment I'm going to go with "had fun and when can I do it again?!"
missingopossum: (NaNoWriMo)
I've just noticed that I managed to not say anything about having completed NaNoWriMo. That makes my fourth successful year, I'm delighted to say. Four genres in four years: fantasy(ish), SF, Lovecraftian horror and now porn. If I do this year, it'll be a mystery novel, I reckon.

A little more of what I've been up to lately )
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...but largely on paper, as it turns out. How odd!

I am briefly passing back through to talk about the fact that today has locally (i.e. at my house) been declared The Christmas Of The Rabbit. Happy Rabbit to you! It's a hybrid festival combining T.E.P. and I finally getting round to a mid-winter festival, and (by pure coincidence) the start of the Year of the Yin Metal Rabbit (xin mao, year 28 of the sexagenary cycle). At least it's the start of said year going by the time difference between where I am and parts of the world where that calendar is actually in use.

Our tiny little kitchen has food in various states of preparation over every available surface - there is a warm coleslaw on the draining board, fried pancakes made of chestnut, pinenut and walnut on the worktop by the cooker, T.E.P.'s special stewed mushrooms warming on the hob, one tray of roast potatoes stacked on a frying pan left to cool on the hob and the other on the sideboard, a vat of creamy celeriac and leek soup (also on the hob), a chocolate cake plus a bowl with the left-over buttercream on top of the fridge, spice syrup for the mulled cider in a saucepan on the worktop by the sink, a tub of choc-chip cookies (to be had with chocolate ice-cream* as well as for sustenance during cooking) piled haphazardly on a pile of yet-to-be-washed dishes and the experimental double choc-chip bread and butter pudding is in the oven. Pretty much every other surface is covered by assorted debris such as yet-to-be-licked mixing bowls, the trimmings from making the two layers of chocolate cake fit together and a rather substantial amount of washing up.

We are currently having a brief rest with a glass of chilled grape juice and eating shall start soon. Happy Rabbit!

*I had a couple of them fresh out of the oven with icecream last night. I'll be doing that again.
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Tonight, T.E.P. and I were in the town centre and went down to the River Clyde to watch it freeze. It was really quite amazing; we happened to get to the riverside just at slack water (the Clyde is very much a tidal river, here) and could actually watch the flow of the water slow and stop, with formation of ice following really rather quickly. While the water was still flowing freely, you could see sheets of ice bumping into other sheets, and either sliding past them or over them; as T.E.P. said, it was plate tectonics in action.

The Clyde here runs in an artificial channel, exactly like quay walls; as such it flows fast and fairly deep, and doesn't freeze. But the weather lately has been the rare kind and level of cold that reminds you we're very slightly further north than Moscow, Gulf Stream notwithstanding, and tonight there were already large sheets of thin ice being carried on the tide. As the flow stopped you could actually see them thicken and solidify; it's very hard to describe but there was something about the way the reflections changed that made it clear that the ice was no longer flexing and flowing with the water. And this was very swiftly followed by ice forming in the now-still open areas. I have never watched open water freeze before my eyes; it was absolutely fascinating. I've seen puddles start to have the thick, gelid look to them, so I recognised that phase but after that little strands and crackles of ice started to form, exactly like frost on a window, and then no more open water.

There were a few moments of absolute silence but then there was the noise of ice crackling, and also of ice starting to crumple and crack against the bridge stanchions as some current resumed and pushed the ice forward. For a while there was a channel in the middle of the river where there was more movement and then that stopped; I think water was still flowing under the ice there, though. There were a couple of places where a small spearhead of ice was over-riding the sheet and leaving a channel of open water behind it. And there were small pieces of ice running along at speed under the main sheet; you could see them under the sheet in places, and also see them come out from under into the occasional open water pools that would open and then close or refreeze.

The amount of fascination and interest was far in excess of our cold tolerance, however, and eventually we (slowly and with frequent stops for distraction) started to make our way back home. One of the last things we saw as we did so was a formation of ice where several long ridges were running parallel to the bank, recording where open channels and spearheads had been; a sort of mountain range in miniature.

Amazing all round and T.E.P. gave me an icicle and some snow.
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So, as it turns out, I'm not writing much here while NaNoWriMo is on. I am unsurprised by this, on the whole, but I'm hoping I'll get back into the habit of posting here come December.

This update is brought to you largely by nice new anti-anxiety medication; they come with an initial period of drowsiness which shouldn't last any longer than a week or so, apparently. And I'm still in that first week, not really feeling capable of the massive feat of concentration that is sitting upright, never mind working on NaNo owrds. [I'm actually going to leave that typo there as an example of the medication / coherence interface.] This short update I can just about face; more than that, less so.

I'm running behind on NaNo, mostly due to integrating a new job into my day-to-day schedules. I have about 16k against a target of about 26k but I'm not unhappy with that since 16k is a lot of words for the amount of time I haven't had to write. I've got some time later this week for massive catch-up so we shall see what happens.

On the plus side, I'm very pleased about the "having medication" thing; it's part of a sensible and integrated occupational therapy programme and with any luck it's going to work!
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...but )
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I'm trying to get a feel for which parts of my anxiety / depression are caused by what, and actually getting somewhere with it

Below here for some more detail... )
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Some thoughts on how learning to cope with anxiety is not a quick process )
But it does end, and I am out of it - which is why I'm writing this. It was an unprompted anxiety attack, not attached to any real stimulus or reason to be anxious - and I'm finally learning some ways of dealing with same. This is an unqualified good thing and worth recording!
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I am currently dripping wet and covered in bits of burnt bike. The two are not connected.

As to the latter, the poor charred item is not mine; one of my usual bike parks has the remains of a bicycle bonfire at it this morning. Given that it's right beside a building site's plastic portaloo I'm not sure whether to be glad they aimed small or worried that they'll get more ambitious. With any luck it's just a manifestation of pre-November the fifth fireworks idiocy. My part of the world has already started to sound like a warzone (instead of just looking like one, which is the normal state of affairs) and it'll only get worse over the next few weeks.

The former condition simply represents the fact that dull, dreich, windy, cold autumn is starting to shade into dull, dreich, windy, colder winter. So far the temperature is the main difference, and an ever-less-favourable ratio of grey days to blue - but the mid-range forecast suggest that we're getting a special delivery straight from the arctic next week. Snow! Maybe...!
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Yellow gold on green.
New fallen autumn leaves and
grass still summer-fresh
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It's autumn here. We've already had the first couple of days when I've really regretted not wearing a thicker jacket, or where I've been indoors for a good while before my fingers stopped tingling. But by contrast today was mild, and I cycled home tonight in a delicious, invigorating light spray of rain through air that was almost summer-warm.

The odd thing, though, about nights like this is that it's partly the low cloud cover that keeps it warm - but it reflects the sodium street-lights as well as the heat and they give it a colour-cast that's an utterly indescribable mixture of purple and orange. It's much, much lighter and more luminescent than the landscape in a way that you naturally associate with dawn or dusk, or with the midnight sun (we're pretty nearly that far north). I find that this causes a subtle dislocation, a contradiction between what the light is telling you about the time of day and year, and what your brain is telling you.

Now, on the one hand, I really hate that colour and that sky. It's all that's worst about city-living and light-pollution; you never see more than the brightest few stars here and even that only on the coldest and clearest of nights, the ones that should be absolutely breathtaking. Yet on the other hand, these mild, mellow, wet nights are one of my favourite kinds of weather and the result is some very mixed associations. I kind of love the way the city looks all wet and shining, and that sky is very much a part of the place at these lovely times.

I wonder what it would look like, though, if the problem of light-pollution was dealt with? If the sky wasn't lighter than the land under it, and if one had enough light to get about safely and enough was good enough? I can hardly imagine this lovely place under a natural sky, and with the world around me night-coloured instead if orange. I'd like to see it, though.


Sep. 26th, 2010 07:16 pm
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I've got terribly distracted cycling along the line of the old light-railway and started brambling. My fingers are stained a purple so dark as to be almost black, and so are my lips. I (and others both two-legged and four) have kept this section of bramble-hedge picked carefully bare over the last few weeks but the few days just past have been the most perfect bright dry autumn I can remember, and the sun has ripened more than enough of a new crop to satisfy demand and keep me happy for a good few minutes at least.

I scan the hedgerow, looking for the next ripe one; there's the sharp green of the completely unripe, blending into the leaves. Scattered here and there is the glowing, translucent red of those I'll not be eating till next week. All of these I pass by, of course.

more brambling here! )

I lose track of time amid the close concentration of the search and the carnal pleasures of tasting each sweet berry while basking in the heat. Eventually, though, I find that I've picked the patch bare of the finest and ripest and finally move along. Brambling is done for today – but not yet for the season. I'm glad to say.
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