debitha: Mermaid in silhouette (Default)
Uh hi. So, life, eh? Gets away from one. I have pretty much had my head down since September or so. Possibly earlier, I don't even remember September at this point. I've been temping at one place since the beginning of October, which on one hand is nice, plus steady income. But on the other hand, I have all the time constraints of working a full time job, PLUS rubbish pay and no sickness allowance. Plus, I'm still doing all the things I was doing when I was unemployed, as well as working a 35 hour week. It wasn't just you flist, I didn't really see anyone for months.

However, I have managed to do a social thing every weekend of this year so far. I know there haven't been very many of them, but it's still a huge improvement.

Tonight I had a couple of friends round for dinner. (The wine is affecting my typing something terrible. The backspace key is getting a workout.) It was nice and I busted out, and finally pretty much perfected the pomegranate pork recipe. Final (probably) version posted below for posterity and my future reference.

Pomegranate pork )

And I'll tell you what. I have Thoughts about that whole pomegranate/female sexuality metaphor thing that people have. It's all very poetic and romantic until you have actually tried to get the seeds out of a pomegranate, and then you realise that what the metaphor actually means is that it's messy and fiddly, and a pain in the arse, the pith is quite nasty, and it's not necessarily worth all the effort, especially if you can buy it already done for you. You have a lot of time to think about these things when you're wrestling with actual pomegranates.

And now I should probably go to bed, and sleep off the wine and the port.

How are you all? Anyone still reading this? If so, happy birthday for Monday been, [personal profile] aunty_marion.

I wish DW would adopt LJ's Tag tickybox menu. It's one of the few things LJ has got actually right, as opposed to bollocksing up. I can barely remember what my tags are these days.

Right. Cold and a bit drunk. Bedtime! (I'm such a tragic lightweight these days.)
debitha: Amy and the Doctor hug (DW - Hug)
I hope everyone in Christchurch is safe. I'm so sorry that this just doesn't stop for you.

Happy and safe Christmas, everyone.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about: Christchurch continues to shake rattle and roll, thus destroying any hope anyone living there had for some piece of mind over Christmas.
debitha: A sign from a kids playground that says, "Pretending to be an aeroplane is permitted in this area" (Aeroplanes are OK)
Life is quietening down a little. I can't decide whether to be relieved or paranoid.

Basically, my life has been nuts since about April. It may have been earlier than that but, to be honest, I don't really remember before April. I thought I couldn't remember earlier than late May, then I remember that I was running a fest that posted in May, so that covers April!

I kind of want to tell you all about it, but it would take too damn long and you're probably not that interested anyway, so I'll just hit the highlights:

Late April - trying to get things organised for fest which posted all through May.

May - posting the fest, and a 4 day trip to Lisbon with J.

June - J came to stay for a couple of weeks. She had her Viva in Exeter, so I drove her down. We took a couple of days and spent a little time in Exeter, Beer (no, I'm not kidding), and Lyme Regis. Training dig was on, as previously mentioned. What I don't think I mentioned is that BBC Breakfast News showed up to film us for a piece about volunteers in Archaeology, so I ended up on National TV. Yay? I think [profile] smarla's wedding was in June, so that must be when A came to visit. We mostly hung out, and she did her bridesmaidly thing. We went to London for a couple of days, right when that heat wave struck. OMG, you guys, 30 degrees in London is not OK. We went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, and to Harrods, and the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, and shopped a lot, because that is how A rolls.

July - We had an Open Day at the training dig site as part of the Festival of British Archaeology. The highlight of which, for me, were the Medieval re-enactors. They were camping, so once the punters had gone I wandered over and ended up practicing archery until I got blood blisters on my fingers, having dinner with them, and generally hanging out. They seemed quite keen to adopt me, and I had a whale of a time, so if I can find time somehow I may try and get involved. I could learn sword fighting, you guys! And then I went to my very first con. It was a small one in Canterbury, and I had a ball, met lots of people and generally overcame all the social anxiety I'd been having about it. Then there was more hole-digging - the Roman site was pretty interesting, but more tedious than last year. We're pretty sure that they were recycling glass and extracting silver from lead, though. (The site is not far from the main road to the lead mines at Charterhouse, so that would make sense.) I spent the first few days of the dig camping on site with the woman who was organising it. I probably shouldn't mention all the slightly tipsy driving around fields we did after hours. >_> (Please note that bit about fields - we would no way in hell have gone on the road.) Then there was another Open Day, this time about prehistory on Bathampton Down. I did a lot of burbling away about things and ended up in the local paper. I think that might have been my 15 minutes of fame. Alas.

And then it was somehow August - Which was the second week of the Roman dig, a few days to myself, and then off to Spain for a couple of weeks holiday, visting my cousin. I am such a wimp about the heat. I do not do well when the mercury goes over 30. While here I've been to Ronda, the Malaga Feria, and Antequerra, but mostly I have been by the pool.

At the end of the month, my brother and his wife (lol, my brother has a wife. I will never get over that) are coming to stay for a couple of days before she goes to Italy to do a Masters course. After that, my brother will be staying with me for a while, depending on if/when he can get himself a job over here. I think that might be it? At that point I may have access to enough time and brain to keep track of my f-lists.

Meanwhile, I have missed all of Torchwood: Miracle Day so far. I was going to try and catch it, but then I didn't, and now I'm not sure I can be bothered. What say you, f-list? Is it worth the effort to catch up?
debitha: Mermaid in silhouette (Mermaid - Jan Pienkowski)
We get storms in New Zealand, and in England. I mean, obviously, right?

But the storm that's rolling around the western Mediterranean tonight makes you realise why there was always a god of thunder. The lightning isn't so much striking as dancing. Maybe just for the sheer joy of it. Single and double streaks of light that sometimes streak down, unless they feel like leaping sideways. I swear, as I watched one, I felt it in my eardrum. Occasionally there's an answering leap from further west, or to the north. Every so often there's a dull shout of thunder.

I have to get up in a few hours, or I'd just sit up all night and watch it. It's mesmerising.

There's just a little rain coming in at the moment. It has that sharp metallic smell you sometimes get when it's been really dry.
debitha: (Potsherds)
So, viruses suck hard.

I knew I spent a lot of time on my laptop, but having had it out of commission for over a week now has been like being without a limb. I'm not sure what I've done to offend technology as a whole, but it's clearly something. Blah blah, woe is me, blah )

In other news, I have been digging holes in fields again. I was quite impressed with the sizeable hole I dug yesterday - probably about 1m wide by 1.5m long and half a metre deep. I was less impressed with the complete absence of any finds whatsoever within it, but them's the breaks. Today I am temping in the afternoon. Probably just as well to have a break - swinging a mattock about is fun, but quite hard work for my puny arms, and I'm very tired.

The site itself is a bit of a weird mishmash. This is not a surprise, as the bit of it we dug last year was a bit of a weird mishmash as well. My impression is that it's been used and re-used so often that you can't really get a clear picture, but we will see what the professionals say. The comedy tan-lines at my wrists have begun. I will be back on that site a bit next week, and on another site for a couple of weeks at the end of the month. I suspect they will be really hilarious by mid-August.

I dyed my hair streak green for [profile] smarla's wedding (which was lovely, btw). Unfortunately the colour was a bit more... neon than I had bargained for. It also faded out a) really quickly, and b) very yellow. I have run some blue over it this morning, and I'm hoping that will make it a little less obtrusive. It should at least go a dark green, if not properly blue. (She said optimistically.)

And on that note, I'm off to attempt to get my shit together, and also to reboot the computer, in the hopes that it will automatically replace the CD ROM drivers I have just deleted. (It should do. The internet said so. *chews thumbnail*)

Uh, hi guys

Jun. 9th, 2011 11:07 pm
debitha: Mermaid in silhouette (Default)
I haven't updated since February? O_o

I kind of haven't kept up with my f-list since then, either. So, hi! What's up in your life?

I have been busy, mostly spinning wheels, but some key highlights have been coming off my meds, a trip to Lisbon for a few days with travel-buddy!J, and a couple of days in Exeter with same.

I did a couple of months temp work, but I have so much on over summer I decided not to really work. Financially speaking, it's a... bold move. >_> I've got the odd day of temp work though, and I'm doing some freelance stuff proof listening to audiobooks and pulling together some paperwork for someone. I am beginning to wonder whether I can drum up enough freelance stuff to keep myself afloat. Not having to be in an office 9-5 would be so great.

The training dig is on at the end of this month, and A is coming over for [profile] smarla's wedding, also at the end of this month. In July, we're back to the Roman site, this time for two weeks, instead of four days. It looks like it was a glassworks, the third found in the UK, so that's pretty exciting!

Next Wednesday I am going to see Newton Faulkner live. Man can play guitar:




And the other night I went to see Thor, knowing absolutely nothing about it. Thoughts about Thor )
debitha: Mermaid in silhouette (Default)
As far as I know, no one I know in Christchurch is dead. The thing is that you just don't know where old uni friends and the like may be. I didn't even know [profile] sokky had moved down there till [profile] holding_pattern told me she was OK. Mum's cousin, who she's fairly close to and who was at my brother's wedding, was incommunicado for several tense days, but made contact yesterday. Their house is severely damaged so they are living in their campervan, and there is 60cm (2 feet) of liquefaction right across their property. I pretty much went turtle until we heard. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. So today I've been catching up on the earthquake - reading articles, watching videos, looking at pictures. I think this footage from TVNZ in the immediate aftermath pretty much covers it. Don't read the comments if you still have any faith in humanity that you'd like to keep.



If you don't know what liquefaction is, here's a video. If you think they're a bit blase about it all, it's because this was after the September quake, in which there were no fatalities.



Kiwis are pretty hard to keep down, though. Click through to see the photographer's set of pictures from the earthquake on Flickr.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I have other stuff to talk about, but I needed to post this first.

ETA: Picture galleries at stuff.co.nz
debitha: Mermaid in silhouette (Default)
Firstly, I have a shiny new default icon! Pretty mermaid!

Also, I found my Provence pictures. *relief* There are more than 2000 of them. Now I just have to start going through them and uploading the better ones to Flickr. On the plus side, I have finished uploading my pics from Normandy. Here are a couple of my favourites.

Image heavy )

Still with me? I'd also like to direct your attention to Festivids, a fest for vidders of all fandoms.

There is a huge amount of vid goodness over there. My two favourites so far are the Chronicles of Narnia vid set to Greatest Day (by Take That - I wasn't sure either, but it really works) and The Dark Crystal vid set to 24 by Jem.

I highly recommend checking it out!
debitha: Dalek: Tea and Cake or Death? (DW - Tea and Cake or Death)
I am trying to convince myself that I have not managed to accidentally delete all my pictures from Provence. Tomorrow I will check my other computer, but right now I have decided I would just rather not know.

Meanwhile, in Distractionville, Ten would like to roll wit' da gangstas, but he's just too white and nerdy.

debitha: Mermaid in silhouette (Default)
I have had a very busy week with the orchard and moving stuff at the farm that BACAS use as a base. Two days at the farm, two work days at the orchard (one in the pouring rain) plus the Wassail yesterday. In addition, I had yoga on Tuesday, choir on Wednesday, and the BACAS lecture on Thursday. On Friday I finally sorted out all the Stuff I have acquired for the orchard and BACAS. This entailed a trip to the tip, and to Argos for a bookcase of a very specific size.

For the curious, here are the two songs we're doing for choir at the moment.

Youtubez )

[personal profile] taldragon and [profile] lazyknight came over from London for the Wassail, which went really well. The weather was fine and not too cold, which was brilliant considering how much rain we've had this week. There was music and fire and cider, and a chap called January who led the proceedings. I handed [profile] lazyknight my camera, so there will be pics soon!

However now, because I am too tired to concentrate on anything much I am uploading the pics I took on various holidays in 2009. Because that is how far behind I am. Oops! Anyway, here are a few from the Old Forest and Winchester Cathedral.

A Brief Jaunt Through Hampshire )
debitha: A sign from a kids playground that says, "Pretending to be an aeroplane is permitted in this area" (Aeroplanes are OK)
Wow, 2011, huh? I guess this means it's time for my Annual Review of Life.

The year that was )

Which brings me to next year )

The soundtrack for this post is Beautiful Freak by Eels. (Partly because it's not that long since I posted the vid for Raise Your Glass.) I couldn't find a decent vid, so I've gone for the minimalist option.

debitha: Hitting a button that says 'Protest' (DW - Protest)
It's an epic standoff between caffeine (AWAKE) and anti-histamines (instant narcolepsy)!

I think the anti-histamines definitely have the edge. The headache is presumably the collateral damage.

Also, my chest hurts from coughing. *whine* *sulk*
debitha: A sign from a kids playground that says, "Pretending to be an aeroplane is permitted in this area" (Aeroplanes are OK)
Sadly, my illness at the end of November meant I had to skip the Medieval Landscapes course I was signed up for, but I have been going to BACAS lectures and readings at the Best Bookshop in the World. This month's BACAS lecture was on archaeology in the military area of Salisbury Plain. This was particularly exciting because there is an excursion out there this summer. It's normally very difficult to get access to it, what with there being shooting ranges and the like out there, but because of that there has been no plowing or building works, so the archeology is in a very good state of preservation. I also went to see Bettany Hughes last night, talking about her new book about Socrates. She's a really interesting and enthusiastic speaker, and I will be looking buying one of her books - probably the one on Helen of Troy. Which is not to say that the one on Socrates doesn't sound fascinating, but it's £25 quid at the moment, which is a bit much!

The carol concert went pretty well. I lost the harmonies most of the time, but had a blast. I had forgotten how much I enjoy performances like that. I'm too hopelessly nervous to be a soloist, but being up on stage as part of a group is a real buzz.

Things have been insanely busy with the orchard. We are supposed to produce a newsletter for sponsors every few months, but it's been 12 months since the last one. The December edition is supposed to go out with sponsorship renewals, so I had to write that up and lay it out, along with posters and flyers for a training course and the Wassail in January. I also had to write a short article for a local magazine. Next on the hitlist is the website, which is basically just a couple of paras of text.

I am, somewhat belatedly but still, picking out pics for next year's calendar. I have cut it down from 130 to 58 by taking out some portrait oriented shots and a bunch that are good but not spectacular, but now it starts getting difficult. There will probably be another pic-spam poll in the next day or two after I get it down a bit further. I'm sure you'll be looking forward to that. :o)
debitha: Mermaid in silhouette (Default)
So, November was a bit of a No Posting month. Whoops! I spent most of the last week violently ill, with what sounded like the rising of the Old Ones in my belly. Not good! Fortunately I am now recovered, apart from a touch of Post-Illness Feebleness.

A month or so back I joined a choir at long last. It's a pretty laid back sort of choir, we just sing a bit, we'll probably do the odd concert here and there because the conductor has lots of concerts. There's one next Saturday - apparently we'll be warming up the audience with some Christmas carols. The thing is, I have come to dread doing carols in a choir. I'm sure you're wondering what on earth could be hard about carols. Everyone knows them, right? The problem is, you see, that I'm an alto. The bits of carols that everyone knows are the melodies. But that's not what we get to sing. So every time, we have to unlearn what we know, and start over. While someone else is singing the bit we actually know over the top. It sounds great when we get it right, but OMG SO HARD!

ETA: ALSO! It is snowing again. Only about another centimeter so far, but it looks set to keep going for a while yet.

And now on to Stuff That's Neat!

[personal profile] cluegirl wrote a glorious little Greek Mythology fic. It's about 900 words, so a quick read - you should check it out, especially mah Classics Geek Peeps. In September - In September, the Oracle of Delphi came, carrying a box of brightly colored chalk.

Pansy cookies! How cute are these? I am totally having a go next spring.

Pink has a new single called Raise Your Glass. The video is glorious and a bit weird. And has the F word in it a couple of times, so probably don't play it at work.

debitha: A sign from a kids playground that says, "Pretending to be an aeroplane is permitted in this area" (Aeroplanes are OK)
In the meantime, here's a meme I nabbed from the lovely [personal profile] cluegirl.

One little compliment can make you feel amazing.

So give me a compliment, anything in the entire world, even that my shoelaces are pretty. Put this in your journal. And once you get some comments, put that entry in a memory or tag and when you are feeling down, just go to that entry and this will remind you how great you are. Comments are going to be screened so none of you will know if I'm über-popular and get over 100 comments on this or a total loser who doesn't get any.

Don't forget to post this in your own LJ so I can compliment you, too! :)


Obviously, you don't actually have to copy this in your LJ, but it's one of those nice feel-good-about-yourself things, so I encourage you to!

Now I'm off to collect Oscar - at last!
debitha: Dalek: Tea and Cake or Death? (DW - Tea and Cake or Death)
*waves*

In which I blither on at length about nothing in particular )

I didn't think I had a lot to tell you, but I guess I did. Huh.

How are you right now?
debitha: Mermaid in silhouette (Default)
I just watched the film 'Penelope' again. Yes, the one with Christina Ricci as a girl with a pig nose. And you know what? I love it. It really is just damn charming.

At heart it is a story about self-acceptance, and the ways on which one might get distracted from that. The romance is done with a beautifully light touch. I would like to marry the costumer. And also the cinematographer. The visuals give the whole thing a gorgeous, bright, fairytale feel.

The prologue and epilogue are particularly cheesy, but I forgive them, because the rest is so great. It hits all the tropes - the overbearing mother, the apparent romantic betrayal, the journey of self-discovery. But I love the flawed characters, and I love Penelope's bright wonder. And, cheesy as it is, I love that she saves herself, and ultimately others as well.

The cast is brilliant. Christina Ricci is adorable as the lead, James McAvoy is scruffily charming and heartfelt as the love interest, Peter Dinklage is just all kinds of cool as the journalist who can't let go of the story that cost him an eye 25 years ago. The rest of the cast include people like Reese Witherspoon, Burn Gorman, Russell Brand, Ronnie Ancona, Richard E. Grant and a host of others bringing vivid colour to the smaller roles.

Also, James McAvoy can rock the screen kiss.

I forgive this film all of its flaws because it makes me feel like a bit of a sappy romantic, where most romances just make me feel cynical.

Car update

Sep. 14th, 2010 03:54 pm
debitha: Mermaid in silhouette (Default)
The garage just called. The estimate has gone back to the insurance company. It is apparently 50:50 whether they will repair or write off.
debitha: Mermaid in silhouette (Default)
I think there was something I was going to talk to you about today, but I cannot get past this.

Go, cats! Go!

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