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December 24th, 2015


06:13 pm - German Language Betas?
So, there is a new writer in the fandom, but she is writing in German, and a little bit anxious about her writing ability. I've told her that a) we all start off somewhere, and that b) people are often their own worst critics.

Do any of us know of (or is anyone of us) a German speaking dueSer who would be happy to beta for her? Even if your German isn't good enough for spot on grammar checks, do any of you read German well enough to encourage her in terms of plot or whatever?

I'd love it if she could be encouraged to write on.

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September 20th, 2015


01:12 pm - Ray Vecchio Rec List - Happy Birthday!
Ray Vecchio Rec List
As we all know (well, almost all of us) there is a huge amount of love for Ray Vecchio in the fandom. I can’t even begin to rec everything I love, but I can give you a sample. Without further ado, I am going to present some of my favourite Vecchio fanworks.


Starting with the fanfics (because anyone who knows me knows I’m all about the words) here are some of my favourites, fairly randomly organised. (My brain is randomly organised, just so you know.

BG's Vecchio Rec List


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July 31st, 2015


01:46 pm - update.
Let's hope that this updates to say 'hello LJ, I have returned...'

Fingers crossed. I'm having a series of senior moments today. Sorry for having been absent so long - but huzzah! I am back! (ish.)

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July 4th, 2015


11:57 am - Been forever
So, I know that it has been a long time since I posted - here is what is happening in the land of BG.

Firstly, great news - the son and heir has passed his driving exam, first time, and is pretty chuffed. (He got four minors, which is pretty good when you're scared witless.)

He has also got a part time job, which he is enjoying. It entails a very early start, which is good for a teenage boy (otherwise he would lie in bed till noon.) This way he has the rest of the day. He may decide to keep it if he gets on his chosen course next year. (Leading into university, where he intends to study creative writing.) He should have got on this course last year, but he panicked and didn't open his A level results, because he thought he'd failed them. (He hadn't.) When he realised he had the grades he needed he applied, but he had left it too late. As you can imagine, he is keen to get on it and make up for lost time.

More stressful news - we are both due in court on Wednesday to appear as witnesses against Nasty Neighbour. Whatever happens, this will mark the end of dealings with her. At least I hope so, you never know when that woman is going to go crazy. If she gets off she may decide to come around and gloat.

If she gets found guilty it is good news for her new neighbours, because she will evicted. And if she doesn't abide by whatever penalty she is given (probably community service) she will go to prison. Given that I can't imagine her behaving herself, that is a distinct possibility.

On Monday I have an interview re my midwifery course - hopefully I will get funding for living expenses while I am studying. Otherwise I will have to get a part time job to see me through - given that it is a full time course, that could be exhausting.

If I get my funding, and the son and heir keeps his job, I may just be able to afford a car for him. Basically, an interest free loan from the bank of Mum. He's always been honest and disciplined with money, so I know he will pay me back.

My Patrick book is slowly taking off. 

And I am going on the cruise I won this month - travelling with my Dad, who has just retired. I've just remembered I have to contact my Doctor about anti nausea tablets, in case I turn out not to have sea legs. In the past I've been okay, but they were just short trips to Ireland. Staying on a boat for eight days is a different thing.

Very much looking forward to my Dad showing me the sites around Ireland. I couldn't have a better travel companion.

Oh - and when I was in Ireland this last month I got my fainne - a badge pin that you wear so people know you speak Irish and are happy to talk to them in it. I was pretty delighted, they are hard to achieve. It was weird talking to little old ladies outside mass in Irish, then seeing the look on their faces when I gave an American directions to the beach. One of them just stared at me silently, the other one said 'you speak great Irish for an English girl.' I explained, of course, and they invited me to tea.

Hmm. What else? Oh yes! I am half way through my Big Bang. Having solved some plot points it is going smoother now - it helps to have a good beta who is prepared to help you wrangle your way through the trickier paths of story. (As usual this one is making me uncomfortable to write. Why I put my characters through such trauma is beyond me.)

And next month in Chicago! Meeting up with fannish friends at vividcon, and then travelling around a bit and staying with another fannish friend. We are planning on making a video together - she wants to expand her technique and teach me the basics. I am very pleased with our song choice, and hope we'll be able to post it after the visit.

I think that's it for now. 



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May 22nd, 2015


11:23 pm - Wow... I can't answer all 150 at once... but I'll try!
I can't help it, I'm wasting time, and these questions are fun.

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May 17th, 2015


08:06 pm - Answer for question 4368.
What is the biggest turn off for you when you're dating someone?
Someone dissing on my family. Specifically, my son. If you don't like my child then I don't like you. Period.

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April 26th, 2015


09:19 pm - Answer for question 4338.
Have you ever had any run-ins with the law or been arrested? What happened (if you feel comfortable sharing the story)?
Ha! Yes. On more occasions than I can remember. (Literally. I lost count at something like twelve.)

Most of those times were legal protests and the police were being heavy handed, and the charges were dropped. A few times I ended up with injunctions telling me where I can and cannot stand in Oxford or London. (A police man overheard me having a conversation in France where I described something as being 'perverse', and thought I was telling people that the business we were protesting was run by perverts. Unfortunately the judge believed the monoglot policeman.) And there was one occasion when I was arrested and sentenced for good cause, and I don't complain about that one.

But for the most part, it seems that protest is legal in theory in this country, but that in practice you get hammered so hard that, even if you win on appeal, most activists give up out of sheer exhaustion. It is not nice spending up to three days in prison without charge, even knowing that you will later be vindicated.

There is a lot more I could say on this subject, but in my experience people are often arrested as a political measure, rather than to keep the peace.

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April 14th, 2015


05:01 pm - Hey, Eagle fans!
It's been a while since I posted, but I know I have Eagle fans on my flist. If so, you might be interested in the script for the movie.

http://www.youblisher.com/p/27004-X/
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March 12th, 2015


05:08 pm - Answer for question 4276.
Do you have any guilty pleasures that you just can’t give up, even if you think you should? What are they? Why do you think it is so difficult for you to give them up?
I play with my cats too much when I should be working. That's what you get when you have the world's most beautiful cats, and you are working from home.

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March 7th, 2015


01:21 am - Four Things
Four things that people call me:

Mary
Mum
BG
Madam. (And yes, that last one burns, but I live in a very polite culture, if not quite Canadianly polite, and at least nobody's calling me 'oy, you, yes you, you old bat.')

Four jobs I've had:
Assistant librarian
EFL teacher
Press Officer
Dog poop cleaner extraodinaire (best job ever - running around after all the doggies.)

Four movies I've watched more than once:
Cyrano de Bergerac
Solaris (the original version - still not seen the American remake, but watched the original obsessively, telling my Dad it was because it helped me with my studies, not that I was in love with ... well, everything in it. Eta moya drooog!!!!!!)
Casa Blanca
It's a Wonderful Life
(Loads of other ones as well. I love me the movies.)

Four books I'd rec:
Wizard of Earthsea (okay, the entire quartet, but I'm counting it as one.)
A Tale of Two Cities (I had to choose one of Dickens, and it was this or... maybe ten others. This is the one I can quote most of from memory. Though Little Dorrit comes a close second - that might be because the Derek Jacobi film is so firmly and astonishingly in my head though.)
The Divine Trilogy. (It's got fart jokes! And a happy ending. No, not that kind of happy ending... sheesh.)
Journey to the West. (It was either this or Lord of the Rings. I obsessed about them both during my childhood, and this is less well known, and really rather good. Though the poetically technical advice on how to win a game of chess is a bit bewildering. Didn't help my chess any.)

Four places I've lived:
Dungiven
Lancaster
Sligo
Oxford
(and... sorry to all the places I missed out on. I've kind of flitted a bit.)

Four places I've been:
Lourdes (worked there three years running)
Isle of Sky (camped there and discovered that bathing in the stream at six am is very painful, but it sure does wake you up, and wow, the water in Piper's well is awesome, no wonder Talisker whisky sells like hotcakes)
Amsterdam (the Dutch police are so polite they are practically Canadian when they arrest you and escort you over the border saying 'we understand your convictions, but please stop breaking into our animal research centres.' The Germans just pulled guns on us.)
South Africa... and ... oh no! I've run out of room! Okay, I'll just have to say it. CANADA!

Four foods I don't eat:
Hmmm.... given I'm veggie there's a lot more than four I avoid. I've discovered over recent years that I really hate bread too. I hardly ever eat bread, and then only if it's very nice and very fresh.

4 tv shows I watch(ed):
Doctor Who,
Classic Star Trek,
Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett - best Holmes ever: I visited the set with my son in a push chair before they pulled it down - at least I know he has visited Baker Street. See, I'm a good Mum, really!)
and.., due South! (You could see that one coming now, just a little bit? eh?)

Four things I'm looking forward to this year:
My son getting his driving licence.
Seeing my Dad for the first time since he retired.
Various writing projects.
Taking my girlfriend to Ireland for the first time. (Assuming we get there. We have four kids between us - okay, so my eldest can babysit her three, but she's still nervous. Even so, we're planning a get away just before I start back at uni in September. She is considering coming out to her mother and getting her to babysit too. Personally, I think that's awesome, and her Mum has probably guessed anyway, so I think it will all work out.)

Four things I'm saying:
Not quite sure what this question means. Four things I say?

Okay. I'm Irish, so when someone hangs up the phone I go 'bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye...' Sometimes we get locked in a bye bye loop. I suspect this is how the English first invaded our fair nation - got us all busy trying to give the last goodbye, and while we were angsting about that they snuck in under the radar. We avenged ourselves by having all the best songs and jokes, but I don't think they've got it yet.
Also being Irish there is a lot of (frequently passive aggressive) apologising going on. Some completely inconsiderate jerk bashes into you, knocking your shopping all over the floor and you go 'sorry', when what you actually meant to say was 'die, you inconsiderate scum sucker, die!'
'Thank you.' Apparently this isn't just an Irish thing, it's a Brit thing. In fact, an effectionately intended racial epithet in Chinese for Brit speakers is 'Mr Xiexie.' Because we say 'thank you' so often that even the very polite Chinese culture thinks, 'why are they saying thank you all the time? Are they secret serial killes?'
And lastly - 'shite and onions.' My favourite curse. Blame my upbringing. My mother read Joyce to me in my formative years. Others remember him for his poetry and culture. I remember him for his swears. (What, they aren't the same thing?)

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