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Everything posted by dog-days

  1. I've been really lucky. I was brought up in a middle class household in the UK with a good local health service - friendly GPs, reasonably friendly dentists (well, they weren't psychopaths), and the specialist nurses I've met have always been lovely. I think it's one of the reasons I quite enjoy giving blood - no prior trauma to get in the way. I'm sure I'm going to run into a real horror eventually. I feel like you're all due a hundred years of perfect healthcare to try and make up for the nastiness.
  2. Norma Waterson has died. This isn't the right internet forum for this post really, but she was awesome, so I'm mentioning it here anyway. Her parents died young. She lived with her half-Gypsy grandmother in Hull and helped raise her younger brother and sister. Formed a folk band with them, went to the West Indies, came back, sang much and recorded some of it, and nearly won the Mercury Prize. And she had a voice like smoke and the end of autumn, and I won't hear its like again. The Moving On Song
  3. She still has a YA fantasy series, in fact - The Bone Season. She's written four books of a planned seven, I believe. But, somewhat annoyingly, she seems to be neglecting it in favour of other projects. I think she mentioned that her next book is also going to be in the Priory universe.
  4. For me I think it would be either Uprooted or Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. Both managed to capture a bit of that sense of the numinous and strange that I loved when I read as a child, but have rarely encountered as an adult. Feelings of comfort and danger meshed securely together within the pages of a book on a Kindle screen. ETA: Also Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Would feel wrong not to mention that. Now I'd better stop adding things...
  5. Happy New Year, folks! (40% pissed, but at least 90% sincere).
  6. Soup sounds good. Starting 2022 with eggnog sounds like a good idea. It means that nothing that comes afterwards can possibly be any worse.
  7. Spending it with my mother in her home. We'll watch the ceilidh on BBC Alba, then change over to Big Ben and the London fireworks and have a glass or two of champagne. Plus, we'll wander into the garden to see if any of the neighbours have got pretty fireworks (with apologies to any dogs, cats, guinea-pigs, rabbits or hamsters reading: this is a quiet district. There are few entertainments available that don't involve explosions). Then a couple more days before I head south, at which point I will have officially survived the Christmas season, thank god. The days are getting lighter, and spring will slowly start appearing, and I have a list of books I want to read,* so there are good things coming, even if 2022 is going to be austere for me: my New Year's resolution is to do some no-holds-barred saving for a deposit on a flat or tiny house. * in no small part thanks to the ASOIAF literature forum
  8. That sounds much more like a problem with your job/management than with you. I hope you have a bit of time over Christmas to relax and find some non-work related stuff that can help you re-anchor your non-work identity. (I also suspect that your work is much better than you think it is at the moment).
  9. Ok, Toth, you didn't ask for advice, and I know I'm going against the general ethos of the thread plus against good manners in general by giving unsolicited advice, but, for God's sake, 1. Get a room in a WG or rent a studio 2. Don't tell her 3. When you leave, tell whatever the equivalent of social services are about her, and only contact her if you're sure it's on your terms. If she's an arsehole, hang up. You deserve better than this. Re the vaccination certificate for measles. At least in UK working culture, no one would care. It would be a tick-boxy thing that about 50% of employees would drag their heels over interminably. Somewhere an admin person would have some memos on their Outlook calendar saying "nag persons A through Z about the cert" and that would be that. (BTW, at least from what I've observed from first and second hand experience in UK higher education, everyone's late with the grading too. Except the old hand that's learned how to go through a paper in ten seconds flat, and that one paragon in her first year of teaching that does everything on time with two pages of commentary, and is probably just the beneficiary of a pact with Satan.)
  10. Not sure even regular manual work at a forge would result in a physique like that. For example, here's a photo of an actual blacksmith, plus one of a miner. TBH, it's not really the likelihood I object to - I don't expect or want my entertainment to present me with things that are probable. It's more of a general sense of misgiving about the way shows/games can warp the perspective of the audience about what the human body should look like. Yes, I agree re Ambassador Medarda. The political manoeuvring could be interesting to watch. I know some people in this thread thought Heimerdinger was out-of-place, but I appreciated him. I enjoyed his long perspective on events - hopefully we'll see a bit more of that in S2.
  11. Just finished watching this show. OTOH, I found it very entertaining, and it certainly became absorbing after the end of the third episode. On the downside, while I enjoyed the city and costume design, I thought the character design was rather irritating. Take Jayce, for example, a researcher-politician whose hobbies apparently include steroid abuse, body building and close combat training. The two overweight characters introduced at the start (one of whom is used for comic relief because fat is funny; we're five hundred years on from Friar Tuck but that stuff is still cutting edge, apparently) were shockingly killed off to provide some more tragic background material to the leads, all of whom are stunningly beautiful. I liked Silco and wonder what S2 will do for a principal antagonist now he's out of the picture. Jinx seems too bananas to present a coherent threat - she's too much a "pretty things go boom" kind of danger. It made for enjoyable binge-watching, though it did feel as if plot, characters, etc. were in service to the video game aesthetic rather than the other way round.
  12. Elder Race (released November 2021) by Adrian Tchaikovsky is currently £2.08 on Kindle. Have just given in and bought it - will report back when read.
  13. I stopped watching when it moved to Channel 4, but at least with Mel and Sue, I thought that their whole deal was to be supportive and hope for the best for the contestants. Agree about Paul Hollywood; he came across as more and more of a smug git as the series went on - at the same time, I did cut him some slack because it was nice having someone with a Scouse accent in a position of authority on mainstream UK TV. (Albeit a position of authority on a fluffy camp church-fête-inspired baking competition.)
  14. I just use spoiler tags. About eight/nine years ago, I was teaching English to a German businessman, and he talked about a book he was reading - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I've wondered off-and-on for years if this was his way of trying to suggest that I might be autistic, and it wasn't even a direct remark. These things have an way of - getting under the skin isn't quite the right expression. Of staying with you, I suppose.
  15. Looks good! Feeling excited. Great to see Draper back on the Roci. Sad there's no sign of Jared Harris though. I think S1 of The Expanse got started at around the time his career moved up a level and his schedule filled up.
  16. I don't have BBC iPlayer, so am slowly catching up via another service. Just watched 'Gail'. WWditS is reliably one of the funniest TV shows, but the end of this episode brought a few of the warm fuzzy feelings too. There was just something really delightful about watching the gang drive off in their absurd monstrosity of a car being chased by human dogs werewolves.
  17. I've just bought a money tree (Guiana Chestnut) - it's about one-food tall including the pot, and looks very nice on my window ledge. It's a slightly fussier houseplant than the kind I'd normally pick. ("So we threw it out and I put it in the compost bin, and next year when I opened the bin it was still alive and had grown two inches.") Now I'm just going to sit here and watch it to make sure it doesn't die. ... ...
  18. Small rant under cut. Just getting it out of my system. Not a serious problem at all as problems go, but having an internet yell about it now may help me sleep later.
  19. Sounds as if the explosive diarrhoea version might have been an improvement. The trouble is that dog aliens are just one word away from perfection.
  20. November's rarely as bad as I expect it to be - that honour normally goes to February, which often catches me by surprise with its awfulness. Still, good to have some fun reading available as the nights draw in. I'm looking forward to the new Adrian Tchaikovsky on (*checks*) the sixteenth. A mid-month boost.
  21. Just put in my vote for the voluptuous king of naps. All hail, Otis!
  22. Holly's got to take the crown. Impersonating an item of melted confectionary to win shows serious committment. Otis for runner up. I like the way he's not afraid to express himself through napping. Other bears might feel they have to pursue a more aggressive strategy, but Otis naps, and it works.
  23. Yeah, definitely happy about it. He's one of the best screenwriters the UK has. I've no idea if I'll love or even like his next run, but I'm sure that I might enjoy disliking something by him more than the flat indifference and boredom I felt during Chris Chibnall's era.
  24. Can't believe they're not showing it in the UK till November
  25. Agree totally. Jackson's Denethor is particularly awful for wasting the talents of John Noble, who could have been great in another adaptation. Peter Vaughan in the BBC Radio play gave a version much closer to the book, and the narrator is there to conclude the character with the memorable line:
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