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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in ladymarshy's LiveJournal:

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Friday, February 1st, 2013
7:47 pm
End of the beginning?
My dad died, peacefully but very suddenly, at the end of November. He lived in a bungalow in a place called Thornton (which many of you won't have heard of) just outside Blackpool, in Lancashire - a 450 mile round trip from London. His friends in Fleetwood (my home town) especially the guys from the local rugby club, where he'd been a member for 62 years, were kind and helpful beyond words, and the funeral director and the vicar who presided at his funeral were everything you would want under the circumstances.

Now after half-a-dozen trips to and fro, his amiably scruffy little bungalow is on the market, and we have brought the last two car-loads of "stuff" back to London. Even though all the large furniture is all still up there, waiting for the house-clearance people, we transported enough boxes, bags and bundles to fill our dining room here twice over, and that was after sending more than a dozen sacks of clothes to the charity shop plus umpteen boxes of vases and ornaments and gadgets. And books - I restricted myself to the ones I really wanted so now there are six crates under the dining table and only one *very* small bookcase to put them in.

He couldn't resist a bargain when he saw one, so now we don't need to buy dusters, pan scrubs, freezer bags or dishwasher tablets for the foreseeable future. And all the good glass and china which Mum liked he rarely took out of the cupboards since she died, and I found them rubbing shoulders with the heroic survivors of the pots which were on the table as long ago as I can remember - two pink sideplates with gilt edges, a little china mug with a big handle, two odd cereal bowls, a cut glass milk jug, and a big glass bowl used for jelly. It was finding the china mug which made me cry more than anything else: I can remember my gran giving me that more than 50 years ago.

I'm an only child; one of my mum's siblings and two of my dad's are still alive, but at the moment I feel completely cut off from my roots.

Current Mood: unable to relax
Sunday, January 13th, 2013
12:36 am
100 Books Challenge
I didn't get very far with my last intended posting - let's try this one. Thanks to Liars Dance for reminding me.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - Was determined not to read this at school (early 70's) when everybody else was reading it. Bought the 3 separate vols bang in the middle of my finals in 1979. Read them end to end as soon as exams over, and must have read the whole shebang at least four or five times.

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling Read all of them, the first few vols out loud to my lads as bedtime stories.

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman Was very disappointed in this.

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare -

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - 17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot I can remember reading this well after finals and being bored to tears.

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis Cried myself to sleep at the end of The voyage of the Dawn Treader

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen The first JA I read (A level set text) and still my favourite

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown One of the worst books I have ever read. At least the film had the virtue of being funny.

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White
- Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth.

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt.

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

That's better. Still tired tonight tonigh, but less cream-crackered that I was when I first typed this.

Regards to all

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, April 19th, 2012
10:23 pm
One Hundred Paintings I Love
Thanks to the friend who posted this. I've tried with 20th and 21st century art, really I have, and not just because it will score me points in the Art & Culture rounds of championship quiz matches. But almost all the paintings (and the occasional sculpture) I'm planning to list here come from before 1900. They're not all Great Art - I have a weakness for Victorian narrative painting.

[b]#1 Portrait of a Young Man, by Botticelli. (London, National Gallery).[/b}

Saw this picture in an expensive art book when I was about 14 and have adored it since. Nobody really knows who the sitter was although it's been suggested that he's Giovanni de' Medici, the great Piero's younger brother. Simple and perfect.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
11:03 pm
Hello, after a long, long break
I haven't posted here for donkey's years, but I'm just off to a big quiz tournament in Bruges (THE big one of the year, the European Championships) and I wanted to say a huge thanks to all the generous folks who post here.

The stories posted here - and the chat, and the companionship - have really kept me going in somewhat depressing times. Thanks everyone.

And now I must finish my packing, and work out how I get nice long steel knitting needles through security on Eurostar.
Monday, January 24th, 2011
11:02 pm
From Nienna ...
Thanks to Nienna for posting this - made me think, and stopped me brooding myself into a headache.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I really must lose some weight.

2. How much cash do you have on you?
About £80 - went to the bank today.

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
Floor. (Northern accent eliminated with help of singing lessons .... it comes creeping back when I'm either angry or slightly drunk, or both.)

4. Favorite planet?
Earth does me fine, thanks

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
Probably Him Indoors, but my mobile is on the fritz again ,,, so I don't really know

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Don't have one - I dislike having to use mobiles altho' I know they're now an essential part of everyday life

7. What shirt are you wearing?
A well-used blue tee-shirt bearing the slogan "Librarians for Angst-Free Gondorians" under an ancient hand-knitted sweater

8. Do you label yourself?
If I was ever to write an autobiography, the title would be "Not Bad for a Fat Librarian"

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?
Marks & Spencer fur-lined slippers.

10. Bright or Dark Room?
Bright - most of the time if I go in a room I want either to read or sew.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
Wonderful sense of humour

12. What does your watch look like?
Small oval gilt, on a narrow black leather strap (can't wear metal watchstraps). Surprise present from Him Indoors last birthday.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sitting in the chair in my study finishing off some research notes before bed.

14.What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
(blushes) I don't know, 'cause I so rarely switch the loathsome object on.

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?
Not sure that we have 7-11 stores as such in the UK, but there is a late-opening convenience store near the Tube station in Northwood (less than 10 mins brisk walk from home).

16. What's a word that you say a lot?
It's a photofinish between several, all with Four Letters.

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?
My younger son, when I produced his clean school uniform warm off the radiators this morning

18. Last furry thing you touched?
Domino the cat

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
Eye drops.

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
Even a technophobe like me acquired a digital camera several years ago,

21. Favorite age you have been so far?
Impossible to say

22. Your worst enemy?
Chronic procrastination

23. What is your current desktop picture:
A snapshot of me in the ruins of Croyland Abbey in Lincolnshire

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
Why don't you take the opportunity to redecorate your study? (Said to husband when he said he needs to have a fax machine installed in connection with his work.)

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
The million bucks - the USA and New Zealand here I come. Don't know whether this will be before or after having our kitchen and our bathroom totally rebuilt, and acquiring a pink Nissan Micra Sport.

26. Do you like someone?

27. The last song you listened to?
Brahms Requiem on Radio 3 this afternoon.

28. What time of day were you born?
12. 30 AM

29. What’s your favorite number?

30. Where did you live in 1987?
Willesden, in NW London, in a 2-bed flat

31. Are you jealous of anyone?
Mildly, yes.

32. Is anyone jealous of you?
If they are, I don't know about it.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
At the office, in central London. My colleague at the opposite desk was on the phone to an ex-colleague in Italy and she suddenly stood up and said over the partition "Kathryn, Claudia says RIA have just announced that a jetplane has flown into the World Trade Center. Can you get CNN or the BBC on your computer?"

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Say something very rude.

35. Do you consider yourself kind?
I hope I am, but suspect I have a mean streak.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
I'd need a full anaesthetic, as I'm scared of needles, but if I had to --- probably on my upper left arm, to cover up the scar left by a clumsy inoculation when I was a kid.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?
Either Fremch or Spanish. Only learnt Spanish part-time in the 6th Form but loved it, and I love the sound of it. This of course has nothing whatsoever to do with my possession of a version of Alatriste on DVD with the original Spanish dialogue

38. Would you move for the person you loved?
Yes, but he's even less likely to want to move than I am. (Him Indoors grew up in this house.)

39. Are you touchy feely?

40. What’s your life motto?
Keep b*****ing on. (This was apparently a motto of CHurchill's, too.)

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
Gold locket. Wedding ring. Glasses.

42. What’s your favorite town/city?
Dead heat between Oxford and Rome (with Shrewsbury coming up on the rails.)

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
Three balls of inexpensive knitting wool, this morning.

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
If typing a letter and signing it counts, wrote a letter at the office on Friday.

45. Can you change the oil on a car?
No. That's why I carry the home-assist card of the RAC at all times. I can fill the tank with petrol and that's that.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
From my dad several years ago; it was a guy I liked at school, tremendously tall and good-looking, with dark hair in a Byronic wave. He is apparently now fat and balding, alas.

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
Only back to the 1880's. My mother's family may have been Irish migrants to the Cheshire salt mines after the Irish potato famine, and on the other side, fishermen in East Anglia. My dad's side were either coal miners or cotton mill workers. My paternal great grandpa's surname was Jones and he was born in Wrexham in Wales - you could probably find a needle in the proverbial haystack quicker.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
If you mean "fancy" as opposed to just "smart", it would have to be for singing in a concert in St James's, Piccadilly, last November.

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
Right ankle still aches from going over on it twice when the pavements were icy last month.

50. Have you been burned by love?
Yes. I've come to believe that "Men have died, and worms have eaten them, but not for love." Probably why I read so much fanfiction where the characters share impossible passions.
Sunday, October 10th, 2010
12:54 am
Book meme
Pinched from several folks, and thanks to all of them - got a huge amount of pleasure thinking about these.

1. 3 books that were important to you at the age of 10
2. 3 books that you've read in the past year that you'd recommend
3. 3 books that you turn to for comfort
4. Book you've read the most times
5. Best nonfiction book read this year
6. 3 books that were important to you at the age of 16

1 Caravan Creek, by Gladys Mitchell; Not scarlet but gold, by Malcolm Saville; The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff

2 The suspicions of Mr Whicher, by Kate Summerscale; The road, by Cormac McCarthy: U is for Undertow; by Sue Grafton

3 The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers; Right ho, Jeeves!, by P.G. Wodehouse; The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien *

4. The Nine Tailors (as above) - just a nose in front of all the other Lord Peter Wimsey novels.

5. Chambers science factfinder / Nature's building blocks; a A-Z guide to the elements, by John Emsley (dead heat) **

6. We speak no treason, by Rosemary Hawley Jarman; The life and cases of Sir Bernard Spilsbury ***, by Tom Tullett; Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy.

* The great explosion in Tolkien fandom came when I was in my mid-teens and I was determined not to read what everyone else was reading. I read it for the first time just after my Finals in 1979!
** Both reference books, but I have read them, honestly. I'm a quizzer, what do you expect ?
*** After reading this, and seeing Marius Goring in The expert on television (CSI for the early 1970's), I was desperate to be a forensic scientis - until the school careers master pointed out that this would need a science degree for whcih my shaky grasp of the principles of maths and physics would disqualify me.
Friday, August 13th, 2010
12:25 am
It never rains ....
My older son had his cycle stolen from outside a friend's house tonight. No, the young idiot hadn't locked it up - but we're talking about the back garden of a house in a supposedly safe London suburb. The bike was less than a year old, and replaced the one stolen from in front of our own garage last autumn - stolen when all four of us were in the house, in daylight.

Lord knows, if I'd told him to lock the blasted thing up once I'd told him a hundred times - but it was down a path and behind a garden gate and three of his mates had unlocked bikes there too. Only Andrew's was stolen.

It's not so much the actual theft but knowing that someone coolly let themselves into the garden and schlepped off with the bike when there were 2 adults and 4 or 5 teenagers in the house at the time.

I find myself hoping - and as a practising Christian I know I shouldn't - that the gear mechanism shears under pressure as it did once before and dumps the thief on his miserable backside in the middle of the main road.

I really wish I'd come back to posting with something more cheerful but I had to get this off my chest.

Current Mood: angry
Saturday, September 8th, 2007
4:23 pm
Season of mists ...
You can keep the mellow fruitfulness, thank you, just for the moment. The mess from the bramble scratches and nettle rash and whatever else was lurking in the miscellaneous greenery has only just disappeared off my forearms. And I've now got the full use of my thumb back after sticking the blunt end of a needle into it while sewing name tapes onto school uniforms. Only a little tiny mark but eye-wateringly painful.

It looks as if September and October are shaping up to be pressured on the work front, and as I promised myself I was going to get my poor shreds of stories all together on LJ, I'd better get on with it.

I've had my doubts about re-posting this. It was the very first thing I ever wrote, even before the Halbarad story I did for the LOM challenge. Even more so than the Halbarad story and "And not to yield", the whole lot came to me in the course of a feverish dream one night when I was getting over the 'flu. Me, who'd hadn't even been able to so much as read RPS until a short while before.

Thanks to half_elf_lost for excellent beta-work, as ever.

And that's all there's left to say, except - have the tissues handy.

Waiting for Sean

Rating: R
Pairing: VM / SB
Summary: it's short, just read it?
Warning: character death
Disclaimer: This story is a mere product of my fevered imagination, although one incidental male character and the physical setting are based on a person and a place I know well.

read moreCollapse )

Current Mood: determined
Wednesday, August 29th, 2007
9:40 pm
Nature's bounty ...
One of those days. Last week before the boys go back to school and I am busily finding all sorts of busy work to put off the evil hour when I have to start sewing name-tapes in school uniform clothing.

"Just" jobs, like "just" cleaning up where I slopped coffee on the stairs, and I end up hand-brushing the sides of each tread and then scrubbing the paintwork. Looks much neater but of course, nobody notices.

Then my good deed for the day, taking a huge sack of knitting wool to an old ladies' home for their craft circle. I can't knit or crochet worth a d*** but these old ladies are demon knitters and to make me feel truly humble most of them are blind or nearly so.

Back home, inspired, I tackle the binding on a quilt I'm making for son no. 1, and finally get it sorted out. As I've never got the knack of sewing well with a thimble, and I'm trying to sew through four thicknesses of fabric, the wrong end of the needle ends up in the pad of my middle finger several times.

And finally the boys are persuaded to come down the garden and help rake up the last of the pine-cones, and the drifts of fallen apples, While they're doing that, I mooch round to find that our antediluvian Bramley apple tree, which we think has been going to die for the last five years, and has almost vanished under brambles and mistletoe and nettles, has produced a miraculously blemish-free crop and I fill a big tub with bug-free bruise-less fruit. And there's even a few decent brambles.

With the spectre of "pink pie" (apple and blackberry) dancing before my eyes, I climb some way up one of the fallen boughs of the tree to get at some tempting brambles (the size of golf-balls tbey were, I swear ....) And of course the branch I'm holding on to to steady myself is rotten, and when it cracks, I lurch forward into a patch of nettles. And I'm wearing a short-sleeved shirt. Ouch! It didn't hurt at the time but four hours later my forearms are still swollen and blotchy and stinging like billy-o.

But the brambles are fine, and Mr M and I made juice out of the sound-ish fruit from the other trees. You have to drink it within hours, and it's pretty tart, but it tastes and smells wonderful.

If you're still there, fawsley my dear, hope the packing went well and bon voyage and let's hope the island ferry-men have sorted things out before you get up there.

Current Mood: busy
Friday, August 17th, 2007
11:33 pm
You're going to watch who play football?
The great day has finally come, and me and my friend Beth are going to see Watford play at home tomorrow afternoon. To be more exact, we're going to watch Watford play the Blades. And to be honest, the football won't be uppermost in our minds. What either of us know about The Beautiful Game could be written on the back of a stamp, but we could both bore for England on the subject of Sean Bean.

Beth happens to live close enough to the Watford ground that the club offer people in her road advance tickets at a discount for home matches to make up for the fact that the streets round about the stadium get gridlocked with traffic on match day. Except that we wanted to sit in the away supporters end, so we had to wait until tickets were available through the Sheffield United website, and Beth had to phone up and persuade the nice Yorkshire lady on the other end of the telephone that despite having a central Watford postcode she was a genuine Blades supporter and so was I. At least I can still pour myself into a University of Sheffield sweatshirt which is the nearest I am likely to get to wearing football kit.

It's been a tough week, too much work and too little time to do it in. And this very weekend Mr M is going to start and decorate my study from the bare boards up, so I have to find a temporary home for several dozen teddy bears and 4 or 5 hundred books and a ton weight of paperwork, and I won't have access to the PC for more than a week so will be thoroughly smut-deficient by next weekend. But it will be blissful to have a study that isn't dirty pink and with a carpet that doesn't pong of elderly cat .....

Will try and post a match report before Mr M unhooks the PC late tomorrow afternoon!

Current Mood: exhausted
Thursday, August 2nd, 2007
10:21 pm
And miles to go before I sleep
What is it with me and LJ cuts? I seem to be able to manage other basic stuff fine, but throw a LJ cut into the mix and it all goes pear-shaped.

It took me the best part of two hours to get that last entry the way I wanted it. What I was doing wrong on all the unsuccessful efforts I don't know, and if any of you saw the scrambled version(s) up there in the moments I stared at them unbelievingly before snatching the text back for yet another edit, I'm sorry.

My second promise for tonight is to repay fawsley twice over.

First for kindly pimping the Halbarad story in another place.

And second, as promised for the PIF exchange -

I will send a gift of some kind to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet, but I promise you will receive it within 365 days. The only thing you have to do in return is "pay it forward" by making a similar agreement in your journal. The "gift" you send doesn't have to be handmade or even concrete. It can be absolutely anything.

Now to post before I make a mess of things.
9:38 pm
I have promises to keep ....
.... one of which is, I will learn to use LJ properly, so I don't grind my teeth so much or use such rude words.

I said I'd start and put all my stuff on LJ, not that there's that much of it, but it might as well all be in the same place.

This was my first ever "published" piece, written for a "Random Pairing" challenge on LOM, about two years ago now, I think.

And Halbarad with the standard

Dedicated: with affectionate thanks, but some misgivings (because it’s hardly a match for “Morning in Minas Tirith”) to fawsley
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine but those of the late Professor Tolkien, in whose debt we all stand.
Warning: character death 

Was it supposed to end like this? Was it? 

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
10:10 pm
Pages from the Little Black Book
I've threatened this for a while, but I've just read something that reminded me of what hooked me into the world of fan fiction not much more than two years ago.

It's not the first piece I ever read, which was a piece of cheerfully gratuitous smut I found entirely by accident when searching for some obscure information online about a Thomas Hardy novel called "A Pair of Blue Eyes". (I swear that's absolutely true - Mr Marshy and I were still sharing a PC at the time, and I had to go through hoops to make sure he never found out what I was reading.)

The first time I ever went actually searching for LOTR fiction I found this story at the top of the "recent additions" section of a Legolas fan page - it isn't there any more, but the story has survived in other places.

The author is an American woman who writes under the name of Lamiel, and the story is called This present darkness. Warning - it's very, very long, and it's not finished yet. And it's not slash, as such, and is seriously canon-friendly. But if, like me, you howled at the end of LOTR not just because Frodo and all were off into the West, but because you wanted to know what might have happened to the characters who went on living, especially in Gondor - give this story a try.

It's set in the very early years of the Fourth Age, in and around Minas Tirith. Aragorn has started behaving rather strangely, so much so that when Arwen realised she is pregnant at last, she doesn't tell Aragorn, but waits to speak to Legolas who is due on a visit to MT with Gimli. Raggy has been sneaking looks at the palantir and steadily becomes convinced that there is a Haradrim army about to invade, MT is full of spies, and that They are All Out To Get Him. (All, including his best friends, his steward and his wife and her brother and his wife. And Uncle Imrahil too.)

Go and read. Be patient - some parts are slower-moving than others, and it takes a few chapters to get going, but the writing is superb. I have wept. And yelled, and at one point, after reading a chapter late at night PM'd the author in desperation because I was utterly convinced she was about to kill someone off. And please don't reject the story because of the het elements - yes, they are important, but they're not necessarily the most important. As the author herself says, it's a story about power and what the use and abuse of that can do.

Some of you may well reply here and say you've tried it and gave up, but if one person reads it and loves it I'll be happy.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2057806/1/ is the addy.

Current Mood: anxious
Monday, June 18th, 2007
7:53 pm
Is it me? Or has nobody else read this?
It always takes me well into the week to read the Saturday papers.

Yesterday afternoon I was idly leafing through the "body & soul" section of the Times from Saturday, not really taking much notice, in fact I threw the paper on top of the recycling pile. And about 90 seconds later, the penny dropped and I snatched the paper back.

It's just a few lines, at the bottom of a sidebar on page 3, a column headed "Well, well ... " and here it is entire -

"At the end of the day, I'd have a few beers, play some music and smash up my hotel room."

Sean Bean, on what happens when he completes a day filming a murder movie.

Have I missed the rest of this interview? Did he confess to other anti-social habits? Have I not read for a long time a better piece of bunny fodder?

I can't believe that nobody's put this up on any of the Bean sites yet, so I'm beginning to presume that it's really rather old news and I am seriously missing something. Anybody out there care to put me out of my misery?

Current Mood: busy
Sunday, May 13th, 2007
5:02 pm
Black crepe time .....
West Ham did beat Manchester United 1 - 0.

And Sheffield United lost to Wigan (even tho' Wigan had a man sent off) not 1 - 0 but 2 - 1, so the Blades are relegated to the Championship after only one season along with Charlton and Watford.

Somebody is not going to be a Happy Bunny.

I'm not too pleased myself. I have to cough up £10 in front of a bunch of grinning Arsenal and West Ham supporters from our support staff as I bet them that West Ham would be relegated and the Blades would stay up .....

And I now have to, before I can hit the sack tonight,
1. prepare, cook, and serve a roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings and clear up afterwards.
2. wash, dry, and iron school uniform and socks and whatnot for tomorrow
3. clear away the stuff we acquired from the jumble sale yesterday (the hall is almost entirely blocked with balls of wool and crates of second-hand books.
4. empty all the bins and put the recycling out as the dustbin-men come round at an unearthly hour ...

To think that I wonder, sometimes, what happened to my ambition and imagination ....

Current Mood: cranky
2:35 pm
Football bulletin
It's a very wet Sunday over most of England - well, it's p*ssing down here on the NW edge of London and according to the radio 10 minutes ago it was doing the same in South Yorkshire, more precisely at Bramall Lane.

The Blades are playing Wigan, at home, at The Lane, 3 pm kick-off. If they win, or even just draw, they stay up in the Premiership - they need just the one point. BUT if Wigan lose, Wigan are relegated, so it's not going to be a pretty game. If the Blades lost by just the one goal, they could still just stay up - if West Ham (also in danger of relegation) win. problem is, they're playing away. To the new Premiership Champions, Manchester United ...

Anyone know whether Himself is definitely there? I have this vision of him in a quiet corner of the directors' lounge, gnawing his fingernails and smoking too much.

The game is on BBC Radio 5 Live - available online through the bbc.co.uk website. ANd I'm not going to be able to listen to it, 'cos Mr Marshy is rather poorly and he can't be doing with the racket of broadcast football commentary at present. Will sneak up to the PC now and then to check the score on screen ....

Final score as soon as I find it/them out.

Current Mood: tired
Friday, April 13th, 2007
1:30 pm
Comes crawling back ....
I promised to post this first thing this morning, and mid-lunch time isn't that by a long streak. Poached from fawsley - to whom thanks for the touching reply which she has already posted to my comments.

Comment and I'll--

1 - Tell you why I friended you.
2 - Associate you with something. A fandom, a song, a colour, a piece of fruit. SOMETHING.
3 - Tell you something I like about you.
4 - Tell you a memory I have of you.
5 - Associate you with a character/pairing.
6 - Ask something I've always wanted to know about you. (Or else I'll just ask a random question. I reserve that right.)
7 - Tell you my favorite user pic of yours.
8 - In return, you must spread this disease in your LJ.


If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't speak often, please post a comment with a memory of you and me. It can be anything you want -- good or bad. When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified!) about what people remember about you.

I know I'm not the most faithful of LJ posters, but I lurk quietly on the edges more than you might realise. And I read voraciously and very very quickly so if I were picky about which pairings or genres I read, I'd have run out of fanfic a long time ago. Tho' I hereby confess that I could, by and large, live without hobbit stories, even though one of the funniest stories I ever read was a Merry/Pippin. And before I get one person mixed up with another, you should know that Mr Marshy says that for me to truly remember somebody's name they either have to be in a book or safely dead for at least 100 years.

Current Mood: busy
Friday, January 19th, 2007
10:13 pm
Quiet celebrations ...
I was smirking away to myself and Mr Marshy asked what I was looking so pleased about. Hadn't got the nerve to tell him that it was The Sacred Arse scoring a runaway victory in the Hello Poll as he would have been quietly scornful.

And to improve the evening yet further we watched Sharpe's Sword, one of my favourites, not the least because apart from seeing Sharpe shirtless and sweaty, the poor treacherous Captain Lord Spears and the villainous French Colonel are not bad to look at either. It's the form-fitting breeches, I think.

And there is of course that wonderful line where the gallant Major Sharpe turns to Lass after she's nursed him and says "You've saved my life - however can I thank you?"

Answers on a postcard, please ...

And another thing I've always been curious about. Do they or don't they? Yes, I know Sharpe's just recovered from a bone-deep sword cut to the shoulder and a festering bullet-wound in the belly, but since when did that stop him? Remember the night on the hillside with the Marquesa? It was ankle-deep in snow and Sharpe had a bullet-wound in the leg ...

Current Mood: content
Thursday, December 28th, 2006
8:52 pm
Better late than never ....
I really don't know what happened to December.

Every year - for 20 years at least, since I came to live in the big bad city - I've sworn that this year, I'd be ready for Christmas in good time, so I could enjoy it. It's not as if I haven't got a built-in reminder, with my birthday being on December 2nd. By the time I'd recovered from the excesses of the weekend in Paris, I'd missed the last posting dates for the USA, the last posting dates for the UK were hoving into view and I hadn't bought a single gift for my family.

Oh well. Mr Marshy's Christmas present was ready just in time - a vintage gentleman's dressing case in beautiful tan leather, with all its original contents. I just needed to renew things like the toothbrush and soap and razor blades and replace the nail scissors, easy enough (except that everything is bigger than it was fifty odd years ago). But the zip had broken beyond repair and the leather shop took forever to find a replacement. They didn't do the neatest job in the world, but it still ended up looking pretty spiffy and Mr M was delighted.

Christmas itself was nice and quiet. My wandering brother-in-law decided to come back home in November so the traditional lunch at Mr Marshy's sister's in Gloucestershire was splendid - he's a fantastic cook. And on Boxing Day we had a lovely walk along the Thames and lunch in a pub, all seven of us.

Back at work today, blissfully quiet in there - there were only 2 curators in, out of 14 - so got a lot of tidying-up done. Must be a reward for surviving the ritual Christmas visit from Mr Marshy's father and stepmother yesterday. Even Mr M, who's a lifelong teetotaller, felt like a stiff drink afterwards. My father-in-law's health is precarious - he's 81, his eyesight is very poor, and he can't walk very steadily. Stepmama-in-law is amazingly chipper for 83, except that she's very deaf and doesn't like admitting it. She still drives, and drives too fast - has just collected her second speeding ticket in a fairly short time. One more ticket and she is dicing with losing her licence for a year. And as they live some distance from us, and miles from usable public transport, this would be a huge problem. Mr M is worried and so's his sister, but at present there's not a great deal either of them can do.

New Year coming up very rapidly, but I'm not going to make over-optimistic resolutions that I don't keep and then get depressed when I find the abandoned list at Easter. If I do make a resolution, it's going to be that I'm going to be more careful about keeping promises. So I will spill the beans about what happened at the quiz tournament in Paris, and I've found the notes I made for the favourite things beginning with "P" (I hadn't forgotten, my dear fawsley) - they got filed with the question papers from the quizzes in Paris). And I will cultivate my bunnies and finish the four stories which have been plaguing my dreams for months and months now ...

Current Mood: busy
Friday, December 1st, 2006
6:48 am
I woke up this morning ...
Off to Paris today with my friend Beth for the European Quizzing Championships. It's 6.30 am, I've had less than 5 hours sleep and I haven't packed yet, but what the hell?

I survived the school Christmas Fair and the Scouts' quiz night last weekend. On Wednesday I had a hot and sweaty hour with a film crew and a manuscript in a small room at my place of work - more about this later. Then just as I was about to head home the fire alarms went off. AS you can imagine , in a library this is a particularly big deal, and we all ended up freezing our asses off in the piazza for over an hout while the fire brigade sorted things out.

On Thursday morning I had to call out the emergency plumber as our upstairs loo decided to overflow ... (that was as nice as you can imagine!) The net result of the cold of Wednesday and the heaving buckets of water about of Thursday was a sudden return of my old problem - no, not hereditary lunacy, but sciatica.

Did I do something sensible? Did I nelly - I went and sang "Elijah" at the Cadogan Hall in central London, limping and generally walking like an arthritic pirate captain of the old school. It was a very good performance, with a first-rate young soloist as the Elijah. News of the reviews if we get any - the broadsheets are very sniffy about reviewing performances by amateur choirs.

And now Paris, with a documentary film crew in tow. I promise to post when the film is going to be shown, however it turns out. I have no great expectations of how I'm going to do in the quiz competitions - as long as I do as well as I did in last year's competition I don't mind. No pressure, of course, except that I'm in one of the England teams in the team competition and am seeded with Beth in the pairs. Which is on my birthday - tomorrow - so I have to stay sober!

Wish me luck, folks! Back Monday, God willing.

Current Mood: chipper
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