In need of a redesign since 2011.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Eight things

Well well well, three holes in the ground. Looks like I've been tagged by the lovely Lacey! And like a moth to a flame, or a fat kid to junk food, I'm drawn to a good meme even though I know they're not good for me.

I'm supposed to write seven things I like, then tag seven people. Sounds simple enough, but I think I'll try for the more... unusual... likes. Everybody likes chocolate; I want (as always!) to be a bit different.

1) I like lying on the floor. Or sitting on the floor. I feel more comfortable, more confident, and more like I've chosen my own place to be. Lying on my back staring at the ceiling has the added side-effect of making me giggle uncontrollably for absolutely no reason. Peculiar, maybe, but a good laugh is always enjoyable! So, yes. Being on the floor.

2) I like thinking about ambitious interior design projects that never come to fruition. From the bedslide that I wanted when I was ten, to the canvas wall hangings that would look like doors and windows into other worlds, I've always had a 'dream room' in mind. I still think the wall hangings would be ace, actually.

3) I like my brother. My best friend growing up was always baffled by this; she had one big sister and they fought all the time, but my brother has always been one of my best friends. We have a similar sense of humour, and as this source of all wisdom says, "Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew you when you were young."

4) I like poetry! I like poetry so much! I enjoy the visceral feel of Salome by Carol Ann Duffy; the macabre tone of Poe's Raven; the earthy vocal poetry of Scroobius Pip, and the mellow introspection of Wordsworth. For some reason, poetry is the art form that resonates with me the most. One of my (very few) ambitions is to get some of my own published.

5) I like my bears. I have three: Strangler (so called because he is golden brown), Thomas, and a little white bear called Susan(I don't have any photos of Susan online. She's white, holds three red roses, and you can record and play messages by squeezing her paws). They are adorable. I put Strangler's heart in myself, at the Bear Factory, so he's very special. Thomas is very special because he's Gavin's as well, and Susan is special because I met her in a charity shop and took her home to Gav. I love my bears.

6) I like my post-shower routine. I take long showers, about half an hour usually, but that's nothing to what I'm like afterwards. It's a constant source of frustration to Gav that I like to set aside an entire evening to shave, moisturise, cleanse, tone, pluck and buff the appropriate areas. It is a lot of unnecessary hassle, but there's something very soothing about taking a bit of time to care for my appearance.

7) I like me. Not every day, but enough. I'm ok.

I won't nominate anyone, not this time, but feel free to write your own. Drop me a link in the comments if you do, I'd love to see what you write!
Oh and lest I forget, the Interesting Thing of the Day is the legendary HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure! After all, it was apparently Towel Day today. Rock on. Now, just to warn you, this game is damn near impossible. Only play it if you have a healthy disregard for such concepts as 'sanity,' 'savepoints' and 'free time.'

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Lost girls

They are not bad children, the ones who go missing. Red Riding Hood, for example, was raised as well as most (and a great deal better than some.) She merely fell prey, as so many do, to the irresistable lure of the woods.

How many have been tempted astray by a wandering moonbeam? A white rabbit? The brightest flowers (always, somehow, just a little further off)?

The stars distract me. My feet to stray from the path, beaten by the feet of a thousand men; the only sure way home. My eyes turned skywards, I mindlessly walk into shadow so deep that I never

Persephone, Alice, and me - we three
Went down to the forest to play.
Seph gave a shiver and ran to the river,
Just Alice and me got away.

Myself and Alice well knew, we two,
It's bad to stay out on your own.
We stayed close together 'til she chased a feather
And left me out there on my own.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

FAO Wil Wheaton

Wil's just written a blog post that I am somehow unable to comment on, so I'm writing my response here. I'll try to draw it to his attention - maybe wrap it around a bouncy ball and throw it down his chimney - but the likelihood is he won't read it. Never mind eh!

See, all this kerfuffle is about this video saying it's ok to be a geek. That you don't have to play D+D to be passionate about tech things. Wil feels that this casts 'traditional' geeks, like himself, in a derogatroy light.

Wil, I think I speak for all of me when I say: WAT.

I can't tell you anything about Slackware and Debian, am I not a geek? Or have I accrued enough Geek Points in other areas to be grudgingly permitted to associate with those like you?

"It's like a slap in the face to be associated with these people who claim to be like me." I know it's not what you intended, but that looks like dickery from here. It looks like an elitist jab at people who are trying to redefine what was once an insult. You've embraced the stereotype, they're challenging it. Does that make them wrong? Just how separatist do you have to get about a label that can't even be defined?

I agree with Wyldfire42. However much it might irk you to be lumped in with celebrities, geek isn't binary - it's a spectrum.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Beatboxing! Yes, again.

How have I never seen this before? Huge thanks to Innocent Loverboy for this one!

Nathan "Flutebox" Lee is probably the best, and most certainly the best-known, at what he does.
And as for Beardyman, he's undoubtedly the most entertaining beatboxer in Britain! There's a reason he was the UK champ two years running, know what I mean?

Both performers became 'internet famous' through their YouTube videos. Odds are you've already seen this one, but I'm sure you won't mind seeing it again!

This is my first beatbox-related video in a while, but feel free to click the relevant tag at the bottom and see my history here. It's a colourful one that involves sleeping with (in the same room as) seven strangers, finding true love, and throwing up on a vicar. Just so you know.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Nostalgia: the Bandstand

Well, I've been wanting to write this post for ages, but I really wanted to take my time with it. This post is about something very precious and important to me.

The church I went to growing up was boring. Dull, dull, dull. Don't get me wrong: I love it very much, and it will always feel like my home, but it was just impossible to get excited about singing those dirges from the 19th century. It was geared towards the older people, which made sense as there were loads of them, but for the kids... well, it failed to thrill us.

Which was why the Bandstand was so special.

That's what it was called, the Bandstand. It felt like a separate world. It happened in the summer, late on a Sunday night, and it was like nothing else I've ever experienced...

(I'm speaking, of course, with the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia perched on my nose. That's often how it goes with things that end before you grow up. I'm almost glad it did; doubtless it would never have been the same if I'd gone there as a teenager, sulking and scowling my way through the hymns...)

This is how it would happen: our mother, not wanting us to get tired while we were there, would insist that we take a nap beforehand. Let me tell you, never in my life was it harder to sleep than on a beautiful summer day before the Bandstand. Mum would close the heavy yellowy-gold curtains of our bedroom, and there in the yellow-gold light, we'd try (and often fail) to sleep.

Then we'd go to a little park in a little town on a little island. The birds in the aviary would chirp and sing as we passed, walking towards the river. Bright lights would illuminate the stepping stones, the beautiful plants, and the magical, elusive little fish that flitted through the water.

Most of my siblings fell in that river at one point! when it was my turn, it was a consequence of a selfless act... one of about three I committed before the age of 12. Maybe that's why I remember it. My brother was sailing a little leaf-boat past the stepping stones, reaching out to catch it as it floated past, until (inevitably) he let it go beyond the reach of his little boy arms. So, me being on Big Sister duty, I stretched to catch it... and fell in. The lights made everything so strange and beautiful, and I swear that in that half a second I saw the bright orange fishes swimming around me.

Stepping stones

We weren't allowed to stay on the stepping stones, or to climb the trees, or to play in the park for long, though. Because over by the bandstand structure itself, in front of a little raised and covered platform near the trees, a tiny congregation would gather in the fading light as the night grew colder, singing from a little booklet of hymns. A friendly man with a goatee played the keyboard from the platform, playing the songs that we rarely sang outside of this one special occasion. I often wondered how the people who were so stiff and formal in a building on Sunday mornings, could be so at peace in the breathtaking wonder of nature?


Three or four minutes away from those harmonies that rose above the enthusiastic midges, was a playpark - a magical place for us kids. We'd go there every time, pretend the roundabout was taking us to places that only existed in our imaginations. And the swings! When you got them high enough, right at the top of the arc, you could see over the hedge to the edge of the world, where the sun set over neverending ocean, and nothing else. Just sea and sky. For those brief seconds, I could rise above all the world and be so completely free.

Even if there was never a God, that would be enough.

I know these songs will mean nothing to you, but to me, they mean so much. If you want to hear them, and you've got Spotify - I've only managed to remember / track down these three - click this link:

This is a really long shot, but there was one song I remember the most. It was the one people would always be so eager to sing, another song that was unique to that time and that place - so much so that it's not online. Not anywhere. I've written what I remember of the lyrics below... if you can tell me anything about it, I'd be so grateful!

It's a new life, oh how He changed me
A new life, He rearranged me,
A new life, richer and fuller,
It's a wonderful, wonderful life!

Gone is the old life and gone are its chains,
Gone are the wrinkles and gone are the stains,
Gone is the darkness and gone is the night,
I have found Jesus, the truth and the life...

I went back once, years ago, and took these pictures. So although it wasn't the same - how could it be? - I at least have these reminders.