Jul. 14th, 2017 12:14 am
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She stared at the pieces of paper in front of her and sighed. One had six locations written on it, seemingly random points around the globe, another set had names scrawled on them each one accompanied by a bullet point or two of ‘problems’.
The shop was quiet this evening, the staff were all gone for the night and John had returned to the Labyrinth almost as soon as they left the Efreeti, she sat alone at one of the tables next to the coffee counter, eschewing the house brews for a bottle of Merlot - now nearly empty.
“You see David,” She leaned back and conversed with the air, trying to order her thoughts. “All of our other choices have issues of one sort or another. All but one anyway. Most of them have inconvenient connections, and you seemed to understand why that was a problem. And then you come to us, asking intelligent questions, realising without the melodrama why we can’t just hand this level of potential power out to anyone. I like you, I do, but there is an old saying about those who want power being the least suited to wielding it.”

Jane reached for her glass, finding it lower than she expected. She frowned, being found here in the morning would not help anything. “I like you. And if I’m honest, it’s a shitty job. The immortality is a perk, I guess, so long as you can handle making friendships and watching them die seventy years or so down the line. Or watching the occasional war come and go. The pay is lousy, although you build up a fair amount of savings over a few thousand years. The bosses are worse and don’t even ask about HR.” She glared into the middle distance, out of the window and upwards, her thoughts far from charitable about the Powers that Be, Angels, or any other entity that had poked its nose into her long existence on this earth.

“It’s not the worst thing.” She continued to the imaginary version of Bloom. “Your being on our list I mean. Or rather there are worse lists to be on. You are not deemed a threat to the Balance, nor are you so ineffectual that the world will not notice if you live or die. You are, for better or worse, a relatively responsible adult. Look at the four of us, surely you can see that it would be a useful thing to have once in a while. Of course, unlike us, you have a choice. We cannot force the job on you and someone who is truly unwilling to take up the mantle would be almost as bad as someone who wanted it too much.”

A crystal somewhere in the back of the shop began to glow gently, signifying power being focused in the area. Jane finished her wine, tipped the remainder of the bottle into her glass and swept the remains of her list into the bin. She gestured at the crystal and it went out, it was a summons, something required all of them. Shame phones didn’t work in the Labyrinth...She dialled Bloom’s number from memory. “David, it’s Jane. Business has called both of us away from the shop for a while. If you still want to have a look at the archives, talk to Connor, he knows his way around there well enough by now.”
Message left, she grabbed a bag from behind the counter and left the shop, locking the doors with a snap of her fingers even as she dialled a taxi to the airport.


May. 17th, 2017 11:16 pm
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Prompt from Emma. It's a very short piece so I'll probably revisit the prompt at some point in the future.

teaspoons )
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To be honest, I think Shampoo summed me up pretty well on this score:
"I don't wanna be a boy, I wanna be a girl
I wanna do things that'll make ya hair curl
I wanna play with knives, I wanna play with guns
I wanna smash the place up just for fun!"

Even in my most stroppy childhood rants, I don't remember wanting to be a boy, just to be able to do the things that boys did. Playing at Robin Hood with the kids who lived near me and proudly coming home with a bow and arrow from my latest castle visits. Apparently that meant I couldn't be Maid Marion because she wasn't allowed to rescue herself. Not needing to be rescued was just fine by me, not being allowed to be who I wanted to be, that was a problem.
My role models were Jo March, Enid Blyton's girls, George, Daryl, Pat and Isabel. Rowanne, determined to become the first female knight, the Marion from Robin of Sherwood or from Maid Marion and her Merry Men. Nancy and the rest of the girls from Swallows and Amazons. They did not sit around waiting to be rescued, they went out, got themselves into scrapes and pulled themselves out of them just as easily - often rescuing their male counterparts along the way.

I don't remember WHEN I first started defining as a feminist but I can never remember a time when I didn't think girls could do everything boys could (usually better, I was a bit militant at that age).

Maybe that's part of the reason that what is between someone's legs doesn't interest me anywhere near as much as what is between their ears. I'm the same with the language of the scene. Dom is dom, whether that person identifies as male or female. Why does it need to be defined with extra letters when you could just get to know the person and figure out who they are? Dominus/Domina is different, that's a grammatical thing not a pseudo french addition to mark an unnecessary difference.

I am perfectly happy being female (although I could do without the physical design flaws), but my definition of female doesn't seem to match up with the generic one that society shoves down our throat. If you wear a dress and want male pronouns, awesome - I might be jealous if you have better legs than me, but that's the extent of my commentary. Girls in suits - Louise Brooks and Annie Lennox are two of my biggest celebrity crushes. Androgyny is a beautiful thing. Tell me which pronouns you prefer, prod me if I screw it up occasionally and tell me where you got those amazing boots/tights/corsets/lipsticks/cuff links from.

Just do me one favour in return? Extend the same courtesy. Don't make assumptions about me based on a bunch of self imposed labels. I still have my prettiest dresses hanging up next to my favourite tree climbing jeans (or would if I could still climb trees).
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Dear Diary,

The owl says his name is Hadi, that seems like a very odd name for an owl, even a blue one. Blue, I still find it difficult to believe, he says it is his natural colour though. I asked him why he stopped being a little man and he just blinked at me, it almost seemed as if he failed to understand what I had said. Oh wait, I should explain how I know his name, he told me, he actually spoke. Diary, I very nearly said something Quite Shocking. Let me think, what were his exact words? "Greetings Mistress, I come at your call. My name is Hadi and I am your familiar." Something like that, except that he said something Foreign before all that. I did not recognise the language but it sounded a bit like one of the cats when they have a hair ball in their throat.

I am writing this very quickly while Hadi is sitting with his eyes closed, he says that he is communing with someone but I cannot be certain that he is not trying to sleep. He is an owl and it is day time afterall. One good thing, at least I think it is, he assures me that I performed the spell correctly and that the materials sent were of the highest quality. He seems to be of the opinion that the course I took is Quite Splendid. I wonder if that is who he is communing with, perhaps he is more of a teacher than a familiar. Perhaps I impressed them.

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Dear Diary,

Well. That did not go exactly as I had envisioned. I performed the spell just as instructed with all the proper ingredients (I am glad that they all came with the certification, I would never know where to go about buying the sap from an Ash tree or the blood of an Atlas Moth, I don't imagine that such things can be purchaced in one's local apothecary!) and it seemed to be going quite well.

As I mentioned earlier, I gave Some Thought to the process before begining, trying to envision what a Guide of this kind might look like. Eventually my mind settled on the image of a great wise owl, the sort of bird who might have sat on the shoulder of Athena and shared wisdom with her. Grey feathers and, large, unblinking yellow eyes, talons that would look wicked enough to scare away any mystical threat but would never come close to drawing blood when it settled to perch on my arm (of course it would be light enough to perch on my arm without requiring any sort of exertion on my part - it is a bird afterall and they weigh practically nothing).

Well. When I made the last gesture and spoke the last word I thought something must have gone terribly wrong. There had been a delicate cloud of blue mist forming which I been warned about. I thought I could hear some faint tinkling in the background as well, the instructions did say that I might be opened to the Music of the Spheres, so that was alright. But then there was an almighty crash and a thud and the smoke became terribly thick. It was almost like being in London in the early morning when all the factories are getting going and belching out smoke, except that someone had dyed everything a vivid cobalt blue. It made me cough in a most unlady like fashion.

There seemed to be someone else coughing as well. At first I was in a complete terror in case mother had come up to see what I was doing, then I realised that I was being foolish and it would only be old Meggie if it was anyone. I must have been in quite a fluster because it took me a full half minute to realise that I was standing with my back to the door and that I would know if anyone had come in. Anyway, by that time the mist had cleared enough that I could see a little creature in the midst of it all. It looked almost like a man, or at least, something out of one of Mr Andersen's tales of little people. When it saw me it jumped and said something which I am quite sure cannot have been in English; there was a pop and a whooshing noise and suddenly this little man was replaced by an owl.

Oh Diary, it wasn't the great, noble and diginfied beast I had imagined, it was no taller than the length of my forearm and it was quite, quite blue! Yes, Blue. The same colour as all that dratted mist to be precise (mother says that a young lady should always try to be precise about the important things). I Do Not mind telling you, I thought I was going to have to go and find my thesaurus so that I did not start using words that Young Ladies Should Not Use.

I tried to be stoic about the entire situation (Father says that Stoicism is a trait Sadly Lacking in the Youth of today) but when the silly little creature just sat there blinking at me and being blue, well, it was almost more than I could bear.

I must go now Diary, perhaps if I read the instructions again I can find out what I did wrong. It is my fervent hope that I will have enough ingredients to try again. Oh dear, that pathetic little owl is watching me. I wonder why it stopped being a little man. I shall ask it and see if I can tell you more. Perhaps the ingredients were faulty, if that is so I shall write Very Strongly to the suppliers (I never quite understood how one could write strongly, do you have to press very hard with the pen and does this not damage the nib?).

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Dear Diary,

You will remember of course (although I can't find the reference just now, it must be in an older volume), that I said I was taking a correspondance course last year, in magic. Well, what do you think, this morning I received a message telling me that there was a package for me at the post office. It seems I passed successfully and now have my full certification. The package contained a certificate and a box of materials for summoning my guide. I shall be certain to tell you what happens when I do so but I feel that it is something that needs to be thought about Quite A Lot before embarkation.



Dec. 10th, 2008 04:15 pm
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I finally got the overall result for my OU course today and it has led to much squeeing.

Clicky! )
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Adopt one today!

My egg hatched!!
Ok so I am possibly overly excited by this but it makes me happy and anything that does so is good in my book.

Adopt one today! This one should hatch in the next 24 hours or so as well, probably while I'm in Wales.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
These two aren't looking so healthy :(
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Adopt one today!

I have an egg, with enough clicks it may hatch into a dragon. Please click on it!

Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!

And some more...someone had stolen these poor eggs then abandoned them...people are mean!
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Is back from the maelstrom, is tired, achey and slightly sunburned. Was ok event but still the worst I can call to mind in recent history. Boring and seemed very ill planned on the part of the hosts, was expecting more.
Too much heat led to mild case of heat stroke on my part but was certainly better than the weather at easter. More when I have had a bath, eaten and my diclofenac have kicked in properly.
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For the writers on my F-list:

Shameless pimping of someone else's site...

...What? You're still here? Go look at the link already!
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I will happily confess that I am usually one of the first to roll my eyes and start into a history lesson when "The Burning Times" are brought up. That doesn't mean that it doesn't sicken me and this is proof once again that the world hasn't changed so much.
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...could be expected to come up with something like this!
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Because, having seen the film, I couldn't resist:

For the sake of people's load times: )
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I am officially unimpressed. The local council election results have been posted and our area is one of two in which the fucking BNP candidate won. What is more it won by quite a big margin. Unfortunately it does reflect the general atmosphere of the area but it doesn't make me any happier about one of those...individuals having any say in the world, let alone where it might affect me.
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Second essay came back today, you remember the one I was stressing about because it was harder than I expected, had a stupidly small word limit and the attached exercises were idiotic? I got another B, a far healthier B! 81% total, that's 4% off being an A...I am win!

On the subject of that stupid question (original ranting on which can be found here) I did get it wrong, it was the only one I got wrong in that section and apparently most people had problems with it. That would be because most people a) understand proper grammar and b) have some experience with maths. Their arguement is that because in one year the statement is not true then the answer should be false. This utterly ignores the fact that an average of the figures over the entire period shows it to be true.

Incidentally the wording is also slightly different between the question sheet that we were given and the answer paper that is sent out when they return the work. The second version reads:

"From 1986 to 1995, there were more than twice as many children in statutory as in voluntary homes."

I still would have given the same answer and thus got it wrong (ffs in 1995 it was 15 short of being twice as many whereas in every other year shown there were significantly more than twice as many!) but it would have been nice for us to get the varient of the question that made sense!!

Ok, rant over now as we're going to head out and attempt to get celebratory food, or at least some sort of food.

Cat food

Apr. 21st, 2008 11:22 pm
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Something to be aware of if you have cats who are fed on dry food:

I should probably warn you that the article is a little distressing as well.


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