ladyofastolat: (scribe)
Several recent discussions have touched on the role of the novel Daughter of Time in creating lifelong Richard III enthusiasts. It's set me musing on fiction's ability to spark off enthusiasms that in some cases must surely result in career choices and academic specialisms. I don't think my life has been changed by fiction, although I've definitely chosen holiday destinations and short-term hobbies as a result of fiction enthusiasms. However, I've been indulging in nostalgia about the choices I made when studying history at Oxford, and my often rather shallow reasons for those choices.

Musings about choices made in history study )


Oct. 22nd, 2012 06:33 pm
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I don't normally do memes, but I do like giving over-long, rambling answers to written questions, and displacement activity is always fun when the alternative is hoovering up cat fur.

That fifty questions meme passed on by various people. )


Jan. 28th, 2011 02:07 pm
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I don't normally do memes, but I've got the day off, and am displacing madly from some difficult sewing, so might as well launch into some over-long answers to some simple questions.

(But, talking of memes, what happened to all those "What flower are you?" "What historical madman are you?" "If you were part of a hippotomus, what part would you be?" type memes. A few years ago, barely a day went by without one appearing on my Friends list, but I've barely seen one for months, I think.)

Overlong answers to questions that you're supposed to answer succintly )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I've been thinking about those unexpected likes - those books, films or pieces of music that are totally different from the sort of things you normally like, but which, somehow, you love.

Unexpected likes )

Anyone else want to offer some up?

Mind things

Oct. 6th, 2007 09:14 am
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Ah well... Since everyone else is doing it:

Mind meme, with added ramblings, and extra quizzes )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Bunn's not-a-meme post made me feel challenged to come up with 8 strange facts about myself, by hook or by crook, just to prove that I'm not a poorly-drawn background character in someone else's story. I suspect I am, though. I think I'm one of those minor characters whose entire personality is defined by a few quirks, over-played to comic effect. I'm the Morris dancing, fantasy-reading children's librarian, played by some second-rate character actor. (I wonder who.)

I found this very hard. I would be fairly easy if I was doing it as an ice-breaker at some library conference, since I could put things like "I do Morris dancing," but most things that occurred to me are things I've already mentioned on LJ, whether in my journal or in comments in other people's. Hmm… You can tell why I seldom post memes. I often intend to do the "50 questions" type of meme, but I always answer each question with a whole paragraph, so the whole thing takes too long.

A meme shorn of its meminess )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I don't often do memes, but I liked the challenge of trying to think of 10 things that were sufficiently quirky for this game.

Each player of this game starts off with 10 weird things/habits/little known facts about yourself. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 10 weird habits/things/little known facts as well as state this rule clearly. At the end you need to choose 10 people to be tagged and list their names. No tagbacks.

Answers )
ladyofastolat: (Bagpuss yawning)
Firstly, thanks to everyone who wished me happy birthday on Thursday. I wasn't being rude and ignoring you; I just wasn't here.

Reading too much )

Me, aged 9 )

No cakes! )

Old maps, and furtive smuggling of Armenian brandy )

Good food )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
From various people:

23 questions )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Might as well give this one a go...

26 questions )
ladyofastolat: (Happy Hocky)
This is my 250th post, and it's very almost been a year since I started on LJ.

Memories of LJ )

I was able to write all the above before my normal home time. I got all my files and office stuff taken up to my new workplace today, and spent the early afternoon arranging it around my new desk. Since the island has ground to a total halt because of people arriving for the Isle of Wight Festival (reports of 5 minute journeys taking 2 hours) I decided not to go back to my current workplace, but stay at my new, as-yet-computerless desk and catch up with some reading. It's a pleasant desk to work at, fortunately, and best of all, I was home at 5.03, having left at 5.

I am, though, wondering if Pellinor will ever get home, since I imagine the ferries are as packed as the roads.
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Yesterday's post probably made me seem like a goodie-goodie totally out of touch with popular culture. In a pathetic and doomed attempt to prove the opposite, here is my list of things that I have done, in common with "everybody" (or "everybody female", in a few cases.)

1. Drunk more than I should.
2. Stayed up all night.
3. Broken the law. (Okay, so sometimes breaching copyright law and occasionally exceeding the speed limit by a few miles an hour don't rank high in the league table of dastardly deeds, but I have to claim =points where I can.)
4. Watched Big Brother, Pop Idol, and soap operas (I watched Neighbours every day when I was a student.)
5. Lusted over clothes. (Long swirly skirts in rich colours, covered with embroidery. Velvet cloaks. Trousers with surprising designs on... *drools*)
6. Watched a film that I knew would be bad, with a plot that didn't appeal to me, just because the lead actor was pretty. (Though I wouldn't pay money to do so. Or not much. )
7. Bought women's magazines (mostly as a teenager.)
8. Gone to a pop festival. (We Morris-danced at one last year. Some of the crowd even liked us.)
9. Been thrown out a pub. (Because one of our group was quietly playing on a guitar, and such a thing was bound to disturb the traditional, quiet pub atmosphere, of loud fruit machines, big-screen football matches and 18 year old louts swearing. Stupid pub anyway, but it was the only one there.)

Nope. No more ideas. I guess the shortness of this list says it all. Oh well... I don't seriously think this is a symptom of boringness. I just wish the media wouldn't act as if it was.
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Prompted by a conversation at work, here are some things that I have not done, despite the fact that, apparently, "everyone" does them.

1. Watched a football match
2. Placed a bet on anything
3. Touched a cigarette. Literally.
4. Had the faintest idea of where to find drugs. (When I was at school, a policeman came to do a drugs talk, and he said, "every teenager in Cheltenham knows where to get drugs. They might not take them, but they know where to get them." I didn't.)
5. Looked upon shoe-shopping as anything other than a chore.
6. Dyed my hair. Curled my hair. Straightened my hair. Put spray or gel or mousse in my hair.
7. Bought designer label clothes. Been impressed by someone else's designer label clothes. Ever noticed or recognised designer label clothes.
8. Read "The Da Vinci Code". Watched "The Apprentice", or "Coronation Street" or anything with "Celebrity" in the title.
9. Sun-bathed
10. Dreamed of a kitchen
11. Gone to a night club
12. Pretended to be sick to get a day off work or school. (Though I have sometimes taken a day off when I was only slightly sick, and then felt guilty about it all day.)

I suspect this probably means that I am irredeemably boring.
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Sometimes it seems as if 90 percent of my conversation consists of quotes and references. Sometimes, I think this is a bad thing, because, really, I ought to be saying my own original things. Sometimes, though, I think it's good. I especially like it when I'm in company that has read the same books and watched the same films, and I can let my hair down, as it were, and do quotes and references... and actually have them understood. I have to spend most of time deliberately biting my tongue, because I know the references I want to say will not be understood.

On quotes )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I like [ profile] na_lon's idea of listing ten good things that come to mind today, so here goes. I'll put it behind a cut, though, since there's no way I'll be able to do this without my usual over-wordiness.

Ten good things )


Feb. 17th, 2006 08:28 am
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I was woken this morning by a cat landing heavily on my stomach. I proceeded to lie awake musing on language, inspired by talking to [ profile] bunn yesterday about animal intelligence, and by [ profile] evilmissbecky's post about the words and phrases we use.

Ramblings on language )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Cos everyone else is doing it...

New Year resolutions )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I'm duty manager today. This means that - unless the phone rings with news that a library is burning down - I get to spend a whole day at my desk with no interruptions, getting on with some serious work.

Alternatively, it means that I can spend the time doing this...

Interests meme )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Here is my magnum opus, that I wrote a couple of weeks ago, and have held off from posting, since it was Too Long, and too self-indulgent. Still, I might as well post it, so here it is.

I've never attempted to create a Top Ten list of my favourite books or films, because I find it impossible to judge between current favourites, and those were dear to me in the past. So I've decided instead to produce a list of Books That Have Made Me What I Am (whatever that is)

It's arranged more or less chronologically. Also, me being me, it is looong... so what you see here is the executive summary, with the self-indulgent memories in the cuts.

1. Swallows and Amazons series, by Arthur Ransome
Reason: My first ever major obsession. There would be many more
Read more... )

2. Children of the New Forest, by Captain Marryat
Reason: First historical novel. Started a love of history. Had me writing fan fiction, 15 years before I knew there was word for what I was doing, and that other people did it, too.
Read more... )

3. The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien
Reason: Well, you have to, don't you? The second of the Three Overwhelming Obsessions that I have had in my life. Started me on fantasy, on legends… and ultimately showed me that reading can be a sociable thing, not just a private matter.
Read more... )

4. Roger Lancelyn Green's retellings of myths and legends
Reason: Got me interested in legends, and in King Arthur. And King Arthur has led to many happy memories…
Read more... )

5. Waterland, by Graham Swift
Reason: Showed me that there was more to literature than nineteenth century historical novels and fantasy.
Read more... )

6. The Dark is Rising series, by Susan Cooper
Reason: Caused me to return to children's books, some ten years after I'd "grown out" of them. Directly led, therefore, to my choice of career.
Read more... )

7. The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynne Jones
Reason: Because I refuse to do any top ten list that doesn't include DWJ
Read more... )

8. The Stand, by Stephen King
Reason: Taught me not to be so snobby about popular books. Should have taught me not to start reading long-running fantasy series until they're finished, but I've spectacularly failed to learn that lesson.
Read more... )

9. The Farseer series, by Robin Hobb
Reason: Re-introduced me to adult fantasy novels, after years of reading nothing but children's books and X-Files fanfic.
Read more... )

10. A Song of Ice and Fire, by George RR Martin
Reason: Because I refuse to do any top ten list that doesn't include GRRM
Read more... )

So that's it, for now. I expect I'll suddenly remember things I've missed, and this 10 will grow to 11, or 12, or 13. I also intend to write a similar list for films, TV series, games etc. (one combined list for them all) but that's something for another day.


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