ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
It's all Bunn's fault, really. She posted a picture of a boat whose job is to service light-vessels, and the consequences were inevitable. Many Things I should have been doing for the last few hours, but instead I have been doing this. How could I not?

Servicing light-vessels )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
Musing about the search for the Holy Grail last night, I began to wonder if the introduction of certain aspects of modern technology would have made the whole quest easier or harder. The words are inspired by Malory. The content is... not.


At the feast of Pentecost, when all the fellowship of Camelot were comen unto Camelot, right so there entered into the hall a damosel clad in white samite. "Arthur," quoth the damosel, "thou and thy knights must search for the Holy Grail," and as she spoke, there came a light seven times brighter than day, and singing from the empty air.

And all the fellowship did jump unto their feet. "I will search for the Holy Grail!" they cried with great voice, but King Arthur sank his head into his hands and sat a little while apart. "Alas," he said, "for this will be the undoing of our fair fellowship."

Sir Gawain was the first to start upon his search. Many dangers did he face, but at length, after many trices, his speaking device was within his hand. "I will search for the Holy Grail," quoth Sir Gawain, "by the power of Android," and with his fingertips, he traced the words "holy grail," and searched for it.

Searching for the Holy Grail )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
We've been roleplaying all week. At one point, my character persuaded a notable NPC (formerly a brief stand-in PC) to doubt his life-long loyalty. This led very swiftly to his death. I promised that his name would live forever more. This is my promise kept.

The ballad of Gyula, or The Song of the Urdish Men )


Feb. 24th, 2016 09:23 am
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
So, [ profile] bunn wrote a collection of perfectly crafted, and very funny, micro stories about readers not leaving kudos on stories they had liked on AO3. Here it is. My attempt to leave kudos on it was temporarily thwarted by the fact that my computer had logged me out and forgotten my saved password, and it took me a while to get back in again. Rather a tiny, untraumatic adventure, granted, but it made me wonder what other adventures might be endured by readers who are determined to leave kudos, but find barriers in their way. I started by writing them in the comments on her LJ post, but my imagination wouldn't leave me alone, and kept coming up with more, each one more far-fetched and over-dramatic than the last. In the end, I decided that I needed to compile them into a single file and post them somewhere, just so I could tell my imagination that this whole enterprise was over now, and it should stop tormenting me with new ideas. In the interests of spreading the insanity, I post a link here.
ladyofastolat: (Winter is coming)
I wrote this on the ferry to Lymington last weekend, ready to sing in the pub to a crowd of Morris dancers. As such, it was written to a deadline, so it isn't very polished, but it's as polished as it's going to get. It was inspired by a series of solemn warnings in our staff newsletter, which had aimed for catchy Christmas-related headlines, but somehow... failed.

God help you, merry gentlemen... )
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
Here is the idea that will make me rich and famous! It came to me when the teapot we were given in the Ashmolean resulted in the usual spilling of tea all over the table. In my many years of having tea in tea rooms, museums, hotel breakfasts and the like, a non-drippy teapot has been a rarity. Non-drippy teapots need to be recorded and kudos given!

The world needs DripAdvisor! All places serving tea will be rated by the drippiness of their teapots, so tea drinkers can choose their hotels and drinking establishments, secure in the knowledge that their tables won't be flooded with tea, thus causing them to get all flustered and apologetic and forced to use their napkins to mop up the drips lest the staff look at them.

Pellinor feels that the site also needs to include the capacity of the pot. In some places, a "pot of tea for two" gives you one small cup each, with barely half a cup left over. As well as being stingy, this causes recriminations. Who gets the spare cup? Others give you a ginormous teapot and a ginormous pot of hot water on the side, and provides 4 or 5 cups each. Whenever this happens, I feel duty bound to drink All The Cups, because such behaviour should be encouraged, and if the pots are returned without being empty, the establishment might decide to move to smaller ones. I agree, therefore, that capacity ought to be recorded somewhere, but I'm not sure if it should dilute the clear message of DripAdvisor.

In the interests of rewarding good behaviour, I should note that the Piano Cafe in Freshwater Bay has the most wonderful teapots: transparent, spherical, aesthetically pleasing and not at all drippy. The National Trust cafe at Snowshill Manor provided so much tea with the "pot of tea for two" that I had to leave some in the pot, but this was only because my Mum refused to play her part, and abandoned me after two cups, leaving me to face the rest alone, along with the knowledge that there were no toilets where we were going.

Should DripAdvisor fall foul of the TripAdvisor lawyers, the site will be renamed The Dripping Forecast. I have not checked to see if either site exists, because I've got places to go and people to see, and therefore don't have the time to track the owners down and kill them.

And speaking of which... I guess I'd getter put on my hobbit clothes and go partying... :-D
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
Many of us have doubtless experienced the Interminable Meeting of Doom. It drags on for hours and hours, but afterwards, when you're asked what was concluded, you can only shrug, and say, "er.... um... Stuff?" Months later, when the follow-up meeting happens, someone manages dig out the Minutes that someone wrote and forgot to ciculate, and you look back at them, and realise that nobody there has any memory of any of the "decisions" you supposedly came to, and nothing has been done about any of them.

Compare the Council of Elrond. It starts "early," after Frodo has watched the sun rise, which is probably around 7 in the morning, if it's anything like England in late October. (Unless Rivendell practises daylight saving? If so, late October would probably be round about the time that Elvish Summer Time ended, so all the timings could be out of by hour. But since nobody turns up an hour late, saying, "sorry! I forgot that the clocks had changed," I think we can discount this as a possible complication.) Worryingly, there's no mention of breakfast beforehand, but presumably there's one of those pumpy coffee dispensers on the side, along with plates of digestive biscuits and fruit shortcakes. It finishes just after the noon bell sounds.

So that is five hours maximum, and probably less, to cover the thousands of years of history and to decide how to save the world. It does kind of put to shame all those meetings that take 6 hours and fail to decide what colour to paint the new office building.


- Nobody turns up late, causing everything to come to a halt as all the chairs get shuffled up to make room for them, and they get invited to help themselves to coffee, which is discovered to be cold, causing fresh coffee to be sent for.

- Nobody runs through the fire drill procedures beforehand and explains where the toilets are. Despite this, no doom results. Doom is indeed discussed, but it doesn't appear to relate to inadequately signposted toilets. (Although I am suddenly now wondering just where are the Toilets of Rivendell, and what they look like. And the Toilets of Lórien! WE NEED TO BE TOLD!)

- Nobody takes any Minutes. There is no agonisingly long half-minute in which everyone sits very still and looks at their feet, desperately hoping that somebody else will volunteer to take them. (Although it occurs to me suddenly that the relevant parts of the Red Book of Westmarch possibly are the Minutes of the Council of Elrond. Bilbo is not one for bullet points, it seems.)

- Despite the lack of Minutes, all Points of Action agreed upon are in fact carried out as planned. "Destroy Ring (FB). Take Sword of Elendil to Gondor (A son of A). Get Facilities Maintenance Team to reforge Sword of Elendil..." This alone is enough to make it remarkable in the annals of all the meetings that there have ever been in all the worlds.

- Despite outlining several thousands years history, Elrond does not use Powerpoint.

- There is no "comfort break," in which the few smokers in the meeting (Gandalf, Aragorn, hobbits) wander outside to smoke (does Elrond ban smoking inside in public places, do you think?) and, during the break, quickly make the only actual decisions that the meeting comes up with.

I think the Council of Elrond should be compulsory reading in business school.
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
While battling demons and goblins last night, I made a comment about our situation, accidentally using the wrong word. The mistake prompted this little scenario, which might not make sense to anyone outside the UK.

To boldly go... )
ladyofastolat: (Evil laugh)
I posted this yesterday on my fanfic LJ, and it was posted on a community the day before, but some people here might be amused by it, too. This was written for a challenge which called for comic verse inspired by the works of Tolkien. I was assigned the words "participate" and "pontificate," which had to be included somewhere along the way. This was the result:

I am the very model of a fantasy antagonist... )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
And so it came to pass that King Pellinor and the Lady of Astolat found themselves lacking a part of their Friday Night ritual feast, and that is the thing that men call the Tex Mex Mini Dip Selection. Such a thing can oftentimes be found in the place yclept Sainsburyes of the Cowes, but oftentimes if it nowhere to be seen in such a place, even by those who quest high and low with brachets.

It happened that the Lady of Astolat did find herself in the far reaches of the island of Vectis, for she had business with the wise men and ladies that bring learning to the commons. The place that these wise men and ladies dwell is beside a marvellous place where waters waltz, but beyond these waltzing waters is the vast and mighty stronghold of Tesco Extra of Ryde.

"Perchance I can find the Tex Mex Mini Dip Selection in yonder stronghold," thought the Lady of Astolat. King Pellinor was not with her. If King Pellinor had been there, perchance he would have reminded her of the dolorous quest they had undertaken in a place called Tesco Extra in far Inverness, when they walked through trackless aisles for a year and a day, yet still failed to find any nail clippers.

But King Pellinor was not there, and the Lady of Astolat had a heart full of hope. "How hard can it be?" quoth she. "The Tex Mex Mini Dip Selection is not encased in ice, so it will not be in the ice houses, nor is it something that can endure all temperatures, so it will not be in the temperate parts of the stronghold. Nay, it is something that dwells in chilled places, so all I need to do is quest up and down those cold aisles, and I will achieve my quest.

And so it was that the Lady of Astolat ventured into the cold aisles of Tesco Extra, and did not emerge for many a moon. She quested up and she quested down. She quested down and she quested up, but the Tex Mex Mini Dip Selection was nowhere to be found. Memory of quests past came to her, when she had quested long for vinegar and cream, and achieved them in the end at the display at the end of the aisle. But no Tex Mex Mini Dip Selection was there, not even at the end of the aisles.

Then the Lady of Astolat did make great moan (in silence) and did beat her breast (metaphorically) and did plan to leave the stronghold of Tesco Extra without achieving her desire. But then she had cause to journey down the vegetable aisle, and there it was, surrounded on all sides by sprouts and cabbages and lettuce and parsnips, a small section of cold, where resided the Tex Mex Mini Dip Selection. "Why is it here?" quoth the Lady of Astolat. "WHY? For it is not a vegetable and neither is it a fruit, and all the things visible from both one end of this aisle and the other are not kept in cold places."

But although she had achieved her quest, the Lady of Astolat left it there, because the salsa was too hot.
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I have many pet irritations in movieland, that world where physical things work differently from how they work in real life. My current number one bugbear is the fact that in most movies, broken glass is no more dangerous than rose petals, in that heroes crash through windows and fall heavily onto the shards, then get up without a speck of blood, and huge expanses of glass explode and shower fragments all over crowds of innocents, without a single injury. Another longterm annoyance comes from the fact that head injuries almost invariably lead to a neat and silent tumble into instant blood-free unconciousness, with no apparent ill-effect afterwards.

By far the most trivial of these irritations, and thus one of the most irritating, is the way that movieland necklaces don't behave the same as real world necklaces. But, thinking about it, it's probably best that they don't.

The pirate and the necklace )
ladyofastolat: (Vectis)
On Sunday, over 10,000 people will set out to Walk the Wight. This has inspired creativity.

Walking the Wight:


Two songs, and the above picture, bigger )
ladyofastolat: (In comes I)
The EFDSS is the English Folk Dance and Song Society. I was amused by the front cover of their annual report, and it prompted me to write a little flight of fancy. Quite how different would the world of Star Wars have been had stormtroopers discovered Morris dancing?

Dancing stormtroopers )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
It's not really a spoiler to say that early in A Game of Thrones, two characters go down into a crypt. In the book, they take a lantern to light their way. In the TV show, the crypt is packed with several hundred lit candles. This has been a pet niggle of mine for years. In historical or fantasy dramas or computer games, when people go down into a crypt or a long-deserted ruin, there's a pretty much even chance that it will contain lit candles. "WHO LIT THE CANDLES?" is my frequent refrain.

I've been thinking about it today, and can offer two explanations.

Who lit the candles? )
ladyofastolat: (Misty Glastonbury)
Having listened to what everyone around me is saying, I propose the following update to a well-known song:

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
More lovely than you could believe
(But without it stopping
My online shopping
From reaching me by Christmas Eve.)

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
(But only if they grit my street
And I'm praying, hopin'
That roads stay open
'Cause I've got people I must meet.)

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
But watching forecasts, full of fear.
'Til the end of Friday, please stay clear
And by Boxing Day, the snow must disappear.
ladyofastolat: (fathom the bowl)
So, on Facebook earlier today, [ profile] the_marquis mentioned zombie Christmas songs, which immediately made me want to write a song beginning "In the bleak midwinter, zombie hordes made moan." I tried to do it when I got home from work, but very soon came to the conclusion that zombies don't actually do very much at all, except for groan and eat brains, and these things do not sustain a five verse song. Then I remembered that I already knew that Good King Wenceslas was some sort of flesh-eating monster - "Bring me flesssh! and bring me wine!.. Thou and I shall see him die!" - so I started writing a song about Mr Dracula looking out from his top-floor flat, one snow-bound Friday before Christmas...

But then I got distracted by sparkly vampires, thus:

Edward, the sparkly vampire,
Had a very sparkly nose,
And wrists and knees and elbows,
Palms and heels and ears and toes,
Shoulders and shins and ankles,
Chin and cheek and brow so fair,
And if he dropped his trousers,
He would doubtless sparkle there.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Buffy came to slay.
She saw Edward shining bright,
Grabbed her stake, prepared to fight.
"But," Edward cried, "I sparkle!
Watch me glitter gorgeously!"
So Buffy grabbed and bound him,
And hung him on her Christmas tree.
ladyofastolat: (Are we the baddies?)
[ profile] bunn mentioned a particular place in Cornwall one too many times, and I'm afraid I just had to write this in response.

Four Dark Lords walk into a small tea shop in Cornwall... )
ladyofastolat: (fireworks)
"And so we are resolved." Robert Cateby laid down his pen with a satisfied sigh. "The Gunpowder Plan, version 2.6, finished and finalised."

"Um..." Thomas Tresham raised a tremulous hand. "Paragraph 32...? We're, uh, killing people?"

"Necessary deaths." Catesby waved dismissively. "Their deaths will pave the way for a total transfer of power. As you would know," he added, his eyes glittering, "had you joined us on the tobacco break during which we finalised our Mission Statement."

Tresham's mouth opened, and closed again. His clasped hands were taut and white on his lap.

"Um..." Guido Fawkes broke the steel-rimmed silence. "If we're captured..." He swallowed. "If I'm captured..." His throat worked. "Torture." It sounded strangled.

"God will preserve us from capture." Catesby spread his hands, glancing upwards. "But if it is in God's ineffable plan that you-- that we are captured and tortured..." His fist slammed down on the table. "Martyrdom," he declared. "Who does not dream of a glorious martyred death?"

The other men around the table said nothing. Feet shifted. Hands tightened. Throats were cleared.

"Then we are resolved." Catesby scooped up the finished document. "We--"

"Um..." Fawkes spoke again, his voice tentative. "If the plan fails, and if we are captured, they will consider it a great victory. They will rejoice with fires and fireworks, assuming that these have been invented yet. For centuries to come, the good folk of England will celebrate the thwarting of our Plan in such a noisy manner, and all the cats and dogs will be traumatised for all years until the ending of the world."

Catesby was silent. Then slowly, oh so slowly, he took up the paper they had laboured on for so long. "I don't want poor Tibbles to be sad and scaredy," he said, and tearing the paper into a thousand small pieces, he cast it into the fire. "On second thoughts," he said, "let's protest against the treatment of Catholics by starting a Facebook group. Fawkes, start working on the invention of computers. We've got work to do!"
ladyofastolat: (Jayne hat)
I'm not a very good roleplayer. I'm in awe of people who can channel their character who hours on end, having long conversations entirely in character, or even thinking in character. While I can channel characters easily enough when writing a story, it just doesn't work in a roleplaying situation. I can't act, I can't sustain speaking in character, and I get easily distracted into out of character digressions or puns. Fortunately, the groups I've roleplayed with have a similar style, so I enjoy our sessions immensely.

However, I think I'd enjoy them even more if I put more thought into character creation. Even though I can't do immersive roleplaying, I can at least give myself an interesting, rounded character to play with. Several of the ones I've played recently are merely a name and a collection of skills. In several cases, the actual character creation has been done by the GM, which can make it harder to get a handle on the character, but that's no excuse; Bacchus, for example, manages to come up with immensely detailed character concepts, even if the actual rolling up of the character is then done by someone else to fit his outline. With Traveller, another problem comes from the fact that there is so much backstory to this universe that I always get daunted and run away whimpering, so my character exists in a vacuum, but this is not an excuse I can use with A Game of Thrones.

For five days of last week's eight day gaming session, I played a character - Lady "Bubbles" Chatterley - that was created for me as a joke. Some years ago, on a long, booze-fuelled evening during a roleplaying weekend, we all rolled up joke characters for each other, trying to create a character totally against each person's preferred type. The following year, we all played those joke characters for a little while during the week, and I chose to play her again for most of this week. She turned out to be great fun to play. Her skills - which included driving tracked vehicles, bribery, brawling and an insane level of handgun skill - suggested a interesting past life for a noble woman in her 50s, and I had far more fun with her than I've had with many other characters. In contrast, the character I played at the beginning and end of this week was basically "chap with engineering 6" and little more.

And so I resolve in future to be more creative when it comes to characters. My first exposure to RPGs came on the computer, with games like Baldur's Gate. I saw my character more as the hero of a fantasy novel than as a character for me to play, so normally went for handsome heroic men. This has carried over into roleplaying as a whole, in that I always play human males. Next time I create a character, though, I will definitely consider playing someone from interesting alien race, or a quirky character with an interesting background.

I will also try to write something from the point of view of each character that I play. Bacchus played with us for the first weekend via Skype, but missed the rest of the week, so I started writing up a brief in-character diary of what he was missing, so he wouldn't be too confused if he managed to join in again at the end of the week. I'd only intended to do one day, hoping that another character would cover the second day, but I really enjoyed it, so carried on. I'm a person who thinks through writing, so the fact that I was sitting down each morning and writing an account made a huge difference.

So here, for the sake of completeness, is said diary, though I doubt it will be of any interest to anyone who wasn't there.

The Diary of Lady Bubbles Chatterley )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Looking through next term's project requests, I came across a request from a teacher for a box on Normans. The notes added a little more details. "Include the Battle of Hastings, magnets and springs," she said.

Needless to say, this baffled me for a while, so I engaged in some frenzied research. Within a few hours, I had uncovered an amazing truth that had previously passed me by. Magnets and springs were indeed pivotal to the Norman Conquest in 1066. Pictorial proof lies here )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I've been thinking a bit lately about the challenges modern technology poses to children's adventure novels. So many of my favourite childhood books just wouldn't work in this day and age. Mysterious references in crumbling parchments could be solved on page 12 after a quick Google, with no need to track down venerable wizards. Children camping on Lake District fells would have no need to spend 100 pages perfecting their pigeon post. Urgent pieces of news could be transmitted instantly via mobile phone, without the need for any mad dashes on bicycles.
I've always called this "the transporter effect," since when I was 13 or so, long before I'd heard the word "fanfic", I used to make up Star Trek stories in which the first thing I had to do was find some contrived reason why the transporter couldn't just beam them out of the difficult situation my plot required them to be in. When I wrote X-Files fanfic, I was forever forced to come up with reasons for their mobile phones not to work, when my plot demanded that they were out of touch. The more technology there is, the more an author has to find ways to break it. Or just turn it evil, I suppose; I haven't yet encountered an intelligent house that hasn't gone bad and tried to kill its family.
Actually, it's not just technology that has an effect on plotting, but social attitudes. Children in books written as recently as the 1970s are sent alone on long train journeys, wander freely on moorlands for hours on end, and befriend strange wizards without any talk of CRB checks and stranger danger. Gone are the days when Merlin could accost groups of children during their school holidays*, and set them to work searching for grails or trying to stop the forces of darkness from stealing magic necklaces. Now they just scream and report him to the police, and, oh, how the cause of good is suffering as a result!
(* I did always wonder why the forces of evil didn't just wait until term time to attack. Maybe evil hordes also attend school, so are forced to wait until the holidays to rise up.)
However, all this reminds me of a brief conversation that some of us had at the weekend, about technology in fairy stories, which has continued to amuse me since:

When 21st century technology reaches the world of fairy stories... )
ladyofastolat: (Boo)
Inspired by something in my earlier posts, here are some extracts from a thrilling new D&D campaign:

The War of Flame )


Jul. 13th, 2009 02:43 pm
ladyofastolat: (Are we the baddies?)
I was thinking yesterday about the use of prophecy in fantasy novels, in particular the AA Route Planner type of prophecy. (I like to imagine a hero logging onto the relevant website, putting in "rustic farmstead" as their starting location and "Dark Lord's fastness" as their destination, clicking "show me my prophecy," and then following the printout scrupulously through every stage.) I was going do a little rant, but instead ended up giving a sneak preview of my forthcoming fantasy masterpiece.

Scenes from an epic novel of heroes and prophecies )
ladyofastolat: (Evil laugh)
So when I found out that poor indigo had been banished from the spectrum by Modern Scientists, I'm afraid my imagination started on a very strange journey...

But what can a former member of the visual spectrum, a downgraded planet and some absconded imperial measures do against a cabal of evil scientists bent on destroying the whole of existence? )
ladyofastolat: (Hear me roar)
Dear self-styled poet, muse-inspired,
Your verses leave me rather tired.
The slightest drama stirs your pen;
You scribble down your verse, and then
You send it to the local press,
Where, you hope, it will impress,
The common reader there at home,
Too muse-impaired to write a pome.

More )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
English people are traditionally very bad at saying goodbyes. In our stereotypical form, we stand awkwardly at the doorstep for fifteen minutes, muttering in an endless loop of "well, I suppose I should make a move," and, "well, er... I'll see you again some time...", and shuffling a few steps towards the door, and then re-launching into another conversation, then shuffling a bit nearer the door, and then doing the whole thing all over again until someone finally makes a break for it.

Today, flicking through Empire magazine during load screens on Fable 2 (in which I have just saved the world - go, me! - but at great personal cost - woe, me!) I happened to notice all the dodgy adverts at the back for phone lines featuring chats with alarmingly proportioned women. Some of them offered a one minute phone call. One even offered a thirty second one.

You can see where I'm going here, can't you?

"Hello. Is that Voluptuous Velma?"

"Yes, big boy, and I'm not wearing anything at the moment... Oh. Is that the time?"

"Gosh, yes. Er... Cold for this time of year, isn't it?"

"Isn't it? I... um... I really should be making a move."

"Thank you for talking to me. It was lovely. Er... Are you sure you wouldn't...? Um..."


"Well. Anyway. It was... Gosh. We should... er... do it again some time."

"Mmm. I really should be going..."

*call ends*
ladyofastolat: (Default)
So, the quickest route to everlasting fortune seems to be to write a song that contains a prominently-stated phrase that makes it perfect for being used in adverts, trailers or TV programmes. Towards the end of 1999, I couldn't switch the television on without hearing a quick burst of "Twentienth century boy" or Robbie Williams' "Millennium", usually used in trailers for one of the numerous century retrospectives, for example, and I read a while ago that some song that included the phrase "I've had a good day," or something like that, is currently the most used song of all on television.

There must be some gaps out there. There must be some phrase that television people (I'm being vague, since I don't know the job title for the people who choose the music) are desperate for, without realising it. If only I could discover it, and put it to a halfway passable tune, I could be rich, rich I tell you. Perhaps something topical... Have songwriters woken up to the rich potential of the current financial situation? TV executives are doubtless even now dreaming up recession-appropriate programmes, and they will all need a soundtrack.

Hm... "I can't afford a lavish lunch / oh, curse that pesky credit crunch"

No? No, it needs to be more positive...

"The bank's collapsed, I've got no money / but still I love you loads, my honey."

No, it's a bit too specific. To really bring me wealth and fortune, I think I'd need something that could be used whatever the economical situation:

"Whether it's boom or bleak recession / I love you, babe, nigh on obsession"

On second thoughts, maybe I need to pursue an alternative route to endless fortune...


Jun. 12th, 2008 02:48 pm
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Driving home from Ryde today (or, rather, sitting in Festival-related traffic jams) I heard someone say on the radio that people have lied on CVs "since time immemorial." This raised interesting images. "Yes, yes, I have extensive experience in ark-building..." (Though lying to someone supposedly omniscient...?) "Trust me. Of course it's okay to eat the apple. I have years of experience in the fruit industry." "Yes, totally pure. Raised by virgins. Here's my certificate of innocence. I'll find the Grail for you, sire." "What shall we do? The last ten prospective kings looked great on paper, but magical scrying revealed their qualifications to be a lie. We need a new method, something infallible. Brain-storming here. I'm thinking swords… stones... Some combination of the two, perhaps? Too daring? We might have HR onto us for that. And Health and Safety."

Or, to move from time imaginary to time immemorial…

More )
ladyofastolat: (Jayne hat)
A year ago tomorrow, I walked part of the length of our island while wearing a cloak. I chronicled here the bitter fights I waged with the thing: water in the hood, wind resistance, attempted strangulation, and the fact that it turned into a lethal weapon and kept trying to tear out the eyes of anyone near me. Fantasy novels, I said, never recorded this, and proceeded to show heroes waging war against Dark Lords, rather than their own wardrobes.

Tomorrow, I am Walking the Wight again, this time sans cloak. Today, though, I led around forty little pirates (many of them alarmingly pink ones) on a walk around a park, while dressed as a pirate myself. This has led to the following observations about further gaps in the history books and historical novels:

On socks, swords, hats and sleeves )


Jul. 10th, 2007 06:15 pm
ladyofastolat: (Jayne hat)
Today I came home from work to find a distressed maiden lurking on the doorstep. Small, she was, though not slight, and like unto the small feline creatures of the Far Lands. She did scream and wail, weaving herself bodily around me, as she complained of a sinister Beast that did lurk upon the ceiling, speaking in dreadful voice: BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

First I did use my Spot and Search skills, to investigate the beast's possible lairs, and ascertain which one it now resided within, uttering its fell cry. All but one of the lairs was silent, but one resounded with a dreadful noise. Then the knowledge came upon me that I was lacking certain vital information, doubtless from failing to talk to all the NPCs on the way home. I contacted a fellow adventurer on the Rod of Far-Speaking, and asked for assistance.

Helped by him, I then had to use all my hard-won skills. Strength I used to carry a chair up the flight of twisty stairs - one-handed, for still I held the Rod of Far-Speaking clutched in my other hand. Then I set off on my sub-quest: The Hunt for the Screwdriver of Flatness (small.) This involved travels in a danger-infested land, that some men call the Room of Pellinor. I had to clamber over the Pile of Discarded LARP costume, for which I required a Constitution roll. I had to stand on one leg and reach through swords, over armour, and under helmets, which required Dexterity. Screwdrivers of Philipness kept trying to distract me from my quest, by leaping into my hands, saying, "I'm easier to find! Try me instead!"

But I stood firm, and eventually, exhausted and strained, I found the Screwdriver of Flatness. There was a small setback when I almost had to refer to the walkthrough the find out where to insert the Screwdriver into the Beast's lair in order to defeat it, but soon the job was done. Vanquished, the beast fell crashing to the ground, where it lay there, defiantly beeping still.

But the battle was won now. I took up the beast and did carry it into the garage, where I buried it under a pile of beanbags. It is beeping there still, and will doubtless beep unto the ending of the world, but it cannot escape. The feline maidens are safe again, and show their thanks in the only way they can - i.e. by screaming and wailing and throwing themselves bodily at me, just as they did when the beast was active.

So, how many XPs can I have for this?

EDIT: Or, the normal-person version of the above: Today I dealt with a beeping smoke alarm.
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Well, this is the result of a week being ill, followed by a Bank Holiday weekend. You'd think that one attempt at rewriting Once More With Feeling would be enough for any lifetime, but, no, here's my second. This is Once More, With X-Files. Knowledge of "Once More, With Feeling" helps, since you will know what tunes to songs should be sung to. Knowledge of the basic set-up and characters of the X-Files will help, too.

Be warned that this is very, very silly.

Once More, With X-Files )
ladyofastolat: (Library lady)
It was an innocent comment that started it all. Opening boxes of new children's books, I jokingly commented, "Is there a law that every second children's book must be illustrated either by Nick Sharratt or Tony Ross?"

Ah, I was so innocent then. There were so many things that I did not know. In my naiveté I believed that children's books were happy things, built on light and love and pink fluffy clouds. Little did I know that they are built on suffering, exploitation and pain. It is a terrible story I have to tell, in which I delve ever deeper into the dark and dreadful underbelly of the world of children's publishing.

Read more - if you dare )
ladyofastolat: (fathom the bowl)
...because I felt guilty about those people who got missed out last time, just because their names didn't scan, or because I couldn't think of a second line. My excuse is that I wrote the original song in my head in bed, and when it got to about 2 in the morning, I had to be firm with myself and stop trying to come up with extra verses, in order to get some sleep.

So here are some of the missing verses, written in my head last night - and after quite a lot of wine, too, which explains quite a bit. I have added some redundant extra syllables to a couple of names to make them fit the metre, so please forgive me.

Livejournal wassail part two )

We're off to the Mainland in three hours, and back on Tuesday. I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas!


Dec. 23rd, 2005 01:37 pm
ladyofastolat: (fathom the bowl)
Well, the last project box has just been done. Yesterday, the big council boss graciously decreed that all Council workers could have an extra half day's leave this afternoon, but I'm stuck here because we'd already told schools we'd be open all day, and teachers might pop in. I've told everyone else to go home, so I'm here alone, but am determined not to do any work at all.

Tomorrow we're off to Gloucestershire for a few days, so here is my Christmas greeting to you all, which is to be sung to the tune of the Gloucestershire Wassail. (Anyone who doesn't know it can find it over at Mudcat, though the tune played there is painfully slow. Please sing it at least twice as fast.)

The Livejournal Wassail )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I accidentally finished "Memories of ice" last night, but Amazon have not yet sent me the next two books in the series. In fact, they have not even dispatched the next two books in the series, even though I ordered them 5 days ago, and they both said they dispatched within 24 hours. Grr!!!! I can only assume that they are not using our Earth hours.

So now I am in a state of booklessness. I feel most bereft and out of sorts. Since I am in mid-series limbo, I can't even start to read anything else. I keep reaching out for a book, and finding only emptiness. Grrr!

To make the situation even more grr-some, we're off on Friday morning to spend 3 days in a field in Devon. I will almost certainly be woken up at some ungodly hour by over-eager sunshine and rampaging birds, and I will need a book to read and I have. not. got. one. GRRRR!

Without a book to read, I had to spend my spare moments today writing. So here is my message to Amazon: Send me my books, or I will inflict more things like this on the world.

What I did today instead of reading )

(No prizes for guessing what we're all doing at work at the moment.)


ladyofastolat: (Default)

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