Sorting out clothes has been on the to-do list for a very long time, and it took a remarkable amount of grit to get myself started. Basically, I had to try on clothes and just get rid of all the ones which didn't fit right, which were too tight, which weren't comfortable, which made me feel ill at ease in my skin, which I hadn't worn for three years, which I had kept because they were a gift, etc.
The real hurdle is I've put on weight in the past year or so and there is this real (ridiculous, unreasonable, but real) feeling that I shouldn't get rid of clothes, and I shouldn't buy clothes - I should just diet, exercise and be a better person until I had skinny thighs and everything fit. And then I would deserve nice things.
Anyhow, I now have two bin-bags of clothes for the charity shop, and a lot of wardrobe space.
Shopping is also weird - I know a lot of people use retail therapy to cheer themselves up, but it doesn't work like that for me (unless I am in a bookshop). I have to be in a remarkably good & happy mood before I can even contemplate shopping on the high-street without wanting to hide under the bed, and even in the best of states I can only manage about three shops before enough, urgh, stop, need bookshop now.
So I spent a lot of time thinking about clothes and colours and, dear god help us, reading style blogs. I have been introduced to the idea of the capsule wardrobe and I have decided that my capsule wardrobe is: one pair baggy jeans, five plain grey t-shirts, one baggy jumper and trainers. That works.
But I have had enough of grey, and white, and black. I want colours, and I want clothes where I look at myself in mirror and say yes, I like that and yes I'm at ease and happy.
I now have one pair of new trousers, and a new dark-red top. I have also ordered some stuff online, and spent a silly amount of time on ebay. It'll be interesting to see where I am in a month's time.
P.S. And I can afford to do this! My life - yes, I do know how lucky I am.
And today I have enough energy to (i) SCORN the very idea of a nap and (ii) get bored and start thinking "what to do, what to do?" I have already done as much housework as I am going to (take that ironing-pile!) and I have already been to the gym.
So hello to everyone on Dreamwidth!
The latest one came from an Iron Age pit from a large settlement in Oxfordshire. It's a cheek part of a horse mandible with a smooth hole in it. Unfortunately we only have one half of the mandible, but I assume it was originally part of a set (as opposed to cattle mandibles, the two sides of horse mandibles are fused). The hole is smooth on all edges, so it couldn't have been suspended stationary for all its use - if so, only one part would have been smooth. The cord may have been large enough to fill the hole entirely, but it must have moved occasionally in order to smoothen the edges.
I have no idea how to interpret this. I have never seen anything similar in any book or article. Are we dealing with the partial remains of a horse head that was displayed and later discarded? I know that the classic definition of "ritual" being an "All-purpose explanation used where nothing else comes to mind" (recommended book, btw), but I can't think of any other way to explain this.
Close-up of hole
This was definitely an exercise in persistence. For about the first 4km I wasn't enjoying it much and was shoving myself along with stubbornness and distraction (exploring a completely different footpath than the one I'd planned to). Then I began enjoying it more, as I usually do, and then the last 2km or so I was still enjoying it but feeling very tired and running out of steam. (And then I'd mucked up my route a bit so had to walk another 800m or so home from my finish point.)
With all that then, I was pleased to find I was 10s/km faster than the 8km of a fortnight ago overall, and seem to be doing better at staying slow at first and still keeping up a similar pace at the end - even though I was tired, km 10 was my second-fastest.
I'm away Mon-Fri, but running should still be possible, so I'm packing my gear with the aim of 30 min runs on Tue and Thu, and a 4.8k on Saturday when I'm back home.
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.
He knew that he heard it,
A bird’s cry, at daylight or before,
In the early March wind.
The sun was rising at six,
No longer a battered panache above snow…
It would have been outside.
It was not from the vast ventriloquism
Of sleep’s faded papier-mache…
The sun was coming from the outside.
That scrawny cry – It was
A chorister whose c preceded the choir.
It was part of the colossal sun,
Surrounded by its choral rings,
Still far away. It was like
A new knowledge of reality.
Yesterday we went to Harewood House, for the food festival, which was nice. Harewood is notable for a) Brideshead Revisited and b) no one being entirely certain how you pronounce it. I've always said "hair-wood" as has everyone else, but there has been a recent shift to "har-wood" and yesterday I heard someone saying (erroneously) "hay-wood". Part of the pronunciation confusion comes from the fact that the 18th century spelling and pronunciation for the House and the title was "Har-wood" and the village was "Hair-wood". This does mean a lot of "mumblety-wood" being the general pronunciation. Entry to the food festival also got you free entry to the downstairs of the house, so we went and peered at plates and saucers and were generally thankful that we live now and don't have to try and cook on open ranges. I also spotted this sign with a glorious grammatical error:
[Photo of an informational sign, which reads "Fire Bell. There is a bell on the roof which would have been rung in the event of a fire in the house. Everyone would have known to leave the house and it would also have summoned the local fire brigade. From the 19th century Harewood House had its own fire brigade staffed by men who both worked for both the house and the estate. The picture opposite shows the Harewood Fire Brigade in the late 19th century with a steam powered fire engine."]
The emphasis is mine. Were there only two men in this fire brigade? No. The picture quite clearly shows considerably more than two. Hrrumph. (Mind, we got a letter from mum's pension provider yesterday in which the word certificate was spelled incorrectly, then correctly. *shakes fist grumpily*)
In the face of old traditions,
To a sheltered spot, by the world forgot,
Where we’ll park our inhibitions.
Come and gaze in eyes where the lovelight lies
As it psychoanalyzes,
And when once you glean what your fantasies mean
Life will hold no more surprises.
When you’ve told your love what you’re thinking of
Things will be much more informal;
Through a sunlit land we’ll go hand-in-hand,
Drifting gently back to normal.
While the pale moon gleams, we will dream sweet dreams,
And I’ll win your admiration,
For it’s only fair to admit I’m there
With a mean interpretation.
In the sunrise glow we will whisper low
Of the scenes our dreams have painted,
And when you’re advised what they symbolized
We’ll begin to feel acquainted.
So we’ll gaily float in a slumber boat
Where subconscious waves dash wildly;
In the stars’ soft light, we will say good-night—
And “good-night!” will put it mildly.
Our desires shall be from repressions free—
As it’s only right to treat them.
To your ego’s whims I will sing sweet hymns,
And ad libido repeat them.
With your hand in mine, idly we’ll recline
Amid bowers of neuroses,
While the sun seeks rest in the great red west
We will sit and match psychoses.
So come dwell a while on that distant isle
In the brilliant tropic weather;
Where a Freud in need is a Freud indeed,
We’ll always be Jung together.
two of the most successful stories I've ever written, until you cry: now you must try my greed and Loving in the war years, use the same two-part structure of surprising the characters initially with an id trope (prostitution, body transformation/size kink/semi-foeyay), having them freak out over it and pull apart to get shit figured out, and concluding with a confession-heavy reunion and tentative get-together sequence
I'm stalled at exactly the same point in my body of work around the Star Wars OT and the Chronicles of Prydain. I've previously completed shorter-but-still-elaborate fics (A bed of daysided gold, Airy cages quelled) that try to repair the cracks in the characters' relationships that I observe in the respective source texts; now I've got these two large WIPs that I've had going for literally years that try to work through those issues instead of undoing them. They're stories that I feel very serious about, enough that I've blocked myself in terms of actual execution
the two pieces I'm closest to finishing right now are both small three-part things teasing the nightmares out of their respective canons (Prydain and BSG 78); they are pretty but dark and bleak
i want to write all these tiny sentimental inconsequential feels-bits of stuff in the Vorkosiverse, and keep not letting myself; and i'm doing the same self-censorship with my work on Peter Pan, even though that's bigger, maybe even biggest
I notice i've been dropping caps in my orthography more often lately, and that i;m likely to do so in two noticeable contexts: when i'm making confessions, and when i'm using academese or moving around academic topics. in the first situation it's more like whispering, but in the second it's totally a typed-up version of vocal fry, deliberately feminized/infantilized refusal to use language without an edge of sarcasm. i seem to be experiencing teen rebellion a decade late via tumblr. i kind of love it?
This year, I'm hosting the obligatory Eurovision party. I don't know if three to four people count as party, except with us it totally does, pfff. We're having fajitas and watermelon and popcorn (which we bought in the mall cinema next door <3) and I can't waaaaiiiit!
It’s been alternatively sunny and cloudy in our last week in our current house. Dark clouds gathered and thunder rumbled as we heard that second hand furniture buyers are booked up into June, and can’t come and help us with our nice wardrobes which we’d be sad to trash. The sun shone and birds sang when the friends we had over for dinner on Thursday turned out to be moving in the same week we are, only to an apartment with absolutely no storage whatsoever, and they would take our furniture from us. Little rainclouds descend every time some unreliable jerk from Gumtree fails to pick up stuff from our front porch. And so on.
Overall, at the moment we are proving to be a cheap way for other people to furnish. Earlier today two weedy young removalists came today and effortlessly hefted our sofa bed, bookcase and barbecue to Julia’s place. (I got to assume the risk of transporting the gas bottle for the barbecue; that they don’t do.) Our older bikes are off to Bikes For Humanity. Our largesse is getting down to a cheap white cupboard and some plastic outdoor chairs. Thank goodness.
Tonight the up and down reached amusing proportions. Because we will now have a cross-suburb childcare run to do, we’re considering buying a car again after several delightful years car-free, and tonight Andrew did our first test drive for a car on sale by a private seller. All went well with the drive, fortunately, well enough that we took the vehicle identification in order to run the standard checks. And so we sat in a McDonalds running the history checks… to discover that it had a write-off history. I guess there are situations where I’d buy a repaired write-off, maybe (although for the last couple of years that hasn’t even been a thing that’s possible to do in NSW) but buying from a private seller who didn’t disclose it isn’t one of those times. Then on the way home, A had such a nasty cough that we had to stop the car so that Andrew could take her out and hold her up so she’d stop sounding like she was choking on a fully grown pig. She was overtired and frantic and he had to fight her back into her carseat. Then we made it another couple of kilometres before I shut V’s window using the driver controls… right onto his hand, which he’d stuck out the window.
V’s hand is fine. A can still inhale. We don’t have a car that’s a undisclosed repaired write-off. Sunny day.