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Sessifet and her mum came round to visit, so today has naturally been awesome. She's still not *quite* taken everything, but nobody wanted to search Random's room looking for underwear. Pol's out doing motorbikey things. He's already installed footwell lights for the Rover. He's also filled the fridge with delicious-looking fresh meat and vegetables. The next few days are going to smell divine. Speaking of which, the essential oils I ordered from online have all arrived and are very pungent. I'm looking forward to coming up with new mixes.

Spice is very busy and very happy chasing a fly around on the plant-filled sitting room windowsill. She hasn't knocked the flowers off my tradescantia though - I've never even seen one in flower before, so I am glad mine still is. Meanwhile, I am watching NCIS, which Pol turned me onto and which I have been swearing black's blue I only watch because he likes it. :0) It's *very* snarkable.
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I've just waved good night to Angela, Rob and Claire after a lovely evening, playing the Zombies boardgame while watching Sean of the Dead (Rob for the first time). Great fun. Now I am on irc reading people watching Question Time and Nick Griffon getting, by all accounts, utterly pwned.

I had a bad day healthwise, did my OU homework and didn't get out to post a letter, but I did call my MIL and have a nice chat. Porridge for breakfast, avocado for lunch, kebab for dinner. Migraine was appalling but lifted in time for me to enjoy visitors.
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Keeping accountable (But I will face you on His Judgement Day!) )
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If I was supposed to be thinking about things online, well... I haven't. I had a night of poor sleep, not going to sleep until 3am or so, then up at 8am after frequent waking, before going off to the game tired, headachey and out of sorts. I had a wonderful day.

Sessifet took me there, via Tescos for munchies, so I got to have sushi (yay, even unto the warned-about RAW FISH which you can apparently now get there) for breakfast, with champagne rhubarb yoghurt after, which is very nice. All washed down with strawberry and rhubarb smoothie which turned out to taste entirely of bananas. I mean ridiculously so - it tasted more 'banana flavoured' than of real bananas, even, like reddish Nesquick. I had brought the ingredients for ham sandwiches, but was invited instead to lunch by Tim, so I lunched on a nice beef pie, home-made mash, veg and gravy. Proper food. Very nice. Then mostly I read until the game began.

The game was good. We all very nearly died, but didn't quite, in an epic battle with twists and turns and drama and despair and final, hard-won victory. I don't think any of the party are very keen on going up against a party containing a Minotaur ever again. 34 strength when in rage and a whirlwind attack. Ouch. Compared to that, the druid that popped in and out of trees to surprise-attack people was merely annoying. We actually took an attack out to coup-de-grace the Minotaur just to make absolutely sure no more surprises were forthcoming.

There was a funny spot when we had to decide whether to save our geomancer, played by ccooke, who was frozen by Hold Monster next to a Blinking spellcaster with lots of cold spells, or whether to all go at once after a fleeing nearly-dead cleric in very shiny, very expensive adamantium plate armour. I was out of the room when the final decision was made. When I left, it could have gone either way.

By the time the battle was over, it was about 11pm and Sessifet was waiting to take me home, so I cleared out very quickly and was still a bit buzzed when I got home. It was a good game.
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In a fit of my usual self-centeredness, my cares have all been about Biting Midges, which are teeny, teeny, tiny little mosquito-like flies the size of fleas with a very, very itchy bite. They're a major pest in the West Highlands of Scotland, Australia and apparently parts of Horwich. I'm used to the non-biting sort, so I only found it mildly annoying when dozens clustered eagerly over my arms and face. In Nottingham, they generally just want a break before they use your body heat for cool and sexy thermals to wander round and round in. But these ones fly first class and like a refreshing drink before they go up again.

I can't take antihistimines, generally, either. Yay. Hydrocortisone cream helps a little.

I say all this, while Sessifet is hobbling about with quite an amazing round missing patch of skin and flesh. It is to shaving cuts what the Grand Canyon is to river valleys. I still have a scar from a shaving cut of similar depth and smaller magnitude.

I'm vaguely aware tennis is going on, somewhere. Otherwise I am avoiding the news assiduously, fairly sure I will otherwise only get upset, both at what is being covered and what isn't. This does include the Iran election mess. Quite a lot of the time I am not even aware of the weather. I am aware that Torchwood is doing a play every day on Radio Four, so after The Now Show, I am off to Listen Again.
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Last night's thought went undeveloped, thanks to a long and necessary conversation with Pol, but I would have gone on to say that realising the whiteness and maleness of my favoured poems' writers has prompted me to seek out new poetry that's less monochrome. All the tabs with poetry in are now closed, but showcasing poetry will be something nice to do for another time. Seeking out new poetry is nearly always a good use of spare time.

I found glee in consumerism when Sessifet drove me to a big supermarket to get all the things I can live without but still want and can't get in Horwich itself. Things like strange seed mix snacks, malt beer, frozen chicken livers, pear in cranberry juice, cherry cordial and juice, plastic pool noodles for indoor staff-fighting, chocolate cream sundaes, ginger and honey tea, sesame seed bread and, of course, a large soft hairy rubber multicoloured light-up ball. The current one (the last one died) is yellow, green and, around the middle, sky blue all sprayed on possibly glow-in-the-dark white hairy rubber. Pol's fallen in love with it already.

It strikes me that our Scottish Nibling will soon be old enough to play with things like this. :0)

Lots of things I've been unable to do suddenly seem entirely possible and likely, so I foresee a few days of being more or less in my room busy working on them. I'll take this computer up there tonight and settle in. I have presents to wrap and cards to write out, fabric to cut up and nail down, a bag to sew. And sew on and sew on.

Intellectually, I still have more on my plate than I can handle.

BTW, does anyone know how I can get my mouse mood thingies for DW? Or just a different mood thingy?
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Happy Thing(s): I saw a digger on the farm on the hill today. I love seeing the farm live. It's a sheep farm, so no local produce from them, really. I had a good evening last night, watching Jeeves and Wooster with Random, after a nice day shopping and having tea-and-scones with Sessifet. Finishing up with a cuddle with Pol was the icing on the cake, really. I have the fluffiest socks in the world, because Sessifet insisted we go back to the shop to get me a pair. I love them. I want more like them.

Keeping accountable (Now minus Thinky Things which are going in a separate post. But there is a recipe.) )
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I am looking forward to going to see Waiting for Godot, a play the script of which I really enjoyed reading as a kid. Not as much as Animal Farm, but nearly. The lines flowed effortlessly one to the next, so I never put it down and read right through to the end. Now I want to see how it is to watch, and ruthi has made it happen.

The Pagan Moot went well! Or I thought so. Four people there, all nice, in a real ale pub that also serves food during the day. All four have an interest in permaculture, the first permaculturalists I've found in Bolton so far. I also learned there's a Frog Parade at Moss Park where they dunk a Frog King dressed as a frog, to help promote conservation and breeding of frogs. Not pagan at *all*, no. Oh, and they're handing my number on to geographically closer pagans, which would be cool.

Geographical boundaries and paganism is something I think about. Another post came up, on bipolypagangeeks, about cultural appropriation and mix-and-match paganism, a subject which is thorny at best, given the whole 'individual self-sought paths' aspect to a lot of the faith. New Agers are the quintessential stealer-of-parts but there's a really, really fuzzy line between New Age and Pagan. I'm uneasy about yoga these days, having not realised before that it was originally part of religious expression, rather than, say, a useful set of keep-fit exercises. The closest I'd come was to wondering why Sun Salutation was so called. Pilates does the same thing, but without ripping off a colonised people's religion to do it. The use of 'chakras' also makes me uncomfortable, for the same reason. (Speaking of which, Norse runes: they're not random pretty marks. And Thor's hammer is *not* a healing symbol. It's a hammer. Thor uses it to hit things. I do not think He has ever used it to give CPR.)

The Nethernet. There's a class there called Benefactors, who spend their whole time giving away the DP points that the site gives as prizes. Where other people are searching out crates and loot, Benefactors are quietly giving away said crates and loot. You have to get those DP from somewhere, and the way to do it is missions. So... one of the Benefactors has put up a mission, of all the sites where you click and real people get freebies. Things like Free Rice and the like. I thought this was an awesome use of a game ethic to help real people and to still be within the spirit of the game. I just... it's neat, somehow.

Mafia. My head is fuzzy. Bah. I am not giving good value as a player.


I got complimented yesterday on a poem I wrote as a riff off Litany by Billy Collins, a poet who does good things.
This is my riff. It's about being a special snowflake:

You are the pen and the strife
the crystal teardrops and the whine.
You are the slump in the morning bed
and the burning pain of the heart.
You are the wide yearning of the acher

and the harsh words suddenly in fight.

However, you are not the mind in torment
the words in the poem
or the house of hearts.
And you are certainly not the pine-wasted love.

There is just no way that you are the pine-wasted love.

It is possible that you are the waters under the bridge
maybe even the worries in the general head,
but you are not even close

to being the yield of nostalgia at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the slave in the corner

or the waif asleep in its poorhouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,

that I am the sound of pain on the hoof.

I also happen to be the special star
and the evening pauper cowering down an alley,

and the basket-case of madness on the surgeon's table.

I am also the loon in the trees,
and the mind woman's crackpot.
But don't worry, I am not the pen and the strife.
You are still the pen and the strife.
You will always be the pen and the strife,
not to mention the crystal teardrops and - somehow - the whine.

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