Monday, April 28, 2008

anyone interested in learning embroidery?

A quick advertising post:

I'm running an embroidery course in May at Linkle . It is a beginners course running Saturday afternoons for four weeks. If there are any Berliners who are interested in learning Sticken, drop me an email at and I'll send you the details.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

poor little bunny

I managed to come down with a nasty cold on Monday which saw my lungs once again attempt to escape my body through my nostrils. It's been an unpleasant few days, but I have braved it stoically and only very occasionally complained like a guy.

Last night, I decided that, despite my crippling disability, my heroic battle with adversity, I would go to my writing group. It had been a fortnight since I was last there and my fiction muscle had frozen up. I got through the meeting alright and even managed to get a few words on paper which surprised my own fúzzy brain. DrH, the lovely, generous caring man that he is, came and picked me up so that I didn't have to suffer through an hour on public transport in my miserable state.

By the time we were home I was a mess. Straight into bed, wearing three layers of clothing and my big, thick dressing gown and huddled under two doonas and I was still freezing. DrH cuddled me to provide more warmth but it was only when I had him rub my forehead and say "poor little bunny" that I was actually able to stop shivering enough to fall asleep. Whaddya know, I have a man cold.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

turn right. now.

One of the benefits of driving a thirty year old VW bus is that you get to enjoy life at a sedate pace. Cruising the autobahns is a relaxing affair when even the slowest Russian semi-trailer is overtaking you on an uphill slope. You just sit back and enjoy the ride, able to fully appreciate the aesthetics of road kill as you putt by.
But the draw back is that you ain't getting nowhere in a hurry.

Sunday we decided to do some high speed tourism through the former East, cramming as much as we could in a day limited by the number of hours we could leave the dog at home without a pee break. So we hired a Mercedes.

DrH was in his element, out in the fast lane with the Beamers and Audis at 180 km/hr (111 miles/hr according to my trusty online converter for all you non-metric folk out there). It was hard to get him to give up the steering wheel, although he did complain that it didn't have enough style or uniqueness. there are a lot of black merc's on the road out there, and we're pretty used to being looked at a lot in our ancient car. Undeserved attention is a hard drug to give up, just ask Britney Spears.

My favourite part however was the navigation system, something we've never used before. Now I'm not talking about using it to get around the place because it was, frankly, useless. Completely unaware of new autobahns, one way streets or pedestrian areas. We found ourselves listening to her rather than using our own eyes to read the GIANT signs above the highways. And you can't tell me that a navi could show you all the irratic boulders, Dalai Lama planted pine trees and poets birthplaces that our fantastic 1:30000 map of Estonia does. No, a navi makes life dull and uneventful, making us turn off even more of our underused brains.

So it wasn't it's navigational skill that I admired, rather the sexy, slightly British-accented voice which instructed us to get back onto pavement although we were clearly tearing down an autobahn. To my great surprise I found I could exactly imitate it and several times had SuperCoolMatti jumping in shock at unusual commands delieverd in a calm and sultry voice. Which made me realise just how much is lacking in the vocabulary of this instrument. "Turn right, now" would be so much more impressive if it was actually "Where the bloody hell do you think you're going? You call that driving? You better chuck a U-ey and go back now cause you missed the turnoff. Dickhead."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The second best thing since Choose Your Own Adventure

Apparently Penguin books is trying to be new and hip and has a web fiction experiment going on. They've got six authors to write six stories (based on classics it seems) which work with some kind of hypertext gimmick. Currently they're in week 3, althoughI'm still going through week 1, a story called the 21 Steps.

It's a spy mystery thriller which tracks the story along on Google maps. It's a little bit light on the text, and a bit slow moving over the map, but it's kinda interesting. I would enjoy it more if I was more familiar with London and Edinburgh I think.

The second story, Slice, seems to be built on a background of blogs and twits. I haven't gotten that far yet, so we'll see. It looks like there's a lot of backstory, what are blog archives but? The third story is a fairy tale and I haven't even looked at it yet.

It reminds me a bit of Elizabeth Bear's (and others) experiment with Shadow Unit, which is the episode guides, background information, etc etc for a fictional TV series. I haven't been really following it, but it has garnered a fan base. No real surprise, as a SF&F writer she has an inbuilt fanbase who love this kind of stuff. More power to her.