smallhobbit: (Cat)
If you are my son then this:


It's made of wicker, on a metal frame.

I feel it says a lot about my family!
smallhobbit: (Cat)
9.  Audio books. Until I changed job I wasn’t a particular fan, but now they make the drive to work so much more bearable.  If I have to sit in a queue of traffic, then I might as well be entertained.  Richard Armitage reading Georgette Heyer was lovely – oh, the adorable dark brooding hero.  Currently it’s a production of Hamlet, with Jamie Parker as the Prince of Denmark.  (Plus Tom Mison as Laertes and Carl Prekopp as Rosencrantz.)  I’ve also got his narration of Under The Greenwood Tree to look forward to.  (These two thanks to Waterstones vouchers from MIL.)  After which it’ll be back to Ebay I suspect.

10. Sam Troughton. You didn’t think you’d get through a whole month without mention of my favourite actor, did you?  From the minute I saw him as Brutus in the RSC production of Julius Caesar I was captured.  This is the only time I’ve come out of a production and said to myself ‘I must find out who that actor is so I can see him again.’  I’ve travelled to Sheffield and to Liverpool to see him, as well as several plays in London (and dragged SM/friends along too!)  And soon he’ll be Clarence in the second series of the BBC’s Hollow Crown production.

11.  A Glass of Wine.  I do like sitting down in the evening and having a glass of wine.  Sometimes, depending on what we’re both doing, we’ll begin the glass during dinner, sometimes it will be later.  Occasionally we’ll have a couple of glasses.  Nothing expensive, just a quiet glass of wine.

12.  Writing on Trains. It takes just under two hours to travel from home to London and it’s ideal for writing.  The scenery isn’t stunning – the Stroud valleys are pretty, but not spectacular, the journey from Swindon to London is tedious.  So no outside distractions, just me, my pencil tin and a notebook.  Okay, not all the words are legible when I come to type them up, but overall that doesn’t matter (and it means no-one else can read it!)  And yes, this was originally written on a train :)

13.  Live theatre. Yes, I know you all know this is my great love.  But I’m not going to leave it out.  There is something so immediate and real and wonderful about going to see a play.  And I’m delighted the daughter is also taken with the theatre bug.

14.  Chocolate Box Comm. This is a comm, based on AO3 and run from Dreamwidth.  It’s a multi-fandom exchange (fic/artwork) with a minimum wordage of 300 words.  The reveal is on Valentine’s Day.  It’s not just for ships, but also for gen fic, where the love is not of the romantic nature, but more friendship.  I have received three gifts (one main and two treats): Bear’s Life as a Dog, Person of Interest, an ideal story for me starring Bear in a variety of BAMF situations; Under the Mountain, The Hobbit, in which Bilbo gets lost and Thorin does something about it (and they kiss, of course); and The Care and Feeding of a Watson, ACD Holmes, a sweet tale of Holmes and Watson.  I wrote my main exchange plus a last minute treat, but if I said which fandoms that would give it away, since author reveals have not yet happened.

15.  Shopping with the Daughter. We don’t go often, and my credit card normally sighs, but it is fun.  I’m very lucky in that she doesn’t expect me to spend major amounts on items – we picked up a few excellent sale bargains.  She has good taste and will encourage me to buy things when I might hesitate, but I’ve not regretted the purchases (even if it does mean I now have two t-shirts I probably didn’t need!)
smallhobbit: (Cat)
My good friend Emmy wanted to see Goodnight Mister Tom and asked if anyone else would like to go.  I knew it was one of the daughter's favourite films, so contacted her and we arranged for the three of us to go together.  The daughter decided we could stay over the night before (the theatre ticket was my Christmas present to her), so with a Friday evening in London I looked around to see what else was on.  I'd been thinking of see The Curious Incident for some time, so she and I went to that too.  We also went shopping in Oxford Street, courtesy of my credit card.

The Curious Incident )
Good-night Mister Tom )
smallhobbit: (dragon)
Finally I booked the Brownie workshop at Pets At Home!  I did go in and they took our Pack name and my phone number and wrote it on the calendar for the relevant date.  No forms, no questions as to numbers ...  I had made one final attempt via the website, complaints section this time, to be told they couldn't help, contact your local store, but didn't bother to provide me with store details, even though I'd included that in my request.  I'm sure the Brownies will enjoy themselves, but do I feel valued as a customer - no comment.

We received some lovely flowers from the son this morning.  SM has been feeling rather down for a while, so to cheer him up and to thank us for his birthday present the son sent us these:

Flowers from Rob

I posted the picture on Instagram and ten minutes later there was a phone call from the daughter wanting to know what had happened or what she'd forgotten.  We had a long chat which was nice.

My [ profile] smallfandombang fic is finished, been beta-ed by the ever helpful [ profile] fortesomniare and I've added/taken out commas, put in additional explanations where she said it would help if they weren't just in my head, and re-written the second to last scene so the POV doesn't change every paragraph.  Hooray!  Also, I finally got round to writing the ficlet inspired by one of [ profile] fengirl88 Jonathan Strange fics.  It is pot/kettle and totally crack - and you really don't need to know anything about the series/book/Wellington/Napoleon or have any but the haziest knowledge of an 1815ish army: Song of the Onion

smallhobbit: (Christmas time)
Yesterday was one of those days when everything went well.  For those of you who had difficult Christmases this is not an attempt to make you feel bad.  This is just a record of a good day.

It began in what, for me, was the ideal start.  We had Family Service at church.  It was an entirely different format, bringing to together a very traditional congregation of a small Anglican church with a much more informal family group.  I was one of three leaders and although we followed a standard service pattern it was much more informal and people enjoyed it.

After that SM and I collected my mother and we went to son and daughter-in-law's.  The daughter joined us there.  She'd met Santa at work (she did the 9pm to 2am shift) and having helped deliver presents on her ward, escorted Santa (the Indian ward registrar) to A&E to the great delight of two-year-old who was in there.

Lunch, cooked by the son, was excellent: turkey, gammon, pigs in blankets, lots of vegetables.  The family all seemed delighted with the presents I'd bought them.  My mum was really pleased with her jumper, and son and DIL both sat and started looking through the books (history of tractors and paper crafts - you can probably work out who had what!).  And thanks to [ profile] norfolkdumpling for the suggestion, the daughter was delighted with Horseopoly.

We came home late afternoon, dropped my mum off at her home, and the daughter joined us for a couple of hours before driving back to Coventry.  I then watched Call The Midwife, which was ridiculous in part but ideal fluffy Christmas television.

My own presents were brilliant.  I have new, very comfortable pjs (which I'm still wearing), thick fluffy socks, a fleecy lounger (long-sleeved dress length with hood - also still wearing), gloves, owl socks, fingerless gloves and a 1930s Christmas whodunit.

And for breakfast this morning we had mince pie and Christmas cake.
smallhobbit: (Peanuts)
Firsty, thank you to all of you who sent me birthday wishes yesterday.  I'm sorry not to have got round to replying yet - I read everything on my phone yesterday, so didn't reply since it takes an age for me to compose anything on my phone and I also wanted to ensure I saved some battery until I got home - but I did appreciate every one and will reply soonish.

I did have a lovely day, with some excellent presents.  SM bought me the latest Dorling Kindersley Sherlock Holmes book (I sent him the link and reminded him three times to order it) which has amongst other pages interesting articles on all the ACD canon stories.  My mother gave me a new jumper, which is Fair Isle style and bright and cheerful and my daughter sent me some slippers (I told her I needed some new ones).


I had wanted to see Charlie & the Chocolate Factory for my birthday, and, since some of my friends were happy to go too, we met up for lunch beforehand.  And they gave me more presents.  I now have more chocolate than Charlie, some cider, and a bag and key ring featuring Inspector Stanley Hopkins (my friends know me so well!).

One of my friends was unwell and therefore had to drop out a couple of days before, so I told the daughter there was a spare ticket.  She sorted out her travel and came down to join us, which was really nice.  And she paid for my lunch and bought me a C&tCF t-shirt and golden ticket key ring.  Yay!

As for the musical: I wanted to go because Jonathan Slinger took over as Willy Wonka a few months ago and I was keen to see him in the part.  He was excellent.  The reviews said he was a slightly darker Wonka, which was right.  One of my friends, who'd seen it last year, said Slinger was a better Wonka.  The staging is great, with the glass elevator at the end done very effectively.  The rest of the cast were fine, but the music itself didn't generally grab me.  I liked "It's simply second nature" and "Enter a world of pure imagination", probably because the ideas of creativity for its own sake rather than for monetary reasons appeal.

After which, the daughter got a train back and the rest of us went to the pub.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
Son now has a new car.  Well, technically it isn't new, since it's older than me, but it's a new toy.

Austin A30

For those of you not up on your motor vehicles, it's an Austin A30.  Son took SM and I for a short ride in it and it didn't break down.  In fact the only time it's done so is when daughter-in-law was in the car - she made adverse comments and the car obviously got upset, because it stopped in the middle of a junction.

Rob front garden Rob back garden

And these are parts of his front and back garden.  When they bought their house two and a half years ago the back garden was all concrete and there was nothing much at the front.  Since when he has completely replanted both gardens.

War Horse

Jun. 27th, 2015 07:37 pm
smallhobbit: (Cat)
The daughter informed me she wished to see War Horse for her birthday, so yesterday she and I met up in London (by the lions in Trafalgar Square) so I could buy her lunch.  Then, once we had checked in and chilled out at the Travelodge we took the tube back to Temple station and walked up to Drury Lane, to the New London Theatre.

Most people will have heard of how good the puppets of the horses are and I can only agree.  The athleticism of the puppeteers is amazing and the horses are so convincing.  The daughter is keen on horses (she had fallen off during her jumping lesson in the morning, nothing serious, just bruises) and loved how realistic they were.  My own personal favourite was the goose - who I thought was brilliant.

I enjoyed seeing the production, but it didn't have the impact others have said it's had on them.  I didn't need any tissues, although the ending made me happy.  Inevitably the production is highly choreographed and I prefer theatre where there is more interaction between actors and, without necessarily breaking the fourth wall, there's a response to the audience reactions.  Also, here there's a lot of interraction between actors and the horse puppets, which is never going to appeal to me as much.  I also found the actor playing Albert Narracott too physical.  But then, as they say, it's horses for courses.

I liked it, the daughter was really happy to have seen it, and demanded I buy her a horse key ring afterwards, so all was well.

We finished our trip by having breakfast in Wetherspoons the next morning.  Happy 24th Daughter!
smallhobbit: (Cat)
I have been doing [ profile] fan_flashworks for a year, see: 

I have 34 badges in total and I'm really pleased because it has caused me to try things I've not tried before.  Here's to the next 12 months.


I went for an interview on Wednesday, but didn't get the job.  Which is a shame because it was two miles from home, the hours I wanted and the pay I wanted.  The rejection letter said I lacked some of the skills and experience others had.  No I didn't - I could do more than was asked for, which I suspect was the real reason.  Still, I can stay at my current job until the end of August, so there's time yet.


We bought bedding plants a couple of weeks ago and SM planted them into pots:

Garden Flowers 2 Garden flowers 1

Yes, I do go for bright and colourful flowers.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
Because I have just ordered seven books from Ebay.  As apparently I have no self-control.  The total was less than £18, so it wasn't a major outlay and for the moment everything will have to go on my bedroom windowsill.

So yes, dear flist, I have now ordered or have already bought something each one of you have suggested.  There are a couple of additional books suggested by other friends who I mentioned my reading plans to, so I now have sufficient books to last me for the year.  Yay!

The only book I still need to purchase was suggested by [ profile] laurose8 Richard III by Annette Carson.  This is slightly more expensive and would be ideal for using my book token to buy.

I also need a new iron - there is steam coming out of my current one, which as I don't use the steam facility is slightly worrying.  This is not, however, as interesting as buying a book shelf.


Mar. 18th, 2015 08:11 pm
smallhobbit: (Cat)
It was a weekend of surprises, good ones.

Firstly, my mother was surprised by her Mother's Day present.  She doesn't really do Mother's Day, but who can resist snails bearing pansies.  Even if she did think they were hippos.

Secondly, when we arrived home from the concert in Tewkesbury on Saturday evening, there, on the dining table, were these tulips.


Plus a dismantled wooden arbour seat.  Clearly son had called by and delivered my Mother's Day flowers and SM's birthday present.  I commented on this on Twitter, saying that coming home to find tulips and an arbour seat in one's dining room wasn't something which happened everyday.  [ profile] flawedamythyst said it wouldn't be unusual for John Watson.  Interestingly, I seem to have achieved a Watsonesque level of acceptance of these things, because it seemed perfectly normal to read the note saying the rest of the arbour was behind the curtain.

Lastly came the surprise daughter and I had orchestrated.  She had arranged to meet us in London for the birthday celebrations.  So SM was packed off to his concert, having only been allowed a light lunch, because I wasn't very hungry, and I insisted on taking his bag with me when I went to book into the Travelodge.  I met up with daughter at Waterloo and we returned to the Purcell Rooms in time for her to greet him as he left the concert.  He was totally surprised (yay, the planning worked!).  Daughter then took us out for dinner before she returned to Coventry and we went to our concert.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
I was supposed to go to an Appropriate Adult party this evening, but didn't really want to go.  It's been a frustrating week and the thought of having to drive to the party not long after getting home from work (a 30 minute drive given the traffic at that time of day) and then Make Polite Conversation, wasn't appealing.  But I couldn't think of a way out of it.

My car also had its MOT and service today and just as I was about to leave work to pick it up the garage phoned, to say that there were a couple of things that I ought to consider having done.  I did enquire about bringing the car back, but since one of them was have a new battery, which they said was important, since it had cut out on them and might not start for me, I agreed to them doing it.  Which meant that by the time I got home it wasn't worth going to the party.

In other news, son now has a complete set of driving licences: tractor, car, motorbike, vehicle up to 7.5 tonne, automatic PSV (bus), manual PSV (coach), rigid lorry and, from today, articulated lorry.  Meanwhile, daughter has been Nurse in Charge on a couple of night shifts.
smallhobbit: (Lewis Hathaway swimming pool)
Firstly, thank you very much to everyone who sent me birthday wishes in any form - it's been lovely to hear from all of you.  And my apologies if I haven't managed to reply individually to everyone yet - I will get there.

I've had a great weekend.  As you will know from my previous post we went to the theatre on Friday night, having first eaten in the theatre restaurant and stayed over in a hotel.  Saturday morning we strolled down to the church and looked inside.  There was a notice there for the regular congregation, which appealled.  The correct wording should have been "During the Winter months Parish Communion will be at 10am."  How do I know it was for the regulars?  It actually said "From November 2nd, the 10.30 service will be at 10.00am".  And finally today we went our for Sunday lunch with my son and daughter-in-law.

Birthday goodies )
smallhobbit: (Cat)
We go on holiday on Sunday (hooray!), being picked up at 7.10am (rather less hooray).  And obviously I'm busy for the three evenings before that.  So if you don't hear from me until Saturday week, I'm not ignoring you, or being more incompetent than usual, but just not here - physically as well as mentally ;)

We're going to Bruges for one night.  Last time we went to Bruges it was March and it was bitterly cold and snowed.  I'm hoping for better weather this time.  From there we go to Cochem on the Moselle River in Germany.  We've not been there before, and have only visited Germany for an afternoon, when we went to Trier - we have a day trip to Trier this time too, so hopefully we'll see more of the town than we did last time.  It poured with rain then.  If anyone would like a postcard then please PM me your address - and also your name unless you want your LJ name available for the postman to read.

I found out why I wasn't getting any email notifications for new posts on LJ - it turned out that all the tick boxes for notifications had been unticked.  Also, my icons are now working again - yey!

I am extremely unimpressed that Lewis aired in the States before it did over here.  But at least [ profile] thirdbird_fic wrote me a lovely ficlet, which I want to recommend Rescued.

The daughter thing phoned the other day.  She has her Christmas hours.  She's volunteered to work a long day on Christmas Day and will either come home straight afterwards or first thing on Boxing Day.  Because we need to maintain the family tradition of me taking her to the Matalan sale.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
Happy days numbers 66 to 72:

Day 66 – After a very heavy shower at teatime, SM suggested we go for a walk since it had dried up.  We took the same walk we had on Day 31, down to the river.  The air was fresh and although the grass was wet the ground wasn’t muddy.  We watched the bullocks and sheep and the ducks.

Day 67 – Almost Human.  Once again, but I’m enjoying it.  I like Kennex and I like Dorian, and Rudy, and Maldonado.  It is a tad predictable, although I like the futuristic bits.  And while some things are really futuristic others aren’t which seems strange.  So I’m not as disappointed as I thought I might be that it isn’t being recommissioned.  But I can see myself writing the odd ficlet.  Although probably not quite as odd as this one Rudy didn't expect

Day 68 – In what turned out to be a particularly frustrating day for various reasons, it was sunny so I took the time to walk between the two sites at work.

Day 69 – The daughter has been offered the job she went for an interview for yesterday.  And it’s her birthday.

Day 70 – Under Milk Wood was excellent.  See my last post.

Day 71 – I posted Consequences and at least one person liked it.  John Watson has come back to 221B Baker Street, but the reasons for his return mean that it is not turning out the way he had hoped.  Finding the right ending proved challenging, but with [ profile] impishtubist’s encouragement I made it.  The pairing is Sherlock Holmes/Victor Trevor, although that’s mostly in the background, and implied John Watson/Mary Watson.

Day 72 - I was supposed to be going to a barbecue in the afternoon, but decided that since I didn't particularly want to go, I wouldn't.  Such a lovely feeling of relief at lunchtime.  And with SM out for the whole afternoon, doing his own thing (watching motorbike scrambling and listening to a friend's choir - not at the same time I hasten to add) that gave me several hours of chilling and writing and watching rubbish DVDs.  I even did a bit of weeding.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
Yes, it's Monday, so another week of happy days:

Day 59 – for [ profile] murphybabe – The trains ran smoothly!

Day 60 – I created a whole ‘verse for a Robin Hood AU in space in less than an hour.  Robin Hood in Space

Day 61 – Almost Human, which I watched a day late since I was out the evening before.  My daughter phoned part way through and I had to phone her back.  It's the one programme which I'm watching at the moment.  Okay, so the football's on, but I'm not watching that, just looking up occasionally when the commentator gets excited.

Day 62 – We imagined being evacuated in Brownies (I shall do a proper Brownie post later this week) and one of them managed to lose her suitcase, which was drawn on a piece of paper.  They only had to walk into the big hall for a few minutes and back.

Day 63 – We went out for a drink and a meal in our favourite pub to celebrate making it to Friday.

Day 64 – The Brownie birthday party went much better than expected.  And the glass of wine I had when I got home was greatly appreciated.

Day 65 – We went for tea and cake at my son’s house.  His garden is looking wonderful, about 15 roses, pansies, sweet peas, lots of bedding plants.  When they moved in eighteen months ago the back garden was all concreted and now it is a real garden, lawn, bushes, flowers, really impressive.
smallhobbit: (penguin)
Finally getting around to posting these:

Firstly, one I can do nothing about by myself.  I would like to be a grandmother.  Or to be exact I would like my son and his wife to have a child.  Not in any sense of desperation, but because they both want children at some point.  And I expect that to be within the next five years.

Secondly, I want to go to Florence.  We've been talking about it for the last couple of years, but cost and ease of transport have made it difficult.  When you've got to spend the whole day getting there and another day getting back and you have limited time available it needs careful planning.

Thirdly, I'd like to get our Brownies more involved in activities with other packs, so that they get to see how big the organisation is that they are involved in.  Last weekend there was a big county Brownie event which we didn't go to - having to book a year in advance isn't practical with a pack with relatively small numbers because many would have left; plus the cost was above what we could reasonably expect many of our families to pay.  We're not inner city, but there's not that much spare cash around.  There's talk of having a day event in the autumn, so hopefully we can do that.

And now I need to make my final preparations for the sleepover.  If you don't hear from me again I've been eaten by a dinosaur.
smallhobbit: (penguin)
I've seen this around with a few people of my acquantaince doing it.  And in principle I'm all for it - plus, being basically of a positive disposition it seemed attainable.  Except, it requires uploading a photograph.  Firstly the sheer effort of taking photo, connecting to my computer, uploading it to the internet, would probably negate all the positive feelings.  I am, after all, not the most technically gifted of people.  At work I told the photocopier what I thought of it (as you do) and the next thing it printed out said "offensive comment".  Which caused great hilarity all round.

Secondly, how do you photograph half the things that qualify as the happy instant.  It could be a sound, a smell.  Something that passes quickly.  Something that happens at Brownies or work, and you don't upload those faces.

So in the end I decided that I would keep a record every day of something that made me happy, and periodically upload it to my LJ as one of my regular blog posts.  So by all means feel free to ask where the next installment is, but don't expect them to appear every day.

And here, to start it off:
Day 1 - people clapped at the end of Messy Church.  It certainly wasn't something I expected.  It made me happy because it meant they had enjoyed themselves.

Day 2 - daughter phoned at 8.15 this morning, having just come off her fourth night shift in a row.  She'd seen that we'd made Simnel cakes and has decided to change her route slightly this Friday to call in on us for a few hours.  And collect her cake.  We haven't seen her for six weeks, so it will be good to catch up.
smallhobbit: (Mouselet)
I had been debating what to write for this journal entry (see, those of you currently doing the 30 day challenge, you're not the only ones) when a post by [ profile] azriona got me thinking about events when my children were small.

My daughter had a favourite pink toy rabbit.  It became known as Chewed Ears for fairly obvious reasons.  It went everywhere with her.  As a toddler she went to Active Tots and the rabbit went with her as she climbed all the equipment, held firmly in her mouth.  Many was the bedtime we had to search the house for the *** rabbit since she's put him down somewhere and couldn't sleep without him.  I forgot to mention that although pink, Chewed Ears was definitely male.  And someone would finally find him stuffed behind a radiator in the bathroom.

He once got thrown out of the car window.  It wasn't deliberate, it may well have been an experiment - I don't know, I was driving at the time, and so long as she remained in her seat I was happy.  (Quick release buttons are no deterent for a determined toddler and said toddler climbing through into the front of the car was not good for my concentration on the road).  So, the first thing I knew was the wailing "My Rabbit" and her older brother telling me urgently that Chewed Ears had gone out of the window.  We drove back and fortunately found him.

That particular episode wasn't repeated, although it wasn't the last time we lost him.  She didn't so much drop him - she was too fond of him for that - but put him down.  And leave him.  On one occasion we had gone to a country fair and discovering his loss on our return to the car had had to retrace our steps.  Fortunately someone had picked him up and put him on a post.

On another occasion we had been shopping at a farmers'/country store and returned home to find him missing.  I phoned up to ask if he'd been found.  He hadn't.  I referred to him as a pink rabbit.  Three days later the store phoned back; they had found what looked a bit like a small grey teddy bear.  The total absence of ears and the fact that he badly needed a wash had fooled them.  Much happiness at the return of the beloved.

Because my daughter went on adventure camps and Chewed Ears went too he had a name tape sewn onto the back of his neck.  Over the years the face has vanished, so now the only way you can tell which way he's facing is by the name tape.  And yes, he is still upstairs, waiting for her whenever she comes home.  So?  I still have my teddy bear.


smallhobbit: (Default)

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