smallhobbit: (screech owl)
Faithful readers of this blog will know that sometime last month I asked if anyone wanted to ask me something.  Most of you already know far more about me than is strictly necessary, but [personal profile] aome  asked how I got involved with Brownies in the first place.

The simple answer, which is probably the same for three-quarters of leaders, is because the daughter's Guide Unit needed help.  But there's more to why I'm still involved.

To begin at the very beginning:  The daughter was always a very enthusiastic guiding member.  She began Rainbows a little above the minimum age, but the first time she went she came home asking if I could sponsor her, could she go to an event, and when did she get her uniform.  When she moved onto Brownies she had the option of joining two trips at the end of the summer term, or waiting until the autumn - there was no question, she was going on the trips.  And so onto Guides - one week there and she's signed up for camp the following month.

So when her unit were in desperate need of help, I wanted to make sure she could continue with something she enjoyed.  I started as a Unit Helper, but was persuaded to take the qualification and become an Assistant Leader.  And inevitably the leader moved with her husband, and I took the final part of the qualification to become the Unit Leader.  The daughter got older and moved onto Explorer Scouts.

Time passed, and my Assistant Leader could no longer help.  The daughter took GCSEs and started college, where she was residential.  We needed to pay for the accommodation which meant I needed to find a full-time job (I had worked part-time whilst the kids were growing up.)  So with less time and less help I did one further term as Unit Leader, but then was forced to close the unit.

I still wanted to do 'something' and having had involvement with the Scouts whilst the daughter was there, I went to help with a Beaver Scout unit.  It turned out that Scouting wasn't for me.  So after a couple of terms I stopped.

And enquired at the village Brownie pack whether I could be of assistance.  I knew the leaders from my time with the Guides, and had helped them with the annual London trip and on other odd occasions.  Strangely enough, it turned out that an experienced pair of hands would be very welcome.  So I completed the group specific part of the qualification, so I could lead Brownies.  Then, when one of the Brownie leaders proposed starting a new Guide Unit in the nearby town I offered to help and provide experience of the Guide programme.  So for two terms I was doing both Brownies and Guides.  (By that point I had changed job again and was working slightly less hours).

Then, when we moved to Gloucester, I asked one of my current Brownie Leaders if she knew a pack I could join.  She recommended the one I'm at now, which was ideal because it suited my style of leadership.  So, 14 years later, I'm still involved as a Brownie leader.
smallhobbit: (Sloth)
 I've started this blogpost a couple of times, but couldn't decide what to ramble about.

Should I talk about spending my hard-earned cash (I'm getting a new phone, because shiny and on offer; and we're getting the gas boiler replaced)?  I could mention a little about my grandfathers and father and other relatives.  Maybe I could mutter about Dreamwidth, but really I've said most of it before.

I don't even have any memes lined up to do.

So instead I'm throwing it open to you, dear flist.  Is there anything you'd like to know about me?  Ask away, and I'll attempt to answer in the comments.  Or if I've got lots to say on the subject then I might even give it a post of its own.

ETA: I've just found a [community profile] holmestice  treat written for me, which is brilliant.  If you haven't seen it already, do take a look: The Case of the Six Marmalades

2nd ETA: Title changed in case anyone did.

smallhobbit: (Cat)
And we were in Florence - hooray!

Birthday )And yes, we were in Florence, and there will be further details to come, but, as a taster, here's the view from the rooftop terrace of our hotel:
Florence )
smallhobbit: (Guy)
Because I thought it was time I did another meme post - this one swiped from [livejournal.com profile] blythechild

So what have you been up to? / Major life changes? Same old same old?
I started my new job last week and so far (three days later) it's okay.  I have another interview next Thursday for a part-time job locally, which I think I'll be unlikely to get - part of it I have little experience with, so if there are others with more experience they'll have the advantage.  On the other hand I do have the financial ability which a lot of pure administrators lack.  At least preparation for the interview should be interesting.

What fandom are you in/do you spend most of your time in?
Probably Sherlock Holmes, of the ACD canon variety.  I don't really feel like I'm in a specific fandom at the moment - a lot of those I'm friendly with have moved into other fandoms, which I don't share, so the friendship is of a more general nature.  As it is with a number of my flist, who were never fandom specific.

Where do you hang out online?
Here and I post fics to AO3.  Twitter as well, but that's mostly fandom friends I know in RL too.  And Facebook for seeing what the daughter is doing - last weekend was the Wolf Run in Coventry and she took part with a team from her ward - some impressive pictures of very muddy and happy people.

What are you reading?
Just finished two books, as my book review earlier this week will testify.  About to start the book on Richard III and possibly Mary Renault's The Charioteer.  I will pack a couple of other books for when we go on holiday.

What are you watching?
Um, nothing.  I caught the one episode of Forever which I missed when it was shown originally yesterday.  Hannibal is finished.  Person of Interest season 3 is over (hopefully season 4 will finally appear sometime next year).  I'm hoping something decent will turn up in the autumn schedules.  Can I include listening to radio plays/comedies/audio CDs with Sam Troughton?

What are you making?
I signed up for [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang for my Lewis fic and I'm going to try to write my Lucas/Adam Spooks fic alongside it.  Also signed up for [livejournal.com profile] spook_me and in the middle of writing another short fic for [livejournal.com profile] older_not_dead

What are you squeeing about today?
Not much really.  Sam Troughton as above?

If you could rope old fandom friends into a new fandom, it would be...
Lucas North/Adam Carter from Spooks.  Obviously an AU, but irresistible.  Or Guy of Gisborne/Much from BBC Robin Hood.  Possibly a niche market, since I'm the only one writing that pairing on AO3.

What else is on your mind?
A feeling of the need to get back into some sort of routine.  The change of job and work hours has thrown me and although it's nice not working all week I have a sense of impermanence there.  Also, we're on holiday the week after next, so it feels as if I can't get organised long-term until we come back.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
but I do know when there's something wrong with my car.  Took my car in yesterday to have the brake pads replaced, because they were due - a simple matter.  I'm driving home on the fast lane of the motorway overtaking a lorry overtaking a lorry when my car begins to vibrate.  And not just a little bit due to the road surface, but up through my arms and into my body.  Not nice.  As soon as I can I pull into the slow lane and continue at 60mph and all is fine.  Move out to overtake another lorry, do about 70 (nothing excessive) and the vibration is back again.  Get home and mention it to SM, who drives car and confirms I'm right, there's a problem.

So I phone the garage to tell them and they don't know how it could happen - am I sure it wasn't happening already?  They say bring it back and they'll look at it.  Return car to garage repeat tale and no, it wasn't happening before.  They discover wheels were out of balance (well, duh), no idea how this could have happened, it must have been doing so already.  Emphatically repeat it wasn't.  I drive up and down the motorway every day and do more than 70 (never that much more officer, nothing to trouble you) and I think I would have noticed a vibration of that size.  I just put on my "Don't mess with me, you are a mere man" face.

Like half my flist I've done the Tumblr meme to find my three top tropes, in joint first position are Hurt/Comfort; Seemingly Unrequited Pining; Friends to Lovers.  Seems to be a recurring theme.  There were however a lot of tropes missing: Buddy Cop, Humour, Crack - probably over half of what floats my boat, so possibly not the most surprising meme.

And, because three things make a post, nicked from [livejournal.com profile] draycevixen I currently have 277 works archived on AO3.  Pick a number from 1 (most recent) to 277 (first AO3) posting and I'll tell you three things I like about it.  
smallhobbit: (Cat)
Last weekend I went to Colchester again to go to the Colchester Medieval Fayre with the same group of fandom friends I went last year.  The only change being one of them has moved back to Colchester and is now living in the house with our host from last year.  Which meant I got to sleep on the settee this year.

Nothing else much had changed.  We still ate pizza and drank Pimms (all the Pimms).  This year we had couscous (all the couscous) - we ate it for two days and left plenty for the two housemates, probably for the rest of the week.  I took the wrong washbag and had to buy myself a toothbrush - refusing to pay silly money for an overnight brush I ended up with a child's toothbrush (blue, I wasn't having the pink - some things never change).  We talked - we had thought of watching a DVD one evening, but we talked late on Friday night, and until 11 (early for us) on Saturday since we were all worn out.

Contrary to our normal wet visits to Colchester, the sun shone all day, with sufficient of a breeze to keep cool.  The fair was fascinating again - we learnt about sling shots and trebuchets.  We strolled around the stalls.  This year I didn't buy as much, but I do now have a lovely wooden acorn keyring.  They had a lot of beautiful jewellry, but since I tend to wear things for a couple of weeks and then forget to put them on buying jewellry never seems worthwhile.
The local cider was delicious and the hog roast was excellent.  There was a stall selling awesome cupcakes, which we were forced to try.

Once again we tried shooting arrows from crossbows and longbows.  I'm not accurate, but if I was in Henry V's squad of archers faced with oncoming cavalery I would shoot and hit something.  I just wouldn't qualify as Robin Hood.

So a brilliant weekend with brilliant friends.
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: (Cat)
The 5th annual [livejournal.com profile] shpicnic is on Saturday 18 July.  It's held in London and I stay overnight (due to the trains I can't get home if I stay for the evening).  I had been planning on having a couple of days in London, probably the week before, staying on a Wednesday and Thursday to make the most of the theatre opportunities.  So, I thought, why not combine the two, add the Friday night (not that much more expensive than a return train ticket) and have an extra day to do things.

Which means I have booked the Waterloo Travelodge for four nights.  Again, not the cheapest, but only by about £20 for the four days.  And it's close to the National Theatre and the Old Vic.  And not far from the tube station.

So now I can wait and see which plays are on this summer.  One thing I am definitely getting a ticket for is Matthew Bourne's The Car Man.  And then there are museums, and other exhibitions.

And when I'm sitting at work, struggling with all the new pension stuff - which have been given to me because "someone has to do it" I can remind myself that there are good things to look forward to.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
I suspect the fact I haven't got round to posting this until a third of the way through the month gives some indication about my desire to make such resolutions.  Although bizarrely in a way that's exactly what it is.

A number of my flist did the End of Year Writing meme, which in each case was interesting to read.  And I thought about it and decided that I wasn't interested in analysing my writing to that extent.  In summary I have posted 79 works (about 110,055 words as the final total) in 11 fandoms (thank you [livejournal.com profile] fan_flashworks) plus entries for [livejournal.com profile] sherlock60 and various [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic entries - which add another 4 fandoms.

Which leads to Resolution No 1 - keep a daily record of what I've written.  Although since I'm not interested in daily totals I'm only noting if I've written, say, my SFBB or other story, and will add the total when it's finished.

The other point is that I need to be more organised/disciplined about things.  First problem is that I have to be organised at work, juggling priorities etc - must prepare payroll details in time to submit them etc and in my leisure time I don't want to be forced to think at a similar pace.  Some of my flist have lovely "to do" lists for the week, which is brilliant, and works for them.  Unfortunately my brain says "long list, ignore it all" which frankly is unhelpful.

And so, Resolution No 2 - write down 3 things to do each day.  I can cope with 3.  Or at least 3 doesn't panic me - I may still ignore them.  At the moment every day says SFBB - because I'm aiming to write a few paragraphs each day.  And basically it seems to be working.  So far.

I have two diaries - one for each resolution - neither is needed for dates, because I use my phone for that.  Feel free to ask me how I'm getting on.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
Yes, I do realise this is two days late - but the sentiment is still there, in that I send best wishes to all my flist for 2015.

New Year's Eve was excellent.  I spent it with fangirls, eating stew, playing card games, toasting the new year with champagne and singing along to Queen songs.  It couldn't have been better.

As I said to [livejournal.com profile] snailbones I think "Always look on the bright side of life" might end up being my theme tune for this year, if it continues the way it began.  No major catastrophes, but the effect I have on our railways - which I thought I had outrun - has caught up with me again.  The train home 'developed a fault' which led to a long wait in Swindon.  (I still hate that station).  On the bright side I've applied for compensation, so I should end up with at least part of my journey home being for free.

And yesterday I went into work for the first time in nearly a fortnight to discover the internet was down.  So at least I didn't have to read my emails.  And I got done some of what I'd hoped to do - not quite as much, since with no internet I was unable to print, but progress was made.

So, all the best to all of you for 2015.

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