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Day of the Doodle

For the love of God.

So today is International Women's Day, and Google celebrates this with a doodle that's all about women marching with a child, talking with a child, flying an airplane with a child, even artistic achievement is celebrated with a child - and the example is Frida Kahlo, of all people, who was infertile!

No wonder many women are still all about the babies. It might be natural for some, but by god, it is stuffed down all our throats from the day we're born. I never wanted babies, still don't, and am bored to hell and back with this nonsense. It's like men do and women teach how to do. There's nothing wrong with teaching, but the ability to do it is not specifically feminine.

It's all a bit bloody annoying, and ties into this myth of women not existing for themselves. Maybe some of us find our identities through others, having been told that this is our proper function for centuries, but it's ridiculous and always has been.

Here's Frida Kahlo as she painted herself, with the companions she chose.


A lot of pleasant chatter today...

... And then sad news, not of a personal kind but painful nonetheless.

Increasingly I find social media hard to handle.


A weekend of catching up with friends and family, the fact that all my moles have now been checked and are normal, and my introduction to the art of Alfred Kubin.

Another one of those artists you could admire but never invite to dinner...

If I listened to myself...

I'd have bet a fiver on Bellew to win against Haye in the eleventh round. Larians asked me if I wanted to go ahead with it, and I decided not to.

I'd have won £500!


It's getting harder for me to comment on FB. Not because it's any more or less interesting, but because agree/disagree/like/love/get angry/laugh, covers most of all that's required from a reader.

Right now I am mulling around world creation. I can do it in the blink of an eye. But my desire is to wander round and see it, I don't necessarily need anything to happen as such. To save time it would be good to create the outline of a plot, but often the ideas don't turn up until I am in the world. Then they unfold for me, much the same as anyone reading the story, just sooner.

It's really inefficient as a writing method, and right now, I am getting nowhere fast.

Still there


This is not a grand time, but magical lands defy time.

I recall visiting my old friend Olivia at Clonegal Castle one May night - probably closer to Walpurgis than the eve of May, can't recall. I was staying at Mrs Plunkett's boarding house, and walked the long driveway in the dark, and in my mind's eye, became aware of activity in the field, not cows but something else, the sense of faces peeking out at me, very mischievous and not entirely friendly, from between the roots and shrubs. Why didn't I look directly towards them? I was a little afraid. Then the wind started up, and I approached the great trees either side of the drive way, and they creaked, slow and ominous in their song. Then I was frightened in a very different way. I could have sworn I was in the presence of the dead. I ran the last length of the drive out along the road to Mrs Plunkett's where a flameless but warm peat fire awaited me in my room.

Next morning I learned that six men had been hung from those trees during the Jacobite rebellion.

There are many fairy traditions that mention spotting the dead among the fairy troops. When Christians get involved the stories turn to connections between the Fae and Hell, tithes of souls and fallen angels. But then, Christianity has long been something of a homogenising force; if it's not an angel or human, it's bad, a response to an older tradition, hard to displace, the people of the wind and the hollow hills.

I am glad it lives yet.

Cath Palug's irritating cousin

He yowls to be fed very early.
I feed him, then put his food away. It can't be left out cos it's bad for the others, and theirs can't be left out cos it's bad for him.
I go back to bed.
10 minutes later he yowls again. Trying to keep the room quiet for my sleeping hubby, I get up again. Put food out again. The b*gger isn't even that hungry.
Back to bed. Husband is awake.
Husband potters, decides to work from home.
Q Music.
Hello day.

Another country

Some excellent news arrived and last night we enjoyed the relief of it. This morning I am quietly counting the cost; we will not be moving to Oz in the foreseeable future.

There are important benefits to that. If something goes wrong with Mum I'm half a day away at the very most, Europe remains close, and of course we have wonderful friends here... But I am going to indulge myself a bit this morning. To me, GB has been like some grim Dickensian benefactor who really didn't want to look after me, and expected me to be grateful for resentfully given help. Nothing destroys gratitude faster than the expectation of it. I didn't like the country on first return from Singapore, and I don't like what I see now. But I am engaged with the history of the place,and perhaps that's what should infuse my writing.

As Larians points out, Oz has its own political and racially derived problems. There is no Shangri-La out there. But I don't feel any sense of belonging here at all. When I was small GB seemed like a prison.

I have heard apologists say, 'Oh, but everywhere is like that. People always prefer their own,' but I never noticed it in Spain when we visited. It was a very English thing, and it continued for years. And people don't understand how the underlying unfriendliness becomes a set tone, til you really couldn't care less anymore. England became much nicer to me when I genuinely stopped trying to love it or see it as my home. Now I get nothing but people saying 'We're not that bad are we? After all, you are one of us!' Well, the old streets and stones call me with their stories, and I'll make the best of it for now.
But no, I am not one of them, and never will be.

There are stories to be told of this place, and I keep bumping into them. So maybe that's where my research should take me. But it's not very fresh, is it? So I am not sure.

The Vision Fulfilled

Or at least, my vision fulfilled. My hope had been for an excellent party to celebrate my brother's 50th. His friend/companion had wanted to turn the inside of the garage into a tardis as detailed in earlier posts. To go along with that he wanted us to run what could best be described as an old fashioned LARP linear, with 6 encounters including a massive fight with guests dressed as cybermen in the park, lasers and smoke machines blazing. This might have worked if we had a team of committed role-players, but roping guests with possibly no interest, in their party gear in February weather to be crew without having asked them in advance struck me as disaster. I argued him down to three encounters that could take place in and around the house, with very few 'actors,' if necessary.

Not that I needed to. His plans for the tardis were complex and he mis-timed it completely. He had two other guys working on it for two days and I had been helping as best I could, but I'm not very good at cutting and measuring things. Also, I was having problems sympathising with him, as he had devised the plan something like 5/6 months ago...I said nothing except when he suggested I have a cup of tea. 'There's no time for tea,' I told him. Faced with a level of catastrophe even tea couldn't fix, he did not try to tell me it would be OK,and we just got on with it. His vision included insulation, wiring and linoleum, all of which made the space practical and useful, none of which made it tardis-like. The console was complex and in pieces. I suggested that we get that made, he ignored me politely, and then looked gutted when the whole thing wasn't ready as the guests turned up. Larians took my brother to the pub and I sent other guests there too, while I set the party table with savouries and sweets, stocked the drinks fridge, and the best lady and her beau arrived bringing more snackage. Old and very dear friends of my bro appeared, redirected to the pub, where my brother began to suspect something was up. By the time the tardis had flashing lights behind roundels, he was on his way back with a small crowd, and the house was full of waiting people.

The rest was fantastic. Total party success, encounters could not happen as it was tipping down, so nobody had to do anything other than eat, drink and dance, and my bro was overwhelmed by the tardis as it was, a miracle in its own right. The genius looked a bit gutted, but he had done well in all except his timing. He collapsed in bed early. The party just carried on and on, full of daleks, weeping angels, sonic screwdrivers, etc, and my brother was deliriously happy.

Thank god that's over.


Media this morning is full of Trump's exclusion of certain media outlets from an informal press briefing. BBC, CNN, New York Times, LA Times, Huffington Post = out, Fox, Breitbart, Washington Post = in. TIME and Associated Press boycotted the gaggle in protest.

Well, you never know. If the US is lucky, they've got themselves a president who likes one or two of the accoutrements of a tyrant, but is basically just blowing hard.

And if they're unlucky... We could all be unlucky.



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