Tag Archives: music

Take cover, mortals. The world is in danger.

I bought sportswear, and intend to use it. Scared yet?

This is what happens when I get bullied. Eventually, I’ll cave and yet somehow engineer it so it seems like it was my idea.

Now, Dave, it is up to you. If I’ve spent £13.97 of my hard-earned money on bloody sportswear, and I don’t get to use it because you fail at buying a squash racquet or actually following up on your bullying me to take up a hobby of which you approve, I will be v cross and poke you with knitting needles. Mercilessly.

Other stuff I’ve been meaning to post about but haven’t.

A.Human- Third Hand Prophecy

A.Human have released their first album, Third Hand Prophecy, and it is very good. I recommend giving it a look.

Also…

LSG friendship bracelet swap - my offering!

Friendship bracelets were never this much fun when I was at school. That is my offering to the Lazy, Stupid and Godless friendship bracelet swap. It arrived with mah pardner in the US a couple of days ago and has apparently already been stolen by a two year old. These LSG bitches do start early.

A new addition to the toolkit.

You know you’re knitting too fast when you start to get friction burns on your tension finger. Solution… tape it up!

Other things I wanted to post about include:

1. Eccles cakes. I found some in a newsagents the other day and they were realy quite disappointing. I was surprised as the packet said ‘genuine Lancashire Eccles cakes’, but my recipe for them is way nicer. I’ll take fake East Anglian/West Midlands Eccles cakes over your mass-produced tat any day.

2. IAMX. I saw them twice last week, at the Barfly on Tuesday and then at the Charlotte in Leicester on the Wednesday. They were really very good (hence the second trip), though both places were FREEZING. It’s a bit hard to jump around when you can’t feel your feet. It was a real shame on the second day as I was wearing an awesome dress and it didn’t get let out from under the coat for long enough. Still, if a girl can’t wear a £200 cocktail dress to an IAMX gig, when can she?

3. IAMX again. I took the visit of their merch stand as an opportunity to lay my hands upon their previous album, Kiss + Swallow. It’s very good, particularly as I’ve experienced most of the songs live first. Like Infadels, really… hearing the track on record reminds me of the awesomeness of the live show, and gives me a nice cuddly warm glow.

4. Grammar. I’ve been watching a thread on the Ravelry forums about grammar. Phooooeeeey do people who don’t ‘get’ grammar get awful defensive? There’s people on there saying they’re glad to make grammatical errors and coming up with all sorts of reasons why they shouldn’t be expected to spell properly, and claiming that it’s offensive even to mention poor grammar. To them I say, get over yourselves. Whether you care about your grammar or not, your errors are still errors, and while there’s no reason you should be judged for a simple mistake, there is every reason for you to be judged when you admit to being too lazy to learn properly, or to be considerate to other people who may not understand your mangling of the language.

Anyway. Want a sneaky peeky at the latest project?

Music. Food. Knitting. Wildlife.

A four-pronged post.

MUSIC

Now that all the furore about ‘In Rainbows’ has died down (radio who?) I feel comfortable announcing that actually, I quite like it. Mainly because it’s absolutely perfect knitting music.

KNITTING

I’ve abandoned the gloves (just not feeling them, y’know?) and am embarking on a cardigan. This is how far I’ve got so far:

Woo! Umm. Bit of a way to go. But I’m quite excited as I’ll need to use some stitch markers, of which I handily made a few last week:

FOOD

I’m still reeling with the smug factor of a beef stew I made last week, that resulted in two grown men licking their plates clean and asking for more.

Yes, it did have beer in it. 🙂

WILDLIFE

I saw some wildlife! Actually from my flat! Look!

OK, so it’s just a moth, but it was big and spent a long time sat there just furling and unfurling its proboscis. And then probably died as it was early afternoon. But in a city where the only winged creatures are seagulls, honking bloody Canada geese or scabby toe-less pigeons, I was quite impressed.

Shame about having no TV for this one.

Infadels have got themselves on a Mazda advert – and here tis. I know I’d buy the car.

Err… ok, maybe not. But it is painted green, which must mean it’s environmentally friendly. That’s right, isn’t it?

I’ve been knitting too much, my thumb hurts and is distracting me from writing stuff. I wouldn’t still be knitting (and in so much pain) if I hadn’t done a booboo earlier and dropped a stitch right on the cable so I couldn’t pick it back up for the life of me. I had to unravel a good three inches of scarf and start again from scratch. Was not pleased. And now the bottom edge is all wobbly cos used wool doesn’t knit as well as new wool. Sucks. However, it has peeved me enough to make me determined to curb the rebellious nature of this yarn, and bend it to my will.

Hmm. What else to allow my thumb to recover before picking up the needles again. I’ve read ‘A Murder on the Appian Way’ – it was good, but not as good as I was expecting. It lacked the grittiness and immediacy of the earlier books – it was a bit too Falco. Not that Falco is bad, of course, I love him to pieces, but we’ve already got a Falco. The beauty of Gordianus is that he gets the shit kicked out of him and it actually hurts. And it’s very nice that Saylor wants to tell us the story of the death of the Republic from Gordianus’ perspective, but he has to do so much explaining that it all becomes a bit far-fetched.

Actually that’s something that’s been annoying me a lot recently. Cheap narrative tricks. I don’t know whether it’s because I read too much historical fiction but that genre seems to be riddled with it, whether it’s the story written in first person by a handy scribe/historian or the complex bit of politics explained to a convenient youngster/clueless person. The first riles me greatly. IT IS NOT A CLEVER NEW WAY OF DOING THINGS so stop acting like it is. All it does is expose your poverty of skills as a writer and your vanity, that you cannot find a way to tell the story without it being in your voice, with your words. Also if I read many more books that earnestly tell me about Cicero’s freedman scribe Tiro (he invented shorthand, don’t you know), I’ll probably scream. I was going to buy Robert Harris’ new (?) book Imperium, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it for the above reasons. I mean, what is is that makes these people think they have the right to take these scribes and use them as puppets? They were real people, they probably never had the chance to express their own personalities in their writing, so it’s really not fair to force your words into their mouths and deny them their chance for individuality so many years later. Grr.

And the didactic speech. Oh, the didactic speech. Look, here’s a tip. If you suddenly find you have to explain something to your readers, it is dangerous to have one of your characters explain it to a nearby idiot. 9 times out of 10 you will break the narrative flow, break the character development and jolt the reader back into reality with a bang. If that reader’s me, anyway. Damnit, that’s what matters to me. Unless you’re absolutely sure that you can explain it with the character remaining in character, leave it out. If your target audience isn’t going to understand it any other way then maybe you should be aiming a little higher, have some self-respect.

(Also, the joky ‘you remember when *insert amusing rumour here*…’ conversation in a small tavern with one or more characters getting drunk is even cheaper, and to be avoided at all costs. Shudder.)

I suppose it’s a question of the skill and style of the writer. In terms of that I’d say the best three writers I’ve read in recent years have been Tom Holland, Bill Bryson and Manda Scott. All of them just have such innate style in their writing, I can’t help but like them (and want to write like them). Come on, even Holland’s prefaces are un-put-downable. That takes some talent.

Actually, the bit about didactic stuff is what kept hindering my own writing. Trying to tell a story where a lot of information hinges on what has happened in the past, but doesn’t really happen close enough together to make a continuous narrative, is really bloody difficult. I had a wonderfully dramatic opening scene, but it turns out that’s probably going to be the opening scene of the final part of the trilogy. But to do that, I’ll have to abandon my kick-ass gimmick. And it really is kick-ass. Maybe that’s what I should do this evening… crack open a bottle of wine, grab my abandoned notes and get to some writing.

Probably the knitting is a safer option. 🙂