(Note: keep scrolling. –hellgoddess)
Judging by the speed of the first few submissions of completed answers after the puzzle was made available, and the fun that many of you said you had with the competition, we obviously have a lot of thorough and devoted readers of Robin’s books. Which we already knew, of course. :) And the compilation of the crossword gave me an extra layer of respect for Robin’s world-building skills. All that background detail in each story, all hanging together and making sense, all coming from one person’s imagination and sense of logical progression!
All of the 37 entries were correct (with one late-but-just-in-time amendment that was allowed) and I hope that the entrants didn’t end up with little squinty eyes from going backwards and forwards through so much screen text. Several participants commented that they’d thought they would remember more of the answers from earlier readings of the books than they actually did, particularly spellings. All I can say to that is that there must be a lot of people around here who have encyclopaedic memories!
And so to the three winners. These were drawn using a nice little random number picker that Blogmom passed on to me (thanks, Blogmom) and are:
1. Sarah (scribblous)
2. Diane (dllreader)
Would those three people please email (using the same email address you sent your entry from) the mods(at)robinmckinleysblog.com address, ie the same one that was used for entry submissions, and let us know a) your full name and postal address so that your prize can be posted to you and b) the words you would like inscribed inside it. Please do this as soon as possible and in any case before midday (British time) this coming Saturday, 9th July, at the very latest. Any later than that and it’s entirely possible that Robin’s bats will by then have flown off with your copy and awarded it to someone else…
Only twenty-four hours left to enter the Silly Signing Clothing Competition for a signed copy of the UK edition of PEGASUS. And just so you know how desirable this prize is:
Here it is with the original American hardback, so you can see that it’s a very nice trade paper edition.
There’s a thread in ‘Talk’ in the forum here to post either photos or links to photos of ravishing outfits which I have to say most of them are, and I hope it’s not putting off those of you who took the challenge the way I initially meant it, which is to say silly. You do not have to be ravishing to enter. You only have to be silly. And for any of you anxious about appearing in public* . . . you could hang a photo of yourself in your standard garb of (say) t shirt and jeans** with a bag over your head. This would count as an entry, because it’s silly, it would save your blushes, and it would put me in the interesting position of deciding whether it counted as a onesy or a twosy, I having said that if you’re wearing your silly signing clothing you get counted twice in the drawing . . . but it’s true that I was assuming that your face would be showing.
Anyway, rules, such as they are, are here: http://robinmckinleysblog.com/2011/07/03/the-sscc/ And while at the moment all the entries are on the forum there are a FB thread and a Twitter hashtag #sillypeg*** available for your convenience and the fruits of your sartorial inspiration.
And so as promised (several days ago) here’s the black leather mini that started it all.†
And silly? I’ll be sixty years old in sixteen months and I’m going to wear this thing? It doesn’t get sillier. And yes, as almost-sixty-year-old women go, I’m well preserved. That doesn’t alter the fact that I’m sixteen months off sixty. And you know the real reason I have essentially cornered myself into wearing it? It’s a teeny, ridiculous, middle-aged-and-still-kicking version of Do not go gentle. †† Feh. I don’t do dignity, I’m still fond of it, it’s still in my drawer, so WTF. Silly is good.
. . . I’m now going to bed early and may it be to some effect. There was a slight outbreak of bats last night—and when your night begins with turning the light back on just to check that that faint whirr followed by a plop wasn’t a bat, and . . . finding a bat in your LAP†††, the adrenaline level gets a bit intense. And she was but the first. They’re now clearly getting through INTO MY BEDROOM somewhere—somewhere—Atlas has been here again today and pretty much everything that lives on a shelf in either my bedroom or the bathroom is all over the floor, the house smells of polyfilla, Atlas is coming back again tomorrow and I have a signing on Thursday. . . .
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* With which I have total sympathy. I’ve been violently allergic to cameras all my life and ironically have only got over it (sort of) because of the frelling blog. The basic reason I hate cameras is that contrary to the mythology THEY LIE. But enough photos in aggregate do build up toward something like a human being.
** Extra points for All Stars
*** I’ve mysteriously had two emails and a tweet from three (I’m assuming three different) people who say they’ve posted to #sillypeg on Twitter . . . but none of them has appeared. The only tweets are mine and EMoon’s. If any of you is reading this . . . you need to try again. I won’t count anything I can’t see however politely you tell me you’ve entered.^
^ I suppose I could have a separate category of Invisible Costumes. What a silly idea.
† Although I’m still mourning, in a snarly sort of way, Ajlr’s pink catsuit.
†† http://www.bigeye.com/donotgo.htm We can discuss Thomas’ gender-exclusive world view some other time. It’s still a great poem.
††† Who meandered off down the duvet and flew a short hop to a picture frame to tuck herself behind. You could see her thinking ‘turn that frelling light off, will you?’
Remember that the Silly Signing Clothing Contest for a signed copy of the UK edition of PEGASUS is in full, erm, swing. You can post to the thread in the forum in Talk, to last night’s Facebook thread, and to Twitter #sillypeg any time till midnight Wednesday—and let me just add that I will be very sad if the Twitter hashtag doesn’t get used. So far we’ve had a good handful of entries in the forum*, but most of the people who said they’d be willing to enter are still digging through their closets and scratching their heads, and there’s lots of room for everyone. Please enter! I’m enjoying all this vicarious toggery immensely!
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Another day which began, as so many of my days do, last night. I frittered way too much time on the blog—here I had a given brief, suitable-for-Saturday-night-before-Sunday-morning-service-ring blog waiting for me: a couple of photos and a few rules of engagement and I’m outta here.
But there was the concert. And I REALLY wasted some time trying to figure out how to talk about the actual music without sounding like an ignorant prat and/or boring to death those of you who would rather be shot at dawn than spend an evening listening to a herd of classically trained singers doing what they do.** I failed. So I told you about trolls and ticket anti-technology instead.***
And then hellhounds refused to eat their supper.† Refused. Pointblank. Again. And I hung around wasting more time waiting. . . .
I got about three and a half hours of sleep last night. Not good.
This morning Niall, who is an unspeakable fiend, called for Stedman. This is appalling enough on a Sunday morning but it was additionally appalling in this case. The rope on the six broke at Friday practise and wasn’t replaced till after service ring, which meant we had to ring around the absence of bell number six. USUALLY when you’re ringing six of eight bells you ring either the front six or the back six. For complex harmonic reasons Niall and Edward decided we’d ring . . . the one, three, four, five, seven and eight. I was on the five. Which is to say bell four of the method. The fifth bell of our particular eight is getting on for being moderately big. Not big big but big enough that you can’t yank it around with impunity—so if you gleep your dodges, well, they stay gleeped, because you can’t recover quickly enough: the bell’s too heavy.†† I’ve only recently even begun to ring methods on the five—as opposed to baby things like call changes and plain hunt—and here I am on a Sunday morning on three and a half hours of sleep ringing it in Stedman and, furthermore, pretending to be the four. And ringing over the three which is the two, the four which is the three, and the seven which is the five. I cannot begin to tell you how confusing this was.
But we did it. Even in spite of the fact that frelling Edward called a touch. So I reeled out of the tower††† thinking hey, maybe it’s going to be a good day after all.
And then Darkness didn’t eat lunch having not eaten supper last night either. Damn. Frell. Two in a row with these guys is yellow alert: whoop whoop whoop. DAMN.
AND THEN I FOUND A BAT IN THE BATHROOM. NOOOOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. This is the first bat I’ve seen since Atlas—as we hoped—blocked up all the holes.
But both hellhounds ate dinner. Okay, if this is one of fate’s clever-cute trade-offs, I’ll take the bat and the hellhounds eating. Please the gods they eat supper. And I get some sleep. . . . Am I allowed to ask for sleep without the sound of wings. . . ?
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* Several of them seriously fabulous. ::Clothing lust::
** Somehow boring you to death with tales of, say, bell ringing isn’t in the same category. The Seraphim are awesome. Any bell ringing with me in it is not awesome.
*** I missed out the waterlilies in the Crusaders’ Garden. I kept thinking about them today. There’s an enormous pond covered in waterlilies. They were closed up for the night when we were there. Speaking of awesome: wouldn’t I love to see that pond at midday. But I don’t think the garden is generally open to the hoi polloi.
† I gave up on breakfast a long time ago. But in the interests of both more opportunities to present them with food and the fact that sighthound digestion tends to be delicate even when there are no additional challenges involved, I added the third meal round at the back end. So they get lunch, dinner and supper.
†† Good ringers will tell you (endlessly) that it’s all about accuracy anyway, not brute strength. I know. But I’m not a good ringer.
††† Having also survived a touch of Grandsire doubles when the conductor changed his mind about what he was calling halfway through a call, and I happened to be one of the affected bells. I swear the bell did that one all by itself. I can’t respond that fast even when I’ve had enough sleep.
Okay, we’re good to go. The Silly Signing Clothing Contest begins now.* Ajlr is going to post a thread—or rather, probably already has done by the time I get tonight’s entry up—in the forum for you to post links to photos and photos themselves**, and she also, because she is a Wonderful Human Being, is going to give you a little how-to about photos and links and things, which most of you won’t need but anyone like me will need, with assistant flourishes and a heavenly choir singing alleluia.*** On Facebook you can post photo links under tonight’s entry only: having entries in as few places as possible will make tallying up at the end easier. On Twitter you can post photo links to #sillypeg.
Most of this I’ve told you already, tonight is merely the Official Launch. We’re having a contest for another signed copy of the new UK edition of PEGASUS†. To enter you must post a photo of the lurid and eccentric clothing you might have worn to the PEGASUS signing at the Forbidden Planet next Thursday if you were so fortunate as to be in London on that date††. The drawing will be random so it’s not like you have to come up with something that’s better than everyone else’s, but please try to stay within the spirit of the thing, which is also to say that as Hellgoddess I reserve the right to throw out any entries involving navy-blue pin-striped suits†††. The spirit of the thing also includes that this a family-friendly blog overseen by a fierce headmistressy type named Pollyanna and you need to stay polite.‡
And since this whole schemozzle began with Ajlr intemperately referring to a pink catsuit and my responding even more intemperately that I’d wear my black leather mini if she’d wear her catsuit, I would prefer the photo of the clothing to have the person entering the contest wearing said clothing. If you are in the clothes in the photo you get your name in the drawing twice. If you have merely laid them out empty in an alluring manner and taken a photo of them that way, you get your name in the drawing once. Hey, I have to suffer: I am wearing the mini, even though Ajlr has reneged on the catsuit.‡‡
Someone asked how many times you can enter: I think I’ll say three times. Because if you’re wearing all three sets of clothing—and note that there can be no overlap between entries, I don’t care how great the black velvet cape looks with everything—that’ll give you six chances and I think any more would be bad for your mental health.
Okay? Okay. I (or Ajlr) will answer questions as they arise.‡‡‡ You have till midnight Wednesday GMT to get your photos in. And please . . . have fun. That feather boa you haven’t thought of in twenty years?§ Go for it.
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* Anybody who has just clicked onto this blog for the very first time has just clicked away again. Fast.
** Friendly reminder! 100K limit on photo size!
*** My mind is running on heavenly choirs because we’re just back from a faaaaaabulous choir concert. I told you that Ravenel not only tortu—directs the Muddlehamptons but is himself in a fancy local choir? The—er—Seraphim. I have, to my shame, not paid a great deal of attention to local music, despite there being an assortment of cathedrals within concert-going range, and cathedrals do tend to attract wandering heavenly choirs and music festivals. The Seraphim give two or three concerts a year, I think. I am putting myself on the mailing list.
This one was a part of a music festival. So the first thing that happened was trying to negotiate the temporary, festival-only web site to buy tickets. I came out the other end of this scarring process with a print-outable page that says, two seats for the Seraphim concert 2 July 2011, paid for, kaCHING!,^ bring this page with you. So I did. And when we got there—having parked in the car park helpfully signed CAR PARK FOR ST AURELIA we had to walk eight leagues through troll^^ country because the gate into the close was locked—and I handed my piece of print-out to the nice young woman at the door, she looked at it for a minute and said, Where’s your ticket?
It went on like this for a while. Fortunately we were early—because I was worried about things like the car park^^^ and the lack of proper tickets. We became close personal friends with the fellow who discovered (eventually) that we did have tickets, although they weren’t being held anywhere that anybody had thought of looking. He started telling us everything else that had gone wrong: the double bookings of both the hall and the Crusaders’ Garden where we went for the interval#, the tickets that hadn’t been sent or had been sent to the wrong venue . . . oh yes, and the locked gate, so that people in their party clothes had to walk eight miles through troll country (and cowpats). He was a tall, easy-going bloke with a good line of dry humour, and I didn’t take his tux too seriously, because ushers often wear tuxes. He was one of the singers. I can’t imagine much I’d less want to be doing right before a major concert than deal with frelled-up members of the public, even innocent frelled-up members of the public.
But the music. . . . ooooooooh. Except for some hooting from the organ at the very end and some eccentric strings for the Baroque stuff it was all a cappella and . . . well, I have a serious weakness for this kind of music and there just isn’t anything better. There were pieces by modern composers (nothing too threatening) and pieces from back as far as Monteverdi. Most of them were sacred, but after the interval there was a little burst of settings of folk songs including The Turtle Dove by Vaughan Williams and I was sitting there thinking##, how can he stand it? Listening to us when he’s singing it with the Seraphim? In fact it’s that the Muddlehamptons are singing it in their summer concert that is the most powerful risk factor for my losing my mind and joining in. I can’t decide if hearing the Seraphim do it makes me more or less likely to go ahead and lose my mind. I tracked Ravenel down during the interval to tell him how fabulous the Seraphim are. I also told him that I should have come to choir practise on Thursday, that we walked out of THE CHERRY ORCHARD—and he laughed and reminded me that I should have a go at the Muddlehampton concert anyway. . . .
^ Hands up how many people actually remember tills that go kaCHING!
^^ Also nettle, cowpat and ankle-breaking-hollow country
^^^ I’ve hurtled two generations of hellhounds around St Aurelia, but I’ve never been to a concert there
# As I was leaving the cottage I noticed that my little windowsill weather forecaster was saying rain. I was wearing a silk skirt and carrying a suede bag. Better hadn’t, I said. It didn’t.
## Sitting there thinking and knitting. The lights stayed up for the whole thing so . . . I kept knitting. Not having anticipated this I almost ran out of yarn. Brrrr. Next time I’ll take a spare skein. I should perhaps add that we were sitting near the back—there was a row of real chairs with, like, seat cushions among the pews, which Peter made for in a not-to-be-deflected manner. I’m not sure I’ll knit through a concert where I’m close enough for the performers to see me. Even performers who don’t look at the audience—I’m one of them, I should know—might find knitting a trifle eye-catching.
† Do not forget the crossword puzzle from last Saturday which is still open for entries.
†† And no, there’s nothing stopping you from entering even if you are coming.
††† Unless of course you’ve done something involving studs, leather, glue and spray paint to the dreadful object.
‡ Since these are, however, photos, dress swords will be permitted, since if you take it off to whap somebody you’ll only make a hole in your computer screen.
‡‡ Also remember that while I will be wearing the frelling mini in public and will thus have to be viewable from a variety of cruel angles, you only need to take a photo of your best side. If the side away from the camera is festooned with safety pins or features a zipper that wouldn’t close if the finishing of PEG II depended on it . . . it doesn’t matter.
‡‡‡ For example, Didn’t you say you’d post a photo of the mini and the new UK ed of PEG tonight? Answer: yes. I did. Now/again I’m saying tomorrow.
§ Ah. Hmmm. I don’t think I’ve seen my boas since we moved house.
IT HAS BEEN A TOTAL HOWLING RATBAG OF A DAY. TOTAL. HOWLING. RATBAG.* And I don’t think there’s even any of it I can tell you without Pollyanna nailing me to the wall.**
It’s also been frantic. I didn’t get to bed till broad daylight, ugh. Granted daylight begins at a disgracefully early hour this time of year*** but I prefer to go to bed in the dark.† One of the things that has gone wrong with the last twenty-four hours is that the hellhounds stopped eating last night. Just. Stopped. The way they do. Sometimes—no, usually—they give me some warning, and I feverishly cut back on what I feed them, because if they stop it’s like if your car stalls in the middle of the ford: once the water gets up your tailpipe you’re frelled. You have to keep moving. But I had zero advance notice this time. So one of the reasons I was up till 5 is that my arsenal of keeping-hellhounds-eating ploys takes some time to run through. To no avail on this occasion, however, so I went to bed CRANKY as well as heavy with the moral turpitude of retiring at such an hour, which does not make for restful sleep. Aside from the frelling dawn chorus.
And then . . .
. . . but the hellhounds ATE DINNER so my life is not utterly a ruin‡. Okay, wait a minute, there has to be something I can tell you. Oh: about the frantic: I didn’t get up till about six hours after I went to bed and I had a funeral to ring at 1:15. And a piano lesson at 3. And sacred home tower bell practise at 7:30. And frelling bloody-minded hellhounds to hurtle. Bell practise, in keeping with the spirit of the day‡‡, was noteworthy for my having spent a certain amount of time making sure I had learnt what happens when there are calls made during Little Bob Minor‡‡‡ because I had been so foolhardy as to tell Niall yesterday that I’d quite like to try a touch of it . . . and then not getting a chance to ring it because we were heaving so we rang triples and major all night. Which is fine, except when you go prepped to ring a new minor method.
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HOWEVER. We are on for the SILLY CLOTHING YOU WOULD WEAR TO MY SIGNING IN LONDON NEXT THURSDAY IF YOU WERE HERE CONTEST. It starts tomorrow, so have your fringes and spandex ready. I will remind you of all this again tomorrow when the official thread goes up, but to give you a run at it, there will be a thread in the forum where you can post either links to photos or the photos themselves so long as the files are no larger than 100K. Permit me to say that again: MAXIMUM PHOTO FILE SIZE IS 100K. ONE HUNDRED K. ARE YOU LISTENING? You can also post photo links to tomorrow night’s Facebook copy of tomorrow night’s blog. And I haven’t quite decided what we’re doing on Twitter: there may be a hashtag for links. I’ll let you know tomorrow. But you’ll be able to post photo links on Twitter as well. The only place you’ll be able to post photos themselves (WITH A MAXIMUM SIZE OF 100K§) is on the blog forum—but joining the forum is really easy if you haven’t yet and we loooove new members.
Tomorrow I will also post a photo of . . . the increasingly notorious black leather mini.§§ Yes. I found it. Yes. It’s viable.§§§ But all of you: please remember this will be a random drawing. There is no minimum level of fabulousness/absurdity that must be attained. It’s just a bit of hellgoddess foolishness.# And those of you saying dubiously that you don’t think you still fit into the lurid duds of yesteryear: remember you only need a photo. You don’t have to fit in all the way around in three dimensions.##
NOR SHOULD YOU FORGET THAT THE CROSSWORD CONTEST IS STILL GOING. http://robinmckinleysblog.com/2011/06/25/twelve-days-and-counting-guest-post-by-ajlr/ You have two sublime and glorious chances to win a signed copy of the new UK edition of PEGASUS. What are you waiting for?
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* I’ve got Beverly Sills singing LA TRAVIATA on the CD player. #1 comfort music.
** Or being threatened with a lawsuit for defamation of character. Several lawsuits. For several defamations of character. No jury would convict me.
*** Why can’t we strip out daylight at 4 and 5 am this time of year and baste it back in again in December and January 4 and 5 pm? The farmers are probably going to disagree with me but I do not feel that daylight is necessary before 5 am.
† Phineas was away overnight and asked me to feed the hellcat breakfast. Breakfast, I thought, gah. Usually when I feed him breakfast he just gets it a little late. Today I put my dressing-gown back on and fed him at 5 am. He was delighted.
†† But I get a lot of knitting done on bad-eating nights. This is okay when it does end with them eating. On the nights that it doesn’t even knitting beautiful, perfect squares^ does not comfort me.
^ Comparatively beautiful, perfect squares.
††† Leggo! Ow!
‡ Till the next time.
‡‡ Is Mercury retrograde or anything? Or possibly Callisto has come unstuck from her moorings and is on a collision course with Patagonia?
‡‡‡ Which is enough like Plain Bob Minor which is the basic minor method that chiefly what learning Little Bob is going to do is mess up my Plain Bob.
§ Have we had trouble with people posting gigantic photo files? Why, whatever would make you ask that?
§§ No, not with me in it. You’ll have to wait for Thursday.
# Although as you should know by now I would be quite capable of throwing in an extra prize for an entry that makes me laugh till I cry. Just in case you’re wondering whether it’s worth pushing the rhinestone-encrusted boat out.
## You can also merely arrange said clothing artfully on a bed or floor and take a picture of it that way. But one of the rules is that if it’s a photo of you in the clothing you get two chances in the drawing. If it’s only the clothing, you get just one chance. So put it on. The zipper doesn’t have to close.