There are several things I want to try to do better this time.* I am going to try again with a Robin’s recommended booklist, for example, because it’s IDIOTIC that I spend so much of my time reading, and rarely mention any of it, even the good stuff, because I suck at writing book reviews. The further problem however is that I suck at any kind of short form, like, for example, an annotated ‘read this’ book list.** We can but persevere.***
Something else I want to do is try to make more use of reader comments. There will be, some day soon I hope barring further technological disasters in other areas, an ‘ask me something’ button which will be specifically for that purpose. But I don’t want you to feel you have to ask me a question; I like reading the yattering-on stuff too, about life, the universe, pan-galactic gargleblasters and fish. And right at the moment I’m feeling a little shell-shocked about running a blog again at all, so a lack of laser-eyed hard-edged questions is comforting. But I thought I could make a start with the fish and the gargleblasters.&
I’m so glad to read your voice again (if that makes sense).&&
It does on the planet I’m from. Nanu nanu.&&&
Oh YAY you’re BACK!!!! I’m so excited to catch up with, or go forward with*, you.
Both. See above. This is a very flexible planet. Who wants to be linear? Booooooring.%
No one does footnotes like you do footnotes!
Oh good. Also . . . probably just as well. Not only do I like to be unusual, there’s probably only so much of this kind of thing the population can bear.
You’ve seen those videos where the dog sees his person for the first time after a long absence? It’s like that. Yay.
This totally makes me fall down laughing. Thank you.
I forgot what fun it was to read cascading levels of footnotes.
Oh good. There are usually some protests about Extreme Footnote Use and Abuse of Reader Patience. Hmmph. I don’t understand this at all myself of course. Cascading, exactly. It’s just like rolling down a slightly watery flight of stairs, right? Bump, bump, bump, BUMP. What problem?
I would love to have access to previous archives, I miss visiting the posts and pictures, but will eagerly take whatever you post.
I’m not at the minute planning to open the entire archive. I am planning on mining it. There will be inevitably a certain amount of recycling too. My life is still my life and I don’t want to worry about which stories I’ve already told you. And I’ll be re-posting a few highlights, if highlights is what I mean. Peter’s memorial service, for example.
Hannah may very well be your BFF but we all feel special and part of your life when you post. (Yes, we are creepy book nerdling stalkers… you don’t mind, right?)
Well . . . if I had any idea what true self advertising was I might have a go, but I don’t, and this is Days in the Life. My life. Yes. I’m hanging it out there for people to read. I don’t really see your liking it making you a creepy book nerdling stalker.%%% I wouldn’t be writing this if nobody seemed to be reading it.
Then, when you disappeared from online and the blog went dark, I felt so terrible that I had never commented saying THANK YOU for writing your books of course, but also the blog! A huge time commitment, I know. I so appreciate your sharing bit of life, authoring, dogs. Very glad you’re back and I’m sorry it’s taken me a decade to comment
THANK YOU. The point is you did break silence. Yaaaay.
Although I kept reading various faves of your bibliography until black mold nearly killed me and all my household goods went into storage
I recommend investing in a dehumidifier. And for immediate gratification . . . ebooks. They are not things of beauty but they do have their uses. 1,000,000,000 books in your backpack, for example.
Ugh, I would describe technology as a bear if it wouldn’t be a disservice to bears everywhere.
Yes, I keep almost referring to it as a bear and thinking, NO. NOT A NICE FURRY BEAR. Possibly a kind of grizzly-on-rampage/rabid polar bear crossed with a basilisk-alligator.
What timing that I think to look you up while procrastinating at work a bit,
EXCELLENT. I so like being a bad influence.
You’ve been missed, and I’m another who was worried but tried not to worry because you were probably just out living your life like a normal person.
NORMAL? NORMAL? You wound me to the heart.
I offer you what my various internet friends call “creepy internet hugs”
Eh. See above. The internet is a huge teeming ratbag full of evil creepazoids%% but there are still quite a few nice people around, and nice people tend to offer hugs upon suitable occasion. %%% Welcome to the long-lost$ is usually a suitable occasion.$$ Grief, sigh, is usually a suitable occasion, although I’ve been known to run away because hugs generally make it harder not to cry.$$$
One of the ongoing problems with the internet is figuring out what the etiquette is. There are plenty of ideas but frelling little consensus. Meanwhile we go on copying and pasting bits of our wiggly three-dimensional lives and sticking them on the screen where they don’t look quite right in two pixelated dimensions. The important thing is to go on having three-dimensional lives. Yes. I’m old. I remember pre-internet. I find it scary that you walk through neighbourhoods that you know are full of children, and it’s a beautiful weekend day, and there isn’t a single kid outdoors running around and yelling and hitting things with sticks and getting muddy. They’re not even sitting on their front stoops with their devices because I guess who needs sunlight and fresh air?? Arrrrgh. Also, the sunlight-usable screen is still mostly a high-end product, I think? I still go outdoors every day, rain, shine, blizzards or dragons, but my hands are either full of hellbeast leads or trowels and secateurs. I haven’t a clue if I have any daylight-resistant screens or not. I DON’T CARE.
I live with ghosts too.
I wonder how many of us don’t. I’m glad to have ghosts, considering the alternative.
I am so sorry to hear about Darkness. But, like Peter, you do still have him with you.
I know I told you this on the old blog: I used to try to be discreet about talking to my husband in the churchyard. I’ve stopped bothering. I’m the crazy old lady who gives her dead husband a daily update, standing by his grave in the churchyard. Every town needs a few characters.$$$ Two and something years after he died he still doesn’t have a headstone because it’s too blasted final, but I do keep on keeping a rose in one of those plastic stick-in-the-ground vases. I’m thinking of adding a second vase with some daffodils tomorrow when I buy a new rose.
And I see Darkness constantly, partly because of his colour. He’s always in the corner of my eye, or the shadows at the back of one of the dog beds. And when neither of the two currently responsible for my dog-food bills are in the back of Wolfgang I hear all the others. Darkness is better than twice the size of Hazel, but being noncorporeal they all fold in together without anyone getting lain on.
It probably took 2-3 years for me to find a new normal after our daughter died. But it came. Finally. I still get grief ambushes, but it’s better.
Peter at least had a good run, including that his children all outlived him. Losing a child has to be the worst. It’s not just awful it’s wrong. And I’m over the two year mark and I haven’t figured out my new life yet.
Jedi hugs, if you’d be willing to accept them from an internet stranger
For those of you who didn’t get this reference either:
This is TOTALLY an example of why the internet is ALSO a GOOD THING, when you’ve just deleted your 1,000,000th inducement from those beautiful Asian ladies with very small feet, and are wondering if your future is in itinerant knitting or something. YES. Because there are MANY times, places and mental lack of balances, when the LAST thing I want is a hug even when I recognise the kind intent. Human contact also makes you vulnerable, and if you’re feeling pretty vulnerable already . . . YAAAAAY for Jedi hugs!
THAT’S [MORE THAN] ENOUGH FOR ONE POST. MORE LATER.
* * *
* ::falls down laughing:: Staggers upright, wipes eyes . . . no, no, can’t do it . . . ::falls down laughing again::
** Yes, I’ve now failed at this two blogs in a row, the Palaeolithic livejournal one as well.
*** Or move to another planet. Always a possibility. It has to be one with fragrant roses and furry hellbeasts however.
& I am not copy and pasting all the ‘welcome backs’ and ‘we missed yous’ because these are too self-referential even for me, and my profound and comprehensive self-absorption is already graphically on display. But let me say that if there weren’t a fair number of these ‘welcome backs’ and ‘we missed yous’ I would not now be re-adding ‘blog’ to my list of regular activities. THANK YOU ALL. This is still supposed to be some kind of advertising platform—I exist! I write books! Please pay money to read them or talk me up at your library!—but I wouldn’t have the heart for it if somebody didn’t directly tell me they were enjoying it. You don’t even have to be whacked out yourself, but it probably helps.
&& I may resign myself to Windows 10 yet. It has a much better selection of pinks, which I have chosen for elegant setting-off of reader comments. Previous Windowses didn’t understand pink at all, and only offered a cheesy range of lavender if you wanted to frighten the children with lurid typeface colours. Or mark out reader comments.^
^ Now watch WordPress go ewwwwwwww and expunge it.+
+ YES THAT’S FRELLING FLAPDOODLINGLY SUPER-ARRGH-MAKING EXACTLY WHAT’S HAPPENED, AND FURTHERMORE, THIS FRELLING DOODAH DASHBOARD DOESN’T OFFER ANY COLOURS, WHICH THE LAST ONE DID. WHAT DO I DO NOW??? ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH ALL RIGHT, COMMENTS ARE IN BOLD. LIKE THIS FRELLING FRELLING FRELLING SUBFOOTNOTE.
&&& Did Mork ever mention roses and hellbeasts? I can’t remember.
% Although, boring. Sigh. I got to stay home Friday night and I was so excited! I cooked! I read!^ I cleaned out the frelling refrigerator. That wasn’t nearly so exciting, although I guess it’s a consequence of staying home a lot rather than eating in groovy restaurants, but when your vegetable drawer is FLOATING^^ you want to bail it out before you have dirty water all over the floor and (a) panic that one of the hellpair has a urinary infection (b) the hellterror DRINKS it and then . . . develops a urinary infection.
^ I played the jigsaw app on my iPad. What a mistake that download was. I now have a puzzle collection getting on to rival my ebook collection. At least it doesn’t show, like ebooks don’t show,+ unlike hard copy and . . . yarn.++
+ I’m strangely paranoid about people peering over my shoulder however and when I’m looking for an ebook in company I try to make small unflashy swiping hand gestures.
++Also . . . CDs. I’m not telling you how many albums I bought at those two concerts last week.#
# Yes I know about Spotify and streaming and . . . stuff. Remember what I said about living on a cul de sac. I do download knitting patterns~ and sheet music, but it often takes several tries AND some lively email with customer service.
~ COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH
^^ Yes I have cleared the teeny-weeny-weeny pinprick drain hole. Many times.
% Yes I’ve had experience with . . . erm. But so long as you remain aware that this is an edited version of my life^, and aren’t expecting to replace Hannah, we’re good.
^ I rarely lie by commission, and only for serious cause, like maintaining someone else’s privacy.# I lie by omission all the time. Which maintains my privacy.
# If you want to be snarky about it, all the aliases on this blog are a form of lying by commission.
%% See: Facebook, or the current scandal about it. There is no way that any of these ginormous galaxy-swallowing mega-corps aren’t evil and corrupt, even if when they were three people in someone’s garage they were all pure and holy and devoted to improving the lot of all life on the planet. Suspicion is good. It won’t protect you from trolls, hacking and spam^ but it’ll at least raise your chances of not having your bank balance wiped, your home repossessed and your best beloved running off to Mongolia because that’s where your last text saying HELP HELP appeared to be coming from.
^ AAAAAAAUGH. Nothing protects you from spam. It’s like slugs in the garden: you haven’t a hope of eradicating the squishy little horrors. You can only hope to bash them down to a just-about-manageable level.
%%% Notice that I do not say normal, although normal is okay in its place.^
^ ::looks around:: ::fails to find a place for normal::
$ Unless, of course, they left to avoid the hug thing.^
^ I may not count as long-lost, but trust me, last year has felt very long.+
+ The last five or so years have felt very long, but we won’t go there tonight.
$$ It’s only fair to warn you however that if you see/meet me at a book signing or similar some day^ and try to hug me, I will probably roar and bite you. I find public occasions very stressful and not suitable for much of anything except attempting to live long enough to flee.
^ ::deletes another selfie::+
+ ::deletes another selfie::~
~ ::deletes another selfie:: So, like possibly not. Unless I can wear a bag over my head. As Bette Davis said, old age is not for sissies. [needs another frelling footnote symbol]
[needs another frelling footnote symbol] Also, I have this hair. The central thing is that I am VERY GLAD to HAVE hair, since it keeps taking comprehensive stress personally and falling out, and this latest time it’s grown in it . . . it can’t decide if it really wants to be curly or not, so I have both RINGLETS, every time it grows in there are a few more of these, I haven’t had serious ringlets since frelling kindergarden, and just-barely wavy bits, which is what it’s mostly been since kindergarden. Curly bits, less curly bits and not curly bits do not INTEGRATE WELL. [[needs a SECOND new frelling footnote symbol]] The result was memorably described by a friend who had to make me immediately recognisable to someone who had never met me as ‘an explosion in a mattress factory.’[[[THIRD new footnote symbol]]]
[[Needs a SECOND new frelling footnote symbol]] I was complaining about this to Merrilee, who has the best curly hair ever, and she said, Welcome to my world.
[[[THIRD new footnote symbol]]] Yes we’re still friends. He has other virtues.
$$$ I met one of the others yesterday, as I was out with the hellpair at teatime—4 pm or so.^ He said, Good morning. He added, I know it’s not morning, I’m left-handed.
I like this. I’m sure he worked it out beforehand, so as to support his position as a town character, but I like it anyway.
^ BRITISH SUMMER TIME ARRRRRRRRRRGH. CLOCKS GOING FORWARD ARRRRRRRRRRGH. IT TAKES ME SIX MONTHS TO READJUST AND THEN THEY FRELLING GO BACK AGAIN SO TIME NEVER FEELS SETTLED OR RIGHT OR COMFORTABLE ARRRRRRRRRRRGH.+
+ It occurs to me I’ve been wasting an excuse for my relentlessly haphazard relationship with time. IT’S BECAUSE I’M VERY SENSITIVE AND HAVING THE CLOCKS JERKING ME AROUND TWICE A YEAR DESTROYS MY DELICATE RADAR. Hee hee hee hee hee hee.