louiselux: (Default)
I has a Twine

I don't really know what Twine will be useful for yet, but I'm trying it out at the Beta stage. I quite like the small potted entries, and the ability to have groups of people sharing and contributing to each Twine. But. Do I really need another link collecting thing?

I do have some Twine invites, if anyone would like one?

***

I wrote a fic: Travel light - for [livejournal.com profile] saiyuki_time, Gojyo/Hakkai (ish), worksafe.
louiselux: (Default)
So, using the theory of friendlist knows all, and in the interests of research for my job: does anyone have any idea about the general growing or fading popularity of stitchcrafts (not including knitting)? By stitchcrafts I mean crosstitch, tapestry and needlepoint. I bandy these words but I'm by no means an expert.

This market isn't well covered (or actually, at all) by market research, mostly I think because it's so fragmented. A company I'm working with maintains that it's not a healthy market but it doesn't have much to back this up with, and now I'm curious. I know knitting has had a big resurgence in the last few years and so I'm faintly surprised he said this about stitchcrafts. That said, I have no idea how much knitters overlap with people who enjoy needlepoint or crosstitch, or vice versa.

As an aside, never having thought about doing anything of this kind before, I really rather like this William Morris tulip and rose design and could imagine sitting about in the evenings sewing it.
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I had a book related mishap this week. I started reading Weaveworld by Clive Barker, thinking it was his Imajica. (They have similar covers, shhhh). I read about four chapters, thinking 'this isn't as good as I remembered, and where the hell's the hermaphrodite assassin anyway? Also, carpets? What?'

Anyway, Weaveworld (weaveworld refers to a magical world in a carpet) is interesting although it has random moments of gyno-paranoia that left me quite traumatised. Some of the imagery is just-- yeech. But well, this is Clive Barker I suppose. It's not gripped me enough to finish it.

Moving on, 'In Search of Dracula' by Raymond T McNally and Radu Florescu arrrived today. It's a seveties version with a lurid cover! It was only 39p, compared to the £15 for the more recent one with an Edward Gorey cover.

cut for luridity )

Although there are surely more learned works, I'm hoping for the low down on Vlad Tepes - not so much the impaling as about his complicated relationship with his brother Radu, and the activities of his apparent nemesis, Mehmet III, who kept Vlad's head preserved in honey after his death. It's a strangely compelling story.

As an aside, I watched Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula recently. Weirdly, it makes perfect sense if you see it as a tribute to Roger Corman, especially if you go to IMDB and find out that Coppola worked as assistant director for Corman during the Hammer Horror years. I have to admit I squeed and then continuted watching the film through new, Hammer oriented eyes. There's something about the colours and the sets and the art direction that is deeply deeply evocative of Corman's Hammer films. I must've watched a Hammer horror film every Friday night for years when I was little, as probably did most of the UK population in the 70s.

***

In other news, bidding for my fiction services ends at midnight (GMT) tomorrow.
louiselux: (Default)
Ahem.

I impulse bought them from the British Museum shop, along with King Harald's Saga by Snori Sturluson. It's gripping and fast paced and so far I have got to part 34, where Harald and King Svein of Denmark are about to fight it out over who deserves Denmark more. In this part, I like that there is a court poet known as Thorleik the Handsome. He must've been very very handsome to be known for it.

I also bought Chronicles of the Vikings by RI Page, which I mostly picked because it has a chapter entitled 'the unheroic life' that comes straight after a chapter called 'the heroic life'.

Anyway! I have been practising with the runes (put hand in bag, extract rune, consult little book, feel baffled). Apparently, long distance rune-reading is quite acceptable. Please do feel free to ask them anything you like!! (Answers may not make sense, may contain nuts)
louiselux: (Default)
I have still not heard back from the people who interviewed me for a job and it's been 3 weeks. I can conclude from this I have not got the job, but at least I thought they might send me a letter! Unless they are just incredibly slow. Sigh.

I've not been cycling to Rivendell recently, because my knees started to hurt. They calmed down now so I think I might start again, but this time maybe not quite so violently.

Also, I had a tendonitis flare-up in my arm, which has largely gone down. My method of self-treatment, for those interested: I switch my mouse to the other hand; stop using my laptop in silly positions like balanced on my leg while I'm slumped on my side on the sofa; slather on liberal quantities of ibuprofen gel; and use an ice pack as much as possible over the afflicted area... 10 minutes on, ten minutes off, then another ten minutes. It's tedious but it works. I tie my cool pack on with a tea towel. Doing this last thing at night seems to be benefical.

In other news, I finished Beyond Black. I loved the main character, Alison. I think it's partly because she has to live such an odd life, half in and half out of reality. Also that Colette her hatched brained assistant doesn't let her choose the garden shed she wants. I'd like to read some more Hilary Mantel.

Also on books, Matt gave me a copy 1000 - which describes month by month what life was like during the year 1000. It's not bad, and goes into some detail about technology and religion. Apparently, July was the hungry month, and people would make bread with all sort of things, including ergot-infested rye, hemp, ancient dried peas, poppies or basically anything they wouldn't eat at any other time of year. Then it was all ground together to make flour for bread. The resulting bread was called 'crazy bread'. "It was as if a spell had been cast on the whole village," one monk wrote.

Umm, to sum up. I know where my towel is. And my tea towel!

ETA: more cravat tying instructions!
louiselux: (Default)
Writing crack AUs with [livejournal.com profile] emungere means I get to research all kinds of nice things, like the types of undergarments worn by 19th century gentlemen who are about to be ravished by highwaymen. For example. Also, the whole of polite society was obsessed with cravats. It's true.

The Art of Tying the Cravat demonstrated in Sixteen Lessons; including Thirty-Two Different Styles

"When a man of rank makes his entree into a circle distinguished for taste and elegance, and the usual compliments have passed on both sides, he will discover that his coat will attract only a slight degree of attention, but that the most critical and scrutinizing examination will be made on the set of his cravat.

Should this unfortunately, not be correctly and elegantly put on - no further notice will be taken of him... all eyes will be occupied in examining the folds of the fatal cravat."

Shock! Social death!! I am guessing this book sold a lot, somehow...

Also, working on the idea that at least one of my flist knows about 19th century gentlemen's underpants, what did they wear under their clothes? Nice linen drawers?

eta: Between a Gentleman and His Tailor
louiselux: (Default)
LJ, I does not understand you. Why are you showing me posts from 16 May on my friends list?

Anyway. I finally saw Brokeback Mountain. I'd avoided it up until now because the story is such a slice of unremitting grimness that I was scared of what the film might be. And in fact I'm sorry I didn't watch it sooner because it was quite beautiful, drawing out the yearning and romance between them more than the book ever did. I liked the sense all the way through that the lives they were leading with their wives were essentially a replacement for the kind of domestic life they could never lead together, and that they might be imagining each other in those roles - it made everything all that much sadder.

I have had a spurt of reading...
Victorian Sensation by Michael Diamond. Laid to rest any further notions I had that people in the Victorian era were any more stuffy and repressed than we are. He looks at the notion of 'sensation' and how scandals and gossip would absolutely grip the nation, and for weeks on end. It's also interesting to learn how outspoken the music halls were about everyone and anything, particularly their 'betters'. He does a sort of review, going through: royalty, murder, sex, politics and the 'sensation' novel.

Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel, about a psychic medium and her traumatic life. 'Beyond black' is how she refers to the afterlife, the details of which she keeps secret from her public because it would upset them too much. Her banal life of being overweight, eating leaky sandwiches at motorway service stations and moving into in a 'new build' is undercut by the presence of her appalling spirit guide Morris. He lives in curtains and draining boards and likes playing with himself. Colette, her assitant, is aggressive and stony faced. I'm hugely enjoying it so far.

Vikings: Wolves of War by Martin Arnold. He writes in a very engaging and non judgemental way about the Vikings, who were basically a race of entrepreneurs, as far as I can tell. Rather violent ones, when they weren't farming. It's fairly short, so obviously there's detail lacking, but for an overview of who they were, their expansion, culture and the (sometimes scarily violent) change from paganism to Christianity, it's very good.

Kinks

May. 14th, 2007 04:45 pm
louiselux: (Default)
Okay, so even though I swore blind I wouldn't put my name for [livejournal.com profile] springkink, because, you know, time, I have managed to go and sign up for four. But one of those I am writing with [livejournal.com profile] emungere, so that doesn't technically count, right?

My to do list is scowling at me but, mmmm, kink. There are some very very nice Saiyuki prompts there so, really, four is practically restrained, especially since there is an absolute deluge of prompts this time around. I should feel proud of myself, in fact.

Interesting research note of the day, from the Historical Atlas of the Medieval World: the appearance of a dragon was reported in the skies over Burgundy and the Rhineland in 1002 along with a rain of blood in 1009. These have since been attributed to millennial panic.

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