Part of the joy of houseplants (for me at least) is observing their slow but steady growth. Despite the paucity of sunlight we’ve had this summer, my poinsettia is still cheerfully branching off new shoots every few weeks. I’m hoping it goes properly red come the winter season.
[As the above picture may suggest, I’ve not been out and about with my camera in the last week or so, as explained further down …]
Terrorist or tourist?
One of the downsides of working on a Naval Base is the occasional bomb scare, often caused by some hapless visitor leaving a rucksack on the ground and forgetting about it. Not usually a problem, but today one caused the closure of the gate I usually leave by, necessitating a somewhat longer journey home. Such are the terrible trials of life.
Dawn of the Deadlines
Other than that, this week has been fairly devoid of exciting events, I’m afraid. I was a judge for the Wedgewood Rooms Showcase again on Tuesday night (it runs over the entire summer, essentially, wrapping up with the final in October), but that’s been about it as far as leaving the house is concerned. As I mentioned earlier in the week, a whole lot of deadlines have coincided on one small patch of time, so I’ve been focusing on getting things done that need doing … hence blog silence but for the daily link-dumps.
A similar state of affairs may well persist for the next few weeks, too – I’m covering for a colleague’s holiday leave for the next fortnight, which means I’m working the equivalent of full-time hours over that period, and hence my evenings will be largely consumed with various reviewing and writing tasks that I’m committed to doing. Hopefully I’ll find time to do something more substantial here once or twice. After all, you’d be destitute without my gritty pearls of wisdom. Or something.
But hey, at least people are asking me to write things for them – and while none of them are paid work, it’s a change to be asked rather than having to hustle. And one little project may turn into paid work in the long run – a friend is involved with the start-up of a downloadable gaming magazine, and they’ve asked me to do a column on Second Life. It’s gratifying to get a chance to write about things that you know well and care about!
Books and magazines seen
A slow week, really.
One magazine, in the form of July’s F&SF – arriving three days after the issue succeeding it, naturally. Three cheers for the weirdness of transAtlantic surface mail!
And one book of a totally non-science fictional nature – I am the proud possessor of a copy of the Catalogue of Oil Paintings in Public Ownership for the Hampshire region. Because there are some pictures from the RNM listed in it, they sent us a few free copies, and one of them has ended up with me thanks to my name being plucked from the metaphorical hat.
So I have a very classy and intellectual-looking coffee-table book of prodigious size … now all I need is a coffee-table to put it on.
In the absence of much literary traffic in my postbox, I’ll take the time to plug a few CDs that I’m very happy to have been sent in the last week-and-a-bit:
- Mercury by Laika Dog – Laika Dog are the current band of ex-Terrorvision frontman Tony Wright, arguably the most earnest and affable man in British rock music during the nineties. Laikadog aren’t quite so rocky as Terrorvision, but if you like Tony’s songwriting, you’ll not be disappointed by this at all.
- High by New Model Army – New Model Army should need no introduction to anyone who’s going to be interested in this album, so suffice to say it delivers exactly what we’ve come to expect from the band over their lengthy career. Good stuff.
- Transworld Ultra Rock by Electric Eel Shock – Japanese band who do a great tongue-in-cheek pastiche of classic Sabbath-style metal. Loads of fun, and if you ever get the chance to see them play live, rest assured you will not resent the very reasonable ticket prices. Real performers, and a great laugh.
Aaaah, free music. I wish I’d got onto the reviewing train earlier in my life, I’d have saved myself a fortune – and been far more clued up by now.
Well, that was comparatively brief and painless, wasn’t it? I always feel a bit disappointed when I have little to report on a Friday afternoon, though I don’t operate under the illusion that anyone else is that bothered. I think it just reminds me that my life isn’t really as thrilling as I might like to think … but then, that’s no one’s fault if not my own, I suppose.
Things would be simpler if the exciting stuff was more evenly distributed, but instead it appears to lurk like seams of mineral deposits in tracts of otherwise featureless stone. Selah.
Right. Friday afternoon, work and FPB done for the week – which means it’s nearly time for The Friday Curry Of Legend And Myth. I’m hoping to get enough of my writing work done over the weekend that I have time to get outside for a while, but having heard the weather reports I’m not sure if that’s going to be a wasted effort or not. Let’s hope the reports are wrong, eh?
Anyway, whatever you have planned for the weekend yourselves, I hope it goes well for you – indoors or out. Hasta luego, amigos.