Friday Photo Blogging: the sun sets on churches and chimneypots

Welcome back, my friends, to the meme that never ends … it’s Friday Photo Blogging! And, shock of shocks, I’ve actually been out of the house a few times in the last week and remembered to take my camera with me, which means you get some more shots of good old Velcro City (and a cheap shot at poetry in the post title -you lucky people) …

Dusk at St Jude's

Now, I know with hindsight I should have adjusted the exposure for that one … but I still quite like the way it turned out.

Chimneypots and Phonelines

I don’t know why I like this shot, but I just do. Something about it pleases my eye – perhaps the hint of sun on the chimneys? Or the converging lines of the wires? I don’t know.


Another week gone … I swear they’re getting faster on a measurable scale, you know. Maybe having lots to do is a major factor in that equation. It would make sense.

I got loads of work done over my long weekend, including the copy for a whole website, which is now with the site’s owners being assessed. I expect there’ll be a few things to tweak, but I was fairly happy with how it turned out. I was also quite astonished at how absorbed in the task I became once I started – I did it all in a six-hour binge, and hardly noticed the time passing. Which goes to show I can focus on things more effectively that I sometimes give myself credit for. This strikes me as something worth knowing.

Add to that the now-customary barrage of CD reviews, and the historical piece for the Sea Your History project. The latter was also fun, but I’m a bit gutted to discover that there’s actually no chance of getting paid for working on it, thanks to budgetary constraints – all the material is produced by volunteers or the small research team themselves, and there’s no spare cash for freelances. To be fair, no one ever explicitly told me there was any money in it, and I certainly wasn’t wise enough to ask, so any loss is my own fault! I think I may do a few more, though, because it’s all good portfolio work, and the team seemed pretty pleased with what I produced.

Just in case you missed it yesterday*, my first review for Strange Horizons went live on the intartoobs, which was a proud moment. I believe that, all things working as they should, today’s planned update of Scalpel Magazine will include my examination of Marianne de Pierres’ Dark Space, too. Good times.

[* Because there may possibly be those among you who are strange enough to only bother reading the admittedly narcissistic and low-content drivel that is FPB, as opposed to following the rest of the stuff I trot out during the week. Frighteningly enough, VCTB’s webstats support this theory.]


A fair amount of incoming materials this week, too – even discounting the unexpected and preemptively-nightmare-inducing tax return forms.

Way back in March, the IROSF people said they’d like me to review the Pyr reissue of Paradox, John Meaney’s first Nulapeiron novel, and that they’d get someone at the publisher to send it to me. After hearing nothing for ages, I assumed it had all dropped through the cracks … but Tuesday morning saw me scraped out of bed by the doorbell to find a postman burdened down with two jiffy-bags containing Mr. Meaney’s entire bloody back-catalogue … and mailed by Meaney himself (thank you John, if you’re reading this), to judge by the return address. Which means I need to find out what is required of me – if IROSF want me to do the whole series, I’ll have to set aside a couple of months!

Also fresh into the pile is a hardback copy of Richard Morgan’s much-praised Black Man, my latest task for Vector. The book has suffered a bit of a dent at the hands of the postal service, but given how lucky I’ve been with all the things that come to me through the mail so far, I’m not about to tempt fate by bitching about it. It’s still more than readable. It’s also roughly the size and heft of a breezeblock. I’m looking forward to it – he was a charming and erudite co-panellist at Eastercon, and I’ve enjoyed his other books.

There’s more, too, though I’m not sure what it is yet – I arrived home this afternoon to find one of those dreaded red cards that says “you were out when the postman tried to deliver something to big for your box” (fnar, fnar). I can’t think of anything that hefty that I’m expecting to receive, so I’m assuming its another bundle from Orbit (and hoping there’s less vampire boffing inside). Guess I’ll find out when I collect it tomorrow.


So there we go. The weekend arrives – bringing with it time without the inconvenience of the dayjob, and enough tasks to more than adequately fill the hours. To be fair, I actually have some flex this weekend once the music reviews are nailed, which will give me a chance to catch up on my reading and organise thw review copies to go out to the Interzone team. It looks like everyone has chosen something different as their front-runner selection so far, which means my first time may work out quite neatly. Plus I got to cherrypick the book I most wanted to review for myself! Mwah-hah-hah!

Now, enough of my blather. The allotted hour of Culinary Virtue approaches, at which juncture The Friday Spicy Eastern Dish of Justice must be purchased and consumed. And I’m sure you’ve all got things you should or could be doing (even though you’re reading this drivel). So, let’s call it a day, shall we? Have a good weekend, folks. I know I’m going to try to.

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