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[podfic] Reparatio by Astolat

I have recorded each of the five stories currently in this series. I am working my way through the editing process and then passing them over to [profile] theoscarcat to beta-listen and I hope to get them all posted over the next couple of weeks.

I have thoroughly checked the files to ensure that this is the final, edited version of the podfic so hopefully there will not be any issues as there were with the first mp3 file of Timeshare that was uploaded. Fingers crossed!

Reparatio wirtten by Astolat, read by Lazulus.


There's nothing like spending time carefully editing a podfic and then finding out you uploaded the unedited file by mistake. Thankfully it was only the mp3 version but still, I am so upset about it. :(

[podfic] Timeshare by Astolat

Yes indeed, after the triumph that was my podfic of Least of All Possible Mistakes [hahaha] I have recorded another! This time it's one of Astolat's new Harry Potter stories. I've been reading along as she posts them and they are just fab and make me very nostalgic for HP fandom. I've actually recorded them all already and will post them as they get beta listened [thank you, as always, [profile] theoscarcat!] and edited into audio books.

[podfic] Timeshare by Astolat, read by Lazulus.
So, because I am a masochist, I decided to record all 118,096 words of The Least of All Possible Mistakes by [personal profile] rageprufrock. It came in at a whopping 11 hours and 14 minutes and I had a blast reading it and making sure that anyone who listens will now forever equate my thoroughly East London vowels with George Lestrade.

[podfic] The Least of All Possible Mistakes written by Pru, read by Lazulus.
I went to see the Young Vic's production of Measure for Measure on Thursday. I last saw it at the National with [personal profile] lapin_agile, which had a modern setting but was, I think, a more straightforward reading. This production had blow-up dolls and video cameras and the cuts made it more watchable than it sometimes is, it also had a lot of humour and really highlighted the absurdity of the play's denouement. All in all a very enjoyable evening.

In other news, I am reading a lot of SGA fic, which is a sad sign of how bereft of a fandom I currently am. But still, SGA!

In other, other news, me and [personal profile] the_oscar_cat have a podcast which is a mix of all the things we are interested in. It's called Our Friday Call and the most recent episode is us rambling on about Jane Austen - well, I ramble on a lot and Katie hardly gets a word in edgewise! Oops.


On Saturday evening me, [personal profile] lobelia321 and [personal profile] tadorna went to see John Finnemore's Souvenir Cabin which is his latest sketch show. A lovely evening was had and afterwards we got to say hi and tell him that [personal profile] tadorna is from Ipswich. He seemed greatly amused by this fact!

Here they all are looking jolly:


Please note Duckie's new hair cut. It looks great!

I'm still marginal!

I was born with Ocular Albinism which is a genetic condition where the pigment of the retina and the iris is reduced, which leads to light sensitivity and impaired vision. It is very rare in females [go me!] and, because it is not correctable, there is nothing I can do about it and it has been a pain my entire life. I was also born with esotropia [commonly called a squint] which was corrected by surgery when I was eighteen months old. However the squint has left my right eye significantly weaker than the left one which is apparently very common. I am also short-sighted and have been wearing glasses since I was very young.

So, I was born with several things wrong with my eyes and have spent years dealing with vision that is impaired and the issues that causes. The biggest of these is that I am marginal when it comes to being able to drive. I once failed a driving test because I could not read the number plate at the requited distance. It was very stormy and overcast that day and the lack of light did for me. As a result, I had to take another eye test and then send the result to the DVLA and then go in to the test centre and have the chief examiner for Wanstead take me out and get me to read a number plate after measuring out the distance. I passed, but it was very stressful and I was scared it wasn't going to happen. As I've got older I have acquired more of the age related eye problems such as astigmatism and, a result, every time I go to the opticians I half expect them to say, oh dear, no more driving for you.

Yesterday I went for my first eye test in three years because I really need new glasses and where I often buy them online, I much prefer being able to try them on in person. This was a new opticians that is over the road from my work and which a lot of other council workers go to. I actually enjoyed the experience as, after I'd explained all the various ways my eyesight is fucked, I had a really interesting conversation with the optician about genetics and their role in Ocular Albinism. Of course the fact that he was happy to say I remained marginal but still fine to drive made me like him even more.

I now look forward to a new pair of glasses in the next couple of weeks which will be a nice change from my current pair that are broken and keep slipping off my face.

[I should point out that I can actually see and it's just that I don't get a very sharp image, especially at a distance.]

PEDM: Day 30

Well, I made a post every single day this month and I am inordinately proud of that!

It's been interesting, committing to doing it and actually following through. Even on days when I had nothing to say really, or was tired and a bit grumpy, making myself hit post felt like an achievement. I'm not sure how much I'll continue to post, but I want to. I want to throw something out there into the ether, no matter whether it's serious or silly. I think I might have to actually make a note of times when I have been doing something in particular to post about it here, but if that's what it takes, I think it's worth doing. Let's see. :)

Well, it's Wednesday and in 30 minutes it's the semi-finals of the Great British Bake-Off so I better find some dinner. Thank you to everyone who has read or commented this month. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's posts and getting that little window into your lives as they currently are. I look forward to reading anything you post here over the coming weeks, months and years. It's been 13 and a half years since I started my LJ and I have so many people that I know because of it, both in the flesh and virtually. I miss the days when my friends list was a constant scroll of new posts but know it will never again be like that. I appreciate every person who continues to post here and hope that one day we will once again have a platform that encourages dialogue in the way that LJ/DW always has.

So, in the spirit of that dialogue, it was pointed out that I never said what I thought about The Bees by Laline Paull. Well, I kind of enjoyed it but was disappointed that, for me, the book did not live up to the concept. It's a great idea - write a dystopian novel about bees that includes lots of information about how hives work and uses that to drive the narrative. Sadly, I don't think it was good enough. It read like a teen novel to me, which is not a criticism of teen novels [believe me, I spend a lot of time with teen novels and love them!] but I wanted a more adult, sophisticated storyline; I wanted to feel something for the characters; I wanted to be surprised by the plot. None of those things happened, and the writing was okay but nothing that memorable and ultimately it felt insubstantial. Your mileage may, of course, vary.

PEDM: Day 29

It the penultimate day of PEDM! Woo! Hoo!

Back at work today after a more relaxing weekend than I've had recently. Fortunately I could spend the whole day doing the paperwork for all the books we bought last Thursday so it was pretty sedate.

I'm working my way through my current book group book which is The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness. It's set on Iceland and is about a child growing up with his grandparents in a tiny fishing village. It's rather lovely and whimsical, which you either like or you don't. I tend to enjoy a bit of whimsy and this peek into a lost world is gentle and moving. I was interested to see that the English translation is by Magnus Magnusson who was a staple of my childhood and who, it turns out, was known for his translations of Icelandic literature. Who knew!

I'm thinking that I should make a meaty post tomorrow for my final PEDM post. However, I can't promise anything. ;)

PEDM: Day 28

Whilst noodling about on the internet today I came across a paper written for the Waltham Forest Oral History Project. It is about public houses in the borough and uses quotes from interviews carried out with various publicans over the years. One of the publicans interviewed was my dad. He had a very particular storytelling voice and reading his parts I can hear his voice in my head. It's a weird thing, and it makes me miss him profoundly. It's nearly nine years since he died and it still aches in that way that losing someone so important always does. Anyway, here's something he told the interviewer and reading it actually made me tear up as I can hear him saying it:

"You walk into a pub and you think there’s something about this place, don’t feel right in there. I can walk into a pub and it’s empty. I feel comfortable in there. Because pubs have got personalities. I don’t care what anybody says. When I was doing this pub up, it’s like every time I threw a couple of grand at it, it went, “Aw thank you very much.” And I got more customers. It’s true. Because this pub was dying. It’s alive now, alive. People care about it. It knows, the building knows. Not only the building knows it, the customers know it as well. Whether you care or not, that’s what it is about.

I have a very strange relationship to my pub childhood. I do not drink and never have. I find drunks unbearable and will remove myself from having to deal with them, too many run-ins with my drunk mother have done the damage. The whole building smelled of beer and spirits and that sense memory has never left me. We moved into the pub two months before my sixth birthday, my older brother was seven and my little brother twenty-one months. I can't imagine how my mum dealt with going from basically being a housewife to running a pub, working seven days a week and cooking for us, dealing with our school days, dealing with a toddler. She has said over the years that she regrets not having had more time for us back then and especially for how much it impacted on me. I ended up taking a huge amount of responsibility for my younger brother and that was hard, but not anything I think I saw as difficult at the time. The fact that she had so little time - and my dad for all his positive traits was not a hands-on parent in any way shape or form - meant that her parenting was basically one of benign neglect. I think that this has been one of the most significant parts of what has moulded me into the person I am. I have always bucked against constraints and compromise because I didn't really have to deal with either of those things. We were given a basic, but very firm set of moral rules to live by - things like honesty, integrity, kindness - but then were left to get on with it. Because I spent so much time muddling through on my own, I now am not only adept, but happy to continue to do that. I've lived alone for nearly thirty years and I can't imagine being beholden or wanting to deal with anyone else on a day to day basis. But I'm happy with that, although it took me into my thirties to really know that to be true.

PEDM: Day 27

I think I may running out of things to ramble on about. Either that, or I'm just having one of those Sunday evening moments.

Anyway, today I patched some jeans. Sounds very unexciting, eh? But no! Not unexciting at all, in fact very exciting. I had a conversation with [personal profile] the_oscar_cat a few weeks ago about holes in jeans and the problem of patching them properly. Anyway, she told me about using iron-on interfacing and a sewing machine to do the patching. So today I took my two pairs of jeans with the holes in [always at the inner thigh!], got my sewing machine set up with the darning foot and some grey thread, ironed on some interfacing, and went for it. It works! The repair will apparently become less noticeable as the jeans are washed, but it actually feels like the repair will last much longer than a bit of fabric patched over. I feel very accomplished, and happy that I can once again wear my favourite pair of jeans. :)

PEDM: Day 26

SO tired OMG! Had a lovely day with [personal profile] birdsflying who came to visit on the first stretch of a weekend in London. We ate loads of quiche and scones and drank vast amounts of tea and just chatted and caught up with life the universe and everything. I just waved her off on the next stop in South East London and am now watching the second half of the Strictly launch show. It looks like Anton has finally been given a contestant who can actually dance. Blimey!

PEDM: Day 25

I sometimes fill out research questionnaires for a tv marketing company and recently had an email asking if I wanted free tickets to the inaugural Radio Times Festival. This is a celebration of all things television, with talks, screenings and Q&As with programme makers both in front of and behind the cameras. Anyway, I thought why the hell not and ticked some boxes for various of the events and was duly sent tickets for three. Sadly, two of them overlapped [pretty stupid sending the tickets for both if you ask me] so I took all and decided to make a choice on the day. In the end I went to a talk/Q&A with the writers & lead actor for Shetland and then to a screening of some found footage that is part of the Missing Believed Wiped BFI programme.

The Shetland panel was really interesting with the author of the original books, Ann Cleeves, actor Douglas Henshall, producer Elaine Collins and writer Gaby Chiappe. They spoke about the process of translating a book to a tv series and the issues of filming in such an isolated location as Shetland. The audience were obviously all fans and managed to ask good, leading questions that added a lot to the discussion. There was only one bum note when an audience member asked about the Scottish accents and whether they considered that they might put off viewers. All the panel - two of whom are Scottish - managed not to call her out for being a regionalist arsehole although Douglas Henshall was very clipped and sharp in his response, saying how it was up to the viewers to listen harder and not to the programme makers to adjust for the possibility people might find them hard to understand.

The other panel was hosted by Dick Fiddy who is the BFI member who leads the MBW initiative. The panel also had a special appearance by Tim Brooke-Taylor who was one of the writers and performers in At Last the 1948 Show which is one of the shows MBW have been piecing together over the last few years. They then showed one of the found episodes of the show. The episode they showed was rather charming and included what John Cleese has said is his favourite sketch ever, the book shop sketch. It was hilarious and worth attending the panel just for that. The audience once again were very much the target for the show and were very appreciative of both the screening and Mr Brooke-Taylor himself. I did think though that there was a bit too much of an attitude of 'they don't make them like that anymore' but I suppose that's to be expected by such a partisan audience.

All in all I had a nice time although initially it didn't seem particularly well attended. I think there are far more likely to be more people there this evening as that's when the big ticket panels are. It's on over the weekend as well with more big ticket panels some of which I know are already sold out. It was also very white and middle class, which wasn't unexpected but was still disappointing. There were plenty of industry stands and tents and also lots of food concessions, one of which had the best chips I've eaten in years! There were a few free screenings going on during the day but I decided not to stick around for them as I was on my own and felt I had already seen everything I wanted to.

PEDM: Day 24

So we managed to spend just over £12k today and were congratulated on how efficient we were.

We were lucky as the showroom had full shelves and there were only 4 other people buying today. Sometimes you go and the shelves are looking a bit bare and you're there with 12 others who are all looking at the same books.

The book supplier is in Birmingham and this week saw the opening of the new train station at New Street. It's very impressive with loads of room for all the passengers, bright and airy with cafes and shops both on the entrance concourse and the other side of the ticket barrier. Today was also the grand opening of the new John Lewis store and there were queues of people waiting to enter. We figured they probably had opening offers of some sort as otherwise we couldn't work out why you'd queue.

Anyway, we're on the train home and I can't wait to get into my pjs and settle in for the evening.

Tomorrow I have tickets for two of the events at the inaugural Radio Times Festival at Hampton Court. To be honest I'd rather just slob around all day but I shall probably go and see what it's about.

PEDM: Day 23

We're heading into the home straight of PEDM and I'm almost comatosed on the sofa waiting for Bake-Off to start.

Anyway, [personal profile] lapin_agile asked me to talk about the book buying I am going to be doing tomorrow. I work for an education library service and we send out boxes of books and objects to support teaching and learning in the classroom. Over the last few years there have been big changes in the National Curriculum in England and this, mixed with the head of service taking on more and more work, means we have to add new books to the stock all the time. Because of the extra schools who have come on board we have a healthy book budget and a need to update and expand both the fiction and non-fiction we carry. So tomorrow me and a colleague are off to our book supplier in Birmingham to spend around £13,000. This sum includes the 35% discount we get, so it's going to be a lot of books. I find this part of my job a real pleasure although it can be frustrating at times if the books aren't available to buy. With the changes in the NC it has taken time for the publishers to catch up and get the titles published, but gradually new, shiny books have come onto the market and I love seeing those. Also, having new stock makes the shelves look so much more enticing. It's a long day but hopefully we'll manage to get everything we need.

PEDM: Day 22

The weather over the last couple of days has been utterly miserable and horribly 'winter is coming'. We had a gorgeous weekend but then the rain started. I've managed to acquire a cold [go me!] and am feeling thoroughly bleagh today. I ended up doing a staff meeting at a school this afternoon which was actually quite pleasant and it did mean that I got home 30 minutes early, which was a treat. Tomorrow should be a bit quieter than it has been so far this term as the big rush of loan requests have been and gone, and then Thursday I am off to Birmingham to spend up to £13000 on books! Now THAT is definitely my idea of a good time. :)

Pedm: Day 21

Well, #piggate/#hameron was quite a thing to wake up to this morning!

Pedm: Day 20

Another quick update. Just back from a long day driving an old family friend currently visiting from NYC from her sister's house in Hemel Hempstead to Margate to see mum. Youngest nephew came for lunch which ended up with us having heated debate (also known as an argument) about representation in the MCU. I got very cross at him which made mum a bit upset at us. He's only 15 and quite sheltered in many ways but I somehow expected better of him than for him to spout a load of privileged bullocks at me. I'm now tired and a bit grumpy. :(

PEDM: Day 19

Today I went to the Imperial College open day with my nephew. He turns 18 next month and has already got 1 A Level under his belt [A grade Maths, he's a very academically gifted boy] and is taking another 3 of them next year. He wants to study Physics and Imperial is considered one of the best universities to study it at. The set-up is very impressive, with excellent facilities and guaranteed housing in halls for the first year. However, it's in London which means the cost of living is high and after the first year he'll be less sheltered. He's pretty confident and social so he should be fine but he's used to living in Margate which is not exactly the most cosmopolitan part of the country. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see which uni he decides to make his first choice. He's also applying to Oxbridge and really liked Cambridge in particular. All the courses are pretty much of a muchness so it's down to how each institution is set up for tutorials and so on and whether he feels he'll enjoy living there. It could be Imperial, it could be Cambridge, it could also be Warwick or Bath. Who knows!

He'll be the first in my immediate family to go to university so it's a big deal. I went to a polytechnic to do a degree but left halfway through the first year after it became clear that it was making me very depressed [I was having regular panic attacks over it] and I've never actually regretted not continuing. However, as I was telling him today, both my parents were pretty bemused by me actually going. My dad even asked if I didn't just want to get a job. It wasn't that they ween't supportive in their own way, but it wasn't something it occurred to them any of their children would want to do although if any of us did, it was obviously always going to be me. I do think that the only reason I applied was that my school didn't really leave room not to. If you were academically capable [and I was] then you went to university. I can distinctly remember at the time my english teacher being really cross that I planned to go to a polytechnic rather than a university, as the snobbery against polytechnics was at its height at that time. Since then of course polytechnics were turned into universities and, despite the status change, the attitude to many of them has never really shifted.

Anyway, we had a really enjoyable day hanging out and I bought him lunch and we went to the Science Museum and got very geeky about all the heavy machinery in the main hall. He didn't laugh at me much when I went on about Watt and Boulton and the Lunar Men either, so I call it a win!

PEDM: Day 18

I have a couple of people on my /DWLJ feed who somehow manage to make regular, long, linky posts. It's funny, but never in the 13 years I've had this account have I ever managed to do anything near that. It's been interesting this month, posting every day and I'm aware that there are several 'filler' posts. This is probably one as well, tbh. But I do honestly wish I was the type of person who can keep up a diary of some kind, online or off. I've had several goes over the years and there is even concrete proof of it in a couple of diaries in a box in the loft. I'm happy to ramble on about stuff in person, but find it difficult to sit down and put those ramblings on paper/screen. I'd love to be able to say that this month will be a turning point, but I now that's not true. However, I would hope that I might post something every now and again just to check in and show that there's still life in this journal.