cat_hellisen: (Default)
2017-05-21 05:44 pm
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"He was trapped in a haircut he no longer believed in."

I did not run this weekend, but I feel good about that because my right knee (the one that always fucks out) was giving me pain all through Saturday, until eventually i took painkillers to get to sleep that night.

The new library in Dunfermline, which we went to go see, looks pretty amazing, and they've really done a wonderful job of old meeting new, with the old buildings joined by glass and modern extensions, and the history of Dunfermline both trade (looms, silk spinners, miner's lamps etc,) and modern life (Nazareth, advertising, scooters and other items of the recent past) sitting shoulder to shoulder. One of the cool things is the recorded interviews you can listen to, which really gives a warmth to the voices of the past.

Despite technically not being there to take out books, I still ended up grabbing Charlie Jane Ander's All the Birds of the Sky (which ended up winning a Nebula later that evening), Alex Bledsoe's The Hum and the Shiver, and Emma Bull's War for the Oaks. So a pretty neat haul. Also the SF section looked like it had almost every Culture novel, so I may do a massive reread of North Queensferry's most famous.

Here's Younger Spawn in the renovated library garden, with Dunfermline Abbey looming behind. You can see the esplaniered trees on their stakes there in the background. YS is standing in what is currently a very small labyrinth. I really hope they grow the hedges a bit taller, as i do love the peace of walking though one.

Every time I think about where i live now, i am awed by the history and beauty. i still miss South Africa badly, but I appreciate the wonder I have here too.

Younger Spawn in Dunfermline

Today I got told I'm moving up a grade at skating, which is cool, but set the YS off in tears as she wants me to stay with her. I actually think me not being in her class will be better for her and give her more confidence, but she does not see it that way. Ah well, hopefully she'll adjust to the idea by next week. We still do warm-up and after-class together so, she doesn't have to feel totally alone.

I've been purposefully meditating for the past week and I really feel like the combo of meds and meditating is giving me a lot of peace I needed in my life. Part of it is that I can just let go of stupid and not let it affect me. Letting other people bug me is my choice, and I'm never going to change them, so why get frustrated by it? This is a little easier to ruminate on than put into practice, but I shall try!

cat_hellisen: (Default)
2017-05-19 05:57 pm
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"Tell me we both matter, don't we?"

I'm feeling rather antsy and restless tonight. I was planning to skip parkrun tomorrow, but think I need to go and burn off some of my excess nerves.

The new Dunfermline Carnegie museum/gallery/library opened on Thursday, so we're going in anyway to have a look at it, so I might as well trek in a little earlier for the run. I better burn off all that chocolate bread I made and ate. *pats very round stomach gently* My pizza was amazing, btw. I don't think I'll do stretch and fold doughs very often because they take forever, but wooh did it make a spectacularly crispy and airy pizza crust.


The cheese was a mix of mozzarella and very mature cheddar, with onion, beefsteak toms, and mushrooms for topping. It was sooooooo moreish. And now I have the last dregs of a red wine bottle, and I'm listening to Placebo so this is a pleasant Friday.

Novel-wise, i decided I needed a new character in the book What I Just Kinda Finished. I mean, partly I'm kicking myself, and partly I'm going "Oh, yeah, this makes so much more sense." So she will be stitched in, and add to the texture of the story.

Why do I need her? Well, this is a story about mothers, daughters, sisters and step-mothers, but I realised I'd ignored the grandmother. And there was this AHA! moment, which made me realise I was on the right thought track there.

How I took the vaguest outline of Snow White and made it a story about female relationships (and all the ways they twist and support and tangle), I have no idea. I wouldn't say I set out to write any kind of lady manifesto, and it's not. it's just about people, and hearts. And the people happen to mainly be women because Snow White.

cat_hellisen: (Default)
2017-05-15 10:45 am

"this revolution has just begun."

After 2+ weeks of no rain, it's finally drizzling. Feels a wee bit more Scottish in the rain. Of course, it did have to rain the day I washed bedding so now my house is filled with damp sheets.

Yesterday Younger Spawn and I went in to Murrayfield - the first time she's been able to go in about three weekends, thanks to illness and injury. She did pretty well considering her long break, although we did have to deal with some sulking. (yay :P). It was a stunning day and we reveled in the walk there and back - filled with bird song and dappled sun through green boughs. The sides of the pathways are steep slopes covered with wild garlic and bluebells and bracken under the trees, so everything is looking very lush.

After that I went with The Boy for a walk in the small woods near our house. There's something very otherworldly about the place. Makes me totally understand why Scotland has so much fairy lore. you can picture nature spirits and strange things haunting the place.

I'm finally meditating again. Made the decision to swap 30 aimless minutes getting pissed off with idiots on twitter, to spending 30 focused minutes with my breath. Can only be for the good. :D No running today as i need a recovery day, but I'll be back on the road on Tuesday. Running is another kind of meditation, though I run with music, so that isn't very meditative, I guess. I don;t care, i love my music time on the run.

And in good news, I should finish that beta read today - I lost the notes on about half the read a week ago when my computer crashed and did not have the energy to face it all again. But, yay, I am making progress and the end is in sight again. ;)


cat_hellisen: (Default)
2017-05-11 07:13 pm
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"baby's on fire, and all the laughing boys are bitching."

It's only Thursday? Yeeesh.

I haven't done much running this week, but that's because in an attempt to save some cash (bus fare being more than my actual lesson fees) I decided to cycle with B into Edinburgh. Googlemaps is all like "13 miles, will take you about 1:20" THIS IS A COMPLETE FABRICATION. It actually took 16.7 miles, and 1:50. Because getting to Edinburgh is only 2/3 of the (long) battle. Then you have to navigate the million and one road closures and diversions. Still, I'm pretty proud of myself. I didn't walk once on the way in, and though I did stop to walk a few hills on the way back, I'm okay with that, It was only a little. Cycling back in the gloaming (and night) was so peaceful and beautiful. i saw pipistrelle bats and a fox while we were on the greenway part of the cycle track1

building in Edinburgh

Aikido class (the reason for the biking) was really great. I am so glad to be back on the mat, It just feels so right, even though I have forgotten everything and feel all uncoordinated. It's slowly coming back to me though, and I'm in the beginner's class so I don't have to stress too much because I'm relearning stuff I have done. It is weird because, obviously, different sensei means slightly different technique and style (and instructions) so sometimes I do things very differently because of muscle memory. I do try adjust my technique to be more like class style though.

This week I took the chance to start arting again, and painted a little study of a pygmy nuthatch. I love painting birds, so I decided I'll stick to them. I asked my friend and fellow writer person Lynne Jamneck if I could use her images as source material because she takes the most amazing pictures of New Zealand birds, and she was happy to let me.

pygmy nuthatch painting

And in the lats bit of news, I took Elder Spawn to Dunfermline today so she could have an orthodontist appointment, and while we were there I found this cool-looking kid's book of folk tales in a charity shop. All of 50p Bargain!

book cover