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This LJ blog now contains mostly ramblings on life, the world and everything.  I aim to post five times a fortnight.

My fics can be found here The Small Hobbit on AO3 and currently major on Sherlock (BBC), Sherlock Holmes (ACD canon) and Lewis (TV).  My other popular fandoms include Spooks (MI5) and Robin Hood (BBC).

The Twelve Days of Christmas

It's the First of December and I'm quite excited because today's the day I get to post about The Twelve Days of Christmas.  For those who haven't been following me for a whole year, this is my annual post in which I request prompts for ficlets which I will post on the Twelve Days of Christmas, beginning on December 26 and ending on January 6.

Please choose a fandom - my AO3 list gives you an idea of which fandoms I write in; a pairing or a single character - can be canon or other; and a prompt.  If we don't share any fandoms I am also willing to write original characters.  Be aware my muse has her own take on things, so we may go off in unexpected directions.  If you're not sure if I would write something, please ask and we might all be surprised.

So, do request a ficlet and I shall be delighted to oblige.


When we visited the Porcelain Museum at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence I took several pictures which I didn't include in my blog post at the time.  However, they were entirely too pretty not to share, so have some more photos.

PorcelainCollapse )


It's ages since I last did a Brownie post.  I missed the first week, since I was travelling home from Italy (a good an excuse as any) and then the weeks seemed to come very fast.  Anyway ...

A couple of weeks ago we took the Brownies to Tesco's for a Farm to Fork Visit.  This is part of Tesco contribution to the community - or making themselves look good.  However, it was a free evening out and there was a badge at the end.  Plus most of our parents will already be shopping in Tesco (we have a superstore very close) so it was hardly a promotion.  The girls got to see a number of different types of fish - and poke them (they were wearing gloves, but I wouldn't fancy a Brownie-poked fish for tea).  We looked at different colours of fruit and veg.  And then they made faces out of small pieces of fruit and veg and paper plates, before eating them.  They all enjoyed themselves and found it interesting.  The woman who took us round commented on how well behaved they were, and suggested we return in the spring to learn about some more of the departments, which I'm now organising.  So a good time was had by all.

Last week we played games and had an enrolment for six new Brownies.  Two of the new girls admitted they hadn't read the Brownie story, so I got the pack acting it out, which was surprisingly good fun and they all joined in enthusiastically.

And yesterday we handed out digestive biscuits and lots of writing icing tubes in different colours and gave them free range to decorate the biscuits.  We suggested they might like to make them look like Christmas tree baubles and once again they were very happily engaged.  Some of them produced some very pretty biscuits, others less so, but they were all very happy to be taking home four highly decorated biscuits each.

This term we've moved a few of the girls into different sixes, so they can have a chance to lead them, and it's been really encouraging seeing the difference they've made and see a couple of the sixes which weren't working very well suddenly improving and managing to achieve things.



Yes, that was the name of the play we saw on Saturday.  I'm a big fan of Anne-Marie Duff, so I was very keen to get to see her on stage again, this time at the Almeida Theatre.

The play is a new one, written by Ella Hickson.  The theme is indeed Oil, from initial production back in the 1890s to its projected exhaustion.  The concept takes one woman, May, played by Anne-Marie Duff, and moves her forward through a total of five significant times.  I found the idea gripping, May ages slightly in each era, but not as much as the difference in the time periods, and each time her background and role changes to fit in with the time - but May herself remains the same person, rather like a series of AUs.

She has a daughter, who similarly ages slowly, from 'bump' to child, to teen, to twenties, to fifties.  The daughter, Amy, was played by Yolanda Kettle.  Part of the story is that of the difficult relationship between mother and daughter and how the mother seeks to protect her child, while at the same time ensuring her own wishes should be met.

There are a lot of questions asked - the nature of imperialism, the right to resources etc, but whilst the questions are there, the audience are left to make their own decisions.

We (my two friends and I) all agreed it was an excellent play, and Anne-Marie Duff was once again totally convincing, even though not generally a likeable character.  It's not a play which is easy to explain to someone who hasn't seen it - it needs to be experienced - which might be why some of the reviews weren't especially positive.  The premise sounds strange but worked very well.  And it was a play with a female writer, director and main character.


An Illustration to Share and Mamma Mia

Just over a week ago, on ushobwri it was suggested in view of all the negative vibes we should all try to shine a little light somewhere.  My contribution was the following poem, please excuse the dodgy metre on the last line:

As hopes are dashed and trampled underfoot
And fears held dormant climb back into mind
As tears are shed and sorrows overwhelm us
It is up to us to show love for humankind
Remember as you shed your tears today
A simple act is all it takes to show
That if the sun shines briefly through the rain
You too will see the glorious rainbow

browngirl has now illustrated the poem, and I encourage you all to take a look.

On Friday the daughter and I met up in London.  I told her to choose which shows she would like to go to and I would make the final decision.  Which is why we went to see Mamma Mia.  Her first choice was Matilda, but I've already seen it.

She enjoyed it a lot, which was good.  I decided I prefer the older style musicals, which in some ways seem to have more of a story to tell.  Lots of upbeat Abba songs, which were fun.  I wasn't too impressed with most of the singers and Sophie, in particular, didn't appeal.  However Tanya (Mazz Murray) and Rosie (Jo Napthine) both made me smile, they seemed to have more about them than the others.

Florence (Fiesole and Farewell)

On our last day we felt we'd had enough of the crowds, so we took a bus to the local town of Fiesole.  The town was a Roman settlement and also home to the Lombards, something I only learnt through their museum (finally, a museum telling people about the history).

Fiesole and FarewellCollapse )


Florence (Palazzo Pitti)

We visited the Palazzo on our second full day in Florence.  To get there we crossed the Ponte Vecchio, with the crowds.  So much of Florence was built and put on show to display the wealth and power of its rulers.  It has the same effect on the tourists today, who are equally impressed by what they see.  It is perhaps what made me feel, despite admiring the beauty, that it wasn't my sort of place.  I'm so pleased we went, but it wasn't a city I could relate to particularly.

Palazzo PittiCollapse )



I've been wanting to go to Florence for a long time and finally we made it.  It is a beautiful city.  I was delighted to be in the city where the Medici family lived, although surprised at how little there was about them, although it's possible we didn't look in the right places.  The three main spots for tourists to visit are the Uffizi, the Duomo and the Palazzio Pitti.  One out of three isn't bad.

Our first day was a Monday, and only the Duomo was open.  It was also a public holiday (Ogni Santi - All Saints) so the queues for the Duomo were very long.  I have mixed feelings about paying to go into a place of worship, so we decided to wander round the city centre and see what else appealled.

FlorenceCollapse )


October 31st

And we were in Florence - hooray!

BirthdayCollapse )And yes, we were in Florence, and there will be further details to come, but, as a taster, here's the view from the rooftop terrace of our hotel:
FlorenceCollapse )


the small hobbit

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December 2016


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