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This journal

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).
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Brownies by Zoom

We've now had our first two Brownie zoom meetings.  We are making a partial charge for this - because we want parents to appreciate that they need to make a contribution and had 10 families (11 girls) sign up.  We've also asked that those who don't wish to join zoom, but would still like to remain as members make a smaller contribution to keep the place.  There doesn't seem to have been a problem with this.  Two girls have left - one is now 10 and involved in other activities, the other had become much more erratic before lockdown due to doing other things, so we're not surprised - in the normal course of events some would have left.

The first week was a simple introduction, a bit of a scavenger hunt, and quiz to see how much they could remember about being a Brownie (not much).  Not that their ability to remember is particularly good generally, but it did make clear how much they had forgotten.  They seemed to enjoy themselves and were glad to be back in some form.  We were expecting to have to mute them at times, but in fact they were quite quiet and very respectful of each other.

Then yesterday we were preparing for Remembrance.  We only had 9 Brownies, so we're hoping there was a good reason why the other two didn't join, and not that the format wasn't working.  Flamingo (ex-army) talked about Remembrance and then, following the suggestion from girlguiding, they all painted/used felt tips a poppy on a stone to put in their front gardens, or somewhere suitable.  Normally there would be a proper parade, with our flag, but that won't be happening this year.

I'm now preparing for the first meeting after the half term break (which is next week).  I'm also going to put some activities up on our Brownie Facebook page, so that those who aren't joining the zoom meetings, can still take part and earn badges.

Theatre Roundup 2019/20

Possibly my saddest summary this year.  Although, starting in November I did manage to see a number of plays - proof that it was definitely worth seeing everything possible while I could (even though I didn't realise that at the time).

Nov 2019   Wicked   Victoria Apollo Theatre
Nov 2019   Mary Poppins   Prince Edward Theatre
Dec 2019   The Red Shoes (Matthew Bourne)   Sadler’s Wells
Dec 2019   A Christmas Carol (Antic Disposition)   Middle Temple Hall
Jan 2020   Uncle Vanya   Harold Pinter Theatre   (Richard Armitage)
Jan 2020   Cyrano de Bergerac   Playhouse Theatre   (James McAvoy)
Feb 2020   The Marriage of Figaro   Welsh Millennium Centre   (WNO)
Feb 2020   Peter Pan Goes Wrong   Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Feb 2020   Uncle Vanya   Harold Pinter Theatre   (Richard Armitage)
Mar 2020   Leopoldstadt   Wyndham’s Theatre
Mar 2020   Women Beware Women   Sam Wanamaker Theatre, The Globe

Only 11 plays, but not too bad over a spread of five months.  And no Shakespeare (I did have a play booked for September).  And yes, I am including Uncle Vanya twice - the first time was a preview, and by the time I saw it a second time it had changed.  Not to mention getting to see Richard Armitage on stage twice, which, considering what has happened since, was a definite plus.

Mostly London, one trip to Cardiff (the Welsh Millennium Centre was a new venue for me) and one to Coventry.  The other new venue was Middle Temple Hall, which was a magical place to watch a play.

It's particularly difficult to choose favourites this year, especially since there's sadness in looking back, but apart from Uncle Vanya, I would say Leopoldstadt, a very poignant play by Tom Stoppard; A Christmas Carol, with its perfect location; The Red Shoes, because Matthew Bourne production at Saddler's Wells is always great, especially at Christmas; and Mary Poppins which was such fun and a real feel good production.



Meme Answers (Part 2)

Adam Carter and Tigger Holmes go on a picnic.  What food do they take and where do they go and do they have a good time? [personal profile] nagi_schwarz 

Clearly they go someone in the Hundred Acre Wood.  Adam packs a picnic basket with all the things he likes, plus some things especially for Tigger, like little pink cakes with icing on them.  They have an interesting time, as Adam finds it slightly strange to be consulting Tigger Holmes, but when he leaves he’s much more hopeful than when he arrived.


The inhabitants of Nonnatus House and Tigger Holmes are married, but Hamlet is trying to get the nuns’ attention.  What happens? [personal profile] jormiwillingham 

This is not a marriage in the regularly accepted way, because nuns aren’t allowed to marry and even if they were a small toy tiger wearing a sou’wester would not be the normal partner for them.  However, the current arrangement suits everybody very well.  Hamlet, who believes that women should be kept in a nunnery to prevent them having unsuitable relationships, by which he means those he doesn’t approve of, is told to get with the times and accept that people have a right to live their own lives.  Hamlet whines that no-one understands him, but Sister Monica Joan says that people do understand him, they just don’t agree with him, and Tigger Holmes suggests he look outwards a bit more, instead of always looking inwards.  It turns out Hamlet is still cross because while he was busy being introspective Horatio and Ophelia have gone off together.


Greg doesn't believe in werewolves.  Well, Bilbo Baggins has a surprise for Greg - are they a werewolf or someone both Bilbo and Greg know?  What happens? [personal profile] luthienberen 

Bilbo Baggins has known Greg for over a year now (they originally met over a similar occasion last year in which their quiet weekend away was gatecrashed by several others).  So Greg has come to associate Bilbo with the odder events in life.  However, Greg doesn’t believe in werewolves.  Which is a shame really.

Once again they decide to go away for the weekend.  It will be purely platonic, separate rooms (Bilbo is in a steady relationship with Thorin), just a chance to have a quiet weekend in the country.  Except that Bilbo brings a large, wolf-like dog with him, saying he’s taking care of it for a friend.

This time, instead of an attempted robbery, they find themselves on the periphery of a case involving the secret service (Greg’s fairly sure he recognises the fair-haired man who appears to be in charge of the operation, although his dark-haired partner doesn’t seem to be around.)  As it is, Bilbo’s dog manages to trap one of the enemy agents, and everyone is happy.

That night, when they go to bed, Bilbo asks Greg if he would mind having the dog in his room.  Somewhat surprised, Greg agrees.  It’s a twin bedded room, and the dog goes to lie on the second bed.  When Greg tells it to sleep on the floor, the dog growls, so he decides to let it stay where it is.

In the morning, when Greg wakes up, he discovers the dark-haired partner of the man who had led the operation asleep in the other bed. 

Greg now believes in werewolves.


Thorin Oakenshield knits a sweater for Mrs Hudson.  How does this work out and why does Sherlock find the resulting garment hilarious, while Lucas North feels somewhat offended? [personal profile] debriswoman 

To be fair, Sherlock isn’t the only one who finds the knitted sweater hilarious, although no-one else voices their thoughts to Thorin’s face.  Mrs Hudson says it’s lovely and puts it away in a cupboard until such time as she can find a good use for it.  That good use turns out to be the day Lucas arrives at 221B looking like a drowned rat and Mrs Hudson lends the sweater to him.  Sherlock tells Lucas that his new dress doesn’t suit him, but that if he were looking to find a suitable disguise he would give him some tips.

Images once more by the lovely [personal profile] moth2fic 


White Castle and Hereford

We had two more days out on Monday and Tuesday, making the most of the time I wasn't working.

Monday we visited White Castle in Monmouthshire, where, true to tradtion, it was murky.  Apart from the castle walls, not much remains of White Castle, but it was still interesting to wander around it.

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On Tuesday we went to Hereford, and the sun shone on our visit to the cathedral.

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Tintern Abbey

We should be away at the moment, celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary.  Instead we are at home, but still intending to celebrate, albeit slightly differently.

Our first day out, using our CADW membership was to Tintern Abbey, we'd been a few years ago (the guidebook is somewhere) but it was the ideal opportunity to have another visit.  Tintern Abbey is by the River Wye, and was built by Cistercian monks.  It was originally founded in 1131 with wooden buildings, and the stone buildings were begun in 1269.

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After this we had an excellent lunch of fish and chips in the Anchor Inn, just across the small road from the Abbey.


Annual Meme

I haven't done this meme this year, so I thought it might be entertaining.

I have a list of 15 characters, all of whom I regularly write (prompted by yesterday's entry) numbered from 1 to 15.  What I would like you, dear flist, to do is ask a question, such as:

One and Two go birthday shopping for Three.  How successful are they and is Three happy with their present?

Please post your questions in the comments, and in a couple of weeks I will reply.

Holmes Watson papers

My Annual Fic Analysis - Year Five

Have I been consistent in my main writing over the past year? Figures for 2016 - 2019 are included for comparison.

Total works to date 956 [825, 692, 543, 400].

What's your first and second most common work rating?
General: 631, [532, 430, 320, 223]
Teen & Up: 321, [290, 259, 217, 171]
Remarkably consistent.

How many fics have you written in each relationship category?
Gen: 483, [422, 346, 264, 191]
M/M: 426, [368, 315, 247, 181]
F/M: 55, [38, 33, 30, 25]
Other: 3, [3, 3, 2, 2]
F/F: 2, [1, 1, 1, 0]
M/M up slightly against Gen, but I suspect that's partly because it's a toss up whether I label something Gen or M/M when the relationship is there, but not relevant to the plot.  An increase in F/M, but there's no one pairing which stands out - it includes Romeo/Juliet, Little Red Riding Hood/Prince and Gertrude/Claudius.

What are your top four fandoms by number?
Sherlock Holmes (ACD): 240, [212, 173, 121, 79]
Sherlock (BBC): 231, [215, 192, 176, 156]
Spooks: 140, [109, 87, 60, 32]
Lewis: 61, [60, 54, 48,45]
At last ACD Holmes has exceeded BBC Sherlock.  Otherwise, my main fandoms are entirely consistent.  Having just done a quick comparison, this year my top four fandoms represent about 60% of my output, with 40% spread over another 20+ fandoms.

Who are your top seven characters?
Sherlock Holmes: 368, [339, 290, 234, 184]  (ACD 193, BBC 175)
John Watson: 347, [312, 267, 217,167]  (ACD 177, BBC 170)
(Greg) Lestrade: 221, [209, 187, 172, 147]  (ACD 59, BBC 162)
Lucas North: 138, [107, 85, 59, ?]
Stanley Hopkins: 100, [88, 76, 61, ?]  (ACD 52, BBC 48)
Adam Carter: 98, [?]
Mrs Hudson: 96, [86, 75, 60, 49]  (ACD 51, BBC 45)
Adam Carter has overtaken Mrs Hudson, which is why I've gone to seven characters, because Mrs Hudson does not intend to be left out!  If the split between the two Holmesian fandoms is included, the top seven becomes: Holmes,Watson, Sherlock, John, Greg, Lucas, Adam

And top six relationships?
Adam Carter/Lucas North: 86, [62, 51, 29, ?]
Sherlock Holmes/John Watson: 66, [56, 47, 37, 25]  (ACD 50, BBC 16)
Sherlock Holmes/Stanley Hopkins: 45, [42, 34, 28, 18]  (ACD 9, BBC 36)
John Watson/(Greg) Lestrade: 33, [33, 32, 32]  (ACD 12, BBC 21)
Bilbo Baggins/Thorin Oakenshield: 32, [27, 23, ?, ?]
Guy of Gisborne/Much: 25, [25, 25, 20, ?]
Which in reality is:
Adam/Lucas: 86
Holmes/Watson: 50
Sherlock/Stanley: 36
Bilbo/Thorin: 32
And shows that pure relationship fic (apart from Adam/Lucas) really isn't what I write.

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Brownie News

We looked at the requirements for running indoor meetings, and decided we could go ahead, with a split pack - ie Brownies coming alternate weeks.  However, because of the way it would be run we would need all four leaders present every week.  Further reflection, and the realisation that we couldn't guarantee we'd all be able to attend every week (one of our leaders is a nurse, for instance) and we accepted it just wasn't practical.

So after an online discussion yesterday, we've decided we will begin as Zoom meetings, so the Brownies can attend every week and we'll see how it goes.  It does have the advantage that if any of the girls are told to self-isolate because of an infection at their school bubble they can still join in.

And then today we heard we'd been awarded one of the grants which I'd applied for.  This means our subs are now covered and we can therefore afford to do some reasonable activities with the girls, rather than scrimping and saving.  So, hooray!