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Here it comes…


Sorry I’m late tonight. I should have posted before we went out. Please enjoy this crappy cellphone photo of Steeleye Span. The white blob in the middle is Maddy Prior. We have decided this enjoyable gig will officially kickoff Christmas 2017.

Tree and lights tomorrow. We haven’t done it yet. Also, I haven’t decided how much time to take off.

Oh, yes — I’m calling the Dead Pool for Carl. He won with Max Clifford using the Carl Gambit. I’ve lost track of his body count; I hope he’s putting notches on the side of his monitor.

So, back here tomorrow for DEAD POOL ROUND BLAH BLAH BLAH. I forget which. Hunnert and something. I’ll look it up tomorrow. Night, folks!

December 14, 2017 — 11:02 pm
Comments: 8

Oh yes, please!


Probably too late for this year, but here’s one for your aspirational shopping needs: Miss Havisham’s Curiosities. They do gift cards.

It’s an LA based artist/shop. Lots of genuinely vintage items, but the best are these custom teacups and saucers. Very nice bone china, lovely antique patterns and inspirational slogans like “please, go die” and “we hate your baby.”

Not cheap, naturally, but worth it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I too got the Windows 10 Fall Creators’ Update yesterday and my computer is a mess *sad face*.

December 13, 2017 — 9:35 pm
Comments: 3

A very Amazon Christmas


And now begins the Amazon ritual. Honestly, I’m grateful — if it weren’t for mail order in general and Amazon in particular, I’d be stuck for shopping. We have Prime this year, even better.

But holy shit do I hate Amazon reviews. Everything is one or five. Why is nothing ever “three stars. Did the job, but not very exciting”?

Naturally, I check out the one stars first and it’s always, like, “do not buy! Very cheap! The lid broke first time I used it, and the replacement lid was broken in the mail. I complained to the manufacturer who told me I was fat and stupid and my baby was ugly.” Followed by fifty people who think it was the awesomest thing in the history of awesome.

What am I supposed to do with this information? Buy some sucky no-name Chinese knockoff that nobody has reviewed, that’s what!

I’m still working on the bits and pieces. Are you done?

December 12, 2017 — 10:29 pm
Comments: 17

It snew!


I biked in in the snow. That was fun. And then home. That was funner. And then genius here says, “hey, why don’t we do our weekly grocery shopping?”

See, where we are, it had all burned off by then. Where we were going, not so much. Who knew? It was slushy and slippery and awful almost the whole way.

British stores have decided if they don’t do anything about snow in the parking lots, we can’t sue them for not doing a very good job when we fall and break our asses (thank you, American litigious culture, for spreading misery around the Western world). Not kidding, the slush was over my ankles in the parking lot. My sneakers leak.

It wasn’t very much snow at all, but like all places that don’t get snow very often, everyone lost their freaking minds.

Oh well. Made it home. Warm and dry. Almost gin o’clock. How was your Monday?

December 11, 2017 — 10:46 pm
Comments: 11



Hey, lady, what’re you doing Friday night?

Backing up, of course!

I’m really awful at backups, but my computer refused to boot three times this morning and I think I need to face the fact it’s probably on its way out. No complaints, it’s nearly eight years old, but it took Windows 10 pretty hard.

I always buy as much computer as I can possibly afford, so this one’s going to hurt. Just hang on until after Christmas please, honey.

Good weekend, folx!

December 8, 2017 — 9:27 pm
Comments: 12

Curse you, Thursday!


Woke up to driving rain and gale-force winds this morning. I lay and bed and thought, “hey, at least it’s Friday.”


To be fair, Uncle B tried to persuade me to accept a lift in this morning, but I was all like “no, no…it’s going to clear by noon! I’ll be fine!”


Never trust an English weather forecast. It pissed down all day and both ways, and my end-of-the-week bike battery wasn’t up to a head wind. I’m counting the minutes to Gin o’Clock. See you tomorrow, when the sky will clear and it really will be Friday.

December 7, 2017 — 9:45 pm
Comments: 10

Things that are on my Christmas list that probably aren’t on yours


Caput mortuum. It’s a pigment. An earth pigment. An iron oxide, to be exact. It looks like a dull brown, but mixed with white it becomes a lovely velvety purple. Very popular for painting pope robes.

The term means “dead head” and it’s derived from alchemy. It refers to (presumably worthless) stuff left in the bottom of your alchemical vessel after the more important things had…evaporated off. Or whatever they do. My alchemy is rusty.

The original pigment may indeed have been a byproduct of alchemy. All the early artificial pigments were.

Because alchemy is full of flowery metaphors, caput mortuum is also symbolic of your mortal remains after the soul has floated away. Its alchemical symbol is therefore a stylized skull, often just three dots in a circle.

Just to confuse matters, the pigment mummy was sometimes sold under the name caput mortuum, though they aren’t similar colors at all. That is an even more interesting paint, but it turns out I already wrote a post about it years ago.

I’m thinking of making paint again, but not really caput mortuum. I love the name, but I’m not really into purples.

December 6, 2017 — 10:18 pm
Comments: 8

Muh hat!


This is a thing that I ordered from Canada that came today!

The tail is raccoon, the hat itself is rabbit. I’d’ve splashed out the extra money for an all-raccoon hat, but it looks all wrong. It’s way too big and puffy for a coonskin cap. Stupid Canucks.

I admit, the ones with the faces on are cool. The fox, the coyote (it has legs!). Ooooo…and the skunk! Are those glass eyes I see? Honestly, though, I think you have to be Jeremiah Man-Mountain to pull off one of those. The hat model looks mighty silly in ’em.

In defense of my sartorial choices, I was born 20 miles from Crockett Tavern.

Hm. I think this thing is shedding. Is rabbit fur supposed to do that?

December 5, 2017 — 7:49 pm
Comments: 24

Hahaha…uh, no


A tayberry is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry (some sources say loganberry). Uncle B used to grow heaps of them in London and they were very nice.

I had forgotten how nice until we picked up a jar of tayberry jam at a church fete this Summer. Honestly, I think it’s the nicest jam I’ve ever eaten. We both raved over it. We have made sad face at every jar of jam since.

So, naturally, I thought I’d try to get us some for Christmas. Turns out, I got one Google hit on tayberry jam, and it was this one at Fortnum and Mason.

A 200 gram jar is £9.95, plus £5.95 shipping. Folks, that’s like twenty-five bucks for a little jar of jam!

Heh. Check out the rest of their Christmas stuff. Must be nice to have monies.

December 4, 2017 — 11:07 pm
Comments: 8

Happy December!


‘Tis the month of Christmas. Yes, we do that. It helps to have an advent calendar.

This one’s mine — Uncle B bought me the Lindt one.

For the record, today was no improvement over yesterday. It HAMMERED down with rain this morning. It was like biking in through a shower of freezing cold needles. Then I had a doctor’s appointment (diagnosis: plantar fasciitis), an accountant appointment and I had to buy chicken food.

But behind Door #1 was a tiny Lindt bunny. All is right with the world.

Have a good weekend, all!

December 1, 2017 — 7:38 pm
Comments: 10