nature

Very Bad, Then Very Good

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Well, it’s been an interesting day. Delays on both the Tube and National Rail mean I never made it to the charity event I was supposed to be helping to run. I left Waterloo feeling pretty stressed, but after an hour’s nap and a couple of hours listening to a CD of piano hymms, I feel nice and soothed. Plus the PJs and plum tea help.

Also, strangely, after the awful morning I had I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it, but I decided to take a quick look at my ekphrastic poem notes before settling down to watch Hustle all afternoon, just in case there was any spark left in my brain that could do something. My brain surprised me enormously by not only being able to cope with putting the notes into a first draft, but came up with, and started writing, two song ideas as well! Now that is one heck of an achievement for me. Maybe my brain is improving, or maybe it’s a fluke, but at least I’m nearly settled for my tutorial next week now. Thank goodness. Now all I need to do is schedule my glasses appointment and pack for the NSPKU conference, which crept up on me!

I’m not going to think about the rest of my coursework. That’s Saturday’s problem.

300px-Rosette_nebula_LanoueOh look, it’s February 14th. I did know that, I just kind of forgot in the hassle of the day. My take on Valentine’s Day? Like Christmas, a good thing that’s been smothered by consumerism. Not saying I don’t mind roses and hearts–I am a romantic at heart–but would rather receive something more personal for Valentine’s Day than the same as what everyone else gets. I read a very good Doctor Who fanfiction a few months ago where the Doctor takes Rose to see the Rosette Nebula for Valentine’s Day. That’s a tough standard to beat. But I’m sure someone who knows me very well will be able to come up with something.

As a point of interest, that fic was what started me Google imaging nebulas, which gave life to my then-vague interest in astronomy. I fell in love with the beauty of the universe.

Where to Hibernate

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All good things have their drawbacks, or get cancelled. Snow = friend can’t stay for weekend. Yes, pretty innocent-looking white stuff currently lining all the rooftops, I’m talking about you. You’d better not fall near my birthday, either, I put a lot of effort into creating that Facebook event and I’m not going to walk 1/4 mile (or whatever it is) in clompy boots only to find no-one shows up. I’m glad the wordpress-created cybersnow is no longer falling on my blog or I would be very very annoyed even more. Not that that’s good grammar but right now couldn’t care less.

So, my weekend plans are cancelled, which means probably back to the coursework. Though I’m not sure about going out in this weather, so looks like I’ll be nursing hot chocolate or coffee in my room trying to block out family sounds. On my bed, that is, as my desk is currently covered, piled high with stuff that’s going back to London, which I had to get off my floor in preparation for having an airbed on there, which will now not happen. Seriously, I have a very long desk but it has a suitcase, a box, laptop, pile of books/DVDs, and a basket of ornaments on it (the ornaments are not going to London, they’re just there, but the rest in that list is). At least I managed to fit my cycle helmet into my cupboard.

Interesting fact about me. As far as I can tell, I am immune to caffeine. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Probably the mention of coffee earlier.

Invisible Jigsaw Pieces

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Maybe it’s just me, but Wales seems to be a popular spot for astronomy trips. First I stumble on AstroCamp on Twitter (and discovered the Baker St Irregular Astronomers, whose star party I went to last month, ran it), now my slightly-closer-to-home astronomy society are planning a trip there. My problem here is that I have to minimise my excursions to save on energy, money and time, not necessarily in that order. Well, AstroCamp looks set to happen yearly, so my sights turn to the other event–which happens to clash nicely with Mobilise, which I attended last year with the other church students. I haven’t heard anything about it this year, so don’t even know if I’m available or not.

Isn’t life complicated.

My society is looking to head abroad in the autumn, possibly Tenerife–!–to coincide with the comet Ison so moneywise it would make sense to save for that, but at the moment they’re all strangers and then if I can’t afford the abroad trip I’ll wish I’d been to the Wales one.

Then there’s the other option, find somewhere closer to home. Don’t know how viable that one is.

Oh, decisions, decisions! They’re hard enough when you have all the facts, impossible when parts of the puzzle are missing.

Plan of action needed. Google astronomy trips and camps till my fingers drop off. Email to society to ask for average going-abroad prices in past excursions. Hound friends about Mobilise, whether yay or nay. Ask if only stargazing friend interested in going. Then dose brain with healthy amount of caffeine and set it to the four-letter W-word.

Brain: What’s the W word?
Me: Work
Brain: Work? I don’t know that word. Define it.
Me: Work. Verb, to work. What your default function is until the fog rolls in.
Brain: *looks blank*
Me: I rest my case.

Wrestling With Hoovers

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My fruits of today are a nice clean carpet, my Kindle samples transferred over from my old, broken one to my new Fire, and a significant increase in wi-fi usage minutes by looking up all the links in “Astronomy for Dummies”. Well, okay, not all. Just the UK-relevant ones.

I’ve had stars on the brain since I’m planning on joining an astronomy club, first meeting in a couple of days. I can’t wait. I’ve been planning a visit home to see my family, I’m hoping that when I’m there and away from city lights, they’ll let me sit up on the roof for a bit with my mum’s binoculars, my first evening stargazing. I think I’ll probably miss the Leonids meteor shower, but maybe I’ll catch the Geminids next month.

Straying away from astronomy now, my Nutshell poem was workshopped yesterday, and it went pretty well. I also think my tutor liked it, if her expression when she read it was anything to go by! It still needs some work, but I’m pretty confident I’ll be submitting it as one of my marked pieces.

It’s the song that’s going to be harder. I never did finish the elegy, I’ll go back to it at some point but I’d rather work on something else for submitting. The thing is, I’ve only ever written three songs in my life, and all of them when I was about twelve so they weren’t great and I have no idea where the lyrics are now. Unless you count The Rhyme that I wrote for my Doctor Who fan fiction, though I’m not sure if it counts as I never gave it a tune.

Hmm, this post ended up nothing to do with hoovers at all. Thought I should mention them again so the title doesn’t seem irrelevant. Hoooovers …

PS: I promise I’m not drunk. Just tired and rambling.

Names, Nutshells and Neologism

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Well, I’m still lacking a name for my superheroine, but on the plus side I spent yesterday morning making the plot better. Just that name, and the cleaner’s name, and that’s all I have left to decide on for the proper write-up. At the moment I have a messy, punctuation-less, rambly first draft, and a written description of the new order of events. All I’ve got to do now is edit the two together. Then I can move onto the boring critical stuff.

Hmm, let’s see, what else? Signed up for Pinterest now, I’m going to try and keep inspiring stuff in there. I expect next time I visit the Royal Observatory website the nature board will fill up with space pics. Should be a handy resource for my poetry.

I’m working on one poem for class, “A Nutshell for the Hippocampus”. At the moment anyway, I may change the title. I’ve been jotting lots of new words in my daybook recently, it started when I replaced the (cliched) phrase “kiss of Life” in a poem I wrote a couple of years ago, with one word, “Lifekiss”, making a new word from two. I’ve had several similar ideas since.

Oh, now I have to go and sort out some administrative stuff. Can’t get five minutes’ break without some unwanted email demanding a phone call. Will post again soon.

Some Random Things I Learned in Oct

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– Space is beautiful. (Don’t believe me? Just Google image “nebula” and be awestruck.)

– If nothing comes out of the printer, the first thing to do is to check it’s actually turned on, rather than spend an hour trying to work out which cable has come unplugged.

– Squirrels like slides.

– It is (apparently) possible to organise a fundraising event with a budget of zero. (I’m still waiting for proof of this one.)

– If you can actually see a Great Bear in the sky, it’s time to worry.