They've been at it for a couple of hours, and have made vastly more progress than I was able to make in quite a few hours of manual digging. Part of this is that they've got a small electric jackhammer, but it's clear that a fair bit of this is simply that they're better at it than I was.
Which just goes to show that "unskilled labor" involves skills too.
Essentially I found myself in a mood to ask myself, just how much plastic is passing into the environment via my purchasing habits? Even though I send a lot of it to recycling, that's its own use of energy. Mostly I was looking at my grocery shopping:
- I already take my own reusable bags (or reuse old plastic bags) at the checkout, and for fruit as well. I do like to get the occasional new plastic bag for use as bin-liners; I'm going to try emptying their contents directly into the red bin for a while, instead of tying the bags off and putting them in all together. But I haven't found myself throwing much into the red bin since making this resolution so no data on how that goes.
- A 2L plastic bottle of milk every 7-10 days. And you can't even reuse milk bottles to store water against emergencies; hygiene aside, the plastic breaks down over time. Speaking of emergencies, though, I'd been considering getting a bag of milk powder for my supplies. So I thought I'd try it in every-day use. So far it's worked well in baking, yoghurt-making, hot chocolate, and morning cereal, ie all my normal uses except drinking straight from the fridge, which will wait until summer for testing. It takes a few moments extra in the morning to mix it (my preferred method: boil the jug, dissolve the powder in a bit of boiling water, then add cold to desired strength) but it's become part of my routine over the last couple of weeks so I think I will keep this one up. Bonuses: here at least it's significantly cheaper than fresh milk; no running out at inconvenient moments; and conversely no finding that it's gone sour before I've finished it.
- A plastic bag around my bread each week. I've revived my bread-making to avoid this; to be honest it's the one I'm least likely to keep up. OTOH I have discovered that if I bake the bread and let the oven cool somewhat but not completely, it's a great place to incubate yoghurt overnight. And the bread is so tasty - it's just the time it takes. We'll see. I may just keep going through phases on it.
- A plastic bag of muesli every week or so. I'm experimenting with pick-n-mix (taking my own bags) but pick-n-mix rolled oats alone cost about the same as (budget) prepackaged muesli. :-( Does anyone know why rolled oats and muesli come in plastic, when flour and sugar come in paper??
- A couple of plastic packages of shaved ham every few weeks. (The recycling status of which I was never sure about, so red-binned them!) Careful attention revealed that cheap ham at the deli is cheaper than cheap ham prepackaged. Moreover today I was brave and found out that if you take your own container along they'll use that instead of a fresh plastic bag. (At least the guy I struck today did, and even set the scales to discount the weight of the container though I wouldn't have minded that little bit.) So I just need to keep organised.
Beyond plastic - I've also taken to washing dishes in a tub, and using the water on the garden. (Someone at church has set up her laundry pipes to use water from that on the garden; I think I'd just flood the house.)
And recently I came across SolarAid, a charity whose selling point is that you can 'offset your carbon' from flights you make by funding solar-powered lights for personal use (eg kids doing homework) in developing countries to replace kerosene, which besides emitting copious carbon dioxide is expensive, not that bright, and seriously unhealthy. It seems win-win-win so I looked for a catch but couldn't find any.
Anyway this came at a time shortly after a) I'd made some international flights and b) I'd received a tax rebate from last year's charitable donations so next thing you know I'd apparently donated enough to get sent an example solar light in the mail. It just arrived today, and it's cute and lightweight and works out of the packaging, and I'm weighing up whether it goes in my emergency kit or to City Mission here because goodness knows it's not just kids in the developing world who can't do homework due to lack of money for power.:-(
1. River Song (Doctor Who)
2. Eugénie Danglars (The Count of Monte Cristo)
3. Victor Nikiforov (Yuri!!! on Ice)
4. John Tracy (Thunderbirds)
5. Romeo (Romeo and Juliet)
6. Liz Shaw (Doctor Who)
7. Lady Penelope (Thunderbirds)
8. Petrova Fossil (Ballet Shoes)
9. Edmond Dantes|The Count of Monte Cristo (The Count of Monte Cristo)
10. Dorothea Callum (Swallows and Amazons etc)
11. Madame C-|Lady B- (The Comfortable Courtesan)
12. Dickson McCunn (Huntingtower etc)
13. Miss Marple
14. Rudolf Rassendyll (The Prisoner of Zenda)
15. The Dowager Duchess of Denver (Lord Peter Wimsey)
( The answers )
The lights, the recording equipment, the lairy looking rozzer.
I’ve never experienced anything like this before, never been in trouble with the police. Honest Billy, that’s me, always kept my nose clean; I even declare every one of my tips on my tax form. So, what’s Mrs. Zanderson’s best boy doing being formally interviewed under caution?
Doing his best to explain just how he’d got into this mess in the first place, only I can’t tell them the whole truth, for reasons that will become apparent.
“How and when did you meet Jonny Telfer?”
“A couple of months ago, in a bar. The Happy Return.”
“Had you gone there to pick up a fare?”
“No. It was pleasure, not business.”
And what a pleasure it had turned out to be, at least at first...
There are lots of good SF stories being written these days, printed in a wide range of places, and the first two editions of this collection have been full of really good ones.
I mention this now because the Kickstarter for the third edition has just opened. You can get e-books of the first two editions there as well as ebook and print copies of the third edition.
1) Make a list of fifteen characters first, and keep it to yourself for the moment.
2) Ask your f-list to post questions in the comments. For example: "One, nine, and fifteen are chosen by a prophecy to save the world from four. Do they succeed?", "Under what circumstances might five and fourteen fall in love?", "Which character on the list would you most want on your side in a zombie invasion?"
3) After your f-list has stopped asking questions, round them up and answer them using the fifteen characters you selected beforehand, then post them.
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Flint-Vastra (The Carte de visite remix) (0 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jenny Flint/Madame Vastra
Characters: Jenny Flint, Madame Vastra (Doctor Who)
Additional Tags: Fanart
The wedding photo of the widow Vastra and her young new husband.
I have been watching Kids on the Slope on moetushie's recommendation, and am enjoying it very much thus far. I am a sucker for seaside + nostalgia + music. I have also been watching Izetta: the Last Witch, which ought to be right up my street (Ruritania + loyalty TO THE DEATH + femslashiness) but which for some reason isn't grabbing me in quite the same way.
On the subject of anime, I went to see the Anime Architecture: backgrounds of Japan exhibition (now finished, sorry) at the House of Illustration, and was mostly impressed the sheer detail of the artwork. I hadn't realised how small the backgrounds were in real life; they really repaid standing six inches away and marvelling.
Sam couldn’t resist unfolding the note; he’d had these sorts of things before and they were always good for a laugh. The invitations would range from the innocent to the knowingly experienced, although nobody ever suggested something entirely obscene—Miss Madeleine gave an air of always being above such things. This would probably be the usual Might I buy you a drink? I know this little estaminet…
“I’m awfully glad you’re not a girl. J.”
Sam read it again, not trusting the evidence of his eyes, but they’d been right the first time. J? Which of the officers had that been? Jimmy, Jeffrey, Jonathan…Sam had forgotten their names already, even if he’d been told them.
But when had the note been written? After he’d taken his wig off and burst the little lieutenant’s bubble, he supposed, although if he had no memory of the thing being lodged in its hiding place, he equally had no recollection of somebody scribbling the thing—there’d been very little time for it, anyway. And how much more courage would it have taken to do such a thing in plain sight?
“Shell Shocked”, my humorous – and whimsically peculiar – shifter story, is now available for everyone to read on my free stories page. I’ve re-organised that part of the site so it’s easier to find the stories by type. Free stories are always given as an exclusive to newsletter members first!
I’ll be taking part in the International Thriller Writers roundtable discussion that runs September 25th to October 1st: Comedy and Humor in the thriller genre: Is it difficult to write comedy or humor into thriller novels? Is it necessary, desired, or just a tool to release the tension in some needed spots? The roundtable discussions are usually very interesting and informative.
I’ve been busy doing my blog posts for the Count the Shells blog tour next month. I’ll be offering a bag of British themed goodies as the tour prize and am happy to post that to anywhere in the known universe. I’ve also been getting into gear with UK Meet stuff, preparatory to tickets going on sale in October (that’s going to be a busy month!) If you’re interested in attending UK Meet 2018, which is 8th-9th September in the lovely city of Bristol, make sure you sign up for the event newsletter at any page of our website.
And now for one of those really annoying “I have news although I can’t tell you much” type announcements. I’ve got a re-release date for Lessons in Love (the first book in the Cambridge Fellows series) and it’ll be this year, but I’m bound to keep things quiet for just a wee while longer. As they say, “Bear with, bear with!”
And finally, a reminder of summer and the lovely - very inspirational - island of Jersey. There are thousands of years of archaeology in that there picture.
( Rosemary and Rue )
In regard to the audiobook itself, Mary Robinette Kowal did a great job. I don't think I can imagine Toby as sounding like anyone else, now. Of the other voices she did... I love Tybalt the best.
So I went on to "A Local Habitation". Audiobook again. Chores become so much more pleasant when one is listening to an urban fantasy mystery. ( Massive SPOILERS for A Local Habitation )
Yes, more audiobooks of this series are on their way to me.
Then I get to do it again, because no one* bothered telling me which dates didn't work for them.
*Actually, someone did bother, but I never got her sms. Weird. And annoying.
But the thing I particularly have to share is that, tomorrow, on the Livestock Lawn between races by the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs, they are having a "kids pedal-tractor pull".
This sounds kind of amazing.
This was part of a series, World War I at home, which I need to work through!
“So just work with the person next to you.”
The tutor’s words brought Jamie back to the present with a bump. Work with the person next to you to do what?
“I hope you know the answers because I’m stuck.” The bloke next to Jamie—Alex, according to the hand written sticker on his shirt—grinned and brandished a worksheet.
“I do, but only because I’ve done this bit before, on another course.” Jamie returned the smile.
“You write the answers in, and I’ll read them and try to look intelligent.” Alex’s eyes twinkled.
Why weren’t there any blokes like this on the Cattlebridge Primary Governing Body, with brown eyes lively enough to make the interminable meetings worth sitting through?
“Deal. They’ll give us an answer sheet later, anyway.” Jamie scribbled down some key words, just so it wasn’t obvious that his mind wasn’t on the questions.
“I don’t think they’ll let me have one, punishment for sneaking in late.” Alex smiled again.
Jamie filled in some more answers, trying hard not to write “Do not flirt” on the page.
Lots more excerpts at the Rainbow Snippets group.