Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monsters in the street

My son went round to a friend's house to play. When I went to collect him, the friend's little brother, aged three, told me it wasn't safe to leave because there was a monster in the street. So he went first with his ray gun and killed the monster for us.

You forget these things so quickly. It's nine years since my own son was killing monsters.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Unreal Estate

Cover of Issue 15/16 of Electric Velocipede

Issue 15/16 of Electric Velocipede should be out by Halloween, with my story "Unreal Estate". You can already pre-order it at the site, or enjoy three stories from the issue, free online.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Last night the moonrise was beautiful. I didn't have time to get the tripod, but I think I managed to capture something of the atmosphere.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


The BBC has a fascinating news item about sunken treasure found near Sumatra. (See
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7675866.stm ) About 1,200 years ago, the Chinese were already mass producing china for export. But the two bits that got me: the blue dye used for blue and white china originally came from Iran, and the dhow was probably headed for the port of Samara, which is called Basra today.

So the good Samaritan in the bible must have been an Iraqi.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Productive Week

I've been doing rather well.

On Monday I had some new furniture delivered - cheap, because it was shop soiled. But one part provides enough storage space to tidy up the living room considerably, and the other part goes in the guest room (with the scuff marks hidden against the wall) which frees up a bookshelf, which is just the right size to fit in the gap in the pantry. I now have enough shelf space in the pantry to put the pasta in one pile and the tinned veg in another , and so on. As a result, I can find things much more easily, and I can see what I'm running out of, hopefully before I run out of it. Yay!

On Tuesday, I spent half the morning watching Casino Royale. This was vital research for a writing project, honest. Besides, I'd earned a break and I got quite a lot of knitting done.

On Wednesday I took a car load to the island's recycling centre - good riddance to it - and carried on to visit my friends in Franceses. For months now, they've been coming to me, so it was interesting to see their new steps, and the freshly planted garden. In the afternoon I took my osn to the dentist, which meant that I missed yoga for the first time. But I was shattered anyway, so I wasn't too sorry.

And in between whiles, I've sent off four submissions, carried on with the translation, tracked downa missing text book for my son, and started writing a new story.

So I feel quite vituous, really.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Japanese Banks in Trouble

Following the problems in the sub-prime lending market in America and the run on Northern Rock in the UK, uncertainty has now hit Japan. In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches. Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived. While Samurai Bank are soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank are reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black. Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.
Emma Ives, Dorking, Surrey, UK

For Geography students Only: What's the capital of Iceland? Answer: About Three Pounds Fifty...
John Green, Chessington, Surrey, UK

Shamelessly nicked from the BBC. More at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7663475.stm

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Car rallies

Today the annual car rally is snarling its way past my house. That's 59 cars, three times over. As usual, the first set of cars was fun, and after thirty attempts I got a nice photo (see 35th Isla Bonita Car Rally

And now, of course, I'm sick of the noise. It makes me too tense for yoga and too distracted for writing fiction. I think I'll just have to go and do the ironing.

Now that's desperation!

Friday, October 10, 2008


The clutter doesn't half collect around here. This year I've made an effort to throw stuff out, a little at a time. Today, instead, I went and bought a couple of new sideboards in a sale, which will be delivered on Monday. One will go in the living room, to hold the overflow of my son's toys. The other will go in the guest room. This frees up a bookshelf which just fits in the pantry.

Today my friends Helen and Theresa came over. They helped me clear out the pantry floor, remove everything form the bookcase upstairs,and put it in the pantry. So at long last I have enough space in the pantry to organise it, instead of just shoving things in wherever I can cram them. I even had space at the top to move stuff out of the living room that didn't really belong there.

Then we unloaded a very narrow bookcase in a corner and turned it though 90┬║, so that I'll still be able to get things on and off the shelves when it's got a sideboard beside it.

The whole thing took a couple of hours, but the place definitely looks better.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Boogie on Down

Friday night was the fiesta for issue 7 of Fanzine Ruido. I wanted to go, so did my husband, and it was too late for our son.

We got lucky at someone else's expense. Our friends Helen and Theresa wanted to go too, but their clutch has an intermittent problem, and they didn't trust it all the way to Los Llanos. On the other hand, they had to come to Santa Cruz on Friday afternoon anyway. So Theresa stayed with our son while Helen came out with us, then they slept in our guest room.

It was a great night out. €3 paid for entrance to the gig, a copy of the magazine, and a free beer. (I was driving, so it was the only alcohol I had all night.)

Casiano Melian

I'd promised to take photos - the bands turned out for free to help support the magazine, so we take publicity photos for them. This time I remembered the big flash (the one we call the tactical nuke) but my favourite photos were some of the ones I took with the available light.

And here's one I took with the flash, just to prove I took it.

Eremiot y la Tripulaci├│n

And finally, they had an impromptu jam session. My husband joined in on the drums, and had a great time.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Sock Drawer

Just belatedly realised that my story's up at Reflection's Edge. I thought I'd missed the deadline and was going in next month.

It's a free e-zine, so head on over and enjoy.

How to Look Ridiculous

1) Sit at your computer a lot, nibbling away until you acquire a serious case of Writer's Bottom.

2) Go to yoga.

Just visualise a very large rear end wobbling over a very fat tum, while the inelegant legs desperately try to straighten out and reach for the ceiling.

Of course if I keep up with the yoga, I'll eventually stop looking ridiculous.