gwenynen: A flying bee (academic)
Fridays are when I do my work for the Wales and the French Revolution Project at what is left of the University of Wales. Aber!Boss recently discovered rather large discrepancies between the MS deposit of the letters of Edward Rigby, and the published version edited by his daughter, Lady Eastlake. In Aber!Boss's words, she "played fast and loose with the text," so the idea is to type them up, and put them out in as unadulterated a form as possible.
Some of the things Lady E has done with the text make sense, in their own way. She's tried to make a proper narrative out of a set of (necessarily disjointed) letters; where Dr. Rigby has written about, say, his time at Lille over the course of a couple of letters (because of time, or paper space), she's conflated it into one 'day.' Fair enough, in a way, I think. Life doesn't necessarily fall into a neat narrative pattern. Other omissions are explicable in various ways - she's left out a lot of bits of family detail (where Rigby asks after family friends, or passes on greetings, asks whether they've brought in the corn yet) and bits of detail about the movement of the post. These, I think, she deemed both extraneous to the narrative, and of little interest to readers. (or she felt them too private to share!) Of course, historians now get frustrated by the lack of little details such as when the post went from Lille and how long it took to get there, and so forth. Others seem to be of a revisionist bent - Rigby is, unusually for the time, fond of the French, and does not think them lazy and indolent, as most Englishmen did. Eastlake does print these, but modifies some of the more stringent criticisms of "my prejudiced countrymen."
The most frustrating thing about the letters is... well. Dr. Rigby was a medical doctor, and it would seem that doctors' handwriting was atrocious even 250-ish years ago. It's quite variable, and that is really fascinating. In one early letter, he blames bad handwriting on the fact that his luggage still hasn't arrived, and he's having to use a borrowed hotel pen. That letter is indeed worse than others around it. His handwriting with his proper pen is not messy, per se, but it's quite... like flat lines with a few squiggles in it, ikywim? Anyway, what really occurred to me yesterday was how much people are going to miss if we just type it up and present the words. Because I got to a letter from Paris where the hand was a lot less regular and neat than previously. Then I looked at the date - 13th July, the day before the storming of the Bastille. The wording of the letter is relatively measured, given what was happening outside his hotel, but the state of the hand really gives it away - it was anxious, quite shaky, written in a hurry, desperate to get this out to reassure his family who might have heard "disturbing reports" from the continent. The next letter, from the 18th, is even worse, and is just a side of a small page, hurriedly written again because the post is about to go, to let those at home know he is still alive.
What surprised me was how affecting I found it - typing up the 13th July letter, my heart was racing, and my hands were shaking (yes, I had had lunch!) It was all terribly exciting - and a little sad, on the 18th when he was writing of how the Revolution was awesome and enlightened, and even a little English, as he praised it for not disrupting trade very much, and being quite orderly. Knowing that his hopes for the future would very soon be dashed was really hard.
But I wonder - if we get on and publish all this, whether we could (or should) append photographs of the letters, especially the 13th July one. I really felt yesterday that readers would lose something special, just reading the words on the page.
gwenynen: A flying bee (canu)


If I didn't know better, I'd blame [livejournal.com profile] sebastienne for this...
gwenynen: A flying bee (Default)
Today we went to Iron Down Farm, near Deddington, from where we get our meat at the Farmers' Market.
pics and a video )
gwenynen: A flying bee (Yarn)
I've really mostly been knitting. The major thing I've been working on is this Andean cap with polar bears.
polar_chullo
Bonus Polar Bear Close-up:
bears

It was bloody fiddly, but a fun knit. Pattern was from Twist Collective, the Polar Chullo from a year or two ago.
Phew!
gwenynen: A flying bee (Yarn)
Thesis done, I technically have unlimited knitting time ahead of me. Technically. But I have saved up a list as long as my arm of stuff that needs doing, so I have no idea what to do next!
I may CO some mitts for work as pragmatic knitting, but what next? Help me LJ!

[Poll #1464526]
gwenynen: A flying bee (badger)
For the past two days, we have been at Fightcamp 09, basically a weekend of classes and fighting in a field near Coventry. There is a third day today, but we are all beaten and bruised from the last two days, and there is only one thing we would have wanted to go to today, so. And typically, today is sunny and dry. It's been miserably wet the last couple of days.
I got to meet lots of HEMA knitters, which is hoopy! Many of the men were amused at the little knitting circles that sprang up every so often.
Lest they think I am a wuss, however, I apparently showed some mettle in the Tournament(s). There was a Rapier/smallsword tournament, at which I got my first go at fighting against rapiers, something I'd only known the theory of before. It was interesting. I won my first fight, and lost the other three, though not for want of trying. Hem. Apparently we have a school style, I don't quite know how it happened, but for some reason I ended up rushing in once I'd got past the rapier point. Coff, and that. I managed to do some excellent St. George parries in my first fight, but not so much in my second, where I did get cut quite heavily on the head.
I thought I'd done pretty badly, to be honest. I could have done a bit better on my second if I'd actually pommelled the chap once I'd stuck my blade in his gut. But hindsight is 20/20, non?
Embarassingly, I was told that I was the talk of the pub whilst the contest was still on, for showing "courage". It hadn't occurred to me, but I was a) the only girl in the contest, and b) the shortest person with the shortest weapon. Um. And also, my first opponent (who turned out to be Spanish who could only manage a few words of English), found an interpreter to tell me that he had very much enjoyed my fight, and his friend saw me, pointed and went "Valkyrie!!" My second opponent found me then, and proceeded to tell me that his fight with me was "great fun". *blink* I thought I had fought particularly badly, though unusually aggressively. It is strange, touch wood in all the tournaments I've done in the past few years, I have managed to be adequately aggressive, where I am not in the slightest in class.
Backsword tournament was disappointing. It was sudden death first clean hit to start, and I got knocked out by a thrust to the face. Annoyingly, I had previously cut him across the body, having first parried a cut to my side - but as the force of his cut meant the back of my sword smacked my arm, apparently that didn't count. I am a bit confused at that, to be perfectly honest - a back sword has a non-sharp back, so I would have been bruised, and he would have been disembowelled. Still, that's the way these things go.
We are now very, very sore. Both my arms are hurt, the left for that last backsword cut (typically, it collided just above the arm protection I'd put on), and my right from a heavy rapier blow to the shoulder. It was great fun, though. I don't usually get on well with these weekends, I'm usually sitting in the corner not being talked to/being shy, but this one was really convivial, and great fun. More! More!!
gwenynen: A flying bee (facepalm)
I would just like to apologise to all the people I have caused to spend money on wool today. And last week. Hem.

I need an enabler icon, evidently!
gwenynen: A flying bee (Default)


On a very rainy day in Coventry, I met these two lovelies. They are alpacas from Toft Alpaca, and where I was was at a very big Wesleyan Methodist church with [livejournal.com profile] white_hart, where there was Uk Ravelry Day. [livejournal.com profile] white_hart had agreed to help out with some modelling for the fashion show, so for a while I was wandering round being trodden on in the giant crush of people, looking at the shinies. It was so full! And I kept running into people, sometimes literally.

First out, we were wandering past the stall, when I noticed someone staring at my Rav Name badge. I stared back a bit, and realised it was Quesselchen, my German-Welsh Rav twin! She'd come along to help Jeni at the Fyberspates stall. We chatted briefly, but I had to move on as [livejournal.com profile] white_hart was needed to be a model. Whilst she was being dolled up, I wandered round some more. I squeezed through a gap, and someone stepped backwards straight onto my toe. The Stepper turned round, and revealed herself to be Ruth G, from Oxford G&S circles! Small world. With her turned out to be Oxford Kitchen Yarns, complete with child in duck trousers. Then, further wandering took me to see Jo, The Knitting Goddess, whom I met on [livejournal.com profile] telynor's Weird Knitting Techniques session.

Every so often, as well, people would be looking at and commenting on the knits of strangers. Whilst I was at one stall, the jumper I was wearing got deconstructed by someone who wanted to make it, and was pointing out its awesomeness to her friend! Very weird. And kinda nice.

I bought a few things, some for me (such as a skein of sock yarn called Fraoch, from Old Maiden Aunt Yarns; some buttons; a couple of things for my CPaAG Swap Buddy), then went to see the Fashion Show. It was a case of "Victory from the Jaws of Defeat", as one of the authors of A Stitch in Time was drafted in to do the compering, and volunteer Ravellers for the modelling, as people from a local college had pulled out at the last minute). There was much shiny.

After lunch and more shopping, we sat down for tea and a knit. Two people passed, and for some reason I had an instinct that said they were from one of my Rav groups - however, I couldn't remember their names, so I grabbed them, looked wild, and managed to stammer "CPAAG" at them. Thankfully I was right, and they understood, so we had a sit. Stressknitters got tea, and Dreamcatcher showed us her knitted Death of Rats, which was so totally awesome. [livejournal.com profile] white_hart's friend wot is an editor of Simply Knitting, and is beautiful, came past. [livejournal.com profile] white_hart was knitting a sock she designed, so her husband (The Press) took a photie of that, then went "squee!" when DoR was pointed out to him, and took that too. The four of us then got interviewed for a podcast by Girl and Dean. Stressknitters' answers were so brilliant, I do hope they make it on! Who else would make a knitted e coli (I am now considering knitted spirochetes for my medical library). I, of course, got totally collared by a random little old lady who was surprised and pleased to see so many "young people" knitting, and stunned that I could knit without looking. Of course, every time she mentioned that, I split my yarn, but hey. She must have said 5 or 6 times that she was going to leave us to it, and then found something else random to talk about. I always get them, I must have a magnet. Still, at least she wasn't mad or angry or anything, and I hope we made her a little happy.
Then we were tired, and went home. [livejournal.com profile] knirirr made me chilli, and we watched a strange Stephen King film (Cat's Eye). I am seriously falling asleep now, though. Amazing how tired yarn fondling makes you!
gwenynen: A flying bee (procrastination)
...as usual. Had a lovely crafting lunch with [livejournal.com profile] antarra and [livejournal.com profile] white_hart, after which I felt really bouncy. The sun shone, and Sally Cinnamon came on on my pod, as I walked up to work. Which was nice.
I have bad startitis. I am going to limit myself to taking only UFOs with me whilst I am at a Bollywood marathon over the weekend, plus the materials for one facecloth in case I decide I hate all my knitting. I have three socks on the go, one that needs finishing asap, and two others with no deadline. I will take an unfinished vest with me, that I really want to do but can't seem to find the time.
But when I get back, I will want to start new things! So, what do you think I should do next?

[Poll #1391810]

Yes, I know I'm procrastinating. I want to be out in the sun!
gwenynen: A flying bee (Default)
Goodness. So, I am home from work today. I was meant to be doing college work, but this morning has been a bit overwhelming, so I hope to make a start after lunch.
Overwhelming mainly because of the post. I really, really don't deserve the friends I have. I am humbled, and shamed, and thankful in roughly equal measure.

[livejournal.com profile] vampire_kitten sent me a bee care package, after my hospital visit last week...


It is full of cute and fun things - DVDs of films I've not seen, a thing to make small fluffy bunnies, sweeties, a light-up rubber duckie (now living on my desktop)... I am really overwhelmed. You shouldn't have, but I am very cuted that you did. Thank you.

Then next, the buzzer rang, and it was someone delivering this (3 images) )
It is a baby Dell Inspiron 9. With [livejournal.com profile] knirirr's skills, this should soon become a Hackintosh ♥
I have this through the good offices of someone on a Ravelry group. I whinged that my third laptop in a year or so had died, and suddenly people were wanting to donate moneys for me to get a new one! It was all so... overwhelming. They raised enough for nearly half the cost of me actually having a new computer, rather than keeping on buying second-hand ones which die.
Whoever says the net is a pernicious influence is evidently being in the wrong places. I'm just going to go into the corner and sob quietly for a bit. I don't deserve all of this. Everyone's just wonderful. I loves you all.
gwenynen: A flying bee (Default)
The breaking in period for new specs is always weird. My depth perception is all distorted.

I also got carded at the Royal Oak tonight. Given I'm not that long past my 30th, I was rather stunned. I have no idea whether the new glasses are connected, but there we go.

*sigh*

Apr. 15th, 2009 07:08 pm
gwenynen: A flying bee (Hon)
Dear Mark Steel,

Thank you for talking about my great-great-great-great grandfather on your comedy programme tonight. I have always found you very funny; your book on the French Revolution was fascinating, as was your memoir of growing up as a socialist. I was brought up a socialist, and though I would never be so black and white about my political beliefs any more, I broadly agree with your rants on social justice, or the lack of.

But please, for the love of God, wtf is up with you and the Welsh hating? Tonight's show started with a predictable story about how you weren't in the "scary, English-hating bit" of Wales, and mentions of firebombs and (yawn) The Pub Fallacy. I suppose that could be just the normal regionalist joking to soften up the crowd. But you have form. I heard you on the News Quiz one New Year's Eve, for instance, ranting about the Welsh getting upset about Anne Robinson's anti-Welsh racist comments a few years back. The Welsh are always whingeing, you said, what for, I mean, it's not as though the English have ever done anything bad to the the Welsh, is it? After all, it was only our sovereignty and our language that was destroyed, it wasn't as though we were sold into slavery or anything, what do we have to whinge about?

But see, this isn't a victimhood top trumps, you know? Just because culture X had something worse done to them than culture Y, doesn't mean culture Y should just go "oh, well, never mind, we'll just forget all about that then." Good stuff has inevitably come from "our happy union with the valorous English", but so has bad stuff.
It's easy, though, to take the piss out of the Welsh. After all, you're not allowed to be Anti-Semitic, or laugh at someone because of their colour any more, so you have to have someone to pick on, right? And we're all British, so technically you're just laughing at yourself, really. Sure.

Grow up. Get some wit. Make funnies that don't depend on disparaging someone's culture and language, why don't you? Because that's just as bad as the right-wing upper-class bigots whose bubbles you so often puncture.

Yours,
Pissed Off Welsh Expat.
gwenynen: A flying bee (smal)
Many thanks to those who commented on [livejournal.com profile] knirirr's journal.
For those not on his flist, last night I threw up so much blood that the bathroom looked like a set from Shaun of the Dead*. I was made to go to hospital; I was kept in overnight; no idea what happened, got given some omeprazole and sent home with a referral to have an endoscopy. Hopefully it won't be a repeat of last endoscopy for which I was scheduled, where I was essentially ranted at about what do GPs know and why do they keep sending people for endoscopies, and shunted out the door told I had acid reflux, go and take a gaviscon.
I am very tired, and feel like a pincushion, because it took all sorts of shunting to get any blood out of me, as per usual.
I am going to sleep for a bit now.

*for those who care about such things (and it was preoccupying me at the time, funny how the brain works), the socks I was wearing were in fact blood red, so the staining on the sole isn't going to show. Score.

Squee!

Mar. 28th, 2009 02:32 pm
gwenynen: A flying bee (Default)
I do like shopping in Tesco's, as often they have cute things like this...


Look! It even has a spoon with a bee on the handle!! How could I resist?
gwenynen: A flying bee (Yarn)
Today I bought the local rag for the first time in years, because the headline was all bout [livejournal.com profile] darwinian_woman's No. 10 petition! She's even interviewed in it, and Oxfordshire PCT look like the total burkes they are. Woo!

In sadder news, the cotton I bought to make a cardi is really not me, I shall have to face up to it. What do you folk think I should do with it? I am rather tempted to keep it and use it on odd 4ply cotton projects, and hope I'll be able to find some in a nicer shade discounted one day. I have been collecting odd balls for a crochetted hexagon throw, and it would be nice to edge it all in one colour...

[Poll #1370430]

It is throwing it down with rain now. Perhaps this weekend was spring, then.

ETA : oooh yes, I'm sure someone here was looking for long-sleeved scoop neck tops? I found some in the people tree range, on Oxfam first floor, £6 (yay!) down from £20 (insane price!). I scored one in mocha and one in purple. Yum.

It is curry night tonight. To my deep sadness, we have no naan in the house. But it will be my favourite curry, Rogan Josh! Yaaaaay!
gwenynen: A flying bee (wuls)
I had a lovely day out yesterday with [livejournal.com profile] antarra. We went to [livejournal.com profile] telynor's knitting class on Weird Knitting Techniques over at iknit, and it was great fun!
I thought the whole day would be a disaster, as it started very badly. The 7.56 bus just never showed, and with no bus then that would get me in before 10am, I had to drag [livejournal.com profile] knirirr out of bed to drive me to Oxford to catch the Espress. Which also meant I couldn't get a coffee, cake, and magazine on the way, which made me grouchy.
We got to London in plenty of time, but then couldn't find our way out of Waterloo station. *facepalm* We still made it to iKnit with 20odd minutes to do yarn fondling, which was good.
[livejournal.com profile] telynor came and bravely took on a rather rowdy class of knitters to learn backwards knitting (truly!), Norwegian purl, and a variety of cast ons. I knew about half the stuff, and it was good to get a refresher on things; new things to me were backwards knitting, Turkish cast-on (which I grudgingly like, though I got rather loose middle stitches), Magic Loop (still vacillating on whether to abandon my socks on 2 circs, but probably not; damned useful to be able to do ML though), and a Channel Island cast on, which I will have to practice - fiddly, but damned nice in two colours.
I did not buy many things, bizarrely - two things I wanted they didn't have, and I just bought some superwash DK for the Yarn Forward mystery blankie. There was the most gorgeous skein of knitwitches kidsilk in a sort of coppery chestnut colour, and I am now kicking myself for not having bought it. I wonder if I call up or email them, whether they will sell me one? It was expensive as all hell, but would make a gorgeously beeish smoke ring.
I even managed to catch some coffee with [livejournal.com profile] telynor and knitgoddessyarns before my stress at needing to be back at Oxford in time for the last bus for two hours got the better of me. Good fun was had, and I would love to do it again for longer. Alas, they looked at the sample of cotton glace intended for Decimal I brought with me, and declared it "too on the blue spectrum for me", which I rather suspected. Bugger. I may wave it at [livejournal.com profile] white_hart as well before I admit defeat and sell it (anyone want 10 balls cotton glace, will sell for £25...) I do think they're right.
We left at the right time - on the exact bus that got me into Gloucester green for the 6.45. I got home, and was led up the stairs by the smell of delicious food. [livejournal.com profile] knirirr had made me a chilli in time for me to get home! It was excellently tasty. There was also watching of The Last Boy Scout, which I did not think I would like, but enjoyed immensely. Bruce Willis is very funny :-)
I did run out of tonic in the evening, which was a shame, but I had a lovely day. *is happy*
gwenynen: A flying bee (Default)
Occasionally readers actually apologise for bringing their books in overdue, with fines on &c. My normal reaction to people apologising for things is to say "no problem" or "don't worry about it". But that seems wrong in this case - after all, it isn't OK to bring books in overdue, that's why we charge fines.
So what should I respond to such readers? I don't really want to be horrid, because at least in apologising they're recognising their misdemeanour...

[Poll #1338353]
gwenynen: A flying bee (Hon)
The owner of a sex shop on Anglesea...said he was happy to comply with all the conditions imposed for the shop in Holyhead...
These include a bi-lingual signs clause, which could translate his Good Vibrations shop name to Dirgryniadau Da
.

Fabboo! Who's with me to go and buy our sex aids in Welsh?
(seriously, if we are to build a Welsh culture back up from the ground, you've got to have *everything*, right?)

In further cataloguers' humour, apparently the subject heading for correspondence in, from, and about France is "French Letters." I kid you not.

Socks

Jan. 21st, 2009 12:18 pm
gwenynen: A flying bee (Default)
My sock club package came last night. Which leaves me with a dilemma; I expect to finish my current pair of socks, for a friend, tonight. I need (yes, need) to cast on some more socks. But I have two other socks that are high on my queue, as well as the new sock club socks - a pair called Leyburn for me, from yarn that [livejournal.com profile] knirirr's mother gave me for Christmas, and a pair called Earl Grey, for [livejournal.com profile] knirirr... and then there is lovely candy-cane-pink-striped yarn from my club sitting there for me. What should I do?

[Poll #1334922]

I really need a sock icon from somewhere...

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