arkessian: (Spirit and Dance)
 As I seem to be posting here again at least occasionally, there ought to be a cat update.....

RIP Chino 10 June 1996 to 15 January 2016


He decided in January that he'd had enough after nearly 4 years of kidney disease and pancreatitis, and 8 years of arthritis... So he went on hunger strike just after the New Year, and I decided that the options to force him to eat were unacceptable to him and to me and let him go while he was still able to purr when he was stroked.

The new monsters 29 January 2016 to ????


A boy -- affectionately known as Rupert the Bear, or the Tank, but officially Spirit because he's an ethereal little thing (not) -- as big at 6 months as many full-grown cats --   and a girl -- Eartha Kitt for her sensuous habits, but officially Dance. Dance has custody of the patented death-stare and rules her brother with a rod of iron even though she's just over half his size.



arkessian: (sheep)

It's the list of books from here: 60 Essential Science Fiction & Fantasy Reads

Bolded for read, italicized for read something by the same author but not listed book, strike-out for Did Not Finish.

Cut for length... )
arkessian: (headbanging)
I am, above many things, a political animal.  

I knocked doors canvassing for the Labour Party in April/May 1979 -- probably not that useful in Kensington/Chelsea where I lived as a student (although a different sort of education in the run-up to my finals) but I had principles which I supported by joining the party as soon as I was 18 and so had money to spare (and could vote (1976).

The Thatcher victory was a blow -- I remember drowning our sorrows in a pub with the other activists and hoping for a relatively-rapid reversal. Although it was positive for my career as she wasted money privatising the industry I joined and it was bonanza-happy-holidays-payola for anyone working there (as long as they were white-collar/one of 'us' -- not so much for the blue collar workers who were tossed onto the dole).

I stayed a member though Callaghan (well, somebody had to do it until a useful person turned up) and Foot (see my icon). Kinnock and then Smith rekindled my hope.  And if Smith had not died, I have every expectation that the world would be different and better today.  

Blair made me cancel my membership -- electable but...  I believe that being elected is the prerequisite to implement change.  However, some things should never happen.. like the Irag War.

I voted to remain in 2016 (in the avoidance of doubt).

So we are where we are.  Corbyn (repeat my icon) -- steeped in principle as he is -- will never win an election.  I've not a lot of confidence in the alternatives but they can't be worse than Jeremy.

So, I just returned to my roots (although my father was a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party, he was also a Trade Union Steward at his works; and Mum was raised in an ardently Trade Unionist family although she was a Liberal voter (as she didn't want to upset Dad - a whole story in a nutshell).

I've re-joined the Labour Party.






arkessian: (sheep)

[personal profile] oursin gave me 35. Comment if you would like an age (the convention is, leave your current age, but if you want to risk futurology, feel free).

Then:

I lived in: my own house in a small North Wiltshire town.

I drove: A new white Astra, a company car.  I learned to drive in London, but it never made sense to own a car there; when I moved out to the sticks it was (and is) a different matter, especially as the company expected me to travel to far-flung parts of England and Wales regularly.

I was in a relationship with: a cat (of course). Plus I assume the lodger counts? He started staying with me during the week when I bought the house, and is still around on and off 22 years later...

I feared: I can't remember. Not much, I suspect...

I worked at: the IT department of a large recently privatised electricity generator. Lots of money being thrown at making (one of ) Maggie Thatcher's spectacularly bad ideas seem like a success. Lots of technical innovation. Melting pot of employees and consultants and contractors, all having the time of their life. It was great fun, even if we were working 7 days a week and 12 hours a day...

I wanted to be: What I was. Except there wasn't any time to write as well...

Now:

I live in: my own house in a small village on the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire border.

I drive: A 10 year old Audi.

I'm in a relationship: A cat. Plus the aforementioned lodger.

I fear: the consequences of the bad decisions being made by Thatcher's successors.

I work at: being retired, writing software, getting back to writing books.

I want to be: Right where I am, except with a cat who doesn't need daily medical attention, so I can get about a bit more.

arkessian: (sheep)
Not dead yet, and trying to get back into the habit of posting semi-irregularly...

Seen all over the place;
Tell me about a story I haven’t written, and I’ll give you one sentence from that story.
arkessian: (oaths)
I've given my website at www.arkessian.com a minor makeover (and a behind-the-scenes technology update). I'd be grateful if people could go visit and confirm that it's working for them...
arkessian: (eschers cat)
Imagine my amusement when a genealogy blog that I follow pointed me to a post on another blog by a dear friend (in her professional capacity) who also regularly blogs here at dreamwidth. I do hope she's ready for the hordes of family historians who will be beating a path to her institution's door!
arkessian: (cotinus)
The garden has been disastrous this summer: very poor tomato, pepper, aubergine and even courgette crops. I shan't bother with aubergines and peppers next year -- I think the micro-climate is too marginal here for them to be reliable -- and I'll pick my tomato varieties more carefully. The courgettes clearly need to be grown on the more sheltered side of the patio, so I'll try something else on the windy side... I don't know what, yet.

In compensation, a neighbour has had a bumper crop of cooking apples, so I've spent the last few weeks making: apple pies, apple cakes and apple chutney. I just cored, peeled and sliced 3 lbs (6 kilos) to put in the freezer for future use and there's another 2lbs still to deal with. Luckily, I like apples.
arkessian: (Busy bee)
... it doesn't mean that I want to take over the world.

But lately, people (plural and in two different contexts) have assumed that -- because I'm willing to help with a particular task or organisation -- I'll be willing to take over carrying out or running the whole thing.

Wrong.

I already have more than enough on my plate, and am not doing things I would really like to do. Why would I want to increase my workload of things I don't enjoy, or don't care for as much as other things? I'm willing (in both cases) to take on a little more, but not the whole thing.
arkessian: (Oaths)
Have I really not done one of these this year?

Ratio of female to male authors: 15 to 6 (by author) or 29 to 6 (by book, counting a female joint author as wholly female) )

The astute among you will recognise that I had fun reading/re-reading some generation starship books. Also, owning an ereader has increased the rate at which I'm reading.
arkessian: (Bright lights big city)
FarthingParty was great fun, and Montreal is a comfortable city -- sensible public transport and a plenitude of restaurants, and my aged O-level French allowed me to at least show willing...
arkessian: (Default)
Bolded if I read it, underlined if I read part of it: )

By which I conclude that (a) I'm reasonably widely read in the field (68 out of 100) but not exhaustively so; and (b) my tastes differ widely from the other people who voted. No LeGuin? No Cherryh? to mention two glaring names missing off this list...
arkessian: (Oaths)
I appear to be an SF Mistress! There's a very generous review at SF Mistressworks (which originally came from Performative Utterance).

And Jo Walton has nice things to say for the second time at www.tor.com.

Odd, to be getting more reviews now than when the book first came out...



arkessian: (Default)
And another poor performance -- I was really not paying attention in the 90s.  Usual rules for women writers who got their start in 1993...  (Meme originated by [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll )

Read more... )
arkessian: (Default)
Usual rules for women writers who got their start in 1992... Again a poor performance away from all my previous sources.


Read more... )
arkessian: (Default)
Women writers who got their start in 1991, alphabetical by first name. Otherwise, usual rules apply: Italicize the authors you've heard of before reading this list of authors, bold the ones you've read at least one work by, underline the ones of whose work you own at least one example of. Come up with improvements to flavour your versions.

Another poor performance from out in the sticks before the 'net...

Read more... )
arkessian: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll again... Specifically women writers who got a start in 1990. It's alphabetical by first name. Otherwise, usual rules apply: Italicize the authors you've heard of before reading this list of authors, bold the ones you've read at least one work by, underline the ones of whose work you own at least one example of. Come up with improvements to flavour your versions.

What this highlights is how I left London, specialist SF bookstores and [personal profile] oursin 's book lending range about now... Also, I suspect, that I'm not a short story reader as a rule.

Read more... )