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Scattered thoughts

Scattered thoughts -

Last Build Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2013 09:20:22 GMT


On using fraud law for benefit "cheats".Casualty

Mon, 16 Sep 2013 09:20:22 GMT

A few things on today's news that the DPP is planning on using fraud law against "benefit cheats".Interesting timing given that legal aid is being dramatically scaled back. Does this mean that people falsely charged will find it harder to gain adequate representation?This is especially concerning given that "Current rules which say that benefit fraud cases of less than £20,000 are automatically dealt with in the magistrates court, where the maximum sentence is 12 months, will also be abolished, the CPS said."Anyone who is convicted will find it harder to get a job in future, thus potentially keeping them on benefits for much longer.According to the DWP themselves, in 2011/2012 overpayments due to fraud accounted for 0.7% of all claims. In the same financial year, DWP error accounted for 0.5% of of claims, and claimant error for 0.8%. This means that it's much more likely that any overpayment is due to error than genuine fraud. Has the DPP explained what safeguards will be in place to ensure that people who are being overpaid due to error (their own or that of DWP) are not facing 10 year sentences for "fraud"?What safeguards will be in place to ensure that disabled people, who face significant barriers in communication with the DWP/HMRC, will not be unfairly penalised by this change in policy from the DPP? This is a serious problem already for those who are most likely to need to claim benefits, and being prosecuted with a potential 10 year sentence is likely to cause those who can least cope significant distress. The cost of keeping someone in prison is £65,000 for the first year, and £40,000 for every year after that. It's possible that it could cost the taxpayer more to keep someone in prison after this change than finding another way to punish genuine cheats.Prison isn't supposed to be about punishment anyway. The Ministry of Justice state that "Her Majesty's Prison Service serves the public by keeping in custody those committed by the courts. Our duty is to look after them with humanity and help them lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release." (Emphasis mine)I've been reminded by @bencc about the UK Parliament expenses scandal where expenses were abused (and many would say were claimed fraudulently in many cases). Only a few were ever prosecuted and those that were, were charged with "False Accounting", not fraud. Similarly, charges resulting from the financial collapse of 2007/8 have been nearly non-existant. The decision by the DPP today shows that there is one rule for those in power and with money, and another for those who are below the breadline.I suspect that very few (if any) of these points have been considered by either the government, or the DPP. What seems clear from both the policy and its timing is that this is a purely political decision, made to continue the demonisation of those who are in receipt of benefits.ETA: This tweet shows another side of this decision (Universal Credit), which I had not considered.Under uni credit, due to constant reporting of circumstances, the moments where one could be blamed for fraud will increase substantially— Shiv Malik (@shivmalik1) September 16, 2013[...]

Letter to my MP about the Health and Social Care BillMika: We Are Golden

Mon, 12 Mar 2012 21:54:46 GMT

I've written to my MP about the Health and Social Care Bill that's currently wending its way through parliament. I do not hold out high hopes that he will vote against it, as he's a Conservative MP who tends to vote with the whip, but I'm hoping he'll take notice. I've tried to be respectful and outline clearly and concisely why I disagree with the bill. At least he can't ignore me because I was rude or using a form letter.If you're in the UK and disagree with the H&SC bill, which will lead to greater private involvement in the NHS and could possibly lead to the end of the NHS, then please please please take the time to let your MP know how you feel about it using Write to Them. If you need to (lack of spoons/whatever) then please feel free to adapt my letter to your own views.--Dear Mr Brazier,As a constituent, I would like to express my concern about the Health and Social Care bill currently moving through Parliament, and respectfully ask that you vote against it. If you do not feel that you can do this, I would very much appreciate it if you would please delay voting for it until after the Risk Register has been released and all the information available about the possible consequences of the Health and Social Care bill is available. I would also appreciate it if you would put pressure on the Government to release the Risk Register, in accordance with the recent ruling by the Information Commissioner, which was upheld on appeal. Unless this available for everyone to view before the legislation is passed I will not be reassured that all possible information was available for a properly informed choice to be made before the bill is passed into law.I understand that the government line is that reform is urgent and necessary, but based on available information about current performance of the health service; I do not believe this to be the case.According to a 2011 study in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine the NHS is one of the most cost efficient health services in the world, second only to Ireland in the last 25 years, based on data from the 11 countries studied. The fully private US system was the least efficient. That means that the NHS saved more lives per pound spent than almost any other system. My concern is that the reforms will add in layers of bureaucracy and lead the NHS to become less efficient.The government also claim that outcomes in the NHS are significantly worse than in other health systems in the developed world, but I believe this is a misrepresentation.A data briefing in the British Medical Journal in January 2011 states that in the UK deaths from heart attacks were falling faster than anywhere else in Europe, despite the fact that UK health spending is still only the European average. The Department of Health also recently released data that shows that waiting times for diagnostic tests have been falling, and are continuing to do so.This does not sound like a health service that is performing so badly that it needs urgent and massive reform. David Cameron himself promised that there would be “No more top-down reorganisations of the NHS”. These reforms were referred to by NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson as “so large it can be seen from outer space”, and could not be described as anything other than top down, coming as it does from central government in a bill so massive that it is longer than the one that formed the NHS. Additionally, there have been so many amendments to this legislation that what was already almost incomprehensible has become completely obfuscated with legalese and no clear purpose beyond that of reform at any costs. I believe that the bill is now so complex that it cannot be properly understood or scrutinised, and the lack of understanding and scrutiny is putting the Health Service, and the principals that underpin it at real risk.More than that, these reforms threaten to fragment the systems of the NHS further at a time when more cooperation than ever is being required to deal with budget cuts and the complex n[...]

Random google result.The Daily Politics

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 12:39:54 GMT

Had a random moment the other day when I was googling mum's name and came across this news story published a year and a half after she died, using a photo she took and put on flickr under creative commons as the story picture.

This one.

I think that's unbelievably cool. It made me both smile, and be a little bit sad.

Thanks to those who helped me find the pic on flickr after I got sad enough that I could no longer look.

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So, uh. Hello again.Horrible Histories Dick Turpin Song

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 23:53:17 GMT

Um. Hi. *waves*

So I've been gone a while and feel I owe you an explanation. Here it is.

Most of you know I've been struggling for the past year with a flare up /relapse of my depression and anxiety. In October, in an effort to help fix me, my gp had me change my meds. In order to start new ones I had to go off the old ones and that messed me up. My flare up got worse and, as usually happens when I'm fucked up mentally I found it difficult to connect with, well, anything - books, TV, writing and especially people.

Because I find connecting so spoons depleting, I tend to cut it down to a minimum, talking to only 2 or 3 people on a regular basis because that's all I can cope with.

Things are a bit better. I'm finding connecting a bit less hard. It's not exactly easy yet, but this post is me trying.

I'm sorry I haven't been around much. I'm sorry I've ignored communications from those who have tried to raise me. To use the old cliche, it's not you, it's me. I just couldn't (and still can rarely) put my self together enough to properly communicate with more than a very few. I'm going to try harder from now and I'm incredibly sorry if I've upset any of you. I never intended to.

Please don't feel you have to reply to this. It's not a cry for help or pity. It's just me attempting to explain why I've been such a flake in the last four months.

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Dreams. Wtf, brain?Law & Order SVU: S11E21 Torch

Sat, 22 Oct 2011 23:00:41 GMT

I had a couple of really fucked up dreams last night that left me feeling frightened and wtf-ing when I first woke up. Not the faintest idea what my brain was on.

In the first dream I was trying to escape from The Silents, but they kept chasing me. Then, just when I thought I'd got away they were there in front of me. It was at that moment that Ben's alarm went off and I woke up enough for the dream to stop, only for a new one to start.

This second dream was so stupid I could barely believe it.

I dreamed I was a commando in WWII, sent as part of a huge team on a secret mission to bring down Nazi HQ in France. I was in charge of jamming the communications of the Germans by taking over their communications post and then running it until the rest of the commandos had finished their mission.

The problem is that I couldn't speak French or German (nice to see that my unconscious is true to me like that), so I messed it up. A French guy came over to me and started to talk and I said "Je ne comprends pas" (which is pretty much the only French I know), when he switched to German and I was sunk, because I don't even know how to say "I don't understand" in German, so then he calls in some friends who start to try and question me, and I keep my mouth shut and say nothing, lest I give myself away. That's when I realise I'm still wearing my British uniform, with "Commando" as a shoulder patch on one arm, so I start standing next to a pillar so the enemy can't tell I'm a British commando from the shoulder patch because it's next to the pillar. Because apparently in my brain these people are too unobservant to notice the British uniform and only the shoulder patch would give me away.

I woke up just as the other guys in the room started shouting "Englisch".

Stupid brain.

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BSG ficlet: Lee's PredicamentMika: We Are Golden

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 18:34:24 GMT

Inspired by something (image) scifishipper said on twitter last night.

I'm going to give this an R rating to be sure, though I'm not sure it quite warrants it...

Kara gazed curiously at Lee's predicament with wide eyes, pondering out loud. "How does something small get to be so big?"

"Gods Kara, I would have thought that would be obvious. Shut up and do something!" Lee's frustration was palpable, causing Kara to grin wickedly.

"First I want to hear you beg, Adama." Her voice was taunting, calculated to remind him of his quandary with every syllable.

Her grin widened as desperation crossed Lee's face. "Gods Kara, please. I need you to. Right now."

It was too much for her. Kara found herself relenting. "All right, Lee. But not here. I don't have the right equipment, and the other pilots could come back at any moment. I have a place in mind that's perfect."

Lee quirked an eyebrow at Kara, causing her to straight out laugh.

"It's ok, Lee. It's late, the corridors are empty, and the place I have in mind is private. No one will see your swollen appendage except me. I'll put you out of your misery when we get there." She was starting to enjoy herself.

"Ok - I'll trust you. You need to walk ahead though and keep watch. I don't want anyone else to see me like this." Lee's voice was wavering in embarrassment, causing Kara to feel a small pang of pity, that only grew when she heard him hiss, "Hurry up! It's starting to throb!"

Kara let them both into the mess, darkened at this hour thankfully for Lee, and made a bee-line for the fridges. "In here," she said shortly.

She watched as Lee peered in, looking increasingly nervous. "Are you sure about this, Kara? Are you sure you've done this before?"

She grinned again, starting to enjoy herself again in spite of Lee's nervous embarrassment. "Oh plenty of times. You wouldn't believe the things I got up to at the Academy."

Kara grabbed hold of his left hand and lashed it securely to the metal shelving unit, with his fingers pointing towards the ceiling. "Stop wriggling!" She commanded. "Keep it still for a little while, and between the cold and the elevation the swelling will go down and we'll get the jar off your hand."

"It's freezing in here, Kara. What're we going to do to keep warm? It could be ages before we can get it off." Kara detected a note of panic in his voice again.

Her smile widened. "Trust your instincts, Apollo. I'm sure we can think of something."

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BSG gifts for kl_shipper1 and rachelindeedDalziel and Pascoe: Heads You Lose

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 00:39:16 GMT

A gift for kl_shipper1, through the no_takebacks wishing post.Five icons from the hose scene in Colonial Day (1-5), one from Eye of Jupiter (6), one from Final Cut (7), two from "33" (8 & 10) and one from the Miniseries (9).These are for kl_shipper1, so please don't steal, unless you have permission from her.Total Icon Count: 10001 002 003 004 005 006 007 008 009 010 A gift for rachelindeed, also through the no_takebacks wishing post.For her, I read and recorded her fic No Remedy. The recording is here for now.This entry was originally posted at There are currently comments on the original entry.[...]

"Getting to know you" meme.The Three Musketeers (1993)

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 01:09:06 GMT

Via (image) scifishipper and (image) embolalia

The problem with LJ: we all think we are so close, but really, we know nothing about each other. So I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about. Ask away.

Then post this in your LJ and find out what people don't know about you.

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BSG Drabbles and ficletsMika: We Are Golden

Tue, 13 Sep 2011 11:55:39 GMT

Ficlet: Communique (G). Originally posted at leeadama_daily here. How an Academy Instructor views Lee.--Communique from Major Peters, War College, to Colonel Tigh, Battlestar GalacticaColonel Saul TighExecutive OfficerBattlestar GalacticaBattlestar Group 75Major James PetersWar CollegeCapricaI have been asked by Admiral Martin, commander in charge of this facility, to respond to your request for more information on the following student.Rank: EnsignName: Adama, Leland JosephS/N: 318742I understand from your original communication that you are considering offering a posting on board the Galactica to the aforementioned student on completion of his studies at the War College.Reports from Ensign Adama's instructors indicate that he has excellent potential as both a flier and an officer.His flight instructor, Captain Cartwright, states that he has an excellent feel for flying and is a natural in a Viper. Ensign Adama picks up drills and formations very quickly. Both in and out of the Viper we have found his shots on target to be well grouped and aimed. Please see latest results from the gun range, which are enclosed. The only concern that Captain Cartwright has about Ensign Adama's performance in the cockpit is a tendency to over think things, but she believes that this can be corrected with time and further training once Ensign Adama has been given a posting.Captain Wilson, officer in charge of Ensign Adama's officer training, has stated that he shows excellent leadership qualities with the ability to inspire those around him, though he is occasionally hampered by his desire to be liked by those he is commanding. Captain Wilson is confident that this tendency will improve once Ensign Adama has real worlds experience of command.We highly recommend Ensign Adama for a posting aboard a Battlestar once he has graduated from War College.Please do not hesitate to contact me if any further information is required.Major Peters,Adjutant to Admiral Martin, Commander of the War College (Caprica)*******Drabble: Lost (PG-13). Originally posted at leeadama_daily here. How Lee views himself.--The man in the mirror is both instantly recognisable and utterly alien. Physically he is Lee "Apollo" Adama. Inside though he's changed, not the same man he was a day ago.His mother had encouraged him to use his brain. His father had expected him to be a soldier. His instructors always told him he thought too much when flying.Lee had always tried to conform to what they wanted him to be while striving to be his own man.A better man.A moral man.But there was Gianne, and the end of the worlds, and the Olympic Carrier.Now he knows he's lost himself.*******Ficlet: Bookends - or, two times they didn't kiss, and one time they did (R - warning for slight pain, minor sexytimes and angst). Originally posted at no_takebacks here. Written for the kissing meme.--"I dare you, I double dog dare you."The first time they almost kissed had been hot and full of desire and Lee had never wanted anything in his life as much as he had wanted Kara in that moment.It wasn't the alcohol, though it was a convenient excuse, because he had felt a pull to her from the moment that Kara had opened the door.They had almost forgotten about Zak in the heat of the moment, but he'd woken and in the end a handshake was as close as he and Kara had come to the kiss they both wanted.--break--Lee winced as Kara desperately tried to unbutton his tunic and instead caught him squarely in the deep purple bruise that she'd given him in the boxing. "Ow! Gods, Kara, gently.""Crybaby," She crowed, smirking at his discomfort.Shaking his head, trying to think clearly for a moment, he sought out the places on her torso that he knew were bruised, kissing her roughly at first, causing her to gasp with pain, then gently in the same places before moving slowly to her neck until the gasp[...]

Wedding AnniversaryTorchwood: Miracle Day

Sun, 04 Sep 2011 21:59:03 GMT

Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of my wedding to Ben. In honour of that momentous occasion, I give you a picspam of wedding pictures.Ben's cousin got married yesterday, so we attended the wedding. It was at a posh hotel, so we spent a couple of nights there as an anniversary gift to ourselves. It was very pleasant, though it was really nice to come home. Sometimes I think that's the best reason to go away - so you can be grateful to come home.This is my hair as I did it for the wedding we went to yesterday. I'm including pics of it here because I'm really happy with how it came out.Click to embiggenThe wedding we attended yesterday was lovely. The hotel staff were amazing and very helpful, and it was nice to see Ben's family. My sister-in-law was particularly lovely. When I couldn't eat the pudding that was served at dinner cos it had almonds in it, I wasn't going to say anything but she did and got me ice cream instead :) She also made a song request towards the end of the reception - Annie's Song by John Denver, which was the song Ben and I had our first dance to at our our wedding so I got a dance with Ben after all. It was lovely, felt for me very much like time had stopped and I was floating on air. A beautiful end to a gorgeous day.This entry was originally posted at There are currently comments on the original entry.[...]

BSG fic: InterventionDoctor Who: Let's Kill Hitler

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 23:07:38 GMT

Title: InterventionAuthor: lizziec Beta: Huge thanks to scifishipper, who was a brilliant beta with excellent character insights.Rating: PG-13 (theme of depression)Pairing: Implied Lee/KaraGenre: Hurt/Comfort/AngstSummary: Lee gets the help he needs after his spacewalk. Slightly AU end for Resurrection Ship Part II. Spoilers up to and including Resurrection Ship Part II.“That's just it, Kara. I didn't want to make it back alive.”Kara sat quietly on the edge of Lee's bunk for what seemed an age after the admission. She had never seen Lee like this before, not even after Zak’s death. He had been full of grief and anger then, but she had never felt that he had given up. She was at a complete loss for words in the face of such hopelessness. Everything she could think of to say was trite and clichéd. In the end she gave up on words and went straight for her locker instead.None of the collection of bottles inside were what they claimed to be. There was no Picon Whisky in those bottles any more, none of that Gemenese Gin that had once been so popular among a certain subset of Galactica's officers. Those bottles labelled with long since disappeared brands from dead worlds now held various amounts of varying vintages of the Chief's best moonshine and Kara felt that tonight what Lee needed more than whatever unoriginal platitudes she could come up with was to get staggeringly drunk.As Kara dogged the hatch she was thankful that every bunk had their curtains open revealing neat, uniform military corners, proving that they really were alone. Kara then poured out two glasses of one of the better vintages of the rotgut that passed for good alcohol these days and prepared for a long night of companionable drinking, though even as she did so her mind was working. Tonight they would drink. Tomorrow she would get him some help.***Section Break***“Sir, do you have a moment?”Bill Adama looked up from the file he was reading to see Kara Thrace half way through the hatch looking rather hesitant. “Sure Starbuck, have a seat.” With a smile, he gestured towards one of his sofas. “Water?”“Please.” She found herself a spot, but did not look any more relaxed for sitting.Bill poured a drink for them both before joining her. “Okay, what’s on your mind?”Kara fidgeted, avoiding his eyes. “I’ve been to see Lee, sir, and I have some concerns.” She gazed at the clear liquid, swirling it around the tumbler. “I’m not even sure I should be telling you about this.”Bill frowned in concern. “Go on, please.”Kara grimaced.He sipped on his drink, waiting for her to continue. When he felt it had been long enough he cleared his throat, causing Kara to look up from her glass and meet the Admiral’s eyes. “I’m worried about him, sir. He said some things to me about what happened out there. I don’t think he should be cleared to fly again yet.”There was a pause as Bill digested what she had said. His face became impassive as he struggled to be the commanding officer, not the father. “You know that Cottle has cleared him physically?”She nodded. “Yes sir, that’s why I came to see you. I really don’t think he should be getting back into a Viper any time soon.”The Admiral stood and poured himself a glass of something stronger. His back was to Kara, ramrod straight, when he spoke again. “Tell me what he said, Captain.”***Section Break***Lee scowled as he stepped through the hatch into sickbay. His head was aching and his stomach turning in on itself as a result of the night spent drinking with Kara the previous night. He could remember the realisation hitting him that Kara was only having one drink for every two or three he was having, but then his memories became patchy. From the number of empty bot[...]

Appeal for a bsg betaWorld Athetics Championships

Sun, 28 Aug 2011 18:41:49 GMT

I got attacked by a Lee-centric plot-bunny a couple of days ago and have written about 2,500 words on it, and now I'm stuck. I'm not sure how to finish it and there are some bits that don't feel altogether in character, so I could really do with a beta - or at the very least someone to read it over and discuss it with. If one of you could help out I'd be totally grateful. I might even be persuaded to make you some icons or a short fic as payment if you so desire.

If you can't help but know where I might obtain someone willing to beta, that would also be completely awesome.

Thanks :)

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Birthday gift for AngieThe World at War

Sun, 28 Aug 2011 08:04:24 GMT

It's angelicalangie's birthday today, and I've made her icons as a present. This means that while you may admire (indeed, it's positively encouraged!) you may not steal them for your own purposes - they are for her alone :)Total Icon Count: 20 Teasers: 001 002 003 004 005 006 007 008 009 010 011 012 013 014 015 016 017 018 019 020 Happy birthday angelicalangie!This entry was originally posted at There are currently comments on the original entry.[...]

This post contains spoilers for Doctor Who "Let's Kill Hitler"The Doctor Who theme :)

Sat, 27 Aug 2011 20:30:16 GMT

This post contains spoilers for Doctor Who "Let's Kill Hitler" below the cut. DO NOT CLICK IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN OR HAVE NO WISH TO BE SPOILED.

Also, caps lock partay?

Let's have a list for my OMGWTFBBQ!!!!


  • The whole "you named your daughter after your daughter" bit made me laugh

  • The bit where the Doctor promised to marry Mel if she didn't die made me think that actually it was a hollow promise AND THEN SHE REGENERATED IN TO RIVER! And everything that means for that promise especially in light of Silence in the Library/Forests of the Dead oh gosh.

  • Is Hitler still in the cupboard?

  • I wanted River to comment on the fact she's now a redhead, especially as The Doctor always wants to be (though thinking about it further, Alex Kingston is blonde as River, isn't she?)

  • I really enjoyed the sequence of "I saw that coming so I did X" moments (reminded me of the end of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey a little though). Particularly enjoyed the banana as a callback to The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances :)

  • Rory is a complete BAMF. If I wasn't married and he wasn't fictionalmarried I would totally have him. Oh yes.

  • The gift of the diary made me smile. A really sweet moment.

  • So River is the Impossible Astronaut like the internet was speculating? Is that the conclusion we're drawing from this episode?

  • I guessed before it was said that River was giving up her regenerations to the doctor there (the only bit of the episode I guessed in advance of plot). A nice way to keep him the last of the timelords and essentially handwave the regeneration problem they're coming up to in a couple of regenerations time.

  • I want to know what the Doctor said to River :(

  • Is it bad that I feel incredibly sad for the Ponds not being able to bring up their daughter properly? That they will never get her as a baby, because of what the doctor said about knowing too much, and the rule about going backwards in someone's personal timeline? Honestly, that thought really makes me incredibly sad. Am I overthinking this plot point? :/

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Happy Birthday little brother!The Hollies: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (spotify picked it at random!)

Fri, 26 Aug 2011 12:52:33 GMT

My little brother turns 24 today :OIn honour of this day I have decided to embarrass him and spam you all with lovely pictures of him growing up.Bwhahaha.As you can see, I was very pleased to have a little brother :)And my parents were proud as anyone could be of himHe enjoyed playing with carsAdorableHe reminds me a lot of my father in this pictureHis favourite motto is "why stand when you can sit, why sit when you can lay down?"He gave me away when I got married:And danced the night away:Happy birthday Phil!This entry was originally posted at There are currently comments on the original entry.[...]

Chalet School ficThe Secret Garden

Wed, 24 Aug 2011 23:53:28 GMT

When mum died I was in the middle of a Work In Progress - a Chalet School fic in several parts that I'd already posted many of. While the first parts were typed up and posted, the final third of the fic was in my notebook - a couple of chapters properly written, with the remaining chapters before the end sketched out so I knew where I was heading.

That notebook was in my bag when it was stolen from next to mum's hospital bed while she was dying, and I've not touched the fic since. I can't even remember where it was going.

Anyway, I'm thinking about completing it - I dislike the messy feeling of having that work in progress hanging over me, and I'm pondering getting into it again by completely rewriting it from the beginning.

Is there anyone out there who fancies helping me with this? First of all by beta-ing what is already there and so helping with the complete rewrite and secondly by kicking my arse until I finish the damn thing?

No worries if not :)

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BSG icon waffleA Farmer's Life for Me

Wed, 17 Aug 2011 23:52:37 GMT

I placed again in (image) iconic_lee Round 28 (Suited Lee).


Icons. Please credit if you take one.
1) (image) 2) (image) 3) (image) 4) (image) 5) (image)

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Feeling angryLaw & Order: Poison Ivy

Wed, 17 Aug 2011 10:55:56 GMT

Today I have anger. I am pissed and I would very much like to yell at someone and can't.

I've been suspecting for a little while that some of our post has been going astray. I've been trying to organise a headstone for mum's grave and twice now the paperwork has gone missing in the post (incidentally the woman at the Masons sounded rather incredulous that this had happened which is one of the reasons I'm so wound up. As if I'd make it up and ask her to send out the same stuff three times. This time I've asked her to send it recorded delivery and add the charge to the amount for the headstone).

Now some of the paperwork we need to buy the house has gone missing in the post meaning that the whole process of that has been delayed and I am really fucking angry.

So I called up Royal Mail because I want to talk to someone, an actual person about this problem and my concerns about the lost post and I get a bloody phone tree that doesn't put me through to a person but to a recording that redirects me to their website and tells me to fill in a form. I'll fill it in, but I have the feeling that it will eventually come back with "not our problem".

In the meantime it's entirely possible that our post will go missing again. And who knows what already has?

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Law & Order: UK filming locationGI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Sun, 14 Aug 2011 23:21:24 GMT

I was watching Law and Order: UK a couple of weeks ago when I suddenly shouted out in surprise, because I recognised the location they had been shooting at. I knew they filmed in and around Sutton (and no, this story isn't nearly as cool as angelicalangie's - I didn't meet anyone, or even see them filming). What I didn't know was that they had also filmed only a couple of hundred yards from the house I grew up in from the time I was 7, and also only a couple of hundred yards from the flat we lived in before that.This map illustrates just how close they were. Point A is my old house (where I lived till I was 21 [2005]), Point B is where they filmed.This is the location of all the local shops. It's called Hillcrest Parade. That low wall is popular with teenagers who like to sit there and drink cheap cider at night ;)In the old days, when my parents first moved to the area (it's in Coulsdon, a place called "Clockhouse" which is the only bit of Coulsdon to be in the London Borough of Sutton) it used to include a Butcher, a small supermarket, a pharmacy, and a green grocer, off licence and a post office. Nowadays there's an off licence and a fish and chip shop (as well as a pharmacy and a post office).The funny shaped building in the background is called Hillcrest Hall. It's where I had all my birthday parties when I was little. There's a nursery school that use it during the day now, and it's also where the local polling station is come election time. There's a stage there as well, and is used for local meetings and performances as well as some evening classes. It's where red_pill learned to tap dance ;)Another shot of Hillcrest Parade. The shop with the news stand outside is what was traditionally the off licence, but now has basic goods like bread and stuff in as well.The mound of green in the background here is what was known locally as the old air raid shelter, though I've never seen any actual evidence that it was. It's where we used to taboggan in the snow when I was growing up cos there's a decent slope.Final shot of Hillcrest Parade. The shop on the right is the one that used to be the off licence.I exclaimed in excitement to Phil about somewhere so close featuring and bemoaning that I wasn't around to get an autograph and got a "oh yeah, I knew they filmed there. I watched them do it!"He didn't collect any autographs :(This entry was originally posted at There are currently comments on the original entry.[...]

BSG icon waffleGI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Sun, 14 Aug 2011 22:34:39 GMT

I placed again in (image) iconic_lee, this time in Round 27.


The icons created for Round 27. Please credit if you take :)
1. (image) 2. (image) 3. (image) 4. (image) 5. (image)

A couple of weeks ago in (image) no_takebacks we had a trivia competition. I won two rounds of that too.

Miniseries Trivia
Canon Trivia

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My post on the RiotingHorrible Histories: The Viking Song (Literally)

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 16:26:15 GMT

I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said. I lived in and around Croydon for the first 21 years of my life and I found seeing it get hit the way it was incredibly difficult. This is a place I'd known all my life, and the major fire that the TV crews focused on is a place that is a major Croydon landmark. It's a family run furniture store, Reeves of Croydon, who were in the same spot for 144 years and was reduced to glowing rubble in an incredibly short amount of time. It was especially soul destroying because they were amazing when I needed a bed at short notice when mum was dying.

Having said all that, where I live currently (Canterbury) was never a place that was in danger, and my brother lives sufficiently far off major thoroughfares to not be at dreadful risk either. I've also yet to be confronted with the actual results of the riot and looting in person as I've not been to Croydon since it happened, which is why (image) angelicalangie's account of what the trouble has done to her psychologically has been really interesting and very valuable for me to read because she's had to face the things I haven't. If you're interested in the aftermath of the rioting I really think you should read what she's written, because sometimes I think it's easy to lose track of what effect the rioting has had on people across the UK, even if they're not one of the people who has been burned out, looted or beaten up.

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BSG fic: Lee and JuliaHorrible Histories: The Four Georges

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 09:34:17 GMT

Originally written over at no_takebacks here. The aim was to write a conversation pertaining to the Lee/Kara relationship between Lee or Kara and a character they had very little or no contact with. I chose Julia Brynne (mother of Kacey) and Lee."Karraaaaaaaaa!"Lee heard the sound long before he saw the originator of it. He'd been striding though Galactica's corridors wearing his best CAG-I'm-busy-don't-you-dare-bother-me look, deep in thought. Truth be told, Lee was struggling to adapt to life on board Galactica again. Yes, he thought, I was under orders on Pegasus, but I felt much more in control of my own life. I'd forgotten what it was like, being CAG. He frowned as his thoughts flowed from thoughts of being CAG to thoughts of Kara. Starbuck, he corrected himself. Just another pilot. Just another screw up.Lee always tried to keep a lid on thoughts of her because they always made him feel so much worse. It was just when he was struggling to put thoughts of Starbuck back in that box again, the one that kept her contained and made him able to function, that the noise started.How can I keep her in her frakking box if someone is shouting her frakking name? Irritated, Lee spun around, looking for the source of the noise. Stupid, that’s not an adult voice, he realised That’s a child. Training his eyes lower he picked out a small blonde girl toddling along the corridor as fast as her legs could carry her, weaving between Galactica personnel who were clearly trying to go about their duties.Lee sighed in exasperation. Nowhere else to be right now, I should take care of this. Then at least everyone else can get on with their jobs without a toddler getting in their way.As the child was about to weave her way past him, Lee knelt down and caught her up in his arms.“Who do you belong to?” Lee asked, but was greeted only with a stream of babytalk that made very little sense to him. Not recognising the child as that of anyone he knew, he started to walk towards Camp Oil Slick, reasoning that the child was most likely to belong to someone there. He was met at the hatch by a worried looking woman who was similar enough to the baby for Lee to realise that she was the mother.“Oh thank gods,” the woman grabbed hold of the child, taking her into her arms and embracing her tightly, “Kacey, what have I told you about wandering off?” She turned to Lee. “Julia Brynne” she said, stretching out her hand to shake his. “Thank you so much for bringing her back. I’m sorry if she was a nuisance.”Lee bristled at her tone. “Major Adama.” He snapped out, sounding and feeling much more like the person who had arrived on Galactica before the fall than he had done in a long time. “You need to keep a better eye on her. Do you have any idea how many places there are that she could get injured here, or the damage she could do to vital systems on the ship? We don’t have time to run around after children to make sure they don’t get hurt, we have work to do.”Julia recoiled at his words and Lee hesitated for a moment, feeling instantly sorry for being so spiky with this woman who must have lost nearly everything in the fall of the colonies, and then lost it all again in the second exodus.“I’m sorry, that was more sharp than I had intended,” Lee looked suddenly tired. “Just please, keep a better eye on her in future.” He turned to go, halting in surprise when Julia called out “Major Adama? You’re the CAG?”“Yes?”“[...]

BSG ficletsHelen Reddy: Candle in the Water

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 11:56:23 GMT

Written for the game of Clue that was running over on no_takebacks here.WHERE: Under Kara's ViperWHAT: Motor OilWHEN: Season OneKara was on the floor under the viper that had been assigned to her. It's Dash's Viper, she thought, then remembered no, he died. That stupid frakking accident. This is my Viper now and I need to start thinking of it like that. The Chief had been extremely scathing when he'd assigned it to her, unhappy that she'd completely written off one of his limited supply of birds and Kara had been more than happy to get out of his way and nestle quietly under the Viper and forget that the Chief even existed for a while.Footsteps brought Kara back to her surroundings. They stopped by the spot where her feet jutted out underneath the Viper."Starbuck?" a voice asked hesitantly."Gods Apollo, who else is it going to be with their leg braced like this?" Kara snapped in irritation. She'd just accidentally caught the cap of the oil resovoir and found it wasn't attached as tightly as it should have been, leaving Kara absolutely covered in motor oil.Lee squatted down so he could see underneath the Viper. "Problems?""What do you think?" Kara was sufficiently wound up between the chief and the motor oil to bring her temper right out. "How the hell am I going to clean this off me? I can barely get around as it is!" She gestured at the crutches on the floor next to her.Her irritation didn't lessen when Lee smirked at her."Need a hand?" Lee's face softened from a smirk into a genuine smile as he reached out towards her and Kara felt her irritation melt away."Dunno, Apollo. It depends... You wanna give me a bath?"WHERE: Demetrius (could be AU)WHAT: paintWHEN: Season Four"It's the only way I can show you Lee," Kara looked at him, pleading with her eyes for Lee to understand her. "I see this every time I close my eyes. Sometimes I see it even when I don't. I know it's the key to finding earth. Please Lee, I'm not crazy. It's so real."Kara couldn't remember the last time she had painted. She'd run out of her own painting supplies long ago, no matter how much she'd watered them down to try and make them last.Kara should have been surprised when the Leoben model had appeared, but she hadn't been. She hadn't even been surprised when he had produced a box full of painting supplies from his heavy raider, though gods only knew where he got them from or how long he'd been carrying them. Sometimes she felt like Leoben understood how she worked better than she did.What she needed more than anything else on the Demetrius was to be able to paint. To get the images out of her mind, be able to study them. To be able to have someone else study them. And just when she felt like she'd been going most crazy, Leoben turned up with paint. Kara had always been a believer. It was hard not to think of it as a sign.Lee wrapped his arms around Kara and she once again thanked the gods that instead of mustering out Lee had remained with the fleet and agreed to serve as her XO here. If he wasn't here anchoring her she was convinced that she would be finding it even harder to connect with the crew."It's okay Kara. You'll never have to justify yourself to me. I believe in you. I always have."WHERE: Demetrius (could be AU)WHAT: paintWHEN: Season Four"You son of a bitch," Lee, every inch the Apollo of old, punched the prisoner squarely on his nose. "The last thing she needed was you coming here and messing with her head. This is how you get off, isn't it? Whisperin[...]

BSG Pilots Presents fic: Sorrows Woven with DelightsLudovico Einaudi: Eden Roc

Thu, 04 Aug 2011 09:24:45 GMT

Title: Sorrows Woven with DelightsAuthor: witherwingsSummary: After the end of the worlds, Kara takes some time to paint and reflectCharacters: Lee, Kara, ZakRating: PG-13Warnings: Character death, discussion of abusePrompt: “Before the Cylons came - Kara and Lee's lives and the way they intersect.”Beta Thanks: callmeonetrack who provided inspiration, encouragement and did an awesome editing job making this fic much better than it would otherwise have been and angelicalangie who gave vital moral support and advice.Author Notes: With love to lyras, I hope you enjoy it. The title comes from a quote by Francois de Malherbe – “Our days and nights have sorrows woven with delights.” Originally written for the summer fic exchange over on pilots_presents here.The observation deck was Kara’s favourite place on Galactica to paint. It was dark and quiet, and with the stars outside her only company, it was the one place on the ship that came close to the peace she felt when she flew a Viper. If she came late enough, after all the kissing couples had cleared out, then she could dog the hatch and ensure that she wouldn’t be bothered.Currently she was sprawled on the floor with an enormous piece of paper beside her. Her face was covered in smears of paint, the multicoloured streaks extending into her hair where she kept running her fingers through it as she paused to think. The paper was covered completely with a dark, swirling mass of blacks and greys shot through with electric flashes of colour. The pattern appeared highly abstract and chaotic. But every individual stroke, line and colour had been intended, each having highly intimate meaning to her. Kara smiled as she added a bright violet to the paper. No one would guess to look at it that it was a portrait.---Long sweeping strokes of red, running over and under and through everything“I told you he was a soldier...” slurred Zak as he leaned drunkenly into Kara in a brief moment of alone time, his brother having gone to the restroom to relieve himself of some of the several glasses of red wine he’d had so far. While she agreed that Lee Adama was a soldier, Kara was having trouble fitting him into a neat box. In Kara’s experience officers tended to fit into categories, but Lee was an enigma. He was smiling far too much to be one of those bastards who didn’t seem to care when his men were killed, but he spoke unhesitatingly with a surety that didn’t indicate a need to seek approval from anyone, so he wasn’t an eager beaver like his brother. Kara didn’t know enough about him to label him an ace, and that pretty much proved he wasn’t, as far as she was concerned. If Lee Adama was that good then, she would have heard about him through the fleet grapevine.-“How much have we had to drink?” Lee asked. Kara could see him squinting at the kitchen counter, his head moving gently from side to side as if he were having trouble focusing on the empty bottles for long enough to count them.Kara giggled drunkenly at him, “Dunno.” A pause while she considered the question further, giving up when she realised the evening was getting very fuzzy at the edges. Lee was still squinting and now was moving his lips, apparently talking to himself, which just made Kara laugh more at the faces he was pulling, when suddenly he shouted proudly, “Nine bottles! There are nine bottles there!” Kara scowled a little. If she’d been asked[...]

Mark Does StuffDara O'Briain Live in London

Wed, 03 Aug 2011 20:34:40 GMT

I've been loving Mark Does Stuff for a long time. I've been reading his stuff ever since he read The Twilight Saga which was amazing from a watching someone disintegrate in front of your very eyes point of view. Then he did Harry Potter, which was brilliant from a he's never read this before and thinks it's fucking awesome point of view.

Then he started to watch stuff as well and of the things I watch he's done Doctor Who and Sherlock.

Seriously, if you can find time to read those reviews they're brilliant, because it's incredibly exciting to see someone discovering something you love for the first time.

And now he's started watching Battlestar Galactica which is so exciting for me to read.

Anyway, this is me recommending that you read this stuff, that you add his sites to your RSS reader and that you sit back and enjoy someone discovering Battlestar Galactica for the first time. I'm loving it.

Also have a random graphic I made off the back off a conversation with (image) red_pill about Hera Agathon. Spoilers if you haven't seen BSG in the entirety.


Well it amused me.

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