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Skorpion's Ramblings

Skorpion's Ramblings -

Last Build Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2015 12:30:31 GMT

Copyright: NOINDEX

Listen up, kids

Fri, 20 Nov 2015 12:30:31 GMT

So it seems I am thinking about using LJ again, at least for now: and it's going to have pretty specific purposes, and thus most entries are going to be friends-locked.

Yes I know "privacy on the internet" is an illusion, doubly so at lunch, so my analogy is this: imagine we're in a pub, having a chat. Except we're in a back room, with a door, and it's closed, and only some of us are here. Now, I don't know the landlord/s myself, they could have cameras in here but I don't see any; and if someone big and nasty comes and leans on them, who knows what they'll hand over or give access to. Of course people could be listening at the door, if they wanted to go to the effort, and knew we were here. Then also I can't do a blind thing about any of the people in here recording our conversation, except maybe frown at them if I notice. So it is by no means a secure space, but I'm giving a social signal: this chat is mostly for the people in the room, and if you're listening in without being present, you should know you're not invited, even though I can't actually stop you. I hope you'll get bored and go elsewhere.

Relatedly, I'm going to prune the friends list, partially because by now I have very little idea of who anyone even is. If I chopped you off by accident and really you wanted to be in, then drop me a message or something, and I'll think about re-adding you.

Transmission ends.


Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:47:39 GMT

Two and a half years. Where do I go to post again? My, that's an old photo.

I'm kind of surprised that this account still lives, 13 years on. And that people are posting - although given the FB exodus, it shouldn't have.

I've been trying to get to bed earlier, aiming for pre-midnight, so I'm going to leave this here, and think about whether I want to resurrect this journal.

[edit 04/12/14] for reasons that aren't clear to me, I can't add comments, here or on others' edits. I'll investigate, but meanwhile, thanks for your responses!

Ah good old V-Day

Sat, 11 Feb 2012 10:51:56 GMT

The day itself is shaping up to be lovely: I might get to meet a beautiful lady (whom I've nicknamed the Fiend) briefly around lunch, then it's on to Cabana for a late lunch with my friend E, then Truth & Beauty at Hub Westminster to see who else out there is bucking the norm. So in that sense, I feel a bit silly putting up a Valentinr widget, but I also think it's sweet, so here goes:
Get your own valentinr

Relationship VectorsAndreas Vollenweider - One Breath

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 12:42:01 GMT

When thinking about how I interact with other people, there are generally three categories I use to understand the shape of the relationship. These are a bit like vectors: a given relationship could be anywhere on each x, y and z axis.FriendshipI describe as "friends" people whose personalities I like, whom I have respect for, and whose company delights me. I want my friends to be happy, but there is a high degree of autonomy involved: their happiness does not have to come through me, although it can. I will support their endeavours and share resources to some extent. It is a non-possessive environment, and a low-commitment one: meaning here, I would not consider a friendship as a factor in decisions about my life. However, friendships do have a long-term perspective, ideally anyway: someone I had spent a long time building a friendship with, I'd also like to keep around for the long haul. It is known that having good friends is one factor in personal happiness, so it seems sensible to me to keep friends around you whom you know to be good people.LustThis describes people I have a sexual interest in. I'm trying to decide whether it also covers play partners - it's not quite the same thing, but they seem to me to have some parallels. So, carnal desires generally: these are people who I have some "chemistry" with, whom I like to touch and be touched by. Like friends, I want lovers to be happy: but it's a slightly more possessive environment, potentially, in that I would prefer them to get their kicks with me rather than with others, and/or pay attention to me when we are around one another[1]. Commitment can be low or medium; of course people have responsibilities here in terms of keeping each other safe, as sex and play both carry higher risks than meeting for a drink. But again, I would probably not include lovers in life-changing decisions, unless other factors were in play. Longevity is possibly lower than with friends, for me, since I have a stronger interest in new explorations than familiar comforts.RomanceThis is the most difficult one to define - much better minds than mine have been trying to define "love" for much longer than I've been alive, let alone thinking about it, after all - and I will probably have to do it mainly by contrasting it with the other two vectors. So: friendship vs romance: and immediately it becomes tricky, because I'm not sure I've experienced a romantic interest in someone I didn't also like as a friend. But let's assume it's theoretically possible to fall for someone you don't really like - what does "falling for" mean? Can't stop thinking about, want to be in the presence of... but that feels like it's veering off into obsession pretty quickly, doesn't it? OK, let's try romance vs lust: I suppose you could fall in love with someone and not desire them carnally, although again, I struggle to think of an example in my own life. I do sometimes meet new people whom I'm incredibly enthusiastic about even if I don't want to sleep with them: but that could, and often does, apply to relationships in the friends sphere, because I just happen to really enjoy learning about a person who interests me.In terms of real-life examples, it is something of a numbers game. Of all the many people I've met and will meet, the vast majority will remain acquaintances (friendly disposition, low interest, low joint experiences); some will become friends (continuing mutual interest, some degree of intimacy mostly in form of deep conversations; if non-platonic, there will usually only be a phase of lust/romance which is later subsumed into the ongoing friendship); a smaller number will be lovers and/or play partners (following a risk assessment and in the presence of a mutual interest in fulfilling carnal desires). As hinted above, friends and lovers are not mutually exclusive groups, and in fact my preferred type of relationships is with people who are both. So would it not be possible to (re)classify all of my relationships with al[...]


Tue, 17 Jan 2012 00:51:00 GMT

I just tweeted the following:
Happiness = good work + good friends + things to look forward to.

which I think is pretty accurate, and it occurred to me to record the specifics somewhere, to look back on later.

Good work, I think, includes doing things you are good at, pushing yourself a little bit to get things done you might not like so much or have been avoiding - very satisfying; high quality thinking, acknowledgement from others. I was thinking of work in quite a wide sense, not just the things I get paid for, but also jobs done for and with friends, skill swaps, chores: they all come out of the same energy pot, don't they? And they all get prioritised against each other. When I'm shopping or tidying, I'm not planning events or translating, and vice versa. Anyway, all of the things I've described took place today.

Good friends are self-explanatory to anyone who's had them. Laughter and challenge and community and disagreements and listening well. I am really blessed by the many excellent people I have around me these days - I don't think I've had it so good before.

Things to look forward to: I have many! See also above re friends. My dance card and my social calendar are filling up nicely; very nearly more events to go to than I can sensibly do, so I have to choose the best... what a hardship! ;-)

Mulling over all of this on my way home from the tube made me very happy, not to forget grateful. Life is flowing pretty easily these days.

PomeMassive Attack - Dissolved Girl

Mon, 03 Oct 2011 09:53:11 GMT

I was looking through my documents to find a Thing, and puzzled why I had "Bukowski.doc". It turned out to be this:

nobody can save you but
you will be put again and again
into nearly impossible
they will attempt again and again
through subterfuge, guise and
to make you submit, quit and/or die quietly
nobody can save you but
and it will be easy enough to fail
so very easily
but don’t, don’t, don’t.
just watch them.
listen to them.
do you want to be like that?
a faceless, mindless, heartless
do you want to experience
death before death?
nobody can save you but
and you’re worth saving.
it’s a war not easily won
but if anything is worth winning then
this is it.
think about it.
think about saving your self.

(c) Charles Bukowski

The Web Underclass?

Wed, 28 Sep 2011 11:50:02 GMT

Whenever I read about what companies like Facebook are up to (today, it was via the Guardian), I think that I don't really want to give away my data that easily, and then I have another go at weaning myself off social media. As the author says, "as with smoking, it's easier to not start using the social web than to stop": I do worry that I'll miss things. Then again, I could do with spending a hell of a lot less time online, and I could certainly do without all those hours of pointless gaming. I'm having thoughts about Google+ too - Nymwars have not been a comforting event, for one, and I don't see that it's possible to run web businesses like these without trading something. Do I want that to be my data? Obviously my browser history is tracked in various ways already, but I don't think I want to facilitate that even further... and as for ookie things like FB auto-suggesting photo tags based on face recognition? BRRRR no thanks! (I've just gone through and untagged all my photos... lucky there were only 126 of them, it's a manual process.)

I still want to engage with social networks, though, because I still get something out of it. I'm feeling iffy about G+ (but not yet ready to delete); Twitter seems to be ok so far, if you don't count spammers (currently a minor nuisance); I'm aware of Diaspora* but have yet to sign up (I'm likely to, whether or not I use the service, because I like to reserve accounts where I can). This 'ere LJ has its own drawbacks, as do other blogging platforms, with regard to who owns your scrawlings, and what you can do with changes you're unhappy about. As raised in the Guardian article, the best way to be free online is to run your own domain - but in terms of connecting with other people, there are real drawbacks, which is probably why social networks are quite so popular. FB may look ugly as hell, and have ugly undercarriages, but it's so easy to use that it's become ubiquitous. Even complete technophobes can learn how to maintain a presence there. I do feel somewhat arrogant every time I say I want to go play somewhere else, because I know it cuts me off from certain conversations, which is a risk I'm increasingly willing to take.

Part of my problem is that my communication style has adapted to social media: I don't use the phone much, and then mostly for texting, I hardly email; I don't write letters at all. I have come to dislike pushing my information onto people, demanding that they listen to me here and now. I prefer to put information where many people can find it and to let them read it at their convenience. I also prefer to access people's information that way. Phonecalls have started to feel like a real imposition unless they're very urgent... however, face-to-face conversation remains my favourite interaction of all. Admittedly, it's more intense and therefore more tiring, and I can no longer handle conversation with many people at once, but it is the most rewarding communication.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I don't know what the answer is, either: it seems vanishingly unlikely that someone will create social media to enable our conversations without taking something for themselves, and I'm not even entirely sure whether that's a bad thing. There is great apathy about this issue, and who's to say it matters? There is a whole conversation to be had about corporations and ethics, but perhaps not now.... I'll be on my bike, enjoying the sunshine!

I lieu of...Telefon Tel Aviv - What's The Use Of Feet If You Haven't Got Legs?

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 08:44:35 GMT

Yay, we have another Dreamwidth Darkroom Orgy, thanks Tajasel!

Many BiConners seem to have put up posts for anon comments; I was hoping that anyone who wanted to tell me something would do so, but if I missed a memo somewhere, you can use the link above, too.

BiCon 2011Yello - Suite 909

Wed, 07 Sep 2011 16:01:52 GMT

I've been vaguely threatening to do a write-up for a couple of days now, perhaps it's time I got on with it. I finally unpacked my bags today, too, which made me sad because it's undeniable that the holiday's over. On the other hand, it makes my flat nicer to be in, and I can always think of my next trip away to cheer myself up - not that I know when that'll be!BiCon was amazing, I'm so glad I let myself be talked into going. I thought I had good solid reasons for not going before - after all, I'm quite happy being bi (and indeed poly and kinky[1]) without any need whatsoever to talk about it. I'm not short of information or people I can share experiences with, because an awful lot of my friends are similar to me. I also didn't have a traumatic time coming out or redefining my identity; everything has been as simple, straight-forward and easy as it could possibly have been. I just could not imagine what BiCon might be for, and my experience of attending munches didn't exactly help: they were never anything better than ok. Nice enough and all that, but still, sitting in a pub with people I don't necessarily have anything more in common with than how I like to have sex has always felt strange.Over the last 12-18 months, though, things have been gradually shifting for me. It's very hard to describe what's been going on, because so much of it has been internal processing - one of the reasons why I've not been blogging, either. I have abandoned at least one group of acquaintances and related activities, and I've taken my focus off events and behaviour I'd been enjoying for many years, towards a much more introverted way of life. I can't say it's always been easy; changing habits is hard, and quite often I worried I was missing out - and yet, I would feel out of place when I returned to old pastimes. However, it's been the right course of action: rather than rushing to fill the emptiness, I've sat with it until people and/or events have turned up that I could say "yes" to with my whole heart. As a consequence, my life contains a much, much higher calibre of those things than ever before. There are people around me who don't merely tolerate me, but who actively encourage me, and even push me to reach ever higher: having waited years, I can't tell you what an absolute privilege it is to finally get there. While I worry about making pronouncements that may come off as grandiose or turn out to be untrue, I have a feeling that BiCon will turn out to have been a watershed moment in that process.I don't want to dwell on what I did or didn't do during those four days. I've kept my schedule as a reminder, and I tweeted a bit about what I was up to. I was told that there are at least five BiCons, all taking place simultaneously: the activist one with lots of talking in workshops; the sex bunny one; the one where you sleep all day and party all night; the high-drama version; the meat market[2]. I dipped my toe in some of them, and I'd add another one: the solitary BiCon. I found it necessary at times to retreat to my room, and really appreciated having a space all my own and a door I could lock on the outside world. That isn't something I have at home, and as someone who's never relished the idea of living alone, it's a new and fun experience to try out on my holidays. Being so used to being on my own during the day, I had fun working out the balance between solitude and company. It was good to listen inwardly and act on what I learnt moment to moment. But by far the biggest discovery, and the one that surprised me the most, was the feeling of community. I'll be the first to admit that I have great trouble with community: it feels as though all my life, I have been on the outskirts of them or outright excluded, and I learnt early on not just to be ok with it, but actively make it a feature and pursue it. I try not to be co[...]

[placeholder]Noisia - Bad Dreams

Mon, 05 Sep 2011 09:51:49 GMT

Hmmm, updates are way overdue. I got out of the habit of writing because writing has been my work for almost three years now, and on top of that the last year-plus has featured very much internal processing.

However, there's been an influx of new people lately, with perhaps more to come, and not having anywhere to point and say "I write there" is starting to feel odd. I make no promises, of course, but perhaps I'll start blogging again, and maybe it'll be here. Meanwhile, if we met recently and you'd like to stay in touch, here's a good place to comment.

I am somewhat more active - sometimes even featuring daily updates - on Google+, Twitter and Facebook, which I post to simultaneously, so you only need to subscribe to one, really. The links are:

If you need to contact me and social meeja aren't enough, I've put my other contact details up - which one you can see depends on how well I know you: [LJ Friends] or [close friends].

More on the riots - restating my previous point

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 12:19:23 GMT

Here's an article that expands on something I said a couple of days ago: people's existing political views will shape what they consider to be the causes of the riots.

Martin Kell, whom I mentioned before, adds: "I've noticed a lot of people declaiming on what they consider to be the obvious causes of the last few days' excitement in the UK, and in reading a lot of the comments I'm wondering exactly how this is being covered in the news in some countries. It's certainly being bent to fit peoples' assumptions - for instance, I get the impression that the story in the US is coming out as "black youths rioting against oppression" despite many of the offenders being neither black nor youthful, which does go a long way to express the mysterious popularity of that Darcus Howe video I mentioned yesterday -- although people getting their punditry just from there are going to end up with some very confused ideas. On the other side of the pond the right-wing press is convinced that these people have been ruined by the tyranny of social welfare, etc, etc...

Here's the best article I've seen so far on the various ways in which "why did this happen?" is being spun by various people. Well worth a read."

I would like to restate what I said then, too: we should be looking in a lot more detail at what is happening on a local level. There are reasons, and they are not likely to be simple, straight-forward, single-cause ones. We should attempt to understand more, and that means not painting the rioters into a corner labelled "them". We should approach this with compassion, taking a leaf out of Norway's book here, not thoughts of revenge or retribution or additional violence. And I'm going to keep saying that until it happens.

London Riots

Tue, 09 Aug 2011 13:17:07 GMT

I understand there's been rioting on the streets of London: my Twitter, Facebook and Google+ feeds are full of the news. My little corner of the capital is quiet, as ever, except that I've heard a few more police sirens and helicopters.If you are unaware of what's been happening, there was a very good summary on G+ earlier. Here, let me dig out the link for you: +Mike Knell.As might be expected, responses to the news are many and varied. To date, I've been pretty quiet on the matter, but it's got me thinking, so here goes.Violence is always wrong, and violence leading to death most of all. I don't care who you are - a rioter, the state as embodied by the police, or a by-stander: if you use violence to make yourself heard, you are in the wrong. This is an absolute for me, because whether my ethics happen to lean more towards atheism (where this one life is all we have, and therefore taking life or violating a person is wrong) or Christianity (the kind that leads you inevitably to pacifism) at any given moment, this is a constant. Therefore, if you are one of the people I've seen comment that the rioters should be shot or otherwise harmed, I'm afraid I can no longer consider you a friend.In a similar vein, if you describe rioters or the police as "scum", you are actively dehumanising them. I believe that's the wrong approach to take; our focus should be on understanding the causes of the riots, and, if we are disinclined to witness further riots, on resolving these causes. Dehumanising participants does not help the process. I know that some people are very angry about the situation, which I think is both understandable and appropriate, but lashing out is a bad response. Acknowledge you're having an emotional reaction to the news, and don't make any statements or decisions you'll regret later.I agree with Mike Knell's point that anyone speculating about causes at this stage is mostly using the events as a foil for their politics. Fair enough, if you are that way inclined: personally, I've been sitting on the fence about UK (party) politics for a very long time, and don't really intend to stop anytime soon. I'm quite worried that the government will use these events to push through ever-more draconian laws that infringe on civil liberties, and I really honestly hope that there won't be a knee-jerk reaction this time. It's the kind of hope, in a reasoned political response that considers effects beyond the immediate and in an electorate that can do more than bay for blood, that has been cruelly dashed all too frequently in recent UK politics, and as such, I won't be surprised if things get a whole lot worse for us soon.Blame is already being apportioned, as you might expect. I predict that the right wing will point the finger solely at the rioters themselves, slurring everything from their character, their upbringing and their politics, while probably alleging that the perpetrators must be immigrants, whereas the left will point out that the riots started in poor areas, and will blame the government for cutting funding to local services and/or the police force, and not providing jobs or an income. As far as I can see, there's truth in both lines of reasoning, but neither is completely correct. It seems evident to me that you can't cut spending, which naturally results in the closure of youth centres and reductions in the police force, without expecting some kind of backlash. Some may believe that downsizing government continues to be a worthwhile aim, and they will now have to reconcile that opinion with this outcome. If you voted Tory in the last election, and are surprised about the riots and/or clamor for increasing the police force, you can see the contradiction in your opinion, yes?Since I have misgivings about both major st[...]

More Decluttering!Andreas Vollenweider - Lion and Sheep

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 11:38:04 GMT

As mentioned on Twitter / Facebook, we're decluttering once again. There are various things up for grabs, FREE to you, my lovely friends! I would strongly prefer a collection as soon as possible - everything is stacked up in the hallway, you see. The plan is to donate or throw away everything that hasn't been claimed by Tuesday.

Colin and Kiki made a big detailed list of Stuff, which I can send out if you really need to know, but to give you an idea, we have:
  • 3x evening dresses, medium to large

  • 3x jackets, 14

  • 15x tops, sizes 10-16

  • 8x trousers and skirts, sizes 12-16

  • various dress-up and clubbing clothes, small to medium

  • a Vollers corset, cream, 30in.

  • 12x shoes, most size 5, some 6

  • bags, hats, scarves

  • belts, including an amazing bullet belt

  • a desk fan, 30cm diameter

  • glasses, mugs, coasters

  • 2x strip lights, 30cm

  • and various odds and sods along those lines.

Oops, I just found two large bags of clothes that I'm keeping for when they fit again, but you can steal some if you like. Probably tops, skirts, trousers and dresses, likely about sizes 16-18 or so.

We'll be here every day between now and Tuesday, except Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Please call or text me to arrange coming over.

30 days of yogaCubanate - We Are Crowd (V.1.6)

Fri, 11 Feb 2011 16:48:53 GMT

I've spent the last 30 days going to Hot Bikram Yoga at Old Street. For those who don't wish to peruse either website (although I recommend it!), Bikram Yoga is 90 minutes in a room heated to 40C. There are 26 poses, sandwiched by two breathing exercises. It's the exact same thing every day, and yet every session is different.Just before I started, I found the following quote by Andy Warhol:"Actually, I jade very quickly. Once is usually enough. Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it’s not good any more." — Andy WarholI think everybody knows that one-offs are exciting, but I couldn't imagine how every-day could be exciting, so I would think of this when the going got tough. Which it did.ReasonsSo, let's start at the beginning. Last year, not only did my lower-back pain worsen significantly - by the end, it was every day; I couldn't walk long distances without it hurting a lot, and there didn't seem to be anything I could do about it. I went back to the osteopath of course: the current one I see at BSO is very nice, Mr O'Shea (he likes that I'm quite body-aware, so he can tell me what's wrong, even in technical language, and I will get it. Yay!), who prescribed stretches 4x a day. These worked, although of course slowly. The underlying issue is that my lower spine is excessively arched, which not only scrunches up all of those muscles, but has also caused the front of my hips to shorten, along with my quads. It's all a giant mess, really: and it's not like I can just think about my posture a little and make it go away. There is basically now a physical defect which I must correct through slow and patient work. The other physical problem last year was that my energy levels took a real nose-dive. At my worst, I struggled to walk quickly, stairs were a huge obstacle, and it became very hard to imagine starting anything new because I knew I wouldn't have the energy to see it through. I was vegetating; sometimes all I could do was lie on the sofa and whimper softly. I didn't know what caused this: excess weight and low fitness are not news, I couldn't see how they should have made me so bad so suddenly. I did some research, and realised I fit many of the symptoms of an underactive thyroid. I had it tested, but that's a whole other story - basically, the GP didn't agree with me, and prescribed Orlistat to get my weight down.I've done bits of yoga before, so I had a rough idea that I liked how it made me feel. It was clarisinda who mentioned Hot Yoga as an idea, and liz_lowlife who encouraged me to take it up; of course, I was very doubtful that I'd be able to stick it out, but at the same time, I knew that I needed a radical change to move me away from where I'd got stuck.BenefitsYoga strengthens your muscles (without the muscle burn and soreness you'd associate with other forms of exercise), improves your cardiovascular fitness (but doesn't jar your joints!), and improves concentration and mental clarity. It has been shown to relieve chronic back pain. Its spiritual angle is fairly well known, of course - many associate yoga with chanting and meditation. That can be part of some schools, but is not what is done in Bikram Yoga, which is a more 'athletic' flavour, I suppose. Nevertheless, if it's your thing, you can use your body to find a pathway to your spirit through yoga. It's energy work, also. Then also, one of my teachers, Cintra, often refers to it as the "science of the spine". I interpret it as "science" because it has been tried and tested over thousands of years on millions of bodies, and the effects of each pose are ent[...]

For Fat and Thin PeopleAndreas Vollenweider - And the Long Shadows

Mon, 31 Jan 2011 18:59:35 GMT

How can the same cause have two directly opposite effects? Don't you know the fable of the Indian who was so astonished to see the European blow warm and cold with the same mouth, first when his fingers were cold and then when the soup was too hot?I divide people, as far as their habit of body is concerned, into the following main classes: (1) the plump, (2) the thin, (3) the muscularly fat, (4) the skinny, and (5) the flabbily fat. There are, of course, many intermediate stages; for instance, one sees people who actually in the upper part of their bodies belong to the one class, and in the lower to another. The bodies of those belonging to the first class have full, long muscles, which are quite soft when in repose, the muscles of the second class are short, well marked, and often overtrained. The third class have a layer of fat above and between otherwise really good muscles, whereas the two worst classes have practically no muscles at all. It is often very difficult to classify correctly anyone wearing clothes. This a great many men commonly come under the description of "strong" who, from a physical point of view, are no good whatever, while apparently lean men may be athletes. One and the same individual can change classes from many different causes, i.e.: if a man in Class 1 be not careful, and does not lead a healthy life, he either goes over into Class 3 or (according to his age) too soon into Class 2. Class 4, with good living, becomes Class 5, and this last again, through illness or starvation, Class 4. The model of the antique statues, both men and women, belonged to Class 1; of the models of the present day, the men are generally Class 2, and the women Class 5. With sensible training (following out my directions, for instance), people of all Classes can be transformed to Class 1 (with the exception in certain cases of those in Class 2). People in Class 4 will develop the muscles of their bodies and limbs, and this grow stouter and heavier.As far as fat people are concerned, they must first ascertain to which class they belong, as people of the fiifth Class must always proceed very gradually and cautiously.People of the third Class can generally bear to get rid of fat quickly by long runs, sweat-baths, and rigid training. But the troublesome part of this violent method is that the fat round the waist is the last to budge, whilst it is just that that one wishes to get rid of first. So that this training, too, should be supplemented by my "Corset and rubbing exercises".The most striking proofs with which I have hitherto become acquainted that "My System" will reduce superfluous fat are the following: -Signor Contini, Director of the Maison Alexandre in Rome, who in two years, solely by the daily practice of "My System", reduced his weight from 123 kilograms (270 lbs.) to 78 kilograms (171 lbs.) - a loss of 99 lbs.And a certain of the Royal Engineers, India, who reduced his weight in eighteen months from twenty-two stone to twelve stone, losing no less than 140 lbs. I could scarcely believe him until he showed me an old photo.Both of them at the same time found that their capacity for work and their vitality has immensely increased. Besides which, it may be seen any day how people gain two to two-and-a-half inches in chest circumference while at the same time losing just as much in waist measurements.Whereas it is a good thing for fat people to lose fat, it is a bad thing for these people to gain fat. It is true they they ought to gain weight in order to become normal, but what they put on should be sound flesh, consisting of muscular fibres and tissues and not fatty substance. They are two quite different things, just as diametrically o[...]

I wonder

Fri, 21 Jan 2011 08:47:26 GMT

has anyone tried scent sensitisation, in a play context?

I was suggesting it to my play partner in a dream I had just now. The dream also featured telekinesis and pyromancy, and all the Tops were (hyper)aware of their bottoms' energy levels, which I think is outwith most people's current reality, no? But I think my idea could work.

2011 in reviewNekta - Here's Us

Fri, 31 Dec 2010 13:58:49 GMT

1. Was 2010 a good year for you?I'm not sure. Maybe it's one of those blessings in disguise jobs?Actually, it's making me think of the allegory of the Taoist Farmer.2. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?Played an MMORPG.Modelled for photos for a portfolio. In my wedding dress.Drove a nice car all the way through France, and pick up a French lift-share.Managed a team of invigilators marking SATs papers.Gone on dates.Learnt to scuba dive. 3. What was your favourite moment of the year?Diving.4. What was your least favourite moment of the year?It is hard to hold an entire year in your head at once! There were many low moments, however.5. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?I didn't, and I won't.6. What are your plans for 2011?None so far, apart from getting to the bottom of my health issues and hopefully resolving them.7. Did anyone close to you give birth?Errr, yeah, think so. It's not really on my radar.8. Did anyone close to you die?Nobody very close, but Colin's grandmother, whom I admired, died in Feb.9. How many weddings did you go to?Michelle & Gavin, 27 Mar.Casee & Gemma, 22 Oct.10. What countries did you visit?France, 8 Apr visiting my Dad for a week that turned into 12 days or so because I got caught out by the volcanic ash, which in turn made me miss LIFF, which I'd been working on for the best part of a year.France, 11-18 Sep - the big Poly Holiday.Thailand, 8-20 Dec - learning to dive with Col, Paul, Claire, Grietkin, Tony, Robin and Oodie.11. What dates in 2010 will remain etched in your memory?Depeche Mode gig, 20 Feb.Weekends in Southampton, 13-14 Mar and 9-10 Jul.Demo for Democracy, 8 May.Breaking up with Benjy, 8 Jun.Edinburgh, 6-8 Jul.Gorilla perfume launch / Brendon Burns gig, 15 Jul.Cornwall holiday, 22-29 Jul.InFest, 27-29 Aug.Club Decadence, 10 Sep.AP social, 22 Sep.5Rhythms, 7 Oct.Einstürzende Neubauten gigs, 16 and 17 Oct.High Tea, followed by noise gig, 20 Nov.My second sea dive, 15 Dec.12. What was your biggest achievement of the year?Maybe working when I really wanted to socialise. Else, PADI Open Water Diver certification.13. What was your biggest failure?I don't think I delivered everything I promised to.I didn't write as much as probably should have, or stayed in touch with people as well as would have been desirable.14. Did you suffer any illness or injury?Lots of low-back pain, either stress or posture related, which I tried to get fixed through acupuncture xmas 2009 and again in March.It's back again, so I saw an osteopath in December, who casually mentioned something might be wrong with my thyroid.That is now under investigation, and I've just had a course of antibiotics for various diving injuries.15. What was the best thing you bought?Holidays and train tickets. Music and gig tickets.16. Whose behaviour merited celebration?My friends. Event organisers. Everybody who protested about politics.17. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?Those apathetic about politics (myself included, at times). Those who did not communicate when they should have.18. Where did most of your money go?Living.19. What did you get really, really, really excited about?Holidays.20. What lyrics will you remember most from 2010?None had particular significance.21. Compared to this time last year are you:a) Fatter or thinner? Fatter. Thank you, thyroid.b) Happier or sadder? Sadder. c) Richer or poorer? Not sure. 22. What do you wish you'd done more of?Stayed in touch with friends. Written. Knitted.23. What do you wish you'd done less of?Wasted time on the Internets.24. How did/will you spend Christmas?With Col's family i[...]

I'm back

Mon, 20 Dec 2010 19:17:13 GMT

Spent the last 24 hours travelling home from Koh Samui, via Bangkok, Dubai, and Gatwick. All went fine. The last leg was slightly delayed, but it didn't seem anything to do with Gatwick.

Phoned the GP from the train home to get an appointment today for no fewer than four issues. Now on antibiotics for a week, various tests to come. I don't think it's anything too exciting, if I'm wrong I'll let you guys know.

I'm not overly impressed with the cold and snow here, it has to be said... felt the cloud of depression settling on my head looking at the fields of white stuff as seen through the plane's downward camera. My hips have already seized up, and that's after a short walk in the snow. Bugger. On the other hand, the only time I didn't have swollen feet and ankles in Thailand was when I was diving in the sea (and the few days it rained). Maybe I am doomed to drift between places that are almost, but not quite, perfect?

Did I say about the diving? Yep, got my Open Water Diver certificate, 2 days in the pool and 2 days in the sea with the beautiful and talented Ania. I can't wait to go diving again, it's the most brilliant thing I've done in an absolute age. Turns out I'm really rather good at it, too, one or two errors and mishaps not withstanding... my ears still aren't right, but what the hell, worth it for the feeling of flying underwater.

I think I need to start planning my next dive soon. The real world is a bit sucky, when you look at it.

Time for sleep.

TEN DAY MEME Liars - I Still Can See An Outside World

Wed, 01 Dec 2010 13:09:34 GMT

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)

1. Colin
2. Kiki
3. Dad
4. Makita
5. Xxx

TEN DAY MEME / NME Top 75 Albums of 2010

Wed, 01 Dec 2010 00:32:13 GMT

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.Oh gosh. These do NOT get any easier, do they? Especially if you don't think that regret is a good thing, and try to avoid it wherever possible. So this isn't really a topic I dwell on, it has to be said, and I'm not sure how I'm going to respond to it without blatantly making something up.[many hours later]I've been thinking about this all day, in between working (which I've just wrapped up for the night, oopsie!). I still can't think of anything I can't then immediately turn around into a positive in some way. Or it wasn't something I could have done much about - e.g. doing better in my degree wasn't entirely down to poor choices, there was lots of other stuff going on too, and at least I maintained a social life for most of my time at uni (that's important too!). All the big stuff has come out ok in the end, and I can't think of small regrets either. I CAN think of lots of things I would like to do better at in future... so I'm going to cheat, and put them in so I can go to bed with a clear conscience.1. I want to be more active, in small and big ways. I take the easy option too often.2. I want to stop resisting routines, because they're actually better for me than chaos.3. I want to learn to give compliments rather than just think them in my head. They would probably not make me sound as foolish as I fear they do.4. I want to remember how to feel joy in small things, on a daily basis.5. I want to remember that people want to be my friends, if I let them.6. I want to learn to switch off and be still more often.--In other news: I think the end of the world is nigh! I'm not the NME's biggest fan, as far as I'm aware (I bought it once when The xx were on the cover with some intriguing byline, and I knew nothing about them). However, they've come up with their top 75 albums of 2010, and I agree, by and large. WHAT!There's a Spotify playlist at the above link if you want to have a listen (not all albums are on there, sadly, but it's something at least, and FREE).Bold = love it! Italic = want to hear. Strike = hate it.1. These New Puritans, 'Hidden'. NME said: "It’s genuinely surprising, beautifully wrought and announces TNP as one of the most powerful artistic forces in Britain today." Album review. 9/102. Arcade Fire, 'The Suburbs'. NME said: "An album that combines mass accessibility with much greater ambition. Pretty much perfect." Album review. 9/103. Beach House, 'Teen Dream'. NME said: "A gem in the crown of the great chronicles of youth." Album review. 9/104. LCD Soundsystem, 'This Is Happening'. NME said: "Stripped-down synth-pop, robotic electro and smooth new wave that retains a powerful punk-funk undercarriage." Album review. 8/105. Laura Marling, 'I Speak Because I Can'. NME said: "A slightly rootsier direction for Marling." Album review. 8/106. Foals, 'Total Life Forever'. NME said: "Nervous, intense and quite brilliant." Album review. 8/107. Zola Jesus, 'Stridulum II'. NME said: "The gorgeously ethereal soundscape of a thousand years of heartbreak." Album review. 8/108. Salem, 'King Night'. NME said: "It rewards constant and obsessive replaying." Album review. 9/109. Liars, 'Sisterworld'. NME said: "This incredible album is your passport to a better place." Album review. 9/1010. The Drums, 'The Drums'. NME said: "So much more than a simple validation of the hype." Album review. 8/1011. The National, 'High Violet'. NME said: "Imbued with crackling vivacity that’s unusual for a band at this stage in their careers." Album review. 8/1012. Caribou, 'Sw[...]

TEN DAY MEMEFelix da Housecat - She Lives

Mon, 29 Nov 2010 13:51:26 GMT

Oops, I'm quite a lot behind on this. To be fair, I was away at the weekend, and although I read bits of The Internets on my phone, it's not really suitable for typing out anything. That's my excuse, anyhow.

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

1. "Why is this song in my head? Will it go away if I play it? Anyone know a good earworm killer?" and variations on that theme.
2. "I should do x, but I think I'll go see if anyone's updated The Internets lately."
3. "Hmmm, hungry. I wonder if there's any food in the house?"
4. "Why are dressing-gowns so inadequate at keeping my legs warm?" (I should a. dress earlier in the day, and/or b. take a leaf out of my Dad's book: he wears pyjama bottoms under his dressing gown. Nighties are useless here!)
5. "Ok, that was shiny. Now what was I trying to do again?" *walks to wherever the last idea occurred*
6. (I'm running out of thoughts... mine are pretty repetitive, really.)
7. Bored now. Let's have some music instead.

TEN DAY MEMEDieselboy - We Want Your Soul (Raiden Remix)

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 21:46:13 GMT

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.

Maybe sufficient time has passed since reading (image) missyk8's sterling effort this morning that I can come up with eight answers that are all my own. I apologise in advance if all I succeed in is rewording hers.

1. Enjoy a good debate. By which I do not mean, talk me down so you win, a la debating society; the conversation should enrich both of us, ideally.
2. Turn on the charm. It's difficult, I know, to tread that line between charming and smarmy, but you should see what happens when people succeed.
3. Teach me something new. This encompasses a range of stuff, from skills to showing me your favourite place.
4. Pay attention. I'm no good at remembering details I talked about last week, so if you can, it will blow me away. Ditto, dates, e.g. birthdays and anniversaries.[1]
5. Don't make me lose face, especially not in an argument. I know this may seem silly to you, but it matters to me. Likewise, a cooling-off period is more useful than making me back down (mostly, I won't!).
6. Skills. Competence generally.
7. I'm not the most spontaneous person ever, I prefer to know where I'm going and when, but very occasionally, a surprise outing is a lovely idea, and will impress me no end if well organised.
8. I'm an emotional girl who's learnt to live in a logical world: showing me you're not scared of emotions is good, making space for them and encouraging me to feel more fully will endear you to me.

Whew, what a toughie!

I love this track so much. Good old Dieselboy!

[1] Before I get accused of unfairness: I retain context and logical connections much better than specifics. Oddly, there are just enough specifics that I retain for years to make it slightly unpredictable, so it's just a general rule.


Wed, 24 Nov 2010 02:00:52 GMT

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

1. I've had insomnia for over half my life.
2. My favourite fruit are bananas.
3. This year is the first year I've disliked getting older, mostly for physical reasons.
4. Worlock by Skinny Puppy is the only song I never tire of. I heard it again at the weekend, and it still has me in awe.
5. To date, my only addiction has been to coffee. Currently, it's an occasional treat, and I can happily go without for days.
6. There is always music in my head. When I've not just been earwormed by hearing or being reminded of a song, my subconscious uses this channel to communicate with me. It's usually the lyrics that offer clues.
7. I played EVE for six months before I wrote my first spreadsheet - it contains mostly information about trades. I've lost count of the number of subsidiary programs I've installed; I use only two regularly.
8. I reckon I've got piriformis syndrome. Also, a qualified person has informed me that I have several markers for hypermobility.
9. I've been trying to learn French, but apart from short bouts (mostly when I've been well away from computers) I have been very lazy with it.

Well, here are ten posts coming right upIszoloscope - the edge of certainty

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 22:56:27 GMT

I haven't done one of these in ages - memes as writing prompts, although I seem them around a fair bit. Good things, writing prompts; I'll say more on that later.

Nicked from (image) missyk8:

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession

Day One
1. I'll never tell you this, but I made a rule never to speak to you when I'm sad. I'm scared it will destroy your magic (of which you have LOTS!)
2. Currently, I'm using my skill for amusement. Do you think it would be fun if I used it for evil / my own gain instead?
3. I love that you're still there for me, and remind me how to have fun.
4. I thought I'd miss you, but it was even worse than I imagined. I love our practical solutions.
5. I'm most definitely hanging onto you! (if you'll let me) I hope we can see each other again soon.
6. Now that was a good conversation, and I'm intrigued to see how it carries over.
7. We do think alike, don't we? I'm glad we're friends these days.
8. I have a suspicion you suffer from Nice Guy syndrome. It's a pity; I'm sure otherwise you're a decent chap.
9. Apparently, I'm still quite angry. I hope to get through this stage, but not sure what comes next.
10. You're the best! Thank you for putting up with my nonsense for so long.

That'll do for today.

Big Selling Post #2 - women's clothes, size 10-14

Tue, 26 Oct 2010 16:05:12 GMT

My big declutter / selling effort continues.* Prices include p&p, and are suggestions at this point: feel free to make offers, especially if you're buying several items at once or can collect in London. * Items are from smoke-free (but not pet-free) homes, and are freshly laundered and ironed. * I'm happy to provide exact measurements and detail photos if required. * Payment via PayPal (add on fees as applicable), cheque or direct bank transfer, please contact me for details.Evening / Cocktail Dresses, SkirtPearce Fionda II long evening dress, size 14. Black shell: 100% silk, hot pink lining: 100% polyester (dry-clean only). £50 or offers.It has a split to mid-thigh on the left, and is about least ankle-length, but that will vary as it's bias-cut.Confidence Paris strapless cocktail dress, size 10. Black stretchy material: 92% polyester, 8% elastane (machine-wash). £20 or offers.Wrap effect at the front and gathers on L, diagonal hems to mid-thigh (R) / hip (L), back is approx calf-length, will vary due to bias cut and stretchy material. Embellished calf-length wrap skirt. Burgundy shell, pink lining: 100% rayon (hand-wash only). £20 or offers.There is no size given; the width at the top is 118cm / 46 in, and I guess it would fit around a size 12/14. The outer is very sheer and is embroidered with gold thread and beads. Scarves/ShawlsSheer lilac scarf, approx 95x95 cm / 37x37 in. No care label, feels like synthetic. £5.Shawl / pashmina, approx 75x200 cm / 30x78 in. Grey, peach, aquamarine, purple: 100% wool (dry-clean only). £10.Debenhams sheer pink shawl, approx 110x165 cm / 43x65 in. 100% polyester (hand-wash only). £10.Hooded TopsBay Trading long-sleeve cardigan with zipper, size 12. Lilac, 86% acrylic, 11% nylon 3% elastane. £5. ON HOLD - Laura Ashley long-sleeve jumper, size Medium. Denim blue, 100% cotton. £8 Style Unlimited long-sleeve jumper, size 12/14. White, 100% cotton. £5. Denim Co short-sleeve zipped cargidan, size 12. Blue / white stripes, 65% polyester 35% cotton. £5. TopsGringo long-sleeve blouse, size S/M. White with purple and sage green embroidery, 100% cotton (hand-wash only). £5.Golddigga long-sleeve top with zips, size M/L. White cotton, zip adjusts depth of v-neck, pink zips at sleeves. £5.New Look long-sleeve top with round neck, size 14. White, 100% cotton. £2.Atmosphere long-sleeve top with scoop neck, size 12-14. Dusky pink, 100% cotton. £2.Cherokee Essentials t-shirt with v-neck, size 10. Lavender, 100% cotton. £2.H&M v-neck cap-sleeve t-shirt, size Medium. Dark purple, 95% viscose, 5% elastane. £4.British Museum Ankh t-shirt, one size (girly fit). Black with silver print, 100% cotton. £2.'god' Cock t-shirt, size Small. Pink with black cap sleeves and print, 100% cotton. £2.ON HOLD - Major Arcana t-shirt, Hanes 'Her Way', size Medium. White 100% cotton. £2.Laura Ashley halterneck top lined to under bust, size Small. Lilac, 100% cotton. £3.Bras, Bikini Tops, Shorty PyjamasLa Senza "Sleepy Ted" shorty pyjamas, size 10. Denim blue with front print, 60% cotton 40% polyester. £5.ON HOLD - Bras, size 36D, £5 the lot.Top to bottom:Marks & Spencer t-shirt bra, lilac.Wonderbra t-shirt bra, dusky purple. Cherokee soft cotton bra, pale blue with pink trim.Top to bottom:Next t-shirt bra, 34D, dark purple. £2.La Senza t-shirt bra, 34E, white. £3.Top to bottom:mystery bra! The band appears to be 36, I guess it's a D cup. £1.Marks & Spencer[...]