it's a doozy of a song

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:08 pm
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
The penultimate song of the Saturday Late Night at the Keep was Tall Trees in Georgia, by Eva Cassidy.

It was so achingly beautiful and achingly slow, and I could never have lead to a song that slow and with that little of an obvious beat, but I was lucky and got a dance with an awesome lead from Philly.

It's not often played; John Joven (who also dj'd and who was one of the instructors for the weekend) talked with whomever was djing -- they talked about how they've only found times for it once or twice. I was lucky enough to have the last dance of the evening with John.

Sunday one of the classes I went to was Slow Blues, with John and Kara. Only 9 of us in the class - Bambloozled was not well promoted and it was a gorgeous day so those on the cusp probably chose what was in Bumper Cars. I asked if we'd be working on songs like that one last night. John had it. We worked with it. It was difficult, but marvelous, working on the weight shifts.

I'm also glad I hadn't been listening to the words the night before, because they nearly made me cry:
Tall trees in Georgia they grow so high they shade me so
And sadly walking through the thicket I go

The sweetest love I ever had I left aside
Because I did not want to be any man's bride

But now I'm older and married I would be
I found my sweetheart but he would not marry me

When I was younger the boys all came around
But now I'm older and they've all settled down

Control your mind my girl and give your heart to one
For if you love all men you'll be surely left with none

Tall trees in Georgia they grow so high they shade me so
And sadly walking through the thicket I go
If you've talked with me enough, you probably know why.

But really, go listen to the song. It's beautiful.

On #metoo

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:36 pm
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
I wrote something long, and I want to put it on FB, but I also want to sit on it a little while first, because I'm afraid of the shitstorm. What I'm not going to include on FB is that part of what has made me so angry is helping a male survivor friend find the words for feeling erased and silenced (he later realized he's staying off fb because triggered) over the certainty that within his FB circles were he to post "me too" he'd be assumed to be joking and yelled at for same.

re #metoo. I thought I was a woman without a story, but then I thought a lot more and realized they simply weren't filed that way. Finding the files . . . isn't comfy.

Looking back with a "I wonder if that counts" and a realization that "yeah, that probably counts as harassment" or "oh, yeah, that was actually kinda scary" or "oh I forgot how upsetting/confusing that encounter was despite my realization that $otherparty was probably sure I was good with it.*"

I don't have anything big to share. I get catcalls and honks rarely enough that they usually make me smile (as long as the car keeps right on going). I've never had people stop me on the street and tell me to smile (and it brightened my day immensely the time someone - who kept right on walking - said something like "you're beautiful don't look down!") So on the street harassment side of things either I'm a mutant or oblivious or invisible.

What I wrote in one comment was "Yeah, if I were to post 'me too' I'd have to reach all the way to "well, one of the times when I was walking down the street in FL in a skirted tankini it was a bit freaky because a pickup slowed down a lot and I moved farther from the street, and there was that time I dressed differently for work and one of the guys in Test /thanked/ me not once but twice for wearing that outfit and oh yeah there was that time I made a flasher run away and okay it was uncomfortable when a former coworked loomed over me, hands on the arms of my chair, to suddenly declare his love.**"

Thing is, the more I think on this all the more I notice. The more I notice in the moment as well, that it'd be nice if this guy weren't trying to push for a kiss on the cheek or randomly rub my shoulders.

The more I notice that damn it's awkward when $otherparty posts an ihave and I had decided it wasn't worth trying to hash out what was weirdness before.

The more I'm surprised that I've only seen a couple people bail from FB a few days because it's triggering to them.

The more I watch some of the countermemes and countercounter memes and people trying to assert that saying one has accidentally done harm is not taking responsibility and I want to scream because this Saint Or Unsalvageable culture isn't doing anyone any favors, because damn straight one can realize after the fact that that thing wasn't cool, or was harmful. And even concepts of consent were way different in past decades. And person B can be traumatized while person A thinks there's consent. If everybody keeps insisting only pariahs ever violate consent, then I'm A Good Person So The Things I Do Are Good comes in. If it's recognized that everyone is capable of screwing up then there's way more ability to figure out when one needs to do better.

And there are meme variations I applaud. I applaud that a lot of folks have moved to "If every person who has experienced. . . ." instead of "If every woman," because words matter, and there's very little cost there to being more inclusive***.

I applaud that there's an #ihave meme. That there's a bunch of guys and sometimes gals saying that yeah, there's stuff in their past they're not proud of. That there's stuff they should have known better about, and they talk about what they're doing to make a difference.

I applaud that this #metoo deluge has done exactly what it said it wanted -- to highlight that boyhowdy it's universal****.

I applaud that this #metoo deluge has started a conversation about harassment. About bystander intervention. About saying "hey that's not cool" when someone says something that bolsters thinking it's okay to treat women as objects. Or when someone makes a woman lesser in the workplace. Or jokes about doing something terrible.

I applaud that it looks like this #metoo deluge has helped it feel more safe to speak about things many of us want to hide. Because there is often shame in thinking oneself victim. And there is also shame in realizing one has caused harm.

I'm still not sure how it feels that the #metoo means that stuff that didn't bother me is kinda bothering me ;-/

And yeah, I also get that there's a level of notcool in putting the onus on those on the receiving end. Partly for that reason.

I've been typing too long. This isn't polished. And maybe it's too all-over-the-place. It might be unclever to post this -- I can't spend too much time on the computer today. But it's a bunch of stuff I've been thinking about for several days now.
.
.
.
.

* and yes I recognize that despite what I said I wrote in that one comment I could indeed declare more than just the bits of 'yeah I guess that qualifies' I mention. Thing is, I'm really not keen on claiming the mantle of victim and I certainly don't want to throw the other title on someone for whom it's flat out not accurate. (because people seem incapable of grokking that one can violate consent without that being something one would ever intentionally do.)

**that was 20 years ago. we'd been watching TV in his basement; I'd been surprised his wife wasn't home. He saw how frightened I was and backed away and we had an awkward moment and I left and we had no further contact. He'd been one of my favorite work friends and work travel partners.

*** honestly, it really made me angry that when I suggested "rather than silencing/erasing those who have experienced harassment, assault, or rape and are not women, can we popularize instead the wording of "If all those who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem" that was seen as undue catering to the menz. From some of the same folks who criticized women's marches having slogans about vaginas 'because not all women have vaginas' and Joss Whedon for saying he wrote strong female characters by writing a strong character without dick and balls, 'because some women have them.' I get that it sucks to feel erased in those latter situations, but maybe also some empathy for those who are getting a message of 'you're not a woman so your rape doesn't matter?'



**** And I hate that I watched someone get slammed for expressing surprise at just how much of his feed was filled. Especially since it's really based on social circles and what FB thinks you want to see. I know people who are seeing /nothing/ but posts related to this and others who've barely seen any. My feed has included men posting #metoo, and others have seen no men at all.
I need to get off the computer.

Yay!

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:20 am
rebeccmeister: (cricket)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
My postdoc mentor here has lab members create a "Semester Plan" each semester. I've participated sporadically, but I mention them here because of one facet of the plan-creation process.

There's a faculty development podcast that walks through the process for creating a Semester Plan, which involves documenting your personal and professional goals, and then actually mapping them to the space-time continuum. At the end, the person who put the podcast together says, "Now take a minute to assess how you feel about your plan - nervous, worried, excited." That's the facet of interest at the moment.

So here's where I am, today. In the thick of things as far as job applications go. But I just submitted one where, instead of feeling frustrated/sad/dejected/gloomy, I feel pretty darned EXCITED. As in, YES, there are jobs out there that I'm highly qualified for, that sound awesome, and maybe, just maybe, I have a shot at them. I'm also relieved to check this off the to-do list for today, because yes, it's a long, exhausting to-do list. But now I don't have anything pressing that is going to require a lot of complex thought.

I need to remember this feeling of excitement, and use it to sustain myself through this whole job application season. I'll bet you a billion other top-notch people have applied for this particular job, anyway.

And I also need to just delete things from the memory banks, so that I don't get too bogged down in waiting to hear back.
rebeccmeister: (Edward)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
A friend of mine gave me this album a number of years ago: https://youtu.be/Cn7NCrMIbTA

Yesterday, while I sewed, I also tried to work my way through my collection of CDs, to figure out which things I haven't digitized that I might want during the upcoming unknown period when most of my stuff will be in storage, somewhere, again.

This album is very different from the rest of the music I own. But I like it, a lot. It's so rich.

The friend who gave it to me, GP, was a sad and complicated person who was brilliant and schizophrenic and couldn't handle dealing with women. Somehow I was able to be an exception for a long time*, until he reached a stage where he couldn't handle dealing with my Ph.D. advisor or academic institutions anymore and decided to make his own way in the world (with well-deserved financial freedom and security from an independent unknown sponsor). I bumped into him once sometime after all that, at the Phoenicia Cafe in Tempe, which had become his hangout for writing, and we basically parted ways amicably.

I couldn't keep up with reading his polygraphia, which he wanted+didn't want others to read (obsessive pageview checking of his website, extremely rare hints that it existed - ah! It still exists!). He was very much into various forms of Eastern philosophy (I don't personally know much about the subject). I believe he's basically reinterpreting and commenting on Supreme Court decisions, but with an alternate, fictional court composition. He compulsively collected many kinds of beautiful things, like fancy fountain pens and glass paperweights and scrolls.

I think he was one of those people who can hold up a mirror and show us ourselves (humanity, society) in new ways because he had stepped outside in various ways.

I like a quotation he taught me: "Above confluent hatred, birds call identically."


*Somehow he did not perceive me as a woman, I guess? I would say the age difference was too great, except that he really couldn't handle being around another grad student from my cohort, so I have to suppose I wasn't too overtly feminine. I was interested in friendship, anyway.

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 09:57 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
I went to Moab, Utah, over the weekend to meet some G+ friends and ride all over creation. I'll post pictures later. It was utterly exhausting, mostly because I rode with them in the morning and then went and rode really hard in the evening on my own. I am officially no longer in contention for world-class racing. Dammit. But I am within a few percent of my best times from 15 years ago, which is nice. (Less peak power, but way better endurance.)

Right now I'm battling a spigot. We have frost-resistant spigots on the house, and both have now failed to a lesser or greater extent, one no longer working at all but at least not leaking, and the other leaking at somewhere between the rate a dog would pee and maybe a drop every two seconds if I mess about with it. Traditionally, frost-resistant spigots are easy to fix: you shut the house water off (or, in the case of my previous house, you turn off the cutoff valve I installed in the plumbing right in front of each spigot, for exactly this situation) and extract the spigot valve from the body and replace the gasket and you're good for another 15 years. Well, I shut off the house water and extracted the valve control hardware, and it doesn't have a gasket on the end. The entire valve control assembly is buried in the wall. The only access is by cutting a hole, either in the nice hardwood floor in the bedroom, or in the finished/textured drywall ceiling in the nonfiction library. I'm choosing the library.

Square One; Videogaming

Oct. 16th, 2017 06:18 pm
rebeccmeister: (cricket)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
I made it rowing this morning. The air quality improved over the weekend, and the water was mirror-flat. What a relief, even if it was after a night of poor sleep.

Then, to the lab, to get things ready for the first round of circadian experiments out of two for today. It wound up being more of a scramble than I'd like. I tried to re-autoclave some saline solution last Friday, but then didn't remember I'd left the bottle in the autoclave until sometime on Sunday afternoon (one of those ....*! moments). So I had to quickly mix up a fresh batch of saline and autoclave it. Then, at the end, I ran out of my lipid standards, and on top of that, ran out of the chloroform-methanol solution I use to prepare the lipid standards. So, two more rounds of mixing things up. And when I at last went to turn on the tank of nitrogen to dry out the lipid samples, the tank was empty. So *foreheadslap*, change out nitrogen tanks, and then I finally got to eat lunch at 2 pm.

And I didn't manage to start cricket care until 2:30 pm. Mostly finished, now. So I have about an hour before I need to start things for the next set of circadian crickets for today. I just want to be d.o.n.e.

Meanwhile, I have another job application due by Wednesday at the latest. I am also flying to Boston on Wednesday, early in the morning. So I should use my one free hour to make sure I have my logistics all lined up. Exhausting just thinking about it.

-

I don't think I've mentioned here that I started playing the most recent Zelda game, Breath of the Wild. [personal profile] scrottie has commented on aspects of the gameplay that are tiresome tropes, and I'm inclined to agree. I don't like how many buttons one must remember and navigate with, but I suspect that's because I'm a curmudgeon who can't handle controllers with deely-bobber dual thumb joysticks.

Otherwise, there's some mild satisfaction to be gained from solving puzzles, I suppose, and it's fun to climb up things and then jump off and hang glide all over.

I figure it's good that I won't get to play it again until sometime next week.

Ooh, new AGAHF short story....

Oct. 17th, 2017 01:21 am
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

K B Spangler has just put up a new AGAHF short story, or rather one whose rights have reverted to her, at http://agirlandherfed.tumblr.com/ Shawn and Jenny talk brains

Mildly spoilery context behindthe cut )

Link: Giving liquid medicine to a cat

Oct. 16th, 2017 04:56 pm
sonia: Chocolate fluffy cat on a chair in the sun (basil chair)
[personal profile] sonia
My cat Basil had a broken jaw at some point before I knew him, and his jaw is still a bit askew. While it doesn't seem to bother him, I am categorically unwilling to put force on his jaw in any way.

He's been prescribed liquid antihistamines. Even though they're fish-flavored, he's still refusing to eat if I put them on his food. I tried to out-stubborn him for several days, but this morning I decided I should try giving him the medicine directly.

The usual technique is to force open the mouth at the back of the jaw. I did a web search for other options, and found this link that suggests picking up the cat's front half by the scruff of the neck to make the mouth open slightly. It worked great! Basil didn't even fight me, or turn his head away. (Granted I had a pretty good hold on his scruff...)
http://metzgeranimal.com/videos/giving-liquid-medication-to-your-cat/
davidgillon: Illo of Oracle in her manual chair in long white dress with short red hair and glasses (wheelchair)
[personal profile] davidgillon

"Very successful Artisan/Collectables MARKET on Saturday" says the Rochester City Centre Forum (apparently a joint effort of the council and the High Street traders) on their FB page.


To which I replied: "Very successful, except for those of us who are wheelchair users and find ourselves barred from the footpaths. What you can't see in that top picture is that it is the exit from the disabled car park and the pavement is blocked in both directions, as is the kerb-cut directly in front of that stall - to use the kerb cut safely a wheelchair user needs to start/finish at least as far back as the orange box visible in the picture. In fact it was significantly worse than that when I was in Rochester about 4PM on Saturday as the stall had boxes down the side that meant there wasn't even space to squeeze a narrow wheelchair like mine between the lamppost and stall, taking the unsafe approach down the side of the kerb-cut. For anyone in a wider chair or a powerchair, forget it. Remember, the space in front of the stalls is going to be occupied by customers, so there is even less space available. I ended up having to hop off the kerb, which nearly threw me out of my chair and didn't even try to use the entrance on my return, despite that being my normal route back to the car.

The steep camber of Rochester High Street makes it difficult to wheelie from road to pavement without risking tipping - I can't do it at all if I have the anti-tip protection deployed on my chair - and many people have chairs, powerchairs or scooters which are completely incapable of kerb-climbing. The reality of the choice of stalls which block the full width of the pavement is that they completely block wheelchair users from accessing the shops between them, or even safely exiting the disabled car park.

Rochester High Street is an obstacle course to wheelchair users at the best of times due to paving, camber, and cobbles, but these stalls leave it completely inaccessible. I raised the issue with the Council after their previous appearance, and was assured my concerns, particularly with respect to the kerb cut would be passed on, but this time things were even worse. To use the space in front of the disabled car park, blocking wheelchair users from exiting, really shows a careless contempt for the needs and rights of disabled people."

I had a reply within about an hour from the chair of the Forum. He did promise to do something about the kerb-cuts, but did not impress by first launching into a rant about cyclists on the pedestrianised High Street (why yes, I did know it's pedestrianised on Saturday, that's beside the point, the road doesn't help if I can't get from road to footpath) and then protesting "It's only 12 times a year," and "it's for the community". Do I not count as a member of the community?

Grrrrrrr!!!!

ETA: there's now a nebulous "this problem will be addressed", so I asked them to make sure they got a wheelchair user's input as to whether it did fix the problem or not.
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
[personal profile] sonia
Lauren Rusk has created a poetry chapbook, "What Remains to be Seen." The collection centers around her poems that respond to children’s artwork from the WWII ghetto/prison camp at Terezín near Prague. The ghetto was filled to overflowing with especially accomplished Jews, who were then secretly transported to extermination camps. Meanwhile the inmates wrote, composed, drew, performed, and taught each other whatever they knew, in an act of creative resistance that outlives them.

Lauren’s collection also includes modern-day poems with related concerns and love for the people they portray.

I'm finding that part of my resistance is contributing to the resistant, creative efforts of others. And then I get the occasional surprise in the mail when projects are complete!

Preorder at https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/what-remains-to-be-seen-by-lauren-rusk/ . More orders this month result in a bigger print run.

Art saves lives, we say. Yes and no: nothing rescued the children of Terezín, though the drawings they left behind preserve something of their inventive play, their hopes, terror and questions. Lauren Rusk is an extraordinary observer; she brings to these artifacts a profound ability to discern in marks on a page the human complexity of the ones who made them. The great majority of these children went up in smoke in the absolute moral zero of the chimney stacks. But we can bear witness to them, still, in the precise, empathic and beautiful interventions of a poet who knows that what she can save is sometimes all we have, and never enough.

–Mark Doty, author of Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (National Book Award winner), Deep Lane, and other collections



Lauren Rusk resurrects the imaginations of children whose inner lives shine through contraband paper and color in artworks found when the labor camp Theresienstadt was liberated. She manages to re-create the works themselves, which often reflect a Chagall-like combination of lyricism and dissociation, and also to bring the children to life in their moments of vision and their persistent, subversive reach for beauty. Rusk serves as their transparent medium, selective and convincing, in this gem of a collection.

–Leslie Ullman, author of Progress on the Subject of Immensity (poems), Library of Small Happiness (essays), and other collections

gifts not (yet?) given

Oct. 16th, 2017 01:43 pm
sistawendy: (amused eighteenthcent)
[personal profile] sistawendy
I did a little drive by to Inn Thrall to bid a relatively brief happy birthday to the proprietress, Kathleen Ashford. Against my better instincts I showed up empty-handed; I had no idea what she might like that she doesn't already have several of in that rambling and well-stocked house. (Yeah, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.) I discovered from the other gifts she got that she's partial to her weed, which is surprising as sunrise, really.

Over drinks with J&R last night I mentioned regretting not getting her some weed, and they pointed out that there's still a limit to how much you can legally have in your possession if you're not growing or selling it. It had never occurred to me that birthdays might present a problem for stoners in a legalized environment.

Speaking of birthdays & B&Bs, the Tickler has expressed a desire for a stay in a nice hotel sometime. I checked, and Inn Thrall, despite being a B&B, is acceptable to her. Pity her birthday wasn't that long ago, but I can find another occasion.
sonia: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
[personal profile] sonia
I first went to Race Talks, presentations and conversations about race, organized by Donna Maxey, back in April 2012, continuing for maybe a year after that. I learned a ton, and felt nourished by connecting with a diverse crowd learning about social justice together.

Then I went to one that included a heavy police presence as part of the conversation, and also got really busy with my tech job, and stopped going. The police presence was ostensibly friendly, but felt so oppressive I didn't want to go back. I do understand that it's a privileged position to be able to avoid them, and that Black folks are a lot more oppressed by police than I am.

I've thought of it since then, but figured surely it must have petered out by now.

Then last week I was paging through https://pdxactivist.org/ and noticed that Race Talks was coming up on the second Tuesday of the month as always! So I went. The topic was "White America: Become an Ally through Education & Dismantle Racism." Unsurprisingly for that topic, the crowd was mostly white. Looks like I missed some other good topics in past months! (Note to self: I could watch the videos...)

The panel discussion got sharp as Cameron Whitten (a Black man) confronted Randy Blazak (a white man) about microaggressions and reparations.

I was glad to see that Donna Maxey has gotten a lot firmer about asking for donations. I happily left a check for my October contribution.

I had planned to donate to Puerto Rico relief efforts for this month. I'm noting https://somosonevoice.com (via Shakesville) for next month.

I want to get more connected to communities of resistance. I plan to continue attending Race Talks, and I sent an email to P'nai Or, Portland's Jewish Renewal congregation. I need to be around more folks like me, where I don't feel too big too much too loud.

Anita Brookner - A Misalliance

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:43 am
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
Lately I've started reading Anita Brookner, and the experience was a little like reading Barbara Comyns -- thinking at first that I didn't really like her novels, but then realizing they yielded more as I thought about them -- that they were less like literary gardens, already prepared for my wandering pleasures, and more like those paper seeds you drop into a glass of water, where they unfold slowly into complex blooms.

Impatient reading is dangerous reading.

Brookner's gift is for taking the humiliating social situation, the mismatch of desires between the protagonist and those she loves, and making of it something more profound. The crisis becomes an occasion for insight that rescues these books from simply being torture chambers for the extra-sensitive spirit. I find I usually have to put each book down multiple times during an awkward scene because I don't want to live through the whole agonizing experience -- and she does tell the whole thing through -- but Brookner, I've found, can be trusted, and she always makes something more of these scenes; the protagonist, no matter how unhappy, always gains from the loss.

A Misalliance
shares the arc of many Brookner novels, or at least the ones I've read so far...

Spoilers, but only if you've never read any Anita Brookner novels )

{rf}

(Cross-posted from Goodreads)

Randomness

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:41 am
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
I listened to American Icons: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest as i drove home from Charlotte yesterday evening. I was unfamiliar with the novel & movie: i'm glad to have picked up a bit of American culture by listening. The interview with the actress who played Nurse Ratched was interesting. I felt certain i recognized her voice, especially as she spoke of her interpretation of the character, a woman with power, doing what she believes is the right thing (and apparently doing something horrible). It turns out she's the actress who played Kai Winn / Vedek Winn on Deep Space Nine.

An interesting reprise, i should think, then.

--== ∞ ==--

Carrie watching the Crufts 125th Dog Agility Championship


Last night, after deciding that a second episode of Dirk Gently (2010) (of the Holistic Detective Agency) would bring no joy, i decided i'd put on something Carrie would like. So, here's Carrie watching the Crufts 125th Dog Agility Championship from youtube. She was riveted while the dogs were on the course. She'd lay down her head after the competitor left the field, but when the next one took the course, she was back at full attention. Watching the dogs weave through the slalom poles was amazing. Carrie definitely has a deep streak of border collie in her.

With respect to Dirk Gently i feel like it's "Sherlock was a big hit, let's try to do something else." I am wrong about this, apparently, as it came out the same year as Sherlock began. Something about the visual language of the deductive process seems so similar. Now that i think about it, there's a little bit of overlap, too, with the portrayal of the second detective in Death in Paradise. Perhaps there's a limit to how many British produced mysteries one can consume.

--== ∞ ==--

This week i trusted in the worship process and i trusted that it isn't my job to make sure an hour is filled. Having a half hour for waiting worship is just fine: that's just me. I gave the message yesterday, and was well supported after. The most flattering and sweet thing was someone telling me they were surprised i'd only been attending for a year and a few months. It's lovely to know i've fit in so well.

I do need to write a letter to transfer my membership.

Battened down...

Oct. 16th, 2017 03:04 am
davidgillon: Me, at the wheel of a yacht (Sailing)
[personal profile] davidgillon

So with Hurricane/ex-Hurricane/Maybe-Still- a-Hurricane-but-predicted-to-be-a-Tropical-Storm-Real-Soon-Now Ophelia  due to hit the British Isles tomorrow I thought I'd better finish off the re-roofing of the garden shed - I replaced the felt over the summer, but never got around to replacing the battens on the gable ends, which are an extra protection against the wind getting underneath and ballooning the felt off. Surprisingly this only took me 20 minutes, but I had a smile on my face when I realised this literally amounted to 'battening down the hatches', even if I was doing it to a roof, not a hatchway..

I'm not actually expecting trouble tomorrow, there isn't even a severe weather warning for the south east as far as I can see, Ophelia's due to hit entirely the other side of the country, in fact entirely the other side of the next country over, but it needed doing before we get much further into autumn, so it's a good excuse.

Of course the problem with leaving it until the last minute and then deciding to do it is I hadn't gotten around to painting/weatherproofing  the wood, and I do want to do every side, not just the exposed ones, because the wood I'm replacing had rotted from the back. So it's all going to have to come off again for a quick paint job once the winds have died down.

Adding to people's concern is that it's 30 years since the 1987 Great Storm, which did hit the South East. There were multiple trees down at the end of my road, one of them on top of a friend's car (though I didn't know her then), but I managed to sleep completely through it, bar the five minutes at god-awful o'clock in the morning when I stumbled downstairs to slam the front door, which had been blown open. I'll settle for sleeping through Ophelia as well.

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