kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Reading. Read more... )

TV. We finished Orphan Black S3; A reappeared shortly thereafter in the living room holding out S4 to me. I gently pointed out that there were only 20 episodes left; we are therefore getting started with Leverage S4, which began with Elliot being wrapped up in snow gear and we think makes even less sense and involves even more incompetence.

Food. Read more... )

Trips. We stopped off at Belfast zoo on our way to drop off [personal profile] cesy and [personal profile] alexwlchan at the airport! We got snowed on while watching the penguins be fed. (I hadn't previously realised that Rockhoppers and Fiordland penguins also have yellow eyebrows; I thought it was just Macaronis but nooooooooope.) My other favourite New To Me Aminal: the Gidgee Skink, which is a sort of slightly flattened spiky sausage that droops itself inelegantly over surfaces and cannot move itself to movement even when crickets are literally walking all over it. They're great and I love them, almost as much as I loved the tiny tortoise that was very determinedly failing to eat a pear. Also feat.: small goats (that were efficiently stripping needles off all the local seasonally-recycled-pine-trees), Tamsworth pigs (v eager to be scritched by fingers, which are better than walls, in that they are flexible and repositionable and have pointy bits), miniature donkeys, a BARN OWL that was an OWL and therefore a LIE, some Norfolk Grey chickens.
kaberett: A sleeping koalasheep (Avatar: the Last Airbender), with the dreamwidth logo above. (dreamkoalasheep)
If there are things you would like me to warn for, or use cut tags for, or filter from you, that I'm not already doing, please feel actively encouraged to Let Me Know About Them in comments (yes, even if they're ridiculous, I have some truly ridiculous triggers). Comments are screened and will remain so (unless you specifically ask me to unscreen them, I suppose).
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
I spent some of last night's insomnia Reorganising My Tabs to make everything make a bit more sense. I now have a tab tree of linkspam, and a tab tree of Books To Do Something About, and a tab tree of seeds, and a tab tree of all the academic papers I opened from e-mail alerts and need to shift over to the other desktop. HERE GOES.

kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
  1. Waking up to (mostly) clear streets, against a backdrop of snow on the hills.
  2. I have in the fridge my first ever tub of The Collective Dairy's passionfruit yoghurt. It... is my new favourite? It is very much my new favourite. (I was forever into the limited-edition raspberry trifle which is, alas, no more; the plum and honey is also Good; but I think passionfruit is My New Fave.)
  3. The ritual of sourdough continues soothing.
  4. Today I finally had a proper poke around the Professional Caterers' Shop in the centre of Belfast and successfully didn't buy anything, though honestly this was mostly because they only sell cheesecloth in 10m rolls and I thought A would be... Unimpressed... if he came home to find one.
  5. To my minor astonishment, I have actually managed to string words together today in the context of the PhD! More words than I have managed for the past week! It is a relief, and also things continue slotting into place.
  6. A & I have been having a bunch of Conversations that on the one hand have been hard work, in terms of leaky feelings and vulnerability, and on the other feel immensely productive and positive and affirming.
  7. Nice clothes today: the mostly-cotton definitely-peacock-blue V-neck sweater and the black-blue-purple-white striped herringbone shirt, both from a charity shop (and specifically the BHF). They're both new-to-me enough that I'm Wearing Them A Lot and being delighted.
  8. I have been playing... a lot... of Dominion Online, mostly against the bot but sometimes against friends, and (1) enjoying it (!) and (2) getting to try out a bunch of ridiculous okay-but-what-if-I-don't-buy-any-money decks (to go with the okay-but-what-if-I-do-endless-gardening ones).
  9. Problematic Aunt got me cheese for the new year, from the Snowdonia Cheese Company; the Little Black Bomber is always a win, but I hadn't had their vintage Red Leicester before and it is good.
  10. I am struggling somewhat with uncertainty around illness, but: I'm being kind to myself, and letting myself rest, and doing a bunch of self-soothing and self-care around No, Really, Love, You're Ill. I've got so much better at this specific skillset, and it's such a relief.
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)
My starter is much happier when I feed it filtered water than when I feed it mains water; this is presumably because it is, fundamentally, A Culture, and mains water is deliberately treated to discourage that.

So: currently, after I've removed 100g of starter to make bread with, I'm feeding it equal masses of spelt flour and filtered water (in theory to approximately double the volume; in practice, I'm often doing ~50g of each), giving it a good stir, and popping it back in the fridge. (I did have it in a Kilner jar, with the seal ring removed; currently it's living in a Sistema soup mug, which most importantly means that if I drop it it won't shatter everywhere, but has the added bonuses that it's fairly light and that the lid clips on firmly and it can still be exposed to the outside environment and air and local cultures by dint of having the steam vent opened. In addition to which the pot is freezer-safe so I can Just Transfer It To The Freezer if I'm going to be neglecting it for longer than a week.)

The day before I want to make bread I'm removing the starter from the fridge and sitting it on the side to warm up overnight.

Read more... )
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
  • There's a panoramic viewing platform at the top of the Victoria Square shopping centre, The Dome, which we finally made it up day-before-yesterday. It's nice to be closer to the hills and it's lovely to be closer to the sky, but the thing that amused me most was just how many of the Important Sights That Dominate The Skyline had... utterly vanished behind tall newbuild. Some planning permission decisions definitely happened there.
  • There are stone gutters everywhere. They run cross the pavement in the city centre every ten metres or so. I was initially baffled and a bit cross -- they're open, without grating or grilles, so they're a nuisance to navigate with a wheelchair, especially given the camber on most of the pavements -- but then it spent at least some of pretty much every day of the first fortnight I was here raining and I, er, rapidly came to understand the point.
  • Kinda-sorta-relatedly, Belfast really is bafflingly bad at dropped kerbs. I don't get it, but... it really, really is. There's at least one route to and from the hospital I am Never Taking Again because the utter absence of dropped kerbs means that the step-free route involves being on the tarmac for a non-trivial portion of dual-carriage A-road. Similarly, our flat's right on the river, and there's a gate between the pedestrianised tow path and our block that is open 7am to 7pm. Outside those hours, I need to take a 5-10 minute detour via a route that, again, has no dropped kerbs. It is genuinely impossible for me to access my flat without spending time on roads in the dark after 7pm.
  • There is A Lot of excellent ironwork and colourful architecture and I'm enjoying it greatly.
kaberett: Euphorbia cf. serrata, green crown of leaves/flowers central to image. (spurge)
I recently linked to an article pointing out that the "symptoms" used as diagnostic criteria for autism are... actually symptoms of trauma, in many cases.

I don't actually have much to say, now, but I ended up reading the NAS's page on pathological demand avoidance, which notes that one of the reasons it's useful to have a specific dx of demand-avoidant profile because... it avoids incorrect assumptions and diagnoses, such as Personality Disorder.

("Although a person might have these as well," it concedes.)

Which, given that at least Borderline Personality Disorder can in a very great many cases be usefully modelled as an entirely predictable result of prolonged and cumulative trauma... seems to me to be missing the point, rather, actually. In that: allistic parents (& allistic society) aren't actually, by and large, very good at raising autistic children without traumatising them (with the best of intentions! and a great deal of love!); the failure to provide appropriate engagement and reciprocity throughout childhood is unequivocally known to be profoundly (and cumulatively!) traumatising; and, per the above, (i) the diagnostic criteria for autism rely to an alarming extent on trauma, and (ii) at least one "personality disorder" clearly results from prolonged trauma.

I'm just... really not convinced that "let's pretend autistic-flavoured long-term trauma is meaningfully and clearly distinct from this other (differently stigmatised) way we traumatise people" is a useful approach.

tiny magic

Jan. 13th, 2019 08:49 pm
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
I am sure I have asked you all about your tiny magics before, but I would be interested in hearing them again.

Mine is a tiny charity shop magic. A asked me, the other day, if given the magic I could keep my eye out for another pair of cheap work shoes and another pair of cheap driving shoes for him. So, of course, there were four plausible pairs of shoes, for a fiver each, in the first charity shop I visited.

Today's tiny charity shop magic was instead for myself: a black-blue-purple striped shirt, a peacock blue 80% cotton-20% acrylic (i.e. non-allergenic) V-neck pullover, and the second (& only the second) Mortal Engines book, having already acquired and read the first.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Via [personal profile] sciatrix: beauty arising from both natural and sexual selection.

Books: very slowly working on Becoming, by Michelle Obama, which slightly to my surprise I've borrowed from my father.

Film: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was, as you all said, fun; I was quite ??? at the Ha Ha I'm A White South African Just Kidding joke, and the fat "jokes" were Tedious, but it was engaging and entertaining and I'm glad I saw it and I now kiiiiiiiiiinda want to read all of the Miles Morales comics, even though I basically never read comics.

TV: utterly failed to buy either Elementary S5 or Orphan Black S5, because HMV had the one at £12.99-or-two-for-£20 and the other at £12.99. (And seasons 4 and 6 of Elementary also weren't in the offer, and nor was anything else I wanted that I could find.) This week has been Rather so we haven't actually progressed with Orphan Black, but I have finally convinced Adam that it is Good so we'll keep slowly doing that.

Music: did buy two new-to-me-albums, one the latest Frank Turner at a ridiculous discount and one the third Kings of Convenience album, which I hadn't even realised existed. I... am also not somewhere with a CD player other than in the car, but OH WELL.

Food: slightly desperate-to-be-used beetroot got roasted yesterday with some garlic, and is now in a tart with balsamic-caramelised onions and Lancashire cheese. Cooking is hard, so... that... happened.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
In that the actual fracture clinic consultant glanced at it and went "yeah, that's broken", so it's just that the generalists in the minor injuries unit aren't used to being asked to deal with anything this, er, minor.

Which also means I need to go back in another three weeks' time (because MIU said "... go in to see the fracture clinic ASAP", and the fracture clinic went "... it's not been six weeks, we really don't care") for another X-ray to confirm that my foot still contains bones, at which point I am theoretically cleared for a full return to normal activity.

As it is I actually stopped wearing the boot a... week or so ago now? Because it was initially helpful, but it was throwing my hips and knees out badly enough that now that the pain's subsided to "maybe don't walk up stairs on the balls of your feet, Alex" it's not quite worth it.
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
1. I assume I have gone on at all of you who might be interested about how the PACE trial finding that Graded Exercise Therapy and CBT "cures" CFS/ME is a crock of shit? Just in case, it's a crock of shit, if it's not working for you the problem isn't you.

2. STATS QUESTION (because the last time I actually had to do any to pass an exam was circa summer 2008 and I have been resolutely ignoring the majority of it ever since): I have two datasets, one much larger than the other. For one (~2500 data points), the concentration ratio A/B is very uniform, makes a nice flat line when you plot it against B, *and also* This Other Quantity B' is also pretty uniform. For the second (~75 data points), the concentration ratio A/B varies over several orders of magnitudes, makes a nice *sloping* line when plotted against B, and there's also a lot of variation in B' (again, a few orders of magnitude). Is there... any useful way for me to say, in a scholarly fashion, "look, when A/B is uniform so is B', but when A/B isn't uniform B' isn't either", or...? (A/B doesn't have any straightforward correlation with B', it's the *range of variation* in both that I think might be correlated.)
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
I am at the stage I eventually get to with every paper to date, where my supervisors want to Look At It and are Not Interested in dealing with LaTeX, where I much prefer to work in it, so now I'm gradually moving everything over into LibreOffice with reference to about three different files, and I know I bring this on myself but I really prefer LaTeX for early drafting.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
More items I will be bringing home with me: a Tilley hat, sent over for Papa by Uncle John (from Canada, where John emigrated and was a schoolteacher), never worn; a large wooden candlestick, turned by my great-grandmother's landlord in Feldkirchen; a small rabbit biscuit cutter. (There is more to come, of course, but I am categorically not carrying it via Belfast in hand-baggage-only.)

Treasures of the day: Grandpa B's (my great-grandfather's) correspondence and photograph albums, from his time on a cable-laying ship in the West Indies and from his time stationed on the HMS Essex.
kaberett: Euphorbia cf. serrata, green crown of leaves/flowers central to image. (spurge)
I'm a cliché, I know, but the fennel I have been growing on the plot ('Colossal') is genuinely the nicest I think I've ever had: it's sweet and aromatic and delicious and I am delighted by it, and in addition to the bulbs I'm eating I'm intending to leave some to go to seed so I can grow More next year.

Something I had failed to properly anticipate when sowing it, however, is that fennel fronds are... a thing. A big feathery... thing. On the plot at dusk they almost manage to resemble a tiny forest, and it would be ridiculous to just put all of that straight back in the compost, so I've... been eating it? I've been eating it and working out what on earth to do with it with a certain degree of perplexity.

I also brought a bulb down to Cornwall with me, having stopped off at the allotment to pick up the fabled Phormium tenax, and subsequently have been doing Further Cooking. Adventures in fennel thus far:
  • fronds (and some of the leggier bits of stalk) chopped up fine, in leek-and-potato soup
  • fronds in courgette fritters
  • fronds in potato salad
  • fronds in non-potato salad
  • bulb roasted, in any variety of useful roasted-veg contexts
  • bulb chopped up fine in risotto (yesssssss)
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
Item the first: a letter from my great-great-grandmother Spain, to Papa as a young man, informing him of various familial goings-on relating to his younger siblings (at that point in her care, because reasons) and to various aunts and cousins going fishing. This is the first actual written artefact of Grandma Spain, rather than simply references to and stories about her, that my mother has ever encountered; it was lurking (of course) in a sturdy leather bag we'd assumed to be Yet More Photographic Equipment on top of Lord Whoever's Mahogany Wardrobe, where we unearthed also the commissions yesterday.

Item the second: it transpires that one of the Spinster Aunts Who Lost Their Fortune In The Australian Gold Rush and Lived Out Their Days In The Convent As Paupers... pseudonymously wrote a book of literary criticism. Of Dante. That's still in print.


kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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