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I'm actually thinking I'm going to finish writing something!

Doing a couple of short stories at the moment - "The wall" which is about an alien race's first FTL experimental voyage, which runs into difficulties when it interacts with one of our experiments, and one I did a few years back and lost which I'm rewriting - not SF, mundane courtroom drama.

Book has problem that I can't get the motivation right. I was trying to set up a conflict between main married (m-f) characters that would have the readers sympathising with both sides of the argument, and seeing both of the pair as acting more or less equally reasonably/unreasonably... but every time I try to tell my dad about it, he is of the opinion that wife is being completely bonkers and of course she's wrong - how could anyone even think otherwise? (She wants to go into cryostasis and he doesn't, mainly because his faith says it's wrong.)

So I'm either going to write other bits of it, or write the shorts at the moment, just so I get into the habit of writing.

And get into the habit of not spodding on LJ... oh, right... um... never mind, eh?
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Hello everyone,

I’m embarking on a fundraising challenge, raising money for Raleigh International. They work with young people from around the world, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and give them the opportunity to work on sustainable development projects overseas.

Raleigh projects provide safe water, sanitation and education for remote communities in developing countries, as well as alleviating human-animal conflict and protecting threatened species. At the same time, they equip their young volunteers with knowledge of global issues, teamwork skills and self confidence.

Having volunteered with Raleigh in India, I’ve seen the transformation of communities and individuals which their projects achieve, and know that money raised goes a long way.

As a first step, I’ve set myself the challenge of living on $1 a day (for food and drink) throughout the month of May, in recognition of the poverty and hunger Raleigh works to alleviate. It’s going to test my maths and cooking skills (as well as my willpower) and seems a fitting way to generate support and donations. I’ll be writing about, drawing and photographing my progress, weird new recipes and inevitable chocolate cravings online, so you can keep an eye on how it’s going (and check I’m sticking to the rules). Visit http://bfgraleigh.wordpress.com/ to follow my progress.

The funds raised will go towards running Raleigh’s sustainable development projects, training their volunteers and providing support for their overseas expeditions. It will also go towards my fundraising target to allow me the chance to volunteer with Raleigh in Tanzania.

I know it’s a lot to ask but, if you can spare a few pounds to sponsor me, it will be very much appreciated.

You can donate securely online here: http://www.justgiving.com/BethFGrainger

If you’d rather donate on your mobile, please text:


Followed by the amount: £3, £5 or £10

To: 70070

Thank you in advance for your support.

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We're recruiting :-) Give me a shout if you are interested (this is awesome place to work!)

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It's amazing how quickly you can get blasé about trips to A&E.

Thomas was bouncing on trampoline at Palmer Park when he landed awkwardly, and his leg bent under him. He started crying, and then couldn't walk on it - he'd take a step or two, then it would buckle under his weight and he'd fall.

So we headed to A&E.

Called Ian from town on way, then got in a taxi. We were seen for initial assessment pretty quickly - the problem I had was that as long as he wasn't walking, it didn't bother him, so he got very frustrated at my keeping him on my lap or on a chair - he forgot very quickly that it was sore and he fell last time he did that!

They gave him some paracetamol, and we waited to be seen again.

Then Ian arrived, which meant I could go for a pee! We got called in just after that... by which point, when asked "let's see how he's walking" ... he gave a slight limp on the 2nd step and then ran about fine.

So he's fine - they think possibly a slight sprain or twist, give him calpol if ness. Last night, he was bouncing around happy again.

Other than that, Mothers' Day was great! And yes, he will be allowed on the trampoline again next week :-)
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I got this for Mothers' Day.

It is awesome! I cried through a lot of it.

It does occur that a good weegie like myself shouldn't get so teary-eyed over the Edinburgh skyline... but yeah, it is a beautiful city. Also being several hundred miles from either of them might make me more prone to a stab of homesickness!

It has been described as "'Mamma Mia' with the Proclaimers not Abba." Rubbish. That's a vary lazy and innaccurate review.

Don't get me wrong - I liked "Mamma Mia". I like Abba, enjoyed the film, good funny story... but the story was mostly fluff, a nice rom-com/comedy of errors.

Sunshine on Leith... it's got really strong stories, definitely enjoyable and funny, with love stories at its heart... but it's a lot meatier, and I could be wrong, but I don't think Mamma Mia involved the emotional aftermath of being an amputee :-) (Which was s sub-plot, but an important one.)

It's definitely worth watching!
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Watching Fireman Sam.

Is it just me or is he one of Ace Rimmer's incarnations?
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Someone I work with needs to rehome a friend's cat:

Due to a serious illness, I'm helping a friend of mine re-home her 14 year old cat, Chloe. She is a large black and white cat and I'm told she's fond of sleeping and being inside. She's quite affectionate towards people but she would be best suited to living in a home without other cats.

If anyone is interested - or knows anyone that might be - then please do get in touch with me. My friend would prefer that she went to a home rather than a cattery if possible.
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You know what?

The whole deathjournal/comet/astronomer-killer plot I can do as its own story. It doesn't need to be shoehorned in as a motivating factor. That takes away from the real story there, and this will be fun to do by itself! I don't need to say bye-bye to it completely... I can give it centre-stage :-)
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Glad I went to supervision yesterday. I had had a really difficult situation facing a mum at one of the clinics that I don't think handled brilliantly, but talking it through made it a bit better - also supervisor & other supporters/helpers thought that I did OK supporting her. So feeling a bit better.
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I think I'm dropping the "deathjournal" from my story.

Which is making me feel odd. It has been an integral part of it for so long.

Basically - at some point in the future, there will be a fad (brief, but very intense while it lasts) for people (especially the young) to write a deathjournal... thoughts and feelings that you want people to know after you've gone, so that loved ones - or not so loved ones! - can find out the truth about x incident, or what you really thought when they did y.

Uni student dies. He had had a major fall out with his mum, and they weren't speaking at the time.

Grief-stricken, she had to know if he had forgiven her. The fact that his deathjournal was missing - and then found to be unavailable for the moment, but would be at some point in the future - was the major motivation for her actions that were the main turning point of the book.

I think I've got other, more believable, motivations for her to take those actions.

It saves trying to make a plausible reason why she knows where it is but can't read it right now (originally there was dangerous information that cannot be made public NOW because of corrupt polititians, but too valuable to lose also in the book, so as an astrophysics PhD student who was involved in sending a probe to a comet, he hid it on board, where it would return X years later when political situation was better... I had it that he wasn't thinking necessarily too clearly when he did that! Plot twist was that it was returning sooner than expected, and to hide this fact, interested parties started bumping off astronomers... yeah, dropped the serial astronomer killer a while ago. Now it's one poltical lobbyist who is killed. Comet returning early wasn't a plausibility issue by the way - notable, yes, but having its orbit affected by some near miss while on its way back to the Oort cloud - really not impossible.)

It was one of the weak points of the plot, I think, because I was trying to explain why reasonably intelligent people did some really dumb things - which isn't so difficult! - but also why they reacted emotionally in certain ways that didn't convince me.

So I've dropped it.

I think.

It's proving emotionally difficult to let it go!
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The finished version :-)Read more... )
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Finished up with Edge10 on Friday.
Had interview yesterday in Henley.
Had interview today in Oxford.
Two interviews for tomorrow - Twyford and Oxford.

Henley and Oxford have both come back with offers - Oxford contacted agent about 3 hours after I had finished the interview to make offer :-)

Not making any more interview appointments unless it is in Reading itself.

I love having options :-) but hate having to choose!

(No, it's not déjà vu, you did read all this last year... sorry...)
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I'm going to fart on your head!
And pee on your head!
And poo on your head!
And put you down the toilet and make a REAL mummy out of paper!

(pause, and in quieter, serious tone)

I know how to.
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Union says nothing that can be done because been here <2 years :-( just cut my losses... so out of here on 14th.

Have interview lined up on 19th :-) Oxford - a little far, but not too bad.
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There is an early day motion 1046 http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/1046 which I've written to my MP asking them to consider it...

Dear Mr Sharma,

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am one of your constituents, living in ----.

I would ask you to give this early day motion your consideration. I feel very strongly that it is important that proper procedures are followed, and that it is not permitted to skirt the regulations. Individuals and companies have a responsibility to act within the law, and there is a substantial body of evidence suggesting that INEOS in Grangemouth has ignored the law.

Please help to ensure that the laws of this country are applied fairly and without prejudice.

Yours sincerely,

There is also a motion in front of the Scottish Parliament


If you want to write to your MP/MSP about this, you can find out who they are here:

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Ah li peda papai
Pugati po bagai
Badi badi badi badi badi kiya papoy
Bulatu ki kadi pooty pa yetay ah pe ya kuda padee
Kayamani kay yu la rus se yay pudaa!

Eh de yu la matibula ma kay yu lee say da!

Ah li peda papai
Bugati po bagai
Badi badi badi badi badi kiya papoy
Bulatu ki kadi pooty pa yetay ah pe ya kuda padee
Mayamani kay tu ya etay a pe la Kay ya puti kay mayamani kay a pu



(Found on site STLyrics.com that credits John Rabon for lyrics)
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Laptop is kind of dying - turns out that milk isn't good for them. No internet over weekend as a result.

Lizzie back to school today.

Knackered in general!
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Dear self,

stop spodding you numpty and write something!


(this is actually tough at the moment as haven't writtnn for abit!)
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Conversation between Ian and Thomas (23 months):

DVD? (pointing at unit which had DVDs on it)
Minion please!
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Spain was awesome.

I love my in-laws - Sue, my MIL especially is great. James (FIL) was delighted with pressie (got him a second hand Heinlein he hadn't read before!). A bit embarrassed that we had said only doing token gifts for adults, due to finances, but spending on kids when can, but then they gave me & Ian expensive pressie each. Ah well! Sue & JJ (Ian's brother) got diabetic sweets we brought over, and Vicki (Ian's sister) got jewelry (Claire's) that Lizzie picked out.

Only downside was she isn't so keen on my still feeding Peter, and had said had two car seats when had one car seat, one booster cushion... Peter is *just* inside the weight limit on the cushion, but I suspect wouldn't have been in UK. I'm also not comfortable with his being forward-facing just yet. I caved in at airport when Ian said if he's within the weight limit, it's fine, and the seat belt adjuster was good, but then insisted the boys go in different runs on way back to airport at end. Which caused a bit of an issue with Ian's being concerned that I was going to cause offence with no good reason, but we got around it by saying that it was easier to have one boy with each parent (there were always going to be two runs due to 5 people + driver).

I hardly saw Lizzie! She was sharing room with her Aunt Vicki, staying up half the night chatting/make-up-ing/playing playstation, more chatting... she had a great time.

Boys loved it. The garden has lots of different areas to explore... and an orange tree. (Peter: "Mummy! There are ORANGES on that tree!!!!")

Peter tried to persuade me we didn't have to go home. I explained that I had work, Lizzie had school soon, Daddy (full time dad) wants to see his friends.... to which Peter responded "Well, he can't have everything that he wants!"

I think this might have come from my telling Peter he couldn't have everything (in a toy shop) and his telling me "But I like everything!"

Got paid just before coming home. Boys are getting their main presents from us over next couple of days when get from ELC (car/train sets with magnetic couplers - they are great, Peter plays with some at PlayCafe), and Lizzie's main pressie is a night out with her pals - she is chuffed about this! We also got her some chocolate truffles and a makeup kit which she's been using lots.

Thomas is getting some more words - he can say & sign "more" and likes talking. Also got the idea of "please" (He hits his arm at you, says "MO!" then grins "EEEEES!".)

Also Dora is responsible for his handing you a water bottle and saying - clearly - "ABRE!"

Most of his words are the sound "AH!" repeated several times, but getting there! Spoke to play worker at children's centre, and she was way impressed with his hand-eye co-ordination and control when drawing, and said don't worry about the speaking being a bit behind - he's just doing things in a different order to most.

I'm going to try to do some New Year's Resolutions.

1) Get back in touch with BfN tutor, explain difficulties last year, and see if it's too late to get an extension to finish course work. Getting less panicky about this - even thinking about it a month or so ago had me in major panic mode, but it's going to be a tough one.

2) Write at least 500 words a day. That's really not a lot, but I need to do it regularly. When got inspired to be a bit more disciplined in October, DoaS got another 10K words on it, and a lot of plot falling into place. I want to do that again and actually finish the bloody thing.

Also want to re-write a fanfic I wrote and misplaced at St Andrews - (stunned look) - that was almost 15 years ago!!!! I liked it a lot, although I think some of it would embarrass me if I were to read it now - hopefully get it better this time! Basic plot I like.

And finally, going to do my YPM/DTDD crossover.

I figure if I do 500 words a day on one or more of the above, should see some progress soon. YPM/DTDD is about 1/3 finished I think, but it has a bit of a plot snarlup at the moment. I'm hoping if i just keep writing around it it will unsnarl itself.

3) Get more organised.

Sub categories... be better with money, get house ready to move, get boys used to earlier bedtime (which needs Ian to feed them before I get home).
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