Duolingo

Jan. 16th, 2017 01:59 pm
watervole: (Default)
I'm having fun with Duolingo.

Odd really. I hated learning German at school and wasn't much good at it - though I did pass my O-level.

About two weeks ago, I started playing around with German on Duolino and more of my school German seems to have lasted than I thought.

I'm actually finding it relaxing re-learning and learning new German.

I just successfully translated "The man eats the cheese" to  Der Mann isst den Käse and I feel really good about that.

I
 got both genders correct. Man and cheese are both masculine. I got the nominative and accusative case correct, so in spite of both being masculine, the man is 'der' and the cheese  is 'den'.  And I did it from memory!

I'm finding tricks for remembering gender that I never had at school and am thus actually managing to get most genders correct (so far).  eg.  For 'cheese' I think of men with smelly feet to remember that 'Käse' is masculine.

This is me, getting de-stressed by learning German genders and irregular verbs!

The world is a very strange place...
watervole: (Default)
 About five years ago, I started knitting  a pair of Norwegian socks.  The pattern comes from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush and should look like this



I got about half way down one leg and then I stopped. I cannot now tell you why I stopped, because I can't remember.  Life throws you wibblies and sometimes you abandon projects when a wibbly hits.

A few months ago, I was feeling organised and I picked them up again.  In the intervening time, I'd worked out how to do two colour knitting with the technique of knitting English with one hand and Continental with the other.  It makes the knitting much faster as you don't have to keep swapping from one ball of wool to the other.  I also (thanks to Youtube) found a better way of catching in the strands of yarn (of the colour you aren't using) that float across the back of the knitting.

I did a tension square and was all ready to get going again.

Then disaster struck!

I  found a inch wide hold in the part sock I'd already knitted, and lots of breaks in some of the balls I was about to use. Moth!  How much yarn had I lost, could I salvage anything, should I abandon the project alltogether?

It took a couple of weeks research, increasing puzzlement because of the total lack of visible larvae, droppings, etc, before I noticed some short, pale hairs on the yarn and my brain finally flipped back five years and I remembered.

It wasn't moth. It was Molly's greyhound!

Probably because the balls smelled of sheep, the dog had taken to grabbing them and running off with them.  I hadn't realised at the time how much damage had been done, but greyhounds have big, sharp teeth.  (Maybe that was why I'd abandoned the socks?)

I've now rewound the worst affected balls and removed all bits less than 2 ft long - I'm sure Molly would have been pleased that I managed to work out how to use the swift and ball winder that I picked out from her collection after she died.

However, I've lost quite a bit of yarn in the process.  Whether I have enough to complete the socks is a tricky question.  I've weighed all the bits, and the stuff I've completed so far, and I still don't know....  It's an imported yarn and it's going to be very tricky to replace (although it is still produced in Norway).  The places I can find selling it are in the states and the  price for a single ball to the UK is crazy.  

I'm thus going a bit by guesswork (because I can't yet predict the weight of the part of the sock that I haven't done).  I'm aiming to reduce the length slightly, and do the back of the heel and maybe the toes in the remainder of the ball from the contrast colour at the top, but I really don't know if I'm going to make it or not....

Cross your fingers for me, and if you have any Heilo Dalegarn yarn in black or grey, just give me a wave!

Duolingo

Jan. 4th, 2017 08:03 pm
watervole: (Default)
 I've been  playing around with Duolingo  this week to refresh my O-level German.

I'm quite enjoying it, and it is a good way of learning, but I take serious exception to its claim that I'm now 11% fluent in German.   

I've only covered 54 words with it and the coverage of plurals and cases only relates to a small subset of those words.

Have other people used it much?

Does it actually take you to a level where you get genuine language skills, or is it really just a game that teaches you a good set of stock phrases (which are admittedly useful).
watervole: (Default)
News has many impacts, but very few things cause us to take action, and when we do act it is usually in very easy ways.

We're all familiar with the responses that can be heaped upon people in arenas like Facebook when a racist or homophobic remark can result in a comment going viral and hundreds or thousands of people sending hate-filled responses to the original poster.

It's easy.  It allows the commenter to feel they've done something, but it costs them nothing beyond a few seconds of typing.

(I often wonder if this is why some right-wing religious groups target gay men.  It requires no sacrifice on their part, but makes them feel they are exerting effort to fulfill god's wishes.  Other Biblical requirements are much harder to meet.  Not killing, not stealing, giving lots of money to the poor, get progressively harder.)

It's like that with environmental issues.  The Daily Mail can heap praise upon itself for the success of a campaign to put a charge on one-use carrier bags.  It's easy.  The worst thing it can do to us is to make us pay 5p for a carrier bag, or to bring our own bag to the shop.  It's an easy feel good factor to own a re-usable shopping bag.  

Most people will move up to sorting and putting out their recyclable rubbish. It's easy, and there's an awareness that it helps keep council tax down (because of landfill charges).

After that, sadly, we're mostly driven by the desire to look good.  It's no coincidence that most people installed double glazing long before they added decent loft insulation (even though loft insulation is far, far, more cost-effective).  Loft insulation is invisible and double glazing makes our houses look good.  We tell ourselves we're installing it for environmental reasons, but if it didn't come with good looking PVC frames, it wouldn't have caught on nearly as well.

Climate change is something we want the government to act upon.  They should definitely do something.  Though we're not always too sure about what.  We want green electricity, and it sounds great, but we also don't want anything that will lower our standard of living.

and thereby lies the crunch.  We ignore (not even deliberately, but by glossing over or turning the page) things that are stressful or that demand big changes from us.

If everyone on the planet lived as we do in the UK, we would need three planets to support everyone.  In other words, we're using resources three times faster than is sustainable.

And here's the even harder part.  Although we have known this for decades, and awareness of environmental issues is rising, our environmental footprint over that period has risen rather than fallen.

In short, we're destroying the natural environment (and the life support system for our children and grandchildren) because we're unwilling to sacrifice lifestyle elements that are often luxuries rather than essentials.

It's a New Year.  

What are you prepared to give up that will actually make a difference?

 



watervole: (Default)
Are modern politics caused by modern media?

We live in a world of instant media. Instead of reading a daily paper, we are now surrounded by more information than we can ever absorb.  I think this forces a lot of shallow study instead of study in depth.
 
Short pitches like: "Keep out the Immigrants" are easier to peruse than long economic articles about how immigrants pay your pension. 

too much data means confirmation bias gets worse as we skim articles looking for the bits that agree with what we believe and never consciously notice the rest.
watervole: (Default)
 Editing is hard work and time-consuming, but I'm realising that I miss it.

Working at retyping and tidying up Roy Dommett's longsword notes is surprisingly relaxing, in spite of the amount of concentration required.

Actually, maybe the concentration is why I find it relaxing...

Anyone got work that they need editing?  Doesn't necessarily have to be paid.

(One book I edited in the past was a biography of Margot Fonteyn and it was good to see the author, Ken Ludden, being interviewed as part of a recent programme on Margot by Darcy Bussell.  I like to think that his book helped to make people more aware of his relationship with Margot.)
watervole: (Default)
 I've been very busy the last few weeks sorting out dance notation for Southern Star Longsword.

We're learning a dance originating from the village of Lingdale in Yorkshire and I'm gradually, with help from other longsword dancers, finding more records of early performances of the dances.  It's an interesting and time-consuming project understanding what all the different writers were referring to. Some like Roy Dommett were so detailed that you have to work out what they meant by:

Over Neighbour's Sword
Each man takes 8 steps, 4 bars. The man in front lowers his sword almost to ground level.

Stepping:

l r/l r/hr l/hl r//

 

Left foot over first. Half turn to face back, completed as left foot goes over, completing turn that man raises his own sword and ½ turn anti-clockwise under it to face back, hop over, getting straight by raising neighbour's sword, which helps next man to turn ready to go over. 

Whereas others are very brief and just say 

OVER YOUR NEIGHBOURS SWORD: Right arm overhead first, then turn to left from inside outwards: left hop/ right hop.

Those two are actually the same figure...

All in all, I prefer the first version, but I freely admit that it took me a couple of days to fully understand his notation system.  Once I know the figure, the second is sufficient, but if you don't know it, then the detail really helps.

Because I'm finding Dommett's notes so useful, I'm retyping them. They were written around 1970 and have circulated in ever fainter photocopies since that time.  It's a fairly major job as there's about fifty pages of dance history and notations, but I'm making progress.  We started with an OCR file, but some of it came out looking like this:

"4gJ>+e;

-L,-~ 1/M t.,§v~¢1 ‘-vi-o r-f\~\~7

Ll P 4;“ K-»G\j~4- c£-~=c

32 .

2° ;*

Q

so I'm using the OCR where I can read it, and just doing the rest from scratch.

It's actually quite relaxing, as long as I don't over do it and trigger the RSI.

watervole: (Default)
 Having just watched 'Rogue One', which I thought was great, I was greatly struck by one coincidence, which I wondered if it was intentional.

This is Saw Gerrara, maimed, aging rebel, has become more fanatic than the rest of the rebellion, trusts no one (with one exception) even when they have come to offer help..

Image result for Saw Gerrera

Remind you of anyone? 

Image result for blake gauda prime

I kept seeing Gareth's face jumping off the screen at me.

It may be pure coincidence, but  I wonder....

Solved

Dec. 6th, 2016 06:00 pm
watervole: (Judith)
I can post again.

Turns out that I'd got logged out at some point, and while struggling to log in again, it used my Facebook id to log in and I thought that was really me (same photo, etc.) as opposed to Watervole me.

I've probably missed a lot of friend-locked posts in the last couple of weeks.
watervole: (Default)
I open my friends page on Liverjournal to find the first five entries are reposts of boring tweets!
 
My page layout seems to have changed in the last couple of weeks to one I don't like at all.  Is there any way to get back, or is all LJ universally the same now?
 
It appears that I can't even post this message without linking my facebook account to LJ.  (Ah, it tells me that 'watervole' already exists on LJ, well, yes, that's me. But it still won't allow me to post to my own journal...)
 
and it only seems to want to post to a community.  I try post post and it tells me I am not a valid community, but it shows no way for me to post to my own journal (this is coming via crosspost from Dreamwidth)
 
What the Dickens is happening?
 
I usually post via crosspost from Dreamwidth, so I've no idea how long LJ has changed its posting system.
 
Maybe this post will appear - I've no idea...

It seems to have linked my Facebook account to LJ, as when I posted a comment in Vera's journal just now, it showed my real name rather than 'watervole'. I have mixed feelings about this.  I don't mind my name being known, it's always been there on my profile page, but I would rather have clearer options.

But basically, how the devil do I make a post on Livejournal?
watervole: (Default)
 Arctic sea is melting at a rate never seen before.  That's  having all kinds of knock-on effects, including the release of methane from the sea floor (a worse gas than CO2 for climate change)

It's a vicious circle.   The methane released by the warmer temperatures helps warm the atmosphere further.  And that isn't the only knock on effect...

And at the same time, the UK government are trying to make us believe that adding a third runway at Heathrow will not prevent us from meeting our promises on Climate Change - a claim that is pretty impossible to believe.

Air travel is one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions that we have any personal control over.  We have to eat. We have to get to work.  We really don't want to freeze in the winter. But we don't have to go on foreign holidays.  

Try any carbon footprint calculator of your choice - they will all tell you the same thing.  Giving up air travel will make a big difference, bigger than any other lifestyle change you can make.

If you have a beloved child, nephew, neice or grandchild, this may be the single best gift you can ever give them.  Try and give them a world that still resembles the one you love now, before we pass the point of no return.

For the sake of my children and everyone's children, I gave up air travel in 2002.

For my granddaughter, and everyone else's grandchildren, I intend to keep that pledge for the rest of my life.

REdemption

Nov. 10th, 2016 10:28 am
watervole: (Default)
 I'm looking for a room share for Redemption. Anyone interested?
watervole: (Default)
 Here's my Pratchett filk - the tune is "Bread and Fishes"
 
As I walked through the corridors, sleepless at night,
I saw in the bar a familiar sight.
A man in a hat, I had thought he was dead,
A teller of stories who smiled as he said:
 
Oh, the turtle's still moving, she swims through the sky,
With her cargo of elephants riding so high,
The Discworld's still turning, the sun still goes round,
And all of my people are safe on the ground.
 
I sat down beside him, he showed me a chair,
We nibbled on peanuts someone had left there,
He told me of wizards and witches and kings,
And of the Patrician who knows everything.
 
Oh, the turtle's still moving, she swims through the sky,
With her cargo of elephants riding so high,
The Discworld's still turning, the sun still goes round,
And all of my people are safe on the ground.
 
I sat there and listened until daylight came,
I know that I never will see him again,
But stories keep living as long as they're read,
'Twas the teller of stories who smiled as he said:
 
Oh, the turtle's still moving, she swims through the sky,
With her cargo of elephants riding so high,
The Discworld's still turning, the sun still goes round,
And all of my people are safe on the ground.
watervole: (Default)
 Had a great weekend gaming with a group of friends from all over the place. Old PBM friends (Delenda est Carthago), Redemption and Discworld friends, Morris dancers, local gamers, nephews, etc.

I also got to chat about yarn with tictactoepony

We have a (inherited) gadget that looks like this:

Vintage-Antique-Hand-Made-Wood-Bobbin-Lace-Bobbin-Winder-Hand-Crank:


I figured it had something to do with yarn winding, but when I tried to wind yarn on it, it made a ball that was too tight to slide off the cylinder (the wooden cylinder is concave),  the cylinder is also hollow, with a interior profile a bit like and ice cream cone.

One of our party suggested it was a winder for lace bobbins, and there are certainly pictures on the web of gadgets like this labelled as bobbin winders.  (and there is something that might be a lace pattern in the drawer at the bottom) Frustratingly, there are no pictures or videos of them actually being used to wind lace bobbins... (the bobbin would presumably fit inside the cylinder).  I'm not entirely convinced by this, as I can't help feeling that the bobbin wouldn't be gripped very well.

then I found this video, which simply makes things more complicated:



If you have an idea of what my winder is actually meant to do and how it works, please tell me! 

Dancing

Oct. 17th, 2016 10:00 pm
watervole: (Default)
 There's nothing like dancing for the soul.

 I can be all stressed and twitchy, and after two hours longsword practice I'm at peace with the entire world.

Southern Star are only just large enough to survive as a side, but I think we're going to make it.  We're a mixed ability bunch to say the least, but the dances are starting to flow.  We're moving with the music now and that's making a big difference.

The timing in longsword has to be a bit intuitive -in morris, if you make a mistake, you just nip back into the correct position. That's not possible in longsword, you have to find ways for the group to get back in sync with the music.  After a while, you realise that at least some of the moves in traditional longsword dances are designed to give a bit of catch up time.  Moves that can be a bit variable in length are often followed by  simple circle moves that can soak up time until a new phrase of  the music begins.
watervole: (Default)
 Bobby Shafto is one of those songs that most of my generation know, without even knowing where they learnt it.


It normally has three verses, although the nursery rhyme videos for kids all seem to leave out the one about her having  a baby.

However, the
Wikipedia entry says that it was supposedly written about a girl who died for love when he came back and married someone else, and none of the versions of the song I can find include that part.  So, I've written an extra verse.

Bobby Shafto's gone to sea,
Silver buckles at his knee;
He'll come back and marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!
Bobby Shafto's bright and fair,
Combing out his yellow hair;
He's my ain for evermore,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!
Bobby Shafto's getting a bairn,
For to dangle on his arm;
In his arm and on his knee,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!

 

Bobby Shafto's home from sea,

Wed a maid, forgotten me,
Will he love me if I die?
Bonny Bobby Shafto!
watervole: (Default)
 I'm definitely on too many committees.

I've just done the AGM minutes and updated the constitution for Anonymous Morris (but still have all sorts of stuff relating to bookings for next year and updating dance notation on the web site to do)

I have to hold a mini AGM for Southern Star Longsword tonight to see if we have enough people to form a committee. Don't need that many posts, but I'd like it if someone competent offered to do publicity as that's a major job for a small, new, dance group.  I'm doing all the jobs for Southern  Star at present, but sometimes that's what you have to do to get something off the ground.

I'm working on a new constitution for the local Allotment Society -which is a devil of a job.  The Chair doesn't really believe in Constitutions and proposed we adopt one out of an old Allotment book she had, as it was short.  The fact that it set a minimum committee number of three more than we currently have, that it assumed a totally different relationship between the landlord and the Allotment Society than is actually the case and several other  things that simply didn't fit our circumstances was clearly irrelevant. I don't think she'd bothered to read it.

I'm also doing masses of stuff for Wimborne Minster Folk Festival...

I'm feeling tired and short of free time and I really want to sit down for several days and do nothing but knitting.
watervole: (Default)
 Oswin has recently been enjoying Richard reading Dr Seuss books like 'One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish' to her.  While the illustrations are amusing, it's probably the rhyme and rhythm of the words that are a big part of the appeal.

So, today, I tried 'The Jumblies' on her.  (the last time I tried, she was still too young and wasn't interested, but now she's nearly 2 1/2)

Big success.

Read it half a dozen times throughout the day and followed that up with a couple of readings of 'The Owl and the Pussycat'.

Only a few pictures for each poem.  Definitely the words that she loved. Big smile at the end each time and requests for another reading.

Edward Lear's poems appear to be working for yet another generation of children.  Oswin has no idea what all the made-up words mean, but it doesn't seem to bother her any more than it did my generation.  Personally, I think a runcible spoon is a spoon with holes in it (the kind you use for draining things).  It fits Lear's cheerful illogic.

 Far and few, far and few,
            Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
      Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
            And they went to sea in a Sieve.

I think the time may have come to get Kipling off my bookshelf.  Oh yes, my best beloved.  I'm itching to read her the 'The Elephant's Child' and the other Just So stories. My father read them to me, and I read them to my children.  They were written to be read aloud, the words roll along.  "What does the crocodile have for dinner?"
"Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and find out."

Go and read it again, you know you want to!  And if you've never read it, find a child and read it to them immediately.
watervole: (Default)
 This is Oswin directing a digger near her house.  (having parents who regularly do convention tech means that she already has the high vis jacket)

watervole: (Default)
 Southern Star were practicing this evening when we found a group of local teenagers having a fag break from the rain under the porch of the library.

So, as one does, we invited them in to watch us practice our dance.

When they were impressed by that, I gave three of them swords (the 4th one decided just to watch) and proceeded (as one does) to teach them the dance. They picked up really quickly and greatly enjoyed it.  I think there's a fighting chance we might see one of two of them again. I hope so. They were a nice group of kids and have real potential as dancers.

I was amused near the end when one of them commented how much energy I had. I'm three times her age and this was a dance done at a brisk walk.   It really is nothing on the energy front.

Last week, I was on the canals, running between locks in a flight, winding stiff paddle gear and pushing open heavy lock gates. Now, that requires energy!  (and I'm aware that I can't run long distances without slowing down for a break now and then.)

Take up morris dancing and  retain the illusion of staying young and fit...

Longsword

Sep. 10th, 2016 04:46 pm
watervole: (Default)
 I'm having general fun with longsword related stuff.

I did four informal longsword workshops at Discworld and people really enjoyed them.

I'm getting a lot better at teaching the dances now. Once upon a time, I would probably have gone into great detail, telling people where they had to move, and the steps they should take, and which way they should turn at the end of the move. In a typical longsword dance, there are 6 people and each of them will be taking different actions.
 
Now, my typical approach is to give everybody a sword, get them to stand in a straight line behind me, say: "Follow me and do what I do."
 
This usually gets everyone through the first four moves of the dance without any difficulty at all. The more complicated moves, such as a double under, can often be tackled by saying: "You two make an arch; Julie and I will go under it. When you get to the other side, turn round and come back again. Steve follow Julie, Jennifer follow me."
 
This works 9 times out of 10. People instinctively turn in the correct direction, even when they've never done a sword dance in their lives. Sometimes, giving too much detail can actually confuse people.
 
The detailed instructions for double under come to several paragraphs and can be surprisingly difficult to understand.
 
Longsword, possibly more than any other kind of dance, is easiest to learn by actually doing it. And it's more fun that way.
watervole: (Default)
 Bill, send me your email address.  I can't contact you via Dreamwidth as you haven't confirmed your address with them.

we're doing another Games Weekend.

Contact Judith dot Proctor at Gmail.com
watervole: (Default)
 Here's Oswin sitting in front of her great-grandad behind the engine her great-great-grandad made. (With granny - me in purple trousers, and grandad - Richard sitting on the bench, in the background)




watervole: (Default)
 The local paper did a short article about my Sword dance group

watervole: (Default)
 I'm starting to realise that the greatest hazard of getting old isn't dying yourself, but that all the people you've grown up with start dying.

This has been a bad year.  Gareth Thomas, Terry Pratchett (and several other actors I enjoyed), my mother in law and now, this weekend, a concertina friend of mine.

Gary and I met regularly to play concertina - and now we won't any more.  He was an odd bloke.  Rude and a bit annoying in group settings, but much easier to get on with on a one to one basis.  (Some of that may have come from social awkwardness)  I'd known him for a very long time, but we only became friends this last year.  He was my kind of musician. Neither of us were great concertina players, but both good enough to play for morris. It's always more fun to play with people at your own ability level.

He died a  couple of days ago, but I didn't want to sour my parent's diamond wedding party by talking about him then.  They're getting very old and frail (though still with full mental capacity) and besides, no one else there really  knew him.

The Diamond Wedding was a good party. Brought together members of the family I rarely get to see.  Really good to meet with them again.

We went to the Stockport and District Model Engineers railway track on the Sunday and my father steamed up the model engine (Puffer) that my grandad built (and the model engineers have adopted and cared for and repaired and rebuilt as necessary over the years).  Oswin got to ride on the carriage pulled by her great great grandad's engine.

I nearly cried there.  It's many years now since my grandad died, but the smell of the engine in steam brought him right back to me -he had a track that ran the length of his back garden and used to give us rides. He made around a dozen engines, but I only know where two of them are now.  (He sold most of them.  No point in keeping too many in the family as they need to be looked after by people who know how to use/maintain them and have the skills to keep a valid boiler certificate, etc.)
watervole: (Default)
 Here's the first picture of Southern Star longsword.

Photo:


I know we'll often have different numbers of dancers, so I'm working on sword locks for different numbers of dancers.  This is a sword lock for four (in fact the only possible lock for four - anything else would fall apart).

You can see two more photos (including a six man lock) on the Southern Star Longsword website along with pictures of longsword dancers in Lingdale, Yorkshire in the 1960s.


watervole: (Default)
 One of the things I've wanted to do for the last few years is to start a longsword dance group.

A couple of weeks ago, I realised that if I didn't do it soon, I'd get too old to be able to do it at all.

So, I've taken the plunge. Southern Star Longsword will meet at our local library on Monday evenings.

I'd write more, but I'm knee deep in sorting out insurance, publicity, bank account, etc.

Even if the team doesn't get enough members to be viable, all these things still need to be done.

And, I also know from experience (getting Anonymous Morris started) that if you have the faith to do all these things and publicise and dance at every possible opportunity, then the odds are greatly increased that you will get your team off the ground.

I'm also on the committee for next year's Wimborne Minster Folk Festival, so getting seriously busy with that as well.
watervole: (Judith)
I grew up on Robert Heinlein and a few other writers.

Heinlein, to a kid with a developing interest in science and the stars was wonderful.  His science was as accurate as was possible at the time his books were written.  His characters wrestled with how much mass they could fit on a spaceship without wrecking the acceleration, they had to consider inertia, trajectories and all sorts of stuff that invovled real science and real math.

I trusted him.  (Even at that age, I think I was aware that his stories with Martian canals were written at a time when Martian canals were believed to exist)  He never let me down.  I absorbed knowledge from his novels, and that was something I came to like.

I want novels both to entertain and inform.

(I remember in later years, being amazingly pleased by a couple of novels by Desmond Bagley that had really good geology and weather science in them)

And that is why I really HATE it when a novelist lies to me.  To me, it is incumbent on a writer to get their facts correct. I hate it in fan writing, even more in pro writing.

I know fan writers who take enormous pains to get facts correct. They will do research on dates, living conditions, language, etc.

And there are some professional writers who don't.

A friend of mine commented a couple of days ago about a romace writer who had bobcats and lynx in Regency England and it reminded me of a romance I read recently in which the Regency heroine kept a tank of lobsters.

I've kept fish myself.  I have no idea at all how a character living a long way from the sea (and thus unable to refill the tank with fresh sea water) would be able to keep the water clean (no electricty to power a filter pump).  She can't refill with fresh water because keeping the salinity correct is a problem even for modern marine tanks.  Also, how is she going to seal the tank?  What waterproof sealants exist in the Regency period that aren't toxic to marine life?

For a tank large enough to keep lobsters, she's  also going to need strong plate glass, not easy to come by in remote parts of Scotland.  You'd probably have to have it made specially and then transported without breakages along poor quality roads in a waggon.

except, of course, you couldn't get plate glass back then...  The processes to manufacture flat glass weren't around until the late 1840s and the early versions were very expensive.  Regency windows were made of little square panes of glass, roughly 15cm across.

So, I won't read anything by that writer again.

It's not just annoyance with things that are wrong, it's about suspension of disbelief.  If I catch a writer in an error or two, I stop believeing in the story.  If I no longer believe in the background, how can I believe in the characters?

I like reading Georgette Heyer and Patrick O'Brien, though both can be hard work on occasion.  Neither of them take any prisoners.  If you aren't prepared to work with a dictionary in hand, you'll miss a lot of the nuances.  (You can survive without, but it's more interesting with).  Both use language that is often missing from the dictionary on my Kindle -it really is a horribly basic dictionary - but it manages around 50% of the terms that I look up in Heyer.  I don't have O'Brien on Kindle, but luckily I do have A Sea of Words which is an incredibly useful guide/dictionary to his naval books (far more useful than online dictionaries and Google).

I've read both on occasion without any reference works to hand and enjoyed them, but the enjoyment is enhanced for me if I look up terms like barouche and sheer-hulk.  I get a better mental picture of the world in whch the characters live and how they interact with it.  I also learn some real history in the process.

Although I enjoy fantasy novels, they'll never be the staple of my reading.  They can only teach you about their own internal world and that knowledge doesn't carry over.

Fantasy can be easier for some writers - the background is invented   (though I can still be really annoyed by fantasy writers who break their own internal rules) and just as hard for others.  I like fantasy writers who want their world to work as a complete organism, and that can actually require a fair bit of research.  eg. The techniques for bulding a timber frame house will be exactly the same whether your world has dragons or not.

So, I'm a reserach junkie, and I like reading books by other research junkies - but they must still have strong characterisation and a good plot.  (Actually, thinking about two recent books I've enjoyed, I can be happy with a fairly simple storyline if the rest is good.)
watervole: (Default)
 This video shows how to do double-faced tablet weaving. It's a harder to learn technique, but very versatile once you've mastered it.

You may want to click on the closed caption box if the sound is poor.  I've done a full set of subtitles.


I wasn't clear enough in the video about the card-turning sequence. Each 'square' on your chart requires two turns of the cards in the SAME direction - with a pass of the shuttle for each turn. Thus, there is an ongoing 2 forward, 2 backwards turning sequence throughout the weaving. This has the advantage of greatly reducing the amount of twist building up in the warp threads.



Here's my new shuttle that Alex Holden made for me.  I thought it was very good value for £10 including postage.  (I'm happy to supply his contact details if you want your  own) You may notice in the video that I've adapted my weaving style, now I have shuttle and beater combined in one.




Here's the pattern I used for my space invaders hat band; (the bottom two on the left were the ones I chose, but you could use any combination)



and here's how it came out:





Single threaded version above - alternately threaded version below


I'm very pleased with the result.

watervole: (Default)
 I've done the video, but the sound quality (as always) is very poor, so I'm adding subtitles. It's a slow process, but I'm half way through.

When I finally get there, you'll be able to weave anything from space invaders to alphabets (provided you buy/design the pattern you desire).

Profile

watervole: (Default)
Judith Proctor

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jan. 20th, 2017 09:42 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios