zcat_abroad: (Bede)
The problem with reading William of Malmsbury, even just for fun, is that you want to quote soooo much. At anyone who'll stand still for five minutes.  So here are some quotes - you don't have to listen.
Read more... )

Thank you for listening. Just nod and smile, and hope the crazy woman leaves soon. 
zcat_abroad: (Reading)
In Which [personal profile] zcat_abroad  Explains What Kind of Heretic She Is
And tries to explain to some who might have been puzzled )

So there it is. I know this is nothing new, but the installation and maintenance of equal rights are ongoing events, and it will keep being discussed in various circles.  These are my views, I'm aware that you may not agree with them, but I just wanted to let you know where I stand.

*I wish I had chosen not to use the word "choose", as it's one I stumble over the spelling of, e.v.e.r.y. time.

zcat_abroad: (Default)
(Yup, this is a complaining post. On the good side, I LOVE wood-fires.)

Read more... )

Yup, I love my cabin in the woods. If the world ends tomorrow, find me here. We'll have soup, and a fire. Bring your own cat, 'cos we're still lacking one of those.
zcat_abroad: (Default)
So, on Monday we took the Mighty Mighty Mynx(TM) to the vet, and she did not return. The lump that the vet felt in her abdomen turned out to be a tumour in her bowel, which had obstructed it, and caused a big hair ball to build up. There was rupture, and infection, and she had not been getting enough food for a while. It is probable that the problems we saw in her at the end of last year might have been related, but the vet said there was nothing else we could realistically have done - cutting her open because she was over-washing her ankles was not a sensible course of action.

This does not in any way make her passing easier, especially as it seemed so sudden. Last Friday she was looking very weak, we took her to the vet on Saturday and Sunday, and then on Monday, she was gone. I knew she'd been getting on - she was 13 after all, but we had hoped for at least another 5 years. Now the house is horribly empty, despite the fact she was just one of the three occupants, and we don't know quite what to do with ourselves.

Looking back )
Rest in peace, precious kitty, and I hope Heaven was ready for you. Angels are not for eating.


May. 12th, 2013 10:39 am
zcat_abroad: (Kitten)
My poor little kitten (13 years old, pictured in the icon) is really unwell at the moment. She's not been eating for a couple of days, and is not moving very much. When we went to the vet yesterday, she'd lost a lot of weight, and after giving her an antibiotic shot, the vet told us to come back at 5:00pm today (Sunday), so he's obviously worried, too. (He didn't keep her at the clinic, because she hates other people and other cats. She spent the entire time on his table growling.)

We started treating her for arthritis towards the end of last year, because she had been licking the fur off her leg-joints, where there was no visible skin problem, and tests for cancer came back negative. I'm wondering if we should test her again.

She did perk up a bit this morning - went and greeted Zcc when he got up, like she usually does, but without the usual purrs. She keeps sitting in cool spots, when the temperature has plummeted, so I don't know quite what to do. I've been spoon-feeding her bits of special squishy food which the vet prescribed, but she's eaten barely a desert-spoon-ful over the course of 24 hours.

Very worried about my poor little kitty.
zcat_abroad: (Default)
I've just seen two very different approaches to customer interaction and service. How would you react?

Example One: Wendyl Nissen's Green Goddess website, and associated online and physical store. I was directed there by a lady at church on Sunday, when I had a laundry question. (Ladies at church are an amazing source of useful information!)

Wendyl's website is full of useful recipes and tips, how to make almost any cleaner you need, and ideas for living more naturally and simply. (These two things do not always happen at the same time. Sometimes you have to plan very carefully in order to live simply.) Her attached online store has the all of the cleaning items which she's given the recipes for, and the harder-to-source ingredients, and books, which contain the same recipes and other handy hints. These are all also available in her physical store.

What I thought when looking at this was "Great Idea". On the one hand, she is offering free information to make your life cheaper and more natural. Then, she offers (for a small fee) the products which you could produce yourself, but thus supplying the lazy ones of us (a-hem - yes, I bought some pre-made stuff). And she sells you books containing the information freely available. (And, yes, I bought some of those as well, because one day the internet might break. And because they are pretty.)

Example Two: Then there's this store which was reported on the news tonight. An Australian shop which is going to charge window-shoppers $5. If you buy something, the $5 is, um, uncharged. The lady is complaining that people come in to browse, get information for free, and then go and buy the stuff cheaper elsewhere. I'm afraid I really think she should follow Example One's (for lack of a better word)example.
zcat_abroad: (Default)
So, what's the next step? Here, I have three hanks of spun yarn - the first straight alpaca, and the other two alpaca and silk mixed.

Image-heavy wonderings about what's next )


Mar. 17th, 2013 05:55 pm
zcat_abroad: (Default)
I'm not entirely sure I'm doing this right. My carding combs (another Trademe win) might be a bit old, but I think it's rather that I'm not holding my head at the right angle. However, I have managed to spin some of this silk and alpaca mix:

You can't really see the blue here, but it's showing up!

Perhaps it doesn't look like it does on YouTube because the alpaca is already carded? Some bits get well fluffed, and others get stuck in the tines of the combs. All the videos and books make it look so easy!

The boss is not impressed, and has taken over my seat, so I'd better get spinning.

zcat_abroad: (Default)
Dear US crime writers,

Seriously? The minute you start in with anomalies in the bones (or total absence of the bones, 'cos in this case the killer took them) of the hands, face and feet, I know you're heading for leprosy. Does every pathologist, forensic anthropologist, etc., have to have a case of leprosy? I saw it coming 100 pages ago.

What is it about leprosy (or, sorry, Hansen's disease, because that's less... something... I can't work out what) that so intrigues these writers. I have seen it first hand, have met people with it, but I can't see why it keeps turning up in these books. Corpse presents with anomalies, and it takes ages for the anthropologist (Kathy Reichs) or the medical examiner (Tess Gerritsen) to work out what it is. This is a disease which still exists around the world, and so it should not be such a horror or surprise.

I shouldn't be so hard on them, because it is not an issue in the Western world any more, except that it has shown up in two books I happened to read, both by authors who are actually anthropologists and doctors, which suggests that it hasn't totally disappeared from the West.

There, I have had my rant.

zcat_abroad: (Default)
Following on from accidentally buying a spinning wheel, I have been experimenting with spinning, and gradually getting some confidence. When I mentioned it at the BigMuseum today, one of the curators said I should blog about the whole process. Well, I have a fair number of photos so far, and various posts on Facebook, so I should probably try to bring them together.

(Also, it might mean I have something to say here!).

So, step one: buy a spinning wheel.

Step two: sit watching it for a while, then start playing - spinning with no wool, then spinning with a long piece of yarn, to see how things feed on to the bobbins.

Step three: start spinning up the alpaca fibre you bought months before the spinning wheel.

Yup, that's right. Not only do I accidentally buy things, I buy other things in the wrong order. To be fair, I had been practising drop-spinning, on a spindle, with some lovely silk & merino sliver (at that point, salvia and juniper - I now have some damson to work with). That was lots of fun, especially when I took it to the council meeting. But I didn't want to mess up the alpaca, especially when I had some beautiful light and dark blue silk I wanted to add to it.

Alpaca - carded, from the fleece of Farmaglen Ice Maiden:

Things I plan to add to the alpaca:

My first bobbin of plied alpaca:

And the first hank of finished alpaca:

So, what's next? I plan on mixing the silks with alpaca, and plying them in gradually increasing colour strength. Then I have to make an item using the different gradients, showing my development as a spinner. Come and watch!
zcat_abroad: (Default)
So, a Private Member's bill calling for "Marriage Equality" has been drawn by ballot this week. What this means is that people's opinions are coming out into the open, and already I've seen a fair bit of shredding and flaming on my Facebook page.

I think this is an important issue - and I'm really glad it's come up. However, it does mean that I'm going to be using up a lot of patience, while trying to explain, calmly and clearly, that it's an issue of human rights, and in no way invalidates anyone's heterosexual marriage. Calmly and lovingly, when all I want to do is smack people's heads together.

Or, I could just not log on to Facebook. But that way, I can't help right a wrong.
zcat_abroad: (Default)
Today's entry will be focused on various forms of transport. Here's one that I drove myself!

More Below ) Not much time left! Did I mention that the first thing I ate with my new teeth was mango and sticky rice? Food of the gods!
zcat_abroad: (Default)
Eep! Really falling behind with this whole 'daily write up' thing!
See below for details )
zcat_abroad: (Default)
And then there are days that you just have to post about... Island Jaunt )
zcat_abroad: (Default)
Hmm, not doing so well at this 'posting every day' thing, but sometimes not much happens. General Round-up )

Then back to the hotel for a much needed shower, and a swim, and we're off to the islands tomorrow!
zcat_abroad: (Default)
So, Sunday.  Sunday in Phuket means one thing for me - time to head out to the village church.  Much of this first bit will be of interest to family, only.
Probably a bit religious )
After Lunch )

zcat_abroad: (Default)
It was a dark and not very stormy night, but cold, when we packed our bags, said goodbye to the cat, and headed to the airport.Full story below )


zcat_abroad: (Default)

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