Today on the outskirts of Gloucester we saw an old man litter picking the road verges with his own bin in hand - I found this inspirational and heart breaking - the litter should not be there for a start, and litter that is a accident etc... should get cleaned up as part of the city maintenance, the old man is caring for his local environment and as such is a leading light. I couldn't get a photo and it started raining so I have drawn a sketch of him from memory.
Today I had a bit of a mixed medium day - I went to UWE (University of the West of England) in Bristol to look around their science communication centre and to talk about maybe doing the post graduate certificate there. Being me I arrived stupidly early and was doing my normal clumsy performance with my paper work and bag and what not. My legs have also not recovered from the poetry festival yet so I found keeping up with the lovely woman who was showing me around a bit hard but I managed it.
The university campus is quiet different to UCL and IC and for that matter the OU - there was lovely wall art/graffiti type stuff with inspiring messages through out the place - they are more the sort of thing I would have expected at a six form college - but I love this type of art work so annoyed students by getting in there way to take pictures.
They also had a random fruit and veg stall inside!
The department itself looked pretty much like others I have been in that have not yet had some sort of corporate make over. There were examples of publications and works of the students on the walls and an air of hard work. I feel I was't my normal energetic self as I was having a mild flare up but then in many ways this is a good thing as I needed to check I could get about on a not so good day anyway.
As many of you know I came out of the failed to complete MRes experience knowing that I enjoyed putting together my talk and writing the essays more than I probably should have - add that to the fact that I have been building myself up as a writer and artist over the last few years and the natural shift is obvious - science communication. I've been looking at this course for a while and got a prospectus last year and have tracked down people who have done the course and spoken to friends at the uni about what it is like.
The course sounds more doable due to the structure of it than the MRes was as I like to focus on things - it is in blocks of 3 days which means it is less travel time etc... than what I was doing before which was all evenings and in London. I also now live in walking distance to the train station that takes me to the train station in Bristol I need which is a vast improvement!
I am applying for the bursary but there is only one so it is unlikely that I will get it though I have already writing the first draft of an article for it. Alaric also things this is far more doable than last time - we are in a more stable position and I have back up money for it in case and it is going be less of an issue with finding child care solutions.
Having said all this I am still nervous that I will not get a space or that something will go wrong but I still have to try. And that leads me to module choices - I want to do them all to be honest :/
After the meeting I wondered out to meet Al who was in Bristol (almost getting myself hit by a car as I was looking the wrong way :/ due to being confused about traffic flow and the round about! I also had my waist length hair down which was stupid as it was sooooo windy). He popped over to pick me up and whilst I was waiting I found goslings!
The photos are not brilliant as the light levels kept changing and it was soooo windy - I tied my hair up!
There were ducks and moles too!
I also found a bench with The Personal is Political written on it.
Once home we went to get a cat tree to stop the kitten shredding everything - Mary was not impressed that I had gotten out of the car without her again at Bristol so was very clingy - as was the kitten.
When I got home - I sat down in the nursing chair for a rest and... was instantly covered in cute things!
Last night Mary said her first full and clear Lojban word mlatu meaning cat, she has been saying contractions and muddled versions of words such as dui for ladiu (milk) and of course saying half English half Lojban words. But this was really clear - it came after a day of her pointing to the cats and asking me 'Cat?', to the kitten - 'cat?' yes, 'baby?' yes, 'itten?' yes, 'baby ca?' yes and so on. Then when Alaric had her and the kitten on his lap she said 'mlatu' to which he responded yes.
I'v been working on this concept of making a language primer starting with English and Lojban, it started with lojbani chicken and I have been constructing characters ever since. As part of teaching Mary lojban Al had drawn a face and written the lojban words on it so I thought you know I should get a move on with this and draw Mother Lang's face so we can make a proper version of this.
And so I have. Of course I had to completely finish designing her first which ment drawing all of her! That picture is still a pencil sketch! I'm happy with this one. The idea is that she is the Mother of Language, she has two daughters Coni and Nat who represent constructive languages and natural languages and they live on a farm with such creatures as Lojbani Chicken etc...
Just before we moved to the new house I came up with the idea of Lojbani Chicken, a character who would help Jean or anybody else understand and learn Lojban but I wanted it to be more than that. I wanted some sort of all languages web-comic thing which is obviously very complex and so it never happened - there were some biro sketches in the back of a note book and that was that.
Then I saw this year is Lojban's 25th and so I sat down and revisited the idea of my chicken. The result was more biro sketches and Mother Lang and her two daughters Coni and Nat, they live on a farm where Lojbani chicken is one of the animals.
A full first story will hopefully be appearing on Wiggly Pets soon
Once the image above is digitally edited (this is just what I russeled up using my new birthday pens and colouring pencils.) there will be speech bubbles saying such things as fi'i - meaning welcome.
Other existing characters include Esperanto Cat and Toki Pona kitten. I haven't decided yet what creatures should represent any of the natural languages - mainly due to worrying about offending people :/ I might do something like have made up creatures for natural languages and real animals for the constructed languages - suggestions welcome
I am hoping to produce some more of the characters as part of the 100 birds in 100 days challenge I am currently doing over on Orange Monster.
Little Mary is now two! The last two weeks have seen her suddenly saying more understandable words, she asks for cuddles (cuggles), she says Dean (Jean which used to be meemee), she repeats and put her hands on her eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arm etc... she will sort of count with Jean as long as Jean goes slowely enough - just mimicry at the moment. And I was startled to hear her doing the alphabet with my mother.
She still mainly uses the baby sign and asks for milk in Lojban rather than English, she does appear to have taken to only trying to copy the English words though she responds best to the Lojban ones.
She is a little cheeky monkey who climbs on everything and escapes from everything!
She pretends to give herself injections in the tummy (just like my Dad does) and has started proper imagination play.
She was potty training and doing really well and then she forgot to pull her trousers down and now refuses not to have a nappy on. Unless it is near bed/nap time, she will tell us she needs changing - she knows that having her nappy changed is what happens before bed!
She is obsessed with cloths! She has opinions on what she will and will not wear and gets excited - she will even try and steel Jean's cloths - like the rainbow cardigan my mum knitted - 'MINE! Mine!'.
She sings nursery rhymes enough for me to guess what she is singing (normally twinkle twinkle little star), her grin is so large if I get it right
She mimics sounds so clicks like indicators (Jean did this too), makes a squeak like the broken tumble dryer and the scraping noises of zombies in Mine Craft.
If she wants to go out she will go to the clean laundary pile, select cloths, put her wellies on, get her ruck sack, fill it with toys and beaker, put her coat on and drag a blanket around - she gets very annoyed when you then say it's nap time. Sometimes we take her out just because she's put so much effort into it.
She is getting there with petting the cats and they tolerate being used as warm fluffy pillows.
She is still diddy but seems robust enough - not as much as Jean was she can't take the cold very well where as Jean never seemed to notice or want to really ware cloths!
She will tiggle tiggle you! This is high pitched and involves lifting your top and tiggling your tummy
She is a putting things away baby She will tidy up putting stickle bricks away etc... unlike Jeany who is a messy little moo
She can get very cross - not laid back at all like her sister and is more clingy but at the same time is more likely to sit and play on the carpet next to the dest rather than having to have me entertain her. She loves her sister most of the time and runs up and hugs her but not when Jean is asking for hugs! Though if anyone is crying she will hug them.
I made Jean cry by telling her off about tidying bedrooms, Mary took one look at the poor sobbing Jean and instantly joined in and this was proper crying from both of them. I felt like a really bad mummy but had to stick to my guns.
Mary is definatly a hobbit - she has second breakfast though you are hard pushed to get anything other than a snack into her for the rest of the day.