Icy = Fail (by )

So I have been desperatly trying to keep the house warm - the new fire that my brother got is great - as long as there is fuel and kindling for me to light it and keep it going at a the rate of about one descent log every half hour. This fuel and kindling also needs to be dry and in the house where I can reach it.

But things have turned colder so I burnt the wood faster than normal to get the house up to 10 degrees :/ I put the electric heater on that Mum got us as well even though Alaric always moans about this.

The warmest I got the house was 12 degrees.

I left a goodly amount of wood in the fire over night and it was still glowing this morning, but I still struggled to light the fire - mainly as Alaric hadn't had time to get dry kindling and so had broken up a load of wet twigs for me - he'd hoped they would dry out.

I think it would have been fine if we hadn't had a power outage but after getting Jean ready for school she found ice all over the inside of the door 🙁 And then we looked at the other windows and they all had ice too 🙁 - obviously I have the thermal curtian and stuff over the door, including the draft excluder but - my home is too cold >:( If mum and dad weren't almost here I would be looking at a day of either painfully bringing in logs one at a time or having no fire. I'm not sure how many logs I could bring in like this nor the fact that I would let all the heat I do have out in getting them inside 🙁

It's been working quiet well with Al getting logs in in the morning and me maintaining the fire why he works but I really can't do it on my own 🙁 Plus, he seems to be coding until like 3 am every morning and going straight to the computer in the mornings - making meals which he eats at the computer etc... So I'm struggling to do housework - even loading the dishwasher is a mammoth task at the moment 🙁

Now the ice is making it so that the lady who picks Jean up wont be able too for safty reasons - when it was like this last year we walked Jean up to school. But I can't 🙁 I can't walk that far on ice, on crutches, up a steep hill when I've already hurt myself getting her dress and maybe lighting the fire? It would take me at least 40 minutes to reach the school anyway and then there's no where to sit and have a coffee to recuporate - I'd have to turn round and come back and then do it all again for the 3 o'clock pick up. I know this would only be Thursday and Friday when Al's in London but if he continues going in then I can't think of away to get Jean to the school - I really can not do it.

I had a Dream (by )

Actually I've been having lots of very vivid dreams which doesn't bode well for sugar levels but I haven't got the results of the Glucose Tests back yet - by this time with Jean's pregnancy I had gestational diabetes. But then I often have vivid dreams - many of them are what is termed lucid and I have some sort of control on them. Part of this is the fact that when pain levels are high I don't actually go to sleep properly so I am in a sort of resting trance. They have benifits but it makes it harder for you body to repair itself from injuries - this isn't mumbo jumbo this was out of the Drs mouth at the pain clinic when they attempted to medicate my sleep when we lived back in Essex.

Anyway I thought I really needed to share lasts nights dream. It starts with me trying to get to a PhD interview at Reading University - the PhD is about modeling other solar systems and exo planets etc... I have no idea if Reading does this sort of thing but it was Reading in the dream - the only issue was Alaric was running late so instead of having a nice sedate drive to the interview we had to high jack a state of the art plane from the local army base type place.

As we took off I noticed the tail wasn't actually attached to the plane but the whole thing was segments held together a bit like a kite - the tail itself looked remarkably like a cray fishes or something lobstery only in shiny metal.

We get to the university and I am late - I haven't read the notes on what the things is actually about but they agree to see me anyway as there is only one other candidate - a UG astrophysics girl. I then proceed to think on the spot and tell them that they need to reassess everything. I tell them that what they need in a lovely large database with a nice archive mode - this is sort of a giant wiki with the ability to pull meta structures from the data such as phase diagrams. You see I don't just want to make a database of the planets and the physics but why not add all of mineralogy and astronomy?

Why not had layers where people can choose the data to run their simulations and the like? In the dream I'm in a pale yellow room with aging equipment and they are like - we don't have the money to pay the programmers and our stuff never quiet works.

Of course it doesn't I crow - your not programmers and you just use which ever language you happen to have picked up. Then I tell them not to worry - I'll make the database - I'll make the initial system and we can have people adding their own stuff!

It would be massive and everyone would argue about things added which is were the archive system would come in - they could just take an previous theory ect... With this we could easily extrapolate the composition of planets around other stars. It could have the ability to swap between notations so no more issues over what a Chemist calls a metal compared to a Geologist compared to a Astrophysist etc...

I have to say at this point there was decent in the interviewers - there is of course a problem of who the data belongs too and would we have to pay and keep it secret - that would hamstring the project - it would kill alot of their grants dead etc... alter the peer review system. Subjects that I have touched on before whilst awake!

But then I point out that it would have commercial applications and launched into a whole thing about the gaming industry being a growth sector and how you could build games engines on this thing! (again this is something we are sort of doing anyway in the real world but not with real physics).

I point out that scifi authors and the like would love to get their mitts on such a database too - for it would make world building a lot simpler and you could make smaller custom ones.

They were still like but we need someone to make all this and we just wanted a data monkey to enter numbers into spreed sheets. I laugh and say I can build it for them (I can't but I'm planning on using an advance version of Alaric's Ugarit.).

Anyway it ended with me negotiating to mainly work from home and stuff.

Part of me is now going - this needs to become real! We need to have this database - an extention on an idea I had a few years ago! And Alaric was like that is exactly the sort of thing the archive mode of Ugarit would be good for. The arogance of me in the dream was a suprise though. Besides last time I had a PhD interview I told the person their project was recording the wrong things - which didn't go down too well :/ And this dream is just that rite large - plus there is no way I am going to be doing anything academic for a while either - but it was a cool dream non the less!

Short Listed (by )

Tonight I am heading down to Oxford to read one of my poem as part of the Oxford International Womens Festival. I have been short listed 🙂 This makes me very happy - I shall be reading - which makes me nervous!

Event is 7pm-10pm at the East Oxford Community Centre, 17 November Princes St, on the corner of Cowley Road, just city centre side of Cowley Road.

It's like £4 to get in I think - there is music and stuff and hey I'm pregnant and on crutches so it's entertainment just watching me get on stage 😉

Keeping Positive (by )

It is 6:30 in the morning on a Sunday and I am up and awake and in alot of pain. I haven't slept and am feeling down right grotty. Last night before sleep was attempted I got angry with everyone as I fought the pain and then when I tried to leave the room found that my walking had got so bad I had to use my arms on the furniture to get to the stairs where I promtly burst into what were supposed to be quiet tears.

I've been using crutches outside and attempting to keep walking but have been ok on the short distances needed for shuffling round the house but then a few days ago I slipped on something Jean had left on the floor resulting in a painful crunch from my pelvis. Alaric found me clinging to the door frame of her room. Pelvis didn't really settle much after that - and it felt like when you sprain your ankle. Then last night I went out to a poetry ready and music event (which was fantastic) but the step up to the stage was so high that it hurt getting up there too read and I ended reading my poems shaking - I wasn't sure how much was nerves and how much was pain.

Then tonight we went out for mums birthday - it was postponed from Friday due to her having to have a biopsy for another breast lump 🙁 She gets the results next Friday. When we got home I went upstairs to change and as I tried to change into trousers I cried out in pain. My pelvis again - since then I have not even really been able to hobble - I thought it would settle down but hasn't.

The tears were because the pain is so bad but also because though it has been slow going I have been able to move about with the crutches and in the house with out them - getting little bits of say house work done here and there. This last week when Al went to London were iffy anyway as I found I couldn't do anything really - I managed to feed, wash and cloth me and Jean and feed animals and that is it. Mum and Dad arrived to a house where Jean had unmade the setee, there was three days worth of washing up in the kitchen, the fire no lit and rug covered in crumbs.

Things are seeming quiet bad - and suddenly the third trimester of this pregnancy seems to stretch to infinity. Especially when it was seriously suggested that I might like to cut up some fire wood for Barbara as it would be good exercise for me :/ I was sort of hoping that now we have a car that we could go swimming which is about the only thing I'm supposed to do :/

But I am trying to keep positive.

Mum's biopsy will hopefully be fine fingers crossed

And I am getting a replacement string from my guitar and two books of guitar music - Nursery Rhymes and Christmas Carols so I can play and me and Jeany can sing together. I am also focusing on my writing - I am obviously doing Nanowrimo and PiBoIdMo and am now able to get to some of the nano write-ins. I am going to these reguardless of pain other wise all I have is the pain. It is the same with the poetry reading and stuff - besides I really wanted to see the music and probably more importantly talk to my friends (even if they were distracted as they were running the event!).

The main thing I fear at the moment is losing the use of my hands again - but even then I am trying to remember that the hands don't forget the muscle memory I give them they just don't work for a while and yes it takes a while to get full functionality back but what I learn stays lernt. This is important for me with things like the guitar.

I can't say I'm not feeling down because I am = I have lost the freedom I fought to get by no longer being able to get to the bus stop under my own steam and with the way my pelvis is now being I don't think I can even get out of our little bit of valley 🙁

But I got accosted by people who liked my poetry one Friday - including in the girls toilets! And I am going to a Prize Giving as one of my poems has been short listed on Wednesday. This things I am holding dear.

I am writing draft two of the novel I hope to submit to the Pratchette Prize as well which seems like an achievement in itself.

And lastly - this pregnancy is still much much MUCH better than Jeany's plus unlike last time I can see this bueatiful little girl who is being like my best friend most of the time and I think yes it was hard - so hard last time but look what I got! I have my Jeany and I'm going to have another one 🙂

Jean's been asking me to go through the songs I used to sing to her as a small baby - some of which are the same as now and some of which are different. The first song I sang to her was a sung grace saying thankyou I learnt in Kenya. I thought I was going to die with her and then with the miscarriage and infection we were worried that there wasn't a hope for another baby and yet here I am in the third trimester. This makes me happy - honest - even though I cry in pain I am happy.

Spiky Spoken Word (by )

This Friday I am going to be reading my poetry and depending on how brave I'm feeling maybe some of my sort of rap/performance geek poetry at the Frog and Fiddle . It costs about £4 to get in I think and on top of that there is A F Harold who is well worth a watch for his interesting poems (I'm not biased because he used one of my cats names in his Tweet Poetry for the Cheltenham Lit Festival honest!). There is also Men Diamler and Brown Torpedo who I have been meaning to blog about for ages and have like photos of performances and stuff but haven't gotten round to yet!

Men Diamler is what I think of as a sort Nick Cave / White Strips mix with a dark middle English ring to it. He weaves fantastical and often tragic tails in his music and yes I am a fan 😉

Brown Torpedo are erm... well the only way I can think of describing them off the top of my head is, I suppose - Trippy with that sort ethereal swerl allowing dreams of the present day - or something Simon from Uni would make us all listen too and then tell me they don't exist and I imagined them the next day!

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