stevieannie: (Default)
 Just so as you know...

The charging jack fell out of the bottom of Tim's phone yesterday, and the battery died (we think the two things are linked).  So he is currently without his mobile.  Annoyingly enough, the cost to fix it is far more than just getting a new one (clue: the new one is free), and whilst I happily paid the extra for my new crockpot inner last month, any spare pennies can be better utilised elsewhere at the moment.

So he is being sent a new phone through - tragically not an iPhone, but something similar by a different company.  Until the new phone arrives (next week I expect) he has *my* mobile phone.  (I don't need it very often - he does).

If you need (and don't have, obviously) my mobile number to contact Tim, then let me know!
stevieannie: (Default)
Good news!  ManorCon now has enough members to run!!!!  Yay!!!!  

We do, however, have plenty of space still available if you'd like to come :-)

Both the Thursday and Sunday options are now open, so if you'd like to extend your holiday into a four night stop, there will be lots of good company for you :-)

Bad news...  There is definitely something going on with my post.  I know that at least two sets of forms and cheques have been posted and never received. Things being sent to my old address shouldn't make a difference as I know the new residents extremely well, and they are passing all my post forwards on a daily basis.  I'm going to be consolidating the membership list within the next week and letting everyone know who has paid and who still owes me some money.  If necessary, bank transfers might be the safest way.

I'm now starting to think about programme items.  This is the fun bit!!!!  I really want to get away from the idea of there only being performers and audience - it's not about whether you're "good enough".  It's about joining in and having fun.  Some of our members are accomplished performers and if you'd like to perform in a 'concert' setting, it would be wonderful to hear you.  It might be fun to put together some insta-band type performances for those who don't often get to perform like that.  I'd also be lying if I said I didn't want at least a few good old singsongs which *everyone* can join in with, as well.  Songwriting workshops and crafting-expertise swapshops would be great too.  So much to do - so little time to do it all!  If there's something you'd like to see, let me know and I'll put it into the tombola.  I can't promise it'll get pulled out, but if it ends in a '5' or a '0' then you might get a can of mystery soup.  Or maybe that's just my village féte...

Right - onwards and upwards!

ManorCon

Jun. 23rd, 2010 02:04 pm
stevieannie: (Default)
 Have you joined yet?  Are you up for a wonderful weekend of fun, filk and frivolity in beautiful Halsway Manor?

This is pretty much the last call for memberships for ManorCon, and I really need to fill some more rooms with filkers ready to both entertain and be entertained in equal measure!

We aren't having a "headline guest", because I'm hoping that everyone will take turns to perform and to make music *together*, rather than just listening to a single performer.  Manorcon will hopefully be about the joy of community music-making, and I'd love to welcome more of you along to it.  Having said that, our membership list is definitely stuffed with lots of people that you will want to hear more of...

If you haven't yet received an email entitled "ManorCon Memberships", then I don't have you registered as a member, so feel free to join RIGHT NOW!!!

Twice, possibly :-D
stevieannie: (Default)
There's something up with my computer.  I think "virus" is up with my computer.

A whole bunch of .dll files won't run because they are infected, and I'm getting threat warnings from both Resident Shield  and AVG scans, but AVG can't "heal" the problem as it says it can't find the infected files.

Superantispyware is running, but not finding much.

Any ideas, oh fList?
stevieannie: (Default)
Lidl cheapest jam is about 100% nicer than Tesco's Finest.

Just sayin'.
stevieannie: (Empowered)
Or, as I titled the In Debt Net entry: "Am I a Millionaire Yet?"...

There's been some thinking going on, and some planning.  Some of it may be more useful than others.  Of course, what I'd most like to do is go busking for a bit, but as it's weeing down with rain and I can't find my tuning bag, and I blew an F string last night ("Plonk!" went the harp during tea.  "Bugger!" went I...) I don't think it's going to happen today.

Maybe I need to give some thought to indoor busking.  Or playing somewhere picturesque.  Hmmm.  Need photos and demo.  Hmmm.

Plan, plan, plan.  Plot, plot, plot.

I also love Jane's idea of "selling" bricks with people's names on them.  Because of conservation rules, the names would have to be on the inside face, but the idea of putting them somewhere where they'd surround us is... utterly lovely. 
stevieannie: (Default)
When faced with a choice between "panic" and "do something constructive", I have learned over the last 12 years or so that the latter choice is almost always the best one.  Panic just gives you headaches, ulcers and a really poor sleep pattern.

With this in mind, I have updated The In Debt Net as regards my need for bricks AND a clear credit history...
stevieannie: (Default)
There comes a point in your life, when standing in a picturesque clearing in Nocton, dressed in medieval garb and watching your husband playing the arse end of a huge dragon (and getting paid for it), that you reflect on how much more interesting life is now than it would have been if you had married a solicitor or a doctor.

Much as I might wish that the whole world could run on barter, it doesn't.  But if you've got to make extra money somehow, I can tell you that there are most definitely worse ways of doing it than playing harp in the sunshine for 45 minutes and then taking part in a children's drama procession.  Watching your friends and acquaintances playing: the rear end of a dragon, a giant duck and George the papier-maché giant is also a high point, as are cream teas and good chats with mates in churchyards.

Yesterday was seventeen different kinds of mad, but very, very fun.

Oh yes.  There are most definitely worse ways to earn a living :-D
stevieannie: (Dream)
Spent last night as a guest musician on the Poacher Line Music Train, running between Sleaford and Wainfleet.  It goes to Wainfleet because, handily,  it is the home of Bateman's Brewery. 

You get on the train at Sleaford, and the refreshments trolley comes round.  Refreshments trolley is entirely made up of different types of Bateman's beer, all at a heavily discounted price.  When you're the musicians, you find a spot wherever you can and start singing or playing.  Last night was a triple headliner, where the Choir With No Name featured heavily, with guest spots from Wilderwood and Liam UTMP and Tim.  People are constantly squeezing past you to get to the beer trolley, or to get to their mates in the other carriage or whatever.  It's not a gig for those who prefer to be unassailable!

The train was *packed*.  There was so much beer being drunk that it smelled like a brewery.  I can confirm this statement is true because when we got off the train, we actually WENT to the brewery.  Yup, when the train stops at Wainfleet, everyone piles out and wanders up the road to Bateman's Brewery, whereupon you drink more cheap beer, play old-fashioned pub games and the musical guests are hopefully entertaining.  I was given a burger which was about the same size as my head, and a bottle of "Combined Harvest" which is deliciously more-ish (and I don't even LIKE beer!).  We have decided to buy Bateman's by the crate...  The Choir sang Paul Dickinson's "Sausage Song", and then we led "Thousands or More".  We sang "Roll Down" with help from the choir on the choruses and finished off with "Hunting the Hare" (which got faster with every sip of beer - I can say "ne'er such a frisker at fate cocked a whisker or bustled us brisker than yonder old jack!" faster than you would believe.) and my anarchistic version of "The Lincolnshire Poacher".  We all finished off with "Barrett's Privateers" and drank more beer.  Hurrah!

By this point, if you're not comfortable with being in the company of a couple of hundred jovial singing drunks waving bottles of beer about, you're probably in the wrong place.  The train back was late, so we had a singsong on the platform.  One lovely chap broke into "O Sole Mio" at one point and seemed quite overcome when everyone joined in (although it's quite difficult finishing it without seguing into the Cornetto theme...).  The whole platform was singing and swaying and drinking more beer.  As Liam pointed out, usually when you're this drunk and singing on a train platform, there is an opposition team on the opposite platform to shout insults at and possibly charge at some point.  Not so on this occasion - we were all happy as larks, waving our bottles about (the organiser had more bottles on the platform...) and (as the song says) roaring and rolling like old english sailors....   The train was about 40 minutes late, and the conductor looked rather stressed when we wouldn't stop singing and get on the train.  He looked even more stressed when he tried to collect tickets, but just kept getting asked to sing the tenor line on "Sloop John B" instead.  I think he gave up, which was a wise decision.

On the way back we had another roaring singsong, featuring "Bohemian Rhapsody" (including guitar solos, as sung loudly by Tim), and were treated to the occupants of carriage no. 1 conga-ing down the aisles whilst singing "Come and join the Cong-A!".  We had an impromtu ocarina solo from a Sleaford Ukulele Orchestra member who had an app on his iPhone.  So of course we sang, "Wild Thing".  We met Dave from Tennessee ("F***!  That's a long way to come for a beer!") and most of the members of the Sleaford Ukulele Orchestra.  We met Steve ("no ph!") who liked "What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor", and Mr O Sole Mio, who wanted a whole night of sea shanties.

Oh and the beer trolley came around again. 

Quite a lot.

When we finally staggered off at Sleaford, we all serenaded our fellow passengers with "Morningtown Ride".

Blimey.  That was *so* much fun!!!!! 

P.s.  Would it be smug of me to say that I don't have a headache today, either?  I *like* Bateman's!
stevieannie: (Weemee)
Chasing up ManorCon paperwork, I thought our bonkers postman had eaten a cheque, but it turns out that forms and cheques had been put in "a safe place" for the move.  I wasn't aware of this safe place, so have been blissfully unaware of a whole load of memberships.  Oops.

I will be paying cheques in this afternoon, and doing room allocations this evening (with the aid of a stiff drink), whereby I will attempt to get everyone at least *something* vaguely resembling what they want.

So, if you haven't heard from me regarding ManorCon, I apologise and plead the Box Defence.  I will be putting it right today.

In other news: I really hate those boxes that are full of vaguely useful stuff that can't be thrown away (craft supplies, rubbers, calculators, old school photos and screwdrivers) but don't really have a home.  I found one of them labelled "office drawer stuff" under the box with my missing paperwork.  I can't imagine where all the useless stuff will end up, but it's too useful to throw away.  *sigh* It can stay there for now...
stevieannie: (Weemee)
I am intrigued.

Apparently many MPs are complaining about the new expenses rules which have been introduced this term.  They are required to do things like prove their expenses via receipts, and take the cheapest public transport option where possible.  Shocking.

I was most intrigued by one (unnamed) MP saying, "It's grossly unfair, we are being treated like benefit claimants!".

Is it me, or is this finally admitting that the way we treat the jobless in this country is a damn long way away from being civilised?
stevieannie: (willow)
May today be the finest of days to the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] land_girl .

I hope that the next year brings you artistic satisfaction, inarticulate joy and chickens :-)
stevieannie: (Default)
Frank and I need a name.  Not a silly name - we've got plenty of fun ideas for silly names, but they are not a good idea for playing at weddings and funerals which need a certain gravitas*.

Help us, Obi-Wan Kenofriendslist, you are our only hope!

* We've had lots of laughs with "String Theory", "Rite of String" (thanks Marion!) and so forth, but I don't think that the string thing is going to work for serious bookings.  I must also sadly accept that this is not the right band to be the "Funky Party Weasels" name that I want to use so badly...
stevieannie: (Good Life)
I have discovered the perfect low carbon use of my car.  I was so pleased with myself that I wrote it up on Lilliput Farmer

I fact I'm so pleased that I'm still sniggering about it...
stevieannie: (Empowered)
I don't have live TV and don't plan to get it, but I *do* have a live internet connection and a fond relationship with the BBC iPlayer.  I tend to download "must-see" programmes overnight and then watch the next day.  Currently on our "must-see" list are:

Gardeners' World
Doctor Who
The Edible Garden

The last is *wonderful*.  I like Alys Fowler anyway - she's got all of the 'get stuck in' appeal of Charlie Dimmock with a nice line in retro mini-skirts and wellie boots.  And best of all?  She appears to be teaching Britain permaculture and self-sufficiency without telling them that's what she's doing and scaring them. 

I thoroughly approve.

Tim bought me her "The Thrifty Gardener" book for my birthday last year, and I really enjoyed it.  Gardening books are my huge weakness at the moment.  If I'm not actually on the allotment, I want to be reading about gardening.  It's like crack-cocaine, but with more cups of tea....

Because I use "The Book People", I get friendly little updates telling me about new products.  That's nice of them, eh?  But this month they have a special on the book that accompanies "The Edible Garden"!!!!  It's considerably cheaper through The Book People than the RRP.  Last year they had a special on "The Victorian Farm" book, which I manfully resisted and have regretted resisting ever since.

But I don't *need* another gardening book.  I doubt it will say anything that I have n't got in another book.  I can think of about 2 dozen better things to do with the money.  But...

Curse you, Alys! Curse you and your cutely dappy dress sense and charmingly Victorian garden!  Curse you for your accessible presenting style and tendency to eat things whilst talking to camera!

I'll wait and order it from the library.  We'd drown under gardening books if I didn't show just a *smidgeon* of self-control occasionally... 

Ducks!

Apr. 17th, 2010 12:31 am
stevieannie: (Default)
I've just updated "Lilliput Farmer" with more information about the ducks.

I've grown surprisingly fond of them over the past few days, and have decided to keep the ones that we have.  I forsee some kind of overly stressed LF post in a month's time about trying to make a duck pen out of pallets and gaffer tape...

I don't think it hurts at all that ducks seem to be far more comedic than even chickens, which I thought were the funniest things *ever*. 

Anyway, we're all completely besotted by them, and the kids are already teaching them to eat out of their hands, and Smelly McCoy seems to think that Jared is his mother (oh, the joys of early imprinting!) so it's a bit like living in an episode of the Good Life one way or another.

Next term Ellie's class project is "Farming" so I suspect that the Bonkers Triplets might get an outing to utterly disrupt any concerted efforts at learning in an orderly fashion...  Should be fun one way or another...
stevieannie: (Good Life)
The sunshine seems to have gone away for a bit.  I think it's struggling to make it's way through the layer of Icelandic volcano ash...  Still, it's a perfect day for thinking and writing. 

Today's Lilliput Farmer post is about eggs...

I've got a greenhouse full of seedlings, a whole bunch of keen allotment holders digging their new plots, ducklings in the heated pen and a husband at a paid recording session.  I've had a bash at the bouzouki, seen a set of lyrics from a dear friend mentioning both me and my son which reminds me of delights still packed and waiting to come out and make me happy again.  Life's pretty good :-)

Now I just need to find a recipe for risotto, and strip the chicken ready to make the stock ...

What's made you contented today?

stevieannie: (Default)
*Years* ago there was a multi-part magazine thing called "Real Robots".  Jared had it for ages and built the robot that came with it.  When we moved it got stored.  He's just found it again but is missing one of the cables with part 63. 

We've checked Ebay, but the last issue 63 sold a fortnight ago.

I don't suppose anyone out there has issue 63 with the parts do they?  It's a 5 part multi-cable....

I know it's a long shot, but it's worth asking.  We're happy to pay!
stevieannie: (Good Life)
Tim and I used to be fully paid-up members of the consumerist society.  We always had the "must-have" gadgets, and we could think of nothing nicer to do on a weekend than go shopping.

Needless to say, we got out of the habit.

We do still buy things, although these days we try to do it as little as possible.  However, when both of Tim's good pairs of trousers developed holes in the knees, it was time to buy more trousers and possibly investigate some of the other joys of Lincoln.  One of the things that we had been recommended to look at was the gardening section at "Poundland".  I had been somewhat sceptical to put it mildly, but was VERY impressed.  So impressed, in fact, that I blogged about it over at Lilliput Farmer.

By the end of the day, despite having stopped for locally made cake and tea, we were all still exhausted.  I think we've forgotten how to go recreational shopping.  This felt more like endurance shopping!  (It *all* feels like endurance shopping these days...)  However, I am thrilled that we got bargains and deals on everything we bought, and didn't pay full price for a single thing (and that they were all things we actively wanted prior to the trip, instead of 'saw and fancied' whilst in town.).  We didn't feel strangely fulfilled by the purchasing experience, but we didn't expect to, so that's OK.  We also got all the things we wanted, even when a lot of it was as exciting as "headache tablets" and "toilet paper".

You take your thrills where you find them these days!
stevieannie: (Default)
I seem to have been bitten by the updating bug.  Just updated Lilliput Farmer again with a post about what I consider to be essential in our new house.

This fit of writing can't last, surely?  Having lots of fun with it, anyway.

To answer a couple of questions regarding yesterday's post on broody chickens:

A broody chicken is one who has decided that she wants to incubate a clutch of eggs, so she sits down and refuses to move.  She stops laying (which is why one should break them of the habit unless one actually wants chicks) and gets very aggressive when disturbed (or sometimes just completely unresponsive).
Broody chickens - particularly bantams - are often used to incubate all sorts of different fowl - I've seen it done with quail, bantams, full-sized chickens and ducks.  As far as ducks go, most of their behaviours are hard-wired, not learned, so they don't behave any differently to a foster mother.  The biggest difference is that a bantam doesn't have the oil glands to waterproof-preen the ducklings, so they shouldn't be introduced to a pond until their own oil glands start working at 6-8 weeks.  Apart from that, it should be fine!  Although I have more than a sneaking suspicion that I won't be getting any ducklings this time around .  *sigh*  Oh well - probably for the best!
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