emma_in_dream: (Leia)
My Christmas present was a limited subscription to the UWA library. I used the time to download as much as possible.


The most interesting article I read yesterday was by an American folklorist who visited Afghanistan in the 1960s and tooled around gathering traditional stories about the Anglo-Afghan wars (of the late 1830-40s, 1870s-80s, 1919). He followed the route that the fleeing army took in the 1840s (16,500 people of which about 1,600 were soldiers, of which 1 survived) and asked the local villagers for stories about it. Naturally what he got back was telescoped with the events of the different wars conflated and the story tellers prioritised the doings of the ancestors in the different villages.


I guess what amazes me is that 1, I always forget that for a while in the 60s and 70s Afghanistan was an open society.


And 2, what the heck is the obsession with invading Afghanistan every generation. Look:


1840s, 1880s, 1919, not during the 1940s but they did partition India and Pakistan which impacted on Afghanistan, 1980s (on this occasion from the north not the south), 2000s.
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
Another weekend, another total fizzle of a home open. I honestly don’t understand how they work – I advertise, no one comes. How does one sell a house if no one ever comes to the home opens?


Anyway, I have resolved that we have had our lives on hold for long enough. Some stuff has begun to trickle back into the house. Specifically, I could not live without art supplies any longer and went out and bought $180 worth of kit. I’ve brought some of the girls’ toys in from the shed.


We made the most of the weekend. On Saturday the girls went to a friend’s house and played in a mudflat – enormous fun. On Sunday I did some craft and started a song vid. We held our Threatened Species party and made:


Bilbies $14
Turtles $5
Cheetahs $6

The girls had four delightful kids over - great day.

Buckwheat

Sep. 11th, 2017 05:58 pm
emma_in_dream: (Brookes)
Buckwheat. Despite the name, it’s not a form of wheat. It’s a gluten free grain – the taste is summarised by my children as ‘yuck wheat’ and ‘suck wheat’.


When I gave the remainder of a bag to my Mum to feed to her rabbits, they would not eat it. They ate the other grains and pushed the buckwheat to one side.


Truly, this grain is a reminder that our ancestors gave up trying to grow some crops, they did so for a reason. There’s a reason why quinoa, buckwheat, etc are niche grains.
emma_in_dream: (Trek)
I want to read a well written, lengthy piece of fanfic about Regulus Black. I am fascinated by the way he was brought up as a pure blood, embraced Voldemort and then changed his mind and backed away. I am impressed that he stole from Voldemort so effectively that he did not even find out about it til 15 years later.
emma_in_dream: (steve)
Road to Riverdale Vol 2 2017
Katrina Maes Sell Your Property Fast for More 2010
Andrew Blachut Get More For Your Home 2014
Tanya Huff Valor's Choice 2000
Robert Heinlein If This Goes On 1940
James Herriot Animal Stories 1997
emma_in_dream: (Brookes)
So, on one side, my hand hurts in a strange rheumatismish way; Ruby has a cold; Ruby has had to have several medical tests in the last week; Pearl fell off the monkey bar and hurt her side; our internet is not working properly; I have to wait around for Telstra tomorrow (4 hour window with no guarantee they will either come or repair the problem); Donald Trump continues to be in power; Malcolm Turnbull continues to be in power; there is no interest in our house at all; without selling our house, we can’t get the other, dear, absolutely perfect house; all the effort put into trying to sell the house means less effort in areas such as limiting screen time, enforcing teeth brushing and ensuring homework is done; work continues to be in upheaval; people at work repeat ‘change is necessary’ like parrots without reflecting that change can be either well or badly managed (or can flow, free form, without management at all, as is the case here); the cost of utilities keeps going up; wages are stagnant; I am very tired of running hard without getting ahead.


On the other side, spring is here; I can dry clothes on the line without using the dryer that turns the house into a swamp; the jonquils in the garden are blooming; the girls have lots of excellent activities going on at school.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
It’s Book Week, a time I have a love/hate relationship with. I hate having to make the costumes, yet love looking at them once made.


This year Ruby and Pearl went in borrowed costumes as all our gear is in storage. Pearl was Harry Potter. Ruby looked cute as a Pokemon.


Ruby very much wanted to be a Lorax and I have promised that I will make a costume for her birthday party (which will be Dr Seuss themed). Surely by then we will either be moved or have resigned ourselves to not moving. Either way, the costume box and craft gear should be accessible.

dunkirk

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:53 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Due to the enormous kindness of a friend who took my girls for basically all of Saturday, I got to see a movie after the home open.


I saw *Dunkirk* which was good, but not as good as the imaginary version that *I* would direct.


Nolan interwove three stories to try to show the complexity of the event, bringing them together at the end. This made it a bit choppy – it was night time in one timeline and Tom Hardy was still endlessly flying across the Channel in the afternoon in another timeline.


I say, why stop a three stories. There was tons more that I wanted to see. You could run it chronologically over the days of the operation but show a heap more stories. The poor sods who were selected for the rear guard, for instance, must have known that they were there to hold the line as long as possible with no chance of escape. It was death or imprisonment for them.


I want to know about the people waiting at home. At first the Government tried to hush it up for morale reasons, but then realised that they were about to lose the entire BEF and grovelled for small vessels to rescue people. Pretty much everyone must have been aware that if the army was lost, Britain could expect to be invaded very shortly.


I wanted more of the arguments between French and British troops over who was to be evacuated. And more of the high level arguments between Generals and Prime Ministers in which the British pointed out that all the rescuing ships were British and the French pointed out that the mole to reach them was French.


I wanted a lot more of the action that was going on. Nolan showed an essentially clean beach with one or two corpses and some orderly lines. I believe the BEF dumped in the harbour hundreds of trucks, tanks, and crates of weapons to destroy them before they fell into enemy hands. And I wanted to see more of the clever engineers who jury rigged proto-bridges to allow people to board further out. And the guys who managed to fix the mole after it caught fire. Also, the confusion, as orders shifted constantly about where to queue for best survival and the way stragglers who had lost their mates were shoved out of the queues by troops still in their groups. Also, mostly it was orderly queuing but there were some boats mobbed and overturned; some officers threatened to shoot troops who would not turn back from overloaded vessels.


I definitely wanted to know more about the people who lived in Dunkirk. In Nolan’s version the town was deserted. Was that really the case? I thought this was a very swiftly moving evacuation – did the whole population really evacuate through German lines? It seems impossible.


And I really wanted tons more about the small vessels. Look at the ridiculous names that the little ships had – all Lazy Days yacht names or Ferry no 2 for working ships. Not, you know, fighting names.


In short, I wanted something much closer to a documentary, showing me what was happening all over rather than following a few characters.
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
A quick update on the many things happening in my life...

* Endless home opens, each attended by 1-4 people. Is this normal? Even at the bottom end of the market?
* Endless work preparing for the home opens.
* Hideous state of anxiety about what is going to happen.
* When not working, unable to do most of my relaxation activities due to our stuff all being in storage.
* More people filing out the door at work.
* Amused by the fact that apparently the whole of the Australian parliament are ineligible to sit as they can not keep track of their own citizenship status. Hilarious!
* Horrified by the fact that America is lurching simultaneously towards their Civil War II and World War III.
emma_in_dream: (Singin')
Mary Martha Sherwood wrote “The History of the Fairchild Family” in three volumes, published 1818, 1842 and 1847. I read the first book, which is chiefly about the Fairchild children – Emily, Lucy and Henry – realising that all humans are depraved sinners in need of redemption. To quote from the first few pages:

Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild loved and feared God, and had done so, by the mercy of God, ever since their younger days. They knew that their hearts were very bad, and that they could not be saved by any good thing they could do: on the contrary, that they were by nature fitted only for everlasting punishment: but they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and loved him for having died for them; and they knew he would save them, because he saves all those who trust in him.

The book is essentially a series of vignettes of the children being instructed on the righteous path. Emily, for example, succumbs to the temptation to eat some forbidden plums: 'no eye was looking at her, but the eye of God, who sees every thing we do, and knows even the secret thoughts of the heart; but Emily, just at that moment, did not think of God.'

Even worse, their cousin Augusta plays with candles after being told not to and is burnt alive. The stakes are high in this novel, because every sin is a step towards losing their souls forever. When Mr Fairchild catches his children quarrelling, he first thrashes them, reciting Dr. Watts's 'Let dogs delight to bark and bite' between blows of the cane, and then takes them to spend the afternoon beneath a gibbet where the rotting corpse of a murderer is hanging. Lesson learned.

The works were massively popular in the 19th century, in print constantly until 1913. There is some evidence, though, that it was not always read as intended. Lord Hamilton wrote that 'there was plenty about eating and drinking; one could always skip the prayers, and there were three or four very brightly written accounts of funerals in it.’

Frances Hodgson Burnett, perhaps a more pious child, states that she read it in two sections, first reading the religious statements because she thought she should and then reading the story for pleasure.

Alas

Aug. 6th, 2017 12:46 pm
emma_in_dream: (obbit)
Effort put in to making the house look good - massive.
Pay off - nil.

Number of visitors 0
Number of nosy neighbours 0
Number of passers by 0

I am exceedingly downhearted I can't buy the new house without selling this one and the amount of interest was precisely nil.

Of course, I have apparently selected the world's worst real estate agent who have failed to erect a sign, do not provide home open signs or fliers, put my ads in real estate dot com without the address, etc.

However, I am locked into a contract with them, so will have to persevere. I shall go over the fine print and send them a reminder of all they have not done.

I am hoping the key is advertising and not that no one in Perth is buying first homes. (Surely not?)

Stuff

Jul. 24th, 2017 02:09 pm
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
Is sylph the longest word in English without a vowel?
emma_in_dream: (Default)
1.7 Una salus victus

First aired 11 November 2001

With a deadly plague on the loose, Andromeda, captained by the inexperienced Harper escorts medical ships through Drago-Kazov space while Beka seeks stragglers from the convoy. When both Beka's ship and her enemy ships are damage by each other, both women talk as they work to get their ships repaired in order to destroy the other ones ship. Harper finds being a captain is not as easy as it seems. In the end, Beka proves she is the better repair man, and destroys the enemy's ship, but not before both women get the chance to understand each other's families and cultures. Dylan and Tyr try to stop the missile batteries trained on them; even if it means killing themselves along with their enemies, making the enemy surrender, but at a cost of wanting not just Tyr dead, but Andromeda's crew as well. Dylan gets an explanation about Tyr's "special cargo," which causes him to mistrust Tyr's intentions. After their mission is complete, Dylan denies Tyr access to his cargo, which in turn causes Tyr to mistrust Dylan, and that his "little stunt," has proven that he is vulnerable.

I liked this episode too - a bit of a roll. The Tyr plot was progressed a bit, and I loved the Harper plot. He is not a natural leader and it was good seeing him challenged.

I like the concept of the repair-off between Beka and the Nietzchian but it was undermined by the fact that she looked so much like the actress playing Beka that I kept wondering if it was some kind of dream sequence. Once again, life for Nietzchian women seems pretty grim, what with the endless emphasis on reproduction.
emma_in_dream: (trance)
OMG, I have been the adultiest adult of all time today. Achievements:

* Rectified overpayment at work.
* Set up superannuation payments.
emma_in_dream: (BTTF)
This picture book is a retelling of Molly Tasman Napurruria's dreaming narrative in English. It was translated by Christine Nicholls and illustrated by kids at the Lajamanu Community Education Centre. The story comes from Warlpiri country in the Northern Territory.

As a children's book, it wasn't terribly successful. The Pangkarlangu is a scary looking creature that takes a boy away. My kids (now nine and six) disliked the pictures of it looking spiky and disliked the story about the boy being separated from his family.
emma_in_dream: (Sound of Music)
Terri-Ann White (Ed), Desert Writing: Stories from Country, 2016

This anthology represents the fruits of an ARC grant to foster story telling in the desert areas shared by Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia. The story telling workshops were available to all people living in those areas.


On the whole, the stories written by non-Indigenous people are written with a higher level of literacy and with more engagement in literary conventions – there are attempts at mystery and horror stories.


As another generalisation, the stories produced by the Indigenous people are more personal narratives. These range from straightforward ‘what I did on the weekend’ stories by high school students to the autobiography of one of the hunter gatherers who was bombed at Maralinga. All of these stories seem pretty alien to me, as I am a committed city dweller.
emma_in_dream: (trance)
2.6 All Too Human

First aired 5 November 2001

While Rommie tries to save a defector from a planet that hates AI's, the Eureka Maru plunges deep into the ocean after being crippled, leaving Harper, Tyr and Rev struggling for survival as Dylan, Beka and Trance attempt to stop a planet-destroying ship armed with Magog weapons. Sadly they fail, so they rush back to save their crew. Back on their crippled ship it soon becomes up to Tyr and Rev to save the ship, for Harper overdoses on his medication to keep the Magog eggs from hatching and falls into a coma. Rommie defector is killed by its people. She finds out that the planet has allied themselves with the Magog and have a Magog ship; she steals the ship and rescues Rev, Tyr, Harper, and the Eureka Maru.

OK, I really love this episode. I like the plot line with Rommie proving her humanity again. Of course I like the Byers actor in the background, becoming convinced of her worth. But what I find most fascinating is that yet again it is strongly hinted that the roots of android hatred lie within the Commonwealth and did not come out of nowhere once it fell.

And the underwater plot rocks for me. I was always a Harper/Tyr shipper (though on rewatching I see how cool Harper/Rommie is, also the strong Harper/Beka friendship). I can see no motivation for Tyr rescuing Harper other than affection and trust.
emma_in_dream: (trance)
1.5 "Last Call at the Broken Hammer"

First aired 29 October 2001


Dylan and crew attempt to find a long-lost Commonwealth leader and bring her back into the fold, but the question of her identity proves more complicated than it initially appears. And while trying to protect her from the people who want her dead, Trance loses her tail. After faking her death to her pursers, she joins the fight to rebuild the Commonwealth with Andromeda's crew.

I assume there was some kind of budget problem with the show, because there are a run of bottle episodes where they just lock the characters in a room and go from there. I like these opportunities to explore character, so I do not mind at all (even if they couldn't afford to have all the actors there).

I liked the links between Dylan and the woman they were seeking - Commonwealth leader who has given up, Commonwealth leader trying.

Plus the Trance's tail plot was fabulous. A touch of humour in an otherwise grim episode.

Rocks

Jul. 6th, 2017 12:10 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
We are going to leave some sweet rocks at the park near Princess Margaret Hospital this afternoon.

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