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Friday, December 14th, 2018
1:59 pm - November stats
Miles walked: 102.7
Fiddle days: 26/25
Blog posts made: 5/5 (Book of the Month: October – James Hutton, Collingwood Society – Pickle Night, Collingwood Society AGM 2018, Telford in northern Wales, Falkirk and the Dundas family)
AoS books read: One about William Smith and the first geological map, rereading one about the history of science from earlier on.
Fic written: None
Decent walks gone on: A fairly little one at Hareshaw Linn, another fairly little one at Cramond, along the Forth and Clyde canal about as far as Kilsyth.
Walk reports written: The highest Dragon in Wales, Moel Eilio on a misty morning

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Thursday, December 13th, 2018
9:31 pm - Day 13
I don't really know what has happened to all the days in between - I don't think there really has been any point when I wasn't at least half asleep.

I've been toiling through an endless week, but I went along dutifully tonight to the last guitar class, and ended up having one of those really nice times when you're much less tired at the end than at the beginning. And I now know the difference between a dominant 7th and major 7th chord.

Today in the advent calendar, things like the tips of knitting needles with a loop of fishing line on the end, possibly to turn them into something like ordinary needles. I do not know what I'm supposed to do with these.

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Friday, December 7th, 2018
11:15 pm - Day 7
Today, lots of green studs for an unknown purpose.

Further news will have to wait until I'm not falling asleep.

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Thursday, December 6th, 2018
11:54 pm - Day 6
Today, a small red stitch holder, possibly not even large enough for bears' legs, which are quite small. I haven't looked to see what purpose this is supposed to play in the wreath!

Another tiring day, and a busy evening playing music, first at the end of term stramash, and then in the pub.

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Wednesday, December 5th, 2018
11:03 pm - Day 5
Today, a long blue measuring tape, although I am disappointed to find that it has centimetres on both sides!

I'm exhausted, having spent the day listening to people who are... well, slow thinkers. I should really be in bed.

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2018
4:50 pm - Day 4
Today, what seems to be a blue stitch holder, useful for bears' legs.

I don't think I am betraying the secrecy of the court if I say a) that they expect to keep me for for 5 days, and b) that the pen supplied to me by said court announces that it has been 'pinched from Brian Drumm, hairdresser'!

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Monday, December 3rd, 2018
9:51 pm - Day 3
Today in the advent calendar: a crochet hook with a bright pink handle.

I was supposed to go and report for jury duty today, but when I got there I found nothing but about 30 other people standing out in the cold, and the court all locked up and deserted.

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Sunday, December 2nd, 2018
10:24 pm - Day 2
Today in the advent calendar: two darning needles (which of course makes me want to sing 'and a partridge in a pear tree').

A dull grey damp sort of day - too gentle to be really depressing, but certainly not cheering. I have bought christmas cards and finished reading my library book and knitted quite a lot.

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Saturday, December 1st, 2018
11:04 pm - Day 1
Today in the knitting advent calendar, posh pompom makers like this. I've only ever made pompoms with cardboard before, but that has always worked perfectly well for me.

Apparently over the next few days I will get all the tools I need to make a pompom wreath - but no wool, so I'll have to have a hunt about for spare green. Or not.

picowrimo is over, so I have no one to tell about how useful I've been - which is a shame, because I have actually been quite useful, even if I've written nothing but this. I've been to the shops, and read quite a lot of my library book, which is due back on Monday, and knitted quite a bit of my new project, as well as having lunch with all my family.

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2018
11:51 pm - *stomp*
My boots came back from the bootdoctors today, so I can have dry toes again - a good thing, as it got a bit wet and wild soon afterwards. They are more stompy on the underneath than they used to be - possibly they were trying to give me a sole I couldn't wear through. Also very smartly polished!

I thought my knitting would be finished by now, but I spent quite a lot of last night undoing the last bit and doing it again and finding it was still wrong. It seems to be behaving itself this time...

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Tuesday, November 27th, 2018
1:46 pm - In which there might actually be cheerful news
I have decided that the reason I never have any cheerful news is because I'm secretly an optimist. I expect things to work, and therefore it's only when they don't that it's remarkable...

But I do actually have cheerful news today, because the booking for the Fort Augustus weekend is open - this appears to be where Charlie McKerron's loyal followers meet up in between summer schools. I could just book the SMO week while I'm at it, actually :-)

Yesterday I did another silly thing, trying to claim a Yuletide pinch hit - however I missed, which is probably a good thing, as I have more than enough projects to take me through to Christmas as it is. I'm kind of sorry not to be playing, though, because Yuletide is the only time I ever write fic these days. And it's the only time that pinch hits have ever appeared while I wasn't fast asleep!

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Sunday, November 25th, 2018
11:04 pm - Mixed results
I bought a very silly thing today, which was a knitting advent calendar - even at half price I'm not entirely sure the cost was reasonable, but I worked out that over 24 days I only had to get 73p worth of pleasure from it every day, and I'm sure I can manage that.

(My dad always says, if any of us want something a bit daft, "Well, if it's your heart's desire", which for once this really was!)

I also bought some sensible things, in the shape of 10 pairs of socks, because most of mine seem to have holes in them - so maybe it balances out.

I'm not as sore as I was last night, or this morning, although still quite sore at times - there's not nearly as much of a bruise on my hip as I thought there would be, but quite a bruise on my arm where I didn't expect one.

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Saturday, November 24th, 2018
10:25 pm - Along the canal
Once again I have gone out for a walk and come back with a sore arm, which feels like history repeating itself far too soon - exactly the same combination of wet slippery ground and entire failure to pay attention, only this time it was the metal edge of a kind of pontoon on the canal. Quite a hard landing, so I think I'm also going to have a good bruise just below my hip - but at least I didn't land in the water.

A nice walk, but a grey damp day - I meant to get from the Kelpies to Croy, but was led astray at the start by a promise of information boards about the Charlotte Dundas (named for the real George Heneage Dundas's sister) if I wandered off in the other direction, so I didn't quite make it. Very topical, though, as I'd already been to look for their grandfather's grave in Falkirk!

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Thursday, November 22nd, 2018
1:52 pm - Endless tasks
I have started knitting another brioche stitch hat, which is almost certainly a very bad idea - when I did one in the summer I ended up thinking that I had lost interest in knitting, when really I was only tired of knitting the same thing endlessly and never getting anywhere. But the result is so pretty that here I am back again anyway.

(The problem is that on each round you slip the stitches of one colour and knit the stitches of the other, so that you have to go twice round before you've actually knitted all the stitches and made one row of knitting. At least that's one of the problems, the other being that you end up with such a tangle of new stitches from yarnovers and stitches knitted together that the only way to fix an earlier mistake is to undo it back to the place where it went wrong, rather than being able to drop one stitch back down the rows and pick it up again - but I've got better both at not going wrong and at noticing it quickly, so hopefully that will be less of a problem this time...)

I am also doing picowrimo with the aim of catching up a bit on book reports I haven't written (reading an Age of Sail book every month is still going quite well, writing about them not so much), so I'm just going to end up feeling like someone from a folk song condemned to sweep a beach clear of sand or something equally everlasting.

I could just not, of course - it's not like it matters to anyone except me - but I still actually want to. It's interesting to do, and I can feel it being good for me - not just for my moral fibre if I keep going, but exercise for my mind and for my writing skills. But it's hard work, and that's hard to do when you're tired.

I was going to go to Dundee on Saturday, but I can't walk where I want to because of things going bang, so I was going to the Pentlands, but I think I can't walk there because of clouds, so I might be going to the Union canal. Or not.

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Monday, November 19th, 2018
11:17 pm - In which it has been a busy month
I seem to have been generally too busy doing things to ever get round to writing about them, and this weekend was really no different, being the fiddle festival - Friday night concert, Saturday little concerts and sessions and things, Saturday night skive off to a dance instead and then dash back for the end of the late night stuff, Sunday daytime as Saturday, Sunday night concert, fall into bed.

I hadn't signed up for any workshops this year, and for some reason there were no talks, so it was arguably a bit more relaxed than usual, but I'm shattered just the same, having gone into it a bit worn out. I'm not saying it wasn't worth it, though!

November is usually just a run from one event to the next - the weekend before that we went down to the Newcastle Highland Ball on the Friday night, where much dancing, talking and laughing ensued, and came home on the Saturday via a small waterfall - a nice walk up a little valley, with six bridges to cross.

I did consider going out again to the NS beginners' dance, but although my feet were ok, I was sleepy, and it was raining, and I didn't. Then on Sunday I went for another river walk, from Cramond Brig to the sea, and went to see Far Far from Ypres at the Usher Hall in the evening - so it was quite a busy weekend even without the second dance!

The weekend before that was the same kind of ideas in a different combination - Newcastle on the Friday night but for the Collingwood Society, who were having a sort of party called a Pickle Night (Pickle was the boat which brought the news of the victory at Trafalgar to England, but it was far more an excuse for getting drunk than any kind of historical commemoration!). Then I almost went up to Perth to the RSCDS AGM ball, because I'd been offered a lift home, but ran out of energy at the last minute.

Next weekend I don't think I'm doing anything in particular, which is probably a good thing.

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Saturday, November 10th, 2018
9:09 pm - October stats
Miles walked: 149.3
Fiddle days: 26/25 (I'm at 250/250 as of the end of the month, which is good - generally the end of the year is a bit of a mad catch up.)
Blog posts made: 3/4 (A walk along the Thames, Trafalgar Day 2018, A trip to Greenwich)
AoS books read: A little one about James Hutton, because I'm a bit behind.
Fic written: None
Decent walks gone on: Meall Chuaich, a very wet wander on Bute, Ben Challum, the Conwy town walls, Snowdon, Moel Eilio, Windlestraw Law.
Walk reports written: In patience we wait for the light, From Whiteside to Grasmoor, The wind and Whinlatter, Meall Chuaich, Ben Challum, Windlestraw Law

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8:48 pm - September stats
Miles walked: 155.3
Fiddle days: 24/25
Blog posts made: 2/4 (Throwback: Waterloo, Odds and Ends from the Isle of Wight)
AoS books read: I seem to have stalled - still reading about Admiral Purvis, but also about Sea Battles of the Age of Sail
Fic written: None
Decent walks gone on: A bit along the Thames, three days on the Isle of Wight, Beinn Ime.
Walk reports written: The Crinan Canal, Cowal Way: Glendaruel to Glenbranter, Beinn Ime by the Cobbler path

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Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
11:47 am - The round way wrong
When you climb a hill you should get sore legs, not sore arms.

current mood: sore

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Saturday, October 13th, 2018
7:02 pm - To Rothesay in the rain
Obviously writing down my troubles was the right thing to do, because on Thursday I slept All Through The Night (with dreams that were no more than normally odd), and although I didn't quite manage that last night my dreams still seemed to be back to normal. It's amazing the difference even one good night made.

I did still get up ridiculously early this morning in order to go to Bute in the pouring rain, but less because I had planned it and it was easier than making a new plan (although it was) than because the thing I really couldn't face was getting halfway through a long wet afternoon and wishing I had gone out for the day after all - once I was out I could always wish I was inside, which is a much easier wish to fulfil.

So I went down to Kilchattan Bay at the end of the bus route, just because I could, and walked down not quite as far as the lighthouse, and then had a very 'island' lunch in the tearoom in the shop there.

The lady said she had fresh rolls, but that not everything on the menu was available, because it was into the winter season. So I asked if she had tuna, and she had a look and said yes, there were tins of tuna there - "but he never leaves me the tin opener". So she would have to go to her house and find hers, which she did - she said it was only next door - and made me a very tasty roll.

It later transpired that 'He' never leaves her a proper float either, so I can't help wondering what amazing adventures this unknown man is having every Saturday with a tin opener and a lot of small change...

current mood: amused

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Thursday, October 11th, 2018
6:42 pm - In which nothing is restful
For two or three weeks now I have been having unusually vivid dreams - I'm a good dreamer at the best of times, and generally quite enjoy my adventures, but this is a level up again - not necessarily bad dreams, although some of them have been, and some the kind where you run around all night trying to get somewhere or find something, but detailed to a level I'm both impressed and surprised my brain can produce, because I don't have a very visual memory when I'm awake.

There didn't seem to be any particular reason for the start - when it happens for a single night it's usually physical exhaustion, as if I'm trying to fit a lot of intense sleeping into a short space of time - although since I find it very tiring to be so *busy* all night I can't really tell cause from effect at this point. It might have finally started to fade in the last night or two, although I did wake myself up ridiculously early this morning dreaming that I was choking to death, and then went back to sleep and dreamt something equally odd...

I am too tired for making decisions, which is unhelpful, because the Waverley sailings are cancelled this weekend and I will have to find something else to do instead - it's better if I just have a plan already, because then doing it is easier than deciding not to do it.

I could go and be a hillwomble, only I think it's going to pour with rain, and I told a Newcastle friend that if the Waverley was cancelled I would go to the dance he's in charge of, but the trains are all going round by Carlisle again. And I could go anywhere else, or climb a hill, especially on slightly drier Sunday, but it's not quite the same - the Waverley is restful in a way that even staying at home isn't, because you can just sit there and read and knit or think while it brings pretty scenery past you.

Bother you, Waverley. This is the second year in a row, never mind the Steaming Round The Island!

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