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The rain it raineth on the just

Pp, being a man with a keen appreciation of the things that are most important in my life, has bought me a late Christmas present of a pair of wellies!
They are Dunlop purofort wellies, which is the kind I had before, but these are the reinforced kind, so I hope will be a little more resistant to sharp tree-roots, sharp slates buried in mud,  unexpected lumps of granite and etcs than my previous pair.  Purofort is definitely worth paying for: these are both warmer than ordinary plastic wellies, and much more comfortable.  I walked a couple of miles in them today and they were FINE.

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The aftermath of a couple of miles walk in horrible mizzling rain:
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What else have I done this week?  Oh yes, we had lunch with my mother yesterday and I am stupidly behind on work as is fairly usual for December / January and really need to get my act together.   Despite this, and having resolved to work this weekend, I didn't.Read more...Collapse )

I think she suits a hat.


Long ago, I was in Haye-on-Wye on what proved to be a bitterly cold and icy day.   Most of the shops in Haye-on-Wye sell books and book-related items, but books will not keep you warm (well, maybe they will if you buy enough of them to build yourself a house, but I was on holiday and therefore not inclined towards a longterm building project.)

But there was one shop selling hand-made woollen crafty items, and so I flung myself into it with gratitude, and, throwing economy to the wind in the interest of not actually freezing to death, I  purchased several items (knitted, if I remember rightly by Marches Matrons from Alpaca-wool).  I think I bought a scarf,  a pair of mittens, and this hat.  I am not sure what I did with the other items, but I still have the hat.   Usually I wear it with the flower at the back, because I feel the flower is somehow a bit too much on me.  Rosie, however, carries it off with style.

War of Wrath III : the Mappening

I had difficulty visualising how I thought the Downfall of Beleriand might have happened, so I borrowed some maps and mangled them horribly to show the progress of events and particularly the change in the coast.
(The first and last two dates are from  The War of the Jewels, HoME Vol 11: I made the rest up. )

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End of an era: Footie Cat

Last night our oldest cat, Footnote, died.  We think he had a heart attack.  He was 20 years old, and had been with us since he was a kitten, so he had a good run.   He had slowly been getting older and tireder, and didn't do much any more but wander between his food bowl and the fire  (and occasionally shout loudly to be rescued, if he got a bit confused on the route from A to B.)  He was the only one of our current three (now two) cats that we adopted as a kitten, from a friend who had found and rescued a pregnant cat that was being attacked by a dog.


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War of Wrath II the timelining

I have just realised (I think I knew this, but had forgotten) that at the end of the Silmarillion's War of Wrath, poor Elros and Elrond, who were abducted away from both their parents when they were aged seven, get to see their father again... looking up at him from below, up at him in his flying ship high above the ground.   He is forbidden to land, despite having just basically won the war that the Valar had been fighting for 43 years for them.   Because, apparently, Rules Are Rules.

I wondered if going through all the Feanorian Silmarillion details would make me feel less generally Feanorian in my sentiments.  I mean, they are mass murderers who make terrible decisions. But in fact, exactly the opposite has occurred.

DAMN YOU VALAR.  YOU UTTER, UTTER BASTARDS.

Also, it is really hard to come up with 43 years worth of details for a war that is described in canon as basically 'And then the Valar stomped everyone and it  all fell in the sea.'    I'm trying to make up a possible timeline.  Any warlike suggestions happily accepted.

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Security in Middle Earth

Random outtake that does not fit into what I am writing:

Someone with lots of Middle Earth experience, emerging from the Halls of Mandos in the Second Age. Say, Fingon.

Fingon:  You sent the early prototype Palantíri as presents to Númenor?  What were you thinking?!  Do you realise those things don't even have password protection?

Elves : Tralalalally.  Evil is ended forever!  

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IP's blocked

Scrolling quickly through messages telling me which IP addresses have been autoblocked on various websites that I work on, because of dodgy-looking activity over the festive season, I notice that there is a sudden upswing in Russian and Ukrainian IP addresses.  (My sites are almost all hosted in the UK, because dealing with the data wrangles of hosting outside the EU is a headache I do not need).

Normally, attempts to get into my websites come largely from the USA and (inexplicably) France.   The orthodoxy, I believe,  is to assume that these US attacks are not really from the US, but are from US-based machines hijacked from Eastern Europe.  (I don't know about the French thing.  Nobody else seems to be specially targeted by the French, so I have seen no discussion on it).

I don't know what to make of the sudden prominence of Russian IPs.  Have the US authorities cracked down on the hijacked machines?  Are the new attacks reported as Russian and Ukrainian, actually now coming from hijackers physically located in the USA, in a kind of weird symmetry?  Is it entirely chance?

I'll probably never know.  I can only feel vaguely reassured that the software is doing its thing and nobody is complaining. 

Waterwheel in Nargothrond

 For some reason I am firmly convinced that Nargothrond must have been powered by a goodly number of waterwheels.

Here is a random Noldo wandering past one of them.   I did this with my new Inktense pencils, which I recommend if you like watercolour pencils, they are like those but much more vivid.  The falling water was overpainted in acrylics, and I think looks better in the physical version than in my photo here, but that's life.

The New Year began yesterday with a truly horrible cold wet and rainy day.   I determinedly went out for a dog walk in Calstock with my mother anyway, and duly fell over in the mud and got very damp and filthy  (better her than me though, I am young enough to bounce!).  I wish we'd left it till today now, the skies today are a clear blue and everything is green and gold again.  

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