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Egrets

 I did not see the seal that swam past the house the other day because Theo had managed to find a place where he could scramble over the wall AGAIN.  I have bought yet more wire fencing but have not yet had a chance to erect it.  It's been a busy week what with one thing and another. 

But I did see the egrets which came for a while on a recent high tide. Such elegant birds.

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The builders who were supposed to be arriving next week have cried off due to Covid-related supply problems.  However, the Bathroom Guy is supposedly now over his bout of Covid and subsequent isolation, and in theory should be here next week. I am not holding my breath.  Long ago in the optimistic Spring, we thought that the bathroom would be done and dusted by the time D&D rolled around at the end of Oct, but I now doubt the work will even be started.  We have hired a little shower-bathroom thing that sits outside, which, the gods of the pandemic allowing, will arrive on Friday, because even if other roleplayers are happy to share one shower and two loos for a week, I have decided I am now old enough  and grumpy enough to cry: NO! to that.   Annoyingly, you can hire a shower that goes inside the house just in a room (if you have space), but not a toilet.  Temporary toilets have to be Outdoors for Reasons of Hygiene.  Which is ridiculous really because in the not-bathroom there is a currently ex-toilet (the Once and Future Toilet, one might say, since it will be one again) that is insulated from the mains sewer by the inadequate means of a plastic bag thrust roughly into its gaping maw, which I am pretty sure is also Forbidden but we have lived with that since May and nobody has died yet.

On a tangent, to my enormous if somewhat self-consciously ridiculous pride, I have made a construction of old floorboards and erected upon it a sink, in the room where the boiler lives. I plumbed in the cold water and the waste connection, but am currently stumped by the problem of how to turn off the hot water for long enough to plumb the hot tap in.  I was hoping that Bathroom Guy would know how to do this, since presumably he will have to do it to plumb in the Bathroom Things.  We shall see.
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State of the post-office

I looked through my The Plague tag and thought I would add these photos to my personal record. We go here most days with stuff being sent from Shop on the Borderlands. I miss the friendly Gunnislake post-office with Jack the dog and windows that let in the day-light, though we're starting to know the staff here a little, and it is undeniably convenient that they are open such long hours. Even if the postoffice bit is closed, we can still drop off parcels. It's a bit of a pity that it's not dog friendly, or else I could walk here with the dogs and the parcels. At least, I could on light-parcel days and those are not very common now. Anyway.
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Theo the Small Gentleman

Last week, Theo was castrated.  I had thought of letting him stay entire for a while longer — the thinking now seems to be that neutering male dogs is better done a little later in life.  Unfortunately, this plan did not take into account the presence of Tessie the Tart. 

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Freshwater east by land and sea

I went down to the beach here a couple of days ago, and wandered along the beach and up onto the coast path with the hounds. These are just some photos I took along the way. We explored a headland, and got as far as the gate marked Lundy View, from which you could indeed see across the wide arm of the Bristol Channel to the little island of Lundy off the North Devon coast.  Then Rosie decided that was far enough, so we turned around and went home, but it was very lovely, so here are some photos.  It was so good, I came back the next day, without the dogs, but with my kayak. 

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And on the return...


A beautiful calm paddle right up to the end. The photo I took shortly before attempting to ride a wave right up into the little tidal pool bit, at which point I fell off and was entertainingly tumbled among the waves.  I tried it three times and fell in each time, so I'm now officially of the opinion that the currents at that point are such that it can't be done, because obviously, it wasn't ME being inept. Even if the waves were tiny, they came from all directions at once! 

It was good practice getting in and out of the kayak, and the water comfortably warm, though I was very definitely chilly by the time I had got the boat back onto the car roof, and very glad to get into the car and turn the heater on full. 


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TRSB reveals happened...

and my two stories were: 

Swan-feather Song

Tuor and Idril sailed away into the West, and were lost. But how did that happen, and what came next?

I really can't decide if I like this story or not.  It somehow feels like it's not as entertaining as it should be for the amount of effort I put into it. 

Whereas the other one came much more easily, and I think is probably a better story even if it was quicker and shorter.  

When Summer Warms the Hanging Fruit and Burns the Berry Brown

Rúnar of the Vanyar and Minyen of the Avari were born in Middle-earth, long before the rising of the Sun. One went to Valinor and followed Yavanna, but the other wandered far from the lake of Cuivienen into the great forests of the south of Middle-earth. Neither ever came into any tale of Beleriand, but both of them in different ways felt the power of Yavanna.

And the art I submitted was this one: the Shiremoot Zoom Meeting.

I'm not sure I'm wild about the execution, but I am still very delighted by Gaffer Gamgee having a potato avatar. 

The story for this was You Have No Authority Here, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins and it made me laugh out loud at several points. 


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TRSB completed!

The Tuor and Idril story is done, and after much prodding and poking, seems a decent shape.  

The Tropical Yavanna story came together really quickly in the end.  It's a story that is half Vanyar and half Avari and *mostly* worldbuilding.  

They will be live... when is it?  A week? Two? Something like that anyway. 

I really want to finish Rexque Futurus next. I've been writing it for seven years, this MUST surely be the year when I get chapters 13 and 14 polished off and can finally say to myself 'IT IS DONE!' 

I have rough drafts for both chapters, so it really should be possible. 


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Electricity

The other day I saw a meme of the Millennials, saying that, as a people, they feared DIY because they were the ones who had survived their parents and grandparents terrifying DIY efforts. 

At the time I dismissed this as over-caution, but the discovery last night of the DIY fitted pump under the bath here that would not turn off, leading to alarming smoke, and could not be got at, except by moving far too many large reluctant flat-headed screws and wooden slats, and the further discovery that it was plugged into a three-pin electrical socket located directly under the bath has made me think again. 

Maybe these millennials have a point after all. 

Still, we got all the screws out, unplugged the pump and the smoke went away after a while!  Not entirely sure I want to take another bath directly over an electrical supply though. 

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Dogs, Beach, etc

It was probably a bit rash to venture to a sandy beach in August, but this one has a lot of dunes,and not that much car parking, so most of the tourists were down at one end by the water.  I parked up the hill (too far for convenient carrying of surfboards and picnics), wandered down and picked dewberries while Theo hared about and Rosie mooched gently. 

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TRSB #1 ... sort of finished

This story was about Tuor & Idril.  I hadn't written them before, and I'm really not convinced I've done a good job.  The story seems over-long and rather unwieldy, and it has a kind of wobbly saggy bit which I am really not sure how to fix.  

But it has a beginning, a middle and an end.  

Perhaps I can revise and trim it a bit later.  The second story for TRSB is well underway and I hope that will be shorter and not so flabby. 

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To Devon and back

Having realised that at some point we are probably not going to be up to lugging piles of books up and down stairs, we are futureproofing and getting a lift.  But I felt that probably Theo would be very enthusiastic about Helping With The Lift, and that this might not be the fastest way for the work to get done, so I collected the hounds and invited myself to visit my mother for a week. 

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