paranormal

Pane in the Glass

Everyday journal of Fiona Glass

How much weather..
london rain
fiona_glass

...can you squeeze into a single day? 

Today we've had frost, snow, sleet, drizzle, and now fog.  Throw in a hurricane and a heatwave and you'd have the full set.  O.o   Still, at least Monday's snow is thawing at long last and the roads and pavements look as though they'll be passable again soon.  I've been stuck indoors for two days because I don't do icy pavements.  It'll be nice if I can get out again tomorrow.

This cold snap does make me giggle.  The last few years we've had quite mild winters and the media have been grumbling on about how it never snows, it never gets cold enough to kill off the vermin, and we 'never have proper winters any more'.  This year after a couple of really cold spells they've changed their tune completely and are bandying about phrases like 'severe weather' and 'freak conditions'.  Are they *never* happy? 

Mind you, it can't be often that a Cornish harbour freezes over - that's salt water!

Space concert
paranormal
fiona_glass
This was in lieu of a New Year's party, since we stupidly left it too late to book anywhere to go away for the Big Night.  ;)

Instead we had a lovely meal out at Pizza Express in Brindleyplace.  The place was bursting at the seams - I think we got the last table and the food was rather slow because the chefs simply couldn't get it out of the kitchen fast enough.  But when it did arrive it was delicious as usual.  The canals looked wonderful with twinkly fairy lights in all the trees reflected in the dark water below, and even Broad Street was festive - at least from a distance.  Close up it's still too scruffy and there are still too many closed-down bars and boarded-up shops.  Sadly it was too cold to linger and in any case we only had minutes to get to the Symphony Hall before the doors closed.

The concert was a real blast.  It was done by the London Concert Orchestra (a cut-down version of the London Symphony?) and they played a selection of 'space classics' - everything from Holst's The Planets to music used in space films (Blue Danube, Also Sprach Zarathustra) to heaps of John Williams scores from Star Wars, ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Some of the latter was a little complex (read: full of disharmonies and quite difficult to listen to) and it was noticeable that after the interval, about a third of the audience didn't come back.  Which was a shame, as the second 'half' was actually better than the first and included the conductor stripping down to a Superman costume and the choir stalls being taken over by stormtroopers!  Add a light-and-laser display and the whole thing made for a great night out.  (Although I could have done without the terminally-bored twelve year old behind me who spent most of the concert slumped in her seat and kicking the back of my chair...  Thanks, parents.  Must you take your children to things they really don't like?)

Melly Chwistmus!
paranormal
fiona_glass
Sorry, I'm still stuffing a late breakfast in between bits of packing.  ;)  We're off to the in-laws for a few days so I'll catch up with everyone when I get back, but just wanted to say Merry Christmas to one and all.  Hope you have a peaceful, happy Christmas and a well-earned rest.  :)  See you all next week.

Rules of British noir
pen
fiona_glass

I've been reading simply heaps of noir lately and it's inspired me to come up with a list of rules for the genre in case anyone wants to try their hand at it.

You can find the not entirely serious results at my writing blog.  ;)

normal service...
bad day
fiona_glass
...will be resumed soon.  spent the mornign at ourl ocal A&E with supsected broken bone in my left hand after Dave had to do emergency stop in the car yesterday.  X-rays suggest it isn't broken but i'm strpped up in tubigrip and typing hurts!!  owie. 

Help - trash!
paranormal
fiona_glass
Well, not literally.  ;)  But if there's anyone out there living in or familiar with America, please can you let me know what the US equivalent of a dustbin man is?  In other words, the men (and women) who come round to your homes and collect your trash/garbage every week? I'm assuming it's something ike 'refuse collector' or 'garbage collector' but when I googled those I got a load of rubbish (no pun intended *g*) about clean-up computer software and nothing about real life trash!

I'm writing a story for an American market and I've realised that the UK term 'bin men' will probably baffle the editors, which is Not A Good Thing.

If anyone can let me know either in the comments or by email I'll be very much obliged.  :)

C-c-cold again
london rain
fiona_glass
Hmm, today was supposed to be fairly mild.  it's currently 4c and sleeting.  Something tells me the forecasters got it a bit wrong!  We've just given up and stuck the heating on and I'm huddled over the radiator like a starving cat on a dish of food...

More humbug
bad day
fiona_glass
I know, I'm grumbling again.  But we just had a knock at the door, and when I went to answer it, it was a couple of teenagers bawling out the first few bars of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'.  Yup.  Carol-singers.

Well, I use the term advisedly.  These days, nobody ever sings carols - this is the only vaguely Christmassy tune anyone seems to know - and even then they only sing the first couple of lines and then stop, and fix you with a 'pay us NOW' kind of stare.

I told them I didn't have any cash in the house, and they scowled at me as if it was their god-given right to be paid, just for singing six words of a song I don't particularly like, at a time which was inconvenient since I was cooking tea.

And it's only December 3rd, fer Chrissakes!!!!!  I don't expect this sort of thing to start until well after the middle of the month....

It's Christmas... or so they'd have you believe
paranormal
fiona_glass
The tv's awash with adverts for Christmas now, all glitter and glitz and dreadful old songs that have been forgotten for a very good reason.  Honestly, if I hear 'Winter Wonderland' or 'It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas' one more time I think I shall go out and strangle the nearest reindeer.  Bah humbug.  And there's another *three weeks* of it to get through.

I have made a start on my Christmas shopping, though, rather to my amazement.  With a brace of family birthdays in late November I usually have a mad flap in the last two or three weeks, trying to buy presents for everyone when the shelves are already getting bare.  But last year I forced myself to be more organised, and it was so much less stressy that I'm determined to do the same again.  So far I have the whole of one cousin's present, half the other cousin's present, and something with penguins for our penguin-mad friends.  Not much, but it's a start.

We spent the weekend huddled over a coal fire (and unlike the misers in the old joke, we even lit it).  It's been really cold again, with thick freezing fog on Saturday, frosts most nights, and snow flurries this morning.  Brrr.  The last couple of afternoons I've given up and stuck the heating on early.  I can't work if I can't type, and I've never yet found a way to type when my fingers are numb.  My father in law said in the autumn that he thought it was going to be a 'proper' winter this year, and it's beginning to look as though he was right. 

So, is it going to be a white Christmas?  :)

Reality bites...
paranormal
fiona_glass

Credit crunch, economic downturn, call it what you like, but it's starting to get noticeable.  On our local high street in the last few weeks we've lost: a chain-store sports wear company (probably gone bust); Clintons Cards (mysteriously closed); McDonalds (yes, McDonalds - mysteriously closed); Select (cheap womens' fashions, probably gone bust); Rosebys (gone bust); and now we're likely to lose Woolworths as well.  On a relatively small high street, it makes a sizeable hole - and that's just the big names.  Other, smaller businesses are closing every week. 

Mind you, I can't say I blame them.  Last week I went into the huge W H Smith in Birmingham city centre.  it's the size of several aircraft hangars *g* with magazines etc downstairs and an enormous area upstairs for books, dvds, music, stationery, cards, and business equipment.  Apart from me, I think there were four people wandering around.  Nobody was queueing at the tills when I took my purchases to pay.  And when I went back to buy something I'd forgotten, there was still no queue - and three of the other four customers had gone.  It was a very strange feeling, in a store that used to be packed.

Is anyone else noticing the same sort of thing?

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