- Boy, this was just peak Hugh Grant.
- They're lucky they had Hugh Grant, because the character's actually a pretty terrible person.
- Andie Macdowell. Yeeeeah.
- I started out mentally substituting Amy Adams for her. Then I decided to substitute Haley Atwell, even though it made no sense, with the character being American. Then I decided to substitute no one, because she is also an awful character.
- The movie really shows its age with the Simon Callow/John Hannah relationship. No one ever says the word "gay", they never kiss, and John Hannah is introduced at the funeral as "his closest friend."
- I almost wish for Kirsten Scott Thomas' character to end up with Hugh Grant, except not, because as noted above, terrible.
...oh wait, huh, weird. I only just now noticed that two of these pieces have no "Share" button at the top. But it shows up on the third one. So the 'share' function can be disabled? I've never seen that option. What's that about, I wonder?
Anyway, no biggie, I shall share the first two the old fashioned way, uphill both ways in the snow:
First, a really lovely romantic piece of John/Dorian art called "Halfway Till Bliss". I adore the differing expressions, and the subtleties of their faces, and Dorian's eyelashes, and John's hair. And KISSIN. <3
Then, a wonderfully grounded and real-feeling Rejseholdet story, "The (Irregular) Right Direction": it's set ten years post-canon, with Fischer permanently settled in EU law-enforcement bureaucracy, but with something unsettled and restless humming deep within him. Hmmmm, I wonder what he's still missing? :D
And finally, a touching and nuanced Master & Commander (and/or O'Brian books) Jack & Stephen story, "Why Darwin Discovered Evolution", which has a Share button, thusly:
Why Darwin Discovered Evolution (1113 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jack Aubrey & Stephen Maturin
Characters: Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin
Additional Tags: London, Evolution, Moths, Night On Fic Mountain 2017, Night on Fic Mountain 2017 Treat
1815: Napoleon surrenders, and is exiled to St Helena. The British Navy, after seventeen years of war, retires ships, crews and captains. John Barrow, Second Secretary to the Admiralty, begins a programme of exploration which will last until 1845 and will include, in 1835, Charles Darwin's five year voyage of discovery in the Beagle.
In England, Jack Aubrey languishes on the Captains’ List, and Stephen Maturin chases moths.
Oh, Stephen. He loves Jack SO MUCH. ♥____♥ (And vice-versa, of course. Sigh!)
*throws up hands*
I started reading The Hanging Tree yesterday and I'm more than half done already, so that's something. It feels great to be reading a book I can't wait to return to.
[R]ed tape also means regulations that protect citizens, at a certain cost to companies that otherwise have little incentive to sacrifice some profit to mitigate risk. It is because of red tape that you cannot buy a flammable sofa, and that you are very unlikely to die in an air crash.
Much red tape, indeed, is the frozen memory of past disaster. Modern regulatory regimes as a whole came into being in the late 19th and early 20th centuries because of public outrage at the dangerous practices of unrestrained industry.
This is perhaps partly similar to the phenomenon that having effective infrastructure and ongoing regular maintenance of same is not as dramatic a story as horrendous accidents.
It's possibly also analogous to people becoming anti-vaxxers, because vaccination programmes have been so successful that there is no notion of the risks there used to be from common diseases of childhood.
For the first few years of 'there were no new cases of polio in the last twelve months' this is news. And then that becomes the default setting.
For those who decry 'Elf and Safety, I recommend a salutary reading of the London Medical Officer of Health reports from the C19th, freely available digitised and searchable online.
There are some Victorian values one can get behind, and the rise of public health is one of them.
On other Victorian values, however, and those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it, this person seems unaware that providing tied housing contingent upon working for a particular employer is nothing like a 'welfare state':
it was recently reported that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is spending is around $30m to provide short-term, prefab housing for 300 of its employees because Silicon Valley housing is in such short supply. Tech giants helped cause a housing crisis in Silicon Valley, now it seems they are becoming landlords. It’s feudalism 2.0.Not so much feudalism as C19th model towns, e.g. Saltaire, founded by businessmen to keep their workers contented and (I hypothesise) spurning the trades union movement (having had to do with a late C19th enterprise with some of the same elements of benevolent paternalism towards the workforce).
And, looking at that article, was New Lanark really quite the same thing? Enlightened capitalism not quite the same as utopian socialism.
Also had the thought that people who are 'regulation BAD' seem to reverse this opinion when it comes to panic measures against terrorism that are often symbolic rather than proven efficacious.
“One of the things we are figuring out is have these guys been off the coast and we haven’t seen them? Are they moving inshore for a different reason?” said Sorensen.
YES AND I THINK WE KNOW WHAT THAT IS. Let me know when they reach Washington.
They're known as the "unicorn of the sea", apparently, so should clearly be claimed as a symbolic animal by you (glowing) asexual people out there.
ETA: Wikipedia just provided me with this beautiful quote:
"I have just watched the moon set in all her glory, and looked at those lesser moons, the beautiful Pyrosoma, shining like white-hot cylinders in the water" (T.H. Huxley, 1849).
My hc_bingo card ( is under this cut )
At first glance I didn't see a whole lot of prompts there that work well with my usual-these-years fandom/ship, but on looking again, there are a few that I could theoretically do interesting things with, or that at least can be made to match WsIP that I expect to be on the shorter side if/when I can finish them. And my monofannishness aside, I do always hope that these challenges will twig something in my brain and let me write something new.
(Is this my first time getting an hc_bingo card that doesn't have one of the soulbond prompts? I haven't gone and checked to see if it's literally the first time, but the card generator has traditionally been very keen on giving me "unintended soulbond" and/or "unintended side effects of planned soulbond" [or whatever the exact phrasings are]. I always kinda meant to write the former for Warehouse 13; it could even happen someday. It's pretty perfect.)
And my seasonofkink card and Newsflesh-specific (inherently NSFW) notes ( are under THIS cut )
What I just finished reading: I finished Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and I have many thoughts, detailed under the cut. Spoilers natch.
( spoilers for Station Eleven )
Fortunately there is fanfic that is infinitely more satisfying to read. Both of these are Dragon Age (because I, uh, tripped and fell and started a third playthrough of Inquisition).
By The Still Waters (83755 words) by emilyenrose
Fandom: Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dragon Age II
Relationships: Fenris/Male Hawke, Female Lavellan/Solas
Summary: Hawke was left in the Fade. Fenris goes looking for him. He doesn't go alone.
Why I loved it: Excellent Fenris, excellent Varric, excellent Merril, excellent Hawke -- all set in a post Inquisitions story which is incredibly well put together. Seriously good plot paired with so much Fenris-pining and emotions, and also Solas and Lavellan in there to mix things up. It was written pre-Trespasser, but I would say don't read unless you want Trespasser spoilers because she did a hell of a job predicting some of the plot twists.
The Soul has Bandaged moments (151124 words) by insideofadog
Fandom: Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dragon Age (Video Games)
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Cullen Rutherford/Female Mage Trevelyan,
Summary: A big, sweeping tale of two mature people coming together and trying to make it work, despite their pasts. Told in the Inquisition's own words, through letters, personal journal entries, and reports. Humor, sex, friendship, and most of all, romance. My Inquisitor is a capable and slightly odd mage, who finds herself in a strange dance with a good man, who wants only to atone for his past and build a new life for himself. Can people whose lives were forever altered by the Circles truly find a future together?
Why I loved it: Okay, this was one I'd started and stopped a couple times in the past because it wasn't MY Inquisitor, but once I got past that, it was actually a really good fic. Nice and long, told in letters Cullen and Trevelyan exchange as well as journal entries from the two of them plus Cassandra and occasional others. Focus is on the romance, and the interstitial times, and there is a minimum of game rehash. I just really liked the slow portrayal of these two falling in love and struggling with relationship issues while balancing their duty.
That Mutual Dance of Mighty Heroism (6624 words) by Tassos
Fandom: Angel: the Series
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Faith Lehane/The Groosalugg
Genre: Friends to Lovers
Notes: This fic was inspired by a post Hannah wrote about Faith and The Groosalugg becoming buddies, which I thought was a glorious idea, and then she asked me to write it when I offered fic for a fundraiser. I'm so happy she did.
Beta: Thanks to katewrites and hannah for beta reading.
Summary: In a slightly altered canon-world where Cordelia's visions do indeed pass to The Groosalugg, Groo finds himself in need of a warrior companion and he has been reliably informed that recently returned Faith would be most excellent.
Faith's not so sure this is going to work out. But he's pretty to look at.
She wasn't expecting feelings to happen.
(...for the record, my review from 2010 seems to indicate that at the time I understood and appreciated what happened at the end. Well, good job, past self, because my present self has no idea. ( Spoilers ))
Anyway! Rereading Who Fears Death got me thinking about the kind of books that are constructed around an ancient lore or a knowledge of the world that turns out to be fundamentally wrong, cultures constructed around poisoned lies. The Fifth Season is the other immediate example that springs to mind of a book like this -- not that there aren't other parallels between The Fifth Season and Who Fears Death. It seems to me that I ought to be able to think of more, but since I can't I'm sure you guys can.
When I mentioned this to genarti, she immediately said "YA dystopia! Fallout!" and that's true, a lot of dystopias are built around a Fundamentally Flawed Premise that has been imposed upon the innocent population by a dictatorial government. Those feel a little different to me, though, maybe just because that sort of dystopia very clearly grows out of our own world. We know from the beginning how to judge truth and lies, we're WAY AHEAD of our naive heroine who believes the color blue is evil because the government put an inexplicable ban on it. But Who Fears Death, while it may be set in our future, is in a future so distant from our own that there's no particular tracing back from it, and The Fifth Season is another world altogether, and we don't have any home court advantage over the protagonists as they figure out where the lies are except a belief that something that poisonous has to be wrong; maybe that's the difference.
(My pride and joy doesn't actually fit on the form. I made it so small so that it would fit as many dresses as possible, but this dress has dimensions of roughly 26" in the bust and 22" in the waist. So not only did I make a huge, obvious error in not thinking through where I was going to put these dress forms, I made a huge, obvious error in not measuring the gown that I was thinking of dressing in the first place. Blerg.)
Not sewing tonight - I've put the bones of the bodice together and need a breather. Tomorrow I'll cut out sleeves of the proper size and make them up; hopefully will also set them in. In theory I'm writing fiction tonight instead, but so far that's ... not happening.
This doesn't cover all the displaced families. And the flats are part of the "affordable" quota developers are frequently required to build along with the luxury flats, with the usual segregation (not being allowed access to the swimming pool etc. -- in quite a few instances, developers have created buildings where the people in the "affordable" flats have a separate entrance to the building ...), so it's a lot less "luxury" than the headline implies.
And they're being bought by the Corporation of London (as opposed to paid for out of RBKC's £274 million reserves?).
Still, it's a start.
--To further illustrate how my reading is (not) going lately, seananmcguire's new novella came out a week ago and I haven't read it yet. ;_; I've at least been keeping up with some graphic novels from the library, but that's about it.
--The adorable annual we're planting that I couldn't remember for the life of me is Hawaii Blue ageratum, AKA "floss flower". *charmed* Look how cute it is!
--A happy twofold discovery: while rummaging for something else, I found a small stash of Toronto transit tokens that we'd clearly forgotten about, and I was briefly sad because I'd had the impression that the Presto system rollout in Toronto was far enough along that tokens might not be usable anymore. (Horrifying thought, since the Presto rollout sounds like a clusterfuck in all kinds of ways--which strikes me as extra embarrassing when, as far as I can tell, Presto works fairly well in Ottawa, and unless I'm wrong about that, clearly it can be fine.) But I checked the TTC site, and the header on the "fares and passes" section says "Last year’s tickets and tokens are still valid. Customers paying with tickets and tokens do not need to deposit ten cents." [Emphasis theirs.] So we'll see about using our stash up.
--Related: one of the infinite things I love about having Claudia and Jinksy is that it's much less heartbreaking to come home from Toronto now that we have sweet, soft kitties waiting for us, but the flip side is that I preemptively miss them. I'd cling to them, but they don't like that. ^^;
(That said, Jinksy's currently purring on my lap. *^^*)
Last night, I made formulation #2 of anti-itch lotion and it doesn't have salt in it but it does have baking soda, so the unfortunately slightly gritty feel continues and also it didn't work (not to mention being an unappealing-for-a-skincare-product gray in color), so I think I'm just going to stick to more tried and true methods going forward.
What I've just finished
The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan. I enjoyed this - the action is a lot of fun and Leo got more to do - but oy, Apollo as narrator is annoying.
What I'm reading now
Despite an endless TBR pile, how could I resist Joan Aiken's The Five-Minute Marriage after reading amazing reviews by rachelmanija (here) and skygiants (here)?
I have especially fond memories of both The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Black Hearts in Battersea, though I haven't read either since I was a kid (I probably should reread at some point, and I did not know there were like five other books in that series), plus it's about a fake but real marriage set in the Regency era, so it was like five of my bulletproof narrative kinks in one book.
And boy does it deliver. Not so much on the actual romance, but with the hilarity and the fake marriage that turns out to be legitimate (in the sense of they are actually legally married rather than it being a fraudulent ceremony as they expected) and will likely turn into a real (as in they actually care about each other and stay married) marriage by the end of the book, grand romance notwithstanding, as well as the apparent alpha asshole hero who turns out to just be really stressed about babysitting his sister's TEN kids.
Anyway! I am enjoying it a lot and if that sounds like your cup of tea, you probably will too!
What I'm reading next
I do not know! However, I did want to give a heads up to anyone who doesn't know that Frances Hardinge has a new book coming out in the fall: A Skinful of Shadows. I am excite! And maybe I will read The Lie Tree next. I was saving it because it's the only Hardinge I haven't read yet, but if there's a new book on the horizon, I don't have to hoard it anymore. *g*
The real question is, what do I read next? From the TBR, I have the following candidates that I am most interested in right now. Thoughts on what I should choose?
The Hanging Tree (Rivers of London) by Ben Aaronovitch.
The House of Shattered Wings (A Dominion of the Fallen Novel) by Aliette de Bodard.
Court of Fives by Kate Elliott.
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor.