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25 May 2010 @ 10:14 am
Eyes and Drains and Books and Films! Oh My!  
Did we just have summer? Can't it come back?? The weather was glorious here this weekend - blazing sunshine, not a cloud in the sky - from Friday through Monday. And today it's a bit grey and quite a lot cooler. Mind you, I'm still sat here in shorts but I suspect once I air out the house the temp in here will drop too.

So a lot of time in the garden over the weekend and I appear to have successfully managed a light tan :) Most of that time was spent reading - 2 or 3 more chapters of "The Mind of Egypt", I'm up to the end of the Third Intermediate period (the book is organised in chronological order). And also read "Dies the Fire" by S. M. Stirling (book 9), which I bought months ago with a bit of book token I'd got spare, but then didn't get round to reading coz I should've been reading the improving book ;) Basic premise is post-apocalypse - in this case the apocalypse is something (unknown) that stops electricity and explosives working, some sort of change in the physical laws of the universe. I love post-apocalypse fiction, reading about how people piece together some sort of society after it all goes so horribly wrong. And in this case there's a different set of problems than in a post-war or post-eco-catastrophe scenario - you can still grow food you "just" have to plow the fields by hand, and the spring planting from pre-Change is there to be harvested "just" you have to do it by hand. It's set in Oregon & Idaho - I think anyway, my US geography is crap and to be honest the names of places are just names to me ;) But anyway - not on the densely populated coasts, not in the cities, which lets him tell a story about people coming together despite the odds and starting to make a new life. Rather than the more brutal, nihilistic story that is happening off-screen in the big cities. It's the first of a trilogy, I think, so obviously I need to get the others now :)

The cat's eye is better now, so he was able to go out himself and enjoy the sun & warmth. Unfortunately for the cat and irritatingly for us, his eye wasn't totally better on Friday morning so he had to go into the vet. But by the time he got there he was better. We'd even spoken to the vet on the phone that morning and she thought he should come in just in case, but it turned into a bit of a waste of time. Right thing to do, just irritating for us. And it's not like the cat enjoys a vet visit ;)

In other news the outside drain the kitchen sink drains into had finally got totally blocked on Sunday evening. J tried to get rid of the stuff that was blocking it (it made me feel sick to even contemplate getting my hands anywhere near it). But even after taking out several handfulls of solid white stuff (presumably a fat/limescale mix that had gone cement-like) and clearing the vertical bit of the drain it was still not draining out. We could've carried on trying to clear it I guess, but it was frankly repulsive and no guarantee it was all in arm's reach anyway, so we called out professional drain cleaners. Who came out yesterday and cleared it out and also cleaned the sink pipe too as a bonus, for less than they'd quoted me as the "fixed" price on the phone :) I'm torn between thinking it was a lot of money for something we maybe should've been able to do ourselves ... and thinking that it's a disgusting job and we shoulda just called them out first rather than do any of it ourselves ;)

And finished off yesterday evening by watching "The Life of Brian". I was a bit ambivalent - there were a lot of funny bits, but I felt some jokes out-stayed their welcome and there was too much set up for others (so you'd laughed at the joke before it arrived). Still it was funny, I probably prefer (my memories of) the Pythons' sketches - which doesn't entirely surprise me, on a general level I prefer watching comedy that is sketches or stand-up, not narrative. Odd to see some of the bits I knew of already, but in actual context - "He's not the Messiah! He's a very naughty boy!" or "I'm Brian and so's my wife!". And I had "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" going round my head afterwards (until a conversation this morning replaced it with The Cure).
 
 
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: The Cure "Greatest Hits"
 
 
 
contents under pressure / handle with care: reading - sail awaygraphxgrrl on May 25th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
It is in fact Oregon and Idaho. :)

I grew up in Corvallis, and went to school for a few years in Eugene. The area between Portland and Corvallis that most of the series is set in is the Willamette Valley (named for the river that runs down the middle of it) and is largely agricultural. With cars, you're a couple of hours from the Pacific Ocean (there's a mountain range in the way) and a couple hours from the Cascade mountains in the other direction--where it's largely resort/ski towns and natural forest.

I think I have the last book of the second trilogy in my hold queue at the library, I should see. Hmm.
Margaretpling on May 25th, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
Ahha, thanks! I had this vague feeling you'd said you knew the places when I last mentioned this book - it must be quite a different experience reading it if you know the area well.

And I guess there's more than a trilogy, too, that's good to know :)
contents under pressure / handle with care: reading - sail awaygraphxgrrl on May 25th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
It's a bit surreal at times actually, to picture it all. I think it's one of the first science fiction books I've read that's set somewhere I know very very well. And times when it makes me laugh, there's a bar/pub in the mentioned in the first book (the Peacock I think) that does actually exist and I know rather well.

There's two trilogies set in "The Change" and then an earlier trilogy I've not read that's related to the cause of things, apparently.
contents under pressure / handle with care: reading - such a summers daygraphxgrrl on May 25th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
And I was just reminded, one of my first impressions of southeast England's countryside on the train was that it made me think of the Willamette Valley, all the sort of rolling agricultural whatnot.

North of Corvallis
Margaretpling on May 25th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
Ooh, yeah, can see what you mean there.