nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
2017-10-15 08:11 pm

FIC: The Whispering Grass, Tanz der Vampire

The Whispering Grass by Nineveh_uk
Chapters: 1
Fandom: Tanz der Vampire
Rating: T, CNTW
Characters: Graf von Krolock, Gräfin von Krolock

She didn't know that he was lost: that he still lived, but not as he had before. That she had doomed him to this wandering in the dark, lost in the mountains and forests and the heartbeats of the birds that sang outside his window, and in his soul a lust for unnameable things.


Or, if this were a Friends episode, The One where the Count accidentally murders his wife. I suspect that this fic really doesn't work without canon contest. Short version, it's backstory fic about a verse of a song that is basically the sick version of Fields of Gold*, in which the vampire count - who is having a moment of "Being a vampire is terrible, you murder everyone you might feel for, and also you have to spend eternity knowing that you're not a brilliant genius, you're pretty average. It's all a metaphor for capitalism anyway"** - recounts how the first person he killed was an unnamed woman who is generally assumed to be his wife***. It is overwrought, involved some ridiculous googling in the course of which I discover the existence of the Unitarian Church of Transylvania, which sounds like a slightly desperate literary novel attempting wry humour, but I enjoyed writing it and the first audience of fanfic is ultimately the author.

* Though having now seen the video, that might also be Fields of Gold itself,. Why exactly is the singer is walking at night through a graveyard while long-ago images of his lover and children are glimpsed through his silhouette?

**It's a good song, if heavy on the manpain. Vampain?

***Though there's a vid of one performance where the tomb he is angsting in front of appears to have a soldier carved on it. I read a Word of God interview with the lyricist that seemed to imply that he's actually making all of it up in order to manipulate a couple of characters who are over-hearing him, which would be a plausible interpretation if any of the actors had ever played it like that ever.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-10-13 10:27 pm

A plaint

I hate writing fic summaries. I hate writing fic summaries. I hate writing fic summaries.

Ad infinitum.
nineveh_uk: picture of an elk (elk)
2017-10-10 01:34 pm

Rec: Live-action lolitics, the Scandinavian way

When I am galactic dictator I shall have a department of my Ministry of Propaganda dedicated to the production of good romantic comedies. These romcoms won’t actually have any other political message, indeed they will even be permitted to be against me*. But what they will be absolutely required to be is well-acted, not overlong, not gross, not misogynistic, and above all, very funny. The regular arrival of decent comedy on people’s cinema screens will do more for my popularity than any number of rallies.

In the absence of that happy scenario, I have to make do with what is available. Which is why I was delighted to discover Swedish political comedy Fyra år till/Four More Years. I am rubbish at summaries, so I shall use the DVD blurb:

David Holst has been the favourite to become the next Prime Minister of Sweden. However, after a shocking turnaround at the polls, he is left on the sidelines, where he meets Martin: charming, bright, fun-loving…and the state secretary to the new Prime Minister! David navigates a newly found sexuality and a political divide: should he give up his marriage and career for a social democrat who’s had more one night stands than David’s had votes?

It’s 90 minutes of politics RPF come to life. It’s well acted, it’s really funny, and crucial to enjoyment it avoids both “Ron the Death-Eater” and doormat scenarios for David’s wife (possibly because the actress playing her directed it). I suspect there are large numbers of Swedish jokes that I’m not getting, especially given that they use the names and cultural stereotypes of real political parties**.

I think one thing that I like is that it is a rom com in which no-one is ditzy and it acknowledges that just throwing over everything for love is not necessarily something that everyone is going to do, especially when they are passionate about something else in their life that they have already made sacrifices for. So while there is plenty of the ridiculous in it, there is a balancing seriousness about how adults with established personal and professional lives deal with a new situation.

Have the trailer:

(Since I am rec’ing this as a fun light comedy, I will note that there is one comment from a character that some people may feel is biphobic. It’s entirely in character, and the fact that despite his marriage David is definitely gay and not bi is something that the film overall provides a good deal of context for, but I’d feel bad if people were blindsided at a bad moment, hence the note.)

* Up to a point.

** See what they say about themselves officially here. Plus Wikipedia.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
2017-10-04 10:18 pm

The sound of tiny violins

There are probably things more annoying that YouTube vids with people singing nursery/playground rhymes to the wrong tune* with hideous cutesy images and voices, but not this evening. All I wanted was a tolerable version of patty-cake.

Also, the Big Ship sailED on the Alley-Alley-O - she sank!

* The wrong tune being of any other tune than the one I know.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
2017-10-01 09:08 pm

Things creative

This fic is massively self-indulgent and destined for a very small audience, but I've written +1000 words of it today after not writing anything but my diary for several months, so I shall take that as a plus. I have not defrosted the freezer as planned, but I feel that is a minor price to pay.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-09-26 12:23 pm
Entry tags:

Why the British are bad at other languages part x

I have to decide whether to sign up for next year's German class. Realistically, I am going to sign up for next year's German class*, but no thanks to the information about it, which makes it sound astronomically boring. This is an adult evening class, by definition going to be taken by people who are not of school/student** age and considering their exciting future career in Germany***. So why on earth does the proposed programme involve quite so much job-related stuff??? There are many interesting things in German-speaking nations, it would be nice to talk about some of them instead of time management. Here is the thrilling prospect:

It is long, so I will cut it )

Meanwhile in other language news, a much worse crisis: when I accepted Firefox's invitation to speed it up by "refreshing" it (which has indeed worked), it didn't mention that this would include getting rid of Adblocker and my add-on for pretending to be in Norway so I can watch the skiing when it is not at a convenient time on Eurosport (or I need more skiing). This would be a minor annoyance were it not that the new version of Firefox is incompatible with said widget. Aargh! Apparently there is something similar I can do with Chrome so I will try that, but I do feel that "By the way, you will lose everything you customised to make it work for you" was something they could have mentioned.

*At least once I had done the Deutsche Welle test myself to check I'm at the required level, because I'm not sure I believe it really.

**Students get much cheaper classes through the university. I could do them too, except I can't because they are when I am at work.

***There were a couple of people last year who might potentially work in Germany or Austria one day, but they would be doing so in English.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
2017-09-18 04:09 pm

Good Omens, literally

After going home sick at lunchtime*, my day has been greatly improved by the first photo of David Tennant and Michael Sheen as Crowley and Aziraphale in the forthcoming TV adaptation of Good Omens.

I definitely approve. Crowley's a bit different from the book, but the faint miasma of desperation exuding from the aging would-be rocker works for me. As for Aziraphale, for the people complaining that it looks exaggerated, that's mild compared to some of the horrors you get round Oxford**. The appalling cut of the trousers is a particularly fine touch, and I like the 'cherub gone to seed' of the fluffy blond hair.

*To the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody: Is this the real flu? Is it just virus-y? Crap immune system, no escape from things disease-y.

**The pale mustard broad wale corduroy suit remains a low point.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
2017-09-02 09:16 am

And relax....

First day of the holiday, no milk, run out of bread. I could throw some clothes on and dash to the supermarket. Or, I could have cake for breakfast. Cake it is!

I am going on holiday on Monday, and as packing inevitably expands to take up all the time available, I am not packing until tomorrow. I am also hoping that the weather will get better, because I am supposed to be going hiking in western Austria and today it is pouring with rain and 9C. Apparently my run of summer holidays with guaranteed good weather is at an end... Naturally last week it was mid-20s temperatures and sunny. But at least I have some new walking trousers as well as a new hat and there will be fresh air and mountains, even if the fresh air might be a bit damp. I shall read books and eat food cooked by other people, and inevitably not do any writing.

But now I had better get up and re-apply the waterproofing to my jacket.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
2017-08-30 10:16 pm

The road is long, and probably in South America

I have a new time-sink, and its name is Geoguessr. This ' web-based geographic discovery game' (Wikipedia) involves being plonked down anywhere in the world that Google Street View has been* and having to guess where you are and mark you location on a map of the world. You can (usually) navigate along the streets**, you can read (most) road signs, but not things that Google has blurred (occasionally road signs), and most of all you can look about you and wonder where you might be.

It's a lot of fun, and depending on how much you care about finding where exactly you are in any given round of five places, potentially a major waste of time. Playing alone, I am inclined to set a max of 5 minutes per location, sometimes less when I think "This is the middle of a desert/forest with nothing for several hundred miles, I feel strangely confident that I know which continent we're on, so I'm just going to click somewhere plausible in Australia/Russia", a technique that can get you surprisingly close at times for not just random reasons. It's fascinating to see the places that you go, but I also find the process of guessing is itself interesting. The combination of personal experience of a place, general knowledge, random osmosis, and the kind of hunch that has you going 'That looks like Hungary' despite having a decidedly limited acquaintance with Hungary. Place names on road signs are great - well, major place names, the ones for tiny villages in Siberia are less useful - but nothing beats the screen opening and just somehow knowing that you're in Norway.*** And if you don't know where you are, there are vast numbers of clues, natural and artificial. Skies, clouds, vegetation, season, the local people, crops, domestic architecture, economic situation, anything being advertised, things not being advertised. Sometimes you can just tell, thanks to that one school geography lesson that taught you about Brasilia, sometimes you haven't got a clue. It is often infuriating, and still a lot of fun.

*South America would have a lot more competition in the 'Where on earth is this beyond South America?' stakes if they had done more of Africa or any of China yet.

**Except when you find yourself plonked down in a random field, and Indian temple, or a German kitchen shop.

*** Except for being on a street you used to walk down between the pub and the Cambridge railway station.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
2017-08-20 07:41 pm

If I were a rich man

I would have paid a chauffeur to drive me the hundred miles to Chichester to see Fiddler on the Roof yesterday*. As I'm not, I had to do it myself. Fortunately the strong reviews of the production didn't let me down and it was excellent. Omid Djalili was terrific as Tevye, Tracy-Ann Oberman moved Golde beyond cliché, and the younger generation could all sing, act, and dance, the first of which is regrettably not always guaranteed in musicals. The production/direction did an excellent job of conveying not only entertaining song and dance, but a story of some weight, and I ended up finding it very moving. I have seen it before, but about 25 years ago so I couldn't say which I thought was better. But I remember scenes from that West Yorkshire Playhouse that struck me then, and I'm sure I'll continue to remember this. I'm tempted to read the original stories it's based on for a comparison.

Have the trailer:

*I am aware that there are countries, indeed parts of the UK, where I'd be lucky to drive only 100 miles to the theatre, but this involved the M3 on a summer school holiday Saturday.
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
2017-08-16 12:00 am

AKICODW/LJ - washing fabrics

Has anyone ever handwashed Liberty Burwood wool/silk? I am very, very tempted by some for a top - I saw the print a few years ago in a Brora dress, but had never seen it for sale as fabric and now I've found it - but it would be pointless if it had to be dry cleaned. I'm willing to wash quite a lot of allegedly 'dry clean only' wool and silk, but there are limits.

I might just buy it anyway, wash the leftovers to see what happens, and put up with dry cleaning if it's the only option. But I'd like not to have to.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
2017-08-15 07:52 am

Hey ho for Antony Crowley

The Good Omens TV adaptation cast has been announced. It's not Youngest Sister and my fancast of David Thewlis and Paul Bettany, but we'll take it: Michael Sheen as Aziraphale and David Tennant as Crowley. Roll on 2018 (but not the Apocalypse).
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
2017-08-08 07:41 am

Procrastination expands to fill the time available

My parents arrive at some point this afternoon, exactly when dependent on whether the weather in Harrogate this morning is nice enough for them to want to hang around for a few hours before heading south. I hope so, as in three days I have done a lot of things, but little of the things I needed (housework) or wanted (writing and sewing) to do before their arrival. It's very good that I've finally started clearing out the chest of drawers and that I've purchased a shower curtain, but perhaps they might have waited until next weekend. I see a morning of shoving paper haphazardly in drawers (undoing the work of the weekend) while listening to Radio 3 ahead.

ETA: And that other question for the ages, where on earth is my Oystercard? And why is the underground so eye-wateringly expensive without one?
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-08-05 09:19 am

Whither weather?

As is my wont I am looking obsessively at the weather forecast for where I shall be going on holiday in a month's time, in this case St Anton am Arlberg and St Gallen., the Norwegian weather service which appears to have weather forecasts for everywhere in the world, accurately (at least when I've been there) and in English*, is forecasting 4C max next Thursday and Friday. I think that on this occasion I'm going to assume they're very, very wrong**.

Anyway, it won't be my problem because for once I have booked myself a week off in Oxford and on Wednesday I am going to be in London for the athletics.

*Also Bokmål (Norwegian), Nynorsk (Norwegian with even more terrifying spelling), Kvääni (Kven), and Davvisámegiella (Northern Sami).

**That said, Bergfex has 12/11C listed, so not as wrong as I'd hope if it were my holiday next week.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
2017-08-02 08:24 pm

Fic! The Comfortable Courtesan

I appear to have committed fic.

The Edinburgh MA and his Rampant Highland Warrior
Chapters: 2
Fandom: The Comfortable Courtesan
Rating: T
Warnings: CNTW
Characters: Mr MacD-, Lord G- R-
Summary: expression that suggested that the serious, civilised, free-thinking Edinburgh MA had long dreamed of being forced to serve the carnal lusts of a wild Highlander.

Following the discovery of Lady Bexbury's memoirs, scholars are forced to revise their interpretation of Alexander MacDonald's "Highland fragment".


Readers of Madame C-'s memoirs may recognise the inspiration of this scene.
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
2017-07-28 07:54 am

I have a new hat

A walking holiday type of hat for my forthcoming (September) walking holiday*. After years of not really adequate hats and failing to find anything in the outdoor shops of Edinburgh last week, I watched the BBC's Spingwatch-with-bears on Sunday and realised that one of the hats worn by a presenter would be perfect for me, and now I have this hat in khaki, as far as I can see the last size M in the country. It fits! It is functional! It actually suits me!

This is particular pleasing as the only other hat I'd found so far that looked as if it might suit me was ruled out on account of (a) being in Women's Mountain Fuchsia colour, and (b) having a swastika on it... I don't think it's just me. In those colours the logo really does give that impression, at least enough for me not to want to wear it.

*Switzerland and "eastern Switzerland" i.e. western Austria, because sterling is even worse against the Swiss Franc than the Euro and it's not far from Zurich airport.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-07-24 08:19 pm

Tiny Tolkien fic: A different type of three-volume novel

It was in the year 2509 of the Third Age, in the region of ----shire, that the party of Lady Celebrían, making a long overdue visit to her parents, was waylaid by orcs.

It was not fear of such an encounter that was responsible for the delay in paying this most natural duty. Orcs had not been known in the neighbourhood for many years, and had their return to the region been known the party would have elected to travel by the Pass of Rohan, no matter the greater distance. Rather the lady's children had reached the difficult age of the late second millenium when an elf is most in need of guidance from a mother. The presence in Rivendell of their distant cousins the Dunedain had made this guidance particularly essential. None knew more than the daughter of the Lady Galadriel the importance of harmonious relations between kin, and Celebrían had sincerely welcomed the many greats grandchildren of her brother-in-law to her home. But there were limits to how close a connection should be considered, and no count of generations could undo the fact that the children of Elrond and the Line of Elendil were first cousins. It would not do.
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
2017-07-22 02:48 pm

Is it law of nature?

That when going into a fabric shop for Thing A, they won't have it, but you will leave with two patterns and some fabric for one of them? In my defence I already have the fabric for the other as well, and hopefully it will be quicker to use a pattern than the one that I had had a go at drafting myself...

ETA: Oops. Skirt pattern turns out to be culottes. Should be convertible into a skirt, but slightly annoying!
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-07-13 07:54 am

Random original vampire drabble

The kid looked at me with big eyes, the way kids do.

'I don't think Mummy's very well.'

Smart kid, that. I've seen healthier people than Mummy laid out on a slab, often because of Mummy. I picked her up. She was light as a feather, all skin and bone, too young to have done anything yet. Maybe with re-education she never would.

She turned her face into my shoulder like any other kid and I thanked the department for my regulation leather coat with its high collar. Maybe I could find her teddy bear before we torched the place.
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
2017-07-08 06:16 pm

Original fic: The Lawe of the Preservatioun of Prickes

I really didn't mean to spend time today writing metafic on the Law of Conservation of Cock Size in some nebulous historical period of badly-spelled English,* but I did. I blame [personal profile] lilliburlero for the inspiration, and [personal profile] antisoppist for hosting the original commentfic. And of course the anonymous member of fandom who formulated the concept in the first place. I am calling it a writing exercise.

You may find is on AO3 here.

*Or badlie-spelt Englishe. It takes a surprising amount of time to insert it.