purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplerabbits at 04:01pm on 27/12/2015
I'm not going to answer all those questions, because they're becoming less and less meaningful to me now. I don't have a song of the year any more, because I don't listen to enough new music. I don't have enough people 'close to me' for people to giving birth and dying. I am fatter and richer and more and more tired and alone.

Yeah, I shouldn't do this at all in December - it's all too dark.

But things did happen, and some of them were for the first time and some of them were plans I'd made and carried out. So. A list that will keep the "I did nothing" voice at bay...

I paid off my mortgage. I had a huge clear out. I got a flat on the market and sold a flat and found a flat and bought a flat. And it's flatter than before cos it's on the ground. That was a plan carried out.

I paid a gardener for the first time and we cleared the garden and planted things in the ground. I have my own bird feeder now.

I had double glazing fitted including a whole new door, that's a new thing.

I had central heating fitted and a whole new boiler. The flat on the ground is now warm.

I organised a BiCon team and the team ran a great BiCon with more people than usual. It was completely exhausting and I feel very disempowered and drained after it. I will not do it again. In fact it's a toss up whether I will do any bi 'activism' again including the things I am supposed to have to do. There is too much poison there for me to handle right now.

I made a lot more pottery and got somewhat better at it. I even sold some. I knitted a sweater that I made up the pattern for as I went along and people seem to like it.

I finished Nanowrimo for the first time. I wrote an ending to a novel even though the middle isn't complete yet. In the process I met a new writer's group which I will keep meeting.

I went to Less Wrong meet-ups but sadly all the people have moved away. I need to meet less successful rationalists. Or, er, something

I went to the Highlands, and Orkney for the day.

I saw new birds - all of them skuas.

I dealt with benefits and stayed alive and helped look after people and generally didn't suck.
purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplerabbits at 05:52pm on 19/06/2015
I now have a back garden which means I now have a super deluxe bird feeder installed, which means I now have a garden bird list. The closest I had to a garden bird list before was 'things that have perched on the roof opposite' which consisted of feral pigeon, two flavours of gull, a daring blackbird, a pied wagtail and swifts (which don't perch but did nest).

The Abbenay garden list currently consists of:

House sparrow
Blue tit
Great tit
Carrion crow
Starling - a trio of which just discovered the feeder and are going to eat me out of house and home at this rate
Wood pigeon (currently stationed under the feeder in case anyone drops food on its head)

I have also seen real proper bees on my lavender, which is the only plant I've actually bought and is still in a pot. As for the native flora, who knows. There's, er, grass, and other grass, and dandelions, daisies, bluebells and buttercups, and a sycamore tree, and an ash sapling I must root up, and nettles I must stamp on and a variety of bushy things which are bushy things of some kind and some yellow type poppies and some pink stuff that may or may not be campion cos I don't know I don't do flowers.

If you want to come visit and look at birds and help me identify and/or destroy plants let me know :-)
purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
Phase One, or Zero and One was getting my flat ready to sell and selling it. That has involved a lot of tidying and hiding things and making nice to complete strangers until I was climbing the walls, but it is, crossing every available digit and touching wood, done. The system in Scotland isn't completely watertight, but it is pretty secure and certainly better than England so it's going to be costly for my buyers to back out. That means that I kind of have to move on 29th May. But that is OK because...

Phase Two was looking for and at flats and finding one that worked and offering on it and being accepted. Again the chance that the seller could get out of it isn't zero, but it's close to secure, and they've agreed to my moving date. They also agreed to have the damp proof work that needs doing done so that I don't have to be in a flat with plaster being removed, which is win.

My buyer is a cash buyer with no chain. My seller is moving in to a relative's spare flat for a bit while looking for somewhere else. This is great as it means the only person who has to buy and sell and move on the same day is me. This is still going to be hard but not like impossible. Phew.

And also argh, cos NOW I have to start making lists for Phase Three - moving the rabbit and all the things to the new flat and getting services connected and making sure I've told everyone I need to the address and so on. And I also need to think of what to call it which is Very Important.

There will also be a Phase Four - making new flat lovely and adding double glazing and/or gas heating to it, but I'll deal with that later.

Onward and Downward!

purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
So of the list I posted on the 1st I have done...

  • Deal with the mould on the bathroom ceiling - done by painter
  • Get quotes for regrouting, painting and resealing the bath and book someone to do at least the second two (regrouting only if affordable) - done, painter has been and finished, decided against regrouting and sealing in favour of Dettol anti mildrew bleach which is evil and wonderful
  • Get two quotes for new vinyl in the bathroom and decide whether to go ahead with it  - quote a quote I'm happy with, have a vinyl chosen and fixed a time for measuring - they reckon they can finish the job next week
  • Get two quotes for window cleaning. If they differ significantly get a third. This is still argh, I have contacted two companies and neither has got back to me, suspect noone wants the job of cleaning 4th floor windows in January
  • Continue to declutter - this is a tough one cos it's hard to know when it's done. More stuff has left the building since then, including giant double sleeping bag of doom, a bin bag of bathroom crap and a couple of bags to Shelter, and the mattress topper and three boxes of books are going tomorrow
  • Keep the flat clean and mostly tidy so that I can see the benefits of decluttering and more easily imagine holding viewings etc So far so good, I have help from new cleaning person as well as Adam now, so it should be good.
  • Decide which estate agent to go with - think I've decided, but I will look at the figures again tomorrow when I have more brane
  • At the end of the month contact chose estate agent to get started (eek!) - Onward!
purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplerabbits at 05:01pm on 01/01/2015 under
I spent a nice afternoon pottering in the garden and sitting out there with Matt, so let me tell you more about it... This is mostly a very long list, but the names are quite pleasing :-)

Of the things that were in my garden when I arrived here, I have kept:-

A sycamore tree, cos I kind of have to
One much pruned laurel bush
A wild rose which seems to be doing well now it's been dug out of the undergrowth
A much reduced amount of cotoneaster
A much smaller buddleia - down from a tree to a bush
Many Spanish bluebells, possibly too many but they're hard to get rid of
A lot of wild pink geraniums (but not nearly as much as there was)
Some lovely yellow Welsh poppies
A patch of lavender coloured crocuses that have been and gone
Some daffodils of some kind that failed to make any flowers this year
Wild Hypericum (St John's Wort), which Sandy has added to and transplanted to be all together
Some kind of lily
A decorative redcurrant (I think) which has planted itself from next door
Wild strawberries which can stay even if only the birds will eat them
Daisies in the lawn that I don't intend to kill
Dandelions that I want rid of but that may be hard
Docks, Fireweed etc, ditto
An assortment of ivy, so of which I want to encourage

I have created two wooden planters by the back door with herbs:-
Country cream oregano
Chamomile Treneague
Creeping Red Thyme
Bronze Fennel
French Marjorum
Pineapple Sage
Lemon Balm which I just have to plant
and in the beds there's Feverfew, Munstead Lavender, Rosemary Fota Blue, Purple Sage and Supermarket chives - which have lived in spite on being monumentally pot bound when planted

I filled two blue containers with De Caen mixed anemones and mixed Harlequin flower, Sparaxis tricolor which are both coming up

One very purple giant pot which I kind of regret getting in Lidl has three Fuschias called Angela and there are two more in the beds (do not ask me how they tell each other apart)

And in the beds are also:-

A Japanese Maple, just now coming back into leaf
Rocky Mix Violas which I got in the reduced section of Dobbies and which have done amazingly and have multiplied and are still flowering
Orange and Red cup daffodils from the bargain store which did well and have only just finished
Tulips - Red Riding Hood which is in flower and Black Parrot which are on the way
Ruby Giant Crocus which has been and gone
Cranesbill Geranium Pink Spice
Hardy Asiatic Lily in orange and red
Hebe Ruby Port
Lily of the Valley, under my tree where it's shady
Campanula Carpatica Blue
Clematis Montana Rubens
Clematis Marjorie
A random allegedly blue clematis from Lidl
Fragrant Cloud Hybrid Tea Bush Rose - allegedly red and very fragrant
A shrub rose called Simple Gold Harsymbol which may be drowning in bluebells if I'm not careful
Crocosmia Lucifer
Campanula carpatica blue
Some mixed pound store alliums which went in late
A Firecracker Azalea which isn't doing very well
Dutch Iris Sapphire Beauty
Peacock orchid Acidanthera
Gladiolus Pink
Liatris Spicata
Oxalis Deppei Iron Cross
A Passionflower from Morrison's called Purple Haze
Coreopsis Sunfire
Palemonium Jacobs Ladder
A purple hellebore from Sandy
A foxglove from Sandy
Some Marigolds and Nasturtiums I grew from seed are now planted out and the Marigolds are in bud

I also have cornflower, parsley, calendula, dianthus indoors grown from seed waiting to go out and a Morrison's Rosemary that may end up out front. Oh and a cutting of my neighbour's unidentified sweet smelling bush that may or may not take.
And I have two hydrangeas waiting to go in.

And I've probably missed something :-)
purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplerabbits at 05:01pm on 01/01/2015 under
1. Marmite - love or hate?
I like Marmite, but actually prefer vegemite these days as slightly milder and meatier . I adore Twiglets.

2. Marmalade - thick cut or thin cut?
Proper dark thick cut Oxford marmalade or bust

3. Porridge - made with milk or water?
I make mine with water and a splash of milk, with salt added in the cooking. The important thing is that it's proper Scottish-ly thick, not English gruel.

4. Do you like salt, sugar or honey on your porridge?
Sugar is OK, especially brown, but only if there is some salt as well. I also have a weakness for golden syrup, which dates back to my extreme childhood.

5. Loose tea or teabags?
Teabags for the most part unless I have company and special tea. Loose tea is a pain to clear up after.

6. Where on your door is your letterbox?
Waist height in the centre and horizontal as is proper.

7. What's your favourite curry?
Korma or Malayan or a home made mild dal. I'm a wuss about chilli.

8. What age is the place where you live?

9. Where do the folks running your local corner shop come from?

10. Instant or fresh coffee?
Instant fair trade at home. fancy Starbucks polluted muck when out

11. How far are you from the sea?
3 miles, if the Forth counts

12. Have you travelled via Eurostar?
Once, from London to Paris with mum

13. If you were going to travel abroad, where's the nearest country to you?
Probably Netherlands, though Denmark is not so far.

14. If you're female (or possible even some males) do you carry a handbag?
I have a bag that's a back pack as it's easier to manage with a stick.

15. Do you have a garden? What do you like growing?
There is a garden, not got round to growing yet. I used to grow herbs and tomatoes and generally useful things.

16. Full cream, semi skimmed or skimmed?

17. Which London terminal would you travel into if going to the capital?
Kings X, or Euston if doing the sleeper

18. Is there a local greasy spoon where you live?
This is Scotland, there's one every twenty metres

19. Do you keep Euros in the house?
I do still have some, though it's ages since Ive been to Europe or anywhere abroad

20. Does your home town have a Latin, Gaelic or Welsh alternative name?
Scottish Gaelic, Dùn Èideann or Dunedin

21. Do you have a well known local artist or author?
This is Edinburgh, we have several :-) The closest to me is my mate Charlie...

22. Do you have a favourite Corrie character?
Not even a bit. My mum watched it and I swore after leaving home never again.

23. Are your kitchen sink taps separate or a mixer?

24. Do you have a favourite brand of blended tea?
I drink Chai or Earl Grey rather than 'proper' tea. Tesco's finest or Twinings.

25. What's in your attic if you have one?
On the ground floor now so no attic.

26. If you go out for a cream tea, what jam do you like on your scone?
Apricot, but I don't really do cream teas

27. Talking of scones- scon or scown? Jam or cream first?
Scon. Cream last if at all

28. Barth or bath?

29. Carstle or castle?

30. What flavour of crisps do you favour?
Salted or salt and pepper. Some beef flavours are good too.

31. If you go to the chippie, what do you like with your chips?
Salt and vinegar, with ketchup for dipping but not on them.

32. Take away, take out or carry out?

33. If you have one, what colour is your wheelie bin?
We have big black on street bins

34. What colour skips does your local skip hire use?
Skips are yellow, aren't they?

35. Do you celebrate Guy Fawkes?
We get plenty or fireworks in Edinburgh almost year round, so haven't done the 5th November in a while. Also cos I celebrate Samhain on the 31st October...

36. Dettol or TCP?
As a child it was Dettol. Now neither.

37. Do you have a bidet in the bathroom?
No and there's no room for one

38. Do you prefer courgettes or aubergines?
Courgettes. Aubergine is OK in some dishes, but harder to make edible

39. In the 'real world' Do you have friends of other nationalities? Which nationalities?
Yes, fewer than I did cos I have fewer friends I see regularly than I did. New Zealanders and Irish predominantly.

40. Do you have a holy book of any sort in the house?
There is a King James Bible for reference. I have Rationality from AI to Zombies on my phone, more to the point.

41. Do you prefer a hankie or tissues?

42. Are you a fan of crumpets? What do you like on them?
Yes. Butter with more butter and maybe honey. It can get messy.

43. Doorbell, knocker or both?
Intercom buzzer cos it's a tenement flat

44. Do you own a car? What sort?

45. What sort of pants do you guys prefer? Y fronts or boxers?

46. Anyone still a fan of suspenders?
On other people I guess, though hold up are sexier. On me, not a chance.

47. Do you have a favourite quote from the bard?
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

48. Do you like toasted muffins?
Not specially, but anything that can act as a substrate for butter is OK.

49. Do you think a traditional trifle should contain jelly?
Yes, and more importantly there should be detectable sherry.

50. Do you attend regular religious worship? Of what kind?
No. But I mark the seasons and would love to attend a secular solstice.
purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
As I try to fit myself into new flat I have a bunch of stuff to get rid of. It will need to be collected from Caledonian Place. A lot of it will end up donated or ebayed if I don't get takers here, but mates get first dibs...

Does anyone want: 
  1. Ikea Ivar shelving unit with cabinet and four shelves (was my drinks cabinet with the dragons on). 30cm deep, 226cm tall and 85cm wide, would cost £89 new, £30 or make me an offer
  2. Set of drawers for an Ivar unit 50cm deep by 85cm wide. Its possible Ill be getting rid of the whole unit, so let me know if youre interested in that, but I at least want rid of the drawers
  3. Hi Fi separates: Sony CD player CDP XE530 (cannot believe these things are getting listed as vintage on ebay!) £15 or offer
  4. Sherwood Amp AI2210 Amplifier £20
  5. Gale reference monitor speakers and cables £20 
  6. A 10 year old Acoustic Solutions DVD player  was still working last I checked, free
  7. Plain white cylinder lamp shade 33cm diameter 20cm tall, free
  8. Turquoise rug, 99 x 130cm, free
purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
Controlled Descent has been successfully achieved. I am here, living in a flat on the ground, and nothing has crashed, burnt up in the atmosphere or rained burning debris over Edinburgh. I call this a success

My new flat that is called Abbenay is shiny and lovely and makes me smile. Settling in was helped hugely by previous owners cleaning the place and leaving curtains and light shades, both of which are more than I did for my purchaser. They moved out a bit before I moved in, whereas I had to hand over keys on the same day I moved, which makes cleaning and stuff hard, but it still feels weird not doing it. I think its the first time I've not done it, either for getting deposits back or for selling the place.

First impressions of Abbenay:
  1. It's light enough, which was something I was concerned about in a ground floor flat. The windows are big so although it will be darker in winter when the sun doesn't make it over the surrounding buildings as much, it will hopefully not be too bad.
  2. It's cold. This may be helped by the unseasonable, but possibly the new normal, weather we've been having (I got caught by a really heavy hail storm just as I left Hybrasil for the last time, which may Mean Something.) But I also suspect it's due to no downstairs neighbours sending up heat, less direct sunlight getting in, and no double glazing. The last one I can at least do something about. See future updates about Project Abbenay Town Planning. Meanwhile My big snuggly dressing gown is seeing a lot of use.
  3. The kitchen is smaller than Hybrasil. That's mostly OK as mostly it's lost width, so it has as many cupboards and surfaces. It does mean though that two people can't work together there without getting irritable. 
  4. The kitchen cupboards are high in the sky. I can really only use the bottom shelf of all the wall cupboards without a stool. This is weird as well cos the counters are at me height and would surely be uncomfortable for anyone who could reach the top cupboards.
  5. The cooker and washing machine both seem to work, but the sparker on the cooker doesn't work which is a pain, and I can't find a battery compartment for it. It may be too old to have a battery...
  6. The windows don't really open at all. I have no strong desire to open then now though, and they will be replaced anyway.
  7. The bathroom is better than Hybrasil, right down to the loo, and the bath is good and big. The boiler however is of limited size, so I can't have a long bath and top it up. This makes getting a combi boiler, with or without gas central heating, more urgent :)
  8. The living room is a good size, but the fireplace is a pain in the bum, and between that and the two doors and two heaters the wall space is very limited. I am going to have to get rid of some furniture. There will probably be a future post about that too...
  9. The bedroom is big enough for a bed and computer and a ready in the window nook chair, which will leave the little bed/box room for crafts and bookcases.
  10. Yay!

purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
In addition to running a BiCon(!) I have a big task to start and hopefully complete in 2015. I need to sell my lovely flat in the sky and buy one nearer the ground so I can get in and out of it without pain. Thinking about the task has been distressing, cos I love my sky flat and have done loads of work on it to make it lovely, and because I like to admit that the knee isn't getting better. I've spent the last month or two acclimatising myself to the idea that it's going to happen, and made the first step of meeting with three estate agents. I now have a sort of list of what needs done, though it will no doubt get more detailed and have lots added to it, so I feel I can get started. It still has the capacity to be distressing, so I need to keep focussing on the positive results I could get from doing this, and also congratulate myself on everything I do towards the goal. 

So the name of the project shall henceforth be Controlled Descent (I did contemplate Happy Landings as a name, but I guess I'm not that capable of being sunny and positive)

And here's The Thing Doing List for January
  • Deal with the mould on the bathroom ceiling
  • Get quotes for regrouting, painting and resealing the bath and book someone to do at least the second two (regrouting only if affordable)
  • Get two quotes for new vinyl in the bathroom and decide whether to go ahead with it (I may only need one quote for this unless the preferred supplier can't do it, since they were the cheapest when we did the kitchen)
  • Get two quotes for window cleaning. If they differ significantly get a third.
  • Continue to declutter - this is a tough one cos it's hard to know when it's done. At the moment I'm doing little and often, but I'm wondering if a big blitz will help or not.
  • Keep the flat clean and mostly tidy so that I can see the benefits of decluttering and more easily imagine holding viewings etc
  • Decide which estate agent to go with
  • At the end of the month contact chose estate agent to get started (eek!)
Things achieved today towards these goals include
  • Washing up and tidying kitchen
  • Putting away dry clothes
  • Tidying all the clothes and other fabricy things in the house to places where they go
  • Washing clothes and hanging them out
  • Making this post :-)

purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
posted by [personal profile] purplerabbits at 02:34pm on 19/06/2014
I need to let myself know that things are getting done again, so here is a list. Congratulations are always welcome:-


All the washing up (except the grill pan of DOOM)
Found all the dirty clothes and put a wash on
Sorted out tradesman for A & N
Received Tesco delivery and put it away
Took the recycling down
Wrapped and posted stuff for ebay
Visited Ed
Took some of Ed's stuff to Shelter and helped there for nearly an hour
Went for a walk from Silverknowes to Cramond village and saw birds and stuff. It felt like a really long walk but apparently it was 'only' two miles
Had a baaaath

Laid up BiReCon programme, researched cheap condoms etc for BiCon
Ordered my repeat prescription
Ran soda crystals through the washing machine
Tidied the bedroom and put away the clean clothes 
Got distracted into sorting through clothes so now I have a bag for the rag guy and one for Shelter

I meant to do loads more today, but yesterday was knackering and I'm quite enjoying NOT having to do all the things


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