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Longsword locks

If the longsword photos didn't work for you, try now - https://watervole.dreamwidth.org/639401.html?view=3965353&posted=1#cmt3965353

I've redone all the images from Flickr instead of Google photos. I'd forgotten that you can't even cut and past images from Google photos, let along link to them. (They look fine when I'm putting the entry together, but I don't think anyone else can see them)

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Q is for Quantum

"Events are discrete in nature. Either I go on holiday to Peru or I don't."
Carter's voice was kinda soothing when she was in monologue mode.
"Fascinating mummies in Peru," Daniel chipped in.
"If you're into dead children," Jack said, leaning back in his chair.
Daniel stared at him with amazement. "You read my paper!"
Jack blinked rapidly. "Saw it on the Discovery channel."
"If I go to Peru," Carter continued firmly, "then that is a discrete event."
"What necessity makes you require secrecy?"
"Secrecy?"
"Why do you need to be discreet?"
"Discrete, Teal'c." Jack drawled. "Means 'separate'. Carter's saying that something like a photon either is or isn't. You can't have half a photon. Quantum theory really pisses off people who think in terms of light waves."
"You read my article?"
"It's amazing what you can learn from the back of cereal packets."
And Carter was off again, explaing how the Quantum Mirror could only show an Aleph-naught number of infinite universes, because each universe was created by a decision made by an individual and the number of decisions was an integer not a real number.
Maybe, somewhere, there was an alternate universe where Jack O'Neill didn't find this stuff fascinating.
He yawned. "Time to call it a night, kids. Think I might do a little star-gazing before I go to bed." Half an hour's observation, then he might complete that article for 'Astronomy Monthy.' Under a pseudonym, of course.

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Tradiational Cotswold at its best.

This is Nonesuch Morris, whom I've only just come across. They're a mixed team from Bristol and do traditional Cotswold morris that is truly excellent.

Just look at the precision of the teamwork and the leaps and the crisp hanky work.

Poor hanky work can look terrible, which is why Border morris sides shy away from hanky dances, but when they're done to this standard, they can look fantastic.



 
I'm just about to email them and ask if they'd like to come to Wimborne Minster Folk Festival next year.  I'm dance director of the festival and I'd love it if they could come.

One of the reasons I'm posting so little here is that festival work is taking up a lot of my time at the moment.  The festival isn't until next June, but this is the time when lot of dance teams make their decisions about where they are performing next summer.  Thus, a heavy correspondence load.




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Birthday swords

On my birthday, my family and I started playing around with my longswords.  I set my husband and daughter a challenge to see how many locks they could find using six swords.  In the process, they invented one new one and created an improved version of one that I've seen in a book.  Here's some of what we came up with. 

This is the Mohr lock - I learnt it from an American Rapper dancer

Mohr lock.jop



Black Joker lock (or you can call it a farm gate if you prefer.) This is a more rigid version of a known lock.

I found a good way of making it quickly, too.
Black Joker Richard.jp


Lindsey's lock. She found this one that I hadn't seen before.

Lindsey lock

Richard's Yacht lock.  This may actually be one that nobody else had before.

Yacht lock

If you want to play yourselves, just cut out some strips of cardboard from a cereal packet or similar, and interweave them.

You'll probably manage to fins the six pointed start before long, but there are others, as well, that I've not shown here...





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Fanfic recommendation

 I don't read a lot of fanfic, mainly because there is so much poor stuff and I'm too lazy to sift through it all to find the good ones, but I do tend to follow up recs by friends here and to try stuff written by friends.

I've just been reading Elisi's novel 'Dating the Cleverest Boy in the World'  

An excellent read, a Dr Who novel, but relying almost entirely on well written original characters, who interact occasionally with the Master, Lucy Saxon, tenth Doctor and Jack Harkness.

It's a novel that looks at relationships between mortals and immortals, between human and non-human and asks what it's ethical to reveal/conceal.

The basic premise is an AU where the Master and Lucy Saxon had a son.  The boy grows up with both the Doctor and the Master as major influences in his life, trying to balance their conflicting ethics and their expectations of him. 

When he finally enters a romantic relationship with a human woman, he gets caught in the trap of how much to tell her about himself.

It's a novel that avoids quick, easy answers, and one that allows the characters to grow and develop in a believable manner. 

This is a gen novel.  Characters have sex (both gay and straight), but there are no explicit scenes. 

When it comes to sex, this is the way I prefer it.

(In days gone by, I sometimes skipped plot to get to the sex. Now, I skip sex to get to the plot.  There are more original plots than there are original sex scenes. )

The breakdown between chapters is well-balanced. Each is a distinct scene, but contributes to the overall storyline.  Made it very easy to read one or two chapters a day.

Definitely recommended.


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Great Cotswold

 
There are those who think Cotswold morris is a bit dull and sedate and that Border morris is far more interesting.

And then there are those who have seen Cotswold morris teams like Berkshire Bedlams!

Just watch. Four dances, all totally different in style.  Look at the way they bounce off the audience!

Great dancing, great entertainment.


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Learning German

 After a break, caused by problems in the way Duolingo interacts with Chrome on my elderly computer, I'm back learning German again.

It's complicated and difficult enough to help me focus on something other than trying to sell my mother-in-law's house and other things with high stress factors.

However, sometimes German can be illogical enough to make even me tear my hair out.

'Ihr' is the most crazy word I've yet come across.  What kind of language has the SAME word for 'she', 'your', and 'theirs' ?

When you're already juggling three genders and four cases, and the fact that a simple word like 'the' can be spelt in half a dozen ways depending on which combination you have, 'ihr' is pretty much the last straw.

Mind you, there are compensations.  Some German words are glorious and just make me laugh out loud.  One of my favourites is 'Krankenhaus' - 'hospital', or 'Schnurrbart' - 'mustache'.

I find transliteration often helps me remember a word - I look up part words in dictionaries. eg. 'Schnurrbart' is nothing to do with snoring in spite of the sound, it means 'string beard', which makes sense.


'Schwiegermutter' is the German for mother-in-law.  It transliterates as 'silent mother'.  Sort of an unseen family member, but one who is still part of the family.  All in-laws are schwieger something.

Although I'm still using Duolingo, I'm branching out into a number of other German-teaching sites.  They all have different pros and cons.  Few of them are good at teaching grammar - I think they're afraid of scaring people away.  I'm using a book from the library as my main grammar guide.

If anyone would like a list of the sites I've found so far, just ask.

BTW, if you're not a native English speaker (and I know at least two of you aren't) do feel free to point out the most crazy things in the English language!

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Heinlein


I've been re-reading some of my Heinlein collection recently.

I still think "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is one of the best SF novels ever written. I've worn out two paperbacks and now own it in e-book format.

Farah Mendlesohn has completed her book about Heinlein and his work and I'm expecting it to be an interesting and thought-provoking read. She's an expert on the subject and the author of several well-regarded literary works on SF and fantasy.

It ended up being too long (500 pages) for most academic publisers, so she's crowdfunding it. I've just pre-ordered my copy.
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Morris first aid

 We were dancing at Swanage Folk Festival this weekend and I had the usual use of our team first aid kit, a child with a scratched finger needing a plaster (it's hardly ever team members needing it).

However, not long after, a dancer twisted a foot mid-dance. He swapped out and tossed his stick to me and we finished the dance without missing a step. After the dance was over, I got out the emergency ice pack and a crepe bandage and applied both. By the afternoon (with the bandage re-applied) he was well enough to walk the procession, but sensible enough not to try stepping.


There are days when I'm very glad that I carry that kit around wherever we go.

(The item that I deliberately included in the kit, but hope never to have to use, is an eye pad. One has to be realistic about the risk of stick injuries when it comes to Border morris.)

Apart from having the right kit to treat the injury, the other big plus for me was that the dancer in question knew I could instantly replace him and we swapped without affecting the dance at all.  I
 work hard to learn every position in every dance (which is not to say that I never make mistakes) and it means that I can fill in almost  anywhere.  Some dancers only ever learn a single position.  They'll dance second in line on the left in dance A and in position 3 in dance B and so on.

I tend to visualise dances from an overhead viewpoint, so I see the overall pattern and that means I remember "First corners cross" rather than "I swap places with Henry". I've also been dancing for most of my life, so half the patterns are second nature anyway.
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Dancing Horses -the one I missed!

 Yesterday at Swanage Folk Festival I was lucky enough to see one of the best dancing horses of all.  The Minehead Hobby Horse is one of a very rare breed (there's another one at Padstow, but that's about it).

It's a wild and energetic animal and it led the Swanage procession and I suspect the young man inside was totally exhausted by the end.  (I gather he had rope burns from all that energetic swinging)

Here's some footage of it from another occasion.  It's the Sailor's Horse from Minehead -which may help to explain why it looks as much like a boat as a horse, but it definitely has a tail!


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Judith Proctor

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