Monthly archives: September 2002

This weekend I are bin mostly eatin’…… Cumberland Sausage. Because I bough about five pounds of it and didn’t bother freezing any. It would take another ten pounds before I got sick of it.
I’m having issues with my parents’ PC. What’s really frustrating is that some of the problems are the same as I encountered back when I was using Windows 98, but I’ve forgotten what I did to solve them. I can’t get disk defragmenter to work, because something else keeps accessing the drive and sending it back to the start. Actually, I think I only solved that one by using Norton Utilities. Sigh.

Morn asked Marra about the jewellery. She simply nodded in the direction of the returned XO and said, �Because he recognises it.�
The XO made his way over slowly. �The captain apologises, but he cannot be here to talk with you. He is very busy.�
Morn motioned to a seat by Marra. The XO looked ready to panic, but with no other options, he had to take it. Marra hid her smile. �The captain is busy.� the XO repeated to fill the silence, �He is always busy nowadays. I suspect he is planning something.�
Morn nodded. Marra tried to get the XO to look her in the eyes. �We have radio aerials strung up in the trees. They can bounce short-wave signals off the upper atmosphere and we can pick them up. We still have an old clockwork coder, and I do not think the Southerners have cracked that yet. Besides which, I think all the instructions are cryptic anyhow.�
�What is your name?� Marra asked gently.
�Dack, your maj…..�
Morn extrapolated the cut off word. He glanced at Marra, who nodded ever so slightly. �Dack. I believe we share the same nation. The last I heard, our homeland was not sending its young men to fight for the North or the South.�
�You have not been there since you were a child. The families do not rule any more. You were exiled for very little gain. The army took control when it was obvious they were due to be rolled over by the South and opened the capital to them. Those of us still loyal to heredity left the country and took up with any armed force opposing the South.�
�Would you consider returning?�
�If you commanded me to.�
�I am the deposed queen of a conquered land. I am hardly in a position to order anything of you. I have also promised Morn I shall accompany him on his quest.�
�Perhaps I could also help. If my services are no longer required here. Would you accept another companion?�
�Gladly.� Morn smiled. �We should be leaving in the morning.�
�Then I had best consult with my captain.� Dack stood and left.

I’ll sort out the picture of the day just as soon as I get some shareware FTP program to upload the files.
Out searching for the kennels so I could rescue my parents’ dog (currently lying at my feet a very happy little spaniel) I happened across a beagle hunt trying to root out hares. I took a few photos, but they were probably out of focus. My opinion keeps changing on hunting itself- right now I figure it’s as efficient a form of pest control as any other- but I got the impression that the hunt ban proposal is actually helping the rural way of life. People have a common cause now, and I’m sure it’s bringing them together. I don’t remember beagle hunts happening before I moved to Manchester.

The storm rocked the ship. It was an unsettling motion, but Jay was happier now her view was foreshortened by waves and spray. Holding tightly to the handrail, she followed Reed to the maps rooms.
Browdy was waiting for them. Salutes were exchanged and he led them from the outer, distribution, room to the inner, intelligence, room. Centrepiece of this room was a large table holding a map. �The world.� Browdy announced, redundantly.
Unlike all previous maps Reed had seen, the main landmass was not the centre of attention. Indeed, the great continent was split, its eastern half at one end of the table and the western at the other. Quite logically, this map concentrated on the ocean they were surrounded by. Jay looked at the great expanse of blue and felt her agoraphobia return.
A flag with a red X on it marked the position of Half Time base, about a third of the way across the ocean. There were other markers. Jay traced westward from the island and soon spotted the four orange headed pins that showed the direction beacons they had followed in. Tracking east she followed the coloured trail to another flag, this time with a blue cross. Unlike Half Time, this flag was moving, a track of pin prick holes traced its course. Other pins, and clusters of pins, described an arrowhead toward the blue cross.
�The storm should clear by tomorrow.� Browdy announced, �And there will be another flight arriving the day after. So it is time to show you the next leg of your journey.�
�I have heard of boats having flat decks fitted and becoming floating runways.� Jay waved at the blue flag.
Browdy nodded and smiled. �This is a more than that. A considerable amount more. Let me show you the model.� There was another large table in the far corner of the room. Lined up on one side were pewter cast model aeroplanes, tiny but still identifiable by make. They were grouped by flights and squadrons, a tally of the logistics involved. A few were parked on the model, to give a reference for size. �It is unlikely you have ever seen or heard of this.� Browdy chuckled.
�No.� Jay admitted quietly. �How soon can we get there?�

A quick post. I’m off to Cumbria, to enjoy the mountains and get loads of pictures for the site, so postings may get a little sporadic for the next week or so.


The narrow bridge was a bottleneck, and there was always traffic across it. The ravine below provided enough rocks for cover that the squad could, one by one, sneak through. Lensman watched his men flitting from one spot to another. It took great concentration and was only possible because he knew what they were doing. Across from him, Kess had his baby long rifle at the ready and Mov was ready to deploy a stonk. If they were spotted, they would blow the bridge and withdraw into the mountains.

As each man came through, they took up a defensive position. They were spreading out further and further downstream. The last man came through. Lensman followed him. Mov came on a few dozen counts later and Kess after the same delay again.

The river fed into a wider, gentler flow which they would have to ford. Beyond that, the ground was flat- by the standards of a mountain man- and the cover less obvious. They went downstream, away from the road, until they found a crossing of rocks deliberately placed in the river.

Lensman stole a glance at Mov. The veteran appeared worried, unsure of himself outside his natural habitat. As squad leader, Lensman could not acknowledge that he felt the same fear. He had to keep up the confident fa�ade as they headed into this alien landscape. Kess scanned the far bank, nodding when he saw nothing of danger. Lensman sprinted across the rocks, slipping on ones mid stream but staying upright, and dived into a covering position on the far shore.

I’ve almost beaten the block, but I’m still putting off stuff I really should do. Must complete my tax return.


They knew many languages, and had the skills to learn new ones rapidly. The one they used now involved hand signals. �The walls are very strange.� He signed, �I haven�t found evidence of any microphones yet, but we have to be careful.�

�How strange?� signed Bobb.

�Cold and clammy, even through the wood cladding. And there are bits that are colder than others, like they were being deliberately cooled.�

�We need to get out of here,� Sheel asserted, �before they check our story.�

�I can trace our steps back to where the flying boat landed. But I don�t know what would be there.�

�We need to get our hands on some metal to work with.� Bobb pointed out. The only time they saw metal was the cutlery at meal times, and they were watched as they ate by a rating who tried to stare at Sheel�s breasts.

�I wonder how the others are getting on.� Gim pondered.

�If they�re not dead.� Bobb replied lazily.

Click on image for full picture

Click on image for full picture

Long, long ago (well, last year), in a galaxy far, far away (Surrey) I had a favourite radio station. XFM plays the sort of stuff I want to hear, all day, with no pandering to any chart or playlist. And now I can get it streamed over ADSL.

In preparation for the return of Coupling, I’ve been watching the first series on DVD. This is definitely the best British sitcom in years. There’s an insane genius to League of Gentlemen, but it hardly fits the criteria, and I never really watched The Office, I want my sitcoms to make me laugh, not squirm.


The evening breeze brought charred leaves and the smell of burnt wood. And a flotilla of small boats with deadly cargoes.

Morn watched as each canoe edged toward the bulge of a turtled hull downstream. The hole that had sunk the boat in the first place served as an entrance. One by one the canoes entered, departing without their loads. �Near one in every four bombs they drop through the canopy is arrested and does not explode.� explained the XO (he had refused to give his name). �We recover them and reuse them. Some become mines in the river, it discourages patrols.�

�Do they ever bomb this ship?�

�We have them bluffed into thinking we are hiding in the forest, burning camp fires and attacking patrols. Who would hide in so visible a place as this? Particularly one that is already so damaged.�

The operations room was deep inside the ship, lit by candles and with charcoal burning stoves cooking up a stew. The stoves vented into dead spaces in the hull to hide any smoke.

Marra had returned to the boat for the charts and was now comparing intelligence with a one armed, eye patched officer. She looked around and nodded recognition as Morn and the XO entered. There was a piece of jewellery through her right eye brow, a crescent shape suggesting a third eye. The XO stared, then turned and left. Marra shook her head and motioned for Morn to join her at the table.

A couple of months after September 11th, I was discussing the probable next method of attack with a few friends. My preffered attack was to hijack a petrol tanker, drive it to the middle of the Golden Gate bridge and blow it up.

If I’d been in Georgia I’d probably have been arrested (right now I have a few days worth of beard and, whilst my skin isn’t that dark you never can tell……) and people could use the whole situation to say hateful stuff like this.

I do try to understand the conservative view point, but sometimes they’re just morons.

This isn’t the Seeds segment I couldn’t finish yesterday. I realised this one fits better with the order and pace of the story. However, Chapter Five is causing me some problems, so expect quite a few changes between the daily posts and the full chapter when it goes up.

Reed hadn�t complained when jay wanted to spend the first day in their cabin. After three days, he was beginning to worry. He opened the door and stared out. �I think I can understand.�

Jay was sulking on the bed. �I feel so stupid. How can I call myself a warrior when I�m scared of�. Of�.�

�Nothing.� The view played tricks on Reed�s senses. The island was on the other side of the boat. When he looked straight ahead there was nothing to be seen but blue grey haze, graduating to a paler blue in the sky. The horizon was so invisible in this haze. Staring at it too long confused Reed�s perception of up and down. He shook his head and jerked it around to get a view of the ship. With a point of reference he felt so much better. He motioned for Jay to join him.

�They cannot expect us to fight over this stuff. One or two sharp turns and we�ll lose all sense of what is up and what down. It is so different in the mountains.� Jay pulled on a smock and slowly crossed the room. Reed put his arms around her and they stared out together.

Updates- Seeds Chapter 4 is up. The chapters can be considered second drafts, with the daily serial bits as first draft. When it’s all wrapped up, I’ll rip through it and do third, fourth and fifth drafts to come up with, hopefully, the final version.

I’ve joined Blogsnob, a link exchange system. Check down the left hand side to see who I’m pointing at today.

Once upon a time I saw two politicians arguing over which of their partys supplied the best weather whilst in power. Slightly darker, and consequently funnier is the finding that Suicide rates tend to rise under Tory rule.

Importantly, most of these new suicides are in Labour strogholds. You can imagine the tactics meetings. “If we make things particularly bad in the mining areas then enough of those damn pinkos will kill themselves that we can take Yorkshire in the next election.”