Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Sunday, August 25, 2013

SCA Projects

I have so much going on in my head right now. School begins again soon, I'm still trying to write this book, and my SCA interests have leapt into action again. So I'm trying to at least write things down here so that they don't get forgotten. This post may be updated as I remember things!

  • I am now Deputy ID Chronicler. Must nag Lady Constanza for jobs.
Other projects:
  • Medieval tiles reproduced as rubber-backed tapestry for pavilion floor mats.
  • Recorder consort (or similar musical consort) with rehearsals conducted over Skype.
  • Insulae Draconis Song Book project.
  • Linked to the above, raising the tradition of Bardic song and storytelling in the Principality.
  • Make a linen-lined woollen hood and a warm woollen surcote for colder weather.
  • Use wire to create a new clasp for the Aneala cloak.
  • Make garb for the munchkin and take him to an event.
  • Get my own name and device registered (this should be submitted next month).
  • Heraldic cloak, once the above comes through.
Do ALL the things.

Friday, August 23, 2013


I had less than 4 hours' sleep last night, so this post may be semi-lucid. We had a friend staying over and good wine, and all temporarily forgot that the kitten and the kiddo were not under any circumstances going to let us sleep past 7am. So turning in at 3am was not smart, and we are zonked.


This is going to be a short post and probably really irritating, because none of the stuff it's actually about can be shared publicly. Suffice to say there's been a lot of Stuff and Feels being passed around branches of my social circle over the past couple of weeks, and some of it had the potential for ~boom~.

What I can and wanted to say was that I'm quite proud of how I've handled all this quite tricky emotional navigation. I've considered my own wants and needs carefully (no easy thing, as longer-term readers of this blog will know... I have a history of being unable to articulate or respect either) and I've expressed them thoughtfully and respectfully. And I've been getting the same in return from others whose Stuff and Feels needed to be clarified and/or negotiated.

So, yay for chosen family (friamily? friendamily? famiends? famends? Shut up, Christine) who know how to string an emotionally charged sentence together without unnecessarily hurting anyone. It rocks.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


1. (original meaning) Adding information to the back story of a fictional character or world, without invalidating that which had gone before.
- Urban Dictonary

A few months ago we took out a subscription to Lovefilm Instant, which among other things has given me dangerously unfettered access to Buffy episodes. I have been indulging in a fit of nostalgia and watching the entire thing, all 7 series, from start to finish.

Watching the early seasons of Buffy is like looking back at my own teenage years. The main characters are supposed to be mere months younger that me; the clothing, hair, technology and mannerisms are all those of my own generation.

As I was watching the first season, I couldn't help paying extra attention to the character of Willow, who as anyone familiar with the series will know, later becomes/realises she is a lesbian. For those who are not familiar, teen-Willow has a crush on a boy, slightly-older-teen-Willow has a relationship with a boy, but early-20s Willow has two successive relationships with women. I don't know - I haven't read up on it - whether this was always something that Joss Whedon intended, or whether it developed as the seasons went on.

When I look back at my own high school years, there are some things that stick out glaringly as signs that I was gay and didn't know it. The way I blushed and stuttered when speaking to girls. The way I couldn't quite 'get' crushing on the usual cute boy celebrities and had to pretend as best I could. The way I craved "intense friendships" with girls and didn't quite know what that meant.

As I watch these early seasons, I can't help looking for the same signs in Willow... and imagining them, where I can. Imagining in her unknowing proto-lesbian character my own proto-lesbian self.

It's surprisingly therapeutic to overlay the past with the future, to see in earlier events the shadow of later events that the players in those events could not even imagine.

On Trout, and Memories

When I was growing up, one of my eccentric maternal grandfather's hobbies was farming trout in the creek that ran through my grandparents' property in the Perth hills. I have many vivid memories of this setup: the netting around the enclosures, the smell of the big bin of trout food (very similar to kitten kibble!), the texture of the pole on the long-handled nets we used to catch them, the yellow of the fish innards when they were being gutted for cooking. Sometimes we'd catch, cook and eat them at my grandparents' house; other times, we'd be sent home with cleaned trout ready for cooking.

Inextricably linked with trout is the smell of lemon thyme, which grew in our herb garden and was always the herb of choice when Mum cooked the trout. It smells of warm evenings and sounds like honey bees and cicadas. It's one of the fundamental memory scents of my childhood home.

I was unexpectedly taken back there yesterday in Tesco, half a world away, when I came across a bunch of fresh lemon thyme in the herb section. It's so rare to see lemon thyme in the shops that I leapt at it, then sensibly put it back, saying to Ellie that we'd see whether they had trout at the fish counter first.

They did have trout, both whole and filleted. At the end of our shopping list, and in possession of two trout fillets, we went back for the lemon thyme... and it was gone.

I actually fought back tears, absurdly enough, but consoled myself with the thought of thyme and slices of lemon as a close second. We grabbed a lemon and headed for the checkout.

Naturally, seven hours later when we came to cook dinner, Ellie called me into the kitchen with a chagrined expression: the thyme we both thought was in the cupboard was not there. We must have run out without either of us putting it on the shopping list, I guess. Thwarted again.

So, I ended up having mixed herb and lemon trout, and yes, it was delicious. But next time I'm grabbing the lemon thyme first!

I had wanted to put up a photograph of Whistlepipe Gully where it runs through my grandparents' property, but it seems I don't have one. Instead, this is my family's herb garden in Glen Forrest, Western Australia, circa 1991.

Monday, August 5, 2013

An Update...

It's been a while, and I've been neglecting this blog shamefully, so here's some things that have happened lately.

Munchkin turned 5. I made a cake.


We added a new family member, Ophelia (also known as Feefee or Feely-Cat, or Get Out Of It You Stupid Git).


My wife and I both finally accepted that we'd gained more weight than we were happy with in the long slide since the wedding, and we've joined Weight Watchers. It's working very well for us so far - they've changed the plan a lot and it's a lot more manageable and liveable than it was the last time I tried it. It's going well, and I'll update about it again when I reach goal - which I am going to this time, unlike the last few attempts!


We also celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary. There is a mushy video of our wedding and honeymoon, but blogger won't let me upload it (probably because it's 14 minutes long and rather large)... I will look into putting it up on youtube or vimeo and linking it here.


The day school finished we raced up to visit friends in Shropshire - an area we are falling in love with as a future home - and climbed The Wrekin, an achievement that made us both feel rather proud given how unfit we've both become!

That's the Munchkin and his best friend L in the foreground.

The book currently stands at just over 43,000 words. Things got slow when the assessment end of the school year arrived at the same time as an unexpected plot twist, and I'm now trying to get back on track with daily writing over the summer. It's already more than double the length of my previous longest piece of work, so that is pretty satsifying. I have an idea for another, unrelated book on the backburner, so I want to finish this one by the end of the year, work on the other one in the first half of next year, then come back and edit this one next summer. The other one is aimed at primary school readers, so it will be shorter.


I'm off to Wales in just over a week to a big SCA event. I've become reconciled with the SCA since inspirational equality was written in as acceptable, and was tried out by a same-sex couple appearing in the most recent crown tourney. They didn't win, but the precedent is now there and one day we will have a same-sex couple on the throne. That's been enough to entice me back!


Late last year, I glanced back over my employment contract and realised that they'd made me a permanent, not one-year, offer. There was much rejoicing. There's been a bit of staff turnover and rearrangement ready for next year, but I am staying in Year 2. This is the first time I've ever stayed at the same school two years running, and the first time I've ever taught the same year two years running. Fancy that! I might almost begin to feel like I know what I'm doing.


One of the reasons there's been a long gap on this blog is that I've found it hard to express many of the things I've been thinking about this year. I get very emotional about my hot-button topical issues - feminism, sexuality and education - and I sometimes feel too overwhelmed with  frustration to actually say anything sensible about them. However, I'm going to try, so my goal is to blog every weekend, and say something, whether it's an update or a few thoughts on something that matters.

I think that's everything. Back to the book...