sunset

Welcome to my Journal

Hi there!

Although the dorsetgirl identity is mainly my fandom persona, I do use it to post comments in a variety of places, so if you've arrived here from a non-fandom location, welcome!

This journal nowadays contains mainly the occasional rant or rambling about life in general, but further back much of it is fanfic, some of which is of an explicit nature. Please do not read on unless you're comfortable with that.




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DG1

My Fic Masterlist - Last Updated April 2011

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This list is a work in progress; it's not completely up-to-date with everything posted between January2010 and April 2011. I plan to go through the drabble challenges etc when I have time, to pick up the bits I've missed.

Most of my fic is set in the Life on Mars universe; nearly all of it is slash - that's a male/male relationship. If that bothers you, don't read any further.

Items marked *** are new since the last update. At present, most of the links go to comms rather than my journal, because that's where the comments are and because not everything is here in my journal yet. (If you'd like to add to the comments, I would be delighted!)

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DG1

On providing a taxi service...

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This is the first year that we've had two of the kids both away at university. Eldest did his first and second year, and then lived at home while he did his year in industry. Middle son being two years younger, that was the year he was away for his first year. He's now in second year, and eldest is in final year, so it's just us two and youngest son here this year. It's not as odd and awkward as I feared it might be, but next year is going to be odd - so far I have no idea where any of them are going to be.

Oldest might stay on for an MSc, or do an MSc somewhere else, or get a job, or be unemployed. If the latter, I'm guessing he'll live at home, but in the other three cases, he could be anywhere in the country.

Middle son might do a year in industry, and he might do that anywhere in the country. Or, most likely, he'll go straight into final year where he is.

Youngest son has four conditional offers and is waiting to hear from the fifth, so with any luck he'll be at the university of his choice next year. His five options are spread all over the country, so he could be anywhere.

In the short term, I have to do a bit of juggling next weekend. Oldest and middle have both separately informed me that they're planning on coming home for Christmas next Sunday. Because trains from their uni towns come into different London stations, they will end up at different (relatively-)local stations. So I shall have fun keeping track of their journeys throughout the day (three trains for each of them, total journeys of 7 hours and 4 hours respectively), and then co-ordinating who's going to be where when and whether I can do them both without keeping someone waiting too long.

Stations really don't seem to go in for warm comfortable waiting rooms nowadays, so I shall just have to do my best. I'd already told middle son that with two of us and two vehicles, there wouldn't be any problem, but now OH has announced there's a gig he really wants to go to next Sunday. So he's going to it. It's a good job I don't have a life, but on the plus side, I have found over the years that the journey home is the best - sometimes the only - time to get any information about what they've been doing, so that will be good. Just not so sure I'm looking forward to my food bills doubling...
DG1

Fic: Happy Now? (Pete Martin's Happy Ending)

I discovered this story when I was doing a bit of tidying up. Originally posted for one or two people only way back in 2009, I can scarcely believe it was so long ago. I still remember writing this, and how this partnership were as real to me as Gene and Sam at the time. Perhaps I ought to dig out the rest of their universe... (My apologies for any formatting errors - how wonderful to see that LJ can still be a complete bastard when you're trying to post in a hurry).
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Version 2.4

Title: Happy Now?
Author: DorsetGirl
Fandom: Life on Mars
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters or their universe. BBC/Kudos do. I'm not making any money out of this.
Rating: Blue Cortina
Pairings: Sam/Gene pre-slash; OC Pete Martin with his new partner.
Word Count: 5,720 approx
Summary: Poor Pete got a pretty rough deal in ‘An Unhappy Man’. This story gives Pete the happy ending he deserves, and we find out a few more details of what happened to Sam in the bank.
A/N: The events in this short story take place an hour or two after the ending of ‘An Unhappy Man’; it takes a brief look at what Sam is doing in the middle of that life-changing Monday morning; and incidentally explains why Pete never answered the phone during that pivotal week in Sam’s life.

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DG1

(no subject)

I've lived all my life so far WITHOUT the fear of invasion by France or Germany - a luxury that was not permitted to my parents or grandparents. Or probably any of my ancestors.

I've lived all my life so far WITH the fear of the whole of Europe being picked off, one country at a time, by Russia.

I don't see any way in which either of those positions is improved by this result.
DG1

Oh.

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Just got up. Just saw the news. I'm having difficulty believing this, to put it mildly.

So what happens now? Do we close the borders at 7am? Do we expel all the people we only allowed in because the EU said we had to? Do all British students on really low tuition fees at European universities have to come home and start paying nine grand a year?

I was not expecting this. I am shocked.
DG1

A Ramble on Reading

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I've just been looking at one of those posts where people give a list of "100 best novels" and say how many they've read. Typically, people seem to be embarrassed if they've read less than half of them. The list I've just seen is full of books I've heard of as "classics", or even worse "modern classics". I've read about seven of them and I'm happy to say I'm not embarrassed in the slightest.

This is probably because the main legacy of the incredible tedium of English Literature lessons - despite the fact that I had a major crush on the (pretty good) teacher, so the books must have been bad - is that somewhere in the back of my head is a auto-reply that says "Classics? No thanks, they're all boring." That’s possibly got something to do with all that “reading round the class” and getting told off for reading ahead, because it’s impossible to look at the page and not read faster than someone who’s stumblingly reading out loud. And if you don’t look at the page, to stop yourself reading ahead, you get told off for that, too. I never understood that.

Anyway, I can say with confidence that it literally has never crossed my mind to read things like "Brick Lane" or "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" - they're hailed as classics so they must be boring and therefore not for me. I did actually try to read Lord of the Rings once; I wasted three weeks ploughing through it and it never got any more interesting. It was the first book I ever said "You know what, I just can not be bothered to finish this." The Wind in the Willows I also found incredibly boring.

Three Men in a Boat, on the other hand, I found hysterically funny, and if I could only find it I'd read it again right now. And of course as a Dorset girl, I've read several of Hardy's books - some more enjoyable than others.

I read on average I suppose 5 or 6 books a week, and as well as whatever I can find in the library (I'm trying to save money and space by not buying too many more) I have many books that I will re-read once a year or so for many years to come - Harry Potter, Swallows and Amazons, Millennium, Sharpe, The Hunger Games, Dalziel & Pascoe, several of Bill Bryson's books. I suspect Outlander may get added to that list, though as I've only read books 1 and 4 so far I can't be sure yet. I think also I like books that make me see the world in a different way, for example The Old Straight Track, or The Making of the English Landscape. Or introduce me to a different way of living, like One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Then there are the books like The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, and The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson, which I will never get rid of but for some reason only feel like reading every two or three years.

Happily, as I apparently can't tell a bad book from a good one I generally enjoy my reading. I've never understood why people are so sniffy about Dick Francis and Jeffrey Archer, for example. I mean, who cares whether it's a "good" book or not as long as it's an interesting story, the characters are well-differentiated and their thoughts, actions and motivations believable? (And their speech appropriate to the time and place, of course.)

It always puzzles - and annoys - me when people equate "doesn't read great literature, can't see what's wrong with Dan Brown" with "culturally disadvantaged and by implication obviously uneducated". They’re not the same thing at all - it's just that my education possibly contained rather more Maths and Science than that of the people who seem to think having had an arty education makes them in some way more fortunate or more intelligent than me.

I can only think that - in the same way a rich man had a deer park to show he had so much land he didn't need to actually use most of it for crops - the middle-class bias towards "culture" is born of the old idea that poor people had to have a trade to earn a living, while the more comfortably-off could sit around all day reading books, painting, playing music etc, so education in those subjects became - in their imaginations - a key marker of having enough money. That doesn’t hold today, of course, but the idea still appears to linger.

Finally, I've just had a look at a couple of other lists of "100 best books" - because these things are rather more subjective than the compilers might admit - and to my surprise I've found one with several books on it that I actually enjoyed: http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/. Admittedly they're on the "readers' list" rather than the "official" one (and those readers would appear to be slightly older than me), but never mind; I would happily re-read any of these tonight if I knew which box they were in:

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Trustee From The Toolroom by Nevil Shute
On The Beach by Nevil Shute
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Hunt For Red October by Tom Clancy

But as I don’t, I think I’ll read a V.I.Warshawski I’ve just got from the library. (And talking of seeing the world in a different way - remind me never to go to Chicago.)
DG1

I always was crap at titles

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Yesterday we took middle son to university. He's been looking forward to it very much; he worked hard and was rewarded with the grades to get into his first choice, and has spent time during the summer holidays learning to cook and, I think, getting himself mentally prepared.

He wanted to get there as early as possible, so we got up at 5:30, trooped bags and boxes from the sitting-room where everything was listed and laid out, into the car, and were away by 6:45. I'm only grateful the place didn't open at 9 instead of 10, else he'd have had us all up at 4:30.

His room was OK, but in view of the fact that it is smaller than, and 20% dearer than, oldest son's very smart first-year room at his uni, I wasn't that impressed. He gets a shelf in one of two reasonably-sized fridges, but the kitchen was horrible - all stainless steel and a bit old-looking, and he doesn't even get a kitchen cupboard. He gets a small locker in the kitchen, which he has to buy a padlock for, and it looks as if he'll be keeping his crockery on his bookshelf and most of his tins and packets of food under his bed. Given that his rent is more than his entire maintenance loan, I'm really not impressed.

What little we saw of the rest of the campus seemed OK, but respecting his very obvious wish to have us off his new turf as soon possible we didn't take the time to explore the nicer, more park-y places, even though I wanted younger son (just started Year 12) to have a look round. (I will need to assure him he's hardly likely to bump into middle son during an average day even if he does choose to go there too, otherwise I suspect he'll avoid the place like the plague. Not that they don't get on - they do - but independence presumably calls for not going to the same place as older brothers if it can be avoided).

So here I am; I imagine I'll adapt quickly enough, but in the meantime I'm missing him quite badly. Oldest and youngest sons have always preferred to work in their bedrooms, but middle son established himself in the dining room about four years ago, so he's always been a presence just round the corner while I've been here at my screen. He's always been the one that liked to come and talk to me while I was cooking and washing up; to announce and explain to me his new theories and discoveries - he's quite the original and creative thinker, this one - and to come food shopping with me. He's also the one that always leapt up to help with stuff, and the one who started, at my request, to talk to me in Spanish about two years ago, so that I could learn and so that he wouldn't lose it when he gave it up after GCSEs. He's also the one that was always in the garden when the weather was good enough, and often when it wasn't, so that whenever I was hanging out the washing or hacking out a few weeds, or just eating my breakfast or lunch out in the fresh air and sunshine, he was usually there too.

I love all my children; I've always said to each of them that they're all brilliant, and that they all have some wonderful attributes and some things about them that are bloody irritating. (And yes, I have done my best to explain what those are in, I hope, constructive terms). But it just happens that this is the one who was right there in my face a very high proportion of the time, particularly since his exams finished back in June. And I'm really, really missing him right now.
DG1

(no subject)

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I haven't posted here for a while, and it's all changed: popups all over the place and you have to hit "manage entries" on the annoyingly subtle tiny menu icon before you even get offered "Post an Entry".

All of which is a lot of hassle for one little comment:

Given that I do ALL the cooking, shopping, washing and washing up round here, I find it incredibly insulting that OH and oldest son (home from uni for the summer) keep having low-voiced conversations in the kitchen about which fridge, cooker, washing machine and dishwasher we should be buying next and never mentioning it to me.