Monthly Archives: July, 2004

Cecilia Dart Thornton #2

She is driving me nuts. I can’t stand her style at all – way too purple for me, I’m just not that visual – and I don’t like not knowing what words mean, and besides I think she is just being gratuitous in using them. However, I am half-way through the third book because the story is just interesting enough to keep me going. I am very much looking forward to finishing them and getting back to something a little less tortured.

Flowers and stuff

Don’t recall whether I mentioned that the hyacinths flowered – 2 out of 3, anyway. That was very exciting, and they smelled fantastic; they’re dead now. Yesterday morning I discovered that I had a miniature daff flowering, and at least one other is on the verge… AND one of the other bulbs also has a flower! Not sure if it’s a Bell or a Moonlight Thing; must check the packets to compare.

In other news, I dug up a struggling azalea today, and I hope it appreciates the efforts I went to in doing that and actually survives; no idea if I got enough root mass, but it was not very happy at all behind the hedge. Neither is the other one, but I haven’t got any more potting mix so it will have to wait. So will the tiger lily seeds which Kate gave me the other day, which was very exciting to come home to – a bromeliad as well, and a fuchsia cutting!! It was such a lovely thing to come home from school to.

Other things are going well. Mum massacred the roses, but they needed it; they are already growing back. New zygo is flowering – old zygo has been a mass of flowers for a few weeks now – coriander is still growing! All very good.

Things Fishy

I only realised last night when I was showing off the fish tank to some friends that there is basically no algae left in the tank – no bad, nasty, take-over-the-tank algae anyway, which is really all I was worried about. So this is highly exciting but makes me realise that I have been neglecting my fish a little. However, on my way home also yesterday, I went via Coburg. I bought some more of the feathery plant – Condamine or something? – because there was nothing of it left in our tank. I also bought a bristlenose catfish… and two little silver angels… It took J quite a long time to notice them in the qt, because they are the same colour as the mollies. They cost me $14 (all up); I could have got them for $3.95 each, but the tank that had that price on them only had fish that looked red around the gills and even some around the base of the fins, so I thought it best to go for the more expensive and more of a chance of surivival.

I have spent a large part of today watching Ajax (a large part of my fish-tank-watching time, anyway, which is not necessarily a large part of the actual day) …which reminds me, I noticed a stowaway on the new plants yesterday but by the time I got to pulling it out of the water, he had transferred himself to a different plant. So I was quite worried about a snail plague (which J thought might mean buying clown loaches). However, this morning when I was doing some planting and pruning, I found the stowaway snail! I have put him in the qt, in memory of the other, rather more bewildering pop-up snail who got washed out when we moved house. Anyway, Ajax: he has been remarkably active today and very fun to watch. Even J agreed.

Mars Attacks

Of course I’ve seen this before; I’m watching it right now to prepare for Film Studies. Very funny. I like it. Students might not get all the funny bits, though, since I’m sure most/all won’t have seen all that many old scifi movies such as this movie is based on. I’m sure there are lots of sly gags that I don’t get, because I haven’t seen the right movie.

Which reminds me: I don’t know how many times I’ve seen Independence Day, but I don’t remember ever noticing the start-up screen message and sound when Jeff Goldblum’s character, David, opens his laptop: “Good morning, Dave.” HA HA HA. I had to stop myself from laughing out loud in class since I didn’t think the kids would think it was that funny.

Books I am in the middle of

There’s quite a few. Mostly history books that I have begun and got bored of/waylaid from. It’s guilt-making – which is a bit silly in itself, really, because why do I insist on feeling beholden to a book, for goodness’ sake? But here’s a sample:
History of London Bridge – I think I got up to about the last chapter of this and then got waylaid. I should go back and just finish it off, but her style got on my nerves a bit.

History of London – Peter Ackroyd’s bio of the place – is not really designed to be read from cover to cover, I think. The chapters are essentially vignettes, and I should read them as such. I should actually read them…

Something about Emma and Enid, the last two ‘English’ queens (ie before the Norman Conquest; actually Enid is the last, since Emma is French herself…). This was a really full-on bio, and I found it quite hard to read and fairly dry. I should try it again now that I’m actually teaching the period and have a better, if still rudimentary, knowledge of it.

Chaos – James someone wrote it (Gleick, J says; I pronounce it Glike, he Gleek…) – I started it mainly to see how my attempt at reading real science would go, albeit something written for a fairly lay audience. After a while, poorly, it turns out. It was interesting, but…

1066: the year of the three battles. Begun the first time I was teaching this period. A bit too much military stuff for me; I just don’t have the head for that sort of info… I find it hard enough visualising which way north is, let alone anything else.

And there are a few more books on the shelf, throwing accusatory stares my way every time I start a new book rather than finishing them off…

Cecilia Dart-Thornton

I read The Ill-Made Mute over the holidays. I had heard a whole heap of reports, most of them negative bar one. I got a bit annoyed with her style – she tries too hard to be poetic, twisting her sentences around way too much and using words I have never heard before and could only guess at from the context. However, I did enjoy the plot and the characters a bit, and I was so frustrated when I finished it I nearly shrieked (truly; it has a very clever ending). The one person I heard a good report from, though, I thankfully saw at church that night and she has today given me the next two books (thanks, Krick), so that’s good… except that tomorrow I have Parent/Teacher interviews so I start at 2pm (until 9pm!), and I really ought to do some work rather than just reading which I will be very tempted to do.

Fish and all

Haven’t written here in a while. I am thinking of renaming Ajax, or at least giving him a sobriquet: Action Snail. He has been zooming around quite a bit lately, which has been rather exciting, particularly when Mum was here – she thought he was pretty cool.

There are no new babies left. I didn’t realise this for a number of days, and then I looked carefully and realised there were none left! Notwithstanding being moderately cranky when they were born, I am a bit sad at them having been et. Oh well.

The lily pad plant is going nuts, which is great, and the chain plant is also going well. I do think I need to buy some new plants, though, since they are the only two plants I have left, which is a bit sad. I am also thinking about new fishies… maybe slightly bigger ones, to give a bit more presence to the tank. I’m considering silver dollars.

Dead fish

He died a couple of hours after my last post. I moved him into the little isolation tank to get him away from Bitch Fish, and I rather suspect that the move probably contributed to his death. Poor little thing… he didn’t have a very happy little life…

Fish, after a week away

Yes, have been away for a week… the fish survived… but. I was on the ‘phone just now, and I noticed that the very-non-alpha male, which has been in the QT for quite a while now since he was getting bullied by the alpha male in the main tank, is looking very sad. He’s got black happening on his sail fin – I don’t know whether this is a problem or not – as well as swimming very listlessly. Worse yet, Bitch Fish is having the occasional go at him… he looks like he is missing a few scales in places. He is swimming sometimes vertically, sometimes with only one fin although there is nothing noticeably wrong with the other, and often just going with the flow. I don’t know what to do with him, because I am sure that the alpha male would have just as much of a go at him as She does.

On a brighter note, the main tank is looking fairly good. We still have some algae issues, climbing all over my plants, which is annoying me a lot. I need to go and buy some more plants, I think… the chain sword thing is going well, although it hasn’t grown as much while we were away as we had anticipated.

Ajax is, of course, very well.