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Published by loupie under Uncategorized.

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BatFit 2012

Published by loupie under Uncategorized.

Ok, so the first of my challenges I am going to tell you about is BatFit 2012, mainly because I am already slightly behind as people who have been following her blog earlier started planning for this in December. Oh well, here goes nothing.

So firstly what is BatFit. Le Professeur Gothique has set up a challenge where we all set our own goals for health and well being for the year, such as loosing weight or gaining muscle. There will be weekly challenges to participate in and hopefully making this public will actually give me the kick I need to do something. Heres hoping anyway.

BatfitRight the first challenge;

“Go out and buy yourself a notebook, journal or sketch book — anything that you’ll write in constantly. If you can’t buy something then find an old half used notebook or make a file on your computer. This is going to be your health journal and will be the place where you keep your innermost thoughts, accomplishments and miscellanea associated with Bat Fit 2012
Once you buy, make or find your journal write your first entries:
1. Write your health goals for 2012. Be brutally honest, candid and realistic about what you want to achieve.
2. Once you’ve done that, your second entry will be for you to explore the meaning of good health. What does it mean to you? How does it relate to your goals? Be absolutely realistic.
In this journal you will keep a record of your progress and daily health activities. This includes your food intake, exercise output, moods, mental state, trips to the doctor, sickness, PMS, etc. Since I’m trying to lose weight and get fit, I am going to record my food intake and will slowly eliminate the “culprits” and habits that are causing my problem. I will also keep track of all of Bat Fit’s challenges in my own journal and my own results. We all have our own goals so your journal will look quite a bit different than mine.
However, we should all write this one entry EVERY NIGHT before bed:
3. Write no less than five things that you are grateful for, or that you’ve accomplished during the day and are proud of, or that you like about yourself.”
Right ok, finding a journal was not hard, I have loads of notebooks lying around that have various half written things in them it was just a case of deciding which one to use. I finally decided on my dragon one, which despite having the best of intentions for I haven’t written in since university. Bad me. The bigger challenge was finding a working pen.
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So with that achieved it was time to start the challenge properly. I know there will not be enough pages to last me the whole year, but that’s ok, I can always switch to another book later, but this will get me started. So first task. Write down my health goals. Firstly, I want to generally live a bit more healthily. I am of a slim build but that doesn’t mean I am healthy by a long stretch. I eat utter rubbish and that has to change. I could also do with undertaking more regular exercise, I am hopelessly unfit, and building some muscle, my current muscles are non-existent.
So the meaning of good health. To me it is all about being able to achieve everything you want to. I know full well that being slim does not automatically equal good health, on the other side of things being curvy is not an indication of bad health either. It’s about feeling good about yourself. Plus I am looking to the future, I know my stupidly fast metabolism won’t last for ever so I am going to start eating better now so I get into good habits for when I am older. Plus, just because I don’t seem to put on weight does not mean I’m doing myself any favours in the long run. Yes there will be bad days, there always will, but this way I hope to take more control over them. Well that’s the plan anyway.
Finally I am grateful for, and no I will not be posting this every day, I just thought I should for the first one;
  1. The nice weather earlier. Yes, it was still bitterly cold when the wind picked up but I arrived early to meet a friend today and so just sat outside reading and watching the world go by. It was actually pleasantly warm when the sun came out.
  2. The good friends I have around me. You know who you are and thank you.
  3. This is going to seem really silly but, the goth scene. Or more specifically the London goth scene. I don’t get out very often, something I am planning to change, but when I do I am always left feeling like I belong. I don’t know what I would do without that.
  4. Books. I love books, I just love being able to escape into another life for a bit, what better way is there to relax than to curl up with a good book.
  5. Finally, my parents for today providing advice, a chauffeur and dinner. What more could I ask for!

So that’s my plans we’ll see how long I can keep this up.

New Year

Published by loupie under Projects, Random.

Ok, this is a new year and I am determined to make the most of it. Expect a few posts over the next few days as I try my best to start all those goals I keep meaning to and never actually finish. Plus I do have some updates on my 101things and other projects that I would like to share.

So after a frankly miserable end to the last year. For those who don’t yet know I broke up with Skippy. This is not something I want to talk about on here but I thought you should know to keep things in context. I feel that this year will be better. I am going to set myself some goals and see how well I stick to them. i know I have failed slightly already by starting all of this on the 2nd and not the first but it’s a leap year this year so I get an extra day to make up for it.

As it currently stands my goals for 2012 are (and yes I know some of these are the same things I post every year)

  • 100+ reading challenge – read 100 books in a year
  • Project 52 – write at least one blog post a week
  • Crack on with my 101 list
  • Write some more London’s Dead posts
  • Actually go out so I see people more than once or twice a year
  • Have a crack at Le Professeur Gothique‘s BatFit 2012 challenge
  • Actually complete an entire month on 750words.com

I think that is everything for now but I will update you on all of these soon so watch this space.

Reliving my childhood

Published by loupie under Random Geeky. Tags: , .

One of the first computer games I was introduced to as a child was Nibbles. A Dos based snake game. Ok, it wasn’t the first one I remember playing. That was hangman on Spectrum, which my parents had programmed to contain the names of all the My Little Ponies.

Anyway, I have spent years trying to find an online version of Nibbles, no luck so far, other snake type games are just not the same. However I did find this site; DosGamesArchive which has a number of old Dos games that you can download, including Nibbles. The only problem with this is that my computer is too fast to run it, oh well. I will keep looking. Though while I was looking for Nibbles I did discover that they have another of my favourite childhood games; Secret Agent Man, commonly abbreviated to SAM. You play the role of a secret agent, number 006 1/2, and then fight your way past guards, robots and other obstacles to destroy the enemies radar. Skippy seems to think that this XKCD cartoon is appropriate at the moment;

 

Flash games

New project

Published by loupie under Doctor Who, Projects, Random Geeky. Tags: , , , .

No prizes for guessing what this is supposed to be

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Fish Fingers and Custard

Published by loupie under Doctor Who. Tags: , , .

To anyone who knows me I think it is fairly obvious that I am quite a big Doctor Who fan. Following a very random discussion in the pub on Tuesday, note ideas had in the pub are rarely good. It was decided that something that really had to be tried was fish fingers and custard, as made famous by Matt Smith in his first episode, The Eleventh hour. If you haven’t seen it the clip is available on YouTube, just search fish fingers and custard.

Wednesday, when I had the day off due to industrial action at school, me and the friend who had suggested this took a trip to Tescos and tried them. Needless to say I was not overly impressed. Then again Tescos value fish fingers and cold custard are not great on their own never mind when combined together. When I went to the NaNoWriMo thank God it’s over party on Thursday and mentioned this there was general mutterings that the pub we were going to on Saturday had a fish finger sandwich on their menu as well as assorted desserts that came with custard. It was at this point I said something rather stupid. Didn’t I say that ideas had in the pub are rarely good. “I’ll try them again if you guys do.”

So with my fate now sealed it made sense to dress up and do this as properly as possible. I will happily admit that on the three times I have worn this outfit I have felt rather more mad than normal, which is not a bad thing. Sometimes I wish I had that level of insane energy all the time. Life would certainly be more interesting. Anyways I digress. Thy were a lot better this time round, probably the combination of handmade fish fingers and piping hot custard that did it, but was a lot nicer. And this time round we even managed to get photos to prove it. How many geek points do I get for this?

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Task 54

Published by loupie under Day Zero. Tags: .

Right time to kick off on my Day Zero posts. Where better to start than task 54; Listen to at least one song by each band in Amy’s great big list of goth bands

For those who don’t know I have been following Amy’s blog, The Ultimate Goth Guide, for a while now and enjoy reading what she has to say. So when I thought that I should try some new music and not just keep listening to the same old stuff it made sense to start here. So Yesterday at work I listened to the following bands;

1919, according to Last.fm this band from Bradford started in 1980 ‘and set about recording heavy, melodic, intense dance music with no frills and pretentions.’ I managed to find a few of their tracks on YouTube after trying and failing on Spotify.

As such I listened to the following tracks; After the fall, Cry Wolf, Can this be Real, Caged, Dream, Repulsion, Alien, The Scream, Earth Song, Giant, Tear Down These Walls, Midas touch, and Control. My initial thoughts were that I liked them, though they are unlikely to become one of my favourite bands. They did however provide perfect background music for work. No one has questioned my strange musical tastes so far, other than to occasionally ask who an artist is so I think I have got away with it. Will certainly be adding them to my last.fm playlist and possibly buying an album in the future.

Band number two was 19ninetynine, who after much searching I found had changed their name to terrornation. They are described as ‘an instantly accessible fusion of dirty beats, haunting vocals and grinding guitars.’ Even knowing their new name I had a bit of trouble finding tracks by them but in the end managed to listen to; iThink, Snow white Eyes, and Vagabonds. It probably says enough to say that out of those my favourite was Vagabonds a cover of the New Model Army song. I did like them but doubt I will be listening to them much in the future.

Finally was 13 candles. ‘One of the most gifted of the Dark Romantic Gothic bands from Britain in the Last Century.’ Must say I agree, listened to quite a few of their tracks; Xenomorph, Siren, Listen for the Whispers, Lost Child, Flesh of the Nazarene, Carpathian Moonrise, Woman of Dark Desires, Stranger in my Own Home, Sapphire (Queen of Dusk), Disbelievers, Join me in Death, In the Name of Darkness, Death Awaits you, Prayer of Eternal Damnation, Ghosts, Alien, The Hunted, The Hunger Within, Killing for Culture, and Lifeless Passion. Easily the best out of the three band sI listened too. Will be looking for more of their stuff in the future.

In case you were wondering when I last checked there were 1045 bands on the list so I have a way to go yet.

Day Zero Project

Published by loupie under Day Zero, Projects. Tags: , , , .

I tried this once before but didn’t manage to complete it, partly because I lost my list half way through and sort of gave up on it, but I am going to try again.

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

I am starting my list today so it will be completed on 24th August 2014. Keep reading my blog as I will keep you updated on my progress

  1. Read those history books you keep buying and never opening
  2. Use my kindle more
  3. Listen to everything in my iTunes library at least once
  4. Give up alcohol for a month
  5. Give up fizzy drinks for a month
  6. Give up chocolate for a month
  7. Drink only water for a month
  8. Cook something from each of your recipe books
  9. Finish Doctor who scarf
  10. Spend more time with sisters
  11. Pick up the last of my stuff from my parents
  12. Rejoin the British Library
  13. Enter NaNoWriMo each year and complete it
  14. Complete NaNoEdMo
  15. Submit one of your books for publication
  16. Start my own War of the Roses research so I don’t have to rely on what other people tell me
  17. Tidy my room and keep it that way
  18. Give yourself regular manicures
  19. Experiment with make up more
  20. Stop biting nails
  21. Pay off debts
  22. Complete couch to 5k programme
  23. Complete the 100 push up challenge
  24. Complete the 200 sit up challenge
  25. Go vegan for a week to see if I can
  26. Ask 20 friends to suggest a book and then read them all
  27. Meet up with friends you haven’t seen in years
  28. Complete 100+ reading challenge
  29. Attend a music festival in another country
  30. Complete project 52 with both loupie.co.uk and ukgoth.info
  31. Complete weff riddles
  32. Learn BSL
  33. Improve posture
  34. Learn to swim
  35. Update address book so I have an email address, phone number and address for most people
  36. Learn 25 origami shapes I don’t already know
  37. Apply and test for Mensa
  38. Complete at least one scary crochet character
  39. Produce enough craft items to sell at the goth bring and buy
  40. Update my elf wood account
  41. Get my ears pierced again
  42. Complete cover to cover bible notes
  43. Start a diary and write in it every day for a year
  44. Do the 750 words challenge every day for at least a month
  45. Go to Whitby Goth Fest
  46. Rejoin the MSS and go to more events
  47. Get involved with Woodhouse more, don’t just turn up once a year
  48. Tell bank, DVLA, Skirmish magazine etc. I have moved
  49. Go for the lunch date to Petticoat Lane that me and Carrolle have been talking about for ages
  50. Get my legs waxed
  51. Go through all the unread books on my shelf and either get rid of them or read them.
  52. Write a post to celebrate each goals completion
  53. Write to Mike Gayle in response to his book; ‘The To-Do List’
  54. Listen to at least one song by each band in Amy‘s great big list of goth bands
  55. Sleep under the stars
  56. Get a massage
  57. Host a dinner party
  58. Get a better job
  59. Visit a place of faith other than a Christian one
  60. Compete my London’s Dead walks
  61. Become a London tour guide
  62. Host a themed party
  63. Make everyone a birthday card for a year
  64. Make and decorate a birthday cake for someone
  65. Find a frame for my bat picture and somewhere to hang it
  66. Work out an exercise regime and stick to it
  67. Try to plot my family tree
  68. Obtain my CBT license
  69. Write a panto
  70. Get into a 22” corset
  71. Tag all my photos in iPhoto
  72. Complete Bogle
  73. Clear out wardrobe
  74. Wear a dress on a regular non-special occasion day
  75. Set aside a day to make my iTunes perfect (artist/album/artwork)
  76. Make it to the top of an indoor climbing wall
  77. Learn another language
  78. Read a book in that language
  79. Complete ECDL
  80. Enquire about getting a bat handling license
  81. Watch a bat colony emerge
  82. Customise a my little pony
  83. Finish Skippy’s trenchcoat
  84. Go on a wolf walk
  85. Get a pet
  86. Have inner by candle light
  87. Do something nice for everyone in family
  88. Gt rid of everything I don’t need
  89. Dye my hair again
  90. Watch a sunset
  91. Watch the sun rise
  92. Build up enough muscle mass to comfortably pull my long bow
  93. Go to Paris with Skippy
  94. Learn Quenya
  95. Extract my DNA
  96. Learn to recognise 5 constellations
  97. Make a new kirtle
  98. Get some male medieval kit
  99. Do 5 random acts of kindness
  100. Spend a rainy day watching movies in my PJs
  101. Start a new list on day 1001

 

Carpe Juglum

Yes I have know this for a little while but now it’s on the website it’s official. In November I will be in the Woodhouse Players production of Carpe Jugulum. Based on the book by Terry Pratchett, click here for my review.

I will be playing the vampyre Krimson. so yes after years in the London Vampyre scene without doing so I now have full filled the goth stereotype of having a stupidly spelt ‘spooky’ name.

I am rather excited about this one, as anyone who has spoken to me recently can probably confirm. Though there is just one slight problem, as my lovely flatmates have been so keen to point out, thank you guys. That is that although being a vampyre is really cool, you are now on the wrong side in a Pratchett book, which means going against the likes of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. Which any fan of the Discworld will tell you is a really bad idea. You’ll have to come see it if you want to know what happens though.

Newgate to Tyburn

Published by loupie under London, London's Dead, Projects.

This post has been a long while in coming due to me not being able to get the photos to work. I actually did this walk during Febuary half term.

Anyway Newgate Prison stood on the site of what is now the Old Bailey Criminal Justice Courts, near St Pauls. This was London’s main prison right up until it’s closure in 1902. Tyburn, at the junction of Oxford Street and Edgware Road, right by Marble Arch, is the site where until 1793 was where London’s most famous gallows stood. Originally a simple gallows it was expanded in 1511 into the Tyburn tree, a giant structure 18 feet high comprising of three posts and capable of hanging 24 people at once.

The condemned would be taken by wagon from Newgate to Tyburn and this is the route that my walk took. They would have a noose tied around their necks and their hands bound so they were in the praying position when they got to Tyburn. I stated at St Paul’s station and walked along Newgate. I found the Old Bailey fairly easily and a plaque marking the site of Newgate gaol. From Old Bailey I walked across to St Sepulchre’s church, which has an interesting history of it’s own so expect another post on that. Here the condemned were given a nosegay of flowers, I just contented myself with taking some pictures of the pretty ones outside.

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Then they continued along Snow Hill, across the river Fleet and down High Holborn. It is at this point I got a little confused and almost walked in the wrong direction as now the road layout has changed a bit this is no longer the most direct route and I got a bit lost. A quick glance at the A to Z I brought with me and I was all set to go again. Back on the right track I went down to Holborn Circus where I took a slight detour down Fleet Street, and then back up to St Giles where I made the next stop of the journey.

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In the narrow streets of St Giles they stopped for a last drink, on the house of course, known as a cup of charity, though a few people jokingly offered to buy a round on the way back. I would have stopped in The Intrepid Fox, see my upcoming post on UKgoth.info for the history of that pub, but as they weren’t open yet I made do with The Angel, a small pub right next to St Giles church (founded 1101). Here I caused great amusement when I was asked if I was journalist after sitting there making a load of notes on my walk and then photographing my pint. Oh and yes if this really was my last drink I would have had something better than a pint of cider, but I had to pay for this one ok.

 

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After this it was back on the wagon, never to drink again (hence the saying) and down Oxford Street to Tyburn. I have been told this part of the journey took several hours with authors trying to get permisson to publish already written works as last confessions. Now this is the part that amazes me, I had to fight through goodness knows how many tourists to get there, and I wans’t going particuarly fast and it still took me a little over half an hour to cover that distance. Imagine being dragged behind a waggon for what is probably just over a mile for hours!

Finally they made it to Tyburn where the blindfolded and hooded prisoners were strung up. They were stood on the back of a wagon annd the horses were whipped into running, leaving them hanging to die in agony by strangultion. Eventually hangings at Tyburn were banned sometime between 1759 and 1783 when the residents of Mayfair complained that the didn’t want the rabble who attended public hangings in such a presdigous area. Not because they had any objects to the hangings taking place. After this point executions were conducted at Newgate.

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Some random facts for you; the executioner was allowed to keep the clothes of their victims so many wore rags, some wore more quality garments hoping they would take mercy on them and pull on their legs so they would die quicker. The best seats for viewing were right by the tree where spaces were allocated by so called pew openers. One Mammy Douglas caused outcry when she upped her prices from 2/- to 2/6 for the hanging of Dr Florence Henesy in 1758. When the doctor was reprived at the last minute there was a riot as the outraged public tried to replace him with Mammy Douglas. In 1447 five men, who had already been strung up, recieved a reprive, however the hangman insisted on stripping them and keeping their garments anyway forcing them to walk home naked. Some even occaisionally recovered after being believed dead. Even Samuel Peypes visited Tyburn in 1664 and recorded the following in his diary;

got for a shilling to stand upon the wheel of a cart, in great pain, above an hour before the execution was done.

Another post will be following on the people hanged at Tyburn and Newgate