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This is my favourite medieval event of the year. It is a day of classes, which is always fun. I didn’t bother trying to organize a class this year, which was a good call. Instead, I made it to swim practice and then arrived in time to learn how to cook up some fruits found locally during the winter, After lunch I accompanied my baroness for a bit until she headed of to choir practice and I made (and ate) dumplings - we made cheese-filled varenyky, but also tried cheese ravioli, mantu and pelmeni that Marina had made in advance. Somewhere in there I took an embroidery class and finally mastered the Bayeux tapestry stitch! I first tried to learn it decades ago (and a few times since) but I never got to the stage where I felt confident enough to do it on my own. This time, I actually finished a small section and continued on the next section after the class and again today.

There was a really interesting guest speaker who talked about diversity and inclusion within our club. She flew in from Washington State for the weekend.

The best part of the day, though, was court - I got to see some friends recognized for their fine work in the arts, and then I was surprised with an award of my own. On the 30th anniversary of being made a member of the Order of the Black Hare (our baronial arts award) and the 20th anniversary of my elevation to the Order of the Laurel (the society’s top arts award), I received another Black Hare. And what a Black Hare it was! The words were written by vesta_venus, and the illuminations were by cortejo and Alais.The triptych itself was made by Aelfwyn (some assembly required, so I have a play date at her house to install the hinges and get some help on a few other metalwork projects).

The horses at the top playing harps represent my own horse love but also the harp that is both part of my name and my coat of arms. The horses come from the Tympanum of a church in Saint-Pierre Aulnay, France. The left panel has my cats Pandora and Mambo playing with one of my spindles (from two cats hunting mice, British Library Royal 12C XIX f36v), then a nativity scene (because I love them, and this is from an altar frontal found in Catalonia), and a storage room with sausages because sausage making is something I do a lot (no specific Lin, but there are many pictures like this). The right panel has the badge of the Order of the Black Hare, then Saint Siglinde (that’s me!) catching the Graouilly in one of my nets. The Graouilly is a dragon or similar monster who according to legend lived in the Roman amphitheatre of the city of Metz (where my medieval persona is from). He was driven off by St Clement of Metz somewhere between the 1st and 5th C AD. The bottom picture is me advising my apprentices. These last two are in keeping with the Stavelot Triptych’s scenes of St. Helena.


Sleep Hygiene

This has been on my mind ever since I got my new phone a few months ago. I have been tracking my sleep using the app that comes with it. It’s not good. I don’t appear to have the sleep apnea I feared might be my excuse for tiredness. I have no decent excuse at all. I simply don’t go to bed early enough, and wake up too often during the night (cats? Bathroom? Thirsty? Hungry? Too full? Sore? Thinking too much about work? All of the above?).

I was going to write a witty and thoughtful post about the importance of good sleep hygiene and how I could improve. Instead, I think I will take out the trash and head to bed early. I will sew, maybe watch a bit of TV, and hopefully go to sleep before 11:00. It has been a busy and emotionally draining week - not all bad, just taking a lot of emotional energy to manage.


1 Would you rather relive the last 365 days or lose a year of your life?
2 What is your most mundane encounter with a celebrity?
3 What's the best advice you've ever received and ignored?
4 What's the best museum you've ever been to?
5 Twelfth Night is also known as Epiphany. Have you ever had an epiphany?
6 What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?
7 If you were guaranteed that you would be unkillable, indestructible and uninjurable for the next ten years, but you would die once the decade was up, would you go for it?
8 When you are watching films do you Google the actors to find out if they are still alive and/or what else they have been in?
9 Have you ever been in a canoe?
10 Which children's story, song or TV programme do you think is most fundamentally flawed, plot-wise?
11 Do you prefer coffee or aeroplanes? If you had to choose to eradicate one of the two from all human history which would go?
12 What subject were you worse at at school?
13 Is there something you once abhorred that you now adore?
14 What is your most impressive party trick?
15 Which supposedly attractive film star do you think is a bit ugly?
16 Have you ever planned what you would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?
17 If your house was on fire what three things would you definitely leave behind or even surreptitiously throw into the flames when no one was looking?
18 What children's toy or accessory do you wish they made in adult size?
19 What's the strangest statue you've ever seen?
20 Have you ever been in a police car?
21 Have you ever made a prank phone call?
22 If you had to invent a fifth season, which two other seasons would you put it between and what would happen in it?
23 If you only had a week to live who would you tell to go fuck themselves?
24 Why do you think the Fairy Godmother only gave Cinderella all the magic stuff until midnight?
25 Would you rather be a bee or a butterfly?
26 If you could turn anyone in your family into an animal which family member would you choose and what animal would they become?
27 If you were the ruler of the universe what laws would you make?
28 Would you prefer to eat nothing but chocolate or be able to read people's minds?
29 When you were a child what did you fantasise about doing when you grew up?
30 If I told you that one person you know is secretly an alien who do you think it is? Why?
31 If you could click your fingers and be anywhere in the world right now where would you go? Yes you can get home again with another click

1 Is there a catchphrase from an old TV show or adverts that hardly anyone else remembers but that you still use?
2 If you could talk to any one type of animal and they could talk back to you what animal would you choose?
3 If you could put a custard pie in the face of anyone in the world (with no retaliation) who would you choose to do that to?
4 If you won the lottery would you still buy a ticket every week? What do you think of people who win a second time?
5 Have you ever fallen down stairs?
6 What is the worst perk you've ever received because of your job?
7 What's the most bizarre wrong number text that you've ever received?
8 Would you rather have a magic mirror in which you could see your dead relatives as if they were alive again but couldn't speak to you and could only glumly wave or a 2 for 1 voucher for any main meal at a Pizza Express (Monday to Thursday)? - I couldn't resist this one for the bizarreness of it!
9 What's the most expensive thing that you've had eaten by a pet?
10 If every time you farted a fairy died (in agony) would you stop farting?
11 What's the most benign fairground or playground ride that has properly scared you?
12 If you could choose to have sex with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose? (Would you choose someone who was dead? What's wrong with you?)
13 Would you rather never have to clean a bathroom again or never have to do dishes again?
14 If you had to marry a Muppet which Muppet would you marry?
15 What's the worst date you have ever been on?
16 What's the most impulsive thing you've ever done?
17 What's your favourite oxide?
18 What's the scariest thing that has ever happened to you in a B&B?
19 Who is your favourite Steve?
20 What type of toothpaste do you use?
21 Do you see yourself as a pterodactyl or a lawnmower?
22 If you could quantum leap into any other person who would you leap into and what would you change in their life?
23 Have you ever been fired? If so what for?
24 Would you rather be a vapour or a liquid?
25 Is there anything you learned at school that has any kind of practical application in real life?
26 How often do you replace your pillows?
27 Which change in name of a popular product most annoyed you?
28 If you could travel back to medieval times what single object would you take back with you that would guarantee that you would be made a king/Queen (or burned for witchcraft!)?

1 What's your favourite type of weather?
2 If you could choose anyone to be your parents who would you choose?
3 Have you ever intervened heroically in any emergency situation with a complete stranger?
4 What's the most surprising thing that you can't do?
5 What colour is your toothbrush? Are you happy with that colour?
6 Would you rather be able to channel the spirits of dead celebrities or never have to replace the light bulb in your bathroom?
7 Which person do you interact with the most in your life without knowing what their name is? It's probably too late to ask now, right?
8 At what point of decay do you throw away your underwear?
9 What do you consider the biggest waste of time from your life thus far?
10 If you owned a racehorse what would you call it?
11 If an older version of you came back from the future and gave you advice about what you should do with your life would you take the advice or assume that the you from the future was evil and trying to screw you over?
12 If you were compiling an album called Now that's what I call shit music from all the pop music ever created what 12 tracks would be on it?
13 Would you rather swing on a star or carry moonbeams home in a jar?
14 If you could make anything an Olympic sport what would your best shot at winning a gold medal be?
15 If you had a tribe of Oompa-Loompas living in your house or workplace what would you make them do? Would you insist they sing songs or keep quiet?
16 Does your hometown have a claim to fame?
17 If you could only have one or the other for the rest of your life would you have baths or showers?
18 When was the last time you saw a donkey?
19 How do you think your life would have worked out if you had married your childhood sweetheart, or how did it work out if you did?
20 Were you ever in a fan club?
21 What was your worst work-related screw-up?
22 What is your favourite unsolved crime?
23 If only one artefact of human civilisation were to survive to be discovered by future aliens what do you think would be the funniest/most confusing human-created object to sum us up as a species?
24 Have you ever seen a famous TV animal in real life?
25 Have you ever seen a famous TV vehicle in real life?
26 If there were a dream police force - a crime-fighting unit that investigated illegal things that happened in dreams - would you join?
27 What conspiracy theory do you think might actually be true?
28 If you had to plan a new city what are the first five buildings you would insist are in it?
29 Have you ever used a cement mixer?
30 Would you rather 5% of the population have telepathy or 5% of the population have telekinesis? You are not part of the 5% that has telepathy or telekinesis.
31 Who is your favourite Becky?

1 Have you ever played an April fool's joke on someone?
2 What would you 8 Desert Island Discs be? (if you don't know what this British institution is I suggest a quick Google)
3 If you could have a Willy Wonka-style golden ticket to go on tour of any real factory in the world which factory would you visit? Would you be disappointed if it wasn't gifted to you at the end?
4 If you had to swap all the clothes you won with all the clothes of someone you know, whose clothes would you choose? Do you think they'd be as happy as you re to get to wear your clothes?
5 You've paid extra to sit in first class on a train but were then charged for a meal you expected to be free. As the refreshment trolley goes past a packet of crisps falls off without anyone noticing, do you eat them or return them to the trolley?
6 You are walking through a public place when you see a pornographic magazine open on top of a rubbish bin. Would you tuck it in the bin to save delicate eyes or risk being seen moving it to a recycling bin?
7 Is honesty the best policy? If not then what is the best policy?
8 By how many years after your death do you estimate that your existence will be totally forgotten?
9 Would you rather 20 butterflies instantly appear from nowhere every time you cough or 100 butterflies die somewhere in the world every time you cough?
10 What was the last thing you bleached?
11 What's the deepest puddle you've ever stepped in/walked through?
12 Have you ever been struck by how freaky lightning is?
13 If you could bring one vegetable to life so it could walk around, have consciousness and emotions, which vegetable would you choose?
14 What's the most impressive thing that you've ever been underneath?
15 When you are dead would you prefer your body to be interred in a huge pyramid built in the centre of your hometown with many riches or put in a bin bag and thrown into a skip?
16 Have you ever been able to listen to someone talking about Uranus without al least thinking 'your anus'?
17 Have you ever been able to hear someone talk about a mass debate without thinking about masturbation?
18 What's the best weed?
19 Where do you keep your envelopes?
20 Have you ever had an out-of-body experience?
21 What do you consider to be the most mediocre chocolate bar?
22 If you had to pick one highlight from each decade of your life so far what would those highlights be?
23 Would you like to have lived in Ancient Rome? What if you didn't get to choose which class of citizen you were would you take the chance?
24 Do you lie to your dentist about how often you brush and/or floss your teeth?
25 Do you have a switch in your house that apparently does nothing? Do you fear that it might actually do something that you aren't aware of? What do you fear it might do?
26 What was the most useful thing an elderly relative taught you? Have you taught anyone else?
27 Do you have something that you borrowed (or was left at your house) that you know who it belongs to but not how to return it?
28 Would you be screwed if the internet stopped working? Could you cope if it went down for a day? A week? Forever?
29 What's the best town ending in 'ford'?
30 Have you ever picked up a randomly ringing phone in a public phone box?

1 Have you ever been a gooseberry? (not literally)
2 Would you rather be He-Man or Skeletor?
3 If you had to be locked in a room with three tv-presenters who would you choose?
4 What celebrity lives/lived nearest to the home of your grandparents?
5 If you could remember your birth and infancy do you think it would cloud your opinion of your parents?
6 Do you correct people's grammar and spelling on social media or it it a bigger sin to point out such mistakes than it is to make them?
7 Have you ever been called a nickname that you didn't like?
8 If the sun wasn't going to come up tomorrow unless you threw a member of your family into a volcano which member of your family would you throw in? Or would you not throw anyone in and condemn your hemisphere to icy deaths?
9 If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, does it use its branches like arms to lessen the impact of the fall?
10 Given that bears don't exclusively shit in the woods and polar bears basically never do, what do you think people mean when they say 'do bears shit in the woods?'
11 Have you ever had an internal battle? Who won?
12 Would you rather be the best at what you do but no one has ever heard of you, or world famous for being the best at what you do but actually at it?
13 Have you ever taken part in an identity parade - either trying to pick out the criminal or being one of the people who isn't a criminal or being the alleged criminal?
14 Would you rather have pubic hair made of unremoveable barbed wire or be attacked by a rabid badger in your sleep once a week?
15 Would you prefer to have a hand made out of ham or an armpit that dispensed sun-cream?
16 What do you think happens when we die?
17 Does sex with a robot count as cheating on your partner?
18 Kettle crisps are not as nice as they used to be. If you could travel back in time to compare any food of today with an equivalent of the past what time would you choose and what food?
19 If you had to be killed in a natural disaster what would you choose?
20 Did any future celebrities go to your school?
21 What's the most pretentious book you've ever bought but never read?
22 Have you ever whitened your teeth?
23 Where do you store your spare loo roll?
24 Have you ever had a dream that accurately predicted the future?
25 If you had to go on a date with a character from The Simpsons which character would you choose and why?
26 What's the most unusual restaurant you have been to?
27 Where is the most unusual place you have made out?
28 If you had to live in the burrow or nest of an animal for a week which animal's home would you live in?
29 What was your most disastrous haircut?
30 If someone has food in their teeth or on their face do you tell them about it?
31 Who is your favourite Dave?

1 What's your favourite flower?
2 What have you recently done for the first time?
3 Are you handy?
4 What is your favourite song lyric?
5 Who is the most evil person you have ever met?
6 What product would you happily advertise in exchange for a lifetime supply of?
7 What kind of butter/margarine/butter-like spread do you favour?
8 Have you ever fallen out of a hammock?
9 How late are you prepared to stay up to get lucky?
10 What's the most disgusting thing you have ever eaten?
11 What's your favourite cover song?
12 Have you ever been in a police car?
13 Have you ever been in an ambulance?
14 Which seemingly respectable celebrity do you suspect is a coked-up sex pest?
15 If there was a TV Quiz shoe with four contestants where the first prize was tem million pounds but if you came last you were publicly executed would you go on it? Also the second prize is a holiday in Portugal and the third prize is a £10 gift token
16 Would you rather be a bee or a butterfly?
17 What is the best ice lolly?
18 What do you think the tooth fairy does with all the teeth?
19 what do you think fish think about?
20 If you had to hide an elephant in your house where you would put it?
21 If you could fill a swimming pool with your favourite drink and then swim around in it and drink as much as you like what drink would you choose?
22 Would you prefer to have seven arms or eyes in the back of your head?
23 What age does someone have to be to be properly old?
24 If you had to wear somebody's guts for garters who would you disembowel in order to facilitate your socks staying up?
25 Would you rather have all of your clothes fit perfectly or have the most comfortable pillow, blankets, and sheets in existence?
26 What's the nicest (true) thing you could say about me?
27 How long can you go without checking your mobile phone?
28 If you dropped your mobile phone down the portaloo on Day 3 of Glastonbury Festival would you retrieve it?
29 Is it better to have loved and lost than to have to eat nothing but Pop Tart for a year?
30 Would it be better to never be able to say yes or never be able to say no?

1 Have you ever flown a kite?
2 What is the most beautiful thing you have ever destroyed?
3 Have you ever planted a tree? Or chopped one down? If you have done both which was more satisfying?
4 Would you rather live in a world without deodorant or painkillers?
5 Can people really change?
6 What amazing secret about a relative did you only find out after they were dead?
7 Have you ever employed a smith of any kind?
8 If you could levitate six inches off the ground what would you do with this impressive but actually not very practical skill?
9 How obsessive are you about your bins?
10 Have you ever been up on the roof?
11 What's the largest vehicle you have ever driven?
12 Have you ever met your doppelganger?
13 What is the best certificate that you have ever been awarded?
14 If being permanently stapled to a cello would somehow bring about world peace would you be prepared to be permanently stapled to a cello? It would hurt a little bit and you would never quite be able to escape the pain but there would be world peace and you could learn to play the cello.
15 Do you remember a place that was once all fields and is no longer?
16 What one legal thing would you make illegal?
17 What one illegal thing would you make legal?
18 Have you ever named a pet after a real person?
19 Do you have a favourite plate?
20 What did you use to spend your pocket money on?
21 Would you rather not be able to see any colors or have mild but constant tinnitus (ringing in the ears)?
22 What is your most interesting quirk?
23 A genie gives you one wish, no infinity wishes allowed, what do you ask for?
24 What's the weirdest thing that you have ever seen at the seaside?
25 Would you rather be a scarecrow or a scared crow?
26 What's the most un-breakfasty food you've ever had for breakfast?
27 If you had to have a tail, would you prefer one like a rabbit, a monkey or a donkey?
28 Do you like hard-boiled eggs?
29 Would you rather live in a tree-house or a bouncy castle?
30 Would you prefer to be furry like a bear or scaly like a fish?
31 Who is your favourite Mike?

1 What are the sexiest names and the least sexy names for a man?
2 What are the sexiest names and the least sexy names for a woman?
3 What is the funniest real name you have ever heard?
4 Does a person’s name influence the person they become?
5 What's the best cake?
6 If you had a boat what would you name it?
7 Would you rather have unlimited sushi for life or unlimited tacos for life?
8 Do you have a favourite towel?
9 Would you rather lose the ability to read or lose the ability to speak?
10 What is your opinion of aubergines?
11 In 40 years time what will people be nostalgic for?
12 If freedom is simply being able to do what you want, are animals freer than humans?
13 Would you rather be reincarnated as a fly or just cease to exist after you die?
14 Is social media a force for good or evil?
15 What life-altering things should every human ideally get to experience at least once in their lives?
16 Is it better to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?
17 Would you rather be Kermit or Fozzie Bear?
18 What was your most devastating unrequited crush?
19 What would you genetically change about humans to make them a better species?
20 Would you rather have one real get out of jail free card or a key that opens any door?
21 What percentage of your life do you feel truly alive? When do you feel that way? How can you feel that way more often?
22 Do you like big romantic gestures or do they make you wince?
23 Netflix or YouTube?
24 Would you rather have an unlimited international first class ticket or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
25 Do you have a bucket list?
26 If magic was real, what spell would you try to learn first?
27 Would you rather have an amazingly fast typing speed or be able to read ridiculously fast?
28 What's your favourite phone app? Should I get it?
29 What’s the weirdest conversation you’ve overheard?
30 If you could have an all-expenses paid trip to see any famous world monument or natural feature, which monument or feature would you choose?
31 Who is your favourite Claire?

1 Can you remember your first friend?
2 What film would you like to see reimagined by The Muppets?
3 Would you rather be a badger or a cow?
4 If you had to change your name what would you call yourself?
5 Would you rather live under a sky with no stars at night or live under a sky with no clouds during the day?
6 What inanimate object would be the most annoying if it played loud upbeat music while being used?
7 Would you rather be constantly tired no matter how much you sleep or constantly hungry no matter what you eat? Assuming that there are no health problems besides the feeling of hunger and sleepiness.
8 What animal would be cutest if scaled down to the size of a cat?
9 What habit do you have now that you wish you started much earlier?
10 What’s the most ridiculous creature on the planet?
11 What would be different if the 9/11 terrorist attack never occurred?
12 Would you rather have a horrible job but be able to retire in 10 years or a wonderful job but have to work until your dying day?
13 What fashion trend makes you cringe or laugh every time you see it?
14 What outdated slang do you use on a regular basis?
15 What odd smell do you really enjoy?
16 What food is delicious but a pain to eat?
17 How would your country change if everyone, regardless of age, could vote?
18 What’s something you really resent paying for?
19 Would you rather be unable to use search engines or unable to use social media?
20 What are you currently worried about?
21 If someone narrated your life, who would you want to be the narrator?
22 What part of a kid's film scared the life out of you as a child?
23 Is a hotdog a sandwich?
24 Is cereal soup?
25 Would you rather never get angry or never be envious?
26 Do you eat food that’s past its expiration date if it still smells and looks fine?
27 What languages do you wish you could speak?
28 What’s the most pleasant sounding accent, in your opinion?
29 What’s your “Back in my day, we…”?
30 Would you rather have everyone laugh at your jokes but not find anyone else’s jokes funny or have no one laugh at your jokes but you still find other people’s jokes funny?

1 What's your favourite pinball table?
2 If you had to marry a piece of furniture what piece of furniture would it be?
3 What film would be improved by being a musical?
4 What musical would be improved by not being a musical?
5 If the transporters in Star Trek existed and you used it, your particles would be disassembled and then reassembled, do you die every single time? Are you ever alive at two places at once? Are you ever completely dead?
6 What’s incredibly cheap and you would pay way more for?
7 What would the adult version of an ice-cream van sell and what song would it play?
8 What would be an accurate tagline for each month?
9 What’s the most disgusting sounding word in the English language?
10 What awful film do you love?
11 Would you rather be alone for the rest of your life or always surrounded by annoying people?
12 Pen or pencil?
13 If you owned a restaurant, what kind of food would it serve?
14 Tear gas makes people cry and laughing gas makes people giggle, what other kinds of gases do you wish existed?
15 Would you rather never be stuck in traffic again or never get another cold?
16 What’s the weirdest text or email you’ve received?
17 What’s the most boring sport, and what would you do to make it more exciting?
18 What’s fine in small numbers but terrifying in large numbers?
19 If you lived in a virtual reality world of your own creation, what would it look like?
20 Who is the most manipulative person you’ve ever met?
21 What’s legal now, but probably won’t be in 25 years?
22 Would you rather have a golden voice or a silver tongue?
23 What outfit could you put together from clothes you own to get the most laughs?
24 What do you think about when you hear the word “classy”?
25 What’s the best sandwich you’ve ever had?
26 Would you rather it be impossible for you to be woken up for 11 straight hours every day but you wake up feeling amazing or you can be woken up normally but never feel totally rested?
27 Should full access to the internet be a fundamental human right?
28 What profession doesn’t get enough credit or respect?
29 If you were hired to show tourists what life is really like where you live, what would you show them / have them do?
30 Would you rather live in a haunted house where the ghosts ignore you and do their own thing or be a ghost in a house living out a pleasant and uneventful week from your life again and again?
31 If you got the chance, would you cryogenically freeze yourself at the point of death in the hope of being cured in the future? Would you be worried that future humans would think you were a primitive idiot?

1 Would you rather always be 10 minutes late or 20 minutes early?
2 What would be the most unsettling thing to keep occasionally finding around your house?
3 What nicknames do you have for people in your life?
4 Would you rather every shirt you ever wear to be kind of itchy or only be able to use 1 ply toilet paper?
5 What weird crisp (potato chip) flavour that doesn’t exist would you like to try?
6 Where is the most uncomfortable place you have ever slept?
7 Who is your most eccentric relative and what is the most eccentric think they have done?
8 In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?
9 What obstacles would be included in the World’s most amazing obstacle course?
10 Would you rather be an orchestra that has been assimilated by the Borg and endlessly plays only orchestral versions of Mel and Kim songs or a carthorse that has to pull a cart full of corpses of all your carthorse friends around all day long but is otherwise treated well and gets Sunday off?
11 If you were moving to another country, but could only pack one carry-on sized bag, what would you pack?
12 What’s the funniest comedy sketch you’ve seen?
13 Would you rather have free Wi-Fi wherever you go or be able to drink unlimited free coffee at any coffee shop?
14 If you could use Jurassic Park technology to bring back one extinct creature what would you resurrect?
15 What outdoor activity haven’t you tried, but would like to?
16 Who would you place in the inner circle of hell?
17 How do you judge a person?
18 If your job gave you a surprise three day paid break to rest and recuperate, what would you do with those three days?
19 Would you rather have a completely automated home or a self-driving car?
20 What product do you wish a company would make a “smart” version of?
21 What do you think would be the most useful thing you could do with virtual reality?
22 In what situations, do you wish you could throw down a smoke bomb and disappear?
23 Would you rather be fluent in all languages and never be able to travel or be able to travel anywhere for a year but never be able to learn a word of a different language?
24 What word do you always misspell?
25 Would you rather be put in a maximum security federal prison with the hardest of the hardened criminals for one year or be put in a relatively relaxed prison where wall street types are held for ten years?
26 How long have you lived in your home?
27 Would you rather have someone impersonating you and doing really amazing things that you get the credit for or find money hidden in weird places all around your house every day but with no explanation where the money comes from or how it keeps getting there?
28 Have you ever slept out overnight to be one of the first in a queue?
29 What's your favourite shop?
30 Do you have a pair of lucky underwear?

1 In films snowmen are always coming to life. If that really happened would you be happy or freaked out?
2 What's the worst experience you've ever had with a delivery company?
3 If your hair could be any colour or style what could and style would it like?
4 Have you ever been on a sledge or toboggan?
5 Do you think Goldilocks should be sent to prison for breaking and entering, porridge theft and criminal damage? If so, should she serve her time in a human or bear prison?
6 Have you ever been refused entry to a country?
7 Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
8 What's the oldest thing you own?
9 What would be your least favourite reality TV show to appear on?
10 What do you think would be the worst flavour for a flavoured condom? (Willy or sperm not allowed)
11 What was the stupidest thing that you once believed that you no longer believe?
12 Would you rather have a fancy kitchen or a big garden?
13 What did you love before everyone else had heard about it that you then didn't like as much because it had become popular?
14 What’s the coldest you’ve ever been?
15 Do you take it personally that you have never bee abducted by aliens?
16 Do you think you have already had the best day of your life? If so is that a depressing thought?
17 How good are you at wrapping presents?
18 Which person from history do you think would make the best Father Christmas in a department store grotto?
19 What is the most bizarre or overrated Christmas pop song?
20 Did you ever appear in a Nativity play?
21 What regular childhood Christmas gift do you miss receiving as an adult?
22 Who do you miss most of all out of the people who aren't going to be with you at Christmas?
23 If you could travel back in time to one Christmas which would you choose?
24 How do you think Rudolf ended up with a red nose?
25 At what point in the day do you open your Christmas presents?
26 I think having Christmas every 5 years would make it more special - what do you think?
27 What is the worst sleeping arrangement you have ever experienced during Christmas?
28 What's the closest you've ever been to the North Pole?
29 What's your favourite flat thing?
30 Have you got any resolutions for the New Year? Remember no is a perfectly good answer
31 You find out that science has been getting it wrong and there are actually 366 days in every year (367 in a leap year)! However it is too much trouble to get the extra day added to the calendar so they're just going to plonk it at the end of the year. What would you name it? You don't have to work, how would you spend it?

The Friday Five

A belated Friday Five on Monday. These questions come to us from miss_s_b on Dreamwidth

1, What is your favourite food? Pasta - any type, really, but I love old-fashioned spaghetti and meat sauce.

2, What is your favourite food preparation method? Probably stir fry because it is quick, and my daughter likes it so it’s a good way to get vegetables into her.

3, What is your favourite cuisine or style of cooking? I like many cuisines - Brazilian, anything Asian (except the really spicy Indian foods), Central American/Mexican, Middle Eastern, German, Central Asian/Iranian/Afghan/Turkish. Heck, I even like some of the finer British foods.

4, Do you have any dietary restrictions and if so what are they? I dislike clams but no real restrictions.

5, If you could introduce the whole world to one ingredient to improve their culinary experience, what would that be and why? Cumin? It is a spice that adds richness to so many foods.

The Friday Five: Cheese

1. What was the first type of cheese you ever ate? I have no idea, but given when and where I grew up, it was probably something innocuous. I lived in France and then Germany from the time I was two until I was seven, so I can wish it was something more exotic than the cheddar or Velveeta that I probably had.

2. What was the type of cheese you ate most recently? I had a lovely Brie type with breakfast this morning. Before that, it was a fondue two nights ago, made with local Gruyere.

3. What is the most unusual cheese you ever ate? Define unusual. For many people, I suspect it might be a Gorgonzola or Stilton, both of which I like a lot.

4. What is your favorite cheese? What kind of question is that? That’s like asking which is your favourite child, or favourite cat. If I had to pick, I would go with the category of super old and sharp cheeses. One I remember really enjoying years ago was a Dubliner cheese that was so full of flavour bursts in my mouth that it was the equivalent of Pop Rocks, but in cheese. I don’t know if that makes any sense as Pop Rocks are quite horrible, but the cheese was amazing.

5. What is your favorite dish made with cheese? Seriously? What dish is not made better with cheese? Among my favourite comfort foods are homemade noodles and cheese (with spinach and a pinch of nutmeg), and a savoury bread pudding that uses whatever cheeses and vegetables happen to be on hand. For decadence, you can’t go wrong with Gorgonzola and leek soup. And this week’s fondue was yummy - a legitimate excuse to eat ridiculous amounts of melted cheese.

On my way to Geneva

The flight is hugely delayed but we are finally pulling out of Montreal. Will post more on the other side. I’m in need of a. Break from election coverage but I can’t stop watching. The enforced airplane mode is a good thing!

The Friday Five

Today's questions for Friday October 26, 2018

1. With Halloween coming this next week, do you have any seasonal activities you're planning on doing for the holiday? I will probably sit out front with my neighbours and hand out candies to any kids who come by. Three middle-aged women with wine - we’re scarier than any decorations we could put up!

2. What is your favorite Halloween or dress up party costume you've had? When I was in university, I painted myself green, dyed my hair purple, dressed up in a purple leotard and braided my hair on a clothes-hangar frame so it looked a bit like antennae.

3. Which do you like better, apple cider or pumpkin spice flavoring? I like both but they are for different things. I drink apple cider and I eat pumpkin spice in pie. It doesn’t belong anywhere else.

4. What is your favorite scary movie and why? I don’t watch scary movies, not even the kind aimed at little kids.

5. What traditionally "scary" monster or fear do you think is the most overrated and why? Probably all of them. I’m not interested in scary monsters and fears as I think they are all rather lame.

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In completely unrelated news, my daughter’s team will be playing in the quarter finals at Ultimate Frisbee university championships tomorrow. It will be live streamed starting at 9:55, I think. I’m going to miss a bit because I’m going for a swim first.

I finally did it (thanks to Susan Dennis)

Susan is always going on about her tech adventures, trying new things, and being ruthless with services that don’t make her happy. I have watched in awe for ages. This week, she posted about switching her internet service, and came at just the right time for me. I had just gotten my latest bill, which was ridiculously high considering that it is for a home phone, internet and a mobile phone. I don’t even have TV. So today, I switched plans.

My home phone has gone from $50 a month to $10, and my internet has gone from $110 to $30 (it will go up to $60 in a year, but I can live with that, unless a better deal comes along). My internet speed is also doubled. The new service doesn’t do mobile phones, but the price for that plan isn’t horrible for now, and I’ll look around for something better once I stop hyperventilating about having made such a huge change.

I’m the kind of customers businesses love to have. As long as I am reasonably happy, I am intensely brand loyal. Bye bye Bell - I told you a year ago I wasn’t happy and you gave me a slightly improved deal for a year, but no warning when it was about to expire, and my package cost more than standard packages with better service. Seriously? You wanted to keep me? It would have been easy.