The weather is gorgeous and the garden happy, I harvested my first (and maybe only?) courgette. The plant is self-fertilising but there are almost never male and female flowers at the same time, but then again the internet claims the plant should continue producing for a while so fingers crossed. In any case it was a little round thing, rather than long, but tasted good and it’s always satisfying to eat produce from your own garden. Keeping an eye on those tomato plants now.
In other news, we watched all of Watchmen during the HBO free streaming. It was pretty great, and I was impressed that they were able to make it current and relevant while also maintaining the style and feel of the book, the production design is top notch as is the cast. I also just finished series one of What We do in the Shadows. It isn’t as great as the movie version, but I am enjoying it quite a bit and loving the cameos, especially in the season finale.
Last weekend we went to the SciFi Ball for the day on Saturday. It’s a local convention which is almost the reverse of what I’m used to in some ways, with the big focus being on the evening events (hence the name) and cheap day tickets to just hit the panels and dealer’s room. While I am all about the nightlife, the evening ticket price was too steep for me at $145 so we just went for the afternoon on Saturday. Just walking into a hotel full of nerds makes me feel good, and there was a fair bit of cosplay, a couple of Daleks running around and a pretty good selection of dealers.
Highlights; both talks we attended were good, the first was an interview with Dr. David Doak, who helped create Goldeneye, among other things. The second was the headliner, Marina Sirtis, who just roamed the stake taking questions and telling jokes and anecdotes. She is a very fun presence and it was worth the price of admission. I also picked up a lovely Good Omens linocut from Brambledown Designs.
Afterwards we went to Forbidden Planet, John found two excellent Dave Kyle illustrated history of science fiction books at a charity shop, we had dinner at the Black Phoenix, and finally went home to watch For All Mankind. An excellent nerdy Saturday.
Yesterday we walked up to Wickes to find out about bathrooms (spoiler; they’re pricey) and had a lovely meal at Steak Bar, the little eatery attached to Uptons of Basset. They’re a Slovakian style butcher (I don’t know exactly how that differs from a British butcher) with lots of lovely things I had to restrain myself from purchasing. We shared the Butcher’s Block, which had pork pie, brie and stilton cheese, sliced meats, piccalilly, lovely bread, some pickled onions that actually tasted nice (!!!!), and Scotch eggs with runny yolks. Nom.
In the evening we caught up on The Good Place and I even got some reading time in. I’m really enjoying The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow, author of this year’s wonderful short story Hugo winner A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies.
Today we walked down to God’s House Tower for their official opening weekend celebrations, which featured singers and dancers from Art Asia. We had some really nice sandwiches from Hoxton’s and generally enjoyed the vibe. They also do a three month Tower pass that is only £5 for a tour and access to all the exhibits, but we decided to come back with more time to enjoy it properly.
The wind had picked up when we left and the day gone from lovely and crisp to finger numbingly cold, so I was happy to get back home even if there were still chores to do. Michael came over but my grumpy tired ass retired to do fanac and pet cats, leaving him and John to play board games until dinner time, when we watched an episode of The Expanse, in which Shit is Getting Real for the crew of the Roci, and everyone else too really.
And that was the weekend.
On the weekend after Halloween we had planned to go to Novacon, but a proper look at the budget suggested that actually maybe quality time with the cats would be better.
As a consolation prize we did get to attend an excellent Mexican brunch birthday party hosted at the other Southampton fannish household. Nick Gibbins put on his chef hat and prepared an amazing spread, there was plenty of lively conversation, plus some tequila, so honestly it wasn’t a million miles off of the Novacon experience in the end.
Besides that I learned how to make pumpkin pie and how to pickle jalapeños, we played some board games, caught up on The Expanse, and terrorized innocent bystanders in the form of goose. Not a bad way to spend a weekend.
The last week has been very warm in the UK, even to the point I’ve been okay with it starting to drop back down again. Still, the sunshine allowed us to have our second barbecue, on a Thursday this time so shorter but with 100% more dog (Elda, a dorbs Westie).
Shortly thereafter John headed off northwards for a conference, which means a week of letting the laundry pile up and letting my eating habits slowly deteriorate, hurrah! Also binging shows that we don’t watch together – Big Little Lies y’all! The first couple of episodes of The Bodyguard, which I’m not entirely convinced by, and then back to Killing Eve which should get me to Tuesday.
I also went to a birthday party that had zero dogs but one ball python, which I got to hold until it got bored. So not a bad weekend all in all.