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Quick post with added Wreck This Journal. February 16, 2012

Posted by phoenixaeon in A330, Art, Mythology, OU, TMA03, TMA04, WTJ.
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Argh! It feels like ages since I’ve popped my head around the blogging door, well, I suppose it has been really, so thought I best binary scrawl a post quick sharp.

First things first. I would like the thank the lovely xlalalalisax (plooberific award) and kofegeek (liebster blog award) for fabulous blog awards. Thank you both!

The mark for the last essay (TMA03) came back about a week and a half ago. Yeah, I know. I shouldn’t have been so worried about it. Needless to say, I was distinctly happy with it. And quite shocked, because I really didn’t feel that I had taken in much of what I’d read. So, yay me! Two more essays and the big examinable essay left to go, then I’ll be onto the last course of the degree. Can’t believe I’ve been so stubborn to have stuck it out! OK, I know I’ve still got a ways to go, but still. Don’t know what I’m going to do to fill my time when it’s all over.

Well. Wreck This Journal time. I’ve not done much, so most of these pages are ones I’d completed a while ago and not posted yet. And one is a half-arsed attempt. But I’ll let you decide which one that might have been.

The frontis page. Liked getting the Mars and Venus stickers in here, considering the Greek and Roman mythology course I'm doing right now.

The copyright and dedication page. Penguins for Princi, and the 'Warning' now reads: During this book you will find yourself in the solar system. You will do things. Grieve for the book. Begin to see creative ideas everywhere. Begin to live more recklessly.

Rubbings with a pencil. A bit of a Ronseal moment...

Make a paper plane. Plane made with kimono-patterened origami paper. I was going to put a decoupage Snoopy on his Sopwith Camel kennel on the painted part, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

And that’s that. Now to get back to Mr Ovid and his Metamorphoses and the evilness that is the two-part essay. Part 1: comparing the Venus and Adonis story to Titian’s ‘Poesie’ painting. Part 2: It’s spiders and frogs and birds, oh my. And spinning a yarn about transitions between stories and how Book 6 is constructed into a unified narrative. So it’s off to the loom to spin the critical fleece and weave my own fictional tapestry of an essay.

Bleurgh! December 1, 2011

Posted by phoenixaeon in A330, I hate it when my nose drips like a tap, Mythology, OU, reading, TMA03.
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Cor, that's a big'un!

You know that scene in Total Recall, where Arnie has the tracking beacon pulled out from a nostril? That’s exactly how I feel right now. I have a horrifically snotty case of sinusitis. My face feels like it’s being repeatedly hit with a wet kipper, and my nose feels as big as that picture just there. Not good. I’m glad I managed to write my essay up and submit it last week now.


Romulus and Remus and the She-wolf

Talking of essays, I’m now into the preparatory reading for TMA03 – “‘The Romans had a primarily utilitarian approach to myth.’ Do you agree with this statement?” Well, I don’t know yet, but I’m sure my argument will reveal itself in the next couple of weeks. I’m currently reading an extract from Livy’s Histories, and it seems he’s not entirely convinced by the whole Romulus and Remus and the ‘She-wolf’ thing, but he’ll use it and other myths to add grandeur to Rome’s cultural history. So maybe that’s where I should begin my argument.


Well, I suppose I should get back to the reading and the tissues. *sniffle* *sneeze*

In the bleak midwinter. December 22, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in Building work, frrrreeeeezzzziiinnngggg, Poetry, Sick again, sick Principessa, Snow, TMA03.

So. Snow in December. Who’da thunk it? But with the snow has come horribly low temperatures, the lowest came on Monday when it hit -11. (Ignore all the little pictures of sun, it’s not been like that. Although the sun is now peeking out from the clouds. Oh, and that positive temp for today? Hasn’t been reached. Currently we are on a balmy 0 degrees Celcius.)

I wouldn’t mind the cold temperatures so much if we had central heating. But we don’t. We haven’t had central heating since May, when the new boiler was fitted. Since then, we have been back and forth with the building inspector’s office trying to get the heating sorted out. Somehow, when the plumbers were fitting the boiler and pipes, they managed to fit the new huge boiler with pipes that are too small in diameter to cope with the pressure of the gas going through them when both the heating and the fire are on. This morning we finally heard back from the local council offices. According to their reports, there is nothing wrong with the central heating. So why is it when the gasman checks the gas pressure that the fluctuations he observes are verging on dangerous? It looks like another Christmas in the cold for us.

Last year, while we had central heating, the front room was cold because the fire had been condemned the year before. We couldn’t get that changed because we had a back boiler, so a whole new central heating system was needed. That’s why it had been left until the extension had been built. I found this on the notes on the iPhone from last Christmas:

The gaping maw of the fireplace stares eyelessly aghast, screaming a silent, frozen “Oh!” The warm red focal point is now a cold reminder of Christmas passed and Christmas future, and the oh so nearly (though hardly a) Christmas present.

Yep. My dream of there being a working fire has been replaced by the cold reality of the massive probability that we might be having another cold December.

Hmm. Reading that back, it appears that I had a premonition of a cold Christmas this year. If only I had known how cold! And now it seems that there is no solution on the horizon. (You know when you look at a word and it just looks wrong? That’s just happened with horizon.) The building inspector is sending us a copy of the report as evidence and it seems that we have to then get an individual assessment done to prove it wrong. I can’t believe that something that was supposed to make life easier (the building of the extension) has caused so much stress. And it hasn’t helped that Princi and I have both been struggling with a cough since the beginning of November. This has caused the further stress of having to do peak flow tests every night with Princi for almost the last four weeks to make sure that her cough isn’t asthma. The first two weeks results were inconclusive, but last weeks results are much improved and more uniform. From what I can see, I’d say that she doesn’t have asthma due to the consistency of the results and the minimal effect that the salbutamol has on them. Phew.

Anyways. Enough of my whinging. I think, while Princi has herself occupied, I shall go and continue fighting with my latest essay for the Open University – a poetry analysis of Coleridge’s ‘Frost at midnight.’ And no, the irony has not escaped me.

Party time! Excellent! February 19, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in BtVS, Children's Literature, EA300, OU, TMA03, TMA04.

So I received the result for TM04 this morning. *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE* I shall direct you to the post for the TMA03 result, as it was exactly the same! Again, the words chuffed and mintballs come into play here, along with a Snoopy dance:

Well, that is my celebration done. Back to the grindstone.

Don’t stop believin’! January 23, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in Cats, Children's Literature, Chuffed to little mintballs, EA300, OU, The Principessa Files, TMA03.

I woke up this morning to a mish-mash of emotions. Firstly, I was lovingly attacked by my little Princi. She jumped into my bed and huggled me until I was awake enough to put the TV on for her. She was hotly pursued by a Tazcat who just wanted attention – licking and biting fingers and butting heads just for a stroke, from both Princi and me. (I’m so happy that Tazcat will let her cuddle and stroke him. The other two leg it whenever she is near, frightened by her over-excitement. But lately Taz has even taken to sleeping on her bed with her at night. It’s so cute.)

After we had snuggled and I had put the TV on for Princi, I fumbled around on the bedside table for the iPhone. First thing to check – Aussie Open results. Bah! Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski had fallen in the second round of the men’s doubles. Double bah! Elena Baltacha and her doubles partner Liga Dekmeijere had also fallen in the second round of the women’s. Hmph! So then it’s time to have a look at emails…

There it was. The thing that inspires nausea to rise in my stomach every time. ‘Marked assignment available.’ Oh, I feel sick! Tentatively, I sign onto the OU website. Sick, sick, sick. How bad is the mark going to be? After all, it was a bit of a rubbish attempt, rushed due to being sick over Christmas and only having little over a week to re-read stuff and write the thing. And the conclusion was a bit crap, too. Yikes! I click on ‘Collect TMA’. I enter the details for the course, my eyes screwed up – ignorance is bliss when my brain is going through the best, fair to middling, and worst case scenarios of the result. I hope I haven’t failed. 60%. I’d be happy with 60%. Actually, no. 70%. That’s what I need to achieve on the rest of the essays if I want a pass 2 at the end of the course. I peek out from under lowered lashes, then open my eyes wide to make sure I haven’t misread the result. My hand flies to my mouth, covering squeaks of disbelief and amazement. 90%! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Holy heck! I am so pleased! I knew I was teetering on the edge of a distinction with the other essays, but I never expected to actually achieve it! Especially considering the silly mistake I had to email the tutor about. But yay me! Chuffed to little mintballs in a little mintball bath!

Happy Saturday!

A miscellany – of essays, of reading, of Princi, of music. January 15, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, Children's Literature, EA300, ECA, music, OU, The Principessa Files, TMA03, TMA04.
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Well, I managed to get that last essay finished. Yay! Then yesterday, about an hour after the cut-off time for submission, I asked my cousin to have a read-through, just to tell me what she thought. I sat and read the essay over her shoulder and as I did the stupidest mistake flashed up like a streak of wildfire. Nooo! I couldn’t believe I’d done something so brain-numbingly dumb and hadn’t noticed it in any of my previous read-throughs. Instead of saying that the poem was written in alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, I’d said it was written in iambic tetracets and iambic tercets! Stupid, stupid, stupid! Argh!

Thankfully, after an email to my tutor to tell her that I’d suffered a brain malfunction, she emailed back to tell me not to worry. As I’d informed her of the mistake she wouldn’t mark me down. Phew!

Now that the essay is done – really am not going to do well with it, I had a hard time absorbing all the new technical language – I have started the reading for the next block. All I can say is that this course is definitely a challenge!  Within the next five weeks I have four books to read and analyse, 21 critical essays to dissect, the study guide to work through, and then another essay to write based around at least two of the set books and the relevant essays. Yipes! And knowing me, I’ll probably try and look up other essays to back up what I already have. And this time I will read everything. In the last block I completely missed out the Peter Pan section and I feel as if I’ve put myself at a disadvantage when it comes to the ECA. Oh gosh, and I have to start thinking about that now, too. Need to start planning which option to go with, labelling up the critics I have to read for it, and devising some sort of essay plan. I don’t want to be caught short at the end of the course. And breathe!

Is it me, or is the first half of this year going to pass by in a flash?

As for Princi, she has been fabulous this week. She has had her moments, but for the most part she has been brilliant. Both bedtimes and mornings have been easier than they ever have – I honestly expect next week to wake up to a raving demon child! – and dinner times haven’t been too bad either. At the moment, bedtime means tidying up her toys, fixing her bed, finding Magic (her light up teddy) and Snoopy (my raggedy old cuddly Snoopy, who is older than I am!), and listening to either Coraline (yeah, still) or Wolves in the Walls. So far, she usually falls asleep between 8-8.30pm.

For mornings, since she asked to listen to Needle Gun by Hawkwind on Monday morning, the morning routine has emerged as cajoling her out of bed to brush her teeth and have a wash, a minor struggle to get her to eat her breakfast – this has become easier over the week since the introduction of her favourite songs during the morning – and then asking her to find her uniform and get dressed. The getting dressed on her own has been a long time in coming, but she’s doing quite well at it. As for the music, the soundtrack to our mornings looks like this:

  • Needle Gun – Hawkwind
  • All Star – Smashmouth
  • My Favourite Game – The Cardigans
  • Underground – Ben Folds Five
  • Monkey – Counting Crows
  • 3’s & 7’s – Queens of the Stone Age
  • Voodoo Child – Rogue Traders
  • The Middle – Jimmy Eat World

It has made mornings go so much faster! And more playful too, as we both have a dance while she is getting ready for school. I also have a giggle when she’s singing along – My Favourite Game sounds like a Teletubbies favourite, she runs around singing ‘Eh, eh-eh, eh, eh-eh’, and Voodoo Child is now Boo-boo Child. But I’m glad I’ve found a way to make things more fun for Princi, beforehand mornings used to be composed mainly of shouting.

I am hoping I haven’t jinxed the happy by blogging this!

Of course, she is still as cheeky as ever. After prompting her her eat her breakfast for about the fifth time yesterday morning, she turned to Grandand and asked him:

“Could you ignore her for me, please?”

Cheeky monkey!

Anyways,  as there is a moment of silence I think I shall get back to reading essays. Sigh.

To be continued… March 13, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, TMA03.

So, I’ve got my mark back for TMA03. 80%. Not so bad.

And a lot can be said for the double entendre! Sometimes, I’m glad to have such a dirty mind!

Where’s my bottle o’? March 12, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Life writing, TMA03, TMA04, TV.
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Was the cry that pierced the silence in the house at about 4 am. Argh! And then Princi decided it would be a good time for a conversation. Grrr! All I wanted was to go back to sleep. Impossible when she is in a mood like that. Now I feel as if my eyeballs are typing for me, I am that tired!


Yesterday, after news of what had happened in Germany, it was very odd to watch Neighbours. In Neighbours, the scenario was that of ‘muck-up day’, and four of the characters were playing a prank where they pretended to invade the school with stink bombs and toy guns. I know in shows like Neighbours they try to raise awareness of illnesses and things that have happened around the world, but wow! That was just a little to close to actual events happening that day!


Back to regular moans now. I’m still waiting on the result of my last TMA. For once, it hasn’t affected me getting on with other writing. Yay! With that in mind, I am going to work on some poetry later as an alternative TMA submission, and if Princi (who is off school due to her teachers doing the home visits for children starting at the nursery next term. Maybe I could distract her with the Mussy discs!) gives me a few moments to spare during the day, I might even start a new prose piece.

Whatever the case, I need to get some work on the boil.

Done. Definitely done. February 21, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, TMA03.

Well, TMA03 has now been flushed into the cybertoilet to be collected by the cyber-sewage workers for marking. If I play around with that commentary any more I’ll probably delude myself into thinking that I’ve been possessed by the ghost of Shakespeare, oh, how dost thee dream! But it’s done, and I can breathe again. Well, where OU study is concerned anyway.

There is no hope of Bog209 being fixed before next week. So once again I am short on the independence chips. If my life were a poker game I would have no cash and big bouncer arms around me evicting me from the casino right now.

Instead, it’s time for a fennel tea, and a little web-weaving before Shipwrecked 2009 starts.

(Oh great. Princi has just come down stairs and immediately started with the ‘Mummy. Mummy. Mummy.’ The only way to shut her up is to call her Sheldon. Oh, Big Bang Theory has a lot to answer for.)

Fingers Magrew… February 19, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, OU, The Principessa Files, TMA03.

Grrr. Princi has become an expert at driving me up the wall. Last night, I went into my bedroom to find that the little monkey had been climbing on things and playing on the shelves. This wouldn’t be too bad if I hadn’t had a little metal dish with some vanilla potpourri crystals up there. Yep, she had opened the bottle of crystals and had played with the ones already in the metal dish, so they were all over the bedroom floor. Pain in the bloody arse! I am just glad she didn’t decide to eat any of them.

It’s a real pain having such an inquisitive and inventive munchkin. She has a thing for playing with toothpaste, so a hook and eye lock had been put high upon the bathroom door in the aim of stopping her getting in and painting with toothpaste. It worked, for a while, until she realised that if she nicked a grabby stick she could knock the hook out and get in. She drives me crazy (to quote the Fine Young Cannibals)!


As for the latest TMA… After I thought I had the commentary done yesterday, I realised I’d missed some necessary referencing. So I went back to it, jiggled it, and then re-wrote it about six times. I am sure I make more work for myself! But I think it’s fixed and finished now. Still, I’ll leave it for a few days, and come back to it at the start of next week. That means today, as Grandand and Princi are heading out to the bookshop, I can get started on the editing for the ECA story. I am just hoping, seeing as it’s a story containing a teenage protagonist, that it’s not going to affect the marks. Ho hum, we’ll see how it goes.