Sunday, June 21, 2009

Font poll results

Georgia (serif) 1 vote
Verdana (sans serif) 4 votes
Courier (serif, fixed width) 1 vote

The discussion was inconclusive but the impression I took away was that older monitors and machines do not render serif fonts well and that is why sans serif fonts have been recommended in the past for use online, although this is becoming less of an issue with newer computers. Serif fonts are probably easier on the eye for most people when they are properly rendered but as I have no idea of the age of your systems I will stick with Verdana.

Thank you eveyone who voted or joined in the discussion.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Things to do in Bath

  1. Arrive at Bath Spa Hotel. Find that someone has shaved their beard off in the en suite bath. At least, I hope it was someone's beard. Get housekeeping to sort it out.
  2. Next day, find the bath is blocked and get told that you should not have been put in that room as it is out of service. Get allocated a junior suite with four poster bed.
  3. Go to the hotel spa which has a sauna, steam room with twinkling lights and music, indoor heated pool and outdoor pool heated to bath temperature. Relax.
  4. Go to see a raunchy black comedy called Hoors. Laugh a lot.
  5. Eat in lots of different restaurants. Find a house red wine that's better than some expensive wines. Don't cook. Yay!
  6. Have a back massage.
  7. Wander round the shops.
  8. Buy a clarinet.

I didn't want to come home.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On the way to Bath

I needed a break and neither of us was keen on the thought of a service station so we took off from the motorway. My Beloved has worked out how to tell the satnav to look for restaurants and we found that the Fat Duck was local so we set our course for it and ended up in Bray. I hadn't heard of the Fat Duck but my Beloved had and there was no way we were eating there: it's a two month waiting list. We passed the place and saw the menu. The prices are all in words, nothing so vulgar as a numeral when your main menu is ninety-eight pounds a head.

The Hind's Head was more our price range and suprisingly good. It had information about the vicar of Bray and was a typical picturesque little English pub. After eating we saw a display of Rolf Harris prints and looked around the village, which was full of old houses and beautiful gardens. It was a real find of a place to stop.

Then we went on to meet friends from the Internet. It wasn't our first time of meeting them: that was many years ago when I was dressed as a witch, my Beloved was a Roman and my friend was Cleopatra, because despite all the warnings we had turned up for a Twelth Night party and intended to stay the night with these people that we had never met before. It turned out to be a good move.

This time we had tea in their conservatory and it was lovely to see them again. If you fancy a walking holiday in Wiltshire I recommend you visit them at White Horse Walking Holidays.

We were having a wonderful time already and we hadn't even arrived at the hotel.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'm gone

When you read this I will be in Bath or on my way there.

My Beloved and I have been married for thirty years on 16th June and to celebrate we are having a few days on our own in a posh hotel with spa. I plan to go swimming every day and have saunas.

We've booked to see a play and we'll sit and look at the view a lot and we'll eat out and I won't cook at all. No cooking! Yay!

I'd hoped we might go on a balloon ride but I can't stand for a solid hour which is apparently a requirement. I'm packing a whole load of books just in case I get bored. I feel like I ought to pack pen and paper but it might be nice to have some time without writing anything at all.

Anyway, I shall be swanning around enjoying myself. I'll try to take some photos to put up here when I get back. Be good while I'm away.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Poll

Natalie has an interesting post on what makes blogs easy to read: not the content but how it is presented. I thought her points were very good but I was surprised to see that she favours serif fonts since I was under the impression that sans serif are easier to read online. So I thought I'd ask you what you think.

Which of the following paragraphs do you find physically easier to read (remember, we're not talking content here):

a) Gregory walked slowly past Miss Avernes' house hoping to see her but the windows stared back at him blankly. He didn't know what to do. He'd always had a soft spot for her and now he'd heard that she was moving away. Should he say something to her or should he do as he'd always done and simply smile and pass on?

b) He raised himself onto his toes to look over the garden fence as he continued to walk past. It gave him a strange bouncing gait and he hoped no one was watching. What he really wanted to do was to put his eye to a knot hole in the fence but that would look really odd if he was caught. Bouncing along, peering into her garden, he almost crashed into her.

c)"Mr Gordon, you nearly knocked me over!" Miss Avernes was laughing as she spoke and Gregory felt his face warming.

"Miss Avernes-" His voice squeaked so he coughed and tried again. "So nice to see you, Miss Avernes, and isn't it a lovely day again today?"

Or is there another font d) that you prefer? If so, could you say so in the comments.

The poll is in the sidebar and will be there until 19th June. I hope you'll vote on it and let me know in the comments what your reading preferences are.

Guessing Game

Guess which cat came in limping yesterday? *Rufus*

He was clearly in a lot of pain, hissing at me when I went near the foot but not scratching as he usually does. The vet said it might be broken so we had to pay for sedation and x-rays but luckily it was just very badly swollen. He has Metacam for the swelling and pain and is being very unpleasant to his sister now that he's feeling a bit better. I'm not going to let him out while he's on painkillers, so that means five days indoors.

Guess which cat stepped in something nasty and then trod it all over my bed? I had to change the bed, spot clean the carpet and wash the cat's feet, all before breakfast. *Bonnie*

Guess who is wondering why on earth she ever wanted cats in the first place?


Highlight the text between the asterisks for the answers.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Maria: a short story

Robin has got us recording ourselves again. This is a short story I wrote recently. It's very rough round the edges but I like the idea behind it.

Image by Colum LaVelle Photography from A Day In Hand website.

Caption Competition

What do you do when you hate the cover art for your published novel? Have a caption competition of course!

Over at Smart Bitches Trashy Books Alyssa Day has consented to a caption competition for her book cover. The prize is an autographed copy of the book to the top five captioners.

As you can guess from the title, Smart Bitches uses robust language. Just so you know.

Thanks to Judge a Book by its Cover for pointing the way.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Write a novel in a year

Every November a group of writers challenge themselves to write a novel in a month in NaNoWriMo. As a result, I've written three novellas and a short story that I wouldn't otherwise have produced. None of them is publishable but I learnt a lot in the process and had huge amounts of fun.

Now comes a more realistic challenge. Karl Green, who is one of the London Nanowrimoers, has set up a Facebook group to challenge authors to write a novel in year by writing just 250 words a day, yielding a 91,250 word novel if you don't take any days off.

The group 250 Words Per Day x 1 Year = A Novel is open to anyone and I have been asked to invite my friends. Please consider yourself duly invited.

Unlike the fearsome challenge of the Scottish marsupial, there will be no bloodied claws urging you on and you will be expected to write more than twice as much as the koala demands. I think that the challenge may be too much for me at the moment as I'm averaging around 250 words a week. On a good week.

It just seems like such a good idea that I wanted to share it with you.
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