Monthly Archives: June 2015

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1.  Article on the Regency written and submitted – for a sneak peek, click here.

2. A couple of people I’ve proof-read for are happy to give me a reference if anyone contacts them, which may  be very useful.

3. I’m so delighted for the USA that the judgement on equal marriage has gone through. I know there are plenty of other battles to fight, both here, there and elsewhere, but a step in the right direction is worth celebrating.

4. This being so, perhaps I should also celebrate the fact that my son’s school are finally beginning to acknowledge that it’s inappropriate to park their minibus in the disabled parking spot. A new teacher demanded I move from it (I am a blue badge holder, for the record!) so that they could park the bus there, but after a somewhat heated debate, I did get an apology.

5. And talking of my son, he’s taking part in a football tournament today, about which he is very excited. Some very kind friends have also volunteered to take him and bring him home, which means that when I’ve finished writing this, I’m off for a sleep!

6. I’m beginning to get plans for the summer holidays sorted. There will hopefully be a lot of things going on, including seeing lovely friends and family and spending time in my favourite place, Cornwall.

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Friday Fiction (Article Snippet)

Again, this  is my most current article for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine. I’m writing about ‘Cranks, Quacks and Miracles’ – alternative health treatments in the Regency.

Jane Austen shows a number of hypochondriacs in her stories (Mr Woodhouse in Emma, with his gruel and his soft-boiled eggs, and Mary Musgrove in Persuasion with her tendency towards ill health whenever she felt herself neglected come to mind) but it is in her unfinished novel Sanditon that she particularly concentrates on medicine – looking at both conventional and experimental (to put it mildly!) treatments. Indeed, Jane Austen specifically uses the phrase “quack medicine” in describing the Parker sisters, saying that they had “an unfortunate turn for medicine, especially quack medicine”. Mr Parker, their brother, is first introduced to the heroine, Charlotte Heywood, when he sustains a carriage accident, trying to find a doctor for the village of Sanditon. (As an aside, I was fascinated when I first read the book that he had seen a notice in the ‘Kentish Gazette’ – a local newspaper I grew up reading, and which is still in print.) His sisters’ alleged poor health had encouraged him to look for the doctor, though it turns out, when Diana Parker writes to her brother, that she has for the moment eschewed conventional medicine, saying:

“[P]ray never run into peril again in looking for an apothecary on our account… We have entirely done with the whole medical tribe. We have consulted physician after physician in vain, till we are quite convinced that they can do nothing for us and that we must trust to our own knowledge of our own wretched constitutions for any relief.”

Of course, this is a decision not dissimilar to ones made by many people today, who find themselves dissatisfied with the results of conventional medicine – though perhaps, given the limits of medical knowledge in the Regency, Miss Parker had more reason for her suspicions!

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. I was supposed to post this yesterday for ‘Friday (Non)Fiction’ but I forgot. Oops. Anyway, I have written another piece for the Huffington Post about hair-discrimination (I kid you not). I guess at least my hair colour is a choice, unlike race, gender, disability etc…

2. Talking of yesterday, whilst I wasn’t posting the above link, I was feeling extremely happy. Nope, not for any exciting reason. I was just happy for no reason at all. It was most splendid!

3. I now have two-thirds of my Regency article written, and am enjoying it more and more. I need to pull the strings together and write a conclusion (possibly “if leeches and blood-letting were conventional medicine, I think I might try alternative routes, too!”), and then edit the hell out of it. (Pretty much all writers will tell you that ‘editing the hell out of it’ is a big part of their job.)

4. My ex-work have very kindly offered to let me keep the baby dalek…. sorry, the small mobility scooter… that the Access For Work scheme provided. This makes me almost as mobile as an able-bodied person, so it is extremely exciting!

Also, on a brief digression, I got the baby dalek two years ago from Herne Bay Mobility – an excellent place with an Actual Dalek in their shop! The lovely David there also told me about Sci Fi By The Sea – which by a coincidence I will be attending again tomorrow 🙂

5. I’ve been planning holidays for this summer and next easter/summer (date as yet undecided), which is very much fun.

6. Having been attempting and failing to do anything with dieting over the last month or so, I actually lost some weight this week. I then went out for a lovely meal as it was my father’s birthday, which probably means that I lose all the benefit, but both the weight loss and the meal were very pleasing.

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. My knitting is getting on quite well. I’ve taken it down to the park and knitted whilst watching Child play football, which is a lovely restful pursuit.

2.  I’ve written about half of my article about Regency Period cranks and quacks, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the research for it!

3. Ooh, I bought a bottle of Bollinger champagne last Sunday! I felt very outrageous. Sadly, it’s not for me, but a present for a family member having an Important Age birthday. But I don’t mind – it’s the entertainment of having bought it at all that I was very much amused by.

4. I might as well mention it here, as it is soon to be properly official: I am in the process of losing my employment (as opposed to self-employed writing). This is, obviously, not something to be satisfied about but after a meeting on Tuesday, I was reassured that the quality of my work had never been a problem – the problem is simply that through no one’s fault, I am simply too ill to go out to work. It’s nice to know that I did a really good job whilst I was there (and even I can’t doubt the sincerity of my ex-work on this matter). It is very sad – I was, and remain, passionate about the job; but I can’t hold my workplace to blame for needing someone who can actually be there, nor can I magic myself better in order to go back.

5. I seem to have lost a bit of weight this week. It probably just means I’ll put it back on again next week, but it’s still quite pleasing.

6. I had to take Rory-cat to the vet on Thursday for his booster injections. She told me he was “perfect”. OF COURSE HE IS – but it’s always nice when someone else mentions it!

Satisfied Saturday Six

The SSS celebrates six things that have gone well, or at least okay, in the past week. It is the creation of Terry Egan, who is all things wonderful.

1. Started an article for ‘Jane Austen’s Regency World’ about cranks and quacks and so-called medical ‘cures’ in the Regency. Quite fun, and I get to google really random stuff.

2.  You really have to see this film of an octopus carrying a coconut shell! It is the best thing I’ve seen for ages.

3. I went out for a meal with my boys last Sunday, as a last hurrah for half-term. It was really lovely to be out with them 🙂

4. I’ve had a think about things I’ve been doing out of habit rather than from enjoyment, and made plans to cut down on things which aren’t bringing much joy into my life.

5. I’m still very much enjoying having blue and green hair. I keep forgetting and then remembering when someone gives me a weird look!

6. I had an efficient day yesterday and made a couple of phone calls. The phone is the bane of my existence, so this is much more impressive than it sounds!

Hello and welcome! I’m Penelope Friday. To find out more about me, look at my ‘About’ tab. To find out more about my writings, look on my other tabs. To get a slightly bizarre insight into my life and interests, read my blog (below). You’ll find out about interesting words, happy things and much much more!

Wednesday Word of the Week

Ruthless – having or showing no pity or compassion for others

Ruthless came to mind for two reasons this week. Firstly, I was thinking that it had been ever such a long time since I saw my old friend Ruth (‘old’ as in long-time, not as in age – she is, in fact, an entire day younger than I am!). Thus, I have been, in an entirely different sense, ‘Ruth-less’ 🙂

The other reason was because there was a meme going around on Facebook in which you were asked to name your five favourite characters. Now, I found this an extremely confusing meme – by ‘favourite’ did the meme mean ‘characters I like most’ or ‘characters I find most interesting’ or (given part of my writing background) ‘characters I like writing fanfic about’? It was all terribly difficult.

However, one character who leapt to mind was Nancy Blackett, from Swallows and Amazons. I adored her (and probably wanted to be her) in my childhood, and I am still very fond of her. Her actual first name – lest you wonder why I have wandered so far off the point – was Ruth, but she was always called Nancy (except by her Great-Aunt of terrifyingness). In the film of the novel, her sister (and ship mate) Peggy explains that she is known as Nancy because “Amazon pirates were ruthless”. I have never been able to find this line in the books (and I’ve read all of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series) so I have a feeling it was added in the film (all corrections on this point very welcomed! Preferably with chapter information so that I can go and look it up for myself).

Ruthless. A funny word (much like disgruntled) because you never hear of someone being ‘ruthful’ (or gruntled – apart from in PG Wodehouse novels). But a strangely pleasing one.