Thursday, 31 May 2018

Monday, 28 May 2018

Mini Mart: MiniatureVictoriya

MiniatureVictoriya on Etsy
I enlisted a couple of 1/10 scale Diamond Select Gotham action figures to help demonstrate the size.
Find the unfiltered pic HERE.

Supplier: MiniatureVictoriya
Website: Etsy Shop.

Products: Super realistic 1/12 scale food and drink, as well as more unusual miniature items like vodka with pickled scorpions, condoms, and, ahem, adult entertainment. It was the first time I'd ever seen those in miniature so obviously I had to add a couple to my collection!

I bought a set of 1/12 scale toys that came in a little shoebox for £24 - it contained condoms, a vibrator, a pink feather tickler, and more. They are so tiny! Then I bought a 1/6 scale box of condoms and a few other bits and pieces. In the interests of keeping this safe for work here's a detail of a photo:

Scale miniature condoms from MiniatureVictoriya on Etsy

For the full picture, click HERE.

I already knew from reading other reviews that orders took a long time but the wait was worth it. In the end it took about two months from order to delivery.

Post and Packing: Cost me £5.55; items were sent well packaged in a little plastic tub to keep them safe.

For more like this, please click the image below:
Mini Mart - Reviews of Dolls and Scale Miniatures

Sunday, 27 May 2018

This Week - 27th May 2018

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.
Life This Week

My back continues to be my major preoccupation. It started to ease up a bit Thursday and Friday, then Saturday it just seemed to be back to square one. :( The plan for next week (half term) was to sort out the house and repaint a couple of rooms but, sigh, I don't think I'm going to get very far with it.

Thankfully there wasn't much on this week. I had my first meeting about learning overview and scrutiny committee, to fix the dates for a few preliminary meetings, etc, and I had a full board meeting at Bron Afon. Anthony had his community council AGM and was appointed Vice Chairman.

Other than that I watched a lot of TV, wrote a few short stories, and generally wallowed in self pity...

Photo of the Week
Peter Cathcart and Anthony Bird

On the Blog

I haven't posted much - read: any - this week because I've been too busy feeling sorry for myself. I will doubtless backdate content... at some point.

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This Week - Weekly Overviews

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

Poison Ivy in Gotham by Gaslight

I finally got around to watching Batman: Gotham by Gaslight today. The thirtieth film in the DCU animated original movie series, it was released for digital download back in January this year.

I was keen to see this one because a) Ripperology has long been an obsession, and b) I loved the comic it is based on - 'Gotham by Gaslight', the very first Elseworlds story published in February 1989. It combined two of my favourite things: Batman and Jack the Ripper. In the comic, Bruce Wayne has been studying in Vienna under Freud when he starts having recurring dreams about his parents' death. They convince him he needs to return to Gotham City where, in attempting to keep the streets safe as Batman, he comes under suspicion as the Ripper.

Bruce is eventually arrested and convicted, then shipped off to Arkham Asylum. There he is given information on the case by Jim Gordon, eventually helped to escape by his trusty butler Alfred, and goes on to catch the Ripper just before he claims another victim.

Jack turns out to be a classmate of his father's who was driven insane by Martha Wayne spurning his advances. He dealt with the rejection by hiring an assassin to murder the Waynes and then murdering women who reminded him of Martha...

Gotham by Gaslight 1989

The movie decided to change things up a little and, although there is nothing more cliche than complaining about characterisation for a comics franchise, I will never be over the slander on my man Jim Gordon's name.


In this version Bruce is intrigued by music hall star and women's rights advocate Selina Kyle. Nightclub dancer Ivy the Plant Lady and other working women have been murdered, while the police waste time and resources on the Gotham City World's Fair, claims Selina. The pair meet again when Bruce accompanies his friend Harvey Dent to watch Selina perform, the three then going on to drink and talk the night away - at least until Commissioner Gordon's killjoy curfew kicks in.

Gotham by Gaslight - Bruce, Selina and Harvey Dent

Bruce discerns a pattern to the killings when he learns that many of the girls were orphans with links to Sister Leslie Thompkins, but before he can discuss it with her she is also murdered. At her funeral Dr. Hugo Strange of Arkham Asylum tells Bruce he has information - but, again, meets his end before he can share what he knows.

Of course Bruce ends up being framed, convicted, and then shipped off to Blackgate Penitentiary. Equally inevitably he escapes from prison and learns Jack's identity when he goes to see Jim Gordon and discovers his secret chamber of horror in the basement, complete with photographs pinned to the wall of himself operating as a Civil War surgeon and Gordon's wife on hand to tell him about her husband's strange brand of morality... It's then a mad rush to save Selina who was trying to enlist Gordon's support for Bruce's cause by revealing the truth about the Batman.

Gotham by Gaslight - Jim the Ripper

Overall it was an okayish twist on the tale (not entirely unexpected - Jose Luis Abad wrote a book claiming Chief Inspector Abberline was the Ripper, albeit based on the discredited Maybrick diaries) and an okayish adaption of the comic. I mostly spent the whole time thinking how much better it would have been in live action. Even low budget, like old school ITV or a schlocky old Hammer Horror. It just needed way more gothic atmosphere to it, and more, I dunno, humanity than the animation style was capable of conveying.

The action sequences could have easily been scaled back in favor of a little more nuanced expression and natural dialogue delivery. Slooowness aside, voice acting was fairly good when taken as a whole - except for DiMaggio’s attempt at an Irish accent for Police Chief Bullock. It was, er, special.

Conclusion: had a lot of potential, failed to live up to it. I rate it 3 / 5.

For more like this, please click the image below:
Reviews from Babi a Fi - food, fashion, beauty, baby, toys, books, tech, days out, and more!Fandom

Sunday, 20 May 2018

This Week 20th May 2018

I have a problem. I am an intellectual, but at the same time I am not very clever.
Life This Week

The big thing this week was officially finishing as Mayor. It's been such a life changing year - I've always suffered with a lot of social anxiety and wasn't sure how I'd hold up having to go out and meet new people, day after day. It has been hard at times, I can't deny, but I'm so glad to have done it. Especially as it turned out to be the very last chance I would have gotten!

You can read the speech I gave to full council about it on Tuesday HERE. Or watch it via the webcast HERE.

All the nominations made at Labour group last week were accepted and agreed too, which meant I could stop stressing about them. Normally I wouldn't put myself forward for anything, but my family nagged and nagged about how if I never tried I would never know, so I filled out a few application forms and crossed my fingers. I ended up being voted in for Chair of the Learning Communities Scrutiny Committee. It was really hotly contested and it means a lot that my colleagues were willing to let me have a go at it.

The committee chairs were then all put in a ballot for 'presiding member' - the replacement for the Mayor to chair full council - and I won that too. I did suggest that we took it in turns, like on a rota, but there was no appetite for that, hehe.

After council we went to Bob Jones' funeral. Bob was a former Mayor and an active member of Pontnewydd Labour Branch, so I've spent lots of time with him at meetings and events over the years. The church service was really moving and then the crem was so packed it was standing room outside only. Anthony stayed out afterwards with some of the guys from Cwmbran Community Council, where Bob had been serving as Chair, but I was still feeling raw from working myself up over council AGM and my granddad's funeral, so I went home to get Marianna early.

What else did I do this week? Hmm... On Monday I went to a seminar on the pressure on children's social services in the borough. (Constantly growing, probably the same as everywhere else in the country.) Thursday I had Audit and Ethics Committee at Bron Afon - my last one, in fact, because I'm going to switch to staffing & HR which I feel is much more my natural home. (I don't know why I always end up on audit / finance!)

The main point of this week was that it was to be a fresh start. I was off Friday through the rest of the weekend, so the plan was to start sorting out the house. Except Friday morning I was sorting through the understairs cupboard and pulled something in my lower back. What I've actually spent the weekend doing is shuffling about like an old woman and looking at the piles of junk I can't face bending down to sort out.

Ah well, I have loads of free time now. The schedule being pushed back to next week is not the end of the world. :)

Photo of the Week
Me and Hywel Davies
Me and Hywel Davies, the Mayoral chauffeur and support officer. I couldn't have done any of it without him!

On the Blog

I posted a clipping from the South Wales Argus on Monday - our litter pick made the grassroots section. On Wednesday I went with the Top Ten Fandom Blogs, and on Friday I posted my Top Ten Tracks for May.

I also set up my very own TinyLetter this weekend! I used to run a few fandom newsletters so it should be fun to give it another go.

For more like this, please click the image below:
This Week - Weekly Overviews

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Friday, 18 May 2018

What I'm Listening To In May

What I'm Listening To

My Top Ten tracks of the month!

Needle In A Haystack - The Velvelettes (1964)

I went through a bit of a Motown phase at the beginning of the month, but this is the track I kept coming back to.

Founded in 1961, The Velvelettes were signed to Motown in '62 but never really given the star treatment. Their debut album was never completed and this first hit remained their biggest, reaching #45 on the mainstream USA billboard chart. Their only UK hit was in 1971 with the reissue of 1966's These Things Will Keep Me Loving You.

Tainted Love -  Gloria Jones (1964)

Tainted Love is one of my all time favourite songs, in all its many and varied versions. This month I've been mostly listening to the original recording by US singer, Gloria Jones. It was the B-side of a single that failed to chart, later picked up in 1973 by Northern Soul DJ Richard Searling on a trip to the States. Jones re-recorded the track for release in 1976, with the help of boyfriend Marc Bolan of T-Rex, but it again failed to chart.

Bed and Breakfast Man - Madness (1979)

Madness are one of the greatest bands ever, I will accept no argument on that point. Bed and Breakfast Man, a track from their debut album, was only released as a single in Canada - Google doesn't seem to know whether or not it charted. Anyway, when I was YouTubing it I came across this fanvid - possibly the only fanvid ever - for Tucker's Luck, the Grange Hill spin-off following Tucker Jenkins and the rest of the very first cohort after they left school. The song really could have been written for the series two character Creamy Eames!

The Invisible Man (1984)

Also up on YouTube is the song Creamy's band plays in S02:E06 of Tucker's Luck. It's not brilliant by any stretch, but there's something kind of raw and engaging about it. The lyrics are still all too pertinent into the bargain:

I work so hard, every working day. I work so hard, for invisible pay. I've been a toilet cleaner, a dustbin humper, out of school and in the dumper. 
I am the invisible man, you won't see me pay my tax, I'm part of the black economy. 
I work so hard, it's always off the books. I work so hard, all I get is dirty looks. When I'm hurt no compensation. When I'm old no superannuation.

To Be Young, Gifted and Black - Bob & Marcia (1970)

Originally released in 1969 by Nina Simone - it was written in memory of her friend Lorraine Hansbery - various cover versions soon followed. The one that hit the UK charts, peaking at #5 in 1970, was released by Jamaican vocal duo Bob and Marcia.

It's an iconic song but also never fails to make me think of that scene in Men Behaving Badly when Les - the old, ungifted and white barman - claims it's the song that best fits him. When challenged he just shrugs and says plaintively: I never said it was an exact match.

Your Song - Rita Ora (2017)

I have had this on repeat so much this month! Written by Ed Sheeran, this Rita Ora track was always destined for chart success. It peaked at #7 in the UK but reached its highest chart position in Croatia where it made it to #5.

Échame La Culpa - Luis Fonsi & Demi Lovato (2017)

'Put The Blame On Me' features a team up of former Disney child star Demi Lovato and Puerto Rican superstar Luis Fonsi, and has been a #1 hit across much of Europe and further afield. So far it has peaked at #46 in the UK, although there is also an (inferior) English remix 'Not On You' doing the rounds. It's a fab summery sounding track though so if you haven't heard it already, give it a go!

Dura - Daddy Yankee (2018)

Another ubiquitous figure in Puerto Rico, Daddy Yankee's latest single topped the charts across South America and broke the top 20 in a few European countries including Sweden, Hungary, and the Netherlands. It's very old-school reggaeton - and performed just as well as the genre has always done in the UK by failing to chart at all.

Lie To Me - Mikolas Josef (2018)

I didn't watch Eurovision live this year - I was still down from the funeral and really wasn't in the mood. I caught up later though and this guy was definitely robbed! My other favourite was Norway's Alexander Rybak with That's How You Write A Song.

The UK's track was naff as usual. I think the last one I actually liked was in 2006 or something...

The Song That's 22 Verses Long - Bernard O'Shea

I loved Republic of Telly and this faux trad tune was one of the best running jokes of the series. :)

For more like this, please click the image below:
What I'm Listening To

Thursday, 17 May 2018

End of an Era

Mayoral Team

I made the Pontypool Free Press today in their report on the end of the Mayoral role. (A big thanks to our local democracy reporter Steven Prince - @stevenjprince - for the write up!) You can read the piece online HERE.

TORFAEN County Borough Council has appointed its first presiding member and deputy - the two roles replacing the mayoral function. Cllr Jessica Powell, the final councillor to hold the role of mayor, was selected as the presiding member at the council’s annual meeting this week. Her deputy will be Cllr Norma Parrish. The council needed to pick one of 17 councillors receiving a senior salary, consisting of committee chairs and executive members. The Panteg ward member replaced Blaenavon’s Cllr Stuart Evans – the final deputy mayor of Torfaen.  
Cllr Powell said she had changed her view on the mayoral function, which has been cut as a £52,000 annual budget saving. “This really is the end of an era. When I was first elected to the council in 2012 I was quite dismissive of the idea of us needing a mayor,” said the Pontnewydd ward member. “It seemed outdated and unnecessary, and I struggled to see the point. Over the years however I changed my mind – not, sadly, because I was getting paid £50,000 like some people assumed after the budget savings went public – I’ve heard that a few times – but because I could see that it did matter to people. Actually serving as first deputy and then mayor was a real eye opener to how important the office still was to many members of the public, and the positive impact it could have on people’s lives.”  
“What to you is just an afternoon of shaking hands and handing out certificates can be a really special memory to those involved. I have been incredibly touched to see how much it meant to people that I – or, perhaps more accurately, what I was representing by wearing the chains – attended their event.”  
Cllr Powell added that although being apolitical was lonely, it was a great opportunity to represent the council away from party politics. She said: “When you are elected you become the people’s representative to the council, but as mayor you become the council’s representative to the people. And I really hope going forward that we work to maintain that civic engagement with our residents and neighbours.”

You can find the full text of the speech I gave to council HERE.

For more like this, please click the image below:
15 Seconds of Fame - find me in the press

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Top Ten Fandom Blogs

Top Ten Fandom Blogs

Pop culture, geek culture, etc, blogs and news outlets are ten a penny these days. My go to is The Mary Sue. Active blogs focusing on transformative fandom - particularly beyond the odd op-ed, cosplay or occasional piece of fanart - are more difficult to find. Here are ten of my favourites... but I'd love to hear your recs for more!

The Rec Center

I'm going to be a rebel to semantics and start with a rec for a newsletter! The Rec Center was set up in 2016 in response to fans asking if there were any regular fandom round-ups. It is collated by fan culture journalists Elizabeth Minkel and Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, and includes fandom news, posts of interest on Tumblr and social media, and fanfiction recs.

Check out the archive or sign up for the weekly email updates at tinyletter.

The Learned Fangirl

'The Learned Fangirl analyzes media, technology, and online culture from a critical, academic perspective.'

Posting is irregular and review heavy - but when they do tackle fan culture it always makes for a fascinating read. Just check out this high brow post on why guys are reluctant to admit they are fans of The O.C. It made me pledge not to mock Anthony quite so much for his annual four season re-watch. Or to try, at any rate.

Fanfiction Recommendations

This is a project set up in 2017 by author Gwen Thomas and digital marketer Ronnie Deaver. They post explainers for fandom tropes and memes - where else are you going to find an in-depth starter pack for Omegaverse? - and rec lists on specific themes. It's still early days, but check them out at Fanfiction Recommendations.

Confessions of an Aca Fan

Henry Jenkins is not just any aca-fan, he's probably the best known. Author of the influential 'Textual Poachers', along with many other books, Jenkins is a Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education at USC, as well as being an active fan.

Confessions Of An Aca-Fan is currently running a series on the state of fandom studies in 2018. There is so much interesting work going on right now!

The Daily Fandom

The Daily Fandom describes itself as 'by fans for fans... We talk about fandom, comic, culture, and anime news. We also help promote web series and indie films, comics, and games.' In addition to pop culture posts, they have plenty of regular fannish content in the form of OTP Tuesdays and Fanfic Fridays.

If you like TDF, check out their fannish cohorts The CollectiveKeysmash and Black Girl Nerds too!

Femslash Today

Femslash Today is a weekly round-up newsletter of femslash fanfiction from around the web. It's hosted over on LiveJournal, the same place it began in November 2005. You can read more about its history and the wider 'girlwank' family of journals over on Fanlore.

Although you only tend to hear about LiveJournal in terms of fannish nostalgia these days, there are still active communities over there. Here are a few to get you started:

Fanfic Rants. For complaining about other people's fanfiction. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
☆ ONTD - Oh No They Didn't. Celebrity and pop culture gossip.
 The Rec Room. Get help finding the fic you want.
 Vidding. For fanvid discussion.
☆ There are a few fandom specific newsletters still going strong too, from Dr Who to Pros.

Destination Toast

Destination Toast is the statistical analysis of fic fandom you never knew you needed in your life! Seriously, it's so interesting to see whether the trend assumptions you make about fandom are actually borne out by the numbers.

While you're on Tumblr, here are a couple of other blogs to check out:

 Fanhackers. An OTW project making fan studies more accessible.
 Long Live Feedback. Feeback culture is dead, long live feedback culture!

FanSlashFic Magazine

Fan/Fic Magazine was founded in October 2015, and Malory Beazley took over editing in 2016. It really covers the full gamut of transformative fandom interests, from fic recs to fandom activism to technical articles about how to use google analytics to track your AO3 stats.

Posts have been very thin on the ground this year, but they do accept guest submissions. *hint hint*

Fandom Secrets

Modeled on the popular postsecret community, Fandom Secrets started life on LiveJournal in 2007. Given LJ's increasingly tumultuous relationship with fandom, it made the move to DreamWidth in June 2012. Although nowhere near as active as it was in its heyday, it still attracts about seven secrets and a couple hundred comments a day.

Other active DreamWidth comms to check out include Fancake (fic recs), Access Fandom, and the Fandom Calendar.

This Week In Fandom

The OTW - Organization for Transformative Works - is the umbrella organization behind Fanlore, Archive of Our Own, and other fandom projects. They post a short weekly round-up of fannish happenings. They take a particular interest in legal issues and fandom, reflecting the legal advocacy work of the OTW.

Bonus! Ten dead or all but dead blogs of interest:

 Fandom News.
 Geek Feminism.
☆ Lady Geek Girl.
☆ Metafandom. See also: Meta News.
☆ Ship Manifesto.
 The Fan Meta Reader.
☆ We Geek Girls.
 Worship The Fandom.
☆ The Daily Dot. (Not dead, but switched their fandom stream to a wider pop culture focus after Aja Romano left for Vox.)

For more fandom stuff, please click the image below:
Top Ten Fandom PodcastsFandom - my life as a fan

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Farewell To Office

Mayor's Parlour
Reverend Canon Harald Thomas (Chaplain), Me, Alison Ward (Chief Executive of TCBC), Stuart Evans (Deputy Mayor)

I made it! It's been an amazing year - surreal at times, sure, but something that I know will stay with me forever. I did about 250 official engagements, and have written about some of them that made the local papers in my 'In the Press' series. Below is the speech I gave at council today about my year in office... (It can also be viewed on the council webcast HERE.)

Deputy Mayoral Chains
Torfaen Deputy Mayoral Chains

It has been a real honour and a privilege to serve as Mayor this last year. I have met so many inspirational people, seen some of the truly amazing work going on in our community, and attended all kinds of weird and wonderful events. I've officially opened not one but two toilets, embarrassed myself countless times over in the name of charity, and blown the starting whistle at the Men's Roller Derby Associations' world championships.

(If, like me, you didn't even know the sport existed before hearing that, I highly recommend you check it out. It's great fun to watch!)

There has also been a more solemn side to the role. I attended the funerals of two former Mayors during my time in office - Doug Davies and Ann James - and, of course, this afternoon we have the funeral of another former Mayor, Bob Jones. I think that sense of upholding tradition, of being a civic representative, most hit home for me at remembrance events. Remembrance Day was especially moving, and I would like to thank my fantastic Mayoral cadet, Seren Gunningham of Torfaen Sea Cadets, for all her support.

In truth, there are more people I need to thank than I can possibly fit into this short speech. Everybody who invited me to an event, and everyone who supported my charity appeal: the money will be split three ways between Lincoln's Legs, Torfaen Mind, and Cyfannol Women's Aid. I specifically want to thank my Chaplain, Reverend Canon Harald Thomas; my Deputy Mayor, Stuart Evans; my Mini Mayor, Marianna; and my consort, Anthony Bird - who complained about the initial draft of this speech because he wasn't mentioned.

Anthony Bird, Torfaen Mayor's Consort 2017-18

I would also like to thank Chris Slade and everyone in the office for making up for my lack of organisational skills, my mum for babysitting above and beyond the call of duty, and Hywel Davies for everything. I literally would have been lost without him. I think I speak for all of us when I say that Hywel has been a real driving force in the role of the Mayor, and in the two decades he has been in the job he has shown nothing but dedication and professionalism of the highest standard.

I personally can't wait for his memoir!

Because this really is the end of an era. When I was first elected to the council in 2012 I was quite dismissive of the idea of us needing a Mayor. It seemed outdated and unnecessary, and I struggled to see the point. Over the years however I changed my mind - not, sadly, because I was getting paid £50,000 like some people assumed after the budget savings went public, but because I could see that it did matter to people. Actually serving as first Deputy and then Mayor was a real eye opener to how important the office still was to many members of the public, and the positive impact it had on people's lives.

What to you is just an afternoon of shaking hands and handing out certificates can be a really special memory to those involved. I have been incredibly touched to see how much it meant to people that I - or, perhaps more accurately, what I was representing by wearing the chains - attended their event.

Being apolitical for the year was a little lonely at times. You're not at group, and you don't see your colleagues as much as you usually would in committee, or the members' room. But it also gives you a unique ability to represent the authority without all the political baggage you would usually have. When you are elected you become the people's representative to the council, but as Mayor you become the council's representative to the people. I really hope going forward that we work to maintain that civic engagement with our residents and neighbours.

Mayoral Portrait
Sitting for my official Mayoral portrait

It felt very strange handing over the chairship of the council to the new Presiding Member - not least because it was me! The PM has to be chosen from committee chairs, so at Labour group I went through two rounds of voting to be selected as the nomination for chair of the learning communities scrutiny committee and then chair of council.

Today those nominations were accepted and agreed, so I'm looking forward to a whole new challenge!

Parts of this speech were quoted in the Pontypool Free Press (17/05/2018).

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Monday, 14 May 2018

Litter Picking

South Wales Argus Grassroots

We were in the paper today, in the Grassroots section of the South Wales Argus on page 31. I had forgotten we even did this litter pick already which probably says something about my age... It was really nice of Mary - retired TCBC councillor Mary Barnett - to include us in her write up though!

Mary and Gil have been such a great support at so many of my Mayoral events this year, and at the charity quiz night mentioned they single handedly contributed about a tenth of the total in raffle ticket sales. :)

For more like this, please click the image below:
15 Seconds of Fame - find me in the press

Sunday, 13 May 2018

This Week - May 12th 2018

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart. I'll stay there forever.
Life This Week

This week has mostly been about winding things up and getting organised. I want to write to all the groups / organisations I visited during my time as Mayor to thank them for the invite and helping to make the year special, so I've been stocking up on note cards, writing paper, and stamps. I feel like I finally have a use for all the stationery I keep buying! It's all ready to go now and I'll start actually writing them out next week.

On Tuesday we went to a 100th birthday party in Blaenavon - there must be something in the water up there - and then I had finance committee and school governors at Maendy. Of course I didn't check my email before going so I had to be like, oh yeah, I totally knew I was chairing today. (I'm the Vice Chair.) It was fine though and we managed to get through the AGM by 7pm.

After that we had a little 'retirement' party for Marianna as she had served her last day as the Mini Mayor! I officially finish at the Council AGM next week but, as I'll be the last Mayor, it's just going to be an ordinary business meeting so there's no point in taking her. Instead we bought her a cake with candles, and the Moana dress she has been asking for. The only problem was that she kept thinking it was her birthday... :)

I went up for pre-council briefing on Friday morning, then went to my granddad's funeral. I didn't think I'd be too bad but I cried floods once it actually started. (In fact, I'm crying a little now, just writing about it.) So on Saturday we all just took it easy and I went through my email inboxes. I have five now for different things - work, blog, comping, etc - and they were all full of junk.

Photo of the Week
Rhys with Nan and Gramp
From the vaults! My brother Rhys with our maternal grandparents.

On the Blog

All I've had all week is SEO people emailing me to try and get me to include their links on my site. I've nothing against this and will sometimes edit a post - if it's relevant. But they've clearly not even given the page a cursory once over before insisting that their new infographic / article / whatever is a perfect fit for my readers. Ads for 1:1 scale furniture on a post about 1:12 scale doll houses? The same link you asked me about last month and I said no? Passive aggressive 'if you want to miss out on this awesome content that's fine' spiels?

No, no, and no.

Is anyone else inundated with this kind of thing? It's so annoying.

In other news, I mostly posted stuff I had saved in drafts because I didn't feel much like writing this week. So there was a review of Commaful, the much hyped flash fiction site, and a guide to the best multifandom fanfiction archives on the web. I also posted a listicle of the top ten patron saints of random causes, and wrote a review / giveaway for Britta Lundin's new fandom-centric YA book, Ship It.

For more like this, please click the image below:
This Week - Weekly Overviews

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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