Taliesyn Robards is a punk ass book jockey

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Taliesyn Robards is a punk ass book jockey



July 7th, 2014

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It's my birthday in a week and a bit and Cary is housebound, Daisy is back safe, there is no more murderer in Helga's Hill so I feel it might be OK. Of course many things could still go wrong but this is a good enough foundation.

I do hope Elliot and Henrietta have stopped screaming at each other gone from a regular war back to a cold war made up.

May 29th, 2014

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I hope they don't cast Selene too soon. It'd be nice to keep her image in my head for a bit longer.

[Private to Romilda]

I have something to tell you. Show you, rather. Well, I guess both. 'Cause if I showed you it without context, well. Um.

May 19th, 2014

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Did you know that a female troubadour is called a trobairitz?


Great exhibits. Great tea. Great date.
Great snogs. Great intimacy. Great cuddles.

Everything is great and I can't believe I wanted to change it all up with marriage. Sort of relieved now that it's not happening, to be honest. I forgot how much I don't actually want a wedding. First of all there's no way I can not invite Idris so I will be bitter throughout, or at least in between being terrified of what Cary might say in his speech and trying to stay as stiff-lipped as possible so I don't start shedding tears in front of everyone I know and probably a great many I don't if Mum gets her way. So, phew. Off the hook forever.

The TCTF fanzine comes out tomorrow! Merlin, what have I done? Should not have submitted. But no-one will know it's me. It's totally anonymous; I didn't even pick a pen name. Oh God. Should not have told Heidi. Well, I guess if she prods I'll just say it wasn't accepted...or something...arrrgh.

April 30th, 2014


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I've got hours and hours and hours to kill while stuck in one place. Is this what havong a real job is like? No wonder you're all dying to go on holiday. Psst, I recommend Terror Tours.

It could be worse, I guess. At least I have this to communicate with. My brother handed it over and made me promise I would not read whatever juicy secrets are contained within. Considering he's done nothing to prevent me from doing so (if I just flick a few pages...) I am incredibly honoured by the trust he has in me and I won't let him down.

Then again, I do have hours and hours to kill...

April 27th, 2014

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[Private to Gwen and Eloise]

I know it's the weekend and I'm really sorry to bother you at this time but I really, really need your help.

April 16th, 2014

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Paris is inspiring. I feel inspired. Is anyone willing to sell me a large block of marble or a canvas the size of a wall?


Should've asked in Paris. I realise my misstep now. When I kind of sort of maybe blurted out the question in the middle of...well. You know. It was on my mind and I guess I got a bit carried away.

But it's OK. She thought I was joking. At least I think she thought I was joking. Which she must've. Because who would ask that, then?

So that's good. Except not, because I really mean it - just not that particular time - and so what if she thinks I'm taking the piss when I try again?

Maybe I need to let some time pass. This saddens me.

But luckily I have this Curl and Flame zine to cheer me up, and my God, some of the stuff is incredible! Some of it's very well written, for amateurs. Unbelievably so. And Harmony/Dragul, oh my God. I didn't know I wanted it till I read it. But what's up with Raul/Genevieve? No no no no no.

I want to discuss all of this with someone but I don't know who else has the zine and I'm certainly not going to ask. If only the fans can make themselves apparent. But I still don't want them to know I've read it. This is a dilemma.

I wonder if the zine accepts fanart

April 8th, 2014

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March 25th, 2014

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Dad's birthday on the 29th. Arrgh.

[Private to Dorothy]

Never speak to me again. Gelert is the last straw.

[Private to Romilda]

I would like to claim asylum in your house.

March 10th, 2014

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I think that everyone should make a will when they get a chance, especially if they have pets. You don't want them to end up in a bad situation.

Thanks to the well-wishers. I'm feeling fantastic better. Back to work tomorrow. No, I don't think it will happen again.


Who to leave Watson to? There are only four realistic candidates.

1. Dorothy
Pros: Least amount of upheaval for Watson. Well used to Watson's habits.
Cons: Watson will get enormously fat.
Pros: Thus might be reunited with Watson sooner than expected behind the veil.
Cons: That's not a good thing! Dogs cost money. Precarious financial situation.

2. Cary
Pros: Guaranteed exercise. Has lots of spare time to spend with Watson.
Cons: Unless he's travelling. Unreliable. Would use Watson to pick up women. Morally questionable.

3. Dad
Pros: Maintain discipline. Would probably keep Watson interested with mentally engaging training.
Cons: May turn Watson into sheepdog.
Pros: Well, maybe Watson would like that. Possibly he would enjoy having a "job" also as some kind of crime-fighting wonder dog.
Cons: I don't want Watson potentially put in danger!

4. Romilda
Pros: Girlfriend should get first right of refusal. Would she be offended not to be first choice? A reminder of me, I guess.
Cons: A reminder of me. Possibly upsetting/irritating??? Very busy career-wise. Sisters might not want a dog. Dog hair gets everywhere. Slightly paranoid that Matilda will try to turn Watson vegan. Financial burden too great an ask.

Hmm. I don't think I've made the right choice any clearer. Bugger.

February 27th, 2014

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Isn't it a wonder how fear can make you lose your mind. How it's possible to have a worst fear which, if one was thinking rationally, one would acknowledge has an infinitesimal chance of actually happening, and thus be not afraid. But no. One still is. Deathly so. What a wonder.

Though maybe it's possible you just haven't gone through all the options. Maybe you'll have your worst fear and someone will name theirs and you'll go "hang on a minute, that's a million times more terrible."

Let's try it. Name some frightening things. I want variety.


If Dad managed to procure a boggart from somewhere I will die. Yes, they're just a third year thing but I had a different fear then. One not so irrational and embarrassing. Merlin, why can't I just be afraid of dragons? Oh, that's right, because they're not scary! If a dragon had it in for you you'd be incinerated in seconds; hardly any time to work up some dread.

I should just stop it now. Tell Dad I do not want to do five days of work then two days of basically remedial schooling. It just makes me tired and upset. I'm an adult. I don't have to do things I don't like. But if I quit then I'm pretty much kissing the relationship goodbye. And I guess that would be the bigger hurt.

February 12th, 2014

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[Private to Romilda]

Is there any chance at all you can get Friday off? I'd like to take you somewhere special.

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February 9th, 2014

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[Private to Heidi]

I need your assistance. Please help me.

February 4th, 2014

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[Private to Romilda]

Do you still have any of that potion left? You know which one.

January 23rd, 2014

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I hope you all remember that Saturday is St Dwynwen's Day. If you feel it's important to remember. And you've got plans. If you feel that it's important to have plans. Or that you are the beneficiary of plans. If you feel you should expect any plans.

Though, I must say, it feels a little weird to be celebrating it if you know the real story. The non-children's version. Thanks, Idris. I was better off not knowing. Poor Dwynwen.


I can't find any thread in the exact colour I want and it's doing my head in. Yes, I suppose I could charm them to the right shade but charms don't last forever and if I did that I wouldn't be able to stop myself from staring because I am paranoid they will change colour at an inopportune moment. Well, at least I found the buttons before Watson ate them.

Romilda asked about the portrait. She wouldn't if I was a bit smarter and removed the other two as well. I suppose having a blank space between Idris and Cary is a bit suspect. I told her I know nothing about a portrait. And that even if I did, I can't show her because I don't remember where I hid it. Well, I didn't say the last bit out loud, obviously. Not that stupid.

The bed is for sleeping first, the other thing that beds are for, second. Every article in magazines I certainly don't read is all 'how to get so-and-so into bed' and I just think, 'that's really not the issue here. They're already in bed - where else are they going to sleep - so what am I supposed to do now huh, huh, huh?'

The body was confused but I've gotten used to it now.

What I will never get used to, though, is Romilda getting up in the middle of the night to go tend to her potion because inspiration strikes at the oddest of moments. Like, 2am. It was terrible the first time. I was quite sure there were arms around me when I went to sleep and then I woke up and they. weren't. there.

My first thought was why didn't I spend all my free time training Watson to do search and rescue. I went downstairs in a tizzy and there she was. Oh.

Well. I suppose I had slightly overreacted. She doesn't know this though because I said I was sleepwalking and she was dreaming I was sleepwalking so I was doubly not present. I went back upstairs and lay down staring wide-eyed at the ceiling forever until I heard footsteps and then I rolled over and snored a bit because only people who are fast asleep snore. Then the arms came back so I'm fine now, really.

But seriously she should leave a note next time.

January 16th, 2014

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[Private to Romilda]

I think you should relocate next door with me for the next three weeks. Or without me. I don't have to be there. No wait, that'd be odd. But you might like the extra space. Not that your house is cramped. No, it isn't. But one of your sisters also has a boyfriend now so...

And when I say that you should, I'm not really making any value judgment. It's just a suggestion. Not even that. More of a idle thought.

Actually, maybe it's a silly thought. Pretend I said nothing.

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There is just something infinitely satisfying about hearing the chlick-fwsssssh sound as a sealed jar lid gives way in your grasp.

And now I have 87 open jars to either somehow reseal or consume the contents of in the next few days. What should I have for dinner - a jar of pickles or a jar of olives?


It started entirely innocently. I thought I'd save money and have lunch at home. Went home to make myself a jam sandwich. Brand new jam jar! Not to worry. I know there's a spell for this. But I've forgotten it. Well, I'm not going to eat plain bread so I give it a go manually.

I flick a wrist and it pops and slides open. Chlick-fwsssssh.

Wow. That was kind of unexpected, actually. No dish towel for grip, no leaning against the wall for leverage. Barely strained.

Hmm. I wonder what else I can...?

I go through the cupboards and open every jar I find.


Well, that's nice, I think, as I survey my little hodge-podge collection of victories. But it's not enough, is it? It doesn't prove anything. An idea occurs to me.

I go to Golden Apples and ask every shopkeep to bring me any product that comes in a jar. Cart them all home. I don't have much time.

I place them all on the bench top. I line them up. I get to work.


And on and on it goes, first in rapid succession, leaving me giddier and giddier after each lid falls off, then with a little more effort, a little discomfort, a little more swearing - yet eventually they all succumb - till there is one left.

Madam Borboleta Candies Ltd's Sugared Sensations.

I know this product. As a child it taunted me by daring to be displayed in full view and within easy reach. I had practically torn the skin off my palms trying to unscrew the lid. Even Idris couldn't find a way.

I should have known it would come down to this. I put a hand on it. Firm. Solid. Uncompromising.

I grip the lid. I'm going nowhere. My hands start to chafe.

C'mon, I voice, as I remember I should twist from the elbow and not the wrist, yield.

And then...Click. Fwssssh.

I am triumphant. From now on I will walk the streets with the air of person who knows they can make every kind of foodstuff from every kind of jar from every kind of company in this town capitulate with brute force.

Brute force. Oh, that's heady stuff.

January 13th, 2014

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Hands up if you like January.


I have fallen into a maelstrom of despair. A vortex of depression. A pit of melancholy. Idris has invaded my head and I can't get him out. He's like the latest Weird Sister song except instead of the lyrics it's a general diatribe about my existence.

Oh God, it fits the music too.

Who cares about Windermere. I'm going to go stand on a cliff and wait for a stiff breeze.

[Private to Dot]

I'm sorry about paint fumes. Stray socks. Muddy paw prints. Muddy footprints. Teacup stains. Eating all the jam and not replacing it. Bringing someone over when I said that would never happen. Picking at the hole in the sofa fabric so it's now huge. Dog hair. Wet dog smell. Stray bits of kibble. Pushing the mouldy cheese to the back of the fridge instead of chucking it out. Toothpaste speckles on the bathroom mirror. The time I saw a spider and just let it go on its merry way. Painting on the wall because I was bored and didn't have any canvas. Not emptying the bin till the first piece of rubbish falls over the edge. That time I allowed myself to be visibly upset and didn't immediately excuse myself to spare your feelings.

I mean, if one part of Jennie's reading came true...

December 16th, 2013

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So...only Gavin Orpington gets to be examined? Not Audrey? Not even Smith though I don't really care about him? And they let him out? Just like that?



"If you can get a Firebolt, you can get Jigger." Yeah no, Cary, it doesn't work that way, a Firebolt is an inanimate object and for all I know Broom Regulatory Control lend them out to anyone who asks or borrows them for weekend joyrides personally while Mr Jigger is an actual person who can...move about, for one, and has his own thoughts and feelings and wishes and I'm not sure none of those involve going to dinner with Romilda and I but I suppose you meant it as a vote of confidence, so thank you, I guess, and so I did floo his agent.

Good news: Mr Jigger is going to a party this Friday.
Bad news: I obviously don't have an invite to said party.

Good news: Idris has an invite to said party.
Bad news: IDRIS has an invite to said party.

Good news: Idris needs a favour. We have struck a deal.
Bad news: This favour involves playing the part of the victim in a re-enactment during a grisly murder trial.

You'll only get stabbed once, he says.
I'll warn you before it's going to happen, he says.
It won't hurt a bit, he says.


[Private to Romilda]

Hey, remember how you said you wanted that biography of Arsenius Jigger for Christmas? Would you rather meet him instead?

[Private to Dorothy]

Hey, Dorothy, could you do me a huge favour? Could you go to J Pip's and buy me a blood-replenishing potion? I think the Healer skimped out on me.

December 10th, 2013

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[Private to Romilda]

Made the bed.

Fixed the floorboard.

Terrified Emelda half to death.

That was my morning. How was yours?
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