Wednesday, 30 September 2009

He brought me flowers...

...beautiful red flowers...

...for no particular reason...

... just because.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Halloween Hell!

Halloween is the same date every year. I’ve known this for all of my 25 years, but it always sort of creeps up on me (if you’ll excuse the pun). I try to prepare something, costume, occasion, make up, hair; everything should be done and perfectly arranged. It never ends up that way. But this year! I’ll manage it! Honest! I’ve attempted to think about what I’ll be this year. My fail safe is always Magenta from Rocky Horror Picture Show (it’s the hair!) but this year I’ll attempt something different.

I’ve went through several ideas, most boring and uninteresting. Poison Ivy was a strong contender for a while, but really, my idea for that costume would require a body I don’t have the time or inclination to diet for. I wanted something I could make at least most of the costume for, I’m tired of seeing the same old costumes bought from the same websites and shops. So I needed time. I need time to create an outfit I’d be proud to say I’d made. I needed to decide what I was making, draw it out, plan relevant accessories, decide on make up and hair. Whew! I’ve not even decided on where I’m going yet!

So, a plan. I sat down this morning in front of the computer and refused to move until I decided what I was going to do. Something fun, a bit sexy, easy enough to make but something I can embellish further should I have the time. Something that’ll look appropriate, no matter where I’ll end up on the night itself. I racked my brain. My hair will be a bright shade of red by then. I’ll have limited but regular access to a sewing machine. I have very little money. I don’t want a short outfit. I want it to be easily understandable. Yeesh. Tough crowd, me! Ok, coffee time. Maybe a little music. I tabbed youtube, and hit the first favourite video. Emilie Autumn.

Oh. Oh oh! That little red heart at the side of her face! An idea started formulating. Most of my friends are looking forward to seeing Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland. The stills and posters look great, but his vision for the Queen of Hearts isn’t exactly one I could easily create. I’m just not that good! For one, I’m not sure I could enlarge my head… ok, I’m kidding, but really, I love this idea of being the Queen. I knew immediately I don’t want to emulate the Disney version either. I could give it a Miz twist! Thank you Emilie!

After deciding I could do this, my first port of call is, of course, hair and make up. Victory rolls, with the rest of my hair in loose ringlets, and a black crushed cushioned velvet pinned in between the rolls. A thin alice band, covered in small white and black felt hearts, a swarovski crystal in the centre of each black heart. Make up wise, a whitened face, a light smoky eye with a reddish tone and high blushed cheeks. A love heart lip, of course, outlined in thin black and glittered within.

Costume, I haven’t got so far with yet. I know I want a black heart corsage to match my hairpiece, and a simple thin ribbon choker, tied in a pretty bow. I need more white and red, but I don’t want to look like a demented candy striper! Or worse, Mrs Claus! Hmm. Definitely a skirt, a-line, just below the knee. Top-wise, no idea. I’m lost.

Anyone have any ideas?

I'll be going to fabric and craft store on Friday, so I need a definite idea by then!

*Think Nicola think!*

Ah well!

So I haven't received my income support today. And it's actually my fault! I was abit silly, and didn't think to keep note of when my sick line ran out, so I need to get a new one on Thursday. Until then, I've got £20 to live off. Crap, but not the end of the world. I *was* supposed to go for lunch with my friend, but I'll have to either cancel or suggest a cheaper approach. As in, water!

But, it's not getting me down. I went to bed early last night, and I actually slept through the night! This hasn't happened in... oh, I don't know - ages! I woke up with Gof (and yes, I stayed up all Sunday night, and made him his tea and toast for Monday morning!), and even though it would have been easy for me to just roll over and go back to sleep, I got up, made breakfast and dealt with the DWP/doctors already! I'm just sipping on some water, then cycling to Anniesland to go to the Jobcentre for 11.

I'm supposed to meet Sandy in town for 2, but I'll see if she wants to meet on Thursday instead, as I'll *hopefully* have money by then. We're going to start knitting together, so I need supplies! Also, I want to drag her to the bead company as well, I've got a few pieces to make for birthdays and the run up to Christmas, but it's no fun when there's no pennies to spend!

This morning has happened before, when I've arrange to do something fun and creative, meet a friend, and I've ended up unable to through lack of funds. Dealing with several faceless people who really couldn't care less always gets me down, but today, I've not let it bother me. I'll repeat that.

I've not let it bother me.

I've not figured, fuck it, I don't care, nothing ever works, I'm going back to bed, I'm hiding away. I've dealt with it, texted Sandy, rearranged, and generally getting on with it.

No drama.

No pity poor me.

I believe it's another step in the right direction. I'm treating it as the general small annoyance it is, and not some big bad upset destroying my life. A small step, but a decisive one, I think.

Exuse me while I go feel ridiculously pleased with myself!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Contemplating Sunday, after dark

Another night, and I've had to get back out of bed. I don't want to wake Gof, he's up early, and I know I will keep him awake if I'm lying there tossing and turning all night. So, wearing the comfy robe I bought him last Christmas, eating a slice of wheat free toast and listening to Nat King Cole, I sit here at 2.50am. This is not the first time I have done this, nor will it be the last. I'd rather sit here, toes slightly cold, than risk not allowing him to fall into the deep sleep he needs to function in the morning. I sit here, knowing that when his alarm goes off, he will hit the snooze button while I creep back downstairs and put the kettle on and make some toast. By the time he's more awake, I will have tea and toast ready for him. I will savour the little time we have, before he cycles to work, and I try to get some writing done, or, more likely, try to go back to sleep.

Even when I know he's not laying beside me, I still feel his presense. I know he'd rather be snuggled up with me, arms around each other, our feet wrapped up together. I lie there and feel loved, knowing he's already thinking about what he can text me about. Sometimes a joke, sometimes asking what we should do for dinner, and sometimes, just simply, an I love you.

I think too much. I think he'd be better off without me. Sometimes, I try to imagine how his life would be without me in it. As if we'd never met. I can't help but think. But I'm aware it doesn't matter. I am in his life, and he in mine. We are together, seperate and equal beings who chose to live our life alongside and with one another. Not absolutely entwined, but close enough, that to the untrained eye, we appear as one. But nothing could be further from the truth.

We are so different. But in knowing him, I have moved from the extreme, towards the centre. I will never be completely balanced (where's the fun in that?!) but I have grown under his care, and without really noticing until the changes set in. He doesn't try to, doesn't consciously mould me into anything I'm not, and I see how I have changed without becoming someone unrecognisable. I'm still crazy, but have much less panic attacks. I still over-analyse, but I trust my instincts more. I'm still selfish, but I think about other people's needs as just as important as my own. I've put on weight, but I still like myself. Infact, there are times I feel downright beautiful. Not sexy, or cute, but beautiful. I've never felt that before.

He looks at me and I'm the only person in the world. There are times I just stop, and think, wow. I'm here. I'm standing in the kitchen, drying dishes with this man, and talking about nothing in particular, and he loves me. My heart beats so hard and I have to kiss him, have to tell him I love him. These wow moments happen so sporadically, but they've never stopped being so potent. Each one is a shock, a tingling in my bones when I feel I'm smiling so much my face will collapse.

Every love is different. I know I've loved before, and I will never regret those loves. But after 2 years, we still seem to be in a honeymoon that shows no sign of ever being over. Before, this would have scared me enough to do something stupid, but no. Not now, not with him. I'm holding on to this for as long as I can.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

lazy days....

I know Sunday is traditionally the day of rest, but today has been a lazy, next to nothing happening day. Tomorrow I'll have a checklist of things to do, but for now... ahhhh.

Lazing about.

After getting in at around 4am this morning, I didn't get up until after noon! I danced my ass around in the Classic last night, took pictures (that I can't upload because I can't find the USB cable!), and generally had a great time. I love when there's no drama.

Gof made me some lunch, egg and bacon (no bread!) and then I sauntered back upstairs to play Zelda, Twlight Princess for a few hours, during which Gof came up and gave my poor "mosher's" neck and rub with my favourite Lush massage bar.

Then I've came back downstairs, had half a bowl of Carrot & Spicy Lentil soup (I'll post the recipe soon!) and sat down to write this!

I love lazy days.

Now I'm off to have a long, hot shower, getting back into bed and writing some notes about Elivinessa. Her past has got really interesting!

G'night folks!

Friday, 25 September 2009

My heart is happy

I'm listening to beautiful music, it's Friday, and I feel fantastic. There's really no particular reason for this, but I'm savouring the moment. For all I know, it could just be fleeting, and I might hit another low soon, but for now, I'm doing everything in my power to keep hold of this.

I'm dancing around the house, tidying while pretending to be a member of Fame! Yes, I'm high-kicking my way to a cleaner house.

I'm singing along to the ballad version of I Believe In You. Complete with wild arm gestures.

I'm excitedly awaiting the arrival of G, who is cycling his way back to me.

Now, let's listening to this! Name that movie!

I'm considering make up, hair, and outfit. I'm going out dancing tonight! I want to keep this good feeling going!

I'm still looking over my shoulder to the door, for my Love. I'm gonna give him the biggest hugs and most passionate kiss I can! He needs it!

I'm too hyper to continue... I'm going to go do... something!

Enjoy your Friday everyone!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Just thinkin'

So, I'm a bit of a hot headed mess sometimes. Yes, I realise this is not news, but I've been thinking about it for a few days now. I tend to want to think things through, but mostly I fly off the handle and say whatever I'm feeling at the time. Sometimes this is absolutely the right thing to do, but more often, I end up wishing I'd waited. Recently, I've ended up with examples of both.

My lovely friend is going through a hellish hard time, and, after careful consideration (and berating herself already for putting herself first) she decided to break it off with her new(ish) boyfriend. He is a genuinely nice guy, I believe that, but he can be quite self-centred, and therefore selfish. I won't go into examples, this isn't about bitching about him, so you'll have to take my word for it.

He didn't take it too well.

Knowing why, and what she'd been going through, he still decided the best course of action would be to harass her constantly.

I didn't take that too well.

He was (emphasis on "was") a friend on myspace, and I posted a little something on my blog there. I also posted it fb, just in case he missed it, he'd see it there. I had permission from my friend to post it, after she read it too.

You fucking bastard.
How FUCKING dare you! Kick HER in the teeth when you know SHE'S down! But oh no, it's ALL ABOUT YOU. Pity poor you. Screaming little child, having a tantrum when you don't get your own way.

YOU fucked it up, pure and simple. You expected too much from a girl who was drowning and didn't want to tell. YOU are so wrapped up in yourself you can't even BEGIN to imagine how someone else might be feeling, even someone you claimed to love. Worse, I doubt you even cared. It was about how YOU felt about HER problems.

She wasn't your mother. She was tired of making fucking excuses everytime YOU made decisions that caused problems. Accidents happen, but your idiot mentality never will - you're too set in your "Oh poor me" ways. It's never your fault, is it? Blame someone else, blame booze, blame your mental state. You give people with problems a bad name. I'm a card carrying crazy person, but somehow I don't blame EVERY fucked up thing I do on that - take some fucking responsibility for your own actions you arsehole. It's called being held accountable, an important step into better mental health. But no, you'd prefer to always be the victim.

Fine - go be the victim, but I will warn you. If I EVER get a broken best friend because YOU have thrown a stupid tantrum because of the decisions she has made FOR HER - I will break your fucking neck. I have no time for someone who wallows in their own shit, and luckily I never have to see you again, but you drag her into it again, then I'll blame MY mental health for what I'll do to you. No court would convict.

Leave her alone.

Yeah, I was mad. Very much so. I tend to feel violent when people hurt my friends, and what he was doing was unforgivable. But I jumped into writing, as I do, before my logical mind could catch up. Reading it back now, I realise there's was only one possible outcome to that post. He never responded to me directly, oh, no - because that would have probably started a war I would win. He can't get to me the way he gets to her. And he did. He gave her such a hard time, and again, when she told me, my first reaction was to verbally bitch slap him into seeing that what he was doing was wrong, and this time, more directly, and maybe less verbally. But guilt hit before I got to the pc. If I had thought my actions through before, I would never have caused her to feel more pain. It was my fault. I should have known better.

Still, I couldn't let it go by without a comment, but this time, I wanted to maybe appeal to the nicer, more sensitive side of him. I knew it was there. I was explicitly clear *I* still thought he was an idiot, but this wasn't about what I thought about him. At least, I tried. I also had permission to post this one.

Homicide is such a strong word...
Are people really that thick? Seriously - when you read something directed at you, you'd maybe take in what it says. Instead, this idiot proves my point exactly by turning my utter rage-filled rant into another stick to beat my best friend with.

She's sinking, with no lifeboard to cling to. It's almost painful, hearing the break in her voice, the shame and guilt, for finally doing something for herself. Even now, she doubts herself. I hate that. She should be confident, sure, and happy. She deserves nothing less.

Love, to me, means putting your loved ones happiness before your own. I love Gof beyond any reason I ever thought possible, and yet, to make him happy, I would gladly break my own heart. I have thought several times that he would be better off without me, and tried to break up with him - but he won't let me, he hasn't given up. I've came to the conclusion he is happy with me, and I'm relived. I'm lucky. But if anything was ever to change - I'd still cut out my own heart before he felt pain.

Love, true and real love, is not selfish. It is never about you. It's about who you can be. I can't understand a concept that allows hurting, deliberately, someone you love just because you hurt. Even if they're the ones hurting you. You can't, because how could you look at yourself knowing you caused them to feel that pain? Is that what love turned you into?

I don't understand. And right now, my love for my friend is invoking another strong feeling within me. Anger. Even hate. I would destroy those who hurt her. I have destroyed before. Believe me.

She had to make a decision, based on her health, her wellbeing, her sanity, and she made probably one of the hardest decisions she's ever had to make - not because she wanted to, but because she had to. This was not a decision she made easily, and she is facing the fallout even without the childish behaviour from her idiot ex. The fact he's still acting like a petulant child and bothering her only serves to prove the point the decision she made was the right one.

She has enough drama in her life. Don't add fuel to fire, because when she burns out, there will be nothing left. And if there's nothing left, I'll have no other choice. Understand, I mean this. She means too much to me to let you get anyway with that.

Okay, okay, so, it wasn't as nice or as civil as it could have been. I tried my best, given the circumstances. But now, whether he took me at my word or not, he's behaving like a nicer human being again. I doubt it's down to my not-so-subtle threats, or even my pleas to let her go, and I'll never know because I haven't and probably will not hear from him ever again. My main concern is my friend. Right now, she's coping better. That is in no small thanks, due to the fact he's stopped acting like a fool. That she's happier is all I care about.

This adventure has taught me something I needed to know. I have to stop jumping in before I know how deep the water is. As I said, I really did like the guy before all this, and I should have remembered that when I was so mad. I need to take this opportunity to grow from this too. In alot of respects, I was no better than he was. Behaving like a petulant child. I have to make getting myself better a priority too.

I'm not sorry I said what I did. But maybe, next time I feel the need to run and protect my friends, I should think before I act.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Yup, I'm still up...

... and taking silly quizzes. but I rather like this one...

The LONG Scientific Personality Test
- my result.

You are more introverted than extroverted. You are more intuitive than observant, you are more feeling based than thinking based, and you prefer to go with the flow rather than having a plan. Your type can best be summarized by the word "Healer", which belongs to the larger group of idealists. You have a capacity for caring that is deeper than most. You strive for unity, are fascinated by the battles between good and evil, and can be something of an idealist. Only 1% of the population shares your type.
As a romantic partner, you are usually supportive and nurturing, however, you have a high need for individuality. Harmony is extremely important to you as you are very affected by conflict and tension, which also makes you resist confronting your partner directly about problems. When you get angry, you usually blame yourself, rather than your partner. You can also be stubborn and unyielding when you feel you are being criticized or mistreated. You feel the most appreciated when your partner listens to you carefully. You need to be understood. You need to hear your partner express their feelings, the more often, the better. Your group summary: idealists (NF)
Your type summary: INFP

True, maybe? No? Yes?


I may be too high maintainance...

As I'm currently furious with my boyfriend for being tired. Yup, the hard working half of the couple is too tired to service his girlfriend. How rude. How shocking. I know I'm being COMPLETELY and UTTERLY out of line here, but that doesn't help the fact I'm raging. I lay in bed fuming for about ten minutes after he admitted defeat, and quite dramatically flounced off to come downstairs and rant about it. Ah, the joys of the t'interweb. I need to calm down before I attempt to go back upstairs. Please note, mind, that I was tired and needed to sleep before getting so worked up, so now I'm wide awake and horny. Apart from the obvious reason that it's his fault, it's not really his fault. I'm just being a bitch.

Man, I hate when that happens. Can I say the main reason I came down here was so I know he'd get to sleep? It's true!

watch this space, I may turn into a nice girl yet!

Oh dear, drunk and/or high neds outside the house screaming at each other. "Ya fuckin hoor" and "Ur a pure prick" keep getting repeated inbetween high pitched screaming I can't interpret for the sane. Who said romance was dead?

Monday, 21 September 2009

Monday No Blues!

Right missus, time to get serious again. I fell back into eating wheat and not exercising, bad me! I could blame a multitude of things, but really, that's excuses, not reasons. So it goes, I will be the exception that proves the rule - Monday plans CAN work!

And the plans are - no more wheat (again), I've not been too bad, but I can see myself getting worse if I don't nip it in the bud. Also, proper mornings. As in, don't sleep in to stupid o'clock because I've nothing else to do. FIND something to do! I actually like getting up in the morning with Gof, making us breakfast, coffee, whatever, and spending the morning with him before he goes to work. After that, at least 45 mins on the Wii Fit. I found a blog that a woman is keeping (here) and the tips she's given, I'm going to use myself. The routine I'll follow, for now, will be an adaptation of hers.

Warm up
10 minutes of Yoga
x2 Warrior pose - thighs + hips
x2 Half moon – waist
x2 Sun salutation pose – arms, thighs, lower back

Main workout
10 minutes of Rhythm Boxing
3 minutes of Super Hula Hoop
15 minutes of Free Step

Warm down
10 minutes of Strength Training + Yoga
Jack knife (15-30 reps) – abs
x2 Bridge pose – back, waist, hips, glutes, legs
x2 Spinal twist – lower back + hips

Of course, that'll be after the daily body test too. I know the Wii Fit age isn't scientifically correct, but it's a good way for me to focus my attention, and I was getting better before I stopped doing it. I'll also be measuring my vitals (arms, waist, hips etc.) every fortnight, and if I'm brave, I may even post them!

I'm cycling about a lot more too, and I'm already feeling the change in my legs. Which is good, I liked my legs when I was skinny! Stopped drinking fizzy juice too, and I've decided after the amount of alcohol I've drunk over the past week, I'm going dry for a month, give myself a break. Only water, milk and coffee for me! oh, ok, herbal tea too, I'll treat myself :P

All in all, I think I've had a strong start - long may it continue!

PS - I've lost 3lbs this past week - win!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

RIP Scott Aiton

It was just like old times. But something was wrong. We were all in the room, but someone wasn't really there. Hugs from strangers, hugs from someone you were never quite sure actually liked you. Tears, too many tears. People you didn't know recognising you, and asking how you were. Memories, so many memories. Laughing at our childhood selves. Awkward silences. Lapsing into memories you can't share, you want to keep for you. Promises made to never let ourselves fall but out of touch again. Don't let something like this bring us back together.

We said goodbye to Scott yesterday. For so long, he fought a losing battle, and now he could rest, safe in the knowledge that so many people cared about him. When he died, on Friday, his community sprang into action, raising just under £1000 in his memory. In any case, this is wonderful, but then take into consideration that this is one of the poorest areas of Glasgow, and your heart warms even more at the sense of community. There was a service at his parents house before the crematorium, and even in a big flat, the peole there spilled out into the street. He was so loved. I gripped the hand of a girl I used to know, and we shook with grief. It wasn't fair. It still isn't. But it was the raw, painful screaming from his mother that set us off. This amazing woman, whom we all loved as children, completely broken. My hands are shaking even now at the memory. No mother should ever have to bury their child. She was so upset she couldn't stand up. Her sons, her lovely, strong devastated boys, carried their mother out into the waiting car before squaring their shoulders and going back to carry their brother out. If I live to be 104, I'll never forget the strength of these brothers, and the anguished pride I felt in having known them.

At the wake, Scott's mother invited all his friends back to the flat for a real "Scott's" party. His idea of a party? Get really really drunk and sing to the top of our lungs. Of course, we did both. Drinks in hand, in a big group hug, we sang along to Scott's favourite, "No Woman, No Cry". Badly. But we all smiled, laughed, and made fun out of each other. His mum fussed around us, as usual, and got drunk with us, a small mercy that she'd be drunk enough to pass out when she got to bed. Scott left one legacy with his friends. We will not let years pass, and a another friend's death, before we get back together. We may not all hang together like we did "back in the day", but we will always keep in touch, always hit base every so often. Yesterday proved how much he meant to all of us. We can prove that by doing the one thing only he did, keeping in touch with everyone else.

19th October 1984 - 11 September 2009

Always in our thoughts, forever in our hearts.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Oh I'm bad... but it was sooo good!

I'm talking about food, get your minds out the gutters! Shocking!

Last night, on a whim, I decided to make twice baked potatoes. One of my favourite recipes from Ree Drummond (actual recipe found here)because of the simple staple ingredients and versatility, I usually use sweet potato and tuna with cheese, but last night I decided to make a batch closer to the original, but still it had a Miz twist!

No pics, because, well, I couldn't be bothered really, but the original recipe has a ton of pics if you want step by step images.

Makes for 2 hungry men and me!

3 large white potatoes
6-8 rashers of bacon (smoked or unsmoked, your choice! I went with smoked), diced
1 small white onion diced into small cubes
200g (approx) strong cheddar cheese (I used Cathedral, naturally!)
Cream cheese (I used a quarter tub of Philly)
2 tsp of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven, (gas mark 4) and throw in the potatoes, no piercing, no foil, just as they are. The skin will crisp up a treat, which is exactly what we want! Ignore for 30 mins, then turn the taters round so the whole potato will get crisp, and ignore again! Easy!

Meanwhile, since I was being naughty, I melted a little butter in a frying pan and put half the diced rashers in, and let them get to a crispy brown before removing them and frying up the second batch. Without getting rid of the leftover grease, (because, why?) I fried the diced onion in the fat until they turned soft, picking up all that lovely smoked tastiness! Set aside with the bacon, no need to keep warm.

Grate up the cheese, and go check the potatoes. If they're done, *carefully* slice them lengthways, using a tea towel as blanket (protect your hands from the heat and the sharp knife like this!). Leave the oven on, you'll be using it again in 5 mins.

In a big bowl, throw in the bacon, onion, half the grated cheese and then scoop out the sliced potatoes, leaving alittle in the shells so the shell will hold. Mix and mash together, adding the cream cheese and some milk if you like, then the cayenne and salt and pepper, as you like it. Suitably mashed and combined, start scooping the mixture back into the shells, don't flatten it down or the shells may split, just scoop it in until just above the egdes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, and bung back into the oven! Simple!

Give it 5-10 mins, depending on how you like your cheese, just melty and stringy, or crisp and brown.

Serve immediately. I served mine with a "what I had available" version of this(ie. without the peppers and subbing the BBQ sauce for Lea & Perrins), and listened as silence decended upon the room for, erm, at least 10 mins. Then I was told, serveral times, that I/the food/life in general was amazing.

I liked that. It was good knowing these two upstanding pillars of society were pleased.

It made my life complete, or something like that.

Go make it!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A little LARP story

This is Elivinessa. From pretty much Friday to Monday, Nicki went away for awhile. When Elivinessa first sprung into being (see this post for more background info), she was shy, unsure and scared. She's been gaining confidence though, both in herself, and in the company of those she travels with. This year, a few more people joined the Ship's Crew, making Livvy even more confident, as she's officially not the new kid now. Bousen still scares her (as is proper!), but she's more comfortable around him, and doesn't mind talking up more often. She no longer speaks only when spoken to. She doesn't mind teasing other Crew members, or even casting magic on them if they piss her off.

The Ship's new Helmsman, a rather dapper man named Tristan had brought some, shall we say, less than savoury postcards with him, and showed them around often. Livvy told him several times she didn't want to see them, she may not be the lady she once was, but she still holds her principles! Tristan began teasing Livvy, taking the smutty postcards out several times in her presence, until she finally threatened to put him to sleep. Of course, he didn't believe her, but when he did it again, Livvy promptly cast sleep upon him. Immediately, he was mugged by a strange man, relived of said postcards. Tristan, when he awoke, he complained to the Captain, and when he pointed the finger toward a man named Sparrow as his mugger, Livvy, feeling only alittle guilty, cast sleep on the man, so he could be checked. There was nothing on him, and Livvy apologised to him when he came round.

Later, the Ship's Crew had hired the private room in the casino, and Livvy, having very little poker experience, was content to watch her shipmates play each other. When she noticed Tristan looking several times in his pocket, she began to wonder if the postcards were in fact stolen at all! When he started teasing her again about the cards, she ignored him and waited until most of the crew adjourned the table for a quick break. She made her move, putting him to sleep and searching his pockets. Bingo! He had had the cards all this time! And more, he lied to the Captain about having them stolen! He came to before the crew returned to the table, and was none the wiser about his small nap. When the game restarted, Livvy quietly sat next to Tristan and informed him she would be telling the Captain of his lies, and show him the proof that he had the postcards all along. Quickly searching his pockets, he realised the cards were no longer there. Worry passed over his face, and Livvy assured him that the Captain need not be the wiser if 2 silver coins were to be passed in exchange for the cards. Tristan complied, and the exchange was made. Then, standing up and calling the Bousen's attention, Livvy announced that Tristan had very generously made a 2 silver donation to the Ship's coffers. Everyone it seemed, except the Captain (who remains blissfully oblivious), knew exactly what had just occurred, and all approved of the spellcasting, theft and blackmailing of Tristan. "She's an asset, that one" one remarked.

See, Elivinessa is no push over. Oh no, not anymore. She'll stand her ground, and win. She's alot more hardnosed than she thought, and has no problem doing whatever it takes to protect the interests of both herself and her trusted shipmates. Tristan knows this now, and she will not hold grudges against his actions, provided he treats her with more respect. Maybe in time, she'll trust Tristan too.

l-r, Jocim, Elivinessa, Blaith, Tsunami, Joshua, Bousen, Gt, Tristan, Mr Todd - Captain in front.