vanessarama: (merlin: hands)
Hello, new people I have friended, or people who have come across me. Feel free to friend me back, or not.

Here are some things about me which may help you make up your mind whether to do so )

(very sparse) Masterlist of fic )

I knit a lot. Also, I write more stuff here about real-life than about Merlin.
vanessarama: (merlin: fanfic)
I'm not going to make this much better by prodding at it.

Title: Be The Usual Selves That I Have Known
Author: andraste_oz/vanessarama
Fandom: Merlin
Genre: gen
Words: about 2500
Spoilers: up to the season 5 finale.
Summary: The sword is for Arthur, the staff for Merlin. She misses them both so much that her very bones ache for them.
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me in any incarnation, and I am making no money from them.

It was her mother who named her Guinevere. )
vanessarama: (merlin: happy merlin)

(courtesy Merlin's Keep)


Ben emailed me at work to tell me he had won and I smiled for the rest of the day! Colin winning for the win!

I wish so many good things for him.
vanessarama: (merlin: i drink poison)
I have lately been reading Up and Down Stairs by Jeremy Musson, which is a history of servants. This is because I have a number of ancestors who were in service and some who had servants, and I was interested in knowing more. It's been fascinating not just from the personal point of view but from a Merlin fan perspective, because it's clear that in pre-Tudor times the manner of living ensured a higher degree of intimacy and virtually no privacy between family members and indeed master and servant; shame and embarrassment had far less hold on the medieval psyche than on ours. A friendship between an Arthur and a Merlin was actually far more likely than at many later times in history.

Musson's book has led me to the charming Book of Nurture, a late medieval text written by one John Russell in the 1460s, which consists of instructions written to a young manservant about how to carry out all sorts of duties in the service of his lord. If you wanted evidence for your canon fic in which Merlin dresses, undresses and bathes Arthur, it's here in spades. Here's how to dress your lord in the morning:

"First hold out to him his tunic, then his doublet while he puts in his arms... then draw on his socks and hose by the fire, lace or buckle his shoes, draw his hosen on well and truss them up to the height that suits him, lace his doublet in every hole, and put round his neck and on his shoulders a kerchief; and then gently brush his head with an ivory comb, and give him water wherewith to wash his hands and face. Then kneel down on your knee and say thus: "Sir, what robe or gown doth it please you to wear today?" Then get him such as he asks for, and hold it out for him to put on, and do his girdle, if he wear one, tight or loose, arrange his robe in the proper fashion..."

And here's bathing:

"If your lord wishes to bathe and wash his body clean... have a basin full of hot fresh herbs and wash his body with a soft sponge, rinse him with warm fair rose-water and throw it over him; then let him go to bed; but see that the bed be sweet and nice; and first put on his socks and slippers that he may go near the fire and stand on his foot-sheet, wipe him dry with a clean cloth, and take him to bed to cure his troubles."

No, I am not making this up, this is what it says :)

You can read the Book of Nurture on Gutenberg here, or the version I used which is "translated" into modern English as part of the Babees' Book, Medieval Manners for the Young here.
vanessarama: (pic#)
... because I've just returned from family Christmas and we literally finished watching the episode about ten minutes before we had to dash out the door so I haven't had time to digest it properly, but in the meantime, I spoil you in here! )
vanessarama: (silly boys)
... that this is the final series of Merlin. I am sad but not as sad as I expected.

I am sad I won't have more episodes, and I am sad because there was some potential there which I think was just missed. But I do think it's better for the show to go out on a relative high. I know plenty of people disagree with me but I think seasons four and five have been pretty bloody good. I know people are upset we haven't had a revelation of Merlin's magic, but to me that was not an essential (although admittedly it was on the wish list). I had thought they might do a "Wicked Day" on us and give us the revelation in ep 3 or 4 this season, but alas no.

For me, this is the first fandom I've been in where I haven't either lost interest or had things turn sour before the end.

More previous fandom reminiscing )

The thing about all those fandoms (well, most of them) is that even going back to the first one, I made many friends who are still dear friends to this day. Sometimes your fandom friends are like ships who pass in the night. Others are people who stay with you and who you care about even if you don't have much in common any more. I hope you who are my Merlin friends stick around. I have only friended you if I think you're pretty awesome in other ways, not just because we share a fandom for a while.

I do feel it is a natural thing for Merlin to stop while it's still going strong. I have a feeling that if it went for one more season I might begin to lose interest and I don't want that to happen. Merlin came to me at a high point in my life (in fact when I first saw it I was exuberantly loving being in London with my dearest friends) and it has distracted and comforted me through some tough times as well. I had some happy fandom experiences, including seeing the premiere of season 3 with [ profile] loreley_se and [ profile] rodneyscat who have been LJ friends since the LOTR days. I even started writing fic again, and although I haven't produced much I am happy with what I did produce, and I enjoyed doing it.

And for the first time ever, I had a meet-your-actor experience that was absolutely perfect. Meeting Colin Morgan at Supanova was the only experience of its type I've had where I got exactly what I wanted out of the experience, and I was still in love enough with the show to appreciate it. I'll always treasure that I had that moment.

And Merlin introduced me to Colin Morgan and Bradley James. Thank you for that, show.

Now give us an awesome ending.


Oct. 2nd, 2012 10:09 pm
vanessarama: (destiny)
You guys, Channel 10 played a 'First Look' at ep 1 of s5 of Merlin tonight, and it showed a fair bit more than the BBC promo did. Including some things that looked fairly spoilery!

Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to record it - the machine was otherwise occupied - but keep an eye out for anyone who did manage it. I'll have a look in case they play it tomorrow night as well.


Feb. 6th, 2012 11:32 am
vanessarama: (merlin boys)
Good grief, how swiftly the time goes. I can't believe it's already February.

Yesterday's 33 degree C weather, with accompanying hot wind which caused an OMGEXPLOSIONANDFIRE at the local train station, became 18 degrees and rainy within an hour or so. Ahh, Melbourne. Tomorrow I will be in the Red Centre (I love saying that) where it will be in the thirties again (although like most desert places it will be cold at night). Also, I'll be away two whole days because there is only one flight a day between Alice and Melbourne. Oh, geographical tyranny.

Knitting: I had a most discouraging moment last night. I'm knitting a jacket in pieces (for those who are Ravelry-enabled, it's this one) and after reading some Rav comments chose to knit the fronts first. Last night I finished the back... and discovered to my horror as I went to block the pieces that one front is an inch shorter to the armholes than the other front. And I can't work out where I went wrong because it looks as if the cables match! Argh! I will work it out when I'm feeling a little less annoyed with myself.

Fandom: Season one Merlin on UK-TV continues apace and it's so interesting to watch these episodes now. The thing I never really picked up on as much before is that, while Arthur is a dick in these episodes, Merlin is totally a dick too. He's arrogant, impulsive and doesn't recognise that actions have consequences; both he and Arthur are in the stage of being self-centred about their effect on the world, without recognising that the world and the people in it are also players who can affect what happens.

Old fandom: Over the weekend we watched the blu-ray of Fellowship of the Ring, and the Costa Bodes doco which I hadn't seen before. I had forgotten how utterly awesome the LOTR movies are. It's years since I last watched them, and there were actually bits I'd forgotten. Also was reminded how much I love Kiwis and that it's far too long since I last visited NZ. It's amazing how much the Isengard scenes resonate with the war manufacturing effort explained in 'The World at War' documentary, which we've been watching as it screens on 7 Two.

Telly: Rohan and I, after watching the aforesaid World at War (narrated by Laurence Olivier; I love the way he says "Sovi-ette") watched a two-part doco on the weekend which was all about the rise of Hitler. Really, really interesting because it gave very clear and understandable historical and cultural context and framing so you could really understand why and how he managed to manipulate a disillusioned, impoverished, disenfranchised nation. Very interesting; nobody should ever, at any time, think “it couldn’t happen here”.

Also, just as the History Channel has become the Tony Robinson channel, SBS seems to have morphed into the Neil Oliver channel. Neil! With his Scottish accent and his long locks blowing in the wind, as he looks over his shoulder Hollywood-starlet style while standing on a windy cliff! So much love.

Reading: Have finished 'Making Sense of the Troubles', which attempts to do what it says on the cover. Admittedly I began reading this for fandom-related reasons, after seeing a lot of Colin Morgan-related discussion where people were completely unaware of the lingering effects of the Troubles and of the divisions in NI in general. (It is, for instance, still extraordinary that Colin went to an integrated school, since 95% of students in NI still attend what are essentially either Protestant or Catholic schools.) Also, after seeing the 'Who Do You Think You Are?' where David Tennant meets his NI relatives and is so, so uncomfortable holding the Orange Order sash that belonged to one of his forebears, who was involved in anti-Catholic policymaking.

The really fascinating thing about the book was the 20th century historical context, and comparing its balanced view with what I grew up with on the news. I grew up wanting desperately to travel to the UK, but thinking it was dangerous because of the IRA. IRA violence outside NI was regularly reported here; virtually all violence which took place within NI, including all the loyalist violence, was almost never reported. In fact, I doubt we would have heard anything about the Troubles here at all if not for the fact that the IRA carried out so many attacks in England. Recommended book for those interested, although it does get dry in parts. What I got from it was that the situation is nuanced, complicated, and so bound up in history that those of us without centuries-old traditions and grudges might find it difficult to understand.
And that it doesn’t have a happy ending; but it does have hope. Which I suppose is as much as humans ever get.
vanessarama: (merlin boys)
Aaand now it's hot again. Two days ago we had the heater on and now it's 33 degrees. MELBOURNE, YOU CRAZY.

Random thoughts on rewatching season 1 Merlin, which UK-TV on Foxtel is now playing (tonight was 'Valiant'):

- Arthur's wearing the hood of his chainmail up! Only the other day I was saying to Rohan how weird it is that he never wears it up, and it just seems to flop about and be useless. Turns out he did wear it up, back in the day.
- Merlin's costume isn't quite finalised yet; he isn't wearing his scarf much and is in fact bare-necked more often than not.
- I miss sweet bubbly babbly foot-in-mouth Gwen. I fanwank it by saying her father's death changed her, but still.
- Everyone's acting really has improved. Not that it was bad anyway, but it has improved with time.
- Wee bit of Irish accent from Colin. "Ye've got the wrong parson!" <3
- This brought back such memories of our second trip to the UK, and lounging on the bed in our teeny hotel room in Gower Street, watching those snakes appear :)


vanessarama: (Default)

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