Since we last talked:

1. This happened:

The wind, it was frightening. It still is, actually. Just to make things even more interesting, the more the wind roared and howled, the more Rubin did likewise. Imagine the wind roaring, the dog barking, the fence creaking and falling, the sirens wailing, the rain lashing, me whining… It was quite a day, really. And now we have no fence. At least we don’t have to worry about Rubin escaping in the meantime, though: he is so scared by the continuing high winds that he’s refusing to go out in them. When persuaded, he’ll just dash outside the back door, quickly do his, er, business, and then run back in with a look on his face that says, “THE HELL?!” I know how he feels.

2. This happened:

(Top story on BBC news this morning. Nice thing to wake up to.)

Yeah. For a moment there I thought I’d gone back in time to last summer, when my trip to Florida was almost cancelled because of volcanic ash, but nope, it really is happening all over again. I swear you couldn’t make this up. At the moment the airports are saying they don’t expect it to last as long as it did last time, but basically it’s a case of “wait and see”. We’re trying to be positive, but it’s a bit stressful, to be honest, and I’m getting a bit tired of planning trips and then spending the run-up to them wondering if we’re actually going to be able to go or not. This is the third time in a row that this has happened (twice with volcanic ash, once with heavy snow), so I’m hoping these things really do come in threes, and that this will be the end of it, but… probably not. Next time I announce that I’ve booked a holiday somewhere, could someone please slap me?

3. This happened:

It’s the notice (translated into English by Google Translate) of the message currently posted on Lin Shiudeng’s most recent “I’m ripping off Amber” website, which we managed to get taken down yesterday, within just a few hours of finding it. I particularly like the bit about how “there is the temptation of women pictures”. And you know, there WERE a lot of photos of me on that website (in fact, Lin had stolen every single one of my photos from last year’s Shoe Challenge)! I somehow doubt that’s what they were referring to, though. (Or that Google Translate is providing an accurate translation of what this message actually says…) So, another small victory for us, but when you consider that we’d spent the entire weekend filing DCMA notices and having Lin’s last set of websites taken down, only to wake up on Monday morning to find a brand new one waiting for us, it is starting to feel like a losing battle. Lin can put new websites up as quickly as we can have them taken down, basically, and for whatever reason (and I don’t think we’ll EVER know the reason) he/she seems to be absolutely hellbent on having at least one duplicate of my website online AT ALL TIMES, which means that, for the past week, fighting Lin, and all of the other copycats we’ve now found, has been a full time job for Terry. That’s obviously not something we can sustain in the long term, but for now we’re still working hard to find ways to make it easier to find these people, and easier to take their sites down when we do find them. Meanwhile,  I like to imagine that Lin Shiudeng looks exactly like THAT OLD WOMAN from Insidious. On, and speaking of THAT…

4. In the comments on my post about Insidious, Lili mentioned a movie called The Grudge, which she said was in a similar league to The Most Frightening Movie Ever If You Are Amber: The Ring.  And obviously my experience with THAT OLD WOMAN hadn’t frightened me enough, because Terry and I went right out and watched The Grudge. Hello, sleepless nights! (Note: not really. It was creepy, but it didn’t freak me out as much as The Ring did. Or like T.O.W did.)

5. My haircut happened.

No photos of that, though, because, in a completely new move for me, I decided to be sensible about it and just had a trim. You probably won’t be able to tell the difference. I consider this to be a GOOD result for one of my haircuts.

And that’s where we’re up to this week.

  1. Do you know, more and more the words of W.B Yeats’ poem ‘The Second Coming’ spring to my mind…

    Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

    Yeats believed that time moved in overlapping periods called gyres, and that in 1921 we were going to begin moving along the inner gyre, the gyre of the antichrist, which would be a time of anarchy and chaos. I’m not saying I believe this stuff because while Yeats could certainly write a poem (I love ‘The Second Coming’) he was a bit eccentric. But certainly these past few years seem to have been characterised by chaos and uncertainty – freak weather and global warming and economic uncertainty and natural disasters – you know if old WB was alive now he’d be walking along with a placard reading ‘The End is Nigh’!

    I know that’s not a helpful thought, like, AT ALL so I’m not sure why I felt the need to share this with you. Other than to say Snow, and Volcanoes, and Lin Shiuedeng can all suck it 🙁

    1. Well, I’m not remotely religious, but even I have to admit it does feel like that right now! And at the risk of sounding like a complete old fart, it wasn’t like this when I were a lass! OK, there were still the occasional natural disasters, but they were mercifully few and far between – these days it feels like every month brings another earthquake, or floor, or something equally awful. We’ve just taken the dog for a walk through the woods next to our house and it honestly looks like the apocalypse has come already with all of the trees torn up at the roots. Either that or, you know, giants.

      1. Giants!!

        I’m not religious either, at all – but when I read back over my comment I did sound a bit like some kind of god-fearing doom-monger. My excuse is I was at work!

        I know what you mean though, I don’t at all remember there being this kind of freaky natural disaster this often when I was a child. Still though, the ash cloud seems to be moving and flights are getting back to normal so I have fingers and toes and all crossed for you to get away on holiday x

        1. No you didn’t, silly! I knew what you meant, and it really does feel like that – the way the wind has howled around this house for the past few days has seriously made me wonder if they were were wrong about Saturday being the Rapture!

  2. I’m sorry about your stress, I hope it works out alright! The thing with the fences happened to us last year, and it was a metal fence (!!). The landlord still hasn’t put it up again, thank god we are moving later this year!
    Oh, and I’m glad I didn’t add up to your sleepless nights with my recommendation ^^ I have to say though, the same thing happened to me that happened to you with your new ladyfriend lately: I thought the movie wasn’t that bad, and afterwards, my own mind turned on me and freaked me out shitless 🙂 A while ago, a friend asked me for horror movie recommendations and said “but not too scary”. And she listed the ones she had seen… And so I recommended “The Grudge” and she came back to me wide eyed and said it was the fucking scariest movie she’d ever seen. Huh. And comparing to what she’d already seen, I felt it was harmless ^^

    1. I think if I hadn’t watched it so soon after Insidious it would probably have scared me more – it was definitely very, very creepy, with some scenes that made me hide behind my cushion! But THAT OLD WOMAN is still so fresh in my mind I think she’s pushing everything else out right now!

  3. I completely understand you! It’s so annoying waiting eagerly for a trip that you booked so long ago, and now be afraid that you won’t be able to travel. It’s so frustrating! But I’m sure that everything will turn out ok, and you’ll have your long expected trip!
    I’m glad that you managed to take down Lin Shiudeng’s site, even if he still continues to copy your work. Hopefully, he’s is going to stop at some point.
    I didn’t watch Insidious, and I’m not planning to (having seen the trailer scared me enough), but I read your previous post and I got scared even from looking at HER. You can always imagine sending the old woman to hunt Lin Shiudeng. That might calm you. 🙂
    Oh, and I watched both the Ring and The Grudge, and they both scared me, but The Ring was way scarier, especially the original version, the chinese one.

    1. I hope Lin will get the hint at some point – I can’t imagine it’s much fun to keep spending time and money on new websites and hosting accounts, only to have them taken down a few days later!

  4. so, regarding the haircut…no bangs? no fringe?? come ooooonnn! you would totally rock them 😉

    sorry about the ash cloud, heard the news and immediately thought of you. I really hope it clears up soon and you will be able to jet off to the US (that’s where you were going right?) and enjoy a well deserved holiday xxx

  5. This is rapidly becoming a “recommend movies to scare Amber” blog. And in the spirit of that, have you seen The Last Exorcism? It has the distinction of being my favourite horror movie ever (creepy, disturbing, atmospheric) and at the same time having what I consider to be The Worst Ending Ever. But no more on that, no spoilers. Anyway, I recommend it. And I look forward to hearing about whether it scared you! xx

  6. Yeah I know what you mean about the wind ! I live in West Lothian and I swear my dog about had a heart attack when I was walking her on Monday,not to mention I probably looked mad walking about in strappy wedges and shorts -_-‘. Just out side my house a huge oak tree has fallen over blocking the path, council spent two hours just looking at it wondering what to do yesterday.

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