Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::

I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.

August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!

My IMDb ep summaries

Arthur of the Britons
Star Maidens
The Starlost
Space Rangers
The Sentinel (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Swamp Thing (part: season 3)
Gravedale High
Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Cybertron (part)
Misfits of Science (four eps)
Zoo Gang
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)

For later:

Dragonball Z (season 2, part)
(Someone else beat me to it!)
Robotech (s2 ep14 Triumvirate)
BBC Lion, witch and wardrobe
BBC Caspian and Dawn Treader
BBC Silver Chair
Beauty and the Beast (part)
(Missing Excel Saga eps)
(Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)


I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the year...

Watching the little birds in the goat-willow in my garden, I realised something more.

I love this land with a fierce, possessive love, deep-rooted in two thousand years of history. From the frosted beaches and cloud-brushing peaks of the north to the wind-haunted meanderings of the rivers of the east, from the sensuous rolling patchworked hills of the south to the demanding dark moors of the west, this land seeps into bone and blood and synapse, mother of motley nobility, culture, individual freedoms. It can be known. It can be understood. It can be felt deep inside.

I love its effortless eccentricities, its vigour and vibrancy, its flawed perfections, its silent strength and tenacious resilience, its hard-won tolerances and intense and variable beauty, the profound energy in its sacred mythical landscape.

Home and more-than-home, the forces that shape and protect and bind, in me, as I am in the land. Love returning love in the stillness for those who'll only take the time to listen...

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

All photographs taken by Joules unless otherwise specified. All photographs © Joules A Taylor or other specified individual.

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

Currently enjoying:
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:
Nestlé, Nonpres Tinyhands Fart, Toadface Farage

Currently maintaining:

Blog Pics
I've gathered some of my pages of photos together: the page of links is here. I'll be adding more as time goes by!

Evil Squid
A Little Glossary of Taylorspeke
(in no particular order)

plit popints - n. Typo for 'plot points' typed on a keyboard with more than half the characters worn off...

[PING] (alt [ping]) - n. A brainwave. The text equivalent of a lightbulb going on blindingly over someone's head. Usually mine. And usually at the most inconvenient of times. [sigh]

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

wulmet - n. A person of little or no talent who somehow inveigles himself into a position where he is in power over other, far more talented people and uses his position to downplay them in order to try to make himself feel superior.

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

Flatterfed - vb. 27.02.08: my typo for flattered, but since it's so cutely apt I thought it would fit nicely here. Lutra defined it as "the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction resulting from enthusiastic reviews..." (which I've been getting for my MB fics).

Composted - vb, 'compos mentis', mentally capable of working. Contrast with uncomposted or non- composted, not 'compos mentis', not capable of working, hungover...

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

Kewp - how Ken says 'thank you'. We rather like Lutra's 'nanx', too...

Musekick - noun, music, without which I cannot work.

'feinne - noun, caffeine, essential for correct mental functioning, especially first thing in the morning. I prefer mine in the form of SodaStream Diet Coke. And on that subject...

Skoosh - verb, noun. To skoosh - to add CO2 to a sodastream bottle filled with water to make it fizzy, prior to adding Diet Coke syrup (or just drinking as sparkling water). A skoosh - a bottle of water that has been skooshed. Skooshy - something that has been skooshed, water, or that whipped cream that comes in tins you have to shake then upend and press the nozzle...

Shoogle - verb. To shake gently, for example, of roast potatoes in a roasting tin to ensure they're covered with oil. I have vague memories of this being a real Scottish colloquialism...

Stegasaurus - n, spider of the genus tegenaria. Why? No idea. I just find it easier, that's all...
Edit 08.09.07: Lutra thinks that Brian is a good name for a mini-stegasaurus. From now on, any 'Brian's in the posts may be assumed to be a tegenaria. Except where otherwise specified.

Viterals - noun, vitamins + minerals. Also a pun on victuals.

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

Parrots - noun, paracetemol (from the old joke "Why are there no aspirin tablets in the jungle? Because the parrots eat 'em all...")

Maggles - noun, magpies. As opposed to non-magical people.

Flamewings - noun. Swifts. So called because the first time we became aware of them was an early summer evening when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We always know summer's arrived when we hear their high-pitched squeeing.

Murfs - noun, moths.

Peasant cut - noun, roughly cut up into big chunks, e.g. vegetables chopped in a hurry for a hearty stew or soup. By extension, anything prepared in a hurry - haircut, material, even a first draft of a story...

Giraffe - noun, a carafe (of wine, coffee or water, for example).

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

Splings - noun, Kai's spelling homework: by extension, any spelling.

Tyops - noun, typos. var toyps, typso, psyto, psoyt, etc. Usual result of a dose of the fingerials (see next entry).

Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want them to.

Haddock - noun, time, of which I never have enough. (Origin of this term here.)

Sleep - noun? vb? a.k.a. sheeeeeeeeep.... I used to know what this word meant...

The Updates Blog

The place to stay notified of WaveWrights' Fiction updates: Zone, Darkside, DarkRealm, Matrix, Vault, Safehouse 13...

my computer gremlin Butch. click the pic to see the larger image

Butch, my computer gremlin. Click the pic for larger version, and read his adventures here...

Butch by the talented 


A gift for me! Butch by the very talented Sylverthorne. Click pic for larger image.



This is MY haddock. It was caught exclusively for me by Talon. No, you can't have any. I need all the haddock I can get!!

A'lestrel by 


A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...

Kood, my new mp3 


Soundwave! (Kood's still moving in...)

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


Another gorgeous Valkyrie gift for me - Benten the Albino Alsatian! Click thumbnail for larger image.

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



Oekai by Bakayaro Onna - Radittsu at his sexiest...

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: MailWasher
Excellent anti-spam software
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: ZSPC Colour Chart
Check how your text and background colours look together before releasing them on the world!
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...
:: Union of Concerned Scientists
Exactly what it says. Fascinating - and worrying...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....

Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

   All 3 eps on Video, dubbed
   Dj: Cyberage 1-3
   Illustrated Book 2 (Benten's) in Japanese

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

   English Manga: Vol 1
   Japanese Manga: Vol 1-7 complete
   Tarot Pack
   R.G.Veda video

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

   (Studio Ironcat) Manga Vols 1 -5 (complete)

Yami no Matsuei

   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.

[::..Joules SPfied..::]

... this is Terra? How the hell'd I end up here...?

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
01/07/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
01/09/2012 - 30/09/2012
01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
01/09/2013 - 30/09/2013
01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Very very brief update. Kai now back from hospital with a week's worth of aciclovir: his discharge summary says the diagnosis was VCV - chicken pox, but a particularly nasty dose, and more dangerous than normal because of his still-reduced immune system. (So in our case, at least, my immunity to the virus didn't pass over to Kai.)

Many thanks to everyone who sent him good wishes.

New kitchen unit is in and plumbing done. Of course there were problems: more later with photos when the job is completely finished.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Ellel Bee said...

Hurrah! Rats on the immunity that refused to share itself, however.

3:30 pm  

Post a Comment

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Oh boy...

So, we didn't manage to get to Wells as sort-of planned last Sat: Kai wasn't feeling too well so we did home stuff (and shopping and washing) instead. On Sun Ken and I went out for an hour or so to Go Outdoors (he needed new trainers), Hurrans (for seeds) and Dunelm (because I knew they have a pretty extensive range of bedding and wanted to check it out, because...)

... it's our 28th wedding anniversary on the Solstice, and while there's no traditional thing for the 28th, the modern one is orchids. Which is fine for me but not so easy for Ken. I found in my searches that there's a beautiful gemstone called orchid tourmaline, but finding a sample of it, much less an earstud, is proving very difficult. But I was firmly convinced that there must be some pure cotton orchid bedding somewhere (other than this American site, which has lovely designs but they're all polyester), and Dunelm was a good place to look.

And indeed they had an absolutely gorgeous set - Lipsy Mirrored Orchid 180 thread count pure cotton. At £90!

Needless to say that's far too much for bedding, even as a joint present. So I took a look around and found the same set at Argos for £66.50 instead, still very expensive but which we ordered (and collected today). Picked up a gorgeous deep petrel, pure cotton sheet to go with it at Tesco. That's the anniversary sorted: we're not going out for a meal this year, it's a Thurs and Ken has to work the next day.

However, when we got back Kai was feeling much worse, in a great deal of pain from his stomach, so I rang 111, who organised an appt (at 10 pm) at the Knowle West Health Park (BrisDoc, out-of-ours surgery for emergencies). Kai's temp reached 99.7 while we were waiting, but had dropped a little by the time the taxi got us there. The registrar examined him and took blood samples, said she couldn't find anything seriously wrong but would ring me with the blood results later (actually at quarter to four on Monday morning) and if we didn't want to get to the BRI that night (we didn't, the thought of a 4 - 6 hour wait in A&E was too much) advised us strongly to see his own dr in the morning.

I tried ringing from 8.30 onwards on Mon am but couldn't get through (the surgery was unusually busy), but as luck would have it Ken had an appt for his own blood test, so was able to speak to reception and get Kai an appt at 10. And the dr sent us straight to the BRI...

The surgical assessment unit got Kai a bed very quickly (by this time he was vomiting and the pain in his abdomen was almost unbearable) and started heavy painkillers while they organised tests. Two X-rays and a CT scan, plus yet more blood tests, at least proved there was nothing really nasty going on, so I rang Ken (who had Mon and Tues off this week) to bring in Kai's (always prepared) bag to the unit to relieve me, and he stayed until they threw him out when visiting hours ended at 9 pm.

When I arrived the next morning Kai was covered from head to waist in a thoroughly nasty rash, and they weren't sure whether it was drug related (they'd given him IV penicillin the night before) or something else.

More tests. We stayed in touch on skype as best we could, but Kai'd had practically no sleep for several nights, and was in too much pain to chat. I found out when I booted up on Wed morning they'd moved him out of the general ward into his own room in a different part of the hospital at one in the morning, though, and I had great fun finding it when I arrived a couple of hours later. He was still suffering and still dozing off much of the time, but I was able to speak with one of the drs, who thought the rash might be a form of chicken pox or shingles...

Seems Kai didn't acquire my immunity when he got my stem cells. However, knowing (more or less) what it was is always helpful, and when I arrived today he was much better, most of the pain gone, and the rash looking better too. But he's on IV aciclovir at the moment, and can't come home until he's finished the course, which we think will be Sat.

We did wonder if that might be why he was moved, as of course it's very infectious (either that or, as I joked to Kai, he's the BHOC's star patient and if they didn't look after him Prof Marks would descend upon the unit with the power of a thousand wombats...) But so far so good. Fingers crossed it all just gets better. We do NOT need relapses at this stage.

I've been too tired to do much this week (two hours travelling - hour each way - to and from hospital plus the time spent with Kai hasn't left me much time for anything else) so Ken and I have caught up with some film watching in the evenings to help clear the pile and let me put my feet up. Notting Hill last Sat - great stuff! - Warlords of Atlantis (oh dear... dire), The Slipper and the Rose (very sweet), Cube (good, but anything but sweet), and tonight Nobel Son, which is weird and rather unpleasant.

And that's about it for now, my eyes are stinging and I need to sleep. More news later.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh lumme. Shingles can be particularly nasty and very painful. SIL Gill had it on her scalp and with a week-long migraine thought it might be a brain tumour. It took several trips to doctors and A&E before one enterprising doctor spotted the problem.

Send him our love and 'fluences for a hasty recovery.


12:07 am  
Blogger Sue said...

Oh my goodness, what an awful time you've been having. Shingles is nasty but, as you say, knowing what it is, is more reasuring than being in the dark.
I do hope Kai can come home as planned on Saturday and that he feels much better soon.
Take care, all of you!

9:10 am  
Blogger Ellel Bee said...

You have an exciting life. Meant for a comment, not a curse.

The sheets are lovely. I cringe at having to pay around 22 pounds for a set of plain white cotton sheets, so y'know, sleep on them lightly!

The power of a thousand wombats? Clearly this man is not a person to mess with.

Varicella (the smallpox germ) has a number of nasty tricks. Too bad, as you say, that Kai did not get your immunity along with the stem cells. The rash part of it? Sorry, Kai.

Take care of yourself and Ken and Kai. Cheers for coming home tomorrow!!

Now to prove that I am not a robot (pout).

2:33 am  

Post a Comment

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The busyness continues...

On Friday evening Ken and I met at Screwfix up the Bath Rd to pick up the kitchen sink, then on Sat bussed out to Cribbs Causeway to the vast B&Q to order the unit itself (and the drawer, and the cupboard doors and drawer front, and the hinges and the handles, because B&Q can screw you for more money if you have to buy every single item individually...) That's all due to arrive today, along with Kai's third and final shelf and a 125litre bag of potting compost for the greenhouse. While we were out there we checked out Dreams: our current mattress is a good one, Silentnight ortho, firm support, and only three years old, but with the various joint and back problems it's not as comfortable as it used to be. I've been wondering about the new Tempur mattresses, and Dreams had several different sorts (pure gel in different support grades, and hybrids): I spent a good few minutes trying them all out. And WOW. Their adverts say it's like lying on clouds, and for once they ain't lyin'. I felt completely weightless...

However, they cost around £2,000 for the double, which is wince-worthy (we could finish having the rest of the windows and the back door replaced for that!) So I did a little research... There have been a few reported problems with the mattresses, although generally people are very happy with them. Then I found the Emma mattress, which looks very good (and gets a Which? best buy validation, always a huge plus) and is a lot more reasonable at around £600 (I'm not penny-pinching: Ken says given we spend a third of our lives in bed it's vital we sleep well, so comfort is essential). It's a German company but the mattresses are made in the UK. I like the look of the construction, though I'm not so keen on it coming rolled (though that's probably me being old fashioned. It's a mattress. Mattresses are supposed to be flat...) Anyway - can't afford it until the New Year at the earliest, but it's a definite contender.

Sun Ken helped me make a start on sorting out the shed... Heh. It's a major job and the rest will have to wait a bit, but at least we can get in there now, and were able to pull out the Yule decorations.

Mon was my dentist appt. Everything fine: don't have to go again for nine months (next Sept).

Tues I had my hair cut. 'OORAY!! I can see again!

Yesterday Kai and I strung the new lights in the windows and put up the new tree... Did I mention this before? We were in Wilko last year (or maybe early this year?) and found a slimline, snow-covered six foot artificial tree (exacly what we'd been looking for) on special for £5. We thought at the time that couldn't possibly be the right price, but they let it go through and we hauled it home... ye gods. It's gorgeous, really fantastic quality. We're sure they dropped a zero there, as it's more like £50 quality-wise. Here, have a look!

Blue and green lights...

Red and gold lights

The lights don't show properly here, of course (they're set to gently fade from red and gold to blue and green), and I need to find some sort of tiny spotlight to show up the tree topper, but it gives some idea. Kai chose the decorations. When the lights are on (and the lounge main light off) it looks magical. Dead chuffed.

And it's plenty. Not putting up ceiling decorations this year.

B&Q just rang - they're on their way. This week's Tesco delivery is late though, should have been here by now.

And lastly - I found this in the garden this morning...

I love my garden.

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Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

The tree looks wonderful!

8:37 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thanks - we're VERY pleased!

5:59 pm  
Blogger Ellel Bee said...

That tree really is awesome. I've seldom seen one that nice.

Wonderful to read in the previous post that your steroid injection helped so greatly.

Mattresses: I have purchased two which came rolled. They have instructions attached that they should be unrolled and left to themselves for some period of time before being put to use. It's best to do that, and not skimp on the time.

Perhaps they have to stop sulking after being rolled. With the first mattress I cheated a bit on the time and from day one it had a flat spot about two feet in from one end. No amount of flipping resolved the problem.

Mattress #2 got all the time it needed. It did not seem to mind having the cats sleep on it while it was in recovery mode; there are no cat-shaped abscesses where it refused to rise to its proper height.

Despite the mishandling I gave #1, it was a pretty good mattress save for that one spot. I've no complaints about #2. The cats continue to like it as well.

7:50 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Many thanks for the advice! Will definitely follow the instructions.

12:22 am  

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Later edit: knew I'd forgotten something important! Got a phone call on Tues saying the BRI had a cancellation and would I like to go in for my second steroid injection at 6.30 that evening? Would I hell! Not as painful as the first one, and it's fantastic to be out of pain. Walking much better (although the back plays up after a while, nowt I can do about that) and I can finally sleep properly after months of snatching a couple of hours at a time before the pain woke me up.

Well, this week has been interesting too, but in a much more positive way...

The Wisdom of Unicorns is now out, has been for a month, in fact, though I've only just found out, but I am rather chuffed: it's the first time I've launched a gift list!

I've become rather fond of scarves over the last few years, moreso just recently. In fact, it's got to the stage where I told K&K not to let me buy any more...

There are eleven here, and one more in the wardrobe that goes with a specific outfit.

... unless they're absolutely irresistible. I've been - idly - looking for one that matches the wol bag (photo Sat Aug 12th this year), not really expecting to find one. Then on Wed we were in town for Kai to have his second meningitis B inoculation and checked out the charity shops first. I'd found and paid for Monsoon Wedding (watched tonight: bit disappointed as we were looking forward to light and bright and happy Bollywood and it's more slice of Real Life: nevertheless a good film) when my eye was caught by the scarf display behind the assistant...

Not sure I've ever actually gone OOOOOH!! in a shop before. Quite amused Kai! But there it was...

Thirteen scarves. My lucky number. Won't be buying any more unless I let one of the current ones go.

We've had Christmas 24 on most of the time for the last week - terribly predictable but a nice fuzzy antidote to what passes for news at the moment, and Kai's felt very flu-ey after venesection on Sun and jab on Wed, so flopped and half-watching light and breezy is good for him. Some of the films are fun: it was quite startling to see SHIELDS Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) as a relatively disorganised artist in The Road To Christmas.

I've painted the window-wall chimney-breast alcove in the lounge - looks good - and am hoping to paint a little more next week. Dentist and haircut (yay! I'll be able to see again!) will take up a little time but otherwise I should have plenty.

No doubt there was more but I'm very tired and the brain has gone AWOL for now. Will edit if I remember.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

I've gone Ohhhh a few times in shops :) It's a lovely scarf. (You don't think it's the wols making your brain go Awol...?)

And what good news about the injection!

11:25 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

... you could be right...

10:41 pm  

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Friday, November 17, 2017

... I have a few minutes to spare on this gloriously sunny but bitterly cold and frosty morning before making a start on the day...

It's been interesting, in the Chinese sense. Finished the lounge window wall - looks great! - and will be making a start on the opposite wall next week, I hope. The letter from the BRI arrived yesterday while I was at the BHI (more on that shortly) with my second steroid injection appointment - 11th Dec, so not long to wait. The first one has taken effect now and it's wonderful to be able to walk (mostly) without pain again!

So, the BHI... On Wed Kai and I were tidying up in the greenhouse when I suddenly got the weirdest pain under and along my jaw on both sides - accompanied by feeling somewhat wobbly and light-headed. Came indoors to sit down, and got a stabbing pain in my chest which went through to my back. Somewhat alarming, and took an hour to fade. Rang the surgery to see if I could speak to a dr for advice: on giving the receptionist the symptoms she said someone would ring me right back. Which he did, and on my repeating the symptoms asked me to get up to the surgery asap. Which meant ringing for a taxi, which arrived before I'd finished changing! Was whisked through for an ECG on arrival, then spoke to the dr (a new one at the surgery, very pleasant and sympathetic). ECG was normal, BP was a bit raised (nothing new there!) and he though it was more likely to be angina than a heart attack! (Oh joy.) Prescribed me low dosage aspirin, bisoprolol fumarate (what a wonderful name!) beta blocker, to be taken immediately, and a glyceryl trinitrate spray, to be sprayed under my tongue if it happens again, (love this stuff. The printed instructions on the box say, and I quote: 'Caution: flammable. Keep your body away from fire or flames after you have put on the medicine'. Well, hell. There's my ambition to become a circus flame thrower out the window!) and was referred to the BHI for their walk in clinic as soon as possible. Which meant yesterday...

Took the whole day: the clinic was very busy. Another ECG - which was normal - then a two hour wait to see the clinician. (Took advantage of the wait to go shopping in Broadmead. I don't get into town that often these days.) Clinician though everything was probably OK but was ordering blood tests to be sure. Brief wait for blood to be taken, then an hour's wait while they were express tested. Then back into the clinician, who said bloods are normal, cholesterol is normal, heart rate and condition is normal, and in her opinion the 'attack' was probably muscular or gastric rather than a heart problem. Which is good news! So I can stop taking the aspirin, but should continue with the beta blocker, as it will help with the raised BP, and if it happens again and the pain doesn't go within 20 mins, to dial 999. (If it happens again and the pain does go but I'm still concerned, to ring 111. Did that when I first got vertigo and it took them 4 hours to respond, so not sure if I shall bother...)

Soooo... I should probably just add it to the long list of aches and pains I already have. I have an appt to see the same dr in a couple of weeks, so will ask about the beta blocker then.

In other news...

I have temporarily lost my lion throw. Tyjer has decided it's the perfect place to sleep - for sixteen hours or so - after a hectic couple of hours patrolling the garden.

Forgot to say - I picked up PotC: Salazar's Revenge a week or so ago: It follows the same familiar format as the others, which may be getting a bit tired and predictable by now, but is a fun watch with excellent sfx. Alien Agent, however, is pretty poor, and plays like the pilot ep to a series that as far as I know never happened.

But I also found the second season of The Expanse (on ebay, it's not on amazon uk yet) and it's brilliant. Absolutely addictive: we watched the last (double ep) of season 1 first, to remind ourselves of what happened, then dived straight into season 2. And watched the first four eps back to back as we HAD to find out what happened next! Finished the whole 13 eps in just 5 days and now can't wait for season 3...

I think that's about it - the major stuff anyway. Will edit if I think of anything more.

Oh yes. If anyone ever finds a nagging doubt plushie to buy, please let me know. I think he's absolutely adorable and I want one.

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Blogger Sue said...

Good grief, you have got to take better care of yourself! Hope you are feeling better now.
That 'nagging doubt' has got something. Will keep an eye out.

10:46 am  
Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

Gosh, I dunno. I come back from a few days of self-imposed 'net exile (nexile? aahaha) and have missed all the excitement, er drama!
It was good you were able to see the medicos fairly quickly, cos that's just yikes :(

(have to say though, the frost pic is lookin' reeeally good. We're in the middle of a 30+ run of days...)

9:22 am  

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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

(Edit. And of course I posted the wrong version of the poem. [sigh] Corrected now!)

First, the good news.

Had my first steroid injection yesterday afternoon! The bursa was very inflamed, apparently, which explains both the pain and the difficulty she had getting the needle into the right place. Managed to twang a nerve too: felt like electric shocks all the way down my left leg which lasted the whole of the injection (about 10 mins). Ow. Not comfortable. But wore off very quickly and had gone by the time I left the hospital. Today leg and hip are aching, but that was expected. Fingers crossed that wears off nice and quickly.

Oh, and she said that steroid injections are no more than three a year, not no more than three a lifetime as my dr said. Will have to check that.

Ken is on annual leave this week: the timing worked out really well as I have to take it a bit easier until the steroids kick in. We plan to go through another load of old photos this afternoon - seven boxes of pics that weren't considered good enough to go in albums. We suspect most of them can be ditched!

Kai's classes seem to be both better organised and more useful so far this year, which is reassuring.

We finished Sapphire and Steel. Still astonishingly eerie and creepy, but the DVD quality wasn't great (American box set, all I could get at the time) so I've ordered a replacement (made in the UK). It means watching it again, but there are far worse things we could be doing!

Also watched: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is an absolute delight! And I knew we'd seen Shazad Latif in something else: he was Clem Fandago in Toast of London ("So he specialises in irritating characters then" commented Ken!) Hirokin is dreadful. Pretty to look at but takes so much from other films and it's impossible to feel anything for any of the characters. I think it was overpriced at 49p!

In contrast, American Gods is absolutely extraordinary. We were hooked from the first ep and now itching to see the second series (of course, ending on such a major cliffhanger doesn't help). Incredibly violent and thoroughly nasty in places, it's a stunning piece of work. We all decided that the very first ep must have been designed to put off anyone without a strong stomach, as subsequent eps were (slightly) milder and the comic aspects came through. I'm just annoyed it took me so long to work out who Mr Wednesday was. I mean, it's right there in the name...

For a laugh, this was my first (and so far only) car, second or third hand Talbot Solara, all I could afford at the time.

It picked up the nickname of The Petal Flower, Petal for short. Not my choice but somehow it stuck... Heh, had I been into Transformers at the time I could have called it Bee... I sold it when we bought the house, as with a mortgage interest (at the time) of 14% we couldn't afford both.

... and the bad news...


... um... There isn't any!

Cheeky little bugger!

Later edit: Forgot to say I picked up Transformers: The Last Knight. Alas, it's even worse on a second watching: there are the tiniest little glimmers of promise that went completely to waste. Bay shouldn't be allowed within a light year of the franchise.

And finally - did I ever mention there was a competition in the Cloud Appreciation Society? To write a poem about clouds, the winner to be included in a book of clouds. It's not often I feel inspired to write poetry these days, but this did. Hence Wavefront. It didn't place, of course (I hadn't expected it would, it's not exactly the sort of thing I believe they were looking for), but it's not bad, I think...

(With thanks to Lutra, and to Lin for the most excellent feedback!)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Third time of trying. My comment is getting shorter each time.
Google refused to recognise my 'device' even though I've always used this laptop to comment. Then the capcha thing froze so that lost my second attempt.
Briefly, you had me with the bad news, what bad news! Can't believe you didn't twig Mr Wednesday. Poem conjured up some excellent imagery.

6:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: the steroid injection - that sounds far more likely. Fingers crossed it's true!

... Petal... hee. You look happy enough about it, anyway.

And Yay! for no bad news. Life has to give you a break sometime.


11:20 pm  
Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

[clutches pearls] bad news...? wait, what? :D

I am all sorts of impressed with American Gods - love the opening title sequence - and reading the book the first time it took me ages to twig Mr W. (Let alone his off-sider, who hasn't made much of an appearance so far...) OhOh! Mad Sweeney!

8:14 am  
Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

D'oh so excited about AG forgot to mention that I still get goosebumps from that beautiful poem :)

(oh, have you seen? The Cheese Advent Calendar's been released in the UK? Only available from Asda, I think it is. Alas, no o/s release this year)

8:31 am  

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Yes, still here...

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Most significantly, perhaps, have been the meningitis B cases in Bristol. Three students at St Brendan's College, a mile or so up the road from us, have been hospitalised (tragically two of them subsequently died) with the disease, and it's been diagnosed at Bristol Uni too. Kai's spleen was damaged by his pre-transplant TBI and can't be relied on to fend off meningococcal infections anymore, so it's been a frantic search for him to be inoculated asap. It's not currently available on the NHS for anyone over about 3 (I think), and ordinary health clinics and drs surgeries can't do it (in our area at any rate), which left only Boots the Chemist pharmacy - and only the ones in Broadmead and Cribbs Causeway. I was very lucky to get an urgent appointment with the Broadmead shop - explaining the circumstances made all the difference - and he had the first jab last Tuesday. The second and last one is the middle of next month. Winced a bit at the price though - £110 per injection - but it's essential, even Kai's consultant agreed. So, with that and last Sunday's venesection he's feeling a bit run-down at the moment - which didn't stop him going for a small walk at Radstock with family friend Dawn yesterday!

Going back a bit, I taxied it up to my own dr Wed before last: like me, she thinks the pain in the right hip and leg is the same as in the left, and has requested another steroid injection into the right hip. Got the unfortunate news that three steroid injections into the same place is as much as anyone can have in one lifetime, as they carry their own risk of damaging tissue. (I asked what I was going to do when I've had three if the situation hasn't improved: she said we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Oh joy.) I did finally find out what the problem is with my back though (she printed out the report from my last MRI, the one I've been asking for for months.) It's a thing called degenerative disc disease, which is a bit of a misnomer, as it's a condition rather than a disease, and doesn't necessarily imply that it will get worse. It is, however, painful and not likely to get any better. [sigh] I asked Lutra, rhetorically, if the stress was ever going to end: her reply made me smile...

Stress? hah! We laugh in the face of stress and, and tweak the nose of the dreadful killer spindly fish. Or something.

While I was up at Broadwalk I checked out the charity shops, and came back with Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time (which we've seen before and which isn't very good, but it's very pretty and adds to our live action game collection) and Alien Agent (Marc Dacascos and Billy Zane in the same film!? This I must see!) for 99p for the two, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), which we watched last Sunday. It's absolutely gorgeous and we're looking forward to the second one this weekend.

Sun 15th K&K and Dawn went to Avebury for the day - train to Swindon then local bus. Avebury is one of my favourite places in this part of the country: been there twice, once with friends and once when I drove Ken and I there. They had a fantastic time, and Kai fell in love with the place. Arriving back, he asked if we could watch Children of the Stones, which we did over the next few days and thoroughly enjoyed.

Speaking of driving, we're investigating getting a car again. Kai wants to learn to drive (and in the meantime wants me to drive to places with the bikes so we can explore new areas), so the plan at the moment is to look for a little hatchback and bike-carrier compatible runabout in the new year. Kai will buy it, I'll insure and tax it, and we'll share the petrol costs. Something cheap and cheerful will do, as long as it has a long MOT and is in good running order. Not too bothered about the state of it as it's likely to get muddy and possibly a bit battered anyway. First though, I'll need to pay for a couple of refresher lessons, as it's been 23 years since I was behind the wheel. And I need to re-read the Highway Code, as a few things have changed in that time!

Then we'll need to have a hard-standing built and the kerb dropped, which was always the plan in any case. I need to start pricing up (and saving...)

This room's painting and curtains are now finished...

It's now beautifully de-cluttered and feels much bigger and brighter. Still need a new door (brown one) and maybe a new light, but those can wait. And yes, all of those figures are Transformers!

Recently watched: K&K have been watching episodes of Cadfael and enjoyed them so much that I've now bought the complete collection: aiming to watch in the run up to Yule. In the same vein was The Name of the Rose: first time Kai's seen it and he enjoyed it very much. John Wicks 2 was as violent as expected. And we're currently re-watching Sapphire and Steel. Fantastic stuff, although I think I need to buy a remastered version: ours is not performing well on the new DVD player...

My orchid's flower spike finally finished, and I thought it was going to take a rest for bit (remember it's flowered continuously for nearly four years now).

But no!

That's a new flower spike unfurling...

Wendy came up for the day yesterday - had a great time catching up with the news and watching Passengers, which just gets better and better each time I see it. Thanks Wendy - fantastic day!

... that's most of the news, I think. Will try to update a bit more regularly but no promises...

Cheeky invader...

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Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

Skwrl! :D

Room is look so good!

(are we mentioning hip replacements yet? no? fair enough...)

vicariously excited for the car adventure!

about your orchid. face it, everything you have care of tends to perform above and beyond expectations, yes?

12:40 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...


Alas no. First consultant I saw told me it wasn't something that could be as easily 'cured' as simply replacing the hip. There's nowt wrong with the bones (except wear and tear): it's all the connective tissue and tendons and sinews that are the problem.

LOL! It'll be interesting at least!

And... pretty much, actually. Magic!

4:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your haddock have been flailing but I'm not sure what mine are doing...

Sorry to hear about the ongoing medical issues. This "getting old" thing is no fun :(

The room is looking lovely!


9:44 pm  

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Two weeks!? My haddock are flailing...

OK, let's try to kick the memory into gear.

It's been busy, of course. This room's painting is almost done (the last of it is the wall to the side and behind my desk and the ceiling above: I have to haul the desk out and take everything off the shelves in order to finish, and that's a fairly major job, so I need Ken or Kai to help), and the new display case assembled and in place with all my Transformer figures now properly on display. Going to start making the curtains this afternoon. K&K should be able to get the new curtain pole up next weekend (and hopefully all the pics that need to go back on the other wall): once this room is finished I can start on the lounge.

But it's taking much longer than it should. The vertigo has eased off to a copable level, but now my right hip and leg are playing up too: feels like stabbing knives every time I move. Using my cane all the time now to walk. And I can't shop by myself any more - in fact, after it taking two hours yesterday to get to Tesco and back with Kai, I think I'll just give up until after the steroid injection. Which, I found out when I rang the BRI, will be "before or on Dec 11th". Two more bloody months! Stressed that my ability to act as carer for Kai is now severely hampered, and have gone onto the 'cancellations' list. Fingers crossed.) I have an appt to see a dr later this week (will have to get a taxi as there's no way I can get myself up the hill and the appt is before the local bus starts running) to see if I can get another injection in the other hip. Oh, and the X-ray shows that the bone structure of my lower spine is damaged, uneven and deteriorating, and 'might cause pain'. [Inset eyeroll, grimace and 'no, duh!' here] I want a new body!

On a more fun note... Kai was scouring the truly excellent charity shops at Westbury-on-Trym and found this hideously adorable dragon...


It's an incense cone burner: air is pulled in through a hole in the tail and incense smoke puffed out through the nostrils! Haven't tried it yet as we need to get a safe holder for the (lavender) cones that came with it, and that means a trip to St Nick's Market in town, which is a bit beyond me at the moment. But definitely before Yule.

Last time we were in Weston-super-Mare Kai and I bought a cheap 'fidget spinner' each to see what all the fuss is about. They're quite fun -

They glitter and form pretty patterns when spun in front of a light source, make a faint warbling whisper when in use, and are mini-gyroscopes - you can feel the force if you twist it while it's spinning.

And then I found a solid metal one at Proper Job... It's beautiful. It's satisfyingly heavy, and the iridescence looks like scarab wings. The warbling is tuneful, and if you let it spin against your hair it sounds like bird wings fluttering (yes, I've been experimenting with it!)

In a pinch it could even be used as a weapon: not exactly sharp but hard and heavy enough to cause an unpleasant minor injury. Like pretty knuckledusters... Anyway, I'm hooked. It's going everywhere with me.

We've been watching an awful lot of films: it's a good way for me to rest. As well as the spinner I found Bride and Prejudice cheap at Proper Job: Ken and I saw it ages ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it (as did Kai!). Turned out we didn't have and hadn't seen Transporter 3, which was fun! Alien: Covenant was in the shops last week: picked it up at full price and wish I'd waited til it was reduced. Kai likes it, I found it dreadful. No way does it deserve its 6.5 rating. I wouldn't have hired that crew to empty my dustbin...

While at Tesco yesterday we picked up John Wick 2 and Wonder Woman (I assume the incredibly speedy release to DVD of new films is because of things like Netflix? I'm not complaining!) Watched the latter last night - it wasn't what I was expecting, but in a good way. Most enjoyable! Nice varied cast too. Great acting. Will save Keanu 'til the weekend...

So, still to watch... Notting Hill and The Shawshank Redemption, neither of which we've seen and which Ken found cheap. I also picked up Hirokin for 99p at St Pete's Hospice. We've seen it before, and it's not very good, but I kind of like Wes Bentley and sometimes it's nice to watch a bad film. Makes you enjoy the good ones more!

And Kai and I are watching Moonlight and thoroughly enjoying it. It has a similar ambience to The Dresden Files, which remains one of my favourite supernatural series of all time. They were made at the same time, might have something to do with it...

So, where in all of this is any writing happening, you might ask At the moment it isn't. I find this much pain a little distracting. Fingers crossed for post-injection period and memo to myself to actually book for the procedure in advance next year.

In other news - we have a new microwave and a new vacuum cleaner (the old ones were very old and failing). Both from Argos, who deliver and accept payment through PayPal. Happy about that!

Tyjer being eccentric again...

Kai will be home for lunch shortly, then sewing. There will be photos when I'm finished!

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Yep, still here. Suffering with more vertigo (which came on after my flu jab last Wed) than usual which makes painting the ceiling SO much fun (I've been hanging onto the exercise bike...) and as tired as ever but otherwise managing.

So... painting has been started. Unfortunately the gold paint doesn't cover the dark teal so I had to repaint with white undercoat first. It's coming on vvveeerrryyyy slowly, but it is getting done.

Kai's had doctor's appt, venesection and BMT Clinic in the last week and a bit, and is now back at uni. We didn't manage to get out to many places this summer, nor see the films we wanted to at the cinema, but his clock and watch collection is coming on splendidly from all the ones we've found in antique and charity shops. He's obviously inherited the family collector's gene...

Media... We've watched a lot. Contact was on the TV: Kai's friends have been lauding its qualities, so we watched and enjoyed it. Now looking for the DVD so I can catch the bits I missed while making dinner. Picked up Assassin's Creed (never played the game, I just like Michael Fassbender) - it's very disappointing. Tries, and fails, to be really clever, and the acting is pretty poor. As a complete contrast, The Last Witchhunter is brilliant! Really, really enjoyable with great appealing characters.

Finally watched 1984 and followed it with Ghost in the Shell, which is quite fun. Basically a live action remake of the anime, the acting is good and the sfx superb. We'll need to watch it again to fully enjoy the intricate settings and backgrounds.

My lithops is flowering!

Probably because I've started feeding my succulents...

This made us all cheer! David Tennant as Crowley? Can't wait!

No doubt there was more but I can't remember it. If I do will add later.

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Blogger Sue said...

I squealed very loudly at work when I heard the news about Good Omens - and then had to explain myself <G&gt,
Hope the vertigo passes very soon.

8:12 pm  
Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

Oooh, and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale! They'll play off each other v nicely :)

It's been a long, long time since I saw a lithops flower. :D

10:47 am  

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Autumn arrives with a THUD, Storm Aileen (blew down my beans. At least they'd finished...) and colds for Kai and me. Oh joy.

Just a quick catch up. Won't bother saying it's been busy as that goes without saying. How many semantic whatsits can you see in that sentence? We finished watching Legends, which was dull and annoying in the middle but picked up wonderfully in the last few eps. Then The Crazies, which didn't give me nightmares this time around but is still a very depressing film, and Requiem for a Dream, which is amazing but also extremely depressing. Then The Lathe of Heaven which, while good, could have done with less 2001 and more Matrix. It's one of the very few films I'd dearly like to see remade. We're now looking for the novel.

And tonight we watched The Manchurian Candidate... Wow. It's bloody good! And now I understand all the references to present day politics. Frighteningly apt.

Tyjer's been sleeping on Ken's desk just recently. I guess old age is making him even more eccentric.

Now have dull gold fabric for this room's curtains: am all ready to start the redeco. Once I feel a little better. I always forget how much I hate colds during the summer...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not eccentric. He's just being a cat... :)


11:18 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Well... yes, but he has two comfy beds, and two comfy sofas, he could sleep on... close to his nice warm humans. Sleeping on a hard, cold desk doesn't quite compute...

That being said, he's slept on Kai's bed the last two nights.

1:59 am  

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

And the new lamps arrived this morning!

Old (with cat, who is insisting on getting into shot recently) -

Close up of old. Yes, those are orchid lights. I sewed the green satin tape around them to look pretty. As you've probably gathered, I'm rather partial to orchids, and after four grim, horrendously worrying years I feel it's time for a little cautious brightness and lightness and frivolity.

And the new ones.

Yes, we now have mini Martian deathrays lighting up our nights!

They're awfully cute.

And before anyone asks (Lutra), the thing hanging on my side is actually a necklace I picked up at the Salvation Army charity shop along from Wild Oats at Clifton.

Not something I'll ever wear, and Kai thinks it's hideous, but it tickles me. Like a Cybertronian attempt at making earth-style jewellery with transparent energon crystals...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's all looking splendid. I like the lights!


5:20 pm  
Blogger Sue said...

' Like a Cybertronian attempt at making earth-style jewellery with transparent energon crystals...'

Well, if you put it that way... it's lovely! <BG>

12:10 pm  
Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

I... how did you know I was going to ask? (I like it. I think it's pretty!)

LOLing at the Martian Death Ray lamps (uuuulllaaaah!)

All looks super good now :)

10:02 am  
Anonymous Joules said...

[grins] Thanks everyone. Not quite finished yet but getting there.

And Lutra - how long have we been chatting? 15, 1617 years? If I don't have some appreciation of you by now I never will!

(Oh ye gods, what the hell is this new 'prove you're not a robot' crap??)

11:00 am  
Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

hah, yeah you have a point :)

(it's all about keeping you safe online. or something. I'm sure there's some little toad working hard to get around that safety measure...)

10:28 am  

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Friday, September 08, 2017

Well that was manic...

Let's just note the highlights. The bedroom sewing is finished -

That's better!

The ceiling still needs to be painted - Kai has volunteered to help with that. I've ordered new lamps to clip onto the pole that holds the cushions that we use as our headboard. Rather elegant and USB-charged so no more cables! I also need new cushions and a better way of attaching them - will give that more thought. Pics later...

I've now managed to find all the paint I want for this room. Lutra wants before and after pics, so here are the before ones...

Sorry about the lack of tidiness. Also, no pic of the other corner as it's currently piled with pots of paint, painting equipment, the new display case and anything else that doesn't have anywhere to live until I get things sorted. No, I don't like living/working in a mess, so yes, I shall be tackling the painting soon!

Oh, and the curtains will be a plain light gold colour, like the walls, so as not to detract from the displays. Peacock feathers are very nice, but would be too fussy. So rather glad Fabricland didn't have the right one when I was there for the bedroom curtain material.

We're ploughing through Legends still. It's not as much fun as the first season - the lack of Snart doesn't help - and when the third season becomes available I'll probably wait until I can get it cheap.

I like Bollywood films. I adore the musical interludes. We watched Baahubali 2, which is wonderful, and has the most beautiful musical interlude I have ever seen anywhere.

I loved the first one in the first film -

but this one... So pretty it hurts.

(Sorry about the ads, I took out as much extraneous material as I could but Yt will only allow so much. That's the son in the first clip, and the father in the second clip, in case you're wondering. The DVDs actually have all the songs as separate files: going to see if I can mp4 them and put on my phone. The two above in particular are favourites.)

And Ken's home - time to make dinner. Later!

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I've lost track of time this last week...

Let's see. On Wed we went down to Babbacombe to visit mum Taylor - lovely train trip down, nice lunch in a cafe that allows dogs (mum has two Pomeranians, Poppy and her son Misty) then a saunter along all the Marychurch charity shops. (Kai did quite well: I didn't find anything except another flamingo for Lutra.) She's looking well, and seems to be fine. It was great to see her again.

Looking back at Torquay from Corbyn Head.

We had coffee and cake at the Grand Hotel as we were a little early for the train - very nice place! - and then the train was half an hour late... Still, glorious sunset on the way back.

Tyjer decided he wanted to sleep in the corner of my desk when we got back...

I forgot to say... Kai has had bad seborrhoeic dermatitis of his scalp since the transplant, and over the last three weeks has made a determined attempt to get rid of it - by shaving his head and using the prescribed wash every day. Took a bit of getting used to but he's lucky: it doesn't matter what he does with his hair it always suits him. He prefers it long though, so is now letting it grow back out.

He's also been working on scraping all the old layers of paint off the handrail of the stairs (we've decided to go for a more natural look throughout the house, since the windowsill tiles are so nice). I'd hoped it might be pine, but the house is 1950's, before pine became usual: it's a dark oak, which will look good when cleaned and polished.

Thursday we rested a bit. Ken had Wed/Thurs/Fri annual leave, and with the bank holiday that was almost a week off.

Friday Kai had the dentist: I went with him and picked up the curtain poles I was looking for at Wilko... The photos haven't come out that well - it's not easy taking them in that room, the light is very bright even on a dull day and wrecks the auto-thingie. However - the first two are the old wooden window poles and dull golden curtains.

The next three are the new ones - along with the curtains I found at the Age UK charity shop. Lovely colour, lovely design, great quality - and too small. [headdesk] Going to have to make them, which means a trip into town to Fabricland. Which is fine: have to get there anyway for the peacock fabric for the curtains in this room (second display case is now ordered, and table disassembled and stored in shed). I've decided on the colours too, so will pick paint up at Wilko in the same trip. Next few weeks are going to be even busier than usual.

Outside: more beans. Lots more beans. And my sweetcorn have now actually finished! One large bag and a bit more in the freezer - not too bad. We have pears and apples galore, which is great!

Media: we finished Crusade ([sigh] Oh, if only it had gone to a proper series...) and have moved on to Legends of Tomorrow season 2, which is looking to be as much fun (and as confusing) as season 1. We relaxed with 4 Weddings and a Funeral, which Kai had never seen and which I've had in the pile for years. And we watched Baahubali.

WOW. It's fabulous! A kind of psuedo-historical mythological Bollywood extravaganza of the finest kind. Absolutely glorious - and music is terrific too! We loved it so much I leapt onto amazon as soon as it finished and ordered the sequel. Which is now on its way. Hopefully be here for Friday!

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

As threatened promised yesterday...

Sunday July 10th 1983. Marchmont, Edinburgh. Worst mistake I ever made. Groom's face scrubbed to protect the guilty.

Yes, that is me. Do they make jokey photos like this any more? It's designed to show off the dress.

Scottish wedding.

Hennaed hair, styled by Agnes, a friend at the time. Looks quite nice I think.

So there you go!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

heh - those are different... I don't think Adrian ever produced a magazine cover style photo but it's a novel idea. And a very pretty dress!


7:56 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thank you - I liked it a lot.

And it fooled Ken: he asked me if I still had the magazine!

12:46 am  

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Quick catch up this time. Busy week ahead...

Media... We're watching Crusade in the JMS-stated chronological order, which differs substantially from the order on the DVD boxed set, but which makes more sense overall. Still enjoying it (though the eps with Galen are my favourites).

Bhoot was a surprise: nothing actually new in the film, but it's gripping and very good indeed - had me jumping all the way through and there's precious little that can do that these days!

Icarus XB-1 is also extremely good. Quite how an old black and white, subtitled Czech film can be simultaneously cosy, low-key, exciting and hope-inspiring is beyond me, but this film manages it. Planning to watch it again (by myself) at some point as I think I missed a few things...

Sat evening Ken and I watched The Beastmaster, which I picked up dirt cheap just for fun. Saw it back when I was a younger dinosaur and enjoyed it then: it was just as much fun now!

Stacked up still to watch: Warlords of Atlantis. One of the few 70's fantasy films I haven't managed to catch. It was on the horror channel last week but I didn't have time to sit and watch, so picked it up (cheap, of course). Michael Gothard is an added bonus.

Transporter 3 - just to complete the series. We've already seen it, ages ago, but I have no objection to watching Jason Statham again!

Cube. Another classic I've never managed to see. Kai's intrigued.

The Crazies. I saw this late one night as a teen, and it gave me nightmares, so will be interesting to watch it again...

The Manchurian Candidate (the remake). I keep hearing the term used in relation to the current political climate and it's annoying not getting the reference, so when I saw it going (really) cheap I grabbed it. Will make time to watch it soon.

Found the newly-released Legends of Tomorrow season 2 at Sains last week. We've been eagerly awaiting this, so will probably start it as soon as we've finished Crusade.

In other news... I've had a letter from the BRI and am now waiting for my appt for another steroid injection. Apparently there is currently an 18 week waiting list, but as a registered carer I may be bumped up the queue. That would be a relief as it's now seriously impacting my ability to do anything that involves standing or walking (or even sitting for prolonged periods). Oh, and I must remember to ring the surgery for my X-ray results. I forgot last Friday.

Decorating... Oh what fun that's been! I found what I thought was the correct teal paint for our bedroom, and carefully painted around the window - only to find it was the teal paint in this room, which is silk instead of matt and darker. [headdesk] Luckily, I did still have the correct paint in the shed, so was able to put that right. Then I started on the pale blue walls... I thought the paint was the correct one for the side wall, which needed much more doing to it: decided to risk it on the front wall as much less was needed and I could put up with the difference in colour until we repaint the whole room. But no! It was the other way around and I ended up having to repaint the entire side wall. [headdeskHEADDESK] Two coats and a bit of touch up to end, over two days. There was enough paint, fortunately, with a little left over to cover where the old window poles will come down when we replace them, but ye gods my legs and back were killing me when I finished.

But it looks really nice, and we can happily live with it for a bit longer, so the bedroom redecorate is being put back until next year at the earliest.

OK, anything else..? I'm off to get my hair trimmed this afternoon. And I'll be scanning and archiving the photos from my first wedding later - may post a couple here for a laugh! (The album itself fell to pieces as I was taking the photos out. Says a lot, that!)


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Saturday, August 12, 2017

And this Saturday K&K have headed out to Shepton Mallet. It's a lovely little place, and I'm sure they'll find some charity and antique shops!

I'm going to be pottering. When Ken stripped the paint off the lounge and bedroom windowsills it took some of the wall paint off as well: while it's only a little, it looks a mess and is irritating me, so the walls need repainting. (Actually the whole house does but I'll be tackling it piecemeal. Don't have the energy to do it all at once any more. Lounge and our room first - Kai's is already done.) Kai took the ancient Amstrad speakers down from our walls yesterday: I plan to fill the holes ready for painting later today.

I also need to do a little gardening. There'll be more beans to freeze, and I swear some of my sweetcorn - and some of the Red Devil apples! - are already ready for harvesting (the weather has been most peculiar this year).

I rather like Ryan Reynolds. He's cute, funny, and doesn't take himself too seriously. On checking the IMDb I found he's in Blade: Trinity, which we have, so while K&K were out last Sat I watched it. It's nothing special, but he's good in it, and it meant I sat down for a couple of hours.

Sun was the usual shopping. Ken mowed, I weeded.

Monday I had my drs appt. He had no answer for why the pain is constant and worsening, so referred me to the BRI for a walk-in X-ray (which I had yesterday). Results should be with the surgery next Fri. Hopefully they won't show anything out of the ordinary - in that case I think I can request another steroid injection (or maybe two, my right hip is nearly as bad as the left now). While up at Broadwalk I did the usual check of the charity shops and found this!

(The owl umbrella came from Sainsbury's. The little dangly owl was a birthday present, from Sue I think?) It's adorable and capacious with 7 separate compartments, exactly what I was looking for!

On Tuesday the weather was pleasant: Kai and I bussed through to Wells to check the antique shops he found when he was there with Ken. There were a couple of clocks he'd taken a fancy to and was hoping they were still there. They were, and he bought them: one's a tiny thing in a well-made old box that will fit most of the tools he'd collected, the other a good anniversary clock (the chatty female store owner actually reduced it from £75 to £45 for him, as she thought her brother had overpriced it and then found there was no key! Although Kai already had one so that was OK).

Wed was wet an' 'orrible: both deliveries arrived OK then we took the rest of the day off with old and familiar DVDs.

Thurs Kai helped me take stuff around to the charity shops in Sandy Park Rd - he found a couple of the things he was looking for - then down to Sains for a quick shop. When we got back he decided he wanted to go for a ride, so took off for the Whitchurch Way (by himself). Got as far as Dundry View, then headed back, getting here just before the rain started.

Friday a.m. was my X-ray: in the afternoon it was general tidying and getting walls ready for painting.

Media... finished watching the Babylon 5 films, The Lost Tales which actually chronologically comes some time during the Crusade series, which was annoying, River of Souls, Thirdspace, and A Call to Arms, which were all OK but not as good as the series, and started Crusade. We also watched Life... It's good, beautifully made and realistic (for the most part). For me, it was nothing very new though, and I saw the end coming a good half an hour before it arrived. It's enjoyable though, in a grim sort of way...

Kai found this

It's not that clear in the photo, but it's where a fox has been digging down to make a den! (The earth that's been dug out has filled the hole where Kai was going to have his pond...) While I love the idea of foxes living in the garden, this isn't exactly the ideal location. Going to have to think about it...

And that's about it for now. Tonight's the best night for viewing the Perseid meteor shower here, so as long as it stays relatively clear we shall be out watching it.

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Blogger Sue said...

No, I can't take the credit for the dangly owl. Lucky find on the bag though!

4:46 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Ah, it must have been GoodTwin then! It's very cute and fits there nicely.

Please note, this does not mean I have become obsessed with wols! Love the birbs, but have no plans to collect them.

4:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it was me! :) It reminded me of Sage.

The bag is lovely. Charity shops have all the best bargains.

6:12 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Sage! Of course! I knew it looked familiar. Ta!

I don't know what I'd do without the charity shops...

9:51 pm  

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Catch up!

K&K are off exploring the hillfort at Congresbury with a friend today, so I have the house to myself for a few hours (quite a luxury these days!) They're planning on walking part of the Strawberry Line while they're out, too.

So, what have we been up to? Well, I appreciated the Tesco delivery service so much I'm now doing the same with Sainsbury's: it's fantastic not having to go shopping every day (and sometimes twice), frees up so much of my time. Should have done it years ago... Planning to get back into regular writing again asap.

Outside... The veg garden continues apace. The first onions are now ready: variety Ailsa Craig and they are rather large -

I need to find a red variety for next year's planting: I like having the choice.

I need to reorganise the low bed a little - and remember to only plant at most four runner bean plants. They're incredibly vigorous and will take over if permitted, which is OK as long as I have room in the freezer for them. Ditto pumpkins: only ONE plant and keep it under control. In the greenhouse, this year's peppers are doing really well and are only a little smaller than the bought ones. The sweet peppers are quite a bit smaller, but it's the first time I've had any success with them, and they're perfectly usable (they're going in tonight's stir-fry, in fact). Will plant them in larger pots next year!

Inside... I've finished sewing. It's all worked rather well.

Radiator cover in this room. Hides the flaking black paint!

Kai's wardrobe curtain. Looks rather nice, I think.

Films... Hunk. Better than Galaxina. A bit. Not much more to be said...

Lutra mentioned in passing that she'd seen Pompeii, commenting that the film was only so-so but Keifer Sutherland was quite good in it. Being a Keifer fan I looked it up, and found a copy for 52p on amazon, from my go-to seller musicMagpie (seriously, this seller is amazing, fantastic prices and the fastest delivery ever, not to mention the quality of the DVDs). Ordered it - and Moonlight for £3: I caught some of this on TV many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it - and we watched Pompeii together. Hm. Lutra's right, it's OK but nothing special, and consists of just about every cinematic trope ever devised. But Keifer's fun in it, so that's OK.

Kai and I finished Babylon 5 on Wed. Wow. So good... We've started on the films, kicking off with Legend of the Rangers - To Live and Die in Starlight (a subtitle that always makes me shiver). An awful lot of people don't like this one, but I've always enjoyed it, and was very disappointed it never went to a series. I loved the characters and the chemistry between them: there was a lot of potential there. Ah well...

Next up was Babylon 5: In the Beginning - always fun, although the picture quality made me hope for a digitally remastered DVD at some point.

Kai mentioned some time ago he wanted to watch Ground Control, which is a most enjoyable Keifer Sutherland redemption film, so he sprawled and watched while I pottered. Then he thought an action film might be fun, and ended up with xXx. (Not my favourite Vin Diesel film but I was busy during most of it). A workmate of Ken's mentioned that he'd enjoyed Bhoot, so I found a cheap copy which we'll probably watch tonight or tomorrow, as the case was damaged and the disc loose. Need to check it plays.

And Life was released to buy, so picked that up as well. Kai and I were planning to see this at the cinema, but didn't manage to make it in time. This may be one for tonight...

Right. Time for lunch. Then I should lie down for half an hour (I've been amazed at how much better I feel when I do this) then it's an hour or so of repotting the cacti. Bit by bit I'm trying to repot all the houseplants into much nicer containers - terra cotta mostly: looks far more attractive than plastic. Later!

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Blogger Sue said...

Galaxina! I knew that rang a bell when I scanned the forthcoming programmes this morning - it's on Talking Pictures next Friday. I shall record it for the lols. The blurb says that Dorothy Stratten was killed by her boyfriend before the film premiered.
You certainly have the green-fingered touch judging by the size of those vegtables!

7:31 pm  

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