Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
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.
A brief note to the idiots who put ads in the comments - I will mark them as spam and delete them as soon as I'm notified of them, so don't bother. I absolutely loathe adverts in any form and will not have them on here if I have any choice in the matter. (Of course, if they're addded by bots this won't be noticed, but I'll still remove them...)
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
Friday, July 09, 2021
Phew. That was all a bit knackering...
However, all three books (and the revisions/small rewrites) are now done and off with the designer. Our contact says the reactions at the publisher have all been favourable, which is very good news. We'll be getting the pdfs to proof-read soon, and that's the final stage for us before publication. Not sure when that will be but probably in time for the Yule market. It'll be interesting to see how they've edited and illustrated what we’ve written!
(For anyone interested, crystals was written to Mike Oldfield's Songs of Distant Earth and Sarah Brightman's Dreamchaser, and witchcraft to Inkubus Sukkubus - Wytches, Heartbeat of the Earth, and Belladonna and Aconite, principally.)
Hopefully we'll be paid soon, too...
Ken and I took a day off writing and bussed through to Glastonbury for the day... I forget when. Three weeks ago? It was fine - always a fun place to visit, but the prices of everything have gone through the roof. I found a few bits and pieces (two lovely cards to finish off the cards in a display I now have on the bedroom wall - photo later if I remember!) but not a lot, and there was a long queue to get into the organic supermarket - only letting a couple of people in a time - so we didn't bother.
RO, which is the most magnificent orchid I've ever had!!
Ten flowers!! Ten! So splendid!
GO is doing something quite strange too, flowering in all directions. Photos when I can get some.
I did also rescue another. Well, I mean, it was sitting all alone and lonely on a wall on the way back from Tesco, saying vewy vewy quietly "I'z pwetty norkid. Pweeeeze give me nice home..." How could I say no? It's a phalaenopsis, but it's just leaves at the moment, no idea of the size or colour of the flowers. Though that's half the fun, waiting to see what happens!
The garden is tootling along well - too much grass, but hopefully we can get things a little more under control come autumn. I bought a Bosch strimmer, which should help. Veg and fruit beds doing very well: planning to get another square raised bed for strawberries later in the year, the trough isn't big enough for them, and they are delicious. Apples great. Plum and pear not so good this year, both have some sort of fungus disease that I didn't catch soon enough to kill off. Might not be a huge harvest this year, but I'll prune them later and treat them in the hope it won't come back next year. Will need to keep an eye on them...
Our foxes visit most nights, with a couple of cubs now. I don't think they were born here, but they are now using the top as a playground, which is a delight to watch!
Derpy is now taxed, booked in for her service and MOT at the beginning of August, and I've switched insurance companies to one half the price of Aviva but still with most of the services we might need. She hasn't been off the drive in a year so gods know what will need doing. (I did ask, and Renatec - just down the road and around the corner - will come and tow her to the garage if I can't get her going...)
Books. Not sure I mentioned before, but I've been going through a spell of non-fiction. Guns, Germs and Steel, some of which I knew but had never quite joined up the dots. Essential reading for world-making for my own writing, and a cracking good read. Notes from Deep Time, read for background to the crystals book - fascinating and highly recommended! Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime... OK, I'd hoped to have worked through my Dummies Algebra, Physics and Quantum Mechanics books first, but I just haven't found the time. Something Deeply Hidden is definitely written for someone with at least a grasp of maths (I just about managed to get through my O Level maths and then pretty much gave up, although in recent years I've improved significantly). An awful lot of it went right over my head, but just every now and then something made a weird sort of intuitive sense - but only for a second or so. I'm glad I've read it - the bits I could understand are fascinating - but it's not exactly easy going.
I did also struggle through The Wisdom of Crowds... Sorry Wendy, it's pretty poor. I believe it was written for American males - 'proving' statistics by devoting 5+ pages to an analysis of betting on American football teams?? - and is horribly misogynistic. As far as I can see the author never wrote anything else, and I can't say I'm surprised. What he had to say is reasonable, but hardly new and earth-shaking.
I now have Liu Cixin's Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy on order. I adored The Wandering Earth (book and film), so I thought I'd see what else he has to say!
Media... Ken and I finished Deep Space 9. It was OK, but there's so much better available today it looked a little dated. Fun all the same: glad we re-watched.
Ad Astra... Hm... Glorious cinematography and sfx, but I found the story a little... staid? Kai thoroughly enjoyed it though. Heh, maybe I've just seen too many films in my life and have become extremely picky!
Then there was the Angry Birds Movie. Wasn't expecting too much but it's really good! Very funny, very clever, and very enjoyable. And we had fun spotting the homages to other films.
Ken and I watched Another Earth, which is intriguing (if horribly bad at the science). Can't say it's a favourite, but it was thought-provoking, which is never a bad thing.
Can't say the same about Scream and Scream Again... I actually signed into the IMDb and left a review...
And then there's Constantine... God it's good! I first thought the female lead, Zed, was a Mary-Sue, but now I don't think she is. The whole thing is wonderfully gritty and bloody and daft and HUGE fun. So so sad there's only one series (of only 13 eps, too...)
When we've finished Constantine we're going to watch The Watch on iplayer - keep seeing trailers for it and it looks like enormous fun. Well, anyone who uses a baby dragon as a flame thrower's got to be worth a look, ne?
Not sure if I've ever mentioned Simon Drake - fabulous magician, his Secret Cabaret TV series is wonderful - but Ken and I went to see him at the Bristol Hippodrome waaaaaay back soon after we'd bought the house (Yule present? Birthday present? So long ago now I can't remember!) and loved it so much I can still visualise most of the show. Anyway, while turning stuff out I found the ticket, and two posters, and some photographs - and a rubber hand with his signature on it! (rather faded now, but still just legible.) I've bought a display frame (3 inches deep) and when I've got it sorted I'll post a pic here.
Oh, and I'm getting Revoltech Deadpool for Yule!!
I'm working my way back through the blog, correcting coding and changing the non-working links to the correct ones (after we moved JAT to the WaveWrights site.) I've got as far back as 2009, and hope to have it finished in the next couple of months. It's hard going as blogger now don't give you the option to choose years - to get to old updates you have to page down, and down, and down, and down, and down... However. I can now remove the clunky comment boxes from old entries, and just leave the actual comments visible, which is a great help. (Also, oddly, it says I'm based in Brisbane, Australia. Perhaps the two cities are directly opposite each other, if you draw a line through the centre of the earth?) I want to archive the blog offline when I'm done, as it covers nearly 20 years of my life at present...
And last, BND. I rang Victim Support, who told me they don't handle the legal side of things, and referred me to VOCAS - the Victims of Crime Advocacy Service. I sent them a detailed email last week, now waiting to hear back from them, but not expecting a speedy reply as I have no doubt they're snowed under at present. Main thing is I've started the ball rolling, and feel a lot better for it. In the meantime I'll just keep adding incidents to my list (currently 10 word pages long) and taking photographs as and when necessary.
Wonder if the Beeb is still interested in making new eps of their Nightmare Neighbours series...?
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Witchcraft now at just over 16K words and all's going well.
Have a pic of Whitepaw...
... and her friend.
Occasionally I check ebay to see if they have any new Starscreams...
"Oooh!" I discorded Ken. "There's a Starscream plushie!"
"What's a plushie?" he discorded back.
"A toy. Soft and squishy and made of velvety material. And cute."
I can imagine 'the look'...
"You're describing Starscream here???"
Me, grinning manically, "I know. Brilliant innit?"
He made us all laugh - it's the smirk. And now Ken keeps telling me things like, "Starscream would encourage it - the more knowledge you have the more mischief you can make." when I mentioned I had a half price offer to get premium membership with Academia.edu (I've been a member since March 2011 - they have fantastic papers on all sort of subjects we're interested in.) So I joined. And found both Ken and I have loads of mentions - in official papers' bibliographies! When I have time I shall check them out. And tell Chelsey - will make her happy too.
Ken's birthday tomorrow! (He says many thanks for the card, Wendy!)
Friday, June 11, 2021
Very quickly while I have a couple of minutes to spare, because... well, remember those book commissions? I finished the Crystals book early - because I had to, because... well, the original author of Witchcraft dropped out, so they asked if I would take it on, so I said yes...
Why yes, thank you, I know I'm insane...
So I'm now 10K words into the 30K words Beginner's Guide to Witchcraft, and the deadline is June 29th... I have NO time for anything else at the moment. Just as well I'm enjoying it. Though I've had to use a pen-name for the first time - Alestrel Evergreen. I rather like the pun!
So sorry everyone, that's why I haven't been able to be in touch (sorry Wendy - will try to organise a phone chat in July...)
More when I've finished the writing. In the meantime, have some pics.
I do believe I am overfeeding the orchids...
EO with new flower spike.
GO with new flower spike - the old two haven't finished yet and this new one is a double!
All the orchids. RO is looking fabulous right now - will try to get a better pic soon.
We now have a jay visiting daily to hoover up the birdfood the sparrows, starlings, robins and tits drop from the feeder.
And when the jay isn't hoovering, the foxes are!
Fox photos © Ken.
So beautiful... We have two that visit every day now.
Hee! My pic, taken with my usual 'point vaguely in the rightish direction and hope it works' technique - and I was the only one of us to get a halfway decent photo! (This is the partial solar eclipse yesterday, the 10th.)
And that's all for now. Later!
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Sooo - had my second Covid jab yesterday, feeling a bit 'meh', so taking this as a good excuse to finally update this monster.
We've been working on an updated version of a book we - or rather Ken - wrote waaaaay back in 1998 over the last few months, and it was finally in a state to send to our agent Chelsey back in Feb. She offered it to a few publishers, some of whom were interested but not enough to go ahead with it just now - but a thing happened that keeps happening when we send off a poss book idea: she came back to us with an offer. Bright Press were looking for authors for a little series of Beginners Guides (Crystals, Tarot, Witchcraft, Chakras) and would we be interested in the Crystals and Tarot books?
Of course we would. These are on commission, so would be one-off payments not royalties, but that's pretty much standard these days. So we started the process of agreeing the content and contracts beginning May. (All had to be done quickly as the deadlines are, as usual with this sort of thing, completely insane - 30K words in 4 batches by mid-June - and given Ken's day job with BCC he had to start writing RIGHT NOW.)
So everything was looking good - then the evening of the last Tues of April I got what I thought was indigestion. It got worse, until by 2 am on Wed it felt like bricks crushing the centre of my chest. Cue a phone call to 111, who ordered an ambulance, and I was whipped into BRI A&E.
Where I had about 14 different sensor electrode thingies stuck all over me, was hooked up to one of those machines that continually measure heart beat, BP and breathing (at one point that one stopped working and a nurse came in, looked at me and asked with a grin, "You are still breathing, aren't you?".) Had an ECG, which as usual was perfectly normal. (The rest of me may be falling apart but my heart - so far - has always been absolutely fine. Medical staff usually can't quite believe it and keep taking ECGs to check...)
So I sat for hours in a room to myself, putting my mask on every time anyone came in. When they finally had a room for me on the ward I'd been awake for 37 hours, the pain had gone, and I was not in a particularly good mood. But the room was nice - all to myself with a single bed and attached shower/loo room. Not much a view (ambulance one floor down to the front and the access road for the ambulance to one side), but it would at least allow me to get some writing done once Ken had brought in my laptop.
Heh. Best plans and all that. Damaged blinds let in a lot of light, ambulances aren't exactly the quietest of vehicles, the noise from the corridor outside was HORRENDOUS, but worst of all they attached me to a saline drip with N-acetylcysteine in it (which I didn't find out until later).
The only time I've felt that ill in my life was when I was taking GCSF
to boost my stem cell production for Kai's bone marrow transplant. Two hours to start with - then a 10 hour overnight drip... I spent the night throwing up, bile after my stomach was empty. Still not sure why they gave it to me: something to do with clearing paracetamol out of my system? And when that drip had finished and I'd basically passed out, a doctor came and quickly and without speaking hooked up ANOTHER two hour drip...
When that one finished a different doctor came in and I said I CAN'T have another one of those (they were going to give me another 10 hour one!) It took a bit of mild arguing and me tearing up, but she agreed and gave me an intravenous anti-emetic, which finally stopped the nausea and stomach pain...
A little later they took me for a CT scan (I think I've now had every sort of scan possible except for an angiogram.) Ever had one of these? They wanted to check my aorta and liver were functioning correctly: they inject a dye before the scan so they can see what's up. And the dye, for some reason, gives you a hot flush (mine was only on my upper lip, which was weird, but then my whole life has been so why not?) but worse, makes you feel as though you've wet yourself. The tech went to great pains to explain this is perfectly normal, a function of the dye, and not to worry, I haven't wet myself...
[eyeroll] They had to give me two doses, and it was as horrible as it sounds. However, they were able to get all the info they needed so I didn't need to go for an ultrasound as well, which had been mooted earlier.
And guess what? Heart fine, liver and gall bladder a little aggravated by...
Gall stones. Bloody gall stones!! One had blocked a bile duct, and caused all that pain - until it passed while I was waiting in A&E.
So I'm now on the waiting list to have my gall bladder removed, and they suggested a low- or no-fat diet to help prevent it happening again - which it will after the first one. Our diet is relatively low-fat anyway to try to control the weight (not been much help this last year) so that's not a problem.
But by the time I got home and the after-effects of the NAC had worn off I'd lost four bloody days of writing (I did manage to get a little done in hospital but nowhere near enough).
I've gone off the last week of April/first week of May. Gall stones this year, acute kidney injury last year - I'm cancelling them next year!
I have finally had enough of BND and am getting organised for a legal case against him. The last straw was him abusing and threatening our Sainsbury's delivery guy who had parked across his drive (instead of illegally over the DISABLED across our drive). I went out and glared at him until he turned to me and started swearing - at which I bellowed over him, "Are you illiterate as well as being a pig-ignorant moron? You were told anything you have to say to any of us you PUT IN WRITING." Then turned to the delivery guy and said, "Ignore him. We've had nothing but hassle from the hateful old bastard and we're getting together a court case against him." Yes, I startled myself. Never been so loud and forthright in my life, but the situation made me realise two things: firstly, he's that much of a coward that he only bullies women, specifically me as - I think - he's jealous, and secondly, he's all threats and no action (well, unless you count his baseless vendetta against us, which pretty much shows the emotional maturity of a spoilt, five year old brat throwing a tantrum.)
So I'm getting together everything I've prepped over the last seven years. Everything since 2014 has been photographed, recorded, documented and in a couple of cases filmed. I've made three complaints to the police against him, which have been acted on since they were serious. He's neither worn masks, nor social distanced, even with the people (also maskless) he's had coming to do work during the lockdown. I added legal case expenses to our house insurance a couple of years ago, just 'in case', and I believe, since part of my complaint involves criminal damage to the house, they may be prepared to take it on, but if not, I'll pay myself with the money earned from the new book.
In the meantime I haven't heard a peep out of him. I think I shocked him. He's got a bigger shock coming.
Onto more fun things!
Jeff cut my hair last Monday. I fancied a little bit of a change, and as I now have a pure white streak at the front on the left I asked him to leave it long - which he did, and I rather like it! It's all much tidier and looking pretty good, if I say so myself.
I love spring. Everything is flowering.
The bay tree
The lilac behind the greenhouse.
The red devil apple tree!
The heuchera bed with enchanter's nightshade and lily-of-the-valley
The glorious cascade of wisteria... the smell is fabulous.
The ramsons. Give them another year to come on and I'll start using them in cooking.
The foxes. Remember last year they nested here and had a couple of cubs, and I said I didn't want them messing up my garden in future, so we put down repellent and filled in the holes? Well... Spot the fox...
We've decided there's no point trying to keep them out. I've netted all the growing fruit and veg and bought some more pricklestrip to put down as needed. They're welcome to call the top of our garden home!
Orchids. GO specifically. Do you think I'm feeding them too much?
We finished paying the mortgage in 2016, and it's finally clicked that we have a little spare cash now for treats. I've been collecting recipes for years, probably since I started uni in 1977, so you can imagine the size and weight of my recipe folder. I could barely lift it and trying to find anything in it was a nightmare - not to mention it kept springing open and showering pages all over the place.
So I bought myself a tablet from amazon just for recipes. Most expensive recipe 'book' in the world!
I am VERY happy with it. Samsung is the same as my mobile, so everything is familiar and easy to use.
Perfumes. Yes, an odd thing for the blog, but I was over at Tesco and saw this -
Cloud berry and sugar orchid body spray called 'I'm a Unicorn in a field of horses'? How could I possibly resist?! (It's actually, fortunately as I couldn't smell it before buying it, a lovely light, very slightly spicy/herby fragrance... sort of. It has a variety of perfumes in it, all of them very soft and gentle. A very good find.)
I bought wisteria fragrance oil from the wonderful House of Candles a year or so ago - yes, more wisteria, that and the delicate scent of Sultan's Palace irises are my favourites - and found that they also do wisteria body spray, so ordered more oil with it. Absolutely gorgeous.
And lastly, I was in the WMCA charity shop up the road in Broadwalk, and spotted a bottle of Opium perfume for what I thought was £1.50 - I assumed it was a knock off as I remember Opium from when I fell in love with it while working a Saturday job at Boots way back in the 70's: even then it was far too expensive for me. Picked it up anyway, as it's a rather stylish bottle. The woman at the till complimented me on my taste: I thought she was referring to the lovely iridescent silk scarf I had in my basket: it wasn't until I got home and checked that I realised the perfume was £15, not £1.50. And the real thing! Massive saving as the cheapest I can find is £56 a bottle... it smells as lovely as I remember, and actually has a hint of the fragrance of iris. I am very happy!
Skyline, Beyond Skyline, and Skylines are a sci-fi trilogy with inexplicably dreadful ratings on the IMDb: I was intrigued by the plot and picked them up cheap, and they are a riot! Rollicking good fun, alien aliens for once, perfectly OK acting, pretty nifty sfx and cgi - altogether a really good watch. Most enjoyable (even with the gore.)
I've probably raved about how much I love The Sentinel in the past. Bought it from mum T for my birthday, and Ken and I watched it back to back over a few weeks. It's still as wonderful as I remember it (although unfortunately the quality of the DVDs in the boxed set was very variable, and the seller appears to no longer be on amazon. It's watchable, so I can live with it.) I was sorry when it ended. May watch it again later this year...
I've also raved about The Expanse. We all watched season 3 in preparation for season 4 and it's just getting better and better. Now looking forward to season 5!
Because we like completing series', I bought Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency season 2 when it finally came down to a more affordable price, and it's brilliant! So funny, and yet moving, and a little bit racy and unexpected. We loved it.
Lastly, Roeg's Pool is full of tadpoles and the occasional frog, and Tyjer is buried at the back, under all the rocks...
I miss him. I keep looking behind me before rolling my chair back to make sure I'm not running over his tail. Every time I hear a 'bump' from upstairs I expect him to come running down for food or a treat. A couple of times, when I've managed an afternoon lie down, it feels as though he's jumped onto the bed to cuddle up - not right beside me, of course not, that would be too dependent , but close enough to purr and be stroked. But he had a wonderful life and a quiet ending. We couldn't do much more.
Back to the crystals handbook...
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Thank you, everyone, for your sympathy and kind words and thoughts. It's no consolation, of course, but we take a little comfort in knowing we gave him a pretty good life, with his own garden, soft beds (and sofas) to sleep on, good food and cat milk and tinned salmon and tuna for his meds, and lots and lots of love and pettin's.
It'll be an interesting party at the Bridge. Young Jason will want to play with Tyjer, Mink will bounce all over him, Tharg - the most laid-back, huge silver tabby I've ever met - will roll over on his back and smile at him, Ryme will try to mother him, Raptor will run rings around him, Roeg will be curious and try to make friends, Quyn will sit at a slight distance, tongue lolling, tail wagging, happy to have someone else to protect, and Argent - Argent will either challenge him to a duel or sit and debate the strangeness of humans with him for hours...
A lot more has happened in the last month or so, most of it good: will try to update early next week.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
(Crossposted to my Fb account)
Furbaby Argent passed early in 2009, and since as far as I'm concerned a house is just a pile of bricks without a furbaby to make it a home, we visited the local Cat and Dog Home that March, where we saw Tyjer for the first time...
A big orange tabby, we couldn't see his face as he was hiding it under a blanket. He wasn't overly friendly to start with, but seemed to enjoy being scratched behind the ears. He'd spent the first three years of his life in a second floor flat, with no access to the outside at all, with a single mum and her child. Apparently, when she was pregnant with her second, the first child was NOT happy and took it out on Tiger (as he was called then) - when we saw him his fur was covered with purple felt tip pen ink - but the mum was sensible and gave him up to be re-adopted (so kudos to her for that).
We had a visit from a staff member to check that we were suitable parents - on a quiet residential road with a 100' long back garden we ticked the location box at least. Her last question tickled us: she sat and regarded us sombrely, and asked, "And where will the cat sleep?" Kai and I looked at each other, then at her and said, "Um, anywhere he wants!"
We brought him home a week later.
We changed his name to make it more unusual, but not so far from the original that he'd have to get used to something completely new (Ken suggested Tiberius: never having been a great fan of William Shatner I nixed that. Besides, imagine going out to call a cat in for the night and having to shout "Tiberius! Bedtime!") He was very bright, somewhat wary (right up to the end he didn't like strangers, and took a while to get used to friends), protective and territorial (he absolutely would NOT allow other cats into his garden!) In later years he mellowed, and over the last year, while Ken's been working from home, has joined us for lunch, lying on his back between Kai and Ken on the sofa for pettin's, purring and kneading the air as Kai rubbed and scratched his belly. He got into the habit of joining me in this room - to guard me from anything out in the garden, I think, as he sat at the closed patio doors hissing at anything, like our resident foxes, that approached - and mewing at me to encourage me to go to bed when he'd decided I'd been writing long enough.
His hips started playing up a couple of years ago, and I've been giving him Metacam analgesic (three consecutive doses every four to five weeks, as overuse can cause kidney failure) and back in March this year I found we'd run out. I had to take him for a check up before they'd prescribe any more, so off we went. The vet (at Pets At Home) said he had a slight heart murmur and at least one rotting tooth, and given his age - 15 - it would be best to have them extracted to avoid any infections. So we booked him in for last Friday.
It went well, although he ended up having seven teeth removed, and on Saturday he was eating, and purring, and seemed fine. Then overnight Saturday to Sunday his breathing changed, and he was listless and not eating. We took him back on Sunday afternoon (had a check up booked in any case) and the vet (a different one) checked him over and took an X-ray. Tyjer's lungs were congested - either pneumonia or pulmonary oedema - so much that his heart couldn't be clearly seen, and his temperature was too high. He was given medication and antibiotics, we were given diuretic tablets for him (to be given every six hours) and booked a further appointment for Monday.
Even with the meds he got worse over Sunday night, and by Monday morning was just a shadow of himself. When we took him back to the vet his temperature was even higher and his breathing audibly raspy. I decided further intervention would only cause him more distress, and the vet agreed with me. I was able to go into the room and pet and talk to him while he was put to sleep, and it was quiet and calm and he drifted peacefully away.
We brought him home, and interred him in the garden he loved so much, on the shady side of Roeg's Pool, curled up in a box as though asleep with catnip leaves scattered over him. Later on I'll plant some ferns there.
Tyjer, 2006 - 19.4.21, united with Jason, Mink, Tharg, Roeg, Raptor, Ryme, Quyn and Argent. We'll see you at the Rainbow Bridge when the time comes.
I miss him.
Tuesday, March 09, 2021
Just a quick update.
Kai's birthday today - quiet, but he says he's enjoyed it. Favourite lunch and a curry-out for dinner, and a surprise card from Kim with a bar of chocolate! We gave him cash: his interests are now so specific it's almost impossible to find anything he's bound to like (and the white plushie Among Us figure I preordered has been cancelled as the peeps making them hadn't got the Among Us creators' approval. Ooops.)
His first Covid jab is booked for this Saturday at Stockwood, same place as mine, and Ken got his this evening at Supadrug in Broadmead (he got the AstraZeneca vaccine, so only a 5 minute wait before he was allowed to go. I had to wait 15 mins with the Pfizer one.)
We finished watching The Orville season 2 and it just gets better and better. Can't wait for season 3 (though the pandemic has delayed production so no idea when it'll be ready to view). We've also now finished Black Mirror season 4, which is very good. Next up is probably The Sentinel, which has FINALLY been completely released on DVD and which I got for my birthday. Looking forward to it!
About it for now. Hope everyone's safe and well and getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Welcome to frog bonking season!
Yes, Roeg's Pool is seething with frogs. I anticipate a lot of frogspawn later...
Well, pretty much as usual it's been manic here. But good manic...
Back before Yule I decided that my Isogel pillow had finally become too uncomfy for my neck, so took the plunge and ordered a Tempur classic pillow. Was unimpressed when it arrived - heavy, and a bit like pressing down onto thick mud (except not wet), so wasn't expecting much - but wow. Can't remember the last time I slept so well. It's amazing, unbelievably comfortable! Never going back to anything different now!
We've had the coffee table in the middle of the lounge for years, and I was getting a bit fed up with it being always cluttered. Plus I needed more surface area for my plants, especially the citruses while they're growing up (which they are doing very well). So I googled side tables, and found this beauty -
- at Dunelm. It's perfect, and looks a lot more expensive than it actually was. VERY pleased with it! (And the coffee table is now empty except for Kai's computer tools and a box of tissues. I'd be happy to see it go but I suppose it is still useful.)
A few weeks ago I was tidying up, and noticed a folded piece of newspaper tucked away on a bookcase. So I opened it out...
It's the double page Daily Mirror newspaper moon map, released back on Friday 18th July 1969 just before the first lunar landing, that I'd cut out and kept.
Ye gods. It's survived, and I bought some acid-free backing paper and conservation grade sticky stuff, and Kai and I finagled it into a glass frame.
And that takes me back. I was 10, and vividly remember (watching or hearing, can't remember now whether we had it on TV or the radio) that "small step", then going out into the garden and waving at the moon...
I feel old!
Anyway, after putting that up, we thought we'd populate the stairwell, so the next one to go up was the Open University poster I ordered a year or so ago - Earth from Space. It's double sided, so it's in an acid-free plastic envelope so we can turn it periodically.
Together they look quite nice!
Next month I plan to dig out the Simon Drake poster I got when Ken and I went to see him at the Bristol Hippodrome - must be about 26 years ago now? - and get that put up too! Photo when done.
I had cause to physically go down to Sainsbury's a couple of weeks ago, and found a clock lying on a wall. Don't know about anywhere else, but around here, if you put something out on your wall it's an invitation for anyone who wants it to just take it, whether there's a note or not (I did it with a whole pile of very large plant pots I no longer needed and they were snapped up in about 6 hours!) Anyway, it was rather nice, so I went and did the shopping - took about 45 mins, I wanted to browse their clothing - and decided that if it was still there on the way back I'd bring it home with me.
It wasn't working, but with Kai that's not even a thing, so he fitted a silent mechanism for me, and there it is! It catches the light beautifully, and is so pretty! (All the round things are 'crystals', so it sparkles in the light.)
Then I was looking at pretty bedding on amazon, and found this...
Couldn't resist - and it's gorgeous. Jewel coloured and wonderful thick soft pure cotton, feels fantastic against the skin. Debating getting another...
The orchids are doing well. GO has a new flower spike (I had planned to repot it when it had finished flowering but that will have to wait now)
EO's current flowers are a lot smaller than they should be, so when it's finished I shall cut the whole spike off and let it sleep for a few months - it's been in flower now for about a year and a half and the rest will do it good.
RO is now down to one (perfect) flower, so perhaps not as long lasting as the others, but still an absolute beauty.
Tyjer is being his usual self...
We recently bought a decent DVD/Bluray multi region player - we now have one device instead of three! Much better - and have been buying the odd Bluray now we have a player that actually plays them. Ken and I watched The Purge (which I found up at Cash Converter in Broadwalk, along with Prison Break season 3: the two of them for £2.60. I like the two main actors in this - they were great together in Legends of Tomorrow so wanted to see them together in something else, and at that price it doesn't matter if I hate it!) The Purge is interesting - thought-provoking, which I hadn't expected. Won't buy any more, but it was good to see the first one.
Zodiac has great reviews, and with that cast I thought we'd give it a go. It's rather good!
We all watched Watchmen (the film) in preparation for Watchmen (the series). The series takes its cue from the graphic novel ending though, so I had to explain to K&K what that was. We still prefer the film ending, but the series is very good indeed.
And then there's The Orville. Bloody hell. I'd say Orville and Expanse are THE best sci-fi available today. Orville is superb. It's touted as Star Trek as it should have been, and yes, in part it is, but it's so much more... Half way through season 1 I HAD to order season 2, which arrived yesterday, so we'll probably start it tonight. Fabulous series.
(Also bought The Expanse season 4 on Bluray (was cheaper than DVD, no idea why), but we'll have to watch season 3 first as it's been a couple of years...)
And then it was my birthday, and I got a fantastic present - my first Covid-19 innoculation at Stockwood Medical Centre! Surprisingly easy and quick, completely painless, and apart from feeling a bit more tired and achey than usual I feel fine now. Hoping K&K can get theirs soon too.
The other presents were fantastic too - Alpahville and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead, and a moon lamp and organic chocolates and The Lathe of Heaven, a gorgeous little Chokin pot from Kai, and robot soap (yes, you did read that right, thanks Sue!), and a bottle of Prosecco from Kim, who I discovered had her first jab in January, as she's a key worker with the Brandon Trust, so fingers crossed we can start going swimming again when Jubilee Pool reopens end of March!
And today Kai and I planted garlic and Dutch irises in the garden and saw the biggest bumblebees ever in the heathers: I have a good dozen tomato shoots on kitchen window/in the greenhouse during the day, while Ken went for a walk with Dawn and to pick up some oxygenating plants for the pools, to encourage the frogs and any newts that are still here. The daphne up at the greenhouse has only just started flowering and the perfume is filling the back garden already - absolutely beautiful. Happy garden. Happy owners!
Will try for a rest tomorrow!