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)

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:

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...

I now have an Amazon wish list - find it here. But please be warned most of the things on it are yaoi. If you don't like yaoi, or don't know what it is, you probably won't want to take a look.

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
::SciFan [>]
- THE place for your S-F reading needs
[::..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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Catching up... 

Last week was pretty full of appointments, again. On the Thurs Kai and I went out to Almondsbury Garden Centre for lunch and to take a look: the main part is currently out of action as the last (probably) phase of the refurb is taking place. But we had a great lunch, picked up a few bits and pieces, and found out that the asparagus plants won't be ready until the last week of Jan, so will get back in Feb to see what they have.

Films watched: Danger: Diabolik which is even dafter and campier than I remembered, but good fun (and I found The Golden Voyage of Sinbad up at Pink Planet, so we now have three John Phillip Law films); Pom Poko, which is giggle-worthy [bemused head shakings at all the testicle humour] with a bitter-sweet ending; and Romeo and Juliet, which has been sitting in the pile waiting to be watched for at least a couple of years. Quite enjoyed it, but it'll never be a favourite.

Yesterday was dad T's funeral.

The trip down was quiet and pretty...

Crepuscular rays just outside Bristol.

Devon coast.

And more.

Looking back towards Exmouth.

Order of Service

View from outside the Royal Hotel.

As we were leaving.

It was a nice service (if you can call a funeral nice), and meeting all mum T's friends and neighbours afterwards at the hotel was pleasant. I'm relieved she has so many good people around her to help, as well as Arfs and Chris, of course, who have been absolutely invaluable.

He will be deeply missed.

In a couple of hours I have to get into Bristol to sort out a problem with the bank. Forecast is for rain (heavy later) all day. Oh joy...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to hear things went as well as they could. And rather fortunate that the weather held off. Do you have white stuff yet?

5:19 pm  

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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The filmfest continues...

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Hadn't realised it was the very first Studio Ghibli film - it's fantastic! I think we're now collecting SG films - we have Pom Poko on order, and Fopp had several others in the special offer...

Space Battleship Yamato was even better than I was expecting, a rollicking fun film, with all the young heroism and doomed love necessary for such an epic. Great stuff!

I picked up Eye in the Sky before Yule, as it was Alan Rickman's last film. Not our usual fare, but ye gods. Completely compelling and yet so hard to watch. A wonderful film.

And today we saw Passengers in 3D at the Showcase...

Wow. What an incredibly beautiful, powerful film. Lawrence and Pratt aren't really amongst my favourite actors, but both of them showed such range and expression in this. And the cinematography was just superb. I'd like one of those ships, please. And I definitely want that infinity pool!

This is the first film I've seen that has me working out if we can make do with our old DVD player and TV until we can afford a 3D set up. Will be doing some pricing up over the next few weeks to see how feasible it is (ideally I'd like the lounge turned into a home cinema, but we don't have that much free cash at the moment...) Of course, it'll mean replacing several of the old DVDs with the 3D versions, but we can do that bit by bit.

In the meantime, Kai would like to see Rogue One. Personally I'm not fussed - the Star Wars films are beginning to feel like the same story rehashed, only bigger, with every release, and that gets boring. But the reviews are good, and Lutra saw it (though didn't have time to express an opinion, if I remember rightly) so I'll probably be persuaded. Kai's not back to Uni until the 23rd, so we have time.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 ends - finally. 

I usually like to go out on a positive note, but in general this year has been fucking awful.

Not for us personally - it's been mostly good. The 25 year debt of the mortgage was cleared and the property is now ours. Kai is two years and three months post transplant, and physically all is going very well (although he's now on citalopram and having counselling, but I think we're coping). Ken has finished his 12 week course of Sofosbuvir, the latest and most effective course of treatment for Hep C, and although we won't know for sure until his next blood test (in about a month), so far everything is looking very good. Fingers crossed.

But the rest... The disaster that is Brexit. The appalling situation in the States, and in the Middle East. The deaths of so many supremely talented and much loved people... Of my personal favourites, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Anton Yelchin, Victoria Wood, Richard Adams, Jerry Doyle...

And can't forget Prince, Gene Wilder, Robert Vaughn, Leonard Cohen, Debbie Reynolds, Muhammad Ali, Caroline Aherne, George Kennedy, Frank Finlay, Zsa Zsa Gabor...

And dad T, of course.

And all the rest.

And in their place we're left with Toadface Farage, and that hideous, unholy offspring of a pig and a mudskipper over the pond, and the poisonous excrescence that drags on its miserable, pointless existence as a putrescent carbuncle on the arse of our neighbourhood.

Life - and death - can be very unfair.

Oh, and adding insult to injury, I've developed an allergy to platinum. I can't wear my wedding ring any more without the skin under it going red and blistering, itching like hell and painful at the same time - it's called wedding ring dermatitis and it's a bloody nuisance. It's uncommon with platinum - more often caused by nickel - but once you have it, it never goes away. Needless to say I am not happy.

So, while I'm glad to see the back of 2016, I find myself unable to summon up any optimism for 2017. Just please, please, please let it not be as bad as this year has been.

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Friday, December 30, 2016

Where were we? Ah, yes...

Food porn for Lutra.

Boxing Day Buffet. Went down so well I'm doing something very similar for New Year's Brunch too!

The afternoon was sunny: Ken took advantage of the weather to adjust my bike seat (Kai and I weren't strong enough to turn the bolts: even Ken struggled!) and get the root barrier in the ground up on the slope, then the next day we planted the photinia (finally! Much happier now...) I planted low-growing thyme around the plum tree in an attempt to keep the long grass from getting too close (and save me a job keeping it under control). Will need to pick up some more - or split my oregano plants and move them - but in principle it's a good plan.

Wed 28th Ken was back to work and since the weather was glorious, Kai and I went to Wells for the afternoon...

Lovely day, and we bussed back in the sunset.

Films. We've now watched most of the new DVDs: Mulan, probably my favourite Disney ever, Bambi, which Kai had never seen, Princess Mononoke, which is absolutely extraordinary, and Spy. Before we watched this I took a look at the reviews/comments on the IMDb, and found something quite interesting. Most of the US watchers hated it, gave it a 1 or 2. Most of the UK and European watchers loved it and gave it 6 and above. Given that, we went into it with open minds...

And loved it! It's gloriously funny, witty, surprisingly subtle in places, and a damn good watch. The only annoying bit were the dick pics - can't work out why they were included, unless for shock value, as as far as I could see they added nothing to the plot. But regarding the reviews/comments - I would tentatively conclude that the humour was a bit too restrained for American tastes, and/or most of the reviewers were males whose whiny, fragile egos couldn't cope with a strong, skilled, superbly competent, FAT woman. In other words, a perfectly normal woman doing what perfectly normal women do (well, OK, we're not all spies, but the vast majority of us are strong, skilled multi-taskers. And a lot of us are plus-sized too...) I assume these were the same whiners who hated the new Ghostbusters, and for exactly the same reasons. Personally, I'm delighted to see women being represented more accurately in films!

And Jason Statham was hysterical in it.

Yesterday was a relaxed day - cleared up some emails, and it was sunny again, Kai helped me with the Tesco shop. Today I make a start on a general cleanup, so we can start 2017 with a clean house. Not my favourite of jobs but very satisfying when done.

Welcome back Lutra! Glad the laptop is now fixed and you're online again.

Later, all!

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Thanks GoodTwin! Love it!

It's been a strange 25th. Woke at 8.20, made coffee for Ken - then the phone went. Mum T, with the sad news that dad T had died in the night. Arfs and Chris were on their way over, so at least she had family with her today. As you know, it was expected, and we said our goodbyes when we went down there, but not at all a nice way to start xmas for mum...

The rest of the day went well. Brunch was crepes with smoked salmon, asparagus and scrambled egg for Ken and I (Kai had crepes with golden syrup), then we opened presents... Oh my, what a wonderful haul! In DVDs - The Draughtsman's Contract and an amazing looking LotR Trivial Pursuit quiz from GoodTwin, and Vampire Princess Miyu (the first one), Blood, the Last Vampire (live action version), and Space Battleship Yamato (again, live action - really looking forward to watching that one!) from Sue - and from Wendy, with a note that said "This was sooo silly we just had to let you share!", Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Which we watched this evening. Uh... yerrs. Thanks for that. I think. It ranks with Plan 9 for cinematic brilliance and comprehensible plot. The best things about it were child Pia Zadora as a Martian youngster, and the wonderful line, "... with the power of twelve megatrons..." Very very silly indeed...

Over the last two days K&K have moved the green apple and the plum trees to their final growing spots. There's space now to put in root barrier and get the photinia into place, move the dogwood, and transplant the native privet up in Kai's meadow. But not all at once. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks. It's a great start though, and meant they both got a little bit of exercise in today's sunny spells.

I made roast duck for dinner. Gressingham now sell their ducks in a roasting bag, which I tried, and ye gods it makes everything so much easier! Tender succulent meat instead of dry and overcooked, which I normally manage to do, crisp golden skin with just one basting... Served with creamed mash, honey-glazed whole tiny carrots and peas, Brussel's sprouts with chestnuts, warmed plum and hoisin sauce (which Kai really liked!), fine beans, pigs in a blanket, and a couple of very tasty (bought) individual stuffings - small balls, and stars of outdoor bred pork, cranberry, and apple, which were delicious. And we had Prosecco to drink. (Sorry, bit of food porn for Lutra there!) Kai had chosen a very nice Iceland Yule log for dessert: he pointed out he'd never had one. Ken and I put Bailey's double cream with ours. Tasty!

Tired now, it's been a long but really nice day (despite the news). Although I was less than delighted to find out Matt Lucas is apparently going to be the next Dr Who (co-)companion. I'm not at all fond of him.

I'm all organised for tomorrow as well, making the usual brunch buffet but with tastier, more unusual and better quality items than in the past. Will try to take photos for you, Lutra! Dinner will be mixed cold meats and salad - and I picked up some chocolate mousse stars while at Iceland. Should be good!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Oooh, it's been decades since I saw Draughtsman's Contract (don't think I understood what was going on, tbh!)

Sad news but as you said, not unexpected.

8:15 pm  

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Did Tesco and Sains small shops, just to pick up the last few bits. K&K went to Whitchurch again, and found the grave they were looking for. Then after dinner we watched Suicide Squad, which was... disappointing. Not bad, exactly, just... not that good.

Photos of commissions. Haven't had time to get them into the frame yet: will try to do that tomorrow.

They look much better in real life!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Lutra) They are amazing! :D

10:23 pm  

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And then it all got busy again...

Monday night we watched TMNT2, which is daft and silly and makes very little sense (Bay had a hand in it. 'Nuff said). It was fun though, and the characters appealing. Very much 'park brain at door' fare, but enjoyable.

Tuesday I'd planned to get into town with Kai for shopping, but he was too tired so went in alone: Wild Oats, Better Food, Vinegar Hill (gorgeous cards), Fopp: had Studio Ghibli DVDs at £13 each or two for £20, so picked up Princess Mononoke, which Kai has been asking for, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which I've wanted to see for ages, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which is a classic we've never seen and not to be left behind at only £3 - and Zoolander 2. Which absolutely does NOT deserve its low rating. It spoofs itself remorselessly, takes the piss, has homages to all sorts of other films all the way through, is very strange and very funny. We watched it that night. I loved it, K&K enjoyed it, and I now want to watch both films back to back.

Yesterday was our anniversary, of course - 27th! We had a mellow morning, then Kai had a drs appt in the afternoon, so I took advantage of being at Broadwalk to finally get my Musa commissions printed (going to try to trim and frame them tomorrow, there will be photos!) and pick up bird food. We ordered an extremely nice curry out and watched Warcraft: The Beginning, which - once you get past the visual similarities to LotR - is an absolutely crackin' film! Wonderful, complex characters, most intriguing story, and very nice CG fx. Can't wait for the sequel!

The 27th anniversary isn't one of the regular ones, but the modern take is 'sculpture'. I found Ken a heavy chunk of umpteen million year old fossilised seabed that had been carved into a letter holder: Ken gave me this...

It's a jade chop - a Chinese seal which is stamped on letters etc as a signature. One of his workmates went back to Singapore in the summer, and he asked her if it could be made for me. It's absolutely beautiful: the top is a double headed dragon, the images on the sides are (I'm told) the mushrooms of immortality, and the character is 'yuan' "which means the source of energy. Traditionally it indicates a source like a spring (the three lines on the left are water), but nowadays it means the source of electrical energy too. It also has connotations of wealth". So, Joules (= units of energy)! (It's also comprised of 13 strokes, which is my lucky number.) I love it, and will be using it when I can. Pity you can't stamp emails!

Today was two lots of shopping, and taking Kai to The Zone (our hairdresser in Sandy Park Rd) to get his ears pierced. He's wanted it done for a while, but Prof Marks said to wait two years post transplant. He's now at 2 years 3 months, and since he's terrible at giving me wish lists - gets it from his dad, Ken is the same - I said we'd pay for it as a Yule present, which he was very happy with. He's gone for tiny 'emerald' studs, which are subtle and discreet and look great! In six weeks he can exchange them for others - so we now have the fun of finding out what suits him/what he prefers. And presents for the next couple of years are sorted, at least!

He's also shaved off his beard and moustache, partly because he has a touch of dermatitis on his lower face and wants to see if he can clear it with the cream he's been given, and partly for a change. He looks great - it really suits him and makes him look younger. I expect we'll see the beard again, but now he's happy with both looks so he can vary it.

Tonight we watched Space Cowbioys, another film Kai fancied. Most enjoyable!

Ken's brother Arfs rang during it: their dad has been taken ill (more ill than he was before, that is) and Arfs wanted to know if Ken wanted to be kept advised (which of course he does). I'm grateful Arfs and Chris are so close to Babbacombe: at least they can be there, even if we can't. We don't think it will be long, now.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Lutra. anonymous again)

Congratulations! Could you make a print of your chop then digiphotograph to make a pic? Then you could add it to your emails!

The Warcraft movie was here in the cinemas for about 5 days, I think! Ok, probably longer, but not much. I had meant to see it.

(We watched Die Hard yesterday. There was a comment going around on facebook to the effect of 'xmas doesn't start until Hans Gruber falls from the Nakotomi Tower :) I'd concur)

10:23 pm  

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Monday, December 19, 2016

... WOW... a whole day with no appts, and no need to go shopping. Quick, get blog updated!!

So, following on from the last update... After lunch, Kai and I went back into town for his appt: I did a little shopping. The Yule market is taking up most of Broadmead: will take Kai there when we're next in for a good look round.

The rest of that week and the start of last was mainly shopping, washing, general housekeeping, Yule card (and accompanying letter) writing and posting, and trying to get organised so I can have some time off!

Pretty rainbows!

Last week Kai was suffering with another bug - a bit nasty this one, swollen glands and very sore throat - so since most of his classes had finished I had him stay here and work from home. (Got his last project in early this morning, so now he can relax until the New Year. He has one exam, on the 10th of Jan, I think.) He was well enough to go to the carol service on Thursday, however.

It was lovely! We had a very funny MC to introduce all the musician and choirs, and the speakers - a doctor, a senior staff nurse, the Chief Executive of the charity, and three ex-patients, fund raisers all, who'd all benefited from the work of the BHOC, BHI and BRI as a whole (Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, Bristol Heart Institute, and Bristol Royal Infirmary, for anyone not sure.) We were treated to the Bristol Citadel Brass band, the Cosmos Children's Community Choir, the Above and Beyond Singers, the Welsh Wizard (Byron Jones) Organist, two members of the Bristol Opera - Abigail Rogers and Georgia Katsiroumpa, and the Thornbury Ukeaholics. Our ex-patient speakers were Tom, a 16 yr old who'd been diagnosed with and treated for a brain tumour when he was just 5, Simon, who'd suffered a heart attack at 40, and a Michelle, a grandmother who'd had a liver transplant a few years ago.

The best news was that the charity have reached their £6,000,000 goal. The funds raised have supported the BHOC and BHI, funded the haploidentical allogeneic stem cell transplant trials which saved Kai's life (the only 'silver lining' in the whole experience of the last four years is that what we - he and I - did will now go on to help hundreds of other people), and bought a microwave ablation system for the BRI. And the fund raising continues!

It was a wonderful celebration of life (and made me tearful in a couple of places). We both sang (Kai usually won't) and really enjoyed the whole event. A fantastic introduction to the festive season!

On the 17th GoodTwin and Sue visited, which was, as usual, a wonderfully happy and funny and stress-busting occasion, in which I learned I know soddall about the Carry On films but that I can, sometimes, read GoodTwin's mind.

And we all loved Sue's card! (It's by Newton and the Apple - must give them due credit!)

Thank you both - I had a fabulous day!

Yesterday was stupidly manic. Ken came with me to help with the shopping - of course Sains was full, so it took much longer than usual. Then it occurred to me that I'd need to watch the Strictly Come Dancing finals on replay before we went to the BHOC for Kai's venesection, in case someone talked about it - only to find that the programme was 2 hours 15 mins long and we only had an hour before we had to get the bus! Cue fast-forwarding through most of it and only stopping for the dances... This season has been the most fantastic fun - I somehow doubt anyone who watched will ever be able to get the image of Ed Balls dancing Gangnam Style out of their head. I don't think even brain bleach will work!

And then no-one mentioned it...

But we got in in plenty of time, and since the day unit is usually quiet on a Sunday, Kai was able to get the whole thing over early and speedily, and we came back on the number 2 bus, walking down Talbot Hill and admiring all the sparkly Yule lights. His last ferritin level was down to 2,100 odd, so heading in the right direction!

And that's me now about up to date. There's still a fair bit to do (and buy), we have a couple of appts still this week, but the main rush is over. Ken is taking annual leave Wed through Fri, and Mon and Tues next week are Bank Holidays, so he has a clear week off over Yule. We're planning a quiet holiday -

with lots of DVD watching. Over and above the Yule-related films I've picked up over the years - Santa Claus The Movie, Scrooged, Frozen, Rise of the Guardians, The Polar Express, Jingle All the Way, and of course Love, Actually (which I adore and which is the only chickflick I've ever liked), this year I've picked up a whole slew of new films, including Spy, Suicide Squad and Warcraft: the Beginning. (No, never played the game but the blurb suggest you don't need to know the background for the film to make sense...) Should be fun!

Finally - food porn for Lutra. This is our new Sains bakery (late in the day, alas, when some of the cakes are completely sold out). All extremely tempting!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was indeed a fun day! So glad you liked the card; I did the moment I saw it - and thought of you :)

(anonymous because from work)

1:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is me, with my nose pressed against the display case!
(that all sounds really busy!) Die Hard is an excellent Xmas movie, too.

(Lutra. Anonymous cos can never remember my password/ID and by the time I've worked through it blogger has invariably eaten my comment :)

10:27 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Ah yes, of course! Die Hard is great fun!

10:44 pm  

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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

I have an hour or so before Kai arrives back for lunch, should be time for an update...

Rang for my blood test results on Fri - I need to have my levothyroxine dose increased. Oh joy. Have a telephone consultation with my dr booked for this Fri, will find out the details then.

On Sat we got the train down to Babbacombe. Dad T was moved into the hospice (just over the road from their home, two minute amble away) a day ago, so we went to visit with mum T and the two little dogs (Pomeranians, Poppy and her son Misty, absolutely adorable and such a comfort to mum).

He's looking so frail and small. I've always known him as a sturdy, determined man, and to see him like this is awful. His mind is as sharp as ever though, and he told us a little bit of his history that he's never mentioned before. Strictly speaking it comes under the Official Secrets Act, which he signed as an army engineer during the war, so I can't say much (though I am very strongly tempted to turn it into a story - or maybe a book), but it was obviously very important to him that we knew before he goes. I am honoured to be so trusted.

We didn't stay long - he tires very easily - but I believe he enjoyed the visit. And he was very happy to see Kai, and very proud of him (his smile when we told him Kai is studying for his Master of Engineering degree was wonderful). All in all I think we made his day.

Afterwards Ken helped his mum back to the flat, and Kai and I took a (freezing cold and extremely windy) walk along Babbacombe Downs. I'd forgotten my camera (still cursing myself for that) so I'm afraid there are no pics, but the sea was gloriously grey and stormy, with white caps almost out to the horizon.

When we got back, mum let me read dad's will (Ken can't read anything without his glasses these days, so I usually do the reading for us both), so we know what's what and what dad has organised for his own funeral.

On the way back we had a 55 minute wait at Newton Abbot, so found a fast food place where we could eat in at the sole table, and had rather tasty beefburgers. The trains were very quiet (until Taunton, when we got a group of foul mouthed but non-aggressive yobs sitting behind us) and the trip as a whole reasonably pleasant. And it's made us both consider our own plans. We really need to rewrite our wills, and think about whether we want to appoint a solicitor as executor. It would save a lot of hassle. I want the cheapest possible thing (basically, if the medical profession can use anything they're welcome to it: if not, bung me in a cardboard box and stick me in the garden (well, OK, a field or wood or something) and plant a tree over me. Preferably a thorn tree!

Ken says that's one of the more expensive funerals, cremation is cheaper. But that causes pollution, so... I'm exploring options.

In any event, there's to be no service or anything like that. I'd like everyone to have a drink at my expense though, and I want Linking Park's What I've Done played. I love this song. You can all imagine me singing it!

Sunday was catch up day, a whole load of shopping, washing and organising for the week.

Yesterday Ken had a day off, and Andrew from Crystal Clear arrived at 2.30 to measure up the windows. We're opting for the simplest configuration (which is helpfully also the cheapest!) to allow as much light in as possible while still providing security and complying with fire regulations. To my surprise and delight the cost is about half what I was expecting, so we will be going ahead with at least some of the work early next summer. Can't do it before then, both financially and because Kai wants his room redecorated, so I'll use the window replacement to tackle that job. Everything needs to be moved out of the way for the window installers in any event, and I'd rather not have to do it twice!

Kai and I have decided to pool our Yule present money from the folks and buy one of these. I've always wanted a telescope (asked for one for my 18th birthday but was told it was a boy's thing so I couldn't have one. Then Ian got one for his...) and this seems to be a good one. It doesn't come with a motor, but we can pick one up in the future: found an appropriate EQ3 for £70, so we will probably pool our birthday present money too and get one next year.

Then all we need are some cloudless nights!

Right - up to date. Later, all!

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Blogger Sue said...

I've tried to imagine you singing that song but the visuals aren't quite there. I think I need a practical demonstration. Say, next Saturday....?

That's a wonderful present for you both!

8:18 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

... you seriously want me to sing? Better bring your earplugs!
Looking forward to it!

9:27 pm  
Anonymous GoodTwin said...

Sorry to hear about the in-laws' decline - it's never easy.

Maybe we should have our own carol service? :)

10:00 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...


Only if we can filk the carols!

10:59 am  

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Happy Winter! 

Meteorologically speaking anyway, although it's certainly cold enough. The ice hasn't melted in 48 hours and I believe it's still -2° out there...

Very brief catch up before lunch. Monday I had the latest blood test to check my levothyroxine levels (need to ring surgery for results tomorrow pm). Tuesday was the Carers' Steering Group meeting in town from 11 - 1 (useful, although it does look like everyone has assumed I am going to volunteer as a Carers Rep, even though I've said I don't have the time to commit right now...), then I got a little shopping done in the Galleries before physio at 3, where I got read the riot act for doing too much. (Heh, someone get me a robotic servant and I'll stop!)

Yesterday was relatively relaxed. Today I've got all the Yule decorations in from the shed and this evening, if we've time, we'll start putting them up. Main tree is already up - though not yet decorated - in the lounge, and I'll do my black tree out here after lunch. I've bought some outdoor lights for the wisteria, too, this year!

The next couple of weeks will be busy as usual. We need to get to Babbacombe at some point, to visit mum and dad Taylor. It will probably be the last time we see them: dad T has cancer (melanoma on his face: it was removed, but has come back and gone inwards and there's nothing they can do now), and mum T has macular degeneration which wasn't caught early enough: she's all but blind. Added to that they're in their 90s... Andrew from Crystal Clear is visiting to measure up and give us a quote to replace the windows, Kai has venesection, BMT Clinic, dr's appt, and another counselling appt, and we're going to the Above and Beyond Carol Service at Bristol cathedral. I know, it's a bit 'traditional' for us, but I like singing carols and Kai fancied something traditional. Plus the money all goes to a very personally important charity.

Then GoodTwin and Sue are coming to visit!

I'm cautiously hopeful this Yule will be good. Kai is much stronger and fitter than the last four years (two years three months post transplant now) and fighting off bugs that much more easily. It's going to be quiet, as usual (though if the weather is nice it might be possible to go for a walk or even a bike ride), but we like that.

Right, lunch, the tree and then next!Poppy started...

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Finally. Next!Poppy - book 7, chapter 25, Advances - now posted in The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!


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Another quick catch up...

Picked up Ghostbusters and Star Trek Beyond at Tesco on Mon, and we watched the former after dinner (thought it would be a light-hearted way to end a bit of a grim, wet Monday). It's great fun! Follows the format of the original enough to be familiar, but with enough differences to be interesting. And Chris Hemsworth is hysterical in it! We all thoroughly enjoyed it, and I really hope it has at least one sequel. Star Trek, however...

I'd heard the aim was to have it feel more like an original episode this time around. It succeeded - but I want more than that these days. The tired old format left me yawning. The best thing about it is the Yorktown space station (why the hell didn't I think of that?!) which is glorious. The rest - meh.

Tuesday's Kabuki/Ukiyo-e ('pictures of the floating world') lecture was great, intriguing and informative. Ken and I both enjoyed it. I rather hope the lecturer will produce a book based on the new hand scroll (and that it's a bit cheaper than her others!) as I'd love to take a closer look.

Kai's haematology clinic appt on Wed went well. His bloods are normal, his health good (well, there's the endless winter bugs but these days that goes without saying. They're damned persistent this year, mine hasn't gone yet) and all in all they're very pleased. As are we all, needless to say.

Yesterday was my carers' meeting at the Vassall Centre - this time on Carers' Rights (10 - 3: a long day with free lunch included). Useful and interesting, and I'm still strongly tempted to volunteer as a Carers Rep. Will rethink come next year and see if I have any more time to commit to it (it looks like Ken's new meds are working, and Kai is slowly becoming more independent, so signs are good). I booked myself in for a 10 minute reflexology free taster session (Sensory Heaven - "Sensory Heaven specialises in holistic treatments including Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Indian head massage, Baby massage, facials, manicures and pedicures, and waxing. Its therapists are expert in providing group work within day centres and residential homes, as well as private referrals. Sensory Heaven will be in Spur 8, where special dark and light ‘mood’ rooms are being created, along with a massage room and reception area") which was completely wonderful. I have a money-off voucher for a half hour carers' session (every third Monday of the month) which I might very well treat myself to in the New Year...

Then it was back into town to suffer the Black Friday crowds to find a couple of Yule presents, then Sain to pick up dinner (in-store made pizza last night, followed up by the 1978 version of Dr Strange, which I found cheap on amazon while trying to check when the new one will be available to buy. Adrian had transferred my ancient VCR tape of the film to disc for me, but the tape had been so old and overused the quality was poor. The official film was only released this Oct - presumably to take advantage of the interest the new film has garnered, I guess - and is still fun).

And so to today. Ken has gone to Westbury-on-Trym to photograph the tomb of an ancestor (I think!): Kai is getting some homework done (I hope!), and I'm about to get stuck into next!Poppy. I'd really like to post it this weekend...

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Brief catchup while I continue searching for my will to live, which went AWOL after recent events (I am disgusted by and seriously ashamed of certain swathes of my adopted species...)

In no particular order: Gods of Egypt came up on Filmflex. Kai had I had seen the trailer and thought it looked like fun, so we hired it on Friday evening. It's not a great film, but it is loads of fun, very pretty, nice CGI, fun characters, reasonable story. Most enjoyable - we ended up watching it three times in the 48 hours we had it available and will pick up the DVD when it's cheap. Then Independence Day: Resurgence showed up unannounced at Sains. I suggested we catch it first on Filmflex then buy it when it came down in price (they all do, eventually), but Ken said since we would buy it anyway, and the cost would be about the same, let's buy it now...

It's dreadful. Really horrible. Hugely disappointing. I can't think of a single redeeming feature (well, maybe the CGI...)

Kai and I also watched Exposed (found it, unopened, in a charity shop for £1.50 and since I like Keanu Reeves...) Hm. Kai liked it a lot more than I did. Strange film.

Last venesection was quick and easy, though left him feeling more tired than usual (they took 500 mls instead of 450 - might have had something to do with it). His ferritin level is now down to 2013 - we're getting there!

I have a nasty cold and have lost my voice...

There's also been more gardening, more tidying up of cupboards, more shopping (Sains closed last Tues for its final bit of the refit, so Ive had to shop at Tesco. Sains should be open again this Tues, fingers crossed. Both supermarkets are about the same distance from us, but I much prefer Sains for quality and choice). Yesterday Ken and I went out: crickets for Rosa, Crystal Clear to arrange a visit to have the windows measured and quoted for, so we can see which we can have replaced first, Hurrans for new secateurs, then Toys R Us, where I found the figure of IDW Ultra Magnus (Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accord) that I've been lusting after at nearly half price (£29.99 instead of the original £55) so he's now put away for my birthday. Or maybe Yule next year...

That's about it. I am still trying to get next!Poppy finished, but as I say, will to live diminished right now. I shall be ending The Poppy Tales in the current 'book' though. Gone off writing about humans.

(I've now set the blog to the recommended https settings, so if anyone has any problems viewing it, please let me know.)

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Tuesday, November 08, 2016


Well, needless to say it's been busy. The weekend 29th/30th saw us all in the garden at some point, with more tidying up/organising happening. On Mon I picked up the bike and walked him home: on Tues Kai had his first counselling session (went OK, enough that he's going again) and I did a little shopping during it (now have bike lock): Wed... I forget. Thurs too. Probably more housekeeping. Fri we watched Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and enjoyed it - it's quite amusing! Sat and Sun were in the garden again: the second raised bed is now built, though not filled yet, and K&K had a bonfire in the incinerator to get rid of all the old wood. It's a lot tidier and easier to get to things now.

Yesterday was a lot of shopping, and I picked up X-Men: Apocalypse, just out on DVD. Kai and I saw it at the cinema, but Ken hadn't , so we watched it after dinner. Fun stuff. Looking forward to the next now.

(Should probably also mention that over the last week we've watched season 2 of Dead Like Me and loved it! Ken found it and the later film, Dead Like Me: Life after Death which is loads of fun, dirt cheap in a charity shop. It's nice having complete sets of things.)

And today Kai and I went to see Doctor Strange. Lutra knows I've been havering about this, as the original comic book chara is one of my all-time favourite superheroes, but I find BC's face to be perhaps the creepiest I've ever seen. I haven't been able to bring myself to watch him in anything except the second Star Trek movie, which was hugely disappointing. I know I must be the only person in the world to feel this way, but I can't help it.

So it was with some trepidation I bought the tickets, sat down, and shoved on the 3D glasses...

Heh. I needn't have worried. While his face is still creepy (I think it's the eyes?) the film itself is a damn-near perfect retelling of the Doctor Strange story. And he plays the character perfectly. After a while I forgot about his face and just enjoyed it. Fabulous sfx of course, and wonderful characters. It's a fantastic ride and I can't wait for the sequel! (If anyone reading this is planning to go see it, make sure you sit through all the credits. There's a scene just after the main credits, as usual, to set things up for the sequel (probably!), but at the very end of the film there's another one that sets up a second story arc. Most intriguing!

Will try not to take so long updating next time. Main problem is when I have time to do it, I'm usually too tired...

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Blogger Sue said...

Blogger ate my previous comment so in case it was due to length I'll just say thanks for the Dr Strange review and I hope to see it soon.

9:20 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

[G] I was very impressed! No doubt I'll find some flaws the next few times I watch it, but for now, WOW. I walked out of the cinema with a whacking great grin on my face - Kai was amused! He also loved the film, and he knew very little about the chara/story before we went, just the few small infobytes I gave as a teaser (rather than a spoiler).
Oh, and the soundtrack is glorious. Will be buying it soon!

9:29 pm  

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Friday, October 28, 2016

I haz a bike!

(Well, I will have when I pick it up on Monday...)

OK, an explanation is in order, obviously.

Kai enjoys cycling, but has no one to go with. I used to enjoy riding, though I haven't actually ridden a bike for 42 years. I've idly fancied getting one for a while, but never enough to pay much for it.

Last Wed I had a Carer's Assessment visit from Carla at Carers Support services. These assessments are fairly new, and designed to help carers themselves: if accepted, the carer is eligible to a one-off payment of £300 to treat themselves to something. Themselves: you have to specify what you plan to spend it on (and keep the receipt) so they can see you spent it on yourself rather than on other people/general shopping. I am eligible - so I suggested a bike. Originally I thought electric bike, but the cheapest reasonable one is nearly two grand, far too expensive. So I thought about an ordinary bike instead, and on Wed I met Kai from uni, treated us to paninis at The Refectoire again, then we went over to Cycle Republic in Union Street to get some advice...

Getting the right bike isn't so easy for me any more. With the problems with my hips and back I can't actually raise either leg very high, so I can't cope with a high cross bar. I tried a Pendleton Women's step-through, but even that was a bit high (I find balancing on one leg very difficult since that bout of vertigo I had a couple of years back). So today I went up to Halfords, and there it was...

Easy to step through, comfortable seat, only 6 gears (I've never ridden a bike with gears so that'll be fun!) and high enough handlebars that using it won't put too much pressure on my hands (the carpal tunnel syndrome is getting worse, and my dr has now referred me for a steroid injection into my right hand - oh joy... She did, however, confirm that cycling is an excellent exercise for back pain, as, like swimming, it's weightless exercise. So that's good!) I was amused that the young assistant who served me called it a 'sit up and beg' bike - I thought that term went out of use back when I stopped riding!

Anyway - I found a helmet that matches it, and a couple of fun things at Tesco on the way back:

That is a truly horrendous 'clown' type horn. Too many people ignore bike bells these days - they won't be able to ignore that! And yes, that is a teal-coloured car freshener ('Ocean Paradise' fragrance). The thought of hanging a freshener on a bike came near to making me giggle - I couldn't resist it! And the Bumblebee is a little wind up torch.

Brief bit of clarification: there is a role player on tumblr who plays a Shattered Glass universe Prime Knock Out. Prime Knock Out is a Decepticon, of course - but in the Shattered Glass universe the roles are completely reversed, with the Decepticons being the good guys and the Autobots the bad. The good Knock Out is teal coloured instead of red - so the new bike is going to be called Knock Out (because most of my 'toys' end up with Tf names). And Bumblebee is of course one of the favourite 'Bots (not to me, but most fans like him).

A bit convoluted that, but now you know!

Will report back on how I get on later. First ride we plan is along the river cyclepath - quiet, not too long, and completely flat. Kai will need to service his bike first though.

In other news, Wendy came to visit yesterday. It was fantastic - we just sat and talked and watched the pilot ep of Dead Like Me, which Wendy had never seen, and then, continuing the Mandy Patinkin theme, Alien Nation (the original film). It was wonderfully relaxing! Many thanks, Wendy!

We've now finished watching Charlie Jade. It's slow-paced and tricky to follow, so close attention needs to be paid, and some of it is difficult to understand, but overall it's pretty amazing. The tension develops relentlessly, and there are some extremely unpleasant interludes... I've never seen anything like it and I really wish there'd been another season. Alas, much like other thought-provoking works, it was cancelled...

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was reduced at Sains, so I bought it to watch tonight!

To end - this is my prunus. Its autumn colours are glorious!

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Blogger Sue said...

An excellent idea, treating the careers and what a good choice for you. Good luck with the riding!
The autumn colours are beautiful at the minute, aren't they?

10:37 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

That looks fab. I hope you get chance to get out in some good weather before the winter hits.

10:57 am  

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Erk - been a week again...

Let's see. Monday and Tuesday were much as normal - shopping, domestic stuff, a bit of gardening. Wed afternoon Kai wanted to go for a walk, so we got the no 1 bus to Eastwood Farm and walked the circuit of the plateau there.

Dull day, but a nice walk.

On Sat Ken and I went Yule shopping at Wells and Street, which was fun! And quite successful.

Yesterday Kai had venesection - which was astonishingly fast this time, 450 mls in less than 10 mins!

So - not a lot of any great interest, but it was still manically busy.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Just occasionally I find myself struck by - enamoured of - something extremely unlikely. It happened recently -

It's from Tesco, part of their new bedding range, and I think it's lovely. Not pretty of course - everyone knows I never do pretty - just... whimsical. Charming. Light-hearted, Ken called it.

And it matches my orchid.

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Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

That's lovely! (on my bed it'd be pretty, but certainly not on yours...:)

10:03 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

[G] It's delightfully frivolous, and actually very nice to sleep in, being cotton. I like it...

11:26 pm  

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

And on Wednesday Kai arrived back early, so we picked up crickets for Rosa at Pets@Home then headed off on the long-promised walk through Stockwood Open Space...

It's beautiful there.

Quite a walk though - tired by the time we got back.

Much of the rest of the week has been spent getting more done in the garden. The higher raised bed is now up:

Not full of soil yet, that's going to take a little while.

Everything should settle down a bit now.I have some client stuff to get done tomorrow, but then I plan to turn to next!Poppy.

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Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

I continue to be all shades of impressed with your garden - and all the hard work that's going on :)

10:05 am  

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

*sigh* So, despite the flu jab, I went down with flu. A weekend wiped out, high temperature, unable to eat, oh joy. Feeling a bit better today (going to assume that's the effect of the flu jab, as it usually lasts longer than a few days) and should be better again tomorrow. Luckily no-one else caught it (though Kai is currently fending off every bug that's going...)

However, the good news is that the problem with my back isn't spinal stenosis. There's some wear and tear, and a narrowing of one of the channels that a nerve goes through (I haven't actually seen the MRI results yet, my dr told me on the phone last night and I forget the correct medical term) that is most likely causing the pain. I've been referred to the physio clinic (again. I swear I'm going to end up with exercises taking up half my days from now on...) But basically, nothing major to worry about!


Pears in a row! (Or should that be a column?) They've been absolutely delicious this year. It's lovely having so much home-grown fruit!

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Blogger Sue said...

Well that's splendid news about your back and I do like the line of pears!
Hope you are feeling better very soon!

5:27 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

I suppose some age-related problems are to be expected, but it's good to hear it's nothing too major.

Any partridges hiding behind those pears...? :)

10:23 pm  
Blogger Ellel Bee said...

My own flu jab left me feeling very much sub-par for a couple of days. There are things going around here, too, and as what I had did not respond to oscillococinum (I've likely misspelled that), it wasn't fun. Also, many of my friends have complained of feeling unwell post-flu jab. With it so widespread, I'm inclined to believe it is something with the jab itself. But that's just a guess. Our various National Health Services may not even agree on what type of flu will be striking this year. Still, it's odd.

Still not a robot, either (pout).

3:24 pm  
Blogger Ellel Bee said...

PS. I'm hitting the farmer's market on Saturday. We haven't enough sun for pear trees of our own. Jealous!

3:25 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Sue and GoodTwin: no partridges that I've seen, though we do now have six magpies that have adopted the garden. And two sqwrls that have stolen all Ken's nuts from the hazels...

Lin: I don't usually get much of a reaction after a flu jab - think I may have caught this just before I got the jab. It's dragging on still, dammit.

I'd share the pears if I could, but without a transporter they'd be mouldy by the time they got there.

10:55 pm  

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Thursday, October 06, 2016

Let's try again...

Mon 26th Fiona and I took all the old greenhouse glass and the tatty old white garden table to the tip in her SUV, then came back via Hurrans and picked up the photinia. Many thanks Fiona!

Kai has Tuesdays off this term, so we did a little garden work. And I probably shopped: now I can't carry so much I need to shop more often than before. In the evening Kai and I went over to Tesco pharmacy for our flu jabs.

Wed 28th: met Kai in town, treated us to lunch at the Café Réfectoire just outside the bus station (wonderful paninis!) then checked out St Nick's Market and the Antics model shop (I still haven't assembled my Vulcan from last Yule. Now I have the paint I might find the time...) before Kai's haematology appointment at 3.30. Medically, all is absolutely fine, but Dr Lowry has suggested counselling, which I think is a good idea.

Thurs 29th I saw Kai off to Uni then bussed into town, walked from the centre to the Riverside Garden Centre along the New Cut, bought the big pittosporum Silver Sheen, a few other hedging plants - and a sad cotoneaster that was on special, sitting in a tiny pot all forlorn. I couldn't leave her behind...

She's much happier now.

Caught the ferry from the SS Great Britain back to the centre, caught a bus up to the top of Blackboy Hill to get the things I forgot last time I visited Wild Oats and Better Food, walked back down to the Clifton Mall's Sains for the wee bit of shopping I needed, then bussed home.

Fri 30th Riverside delivered everything I'd bought the day before. (It was quite fun to have two grown men drooling over my garden! One of them started planning out how we could be self-sufficient, but been there, done that, too much work these days. My raised beds - which still aren't in place yet - will be quite enough work...) And we watched City of Lost Children which is... odd. And surreal. (I was somewhat thrown by the physical similarity between Dominique Pinon and Brian Downey...)

Sat we settled the cotoneaster, griselinia and laurel after moving the last of the spiraeas over to the old meadow, and planted a bit more behind the greenhouse.

Sun was the usual Sains and Tesco shops. K&K went for a walk to Nightingale Valley.

Ken was on leave Mon - Wed, so we got the area cleared, the root barrier in and the pittosporum planted.

There's more space behind it than I really wanted, to allow room for the wall's foundations. (Yes, we will have a wall built eventually, but not until after him next door has died: I will not have him derive any benefit from anything we do. He's a lifetime smoker and more than 20 years older than we are, we can wait...) In the meantime I'll put in some temporary shrubs to fill the space. Privet perhaps...

The view from the patio doors...

The photinia isn't planted yet: we need to move the fruit trees at the top first and they aren't quite asleep yet.

Mon evening we watched Inception again. Still a real favourite, and this time it made more sense! Wonderful film.

In other news... We've started watching Charlie Jade (again. Ep 1 failed to grip and sent me to sleep the first time.) It's more interesting this time around: will stick with it and see how we go. Kai and I both have colds - I also have a raging sore throat today, oh joy.

And it's suddenly gone cold. Three days ago I was in a tee-shirt, today it's a long sleeved top with a cardigan over it, and I'm still cold. Though that might be because I don't feel well... Eh, it's autumn, it's supposed to be cold!

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Blogger Sue said...

I feel exhausted by just reading all that you do!
Sympathies for the cold and sore throat. Hope you both recover quickly.

9:49 pm  
Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

Your garden always looks so inviting :)

2:25 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Sue: my cold turned into flu, even after the flu jab. Left me floored for several days, now feeling a bit better. Hoping to post another proper update tomorrow.

Lutra: thanks! I love my garden, and it reciprocates (sometimes a bit too enthusiastically!) Current rough estimate is that everything will be in its final form and place by around this time next year (including the front garden - temporarily at least, as more will need to be done when we have the hardstanding put in and the gate moved.) There's still an awful lot that needs doing, but we've made a good start.

10:56 pm  

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

I was going to do a proper blog update but haddock ran away with me again, so here's a quick catch-up. (Kai is back to Uni tomorrow and his timetable is pretty full - with 4 hour gaps between a.m. and p.m. classes on two days. He may come home for lunch those days, will have to see how we go. At any rate, it'll take a few weeks for the routine to establish itself, so my hopes of getting time to myself are rather stymied...)

His blood was so sluggish last Sunday that the nurse only managed to take 100 mls (it's usually 450), so he has to go back on the 8th of Oct to try again. It happens sometimes, but it was annoying for him. She managed to hit a nerve too.

Ken has decided to come with me to the Kabuki lecture in November - should be fun!

Blood test to see how the levothyroxine is doing on Monday, then I bussed into town to drop off a letter to the Orthopaedic Clinic. It was 27th July I had the MRI and no-one has got back to me to tell me the results yet.

Tues (I think) Kai and I went up to Pets@Home for crickets for Rosa, then over to Crystal Clear for him to take a look at the windows, pick up a brochure and speak to Andrew about a visit for him to measure up our windows (he's booked for two weeks but that's fine, we aren't in any special hurry). We'll then get a quote for each individual window and decide which we want replaced first - lounge and both bedrooms windows would be my choice. On the way back we dropped into Toys Я Us, to see if they had the RiD Starscream (yes, he reappears. I'm now going to have to buy all the DVDs...) They did, but the more expensive Power Surge version (£30) rather than the simpler one I first saw. And they won't order it for me. Came home to think about it...

Wed I bussed to Hurrans (Wyevale Garden Centre at Keynsham. It was originally called Hurrans back when we first bought the house and the name has just stuck). I know I went there to pick up something specific but I can't remember what it was... Anyway, I found the perfect photinia (looks about 8' tall) at £50, and asked about delivery. Which they don't do. But the assistant I spoke to said if I rang back on Fri she'd see if she could arrange something for me... Came back via Toys Я Us and picked up the Starscream. (He's now put away for my birthday next year.)

Thurs. I found a possible alternative to Hurran's delivery, and went back to buy the tree and have it stored until I can collect it.

Friday I tried to ring the number the assistant had given me, which offered the usual 'press 1... 2... 3...' etc, only to find that pressing the correct number simply cycled back to the original greeting, so no joy there. Will have to tell them when I collect. Got a letter from the BRI asking me to ring for an appointment with another physio, so I assume that was in response to my letter to them. Still don't know the MRI results though. Ken was off that day, and he and Kai went to Paulton, to a specialist clock workshop - this one I think. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

On Sat we got the first of the shrubs planted behind the greenhouse. There'll be photos later, when it's all done: it looks a bit of a mess right now.

And today K&K walked along the Whitchurch Way while I tried to catch up on sleep. Hardly managed any last night, my right hand was stupidly painful and every time I managed to drop off the pain woke me again. It seems Ok now so fingers crossed it was a one off.

Oh, and the levothyroxine dosage is fine for now, so I have to carry on and get another blood test in 3 months.

... I think that's everything. It's been hectic.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

lumme. That's a quick catch-up...? :)

Sending 'fluences for energy...

10:26 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

All such 'fluences gratefully received.

10:36 pm  

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Quickie because tired...

Friday Kai and I went to the Riverside Garden Centre and found the trees we need. Will have to go back and buy them this week!

We've now watched all three Rurouni Kenshin films and I love 'em. Must have the music (Kenshin's theme, at least).

Venesection for Kai today. We came back via Broadwalk and through the nature reserve again, most pleasant. While we were out, Ken continued with the fruit bush area beside the greenhouse...

Looking good! The lower of the two raised beds is next, will see about starting organising that after I get back from my blood test tomorrow morning.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

That is looking good!

10:13 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thanks! But just wait until it's finished... [g]

11:35 pm  
Blogger bakayaro onna said...

I have only seen the first Kenshin film and loved it! The other two are on my to-watch list.

6:50 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Oh Onna, I think you'll love them! I am completely hooked.

And Takeru Sato is just gloriously androgynous and has the most beautiful mouth I've ever seen on anyone. Hoping to watch more things starring him (if I can find subbed films!)

Yosuke Eguchi ain't bad neither!

10:31 pm  

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

So we did take our stroll around the nature reserve in the sunset, and came back from Tesco in the dark under a beautiful blue/teal/green/gold sky, so that was enjoyable...

Carers' Support meeting at the Vassall Centre today. With several other people I got involved in a face to face survey of their website and how it can be improved (sort of. They seemed pleased with my feedback, anyway). Got the info of what's involved in being a Carer Rep. There's nothing there I couldn't handle, and training is provided, but I'm not at all sure I could give it the rather heavy time commitment it would require. Will do a little more research and go to the network meeting early October to get more info.

On the way back I made the mistake of popping into Ikea. Never been there before, never going back! I got lost just in one department, even with the map they provide and me asking a member of staff for directions. And the only way to get down from the first floor is by lift. The escalators only go up. And they didn't have the glasses I was looking for anyway. Never again!

Forgot to say (of course) that my BP was as close to normal as dammit - 141/80 - and the dr was pleased (apparently it was the same as last time she took it). She still won't let me stop the meds though: going to see me again in 6 months and then reconsider. I hope.

Forgot to say no. 2: we watched The Book Thief earlier this week - wonderful film, beautifully made with very fine acting. Depressing, of course, as many films of the period are, but well worth watching.

Think that's now up to date, though I've probably forgotten something again. Eh, will add it next time!

30 second later edit: remembered! My latest Festival of Ideas newsletter had this autumn's Art Lecture schedules, and wouldn't you just know Drama on stage, desires off stage: The Kabuki theatres of 18th century Edo, Japan is one of the freebies. It uses this as its focus. And after I mentioned wanting to research Japanese drama too. Synchronicity strikes again... I already have my ticket. (Not really K&K's thing so I'm going by myself. Really looking forward to it!)

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Blogger Sue said...

Haven't seen the film but I thought the book of The Book Thief was amazing and so did my brother when I lent it to him.

5:59 pm  

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

And another thing I forgot to say: on Wed 8th Kai and I went to the Bristol Festival of Ideas lecture Star Trek: Synthetic biology and NASA’s missions. It was very interesting, although the humour was somewhat American and didn't raise the laughter Lynn hoped for. Nevertheless, an inspiring evening. We ended up getting the bus to Broadwalk and coming home down the hill in the dark - always pretty with the lights of Kingswood spread out before us.

Dr's appt on Mon was a bit of a waste of time: she asked to see me to explain the nerve induction test results. Which I already knew as the technician who carried them out explained them at the time... However, I made the appt for my next hypothyroidism blood test (next Mon) while I was there. Then took Wheelie (yes, I've finally had to admit defeat and use one of these for shopping) to Wilko to pick up bird food. Found they do potting compost too, so picked up a pack to pot the lemongrass I've managed to root up in water. Going to try ginger next spring too!

Progressing comfortably...

We finished watching Trigun, and watched Trigun: Badlands Rumble on Monday evening.

Wow. Absolutely gorgeous animation with all sorts of intricate subtle touches, beautiful character development, just wonderful! I now have to watch it again without the subtitles so I can pick up on all the tiny background details and action I missed while focussing on the story. I would love to see the series remade to this standard! Or a second series, that would be even better...

Last night Ken and I watched Rurouni Kenshin in preparation for the two sequels I bought earlier. I was struck by the similarity in characters between it and Trigun: it's probably a feature of Japanese drama (most drama, most likely!), certain archetypes appear again and again. Be interesting to research it if I can ever make the time!

Hot and muggy again today. We were debating going for a walk this afternoon, but even though the UV is fairly low, walking in this heat would be no fun - not to mention my two strips of artificial grass (for behind the greenhouse) is out for delivery today. The new wheelbarrow arrived yesterday. (Heh, short story - we bought the first one brand spanking new just after we bought the house, but before we had a chance to use it next door asked if he could borrow it. He used it to lug stones around to build his retaining wall, and gave it back battered to hell and with holes punched in it. No apology or offer of restitution of course. We should have realised then what sort of 'person' he is, but we were naive and always thought the best of people. But we never loaned him anything again.) Will suggest a stroll to the nature reserve after dinner (and a Tesco shop for ice cream on the way back) when it'll be cooler. Forecast is for more comfortable weather over the weekend, so we could try for a trip out on Sat. Kai has venesection on Sunday afternoon, so won't feel like doing much for the early part of next week, and uni starts on the 26th. His holiday is nearly over...

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Blogger Ellel Bee said...

Well of course the carrier has to have that name! Do be careful with the thing, though, as it has the ability to pull your spine out of alignment (and reading that I winced, but it's true). I managed to cope with the things by alternating arms from time to time.
"Managed to cope" past tense, as arthritic knees no longer permit me to walk to the store. It used to be a matter of a block, and now it's two miles. Pout.

12:04 pm  

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

So, yesterday K&K built the stand for the greenhouse waterbutt and got it into place before last night's forecast rain. This morning I went out to check all was well - only to find the roof leaking (badly) and the floor exceedingly wet.

Turns out the beading hadn't been put in place along the roof ridge.

And the frame uprights are a couple of millimetres off at the top, which doesn't help.


That being said, the gap between the metal and the glass for the roof is rather wide: I'm not convinced the beading would work anyway. Fortunately there's a fairly easy and cheap fix - plug the gap with bubblewrap of the sort garden centres sell for winter protection for your greenhouse - which will only take an hour to put in place. I think. I used it on the old greenhouse and it works well, and adds winter insulation.

The gutters aren't quite true either: they don't slope quite enough to drain all the rain into the waterbutt. That's a flaw in the overall design though, nothing to do with the builders. We can fix it with small wedges under the guttering.

That said, all in all it's a good greenhouse, and I'm very happy with it, although I won't buy anything from Elite again. The aluminium discoloured while lying on the grass and their instructions are absolute gibberish.

In other news... forgot to say I went to a Carers' Steering Group meeting on Wednesday (I asked about getting involved with the Carers' Support Network at the last event in June). It was all very interesting and helpful, and I've volunteered to help out. Three meetings a year and feedback to BCH, so not onerous.

Picked up Simon Pegg's Autobiography at St Pete's Hospice charity shop (£1.49 instead of rrp of £18.99 - not bad!) while Kai was having his hair cut: sat down and started reading it while I was waiting for Jeff to finish and embarrassed myself by laughing out loud. It is extremely funny!

On Thurs Kai and I headed out. We'd planned to go to Clevedon, but Firstbus have changed (i.e. mucked up) their bus services again. The X6a doesn't go anywhere near Clevedon sea front and we didn't want to wait half an hour for the X6, so got the bus to Weston-super-Mare instead, and headed out along the dunes...

Glorious day. Long walk. I ended up hobbling slowly back two hours later.

Brean Down and Steep Holm

© Kai September 2016

Kai climbed the dunes and found a golf course and "the most dramatic church ever!" on the other side...

© Kai September 2016

All in all a wonderful day, if exhausting (and painful for me).

Out with Kim yesterday: Tickenham garden centre (potting compost, large pots, green privets, a light green laurel and the cutest little upright juniper ever - photos sometime later as Kai has borrowed my camera today) then the Riverside garden centre for my local honey, golden privet and an amazing Tricyrtis formosana (which looks a bit like an orchid and goes by the common name of toad lilly! Sacrilege!!) If this last does well in the garden I'll try and get some others: they come in an amazing variety of colours.

We got to episode 22 of Trigun - and the DVD went skewiff and turned unwatchable. (The DVD, not our machine, although the latter is getting on a bit now and is pretty much in constant use. Should think about a replacement soon, I guess...) Amazon had what looked like a remastered version - 8 discs instead of 3 - which I ordered along with Badlands Rumble, a later one-off film set during the series. Watched ep 23 last night and the quality is amazing! Now want to re-watch it all again in the remastered version...

K&K are off out today, it's Bristol Open Doors Saturday. So far Kai has climbed up to the roof at St Luke's and they're now exploring Pip'n'Jay's in town. I'm working on the planting plans for the garden (and updating the blog, obviously!)

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Thursday, September 08, 2016

I haz an existential greenhouse! (Thanks Sue!)

In brief... Kai and I both had our hair cut on Tues. It's cooler and no longer flopping in my eyes, but it'll take a week or so before it's grown out enough to look nice again. Given how hot it still is, and how busy I'm going to be, this is not a problem!

The glass is now all tidied and ready to go to the tip, hopefully end of next week.

Kim and I are off tomorrow instead of today, she forgot about an appointment. Looking forward to garden shopping!

And the scrap metal has just been collected - front garden is clear again!

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Blogger Sue said...

Now I know I posted a comment here last week but it doesn't seem to have shown up.
Not that it was anything very profound - just LOL, you're welcome - as I recall.

3:26 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

No, you did, and I saw it. Why it's now disappeared is a complete mystery. I certainly didn't delete it!

Blame it on Butch, I guess?

Thanks anyway!

3:49 pm  

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Monday, September 05, 2016

I haz a greenhouse!

Bill recommended Paul from over the road as a good builder, and on Monday last week he arrived to take a look, find out what I wanted, then went away and came back an hour later with a price, which was considerably less than the "professional". So we said yes please, spent the rest of the day dismantling the old greenhouse, and Paul turned up on Tuesday morning to make a start. The following photos tell the story...






He's coming back tomorrow to finish off (put sealant around the base and the water-collection pipes, which aren't a perfect fit), but otherwise it's all done! Ken and I need to construct a platform for the waterbutt, but we have plenty of bricks and slabs, won't take long. Then I need to plan out where the paths are going to go and get the raised beds started, so there's still plenty to do, but the greenhouse is good to go!

And it's so big! Well, 6' by 10', but it feels massive compared to the old one. Tomorrow afternoon I should be able to arrange everything as I want it, then on Thursday Kim and I are off out, so will return with potting compost and a couple of large pots so I can get the spiral supports ready for spring. I've even arranged for one of our free scrap metal merchants to come and take away the old greenhouse frame, the old bathroom radiator, and an unwanted metal shelving unit, so there's only the glass to get rid of.

All great stuff.

In other news, Kai is fancying a change of decor for his room - something more retro. I picked up Captain America: Civil War at Tesco earlier. We're planning to watch it after dinner. No doubt there's more, but I only got four hours sleep last night and brain isn't firing on all cylinders. More later if I remember!

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

Wow, lovely! Looks like a good job on that base as well.
It's so nice when things work out - we just had to replace the roof on the wabbitat which was irritatingly complicated, but it's satisfying once it's done.

10:51 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

They (Paul and his mate Mike) have done a brilliant job - even the brick layers look pretty! The base is good and flat and the frame bolted into it, wonderful solid construction, completely professional, and so fast! It was waiting for the concrete base to dry out that took longest (but luckily they laid it on the morning of the hottest, driest day last week, all worked out splendidly.)

Symps for the wabbitat, but glad it's done!

11:03 pm  
Blogger Sue said...

Looks great! Very often local workmen are better but it's just finding the good ones!

11:06 am  

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