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 ::

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

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.

Adventures in Orchids

Apparently I am now collecting them...

There's room for one - or maybe two, at a pinch - more on that bedroom windowsill (the only one in the house that's ideal for them). Let's see what I find. Well, that didn't last long...

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 photo to come when it flowers. Phalaenopsis. Rescued from a bin up the road in 2019. Classic!

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...

My IMDb ep summaries

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

For later:

Missing Earthian ep
Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

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

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

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

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:

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

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

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

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

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

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

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

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

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

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

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

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

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

Murfs - noun, moths.

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

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

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

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

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

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

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

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

The Updates Blog

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

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

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

Butch by the talented 


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



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

A'lestrel by Valkyrie.

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

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



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

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: 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.
:: 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...

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
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01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
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01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
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01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
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01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
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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
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01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
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01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
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01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
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01/12/2017 - 31/12/2017
01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
01/02/2018 - 28/02/2018
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
01/04/2018 - 30/04/2018
01/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
01/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
01/03/2019 - 31/03/2019
01/04/2019 - 30/04/2019
01/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019
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01/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019
01/01/2020 - 31/01/2020
01/02/2020 - 29/02/2020
01/03/2020 - 31/03/2020
01/04/2020 - 31/04/2020
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01/07/2020 - 31/07/2020
01/08/2020 - 31/08/2020
01/09/2020 - 30/09/2020
01/10/2020 - 31/10/2020
01/11/2020 - 30/11/2020
01/12/2020 - 31/12/2020
01/01/2021 - 31/01/2021

Saturday, January 02, 2021

It's 2.1.21, and it snowed!

Not enough to really settle, but it was pretty while it lasted.

More later. Just wanted to say that.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy 2021.

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Later edit...

It was raining when I wrote the earlier bit. Then it stopped, and I looked out the bedroom window, and there they were - the sky had cleared. So Kai lugged the telescope out, and we had a good look, and he took a load of photos just using my little point and click camera, so not the best quality. But there they are...

Saturn above, Jupiter below. If you squint, you can make out two moons - one of the three we saw at 1 o'clock, and one, very close to the planet, directly opposite.


Hoping it's clear tomorrow so we can see the closest approach, but if not, at least we've seen this. Best anniversary present ever.

Quick update, as I forgot to say earlier...

It's our 31st wedding anniversary tomorrow (for some reason I keep thinking it's the 32nd...) and it's also the occasion of the closest conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter for 800 years. We checked last night and we can see them above the houses on the other side of the road from outside the greenhouse - as long as there are no clouds. So whether or not we'll be able to actually see the moment is open to question. I've been pestering the weather gods with appeals for a couple of hours of clear sky just after dusk... please keep fingers crossed.

EO's new sprig is coming along nicely.

AO's flower spike is also doing well (it refused to allow me to get it to spiral around the support, but that's how it goes when your orchid has a mind of its own...)

One contented, warm and well-fed cat!

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Blogger Sue said...

Happy anniversary! I'm going to try to remember to look out for the planets tonight. Like you, fingers crossed it stops raining!

11:41 am  

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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Well I never!

I do enjoy being pleasantly surprised/proved wrong. Two young engineers arrived at the PDSA around lunchtime today: first I knew was when one phoned as we were finishing lunch (vegan 'pulled pork' - made from a tin of jackfruit and a completely delicious home made sauce - in a toasted bun, lovely!) and introduced himself. I went out to the top of the garden and had a nice discussion with him: he said he'd see if the wiring would make it possible to move the light to the side of the big building there - thus pointing parallel to our house, not straight at us - and angle it so it made life easier. I said that would be absolutely ideal, crossed my fingers, and left him to it.

And he did! We now have a little star instead of a floodlight and a mellow glow hitting the PDSA courtyard there as the light is angled down. Obviously we can still see it, but the difference is amazing. Our wildlife have their nature reserve back, and we have our privacy.

I am very happy! Going to drop round there tomorrow (or Sat if it's raining too hard tomorrow) with a card, a thank you note to the manager, a donation and a box of chocs for the staff. They certainly deserve it.

And Kai took his bike in to the new bike place on Sandy Park Rd - he qualified for the new council/govmt £50 voucher to get one's bike serviced: a one-off thing to encourage people to bike instead of drive that has been taken up widely across the city - and a couple of hours later was able to collect it! Apparently they did a great job and he was able to ride it home.

So for once it's been a very successful day, and a major source of stress is gone.

Would be nice if everything went as smoothly, but I'm not complaining!

Later, all!



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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

So, update.

The noise...

Kai and I went outside a couple of times to check it wasn't coming from anywhere else, and I gestured angrily towards BND's house - which I guess he saw on his security camera, because after that the TV (or more likely speaker? I don't know or care how he's arranged his living room as long as it doesn't bother me) volume dropped right back down to normal. Well, the TV is still a little loud, but not enough to cause stress, so we're ignoring it. I suspect it's because Suzanne's hearing isn't so good, I vaguely remember him barking something like that back when we were still letting him speak at us...

Now we have a new problem. Back in 2010 the PDSA at the back of us had a security light installed. It wasn't blinding, but it shone directly into the garden, so I contacted them and asked if they could do something about it. At the time they changed the angle a little, and while it was far from perfect, it did alleviate the glare by enough to allow us to skywatch without too much hassle. Well, on the 24th November they had a new one installed - higher up the wall and absolutely blindingly glaring into the back of the house and all of the garden. It casts shadows through the bathroom and landing windows, floods the garden with an appallingly brilliant white light, and leaves us feeling like we're living under a prison floodlight.

I rang them omn the 25th, explained the problem, and asked if they could do something about it. At some point the engineers turned it - very slightly, nowhere near enough to make any material difference. So I wrote to the manager, dropped it off this Mon, and on Tues had an apologetic email saying they'd referred it to the engineers for them to deal directly with us. Yeah, sure. I'll believe that when I see it.

Well, if they haven't got back to us by next Mon, I'll get their contact details from the PDSA - and probably contact their HQ as well, as this is just ridiculous. We have no privacy and no chance of skywatching (tried to watch for Geminids on the 13th, couldn't see a bloody thing), our wildlife have no security, our quality of life has gone down and my stress levels way up. After all we've done for them, too!!

Very unhappy. Will let you know what happens.

Media... we had a splurge on films. I found The Loft cheap on amazon (bought it for Wentworth Miller, one of my favourite characters in Legends of Tomorrow - we already have Equilibrium, which stars my other favourite LoT actor Dominic Purcell). It was... interesting. Very unpleasant characters but the story was intriguing.

Revolver is fun but has a strange ending. I think it could be taken in several different ways - a method of harmonising character traits, perhaps, or psychological control over 'enemies'... An interesting, open-ended watch. Thanks Wendy - we rather enjoyed it!

Also have to thank Wendy for sending me Her. Kai wanted to see this as well, and... wow. It's one of the most complex, emotionally brutal and oddly uplifting films I've ever seen. We absolutely loved it, and for me it's now a yardstick by which to measure future films. Superb. Not an easy watch, but an I-can-run-out-of-superlatives-SO-easily triumph of cinema.

(Made the mistake of seeing what else the director had done... Jackass?? WHY!!???...)

Kai took out a subscription to Netflix (it has stuff he really wanted to see) so we all settled down to watch Over the Moon, which is beautiful (I caught the main song on tumblr and was intrigued...) Adorable, whimsical, gorgeously animated - yes, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

What I didn't enjoy was going down with a week's dose of gastroenteritis a couple of weeks ago. No fun whatsoever. Would very much like to NOT get that again, plskthnx.

We're currently working our way through Jonathan Creek (got to the end of Season 3 of Deep Space 9 and decided to take a break until after Yule, as we have quite a pile of new films to watch over the season). Such fun!

Then this happened - I cried.

There's more, of course, but nothing too important. We're pretty much ready for the celebrations, and Ken has our anniversary and the next day off, so a short week next week. Our tree and lights went up last week of November - house is very pretty - and all cards have been sent off. Now just planning to take it easy. We're lucky, we don't have visitors over Yule anyway and don't usually go out much, so the tiers/lockdown don't really affect us much.

I did treat myself to something though - My Little Prime (or Optimus Pony, if you prefer...)

The tail moves through 360°.

Big Bad Toy Store, of course. So cute!

All for now. Please stay safe and well, everyone, and we hope you have a relatively stress free Yuletide.

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Saturday, November 21, 2020

I spoke too soon. The noise is back, louder than ever. Will explore the options open for dealing with noisy neighbours...



Blogger Sue said...

Oh no. You have my sympathies. I absolutely loathe noise intrusion (no, really? says Carol), it really stresses me out to the point where I want to lash out. It's so selfish! Although on this occasion as you say, it is just possible he doesn't realise. But from all you've said, once he is made aware, he may not care anyway.
Fingers tightly crossed you can get something sorted very soon!

8:44 am  

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Friday, November 20, 2020

Later edit: Well, the volume from next door is back to its normal, only-discernible-by-me-if-I-listen-VERY-hard level, so I guess the TV has been moved back to where it was originally. Goodgood.

Here we go again.

Well, it hasn't quite been a month, and it has been busy, plus I spent the last week suffering from a rather unpleasant dose of gastroenteritis and felt too ill to do very much, but that's now cleared up and I have a little time to spare.

Photos, of course.

I treated myself to a new miniature rose...

... and found that the original one was sprouting buds. (It's not supposed to do that until next year, even if it IS in the greenhouse.)

I think I mentioned I bought 30 or so saffron crocus bulbs earlier in the year (to see if I can grow my own saffron: Ken loves it and it's bloody expensive to buy). Well, the 30 have turned into 65, and I have the first flowers appeared (they aren't supposed to do that until next year...)

Then again, I seem to have this knack with plants. They seem to like growing for me. This is in Derpy's windowframe (yes, alright, I know she needs cleaning!):

Even the teazels are doing unusual things...

(At least, I've never known them do this before. Perhaps it's a natural thing for teazels?)

AO's new flower spike is coming along well...

And EO's latest flowers have finished - and the next flower spike appeared...

In other news, Ken's room is just about finished and looking pretty good - just needs a quick touch up of the doorframe paint, the new door, and a lampshade. Found one we like, but it's a bit small. May buy it anyway, for the time being.

I treated myself to an indoor fountain, which is absolutely beautiful, and I'm sure is doing my BP a lot of good.

Which is just as well, as BND has got himself satellite TV, and mounted the TV itself on the (hollow) chimney breast. Which means it echoes right through our house, overwhelms our TV volume, and disturbs Ken while he's working. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn't realise what he was doing and write to him advising him. Will let you know what happens.

(Oh yes, and he got someone in to fix the leaking guttering - not a cowboy for once, Apex Building Sevices summin, though which one I'm not sure, there are several of similar names around here. It seems to have done the job, and meant I was able to cancel the Anglian appt I'd made for the 25th Nov.)

Kai and I risked a trip to Keynsham before the lockdown - I had to buy some wholefood stuff for a couple of new recipes, and Conscience Foods is currently the easiest shop to get to - so we had a look through the charity shops. Picked up a few DVDs (saving three of them for Yule), but not much else and the weather was less than wonderful, so weren't there for long.

Kai's now completed the paving right around the greenhouse, and it's wonderful! Soooo good to have a safe, non-trip, solid surface to walk and work on. It could do with a little expansion, but that can wait, the basics are done. Photos when it's not raining!

That's the most important news. We're still working through DS9 (middle of season 3 now) and alternating with Jonathan Creek (just finishing season 2). I have a hankering to rewatch Swamp Thing (probably by myself, next year) and we still have the first couple of seasons of Continuum to dip into. I've bought and frozen the Gressingham duck for dinner on the 25th Dec: the rest I'll pick up on weekly visits over to Tesco. Yule tree going up this weekend!

Will catch everyone later - hope you're all safe and well and coping OK with the current situation, wherever you may be.

(While I remember - ongoing apologies for any typos in these posts. I haven't yet found a way to spell check in this new format.)

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

The teazels and Derpy's appendage are looking slightly alien... :) I think lots of plants are confused by the weather - I know I am...

Glad to hear things are still going smoothly, apart from BND.

3:59 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Alien... yers, that figures...

Heh, I'm still in T-shirts (though I have moved from shorts to sweatpants now)!

Hope you're all well and the two new furbabies have settled in just fine.

5:31 pm  

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Monday, October 26, 2020

Found this. Watched it. Kept saying - it can't get any bigger - can it? And then it did.

... wow...

Watched it again. And again. Had to share...

Best with the soundtrack, but works fine without.

Oh dear... it's getting longer between posts again...

Soooo... starting with medical stuff. I yet again managed to kick the exercise bike support end and I think I fractured a toe. It's taken until now for the bruising to go and to stop hurting (I think I managed to do it just after my last post, but it may have been a couple of weeks before. Time is doing strange things at the moment... No, it was even longer ago: the first time I tried to wear old and comfy trainers was when I went for hair cut, and at that point I thought everything was healed. It wasn't, and wearing them made the problem flare up again.) Anyway, I can now wiggle my toes - to some extent, it's my right foot, the one with the flexor tendinitis and bursitis, because of course it is. Nothing's ever easy 'round 'ere. [sigh] At least I should now be able to wear my driving shoes again (instead of sandals, which is all I've been able to get on for the last 9 weeks...)

Hobbled up to get my hair cut on the 4th! Jeff took my temperature as I arrived - and it was lower than normal. Might have been because it was very cold and pissing down with rain, but anyway... He was in full face visor, I had to wear my mask, so not the most comfortable of experiences, but YAY! My hair is no longer all in my face.

I think I've previously said how much I like Ryan Reynolds as an actor, and how much I love the Deadpool films. Well, I found this and just had to have it. So it's ordered for next year's Yule present... I must be mad. But what the hell. Some people like expensive cars, or jewellery, or clothes, or shoes - I like custom action figures. Sue me, I dares ya!

It's been at least as busy as usual. We're redecorating and reorganing Ken's home office - the bookcases on the far wall are now gone (one in the shed, one broken up - Kai's put the long planks in the loft to act as supports for storage) and the old but sturdy and near perfect work station has gone to a young woman via Nextdoor (free of course.) Half the painting has been done, the new bookshelves put up on the wall, and it all looks cleaner and less cluttered. Still have to buy and put up the curtain rails (and make the curtain - hoping Dunelm has the fabric I want) and generally tidy up a little, but it's much better already. Photos, perhaps, when it's finished (with a couple of before ones - as you know, I photograph everything.)

In the garden... the egg that mysteriously appeared has just as mysteriously vanished...

The paving is coming on well. It's taking time, as Kai can't really work out there when the soil is wet, and it's rained a lot recently, but every little bit done makes it easier to manouevre around the growing section. Should all be done before Yule.

The holly trees around us are doing wonderful things at the moment - so many berries!

I found this at Tesco for £3 and treated myself...

I've not had much success with roses in the past, but the colour of this plant is fabulous, so I'm going to see how it does. It'll stay in the greenhouse until next spring, then move to the patio area: might pick up another couple of different colours to make a pretty display. It smells wonderful.

Thompson and Morgan had a special order on a month or so ago - buy one citrus plant and get another for 1p. I ended up buying one orange, one lemon, and one lime. Always wanted to try citrus fruit, and they'll sit happily in the greenhouse for most of next year (they're on the windowsill in the lounge at the moment with all my succulents and cacti). Fine down to 5° according to the instructions, so hopefully will do well. I just wish I had a conservatory for them, but... we'll see how we go.

We have been working through the backlog of things to watch. Now started on Deep Space 9 and enjoying it. I managed to find an English subtitled copy of Deathnote: Light up the NEW World on ebay: it was fun to watch but very confusing. Maybe another one you had to be Japanese to fully understand? Worth a second watch, anyway! Then it was Donnie Darko... whoa! That was... very good, but very complex and quite scary - though not as much as Coraline, which we watched last night. Nightmare fodder, that one. But very very good.

That's all I can think of for now, though no doubt there's more I've forgotten. Now I need to go move planters out of the way so Kai can move the slabs that are going to make a level platform for the telescope and lay a few for my potting bench - currently at the back of the greenhouse, needs to come to the front. The weather's not too bad today, sunny spells and quite nice. There's rain forecast for the rest of the week, so we'll get as much done as we can.

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Blogger Sue said...

Wow, that video is amazing! Ouch for your foot. The roses and the holly trees look lovely.
I'm having my first haircut in eight months on Friday - can't wait!
I bought my brother and sister-in-law a lemon and a lime tree last Christmas, they've been kept the in greenhouse and both have come on a treat.

6:09 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

And, it's getting even longer for me to comment! :)
The video is incredible, not least for the time it must have taken to put together.

I've been trying for a couple of months to phone my hairdresser and found out on Weds from a work colleague that she'd changed her number. Then they announced another lockdown... I can see me not getting mine cut until January - a year between cuts, anyone? :)

Work has been manic this week; unexpected absence by a kiosk colleague has meant I've done an extra 10 hours. Iz pooped...

5:53 pm  

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Friday, October 02, 2020

Ye gods, is the busyness ever going to end?...

OK. So, in reverse order... we've had the plumbing system cleaned - Tom the Plumber drained everything, put a cleaning lquid through the pipes on Monday - we've had the heating on twice a day to activate it until he came back today to drain it and refill it with inhibitor to help keep everything clear in the future. Can be topped up every few years to keep everything flowing freely. He's replaced all the horrible old pipes in the bathroom with copper, fitted new bath and basin taps, serviced the boiler and replaced the tatty old hall radiator. He recommended us getting a new boiler (the current one was fitted when Kai was about 5 and isn't the most efficient in the world) but that will cost about £3K, and we'd rather spend the money on having the roof replaced, solar panels installed, and going all electric. Which will cost a lot more, but be much more eco-friendly. I'll start saving...

Anyway, that's all done and safe now, and should be fine for the next decade or so.

Yesterday - probably the last dry and sunny day for the foreseeable future - Kai and I picked the last of the fruit from the trees, put all the windfalls into the compost bin, and I pruned back the fruit tree branches. Hopefully next year I'll be able to save more fruit (pear branches broke this year as they were too long to support the weight of the pears, and an awful lot of apples were blown off in the high winds we had).

The clouds were very pretty yesterday...

There is an egg in the garden.

We can only assume either a random hen has visited or one of our foxes has brought us a present. Not entirely sure what to do with it, so we're just leaving it there for now.

Maybe one of our magpies will eat it...

I painted the areas of the bathroom that still suffer from occasional mould (the window wall mainly) after Tom had left on Monday. Looks great! Ronseal anti-mould paint blends in perfectly with what was already on the walls and made the job a lot quicker and easier. Happier with it now, and it's healthier for us all.

Kai constructed my soft fruit bed last weekend!

We've had to cover the open soil with rocks as we found yesterday the foxes had tried to dig holes. [sigh]

Did I mention Kai has finished putting up the wisteria supports in the front wall of the house? Two rows of long, strong vine eyes every 18 inches with 2.5mm steel wire strung through them (borrowed a ladder through the local Nextdoor community group - I joined a couple of years ago, incredibly handy! - for the top row, as our ladder wasn't long enough to be safe) and has been climbing up and training the fronds along it. It's going to be beautiful once it's properly established. Photos next spring, hopefully!

In the search for my missing spiral orchid supports Kai and I risked venturing into the left hand end of the shed. Didn't find them: I've had to order some less nice ones as I need them now - AO definitely has a flower spike coming -

- and I need to start training it in a spiral very soon. They should arrive this afternoon. However, we were able to clear out some rubbish (and get my Tf action figure boxes up into the loft, where they'll be a lot safer. Kept them as the figures are worth more with their original display packaging.) Will have another go at tidying it all up next reasonably nice weekend we get.

RO is doing splendidly! Quite proud of this as it's the first one I've brought on completely by myself.   

I've just had a 'parcel' delivered...

It's my orchid supports...

[Shakes head in... something...] Might be slightly OTT that...

Will get one in place for AO after posting this.

Kai and I had our flu jabs. Reaction hit me very fast and I felt awful for 24 hours - then it just vanished and I was fine. Lasted a bit longer for Kai, but it's now done and hopefully we'll be fine this winter.

Media... The Librarian boxed set arrived and we've watched 1 and 2 - rollicking silly fun, perfect for a rainy Saturday afternoon matinée. And Legends of Tomorrow season 5 arrived, and Ken and I have been racing through it. We thought season 4 was bonkers: season 5 is even more so! Wonderful stuff.

Considerably less wonderful is that some of our post is going missing - stolen, we think. Ken has been collecting old postcards of Brislington for a possible book, buying mostly from ebay. Not overly expensive, but some are incredibly rare - and they haven't been arriving, even with proofs of posting (and one was sent recorded delivery). This goes back to two envelopes containing money sent to us (for work Kai did) earlier in the year from a technophobe acquaintance (who has now been convinced to BACS payments instead) which also never arrived. Envelopes containing Ken's postcards look very similar, and we're sure someone in the PO system is stealing them in case they also contain money. I've opened an official complaint with Royal Mail, as needless to say we are VERY angry about this. So far 5 postcards have gone missing, all of which are pretty much irreplaceable. Not to mention it does Ken's rep no good at all for him to keep having to request refunds from the sellers.

Will let you know what happens.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

Mum had her radiator pipes cleaned a few years ago and it definitely helped the system function better!

I am bemused by your parcel. Was that seriously the smallest box they could find to fit?

The mail is incredibly aggravating. I wouldn't be surprised to find Royal Mail will deny there's a problem; we weren't getting mail at the office a few years ago because rather than separating it into the correct addresses and mailboxes they were stuffing it all into one - the one box that didn't even belong to anyone (it was an empty office). We had to get a key from the landlord to find several weeks' worth of lost mail in there. We complained to be told that the postman said he was doing it properly and they refused to take any action, despite having a witness (i.e. me) who watched the postman doing it.

As for the egg... nope, I got nuthin' :)

5:35 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

LOL! Well, the parcel came from Germany and the cardboard was INCREDIBLY difficult to fold up (even me standing on it only partially worked) so...

I've had a standard 'don't bother us' email from RM. I've emailed back repeating the problem and asking what action they plan to take. They've annoyed me now and that's never a wise thing to do.

As for the egg - us neither. I'm afraid to open it in case there's a dead, half-grown chick inside...

10:49 am  

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Monday, September 21, 2020

I'm beginning to think the little peeping spike on AO is going to be a flower spike...


There is now no stopping RO...

Gantz: Perfect Answer is amazing!


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