Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: 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.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
I love living in a mini nature reserve. This morning, as I was coming back to the house with my hands full of three different varieties of cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse, our native sparrowhawk swooped down from one of the trees a few doors up, flew at eye level right past me, caught a sparrow in our medlar, then flew off to its nest in (I believe) the huge tree at the back of the PDSA... Yes, a tiny tragedy for the sparrow, but even sparrowhawks have to eat (or, I suspect, feed their chicks).
I still think we're feeding half the birds in Brislington. We have dozens of sparrows and starlings eating and drinking at the feeders, two families of blackbirds sharing the garden (I found that hard to believe given how territorial they are, but I've watched them, and there's definitely two. I suppose there's always such good feedins' here they've tacitly agreed to ignore each other...), and yesterday I counted seven (maybe eight) magpies. I'm very fond of them, despite the raucous cries that frequently wake me around dawn. They're usually warning cries about strange cats in the garden. We even have at least one owl in the vicinity - we hear it hooting quite often.
I heard foxes last night too.
Garden-wise, I now have the second sowing of mange tout and dwarf French beans in (and hopefully protected from pigeons by the sparkly chains of mirror circles and dangly silver xmas ornaments I found in the shed!): second sowing of peas will be in the next few days. And we're now using homegrown garlic:
I found an old-fashioned storage pot, 99p, in St Pete's Hospice when I took our latest donations 'round yesterday. Very pleased with that find! My plum tree produced precisely two plums this year - two more than expected as you may remember we moved the entire tree earlier in the year - but they were delicious, and hopefully prove that the move was successful. Keeping fingers crossed for next year's harvest!
The Red Devil apple tree is looking good: the fruit is already ripening, thanks to the weird weather we've had this year. There are a goodly number of pears on the tree, and the green apples are also coming on nicely (we moved that tree too, so the harvest won't be quite as good as last year, but that's fine, it survived and is doing OK). I caught an ep of the Beechgrove Garden earlier in the year, and apparently the best way to store surplus apples is to wrap them in magazine paper and keep them in lidded boxes in a cool place, like our shed. So I've saved last year's xmas TV Times and the boxes from our last three new pairs of shoes, and will give it a go come autumn.
And on the subject of food...
Food porn for Lutra
Joules 'mixed salad' served with Tesco's cheese and chutney cob. This one is made with tinned salmon and home grown tomatoes and cucumber: to the tinned tuna version I usually add little cheese cubes (Bavarian smoked and/or Gruyère are tastiest) with help-yourself hard boiled egg on the side. Disgustingly healthy!
(Tesco also do individual pots of dressings: we've tried and liked the smoked pepper and the pineapple and sweet chilli. I think they may also sell bottles of the smoked pepper - will check next time I go over.)
Kai fixed my sewing machine for me! It's an ancient Singer 99K, and I may have mentioned I've never been able to get the bobbin-winder to work. Well, that's now working, and he manoeuvred the little base plate (it was loose and I could never get it to stay in place) back into place as well. I've started making the new bits and pieces we need - Kai's blue radiator now has a brown cover (even radiator paint eventually flakes off, as I've found to my cost, and Kai never uses his radiator anyway, since he's in the warmest room in the house) which pretty much matches the brown paint. Next up is the curtain for his wardrobe - photo later - and a new voile curtain for the lounge (needs to be in three parts as the middle top window is the one we're using most and it's a nuisance pulling up the current curtain to reach the handle). Might make new voiles for our room, too: the old ones are looking very sad.
(Not the best lighting, it's dull today and the colours don't show at their best. Will try again when sunny.) The work space in Kai's room - not quite finished as we still have to put up his corkboard and several pictures. The curtains were a lucky find in a charity shop in Street a year ago. I think they're terrific! The display cabinet is actually a plate display thing that would normally live on top of a sideboard: we found it in a front garden down the road with a 'Please help yourself' sign and Ken carried it home. It's very nicely made, good solid wood that polished up well.
We've watched The Man from Planet X - which is pretty bad - and yesterday I picked up Logan - planning to watch it on Fri after dinner. Last week we had the horror channel on in the background, and an interesting Australian film was playing - Virtual Nightmare. (I ended up switching channels half way through as I wanted to watch the whole thing). It's not available to buy commercially, but I found a site offering it (and for a very good price) so decided to risk ordering. It's arrived, but we haven't had time to watch it yet. Fingers crossed it plays OK! (It should: our new DVD player claims to play every format there is...)
Planning to go see Transformers: The Last Knight in the next couple of weeks. Not holding out much hope - it's a Michael Bay film, it's likely to be as incoherent, confused and inconsistent as the rest of them - but of course I have to see it, and will buy it when it becomes available. Don't know yet whether Kai will come with me or if I watch it by myself. I don't mind either way!
Half-way through season 4 of Babylon 5 now. There are depressing similarities between the series and current political (geopolitical to some extent) affairs that make watching it less enjoyable than it was the first and second times around. Or perhaps I'm just more politically aware these days...
Pondering re-watching Alien Nation next. Kai's never seen it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it first time 'round.
And... I think that's about it. We haven't managed to get out much yet. Kai's physio Tom tells us that the fatigue Kai is suffering is a recognised effect from the procedures he's undergone, and has advised him how to slowly build up his stamina again, but it's going to take some time. But the relief of knowing what it is makes the whole thing a lot less stressful. Now we both need to pace ourselves. It'll come with practise!
Wednesday, July 05, 2017
Right - I have a few minutes while Kai finishes the last little bit of glossing in his room (then all the painting is done. 'Oooray!)
You may have guessed it's been a bit busy, so this is just a quick catch up with photos. Kai's BMT clinic on the 21st went OK, I think (I don't go in with him any more). On the 25th he had his latest venesection (which reminds me, I need to book the next two...) and his ferritin level is down again (around 1,700 if I recall correctly. Heading in the right direction at any rate.)
On the 28th and 29th Crystal Clear installed the new windows and wow, they're gorgeous! (If I can say that of windows.) But it meant a lot of clearing out - of Kai's room particularly - to make space for the installers. We'd planned to redecorate Kai's room afterwards. He wanted a retro-distressed-Tudor look ([rolls eyes] of course he did...) which has been... interesting trying to accomplish. We've ended up with the walls from floor to radiator height in warm oak brown, and everything above that 'crushed almond', which is a warm, traditional cream colour (with a wisteria pinkish-mauvish feature 'wall' - i.e. the chimney breast). Actually it looks really nice, and from the door it looks like the room is full of sunlight. But it's taken five days to do, as we had to move furniture around to reach everything. And we still have to put up the new curtain pole for the new curtains (going to need a lot of drilling so that has to wait for Saturday when Ken can do it. Yes, I can drill, but the electric drill is too heavy for me to handle safely these days, and Kai hasn't used it yet. Given the state of our plaster, best leave it to someone who knows what they're doing!)
If he'll let me, I'll take a couple of photos once everything's finished and post them here.
The garden continues apace...
At the moment we're pretty much self-sufficient in veg, which was what I wanted. I'm finding it tricky to get my successional planting organised, but am fumbling through it. And making notes so I can get it more right next year. Need to get more maincrop peas on the go in the next few days. Will also plant more mange tout and less sugarsnap peas next year.
That's a misshapen purple carrot - actually very tasty!
Although almost too pretty to eat...
Bought these when Ken and I were last at Hurrans - dianthus 'Pearl'. They are very pretty, and they smell of chocolate! Yes, truly. I'm going to have to put one in a pot though: I can't bend down low enough to sniff them anymore...
We're onto Babylon 5 season 4 (watching two eps a night), and still thoroughly enjoying it. We're also working through the B-movies we got Ken for his birthday. He caught part of an old sci-fi film on TV and fancied watching the whole thing: all he could tell me was it was set in Scotland and involved an alien creature... Well, you know I like a challenge. Narrowed it down to two films, and found them on amazon, one of them on a DVD with three other films. As it happened, the film Ken caught was X the Unknown, which is actually not bad. Of the other DVD, we've caught The Angry Red Planet which is... mm, yeah, well, OK for the time it was made, I suppose, and Beyond the Time Barrier (which unfortunately saw me dozing off for a few seconds through it - mostly because I was stupidly tired rather than the film's content, although what I did catch didn't impress me. Kai liked it though).
So, busy as ever. Which has not been great for my joint problems, alas.
No doubt I've forgotten a few things I meant to say: will add them later if I remember. In the meantime, have a hot cat catching the fall of cooler air from the wide-open window just out of frame above!
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Have a couple of random photos to counteract the heat - currently 31° here, but due to drop 10 degrees overnight. Hopefully rain overnight too, main waterbutt is three quarters empty...
IDW Thundercracker and Buster! I managed to find the right sort of dog at getting on for the right size at Wilko. (She's still a little large but stands on his shoulder joint rather cutely.)
Off to write bio for the unicorn book...
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Where the hell did the week go...?
[sigh] Let's see if I can remember what's been happening...
I finally finished scanning the albums of Kai's photos last Sunday: went to burn to disc only to have the drive refuse to play. [grump] Saved to Ken's 8 gig pendrive and he used his machine instead (although his drive is also glitchy. Managed to get it done though!) That shelf is now full of music CDs. My diaries are next: Ken suggested photographing rather than scanning, which would be a lot quicker and easier, so going to give that a go in the next couple of weeks.
Ken's been removing the multiple layers of gloss paint from the windowsills with Wilko paint and varnish remover, in preparation for the new windows (28th and 29th of this month. Can't wait!) Horrible, smelly, time consuming job, but the tiles underneath are really nice, a soft sandy colour, so once everything's done we'll leave them as is.
The garden... Everything's doing well. I have an overabundance of cucumbers (next year I'll only bring on one plant!), loads of sugarsnap peas, and enough mange tout - already! - that I'll be freezing some for the winter later on today. The first blueberries and raspberries are out (have to organise netting later too) and plenty of pears and apples (on both trees) coming along nicely. I estimate that in the next two weeks the cooking toms and peas will be ready to start cropping, and I have hopes for my peppers this year - lots of fruit developing! (Now if I can just stop whatever it is that usually eats holes in them we'll be fine...) We've eaten the first radishes and red and purple carrots - interesting and pleasant taste, the purple ones - and the second lot of seeds are in, as are the marrow seedlings and the dwarf beans. All going well so far!
Kai's meadow is slowly taking shape. It's going to be lovely when it's done (not that it'll ever be finished, of course) with a small dewpond with loads of native flowering plants around it, and a low wall. He's been digging a holloway between the hazels and the wall, and is going to plant foxgloves along the wall side. (They're springing up everywhere so a major seed-gathering day is on the cards...)
As for garden wildlife - we haz damsels! (Photos © Kai Taylor)
There are two in this one, a bit difficult to see.
There were another pair this morning - one was more green though. They didn't hang around long enough for photos, alas.
Films and things... Kai and I finished B5 season 1 and are partway through season 2. It has quite a different feel to it, but is still very enjoyable. And complex!
I picked up Jack Reacher going very cheap: enjoyable as all Cruise films are. The DVD trailers were World War Z and Flight: Kai said both looked interesting, so I found them cheap on amazon (1p and 10p respectively, £2.52 p&p) and ordered them. We watched World War Z last night, and were favourably surprised. I'm not a fan of Pitt or zombies (although Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Warm Bodies were good) but this one is not at all bad. It also has Peter Capaldi as a W.H.O. doctor, which made me chuckle).
That's about it, I think. There's been the usual doctor's appts, shopping/clearing/general housework. Ken and I finished adding all the DVDs to a spreadsheet (we have 1,119 to date and that's counting multipart series' as one) and I've organised all the shelves. It's not perfect, but at least I know roughly where everything is now. Later I need to add the list to the site, so when I'm out I can check to see if we already have it (found we had two copies of Scrooged: one's now gone to charity).
Right - brunch. It's Ken's birthday (thanks for the card Wendy! Great fun!) and I'm doing a full English. He can diet tomorrow!
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
Just back from second foray out with the bike. Rode the whole of the lane, both ways, twice today. We're thinking we'll try the river ride next week: it's flat, and pretty, and not too long. I'll be easily able to get off and walk for part of it (the bike acts as a mobile walking stick, to be honest!) as recommended by Dr Ng.
All very reassuring. But I need a pair of loose knee-length shorts: my leggings are too hot for this weather.
Monday, June 05, 2017
Finally, before I forget what's happened!
The scaffolding opposite started coming down yesterday: it was a loft conversion. The workmen were surprisingly quiet!
It's been busy as always - a lot of the usual sorting/cleaning/shopping/gardening stuff. I fancied a change of wardrobe and (wonders will never cease!) rather liked some of the summer stuff in Sains, so treated myself (made a lot easier with their 25% off all clothing over the bank holiday weekend). Kai's new meadow is coming along nicely: the native plants from the old meadow have now been moved to it and the old one scythed, ready to be dug over so I can gather all my bulbs and corms and plant them in their new (and hopefully final) home.
RHS Chelsea was fun - and I discovered that irises are fragrant! Never knew that. Dived out and took a deep deep sniff of Sultan's Palace, and yes, it is indeed scented! Subtly, but it smells of peaches and cream - absolutely gorgeous. I now want it as a perfume. I know it must be available as someone was wearing it on the bus the other day. I now have the fun of a scent quest!
Last pics of them for this year, they've all died back now.
Not Sultan's Palace, but very sweet.
Everything is outgrowing its space in the greenhouse, and I have plenty of mini munch cucumbers coming: looking forward to those, they are very tasty. The hot dry spell finally broke and we're now back to a lot of rain, which at least saves me having to use the hosepipe. Have some pics: this is the view from the landing window, wonderful even on a wet, grey Monday morning...
On the film side, we've watched National Treasure 2, which was fun, and finally saw Forrest Gump, which is wonderful - as Kai said, "ALL the feels..." Then he suggested Babylon 5, which we haven't watched in a very long time. We're up to Season 1 ep 7 and thoroughly enjoying it. For a sci fi series that's older than Kai is, it's aged exceptionally well and feels like it could have been made this year.
What else... Ah yes! Last Thurs the weather was fine, and I finally took the bike out to see if I could still remember how to ride - Kai came with me on his own bike. Just down the lane between the allotments and Tesco - straight, wide, smooth and quiet. It's been 42 years, but after a couple of false starts I found my balance (more or less, the vertigo is still a nuisance: I won't risk riding on the road) and cycled both ways along it. Legs were shaking when I got off, but that will improve with practise. Planning to go again this week - if it ever stops raining - and get a little more used to it before we try an actual proper ride.
I have just four more albums to scan and that job is finished. Then I'm going to start scanning in my old diaries - started back in 1974 with my first 5-year diary. It's going to be a long and occasionally very embarrassing job, but it's all genealogical stuff and will help complete the records. (Then I can destroy the originals!)
I've not forgotten Poppy, honestly, but every time I sit down to tackle the next chapter something comes up and I have to put it on hold again. I do at least now have the chapter properly planned out, so hopefully this weekend?
And finally - Ken saw one of our foxes up on the wall at the back a couple of nights ago...
Isn't he gorgeous?
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
And a few more.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
My Sultan's Palace iris has started flowering!
They are magnificent! Will try to take more pics tomorrow.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Kai's now had 3 (of 4) exams, and hasn't enjoyed any of them, even Galaxies and the Universe, which we thought would be OK. Will have to see what the results are.
On the medical front: my root canal filling now done and fine. Kai's meds are being changed after the exams, so fingers crossed the new ones will be more effective. Ken's last set of Hep C meds (the ones that are an almost 100 percent perfect cure: headaches and insomnia the only side effects and the course only 12 weeks long as opposed to the first one that was 9 months and left him feeling like he had permanent bad 'flu) seem to have done the trick: his last test, the one the consultants insist has never been known to fail, showed absolutely no trace of the virus. He has a final check in December - if that is also clear we can say he's cured.
You can imagine the relief. It's been 28 years. We first found out he had it when he came with me to give blood back when we were both working for BT...
Films... Moana, which is wonderful.
Unlike Boxing Helena. Quite why I wanted to watch it I'm not exactly sure. Except it stars Julian Sands, who I quite like. It's not very good. Boring soft-core porn with a nasty twist.
Kai mentioned he'd heard good things about The Expanse. I found it reasonably priced on amazon, and as it sounded good ordered it. We watched it over the last week and a bit and ye gods it's fabulous! Absolutely deserves its IMDb rating, if not more. The best - intelligent, subtle, complex, entirely believable - sf series I think I've ever seen. Alas, the second season isn't out on DVD until July, so we now have to possess ourselves in patience for a couple of months. Seriously, if the SyFy channel can produce work like this - why don't they more often?!
And finally, it rained! And rained and rained. Ground now nicely saturated, pools refilled, and waterbutts completely full again.
And of course, the obligatory garden photos. Kai helped me plant the sweetcorn this afternoon..
First strawberry of the year...
Off to make supper while listening to J-pop on radio garden. Later!
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
New potting bench! (It wasn't originally that colour: I've painted on 'golden brown' wood preservative to give it that extra bit of protection). Nice, innit?
Forgot to say - the sky was clear on Sunday night for the Moon-Jupiter conjunction: took the 'scope out and saw the planet and its four main moons (three on one side, the fourth one on the other), and the lens is powerful enough that we could see Jupiter's bands and the red spot! Wonderful, wonderful sight.
It's probably time for me to start the major scanning operation - all Kai's baby/child photos...
Monday, May 08, 2017
Well that was busy!
Let's see, what have we been up to...
Chilling, actually. I'm following Dr Ng's orders and exercising three times a day (admittedly, the third time is a bit more relaxed in the shower. I massage my shoulders with my octopus then too), and (mostly) managing a rest early afternoon, although that went completely out the window this weekend. We've done a little gardening - I've planted more beans, and K&K assembled my potting bench yesterday in time for me to paint wood preservative on the underside (did the topside today). Tomorrow Ken has annual leave, and is going to prepare the location - a good patch of gravel at the far end of the greenhouse. Just in time as my sweetcorn need hardening off!
The bench... well, it's a good height, and seems quite sturdy, but one of the legs is a quarter of an inch shorter than the others, which ain't great. We can level it with the gravel, but given what it cost I'm not impressed. It's also been designed so that it's impossible to use an electric drill to pre-drill the screwholes, so Kai had to struggle with the hand-drill. Anyway, it should be in place tomorrow, and I'll post a photo or two next blog.
I've been watching Masterchef over the last few weeks, (I usually do every year, sometimes it's good for new recipe ideas, ones I can actually make, I mean, rather than the restaurant quality dishes they end up making!) so we haven't watched a lot of films. But Kai was fancying watching National Treasure (I thought we had it but found we didn't, so bought it cheap on amazon with the sequel), which we watched last night. I honestly remembered less than about 10% of it, so it was like watching a new film. Quite fun, though I could have done without the smug chauvinism. Hoping to watch the sequel tomorrow night, the one night this week that Masterchef isn't on (it's finals week)!
We have Crystal Clear coming to measure up for the windows in a little over an hour. Off to make lunch first!
Monday, May 01, 2017
Finished. And it's not bad, even though I didn't have a brief to work to, or find out the title until last Wed...
I ended up committed to 8K words by last Fri and the remainder today. Tight, but proved very doable. Not sure when it'll be published - has to be edited first, but I've been told I will at least get to see the final book before it goes to print. Hopefully they won't need to do too much to it.
And everything fitted in around appts. Tues Dentist refilled the problem tooth with more of the medical stuff and I go back in a couple of weeks for the final filling, though since a chunk of the enamel has now broken off, it may be more work than originally planned. It is dead now though, no more pain. I researched for the book during Kai's counselling appt on Wed, then went with him to his drs appt on Thurs a.m. Andrew from Crystal Clear came in the evening and we're now waiting for the surveying bloke to come take the measurements for the first round of replacement windows: lounge, Kai's room and our room. Friday was my MATS appt with Dr Ng: he told me I need a holiday. Three months in Hawaii would do. Yes, he actually said that. In the absence of that, I have a routine of twists and stretches to do three times a day, with hand exercises every hour. And I have to lie down for at least 15 mins every day and do nothing. (Actually, I play my old New Age ambient music through the CD player I found at Weston, which now goes by the name of Cosmos since he's round like the little UFO. It's fun re-finding tracks I particularly like!) And he gave me the carpal tunnel injection into my wrist, oh joy. So that's me told. And now I have both Ken and Kai nagging me to stop bombing around and rest. Which will be fine if they carry on helping around the house...
Have had fun with amazon too. My old potting table managed to break (I think a fox may have jumped onto it) and while we've propped it up, it's a bit precarious. So I found a nice pressure treated wooden one on amazon and ordered it. Details said delivery in 3 - 5 days: was it hell! Two weeks - and then I got the email saying it had been despatched, went to track details only to find it was showing as undeliverable and on its way back to supplier! WTF??
Contacted amazon, who apologised and arranged to send a replacement.
Same thing happened again.
Contacted amazon again, who apologised, refunded the money, and said they'd investigate.
Just before I left for my MATS appt, potting bench was delivered.
SO contacted amazon again, and asked how to pay. Luckily that just involved me giving them written permission to call for the payment again.
It's a nice little bench. Will photo once it's assembled and in place.
The obligatory garden photos...
Hazels and ramsons.
My life has been a long sequence of synchronicities, the latest one on Sat when Ken came with me to Tesco to pick up the heavy stuff in Wheelie. There are now a series of tiny Transformer turbo chargers blind bags and Ken said I should grab one. So I did.
It was Starscream...
But does this mean he'll be reappearing in the Transformers: The Last Knight film, out in June? Fingers crossed!
We watched Inferno on Filmflex last night. Interesting and thought-provoking.
Not sure if I mentioned radio garden anywhere: it was mentioned on tumblr. I'm currently listening to J-Pop live from Tokyo. Such fun! (The local ads are annoying, but I guess they must have to pay for the service somehow, it's free to use...)
Time to get dinner served. Roast chicken tonight as it's a Bank Holiday. Later!!
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Quickest of all posts while I take a short break. Now 6K words into the unicorns book (heh, that came out as Unicron to start with!) and four 'chapters' completely written (of 8, possibly 9, see how we go). Pretty relentless but working OK so far. Just hope they like it!
The view of the wisteria from our window. It smells glorious...
... and then it suddenly occurred to me. Transformers: Prime Starscream is a unicorn...
... back to it...
Friday, April 21, 2017
Been a busy week. A lot of gardening - lots of flowers this year - and planting out of peas, mangetout and sugarsnaps. Hopefully the forecast chilly nights won't do any serious damage...
Kai's ferritin level is now down to 1,986. YAY! Heading in the right direction and under 2,000 at last. Needs to get down to under 1,000 before they'll revise the schedule, so still some more vensections to come.
Ken has been down in Devon, staying with friends and researching for another book, since Wed (back tomorrow). Kai is taking a long time to recover from the bug. I'm still coughing, but mostly better. Which is just as well, as I have committed to a book...
Another of Chelsey's authors was supposed to write it, but found herself without enough time, so I was asked to step in. It's a little book (10K words) on unicorns. Stupidly short time to write it - next Friday, in fact - due to reasons. Don't ask. But it's unicorns. It's also apparently for a much younger demographic than I've ever written for before, and has to be breezy and snappy (rather than my usual 'staid and calm' style), which will be... interesting, and subject to heavy editing if they feel it needs it. But it's unicorns! How could I refuse?
So will be just a wee bit busy for the next week...
My everlasting orchid is doing its thing again...
(Anyone remember the Tetra of Immortality? Got it around 1999 and it didn't disappear - not die, we never found a corpse - until overnight on Sat Nov 5th 2005. Post from Sun 6th: It's a mystery... The Tetra of Immortality has vanished. Disappeared. Gone without a trace. Not there any more. Possibly disapparated. Lutra suggested it's returned to the Mothership... My orchid seems to be trying to outdo it. It's now flowered continuously since March 2014.)
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Let's see if I can remember what's happened...
Still coughing and spluttering with the cold/flu bug. It's a really nasty one and hangs on for weeks - and now Ken has it too. Oh joy. But we're coping.
This week has been much as usual. Shopping, much gardening, scanning/burning/filing the first batch of photo albums (next batch are all of Kai from birth to about 4 - 12 albums worth...) and general tidying up. Kim and I went to Almondsbury garden centre on Thursday: only bought a couple of bags of potting compost and a few small bits and pieces, but have now found the perfect conifer for out the front to prevent peeping toms from peering into my lounge. Wrong time of year to plant it though - need to move a couple of other plants first, so will get it in the autumn. It was a fun day, with loads of catching up and laughter (Kim has an evil sense of humour... I planted half my sweetcorn seeds (all of them would fill my lower raised bed, and I need half of it for peas, courgettes, marrows and pumpkins: will save the other half for next year) in the greenhouse on Wed, and they're already showing above the compost! Have also hardened off the first lot of pea plants and built the supports for them - will plant them out later this afternoon. Both beds now have copper tape around them, and I bought and applied some slug pellets from T&M which are guaranteed kid-, pet- and wildlife-safe, so fingers crossed everything will be OK. I'm currently re-reading Doris Lessing's Shikasta series. Got it when it first came out (1979: I was at uni) and obviously liked it enough to collect the rest of the books, and mark my favourite bits by turning down the pages (Yes, Sue, I know that's a sin...), but re-reading it now... it has not aged well. That could be because much of it reads like history, depressingly, but despite the cleverness of the writing (for the time) and the prescience displayed I did not enjoy it. Currently half way through book 2, The Marriages Between Zone Three, Four and Five and basically pretty bored. Kai said he wanted to try Shikasta, despite my warnings, so I think he's aiming to try to tackle it soon. Be very interesting to hear his take on it! You might remember I use an Oral B electric toothbrush. It operates for two minutes of brushing before juddering to indicate time's up, and one recharge lasts about 9 - 10 days. It takes 16 hours to fully recharge. That's 16 hours for at most 20 minutes worth of cleaning. We can remotely explore Mars and the outer reaches of the solar system, but can't make an energy efficient electric toothbrush. Something wrong somewhere... New Doctor Who starts tonight. I'm havering. Peter Capaldi is my favourite Doctor (he's certainly the most alien) but I cannot ABIDE Matt Lucas. He makes me cringe. Sooooo... we'll see.
I planted half my sweetcorn seeds (all of them would fill my lower raised bed, and I need half of it for peas, courgettes, marrows and pumpkins: will save the other half for next year) in the greenhouse on Wed, and they're already showing above the compost! Have also hardened off the first lot of pea plants and built the supports for them - will plant them out later this afternoon. Both beds now have copper tape around them, and I bought and applied some slug pellets from T&M which are guaranteed kid-, pet- and wildlife-safe, so fingers crossed everything will be OK.
I'm currently re-reading Doris Lessing's Shikasta series. Got it when it first came out (1979: I was at uni) and obviously liked it enough to collect the rest of the books, and mark my favourite bits by turning down the pages (Yes, Sue, I know that's a sin...), but re-reading it now... it has not aged well. That could be because much of it reads like history, depressingly, but despite the cleverness of the writing (for the time) and the prescience displayed I did not enjoy it. Currently half way through book 2, The Marriages Between Zone Three, Four and Five and basically pretty bored. Kai said he wanted to try Shikasta, despite my warnings, so I think he's aiming to try to tackle it soon. Be very interesting to hear his take on it!
You might remember I use an Oral B electric toothbrush. It operates for two minutes of brushing before juddering to indicate time's up, and one recharge lasts about 9 - 10 days.
It takes 16 hours to fully recharge.
That's 16 hours for at most 20 minutes worth of cleaning.
We can remotely explore Mars and the outer reaches of the solar system, but can't make an energy efficient electric toothbrush. Something wrong somewhere...
New Doctor Who starts tonight. I'm havering. Peter Capaldi is my favourite Doctor (he's certainly the most alien) but I cannot ABIDE Matt Lucas. He makes me cringe. Sooooo... we'll see.
Saturday, April 08, 2017
This is getting ridiculous...
What have we done? Well, tooth was aching over last weekend, then by Mon I was back in pain again. I was able to get a dentist appt on Tues: she tells me the pain is the root dying and drilled the outer rim of the tooth down a little so it doesn't hurt when I bite or chew, which is a great help. (Although I lost half a stone in weight last week when all I could eat was soup. Not the best way to lose weight but silver linings and all that...) It's a back molar, four roots, a big job, but hopefully it'll have settled down by the actual appt for the root canal at the end of the month.
Have spent more time watching DVDs: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which is a delight: Renaissance, which is a bit of a disappointment, beautifully made, but lacking substance: The Man Who Fell To Earth, which I found better and more nuanced the second time around: all four Pirates of the Caribbean films in preparation for the new one, release date end of May: and tonight, in relation to the new YOPA adverts we keep seeing, Can't Stop The Music - funny and campy and shiny and frivolous, a cute end to the busy week. (Edit: apparently it's the real Village People in the advert!)
We've done a fair bit in the garden...
Pear tree in bloom.
and put up the new sliding door across the pantry (finally! Only taken us 25 years to tidy that corner up. The difference in temperature is quite significant).
And then there was this morning...
I slept very badly last night, kept waking up (last dregs of this blasted bug, I think. The cough is proving very resistant). Had just dropped off again at 8 when a quietish commotion from downstairs woke me up again. Could hear two voices, Ken and a stranger - turned out to be a young man (couple of years younger than Kai) asking to use the phone to ring for an ambulance and his father. He said he'd been at a nightclub and some people had ganged up on him and injected him with something. Given he was in tears, staggering and clutching his stomach we took him seriously and rang for the ambulance ourselves...
It took them half an hour to arrive, and two police cars arrived first, which didn't do much for his paranoia and trust issues. However, the ambulance took him off to the BRI. In the meantime his dad had rung Ken's phone, and they swapped details - the lad wasn't on any medication, was usually no trouble, and didn't take recreational drugs, though when I passed that on to the police officer I got a raised eyebrow and a wry smile.
Not the most salubrious of ways to start the weekend, but we did what we could and his dad thanked us. We're just wondering, why us? Does the house exude homeliness and comfort or something? I know I sometimes feel like mum to the world but I wasn't even the first person he saw.
Eh well. Guess my life is a soap opera.
This has appeared over the house opposite...
What is it? Ken suggested chimney extension: I pondered missile silo, or stage for an audience of giants. Though it's probably just to hold a waterproof cover while they do things to the roof. No doubt we'll find out soon. Just hope they aren't too noisy.
K&K were supposed to be heading out for the day but Kai is feeling pretty rough (he's reached the worst part of the bug now) so stayed home, pottered in the garden, and helped me get the wash hung out: Ken went off Bath-wards with Dawn to get a break from Bristol for a few hours. I had planned to devote the day to Poppy, but as usual when I try to make plans for me something happens to scupper them.