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.

First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.














My IMDb ep summaries

(completed)
Arthur of the Britons
Sky
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
Zodiac
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Starhyke
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
Nightwalker
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Rayearth
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)
The Café

For later:

Earthian
BBC Lion, witch and wardrobe
BBC Caspian and Dawn Treader
BBC Silver Chair
(Missing Excel Saga eps)
(Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)


Silver birch at Eastwood 

Farm

"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)

Autumn...

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:
Muse
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:
BCHS
BCW


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 

Sylverthorne

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

Joules' 

Haddock

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 

2004

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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 

by 

Onna

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



The Zone Plant from
The Zone 

blog 

plant

OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::HubbleSite
Stunning...
::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
:: 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...)

[::..Anime/Manga..::]
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

Owned:
   DVD
   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

Owned:
   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

Owned:
   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

Owned:
   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

Owned:
   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust

Owned:
   DVD

   Vampire Hunter D Book 1



New Vampire Miyu

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


Yami no Matsuei

Owned:
   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.
   Sketchbook


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


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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

[::..archive..::]
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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01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
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01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
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01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
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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
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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
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01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
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01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
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01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
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01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
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01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
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01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

So... I'm booked in for a gastroscopy (oh joy) beginning of March. I've opted for an anaesthetic throat spray instead of an injected sedative. Should be OK, fingers crossed.

I meant to post this pic back in December but forgot it was on my phone. Beautiful deer in Broadmead, not on the main thoroughfare: it was tucked away in a little square behind the shops towards Cabot Circus.

Ken and I went to Hurrans on Sunday for a last visit. This was near the bus stop: not sure if it's an affirmation or a condemnation...

Hurrans - the end of an era. Terribly sad to see it empty...

We're on to The Expanse season 3 now, and Ken is watching too. Crackin' stuff!

Ken emptied the large compost bin (onto my higher raised bed) on Saturday - all wonderful rich dark soil to grow my plants in. Going to be rearranging that part of the garden over the next couple months: the big conifer that hid the bins from the house died in last year's brutal summer and will need to be cut down. Once we know where Kai wants his railway tracks to go we can make a start.

Off swimming in an hour - by myself today as Kim has a job interview this afternoon. She's been with the main Post Office in Broadmead for 20-odd years: as it's closing down next month she's now looking for a caring post.

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Whoa! Two posts in one week? Whatever next?

It's been a productive week. Some more tidying up bits in the house, and I've weeded/hoed/prepped the two raised beds (put the two cloches on the higher bed and covered all the open soil with weed-suppressing fabric) in preparation for this season's food plants. Not growing sweetcorn again - it's a lot of work and last year's crop was nondescript at best. Easier (and cheaper in the long run) to buy frozen organic sweetcorn from Waitrose. Won't bother with peas either (ditto). Lower bed will have runner beans, a courgette plant or two, a pumpkin and several marrows - things that we like to eat, that are expensive to buy organic, and which I know will succeed in the space. Higher bed is asparagus (may be enough to use this year, looking forward to Sunday brunches of home made buckwheat pancakes, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and a spear or two of asparagus!), garlic (which I planted on Wed, two varieties), heritage carrots, a few special large onions, spring onions, radishes, snap peas, mange tout and dwarf French beans - all of them successful in the past.

Greenhouse is still tidy from last autumn, and my French tarragon is coming along very nicely. Planning a lot of large tomatoes this year, to use in cooking, the usual minimunch cucumber, a variety of cherry tomatoes, and mixed peppers. Our bench has been stored in there all winter - Tyjer loves lying on it in the sunny warmth - so will start organising the growing space once that's back in its usual place at the top of the garden. And I've been out to Almondsbury to pick up some compost (next time Kim has a day off. She's happy to drive there and knows the way better than me!) Just need to sort out the small water butt: moving it to the front of the greenhouse so it's less work.

Kai fancied re-watching The Expanse in advance of Season 3, which is due out on amazon Nov 4th - which is an awfully long time to wait. I was reading the (mostly rather angry about the wait, as it's been available in the US since last April, apparently) comments on the amazon page - and a couple of people said they'd bought it on ebay instead, so I checked, and yes, it's available now, £12.62, free p&p. So I bought it. It arrived this morning. We've nearly finished Season 1, so will be able to start on 3 in a week or so after we've rewatched Season 2.

On the health front... Kai's Mon venesection went well. I had my yearly health check on Tues: appt was for 11 but I didn't get into the room until 1/4 to 12 - NOT happy (and neither was my back). BP is a bit high - I pointed out that wasn't surprising after sitting for 50 mins on their uncomfy waiting room chairs - so she's asked me to take my own readings (I bought a monitor some time ago, just need to put batteries in in) a few time over the next couple of weeks and she'll ring me for a phone consultation early March. Because I had to wait so long and didn't make a fuss about it, she got me in to have blood taken for tests right away instead of having to make a further appt. Just rang for the results: liver and thyroid functions normal, diabetes normal, kidney function satisfactory, vitamin D a bit low but not unusual for the time of year. Apparently they didn't test for my cholesterol count, which was one I was interested in: may need to make a further appt for that.

I also asked about another concern that I haven't mentioned here (yet). Remember a couple of years ago I had that awful chest pain and got checked out at the Bristol Heart Institute? Well, it's happened again three times since, and over the last 18 months I've found that if I take too big a bite of food, or don't chew the mouthful thoroughly, it feels as though it gets stuck in my oesophagus around the level of my diaphragm, and is immensely painful. It usually takes two or three minutes to ease and for the food to go down, and drinking doesn't help (makes it worse in fact). Dr thinks it may simply be acute spasms, as apart from that I'm mostly fine, but has referred me to the BRI just to be safe. So I may be having an endoscopy in the near future. Oh joy...

So, apart from that? Things are going OK. Still no dropped kerb, but that's understandable given I'm asking him to fit us in around his other commitments. It's in hand. The last couple of days have been wonderfully sunny with temps well above normal for the time of year: not sure it that bodes well or ill for the summer. But when I opened the greenhouse an hour or so ago, there were a big fat bumblebee and a red admiral butterfly (!) drinking from the flowering daphne, which was marvellous to see.

'Bye for now!

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Brief catch up...

The snow had completely gone by Sunday morning, but it was pretty while it lasted.

The shower curtain rail has now been fixed and the job completed!

Highways have confirmed the excavation licence has now been reissued to A&G Surfacing free of charge. The company has confirmed they will be in touch soon to arrange a mutually convenient time to finish the work. I'll cheer once it's done.

Decided I'll take Derpy to be serviced before we start using her, once the drive is finished. Renatec are just down the road (literally).

WeCare person arrived today with the paperwork for the replacement downpipe - it'll be around £1,200 [wince] but it really needs to be done, as it's a health risk as much as anything, so aiming to have that completed by the end of August.

Have read and thoroughly enjoyed The Left Hand of Darkness. Astonishingly it was just one line of dialogue from the book that I remembered, the rest was as if new to me - which was fun!

We've finished watching Primeval and really enjoyed it. I just wish it had run to another couple of seasons...

Hurrans Garden Centre is closing on March 10th (so sad. We've spent a small fortune there over the years, it's been there (under different names) since before we bought the house and it's so quick and easy to get to and such a fun place to visit - nice café too, although that closed down for good before Yule.) They're having an 'at least 50% off sale', so Kai and I bussed there yesterday. Came back with another trug for my patio herbs (half price), a selection of seeds, weed supressing fabric and a couple of low terracotta pots for my cactus orchid succulent. Should have been £107: came to £49. I like savings like that! Now have to clear the patio area and get some compost so I can get started...

Kai has venesection at 5 today. He's going in by himself this time, and Ken will meet him at the hospital Costco after work to make sure he gets home safely. (He'd probably be perfectly fine but he has felt a little wobbly and light-headed on a couple of occasions so one of us always goes with him. Usually me, but given the timing and Ken already being in town, he's volunteered this time.)

That's about it for now. Gradually clearing the projects to give myself time for writing. Not quite there yet but it's getting closer. I hope...

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Friday, February 01, 2019

Snow! 

It's magical waking up to silence...


There's a garden under there somewhere...


He didn't stay out very long!

Pretty.


Snow flowers!


Poor Derpy...


But the kids loved it! (The park, on our way down to Sains to get a bit of shopping. I can heartily recommend Yaktrax!)

Alas, it had stopped snowing and started melting as we were on our way back - though it's still well covered out there, and temps are due to get below freezing tonight. So ice tomorrow then. Oh joy... We don't have to go out luckily. Should all be cleared by next week. Less a Beast from the East and more a Pest from the West, as one of our TV forecasters said a day or two ago.

Not much fun for travellers though - traffic disruption. Many busses were cancelled or on limited routes as well. Still, this is proper British winter weather, and our walk was a lot of fun!

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3 Comments:

Blogger Sue said...

Could have sworn I pushed the button on a comment earlier but since nothing is showing up so trying again.
I said: Oooh pretty! We didn't have quite as much but it was still nice to see (since we didn't have to go anywhere). It's all pretty much gone today though.

3:52 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

We didn't have as much as that but it's lingering, with -7 temp last night. I want it to go now, please :)

9:23 am  
Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

Whoa! That is pretty :)

11:24 am  

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

This is getting silly. I can't seem to get enough sleep (even 11 hours on Sunday night left me feeling tired). Will have to ask dr at my yearly checkup if I need a higher dose of levothyroxine or if perhaps it's something else...

Anyway, apart from that things are... OK, I guess. Kerb still not dropped, though given the freezing weather at the moment I'm not too worried about that. Will get Derpy serviced once the drive is ready, then we'll be set once the weather improves.

Ken actually had to take sick leave with a rather nasty bug he went down with - not quite flu, but a lot worse than a cold. Kai now has a cold, but so far I'm fending it off (it's the flu jabs, I'm convinced!) Childe's immune system seems to be repairing itself quite well - it hasn't hit him anything like as hard as the last one.

He's at uni this morning. He had exams over the last two weeks and didn't want to talk about them when he got home, so keeping fingers tightly crossed he did enough to get through. He can take resits in the summer, but of course we'd rather he didn't need to!

We've watched a lot of films recently. Kai mentioned he keeps hearing about Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Big Lebowski, so I found them ridiculously cheap on amazon and bought them...

Yes. Well. I loathed both of them. It seems that classic American "humour" just leaves me cold. Thoroughly obnoxious characters, hugely irritating plots, and in the latter it seemed that almost every other word was 'fuck'.

At least Kai has now seen them and knows what his friends are talking about.

Ken and I watched The Handmaid's Tale, which I found as depressing as the first time I saw it. We all watched and thoroughly enjoyed The Night Manager - still a crackin' good watch - and Ant-man and the Wasp, which is fun. Though I didn't see the point of the tardigrades. Unless their purpose will be revealed at some future time. Or maybe they were used as a size comparison... We're currently watching our way through Primeval (haven't seen a lot of seasons 4 and 5), which is also fun. Picked up A Wrinkle in Time for the weekend (terrible reviews but none of us have read the book - at least, I don't think I have. If I did I obviously didn't find it at all memorable - but the trailers look beautiful, so we'll watch it for the sfx. Won't be the first time!)

We're thinking about going to the Nomu Japanese restaurant for a birthday treat this year. Don't normally bother going out, but they offer a really fun 'three for £14' deal, so we'd all be able to try a variety of different things. Plus there's a free cocktail for your birthday. I quite fancy trying the Tokyo Ice Tea!

... think I may go have a nap before Kai gets back for lunch...

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2 Comments:

Blogger Sue said...

I will be interested to hear what you think of A Wrinkle in Time. I loved the book (and others by Madeleine L'Engle - but was disappointed to read the poor reviews of the film so I haven't sought it out.

4:58 pm  
Blogger Thorne said...

It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't much like the book, either. Like most, watch it on its own merits, don't bother comparing the two. ^_^

6:13 pm  

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Thursday, January 03, 2019

Dinobot! 

Kai transformed him for me yesterday...


The quality is extraordinary. The lower jaw on all the four supplied faces opens and closes, so he can show his fangs, and the eyes of the velociraptor (alt. mode) can be switched from wide open to squinting. (The face I chose has his trademark smirk, which makes me chuckle.) And yes, he has two thumbs on each hand.

SO chuffed! He has pride of place in the right hand display case - will get a photo when the light is better - so I only have to turn my head a little to see him.

Took Kai over an hour to do. You can see the process in the Youtube video if you're interested, but the person doing it there is a lot faster and has obviously done this before!

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Tuesday, January 01, 2019

(may it be a) Happy New Year  

All in all 2018 was an interesting year...

I had my first solo break in forever at a Napoleonic fort in a part of Cornwall I'd never visited, which, even though cut short by two days by the Beast from the East, was wonderfully relaxing and fun. And of course it introduced me to the sheer joy of sleeping on a memory foam bed. (Our Casper mattress is still going strong and still allowing me the best sleep I've ever had.)

We had the window installation completed. So warm now!

The appallingly hot summer was not kind to my greenhouse plants: have now bought shading to put up if/when it happens again.

Took refresher driving lessons, bought a car, and had a drive (half)built.

Had a real shower installed and the bathroom tiled and decorated (though they still haven't fixed the shower curtain rail. Beyond a joke now...)

Had a snazzy new house alarm system installed. Motion detectors instead of door and window catches - much more efficient.

Finished redecorating the hall/stairwell/landing, and Ken has stripped all the layers of paint from the top banister. The wood underneath is actually gorgeous, quite dark but with a lighter grain that looks like feathers - very pretty. All that's left now is Ken's room (repainting and putting up a wall-full of shelves, then getting rid of the mismatched cheap bookcases), and the kitchen, which will be the last to be done as my old gas cooker is now playing up and will need replacing before next Yuletide. Seen what I want - AEG induction cooker (German of course, any of these will do nicely!) - and I want a cooker hood too, to cut down on the smells of cooking. Will need to be properly installed by someone qualified to disconnect the gas supply to the old one: the whole thing is going to be a little pricey but worth it.

And ended up with a great new washing machine (will be using for the first time tomorrow).

Actually not too bad for a year's improvements.

So, to do this year - get the kerb dropped (and Fixit sorted), get the shower curtain rail fixed, the old asbestos downpipe replaced, new flooring/carpeting laid, new cooker installed and kitchen redecorated, Ken's room sorted, and the garden a little more organised. All a lot less urgent than last year's goals (not to mention less expensive!) so I anticipate actually being able to make time to write.

Fingers crossed, anyway...

The London fireworks last night were as usual glorious. Yakuza Apocalypse is completely bonkers. Doctor Who this evening was... good I suppose, although it was the f%$*&g Daleks (again) and I really really hate them. I never found them frightening, not in the 60's and not now. You'd have thought they'd have taken the opportunity to redesign the damn things into something a lot more sleek and effective, but nooooo, we're stuck with that clunky, stupid, inefficient pepperpot look... GAH!

[grump] Anyway. Hope everyone's Yuletide went very well and you all start 2019 with optimism and hope.

Later!

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Later edit: washing machine delivered and installed - Kai currently adjusting the feet so it's level. It's very nice, and A+++ rating. Chuffed we are!

New Year's resolution - try to update more than once a month...

Currently waiting for the new washing machine to be delivered. The old one started making the most horrendous noise and vibrations to shake the kitchen apart on the spin cycle, but then again, we've had it for a good ten years and it gets used at least twice a week, so it's done us proud. Bosch make. I do like German engineering. The replacement's a Bosch too. Hope the quality's the same as it used to be!

So, happenings since I last posted. I finally had to fire the cowboys from Fixit, twelve weeks after they started the job: now waiting for A & G Surfacing to get back to me with a date for the kerb to be dropped. Will update on action against Fixit as and when I can: first priority is to get Derpy safely on to the drive.

Kim and I went out to Congresbury Garden Centre. They were setting up their Yuletide decorations - including these...

... life-sized reindeer heads that sang carols a cappella. The heads moved from side to side and the mouths and eyes opened and closed as they sang. Impressive - and creepy.

GoodTwin and Sue visited before Yule to exchange gifts (many thanks!) and we had much fun with several new quizzes and catching up on all the news.

The 25th was pretty low-key, with presents, chocolates, films and food. Dawn came over on Boxing Day for a Japanese-themed day, with My Neighbour Tortoro and Space Battleship Yamato (the former went down well, the latter less so), and sushi and yakitori chicken for lunch, chicken with chestnuts for dinner (became an instant family favourite, but next time I'll skip the chestnuts). All very enjoyable. And the Oriental supermarket just down from City Hall (where Ken works) is really excellent. Even had instant dashi, and bonito flakes! Going to experiment with a few Japanese recipes in the coming year - getting fed up with making the usual all the time.

Minimal decorations this year, just the tree in the lounge -

And the one on the shelf over the stairwell.

Kai and I finished watching MilleniuM... bit of an odd ending, vaguely dissatisfying. Glad we persevered though. Next up is The Night Manager (reduced price at Sains), which I watched by myself when it was first shown and enjoyed immensely. We've caught up with all the DVDs I found at Westbury back in October except for Yakuza Apocalypse: Kai really enjoyed Aqua Teen Hunger Force (I found it less fun than when I first saw it, unfortunately). Cried my way through A Dog's Purpose (beautiful, beautiful film). And remembered that I collected the complete Primeval (missed half of season three, all of season four, so didn't bother with season five on TV), so that's on the list to watch in the next few months.

Finished redecorating the hall/stairwell/landing. Last job is to strip the paint from the upstairs banister back to the wood, which Ken is doing. It all looks rather nice. Now just Ken's office and the kitchen to do.

No delivery yet. I was up at 6.45: delivery is free if you opt for any time between 7 am and 7 pm. Want to bet they arrive just before 7 this evening?

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Friday, November 30, 2018

Taking a break while the first coat of paint dries...

Hectic as ever. Quick run down: -

Health: still coughing and spluttering, but not badly enough to stop me swimming (skipped two weeks because of the bug and really missed it). Kai had venection on the 18th, but his veins refused to co-operate (for the second time ever) so I had to make another appointment for the 25th, which went a little better.

Watching: on the third and last season of MillenniuM now. Still enjoying it, though it's got darker and darker. As usual watching Strictly Come Dancing, which as usual is fun.

Pets: Rosa successfully off to her new home on 12th of this month. She'll be going to a couple who have a good few other tarantulas and are pretty much experts in their care, so I feel happier now. Tyjer is still going strong, though beginning to show his age now, bless 'im - not so fast, and it's not so easy for him to jump up any more. Though he is growing more cuddly in his old age (fell asleep on my lap yesterday evening), which is rather nice.

Car: [sigh] I left her so long when I tried to start her on Monday the battery was completely dead (my own fault, I'd been advised to turn the engine over at least once a week. Blame my feeling lousy for two weeks). Luckily, we'd bought a new, automatic battery charger a few years back, to charge up the battery in Kai's train engine, so (with Kai doing a bit of research online as apparently Renault batteries don't lift out of the car like the old ones used to do, and there are rather more varieties than there used to was...) To my amazement and delight, it only took two and a half hours to charge the battery from completely dead with errors and alarms flashing all over the dashboard to starting with a growly purr and all the indicators back to normal. Beats the overnight charge the Petal took! I did a little gardening while she was recharging (as it had to be done in situ) so we're about ready for a nice small evergreen tree to be planted in the house-ward corner (BND has had work done on his cameras recently and there's now one that looks down on to our drive. Bloody Peeping Tom). As for the drive... Highways confirm the excavation licence was issues on the 22nd of this month. I emailed Fixit yesterday evening and am now waiting for them to get back to me to say when they're coming to finish the work. They're now seven weeks overdue...

House: the hall/stairwell/landing is a little more than half way done now. Planning to finish that lot, at least, by the time GoodTwin and Sue come to visit in a couple of weeks. I think the kitchen will have to wait until after Yule though.

Off to put a second coat on the woodwork. Fingers crossed for a good weekend, all!

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