Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::

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

August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!

My IMDb ep summaries

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

For later:

Dragonball Z (season 2, part)
Robotech (s2 ep14 Triumvirate)
BBC Lion, witch and wardrobe
BBC Caspian and Dawn Treader
BBC Silver Chair
Beauty and the Beast (part)
(Missing Excel Saga eps)
(Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

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

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

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

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:

Currently maintaining:

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

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

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

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

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

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

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

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

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

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

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

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

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

Murfs - noun, moths.

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

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

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

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

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

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

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

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

The Updates Blog

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

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

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

Butch by the talented 


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



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

A'lestrel by 


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

Kood, my new mp3 


Soundwave! (Kood's still moving in...)

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



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

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

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
::SciFan [>]
- THE place for your S-F reading needs
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: MailWasher
Excellent anti-spam software
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: ZSPC Colour Chart
Check how your text and background colours look together before releasing them on the world!
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...
:: Union of Concerned Scientists
Exactly what it says. Fascinating - and worrying...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....

Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

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

Yami no Matsuei

   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.

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

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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
01/07/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
01/09/2012 - 30/09/2012
01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
01/09/2013 - 30/09/2013
01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Happy Winter! 

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

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

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

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

Then GoodTwin and Sue are coming to visit!

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

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

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

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


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Another quick catch up...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, November 08, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Blogger Sue said...

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

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

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

9:29 pm  

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Friday, October 28, 2016

I haz a bike!

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

OK, an explanation is in order, obviously.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A bit convoluted that, but now you know!

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

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

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

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

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

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Blogger Sue said...

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

10:37 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

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

10:57 am  

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Erk - been a week again...

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

Dull day, but a nice walk.

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

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

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

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Monday, October 17, 2016

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

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

And it matches my orchid.

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Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

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

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

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

11:26 pm  

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

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

It's beautiful there.

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

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

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

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

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Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

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

10:05 am  

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

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

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


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

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Blogger Sue said...

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

5:27 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

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

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

10:23 pm  
Blogger Ellel Bee said...

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

Still not a robot, either (pout).

3:24 pm  
Blogger Ellel Bee said...

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

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

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

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

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

10:55 pm  

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Thursday, October 06, 2016

Let's try again...

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

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

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

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

She's much happier now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The view from the patio doors...

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

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

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

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

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Blogger Sue said...

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

9:49 pm  
Blogger AmandaHuffleduck said...

Your garden always looks so inviting :)

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

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

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

10:56 pm  

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

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

Sending 'fluences for energy...

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

All such 'fluences gratefully received.

10:36 pm  

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Quickie because tired...

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

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

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

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

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

That is looking good!

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

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

11:35 pm  
Blogger bakayaro onna said...

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

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

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

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

Yosuke Eguchi ain't bad neither!

10:31 pm  

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Blogger Sue said...

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

5:59 pm  

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

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

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

Progressing comfortably...

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

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

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

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

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Blogger Ellel Bee said...

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

12:04 pm  

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brean Down and Steep Holm

© Kai September 2016

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

© Kai September 2016

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, September 08, 2016

I haz an existential greenhouse! (Thanks Sue!)

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

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

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

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

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Blogger Sue said...

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

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

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

Blame it on Butch, I guess?

Thanks anyway!

3:49 pm  

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Monday, September 05, 2016

I haz a greenhouse!

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






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

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

All great stuff.

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

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

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

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

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

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

11:03 pm  
Blogger Sue said...

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

11:06 am  

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Another quickie while I have time. K&K are out today, off to Wotton-under-Edge again to explore the escarpment. Should be good views, if a little hazy.

I've sorted the kitchen cupboards (few more bits to go to charity: I think I'm now down to only the stuff I actually use), put a wash through, organised dinner, written up some notes for the Dystopia project and edited three more chapters. Oh, and next!Poppy is started too. Not too bad.

It's not easy at the moment though. Don't know if it's the new meds, or I'm doing too much, or whatever is wrong with my back is getting worse (won't know about that until I see the dr on the 12th Sept, earliest appt I could get, so I assume it's nothing too serious...) My Skype convo with Lutra last night pretty much expresses it nicely though.

Joules: Y'know, it's a bit bloody much when just raising a glass to your mouth sends shooting pains through your hand and elbow! I want to send this body back and demand a replacement that works, please.
Lutra: Gah! It is! Is it still under warranty though? Even so you'd expect a minimum level of service.
Quite! And it's supposed to have a lifetime guarantee, or so I understood.
There's probably some tricky 'reasonable use' clause, which no one can 'reasonably' do.
[GRUMP] I'd try and find it but the warranty is 50 million pages long... in VERY TINY SCRIPT. On organic material.
I'm sure there's enough dissatisfaction a class action against the manufacturer isn't unreasonable! I mean, the time and money expended on these, and it's not like they're a luxury you can do without!

Can one sue evolution for incompetence?

It's not quite so bad today, but the pain is still constant, and painkillers don't seem to do much...

Eh well. Have a pretty to end on!

Definitely a flower spike! More photos as it flowers.

My little lithops has flowered this year too, twice!

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Blogger Ellel Bee said...


My emails to you are getting sent back to me with a "permanently failed" message. Things okay between us?

1:23 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

I have absolutely NO idea why that's happening. I did wonder why I hadn't heard anything from you but assumed you were still languishing in the summer heat over there, or hadn't found any funnies, or were simply busy. Could you try forwarding one of the returned emails to my JAT addy, and see if that works? If not, we'll try the yahoo or googlemail route, I have accounts with both.
Did you get my e-card? If not, it may be a problem at your end.

11:04 am  
Blogger Ellel Bee said...

I'll try the JAT addy, and forward one of the returned emails to that. Frantic weekend, so Monday or Tuesday.

3:49 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

OK, thanks, we'll see what happens. In the meantime, I've lowered the strength of my spam detection and deletion at source, in case that might be causing it. I checked Spamhaus and we're not listed there (you could check it out yourself - go here and put in your IP address, it'll tell you if they have you listed). I have your email address whitelisted: there's absolutely no reason for the system to be playing up!
We'll get to the bottom of it, I promise. In the meantime, hope all's well, despite summer heat and being busy.

10:23 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Update: The e-card I sent has bounced back to me, which argues it may possibly be a problem at your end. I've tried sending it direct, as the notification advised: let me know if you get it? Do you know if anyone else has been receiving your emails, or getting them bounced back?

3:13 pm  
Blogger Ellel Bee said...

That truly puzzles me, as I got the ecard, and enjoyed the wols. In fact I still have the notification that it was sent me, and it still allowed me to open the card as I was writing this. Hmmmm.

However, I totally forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed it, so that's on me completely. Thank you. It made a mad day just a little bit better.

7:58 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

[flings hands up in the air] OK, no idea what's going on! Your last email to my usual account arrived just fine, and I replied, but just in case it doesn't arrive with you I thought I'd comment here so you'd know. Looks like reducing my spam settings has sorted it out? Fingers crossed anyway.
Glad you enjoyed the card - sorry your day was mad.

9:46 pm  

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wut? That's over a week zooomed past again! My haddock are escaping!!

Better do the quickest of all catchups before I completely forget what's happened...

The meeting with Marie went fine, she settled on a domain name and is going to play around with WordPress to see how she gets on with it. I have to reluctantly admit it's improved since I last checked it out.

31 photo albums to go (that's including the 6 Ken brought down from his study which weren't included in the original count). The first 4.7 gig DVD has been burned and archived.

It's been too hot (or too wet) for Kai to go out much during the day this last week, so he's had several evening walks with both myself and Ken. I've got quite a lot done in the garden, and the plans are coming into focus. This is good!

And that's basically it. We finished watching The Omega Factor (and I'm honestly not sure quite how I feel about it. Several of the eps were brilliant - Child's Play in particular - but some were disappointing. It generated a fair bit of discussion here though, which is always a good thing). We're now rewatching Trigun, probably my favourite anime of all time. It just gets better and better with each watching!

Off to chop veg for stir fry...

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

There are lots of loose haddock over here as well. Better nets needed... :)

9:39 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Nets... Forcefields... Larger pools? No,that's a bit cruel... Could just go back to appeals for TARDIS, clones, or 60 hour days. Though I'm not at all sure even that would be enough, these days...

11:05 am  

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Lots of photos below... 

On Saturday Kai and I went back to Radstock to explore the Colliers Way walk...

This would have been less alarming if we'd been able to see the bridge before stepping onto it...

... this is the bridge...

The (cycle)path runs along the old railway track.

Yes, you can ride tandems along here too!

It's number 24 of the national cycle network. Number 3 goes past our house, which is mostly very nice, except when inconsiderate groups cycle past at 6 a.m.on a Sunday morning shouting to each other ...

These were most puzzling...

... until we found out what they are!

Heh. An instructional cycle path! Whatever next!

There are quite a few bridges, both above and beneath,

And inside each of the ones above were strange signs with hands...

This is a bench, for children and adults, we think. There are seats and benches all along the route.

More hands...


This is the sidings, as far as we got. Kai worked out later that we walked 6.8 miles in total. Legs were burning by the time we collapsed onto the bus back in Radstock, but to my surprise I was fine on Sunday. Very happy about that!

More hands!

It's an absolutely beautiful walk. Going to go back in the autumn and enjoy the colours!

On Sunday Kai had another venesection session. His ferritin was up a little last time, which does happen, we're told, but the overall trend is still downwards. It was all terribly dramatic though: the centre of Bristol was closed off by the police - on what is probably the busiest weekend of the year, the Balloon Fiesta. Getting a bus back was a nightmare, as the traffic was in complete chaos: ended up getting a no 2 to Broadwalk and walking down the hill.

Later on we found out it was a bomb scare outside Bridewell police station (which is where Ken works). Somewhat alarming...

Ending on a prettier note, there were haloes on both sides of the sun on Saturday evening.

I've stitched these together in photoshop as my little camera couldn't manage to capture both with the sun that bright. Pretty sun dogs. We quite often see one, but I've never seen two!

Today is a rest day. Ken has a couple of days off so has gone exploring something historical the other side of Bath, while Kai recovers from blood-letting. I have to go instruct a workmate of his in how to set up her own website tomorrow afternoon, so have Prowl recharging in preparation. It's too hot and sunny to do much today in any event.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Well, six albums done - 40 to go...

Have some pics!

Twin Towers from the top of the Empire State Building.

Central Park lake.

Shy smiley plant...

Remember when I said I didn't think my original orchid would flower any time soon after flowering continuously for a year? I may have been wrong...

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