Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Friday, November 17, 2017
... I have a few minutes to spare on this gloriously sunny but bitterly cold and frosty morning before making a start on the day...
It's been interesting, in the Chinese sense. Finished the lounge window wall - looks great! - and will be making a start on the opposite wall next week, I hope. The letter from the BRI arrived yesterday while I was at the BHI (more on that shortly) with my second steroid injection appointment - 11th Dec, so not long to wait. The first one has taken effect now and it's wonderful to be able to walk (mostly) without pain again!
So, the BHI... On Wed Kai and I were tidying up in the greenhouse when I suddenly got the weirdest pain under and along my jaw on both sides - accompanied by feeling somewhat wobbly and light-headed. Came indoors to sit down, and got a stabbing pain in my chest which went through to my back. Somewhat alarming, and took an hour to fade. Rang the surgery to see if I could speak to a dr for advice: on giving the receptionist the symptoms she said someone would ring me right back. Which he did, and on my repeating the symptoms asked me to get up to the surgery asap. Which meant ringing for a taxi, which arrived before I'd finished changing! Was whisked through for an ECG on arrival, then spoke to the dr (a new one at the surgery, very pleasant and sympathetic). ECG was normal, BP was a bit raised (nothing new there!) and he though it was more likely to be angina than a heart attack! (Oh joy.) Prescribed me low dosage aspirin, bisoprolol fumarate (what a wonderful name!) beta blocker, to be taken immediately, and a glyceryl trinitrate spray, to be sprayed under my tongue if it happens again, (love this stuff. The printed instructions on the box say, and I quote: 'Caution: flammable. Keep your body away from fire or flames after you have put on the medicine'. Well, hell. There's my ambition to become a circus flame thrower out the window!) and was referred to the BHI for their walk in clinic as soon as possible. Which meant yesterday...
Took the whole day: the clinic was very busy. Another ECG - which was normal - then a two hour wait to see the clinician. (Took advantage of the wait to go shopping in Broadmead. I don't get into town that often these days.) Clinician though everything was probably OK but was ordering blood tests to be sure. Brief wait for blood to be taken, then an hour's wait while they were express tested. Then back into the clinician, who said bloods are normal, cholesterol is normal, heart rate and condition is normal, and in her opinion the 'attack' was probably muscular or gastric rather than a heart problem. Which is good news! So I can stop taking the aspirin, but should continue with the beta blocker, as it will help with the raised BP, and if it happens again and the pain doesn't go within 20 mins, to dial 999. (If it happens again and the pain does go but I'm still concerned, to ring 111. Did that when I first got vertigo and it took them 4 hours to respond, so not sure if I shall bother...)
Soooo... I should probably just add it to the long list of aches and pains I already have. I have an appt to see the same dr in a couple of weeks, so will ask about the beta blocker then.
In other news...
I have temporarily lost my lion throw. Tyjer has decided it's the perfect place to sleep - for sixteen hours or so - after a hectic couple of hours patrolling the garden.
Forgot to say - I picked up PotC: Salazar's Revenge a week or so ago: It follows the same familiar format as the others, which may be getting a bit tired and predictable by now, but is a fun watch with excellent sfx. Alien Agent, however, is pretty poor, and plays like the pilot ep to a series that as far as I know never happened.
But I also found the second season of The Expanse (on ebay, it's not on amazon uk yet) and it's brilliant. Absolutely addictive: we watched the last (double ep) of season 1 first, to remind ourselves of what happened, then dived straight into season 2. And watched the first four eps back to back as we HAD to find out what happened next! Finished the whole 13 eps in just 5 days and now can't wait for season 3...
I think that's about it - the major stuff anyway. Will edit if I think of anything more.
Oh yes. If anyone ever finds a nagging doubt plushie to buy, please let me know. I think he's absolutely adorable and I want one.
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
(Edit. And of course I posted the wrong version of the poem. [sigh] Corrected now!)
First, the good news.
Had my first steroid injection yesterday afternoon! The bursa was very inflamed, apparently, which explains both the pain and the difficulty she had getting the needle into the right place. Managed to twang a nerve too: felt like electric shocks all the way down my left leg which lasted the whole of the injection (about 10 mins). Ow. Not comfortable. But wore off very quickly and had gone by the time I left the hospital. Today leg and hip are aching, but that was expected. Fingers crossed that wears off nice and quickly.
Oh, and she said that steroid injections are no more than three a year, not no more than three a lifetime as my dr said. Will have to check that.
Ken is on annual leave this week: the timing worked out really well as I have to take it a bit easier until the steroids kick in. We plan to go through another load of old photos this afternoon - seven boxes of pics that weren't considered good enough to go in albums. We suspect most of them can be ditched!
Kai's classes seem to be both better organised and more useful so far this year, which is reassuring.
We finished Sapphire and Steel. Still astonishingly eerie and creepy, but the DVD quality wasn't great (American box set, all I could get at the time) so I've ordered a replacement (made in the UK). It means watching it again, but there are far worse things we could be doing!
Also watched: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is an absolute delight! And I knew we'd seen Shazad Latif in something else: he was Clem Fandago in Toast of London ("So he specialises in irritating characters then" commented Ken!) Hirokin is dreadful. Pretty to look at but takes so much from other films and it's impossible to feel anything for any of the characters. I think it was overpriced at 49p!
In contrast, American Gods is absolutely extraordinary. We were hooked from the first ep and now itching to see the second series (of course, ending on such a major cliffhanger doesn't help). Incredibly violent and thoroughly nasty in places, it's a stunning piece of work. We all decided that the very first ep must have been designed to put off anyone without a strong stomach, as subsequent eps were (slightly) milder and the comic aspects came through. I'm just annoyed it took me so long to work out who Mr Wednesday was. I mean, it's right there in the name...
For a laugh, this was my first (and so far only) car, second or third hand Talbot Solara, all I could afford at the time.
It picked up the nickname of The Petal Flower, Petal for short. Not my choice but somehow it stuck... Heh, had I been into Transformers at the time I could have called it Bee... I sold it when we bought the house, as with a mortgage interest (at the time) of 14% we couldn't afford both.
... and the bad news...
... um... There isn't any!
Cheeky little bugger!
Later edit: Forgot to say I picked up Transformers: The Last Knight. Alas, it's even worse on a second watching: there are the tiniest little glimmers of promise that went completely to waste. Bay shouldn't be allowed within a light year of the franchise.
And finally - did I ever mention there was a competition in the Cloud Appreciation Society? To write a poem about clouds, the winner to be included in a book of clouds. It's not often I feel inspired to write poetry these days, but this did. Hence Wavefront. It didn't place, of course (I hadn't expected it would, it's not exactly the sort of thing I believe they were looking for), but it's not bad, I think...
(With thanks to Lutra, and to Lin for the most excellent feedback!)
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Yes, still here...
It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Most significantly, perhaps, have been the meningitis B cases in Bristol. Three students at St Brendan's College, a mile or so up the road from us, have been hospitalised (tragically two of them subsequently died) with the disease, and it's been diagnosed at Bristol Uni too. Kai's spleen was damaged by his pre-transplant TBI and can't be relied on to fend off meningococcal infections anymore, so it's been a frantic search for him to be inoculated asap. It's not currently available on the NHS for anyone over about 3 (I think), and ordinary health clinics and drs surgeries can't do it (in our area at any rate), which left only Boots the Chemist pharmacy - and only the ones in Broadmead and Cribbs Causeway. I was very lucky to get an urgent appointment with the Broadmead shop - explaining the circumstances made all the difference - and he had the first jab last Tuesday. The second and last one is the middle of next month. Winced a bit at the price though - £110 per injection - but it's essential, even Kai's consultant agreed. So, with that and last Sunday's venesection he's feeling a bit run-down at the moment - which didn't stop him going for a small walk at Radstock with family friend Dawn yesterday!
Going back a bit, I taxied it up to my own dr Wed before last: like me, she thinks the pain in the right hip and leg is the same as in the left, and has requested another steroid injection into the right hip. Got the unfortunate news that three steroid injections into the same place is as much as anyone can have in one lifetime, as they carry their own risk of damaging tissue. (I asked what I was going to do when I've had three if the situation hasn't improved: she said we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Oh joy.) I did finally find out what the problem is with my back though (she printed out the report from my last MRI, the one I've been asking for for months.) It's a thing called degenerative disc disease, which is a bit of a misnomer, as it's a condition rather than a disease, and doesn't necessarily imply that it will get worse. It is, however, painful and not likely to get any better. [sigh] I asked Lutra, rhetorically, if the stress was ever going to end: her reply made me smile...
Stress? hah! We laugh in the face of stress and, and tweak the nose of the dreadful killer spindly fish. Or something.
While I was up at Broadwalk I checked out the charity shops, and came back with Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time (which we've seen before and which isn't very good, but it's very pretty and adds to our live action game collection) and Alien Agent (Marc Dacascos and Billy Zane in the same film!? This I must see!) for 99p for the two, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), which we watched last Sunday. It's absolutely gorgeous and we're looking forward to the second one this weekend.
Sun 15th K&K and Dawn went to Avebury for the day - train to Swindon then local bus. Avebury is one of my favourite places in this part of the country: been there twice, once with friends and once when I drove Ken and I there. They had a fantastic time, and Kai fell in love with the place. Arriving back, he asked if we could watch Children of the Stones, which we did over the next few days and thoroughly enjoyed.
Speaking of driving, we're investigating getting a car again. Kai wants to learn to drive (and in the meantime wants me to drive to places with the bikes so we can explore new areas), so the plan at the moment is to look for a little hatchback and bike-carrier compatible runabout in the new year. Kai will buy it, I'll insure and tax it, and we'll share the petrol costs. Something cheap and cheerful will do, as long as it has a long MOT and is in good running order. Not too bothered about the state of it as it's likely to get muddy and possibly a bit battered anyway. First though, I'll need to pay for a couple of refresher lessons, as it's been 23 years since I was behind the wheel. And I need to re-read the Highway Code, as a few things have changed in that time!
Then we'll need to have a hard-standing built and the kerb dropped, which was always the plan in any case. I need to start pricing up (and saving...)
This room's painting and curtains are now finished...
It's now beautifully de-cluttered and feels much bigger and brighter. Still need a new door (brown one) and maybe a new light, but those can wait. And yes, all of those figures are Transformers!
Recently watched: K&K have been watching episodes of Cadfael and enjoyed them so much that I've now bought the complete collection: aiming to watch in the run up to Yule. In the same vein was The Name of the Rose: first time Kai's seen it and he enjoyed it very much. John Wicks 2 was as violent as expected. And we're currently re-watching Sapphire and Steel. Fantastic stuff, although I think I need to buy a remastered version: ours is not performing well on the new DVD player...
My orchid's flower spike finally finished, and I thought it was going to take a rest for bit (remember it's flowered continuously for nearly four years now).
That's a new flower spike unfurling...
Wendy came up for the day yesterday - had a great time catching up with the news and watching Passengers, which just gets better and better each time I see it. Thanks Wendy - fantastic day!
... that's most of the news, I think. Will try to update a bit more regularly but no promises...
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Two weeks!? My haddock are flailing...
OK, let's try to kick the memory into gear.
It's been busy, of course. This room's painting is almost done (the last of it is the wall to the side and behind my desk and the ceiling above: I have to haul the desk out and take everything off the shelves in order to finish, and that's a fairly major job, so I need Ken or Kai to help), and the new display case assembled and in place with all my Transformer figures now properly on display. Going to start making the curtains this afternoon. K&K should be able to get the new curtain pole up next weekend (and hopefully all the pics that need to go back on the other wall): once this room is finished I can start on the lounge.
But it's taking much longer than it should. The vertigo has eased off to a copable level, but now my right hip and leg are playing up too: feels like stabbing knives every time I move. Using my cane all the time now to walk. And I can't shop by myself any more - in fact, after it taking two hours yesterday to get to Tesco and back with Kai, I think I'll just give up until after the steroid injection. Which, I found out when I rang the BRI, will be "before or on Dec 11th". Two more bloody months! Stressed that my ability to act as carer for Kai is now severely hampered, and have gone onto the 'cancellations' list. Fingers crossed.) I have an appt to see a dr later this week (will have to get a taxi as there's no way I can get myself up the hill and the appt is before the local bus starts running) to see if I can get another injection in the other hip. Oh, and the X-ray shows that the bone structure of my lower spine is damaged, uneven and deteriorating, and 'might cause pain'. [Inset eyeroll, grimace and 'no, duh!' here] I want a new body!
On a more fun note... Kai was scouring the truly excellent charity shops at Westbury-on-Trym and found this hideously adorable dragon...
It's an incense cone burner: air is pulled in through a hole in the tail and incense smoke puffed out through the nostrils! Haven't tried it yet as we need to get a safe holder for the (lavender) cones that came with it, and that means a trip to St Nick's Market in town, which is a bit beyond me at the moment. But definitely before Yule.
Last time we were in Weston-super-Mare Kai and I bought a cheap 'fidget spinner' each to see what all the fuss is about. They're quite fun -
They glitter and form pretty patterns when spun in front of a light source, make a faint warbling whisper when in use, and are mini-gyroscopes - you can feel the force if you twist it while it's spinning.
And then I found a solid metal one at Proper Job... It's beautiful. It's satisfyingly heavy, and the iridescence looks like scarab wings. The warbling is tuneful, and if you let it spin against your hair it sounds like bird wings fluttering (yes, I've been experimenting with it!)
In a pinch it could even be used as a weapon: not exactly sharp but hard and heavy enough to cause an unpleasant minor injury. Like pretty knuckledusters... Anyway, I'm hooked. It's going everywhere with me.
We've been watching an awful lot of films: it's a good way for me to rest. As well as the spinner I found Bride and Prejudice cheap at Proper Job: Ken and I saw it ages ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it (as did Kai!). Turned out we didn't have and hadn't seen Transporter 3, which was fun! Alien: Covenant was in the shops last week: picked it up at full price and wish I'd waited til it was reduced. Kai likes it, I found it dreadful. No way does it deserve its 6.5 rating. I wouldn't have hired that crew to empty my dustbin...
While at Tesco yesterday we picked up John Wick 2 and Wonder Woman (I assume the incredibly speedy release to DVD of new films is because of things like Netflix? I'm not complaining!) Watched the latter last night - it wasn't what I was expecting, but in a good way. Most enjoyable! Nice varied cast too. Great acting. Will save Keanu 'til the weekend...
So, still to watch... Notting Hill and The Shawshank Redemption, neither of which we've seen and which Ken found cheap. I also picked up Hirokin for 99p at St Pete's Hospice. We've seen it before, and it's not very good, but I kind of like Wes Bentley and sometimes it's nice to watch a bad film. Makes you enjoy the good ones more!
And Kai and I are watching Moonlight and thoroughly enjoying it. It has a similar ambience to The Dresden Files, which remains one of my favourite supernatural series of all time. They were made at the same time, might have something to do with it...
So, where in all of this is any writing happening, you might ask At the moment it isn't. I find this much pain a little distracting. Fingers crossed for post-injection period and memo to myself to actually book for the procedure in advance next year.
In other news - we have a new microwave and a new vacuum cleaner (the old ones were very old and failing). Both from Argos, who deliver and accept payment through PayPal. Happy about that!
Tyjer being eccentric again...
Kai will be home for lunch shortly, then sewing. There will be photos when I'm finished!
Monday, September 25, 2017
Yep, still here. Suffering with more vertigo (which came on after my flu jab last Wed) than usual which makes painting the ceiling SO much fun (I've been hanging onto the exercise bike...) and as tired as ever but otherwise managing.
So... painting has been started. Unfortunately the gold paint doesn't cover the dark teal so I had to repaint with white undercoat first. It's coming on vvveeerrryyyy slowly, but it is getting done.
Kai's had doctor's appt, venesection and BMT Clinic in the last week and a bit, and is now back at uni. We didn't manage to get out to many places this summer, nor see the films we wanted to at the cinema, but his clock and watch collection is coming on splendidly from all the ones we've found in antique and charity shops. He's obviously inherited the family collector's gene...
Media... We've watched a lot. Contact was on the TV: Kai's friends have been lauding its qualities, so we watched and enjoyed it. Now looking for the DVD so I can catch the bits I missed while making dinner. Picked up Assassin's Creed (never played the game, I just like Michael Fassbender) - it's very disappointing. Tries, and fails, to be really clever, and the acting is pretty poor. As a complete contrast, The Last Witchhunter is brilliant! Really, really enjoyable with great appealing characters.
Finally watched 1984 and followed it with Ghost in the Shell, which is quite fun. Basically a live action remake of the anime, the acting is good and the sfx superb. We'll need to watch it again to fully enjoy the intricate settings and backgrounds.
My lithops is flowering!
Probably because I've started feeding my succulents...
This made us all cheer! David Tennant as Crowley? Can't wait!
No doubt there was more but I can't remember it. If I do will add later.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Autumn arrives with a THUD, Storm Aileen (blew down my beans. At least they'd finished...) and colds for Kai and me. Oh joy.
Just a quick catch up. Won't bother saying it's been busy as that goes without saying. How many semantic whatsits can you see in that sentence? We finished watching Legends, which was dull and annoying in the middle but picked up wonderfully in the last few eps. Then The Crazies, which didn't give me nightmares this time around but is still a very depressing film, and Requiem for a Dream, which is amazing but also extremely depressing. Then The Lathe of Heaven which, while good, could have done with less 2001 and more Matrix. It's one of the very few films I'd dearly like to see remade. We're now looking for the novel.
And tonight we watched The Manchurian Candidate... Wow. It's bloody good! And now I understand all the references to present day politics. Frighteningly apt.
Tyjer's been sleeping on Ken's desk just recently. I guess old age is making him even more eccentric.
Now have dull gold fabric for this room's curtains: am all ready to start the redeco. Once I feel a little better. I always forget how much I hate colds during the summer...
Sunday, September 10, 2017
And the new lamps arrived this morning!
Old (with cat, who is insisting on getting into shot recently) -
Close up of old. Yes, those are orchid lights. I sewed the green satin tape around them to look pretty. As you've probably gathered, I'm rather partial to orchids, and after four grim, horrendously worrying years I feel it's time for a little cautious brightness and lightness and frivolity.
And the new ones.
Yes, we now have mini Martian deathrays lighting up our nights!
They're awfully cute.
And before anyone asks (Lutra), the thing hanging on my side is actually a necklace I picked up at the Salvation Army charity shop along from Wild Oats at Clifton.
Not something I'll ever wear, and Kai thinks it's hideous, but it tickles me. Like a Cybertronian attempt at making earth-style jewellery with transparent energon crystals...
Friday, September 08, 2017
Well that was manic...
Let's just note the highlights. The bedroom sewing is finished -
The ceiling still needs to be painted - Kai has volunteered to help with that. I've ordered new lamps to clip onto the pole that holds the cushions that we use as our headboard. Rather elegant and USB-charged so no more cables! I also need new cushions and a better way of attaching them - will give that more thought. Pics later...
I've now managed to find all the paint I want for this room. Lutra wants before and after pics, so here are the before ones...
Sorry about the lack of tidiness. Also, no pic of the other corner as it's currently piled with pots of paint, painting equipment, the new display case and anything else that doesn't have anywhere to live until I get things sorted. No, I don't like living/working in a mess, so yes, I shall be tackling the painting soon!
Oh, and the curtains will be a plain light gold colour, like the walls, so as not to detract from the displays. Peacock feathers are very nice, but would be too fussy. So rather glad Fabricland didn't have the right one when I was there for the bedroom curtain material.
We're ploughing through Legends still. It's not as much fun as the first season - the lack of Snart doesn't help - and when the third season becomes available I'll probably wait until I can get it cheap.
I like Bollywood films. I adore the musical interludes. We watched Baahubali 2, which is wonderful, and has the most beautiful musical interlude I have ever seen anywhere.
I loved the first one in the first film -
but this one... So pretty it hurts.
(Sorry about the ads, I took out as much extraneous material as I could but Yt will only allow so much. That's the son in the first clip, and the father in the second clip, in case you're wondering. The DVDs actually have all the songs as separate files: going to see if I can mp4 them and put on my phone. The two above in particular are favourites.)
And Ken's home - time to make dinner. Later!
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
I've lost track of time this last week...
Let's see. On Wed we went down to Babbacombe to visit mum Taylor - lovely train trip down, nice lunch in a cafe that allows dogs (mum has two Pomeranians, Poppy and her son Misty) then a saunter along all the Marychurch charity shops. (Kai did quite well: I didn't find anything except another flamingo for Lutra.) She's looking well, and seems to be fine. It was great to see her again.
Looking back at Torquay from Corbyn Head.
We had coffee and cake at the Grand Hotel as we were a little early for the train - very nice place! - and then the train was half an hour late... Still, glorious sunset on the way back.
Tyjer decided he wanted to sleep in the corner of my desk when we got back...
I forgot to say... Kai has had bad seborrhoeic dermatitis of his scalp since the transplant, and over the last three weeks has made a determined attempt to get rid of it - by shaving his head and using the prescribed wash every day. Took a bit of getting used to but he's lucky: it doesn't matter what he does with his hair it always suits him. He prefers it long though, so is now letting it grow back out.
He's also been working on scraping all the old layers of paint off the handrail of the stairs (we've decided to go for a more natural look throughout the house, since the windowsill tiles are so nice). I'd hoped it might be pine, but the house is 1950's, before pine became usual: it's a dark oak, which will look good when cleaned and polished.
Thursday we rested a bit. Ken had Wed/Thurs/Fri annual leave, and with the bank holiday that was almost a week off.
Friday Kai had the dentist: I went with him and picked up the curtain poles I was looking for at Wilko... The photos haven't come out that well - it's not easy taking them in that room, the light is very bright even on a dull day and wrecks the auto-thingie. However - the first two are the old wooden window poles and dull golden curtains.
The next three are the new ones - along with the curtains I found at the Age UK charity shop. Lovely colour, lovely design, great quality - and too small. [headdesk] Going to have to make them, which means a trip into town to Fabricland. Which is fine: have to get there anyway for the peacock fabric for the curtains in this room (second display case is now ordered, and table disassembled and stored in shed). I've decided on the colours too, so will pick paint up at Wilko in the same trip. Next few weeks are going to be even busier than usual.
Outside: more beans. Lots more beans. And my sweetcorn have now actually finished! One large bag and a bit more in the freezer - not too bad. We have pears and apples galore, which is great!
Media: we finished Crusade ([sigh] Oh, if only it had gone to a proper series...) and have moved on to Legends of Tomorrow season 2, which is looking to be as much fun (and as confusing) as season 1. We relaxed with 4 Weddings and a Funeral, which Kai had never seen and which I've had in the pile for years. And we watched Baahubali.
WOW. It's fabulous! A kind of psuedo-historical mythological Bollywood extravaganza of the finest kind. Absolutely glorious - and music is terrific too! We loved it so much I leapt onto amazon as soon as it finished and ordered the sequel. Which is now on its way. Hopefully be here for Friday!
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Sunday July 10th 1983. Marchmont, Edinburgh. Worst mistake I ever made. Groom's face scrubbed to protect the guilty.
Yes, that is me. Do they make jokey photos like this any more? It's designed to show off the dress.
Hennaed hair, styled by Agnes, a friend at the time. Looks quite nice I think.
So there you go!
Labels: first wedding
Monday, August 21, 2017
Quick catch up this time. Busy week ahead...
Media... We're watching Crusade in the JMS-stated chronological order, which differs substantially from the order on the DVD boxed set, but which makes more sense overall. Still enjoying it (though the eps with Galen are my favourites).
Bhoot was a surprise: nothing actually new in the film, but it's gripping and very good indeed - had me jumping all the way through and there's precious little that can do that these days!
Icarus XB-1 is also extremely good. Quite how an old black and white, subtitled Czech film can be simultaneously cosy, low-key, exciting and hope-inspiring is beyond me, but this film manages it. Planning to watch it again (by myself) at some point as I think I missed a few things...
Sat evening Ken and I watched The Beastmaster, which I picked up dirt cheap just for fun. Saw it back when I was a younger dinosaur and enjoyed it then: it was just as much fun now!
Stacked up still to watch: Warlords of Atlantis. One of the few 70's fantasy films I haven't managed to catch. It was on the horror channel last week but I didn't have time to sit and watch, so picked it up (cheap, of course). Michael Gothard is an added bonus.
Transporter 3 - just to complete the series. We've already seen it, ages ago, but I have no objection to watching Jason Statham again!
Cube. Another classic I've never managed to see. Kai's intrigued.
The Crazies. I saw this late one night as a teen, and it gave me nightmares, so will be interesting to watch it again...
The Manchurian Candidate (the remake). I keep hearing the term used in relation to the current political climate and it's annoying not getting the reference, so when I saw it going (really) cheap I grabbed it. Will make time to watch it soon.
Found the newly-released Legends of Tomorrow season 2 at Sains last week. We've been eagerly awaiting this, so will probably start it as soon as we've finished Crusade.
In other news... I've had a letter from the BRI and am now waiting for my appt for another steroid injection. Apparently there is currently an 18 week waiting list, but as a registered carer I may be bumped up the queue. That would be a relief as it's now seriously impacting my ability to do anything that involves standing or walking (or even sitting for prolonged periods). Oh, and I must remember to ring the surgery for my X-ray results. I forgot last Friday.
Decorating... Oh what fun that's been! I found what I thought was the correct teal paint for our bedroom, and carefully painted around the window - only to find it was the teal paint in this room, which is silk instead of matt and darker. [headdesk] Luckily, I did still have the correct paint in the shed, so was able to put that right. Then I started on the pale blue walls... I thought the paint was the correct one for the side wall, which needed much more doing to it: decided to risk it on the front wall as much less was needed and I could put up with the difference in colour until we repaint the whole room. But no! It was the other way around and I ended up having to repaint the entire side wall. [headdeskHEADDESK] Two coats and a bit of touch up to end, over two days. There was enough paint, fortunately, with a little left over to cover where the old window poles will come down when we replace them, but ye gods my legs and back were killing me when I finished.
But it looks really nice, and we can happily live with it for a bit longer, so the bedroom redecorate is being put back until next year at the earliest.
OK, anything else..? I'm off to get my hair trimmed this afternoon. And I'll be scanning and archiving the photos from my first wedding later - may post a couple here for a laugh! (The album itself fell to pieces as I was taking the photos out. Says a lot, that!)
Saturday, August 12, 2017
And this Saturday K&K have headed out to Shepton Mallet. It's a lovely little place, and I'm sure they'll find some charity and antique shops!
I'm going to be pottering. When Ken stripped the paint off the lounge and bedroom windowsills it took some of the wall paint off as well: while it's only a little, it looks a mess and is irritating me, so the walls need repainting. (Actually the whole house does but I'll be tackling it piecemeal. Don't have the energy to do it all at once any more. Lounge and our room first - Kai's is already done.) Kai took the ancient Amstrad speakers down from our walls yesterday: I plan to fill the holes ready for painting later today.
I also need to do a little gardening. There'll be more beans to freeze, and I swear some of my sweetcorn - and some of the Red Devil apples! - are already ready for harvesting (the weather has been most peculiar this year).
I rather like Ryan Reynolds. He's cute, funny, and doesn't take himself too seriously. On checking the IMDb I found he's in Blade: Trinity, which we have, so while K&K were out last Sat I watched it. It's nothing special, but he's good in it, and it meant I sat down for a couple of hours.
Sun was the usual shopping. Ken mowed, I weeded.
Monday I had my drs appt. He had no answer for why the pain is constant and worsening, so referred me to the BRI for a walk-in X-ray (which I had yesterday). Results should be with the surgery next Fri. Hopefully they won't show anything out of the ordinary - in that case I think I can request another steroid injection (or maybe two, my right hip is nearly as bad as the left now). While up at Broadwalk I did the usual check of the charity shops and found this!
(The owl umbrella came from Sainsbury's. The little dangly owl was a birthday present, from Sue I think?) It's adorable and capacious with 7 separate compartments, exactly what I was looking for!
On Tuesday the weather was pleasant: Kai and I bussed through to Wells to check the antique shops he found when he was there with Ken. There were a couple of clocks he'd taken a fancy to and was hoping they were still there. They were, and he bought them: one's a tiny thing in a well-made old box that will fit most of the tools he'd collected, the other a good anniversary clock (the chatty female store owner actually reduced it from £75 to £45 for him, as she thought her brother had overpriced it and then found there was no key! Although Kai already had one so that was OK).
Wed was wet an' 'orrible: both deliveries arrived OK then we took the rest of the day off with old and familiar DVDs.
Thurs Kai helped me take stuff around to the charity shops in Sandy Park Rd - he found a couple of the things he was looking for - then down to Sains for a quick shop. When we got back he decided he wanted to go for a ride, so took off for the Whitchurch Way (by himself). Got as far as Dundry View, then headed back, getting here just before the rain started.
Friday a.m. was my X-ray: in the afternoon it was general tidying and getting walls ready for painting.
Media... finished watching the Babylon 5 films, The Lost Tales which actually chronologically comes some time during the Crusade series, which was annoying, River of Souls, Thirdspace, and A Call to Arms, which were all OK but not as good as the series, and started Crusade. We also watched Life... It's good, beautifully made and realistic (for the most part). For me, it was nothing very new though, and I saw the end coming a good half an hour before it arrived. It's enjoyable though, in a grim sort of way...
Kai found this
It's not that clear in the photo, but it's where a fox has been digging down to make a den! (The earth that's been dug out has filled the hole where Kai was going to have his pond...) While I love the idea of foxes living in the garden, this isn't exactly the ideal location. Going to have to think about it...
And that's about it for now. Tonight's the best night for viewing the Perseid meteor shower here, so as long as it stays relatively clear we shall be out watching it.
Saturday, August 05, 2017
K&K are off exploring the hillfort at Congresbury with a friend today, so I have the house to myself for a few hours (quite a luxury these days!) They're planning on walking part of the Strawberry Line while they're out, too.
So, what have we been up to? Well, I appreciated the Tesco delivery service so much I'm now doing the same with Sainsbury's: it's fantastic not having to go shopping every day (and sometimes twice), frees up so much of my time. Should have done it years ago... Planning to get back into regular writing again asap.
Outside... The veg garden continues apace. The first onions are now ready: variety Ailsa Craig and they are rather large -
I need to find a red variety for next year's planting: I like having the choice.
I need to reorganise the low bed a little - and remember to only plant at most four runner bean plants. They're incredibly vigorous and will take over if permitted, which is OK as long as I have room in the freezer for them. Ditto pumpkins: only ONE plant and keep it under control. In the greenhouse, this year's peppers are doing really well and are only a little smaller than the bought ones. The sweet peppers are quite a bit smaller, but it's the first time I've had any success with them, and they're perfectly usable (they're going in tonight's stir-fry, in fact). Will plant them in larger pots next year!
Inside... I've finished sewing. It's all worked rather well.
Radiator cover in this room. Hides the flaking black paint!
Kai's wardrobe curtain. Looks rather nice, I think.
Films... Hunk. Better than Galaxina. A bit. Not much more to be said...
Lutra mentioned in passing that she'd seen Pompeii, commenting that the film was only so-so but Keifer Sutherland was quite good in it. Being a Keifer fan I looked it up, and found a copy for 52p on amazon, from my go-to seller musicMagpie (seriously, this seller is amazing, fantastic prices and the fastest delivery ever, not to mention the quality of the DVDs). Ordered it - and Moonlight for £3: I caught some of this on TV many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it - and we watched Pompeii together. Hm. Lutra's right, it's OK but nothing special, and consists of just about every cinematic trope ever devised. But Keifer's fun in it, so that's OK.
Kai and I finished Babylon 5 on Wed. Wow. So good... We've started on the films, kicking off with Legend of the Rangers - To Live and Die in Starlight (a subtitle that always makes me shiver). An awful lot of people don't like this one, but I've always enjoyed it, and was very disappointed it never went to a series. I loved the characters and the chemistry between them: there was a lot of potential there. Ah well...
Next up was Babylon 5: In the Beginning - always fun, although the picture quality made me hope for a digitally remastered DVD at some point.
Kai mentioned some time ago he wanted to watch Ground Control, which is a most enjoyable Keifer Sutherland redemption film, so he sprawled and watched while I pottered. Then he thought an action film might be fun, and ended up with xXx. (Not my favourite Vin Diesel film but I was busy during most of it). A workmate of Ken's mentioned that he'd enjoyed Bhoot, so I found a cheap copy which we'll probably watch tonight or tomorrow, as the case was damaged and the disc loose. Need to check it plays.
And Life was released to buy, so picked that up as well. Kai and I were planning to see this at the cinema, but didn't manage to make it in time. This may be one for tonight...
Right. Time for lunch. Then I should lie down for half an hour (I've been amazed at how much better I feel when I do this) then it's an hour or so of repotting the cacti. Bit by bit I'm trying to repot all the houseplants into much nicer containers - terra cotta mostly: looks far more attractive than plastic. Later!
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Well, it's been even more manic than usual...
Brief run down. Fill in the gaps with shopping, gardening, cooking etc.
On the gardening side... Everything is doing well, the greenhouse is now providing us with all our tomatoes, cucumbers, and most recently peppers. They don't grow as big as the bought ones, but they are really nice. We now have a nice load of runner beans in the freezer ready for winter too.
Kai has started constructing the dry stone wall he wants between the slope and the 'dewpond' up in his slowly evolving mini-meadow at the top of the garden. A little while ago we caught an item in a news programme with an artist who balances stones, and Kai fancied having a go. It was astonishingly successful...
Photos © Kai Taylor.
(He disassembled it by blowing on it! The top stone just tumbled down.)
Thursday 20th we went for our first bike ride - not far, just down along the river. Rode down to the end of our road, walked through the park and down to the start of the pathway, rode across Sparke Evans bridge and along to the railway bridge, then back again.
Dotted line was walking, solid line was cycling. By no means a long ride - possibly a mile in total? Less? - but I managed it (wobbling all the way but hey, you try riding with vertigo!), and to my amazement not only did it not make my legs or back hurt, but the painlessness lasted for several hours after we got home.
I was going to get rid of the exercise bike, but Tom (Kai's physioterrorist) recommended him using it as a source of gentle exercise - don't have the time to go riding every day, we'll be lucky if we can manage once a week at the moment - and given it does me so much good too, I now have to make space for it.
Oh, and the new train service from Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach has, I believe, space for bikes, so with a little luck (and some decent weather) by the end of the summer we'll be able to take the bikes to Severn Beach and ride up (or down) the estuary. Nice wide paths and flat terrain - should be great!
On that Saturday Ken and I went to Wells/Glastonbury/Street for a day out and to scour the charity shops. I found a pair of pullup 'jeans' which will do nicely for shopping in the winter, and a double DVD of B movies, Galaxina (of which, more later) and Hunk. Looked bad, but we like bad sometimes, and at only £1 we decided to risk it.
It was a lovely day out, and a good break from Bristol for us both.
Media... Films watched: Logan. Hm. Well, as a portrayal of life for aging mutants trying to survive in a hostile world it was feasible and very good. I didn't like it, personally. It was grimy, unnecessarily foul-mouthed, extremely violent (then again, when was anything Wolverine not?), and really rather unpleasant. Parsecs away from the usual Marvel fare, which I knew going in, but... not for me. Kai enjoyed it. Ken didn't offer an opinion.
Galaxina. Oh dear... We knew it was going to be bad, but hadn't quite expected approaching Plan 9 bad. Overall idea OK, full of jokes and sight gags that in any other film would have been hysterically funny, here delivered so badly they were just cringe-worthy. And yet as the film ended Kai and I both burst out laughing. Not sure if it was relief, or disbelief that a film could be so bad, or hysteria, but something tickled us both.
And just for the hell of it, I've ordered both Plan 9, as Kai has never seen it, and First Spaceship on Venus, which is the film being watched by the crew in Galaxina. Never heard of it but it sounds interesting...
The Time Travellers. This was the last of the B movies on Ken's birthday DVD. After reading the blurb I was sure I'd seen it, but I didn't recognise the opening, so we carried on watching. Fifteen minutes in I realised that I had seen it before - on my parent's black and white TV when I was a child. It's a strange film, the acting and sfx standard for the time (1964), but the story is amazing, and introduces a time paradox not usually explored in films. The middle section is pretty naff, but the rest - yeah! It prefigures some much better known titles, and is a little gem, in my opinion. Well worth checking out. And if you hate it, all you've lost is an hour and a half of your time.
Virtual Nightmare. Well, it had obviously been recorded from the TV, but the quality was pretty good, the sound excellent, and overall it's something of an unknown gem. Australian, no actors I recognised (great performances), and obviously with a fairly low budget, it nevertheless kept us gripped. And the ending came as a surprise, which doesn't happen often these days!
Kai and I are now half way through B5 season5. When we've finished, either the five related films are next, or Crusade, which Kai has never seen and which I remember enjoying immensely. Ken will probably watch these with us.
Last Friday GoodTwin and Sue came to visit! The usual fun day was had, with quizzes and Zoolander 2 (I like that film more and more. Why is there no fanfic!?) and the pilot ep of The Expanse, which Sue had heard of but not yet seen. I think she may now buy it! (Can't wait for season 2 on DVD...)
GoodTwin brought over a hamper -
With the most adorable fox mug we've ever seen. I might just reserve that one for me...
Thank you, both. I had a fantastic day!
Kai's last venesection (last Sunday) went well and quickly, and his last ferritin reading was 1,553: at present it seems to be coming down by 200 points every time. This is excellent news, and with a bit of luck the end is in sight.
Yesterday evening Kai came with me to the Showcase De Lux at Cabot Circus to finally see Transformers: The Last Knight in 3D (the 19.00 hour screening: it ends its run tomorrow so we were just in time).
... oh dear...
It was worse than I was expecting, and deserves less than its IMDb rating, although it did at least more or less follow on more or less from AoE. Oh yes, the sfx and production were as stellar as usual, beautifully designed and portrayed Cybertronians, but the acting was dreadful, the action rushed beyond all hope of making sense of it, and the story even more incoherent and inconsistent than usual. I'll get the DVD when it becomes available, of course, but it's not likely to be watched all that often (and even then I'll probably skip the 'human' parts, which were absolutely abysmal). Very, very disappointing.
I think I'll just ignore it and continue Poppy as though it never existed.
However, the trailers before it looked very interesting. The Dark Tower (Idris Elba is always a great watch), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - a must-see at the cinema in 3D for the sheer awesomeness of the visuals - and Thor: Ragnarok, which looks to be fun and daft. Geostorm also looks interesting, but might be one to simply buy rather than go see in 3D. Lots to look forward to.
I've finally had to give in and accept I no longer have the strength to drag heavy loads of shopping back, and have got a Tesco account for home delivery. (£36 per year for mid-week delivery and no extra charge if the shop is over £40, which it always is). Most of the heavy stuff comes from Tesco these days - Tyjer's gone off Sains cat food in favour of Tesco's own, and Sains no longer produce their organic orange juice: Tesco does and Ken gets through about four litres a week. Add to that bottles of tonic, coke, cooking wine, vodka, tetrapaks of organic beans and tomatoes... well, having someone else bring it home is wonderful. First delivery arrived this morning. Great!
And that's about up to date for now. No doubt I've missed something, I always do, so if I remember I'll add later. Time to make lunch, then make a start on Kai's wardrobe curtain...