Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....
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.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
Friday, December 31, 2021
Bloody flying haddock again.
As GoodTwin said - "WHEEEEEE!"
Speedy update to end the year. Will try to update more regularly in 2022 but making no promises...
22.11.21 we had the solar panels installed...
Rather chuffed about that! Will see what difference they make to the fuel bills when I can finally get some info from our supplier.
After getting the new carpets, I decided I wanted a roomba. I hate vacuuming, and can't keep asking Kai to do it. So - meet Bumble...
(First video I've ever tried to take so sorry for quality. Might be better using the 'watch on youtube' link...) Not only adorable, bumbling around burbling to himself, but also very efficient. Also somehow managed to get him for £89 less than originally advertised on amazon - no idea what happened there, don't think it was Cyber Monday...
The stairlift (or indoor finicky vernacular, as it immediately got designated) is called Lurch, because it tends to lurch over the hinge at the bottom, and because it reminds me of Lurch from the Addams Family. Not using it much at the moment as walking up the stairs currently counts as exercise!
Now onto 3001: the Final Odyssey. Only a chapter to go, but it's a bit wearying. The previous volumes were largely considerations of time, space, sentience and power. This one is more ordinary 'attacking aliens', which is both anticlimactic and vaguely annoying...
Trip to Babbacombe 6.12.21 went well: took the Poms for a walk and chatted for most of the day - weather wasn't great.
Oddicombe beach from the Downs
Mum T is doing OK, although her sight has now almost gone (which didn't stop her making the most delicious ham sandwiches!)
I recently had a hankering to re-read some Kemlo books: I remember enjoying them as a child. Found Martian Ghosts, Space Lanes and Star Men very cheap on ebay, so treated myself... Hm. Well, as kid's fantasy/sf they still work, mostly, but some of the science (or maybe just the terminology?) is somewhat cringeworthy. Won't bother with any more...
Media... Black Swan - brutal exploration of obsession and the drive for perfection. Good, but very depressing.
We watched Superman and Lois (the full season 1 - quite fun!) on Iplayer, and it reminded me of the Superman films. We didn't have any, so I bought them... Superman I is fun, and has aged quite well.
Superman II, daft and not as good. Haven't watched Superman III yet, treat for the New Year perhaps.
Black Widow is very good. Be interesting to see if there's a sequel.
Attack the Block... heh. Bought it as it came highly recommended. Loathed it. It did, finally, get interesting in the last 20 minutes, but even Jodie Whitaker couldn't save it.
Jungle Cruise, however, is great fun! Silly, but very enjoyable.
We watched Home Alone... never again.
Ken and I watched On the Beach, which I've had for a while. I saw it when I was very little (it came out the year I was born) - too young really for it to have the full impact. Watching it again, it was so desperately sad, but such a wonderful film.
We had a good, if quiet holiday. Our 32nd anniversary went well, and the 25th presents were well received (very much looking forward to the DVDs from GoodTwin and Sue!) and the meal was fine too. Boxing day was the usual buffet with help-yourself-salad for a nod towards healthiness!
Tyjer is still haunting me, so I popped into BARC last month, and signed adoption papers for both cats and dogs. Waiting now for the right fur babies to appear...
Astonishing sunset the other day! Everything was bright pink!
A last bit of cuteness to see out 2021 - robin taking a bath in the bird feeder's water bowl...
More photos next time - I should have my new curtains up then, and with a bit of luck the splashback for the kitchen sink will be done (we bought the tiles but the job's a bit too awkward for us to successfully do ourselves). Also, the orchid I rescued in August has a flower spike coming, so hopefully I can soon find out what colour it is.
Wishing everyone a wonderful - safe, healthy and happy - start to 2022. Let's hope it's a bit better than the last two years have been.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
OK, who stole October...?
Ah, of course, it was the haddock reversing direction.
ANYway... Woken up at 8 am by horrendous drilling and hammering - BND having new windows installed next door, going to be awkward for Ken's weekly zoom meeting - so decided to take advantage and finally update.
So, on the 12th of Oct Kai and I headed off to meet Dawn for a walk along the river, and in one of those synchronicities that just keep happening we met the deliverer who BND abused in my last update, and I was able to tell him that he would need to make a complaint himself and how to do it online, so hopefully he then did so (he was with his family, who he'd told about the incident - and no doubt they'd told all their friends, so that's another couple dozen people who hate him...)
The walk was nice. We found some astonishing street art at the lane at the bottom of Edward Road: -
Gorgeous, if somewhat depressing.
Also gorgeous, and a lot less depressing, the acer at the top of the garden...
Hallowe'en was incredibly busy this year, and Derpy got some laughs!
Domestic bits and pieces...
Lounge and hall carpet was laid last week of September and looks lovely - and is so warm! Nice thick underlay at last. Wonderfully warm and comfortable. End of the same week the Acorn stairlift was installed: we've had a hinge put in at the bottom just in case we can ever manage to get the side extension to the house built, as that's the only place we could have a door between the two buildings. As mum Taylor has decided she's probably going to stay down in Babbacombe, now, the need to organise more living space has receded somewhat (although I'd still like Kai to have more room. Might be possible to have a dormer put in the loft - basic cost is £20K - but given the arrangement in the loft I don't know if it would be doable...) But the stairlift is useful for me - my back is getting worse, as expected - and will be fine if she ever comes to visit.
We now, finally, have a new sink unit (and sink)! And the kitchen vinyl was laid week before last, and is lovely. We still need to get the sink splashback tiled - haven't managed to make time to get out to Cribb's Causeway B&Q yet - and a plank to cover the water pipes above the sink, and as of last Friday evening we need a new light fitment in the kitchen too, as the fluorescent tube fizzled and flickered and died the death. Have found a nice one on amazon that should arrive today, then hopefully Martin the Electric can fit it for us asap as it's not really safe in the kitchen with just a desk lamp! He's put the new sockets in the lounge - 12 of them, should be enough! - and will be back to do Ken's office and our bedroom hopefully next week, after SolarSense have installed the solar panels on the roof...
Did I mention that? They came and surveyed the house a week or so ago, and have authorised the installation of 10 solar panels on the south-eastern facing slope of the roof under the Green Homes grant from BCC. They won't feed directly into our supply - you need a solar battery for that and the recommended one is £10K+ - but we should get the amount produced taken off our electricity bill. And we'll also be saving nearly 2 metric tonnes of CO2 a year, which is certainly worth it! They're due to do the work next Monday: scaffolding should be going up this Friday, they'll ring (maybe!) to let us know when they'll be arriving.
My room has also now been carpeted, and I love it. It almost sparkles: Ken says it looks like stars. So I have the universe at my feet! (Yes, we're watching Universe, of course.) I now want to find some starry material to make new curtains for out here: I have my Covid booster Mon 6th Dec (at Redcliffe pharmacy at 8.25 in the am!! Erk...) so as I'll be in town I'll pick up mum Taylor's Yule present from Hotel Chocolat, check out Fabricland, and get the bus back to Pets@Home to look for small dog presents for the pooches. We're planning to go down to visit at the beginning of December and take the presents with us.
RO has finally lost all the last crop of flowers - but has two new flower spikes coming! Going to be absolutely beautiful when they mature, next year.
And TO also has two new flower spikes coming, although the current spike is still going strong - has grown in a very graceful curve which is so far resisting my efforts to take a good photo! Will keep trying...
And I have now potted up the baby dendrobium (apparently baby orchids are called keiki, Hawaiian for 'little one'! How cute can you get?)
I managed to finish the Foundation trilogy, though it was a struggle. It has NOT aged well. Followed that up with Clarke's The City and the Stars, which I enjoyed, although it was slightly overshadowed by the connotations of the main character's name - Alvin. My first encounter with the name was Alvin and the Chipmunks... Now reading The Songs of Distant Earth (I love the Oldfield album of the name and as it was evidently inspired by the book though I'd probably better read it.) So far I'm not impressed...
We thoroughly enjoyed Angry birds 2: Tenet is extraordinary (and requires more than one viewing): Squid Game is... whoa... most intriguing, if exceptionally violent: and Free Guy is absolutely brilliant! Gloriously funny (and more than a little thought provoking...) Ken and I are currently watching Special Unit 2, which I bought cheap on a reasonably good home-produced version - not great, but watchable - and loving it. I've also just ordered Legends of Tomorrow season 6 (will need to rewatch at least season 5 first. Might see if Kai wants to watch it this time around and start with season 1!)
New favourite song (anyone who watches TV with ads may have heard the first snippet of this as the advert for holidays in Turkey: I did the usual, looked up the lyrics and found and bought the full song...)
And finally, just for fun - I bought a packet of our favourite off-brand Viennese biscuits from Tesco -
Well, it's kind of pretty...
No doubt there's more I've forgotten - it has been exceptionally manic this last few weeks - but for now I'll sign off. We're having burgers for lunch, and I need to get them under the grill before Ken's meeting finishes and he takes his half-hour lunchbreak. Tomorrow I have an appt for a blood test at the surgery: while I'm up at Broadwalk I'll dive into the dentist and see about getting an appt to have the left bottom back molar removed: it's nothing but filling anyway and just recently three chunks of said filling have fallen out (one while I was eating a soft cake and the other two when I was cleaning my teeth. Not a lot of point in keeping on paying for fillings that are just going to come out again..)
Please stay safe and well. Later!
Thursday, October 07, 2021
7.9.21 - sky was gloriously clear. We took the telescope out and found Andromeda Galaxy, and ooohed over Jupiter's bands....
And now it's October. OK, let's try to get an update done before my haddock mutiny completely and leave for Andromeda...
I've completely lost track of the days and dates things happened, so I'll just write things in rough order.
Domestic stuff first, perhaps.
Painting in the bathroom is now done (except for touching up the pencil line Kai made accidentally when measuring up for a new loo roll holder, a sturdy old-fashioned one that Ken and I found in the Wells ironmongers that matches well with the retro-look new radiator and won't work its way out of the wall like the modern ones do - silly little screws too close together make for a very unstable device...), and the new kitchen sink and surround is now installed: looks really good, matches the other worktops, and is very strong. Makes it a bit of a squeeze to get to the larder, but that's a good reason to lose weight!
We need to put up new tiles on the wall above the sink now, so a trip to B&Q for me and Kai is on the cards, most likely next Fri.
Kemp Carpets came to measure up for new carpets right through the ground floor, and give us a price (actually cheaper than I'd allowed for which is good), then Kai and I walked up there to choose the carpets we want. Relatively soft but hardwearing for the hall and lounge, harder wearing for my room, and this -
for the kitchen (Kai said he'd like something that looked like slate tiles, and this was the most natural and rustic vinyl Kemp had. I really like it!)
This time I've insisted on a good thick underlay for the carpets, as I'm fed up with cold floors!
The bedroom orchids are still doing really well and looking beautiful.
I'm thinking the teeny one will be WO (for weeny orchid). This is the inner pot it was in when I bought it - no wonder it was unhappy!
The dendrobium has a new plant sprout - though as yet I don't know how to remove it to grow it. It's right at the bottom of the original shoot, and I'm hoping that more sprouts may appear higher up. Will wait and see...
CO is also looking beautiful.
Kai has upgraded my PC a little: it now boots up, and turns off, silently and in about 10 seconds instead of the 5 mins it used to take. I also have double the memory that I had before, and he's talking about putting a new graphics card in for me as well. Sometimes it's very handy having a son who can build a computer!
We visited mum-in-law in Babbacombe middle of September, and finally managed to give her the bronze pot with heucheras that she was supposed to get for her birthday two years ago. Nice bright colours so she can just about see it.
While we were there we walked up to the precinct and found a load of things we'd been looking for, so it was a very useful shopping trip as well.
Just for the hell of it, a back street in Wells, just up from the antique store Kai likes. (I found the Vulcan patch there.)
Kai and I managed our planned trip to the plateau at Eastwood Farm last week. The clouds were quite spectacular, especially seen from Arno's Park at the end of the road on the way to the bus stop...
I think the distinctive trees on the Farm's plateau are grey poplars. We thought they were silver birch to start with, but the leaves are wrong. They look fabulous when it's breezy, the silver underside of the leaves sparkling in sunlight.
Lovely walk. Aiming to try to do it regularly and record the leaves' changing colours.
There was an interesting moth at the bus stop at the bottom of Sandy Park Rd -
Very pretty, but it's the Asian invader box tree moth whose caterpillars kill off box trees, so not entirely welcome here.
The trip to Weston-super-Mare was great fun! Wendy and I both took (separate) trains - they're making big changes to the centre of town/the front, and FirstBus doesn't go to the front any more - and walked to the centre (about 10 mins away from the station, so very handy).
Pier on the left, Knightstone Island on the right, Steepholm in the middle...
Explored the shopping mall, and the pier, then went on the big wheel, then walked along to what used to be the seaquarium (which had gorgeous volitans) but is now the Revo restaurant. (Website not up to much but the location is beautiful, on stilts built out over the beach and with wonderful views out to the estuary. And their salted caramel gateau is to die for...)
There was a Luke Jerram installation on the beach just a short distance from the restaurant -
That makes three I've seen this year!
Fantastic day - thanks Wendy!
Today we've had Acorn Stairlifts visit to measure up (mine and Ken's knees are going, and if we have mum T to live here we'll need one, she can't manage steps at all.) It's doable, and sounds excellent, but I'd like to get another company's prices before deciding...
Coincidentally, Companion Stairlifts also rang as I was making dinner and we have someone calling to measure up and give us a quote (and see if a walk-in shower is possible) next Thurs pm.
We all re-watched and thoroughly enjoyed the Angry Birds movie, in preparation for Angry Birds 2, which I recently ordered. Hopefully we will watch it this weekend, maybe after we've all had our flu jabs on Saturday.
Kai and I watched Centaurworld on Netflix... it's... one of the most surreal, psychedelic, insane things I've ever seen. And oddly addictive... Really hope season 2 becomes a reality...
VOCAS got back to me. It was a long phone call, but very instructive indeed.
1. Wooden fences are considered, legally, to have a lifespan of about 10 years. Any damage they suffer after that is just normal wear and tear. We kept his fence going for at least twenty years by treating it with Cuprinol (for which we got no thanks, or even acknowledgement, and for which he owes us £1,000), so it was well past its use by when the split happened. Ergo, unless he can prove we caused the damage - which he can't, as we did not cause it, and I have photographs to prove it - it is simple normal age-related damage, and all his actions and harassment towards us (I should say, specifically me) since then have been illegal.
2. He has subjected us to 'low-grade harassment' for the last eight years. While this is obviously not life-threatening or legally serious, it is still illegal and we can take action. HOWEVER, at present court cases are taking a minimum of 18 months to be heard and have to be more serious to be considered worth what I would consider decent action (if that makes sense). At present I have more important things to do with my money so will simply carry on keeping the diary (which VOCAS recommend: lucky I'm so organised!) until such time as I can comfortably start proceedings.
3. VOCAS advised that if the harassment continues, it is perfectly legal for me to film it (on my phone) and send the footage to the police. That's very good to know.
4. Any further incidents, get straight back to the police.
It's useful to know where I stand legally, because of course the moron never learns, and was out threatening and abusing (and taking photos of!!) our Tesco deliverer on Tuesday: he had to park partially on the pavement by our drive as the next car up was a bit close to the DISABLED on the road for him to pull in safely. Perfectly fine, of course, as the guy said, legally they can park like that for up to 20 mins if making deliveries. Unfortunately for BND he picked the wrong person, as the deliverer was a delightfully foul-mouthed, aggressive character who gave as good as he got and rang his boss to report the incident. (When I said to ignore him, we've had endless problems with him, deliverer offered to come back later and sort him out!! Oh, so tempting... [grin])
Anyway, I reported it to the police as well, giving BND's log reference number so they could refer back to everything he's done so far, and got a very nice email back saying unfortunately as the harassment wasn't actually aimed at me, the deliverer would have to report it himself - which I doubt he will as he sounded as though this was pretty much par for the course for him (and I can believe that!) - but if they could do anything else to assist me to let them know. I guess the Sarah Everard situation has most forces now treading very carefully...
Anyway... now I know where I stand, I'm happier about matters. Have to admit since I shouted at him (and mentioned legal proceedings) he's stopped the worst of the harassment, though I can't see that lasting as he obviously considers himself above the law.
So that's where we are right now. He's abusing and upsetting more and more people all the time. I can't understand his mindset, (not that I really want to) and it gives me a headache trying to think down to the level of his room temperature IQ. Fortunately he's a lot older than us, has smoked for most of his life and didn't follow any of the Covid rules, so how much longer he'll last is anyone's guess. He won't be missed...
Later folks! Stay safe out there...
Friday, September 03, 2021
OK, who stole August?
[sigh] Well, it's been another of those months. Let's see if I can condense it all into something that won't take hours to read.
Let's get the 'orrible stuff out the way first, neh?
Medical matters (icky photo a bit further down. Nothing too icky, just... gall stones. Lots of 'em.)
First up, my new glasses are wonderful!
And second up...
So the MRI showed "persistent stones in [my] bile duct" and the unit booked me in for an endoscopy to remove them (in prep for the op to remove the gall bladder). Appt came through for the 2nd Sept, which was fine. In the meantime I had three 'episodes' - disabling pain in my midsection which passed in a few hours, helped, oddly, by throwing up violently: dunno, perhaps it twisted things internally and persuaded the stones to shift? Anyway, it helped - which I just put up with as I knew what they were and there's not a lot the BRI can do to help with them. However, this Wed noon-ish it started again, worst yet. Couldn't move, throwing up didn't help, and then my temperature started climbing. Cue another phone call to 111, who sent an ambulance, which took five hours to arrive, which whipped me off to the BRI. And in which I waited for four hours as they had no beds or staff. Predictably, when I finally got into a cubicle the pain was mostly gone - except for a HORRENDOUS headache - and my temperature was back to normal - so they discharged me straight to the heptobiliary unit (wrist tag and peripheral venous catheter still attached) for my endoscopy.
Which was... a weird bit of a non-event, despite the eight people in the room (they did x-rays during, I gather). The local anaesthetic to the throat was as horrible as ever, and the intravenous sedative (mixed with all sorts of other stuff including antibios) had the effect of making me think I was still awake while a group of people were felling trees inside me... (welcome to my brain. It contains galaxies. Some of which are really not safe to visit.)
Took about half an hour, then I was wheeled into a recovery room. Felt fine after about 10 mins, but they insisted on a four hour wait before discharge. Kai came to meet me and make sure I got home OK, but honestly, apparently I recover from sedatives even faster than anaesthetics.
So - the result. When they said 'gall stones', I envisaged two or three, but no. Don't know about other people but I had (and still have, I think, they couldn't get them all) dozens. Have a photo of my insides.
They even gave me some of them in a container - the biggest is a tad over half an inch/nearly a centimetre across!
Fragging evolution! I want a new body.
Anyway. Hoping they'll get me in for the op soon so I can get shot of the whole bloody thing.
Interestingly, though, today (after 10 hours sleep - didn't get any the 35 hours prior) I feel better than I have in months. Maybe the stones were what was making me so draggingly fatigued all the time.
And on to prettier things!
The picture frame now on the bedroom wall left of the orchid window...
And the teeny weeny orchid I bought at Tesco today...
Not sure yet what to call it for short. Already have TO. Any suggestions, anyone?
The dendrobium finished flowering so I repotted it - and found it had been planted in bog-standard indoor potting compost instead of the proper bark and sphagnum moss. No wonder it was unhappy! So pruned and repotted it's much happier, and may have already produced a tiny new flower shoot...
Will keep blog updated!
The cambria also has a new flower spike...
I checked back and RO started flowering Sept 2020 - and is still flowering now, albeit on a different flower spike. Over a year of flowers! I do love my orchids.
My craggy old succulent is flowering - sorta...
The seaholly has been splendid and absolutely full of bees for over a month...
Going to keep an eye out for others next time I visit a garden centre (which reminds me, must message Kim!)
We had another dragonfly in the garden the other day. They do seem to like Roeg's Pool.
Then it went and hung in the medlar...
We've had the hedgehogs canoodling again, and Whitepaw vists regularly - as, unfortunately, does the squirrel from the park, stealing Ken's hazelnuts... I do love my garden.
Kai and I went to the moon (in Bristol Cathedral...)
Nice, but not as much fun as Mars.
Been watching too much Boosh... Kai's crimp:
(I took burgers out the freezer for the next day's lunch, and after saying something he laughed, but it sounded like a horse neighing!)
Great to watch it again. It never ages!
Soylent Green... not at all sure I've ever watched it before, as I didn't remember most of it, and ye gods what a film! Depressingly prescient.
Cargo - what a fascinating little film! Also really good.
I woke up last Sunday with "A person is smart. People are dumb." in my head - so we watched the three MiB films back to back. Have to say the third film is by far the best - although you do need to watch at least the first for it to make sense. Pity about the second film, but there you go...
Finished the Cixin Liu trilogy. It's... I mean... wow... how do I even? Absolutely staggering. HUGE story. Gloriously poignant, delicate ending. Love it. But it's a hell of a commitment. Death's End alone is over 700 pages. Will need to re-read it - in about ten years time when I've forgotten some of it!
Afterwards I thought I'd dive into Asimov's Foundation trilogy, been donkey's years since I read it...
Well, I did try to bear in mind it was written before I was born, really I did, but even so it's... irritating. His attitude towards women was problematic at the time, and even worse now, while the complete lack of advancement of the human species over millennia grates horribly. And why the hell does everyone still smoke?!
Halfway through Foundation and Empire: I'll finish the trilogy and move onto 2001 et al. More later.
While I was at Tesco I stopped to chat to a lad who was outside promoting donations to the Battersea Dog Home. I didn't know that they sponsor other animal rescue charities around the world, but was delighted to hear it. Anyway, I went ahead and set up a monthly donation to sponsor a cat cabin, in memory of Tyjer.
I think that's about it, mostly. Of course I'll have missed some stuff, I always do, but that's all the most memorable things. Will update... well, whenever I can!
Oh! Just remembered... I have a new phone. Samsung Galaxy Note 9, courtesy of a friend of Ken's who couldn't use it and gave it to him (and since he only uses his phone for calling or texting he gave it to me - I use mine for an awful lot more than that these days!) It's fabulous, although getting my old SIM into it was a whole lot of not-fun. Kai now has my old J3 with his SIM in it and is fairly happy (mostly that he didn't have to pay for a new one, I suspect...) Such a treat!
Monday, August 02, 2021
Right, where did we get to?
The books are now all finished, proof read, and the last little bit of text written for Crystals. Now we just wait for publication!
So this encouraged me to check back, and I found that since Chelsey signed us up in 1999, we've had 32 different non-fic books published globally, in seven different languages: four of these have gone to second editions, and one of them - the first book we ever wrote, 20 years ago - is coming out in a third, hard-backed edition from Collins and Brown next Feb. This isn't counting Ken's archaeological reports, or the (4 I think?) chapters I ghost-wrote for the Afterlife Bible.
I think, at this point, we can legitimately call ourselves successful authors.
Coincidentally, for any readers into numerology, it's also our 32nd wedding anniversary this year. "In numerology, number 32 is a combination of the vibrational energies of the numbers 3 and 2. Number 3 signifies creativity, happiness, joy, and self-realization. It resonates with optimism, positivity, and the power to create things from your talents and gifts... Number 2 carries the qualities of balance and harmony, selflessness and service to others, diplomacy, mediation and co-operation, faith and trust and relates to your soul mission and life purpose. These energies and attributes combine to bring us the number 32 which represents society, communication, partnerships, duality and balance." [Pinched from Google, so make of that what you will...]
GO being strange but beautiful...
After a few years of not doing very much, this year my sea hollies have explodonated!
I found another unhappy orchid over at Tesco a couple of weeks back. I'd seen it for a month every time I went over, and thought it was interesting, but that trip it was looking distinctly the worse for wear, and the tag said it was a day past its 'display until', so I took it to the checkout and asked if I could have any money off, as it was definitely past its best. "We can only allow 10% off." She said apologetically.
"Oh, that's fine. It's past its 'display by' in any case."
"Oh!" she said. "In that case, you can have it for half price!"
So, £4 instead of £8. It's a dendrobium - but I don't know which dendrobium (there are several families), so I'll have to learn how to tend to it. But it's scented - smells of wisteria! - so I will try to ensure I look after it properly.
The pretty jardinières came from Almondsbury and the Riverside garden centres - Kim and I went there week before last. Had a great time and spent too much as usual...
On the way to Mars...
Last Fri had to get into Bristol for a mammogram, oh joy, but a couple of days before hand we found that the Wills Building was hosting Luke Jerram's 'Mars' exhibition, so I booked tickets (free) and Kai and I went over after my appointment...
It was glorious
Hoping Kai will post the video he took (with my camera, so not perfect) on Youtube later - will embed it here if he does. (Lovely soundtrack too, plan to email the artist and ask if it's available to buy.)
So now I'm treating myself to this (yes, it's 20 times exaggerated, but I really like it!)
And in other news...
Looks like Whitepaw has become our resident fox, they're in the garden most of the time now.
We have hedgehogs again. I heard weird 'chuff, chuff' noises in the front garden last month, at about 2 a.m., and when I looked out there were two canoodling 'hogs on the front path. A week later I heard them rustling around hunting out the front too, so fingers crossed for babies later...
I've now read The Lathe of Heaven - very good but nightmare fuel - and re-read Flowers for Algernon, which I first read when I was about 14 and which, then, made me cry. At that time I wasn't mature enough to understand many of the book's themes: now I find it fascinating, but very, very sad. It's an amazing, and somewhat eye-opening, story.
Finished The Three Body Problem. It took a little getting into, but after about three chapters I was completely hooked and loved it. It's not the easiest of reads, but it has the wonderful ability to leave you not entirely sure who is good and who the opposite, as concepts change over time. Have loaned it to Kai and am now on The Dark Forest - also very good but a different translator who isn't quite as good as the first one.
Then I have Out of This World: the Story of Muse (thanks Wendy!), Infernal Devices (also thanks Wendy! Will let you know.) and the Space Odyssey tetralogy to read. And when we were talking on the phone, Wendy mentioned the author of Infernal Devices, which I misheard as Jetta, so searched for that name. And found this... Which sounds an absolute hoot, so of course I bought it and will read in due course.
Watched The Watch. Hm. Haven't read the books on which it's based (the Discworld novels) so came to it with no expectations... Well, the characters are great, the cinematography beautiful, and the story a disjointed mess. Can't recommend it, really, and very much doubt we'd watch a second series if it ever materialises.
Tried to watch Alphaville, only to find we have one of the rare copies without subtitles: my French dates back to A level and Ken never took it, so that didn't work. Watched Under the Skin instead... it's an... interesting film... I've bought the book to see if that makes the story any clearer (not that it's difficult to understand, just a bit... odd...)
So then we bought
Raya and the Last Dragon. Absolutely beautiful, but alas very predictable. A joy to watch though!
Then it was back to Bollywood with Tere Naam, which can best be described as a sort of OTT Indian version of Romeo and Juliet. Quite compelling after the first half an hour, and very nicely made.
On the medical front... K&K have SpecSavers appts on Wed p.m., and mine is on Thurs p.m. Ken hasn't been a for a while and we're pretty sure he'll need a completely new prescription.
I had a phone call last Thurs from the heptobiliary dept at the BRI. I thought it was just for follow up, but no, they want a full body MRI to check there are no more gall stones in bile ducts (if there are, they'll do an endoscopy to clear them) before the gall bladder removal op (which requires a general anaesthetic, oh joy). OK, I thought, so that'll be later in the year...
Heh. Got a letter this morning: the MRI appt is 7.40 (a.m.) this Fri. Such fun for claustrophobics...
Finally: haven't heard anything from VOCAS yet - will ring to check next week if nothing happens this week - but I did find the Police Codes of Ethics, and Conduct, online, so emailed the College of Policing to find out if they still applied to ex-police. They don't, BUT if an ex-policeman is behaving in a way that would have him brought up on charges of gross misconduct if he was still with the force, he can be charged as a civil matter, and put on the police Barred List. Oh, he'd hate that. Will ask about it when VOCAS get back to me.
Except to note that my plums and tayberries are keeping us well supplied with fruit, and my dwarf beans and mange tout with veg, that's about it for the moment, I think. Will try to update a little earlier next time.