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
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.
A brief note to the idiots who put ads in the comments - I will mark them as spam and delete them as soon as I'm notified of them, so don't bother. I absolutely loathe adverts in any form and will not have them on here if I have any choice in the matter. (Of course, if they're addded by bots this won't be noticed, but I'll still remove them...)
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, 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.
Friday, July 09, 2021
Phew. That was all a bit knackering...
However, all three books (and the revisions/small rewrites) are now done and off with the designer. Our contact says the reactions at the publisher have all been favourable, which is very good news. We'll be getting the pdfs to proof-read soon, and that's the final stage for us before publication. Not sure when that will be but probably in time for the Yule market. It'll be interesting to see how they've edited and illustrated what we’ve written!
(For anyone interested, crystals was written to Mike Oldfield's Songs of Distant Earth and Sarah Brightman's Dreamchaser, and witchcraft to Inkubus Sukkubus - Wytches, Heartbeat of the Earth, and Belladonna and Aconite, principally.)
Hopefully we'll be paid soon, too...
Ken and I took a day off writing and bussed through to Glastonbury for the day... I forget when. Three weeks ago? It was fine - always a fun place to visit, but the prices of everything have gone through the roof. I found a few bits and pieces (two lovely cards to finish off the cards in a display I now have on the bedroom wall - photo later if I remember!) but not a lot, and there was a long queue to get into the organic supermarket - only letting a couple of people in a time - so we didn't bother.
RO, which is the most magnificent orchid I've ever had!!
Ten flowers!! Ten! So splendid!
GO is doing something quite strange too, flowering in all directions. Photos when I can get some.
I did also rescue another. Well, I mean, it was sitting all alone and lonely on a wall on the way back from Tesco, saying vewy vewy quietly "I'z pwetty norkid. Pweeeeze give me nice home..." How could I say no? It's a phalaenopsis, but it's just leaves at the moment, no idea of the size or colour of the flowers. Though that's half the fun, waiting to see what happens!
The garden is tootling along well - too much grass, but hopefully we can get things a little more under control come autumn. I bought a Bosch strimmer, which should help. Veg and fruit beds doing very well: planning to get another square raised bed for strawberries later in the year, the trough isn't big enough for them, and they are delicious. Apples great. Plum and pear not so good this year, both have some sort of fungus disease that I didn't catch soon enough to kill off. Might not be a huge harvest this year, but I'll prune them later and treat them in the hope it won't come back next year. Will need to keep an eye on them...
Our foxes visit most nights, with a couple of cubs now. I don't think they were born here, but they are now using the top as a playground, which is a delight to watch!
Derpy is now taxed, booked in for her service and MOT at the beginning of August, and I've switched insurance companies to one half the price of Aviva but still with most of the services we might need. She hasn't been off the drive in a year so gods know what will need doing. (I did ask, and Renatec - just down the road and around the corner - will come and tow her to the garage if I can't get her going...)
Books. Not sure I mentioned before, but I've been going through a spell of non-fiction. Guns, Germs and Steel, some of which I knew but had never quite joined up the dots. Essential reading for world-making for my own writing, and a cracking good read. Notes from Deep Time, read for background to the crystals book - fascinating and highly recommended! Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime... OK, I'd hoped to have worked through my Dummies Algebra, Physics and Quantum Mechanics books first, but I just haven't found the time. Something Deeply Hidden is definitely written for someone with at least a grasp of maths (I just about managed to get through my O Level maths and then pretty much gave up, although in recent years I've improved significantly). An awful lot of it went right over my head, but just every now and then something made a weird sort of intuitive sense - but only for a second or so. I'm glad I've read it - the bits I could understand are fascinating - but it's not exactly easy going.
I did also struggle through The Wisdom of Crowds... Sorry Wendy, it's pretty poor. I believe it was written for American males - 'proving' statistics by devoting 5+ pages to an analysis of betting on American football teams?? - and is horribly misogynistic. As far as I can see the author never wrote anything else, and I can't say I'm surprised. What he had to say is reasonable, but hardly new and earth-shaking.
I now have Liu Cixin's Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy on order. I adored The Wandering Earth (book and film), so I thought I'd see what else he has to say!
Media... Ken and I finished Deep Space 9. It was OK, but there's so much better available today it looked a little dated. Fun all the same: glad we re-watched.
Ad Astra... Hm... Glorious cinematography and sfx, but I found the story a little... staid? Kai thoroughly enjoyed it though. Heh, maybe I've just seen too many films in my life and have become extremely picky!
Then there was the Angry Birds Movie. Wasn't expecting too much but it's really good! Very funny, very clever, and very enjoyable. And we had fun spotting the homages to other films.
Ken and I watched Another Earth, which is intriguing (if horribly bad at the science). Can't say it's a favourite, but it was thought-provoking, which is never a bad thing.
Can't say the same about Scream and Scream Again... I actually signed into the IMDb and left a review...
And then there's Constantine... God it's good! I first thought the female lead, Zed, was a Mary-Sue, but now I don't think she is. The whole thing is wonderfully gritty and bloody and daft and HUGE fun. So so sad there's only one series (of only 13 eps, too...)
When we've finished Constantine we're going to watch The Watch on iplayer - keep seeing trailers for it and it looks like enormous fun. Well, anyone who uses a baby dragon as a flame thrower's got to be worth a look, ne?
Not sure if I've ever mentioned Simon Drake - fabulous magician, his Secret Cabaret TV series is wonderful - but Ken and I went to see him at the Bristol Hippodrome waaaaaay back soon after we'd bought the house (Yule present? Birthday present? So long ago now I can't remember!) and loved it so much I can still visualise most of the show. Anyway, while turning stuff out I found the ticket, and two posters, and some photographs - and a rubber hand with his signature on it! (rather faded now, but still just legible.) I've bought a display frame (3 inches deep) and when I've got it sorted I'll post a pic here.
Oh, and I'm getting Revoltech Deadpool for Yule!!
I'm working my way back through the blog, correcting coding and changing the non-working links to the correct ones (after we moved JAT to the WaveWrights site.) I've got as far back as 2009, and hope to have it finished in the next couple of months. It's hard going as blogger now don't give you the option to choose years - to get to old updates you have to page down, and down, and down, and down, and down... However. I can now remove the clunky comment boxes from old entries, and just leave the actual comments visible, which is a great help. (Also, oddly, it says I'm based in Brisbane, Australia. Perhaps the two cities are directly opposite each other, if you draw a line through the centre of the earth?) I want to archive the blog offline when I'm done, as it covers nearly 20 years of my life at present...
And last, BND. I rang Victim Support, who told me they don't handle the legal side of things, and referred me to VOCAS - the Victims of Crime Advocacy Service. I sent them a detailed email last week, now waiting to hear back from them, but not expecting a speedy reply as I have no doubt they're snowed under at present. Main thing is I've started the ball rolling, and feel a lot better for it. In the meantime I'll just keep adding incidents to my list (currently 10 word pages long) and taking photographs as and when necessary.
Wonder if the Beeb is still interested in making new eps of their Nightmare Neighbours series...?
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Witchcraft now at just over 16K words and all's going well.
Have a pic of Whitepaw...
... and her friend.
Occasionally I check ebay to see if they have any new Starscreams...
"Oooh!" I discorded Ken. "There's a Starscream plushie!"
"What's a plushie?" he discorded back.
"A toy. Soft and squishy and made of velvety material. And cute."
I can imagine 'the look'...
"You're describing Starscream here???"
Me, grinning manically, "I know. Brilliant innit?"
He made us all laugh - it's the smirk. And now Ken keeps telling me things like, "Starscream would encourage it - the more knowledge you have the more mischief you can make." when I mentioned I had a half price offer to get premium membership with Academia.edu (I've been a member since March 2011 - they have fantastic papers on all sort of subjects we're interested in.) So I joined. And found both Ken and I have loads of mentions - in official papers' bibliographies! When I have time I shall check them out. And tell Chelsey - will make her happy too.
Ken's birthday tomorrow! (He says many thanks for the card, Wendy!)
Friday, June 11, 2021
Very quickly while I have a couple of minutes to spare, because... well, remember those book commissions? I finished the Crystals book early - because I had to, because... well, the original author of Witchcraft dropped out, so they asked if I would take it on, so I said yes...
Why yes, thank you, I know I'm insane...
So I'm now 10K words into the 30K words Beginner's Guide to Witchcraft, and the deadline is June 29th... I have NO time for anything else at the moment. Just as well I'm enjoying it. Though I've had to use a pen-name for the first time - Alestrel Evergreen. I rather like the pun!
So sorry everyone, that's why I haven't been able to be in touch (sorry Wendy - will try to organise a phone chat in July...)
More when I've finished the writing. In the meantime, have some pics.
I do believe I am overfeeding the orchids...
EO with new flower spike.
GO with new flower spike - the old two haven't finished yet and this new one is a double!
All the orchids. RO is looking fabulous right now - will try to get a better pic soon.
We now have a jay visiting daily to hoover up the birdfood the sparrows, starlings, robins and tits drop from the feeder.
And when the jay isn't hoovering, the foxes are!
Fox photos © Ken.
So beautiful... We have two that visit every day now.
Hee! My pic, taken with my usual 'point vaguely in the rightish direction and hope it works' technique - and I was the only one of us to get a halfway decent photo! (This is the partial solar eclipse yesterday, the 10th.)
And that's all for now. Later!
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Sooo - had my second Covid jab yesterday, feeling a bit 'meh', so taking this as a good excuse to finally update this monster.
We've been working on an updated version of a book we - or rather Ken - wrote waaaaay back in 1998 over the last few months, and it was finally in a state to send to our agent Chelsey back in Feb. She offered it to a few publishers, some of whom were interested but not enough to go ahead with it just now - but a thing happened that keeps happening when we send off a poss book idea: she came back to us with an offer. Bright Press were looking for authors for a little series of Beginners Guides (Crystals, Tarot, Witchcraft, Chakras) and would we be interested in the Crystals and Tarot books?
Of course we would. These are on commission, so would be one-off payments not royalties, but that's pretty much standard these days. So we started the process of agreeing the content and contracts beginning May. (All had to be done quickly as the deadlines are, as usual with this sort of thing, completely insane - 30K words in 4 batches by mid-June - and given Ken's day job with BCC he had to start writing RIGHT NOW.)
So everything was looking good - then the evening of the last Tues of April I got what I thought was indigestion. It got worse, until by 2 am on Wed it felt like bricks crushing the centre of my chest. Cue a phone call to 111, who ordered an ambulance, and I was whipped into BRI A&E.
Where I had about 14 different sensor electrode thingies stuck all over me, was hooked up to one of those machines that continually measure heart beat, BP and breathing (at one point that one stopped working and a nurse came in, looked at me and asked with a grin, "You are still breathing, aren't you?".) Had an ECG, which as usual was perfectly normal. (The rest of me may be falling apart but my heart - so far - has always been absolutely fine. Medical staff usually can't quite believe it and keep taking ECGs to check...)
So I sat for hours in a room to myself, putting my mask on every time anyone came in. When they finally had a room for me on the ward I'd been awake for 37 hours, the pain had gone, and I was not in a particularly good mood. But the room was nice - all to myself with a single bed and attached shower/loo room. Not much a view (ambulance one floor down to the front and the access road for the ambulance to one side), but it would at least allow me to get some writing done once Ken had brought in my laptop.
Heh. Best plans and all that. Damaged blinds let in a lot of light, ambulances aren't exactly the quietest of vehicles, the noise from the corridor outside was HORRENDOUS, but worst of all they attached me to a saline drip with N-acetylcysteine in it (which I didn't find out until later).
The only time I've felt that ill in my life was when I was taking GCSF
to boost my stem cell production for Kai's bone marrow transplant. Two hours to start with - then a 10 hour overnight drip... I spent the night throwing up, bile after my stomach was empty. Still not sure why they gave it to me: something to do with clearing paracetamol out of my system? And when that drip had finished and I'd basically passed out, a doctor came and quickly and without speaking hooked up ANOTHER two hour drip...
When that one finished a different doctor came in and I said I CAN'T have another one of those (they were going to give me another 10 hour one!) It took a bit of mild arguing and me tearing up, but she agreed and gave me an intravenous anti-emetic, which finally stopped the nausea and stomach pain...
A little later they took me for a CT scan (I think I've now had every sort of scan possible except for an angiogram.) Ever had one of these? They wanted to check my aorta and liver were functioning correctly: they inject a dye before the scan so they can see what's up. And the dye, for some reason, gives you a hot flush (mine was only on my upper lip, which was weird, but then my whole life has been so why not?) but worse, makes you feel as though you've wet yourself. The tech went to great pains to explain this is perfectly normal, a function of the dye, and not to worry, I haven't wet myself...
[eyeroll] They had to give me two doses, and it was as horrible as it sounds. However, they were able to get all the info they needed so I didn't need to go for an ultrasound as well, which had been mooted earlier.
And guess what? Heart fine, liver and gall bladder a little aggravated by...
Gall stones. Bloody gall stones!! One had blocked a bile duct, and caused all that pain - until it passed while I was waiting in A&E.
So I'm now on the waiting list to have my gall bladder removed, and they suggested a low- or no-fat diet to help prevent it happening again - which it will after the first one. Our diet is relatively low-fat anyway to try to control the weight (not been much help this last year) so that's not a problem.
But by the time I got home and the after-effects of the NAC had worn off I'd lost four bloody days of writing (I did manage to get a little done in hospital but nowhere near enough).
I've gone off the last week of April/first week of May. Gall stones this year, acute kidney injury last year - I'm cancelling them next year!
I have finally had enough of BND and am getting organised for a legal case against him. The last straw was him abusing and threatening our Sainsbury's delivery guy who had parked across his drive (instead of illegally over the DISABLED across our drive). I went out and glared at him until he turned to me and started swearing - at which I bellowed over him, "Are you illiterate as well as being a pig-ignorant moron? You were told anything you have to say to any of us you PUT IN WRITING." Then turned to the delivery guy and said, "Ignore him. We've had nothing but hassle from the hateful old bastard and we're getting together a court case against him." Yes, I startled myself. Never been so loud and forthright in my life, but the situation made me realise two things: firstly, he's that much of a coward that he only bullies women, specifically me as - I think - he's jealous, and secondly, he's all threats and no action (well, unless you count his baseless vendetta against us, which pretty much shows the emotional maturity of a spoilt, five year old brat throwing a tantrum.)
So I'm getting together everything I've prepped over the last seven years. Everything since 2014 has been photographed, recorded, documented and in a couple of cases filmed. I've made three complaints to the police against him, which have been acted on since they were serious. He's neither worn masks, nor social distanced, even with the people (also maskless) he's had coming to do work during the lockdown. I added legal case expenses to our house insurance a couple of years ago, just 'in case', and I believe, since part of my complaint involves criminal damage to the house, they may be prepared to take it on, but if not, I'll pay myself with the money earned from the new book.
In the meantime I haven't heard a peep out of him. I think I shocked him. He's got a bigger shock coming.
Onto more fun things!
Jeff cut my hair last Monday. I fancied a little bit of a change, and as I now have a pure white streak at the front on the left I asked him to leave it long - which he did, and I rather like it! It's all much tidier and looking pretty good, if I say so myself.
I love spring. Everything is flowering.
The bay tree
The lilac behind the greenhouse.
The red devil apple tree!
The heuchera bed with enchanter's nightshade and lily-of-the-valley
The glorious cascade of wisteria... the smell is fabulous.
The ramsons. Give them another year to come on and I'll start using them in cooking.
The foxes. Remember last year they nested here and had a couple of cubs, and I said I didn't want them messing up my garden in future, so we put down repellent and filled in the holes? Well... Spot the fox...
We've decided there's no point trying to keep them out. I've netted all the growing fruit and veg and bought some more pricklestrip to put down as needed. They're welcome to call the top of our garden home!
Orchids. GO specifically. Do you think I'm feeding them too much?
We finished paying the mortgage in 2016, and it's finally clicked that we have a little spare cash now for treats. I've been collecting recipes for years, probably since I started uni in 1977, so you can imagine the size and weight of my recipe folder. I could barely lift it and trying to find anything in it was a nightmare - not to mention it kept springing open and showering pages all over the place.
So I bought myself a tablet from amazon just for recipes. Most expensive recipe 'book' in the world!
I am VERY happy with it. Samsung is the same as my mobile, so everything is familiar and easy to use.
Perfumes. Yes, an odd thing for the blog, but I was over at Tesco and saw this -
Cloud berry and sugar orchid body spray called 'I'm a Unicorn in a field of horses'? How could I possibly resist?! (It's actually, fortunately as I couldn't smell it before buying it, a lovely light, very slightly spicy/herby fragrance... sort of. It has a variety of perfumes in it, all of them very soft and gentle. A very good find.)
I bought wisteria fragrance oil from the wonderful House of Candles a year or so ago - yes, more wisteria, that and the delicate scent of Sultan's Palace irises are my favourites - and found that they also do wisteria body spray, so ordered more oil with it. Absolutely gorgeous.
And lastly, I was in the WMCA charity shop up the road in Broadwalk, and spotted a bottle of Opium perfume for what I thought was £1.50 - I assumed it was a knock off as I remember Opium from when I fell in love with it while working a Saturday job at Boots way back in the 70's: even then it was far too expensive for me. Picked it up anyway, as it's a rather stylish bottle. The woman at the till complimented me on my taste: I thought she was referring to the lovely iridescent silk scarf I had in my basket: it wasn't until I got home and checked that I realised the perfume was £15, not £1.50. And the real thing! Massive saving as the cheapest I can find is £56 a bottle... it smells as lovely as I remember, and actually has a hint of the fragrance of iris. I am very happy!
Skyline, Beyond Skyline, and Skylines are a sci-fi trilogy with inexplicably dreadful ratings on the IMDb: I was intrigued by the plot and picked them up cheap, and they are a riot! Rollicking good fun, alien aliens for once, perfectly OK acting, pretty nifty sfx and cgi - altogether a really good watch. Most enjoyable (even with the gore.)
I've probably raved about how much I love The Sentinel in the past. Bought it from mum T for my birthday, and Ken and I watched it back to back over a few weeks. It's still as wonderful as I remember it (although unfortunately the quality of the DVDs in the boxed set was very variable, and the seller appears to no longer be on amazon. It's watchable, so I can live with it.) I was sorry when it ended. May watch it again later this year...
I've also raved about The Expanse. We all watched season 3 in preparation for season 4 and it's just getting better and better. Now looking forward to season 5!
Because we like completing series', I bought Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency season 2 when it finally came down to a more affordable price, and it's brilliant! So funny, and yet moving, and a little bit racy and unexpected. We loved it.
Lastly, Roeg's Pool is full of tadpoles and the occasional frog, and Tyjer is buried at the back, under all the rocks...
I miss him. I keep looking behind me before rolling my chair back to make sure I'm not running over his tail. Every time I hear a 'bump' from upstairs I expect him to come running down for food or a treat. A couple of times, when I've managed an afternoon lie down, it feels as though he's jumped onto the bed to cuddle up - not right beside me, of course not, that would be too dependent , but close enough to purr and be stroked. But he had a wonderful life and a quiet ending. We couldn't do much more.
Back to the crystals handbook...