Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

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

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::

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

... 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.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

Adventures in Orchids

Apparently I am now collecting them...

There's room for one - or maybe two, at a pinch - more on that bedroom windowsill (the only one in the house that's ideal for them). Let's see what I find. Well, that didn't last long...

EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid since 2007 and it just keeps flowering...

AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!

RO - Rescued orchid photo to come when it flowers. Phalaenopsis. Rescued from a bin up the road in 2019. Classic!

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...

DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...

RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.

PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!

TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).

My IMDb ep summaries

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

For later:

Missing Earthian ep
Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

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

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

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

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:
Nestlé, Nonpres Tinyhands Fart, Toadface Farage

Currently maintaining:

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

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

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

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

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

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

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

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

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

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

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

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

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

Murfs - noun, moths.

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

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

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

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

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

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

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

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

The Updates Blog

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

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

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

Butch by the talented 


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



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

A'lestrel by Valkyrie.

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

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



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

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...

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

I'll leave that to others to decide.

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

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

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

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

Useful sites:

Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

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

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

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

Yami no Matsuei

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

[::..Joules SP fied..::]

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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
01/07/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
01/09/2012 - 30/09/2012
01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
01/09/2013 - 30/09/2013
01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
01/12/2017 - 31/12/2017
01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
01/02/2018 - 28/02/2018
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
01/04/2018 - 30/04/2018
01/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
01/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
01/03/2019 - 31/03/2019
01/04/2019 - 30/04/2019
01/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019
01/07/2019 - 31/07/2019
01/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019
01/01/2020 - 31/01/2020
01/02/2020 - 29/02/2020
01/03/2020 - 31/03/2020
01/04/2020 - 31/04/2020
01/05/2020 - 31/05/2020
01/06/2020 - 31/06/2020
01/07/2020 - 31/07/2020
01/08/2020 - 31/08/2020
01/09/2020 - 30/09/2020
01/10/2020 - 31/10/2020
01/11/2020 - 30/11/2020
01/12/2020 - 31/12/2020
01/01/2021 - 31/01/2021
01/02/2021 - 28/02/2021
01/03/2021 - 31/03/2021
01/04/2021 - 30/04/2021
01/05/2021 - 31/05/2021
01/06/2021 - 30/06/2021
01/07/2021 - 31/07/2021
01/08/2021 - 31/08/2021
01/09/2021 - 30/09/2021
01/10/2021 - 31/10/2021
01/11/2021 - 30/11/2021
01/12/2021 - 31/12/2021
01/01/2022 - 31/01/2022
01/02/2022 - 28/02/2022
01/03/2022 - 31/03/2022
01/04/2022 - 30/04/2022
01/05/2022 - 30/05/2022
01/06/2022 - 31/06/2022
01/07/2022 - 31/07/2022
01/08/2022 - 31/08/2022
01/09/2022 - 30/09/2022
01/10/2022 - 31/10/2022
01/11/2021 - 31/11/2021
01/12/2022 - 31/12/2022
01/01/2023 - 31/01/2023
01/02/2023 - 28/02/2023
01/03/2023 - 31/03/2023
01/04/2023 - 30/04/2023
01/08/2023 - 31/08/2023
01/11/2023 - 31/11/2023

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Samhain. One of our most important fire-festivals, and certainly my favourite. From sunset to sunrise the boundaries between the world of the living and the Otherworld grow thin, allowing passage between them. On this night, as at Beltain, any stranger you meet might be a deity disguised, or a messenger from the gods, or one of the fae-folk, or one of your ancestors - or successors - between incarnations in the living world, come back from the Summerlands to visit… If you treat them politely they may bless you. If you treat them discourteously they may curse you. Strangers must be treated with respect tonight.

This is the end of the Bright Year and the beginning of the Dark, the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. I'm not overly fond of ritual, but today I've followed the old traditions: I've tidied and dusted, there's clean bedding on the beds, all the rubbish in the house has been taken out, and I've swept the house from top to bottom, from front to back, to sweep the old year out. (Well, strictly speaking a broom is great for flagged or wooden floors, but a Dyson handles modern carpets better…) Kai's bathed, I'm about to take a shower, and Ken knows to throw a silver coin through the door when he gets back from Totnes, to welcome in the new year. (It will be placed under the carpet for a twelvemonth and a day, to ensure that we always have enough money to manage - if only just!) I've set a fragrancer going with a mix of pine, cedarwood, sweet basil and cypress oils, and later we'll light candles in the windows. I'll take Kai out for a walk once it's full dark, and we'll see if we can spot the fae (the house is on a ley line), and he'll probably want to watch a scary video when we get back - well, tonight it doesn't matter how late he stays up…

I love Samhain. (It's pronounced SAH wen - oh, OK, SO wane is another way of saying it - for anyone who doesn't know.)

Lutra - presumably you're celebrating Beltain? [*grin* my other favourite festival! Along with Yule...] And is kittenkong related to Argent, the mighty hunter of worms...?

Talon, glad you like the book. It's now a limited edition - please don't drop it in the bath!


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Wednesday, October 30, 2002

What a fun day!

Diwali at the Museum was great. When we arrived a woman in a red sari was making coconut balls for the sprogs: we watched for a while then went to examine some children's Diwali costumes (such glorious bright colours! Kai loved a chatreuse green jacket with gold trimmings), then back to taste the sweets (Kai now wants to make some.)

Then up to the art gallery foyer for the story of Diwali. Well, two stories actually, the Sikh version and the Hindu version (which was much more fun!) All the children helped out, as the bears and monkeys of Rama's army (with cute little headresses with monkey and bear faces on them) - and guess who was in the wrong place at the right time and ended up playing Ravana, the demon who abducted Sita? [*grins*] It was OK until Rama started shooting arrows at Ravana's ten heads - the puppet had been constructed so the heads attached with magnets, so were easy to knock off, but they grew back right away according to the myth, and sticking them back on as the grinning story-teller mimed shooting them off was almost impossible (though a couple of Rama's monkeys helped me!) A right giggle!

Then Kai made a Diwa lamp out of clay which doesn't need firing, and decorated it very prettily, one corner with green and white beads, the rest with multi-coloured sequins. With a little luck it'll have set by tomorrow so we can set a tea-light in it for Samhain...

And to my delight I found a perfume that likes me! I don't know what it is with my skin, but nearly all perfume, whether cheap or expensive, ends up smelling like cat's piss on me after about five minutes, so finding one I like, and that I can wear, has always been a bit of a trial. Add to that that I do my damndest not to buy anything that's been tested on animals or whose manufacture is too environmentally damaging and the choice is cut right down. And I seem to be cursed: every time I find one that's just right, it gets discontinued (happened with both Faberge's Xanadu and later with the Body Shop's Samarkand). I've been using Ming Shu, and the Body Shop's Oceanus, for the last year - both of them very nice - but now the Body Shop have brought out a new one - Japanese Musk. It's gorgeous, deep, warm and spicy with just the very faintest hint of jasmine. It's £4 for a 15ml bottle of the perfume oil. On me it smells as though it cost a fortune! And it'll last me about a year. Chuffed or what!?

I've also managed to sort out the problems I was having with Yahoo, and finish Transposition pt 6 (off to post that in the Zone shortly). And it's even stopped raining! A fine day all told.

Meet me at Milliways for breakfast!


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Lutra's wonderful F&F story, Wish Fulfilment, now posted in The Vault, the short story section of the WaveWrights site...

As many of you know, Littlesaru is in Japan at the moment, teaching English. She's agreed to let me post her latest email here - it cracked me up!

"I’ve been hijacked!
Class 3-4 has spirited me away and claimed me as their own, forever and ever and ever. It’s a terrible fate, I tell you, a terrible fate! Here’s how it happened....
Me being me, I was minding my own business at school, eating my lunch after traversing the obstacle course known as Oe High School to get back to the staffroom. I didn’t manage to avoid all the fascinated students, who took one look at my hair – in perfect ringlets still – and promptly burst into squeals of overexcited joy. I’d come to school expecting some sort of reaction, but the high-pitched cries of “kawaiiii!” sort of deafened me for a while.
Well, I thought I’d got away. I thought that all was well, that I could hide in the staffroom until my next class. But no. Aki and co. of class 3-4 had other ideas. Their plans were to break my tranquility into a thousand tiny pieces. And it all began as I was finishing lunch.
With fifteen minutes to go until the bell for homeroom class went, Aki, Sachan, Mashu and Rina turned up at the staffroom door, calling out to me to come and play. So I, being the trusting fool that I am, agreed. And ended up being dragged off to their homeroom, to be photographed about a bazillion times, with – yes, you guessed it – shouts of “Kawaii!” accompanying the click of those handy little keitai cameras.
After photo madness had ended and all seemed, if not well then at least calm, with the world, we sat down and discussed boyfriends, my current lack of one, the fact that all the girls were part of a band, and the cuteness of Aki’s hat. Then the bell rang. I thought I’d get away, that I could escape for a few moments, but it was not to be. Instead Aki led me to an empty desk, and I was “asked” to stay for their homeroom. Confronted with pleading faces I was firm, I was determined, I… caved.
I believe it was rather a surprise to their homeroom teacher to find that the knot of girls giggling and sharing pictures was surrounding the resident AET, complete with bright red nails and ringlets. So when he shouted “Oi!” and the group dispersed to reveal me, he got a rather shocked look on his face. I smiled and waved at him, and he smiled back, so I don’t think he was too angry… At least… I hope not.
So I sat in on the homeroom class – and was warned that the wearing of earrings (oops!) and the dying of hair to a brown colour was not permissible. Neither were curls. Uhmmm… does it count if they’re natural?
But soon it was over, and then… somehow or other, with absolutely no idea how, I ended up helping them clean the Gymn changing rooms. Not that it was particularly hard. Two sweeps and it was done. And I was allowed to head off to pick my books up just in time for my lesson.
Fun, ne?
Littlesaru - class 3-4 mascot..."

ROFLMAO!!! Well, I can think of worse fates! >;-D


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Tuesday, October 29, 2002

[FUGE big happy grin...]

I've found the first draft of Transposition pt 6! It also was in the last place I'd think of looking (so I looked there first this time...) And it's not too bad: will check it out thoroughly later and see if I can finish it.

Kai beat me roundly - mind you, the Metal Draciel is a real brute of a beyblade, heavy, stable and long-spinning (smirks quietly to self - I suggested he go for that one...).

It's black and green, too. I want one for myself....


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Sesame ramen and strawberry pocky for breakfast (no, not together!) - perfect...

I was going to get up when Quyn barked at the postman, honestly I was - but he delivered a parcel that I knew contained Kai's new beyblades, which meant he'd be too busy building/practising with them to want to go to a film. So I went back to sleep...

Only to find, an hour or so later, that because the parcel was in my name, no-one had opened it - even with the invoice on the front that clearly said it was from The Entertainer. Tch... Anyway, he's delighted with them, has spent the last few hours in a frenzy of building and customising, trying different combinations of rings, and now wants Ken and I to battle with him. (Well, maybe later while dinner's cooking...)

Wrote and posted the last chapter of Forbidden last night. Shorter than I'd originally intended, and I'm not completely happy with it: I've left it open in case I'm ever inspired (or get enough demand) to continue the story. I've managed to find my first draft for the next chapter of Fugitive (which I thought had vanished forever when I transferred my files to the new computer) in the last place I'd ever think of looking (well, of course it would be) so am hoping to work on that next. I still can't find the first draft of the next Transposition chapter though. Perhaps I should hunt in the most unlikely places on the hard drive - it worked once, it might work again... I really want that fic finished, and it wouldn't take all that long, there are only four - at most five - chapters to go: it's been nearly a year since I wrote the last one.

On the plus side, Lutra's written an absolutely charming story in my Flight and Fancy continuum: I've just beta-ed it and hopefully can post it soon...


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Monday, October 28, 2002

This is what we missed yesterday... I'm still pissed off.

Still, today was a success. Kai made an amulet (in lapis coloured paper) with his name in hieroglyphs, and wrote it in gold on a piece of papyrus, and we've brought home a game of 'Snake' to try later on. He did the visual quiz in the Egyptology section (canopic jars, their contents and guardian's names, identifying the deity, and drawing four things that might be found in an Egyptian tomb), then we checked out the rest of the museum - my favourite exhibition, Dragons from the East (wonderful ceramics) and Kai's favourite exhibit, Wave Machine with Noah's Ark, a large piece by the autonomist Peter Markey all made of blocks of wood. (The artist is fascinated by the dichotomy between the fluidity of water and the rigidity of wood. The exhibit works really well, the waves rolling very convincingly.)

It's a wonderful old building, thoroughly labyrinthine inside. We checked out the extensive mineral section, then Kai dragged me to a small, sprogs area where there's a 'build your own animal' kit (not quite as much fun as it sounds, a whole bunch of soft plastic balls and 'sticks' to push together to make bodies and limbs and a selection of animal heads to stick on them): in one of the display cases nearby was a stuffed young okapi...

Not at all keen on stuffed animals, personally.

BusinessServe are still having problems with their cgi-bin. It now looks as though people using the forms on the WordWrights site will get through to us, but when we try it ourselves we get an error page and no emailed form. Very frustrating. If they can't get the issue resolved I may have to try javascript for the subscription and application forms on the site. It's also taking emails up to an hour to reach me at the moment: no idea why...

Looks like it's the Showcase Cinema tomorrow for Lilo and Stitch...


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Sunday, October 27, 2002

And the plan was to take Kai to Bristol Museum to watch a demonstration of Samurai Dance...

I really wanted to go. I even got up early to make sure we got there in time.

And then the bloody bus didn't come. By the time the next one arrived - half an hour later - it was too late. I am not best pleased. Obviously the horrible week isn't over yet.

We went to the park on the way back: hardly anyone there (though it was very cold - almost cold enough for me to think about wearing a jacket - so that's not so surprising) and Kai had the commando swing all to himself, which he enjoyed. There were signs of last night's winds everywhere though - the park and road littered with fallen branches (and knee-deep leaves), slates and debris. And part of our neighbour's guttering was lying in our garden when I left the house: that must have been the bang I heard last night, Lutra, before I went to check the shed. Ken tells me the South-West trains have been cancelled temporarily too.

Kai is now on half term break until November 6th. Tomorrow we're going to try for the museum again (it's Egypt day for the sprogs, playing with ancient Egyptian artefacts and learning to write their names in hieroglyphics), and again on Wednesday (Diwali, with storytelling and Indian sweets). Fun, ne?


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Friday, October 25, 2002

[sigh] You really would think I'd know better than to try and shop after the sort of week I've had, wouldn't you?

No, nothing actually went wrong - it's just that nothing actually went right, either. Yule shopping on too little sleep and a brain entirely devoid of ideas for presents. Managed to pick Kai up a beyblade stadium - but not the Spark Knight blade he wants. Or the Draciel S or the Roller Attacker, which were the backups in case the Spark Knight was sold out. They were all sold out, both at the Entertainer and at Woolworths (in fact, as I heard the assistant telling one very disappointed sprog, they had their new stock in yesterday - and sold out before they closed). Just have to keep trying, I suppose.

We got an update on the BusinessServe problems, though - apparently it was vandalism:

"Between 2.30am and 4am on the night before last 8 manhole covers around the Salford area were lifted and fire bombed with petrol poured from wheelie bins. The effect was devastating as these manholes contained substations with the main trunk Internet connections for the whole area... At 2.45am our primary connection, and all phone lines were lost in the firebombing. The secondary connection immediately took over so service was not affected. However, at 9.15am engineers from a Telco working on removing some burnt out debris cut through all the cables in their duct bringing down our back-up link. It was at this point that we lost service....We strive to provide 100% uptime, and so, through this outage we have fallen short of the goals that we have set ourselves. To ensure that we can never be affected by this type of attack again we are already investigating installing a 3rd connectivity link to our data centre through a 3rd carrier using a microwave link.

Perhaps I should send this back to them pointing out I lose access to my sites roughly 3 weekends out of every 4, which is not what I call 100% uptime...

Picked up some ramen and pocky at the Chinese supermarket (their pocky has gone up from 65p to 90p a packet!) - I've missed my ramen soup. Also checked out the toyshops around Briz for beyblades, only to find out that everywhere has sold out and there may not be another delivery before the middle of November. 'Sod that' we thought, and ordered direct from their website: Kai now has a Spark Knight, a Metal Draciel and a Roller Attacker on their way to him. Happy bratling! (And mum can play too...*smirk*)

Just caught Big Bruvaz Nu flow on Top of the Pops (usually have it playing in the back ground Friday evening) - normally I can't stand rap but this is really catchy and bouncy! Great fun...

The weather is atrocious at the moment, rain and hail and thunder with more forecast, 80 mph winds with the associated structural and horticultural damage this weekend. We should be OK; one of the few advantages to living in a valley. So we've 'battened down the hatches' as Ken's puts it, and shortly we're going to collapse with a couple of videos before I settle to work - Kung Pow and The Scorpion King (again. Heh - I'm hooked - sue me...)


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Thursday, October 24, 2002

Entry deleted. I have no time for or patience with my own self-pity.


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Wednesday, October 23, 2002

OK.... after a lengthy call to BT, I've now established that the problems in Manchester were caused by a combination of the earthquakes - see here for more details - and terrible weather the area has been experiencing. BT faults division are working on the problem, but can't give me any idea of when it will be resolved...

Vandalism by Mother Nature, ne?


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Right - basic pics for the Zone and Lutra's Pond now uploaded to WordWrights BlueYonder Archive site, which is at least marginally more reliable than BS...


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Obviously it's going to be one of those weeks...

According to BusinessServe (Ken rang to ask, got a recorded message), BT in Manchester - where BS live - are experiencing faults due to vandalism, and anyone using their lines - which is probably most of Manchester - will have problems accessing their email or the web.

So, no email, and no websites. Again.

Terran technology - it's the pits...

[This means, of course, no pictures here or Lutra's Pond, as well...]


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[sigh...] And it just got better and better...

I had wondered why I'd had no Zone applications since 13th October: turns out BusinessServe have some kind of fairly major and widespread problems with their cgi formmails. Great...

And Kai has decided he doesn't like judo and wants to give it up. OK...

Still, at least the anaesthetic wore off quickly, and I don't have toothache in the molar, so it should be fine. Mouth is sore, but that's because of having large needles jabbed into it - the rest is OK. (Talon - I'm not allergic to gas, but they only use it for kids over here (unless you're allergic to the anaesthetic or have a needle phobia). Personally I do not like gas - the last time I had it it left me disorientated and feeling vulnerable. And I can't bear the smell of rubber - leather, yes, rubber, no. And morphine makes me giggle - most undignified. But thanks very much for the concern!)

Onna - I'm all for invite-only websites: you can maintain quality control that way!


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Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Oh joy.

What more invigorating way to start the day than with an early dental appointment, after 3 hours sleep, at the top of the third steepest hill in Briz, to have the filling in a molar replaced... [Insert heavy sarcasm here]

I've never minded dentists, even as a child, but this was something else. My dentist - who is very young and very cute and takes a lot of the sting out of treatment - gave me two injections to start with, since it was a fairly large job. I'm usually OK with anaesthetics, but this time... Five minutes in I could feel the drill, so he gave me another and started using a gentler drill - then another couple of minutes later I needed a fourth as I could still feel it. And about half way through I suddenly had a vague recollection of having had problems with this tooth - maybe this tooth, anyway - when it was first filled many moons ago by a dentist in Exeter: being in such pain afterwards I had to go back, have the filling removed and replaced with a dressing of some kind underneath...

Anyway, he covered the inside of the hole with something he called pre-fill (three loads) and then filled the tooth (I lost count after five loads of filler...).

And now the parts of my face and neck that aren't completely numb have pins and needles, and I can't eat anything until the anaesthetic wears off: the inside of my mouth is swollen and I'll bite myself without realising it (voice of experience, that).

Fun, ne? At least I've stopped shaking. I swear, if I could afford it I'd have the whole lot capped or crowned or whatever it's called...

Still, it's done now (assuming everything's OK once I can feel again, that is), and I don't have to go until January (checkup for me and Kai).

Off to beta Lutra's Ghosts pt 4...

Not my fault. I went to bed early (well, 3am - that's early for me) and just couldn't sleep... Back

Talbot Hill - GoodTwin can vouch for it. The others are Marlborough St (known locally as Cardiac Hill because if you don't go up it at a snail's pace you're likely to suffer a heart attack half way up) and St Michael's Hill (where, if you're driving down it, the road appears to disappear, as though you're driving off a cliff). There are lots of hills in Bristol... Back


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Monday, October 21, 2002

Well, the SimilarMinds results are proving intriguing. GoodTwin and I more or less expected our result (74% similar/ 76% complementary), so did Lutra and I (69% similar/ 70% complementary), and Sue's was no surprise either (67% similar/ 69% complementary) - close enough for firm friendship, different enough to make for sparkling dialogue! The Talon and onna results were interesting, though (91% similar/ 89% complementary and 93% similar/ 93% complementary respectively). Does this mean we're so alike we wouldn't get on? Or that we would? I suppose we'd have to meet up to find out!

The geese are back from Yaoi Con, and Devon's back in business. [happy grin]


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Sunday, October 20, 2002

Hn. Interesting. This LINK will take you to where you can take a sort-of-quiz to see how compatibile you are with me (though why anyone would want to...) And once you've tried it, it'll give you a link so other people can see how compatible they are with you. It's an intriguing idea. How accurate the results are I can't tell yet: I've only tried it with Talon. But it's fun, anyway!

While I was at it I tried the Celtic Goddess one - came out as Cyhiraeth. And apparently I also have an affinity with Set, god of hostility and chaos. So that's OK then!

[Shakes head. Well, yes, that's part of my character, obviously, although I don't let that side out to play all that often. So is my subconscious hinting at something?]

OK - enough fun and games, time to settle down and get something productive done. Next AC tonight: tomorrow's going to be busy...

You are Cyhiraeth, an evil faerie spirit that shrieks to warn hapless people of their awaiting doom.

You yourself are very morbid and gothlike, and people sort of look worriedly at you as they skirt their way carefully around you. You like prophesizing people's misfortunes and generally contributing to the massive amount of depressed people in this country. You like setting things on fire and the Darwin Awards is your homepage.

Heh, well, I suppose if we're speaking metaphorically... Ach, these results depend on how I'm feeling at the time, anyway... Except for the SimilarMinds one, which I thought about objectively before answering... Back


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Saturday, October 19, 2002

BusinessServe is down again. Well of course it is, it's Saturday night. I am so bloody pissed off. Unless this is an intermittent fault (unlikely given their appalling service record over the last few months) I'll be without email and own site access until tomorrow (if I'm lucky) or Monday (if I'm not). I was going to upload the next Silk and Leather chapter to the Zone as well, but there's not much use if no-one can access it...

Think I'll go back to watching Gravitation. Which is excellent, by the way. Many thanks, Talon!


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Thursday, October 17, 2002


Of course, the first thing Ryme did once the cat-carrier was open was streak to the kitchen and demand to be fed...

The vet says although her teeth are now completely clean, her gums are a bit sensitive. I have antibiotics (to clear up any possible infection, half a tablet twice a day on an empty stomach. I don't have a problem giving cats pills - but on an empty stomach? That'll be fun...) Interestingly, the vet asked if she had any Siamese in her, given her little triangular face and strange yowling mew: I've often wondered that myself! She seems fine, though, and has forgiven me - I think...

Ken's news wasn't so good though. He spent some time at the BRI this afternoon getting his biopsy results: the virus isn't entirely dormant any more and his liver is inflamed. The consultant's offered a new treatment: daily tablets and an interferon injection every other day - for a year. The 'cons' are that some people have unpleasant side effects, feeling like they're fighting off some nasty bug, and some people find they simply can't take the treatment at all. He (and hence I) would have to stop drinking completely for a year too, thought that's not a major issue. The 'pros' are that there's a 60% chance of complete recovery - the virus would be gone for good.

Not really any choice, is there!

They'll send him another appointment for about a month's time, where he'll get the full instructions and be shown how to inject himself. Just as well neither of us have any problem with needles...


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Frost in the shadows, warmth in the sun...

It's not often I'm up at this time of day (unless I haven't yet gone to bed, that is...) It's rather nice: bright hot sunshine contrasted by breath-frosty coldness in the shadows. I like the colder months, the bright clear skies or heavy roiling clouds, crunching grass and fallen leaves, the feeling of being on the edge of a new year....

Ryme is now with the vet. Not a happy kit, understandably. I can ring between 2 and 3 to find out when she can come home. And I should go get some sleep. Two hours really isn't enough, even for me...


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And on an idle search on Google, prior to loping off to bed, I found this...

Heh - the demo I was on is mentioned here: I'd forgotten it was the first of its kind. You'll find it towards the bottom of the page. [Edit 2011: Link no longer exists]

... And the fight goes on, quietly, relentlessly...


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Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Ahhh - nostalgia... concerts I have known...

Let's see. Focus (anyone remember them?) at the Northcott Theatre is the first one I can recall. There were several at Uni - Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Adverts (heh, back when I used to henna my hair black I was told I looked like Gaye Advert [*scowls* stop tittering, you at the back...] - couldn't see it meself...), The Cramps (twice), the Be Stiff Tour (Wreckless Eric, Lene Lovich, Elvis Costello, Rachel Sweet, and the other one I always forget), and Tom Waits and Run Rig in Edinburgh. I think the most memorable, though, was seeing The Clash at the Anti-Nazi League rally...

To explain. The Anti-Nazi League (an organisation set up to combat racism, fascism, and the National Front: like a lot of students I was a member) organised a demonstration in London: coaches ferried students overnight from their Unis and colleges across the UK down to London for a march through the city, culminating in an open air concert (then another overnight coachride back. This in the days before coaches had loos...) There were well over 80,000 of us, finally, a fine turn out for those days (and in the papers as the largest anti-fascist march since the 1930's - I found the cutting in my old diary...). It was an amazing 48 hours...

(I would probably have enjoyed it more if we hadn't been jumped on the way back to the coach. Still, they didn't do any real damage, and it wasn't the first or last time I've taken a kicking for standing up for what I believe.)

I was a punk in those days - though never a whole-hearted one. I went for a centurion (like a Mohican but with a soft fuzz of hair at the sides instead of shaved completely) and softer, less aggressive makeup - was never much into tartan bondage trousers either (preferred black leather...) I don't have any photographs, unfortunately - I have a sneaking suspicion ex took them...

I'm sure there were others. I'm pretty certain I saw Gong as the support act to someone else (who must have been a disappointment as I can't remember who!), and I have vague - very vague - memories of Christie Moore at either the Fleece and Firkin or the Bierkeller... [shakes head, nope, no clear images. If I'm not imagining it I would have gone with ex, and I try not to remember those days!] Also saw John Lee Hooker at the Blue Note cafe (I think. That was during the America trip: Columbia, Missouri? I don't like jazz or blues, and it didn't make much of an impression on me...)

Fun, ne? And Lutra - as for Cliff Richards, I think all mums of a particular generation love him. I know mine does...

Racism, sexism, religious intolerance - hate 'em all, always have, always will. I'm just a little quieter about it these days... Back


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Tuesday, October 15, 2002

[puzzled frown] Why have removed their 17 rated fics - and left the R rated ones? I thought they were changing their policies because people objected to the adult material. This doesn't make sense to me...

Or did I miss something?


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Ah, Pocky....

The one onna calls 'basic' Pocky comes in two flavours over here, the chocolate one as illustrated, and a strawberry one that I'm addicted to. The recipe for the chocolate one has changed recently: it used to be much smoother and milkier (and altogether nicer): now it's more like dark chocolate - not very good quality dark chocolate at that.

I can also get almond Pocky over here, although it's covered with milk chocolate, not white (suits me as I don't like white chocolate). There's also a peanut Pocky coated in milk chocolate - and I'm sure I've bought another kind of nut-based one, possibly hazelnut, though I can't remember quite what at the moment. These are all wonderful, but twice as expensive as basic Pocky, so we only have them as treats. I've never seen Men's Pocky (our local feminists would probably picket/raid the shop if they tried selling it!) I think I've seen the pudding one, though.

Dammit, now I need to go stock up again! We've run out and I really fancy some!

Finished my next Silk and Leather chapter, except for deciding on a title. But I can't post it until Lutra's finished hers... [heh - stirring it again...]


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Monday, October 14, 2002

Ho hum....

Can anyone explain why it is that doing something for Ken on my computer always buggers my system? All I did was re-scan the cover of Early Heaven, change the size and copy it to a floppy and everything froze. Completely. Nothing worked. I had to switch off at the stack to restart the machine - and even then it took three goes...

Mind you, that was just the start of it. Next I found that the two new pages of my next Silk and Leather chapter, written last night, had mysteriously disappeared. (Fortunately, I had copy/pasted it into ICQ for Lutra to read, so I was able to recover the lost material from the ICQ history.) And I haven't been able to do anything so far today - it's been all faxes and emails for Ken. And Lutra hasn't been online today...

So could it get any worse? Of course it could. After six months of waiting, the next episode of DBZ starts today. But not on Cartoon Network. No, they're showing on the new channel, CNX. Which is only available to satellite digital viewers, not cable. We, of course, have cable. Ken rang TeleWest to be told that no, they don't have the new channel yet, and yes, they're trying to get it and no, they don't know when it'll be available.

I could spit. OK, I'm not a dedicated fan, but I have been trying to follow the story. Cartoon Network UK left it just after Buu's puppy had been killed: it now may be some time before I can see the rest...

Still, a couple of good things happened. Kai was Mr Popularity at break time - not because he took his beyblade in with him (a few other children have them too) but because he let all his friends have a go with it! So he's a happy bratling tonight. And I have a publicity poster of The Scorpion King, from our local video rental store. Quite where I'm going to put it I'm not sure, our walls are already pretty full - but I'm sure I'll find a place for it!


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Just for the hell of it...

This is a scan of my left hand, done a year or so ago, showing my jade bracelet and my favourite nail varnish (no longer made, alas). Yes, the claws are real, though I tend to keep them just a little shorter these days to make typing easier. The ring is platinum and black opal: we had our rings made especially for us. We could afford things like that in those days! (It's also not as tight as it looks: everything's squashed flat to try and get the best scan possible.)

Tch - I really should be doing something constructive...


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Sunday, October 13, 2002

Heh - a quiz result that's actually accurate. (The quiz is no longer online)!


Which Witch? Pagan
Not exactly a Witch, but you're still into the whole magicky scene. You might follow one of the many Pagan paths, but more than likely you follow your own.
You use magick as you want or need it, and love to draw from different religions and cultures to get a whole rounded spiritual thing going.
The air is your breath, and the waves on the shore are your heartbeat.

(Thanks Lutra!)

It's been raining since yesterday evening - great for the garden, but not so much fun going shopping in it... Kai wanted a rucksack: best place to get them is the Sunday market. So off we trudged, him in plastic mac, me trying to keep umbrella from blowing inside out and failing dismally. (I gave up. Ah well, it's only water. And a little sulphuric acid, some carbon monoxide, few trace elements...) They were selling DBZ rucksacks too, but he went for a black and royal blue one with lots of pockets.

After his bath he wanted to watch a video - The Little Shop of Horrors. I'd forgotten how much fun it is! Steve Martin as the dentist from hell...

" day,
you'll find a way,
To make your natural tendencies pay...
You'll be a dentist, you have a talent for causing things pain,
So be a dentist, people will pay you to be inhumane..."

Bratling liked it so much he's watching it for a second time!

I've finished reading the latest review book (Eric Brown's New York Blues, terrific book) and should really get the review written, but I don't really feel like it tonight. Maybe make that the first thing to do in the morning.


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Heh.... I should really be in bed; I'm tired and run down and anaemic and generally out of sorts... But I feel - bemused, I suppose. Kai's in my side of the bed right now, snuggled in asleep....

A little earlier I was standing in the doorway talking quietly to Ken - he's had a revolutionary idea for the FirstLight proposal that we need to brainstorm tomorrow - and my voice was obviously a little louder than I meant it to be: Kai wandered out of his bedroom and smiled sleepily at me.

"Oh, was I too loud? I'm sorry..."

"No.... s'OK..."

"Do you need a pee?"


"I'll try and be quieter!"

[Big grin, hug and wander back to bed...]

And I'm sitting typing, feeling tearful and tentatively hopeful. I remember my own childhood nights, shoving my fingers in my ears and hiding under my pillow to try and shut out the sounds of my parents screaming at each other. Hoping I wouldn't suffer my mother's temper the next day. Remembering being told it didn't really matter if I failed my exams, because Ian (my mother's youngest son) was the important one, the one who'd have to make his own way in the world. Remembering growing up with a mother who bewailed the fact that she'd been born female, who wished she'd been born a man so she hadn't had to put up with having children, all the duties that went with being a mother...

I refuse to repeat my parents' mistakes with my own child. He's no angel, and I won't let him be spoiled - but he'll learn to be himself, not anything I'd like him to be. (Though he'll also learn to cook and clean and tidy, understand legal necessities and - hopefully - learn to think before he acts!) I'll protect him with my own life if needs be. And we'll both do everything in our power to give him the freedom he needs, and do our best to prepare him for a horribly uncertain world.

And in a little while I'll close down, go upstairs and carry Kai back to his own bed. And he'll smile up at me as I kiss his forehead, mumble, "love you mum", and snuggle down safe and warm, as he always does.

I don't remember ever saying that to my parents.

[Great role model, huh? Still, something good came of it all. Having always had a tendency to do the opposite of what I'm told, I went all out to prove her wrong. Succeeded, too.] Back


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Saturday, October 12, 2002

I have had a wonderful evening....

Quite some time back, when the idea of a live action DBZ movie was being mooted and people were suggesting actors to play the charas, someone on one of my lists put forward The Rock as Radditz. Not being a WWF fan (or even slightly interested in wrestling) this meant absolutely nothing to me. Until, a short while ago, I idly mentioned it to Lutra.

"He's in the Scorpion King." she said.

Now, this I had heard of, as a spin-off from The Mummy/Mummy Returns, which I quite enjoyed. So I reserved it from our local video rental shop for tonight, and Ken picked it up after collecting Kai from school (I was at the vet with Ryme. She's OK, but they're going to clean her teeth for her under general anaesthetic next Thursday).

Lutra's advice on the best way to appreciate the film was, essentially, to switch off the logic gene, suspend disbelief, and simply enjoy it for the all-action rollicking blockbuster it is, full of eye candy (and female warriors who are warriors first and women second - AYA!!)... Lots of eye candy. And the hero's eyecatching outfit, strips of leather laced together, with tantalising bare skin showing through (not enough of it, sure, but nice all the same)....

The Rock (real name Dwayne Johnson, 6' 5" of solid muscle from Miami, Florida - yes I did some background research: as Lutra says, I'm not obsessive, just thorough) has an extraordinarily expressive face, moves like a dream, and going by the interview clips on the official site is also articulate, pleasant and has incredibly graceful hands.

The Scorpion King? I'm impressed. So is Ken. I followed Lutra's advice, and this is probably the best sword 'n' sorcery film I've ever seen - and trust me, I've seen a hell of a lot of 'em! We liked it so much we watched it two times in a row. It's fun, doesn't take itself too seriously, is full of beautifully daft and memorable lines, and has a glorious visual joke in the opening sequence!

And the DBZ connection? Well, the wholly delicious Mr Johnson quite simply is Radditz for me, now and probably forever.

[happy sigh] ..... like I needed another obsession....


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Friday, October 11, 2002

A pretty successful day in town...

Tracked the beyblades down to The Entertainer. There are about 10 different blades, and several different classes (attack, defence, combination, endurance...) - I wanted a combination one, but they'd sold out, so I've come home with a Dragoon Storm (Tyson's blade, I believe. I couldn't remember which one Max uses...) Of course, you can't have just one: the components are mix and match so you can customise, but at £6 a blade we'll have to get more bit by bit (pun intended!). The shop is hoping to get the stadia in on Tuesday - that'll be another 7 quid...
But I found a jade bracelet, very similar to the one that broke only poorer quality and hence much cheaper. The links are gold-coloured metal, unfortunately - I don't like gold - but it will do until I can afford to get the good one mended. It's nice to have it back on my wrist!

Taking Ryme to the vet at 3 - she's been losing weight just recently. We thought it might just be age - the cats are all 11 now - but I've been watching her, and she's only eating the tinned food (every other day they have dried food - and there's always a bowl there for them to snack on). I think it might be her teeth. Fingers crossed it's nothing else...

Lutra emailed the first couple of pages of the next Silk and Leather chapter - oooh, yummy! I can't wait to read the rest...

Oh, and Lutra - I've bought that card....


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Thursday, October 10, 2002

Beyblades have arrived at Kai's school...

We've been (half) watching the show on Cartoon Network for some time (I love the theme music, and Ray is cute - it's the hair - but the dub is positively cringeworthy), and Kai's been working on making his own beyblade (out of Lego, would you believe?) Well, yesterday he got it to work, and today he took it into school, along with the lid of a biscuit tin to use as a stadium. It was a big hit, he had so many 'customers' wanting a go he didn't have time to eat his Quavers at breaktime!

He's now working on improving his design - but I'm pricing up the real ones tomorrow while I'm in town. He'd like the real thing. And a stadium. Just as well Yule's coming....

The Matrix is on TV tonight. VH1 Classic Smooth played a video earlier, a song from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (can't remember the name of the song, dammit) - the one where Hugo Weaving slowly metamorphoses from airline pilot to airhostess, complete with Dolly Parton wig, pink uniform, stockings, stilettos, and propellor-tipped boobs. It's a funny video. My problem is that I can't ensvisage HW as anyone other than Elrond, and every time I see the video my brain insists on superimposing Elrond's face over the TS chara from Priscilla. Which is, to say the least, alarming... Elrond in drag? [shudder....]


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Wednesday, October 09, 2002


Just to prove that US mail isn't always treacle-slow, Talon's parcel arrived this morning - Gravitation cds for me and Lutra (green jewel cases for me, hot pink for Lutra; heh, colour-coded charas!). Purely for review purposes, of course!

Thank you, Talon! I'll forward Lutra's to her asap.

On the subject of manes: not all of mine is long, only the back one-third. The rest is shorter around my head - kind of like a Jeice-cut, but with sidelocks in front of my ears. I couldn't grow the whole lot long: it's so thick I'd be walking around with my face to the sky - as it is the long bit pulls at the back of my head. (I wear it in a plait, over my left shoulder most of the time so it doesn't catch in things.) The style as a whole was an accident originally: Ken was trimming it for me and cut a chunk off, then had to cut the whole top short to make it look reasonable. For a while I kept the 'long' bit shoulder length - then I caught Cyber City Oedo 808 on the sci-fi channel one night soon after Kai was born and decided I liked the Benten look, and let the long bit grow out. I'm waiting to see just how long it will actually grow!!

Heh - fascinating stuff, ne?

Off to beta Ghosts 3 for Lutra.....


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Monday, October 07, 2002

Forgot to mention, both Ken and I cracked up over the Viking Kittens (at the Rather Good site) - and that's one of my favourite Zeppelin tracks. But I particularly like the Punk Cats, especially the crowd-diving kitten! Wonderful stuff!


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Kai enjoyed his first recorder lesson. He's using my old descant recorder, which probably qualifies as an antique by now and has a nice mellow sound! After he'd had a practise I got out my tenor and let him hold it: his hands are to small for him to try to play it. (Not that I've ever done more than tootle around with the tenor: I bought it years ago because I liked the sound, not from any serious musical pretensions. I can't read music, never bothered to learn, and my thing was always dancing anyway - classical ballet (like Lutra), ballroom, Latin American and modern (jive, ceroc). I still enjoy it, although I don't have the time to dance much any more.)

I'm pleased he likes it. He's always loved music - used to dance along to my Lord of the Dance video - and has a fine singing voice too (the school choir meets Wednesday lunchtime: he's still thinking about it). He's looking forward to judo tomorrow, and swimming on Wednesday morning. All in all he's really expanding his horizons now he's in Junior school.

We had a fine time at Hengrove park yesterday. Kim brought Joe and his friend Sam along too: it was so warm and sunny the kids stripped down to shorts and played in the 'water feature' part of the park (a tumble of smooth rocks with water pumps and pools and waterfalls scattered amongst them, all in a large clean sandpit - great fun!) And I had a great time chatting! (Kim and I first met when we were both working for BT, many moons ago...) Altogether a relaxing, revitalising afternoon...

The writing's gone quite well today, although I need to devise a new subplot for the thread of the new FirstLight chapters. But I've finished the first seven pages of the next AC chapter (hoping to post that soon) - and managed to write a short Devon section for the Purgatory RPG - over the weekend.
Suppose I'd better go and get on with it, then!

Memo to self - if I've found a shampoo and conditioner I like, DON'T use something else just because I fancy a change. I'll have to deep condition the mane tomorrow, now...


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Sunday, October 06, 2002

And the Monopoly game ended in a resounding success for me, first bankrupting Ken (who vanished into the kitchen in disgust to wash up and make lunch), then almost bankrupting Kai (who decided to bow out gracefully). It was the Hotel in Bond Street that did it...

But we've learned that Kai is a good loser - he thoroughly enjoyed it and when I explained the strategy (buy up adjoining blocks so you own large swathes of the board: that way players are almost bound to land on your sites every time they reach that side of the board) he grinned... He wants a re-match. No doubt I'll get hammered....

Tch - what a terrible mother, bankrupting my own family! It's that Ouranos in Leo in the Second House that does it!


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Went to take a gander at the 'slash' quiz before closing down. Thought to myself - only four responses to each question? How easy to slant is that? So I tried different combinations of answers...

The most 'innocent' result appears to be 'slash queen' (which suggests the quiz-taker would be happier reading gen or het. So why 'slash queen'? Makes no sense to me...). Then there are three different 'levels' of slash goddess - up-and-coming, getting-there, and goddesshood...

There may be other options of course, but at that point I gave up, unimpressed. Me, I prefer quizzes with some meat to them!

[Well, what else would you expect from Pluto in Virgo in the Third House and the associated deep-seated need for perfection...?]


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Erk. Is it my imagination or does Argent have a capital M on his forehead...?

[Majin Argent? Yup, makes sense!]


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Saturday, October 05, 2002

And the Monopoly game goes forward to yet another day! I do now have hotels in Pall Mall, Northumberland Ave and Whitehall, and I've bought Mayfair from Ken. All of Ken's other properties are mortgaged (to pay me the £900 for landing on Northumberland Ave) and we got so used to handing over money to Kai I accidentally paid him rent when it should have gone to Ken!

Kai's loving it. He's sitting on close to £3,000 just now, unable to do anything with it until he manages to buy some more sites, but quite happy to bide his time...

Onna - Raptor's the only cat that's ever owned me that does the 'jumping on the back' trick. Mink, and later Roeg, used to climb up me and sprawl over my shoulder, but the others (including Jason and Tharg) never showed any interest. Of the present cats, Argent will only accept affection on his terms, and isn't a very friendly little cat although he's improved since he's got older, and Ken is definitely Ryme's human...


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Wonderful chat in Purgatory last night! Great to speak to you all - and RB, that short new Devon section is bubbling as I type...

Finally got to bed at around 6am-ish, woke at 1pm-ish - with a hangover. Haven't had one of those in a loooong time and had forgotten how horrible they can be....

Still, it's another gorgeous day, and since I couldn't concentrate enough to make writing any fun I've been doing essential garden maintenance. Cleared out the pool (and am now waiting for the chlorine to dissipate from the tap water so I can fill it up), trimmed the grass from around the bases of my miniature rose, juniper, little spiraeas and my acer (Carol, it's coming on a treat - those tatty dying leaves are dropping and underneath are healthy new buds - with more down at the base of the trunk too! I'm so chuffed!) and helped Kai trim the grass from around the base of his fuschia - Kai loves fuschias, wants more of them. Raptor(Of course, while I was bending down Raptor jumped up onto my back and lay across my shoulders, purring in my ear...) The only real disappointment is that it's been too dry this summer for my callicarpa to produce many berries this year.

Ken is still mortaring the wall, Kai in attendance, in between climbing all over his swing. A fun, family sort of day. Very relaxing.

We started a game of Monopoly last night (Kai's reading homework mentioned the game and I realised he'd never played it). I have a real entrepreneur for a sprog - notwithstanding ending up in jail twice (and paying to get out), he has eight houses already built while Ken and I are still trying to get the sites to start building! (Although, that being said, Ken has one of the sites I need and is very short of money at the moment...) Hoping to finish the game later...
Tomorrow pm Kim's coming round to take us to the park for a couple of hours: apparently her Sarah is quite taken with Kai and has been asking when she can see him again. Kim's also bought her first Tarot pack (she's been fascinated since I first did her cards for her years ago) so no doubt we'll be talking Tarot for part of the day! (Might take my pack with me for comparison...)

And in the meantime I ought to think about dinner. I have a suspicion Ken forgot to take anything out of the freezer. Ah well, there's a Jalfrezi curry in there that won't take long to defrost....

small shrub, greyish green leaves that blush golden red in autumn, clusters of small white flowers followed - if it's been damp enough - by clusters of tiny bright mauve berries that look like amethysts: beautiful plant! Back


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Friday, October 04, 2002

Ken decided he was too tired to watch Prophecy 3 last night, so he went up. Moments later there came an almighty great thud-crash-clatter from the bathroom...

I knew we should have re-named Argent 'Vejiita'. Argent We always leave the loo cover down, because he has a habit of jumping on it to reach the wash basin (he loves drinking from the tap) and if it isn't closed we end up with a soggy moggy (which is hysterically funny for us but not much fun for him). On this occasion he jumped just as Ken raised the cover, collided with it - and broke it off its hinges...

First, to reassure everyone, he's absolutely fine. And so is Argent, though he hasn't been near the bathroom since. But the loo seat is a write-off. Although we can't really complain: as far as we know it was the one they fitted when they built the house in the 1950s (they built things to last in them days...) For now, Ken's fitted the seat from the outside loo (took him an hour and a half: he had to saw through the bolts of the upstairs cover, they'd rusted solid!) - but I fancy a change. There was a shop that sold novelty covers, over in Bedminster: kingfisher blue transparent perspex embedded with glitter. Or shells and starfish. Or fish. Or - which appeals to me! - razor blades!!
Ken looked at me askance, then suggested I take Kai over there tomorrow to pick one up...

It's nice when your partner appreciates these strange little sadistic/eccentric quirks of your personality!

(I wonder if they have any with eyeballs in them...)


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Thursday, October 03, 2002

My flabber is well and truly gasted! Not 6 hours after sending the Nigeria Scam report to Lycos I get an email back saying that the sender has been removed from their servers, and advising me never to reply to emails like this as to do so lets the spammer know the addy is active and could lead to it being sold to other scammers/spammers. Which I already knew, but it's very considerate of Lycos to warn people.

I'm very impressed. That's what I call service!

The 240th member has just joined the Zone, too...


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It's been a strange sort of day. Got to bed about 4.30am-ish - and was woken at 9.37am by Quyn barking at the postman.

Now, there's nothing unusual about that, except that he was outside. At that time of the morning Ken is generally on his way back from walking Kai to school... Leapt out of bed in a mad panic, thinking he may have left the patio doors open by mistake (it has happened), and, coughing and wheezing, charged downstairs - to find him out mortaring the wall. (The whole thing needs doing and it's a long job - in both senses of the word - so he does a section each summer/autumn) Panic attack over - but I wasn't in the best of moods...

Cheered up though. Had four new applications for Zone membership today - all German. It seems to go like that: one day it'll be all Australians, the next all Canadians, then another nationality. (Membership now standing at 238!)

Then we had 3 of those bloody Nigeria Scam emails - you know the ones, send some so-called official in Nigeria/Zimbabwe/South Africa/wherever your bank details and they'll share all this money put in trust by their father/deposed president/whatever with you (I can't believe anyone would be daft enough to fall for these but apparently they do...) We get them every now and again and usually I just trash them, but this time the email addy was Lycos, so I checked out the Lycos site and found they have a form for reporting spam/fraud/threats etc. So I did. And will see if I can do the same with any others that arrive. I'd encourage anyone else reading this, who's received anything like this, to do the same.

These things really, really annoy me...

The weather's been absolutely beautiful today, brilliant sunshine but fresh cool air (yesterday was horribly humid). Probably one of the last good days of the autumn. Days like this I wish I could still afford to ride...

Aiming to start the next AC chapter tonight; I have it fairly well plotted in my mind. Lutra's written about half of her next chapter, and I need to catch up! (Then again, going by her blog I have a little more time anyway... Speaking of which, my Star Wars name comes out as Jouor Saexet Roltalbot of Sinutab!! Ye gods, I think I'll stick with Joules...)

Favourite films? Hn.... Company of Wolves, Valerie and her Week of Wonders, 12 Monkeys, Waterworld (despite the weak ending). Anime constitutes a separate list.

Films I really enjoy? Heh - the list is too long, but includes MIB, Jurassic Park (all three of them), The Crow, Legend (I love unicorns), Rocky Horror Picture Show, Vibes (and just about any other film with Jeff Goldblum), Rockula (just plain daft!) Midnight Cop (the precursor to Forever Knight)... I could go on but I'd better stop there.

And sorry, Talon and onna - I'd agree that Adrian Paul is pretty, moves beautifully and is very emotive, but Highlander did nothing for me at all: I switched off before the end. Never mind - that means you don't have to share him with me!!


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Well that was fun - I'd forgotten what a rollickin' film Fifth Element was. Not a great film by any means, and with plot holes you could navigate a starship through, but who cares? Lots of action, violence and gore, plenty of humour, the baddies meet a satisfyingly unpleasant destiny and love wins in the end. What more could you ask of a blockbuster?

I don't think I've ever seen a Bruce Willis film I didn't like; he's one of my favourite actors (along with Alan Rickman - oh, that voice - Sean Connery and Harrison Ford). Not that I've seen all that many of his films. But he was superb in The Sixth Sense, and in Twelve Monkeys, both of which kept me guessing up until about 20 minutes before the end (which is pretty good for someone who normally works out the plot in the first 15...) And we'll still watch Die Hard (well, in my case have it on in the background while I write) in preference to most other TV - Willis and Rickman in the same film? Bliss...

Tomorrow night's Sci-Fi Channel isn't too bad either, Prophecy 3, with Wings of Honneamise as the main anime offering - one I've never yet managed to catch. Actually the Thursday night anime session has picked up recently: we've had Spriggan (wonderful film), and Rayearth last week (although I only caught snippets of that as I was working on Ruin. Videoed it for later, though - I love Studio Clamp's work.) Interesting that Talon mentioned Vampire Hunter D: that was one of the first anime I bought (after Akira) back in '94, and it still remains a favourite - although D's VA is horribly wooden. And now of course the sequel, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (by the magnificent Yoshiaki Kawajiri of Cyber City Oedo 808, Wicked City and Monster City fame) has just been released... Reviews notwithstanding, this I must see!!

Highlander's on in 15 minutes. I've never actually seen any of the series, and since it doesn't look like I'm going to get much more done tonight I may as well leave the TV on and see what it's like...

I'm talking actors here rather than nice looking men on screen. Back


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Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Hn - 50 minutes. I remain unimpressed...


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And yet again BusinessServe is down: I've no access to WordWrights or Haadri. This is really beyond a joke...

We recently had a bulk email from another provider touting for business, marginally more expensive for the initial outlay, but offering a number of facilities for which BusinessServe charge extra - daily stats, for example, and use of our own broadband connection instead of their own dialup. Our two year contract with BS runs out next July (for WordWrights anyway: the Haadri site is a few months later): it's very tempting to change hosts. Though I'd need to find out their Terms of Service first - if they won't countenance 'adult' material then there's not a lot of point...

Ken's advance copy of Early Heaven Chinese Wisdom (his latest solo book, due out November) arrived this morning. It looks good (although they've added an uneccessary level of complexity by splitting the vital 'secondary gua' table into two). Be interesting to see how well it does!

Well, BS have now had 45 minutes to solve whatever the problem is and still no joy. I'd ring them up to complain except that I've lost my voice... Think I'll time them, see how long they take...


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Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Forgot to mention Friday nights in Purgatory also need to be worked into my haddock management plan...

[Purgatory is an online original literary RPG for anyone who missed my earlier post. Writing online and in realtime with other people is an interesting discipline... Not to mention fun.]


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Well, bratling enjoyed his first judo lesson (except for banging his head...) And he quite fancies taking recorder lessons one lunchtime a week (my old recorder's still perfectly fine!) I'd like him to take Aikido, but the only recommended classes for juniors are miles away, and without transport it's really not feasible. Maybe when he's a little older. I want him to take some sort of self-defence class - we both think it's necessary these days.

Despite the bug, I've not done too badly today: the first of the new FirstLight chapters is underway. And I had a think about trying to organise my time (heh! Dancing haddock!) I have to concentrate on my own fiction for a while, but I should still be able to do one AC chapter a week. I should try and get the Crowsnest book reviews done early in the month, too - and I'd like to finish the shorter series' before Yule as well. One can hope...

For any UK readers who might be interested, the episode of Casualty with Kai's school in it airs on Saturday 9th November. Though what the storyline is and how much of the school they'll show remains to be seen...


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