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:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

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

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

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

Yami no Matsuei

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

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

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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

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

Saturday, May 31, 2003

First draft of Rejoice now finished (all 11 pages of it) but I need to check a couple of details with Lutra before I do anything more...

BUTBUTBUT!!! No idea how many people have read the AC cast list I posted and am trying to keep up to date, but at the end I said this: -

Zorun - now, this one is my mistake. I introduced the character (Zorn) before I knew what his original (i.e. manga) name was. I've since discovered it was Corn (or Corniss). I volunteered to change it to Corun throughout the Chronicles, but Lutra was not at all keen on that idea - she likes Zorun - so, since I really would rather keep my tail, I've left it as is. I haven't been able to find an edible meaning for Zorun (or any derivatives thereof) in any language (yet). If I ever do, I'll post it here!

[grinning while doing a creditable impression of Tigger] Tonight I was looking through dictionaries (I now have 16 different languages) hunting down new AC names and purely on a whim I looked up the Czech for 'corn'. And guess what? It's ZRNO...

Chuffed? OHHHH yes....

I received a wonderful compliment tonight. I'd emailed asking Carol to ask Sue (who was visiting) if she collected any signed books (because I have a couple I don't want) or if it was specific authors. She came back with:

'I collect Joules' signed books of course - and she is an experience... a very stimulating experience'
[GLOMPS Sue!!]


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Friday, May 30, 2003

Hn... blogger help and support seem to be about as helpful as a slap in the face with a dead cow: they're not interested in giving assistance unless you're paying for blogger plus or pro. So I haven't bothered waiting for an answer that may never come (my last query wasn't answered in three months, and the ad-free blog seems to be something of a poor relation in the list of facilities they offer...) - I've just taken the ad-banner out of the template and republished. Fingers crossed my blog doesn't just vanish!

And in the meantime, just to whet your appetites, Lutra and I have been working on the next AC chapters, Rejoice and Progression pt 2 - hopefully have those posted by the end of the weekend, if we can get together on ICQ to co-ordinate the last few details...


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Thursday, May 29, 2003

Tired tired... It's been very hot and a tad wearying today...

It was fantastic on the river: we rode in the Bagheera, Bagheera exterior - pic (c) the Bristol Packet Co. our captain was very knowledgeable and very witty (and didn't much like Barratt Homes, or the BDC but then again, who does?), and he was accompanied by a young and very cute crewmember (for tying up, getting drinks and operating the lock gates) who looked like Orlando Bloom's older and slightly more wind-tanned brother...

Going through the Hanham Lock was fun, we could feel the boat rising as the water came in - looked to be a couple of feet (lowering on the way back wasn't quite so obvious). And we learned a fair bit of local history as we went along, not my favourite subject, but still interesting. Kai loved seeing Eastwood Farm from the river!

We went for a walk along the bank once we got to the Chequers, had our picnic, then stopped for a quick drink before coming back again. And they were scouring at Hotwells (if I've understood it correctly that means opening the massive gates in the Cumberland Basin to allow the water in the floating harbour to drain out into the Gorge, taking all the mud deposits with it - another of Brunel's Bright Ideas...) so the water was about nine inches lower along the river than earlier in the day, dropping to twenty inches lower once we got back into Bristol: it made going through the extremely narrow Netham Lock very interesting as the river was flowing about 7 knots at that point!

Now coding up Retreat. Won't be sending out sneak peeks of this one; for once I want people to read it in the Zone with the accompanying illustration.

<rant> Saw one of those huge, ugly billboards today, with one of those so-called 'supermodels' on it advertising L'Oreal. L'Oreal is, of course, part-owned by Nestlé, 26% last I heard.

I've been trying to find a site that pulls all the Nestlé information together since I started this blog, and at last I've managed to do so. So if anyone wants to know why I actively loathe Nestlé and refuse to buy any of their products, this page has an excellent run-down of the situation as at the end of last year. It's written in a darkly humorous style, but everything said here is accurate: my principle reasons for our personal boycott concern the company's irresponsible (irresponsible? Bloody murderous as far as I'm concerned!) marketing of breast-milk substitutes in developing countries, which is towards the end of the article - so if you're going to take a look, please read the whole thing. (You can find a list of some of the products Nestlé are involved in here, though the list I have stuck up on my fridge is rather more exhaustive...) Alas, no longer there Aug 2020...

I wonder if those who allow themselves to be used to promote Nestlé products would really think they're 'worth it' if they'd bothered to check the facts...</rant>

Spread the word...


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Well that was a busy day! Coded/uploaded Cat-House Ellis and Remember and have just finished the first draft of Retreat (that's the Ti'aasaan - Zorun chapter) and the picture for it. That's what comes of managing SEVEN whole hours sleep!

Ken mowed the lawn (first chance after two full weeks of rain). And the lawnmower broke. We can't really complain, the thing is about eleven years old, and was never really big or powerful enough for the garden anyway. Thus starts the great 'best deal on mowers' hunt...

I forgot to say, too, that Ken's latest hospital check-up came back 'stable': obviously the green-fest is helping. We've noticed a strange side effect of the medication though (yeah, another one...) - Ken's eyelashes (always disgustingly and unfairly thick and long) have got even longer and thicker and the top right-hand one is curving down over his eye, not enough to impair his vision, he says, but it looks uncomfortable to me. He mentioned it to the consultants who said yes, this was a known side effect and not to worry about it. Heh!! Like, thanks for letting us know! [growl]

I'm planning to take bratling out for the day tomorrow (sorry, later today). One of the Briz ferry companies runs a special river trip on Tuesdays and Thursdays from the Centre out to the Chequers Inn at Hanham: stop for lunch then the trip back - about 4 hours in total and a wonderful cruise along the Avon (through Eastwood Farm, I think, which inspired the Bitter Season segment of Walking the Dog). The pub is nice, and has a big beer garden and playground for kids, and they don't mind if you take your own picnic - at least, they never used to and that's what we're doing... Kai's really looking forward to it, and I'm just hoping you don't have to book tickets, you don't normally for this sort of thing...

Local news of note: we've been waiting 13 years but Tesco have finally built a shortcut pathway to the supermarket from Talbot Road. This cuts 30 minutes off a shopping trip, cuts out a long, wearying hill, and has made me very happy.
[grumble] When the temperature gets above 13 degrees, my WeatherPixie wears a skirt! I am most affronted. I don't do skirts. Shorts and culottes, yes, skirts, no. Nor horizontally-striped leggings. Still, it could be worse. At least she does wear trousers most of the time...

My payment for the ad-free version of my blog has cleared through my bank. Let's see how long it takes them to take the ads off the site!


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Tuesday, May 27, 2003

A fine fun day, slobbing out with Wendy, watching Fellowship of the Ring and the making of CDs - fascinating stuff... [waves at Wendy] We should do it more often! [waves at Carol] Thanks for a wonderful weekend!

I've also finished reading A Stitch in Time. Thoroughly enjoyed it, though it ended too soon, I'd have liked the story to have continued a while longer.

Off to work on Remember...


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Monday, May 26, 2003

[happy happy sigh] A parcel arrived for me, from onna...

A june Ai no Kusabi yaoi doujinshi... It's gorgeous. And it has the most beautiful Iason - Raoul pic... [GLOMPs onna]

Carol suggested we go to see the Cavaliers fight the Roundheads (Sealed Knot) at Weston-super-Mare today - only Kai wanted to go to the beach instead, so we ended up at Clevedon. It was quite wonderful: typical British holiday weather, showers interspersed with sun and blowing a gale... We went out to the end of the restored Victorian pier (a beautifully elegant affair), then Kai scrambled over the rocks, and Carol and I cracked up at the sight of a tiny crab, all of two inches across, claws upraised in threat posture, try to see off a fully grown human... [heh, you and whose army?] and Carol took Kai onto his first proper funfair ride, which he loved...

This evening I've drawn while we watched Professionals dvds - now have a 'tiisaan and Jeice, Kinu, Choichan, and an illustration for AC5 chapter provisionally called Retreat. And I'm absolutely shattered, and really have to get to bed soon...


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Saturday, May 24, 2003

I love language. I love its ability to coil and swirl and enchant and enrapture, capture emotion, inspire and move and control. I love its ability to convey feeling and action and thought and desire, create the unthinkable and make real the deepest dreams.

I love language, ALL language, spoken, written, dreamed, drawn, danced, sung, encoded, encrypted, painted across the stars. I love its euphony, its strength, its all-enveloping power...


It has, therefore, always troubled me as to why I really find it difficult to enjoy what are usually termed the Classics. Oh, not all - the lyrical beauty of Shakespeare's English, the extraordinary power of Stoppard's scripts, the gloriously pantheistic outpouring of Wordsworth's soul... These leave me breathless...

But the rest?

Tonight Carol and I talked Classics. It's not the first time, but it's certainly the first time that little lightbulb over my head went [PING].

I adore Jane Austen. I love her dry, wry, cynical-hopeful 'take' on life as it was lived in her age. Which is still very much life as it is lived now.

I have trouble with Dickens (with the notable exception of The Pickwick Papers) because he deals so closely with the socio-polical situation as it was at the time of his writing.

Internal as opposed to external. Politics/history/geography changes at whim - human nature takes a lot longer. So very simple, and yet such a revelation to me.

Thanks, Carol.


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Friday, May 23, 2003

[Happy grin] Have registered my Flaming Pear Space Bundle and had a little play with the filters - great fun! And while I was at it, I've paid for the ad-free version of blog - hopefully the banner ad will disappear over the next couple of days...


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[grin] Been an interesting day. Claim was written amazingly quickly, and I'm pleased with it (think Lutra is as well, though she has to wait for the next chapter for the lemon [smirk]). I'm several pages into the next AC, which promises to be a seminal chapter - and Lutra's been working on her original yaoi, which has, in certain places, had me in stitches this evening, it's wonderful. [smirk] And I WANT one of those aliens.... It will be posted in the Darkside when it's finished. [still chuckling. Actually, he's right, wouldn't mind one of those aliens - the Git'tharn - myself.... ]

Just to annoy Lutra, I took the 'What Elf am I?' quiz on Soulsis' blog (there's some very funny funnies on there at the moment, especially the Chinese Proverbs, which were new to me and cracked me up). Heh, what a surprise, I came out as a Sea Elf... What really got me was the colours...

Unlike the myth, you are not elven mermaids/men. You do have the ability to stay under water for extremely long time periods, but you do not breath the water, nor have gills or fins (just some slight webbing). You always live near water, and often keep safe holds for your goods in hidden underwater caves. Some of your kind actually spend more time in the water than out, and thus how your kind developed the strange marine coloration of blues, greens and yellows.

[sigh] Just can't get away from Zaabon no matter what. You can tell I'm terribly upset by this, can't you? [smirk]

Other news: GoodTwin is coming over to visit tonight until Monday [AYA!] - hoping to get some drawing done. Friend Wendy is coming up to visit on Tuesday [bounce!] Kai is on half term until Tuesday week. Which all means I won't be here quite as much as usual...


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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

YAY! At long last The Sentinel is to be screened on SciFi UK, starting June 17th (Ken's birthday). Thank you Britslash!


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Tuesday, May 20, 2003

One of the major headaches with this house is the lack of enough space for our collection of books. It's not for want of trying: in the lounge the alcoves either side of the chimneybreast hold bookshelves, as does the whole of one wall and part of another; the chimneybreast of our bedroom is packed; Kai has two full bookcases in his room; Ken's study has another three full height bookcases and there are another two tall plus two smaller ones along the upstairs landing. And here in the C Room? Two large bookcases plus four large shelves. And there were still two big boxes of books that wouldn't fit anywhere that came from the loft...

So we did a little, very intensive sifting. Now have a biiig pile to go to charity, a large bag of shredded old stuff and one of the boxes has been emptied. Still have to deal with the second box but at least we're getting there.

Email from Saru this morning - she's having problems accessing her blog (in other words, she can't) but should be able to get online properly in June, so will have a go at updating then. Strange that such an electronically savvy country as Japan is causing her so many headaches accessing the Internet, but there you go. [waves to Saru] The sooner the better - we're all missing you!


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Monday, May 19, 2003

I cannot for the life of me find the broken link (referred to a while back) in the Zone, so I can only assume that someone, somewhere, has somehow, either accidentally or deliberately, tried to post a link into the Zone from outside the site and got it wrong. If anyone reading this has followed a link from elswhere that ends /achron4/R, please could you let me know the originating URL? At least then I can ask the webmaster to remove the link, which will stop me getting 404 reports and visitors getting annoyed. And my next task, I think, even before the Zone galleries, is to get the new password protection sorted out (especially since one of the other sites I manage has asked for a protected section too). Fun fun fun.

Downloaded the demo software for a couple of plugins from Flaming Pear, the site onna recommended - LunarCell and Glitterato. Interesting, and easy to use (even if installing Glitterato did peculiar things to my other filters and required a double reboot before order was restored! Have I mentioned the cute bishie gremlin that lives in my machine? He's called Butch and is actually quite friendly as long as you keep feeding him lemons...). Very reasonably priced software too - I shall treat myself later this month.

Heh - just remembered I haven't done this month's book review... It's due on Thursday, better get a move on. At least it's not difficult this time....


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Saturday, May 17, 2003

Something of a manic day, not helped by being woken by dog howling at some ungodly hour of the morning after just under 4 hours sleep. And waking in the middle of a strange dream too, where Ryme had jumped into a bath of running water, quite deliberately: when I found her she was at the bottom, curled up as though for sleep with her eyes open. I pulled her out and tried to breathe air into her lungs, without success - only to find that a little later she had revived... but wasn't truly Ryme anymore... Most disturbing.

Anyway, Ken took Kai into town to spend his birthday W H Smith's vouchers ([groan] he came back with the Inspector Gadget 2 DVD: I managed to miss most of it but what I did catch struck me as absolute crap. Still, Kai liked the special effects...). And me...?

One of the few joys of clearing up/out is the things you find that you thought were gone forever - in my case a box of tapes I'd carefully put away for safe-keeping and then forgotten where I'd put them. All stuff I taped many many years ago and that I very much doubt I could replace these days. And to my joy the two most important tapes are still in near perfect condition. So I beckered them onto the hard drive and burned to CD, then made mp3s of all my old favourites... anyone remember (actually, that should probably be anyone ever heard of) Ivo? Red Pony? Ironmasters? (Don't ask me the artists, I didn't write them down and can't recall them now!) The Skids Into the Valley (with which I have a love-hate relationship: I was dancing barefoot to that when I landed awkwardly and broke my foot the first time)? Magazine's Shot by Both Sides? The truly magnificent Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Russian Roulette by Moving Hearts? Christie Moore's heart-wrenching Ordinary Man? The Associates Party Fears 2? Red Box' For America (wonderfully bouncy for doing housework...)?

... It occurs to me that my taste in music remains somewhat eclectic.
And now I ought to take a look at the next AC... [lopes off singing "shot by both sides on the run to the outside of everything...."]


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Friday, May 16, 2003

I'm beginning to wonder if it's us jinxing mail servers... ClaraNET have had problems all day with their email, and I rang them a few hours ago to ask why. Apparently their main server crashed, and they're moving everything onto two new machines, but it's taking them a wee while. I do now seem to have email back, so hopefully that's the end of it (until next time). But we also had a service email from BlueYonder, saying they're moving to a new platform next week, as they have also been experiencing a few problems (well, yes, we had noticed...) It shouldn't affect us, but that sounds too much like famous last words so I won't say it.

Going to take an hour or two to trawl through the Zone. I keep getting an error report for a file that doesn't exist, supposedly somewhere in AC4, with just the suffix R - something that I'd never do. I obviously have a bad link somewhere, and the ClaraNET tech support I spoke to tonight didn't know of any way of finding its source other than checking the pages for the link. Blasted nuisance but it's bugging the hell out of me seeing it come up with hundreds of hits.

And it'll help me make the transition from 16th century High Seas adventure (I've just watched the first Hornblower ep. Oooh yum....) back to various anime alternate continuua...


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Latest website now live: slightly different style, this one, the client had much more of an idea what she wanted than previous commissions. I'm quite pleased with it - especially my little animation! Check out Choice Cards...

(2007) Site now defunct.


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[grins] Had an email from LittleSaru this morning...

This is your fault... suggested I get a blog, you set the idea in my head, you were the one to set the whole ball rolling. So you get to be the first one to see it!

The Monkey Fun blog now added to the list...

Welcome to the blog community, 'Saru! And hope things improve at work, silly peeps don't appreciate their luck (having you as teacher, I mean).


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Wednesday, May 14, 2003

[YAWN] Was rudely awoken first thing this morning after three hours sleep by the sound of a whopping great drill just outside the window. Yes, the men had come to install the cavity wall insulation - a day early...

They were very quick and efficient, though, and after the first drilling of holes in the outer wall to provide access for the fluffy stuff they use (heh, sorry about the imprecision but I threw away the brochure and can't now remember what it's called. It's CFC free and eco-friendly though, I do recall that much...) things were much quieter. The loft now has six inches or so of insulation, and they fitted new draught-proofing round the windows too. They were here for a little under five hours and left the place as they found it. They're a local firm - Energywise, located just up the road at Brislington trading Estate - but they don't have a website, unfortunately. Altogether I'm well-chuffed.

Also extremely tired, which is a damn nuisance as I have the next AC all planned out in my mind. Will see how much I can get done before my head impacts with the keyboard... Tomorrow I should be able to finish the commissioned website I have on hand, which would be satisfactory for all concerned.

Kai was grumpy when I met him from school - the swimming teachers wouldn't let him try for his 20 metre badge! I sewed his 10 metre badge to his swimming trunks, though, so that was OK. Oh, and he's become a fan of Robot Wars, which we seem to be watching every day... Ah well, I suppose it adds to my rep as a cool mum if I know what Stinger, Hypnodisc and Spawn of Scutter are!


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Tuesday, May 13, 2003

It seems to have been unusually hectic the last couple of days, although I don't seem to have accomplished much... Ah well, it happens...

I have, however, finished the latest AC chapter - Library - and will be posting that tonight. We also took time to watch Firefly on the SciFi Channel last night (it was mentioned with considerable enthusiasm on the Britslash list). I wasn't sure I'd like it - it's by the creators of Buffy, which I find incredibly tedious - but it's really very good. I was immediately reminded of Trigun - it's the cowboys and spaceships premise... Oh, and the terrific music. And there's even a fighting priest, though he's not exactly a bishie... Thoroughly enjoyable, great characters, intriguing plotline, a lot of unanswered questions... It's on our (very short) must-watch list at the moment. Be interesting to see if it lives up to its initial promise...


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Sunday, May 11, 2003

[weary sigh] Well, that's the loft emptied. We can't move in the house for boxes, but at least we know the scale of the problem... It's mostly Ken's archaeological finds, and I'm not touching them with a bargepole! Found all my stored art deco bits and pieces though. And there's a huge pile of stuff to go to charity (mostly old baby things), going to have to ring for someone to come and collect it.

But it's done! Finished! Yay!!


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Saturday, May 10, 2003

[smug smirk] Worked it out myself - we now have a customised Error 404 page on the site...


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[groan...] Spent all afternoon doing the next lot of clearing out of the loft - all the fiddly little things (ornaments, antiques, old toys etc). Quite fun, really, if hardly creative. However, I have found something I thought I'd lost - the only copy I have of my christening photo -

I was cute. Heh, that didn't last long! (I had a lump over my right eye which was a benign tumour that appeared 2 days after I was born and which was removed when I was 13 months old: I still have the scar from the op. Apparently while I was at the Children's Hospital the nurses took away my 'danket' - security blanket - and I screamed the place down until my mother made them give it back. Probably half the reason I hate hospitals so much...) A little tuft of hair on the top of my head got me the nickname of 'carrot-top' until I was about 2 and a half.

Thanks go to Silverthorne, who emailed me earlier about the Opera browser. I've been trying to find a code to keep the background tile static in all browsers, and until today Opera had me foxed - it just didn't recognise any of the three codes I use. However, there's now a new version - 7 - available which recognises the css code for the static tile. YAY!! At last! So any Zone members reading this who use Opera, I'd recommend downloading version 7 so you can see the pages as I meant them to be seen! (And I'll bet, having said that, there's someone who finds it still doesn't work...)

Haven't managed to ring ClaraNET, so the 404 page will have to wait until Monday. Hoping to write tonight...


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A few hours spent creating background tiles and tidying up is always satisfying. Not as much as writing, admittedly, but still good.

I found a somewhat long-winded way to check our error logs last night (ftp view file, copy to notepad then select all and copy to word.doc - there has to be an easier way but I can't find it. I'll ask when I ring tech support) and had a saunter through. The results were very interesting. Quite a lot of people are still trying to look up Ken's genealogical pages, which used to be here but which have now moved to the Early Heaven site. [slaps own forehead - I should have foreseen that and left a redirect page...] A few are trying to find the slash stories I used to have here, and which I've since permanently removed. And there were a surprising number trying to guess how to get into the Zone without a password! Some quite inventive URLs were listed...

Anyway, I've now designed a nice little WordWrights 404 Error Page to be called up instead of that dreadfully offputting default one: ours has the link to the genealogy, a clickable gif to the Showcase, and a mailto in case anyone wants to contact me. I know I can upload it into an .htaccess file - only problem is I'm not entirely sure how to create one, and although there are some people at ClaraNET at the moment they're the usual graveyard shift folk, polite and helpful as far as they can be but not very knowledgeable about the finer points of domain management. I'll have to ring after 9 am, but that's OK, I have a list of questions I need to ask... [evil grin]. And I certainly need to be familiar with .htaccess as it's used to create password protection, and I'll be organising that as soon as I can - which I know will be a pain for some people, but I have to show I'm willing to take all possible precautions to prevent minors reading adult material. On the plus side, individuals who already have access will in the very near future be able to choose their own ID and password for me to add to the file - so any Darkside and Zone members reading this might like to consider what they'd prefer...


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Friday, May 09, 2003

Kai's swimming... Many thanks to everyone who sent congratulations! We're all still well-chuffed...


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Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Arrived at school to collect Kai as the bell went, a little hot from tanking up the hill (left a bit late due to trying to finish my current section of the latest 'l&L chapter on ICQ with Lutra). Minutes later bratling races out grinning fit to burst and waving a piece of paper...

People following this blog may remember last September (I think it was) I said Kai was starting swimming lessons, with the school, every Wednesday morning. Well, I always ask him when I collect him how it went, how he got on, whether he'd managed to lose the armbands yet, and the answer's always been that he loved it but no, he wasn't swimming yet, not without the armbands anyway, and it was more splashing around than actually swimming...

His teacher had a word with me. Turns out today she said he should take off the armbands as she was sure he didn't need them any more, and try really swimming. So he did - and not the normal starting length of 5 metres, oh no, not my bratling...

No, he swam 10 metres (that's one length of the pool), had a minute's breather, then the teacher suggested he do it again to prove to himself he could - and he did. 20 metres in total. Proud? Damn right!!

We don't do things by halves in my family.

He gets his badge and certificate in morning assembly on Friday. Wish I could be there to see!

[Big proud beaming grin]


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Sunday, May 04, 2003

Kai loved 8-Legged Freaks... Yes Lutra, he is a strange child. Takes after his maazi.

e also watched the first X-Men movie (because Kai wants to see the second film: it's got tornadoes in it [sigh] and it seemed sensible for him to see the first one first.) By coincidence, Valkyrie went to see X-Men 2 this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it - and sent me this cool site (to quote the bratling) - Mutate a Mazda! Had fun playing with it myself... I'm looking forward to the film: Nightcrawler was always my favourite...

I'm wholly fascinated - still - by the site stats we're getting. And still gobsmacked. From the 31st of March to 11 pm yesterday we'd had 5,406 visits, roughly a thousand a week, which I think is phenomenal for a small, non-business site. The search strings that are finding us are wierd and wonderful too - I mean, 'her four arms'? 'belly cat'? 'harem slave chains'? 'cow bra'?? (Actually that last would have picked up the Professionals pages on the site, since Cowley is often called the Cow, but the mind boggles at the bra part...) And speaking of Professionals, someone came looking for my novella Seeds (crossover between the original Professionals Bodie and Doyle, and the New Professionals Curtis, Keel and Backus. Still rather pleased with that story). Most gratifying!

And Lutra and I are now 9 pages into the next 'lestrel and Lutra chapter, Relations (the follow up to it, Gift, is already finished) so hopefully I can post those soon.

Ken pointed out that referring to John Major as a bastard is probably libellous. I therefore retract the epithet 'bastard' in favour of one much more factually accurate in the light of recent exposés - 'lying adulterous hypocrite'. [smirk]


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Saturday, May 03, 2003

It's been a pleasant couple of days. We had our Clairvoyance royalty statement through (no, no royalties, not for at least another year, I'd guess) and it appears the book has gone to a second print run in the UK and the US, which is encouraging. And Ken's had an email asking if he'd like to collaborate on a paper for the astronomy magazine Sky and Telescope concerning ancient interest in lunar markings (that's tied into his Early Heaven publication). Kai has been moved to the top group in his class for literacy, and today earned 100 team points for jointly winning 'Arithmetic Bingo' with his classmate Jessica! [proud grin]

Ken and I watched 8-Legged Freaks tonight, not that we particularly wanted to, but Kai wants to see it (the bratling loves spiders....) It's really really funny! The spiders are too big to be scary, and make noises like Gremlins. The whole thing is played for laughs, with a lot of slapstick and an end you can see coming almost from the beginning. With the exception of a couple of risque visual jokes and an alien-conspiracy-addict going on about anal probes, there's nothing I could see to justify its 15 certificate (12, yes, but not 15!) We're perfectly happy to let Kai see it - I think he'll love it!

Now if we could just win the lottery...


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