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
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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
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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

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Well that was fun...

It's not often we do something as dull and domestic as look round MFI/Fabric Warehouse/Focus, but since we were over there to look for paint we took a wander... I really like one of the new bathroom suites, looks like something out of Star Trek, a shower with a curved walk-in so no closing door, and a turquoise glass and brushed steel washbasin/vanity unit. Even Kai was impressed! Nothing so interesting in the kitchen line though, the best of the bunch was the Hygena 'Rimini' design, which had neat little narrow cupboards that would be useful in our small kitchen. Ah well, that's a major job, given the space available and our wonderfully eccentric Heath Robinson pipes. It'll have to wait - again.

The Fabric Warehouse is a dream - you'd love it, Lutra. The most fabulous shimmering voile and organza, lush rich velvets, heavy embossed gold and russet and sage-green cottons, even the flourescent purple and glow-in-the-light green snakeskin (which Kai really liked) fake fur - heh, I want a new house to decorate!

And we bought the paint; Crown Silk 'Sundown', a lovely orange-gold that will make the room feel warm and welcoming. Even more than it does now, I mean.

Going to hunt for carpets tomorrow; there are two independent shops in the area, so I'll check those first before heading off to the Carpet Barn on the other side of the river...

No idea what's brought on this sudden urge to make improvements but I may as well take advantage of it while I can!


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Saturday, November 29, 2003

An interesting day...

Last year I found that Dean Trading (the small independent curtain/bedding/craft shop in the neighbourhood) was selling 'Mystique' organza curtains in beautiful, shimmering Indian colours - I think I may have mentioned it at the time. Wanted to buy some (to replace our naff net curtains - horrible but necessary with houses on the other side of the road) but they were very expensive. Well, the shop is closing down, and everything is reduced - so I went over and bought red-gold for the lounge, and yellow-gold for ours and Kai's bedrooms and the hall. Cost £15.96 - a saving of £20 on the original price! My mother's also given us her old orange-gold cotton curtains (that look velvety - interesting effect) which are the right size for the lounge window. At some point before Yule I have to get some sewing done!

Now I'm planning to (finally) paint the lounge, before I put up the new curtains. We're checking out colours tomorrow. Ken also wants to replace the carpet, which is horribly thin and has no pile to speak of, so I have to hunt carpets too. Heh, spur of the moment type stuff - and no, I don't know where the money's coming from, but we'll manage somehow.
Kai's spider robot - box top

GoodTwin asked what Kai's spider-bot looked like, so here's the top of the box ->. This actually makes it look more sinister than it really is!

The next 'l&L chapter is close to being finished - hoping to be able to post it tonight. Problem at the moment is Lutra's in the middle of a storm, and has had to get offline, and I could do with her feedback on the plot! Ah well - see how we go. If I can't upload until tomorrow it doesn't matter too much...

Friday, November 28, 2003

Valkyrie's third illustration for Makeup now posted - Sengoku and Helena in the shower.... It's gorgeous...

[glances around nervously] And I've posted the dikdikfic - Beaten - in the LLB. I'd rather like to do an illustration for it - will see how we go over the Winchester break.

On the subject of dikdikfic, there's some crackin' Kinnikuman artwork and stories at Son Rhandi's site [29.4.14 - now defunct, alas]. I've liked her writing for some time, and her Kinnikuman stories (non-yaoi) are well-written and intriguing - and her artwork is amazing!


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Thursday, November 27, 2003

It was frosty this morning, crisp white all over the grass in the garden, and it's brilliantly sunny outside now. Cold, but beautiful, my favourite sort of weather...

[netted in the Pond] <whispering> Joules has written a short PWP - the Dikdikfic - that she's a bit embarrased about...
[smirk] The ningen is sitting with her head in her hands, whimpering that she doesn't know what (or who) possessed her....

So much for her claim to be unembarrassable! [grins]


I'm not embarrassed... not really... well, not much... [sigh] Hey, I go with the flow, where inspiration takes me, and if sometimes that's places I'd rather not be - well, so be it.

It's all part of Writing...


And it's all Lutra's fault anyway!

ICQ, earlier. [sigh] I give up...

... tell me I don't want to write dikdikfic.... please?
Yes you do, dikdik is very cute...
AAARRGGHH!!!! That wasn't what I wanted to hear!! You're not suppoosed to encourage me...
[smirk] Well everytime I say 'no don't do it' you go ahead and do it anyway... thought I'd try a different tack.
[falls off chair in hysterics]
... I haven't seen him do anything yet.

Best of the bunch.


OOOOH! Yes.... [big eyes, imagining]...
[head in hands, groaning] Ye gods.... will I ever grow up? Would I want to?

Nah! being an adult is overated : )
[smirk] Depends on your definition of adult, I suppose...


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Wednesday, November 26, 2003

It's book week at Kai's school: I got dragged into the hall yesterday and had Spider-Bot pointed out to me while Kai stood at my side, all his fingers crossed under his chin, big eyes staring up at me... Well, we'd already decided we were going to buy it for him for Yule, if we could keep it a secret. Heh, some hope! So I bought it, with the agreement that if he wanted it now - and Ken OKed it - he'd have to pay half of it (the thing was £7.99 in total) out of his pocket money. Which he was very happy to do, and Ken agreed, so after homework last night he sat and industriously put the thing together...
Old pic of Quyn

It's quite impressive! Walks along the floor, the legs moving in fours, with bright red lights for eyes. Quyn wasn't at all certain he liked it, kept dancing out of its way and gazing up at me with big brown puppy eyes - which is quite amusing given how big he is! (This is an old photo, as you can tell, but he's still the same size...)

Kai has also presented me with an oblong yellow plastic container with a sticker at the bottom that says:

I am a little plate,
As lonely as can be,
Please bake a cake
And place on me.

Yes, it's school fayre time again. I suppose I could make a cake - haven't been able to for years, the old cooker's seal was useless and let the heat out: the new cooker works perfectly - but it would actually be cheaper (and quicker) to buy one. Kai wants to make shortbread, but I know what will happen: it'll all get eaten the day before it's supposed to go to school!

F38 is finished and off; F39 next, brand new chapter. I've also registered, with the aim of having it point to Should have confirmation within 24 hours...

[blinks] Toonami is screening Ultimate Muscle (Kinnikuman)... Very very silly. But fun. (I like Dik Dik Van Dik, myself, it's the horns...)

OK - that's Loneliness coded/uploaded to the LLB (Other Anime) part of the Zone. (I'm not sending a separate Update for this one - it's a little bit of self-indulgent lemony goodness for myself, since I doubt many people know the anime: will add it to the next main Update instead...) I'm quite pleased with it. No, actually I'm definitely pleased with it, it's a slightly different style to normal, more Arislan than AC.

And it's a one off. You hear me, brain? I am NOT writing any sequels... [heh. I can hear Lutra sniggering from here...]


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Tuesday, November 25, 2003

[bemused blink] Hn. Well that was... interesting...

A busy night. F37 finished - along with four pages of the Dystopia Devon/Nijii chapter and three pages of Loneliness, the U31 ficlet...

The next Purgatory Devon chapter (joint with Reshenna) is seven pages in too. Not bad going, all told.

Winchester visit only two and a half weeks away now: Carol's suggested going to the pet store on the way to Salisbury - they have (well, had when she was there last) a cobalt blue tarantula - and I'd love to look around the Winchester charity shops (last time I was over I found some old and rare-ish anime videos in one of them, and the Oxfam bookshop often has books in Japanese). Hoping to see Sue as well... [grin]

But mostly hoping to get some drawing done. Still have to finish the Two Worlds Zb-merman/R-lion pic I started, work on the Yule card, the second gen Family Portrait, and try that R/Sulu pic for Transposition. And the Pixie and Dixie gremlin pics I tried (and failed) to draw during the summer holidays. I'd also planned to attempt Shinju and Okami for Lutra, though the danger there is making them too close to the postcard that inspired them in the first place... heh, will see how it goes... Knowing me I could well end up doing something else completely...

Can't wait! Smile!

Monday, November 24, 2003

It's cold! (Why am I surprised? It's nearly December, for gods' sakes!) But with the fire on at least my nails aren't blue any more...

[clutches head] Too many lightbulbs... Just have to get Dystopia Devon and Nijii together, somehow... And much as I have been fiercely resisting it, I have the plot for a little

U31 yaoi fic which my mind cheerfully went ahead and devised without my permission [glares at brain] Need to get the next 'l&L chapter organised too, sort 'raadiin out - and a little Ry/'l lemon is required, I think.

Will make a start on one or two of them later, after I've finished F37...

And just wait til you see Valkyrie's latest! Phwoar!

Thanks for the pics, onna - excellent!


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Sunday, November 23, 2003

Hn... So that was Ulysses 31. Somewhat crude animation, and the usual suspect dub, but with [fair Frank 'n Furter impersonation] a certain naïve charm...

Rebellion coded/uploaded: not the most inspired of chapters, but it advances the story, and the next chapter will be a little more interesting.

We've had a letter from the Tyndalls Park Children's Centre to advise us that Kai's been put on the waiting list to see a neuro development consultant. The waiting list is currently twenty-one weeks...

Onna's posted a couple of wonderful pics on her 'work in progress' blog - Gravitation, Eiri and Syuuchii (um, or however you spell it...) Beautiful work...

And [yummmm] Lutra's latest Dystopia PWP is positively wriggle-worthy...


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Saturday, November 22, 2003

Synchronicity - don't you just love it?

Just recently I've been idly wondering about a cartoon I saw many years ago, and only half an episode at that: Ulysses 31. Quite why it had enough of an impact for me to remember it all this time I've never really known, until tonight when I thought, what the hell, let's look it up on Google...

Turns out it's a French/Japanese production, and there are quite a lot of sites around. I even found an mp3 of the theme music (which is actually mildly irritating). As to why I remember it - well, that depends on how long I've had this penchant for blue-skinned golden-eyed aliens. There are two in the cartoon - Numinor and his sister Yumi... [sigh] Am I growing predictable? I do hope not...

ANYway, quite by chance I was scanning the children's channels on DigiGuide (something I do every now and then in the fast-receding hope that there might be some new/reasonable anime scheduled) and I found it, on Fox Kids. At 2.30 in the morning. (Don't ask me why a kid's cartoon should be showing at 2.30 am - I have no idea...) As I've bewailed in the past, I can't work out how to programme the VCR - it hates me - so if I want to see the series (only 17 eps in all. Correction 23rd - 26 eps...) I'm doomed to have to wait up until then every night. Which normally would be OK, except that tonight I'm still tired/run down from last week's lurgy... Mind you, I'm about half-way through the next AC, so I could just stay up anyway, do some more of that. It's only four hours, after all...


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Friday, November 21, 2003

Not a bad day, on the whole. Seem to be needing less sleep again, which is good. Back into FL again, F34, 35 and 36 wrapped up and sent off - and I've finished one of the reviews, so that's one less thing to worry about.

We've decided to take a break tonight, and watch The Two Towers (arrived from on Tuesday). I think we deserve it after this last few weeks. I'll carry on with FL afterwards, if I'm not too tired.

It's a little worrying - has been down for twenty-four hours now...


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Thursday, November 20, 2003

Carol, good to ICQ chat! And Deep Rising was a lot of fun. Heaps of gore and mindless violence, with the bad guys meeting a satisfactorily unpleasant ending, and the good guys (if you can call a thief, a pirate, and his oddly-Blair-like engineer 'good') being nicely set up for a sequel (which alas never happened. Damn shame that. Had lots of promise.) And the big squid wasn't that 'alien'-esque - looked more like the nasty from the lake in LotR FotR but with mouths on the end of its tentacles. A very fine B movie, and well worth catching if there's nothing else on...

Onna, re: Summer - it had me all choked up at the end, and I wrote the damn thing!

It was kind of special though... From ICQ:

[Joules] I'm there... can see it smell it hear it feel it... Heh - it's cold, raining outside, and I'm sitting here with a summer festival in my head... Now this is where telepathy would be so useful - you could come into my mind with me and experience for an hour or so!

[Lutra] Oooh! [big eyes] that'd be so cool! I'd like to watch 'tiisaan dance...

I'm glad the chapter had the desired effect, after the angst of the latest 'l&L and the tension of what's coming up next, with the expedition to Zhane and the Conspiracy outcome...

Going to have to go crash soon, knackered again. Heartily looking forwards to getting shot of this thing...


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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I'm obviously rather more run down than I thought - all I want to do is sleep. Which would be fine, except that I don't seem to be able to sleep for more than six hours at a stretch; normally that would be OK, but right now I obviously need more. Yet taking a nap doesn't seem to work: I tend to wake in the middle of unpleasant dreams every time. Hn. Well, no doubt it will sort itself out, once I've recovered.

In the meantime it's extremely frustrating. Finally managed to make a start on F34 before staggering off for a sleep while Ken collected Kai, and am now having trouble getting back to it (a dream of being lost on a day out with Kai, with no money and the phone close to empty on battery power, hasn't helped, of course...) I have to get at least one review done for Friday as well, so that pressure's mounting. (Yes, I probably could plead illness and send it/them for next month instead, I'm sure Geoff wouldn't hassle, but I hate making excuses/letting people down - it's my problem, I have to deal with it, not inflict it on others!) So I suppose I'd better tackle that tomorrow.

I need a break. Only three weeks until my Winchester hol. Can't wait!!


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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

So Lutra and I were talking about artistic projects on ICQ - she's finished the stars for her quilt! - and I mentioned the last proper embroidery I did was on my gi, when I was at school. Which made me wonder if I could scan it... Managed it - in two parts, it's twelve inches from tail to nose (as the dragon flies, that is, not measuring the coils and twists...)

Dragon embroidered on back of kung fu gi

It was a nightmare to work - the silver is real metal wrapped around white silk. And yes, the gi is black - I practised kung fu. My father practised judo (got to blue belt but I can't remember what dan).

Not bad embroidery for a fourteen-year-old - though I should say the design isn't mine...

I'm supposed to be writing a book review - L.E. Modesitt Jr's Archform:Beauty. It's due on Friday. Problem is, I don't feel like writing a review. I'm not entirely sure quite what I do feel like doing. FL, possibly. Or taking Quyn down to Eastwood Farm greenspace for a walk (except that it's raining and the paths will be ankle deep with mud). I'd go swimming, except that I'm still coughing and wheezing - not a good idea in this weather...

Is it worth spending all this energy staying determinedly cheerful and positive when all around me are doing nothing but whinge? I ask myself. Is is worthwhile pouring creativity into a black hole of apathy? Does anyone actually care anyway...?

Scratch that last, I know of a few who do, at least.

OK - sitting here feeling pissed off is accomplishing nothing. Let's get back to something useful/positive/creative...


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.... tired... But Summer is coded/uploaded...

Sainsbury's were out of sushi. So were Tesco (I rang to ask). So I ended up making it myself. Get the transporter fixed, Lutra, and I'll whap some your way...


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Monday, November 17, 2003

I was beginning to get back into a sensible sleep/wake pattern before last week...

So we're all still coughing and snuffling, but Kai is fine (except he needs feeding up, didn't eat much last week either), and all the temperatures are back to normal. I've lost 15lbs (which probably is a record). Now I just have to catch up on everything I couldn't do last week...

This made me blink.
[clipped from onna's tree]

Minsc... mighty warrior carefully mentored by the miniature Space Hamster Boo...

The first thing Kai ever said was "A boo", back when he was however many months old it was. It sounded cute, and we wove a sort of story round it: boos were creatures that look a bit like pandas but with reindeer horns that got tangled in the boojemicle trees in the Valley of the Boos, where Kai went to sleep in the downie-bushes... (must see if I can find it and the drawings...) Kai was our 'Boo' for quite some time (that metamorphed in Boojum when he started nursery school. One of these days I must read him The Hunting of the Snark) - we even bought the single Wake Up Boo because of it (a fine song, even if the words are a little odd in places, especially at the end...)

So finding there's a [shudder] hamster called Boo is unnerving...

Seven pages into Summer (about half-way?). Should be ready for posting by Tuesday.

And Lutra's been sending snippets of her Dystopia songfic. It's a beautiful, poignant piece, very moving... Looking forwards to the rest of it...


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Saturday, November 15, 2003

... and as if by the clicking of his little doggy mouse, Kai was aaaaall better again...

Well, almost. He woke up bright and cheerful, sans temperature, sans earache, sans symptoms in fact, and ate one and a half large bowls of Jordans Strawberry Country Crisp cereal (the family favourite). He's still coughing and snuffling, but seems to be completely over the worst, and if he carries on like this he can go back to school on Monday.

Looks like the answer really might have been blowing in the wind. Good ol' Boreas.

Regarding colloidal silver: thanks onna, but I won't use anything non-prescription on Kai that I haven't tested on myself first, and having done a little reading around I think I'll give it a miss. It's not easy to get hold of here (in Briz) in any case, and I'm a little dubious as to its pedigree... Garlic is an excellent idea, however - if I can get him to take it... As for getting some rest - it's not impossible when you're caring for a sick husband, sick child, quarrelsome menagerie and the house itself, but it's not easy...

I've started the next AC chapter, to give myself a break. High Summer. Anyone remember what's supposed to be happening this High Summer? [grins] I haven't forgotten. Going to try to have this one finished and ready to post tomorrow...


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Friday, November 14, 2003

On the offchance it was caused by something in the chimney, I got up early and opened all the downstairs doors and windows for an hour (perfect day for it, bright sunshine and a strong, cold Northerly wind blowing straight through) to lift the dust and change the air, then vacuumed thoroughly, then let the house air for another hour before closing everything up again. Wiped me out but hopefully did the trick.

Kai managed to eat a little today, which is good, but then started throwing up after each dose of antibiotic, which is not. The info leaflet that came with the stuff does say that it can cause stomach pain and vomiting in a small number of cases: I assume Kai is one of those. I've stopped giving it to him for now (not much point if it comes straight back up, not to mention how upset he gets, he hates being sick) and am really not sure what to do about tomorrow. I know not completing courses of antibios is stupid and can be dangerous - but he's only been taking them for a day and a half... Will try to ring for advice in the morning. We're well over the recommended number of days for using Calpol and kids' neurofen, and his temperature is still hovering around 100.

Ken is feeling marginally better - still coughing and sneezing and being generally debilitated, but he managed to eat as well today.

Me? Don't ask.

I am very very tired of this...


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Thursday, November 13, 2003

OK - a little cold chicken and a couple of sleep cycles later and I feel a little more human (not that that's necessarily a good thing but it beats how I felt earlier) - GoodTwin's phone call helped (thanks Carol, really appreciate it). Just going to take things easy for the next few days and trust that that will do the trick.

Wondering whether having the chimney flu opened and cleaned has anything to do with the bug. It's the first time in at least thirty years; no telling what was lurking there...


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No, I'm not better and yes, I should still be in bed, but since Ken has now gone down with something similar plus a stomach upset, and Kai woke up crying with earache, and we'd run out of bread and milk and fruit juice, and someone had to let the gasman in, I don't have much choice. As I said, I don't have time to be ill. (Maybe that should read I'm never allowed time to be ill.)

So I'm still running a temperature, my ribs feel like I've taken a kicking (with coughing), I can't smell or taste anything and I feel like shit - but at least the headache of the last eighty-four hours has almost gone. And I've lost 8lbs since Sunday. (I can normally tell how ill I've been by how much weight I lose. That isn't a record, but it comes close.) There are more congenial ways to diet.

But at least we now have the new cooker installed and working with a modern fitment - and the installation cost us less than Comet charge. Which means we have enough left over from the cheque to buy Kai his new mattress.

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes.

Going to try to get Ken and Kai to bed early - Ken didn't sleep last night (well, neither did I but I slept most of yesterday so can cope) - and it'll be some hours before my hair is dry enough for me to think of sleep, so I'm off to check/answer emails, code/upload Reunion and post Valkyrie's gorgeous new Makeup illustration. Nothing too difficult or strenuous.

On second thoughts, I think I'd better just go and lie down somewhere before I pass out.


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Monday, November 10, 2003

OK - the doctor's been and gone and left us a prescription for antibiotics - apparently his throat is very red and his glands swollen: however, she's advised us to only collect the prescription if he's no better tomorrow (she thinks it's a virus, not an infection, which won't respond to the antibios.)

In the meantime his temperature is down a little (mine's just hit 101 - maybe we'll meet in the middle) and he's managed a bowl of strawberry yoghurt - first thing he's eaten since Friday night.

Will see how we go.


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After not getting any sleep at all last night I dosed Kai with Calpol at 8 this morning, managed to ring the school before my voice went completely, washed up - then went back to bed.

Dozed til 2, to find Ken had been keeping a check on Kai and his temperature is hovering between 104 and 105. Rang surgery to try and get a home visit. No, they don't make home visits unless the patient is unconscious or completely unable to walk (in the latter case I assume they mean adults, because Kai is now shaking, and can't put foot to ground without his head pounding). It took us 20 minutes and 6 phone calls to arrange a taxi: getting back again is going to be a nightmare. We should really both go - Ken will probably have to find an open chemist...

The surgery have just rung back - on reflection Dr Fournier thinks it might be better if she does a home visit. So we've cancelled the taxi and she'll be here at around 6.30. Can't help wondering if it's because she looked at our records and saw that we only ever make an appointment if it's urgent. (Kai hasn't been for years - I think the last time was when he was about three?)

I managed to make myself heard on the phone, but came off and spent the next five minutes coughing and retching. Have a blinding headache (screen is fuzzy) and it hurts to move - so I'm very glad I don't have to go out.

Will update after doctor's visit.


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[dismayed blink] X-Men 3 won't be released until May 2006?? How can we wait that long!?


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Sunday, November 09, 2003

Well that was fun...

Kai's temperature hit 105 earlier today, so we rang the NHS helpline. A nurse rang back, talking us through a series of questions and confirming that what we're doing - Calpol for the fever, and plenty of liquids - is correct, but to keep a check on his temperature and if it hadn't gone down an hour after taking some Calpol, to ring our GP. She also suggested getting some ibuprofen for children, which we've done. His temperature is down again now, below 102, and although he's not eating he's having plenty to drink; he's coughing and sneezing, but otherwise feeling a little better.

Unfortunately, I've now got it. Ah well.

Fascinating programme on 4 at the moment - The Elegant Universe - all about string theory and how it may unite quantum physics and general relativity...


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Saturday, November 08, 2003

[groan] I hate hangovers...

Not that I have the opportunity to get them very often any more, and it's all self-inflicted and deserves no sympathy. I was celebrating finishing the next AC - Vengeance pt 2 - which I'm quite pleased with, and where I've used a technique I can happily import into my original fiction. Will code/upload after dinner.

Kai is poorly - running a temperature again and the glands under his jaw are swollen. We know it's not mumps - he's had his MMR - and there's no rash or any obvious pain, so I think it's probably one of those non-specific bugs his body's trying to fight off. Might turn into tonsillitis; I used to suffer badly from that as a child, until they hacked my tonsils out, along with my adenoids (leaving me to suffer with pharyngitis and sinusitis all my life. And the term 'hacked' isn't mine - it was what the consultant said when I went to see him about my sinus problems some years back...) Kai's put himself to bed, and I've dosed him with Calpol for the fever: Ken's gone to get fruit juice and ice-cream (if that's all bratling can manage for a few days it won't do him any harm). We'll see how we do - he may need more time off school. If he's not better by Monday I'll ring the doctor.

The gasman rang back, very apologetic: when Ken rang initially he was just back from a major job in St Ives, trying to get ready for a two week holiday with his family, and wrote the appointment down on a piece of paper which he promptly lost! We've re-scheduled for next Thursday at 8am. [sigh] Well, the cooker's been sitting in the hall for two weeks, I suppose one more won't make much difference. Just as well I still have the old one though, ne?

The house is hot! Too hot, really - we keep adjusting the temperature downwards, and I'm sure we'll find what's right for us eventually...
There's a lunar eclipse tonight; hoping the clouds clear for long enough for us to see it. I like lunars, less dramatic than solars but more frequent and they can be very pretty. One I saw in Scotland had the moon turn deep red, and the last one I saw from Briz was a lovely old gold colour.

[Netted in the Pond]

Eeeep! Joules, Legato is all yours!
Yes, very pretty but I like the illusion of autonomy at least... : )

[grins] Ah, you just need a strong mind - or your own mental powers - to handle him... He is pretty though, isn't he? Lovely golden eyes - and that voice...

I love the way deliver dvds in advance of their release date. X-Men and X-Men 2 (my Yule pressie from the folks) arrived this am - 2 is not due out til the 10th!

It must be productivity weekend or something. Onna's posted a beautiful new picture on her 'works' blog, Eiri and Shiyuuichi, Serious Contemplation; Talon sent over the first draft of an intriguing Zarbon fic (can never have enough Zarbon fics...); I finished Vpt2 in one evening. And Valkyrie's nearly finished a second illustration for Makeup! [bounce] Can't wait!!

... the blog spell-checker doesn't recognise the word 'blog'...?


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Friday, November 07, 2003

Five hours or so later they'd departed, leaving us with a lovely new hot water/heating system! And a three hour nap this afternoon has me more or less ready for Friday night. Vengeance pt 2 is on the way...

[clipped from onna's tree]

Jeeze, onnallium sounds dangerous, Joules! "...opaque, acidic black liquid..." I wonder if they use it to strip paint from cars!

[grins] Ah, but look what we can accomplish together! Protection from death? Who needs dragonballs!


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[propping eyes open with pitprops] Well, the guy didn't came to install the cooker (I am not impressed), and I've now had another early start, after two hours sleep, with Gas Care of Wales fitting us a new boiler, living room fire, water heater, thermostat and radiator valves (all on an energy efficiency grant)...

We have a house full of men hammering and sawing and draining pipes and drilling and stuffing wacking great exhaust flues down the chimney... can I go home yet?...


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Thursday, November 06, 2003

This is very silly!!

The Potion Maker
joulesium is a milky, runny peach gel obtained from the liver of a gargoyle.
Mix with joules! Username:
Yet another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern

[bemused blink] Peach? Highly unlikely!

The Potion Maker
alestrelium is an opaque, viscous beige liquid derived from the flesh of a dragon.
Mix with alestrel! Username:
Yet another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern

[growl] Beige? Beige??! Never!!... Though I suppose the dragon bit is roughly apt, if you think dragons are a sort of lizard...

[falls off chair in hysterics...]

The Potion Maker
joulesium is a milky, runny peach gel obtained from the liver of a gargoyle.
lutratium is an opaque, viscous lavender liquid distilled from the eyeballs of a wolf.
Mixing joulesium with lutratium causes a violent chemical reaction, producing a milky opalescent potion which gives the user protection from angry glares.
Yet another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern

Don't bet on it! Smile!

The Potion Maker
joulesium is a milky, runny peach gel obtained from the liver of a gargoyle.
onnallium is an opaque, acidic black liquid leached from the leaves of a wolfsbane plant.
Mixing joulesium with onnallium causes a violent chemical reaction, producing a milky violet potion which gives the user protection from twisted plans.
Yet another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern

Hm... and a mix of alestrelium and joulesium also gives protection from twisted plans. Heh, believe that, you'll believe anything!


Connectivity was out for the whole of the Briz BS4 area last night, from about 8.30pm til I went to bed at around 4am. No email, no Internet, no ICQ - nowt. Pissed off? Oh yes....

So what am I doing up at this unearthly hour? Well, a neighbour up the road recommended a CORGI registered gas-installer (who he's known since school and who does all his (the neighbour's) installations and services) so we've asked him to come and install the cooker for us. Yes, I know it's two weeks after the thing was delivered - it's been sitting in our hall since then - but we'd rather have it done by someone recommended, and he was on holiday... Anyway, he said he'd be here between 8 and 8.30, which is when Ken is taking Kai to school. Except that Ken's just rung to see if he'd arrived - which he hasn't (and it's 8.50 now) - and had the sudden thought that maybe he meant 8-8.30 pm... [sigh] Well, I suppose I can always have a nap later...

There was an absolutely fascinating programme on 5 last night, The Ads They Had To Ban. I had no idea censorship of UK ads was quite so strict. They showed examples of the ads that have been banned in the past: most of them I'd agree with, a few of the restrictions are just daft, but what was most interesting was the fact that the ITC take all complaints seriously. Any Brit reading this remember that ugly Chicken Tonight ad with the woman sitting cross-legged on a cushion talking about chakras and trying to persuade the oven-ready chicken to chant? It got 16 complaints from Buddhists, objecting to the fact it made fun of their religion (not to mention the fact that they're vegetarian) and was promptly dropped!

Apparently it's called Punter Power.

The programme also implied that the ITC may now accept emailed complaints - I'm off to look at their site after posting this. If they do, I'm going to complain about the latest Lynx for Men ad, which has to be one of the most sexist and tasteless things I've seen in recent years. What boggles me most is that as far as I'm aware, women still buy most of these products for men - and how the ad creator ever thought that something that portrays women in such a derogatory way is going to persuade women to buy the product is beyond me...

[grins] But I'm such a hypocrite. I love the latest Archers Aqua ad, using that cute, young, and eventually half-naked guy to sell the drink. I'm just not sure if he's supposed to appeal most to women, or gays!


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Wednesday, November 05, 2003

There were dragons across the sky this evening.

Well, strictly speaking, the first one we saw started off as a lion, with wide open jaws and a taloned paw outstretched, but by the time we'd walked a little further up the road the wind had blown it into a dragon, reaching down towards the southern horizon: up to the north was another one, snaky body and huge wings, its head hidden behind the trees in the park. A very pretty sky...
You could start a war out there tonight and nobody would notice. There are some very extravagant fireworks going off, some of them big and brilliant enough to make shadows, and the noise is phenomenal. One of the houses up on the hill has had a wonderful display, with whirlygig rockets that looked like spiral galaxies until the stars fell.

But the city stinks of smoke and gunpowder: my eyes are streaming and my sinuses burning - I've had to come in. Ken and Kai are still out; Kai has some sparklers, and Ken's trying to get a small bonfire going, not overly successfully as the wood is damp.

Kai's school apparently told them all about Guy Fawkes in assembly this morning - Kai came out all big-eyed and telling me how gruesome things used to be, absolutely fascinated by the idea of hang, draw and quarter. (Cue a ten minute discussion on methods of torture...) Me, I've often wondered why Guy Fawkes is seen as such a villain. I would have thought he'd be viewed as a hero, given the way our parliament has behaved over the centuries... Still, these days we're far more likely to burn a Blair, or a Saddam, or (up until a week ago anyway) a Duncan Smith. We'd opt for a Bush, ourselves...

[sigh] The winds will be light for the next few days, which means the smell will linger. ouchouchouch...


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Tch' - and then I forgot to mention! My CCO808 dvd arrived this morning! Very speedy delivery. And I can't watch it til Yule: Ken's wrapped it!


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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

It might be better to switch to Tuesday lunchtime to do the main shop - Tesco was very quiet and I got through the checkout amazingly quickly...

The hospital rang Ken: they've put his appointment back to the 18th of December. While this is a pain (he'll be that much later starting the second course) it does mean I'll be able to visit GoodTwin the weekend of the 13/14th December as we'd originally planned. [happy grin] Hopefully be able to get some drawing done...

I'm sure there was more I was going to say but I can't remember...


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Monday, November 03, 2003

What a productive day! (More detail on the Haadri blog.)

Though I didn't actually get to go shopping. Getting to bed at 6.30 am kind of put the kybosh on that idea: Ken woke me at 10 as I'd asked - and I went straight back to sleep. Finally surfaced at midday, just in time to have a quick chat with Lutra before diving into today's creative stint...

[grins at Sue] I am trying to get more sleep, honestly, but if the inspiration strikes I don't want to have to delay putting it into action, and it's continually bonking (used in the bapping sense, not the other sense, although given the subject matter I suppose either would do...) me on the head right now.

Off to think about F33...


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Heh, while I was searching for my notebooks, I found what I've written so far of a sci-fi filk of Shania Twain's That Don't Impress Me Much. Made me chuckle, and Lutra thought it was funny too, so I think I'd better finish it! ("How many tentacles? All at the same time??")

Spent an hour backing up the important stuff - the websites, ICQ, Eudora, Grisoft, and Haadri of course - and am now wittering. I'm not tired yet, but it's Main Shop Monday again (oh joy. Once upon a time there was someone nearby I thought was a friend, who said she'd ring to say when she was driving to the supermarket, so I could go with her if I needed to, but it never happened. Turned out all she wanted was to use me as an unpaid child minder. Not really my idea of friendship. [shrug] Her loss...) and I need to get up fairly early to get everything done.

And at some point I need to go track down Yule presents again, too - braving the manic crowds of bargain-hunting shoppers, the hideous talking Xmas trees and the tinsel-wrapped elves... 'I'm going out now. I might be some time...'


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Sunday, November 02, 2003

[partial cross post from Haadri]

It's amazing what you can find while looking for something else...

I think I've mentioned previously I have two very old hardback notebooks full of info/names/ideas? Well tonight I realised I needed the one with names in it...

It wasn't where it used to be, and I couldn't find it where it should be either (though Ken managed to find the other one for me in the process), but while I was sitting on the floor with files and folders falling on me while I hunted through the bottom shelf of my 'own info' (as opposed to my 'reference') bookcase, I suddenly looked up and spotted it hiding behind The Great Cosmic Mother...

That probably means something very profound.

I really need a secretary/PA/someone to keep me organised...

Back to F31...


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... and Lutra's next Dystopia chapter - Foundling - now posted in the Darkside!

Thanks, GoodTwin, for the vote of confidence! [GLOMPS]

Plan for the week:

Open computer stack and hope to hell there's nothing seriously wrong with it;
Continue with Haadri;
Nag Lutra (to carry on with Dancing).

That should keep me busy...


Hn. Lutra assures me Krychek becomes much more sinister and creepy later on - but can I be bothered to watch? Have to think about that...

Vengeance pt 1 posted!


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Saturday, November 01, 2003

<rant>[spitting at the TV's 10 O'clock news] Well, that just goes to show the attitude of the 'hunting' classes - if the law to make hunting with dogs illegal is passed, they're prepared to break the law in order to continue torturing foxes and stags. High-handed uprincipled bastards, the lot of them. Personally I'd love to see them hunted down and torn to pieces by their own dogs. Let's see them claim it's harmless and humane then!</rant>


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Well, the folks are off home, taking Ken's folks Yule pressies with them...

It's been a fun sort of day, thought I'd have enjoyed it more if a) I'd managed more than 4.5 hours sleep, b) Kai had talked about something - anything - other than spiders and c) my computer hadn't booted up (five times) making a worrying grinding whirring noise ... (I'm hoping it was just Butch objecting to there being unfamiliar people in the house. Computer sounds more or less OK now, both fans are working and it's not too hot, but I'll have to take a look inside: with luck it'll just be dust or hair in one of the fans. Please don't let it be anything more serious than that...)

Vengeance pt 1 is finished and will be coded once Lutra's checked her sections, and hopefully her next Dystopia chapter will be done this weekend too (it's mostly complete).
Pain about the oekaki board, onna - I was hoping to try it out, in private as it were.

Ah, Rocky Horror... that brings back memories...

Ken's description of Special Unit 2: "it's like X-files meets the A-team..."

[sigh] Three eps of the X-Files and I'm bored already - will stop now. Idle thoughts on Krychek: pretty, I suppose, nice eyes, ghastly hair and clothes like a 50s reject, and far too bland to be evil...


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