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
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

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Lutra, sorry I missed you. I went up at 10.30, only planning on a cycle's nap, and Ken let me sleep on until 2 - which did me good, though it mildly screwed up the day. Eh well...

I forgot to say that Wendy and Peter dropped in for an hour or so on Monday - lovely to see you both again! Pity it's never long enough...
Alexei - my first ever oekaki portrait... Next time I'll try to get the shading right...

Had another go at an oekaki, and produced this portrait of Alexei (strictly speaking Alexei before he left Russia: his hair's shorter by the time we meet him): took me 83 minutes and it's the first time I've used only the tablet to draw. Not quite as easy as pen and pencil! I need to find a way to smooth out the lines, and work on the shading, but overall it's not worked too badly, I think, so I've posted it in the chapter as an illustration. I'll try Trey when I feel a bit more confident.

Kai is in the process of preparing his tarantula tank: the substrate is currently drying out on the table, and he's organising his shelf. And I really had better find out what sort of bus service is running on the 2nd so he's not disappointed! (Should be normal service but it's wiser not to take anything for granted...)

7.30 am and I'd closed down, wandered upstairs, persuaded Kai back to his own bed and was just dropping off when Quyn started barking - moments later there was a knock on the door. It was the postman, bearing gifts...

No, sorry onna, not your parcel: this one was from Littlesaru. Four absolutely beautiful half-glazed hand-decorated earthenware yunomi (Japanese tea-cups)... Well, forget about sleeping: some time ago I treated myself to a packet of organic sencha tea (treated being the operative word at £1.10 for 10 teabags: for comparison, Ken - who is the tea drinker in the family - tells me that ordinary organic teabags are about £2.50 for 80 bags...), so I made myself a pot and drank it from one of the new cups... There's nothing quite like the real thing...

[GLOMPs 'saru] Thank you! They're gorgeous, lovely shape, classically simple abstract design, and they feel so good to hold, satisfyingly heavy and smooth...

There were also a double handful of double berry KitKats - and a packet of pocky. Pumpkin pocky. [blinks] uh, yeah... Going to try that later!

Now I can't decide whether to try getting some sleep or just getting the shopping done and napping later... Oh, decisions decisions...

[grins] But I finished the Alexei and Trey introductory chapter - Loan - and posted it in the Darkside last night. I do like that pair...


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Monday, December 29, 2003

Quick trip to Tesco provided duck pieces for New Year's dinner (so the Duck à l'orange looks like a goer, Carol!). Lutra's finished her next Dystopia - One Step Forward: will code/upload later - and I've posted Chased (was Pursuit but I preferred the pun!)


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Sunday, December 28, 2003

.... aaaaaand I had a sleep instead. But I feel better for it, so that's OK.

Finally gave in to onna's naggi persuasion [grins], joined the Artist's Cafe Oekaki BBS and posted my first attempt - very simple, just me learning how to use it, really. I like the software: I can't find any 'help' for the tools anywhere so it was a bit trial and error (thanks for the instruction graphic, onna! It helped), but the next one will be easier - and quicker.

Posted the last UM ficlet - Surf - and am about half-way through its follow-up. Pursuit (which took a startlingly different route from the one I had originally planned when that lightbulb went [ping] again in conversation with Lutra earlier...) Hopefully be able to finish that tonight - then I need to get my arse in gear to complete F39 (determined to get it done before New Year) and plot my next Dystopia, or I'm going to fall behind. Lutra's nearly finished hers, and it's great...


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I'd like to say it's all quiet again, but with Kai running round shouting, chasing a barking Quyn, and the cats rampaging around upstairs - how three small soft-footed animals contrive to sound like a herd of stampeding wildebeest is quite beyond me - now there aren't three extra bodies to trip up, I'd be lying...

Folks away, first wash done, and I've bought the crackers for next Xmas. (Half price at Sainsbury's, £7.50 instead of £15. No, I'm not being cheap: it's the only way we can afford good quality crackers...) Ken has taken Kai and Quyn out for a walk, and I'm taking a little time to myself before I tackle the bedrooms.


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Saturday, December 27, 2003

Erin - in memoriam

Well, that was OK. Ken helped me make up the buffet, so it only took an hour. I made less this year, as well: it all got eaten, eventually, without any wastage, which is good and gives me a guideline for future years. Folks enjoyed The Two Towers, Kai enjoyed Mouse Hunt and The Grinch. I enjoyed a cycle's nap again, too. Wondering if it's actually worth trying to get my sleep patterns back to something resembling a normal human's, this seems to suit us reasonably well...

[blink] I'm sure I'm seeing things/making erroneous connections, but...

Ken and I watched the end of Tremors after everyone had gone to bed. It's a real favourite of ours, and I like Kevin Bacon, think he's a good actor. But there's a shot at the end where his character (Valentine McKee - got to love a guy called Valentine!) is standing talking to Rhonda that had me staring. White stetson, blond hair, blue eyes, eyebrows so fine you can't really see them - and a plaster (aka band-aid) over his left temple... Looked - and sounded - like Terry Kenyon... [shakes head]

I'm not obsessed, I tell you! Just... thoroughly eclectic with a laterally-inclined recognition process...


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Friday, December 26, 2003

From Kai, Yule 2003

Tch'... Forgot to mention perhaps my most special present. Kai made this for me at school (golds and greens and blues, you'll note, with sea creatures and shells, jewels and snowflakes...): if you look at the photo you'll see it's a cloud in the shape of a unicorn lying down, flicking its tail.

Ken has this bizarre talent for finding unicorns all over the place. In shadows, in clouds, in the tassels at the edges of rugs, even in hair pulled from the bath plughole! And he takes photographs of them all for me. I have a special unicorn photograph album with his finds in it. Quite astonishing...

I can do the tediously-proud parent as well as the next mother - but I really am very impressed with this. Kai's taken such care to get all the elements right. (I'll get the story of the photo from Ken, later: I haven't seen it before.) Proper little artist. [Which reminds me - he was very pleased with his art supplies, Carol! Has already started using them - and tells me he needs a small ruler to fit in his new pencil case!]

I've been sitting unwinding with yet another little UM ficlet - Surf - and playing my surprise present from Ken - the Big Hits from the Big O cd (Roy Orbison, that is. Yes, you did read that correctly! I really like his voice, and he sings in the right register - is that the right term? - for me to sing along without straining my vocal chords, although I do have to drop an octave when he hits the high notes...) I saw this advertised on TV and said how much I loved two of the tracks on it - It's Over and I Drove All Night. And Ken got it for me just for those two... (The rest of the cd is pretty good too, though!)

And Wanderers is amazing, especially Oath and the gloriously funny Battle at Helm's Deep Exposé...

I also forgot to say... Valkyrie, I played the start of the CCO808 DVD to listen to Sengoku's seiyuu. (Please bear with me because I don't know the right terms to describe this.) His voice is pleasant, but surprisingly ordinary, not that dissimilar to his English VA, although Bruce has a more 'musical' voice... um... more expressive? He uses more intonation, and has a wider range, than the Japanese seiyuu. I was hoping he'd sound like someone else (that we'd both know, I mean) but I'm afraid he didn't. if I can find a way to make a soundbyte for you [grins hopefully at Carol] I'll email an mp3 so you can see what I mean.

Kai has opened all his start-up gear for Rosa and made a list of the things we don't have - primarily an overhead light (heh, not this early in your arachnaphiliac career, bratling!) and the tarantula itself. He's being incredibly restrained about the whole thing, though I know he can't wait. And I've been practising picking up larger spiders barehanded.

Heh, I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Today a spider, tomorrow the world... [smirk]

Thursday, December 25, 2003


Fairly full too, dinner went down well. It's been a fun day, and everyone liked their presents (and I even managed a cycle's nap earlier, which was badly needed). Kai's presents, of course, were mostly spider-related - he's dead chuffed with everything. Nana and Poppa were subjected to Eight Legged Freaks right after we'd bundled up the wrapping paper for recycling... (They enjoyed it!) And mum is pleased with her bonsai. My dad drooled over my Avro Vulcan calender [GLOMPS Carol - thanks, it's fantastic! [grins] Is Adrian still feeling sheepish?] Heh - it took us an hour to open everything (I'll rephrase that - it took Kai an hour to open all of his!): too many lovely things to list here...

Many thanks, everyone! We're all delighted!

Tomorrow we're all going to watch The Two Towers - folks haven't seen it and I'm perfectly happy to watch it again. This'll be the... um... fifth? time (not sure, I've lost count) - I keep finding something new, that I missed, each time I watch it.

Parents, brother and Kai are watching The Hulk DVD - Lee's present from us - while I sit here and immerse myself in Wanderers, the Umbrella Studios LotR dj I mentioned a while back and that Sue [GLOMPS Sue] gave to me... [mmmmm... elves... <smirks at Lutra> You can keep your hairy horselords...<fastidious shudder>]


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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

I hadn't realised quite how much my folks' hearing had deteriorated until I heard the volume at which they need the TV: my ears are ringing...

Everyone's off to bed and I'm trying to unwind in preparation for tomorrow, a substantial part of which will be spent cooking. Relatively easy things this year again, otherwise I won't enjoy myself.

We watched the 5 pm ep of UM - yes, even the folks, who sat with disbelieving bemused smiles on their faces. Dad found it funny (well, he was chuckling, anyway), and since mum suspects I'm an alien (yes, she's actually said that in the past) these days she tends to just let my interests and obsessions roll over her - which is probably the safest attitude to have... Watching the same time again tomorrow, as we've now caught up and are following the story. The Poison Six-Pack. Hn...

[blinks] Am I making any sense at all? Managed about three hour's sleep last night and no nap today, so perhaps not... Ah well, I can always switch on the autopilot for tomorrow. Though getting to bed sometime soon might be a good idea as well...


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Right, we're just about ready. This room is now decorated (with my white and opalescent tree and the snowflakes hanging from the ceiling); Kai's room is [gasp!] almost clear; and the vast bulk of the shopping has been done. (Still have to get candles, and washing up sponges...)

So to unwind I finished another little UM PWP - Hunt - just posted in the Zone.

Heh, better get some sleep...


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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Zone Update done.... Not a bad effort all told.

Thanks for the good wishes everyone!

Lutra - Yami no Matsuei? I love that series!! [drools] (What I've read of it, anyway...)


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Monday, December 22, 2003

I was treated to breakfast (well, lunch really, it was after mid-day) in bed - scrambled eggs with ham on toast! A real treat!

Unfortunately, Ken had let Kai open one of the Chocolate Oranges I bought for Yule, and between them they'd eaten half of it - which meant that Kai was bouncing off the walls with a real sugar high. [sigh] Ever tried to struggle round a packed supermarket, with a headache, in the company of a child who will not stop talking?

Still, better that than sulky or withdrawn...

He was very helpful and carried back all the bulky light stuff, which saved an extra trip. We now have everything we need (except the floating candles - I keep forgetting them...) and I'm determined not to leave the house until the 28th at the earliest!

A week or so ago I had a fun dream...

I was dreaming in anime - and I was a bishie (spy or PI or something like that): shoulder length black hair, very dark eyes (saw myself in a mirror), of Russian extraction, at that moment wearing white shirt and tie and a smart suit (brown, of all things! I don't wear brown, don't like it.) My partner had auburn hair and was rather more casually dressed. We'd been allocated an assignment where we had to get information, by any means necessary, from two women (who I saw as Raelena clones) - and we weren't at all happy about it...

Ken woke me before I could dream anything more, but it was vivid and intriguing. I mentioned it to Lutra - who immediately said it sounded ideal for Dystopia...

[sigh] Well, you know easy it is to fire up that lightbulb. Before closing down (at around 6am) I just had to do the first page of an as-yet-unnamed Dystopia chapter. In the first person. I intend to use the first person for all of the story arc. Which will be - interesting...

Zone and Darkside members will meet Alexei and Trey as soon as I can get the rest of the chapter done!


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Happy Yule!

And happy anniversary to us. It doesn't feel like a year since I last typed those words - so much has happened... We're not doing anything special, though I am going to have a go at making Tori to kuri no nimono (Chicken with chestnuts - that's proper chestnuts, not water chestnuts). Uses lots of sake and mirin, both in the marinade and the cooking. Sounds wonderfully tasty!

Journey (first draft anyway) is now finished, and Lutra's next is very close to completion. The odds are excellent for an update in the next two days.

... this year the season is suffused with sadness. It's nearly a year since Erin was killed, one of our brighter lights snuffed out needlessly. I miss her.


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Sunday, December 21, 2003

Mission successful, mother's present bought. Now I have just one last little thing to get and we're done.

Also picked up a large pot and replanted the ficus, and Kai has two little ferns in his terrarium.

Back to Journey...


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Well, I'm onto page four of Journey, which isn't too bad after a (ye gods, is it really three weeks?) break. I should be able to complete it either tomorrow or Monday, so as long as Lutra can finish up her next (and she's already further ahead than me) we can round off AC5 before Xmas.

Phew. It was started in March, and seems to have taken a very long time to come together. Then again, we've also done 23 'lestrel and Lutra chapters alongside, so I suppose that's not too bad. And that's without all the Dystopia chapters, all my other fics, and our individual original fiction projects. I might have had a miserable year personally (except for the summer holiday, especially when Carol was over, which glows amongst all the other memories of 2003 - and my Winchester breaks of course! I can still taste that wonderful lemony Radittsu-decorated birthday cake...) but I ain't 'alf been productive!


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Saturday, December 20, 2003

[grins and welcomes LittleSaru back to the Land of the Midnight Oil...]

Had a few anxious moments earlier when the wallpaper above the bit I re-stuck bubbled and pulled away from the wall: had visions of having to tear around the top and stretch/fineagle/paste to get it looking flat. Luckily as it dried it flattened itself, and while it's not the lovely smooth surface it was before, it may be livable. I'll see tomorrow in daylight.

[head in hands, guiltily] Will be posting another UM short (Cream) in a little while... Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to but it beat me about the head and insisted. However, I AM going to work on Journey tonight, after posting this.


I've been catching the odd episode of Samurai Jack while waiting for the 2.50 am videoing session to start. I rather like it - spare and simple graphics, beautiful surreal backgrounds and some very strange stories...

[clipped from onna's tree]

Joules' entries have left me amazed - your energy levels consistently boggle my mind, sweetie!

[grins] That's why I changed my name to Joules (=units of energy). As to where my energy comes from - dunno. Galactic Ley-line? Internal atomic reactions? A direct line to the planet's core?


Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe wallpapering? I mean, I can do it if I have to, but it has to be my least favourite decorating task. And as for sticking down wallpaper that's come adrift, having to tuck it down the back of the new lounge fire...

Well, I've managed. Waiting for the paste to dry now before I repaint. Then that room is essentially finished.

Kai's decided he wants to let Airy (the spider he's been keeping as a pet) free and turn his tank into a terrarium, with moss and lichens and ferns. [shakes head] Well, at least that's less effort than the tarantula is going to be. (Oh, it already has a name - Rosa - even though we don't pick it up until Jan 2nd.)

Hn - better go and find a large plant pot (to repot my ficus elastica tricolor) while there's still some light...


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Friday, December 19, 2003

Great (Xmas-related?) quote from Crowsnest:

Always remind your family you'll turn cannibal if they misbehave. That should keep them in line. :-)


Posted Games (Rhandi has expressed an interest in seeing the boys play with fruit and/or whipped cream... taking part in a deer hunt through the woods... [licks lips] mmmm.... going to see what I can do to oblige...) and Lutra's latest DarkRealm chapter, Mismatch: will send the update later, as I'm hoping to have an AC to go with them...


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[growl] Traffic's abysmal today; took the bus three light changes to get past the Sandy Park junction, and then the driver kindly let me out at the Arnos Park crossing - the Bath Road was gridlocked and it would have taken a good half an hour to travel the half mile to the bus-stop...

Reasonably successful town trip though. Well, I still haven't managed to find what I want for my mother, but Kim is coming over on Sunday and says she'll drive us to Wyevale Garden Centre. If I can't get it there I'll have to seriously rethink the whole thing, which is a nuisance this close to the day. (In my defence I should add I've been searching for this particular article for a couple of months...)

Took a side trip to the Chinese Supermarket and treated myself to some ramen and a handful of packs of Pocky (chocolate, and almond - they haven't had any strawberry for ages, dammit).

Painting tomorrow...


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Well, OK, I wasn't going to try for another before the next AC was written, but I have now completed another little UM ficlet (will be posted tomorrow, probably)...

One of the best things about working on this wee series is the joy of exploring the accents - and the real beauty is that it transfers so neatly into Haadri. I was having a real problem trying to get right the vaguely-southern-states dialect of one of the major characters (first appearance in the second book), but now... Terry's purportedly-Texan accent is perfect for her. And extremely useful as a base for at least two other charas. Heh, "nothing gets wasted 'round here"!

Onna - congratulations! Not the ideal way to reach goals, I know from experience, but great news all the same! [grins happily]


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Thursday, December 18, 2003

[sigh] I must be getting a little less cranky in my old age... I had to keep reminding myself that this was a Christian service, to do with their festival of Christmas, nothing to do with Yule - but it worked. And the children enjoyed themselves...

Most of the food shopping's now done, the rest - all perishables - will have to wait 'til next week. I need to catch the Friday St. Nick's market, so a trail into town is required tomorrow, alas. Will try to remember to pick up a hair clip: my plait's so long now I keep accidentally sitting on it, and it pulls quite painfully if I move too quickly! And I need to keep it out of the way when I'm cooking anyway.

Still trying to focus and still not accomplishing very much...


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Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Aching legs. I don't like carrying bags of potatoes. Still, that's the first Sainsbug trip done.

Sitting with Ken earlier, making lists of things still to buy and planning the menus (the folks will be here 24th to 28th), I noted down everything needed for the traditional (in this family) Boxing Day buffet. Ken listened, frowned, and said, "That's an awful lot of work..." [blink] Over a decade of me making myself get up knackered at some godawful hour of the morning after a hectic Xmas day to cook/make vols aux vent, sushi, sausage rolls etc. etc. etc. and he's only just twigged? [shakes head in disbelief] One wonders sometimes...

And I forgot it's half-day closing for the butcher, and full day closing for the pet shop, on Wednesdays, so wasn't able to pick up the diced pork (for stroganoff) and chops, or order Quyn another sack of his dry food. Will have to do that tomorrow - after Kai's Carol Concert at the church across the road from his school. (It's my turn, Ken suffered it last year.)

Andrew Bourne's 'Nutcracker' is on over the Yuletide; looking forwards to that. It's one of the best things on the TV, according to my quick scan of the TV Times; just as well we have plenty of dvds to watch as it seems to be the same old fare yet again...

I'm not quite at the 'bah humbug!' stage yet, but I can feel it creeping closer. Only I can't let it show as it worries Kai; everyone's supposed to be happy at Yule... The worst of it, for me, is that I have so much to juggle I can't concentrate on the writing, and we all know what sort of 'Wolverine-on-a-bad-day' mood that causes...

Hn. I shall stop whinging and try to do something constructive.


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[growl] Just tried to do a large Tesco shop...

How the hell can one of our major supermarkets justify big empty spaces on their shelves (where their specialist turkey and desserts should be) with neat little stickers that say 'Gone for Xmas, back in the New Year' more than a week before the day?

I have managed to get more or less what I wanted, but not all of it, so several trips to Sainsbury's are now required. Suppose I really should have started buying earlier, it's frightening how much there's still to get and do. At least Sainsbug is fairly close: my shoulder's still playing up and I daren't carry too much in the rucksack or I'll be useless at Yule.

Onna - thanks - glad you like the card! And I know that feeling. Thinking of you - hope you feel more yourself soon.


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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Two Worlds. (c) 2003 JAT


This hasn't worked anything like as well as I wanted - it's altogether far too stiff, and I had to give up on the idea of R as lion, I'm not a good enough artist to make it work. I'm not convinced I could get the water looking right, either, nor the background...

There'll be a way to redeem the picture, I just need to find it. Possibly over the holiday period; see how I go.

On the plus side, my sense of smell has recovered enough (from the 'flu) that I was finally able to make up the two fragrancer oil mixes I'd been planning.

Now, what shall I tackle next? I should work on the review - the reminder came in while I was away. But as usual I don't feel like it (and I have until Friday. Will it be another last minute thing? More than likely...) Could do some more of the next AC. Or Dystopia. Sue mentioned Transposition on Saturday (and the delay with finishing that is now getting truly embarrassing). And as for FL... [growl] I've landed myself with too many ongoing projects....

AC and FL39 have priority, especially if I want AC5 finished before the new year. Will take a look at Journey and try not to be distracted by the next UM ficlet...

Don't you just hate it when headaches creep up on you? I've been trying to convince myself for most of the afternoon that it wasn't an incipient headache and if I ignored it it would just go away, and it's now trying its damndest to become neuralgia. That of all things I do not need. We're out of 'prufen, so I've taken some parrots, but I can feel my right eye closing/tearing up already, dammit.

Let's try immersing myself in something creative and see if that at least serves as a distraction...


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[grin] Yule card uploaded - access from the main Zone Index page...


Monday, December 15, 2003


Well, actually I've been back for four hours, but by the time I'd unpacked/put a machine wash through/wrapped presents/had a cycle's nap, I've only just booted up (and it's taken me an hour to clear down emails, catch up with online comics and check the blogs...)

I had a wonderful time - many thanks Carol (and Adrian, and Sue; it was great to witter again!) Friday was spent Yule shopping in Winchester, where I managed to get everything I wanted (plus some small extras - mainly spider-related - for Kai) except my mother's main present: Saturday Sue came up for the day (and watched my first Sentinel tape, to see what it was all about): Sunday Carol drove to the pet store at Porton Down (yes, that Porton Down...) - a fantastic place with some amazing aquaria, two very large tortoises, and a snake/lizard/spider section. No cobalt blue tarantula, alas - that must have been sold - but there was a Goliath bird-eater on the very top shelf, rather larger than my hand, an impressive beast. (I have to confess I was surprised to see them selling king baboon tarantula spiderlings though - from my reading I understand that they're fast-moving and very aggressive... and these were on the bottom shelf within easy reach of even the smallest children...) The lizards were fantastic, as were the chameleons (fascinating to watch).

Altogether a terrific break. And I managed to get quite a bit of drawing done: Two Worlds is ready to be scanned/coloured, as is the Zone Yule card (in two parts, one cute, the other very silly!) which given the date needs to take priority. I've also drawn portraits of 'selaan, 'zhasaan and 'raadiin (suddenly felt inspired) which I think I'll leave/upload as pencil sketches to illustrate the next AC chapter. (There are two UM illos too, but I don't think I'll be posting those.)

Ken and Kai had fun while I was away, and have decorated the Xmas tree (we have fairy lights!) I'll have to pick up a new star or something for the top though, for next year: our pretty gold and pearl one doesn't show up against the new paintwork.

So, still to tackle this week... Scanning/working on the pics. Shopping for the food for the Yule season. Painting the chimneybreast (didn't manage to do it before I went). Clearing and Yule-decorating my room. Clearing and reorganising Kai's room. Into town to try to find what I want for my mother. Three parcels to get into the post. The last chapter of AC5. F39. And this month's review, which I forgot to do last week.

[grits teeth and starts chanting, "It's finite. It's finite. It's finite..."]


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Thursday, December 11, 2003

[grin] Well, he's here and fitting the carpet! I'll be able to help shift all the furniture back before I leave - and we can ring June and cancel the bratling pickup. This is good: shifting the TV and stereo units is no fun even for two people...

Ye gods he's fast - and the carpet looks wonderful!

Probably my last update before I leave - bus into town is at 14.48, coach leaves 15.40.

Can't wait!


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[blinks] Kai came to give me a goodnight hug - and started sniffling, teary-eyed, saying he was going to miss me! He's never done that before...

To his credit though, when I asked if he wanted me to stay, or wanted to come with me, he said no. He knows mum's really looking forward to this, and needs a break, just like he sometimes needs a break from mum (not being ones to indulge in emotional blackmail we've always made it clear that no matter how much you love someone, you may not always like them, and sometimes you just have to have time to yourself, and Kai understands it perfectly - and isn't averse to letting us know when he needs it. Heh, going to be very interesting to see how that works out when he has a partner!)

I finished, coded and uploaded Ease, the latest UM fic. Hn. They're getting longer and more involved. This is not a good sign... I'll rephrase that. It's a good sign for fans of the show and those who like all my stuff. It's not a good sign for me, because it forebodes getting more heavily involved with the anime, and that I simply do not need right now. Maybe (hopefully) it'll burn itself out before too long.... (I can dream, can't I?)

And in other news... I'm about set to leave tomorrow. I think I have everything packed (except for what's drying at the moment). We still have to clear the rest of the room for the carpet fitters (and quite where everything is going to go I don't know, but we'll manage somehow!), and one of Kai's schoolmates' mum's is going to bring him home, since Ken will be busy with the fitters and I'll be on my way to Winchester - many thanks, June!
Jade fang I even remembered to put my earrings back in (all six, four in the right ear, two in the left: took them out when I had 'flu because everything hurt...) - including my jade 'fang' -> (left ear) which I've had for more than half my life... (a trademark I think... And yes, I know the ruler is upside down, thanks...)

... it might be time for me to get to bed!


Wednesday, December 10, 2003

General tidying up... For the first time in years I've managed to clear down all my email in-trays! All of them! Empty! And my out-tray!! (It won't last...) Ken is bathing Quyn - I can't lift the pooch in and out of the bath, he weighs substantially more than Kai - so we'll have a sweet-smelling dog at Yule. I've just realised I haven't organised Ken and Kai anything for their dinner tomorrow (though there's plenty in the freezer - if Ken remembers to get it out to defrost! Heh, better do it myself tomorrow morning...)

Now, what have I forgotten...?


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Randi Mask dikdikStrange day... I don't feel as though I've accomplished anything... but thinking about it, I've created a new section for the Zone - DarkRealm - complete with template, background tile and button, coded/uploaded Lutra's latest chapter, and have started another little UM fic.

And Rhandi Mask thought the idea of Dik Dik Van Dik with a tail was just too cute, and created this -> for me! (I love it!) (The full-sized version of the pic is in the Zone. Not this Zone, the other Zone...)

I've also wrapped presents and written all the family Yule cards. So I suppose the day has been fairly busy, all told.

Tomorrow I have to make the time to sort out and repaint the chimney breast, and replant some of my indoor jungle. Not a favourite task, but if I will insist on letting them do their own thing... I bought my dracaena marginata as a one-inch-tall wee plant - described as ideal for a bottle garden - about 15 years ago. It grew to 13 foot high before I cut it (rooting up four new plants from the cuttings) the first time... Five or six major cuttings later it's still going strong (and will be in the 'after' photos, when I get around to taking them). I love plants, and they seem to realise it. At any rate, they tend to get very big in my home...

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

[shakes head bemusedly] I will never understand how anyone could enjoy shopping. Sorry Sue, 'retail therapy' is simply not my thing: I suffer from 'trolley rage'... And claustrophobia. Though that last is relative - I'm the only person I know who can manage to feel claustrophobic standing on the top of Hay Tor (or the Empire State Building, for the US readers. And yes, I have stood on the top of the Empire State Building. It was almost worth being crammed into a lift with far too many other people for the looooong minutes it took to get there. I would have rebelled and walked back down, except that the lift back to the ground floor was practically empty and I didn't want to waste any of our precious time.)...

Of course, the whole situation could be drastically ameliorated if I would only remember that going into town at lunchtime has to be one of my more stupid ideas... city centre full of suits on lunchbreak... doing Xmas shopping... mutoids... people who will not take no for an answer [growl]... hideously scary singing Xmas trees... [shudderwhimper]

It was nevertheless fairly successful. I now only have to find presents for my mother, my brother, and Kim's son Joe (I'm hoping to do that in Winchester). And I've discovered a fast food shop that sells possibly the most disgusting pasties I've ever had, so will know not to go back there.

And I bought my ticket for the Winchester visit...

Just posted the latest UM fic, Mistake [evil grin]

And on a completely unrelated note, the organza inner curtain looks amazing from the outside - a lovely silvery-sheened haze of pale gold that you just can't see through unless the light is on in the room. In other words, exactly what I intended!

I do love it when a plan comes together...


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Monday, December 08, 2003

... ouchouchouchouchouch...

I'm aching all over. But I did manage to get the organza sewn and hung, and tidy up the room a little more. Still an awful lot to do though.

And as for the ongoing dikdikfic saga.... [shaking head]

[Lutra] Oooh! Loved the dikdik fics [eg] Are you sure you don't want to get him through the rest of the cast?
... okay we can skip KM... [smirk]

[Joules] Nonononono!! I think they'd be WONDERFUL together!!
.... just can't quite work out how, yet.....

KM? But he's gross!
.... though if DD was seme... [smirk]

ROFLMAO!!! Ah - I read the KM as Kevin Mask, not Kid Muscle..... Kevin is... tasty... (And I lurve the accent - so bloody precious!!) [thinks] ... though if DD was seme... [shakes head] Oh ye gods.... no, I really would have a hard time making that work... Not Kid Muscle.... (runs away wailing....)
Oh, good [eg] Yes, Kevin [snicker] is a very interesting character and no, DD wouldn't be seme there either. (But that's a problem? He makes a damn good uke!)
He's an herbivore, what do you expect?
... there must be aggressive herbivores somewhere... It's a rather nice idea though - would you write Kevin as a good or bad guy?

Herbivores - yes. Dik diks? Can't see it myself....

And wouldn't you just know it, this evening the lightbulb went 'ping'. Though not for Kevin Mask.... [evil chortle and rubbing of hands....]


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Saturday, December 06, 2003

[weary grin] Well, it took longer than estimated since I had to do two coats, but the lounge looks fabulous, the most beautiful glowing gold colour, seems twice as large as before (the lighter brighter colour really works!) - and the curtains I got from mum look like suede, of all things (well, they do under artificial light anyway, be interesting to see what they look like in natural light). Haven't tackled the organza yet - or the chimney-breast: the wallpaper has peeled from the wall slightly from when the new boiler was installed, and is rather grubby from the soot. I still have plenty of that paint left; will probably have to paint the entire area, but at least it's not very extensive... Planning that for tomorrow while Ken and Kai put up the Yule decorations. That's assuming my hands are OK: had to buy a new paint-roller, heavier than I usually use, and my hands are aching. (So is the rest of me, to be honest...) And the pads at the base of my fingers on my left hand are swollen and actually bruised, no idea how that happened. Maybe from painting left-handed in Kai's corner...

But it's worth it. The result is beautiful

Kai was terribly helpful, painting the first coat under the window for me, then using the roller on the opposite wall while I tackled his corner. There are still a few things I'd like for the room: a big rectangular mirror to replace the round one above the fire, a new rug, some black jardinieres for my plants, and dark gold/orange/green throws/covers for the sofas (I'd prefer new sofas but at £800+ they'll have to wait!), but all in all the room is transformed and I'm very happy with it. Now if I can just stop Kai from telling my folks when he rings them on Sunday... (Thought I'd surprise them when they come up for Yule.)

I've taken before and after photos and will probably post them here once the film's developed.

And it rather looks as though I won't have a new AC chapter this weekend - a nuisance since I've managed to keep to my schedule so far, but I'm too tired, aching too much, and still have too much to do to really focus properly on the stories. Given that I posted six pieces last weekend, both mine and Lutra's and in various parts of the Zone, I think I can be forgiven...

Though I may see about another UM fic, since they're quick and easy and so much fun to write! smile!

Cold - the UM ficlet - now posted...


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[head in hands, wailing despairingly] This is now way beyond a joke.

Third dikdikfic (soft and warm and fuzzy) now finished, will be uploaded in an hour or so. Think I've finally got Terry's Texan accent right, at least according to the anime. And no I'm not going to plough through all the UM characters. There's - what? 60? - of them, and some of them are thoroughly bleurgh-worthy. I mean - Road Rage? Forkolossus? Tyranoclaw? [shudder]

Kevin Mask, however... (A wrestler called Kevin? Come on now....)

Perhaps I just need to get this out of my system...

Onna - that's not sick and twisted. Sick and twisted would be drawing laughing children playing in the bloody guts of still-living disembowelment victims hanging in chains from the rafters... [blinks] uh, perhaps I was Torquemada in a previous life...

Heh, sorry folks. Probably the thought of painting the lounge in about four hours....


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Friday, December 05, 2003

Hn. I have a problem.

Started work on the next AC - and realised that it conflicts with the timeline, specifically with Lutra's next planned story-arc. Now, this can be resolved by juggling the timeline, but I can't do that without discussing it with Lutra, and she still has no online access. No email, no ICQ, no 'net, nothing except for that one quick session at a public access terminal. It's been over a week now and extremely frustrating, for both of us...

I hadn't planned to work on the next 'l&L chapter this weekend but it looks like I might have to, in between painting/sewing... I want to have something posted this weekend since I won't be here next (YAY!! Winchester!!), and unless I finish something during the week there'll be no update.

Will see how it goes.


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[growl] Aaaaaand WordWrights goes down, just as I was about to amend a couple of pages... Dammit.


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Thursday, December 04, 2003

[sigh] Just posted another dikdikfic PWP in the Zone, a soft and fluffy one this time... I hope this... urge isn't going to last for too much longer...


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Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I've been commissioned to take over (and redesign to some extent) the IAVMT website. This is going to be fun: it was created in FrontPage (which I won't touch with a bargepole) and uses some... shall we say interesting?... javascript; I'm planning to rewrite the code, making it disabled-friendly as far as I can - although since it would work best as a frames site with a navbar I might be a little limited there... will have to have a think about that. The current webmaster (in the States) is paying per month ($25 too, which I think is a ripoff!); I'll transfer the site to a UK host (probably Supanames, two of our own sites and another that I run are with the company, and I have no complaints) with an annual fee instead. IAVMT is a .org site, and I'm not entirely sure who it's registered with: I've assumed Network Solutions, but no doubt will have that confirmed once it's been transferred to me (I may then have to transfer it to UKReg. Will see how we go...)
A dik dik. Yes, I know this is a female and therefore doesn't have those sweet little horns, but it's still damn cute!

Hm. Just checked the Whois and there's a note by the record stating 'client transfer prohibited'. That may cause problems. Will see once the current registrant tries to organise the transfer...

On a dafter note, I mentioned to Kai - last night while we were chuckling over Ultimate Muscle - that a dik dik is an African antelope, and a small one at that, so Dik Dik Van Dik's comment about 'the mighty dik dik' was just plain silly. Of course he wanted to see what it looked like, so a quick search of Google later and we found this photo. Kai's first words?

"Oh, that's so adorable!"

[stifling chuckles] I did say the programme was daft...

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

[blinks] We're mad. I'm sure that comes as no surprise to anyone...

The new carpet will be here on the 11th December, a darkish warm brown with tiny speckles of black, orange-red and fawn; won't show the dirt, and is tough and hard-wearing while still being nice to walk on. And we're having it fitted properly rather than doing it ourselves. I remember the "fun" we had laying the carpets in this house in the past: leaving it to the professionals is almost worth the extra cost...

So I shall be painting this weekend, Saturday probably, and hanging the new curtains (in the lounge anyway) on Sunday. Be looking good for Yule!

Also picked up a hunter-green fabric and gold-coloured metal roller blind for the kitchen (again at Dean Trading, at half price) Finally we can get shot of that horrible ancient grimy, torn, tatty grey plastic monstrosity in the kitchen window!

[happy happy joy joy bounce] Daft Punk's Interstella 5555 music dvd has just been released! It's available on! I have a gift voucher for (reward for completing a Hewlett Packard survey) which I've been saving up!! [big dopey grin] I've just used it to order the dvd....


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Interesting. The colour is just wrong - but most of the description is surprisingly accurate, I think...

you are chocolate

Your dominant hues are red and yellow... most of what you do is motivated by your need to change things and have a good time, but you've been known to settle down and think out a situation, too. You tend to surprise people just when they're starting to feel like they've got you down.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life is brighter than most people's. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You're not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.

Enter your username to see your friends colors:

the html color quiz

[swears volubly at Lutra's computer problems...]


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Monday, December 01, 2003

.... um....

At 7 pm the heating came on. By itself. We haven't touched anything. It's been off since Saturday night, we've suffered three days' worth of the cold, and tonight the radiators are back working (it's wonderfully warm...). Do we have a new gremlin? Was it sleeping in the chimney and is now grumpy because we disturbed it? And what can I do to placate it?

[growl] And I don't know if we'll be able to catch the engineer before he leaves, tomorrow. Or whether we even should cancel - after all, if we have some kind of intermittent fault you can bet it'll click in on Xmas Eve...

No real joy with carpets, but we have to get up to the Flower's Hill industrial estate at the weekend to check out the bed superstore for Kai's new mattress, so will have a look in Carpet Right. (This is where I regret not having a car - it would be good not to have to pay for deliveries.)

FL 39 coming along slowly...

Onna - bronchitis? Nasty. Had that myself a couple of winters ago, delayed going to the doctor until it was well advanced (a particularly stupid thing to do...) Antibiotics usually knock it on the head though. Get well soon!

Do any other Brit readers find the latest 118 118 adverts a little... odd? I swear they're getting decidedly more slashy - first the pair of them dancing together at 192's retirement party (at least, I assume that's what it is), and now this latest ad - one of them giving a woman a piggyback, running along while his partner runs along behind him swatting his backside with a carpet beater! [shakes head] Strange... very strange... and I wish that tune wasn't so bloody catchy!


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Well, that's not too bad - there'll be an engineer with us between 8.30 am and 1 pm tomorrow.


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[growl] I do not believe it! Less than a month and our bloody central heating has packed up!

Actually, yes I do believe it. After all, nothing's ever been easy for this family, why should this be? Luckily it is only the heating - the lounge fire and the hot water are fine - and the weather here at the moment is hovering around 7 degrees (because of the steady, unrelenting rain sitting over us): it's not too cold, so we can manage until they can get an engineer to look at it. (I suspect either the new pump or the actual control panel, myself.) But it's a bloody nuisance...

Eh well. Back to FL...


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