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 :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::

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

August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]

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.











I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!


My IMDb ep summaries

(completed)
Arthur of the Britons
Sky
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
Zodiac
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Starhyke
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
Nightwalker
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Rayearth
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)

For later:

Earthian
Dragonball Z (season 2, part)
(Someone else beat me to it!)
Robotech (s2 ep14 Triumvirate)
BBC Lion, witch and wardrobe
BBC Caspian and Dawn Treader
BBC Silver Chair
Beauty and the Beast (part)
(Missing Excel Saga eps)
(Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)


Silver birch at Eastwood 

Farm

"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)

Autumn...

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:
Muse
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.



Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:
BCHS
BCP


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 

Sylverthorne

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

Joules' 

Haddock

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...



Kood, my new mp3 

player.

Soundwave! (Kood's still moving in...)


Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 

2004

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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 

by 

Onna

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



I now have an Amazon wish list - find it here. But please be warned most of the things on it are yaoi. If you don't like yaoi, or don't know what it is, you probably won't want to take a look.




The Zone Plant from
The Zone 

blog 

plant

OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::HubbleSite
Stunning...
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: MailWasher
Excellent anti-spam software
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: ZSPC Colour Chart
Check how your text and background colours look together before releasing them on the world!
:: 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...
:: Union of Concerned Scientists
Exactly what it says. Fascinating - and worrying...

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...)

[::..Anime/Manga..::]
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

Owned:
   DVD
   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

Owned:
   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

Owned:
   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

Owned:
   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

Owned:
   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust

Owned:
   DVD

   Vampire Hunter D Book 1



New Vampire Miyu

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


Yami no Matsuei

Owned:
   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.
   Sketchbook


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


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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

[::..archive..::]
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
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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
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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
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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
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01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
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01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
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01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
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01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
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01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
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01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
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01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
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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
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01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
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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 - 30/03/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/04/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017

Thursday, July 29, 2004

What a fantastic day! Left at 10.15 am - two hours down the M5 to Dartmoor and we were at the base of Haytor...

I'd forgotten, though, that once you're there, it's getting on for a mile's hike up a fairly steep hill to reach the tor itself. But we made it, and Carol and I - mostly I - collapsed at the top, while Kai scampered off to scramble over boulders.

I'd also forgotten the fabulous view - not quite so good today, as it was cloudy and the further hills were misty, but still beautifully atmospheric. Kai was a little nervous at first, but bit by bit tried climbing higher until he was about a third of the way up the tor (if we'd stayed another hour he might even had made the top, but it was 3 pm by then and I was worried Becky Falls would have closed its gates by the time we got there).

From there we went down into Widecombe-in-the-Moor (Britons might know the old song - you can find the (mispelt) words (and the music, make sure you have your speakers on!) here: there are Cobleys in my family history so you might say I have a sort of connection to the hamlet!), a gorgeous little place somewhat spoiled by having become a tourist attraction. It was worth it for the ice cream though - Devonshire toffee with a big dollop of Devonshire clotted cream on top... (And I got you a little Dartmoor snowglobe, Lutra. Tat, pure tat...) [grins] It was hot, and since the wind across the moor is brisk and cool and knocks spots off any air conditioning... As we were driving out of the carpark Carol commented of the woman and gaggle of kids in the road, "Oh what a sensible place to stand - not." At which the woman glared daggers and hustled the kids to the side of the road. After I'd stopped choking with laughter I suggested she might have heard what Carol said - GoodTwin had forgotten the windows were wide open... [cue groaning Carol and chortling Kai and I for the next couple of miles...]

There are animals all over the moor. Little Dartmoor ponies (one of which kicked Kai, poor bratling; not hard, more a sideways 'sod off I've had enough attention' sort of irritable swipe), sheep - one of which stopped in the middle of the road when her lamb came bounding over and knelt down to feed - and cows - which Carol told to "Moo-ve!" as one stuck its nose out into our path. And mating orb-weaver spiders, which Kai spotted with his inbuilt spider radar and which Carol tried (quite successfully) to photograph...

And after all that Becky Falls had closed at four, ten minutes before we got there... But we spent a lovely hour or so with Carol's friends, their two baby sons and their four Birman cats at Bovey Tracey before we headed back - arriving home at about 8.30 pm. A looooong day.

And Carol and I watched the first few eps of YnM this evening: will try to watch more later. Carol was enjoying it, thinks the animation is lovely, but it was a heavy day for her, driving us both ways and the walking/climbing once we got there. We're all knackered.

Easier day tomorrow.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Brief note before we charge out of the door - Lutra has computer problems and won't be online until further notice...

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Quick addition to Sunday's exploits: I realised as I was chatting to Lutra I should really have given some sort of idea of what varieties of sealife are at the SeaQuarium, so here's a short list...

At the entrance they had a cute little caiman with garnet coloured eyes. As well as the rays, eels and seahorses there were: scorpion fish, stone fish, a puffer fish, starfish, sea urchin, anemones, a tank of volitans (my favourite fish!), clown fish, piranhas, a cowfish (very odd creature...), little sharks, turbots (massive great things!), smasher shrimp, hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs (those things that look like trilobites; "They've got lots of little feet underneath!" - Kai), glass fish, tetras, trigger fish, axolotls... oh, there were others, but I can't remember them all now! It was a fine selection from around the world, though.

On Tuesday we went to Wookey Hole as planned... Hn. Yes, it's an absolutely amazing place, and I'd heartily recommend it to anyone - except people like me who have a phobia about being underground. Especially in small places underground (which Wookey Hole isn't, particularly, but 'small' is a relative thing...) Add to this that the cave system was cut by the River Axe, which still flows (very fast and very deep and very strong) right the way through it, and that my nightmares since Kai was born have centred around him falling into fast cold water and me not being able to save him, and you can probably understand why I wasn't looking forward to that bit. But he enjoyed it, and we were all quite safe (the gantry bit that I wasn't looking forwards to was a lot more stable and secure than I remember it), so all in all it was a successful day, if a tiring one.

Wednesday we took Raptor to the vet - she's developed a lump on her top lip recently and given the scare we had with Quyn I wanted to get it looked at. The vet thinks it's probably just a small cyst, but will check it again when Raptor goes up for her second inoculation in three week's time. What she did find, though, was that the wee beast's teeth are in poor shape, one of them's rotted away and at least one more is heading the same way. She gave me an estimate for the work [wince - £179]. We need to think about it, and not just from the expense pov. Raptor's thirteen now, eating heartily, and not apparently in pain, and the risk of a general anaesthetic is greater the older the animal grows. On the other hand, I don't want her to spend her last years in pain...

Afterwards we ran up to Clifton to check out the antiques market (Kai looking for clocks) - only to find it isn't there any more (hasn't been for seven years, shows how often I get up to Clifton!)

But we checked out the Clifton Arcade - some astonishing jewellery, including a big, chunky-ornate silver-white and blue necklace that I fell for but didn't even bother asking the price of given how much everything else in the shop cost!

Then we trundled up to Leigh Woods and the Iron Age fort there - a very pleasant walk - and after dinner watched Starksy and Hutch (the film).

It's wonderful! Very funny, very clever and very nicely slashy. It's obviously a parody right from the start, and for a while - comedy notwithstanding - I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but about a third of the way through I found I'd stopped comparing it to the original series and was thoroughly enjoying it for itself. Not often that happens! The characters are excellent, and

I like the chemistry between them. I would love there to be a sequel (or even a series!) though I doubt it'll happen, unfortunately...

Definitely one to put on the 'must-buy' list (when the price drops a little!)

Tomorrow it's another early start down to Devon, to Dartmoor...

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Sunday, July 25, 2004

Up early (9.20am!), then off to Weston-super-Mare for the Helidays - which was fun if noisy - and then to the SeaQuarium, where Carol 'ahhhh'ed over the seahorses, Kai declared he loves Moray eels, and I got to stroke a handful of rays (rough and scaly, most of them - except for the one that felt like wet fur... They seem to like it, hold still while you stroke them like a cat.) It's a great place, fun and informative.

It was very windy, though, which meant we were sandblasted a little. But Carol's got you a stick of rock, Lutra - pink with Weston-super-Mare all the way through! Will get it in the post soonish.

Wookey Hole tomorrow. Caves underground. Oh joy...

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Saturday, July 24, 2004

[blink] So there I was, touching up the scuffed paintwork in the lounge (with the right shade of gold, rather than the wrong one that I painted it with last night...) when the immortal cry came from my room - "Dad! There's a stag beetle stuck in the carpet!"

So we both went through to see...

Ken - "Actually it's a lesser stag beetle."

Me - "I don't care what it is, I don't want it in here!"

Problem was it had its mandibles stuck in the carpet - and the carpeting is that hard-wearing looped synthetic stuff. However, with razor blade, scalpel, scissors and tweezers, ten minutes later the beetle was free (Ken cut the carpet, not the beastie) and is now back in the garden - in the hollow willow stump we left against the wall with half a dozen or so of her friends.

I swear our garden doubles as a nature reserve for rare(ish) fauna. Slowworms, (lesser) stag beetles, newts, frogs, hawkmoths (I grow rosebay willowherb for their caterpillars, much to the neighbours' annoyance I suspect!), cinnabar moths (ragwort ditto), Red Admirals (nettles ditto), plume moths, goldfinches on the teasels, visiting wrens, mice under the compost heaps and the occasional hedgehog... We even have lovely gold-coloured scarab beetles - that's what they look like, anyway - living in the 'meadow' (the wild bit of the garden reserved for Quyn and anything else that likes it there).

It's all rather nice.

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Friday, July 23, 2004

...busybusy...

Keynsham was fun, except that it was ant-swarming day and the park was full of them... red ants too, nasty little blighters. So we bought my sandals, a few bits and pieces from charity shops, fed the ducks, then got off at B&Q on the way home to pick up the bathroom cabinet.

And today... well, ever had one of those days when you go to do something, and find you have to do something else first, over and over again? It was like that. We needed to put new sealant around the bath, but before we could do that, we needed to regrout the lowest line of tiles, and before we could do that we had to prepare the plaster with diluted PVC glue... and after we'd done the glue, we had to clean the bath rim with methylated spirits. Which I thought we had for the fondue, but we'd run out, so had to go buy some...

And then we found that the screws to fix the cabinet to the wall aren't made of strong enough metal: the cross-heads twisted under the screwdriver. This was at three minutes past eight: Focus (the nearest DIY place) closes at eight. [sigh] So it'll have to be done tomorrow. It's going to look great though, antique pine effect, a lovely golden colour.

While Ken was grouting, Kai and I prepared Tracy's new tank and moved her into it (thought that was one experience you could probably live without, Carol!) Much easier than rehousing Rosa - Tracy happily ambled out of the old tank and into the new with the minimum of fuss or urging. And she really is twice her previous size now - we retrieved the shed and held it up against her (through the side of the tank). She's all legs at the moment, needs to eat more.

So, still more to do, but we're getting there...

Glad you like the parcel's contents, onna, I tried to go for a lemony theme (well, a citrus one anyway!) As for the oils: there's sweet basil in both (I always use that in mixes); the relaxing one has a cypress and myrrh base and mostly rosewood, while the other has a juniper and frankincense base, with bergamot, lemongrass and grapefruit (amongst others). It's a personal favourite, I use it while writing.

Hope they prove useful!

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Thursday, July 22, 2004

Busy day... Bulk of the painting done (need to redo the radiator and the vent, and add the gold flecks, and probably touch up the walls a little tomorrow, but otherwise that's it), Ken found a glass shelf reduced at B&Q (to replace the rusting metal shelf unit we had: they also have pine cabinets at half price - going to try to get one of those too, I don't like our plastic one, it doesn't go with the rest of the room) so that was all quite successful. Also made thumbnails for Jenni's Loft pages and uploaded the new gallery. But I haven't managed to get this month's review done, and it's due tomorrow. Still, doesn't have to be a long review (the book doesn't deserve it) so I should be able to get that done when we get back from Keynsham.

Ken's last lot of photos came back today, and I scanned a couple. ClaraNET's ftp server is down at the moment, so I've uploaded them to the Early Heaven site (just in case anyone is looking at the source code to see if I've posted any hidden comments. Didn't I mention I sometimes do that? In the (other) Zone too. Just every now and then.)

wistaria

My little wisteria - a real favourite.



Remember I said Kai's into clocks at the moment? On our way into town on Monday he announced that he wanted a grandfather clock... There's a place in St Nick's Market that I thought might have one, and lo and behold it did. Only a small one - about four? five? foot high, I'm not very good at judging heights - but he thought it was absolutely wonderful. Could he borrow the money to buy it? Heh, at £249 I don't think so! But it might be worth while keeping an eye out at sales and junk shops - you never know and we have been lucky before...

Me, I can't stand the sound of ticking clocks...

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

And today's major decision is whether to re-paint the bathroom radiator gold-flecked blue again, or have a change and paint it amber... Small bathroom, amber would make it seem larger... [mock-solemnly] well, since it's going to take at least two coats of gloss if we go for amber, and each coat takes about 10 hours to dry (heh, and to get the colour I wanted I had to opt for non-non-drip gloss. Never again...) this is a more serious decision than might first appear...

I'm taking a break after glossing the window-sill and pipes. Have I mentioned how much I hate glossing? Especially when I don't realise I've got the damned stuff over the side of my hand and then use my tablet? [sigh]

Had a shock last night when I checked the spiders just before going up to fall over. (No, don't panic Carol, they were both still there!) Tracy had shed! Honestly, the difference between the two is amazing. Rosa's a real drama queen, makes a performance out of everything, but Tracy - when she sheds it's like, "aHAH! They've gone, wonder if I can change before they get back..." I mean, I'd only checked her a couple of hours beforehand and she wasn't even upside-down then! Such a laid-back tarantula...

Right, time for a bowl of ramen then back to it...

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... yawn... We enjoyed HP3 - I loved the hippogriff - but I can't help feeling there's some sort of fundamental flaw somewhere in the story as a whole. Can't put my finger on it though, and can't spare the time to re-read the books... Eh well, perhaps it'll come to me.

Bathroom scrubbed and I stink of pine disinfectant... There are worse things to smell of. I can start painting as soon as I wake up tomorrow, oh joy! It'll be great when it's done though - it badly needs it. Next up for redecorating is either Kai's room (he absolutely adored the stellar ceiling in HP3 and would like one of those, please...) or ours which hasn't been done since I first painted it about thirteen years ago. It's worn well, but it would be nice to have something different. Will see how we go.

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Monday, July 19, 2004

Well that was fun...

Had to walk in to the delivery office to collect a letter that didn't have enough postage...

<rant> Disgusted. The sender was 7 pence short on the postage - and the bloody Royal Mail slapped on a £1 surcharge! And as far as we can work out, they held onto the thing for a week before not delivering it: given that one or other of us are here at all times I want to know WHY they didn't just knock and ask for the additional postage... oh, of course, it was so they could get that extra £1... Bastards. Postage is expensive enough without resorting to that sort of trick... It's a hell of a walk too, and it's not like I have time to spare...</rant>

Kai came with me: we walked the rest of the way into town, stocked up on ramen and pocky at the Chinese supermarket, went to the bank, Kai bought some Jacqueline Wilson books at St Nick's Market, cut across Castle Park (the highpoint balloon is back this summer! Fancy an ascent, Carol?) and I sat on a pig while he played for half an hour in the playground there - built like a castle - before we bussed back. Then I bought the paint for the bathroom - yes, finally going to get it redecorated! Planning to wash the room down tomorrow and let it dry while I take Kai to HP3, then paint on Wednesday.

Thrilling stuff, ne? [grin]

Band, the AU CCO808 fic inspired by Valkyrie's Oedo Rock Band pic is now posted for everyone to read at the CCO808 LJ community...

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Sunday, July 18, 2004

[snarl] and the bloody golf overran and Time Machine's been postponed to next Sunday...

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.... aaaand another addition to Kai's site - his picture of Tracy, on the Spiders page. He also said the pics of the clocks were too small and you couldn't see the detail, so I've made the text clickable to larger versions.

He says thanks, onna!

And I'm glad the CCO808 section works OK, Marie!

The second part of The Time Machine is on tonight - not the H G Wells story, this is a computer generated speeded up history of the planet, made by BBC Bristol [yay!] in collaboration with the Discovery Channel. It's fantastic - a real must-see. No-one does this sort of thing better than the Beeb, it almost makes up for the some of the crap they've produced recently (The Office comes to mind...). Hoping it comes out on DVD, it would be a good one to keep.

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... tired...

Been a day of bits. A new page added to Kai's domain - clocks - new page added to the BCP site, new page added to Jenni's domain, re-org of the CCO808 section in the (other) Zone... Still haven't managed my own site design samples page. Maybe tomorrow.

Then we went to hire some dvds. 3 for Kai (including Arachnid, which Kai wanted to watch - dreadful but it had big spiders so he was happy) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen for all of us. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though you really have to suspend disbelief (and if that was the Bridge of Sighs the Nautilus went under then the sub must be the size of the average cabin cruiser - I've been there...) But it was a rollicking fine romp, lots of action and Sean Connery being his lovely gruff self. I loved the literary and cinematic homages too! [grins].

But I haven't done much writing. And I'm a little tired now...

Glad you like the redesign, Wendy!

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Friday, July 16, 2004

[blinks] Why is there now an 'edit html' tag on the edit screen? No, I don't want to know... Oh, I see, it's for peeps like me using html as a second language...

Well, I thought I was getting caught up,  slowly, but now I'm not so sure. Jenni's site transfer is going to take a few days - can't start that 'til next week - but I'll tackle the BCP additions over the weekend, along with the next AC chapter and the next part of Double Vision (hopefully).

But I've been enjoying myself the last couple of days. Things had become a little grim here over the last few weeks, so Valkyrie's pic of the Oedo guys as a rock band came at just the right time: she said she'd like to do an updated version, I said if she did, I'd write the story, and a deal was struck... I'm two pages into a little one-off Band fic and chortling all the way. It's nice when your own writing makes you laugh! Lutra and Valkyrie have read the first bit, too, (to check it's funny enough if nothing else, it's been ages since I've written comedy!) and also like it, so I assume I'm on the right track. Writing it is certainly cheering me up! It'll be posted on the LJ when it's finished, but given the language (currently) and the raunch (to come) it'll have to be 'friends only'.

I'll probably post it in the Zone at some point - along with a delicious ficlet Lutra is writing, inspired by the X-rated Hasegawa pic that Valkyrie's posted 'friends only' on the lj. Yes, that pic... She had to stop writing in order to get some sleep a short while ago - which led to the following ICQ exchange...

[Joules] ... and now you're going to make me wait for the lemon, aren't you? You are cruel and heartless.... [beg]
[Lutra] [smirk] No, not heartless, just unable to ignore the need for sleep like some.
Sleep is a state of mind.... like age...

I'm hoping to make time to reorganise the CCO808 section of the Zone over the weekend too, split it into art and stories, and then split the fics into sections as well, since there are about to be spin-off side-stories. I still haven't fully decided what to do about the canon/fanon split. Ideally, I'd rewrite the fics to incorporate the accurate backstories, but that's going to take time I just don't have. The alternative is to grit my gnashers, squash my scruples and declare the whole lot Alternative Oedo.

[sigh]

That's certainly the easiest option, and means I can carry on writing along the lines I've already established...

The WaveWrights revised index page now uploaded, though I haven't done the stylesheet yet. I'm quite pleased with it!

Ken's bought me my datura! It's a beauty, going to be interesting to see if I can keep it going...

Right. Spagbol for dinner. Off to cook.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

This is getting ridiculous - I'm so far behind I'm meeting myself coming back...

In brief: Kai's sports day went well. He didn't win any of his races, but he enjoyed himself, and his team won overall, so that's OK.

He thoroughly enjoyed Emily's birthday treat, loved Shrek 2 (came out with the thoughtful question, why does the hero always end up getting hurt in films? [grin] So why do we inflict such suffering on our heroes? Because it makes them vulnerable? Gives us an excuse to act the heroine? I mean, I know why I do it, I'm just wondering about other people...) and generally had a great time. Thanks, Emily!

The datura is going to have to wait until the week after next.

Tomorrow I have to start getting Jenni's site transferred (she says people have been commenting that they like the site redesign, which is very encouraging), update the BCP site with a Briz page of useful links (and it looks like I'll be preparing the online directory for them as well, which is going to take a few hours), plus answer several emails that have been waiting for attention (sorry,

Simone, I haven't forgotten, I've just been snowed under. Thank you for the good wishes and I'll get back to you asap). Oh, and continue the joint Purgatory section with Resh.

Wendy sent up a stress-buster kit - a blow-up baseball bat for hitting things with plus booklet of stress-busting tips. Thanks, it's brilliant! [GLOMPS Wendy] Laughing at Ken and Kai hitting each other with the bat is a great way to unwind!

On the plus side, I've nearly finished Scan pt 2 for Dystopia - started yesterday, 15 pages already and I haven't even got to the lemon yet. Actually you can thank Lutra for the length: she started second guessing me, accurately, on ICQ, which made me think I must be getting predictable, so I changed the plot - and in fact threatened no lemon 'til part 3. Then changed my mind this morning and just expanded part 2. By a lot of pages. Now it's practically writing itself...

Hopefully have it finished and posted later tonight, along with Lutra's latest, Wrap-up.

Pal bubbling...

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Monday, July 12, 2004

Many thanks, everyone, for the good wishes and sympathy. Ken's a bit better: Kai's temperature hit 102 then went down over Sat night/Sunday and he seems to be OK again now. At any rate, he was well enough for school...

It's a busy school week. Sports Day tomorrow (Ken says he'll go this year), and in the evening Kai's been invited to Emily's birthday party, Shrek 2 at the Showcase multiplex followed by KFC. School disco Wednesday, open meeting for the Governor's Report on Thursday, then last day of school Friday - for six and a half weeks...

However, he's brought home a book full of money-off vouchers (of the 'child goes free with paying adult' variety) which includes several of the places we were planning to go, Carol, like Wookey Hole - and explore@bristol, WildWalk and the Bristol Imax. (I'm rather hoping the upgraded version of The Blue Planet will screen at the Imax - perfect place for it.) This will help make the holidays relatively painless - or at least less financially draining!

Dropped into our local flower shop on the way back from taking Kai to school: they had big daturas (around 2-3 foot high) outside that I'd never seen before, the most gorgeous beautiful violet and white double flowers (there's a not-very-clear pic here) Only £6.99. Ken thinks getting one is a good idea [big grin]. Apparently they're OK outside from April to September but need to overwinter indoors - which is fine by me! Not sure whether it's fragrant or not, but it's so splendid I don't really mind.

I found a pair of geta, for £3! Wooden, the stilt-bits at the bottom low and tapered with rubber soles, but they still clack surprisingly loudly... They're footwear for sauntering in, not hurrying, but they're quite comfortable, I rather like them.

On the tarantula front, I managed to measure Tracy: her body is three centimetres long, toe-to-toe diagonally she's a bit over five centimetres. And she has a little fat belly: we won't be surprised if she sheds again soon, she's off her crickets. The substrate is drying out, ready to go in the larger tank. Then we have the fun of moving her...

I haven't managed to measure Rosa; she rarely climbs the walls any more. Not too surprising given how big she is now. She's beautiful though, a lovely pale pink.

Back to it...

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Saturday, July 10, 2004

... the words 'straw' and 'camel's back' come to mind...

I coded/uploaded Zero, the latest AC, earlier then went Tesco shopping. Noticed a new soft drink on the shelves, picked up a bottle to have a look: it was very sticky, so I put it back down - only to realise a moment later that my left index-finger tip was stinging like hell. Had a look, found it was bleeding...

Bloody glass cut. One of those deep ones that gape when you straighten your finger, and right where I hit the keys when typing.

[sigh] Reported it, got it noted in their incident book, plaster stuck on, and took the first-aider to the shelves: the front six bottles were covered with tiny glass shards. How the person putting them on the shelves didn't cut their hands up I'll never know..

The name of the drink? Carpe Diem. I for one will not be seizing another bottle in a hurry.

Kai is poorly again, has a headache and a sore stomach and is running a temperature. And Ken is awfully breathless (a side effect of the chickenpox/meds fiasco, apparently...) Me, I don't have time to be ill.

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Friday, July 09, 2004

Oh joy. Woke up with raging sore throat...

At least it waited til Ken was feeling better...

Steller Goddess
You are Ji Nu!
A Chinese stellar goddess. Charming, inquisitive, and a dreamer.

Which Chinese Mythological Being Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

[blinks] Um, I don't think so...

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'K - brief note for anyone else who's worried, I'm not pulling the CCO808 stories. I'll post a disclaimer over the weekend, while I see if there's a way I can integrate the canon backstories with what I've written (obviously not possible in Sengoku's case). It may be possible to compromise.

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Thursday, July 08, 2004

It's a horrible feeling when you find that the basic premise for your writing is completely wrong. (No, not Haadri - CCO808.) I suppose I should really pull the stories off the site, but I'm reluctant to do that, given how much time and effort I've invested in them...

Ah well.

... F***ing wonderful... Ken had his monthly appointment at the hospital this afternoon. Remember I said we'd tried to get hold of them to find out what he should do re: his medication? And left two messages (Monday and Thursday) on the answering machine? (This was the number on the factsheet he was given, the number to ring if he had any queries, and they'd get back to us...) They never got back to us, and then Ken was feeling better anyway...

Well, the registrar was NOT happy, and hauled in the nurse who's supposed to monitor the answering machine messages for a bollicking. Apparently - and they only bother to tell us now, when it's too late - that as soon as Kai went down with chickenpox Ken was supposed to stop the medication immediately. Carrying on taking it can increase the side effects enormously, which is why the spots got so badly infected - and other side effects are pneumonia and encephalitis. (We think if he'd been further into the course he could have been much worse.) He now stands an increased risk of getting chickenpox again - with all its risks - and shingles (repeated bouts, at that).

I'm bloody furious. Ken's angry, but feeling glad he got off so lightly. Apparently the hospital couldn't apologise enough for the ballsup (not that that makes it any better). Ken is now off the meds for a month, then he starts back at the beginning again with the initial three monthly course.

I don't like hospitals, I never have, and this had the unfortunate effect of reminding me of the last time I was there (no, actually it was the time before, last time was for that abscess...) That was back in '97 when I was pregnant with the longed-for sibling for Kai... We'd all gone in for me to have a scan at 12 weeks, and were told the baby was small, had I got my dates right? I knew I had - Kai was planned, so was the second baby, and told them so, trying to ignore the smirking doctor in the background (I knew exactly what he was thinking, the bastard...) They made me an appointment for an internal scan at 9am the next day...

Long story short, the baby had died at 8 weeks, but I hadn't miscarried. They booked me in for a D&C: I spent the day bawling my eyes out, waiting (told Ken to stay home with Kai, he couldn't have done any good). Finally at 3 am the following morning, this excitable Latin anaesthetist who had obviously not read my notes stormed in, practically shouting at me he wasn't prepared to assist at an ELECTIVE ABORTION when there were other women waiting for emergency treatment. I swear if I hadn't been so upset I'd have thrown something at him...

I got a taxi home and got drunk, silly really because I had to go back in the next morning for the op. But it went ahead, and by the time I was over it all, all I wanted to do was put it behind me. Though now I wish I'd complained about the anaesthetist, because that still hurts.

Afterwards, given my age and high blood pressure, that I'd had to spend time in the hospital with threatened pre-eclampsia several times in the last trimester with Kai, and the fact that we already had one perfect child, we decided not to try again. Much as we'd have loved to. It's too late now.

I hate hospitals...

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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Well, ClaraNET seems to be back, at least for now...

It's a strange thing. Or maybe some sort of omen. Or maybe just a happy Butch. But when I'm working on Haadri the noise from my computer fan suddenly diminishes right down to almost non-existent...

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[sigh] OK, looks like the servers over here are being overloaded again, all my ClaraNET addies are flashing up 'too many concurrent connections, try later' and have been since about 11 last night - so anyone trying to email me, sorry, nothing's getting through. I will check on the server later, but it's such a pain logging into each addie individually I'd rather not waste time doing it too often. Anything urgent please use one of my backup addies, or leave a message in the comment box here!

Of course, blogger also seems to be having problems, so you might not see this message...

Terran tech - don't you just love it?

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Entertainment-wise it's been a strange few days. On Saturday I told Kai he could watch anything he wanted (on video) - I just didn't feel up to taking him out (he wasn't too worried about it, bless 'im...) So he opted for the live action Inspector Gadget - both of them [shudder. That'll teach me to make rash promises...] Afterwards Ken reminded me that a wee while back I'd mooted letting him watch some Sapphire and Steel <rant> Why the hell don't they make kid's programmes like this any more, thought-provoking, exciting, chilling, fascinating... Oh, and apparently there should have been a seventh adventure, with them escaping - but ATV axed the idea. [tears hair out] </rant>

The first adventure, as anyone who's seen the series will probably remember, has a lot of clocks in it. Clocks (the wind up sort) being Kai's current fascination, he was interested from the start. And thoroughly enjoyed it. So much that he asked to see the second adventure (the railway station one) on Sunday (and spent quite a bit of it hiding behind a cushion!) And the first thing he said tonight as he came in the door was pleeeeeeeze could he watch the third adventure!

[blinks, grins] We have a child with taste and discrimination!

Hopefully we'll watch the fourth adventure tonight. It's probably my favourite; I still find the idea of it frightening even now...

Had a midday sleep earlier, and was woken by an odd dream of being in a large house with a group of other people, when the dormant volcano a short distance away suddenly became active and erupted. Streams of lava everywhere, great cracks opening up in the ground... Why weren't we scared? I have no idea, but I organised the removal of the most important things from the house, with everyone carrying something with them as they made their way - calmly and in an orderly fashion - to safety. [shakes head] Very odd. I assume it was supposed to be my subconscious giving me a kick up the backside to get a move on and get FirstLight out. Or is that too obvious? I know I'm dithering. I also know why, and it's a very very stupid reason...

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Sunday, July 04, 2004

Checking in briefly - is anyone else having problems with blogger this weekend? I keep getting error messages - including one for this page when I tried to update last night...

Ken is almost back to normal, though still a little tired and run down. I'll probably continue taking Kai to school for most of this week.

Many thanks for all your thoughts and good wishes, everyone!

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Friday, July 02, 2004

Well, it's been a most unpleasant three days for everyone, with poor Ken very ill for thirty six hours, temperature 102+, completely plastered with spots (a lot of them on his face infected - not from scratching, he's been careful about that), desperately tired but not able to sleep more than a few hours at a time, and feeling nauseous. But when he woke up at 11 this morning he was feeling (and looking) a lot better: seems to be over the worst, although the virus hasn't gone yet. Hopefully he'll be completely better by the end of next week...

The week after Kai's on summer holiday for six and a half weeks.

It was his open day today - I went up a little early, had a look around the school, saw his next year's classroom and met his new teacher (Miss Seymour: Kai said he met her this morning and likes her a lot.) He brought home his report too -

English (reading) - Effort (E) Good, Achievement (A) Excellent:
English (writing) - (E) Satisfactory (A) Satisfactory:
Maths - (E) Satisfactory (A) Good:
Science - (E) Excellent (A) Excellent:
ICT - (E) Good (A) Good:
History - (E) Excellent (A) Excellent:
Geography - (E) Excellent (A) Good:
RE - (E) Satisfactory (A) Satisfactory:
Music - (E) Good (A) Good:
Art - (E) Satisfactory (A) Satisfactory:
PE - (E) Satisfactory (A) Satisfactory:
D&T - (E) Good (A) Good.

Dead chuffed! He still needs to work on finishing things on time (that's going to be vital if he has any hope of getting into John Cabot) and must learn to compromise, but overall the teachers seem pleased with his improvements. Will need to treat him to something over the weekend: there's a 10p-£10 sale at the church hall from 10-12 and then his own School Fayre from 11-2 tomorrow.
Assuming, that is, it's not pissing down again and I feel well enough to get there - had sandpaper sore throat the last two days, everything aching, and the glands under my jaw painful (but not swollen, so I assume I'm fighting something off rather than going down with it.) 'Course, getting more sleep would probably help, if I could sleep more than three hours without waking up and not being able to drop off again...

Ah well. I'm sure I can summon the energy to get to one of them.

Spent yesterday doing a little computer housework: trashed a whole load of junk, downloaded the Eudora upgrade, the new WMP (finally!), and, after reading the latest Trojan-via-popup info, the new Google toolbar with popup blocker. (It's good! I'm impressed, it's a neat bit of kit. And as well as killing popups and popunders, it has an interesting little PageRank bar, in case you fancy checking the Google ranking of the site you're perusing. WaveWrights scores 6/10, this blog 5/10. Though quite what that means I haven't bothered to check yet...)

Mentioning Lancer (on the CCO808 LJ) reminded me the character sings a song that I really like, in several places throughout Robotech - one of which (if I remember correctly) has no background speech or noises, and would transfer to mp3 well enough for me to enjoy. I've re-used a lot of my Robotech videos, but tried to keep back the favourite scenes, so spent a little while today fast-fwding through some of them to find it. No luck yet, but I still have some to check. I just hope I haven't accidentally taped over it.

Going to try to get some writing done tonight, before I start really twitching. Need to make a start on the next AC, have written a couple of paragraphs of Double Vision pt 4 (I think I forgot to mention that Double Vision is a CCO808 community exclusive for Valkyrie. I'm not posting it anywhere else for at least a year, if then.) Also want to write a sort-of sideways followup to Muse, along with a joint followup with Lutra. And the next Dystopia is nagging. As is Haadri...

... haddock...

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