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
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02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
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02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
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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
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11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
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06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
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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
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01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
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01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Samhain

dragonfruit


I has a dragon(fruit)!


No idea what I'm supposed to do with it, but I promised Kai that the first time I saw them on sale I'd buy one so we can all try it.


... better find some preparation details...


Edit: very interesting info here. Wonder how big it has to be before it produces fruit?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Where the hell did the day go?
Most of it on Haadri stuff (see blog shortly), but I did spend some time on one of the client sites, whipping APAG into shape.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Knackered - was up all night with dog that simply would not settle. For no obvious reason. He's been OK today.
All went out into the garden tonight to look for comet Holmes - and found it! It's huge (relatively speaking). Also saw M31, a satellite, and a meteorite. Well, I didn't see that last, but Kai did. All in all an exciting bit of sky-watching.
Going to bed as soon as I can ('round midnight: have to throw Quyn out last thing) in the hope of actually getting some sleep tonight.
Later...

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

I can has greenhouse...
6x7, Freecycled from the next road over. Assembly is going to be fun! Though not as much fun as Kai's vision of it being brought 'round whole on the top of the Freecycler's van! (Must get him to draw that, I really must...)
[grin] Cumbles next summer! 'matoes! Peppers!! Melons!!! Mwahahahaha

.... my haddock are revolting...

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Tch' - got it wrong. Kai's cushion is called Jimmy, not Michael.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

2 seater
The furniture arrived just after mid-day. We weren't quite ready - still had to drag the tatty old sofa out into the garden - but the bulk of it was done, with my futon shifted out here. It fits, and doesn't take up too much room: we can live with it.
I'm very pleased with the new ones. And very glad we had to go for the lighter colour - they're chunky pieces of furniture but in this fabric they recede into the walls, making it feel less crowded. And they're wonderfully comfortable!
3 seater
Kai's happy. He's adopted that cushion and called it Michael...









Edit:
2 seater
The kits approve. All's right with the world...


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The day went too quickly (details over at Haadriblog shortly), and I'm nowhere near ready for the furniture delivery tomorrow. Will need to get up early to haul stuff around. And Ken has a miserable cold, so isn't exactly feeling like moving anything heavy...

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Kai decided he wanted to go out on his bike with his dad - which isn't Ken's favourite activity, as he can't keep up. While they were gone the M and T sprogs arrived, just back from their holiday to Tenby and asking if Kai wanted to go down to the park. So I rang: he rode home and charged down to join them while Ken picked up a little shopping. Then the sprogs all came back and proceeded to make a lot of noise...
While they were out I had the inspiration to draw a tromp of scoarts (beasts of burden) as another small pic for H: PC: it's worked reasonably well.
After dinner we all watched Blades of Glory (my latest offering from LoveFilm). Rather to my surprise we enjoyed it (though it cut a little close to the bone for Kai in some places, though I think most of that went over his head). I'm not fond of Will Ferrell, never found him very funny, but he was OK in this. The writers missed a lot of opportunities for gags, I thought, although the 'galloping peacock' was very funny, but on the whole - yes, amusing. Wish there'd been more actual skating though...
Back to the loom.

[sigh] Haddock change direction tomorrow night...

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Great - our new settees are finally ready. But they can't deliver 'til Saturday, which is a bit of a pain as Dave next door is having both our guttering cleared that day. Eh well. I'm sure we can schedule in a few minutes when water isn't pouring off the roof...
Kai and Frodo took their bikes down to the park this afternoon, just for half an hour as it was cold. We still need to raise Kai's handlebars, and his helmet no longer fits him so we'll need to get another, but he had a fine time, really enjoyed it. He likes his bike!
The rest of the news will be over on the Haadriblog shortly...

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lovely day, relaxing and fun. Thanks Wendy!

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The early night materialised. The sleeping did not. Every time I dozed off I was woken by snoring dog.
Tired again now. But I did get quite a bit done (see Haadriblog shortly), and Kai has nearly finished tidying his room, so it's not all bad.
I get a break tomorrow, Wendy's visiting.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Heh. Busy or what? Successful though.
First there was the shopping (two loads of it). Then there was the washing. Then there was the several hours of pruning the trees...
We took about a quarter off each of the cherry in the front and the goat willow at the back (Kai's climbing tree), the dead branches from the wisteria and a goodly dollop from the buddleia. Combined with the previous prunings (bay, greengage etc.) and some stray wood that was no longer needed, plus one of Dave next door's conifers that had died, there was plenty for a bonfire.
And while K&K tended the bonfire, I drew! (More on the Haadriblog shortly.) Ken is now watching the documentary on Silbury Hill: once that's finished we're both going to bed. I'm tired and need a proper sleep.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

WANT! Even if I have to clear my desk to make room. Oh, do so want!!
Going to bed soon, but thought I'd share this absolute little gem from FSTDT...
"Did you know that all bulls are males? How can these bulls mate to have more bulls? It's your funeral evolutionists. Admit evolution is a pathetic fantasy created by scientists because they can't accept God."

Nytol!

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If you wanna find out what's behind these cold eyes, You'll just have to claw your way through this disguise..."
Bloody hell, I'd forgotten how powerful that film is. And Kai loved it - even though I did have to explain a fair bit to him. That's definitely one to get on DVD to keep.
It's very cold here tonight...

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Strange day. Quite fun, I suppose - Ken bathed Quyn (heh, took both of us to get him up the stairs, it's amazing how difficult it can be to shift a stubborn dog...), and Kai has decided he wants, finally, to start riding his bike. So far we've been unable to raise the handlebars: I think there's a tool somewhere in the shed. But he managed, and was fine. Better get a Highway Code. And check his helmet still fits.
I coded and posted Lutra's Haadri request fic, Rebel, and devised a few more planets.
Kai's still downstairs: The Wall is on shortly and he says he wants to see it. I havent watched it in ages - it's a favourite!

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Bright hot sun today: K&K bought FirstDay tickets and headed off to Westbury on Trym, actually with the intention of finding the home of one of the ancestors - the Cheese family - but unfortunately with no success. They did, however, find a lovely little wood with the river Trym running through it, where Kai made friends with a tree. By climbing it.
Apparently they both enjoyed the trip, finishing up with the now-traditional ride out to Cribbs Causeway and back just for the hell of it.
After dinner (rogan josh, which Kai chose and liked but says he still prefers jalfrezi) he showed us what he's been learning to play (at school) - I Will Survive and Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth. That reminded me I hadn't sung him Jerusalem (Alan Titchmarsh quoted a line from it on the last Nature of Britain programme, and Kai didn't recognise it) so I gave that a go. Had trouble staying in tune though, so I tried picking it out on the keyboard, with some success - enough to give him an idea of the real tune, anyway. But Ken suggested finding the music online and printing it out, and he'll play it properly for the sprog (Ken can read music. I never learned). Something for later!
I've been creating planets... Off to make a few more.
And lastly, a gem from today's FSTDT
Anyway I think the Bible is very very old, perhaps as old as 120 million years. Maybe people lived much longer in ancient times and could travel along the planets. Jfr. Ezekiel's describsion of space crafts.
All one can do is shake one's head in sorrow...

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Slept until midday - it was wonderful! Eight hours sleep! (I'm still tired though...)
Relaxed sort of day. Some client site stuff, review of The Broken Kings done and emailed - and Kai very happy. A member was Freecycling a Yamaha electronic keyboard - sans power lead and instruction book, but you can't complain when it's free! - last week, and we contacted them first - working on the assumption that we'd let him have this one to play with first, and then if he likes it and carries on (rather than getting fed up in five minutes) we'd know it was safe to get him a new. more modern one later. It takes six large torch batteries if you don't have the lead, so we charged ours up and gave it a go: works fine. We were going to let Kai have it after he'd finished his room, but he was a bit on the unsettled side today, so he got it early.
[grin] He loves it. It's similar to the one he plays at school (though missing some of the functionality, like adjustable pressure keys) so the instruction book isn't necessary. he's spent all afternoon playing it up in his room (there've been some really mellow sounds drifting down) and Ken says he has a very good ear for music (well, yes, I already knew that...)

Raptor on hedgehog house So happy sprog!
Raptor decided to sunbathe on top of the hedgehog house this morning - Ken got a photo. - > Apparently we don't have a hedgehog yet, but we're still hoping...
And onna had the inspiration for another of the Haadri characters, and emailed me the sketch, and it's gorgeous! The perfect blend of deer and reptile for the species.
Heh. Better hurry up and get my own illos done, or I'll be holding the project back!

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In These Stones Horizons Sing

Kai went up to bed at 2.40am. I followed somewhere around 5am. Ken woke me at 9.30 am as requested...
bleurgh. But Kai was bright and alert, and looking forward to a day out, so I dragged myself up and about and got us out of the house at 10.50 for the trip to Cardiff. Or Caerdydd, as I should really call it: I understand the final dd is pronounced like the th in the...
And for once everything went absolutely right. The X39 arrived a minute or two after we got to the bustop, there were only two quick and easy people in front of us at the queue at Temple Meads ticket office, hardly anyone wanting to get on the train, so we could sit where we wanted - I didn't even realise we'd gone through the Severn Tunnel until I saw the Croeso i Cymru (Welcome to Wales) sign by the track! (Though to be fair, it only takes four minutes to travel through it, much less time than I'd been led to believe...)
Castell Caerdydd
12.16 we were off the train, out of the station and headed for Castell Caerdydd...
steps to tower There's been a defensive building here since the first century CE, when a small fort and trading post were built. spiral staircaseThe photo shows the remains of the 12-sided keep built around 1140: after our tour around the house we climbed to the top. My knees are still complaining - those steps are at a 45° angle, then once inside there are stone and very steep, very narrow wooden steps up to the tower - and then there's a very steep, very narrow and very claustrophobic spiral staircase up to the lookout.

Nice view from the top though!
View from the top of the keep



The house itself is a later creation: building started in the late 15th century, and continued, on and off, until around 1860 when the 3rd Marquess of Bute had the work completed and the house completely transformed into a 'neo-gothic fantasy' (to quote the guidebook...)
It's... quite something... A little too ornate for my tastes, but fascinating.
The house
It's really annoying - you can't take a decent pic of the house from any height without having the bloody Millennium Stadium in the background behind the clock tower...
Except for the library. I fell in love with the library. Photography isn't allowed inside the house, so this is a scan of the postcard I had to have of the room...
the library
There's so much detail you can't see, like the little cherubs on the walls holding shields with the names of great classic writers. Or the little families of carved animals on the tops of the bookcases (platypuses, beavers, what I think were muskrats, then we had to move on...) I could have spent hours in that room alone... Though not reading. The original books are long gone: the things on the shelves are prettily-bound old council records.
Peacocks

We both loved it there, and would cheerfully recommend it to anyone visiting the city. The staff (our guide was the hugely-knowledgeable Dean) are terrific as well, and the café in the Undercroft looked lovely (but Kai wanted his tortilla so we ate outside in the grounds. Where there are peacocks. And peahens. And a sheltered area where the falconry birds were on display. They had an owl...).


Then we headed off to find Cardiff Bay and the Torchwood Hub - sorry, the Millennium Centre...

Roald Dahl Plass
The area is called Roald Dahl Plass and it's amazing. It's also a hell of a walk from the Castle: we collapsed by the fountain (that tall silver pillar) when we got there. And said fountain switched off a couple of minutes later - I believe because the wind suddenly picked up dramatically, there's a little wind speedometer thing (can't remember what they're called and too tired to look it up) on the very top, and even in the prior tiny breeze a lot of water was splashing on the paving... I've no idea what that red gothic-looking building is I'm afraid.
The words at the top of this post are on the façade of the Centre. I think they're beautifully evocative.
We were completely knackered by now, legs and feet aching (yes, even Kai's. Not often I can outwalk him but I managed it today) and sprog asked if we could get the train back to the central station: there's a little train that runs from the Bay to Queen's St every few minutes, and from there we hopped on the next train, which stopped at Central. Trains in Caerdydd seem to be used as much as buses, and are very cheap. So Kai got to ride on four trains today!
It was a fantastic day. Caerdydd is a wonderful place. We both loved it, and want to go back - there's an open-top bus tour that looked like fun!
kits

Arrived back to find a proof copy of Celtic Messages (they've done a lovely production job!), and finished versions of Thorne's Ffarsa (beautiful) and Onna's gorgeous Mazc and cute Kakar! Not to mention Argent and Raptor actually cuddled together for what has to be the first time ever. So all in all a near perfect day. Only cool spots are the incredibly painful legs, feet and knees (and hands from gripping railings so tightly), and the fact I forgot to buy a lotto ticket. Eh well!
Tired now. Quieter day planned tomorrow!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

[sigh] It's really not a good idea to try to revamp websites when I'm knackered. It takes three times as long. And it doesn't help that bloody IE seems to have developed some very strange quirks...
Still, the Haadri site is looking a little better. Still a fair bit to do though.
october strawberry
It's the middle of October. I shouldn't still be sitting here in a T-shirt. And this -> sure as hell shouldn't be happening.
But Spooks tonight was very good - and scary. [smirk] And I watched next week's ep too, on BBC3. But I'm not going to say anything about it.
Quyn seems to be about back to normal, so I'm holding off on a vet's visit for a while.
Right. Have to be up early to take Kai to Cardiff - going to see about a tour around the castle. And go and pose where Torchwood was filmed! Will try to get a planet posted on the Haadri site, and possibly even make a start on a review, before tryingfor an earlyish night.

At any rate, that was the plan before a meeply and tearful Kai came down, unable to sleep, unhappy, and not knowing why. He's now (1 am) cuddled into my sleeping bag on the futon with the main lounge light off, sipping a big mug of warm Galaxy chocolate drink and Night at the Museum on TV.
He can't understand why he feels like it. I think it's a combination of the stress of school and the hormones starting to kick in - and I remember how it felt, an odd sense of loss, of something indefinable slipping away. It wasn't until I was much older that I realised it was my childhood. I wish I could help, but all I can do is offer the archetypal shoulder to cry on, mugs of sympathy, and an ear to listen when he feels like talking. Pretty much all any parent can offer, really...
With a little luck he'll drift off. If I end up staying up all night - well, I'm used to it. And we can always go to Cardiff another day.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

First day of Kai's holiday. We agreed, yesterday, that he'd accompany me to Sainsbury's, as I want him to learn to shop. He was reluctant this morning, but gave in with good grace...
He was actually quite good. It's been ages since he's been to a supermarket, but he found everything without much difficulty, and agreed with all my sensible suggestions - check the specials first; when buying broccoli, choose the heads with the least stalk (we don't like the stalks); try to get the smallest Brussel's sprouts (they're the sweetest); is it better value to buy a double pack or garlic baguettes at £1.39 or two single ones at 89p (that one gave him pause, until I suggested adding 2x90=1.80 then subtract 2. It's amazing how good I can be with numbers when it involves money...) He chose a few treats - packs of Rosemary Conley low-fat Belgian chocolate mousses, and two packs of cake bites (cornflakes and chocolate, and rice crispie, chocolate and toffee) on 'buy two for £3, and arrived back, after carrying one of the rather heavy bags, in a happy and satisfied mood. Then had slices of roast pork and roast beef (from the butcher) with a sesame baguette for lunch!
And to top off a successful morning, his mid-term school report arrived in the post, and we were delighted to see he's been moved up from green-amber band to green, with the learning co-ordinator saying he's now achieving, and in some cases exceeding, expectations (you might remember he was having a few problems with his maths, and with concentrating in class. He's been focussing on both, even moving to sit somewhere else so he's not so distracted, and it's obviously worked). So we are all dead chuffed, and he deserves a treat.
Will have to see what we can come up with. Ken's finished one of the articles he was due to write, and has another to do: I have to do a fair bit of work on the Haadri site, and my own illustrations, but those are less time-sensitive than Ken's work, so I may be dragging Kai off somewhere later in the week. A trip to Wells, or Glastonbury perhaps, on a FirstDay South West bus ticket might be in order. Though the weather is due to become wet tomorrow. There's nothing on at the cinema right now, though Stardust is due at the end of the week, I think, and Kai thought he might like to see it...
I enjoyed Bride and Prejudice last night. Not as much as some of the older Hindi movies, but it was fun (although I have to confess the gospel choir on the beach had me in stitches!) One to pick up if I ever see it anywhere going really cheap, I think!
Off for a nap...

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

... Have I actually done anything today? Well, apart from some TLC for the orchids?
Not a lot, really. Kai's spent it sprawled on the futon watching old films (The Railway Children, Ladyhawke, The Princess Bride - well, he wasn't so keen on the latter, but he laughed in all the right places...)
At the moment Bride and Prejudice is on - it's been ages since I've seen a Bollywood musical and I'd forgotten how much I like them! (and it's useful not to have to read the subtitles...)

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Kai had a snuggly downie day today. He tells me sleeping on the put-you-up on the floor wasn't as much fun as he thought it would be - a bit uncomfortable now he's bigger, I think - but now he knows, he won't need to try it again. He brought the sleeping bag down with him though, and has spent some time in it curled up on the futon while Ken and I got the H: PC cover sorted (more on the Haadriblog shortly).
Quyn... I'm not sure now what's genuine and what's just looking for attention. He's a little less restless and seems a little happier, but I'm still not completely happy. Will see how he does tomorrow.
And I absolutely must get some plant care done! I think the orchids have scale insect again: need to have a thorough look tomorrow.
But we've done very well today. I can play tonight - if I can summon up any energy...

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

[bemused] Childe arrived back from school, saw my sleeping bag over the back of the futon, and said - "Ooooh! I'd love to sleep in that again!"
(To explain: back when he used to be turfed out of his room when people came to stay, he slept on his little put-you-up in my sleeping bag in our room. He used to enjoy it - even with Quyn sleeping beside him. Or maybe because of that, not sure...)
So he's now 'camping' on the floor in his bedroom.
Whatever turns you on... It's the start of his two-week half term holiday, far be it from me to nay-say.
No change with Quyn. He's asleep now, but only because he's worn himself out. If he's still like this over the weekend I'll have to get an appointment for him on Monday.
It's been busy of course - more on the Haadriblog shortly.
Speaking of adverts (well, we were yesterday) - there's a Pot Noodle ad on at the moment, single woman holding a pot noodle and she sings a brief phrase, all on a couple of notes, then suddenly shoots up an octave (or more, I don't know music) at the end. It's driving me nuts as I know I know that snatch of music but I can't for the life of me think what it is. Any suggestions?

Oh, and congratulations to the IPCC and to Al Gore for jointly winning the Nobel Peace Prize! I was chuffed, I was. And it's nice to see a high-profile American doing good.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Quyn calmed down significantly after that bad start yesterday and he was able to rest - and sleep - quite comfortably. He was OK first thing this morning too, so we gave him his Metacam... But he's been restless, pacing and panting all afternoon and into the evening, only now (10.10) lying down to sleep, and I'm not sure if that's not just exhaustion. In any case, I've volunteered to sit up with him all night again (if I shut him in the lounge/my room he'll only bark and wake everyone up, and if I let him go upstairs he'll keep everyone awake). I've brought down my sleeping bag: I can always curl up on the futon if I can't keep my eyes open.
I anticipate another trip to the vet.
It's been a pretty successful day otherwise - more info on the Haadriblog shortly.
Incomprehensible advert no. 7,891: There's an ad on TV at the moment for an American airline, but I can't remember which one, so it's obviously failed its first objective. It shows two men - or possibly the same man twice, I'm not entirely sure, they look similar: I assume it's supposed to be someone famous, I don't recognise him/them - travelling by air. One says to the stewardess after giving his order for a drink, "And tell the pilot to slow down."
And this is supposed to encourage me to use the airline how, exactly? All I see is a fat, arrogant, self-important American wanker whom I would cross the road to avoid. So I suppose the ad fails on all levels. They should fire their consultants.
'alf-inched from Romyra's Lj:
You Are An Iris
You are a unique person who seeks out novelty in life.
An inspiration seeker, you often have to change scenery to recharge.
You don't deal well with structure or rules. You need to do it your own way.
Your ideal relationships are free and flowing. No one can tie you down.

Right. Back to the loom...

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I need sheep and haddock in roughly equal quantities...
After another ridiculously late night I was woken up early (well, 9.30-ish) by the workmen come to dig trenches and lay cable for the phone service over the back. They were actually very quick, quite quiet and extremely tidy, but I still couldn't sleep. So after checking mail and eating Ken-made scrambled eggs and mushrooms on toast, went back up for a cycle's nap after they'd finished all the loud bits - then had terrible trouble waking up again.
Still, I was able to deal with all of Ken's green-highlighted queries on the additional sub-plot I wrote in ch 42 last night, although it did require me to add another small section way back in ch 5. Happy with it now though. It did take most of the afternoon, however.
Made a start on the back cover blurb, but i really have no idea how you describe something this complex in just a couple of paragraphs. Reading what others have written helps with ideas, yes, but still... Eh, I'm tired. If I have an earlier night I should be more composted tomorrow.
I did, however, amend the Haadri stylesheets, so those few people with the font can now see it on the Haadri site.
Quyn has had a dreadful day, obviously suffering with his arthritis, unable to settle and wanting his back and hips massaged (literally. He nudges your hand to get you to stroke him then manoeuvres himself until your hand is just above his tail, then looks back over his shoulder pleadingly.) I gave him some metacam tonight - can't bear to see him like this - but it'll be a day or so before it kicks in. He's asleep right now, exhausted after spending the last 18 hours pacing.
Hope he feels a little better tomorrow.

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Before I stagger upwards...
Cross-posted to Haadriblog...
Revisions now done. Completed. Finished. I could carry on polishing forever but then the book would never be published. I'm happy with what I've done, I think I've pressed the plot wrinkle so wholly into submission it'll never dare raise it's head again, and generally... yes. I'll see what Ken thinks tomorrow, but unless he finds something else to revise, that's it. Did.
.........
AAARRGGHH!!!
Not sure whether I'm terrified or so excited I'm floating. Probably both. Still lots to do of course, but the text is now ready. Heh. I've been writing and refining this project (that's the whole Haadri continuum, I mean, not just this book) for more than ten years, it had better be done! (I promised myself that one day - a long long way into the future - I'd scan and post the original, handwritten stories on the Haadri site for people to laugh at!)
Oh, and that blue screen of death? I think it was because I left the microwave on after cooking our nukeable apple crumbles earlier. Normally I turn it off as soon as it's finished with, but today I forgot. I know it used to make my previous computer hiccup, and given that the blue screen text suggested that a piece of hardware hadn't been properly installed and was causing the problem... When we can afford it I think we ought to get the house electrics looked over...

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Finished The Passing of the Techno-mages today. [guiltily] I read it instead of tackling my reviewing backlog...
It's... interesting. I liked Galen in Crusade, and loved the idea of the techno-mages, but... I found this depiction of Galen unsatisfying. Yes, the backstory was feasible, and worked in context, I just had a problem with less than competent Emo!Galen... I'm very glad I've read it, though, and it's definitely a keeper, even if the author has that jerky, constant short sentence style that I find mildly irritating. That being said, it did have some thoroughly enjoyable sections. Many thanks Sue!
It's been busy. More at the Haadriblog shortly.
... had one of those awful, stomach-plummeting 'serious problem' blue screens earlier. Thought something was going to happen: first my tablet pen stopped working then I heard crackling from the speakers (they aren't turned on). Had to hard close, wait thirty seconds and reboot, and so far everything seems OK, but it's nerve-wracking. At least I keep everything backed up these days...

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Vet is pleased Quyn's better but has given him another 5 day's worth of anti-bios just to be sure.
Shattered. Completely. Managed about three hours sleep last night. Have to stay up til about half midnight to let Quyn out, but then I'm going to go and fall over. Emails will have to wait til tomorrow. (Sorry Thorne. It's nearly there though - and Ken's reaction was "scary...")

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Tired. But the pre-order info page for H: PC is almost done. I should be able to have it live tomorrow, along with all the postage options. That is, assuming the packaging people come back to me quickly with the weight of the specialised Book Mailers we need to buy to make sure orders get to buyers undamaged...
More on the Haadriblog shortly.
Oh, and we placed the hedgehog house under the fake blackcurrant bush, where it's out of the way but will get the morning sun in the spring. Piggle hasn't discovered it yet, but it's got lots of lovely dry, sweet grasscuttings inside to provide a cosy nest. Fingers crossed.
And Quyn seems fully recovered. This is very good news.
Kai's on two week's holiday come Friday. Hoping to get some drawing done while he's home.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

[happy grin] Quyn seems back to normal - and is now drinking again. Such a relief!
Ken found some incomplete Lego Technic on Freecycle, so took Kai out to Keynsham to pick it up this afternoon. Sprog found the first two books of Horowitz' Power of Five series in a charity shop, and Ken picked up the DVD of The Others, a film we thoroughly enjoyed, while I continued working through his green-highlighted-suggestions in H:PC - so a successful day all round.
Kai is currently watching the Kenneth Branagh version of Frankenstein and loving it, gruesome childe!
Back to the loom...

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The good news. Quyn had a perfectly peaceful night, only wanted out twice, and slept through most of it (probably making up for not sleeping the previous three nights. All right for some...) And on cleaning up the garden prior to mowing - hopefully the last of the year - Ken tells me he seems pretty much back to normal too. Although he's still not drinking. He's getting plenty of water in his food though, which seems to be doing the trick. Anti-bios are amazing things.
Happy to see Day Watch is now out! We'll wait til it's out on DVD then buy it (managed to pick up Night Watch a while back: will have to re-watch that first), but I've been looking forward to seeing it.
H:PC coming along apace. There'll be more over on the Haadriblog in a little while, along with a (small) mock up of the cover, for those of you who've been itching to see Marie's gorgeous illustration of Kazestrel.
And the bad news...
...
Nope, can't think of anything specific...
... BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!
"Why does pea DNA have similitaries to ours? So we can eat them, otherwise we’d all have to be cannibals."
Teno, courtesy of FSTDT
Right - back to the loom!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Quyn is a little brighter today, and more interested in food. We're managing to get a fair bit of water into him, and he doesn't want out quite so often. I'm still staying up to keep an eye on him, though I'm hoping tonight might be the last night it's needed. Although that being said, I normally stay up all Friday night anyway...
It's all looking good though. Keeping fingers crossed!
ICQ earlier, while I was looking through the revisions (excellent ones) Ken suggested:
Joules: Probably time to put a DVD on. or do I want to watch this.....
FILM: Hercules in New York This has to be seen to be believed. A very young Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first movie role, badly dubbed and stomping around New York as an exiled demigod. Astonishing. (1970, PG, 1 Star)
Lutra: [blink] I've only ever heard how bad that movie is... OK - I think I need to do pooch a scrambled egg and rice for lunch a mo. We've managed to get about a pint of water into him over the last 12 hours, I think, and he's looking a bit brighter. And he's nagging me for his lunch, back in a mo.... heh - Ken gave him lunch half an hour ago... LOL! Cheeky dog. 2 lunches? What is he, a hobbit? [g] Well, it proves his appetite is improving - this is a good thing. ... Oh. Ye. Gods... Arnie in a very short toga.... I never knew Hercules was German... LOLOLOLOL! [shudder] Perhaps I would be better off with a dvd. And we're only three mins into the film, the credits haven't finished yet.... Switch it off now, for the love of god! I think I have to. brb. Oh, we all trotted off to see Stardust today. 'twas fun! ... Stardust..... nope, no bells ringing Stardust. Book was written by Neil Gaiman. Adult fairy tale. Very, very cool. Oh right - that one. Seen one trailer for it. It looked like a hodge podge of things from all the blockbusters from the last ten years. Nah, way better than that Ah - from the IMDB comments:
I've heard almost everyone say that the trailer was awful and that the film was fantastic (which I agree).
[g] the trailer was what made me go 'ooh' : ) It made me go *yawn*... Ah well : ) ... but I've never known Gaiman fail to delight. so perhaps I might give it a go. Oh yes. Gaiman. horror and humour and nothing is quite what it seems [g] Damn right...
Watched the first episode of Jericho this evening while Ken was at a meeting. Terribly formulaic: prodigal, under-appreciated son home to try to persuade stern mayor father to give him the money his grandfather had willed him in trust saves schoolbus full of cute little kids: busload of dangerous criminals escaped on the outskirts of town; loner lonely kid; obnoxious bratty girls; token black guy, who's probably the brightest one in the town... But for all that it wasn't too bad, understated and happily lacking the self-important jingoism that all too often mars American programmes. Going to watch the second ep next week and see how quickly it goes downhill.
This one had me rolling on the floor...
The creation story begins with the first verse of the Bible (Gen.1.1), and it describes the original physical creation in its entirety. This means our whole galaxy, including our planet Earth was created a v-e-r-y long time ago, as a perfect, up and running creation. Supernatural beings, what we call angels were placed on the Earth long before the human creation. Created in another part of the universe, Angels existed before the creation of the Earth (Job 38.7). Angels are immortal, personal spirit-beings with self-will. YAHWEH does not create robots! Every being is created with a superior independent mind, with the power to think, reason, and make decisions. They are capable of developing attitudes, purpose and intentions. Angels are armed for self defense with "flaming swords," or as some might call them, light sabers (Gen.3:24). They travel the universe in "chariots of fire," or as some might call them, UFO's. Their color is beryl. They can run like lighting, or they can bob up and down (2Kgs.2:11; Eze.1:2-28). The Bible actually describes a form of government, not a religion. It is an intergalactic republic, based on the equal rule of law and grace. There were three angels of higher rank assigned to running the Kingdom of YAHWEH in this part of the universe. We know them today as the Archangels Lucifer, Gabriel and Michael. Archangel Lucifer, whose name means light-bringer, was the head of the local government. This was the v-e-r-y ancient time of the Earth which included many strange creatures such as the dinosaurs.
(FSTDT)
This is what you get if you mix Chariots of the Gods, Star Wars and the fundie mindset, I assume.
Right - time to finish the client site stuff that's come in, then get back to looking at the green-highlighted chapters Ken's left for me. He's up to chapter 41 now and still enjoying it. This is good...

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Quickie before I go for a sleep.
Stayed up all night with Quyn, letting him out on demand (once every half hour or so. Although at five this morning I wasn't quite fast enough... Though at least I could then describe the results to the vet, which I think helped with diagnosis. And luckily I'd bought a large bottle of anti-bacterial disinfectant earlier this week). Got to bed as Kai was eating breakfast, got up again at one-ish.
Vet says it sounds as though Quyn might have some sort of colon infection and has given me powerful antibiotics and an appointment for next Monday, though I'm to take him back right away if we're worried or if he starts vomiting. I also have to make sure he gets sufficient liquids, as he hasn't taken a drink in about twenty-four hours: I have syringes to squirt water into the side of his mouth - if he'll let me, he's been touchy about his mouth since he had his cancer op all those years ago - but she also said to put lots of water into his food (rice and chicken soup!), which he doesn't mind at all.
So we'll see how we go. He's had one anti-bio already, and seems a little happier to me, though that could just be wishful thinking. I'm going to have to sit up with him at night until this is sorted, hence my heading bedwards. Just as well I don't have any normal (normal? what's normal?) sleep patterns...
Plenty to do when I come down though - Ken has, finally, been reading Haadri: Prime Contact and picking up on little things I missed, so I have some tweaking to do. He's really enjoying it though, which is very good news, as he's is not really a great fiction reader (much prefers his factual reading). And no, he's not just saying it!
Our hedgehog home arrived this afternoon (we ordered the one from Gardens4Less). Need to get it in place this weekend.

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from stuff on my cat





From Stuff on my Cat.->
This tickled me, it's so wondrously, surreally bizarre...


I have an appointment for Quyn for five pm tomorrow. Keeping fingers crossed.
Tch'. Already said that didn't I? See, knackered....


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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Knackered. Given that Quyn keeps wanting to go out every half an hour or so, I stayed up 'til gone four (to avoid any more accidents). When I did finally get to bed, not only could Quyn not settle - the lack of Metacam is making him uncomfortable - but Raptor, scratching furiously after the Frontline application, decided it was my fault she was itching and insisted on lying on my pillow...
Was still awake at ten past five when Kai's alarm went off. It's supposed to be set for quarter past six but apparently he can't get it to set to the right time, and it sounds like a rusty gate being shoved open. First time I've heard it: usually I'm sound asleep by then. Ken says he's suggested getting something more appropriate but Kai likes that one. Shall have words with him myself.
I must have dropped off soon afterwards as I don't remember our alarm, but then I woke at half past ten with the forms for the haadrifont numbers in my head, so instead of trying to get back to sleep just got up.
Font is done - well, this version anyway! - and I'll be working on the front cover tonight. The less good news is that Quyn seems worse. I've made another appointment for him for tomorrow at five. Fingers crossed.
On a cute note - Kai is doing origami again this term (he really enjoys it) and has been leaving tiny but exquisitely made origami birds around the place. Will try to get a photo later...

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Took Argent to the vet this morning, also for Frontline, but while giving him a check up the vet found he has a slight heart murmur. Nothing to worry about at present, he said, but to keep an eye on him. They'd also like a urine sample to check his kidney function. [eyebrow] Yeah, right, getting a urine sample from a cat... If the heart murmur gets any worse, there is medication they can prescribe, but it can have miserable side effects, not to mention the stress of actually getting the meds into the cat in the first place (anyone who's ever tried to give a cat a pill will know what I mean). Given Argent's age, 'benign neglect' might be kinder, he thinks. We'll see.
So none of my wee beasts are at their best at the moment. Aging, who'd have it, ne?
But Quyn's nose is cold and damp today, and he's eagerly awaiting his boiled rice and chicken dinner...

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Spent most of the day playing with Font Creator (more over at the Haadriblog). Quyn is still poorly, though a day of human food has given him a colder nose again. But he's not right. I'll see how he is during the week and maybe take him back to the vet - but whether they can do anything for him or not I don't know. That lump in his neck is getting bigger, and his breathing when asleep sounds a little laboured even when he's not snoring.

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