Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: 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.
Friday, November 30, 2007
[Cross-posted to the Haadriblog]
Right! We finally have the costings for Haadri Prime Contact. The actual pre-order page should be up and available tomorrow - we're still working on it - but I can say now that the RRP will be £12.95.
HOWEVER, if you order before the Winter Solstice (December 22nd 2007) you will be able to buy it at the Special Offer price of only £9.95 (plus p&p). After the solstice the price will go up to £10.95 until February 1st, then to £11.95 until the publication date of 29th of February. All books ordered from the site can be signed (an additional inscription will be offered for a small handling fee - that means I don't get any of it!).
This book will not be available from Amazon.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
"Nobody move! ... dropped me brain..."
Another 'get to bed just as Ken's alarm is going off at 6.10: get up again at 10.45' morning. Fortunately Quyn seems to be a little better today, after the first lot of split doses - at any rate, he's asleep in his basket right now, which is a first for this time of night for I forget how long. But I didn't manage a nap: went up for one, but the inspiration for the solving of a hiccough in Heart ch. 11 hit me as I lay down, and after twisting restlessly for ten minutes I gave up, came back down and typed it up. Reads much better now.
But then it was really a bit late to nap, and K&K wanted to watch PotC 3, so I curled up on settee and watched it too, and it made sod all sense the second time round as well, but it's still a rollicking piece of (very loud) brain candy with the longest fight scene ever in any film ever, and it was most enjoyable. Got headache now...
Labels: Pirates 3
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Quyn's still not settling, but I took him over to the vet on a 'sit and wait' sort-of-appointment. Was lucky though, was seen after only half an hour wait. Vet suggested, since pooch seems to be able to settle for several hours after having his metacam and then starts panting and pacing in the afternoon and overnight, that splitting the dose - half with his breakfast and half in the evening - might help. So we're trying that for the moment. If it doesn't work, I'll have to take him back - but there's not a whole lot else we can try...
Vet confirmed that the lump in his neck is now larger. It might be possible for him to have steroids to shrink it, but that may make his arthritis worse. And I don't want him distressed any further, he's uncomfortable enough as it is.
Will see how we go.
Our HP: OotP DVD arrived from amazon today (ordered with PotC 3 for Yuletide watching, though I doubt we'll be able to wait that long...)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Well, I spent most of the day sleeping, and feel a little better for it. Perhaps I just needed twenty-four hours to get used to the penicillin.
The pain's bearable today too.
Thanks for all the sympathy, folks. I'll stop whinging now.
The Ghost Rider replacement arrived from LoveFilm: we watched it tonight, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great sfx-ful brain candy - and I'd still love an mp3 of Spiderbait's cover of Ghost Riders in the Sky...
Monday, November 26, 2007
Dentist thinks there's something nasty going on under the crown. She took an X-ray and has given me seven days worth of Amoxicillin (500 mg), one three times a day: I have another appointment to see her on the 6th December, when she'll discuss the results of the X-ray and the best way forward - root canal, attempt to reconstruct the tooth, or just extract it. I am not at all enthusiastic about the last option, though right now I'm in so much pain I just want to take pliers to the thing and rip it out. And that's with two paracetemol four hours ago and two 'prufens an hour and a half back. I'm worried it's not just the pre-molar causing problems, either: the right upper canine is giving me real grief at the moment too.
They weren't hurting this badly before I went to the dentist. Is penicillin supposed to cause this much pain?
Can't see me getting much done - work or sleep - tonight.
Labels: medical matters
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Odd sort of a day. Fair bit of tidying up: K&K went out to Stockwood (this walking while Kai rides - his old bike - is getting Ken quite fit!); I've started trying to get organised for Yule... This evening we watched Sunshine on FilmFlex (films rentable for 24 hours via our TV service provider) and were pleasantly surprised: it's an interesting idea quite well depicted, as such films go. Kai liked it. I found it a little depressing, but then, I'm finding everything depressing at the moment, so that wasn't unexpected. The sfx are good, and I can just imagine how it would look on a big screen...
On the less good side: Dad had a check-up with the consultant and the macular degeneration is back, though not as badly as the first time: he needs another injection. It's booked in for early January. And it won't be free. (Mum was a little hurried and didn't give me the details about that. Will try to find out when we speak next).
I've had persistent toothache this last week and have an appointment with the dentist tomorrow morning.
We are concerned about Quyn. He's had trouble settling over the last few days, which may just be due to the change of weather - but the lump in his neck is bigger, and there seem to be two new ones on the other side. They aren't causing him any problems yet, as far as I can tell, but I'm keeping an eye on him and will get him round the vet if need be. Though there's nothing they can do, really: we've already confirmed that the position of the lumps precludes surgical removal, there are just too many major nerves and blood vessels there to make it really feasible. And he's an old dog now.
We'll see what happens.
Labels: medical matters
Saturday, November 24, 2007
As you know, I'm all for anything that saves resources and helps fight back against the damage we do this earth, so Dave next door having cavity wall insulation fitted is a great thing as far as I'm concerned.
But did it have to be at 8.30 this morning? I didn't get to bed until gone 6.
[sigh] So today hasn't been exactly composted...
Friday, November 23, 2007
It's a tad chilly tonight, supposed to get down to freezing or possibly lower. Interestingly, my weather pixie is only in trews and a jacket, despite reading 1°: normally she'd be in a calf-length coat by now as well...
[growl] The Ghost Rider DVD arrived from LoveFilm - but it's damaged, skips and stutters, with intermittent pixellation, until the thirty minute mark - then it jammed the DVD player completely and I had to switch off/on at the wall to get it to eject. Reported it and LoveFilm will send a replacement, but we were looking forward to watching it tonight: Kai loves the film and Ken hasn't seen it yet. [sigh] Ah well.
Back to Haadri...
Thursday, November 22, 2007
[bemused] Remember I said Kai had a good ear for music? He's teaching himself, by ear, to play Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor on his keyboard...
I found the whole thing on YouTube so he could hear it all the way through. He's now working out the chords.
We had the Romanescu cauliflower, and chard, with nuked chicken for dinner tonight. It tastes rather like broccoli, which is good, as Kai likes broccoli. The chard was interesting, quite mild but pleasant, and a lot nicer than spinach. Think I'll see if I can grow some next year - it's packed with iron and C vit and a lot cheaper than steak!
Back to the loom...
Later edit - randomly found blog post nasty thanksgiving food... Do people actually eat this sort of thing?
Second edit - the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is, I remembered, the first track in Fantasia, which we still have on video. Guess who got lumbered with scrabbling around sorting out the cabling behind the TV/DVD/VCR to try and get the scart splitter set up while Ken went shopping? I've got it working though, and Kai is watching entranced. He has seen the film before, as a baby (I mean really as a baby, he could barely crawl), but how much he remembers we don't really know. The film is slightly soured for me, as the day we bought it is the day we arrived back to find that Roeg had been hit and killed by a car. It's still a beautiful film, though.
Now if I could only find the VCR remote we'd be all set...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Gary, Ken can't find your email address either - at least, not easily. Please could you send it to us?
Our alien fractal veg...
Gary in Oregon has requested my Cauliflower Cheese recipe - so here y'go!
Ingredients Cauliflower (white)
for the sauce: (you can use any or all of these in the sauce (or experiment with your own favourites) - using all of them makes it a meal in itself. I usually chop things fairly small, but not tiny) Onion, chopped Bell pepper, chopped or diced (a little each of each colour makes it a colourful meal) Mushrooms, halved and sliced (chestnut are tastiest. Don't go for anything delicate-tasting as this isn't a very delicate meal!) Ham, slices torn into strips or chunkier pieces diced. Smoked ham is nice in it. Wholegrain mustard, at least one teaspoonful Cheese, grated. I use mature cheddar, but it depends on how strongly cheesy you like the sauce Butter. Um... I do it by eye not weight, and it depends on how many you're cooking for and the amount of ingredients - and mushrooms always soak up a lot of butter. Try a big dollop to start with. You can always add more while cooking! Plain flour. I use wholemeal or spelt: it's better for you and tastes better too! Milk, whole or semi-skimmed: have it to hand.
Method Cut the cauli into florets, taking off most of the stem if you can (cooks more evenly that way). I usually start the cauli cooking in boiling water while I make the sauce. Sauté the onions, peppers and mushrooms in butter. When cooked to your preference (we like them quite soft), add flour. Start with a small dessertspoonful (flat, not heaped) and keep stirring, so it cooks without lumping or burning. Add more butter if needed. The more flour you add, the thicker the sauce and the more milk you need to add to thin it, so go easy or you'll end up with too much sauce for the cauli. After about a minute start adding milk, until the sauce is the consistency you want. It will thicken gradually, so don't add too much milk to start with. If you find you've added too much, you can always bung some flour in a cup, mix it thoroughly with a drop of milk and stir it into the sauce, which will thicken it a little. Stir in the mustard and the cheese. Again, the cheese may thicken the sauce a bit: if it goes too thick, stir in more milk. The main thing is to keep stirring, and not have the temperature up too high - it should bubble slowly, not boil furiously. Stick a blunt knife into the cauli (preferably the stem end): when the knife goes in easily the cauli is cooked. Shouldn't take any longer than it took to make the sauce, and may take a little less. Drain, serve, pour the sauce over it, eat.
Hope that helps!
We will be eating the fractal cauli without the sauce so we can taste it properly...
So, after taking what steps we can to protect ourselves (pity we can't change dobs and SS numbers...) all we can now do is keep an eye on the bank accounts (which we do anyway) and hope that the purveyors of credit goods and services act responsibly. (I mean, how difficult is it to look up a potential customer's home phone number from an independent source and contact them to check they really are applying for credit card/mobile phone/whatever. And if there's no reply, reject the transaction. No one with any common sense is going to complain if it causes minor inconvenience, if it ultimately safeguards their security. But then, I may be crediting the general populace with too much common sense...)
I can state for the record that we do not, and never will, have credit cards. Don't believe in 'em. And yes, I know all the arguments for using credit cards for buying and insuring large items, but personally we prefer our way. It's safer for us in the long run.
Anyway... What else happened yesterday? Well, we Freecycled the futon to a couple moving into an unfurnished flat. I was sad to see it go, and so was Kai, but after trying to live with it out here for a couple of weeks I was beginning to feel claustrophobic. It's gone to a good home - and our three-seater settee is quite big enough to stretch out and sleep on if I ever need to.
We also need the space to set up the dinner table at Yule...
I made my second batch of medlar jelly - still not a whole lot, but delicious, and enough to do us for the next few months. I'm thinking I'll try to find some pretty little jars and make some as Yule give-aways for family (and friends, if anyone would like to try it) next year. I got about two and a half pounds from the tree this year (more than double the year before's harvest) and have hopes that next year there'll be even more. And it is the most gorgeous ruby colour when you hold it up to the light - but Ken's gone into town and taken the camera with him, and it's getting dark now. I'll take a photo tomorrow.
We cleared and organised another of Kai's shelves. One more to go!
It was time to refill the Ecover laundry/washing-up liquid bottles at Fresh 'n' Wild, so a FirstDay bus trip into town featured largely today. Took longer than anticipated: traffic was awful, and the open market was in Corn St, so I got off the bus early and strolled through. Organic Brussel's sprouts, oh yes! They had organic chard too, which I've never tasted but which was such a crisply delicious-looking rich green and pure white I just had to have it. And then there's the organic fractal alien veg - a.k.a. the Romanescu cauliflower - that tempted me as well. Ken and I are very fond of cauliflower as a veg, but Kai isn't, so I'm hoping that something that looks this strange and interesting (and alien) might appeal on visual grounds alone... If we like it, it might be fun to try to grow a few next year.
The snowdrops bulbs I planted a few days ago have started sprouting already (in the plant pots, anyway - haven't noticed any coming up in the manhole cover planter yet). I have lots of baby dragon(fruit) seedlings too, need to repot them individually tomorrow...
Haadri news will be over on the Haadriblog shortly. Well, after I've got dinner on the go, anyway.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Kai has his bike - a red and black RbK m-byte, with front suspension and 21 gears. He rode it home and hugged it goodnight... [grin]
He is over the moon, and can't wait til Yule (because he can't have it until then!)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Helped Kai make a start on tidying his shelves - which was actually more fun than it sounds, since the best way to get Kai to do anything is to make it silly and funny. So I turned everything he lifted into a joke, which had him laughing with me, which made the job just race along, and before we knew it we had a bin-bag full of junk for ditching and a smaller one of stuff to go to charity (games and books mostly). And five shelves are now done, cleared, dusted and re-organised. We still have the two worst to tackle, and then his workstation, mini bookcase and the top of his chest of drawers, and he'd have been happy to carry on today except the pork joint was done and we had to stop for dinner, but I've said we'll try to do half an hour or so each night this week until the job is complete.
Except perhaps tomorrow night, because - as long as JJB Sports still have their half-price sale on, I'll ring them tomorrow morning to check, please keep fingers crossed - I'll be taking him over to Avonmeads to buy his new bike. The grandparents, bless 'em, have come through with almost all the Yule present cash to pay for it, and we can just manage the rest, so, if all goes smoothly, sprog will be having the one thing he really wants on Dec 25th.
He's ecstatic. I, of course, will now worry myself half to death every time he's out on it, afraid he'll have an accident or it'll be stolen... Eh well. I'm his mum, it's my job.
But it was quite amusing earlier. Kai looked up as I came into the lounge and started with, "Mum..." "Yes," I replied, "you can ring me from school tomorrow to check that it's still in the sale." The look on his face was priceless. And my reputation as a telepath remains intact. [g]
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I had a lie in, and most welcome it was too!
Ken headed into town for a Freemason's Hall open day this morning, and took the opportunity to take some photos of local architecture for an article he's writing. Kai and I pottered: he rode his bike up and down the garden for a spell (we're getting frequent cries of 'I want a bike!'): I've planted some snowdrop bulbs (not in the lawn this time) to see if I have any success. They're one of my favourite flowers.
K&K are currently in the middle of a game of Monopoly while I get settled into chapter 5. I think Kai's winning...
We are extremely taken by this advert...
Friday, November 16, 2007
Catch up time...
Had a strange but interesting dream last night (night before? something like that...) I was in someone else's body (a young Latino male, I think, or something similar) at a beach somewhere I didn't recognise: very pale yellow sand, very broad, the horizon very low and flat, hot sun, no breeze, cloudless bleached out sky. The tide was coming in, slowly, and the spit of sand I stood on was growing smaller. In front of me was a shallow river, cutting across the beach, and to be safe I needed to get over to the sand on the other side. A friend/peer waved to me from the other side, encouraging me to wade through the river - which was only mid-thigh deep in the middle - and came out to meet me, pointing upstream and telling me to go and take a look at the whirlpool but be careful not to get to close. Looking in that direction I saw a little vortex forming, quickly growing larger - but it looked odd. I went closer - to find that it had opened up a 'hole' in the centre, and looking down through it there was another beach with another stream, about twenty feet or so below the level of the river-bed I stood on. The water from the upper stream seemed to flow down and under the 'hole' in the riverbed and (I assume) along the 'ceiling' of the lower level. If that makes sense...
The image probably came from my recently mentally exploring sculpting with water (a Mazc/Triptith tech I'm developing for Haadri) - but it was very pretty, and really quite surreal. And nice, for once: my dreams just recently have been more like nightmares (Kai being kidnapped, Ken drowning... [shudder] Probably part of the reason I'm sleeping so badly at the moment...)
ANYway - it was fun! Not sure if I could draw it: it's more the sort of thing that would need to be animated to get the full effect across, and I don't have the time or expertise. Maybe in the future...
Kai had a day off school today, something to do with the school's becoming an academy. I keep meaning to ask him for more details but something always interrupts. He rather enjoyed the mini-hol: had arranged to meet Frodo and cycle down to Nightingale Valley. I walked him round to Frodo's house, then headed off to pick up some more shopping (found freezable guinea fowl at half price - £2.99 - in Sainsbug, so picked one up for one of the Yuletide dinners. We're doing rather well for unusual/unfamiliar meals this year!) I'd invited Frodo back for lunch, didn't expect to see the sprogs until gone twelve, so it was a bit of a surprise when Kai answered the door when I arrived back. Apparently Frodo had had a sudden weird freezing of the toes and was unable to walk or cycle properly, so they'd come back here. Was OK though: they watched Hellboy, had Kai's mum's famous tortillas and a big pain au chocolat each for lunch, then, all recovered, headed back to the Valley. Seems they had a terrific time - except that Frodo let Kai ride his bike (which is a decent size and has gears) and now Kai really really really really wants one like it (in fact he was offering to buy Frodo's...) I'm going to have to ask the grandparents what they plan for his Yule money this year and see if there's any way we can manage it for him. His old one really is too small for him.
Tonight we're half-watching Children in Need. I've drooled over John Barrowman singing one of my favourite Elton John songs (Your Song) from his latest album Another Side (gorgeous voice, and I like a lot of these songs: will add the CD to the list of 'wants some time'): we've all chuckled over the mini Dr Who special Time Crash: and Kai has sung along to the Eastenders do the Beatles (all in glorious psychedelic colour, and I described one of my favourite outfits when I was a youngster back when dinosaurs ruled the earth: a brilliant peacock blue silky shiny shirt with a rich purple corduroy full skirt and matching waistcoat (see, I didn't always wear black!) with a pair of black velvet shoes very similar to these but with just one strap over the instep. (Gods I loved those shoes. Wore them until they fell to pieces...) Although that was actually at the very end of the brightly coloured decades. I missed the Swinging Sixties. Probably a good thing... Where was I? Oh yes.)
Heh, runaway sentence syndrome [grin].
In a little while I'll be getting back to Heart (and on that subject, there'll be a small update on the Haadriblog shortly.)
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Um... yes. The Cowboy Bebop boxed DVD set with the anime and the special edition film is now on its way to us. For me for my birthday next year.
I must stop looking at ebay. I must stop looking at ebay. I must stop looking at ebay...
It were a bit nippy this mornin', it were...
We've been pondering what to have for Yule dinner. I fancied something a bit different - venison perhaps - but that's a bit pricey. So Ken suggested a leg of lamb, which isn't that 'special' special but which we all like. Asked our butcher for prices (around £15 [wince]) so I said I'd think about it. But then in Sainsbug's I found three individual partridges on special, freezable, and £3.24 each instead of £4.99. So I grabbed them!
Sainsbug's also do a Taste the Difference pear and honey crumble, which I shall pick up next time I'm in there. [grin] Not sure I can do the French hens, turtle doves or gold rings, but at least we'll have the others!
Back to the loom...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Gah, tired. Four hours of sleep'll do that to you...
But I now have a handle on the inside of the greenhouse door (makes it easier to get out!) And the patio area's a little tidier too.
Last night I watched the subbed Cowboy Bebop film (on rental from LoveFilm - had it two weeks and only just made time to watch). Absolutely adored it. Probably the best animation I've ever seen - yes, beats even Trigun and Akira - simply gobsmackingly good. The sheer amount of work that's obviously gone into it, the extraordinarily accurate detail... wow. WOW.
So tonight we all watched it - in the dub, which I have to confess is much better than most: the studio made a real effort to use voice actors who really sound close to their seiyu. The American accents grated, of course (and it's VAHZ, not bloody VAZE!!) but not as badly as usual. The soundtrack is terrific. The story - well, it's not exactly original as plots go, but then, what is these days? It had enough original elements to maintain interest, some thoroughly chuckle-worthy moments, and wonderful characterisations. What was nice was that even someone not familiar with (or in love with, like me) the series will still be able to enjoy it without knowing anything about the characters (though it adds to the enjoyment if you do).
But the graphics - oh, the graphics... every frame unique, and absolutely the best animated fight scenes I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot...
The series has been on the 'must buy' list for a while: now we've seen the film I'll move it to the top of the list. The DVD boxed set I've seen advertised (on an ebay shop) has the complete series and the film - that'll be the one to go for, I think. It'll have to wait until well into the New Year though. (Something to look forward to!)
Off at a tangent... I've been using Mailwasher for about a year now: my latest report (I get one a week) shows that in that about a year I've received 127,042 emails, of which 122,149 were spam. Ah, the joys of running websites for other people! I don't think I can praise Mailwasher highly enough, I couldn't exist online without them.
Back to it. I'm now working on Heart chapter 3 (having revised 1 and 2 earlier). But will post more detail on the Haadriblog tomorrow - too tired now, and only awake because I have to cancel a client website at midnight...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
So, staging's up and in the greenhouse (only along one side - I want room to move, and the gh is positioned so that one side and both ends get most of the sun), as is the tall staging cannibalised from GoodTwin's mini-gh. It gives me plenty of growing space, and I can always assemble the other half (or half of it) if I need more.
I spent a few minutes inside, moving seedtrays and pots from the table and tidying them away. It's lovely - warm and quiet and peaceful. I can see me sitting out there out of the rain or wind on spring and autumn days, drawing or making notes... the writer's version of the 'blokes garden shed'!
Had my first go at making medlar jelly. It seems successful (I'm waiting for it to cool) although I didn't get much juice from one and a half pounds of medlars. Then again, they weren't fully bletted. The ones currently sitting in the cardboard box in the bedroom will be in about a week: I'll have another go then. What I have made, though, is rather nice, with a rich, sweet, fruity flavour not really similar to anything else I've ever tasted - and much nicer than the smell while it was cooking (which reminded me of nothing so much as overly-stewed tea). It'll go very well with cooked meats.
If you get the chance, I'd recommend catching an episode or three of Shaun the Sheep. We put it on originally because Kai likes it - then got hooked. It's deliciously funny, has us in stitches...
[evil grin] Next week's spooks is just... wow...
Monday, November 12, 2007
Shopping... Found the jelly bag and other jam-making bits at St Nick's Market: will attack the medlars tomorrow. Also found the DVDs Johnny English (which Kai likes and I find fairly amusing) and Earth Girls Are Easy - a truly dreadful film that I, nevertheless, really like (mainly for a young(ish) and distinctly... distinctive Jeff Goldblum, who more than makes up for the nauseating Jim Carrey) going very cheap, so picked those up too. But it was too cold to get anything gh-related done. Supposed to be warmer tomorrow, will try then.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Lutra wanted to know how big the monster mushroom is, so here's a pic with Kai holding a twelve inch ruler against it. It measures about eight and half inches across, which is quite large for a shrump, I think...
I now have a greenhouse! We fineagled the louvre window on this afternoon (drilling a couple of holes and bolting the bit to the frame worked just fine) and even the sliding door went on without too much trouble. So, staging tomorrow, then I can start getting organised for next spring.
K&K went down to the tree-planting at Victory Park this afternoon - had a fun time. (Kai biked it there and back: he's now very tired.)
I'm planning an early night...
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Got less done than planned, but Kai now has a helmet, riding gloves and a long chain for his bike. And he went down to Nightingale Valley on it with his dad - loved it!
I'm looking at Heart...
Friday, November 09, 2007
Finally got to bed at quarter to eight this morning - which kind of put a damper on the day. On the bright side, Quyn seems all right again now, wolfing down his food, all bright eyed and waggy tailed, and the 'orrible stench has gone. So I suppose it was worth it.
We were late starting to tackle the gh, however, and found that the bit that doesn't fit (in the louvre construction) isn't as easy to sort out as we first thought. Either it or the frame has warped very slightly, we think, which means that instead of clicking into the place, the piece drops out. Ken's thinking he'll drill a couple of holes and bolt it to the frame instead of risking trying to widen it - fiddly, but should work. Too long a job to start today: hoping to give it a go tomorrow.
The N sprog can't make it tomorrow, so I've delayed the trip to Avon Meads until tomorrow morning. We'll price up bikes while we're there.
More over on the Haadri blog shortly.
So I was looking up missiles on Wikipedia (yes, I did have a good reason) and idly paged on to the list of current missiles. They have names like Viper and Falcon and Sidewinder and Dragon and Mauler and Hellfire - except for the only non-US missile in the US army's arsenal.
Labels: nowt really
Thursday, November 08, 2007
We managed to get the rest of the roof assembled (in between the showers) and oh what fun we had... The skylight didn't have a piece missing: it had been wrongly assembled the first time. Ken took it to pieces and put the glass on the inside, where it's supposed to go, and I've worked out how to fit the louvre window together (though one of the supports won't click into place. Going to have to fineagle that bit). But the main hassle were the last four roof panes of glass, that would not fit in the Z clips - they were too big. How, I don't know, as all the roof panes were the same size (except for the small one that fits in the roof below the skylight) and the other side of the roof went on perfectly fine. We eventually solved the problem by using two Z-clips slotted together and squashed flat with pliers: with extra glass clips it works OK, and is on the sheltered side of the gh near the fence, so shouldn't cause any difficulties. Fingers crossed anyway.
BUT we now have most of the work done, only have the louvre and the two panes of glass to fit into the far end, and the door to hang at the near end, and it's complete. With a little luck we can get it finished tomorrow, and assemble the staging on Saturday.
Kai wants to go out cycling with the N sprog on Saturday, so I need to whip him over to Avon Meads tomorrow after school to find him a new helmet. While we're there we'll nip into The Range and see if I can get the bits I need for the medlar jelly - a handful of jars, waxed paper for the circles, and I suppose a net would come in handy too. While looking for recipes I found The Cat's Tripe blog, a fun place to visit. And I've found a rather nice sounding recipe for medlar liqueur, using vodka for the base... [grin]
Quyn is eating now, but the stomach problem remains (and the smell is toxic again)...
Yup. Still here, sitting up with Quyn, who has now thrown up three times tonight...
Other than that, though, he seems OK - cold damp nose, reasonably lively, been sleeping comfortably... See how we go.
And at a complete tangent, I have cute little green sprouty things coming up in the pots where I planted the dragonfruit seeds...
Very tired. Need sheeep. Old age, pah! 'ood 'ave it, eh?
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
The flowers are fading quickly now, but the phalaenopsis spike has been gorgeous all summer. The rest of the orchids are looking pretty good too - lots of healthy new leaves and smooth, shiny pseudobulbs - but no more flower spikes. Yet. Maybe next year.
Now the phal has finished flowering, I should really trim back the roots and repot in fresh medium. Perhaps at the weekend: I don't feel brave enough right now...
The greenhouse now has both sides and the non-moving panes of the ends glazed, and half the roof (we lost the light so couldn't finish, unfortunately, but it shouldn't take too long to at least complete overhead tomorrow). It took both of us, and I have to admit I didn't enjoy it - was terrified the whole time that the glass would shatter. But (touching wood and crossing fingers) so far we've had no accidents - not even cuts on fingers. And it's great - all shiny and sparkly in the lights from the house. Looking forward to be able to use it. We have a bin full of compost that badly needs emptying (the other one is full, now) so once the staging is assembled I shall sort out pots, fill them, and leave them ready for planting in the spring.
Ken's also going to dig me another small veg bed. Planning to grow some beetroot next year: Ken and I both like it (Kai of course doesn't, but then, he's never tasted it fresh...) and apparently it boosts the immune system, as well as being high in C vit. The tops are rich in iron and calcium too, and a tastier alternative to spinach (which I really don't like). We've grown beetroot very successfully before (once had a bed with red, white and golden plants growing in rows, very colourful!) so with luck I can do it again.
On a less good note, Quyn is poorly again today, off his food and his stomach is not happy. It may be just a short-lived bug - I hope - but after last time I shall keep a close eye on him and whip him round to the vet quickly if it doesn't improve.
Right - back to Haadri...
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I has (half) a greenhouse!
The frame is up and stable, and we're hoping to start (and finish! but I may be being too optimistic) the glazing tomorrow. There seems to be a bit of the metal missing - the glass of the skylight isn't held in by anything at the bottom - so we need to sort that out (several bolts through the frame to hold the glass in place should do it, with a little glazing strip inside to protect it). And I've yet to work out how the louvre window fixes onto the frame. But we've not done badly so far: I think we'll manage.
We need to pick up more bolts, but as they're for the staging we can probably make do with non-greenhouse ones from Focus (I'd love to go back out to Almondsbury Garden Centre but at £6.20 per bus ticket I need to plan it so I can pick up several things at once).
I'm already planning what I'm going to try to grow next year...
Monday, November 05, 2007
Forget Congresbury - Almondsbury is my new favourite garden centre!
It's a gorgeous place: a family business, a little larger than Wyevale, about half the size (or a bit less) of Cadbury, but oh, the stuff they had there! Picked up the glazing strip for the greenhouse (not exactly the same as it came with but we think it'll do the job. They thought they might be able to track down the correct strip but it would "take forever" to come, and I can't wait that long to get the gh assembled), a pack each of glass clips and Z clips, and a packet of bolts, so we're all set.
And because I can't visit a garden centre without rescuing at least one plant, I came home with a hairy agave and a small sage from the 'reduced' section!
But what a wonderful place. It's half way down the valley between Almondsbury and Lower Almondsbury, and facing the site of a Roman fort (or so the assistant told me) which can't be built on, so they'll keep their lovely view. And the array they had was amazing - several dozen different apple trees (I hadn't heard of most of the varieties!) about a dozen different pear cultivars, and a good handful of plums as well. I asked about a hazel tree, and they didn't have one in stock, but said they could get one for us if we'd like to order! (Their customer service is excellent too...)
Their aquatic section had a lovely selection of outdoor fish, including these, which look very odd, and some little ghost koi (such pretty fish).
I could have spent a lot longer there, but time was getting on and it's about a 45 minute bus journey: had to get back for dinner.
I'm definitely going again, though.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
The stuff we need for the gh is called gasket or glazing strip - and it's not easy to find in Bristol. In fact, the only place we've been able to find it is Almondsbury Garden Centre, which is just outside the city - which means a FirstDay bus ticket won't get me there, it'll have to be a FirstDay South West. Ah well. Will head out there tomorrow morning: the forecast is for good weather until Thursday, so hopefully we can get the glass in before then. Hopefully...
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Note to self: Trying to take a nap on bonfire night is an exercise in futility...
Had another go at the greenhouse, but found we need about 8 metres of the black rubber beading before we can go any further. So it's off to Focus/Proper Job/Wyevale tomorrow to see if we can get some. Fingers crossed...
I still haven't found out what that Pot Noodle miner is singing in the Pot Noodle X Factor ad and it's still driving me nuts. It reminds me of Rush, but surely that's a bit obscure?
[blink] I was up at 8.30 after getting to bed at 4. What the hell happened to today?
... Interruptions, mostly, I think. Ken was working on the Heartsown pages - there's a FAQ there now, and a 'shop' with the Haadri font and my first wallpaper, a simple, but I think attractive and restful, .jpg of Vela (four different screen resolutions so there should be one that's right for everyone. Except maybe Thorne, who uses a room-sized screen... [g] The link is at the bottom right of the main page if anyone feels like taking a look). But he's not as au fair with CSS coding as I am and kept asking questions. Which isn't a problem, except I was trying to concentrate on the final, important proof-reading of the manuscript. (More on the Haadriblog shortly.)
Our author's copy of the Psychic Box arrived. It's dead cute!
Weren't able to get any more of the greenhouse done - I've managed to bugger the tendons in my left hand hoiking the base around yesterday so Ken could do the levelling, and now daren't lift anything for fear of making it worse. (Long term readers probably remember the teno is worse in my left hand than my right.) The base isn't all that heavy, and I think between them, with me perhaps sliding a low table in under for support, Ken and Kai will be able to finish the job tomorrow. I should be OK to hold the frame together while they bolt and fineagle: I just have to be careful.
Right. Haadriblog, then back to the ms...
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Kai seemed quite excited when I said I was going to try making medlar jelly. Of course, I think he thought I meant the sort of jelly that you make in moulds for kid's parties...
That was a successful day.
Morning news over on the Haadriblog (shortly). This afternoon Ken and I took a proper look at the greenhouse bits and made a start on the assembly. Sort of. Well, we've chosen the site, bolted the base together and fineagled it into position: need to bed it in properly tomorrow and make a start on the frame. We're going to be short of bolts, but should be able to pick up the sort we need, either from Focus or from Proper Job in the Bath Rd. We've found that it's bigger than the Freecyclers said though - more like 6'x8' - which is great! More growing space!
I'm not looking forwards to assembling the roof, however...
I've planted the dragonfruit seeds to see what happens. Wonder if I can grow the plant to fruiting stage in the greenhouse?
The trick or treaters were really very good this year - we've seen some excellent costumes.
The dragonfruit is lovely - kind of a cross between melon and kiwi, as the link below says. Kai didn't like it, and Ken wasn't too keen, so I won't be buying it too often (not spending £1.99 on a fruit only I like!). But it was delicious with Cornish cream ice-cream.
Going to try planting some of the seeds too, see what happens.
Haven't really managed to get anything but shopping done today, dammit. But we're all stocked up again, and I managed to get Kai several of the things he's asked for for Yule, so very pleased about that. The main thing he'd like - a bike with gears (I hadn't realised the one my folks had bought him didn't have them) - is beyond our budget, unfortunately. Though I shall keep looking anyway.