Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid since 2007 and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...
RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.
PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!
TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).
Thursday, January 31, 2008
That phrase, 'having a blonde moment'? It's now known as 'having a Vince moment' in this house...
Kai had a great day today. He and five (I think) others in his tutor group performed a dramatic skit - he did try to explain what it was all about, but I got lost halfway through... Anyway, they've been rehearsing it for a week or so, and today they performed it. Six times, for all the tutor groups! And got extra gold credit for it! Kai says he rather enjoyed it, which is great, as so far he's not enjoyed his drama class at all. [grin] I'll try to get more details from him tomorrow.
Oh, and I reorganised the WW main index slightly. Nothing major.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Aaaaand yet another day of doing bits. The weather is supposed to turn wet tomorrow, followed by a cold snap with snow on the hills: I'd prefer to be indoors for that, so picked up everything we need, shopping-wise, for the rest of the week/beginning of next.
What an interesting life I lead in January.
Kai wants to invite the N sprog over for a Boosh fest at the weekend. I've said yes, as long as his parents agree.
Torchwood... Most enjoyable. Ken thinks Kai would enjoy it - sprog loves anything time travel - and suggested letting him watch it on Teleport tomorrow. Which surprised me slightly, but I'm fine with it.
I hear the call of the loom, but at the moment all I seem to be doing is untangling strands...
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Ye gods it's nearly February...
Bullet news: I rather fear the orchid that was suffering from what looked like rot has died. The cinnamon powder doesn't seem to have worked. The roots are still healthy though, so I'm not getting rid of it just yet.
Kai is one of only three JC sprogs who've seen Mighty Boosh (heh, he's one of the cognoscenti!) They're talking about forming a school fanclub. Kai wants to call it the Modshrews. And he thinks Vince's hair is cool -> and wants his like that. (Pic stolen from BSH.) I told him he'd have to wait til he's at least 15. And grow it out again (he got fed up with the teasing and had me cut it shortish again two weeks ago). Spot the parental delaying tactics! And they've been singing the songs around the school - Bouncy bouncy seems to be a favourite, closely followed by Tundra Rap (Oh my God! Ice floe - Nowhere to go - Ice floe - Nowhere to go - Lost in the blinding whiteness of the tundra...) and The Soup Song.
[shrugs] Well, it's cute and mostly harmless.
Ken and I watched 300 this evening (my latest choice from Lovefilm)...
Um... what's that phrase again? 'Triumph of style over substance'? That'll be the one. OK I suppose. Lots of hunky and obviously unreal male bodies. Slo-mo till it came out the ears. Limbs flying everywhere. Got boring. Won't be watching again.
Ken has hurt his back again, not as badly as last time but it still hurts to move. So that's me a little busier than normal for a couple of days, until it's better. The timing could have been more convenient: two dry days forecast for gardening and we can't take advantage of them. Eh well, there's nothing that can't wait a week or two, I've done most of the indoor prep. And Ken gets a rest, so it's not all bad.
Soup Soup Tasty Soup Soup Spicy carrot and coriander Chilli chowder Crouton Crouton Crunchy friends in a liquid broth I am gazpachi-o! I am a summer soup Mmmm! Miso Miso Fighting in the dojo Miso Miso Oriental Prince in the land of soup.
back, if you need to
Monday, January 28, 2008
Hair. I has it.
I trimmed about four inches off the bottom today, to try to stop it catching in things. It's still plenty long enough to sit on though. (And I hadn't realised the silver strands caught the light quite so well - I rather like that.)
(Photo taken after trimming. Just to be clear.)
One of those days spent trying to get business type things done. Shopping, too. Housework. Tedious but essential.
And some bastard has harvested my JAT addie and is sending out bloody spam, despite my precautions. I've had to set up a filter to stop me getting thousands of bounced mails in Mailwasher. Anyone reading this who might use my JAT address, please don't for the time being, until the nuisance is over.
Back to loom...
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Shamelessly self-indulgent. Started the day with the end of Mighty Boosh season 1, finished it with all of season 2. The Call of the Yeti remains my favourite ep, followed by Fountain of Youth, Tundra and Electro. [grins at Lutra] You can guess why. All wonderfully relaxing.
And Kai now wants a poncho to be happy in...
In between we did get some gardening done. Made a good start on pruning back the wild roses, planted the two new shrubs, did a little more greenhouse preparation, and potted some ginger.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Well, K&K had a wonderful day - after Yate they went to Weston-super-mare (which was, Ken assured me, absolutely freezing in the icy wind whipping up the channel). But Kai came back very happy. And was even happier when (after a brief discussion with Ken) I showed him The Mighty Boosh (boxed, series 1 & 2) which arrived this morning. Yes, I know it was supposed to be a birthday present, but I couldn't wait...
So Kai made dinner ([big grin] spagbol. He did everything himself. Well, except for the grating of the cheese and the serving up. But everything else. Proud of him we are), then while it was cooking we watched Season 1, ep 1 (Killeroo). And after Primeval we carried on and watched the next four eps...
K&K loved them.
After they went to bed I switched to Season 2, and have now caught the first two eps. Which are very funny. Well, The Priest and the Beast perhaps less so, but Call of the Yeti had me chortling. More Howard legs (and the rest of him). Vince with bunches! Horrors!!
Haven't managed to do anything today. But it was at least restful.
Friday, January 25, 2008
So - The Mighty Boosh... Last night's episodes were The Legend of Old Gregg and The Nightmare of Milky Joe...
The first one was hysterical - not the character of Old Gregg, particularly, (explaining a hermaphrodite, seaweed-haired merman in a pink tutu and an obsession with Howard Moon to Kai is going to be interesting) but the surroundings. Especially the musicians and fishermen at the King Prawn's Head... The second ep was bizarre - but it did have the attraction of Howard Moon's legs...
(I like Howard. I prefer him to Vince. Julian Barratt reminds me slightly of a younger Timothy Dalton, and has a lovely voice. And he looked gorgeous as a Goth with spiked hair and black eyeliner in Nanageddon. But it was the legs that hooked me... I can't remember which episode it was - also Nanageddon perhaps? - but the pair of them (Howard and Vince I mean, not the legs) arrived back from a(nother unsuccessful) gig, Vince in his usual gear, and Howard in a matching psychedelic multi-blue/purple shortsleeved shirt and the shortest pair of shorts I think I've ever seen on a man. And under the shorts - the most amazingly sexy pair of legs, long, lean, perfectly-muscled... Oh yumm...
Where was I? Oh yes...)
Any ep with Howard Moon's legs is just fine by me. Like Fountain of Youth, where we get to see a lot more than his legs. Personally I thought the slave collar and chains were quite fetching...
Really looking forwards to seeing the eps I've missed. And rewatching the ones I've managed to catch.
[sigh] It took me ten minutes to untangle/de-mat the long bit of my hair at the nape of my neck this evening. Ten minutes before I could even brush it out, let alone wash it.
I know, I know, I leave it too long between redoing it. It's too easy to simply wash my hair while it's still in the plait - but then all the shorter bits escape and tangle horribly.
But replaiting it after showering is such a bloody pain. Literally - ever tried plaiting knee-length hair? I can't even reach the end properly any more. Gives me arm and hand cramps, and takes ten minutes by itself (Lutra timed me). And leaves it looking like someone's gone mad with several pairs of crimpers.
So tonight, I tried wrapping it in a silk scarf, from my neck right down the length and securing it top and bottom with those soft, stretchy bands.
It's interesting. Kai tells me it's really cool, and it's certainly quicker and more comfortable than plaiting it, tripling the plait on top of my head and clipping it in place. But it's heavy (the hank of hair that is, not the scarf. The scarf is featherlight). It'll take a while to get used to it. And it'll be very interesting to see what sort of a mess it is after being slept in overnight.
K&K are off to the Yate Model Railway Exhibition tomorrow: getting SouthWest FirstDay tickets so they're planning to make a whole day of it, maybe go to Bath as well. I shall have a lie in (planning a late night tonight, barring domestic disasters) then see about creating the CalCol font...
But for now, back to the Known Worlds suns.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Cambria flower spike today. Hm - not the greatest photo, it was gloriously sunny today and the light streaming in the window bleaches everything out. Still, it shows how it's growing. Looking forward to seeing what it is!
Spent a couple of hours in the garden in the sun this afternoon. The bed at the back of the greenhouse is now dug, the skimmia moved to over Ryme's grave, and the feverfew planted. We've laid slabs up the side of the greenhouse and decided where the waterbutts are going: if the weather's like this tomorrow we'll try to get them organised and in place, with downpipes from the greenhouse gutters.
Still need to extend the veg plot a wee bit - I want to try growing Brussel's sprouts successionally (there's a new Thompson and Morgan variety, Maximus, that's supposed to fruit right from the end of September through to February, which would be perfect for us as we have them at least three times a week when they're in season. One of our favourite vegetables - yes, even Kai!) - that'll be interesting, but excellent if it works! I'm certain Wyevale stocks T&M seeds, but I can always order from the catalogue if need be.
I need to get my Haadri planets and suns listing finished - then I can create the H-R diagram for the site. Well, I can after I've devised another font, anyway: have now registered my version of Font Creator, so I just need time - and inspiration - to settle down and create some. Anyone got some spare haddock?
Shall be continuing with that tonight, before and after The Mighty Boosh (midnight 15 'til 1.10 am), to which I am now addicted (DVDs ordered from Amazon.co.uk for bdays: Kai's desperate to watch them after seeing Charlie, and a friend at school who's seen them keeps singing the songs. They're rated 15, which is a little low for some of the eps, I think, but he's a mature sprog...)
Back to the loom.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Torchwood... [grin] I am very happy Ianto has much more character in this series - I like Ianto...
I has kiwis! I chucked a handful of seeds from the kiwi fruit I was eating into a pot of compost and I now have three sprouts. Apparently it's possible to grow kiwis here in the south, though they do best in a greenhouse. Will give it a go and see what happens.
Must take a photo of the new orchid flower spike tomorrow. It's growing well.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
A little food porn for Lutra...
I love stir fries. So do K&K. But they don't 'alf take a lot of preparation...
We've discussed what Kai would like to happen to the garden: basically enlarging his den, making him completely responsible for caring for it, extending the 'meadow' and clearing a lot of it for a goodly sowing of native flower seed, to turn it into a mini wildflower meadow (which will also mean moving a large clump of meadowsweet from its current position up to the sunward side of the goat willow - a much better place for it). The weather is supposed to be dry [gasp!] for the next few days, so we're hoping to make a start tomorrow. First up will be clearing the grass and creating the bed at the back of the greenhouse, moving the skimmia, and extending the new vegetable bed a little. I think Kai might like to be here when we start working on his bit, so we may leave the meadow until the weekend.
In other news, work continues behind the scenes on getting the Haadri site whipped into shape...
Monday, January 21, 2008
So off I went to bed at one a.m. - early for me.
At four a.m. I was still awake and completely unable to drop off... [sigh] I gave up, came back down, and did a little more to the Haadri characters page on the site. (Cast of thousands - going to take me a while before it's finished.) Went back up as Kai was going off to school at quarter past seven, but even then it was half an hour before I could sleep.
It wasn't until I dragged myself awake at eleven I remembered the valerian tablets in the bedside cabinet drawer. Eh well.
But I picked up some Duchy of Cornwall organic chamomile tea while shopping - not particularly fond of chamomile, but if it helps me sleep... Twinings have brought out a spearmint and eucalyptus classical herbal infusion, so bought a pack for Kai to try (to see if it will help his cold). Rather to my surprise he said it isn't too bad (he's never actually had anything tea-like before, just small cups of coffee, and even they are really only to dunk his biscuits in) and he'd be happy to drink more of it. Well, that he wouldn't mind drinking more of it, at any rate.
This does, however, mean we've run out of space on the little shelf above the worktop. As well as my spice jars, the maple syrup, caster sugar and XyloBrit, there's a jar of Options Turkish Delight drink, one of Belgian Chocolate, packs of teas - organic Nettle, Genmaicha, Sencha, Jasmine and Jacksons of Picadilly's Green - Kai's Chocolate Malt Horlicks and Galaxy chocolate drink, and on the end the normal coffee and tea (organic Fairtrade, now we can find it).
We likes our hot drinks, we does!
I could do with a bit more space...
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Kai has a cold, poor sprog, and has spent the day coughing, snuffling and sneezing. Also watching the Monk fest on the Hallmark channel (Kai likes it: I find it harmless, if hardly gripping. Two eps to learn the methods used and solving the cases is pretty much a doddle...) while I downloaded the latest Norton upgrade (worth mentioning because it always goes wrong and I have to email them. This time they sorted it out in about half an hour - not bad service, they've improved.)
Ken and I watched my latest LoveFilm offering after Kai had gone to bed - Ashura...
Interesting. I hadn't expected that much of it, but I really rather enjoyed it. (Mind you, the hero's gorgeous long silky hair helped a lot - even if it was a wig, which I assume it was...)
Now determined to have an early night - I've been too tired to get anything more constructive done than a review, preparation for a new Haadri page, and a couple of client site updates this weekend, which is shameful.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
These little darlings aren't wee birds: they're actually some sort of tropical fungi (I found the pic on the Dark Roasted Blend site a while back). They're just so cute!
Well, we didn't get up to the Organic Orchard open day - it rained. Again. And the thought of walking around a muddy orchard in the rain wasn't all that appealing. So Kai made more Lego creations and devised some more sketchup layouts for his trains, while I did some tidying up.
We all enjoyed the second ep of Primeval, though we did wonder why the team just goes in by itself without the soldiers as backup. Also, if they knew there were poisonous fumes, surely they could have found some oxygen masks! It was rollicking good fun though.
Ken and I watched Frequency this evening (Kai wanted to but it was on too late). Rather to my surprise it's a fine film, and one I'd like to get - fascinating premise (which I know has been done before, or maybe since, I don't know which film of the ilk came first) and very well executed, even if the end was a little bit of a cop-out in order to provide a feel-good finale. Well worth watching though.
Back to the loom...
Edit: - here's another from DRB, which made me chortle aloud...
Cats and dogs, living together...
Right from when I was a child, and we ended up with an accidental kitten (Jason), I'd always thought of myself as a cat person. Yes, dogs were OK, on a lead or in the park, but nothing to get too excited about.
Cats are graceful, independent creatures. You know a cat loves you (well, feline love-equivalent, anyway) when he or she comes for a cuddle. Just a cuddle, not asking for anything else, not food, or a treat - just a lap and a pair of warm arms to purr in. You can tell the cats that own you love you when they come to meet you at the gate, mewing a welcome and trotting beside you as you carry the shopping to the door. Or come to see you off, standing on the doorstep until you've gone out of the gate.
But it's not easy to get to know a cat. Their minds are quite different to humans. I've been lucky with the ones that own me - not that I would presume to say I know their secrets, oh no. But we do have excellent relationships, and I do know, a little, how they think.
A dog is different.
"Hound No one knows for certain when humans first started taming wolves – it happened before recorded history, and estimates vary from as much as 100,000 years to as recently as 15,000 years in what is now China. It's possible that during cold winters wolves, drawn to human camps by the smell of food and the warmth of fires, gradually became used to being fed by humans – who, being observant and ever pragmatic, would have been well aware of the wolves' proficiency in the hunt, and consider using that ability to help them in their own hunting and to guard their camps. A symbiotic relationship would have built up over time, with the wolves helping with the hunt in return for food and shelter: wolves are intelligent and pragmatic too."I never thought of myself as being even a potential dog person, until we got Quyn. Dogs need to be needed - even if only as a toy to keep a child amused. They need people, interaction, communication. Over the millennia they've learned to respond to humans in a way we can understand - cats blink slowly to smile, dogs grin back at you. They truly communicate. Quyn and I learned each other's language surprisingly quickly - though it helped that he was well-trained and rewarded from the start (we'd always said that if we had a dog or a child they'd be properly trained!) The miles we walked, just us together to start with, then with Kai, in his carrier on my front to start with, then in the larger carrier on my back, then in his buggy, then on his own feet, but Quyn always with us, chasing leaves or pigeons or squirrels or occasionally other dogs...
He was a joy - friend, protector, much-loved companion. We can't have another dog, not just yet - it's too soon, and we really, seriously can't afford one for the foreseeable future. But the RSPCA and Dog's Trust TV adverts make me cry.
I miss him so much.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I like this LOLCat...
So, what have I done...
Well, Induction is now finished, coded and posted on the Haadri site (anyone with the book can access it).
And that's about it. January always makes us so dull. Still, at least I'm catching up on sleep.
Horfield Organic Community Orchard is holding its Wassail this Saturday: if the weather isn't too bad, we'll try to get up to it. Again. Haven't managed yet!
Oh, and one of my maincrop tomato seeds has sprouted.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Gwen: "Excuse me, have you seen a blowfish driving a sportscar?" (Elderly woman, mouth still agape, points wordlessly.) Gwen: "Thanks." Elderly woman, as van screams off down the road: "Bloody Torchwood!"
The episode was fun! Violent, sexy, slightly daft, but great fun.
Small post over at the HaadriBlog.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Kai thoroughly enjoyed his first Science Club. He turned coins to gold!
(Well, gold-coloured, anyway...)
Monday, January 14, 2008
Monday shopping, oh joy. Lots of specials at Sainsbug's though. Should really have gone back for a second load but shoulders and legs were aching.
Kai has two after school clubs this term - the Science Club for the Gifted and Talented, and Website Design. He's really looking forward to both.
And the history teacher didn't give them the threatened week's detention, though they were made to finish an essay. Could have been a lot worse though!
Tired. Run down again. Trying for an early night.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
A relaxed sort of day...
Um, that's about it. But sometimes relaxed days are good.
Oh, and the second series of Primeval started this evening. Kai and I enjoyed it (but not Ken, who went up to get some work done), and are looking forward to the next ep.
Friday, January 11, 2008
... it's snowing...
Big, beautiful soft flakes of snow.
And Ken took the camera into town with him...
[sigh] I rang to ask him to try to get a photo, but he was in the library (erk... I'm not the most popular person there at the moment...) It's not settling - it's too warm and the ground is sodden from all the seemingly-endless rain we're having - but it is very pretty.
What have I been doing? Clearup, mostly, of the sites. A few client site amendments. A little research. And I've finally made a spreadsheet list of the Haadri worlds: there's a whole load to add to the Haadri site, and I'm trying not to think of how long it'll take me to make the illos and prepare and code the stats...
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I keep forgetting to mention...
The latest Thompson and Morgan seed catalogue is offering the seeds of this wondrous plant with the delightfully odd and slightly naughty sounding name of gomphocarpus psycocarpus. It's supposed to be quick and easy to grow, and the translucent, soft spiny balloons add interest to flower arrangments.
Me, I'd just like to grow it so I could see the look on people's faces when I invite them to look at my 'Hairy Balls'...
(Yes, that is honestly what it's called - gomphocarpus psycocarpus Hairy Balls. Yes, of course I can be childish too, on occasion. Pic shamelessly stolen from here.)
A pleasantly sunny day today, and it felt like time to get some planting under way. I now have my two (small and unheated) propagators on the kitchen window shelf, one with hellebore, eryngium and three clementine seeds in it (Almondsbury had several citrus plants with fruit on them, lemons and oranges, sort of under cover - the area had a roof and two walls - but not heated, so I thought I'd give it a go in the greenhouse! Kai and I both like clementines), and the other with dragonfruit seedlings, aubergines and early tomatoes - all of them to go out to the greenhouse around April when the weather warms up a little.
Also checked my Orchid Forum account today (haven't had time since the beginning of December). I'd posted a question asking how best to get rid of scale insect, as the damned things keep coming back - and also if anyone had any suggestions about curing what looks like rot at the base of one of the smaller plants. The good folk there suggested provado ultimate bug killer (have to hunt some down) for the scale insect - and cinnamon powder for the rot... Never heard of that, though several peeps there have said it really does the trick. So I took a little time for some real orchid care - repotted the phalaenopsis (fingers crossed I haven't killed it!) and dusted with cinnamon powder from my spice jar. Will see what happens.
And I found this! -> It's a flower spike! On one of the cambria orchids! I have no idea what it's going to look like (though some cambrias are gorgeous) so I'm now thoroughly excited. There will be photos...
Kai's had a reasonably good start to the year at school.
He's recently discovered the Crooked Mountain Railway, which runs (ran?), I gather, through the mountains between Oregon and Washington. We haven't been able to find much info, but I did manage to buy, on ebay, the June 1978 copy of Model Railroader, which has an article on the railway. It arrived today, and he's very happy with it.
Off for a nap before I tackle the second Haadri short story.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
I checked the plant I bought yesterday - it's an Elaeagnus x ebbingei. I bought it because the foliage and habit sounded exactly what I wanted, so I'm dead chuffed to discover that it also has "intensely fragrant flowers" and edible (and apparently tasty, though I'll reserve judgement 'til I've tried) berries!
Monday, January 07, 2008
A great day! After strange weather to start with (pounding rain - minutes later bright sunshine - minutes later more rain and furious hail - then yet more sunshine - then more rain...) it settled down to bright sunshine with a distinctly nippy wind. It was a nice run out to Almondsbury, and although the centre was a little bare (waiting for the spring stock to come in, I assume) I managed to come home with almost all the seeds I wanted, including Swiss chard (harvest late July to November) and spinach (harvest December and January, and June to end August, giving us an almost constant supply of greenstuff all year round), and the Romanesco broccoli we liked so much. Keeping fingers crossed!
Also picked up a feverfew, a very prickly berberis for the front, a sturdy evergreen shrub (can't remember the name and it's outside now) for Kai's den, all on special, and a large bag of potting compost. Pretty much all set for spring now.
But most of all it was wonderful to catch up on all the news. It's been an interesting year for both of us!
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Well that was fun! K&K went to Compton Dando on a bike/walk (I tell you, Ken isn't 'alf getting fit!) and ended up getting well and truly lost... Luckily they met a native who helped them - and then a little later, on meeting them on the way back to Briz, gave them a lift as far as Stockwood in his range rover (thus knocking a good hour and a half off the return journey).
While they were out I had a phone call from Wendy: she and Peter were just outside Briz, on their way back from a Goldwing meeting, and could they drop in for a bit? [happy grin] It was great! Terrific to see you both again, and wonderful to chat.
Tomorrow Kim's coming over, and I think we're off to the Almondsbury Garden Centre for seed shopping, coffee and brunch and a good old natter. We haven't managed to meet up in about a year, so we have a lot to talk about!
But for now, back to the loom. The short story is coming on apace...
West Country landscape: on the way to Compton Dando.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
I'm sure I must have done something today, but I can't for the life of me think what it was.
Old age is creeping up on me, accompanied by a shortage of short term memory, it seems...
Labels: nowt really
Friday, January 04, 2008
Shopping. Lovely. But it's nice to make a start on restocking freezer and larder - and Sainsbug had a few specials: garlic and coriander mini-naan bread six packs at half price (a curry's not complete without naan, for Kai and I) which freeze really well, and [bounce] Options reduced-calorie chocolate drinks have a special limited edition variety out in jars - Turkish Delight! (I've been waiting for that one for years!) Even better, it's on special offer! Bought two - hoping there are still some left by the time I get back there...
Back to the loom...
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Apparently my dentist likes a challenge - she seems determined to save the tooth. Sympathised with the fun and games over Yule, but wasn't overly surprised: evidently that sort of infection isn't unusual with a root canal coupled with bone loss. Since the pain and all the swelling has now gone, she hasn't done anything - said to ring them if anything at all happens to worry me and they'll fit me in urgently, otherwise she'll finish the job at my February appointment.
So I suppose I wait and see...
[bemused] Ken handed me a small pile of cash today - along with a royalty statement for H: PC! Apparently we've already sold enough for me to earn a tiny bit of royalties. This is great. Of course, I immediately put it all back into the business (to go towards printing Heart) - but I did keep back £1.99 to buy this mug, which I saw in Wilkinsons and just couldn't resist.
It's my Haadri mug! I have a fridge magnet with this slogan - always been a favourite (though I can't remember if it was Sue or GoodTwin who gave it to me) - but it was the picture that sold me...
Yes, she's sitting in the out-tray under her desk, on a desert island, in shades and bare feet, grinning over a cocktail. How perfect is that? (OK, there's no computer, and she's wearing a dress, but other than that...)
Though it's unlikely I'll be drinking cocktails out of it!
We may be establishing a tradition here. Waaaay back when one of our first non-fic books was published - The Little Book of Scottish Folklore - I saw a cute ceramic haggis (actually a limited edition promotional gimmick for Beneagles Whiskey) in an antique shop and really liked it. It was too expensive to buy at the time, but a few months later the shop closed down and was selling off everything cheaply, so we grabbed it while we could. (Must get a photo...) It's always symbolised the start of the non-fic writing career. While a mug is less decorative, it's certainly more useful!
Kai had a great day with the N sprog - apparently he built a robot that they then used to destroy a positively 'tithian sounding house. But unfortunately these last days of his holiday are being overshadowed by the thought of the week's detention the class is going to be given by the over-reacting history teacher. He's worried that the teacher will be harsh with the class from now on, and history isn't one of his favourite subjects in the first place...
Will have to see what happens and take it from there.
The much-anticipated new season of Torchwood starts on Wednesday 16th of January. YAY!!
In the meantime, I have a new early chapter to write for Heart. Later!
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
I don't make New Year resolutions: I never keep them anyway, and not being prone to feelings of guilt (unless I really have done something worth feeling guilty about) there seems to be little point to the tradition. I do, however, make a mental list (and this year a blog list, apparently) of intentions, things I plan to do although it doesn't matter too much if I don't.
This year they include doing something about my still raised blood pressure. Losing a little weight and getting more exercise should sort that out. Perhaps I should get a bike. [raises eyebrow at the hysterical laughter coming from various parts of the world...] OK, perhaps not. I will be doing more gardening though, now I have the greenhouse, and even though that's not exactly hard work, it's still being up and about rather than sitting at the computer all day.
I also intend to improve and expand the family's diet. Mum gave me a multi-tier electric steamer some months ago and I haven't used it yet: it would be healthier for both us and the environment (since our electricity supply is green). Time to explore what it can do.
I want to try introducing more variety as well. The meals tend to be the same from week to week: a spagbol, a curry, a chili con carne, pork chops, fish of some kind at least once a week, cottage pie, nuked chicken pieces, the occasional roast joint (pork or beef, rarely lamb as it costs too much) when on special, the occasional cauliflower cheese, a casserole made with stewing steak, stir fry every now and then... that's about it. Mixed veg, couscous, rice, baked potato, creamed spuds or pasta as accompaniments. All very good for us, but it would be nice to expand the repertoire. [grin] That means a hunt through the recipe books (something I really enjoy every now and then - like about twice a year).
K&K have just arrived back from another bike/walk to Eastwood Farm (they're mad - it's bloody cold out there today!) Tomorrow Kai's off to the N sprog for the afternoon, and I have my emergency dental appointment. Can't say I'm looking forward to it.
Watched the first two sections of The Martian Chronicles last night, and I was delighted to see that it's as good as I remember and less dated than I'd anticipated. Intelligent, thought-provoking s-f; terrific stuff...
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Old Year's Night ended up being rather nice. Kai really liked the Buck's Fizz (Sainsbug's own and a bit on the overly fizzy side, but very orangey and pleasant), and took his out into the garden to watch the local fireworks - which were a little sparse this year, but that's understandable given it's really just a normal year. It was mild, and for once didn't start raining until after most of the fireworks had finished.
Back inside, we watched Point Break - really only because, of course, it's one of the films touted in Hot Fuzz: we decided to let Kai watch the start (it's an 18 rating here) and if he didn't like it, take himself off to bed (he's a sensible sprog and doesn't abuse any 'privileges' we allow). Having suffered half an hour of the unbelievably tedious Bad Boys 2 (... hm. That was directed by Michael Bay, of Transformers fame. He also did Armageddon, another disappointing effort...) before I couldn't stand any more and switched off the TV, I wasn't expecting much of Point Break. But we thoroughly enjoyed it - wonderful chemistry between the characters (and a young, big-eyed and very pretty Keanu Reeves - what's not to like!), a fine plot and a somehow very satisfying ending. I'm not sure it deserves its 18 rating: the language was pretty bad (but Kai still self-censors, bless him - you should hear the 'Fudge!' and 'Badger!' when his software isn't doing what he wants!), but we've heard worse, and the violence was typical Hollywood cartoon stuff. And the story wasn't that outré. Then again, I'm not sure we count as the typical family...
Kai now wants to try sky-diving. And I've wanted to learn to surf since I was a child. Pity I live in the wrong country for waves! (Surfing the Severn bore wouldn't be quite the same...)
So, 2007... An unusually balanced year for me. A dearth of bread 'n' butter books (we're really going to feel the effect of that come March) but I did get H: PC fully revised and - of course - printed, which is a huge plus. We managed a lot of garden work, and I now have a much-wanted (free) greenhouse - but we no longer have Quyn. Which still really hurts. I've had over a month's worth of pain and infection with my teeth, and it's not finished yet - but Kai has done really well at school this year, which is terrific. We start 2008 with the house looking pretty good and most of the major projects finished (still have to replace the bathroom door handles, and have a new patio door lock to fit when the weather improves, but that's not essential: the current one is still fine), with gently exciting plans for the garden and greenhouse, and me with the Heart revisions bubbling briskly. All in all a good place to start.
Happy 2008!Peace, love, health and happiness to us all...
Labels: Happy New Year