Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::

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

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

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.











I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!


My IMDb ep summaries

(completed)
Arthur of the Britons
Sky
Star Maidens
The Starlost
Space Rangers
The Sentinel (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Swamp Thing (part: season 3)
Gravedale High
Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Cybertron (part)
Misfits of Science (four eps)
Zoo Gang
Zodiac
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Starhyke
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
Nightwalker
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Rayearth
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)

For later:

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


Silver birch at Eastwood 

Farm

"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)

Autumn...

I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the year...

Watching the little birds in the goat-willow in my garden, I realised something more.

I love this land with a fierce, possessive love, deep-rooted in two thousand years of history. From the frosted beaches and cloud-brushing peaks of the north to the wind-haunted meanderings of the rivers of the east, from the sensuous rolling patchworked hills of the south to the demanding dark moors of the west, this land seeps into bone and blood and synapse, mother of motley nobility, culture, individual freedoms. It can be known. It can be understood. It can be felt deep inside.

I love its effortless eccentricities, its vigour and vibrancy, its flawed perfections, its silent strength and tenacious resilience, its hard-won tolerances and intense and variable beauty, the profound energy in its sacred mythical landscape.

Home and more-than-home, the forces that shape and protect and bind, in me, as I am in the land. Love returning love in the stillness for those who'll only take the time to listen...

(Joules, Autumn 2004)


All photographs taken by Joules unless otherwise specified. All photographs © Joules A Taylor or other specified individual.


In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme


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

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.



Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:
BCHS
BCP


Blog Pics
I've gathered some of my pages of photos together: the page of links is here. I'll be adding more as time goes by!




Evil Squid
A Little Glossary of Taylorspeke
(in no particular order)

plit popints - n. Typo for 'plot points' typed on a keyboard with more than half the characters worn off...

[PING] (alt [ping]) - n. A brainwave. The text equivalent of a lightbulb going on blindingly over someone's head. Usually mine. And usually at the most inconvenient of times. [sigh]

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

wulmet - n. A person of little or no talent who somehow inveigles himself into a position where he is in power over other, far more talented people and uses his position to downplay them in order to try to make himself feel superior.

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

Flatterfed - vb. 27.02.08: my typo for flattered, but since it's so cutely apt I thought it would fit nicely here. Lutra defined it as "the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction resulting from enthusiastic reviews..." (which I've been getting for my MB fics).

Composted - vb, 'compos mentis', mentally capable of working. Contrast with uncomposted or non- composted, not 'compos mentis', not capable of working, hungover...

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

Kewp - how Ken says 'thank you'. We rather like Lutra's 'nanx', too...

Musekick - noun, music, without which I cannot work.

'feinne - noun, caffeine, essential for correct mental functioning, especially first thing in the morning. I prefer mine in the form of SodaStream Diet Coke. And on that subject...

Skoosh - verb, noun. To skoosh - to add CO2 to a sodastream bottle filled with water to make it fizzy, prior to adding Diet Coke syrup (or just drinking as sparkling water). A skoosh - a bottle of water that has been skooshed. Skooshy - something that has been skooshed, water, or that whipped cream that comes in tins you have to shake then upend and press the nozzle...

Shoogle - verb. To shake gently, for example, of roast potatoes in a roasting tin to ensure they're covered with oil. I have vague memories of this being a real Scottish colloquialism...

Stegasaurus - n, spider of the genus tegenaria. Why? No idea. I just find it easier, that's all...
Edit 08.09.07: Lutra thinks that Brian is a good name for a mini-stegasaurus. From now on, any 'Brian's in the posts may be assumed to be a tegenaria. Except where otherwise specified.

Viterals - noun, vitamins + minerals. Also a pun on victuals.

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

Parrots - noun, paracetemol (from the old joke "Why are there no aspirin tablets in the jungle? Because the parrots eat 'em all...")

Maggles - noun, magpies. As opposed to non-magical people.

Flamewings - noun. Swifts. So called because the first time we became aware of them was an early summer evening when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We always know summer's arrived when we hear their high-pitched squeeing.

Murfs - noun, moths.

Peasant cut - noun, roughly cut up into big chunks, e.g. vegetables chopped in a hurry for a hearty stew or soup. By extension, anything prepared in a hurry - haircut, material, even a first draft of a story...

Giraffe - noun, a carafe (of wine, coffee or water, for example).

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

Splings - noun, Kai's spelling homework: by extension, any spelling.

Tyops - noun, typos. var toyps, typso, psyto, psoyt, etc. Usual result of a dose of the fingerials (see next entry).

Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want them to.

Haddock - noun, time, of which I never have enough. (Origin of this term here.)

Sleep - noun? vb? a.k.a. sheeeeeeeeep.... I used to know what this word meant...


The Updates Blog

The place to stay notified of WaveWrights' Fiction updates: Zone, Darkside, DarkRealm, Matrix, Vault, Safehouse 13...




my computer gremlin Butch. click the pic to see the larger image

Butch, my computer gremlin. Click the pic for larger version, and read his adventures here...

Butch by the talented 

Sylverthorne

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

Joules' 

Haddock

This is MY haddock. It was caught exclusively for me by Talon. No, you can't have any. I need all the haddock I can get!!



A'lestrel by 

Valkyrie.

A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...



Kood, my new mp3 

player.

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


Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 

2004

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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 

by 

Onna

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



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




The Zone Plant from
The Zone 

blog 

plant

OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::HubbleSite
Stunning...
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: MailWasher
Excellent anti-spam software
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: ZSPC Colour Chart
Check how your text and background colours look together before releasing them on the world!
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...
:: Union of Concerned Scientists
Exactly what it says. Fascinating - and worrying...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....


Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

[::..Anime/Manga..::]
Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

Owned:
   DVD
   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

Owned:
   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

Owned:
   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

Owned:
   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

Owned:
   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust

Owned:
   DVD

   Vampire Hunter D Book 1



New Vampire Miyu

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


Yami no Matsuei

Owned:
   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.
   Sketchbook


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


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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

[::..archive..::]
07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
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09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
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01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
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01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
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01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
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01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
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01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
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01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
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01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
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01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
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01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
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01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
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01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
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01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017

Friday, February 29, 2008

Small update over on the HaadriBlog.
First day of Kai's 'tween-terms holiday today, and the weather's been less than kind, although at least now the wind's dropped. He's spent all day watching DVDs and flopping on the sofa, which has become traditional for his first day over this last year. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so we'll probably have to do indoor things - but hoping to get out into the garden on Sunday. Kai wants to clear out his den and reorganise it, and I'd like to get the greenhouse floor finished.
Then again, if this dull ache in the root canal tooth gets worse, I may not be doing anything until I can get to a dentist on Monday...

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

I seem to have spent most of this week shopping. Which I dislike intensely, mostly. And I still haven't been able to find anywhere that stocks two-core cable. How can it be that difficult to find? Of course, no longer having a B&Q anywhere nearby doesn't help, but even Proper Job didn't have any! Bloody ridiculous.
Ken chunked the greenhouse floor with the edge of a spade then raked it flat(ter) for me this afternoon: hoping to get the slabs down inside it tomorrow. Then I can work there without risking turning my ankle in falling down a mole run. Yes, the stupid thing has a run under the greenhouse. I ask you.
We finally managed to make time to watch my latest LoveFilm offering, The Flipside of Dominick Hide (one Sue recommended). It's cute, and fun, with a very satisfying ending. Aiming to watch the sequel (which is on the same DVD) tomorrow.
We Booshed afterwards - Kai chose Nanageddon - and I still want that hat!
Taylor familial silliness:
Kai (looking up frowning from his map of Wales) "What's a sheepfold? Me: "A type of knot, isn't it?" Ken (looking at me askance): "It's a sort of pen to keep sheep in." Me: "Ah, yes. I was thinking of a sheet knot." (or possibly a sheep shank...) [pause] "How do you fold a sheep?" At least, that's what I tried to say, but the image of folding a sheep in half and knotting the legs together had me laughing too hard to finish it. But Kai picked up on what I said and started laughing with me. Ken (shaking head): "Woolly origami..."
We all have the same sense of humour - which is nice, except when Kai and I start trying to top each other's jokes and end up in stitches, pissing ourselves laughing. Then we just make each other worse...
Back to the rockface. Haadri: Prime Contact official publication date tomorrow!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mm. Interesting Torchwood. The next ep looks equally interesting...
Another beautifully sunny but cold (except in the greenhouse) day. Spent part of it making a start on evening out the ground inside the gh, part of it asleep, and part of it writing. More on that later.
I want Saboo's hat, feather and all (top image on that page). I reckon it would suit me!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I enjoyed today, mostly; even the shopping this morning wasn't too bad, and I did find a leaf to go behind the spider orchids on the heater. Not exactly what I was looking for, but close. Ken was working, so I had the house to myself - peaceful! The weather was gorgeous, so got a little gardening done.
I now have chibi Radditsu and chibi Zaabon sitting under my monitor and the complete Cowboy Bebop in the queue to watch (perhaps next week - Kai's on his two week 'tween-terms holiday and would love to see it). And K&K made me a Haadri alien artefact, a shapely piece of purple slate with a Haadrifont H on the front! It can be worn as a pendant but I think I'm going to hang it on the speaker bracket above the monitor for luck. I'll take a photo later. And my cards were fantastic!
Going to revel in some Boosh now...

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Monday, February 25, 2008

All my tomato and aubergine seedlings are now sporting their own little cloches [glomps Sue!], I have a few Brussel's sprout seeds in a seed tray in the greenhouse, and the first lot of spinach in another seedtray on the potting table (outside the greenhouse). The compost I bought yesterday is wonderful - fine, dark, and rich and fragrant, a real pleasure to use. Though if, as planned, I'm going to be doing a lot in the garden in the next few months I'd better clip my claws again. Potting compost under the nails is a real pain to get out.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fantastic day! Almondsbury Garden Centre was quite busy - traditional Sunday afternoon passtime in England, visiting the garden centre - but had a lot of new stock in, and I managed to get everything I was after, including two big packs of organic peat-free compost and a very prickly berberis (pressie from GoodTwin and Sue, along with From Eroica with Love vols 9 and 11 and Fruits Basket vol 14 mangas). Genius!
GoodTwin also brought over two copies of the interview - so one will be winging its way to Lutra in the near future - and Sue had saved a double handful of large clear plastic coke bottles for me to make into mini-cloches for my tomato plants. Altogether a wonderful day, although it's never really long enough. Thank you both for a great time - and Happy Birthday to Adrian!
I need to get a load of garden stuff done tomorrow - time to get some more seeds on the go if I want us to have home-grown Brussel's sprouts in September...

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Another fun day. And my mother brought this up for us (I don't know who wrote the original I'm afraid...):
A Prayer for the Stressed
Grant me the serenity to accept the thing I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those I had to kill because they got on my nerves. And also, help me to be careful of the toes I step on today as they may be connected to the feet I may have to kiss tomorrow.
Help me always give 100% at work:
12% on Monday 23% on Tuesday 40% on Wednesday 20% on Thursday and 5% on Friday.
And help me to remember... When I am having a bad day and it seems that people are trying to wind me up, it takes 42 muscles to frown, 28 to smile, and just 4 to extend my arm and smack someone in the mouth.
Know a song about that...
Tired. Need more than four hours sleep tonight.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Ah, that was lovely - a wonderful day, really relaxing. Thanks Wendy!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

[sigh] Roeg's Pool is full of mating frogs again. Counted sixteen, not including the two sitting on the rocks watching...
And I missed last night's lunar eclipse: it was too cloudy here.

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the new orchid flower!

My new orchid flowers! Isn't this just gorgeous? 'course, I still have no idea which family it is. Going to post the photo on the Orchid Forum - I'm sure someone there will be able to tell me what it is.
So, what have we been up to? Spring cleaning, in part, actually. Silly little niggly jobs like cleaning behind the cooker knobs, that only get done once a year.
And Ken fixed my kitchen wall cupboard so both doors now stay shut (the wood was warping a little and the magnetic catch not keeping it closed. There's now another catch at the top).
And a fairly extensive site update for the BCP, who want a calendar onsite. Not finished yet.
I've also been trying to find easter eggs on the Mighty Boosh DVDs. I know they're there, I just don't know how to get to them!
A laaarge parcel arrived from WindLily in Florida, full of goodies - the uncensored first volume of Gantz, which I've been interested in since I first heard of it a few months ago, the first volume of 12 Kingdoms, which Lutra was raving about a while back, 9 volumes of the manga Blame!, the first volume of Bleach, and a couple of volumes of Claymore, which looks interesting. (There were some snacks as well, including dill pickle Pringles, which I've never seen before and which were one of the sourest things I've ever tasted - very strange!) So my backlog of DVDs and manga has now just grown again. It's one of the nicest problems it's possible to have!
Now I need to finish coding up two lots of minutes and another 10 pages of calender for the BCP site. Since I'm going to be wonderfully busy with visitors for the next three days I really ought to get it all done tonight...
Back to the rockface.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

today's moonGot to bed at a little after 4.30 am (couldn't stay awake any longer, but was OK, Ken had a good night's sleep and I didn't wake him) and after a bit of a disturbed rest finally got up at about 11, when the noise of the scaffolding being erected across the road became too intrusive. Oh joy.
Feeling considerably better - looks like the cold is going - but I can't remember what I've done today. Apart from make myself prawn and shitake egg-fried rice half an hour ago, which was very tasty.
I had a brain once. Anyone seen it recently?

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Got to the school in plenty of time for the start of the performance (a WWII drama entitled Operation Pied Piper) - only to find out it wasn't due to finish until half past nine. Which, since we're relying on buses, would have meant us getting home about eleven, far too late even under holiday conditions. So we had to leave at the interval. Terrible shame: it was good, very moving, and the sprogs were all great. Perhaps next year we can organise a little better and see the whole thing. (Of course, being told a little sooner than two days before the event would help!)
Still feel dreadful and can't breathe. Planning to just stay up all night so Ken can have an undisturbed night: I will Boosh once I can't see the screen straight any more.

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frost in the park


... bleurgh...
It's a bit on the chilly side here at the moment. Ken took this photo of the park yesterday: the trees have white shadows.

I feel dreadful, and I have to go to Kai's school's drama production tonight (Ken can't really go - he didn't get much sleep last night and he needs his sleep). With a bit of luck it'll only be short, and we'll be able to leap straight on a bus to get back.
Gods I hate colds.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

New veg bed extended, and cucumber and a few courgette seeds planted indoors and in the greenhouse. The tarragon has sprouted: I have a seed tray full of minute green leaves! Next week I'm going to get some spinach, onions and early carrots on the go, see how they do.
And GoodTwin and Sue are coming over to visit next Sunday! (Definitely a busy weekend!) GoodTwin suggested we drive out to Almondsbury Garden Centre, which is perfect timing for me, as I need to pick up two big bags of potting compost (our compost bins just can't keep up with my requirements...) and something largeish and prickly for the front garden. And Brussel's sprout seeds: I haven't been able to get the Thompson and Morgan packet I wanted (Maximus) and don't want to place an order from the catalogue, as it means more postage than the cost of the seed packet.
Throat is sore, but so far it's staying just at the top, not spreading right the way down, so it's copeable. Nettle tea with a spoonful of local honey is helping (I can manage honey when I have the lurgy as I can't really taste anything anyway). But it's making work nigh on impossible, as I can't focus properly, dammit. Eh well - it developed really quickly, with luck it'll go the same way.
Kai's been having great fun with his latest Lego package, courtesy of onna (thanks onna!) - it was actually cheaper to buy the American version and have it shipped over than to buy it here...
Right, there must be something I can do that doesn't involve too much mental activity...

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Later than I'd planned to be - Ken and I sat and watched the Boosh Live DVD after Kai had gone to bed, which he didn't do until 10 since it's Friday.
It's bloody fantastic! Really funny - but definitely not something I'd let Kai see until he's at least 15. Now eagerly looking forward to November.
In other news... Adrian recorded my interview (thanks Adrian!) and has made an mp3 of me reading the Haadri: Prime Contact Foreword (double thanks Adrian!!), which I have now uploaded. If anyone really wants to hear it, you can find it here. At least, I hope you can, it's been ages since I've tried to upload a sound file, I can't remember how to do it. Any problems, let me know.
It's two minutes eighteen seconds long, and 2.1 megs in size. And I sound like a science teacher.
I have a very sore throat. Kai was saying a couple of days ago he thought he had a cold coming: looks like he's given it to me. Unless I picked it up from someone at the radio station, which is possible, of course. I really don't want pharyngitis again, it's so painful it stops me sleeping, and I haven't yet found anything that actually eases the pain. With a bit of luck it won't last too long.

Later edit:
Lutra: Wow! So that's what you sound like! Joules: Oh - um, yerrsss. Though usually without the shaky voice. [g] I expected your voice to be deeper. Not *that* shaky... Depends on what I'm saying and to whom. In private it's lower. When I'm shouting it's higher. I was aiming for clarity here. You know, I reckon you could do a spoken version of your book. Yes, that would take a looooooong time to put together but your voice is crisp and clear with a good range. Heh - I'd end up doing all the different voices, like I used to when reading for Kai. LOL! but of course... : ) I'd love to hear some more of the interview, when you're enthusiastic and wittering. [g] [headdesk] oh god.... [smirk] I would! You don't really, you know. I do, really, you know [smirk] [eyebrow] No you don't. I can always ask GoodTwin : ) ..... You do that and I'll... I'll come at you like a gorilla on speed! Or a gazelle? [running away] [THWAP] I don't do gazelle. Grumpy rhino, yes. Disgruntled sperm whale, yes. Hooved animals - no. Unless it's a Percheron. [yip!smirk] Miffed percheron [snerk] Insufferable brat...
[blink] I very nearly ended that with "Enjoy the show." Is it possible to have too much Boosh?
(The gazelle quip is from a previous ICQ convo, in which I said "I'll come at you like an earth-grazing asteroid", which Lutra - somehow, and I still can't work out how - misread as gazelle...)

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's cards
Happy Valentine's Day to anyone who celebrates it!
This is the top of the lounge fire at the moment. The spidery thing is a rather nice deep burgundy and green fabric spider orchid I found at Focus, half price in their closing down sale (the vase it's in is a small version of the big one holding my twiglights): I still need to find a large green fabric leaf to sit behind it to complete the arrangement (I've been looking but with no success so far. I think The Range might have what I want, but I haven't had time to get over there yet this year). What I find really cute is that Ken's card to me - the one on your left - matches the orchid, same colour and same feathery bits in the birds' crests! (My card is homemade: I couldn't find what I wanted anywhere in Brislington and didn't have time to hunt in town. Where have all my haddock gone?)

Watched the first three eps of MB season 3 last night... Hm. It's a bit different to the first two series', innit? Kai was initially disappointed - no evil curved and pointy chin and nose on the Hitcher, and Bollo looks quite different - and I have to confess Eels (the first ep) is a bit... raw, even for Boosh. Things picked up in the second ep, Journey to the Centre of the Punk - for me anyway, though Kai was less than impressed. (Though even he found the thought of Vince's brain consisting of one brain cell and a receptionist funny!) But as for the third ep, The Power of the Crimp - well, it's wonderful. Had us in stitches, and redeems the whole thing. Immediate favourite!
Torchwood was distinctly odd. And a tad disturbing. Not sure how I feel about it...
Right - catchup time...
Kai is thoroughly enjoying his afterschool clubs this term. They've been making chemical rainbows, blowing things up, and distilling potable water from urine...
Ken is currently doing a stint as a court recorder at Bristol Crown Court. Not particularly well-paid, but it keeps things ticking over until the next book.
Next weekend is going to be fun. Wendy's up for a visit on the 22nd, and my folks are coming over for the day on the 23rd (Kai was supposed to be going tobogganing for the N sprog's birthday but it's had to be postponed. Until April, probably).
That's about all for now. Back to the rockface for me: several client sites to update and amend before I can get on with Heart...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

[x-posted to Haadri] well that was very much less stressful than I expected - I ended up quite enjoying myself! Perry (the radio interviewer) went through the questions he wanted to ask before it began, then basically let me ramble on (within reason: there was another guest there too, Colin of the local, as yet not-well-known band Carol's in the Water, a friend of Perry's). And them what knows me knows I can talk the hind leg off an Arcturian megadonkey (though I've never yet tried persuading it to go for a walk afterwards...) if they let me. I just hope I didn't sound like too much of a compleat pillock.
The whole thing lasted an hour, with music in between sections of talking. Perry even managed to find a Muse track for me - Supermassive Black Hole, kind of appropriate since I'd just been wittering on about the universe being so vast I couldn't believe there wasn't life out there, and probably a lot of it! They're making a copy of the interview for me, which hopefully I'll get in a couple of days - at which point I shall get Ken to listen to it, as I really don't like my voice.
All in all, nothing like as nerve-wracking as I'd anticipated, although I have no idea how many people were listening. But it was almost fun.
And the Mighty Boosh Season 3 DVD arrived today! Guess what we'll be doing tonight?

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

new orchid

Well, whatever this new orchid flower spray is, it appears the blooms will be speckled!

This weather is ridiculous. Roeg's Pool was iced over the last two mornings (so I assume I can say goodbye to the frogspawn): the temperature in the greenhouse reached -3° last night and is still getting up to 35° if I don't get out quickly enough to open up. Even now, with the louvre window, skylight and door wide open, it's hovering around 24° inside. I think I'm going to have to organise some sort of temporary blinds for the summer - I don't want the plants scorched. Perhaps those stick on ones you can get for car windows...
I've put the two indoor propagators out there (unlidded) for a few hours to make the most of the warmth and light: since the kitchen faces northwest it doesn't really get a decent amount of sun. Fine for salad leaves and the odd herb, and for starting things off, but not really enough to grow plants to full size and health.
the headless ice skater! <- This sign at the James Barton roundabout is known as the 'headless ice skater'. It's quite cute! (Obviously didn't quite manage the Iron Lotus.)
[sigh] MB Season 3 DVD hasn't arrived yet - no idea what amazon/PO are playing at. We were hoping to watch it tonight: Kai can't wait, keeps asking me to text him at school as soon as it arrives. I've had the email confirming the despatch of the Live DVD, and also Torchwood Season 1, which I'm buying Ken for his birthday. (Yes, I know it isn't til June, but the boxed set is at a very good reduced price at the moment.)
And H03 is coming along slowly. It's all new material, but I'm a little distracted at the moment. Should be able to focus again come Thursday.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

[MANIC GRIN]

Tickets went on sale at 9 this morning. And I've bought two (with a little help from Lutra, since for some completely incomprehensible reason Firefox wasn't letting me into the online sales process. Next time I must remember to try IE as a backup...)
It's going to be a little tight, especially the return trip, as the last train leaves from Cardiff at 23.00 (and the next one isn't until 5.40 the following day). But we can manage it! And we can get a fair discount on the train fares if we book well in advance, so that will help. Our seats are a little further back than I'd really have liked, but in the block that's right in front of the stage, so the view shouldn't be too bad.
It's most likely it'll be Ken and I going, as an early anniversary/Yule present (ye gods, when was the last time we actually did something special for our anniversary? Not since Kai was a baby, I don't think!) We'd originally thought it would be me and Kai - but having seen a trailer of the Live DVD (which we now have on order) I really think Kai is too young for the material. And Ken really wants to see it too, and he always seems to come last when it comes to treats... Kai will be fine on his own for an hour or two: I shall ask Dave next door to keep an eye on him, but he's a sensible sprog. We'd better get something to bring back for him though!
Happy now.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hectic. K&K bike/hiked out to Wyevale while I painted the wooden greenhouse staging with the timbercare weatherproofing stain we used on the side gate and arch. The staging is quite old and a little on the tatty side, but still sturdy: treating it now should give it several more years life, even if I do manage to spill a lot of water over it. Although it was a lot colder today, it all dried fairly quickly in the sun. I've evened up the staging struts as well, so the run doesn't bow in the middle. I'm now basically ready to get things started as soon as the weather stabilises at a slightly warmer temperature.
Indoors, I've repotted the kiwi seedlings and popped them into the propagator. There are five: I hope I can bring them on.
Busy week ahead. I'm having an early night in preparation. Be nice if it works...

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

The sprogs turned up as arranged - the N sprog with bike - so they all wheeled off down to Nightingale Valley, where they proceeded to get wet and rather muddy biking through the boggy bits. But they thoroughly enjoyed it, so that's OK.
It was summer hot in the garden today - hot enough to dry a machine load of washing in a couple of hours. (The temperature in the greenhouse reached 35°. I need to start getting up earlier and opening door and windows before it gets that high.) I've started tidying the rockery, trimmed the edge and weeded half of the old veg bed, and planted the hellebore I bought at Wilkinsons (since I'm having sodall success getting the seeds to germinate). All very satisfying.
Also managed to get some client site revisions done while the sprogs were out, so all in all it was a very busy but very useful day.
And we Booshed after dinner - Charlie, Call of the Yeti, Nanageddon and Tundra, and the outtakes from season 1, which are thoroughly giggleworthy. The N sprog and Frodo loved it all: I can see a repeat visit or two for them to see the rest. Unfortunately season 3 didn't arrive in the post, so we don't have that to watch tomorrow (Kai's pleading with Ken to go out biking instead).
Now I should get some work done...

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Well that was busy...
And tomorrow is likely to be busy too, the afternoon at least. Kai has both the N sprog and Frodo coming round, ostensibly to 'build a thing with wood' (I thought it safer not to ask). And/or they might go down to Nightingale Valley. I've also cleared it with both lots of parents that they don't mind the sprogs watching Mighty Boosh (well, it is rated 15 and mature as they all are, none of the sprogs is yet 13...)
And amazon.co.uk have confirmed that the Season 3 DVD has been despatched, so that might arrive tomorrow. If so, we'll watch it on Sunday. Fingers crossed.
Right. Loom.

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I emailed the Avon Wildlife Trust about my frogspawn this morning. They replied very quickly, saying, basically, not to do anything as moving the spawn can a) cause problems with disease or parasites and b) upset the natural ecological balance. Which makes sense. So it's a matter of keeping fingers tightly crossed that we don't get another freeze.
They also referred me to FrogLife, who have some very informative .pdf Fact Sheets on native reptiles and amphibians. [sigh] I really want another pool, up at the top of the garden, but we can't afford it at the moment.
Oh - and we discovered that moles are now on the 'threatened' list. Since ours seems to have now established its runs and tunnels, and only throws up a new molehill every now and then, we've decided just to live with it. It doesn't seem to be bothering the neighbours.





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[happy grin] There can be fewer better ways of waking up than blasting out Muse live on the pyramid stage at Glastonbury... Yes, the DVD works just fine, as I'm sure Dave next door can attest. Just as well it's not summer or the whole street would be enjoying it.
Muse are fantastic. Bellamy's not much of a showman, but who cares with his fabulous voice and that wonderful, wonderful music...

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

So, 'toof' (as GoodTwin put it)...
Half an hour appointment. Half an hour with my mouth wide open and stuffed with various bits of cotton and metal. Sahara time - took me ten minutes before I could swallow at the end. And she gave me anaesthetic.
But it's done, it doesn't hurt (well, my gum a tad from all the poking and prodding), and the dentist seems satisfied. Though she's warned me that she can't guarantee full success. If it gives me any more problems it'll have to come out. We'll see.
That, and shopping at Broadwalk, took up the whole of the middle of the day - but I did find a copy of the Muse: Absolution Tour DVD at the PDSA charity shop, for £2.99, which helped. Haven't had time to check it yet (I swear, one of these days I'm going to take a whole day off, NOT boot up, and just try to catch up with all the DVDs steadily backing up on the shelf - Artemis 81, Ai no Kusabi (the actual DVD was on ebay! Rather pricey, but worth it), Arslan, Miyu.. ye gods I still haven't watched onna's Haibane Renmei... OK - maybe three days...) but it looks OK. Fingers crossed.
Back to the loom.
Does anyone know how to delete labels from the list?
Edit, 11.45. Stepped outside, only to hear the sounds of frogs coming from Roeg's Pool - so I took a torch and went to have a look. [sigh] There's one female between two huge males, and three other females beneath three other very large males (at least, I assume they're male-female combos) plus another couple of (I assume) males circling waiting for a chance. Small pool full of mating frogs...
It's bloody FEBRUARY the SEVENTH! It's still winter! Last year they were spawning around the 21st of Feb, the year before it was around the 20th of March (blog garden calendars can be useful). The pool's going to be full of spawn tomorrow, all of it at risk from a fall in the temperature. I'm going to have to get in touch with someone for advice: we have the only pool for quite a way around, and my frogs are a an important part of the garden wildlife (not to mention keeping the pests down.)
This is so depressing.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Torchwood reduced me to tears. I think it affected Ken too.
I'll have to warn Kai before I let him watch it tomorrow.

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frogspawn in February

This - > is not good. Frogspawn in February? Far too early. If we have a cold snap they'll die, and frogs only spawn once a year. Fingers crossed the temperature stays above freezing.
(I was going to split that plant today as well... This happened last year too, though much later in the year. I think the plant doesn't want to be split...)
We have four fish left in Roeg's Pool - and they're about double the size they were when we got them.

Gorgeous day today, brilliant sun, cloudless sky, still and clear... I've started tackling the unwanted greenstuff in the rockery and lupin patch, and planted the sage in the new bed. Ken and I discussed where we want to enlarge the meadow (he's not bothered as long as it means less grass to mow!) and we've decided to pick up a packet of cornfield mix (which has poppies! I luvs me poppies) and another of butterfly attracting plants, to do what we can for the wildlife. We'll need to dig up quite a bit of grass to clear the space: Ken wants to wait a little before we start, to let his back strengthen a little.
I've also put a few seedtrays out in the greenhouse, basil, Russian tarragon, mint and chives. It's a bit early - the recommendation is to plant them in March - but it's so warm and unfrosty out there I thought I'd give it a try. (Itching to get more things on the go but I really must be sensible about it. No point in sowing tender veg if it's not going to survive!)
Torchwood later. Then tomorrow morning I get this root canal permanently filled and finished, oh joy...

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Dracaena and dyzegothica both pruned.
Heart (new) chapter 3 started.
Back to the loom...

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Monday, February 04, 2008

dracaena








... I think it might be time to prune my dracaena again...























[snarl]



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Sunday, February 03, 2008

This has been an amazingly dull weekend. Well, not the weather, that's been quite dramatic. But as for the rest...
Still, we're stocked up with home-made beefburgers again.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Happy Imbolg!

And what a lovely sunny day it's been, too.
Recap on yesterday: Kai's group's dramatic skit was acting out Frankie and Johnny. His group was chosen to perform, because they were the best!
There's a fun meme over on Lutra's blog, and since I haven't done one in ages I shall indulge...
1. You have 10 dollars £5 and need to buy snacks at a gas petrol station:
Not having a car, I wouldn't be at a petrol station anyway. But casual snacks from random shops tend to be along the 'Tracker bar and diet coke/carton of fruit juice' lines.
2. If you were reincarnated as a sea creature, what would you want to be?
Hm. Tricky one. Squid? Dolphin? Humpback whale? Kraken? Starfish? Prawn?...
3. Last book you read?
Destruction of the Books by Mel Odom, for review. (It was awful).
4. Describe the last time you were injured?
Umm... Probably when I broke my foot (for the second time, in almost the same place) some years ago.
5. Of all your LJ friends, who would you want to be stuck in a well with?
I wouldn't be in a well in the first place. Cramped space underground? Instant panic-attack!
6. What is the wallpaper on your cell phone? If you don't have a phone what would it be if you did have one?
It's a simple phone, with just a handful of monotone wallpapers. I have a tropical island with a palmtree and a sunset. If I ever get a more sophisticated phone, it'll change regularly to whatever I fancy at the time - which could be anything from a pic of eta carinae to a stoned Naboo...
7. If you could only use one form of transportation what would it be?
TARDIS.
8. Most recent movie you have watched in the theatre?
Golden Compass with Kai. Was OK.
9. Name an actor/actress/singer you have the hots for:
Currently, Julian Barratt's legs... [grin]
10. What's your favorite kind of cake?
I prefer ice-cream (even if it does hurt my teeth). Tiramisu or Forest Fruit ice cream, or blueberry and yoghurt frozen dessert are favourites. If I must have cake, I prefer apple or carrot.
11. Look to your left, what do you see?
(see below) window




12. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Of course. When I wear shoes, anyway.
13. Favorite toy as a child?
My brothers' Dinkie cars.
14. Do you think people talk about you behind your back?
I know they do - I've heard them. Ears like a bat, me...
15. Do you like running long distances?
Absolutely. Not.
15. Have you ever eaten snow?
Probably. I like snow. I once stood naked in the snow for a few minutes, just to see what it felt like... (yes, it was cold. No, I won't be doing it again. Unless someone wants to pay me an obscene amount of money. Though why anyone would want to do that is beyond me.)
16. What colour are the sheets on your bed?
Ivory-coloured 100% Egyptian cotton.
17. What is the first television theme song that pops in your head?
Right now, The Mighty Boosh. Closely followed by the Tundra Rap.
18. Do people consider you smart?
Yes.
19. How many piercings do you have?
Two in left ear, four in right ear, two others where you can't see 'em.
20. What is your favourite salad dressing?
If it's home-grown salad, nothing. Otherwise, light organic mayonnaise.
Apparently we aren't having the N sprog over this weekend...
Better go make dinner.

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