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][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
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.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Monday, June 30, 2008
The Story of the Stakes...
So on Saturday K&K went all the way over to Hengrove Park to see a man about a coin. Specifically, one of these, with what we think might be a beech tree behind the hut. It's rather nice - he bought it with some of his birthday money, but luckily has no plans to collect the other eleven (he has two different ones now).
However, this was a bit of a long walk for them both, so they didn't get to Wyevale for my stakes for the fruit cage. Ken offered to go on Sunday instead, so off they set while I carried on with the AC. Then came the phone call...
OH NOES!!11!! Wyevale didn't have 8' stakes. Nor 6' ones. In fact, the only bamboo stakes they had left were 2' ones - just a tad shorter than I needed... But, Kai agreed to sell me 3 of his 8' ones so I could sparrow-proof the blueberry bushes (because more and more of them are turning purple now, and we should be able to start eating them in about a week, and I don't want the birds getting them instead).
Today, it being Monday, I needed to shop - in town, in fact, for skoosh refills/dropping off used Brita filters for recycling/checking FabricLand for material to make a couple of new T-shirts (they didn't have what I wanted)/Wilkinson's for sprouting seeds and laaaaarge plant pots for next year's cumbles - but they didn't have what I wanted either. However, since I had a FirstDay ticket, I nipped up to Broadwalk to our local Wilkinson's, which had everything I was looking for. And more, because hiding behind some extendible trellising I spotted some long, sturdy green poles... Turned out they were plastic-wrapped aluminium made specifically for use with netting over fruit. And they were 89p each. Result!
Slogged fully laden down the hill, flopped for half an hour, then hobbled over to Tesco to do the shopping I had planned to do at Sainsbug's on the way home from town but couldn't because I went up to Broadwalk instead. If you see what I mean. And actually that was good, too, because they have big pots of Yeo Valley organic fat-free vanilla yoghurt on special at the moment, and I adore vanilla (more so since I discovered it comes from an orchid). And I've also recently discovered that cumble plants don't like getting the base of their stems wet when they're growing, and the horticultural cognoscenti place large, open-bottomed yoghurt pots over the base pressed into the soil so water doesn't splash on them (as opposed to me having to be very very careful to keep them dry). So not only do I get a tasty treat, but I can recycle the pots next year for my cumbles! I love it when a plan comes together.
On arriving back, however, I had to get the fruit cage made, and Ken had his CT scan (for his eye problems) tonight, so only had time to drill the holes for me (in poles and bamboo: I'm holding the frame together with garden wire this time!) before he had to leave (using my FirstDay ticket - we don't 'alf get good use out of them!) Kai came out to support the struts while I did the wiring - and then I had to get the netting done...
I sewed it together. Well, actually, I used my largest crochet hook to pull the twine through and knot each section together. If you've ever seen black and white images of sailors repairing fishing nets, it was a bit like that. Except I don't have a beard or smoke a pipe. But otherwise - yeah... Took me an hour. Knackered now. But it looks good, and is much stronger and more durable than the makeshift one.
01:07 1/7/08 - and I've just watched Lord of War - a very nasty and disturbing film, but sufficiently compelling to keep me watching even though after twenty minutes I'd almost decided to switch it off... Need something to take the bad taste out my mouth now.
Looks like the weatherpixie site is broken. Invisibling mine til I find out what's what.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
My flowers, let me show you them...
Sunflowers - pod survivors!
And a rather dramatic fuschia that I rescued from servitude in Tesco (they were selling several different varieties at £1 a piece). I bought another, a much paler pink and white, but it hasn't flowered yet (though there are buds coming). This one is called 'Blackie', and I'm hoping it's a hardy perennial (the tag didn't say).
AC 7 now finished. Just the side stories do do, then an extended tidying up session, and it's all finished. (And if any other Zone member wants one, just send me a blank recordable CD and the postage! Contact me for details.)
Friday, June 27, 2008
Well that was just... weird. No, nothing specific, just an odd sort of day. Ken was called into Court at really short notice, so I didn't get to Wyevale, and it's rained most of the day, so I didn't get anything planted either. I did get quite a lot of AC7 done, although I found I'd only done a handful of css-coded chapters, so I'm now back to the full revision. For anyone who's interested, that means replacing this old html code (or minor variations of it) -
<link rel=stylesheet type="text/css" href="../ac1b.css"> </head> <body> <br /><br /> <h2>in every chapter. I am very grateful for the copy/paste facility - and for css. Of course, it does mean I've had to list all 22 AC style sheets (that includes the new - and rather pretty - one I've created for MoonYear...) which is a bit of a pain.
Eh well. Back to it.
Oh - we watched Beowulf this evening, my latest from LoveFilm.
Hm. Visually it's good (if irritatingly, self-consciously coy in places), and as an extrapolation it works well (though you could equally say it plays somewhat fast and loose with the original story, but I'm not pushing that as it's been donkey years since I've read the story, and that was in the original Anglo-Saxon) - but I nearly fell asleep in the middle, which is never a good sign. We won't be getting it.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
And another nasturtium...
The day in brief: Shopping (unexpected but Kai produced yet another recipe that he needed the ingredients for for tomorrow's cookery class, so off I tanked for flaked almonds, Ken's muesli and a bottle of wine for me for tomorrow (said bottle, along with next week's, to be recycled as a container for the comfrey liquid fertiliser currently fermenting and stinking away quietly to itself behind the water butt beside the greenhouse).
Inside the greenhouse I have cherry tomatoes developing apace (it's quite amazing, every time I go in it seems there's another little green fruit appeared...) and the flowers are opening on the non-organic peppers. The big tomatoes are turning yellow, so with luck we'll have some ripe red ones to eat in a week or so.
New veg bed now extended to its final width (length to come later, as the things I already have growing in the small beds are harvested), and tomorrow I'm hoping to plant the second lot of Swiss chard and the last few spinach seedlings. But first I'm heading to Wyevale for some 8' bamboo poles, as my makeshift fruit cage isn't sturdy enough to stand up to the winds we keep getting, and the first blueberries are now beginning to turn the most gorgeous deep purple-blue colour: I do NOT want the birds getting at them. Bit of construction work tomorrow, then.
Back to the loom. Still ploughing through the AC.
Sunflower. The petals are just beginning to open...
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tired. Tried to have a nap earlier, but Bon Jovi were playing at Ashton Gate Football Stadium, and even though it's a few miles away, the wind was in the right direction and the sound was LOUD enough to keep me awake. Though there are worse noises to be kept awake by, I suppose...
Strange day. First it rained, quite heavily. Then it was hot, but very windy (again). I did manage to get the melnips planted, eventually, but the ground was too damp and heavy to extend the bed - hopefully over the weekend (though both compost bins are full now, so I'm not quite sure where we're going to put the grass!) The first of the cherry tomatoes has appeared in the greenhouse, and the non-organic peppers are just about to flower. It's all good!
This, however, is not. (Thanks to Sue, who emailed it to me.) When we checked, they were demanding a 60% discount from publishers...
Kai's exams are over now - but I got it wrong, his field trip to @bristol is in July, not tomorrow.
And I'm still ploughing on. AC Bk 7 now - but at least from chapter 3 onwards I'd started using style sheets, so the amount of work required has dropped dramatically. I should have everything finished by the weekend, although I still need to find two drawings that were never posted (not on my hard drive, which means trawling through backup CDs, something I really loathe...), and I'm planning to write a new exclusive side story as an added extra. (I'd like to do another drawing too, but don't think I have time. I think I'll include what little I managed to finish of the dj too - may as well make it a complete archive!)
I'm sure there's something I keep forgetting to mention, but I can't remember what it is. Maybe later.
Back to the loom.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Right - quick catchup time...
It's been just a little hectic, particularly in the garden. We're extending the veg beds to take up most of the area at the top of the garden: Ken's chuffed as that means quite a lot less to mow, and less overall work for him, as I'm responsible for the food production side of our gardening (though K&K do help me weed when needed). This is great, as the two little beds we already have are proving really productive but are nowhere near big enough (the spinach wasn't so good, but the Swiss chard is running away with itself, really successful, and I think we prefer it to spinach anyway. And the Brussel's sprouts are coming on a treat). I have a second lot of courgettes, chard and melnips ready to be planted out - hopefully over the next couple of days. I even managed a little digging myself this morning - really good exercise - but I can't do much or it hurts my hands, dammit.
Kai's maths exams were relatively unstressful yesterday: he has mental maths this afternoon, something he's OK with. He's been having fun just recently, creating a spoof OS in Powerpoint. He devised Windows 91, and is currently working on an email programme for it. (It's a lot of fun, takes you to unexpected screens, crashes every few minutes, gets into loops - he's really enjoying himself.)
I'm still ploughing through the AC, but the end is now in sight. A long way away, admittedly, but finite.
Treated myself to a new pillow yesterday. Wow. Fascinating stuff. But I woke up this morning with my neck not aching for the first time in months, which is actually kind of a big deal for me, given how little sleep I usually get.
On ICQ the other day:
Joules: [sigh] I actually had to look up the mean distance of the earth -> sun... honestly, I think my brain is died... Lutra: [g] woops. It's 93 million miles. One AU. But I had to bloody look it up! I should KNOW this, it's basic stuff. [g] there's a lot you keep in your head, though. There should be rom for terabytes more...Most apt typo award. We chuckled, we did!
There will be an update over on the Haadriblog shortly...
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Busy weekend, lots done: seedlings planted in the meadow (lots of poppies and what looks like yarrow coming; don't recognise the rest), weeding, tidying greenhouse (lots of tomatoes but none red yet), client site revisions, new small client site organised though not designed yet. The wind has been phenomenal, but so far everything's survived, and it finally seems to have dropped now.
Kai has exams this week, real ones under proper exam conditions - non-calculator maths a.m. and calculator maths p.m. tomorrow, mental maths on Tuesday, English and Science on Wednesday. There's a school trip on Thursday (must remember to make tortillas for him for lunch) - and it's the House series finale (part 1 of 2) in the evening, which he'd really like to see, but it ends at 10 p.m. That would be OK this week, but I don't know about next... eh well, we'll see how he is come Thursday.
Getting on for halfway through AC bk6. Gods it's a big job...
Saturday, June 21, 2008
[sigh] Summer Solstice. Kai wanted to stay up to watch the sun rise - only it was pissing down all night, and even now it's raining, overcast and distinctly cool.
Sad reflections, ne?
Friday, June 20, 2008
This getting up early lark is a bit wearying...
Then again, if I wake up at 6.30, and it's bright, it seems a sad waste of time going back to sleep. And I do get a lot done, I suppose.
My nasturtiums, let me show you them...
Back to the loom.
Edit: I do believe I have a galia melon developing in the greenhouse...
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Only sleepy cats and mad Englishwomen are daft enough to brave the garden in the midday sun... But the wind cooled everything down, and the sun was hot enough to kill the hoed weeds, and I'm going a nice golden-brown colour, so all was good.
And my sunflowers survived. A little battered, but still upright. Mostly. And I've braced the one that bowed - think it'll be OK.
Still ploughing through the AC. It's taking me longer than I thought it would, but then again, it is fuge...
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
What have I done today...?
Client site updates, some more AC revision, and spent a blustery ten minutes staking my poor battered sunflowers with sturdy bamboo poles in the hope that they might survive the night.
It's the summer solstice Friday/Saturday, and it's cold, wet and blowing a gale. The kind of summer I remember from when I was a child...
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Ken's birthday today. We're not doing anything much, but he requested big pig for dinner, so it's roast pork with all the trimmings (well, roast spuds, sautéed sweet peppers and shrumps, peas, sweetcorn and fresh picked Swiss chard from the garden) tonight. And a fruit salad for dessert - galia melon, strawberries and rambutans (taste nice but a bugger to prepare...) with Kerry's Cornish ice cream. Will be tasty I think.
Busy with client/house stuff today. Planning own stuff tonight.
Oh, and one biggie I left off the film meme yesterday, that covers several categories (oddball/original, musical, daftest and obscure) - Big Meat Eater...
Edit: Forgot to say I picked the first of the greenhouse cumbles today (nine inch long 'un, and gently curved like a proper cucumber, not one of those straight Brussels-ordered abominations): we had a few slices with lunch. It's nice, a delicate taste, but sweet, not bitter, and wonderfully crunchy. Bit of a pain trimming off the spiny bits of skin, but altogether better than a bought one. And this variety is the cheapest and easiest to grow one I could find: for next year I've bought a 'burpless' variety, supposed to be particularly tasty!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Feeling much better today. Very glad we usually bounce back quickly...
Mind you, I had to, really, since it was time for the normal Monday shopping expedition(s). [sigh] Still, got almost everything done. Just need to get back to the butcher on Friday: he won't have the chicken delivery until then.
Lutra has posted her complete 'different' films meme now, and there are some I haven't done...
a) 5 favourite animated films b) 5 favourite obscure films c) 5 guilty pleasures d) 5 most influential e) 5 favourite kids' flicks f) 5 oh gods, that's x hours I'll never get back g) 5 daftest h) 5 most insulting i) 5 wtf? sequels j) 5 musicals k) 5 foreign language l) (and an extra one from Joules!) 5 oddball/originalOK - done most of these already on June 1st, but reposting here just for the hell of it...
a) 5 favourite animated films I'm going to assume this includes anime, and anime series rather than just films. 'Cos I'm like that.We watched Run Fat Boy Run tonight, and it's an absolute delight. Funny, poignant, hopeful - even Kai loved it!Cyber City Oedo 808 (just in case anyone hadn't noticed!) Trigun
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Slept badly and woke up at 6.30: didn't bother trying to get back to sleep as back was aching (does that if I sleep for too long). Still feel pretty awful, so didn't get much done - just getting the elderflower wine on the go with the last of the flowers from the elder tree. We're rather partial to elderflower wine.
Pretty sunrise (Saturday's actually), Argent guarding his new catmint plants, and a bird actually using the birdbath! Later on our big fat woodpigeon (the one I have my eye on for a tasty pie) was also using it, so before putting everything to bed I cleaned and refilled it. [sigh] Another thing to remember to do everyday...
More interesting bird behaviour: there were about five blackbirds in the garden first thing, and since our pair never let any others have access, I assume the others are this year's brood, out with mum and dad to see the sights (and the best place to eat). Later on the female came right up to the open patio door, jumped into the rockery plants along the fence and dragged out a large fat slug. She then proceeded to snatch at it, pulling off small pieces and swallowing them, until it was about half the original size, then she flew off with the remains. I didn't know blackbirds ate slugs! (But I'm pleased: hope it's a regular occurrence...)
On a less positive note, Raptor is even frailer now, and doesn't even like struggling up onto the settee to sit on a lap any more. She's made herself a nest on my big baggy winter cardigan (that got dumped on the floor out here when we needed the stool for something) and is spending a lot of time asleep. In herself she's fine, but everything is wearing out...
Interesting Dr Who.
Off to look at comments for yesterday before going to bed - still tired and aching. I'll leave you with our most productive native wild strawberry plant...
Saturday, June 14, 2008
[sigh] What a waste of a day. Woke up feeling really dreadful, shivering with the cold and unable to warm up: spent most of the day either in bed or in the bathroom. Had planned to take Kai to Keynsham to pick up tannin from the brewing shop (hoping to get some elderflower wine on the go before all the flowers drop), but felt too ill, so Ken took him instead, after going to the Arno's Cemetery guided walk in the morning. Of course, they ended up going much further, out to Queen's Charlton, so were rather late back.
Not feeling a great deal better now - think I'll go back to bed. After a bowl of rice (made chilli for dinner for K&K but couldn't eat anything myself, and the bowl of tomato soup I had earlier has long gone). Need something bland to stop myself feeling nauseous.
Hope whatever this is has gone by the morning...
Friday, June 13, 2008
[rolls eyes] Our male blackbird is a noisy little bugger, and usually I just tune him out, but this morning he was being particularly loud - and I found out why when I went to feed the tomatoes. His mate had managed to get herself trapped in the greenhouse, and was panicking trying to get out. (I can only assume she got in through the skylight, which was fully open, as the door was only very slightly ajar.) I was a little worried she might have hurt herself - her wing didn't look right - but when I shooed her out she flew up to the goat willow and has gone now, so I assume she's fine. She's such a sweet little bird: she's been hunting right down by the (open) patio door today.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Interesting. Sue sent me an email with lots of pics today - only I can't see any of them, just blank boxes with an X in the top left-hand corner. Even more interestingly, my email back saying as much bounced! Hmmm...
Kai has been reading Holes in English at school, and tonight we watched the film (on Teleport). It's terrific, highly enjoyable!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
So a CarCraft ad came on during the ad break in Mock the Week, and it featured a Highland Coo. Cute beasts, ne? Though I really don't understand why they use animals in car ads. Makes no sense to me... Anyway, the voice over spoke:
"Did you know that cows only sleep for three hours a day?" And Ken swiftly responded: "And twelve hours a night..."
Tickled me, it did.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
A little weeding, a little watering, a little transplanting, a little sowing, punctuated (or should that be punctured?) by ten minutes of pain as Ken and I attempted to dig out the chunk of bamboo that embedded itself in my right middle finger - right beside the nail, ouch - when one of the netting supports collided with my hand. Wot fun, eh?
Ken's meeting this morning was a bit of a loss, but at least he got a free breakfast.
I am now tackling AC4. And I've decided to rewrite AC141 and 2 (Machinations and Idyll) and a little of AC242 and 3 (Withdrawal and Consolation) in order to make the Radittsu/Hijau relationship congruent with what came later. I'm also debating including on the CD the artwork I managed to complete of the dj I started...
Monday, June 09, 2008
Absolutely relentless sun today - got up to 47° in the greenhouse (that's 116° Fahrenheit) and I used the blind for the first time: it worked just fine so was worth the couple of hours it took to make. I seem to have spent quite a bit of the day watering things though. And planted up a few more seeds (last of the melnips, spinach, basil and maincrop tomatoes. Late for the toms, I know, but I thought I'd see how quickly they grow when it's this hot - and maybe bring them indoors, if they're successful, when the nights start cooling off).
Now have flowers on the peppers!
Falling over soon. Have to be up at 6.30 a.m. as Ken is off to a breakfast meeting, and I still haven't caught up on my sleep...
Sitting here with the patio doors wide open, I've been hearing a quiet, unfamiliar sound, a sort of scratching, chipping noise coming from somewhere just outside. Of course I investigated...
We've noticed what we thought were honeybees exploring the holes in the fence posts for the last month or so, and while it seemed a strange thing to do, we thought little more of it. They are bees, after all, and to be encouraged, certainly not harmed. But today I actually managed to see one of them disappear into the hole - and then I heard the sound, coming from inside the post. A minute later the bee reappeared (backwards, naturally) pushing out a small pile of dust with its rear legs and letting it drop to the ground below the post.
We have Masonry Bees!
They're really cute, and I have no problem with them living in the posts - though we will check the house to make sure they haven't got into the masonry in the walls.
The concrete in the posts must be a little on the old and soft side: we'll have to check the ones up by the greenhouse, I don't want them collapsing there!
Still debating with Sue the pros and cons of the River Song arc in Dr Who, and I think we may have to agree to disagree. I maintain I don't want to know anything more about the DW/RS relationship, if only because anything the writers come up with is extremely unlikely to match my imaginings, and thus is more than likely going to be disappointing for me. (I've been wrong before though. Not often, admittedly...) I simply don't want to know too much about the Doctor. I don't want him reduced to something entirely explicable. I like my messiahs to have depth beyond human understanding.
Back to my own continuum (they know me there...)
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Well that was a day and a half!
Actually, no it wasn't, it was just a day, but we seem to have crammed a lot in. Like three machine loads of washing, and Ken mowing front and back and me strimming while Kai cleared some of the ivy that's growing back around the trees. And me planting up a whole load more seed, and potting on the marigolds (this in a greenhouse with a thermometer reading just under 40°, no less. And it wasn't much cooler outside the greenhouse, so using the potting table wouldn't have made much difference. Not to mention that it's covered with seed trays in various stages of development, which would all have had to go somewhere else... where was I? Oh yes.) We've also laid down four of the resin sleepers (that Kai bought at Focus in their closing down sale) across the meadow, so we can get in to weed out grass and ivy - and we have meadowflower seeds coming up, the ones Kai and I sowed a month or so ago! Very happy 'bout that.
We've all caught the sun today, but not burned, And we ate dinner al fresco, which is always fun!
Kai came out with me while I watered - trying to get things well established before the hosepipe bans begin. It was much cooler then, at 8 p.m.: it seems to have warmed up again, and I have the door open with the organza curtain down keeping out the bugs quite effectively. Well, it's kept out a cockchafer anyway, for which I am mightily grateful.
I'm tired now. Should be getting some work done, but feel more like taking the night off...
(Sue, thanks for email - will reply tomorrow!)
Gah... I want my 60 hour day!
This -> is a very pretty moth, in the rockery. I haven't found out what it is yet: must look it up tomorrow. I did try to move the grass for a better pic but it (the moth, not the grass) flitted off and hid in the bramble patch, alas. (The bramble patch is partially in Kai's den. Ken talked about digging it up last year, but both Kai and I said please don't, and I'm glad we left it, as there are hundreds of flowers coming - which means hundreds of blackberries in a month or so. We really like blackberries!)
Spent about an hour in the garden today, planting the cat mint, moving the lily of the valley bulbs to the new bed, where they won't get swamped, and in my case the usual greenhouse tending...
GoodTwin, if you think the aubergines look alien, what do you think of my cumbles?
Was slightly alarming earlier. A month or so ago, when Ken was out with Kai, something very strange happened to his eyes - he described it as not being able to bring anything into focus unless he tilted his head right over. After a little while his vision went back to normal: he went to see the doctor, who couldn't find anything wrong but said to keep and eye on it (arf arf - not a pun) and go back if it happened again. Well, while he was at court on Thursday something different happened - a sparkly crescent shape that shifted about then slowly drifted off to the side. Now I had something like that which led to a migraine, fortunately only the once, as I don't think I could deal with that pain on a regular basis - but Ken didn't even get a headache. Until he woke up on Friday morning. Got an urgent appointment with the Dr for 11.30 a.m....
I then didn't see him until nearly 8 p.m. Dr still couldn't find anything obviously wrong, but referred him to the BRI - and you know how long it takes to be seen there... Consultants also couldn't say what it might be, but are making an appointment for him to have a CT scan. Oh joys. But it's important to make sure it's nothing serious - or if it is, to get something done about it asap. Will report later.
And me, I've been continuing with the AC. Have now finished AC1,2 and 3 (and 3 was an absolute bugger - MoonYear, with nearly twice as many chapters from both me and Lutra as any of the others). But I'm halfway done now, which is fairly good going, although I freely confess that I haven't converted Business 1 and 2 to anything like WW3 CSS standards. Too hard, would take far too long. They're readable, which is what matters in the case of a private project like this. It's damn good stuff though - really rather impressive for fanfic!
Right. Thinking 'early night' (and since my bedtime was 5 a.m. on Friday and 6.30 a.m. on Saturday, early is relative here...)
Oh, but I must just mention that the Dr Who double was hugely enjoyable - so much so that I'd like it on DVD, to keep. Though all of us hope they never, ever, ever delve into the backstory. There are some things that must remain a mystery...
Friday, June 06, 2008
[phew] Well, that's the first AC book mostly tidied, though I still have a few small amendments to make. It's looking better though.
And I thought I'd see about doing a new side-story to add to the CD. Any of the recipients have any requests? A particular event that was mentioned but never detailed, perhaps? Let me know!
Labels: Alliance Chronicles
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Odd sort of day. Ken was in Court, so I got up at some ridiculous hour, shopped at the butcher and Sainsbug's, and got a wash out to dry before he left at 8.45...
Which meant I was tired come 3 pm, of course, but a nap solved that.
So - what the greenhouse has taught me.
Next year, grow at most three cucumber plants and put them in pots on the floor - they grow rather tall. (But I do have three cumbles coming already! Quite exciting it is.)[shrugs] I've never had a greenhouse before. I learn as I go along!
It's paying dividends already though - haven't had to buy any green salad stuff or any radishes this year (and home grown radishes are lovely, crisp and spicy without being too hot - even Kai likes them!) If the tomatoes carry on at this pace I won't need to buy any of those either. Ditto courgettes and cumbles, at least for a month or so. The pak choi has seed pods plumping up, so I'm hopeful of enough seed to keep us going this year, if not next, and the other oriental salad leaves look as though they're getting ready to flower too, so I may still get enough seed from them to keep us supplied.
Outside the greenhouse my pot of mint is looking great, the bronze fennel is still struggling a bit but, though small, looks fine, the Swiss chard is growing fast (though it's been nibbled, damn those 'pods) and the marrows have a lot of flowers coming. So pretty good all 'round. And it's great fun!
Back to the loom...
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
[pissing self laughing] at this...
My cherry tomatoes have their first flowers - and [YAY!] the aubergine has flowers too! -> They're quite amazing - look like purple and green velvet. (I'll tackle the greenfly tomorrow. It's only just appeared.)
And, as advised last month, I've now removed the AC and associated material from the (other) Zone, in preparation for the writing of the books. I'll be preparing dedicated CDs (with tidied-up background tiles etc) for the people who contributed - Lutra, onna, Thorne, Valkyrie, Saru, Talon and Naomi (if I can find her) - at some point when I can claw back a little time.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Heh, 2,500th post...
I don't normally like cut flowers... No, I'll rephrase that. Cut flowers can be stunningly beautiful. However, cut flowers are dying flowers, and I'd much rather see them living and on the plant. So I feel a little guilty cutting dianthus for my desk. But the scent is beautiful, and the bees don't seem too fond of them, and the Chelsea Flower Show did say that cutting the flowers right back encourages them to produce more (admittedly, they meant dead flowers...) so I think I can forgive myself this once. The plant is five times the spread it was last year and is producing dozens of blooms, which has left me bemused, as generally I'm better with foliage plants or fruit/veg/herbs rather than flowers. Perhaps my luck is changing.
Another day bites the dust. But I did at least manage to get everything bought that I went into town for in the first place - even a sturdy earring for my jade fang, which I shall have a go at sorting out tomorrow. And I had fun in the Lush shop. Went in to replace my favourite soaps (Karma and Sea Vegetable) and their matching shampoo bars: when everything was added up the assistant grinned at me and said, "As you've spent more than £10 [wince] you get a free soap, and if you spend another 10p you get a free goodie bag as well!"
Well, never one to resist that sort of a bargain, I bought the cheapest thing they had - a trial pot of Celestial moisturiser for £1, and then had great fun looking through everything when I got home.
Oooh yumm! There was a bar of Figs And Leaves soap, which I used tonight in the shower and found gloriously rich yet gentle enough to use on my face without either drying my skin or leaving it with a faint oily haze (which usually happens with face washes and which I absolutely loathe) and a Butterfly Ball bath bomb (yes, OK, it's pink, and I don't take baths any more, but it's honeysuckle scented. For this - and the sparkly butterfly - I will run a bath...), a sample pot of B Gone face cleanser, shower gel, and another little pot of Celestial moisturiser. But the thing that really hit me was the free soap...
Porridge. The smell had both Kai and I drooling and really wanting to eat it, and not just because it looks like mocha ice-cream on the soapdish. It's the most heavenly fragrance, a mix of porridge made with cream and slathered with maple syrup, toffee popcorn, and strawberry pocky. Irresistible. I've stored Kai's bar of Simple Soap and put the Porridge out instead. Only problem now is every time we go into the bathroom, we come out feeling hungry...
Kai's first day back at school was pretty good for both a first day and a Monday, he told me - which is a good sign.
Lutra suggested adding 5 daftest and 5 most insulting to the films meme, and I think it's a fun idea - but I'm too tired right now. Perhaps tomorrow. (I am about to edit yesterday's post though, with a couple of things I missed.)
I really need to get some more spinach, Romanesco broccoli, and Brussel's sprouts on the go. See how I get on tomorrow. For now, I have a short story in progress...
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Busy but useful. Weeded the new bed and the veg beds, slaughtered several dozen snails, and picked about a third each of the melnips and spinach. I've frozen half of the latter, raw, to see if it'll freeze without blanching. We had the rest with dinner, but it was a little disappointing, rather bland. I may have added it to the steamer too soon, and it overcooked: will try less time next time. The melnips, however, were delicious steamed!
K&K spent all afternoon getting the old Advent PC working, which involved a complete restore to factory defaults then reloading everything disc by disc. But it worked, and he now has a pentium 2 with a SIMM, which will run most of the things he wants. It's only running Windows 98, but he's happy with it, and it'll do until we can afford something better for him.
He's back to school tomorrow until July 18th. I think he's enjoyed his holiday though.
Lutra has suggested an alternative film meme over on her blog, and it looks like fun, so I said I'd give it a go. I've added musicals to her list. 5 favourite animated films I'm going to assume this includes anime, and anime series rather than just films. 'Cos I'm like that.
Cyber City Oedo 808 (just in case anyone didn't know) Trigun Fantasia Wolf's Rain Cowboy Bebop5 favourite obscure films
Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders: later remade as City of Angels) Android Valerie and Her Week of Wonders 2002 (well, it's obscure here...) Artemis 815 guilty pleasures
The Adventures of Buckeroo Banzai across the Eighth Dimension Dogma Night Watch Demon Under Glass Edit 02.06.08: Cast a Deadly Spell5 'oh gods, that's x hours of my life I'll never get back' films
The Village Metropolis (the anime,not the Fritz Lang classic) Transformers (the 2007 film) AI I know there are more but I forgot them... Edit 02.06.08: Oh - AvP 2: Requiem. Of course...5 musicals
Rocky Horror Picture Show Phantom of the Paradise This is Spinal Tap Farishtay Jesus Christ Superstar (this should probably be in guilty secrets as well...)5 favourite kids' flicks