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 for at least 15 years 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, July 31, 2008
But no, it's not allergies, it's a bloody cold...
First Defence seems to be helping, at least.
What happened today? Ken was at court, and the weather was unsettled and generally unpleasant, so we stayed in, Kai to work in his latest toy, Endorphin, me to tackle all the bits and pieces of client site stuff that is coming in at the moment.
And discovered my printer is playing up, not printing black. Not sure if it's a cartridge fault or the driver software, but I'm not getting any problem reports. It means I can't print out the covers for the AC archive CDs though. Not going to worry about it til later - apologies to everyone, but getting the CDs in the post is going to be delayed. And Ken had to print out our coach tickets on his printer, which is decidedly dodgy.
On that subject, I'm taking Kai down to Devon to visit the folks from Tuesday to Friday next week, so there will be no blogging during that time.
Kai now has a better keyboard, a Roland E-16, bought very cheap from a friend who lives down the road who has upgraded to a digital piano. It is fifteen years old, but Kai is absolutely delighted with it. It came with stand, music stand, mains lead, instruction book and four books of music, so a very good deal. It will keep him going for a few years! The sound is beautiful, and I am told the touch sensitivity is good.
There was a very noisy hedgehog in the garden last night.
And a dead frog hanging out of the spout of our big watering can after all the rain. I would have taken a photo but K&K got rid of it for me before I could retrieve the camera.
Tired, aching and snuffling. Need this gone by next week...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
[sigh] Sore throat, stinging sinuses - hopefully it's just allergies...
Into town with Ken early this morning (to pick up skoosh refills, the only place I can get them these days is Robert Dyas in the Galleries), and found some 'Woody's of Bristol' clear honey at the open market in Corn St (chuffed, as we ran out a month or so ago, and it's great for hayfever and colds.)
The rest of the day was mostly bits of client site updates. Fun, ne?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Spent much of the day encoding .mov files of Jenni's sound-rehearsal of her opera The Descent of Inanna to RealVideo and uploading to a new (password protected) section of her site.
Then I had to tank up to the dentist - broke a tooth on Saturday. Well, broke off a chunk of the enamel shell around the whacking great filling inside. Dentist had an emergency on - I was an hour late going in... she has repaired it (with white, so it matches) but it's the inner side of a molar: it might not last. If not, she'll have to replace the whole thing [wince]. Fingers crossed it holds...
Squeezed in a Wilkinson shop (couple of BIG pots for next year, and a flexible hose - actually a washing machine outlet hose - for the downpipe for the greenhouse butt, and a packet of peas (half price) and dwarf beans (cheap) to see how they get on in the garden next year) and a Tesco shop (that was fun. I got caught in what might laughingly be called a shower but was closer to a downpour and had to shelter under a tree to avoid drowning. Luckily I had picked up a slice of NY cheesecake (99p reduced to 25p on special) to keep me going while I waited for the rain to stop...)
Bit tired now. Busy day tomorrow too. But busy is good...
Monday, July 28, 2008
The meadow before the storm...
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Ambition - I has it...
I took Kai to Clevedon today, to take advantage of the sunny weather before the forecasted rain this week: we went through the wood at the end of the pools and up to the headland, instead of along to the pier as we usually do. It was hot, still and beautiful.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
To explain what happened...
For a while I thought Raptor was improving (and said as much here), but over the last three days she slipped back, not wanting to be petted and even more incontinent than before, smelly, frequent but very little - basically, she was not well at all. I'd started letting her sleep outside again, since the weather was warm and being woken up by the smell after she'd had an accident on the landing wasn't doing any of us any good. Crunch came when I got her indoors yesterday, ready to go in the cat carrier for the vet's visit, and in the few minutes she was in she managed to mess in our bedroom, then curl up in the corner very woe-begone and miserable.
I cleaned up, cuddled her and popped her into the carrier: Kai came with me to help carry as my hands are playing up again. In the ten minutes it took us to walk to the vet she had another accident - and threw up, something she hardly ever does.
Vet examined her, said the lump was bigger, and asked what I wanted to do...
He gave us the option of an injection into the kidney, rather than the front leg (which both Ryme and Quynn struggled with), possible because she was so skinny and it was easy to get to I think. I held her gently on the table while he administered it (she didn't even flinch) then cuddled her on my shoulder as she drifted off, purring.
We buried her in the meadow, and I've planted my silver fern over her.
Thank you to everyone for your sympathy. Excuse me if I'm not very talkative for the next few days.
Friday, July 25, 2008
March 1991 - July 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
... I'm a bit - pink. I think we need better sunscreen...
But we had a wonderful day. Kai made a little kite at school in year 7, and since he's never flown a kite and wanted to try, we took it (and a cheap, two-handed stunt kite we picked up several years ago) with us.
We're both knackered now!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The first melon, with a 50p piece for scale ->
The usual busyness. Quite a bit of gardening: Ken mowed, I trimmed around and under the fruit cage, repotted the kiwi fruit (I have four sturdy plants coming) and planted the chilli pepper seeds. Also noted we have the first flower buds on the sweet peppers, so fingers crossed for some home-grown in a month or so.
Remember what I said yesterday about the size of the blueberries on the two different bushes?
<- Here you go, with a 20p piece for scale. The larger berries are sharper, initially, with a sweet afterburn...
And from the greenhouse, the first green pepper of the year and the tomatoes for tomorrow's chilli con carne (made in advance this evening as I'm supposed to be taking Kai to Severn Beach tomorrow, and after walking from the hamlet to the new Severn Bridge and back the last thing I want to do is cook when I get home).
We watched the first part of Burn Up tonight. Thoroughly enjoyed it even as it sent my blood pressure climbing (I could have done without the romance, even though I know it's part of the plot, not just gratuitous). Part two is on Friday - looking forward.
I'm too tired to focus on writing tonight. Having an early night instead.
... this is bliss...
I have two chapters open, switching between them as ideas occur, plus a window of notes, plus jpgs of the two planets I'm dealing with in the two chapters for inspiration. And that's before I've learned how to use the software properly, or how to create a timeline/dossier/outline/builder/checklist...
I LUBS this software! I can see that within a week at most I won't know how I ever did without it. Though I can also see it would be a little cramped to use on anything but a large screen...
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Talk about taking liberties with the story!
But you know what? I don't give a damn. Even when I first read and fell in love with The Chronicles of Narnia as a sprog, I was aware of the shortcomings of the Prince Caspian story: it was always my least favourite of all the books, and the weakest as far as the plot went. But the film...
The film is fantastic, absolutely beautiful. We loved the way Susan and Lucy were portrayed, characters at the very least as powerful and heroic as the boys (and wonderful rôle models!), independent and strong-willed. Glenstorm was always a favourite chara (though I still think the centaurs don't look right. Lewis described them as having the lower bodies of shire horses and the upper bodies of giants, not normal human-sized humans, and that's how I've always envisaged them. The film centaurs' human halves look too small to me...) and is terrific here. The cg was perfect, and the extra (non-canon) plot/scenes worked so well I think Lewis would have been very happy with it.
Wonderful. So good, we have to have it on DVD as soon as possible. I want to watch it again now.
In other news: the James Chocolate sweet Thai chilli bar was so horrible Ken and I took one small bite, grimaced, and threw the rest away. But you never know 'til you've tried...
Everything is positively flourishing in the greenhouse - I'd take photos but there's barely room for me in there at the moment, let alone space to swing a camera! The first green pepper is nearly ready to crop and will be going in the chilli con carne on Friday, to make space for all the others that are coming: I'm now using our own tomatoes in everything that needs a tom: and suddenly we have another five cumbles appearing! Outside the greenhouse, we've so far had about seven punnets of blueberries with loads more coming; interestingly, the berries on the early fruiting bush are half the size of the later fruiting one (really must try to take a photo, the size difference is quite remarkable). And we've started cropping the blackberries, though they aren't very sweet yet (but taste fantastic with Kelly's Clotted Cream Cornish ice cream - half price at Tesco at the moment). And my second crop of melnips has come on extremely well - picking some tomorrow to go in the dupiaza for dinner.
Won't be long before we can taste the first of the apples too...
And I've had inspirations for not one but two of the Missions short stories, so am currently wrestling with Liquid Story Binder. I know I said the help is good, and it is, but I forgot that I have trouble following instructions... I think I'll just write, and worry about the fiddly bits later!
And Kai's woken up with a wretched cold, poor sprog. He thinks he still wants to see the film - sitting in cool, darkened cinema caught up in a rollicking adventure will take his mind off things - but we'll see how he is after brunch.
Remembered what I forgot - Ken had his CT scan result, and everything is fine.
But just to make sure, they're scheduling him in for an MRI...
Oh well, best to be certain I suppose...
Kai and I are off to see Prince Caspian at the Showcase in a couple of hours. Been looking forward to it for ages!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Poppies! We have poppies in the meadow! This makes me happy.
So, shopping, then lunch, then an afternoon in the garden, enlarging the new veg bed, trimming grass, and in my case sieving the comfrey liquid manure into the 1.5 litre wine bottles I collected for the purpose (four bottles filled! And strangely, despite the fact that while it was doing its stuff it smelt absolutely vile, now it's finished it hardly smells at all. I'm not sure that's quite right - will have to see what I can find out. (Twenty minutes later: can't find anything about the smell vanishing. Strange...)
I'm sure there was more, but I can't remember what it was. Tired - planning an early night.
Weather pixies are back up. And it's actually colder here at the moment, in the middle of summer, than it is over in New Zealand, where it's winter.
This does not bode well.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
... and there went the weekend...
But it's been quite successful. I finished Bane at around 4.30 on Saturday morning, then spent some of the day adding other sort-of-related fics (Transposition, Entranced, Fugitive, the infamous Silk and Leather, etc.) for completeness - and I finished the cover ->
Planning to burn the CDs and print out the covers tomorrow, then they can all go in the post later in the week.
Having had a really late night on Friday (well, I was still up at six am, and watered and opened the greenhouse before I went to bed!) and not much of a lie-in as I had so much to do, I was knackered come Saturday evening and planned an early night. Unfortunately, as I was closing down, I realised that Bloodsuckers was on, a film I've been trying to catch for a while. Managed to stay awake to watch it (and very glad I did, wonderful, B-movie stuff but great fun and very enjoyable: it read like the pilot for a series, and I really wish it had been - I'd have watched it!) but then had to get up early this morning as Lutra found a copy of Peter Jackson's Bad Taste cheap on ebay, and as our video of the film is completely buggered (as we found out when Kai tried to watch it on Saturday afternoon) and it's expensive on play.com, I needed to grab it if I could. (I did, and even with the airmail from Australia 'tis half the price of the play.com DVD.)
Then Kai fancied coming to the LoveFoodFestival with me, so we headed off at 10.30... It was very interesting (though badly sign-posted) with lots of different stalls with lots of samples to taste. We stopped at the Turkish stall to try chocolate with chilli, which sounds disgusting but was actually really nice, so much so that we bought a bar of James' Chocolate sweet Thai chilli chocolate (£1.50) for us all to share. (Haven't opened it yet...) He was also selling some other varieties cheap (25p or 5 for £1) so I picked up Moroccan Mint, Honey and Almond, Rose and the rather nice Orange and Geranium. And Kai bought some Cappuchino Coffee Beans (bean shaped chocolates). All the stalls were great, though, and next time I must try to take more money.
Kai wanted to walk back on the other side of the river, which was quite nostalgic as I used to take him and Quyn for walks along there back when he was just a wee sproglet in his buggy. Back home I made the belly pork in barbecue sauce for dinner again, and while that was cooking also made a sticky lemon cake and a small spelt loaf (these days I really hate putting the oven on for just one thing...)
Sorry Lutra, I know I said I'd try to take a photo, but the sticky lemon cake just vanished in one. Though I say it myself, it was delicious, not bad since I haven't made any cakes at all in over ten years.
Poppyseed cake next.
Haven't managed much in the garden this weekend, though I did use our own tomatoes to make chilli con carne on Saturday (general census of opinion was it was probably the best I've ever made) - and had a moment of bemusement on Friday evening when I came back in from the garden, three freshly dug carrots in hand to go with dinner, to find Kai watching The Good Life...
Remember how the new meadow looked when we first cleared it? It's changed a little since...
I think we sowed the seed a little too close together! Still, it's stopping the grasses from coming back.
We have all sorts of native plants here, many of which I recognise but don't know the names - will have to go out with our identification books when they're all flowering. We'll need to do some judicious thinning though, in order to have it thriving. I'm particularly pleased that we have a lovely patch of foxgloves coming up in the shade of the tree: I like foxgloves. No poppies yet, but there's a pretty blue scabious right in the middle that I'd like to see more of: will try to collect seed later and see if I can encourage it in the couple of bare patches we still have.
It does seem to be encouraging the butterflies though - we've had more than ever visiting this year, including marbled whites, cabbage whites (not so welcome, they've made lace of some of my Brussel's sprouts leaves), red admirals (pleased about that last, as they were becoming scarce: we grow nettles for their caterpillars), common blue (not so common these days), peacocks, even a comma, and this morning in the greenhouse a meadow brown landed on my hand while I was watering - and wouldn't get off, I had to persuade it gently onto the rosemary bush growing outside before I could finish!
I am particularly fond of butterflies...
Friday, July 18, 2008
GoodTwin checks the Giveaway of the Day each morning. It's an interesting site, although generally there's not much there to tempt me. GoodTwin emailed today though, to let me know about this - Liquid Story Binder (the free offer is due to run out soonish, so if the link doesn't work, you can find the software here).
Wow! What a piece of kit! Complex, but the help seems fairly good, and after learning (almost) how to use Bryce and Font Creator, I'm pretty sure it won't create too many problems. In turn, I told Ken and Lutra about it, and they've both installed it too. I'm itching to start using it for Haadri and 2AC, both of which have hundreds of Word .docs with notes, specs, excised text, maps, sketches, pics, photos, names, langauge snippets, dialogue, tables, stats, etc. etc. scattered all over my C drive and no way - til now - to pull them all together into any kind of usable format.
[GLOMPS - and kudos - to GoodTwin!]In other news - Kai's now on holiday for five weeks, and very happy about it! It's been a tough term, and everyone was ready for a break.
Bane is almost finished - hopefully before I close down tonight. I've also created a cover for the CD, which I'm quite pleased with, and added an autorun.exe to the top level for that professional touch. All in all I'm quite pleased with the way it's all come together.
Raptor is much better, guts almost normal (normal for a normal cat, I mean, not normal for her) and she's put on weight. She's brighter in herself too - and has started going back upstairs to sleep, which worries me slightly, as she can't come back down very quickly, but she seems happy up there, so I shouldn't complain. I'm going to ask the vet to prescribe the daily low-level anti-bios for her when I take her back, they really do work for her. I guess we'll go for the steroids too, if they're in a form she can take easily (anyone who's ever had a cat will know what fun it is trying to get tablets into them...)
Argent, bless him, is insisting on staying with her, apparently keeping an eye on her; it's very cute.
Right! Back to the fic...
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I found Star Trek - New Earth, Bk 1, Wagon Train to the Stars while looking for A Brief History of Time in our numerous bookcases, and since I haven't managed to read it since Sue gave it to me, I thought I'd give it a try...
Now, I love it when people use their thesaurus to make their writing more interesting (drives me nuts reading 'he said', 'they said', 'she said' all the time, it's so boring. What's the use of having a wonderfully expressive language like English if you aren't going to utilise its myriad and varied forms?) However, I do prefer it when words are used accurately, rather than simply plonked in place. I cannot, for example, imagine Kirk's voice 'piping' anything. And '"This is no accident," Kirk rejected. "If it were..."' is eyebrow-raisingly peculiar. But what really threw me is a little sentence on page 13:
... Kirk moved around to Kilvennan's side, feeling compact and chiseled in comparison to the lanky hired gun ...You what? What sort of description is that?
One that I've come across before, unfortunately - in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. In Hell Hath Fury, there's a scene where Dr Rick Dagless is running - in slo-mo - down a corridor filled with lit candles and narrating over the action, "As I rounded the corner, I felt muscular and compact, like corned beef".
In context, it's very funny. The Darkplace scene, I mean. Having Dagless superimposed over Kirk in my mind on the Enterprise's bridge is hysterical - and I don't mean in a comic sense.
As for the rest - well, the prose is so close to purple I'm not sure how much further I can actually get through the book: I'm wincing as I read.
But perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps it's supposed to be funny, in a weird sort of way. Sue?
Back to my own loom...
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I have an interesting book, picked up I forget where some years ago, called The Kitchen Garden - an Historical Guide to Traditional Crops by David Stuart. It's a potted [g] history of British gardens and over a hundred traditional crops, drawing on ancient texts for much of its information. Some of the references are a real treat, especially those from Dodoens (A niewe Herball or Historie of Plants 1578): snuff from powdered oregano leaves, for example, 'mundifieth the Braine', while sorrel leaves with oil of roses and saffron 'dissolve impostumes of the head'. But I think my favourite is the use of the roots of rhubarb (which I can't stand) for 'Wamblings of the gut'...
I've been invited to participate in this (along with 500,000 or so other people!) and I think I will - it looks both interesting and useful.
Kai brought home his end of year report, handing it over with a faintly worried look, although this time he didn't scuttle off to his bedroom. It was much as normal - a goodly number of 'excellent's and 'oustanding's, a scattering of 'good's, and satisfactory for his PE. His top subjects at the moment are English, music and geography, and his maths report made me chuckle: "Kai is a talented mathematician... He often has a different approach to problems from the other students and this is often extremely valuable in class discussions..." Wonderfully typical - but how, exactly, can you have a different approach to the only subject in which answers are either right or wrong?!
Back to the loom.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
More shopping. And a little gardening. And then two hours spent making fifty beefburgers with the 2.5 kilos of lean steak mince I found half-price on special at Sainsbug's. Not that it took that long to make the burgers, that is - they only took about 45 seconds each with Wendy's nifty little burger maker gadget - it was all the preparation, cutting the paper rounds, clearing the working area, mincing the onions and mushrooms, and mixing everything together in my huge breadmaking bowl that took the time. Still, it's done now, and will keep us going for a week or so. Kai can't wait, he likes my burgers.
Left: The first melon (there are two others coming). It's actually only an inch and a half long, but it's definitely a melon! Right: Nasturtiums...
Left: my jasmine is flowering. Only a wee bit, but the smell is gorgeous. Right: sunflowers!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Shopping. The price of things just keeps going up. A packet of chocolate digestives, our favourite biscuits (not that we buy biscuits all that often), was 45p (if I remember correctly) three months ago. Then it went up to 65p. Two weeks ago it was 79p. Today it's 95p. No, I didn't buy them: I have more important things to do with the money.
Had our first two tomatoes sliced in the salad we had with dinner: they were nice, but not quite as flavourful as I was expecting. Kai liked them though, and will be very happy to eat more, which is a plus.
Have collected the seed from my pak choi (there was a lot of it!) and got some on the go - it's a tasty salad green, and I gather it can be cooked too.
Client site updates this pm, and I'm about to continue with Bane. I really must remember it always takes longer when I'm writing again in a fandom I have had little to with for several years...
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Raptor's being a little more sociable today, which is good.
We tackled the pools today. Well, made a start on tackling them, anyway, sieving out a couple of buckets of gunge from the frewtnog pool and applying blanket weed killer to Roeg's Pool. Once the latter is clear, I need to split the two plants there, as much like every other green thing in the garden, they're trying very hard to take over. That would free up a bit of space for the fish - assuming we have any left, I haven't been able to see them for a month or more...
While we were doing that, I took the plunge and [gaspshockhorror!] DEFRAGGED! for the first time since I got this machine (getting on for two years ago). I've been putting it off, as the old machine used to take about six hours, and I haven't had the time to spare, but in fact it was ridiculously fast, an hour for the C drive (programmes, mostly) and an hour and a half for the D drive (where all my 600,000 plus files are). Mind you, I've only used 8% of the memory on the D drive: if there was more on it no doubt it would have taken a lot longer.
But it's done. Might even improve performance!
Bane isn't yet finished, and I'm planning an early night, so will continue with it in the morning. If I feel up to it after the usual Monday shop...
Wendy, will get back to you tomorrow, haven't explored the calendar yet.
Heh. Bane now half-finished. The AC backup I've just burned is 79megs. Admittedly that does include a handful of mp3s that I thought might be fun to include - only one of them is directly related, but the others have resonances for me, and hopefully for the recipients.
Tired now. But finding it difficult to go up at a sensible hour: Raptor is insisting on spending most of her time outside, and for the past three nights has slept on the door mat outside the front door in the porch. I don't want to shut her in, but it worries me. She's always loved her warmth and comfort, curling up on sofa or beanbag or my jumper, or a lap if there was one available. At the end, Ryme just wanted to be left alone, and would wander off to lie by herself. But Raptor isn't obviously ill. She's coming in to eat (and eat a lot, too) - but I'd very much rather she was here where I can keep an eye on her...
At least it's not cold outside at the moment.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
An almost-lazy family Saturday. Almost, because we resited the compost bins this afternoon (I needed some compost for potting up seedlings, and the best was right in the middle of the small bin). And Kai trimmed around the manhole cover planter and the new flower bed, and I cut back the seeding lupin heads (have saved most of the seedpods, but not quite sure what to do with the seeds. Anyone want any?)
And I tried a new recipe for dinner. We all like pork, and belly pork is quite cheap at our butchers: I had some in the freezer, but it's very fatty and a bit greasy just cooked in the oven. A little while ago I found a Delia Smith recipe for slices of belly pork in a barbecue sauce that sounded nice, so I gave it a go this evening.
I shall be making it again, everyone loved it! (And the sauce was wonderful over basmati rice.)
Alien Resurrection is on in half an hour. It's not a very good film, but Kai hasn't seen it, and although it doesn't finish 'til midnight, it's his last week of school, everyone's feeling low and grumpy, and I think a treat (well, staying up late is still a bit of a treat) will do him good.
Still on target to finish Bane before Monday.
Friday, July 11, 2008
[grin] I have aubergines developing! And more tomatoes are going red in the greenhouse, and there are definitely melons coming - as long as the pests don't get at them, will have to see what I can do to prevent that...
The AC gallery is now complete - just the new story to finish.
Discovered today that I seem to be mildly allergic to chilli pepper juice... I decided to have a go at making my own flavoured oils a wee while back. I've been making garlic and rosemary in olive oil for years - great for roasting potatoes - and thought a garlic and chilli one would be interesting... Fortunately I found out before I rubbed my eyes, otherwise it could have been very nasty: I've never forgotten what happened when I managed to get kiwi juice in them. With the peppers the skin of my hands has been stinging all day. I'll have to bear that in mind for the future, as I was going to try growing a bush in the greenhouse.
Continuing the Cendawan story - now retitled Bane - with The Libertine on in the background. Costumes, cinematography, attention to detail all great, story intriguing, but all that's going through my mind is how horribly smelly everyone must have been in those days...
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The last forty-eight hours have been both messy and smelly as Raptor has had a repeat of the explosive bowel problem and apparent unwillingness to move to the litter tray (or outside) before relieving herself. Not fun. Heavy on the disinfectant and extra-strong anti-bacterial Oust, too...
I took her to the vet this afternoon. He was, again, surprised and pleased to see her so bright, alert and otherwise fit and healthy, despite her age, and since the anti-bios worked so well last time has given her two weeks worth of liquid Flagyl (link goes to a page of human-use Flagyl, but the veterinary version has the same effects).
However, on checking her over he found a lump in her gut that wasn't there the last time she was examined, smaller than the one that killed Ryme, but in much the same place. He thinks that may be contributing to the problems, and has offered to prescribe the same treatment Quyn had last year, with mild anti-bios to fight infections and steroids to try to shrink the mass (or at least stop it getting bigger). Surgery is simply not an option - at eighteen and given how frail she is it's almost certain she'd not survive it.
We're going to see how she is after the two weeks (I made a repeat appointment while I was there). She's not in pain, and is fine in herself, but I remember how quickly Ryme went downhill, and I don't want Raptor to suffer.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
It rained. And rained and rained and rained. Now it's stopped, but it's a bit late to garden...
The first ripening tomato ->
Yes, I have small hands, but it is, nevertheless, a rather large tomato. Really looking forward to tasting it!
(That flash of orange in the lower background is a marigold flower seen through leaves.)
(Other) Zone members might remember a picture I did, of R and Z and the shr'en'an chief Gli'ken, for AC bk 1, ch 3.3 (Beguilement). I also drew a revised version of it - without Gli'ken blocking the 'view'. I thought it would be nice to include it on the archive CD, for completeness' sake...
Could I find the bloody thing? Could I hell!
I have dozens and dozens of backup CDs (must be at least a hundred) and a terribly bad habit of not labelling things very clearly. I always think, at the time, that what I write on them is so blindingly obvious of course I don't need to be more explicit, and of course that never works. But I knew I'd sent copies to Lutra, Sue and GoodTwin back in 2001 (ye gods, that long ago?) when I finished the pic, so as well as starting to plough through the most likely backups (all thirty of them) I emailed a request to see if any of the three had it easily accessible.
[GLOMPS Sue!]who found it for me! I am most deeply appreciative.
But the backup checking wasn't wasted, as I found the not-quite-finished pic of J that I'd always intended to add to the story (AC bk 3, ch.1.4, Snapshots) - and as a bonus, I also found an unfinished pic of the zasshu hostlings Le'ska and Ka'rayne, which I am in the process of completing for inclusion. And the additional story, Cendawan, has now been started. I'm hoping to have everything finished by this weekend.
Back to the loom...
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Hecticness abounds... never mind what day it is, which century am I in, again? And in which galaxy?
Yesterday went. Well, it contained a complete site redesign (for a small site, so didn't take all that long), followed by a little gardening (my first big tomato is now red, with several others in slightly less well-developed stages of ripening: will take a photo when I pick it/them. Also have five peppers beginning to look like peppers rather than green pincushions, with loads more coming. And - keeping fingers tightly crossed - I may have a handful of Galia melons coming too...), followed by a rather longer than usual BCP meeting (shame upon me I haven't been to one for months...) which was interesting but tiring. Aren't run on sentences fun?
Late night, early morning: today has been a mix of gardening (which more or less goes without saying at the moment), a little client site work, and continuing adding the text-box coding to the AC archive - simple but time-consuming and tedious. Almost done now though!
Kai's field trip to @Bristol today was a big disappointment, which I have to say doesn't come as a surprise: the last time we were there the place was definitely looking sad, with quite a few of the exhibits no longer functional. Apparently it's worse now. The group did get to go into the planetarium, which is now open again, but Kai tells me that while they were in there a few of the group caused problems, being somewhat rowdy and rude, and now the whole class has detention. [sigh] There's always someone to spoil things, isn't there?
Tonight Ken and I watched the new Beeb series Bonekickers. Hm. It was... interesting, though inaccurate in a couple of places, we thought. I can't say I really enjoyed it, though that was due to the subject matter rather than the actual story. We'll watch a few more eps before deciding.
Right - back to it. Onna, will take a look at the first of the shorts tomorrow, all being well.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Most of the day was taken up by the Arno's Park 2008 Fun Day - you can see the photos over at the APAG site: go to Gallery and hit the top entry. To everyone's delight the rain held off until half an hour after it finished - then we were treated to a quite magnificent thunderstorm (Kai and I watched from the greenhouse, an effective Faraday cage, I am told...)
While I was there (at the Fun Day, that is, not in the greenhouse) I was told about this:
Much more info here. It sounds absolutely fantastic, and I've definitely diaried to go along - to check out James' Chocolates if nothing else!
There are due to be a whole load of organic and eco-friendly stalls as well. All in all something to really look forward to.
This heron landed on Dave next door's fence as it was getting dark. We assume it had come hunting frogs, which we have in abundance though they're not for herons, cheeky sod, but the gulls were scolding it, and I think it gave up. It flew off pretty quickly, anyway. The photo's not great, but it was over 100' away, and it was twilight. Amazed me how big it is - the fence is over 6' high, and you can see about three fifths of it here...
Kai wanted to watch The Quiet Earth this evening - one of my all-time favourite films. He thoroughly enjoyed it. I have a sprog with taste...
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Demon beastlie does not like flash...
Friday, July 04, 2008
I blinked and there was the day, gone.
But we had a handful of homegrown blueberries with Kelly's Cornish ice-cream for dessert, and they were great! And there are loads more to come.
Kai asked to watch Waterworld, so we settled down in front of the TV after dinner. I'd forgotten how much I like the film - it makes me feel homesick. Kai thoroughly enjoyed it. Must pick up the DVD next time I see it cheap...
Back to the loom...
Thursday, July 03, 2008
And another day bites the dust...
Hm. Can days actually bite? Can time be considered an entity in its own right? What sort of form would it assume? Windlily used to call them time daemons - but what does a daemon look like? Is there such a thing as a generic daemon? Why am I wittering?
Must be exhaustion.
The last of the tomatoes and the leeks now planted out - we'll have to wait and see if they succeed (not hopeful, but it was worth a try given how much seed I had). Lots of client site additions and revisions came through, so that took a significant part of the day. I revised the Haadri Cycle page on the Haadri site (more on that over at the HaadriBlog). And I'm still ploughing through the AC.
John Cabot has in inset day on Monday, so Kai will have a nice long weekend. Then he's on his summer holidays on the 18th: I absolutely must have the AC CDs finished and ready to send by then...
Back to it.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Our mole is still with us.
It has made a new molehill - inside my greenhouse.
Stupid bloody animal!
Blackie fuschia is very bold and dramatic, and positively profligate as far as flowerbuds are concerned.
I, on the other hand, am very tired. Day of client stuff, shopping, and preparing/blanching/freezing the three bags of organic dwarf beans Ken picked up on special, and the large bag of mange tout, also on special, that I found at Tesco. Then I made beef teriyaki stir-fry. All of which involved standing in the kitchen, relatively motionless, for around two and half hours. Ouch.
But we made time to watch my latest LoveFilm choice, I Am Legend. It's very good.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
[sigh] Slept really badly (legs aching horribly) and woke up early - though this last was actually a good thing, as I managed to get half the planting done (spinach and Swiss chard seedling) and the sweet peppers potted on in the greenhouse, as well as a bit of reorganisation. Also managed a nap, so am ready to get back to the AC tidy-up. Nearly there...