Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid since 2007 and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...
RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.
PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!
TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).
Friday, October 31, 2008
Happy Samhain!Astonishingly, we have had no trick or treaters. At all.
It's too quiet...
To take advantage of the gloriously sunshiney day, K&K went for a walk down to Nightingale valley this afternoon - where they found a cat pretending to be a squirrel... Friendly wee beast too, Kai says...
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Cold. Coldcoldcold. I'm not usually cold this early, but it is unusually cold.
Enough about the weather. I'm having an early night.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
[sigh] After all my preparations, the temperature got down well below freezing last night, and a tad below freezing in the greenhouse, and my pepper plants' leaves are frost-bitten...
Not all of them, just the ones closest to the glass. Which unfortunately is four of the six plants. I've rescued the sweet peppers and brought them in to see if I can ripen them indoors (there are six, all quite large and all in various stages of going red), moved the plants further away from the glass and swathed them in fleece to see if they survive: they might, there are new leaves sprouting from the dropped leaf axils. If they don't make it, I'll just have to get new plants started earlier next year.
The lie-in was much appreciated by both Kai and I. He's spent the day relaxing, I've done client stuff, and after dinner we all watched Day Watch.
Wow. I'm fond of Russian films anyway, love their dourness, their genuinely gritty (indeed grimy!) realism. Day Watch is deliciously bizarre and gloriously funny in places: I'm just sad that I know so very little of Russian culture that I know huge amounts of the deeper meaning are completely lost to me...
The initial premise is odd (from my pov, anyway) - I mean, the Chalk of Destiny? I thought I'd heard wrongly, but no, it is a large chunk of chalk, the sort used to write on blackboards. Not the sort of thing you'd expect to have the power to change the fate of the one using it. But in one way it's entirely apt: it's fragile, vulnerable, and will eventually run out. It can also hide in plain sight, which is rather nice for something of such importance. And the end of the film is just amazing. How to change history with a single word.
Definitely one to buy. And now I'm wondering just what the hell they're going to do for the third part of the trilogy! How do you top that?
I suppose I could read the books to find out - but in this instance I think I'd rather wait for the film...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Hm. For the second night in a row we've had the police chopper hovering above, tonight playing a very powerful searchlight over the lanes to left and right of us (they lead to the garages belonging to the big Georgian houses that make up the rest of the street). All very noisy and a bit alarming, especially after indulging in the first three eps of the new spooks (the Beeb are doing their usual and showing next week's ep on BBC3 an hour after the 'normal' ep, and since Kai's on holiday we've let him stay up to watch. Some of it's a bit beyond him, but he's enjoying it. Won't be able to continue, alas, on school weeks...). Very brutal, this season, but very good.
Wendy's visit was wonderful! Thanks for coming up - and for the Bramleys! Great to see you and to catch up with the news. Next time we must talk books. And maybe watch the rest of Primeval...
snerk... Would you trust this moron any further than you could spit him?
Monday, October 27, 2008
A clearing decks sort of a day today. Some major orchid care for me (I have a flowerspike coming on the phalaenopsis that hasn't flowered yet - exciting! Wonder what colour it will be?) while Kai made a start on clearing space in his corner for his new computer. A little shopping was done, during which I winced at the steadily rising prices of some of the things I used to buy regularly and now will have to think twice before dropping into the trolley. And I've almost completed bubble-wrapping the greenhouse (just in time for the forecast frost tonight): the door end wall is now covered, and half the sunward roof. There's enough open space left to take full advantage of what little sun we may still get, but it's small enough that it won't take much to cover when we have a really nasty day.
It's so cosy out there! Keeping fingers crossed it all works, as we've started using the sweet and bell peppers that are coming along nicely, and it would be fantastic (if unlikely) to keep them going through the winter.
A fun meme 'alf-inched from Hoyden about Town
Where would your eight homes be?
["For those who have not been paying obsessive attention to the US election details, it’s a reference to how many homes the McCains own (to be precise, how many homes the corporations and family trusts controlled by Cindy McCain own)"] Here are mine. And yes, I know they're mostly completely unfeasible. I can dream though. 1. A self-sufficient eco-house in its own grounds on the edge of Dartmoor. (That one would actually be feasible with a lottery win!) 2. A traditional Japanese house in its own garden on the outskirts of Kyoto. 3. The Maldives. Ideally a tiny island all to myself, and a little luxury cabin with all the mod cons. 4. Either a beach house up near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, or a penthouse apartment near the sea in Sydney, Aus. 5. A submarine dwelling off the shores of Madagascar. 6. A biodome on the moon, right on the terminator. 7. A self-contained space-station just above the rings of Saturn. 8. An FTL ship stationed in intergalactic space, about six thousand light years above the plane of M31 and about forty three thousand light years out from the centre.
I'd love to hear other people's choices, if anyone fancies joining in.
Wendy's up for a day's visit tomorrow - looking forward to a good chat!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Not a great photo as it was taken from inside the patio doors to avoid frightening the wee beast. The squiggle has eaten most of the big sunflower seeds now and has been attacking the meadow sunflower seedhead...
I'm ambivalent about this. I don't wish harm to any creature (well, except slugs and snails and fleas and ticks and guinea worms and other assorted parasites of the legless, two-legged or multi-legged varieties) but the grey squirrels are, of course, American invaders and deadly to our native reds, being not only typically aggressive but also carriers of squirrel pox which kills ours: I would like to see them all wiped out (humanely) and the reds repopulate the land. So I'm less than perfectly chuffed to find myself providing food for one of the damned things...
Busy as usual. Ken finished an article for a magazine, and Kai did an illustration to accompany it. I got some client site work done. And we've ordered Kai a new computer, sort of kind of (because he's had to put some of his own money towards it) as an early Yule present: he simply can't continue with the laptop for much longer, it just doesn't have the processing power or memory for the big graphic programs he uses. Quite a good deal - Packard Bell dual core 2.4 ghz and 640 gig hard drive, should have been £599 from PC World, but was on special offer at £100 off. He can't wait!
Tonight Ken and I watched Saw 2, not for any particular reason except that I think it's a good idea to watch cult films every now and then to see what all the fuss is about. It was pretty tedious, though not as bad or hideously predictable as Reeker (which was on last night before the anime) - that's a couple of hours of my life I want back.
Early night tonight - knackered again.
[sigh] And the haddock have done their time reversal thing while I was working. It's 3.10 according to my clock...
And I should really be asleep, but Film 4 were showing the Japanese with English subtitles Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies), an early Studio Ghibli anime which I first heard of back in 1994 and always wanted to see, but somehow never quite managed to find - so I stayed up to watch.
Beautiful, and absolutely heart-breaking.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Dentist this morning was fine for us both. As was Pink Planet DVD Exchange, which is still doing its 3 for £10 deal, and where we found Jurassic Park, Crocodile Dundee 1, and Interview with the Vampire.
Tesco, however, was a pain in the arse. Only trudged over there to get two sets of three photos for the grandparents; should only have taken an hour, so as the actual shopping was only going to take fifteen mins, we went up to the café, where I indulged in an apple muffin with toffee-flavoured yoghurt topping (and it was truly delicious). An hour and ten minutes later, with the shopping done but not yet paid for, we went back to the photo section.
They couldn't find the pics.
After a hunt of five minutes, the assistant said they were just going through the machine now - could we come back in ten minutes? So off we trudged to look at their sale DVDs, and went back a little more than ten minutes later.
They still didn't have them ready.
Would we mind waiting a few more minutes? said a different assistant. Not that we had much bloody choice at that point. So we waited, and about five minutes later she bustled over and waved them at me.
"Are these the right ones?" she said.
"Yes," I replied, "but there are supposed to be two of each of them..."
She groaned, and said if we'd like to go and pay at the checkout she'd bring the photos to me when they were all ready. Which she did, although she had trouble finding me. (How? I'm not exactly inconspicuous!)
And when we'd paid I checked the receipt and found we'd been overcharged on the special offer on Ken's organic nuts (stop sniggering at the back!) Though at least they gave me double the difference back, so that was all right.
I was supposed to tank over to Sainsbug's for the rest of the shopping, but by the time we got home we'd been out for five and a half bloody hours and I was too tired. (Ken went on the way back from court, bless 'im.)
My latest LoveFilm choice is Day Watch, which I've been really looking forwards to. So tonight we watched Night Watch in preparation: we watched the English dub, which was surprisingly good, and helped along by the Russian accents, so at least the overall feel of the film was right. I'd forgotten how good it is, and Kai, who's never seen it before, loved it, so I have no doubt we're going to enjoy the sequel!
Parents are visiting tomorrow...
Thursday, October 23, 2008
So off we tanked to the orthodontist...
[sigh] Kai needs to have two teeth removed (his jaw is small and crowded already; it'll be a nightmare when his wisdom teeth start coming through) and 'train track' braces top and bottom for eighteen months to pull the two misaligned teeth back into line. And afterwards he'll have to wear a plastic retainer thing at night for another year to make sure they don't try to shift back. But before that he has to spend three weeks scrupulously cleaning his teeth two or three times a day, as his dental hygiene is not good enough for the treatment he needs. (He confessed he hasn't been using his electric toothbrush, as the dentist insisted he had to to prevent any problems...)
I think the word is 'dismayed'. However, it will forestall a lot of later problems, so we're going to go for it. He already knows he'll be teased at school: I suggested he call himself 'Metalmouth' and joke he can rip steel bars apart with his teeth...
His eye test was due at 2.50 pm, but we'd done everything else by 12, so I talked nice to SpecSavers Reception and they squeezed us in early. That was more positive: he has a tendency to long-sightedness, but it's so minimal we don't need to do anything about it at the moment.
When we got back Ken suggested he and Kai get some use out of the FirstDay ticket and trot off to Blaise Castle for an hour or so (I had a much-needed nap). They're now on their way back, but apparently the traffic is dreadful in the centre.
Oh, and Kai really really wants a PSP. Not that he's said as much, but he had a go on a friends and really enjoyed it, and we popped into Game in the Galleries to get some info, and I could see it in his face. £139.99, but that does include two games... I think it'll be a matter of seeing how much the grandparents intend giving him for Yule and us putting the rest. Will see how we go.
Wow. Just... wow
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Ouch. Ouchouchouchouchouch. It rather hurts to move...
So we had a restful day today, and tonight Kai and I watched Judge Dredd, which he had never seen and which I usually have on in the background when it's shown, as I quite like it. Kai enjoyed it, anyway.
Labels: nowt really
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Serendips and synchronicities...Right - some rather large photos coming up further down. If I have time over the next few days I'll try to organise a couple of slideshows of the 225 other pics I took today...
We set off at 2.30 yesterday afternoon, caught the X39 to Temple Meads, then the Bristol Flyer to Bristol International Airport, arriving at 4 pm (ish). There were only two people ahead of us at the check-in desk - but there were more like 200 at the security check-in...
[sigh] And of course I set the bloody alarms off. Apparently the machine is extremely sensitive: I think it was the piercings (at any rate, I took the lower one out that night and had no problems at Shannon airport...) Having navigated that embarrassment, we then had to wait for an hour and half for our flight.
The departure lounge was very busy, and the time went fairly quickly, and we'd booked priority boarding, so had almost first choice of seats (at the front where there was a bit more legroom, with Kai by the window). It was a small Boeing 737-800, basically a bus with wings, but so much more immediate and intimate because of it (I've always found the jumbos more like sitting in a luxury coach, insulated from the outside: always preferred the smaller planes. Well, for short flights anyway!)
And then the first of the by-now-almost-expected weirdnesses started. We had a captain and co-pilot and four cabin crew, the latter all different nationalities, which was great - except that the one chosen to make all the announcements was Spanish (or possibly Italian) and we couldn't understand a word she said. I assume it was English, but her accent was so heavy, I was lost, and I'm usually pretty good at interpreting.
And they couldn't agree on how many people were on board. I kid you not, three of them were counting heads and they all came up with different numbers. And not just 2 or 3 numbers difference either: one counted 165, one 150 and one 115!
It took them five minutes to sort that out (I think the final agreement was 115 passengers. Perhaps the others slipped through a time-warp or something) and get ready for the flight, though still on time. It was dark by then (6.30 pm). I'd warned Kai to focus on that first sensation of takeoff, 'cause you only get to experience that first takeoff once. The cabin crew switched off the internal lights, of course, so we could see the airport lights (well, Kai could, he was glued to the window!)
It's been twenty-four years since I last flew, but the feeling, although the memory may fade a little with the years, is one you never forget - that bumpy ride along the runway as the plane picks up speed, the changing pitch of the jet engine, the sudden smoothness as the plane lifts from the ground, then the pressing back into the seat as it soars upwards... I love it.
So did Kai. His expression was pure bliss as he felt us takeoff. And the clouds cleared for us to see the lights of Felton village, and a little further off Bristol, spread below us as we gained altitude. Perfect.
We couldn't see anything then until we were approaching Shannon airport - combination of rain and it being night-time - and when we got inside the terminal it was dark and practically deserted. Outside it was raining, and there was only one taxi. I asked the driver if he was free, and he said no, but if I picked up the courtesy phone on the wall over there someone would come and pick us up...
I did, and about thirty seconds later a woman hurried over to us, apologising profusely that she hadn't seen us, because she'd been moved from "down there" to the new airport taxi rank "up here", which wasn't in view of the exit, and hoped we hadn't been waiting long. We then got five minutes of wonderfully expressive chat about how she'd been doing the job for twelve years and had just joined the regulars, and how the men were the most appalling gossips and rumour-mongers, and how her dad also worked for the taxi firm, all delivered in a gorgeous soft Irish accent...
After that she asked about our trip, and on my saying we were only over on a literal flying visit and had to fly back the following afternoon, insisted we visit Bunratty Castle, the B&B we were staying at (Fort Lách) could give us all the details and tell us about the buses, she took her two kids there often and they loved it... I'd never heard of the place, but apparently it was just five minutes away by car, so we decided that if we got up early enough, and if the weather was half-way decent, we'd squeeze it in somehow. After all, we'd much prefer to actually see something of the area than simply fly there and back...
The B&B is great, the rooms spotless and the beds very comfortable. But it's practically in the country, and absolutely silent at night, which I found a little unnerving. Still, we both had a reasonable night, and managed to get up a little before eight. Our host, the lovely Mr Boland, served us a terrific breakfast - and then said he'd drive us to the Castle, it was only five minutes away and would save us taxi-fare! And he gave us a running commentary of the area as he drove, and pointed out the bus-stop (just around the corner from the Castle) where we could get the bus straight to the airport. Fantastic!
Here starteth the big pix...
You can read up on the Castle and Folk Village here (there's an excellent plan of the castle here), so I'm not going to go into any great detail on the blog.
But Lutra and Onna, you in particular would have loved it! It was built in 1425, and not much has changed since then.
Unfortunately (from my pov) that included the narrow stone spiral staircases. I was OK until Kai said he wanted to go up to the very top of the eastern tower, which involved climbing the longest, steepest, smallest, narrowest stairs I've ever attempted. Nearly had a claustrophobic panic-attack half way up, had to come down backwards, and I was still shaking half an hour later. My knees and thigh muscles are still killing me, and my hands and arms are aching from gripping the thin (but thankfully solid) iron rail that served as a handrail.
But I made it, and the views from the top made it worthwhile. That's the Shannon estuary in the third photo.
But of course that's not all at the site, there's also the Folk Village, which is amazing and great fun, although we only had about 45 minutes to see it before we had to tank off to the bus-stop to catch the 10.50 bus. I did take a fair number of pics but this one I especially like... There were two Irish wolfhounds in their own garden, and as we approached you could see one of them look at the other, sigh, and grumble, "S'pose it's my turn to go and have my photo taken with the wretched grockles" (or whatever the Irish is for tourists). It just stood there to be petted, and after I'd taken the pic wandered off again, and the other one ambled over and did the same. Though at least the second one managed an unenthusiastic wag of the tail! Gorgeous dogs though, the sort I'd love to own if I could afford them.
It's really the sort of place you need to spend a full day exploring, not the paltry one and a half hours which was all we could spare. We need to go back - with Ken next time! Kudos to our taxi driver for telling us about the place.
The bus was ten minutes late, but Mr Boland had told us that the big transatlantic flights took off in the morning, so it should be quiet by the afternoon and we shouldn't have any problems checking in and going through security. He was right: took us all of ten minutes (and this time I didn't set off the alarm!) Shannon airport's departure lounge is rather nice, calming shades of greys and black, with a spacious relaxed feel, so the hour's wait wasn't a problem. We had priority boarding again, but had to sit after the sixth row back (I assume to even out the plane's payload, as there were only about fifty passengers), so slid into row seven (Kai at the window again).
Over the Shannon estuary. So pleased I caught the rainbow!
Above the clouds at 27,000 feet over St George's Channel: the sun on the sea...
Kai entranced ->
At this point my battery was practically empty, and the spares buried at the bottom of my rucksack in the overhead locker: I knew if I tried to dig them out by the time I found them we'd be landing. So I sweet-talked the gremlin and tried feeding some of my own electricity (GoodTwin can tell you that story!) to the camera: it seemed to work, as I squeezed another 40 pics out of the batteries. (Bear in mind these are batteries that usually stop working five pics after the 'battery low' indicator first lights up...)
<- Avonmouth from above.
It was over far too soon for us both. Kai's addicted, wants to learn to fly (I always wanted to, but could never afford it: I'd love for him to be able. Perhaps the lottery ticket I bought at Briz airport will be a lucky one!) Ryanair take great pride in beating records (the flight is supposed to take an hour and ten minutes, but they usually make it in fifty, and this one was even shorter, dammit) and they play a fanfare over the tannoy if they're early, which they did on both flights.
In the last photo you can see our plane's shadow on the ground as we came in to land.
All in all it was fabulous. Kai loved every second of it and I had a fantastic time (apart from the spiral staircases!) And now it's 1 am and I'm knackered and should be thinking about getting to bed: tomorrow I absolutely must do a little housework before the parents come up on Saturday, and then it's back to the client stuff...
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Quite a relaxed day today! I did a little more of the greenhouse insulating and tidied up while K&K cut down/dug up the sumac - it's much lighter on the patio now. Then we planted two of the three hazels that Wendy brought up (I'm thinking of trying to bonsai the other). Afterwards I took Kai shopping (he needed new jeans, grown out of the old ones) to Tesco, where previously unbeknownst to me they are having a sale (25% off all kids clothing). The jeans aren't particularly great, but at £9 I'm not complaining. And Kai likes them, so that's OK.
On arriving back, Ken decided he fancied a DVD after dinner, and volunteered to tank over to Sandy Park Rd to see what Enterprise Video had in stock. Of the surprisingly poor choice the best was 1408, which proved to be not bad at all, quite scary in fact. Kai thoroughly enjoyed it. Then we had to shoo him off to bed before Azumi came on TV... Heh. Live action anime, always a giggle. This one is hugely silly, wonderfully gory, with a body count of around half the population of Japan at the time of the era in which it was set. As always I found the interminable fight scenes boring, but it was mostly fun. And it had a deliciously psychotic laughing villain - Bijomaru Mogami - always a plus...
Friday, October 17, 2008
Dr Taylor (no relation; very nice) says it's a subconjunctival haemorrhage (my eye isn't quite as bad as the bottom pic, but is a lot worse than the top one) - basically, a spontaneously-occurring bruise. It'll fade like a bruise too - red to purple to yellow - and it could take up to fourteen days to go. [sigh] Just as well I'm not vain...
Unless it gets much worse or starts affecting my vision, I just have to put up with it. These things happen. Would have been nice if it hadn't happened right before we fly to Eire though.
Labels: medical matters
GoodTwin - fleeing haddock? My haddock have downed tools and walked out in protest!
Yesterday was busy. So is today. In fact, it's so busy at the moment it would be easier to note days when it isn't busy. But the BCP newsite is taking shape, I think the SGCC site is finally pretty much as they want it (waiting for confirmation before I make it live), and there's now a good few tracks of her music on Jenni's site. Oh, and I might have another new client - more about that if it happens.
But I have an emergency doctor's appointment this afternoon - woke up yesterday with a bloodshot patch on my left eyeball, which grew bigger over the day, and this morning it's a lot larger and inflamed. It doesn't hurt, exactly, but it is very uncomfortable, and for all my dislike of doctors, when it comes to eyes I don't muck around. Fingers crossed it's just a minor thing. More later.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
no, never mind...
Labels: nowt really
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Work. And more work. And even more work.
Got a lot done though, so curled up under the 'wolf' (the furry throw) and treated myself to Vol 1 of Hell Girl when K&K had gone to bed (yes, OK, I had to review it too, but that took about 35 mins after watching it through to the end).
It's an absolute gem of an anime. Snippets of my review:
Hell Girl is perhaps best described as an anime version of the Faust legend, but with a uniquely Japanese twist... There is a website, Hell Link, which is only accessible at midnight. If the seeker can find it, they are confronted with a chillingly simple screen containing three things: a distinctly unsettling welcome message ("Your grievance shall be avenged"), a box in which to type the name of the person against whom the seeker wishes revenge, and a submit button. (Someone has very thoughtfully set up an identical site here. I wouldn't suggest trying to use it though. Just in case...) [edit: that's annoying. Just checked the link and the message language changes with each click - and the English version isn't very good. eh well. Keep trying til you get the Japanese!] The graphics are striking. Yes, we have the usual anime shoujo faces with the overly large eyes, but they are very expressive here, and fortunately lack the all-too-common and occasionally irritating sparkle. The characters are believable, even Ai herself despite her oddly doll-like and expressionless appearance. But the background artwork is truly exquisite – note the eerie effect of the patterns on Ai's kimono - and the soundtrack near-perfect... While the idea is relatively simple, the execution is not. Despite the formulaic nature of the stories, this first volume does not become monotonous in the least, and if the series continues in this vein it will be something to treasure.I'm seriously impressed. I kept expecting to find myself growing bored - but I didn't, and I'd really like the second Volume now, to see if it lives up to its promise.
Monday, October 13, 2008
... apparently I'm a bullmastiff...
Eh well. Better than being a jack russell - or a poodle!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Kai's school shoes have started falling apart, so this morning it was off to Avon Meads to buy new. [wince] He's definitely into adult sizes now: six and a half but they recommended a size seven. We've ended up with POD make (which I've never heard of but they're only a little less than Hush Puppies, which Kai didn't like this year) for £40. He's very happy with what we've bought, though, and they look reasonably sturdy and well made, and it comes out of the uniform budget: with luck they'll last him at least a year.
While over in that direction we dropped into the market for gloves for him - he's been complaining of cold hands in the morning on the way to school - and found some quite nice thinsulate ones. And while we were there we also found a stall selling amazingly realistic-looking faux fur throws with a suede-effect microfibre lining, double bed size, for £25, similar (but better quality) to the one I liked in Sainsbug's a few years ago (but which was £60-70 which I couldn't afford). I was going to have a go at making one, for us to snuggle under while watching TV in the winter, but it would cost me more than £25 just to buy the material... I gave into temptation, though I should say Kai helped, as he loved the idea and kept saying how good it would be - and save money on heating. He and Ken had it over them tonight while they watched The Game Plan (a real, feel-good, charming, utterly predictable family film, by the way) and I uploaded some more of Jenni's music.
But before then, when we arrived back from the market (and had taken a few minutes to recover, it was hot today) K&K edged a section more of the veg bed and started making a ladybird house while I did a little greenhouse tending. After the other two had gone in, I heard a strange scratching noise, and thought for a moment it might be an insect trapped between the bubble-wrap and the glass. But then I saw what was making it: a grey squirrel, somewhat precariously perched between two of my (now finished) sunflowers, nibbling furiously at one of the seed-filled heads. After a moment or two it had bitten the head right off and bounced off along the fence, seed-head held in its teeth. Daylight robbery! Still, the birds haven't shown much enthusiasm for the seeds.
Of course, I didn't have the camera with me...
Eh well. Busy day tomorrow. Time to get a little more Missions done.
Severn Beach, with Boy and Bridge...
<- The view of the wind turbines from under the bridge.
Turbines in the sunset. ->
They had a wonderful day, and didn't get back until gone seven. Both knackered and now sound asleep!
But Argent's keeping me company as I start on Missions ch1 - Xlaca...
Saturday, October 11, 2008
[sigh] I swear I spend too long sitting at this machine. I woke up yesterday morning dreaming I was coding a server-side image map...
Glorious weather today - put through a wash, managed some client work, did a little gardening, finished and sent off a review, planning to work on Missions tonight... K&K disappeared off to Severn Beach to take advantage of the sunshine: there are times it's nice to have the house to myself.
Cooling down now. Probably time to change out of the sleeveless t-shirt and into something a tad warmer.
Friday, October 10, 2008
The jet stream is over the country at the moment - which tonight gave us an amazing cloudscape. All this is immediately above us and to the north-west - the eastern sky was cloudless...
Seraphs ('rainbows' around the sun, though I don't think they show very clearly here...) ->
<- Mothership, anyone?
A surfeit of silver linings.
Without realising it I took 112 photos. Wonderful sight...
And I even managed to get finished everything I had planned for today!
Heh, it's now the 11th October, and my greenhouse is a year old.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Alas, we only have three of these fabulous apples left on the tree this year... This one was so sweet, with a definite hint of strawberry - delicious. Will have to wassail at Samhain to encourage the tree to do well next year:
The last of the fenceward panels in the greenhouse is now bubble-wrapped: next I start on the ends. I'm thinking I need something a little more moveable for the sunward side, as I want the overwintering plants to get whatever snatches of sunshine they can over the next few months. There'll be a way, I just have to devise it...Blow, blow, bear well, Spring well in April, Every sprig and every spray Bear a bushel of apples against Next New Year's day.
Kai brought home this term's report yesterday: the usual selection of Excellents and Outstandings, with an improvement from Satisfactory to Good for his efforts in PE. All fine stuff.
I'm having an early night, after last night's broken one. Have to be up early tomorrow. Later!
So, the dreaded doctor's surgery visit...
Early appointment (9.30) in the hope that I wouldn't have too long to wait, and I made a double appointment since I had a number of things to ask about. First, I got the full diabetes test results (yes, I know, I should have done something about it months ago, it's not my fault I have white coat syndrome!): apparently I'm glucose intolerant, and if I don't do something about it I'll be diabetic in five years. However, my doctor agrees that I'm doing all the right things diet and general lifestyle wise - I just need to do more of it and work in added exercise. Somehow. She wants me to lose two stone in six months (which twenty years ago would have been a doddle: not so sure now...) and to see her regularly in the meantime. So it's baibai to ramen and low-fat chocolate mousses and the odd packet of crisps, and 'ullo to smaller meal portions and more fruit and cheese as desserts (not that that's a hardship!)
All in all it was a very positive and helpful visit, much less stressful than I'd anticipated (and which kept me awake last night), and I have an appointment to see her in a month. At that point she'll see how things are going - and take my blood pressure...
Wish me luck!
Labels: medical matters
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
But the BCP redesign is coming along nicely. I'm trying to keep the style sheet as clean and elegant as possible, but it keeps growing as I find myself needing something else... It would help, of course, if I knew what colours I'm supposed to be working with: I don't have the new logo yet.
I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. Yes, I finally let Ken nag me into going...
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
So - in two afternoons we've taken about 200 photos, sixteen of which are perfectly good for magazine illustrations. Rather, Ken took the photos: I set about half of the shots up and made suggestions for the rest, so it has been a joint effort really. (And I'm going to be the one tidying up the tiny flaws in them...) The small pic here was one of those that can't be used for this particular series of articles, but it is rather good: I might be able to use it myself.
And I've passed the 7,000 mark. I can't remember how long ago it was I got the camera, but since then I've taken over 7,000 photos. No wonder the camera's gremlin is getting crotchety in its old age!
Back to .php tomorrow. It's all go...
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Well, it's been a tad hectic. But Rosa is - finally - repotted, and Ken and I spent most of this afternoon taking dozens of photos as potential illos for a couple of articles Ken's writing. We put on music videos/DVDs while we worked: Kai has now seen Jesus Christ Superstar, Muse's Absolution tour, and half of 20 Years of Jethro Tull, a band he'd never heard before but seemed to quite enjoy.
Last night we watched 10,000 BC (from LoveFilm), an oddly dull film with shades of Apocalypto, Stargate and Atlantis. Most of the recent comments on the IMDb are fair, (except that the story was set in South America, not Europe as some people over at IMDb seem to think).
The rest of the last two days was pretty much a continuation of last week, for me at any rate. Tonight I'm taking a stab at the background for the cover of Missions.
Immortality. T.A.R.D.I.S. Clones. I don't mind which.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
'Quick' trip up to Redland to pick up Vitam R and a handful of other things, including degradable freezer bags, organic mirin, and a ridiculously expensive bar of raw chocolate with goji berries and lucuma, which I hated but Kai absolutely loved...
Much of the afternoon was taken up with business emails, so it's not been as productive as I would have liked. Eh well, there's always tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
... and I continue to plough on with the .php tutorials...