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).
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Ostara article away.
Ah good - normal service is resumed.
[blink] OK, who typed google into google? I wouldn't mind so much but I'm trying to research...
Friday, January 30, 2009
So, child is now less one tooth (and what a fight she had to extract it! Took five minutes and two different tools. Mind you, one of the roots was distinctly squint where the misaligned tooth had forced it out of true, which won't have helped). He was great, but needed 'prufen when we got home, and spent a couple of hours curled up on the sofa under the wolf watching Poseidon, which we found in a charity shop at Broadwalk. The second extraction appointment is end Feb, and now he knows what to expect he won't be so nervous.
The Feb edition of Soul and Spirit is now out. My Imbolc article looks great - love the illos and design work. Now working on finishing the Ostara one...
Had a surprise in the post - a library copy of the French version of my Celtic Symbols! I didn't even know it was being translated. Chuffed, we are.
Back to the rockface...
Thursday, January 29, 2009
... um... What happened today?
I can't remember...
............. ............. .............
Being chained to the desk is not good for one's health. Or one's memory.
Though I have done a major clear-up of my hard drive. 700,000 plus files was just taking too long to scan. Archived and trashed three and a half thousand emails, for a start. I really mustn't leave it so long between archiving sessions. Still have about four CDs worth of stuff ready to archive tomorrow, too, but it's worth doing. Though quite where I'm going to store them all I don't know.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
A sod's law sort of a day.
However, the agreement for the Crystal Power book arrived, along with the in-house style guidelines and their preferred word/CD formatting - and to my delight my copy of Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat also arrived (from the amazon seller caiman.com who we have been using for years to get hard-to-find DVDs and who I can heartily recommend). I've loved this film since I first picked up the ex-rental video way back in the early 90s, so much so that, believing it would never be brought out on DVD, I asked Simone to try to transfer it for me (sadly it failed: the tape was so old and worn out it packed up at about the 47th minute). So to find it had been released (and only in September of last year) was a wonderful surprise.
I persuaded Kai to watch the beginning of it, for a laugh - and he liked it so much he sat still to watch the whole thing. (I'd forgotten how sweet the ending is...)
Wonderful film. Going to watch it again at the weekend: Ken was at a meeting tonight and wants to see it.
And since S:TVIR has been released on DVD, I thought I'd take a look and see if any of the other old favourites had been as well. [beg] Found Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and Transylvania 6-5000 as a double pack, and The Silent Flute (both on the list to buy) - and the 1989 pilot of the Forever Knight series, a film I know as Midnight Cop but which I found on amazon.uk as Nick Knight, and ordered right away.
Unfortunately I haven't yet managed to find Vibes, or Second Sight, but I'll keep looking...
Later edit: WHEEEE!!! According to the buzz on the IMDb, Vibes is supposed to be out on DVD Feb this year! Fingers crossed!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
And the day just went...
Off to watch No Heroics. Wonderfully daft and wickedly funny. Another one to look out for on DVD.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
[bemused] I stumbled over this quite by accident. Apparently, it's what John Galliano thinks blokes should be wearing.
Mm. I can just see Ken walking into court in that.
Friday, January 23, 2009
The publisher - Eddison-Sadd, who brought out Clairvoyance and its later version The Psychic Box - has said it's fine to give more details on the current project.
It's in the same format as the Psychic Box, and called Crystal Power. No, not that Crystal Power: this is about seer stones. (You'll know them as crystal balls, a term I avoid simply because of its snigger-worthy associations.) I'm very fond of them - as objects for meditation, relaxation and self-exploration they are perfect - and have several, ranging from the very small and portable to the very large and heavy.
The little sphere is similar to the one that will be included in the pack.
is a real favourite, the most beautiful translucent green fluorite with planes of spectral fire. I've had it for a very long time.
The large stone is wonderful, full of inclusions and rainbows along the stress lines, but very heavy and needing careful handling so as not to be damaged.
I do have another favourite - black obsidian with an inner rainbow patch, a little smaller than the large sphere. Will try to take a pic tomorrow, though it's difficult getting the rainbow sheen to show up without specialist equipment.
And before anyone asks, no, I don't do 'readings' for anyone: I don't use my stones for divination.
The book will be about 18,000 words, and the deadline for the manuscript is the end of February for an October publication. Wordage so far: 2,496.
A fun project!
Forgot to say - we had home-grown Brussels sprouts (which Kai picked) and carrots with dinner (lamb leg steaks, special offer at Tesco). They went down very well, though I wasn't overly impressed with the taste of the sprouts. I have two different varieties to try this year, with a bit of luck they'll be tastier.
We also now have a teeny flock (about seven) of long-tailed tits visiting the medlar every day - GoodTwin was right, they really do like the coconut feeder. Our resident blackbird is also very helpfully clearing bugs from my special reserved part of the meadow (I have snowdrops coming through!) and investigating the bay tree (possibly for nesting purposes, though it's a bit low to the ground. Not worried about Argent - bless 'im, his back legs are so rheumatic now he couldn't make the leap - but we do occasionally get other cats in the garden. Quyn used to see them off, and they all knew we had him, so we rarely had a problem with them, but now... I suppose I'll have to keep a very close eye on things.)
The robin is still feasting at the bird table, and I'm sure I can hear our wren up at the top of the garden, hopefully exploring the ivy behind the elder tree again.
it's all quite exciting...
Can anyone tell me why Aretha Franklin was singing a mutilated version of our National Anthem at Obama's inauguration?
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Going to be quite a long night too.
Trinity Blood - interesting worldframe, interesting concept, nice graphics, ambience similar to Trigun, but even a red eyed, long-white-haired bishie wasn't enough to redeem the mediocrity for me. Won't bother with any more.
Back to the rockface.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Coping with your Teenager workshops at the school this evening. The B sprog's dad was going, so gave me a lift there and back. Managed the Revisions Skills, Behaviour outside School, Sex and Relationships ones, and ended up at the Setting Boundaries presentation (in which I learned nothing new so we must be getting something right!) It was well worth it for the Revision part, if nothing else, so glad I went.
Tired now. Have Trinity Blood on rental from Lovefilm. Looks nicely complex and intriguing: may well sit and watch for some light relief...
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Soooo... Up relatively early and straight out to FirstDay it up to Redland for some more degradable swingbin liners, as we suddenly discovered we only had one left. I'd planned to go in anyway to Primark to pick up another, next-size-up jacket for Kai for next year, as he absolutely loves it and promises he'll be happy to wear the same sort for years to come, and since none of us are fashion
Back, drop everything, back out to Sainsbug's via Sandy Park Rd.
Back, shower, collapse, check mail, in which I found confirmation of a (small but nice) commission that has been bubbling for a few months (no, not the thing I went to London for, though I may have news about that in a day or so - I hope). This one is in line with most of our previous books (as usual I can't give any details until I get the sayso from the publisher), 18K words and a deadline of the end of February. I should get the agreement (these little works are too small for actual contracts, though the two formats operate pretty much the same) at the end of the week, but I need to start writing, like, now in order to have everything done in time.
[g] Good news though. Although I suppose I'd better get the Ostara article finished first.
Finished watching Blood Ties. While still enjoyable, by the end I'd lost all sympathy for the heroine: if she would insist on ignoring those who knew what they were talking about then she deserved her fate. Not sure if I'd want to watch any putative second series. Might be worth it if Henry was still in it.
Forgot to comment on L. A. Story... It's kind of cute and quirky, but I felt vaguely annoyed and dissatisfied when it finished. Finally worked out why: at the end, the (American) hero comes out with all these impossible things he'd wish to happen so his new (British) love could stay with him in California - but never once did he show any inclination to go with her back to her home. Selfish bastard. Call that love?
Caught Gods and Monsters too, the other night (after the blasted snooker had overrun by over an hour) Strange and interesting film. Not entirely sure what to make of it...
Right - client stuff then article. Busy day tomorrow. And the next day. And into the foreseeable future.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Apparently (quoth Ken) this is the most depressing day of the year. Third Monday in January, Yule and New Year celebrations all but forgotten and the summer far too far away to be looked forward to, weather usually grim at best... Yes, I can see why that might be.
Mine wasn't though. As I walked to Sainsbug's for the Monday shopping (with cash taken out at the Post Office - new card arrived last Tuesday, PIN last Thursday but there's no way I'm using Sainsbug's ATM...) the sky was astonishing, blindingly cloudless sun to the South while above the city was almost every sort of cloud we get here, marestails and mackerel sky and lenticular and huge white puffs with flat grey bases - a wonderful sight.
It's been a busy, part-household, part client site day, with a couple of interesting emails to brighten things up. As Mondays go, not bad.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
A pottery sort of day. Ken and I braved the bitterness of the wind and the weather to put up the nest-box - watched with interest by our resident robin from his branch in the hawthorn tree. Wouldn't be surprised if he takes possession: he's now a regular and prolonged feeder at the bird-table.
I had two punnets of organic cooked beetroot (half price from Tesco last week) at the end of their 'use by' period, so made a large pot of borscht for next week's lunches. Smells very nice. Might treat myself to a small pot of soured cream to have with it.
Watched another three eps of Blood Ties. Compulsive stuff, but the latter two felt a little rushed somehow, as though less care had gone into their making...
And it looks like I have a fourth orchid flower spike coming - that little green shoot in the middle of the pic (I'm pretty certain it is a spike and not a root). This orchid hasn't yet flowered for me (in fact, I don't even know what it is, the name had rubbed off the marker before the plant arrived) so it's all rather exciting!
I'm obviously doing something right.
Pics as things develop...
Saturday, January 17, 2009
We all managed a couple of hours in the garden before the weather started this afternoon (and ye gods, the rabid winds were positively scary this evening, wild swirling gusts that tore off branches and knocked over the bird bath...) I've tidied a little in the greenhouse (no use trying to save the pepper plants, they are permanently deceased, will have to get some more started nice and early) and the veg bed is now properly weeded.
Aaaaand it's just started hailing... [sigh]
Still, given how horrible it was outside we felt quite justified in settling down with four more eps of Blood Ties. I can see myself re-watching favourite episodes of this fairly often - it's fun, sexy, and just non-standard enough to keep me guessing as to the resolution of each story.
In an hour and a half L. A. Story is on, and since REG is in it and I've never caught it I'm going to watch.
Something weird has happened to my sense of taste - everything seems to have an aftertaste of asparagus...
Friday, January 16, 2009
Sainsbug's had a bathroom scale at half price in their sale, and since ours rusted to death a good few years back and we haven't had one since, it seemed like a good idea... Even better when I weighed myself and was pleasantly surprised to find myself well on the way to (almost!) meeting my doctor's target.
The rest of the day... [snarl] If you've been following this blog, you'll know that I drink a lot of diet coke (I wouldn't call myself a caffeine addict, exactly, not any more, but I do really appreciate diet coke's sweetness and kick throughout the day), and that we've used Sodastream to make up our own with their drinksmaker and bottles of diet coke syrup for the last... it has to be at least twenty years, I bought my first drinksmaker back at the Totterdown flat well before Ken and I got back together in 1988. We always buy these in bulk, as the ONLY way to get the syrup here these days is to buy online direct from Sodastream. (Both Tesco and Sainsbug's used to stock them but stopped several years ago, and as regular readers will also know the only place in Briz to get the replacement cylinders is Robert Dyas in town, which is hugely inconvenient.) Sodastream have operated a bulk buy special since we've been buying the syrup - delivery free over £30. Which is a fair bit of cash to fork out in one go, but since they also quite often have 'buy five get the sixth free' type offers, it's worked out at a considerable saving.
I last ordered in October last year, and discovered today I had run out. (If that sounds odd, it's because Ken usually shifts the boxes of the syrup bottles around for me because they're heavy and it saves my hands. Only this time the box has been sitting on the shelf in the larder, above eye-level, and neither of us realised it was almost empty.) So I logged in to order online - and discovered to my horror that the minimum spend to qualify for free delivery is now £45. That's an increase of fifty fucking percent in three months...
We can't afford it.
Now, I know with the global financial crisis, climate crisis, poverty and pollution this is of microscopic concern to anyone but me, but fuckit. Over the last few years I've given up almost everything gustatory I used to enjoy for one reason or other, for health or financial reasons, and to now be forced to give up something so basic really, really, REALLY pisses me off.
I can probably work a couple of bottles of generic supermarket coke into the weekly budget, if I can manage to carry them home. I don't particularly like the taste, but no doubt I can adapt. In the meantime I've emailed Sodastream asking them to justify the increase and telling them we can't afford to buy from them again.
Very very unimpressed.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
It's nice to sit down...
After a day spent mostly standing up, I tanked up to John Cabot this afternoon: it's time for Kai to choose his GCSE subjects and the school had an information evening.
Everyone at JC does English (lang. and lit. - two GCSEs) and Maths (one GCSE), and one of two science options: Core Science (core science, biology, chemistry, physics, four GCSEs, which Kai will be taking) or a lighter version (BTEC Science, two GCSEs), along with Core Course PE and short course RE. Other than that, however, they get to choose another three subjects, of which they'll do two (bear in mind that they've all had a year of at least one of two subjects already, BTEC Music (worth two GCSEs) and Design Tech (worth one, I think), in Kai's case.
There are a lot of choices. And I had a postcard this morning from the MFL head: they really want Kai to take GCSE German, he's one of the top students in the subject. He wants to take ICT National Certificate (worth two GCSEs and includes topics such as IT systems, website production, graphics, multimedia, animation, video etc etc), and Geography, which according to the info can lead to a hell of a lot more than in my day! The list of careers that it would help was staggering, and included things like pollution control, environmental monitoring and climate analysis. I wish I'd written them down, I can't remember most of the options, but many were absolutely basic earth-science skills, the sort of thing he's interested in and that will never be out of fashion or unneeded.
We need a family discussion to just talk around the subjects. We were told, however, that if Kai puts Geography and German as his first choice subjects now, he can always take the ICT later, in the sixth form - but not the other way around. It's finding the balance between what he'd like to do and what will be useful to him in his future life that will be tricky!
I have to confess though that it's very nice to have a teacher tell your child that he's an excellent student, very bright, and "with the grades you're going to get you won't need to worry" about progressing into just about whatever career he eventually chooses!
Assuming nothing goes wrong in the meantime, of course. (Ever the pragmatist, me.)
A touch tired now - it's been a hectic week somehow...
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Forgot to say, I found my copy of The Elegant Universe. Or rather, Ken found it. I was looking for the wrong colour.
... [blink] [blinkblink]
Bloody hell. Just took my blood pressure (first time since before Yule) and... and... it's... normal! 93/60. Ye gods, it hasn't been this low since before - well before - Kai was born...
[grin] Quite chuffed about that.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sanctuary ended on an evil cliffhanger, but was enjoyable enough that I'd happily watch a second series. Ken is watching Blood Ties with me, and we're both enjoying it - it's fun!
WaveWrights is now migrated to the new server, all quite painlessly, and I've set up The (other) Zone in a password protected directory. There was no way to transfer all the IDs and passwords though, so people will have to email me for access. Except I'm having problems getting my main email addie working at the Eudora end - I think due to a conflict with two email accounts (long story, won't go into it here). Will give it another go tomorrow.
Lovely orchids. Lovely fragrance too.
Remember back last summer I made a batch of comfrey liquid plant food ready for this year?
Remember I stored it in four empty litre and a half brown glass wine bottles under the potting table up by the greenhouse?
Until I remembered that frozen
Two of the bottles shattered completely. The other two are cracked all the way down. There is no salvageable comfrey feed left.
Pissed off now. Hopefully my comfrey will sprout early so I can get some more ready before I need it this summer. In the meantime I have a right blasted mess to clear up.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I don't like Mondays.
Set off, in the rain, down to Sainsbugs to get cash out of the atm and buy the week's shopping. And the atm ate my card.
Literally. Sucked it in, then completely ignored it. Didn't even give me the option of typing in my number. 'No', said Sainsbug's customer service, 'we're very sorry but we can't do anything, we've no access to the machines (which of course I knew). When Securicor come to fill the machine they'll destroy the card.'
No point arguing, I know they can't help. So home again, still in the rain and by now not at all happy, to boot up and get a balance first, to make sure no bastard has stolen my ID again and cleared the account. No, no problems there. Then it was a National Rate phone call to the Co-op head office, who were sympathetic and will get a new PIN and card to me as soon as possible, but it will still be seven days.
I've only had that card since September.
Back out to the Post Office, in even heavier rain, with Ken's card to withdraw cash there, then back to Sainsbug's for the shopping...
I lost four bloody hours thanks to this farce, and was soaked through and very cold by the time I'd got back. From now on I will pay by card at the till and get the housekeeping on cashback.
Labels: domestic disasters
Sunday, January 11, 2009
So, after the big freeze we get the rabid winds. Lot of weather over here. But it's nice to have it warm again. Pity it's too late to save my pepper plants. And I think the kiwis might not survive either. Might investigate ways of heating the greenhouse cheaply for next winter. For now, however, I have two propagators with two compost-filled seedtrays each sitting ready on the kitchen windowshelf for the first lot of seeds - probably cauliflower, chives, the Stupice cold-tolerant tomatoes and whichever other veg I think will be OK to start this early - towards the end of the month.
Had this sudden urge today to get out of the house and nip down to Wyevale to spend my garden vouchers Yule pressie from GoodTwin, so after lunch I leapt on a bus to Hick's Gate...
Forgetting that at this time of year we're between seasons, and all that was there were Yule decorations on sale and the last of last last year's plants: this year's stock wasn't yet in. Rather sad, really.
Nevertheless I picked up a really nifty little book on greenhouse growing (£2.99 and exactly what I was looking for, goes into everything to do with the subject, even what fertiliser chemicals do what for which plants and how to prune melons for the most prolific crop. Great stuff!), packets of Thompson and Morgan Basil, Lime Basil and Mint seeds (and a packet of beetroot seed, free when you bought two others), and a half-coconut feeder to encourage the long-tailed tits into the garden. So, pretty successful actually, and I still have a voucher left for the next trip.
The last four eps of Sanctuary are on tonight. I'm going to watch, as despite its slightly rocky start I'm quite enjoying it. Not enough to want to get it, but certainly enough to stay up to see it to the end.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Successful, if exceptionally quick, trip into town (and it wasn't even busy...) Arrived back with a warm, fully quilted boarding jacket for Kai (£15 from Primark - he's delighted with it and it's just big enough, fingers crossed, to do him next winter as well as this), a tripartite animal pencilcase ([bemused] stylish pencilcases, whatever next?) and a pair of matt black hairclips for me (they tend to break after a while).
I haz a skwid! It's called Kwidsin and you can find it here. Hit the 'Find your squid' button and type Kwidsin into the appropriate box: it'll bring up a screen with options. Choose kwidsin UK. Click on that and you can see the wee beast. You can build your own squid too - Kai has (Jeffrey I think) and now wants to build a few more. Click and drag to play with the squid (you can do the same to the bubbles too). Just too cute!
Still watching Sanctuary. It picked up a bit at ep four...
Hm. Well, so far Sanctuary has failed to grip - it's oddly unconvincing. Possibly the fake looking sets and not exactly stellar acting. Its mutilation of Arthurian legend was very irritating too. Ep 4 is on in fifteen minutes after Dexter: I suppose I could catch the start of it and see if it improves...
Friday, January 09, 2009
It took me two saucepans of boiling water (not poured in: the pan sits on the ice and the heat does the business) to melt the ice on the greenhouse water butt so I could jug out a watering can of rainwater for my orchids this morning. The ice was more than two inches thick in places, and extended down the sides almost to the bottom. Ken broke it up with a large wrench in an effort to stop it putting more pressure on the plastic. The temperature is due to get down to around -4° tonight though, so it will more than likely refreeze.
There was frost on the inside of the greenhouse as well, though as it's between the glass and the bubblewrap the plants in there may have escaped death. I'm staying out until the weather warms up to prevent any colder air getting in there.
Still, the freeze will hopefully have killed off some of the pests in the soil, which will make gardening easier come Spring...
Lifted from Onna's blog - not sure about this:
Sanctuary starts tonight. The first four eps, back to back to back. Then the following five eps are on Saturday night, and the remaining four on Sunday night. All a bit intensive. It sounds intriguing though - will give it a go.
Oh, and I was instructed to order what I could of The Scarlet Pimpernel DVDs to be put away for my birthday, so we have Valentin Gautier (the second film) and A King's Ransom (the last one) now on order from play.com. [grin] Something else to look forward to...
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Orchidée. Why is the French word so much more euphonic than the English?
A little milder today: I was able to replace the ice in the bird bath with fresh water and not have it freeze in half an hour. We had a couple of long-tailed tits (not our photo) at the feeders in the medlar this afternoon, the first time I'd seen them although Ken tells me they've visited before. Adorable little birds! I hope they become regular visitors.
My jade plant is also flowering.
Town on a Saturday. Heaven help us.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Up at sparrow's fart, as Lutra would say, tanking off to Tesco in the pre-dawn chill to pick up some more of the specials I saw yesterday but couldn't carry. Back, unload, then off again to Post Office just as it opened, then to Sainsbug's (via the Hospice charity shop, where I found the second Warlock DVD - Warlock: the Armageddon to replace my worn-out video (alas, they didn't have Warlock itself, so still hoping for that one), and the cat's charity place, where I found the Collector's Edition of Labyrinth) to do the same from Monday... Just noticed I wrote Or when a Monday turns out to be a success, that's lovable too. yesterday. What the hell day is it today??
Oh. Wednesday. Well, yesterday felt like a Monday...
Anyway. Back, phone calls to organise Kai's dentist and orthodontist appointments, then Jenni's site. Then Prêt-à-Porter dropped through the letterbox (from play.com) and I took two hours off to watch it. Love!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Up early with an aching back, consequence of sleeping too long. 'Too long' in this instance meaning anything over six hours. [sigh] Still, it meant an early start on the day, which this morning meant a Tesco shop. Which turned out to be extremely successful. And bemusing, as I was overtaken by what appeared to be a jogging midget in shorts and a hoodie with what was probably Deep Heat smeared all over its legs on the way there. Not something you see every day.
So, back, with fridge, freezer and veg-rack restocked with all sorts of specials and goodies, there came a solid-sounding 'thump' as the post arrived. To my delight, it was my ordered Misfits of Science DVD set. It's supposed to be for my birthday but it may prove irresistible... I'm dead chuffed!
And as I was hunting for Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe (still can't find the damned thing) I stumbled across my copy of The Making of the Scarlet Pimpernel. [beg] I'd forgotten I had it. Going to have a read after dinner.
What I haven't managed is any work, but that's what nights are for... I love it when a plan comes together.
Or when a Monday turns out to be a success, that's lovable too.
Of course, it does make you wonder what unpleasantness is in store to balance it all out...
Argent is in the garden, stalking a pigeon that's almost as big as he is... nope, it saw him coming and flew away. [grin] It's cute that he thinks he can take on something that size, given that his previous conquests have been worms.
Monday, January 05, 2009
By Jove it's a touch chilly tonight. Didn't get above freezing all day, -3° already and due to get much lower. We've put salt in the garden loo and cistern (it unfroze today) in the hope of avoiding any damage.
[sigh] We had a pigeon in the bird table at lunchtime...
Client work all day. Early night. Early start in the morning.
[pissing self laughing] I know, I know, I'm supposed to be having an early night, but an hour ago, as I was debating whether to close down now or check a last couple of things (while finishing off the Yule vodka with pomegranate and blueberry juice) I remembered that the other day I'd checked YouTube for the REG/McGann short Always Crashing in the Same Car (because that was the only way I thought I'd ever get to see it. It is there, by the way, and it's a startlingly good micro-drama that actually had my jaw dropping at the end. Crackin' good stuff!) and idly wondered if the 'toob might have Posh Nosh, of which I only ever managed to catch one and a half eps...
Yes, the 'toob in fact does have all eight eps, and all downloadable (I find these days that a lot of 'toob stuff won't, and they've buggered up the software so I - along with an awful lot of other peeps - am unable to favourite clips) to one's RealPlayer library. So I did.
I swear half the reason I find it so funny is because I can see myself in it - "distress 25 grammes of organic unsalted organic butter..."
[big evil grin] I do wish they'd actually made the episode where they blackmail a woodcock, though.
[snicker] OK - should get to bed now...
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Thoroughly enjoyed the film - great fun! Imogen Stubbs in particular was terrific. Ken is a purist when it comes to Shakespeare and objected to the costumes (me, I don't care, the Bard works well in any setting) but even he liked it.
Then The Prophecy was on right afterwards; been trying to catch that one for ages. Interesting...
An earlyish night might be called for.
Photos © Ken Taylor
Pigeons! Several dinners' worth there...
Soooo... What have we been up to? Not a lot, for me. Waking up Saturday morning, still knackered, I decided I deserved a break, so soddall work has been done this weekend. I've made two batches of soup, a mushroom one -
1 red onion and 1 white onion chopped small, lots and lots of 'shrumps diced, sautéed in my own made chilli pepper and garlic infused sunflower oil, water to fill the pan, one organic chicken stock cube and one organic veg one, a sploosh of white wine and a dash or two of mirin, tiny tiny bit of very small chopped chicken fillet and a couple of small organic pots, cut up very small, a tiny bitty of salt and a grooshgroosh of fresh ground pepper (as described to Lutra)and a carrot and lentil one, pretty much the same except white wine, no chicken or potato, and a splash of teriyaki sauce. Given the maximum daytime temperature this week is forecast to be hovering around zero, and the max nighttime getting down to -5°, I decided something warming and comforting is called for.
Unfortunately Kai doesn't like soup. He's not the only one -
it's the soupiness of soup he doesn't like. [rolls eyes] cubs are the same. the wetness, the liquidity - the essential essence of soup. [giggling] that's profound that...Of course, this bitterly cold weather has caused a few problems, the most worrying being that the garden loo has frozen, despite the lagging and the heater out there. I'm hoping desperately that it doesn't cause any real damage...
Still closed, but it's going to be beautiful when they're fully opened. ->
<- You can make out all three flower spikes in this one. The little phal spike on the right is the first of the orchids that flowered, so I know that will be purple - but the green spike on the left is a mystery. White flowers? Pink? Really looking forwards to finding out. Assuming the bloody cold doesn't cause problems, that is.
We caught the first ep of Demons last night. It's... odd. Like it's trying to be a hybrid of Stormbreaker, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen for kids, and Neverwhere. We'll give it a bit longer, see how it develops.
And in a minute or two we're settling down with a video I picked up years ago at a charity shop in Weston-super-Mare (vampire capital of the South West) - Twelfth Night, which I've neither seen nor read. I'm not overly fond of Helena Bonham-Carter as an actress, but the film has REG in it along with a host of other much-liked names, so I'm sure we'll enjoy it!
Back to work properly tomorrow, as Kai is back to school. Client sites and the Ostara article first.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Our resident pair of blue tits discover the bird table (the other one - the bird, not the table - is in the medlar)...Photo © Ken
Friday, January 02, 2009
[bemused] We now have an electric guitar and a small amp, freecycled from Bradley Stoke (a suburb of Briz, not a person!) Well, it makes sense. Let Kai try the instruments for free, then if he enjoys it we can budget to buy decent ones.
(Quite fancy having a go myself!)
And we watched City of Angels after dinner. It's a beautiful film and had me in tears at the end. I hadn't realised that one of my favourite song tracks, the Goo Goo Dolls song Iris, was on the soundtrack.
And now - The Amazon Saga (Or: Earth's Most Customer Centric Company? PAH!!)
A package from amazon.com arrived just before Yule - a present from a friend. I opened it with pleasure, but found that an item in it was one we already had, so I emailed amazon.uk to see if I could do a simple exchange, since both amazons had the exact same items...
Nowt so easy of course. The two amazons don't speak to each other, apparently. a.uk did however give me the URL of the correct returns/refunds page for a.com, so I went over there to see what could be done.
I emailed customer support to explain the situation, and (admittedly in an admirably short space of time) got a reply apologising for the inconvenience and advising me to go to [URL provided] and use the online returns procedure.
Well, there was a problem there to start with, as I wanted the refund to go to the friend who'd sent the package, since I assumed that it would be in the form of a credit note for a.com, which we really don't use these days, as amazon.uk has the same goods and p&p is now free for purchases over £5. However, I tried putting in the friend's name and email address and the software seemed to accept it just fine.
Only, the next page, where one specifies which item of the order is being returned, kept asking me for a number even though I had typed it in, and simply would not let me submit.
[sigh] So another email wung its way to customer support, and a reply duly arrived back apologising again (and by now these apologies were assuming the character of irritating self-parodies) and giving me the URL of a page with what they said would be a postage paid address slip for me to package the item up and send back to them.
£8.27 worth of postage, to be exact, as I had to send it airmail to be sure it gets there before the returns time expires.
I shall demand the postage be refunded.
And it also looks like the refund will come to me, not the friend. [sigh]
[grumps off to do something fun...]
Thursday, January 01, 2009
New Year's Day is rarely exciting - although it can be fun if the weather is fine (later edit - or if you have friends visiting!) - but today has been dull, muted and overwhelmingly dreary. The fact of it being -3° outside hasn't helped, nor has the grey overcast sky. Nor the bloody squiggle veritably feasting on the long feeder's seeds (little bugger has practically wrecked it now), or the two new molehills inside the greenhouse. Though I have to admit the mole must have some basic sense to choose the location, as it's noticeably warmer in there than outside.
So we didn't do much. A little urgent client site stuff, a little tidying (especially in the fridge, as I need to make lists to restock), then Kai and I settled under the wolf and watched Warlock. Terrific film. Though my copy is an ex-rental video now ancient and in dire need of replacing with a DVD. Next on the list to get, though it may have to wait til my birthday given the finances at the moment...
In other news... I seem to have the knack of making a rather triffic Marie Rose sauce, which rather surprised me. (I find omitting the lemon juice does the trick.) Argent is now back to normal (though he's in disgrace at the moment as he stole a piece of Kai's steak from his plate as sprog was getting a drink with dinner). I finished a fanfic! Though it's for private enjoyment only, so won't be posted in the (other) Zone. And the bed is an absolute haven. The new downie is perfect.
Meandering off to catch the Jonathan Creek xmas special on shortly...