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).
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Lord of all he surveys... -> Of course, being only cat sized, albeit large cat sized, that's not really a great deal. But he's happy. Saw both Chester and a new interloper off today, all quite exciting for him!
It's been stupidly hot and very busy. Now have dwarf French beans, marrows, two spare tomatoes and three aubergine plants in the veg bed, and more peas, beans, mange tout and a few Romanescu broccoli seeds on the go. Still need to plant more carrots and intersperse the rows with radishes (given the fun my brain has with numbers, organising successional planting is a bit hit and miss...) and get some more Galia melons on the go in the greenhouse, but all in all it's coming along well.
Aren't 'alf aching tonight though. Trying for a bit of an early night and hoping for a better sleep than last night!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Large Spider Photo WarningOne skin, successfully shed! Back view on left, belly view on right.
Ken took a photo of Rosa for me. This is her underside - you can see those glinting fangs quite well! (Along with all the silk.) She's now on her side, pushing the old skin off steadily. Looks most peculiar! I very quietly and carefully sprayed lots of water around the walls of the tank so she doesn't dry out (a dry environment makes it impossible to shed: that's how we lost Tracy the Red Kneed Tarantula). It's all quite exciting!
<- Pyracantha - looking pretty. A bit of catch-up.
We've seen the first newt in the frewtnog pool. There was a damsel-fly investigating it the other day too. And there's a very strange looking larva (at least, I think it's some sort of larva) in the water. It looks like a thin tube with a long whippy tail that it uses to swim around: I'd guess it to be about 3/4s of an inch long in total. No idea what it is, and a cursory google search hasn't thrown up anything like it. Will maybe search later. At the moment I feel a little woozy: Sainsbug are selling Piriteze on a BOGOF, and since I do so well with piriton, I thought I'd try them. Certainly eased all the horrible snuffling, itchy eyes and tingling/sneezy sinuses, but has left me feeling a tad drowsy. Maybe have a nap later.
K&K went to Weston-super-Mare (via Congresbury) yesterday, to explore hill forts. They had a really good time: Kai came back all happy and enthusiastic (and very tired). I finally got down to the next six months calender for the BCP site. Way's clear now for the Prime Contact revisions. Well, after I've written the Luhgnasadh article. Planning to get that written early next week.
Rosa is currently lying on her back on a positive bed of silk: she's either shedding (finally! It's been years!) or she's dead, but since her legs have moved from their position first thing this morning it's more likely she's shedding. [grin] Wonder how big she's going to end up? She's already as big as my palm...
Tyjer isn't quite himself today - he's thrown up a couple of times and is staying quietly in the shade. We think he may have eaten one butterfly too many. If he's no better by Monday I'll struggle round to the vet with him, but I imagine he'll be OK.
I think that's about it. Everything's doing fine in the garden so far - that potato growing bag I picked up at Rowntrees garden centre for £5.99 has five very happy Lady Balfour plants coming on apace - and my greenhouse plants are growing a treat. The tomatoes have flowers: looking forward to tasting them, never had either Black Russian or Stupice varieties before.
Lastly, my dianthus this year, absolutely full of the sweetest scented flowers. I have five in my little blue glass jug sitting beside my monitor and they're scenting the whole room. With a little luck I can have flowers all summer...
Friday, May 29, 2009
(Hope this works: please let me know in comments if you can't see the video clip)... The now-routine morning fence-sparring session. The yowling is coming from Chester on the other side of the fence: the hissing and spitting is Tyjer. (The breathing you can hear is me - hayfever is horrible today...) Where Tyjer is scratching, it's when Chester has - with incredible stupidity - shoved his nose under the fence. Sorry I'm not closer, but it's very unwise to get too close to His Magnificence when he's defending his territory (I have the scars on my legs to prove it!)
[puzzled blink] Why do I have both the clip and a clickable image? Heh, never tried uploading video to blogger before. Maybe it's standard...
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Ken was at court today. I got down to some client site stuff for a couple of hours, then Kai and I managed to do a fair old bit in the garden. In between rescuing frogs from Tyjer. Highly amusing actually: he managed to find a feisty one that squealed like an indignant squeaky toy and hopped vigorously away from him. He's never met a frog that fought back. Wasn't quite sure what to do with it.
Then this evening K&K went to a concert by the rather good Longwell Green Orchestra in the church hall over the road. Kai wasn't too sure, but we thought it would be good for his music GCSE, and when they got back he'd thoroughly enjoyed himself and was glad he'd gone. Nice varied programme too - Overture to 'Nabucco', Borodin's Polovtsian Dances, Granada, Bizet's L'Arlesienne Overture and Carillon, and Weber's Overture to 'Peter Schmoll'.
After the interval they switched to more modern pieces: Highlights from Jurassic Park, Leroy Anderson Favourites, a Duke Ellington medley and finally Ketélby's In a Persian Market. All in all a fine selection. Ken tells me there were about thirty people in the audience, which is disappointing, but it had hardly been advertised, so it's not too surprising. A pity, though. If I'd known about it I could have posted it on the BCP site.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
<- On Sat April 4th I posted a pic of my wobbly volitans stuck in the pots with my baby cucumber plants.
Well, this ->
is what the cucumbers look like today. And there are a lot of flowers coming... K&K spent the day working on the loco engine, running through diagnostics with phone advice from Andy at Maxitrak, but despite all their efforts it didn't work, so we're sending back the control card to be checked and if necessary replaced. A bit of a nuisance, but they're good people and I'm sure it can all be sorted out nice and quickly.
In other news, the printer has replaced the dud copies of Missions foc, so that's all great!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Kai wanted to go to Severn Beach...Lichen on the rocks at Severn Beach.
I got up at 9, thinking there'd probably be a train around midday and we'd have plenty of time to get organised. And then, at 10.13, I checked the website...
The next one was at 11.16, and they were only every two hours.
Erk. Woke Kai up, grabbed everything, just caught the bus, luckily the queue was short at the station, and we arrived on the platform as the train drew in.
It was a very pleasant trip, but blowing a gale at Severn Beach, so we decided not to stay too long. Wandered out to the firing range on the salt flat, and Kai collected a load of bullet casings, but then we could see it was raining in Wales and the wind was drifting the rain clouds in our direction, so we headed back and caught the 13.54 train back to Briz.
Tired now. And bemused: Tyjer stuck his head in the bag with the bullets and started playing with them, purring loudly. See, he is an SAS cat!
There was something large rootling around in Kai's den as I was heading bedwards at 2.30 this morning. Even leaning out of the landing window I couldn't see it, but it sounded far too big to be a hedgehog, and too noisy to be a fox. I think it was the badger. (I won't mind so much if he stays down at that end of the garden and leaves my veg bed alone.)
[bemused] We've all just sat and chortled at Snakes on a Plane, probably the stupidest film we've ever seen. Didn't help that we automatically superimposed Airplane! over it...
Monday, May 25, 2009
Well that was fun!
Leaving aside the fundamental plot - which still has me shaking my head in a 'wut? Wtf??' fashion - it's a rollicking film, and definitely on the 'must buy' list for when the price comes down. Even if in places I found myself thinking 'Marty Stu' and 'this feels like watching fanfic'... The acting was excellent, especially Quinto (although I did have a funny few minutes trying to resolve the mental disconnect between the characters of Spock and Sylar). But damn he was good! Then again Spock was always my favourite (my role model, along with Sherlock Holmes, when I was a child. Probably explains a lot, that). And I never liked Kirk, the arrogant, smarmy, self-important bastard, so it's not really any surprise that I don't like young Kirk either. But I have to admit his characterisation is believable...
The casting was just wonderful, and the relationships between the main charas well delineated. And although I was uncertain about the Spock/Uhura interaction - surely it was more of a mentoring relationship in the series? - I ended up rather liking it. And I absolutely loved the little nods to things that were throwaway in the original series (such as green-skinned Orion dancer who was, if I remember rightly, a slave in ST:OS here being a StarFleet trainee, for starters...)
Anyway - I can see intractable purists hating the film, but we thoroughly enjoyed it, and if there are to be followups I'm pretty sure we'll go and see them.
[plaintive] But I can no longer just enjoy the pretties: I sat through that lovely end credits sequence trying to work out under what possible circumstances planetary masses and gravities could possibly result in those particular arrangements of celestial bodies... [sigh]
... I think I'll check if there's any fanfic been written yet...
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Tyjer testing the quality of the workmanship... A really lovely day, hot and cloudless and still. While Ken was working (Accounts - erk) upstairs, Kai hoed and weeded the veg bed, trimmed the grass around the fruit cage and the birdbath, and filled up the greenhouse water butt from the main butt for me, while I planted sunflowers and cauliflowers and did a little greenhouse work.
Later we ate al fresco (and very tasty he was too) for the first time this year. This evening there were goldfinches in the greengage. Now we're going to watch the first ep of Lexx Series 4...
The weather is supposed to be wet, if not actually thundery, tomorrow, so I think I'm taking Kai to see Star Trek at the Showcase de Lux in town.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
[growl] Not at all happy - it appears there's something wrong with the loco engine. K&K have spent the whole day trying everything: the fuse is fine, the little motor works, and the battery is fully charged, so we assume the fault is somewhere in the wiring. The bloody thing cost £750 plus another forty-five in postage (and that's without the battery), and I was hoping Kai would be able to ride on it before the end of his holiday.
We're getting back to the company who sold it. On the whole they've been very good and efficient so far, so fingers crossed we can sort this out smoothly too.
[bemused] British Rail get leaves and snow on their track: we get birdsnests...
No pieces of egg shell or feathers anywhere nearby, though, so maybe it was an old nest.
Kai's practically back to normal today - he and Ken are trying to make sense of the battery installation instructions for the loco. Not much point asking me - I can't follow instructions anyway, and it's been twenty years since I last handled a car battery.
Back to the rockface...
.........Quite probably the most laid-back, chilled-out cat in existence... (not to mention the rather good camouflage.)
Friday, May 22, 2009
I'm back! (And I've corrected the typos in yesterday's post: not only can I not use Kai's keyboard, which is mostly under his monitor shelf, but he doesn't have the Firefox spell-checker...)
And it's all thanks to Nick Richards at Computer Geeks.
He was recommended by Rosie of the Reflex Camera Club: Ken rang her earlier, about archaeological finds, and just asked, on the offchance, if she knew of anyone who knew computers. Ken then rang him around 2 pm - and within an hour he was here, my stack was open and he was checking temperatures. Turns out my graphics card (which had no fan) was overheating: he took it out and switched the graphics application to the 'onboard' one (which hasn't 'alf speeded things up!) and then let me touch the old one - with a warning it was a bit hot. Heh, nearly burned my fingers! It had been running at 72° +, far too hot for the stack.
We left the machine running for a bit to see if everything was OK, while he got Ken's scanner working (Vista violently objected to it and he's had to use mine for the last couple of months). However, it was still making the burning smell, so he said he thought the problem with the graphics card looked like it had buggered my power unit, and it would be best if he fitted a new one. Which he did - took the stack away and brought it back an hour later all cleaned up, refitted and running beautifully (if a little more noisily than before, as at our request it's not a very expensive unit, although actually I find the hum reassuring. And the cold air it's chucking out is even more reassuring!)
I can't recommend him strongly enough: his knowledge and skill is amazing. And he can advise remotely as well: was sorting out problems for a couple of French clients earlier today. He also adjusted my monitor resolution so that I now have circles instead of ovals, and he's even managed to get my printer almost working (almost because it needs a little more auto cleaning and we need to see why the paper keeps jamming, but it is now capable of printing, which it hasn't been for more than six months!) Altogether I'm absolutely delighted. Very reasonably priced too!
So here are some photos to celebrate...
Kai's hazel trees. ->
<- These monsters are foxgloves. I am very fond of foxgloves - but they're supposed to be in the meadow, not blocking the light to my greenhouse!
After a hard day chasing birds, butterflies and bees, and bringing home another catch of frogs, Tyjer felt entitled to relax...
Now I have days' worth of catching up to do.
At least I can now!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Still on Kai's machine - haven't even booted up today. Kai had his last polio, diphtheria and tetanus booster today at the doctor's, then we both had dentist checkups. All OK, but sprog is now feeling dreadful, shivering and his arm is very painful. Going to get some 'prufen into him and try to persuade him to go to bed.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
[using Kai's computer] Definite problems with mine. Dave-next-door, who knows everyone in Briz, has a veteran tech who services his machine, and will ask him to look at mine, but he doesn't live in Briz so not sure how long it'll be. At the moment accessing email is difficult and replying will also be extremely hard. I can use Ken's machine for work, but I wasn't planning to do much anyway over Kai's holiday...
And speaking of Kai, his mouth is much better today - hasn't needed to take any painkillers yet today, and can manage solid food, so that's good.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Child is in pain, poor thing. But we have plenty of parrots and 'prufens, and I've bought lots of soup, soft rolls and yoghurt so he doesn't need to chew much for a few days...
I, however, have a problem with my computer - a very worrying smell of hot flux when running a Grisoft scan or (as I discovered half an hour ago when looking at the Chelsey Flower Show site) when trying to watch videos online. First happened yesterday during the scan: I closed down, switched off and opened the stack, thinking it was perhaps singeing dust. I did clear out a firkin's worth of dust and cat hair, which has made it much quieter, but it obviously hasn't fixed the problem. Kai thinks it might be with my video card. Me, I haven't a clue. Taking it very easy and keeping my nose alert until I can find a way to get it looked at. Basic functions seem OK for now.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Alas, the crossed fingers didn't work. She agreed that the teeth had shifted back really well - but pointed out that the back ones had also been shunted out of true and could cause problems later. So sprog now has (admittedly quite small and discreet) traintrack brace on his upper teeth.
And there was something else I wanted to say but I got stuck boggling at the staggeringly nightmarish PS3 advert half way down the page here and have completely forgotten what it was...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
K&K finished laying the track: next on the list is to buy the car battery and build the loco engine. And test drive it, of course!
Kai and I went to the early evening showing of Wolverine. Which we thoroughly enjoyed, and will be buying when it's available. Not at all a great film - too hurried for one thing, and a fair bit of retconning I think, although that's something I do myself so I'm not too bothered. Have to admit Hugh Jackman is looking very good, though!
Tomorrow I take Kai to the orthodontist. He's dreading it. However, since the teeth concerned have started shifting themselves into their proper position without any assistance, I'm going to ask if Kai really needs a brace, or if so, if he really needs it right now. Keep fingers crossed, please. It would be fantastic if she's happy with the progress and says we can wait and see...
Marrows, Yugoslav red lettuce, and dwarf French beans now on the go.
This is ridiculous. It's nearly June and it's so cold here the heating (we keep the thermostat at 15°) is on...
Honorary Saturday Post!
K&K laid the bulk of the railway track between the showers.
Tyjer doesn't like rain - after the third attempt to go out and explore he gave up, came in, and put himself to bed...
Ken and I saw the Cider with Rosie performance in the evening - review here. It was very enjoyable!
Friday, May 15, 2009
[snarl] So Warner Music Group make a habit of deleting YouTube videos of their artists (wikipedia has details of the row). Bastards. All they're doing is hurting themselves and their artists - I don't buy CDs any more unless I'm sure I'll like them, and usually the only way I can know that is by watching the group online - YouTube for preference.
In other news... Not much. Whapped off a handful of Missions, but there's a problem with the delivery - a good half of them are badly bound, with horribly wavy pages. We've reported it to the printer (with photos) and are waiting to hear back: in the meantime I think we have enough good ones to fulfil current orders.
K&K are off to the local AmDram to watch Cider with Rosie (I'm going tomorrow). Free tickets in exchange for a review!
Prime Contact for me tonight.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
It would appear my fondness for - nay, my obsession with - volitans extends even to cat toys. If I'm ever rich in money I'd love a massive aquarium with a herd of these in it. The real fish I mean, not toy ones.
Other than that it's been a positive grudgeon of a day. GoodTwin and Sue: remember those aquarium fish at Rowntrees that looked rather like Vorlon spacecraft? And we couldn't tell what they were from the label on the tank? Well, it's taken me a while but I think they were Banggai Cardinals. Am I right? I don't have a clear mental image any more - looking through page after page of google images of unusual tropical aquarium fish will do that to you...
So, briefly, before I go fall over:
The meeting went well, Ken tells me (I wasn't involved, plugged myself in and got some work done. I'm just the webmaster, coffee maker and moral support!);
I'm much closer to whipping the Heart/Vourdaki/Collective timelines and the correspondences therein into shape;
I treated myself to an amazon mp3 download of What I've Done [gasp! the extravagance! SIXTY-NINE whole Pence!!] and decided that I want this played, very loudly, at my funeral. It's perfect. There will be other tracks that are perfect too, of course, but this one... oh yes. There are many musekicks that work much better if you can see the accompanying video (Muse are good examples of this. Much as I adore their music, it does have much more punch if you can see the story played out in front of you - prime example of course being Absolution, the track that had me addicted to them immediately the first time I saw it) but in this case... it encapsulates so much for me. Read the words...
[sigh] Bed, I suppose.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The archetypal "I don't care if my bum looks big in this" cat photo...
We have an APAG meeting here this evening - cue me doing a day's worth of house-keeping. I wish I could afford a cleaner, I hate the job and it always makes my back ache. And yes, I know if I cleaned more often it wouldn't be such a chore, but you tell me where I can make the time!
The place does look much nicer though.
Tyjer has been in most of today (the weather's been dull and miserable) and was a bit grumpy about it. After clawing at the settee a couple of times to make his displeasure known, he went very quiet. After half an hour I looked for him - but couldn't find him. Then Ken pointed this out...
I did get a little work done this afternoon, and had Transformers playing in the background. Not because I particularly like the film (Shia LaBeouf still annoys me intensely) but I like the music and I love the actual transformation scenes. Something about them really appeals. It's the same with the armouring scene in Iron Man (picked it up for a fiver in Sainsbug's: the credit crunch may be a nightmare but we aren't 'alf doing well in the DVD department because of it). Anyway - I like the song which ends the film (Transformers, I mean) so thought I'd look it up (y'know, type a few of the lyrics into google). Turns out it's What I've Done by Linkin Park, who I've heard of but not listened to (to my knowledge, anyway). You probably know how important lyrics are to me, and these lyrics are quite something:
So of course I had to check YouTube to see if it was there, and it was, and it's one of the most heart-breaking, powerful music videos I've ever seen...In this farewell There is no blood There is no alibi 'Cause I've drawn regret From the truth Of a thousand lies So let mercy come and wash away What I've Done I'll face myself To cross out what I've become Erase myself And let go of what I've done Put to rest What you thought of me Well I clean this slate With the hands Of uncertainty So let mercy come And wash away What I've Done I'll face myself To cross out what I've become Erase myself And let go of what I've done For what I've done I start again And whatever pain may come Today this ends I'm forgiving what I've done I'll face myself To cross out what I've become Erase myself And let go of what I've done What I've Done Forgetting what I've done.
Or see it here if the replay is jerky on the blog.
Off to start revising Prime Contact.
[bemused] Tyjer brought home his first catch today - a large frog. Fortunately I was able to head him off at the patio before he brought it through the cat-flap (I remember when Argent caught his first frog. Oh the fun we had trying to evict it from the kitchen...) He was terribly proud of himself, bringing home a present for mum. We had BIG purrs and nuzzles.
I gave him a handful of chicken treats instead.
The frog turned itself over and hopped off back to the frewtnog pool.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Valkyrie emailed to let me know that a whole load of the illustrations in The (other) Zone weren't showing, and some of the links weren't working either, so most of the morning was taken up with sorting that out. All a bit messy: the original WaveWrights site grew organically, and I never quite managed to get around to revising it. I think it's OK now though.
Client site stuff the rest of the day.
Monday, May 11, 2009
[grin] Vampires is now on amazon for pre-order. First time I've seen the final cover - but they haven't changed it too much from the original. Of course, we know amazon have a tendency to put the temp covers on their pages and then take forever to get them corrected, so it may yet change...
[boggled] And there was Sunday gone...
Not that I was aware of quite a lot of it. Last time they visited, the folks brought up a 'souvenir' bottle of Slivovitz they'd bought on one of their holidays (Gran Canaria, possibly. I lose track of where they've been) - a round bottle covered with decorated fake red leather, you know the sort of thing. I quite like Slivovitz, but this stuff is over twenty years old (the folks don't really drink) and blows the top of your head off, too much even for me. So I mixed it with coke...
Never again. Well, not for a couple of weeks, anyway.
K&K didn't manage to get into the garden - Kai has SATS this week and he and Ken worked through a couple of the Maths papers he'd brought home for revision. Took all day - and his calculator packed up completely: he's had to borrow my Casio scientific which is donkey's years old but still works OK - but he went off this morning quite confident, Ken tells me. Making Spaghetti Madness for dinner, to cheer him up/celebrate it going well, depending on which is the more true.Acer. Looking good. ->
It's a tad blustrous out there today - good for the washing but the wind-cats are driving Tyjer nuts.
And speaking of His Magnificence...<- Paeony flowers. Gorgeous colour.
Jaded weary cat.
[sigh] Back to the rockface...
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Warning - fairly big pics a little further down: please allow time to load.
The rockery is looking great this year - my acer has never looked better, and yes, there are two flowers on the paeony (although they were attacked by those effing cabbage white bloody caterpillars that survived the snow, so they aren't in perfect nick). We finally got the barley straw stuff into Roeg's Pool, so keeping fingers crossed that solves the algae problem.
The three fish I've seen in there have grown rather large...
This evening Kai and I planted out the Brussels sprouts and put netting over them, to try to limit pigeon and caterpillar damage. We've planted my newly-bought goji berry bush - OK, twig at the moment but it will be a bush next year - up on the slope, and I've started some watercress seeds in a pot in a bowl of water (Ken loves it in sandwiches: I wasn't very successful last year, so hoping for more luck, and less insect pests, this year).
Most of the day was taken up with laying weed-suppressing fabric in the railway track trench and covering it with the gravel. (Tyjer helped, as you can see...) A very labour-intensive and tiring job, but it's done now and tomorrow, if the weather stays like today's, K&K will be out making a start on getting the actual track laid. It's a biggish job, as overlay pieces have to be sawn off in exactly the right places or it won't all fit together.
Here are a couple of photos of the layout, one from the landing window, one from the patio. We need a little more of the fabric and several more paving slabs to finish off the 'station platform' (which will also provide the path up the garden: no way I can carry a washing basket full of wet clothes across the rockery to reach the drier at the top!). There's a little meadow tidying-up to do as well: I'd like to get some poppies growing at the side of the track.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Where did today go? The very tall not-a-palm that Dave-next-door gave us when it got too big for his garden some years back has flowers for the second year in a row. We wish they were bananas... ->
Gorgeous day today - if incredibly windy. My cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers are now potted on into peatpots, ready for when I have the troughs prepared (need our own lovely compost for that, but that's a two-person job as we need to open the big compost bin and shovel it into the planters, and my hands won't cope with a spade any more).
We now have the carrots Kai planted starting to come up. Really must get the dwarf beans and some more peas on the go too. And plant out the Brussels sprouts. And start some lettuce. And maybe a few marrows...
There are some advantages to getting book commissions over the winter - it often leaves the late spring/summer freer for the gardening.
Our wisteria is absolutely beautiful this year. We still haven't managed to get around to training it along the wall as we keep planning, but it looks pretty good anyway.
And Tyjer? He's in cat heaven. It's particularly cute the way he comes to check I'm OK every hour or so when he's outside by himself...
Thursday, May 07, 2009
From earlier today:
(Joules) Ty's just wandered in with another pigeon feather - he brings them in and puts them by his food bowl... strange cat.... (Lutra) [blink] installation artist? Something like that. Or maybe he's planning some sort of camouflage. Dress up as a bird so he can infiltrate. He is a Bodie cat after all... LOLOL! or they're conspicuous trophies? No - they're dropped feathers. Um... I think, anyway...
Catching up with sleep, little by little...
We usually have spagbol on a Wednesday: it's Kai's late night (he's taking a Flash class again) and that's one of his favourite dinners. Last night, though, I made Spaghetti Madness (a nod to Hancock) - meatballs in a rich tomato sauce on spaghetti. Heh, I haven't made meatballs since before Kai was born... They went down very well and we'd like them again please mum!
They're now added to the repertoire, and the nice thing is I can make them with any sort of mince, to take advantage of supermarket specials.
Courgettes now planted in the veg bed. I've been trying to take a photo of the grapefruit flower, which is now fully open and scenting the whole greenhouse, but it keeps coming out bleached (bright sun on pure white petals, I believe). I'll keep trying.
For now, it's back to the rockface - websites to redesign and maintain...
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
... this definitely feels odd. Not having to sit and write, I mean. Hasn't been like this since before Yule...
Haven't done much today. Well, it was daylight when I got to bed, so I slept in 'til 11.30 - a hell of a treat! And on the subject of treats, Kai's last report was full of 'Outstandings' and 'Excellents' again, so as a wee treatlet this evening we took a gander at what was on FilmFlex and let him choose. It ended up as a choice between the X-Files: I want to Believe, Dreamcatcher (which sounded very funny, going by the comments on the IMDb) or House of the Dead (he's been fancying watching something zombie-related recently, I think, along the lines of Shaun of the Dead). We ended up renting the latter... [sigh] It's absolutely dreadful, but then, we knew it would be from the IMDb. I can't think of any cliché they didn't use, though I did take a shower half way through so might have missed something, I suppose. It was so bad it was really funny, and Kai enjoyed it, so that was OK.
Afterwards I finally got around to watching Hancock, my latest LoveFilm rental - and I must say I loved it. It's a sheer delight of a film, and one we'll pick up sometime soon. Thoroughly enjoyable. (Kai had already seen it twice, once at school and once with Ken while I was working last week.)
And now? Not sure. I still have client stuff to get done but I think I can afford one evening off...
Monday, May 04, 2009
And now I am shattered. Completely nuts - three books finished since Yule. Garth Marenghi, eat your heart out...
Contents over on the Haadriblog to whet (or not) your appetites.
It would be nice to have a week off, but I'm now horribly behind with the client site stuff, so need to get a move on with that before I continue with the Prime Contact second edition. Then there's Heart, of course. Immortality, clones, TARDIS...
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Tiring day, but the bulk of the digging/rearranging soil is now done. I didn't manage to finish the fic last night - my eyes went and I just had to get some sleep - but I'm now about an hour off finishing.
Kai's off school tomorrow (May bank holiday) so we're all going to do a little more work in the garden...
Saturday, May 02, 2009
This is the bud on my tiny grapefruit plant (the whole plant is no more than five inches high). Not yet opened, obviously, but it already smells glorious, deep and sweet and musky, evoking rays of sun in ancient hidden jungle temples...A most successful day. Got to bed around 5.30 am (filled up the birdtable before falling over) and woke up again at 10.30. Ken was at the first BCAP exhibition (yes, I know the site looks deadly dull, I haven't had a chance to design it yet), so Kai and I spent much of the day in the garden. He painted one side of the wooden sides and base for his coal wagon (it'll make more sense when it's assembled and you can see the photo) then hoed the veg bed for me, while I pruned the ivy tree so my jasmine can get more light and then did a little more greenhouse care. While we were working the two blasted town pigeons who've been haunting the garden arrived - but they may be a little reluctant to come back, as Tyjer was most offended and took a flying leap at them. And I do mean flying: he jumped higher than the framework for the fruit cage, and that's almost as tall as I am. Very nearly caught one of the pigeons too!
When Ken arrived back he and Kai carried on digging the trench for the track.We're planning to strip out all the grass inside the circle to extend the meadow (less lawn to mow!). The soil and turves that are coming out are being used to level out the slight slope below the veg bed where we normally set up the table when we eat out of doors.
Tomorrow, depending on the weather, K&K will carry on with that project, while I get the courgettes planted out. They can be grown up wigwams, like peas and beans, so I saved a whole load of medium branches from the goat willow for wigwams when it was cut down, and will see if it works (it'll save space and keep the courgettes off the ground, so less risk of them being attacked by insects). It's more work, as they'll have to be tied on, but it may be worth it. We'll see.
I also need to get some more peas and dwarf beans on the go. I'm debating which other veg to start - I have cauliflowers, leeks, Romanescu broccoli, and beetroot seeds, amongst others, but may save some of them for next year. Not sure I have the energy or space to try everything this year!
Tonight, however, I write the final fic...
Friday, May 01, 2009
Joyous Beltain!Tyjer had a wonderful day in the garden... (well, you'll be able to see the photo once Supanames have got the JAT site back up. That's the second weekend in a row it's vanished: wonder if they have a problem with the server...?) Long weekend ahead. Planning some garden and greenhouse work in between bouts of writing, and Kai is going to paint his coal wagon. Everything's looking great out there!
Later edit: posted pic to WaveWrights instead. And sounds like someone's having Beltain fireworks out there!
[bemused] We now have a little flock of seven starlings joining the fourteen resident sparrows feeding in the garden! Very pleased.
Rather to my surprise we also seem to have two pairs of blackbirds claiming it as theirs. I thought blackbirds were more territorial than that...
I've been leaving the TV on the ITV4 cable channel just recently while writing. They're showing repeats of those great 70s and 80s shows - The Prisoner, The Professionals, UFO, The Champions, Randall and Hopkirk [deceased] (the real one, not the remake), The Sweeney and The Saint (the tedious Roger Moore ones though). Today I had an odd moment of disconnect when Jeff Randall turned up in UFO...
Chelsea Flower Show soon!
Back to the loom...