Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]
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.
Friday, July 31, 2009
And the Taylor family leapt into action. Well, as well as we could with our assorted aches and pains. K&K dug the trench (a foot down, so they could tackle the foundation) at the bottom of the wall in the square while I went shopping, then they managed four loads of mortar (bringing it up to just above soil level) while I slathered the fencey-bit copiously in the Cuprinol. We finished about an hour before the rain started in earnest, giving both paint and mortar a decent chance to dry. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the makeshift trellis up and plant out my kiwi fruits: it's supposed to be dryish in the afternoon.
But oh, aren't we all aching tonight!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
A very contented cat...
It's been busy. Spent a couple of hours in the garden, weeded the rockery and pruned the blackberry bushes (though you'd never know!) while Kai cut the grass around the veg bed and his track. After lunch I caught up with the client site stuff I should have done yesterday. After dinner I tackled a little greenhouse work, and lifted the clump of reeds from Roeg's Pool (which hurt my back. It's a rather laaaarge clump). It's now in a big bucket up at the elder tree awaiting planting in the pool I plan to construct once Ken's mortared that stretch of wall. Don't worry, it'll all make sense once you see the pics once it's all finished.
Legs aching now.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
So I settled down to get some client site updating done, and whinged to Kai I really need some kind of reminder software to tell me when I should archive old news items. "Oh, I have a calender on my Google homepage" he says brightly. "I'm sure there's a to-do gadget too..."
[headdesk] He often talks about his Google Homepage and how useful it is, only it just never sank in before - yes, I too could have one, and gather together all the useful stuff I use constantly in one place...
I borrowed sprog's expertise to get the basic set up (much quicker than trying to follow instructions) and then spent a very happy couple of hours customising. This is the result:
So that's me with everything all in one place. Should have done this ages ago.
And the rain it raineth every day...
So much for our barbecue summer!
Kai had his orthodontist appointment this morning, and Ken was at court - so Tyjer was left all by himself all alone for the first time ever (in this house). Since it's raining, and he's really not fond of rain, I shut him in the house rather than leave the catflip open.
He was fine. He was upstairs on the bed, and a little wary when he came down, but a bowl of cat milk and a slice of ham and he was OK again. Although he's still giving me annoyed looks...
And the orthodontist is very pleased with Kai. His teeth are moving into the correct position at a really fast rate, and she says his cleaning is excellent. I think switching to the Sensodyne iso-active gel has helped: the stuff is absolutely amazing, gets into all the difficult-to-reach places and leaves your teeth feeling like they've been cleaned by the hygienist. I bought it for me, really, as my dentist says I need to use it given the problems I have, but it occurred to me that it will be great for getting under the brace and between Kai's teeth too, and obviously it is. It's a bit on the pricey side, but worth it for the benefits.
In other news - the turkey burgers are tasty. Not as much as the beefburgers, but they're not 'alf bad and taste great with mango chutney.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. OK. Left out a lot, put bits in I could have lived without, and it would have been helpful to have a little more explanation in places (like why Snape is the Half-Blood Prince), but it was a fun film. With a bit of luck the director's cut will be available to buy come Yule.
Found a big tub of Cuprinol Autumn Gold fencepaint on special (20% extra free) in The Range on the way back - a bit heavy but now I'm set to paint side gate and top fencing. If it ever stops raining...
Monday, July 27, 2009
Seven Years Old TodayThe blog, that is, not me (obviously). To celebrate, I've written a short story for the PROSfanfic list but also posted on WaveWrights, part of the MMCI5 Files - Tales of herring doo? There's something distinctly fishy about this...
I'd almost forgotten how much fun they are to write.
Off to see Harry Potter tomorrow.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
After lunch K&K met up with the Reflex group and friends to walk to St Anne's Well (apparently it's St Anne's Day today). Some of the group's church acquaintances said they'd come too, but none of them turned up, possibly since it's rained all day (dull grey drizzle). But that was quite nice actually, as the Well is believed to be a pagan Holy Well, and the people who did 'make the pilgrimage' were all of like mind, hanging ribbons on the overhanging bushes and dropping small coins into the water. Ken has posted a couple of photos here.
I made burgers. Dozens of burgers. Standing in the kitchen for three hours straight. (No, not all for the barbecue: most are for lunches through Kai's summer holiday.) I still have to have a go at the cucumber and apple chutney, and I must make pineapple lollies before the pineapples get too ripe. Maybe tomorrow after I've been shopping...
A Rift Special
Kai and I were deciding what we want to do when we go to Cardiff, and took a look at Google maps (always easier to plan a journey if I can see it from above). To our bemusement we saw this:
Hm. Rift activity, we wondered? So we waited a few minutes for the full image to load. Except it didn't. So we looked a little closer: ->
Perhaps it was some sort of Hub activity blocking the satellite? A few minutes later it had cleared and a closer zoom showed the Plass with no problem...
But Cardiff can be a strange place. What, for example, is this?
Footprints in the water? Small whirlpools? Some very large aquatic beastie? Ginormous jellyfish?...
And what about this? - >
No, it's not photoshopped, there does seem to be something very odd about the gravity in that part of the city to make those buildings lean like that...
We're going to be exploring the Bay on this visit. Can't wait!
Pics screen-capped from Google maps, with all due thanks and credit.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Mad weather again...
Woke up to brilliant sunshine, hung out two machine loads of washing to dry, got the barbecue out of the shed and cleaned and fixed it, found that the briquettes work just fine, threw sossijs on while I made barbecue sauce for the chicken pieces (which I part-nuked in the microwave before putting on the rack) while K&K woodstained the railway carriage that will be carrying passengers if they ever get their fingers out and get the loco electrics fixed! [put-upon sigh] If I chivvy them too much it sounds like I'm nagging...
Anyway - the meal was a great success. I need to have the rack on the next higher slot, I think, but it was all very tasty. Kai intends asking two or three friends around for the official barbecue, and I plan to make beef and turkey burgers (that's beefburgers and turkey burgers, not a mixture), chicken pieces, assorted sossij, and pork kebabs, with salad and a Pavlova for dessert. If it rains, I may skip the kebabs, as they won't cook properly under the grill indoors.
After eating I dragged out the huge old tub of woodpaint, ready to do the side gate and the fencing in the square at the top - I want to string wire across and plant out my kiwis: I think they'd work really well in that sheltered nook - only to find that the paint had gone off and smelt absolutely vile. Blasted nuisance: they're really heavy and I believe the nearest place to get one is Wilkinson's.
So, change of plan: I decided I'd do the shopping while K&K got a little mortaring done. Except then it started raining...
Eh well. Perhaps I should just make burgers instead. At least we got a few things accomplished as planned!
And I've just realised my shoulders are slightly sunburned. Must have been hotter than I thought.
Friday, July 24, 2009
So, Inkheart... A huge disappointment. Started very well, then just lost the plot and degenerated into a fairly standard kids adventure movie. And it could have been so novel, and instead was boringly familiar in places - a final set that could have come from any film featuring Nazis or a Nazi-type organisation (but reminded me of a cross between that scene in The Wall and the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark), a baddie that looked like a Balrog's cousin and Helen Mirren (the best thing in the film as far as I'm concerned) charging in on a unicorn just like Gandalf on Shadowfax at Helm's Deep.
It had such promise, should have been so much better. I almost feel cheated.
So now Kai and I are laughing uproariously at Mock the Week, to make up for it.
Edit: woah, 3,000th blog post!
Alas, no burgers were accomplished today. But that's fine, as long as they're in the freezer by Sunday all will be well.
Kai has spent the day just relaxing on his computer (the snuffling seems to be nothing more than hayfever, fortunately). The G & B sprogs turned up on their bikes, but he was too tired and too determined to just flop to go with them. That's OK right now, as he is looking pretty knackered and a few days of just doing nowt will do him good . Though that being said I have to ask him to do a little weeding for me in the morning, up at the veg bed. But the weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow, so I'm planning on getting out and firing up the barbecue...
[bemused] Earlier this afternoon there was a lot of yowling in the garden: I dived out - to find Tyjer chasing Basement Cat around the shed! At the sight of me it leapt over the wall, hotly pursued by His Magnificence. But then it led him astray into unknown territory, and I had to follow and try to tempt him back. [sigh] Growls and hisses and low yowls ensued, but he did finally get to a spot where I could grab the scruff of his neck and carry him back to the wall. For which he turned, hissed and took a chunk out of my hand. That earned him collar-off and shut in for the rest of the afternoon, so he's now a little grumpy...
I now have dozens of sweet peppers coming in the greenhouse. Photo when they start turning red.
We all thoroughly enjoyed The Langoliers. And my latest rental from Lovefilm - Inkheart - arrived this afternoon: after dinner (lamb steaks) we will settle down to a bit of fantasy.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
My sunflowers are coming along nicely. Kai is now home until the 1st of September - and relieved to be so. It's been a long, hard term for all the kids. As usual we don't have anything too specific planned: we want to have a go on the mini-London Eye at Weston-super-Mare, and a trip to Clevedon is also likely. We also want to spend a day exploring Cardiff Bay (catch a train from Cardiff Central to Roald Dahl Plass this time instead of walking!) For the rest, I'm trying to persuade sprog that inviting friends over, or visiting them, or going cycling with them are really good ideas: flattering as it is that he enjoys spending time with me, it worries me sometimes that he's not more sociable...
So, this evening we're settling down with pizza and chips and The Langoliers (which finally arrived yesterday), then tonight I'll be carrying on with a small project I have on the go to celebrate this blog's seventh anniversary.
Tomorrow I shall mostly be making burgers...
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
An odds and sods sort of a day, a lot of tidying up and clearing emails. Some client site stuff. A little (very little, given the weather) garden tending.
[sigh] Kai has coming home snuffling and coughing...
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Well, the marrow was amazing, firm and sweet and silky as opposed to the usual watery, bland and soggy of shop-bought ones. I think steaming it with the other veg helped, mind you.
Yesterday I tried making couscous with sautéed courgettes, peppers and onions, which worked rather well too!
I have three Galia melons coming (if all goes well and they keep on developing).
We watched Desperate Romantics this evening. It's quite fun - though I was dismayed to hear Aiden Turner (Rossetti - also Mitchell the vampire in Being Human) say 'OK' very early on in the episode. However, it turns out that the term was in use in the 19th century, although whether it was in such common use as today is open to question. It jarred, in any case. As did Walter's 'Hi'. I expect better of the BBC.
... my time is out of joint...
Probably comes of being abruptly woken up after another very late night from very strange dreams half an hour after Ken had left for court, by a courier hammering on the door, delivering our author's copies of the Vampire and Werewolf books. They look fantastic - we're very pleased. Though they're a lot bigger than we thought they were going to be!
Tried to go back to sleep afterwards, but couldn't, so got up, and now I feel disorientated and just a bit tired.
<- First marrow of the year.
Cute caterpillar ->
I am a little concerned about Tyjer. Over the last three days he's suddenly become very nervous, hesitant and twitchy, checking around every corner before stepping out and flinching at things he's ignored up to now. The last two nights he's charged around the house, tail lashing, staring out of windows and scrabbling at his catflap. Not sure if it was another cat or just the hedgehog: next week, when Kai's on holiday, I'll see if he fancies spending a bit of the night in the garden so we can check.
Other than that he's fine, but after him gaining self-confidence it's no fun to see.
Monday, July 20, 2009
So, it looks like the barbecue will be on Saturday 15th August. That gives me time to blackmail the burgers, marinade the mushrooms, chastise the chicken pieces and get the rest of the edibles organised, and for us to check that the barbecue is still in working order (and that we have everything we need for it). Also gives me time - and a reason - to clean the house thoroughly (stepladders and dusters and Mr Sheen ahoy!) And also to petition the weather gods for a really nice day so we can actually have the barbecue in the garden rather than in the house...
... thought I'd something more to say...
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Monsoon weather. But both water butts are full to brimming (the new one works perfectly - thanks GoodTwin!) and so is the temp bin-butt, so I'm all set for a while.
Relaxed day today...
Lutra and I were discussing exercise routines, and whether a bit of weight training might be good for Kai, on Skype:
Joules: He's a fish. We don't do routines. Lutra: [smirk] there is that. [nods] we'd have taken over the world by now if we could just stick to schedule.... If we could see the point of it! Well quite!It would certainly be an interesting (as in 'may you live in interesting times') world. If I remember rightly, Sue was waiting for it to happen...
This one tickles me. I know EXACTLY how he feels.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Interesting sky this morning...
<- I have quite a few of these Black Russian Heritage tomatoes coming.
They are... rather large...-> The aim is to keep most of these for cooking - blanch and freeze them and use them for spagbols, chillis, and anything else that uses a tomato base, over the winter. Just one of these fist-sized monsters is equal to at least one tin of chopped organic toms. It'll be a while before they're ready though: when they're ripe they go the colour of aubergines.
Several of the Stupice Heritage toms are now turning red. They aren't quite so big, and we'll be using them for eating raw (they're wonderfully sweet - we had the first one last week).
I've found a simple recipe for a cucumber and apple chutney that I might try, if we can't eat all the cucumbers I have coming. It's been years since I've made any (and that was my mum's easy Green Tomato Chutney) but Ken and I really like chutney/pickle/relish, and I do so hate wasting food, especially when I've grown it!
Friday, July 17, 2009
It was one of those days I'd like to reboot. I've accomplished nothing except to watch the next two eps of TW2 (which, admittedly, are favourites - A Day in the Life and Something Borrowed, the latter of which makes me chuckle, which had Kai glancing askance at me until he picked up on the comedy...)
Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The performance was great - the school has some very talented kids!
Kai now wants a bass guitar...
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
News in brief:
This -> is the final cover for the Vampire book. Although it's not as sexy as the first concept, it's more age-appropriate, and not too bad at all - I rather like the androgyny and the mysterious smile.
Lutra: yu haz a basemant and ceiling cat vizitashions?Says it all, I think.
[bemused] We occasionally get Basement Cat flitting through the garden (he has a very long and fluffy tail). But at 4.15 this morning we were also blessed with a visitation from Ceiling Cat (whose tail is equally long but not fluffy), who made a circuit of Kai's railway track before loping regally away...
This is slightly alarming. That's Lutra's territory. Heh, over here we have the Environment Agency Flood Watch, over there they have Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre...
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Back's been killing me for the last two days, so today I took it easy, had a lie-in and did as little moving around as possible: this evening Kai and I watched Torchwood 2 eps 4-6 (which includes Meat, which always makes me cry). Back is feeling much better tonight, so keeping fingers crossed it'll be back to normal tomorrow.
Nipped out for a slug-hunt at twilight: found and slaughtered a few large ones, then on my way back down the garden was brought up short by our hedgehog, standing outside the greenhouse door pretending to be a garden ornament! Absolutely gorgeous, but in the ten or so seconds it took me to nip back into the house and grab my camera he'd scarpered. So I stood for five minutes, listening, and eventually heard him up by the log scramble, and was able to get this pic. Not as good a shot as the earlier one would have been, but still cute. I'm not sure if he has something wrong with his left eye, but since he seems very fit and healthy - and well-fed - I'm going to assume he's fine and leave him to his nocturnal wanderings.
(Talking about garden ornaments, this one tickled me...)
I wonder how many other people find that Barclaycard waterslide advert absolutely compelling? I have to stop whatever I'm doing and watch it every time I hear the first three notes. My stomach lurches and my hands tingle when he goes over that insane and real-life-illegal open drop at the beginning, [grin] it's fantastic.
Pity they didn't choose someone a little more... tasty for it though.
Heh, found it on Youtube! Enjoy....
Or here if it's jerky.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Heh, apparently the Vampire and Werewolf books are going to be sold in Holland - presumably in Dutch. If so, that'll be six languages in which we're published!
Watched the first three TW2 eps this evening... Great stuff.
Back from a jaunt up to Broadwalk, during which, res mirabila!, I did not get wet. It was a successful trip too - managed to get everything I went for, including a white T-shirt (on a BOGOF at the PDSA charity shop) for Kai's school drama thing on Thursday (a bit miffed about that, as tickets are limited, have been available since the end of last month, but Kai's group tutor only gave them the newsletters on Friday. I will not be happy if the tickets are sold out): apparently it's based on Camp Rock and he plays bass guitar in it. Will need to organise lifts or buses for it, as it ends at 9.
Also picked up a pair of heavy-duty gardening gloves that actually fit! And some wine finings, so I can start clearing the dandelion wine ready for bottling. There weren't any DVDs though. Although that's probably a good thing, as Torchwood Season 2 arrived this morning...
[bemused blink] This is very strange and quite amusing in a grim and somewhat macabre way...
Labels: strangeness and charm
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The forecast said rain: in reality we had blazing sun. So we spent the afternoon doing a little more work on the square at the top of the garden. It's going to be really nice when we've finished!
My back hurts now though. Only muscular, but it makes bending a bit tricky...
Kai fancied a film tonight, so we rented Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the 1978 version) from FilmFlex. Rather enjoyed it, though again I think I prefer the original.
Heart's topography finalised and posted on the Haadri site. Most of the tabs are blank as yet: I have a lot of work to do getting the text into the correct format then uploading. Will try to do that over the next few weeks.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Kai plays music by ear. For someone like me, who doesn't read music or play an instrument, it's quite wonderful. We were watching the Utopia/Sound of Drums/Last of the Timelords DVD last night, and sprog commented on that very pretty theme that runs through the last ep. He thought he might be able to play it if he could hear it properly...
Cue a quick online search. I found the soundtrack for Season 3 on amazon, with little snippets of the tracks: thought it was either from Martha's Quest or Martha Triumphant, so bought both mp3s to check (it's actually from the last part of Martha's Quest). Emailed it over to Kai's machine (heh, might have been quicker to use the pendrive!) then went for a shower. By the time I got back down he had it worked out on the keyboard.
Bright spark, my son.
Now, I understand that Torchwood is for adults. I understand that in such dramas people die, that major characters die. Hell, I kill off my own major characters on occasion. But generally, if you're going to kill off a main character in a phenomenon like Torchwood, you give the death a purpose, either heroic like Tosh and Owen, or because it's necessary, like Suzie. If nothing else, it provides closure for the viewers, who have often become emotionally involved with the characters.T O R C H W O O D S P O I L E R
Ianto's death was pointless. It served no purpose - other than to make Jack look stupid and vainglorious. He knew about the virus. I refuse to believe he wouldn't have considered the 456 to be treacherous, that he could possibly be so trusting. In effect, he is responsible for Ianto's death by challenging the bloody thing. To have Ianto die like that was vicious and spiteful on the part of the writer. It doesn't even add to any sympathy we might have felt for Jack the tragic, undying figure alone again, as it was his fault.
There's optimistic talk on the forums and lists that Torchwood could rise again, possibly headed by Gwen in an admin role, with Lois as the first recruit - though it would be a different entity. After all, Jack created Torchwood 3. It can never be the same without him. There's talk about Jack meeting up with the Doctor again, perhaps them voyaging together for a time. It's even possible, I suppose, that Jack could have his own spinoff series, fighting for the downtrodden as he travels among the stars. At this point, I really don't care. As Lutra said, I feel betrayed.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Two hours gardening - my legs are aching...
I'd forgotten how big marrow plants can grow. Still, it was a good excuse to pick the Yugoslav red lettuce that that leaf was overshadowing, to make a salad to have with dinner tonight. I've been quite looking forward to seeing what they taste like.
But I have an embarrassment of cucumbers! Half the learning curve one still in the fridge, and I've had to pick another two this morning that had reached optimum size, and there are still quite a lot coming. Next year I shall try starting with one plant, and try growing a second once the first has reached full size. If it works, that could keep us in cumbles til the end of September (assuming the weather is reasonable).
Luckily we all like cumbles - and I've discovered that a) they're great for alleviating water retention (from which I occasionally suffer) and b) cut into 3/4 inch chunks and topped with prawns in home-made Rose Marie sauce they make a wonderful snack, or even lunch.
Greenhouse is a little tidier: I've removed some of the lower leaves of the tomatoes so I can actually get at the pots to water without it going everywhere, and found the first ripening tom, going a lovely orange colour. I've also planted out some more of the lettuce and a row of radish seeds.
I haven't heard the rooster in a few days, but we now have clucking hens up the road. Perhaps I ought to find out where they are and investigate trading cumbles for eggs!
Thursday, July 09, 2009
It's a fish 'n' chip day today, weather is distinctly cool for summer. I should have been gardening, but I've been trying to finalise the design of Heart instead. I'll try gardening again tomorrow...
Labels: nowt really
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Not sure I can wait for tomorrow... Very glad at how the 456 were depicted though, was all ready to be disappointed. Edit: finally ordered Torchwood series 2 today, along with the Dr Who DVD containing Blink (early Yule pressie for me).0_0
Tyjer doesn't like pigeons. I can't really blame him: woodpigeons are fine, but the feral ones? Rats with wings. And they keep robbing my birdtable. Little birds, Tyjer doesn't really mind. He'll chitter at them, and pretend to stalk them, but it's very half-hearted. Pigeons though - he hates 'em.
I was, nevertheless, a little startled when I wandered into the kitchen to find a large, quivering, traumatised, half-defeathered and bleeding pigeon in the middle of the floor while Tyjer nonchalantly ate beef in gravy from his bowl...
[rolls eyes] He'd caught it up at the birdtable and carried it home for mum, presumably for our dinner. He was so proud of himself too, purring up a storm and happy to be picked up and cuddled. We rang the RSPCA to find out what to do, and before the call dropped out the guy on the other end asked if we could hand it in at a vets' surgery. The only one open was up on the Wells Rd: Ken volunteered to carry it there. Luckily we had a big box: Jordans - Ken eats their organic muesli by the truckload - have a 'big buzz' on at the moment, and had sent us a free lavender plant in a box when I signed up, and the pigeon was too shocked to put up any fight. It's in the vet's hands now.
In better news, Kai had a wonderful day. Heh, there were only eight kids invited from each school! (We are dead proud.) He thoroughly enjoyed it, gave me a full run down of the day before dinner, and has signed up to the Robotic Visions forum they talked about. They had three experts there - one in medical, one in swarm, and one in generic robotics - and the kids split into groups of five or six to do all sorts of panels, discussions and presentations. Fantastic stuff!
The 'learning curve' cucumber...
Still, I did check out the charity shops. Not that I found much - GetBackers 7, and the Tubular Bells CD. But it was a trip out, and I enjoyed the change.
Kai is at a robotics conference at @Bristol today (invite only). Needless to say we're dead chuffed he was invited. He won't be home til about 6.30 - getting lift from the B sprog's folks, with our thanks!
Uhuh. Definitely biteable.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Torchwood... Whoa! Plot quickening or what? And Jack's bum is still as... I was going to say biteable but that might be taken the wrong way... shapely as it was in DW. Well, from that distance anyway... [grins] The ep is repeated on Beeb 3 in an hour, perhaps I ought to rewatch it. Just to be sure, you understand. In somewhat more mundane news, Kai's school has had the first case of swine flu. They aren't closing, just urging students to use tissues and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. Planning on a morning in Keynsham, scouring the charity shops, tomorrow.
Contented cat is contented...
Monday, July 06, 2009
Torchwood... ... bloody hell... I am very glad the Beeb is showing them every day, and that I only have twenty two hours and 57 minutes to wait to find out what happens next as I don't think my blood pressure could stand the tension if I had to wait a whole week...
So, Kai's day.
Well, it wasn't the adventure place to which I gave the link: it was in the middle of a horse paddock and consisted of a climbing tower, obstacle course, zipline (which wasn't in use) and the paintball area. Though I should have known, really, given the relatively inexpensive nature of the school trip that it probably wouldn't be all that wonderful.
Still, it was a day out, a nice coach ride there and back, he quite enjoyed the exercise (although he's now knackered and struggling to stay awake for Torchwood), he loves Wales anyway (he's part Welsh: Grandad Taylor is from around the Rhondda), and he had a bit of sun, a bit of a cobweb-shifting wind, and a goodly bit of fresh air. A schoolmate's mum gave him a lift back too, for which we are most appreciative. Plus it was a day off school, and what sprog could resist that?
So all in all, not too bad.
Me? I've been researching habitable zones around red subgiant and giant stars. Absolutely fascinating...
Sunday, July 05, 2009
So I got Kai organised for tomorrow, we watched the last ep of The Sentinel (Vow of Silence, which has a beautiful piece of Enigma-esque music in it that I can't find a title for - shame as I'd love an mp3 of it) then Kai announced he fancied a film from FilmFlex, so we zapped over to see what they had, and as luck would have it they had the Keanu Reeves 2008 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still available. (I had this listed on LoveFilm - in fact, I'd better take it off my list... OK, done.)
Hm. Interesting. Intriguing start, with enough similarities to the original to make it feel familiar. Reeves was quite good (but then, his limited acting skills do make it easier for him to play the alien). The child was just annoying. What was added to the story was great: unfortunately it didn't make up for what was taken away. And the end was a complete huh? - very disappointing.
I'm hoping there'll be a double DVD set with the original and new films together. We don't have a DVD copy of the old, and the new was just interesting enough for me to want a copy but not to pay full price for it. (Keanu Reeves is a guilty pleasure, you see. And he's ageing rather nicely...)
Sue, I would recommend you don't see it, you'll end up tearing your hair out. You thought I, Robot was a travesty? It's not a patch on this.
ANYway. Kai enjoyed it, and it was interesting to see how it compares with the original.
Square raked and tidied and the bramble roots dug up. Going to be a bit of a pain remortaring the wall, but it has to be done to make it safe. We've also made a start on removing the not-a-palm: the main stem had four 'heads' at the top, which made it a right nuisance to hack to pieces, but with Kai wielding the machete and Ken lugging the pieces they managed.
But that's taken all day. Aching even more now.
Tomorrow Kai's off to Porthcawl Activity Centre (i think that link is the right place). He's not really looking forward to it - tends to resist trying new things - but I think he'll enjoy it. (I would!)
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Heh, tired and aching. But the square at the top of the garden is now cleared. I need to rake tomorrow, if I'm not too stiff, but otherwise it's not too bad at all.
Knackered though, all three of us. Having trouble keeping eyes open.
Friday, July 03, 2009
The sky was pretty this evening... HAD to attempt a Tesco shop this morning, if for no other reason than that we had run out of storage space for the recyclables. The store was full of twirlies. Why was it full of twirlies? They usually go pension day, which always used to be Thursday, I'm sure. Fortunately I was able to keep the trolley rage at bay. N sprog and B sprog arrived at 2.30ish and all three tanked off to the Showcase for the film. I'd planned to settle down to some writing, but Ken wanted help marrying CSS and php, and somehow the afternoon just vanished. Sprogs enjoyed the film though - Kai said he thought it was better than the first one, although the other two kind of spoiled it for him by talking/commenting all the way through. [sigh] Tired now, and the skin of my hands is itching horribly (allergies again). Might be time for a piriteze... Torchwood 3 next week.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
It was a good storm. Lasted about twenty minutes, refilled both pools, the main water butt and a quarter of the new one, and will save me watering for a day or two (maybe longer if it's cool tomorrow). Tyjer didn't particularly enjoy the thunder, but he also didn't run for cover...
Started the day with a little gardening. Am now melting (which is not a pretty sight...) But the butternut squash seedlings are in the veg bed, the greenhouse is thoroughly watered and fed (the things in it, I mean, not the greenhouse itself. Though you probably realise that. Heh, I automatically qualify everything these days. Blame Kai. He can be incredibly literal minded at times), peas/mange tout/strawberries/blueberries picked, and the mange tout blanched and in the freezer ready for the winter. We already have more than we can eat. It's amazingly fast and prolific: one day the pod is fingernail sized, the next day it's two inches long and ready to harvest!
is our fourth cumble. I could only just get it in the viewfinder at full arm's stretch. There's another one the same size almost ready to pick, and quite a few more coming. And they're really good, crisp and truly sweet, without the least hint of bitterness (which probably means they don't have quite as much iron in them as I'd prefer but you can't have everything).
Kai is on an inset day tomorrow: the plan is for the N sprog to cycle here and the two of them to go to see Transformers 2 (then presumably come back here for dinner). So looks like I'll have to go see it by myself. Heh, haven't done that for years!Aubergines! ->
Storms forecast for later...
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
[blink] I could swear I saw Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage on the CSI tonight...
Heh. I did.
Day hot and busy. Night still hot, not so busy. Still yearning for that infinity pool...
Photo © KenNinja kit!
Right now all I want to be doing is cooling down in an infinity pool with something cold and tingly to drink.
But perhaps not this one, quite... (Infinity pool pic shamelessly stolen from here.)