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][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
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.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
SQUID!! (Lifted from Etsy, with my apologies...) For anyone who's having problems connecting to Etsy, this is what I was talking about last post - the Cosmic Squid necklace. So pretty! This artist - Noadi - has a lot of gorgeous stuff, well worth checking out. The Xmas Platypus is dead cute. So is the blue-ringed Octopuppy perma-pet. I rather like the satyr too!
Labels: fun stuff
I WANTS!! Ahem. Painted the outside of patio doors - took all morning, so I'm now behind with what I had planned. Still needs a second coat, as does the kitchen window frame, but Ken needs to sand first. Now trying to catch up...
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Steadily busy. When I needed a break from PC revisions I washed windows. Ken has been replacing the putty around the patio windows (it's so ancient it lets all the rain in) and repairing the wood, and sanding the frame of the kitchen window: I need to get them all primed and painted before the forecast rain at the weekend - an unexpected job, but has to be done. Well, the primer, anyway...
Still watching Moonlight, although it's beginning to pall, and Warehouse 13, which is still great fun. Caught Flashforward last night too - looks intriguing, and Jack Davenport is always worth a look, but it may turn into another Lost, which bored us after the first season.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Question - What's the difference between a geek and a techie?
Joke from Mock the Week last week had Kai and I chortling.
'Pollen count... Worst job in the world.'
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Let sleeping Tyjers lie... Ken had a meeting this morning, so Kai and I carried on watching one of my charity shop finds, the complete season 4 of Tales of the Unexpected. Great stuff, and sprog is really enjoying them.
K&K went out this afternoon, Kai on bike, Ken walking. I curled up under the wolf (it was cold today) with Tyjer at my feet and watched Watchmen in peace. Then we watched it again with dinner, before the rental ran out. We've ordered the director's cut DVD for Yule!
It's been a nice weekend, very relaxing. Back to work tomorrow.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Half the greenhouse - the fence-ward side - cleared and bubble-wrapped: took much of the afterrnoon, and Kai was a great help. This evening we rented Watchmen from FilmFlex, and enjoyed it all over again (as did Kai, for the first time). Cracking stuff.
Edit, 01.50 am: Kai had commented that the 'Old El Paso smoky barbecue fajitas' (TV has an ad for them seems like every five minutes) sounded tasty, so I bought a pack (and a large pack of chicken fillet, and picked peppers from the greenhouse) to give it a try. Messy as hell to eat, but absolutely delicious, and I've been asked to make it again. Preferably often. (Happy to do it, for once - not normally a fan of pre-packaged food, prefer to make it myself from scratch so I know what goes in it! - as it really is extremely tasty.) Problem is we scarfed the lot, downstairs now smells of it, and my blasted mouth is imitating the proverbial waterfall...
Friday, September 25, 2009
Lutra's Charity Shop Dictum was in operation today, as St Pete's Hospice shop had the pearl and silver Yule tree top decoration I've been searching for for three years. (Yes, I've started the Yule shopping. Sainsbug have chocolate oranges on BOGOF, so I'm stocking up on them for a start! And we're having Gressingham Duck for dinner on the 25th Dec (it was on a half-price special - there are so many specials and BOGOFs at the moment to try to keep the customers coming back...) but I may not make a Pavlova - would you believe Kai doesn't like it? [shakes head] A child who likes broccoli and Brussels sprouts, but doesn't like cream or jam. Unbelievable...)
After shopping, the rest of the day has been odd. I'm still fighting off some kind of bug (all aching, cotton-wool-headed and snuffly today), just hoping it's not flu of any description. I don't have time to be ill. Fingers crossed the First Defence works its usual magic.
Greenhouse tomorrow. With a bit of luck Kai will help... Edit: Forgot to say... Have decided I want a jellyfish light shade in the redecorated bathroom. Might have to make it. That'll be fun!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
What a beautiful, beautiful day. Bright warm sun, a few high clouds, a touch of cool breeze, wonderful autumn colour on trees and shrubs... gorgeous.
Nothing of note happened, but it was a great day to be alive.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Autumn blueberry bush. Glorious colour. Soooo - Dragonball Evolution. Those of us who read fanfic will have come across this sort of thing before. Choose your fandom, take a handful of your favourite characters, a couple of your favourite villains, a few important plot elements (ki manipulation, Capsule Corp., that sort of thing), then... just do whatever you want with them, regardless of the original story, character ages/skills/temperaments/relationships/backstories - and in Goku's case, the ability to go ouzaru without a bloody tail and only during an eclipse? You what? If you know and love the original DB, it's a travesty. I know it, but am very far from loving it, as the Alliance Chronicles may indicate. So I kind of enjoyed it. There were flashes of familiar humour, Bulma and ChiChi were considerably less irritating than in the manga/anime, and yes, Chatwin as Goku does look like a younger Bellamy, which did strange things to my brain... Made a start on getting the greenhouse ready for the winter. Will carry on tomorrow.
Think Kai has managed to bring home another bug, if my prickling sinuses are anything to go by (luckily the last one didn't come to anything for me - I blame First Defence - and Kai always recovers very quickly). Will see how it goes.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Happy Equinox!Finally, it's raining, soft and silent as owl feathers. You can hear the garden sighing in relief.
A tidying up sort of day. (I now have precisely one email in my intray, and I can't clear that one until I've had a chance to look at a friend's website and see if I can sort out a problem for her.)
My latest LoveFilm choices arrived today - Dragonball Evolution *cough* yes, I know, IMDb rating of 3.3, terrible reviews, looks dire etc. etc. etc. but y'know, it's DB, and it might not be as bad as they say (and it might be that from certain angles in the publicity shots Chatwin bears a passing resemblance to Bellamy and I'm intrigued enough to see how far it goes)... and Knowing. Which is simply awesome - a beautiful, if somewhat scary film. All three of us sat spell-bound, and it's an immediate 'must-have'. Wonderful stuff.
One of my fragrant russet and buttercup cambria orchids has a flower spike. Looking forward to a lovely display in the next few months.
Monday, September 21, 2009
[happy sigh] Muse, my drug of choice...
Usual Monday. K&K spent much of yesterday pruning ivy. Still have to do cherry tree, bay tree and greengages - think we'll have to have a bonfire.
Equinoctial chill. Winter downie now on the bed...
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Lovely day. Folks are fine, and enjoyed the day. Watched Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Stardust, which they really liked, then a couple of eps of Jonathan Creek (and after they'd gone we watched H.A.A.R.P., which arrived today - fabulous...) <- Sweet peppers in the greenhouse.
Friday, September 18, 2009
A quieter day, much of it playing yesterday's DVDs to check they're OK (they are.) Devil's Advocate, Stardust, and the extremely odd but rather funny Big Nothing (what can I say - we like Simon Pegg...)
Folks up tomorrow...
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tyjer impersonating a wheelbarrow. That cat has a very accusatory glower... Had a day off. Got a FirstDay SouthWest bus ticket and tanked up to Wild Oats to pick up a few light essentials, then back to the bus station and out to Clevedon to explore the charity shops, then back to Briz and out to Keynsham to do the same. Pretty successful, all told, though it was as much for some time to myself as anything. Nothing quite like bombing along the ridge between Tickenham and Failand with Muse belting through Kood's earbuds. Picked up several new DVDs and a new money box (Hubert broke, alas) - a diseased apple. (Well, if you're going for a cheap money box, make it something odd, I say!) Red with white spots. Actually, maybe it's a fly agaric just pretending to be an apple...
Tired now. Going to rip and listen to Hullabaloo, which arrived this morning, then have an early night. Parents up on Saturday and mum would like a Pavlova please - better go shopping first thing.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
[sigh] Tyjer's latest catch. Apparently we have shrews in the garden.
It's a nature reserve out there. Frogs, newts, slowworms, elephant hawk moths, mullein moths, whole grists of different bees, stagbeetles, multifarious flutters of butterflies, bats, woodpeckers, herons, jays, robins, wrens, blackbirds, tits of various persuasions, sparrows, sparrowhawks, moles, squirrels, hedgehogs, badgers, mice, and now shrews. I'm waiting for the morning I look out of the window and see a herd of deer grazing at the top...
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
OK - now I am officially spooked. I didn't think that was possible...
The first song I ever remember hearing was Telstar by the Tornadoes (there's a YouTube version of it here, crackles and all!) Obviously this wasn't the first song I ever heard, but it is the first song I remember. Can't have been that long after it came out either. It made a huge impression - I've never forgotten it. I loved it then and I love it still.
Just found out the rhythm guitarist with the Tornadoes was George Bellamy - Matt Bellamy's father.
I can feel my hair standing on end...
[happy sigh] Brilliant, just brilliant. I love the way Bellamy takes what could, on the face of it, be a nice, normal boppy, catchy tune and subverts it into something totally other...
Heh, I can even put up with the later-Queen homage in United States of Eurasia, and given how much I loathe later-Queen, that's really saying something. (I loved the first five albums: after Day at the Races they became altogether too pretentious and own-hype-believing, and I gave up.)
Uprising is phenomenal: Mk Ultra is scary, and the three movement mini-symphony (Exogenesis) just makes me melt, it's beautiful...
I've now ordered H.A.A.R.P. and Hullabaloo (suspiciously cheap on amazon) so I have the full collection of their albums.
Better come back to earth now and make dinner...
Monday, September 14, 2009
...Joules, drowning in sound, adrift somewhere between Ocean and S Orionis...
Sunday, September 13, 2009
[sigh] Tried to kick Mailwasher awake this morning, only to find all the email account passwords corrupted. Tried correcting them, which made the whole app hang, sorted out only by the old [ctrl] [alt] [del] closedown, and on rebooting the problem remained. Now awaiting a response from tech support, and in the meantime am checking webmail. For seventeen email accounts. Not fun. Not to mention a terrible waste of my time...
On the plus side, the HaadriGuide is now migrated and up and running - and the password protected section is also in operation.
Forgot to mention. A few days ago - Friday I think it was - Cardiff appeared to be subject to a temperature anomaly: it was marked at -99° on the six pm news weather map.
I blame the rift...
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Clevedon...Glorious cloudless sunny day with just enough of a cool north wind to make it comfortable. Kai and I set off at just gone ten, but missed our planned bus as the X39 was late, so caught the next one (the X7) instead - they're every half an hour so it's no hardship. Lovely journey, and when we arrived at Clevedon sea front there was a small craft fayre happening on the green:
There must be something about that cove - every time I sit there with a notebook and pen I am inspired, and the answer to the latest knotty writing problem comes to me. [happy grin] Today was no different...
At the far end of the front is the pier. (That's Cardiff in the far distance to the left.)
The ride back was great. We caught the other bus - 346? 364? - which goes all around the houses. Literally, it services Clevedon and Nailsea residential areas, Tickenham and Backwell. Nowt better on a hot, sunny afternoon than a fast ride on a jouncy, bouncy bus with the windows open and a cool breeze rippling your hair...
We just had time to nip from bay 16 to bay 10 for the X39 when we arrived at Briz: the driver was due to leave. Unfortunately, just as he was closing the bay door a man dived through, asking if he and his friend could get on with their suitcases, and while they were doing that, another queue of customers surged on too, so driver wasn't exactly in a good mood when he was finally able to pull out.
So when a young lad (17 as he freely admitted) got on at the centre with his friend and both of them presented child Dayrider tickets he refused to allow them to ride, saying the tickets were invalid. Which they were. Often drivers will let you make up the difference - but sonny Jim thought it would be more helpful to give the driver a mouthful of abuse.
At which the driver ordered them off the bus.
They refused to go, saying they had to get to Brislington (it's a 40 minute walk, Ken and I used to do it every day to get work) and demanding their tickets back.
The driver turned off the engine. Cue more abuse. Driver asked lad if he swore at his parents like that. Lad then lost any sympathy he might have had from us passengers by saying 'yes'...
Police arrived. Police woman spoke to the kids while policeman spoke to driver. Police woman stuck her head in and asked driver if he'd be prepared to let it go if the lad apologised. Driver said no, he wanted to take it further. Can't really blame him - while I'm not the greatest fan of our bus drivers, some of them do get some bloody awful, abusive customers...
Anyway, we finally got home: it was an interesting end to a really wonderful day!
Ken finished the wall up in the square while we were out. I asked him to leave it looking 'ruined' on the top, which he has done - it reminds me of the courtyard in a castle ruin now, really nice. And he's used up the last of the cement and sand, so no more mortaring this year. 'ooray! Now I'm looking for lawn chamomile for ground covering up there. I think I've found a supplier, but it won't be available until the spring.
I've decided to redecorate the bathroom. Ken's fault: he wants a new shower curtain (although I must admit that despite regular cleaning the old, blue-with-gold-sprays one is in pretty bad shape). The current colour scheme was based around the old curtain (lapis lazuli and amber) but it's been on the walls since Kai was a baby: it's definitely time for a change.
I'm fancying varying shades and intensities of teal. The flooring will have to stay, so anything I choose will have to harmonise, but paint, new towels (also much needed) and a new lightshade will make all the difference. Of course, I should have done this back in the summer and the warmer weather, but with a bit of luck I can get it done soon, before the weather gets cold. (Will also aim to get a proper support made for the sweetheart vine GoodTwin gave me, which is currently climbing up the wallpaper...) Pics as I go along.
Debating an early night now - lovely day but a little tiring.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Bemused. Just... bemused...
When Ken got back I took the accumulated plastic over to Tesco for recycling, arriving just as the collection truck did. They waited while I stretched up and threw everything in (the thingy - what d'you call them anyway? - was very full) then got out this very big, flexible tube. It looked like a vacuum cleaner hose.
It was a vacuum cleaner hose. Last I knew the trucks picked up the whole container and replaced the full one with an empty one. Not any more!
... there were xmas puddings and yuletide chocolates side by side with the barbecue stuff on the 'seasonal' aisle inside. Yule stuff. In September. [shakes head] Earliest I've ever seen it. We haven't even had Samhain yet!
The sky was very pretty tonight. We paused Hot Shots to nip out and take some photos, and Kai spotted an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar on the railway track. (We rescued it into the meadowsweet: it's not far from there to the rosebay willowherb that it feeds on.) Hoping to go to Clevedon tomorrow, to take advantage of the forecast sunshine!
About bloody time.
I now have ten sparrows trying to get at the feeder in the morning. Better buy another feeder. Or two.
This had Kai in stitches... ->
<- Five minutes from greenhouse to plate. Can't get much fresher! Right. PC.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Aaaaaand when I came downstairs at 8 am Tyjer had eaten all his food and was asking for more, ate another half a tin of chicken in gravy, and then went out and saw off Basement Cat. He's fine.
I've had one of those days where I simply can't settle. Put three washes through the machine, organised the hall coat rack and sorted my wardrobe (bag of stuff for charity, a pile straight in the bin - including my 20-year-old+ sweatshirt that is less disreputable than it is downright derelict, so threadbare, laddered and holey it's just about see-through - and a few 100% cotton bits for the recycling box). All needed doing, but it's not advanced PC very far.
Then again, the hands are still painful, so perhaps a bit of a rest from typing was necessary...
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Routine mammogram. Bleh. Still, prevention is an awful lot cheaper and less devastating than cure...
Bristol can look quite continental in places. This is from the bridge on Counterslip, looking upriver. (Why my camera has started doing the fisheye effect when I use the landscape setting I don't know, but given that I've taken well over 10,000 photos with it since I bought it I don't think I can really complain. It's probably the gremlin.) Since I was in the right part of the city I tanked over to Gardiner Haskins to see if they had the little corner wash basin we need for the garden loo. They did, and very cheaply - so I bought it and made the big mistake of thinking I could carry it to the bus-stop in Victoria St. It's amazing how bloody heavy even a small basin can be. No writing tonight: hands won't work...
Tyjer is off his food and his nose is warm and dry. Hoping it's nothing much. Will see how he is tomorrow and get him round to the vet if need be.
Finally sorted out the Ireland pics: see them here.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
A bit of silliness for Tuesday morning...
I didn't really need to go shopping, but decided it would be useful (although even then I got back without picking up Kai's milk) - but when I dropped into St Pete's charity shop the end of last week they had a charming oriental teapot and cup set, and while I resisted at the time I've been hankering after it ever since.
I like oriental tea sets - and I do use them, for my morning sencha or jasmine green tea. So I went back to see if it was still there. And it was. Indeed, it still had wet tea leaves in the bottom of it (some people are just pigs. The person who donated it, I mean, not the lovely shop volunteers. How difficult is it to rinse out a teapot before giving it to a charity shop?)
The Skype conversation with Lutra went thus...
Joules: Just back from shopping - bought a gorgeous t-pot and three tiny cups (chinese? Japanese? not sure, no brand on it) from St Pete's - £4. Lutra: Ooh, nice! : ) Coloured? Green. Bamboo and dragonfly on it. Will take a pic when it's clean (person who gave it left wet tealeaves in the bottom - trying to find a way to clean and sterilise it without using camden tabs or anything that will flavour it. Does bicarb work? I have a 'how to remove all stains' doc somewhere... Should work. Leave it to soak with boiling water, then wash in detergent. And, ooh, pretty! Bugger it - I'm out of bicarb. Had to borrow from the penguin. ... [blink] ... Many many moons ago I bought a little fridge freshener - a mum and baby penguin with holes in the back that you fill with bicarb, which soaks up the fridge smells. I only refilled it recently - so have tipped some out for the pot. Have to be careful as the handle is real bamboo so trying not to get it wet. Will take a pic - you'll awww at the pinguins.And here's the set:
And before anyone asks - no, I'm not collecting tea sets. I just see ones I particularly like every now and then.
Now I have to find room in my cupboard for the new one. That means a re-org - although it's much needed anyway. Maybe later: have more important things to do first. Like finish the PC revisions...
Monday, September 07, 2009
Got confirmation today that the transfer of haadri.com has gone through OK, and the domain is now held with all my others at UKReg.
UKReg are great: excellent security and tech support and their control panel is wonderfully easy to use. But they do have just one tiny little glitch. It doesn't cause any problems, and a quick email to them corrects it in no time. But it's kind of cute. I first found it when we transferred wavewrights.com, and it seems it still hasn't been sorted out.
It's autumn, my little birds are back - blackbirds hunting at the top of the garden and bluetits and sparrows at the seed feeder. And our robin was on the birdtable earlier.
Another five minutes and Tyjer can go out.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
This is not so good - Tyjer has discovered he can climb the medlar. The medlar is where I hang the bird feeders. Then again, he also fell out of the medlar, which might help to put him off going back up there. I know - wishful thinking... I'll do the usual, clean and fill the birdtable and feeders around 7.30 am and only let him out after the birds have had an hour or so to feed: it worked with the other cats, and he's not stupid, he'll learn. I finally got around to putting the (somewhat kinky) mini-poster of Legato into the silver frame I bought when last in town - and reorganised the top of the bookcase while I was at it. So now I have Benten in a spiked collar (thanks Marie!) and Legato in chains looking at me while I work. Bliss... Early night. Next week is looking to be fraught.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
It may look like a Plarithdi knuckleduster. but it's actually an incredibly heavy, solid metal wine rack. I saw it in the window of the PSDA charity shop in
Been a laid back kind of day today - washing, constructing a trellis for the goji berry bush (it dun 'alf grow fast!), Ken did a little more mortaring, Kai trimmed grass from around the fruit cage and ivy from the meadow. Ken then went to an archaeological dig down the road while Kai and I watched The Core (it's a guilty secret, not at all a good film but it's enjoyably daft) which I picked up along with the original Time Machine, The Day After Tomorrow and The Frighteners at Pink Planet who are now doing four DVDs for £10 - a real bargain. Currently debating whether to watch the (uncut) Director's Cut of Natural Born Killers on Film4 tonight at eleven.
Oh, and I must just mention the Momoy.com blog Home Trends. Absolutely beautiful designs for everything, including whole houses. I fell in love with this one...
Friday, September 04, 2009
Crab spider has used silk to pull the edges of the leaf a little together: you can just see the sun glinting off the main strand. I think it's fair to say the wee beast has made himself at home. Which is a bit of a pain as I was planning to bring the sweet peppers into the house for the winter...
I seem to have spent most of the day shopping...
Thursday, September 03, 2009
The waterball is gurgling away merrily now, better than ever before. I love it, it's like sleeping beside a stream with waterfalls. Ken, however, says he dreams of flooding bathrooms all night...
This extraordinary thing is a crab spider with a fly (or something with wings anyway) in its mandibles, sitting on my sweet pepper leaves. Not the clearest pics of the spider, but it wasn't amenable to being asked to move. There's a better (and - warning for you arachnophobes - much larger) pic here.
I'd never seen one - neither had Ken, who went out to the greenhouse to take a look. Fascinating beastie it is!
Green peppers in greenhouse.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Second of September and I'm in a fleece. It's cold!
A day similar to yesterday. I'm still tired, so having an early night. It's not quite cold enough yet to dig out the winter downie (although this morning I found myself thinking wistfully of its heavy softness...) and there's still the chance the weather will cheer up a bit, so we're sticking with the summer one for the moment.
Kai had triple English and double music today, which he quite enjoyed. After school extra-mural classes are optional from year 10 onwards, it seems (to make allowances for revision and home study, I assume) so he's skipping them this year.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Kai's first day back at school, and it went OK. He has his new timetable, and is quite pleased with it: lots of double sessions of the subjects he's taking. Looks like Wednesday will be a good day, along with Monday afternoon (double German to end the day, and not many students in the class, so they should all have plenty of tutor attention). All in all it's quite exciting!
My day was just daft. Up at 7 to spray Resolva on the stubborn weeds (bindweed mostly), then over to Tesco with all the plastic for recycling (Tesco is now accepting all plastic except the hard stuff like plant pots , on a trial basis. It's fantastic: the waste going into our bin has dropped almost to nowt!) and a quick shop. Not very impressed - they have now stopped selling their lovely wholegrain organic mustard. Back, edged another part of the veg bed, planted out the organic all-year spring onions and carrots, updated the APAG and IAVMT sites, cleaned my waterball, made dinner... then flaked out for a cycle as couldn't keep eyes open. Tonight have almost finished Jude's new All About Music site (should be able to upload tomorrow) and will shortly make a start on the new Baguette-Me-Not site.
Oh, and have started the transfer process for haadri.com - moving it to Soho Hosting like wavewrights. There will be a password protected section...