Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: 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.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.











I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!


My IMDb ep summaries

(completed)
Arthur of the Britons
Sky
Star Maidens
The Starlost
Space Rangers
The Sentinel (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Swamp Thing (part: season 3)
Gravedale High
Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Cybertron (part)
Misfits of Science (four eps)
Zoo Gang
Zodiac
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Starhyke
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
Nightwalker
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Rayearth
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)

For later:

Earthian
Dragonball Z (season 2, part)
(Someone else beat me to it!)
Robotech (s2 ep14 Triumvirate)
BBC Lion, witch and wardrobe
BBC Caspian and Dawn Treader
BBC Silver Chair
Beauty and the Beast (part)
(Missing Excel Saga eps)
(Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)


Silver birch at Eastwood 

Farm

"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)

Autumn...

I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the year...

Watching the little birds in the goat-willow in my garden, I realised something more.

I love this land with a fierce, possessive love, deep-rooted in two thousand years of history. From the frosted beaches and cloud-brushing peaks of the north to the wind-haunted meanderings of the rivers of the east, from the sensuous rolling patchworked hills of the south to the demanding dark moors of the west, this land seeps into bone and blood and synapse, mother of motley nobility, culture, individual freedoms. It can be known. It can be understood. It can be felt deep inside.

I love its effortless eccentricities, its vigour and vibrancy, its flawed perfections, its silent strength and tenacious resilience, its hard-won tolerances and intense and variable beauty, the profound energy in its sacred mythical landscape.

Home and more-than-home, the forces that shape and protect and bind, in me, as I am in the land. Love returning love in the stillness for those who'll only take the time to listen...

(Joules, Autumn 2004)


All photographs taken by Joules unless otherwise specified. All photographs © Joules A Taylor or other specified individual.


In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme


Currently enjoying:
Muse
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.



Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:
Nestlé, Nonpres Tinyhands Fart, Toadface Farage

Currently maintaining:
BCHS
BCP


Blog Pics
I've gathered some of my pages of photos together: the page of links is here. I'll be adding more as time goes by!




Evil Squid
A Little Glossary of Taylorspeke
(in no particular order)

plit popints - n. Typo for 'plot points' typed on a keyboard with more than half the characters worn off...

[PING] (alt [ping]) - n. A brainwave. The text equivalent of a lightbulb going on blindingly over someone's head. Usually mine. And usually at the most inconvenient of times. [sigh]

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

wulmet - n. A person of little or no talent who somehow inveigles himself into a position where he is in power over other, far more talented people and uses his position to downplay them in order to try to make himself feel superior.

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

Flatterfed - vb. 27.02.08: my typo for flattered, but since it's so cutely apt I thought it would fit nicely here. Lutra defined it as "the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction resulting from enthusiastic reviews..." (which I've been getting for my MB fics).

Composted - vb, 'compos mentis', mentally capable of working. Contrast with uncomposted or non- composted, not 'compos mentis', not capable of working, hungover...

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

Kewp - how Ken says 'thank you'. We rather like Lutra's 'nanx', too...

Musekick - noun, music, without which I cannot work.

'feinne - noun, caffeine, essential for correct mental functioning, especially first thing in the morning. I prefer mine in the form of SodaStream Diet Coke. And on that subject...

Skoosh - verb, noun. To skoosh - to add CO2 to a sodastream bottle filled with water to make it fizzy, prior to adding Diet Coke syrup (or just drinking as sparkling water). A skoosh - a bottle of water that has been skooshed. Skooshy - something that has been skooshed, water, or that whipped cream that comes in tins you have to shake then upend and press the nozzle...

Shoogle - verb. To shake gently, for example, of roast potatoes in a roasting tin to ensure they're covered with oil. I have vague memories of this being a real Scottish colloquialism...

Stegasaurus - n, spider of the genus tegenaria. Why? No idea. I just find it easier, that's all...
Edit 08.09.07: Lutra thinks that Brian is a good name for a mini-stegasaurus. From now on, any 'Brian's in the posts may be assumed to be a tegenaria. Except where otherwise specified.

Viterals - noun, vitamins + minerals. Also a pun on victuals.

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

Parrots - noun, paracetemol (from the old joke "Why are there no aspirin tablets in the jungle? Because the parrots eat 'em all...")

Maggles - noun, magpies. As opposed to non-magical people.

Flamewings - noun. Swifts. So called because the first time we became aware of them was an early summer evening when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We always know summer's arrived when we hear their high-pitched squeeing.

Murfs - noun, moths.

Peasant cut - noun, roughly cut up into big chunks, e.g. vegetables chopped in a hurry for a hearty stew or soup. By extension, anything prepared in a hurry - haircut, material, even a first draft of a story...

Giraffe - noun, a carafe (of wine, coffee or water, for example).

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

Splings - noun, Kai's spelling homework: by extension, any spelling.

Tyops - noun, typos. var toyps, typso, psyto, psoyt, etc. Usual result of a dose of the fingerials (see next entry).

Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want them to.

Haddock - noun, time, of which I never have enough. (Origin of this term here.)

Sleep - noun? vb? a.k.a. sheeeeeeeeep.... I used to know what this word meant...


The Updates Blog

The place to stay notified of WaveWrights' Fiction updates: Zone, Darkside, DarkRealm, Matrix, Vault, Safehouse 13...




my computer gremlin Butch. click the pic to see the larger image

Butch, my computer gremlin. Click the pic for larger version, and read his adventures here...

Butch by the talented 

Sylverthorne

A gift for me! Butch by the very talented Sylverthorne. Click pic for larger image.

Joules' 

Haddock

This is MY haddock. It was caught exclusively for me by Talon. No, you can't have any. I need all the haddock I can get!!



A'lestrel by 

Valkyrie.

A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...



Kood, my new mp3 

player.

Soundwave! (Kood's still moving in...)


Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 

2004

Another gorgeous Valkyrie gift for me - Benten the Albino Alsatian! Click thumbnail for larger image.

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 

by 

Onna

Oekai by Bakayaro Onna - Radittsu at his sexiest...



I now have an Amazon wish list - find it here. But please be warned most of the things on it are yaoi. If you don't like yaoi, or don't know what it is, you probably won't want to take a look.




The Zone Plant from
The Zone 

blog 

plant

OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::HubbleSite
Stunning...
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: MailWasher
Excellent anti-spam software
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: ZSPC Colour Chart
Check how your text and background colours look together before releasing them on the world!
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...
:: Union of Concerned Scientists
Exactly what it says. Fascinating - and worrying...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....


Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

[::..Anime/Manga..::]
Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

Owned:
   DVD
   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

Owned:
   DVD
   All 3 eps on Video, dubbed
   Dj: Cyberage 1-3
   Illustrated Book 2 (Benten's) in Japanese

From Eroica with Love

Owned:
   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

Owned:
   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

Owned:
   English Manga: Vol 1
   Japanese Manga: Vol 1-7 complete
   Tarot Pack
   R.G.Veda video

Twelve Kingdoms

Owned:
   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

Owned:
   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust

Owned:
   DVD

   Vampire Hunter D Book 1



New Vampire Miyu

Owned:
   (Studio Ironcat) Manga Vols 1 -5 (complete)


Yami no Matsuei

Owned:
   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.
   Sketchbook


[::..Joules SPfied..::]


... this is Terra? How the hell'd I end up here...?

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

[::..archive..::]
07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
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10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
01/07/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
01/09/2012 - 30/09/2012
01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
01/09/2013 - 30/09/2013
01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/03/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/04/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yesterday was a day of weather.

Ken calls it 'four seasons in a day': rain (both light and monsoon strength), howling winds, bright calm sunny spells, and hail and sleet all in the space of 24 hours. It felt like winter again, and I had a very grumpy Tyjer curled up in a pouting ball on the bed. And last night was pretty 'orrible too.

But luckily this morning everything in the greenhouse seems OK, and it's all calmed down a little, with light rain and a fair bit of sun, so hopefully that's the worst of it over. Although the wind seems to be picking up again...

2012 was on sale at Sainsbury's for £8.99, so Ken picked it up and we managed to squeeze the 2.5 hours of it last night before the new season CSI/CSI: Miami/CSI: New York episodes. Deeply deeply flawed and the science is wobbly at best, but it's thoroughly enjoyable nonsense (in fact, I have it on again in the background today: fabulous special effects. Just wish we had a home cinema so we could enjoy the full effect. Maybe one day...)

Today we've made a start on Ken's office cupboard. It hasn't been cleared in about six years and is absolutely jam-packed with stationery, boxes of books, Yule decorations and trees, and a whole load of other stuff that just got shoved in because there was nowhere else for it to go and we didn't have the leisure to sort it out properly at the time. And when I say cupboard, I mean it's almost a walk-in cupboard - floor to ceiling, four foot wide and three foot deep. I think. I'm not good with spaces (numbers, you see...) Lots and lots of space for all sorts of things...

Might have time to start on the bathroom this week - I hope.

Back to the loom...

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Monday, March 29, 2010

[grin] Remember back in January Kai had to get into school in all the Arctic weather and with a miserable cold to take his Maths and Science GCSEs? We got the results today - b (the highest grade for that particular module) for Maths, and a (a* is highest) for his Science. Very proud we are!

[bemused] OK, I am now officially too tired to stay awake any longer. I just caught sight of the 'Customise Your Hero!' advert for some game, on Facebook, and misread it as 'Sodomise Your Hero!' I'm going to bed...

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

March greenhouse

Gardening day today.

All my tomato plants and the cucumber are now in their final pots (and yes, they look a little lost but this method worked just fine last year and saves me the work of potting them on into three inch pots then disturbing the roots by potting them on again when they're bigger), and I have the first sowing of dwarf French beans and mange tout on the go. (Also trying the last of the physalis seeds (golden berry pineapple) I have left from last year. Haven't had any success so far but you never know...) The Countryfile weather forecast for the coming week suggests everything will be fine as long as I keep the mini-cloches on the seedlings overnight.Butterfly Wings Orchid sprouts The greenhouse max/min thermometer hasn't gone below 5° for two weeks, and the cold-tolerant toms are OK down to about 2° as long as they're kept frost free (even in January's Arctic weather the greenhouse stayed frost free).

Kai came out to help, weeding around Wendy's mum's orchid, trimming the grass around the fruit cage square and along the veg bed wall, and pruning the growth along his railway track - in between watching Jason and the Argonauts, which he'd never seen.

And in the house, the Butterfly Wings Orchids are doing very nicely, although I should have used more compost: they're a little low down in the pot. Eh well. I'll need to repot them at the end of the flowering season anyway, will correct the mistake then.

The weekend was wonderfully restful, and I spent far less time than usual sitting at the desk, but tomorrow I need to get some work done - have a whole load of client site stuff to do, emails to answer, a review to post, and I absolutely must get the Heart foreword finished...

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wonderful day! Sue and GoodTwin arrived lunchtime: after eating we drove to Clevedon for some exceptionally bracing sea air and a walk along the front and out to the end of the pier, where we didn't quite get blown overboard (though it was a close thing, I believe!) [g] But seriously, it was great. I love Clevedon at all seasons and in all weathers - it's why we bus there so often, after all - and it's fun to share favourite places with friends. Thoroughly enjoyable afternoon!

Then it was a quick trip to Cadbury Garden Centre, who were doing a 'buy two get one free' offer on laaaarge sacks of compost, which was not to be resisted given how much compost I go through in a year (many thanks GoodTwin!) - our own bins just aren't enough to keep up with demand. (Also picked up some slow release plantfood for my butterfly wing orchids, as recommended, and a snazzy silver jardinière that I hope will be of a suitable size to hold the bathroom's sweetheart vine once I've repotted it. I have a feeling it'll be too small though...)

[bemused] And we sang along to Val Doonican songs on the way back. Paddy McGinty's Goat, O'Rafferty's Motorcar, and the truly awesome Delaney's Donkey (some of the pics the Youtuber has chosen for this one are hysterical!). Was wonderfully silly.

... oh... ye... gods... My Boomerang Won't Come Back... I'm too young to be going through second childhood... I really should know better than to go hunting through Youtube by now.

But while I'm at it... Star Trekkin' For those who only know Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred, Donna Noble's grandfather (? I think I've got that right) from Dr Who - Right Said Fred and Hole in the Ground And even though I know certain people are going to hate me for this, The Chicken Song (warning - volume may be uncomfortably loud. Which is kind of fitting really).

GoodTwin did take some nifty clips of Kai playing guitar, but for some obscure reason, although they're mp4s, my system refuses to open them. Bugger. Sorry folks - if I can't open them, I certainly can't upload them. Will see if I can get a little clip with my camera, if I can persuade him to perform for an audience again...

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Friday, March 26, 2010

It's stupid busy here! And the clocks change after midnight Saturday, making it even more tricky for me to work out what time it is...

Need to get my cucumber and tomato seedlings potted on this weekend: the roots are now showing through the peat pots. Will probably tackle that Sunday, as GoodTwin and Sue are visiting tomorrow. Looking forward to that!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wow!


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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's surprising how tired getting up early to make sure all the plantlife is burgeoning can leave me...

[bemused] 'alf-inched from the Engrish blog...

From the Engrish blog...

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I won the Game!

... oh, wait...

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Kai. photo (c) Ken Taylor 21.03.10

Taken by Ken, permission to post granted by Kai, at my pleading as I really like this pic.

Sunday's art market was great - I could have spent a fortune had I had a fortune to spend. I particularly liked agnosia - oh, some of those seascapes... check out the pic of the North Devon surf, or Devizes moonlight, so beautiful... - and Yellow Dog Glass have some gorgeous jewellery (I love dichroic glass, even though I rarely wear much in the way of adornment).

Did a little work in the garden when we got back. Well, K&K did all the work while I supervised: I have no strength at all in my left hand at the moment and even lifting a glass of vodka and tonic mug of tea with that hand is pretty much beyond me. Aiming to see Dr. early next month, though I doubt she'll be able to do more than tell me to rest that arm. Yeah, right...

Haven't managed much today at all - actually, was so tired come 2pm I had to take a cycle's nap, which is a bit bothersome. Not fond of this constant tiredness. Maybe something else to ask the Dr. about, if I remember.

Later edit - good show!

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

contented cat

Exhausted after a day of watching frogs bonking in Roeg's Pool...

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's frog-bonking season!

We now have a couple of clumps of frogspawn in Roeg's Pool and Tyjer is most intrigued by all the activity in the water. He brought a frog in yesterday while I was out, which Ken had to return to the pool. [rolls eyes] Cats...

Right, let's see about a bit more detail...

Bused up to Broadwalk yesterday morning to buy the rest of the paint (we decided to go for Wilkinson's own Bathroom paint, colour 'Summer Tide', a light bright shade similar to the Dulux Bathroom that will contrast nicely with the one I've already bought): while in Wilkinson's I also picked up another tin of the generic red wine home brew - will get that on the go next week. And I found three tops for me in the various charity shops, two cotton, and one (this Christian Dior short-sleeved shirt) pure silk. All for under a tenner!CD silk shirt Chuffed, I am.

Back home, unpacked, then back out for regular shopping at Tesco. The rest of the afternoon was taken up variously by client site updates, greenhouse work and a little more spring cleaning... Oh, and we watched Burn after Reading, which was 99p in Age Concern. After the first twenty minutes we very nearly gave up and changed DVDs, but persevered, and I'm glad we did, as it did pick up and there were several places I was LOLing quite loudly.

Today was Kai shopping in town, and it all went extremely well. He now has three new short-sleeved t-shirts (black, royal blue and light blue), two long sleeved t-shirts (black and green), a cosy pull-on dark blue hoodie and one of those hoodless hoodies with the high necks and a zip front, in grey. His choices, and all pretty good value at £30 (that includes a sage-green t-shirt I bought for myself). When we got home he ripped through his old wardrobe and I now have a garden binbag full of good stuff for charity.

And I was reckless. Usually anything I buy for the house is practical, durable and inexpensive - but yesterday I found the most gorgeous bedding set in Wilkinson's - liked it so much I took a photo of it with phone's camera to show Ken. Terribly impractical - Tyjer only has to lie on it and it'll look grubby, and I'll need to wash it separately, and at £25 it's a bit more expensive than I'd usually consider, especially given the impracticality. But I couldn't resist...

new bedding
This is from the packaging, obviously - that's not our bedroom, and it's not going on the bed until I've finished the spring cleaning up there! The teal stripes are a satin fabric, very luxurious.

My honey berry plants had arrived from Thompson and Morgan when we got back, so they are now planted at the top of the garden where they'll get plenty of sun.

Kai has also brought his amp downstairs - seemed a bit pointless it taking up precious space in his bedroom when he always practises down here. It's now in his corner, and rather closer to his stack than I like, but he's posted a note to himself to NOT switch on the speaker without moving the whole thing well away from the computer. The magnet is very powerful and the last thing we want is a wiped C drive. He's happy, and spent an hour or so with his headphones plugged in practising. (He also picked up a tempered glass slide at Mickelburgh, and likes the sound, so is now hoping for a metal one.)

So, a busy couple of days. And there's an Art Market on at Paintworks on the Bath Rd (about a 15 minute walk away) tomorrow that I plan to check out, so Sunday is likely to be full too...

Later edit: forgot to say I also found the whole of 24 season 2 at a charity shop - on video but at £1.25 I couldn't really say no. Our VCR still works just fine.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Spent much of the day shopping, but managed to get everything I went for and more, which is very gratifying.

Well that was interesting, wasn't it? Sorry, too tired to go into details.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

[g] All three Butterfly Wing Orchid tubers have now sprouted! I'm dead chuffed.

In addition, my tomatoes and cucumber are almost ready to be planted on, I have the first sweet and bell pepper seedlings appearing, the Yugoslav lettuce and Brussels sprouts shoots are showing above the compost, and the strawberry seeds also appear to have worked! This is all great. Still haven't quite managed to get the caulis and beans on the go, although there's still plenty of time. (Haven't quite got the schedule of planting, major spring cleaning, and writing right yet, but it'll come...)

Early night, perhaps.

Later edit - tch', forgot to say. Kai's German conference thing went very well and he really enjoyed it. However, it was a non-uniform event and to my horror, when he tried to find something smart but casual to wear, we discovered he's grown out of almost all his clothes. Though why this should have been such a surprise is a mystery, as he's now as tall as me so obviously everything's going to be too short and too small. Except for the jeans we bought recently, they're still OK... Anyway, this means a trip into town on Saturday to throw money [wince] at the problem. Oh joy. Clothes shopping comes way low down on my list of enjoyable endeavours.

Punk bunGay vampire bunny

The Ostara egg hatchlings are ridiculously cute!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WAIIIIII!!Butterfly Wings OrchidButterfly Wings Orchid sprout

I can haz orchid...

OK, it may not look very impressive at the moment, but this is the first of the three Butterfly Wings Orchid tubers sprouting.

I have to confess I wasn't at all sure if any of these were going to be successful: I've never tried them before (obviously, as they're fairly new to buy) and the instructions that came with them seem to suggest that they may be difficult to grow. I had to make up my own compost mix for them, too, and their requirements are different to my other orchids. So I am very pleased (and excited!) that even one has germinated. Keeping fingers crossed for the other two now.

And for the White Egret Orchids, which are currently in the greenhouse and to date haven't sprouted (although I shall go and check as soon as I've posted this). More photos as things happen!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Same as yesterday, but with gardening instead of shopping and new CSIs instead of film.

... tired...

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Monday, March 15, 2010

My Monday, by Joules A Taylor, aged - oh, about half a millennium probably... Up at 7. Sprayed weedkiller up in the square to try - again - to get rid of the stubborn goosegrass and nettles. Fed cat. Fed birds. Fed watered tarantula. Fed and watered tarantula's crickets. Put through first wash. Took propagators out to greenhouse, checked temp and opened windows and vent. Dealt with email. Checked comics. Let Tyjer out, started second wash and hung out first. Yes, it is warm enough at the moment to dry washing out of doors. 'ooray! Spring, it haz springed. Dealt with client site updates. Checked blogs. Hung out second wash. Started process of dealing with defective ebay purchase. Dived out of door to catch 10.18 bus to Broadwalk. Went to post office, bought The Machinist at charity shop, picked up one-coat satin gloss and Wilkinson's mid-sheen bathroom paint but not Dulux, as the same sized tin was nearly twice the price of the Wilkinson's own. Bought two new Wilkinson's trial sized pots to see if one is the approximate shade of the Dulux Bathroom paint we like. Also bought a new, cream coloured uplighter lampshade for the lounge, as we're finding the current one makes it too dark. Into 99p Shop for peat pots. Picked up another lightning strike guitar strap for Kai. Just made the 11.30 bus back down the hill. Grabbed lunch before heading out to Proper Job to see if they have triangular plant pots. They didn't, but I picked up some sandpaper and a set of paintbrushes. Home via Tesco to charge up phone. As usual found a whole load of specials and spent too much. Dealt with second load of email. Fed hatchlings. Brought in washing and propagators for the night. Welcomed Kai home and discovered he has a German conference on Wednesday at the university for which he needs a packed lunch. [sigh] Another shopping trip tomorrow then. My own fault for not putting it on the calender... Made dinner (Devon plaice fillets with veg couscous and salad). Caught 6 o'clock news. All watched The Machinist. Wow. Very grim and dark, but very good. K&K to bed, me now knackered and probably not sufficiently awake to write much. At least I don't have any heavy shopping to do tomorrow. Although with the advent of spring, getting up early is now pretty much mandatory to check the veg bed and greenhouse and keep the temperature regulated. Bed soon...

Later edit: I forgot to say, didn't I? The publisher really liked the illustration we provided and says it's perfect for the Ghosts book. All very gratifying!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's been Mothering Sunday here, and I've had a very nice day. Daft card from Kai, Ken made brunch (sossij, bacon, eggs, button mushrooms, beans, all organic) then the B sprog came 'round to watch The Mighty Boosh with Kai, so I spent a bit of time in the greenhouse, preparing the new pot and frame for the first cucumber plant and generally tidying up a little. Yes, I love spending time in my greenhouse! The cucumber and tomato seedlings are developing very nicely (I still bring them in at night): nothing else has sprouted yet apart from the salad leaves, but it is still quite chilly and apparently spring is three weeks late this year, thanks to the cold snap, so I shouldn't be expecting too much too soon. Once everything really starts growing it'll catch up.

24 - aaarrgghh! I hate having to wait a whole week to find out what happens next! (Which is the whole point, of course...)

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Clevedon

Clevedon from the hill fort

Gorgeous day, perfect weather, wonderful fresh sea air, deliciously naughty plastic seaside cheeseburger for lunch, loooong walk up to the hill fort then back and along the front to the pier, where we sat and savoured a tub each of Marshfield ice cream (chocoholic heaven for Kai, toffee fudge fiasco for me) before heading tiredly back to Briz. Fantastic.

paints

You might remember a wee while back I bought three mini trial pots of paint to try for the bathroom. Here are splodges of all three on the bathroom wall. It's not a great photo but it does give some idea. The D(ulux) at the top is far too dark, while the D(ulux) B(athroom) is, we think, too cold and icy for the room, which faces north-east and can be distinctly cool, even with the heating on. The W(ilkinson's own bathroom) is a warmer bluish-teal colour, and our favourite. That being said, I think I'm going to buy a small pot of the DB for the shower wall and window, as I think it'll lighten that side of the room.

But first I need to get a matching gloss and tackle the window frame. Oh joy.





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Friday, March 12, 2010

It's all go, innit?

The weather is now sufficiently warm for me to take the kitchen windowshelf propagators into the greenhouse during the day, to soak up the sun and gradually get used to being out there. (Then of course I have to remember to bring them in again around 4...) The salad leaves are still sprouting, and today I've got two different versions of Brussels sprouts on the go - was in two minds, as they are an awful lot of work, but it's almost impossible to buy organic sprouts (given how much wastage there is I can understand why!) and the taste of the ones I raised this year was so good I decided just to do a few - along with a couple of large aubergines and a handful of the Yugoslav red lettuce we liked so much last year. I would have got a few caulis on the go too but I ran out of the 'peat' pots, so have to take a trip up to Broadwalk next week. The Pound shop up there sells cheap versions, 48 pots for £1, that work just as well as the more expensive ones from garden centres.

The garden is still full of birds, and the blackbirds have become surprisingly tame, letting me get within a couple of feet of them before flitting off. Perhaps they've made the connection between me and their favourite organic sun-dried sultanas on the bird-table! I think that mysterious small bird is a female redcap (not my photo, I hasten to add!): it's been back at the table so I've had a clearer look. Not very distinctive but it's cute and spritely. I do hope it becomes a regular!

Wendy's mum's orchid is in leaf in the meadow, I'll take a photo later. Really chuffed as I think I can now safely assume it's a permanent resident, and as long as I keep the ground around it fairly weed-free it should carry on for years to come.

On the subject of orchids, I took an hour to give the indoor plants a bit of tlc. They're looking a little bedraggled after the long winter, but should perk up a little now.

Oh yes - and I did a slew of client site stuff as well. Now hoping to actually get some writing done tonight, as it's been about a week since I've had a chance to look at any fiction. And hoping to go to Severn Beach (or maybe Weston) with Kai tomorrow with the kite we bought last year - I really need some sea air and a cobweb-blowing session - if the weather is good...

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Happy Birthday Lutra!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

[bemused] Anyone else think the trailer for the BBC's Late Kickoff sports programme looks like a furries convention? 'Cause I did, the first time I saw it...

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Client site stuff done. No .php yet though.

Finally sorted out all the junk in the airing cupboard and went through my wardrobe ditching nearly everything with more than 50% man-made fibre, in an attempt to deal with the horrible hassle I'm having at the moment with static electricity. It's got to the stage where I have to earth myself on the kitchen cold-water tap before I dare stroke Tyjer, otherwise I give him little electric shocks (and in the dark you can actually see the sparks between my fingers and his fur) and he becomes - quite rightly - most aggrieved. It hurts, too! So I'm aiming to only buy natural fibres as far as I can in future. Luckily a lot of my clothes are already pure cotton (Fairtrade, mostly) or of a cotton-heavy mix... [sigh] There's always something isn't there?

Still, ended up with two large bags for charity and two full-sized bin bags fill of stuff to throw out (a lot of which is biodegradable but not good enough to be given away), so it was all quite successful. And I have an awful lot more room now. Next project, Ken's study's cupboard.

We bought Kai the Terminator: Salvation DVD as a little extra present, and tonight we watched it. It's OK. Nowt more than that. Predictable, very silly ending, but have to admit the casting was pretty good. I loved Michael Biehn as Reese in the first film, and was dreading who would portray him and how, but young Chekov - sorry, Anton Yelchin - does a fine job, and I could see him growing up to become the Kyle we know. A reasonably enjoyable way to chill for a couple of hours mid-week...

Am I too tired to get some writing done...?

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

That was fun.

Kai says he had a good, quiet, low-key day and arrived home happy, although nervousness set in when I told him at 5 o'clock to get changed as we had one last surprise for him...

But then his face lit up as I ushered him into the Glass Boat! (After hearing how much Ken and I enjoyed our anniversary meal he'd asked if he might ever go for a meal there, and at the moment they're doing a special offer for March, two course meal for two with a bottle of wine, tea and coffee for just £25.) I'd noted on booking online that it was his birthday treat so please could we have a table on the river side of the boat (as opposed to the wharf-side) and they gave us the best in the place, river side right at the back, where it's all floor to ceiling windows and you hang out over the water... fantastic. We had the most perfect lamb we've ever tasted, they swapped the wine for fresh apple juice, and put a lighted candle on Kai's chocolate cake dessert! It was wonderful, and Kai loved it.

And his amp arrived while he was at school. He had time to try it before we left, and the effects are terrific; he's over the moon.

My latest Lovefilm rental also arrived - G.I. Joe - which Kai and I vegged out to while Ken went to a meeting this evening. On a second perusal it's off the 'buy when cheap' list as it's really awful!

Lazy day today (Ken said that although it was Kai's day, I was entitled as I did most of the work!) Busy day tomorrow catching up with everything I didn't do today.

Oh, and I have four tomato seedlings already showing, and the salad leaves in the greenhouse are also sprouting...

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Well, I was planning to try to get the new Heart foreword finished, but the Ghosts publisher emailed Ken frantically asking if we could provide an illustration for a page in the book for which they couldn't find anything appropriate. Cue Ken getting into town to hunt for a couple of the missing elements while I tried to assemble background material... We did end up with rather a nice illustration (although we had to treat the hall as a sort of dim room in order to get it) but it's taken all damn day...

[sigh] Oh well. Will try again tomorrow.

In other news, Kai had enough, with his Yule and birthday money, to buy one of these, so it's now on its way. He even had some cash left over! He's now deciding what he'd like with it (the remaining cash, I mean: he wants a slide, and we thought we'd pop into Reverb to pick one up on our way to see Avatar - only to find that Reverb appear to have closed down...) I'm sure he'll come up with something!

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Kai was in the mood to watch films today. "That one with the problem with the sun." he said. "Sunshine?" I suggested. "No, the other one. With the flare." "Ah, Knowing." I offered knowingly. So we put that on. Afterwards, fancying more Nic Cage, Ghost Rider was opted for. Then it went back to Sunshine (wonderful film, deeply deeply flawed but magnificent even so), then Ken suggested 2010, I think because the Discovery looks a little like the Icarus. Kai hadn't seen it before and really enjoyed it (and it's an eternal favourite of mine).

So we were five minutes late turning over to 24, but it's fairly easy to catch up these days.

I think I'm all filmed out!

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

The film is beautiful. Oh, the plot is simple and ancient - 'Pocahontas on an alien planet' as it's been described - hugely predictable of course (I kept wondering when Pandora was going to start fighting back) but gorgeously realised. And I was impressed - impressed, I tell you! - with the 3D: the tech is extremely good now. I'd expected to have problems; I usually get a shadow over my left eye when I wear 3D glasses, and although it was present, once the film started it either disappeared or my brain compensated - at any rate, I didn't notice it - and a headache from straining to focus, but these were absolutely fine. And the colours! So lovely...

I'm sure the Clash of the Titans trailer said it's 3D too. If so, that's a definite.

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Friday, March 05, 2010

For all that I haven't actually stopped today, I don't seem to have accomplished very much. Although I have now managed to get tickets to take Kai to see Avatar 3D at the Showcase de Lux tomorrow, as a birthday treat. Heh. As of his birthday next week he's no longer eligible for child prices on buses or at cinemas. Where the hell did that fifteen years go...?

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[happy sigh]

Someone has spliced together all the sections of Sam's dream scattered throughout Brazil and posted the resultant video on Youtube... Soooo beautiful.

I was bemused to realise that Sam is played by Jonathan Pryce - later to play Governor Swann (Elizabeth's father) in Pirates of the Caribbean...

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Client site updates done, sweet peppers and salad leaves planted, and I've started creating the BCP amenities database in the hopes that I can work out how to create the search function in .php...

Oh, and we racked and bottled the red wine. It's rather nice for a cheap generic variety of home-brew. I think I'll pick up another can when I'm next in Wilkinson's.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

All I seem to have done today is shopping. And watch films. Though this latter was fun. Well, interesting, anyway. Eye for an Eye, which is extremely nasty and harrowing while being a good film with marvellous acting, and we all watched Brazil this evening... wow... I'd forgotten how bloody good that film is.

I have some client site updates to do, but tomorrow will be soon enough...

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Still not enlarging the font as the problem seems to be more basic. You'll have to excuse any odd formatting over the next few days as I try to whip the blog into cross-browser compatibility.
mouse In the meantime, Tyjer brought this home today, poor little sod. It was still alive when I found it, panting and in shock but it looked uninjured. I popped it into a box to give it some peace to see if it would recover, and heard some rustling so had hopes. But in the end it died...
I couldn't be angry with Ty. He was so proud of himself, bringing home dinner for mum, winding his way in and out around my legs and purring up a storm. And at least what he brings home is still alive, so I have a chance to try to rescue it.
Eh well. He's a cat, it's what he does. Although I am worried about the birds. The female blackbird is making her nest in the ivy tree in the middle of the meadow - and far too low down to be safe (we could tell because she was stripping moss from the rockery stones this morning and flitting into the tree). It'll be OK during the day, I hope, as I'll keep an eye on Tyjer, but other cats come in at night, and I can't protect the garden residents all the time. Will have to see how we go.

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Trying this without increasing the font size to see if it makes any difference to the way the blog renders on Sue's screen...
Skype:
Joules: what you up to?
Lutra: nota lot. brwosling loldogs.
[blink] typing poorly...

brwolsing - that's cute!
[g]
sounds like something an owl facnier would do

RFOLMAO!!!
how do you fac an owl?

I... I don't really want to think about it O.o
[shakes head sadly...] I wonder sometimes, I really do...

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Monday, March 01, 2010

Taking a quick break in between organising seedlings and greenhouse...
Glorious, glorious weather today - hot enough in the sun for a t-shirt. We've had all the windows and patio doors open for a blow-through, and everything smells spring-like.
It will probably snow tomorrow.
However, I've started the tomatoes for the greenhouse (Stupice, Black Russian, and a new T&M variety, Harbinger), cucumber (Burpless again, since they were so amazingly prolific last year), bell peppers, and I picked up some T&M strawberry seeds at Almondsbury, a variety called Sarian that the packaging says is excellent. We'll see. They're all sitting on the kitchen windowshelf in propagators. I've also got some companion marigolds starting in the greenhouse, and will shortly get out and repot and feed my citrus plants - two grapefruit and two clementines. Now I know what I've been doing wrong I might have more success this year!
The greenhouse will be getting a general sweep down when I go back out, and I've shovelled the molehill earth into the potato growbag - in a way I'd rather the mole made hills in the greenhouse, I don't grow anything in the soil and it stops him disturbing the roots of plants in the garden itself, and the soil he throws up is rich and fine.
My White Egret Orchids are now planted, and the Butterfly Orchid tubers have just arrived, so will make up the mix and plant them this afternoon too.
My garden is full of birds! The sparrows queue up to eat at the sunflower feeder, we have a pair of the cutest long-tailed tits who now appear to be residents and love the suet/seed filled half coconut, our resident blackbirds have started gathering nest material, our robins are feasting on the birdtable, our wren is back, and we now seem to have a chaffinch visiting regularly, along with a bird that might be a female blackcap or a garden warbler, we're not entirely sure which... It's fantastic, and the garden is full of birdsong.
May Day Network logo [bemused] And we had a letter from Prince Charles.
Well, strictly speaking, we and around 1,699 other business concerns had a letter from him. Not sure how many readers know, but back in 2007 we (WaveWrights, that is) became part of the May Day Network, "the UK’s largest group of businesses committed to taking action on climate change". At the time there were less than 500 members, so it's great to see how it's grown! If you want to see how we qualify, check here.
It's a form letter, of course, though it does apologise for being so impersonal, thanking everyone for their efforts to make a change and announcing several new initiatives, one of which is to be a relaunched website.
For us, trying to live as sustainably as possible is so much a way of life we tend to forget about it, but it is nice to be recognised.
Right - off to see if I can get the citrus plants into productive order! Later...

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