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 ::

I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.

... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

Adventures in Orchids

Apparently I am now collecting them...

There's room for one - or maybe two, at a pinch - more on that bedroom windowsill (the only one in the house that's ideal for them). Let's see what I find. Well, that didn't last long...

EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid since 2007 and it just keeps flowering...

AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!

RO - Rescued orchid photo to come when it flowers. Phalaenopsis. Rescued from a bin up the road in 2019. Classic!

TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?

CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.

GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...

DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...

RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.

PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!

TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).

My IMDb ep summaries

Arthur of the Britons
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
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)
The Café

For later:

Missing Earthian ep
Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


"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)


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:
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:

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 


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



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...

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



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

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: 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...

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...)

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

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

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

Yami no Matsuei

   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.

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

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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

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
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
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
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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
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01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
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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
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01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
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01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
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01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
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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
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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 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
01/12/2017 - 31/12/2017
01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
01/02/2018 - 28/02/2018
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
01/04/2018 - 30/04/2018
01/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
01/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
01/03/2019 - 31/03/2019
01/04/2019 - 30/04/2019
01/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019
01/07/2019 - 31/07/2019
01/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019
01/01/2020 - 31/01/2020
01/02/2020 - 29/02/2020
01/03/2020 - 31/03/2020
01/04/2020 - 31/04/2020
01/05/2020 - 31/05/2020
01/06/2020 - 31/06/2020
01/07/2020 - 31/07/2020
01/08/2020 - 31/08/2020
01/09/2020 - 30/09/2020
01/10/2020 - 31/10/2020
01/11/2020 - 30/11/2020
01/12/2020 - 31/12/2020
01/01/2021 - 31/01/2021
01/02/2021 - 28/02/2021
01/03/2021 - 31/03/2021
01/04/2021 - 30/04/2021
01/05/2021 - 31/05/2021
01/06/2021 - 30/06/2021
01/07/2021 - 31/07/2021
01/08/2021 - 31/08/2021
01/09/2021 - 30/09/2021
01/10/2021 - 31/10/2021
01/11/2021 - 30/11/2021
01/12/2021 - 31/12/2021
01/01/2022 - 31/01/2022
01/02/2022 - 28/02/2022
01/03/2022 - 31/03/2022
01/04/2022 - 30/04/2022
01/05/2022 - 30/05/2022
01/06/2022 - 31/06/2022
01/07/2022 - 31/07/2022
01/08/2022 - 31/08/2022
01/09/2022 - 30/09/2022
01/10/2022 - 31/10/2022
01/11/2021 - 31/11/2021
01/12/2022 - 31/12/2022
01/01/2023 - 31/01/2023
01/02/2023 - 28/02/2023
01/03/2023 - 31/03/2023
01/04/2023 - 30/04/2023
01/08/2023 - 31/08/2023
01/11/2023 - 31/11/2023

Friday, April 30, 2010

Wendy's Mum's Orchid

<- Wendy's Mum's Orchid in the meadow.

Today has been much like yesterday but with less gardening. Tomorrow is Arno's Vale May Day Festival: Ken will be manning the BCAP stall for a while. (Forecast is for rain, of course...) We may go along, although Kai has homework, and I have a new(ish) site to construct (not to mention continuing with Heart. And on that subject, there will be a Haadri blog update once this one is posted), so it will, as ever, be busy.

Acer, paeony and juniper around Roeg's Pool.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two full days of client site updates and gardening. The first batch of mange tout seedlings are planted, and now sprouting are leeks, butternut squash, baking potato plants in the potato planter, and rows of spring onion, carrots and radishes in the veg bed. Two Galia melons and one watermelon have been potted on, cat mint, coriander, flat-leaved parsley and a couple more Galia melon seeds planted. Wendy's mum's orchid is about to flower. And we've eaten the first of the year's asparagus, and it was delicious!

And it rained, finally. Within an hour the main water butt was half full, and it's raining again now, so both will be full by morning. Of course, typically, we're forecast rain for at least the next three days (naturally, it's a bank holiday weekend) so I will have to go slug-hunting at least twice a day...

Today was Kai's parent/teacher evening - all satisfactory and very quick: I was out by 5.30 and home by just gone seven (the traffic has been horrendous today, even for Briz. Roadworks all over the place don't help).

I'm sure there was something else but I can't remember what... Eh well. Going to flop with an ep or two of 24 now...

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

long cat

Laid back Bodie cat takes up all the bed...

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Right, where were we? Oh yes...

So yesterday morning I had just finished the client site revisions and was about to start on answering emails, when Ken rang to say he was out early and did I still want to get up to Broadwalk (while I was there last week I found 24 complete season one for £12.99, and ummed and ahhed a bit but decided to leave it - until I got home and worked out that it would cost me the same to rent it from Lovefilm...) Which I did, and the boxed set was still there, so I grabbed it (along with some other shopping).

Arrived back to find Ken fuming. To explain: a while back a series of writers' workshops were held in Brislington, specifically to learn to write a script to be delivered by an actor in one of the locations in the area (primarily Sandy Park Rd, if I remember correctly). I'd wondered about going along and giving it a try (I've never tried a script) but never managed to find the time.

Unbeknownst to me, Ken wrote a rather nice piece about one of the ghosts of Arno's Manor Hotel, and it was chosen as one of the 18 five minute skits to be performed as part of the Brislington Festival. Only it can't be performed at the Hotel, as they have a very large wedding on that day, so the organiser moved it to the Black Castle across the road. (This is, effectively, our local and a magnificent building.) Problem is, the ghost in Ken's piece is specific to the Hotel and the script will not work if transplanted. But withdrawing it at this late stage (and it was late, the programmes were due to go to print today - perfect example of regrettable lack of organisation, unfortunately: the winning pieces were chose six weeks ago and Ken's only just heard...) would cause problems.

Now, the Black Castle the pub was the inspiration for the Black Castle - Peridien's Verdish home - in Haadri, so, Ken asked, could we rewrite the piece somehow using that fact...

And we have. Well, Ken did the writing and I fed him info. It's worked very well, and seems to have been favourably received, so we're now waiting for a final verdict.

Anyway, that all took until 2 a.m., so while Ken was working on it I watched the first four eps of 24 season one (most enjoyable!): intensive work for Ken, but worth it. I should be able to post it on the Haadri site later.

Today was, once again, hot and sunny - we've had no rain for weeks, which is very worrying as my main water butt had only about a gallon left in it. Then it occurred to me that since there was so little water left in it, this would be the ideal time to clear it out and get a replacement tap. Cue a FirstDay SouthWest bus ticket and a trip to Almondsbury Garden Centre. (Did the usual and checked out the charity shops down the Gloucester Rd on the way back - no joy today.) Back with some different tomato seeds for next year and the new tap, which we fitted. Hopefully now the forecast rain at the weekend will materialise and be prolonged enough to refill the butt...

Then it was a quick trip over to Tesco, followed by greenhouse watering as sparsely as I dared, dinner, and an exhausted flump for an hour. My feet are killing me!

Tomorrow I need to get the mange tout in the ground - Kai helped me construct the frame for them at the weekend; client site stuff done; and then back to Heart. But tonight I'm going to watch a little more 24 - too knackered to be creative!

Oh yes - and Kai arrived home yesterday with a letter advising us about a school trip to Germany in October: £420 [wince] but a wonderful opportunity. We packed him off to school this morning with the confirmation form and a cheque for the deposit, but he forgot to hand it in. I'm miffed about this: places are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis and as the trip is being shared by the GCSE German students and the A Level History bods, there may be a lot of interest... Hopefully he'll remember tomorrow.

Second oh yes - I do believe the third White Egret Orchid tuber has sprouted - there's the faintest suggestion of green just under the surface of the soil. Will see how it goes, but I'm very hopeful.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

T.A.R.D.I.S. Immortality. Clones. Needz moar tiem...



Sunday, April 25, 2010

The pile of wood ash was quite small, and scattered perfectly over the veg bed (I checked and the soil was a little on the acid side, so that will help balance the Ph value). Quite a lot of the late afternoon and evening was spent making the frilly bits for the jellyfish lampshade for the bathroom: I finally decided to sew by hand rather than use the machine. I think they'll work quite well. I still have to make the long unfrilly bits, but they're a lot simpler and shouldn't take anything like as much time and effort.

Haven't touched the IAVMT client updates I was supposed to do today: will tackle that tomorrow, and also think about another new (sort of) site that needs to be created. The client site work seems to be slackening off a little, which is actually a good thing, given how much else I'm trying to do.

And on that subject, there will be an update (finally!) over on the Haadri blog shortly

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Family day in the garden - what I'd call a day off, what I suspect most people would call hard labour... [g]

But we got masses done. K&K spent most of the afternoon pruning back the buddleia, which hasn't been touched in about three years - hell of a job, but it looks much better now. I cut back some more ivy, added barley straw mix to Roeg's Pool (the algae problem is pronounced already), potted up the strawberry seedlings into the planter, potted on the courgettes, earthed up the baking potatoes I have on the go in the potato bag, planted my dill seedlings against the wall in the square, drizzled slug repellent gel around the top of the floor-standing pots in the greenhouse and put down some organic slug pellets (safe enough inside as bonfirenothing else can get at them - something's been nibbling at two of my tomato plants and I can't have that!) and kept everyone fed and watered.

And now we're having a bonfire to get rid of all the prunings. (Rather, K&K are, I'm not fond of fire.) Not particularly good practice, but we don't do it very often (once every couple of years or so, at a guess). The smoke was wondrous impressive, thanks mainly to the moisture in the ivy leaves, despite drying out all day in the sun. So thick I couldn't see through it. (I'm sure the neighbours weren't too chuffed!)

Tomorrow I have to get the IAVMT revisions done. Tonight, however, I shall carry on with Heart - made good progress last night (despite being knackered. Got a second wind around 2 am).

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Friday, April 23, 2010

It has been manically busy and exhausting and I'm too tired to write, so here's a picture of a cat taking up most of the settee...

contented cat

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bused up to Broadwalk after the Sainsbug shop: arrived back with a good DVD haul, including Crazy Moon for £1 to add to my Sutherland collection. The afternoon was primarily taken up with wrestling the new artist site into shape and uploading. The content is very sparse at the moment, as she didn't send me very much, but the site is clean and minimal, as she wanted.

And this evening we watched District 9, which remains the best film I've ever seen, and still had me in tears even though I knew what was coming...

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010


[sigh] There goes my silent sky...

It's been a busy couple of days, a whole load of client site stuff (one of which has required me to learn CSS drop-down menus: that was fun...) and a fair bit of general garden/greenhouse work too. Not to mention the mundane stuff - shopping, washing, watering spiders, feeding pets and people...

Was quite dramatic this afternoon - the most horrendous growling and yowling and hissing came from just outside, and when I went to see what Tyjer was up to, he had an interloper on its back with his fangs in its neck in a proper nasty cat-fight. He saw the other cat off then sat on the wall daring it to come back. (No, of course I didn't intervene. I'm not that fond of pain.)sigh... He's been a little subdued since, but isn't hurt as far as I can see, and with a bit of luck that'll have put the other cat off coming back.

And these are my Butterfly Wings Orchids, doing rather nicely. They're odd things: put them in the sun and they wilt: keep them out of the sun and they're fine. They already have buds: I'm itching to know what colours/patterns I'm going to end up with!

Back to the rockface. If I can quickly create fourteen simple pages in the next half an hour I can upload the new artist's site and call it a day...

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blue sky.
Cloudless blue sky.
Cloudless blue sky with no contrails.

I do feel sorry for the people affected by the ash cloud, honestly I do. But oh, the soul-stirring serenity of the silent sky...

... bliss...



Monday, April 19, 2010

It's no good, I'm going to have to update earlier. I'm too tired now to go into any details. Suffice it to say it was a very good and successful trip into town, Kai has his strap button on his classical guitar, a new pair of shorts, a new long sleeve t-shirt and UV sunglasses, Ken has new jeans, and I have two pairs of the cheapo Primark trousers I wear for working. And everything in the greenhouse and garden is looking great.

Going to go fall over now...

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

bedding - and Tyjer
I'm Tyjer and I approve of this bedding (though not of mum making flashy things in my eyes)

A quick run-down...

Doctor Who. Have we inadvertently strayed into Boy's Own territory here? Where's the subtlety of the previous series? Amelia is obviously meant to be some kind of humanising force for the Doctor, which is OK, I suppose, but why? Did someone think he'd become too powerful, and needed to be shown to be fallible?

And I still have no time for the pepperpots. How anyone can find them scary completely escapes me. And next week we revisit the quantum angels, and I'm desperately afraid the PTB are going to ruin what was the most terrifying, memorable and effective episode ever, Blink (though Ken says that's not possible, as that ep is already existent and nothing can change its power. I'm not sure I fully agree...)

Afterwards we watched and really enjoyed Push. A most intriguing film, if somewhat confusing.

Today has been busy. We swapped the winter downie (duvet) for the summer one - hence the new bedding - and washed it. It almost completely dried in today's sun, too. K&K made a start on clearing away the ivy from the last part of the wall that needs remortaring: Ken's hoping to get a fair bit of that done this year. I planted out the first of the lettuces and got the allocated patch of the veg bed ready for the mange tout, and did some more in the greenhouse, then indulged in a little much needed orchid maintenance. They're happier now they've been fed.

Tomorrow is Kai's last day of the Ostara holiday - next month he has exams (for which he has been revising over the break). He's not looking forward to them particularly, but also seems fairly calm about the whole process - always a help!

I'm behind with the client site updates and revisions now - need to tackle them tomorrow...

Later edit: mentioned to mum the episode with the cat trying to get in through the catflap - a while after I'd posted that blog update it came back, sparking another bout of furiously snarling and scrabbling Tyjer, and when I checked the flap after everything had calmed down again I found that Ty had almost, accidentally, managed to turn the dial to both ways open, so now I'm bodge-job blocking it up from the outside at night until we can find a better alternative. Mum joked that the word had got out that the Taylor place was cat heaven, and now all the neighbourhood cats want in...

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Clash of the Titans 3D at the Showcase de Lux.

Oh dear...

That was... not good. With a couple of exceptions the acting's either wooden or ham, the characters shallow and unappealing, there are plot holes you could drive a Kraken through (and in any case the Kraken is from Scandinavian myth, not Greek) and enormous liberties have been taken with the plot. Although since that's true of the original, there's already a precedent. The 3D was distinctly dodgy, especially in the action scenes where trying to actually focus on anything made my eyes water. The CG was mostly OK - Pegasus was excellent, and Medusa beautifully realised - but relied on far too heavily at the expense of any decent characterisation or plot. All in all a waste of money and a beautifully sunny afternoon. Eh well. You never know 'til you've tried.

Although - I suppose it might be fun to ride a scorpion...



Friday, April 16, 2010

prawn provencale

A little food porn for Lutra - Prawn Provençale on organic Basmati rice with home-grown salad greens and organic red pepper (I've obviously been watching too much Masterchef).

The day was pretty much as usual - client site stuff, a quick Sainsbug shop, then into the garden/greenhouse for a bit (have butternut squash, watermelon and Galia melon now on the go). I did watch the last two eps of 24 season two first thing, though. I enjoyed it, but unfortunately the plot is really rather similar to season eight, which I'm watching on a Sunday night: I've found the two stories - and their characters - occasionally muddling in my mind.

dandelion flowers
A bowl full of sunshine...

And I've started this year's dandelion wine.

Tired now. In fact, I fell asleep during The Mentalist and missed the dénouement. Haven't done that before...

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Thursday, April 15, 2010


Up at 6.30 to make Kai's 8.30 orthodontist appointment - not easy after getting to bed at 2.30. But we were first and got out very quickly, which was good. Then it was over to Mickleburgh Musical Instruments (walking the back way, past Bristol ice rink and along Jamaica St, where Kai had never been) to ask about having a strap button fitted to his acoustic guitar (or alternatively a soundbox strap, which they didn't have). We arrived just after they'd opened at 9 - and they can fit the button while we wait, so planning to go back on Monday to have the work done. Then he can play that guitar standing up.

Then it was over to the Showcase de Lux for tickets for Clash of the Titans 3D for Saturday. (Actually arrived before they opened at 9.45. I'm not used to being in town so early!) Finally a quick trip over to Wilkinson's before the bus home.greenhouse

A little client site work, then into the garden and greenhouse to start off a few more seed varieties (more mange tout and dwarf beans today). As you can see, the greenhouse is really quite full at the moment: much of what's on the staging will be transplanted into the veg bed when it's big enough (and the weather's a little warmer), then I can see about getting some melons on the go. Aiming to try for watermelons as well as Galia this year, if I have the space, although grown in pots they don't reach enormous sizes anyway.

I think we've appointed Kai head gardener. He's been doing a fantastic job all around the garden this holiday - and it's good exercise, fresh air (well, as fresh as Bristol gets, anyway) and sunshine too.

We've had a cat trying to get in through the catflap tonight (we have one of those adjustable ones - completely closed, in only, out only, or both ways open. It's always completely closed at night) Tyjer of course has been going completely nuts, scrabbling at the flap and yowling and growling - which is actually quite alarming. It's now 2.25 am, and all's quiet, so hopefully that's it for tonight.

Suppose I ought to bed. Need to be up early tomorrow...

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Greengage in flower

Fragrance of greengage
calls the bees to congregate:
fruit will come, later



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tyjer's first trip to the vet. Kai carried him for me (the carrier with him in it is too heavy for my hands) and we saw the vet who was so kind during Raptor and Quyn's last days. He admired Tyjer, gave him a quick check-up and said he's in fine health (although he has some tartar buildup on his teeth, and the only way to get rid of it - barring a clean under general anaesthetic - would be to brush them. Which I baulked at to start with, but actually he might let me ('cause he loves his mum), so will investigate tuna flavoured cat toothpaste later...) but a little overweight. I guess this is because he spent most of the Arctic weather curled up asleep in the warmest spot he could find, but now he's out and charging around the garden he should lose it again. But I'll keep an eye out anyway.

Then he gave beastlie his inoculation booster, which is what we went for in the first place. No problem, although Tyjer is a bit off this evening, would rather sleep than guard the house. I also picked up a broad spectrum worming tablet (yep, just one!) which was absolutely minute and which we managed, after squishing it into some tuna and after five goes, to get him to swallow. Not that he refused, and he didn't protest when at last it did go down - it just wasn't the tuna he was enjoying so much so he let it drop out of his mouth each time. Kai finally persuaded him to eat it.

So all in all a surprisingly easy and stressless event. But then, he is a very laid-back Bodie cat.

Kai worked in the garden this afternoon - the meadow looks amazing, weeded and all the old stuff dead-headed - while I got some client stuff done. Still haven't quite managed to finish the bathroom, but it's getting closer.

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Monday, April 12, 2010


... and so should I...



Sunday, April 11, 2010

... needz moar sheeeps...

But the bathroom is looking great (and you know I've lost it when I start raving about our snazzy new loo-roll holder...) Still have a couple of last minute things to do - hang up the volitans, fix the towel hooks to the door, make the lampshade - then I'll take photos.

Don't think I mentioned, but the second White Egret orchid shoot is just showing above soil level!

Sainsbury's sell their own economy white rum in plastic bottles. Useless but bemusing factoid of the day.

... sheeeeeeep...

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Knackered again. But I finished the paintwork while K&K went adventuring on the Somerset Levels - well, finished apart from tidying up where the gloss paint on the vent has run down the wall, dammit. But otherwise it looks very nice up there, not the best paint job in the world but not too bad, very clean and fresh.

I was interrupted mid-ceiling, however, by the male blackbird going frantic in the garden. [sigh] Tyjer had brought home one of their fledglings. Poor little thing was shocked, missing a few feathers, and dragged one leg when it tried to escape me, but otherwise didn't seem to be too badly hurt. I threw Tyjer indoors and popped the birdling into a box to see if it would recover - which it did in about an hour and half, and went back to mum and dad. (Tyjer really is a gentle cat. He brought in a slowworm yesterday, and hadn't even punctured the skin. I'd rather he didn't do it, of course, but if he has to, at least this way I can try to rescue them.)

Tomorrow I need to clean the grouting, and get the stray paint off the tiles and floor before we put up the new shower curtain. Unfortunately the new towel hooks will have to wait because the door is hollow and requires special 'winged' rawl plugs, which aren't that easy to find. Hoping Proper Job does them. Otherwise it may mean a trip to Screwfix up the Bath Rd...

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Friday, April 09, 2010

There are occasionally moments when I wish I'd never started on the bathroom...

Not content with the light fitment being unchangeable, I now can't get the shelf brackets off the wall. They have invisible fixings, which should mean they should slide and pull off the base, but neither Kai nor I can get them to work.fritillaria flowers Will see if Ken can tomorrow.

On the other hand, it is looking much nicer. dalek drag queenAnd I have a few new things for the room - including a kitschy mirrored soap dispenser with diamanté sparkles on the front which Lutra said looks like a dalek drag queen. Which is actually quite cute, so I think we'll keep it. The name, I mean...

Kai helped me in the garden in the afternoon - cleared out the bottom of the greenhouse and tore down (most of) the dead Russian vine that had been strangling the elder tree. Did a fantastic job too, without damaging the tree.

In the greenhouse I have French dwarf beans now starting, and the first Romanescu broccoli seedling has appeared. I have leeks and courgettes on the go as well: marrow and sweetcorn need to be started at the beginning of next month. I'll need to pot on the peppers soon, too. It's all go.
frit flower

And the fritillaria are beautiful. So chuffed I've finally got some! Fascinating pattern on the flowers...

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Shower wall and radiator wall now painted, although radiator wall will need another coat, dammit. We decided to swap the colours (darker on shower wall, lighter everywhere else) and the lighter paint doesn't cover as well as the darker. ancient light wiring


And Ken investigated swapping the pendant ceiling rose for the ancient flush-to-the-ceiling fitment that came with the house - only to find this ->

What the hell is going on there? I mean, I know the house is about fifty years old now, but that wiring isn't even standard for then, surely. Did the electricians just use whatever spare wiring they had left over or what? [grump]

Ken put the old cover back on carefully and backed away slowly, probably the wisest option. One day we'll be able to afford to have the house rewired: we'll let someone else sort it out then. In the meantime I'll have to have a non-floating jellyfish lampshade...

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Magnolia stellata
Early morning magnolia stellata.

Kai helped me carry the charity shop stuff up to St Peter's Hospice this morning, then carried home some of the shopping for me, which I really appreciated as it was all a bit heavy. And given what a fine day it was, and that he hasn't been out out yet this holiday, he and Ken leapt on a bus to Clevedon. Last time we were there Kai spotted an extension of the hill fort walk that looked most interesting, and this afternoon they explored it. It sounds great, and the next time I'm there I may investigate it myself.

While they were gone I carried on in the bathroom. Took hours. But all the glossing is now done - and what a bloody performance it was too - although I will have to do a little touching up tomorrow.

And Marie sent over the revised Heart cover. Ye gods, it's fantastic...

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

It took most of the afternoon, but the window, sill, radiator (and the skirting board of the radiator wall) and the bath panel are now painted. Looks lovely - feels much bigger and brighter in the room already. Planning to do the rest of the glossing tomorrow, and hopefully the shower wall (and maybe the ceiling, if I can buy a pendant rose and Ken can fit it. Otherwise it'll have to wait until Thursday). If all goes well I might even have the whole thing finished by the weekend - which would be great!

And Kai is gradually nibbling away at the mess in his room: it's looking better already.



Monday, April 05, 2010

Monday shopping trip to Tesco - oh joy...

Although I did spot Canadian cooked (frozen) lobsters at half price (£5) while I was skimming the aisles. Kai's never had lobster, and it's been donkey's years since I had any, so I treated us, just as a garnish for the cod loin we were having tonight. (It was a very small left-handed lobster, and a little overcooked, but oh, so tasty. Kai loved it. Ken opted not to have any - he loves fish but isn't too fond of seafood; I'm the opposite, while Kai loves both equally. Sprog gets the best of both worlds...) I've never prepared lobster before - sold live ones, yes, when I was working for Loch Fyne Oysters up in Edinburgh, but never dismembered my own. Was surprisingly easy.

On arriving back I dived into the bathroom prep while Kai started on his room. It took me two Muse albums (Black Holes and Revelations and Resistance) to properly and thoroughly clean the windows/sill/surround, and another half an hour to untangle and repot the sweetheart vine - which does fit in a small pot inside the silver one I picked up at Cadbury's: looks great! Ken has prepared the radiator - planning to get that painted tomorrow, along with the skirting board along that wall - and washed the ceiling and the top part of the walls for me (I can't reach without standing on a stool, and I can't do that in the bath itself). Hoping to have the bathroom finished by next Monday.

So, a very useful Monday, although I've done no client stuff, writing or answering emails, which are now all stacking up. Will have to tackle some tomorrow morning before I start on the bathroom...

Bed soon - early start after waking up to some very strange dreams and a pretty busy day: tired now.

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sentry cat

Family day working in the garden!

Kai weeded and hoed the veg bed, cleared grass from the rockery, and helped me empty the dead strawberry planter in preparation for my tiny tiny Sarian seedlings (when they're a bit bigger, obviously); Ken weeded the bed behind the greenhouse - my magnolia stellata is in flower, and I have cowslips, lily-of-the-valley and foxgloves coming up there - and transplanted a clump of comfrey to a better position; I planted spring onion, carrots and radishes, cleared the potting table and washed a whole load of pots and planters. And Tyjer sat sentry on Dave-next-door's fence, keeping an eye out for swarms of ravenous worms and deadly needle-bees...

It's all coming along very nicely out there. Oh, and I have four large paeony shoots now above ground at the back of the rockery - looks like it survived the winter just fine. Will have to keep an eye on it this year: last year pests got at the flowers and almost destroyed them.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

That was busy. Early shopping (went out with a list of four things, came back with half the supermarket), dealing with email, then a couple of hours in the greenhouse (Brussels sprout Maximus, broccoli Romanescu, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, mint, basil, lime basil and dill all on the go, and I've transplanted my tiny tiny Sarian strawberry seedlings into little pots).

Then the new Doctor Who... I wasn't looking forward to it - though to be honest, I tend not to look forward to any of them. If I expect to be disappointed, then I can't be. Disappointed, that is - but I was very pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the episode. Matt Smith looks to be a good successor to David Tennant (though I'd rather watch a few more eps before finally deciding). Boring outfit though. I was disappointed to see the flying pepperpots and the cybermen are making a re-re-reappearance, though... This post is full of 'though's.


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Friday, April 02, 2010

Normal sort of day - even if, with Kai home, it felt like a Saturday. Lot of client stuff done, greenhouse plants coming along (though no sign of another Egret sprout yet), Tyjer grumpy 'cause mum didn't make it sunny all day and I wouldn't leave him in the greenhouse - where it was beautifully warm - when I went out to close up for the night. (He tried to grab my ankle then hissed at me when I carried him out. Five minutes later he was twining himself around my legs purring an apology. He's really very cute...)

Forgot to say: the on/off handle of the main water butt has snapped off, meaning I can now only turn the bung with a pair of pliers (not great for my hands). I assume the plastic perished in the Arctic weather. Bloody nuisance though - it's full, and I rely on it to keep the other butts, which are closer to the greenhouse and veg bed, filled for use. Not to mention we can't afford a replacement at the moment. Eh well. It's an inconvenience right now, we'll manage.

Off to the loom...

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Thursday, April 01, 2010


On Skype...

(Lutra) Ok, my mission today is to get everything off my phone cos I think I'm going to have to upgrade very soon. Unfortunately it looks like the data port is failing, which means re-charging is iffy, and the headphones don't work anymore [sigh]
(Joules) ... but you only just got it!!
No, been almost 2 years.
... [blink]...
oh. well, it's Time, innit. We don't get on all that well...

LOL! No, barely on speaking terms, you are
[rolls eyes] though I have to admit that one is a bit OTT even for me...

[grin] It's ok, there's other, time-savvy peeps about to translate for you.
Yes, just as well! I seriously thought you'd only had it like 6 months...

Time... such a trial.

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Spring Garden

Well, we finished Ken's cupboard (and it was seven years: we found newspapers from 2003 in there...) before dinner. Chucked out a whole lot of rubbish, found a few interesting pieces to go to charity shops, and everything is now both tidier and more accessible, in both study and cupboard. Time to turn attention to the bathroom.
Egret Orchid sprout

Today it's beautiful weather. Still a biting wind, but not constantly, and the sun is warm. And in the greenhouse ->

That's the first of the Egret Orchid tubers sprouting! This is excellent - although now I do have to make sure I give it the right growing conditions...

And these little darlings are fritillaria! I've been trying to grow them for years with absolutely no success, so to find that these two (completely forgotten about) bulbs have sprouted is wonderful. I'll try to get a decent photo when the flowers are a little more open.

And in other news - from this evening Kai is home for his two week Ostara break. Haven't actually planned anything yet - much depends on the weather - but the holiday will do him good. He's already agreed to help me in the garden for a couple of hours.

Back to the loom...

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