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:

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 SP fied..::]

... 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
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
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01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
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01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
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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
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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 - 30/04/2017
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

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Our apples are ripening very nicely, and taste wonderful!

And I have some Brussels sprouts ready to pick and eat, already! Going to try the first batch over the weekend.

[sigh] So after me saying, now that the coldframe has been delivered I could have a bit of a lie in because we weren't expecting anything else right now, I came down to find a 'sorry you were out' card from Royal Mail lying under the letterbox... They're redelivering on Saturday.

Still busy.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

May try to go to see this - looks fantastic.

Where day go? I blinked and missed it...

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

autumn garden

Autumn garden.



Monday, September 27, 2010

Pyrethrum search - successful.

[spooks] - awesome.

Sleep - necessary...

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lie in! Yay!

Actually had a relaxing day - didn't do much, and watched Boomtown and Gondola (still a favourite episode).

Tomorrow I go in search of pyrethrum.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Up early, two washes, trip to Tesco - then a rush to make a new soup before K&K had to head out for a hedgerow species recording session down at Nightingale Valley. (Nice soup, adapted from the Coop members' magazine: finely chopped onion and garlic, skinned and chopped tomatoes, green lentils, chicken stock, bouquet garni from the garden, and a hefty sploosh of Worcester sauce, with grilled sliced pork and leek sausages - extremely tasty and very filling!)

While they were out I did manage to get a little gardening done, and this evening Kai and I watched May and Gametown (Lexx season 3 eps 2 & 3). So a pretty normal Saturday, really...

Heating now on. Baibai summer.



Early night? What early night...?

Going now. But before I do... This had me in hysterics, spluttering so loudly I alarmed Tyjer and nearly snorted my vodka and coke.

What Stormtroopers Do On Their Day Off. It gets funnier and funnier the further in you get, and do make sure to check out part 2 as well...

Me gone. Shortly.

Oh yes, and I forgot to say earlier, but with my Yule money from the folks I've ordered one of these, and put in a T&M order including one of these pear trees (well, Ken put some of his present money towards it, saying it wasn't fair I spend all of mine on things that benefit the whole family. Which was sweet, but not something that bothers me. Ai wubs my gardin...) So altogether a successful day's shopping!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

autumnal kit

Signs of approaching autumn no. 7: Tyjer usurps the wolf because it's cosy and it stops his humans keeping warm with it...

Started Lexx season 3 (Fire and Water), my favourite, although that being said season 2 is now a rival.

And we all watched my latest Lovefilm rental, Quarantine. Hm. Should have been called Rabid Zombies à la Cloverfield. Started off well then degenerated into running around in the dark screaming. [yawn] Tedious.

I need to get some garden work done tomorrow - and change to the winter downie, it's cold here tonight! Time to fling all the doors and windows open and turn on the central heating...

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

A fun day with the folks: mum and I took an hour to nip over to Keynsham to do the charity shops and came back with this little beauty:

doll 1 doll2 doll3

She appears to be made of paper, cardboard and a little fabric - most unusual and very pretty. She's going to live on the shelving over the bed when I've reorganised the space.

Warehouse 13 second season started tonight - surreal and enjoyable. TrueBlood season two ep two not so much.

Tired now. Early night. Maybe.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A couple of days ago a Go Outdoors brochure was shoved through the letterbox. Usually we bung this sort of thing straight in the recycling box, but this time I was reminded of last winter's horrendous weather and that we'd talked about getting ourselves ready in case it happened again, and their prices looked really good. So this morning I wandered over to our local - just over the Bath Rd - to investigate...

I came back with a pair of these (I need the men's version to allow for the broader fitting: my foot swells up more since I broke it the second time), which are amazingly comfortable and just avoid the tendons at the back of my ankles, which is where I usually have problems with shoes. Bought my discount card at the till so I could get the shoes cheaper, and can now kit out the whole family at discount rates. Chuffed, I am. And the shoes should last for years and years, as they're good quality and tough, and will only be worn when necessary.

They also sell these, but at £27 they're a bit pricey. Will check out Oswald Bailey in town to see if they have a cheaper version.

[bemused] There's an advert on TV at the moment - for No 7 I think - which starts, "Most signs of ageing are caused by daylight."

... wait what? Are they suggesting we all become vampires now?

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

flower spike?

The usual sort of day. Plus some hack'n'slash of the ivy growing over and under Kai's railway track where the 'tunnel' is - at least you can now see the track, even if it's not entirely safe to use yet.

<- And it looks like a flower spike is developing on one of the cambrias, the amazing russet and old gold orchids with the glorious fragrance.
flower spike?

But what's more exciting is what I think (hope!) is a flower spike on one of the mystery orchids. ->

It's that slightly ruffled-top thin green spike in the middle. This orchid has never flowered in all the time I've had it (and yes, I know it looks a little sad and wrinkled: I cant seem to get it to plump up no matter what I do. Perhaps it's meant to look like that...) so I'm really really hoping it is going to flower. Then I might finally be able to see which type of orchid it is!

More photos, of course, as things progress.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Gorgeous weather today: despite the blasted cold I've picked up (presumably the same one I was fighting off - it's had a temporary win, but doesn't (hopefully) appear to be turning into a really nasty one) I've managed to get some weeding done without aggravating either hands or shoulders. Done some of the veg bed; the new bed under the medlar (tricky, that one, as all the seed the birds spill from the feeders does its best to sprout, and the lovely rich compost from the bin that we put in to give them a good start is throwing up tomato plants as well as strong new leaves for the plants that are supposed to be there); and carefully pulled out all the weeds from my lawn chamomile up in the square. It's doing amazingly well, the six plants around the pool are gradually growing together - three of them have already made a mat - and look very healthy.

Managed a little housework too, but the less said about that the better.

And the first ep of the new [spooks] (ye gods, we're up to season 9!) was very exciting. Keeping fingers crossed for the rest!

We all watched Lexx, tonight, Norb and Twilight, and I've come to the conclusion that you really need to watch it three times through: the first time to boggle at the anarchy and surreality of it, the second time to get thoroughly acquainted and familiar with it, and the third to really appraise it properly. The first two times I really didn't appreciate quite how dark (and frightening) it is overall. Wonderful stuff.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Arrr, me hearties, it were Talk Like a Pirate Day, it were!



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hunting for Yule presents...

[sigh] This year, again, I'm horribly behind with organising Yule - and next week the folks are coming up to drop off/pick up the presents one last time before they get rid of the car for good. Dad's going to miss it - he hasn't been without a car for about forty-six years - but the upkeep is now too expensive, and since they have their free bus passes, they can travel anywhere (in the South West and, I believe, the rest of the UK) for nowt. It'll make coming up here a little more difficult, but I'm sure we can overcome that, we usually manage to solve problems one way or another.

Anyway - presents. It doesn't help that I have absolutely no idea what to get anyone this year. So, with it being a lovely day, I thought I'd get a FirstDay ticket, bus out to Cribbs Causeway to the Mall, and see if anything inspired me...

Kai came too - it's a loooong but very pleasant trip, and the views from the top of the double-decker number 1 bus are terrific (plus he offered to carry for me if we found anything too heavy for my hands and shoulder - which we did, so I was grateful!) Though I did chuckle quietly at the sight of the Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche dealerships sprawled regally side by side - right next to the Mini dealership. It looked cheeky.

We walked the half-mile from one end of the Mall to the other and back again, but didn't stay long, too many people and I'm really not fond of shopping. We did find a couple of things though, which was good.

Stopped off at Westbury-on-Trym on the way back - it's a pretty little place, if a bit posh - to check out the charity shops, and again in Broadmead to get a few more things. All in all it was quite a successful foray. Except that I forgot to take my camera, dammit.

Tired now though, and I have a lot to do tomorrow...

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Friday, September 17, 2010

no idea what it is

How to tell autumn's on its way, number 4: When Ken gets out of bed in the morning, Tyjer jumps on and snuggles up to me.

This was buzzing angrily around the greenhouse earlier. It's about two inches long (not including the antennae) and that ovipositor sharpens to a point from the side. Fearsome looking beast. I have no idea what it is, but if anyone knows, please do tell me in the comments.

Much later edit... erk. That bug looks like Thodin's Bugbomb (IWHS)...

'OORAY! (not the bloody visit: his parting words). I believe the foul little man takes his evil institution back to Never Never land tomorrow, and I can finally watch the news again without fear of my blood pressure going through the roof.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

That was busy!

Still, made time to watch Mantrid and Terminal (Lexx 2 eps 1 & 2) with Kai and my latest Lovefilm (which I've had for a month and only just managed to get us all together to watch) Flashback which is brilliant and very funny and one to keep an eye out for. Then it was Kai to bed and Ken and I watched TrueBlood season 2 ep 1 - which was OK, but it really would have helped to have a... whatchacallem, catch up bit at the beginning, as I couldn't remember what the hell happened at the end of the first season.

Early night?

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

... and GigaShadow is the joint strongest (with IWHS).



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yep, Eating Pattern is the weakest of the four original Lexx films...



Monday, September 13, 2010


It went.

I fancied rewatching Lexx from the beginning: Kai was all for it, and even Ken thought it a good idea, so tonight it was I Worship His Shadow (IWHS for short) and Supernova. Highly enjoyable, and I'm still picking up bits I missed the last half-dozen times around...

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ty and Acer

Tyjer at Roeg's Pool, being Japanese. (See what I mean about the poolwater, it's almost impossible to keep clear. Really need a pump and a filter but the pool's too small for anything so extravagant. Treated it with barley straw extract today, which should help...)

And I finally installed the Stumble Upon toolbar, an excellent source of procrastination which does your surfing for you. One of the first pages it took me to was this:


... which tickled us no end.

Eh well, back to the loom.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

around Roeg's Pool

Around Roeg's Pool.

[sigh] My burrowing bees are back...

They are the most adorable bees ever, and completely non-aggressive (I walk through them all the time), and I'm not even sure they have stings, but I can't have them infesting the veg bed. Ken dug over the sweetcorn patch (they've all been picked now) and hoed the other emptied areas, which hopefully will persuade them to move somewhere else.Heron at Eastwood Farm

Then K&K decided, on the spur of the moment at 3 pm, to go for a walk down to Eastwood Farm. Great fun, and lots of wildlife, including a heron amongst the reeds. (Photo © Ken Taylor)

Then Kai and I settled down to Lexx eps 23 and 24...

I am completely bewildered. I remember really not liking these eps, but on a second viewing... Fair enough, the Lyekka plot arc and resolution only makes sense if you've seen the eps I missed the first time around, but the finale...

I didn't remember any of it. I'm not at all sure I actually watched it... But I must have seen it - I knew about little Lexx. [sigh] Upshot is, it's wonderful, and brought a lump to my throat. How I could have been so wrong the first time around is beyond me (and it's not nostalgia, if anything I've grown more critical and curmudgeonly as I've got older). Anyway, NOW I apologise for my initial reaction, and will see about getting a decent write up scripted and posted in Lexxplorations.




Friday, September 10, 2010

[blink] I suddenly have stats. And comment anti-spam. Neither of which I need as I use sitemeter and Echo, but never mind... Checked the comments box and followed the link to the entry...

Friday, June 03, 2005
Addendum: this just arrived in my inbox:
We indicate suspect activity at your bank account. Your account has been frozen, for fraud prevention. We strongly recommend you to follow instructions how to defrost your bank account. Click to the following link for future information. [some spurious phishing link] UK Banks Association.
'Defrost my bank account'?? [rolling on floor in hysterics] Who do these cretins think they're trying to fool?

[snickering] That still counts as one of the best I've ever received.

So, today. Was suddenly bitten by the 'fed up with the mess' bug so embarked on a major tidy-up and cleaning (well, vacuuming, anyway). Kai's keyboard is now up in his bedroom and I can finally reach all my research books. Now we just have to make space for it in Kai's room. Something will have to go. [ominous noises...]

Tonight we watched Lexx season 4 eps 20 - 22.


Over in Lexxplorations I was extremely acerbic in my opinion of season 4. I have to say I still find it disappointing, re-watching it eight (eight?? bloody hell...) years later - perhaps I should just say watching, as I obviously missed a whole slew of eps in the middle.

But... some biting social and political commentary in here that I missed before, partly because my appreciation of politics was rudimentary back then, and partly because the show deals exclusively with American politics, which held no interest for me anyway. Priest as Bush is beautifully apt, and the nicely-depicted ordinary (?American?) life in Prime Ridge made me chuckle (and CJD Meats? Ouch - but amusingly so). Some of the humour is very funny (unfortunately too much of it is still scatological, which is tedious and detracts from the whole) and the characterisation much better than I remember, especially Kai, who is given a larger and more active role in this season. (Brief note to anyone who doesn't already know: no, my son is not named for Kai the undead Divine Assassin. We'd decided on the name before we ever watched Lexx, because of its many meanings in different languages, particularly 'rejoice' in English.) Even the recurring themes didn't grate as much as I thought they would.

Despite the sewer humour, the embarrassing eps (769 anyone? Even the cast seemed to be cringing...) and the eps that seemed to be just filler, I've enjoyed - mostly - watching it, so much so that I will watch it again with Ken (who's too busy to sit with us at the moment) when we can make some time. There are some excellent eps - Vlad, The Game, the bizarre and surreal A Midsummer's Nightmare and the amazing Trip. Tomorrow we'll watch the last two eps - I remember them as being the most disappointing of the lot, so I have no great expectations. Will add a comment after.

Heh. Suppose I ought to cross-post this to Lexxplorations. I'm not apologising for my initial reaction - compared to the lyricism and beauty of season 3 season 4 still makes me wince - but it's a damn sight better than I originally gave it credit for.



Thursday, September 09, 2010

I picked up the director's cut of Hellboy at the St Pete's Hospice charity shop yesterday and watched it after closing down last night. It's much better than the theatrical release - it has ten vital little character and relationship building minutes missing from the other version that solve a number of puzzles and make the whole thing hang together so much more smoothly. Now need to try to find time to watch the two feature discs that were included in the boxed set...

The rest was client site work, three machine washes (weather was perfect for drying today) and a Tesco shopping trip, mainly for milk, but I found the kettle we want so picked that up as well.

As for the rest... you can smell autumn in the air, and the nights are cooling down. Things are slowing down in the greenhouse - my tomatoes have nearly finished. although I still have too many cucumbers coming - and in the veg bed. I can take a break for a few weeks, before I oversee the digging over of the bed and start the peas off in November.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

loooong cat

Long cat is long (and doesn't want to share the bed with anyone...)

A little light shopping and client site work today. And First Defence: Kai's brought home a cold from school. A bit early, but not unexpected.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

goji berriesbreakfast

A little food porn for Lutra... ->

My breakfast. Three spoonfuls of Rachael's low-fat vanilla yoghurt (probably the most luscious I've ever tasted, far too good to be good for you!), hazelnuts, walnut pieces, sunflower-, poppy-, and pumpkin-seeds and golden linseeds, red and white seedless grapes, a peeled and sliced pear, and a handful of goji berries, all organic except for the linseeds, poppy seeds and grapes. Just completely, disgustingly healthy and delicious.

- Goji berries! Reading up on how to prune them, I discovered that one shouldn't expect them to berry in the first two or three years, so I was lucky to get the couple of dozen or so that we ended up with. To my astonishment they're really nice, sweet but with a tart aftertaste. Hoping for lots next year...



Monday, September 06, 2010


It's a physalis (golden berry, Chinese gooseberry, whatever it's called locally). The seed was from two years ago, and I only had one left (all the rest had simply failed to germinate), so bunged it in a small pot and just left it. Remembered to check it after a couple of weeks, and it had sprouted, so I started watering it. A month or so later I had to repot it, as it was too big for the pot...

This is the fourth pot it's been in, and I'll soon have to pot it on again. It asploded. Apparently they do OK in frost-free cold greenhouses over the winter - they're native to high-altitudes in Colombia - but I'll probably still bring it in over winter. It would be great if it fruited!

Tyjer is grumpy with me - it's rained all day and the weather forecast is for more of the same all week. [sigh]

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Sunday, September 05, 2010

I seem to have spent most of the day asleep, or freezing tomatoes, beans and sweetcorn. Obviously must have needed the sleep...



Saturday, September 04, 2010

I still get a kick out of getting on a train at Bristol Temple Meads and fifty minutes later getting off it in a different country...

Cardiff was wonderful, as usual. Treated us to a splendid lunch at Signor Valentino's, walked around the reserve and the park, went on the big wheel that's there at the moment (similar to the Weston Eye we tried last year), and took a trip out to the barrage on the land train. All the photos are HERE.

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Friday, September 03, 2010

No garlic press (well, there were several, but I'm not paying £11 for a garlic press, no matter where it's from!) and no kettle either (I've seen the one I want at Tesco, but they only have the white in stock and I want the black version). I did, however, manage to buy a new Sodastream drinksmaker - one of these. No, our current drinksmaker is fine, but Sodastream are no longer making the cylinders for it, so we had to upgrade. Not overly happy about that, but Robert Dyas, the only supplier of the cylinders that we can get to, had this model for £44.95, and I had a £10 off voucher from them the last time I bought replacement cylinders, so it was a reasonable investment. They last for donkey's years: we've only had two in the more than 20 years that we've been fizzing our own drinks, and I'm pretty sure one of them was a similar sort of upgrade of necessity.

Then it was home for a fun couple of hours trying to plan a trip out to Flat Holm from Cardiff tomorrow (treat for Kai for doing so well in his GCSEs). It's feasible: up at seven to get the X39 to Temple Meads train station, train to Cardiff Central (there are two an hour), local train (five an hour) to Cardiff Bay, then the Waterbus over to the barrage to catch the boat at 11.15. Coming back is a bit of a problem though - the boat leaves the island at quarter to five, while the last Waterbus leaves the barrage at four-thirty and the nearest bus stop is over a mile away through a maze of streets. However, as I was told when I rang the booking office, there's an independent bus service into Penarth, and from there we can catch the regular bus back to Cardiff Bus Station, which is right next door to the train station. So it's doable.

Except that the boat is fully booked for tomorrow, and the next possible trip would be Sunday the 19th. [sigh] Should have rung them first...

Public transport on a Sunday is dodgy, so we're going to leave that trip until next year and try to go during the week, on a school holiday, perhaps. Kai wants to explore the marshy nature reserve along the Cardiff dockside, and then check out the riverpark, so we'll do that instead tomorrow (and hopefully have time for a boat trip around the harbour too).

... and then I found this on the Picture is Unrelated site on Cheezburger... What...? But... I don't... WTF?

... I think I'm scared...

Back to the rockface.

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Thursday, September 02, 2010


Very pretty nasturtium. The gorgeous glowing colour doesn't really show properly here.

Well, I've got everything done that I planned to do this week, garden-wise at any rate.

Still plenty to finish inside though, and tomorrow I need to get up to Wild Oats (for Meridian organic peanut butter) and Kitchens (to hunt for a new garlic press) and then back down into town - we need a new kettle, this one is leaking. [sigh] We also need a new lawnmower, although we've had the current one for donkey's years so it's probably about time. It'll last out the autumn, but we'll have to force the budget to stretch a bit next year.

Early night? (she said hopefully...)

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Finally got the Weymouth page done: find it here.



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