Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
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.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
May try to go to see this - looks fantastic.
Where day go? I blinked and missed it...
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
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.
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.
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 (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!
Friday, September 24, 2010
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...
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:
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.
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?
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
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.
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.
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.
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...
Friday, September 17, 2010
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.
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.
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
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...
Sunday, September 12, 2010
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.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
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.
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
[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.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
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.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
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]
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.
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.
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...)
Wednesday, September 01, 2010