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]
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!
Monday, February 28, 2011
Grasshopper candleholder/tablecentre from Sue. Isn't he cute? [g]
Labels: strangeness and charm
The feeding station in position at the corner of the veg bed. Not easy to photograph as it's a very snazzy bronze effect and really needs a light background, which I don't have. Birds haven't discovered it yet, but they will.
On the subject of birds, unfortunately, as well as the starlings, I now have a pair of magpies trying to raze the bird table... Vigilance is required!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Fantastic day with GoodTwin and Sue! This handsome creature is Hercule, the French - oops, sorry, Belgian - lobster. Chic devil with his moustaches, isn't he? I'm getting a terrific aquarium-full of plushies now, what with two volitans, a ray, a jellyfish, Hercule and of course my magnificent SQUID! (cuttlefish, I mean).
I also have a new bird-feeding station - dead chuffed with that, it's going up at the veg bed to try to persuade the birds to keep the pests down - and the Starting with Chickens book I wanted, along with a grasshopper candle holder and citronella insect-repellent candles for the table when we eat outdoors (which I'm determined to do more often this year. I should get some fun out of the garden as well as working in it!)
Thank you both very much! I had a great time.
As for the chickens - I still love the idea, and am still considering it. It's the veterinary angle that concerns me...
Saturday, February 26, 2011
[bg] The figure is absolutely gorgeous - dead chuffed. Wonder if they do a Radditsu in the same series? (The text on the packaging is all Japanese.) He has to stand on the top of my monitor though, otherwise I can't see the face. (Like that's a problem. I've waited years for this...)
Babylon 5 later.
Edit: This is good. Be great if it works.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Kai has dug the spot beside the fruit cage and did most of the work assembling the cold frame. It's not overly sturdy but will do the job nicely. Melons!
Ortho is very pleased with his teeth. I have to make an appointment soon for him to see the specialist, and find out when he can have the things removed (Edit: the braces, of course, not the teeth...) Probably going to have to get him a Friday afternoon off school, as next holiday isn't until the end of April and the appointment needs to be before then...
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tyjer much better today, almost back to normal.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Took Tyjer for his boosters (Kai carried him for me). Poor kit is now feeling poorly and just wants to sleep...
Monday, February 21, 2011
Kai's dentist appointment this morning. All absolutely fine. While we were there I took the opportunity to ask the dentist about the lump on my tongue (only noticed it a month ago: it wasn't there at my last checkup so must have appeared over the Yule season...) She thinks it's probably just an overgrowth of tissue - which I'm prone to anyway, as evidenced by moles and skin tags - but is referring me to the dental hospital just to be sure. Hope that doesn't involve a biopsy. [wince]
Picked up the peatpots from Wilkinson's, and have got the first tomatoes on the go in a propagator on the kitchen windowshelf; Black Russian, Stupice and Gardener's Delight (the old favourites) plus Black Cherry, a new one I'm trying this year. Probably not going to go with Harbinger - we were a little disappointed with it last year... Hm. Perhaps I ought to pick up another newbie to try...
Next month will be busy - need to clear space in the greenhouse and get a whole load of other seeds on the go!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Now the pear tree is planted, it was time to get the greasebands on it and the apple tree, which meant fineagling into a pair of latex gloves. To save on gloves (and garbage) I picked up four packs of chilli peppers with this morning's shopping and prepared them for the freezer before heading out to tackle the greasebands, so only needed to use one pair (in case you've forgotten, my skin is allergic to chilli peppers: the latex gloves mean I can handle them without burning up). Then Kai dug over the short stretch of the veg bed for me, and I now have the first batch of garlic planted (and the first potatoes in the growbag).
Will start tomatoes as soon as I can grab some peat pots...
Saturday, February 19, 2011
So we went to Clevedon...
A strange, pearly-silvery day, weather mild but cloudy, pleasant for walking.
A sea-mist rolled in while we were at the far end of the hillfort.
Kai had never seen one before - was intrigued by the way we could see drifts of fog wafting against the bushes.
The photos ->
Half an hour later it had mostly vanished. So here's a three sun evening to end the day...
Friday, February 18, 2011
My Family Pear Tree (yule present from folks) arrived this afternoon: we planted it this evening. Looking forward to seeing how it does.
Found Iron Man 2 going cheap at Sainsbug's so picked it up and we watched it tonight (Ken hadn't seen it). Still just OK. Some amusing moments. Pepper's just irritating. Natasha is terrific.
Have some work to finish tonight before I can play...
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Day spent scouring through an ordered library book (a necessary source text I didn't want to buy, even if it didn't cost £60) sitting on the settee - with Tyjer curled up beside me. He can be very cute and cuddly when he so chooses.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
It must be spring - there are frogs bonking in Roeg's Pool...
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Shopping/proof-reading/wine bottling/week organising/proposal considering/sprout picking/water-butt attending/bird spider human feeding/Being Human watching/SHEEEEEEEEP...
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Absolutely shattered (was going to leave this post til tomorrow but I'll feel even less like it then...) but we had a terrific day...
Decided to go somewhere we'd never been before. Kai suggested Frome, which seemed like an excellent idea. But you can't get there from here, you need to catch the 184 (for the scenic route, anyway) from Bath, so accordingly this morning we leapt on the X39 and headed Bathward...
[rolls eyes] The bus slowed to a crawl just past Keynsham - we could have walked faster. We found out what the problem was - a small hole in the road a couple of miles outside Bath on the main Bath Rd. It was being worked on, but in the meantime traffic was reduced to one lane of a two lane road and controlled by temporary traffic lights, which seemed to be letting about five cars though before changing (and also seemed to be favouring traffic coming from Bath).
Eh well, we finally got there, and just missed the 184. Next one wasn't for nearly an hour, so Kai suggested having a look at the river. Crossing the bridge outside the bus station we walked along the tow-path for a little way - and then realised we'd found the Kennet and Avon Canal (well, the Bath bit of it anyway!)
We followed it for about half an hour - there are photos here, you can see what a gorgeous day it was - before heading back to the bus station to get the 184.
It's a wonderful, wonderful ride, climbing up out of Bath and up and up and up, meandering through villages in the clouds sprawling along the spine of the Mendips, like riding along the roof of the world. Peasedown St John, Radstock, Chilcompton, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Midsomer Norton, Vobster, Great Elm and Mells - little places nestling in folds of green along 45° hills with hairpin bends and roads barely big enough for a car, let alone a bus. (Ours met another bus on the way back, and had to reverse uphill to a passing place where two facing fields had their entrance gates: a tight squeeze but they made it. Fantastic drivers!) And after Mells we had the bus to ourselves, along with a drive who loves the route...
We only had 40 minutes at Frome before we had to get the last bus back, but it's a gorgeous little place, bustling and full of the most intriguing shops. Nice food too!
Of course, by the time we got back to Bath the roadworks had thrown the X39 schedule out the window, and getting back to Bristol was a little chaotic. Not too bad once we got on a bus - it was the buses arriving at the station that was the problem!
We arrived back around 6.30 pm, almost full dark. Great day, hugely enjoyable.
Tomorrow it's supposed to rain, and Kai has homework, so it'll be a relatively quiet day. But we're planning lies-in first.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Out and about all day, on buses on a super sekrit mission (I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you - at least until the mission is accomplished...), which was successful but has left me knackered.
Watched Shrek Forever After on FilmFlex since there was soddall on TV (is this a dastardly plan to boost the economy by forcing people to buy or rent films - or go out for the evening - by putting endless repeats or bilge on the box?) Quite enjoyed the film, and we think Tyjer would make a great stand-in for Puss in Boots...
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Zooom. But I've done more than I planned for the week, so I can sort of take a day off tomorrow...
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
[sigh] I must be getting soppy in my old age - I couldn't resist. It's the eyes...
([growl] I don't do cute...)
In other news: got some leeks, caulis and cat mint on the go in the greenhouse.
Monday, February 07, 2011
Ultra quick catchup.
Outcasts: interesting. Gritty and intriguing.
Bedlam: also interesting, though going by the first episode, tries a little too hard. Will see how it continues.
This happened very close to where Ken's folks live. I gather it rather frightened them!
One of my favourite garden blogs was talking about growing mizuna, which is my and Kai's favourite salad green, but I've only ever found it in mixed seed packets. Left a comment to that effect and got a reply directing me to Nicky's Nursery, which has all sorts of good stuff on it. Have ordered packets of both mizuna varieties - will see how we do!
Sunday, February 06, 2011
K&K decided they needed new rucksacks, so at 11 Kai and I tanked off to the Sunday market in search of same...
Successfully. Also found socks, gloves for Kai - and earmuffs for me. Yes, earmuffs. (Stop laughing at the back!) I really don't like wearing anything on my head (except for hair, obviously) but after the chill on the suspension bridge and the wind off the sea yesterday, I thought I should find something to protect my ears when out in the bitterest cold. They're OK - grey with a sort of russetty under-colour. Nice and warm.
I can haz snoedrops...
And Wendy's mum's orchid not only survived the winter just fine, protected by the ivy tree and our prolific buttercups, but has sprouted healthier and brighter than ever! Dead chuffed.
Saturday, February 05, 2011
A terrific day. We sat on the top deck of the X1 double decker bus (wonderful views over the Avon landscape), which might have been a little rash given the ferocious winds we're having at the moment, but the driver went very slowly, so we had no problems. As usual, however, the trip was slightly odd, this time because there was an old guy in the seat in front of us taking photos out the front window. Of buses. Just buses. Mainly X1s... Strange...
The new pier. It's a quarter of a mile long and really great!
They've crammed everything inside! Over at the far end is a go-kart course (in three dimensions):
<- the grey arm-thing at the right is a ride ->
That was taken from the ground floor looking straight up!->
There's also a freefall ride and a swing and spin, a lazer maze, haunted house, crystal maze, traditional dodgems, formula one simulators (and an associated café where we had cheeseburgers and gazed out at Steepholm and Flatholm), and what seemed like hundreds of stand alone games. Very impressed, we were!
Afterwards we walked along the beach for a mile, as far as the old Tropicana lido - not exactly a great pleasure given the perishing wind, but the exercise was much appreciated.
And we spotted this charming little building. No idea what it is, though I'd suspect apartments. Weston is full of them, along with B&Bs, guesthouses and hotels. Love the balconies!
On the way back we stopped off at Congresbury - the bus stops around the corner, and we found a public footpath that acts as a very convenient shortcut.
We had a wander around and I picked up some garlic, to try growing. (No point trying with the bought stuff, it's Mediterranean and won't grow well here.) Be great if it succeeds, and should help deter some of the garden pests (carrot fly, especially).
And speaking of the garden, the weather is supposed to be reasonable tomorrow, so with a bit of luck I can clear the meadow around where the wild orchid will come up. Be fantastic if it had increased, though I won't know until later in the spring.
Friday, February 04, 2011
OK, now we've finally had the contract back I can at least hint at what's happening at the moment. But only hint, I've been asked not to give any details.
Ken has been commissioned to write another book - non-fic and one that involves intensive research. However, since he has some other commitments at the moment, I'm doing the bulk of the research (for a couple of months, anyway). And by research I mean three encyclopaedias, two serious works, and two other more fanciful ones around me and at least five browser windows open at any one time (it got up to thirteen last week). I'm thoroughly enjoying myself, but it is rather tiring. And I now know more about Japanese, Australasian, Polynesian and Indian culture and sociology than I ever thought possible.
Day off tomorrow though. Hoping to go to Weston-super-Mare with Kai, check out the new pier and get sand-blasted on the beach...
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Haircut again - nice to not have it flopping in my eyes! And Danielle did her usual excellent cut.
Usual busyness: day of client site stuffs and clearing up emails (well, trying to, still have a load tomorrow).
This evening we watched the last episode of Beauty and the Beast (season 3, Legacies). I'm sad it's finished, it has been simply wonderful watching it again. I'll rephrase that - mostly watching it for the first time. I remembered all of the first season, a handful of eps from the second season, and about a five minute snippet from the Snow ep of season 3, so more than half of it was completely new. And I loved it. Even - or possibly especially - season 3, which I know is much hated by the fans and I believe was the main reason the series was cancelled. Diana was fantastic: I much preferred her to Catherine (although that might have something to do with the fact that I can relate much more to tough, spacey, so-casually-dressed-it-hurts Diana than to pretty, dressed-up-to-the-nines, rich-kid Catherine).
The show retains its shocking qualities even now. You don't have to look very far past the Vincent/Catherine romance to see it, either - and it's all handled so matter-of-factly. Bestiality (sorta: I know most fans would rant at me for suggesting it, but Vincent is at least half animal), extreme violence (how many people did Vincent end up killing? Next time I do a watch through I'll try to keep a tally) with no retribution (except for the grief it caused the human part of Vincent), rape, domestic abuse, child abuse, drug abuse (and their consequences), corporate corruption... And regularly killing off main characters too! Amazing. Just amazing.
Yes, there are the odd naff eps (the voodoo ep for one) and the reuse of footage is mildly irritating, even though I know it was done to save money from (I believe) a tight budget. But overall - stunning.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Another zoom. Pity as the weather was gorgeous again and I would have loved to spend some time in the garden (doing more than filling up feeders and the table, that is!) Eh well...