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
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
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01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
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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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01/10/2013 - 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

Monday, February 28, 2011


Grasshopper candleholder/tablecentre from Sue. Isn't he cute? [g]



Feeding station

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!

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hercules Hercules too

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!)
We tanked over to the Whitehall Garden Centre, where I was able to stock up on potting compost and a few other bits and pieces, a pot of blue aquilegia, and a daphne (I love the fragrance of daphne. Just have to decide the best position for 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...

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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.

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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...

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tyjer much better today, almost back to normal.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fantastic day with Wendy!

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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!

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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...

Clevedon mist

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 ->
are of Clevedon pier, almost invisible in the fog, then a minute or so later as it - the fog, not the pier - drifted away...

Clevedon pier

3 sun evening

Half an hour later it had mostly vanished. So here's a three sun evening to end the day...

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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...

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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.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Still busy...



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It must be spring - there are frogs bonking in Roeg's Pool...

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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...

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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.

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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...

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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...

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Valentine monkey keyring

[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.

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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!

Still researching...

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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.

Wendy's mum's orchid

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.

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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.

cute house

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.

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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...

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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.

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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...



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