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!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
AAARRGGHHH!!! I HATE it when blogger bugger about with the application. I have it set up for auto sign-in: tonight I had to manually sign-in. Soddit. Had to think for a minute what my login was...
Forgotten what I was going to say now. Except for possibly - where did today go...? My haddock have gone supersonic. It'll be warp-speed next.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
<- Greengage blossom. One of the sweetest smells of spring...
Busy but very productive day, as was yesterday: I've already accomplished two thirds of what I have to do this week.
(And now I've said that everything will go wrong...)
Kai has just spent half an hour throwing up, poor sprog: he's all cold and shivery and really quite poorly, and may not be going into school in the morning. Which will be the first time ever he's had to take time off for illness at John Cabot, but if he feels like this tomorrow there's no way he can go in. Fingers crossed it's just a 12 hour bug...
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Inscrutable cat is inscrutable.
(That alien looking thing to the left is my paeony.)
Bluergh. Hayfever season has started. Time for the nettle tea with local honey...
Saturday, March 26, 2011
"I could do with a decent case for my new camera." I said to Ken.
"Good idea." he replied. "Could you go and buy it now so we can put it through the accounts as a business expense [which it is, as the camera is partly used for Wavewrights work...] before the new tax year?"
Kai fancied coming too: he wanted to go to Brandon Hill. So we got FirstDay tickets, dived into the LCE in Baldwin St and picked up a good case and some more rechargeable batteries, then into the main library for copies of the Bristol Review of Books (I'm on page 5), then (with unashamed laziness) caught a bus to travel one stop, up the hill from the Council House to the Clifton Triangle (but hey, Brandon Hill is high and steep and the paths are twisty and I didn't want to be knackered before I got there!)
As you can see, it was a sort of cloudy-grey day, but quite warm, and the park is lovely at the moment, spring flowers and the first green haze of leaves on the trees. First photo is of an interestingly-shaped tree where we sat to eat lunch, second is looking out over south Bristol from about half-way down the hill.
The zoom on the new camera is pretty good! The robin was a good few yards away.
Then Kai suggested going somewhere else, since we had the tickets...
So we went to Blaise, checked out the museum and walked halfway along the gorge (at the bottom, where the brook runs). It 'asn't 'alf changed since I was last there, with wide concrete paths and quite a bit of the old undergrowth chopped back. Along with the easier access has come an influx of visitors, so it's no longer the peaceful haven it used to be, but it was good so see so many (unlikely!) people out enjoying nature.
Arrived back at 6 pm, absolutely shattered - between Brandon Hill and Blaise we walked miles today. Watched my latest Lovefilm rental - Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, which I really enjoyed (for the special effects, the fun of guessing who everyone was - and for correctly proportioned centaurs - if nothing else). Then it was two eps of DBZ (Zaabon's introduction. Kai thinks I'm mad, but then, I never claimed to be anything else).
Now I'm seriously considering an early night...
Friday, March 25, 2011
The fragrant bed behind the greenhouse: the magnolia flowers are fading now, but soon I shall have lily of the valley (and foxgloves). The daphne is planted where you can see the small mound of gravel. It blends into the background a bit...
Woke up at 7.15 am (after getting to bed at 4 am) in a bad mood (Royal Mail of course) - couldn't get back to sleep so just got up. Opened up greenhouse and took mini-cloches off the toms, filled up all the bird feeders, then settled down to work. And got finished in record time (actually did more than planned this week), so did a little more in the greenhouse: planted chilli pepper seeds, the broccoli now sprouting, cucumbers should be ready for their main pots early next week, and I'm keeping fingers crossed I can get some brassica and leek seedlings into the ground then too. [Soddit - just realised I forgot to switch the cat scarer back on. Turned it off earlier because it hurts Kai's ears. Too late to nip out now, will do it in the am and just hope the cats aren't abroad tonight.]
Royal Mail did deliver the package, a day late. Still annoyed about that.
When Kai got home he had a drink and satay sticks sitting on the slope at the top of the garden in the sun - very nice, and Tyjer was ecstatic his humans were out with him, rolling on his back, kneading everything within reach and purring up a storm. Such an affectionate cat.
Collapsed after dinner and all watched the last three eps of B5 season 1 - what a cliffhanger! Will start season 2 next week.
And now I'm absolutely shattered and will probably be forced to head bedwards soon...
Hm. Well, that was unexpected...
I did watch the film (see previous post), and rather surprised myself. Yes, it's sick and gross (I would say as sick and gross as you can get except that every time I say that someone comes up with something worse) and as films go it's not that good. BUT as an illustration of complete helplessness in the face (and at the hands) of sheer, inescapable madness it's not bad. I expected to be nauseated: I ended up feeling so bloody sorry for the victims, especially the girl in the middle.
And I knew Deiter Laser - the insane doctor - looked familiar: he played Mantrid in Lexx. So, not typecast at all, then..
I can't really recommend it to anyone - but it is interesting.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Latest Royal Mail incompetency: they tried to deliver a package on Tuesday - I was here but this time I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, as I know the batteries were going on the doorbell, so it may not have rung properly. I arranged online for redelivery today - of course, it hasn't arrived. Cue yet another complaint...
And the previous complaint? We're still not satisfied and will be escalating it from Sunday (first half of the book is due then so at the moment it's more than usually frantic here...)
In garden news: the cucumbers and sprouting broccoli now have seedlings, and the first of the carrot leaves are showing above ground.
... The Human Centipede is on in an hour and a half. Debating whether to watch it. I feel I should, as I've never seen anything like it before and it's always good to try something new - but I know the plot is going to make me nauseous...
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Well that was hectic...
Let's see. Put a wash through and dried it outside for the first time this year (got to 18°s!): potted on my tomatoes and catmint (and organised the coke bottle mini-cloches for the toms): moved the caulis, leeks and Brussels sprout seedlings out of the greenhouse (and slathered the edges of the trays with slug-blocker): got bell and sweet peppers on the go: updated the BCP database: dealt with a good double-handful of emails: reorganised the silk orchids on the shelf over the stairwell to replace my poor maranta (which is hopefully recovering on the bedroom windowsill): and chaired the APAG meeting (which was quite productive), came back and typed up the minutes ready to be emailed to members tomorrow.
And our mole has woken up and is blithely making molehills again. So far on the wall side of the garden, opposite the bed with the daphne (which is fine and growing well, so fingers crossed).
Oh, and Tyjer brought me a rat.
One he'd killed, fortunately, rather than one alive or half dead. Rats are a form of wildlife I'd very much rather NOT have in the garden, even though I know it's almost impossible to keep them out (we put chicken wire bases under both compost bins, which works, but we have created such a wonderful wild habitat in the garden everything loves it...) I don't like rats, but I will admit this one was very clean and soft-furred and didn't smell at all: if I was going to call a rat cute I could - just - apply it to this one.
Tyjer wasn't sure whether to be proud or amazed he'd managed to catch something that big and fast...
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Tanked up to the ortho for Kai's retainers after school - dead snazzy, transparent, vacuum moulded plastic that you simply can't see when they're in his mouth. Has to wear them full time for a week, then 6 - 12 months just at night. He needs two follow up appointments, one at 6 months and one at 12, at which time he'll be discharged. They say then he only needs to sleep with the retainers in twice a week. It's all good!
Knackered. Hopefully early night...
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sainsbury's bedding set - teal galaxy. Should have been £24.99, on sale for £7.50... I couldn't resist, not at that price.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Happy Vernal Equinox!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
T-shirt and shorts! (Perhaps a little previous, 12° isn't quite tropical. Though I didn't feel cold while working...) Finally managed to plant the lovage I bought last summer, and Kai and I generally tidied up that part of the rockery (beside the bay tree). My paeony has about five sprouts this year: fingers crossed for a goodly show of flowers later.
Heh. Our pair of collared doves (now regulars) aren't as daft as they're painted. They've worked out that if they stand on the mesh tray at the top feeding station they can reach and happily eat the sunflower seeds from the feeder, the little buggers! (I've swapped it with the multi-seed feeder, that's not so popular...)
Needed a Tesco shop, and Kai decided to come with me - whereupon Ken said it was a pity he was working so hard as it would be a good day to go back along the Whitchurch Way and photograph that bit of railway memorabilia they'd found, for the BCAP virtual museum. Where was it? I asked. A bit further on from Tesco was the reply... So Kai and I ended up going to photograph it. Heh. Bit further on from Tesco indeed. Like three times as far from Tesco as Tesco is from here. Luckily it's a very nice walk, but my legs were killing me by the time we'd got there, and then we still had to walk back and get the shopping. As usual I went in for three things and came out staggering after buying up half the shop... Glad Kai was there to help carry.
Then it was the next ep of B5 (Eyes) and a bit more DBZ (only two more eps and we'll have watched through Season 1). All very silly but definitely chuckleworthy.
Tired now. And I'm supposed to be finishing off a small section of research for the book. Might have to leave it til tomorrow. Heh. This is my version of a 'day off'...
Friday, March 18, 2011
Busy as ever.
Watched the latest LoveFilm rental with our Friday fajitas - Babylon A.D. Hn. Made no sense whatsoever. Pity, because it could have been quite good. Eh well.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
[bemused] Odd dream I woke up to. I'd been doing something in a tall office block: came out and got into my car (regular readers will know I haven't had a car for nearly twenty years!) and was about to drive off when Annette Crosbie slid into the passenger seat and smiled at me, saying "I hope you don't mind, but I've lost my spatula, and we really need to get to the park..."
Once there (and no, I don't remember driving there. Maybe we teleported...) we got out of the car and made our way very stealthily along an overgrown path by the river. We'd only gone a few hundred yards when we saw a man ahead of us. Suddenly a creature erupted from the water: it looked prehistoric, short neck, rounded head, large flippers, very sharp fangs and a short tail, and was probably about eight foot long from snout to tail. It had a smaller, also prehistoric looking
And that was frightening, it was fast. Annette and I crept away as quietly as we could while it was distracted tearing the man to pieces and tried to find a tree we could climb - because a whole crowd of the thing's friends crawled out of the water and started nosing around for other edibles...
Perhaps fortunately, at that point Tyjer woke me up demanding food, so I don't know how it all ended. It wasn't looking good for us though.
Wonder where the dream came from?
Magnolia stellata just coming into flower ->
In other news: finished today's scheduled research early so dived out to get a little more gardening done - glorious weather, first t-shirt day of the year. Now have on the go: the second lot of onions (in the veg bed); broccolis Romanescu and summer sprouting, cucumbers burpless and flamingo, sweet basil and lime basil (in the greenhouse); mangetout (on the potting table); and I've organised the herb planter. Whether that will be a success I don't know - will have to wait and see.
I'm thinking I need to extend the veg bed for next year. (Ken's happy with that - less grass to mow!) See how everything does this year.
Back to work...
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I haz a new camera - one of these, a little (very little!) point and click Kodak. 5x zoom and 14 mp (my old one is 3.1 mp and 3x zoom, and now takes two attempts before it will open the shutter, although as you've seen from recent pics on here the quality is still OK. Kai's taken it on to see how he gets on with it: if he finds he likes taking photos we'll get him something better later.)
The only thing that threw me was that it doesn't have a look-through viewfinder, just the LCD screen on the back. That'll take a day or two to get used to, but I rather like it, it's a lot easier than trying to focus through a tiny peephole. It's also very fast and very easy to use, perfect for what I want. Chuffed, me.
In other news: the first Brussels sprout seedlings have appeared in the peatpots in the greenhouse, and I need to get my toms in their main pots fairly soon: they've almost reached the propagator lid. Time to start the peppers and cucumbers on the windowshelf...
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Braces safely - if painfully - removed: Kai's teeth are perfect! And he has a lovely smile. Now he just needs to get used to eating and speaking properly again (and smiling).
Dead chuffed. I think it was worth it, and I think Kai thinks so too.
Monday, March 14, 2011
The veg bed, just waiting for planting up. The netting (which Kai helped me with on Saturday) is where the brassicas are going: it was nearly completely successful at keeping the cabbage whites from the plants last year - they're a major problem here, with me growing without chemicals. That line of sprouting things you might be able to see on the left, behind the cat scarer, is my garlic, growing very well.
Work as usual...
Being Human - but, but, but...!
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The day of the helicopter flight...
Fabulous, fabulous day. Perfect weather, perfect visibility, little cloud, light wind. The bus ride itself was great - two hours along winding narrow country roads, all around the houses (literally) through Wrington and Winford and Sandford and Banwell (there's a castle there: excuse the horrible site!) and Churchill...
The museum is huge! And the flight was just fantastic. For pix, see HERE: largeish pics, please allow time to load. Kai loved it. Me, well, you know me and flying...
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Happy Birthday Lutra!!
Busyness. Potted on the first batch of leeks and caulis (and remembered to put gastropod-blocking gel around them), finished today's allotted research (book is now 60% written first draft, which is excellent, although there's still a lot to be done), tanked over to Tesco (Kai came with me to help carry, bless 'im - I've done something very painful to my back and can't bend or carry anything with any weight) for the Friday shop, and watched two eps of Black Books series 2 (OK, but the Bernard/Manny relationship is becoming a little too abusive for my liking), B5 - Believers (very interesting meditations on ethics and morality), and a couple eps of DBZ. Which is insane, but fun.
Now a bit tired. But can't even attempt an early night - it's Friday, that just isn't done...
[bemused] I keep accidentally hitting a sequence of keys that shuts down C++ and stops my caps lock disabled key from operating. No idea how I'm doing it. Can't even blame my nails at the moment as I had to cut them right back to nothing now the growing season's started.
Oh - and Tyjer found the first slowworm of the season. Luckily I was able to rescue it - very lively it was too!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Ye gods, I managed an early night last night!
OK day. Tanked up to JC for Kai's parent/teacher evening - also OK.
Have decided that if the helicopter flight is postponed (due to weather: the dreadful high winds of the last 36 hours have eased but the forecast for Sunday is a little uncertain) we'll nip over to the Showcase and catch Battle: LA instead. Should be fairly harmless...
Labels: nowt really
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Birthdays are never so much fun when you have to go to school, but Kai enjoyed the evening (saved opening his presents til he got home). We got him the complete Black Books: watched the first three eps after dinner and had hysterics - it's deliciously funny.
And I can now reveal the purpose of the super sekrit mission to Weston-super-Mare a couple of weeks ago: it was to book a helicopter flight for Kai for a present. He is dead chuffed! It's booked for this Sunday (they'll call if the weather is too poor and we'll arrange another time: the ticket is valid for a year). Will be great!
I'm shattered - was up at 6.30 this morning after very little sleep, so will be having an early night. Early being relative, of course...
Back from the dental hospital. Apparently the lump is somethingwithalongmedicalnameIdidn'tquitecatch, which equates to scar tissue over a 'blunt force trauma'. Consultant asked if I'd bitten or otherwise hurt my tongue in the last six months: I don't remember doing so but I have a sneaking suspicion, due to its location (a little way back from the tip), it may be due to the rough edge of the root canal filling. I'll try to get that smoothed out next time I go to the dentist.
Anyway, it's harmless, but will get bigger if just left: I have the choice to put up with it or have it excised surgically. I went for option two, which involves local anaesthetic, a sharp scalpel, and, if I want them, dissolving stitches (optional because the consultant says they're supposed to last the week it'll take to have the tongue heal, but because tongues are in constant use/motion they (the stitches) usually only last 2 - 3 days. If I prefer I can not have them and just leave it to heal by itself. It's not huge, about half a centimetre wide and a little more long: I reckon I can manage with a raw half-centimetre or so hole in my tongue for a week). I have an appointment early April: just to be sure they'll have the tissue examined after removal.
So, all fine then. I can survive on soup and ramen for a week!
Labels: medical matters
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
[bhg] Kai's braces come off his teeth next week.
Monday, March 07, 2011
Crocuses up at the square - so pretty...
Finished today's allotted work with time to spare, so planted some more leek seeds (the first ones are just beginning to show above the surface of the seed tray) and the first lot of Brussels sprouts in the greenhouse, and a row of spring onions up at the veg bed. All coming along nicely.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Well, my daphne is finally planted, after much debate and reference to various online info. 'Termperamental', they say. 'A prima donna', they say. 'Hates having its roots disturbed', they say, as my heart sinks when I remember our mole... Eh well. Fingers crossed...
Kai dug over the second bit of the veg bed for me, where the brassicas are going to grow. It's all looking very efficient up there, and I shall start off the earliest Brussels sprouts in the next couple of days. And the broccoli. And I shall plant them further apart this time!
Oh, and the garlic I planted? It's all coming up just fine.
Being Human... bloody hell, where do they go from there? This series is very very good.
Shall I say I'm trying for an early night? Usually if I do I don't manage it. But now I've said that perhaps I will...
[bhg] I do believe we had a pair of juvenile bullfinches at the top feeder this morning. They let me creep up quite close before 'peeping' in alarm and flitting off. They'd eaten all the berry suet pellets, so I refilled the feeder and left them to it. There were goldfinches at the sunflower seed feeder too (the medlar feeders were empty, so looks like they've discovered the backup!)
On a less pleasant note, Tyjer brought home a dead mouse...
Edit: Ken suggested making a list of all the birds that have visited the garden in the last couple of years or so...
Blue tits (regular)
Bullfinch juveniles (new - hopefully regular...)
Chaffinch (once that I know of)
Collared doves (new, now regular)
Fieldfares (rarely, only when weather particularly bad)
Goldfinches (new, now regular)
Great tits (regular)
Lesser spotted woodpecker (once, but for a couple of hours!)
Long tailed tits (rarely)
Redwings (rarely, only when weather particularly bad)
Starlings (new, now regular, unfortunately)
Wood pigeons (regular)
I think that's it. That's really not bad for a suburban garden!
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Friday, March 04, 2011
[blink] It's March. What happened to January and February?
Still keeping up...
Cleared some of the ivy encroaching on the meadow with Kai's help this evening.
And managing to watch a B5 ep and a couple of DBZ eps a day too! Tomorrow I need to try to get a proposal written.
Thursday, March 03, 2011
[blear] Well that was busy. But I've managed to complete today's subject research: having to do a subject a day at the moment or I won't hit the deadline. This is OK for simple subjects but half of them are complex - and get more so the deeper I delve into them...
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Shopping this morning. Tyjer has started not eating his tinned food - rather, he'll struggle through it reluctantly, but he's obviously not enjoying it, whereas he does like his Whiska's dry food. So I donated the last seven tins to the PDSA and picked up three boxes of Felix and Whiska's pouches, which we'll stick with from now on. A bit pricier than the tins but given how much we were wasting... Heh. Gave him a duck one when I got back and he practically scraped off the bottom of the bowl. Kit likes his new gooshy food.
Got Kai's next ortho appointment organised (they can squeeze him in at 5 pm next Tuesday, the only late night they do. We'll just have time to get there from school), feverfew moved (it was getting blasted with bird droppings and stray sunflower seeds where it was under the medlar. It'll be happier by Roeg's Pool) and blue aquilegia planted (thanks Kai!): in the greenhouse I have five cauli seedlings (the sixth got eaten by a baby snail. I've now put slug gel around all the pots) and a tray of mizuna coming along, while inside the house I now have tomato seedlings (which spent the gloriously sunny afternoon in the greenhouse).
Oh, and I also now have three butterfly orchid sprouts!
All that in between continuing with the research. Plus two DBZ eps and B5 ep 3 this evening. It's all go...
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Took a couple of hours off this evening and watched AvP (the extended version). I do like that film.
Afterwards I introduced Kai to the first two eps of DBZ. Ye gods the original Japanese is so much better than that horrible American dub! I was able to watch and enjoy rather than cringe all the time. Because it is quite fun, better than I remember, has very pretty landscapes, and is highly amusing in places. And the original voices are great!
... we have too much to watch...