Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::

I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.

... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

Adventures in Orchids

Apparently I am now collecting them...

There's room for one - or maybe two, at a pinch - more on that bedroom windowsill (the only one in the house that's ideal for them). Let's see what I find. Well, that didn't last long...

EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid since 2007 and it just keeps flowering...

AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!

RO - Rescued orchid photo to come when it flowers. Phalaenopsis. Rescued from a bin up the road in 2019. Classic!

TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?

CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.

GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...

DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...

RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.

PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!

TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).

My IMDb ep summaries

Arthur of the Britons
Star Maidens
The Starlost
Space Rangers
The Sentinel (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Swamp Thing (part: season 3)
Gravedale High
Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Cybertron (part)
Misfits of Science (four eps)
Zoo Gang
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)
The Café

For later:

Missing Earthian ep
Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)


I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the year...

Watching the little birds in the goat-willow in my garden, I realised something more.

I love this land with a fierce, possessive love, deep-rooted in two thousand years of history. From the frosted beaches and cloud-brushing peaks of the north to the wind-haunted meanderings of the rivers of the east, from the sensuous rolling patchworked hills of the south to the demanding dark moors of the west, this land seeps into bone and blood and synapse, mother of motley nobility, culture, individual freedoms. It can be known. It can be understood. It can be felt deep inside.

I love its effortless eccentricities, its vigour and vibrancy, its flawed perfections, its silent strength and tenacious resilience, its hard-won tolerances and intense and variable beauty, the profound energy in its sacred mythical landscape.

Home and more-than-home, the forces that shape and protect and bind, in me, as I am in the land. Love returning love in the stillness for those who'll only take the time to listen...

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

All photographs taken by Joules unless otherwise specified. All photographs © Joules A Taylor or other specified individual.

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

Currently enjoying:
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:
Nestlé, Nonpres Tinyhands Fart, Toadface Farage

Currently maintaining:

Blog Pics
I've gathered some of my pages of photos together: the page of links is here. I'll be adding more as time goes by!

Evil Squid
A Little Glossary of Taylorspeke
(in no particular order)

plit popints - n. Typo for 'plot points' typed on a keyboard with more than half the characters worn off...

[PING] (alt [ping]) - n. A brainwave. The text equivalent of a lightbulb going on blindingly over someone's head. Usually mine. And usually at the most inconvenient of times. [sigh]

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

wulmet - n. A person of little or no talent who somehow inveigles himself into a position where he is in power over other, far more talented people and uses his position to downplay them in order to try to make himself feel superior.

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

Flatterfed - vb. 27.02.08: my typo for flattered, but since it's so cutely apt I thought it would fit nicely here. Lutra defined it as "the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction resulting from enthusiastic reviews..." (which I've been getting for my MB fics).

Composted - vb, 'compos mentis', mentally capable of working. Contrast with uncomposted or non- composted, not 'compos mentis', not capable of working, hungover...

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

Kewp - how Ken says 'thank you'. We rather like Lutra's 'nanx', too...

Musekick - noun, music, without which I cannot work.

'feinne - noun, caffeine, essential for correct mental functioning, especially first thing in the morning. I prefer mine in the form of SodaStream Diet Coke. And on that subject...

Skoosh - verb, noun. To skoosh - to add CO2 to a sodastream bottle filled with water to make it fizzy, prior to adding Diet Coke syrup (or just drinking as sparkling water). A skoosh - a bottle of water that has been skooshed. Skooshy - something that has been skooshed, water, or that whipped cream that comes in tins you have to shake then upend and press the nozzle...

Shoogle - verb. To shake gently, for example, of roast potatoes in a roasting tin to ensure they're covered with oil. I have vague memories of this being a real Scottish colloquialism...

Stegasaurus - n, spider of the genus tegenaria. Why? No idea. I just find it easier, that's all...
Edit 08.09.07: Lutra thinks that Brian is a good name for a mini-stegasaurus. From now on, any 'Brian's in the posts may be assumed to be a tegenaria. Except where otherwise specified.

Viterals - noun, vitamins + minerals. Also a pun on victuals.

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

Parrots - noun, paracetemol (from the old joke "Why are there no aspirin tablets in the jungle? Because the parrots eat 'em all...")

Maggles - noun, magpies. As opposed to non-magical people.

Flamewings - noun. Swifts. So called because the first time we became aware of them was an early summer evening when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We always know summer's arrived when we hear their high-pitched squeeing.

Murfs - noun, moths.

Peasant cut - noun, roughly cut up into big chunks, e.g. vegetables chopped in a hurry for a hearty stew or soup. By extension, anything prepared in a hurry - haircut, material, even a first draft of a story...

Giraffe - noun, a carafe (of wine, coffee or water, for example).

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

Splings - noun, Kai's spelling homework: by extension, any spelling.

Tyops - noun, typos. var toyps, typso, psyto, psoyt, etc. Usual result of a dose of the fingerials (see next entry).

Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want them to.

Haddock - noun, time, of which I never have enough. (Origin of this term here.)

Sleep - noun? vb? a.k.a. sheeeeeeeeep.... I used to know what this word meant...

The Updates Blog

The place to stay notified of WaveWrights' Fiction updates: Zone, Darkside, DarkRealm, Matrix, Vault, Safehouse 13...

my computer gremlin Butch. click the pic to see the larger image

Butch, my computer gremlin. Click the pic for larger version, and read his adventures here...

Butch by the talented 


A gift for me! Butch by the very talented Sylverthorne. Click pic for larger image.



This is MY haddock. It was caught exclusively for me by Talon. No, you can't have any. I need all the haddock I can get!!

A'lestrel by Valkyrie.

A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


Another gorgeous Valkyrie gift for me - Benten the Albino Alsatian! Click thumbnail for larger image.

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



Oekai by Bakayaro Onna - Radittsu at his sexiest...

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....

Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

Useful sites:

Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

   All 3 eps on Video, dubbed
   Dj: Cyberage 1-3
   Illustrated Book 2 (Benten's) in Japanese

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

   English Manga: Vol 1
   Japanese Manga: Vol 1-7 complete
   Tarot Pack
   R.G.Veda video

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

   (Studio Ironcat) Manga Vols 1 -5 (complete)

Yami no Matsuei

   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.

[::..Joules SP fied..::]

... this is Terra? How the hell'd I end up here...?

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
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01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
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01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
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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
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01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
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01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
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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
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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
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01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
01/12/2017 - 31/12/2017
01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
01/02/2018 - 28/02/2018
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
01/04/2018 - 30/04/2018
01/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
01/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
01/03/2019 - 31/03/2019
01/04/2019 - 30/04/2019
01/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019
01/07/2019 - 31/07/2019
01/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019
01/01/2020 - 31/01/2020
01/02/2020 - 29/02/2020
01/03/2020 - 31/03/2020
01/04/2020 - 31/04/2020
01/05/2020 - 31/05/2020
01/06/2020 - 31/06/2020
01/07/2020 - 31/07/2020
01/08/2020 - 31/08/2020
01/09/2020 - 30/09/2020
01/10/2020 - 31/10/2020
01/11/2020 - 30/11/2020
01/12/2020 - 31/12/2020
01/01/2021 - 31/01/2021
01/02/2021 - 28/02/2021
01/03/2021 - 31/03/2021
01/04/2021 - 30/04/2021
01/05/2021 - 31/05/2021
01/06/2021 - 30/06/2021
01/07/2021 - 31/07/2021
01/08/2021 - 31/08/2021
01/09/2021 - 30/09/2021
01/10/2021 - 31/10/2021
01/11/2021 - 30/11/2021
01/12/2021 - 31/12/2021
01/01/2022 - 31/01/2022
01/02/2022 - 28/02/2022
01/03/2022 - 31/03/2022
01/04/2022 - 30/04/2022
01/05/2022 - 30/05/2022
01/06/2022 - 31/06/2022
01/07/2022 - 31/07/2022
01/08/2022 - 31/08/2022
01/09/2022 - 30/09/2022
01/10/2022 - 31/10/2022
01/11/2021 - 31/11/2021
01/12/2022 - 31/12/2022
01/01/2023 - 31/01/2023
01/02/2023 - 28/02/2023
01/03/2023 - 31/03/2023
01/04/2023 - 30/04/2023
01/08/2023 - 31/08/2023
01/11/2023 - 31/11/2023

Thursday, 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.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poorly sprog is poorly and won't be going back to school until Monday.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Greengage blossom

<- 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...

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Monday, March 28, 2011

What Have They Done To The Rain

Always makes me cry.



Sunday, March 27, 2011

Inscrutable cat

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...

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Brandon Hill - yew

"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.view from Brandon 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...

Blaise - the gorge

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Monday, March 21, 2011

new bedding

Sainsbury's bedding set - teal galaxy. Should have been £24.99, on sale for £7.50... I couldn't resist, not at that price.

new bedding - suits Tyjer!

Tyjer approves.

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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'...

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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.

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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 magnolia stellata
creature in its mouth, but dropped it when it saw the man and charged after him instead.

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...

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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...

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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

veg bed

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...!

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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...

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Lutra!!

... sheeeeep...

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!

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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...



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...

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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!



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.

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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Well, my daphne is finally planted, after much debate and reference to various online info. 'Temperamental', 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...

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[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...

Blackbirds (regular)
Blackcap (occasional)
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)
Heron (rarely)
Jays (occasional)
Lesser spotted woodpecker (once, but for a couple of hours!)
Long tailed tits (rarely)
Magpies (occasional)
Redwings (rarely, only when weather particularly bad)
Robins (regular)
Sparrows (regular)
Starlings (new, now regular, unfortunately)
Wood pigeons (regular)
Wren (regular)

I think that's it. That's really not bad for a suburban garden!

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Saturday, March 05, 2011

... sheeeep...



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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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