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 :: 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.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.











I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!


My IMDb ep summaries

(completed)
Arthur of the Britons
Sky
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
Zodiac
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Starhyke
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
Nightwalker
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Rayearth
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)

For later:

Earthian
Dragonball Z (season 2, part)
(Someone else beat me to it!)
Robotech (s2 ep14 Triumvirate)
BBC Lion, witch and wardrobe
BBC Caspian and Dawn Treader
BBC Silver Chair
Beauty and the Beast (part)
(Missing Excel Saga eps)
(Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)


Silver birch at Eastwood 

Farm

"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)

Autumn...

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:
Muse
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.



Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:
BCHS
BCP


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 

Sylverthorne

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

Joules' 

Haddock

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...



Kood, my new mp3 

player.

Soundwave! (Kood's still moving in...)


Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 

2004

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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 

by 

Onna

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



I now have an Amazon wish list - find it here. But please be warned most of the things on it are yaoi. If you don't like yaoi, or don't know what it is, you probably won't want to take a look.




The Zone Plant from
The Zone 

blog 

plant

OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::HubbleSite
Stunning...
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: MailWasher
Excellent anti-spam software
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: ZSPC Colour Chart
Check how your text and background colours look together before releasing them on the world!
:: 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...
:: Union of Concerned Scientists
Exactly what it says. Fascinating - and worrying...

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...)

[::..Anime/Manga..::]
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

Owned:
   DVD
   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

Owned:
   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

Owned:
   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

Owned:
   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

Owned:
   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust

Owned:
   DVD

   Vampire Hunter D Book 1



New Vampire Miyu

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


Yami no Matsuei

Owned:
   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.
   Sketchbook


[::..Joules SPfied..::]


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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

[::..archive..::]
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
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
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01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
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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
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
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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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Skyping...

Joules: What you up to?
Lutra: [bg] I'm watching stuff. Sort of. And thinking about paying bills. Or something
LOL! All very precise....
[g] I aim for precision in speech, yes.
I'd noticed.
[chuckle] Right, that's the phone bills paid. Time to finalise my annual professional association thingy.
Again with the precision! I am overcome....
[smirk] Bask in the glory, aijin. Bask.
[pissing self laughing] [salutes] Basking, sir....
[smirksmirk]
... though you do understand that's basking as in basking shark, I trust...
Eep! I mean, of course.
[smug smirk]
Woohoo, paid, and that's tax deductable. Well, for next year, but I've got last year's one ready to go for tax this year.
[untangles very precise sentence] Oh... good....
[giggles]

Multitasking, we haz it...

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Read The Veiled Threat. Loved it. Loved it so much I emailed the author to say so...
Cassette Ravage

While I was reading, Kai came down from his room and handed me this ->
I remember buying it years ago - not knowing what it was - as a daft party favour for one of his birthdays.




It transforms -

RavageRavage reverse side

Now, of course, I know it's a knockoff of the original Ravage Transformer, whose alt form was a tape cassette and who was Soundwave's symbiote (and the original version of that wonderful cyclopean cat I so admired in the second film).

Synchronicity - don't you just love it?

But on the subject of Ravage - DO WANT!!

And five minutes later, have bought. Counts as a business expense - can never have enough pen drives...

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

So, Deathly Hallows pt 2...

Most enjoyable, much better than pt 1. And I was so pleased about the dragon. Lutra's right though, the film really didn't need the 3D, and it was annoying in places where the action was too fast.

I didn't notice the nod to fanon though - not surprising since it's been a while since I read the book and really can't remember most of it. Perhaps you can let me know, Lutra.

K&K worked on the side gate this evening: it's much improved (don't have to lift it to get it open now) but it really needs new screws and rawl plugs. Proper Job didn't have them. Hopefully the DIY place up Sandy Park Rd will.

Thanks for the symps and good wishes, Sue and GoodTwin!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011




White egret orchids. So beautiful.


This is fantastic news! (Apparently there are some in Exeter too - the other city in which I spent more than a couple of years...)

Still fighting lurgy but feeling a little less rough today, and have managed to get a lot of household/clearing up type stuff done. Hoping to get to Deathly Hallows pt 2 tomorrow: cough has receded and I shouldn't annoy the rest of the audience.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

[sigh] Spoke too soon - the lurgy is back, and it's brought a few friends with it...

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Client stuff. This evening Deathly Hallows pt 1 on Filmflex, as we're planning to go see pt 2 this week. It was as meandering and disjointed as I remember...

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's ridiculous how busy Sundays always are - even when Kai's on holiday. Blink and they're gone. Still, got a fair bit done in garden and house and for clients, so that's all good.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Prime


Looks like (touching wood) I may have shaken off the lurgy - feeling a lot better today.

Went shopping, picked up a Prime...



Greengages



Greengages ->









Watched my latest Lovefilm tonight - In the Name of the King. Not as bad as the IMDb makes out: certainly superior to a lot of the other sword 'n' sorcery I've seen, though that isn't saying much as it's not my favourite genre.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Well, I was supposed to be going to Frome with Kai today, but I ended yesterday with a raging sore throat and a distinct 'going down with the lurgy' feeling, which had intensified by this morning. So Ken went with him instead. I stayed in bed (dosed up to the eyeballs with First Defence and cold and flu remedy) with Tyjer asleep beside me, and read Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday (yes, the whole thing). Which I thoroughly enjoyed - it would make a terrific prequel film! Then again, it's Alan Dean Foster, one of the best film novelisators around. Really wish he'd been commissioned to do the Dark of the Moon novelisation.

Got up around 1.30 pm, and spent the afternoon curled up on the settee under the wolf (again with Tyjer asleep beside me - he's such a comforting cat when mum is feeling poorly) and watched both the Transformer films. Sheer self-indulgence, but I do feel better for doing absolutely nothing today.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Well, I found my Bumblebee...

Bee packagingBee
BeeBee
BeeBee

... It took me 15 minutes to transform him... Wouldn't be much cop in a fight!

Special offer - 1/3 off at Sainsbugs. Very nicely made indeed. (The instructions to transform back into a car are on the other side of the piece of paper.)

... They do a matching Sideswipe...

They also carry a very nice Prime, rather more expensive but beautifully detailed, and in correct proportion to Bee, as far as I can tell (Bee being around 16 foot tall, Prime around 35 foot). Without the flight-tech trailer, but that's OK. Will check again when I shop at the weekend.

Rest of the day spent trying to get the APAG minutes into a reasonable format ready to go out tonight, after Torchwood. Which last week was one of the scariest dramas I've ever seen. Though I still haven't forgiven Davies for Children of Earth.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

... zooooooom...

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another relatively boring day, shopping, client sites and emails.

I finished Dark of the Moon: interesting, but the author was obviously working from an earlier script, there were elements missing I'd been expecting. On the plus side, there were some extra parts that would have been great in the film. The ending, though, was completely different (and would, I think, possibly have made a better ending to the film. Maybe. I'm undecided). Anyway, not bad.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

All client stuff today, and a BCP meeting tonight.

Did I mention I've ordered the Transformers film novelisations? Probably not. Well, three of them were just £0.01 (plus £2.80 p&p) each so I thought, why the hell not... The fourth one was only a couple of quid too. (Yes, I know there have only been three films, but there's a prequel novel, Ghosts of Yesterday, that looks quite fun.) Anyway, the novelisation of Dark of the Moon arrived today, and I'm debating whether to read it now or wait for the others and read them in order... Oh decisions!

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Up early and off to Paintworks to the latest LoveFood Festival (actually looking for Yule presents for the grandfolks, which was successful. Kai and I are going down to visit next month and I want to take all the pressies with me).

Then to Arno's Vale Cemetery to have a look in their gift shop. Yes, really. The cemetery has a gift shop. And a café. I was... bemused when I first heard...

Lastly into Sainsbug's on the way back, which was a bit of a loss as they'd had some kind of catastrophic power failure overnight and all of the chiller cabinets - and the deli, which was why I went there - were cordoned off. (It was heartbreaking - they were having to ditch thousands of pounds worth of meat, fish, cheese, milks, desserts... I hate waste, but I can see the health risk.)

And somewhere along the way I managed to wrench my shoulder. Shooting pain down my arm and up my neck whenever I moved it - bloody nuisance it was. Took 'prufen and enforced rest on the sofa for the afternoon (with Transformers 2). Bit better now but with the torn rotator cuff it's never going to completely go away unless I can keep it immobilised until it heals. Yeah, right, like that'll ever happen...

Hoping the baby blackbird will be off the ground tomorrow - Tyjer is growing very pissed off with being kept indoors. At least the weather's been wet and windy rather than the sun he prefers.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Vietnamese mint and lemongrass

Garden catchup!

<- Vietnamese mint/coriander and Lemongrass outside the greenhouse. I haven't used either of them yet but they are very pretty!


White egret orchids









The first white egret orchid flowers of the year ->



egret orchid flowers




<- and a close up of the flowers. Beautiful.




Bell peppers












Developing bell peppers, ->





chilli peppers







<- developing chilli peppers,





strawberry bed






and the top of the garden, with veg bed and new strawberry bed (sorry about the collapsed airer, I normally put it away when it's not being used but it's been a little hectic just recently and I didn't get around to it...)

Hedgehog is still happily eating his food every night, and today we had a beautiful brilliant greenfinch at the top feeder. Ai lubs mai gardin...

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Friday, July 15, 2011

[sigh] I really must read official emails properly. I thought the Neighbourhood Partnerships Pride of Place Awards was tonight. Arranged to go with Jules (honorary APAG member who works for the Parks Dept and lives a short distance away): when we got to the M Shed there was no-one else around, so I rang Ken to check the email - only to find that it's actually on the 27th, the 15th was the last date to let the organisers know who was attending...

...ooops...

So, never ones to waste time, we dived into the Arnolfini's restaurant for a coffee and turned it into an impromptu meeting, discussing APAG issues (since Jules can't make the meeting next week) and a possible new website commission. Actually all quite useful.

Bristol has been invaded by colourful gorillas - I saw two of them while down at Harbourside...

The S Express

<- This is The S Express.


And this is Priscilla -> Priscilla

Apparently there's one in Sandy Park Rd as well - must go and take a look.

Not quite as much fun as the Bath pigs though.

... I am a little concerned - one of the deeper of the scratches on my leg is red and inflamed. May be infected: will have to keep an eye on it.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The day started out with Tyjer catching a wee baby blackbird - tiny little thing, still had little fluffy bits above its eyes. Parents must only just have shoved it out the nest: it was certainly too young to be able to fly. We rescued it, but it meant that Ty had to stay in all day. Which did his temper no good at all. Not to mention that it required me to keep the patio doors closed all day - and it was HOT here today...

Just hoping that the silly bird goes and hides somewhere kit can't reach, or he'll be in all day tomorrow as well (although the weather is supposed to be not so good. so not such a pain).

K&K went to Gloucester by train, Ken to check out the records office, Kai for the ride and to go exploring a town he'd never visited before. (I stayed here, got three loads of washing done and dried, finished my client site updates, racked wine and did a little housework. Boring but necessary.) They both enjoyed the trip.

In the garden: now cropping and eating the dwarf French beans - very nice! However, I think I shall give up trying to grow any other brassicas than Brussels sprouts: they just don't grow for me, and they do take up an awful lot of room.

In the greenhouse: very poor results from cucumbers and tomatoes so far this year, although it looks like the peppers may be quite productive. Oh, and my first white egret orchid flower has now opened - must try to take photo.

Shopping tomorrow, oh joy...

For anyone that hasn't yet heard of it, try HISHE (How It Should Have Ended). Had Kai and I in stitches - check out the Lord of the Rings one. Also Star Trek. And Predator...

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Well, an update later than planned, but it seems it have been another busy day.

Kai and I went to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Again. For a second time. In less than a week and a half. Ye gods, such extravagance has not been seen since I saw CE3K twice in one week when it first came out!

But I had to. I couldn't wait until wheneverthehellit'llbe for the director's cut to be released. And on a Tuesday I can use my Insider membership card - and we signed Kai up for his own as well, which knocked £2.50 each off the price, not a whole lot but it doesn't 'alf mount up over the year!

So - a second viewing... We are both in awe of the sheer elegance of the autobot designs (and decepticons: those absolutely gorgeous iridescent floating troop carriers are something completely other), and the extraordinarily graceful way they move. Much of the reason for seeing it again so soon was that so bloody much is going on in the film that you simply can't focus on even half of it on a single viewing. Not even with two viewings: it's going to require several watch-and-pause sessions of the DVD to take it all in.

Do have to admit that on a second, less gob-smacked viewing the logic bending and breaking of the laws of physics is more noticeable, but you know what? I don't care. It's gorgeous to watch, the music is wonderful, and the overall scope is awe-inspiring. It's pure sf fantasy and I love it to bits.

I really can't justify seeing it for a third time at the cinema, though, so will now just have to wait...

I have, however, treated myself to an amazon.uk mp3 d/l of the main autobots theme from the first film, which Kai says he'll edit slightly for me tomorrow (he has the software...) for a new ringtone for my mobile.

On the way back from the cinema we dived into Currys and then Comet to check out some prices. Spur of the moment, but useful. There's a very nice 47inch LG passive 3D LED TV on special offer at the moment, £1,299 instead of £1,799. Beautiful crisp clear 3D, and the set comes with seven pairs of glasses. The assistant said we'd need a 3D/blu-ray DVD player (which plays ordinary DVDs as well - not sure it would cope with mp3s too but we'd hope so! I also forgot to ask about making it multi-region compatible, absolutely essential for us): Sony do one for £349. Not that we can afford anything like those prices at present, but at some point we will need to replace and upgrade, and I see no point in not going for the best and most up to date we can. Bugger it, we don't run a car, take much in the way of holidays or indulge in meals out or pay ludicrous prices for clothes, but we love our visual media. (And tech. I really want a tablet. I could get an iPad for £399 as a business expense but I'm not convinced it has the software I want/need, much as I like the wee beastlie... Need to check further.)

We'd agreed a while back that this summer would be a good time for Kai to see some of the 18 rated films we've had on the top shelf and some of the anime I have, and we thought it might be nice to start with the anime. Accordingly, this evening we watched the first seven episodes of Wolf's Rain. It's been a long long time since I last watched it, and I really had forgotten how beautiful the animation and music is, and how surreally intriguing the story. I never did manage to watch the last film: expecting to be able to rectify that this summer!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Into town for stuff. By happy coincidence I found the DVD boxed version first series of the original Transformers in the Tenovus charity shop, so of course I picked it up. Kai and I watched the first disc when I finally got home: great fun, and the voice actor for Optimus Prime is the same in both the original cartoons and the films, which adds important continuity. Not to mention he has the most gorgeous voice...

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Collared doves


[sigh] So much for the hangy swingy feeder deterring the larger birds...







Photo © Ken Taylor

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

[grump] I was getting ready to close down last night (well, at 4.30 am this morning, actually) when Tyjer started hissing and tail-lashing at the patio doors. When I looked out, basement cat was sniffing around the rockery.

I made the mistake of tapping on the glass to scare it away - at which Tyjer attacked my leg...

The gouges are still weeping, despite an application of honey. I couldn't staunch the blood sufficiently last night to get to bed (not with new, white bedding!) and tonight may be problematic too. Dammit, I thought he was over that reaction. (At least he's been very apologetic today.)

Eh well. It's my right leg, and that one is already thoroughly scarred from when I got sunburn (literal sunburn, my lower leg was covered in blisters and now looks as though I've been in a fire) so a few more won't matter...

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Client site stuff, finishing off our bedroom, and blanching and freezing the most recent batch of mange tout in the morning - then I took the afternoon off, sprawled on the settee and watched Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. (Yes, I know it's bad. I'm just in a Transformers mood at the moment, and the third film won't be released to DVD until much later in the year.)

Very relaxing, and my legs are thanking me...

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Shopping, more book revision, client site updates, bottling generic red wine for cooking. Doesn't sound like much but it took all day...

Edit: and we watched my latest Lovefilm rental, the classic The Incredible Shrinking Man. Terrific film.

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Rain. And more rain. But it saves me watering and all the butts are now full again (and hopefully the pools...)

All day spent helping with revisions for the book, then this evening I had an Area Green Spaces group meeting. Useful, and I seem to have defaulted on to the environmental sub-committee. Maybe. I think. I'm never quite clear how these things work. Still, it's a good thing to be involved with. Though where I'm going to find the time is anyone's guess

Tasted the first 'Flamingo' cucumber from the greenhouse today - it's great! Smooth skinned, sweet and wonderfully cool. Shall stick with them in future, I think. Hopefully next year will be a better one for cucumbers. And tomatoes, come to that, I don't think I'm going to get enough from this year's harvest to be able to freeze much for the winter...

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

bedroom feature wall done


Actually managed a decent night's sleep last night - about seven hours. So got up early and made the backrests for the bed. I think it all looks very nice.

And I think we prefer it like this, cool and uncluttered (I'm working on uncluttering the house, bit by bit). So I won't be putting the orchid lights back up - in the bedroom, anyway. I've started stitching the ribbon around the cable, and will put them somewhere else instead (still thinking where). The clip-on lights we were using before will do for now, until I can find something better. Oh, and the deep green velvety valance looks OK with the new colours, which is a relief as I was not looking forward to sewing a new one.

Kai and I went to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D at lunchtime...

After the horrible, embarrassingly bad second film I certainly wasn't looking forward to it. But in fact, I was pleasantly startled - it's rather good. Well, for a summer blockbuster. And for a Michael Bay directed film. LaBeouf is less annoying than in the previous two (although, of course, he's older now and hopefully a little more mature), and Turturro much less annoying, thank the gods. That nausea-inducing dragonfly camera-work is much toned down (to enable smoother 3D I assume) and the action is slower, making it easier to appreciate the beauty of the designs, while the action scenes were used a little more judiciously. The CGI was, as ever, a joy. There was a little more character development - OK, 'development' might be overstressing it, but I actually began to care for the characters, which the previous two films have failed to make me do - a slightly more logical plot, and [gasp!] it wasn't predictable! It surprised me!

It was a more intelligent film that I'd expected, and certainly more than the first two. It's most unusual to find that the third film in a sequence is better than the films preceding it! I really enjoyed it. Interestingly, Kai said it nearly sent him to sleep in the first half (before the action really began), and he had trouble following the story, which was perhaps a little far-fetched... wait, what am I saying? This film is about gigantic living machines that transform from vehicles to roughly humanoid... creatures... What about it isn't far-fetched?

Perhaps he was expecting something more like the second film, but I think when he sees it again - because of course we'll buy it when we can, hopefully in a director's cut - it'll make more sense.

The only disappointment was the new female lead, who had no chemistry with LaBeouf. (She also had weirdly ugly lips, though that has nothing to do with her not-exactly-stellar acting skills. It was just off-putting.)

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Monday, July 04, 2011

Busy. But bedroom wall is now done and strawberry bed dug and planted with a dozen new runners. Photo later...

old      new

Old - green: new - teal. Will look better when it's all finished.
Also when the downie is on the bed: Tyjer thought he looked good on this colour and wouldn't move...


Drag queen dalek




Alas, the sparkly mirrored soap dispenser in the bathroom - the one Lutra said looked like a drag queen dalek - started leaking around the bottom, so had to be retired (the new steel-effect one looks like a dalek sergeant major...) However, nothing gets wasted 'round 'ere - it makes a very pretty vase for my silk dendrobiums (dendrobiae?)














baby starling and robin at shiny hanging feeder


Baby starling and moulting robin at the new hanging feeder. (Photo © Ken.)

Kai and I now both knackered. It may have been just as well my lift to the BCP AGM broke down outside of Bristol at very short notice, so I wasn't able to go: I'd probably have fallen asleep...

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

That was reasonably successful. Got the shopping done early: in the afternoon I made a start on the fence with the new sprayer, which works amazingly - fast, easy to use and very light (but unfortunately an absolute sod to clean. Next time will finish the job in one go...). First three and a half panels finished (where the new pea bed is going): will need to weed and trim before I can do the rest. Hopefully over the next few weeks.

We then found that the large compost bin is full - but luckily the contents of small one had turned into beautiful rich compost over the last year. To take advantage of it (and clear the bin) K&K started marking out and digging the new (strawberry) bed for me: Kai will see if he can finish it tomorrow, then I can rake over the new compost and move the strawberry runners from the main veg bed to get settled. After I've painted the bedroom wall, that is: supposed to be hot tomorrow, so the paint will dry nice and quickly. I've bought silver cord and teal silky-covered cushions for backrests, and five metres of dark teal wide silk ribbon to wrap the orchid lights cable (finally! Meant to get that job done two years ago!) So a lot to do, but it'll look good when it's completed.

I've just finished reading E R Eddison's The Mezentian Gate. I've had his books in the classic bookcase for years now, and thought it was time to read them. Though it can be a bit of a trial. He writes in the Jacobean style - think extreme!Shakespeare. I have been accused of veering very close to the magenta in some of my fiction, but Eddison goes waaaay past purple to the far ultra violet. [beg] I shall quote at length (heh, it's good touch-typing practise...)

The musicians tuned their instruments, preluded and, when the murmur of talk was stilled and the guests rising in their places turned all to face westward towards the doors, struck up a cavatina of old Mezria. A lovely, houseless, land-remembering air was this: rising, falling, returning on itself as loth to depart: even just as a linnet's child, perched with its mother on a fence, quivers its wings to be fed, then leaps fluttering over her head to perch at her other side and in quivering eagerness creeps near to her again, and so and again continually. And ever as that air hovered to full close, always it by some exquisite involution refused and rose circling again, as if end were but foil or frame to some never-ending being and unfolding, of which even the beginning was impregnate with a prophetic sadness of farewells, and the expected end held ever, and at every approach and putting-off, the more of earth-deep promise in it of renewal and spring to be. This music, bodied forth on the plangorous caressful singing of the viols, smoothed the very sense of Anthea's and Campaspe's nymphish ears, as they stood listening near the head of that high table under the window close below the dais, with echoes and overtones of a more diviner music: of my Lady Fiorinda's remembered voice, Olympian, all-beguiling, beyond all passion appassionate, yet immaculate, yet fancy-free. And beneath the ever-changing flow and wonder of the melody, plucked notes throbbed, of bass viol and theorbo, in an unchanging rhythm: deep under-march of eternity. (The Mezentian Gate, pp241-242)

Extraordinary euphonic English. Puts me in mind of Howard Payne's "In two hundred years we've gone from "I regret I have but one life to give for my country" to "Fuck you!"

Better have a go at these business cards for tomorrow while I'm sufficiently composted to do a reasonable job...

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Saturday, July 02, 2011

[Later edit: Ken was trying for an early night, but was still awake at twenty past midnight, saying the noise from outside is keeping him awake - and it is loud. At first I thought it might be a concert over at Ashton Gate, but then I remembered that of course, it's the St Paul's Carnival tonight, several miles away from us. I don't remember it ever being quite this loud: last year the noise of people going home afterwards was quite disturbing, what with the drums and whistles and singing. Looks like it may be louder this year!]

[grump] Ever have one of those days where no matter what you decide to do, it'll be the wrong choice?

Kai fancied going to Wells again, and since the weather inland was forecast to be warm but slightly cloudy with sunny spells (comfortable walking weather), and since we thought, last time we were there, that a walk through the deerpark would be fun, today seemed like a good time to do it. There's a bus to Wells at 10 past and 20 to the hour, every hour: if we left the house just before midday, we could get the 12.09 X39 to the bus station and get the 20 to 1 Wells bus.

Except the 12.09 X39 bus never arrived. Neither did the 178 Radstock bus (which would have done us). The 12.24 arrived at 12.27, and would have got us there just in time to catch the 12.20 - except that there were a couple of women faffing about with those big babybuggies, delaying the bus, and we pulled into the bus station as the Wells bus pulled out.

So - to plan B. "The Clevedon bus is here - let's go there instead." says Kai.

I considered staying at Clevedon for an hour then getting the bus to Weston for an hour then back to Bristol via Congresbury and Cadbury Garden Centre, but we wouldn't have had enough time. Maybe next time.

The forecast for the coast was for a lot of hot sun... I also wasn't prepared for the climb up over the fort, but we managed. I settled to read (The Cloud Book - how to read the skies: beautiful and fascinating) while Kai went off rock scrambling. And caught the sun on the back of his neck again. And I didn't have any sun lotion with me because we weren't supposed to be there. [sigh] I should just grab my rucksack - which is fully stocked with everything we need for a day out - every time we leave the house regardless of where we plan to go...

Of course, we just missed the bus we'd planned to catch. Then I realised I had to pick up a bit of shopping, and debated getting the X25 (the Clevedon - Weston bus), getting off at the Clevedon Tesco, then getting the next Bristol bus back (that would have given us twenty minutes in the store - plenty of time to get what I needed).

It never turned up.

[headdesk] So we ended up just coming back to Bristol and dropping into Sainsbury's before heading home. And even then we had to fineagle our way past the three big babybuggies on the X39...

Heh. We ended up eating at eight, rather later than usual. Kai is now watching Total Recall (He's never seen it before as it's an 18, but he's more than mature enough now.)

Tomorrow - well, I don't know what to do. The forecast is for dry weather for the next two days then some much needed rain, so tomorrow would be a good day to start painting the fence so I can get the new veg bed prepared. But I also want to get our bedroom feature wall repainted and the new headboard/cushions sorted. I also need to shop, and I still haven't devised the 'Our Neighbourhood' info cards for the BCP - and there's a BCP Neighbourhood Partnerships meeting on Monday evening I should go to (at which it would be politic to display the cards). TARDIS... clones... immortality... 60-hour day... 'elp!!

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Knackered again. Think I must be run down...

Mostly garden today. Kai started clearing the grass away from the slabs down the side of the greenhouse - I want to put my mint plants there. I then had the idea of taking up all the grass and moving some of the lawn chamomile (it's not very happy in the square, it's really too dry and sandy for it to thrive well). Done by 7 pm and the chamomile is looking happier already, fingers crossed.

Mum brought back a cycas revoluta seed from her Tenerife holiday for me: going to give it a go. The thought of growing something over 200 million years old is very appealing.

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