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][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
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!
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Joules: What you up to?
Multitasking, we haz it...
Friday, July 29, 2011
Read The Veiled Threat. Loved it. Loved it so much I emailed the author to say so...
While I was reading, Kai came down from his room and handed me this ->
It transforms -
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...
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!
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.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
[sigh] Spoke too soon - the lurgy is back, and it's brought a few friends with it...
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...
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.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Looks like (touching wood) I may have shaken off the lurgy - feeling a lot better today.
Went shopping, picked up a Prime...
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.
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.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Well, I found my Bumblebee...
... 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.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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.
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!
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.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
<- Vietnamese mint/coriander and Lemongrass outside the greenhouse. I haven't used either of them yet but they are very pretty!
The first white egret orchid flowers of the year ->
<- and a close up of the flowers. Beautiful.
Developing bell peppers, ->
<- developing chilli peppers,
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...
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...
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...
<- This is The S Express.
And this is 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.
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...
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!
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...
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Photo © Ken Taylor
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...
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...
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.
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...
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
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.)
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 - 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...
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?)
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...
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...)
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...
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!!
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.