Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

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

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::

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

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

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

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

Adventures in Orchids

Apparently I am now collecting them...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My IMDb ep summaries

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

For later:

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

Silver birch at Eastwood 


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

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

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

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

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

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

Currently maintaining:

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

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

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

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

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

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

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

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

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

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

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

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

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

Murfs - noun, moths.

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

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

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

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

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

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

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

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

The Updates Blog

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

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

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

Butch by the talented 


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



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

A'lestrel by Valkyrie.

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

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



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

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



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

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

I'll leave that to others to decide.

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

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

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

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

Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

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

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

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

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

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

Yami no Matsuei

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

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

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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
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09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
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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
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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
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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
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01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
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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
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01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
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01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
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01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
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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
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01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
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01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
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01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
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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, May 31, 2012

So off we went to find the Brackenwood Garden Centre (at Leigh Woods, right on the edge of Briz). Another instant favourite - whackin' great place with plants I'd never seen before and the most extraordinary selection of acers, including a very beautiful pink and white one... I picked up a red berberis from the bargain section (£2) and treated myself to a bearded iris, Sultan's Palace, which is a beautiful mix of bronzes and yellows. A bit of a treat at seven quid but I do really like them, and finally feel competent enough to try growing them.

We drove over to Portishead afterwards, for a cup of coffee at the marina for a few minutes - but the wind picked up and it was quite cold by the time we headed back. Wish the bloody weather would make up its mind. And throw us some rain.

And I finally got the Jubilee review done. NOW I can get back to Poppy!

Edit: This... just... wow... Wish I could be here to see it...

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Well, I suppose midnight counts as an early night, and 8.57 as a lie in given the hours I've been keeping just recently...

It feels like a Saturday, which is mildly disorientating. Last Saturday Ken and I went to St Luke's Players (amdram) performance of Jubilee!, a celebration of 60 years of Liz. It was wonderful, gloriously funny and very cleverly written (by Jonathan Rowe) and I'm writing the review for it (in exchange for the free tickets), but it's taking me ages. So damned tired. Must have it up and posted by tomorrow evening, no matter what.

Small shop this afternoon, and a little garden work. Evening watering from the tap is now a necessity: both water butts are empty. [does a rain dance] Rain, pleaseprettyplease... Legs are aching from the garden stuff, though that's not surprising as I've got into the very sensible habit of pulling up just a few weeds whenever I'm out there. Much easier than spending hours in a dedicated effort, and works pretty well. (Forgot to say - the Roundup gel stick is £8.99! Sod that for a game of soldiers. I'm spraying the liquid stuff into a bowl and stroking it onto the grass and weeds I want gone between my fingers. Probably not the best idea but it seems to work...)

Still tired. Trying for another early night, but can't have a lie in: getting plants delivered for the Community Garden between 9 and 9.30, then Kim is picking me up for the jaunt to the new garden centre...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

[bleary] Up at 6.30, saw Kai off, watched three eps of TfP, got a little client stuff done, then planted pak choi, pumpkins, cauliflowers and mange tout, and got a dozen dwarf French beans on the go. Then more client stuff, then Touch and the penultimate ep of Alcatraz. Absolutely shattered now, going to have a v&c, some breaded mushrooms and garlic mayonnaise, and grab an early night. More client stuff tomorrow before I can get back to Poppy...

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Monday, May 28, 2012


I haz a ST-3V3!!

Well, actually, I have one on order, and I can't have it til Yule. And since the sellers selling it at a price I could afford won't deliver outside the US, I've had to give Onna's address for her to post onto me [GLOMPS ONNA] with my thanks. [g] But I have one on its way. I'd post a bouncy rhino but I think the four photos are enough for one post...

This is the pyracanthus up at the top of the garden - quite a splendid sight we think!

At the moment it is full of rose chafers. I really like these beetles, they're incredibly pretty (if noisy) and they remind me of itty bitty diddy versions of the insecticons in Transformers: Prime. Sound pretty similar too!

Rose chafer

[grins] In last week's ep, Toxicity, Agent Fowler is in a familiar state (half conscious on a stretcher, having once again come off worst in a confrontation with the Cons) and on hearing his name calls out fuzzily - "I can haz cheeseburger!". Made me chuckle.
and again

bonking chafers

<- Cetonia aurata bonking...

Kai's last two exams tomorrow (I got the dates wrong), then he's off for a week and a half. We hope to go and see Prometheus on our Insider cards next Tuesday, and it seems that Wells is celebrating the Jubilee with sixty swans painted by local artists (like Bristol's Gorillas, Exeter's Sheep and Weston-super-Mare's Donkeys). We'll see about busing over to Wells to take a look!

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Blogger Lutra said...

Pretty beetles!

12:53 pm  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

early morning garden

I put another two coats of wood preserver on the bench yesterday, and sat there with my coffee this morning. This is the view from the bench...

I love my garden.

The usual busy Sunday - Tesco and Sainsbug shopping (Ken came along to help carry today), a little garden work and a lot of watering (our forecast rain never arrived, which is a problem: my water butts are already both half empty. Fingers crossed Wednesday's rain does actually materialise...) Remember I said on Tuesday I'd planted my sweetcorn seeds? By Thursday ten of them were peeping out, by Friday it was twenty-seven, and today...


Everything seems to be trying to make up for lost time. I have my first Black Russian tomatoes developing too.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

That's all looking good. My mum has emptied her water butt as well; she has some new climbing roses to keep wet!

10:42 pm  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Twentieth and final part of Renewal - Liberate - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above)


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Friday, May 25, 2012

Gah. Up at 6.15 this morning, out into garden on today's gastropod genocide mission. Over the last three mornings I've slaughtered hundreds of the damn things, slugs and snails both. I am not giving in! They shall not ravage my veg bed! They shall not pass!!

[Ahem] Sorry. Tired. Need 'fienne...

[One large mug of coffee and a Twix later...] A bit better. Where was I? Oh yes...

Took advantage of the early morning and the ridiculous heat to wash the grubby sofa cushion covers (and Kai's armrest cover) - badly needed. The wolf needs washing too, but will have to do that in the bath (not risking the washing machine, last thing I need is the filter clogged up with fake fur!)
new iris bog

Then I dragged Ken out into the garden to dig the new bog-garden for the irises by Roeg's Pool...

A little close together but it was the biggest container we have at the moment. They'll need dividing in a couple of years anyway, so we'll improve on the accommodation then. I now need to find something else - low growing and spreading - to fill up the empty space. Will have a think...

My next job is to pick up one of the new Roundup weedkiller sticks. There's grass all through the rockery and it's encroaching on the meadow: I can't use the spray as it's all mixed in with the plants we want to keep (and by the same token it's impossible to dig out without damaging said plants). It'll take ages, but be worth it in the end (much as I hate using the stuff. Sometimes you just have no choice. It won't be used up in the veg bed!)

Kai's half term starts on the 2nd of June - only, as he told me last evening, once his Monday exams are done he has the rest of the week off, as they don't have to go in for the subjects they've just taken exams in. [sigh] Thanks for the advance notice. Now have to recalculate lunches for next week... So far he's fairly happy with the way they've gone, and he's generally pretty good at judging how well he's done. Still keeping fingers crossed though.

Most of the morning taken up by client stuff, once the washing and gardening was done. Finished now though, and heading back to Poppy. Should be able to post the next part later tonight: this will be the last chapter in Renewal. (The next part is New World, though I may not start it until after Kai's holiday.)

And tomorrow I shall have a lie in! (Assuming I don't automatically wake up at - as Lutra would put it - sparrow's fart...)


Oh, yeah, and this is the torture instrument I'm wearing for the next couple of months. The dent in the front wire is where it's forcing the misaligned tooth back into line.

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Blogger Lutra said...

Whoa! That thing wot goes in your mouth looks positively medieval!

'They shall not pass...!, eh? At least the wizard staff would be good for smiting.

1:47 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

It feels mediaeval too. You can see why I'm lithping. But it's not that bad now I'm used to it. Actually, it's more painful with the out than when I'm wearing it (which does suggest that the tooth is moving where it's supposed to be...)

A slug-smiting staff. If only. I only have slug-smiting scissors and it makes my back ache.

1:50 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

Instrument of torture, indeed...

11:04 pm  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Terrific morning. Kim drove us to a new (to us) garden centre out at Tickenham - Golden Acres. Great place, and very reasonable prices: I picked up two cerinthes (lovely plants and very attractive to bees, but only annuals, so I'm going to hope it will self seed), and four irises, including a little variety with the charming name of Flight of Butterflies. Ken has extended the magnolia bed (behind the greenhouse) for me and I've planted the cerinthe and the dry-tolerant iris there, along with my purple sage moved from Roeg's Pool to make space for another bog section for the other irises, which we hope to construct tomorrow. (Photos when it's done!)

On the way back we stopped at Kim's to drop off her purchases and I took a peek at her garden (haven't seen it for a while). It's amazing! It's much smaller than mine, and she's turned it onto the loveliest Mediterranean courtyard garden with loads of gorgeous shrubs in massive pots. I forgot to take a photo, but we're off again next week to check out another new garden centre so I'll try to get one on the way back.

Absolutely knackered now though - no choice but for an early night. At least it's Friday tomorrow and my last early rising until Monday...

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

So, up at 6.45 again, saw Kai off, tended garden and greenhouse, bused into town, did Broadmead, Wild Oats and Better Foods, arrived back at 2 pm (long day with queues everywhere I needed to be) knackered, did a little more gardening, made dinner, made Kai's lunch, indulged in an hour's Chelsea Flower Show, then ep 2 of new Town Called Eureka. Tired now. Planning early night - off to a new garden centre with Kim tomorrow am (have fallen in love with some of the irises in the flower show and want to price them up, see if we could grow them...)

Well into second page of nextPoppy but it's so busy right now I don't have time to focus, and since it's a fairly important (and tricky) part I do need to concentrate. Maybe tomorrow (or more likely Friday).

Oh, and is off. I contacted the current webmaster to organise the exchange yesterday evening, and this morning got an email from the domain owner saying said current webmaster had got back to them offering to maintain the site for free. I'm wondering if my saying that I'd have to change the text as it wasn't DDA-compliant - and pointing out that with no index.html in their images directory they're wide open to hacking - might have caused the offer (along with my TOS on the JAT site). Not that I'm particularly bothered - it's a charity I believe in anyway - but the lack of professionalism annoys me, especially when they were, apparently, charging £60 per hour (the entire site being created with Dreamweaver. Does no-one code up the old school way any more? Heh, just me then...)

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Blogger Lutra said...

You know, I think you could just possibly be one of the diehards that code by hand :)

12:26 pm  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Suddenly, summer. Got back from early shopping and had to change into vest-top and shorts (and clip hair onto the top of my head) to cope with the heat!

Still, I have more beetroot, leeks, radishes and spring onions on the go, and have started my sweetcorn in the greenhouse. Tied the tomato plants to supports as well, as they're shooting up apace.

The Olympic Torch arrived in Briz today, accompanied by an extremely loud - as in we could hear it clearly from miles away - evening show at the Harbourside. It seems to have finished now, though, which is just as well as Kai has a Psychology A Level tomorrow and needs his sleep.

One page into nextPoppy now, but planning an early night, as I need to get into town tomorrow morning. This week is another busy one...

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Yay, first day of summer! Suddenly, sunshine...

Busy day. Up at 6.45, saw Kai off to school. Much client stuff was done. Got Swiss chard, more mange tout and two courgette plants into the ground, and some more carrots planted. Brace is getting easier to use (actually teeth hurt more without it than with it, which takes some getting used to). And Chelsea is wonderful!

Also started next Poppy...

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sneak peek at the Chelsea Flower Show this afternoon! Something to enjoy all this week.

Special Unit 2 is airing on CBS Action. Ken and I watched it when it was Sci Fi Channel way back when and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now Kai is watching it as well (and I'm recording it) and it hasn't dated at all, it's still as funny and sharp as it was back in 2002. Great fun!

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

So h'oft we jolly well went to see Avengers Assemble...

It's great for what it is, an all-action superhero film. Some lovely comic banter, very nice depictions of everyone, great cgi, definitely one to pick up for the collection when the price comes down.



Nineteenth part of Renewal - Disclosure - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!

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Friday, May 18, 2012

So there I was at 12.15, checking emails and blogs and Skyping with Lutra, when the phone goes. Expecting it to be yet another bloody 'missold PPI' cold-caller I answered coldly...

It was my consultant at the dental hospital, ringing to ask if I could make it for a 2 pm appointment! So of course I said yes, grabbed a quick lunch and just managed to get there (after missing two buses and arriving very hot and bothered at 1.59 pm...)

I now have a brace. It's deceptively simple and feels... weird. It's basically a plate - admittedly a very comfortable plate, silky smooth and nice to the tongue - that sits against my palate and supports two clips that fit over my back molars to hold it in place, and a strong wire 'spring' that fits over my front teeth and will push the misaligned tooth back into place over the next couple of months. (I hope it's only a couple of months: he seems to think it will realign quite quickly, though I still may have to have a section shaved off the side to make it fit.) I have two more appointments, one in three weeks and the other three weeks after that, to tighten the spring, then they'll either fit a small device behind the teeth to hold it in place, or make me a retainer like Kai still uses to keep his teeth aligned. I think I'd prefer the former.

I have to take it out to eat - which means I won't be snacking much over the next six weeks, as it's a bugger to finagle in and out. Though that's actually a good thing, really. And it hurts, but since I've been in pain of one sort or another my whole life that's not really a significant consideration. It should ease as the tooth moves back.

But the motht amuthing athpect of the whole affair ith that I now have a very pronounthed lithp. Yeth, I now thound like 'Thpin (of The Poppy Taleth, for anyone who ithn't reading them). [thigh]

Eh well. 'Tith finite...

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

ROFL! I might have to phone you to hear the lisp. I won't try and sell you PPI :)

7:21 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

[g] Would you believe that's what I thought on the way home?

I plan to avoid talking on the phone as best I can. The 'spring' bit is quite painful against the inside of my lip and I'd prefer it not to rub as far as I can manage it...

7:38 pm  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

... ye gods, I've finished everything I set out to do today and only have three emails left in my inbox!

Then again, my day did start at 6.45 am (making coffee and a bagel for Kai as a trial run for his exam mornings - tomorrow and three days next week - as I don't think starting an A Level half asleep is a good idea). After he'd gone I watched an ep of TfA, then got a Sainsbug shop done, watched another ep of TfA when I got back, then dived into the client stuff at 9.15. It's taken all day, but it's now done: I can send the minutes out tomorrow.

Poppy tonight, then!

(Assuming I can stay awake...)

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quickie before I disappear for an early night...

I lovelovelove this. The video is from the three part arc finale of the end of the first season, which still gives me chills, and the song is one of my all-time favourites. Beautifully done.

And just in case anyone can't see it here (which I know has happened before with my blog) the originating page is here.

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happy suncat

Happy suncat...

Client stuff all day; have planted more courgettes and marrows, and trying Galia melons again: A Town Called Eureka season 5 starts at nine tonight!

The Poppy Tales calls....

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Blogger Lutra said...

D'aww, lookit that tummy! (No, I'm not that stupid :)

1:21 pm  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

... there can be few more... disconcerting garden events than being inside a glass greenhouse in a thunderstorm when the clouds are belting down grape-sized hailstones instead of raindrops... Welcome to May in England.

Once every couple of months or so I need to buy crickets for Rosa. Reptile Planet up the Wells Rd is in walking distance, so I get the bus up Talbot Hill, check out the charity shops, get bird food from Wilkinson's, walk down then up to the shop, then back via Tesco. (Who now want a £1 deposit if you want a trolley. Sod that! Pay-for trolleys don't like me. I used a basket. And pointed out - just as feedback to customer service on the way out - that while I understand and appreciate why they're doing it, I don't want the hassle, so will use a basket for shopping in future - which means I'll be spending a lot less in the supermarket...)

But I found this (still in its shrink-wrap) in one of the charity shops, for £1.99. It sounds irresistible. Will let you know when we've watched it!

APAG meeting tonight, but I doubt I'll be doing the minutes when I get back. Absolutely knackered after late night, Kai's bloody alarm waking me up (but not him, oh joy) at 6.30, then a busy day. Tomorrow will be soon enough.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

I know the hailstorm effect from standing in the shelter. Goes something like "ow, my ears..."

I wouldn't have thought Tesco would have that much trouble with their trolleys - although I have seen people actually taking their shopping home in Sainsburys ones round here; as in, wheeling the trolley all the way down the bottom of our estate and into the council estate below us, which is quite a way...

7:37 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

It was quite scary - sounded like it was about to smash through the glass, and was heavy enough to cover the roof completely on one side for several minutes...

10:28 pm  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Eighteenth part of Renewal - Captive - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!

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Blogger Lutra said...

[points finger] Evil. Just... EVIL!

12:33 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Why, thank you. [smirk]

1:03 pm  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Quickest of all possible catch-ups as I'm very close to finishing the next Poppy chapter - ooh, I am enjoying writing this part!

In the greenhouse - with the slightly warmer weather and the last few days' worth of sun, things are finally shooting. I have flowers coming on the tomatoes now, another pumpkin (one got eaten), mange tout, and chilli pepper seeds sprouting.

In the veg bed - we're having asparagus with every other meal - yum! Asparagus tastes of pure green... First lot of leeks are now planted too.

Watched a baby sparrow being fed by its parent in the hawthorn this afternoon - it was adorable, the baby stretching up, cheeping furiously until its beak was filled, its wings going nineteen to the dozen. So cute!

And as for last week's TfP - whoa! Excellent stuff. Though that's one hellish long walk home for Starscream!

Can't WAIT until it all comes out on DVD. Kai's itching to watch...

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Seventeenth part of Renewal - Motion - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

First rain-free day for what feels like months! Put through two washes and dried them out in the sun, did a little weeding and greenhouse tending (my tomato plants have their first flowers) and Ken hoed the patch in the veg bed that's going to be holding my twelve leek seedlings (shall get some more on the go then). And apart from a little client stuff, the rest of the day has been taken up with the next Poppy chapter. It's a biggie, in both senses of the word...

Should be posted tomorrow.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

[grump] Did too much - everything hurts.

Next Poppy almost half written...

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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

And the second mini-comic is now posted - link above. I have an embarrassing amount of fun making these... [snerking/chuckling]



Blogger Lutra said...

ROFL! 'epic plan sulk'

D'aww, ST-3v3...

12:49 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...


4:52 pm  

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


A particularly manic couple of days...

I have a running battle with this pigeon. It's a very bright bird. After I hung the basket thing under the feeder to catch the stray sunflower seeds (they make a horrible gungy mess on the grass otherwise) it learned that if it stood on the edge of the basket it could just reach into the feeder to steal the seeds. So I attached wire to make the basket hang a little lower. So it then learned that if it hung off the branch to the side, it could just reach the seeds if it sort of hung down sideways.

So I cut off the branch to the side.

This is the pigeon upside down hanging onto the wires that hold the basket in place It can't stay in that position for long, but it can reach the seeds, and determined blasted creature that it is, it keeps coming back for more.

(Sorry it's not a good photo - I had to take it from the kitchen window and the bird was moving...)

The next step is to organise a sort of 'roof' over the feeder. Perhaps a plant saucer. Going to tackle that tomorrow.

For now, I've taken a series of photos - finally - for the next Tf mini-comic. Will have a go at that in a bit.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

hee, poor pigeon. I don't make life difficult for ours - if they have food where they can reach it, they don't bother the smaller birds on the feeder. I'm impressed though; they're generally not that intelligent... :)

10:58 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

[sigh] We've had to add a second set of horizontal bars to the bird table to stop the collared doves from getting in, as they and the starlings just drive off the smaller birds. Even so one of them has learned to grab hold of the very edge and nab treats before it loses its balance. I'm not averse to feeding any birds. but it's the little ones that need the help. At the moment I'm having to stand outside for half an hour to deter pigeons and starlings while the sparrows/blackbirds/robins/tits/blackcaps eat. After that, the others can help themselves - saves wastage. But it's a half an hour I really don't have at the busiest time of the day (dinner time).

1:56 am  
Blogger Lutra said...

That's not a pigeon. It's a squirrel with wings!

12:47 pm  

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Roeg's pool

The area around Roeg's Pool is looking pretty this year!

Shopping earlier. I sometimes wonder if some shadowy authority is using supermarket shoppers in their own psychological experiments. I generally pick up a pack of Twix single biscuit bars for Kai's lunchbox: I normally buy the 16-pack for £2.50. Today, right beside the 16-packs on the top shelf, was a box of 9-packs on special offer - for £2 for two. Now, numbers and I don't get on that well, but even I know that £2 for 18 is better value than £2.50 for 16!

I wonder how many people just bought the 16-pack without noticing?

Most supermarkets are stuffed with offers these days though - trying to hold onto their customers in these tricky times I suppose. Sainsbug have a good special on at the moment - the best smoked salmon steaks I've ever tasted at £2.69 each or 2 for £4. Given that I have to buy six at a time to take advantage of the special, that works out basically at buy 4 get 2 free. (No, we don't have them often, but they freeze easily and we all love them, so as a special treat they are a very good deal.) Their 'buy 3 for £10' organic lean mince (500g packs at £4 per pack individually) is another good one: three packs does the three of us six meals in spagbol or chili, which we have once a week. I know it's not ideal to rely on specials to keep us fed without compromising our organic principles, but it really helps!

Just caught the latest Tf: P on Yt... [grin] Fun. And while I really miss Starscream, it's nice to see Megsy is an equal-opportunities abuser...

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Saturday, May 05, 2012

Sixteenth part of Renewal - Plans - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Fifteenth part of Renewal - Conversation - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!

In other news, I finally got my hair trimmed again. Jeff has done his usual excellent job. One of these days I'll be happy with a photo so you can see what it looks like...

Later edit: Ken took a photo of the back - no photoshop, no hair glitter, no hair product, although the camera flash does accentuate the silver...

my hair

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

This is ridiculous. When I stepped outside earlier this afternoon I could see my breath! It's May, ffs! My poor plants are trying so hard to flourish but there's not enough warmth or sunlight for them...



Blogger GoodTwin said...

And they're talking about -5 overnight on Saturday - better break out those fleece again!

10:59 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Hm. Forecast is for no lower than 3 degrees here. I should cover the peppers, and put those big cloches you got me (those are terrific, by the way, I've been using them with great success!) over the cucumbers, but hopefully, in the greenhouse at least, everything should be OK. I hope...

3:07 pm  

More client stuff. More rain. More shopping...

Mayoral elections tomorrow - we get to vote for a publicly elected versus a council allocated one. Or something like that, I haven't really been paying attention. Said to Ken I had no idea whether to vote yes or no and he said he didn't know whether I wanted to use it to help me decide but Cameron (that effing tory bastard (my words not Ken's) PM) had visited Bristol to whip up support for a Yes vote... Best possible reason to vote No!

On the plus side, Ferdinand the bat made his first appearance of the year this evening, flitting around the garden hoovering up midges from above our pools. Such a sweetie!

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Happy Beltain!

(Well, for last night anyway.)

Lie-in 'til 9.30. Whole day spent on client stuff. Except for potting on courgettes, tomatoes and Swiss chard. It's big enough to go into the ground, but it's so wet it'll either rot or the gastropods will eat it...

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