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!
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Started the day by watching the DVD I picked up at a charity shop - the Official DVD of the 2011 Yeovilton Air Show. 80 mins of breathtaking power and majesty. Wonderful! The high point for me was the Sea Vixen and Vulcan part, of course - just magnificent...
Been a day of clearing up - de-limescaling the kettle, cleaning and scrubbing the birdtable, sorting out a few more DVDs... Starting next Poppy later.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Well, I finally got 'round to watching Memoirs of a Geisha, which I've had sitting in the 'to watch' pile for at least a year. It's very good, but I can't see it becoming a favourite. Not enough starships.
Bussed up to Broadwalk in the afternoon. Found Cyberverse Topspin and Crankcase for £2.99 each in the cheapie shop (so I now have all the Wreckers and one of the Dreads from DotM). Came back via Tesco, who had some more of the wasabi covered peanuts. Yum.
Feather was out of the hide (and mostly under the half log) this evening, so I took her out for a cuddle and then we fed her (she really went for the toasty warm weaner so I guess she was hungry after the stress of shedding).
And that was pretty much today...
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
I missed Monday again, didn't I?
But there's really not a lot happening at the moment. No client stuff, no books on the horizon, it's cold, dull and rainy - quite depressing actually. Even the previews of the Tf; Prime season 3 figures aren't exactly pretty...
On the plus side, I'm revisiting a couple of old fiction ideas to see if they can be reworked into something that might sell. More if it happens.
Labels: nowt really
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Second part of New World 2 - Safe - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Kai wanted a break, and so did I, and the weather was nice. So off we went to Clevedon!
And I forgot to take my camera, but there are lots of pics of Clevedon scattered around the blog: I'm sure you all know what it looks like by now. We went along to the pier and out to the end, and had a truly delicious coffee and a cake in the little Pagoda coffee shop there.
We didn't stay long - sun was out but it's still cold - and got back as it was beginning to get dark. Lovely day out, came back all relaxed and refreshed.
Weather is now abysmal - rain and some rather nasty winds.
This made me chuckle.
Friday, January 25, 2013
And Thursday got lost in the snow...
Actually it was beautifully sunny - if bloody cold - and Bodiecat spent quite a lot of it outside for once. And our fox was back last night - heard it making the warbly noise again. I bought some cheap dog food and left it outside in one of Quyn's old bowls: it was half empty this morning. No, it's not encouraging the beastie to come here, it already does nearly every night, and if I can stop it digging holes in my veg bed in search of insects by providing it with something tastier and easier to get hold of it'll be worth the £2.99 every couple of weeks.
I watched Daybreakers yesterday (another one of the cheapies I bought at Broadwalk) - it's rather good. Probably a bit more gore than Repo!, but nothing gratuitous. I think K&K may enjoy it - interesting plot, good characters, nice acting.
Today has been mostly next!Poppy: should be able to post over the weekend. Determined to post a chapter a week.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
So, the exam went OK, it seems. It snowed while I was out shopping this morning - not heavy, but it did start to settle: apparently at John Cabot (which is, admittedly, a lot higher than here) it was heavy enough to cover the roads and they were talking about closing the school.
And then it stopped, and everything went back to normal. We may be lucky and that's the end of it here...
So far so good. The snow missed Bristol and Kai went off this morning just fine.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Woke up early (6.30 again) so got up early and settled down to watch my Yule pressie Repo! The Genetic Opera...
It's BRILLIANT! Yes, I know the gore, disembowelment and general weirdness would put a lot of people off but I loved it! The atmosphere's a weird hybrid of Rocky Horror and Re-animator with a dollop of Matrix thrown in, the songs are terrific, and the plot distinctly Shakespearian in scope. Excellent stuff. Many thanks!
Feather has shed her skin overnight! We must be doing something right...
And my birthday present arrived.
It's the Takara Vector Prime transformer from the Unicron Trilogy 3, Cybertron (the clockwork one of the original 13, the controller of space and time. Found him on ebay from a Korean seller). Dead chuffed.
Keeping an anxious eye on the weather. While everything's good right now (much of the snow has melted) the forecast is for more snow tonight. Kai has a maths A Level at 9 in the morning and if the roads are dangerous he has no way to get in. Other than slogging several miles uphill in the snow. Steep hill too. Though if they can keep the roads clear he would be able to use FirstBus. Fingers crossed.
Monday, January 21, 2013
First part of New World 2 - Homecoming - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Low clouds and reflected city light - taken at around 8 pm (sunset is around 4.30 pm) - untweaked in any way, taken with Ken's camera.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Photos from yesterday.
Along the Bath Road just before the one-way system.
The old railway track, almost opposite the first pic.
Anyone know what made these? They were in the front garden yesterday, from just under the cherry tree to the wall at the side.
And tonight the fox paid us an early leisurely visit (half an hour ago) Ken did the best he could but we weren't set up for it. He was nomming jetsam from the birdtable.
Quite large and well-grown. He was making a strange quiet yelpy-warbley sound - don't know what that was all about, but it wasn't distressed or anything like that...
Page all set up for the next Poppy 'book' - New World 2 - and the first part is under way.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Well, the forecast was right. I got to bed somewhere between 2.30 and 3 am, and although it was cloudy, there was no sign of snow. I was woken up at 10 by the sound of scraping and that odd quiet you get after a snowfall, and was confronted by this:
Intrepid Bodiecat was intrepid (well, he went as far as just past the birdtable and then came charging back, ate breakfast and has spent most of the day asleep on the bed).
The snow made a smiley on the fencepost!
I had to get around to the Post Office (well, no, I could just have gone to the post box but I get a proof of posting for everything these days) so Kai and I dressed up warm, bunged on the yaktrax and headed off.
It was actually rather a nice walk. We came back via Wick Rd, Eagle Rd and the Bath Rd (I took some photos but none of the batteries have enough charge to download them so will have to do it later after I've charged some up). The X39 was running, but apparently all the city centre buses were off this morning, which could be a problem. Kai's computing A Level is on Monday morning and if they and the school buses are off (they were today) we don't know how he's going to get in. Though he says he could resit the exam in the summer if necessary. We'll have to see how it goes.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
[phew] I think we are all now ready for the forecast snow - 12 inches over the Mendips and 5 - 7 inches elsewhere. Freezer is full (though it usually is, so that's not new - I pick up special as often as I can), the main waterbutt is lagged with an old downie and a tarpaulin over the top, the greenhouse one is in the greenhouse, we did the garden loo earlier, and the bird feeders are all cleaned and filled. Kai only has maths tomorrow, so he's staying home and revising here: he has an exam Monday and another Wednesday. (He had psychology and physics A Levels yesterday: came home fairly confident, even about the psy, and he's pretty good at gauging how he's done.)
And of course we have the yaktrax. I think we'll manage.
[g] We had a bottle of Tesco's Blue Lagoon left over from the Yule before last, and when I looked at it it had a best before end Nov 2012. Ooops. So I thought I'd use it up. It tasted OK, but it was the colour that got me - it looks like energon.
So I did a comic.
G1 Starscream is going to feel fragging awful in the morning...
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Thirtieth and final part of New World - Saved - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above). The story continues in New World 2.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Well, I got a few things done, some client stuff, held a small, quick APAG meeting about the mini-marathon in May (must post that tomorrow), and grumped about something - presumably the fox - breaking the lid of my cold frame (I think it's salvagable but will wait til the weather isn't cold enough to turn the fingertips blue).
And on that subject, something is making strange noises out there right now...
I forgot to say we watched Blandings on Sunday. To start with we weren't too impressed, but we stuck with it and as it went on it got funnier and funnier until Kai and I were roaring and Ken even smiled! Wonderful stuff - looking forward to the next one.
Poppy tomorrow. Absolutely. I must. This is getting silly.
But for now I'm having an early night. It's cold and miserable and I'm knackered.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Well, we got the shopping done, and Feather's habitat sorted (looks great now, with hummocks of the Aspen substrate, the silk fern in the front corner, the waterdish against the side wall instead of at the front, and the half log at the back.
She loved it. She spent an hour exploring very happily and is now curled up in the hide.
Photo courtesy of Ken. Can't use the flash, so please excuse the darkness...
Saturday, January 12, 2013
I have really not accomplished anything today. Well, Kai and I got the tayberry and raspberry plants into their big pots, so they can settle ready for the spring, he went to get his hair cut, and Ken went to Glastonbury (using his season ticket), and I suppose I did some client stuff. But other than that...
I had so much planned too. Will have to get a move on with it tomorrow.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Well that was a day!
Cold, but gloriously sunny. Kim drove us first to the recycling centre, where I was able to drop off the old kitchen stuff I've just replaced, the shell of the old lawnmower, and the metal frame of the old sunlounger. YAY! Cleared patio and hall.
And then we headed off to Almondsbury garden centre - a relatively quick and easy trip. Usually. Except that Kim, in a moment of distraction, managed to get into the wrong lane of the motorway and came off just past Easton.
'Not to worry' she says. 'We'll go the scenic route.'
And then we got lost in Bradley Stoke.
There are no signposts in Bradley Stoke except to places in Bradley Stoke... and lots of spookily identical roundabouts.
It was scary.
But we did finally manage to escape, by veering off onto a road Kim thought she recognised...
Then we missed the Almondsbury turn... (though to be fair it was a narrow country lane and you couldn't see the signpost until you'd actually driven past it...)
Then we got stuck behind... well, I'm not quite sure what it was. Bigger than a tractor, and even slower moving. But he seemed to know where he was going, so we followed him while Kim entertained us both with her tale of how they and some friends drove down to Weymouth in the summer, in the rain and floods, and how her friend in the other car was having panic-attacks over getting trapped in flood water and how she freaked when a guy in a canoe paddled down the other lane of the road they were on...
So it was definitely a bit of an unguided tour, but we got to the garden centre in the end and it was all good. Feather now has three bags of Aspen substrate, a log she can hide under or sprawl over, depending on how she's feeling, and a fake fern (more for our benefit than hers, as it will make the viv look prettier. Although the assistant I spoke to did say snakes like variety, and new things in their habitats, or even just moving things around: it stimulates them and they enjoy exploring...)
Also picked up a pack of rat weaners for Feather and a pack of crickets for Rosa (but not chicks. Apparently there's very little nutritional value in chicks, along the lines of 5 chicks = 1 rat weaner). Three 50 litre bags of peat free organic compost (on a 3 for 2 offer) finished the shopping. I need to get the raspberries moved into the Very Big Tubs before the bad weather starts. Hopefully tomorrow if everywhere hasn't frozen.
After Kim had left after coffee Ken and I sorted out the garden loo - turned off the water, turned on the taps, drained the cistern and put salt in. Should keep everything OK til March.
We'll change Feather's viv on Sunday. There may be photos, if I remember!
Thursday, January 10, 2013
A weird day. I think I sleepwalked through most of it. Now trying to have a genuine early night as I'm off out with Kim tomorrow (Almondsbury garden centre). Will try to remember to take camera.
Edit: [headdesk] There are frogs doing its mating song up at Roeg's pool. It's too early, and they're forecasting snow next week...
Labels: nowt really
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
It's always so dull in the early part of January. The nights are still long, the TV's pretty dire, it's too cold to do much in the garden and too early to start planting things, although I was going to get some cold-resistant toms on the go this year... need compost first though.
So, mostly more client stuff. Have I said yet this year how much I hate Wordpress? Did a little shopping too. Weather is supposed to get cold tomorrow and we have below zero temperatures forecast for the weekend so better get the garden loo drained, salted, and the water turned off. Oh joy...
Labels: nowt really
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Monday, January 07, 2013
I'm sure there was a Sunday somewhere. Where'd it go?
I suppose much of it was taken up with continuing with the proposal. And shopping. And a little more tidying up. We found an electric mixer, half price at Sainsbug's, and since my old one (about the same age as the old food processor and also gave me electric shocks when switching it on) was really ready for retirement picked it up. Not that I use it all that often, but I'd rather not be without.
This morning I had the luxury of an uninterrupted lie-in in a silent house: K&K both off first thing to college and work. It was very nice. But not to be indulged in too often.
Finished the proposal and emailed it off to agent - now keeping fingers tightly crossed.
Since it's due to turn cold again this week I thought I'd feed Feather (she gets very sluggish when it's cold. I've taken to cuddling her against me every day or so, which she seems to like (given how much heat I give off I'm not surprised!)
How is it that even rats can look cute when they're babies? (Feather's dinner - still frozen at this stage).
She can take a bit of tempting to get her to feed, so Ken and I take it in turns trailing the defrosted and warm rat in front of her with its tail held in long tongs - don't want her mistaking our fingers for food!): Ken's usually the lucky one. Today she was right out in the open and he was able to watch her lunge then coil around it and swallow slowly... Ken worrying the whole time that it was too big for her, that she wasn't going to be able to swallow it, etc etc... was rather sweet actually. I explained that as long as it was no bigger than the biggest part of her body - which the weaners aren't - she'd be fine. Don't think he believed me, though, until it was a good four inches into her gut and she was meandering around finding a comfy place to lie and digest....
Such a pretty snake! I really must try to get some more photos of her.
Now settling in to get some more next!Poppy done (coming slowly as I'm still not quite over this blasted lurgy and I'm tired). I think this will have to be the last chapter of Bk 6 though - it's now 30 chapters long!
Saturday, January 05, 2013
And I was reminded of a proposal I was supposed to have written before xmas and hadn't done, so that was my day organised (it's not yet finished but should be ready to email off on Monday). And we took down the decorations, and managed to watch Religulous this evening. (I enjoyed it, though there were times I cringed in embarrassment for the human species...)
It feels like Sunday. That's going to make tomorrow interesting...
Friday, January 04, 2013
OK, at first I was all "BLOODY HELL this is scary..." But after half a minute or so I was like "Ye gods this is GOOD."
Edit: - Kai found this one!
Still waiting for things to get back to normal...
Thursday, January 03, 2013
So off Kai and I went to watch The Hobbit...
Beautifully made - well, it's Peter Jackson, you wouldn't expect anything less - and while it's very long it didn't feel it or drag. Very enjoyable. My only problem - not enough elves. (And too much underground. Set my claustrophobia flaring it did!)
Looking forwards to part 2 now.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Back before Yule we got a new modem and set-top box, upgrades from VirginMedia, but we delayed installing them because something nearly always goes wrong and we didn't want to be without TV or toobs over the holiday period. But today was an excellent day to get everything organised, and for me to clean out my stack and install the new keyboard as well.
So, stack first. [rolls eyes] There was a cobweb inside. And a ton of dust, which explains why my fan's been whining like a tired brat for the last few months. A thorough dusting and blasts of compressed air later and it's running almost silently. Perhaps I ought to clean it more often...
Next was installing the new modem. Well, I say modem, but actually it's a snazzy super-hub with four ethernet sockets, meaning we no longer need to use the router! (It's now in storage. In case.) We followed the instructions to the letter - and nothing happened. So Ken rang and was told the first troubleshooting step (turn off, leave off for two minutes, then turn back on, wait two minutes and then boot up computer): half way through the phone went.
It was a very helpful woman asking if we'd installed the set-top box OK as we hadn't yet rung to have the service initialised.
So I explained we hadn't even taken it out of the box yet, we were installing the modem first as that was more important. At which she offered profuse apologies and said somehow they'd got their signals crossed and had initialised the TV service instead of the modem. Which was why we had no connectivity...
[sigh] So she talked us through yet another broadband set up and this time it worked. It's a little faster than the old one too, which is nice.
Then it was the TV box... I left Ken and Kai to get that done. Took an hour, and another 20 minutes to download all the settings (during which time my net connectivity was a bit patchy), but we now have access to several HD channels, and Kai took some time to fiddle about with cables - we can now copy from video to DVD! First up are Kai's childhood movies, then the Sentinel series. Going to take months...
So it's taken most of the day, but we're done. This is great!
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Wishing you Health and Happiness
And this one's even better! (Thanks Lin.)