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!
Friday, May 31, 2013
It's Friday isn't it? It feels like Saturday...
I am so tired. And I've had the most ferocious pain in my legs all day again. Pain killers are only partially successful. Going to try sitting with legs up for half an hour or so.
on the plus side, I now have 26 sweetcorn sprouts showing (out of 40 seeds planted) which is excellent. And the weather is glorious, and supposed to be good all weekend.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
We watched the last six eps of Madoka last night. K&K were spellbound (goes without saying I was...) On a second viewing it's even more extraordinary and complex. It works on so many levels, with layers and layers of meaning. A magnificent work.
It's a pity my camera can't grab the full colour of the flower. It's amazing, the sort of shade that almost hurts the eyes to look at. The bush has done its best ever this year, with plenty of foliage and three flowers - not bad for a plant that came with the house and is thus over 23 years old!
And finally - this is just hysterical...
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Kind of busy too. Client stuff, then a fair bit of time in the garden. Repotted tomatoes, got some basil and coriander seeds on the go, and a patch of garlic chives in the herb strip. This year's fledgling blackbird is now flying - and seems to think the bird table is his personal castle and larder...
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Raining today. Not too bad, I suppose, although I need to get some shopping, I've just discovered.
The heuchera bed. As you can see, there's plenty of room for more!
... nothing much else to report...
Monday, May 27, 2013
A little gardening in the morning - more mange tout on the go, and the baby cucumbers I bought at Cadbury on Saturday - then Ken and I did the Sainsbug shop in the afternoon. So exciting!
This evening we all started watching Madoka - it's even better the second time around. Not too sure what K&K are making of it but they're happy to continue so they must be intrigued, at least.
Forgot to say yesterday that the male blackbird was making a hell of a racket and when I looked out I saw why: our resident sparrowhawk was perched on a branch of the hawthorn tree! Only stopped there for a few seconds, but what a lovely bird. This evening the blackbird fledgling was actually in the birdtable, so it looks like it can now fly and the parents were teaching it where the larder is...
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Another busy but satisfying day. Glorious sunshine, we all wore t-shirts and shorts! Ken extended the heuchera bed for me: the new ones are now planted and the bed slightly rearranged - my lovely red one is not at all happy, so will keep an eye on it for a bit. Photo tomorrow. Kai did some weeding for me - the aquilegias are now planted out - then helped transplant the peas and mange tout into the veg bed. Doesn't sound like much but it all takes time.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Planted my chitted potatoes and the third courgette and second marrow, then it was off with Kim to garden centres!
Had a look around Nailsea on the way to Tickenham - been through it often enough on the bus but never quite got organised enough to get off and visit. It's a lovely little place with some great charity shops. (Still no slug pubs though...)
Then it was the Golden Acres garden centre at Tickenham (where I bought my bog irises last year). They had heucheras at half price! Picked up an acid yellow and a variegated one (photos tomorrow, too late now), and a couple of aquilegias: I like them anyway but learned from the Chelsey Flower Show that they're related to buttercups and full of toxins that gastropods avoid like the proverbial plague, which is an absolute plus in our garden.
Magical mystery tour to the Cadbury Centre at Congresbury, where I got Feather a stick (no, not one for her to chase and catch, one for her to climb over in her tank) and a proper water bowl (found the one we've been using is a reptile food bowl and really too shallow), and some more potting compost. All in all a successful day!
Sorting out the heuchera bed tomorrow!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Been a mix of shopping, weeding, client stuff and watching the Chelsea Flower Show. Second batch of peas and mange tout ready to plant (Saturday. It's due to be sunny and it'll give them a chance to settled in before it rains again) and today I've started the second lot of dwarf beans and the sweet corn. Well, most of the sweetcorn. Packet says a minimum of thirty seeds: there are actually more than forty and I don't have enough kitchen towel inners to plant them all. Typical. Though I shouldn't complain...
Sue's wiegela. Looking good!
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Main news today is Ken had his usual appointment at the BRI, only to find that the viral load hasn't changed appreciably since he started this course of meds.
In other words, he's one of the 15% that the regime doesn't work for. Dammit.
They've taken him off the meds (well, they're expensive. No point wasting them if they aren't working). At least he'll feel better soon.
There's another new drug course coming out in six months or so, supposedly 100% effective and without the side effects. We'll see.
Labels: medical matters
Monday, May 20, 2013
Dramas in the garden! Seagulls chasing off a heron! Sparrowhawk catches sparrow - blackbird raises alarm!!
It's all go here...
Ishihara's entry to the Chelsea Flower Show is gorgeous (first pic doesn't work for me: try the little buttons under the illo).
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Well that was fun! Ken helped with the shopping, then he mowed, and Kai and I got a lot done in the garden.
I love my garden...
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Cyberverse Soundwave arrived from amazon us today! He's so tiny but wonderfully detailed...
Lovely weather today, so Kai and I thought we'd do my postponed trip from a couple of weeks ago - Wells/Glastonbury/Street. So after I'd hung out the wash we set off. Didn't get any further than Wells though: I found what I was looking for there - a non-stick steel 24cm frying pan for £9.98, and a brace of frozen pheasants for just £2! Had to get them back to Briz quickly, hence the cut short trip. (Also picked up a birthday present for Ken and 50 Shades Darker second hand for me. Yes, the sequel to 50 Shades. Why? Well, my usual determination to finish what I start was warring with my desire not to waste my time, and unfortunately it won...)
And I also found this...
Yes. It's a (resin) sheep made of cauliflowers. I mean, how could I possibly leave it behind?
After dinner we watched the finale of Doctor Who (yawn) and then Life of Pi, which may be the most beautiful film I've ever seen. Wonderful...
Friday, May 17, 2013
Friday. Felt like Monday. (Other people's Monday, that is, mine have been excellent just recently...)
Exercises. Client stuff. Couple of eps of Beast Wars (it's the little, inconsequential things in the background that are so precious. Like OP pushing Dinobot's tail, which had been waving around brushing over his shoulder, out of the way while talking to him. Lovely little details like that).
Got the dwarf bean plants into the veg bed and moved the four cordon tomato plants from the staging to the ground and tied them to supports. I have a couple of our favourite Black Russian seedlings coming through, and two of the melon seeds I planted have germinated too - it's all good.
Then Ken came over to Tesco with me to help carry, as they have some fantastic deals on at the moment (two tetrapacks of organic tomatoes for £1 instead of 75p each, for example, and packs of six Tracker bars for £1 - 89p off).
Then the new season Warehouse 13, which is OK I guess, and I was going to work on next!Poppy but legs and back are aching and I'm tired. Might get a slightly eaeleir night than usual, maybe.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
So off to the physiotherapist I went...
... poke... prod... bend this way, move that way... *thud* with the reflex hammer...
*thud* again. Knee and ankle, several times, both legs. She looks up at me and says, "Hm. No reflexes at all."
Me - "....!!"
"Don't worry. You're obviously still here..."
Well, yes, but along with the refusal of the automatic door to acknowledge me last time I was in town... Perhaps I'm undead these days?
Heh. Anyway - apparently my lower spine has too much of a curve to it, and is displacing discs leading to nerve compression and hence the godawful pain in my left hip and all down the leg. Severe sciatica. I have a whole load of new exercises to work on correcting it. And in the meantime I have to keep my pelvis tilted forwards to help keep everything in the right position. In other words, I need to learn to slouch.
I don't slouch. I hate slouching.
But I hate this pain and inconvenience more, so I'll have to put up with it. Oh joy.
So it's been a bit of a painful day. And I'm still all behind with everything and really don't feel like doing anything tonight. At the moment Kai is working through an old Maths test paper for revision and listening to his new Dream Theater CDs. We've just had this -
which is tremendous (although the lyrics aren't up to the band's usual quality). I do rather like Dream Theater...
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Into town - Wilkinson's for bird food, bank, Wild Oats, Better Food, then Sainsbug's on the way back. Too heavy! But got everything I went for so that's all good.
Kai met me as I got to the gate: decided to come home early on his half day for once. He spent some time getting a bit more of his grant and tuition for uni sorted out, then helped me in the garden: the goji-berry is now properly staked and the dead wood removed, the grass around the little hazel trees has been trimmed, and I wrapped the pear and apple trees in grease bands (crossing fingers I haven't left it too late...)
And then after dinner we finally watched Real Steel - fun and feelgood. But I was wrong about Breakdown. I must have imagined it...
I have a lot of emails to reply to but am too tired tonight. Will try tomorrow. (Sorry Sue!)
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
[sigh] Rain. Again. Bloody cold too. I really hope we aren't going to have a repeat of last year (although at least now I have the mini polytunnel, which will make a huge difference!)
Watched a little Tf: P first thing while my hip unkinked itself (lying down made it worse again). It's a little better today, fortunately.
Much of the day was just client stuff, but it keep things ticking over. Kai has got 89% (an A - very nearly an A*) for the computing project - pretty damn good we think, and well worth all the work. He still has to resit the exam, but that will bump up his average nicely.
Watched our fox explore the garden last night. He's a handsome beast, with a white tip to his tail. Given how horrible the weather is I've left food out for him tonight.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Well, for a Monday, this has been quite successful. I stripped the carcase of yesterday's roast chicken - only a small one but the remains have provided chicken mayo for my baked spud for lunch, meat for Kai's sandwich for lunch tomorrow, enough small pieces for the chicken/chickpea/mange tout in homemade sweet chili sauce I'll make for Wednesday's lunch for Ken and I, a saucer of bits for Tyjer as a treat, wings are for Kai to eat when he gets home, and a new batch of stock. Nothing gets wasted 'round 'ere!
Also cleared up some client stuff and read the poems I was sent for perusal a month or so ago, then managed to plant the first pak choi in the beg bed. Unfortunately I didn't have much shattered eggshell so keeping fingers crossed they don't get eaten (bloody 'pods have had a go at my first marrow and pumpkin, obviously in revenge for my twice-daily hunt and slaughter sessions...) I say managed as I twisted awkwardly when out shopping yesterday and have done something incredibly painful to my hip. I'd hoped lying down last night might have helped but it seemed to make it worse. And I have to dive over to Tesco when Kai gets home. Will have to try not to get too much.
Bought Real Steel at Sainsbug's yesterday (was only £3): if we can make time to watch it tonight I'll try to get a pic of 'Breakdown' for comparison with the Tf: Prime version...
Edit: Forgot to say - I found teh correct Cyberverse Soundwave on amazon us for less than half price - and we had a gift voucher, so I bought him. Pleased about that - means I have the whole crew of both sides. (Excepting Airachnid, who I will pick up if I find her VERY cheap...)
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Sunday. Usual Sunday. Nothing to see here folks, move along...
Labels: nowt really
Saturday, May 11, 2013
So yesterday was a tad busy. Up early and finished clearing that bottom shelf, and found the stuff I was looking for - all the Gateway notes and info - so I can make a start on that next week. Then it was several hours with Lutra thrashing out the worldframe and character details for the proposed joint book (we still have some of the plot to determine but it's coming together very nicely).
Then a Sainsbug shop (carried too much, legs and shoulders hurting, oh joy) and most of the evening I spent proof reading Kai's computer course-work project.
This counts as a percentage (though we don't know what) of his A Level so he was determined to do a good job. He first mooted it back in Feb, asking Ken and I if there was a particular program we could use but couldn't find (at least for free!) The only thing I could think of was a calender program that alerts me (without my needing to login to it), which wasn't much of a challenge. Ken, however, suggested that a program to work out solar and lunar archaeoastronomical alignments and events would be wonderful, as currently it takes hours with calculator, ephemerides, pencil and paper to work them all out. Kai decided that was a good one and has written it - in java.
His report is 144 pages - a lot of that is the program, of course, but at least a third is the accompanying text. He's done a cracking job - I understood it! - and we know it works as Ken has tried it. (In fact, I reckon he could sell it, later!) The deadline is next Tuesday, but he has basically finished and will email it off in a little while.
Anyway - that took all evening just about, and that's what he's been working at solidly for the last month. He's going to relax and watch DVDs for the rest of the weekend!
I actually had a lie-in today, and have taken things a bit easier. The weather's been windy and showery, with the odd sunny spell - not really gardening weather. But Wendy's mum's orchid is flowering again
Back to the joint project - we both tend to use real people as visual aids when envisaging characters, and a little earlier this skyped...
Better start thinking about dinner before Doctor Who. Then I plan to start the next Poppy chapter tonight...
Oh, and the local honey in the green and jasmine tea seems to have worked on the hayfever better than usual. I did buy some hayfever relief but haven't need to use it so far.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
... gah... And there I was thinking, "Oh, this is good, the lime trees down at the park don't seem to be giving me hayfever this year, perhaps I'm going to escape!" and then today, within seconds and without even going outside, I'm in the middle of a sneezing fit with my eyes streaming... Had to take a piriton, and now drinking green tea with jasmine and a spoonful of local honey (very local, the farm is just a couple of miles up the Bath Road) stirred in. Not much of the honey left though, and it's crystallised over the winter. Will have to see if I can get some more at the Wednesday market at St Nick's. Kai will probably need some in tea when he gets home - he gets his hayfever from me, poor lad.
The hayfever forecast is very bad this year...
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Yesterday was lovely again - spent quite a bit of time in the garden and greenhouse, and organising the slug pubs in advance of the forecast rain - which arrived this afternoon while I was walking back from Sainsbugs, oh joy. Eh well. It's not that bad, and the garden does need the rain. Only, I need to go back out shortly to water in and close up the greenhouse, get the birds fed, and empty and refill the slug pubs. And the rain is getting heavier.
It's obviously spring-cleaning season, I keep finding myself clearing out cupboards and drawers...
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
... too tired to type...
Monday, May 06, 2013
So, yesterday. What happened yesterday? Shopping, I know that much. And a wash. And Kai trimmed grass while I planted the big mange tout and got a batch of the smaller ones on the go. It was all good.
Up at 7 today (well, a wee bit after) and got two washes done before I had to nip down to the park, having volunteered to help man the water table for the Arno's Vale Fun Run. Didn't take long as was quite fun (need to download photos for the APAG site shortly).
Then it was the implementation of the executive plan to cease trading as Heartsown and restructure the plans for the Haadri epic. Heartsown was a modest success but has seen no activity for over a year, and, now that the basics are firmed up and my writing has improved so much, I've decided to try a third version of Prime Contact and see if an established publisher is interested (if not, we'll leave it a bit and bring out e-books). So the Haadri blog is now closed, as is the Heartsown site, and in a little while I'll be deleting the Haadri Guide site. Payment for hosting is due this autumn: we'll let it lapse. I'm keeping the domain name though.
And the new planned schedule is going to have me busier than ever. Oh joy...
Sunday, May 05, 2013
And I forgot to post earlier and now I'm knackered again... Been a very productive day though, and glorious weather. Will update properly tomorrow.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
Eighth part of New World 2 - Considerations - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Woke up with a distinct 'no, don't go out today, stay close to home' feeling so skipped the planned outing. Can go another weekend. Got next!Poppy finished and a whole load of garden stuff done instead, so it was very productive.
And the random not-so-superpower strikes again. For the last hour and a half my backwards clock has been stuck ticking off seconds at 10.15 pm. It has now started working properly again, although it currently says 10.32 pm and it's actually eight minutes past midnight. That's going to be confusing (I usually look at the clock to check the time...)
Oops - spoke to soon. The second hand is now stuck ticking at the number 9. Hope there's nothing wrong with the clock. I like my backwards clock...
Friday, May 03, 2013
Right - morning stuff done, time to post (and catch up on yesterday).
Yesterday kind of went - wash put through, veg bed checked and watered, repotted tomatoes and kale, got more marrow and courgettes on the go, planted spinach, made a stack of buckwheat pancakes for the freezer, cleared client stuff, then took a break with feet up and watched Code of Hero, the Beast Wars ep where Dinobot sacrifices himself for the future human race (and damn it it brought a lump to my throat. Beautiful tragic episode. "The question that once haunted my being has been answered. The future is not fixed, and my choices are my own. And yet, how ironic... for I now find that I have no choice at all! I am a warrior... let the battle be joined." Dinobot's speech is refined and sophisticated. Shakespeare (several million years) later stole it for some of his plays, secure in the knowledge that no copyright claims could ever be brought... Screencap from the Transformers wiki)
Feather was out in the open, so I took her out to start getting used to being handled again after spending most of the winter in her hide. It was fine - but then, my hands were cold and not at all tempting to bite! Unfortunately I couldn't keep her out for long, though, as Tyjer came in demanding his lunch and coping with snake and cat by myself is a little tricky.
Over to Tesco for a quick shop when Kai got home, then dinner, then an hour of next!Poppy (which is finally coming together) then flopping on the sofa to watch the Masterchef final. I've watched it from the start and thoroughly enjoyed it this year - though I'm jealous of the standard of cooking. Why can't I get my pork as succulent and the crackling as... crackly as they can? I must try harder...
Oh yes, and I finished 50 Shades. Don't know if I can be bothered to write a full review, but if I do I'll post it on serious blog and note the update here.
Today I've started a selection of lettuces (Little Gem, Lollo Rosso, New Fire and Buttercrunch), more pak choi, more tomatoes and the second cucumber; the first now has two cucumbers and a whole load more flowers coming. Starting plants off early has really worked this year - as long as we don't have a cold spell.
And I started the spring cleaning in the kitchen, clearing out cupboards and dumping stuff that's now out of date (juniper berries, cayenne pepper, sauce thickener - things I picked up thinking I'd use but never did). At some point this year I urgently need to get some painting done, oh joy.
Drama in the garden - the two pairs of blackbirds are still fighting over possession of the space, and when Kai took out the kitchen compost caddy to the main compost bin he found three very healthy mice sitting in there (two scarpered into the depths while the third sat and stared at him for a moment. I've already had to rescue a mouse twice from Tyjer - maybe it was that one and it now has PTSD...) I've now sprayed the unwanted ivy, brambles and teasels with the deep root killer: another dose goes on in 6 weeks. All the new plants are coming along a treat, including the lovely little Juneberry from Sue. The new leaves are a beautiful bronze. At the moment it's too small to be seen easily against the background in a photo, but it should be photogenic by next year. [glomps Sue] Many thanks! (The wiegela is looking great too.)
So, all in all, busy but very productive, this week. But I need a break - hoping to go busing tomorrow, Wells-Glastonbury-Street to check out charity shops, see if the big Works store at Street has an 'own recipes' book (our small branch doesn't) and try to find a small frying pan: the main one is really too big to make pancakes properly. Ken has lots to do, and Kai had a major computer course work project with a deadline of next Friday, so will be working pretty much full time on that.
And I want a velociraptor plushie, in honour of Dinobot, so will be looking out for one of those.
Chelsea Flower Show end of this month! Looking forward to that.
Little bit of client stuff to do, then back to Poppy...
Thursday, May 02, 2013
[sigh] No, it's no use, if I'm going to write a decent blog entry on days I get up early I have to write the post early too. Tired now. Will try again tomorrow...
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Busy but useful day. Up early, read a bit more of 50 Shades (over half way through now. Review when I've finished), then got a whole load of garden stuff done...
Peas planted (slug pubs prepared and crushed eggshell around the bases to try to deter the gastropods) and the second batch on the go, Red Alert tomato seedlings potted on, more pak choi, marrow, pumpkin, dwarf beans and more tomatoes - Black Cherry and Tamina - also started. It doesn't sound like a lot but it's taken most of the day and my back and legs are aching!
Still struggling with next!Poppy...