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!
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Pretty usual Sunday.
Kai really enjoyed himself yesterday and says they plan to do it again, which is great!
I'm pretty sure I forgot to say, but my fasting glucose blood test came back as perfectly normal - so no more borderline diabetic! The focus on the healthy food has obviously done it's job. And it's such a habit now it's very unlikely to change.
Lutra posted a pic, earlier, on tumblr of a model of Spock - knitting a rainbow scarf...
There will be photographs...
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Off into town a little later than intended, and the trip was only partly successful. I managed to get a pot of bentonite (for fining the wine) and Kai bought some spare strings for his new guitar, but the nut files he wants are rather expensive and he'd have to order them. They aren't something most shops will carry. He may be able to substitute jewellery making files for the time being.
He's been out this evening, at Weatherspoon's with a group of friends from John Cabot.
Large bay shrub (apparently the tree can grow to 66 foot if you let it so probably best not to...) before cutting.
Denuded shrub! Took a couple of hours - no wonder my arms are aching...
That conifer is the next to go...
Friday, June 28, 2013
Busy. But good. More wall, and the bay tree is now a stump (photos tomorrow, too dark now). Just take it as read that legs and back are aching (hands too, today). Tomorrow Kai and I are off into town. He needs a file, I need wine-making stuff. We'll check out the charity shops as we go along.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
This was the best photo Ken could manage of this month's supermoon. It rose so far to the southeast we had to lean out of the upstairs windows to see it!
The usual Wednesday shopping, and after lunch Ken made a start on the wall. I'd estimate it's going to take about four goes of a couple of hours each to finish the job, which isn't too bad at all.
And I've made a start on the bay tree - taken off about a sixth. It's a big job. I hadn't realised quite how big the tree has grown. I've taken six cuttings to start with - fingers crossed. (I need to take lots of photos to show progress...)
Kai has now caught up with Deep Space 9 and we're ready to watch the latest ep tomorrow at 2 pm!
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Busy but satisfying.
Kai moved the pile of dead ivy from one side of the elder tree to the other, freeing up the wall so Ken can finally finish the repair. Then any rocks left over will go to redesigning the rockery. While he was doing that I planted the next batch of dwarf beans and did a little weeding.
Then after lunch I cuddled feather wile Kai cleaned out the tank - replaced the bedding, added the new stick, and then I fed her the greenhouse-warmed rat weaner. Happy happy snake!
It takes an hour these days to close up in the garden, what with feeding the birds, picking strawberries and mange tout, watering in the greenhouse, the upright stand and potting table, and any new veg bed plantings, and my legs are, as usual, killing me. But I now have two hours with legs up, watching the last ep of Touch season 2 and the nest ep of Defiance.
I really must make a start on next!Poppy...
Monday, June 24, 2013
Guilty confession time...
I've wanted a Transformers: Animated Prowl since I first watched the series, but the figure was far too expensive (between 40 and 60 dollars). Then a month or so ago I found a job lot on ebay - nine figures (OP, Ratchet (regular and rescue), Bee, Lockdown, Soundwave with Laserbeak, Jazz (Jazz is another favourite) - and Prowl) in fair condition but lacking weapons and accessories and instructions, for £40. I ummed and ahhed for a bit, then told Ken. Who said buy 'em for my birthday. (I usually display them without weapons anyway, and transforming instructional videos are readily available on Youtube.)
The box arrived today, and of course I had to open it to check everything was OK. [g] And then Ken said I could have one now.
Well, the one turned into two. Meet Jazz and Prowl.
Jazz is without his nunchakus, which transform from the missing exhausts, which is a shame, but not urgent. I might be able to pick them up as spares. But Prowl did come with his shuriken, which transform from his outer hubcaps!
Dead chuffed. Really good articulation and very show accurate, and with very little wear. At the moment they're on my desk grouped with TFA Starscream, but where I'm going to put everyone after my birthday I really don't know...
In other news, the white cooking
Labels: Transformers Animated
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Saturday, June 22, 2013
After all the work we've done on the garden just recently I've been feeling all enthusiastic and wanted to get things moving on the plan for the front and the intended changes to the back, so today Kai and I went off to Weston-super-Mare for a breath of sea air (and two wonderful artisan loaves - red onion and Cheddar and sunblush tomatoes and basil - from Winnie's Bakery) and then back via Cadbury Garden Centre at Congresbury, where I found crickets for Rosa and bedding and a new sturdy stick for Feather, but not one of the plants on my list. Shall have to try elsewhere. There are at least plenty of centres in the area.
After dinner we watched Tower Heist, which was great fun. I like the way Stiller films start off perfectly normally and get more and more surreal - and nutty - as they progress...
Friday, June 21, 2013
Happy Summer Solstice!
Kai wanted a seven string, 24 fret electric guitar. "Hm." I thought to myself. "Bet they're expensive." And indeed they are, anything from £300 to upwards of £2,000. So yesterday off we trotted to ebay.
Where we found an absolute beauty with a starting price of £30. That won't last long I thought to myself, but put it on my watch list anyway. Heh. Today the price was £403 (and rising as we watched the bidding). But then we found one at £199 (plus £10 p&p) - Shechter make, which I'd heard of favourbly. Checked all the details and Kai was pleased - so he bought it.
Well, I bought it and he paid me back. We treated him to the express delivery option.
Very happy sprog!
Later he came and helped me in the garden: between us we cleared the lower staging (where I keep all my tools: it's too dark to grow anything) and tidied everything up. It looks great! In the meantime Ken mowed and weeded - and we've decided that the rockery conifer and the bay tree will have to go. (Too big and too much work.) The whole rockery area will be getting a redesign and there will be photos. We also have a plan for the front garden - finally!
I'd noticed we had a few strawberries coming so said I'd pick what was ripe: might just be enough for a garnish with ice cream.
But this happened while I wasn't looking...
They were delicious...
Thursday, June 20, 2013
[sigh] This'll be why Kai and I have permanent sniffles...
His Physics went fairly well. There was even a question about Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian spy who died of radiation poisoning (polonium). (To my amazement I know the name and what had happened to him without Kai elaborating.) Sprog is now on holiday until September...
In other news: racked the white cooking wine, which has now done its stuff and is nearly ready for bottling, and got the elderflower on the go (one demijon of elderflower and white grape, and the semi-demijon is pure elderflower. Be interesting to see how it turns out).
I woke up with a headache and it hasn't shifted all day, damn it. Will take the last lot of today's 'prufen shortly and maybe have yet another early night.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Up earlier than I really needed to but woke up early and it was too hot to go back to sleep. So I got the Sapo potatoes covered (final layer), elderflowers cropped and washed for the elderflower wine I'm making this year, a little weeding done and a wash put through before I had to head up to the surgery for the fasting blood test (nowt to eat since 10 pm yesterday). Can ring for results next Tuesday pm and will take it from there.
Walked back down and dived into Tesco, hoping to be able to get everything I needed, but the meat on their deli counter was horrible: I wouldn't give it to Tyjer, let alone make K&K's sandwiches with it. So it was back home then over to Sainsbug's. Legs aching...
Kai said yesterday's Maths A Level was dreadful - and not just him, everyone was rather dismayed. However, he should have enough credit from his course work to cover any problems (and that there is why that pig-ignorant git Gove should never be in charge of education. He doesn't have the first idea how the whole thing - and the kids' minds - work...)
Last exam tomorrow - Physics. He's feeling quietly confident (and again he has enough credit that he need not panic) but is really looking forward to everything being over.
So am I!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Not quite so early today - 10 to 7 after getting to bed at just after 10.30. Woken up with coffee and screaming backache from having slept so long. [grump] Can't win.
HOWEVER... Remember I found a so-called Beast Hunters Starscream figure and complained about how ugly it is? On researching further I discovered that that version is the American one and there was, in fact, a much more stylish Japanese version - same basic design but much better colours.
So I ordered one. On the 12th June, in fact. Reasonable price (although the postage was almost as much as the figure - it's to be a Yule present...)
Estimated delivery date, July 13th. He arrived this morning. SIX DAYS!!
[bemused] I've never been a -san before!
That's so sweet!
And he has the trademark smirk. I'll take a closer, better photo when he's out of the box.
As for the GO! marque... rumour is the Japanese animated Transformers Go! is to be imported, dubbed and billed as the followup to Prime. I caught a snippet of it on Tumblr the other day. It looks like the truly horrible Beast Wars 2. I am disappoint. (Of course, it is only a rumour right now...)
In other news - Feather has shed yet again! Took her out for a cuddle earlier and she's also larger around the middle than she was - I may have to increase the size of her rats...
Kai's Psychology went OK. He's reasonably happy about it. Pure Maths today - should be fine.
Monday, June 17, 2013
[sigh] Got to bed at 1.30 am, woke up at 5.20 am and couldn't get back to sleep - tired now again. Oh joy.
Remember I said I bought tall mange tout by mistake but thought we'd give them a go anyway? They're pretty...
We have escaped cereals growing in the meadow (escaped from the bird table I mean). Not entirely sure what this is - barley?
It's pretty. It's also almost as tall as I am...
Deep Space Nine is being re-shown daily at 6 pm on the SyFy Channel. Kai's never seen it but remembers me saying it was my favourite of the whole franchise, so we will be watching... Missed the first two eps (shown last week before we realised: luckily a fandub is available on Youtube) and he won't be able to catch this week's because of exams (Psychology today - the slightly easier one with questions on addiction, schizophrenia and recent research) so I am recording them for him for a fest over the weekend.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Did I get that wrong and not actually upload the chapter? Eh well, it's done now.
Ken had an OK Fathers' Day, I think. It was pretty much as usual for me. The antibios are working though - the raw weeping patches have now healed up and the painful redness is easing. Course doesn't finish til Thursday but so far so good...
Knackered again. Have to wait up til midnight to take last antibio of the day, then I'm straight to sleep.
Labels: medical matters
Tenth part of New World 2 - Loss - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Warm sunshine, cool to cold winds, showers and the occasional downpour - lovely weather. Ken has gone to Frome for the day, I'm writing the next Poppy chapter, Kai is revising.
In the garden, the pyracantha has finally burst into bloom (our Insecticons will be happy!)
and the elder tree is looking fairly magnificent too. May have to prune it this autumn, it's getting rather large...
Friday, June 14, 2013
Cold day. Didn't get a lot done, but the meds are making me a little glaikit. Kai and I did manage to get netting over the fruit, struggling against the wind - the blueberries are all turning blue, and the raspberries are swelling too, so it was time - and I got some more marrows and sweet pepper seed on the go in the greenhouse, and split the catmint (currently in pots until I can get one to set seed. Hoping to be able to plant a patch of it next year...)
But that's about it. And since I can't drink with these antibios I can't have my usual Friday night vodka and coke or three, which is grumpworthy. May have to take an early night again...
Thursday, June 13, 2013
[sigh] So I woke up to find the unbearably itchy what-I-thought-was-a-rash on my lower abdomen had spread and was rather painful, rang the surgery, they had an appointment for 10.50, got the bus up there and saw a doctor I haven't seen before. She took one look, winced, and prescribed me a week's worth of amoxocillin 500mg (3 a day) and flucloxacillin 500mg (4 a day on an empty stomach). And gave me a followup appointment for next week, and had me book a repeat diabetes blood test. Oh joy.
Still, it's nice to be taken seriously. I'm sure one of the reasons I loathe going to the doctors so much is the way I was treated when I was younger: they always made me feel I was wasting their time.
Not wanting to wait half an hour for the bus back, I walked home, diving into Tesco on the way - where I found this:
Irresistible - so I didn't.
[grin] You wind them up and point them in the direction of the person wanting salt or pepper and they trundle off merrily. Ken found them disturbing. I think they're so cute!
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Wednesdays are usually fairly busy and today was no exception. Post office and Sainsbury's (where I picked up the Cyberverse Beast Hunters OP and Predaking to be put away for Yule) first, then up to Broadwalk to pick up bird food then a walk back down the hill to Tesco...
Found this in the newsagents at Broadwalk...
It's kind of cute and quite tasty but I couldn't get all the wheels to fit on the axles...
And Tesco had a Cyberverse Smokescreen! Dead chuffed about that one as I wasn't sure they were going to release a version.
Also found Immortals for £1.99 in a charity shop. We'd debated seeing this (in 3D I think) at the cinema but didn't get 'round to it - and I'm rather glad we didn't waste the money. Scenery's pretty but the rest is brutal, violent and pointless... Ah well.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Well, the rain has brightened up the garden and half filled the almost empty main water-butt, and - crossing fingers - my slug pubs, eggshells and half-hourly slug hints have kept everything from being eaten, so far...
Monday, June 10, 2013
Later edit: ninth part of New World 2 - Consternations - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Up at 6.45 a.m. to make Kai toast for breakfast and see him off. It's become a family tradition when he has exams (even when I've only had three hours sleep...)
So I took advantage: put a wash through (not so nice today but it should dry, and that's my wash basket now empty), planted out the latest batch of mange tout, got some more pak choi, dwarf beans and lettuces on the go and repotted the new 'Bella' cucumber plant.
And took some photos!
The newly expanded veg bed (and how it used to look, though from the other direction):
And this little cutie is a primula!
Hoping to have Poppy finished and posted soon ...
Sunday, June 09, 2013
Did the Sunday shop while Ken finished the extension to the veg bed (rebuilding the little 'wall' and emptying the lovely rich compost from the large bin to fill up the dip in the corner), then he headed off to Bath, just for a break, while I moved my red heuchera (it's survived and is coming along fine but colourwise it was in the wrong position), did some weeding, watered, dug up and replanted several dozen new bulbs of the yellow frilly tulips that appeared in the show bed, planted the new yarrow, and considered how to organise the veg bed next year. I'll take photos soon.
Kai has Psychology A Level tomorrow afternoon. He's not looking forward to it.
Saturday, June 08, 2013
There were three essentials that had to be done today: top up the greenhouse waterbutt from the main one, top up the compost over the potatoes, which were all peeking through, and plant out the sweetcorn. Kai did the water while I did the spuds, then we both planted sweetcorn (with Kai doing all the bending down). Thirty-seven seedlings! But they all seem happy, so that's good.
In the meantime Ken stripped all the turf from the 'path' between the main bed and the pea and mange tout bed - less grass to mow, less places for the gastropods to hide, and a little more growing space. But it was back-aching work, and he's sore too tonight.
Anyway, that took all afternoon. We also washed the winter downie: it's been on the rotary dryer all day in the sun. It's not quite dry but should finish overnight.
And I've even managed to get three and a half pages of next!Poppy written! Not bad for one day. May have to take another early night though...
Oh, and Harvey Nichols emailed back to say they've taken our address off their database as I asked, and to get back to them if I have any further problems. Good on them!
Friday, June 07, 2013
Kai was reasonably satisfied with the Maths exam (it was applied maths. The pure maths exam is week after next), which is great (he's usually very good at judging how he's done). Next week is Psychology and Computing. He's fairly relaxed. I'm a nervous wreck.
Oh, and someone from Bristol Uni rang him yesterday evening, to recommend he apply for a specific scholarship. It appears they are keeping a close-ish eye on him! Guess they really want him...
In the garden - the first courgette has flowered, and there are a lot more coming. The first pea flowers have appeared too. The dry weather is at least deterring the gastropods, giving everything a good chance to get big enough that a little damage won't kill them. It's also making it easier to weed (dry soil means roots have little foothold and pull up easier), so the con of having to water by hand is outweighed by the pros.
I'm sure there was something else but I can't remember what it was...
Oh, yes... Got an invite to a Harvey Nichols sale preview - only it wasn't addressed to me, but to someone I've never heard of. I vaguely remember getting another piece of mail addressed to the same person (I think) a couple of weeks ago: with that one I just wrote 'not here, return to sender'. But to get a second piece, especially for somewhere that expensive? You know how security-paranoid I am. Got straight onto Harvey Nichols telling them this person DOES NOT LIVE HERE and never has in the 22 years we've owned the house. (Of course it's not a place I'd ever use.) Now waiting to hear back from them confirming they got my email and have removed our address from their database. (Also paid for an Equifax report, which all looked fine.) Will let you know what happens...
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Early night actually materialised - 11 pm! Must be a record. Unfortunately it didn't help much as I slept very badly, and was up at 6.30 to make Kai some toast and see him off (he seems to like me saying good bye and good luck when he has exams...)
Then it was washing, greenhouse tending (sweetcorn now out to harden off a bit - roots are out the bottom of the rolls, so they'll have to go in the ground at the weekend), making a batch of buckwheat pancakes for the freezer, and client site stuff.
Knackered now! Going to watch a film...
(Sue - haven't forgotten the threatened 50 Shades review. More than half way done trudging through the third book now, will review all three in one go when I've finished.)
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
[sigh] Can't believe how tired I am today. Did the usual Wed shopping, did a little in garden and house, and now I can hardly keep my eyes open. Having an early night I think.
Kai's first A Level tomorrow morning - Maths. Keeping fingers crossed!
Spent most of the day in the garden (physio would have a fit if she knew how much bending I had to do today. But it wasn't quite as hard as before - the exercises are making a noticeable difference... and I did it in small snatches, sitting down in between...) Much weeding has been done. Second batches of beans, courgettes, and pak choi now in the veg bed, along with the first lettuces. In the greenhouse all but four of the sweetcorn kernels have now sprouted, and the first tomatoes have appeared on the plants. It's all good!
And the first of the irises has flowered!
... so beautiful... like a butterfly...
Monday, June 03, 2013
[bemused...] I don't like Facebook. I have an account, of course - who doesn't? - but I very rarely visit. I don't like the 'new' format, and I find it awkward to use. The inability to delete posts/photos/images (easily) really annoys me too. And today I got one of their emails prodding me to update, along with suggestions of other pages I might like to follow.
HM Armed Forces? Total Wipeout? Blackberry? Smirnoff? (Yes, well, OK that last one might appeal...) Domino's Pizza UK? Roast Dinner??
Where the hell do they get these ideas? Are they completely random?
Labels: ... wut...?
Sunday, June 02, 2013
Saturday, June 01, 2013
Glorious weather - Kai and I did the Wells/Glastonbury/Street trip we planned a couple of weeks ago when we only got as far as Wells because pheasants. Only in reverse. Got a new folder for my recipes, birthday presents and cards, and some wonderful noms from the Street Burns the Bread.
I also, finally, managed to get a photo of Glastonbury Tor from the Mendip ridge (there was a tractor slowing all the traffic down!)
Fantastic day out and we managed to get everything we went for.
After dinner we watched Scorpion King 3 which was... not very good. Though they did try to recapture the feel of the first film (which long time readers will remember I thoroughly enjoyed because of the wonderfully Radditz-esque look of the main character). Eh well. Pity, but there you go.