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]
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!
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
So - Wednesday shop then the garden. The rockery is now all plotted out (details later), the lemon balm dug up (and three large clumps reserved for the low wall in the front), two of the fake blackcurrant plants which were rooted under the main bush (which will be going, it's too big and in the wrong place) dug up and in pots so we can plant them up at the top (the insects love it!), half the rocks removed from the rockery ready to be reused in other structures, and another load of duckweed removed from pools. A lot of work and everything will hurt tomorrow (again), but it's all coming together beautifully. There will be photos!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
[sigh] Woken up by back pain, probably due to all the walking/bending/hauling 60 litre sacks of compost yesterday. Oh joy. Knew that by the time the painkillers worked there was no point trying to get back to sleep, so I got up at 7.30. Still, I've managed to repot the physocarpus (I do like that name! It rolls off the tongue and sounds like some kind of mutant fish...) and lifted a large root of jasmine from the meadow, and from the patio the rogue tolmiea (an escapee from Dave next door's), and another escapee whose name I don't know: anyone recognise it?
Edit: Lutra thinks it's a strawberry begonia, and I do believe she's right!
After lunch I'll have a go at digging up the pulmonaria (also an escapee!) which is part of the design for the front garden. They can all happily sit in pots until we can get the front organised (starting next month). It's going to look very pretty (and be a bee and butterfly paradise) out there by the time we've finished!
Monday, July 29, 2013
Kim arrived just after 10 and off we headed to the Almondsbury Garden Centre - via Anita's Garden Centre which we spotted on the way. Dived in for a quick look - and found two of the plants I need for the front! At very reasonable prices, about half of what I've seen them at the larger centres (similar plants I mean, as finding the exact ones is proving near impossible). So I now have a choisya ternata (bright yellow foliage with green accents) and a deep-purple-leaved wiegela. Very pleased.
It thundered on the way to Almondsbury, absolutely bucketing it down, but once we got there we were very lucky: the rain stopped and held off until we were on our way back. And I was able to get nearly everything I went for - although they had a sign for the cornus I want for the front (Midwinter Fire, a dwarf variety that only gets to about 4 ft high) there were no plants, and none at their other 2 centres either (member of staff very kindly phoned around for me). However, they should be getting some in in the autumn, so I'll check next time I go for Feather's food. (I've moved her onto the large weaner rats now, the small ones are too small for her). Picked up pottng compost on special (three for £10), crickets for Rosa, and a beautiful Physocarpus that I simply couldn't resist.
It thundered again on the way back - and really really stormed late this afternoon, enough to have Kai commenting on it, but it's stopped now and the air feels much cooler and fresher. I've repotted the myrtle and will make a start on the rest of the fiddly stuff tomorrow...
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Usual Sunday, with added WEATHER. Lots and lots and LOTS of WEATHER. Still, all the pools are now completely full, as are the waterbutts, the watering cans and the soil. Can't really complain.
And there's due to be more tomorrow - an awful lot more. Wall to wall thunderstorms, if the Met Office site is to be believed. Oh joy...
Saturday, July 27, 2013
I'm losing days again...
Yesterday Ken and I cleared the frewtnog pool of silt and pulled up the grass and honeysuckle around it before refilling it. I have some of the extremely vigorous pondweed from Roeg's Pool in quarantine in a bowl (we have the usual duckweed incursion) to go in the frewtnog pool when I'm sure it's clear. After dinner we watched The Iron Giant (finally: I read the book years ago and bought the dvd for £3 at Sainsbug's last week) - wonderful film!
And then it was the last episode of Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters... It was a very satisfying finale, no cliffhanger, just a few loose ends to be addressed in the forthcoming film Predacons Rising, due out in October in the US.
Today, K&K have gone to the Pilgrim's Way pageant - although it's now started raining (the onset of the threatened storms) so I expect them back soonish. Tyjer is most unhappy. He's loved the sunny weather - now mum's made it rain...
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Bay tree gone. Going to wait a while and consider options before we try to do anything with the space!
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I'd hoped for a lie in, but the house over the road is having something done - something that involves an awful lot of noise. And at 8.16 am a whacking great delivery truck pulls up to unload more supplies...
[sigh] So I got up and went into town - we needed SodaStream supplies anyway, and more suet treats for the birds. And the Wed market was on outside St Nicks: bought a wonderful Cheddar cheese plait loaf for our lunch, a bag of organic potatoes, and some absolutely delicious unpasteurised Cheddar from Greens of Glastonbury.
This afternoon Ken managed to dig up the bay tree stump while Kai and I got the netting set up for the peas later in the year (going to try an October sowing and see what happens!) Needless to say the legs are aching, and I caught the sun. Going a nice brown colour I am!
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
So there I am, having finally managed to drop off in the ridiculous heat of last night, when I'm woken at 3.27 am by a dream of Soundwave ordering the Nemesis to barrage the house with fusion cannon blasts - only to find the most amazing storm happening outside. I've seen some thunderstorms in my time but that was just phenomenal. Almost constant purple sheet lightning, thunder that rattled the windows (yes, literally) and torrential rain. And the most delicious coolness rolling in through the wide open windows.
Main waterbutt completely full this morning: Kai's filled up the greenhouse one for me (it collects from a much smaller area of roof and one storm will only half fill it), and chucked a couple of watering cans full into Roeg's Pool (which had half-filled too overnight), and I've done a successful gastropod hunt up at the veg bed. And it's so much cooler - even with the humidity. Of course, this being the UK, if it's not one thing it's another...
Monday, July 22, 2013
Oooray! The ivy pile is now gone (except for the heavy logs that are up against the wall to provide wildlife habitats). I can now move my goji berry when the weather is a little less fierce.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
I took yesterday off! It was nice.
The high - low - point of today was me sitting here proof-reading when suddenly all the power went off. Just in our house. It took over an hour but we eventually found the kitchen socket that usually runs the kettle (and the vacuum cleaner) was shorting out the whole house when the switch was flicked. [sigh] The whole house needs rewiring really but we can't afford it.
Labels: domestic disasters
Friday, July 19, 2013
First marrow of the year (and second cucumber. And a handful of mixed veg to go with yesterday's pick to have with dinner tonight).
Working on next Poppy...
Thursday, July 18, 2013
High point of today - got my hair cut. Quite drastically: he's taken off about two and a half inches all over. It looks and feels great - sooo much cooler in this heat!
We aren't quite sure what he was doing - yoga or worshipping the TV - but it looks good...
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Family. (Tf: P Soundwaves, for those who haven't been paying attention).
Labels: Transformers: Prime
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Sorry these posts are short and mostly consist of jobs finished. It's hectic and hot and we're trying to get everything done as quickly as we can.
K&K burned some more of the ivy pile this evening - looks like only one more, at most two, and it'll all be gone! The incinerator is really efficient and there's hardly any smoke (though that's probably because everything is so dry).
And Ken finished my path. It's terrific, really stable and should last for years.
It looks like blogger's done away with the need to put in a title!
Monday, July 15, 2013
Kai and I went to see Pacific Rim.
Absolutely loved it!
Yes, predictable, a little clichéd, but the comic moments were great, the cgi utterly awesome, the fights amazing, and the kaiju had magnificent biolights! The music is terrific too.
A 'must have'. Hopefully for Yule.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Yesterday was busy, of course. Bused out to Hurrans: couldn't find the plants we're looking for for the front, but they were having a half price sale: picked up the heuchera that was on my list (the pewter coloured one) and a heucharilla (hybrid of heachera and tiarella, I think) that looks pretty and changes colour through the year. So my heuchera bed is just about finished. I'd still like a bronze one, but I can certainly live with it for now!
(Heucheras in 7.30 am sun this morning with obligatory cat... Will get better pic when the light isn't so bright.)
By the time I got up yesterday Ken had already dug up the grass where the strawberry bed (right) and the show bed (left) are being expanded. Today he's bedded in half the stones that are making up the path (photo when it's finished).
The incinerator works really well. This is the ivy pile after one evening's fire (pile did reach the top of the wall. That wall is over 8' high...) It's going to take several more fires to get rid of it all, and we may not be able to before this heatwave eases and it rains, but we'll see how we go.
Also bought half price peppermint and apple mint plants, which are now beside the greenhouse where the lawn chamomile was failing to thrive. (Will plant it elsewhere.) To finish it off I've planted one of the cat mint plants I managed to grow from seed (with an upturned hanging basket cage over it to protect the roots!). Tyjer was very happy...
We watched The Constant Gardener on Friday night (picked it up cheap at St Pete's Hospice charity shop. Wonderful film. But scary.
Friday, July 12, 2013
And it's officially a heatwave!
My poor garden... Just as well grass is resilient as at the moment the lawn looks like straw. I'm using the hose at half-pressure to get water directly to the roots every two days in the veg garden, which seems to be working well, and of course the sun is bringing everything on (we're self-sufficient in courgettes at the moment, and the sweetcorn is coming on a treat). This morning I planted the melons out into the cold frame (between us Kai and I managed to repair the lid that the fox broke) and Ken is filling the greenhouse waterbutt from the main one (which actually needs rinsing out as there's a lot of silt from the roof at the bottom - good timing neh? Not overly keen on a lot of garden work in this heat but it's good exercise...
Pacific Rim is on at the Showcase at the moment - planning for Kai and I to go watch it next week.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Busy couple of days. The conifer is dug up, the bay tree is getting closer to being gone, the ivy tree stump has been moved, I've picked, shelled, blanched and frozen the first batch of peas, and we have home grown courgettes for dinner tomorrow (with tomatoes as a side dish to pork chops). And I now have a large heap of very nice rocks to use in the rockery or to make paths or stepping stones up at the veg bed.
I've also ordered a garden incinerator from ebay - not hugely expensive and an investment. We have to get rid of the prunings and the ivy somehow and bonfires are no longer an option now we have the strawberry bed. It should arrive by the weekend: that massive pile of dead ivy between the elder and the choisya could be gone by Monday!
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Sometimes I think I have strange tastes. But I like daft /cute things. Sometimes.
Yes, it's an eggwhisk.
No, it's not a potato, it's a potato brush (for cleaning potatoes) made to look like one.
Marbles, for Lutra. 'Cause she likes 'em. A lot.
Labels: strangeness and charm
Monday, July 08, 2013
Up early again, the last of my seedlings in the ground (three marrows) and spring onions, radishes and beetroot seeds planted. And I made a start on clearing the dead buddleia branches from behind the shed. Then it got too hot.
As you can see, the 'rockery' is a complete mess: it's been completely invaded by grass (a lot of which I've poisoned, hence the dead patches). We're going to be stripping everything (well, not the red acer, juniper or paeony), taking out all the rocks and redesigning the whole thing - but I'm now wondering if putting in something edible in hte bit outside the patio doors might be an option. It's a large space. Then again, it's a slope, which might make it tricky... Going to have a think about that.
Taken from the hall window.
Taken from the ground.
I've lifted my little silver pink and light green acer, the one we bought in Wells, from the slope at the top (it was suffering in the heat - it's very dry up there) and it's now recovering in a pot out of the sun. It will be going in fairly close to the red acer next to Roeg's Pool (which you can't see here as it's hidden by grass). I'm very tempted to try more irises - one of my favourite flowers - but they are very prone to 'pod attacks... Will have to think about that...
Anyway - there's an enormous amount to get done, and there's no way we can do it all this year. Be good to make a start, clearing the ground and maybe stacking rocks to make little 'crags' for the alpines and succulents that were the original plan. It's kind of nice to have such a parchment to work on.
Sunday, July 07, 2013
Hot. Very very hot. Too hot to do much, especially after getting even hotter doing the usual Sunday shop.
And the heatwave is due to continue all this week.
... I need another waterbutt...
Saturday, July 06, 2013
So, today was a bit...
Hurting now though. Going to be sore in the morning...
Friday, July 05, 2013
Eleventh part of New World 2 - Success - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Physio yesterday was very pleased with progress - next appointment is middle of August.
I popped into the cheap place while I was up at Broadwalk (had to go in to get bird food at Wlkinson's) and sudden Shockwave. The one I saw and regretted not buying a while ago and haven't seen since. Still half price. So grabbed him. He's put away for - dunno, Mothering Sunday?
They also had Bayscream (RotF) at half price so I got him too...
As with the cometary protoform, not the prettiest, but it's good to have a full sized one.
Garden work shortly...
Thursday, July 04, 2013
I liked Jetstorm. Starscream's aerial agility and Knock Out-esque voice and snark - heh, what's not to like? And although the figure can't hope to have the elegance of the cgi, it's still pretty good. So I got him.
He arrived today. He's missing his tailfins and missiles (the latter I don't care, the former, would have been nice to have been warned) but otherwise he's good.
He has the red plastic back of head feature to allow the light to make his eyes shine - always a nice touch.
This is what wiki has to say about Jetstorm:
He'll hang on my lefthand speaker bracket, opposite my Bayverse satellite Soundwave, which will make a nice symmetry. Altogether chuffed!
Next!Poppy now on page four. Should be posted tonight.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
I blinked, and there was Wednesday receding into the distance...
But we got a lot done. Usual Wednesday shopping, then Ken finished the wall! It's done! This is great!
I've also been cleaning out cupboards and drawers, trying to get rid of clutter. Though that's a bit like painting the Forth Bridge. Kitchen is next.
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Why am I suddenly unable to post without filling in this field? What the hell have blogger done NOW?
Working on next!Poppy and as usual skyping with Lutra. Her comment on reading about the bad guys: