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!
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Samhain in the Forest
We discovered a few days ago that the mist is caused by a very large deer (Kai thinks he might be called Velocity but isn't going to swear to it: for me he is Cernunnos) and the mist was heavy tonight. See all those glyphs down in the left hand bottom corner? That's a gathering. We headed right for it.
[The next six pics are clickable to larger images] Everyone was gathering around Cernunnos (the red one with huge antlers), milling around, calling...
And then we danced...
The music was huge and stirring, and the sense of wonder palpable. It was sublime.
And then Cernunnos headed off and the gathering followed him - but I'm only a little faun and couldn't keep up.
BUT he stopped again at the fountain near the pool.
And we danced again...
It was intense. But what a way to spend Samhain!
Afterwards Kai and I retreated to the singing tree to rest...
Labels: Endless Forest
Kai now has a deviantArt page. Go look. Is there anything this young man can't do?
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
[sigh] Is this why we haven't been able to buy any grape juice cartons for months?
Last two spreads sent - well, two and a half really: I'd like to do a little more and make it three but I have to wait to see if she likes it first. It was highly speculative, called on TV and film, and may not be at all what she wants. Still, I believe I've acquitted myself professionally and competently with the others... We'll see.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Only two more spreads to do and I've finished...
My pear tree. There are three different varieties grafted on the rootstock - I didn't expect them to have different autumn colours! Pretty...
Monday, October 28, 2013
Happy Birthday Sue!
Hope it was a great one!
... It's Monday. Where'd the weekend go?
Actually, don't answer that. It went in writing spreads, cleaning, shopping... the usual, but busier than ever. Still, as of tonight I only have four spreads left to do, and they're relatively easy.
Kai had his Monday appointment first thing (tests, checks and a platelets transfusion) so we were home before midday, and we have the appointments now made right up to the end of November. I can organise the rest of the time a little better now.
The storm actually pretty much missed us. Yes, it rained, but it wasn't too bad, and the wind was quite tame - it's been worse today, with a handful of torrential downpours.
What was rather exciting was the Forest last night. I almost didn't visit, then thought, soddit, why not? And I'm glad I did.
It was raining! And these giant toadstools had sprung up all over the place!
Great fun! Kai tells me that strange things happen there at Samhain...
Friday, October 25, 2013
Today was completely insane. Yesterday the Citizens Advice Bureau range to rearrange my appointment - for 11.45 today. Cutting it fine but otherwise there wasn't one for another two weeks, so I said yes but warned them about my optician appointment...
I was about to head out the door - late - to get to Specsavers when the consultant rang from the hospital with new instructions re: Kai's meds. Wrote them down and repeated them back, then had to adjust the ones I was getting ready for him for his 10 am doses. Got to Specsavers a few minutes late, advised them about the CAB interview, and bless 'em they didn't hang about. I have new glasses on order (same as my current ones but black not silver): the vision in my left eye has changed, actually got a little better. I pick them up next Friday.
Then I hared off to CAB - got there in time - and spent a very informative half an hour with a lovely woman who was incredibly helpful. There are all sorts of things I need to check out next week.
Dropped into Wilkinson's on the way to the bus station as I spotted a square pinewood frame there last time I was in that looked ideal for the lovely print Kai bought himself in Glastonbury for his birthday. It's a couple centimetres too big all around but it's the closest we've found yet and it's really nice, so I used more of the £40 gift money to buy it (£6.50 as opposed to the £21 + the gallery quoted).
Home and dived straight into the spreads - have done two today, so not too bad. Kai phoned the DWP about his ESA, then Ken hobbled up to the doctor, who told him it's probably arthritis in the metatarsal, prescribed anti-inflammatories and said to go back in a month if it isn't any better. [rolls eyes] He's had it for months and it isn't going away. I think next time he should see our own doctor - she's great.
I've been catching up with my St Germain books while spending time at the BRI, and the author keeps making references to stories I haven't read, so tonight I checked her website and found I'm missing eight novels. Cue a dive into amazon.uk and the finding and ordering of six of them (second hand, total £29.65 incl p&p, a very good price). [g] Looking forward to those!
Edit: and then I found the seventh one (the eighth and latest isn't published yet) on amazon so ordered that too. Collection now up to date and I have a feast in store!
Only spent a few mins in the Forest last night (Kai was exhausted and had an early night). This was pretty - I do like the ability to change the pov.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Just a quick update.
Kai's first Day Unit appointment today: bloods checked, and a platelet and a blood transfusion to keep him ticking over. All told they seem to be pleased with the way things are going, which is excellent news. He's very tired - though getting to bed at 4 am and then me getting him up at 8.30 am for the appointment partly explains that! He's asleep now - no Forest for him tonight. I took a nap this evening - I got to bed at 3.30 and had to be up at 7.15 to put a wash through to take advantage of the warm sunny weather we had today, but knackered or not I still need to finish at least one spread a day or I'll run out of time...
Where was I? Oh yes. Tomorrow I have my two-yearly Specsavers appointment, and in the afternoon Ken has a doctor's appointment for a problem he's been having with his foot. Kai has DWP paperwork he has to deal with, oh joy. [Department of Work and Pensions for non-Brits: he's eligible for a little financial help while this condition lasts.]
Last night's Forest fun: Kai, me, and two other fauns dancing on the bridge.
Kai decided he was going to be the fountain...
Back to it. Hopefully I can untangle the intricacies of the various Buddhist beliefs of the afterlife before I have to wake Kai for his Aciclovir at 2 am...
It's been manic. Still cleaning, still trying to finish two spreads a day, still triple checking the meds every time I have to dole them out (ten tablets of five different meds every morning, possibly due to become six after tomorrow, as well as other meds at other times of the day, culminating in a single Aciclovir at two in the morning) but things are going OK so far. He's not feeling too bad, still has had no reactions, and is still eating extremely well.
Last night in the Forest - dancing in the pool...
The ruin from a distance. Kai thinks it might be based on a real place.
Amazing antlers! I think I'd like ones like that when I grow up!
Recent acquisitions... Hardshell, the chief Insecticon from TF: P.
Knock Out. Not a particularly accurate or pretty version, but he was half price so I picked him up.
And two different, pretty show accurate Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Cheetors. No instructions for transforming so will have to check Youtube...
Monday, October 21, 2013
Kai's home! (Haven't quite finished cleaning the house but the important bits are done.) He's done so well they're happy to let him be here: has umpteen different meds to take though, and is back to the day unit every Monday and Thursday for the foreseeable. But this is great!
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Quick update before I fall over (just sent off the next spread - Dogon and Vodun - for the afterlife project).
Kai has now actually finished the chemo: it was four days, not five. He's come through it well, is looking tired but apart from that actually better than he's looked in a while. He's had no further reactions so far (we are keeping fingers very tightly crossed) and we're now just waiting til Monday to find out if they'll let him home or keep him in a bit longer. (Strictly speaking they could have decided that today but it's the weekend and the consultants are off doing weekend stuff, mostly, I think.)
Anyway - poor sprog is going spare stuck in the room by himself, so I'm trying to spend a bit more time in the hospital with him. Tonight I had him transform my new Knock Out figure for me (too tired to download pics right now) because, as usual, pictorial instructions that a 5 yr old is supposed to be able to follow were beyond me (that being said, if I could actually see the damned illustrations it would help! Pale purple and light grey images on white paper? Who the frag designs these things?!)
I've also been spending a little time in the Endless Forest and taking screen caps to skype to him, which seems to go down well since he can't access it from hospital (I begged and pleaded but regretfully they won't open the client/server connection as it opens everything up to everything. Or so I've been told.) In the last couple of days I've watched the most adorable bright pink dragonflies, stood in the middle of a swarm of butterflies, been adopted by a two-stag family and spent an hour romping and playing and dancing with another faun. Absolutely charming!
Kai's room is now about as sterile as I can make it (attacked the window frames with Polycell mould killer and wiped down the walls with Dettol megawipes to be certain). Still have to tackle the kitchen and clean the lounge, but we're getting there.
It's the keeping it clean that's going to be the grind...
I got adopted...
Friday, October 18, 2013
So... everything is going well so far. It looks like tonight might be Kai's last infusion of ATG, although they'll keep him in for another 48 hours to finish taking the steroids - and to keep an eye on him, as this treatment runs the risk of serum sickness occurring. On Monday we'll find out when he can come home and how often he'll have to attend the day unit. We're hoping he'll be OK to come home on Tuesday as he is very very tired of being in hospital...
He skyped me a pic from his room taken with his phone:
The red is blood, the large clear bag is the ATG.
On the plus side, clearing his room is going well. Kim came round to drop off a tree and gave me a lift up to Wilkinson's and B&M (where I bought a Knock Out but more on that tomorrow) at Broadwalk to pick up storage crates. I have a couple that can take Kai's stuff and slide under the bed, so I have less to try to keep clean.
Knackered. Going to try not to be too late tonight but since I spent most of today cleaning or at the hospital I'm now all behind again... Sleep. Know the word, can't remember what it means...
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Caught Kai on skype for a few minutes last night, before I closed down - all seemed to be going OK. Went in to visit this morning, and was very happy to find that he'd had no allergic reactions to anything again, and was looking and feeling pretty good. Although he had lost a bit of his appetite (though looking at what they gave him for lunch I think I would have too. I may have to organise making some chicken fajitas to take in - they're cold, they'd be acceptable). He's still very tired though, getting a lot of sleep, which is probably good for him. Everyone seems happy with the results so far.
Picked up the crates for the ornaments from Wilkinsons, bused back, booted up, opened skype - and found that Kai had had an allergic reaction to today's platelets transfusion...
HOWEVER, it was a mild reaction, a rash over his arms and legs, and they treated it with piritese (and something else, he wasn't sure what). It went away quickly - was gone by the time Ken went in to visit on his way home - so he's now on his second ATG infusion. This one should only take 12 hours though.
I managed to get two of the spreads done tonight, so have almost caught up. I really should try for three tomorrow, though, as I need to get cracking on the house clean on Friday, just on the offchance that Kai can come home on Sunday.
Tired... Sorry Sue and Wendy, will try to answer emails tomorrow. In the meantime, have some more Forest. The second and third ones are clickable to larger images, as this part - around the pool - is lovely. Fountain, pool, bridge, and at upper left of the third pic you can just see the base of the twin statues (what I've called the shrine before). Oh, and in the first one I'm a bat again after drinking the water!
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Got to the hospital at 8.30 am - and they didn't actually start doing anything until 1 pm...
A steroids transfusion (I think that should be infusion) first, then an hour's wait (should have been half an hour) until they injected a tiny tiny bit of the ATG under his skin to test for allergic reactions. As it happened he was absolutely fine, no reaction at all - but I was not impressed that the nurse said she would check him every fifteen minutes and then left us alone for an hour and a half. I knew what to watch for, but I'm not medically trained nor should I have to do her job. Does that count as negligence? I spoke to one of the other nurses to complain (if nothing else to make sure they knew I was concerned he wasn't being monitored correctly: there's a chance the ATG could cause fever and a rash half way through the infusion), and am wondering whether to mention it to the consultant next time I speak to him/her.
I'll sleep on it. I didn't get home until 5 pm after sodall sleep and am having an early night. Trying to get any work done tonight would be counterproductive, much better to get up early and get some done before I head in to see how he is.
Labels: medical matters
Just back from hospital. Kai's settled, has has his first dose of cyclosporin and may have platelets later. Treatment starts tomorrow: I need to be at the BRI for 8.30 (ish).
I'd better try to get some sleep. More later.
Labels: medical matters
Monday, October 14, 2013
I allowed myself to be talked into taking a day off and went to Chepstow on Saturday... Photos here. I went with Dawn (a friend of Ken's) and had a wonderful time - but of course I then had to race to catch up with everything I had to do. Just about done now - possible project samples off to agent and I'm on track with the ghost writing - and I managed to thoroughly clean the bathroom yesterday. We've decided to pack away about half of the stuff we have out on display to make it easier to keep the house clean and hygienic while Kai is recovering: shall pick up a large crate next time I'm in town.
Kai is still home; when I rang the hospital this morning I managed to get the most gormless nurse on the ward who didn't know anything and said she'd check on the situation and I'd get a phone call this afternoon to let me know what's what. I shall wait 'til three and ring again myself.
Lots more pics of the Endless Forest. Ignore if you like.
Suddenly, a rainbow!
On the bridge...
Masks. I'm not fond of masks...
Friday, October 11, 2013
In brief... The PICC line is hurting Kai, we think it's pinching a nerve. Need to see the doctor about that when we go in next.
The ATG meds he will be having are from the States, and haven't arrived yet, so yesterday he had another blood transfusion while Ken and I went to this (which was OK but didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know). I have to ring the hospital on Sunday to check but we're anticipating him going in to start on Monday. The effect of the chemo is basically to reboot his bone marrow - basically turn his immune system off and then on again...
Someone posted two £20 notes to us. No name, no message, no frank mark and I didn't recognise the writing... If it was someone reading this, thank you very much, but (since I assume it was to help out with the taxi fares) we have now been fully reimbursed for them and will continue to be so while Kai is ill. So what I've done with the money is to buy him a LimbO waterproof half sleeve to protect his PICC when he showers (£14.50), a new shower curtain for the bathroom (£7) as the old one is beginning to get mould and when he's recovering at home I have to keep the house as sterile as I can to avoid infection. There will be other things he needs so the rest will be spent later. It's much appreciated, but please no-one do it again!
Endless Forest... I now have a mouse, but it's not the pointing devices causing the problem, it's my graphics card, so will consider upgrading at some point. I have now set my f keys so I don't need the cursor and buttons to have the faun do things.
When I jump into the deeper part of the pool I change into a frog!!
And the well turned me into a rabbit and a bird (not at the same time, obviously)