Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::

I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.

... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....

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.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

Adventures in Orchids

Apparently I am now collecting them...

There's room for one - or maybe two, at a pinch - more on that bedroom windowsill (the only one in the house that's ideal for them). Let's see what I find. Well, that didn't last long...

EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid since 2007 and it just keeps flowering...

AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!

RO - Rescued orchid photo to come when it flowers. Phalaenopsis. Rescued from a bin up the road in 2019. Classic!

TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?

CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.

GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...

DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...

RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.

PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!

TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).

My IMDb ep summaries

Arthur of the Britons
Star Maidens
The Starlost
Space Rangers
The Sentinel (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Swamp Thing (part: season 3)
Gravedale High
Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Cybertron (part)
Misfits of Science (four eps)
Zoo Gang
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)
The Café

For later:

Missing Earthian ep
Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)


I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the year...

Watching the little birds in the goat-willow in my garden, I realised something more.

I love this land with a fierce, possessive love, deep-rooted in two thousand years of history. From the frosted beaches and cloud-brushing peaks of the north to the wind-haunted meanderings of the rivers of the east, from the sensuous rolling patchworked hills of the south to the demanding dark moors of the west, this land seeps into bone and blood and synapse, mother of motley nobility, culture, individual freedoms. It can be known. It can be understood. It can be felt deep inside.

I love its effortless eccentricities, its vigour and vibrancy, its flawed perfections, its silent strength and tenacious resilience, its hard-won tolerances and intense and variable beauty, the profound energy in its sacred mythical landscape.

Home and more-than-home, the forces that shape and protect and bind, in me, as I am in the land. Love returning love in the stillness for those who'll only take the time to listen...

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

All photographs taken by Joules unless otherwise specified. All photographs © Joules A Taylor or other specified individual.

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

Currently enjoying:
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:
Nestlé, Nonpres Tinyhands Fart, Toadface Farage

Currently maintaining:

Blog Pics
I've gathered some of my pages of photos together: the page of links is here. I'll be adding more as time goes by!

Evil Squid
A Little Glossary of Taylorspeke
(in no particular order)

plit popints - n. Typo for 'plot points' typed on a keyboard with more than half the characters worn off...

[PING] (alt [ping]) - n. A brainwave. The text equivalent of a lightbulb going on blindingly over someone's head. Usually mine. And usually at the most inconvenient of times. [sigh]

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

wulmet - n. A person of little or no talent who somehow inveigles himself into a position where he is in power over other, far more talented people and uses his position to downplay them in order to try to make himself feel superior.

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

Flatterfed - vb. 27.02.08: my typo for flattered, but since it's so cutely apt I thought it would fit nicely here. Lutra defined it as "the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction resulting from enthusiastic reviews..." (which I've been getting for my MB fics).

Composted - vb, 'compos mentis', mentally capable of working. Contrast with uncomposted or non- composted, not 'compos mentis', not capable of working, hungover...

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

Kewp - how Ken says 'thank you'. We rather like Lutra's 'nanx', too...

Musekick - noun, music, without which I cannot work.

'feinne - noun, caffeine, essential for correct mental functioning, especially first thing in the morning. I prefer mine in the form of SodaStream Diet Coke. And on that subject...

Skoosh - verb, noun. To skoosh - to add CO2 to a sodastream bottle filled with water to make it fizzy, prior to adding Diet Coke syrup (or just drinking as sparkling water). A skoosh - a bottle of water that has been skooshed. Skooshy - something that has been skooshed, water, or that whipped cream that comes in tins you have to shake then upend and press the nozzle...

Shoogle - verb. To shake gently, for example, of roast potatoes in a roasting tin to ensure they're covered with oil. I have vague memories of this being a real Scottish colloquialism...

Stegasaurus - n, spider of the genus tegenaria. Why? No idea. I just find it easier, that's all...
Edit 08.09.07: Lutra thinks that Brian is a good name for a mini-stegasaurus. From now on, any 'Brian's in the posts may be assumed to be a tegenaria. Except where otherwise specified.

Viterals - noun, vitamins + minerals. Also a pun on victuals.

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

Parrots - noun, paracetemol (from the old joke "Why are there no aspirin tablets in the jungle? Because the parrots eat 'em all...")

Maggles - noun, magpies. As opposed to non-magical people.

Flamewings - noun. Swifts. So called because the first time we became aware of them was an early summer evening when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We always know summer's arrived when we hear their high-pitched squeeing.

Murfs - noun, moths.

Peasant cut - noun, roughly cut up into big chunks, e.g. vegetables chopped in a hurry for a hearty stew or soup. By extension, anything prepared in a hurry - haircut, material, even a first draft of a story...

Giraffe - noun, a carafe (of wine, coffee or water, for example).

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

Splings - noun, Kai's spelling homework: by extension, any spelling.

Tyops - noun, typos. var toyps, typso, psyto, psoyt, etc. Usual result of a dose of the fingerials (see next entry).

Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want them to.

Haddock - noun, time, of which I never have enough. (Origin of this term here.)

Sleep - noun? vb? a.k.a. sheeeeeeeeep.... I used to know what this word meant...

The Updates Blog

The place to stay notified of WaveWrights' Fiction updates: Zone, Darkside, DarkRealm, Matrix, Vault, Safehouse 13...

my computer gremlin Butch. click the pic to see the larger image

Butch, my computer gremlin. Click the pic for larger version, and read his adventures here...

Butch by the talented 


A gift for me! Butch by the very talented Sylverthorne. Click pic for larger image.



This is MY haddock. It was caught exclusively for me by Talon. No, you can't have any. I need all the haddock I can get!!

A'lestrel by Valkyrie.

A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


Another gorgeous Valkyrie gift for me - Benten the Albino Alsatian! Click thumbnail for larger image.

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



Oekai by Bakayaro Onna - Radittsu at his sexiest...

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....

Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

   All 3 eps on Video, dubbed
   Dj: Cyberage 1-3
   Illustrated Book 2 (Benten's) in Japanese

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

   English Manga: Vol 1
   Japanese Manga: Vol 1-7 complete
   Tarot Pack
   R.G.Veda video

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

   (Studio Ironcat) Manga Vols 1 -5 (complete)

Yami no Matsuei

   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.

[::..Joules SPfied..::]

... this is Terra? How the hell'd I end up here...?

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
01/07/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
01/09/2012 - 30/09/2012
01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
01/09/2013 - 30/09/2013
01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
01/12/2017 - 31/12/2017
01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
01/02/2018 - 28/02/2018
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
01/04/2018 - 30/04/2018
01/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
01/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
01/03/2019 - 31/03/2019
01/04/2019 - 30/04/2019
01/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019
01/07/2019 - 31/07/2019
01/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019
01/01/2020 - 31/01/2020
01/02/2020 - 29/02/2020
01/03/2020 - 31/03/2020
01/04/2020 - 31/04/2020
01/05/2020 - 31/05/2020
01/06/2020 - 31/06/2020
01/07/2020 - 31/07/2020
01/08/2020 - 31/08/2020
01/09/2020 - 30/09/2020
01/10/2020 - 31/10/2020
01/11/2020 - 30/11/2020
01/12/2020 - 31/12/2020
01/01/2021 - 31/01/2021
01/02/2021 - 28/02/2021
01/03/2021 - 31/03/2021
01/04/2021 - 30/04/2021
01/05/2021 - 31/05/2021
01/06/2021 - 30/06/2021
01/07/2021 - 31/07/2021
01/08/2021 - 31/08/2021
01/09/2021 - 30/09/2021
01/10/2021 - 31/10/2021
01/11/2021 - 30/11/2021
01/12/2021 - 31/12/2021
01/01/2022 - 31/01/2022
01/02/2022 - 28/02/2022
01/03/2022 - 31/03/2022
01/04/2022 - 30/04/2022
01/05/2022 - 30/05/2022
01/06/2022 - 31/06/2022
01/07/2022 - 31/07/2022
01/08/2022 - 31/08/2022
01/09/2022 - 30/09/2022
01/10/2022 - 31/10/2022
01/11/2021 - 31/11/2021
01/12/2022 - 31/12/2022
01/01/2023 - 31/01/2023
01/02/2023 - 28/02/2023
01/03/2023 - 31/03/2023
01/04/2023 - 30/04/2023
01/08/2023 - 31/08/2023
01/11/2023 - 31/11/2023

Friday, January 31, 2014

Got to the BRI at 10.05 am. Got home again 7.45 pm.

But the biopsy went smoothly, and they got two generous samples each of liquid and tissue (if you remember, the first biopsy barely got enough to test), which I find quite encouraging. Kai also had platelets (no reaction) and two units of blood.

We're both knackered now though.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Yesterday the letter giving all the details about the London appointment arrived, including the time - 10 am. I took it in with me today when Kai went for his usual day unit appointment, and our lovely receptionist (I must find out her name. I know one of them (Theresa) but not the other two...) said she'd get a message to Dr Lowry's PA and someone would get back to me. Twenty minutes ago Dr Lowry rang herself.

So it happens that she didn't make the appt with Kings College Hospital: she contacted them to advise that Kai might need to see them at some point (which is what she told us a couple of months ago when this was first mooted) and the Hospital then went ahead and made the appt off their own bat - and didn't even tell her! [rolls eyes] Anyway, she apologised for the confusion and told me that she is more or less expecting the appointment to be needed, but she's trying to find out if there's any way we can get funds to take the train up there off peak hours (I priced fares up yesterday and it would cost us £386 return to get there in time for a morning appointment (and we'd need to get the 6 am train), not to mention taxi fares when we got there) and stay overnight so we can have a leisurely, relaxed visit with appt instead of a panicked rush. Which is really very good of her and would certainly make the whole thing easier.

Whether we need to go or not will depend on Kai's next biopsy, which was going to be 11th Feb but which we may be able to have done tomorrow instead: I have to ring the ward around 9 am and see if there's a bed available. Dr Lowry isn't expecting there to be much if any change from the previous biopsy: I am a little more optimistic. We'll see.

In other news... um... I'm sure there was something, but I can't remember what it was. I'm still proof reading (although every time I try today I get interrupted), but it wasn't that. Eh, I'll add it later if I can think what it was.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Yesterday's appt went quite well. Kai needed platelets (all fine, no reaction) but the dr thought he may not need blood until next week (that would make it two and a half weeks). BUT we'll have to see what happens on Thursday...

So we got home before midday, I carried on proof-reading and after dinner we watched Taken (bought it cheap at Sainsbug's). Surprisingly gripping!

Proof-read another chapter today; it's all coming along well. Then half way through the afternoon I took a phone call - from a London university (Kingston? I didn't write it down, but it was Kings-something...) ringing to enquire why we hadn't confirmed Kai's appointment with their haematology dept next Wed...

It seems that Dr Lowry went ahead and made the appt with one of the UK experts in aplastic amaemia - which is fine, but no-one told us anything about it... Long story short, that appt is now cancelled and they'll wait to see the results of Kai's biopsy on the 11th. If things are progressing OK, he may not need to go: if they aren't, the hospital may be able to provide transport for us.

Talk about left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing...

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Right - yesterday was shopping, a little gardening, and proof-reading, and we watched The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus after dinner. A very odd film...

Today was pretty much more of the same: I've now moved my irises to the rockery (the golden one split naturally into two! Very happy about that, that one was a bit pricey, so having two plants now is great), and am about half-way done with the proof-reading. Still have to prune the medlar, and the top of the garden needs a lot of work, but we're nibbling away at it bit by bit.

Very early start tomorrow so trying for an earlyish night.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Busy couple of days. Yesterday was two shopping trips, today I bused up to Broadwalk for large planters from Wilkinson's, and in between I've been proof-reading Ken's book on St Anne's Well...

[bg] This is last night's footage from the Suburban Wildlife Haven...

Kai had the camera set to film 30 second snippets: this is four of them stitched together with fades in between. Next time he's going to make the duration a minute and see what happens. Now, we think that the one with the bushier tapered tail is the male, while the one with the little white 'pompom' tip of the tail is female - which of course begs the question, are we going to have lots of little foxes playing in the garden later? We'll keep filming and see.

But this is fantastic. They're obviously perfectly happy and at home in the garden, even without food being left out (I don't when it's going to rain).

Dead chuffed!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

limp with relief...

Got to the 9 am appt early and were seen early - and a different doctor was in attendance. Kai's blood sample was run through the machine (it takes just a couple of minutes and gives the levels of 19 different blood components, of which the RBC (red blood cell), WBC (white blood cell), platelets and neutrophils are the ones we're most concerned with) and I could tell she wasn't completely happy with the schedule (she and the nurse kept asking questions as to when Kai's last tranfusion was and how often he had them) so I jumped in and said I wasn't happy about it either, according to his charts he shouldn't need bloods yet, etc etc... and she agreed with me! It seems I'm reading the charts correctly, which is very reassuring... Anyway, tomorrow's appt/transfusion is cancelled and we don't need to go in until Monday (YAY!! Rest of the week off!!) and I have been told that if I'm ever worried about any aspect of the treatment and not happy with the responses I get, to ask one of the nurses who will pass on my concerns to one of the doctors. They know by now that I understand what's going on, am closely involved with the treatment, and only fuss if I think something's not right.

So - we were home by 10, and I went shopping via the Post Office, and in the Flower Basket a few doors down I found they had three daphnes on sale for just £5.50! Well grown, in flower, and about 18 inches high. Of course I bought one. It's now planted by the front door and smells glorious.

I got some garden work done yesterday too - dug up the sedums (which it turns out I didn't kill after all) and planted my pretty little pink and silver acer in its place. The sedum actually split happily into seven clumps, so there are now three out the front, two by the fence outside the patio doors, and two up on the slope. I weeded around the heathers and the weigela as well, but that's all I can do for a bit, back and legs are aching horribly.

Planning to watch the last four eps of Beast Hunters in a little while.

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Blogger Sue said...

Oh hurray! I'm so pleased for Kai and you and impressed with the staff who actually recognise a relative with some sense as opposed to a flapper.
And a daphne for only £5.50??? Bargain!!

3:55 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thanks, it was such a relief. The haematology and oncology department are very keen to have patients' families included in the treatment, but it's reassuring to see it in action.

And yes, the daphne! Just wish I could have carried another...

11:02 pm  
Blogger Writer Chick said...

That's truly glorious news! Very, very happy that Kai is in such good professional hands, and that they recognize you as a person worth listening to. Rah all round.

3:26 pm  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Yesterday was supposed to be a quick appointment, but they were short staffed and had a nurse from the ward helping out - and the ward has quite different (slower) attitudes to the day unit... Kai ended up having his pentamidine nebuliser at 2.30 instead of 12. Though we did still get home while it was daylight.

However, the dr in the unit at the moment is a locum, which would be fine except he wants Kai to have blood on Thursday. That's only a week since his last transfusion, and a comparison of his charts over the last two months indicates he really doesn't need it yet. The same dr wanted to give him hydrocortisone as a matter of course before his platelet transfusion yesterday morning, even though the transfusion admin (and the other drs) said he should only have it if he has another reaction (I objected and was listened to, at least, and the steroid was held ready just in case. The platelets were fine, caused no reaction). Not very happy about all this, and not at all sure I trust this dr. We have to get in tomorrow am for a cross match: if I can find another dr to speak to I will try to express my concerns. It won't do Kai any harm to have more bloods at this stage, but there's the ever present risk of foreign antibodies causing problems further down the line...

After dinner we watched the end of Haibane Renmai. It's a very beautiful anime, many-layered and open to different interpretations. We really enjoyed it.

Last night Kai set up his new wildlife camera (bought with his Yule money) for the third time, and I left out half a tin of lamb and veg dog food in Quyn's old bowl - and we got some lovely footage of our fox! We did get some on Monday night, but it was muzzy - Kai thought the camera lens needed cleaning, used my glasses cleaner and proved he was right. In this attempt the camera was a little too close and the settings not quite right yet, but for only the third use he's done really well. But see for yourself. (It's on my Youtube account as Kai hasn't yet set up a proper one for himself...)

Love the way he scent-marked the bowl at the end!

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Blogger Lutra said...

He is a handsome boy!

10:10 pm  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I finally got around to sticking GoodTwin's stickers on the completely-rubbed-off characters on my keyboard. 'Oooray! I can read 'em again. (Not very good at touch-typing, me...)

So, not a bad weekend. Quite relaxed: we've been watching more Haibane Renmei and it's getting more and more confounding. Yesterday I treated myself to a few eps of Tf: Prime - Beast Hunters, then we caught the Tomorrow People ep we missed on Wednesday through watching The Hobbit. Hm. Still undecided...

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

I find myself pondering how you knew which keys to stick them on... :) I suppose you had to tap the keys to see what emerged.
I'd have trouble telling you where the keys are, mind. I've been typing for so long I just don't need to think about it.

10:49 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Ah, that was the easy part, they're printed on a backing sheet in the exact order they are on the keyboard itself, so as long as I have the Q, and the G, and the Z (which I did), I can just stick them on the right keys across the board.

Cutting them smaller so they fit properly was more aggravating, but I'd expected that. Finding that the @ was on the 2 sticker, and the " was on the ' sticker, was annoying too, but I managed... It's not ideal but it's certainly better than it was!

12:20 am  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Quick note as I'm trying to catch up on client stuff. We watched the first three eps of Haibane Renmei tonight - it's very strange, if charming. So far we have no idea what's going on, which is rather nice. My Tf:Prime - Beast Hunters DVDs arrived today too, so Ken and I watched the first couple of eps. (Kai's busy building bases on the moon I think.) Hugely enjoyable!

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Blogger Writer Chick said...

It's so very good to read that you are having a nice evening. Universe, I command Thee: more of them to She Who Dances With the Haddock!

Er. Please?

5:22 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

... Thank you - that would be nice...

12:42 am  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I believe I'm going to start needing more than 4 hours sleep a night...

Yesterday went quite well. Got some jobs done before the appt: there was a little bit of a bit of delay at the Day Unit as they were waiting for a doctor to sign off a form - which, unbeknowst to me, was the one he had given me yesterday which was in my bag. [rolls eyes] If I'd known I could have waved it at them. Anyway, the cross match took a couple of minutes then we were off home again. I had to dive over to Tesco (then had to do the same again today as I forgot the rice, without which dinner would have been somewhat lacking), then collapsed for the evening.

Today was OK. There was still a delay, as the staff had had an unscheduled meeting (which may have been spurred by my not being able to get through to reception on Tuesday, as they say they've now allocated specific people to deal with medical enquiries), and we met the tranfusion admin, who explained to us that Kai's reaction to platelets on Monday was most likely due to one of the 'pool' of donors that bag was drawn from having an allergy to one of the meds Kai is on. Which is quite a relief, actually. Since he was OK with the second bag they think it was most likely a one-off, so for the moment we're going to continue, with him having piriton before the platelets transfusion (keeping the hydricortisone at hand in case of need). However, if it happens again it may be necessary for him to have 'washed' platelets. We'll keep fingers crossed.

The traffic on the ride home was abysmal. Fortunately we had a right wit of a driver, who welcomed us with "I need a large brandy. I've been in and out of oncolgy four times today picking up and dropping off. Actually, just get me a two gallon bottle and a straw."


Though he did have some amusing stories. He remembers getting drunk in Glasgow and heading off with a hen party (?!?) and waking up the following day in Aberdeen, with no memory of how he got there. Then there was the time he went for a drink with friends and woke up the following morning in Westonbirt Arboretum, 37 miles from where he parked the car with no memory of how he got there, either. (Do we see a pattern forming here?) But the one that had us in stitches was the one where he woke up in a(n empty) child's bedroom, hearing a man and a woman's voice a couple of rooms away, and damn near panicked. Fortunately it was the friend he'd been drinking with last night, and said friend's wife. Apparently he'd ended up sitting under the table in the pub with a stick in his hands, proclaiming he was a garden gnome. But he couldn't catch any fish, because there was no waterfall. Whereupon a friend (?) poured his beer over the table so it cascaded down in front of him in a beerfall.

Apparently this made him very happy, his friend told him.

He'd rather sheepishily asked his friend if perhaps he should get some flowers for the landlady of the pub as an apology, so it's not all bad...

We caught the first ep of Hidden Kingdoms this evening. I think The Howling Mouse would be an excellent name for a band!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

[sigh] Definitely one of those weeks...

Kai asked this morning how much time he should leave between eating and having the sedative he needs for the biopsy. I hadn't thought about it: said I think it's two hours but would ring to check. Rang the nurses' station at the Day Unit: the nurse said it was four hours, but his appointment was too late for him to have a sedative, and advised me to ring reception to get advice/reschedule the appt. Which I tried to do, only to get the discontinued tone. Rang the nurses station again to be told they were at lunch and to try in half an hour. Waited an hour then rang again - still the discontinued tone. Rang the nurses' station again, explained I couldn't get through: they took a message and said reception would ring me - which they did very soon after.

There isn't an available appt til Feb for a biopsy with sedative, so I've booked that. If by any chance a sooner one comes up we can always change it again.

No explanation of the discontinued tone though...

In other news: Have finished Redshirts. Hm. Planning to do a review at some point soon when I can find a few minutes to spare. Also finished the first two volumes of More Than Meets The Eye and loved them - hoping to get the rest now! Have finished the ep guides for Arthur of the Britons, and we're actually planning to watch Haibane Renmei next: Onna gave it to us years ago and we've never yet managed to even put it in the player. It looks good though, and there are no ep guides on the IMDb so I may do those too.

That's about it, I think. I have some client stuff come in and I still need to do the invoices, but they will have to wait until tomorrow.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday hospital appointment: Kai needed platelets, and had his usual piriton dose. All went well until they hooked up the bag of platelets...

Within seconds his skin had gone bright red, his eyes bloodshot and bulging, and he could hardly breathe. I yelled for the nurse, who quickly stopped and unhitched the drip and gave him hydrocortisone (I think it was) through one of his lines. Again within seconds he started getting back to normal - but it was the most frightening thing I've ever experienced. Basically he had a bad reaction to something in the bag of platelets.

So, three nurses and one doctor attending, and me trying to stay out of the way. They got another cross match and let him sit for an hour (with me watching him like the proverbial hawk) before getting a new bag of platelets, and giving more piriton. That went through OK, but before we left I was advised to keep an eye on him, as there was still a small risk of a reaction in four hours or so, once the steroid wore off (which was between seven and eight-thirty-ish) so he's flopped on the sofa all evening and so far seems fine. Well, his temperature is a little higher than normal but not dangerously so.

He'll probably now need to have the steroid, as well as piriton, before platelets (pretty much every week, then). And we have to go back on Wednesday - he needs another bone marrow biopsy, I presume to check the levels as that will be three months since the ATG. Then on Thursday it'll be bloods again (we're back to 10 days between instead of two weeks).

It's no wonder I keep having nightmares.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sorry this is all very sketchy at the moment, we're still not back into a sensible, coherent routine and I'm still very tired.

Weather was really good yesterday, cold but brightly sunny: Ken dug up the cherry tree at the square and we planted the myrtle in its place, then pruned the greengage on the edge of the meadowsweet patch. Kai has bought himself a wildlife camera with his Yule money, and set it up last night close to the bowl with dogfood, to see if we could catch the fox. Didn't manage to film anything, so he's going to try again. It's a bit of a learning curve, it's quite different to an ordinary camera. When he's got it working properly and has something to show, he thinks he'll upload it to Youtube, but it might be a little while: the fox doesn't visit every night.

Tonight was pretty normal - shopping, then more Arthur after dinner. Only five more eps and we'll have finished! Bit of a shame actually, we're really enjoying it. On to Star Maidens next!

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Catch up!

Thursday's appt was nice and quick. More Arthur when we got back. Today I cleared client stuff, we watched an Arthur ep after dinner then went straight to Atlantis, The Lost Empire, which I finally found at Tesco for £4 and bought on Lutra's recommendation. The animation took a little getting used to, but then we were sucked in. It's absolutely gorgeous, truly enchanting.

Have some pics...

This is just perfect! Exactly how I see sport.

Spring in the Forest...

The Singing Tree is a cosy place to sleep. But it can get a little crowded at times.

And finally, Lutra alerted me to this - Books Come To Life at Bristol central library! Such fun.

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Client stuff.

Oh, and my diddy TF:A Prowl arrived!

So cute! (He was very very cheap from ebay. I've been looking for one for a while, but they were expensive on amazon.)

After dinner watched the first two eps of Arthur of the Britons series 2 - will do the guides later - and then at 9 pm the new Tomorrow People started. Looks interesting: we'll give it a couple of eps anyway.

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Blogger Lutra said...

Yes, that Prowl is certifiably 'diddy'...

10:10 am  
Blogger GoodTwin said...


Did you catch Tomorrow People? What did you think?

10:45 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Um, yes, the link and comment is above...

11:04 pm  

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Yesterday's appt went smoothly. Kai needed platelets, hence piriton, hence sleepy for the rest of the day, but was awake for the next two eps of Torchwood.

Today I treated myself to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (in 3D). Enjoyed it, although some of the action was too fast to focus on properly. Smaug was great though.

And after dinner we finished Miracle Day. I really wish they'd been able to extend to another series, it had such promise...

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Sunday, January 05, 2014

Later edit: forgot to say I have today finished the last of the Saint-Germain novels. I am finally up to date (well, until Sustenance comes out, anyway). Tomorrow I start Redshirts, and when I've finished that it's time to read the Warrington Blood trilogy. It's great having books to look forward to and the opportunity to read them, though I could wish the circumstances were different.

Joy again. I think we're sinking...

And another quick catch up. Saturday was relatively civilised and ended by us watching the first three eps of Torchwood: Miracle Day. It was going to be just one but there are three eps on at least the first two discs and we got sucked in.

Today Kai's been feeling more poorly than normal so spent most of the day watching Eden documentaries (some excellent ones of remote Pacific Islands). Ken helped with the shopping: afterwards got a little client stuff done, and took down the Yule decorations. I've also made the felt 'curtain' for the patio doors, which hasn't half made it warmer out here already! Tyjer hates it, he can't pull the curtains aside and look out into the garden now...

Then it was the next theee Torchwood eps - great stuff!

Tomorrow we try to get back to what passes for normal...

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Friday, January 03, 2014

Oh joy...

Managed to get to the Post Office and Sainsbury's in the sunny break we had this morning, then pottered in the afternoon, doing fiddly little bits of things I've been putting off. Watched the last ep of Torchwood: Children of Earth after dinner, then everyone dispersed to their computers. Kai bought a game - Kerbal Space Programme - with some of his Yule money and is having fun learning how to use it (so far he's built his space station and a supply rocket to get stuff to it, in orbit over an earth-like planet but with more land than ocean): Ken's working on the St Anne's Well book: and I'm catching up with tumblr rps. Our fox visited the garden earlier, but didn't stay long enough to eat what I'd put out for him, which rather makes me think something else got to it first. I shall not be happy if we have rats in the garden again. I could try listening out for him warbling in the lane then diving out to put the bowl at the top of the steps by the meadow: that way nothing would have time to get to it first - but I might disturb him, and I don't want to do that. So pondering that at the moment.

Need an earlyish night, really - stomach is still painful, and I'm tired. Planning to take it a bit easy tomorrow, take down the Yule decorations, glue Midvalley back together (Ken knocked him off his shelf and broke him, but he's repairable), and sort out my Starscream shelf so there's room for my new one (and maybe for the one I have preordered from BBTS for my birthday). Then perhaps start watching Torchwood: Miracle Day, and/or Arthur of the Britons series 2 (they've now posted all my summaries for series 1 on the IMDb!) No doubt the client demands will start again soon, so taking a little time off while I can is a good thing...

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Thursday, January 02, 2014

Right, quick catch-up...

We spent yesterday watching DVDs since the weather was so horrible - last ep of Arthur of the Britons series 1 (must finish the ep guides!), then The Fox and the Child (extraordinarily beautiful visually and a fine story, if a tiny bit mawkish at the end), then the first two eps of Torchwood: Children of Earth. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the start of the series, and the music is terrific!

Today it was blood and platelets transfusions, and everything was ready for us when we got there at 11. I dived out to bank and The Galleries in search of a calender (got a really nice orchids one for 99p, can't get much better than that!) while Kai was hooked up, and we got home at 4.15 pm. So much better than the old 8 hour day! It's really worth while getting the cross-match early.

Had planned to watch the rest of Children of Earth after dinner, but I got hit with the most appalling heartburn/indigestion out of nowhere as I was cooking: was completely incapacitated (and couldn't eat) for a couple of hours. Combination of fizz to drink, Pepto-bismol and lying down shifted it but I feel like I've been kicked in the stomach. We still managed to watch eps 3 and 4 though (and I still find them very annoying). Will catch the last one tomorrow.

So, nice quiet start to the new year. Hope it continues.

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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014



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