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
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01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
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01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
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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

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Been a busy couple of days. Yesterday was shopping and making a large amount of sweet pepper and canellini bean soup for freezing (Kai likes it and it's useful for him to have a small bowl for supper to have with his meds), and reading through the last few Poppy chapters. (It'll be at least three weeks before I hear if the the thing that might be a thing has become a genuine thing, and Ken suggested I get back into writing Poppy...) Today the weather was lovely, so Kai and I walked over to the little nature reserve at Callington Rd (for Kai to get some sun and fresh air and a little exercise, and for me to dive into Tesco on the way back). First time I've been in it - it's really nice, and apparently has roe deer as well as foxes - and this weekend there's a special installation at the pond:

The thing in the middle is a fountain, that whizzes round and sprays water in spiral streams - really pretty but impossible for me to photograph with my camera.

There's also a very handsome feral cat:

While dinner was cooking we all watched Things to Come, and all enjoyed it.

Found out something surprising last time we saw the consultant: it seems that the worse sources of fungal infections (which Kai is at risk of) are building work, ducts (we immediately hammered his airbrick closed), cut flowers - and pepper (cooked in the dish is fine, it's just sprinkled on after that could be problematic). Going to have to enjoy my daphnes in the garden rather than at my desk this summer...

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Lutra said...

Oooh! How was the fountain interactive?

11:53 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

There were motion sensors on the fence around the pool. When peeps walked past (or, like me, stood and waved their hands across them) it operated the fountain.

11:56 pm  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Quick catch up. Kai feeling much better, but had platelets today. All the tests came back negative for any infections or nasties, so what caused it we just don't know...



Blogger Sue said...

Such good news. Hopefully one of those random things that won't occur again.

9:19 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:55 pm  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Later edit: Kai home, but it was a long day. No platelets needed, but his magnesium level was low so he had a transfusion of that (over two hours). I have a list of high magnesium foods for the diet, but it's all stuff we already eat (wholewheat bread, sardines, peas, spinach, chocolate *g*) so I think his levels were low because he was in hospital and eating hospital food... That's my theory anyway.

After dinner watched Riddick, which was too similar to the first film (Pitch Black) to be truly good, but it was enjoyable anyway. I love how these films make alien planets convincing (well, pretty at least!).

Tired again. Will answer emails tomorrow.

[grump] Since I'm too knackered by the end of the day to post (at the moment, anyway) I'd better do it now before the day really starts...

Where was I? Oh yes, Saturday.

Sunday was very busy. Cleaned the bathroom thoroughly (and all the taps in the house by steeping them in vinegar - kills everything and removes limescale, though it's a little tricky upstairs: have to wrap vinegar-soaked cotton-wool around them and pushed up into the tap itself) then did the usual Sunday shop before heading into the hospital. Kai was looking and feeling a great deal better. Stayed a couple of hours then came back via Tesco and bought some new bedding (and a new duvet for Kai as his was old and not the most hygienic of things, even though we wash them all regularly) in their sale. THEN I worked on the last bit of the thing that might become a thing and sent it all off ready for Monday. (The recipient is pleased with it all.)

Rang to ask what time he was being discharged, only to be told his temperature spiked on Sunday night and they were keeping him in an extra night for observation. Went in for a couple of hours in the afternoon - he was fed up, had been looking forward to coming home, and apparently the 'grumbling temperature' had been 37.8°, which is actually not that unusual for him - then came back, only for Kai to skype me that they wanted to give him more platelets, even though he'd only had some on Friday. (We're both happier if I'm present when he has them, as I can keep a close eye on any reactions and help distract him, though we have now been told that a slight feeling of a reaction about to happen is quite common, which is reassuring, but last night I was just too tired to go back in.) So we stayed skyping, and the time kept getting later and later, and eventually they decided that under the circumstances they'd wait until today to see if they would give them to him - after I arrive. So I'm heading off later, and hopefully will be returning shortly thereafter with Kai. Hopefully.

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Blogger Lutra said...

Hospital food is not good for you. There's been studies done, an' everything! :)

(srsly, how can they kill a sandwich? Astounding...)

11:46 pm  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Very very quick update as I can't keep my eyes open and am going to go to bed imminently. Kai is much better, but they're keeping him in 'til Monday.



Friday, March 21, 2014

Woke early, got the last thing done for the thing and emailed off (the person who requested it is quite pleased with it I think) then dived out to the PO. Got back, and after lunch Kai said he wanted to flop with a film as he wasn't feeling so great. Since this happens frequently I just kept an eye on him while he watched Voyage of the Dawn Treader, then we started Cyber City Oedo 808, but half an hour in he said he was feeling worse and it was quickly getting worse...

Cue a speedy trip into hospital in an ambulance, powerful antibios through his PICC line, fluids, and bloods. He started improving slowly after the antibios started going through, but they're keeping him in for a few days: the antibios have to be given four times a day.

I came home to get his provisions (chief of which, of course, is the laptop - his login and password still work so we can skype) and make fajitas for him, then got a taxi back. He was much improved, so much that I felt happier about coming home tonight (the gorgeous new, en suite rooms on the ward don't have any fold out beds or have room for them, or even adjustable chairs, so staying overnight would be difficult). I'll head back early tomorrow am, and see what's what then.

The lovely paramedics with the ambulance (both female) called it 'an acute flare-up of a chronic condition', and apparently it does happen occasionally. I'm just depressed it happened to Kai.

When the test results come back - hopefully tomorrow - I'll be able to ask if there's anything we can do to stop it happening again.



Blogger GoodTwin said...

oh lord. Glad to hear it was quickly dealt with - give him our best.

8:44 am  
Blogger Sue said...

Had power cut this morning so no internet and have been out all day so have only just read this. How terrifying for you. So glad Kai is feeling better so that you could feel comfortable coming away for the night.

5:19 pm  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Nice quick appt today. Kai's RBC count is 71, which is borderline but he feels OK and we don't have anything energetic planned for the weekend, so dr was OK with him waiting until Monday.

We were home by 10.40! Ye gods... So I went to the PO via the charity shops - been sorting stuff out - and then down to Sainsbury's. Restocked freezer again. This afternoon has been more work on the thing that may become a thing: should be able to send this batch off first thing.

Forgot to say (I think): I also picked up The World's End earlier this week, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It took a while to grip, but once it had... Pegg and Frost are simply brilliant.

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Blogger Sue said...

I nearly bought World's End the other day but the mixed reviews put me off. If you like it then maybe I'll reconsider.

5:17 pm  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

[sigh] Monday was one of those days. We got to the appt in plenty of time, as usual, and then had to wait an hour. (It's the new unit. It's wonderful and spacious and comfortable and a nice place to be if you have to be in hospital, but they haven't got all the kinks ironed out yet, and I rather suspect they don't have enough staff to make the proper use of it. It has far more treatment chairs than the old place.) Anyway, we eventually got seen, and Kai had his usual blood taken for review, and the doctor came back to say he'd need platelets and blood, as his RBC was at 62 and his platelets at 2! Which is insane. He only had blood last Monday, and is feeling fine still. But the nurse said he'd not been sure so had put the sample through twice...

So we couldn't really argue, although neither of us was convinced.

And then the doctor forgot to ring to order the blood and platelets (the washed platelets were ready but needed to be collected), so there was another delay - but that actually was fortuitous, as we saw the consultant in the meantime (she wanted to hear what had happened in London) and we both mentioned we weren't happy, so she asked if they'd take another vial and test again. And that one came back with a 75 count, which is fine (he only has blood at 70 and below) so the blood transfusion was cancelled. (He shouldn't need any until next Monday.) I suspect they may be having problems with the machine that does the tests...

He's still nervous about the platelets though, after having those reactions, so we talked. Maths, language, linguistics, and how to create a universal translator. It certainly distracted him, and reminded me how much I used to enjoy linguistics (studied it as a year's course as part of my degree), and now I'm thinking if I can make the time I'd like to get back into it. Going to check if anything is available online.

Dived over to Tesco when we got back and picked up Catching Fire, which Kai had expressed a wish to see (bought the first one a while back). It's good, but it ends on a cliff-hanger, and the next one isn't in cinemas 'til October.

Today has been one of client stuff, repotting some of my indoor plants, and generally keeping things under control. We may watch another film tonight - the sf classics have all arrived now.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Well that was hectic...

But fun. Ken and I went to Clevedon yesterday, for my belated birthday celebration. Had lunch at the Little Harp inn right on the seafront - most excellent. The place is lovely, the staff great, and the food was terrific. Had deep-fried breaded garlic mushrooms with mayo, and then Suffolk-farmed pork sausages and mature Cheddar mash with sautéed red onion gravy (from the set menu, and I was wicked and had a warm chocolate fudge cake with ice-cream - delicious! (And very rich and very filling, all of it...) Most enjoyable, and we will go back.

We stopped off in the town to check out the charity shops, then hopped off at the Golden Acres garden centre in Tickenham. A bit disappointing this time, although it is still very early in the year. Bought three new dianthus, a white primrose, a fuzzy white succulent and an interesting plant with calla shaped leaves and very odd black flowers - both of whose names I forget, will have to get them tomorrow.

Today it was literally vest top and shorts weather, and I potted on my cucumbers, early tomatoes and a handful of peppers in the greenhouse (they're cloched, it's not that warm out there yet!) Ken hoed the veg bed for me, and we planted the dianthuses. I got some client stuff and thing stuff done too. Overall, very busy but very productive.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sorry for the dearth of posts but on top of everything else, last Friday I was asked to write a thing (that might become a thing, but as you know I don't talk about the thing until it's a confirmed thing just in case I jinx it...) for today, but since I wasn't going to be here much this week I had to do it on Friday/Sat/Sun, which meant working flat out while trying to keep everything else under control as well. Oh joy. Managed it though...

So - Kai's birthday. It was quiet and laid back: we had steak for dinner and then watched Gravity, which we gave him as a present. Post-film was fun as he analysed everything that was physically wrong with it (and there were lots!)

Monday's hospital appt was loooong - washed platelets then two units of blood as normal. I nipped out and did a little shopping in Broadmead while he was sleeping through the transfusion. But the day unit is now in its lovely new building, and is airy and spacious and all windows, actually very pleasant indeed. It'll make spending time there a lot nicer.

Tuesday... The run up to London was great: I'd reserved seats in a 'quiet' carriage and there were hardly any other people (thus less risk of infection), so it was lovely and peaceful. Unfortunately, as our taxi driver told us, there'd been some kind of 'incident' on one of the main roads (which had been closed) in the centre, and the traffic was horrendous. Took us over half an hour to get from Paddington to Denmark Hill (*wince* and cost £33. But we should get that back. I hope) - we stayed in one of the suites here (and no, I shall never live it down): it's literally around the corner from King's College Hospital and accommodation is free for patients, if they have room, which they did (a very nice suite, double bedroom for Kai, separate bathroom and a spacious kitchen/lounge where I set up the camp bed provided and proceeded to have one of the most uncomfortable nights of my life - oh my back!). Unfortunately it was on the third floor, so Kai had to take the stairs very slowly, but he only had to go up them twice so he managed.

We booked in, dumped the bags, then headed off to the London Eye. Grandparents gave us some cash so Kai could do something fun while we were there and we both thought that would be fun.

And it was!. Only had to queue for tickets for about five minutes, then another two to get on it, there were only about 10 people ushered into each capsule - not at all crowded, enough that Kai could keep his distance. Then a wonderful leisurely thirty minutes turning a slow circle in the sky... Wonderful. We both felt great afterwards.

And on to Wednesday and the actual appointment...

It went well. We saw both specialists - Austin and Judith Marsh. They are generally pleased that so far Kai has had few problems with the meds and side-effects, and pushed for a bone marrow transplant as the best option at this stage, stressing how much success they have with them. But they admitted they didn't have a good match (I think they said only a 70% match, whereas a good one is 90 - 100%) and after reading that terrifying book about the subject that Polly gave us, both of us have to consider transplant as a last resort (unless a good match is found). There's still a possibility that the original ATG (which came from horses) could kick in, especially as his WBC and neutrophils have increased since he had the chemo (very slowly and only a little but that's still positive, neutrophils up from .05 to .24, and we didn't know it until now but it is those two elements that show progress before the RBC and platelets). In some people it's kicked in at nine months, so there is still hope, but we have to start on a plan B anyway. Kai wants to go for the other ATG, which comes from rabbits, and in a truly bizarre piece of synchronicity he dreamed, on Tuesday night, that he met a friendly giant talking rabbit... We can't really come to any decision until we get the more detailed results of the biopsy, in about three weeks time.

So that was all a little more reassuring and encouraging than before. What wasn't, however, was that our appts were at 10.30 to see the consultant and 11 am for the biopsy. Their letter said to allow a good two hours in case of delays, so I'd worked it out that the 3.30 train would be both less crowded and allow plenty of time for us to catch it. Even with the two hours we would be out by 2.30.

We were OVER THREE HOURS LATE being seen, and for all that time we had to sit in a packed waiting room with people coming and going, coughing and snuffling. I am not happy about it. And of course we missed the bloody train (could have made it had the taxi not been 10 minutes late), and I had to shell out an additional £84 to get us home on the 4 pm train, which was far busier and of course no reserved seats. We managed to find two in the quiet carriage with no-one facing us so hopefully everything will be OK, but I made my feelings known to Polly today at Kai's Thursday appt when I gave her the receipt. I just hope they cough up, as this was absolutely not our fault. Could really do without the stress...

Today has been very busy - usual Thursday appt, washing, shopping, loads of client stuff, then this evening we watched Ender's Game which is surprisingly good and, I'd say, may well be considered a classic in the future. Intriguing, thought-provoking and intelligent film, highly enjoyable.

And tomorrow I was planning a lie-in, but the radiator panels I ordered from amazon are being redelivered at some point so I have to be awake. Eh well. Maybe Saturday...

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Blogger Sue said...

Goodness, I feel tired just reading about it all. I trust you will get your money refunded, you certainly should do!
So glad you enjoyed the Eye. I know we did when we went up a few years ago. Such marvellous views!
Good vibes continue to be sent for a positive result from the biopsy.

9:01 am  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

Exhausted, likewise. (I wonder if your night on the campbed is responsible for my bad back...?)

Keeping fingers crossed for 'the thing' and also everything to do with Kai.

7:27 pm  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Quickie because knackered. London went OK - at least, we have a couple of options more than before: will do a proper blog post tomorrow with all the details (and his birthday, which I think he quite enjoyed despite not being able to do much). And a page of photos - we managed to go on the London Eye on Tuesday. But right now I'm exhausted and Kai is sore (having a ruddy great needle stabbed in your pelvic bone'll do that) and we're getting to bed as soon as he's had his evening meds.

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Sunday, March 09, 2014

Kai is 19 today.

He should be going out later to celebrate with his new university friends.

It's becoming harder and harder to stay positive.



Friday, March 07, 2014

Brief catchup...

Um... everything OK - well, as much as normal. Appt as usual yesterday. Plants planted, pea seedlings and spinach now showing, cucumber, toms and pepper seedlings need to be transplanted soon, and the cauli seedlings are ready to go in the coldframe once it's been weeded. Kai feels better after half an hour in the sun in the garden and will try to get out there every time the weather is nice.

In other news...

Kood, too. Old Kood got leprosy and his skin melted off. No, it's not an Ipod, it's a £14.55 clone from amazon. Not brilliant, but the sound is OK (better than old Kood) and it's pleasant to use. It'll do nicely until I can afford something better.

*g* I transformed animated Soundwave - this is him playing Laserbeak...

Jonathan Creek new series ep 2 on at 9. Ep 1 was quite fun...

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

A musical Soundwave? Excellent :)

11:57 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Actually, Soundwave always was musical. His original (G1) alt. mode was a cassette player, and Rumble, Frenzy, Laserbeak and Ravage were his cassettes. That kind of disappeared in Prime (and in Bayverse, but since everything good disappeared in Bayverse that almost goes without saying) which was rather a pity.
But yes! Animated Soundwave is a lot of fun (and an absolute bugger to transform...)

12:24 am  

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

OK. So, Sunday went pretty much as usual. I managed. After lunch we watched the newly restored and remastered Metropolis that I picked up last Monday...

Wow. Multi-layered, complex and incredibly subversive in places. We loved it!

Monday... heh. I'd been so focused on making myself walk without staggering too much I hadn't taken into account that the taxi would be moving. The meds handle any nausea (haven't experienced any since Tuesday night, fortunately), so that wasn't a problem, but oh, it felt very very peculiar. They sent one of those big, multi-person cars too, the sort you have to grab onto handles and climb into. Not easy.

But we got there, even though I had to hurry into reception so I could sit down and stop the world spinning. The appointment went fairly smoothly, although there was a delay with getting the washed platelets to the day unit. Kai used the time to catch up on sleep, and I wrote a story I'd promised a friend a couple of months ago but hadn't been struck by the setting inspiration until last week. (Typed it up when we got home, and she likes it very much, so that's good.)

We headed back about three, and the taxi ride home was even weirder than the one in. My head was insisting I was floating - as in, no gravity - while my body was saying "don't be so bloody stupid, you can feel every turn and bump in the road..." Again, no nausea, but I found I was looking further. Hm. Normally I (we? I'm sure other people do it) focus on the things in the immediate vicinity - the other road users, the road itself, the people and buildings alongside the road. I assume it's a hangover from driving, even though I haven't driven in twenty years. But on that trip I found myself looking at the spaces and angles between the buildings, looking down roads and lanes to see the vistas beyond. And colours were... more distinct, more intense than normal. The mounds of moss on the hillside at Arno's Vale cemetery were jewelled, and where the buckthorn is just coming into flower the trees are covered in stars.

Bizarre but beautiful. I've never taken LSD (given my deep desire to fly I was always afraid I'd try leaping off something high and damaging myself) but I assume the effect would be similar. I have no idea what caused it - maybe because after a couple of days of only taking half the dose of the meds I took a full one to make sure I could cope with the trip? Maybe because I've been stuck in the house for nearly a week, when I would normally be ought and about at least once a day, if only to get shopping? Whatever caused it it was positively inspiring!

Kai was very tired when we got back - piriton always does that - so flopped on the sofa and watched 2001. 1968! Ye gods I'd forgotten it was so old... We seem to be working our way through the classic s-f collection at the moment. We already have When Worlds Collide, War of the Worlds (both versions), The Time Machine (both versions), The Day the Earth Stood Still (both versions): I need to get Forbidden Planet and Things to Come... In fact...

(Ten minutes later) OK, ordered from amazon at very good prices, along with This Island Earth - not such a classic but they had it cheap.

OK readers, what are we missing? Suggestions as to other s-f classics welcome!

Where was I? Oh yes. Kai enjoyed it, except for the self-indulgent and pretty incomprehensible ending (and to my shame I can't remember how the book ends to explain it, so will have to look that out and remind myself. Kai might like to read it himself). I do enjoy our film-watching sessions - it's great to discuss them afterwards.

The weather is glorious today. When we've had lunch we're heading gardenwards: Kai says he'll plant for me while I oversee. We have the dianthus' and irises, thyme and rosemary and the rest of the lavenders for the slope, and I've just been given a pretty little narcissus from one of my APAG colleagues (I have been really touched and surprised by how kind everyone is. I've had cupcakes and tulips, the plant and lots of offers of help. I'm not used to it! It's lovely to know that people care.)

The fresh air and exercise will be good for us both.

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Saturday, March 01, 2014


Well, my head isn't spinning quite so much when I turn it when I'm sitting down, but standing and walking is still a little problematic. Then I remembered I have my great-aunt's cane... Soddit. If I have to wobble around for a bit longer at least I can do it in style!

I was in a cleaning/tidying mood. Since the house is pretty clean at the moment, it seemed like a good time to get some serious computer tidying done. My new machine's burner runs at x48 (the old one struggled to top x16) so I backed up all my mp3 singles (heh. 7 minutes to burn two discs, just under 700 megs each, 179 and 189 files respectively. I do like this new machine...) Then I archived everything from last year, then took an hour to delete duplicate folders etc. Then I did the passwords...

Five minutes in I remembered why I hadn't done it for over ten years. The sheaf of papers was half an inch thick at least, and some of the sites I still had passwords for ceased to exist years ago. It took all afternoon (checking which ones still worked and deciding whether I wanted to rejoin the ones that didn't) but I whittled it down to just two sides, double column, A4 paper. Not bad for an afternoon's work. (Written direct to pen drive of course and the file later shredded with AVG - I don't keep that sort of information actually on the computer.)

So a highly successful day, all told. I'm a bit tired now...

Later edit: Forgot to say - I finished MTMTE 5 with a, "But they can't end it there! It's too good! I want more!"

And then I noticed the words under the words THE END... 'The story continues in Dark Cybertron Vol 1...'. So that's now going on the wish list!

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