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
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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
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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
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01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
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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
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01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
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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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Long day at the BRI, Kai needed platelets (again - that makes three transfusions in eight days): used the time to write the first three pages of next!Poppy. While we were out Ken heard Tyjer yowling in the garden and looked out to see this:

It rather looks like a nursing female...

Tyjer remains in a traumatised state, poor kit.

Labels: , ,


Blogger GoodTwin said...

Poor Tyjer - his garden invaded while he was out there!

It's unusual to see them out like that during the day, I hope she's all right.

11:07 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Quite! And by something he'd only ever smelt before...

She seemed OK to Ken, moving easily and she looks well-fed. Urban foxes do come out in daylight sometimes, though it is unusual. Maybe she was taking a break from the kids!

12:06 am  
Blogger Lutra said...

Ooooh...! Your garden is magical!

11:25 am  

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quickie because Sunday...

Remember I said it was raining on Friday (which was why our planned trip to Severn Beach had to be postponed. There are no shelters there)? It was, as they say, lovely weather for ducks...

This is right in the middle of Broadmead shopping centre.

Edit: Ken was in Babbacombe yesterday for his dad's 90th birthday celebration. Apparently all went well and everyone had a good time, but Ken was happy to get back. It's a long trip and a long day.

We watched Elysium this afternoon. It's good - not quite as good as District 9, but certainly well worth a watch. With a warning for language and violence!

[bemused] My regular tumblr rp partner called me 'Battle Mama' - which I rather like. Shall use it as a sig I think!

Labels: , ,


Saturday, April 26, 2014

[rolls eyes] When I typed 'yesterday' in the last post of course I meant Monday, not Tuesday...

Yesterday was not fun. Blood review showed a platelets count of 9, just below the 10 count at which Kai needs a transfusion. So he had to have them. Which meant a four hour wait while they were washed...

Came home (another taxi) and he went a little further with his space programme while I dived out to the post office (to look for cards for dad-in-law's birthday - he'll be 90) and Sainsbury's. We got back for 2 pm, which is when we'd been told the platelets would be ready, only to find they weren't. It was gone 5 pm before they were delivered. So of course we got caught in the rush hour traffic and it cost nearly double in taxi fare to get home. We were tired too.

Decided that from now on we'd both take our laptops in, then at least we can get things done while waiting rather than come home every time.

Today I found that Rosa was out of crickets - a bit of a disaster since Kai hadn't fed her in at least a couple of weeks despite my asking (I can't catch the damned things without squashing them...) But fortunately the Pets at Home at the top of Brislington Hill had various sizes in stock, so I got an all day ticket, went into town to the bank and Wilkinson's (and Timpson, of which more in a moment), then out to Hurrans, Pets at Home, Toys R Us, Lidl (which had no organic food at all that I could find) then to Tesco to top up my mobile phone. Knackered by the time I got back and my legs are still aching, but Rosa's now OK for food for a month (and Kai fed her this evening). I also took Feather out for a cuddle and for Ken to clean out her latest shed skin and any droppings (so she's now sorted too).

But anyway, Timpson...

Yesterday Tyjer came home without his collar. Since he's not allowed out without it on, this is a problem. More of a problem is the disc that hangs on the collar with our address and phone number on it. Timpson sells and engraves these, though they aren't cheap £7 last time I had to buy one). So I got there at 1.45, wrote down what I wanted engraving, and they said come back at 2.30 to collect them (got two so we have a backup).

Found a Yule present for mum-in-law in The Galleries (I know, early, but we buy 'em when we see 'em these days), bought bird food at Wilkinson's, and got back to Timpson at 2.30 - to find they hadn't even started the engraving. I had to wait another ten minutes, in the rain, and even then the quality is poor, with one of them hard to read. And they charged me £19.90 for the privilege!

I will NOT be using Timpson for anything again, and I certainly will not be recommending them to anyone either - and have said as much on the feedback page on their site.

On a more pleasant note, I found Elysium at half price in Tesco, so we have that to enjoy over the weekend. Same director as the truly wonderful District 9, so rather looking forward to it!

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

Our Pets at Home has a machine to produce those discs - I don't know what they charge but it might be worth a look in case you need another at any time. Our cats wear collars but we've given up on ID discs or tags - we lost too many!

9:00 am  
Blogger Sue said...

I agree about Timpsons, I wonder they do any business. I've enquired in two separate branches about the cost of replacement watch batteries - two different watches as well - and each time have been quoted well over double what I know it costs elsewhere. Each time I just happened to be passing hence enquiring, but now I won't go near them again.

10:11 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thanks GoodTwin, I'll check it out.

Glad it's not just me then!

3:01 pm  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Yesterday's appointment, we knew, was going to be a long one, as Kai could tell he needed blood (which he did, but his RBC count wasn't as low as expected, with was a nice surprise). He needed platelets too, so I took Prowl (the laptop) in with me - and wrote Found (Poppy Tales). I've invested in one of these (though mine was £14.99), and although it's very sensitive - very easy to right and left click without meaning to - it's a fantastic little bit of kit, small, incredibly light, and works a treat. Really pleased with it. My new headphones, Maxell foldables, £5.50 from Wilkinsons, are really good too - lovely clear, balanced sound in my ears but hardly any can be heard outside. Cheap but very impressive. And the laptop battery lasted a good five hours before it stopped, but only took an hour to recharge fully (since the day unit was quiet they let me plug in and carry on working while it charged). Overall I'm really happy with the set up and can now work pretty much anywhere.

And after dinner we watched R.I.P.D., which is quite fun. Not brilliant, and a bit predictable, but harmless and fairly amusing.

This is how the 'rockery' is looking at the moment. A little bare, but I haven't found all the plants I want yet. It will look good when it's finished...

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Blogger Lutra said...

I enjoyed R.I.P.D.
Particulary his song at the end there.. :)

1:26 pm  
Blogger Writer Chick said...

Very good news about the blood count.

10:51 pm  

Tired. Very tired.

But Poppy 7 pt 13 is now posted, and I'm gearing up for pt 14. Need to get back into it, need to finish the story!

More tomorrow, too tired now.



Sunday, April 20, 2014


Veg bed/slope on Thursday:

Same area this morning:

I've scattered Flanders poppy seeds on the slope - fingers crossed for a lovely display come summer.

The acer over Roeg's Pool (and yes, horrendous duckweed infestation. Haven't had the time to do anything about it yet, plus the pool's been full of tadpoles).

It's now started raining, which will help the poppies. The front garden is beginning to look pretty good too - will try for photos next week.

Have finished watching (and writing up the IMDb plot summaries for) Star Maidens. Such a pity, it had started getting interesting and really quite good, then it ended (though at least not on a cliffhanger!)

On the subject of cult 70's TV, I've ordered The Starlost (cheap from amazon), which I stumbled across by accident last week, never having heard of it before. Could be interesting...

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Blogger Lutra said...

Oh, I remember The Starlost! Snippets of it have been floating in and out of my conciousness for years. Now I know what it's called, ta! (I don't think it did particularly well in Aus; I don't remember it being repeated... :)

1:34 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

I don't think it did very well anywhere! It sounds intriguing though.

6:51 pm  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Well, Kai didn't feel up to a walk yesterday, so we (Ken and I) did a little gardening while childe languished indoors (feeling a little rough, but not bad enough to need to go to the hospital). Today he's felt a fair bit better, to everyone's surprise, and the hospital appt was quick: RBC is at 73 and platelets at 16, so no transfusions needed (which is on schedule). After I got back from Sains we did a little weeding of the rock garden. Everywhere is beginning to look quite good! (I planted the narcissus out the front, Wendy. Thank you, they are very pretty!)

Four days off for Ken now. Hoping to get some more done in the garden: he's made a great start on the path between the slope and the veg bed. Be nice to get that finished this holiday.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fun day yesterday! Wendy visited as planned, and I had a great time just relaxing and chatting. [GLOMPS!] Thanks, it was a lovely day.

Today the weather is glorious again. Planning to visit the Callington Rd reserve with Kai after lunch: this time I'll take my camera and get some photos.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Busy weekend.

Saturday the weather wasn't all that great, so we had a wonderfully indulgent family film fest: The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug after lunch, and then Rise of the Guardians after dinner. This latter is absolutely gorgeous and I think everyone should see it!

Sunday the weather was amazing. Ken and I did the Sainsbury shop, then later a Tesco shop, and in between we got quite a bit done in the garden. Kai helped me plant seeds in peat pots while Ken first mowed, then hoed on the slope (I want to plant Flanders poppies there a bit later in the week).

As you can see, my pear tree is full of blossom this year. As long as the weather stays fair I may actually get some fruit!

Today, yet again, the platelets weren't ready, so to avoid sitting at the day unit for six hours with nothing to do we came back (weeded the front, then I did some cleaning and got dinner ready while Kai booted up and got a few things done) and went in again later. It's costing a bloody fortune in taxis, but the Registrar has promised me they'll be ready next Monday and then I just need to remember to remind them every Thursday that they'll be needed after the weekend...

Kai's feeling a bit rough tonight, side effects of the piriton and hydro-cortisone. Fingers crossed he feels better in the morning. Wendy's coming to visit for the day.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

News in brief.

I can't remember what happened on Wednesday. It's completely gone.

Thursday was blood transfusion (it's been two and a half weeks - longest yet), and thanks to the cross match I'd asked for on Tuesday it was ready for us, so no waiting and we were able to come home fairly quickly. I did find out a little more about my role as donor though: four days before I get injected with something that will increase my white blood cell count, then they harvest them through a process a little like dialysis - blood is taken from one arm, spun through a machine to remove the vital ingredients, then returned into the other arm. Although, since they had such trouble finding viable veins in my arms, it's more likely I'll have to have a catheter instead of a canula, in my neck or groin. Have to admit neither sounds appealing... Takes two days, with an overnight stay. Could be worse.

Spent a little time in the garden when we got back, as the weather was so good.

Today Kai and I went over to the Callington Rd Nature reserve again, and explored a little more. There are paths everywhere, and next time we're going to follow the longest one that I think leads back to the Talbot Rd allotments. It was great fun, and Kai thoroughly enjoyed himself (although his legs and the soles of his feet are a bit sore now, it was the furthest he's walked since last August. But he still has plenty of energy, which is wonderful.) On the way back he came into Tesco with me to pick up the shopping (it was very quiet with hardly anyone there so we thought we'd risk it). Nice to get back to something vaguely resembling normality.

But first thing this morning I went to pick up my latest Starscream from the delivery collection (there was VAT to pay) - Generations Armada SS. He's gorgeous.

Easy day tomorrow - planning a little gardening (planting seeds) and watching Desolation of Smaug, which I bought as soon as it came out.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

OK, so, appointment in brief.

Kai likes Professor Marks (he sounds Australian) and I was impressed by his forthright attitude. He went through all the pros and cons of the options for treatment, giving us more of an idea of the odds than the book could. What happens next is we're going to wait til June to see if Kai does have a late response to the ATG. If he does and it's worked, all well and good. If it's only a tiny half-hearted response, they think another course of ATG will be the best option (that will mean another year's deferral of his Uni course, assuming they will. I haven't contacted them yet, wanted to wait until after this appointment).

If there's no improvement, he recommends a bone marrow transplant - a haploid-identical one, with me as the donor. Which explains why they wanted my blood yesterday - five vials of it. (No problem, except my veins did not want to cooperate, and I've ended up with six puncture wounds (three inside both elbows, one on the side of my hand, one on the back of my hand and one on the inside of my forearm which hurt like hell) going a pretty assortment of colours today. I just hope they managed to get enough; four of the vials were barely half full and the last one had hardly anything in it... The nurse who tried to take the blood decided I must be an alien of some sort.)

Obviously the first option is by far the best, but we need to see the numbers improving much faster than they have been. More as it happens.



Blogger GoodTwin said...

Five vials? That's very nearly an armful... :)

Still keeping everything crossed.

9:38 pm  
Blogger Lutra said...

"... must be an alien of some sort."

The urge to burst in to hysterical laughter is very strong. :)

12:56 am  

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Kim's little tree

Kim didn't have room for this little tree in her garden, so I've given it a home. Not entirely sure what it is - maybe a willow? - but it's very elegant and pretty. I've planted Oriental Pixie and Stargazer lilies around the bottom, should look pretty in the summer.

We finally had the results back from King's College Hospital: pretty much as they said while we were there. The biopsy has come back confirming aplastic anaemia (with a host of details I'll have to look up to understand). The report was peppered with phrases like "exceptionally fit young man" and "remarkably few side effects", which I suppose puts him in the best position to work with whatever treatment they schedule next. Another dose of ATG only has a 30 to 40 per cent chance of working, and they still haven't found a good donor match. We have an appointment with the Bristol transplant specialist on Tuesday, to discuss where we go next.

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Thursday's blood review was OK, nothing needed, so we were able to come home fairly quickly. Then we spent the afternoon setting up my new laptop (which Ken decreed I must have and which was paid for by the cash I got for doing the initial things for the thing that might become a thing). Found a nice little Lenovo on amazon for £299.97 (over £50 off in the sale: price has gone up again, I notice!) and since all the reviews sounded positive (I always google for item problems before forking out any substantial amount of cash) I bought it. It's called Prowl (after this one) and is rather nice - though I absolutely hate the touchpad pointer and will be buying a thumbball mouse to use with it. Or maybe a cheap tablet.

Anyway, it's set up now (except for Thunderbird, which is refusing to recognise the Wavewrights server to send messages, though it will receive them, and I don't know why...) I've copied across all my current wips and will be able to work when Kai has a long day at the hospital. Not online unless I borrow his wifi login, but I should be OK without that until I get home anyway.

Kai was of immeasurable help, and recommended Ninite, an absolutely fantastic bit of kit that will install all your usual apps in just one click. You just check the ones you want, hit [get installer], follow the incredibly simple instructions, and it does all the work for you. Brilliant, just brilliant.

The laptop comes with its own Lenovo troubleshooter, and since it was indicating a couple of issues I took a look. One was for launching a couple of backup options, one was to register the machine, and the other made us laugh...

Am aiming to get moving on next!Poppy this evening (after Marvel, Agents of SHIELD). I've reread everything and think I'm pretty much ready...



Blogger Sue said...

Yay for new toy!!

5:48 pm  

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

[bemused...] It's been an odd and interesting day. When I woke and looked out of the hall window, as I usually do, I saw our blackbird in Roeg's pool. Yes, in. Standing on the pondweed, of which we have far too much, actually bathing itself. I think it's been fishing for tadpoles too: the pool is heaving with them. After it had gone, a couple of sparrows got in and did the same...

Then while I was upstairs getting ready to go out (PO and Sains) Kai called from the bottom of the stairs, "Feather's got out..."

I've never got down the stairs so fast. I leave the front glass doors open a little for ventilation, and the sneaky snek had pushed them both to one side, leaving enough of a gap for her to almost get through. She was balanced along the lip of the vivarium, with the fattest part of her tail still inside. So I caught her, Kai unlocked the doors so I could free her, and she cuddled into me for half an hour while we let her viv air out a bit. Very calm and relaxed she was, which was a bit of a surprise as - shame on me - she hasn't been handled for several months (I just haven't had the time). Cleaned out the droppings after putting her back in, but we really need to clean her out properly this weekend, and change the aspen substrate.

Wish I'd had time to take a photo!

Interestingly, Ken dreamed last night that she'd got out and was trying to eat Tyjer in the kitchen...

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

Could have been worse - it could have been Rosa who got out... Much less cuddly... :)

10:19 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

This is very true. Though I never leave Rosa's tank open. Far too easy for her to hide. A three foot long snake is a little more difficult.

10:23 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

That's very reassuring :)

10:53 pm  
Blogger Lutra said...

There you go, sneaky snek just wanted a cuddle :)

[gamely ignoring thoughts of an escaped Rosa...]

11:02 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...


11:02 pm  

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I can't keep up. What day are we? Ah yes. Tuesday.

Sunday the weather was great, so we did some stuff in the garden. Kai sat on the bench and enjoyed the sun: I made a little stone 'wall' around the asparagus bed using thin stones and pieces of slate (looks much better than the tatty old green plastic edging) and Ken mowed.

Kai had platelets yesterday, so the appt wasn't quite as quick as we were hoping. But we still got back reasonably fast, and all watched my new RG Veda DVD (a Clamp Studios classic, very pretty, if very confusing as the anime takes a couple of later episodes, starting and ending in the middle of the story. Lovely to have it though - I can get rid of the video now). After dinner Ken and I watched the last ep of Space Rangers so I could finish writing and posting the IMDb ep summaries. Finished now, and all accepted. (Next we move onto Star Maidens next, those IMDb ep plots are empty too!)

Today I had to get back to the hospital as we were almost out of itraconasole (I should have ordered it last week but it slipped my mind, and the pharmacy are always very busy on a Monday, and wouldn't have had it ready for hours yesterday). Took advantage to stock up on bird food and buy a decent digital thermometer, a Braun one from Boots (the Lloyds one is a complete fail and I'm taking it back to complain tomorrow). Hoping to watch Forbidden Planet after dinner.

I am really tired of this blasted vertigo. Over a month now and it's not getting any better. And my legs are constantly aching: I have to keep making tiny muscular adjustments when walking to stay upright and while I'm sure it's probably doing my leg muscles a lot of good, it hurts...

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