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
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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
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01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
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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
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01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
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01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
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01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
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01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
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01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
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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
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01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
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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
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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
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01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
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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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Later edit: Kai's first fox vid! For maximum cuteness watch at 720 res...

Rattraper ...

[pause while I try to remember what's happened over the last four days...] Well, a considerable amount of time was spent indexing Ken's book on St Anne's Well (and then having to redo the lot because I used the wrong .pdf version. oh joy), and we've finished watching The Starlost. I've also finished the write-ups on the IMDb, though I noticed today they haven't posted The Beehive ep yet. Such a pity - the series had the most enormous potential, and here and there you could glimpse the wonderful sweeping ideas that it wanted to portray. It would be fantastic to see it remade with good cgi, good actors (not that the originals weren't but they had so very little to work with) and a good budget...

(Photograph of my little pear tree, showing some of the baby pears I have coming. It will be great if they all thrive - Kai likes pears too!)

Yesterday Kai's platelet count was 10, which is borderline, and the dr recommended he have a unit instead of waiting til Monday. We resigned ourselves to a five hour wait, and were very pleasantly surprised when she said they were ready, just needed to be brought up from their specialised storage. So Kai booted up, and I read the first volume of the Yami no Matsuei manga while they went through, (I picked up some of my missing YnM volumes on amazon but I still need five - 4, 6, 8, 9 and 12 - although I now see the whole lot is available to read online. Not quite the same - I like to hold a book - but at least I can read it chronologically now instead of having to wait until I find the ones I need). And we were home by 2.30 pm.

However, after Kate Robertson's facebook appeal for bone marrow donors for her fiancé, there was about a 650% increase in people volunteering to the Nolan Trust, and in a month or so, I understand, the BHOC will see if there are any good matches for Kai amongst the new donors. Keeping fingers crossed.

And now I'm working on next!Poppy. Hoping to have it finished and posted tonight.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger GoodTwin said...

aww... They're certainly at home in your garden!

Will keep fingers crossed for a match.

10:12 am  

Monday, May 26, 2014

And yet another catchup. Seems that's all I do these days...

Today's BRI appointment was looooooong. The platelets were waiting for us after being ordered on last Thursday! (I actually got a quiet thank you from one of the nurses: we weren't the only people to have problems and it affected the nurses too, both having to apologise for the non-arrival of needed blood products and because it makes their job harder. By complaining, I got management and the various depts to look at the whole system and things are much improved already, I was told. It's not often you get thanked for complaining, and I'm very glad I did!).

But Kai also needed blood today - which explains why he's been feeling bloody awful all over the weekend and why he hasn't been able to get the fox videos done. So blood was ordered while the platelets went through. We had about an hour's wait afterwards, because it has to be cross matched and irradiated, and he has each unit over one and a half hours, so it's not a quick option, but he feels so much better now. Going to have a try at the vids tomorrow. I'll remind him. There are a LOT of people now itching to see them.

And I got half of next!Poppy written while we were there, so happy about that.

My indoor plants are doing quite well...

Pretty little cactus in the bedroom. Only lasted a day but so sweet.

Orchid and orchid cactus in the bathroom.

We've decided we're cutting down the cherry tree at the front, and transplanting Sue's gorgeous Juneberry into its place. The cherry has got old and tired and really isn't looking that great. We'll wait until the pigeons have eaten all the cherries then start tackling it. There are a couple of shoots coming up, which I can pop into tubs so we don't lose the tree completely.

And I think that's about it for now...

Labels: , ,


Blogger Sue said...

Well done for complaining in such a productive manner. How nice the nurses appreciated it as well.
The plants are looking very colourful :)

5:56 pm  
Blogger Lutra said...

Complaining sometimes works, especially in healthcare and especially now with the NHS being more sensitive to 'issues' after the past couple of years! :)

Such pretty flowers... Iz charmed by the orange one.

12:38 am  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Poppy Tales 

[blink] I usually have the BBC1 cookery programmes on in the background on a Saturday morning and the current featured cook - didn't catch who - just said, "... and I Jackson Pollock a little chocolate over the dessert..."

Dr's appointment was quick and easy yesterday - will get results next week.

Then I found we had no hot water - seemed that the boiler had packed up. So I had a cold shower (oh joy), then contacted a friend to see if they knew of an independent gas engineer (our old one retired and I just haven't had a moment to try to find a new one), and we now have a name and phone number to check next week.

Upon which, we suddenly had hot water again. [grump] Bloody household gremlins...

Next chapter of The Poppy Tales - Celebrations (New World 2 part 16) now posted: link above.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Catch up...

Dr's visit went well. My BP is slowly dropping: I've cut right back on caffeine and cut out all sweet and sugary things (except fresh fruit) and put myself back on a modified Scarsdale diet (all fresh fruit, veg, lean meat and fish, no sweet or sugary, fried or starchy foods, for two weeks, then relax the rules a little to allow treats, then back on the two weeks strict, repeat until desired weight is reached) which I know works well for me (though in the past it could be difficult sticking to the no-nos. It's easier these days!) Lost half a stone so far. Dr's upped the meds, since I'm fine with them.

It would be dropping faster if the home situation was less stressful: our neighbour has finally killed off the last shred of goodwill we had towards him. Details - and possibly photos - after I've taken legal advice next week.

Today's appointment was nice and quick, line care and blood reviews and Kai'll be fine until Monday, at which point he'll need platelets again. And it's a bank holiday Monday. Oh joy.

Anyway - onto more fun things. Mama Fox (half way up the garden, photo © Ken) -

Mama Fox

- brought a cub with her last week, and this week we've had three gambolling in the garden. They are absolutely adorable and Kai will get some footage up on Youtube as soon as he can, but he has well over a hundred clips now and it takes a little time to stitch them all together. Mama seems to come out early, I assume to feed herself, then brings the kids. I am overjoyed that they feel safe enough here to play. (We think dad might have come with them once but they tend to move quickly and it's not easy telling the adults apart unless they're sideways, you can see the difference in their tails then.)

OK - these aren't great (you try screencapping bouncing playing fox kits at night!) but they at least give some idea. The big one is Mama Fox.

Kai has said he'll get some video done for uploading tomorrow evening.

On a less delightful note, my precious Sultan's Palace iris is a slug and bug magnet - so far all the flowers have been eaten despite PV powder and gastropod prevention methods. I think I'll have to dig it up and put it in a pot on a stand or the table, and put slug pellets around it.

Whoa. Torrential rain...

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

Those pics look pretty good to me!

We sadly lost all the baby blue tits again. Not sure if there's a high failure rate in general or whether we're just being unlucky. On the plus side, both pairs of blackbirds locally have raised healthy broods - one has four that come to the feeder every morning. :)

10:29 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

I'm so sorry about the blue tits, I know how much you were hoping everything would be OK this year.

Good news about the blackbirds though! We now have two pairs who have - reluctantly and with the occasional squabble - agreed to share the garden, but I haven't seen any young ones yet. In a way I'm glad: it means they haven't made a nest in the garden (I usually have to keep Tyjer in for a couple of days while the nestling learns to fly, or he catches it and brings it to me...)

HOWEVER! We now have a thrush visiting! I am really chuffed about that, as we rarely see them here (there are a couple down at the park, but other than that it's been years since I've seen any). The feeders now get mobbed twice a day and I'm having to put out a lot of food - but on the plus side, all the birds are also hunting all over the garden, so clearing up the pests too!

I just hope we're adopted by a robin again soon. I found ours dead a couple of weeks ago, which was very distressing.

10:45 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

One of our blackbird pairs nested in the tree right over the birdfeeder. I was anticipating a ruined nest but fortunately they survived, and the parents have been very careful about keeping them out of Sophie's reach.
We've had a thrush in the garden but not sure if it's male/female or nesting anywhere. Robins, we have at least two and they're feeding somewhere close.
I still have my 'tame' collared doves. They were determined to build a nest on a wire and it was highly amusing to watch them taking up a twig, putting it on the wire, and wondering why it fell off. Eventually they nested in next door's guttering, but something happened to the egg or chick as that was abandoned after a couple of weeks. It could have been a jackdaw or magpie; we have quite a few hanging about and visiting for food.

7:12 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Can't stop laughing at the image of collared doves trying to build a nest on a wire...

And then opting for guttering? Ohhhh dear...

12:18 am  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ye gobs Kai's platelets were ready!! We were home by one pm.

And I managed a page and a half of nextPoppy while we were there.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Poppy Tales 

The Poppy Tales, New World 2, ch 15 - Progress - now posted: link above.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Kai's RBC was 68 yesterday, so the usual two units of blood were required. (A little worrying as it now seems to be back to blood needed every ten days instead of two weeks+.) For once, however, this fitted in with our plans. The weather was promised to be glorious today - so we went to Severn Beach on the train.

Train was quiet going out (bit busier coming back but not enough to be worrying) and we walked along the breakwater to the headland (probably about a mile each way) where we stopped for a picnic. Almost deserted - but then it usually is - and there was a light sea breeze to cool us down a little. Kai wore the baseball cap I bought him yesterday to keep the sun off his face (Prof Marks advised being wary of the sun as too much exposure now can lead to an increased risk of melanoma in later life after the transplant) and I took his one and only long-sleeved cotton shirt with me in case he was too hot to keep his jacket on. He wasn't. I don't know how he does it, I was melting...

There are ten wind turbines now!

It was wonderful. We both came back feeling great - it was lovely to get out of Briz, even if only a few miles away - and the sea air and sunshine did us both good. In fact, when I measured my BP when we got back it was 137/86, which is the lowest it's been for months and a good improvement (if it stays there, anyway...)

And we have a fox cub on last night's footage! Just one, eating dog food while mum keeps watch. Kai's going to try to stitch a whole load of clips together over the weekend and upload to Youtube: I'll embed them here once they're available.

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Blogger Writer Chick said...

Oh, that's lovely.

Are these the wind turbines that Donald Trump thinks he should have the right to say "No" to? That man's an idiot.

They're too modern to my eyes, but nowhere near as obtrusive as even above-ground high-tension lines would be. Steampunk wind turbines, ho!

And a kit! Lovely ...:DDD

2:51 am  
Blogger Sue said...

The sea always relaxes me. Sounds like a lovely day - much deserved.

10:36 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Lin - yes, that's the ones. I am a complete anorak when it comes to wind turbines, I absolutely adore them, could watch them for hours.

I would use another term than idiot...

Sue - thanks. We thought so!

1:57 pm  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Edit 15.5.14 - Sue: "The first link just gets me a message saying 'navigation to the website cancelled'."

Are you still using IE? What you should get is:

And thanks.Thanks also for the lovely card, Wendy.

Bed. Tired...

Go here...

Kai's appt at the BCRM went OK yesterday and they don't need him to go back, so that's good.

I couldn't resist...


Yes, it's a Starscream cake topper. And yes, Transformer cake toppers are a thing. He was on ebay for a stupidly low price and free postage from Hong Kong, and he arrived in a dinky little box tied up with string and with pretty bird stamps on it. Nice thing to receive!

BP at 7.30 - 154/99: 15.00 - 150/97: 20.30 - 166/97?? It may be that my wrist monitor isn't working properly or maybe needs new batteries. I'll try new batteries first and take it with me to my appt with the doctor and calibrate it with her reader (if I can).

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Blogger Sue said...

The first link just gets me a message saying 'navigation to the website cancelled'.
Re the cake toppers - any need you didn't even know you had, fulfilled :)
My continued good wishes for all the hospital trips - it sounds exhausting but it's all good and heading in the right direction.

8:58 pm  
Blogger Sue said...

Yes, still using IE but I have Firefox installed as well so I tried the link there after having been intrigued by your screenshot.
I pushed the 'try again' button and the result made me giggle. Naturally I pushed it again... *G*

10:34 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

*g* You just can't not, can you? Made me chuckle...

1:48 pm  

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gah, completely bloody knackered but I'll probably feel even less like posting tomorrow. So - catch up in brief...

The weekend was busy shopping and cleaning and panicking over today, and no, I didn't sleep very well. We got in for 9.30, and of course the platelets weren't there - though credit where it's due they were being got ready and arrived around 11, so at least something's worked.

Today was the big 'let's get lots of procedures done' day. I was taken down to the apheresis ward for vein assessment at 9.45 - it's quite a peaceful and comfortable place. The nurse had a good look at both my arms and although the veins aren't perfect, she was happy with them (cue a [PHEW!] as I was not looking forward to neck or groin canula!) Got back to the day unit and was weighed and height measured and then they took my blood pressure, which was even higher than expected (192 over 114 if you really want to know. I set off the alarm on the machine...) This of course is not good. Then I was whisked off for a conversation and full details of how this procedure works (it's at this point, of course, that we finally learn we're part of a trial and the procedure - haploid-identical transplant - is still very new. Hm...) And although I pointed out that my BP is normally high, and higher than normal right now due to stress, she said that I was unlikely to be able to donate if it stayed that high (as a rough guide the maximum they'll consider is 140).

Cue a phone call to Ken to ring our surgery to try to get an urgent appointment for me with our own doctor: she had one slot at 5.50, which Ken booked. Then the lovely Vicky (who tried so hard to take my blood samples last time and decided I was an alien when she couldn't) came to try again. (And told me to stop laughing...) However, taking her advice to heart I drank a LOT of water yesterday (and this morning) and she was able to draw what was needed with no trouble at all.

When Kai's platelets had gone through we both had ECGs (and that was embarrassing but at least our nurse was female), then headed off for the chest x-rays. Except one of the department's machines was broken and there was a two hour + wait (for some reason they don't actually book times for x-rays, it seems to be first come etc.) So we went off for Kai to have his respiratory tests (which left him breathless and with a sore chest, which fortunately faded quickly), then it was back to x-ray, where the situation hadn't changed. So I've reorganised for us to have them done next appointment: we'll get there about 8.30 so we're near the front of the queue, then head off to the day unit after (DU reception now know and are fine with it).

THEN it was off for Kai's echocardiogram (basically an ultra-sound of his heart). We were actually nearly an hour early getting there, so I tried a little charm on the receptionist and we got in almost immediately. (Doesn't always work but no harm in trying!) That procedure was fascinating...

Back at the DU we were early for the last appt of the day - a meeting with the radiologist. This is where it nearly became problematic, as we were unlikely to get out before 5.15 and my doctor is the other side of the river and it was rush hour. But the DU receptionist (the lovely Tara) had a word with him and we managed to be seen at 4.30. Relatively quick meeting - he described the procedure and said Kai needed to be measured to make sure he got an equal dose of radiation (which is going to be extremely low) all over, but given that my appt was pretty vital that could be done another day. Extremely nice doctor whose name I've forgotten already, alas, but today feels like three days stuff rolled into one and I'm poggled, so not altogether surprising.

Taxi took the Wells Rd and dropped me at the corner before heading down Talbot Hill to get Kai home. Got to the Surgery in plenty of time.

Explained the situation to my doctor, and added that they were hoping to perform the transplant in June. She stared at me and pointed out this was a pretty tall order. I said 'yes I know, so how do we start?'

... I'm not altogether surprised me and doctors don't always get on...

Anyway, luckily all my blood results from this morning were on the system (as she quite rightly was NOT going to prescribe me meds without knowing my kidney function - which is normal, as is my liver function, and how that hell it's that is completely beyond me...) so I now have Ramipril to take (got the prescription filled at Tesco, who now take your phone number for follow up calls to see if everything is all right! They're a bloody supermarket for gobs sake!) and an appt next Wed to have kidney function checked again.

[growl] So after fighting it for years I finally have to take meds for my BP. I suppose it's for the best. Can get it under control before anything nasty happens...

Kai, bless him, has been great all day. He's very tired now, but happier - as am I - that at least some of the hassle is done, and early and without undue stress. I can't see it lasting, but at least today has been good. Knackering, but good.

Somehow over the next couple of weeks I have to get a whole load of seeds on the go if we're to have anything for the freezer come autumn. I thought I needed clones/TARDIS/immortality before? Hah!

Oooh. Fox warbling in the garden...



Blogger GoodTwin said...

Crikey, what a day!
Mum ended up on BP tablets after managing without for years and it's been for the best; it has definitely helped her.
All sounds positive anyway.

8:07 am  

Friday, May 09, 2014

Today it was up to the BCRM for Kai's first appointment. Filled in lots of forms, then he disappeared for a while, then taxi home. They want him to go back next week - the more stored, the better, understandably.

Went over to get the Sains shop after we got home - and this time remembered to take my camera. For several weeks now I've seen this sitting on the roof of the local BCC depot, but it was too far away for me to make out any detail except that its head moves...

Seems it's a mechanical wol, supposedly to drive the seagulls and pigeons away, I assume (someone should tell them it's not working...)


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Blogger Writer Chick said...

Mechanical wol? Is there no end to human perfidy?

1:21 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Alas no, it would seem...

Still, better than forcing a real wol to do it.

11:05 am  

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Another catch up...

Yesterday was Kai's appointment at the dental hospital for a thorough check up and full x-ray prior to the transfusion (there will be a number of checks like this...) As expected - because we've always made sure he looks after his teeth - everything is absolutely fine, nothing needs doing, he should just make sure he always brushes twice a day. Nice quick appointment too, 9 am (which we only just made due to horrendous tailbacks: Ken said there'd been an accident) and we were out again come 10 am. Once back I made the now regular bacon sammij for his lunch and went shopping.

After dinner was the third ep of Starlost (which was interesting and insightful, as far as it could be in 45 mins), Masterchef, then the Tomorrow People.

Today's appt went OK. Kai's levels were fine so he didn't need anything, and I spoke with the ward sister about the problems with platelets: she agreed we have been let down and is now checking to see what can be done. In the meantime, Kai has procedures on Monday and he must have platelets first, so I pointed this out to the dr in attendance today and he has told me the lab have assured us they will be there by 9.30. So so will we...

Went up to Broadwalk after we got back, to check charity shops and get bird food. No joy in the shops, and I wasn't happy when I stepped out of the precinct with four minutes to spare before the bus was due to leave, only to see it disappearing over the brow of the hill. Had to walk home in the rain (there's only one bus an hour) and buggered my knee again. I really have to try to find time to see my doctor, these joint problems are becoming a real nuisance.

Finally, I wrote three pages of next!Poppy while at the day unit on Monday, but haven't had time to finish it yet. Hopefully tomorrow or Saturday.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014


The Uni have confirmed that they have deferred Kai's place for another year - that's one major thing less to worry about.

The thing that might become a thing is a smidgeon closer towards becoming a thing. I may know by the end of the month.

Tyjer came in without his collar again. Not very happy about that. He can't go out now until I've bought him one to replace it - and I am not shelling out another £9 for another disc. I'll see what alternatives there are.

I've picked the first asparagus of the year. There's more coming - I should have enough tomorrow to steam to go with the chicken chasseur I'm making for dinner.

And we watched the first two eps of The Starlost. It was going to be just one ep but we got sucked in. Terrible special effects aside (it was 1973 and made on a very small budget) it's extremely compelling. Pretty subversive in places too - made us grin. Interestingly, it has something of the ambience of Sapphire and Steel (hm. The plot guides for seasons 4 through 6 haven't been done for S&S. Might do those after Starlost. Good excuse to watch them all again!) Just hoping it stays on form...

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Blogger Writer Chick said...

Instead of a tag, an inscribed plate?

Or shave your phone # into his fur XD,

What about an ID chip?

6:58 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Hm. I think the first would have the same problems, and he's already chipped, but it takes a special device to read it. The fur idea is cute though...

10:14 pm  

Monday, May 05, 2014

Well, after the dr promising us on Thursday Kai's blood would be ready for him when we reached the BRI and the platelets would be washed while he was getting the blood, we arrived at 9.30 to find nothing had been done and the lab claiming nothing had been ordered, even though the notes say it was and I was standing at reception when the dr was on the phone to them. This is now the fifth time they've let us down, and on Thursday I'm making an official complaint. (Thursday because there will be a staff nurse who will advise me.) The nurse on duty today has also filled out an incident report.

It was gone 7 pm when we got home, and this is now well beyond a joke.



Blogger Writer Chick said...

Seems reasonable to me, particularly when it's a repeated problem, and you witnessed the transmission of orders. And five times? Something is wrong somewhere, and the hospital needs either to fix it or (more likely) dismiss him, her, or them.

Beyond a joke. Well into the Territory of Not Funny At All (Here There Be Incompetence).

12:09 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Five times in a row, in fact. Costing a small fortune in unnecessary taxi fares, not to mention the stupid amount of extra stress it's placed on the family. I am not happy.

2:16 am  

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Yesterday Kim drove us both to Almondsbury Garden Centre (she has a new car, very snazzy Corsa) for frozen rats for Feather, mainly, but I also picked up a couple more irises and dianthuses, and potting compost (the staff were good enough to let me a have a couple of bin bags to protect the car). It was a lovely day, and in the afternoon I hoed the veg bed. Today was lovely too, and after getting a wash out and shopping we planted what I bought yesterday - and the mange tout that were ready for planting out. I've also replaced the grease bands on the apple and pear trees.

Legs are aching now, so have some cat...

Not entirely sure what he thought he was doing here - playing hide and seek?

We've had more footage of the foxes (both of them, but not at the same time - guess while one comes out to forage the other looks after the cubs!) I'll see if I can chivvy Kai along to getting them posted on Youtube, then I can embed them.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

It's helpful that the weather is being so good; must be bringing the garden on a treat.

Isn't Tyjer a splendid cat? We can always do with moar cat :)

We're busy watching the baby bluetits in our box and hoping for a successful rearing this year. Once again there only seems to be one parent, but the mother this year and she is at least doing the requisite amount of belting to and fro with bits of insect :)

6:18 pm  
Blogger Writer Chick said...

Tyjer, Tyjer, hiding some
I hope you know we can see your bum!

8:00 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Yep, it's doing the garden a power of good. And I have a lot of little pears appearing on the tree.

Lin - LOL!

10:16 pm  

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Poppy New World 2, ch 14 now posted - click on link above.

I am very tired..



Thursday, May 01, 2014

Quick catchup...

Tyjer didn't want to go out at all on Tuesday, poor kit. He was almost back to normal on Wednesday though, and has been mostly fine today. No further appearance of the fox however. Kai has been putting out the camera and caught glimpses, but nothing like those good early ones. When he feels up to it he'll stitch some shots together for Youtube.

Today was relatively quick: RBC at a borderline 70 and platelets at 16, so no transfusions. He will need them on Monday though, as next week he has an appointment at the dental hospital (standard before a transplant). Then on Monday 12th I get my Bone Marrow Transplant workup:

"Vein assessment to be carried out in the Apheresis Unit, Level 3, BHOC.
The following will be carried out in the Haematology Day Unit following your vein assessment:
Chest x-ray
Urine analysis
Blood tests
Blood pressure
As part of your work up, you will have a variety of routine blood tests including full blood count, clotting studies, biochemistry, hormone tests (including pregnancy test for all women of child bearing age) and virology tests for Hepatitis, HIV and Syphilis, amongst test for other more common viruses. If you would like to discuss these tests with a Doctor or Clinical Nurse Specialist, please ask to speak to one before your bloods are taken.
You will be examined by a doctor and have the opportunity to discuss at length the implications of donating stem cells and the methods of donation available to you."

Oh joy. Still, I can truthfully answer all the donor health questions with a healthy 'no', which should help. More as we find out more.

The bed behind the greenhouse.

I can't grow brassicas, potatoes or roses - but anything else and once I've got it growing I can't get rid of it.

Acanthus coming back from where I dug it up...

... and even where I never planted it in the first place!

Hoping for a quiet day tomorrow. I have done a lot of shopping this week.

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