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
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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
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01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
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01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
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01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
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01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
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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
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
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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
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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
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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My remaining orchid does something quite odd: after the first two buds have opened, it grows a second flowering spike below (or sometimes above, as here) the first, the buds of which open as the first lot are dying. I know you can sometimes force an orchid to do this if you cut the first spike as the flowers are fading, but I've not heard of it happening naturally. It's kind of nice.

Dentist for me on Tuesday - to my relief everything is fine, no plaque, no staining, nothing needs doing. Seems my new electric toothbrush heads are earning their keep!

On the way back down the hill I popped into our local swimming pool, Jubilee Rd - to pick up their summer schedule and ask about the quietest time to go. Apparently Tuesday morning between 8 and 9 is the best time for lane swimming, which is what I'm after, usually only a couple of people there, although later lane swimming sessions, 9 - 10 pm, are also quite quiet. That interrupts the evening though, easier to stick to mornings since I'm up anyway.

So then I dug out my old swimming costumes, to find that the comfy one is falling to pieces, and the other one is uncomfortable and will restrict movement. Oh joy. Off to Sains, where to my surprise and happiness I found all their swimwear on half price, and bought the perfect costume, right size, black but with a subtle embossed large ripple pattern, very comfortable. £8. Now I just have to find the swimming towels...

Today one of the doctors from the surgery is ringing to organise Kai's schedule of inoculations: I have the details now from Lucy, our specialist nurse. Wasn't too happy to find out he could have started having them at 6 months post-transplant, avoiding the delay and any problems associated with having a lot all close together, but perhaps the BMT team had a reason for it. And Kai has been under a lot of stress... Anyway, he needs tetanus, diptheria, whooping cough, polio and pneumonia - three doses 4 weeks apart - and meningitis and haemophilus influenza (haven't heard of that one, it's not the normal flu jab though), 2 doses 2 months apart. The MMR isn't supposed to be given until 24 months post-transplant, although I think Prof Marks may speed that one up a little, and apparently is no longer given as a single jab in the UK.

Getting all that sorted is going to be a nightmare, given he still has appointments for blood review and BMT clinic, haematology, an ECG and now the dentist, and after October venesection appointments too. Wish me luck.



Sunday, July 26, 2015

On Saturday GoodTwin and Sue came to visit - first summer visit in two years. It was great! GoodTwin drove us to Whitegate Nurseries, just outside of Keynsham (Ken and I discovered this place by accident 24 years ago just after we bought the house: we'd gone for a walk in Stockwood open space and stumbled upon it on the way back down to the Bath Rd. It's grown a bit since then!) It's a lovely place, very reasonable prices, and a gorgeous café with terrific homemade cakes and an outside seating area overlooking the valley. I picked up three very pretty salvias (photo tomorrow hopefully). After dinner we finished off the media quiz we started on their last visit in Feb, and played Trivial Pursuit (the media version). All fantastic fun!

Sat was the good day - the rest of the weekend it's rained. And rained and rained. Tyjer's pretty disgusted with it all...

I get the ebay newsletter offering me things which for some completely obscure reason they think I might be interested in. Sometimes the wording could be a little better...

Planning to start swimming regularly in the next couple of weeks. I figure it'll be less painful exercise than trying to walk...

Labels: , , ,


Blogger GoodTwin said...

We had a fabulous day as well. It's always great to sit/chat/laugh/howl hysterically...

(whut the... we get pictorial captchas now...?)

10:38 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

... If it's any consolation even I have to sign in the captcha, and it's my fragging blog!!

12:58 am  
Blogger Writer Chick said...

Something gorgeous about orange cats always, and Tyjer is a prime example.

Looking forward to seeing the salvias.

It's 68F and raining here. Except for the green trees, I'd think it was fall!

3:16 am  
Blogger Sue said...

I've had the picture captcha for a while now and the pictures are so similar that I kept failing, hence having so much trouble commenting a while back.
It was indeed a very good day. Now remember, if the answer is a radio station it's Radio Five Live, if it's a drama it's Abigail's Party and if it's an author then it's Daphne Du Maurier :)

6:06 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

And if it's TV or film it's Barry Norman!

Writer chick: no pic yet, the wind has blown off most of the flowers. Once they're planted I'll try, but might need to wait until next year now.

7:56 pm  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

OK, so, what's been happening?

Goes without saying it's been busy. Garden-wise we now have a couple of bags each of dwarf beans and blueberries in the freezer, and the first (absolutely delicious!) cucumber and cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse, with more coming. The first peppers and aubergines are now flowering too.

Kai and I went to see Dr Reading on Monday, to learn what to look for re: moles. Kai's fine at the moment, and we can make sure it stays that way now we know what we're looking for. Bad news, though, she's retiring at the end of the month. We'll miss her. She's been my doctor since I moved to Bristol in... 84? 85? Long time, anyway.

It was Kai's BMT Clinic today. All good! His blood counts are now perfectly normal, and everything's fine. He thinks the chest pains from a week or so ago may have been caused by him playing guitar hunched over. (We're now on the lookout for a stool for him, with rungs so he can sit properly when playing.) Everything's set up for him to start uni in a couple of months, as long as everything continues as it has been.

And apparently, he may have acquired my immunity to chicken pox along with my stem cells! (Not MMR, unfortunately, that operates differently.) So fingers crossed...

Today's tigridia...

And we're thoroughly enjoying Agent Carter on Sunday nights. It's got off to a really good start with terrific characters and a fun plot that follows on nicely from Captain America. Great stuff!

... camera cowboys were back again for a few minutes earlier. Is that the eight or ninth time? I've lost track...

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Saturday, July 18, 2015




Blogger GoodTwin said...

Cadbury's take 'em and they cover them in chocolate... :)

9:58 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Or we could eat them ourselves - if the squrls don't get them first...

11:54 pm  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Letter arrived from the BRI today. Apparently I have adductor tendinopathy with trochanteric bursitis: "general age related degenerative change with multi level disc degeneration and facet joint hypertrophy." Oh joy.

And it can take up to 18 weeks to get the ultrasound appointment. Oh double joy.

Today's tigridia. A little battered, alas...

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

Lots of big words to describe getting older... :( Fingers crossed you might get a cancellation slot for the scan.

Those flowers remind me of triffids...

10:26 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Getting older and a lifetime of doing too much... *sigh*
Thanks, I hope so too. They do the steroid injection at the same time, using the scan to get the needle in the right place. Had that before for amniocentesis, so suspect it'll be a very similar procedure. And no doubt about as painful...

10:30 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Oh, yes - 'Manda had the same response (only she thought they were orchids. She hates orchids, says they look like they'd eat you as soon as they worked out how...)

10:32 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

hee, yes.

7:52 am  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

(I wondered where the rest of my comment went - then realised I'd used a chevron...)
The flower above is definitely trying to decide whether to start at the ankle and work up or launch itself at your face alien-style...

7:53 am  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Today's top news!

On Saturday Ken wanted to get out of Bristol for a few hours, and Kai was OK with it (he said) so we thought we'd try for Clevedon. Only when we got to the bus station, there was a 52 minute wait for the bus (there are supposed to be three an hour to Clevedon). So we went to Wells instead, which was nice, and came back with another six low-growing plants for the rockery. When we got home, however, Kai didn't remember me waking him up, didn't remember me telling him we were going out, and didn't remember me telling him his lunch sammij was in the fridge...

Films... Ken and I watched Kate and Leopold, which is charming; we all watched Left Behind, which is truly dreadful; and last night was Chappie, a gloriously anarchic mess of a film, which manages to be thought-provoking as well as riotous. Kai and I enjoyed it - not sure about Ken...

This is flowering up at the top of the garden. Can't remember what it is but it's quite dramatic!

Later edit: it's a tigridia. I have several more near flowering, all different colours.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

So, appt yesterday...

Well, the good news is there's no surgery involved - at least, not at this stage. The less good news is that the problem probably isn't going to be fixable, just alleviated. I didn't fully take on board everything that was said (being absolutely knackered still didn't help) but it's to do with exceptional wear and tear on the tendons and the hip bursa. The next step is an ultrasound (are they practising every known form of scan on me??), a local anaesthetic injection followed by a steroid injection into my hip, which, when it takes effect in a couple of days, should give pain relief for 6 - 8 weeks, and finally, physiotherapy (which I believe will also involve exercises to do at home).

A lot better than it could have been. Though local anaesthetics tend not to be fully effective on me (Kai's inherited that, unfortunately) so I'm anticipating a fair amount of pain. Nothing new there then! I'll get the appt through the post. In the meantime, walking (not too far and without carrying anything heavy) is apparently the best thing I can do.

In other news, Kai's now down another half a microgramme of tacrolimus and feeling rough, but now we know that's what happens we can cope.

Oh, and the camera cowboys were back again, at ten o'clock yesterday night. Seventh visit. Remember the old camera configuration?

It now looks like this -

I need to get some garden stuff done today - and blanching and freezing of dwarf French beans and mange tout: despite not planting that many plants the harvest is surprisingly heavy. Also, blueberries. Pruning last autumn has resulted in a veritable deluge of the early berries, far more than I can eat myself (though I think I shall give some to Kai in Yeo Valley blueberry yoghurt and see if he likes them. Ken isn't too keen, but I lub the fruit!) They freeze well and it's lovely having summer fruit in the depths of winter...

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

Glad the appointment wasn't too bad. Fingers crossed things work for you. And the camera positions look better as well.

5:49 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Many thanks. I will be very glad when they've organised the injection.

2:47 pm  

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

We had the APAG AGM last night, primarily to decide whether to wind the group up or not. End result is we're keeping it going, albeit at a low-key level, for a while longer.

Kai is at his pentamidine appt - alone. The routine is simple and familiar, and it's another step towards independence. Though I'm fretting, of course...

The camera cowboys were back next door for the sixth time this morning - but I now know who they are, Secure South West Limited. I shall be leaving them brutally honest reviews on every review site and local social media I can find when I have the time, but for now, my advice would be to avoid them like the plague. I wouldn't trust them any further than I could spit them.

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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

So, got to bed at 2 am: got woken at 3.45 by Kai worried that he had dreadful chest pains...

Rang 999, shortly thereafter we were at A&E with Kai hooked up to an ECG scanner and having blood taken - but with the pain receding. ECG results were fine, and a couple of hours later his bloods came back also fine. The general thinking was it may have been some sort of long spasm (lasted over an hour) of the oesophagus or chest wall, but nothing affecting his heart or lungs. 7 am we were in a taxi on the way back home, with instructions to get straight back in if it happened again.

Got to bed as Ken was leaving for work at 7.30, got to sleep about 8 - then was woken at 8.45 by the phone: Peter (head nurse of the transplant clinical trial) ringing to check that Kai was OK... It's nice that they're keeping him monitored, but it then took me another 40 mins to drop off again. Just as well I did Poppy yesterday as I'm not really capable of much this afternoon after 3 hours sleep!

Anyway - panic over, and hopefully I can have that early night tonight instead.

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Blogger Sue said...

Oh heavens, lack of sleep is not good but thank goodness it was nothing more serious.

8:03 pm  

Monday, July 06, 2015

The Poppy Tales 

Twenty-second part of New World 2 - Mars - now posted over at The Poppy Tales, link above.


In other news, Kai really enjoyed his day out yesterday, it all went wonderfully, and they're going to see if they can organise another. And today he spent an hour in his first skype call, to a friend in Germany!

He's reconnecting. So chuffed...

Today Kim and I went to a new(ish) garden centre at Tickenham, Garden Park. Very good prices (picked up three extra large bags of potting compost for a tenner, their little heucheras were £1.69 each, and their herbs all £1.75: got two French tarragon to replace the one that died). Nice restaurant too - Carriages, part of which was an actual old railway carriage. Excellent Americano coffee and wonderful apple pie with ice cream. Altogether a very pleasant day.

Tired now...

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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Friday night there were storms...

I'll rephrase that. Friday night there were storms everywhere but here.

Barely enough rain to wet the ground, nowhere near enough to refill the main waterbutt or give my garden the thorough drenching it needs.

I am miffed. I shall be having words with Taranis when I can catch him...

Yesterday was productive. Ken and I went to Hurrans, where I picked up a couple of the new(ish) style stacking planters from elho - a bit pricey at £10.49 each but the terracotta planters I currently have the strawberries in are useless. Pretty to look at, but the water runs straight through and there's no room for the roots. The aquatic centre had Duckweed Buster (new to me but I guess it was only a matter of time! Roeg's pool is OK - the birds have been bathing in and drinking from it, and I think they may be eating the weed too - but Kai's pool is thick with the stuff, so that's the next major job), and there were two different colours of nemesia - pink and purple - on sale for £2 instead of £7, so bought those as well.

After dinner Ken and I watched Hummingbird - picked up very cheaply at Tesco because I like Jason Statham - and it's very good. I was expecting the usual actioner, but it's far more complex and morally ambivalent than something like Homefront. Most enjoyable.

Today Kai is meeting with friends in town! First time out (without me) in 22 months. He's nervous, but one of his friends is picking him up so he won't have to walk into the place alone. Keeping fingers crossed it all goes well...

Next!Poppy is now two pages done. Still hoping to be able to post it today, if all goes well, but I still have the usual Sunday stuff to do...

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Blogger Sue said...

When you say no rain here, you mean here and here because we didn't have any either and like you, my garden could really do with it!

3:50 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Fingers crossed for this week. We're supposed to have rain here tomorrow...

8:30 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

We're 10 miles north but didn't get any either.
Perhaps you need to do more rain-dances with haddock... :)

10:38 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

[growl] Well buggerit!! I'm obviously going to have to do more than rain-dances and nagging Taranis!!

I can only think he thought he was doing us all a favour by steering the 19.5K lightning strikes away from us. But we could still have done with the H2O!

[sigh] Eh well. Carrying watering cans up and down the garden is supposed to be good exercise...

11:05 pm  

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Saturday was a bit of a washout: I ended up with a most unpleasant stomach upset. Felt better come the evening, but managed to accomplish nothing much all day. So of course, Sunday was twice as manic as usual as I scrambled to catch up.

Most of Monday was taken up reworking Perfume Power. Sent it off before my deadline though, so it was worth it.

Yesterday Kai and I went to see Jurassic Park. It's OK, fairly predictable, but nicely done. And the raptors are gorgeous. I want one (or three) as guard dinos for the house.

On the way back we did a Sains shop and picked up Jupiter Ascending...

What can I say? A most intriguing concept handled with all the sensitivity of sledgehammer-wielding T.Rex. Cinderella in space. Gorgeous cg and cinematography, very pretty shinies and sparklies, and a Sean Bean who didn't die and got his wings back (well, he was supposed to though we didn't see it but Caine's were returned so we can assume Stinger's were too). But the rest? Ye gods. How can people who made The Matrix and the fabulous Cloud Atlas get it so wrong?

Eh well. It'll do as background pretties while I work.

Yesterday I found another offering from the foxes - in the manhole cover right outside the kitchen this time. Empty Pedigree Chum (chicken flavour) tin.

So last night I left them a bowl of dog food. Chicken flavour, as requested!

The rockery, although it was too bright yesterday to get a good pic. It's coming along nicely though.

And now onto Poppy! One page already written: with a little luck I can get this next chapter finished before Friday.

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Blogger Writer Chick said...

"Look! She of the Strange Box understood our request for a boon!"

"Yes, but She took our stored food!"

"Never mind! She left us much more than She took! Can't you do maths?"

"I can count all the up to All Toes, so you shut up!"

"Well I can count all the way up to All Toes on Front Feet, so you shut up!"

[Foxy bickering diminuendo as vulpes vamoose.)

4:48 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thanks, that made my day. I'm still chuckling...

9:46 pm  

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