Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]
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.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
BMT clinic for Kai today, at which the haplo trial co-ordinator told us he was at day 666 post transplant and all is well. Everything is as normal, if not better, than expected, and even the fatigue and aching isn't unusual. The registrar suggested more exercise to tire him out might help him sleep better, as disturbed and uneasy sleep isn't helping the exhaustion, so we're going to try that.
Of course, that would be easier if it wasn't raining all the bloody time... When was the last time we had a summer this wet?
And that's about it. The porch light arrived this morning, and the display cabinet should be delivered next week: they'll let me know day and time in the next few days. Ken is taking the week off for his own holiday while Kai and I are in Edinburgh, hoping to finally get some of his own writing done, and will be here to take any deliveries that arrive.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Another busy day...
New keyboard arrived yesterday, new monitor arrived at 8.58 this morning, and the new greenhouse was delivered and stored at midday. In between I put a wash through, dealt with emails and client stuff, Kai installed my new peripherals (it involved crawling around under my desk plugging things in and my back is very painful at the moment, bending hurts) and I finished off the patio planters...
They'll look better when the plants have grown a little (and fingers crossed I can persuade that daphne to recover. It's not very happy, but has produced a couple of tiny leafbuds since I potted it).
Now have my MRI appointment - 26th July. It's at the private hospital up at Clifton. Ken thinks maybe they're better (more patient, less abrupt) at dealing with claustrophobes than the BRI. Personally I'm hoping they have one of the open machines. Still won't like it but I could cope with one of them...
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Well, that was insanely busy but very productive...
My snazzy new pots are now planted up, but not yet in position, as I need to clear the woodruff, lay down weed suppressing fabric, then put gravel on the top before I can do that. But it's going to look pretty good, and hide that ugly monstrosity of a fence on the patio area. Ken put shelving up in the shed, and I shunted stuff around: there's a little more storage space out there now. Rob arrived with the electrics bill (less than I'd allowed for so that was great) which is now paid. After dinner we thought perhaps a film on FilmFlex, but we've either got or seen anything of interest, and there's nothing but bloody sport (or endless analyses of the bloody referendum) on TV now SHIELD and Night Manager have finished, so Kai said, 'Let's have a game of Monopoly!'
So out came the Transformers Monopoly, and four hours later Ken won. I was bankrupt by then, muchly due to a serious run of bad luck. There's a space five spaces after GO! which demands you pay 200 (shanix/£s/$s) for repairs if you land on it, thus negating the 200 you get from passing GO!, and I landed on it. SEVEN TIMES IN A ROW. [grump]
But it was great fun! For a while it looked like Kai was going to win, but Ken played strategically and wiped the board with us both.
Today was bitty but very useful. I read TF7, the first of my new graphic novels (got five more to enjoy now I've caught up!), then did a small shop, paid the plumbers (much less than I was expecting! And they really did a fantastic job), cleared one shelf of the bookcase that will be going when the display case arrives (that was ordered yesterday, along with a new keyboard and monitor and our classy new porch light), and K&K did a whole load more sorting out too. Then after dinner we watched the last two eps of Time Trumpet (I've been writing the plot guides for the IMDb, but haven't enjoyed it much. It has miniscule flashes of brilliance, and ep 3 was very funny, but on the whole it's disappointing. Tries to be edgy but only succeeds in being thoroughly distasteful... Looks like I'm the only person who thinks that though, given its 8.3 rating).
So possible early night, although I've finally managed to catch up a bit on my sleep and am feeling a lot better for it. Tomorrow should be a little quieter, but I'm expecting the start of the deliveries.
Friday, June 24, 2016
We're out. Oh joy...
Here's something more fun. Kai and I went to Radstock on Wed, to walk the railway path. This is Five Arches, where the old railway ran, one under the other. Lovely walk from the town centre all the way to Midsomer Norton (we turned and walked back) and then a fine long bus ride home along the crest of the hill in the rain!
Gas boiler has been serviced this morning, the old bathroom radiator replaced with a lovely new one (that we can adjust the temperature or even turn off!) and we're now having the leaking pipe in the chimney breast fixed (just age luckily, no worse damage, though I will need to clean and replaster the corner where the damp has eaten away the old, and Ken will have to cut the plank of chipboard I picked up on my way back from swimming to size to make a new removable panel, as the old one was rotted through and mouldy). It's going to be a bit of a DIY weekend. Probably good that the forecast is for rain, then...
Monday, June 20, 2016
So, I now have a double socket in this room, we have a brand new, bang up to spec fuse board (or box, whichever is the correct term these days), and glorious strip-lighting in the kitchen. It's like having a slice of sun in there! All in all a good day.
Well, except for the letter from the orthos who think I may have this. Which would at least explain the constant nagging pain that feels like my lower spine is being squeezed. Oh joy. MRI will confirm...
Sunday, June 19, 2016
So off we headed for Weston-super-Mare, expecting it to be relatively quiet, as it was a bit of a cool dull day...
We haven't been watching the local news this last week, otherwise I'd have known that it was Weston's Air Festival and Armed Forces Weekend. We've been to this once before, when Kai was little and GoodTwin drove us. That was the first time he sat in a helicopter...
The first thing that greeted us was the Red Arrows!
It was fantastic, but of course everywhere was absolutely packed, and the cars stretched for a very long way along the dunes that Kai had hoped to explore, so we meandered back and came home. But all in all it was a wonderful day, and it brightened up later too, so the bus ride back - although extremely good-naturedly noisy - was fun.
Today Kai came with me to Tesco and Sains to help with the shopping (Ken had Father's Day off!), and when we got back I turned out my figures tub, dusted everything, and decided it's no good, I need a floor to ceiling, mirrored back, glass-fronted, light up display case for them all.
This extensive a collection really needs to be properly displayed. So I'm now on the lookout for a case to replace the bookcase to the right of the patio doors (everything in that can go onto the shelves currently devoted to my Starscream collection).
All jolly good fun!
Friday, June 17, 2016
Just quickly because knackered. Climbed Talbot Hill twice today...
Rob couldn't make yesterday - surprise meeting - so came this morning at 8.30 (giving me time to swim 18 lengths first and grab a small Tesco shop on the way back home). He fixed my lights in here first (very ancient wiring meant one bulb kept shorting out), then took a look at the shed.
Oh boy. The abomination of wiring Denis had left in the fuse box out there had even me gaping - and apparently a self-sacrificing slug had crawled inside and laid itself across the live and earth contacts, blowing the circuit (and causing the entire house to lose power until we took the shed fuse out), I assume in retribution for my dedicated mission to smash, slash and dismember every gastropod I find. Except for leopard slugs, because they are cannibals. It took Rob over an hour longer than anticipated to sort out the really quite dangerous mess and get everything working properly again, but he succeeded, and now all the lights (including the one outside the shed that lights up the path) are working. YAY!
It did mean he didn't have time to do the kitchen light - coming back Mon or Tues to do that, along with adding a couple of sockets in my room, installing a new fuse box, and hopefully getting the wiring ready for the porch light we will also soon have - but he did just have time to put in my new kitchen sockets. Instead of three dodgy ancient ones, I now have eight fully functioning sockets. I don't know myself!
Then Kai and I climbed the hill to Broadwalk. He had a drs appt (his dermatitis is back: needed prescriptions for cream and the special shampoo) and I had to collect my new glasses (my own lightweight frame, new lenses). We had several lucky finds at the charity shops too, then walked back and I made fajitas for dinner. Did offer to take Ken out for his birthday, but he says he's too old now to want the fuss. To be honest, I know how he feels!
So, since Lutra's computer has packed up and we can't enjoy our usual Friday confab for a little while until she gets a new one, tonight I'm going to read some fanfic until I can't focus any more then go fall over. Won't take long. Tomorrow Kai and I might be heading out, possibly to Weston-super-Mare. I rather like the sound of this year's sand sculpture festival...
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Well, Deadpool had me (and K&K mostly, though I got more of the in-jokes than them simply due to being more familiar with the Marvel universe) snickering, chuckling, and outright laughing all the way through. Loved it. Rude, crude, violent and extremely gory, and funny as hell. There HAS to be a sequel!
On Monday things looked like this...
Yes, the safety barriers had been left leaning against OUR wall.
They were still there this morning when I headed off to the PO, but as it happens the company are currently making a mess of the pavement at the bottom of Sandy Park Rd, so I stopped them and asked when they were going to shift the damned things. They apologised, took the address and said they'd get back to HQ about it. I thought that meant they'd probably still be there next month, but a few minutes after I got back from Sains a truck was outside and they were all being loaded. It's all clear now. Which just goes to show if you want something done properly, you have to do it yourself...
On Tuesday Kim drove us both to the Tickenham Garden Centre, where I spent rather a lot of money on some very sturdy and snazzy pots to hide the fence on the patio. My bay tree is going in one, and I have a lilac for one of the others, but not sure yet what to put in the third. It was a fun day, great to catch up on the news: Kim is about to become a grandmother!
This afternoon Kai and I went to see X-Men: Apocalypse. Predictable, of course, but very enjoyable, nicely character driven, and the new Nightcrawler is fantastic!
Tomorrow we have our friendly local electrician coming back to do a bit of essential work: the power went out completely on Monday evening: worked out it was the fuse to the shed that kept going, but we've no idea why. He'll put that right for us, fit me some new sockets in the kitchen, a new kitchen light, see if he can fix the light in my room, and take another look at the fuse box (it badly needs bringing up to spec, so that's the next thing on the agenda - asap!) In the meantime I desperately need an early night...
Sunday, June 12, 2016
A productive weekend, if I do say so. General busyness, Easyjet check-in (we now have our boarding passes - and the Cairngorm trip tickets came in the post last week), and next!Poppy is now started.
And tonight we watched Rio 2, which I picked up cheap quite a while back after we watched and enjoyed the first Rio. I thought 2 was better than 1, very pretty and colourful and a terrific soundtrack, with a (perhaps too fast paced but nevertheless) decent story.
Interesting factlet: Will.I.Am is in both Wolverine Origins and Rio 2...
Debating an early night. Probably won't happen though!
Saturday, June 11, 2016
It has been carer's week this week. I have used the network several times in the past couple of years, since I became Kai's registered carer, but have never gone to any of the meetings - they're every three months, but the locations are a bit of a hike for me to get to. However, yesterday I went to the meeting at the Vassall Centre to get an idea of what they're like.
It was all very friendly and welcoming, once I got used to the "Hello, I'm [name]. Who do you care for?" as the standard greeting. The presentations were clear, the presenters themselves lovely (and the buffet lunch was very tasty too!) but overall it wasn't a great deal of help to me personally. The focus tended to be on carers for the elderly and those with dementia, so before I left I introduced myself to the organisers, told them about Kai, and asked for more information about becoming a Carer Representative, specifically for young people like Kai. The organisers were delighted (I got the impression they don't have such a rep yet), have taken my details, and will get back to me.
Got the bus back to town with Janet, who is a couple of years older than me and cares for her 91 year old mother who has a wide variety of physical and mental needs. We got on well, and I hope we can reconnect at the next meeting.
This is how the road was left last night.
As I was leaving the house - at 8 am - the workmen were back next door, using the angle grinder (which of course woke Kai up, but Ken tells me he managed to get back to sleep when they stopped). When I arrived back it looked like this:
What I assume has happened is he had all the old cobbles lifted and carted off for recycling - by a company who should have bloody well known better - realised or had it pointed out to him that that was not a good idea, then panicked and had the whole stretch of the cobbles up to the party wall dug out, then relaid far too widely spaced in an attempt to cover up his 'mistake'.
This what they should look like, fossils and wear and all:
This is what is there now:
Ken is livid - and so will all the other archaeologists and historians in the area be when they find out. This is the destruction of part of the Edwardian heritage and charm of the area. On Mon I'm going to contact my liaison at BCC (no point in working freelance for them if I can't use them occasionally!) for the exact email addresses of the people to complain to, then make an official complaint as webmaster and general oracle of the BCP. I'm going to suggest Ken use his work email to make his complaint: it may have more clout if it's interdepartmental. I'll also alert the good folk at Brislington Conservation and History Society and see if they want to get involved.
And in the meantime, the work remains unfinished (though I note this morning both their cars are now up on the drive) which means at some point we are going to be disturbed yet again.
Thursday, June 09, 2016
Second post of the day... Back from my Ortho appt at the BRI. Big kudos to me from consultant: hips and legs now about as strong and flexible as they're going to be, and it's all due to my keeping on with the exercises and swimming. However, the new and random pains in my legs may be due to problems with my lower back. I know I have osteoarthritis developing, but he wants to investigate further.
I have to have another MRI.
I did explain I still have nightmares about the first one and is there any other option, but apparently there isn't. He is going to recommend my dr prescribe me some sort of sedative to be taken before the procedure, which may help. Ken has offered to come with me (I might need help getting home anyway).
So, Kai and I settle down to watch Interstellar - and the drilling inside next door starts up. We stop the film, thinking it'll probably only be for a little while.
And then they start attacking the road, further up outside ours, with a pneumatic drill.
I have an email prepared to go to the BCC, but I need to get a photo of whatever it is they're doing first. After they've gone. We have drains, waterpipes, gaspipes and gods know what else underground out there. Not to mention a bloody great lorry is now blocking the entire road.
I think if there was any good will anywhere in the street left towards him, he's just destroyed it.
Twenty two lengths this morning - though the last two were arms only, then legs only, to see if I could. (I could.)
When I got back a truck with tarmac was parked next door (and next door again, bet Bill's happy...), and the complete hack job is being fixed. Hopefully. Given just about everything he does is an automatic fail, I'll wait and see. But at least the problem of the blocked pavement may be coming to an end. Since last Saturday we've had this -
Not a problem for us, particularly, but anyone with a buggy or pushchair, shopping trolley or simply using a walking stick has had to get off the pavement and walk in the middle of the road to get around the car. And yesterday his wife's car was parked against the safety barrier, making it necessary to walk in the road for two car lengths before being able to get back to safety... I'm still tempted to report it to highways. It's hazardous.
It does, however, illustrate the depressing fact that he is entirely lacking in common sense, empathy, and consideration for other people.
Saturday, June 04, 2016
Finally. Next!Poppy - book 7, chapter 23, Prehistoric - now posted in The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!
And at quarter to nine the noise starts. The vibrations are making the glasses on the draining rack clink together.
This was the scene outside at 8 o'clock this morning.
Yes, that is a large digger. You can tell what sort of a weekend we're going to have, can't you?
Friday, June 03, 2016
Quickie before I go flake out - knackered again.
Dental appt was changed to 9.15 Wed (they had a cancellation) and Cristina filled the hole left by the broken off bit of tooth (it was either a filling at £54 or an inlay at £231, and that is a bit beyond us this month) but warned me it was a large deep filling and needed at least 24 hours to dry and harden. So not to eat anything solid at all for 24 hours. Oh joy. (Dinner was cheesy creamed potatoes with ice cream for dessert...) It seems to be holding so far, so fingers crossed.
Kai's last exam (Group Theory, which I keep reading as Group Therapy for some inexplicable reason...) went OK - in fact, he said he had more knowledge than time to put it down in writing, so that sounds fine. Definitely a good way to end the exam season. I watched War Horse - finally - while Kai was in the exam; nice film, a little overly sentimental towards the end, and of course it was a tear-jerker (most films with animals, especially set in wartime, are, after all) but a decent watch.
Ken and I have started a tradition of 'wine date Friday', whereby I buy a bottle of wine (usually Australian or New Zealand, as we particularly like those) on special and if the weather is fine we sit on the bench at the top of the garden after dinner and enjoy it with a little together time. It's lovely and I have every intention of continuing it. Tonight's bottle was a pinot grigio from NSW - OK, but nothing to rave about. Pleasant enough for a lovely sunny evening though.
(A little backstory for those who don't know, which is probably pretty much everyone reading: my first husband ended up as a manager for Oddbins the wine merchants and used to bring work home with him, so I got to try a fair variety of decent wines way back, before I divorced him. The interest in wine remained, however, and renewing it is fun!)
Off to bed soon, but hoping now the exams are done that's another layer of stress gone and we can relax and enjoy the summer!
Thursday, June 02, 2016
20 lengths this morning (before painkillers) and for the last two I had the slow lane to myself (there were only two other people in it when I got in, and only three other people in the whole pool when I got out). Chuffed about that!
We finished watching The Dresden Files, and it was as good, if not better, than it promised to be from the first couple of eps. Oh, how I wish it had gone to a second season! Wonderful stuff. Why are Canadian TV productions so much better than American ones...?
Client stuff to clear then I may even be able to take a stab at next!Poppy.