Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::

I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.

... I'd write my autobiography, but no-one would believe it....

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

Adventures in Orchids

Apparently I am now collecting them...

There's room for one - or maybe two, at a pinch - more on that bedroom windowsill (the only one in the house that's ideal for them). Let's see what I find. Well, that didn't last long...

EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid since 2007 and it just keeps flowering...

AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!

RO - Rescued orchid photo to come when it flowers. Phalaenopsis. Rescued from a bin up the road in 2019. Classic!

TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?

CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.

GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...

DO - Dendrobium Orchid. Smells of wisteria, so beautiful...

RO2 - Rescued orchid no 2. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I rescued from the wall along the road middle of 2021.

PO. Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!

TWO. Teeny weeny orchid, Phalaenopsis. Rescued from Tesco end 2021 (I think).

My IMDb ep summaries

Arthur of the Britons
Star Maidens
The Starlost
Space Rangers
The Sentinel (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Swamp Thing (part: season 3)
Gravedale High
Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Cybertron (part)
Misfits of Science (four eps)
Zoo Gang
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)
The Café

For later:

Missing Earthian ep
Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)


I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the year...

Watching the little birds in the goat-willow in my garden, I realised something more.

I love this land with a fierce, possessive love, deep-rooted in two thousand years of history. From the frosted beaches and cloud-brushing peaks of the north to the wind-haunted meanderings of the rivers of the east, from the sensuous rolling patchworked hills of the south to the demanding dark moors of the west, this land seeps into bone and blood and synapse, mother of motley nobility, culture, individual freedoms. It can be known. It can be understood. It can be felt deep inside.

I love its effortless eccentricities, its vigour and vibrancy, its flawed perfections, its silent strength and tenacious resilience, its hard-won tolerances and intense and variable beauty, the profound energy in its sacred mythical landscape.

Home and more-than-home, the forces that shape and protect and bind, in me, as I am in the land. Love returning love in the stillness for those who'll only take the time to listen...

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

All photographs taken by Joules unless otherwise specified. All photographs © Joules A Taylor or other specified individual.

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

Currently enjoying:
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:
Nestlé, Nonpres Tinyhands Fart, Toadface Farage

Currently maintaining:

Blog Pics
I've gathered some of my pages of photos together: the page of links is here. I'll be adding more as time goes by!

Evil Squid
A Little Glossary of Taylorspeke
(in no particular order)

plit popints - n. Typo for 'plot points' typed on a keyboard with more than half the characters worn off...

[PING] (alt [ping]) - n. A brainwave. The text equivalent of a lightbulb going on blindingly over someone's head. Usually mine. And usually at the most inconvenient of times. [sigh]

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

wulmet - n. A person of little or no talent who somehow inveigles himself into a position where he is in power over other, far more talented people and uses his position to downplay them in order to try to make himself feel superior.

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

Flatterfed - vb. 27.02.08: my typo for flattered, but since it's so cutely apt I thought it would fit nicely here. Lutra defined it as "the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction resulting from enthusiastic reviews..." (which I've been getting for my MB fics).

Composted - vb, 'compos mentis', mentally capable of working. Contrast with uncomposted or non- composted, not 'compos mentis', not capable of working, hungover...

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

Kewp - how Ken says 'thank you'. We rather like Lutra's 'nanx', too...

Musekick - noun, music, without which I cannot work.

'feinne - noun, caffeine, essential for correct mental functioning, especially first thing in the morning. I prefer mine in the form of SodaStream Diet Coke. And on that subject...

Skoosh - verb, noun. To skoosh - to add CO2 to a sodastream bottle filled with water to make it fizzy, prior to adding Diet Coke syrup (or just drinking as sparkling water). A skoosh - a bottle of water that has been skooshed. Skooshy - something that has been skooshed, water, or that whipped cream that comes in tins you have to shake then upend and press the nozzle...

Shoogle - verb. To shake gently, for example, of roast potatoes in a roasting tin to ensure they're covered with oil. I have vague memories of this being a real Scottish colloquialism...

Stegasaurus - n, spider of the genus tegenaria. Why? No idea. I just find it easier, that's all...
Edit 08.09.07: Lutra thinks that Brian is a good name for a mini-stegasaurus. From now on, any 'Brian's in the posts may be assumed to be a tegenaria. Except where otherwise specified.

Viterals - noun, vitamins + minerals. Also a pun on victuals.

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

Parrots - noun, paracetemol (from the old joke "Why are there no aspirin tablets in the jungle? Because the parrots eat 'em all...")

Maggles - noun, magpies. As opposed to non-magical people.

Flamewings - noun. Swifts. So called because the first time we became aware of them was an early summer evening when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We always know summer's arrived when we hear their high-pitched squeeing.

Murfs - noun, moths.

Peasant cut - noun, roughly cut up into big chunks, e.g. vegetables chopped in a hurry for a hearty stew or soup. By extension, anything prepared in a hurry - haircut, material, even a first draft of a story...

Giraffe - noun, a carafe (of wine, coffee or water, for example).

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

Splings - noun, Kai's spelling homework: by extension, any spelling.

Tyops - noun, typos. var toyps, typso, psyto, psoyt, etc. Usual result of a dose of the fingerials (see next entry).

Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want them to.

Haddock - noun, time, of which I never have enough. (Origin of this term here.)

Sleep - noun? vb? a.k.a. sheeeeeeeeep.... I used to know what this word meant...

The Updates Blog

The place to stay notified of WaveWrights' Fiction updates: Zone, Darkside, DarkRealm, Matrix, Vault, Safehouse 13...

my computer gremlin Butch. click the pic to see the larger image

Butch, my computer gremlin. Click the pic for larger version, and read his adventures here...

Butch by the talented 


A gift for me! Butch by the very talented Sylverthorne. Click pic for larger image.



This is MY haddock. It was caught exclusively for me by Talon. No, you can't have any. I need all the haddock I can get!!

A'lestrel by Valkyrie.

A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


Another gorgeous Valkyrie gift for me - Benten the Albino Alsatian! Click thumbnail for larger image.

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



Oekai by Bakayaro Onna - Radittsu at his sexiest...

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....

Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

   All 3 eps on Video, dubbed
   Dj: Cyberage 1-3
   Illustrated Book 2 (Benten's) in Japanese

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

   English Manga: Vol 1
   Japanese Manga: Vol 1-7 complete
   Tarot Pack
   R.G.Veda video

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

   (Studio Ironcat) Manga Vols 1 -5 (complete)

Yami no Matsuei

   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.

[::..Joules SPfied..::]

... this is Terra? How the hell'd I end up here...?

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
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01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
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01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
01/09/2012 - 30/09/2012
01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
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01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
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01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
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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
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
01/12/2017 - 31/12/2017
01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
01/02/2018 - 28/02/2018
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
01/04/2018 - 30/04/2018
01/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
01/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
01/03/2019 - 31/03/2019
01/04/2019 - 30/04/2019
01/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019
01/07/2019 - 31/07/2019
01/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019
01/01/2020 - 31/01/2020
01/02/2020 - 29/02/2020
01/03/2020 - 31/03/2020
01/04/2020 - 31/04/2020
01/05/2020 - 31/05/2020
01/06/2020 - 31/06/2020
01/07/2020 - 31/07/2020
01/08/2020 - 31/08/2020
01/09/2020 - 30/09/2020
01/10/2020 - 31/10/2020
01/11/2020 - 30/11/2020
01/12/2020 - 31/12/2020
01/01/2021 - 31/01/2021
01/02/2021 - 28/02/2021
01/03/2021 - 31/03/2021
01/04/2021 - 30/04/2021
01/05/2021 - 31/05/2021
01/06/2021 - 30/06/2021
01/07/2021 - 31/07/2021
01/08/2021 - 31/08/2021
01/09/2021 - 30/09/2021
01/10/2021 - 31/10/2021
01/11/2021 - 30/11/2021
01/12/2021 - 31/12/2021
01/01/2022 - 31/01/2022
01/02/2022 - 28/02/2022
01/03/2022 - 31/03/2022
01/04/2022 - 30/04/2022
01/05/2022 - 30/05/2022
01/06/2022 - 31/06/2022
01/07/2022 - 31/07/2022
01/08/2022 - 31/08/2022
01/09/2022 - 30/09/2022
01/10/2022 - 31/10/2022
01/11/2021 - 31/11/2021
01/12/2022 - 31/12/2022
01/01/2023 - 31/01/2023
01/02/2023 - 28/02/2023
01/03/2023 - 31/03/2023
01/04/2023 - 30/04/2023
01/08/2023 - 31/08/2023
01/11/2023 - 31/11/2023

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Day +666 (or so we are told!) 

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.

Labels: ,


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...

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Blogger Sue said...

Oh, the pots look very nice indeed. Fingers crossed for the daphne - and that the MRI isn't too bad.

9:08 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thanks - I'm tempted to buy some more!
The daphne is looking a little better today, I think.
And thanks, me too. Will try to find out about the machine when I can make a little time...

8:12 pm  

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.

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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...

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Blogger Sue said...

That looks a lovely walk.

9:32 am  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Summer Solstice 

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...

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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!

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

Lovely to see the Red Arrows were able to do a proper performance :)
And that will need to be quite a large display cabinet...

10:57 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Yup. Think I found it though...

11:07 pm  
Blogger thatwritingchick48 said...

Awesome photos of the Red Arrows, thanks!

The display cabinet fills me with envy. Lovely piece of furniture.

11:31 pm  
Blogger thatwritingchick48 said... requires me to prove I'm not a robot. Way to rub it in,

11:32 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

If you'd like bigger ones, let me know and I'll email. These are cropped and quite small.
As for the case - yes indeed! A little pricey, but given how much some of my Starscream collection has cost me it would be great to have them all protected.
And I fully agree re: prove you're not a robot. It's bugged me for ages. Talk about speciesist!!

11:39 pm  

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...

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Blogger thatwritingchick48 said...

We've had a repairman in too - ours is a plumber by trade but he does all kinds of work if he likes you. Apparently he likes my housemate.

He looks enough like the Mario Brothers to make one grin, though, and Plumber's Crack? You betcha.

11:36 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...


11:47 pm  

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...

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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.

Last night we watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine in preparation for Deadpool, which I'm hoping to pick up tomorrow. Been looking forward to it!

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!

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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.

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Thursday, June 09, 2016

And we now have two gas emergency vans parked outside.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

Complain, loudly, to whoever you can find. I seriously hope your gas suppliers can sue him for the cost - perhaps he could also be sued for the inconvenience to his neighbours?

12:08 am  

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.

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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.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

I'd report him, regardless. Not quite sure what the rules are but I'd be surprised if he had permission to block the pavement like that. And it's not entirely clear from your photo - have they installed block paving to the roadside? I think the Highways Agency might have something to say about it.

11:23 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Still considering it.
It does look as though the cobbles (or probably replacements, as Ken says the originals went off in the skip with the rest of the rubble) are being reinstated. If they aren't, Ken will be livid and do something about it, they're a distinct archaeological feature of the area, and Highways will NOT be happy.

2:34 pm  

Saturday, June 04, 2016

The Poppy Tales 

Finally. Next!Poppy - book 7, chapter 23, Prehistoric - now posted in The Poppy Tales (link above). Enjoy!

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And at quarter to nine the noise starts. The vibrations are making the glasses on the draining rack clink together.



Blogger GoodTwin said...

Oh joy. The only consolation is that those are expensive to hire so with any luck it won't be for long.
It's a shame the dipsticks of this world outnumber the rest of us - we all have to live next door to idiots...

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

Now the angle-grinder starts up...
He simply doesn't give a flying fuck about anyone but himself. Including, apparently, his own family.
I'm playing music now, at 75% of max.

10:41 am  

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!

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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.

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Blogger Sue said...

Well done on the swimming! I enjoyed the few episodes I saw of The Dresden Files. I liked the actor playing Harry. Another Brit picking up the lead in an American/Canadian series.

4:59 pm  

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