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][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
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, July 27, 2016
Well, the MRI machine at the Chesterfield is great. Much wider 'bore', much shorter body, pale sky-blue and a cool breeze blows through it all the time you're in it. More like lying under a bridge than being shoved into a pipe. I still wouldn't opt to go in it if I had a choice, but it was far less awful than the BRI's machine. (Not sure if the diazepam helped. I wasn't aware of any difference myself, but perhaps that's part of the drug's effect...)
Anyway, all went well.
Kai and I watched Rurouni Kenshin and enjoyed it so much I ordered the two sequels! Now have to make time for Ken to watch the fist one so we can all watch the second and third...
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Well, today has been good. Kai checked his exam results, and found he's passed everything! (Mostly with points to spare, although the one he was most worried about - Intro to Philosophy of Science - he just scraped through with one point more than needed. Never mind. It was enough to get him through. And he made up for it with a good result for Computer Architecture, which he's always enjoyed.) Given what a fight against exhaustion and endless bugs his first year was, we're very proud and happy. And he's relieved - no resits.
And I got a gold star from IMDb!
I have done an awful lot of ep guides for them...
12 Kingdoms is proving to be really good, once we got properly into it. Wonderful characters, and gorgeous design. Most enjoyable. Still complex though - I can only give the barest summary for the IMDb.
MRI Tuesday. Ken's coming with me. Not looking forward at all.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Nightingale Valley walk today. (Mainly pics as I am very, very tired...)
The decorative posts at the entrance.
Where we ate lunch.
View towards Dundry from the top of the hill.
And the first mutant tomato of the year! (Big enough to do one full family spagbol's tomato sauce...)
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Soooo, where were we?
Saturday was enormous fun, with a variety of music quizzes and almost non-stop laughter. Absolutely brilliant - thanks to you both!
Sunday was the usual busy, then Monday arrived with the heatwave. Gah! It's 32° and I'm melting! Had to do a Tesco shop this morning too - oh joy.
We can't go out - UV is at 8 (the highest) so not safe for Kai, but as it's actually cooler indoors right now that's OK. At least the washing has dried in a hurry. Tomorrow's supposed to be ten degrees cooler (fingers crossed) but our forecast thunderstorms look as though they're going to by-pass us. That's annoying, I was hoping they'd cool and refresh everything.
But my plum tree has produced!
They're really tasty too - sweet and juicy. I am very happy about this. Only problem is it and the new apple tree have to be moved this winter, so Kai can take over the top of the garden. Ken's promised he'll dig very deeply to get as much root out as possible, and I'll sweet talk them both. They've only been in for a year so fingers crossed they'll survive and thrive. They're going to be placed just the other side of the greenhouse area, with nothing much near them so I can keep them pruned and pest free more easily.
We've finally started watching 12 Kingdoms (I'm writing the ep guides for the IMDb) and it's very complicated, with a host of characters and action taking place all over the shop. Lovely animation though.
Right, need to get dinner organised. Tinned pink salmon, special smoked salmon I've had in the freezer for just such a day, and tabbuleh salad with homegrown tomatoes and cucumbers tonight. The healthyons attack!
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Later edit: Why the hell does blogger keep double-posting my entries? It's extremely annoying! My apologies, and please do let me know if you spot any double posts!
Just about caught up with everything so here's a bit more detail...
First, Kai's ferritin level has finally shown a marked decrease - 2320 down from 2900, which is great. It was his fifth venesection, so we're hoping he won't need too many more.
It started off well - all the buses were on time, all connections made, and we arrived a little before the recommended two hours prior to the flight. Getting through security was the usual hassle: I got pulled aside and my hands and arms scanned (?? did they think I had a knife or wolverine claws under my skin or something??) and Kai had to go through the special whole body thingie (at both airports. Bristol he thought it might have been because he forgot to empty his pockets and his phone may have set things off, but no idea why at Edinburgh. Quite a lot of people had to go through it at both airports though so I guess the equipment may be more sensitive than it used to be? We both got through OK in the end but it was an unpleasant start and end to the holiday...) Arriving in the rain wasn't so good but I'd checked the forecast so was expecting it.
Though I hadn't taken into account that even though the Festival isn't until August, there would still be hordes of tourists. The centre of Edinburgh was packed, and really best avoided, so our change of plans worked really well. Not to mention that there were a horrifying number of people smoking: the place stank of cigarette smoke. I don't remember it being so bad. I was also rather sad to see so many charity shops along Clerk St/Nicholson Rd. I remember it being lined with individual shops... Sign of the times, I suppose.
Tuesday: North Berwick is a lovely place. The main street is narrow and traffic one-way, the air wonderfully clean and fresh, and surprisingly bustling for such a small place. The seashore is pretty, and the Seabird Sanctuary nice but expensive, and the informative bit was underground, so we skipped it and had coffee on the terrace instead. Lovely view of Bass Rock (and the container ships sailing in).
Got the timing right too, it was spitting with rain as we got on the train. Slept better that night, both tired from walking.
Wednesday: ancient train to Aviemore, but the views were good (I'd reserved the right seats!) and we were both charmed by the route and the mountains. It was spitting with rain on and off while we were there, but we just ignored it. Picked up a few little souvenirs from Tourist Information, then walked a little way out of the town to the Nature Trail, but thanks to the delays we didn't have enough time to explore very far. (Of the photos - that one with the waterfalls is actually at the back of the public loos... And the white on the close up of Cairn Gorm is the snow of the ski slopes, we think.) The sun came out for the train ride back, which was nice. Altogether a very pleasant and restful day after yesterday's walking!
Thursday: last full day, and glorious sun the whole time. We got the bus to Carlops - lovely run along the southern part of the Pentland Hills Regional Park, but Carlops itself was a disappointment. There's plenty to do in the area, but the village itself is just a handful of cottages and a pub (a very nice pub, it has to be said) on a fairly major B road with large trucks thundering by. We took some photos and caught the next bus back.
Holyrood Park is wonderful at any time of year, and this was my first time actually exploring it. It's... very big. And while the upper road is a fairly gentle slope, it's still a long one and punishing on the legs. But oh, the views!!
© Kai. Duddingston Loch
Friday: I booked our flight for quarter past six p.m. to give us plenty of time to do a last minute thing if we wanted and get to the airport in plenty of time, so Calton Hill it was. I lived and worked in Edinburgh for.. oh, it must have been six years?... after graduating, but had never managed to explore it, so it was a first for both of us. Again, wonderful views...
The path. It opened out at the top.
Arthur's Seat. The spiky thing at the bottom is the roof of the Dynamic Earth exhibition. It would have been nice to get there - maybe next time!
We took the tram to the airport - and what a very quiet and civilised mode of transport it is! We were very early, so found a seat at the window of what turned out to be our departure area, and ate/read/listened to music until the flight. It was nice to rest a bit.
Of course there was a lot to do on arriving back. Washing, for one thing! I'm finally on top of it today (weather's been dreadful and I can only dry so much at a time indoors). K&K have also assembled my display cabinet - the extra shelves arrived yesterday:
Of course, it doesn't hold all of the figures - I need another! But I've nowhere to put it at present, so will have to wait a while.
I also remembered the thing I kept forgetting - my little purple orchid has finally dropped its last flower. It's now flowered continuously for well over a year! I somehow doubt it'll flower again any time soon, but that was pretty good, I think. I'll keep pampering it and see what happens. The other orchid is doing well too, not flowering yet but it has plenty of strong new leaves, so I am hopeful.
Doctor's appt for me yesterday. She's prescribed diazepam for me for the MRI, is putting in a request for a nerve induction test to see if we can pin down what's causing the random pain and numbness in my right hand, and I have a blood test booked for the end of the month. I swear I'm falling to bits...
Planning to swim first thing tomorrow, and GoodTwin and Sue are visiting on Saturday. Looking forward to that!
Monday, July 11, 2016
Sorry it's taken so long: there was an awful lot to do when we got back...
The flight up was uninspiring - clouds all the way, and it was raining when we disembarked. We found the Halls of Residence easily enough, and signed in with a very friendly admin: our rooms were in Baird House, on the first floor. We dumped everything and - in a break in the weather - got the train to North Berwick. The clearer weather didn't last, alas, and the rain was extremely cold, so we came back pretty soon and tried for an early night... (not really possible in a strange place with strange noises, even though the bed was fine and they'd given me the extra pillows I'd requested).
The first full day we planned to explore the castle, but first was breakfast...
Ye gods. As much as you wanted of - sausages, bacon, hash browns, potato pancakes, black pudding, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, Scotch pancakes with golden syrup, vegetarian sausages, vegetarian haggis, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, toast, croissant, at least six different cereals, two different yoghurts, fruit salad, tea, coffee, cranberry or apple or orange or pink grapefruit or tropical juices, milk, water... and for the continental visitors, salamis, crusty rolls, two or three different cheeses, hard boiled eggs, quartered tomatoes, and strange little muffins. And after you'd stuffed yourself with the first course you could go back for more (we didn't), all included in the price. Set everyone up very nicely for the day!
We wandered up the Royal Mile from North Bridge, but when we got to the Castle we discovered that the queue just for tickets to get in was 50 minutes long, so we took some photos and decided to go back to North Berwick for a proper look around.
It's gorgeous there! And the weather was lovely. (And I've laid claim to North Berwick Law, the little volcano on the seashore - see photos, link coming up shortly.)
On Wednesday we took the train to Aviemore. It rained most of the time, but the journey took us through the Pass of Drumochter: the mountains, even in the rain, were dramatic. Unfortunately the train was delayed three times, for over an hour in total, so we didn't have much time in Aviemore itself. But it was a great day out, really enjoyable!
It was sunny back in Edinburgh, so we took an initial peek at Holyrood Park. Oh, the views! We went back on Thursday, after a very quick trip to Carlops (which was a little anticlimactic). We managed to get all the way to Dunsapie Loch before heading back, absolutely knackered...
On Friday morning, before heading home, I finally got to climb up Calton Hill. Well, it's not really much of a climb, we took the spiral path, but the views from the top are magnificent. We got the tram to the airport, and the flight back was gorgeous - still cloudy, but sunny as well. Altogether a fantastic break, and Kai loved it too, I think!
Small assortment of photos here - 52 of the over 500 we took. Well, Kai took most of them. He needs his own camera!
Arrived back to find my raised bed and display cabinet had both arrived. No photos yet - the cabinet is built but I've had to order extra shelves. Kai caught a cold while we were away, but is not feeling too terribly bad, and managed yesterday's venesection OK. Today I've been trying to catch up with everything I missed: still have some client stuff to do, which may have to wait until tomorrow.
Sunday, July 03, 2016
Checking in briefly: we leave early tomorrow, back on Friday, hopefully with lots of photos.
Watched Faintheart after dinner. Took a while to get going, then turned into a charming little film, most enjoyable. Thanks Wendy!
Hope everyone has a good week. Later!
Friday, July 01, 2016
Twenty-fourth part of New World 2 - Settling In - now posted in The Poppy Tales - link above.
In other news, Kai has a bone marrow biopsy on the 29th of August (two years less four days from the stem cell transplant). Not looking forward to it, but fingers crossed it should be the last one, for several years at least.
There's something else I keep meaning to mention but forgetting every time I sit down here... If I remember, I'll edit later. It wasn't anything important, I'm pretty certain...