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
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01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
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01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
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01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
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01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
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01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
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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
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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, July 27, 2016

In brief...

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...

Labels: ,


Blogger Sue said...

Oh that is good news. If you have to have one, then at least that is the one to go for.

12:40 pm  
Blogger Sue said...

Oh hurray! Commenting worked today!

12:40 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

YAY! And I didn't do nuffin neither...

1:23 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

Thank goodness it wasn't too bad this time. I hope it's worth it as well.

1:44 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thanks. I should know in about two weeks, hopefully.

6:18 pm  

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.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger thatwritingchick48 said...

Congrats on the gold star!

Temps+humidity here are creeping up toward feeling like it's 45 out. I'd write more, but the processor cooling is seriously overworked at the moment.

4:41 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

Well done to Kai - and you!

Fingers crossed for tomorrow...

4:30 pm  

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.

Pack-horse bridge.

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...)

Labels: , ,


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!

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

It was 39.7 in the rabbit shelter today... 2 buns and gpigs out in runs by 9.30, Gandalf still in his hutch with two fans playing over him to keep him cool. It's still 25 out there now.
I seriously hope it's cooler tomorrow!

9:01 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...


Well, BBC weather forecast is for max 28 degrees for Winchester tomorrow, 23 Thurs. It's supposed to be cooler here the rest of the week, max 23, which is (just) doable.

Symps for the pets...

9:05 pm  

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.

The holiday...

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

© Kai. Duddingston Loch

© Kai

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!

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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.

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Blogger Sue said...

What lovely pictures! My favouties are North Berwick shore and Dunsapie Loch and Crag but they are all great. The Seabird Sanctuary seal is adorable. So glad you both had a good time.

10:19 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

Amazing! It was a shame you didn't have better weather throughout but I'm glad you enjoyed it all.

10:44 am  

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!

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Friday, July 01, 2016

The Poppy Tales 

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...

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