Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Sunday, September 25, 2016
I was going to do a proper blog update but haddock ran away with me again, so here's a quick catch-up. (Kai is back to Uni tomorrow and his timetable is pretty full - with 4 hour gaps between a.m. and p.m. classes on two days. He may come home for lunch those days, will have to see how we go. At any rate, it'll take a few weeks for the routine to establish itself, so my hopes of getting time to myself are rather stymied...)
His blood was so sluggish last Sunday that the nurse only managed to take 100 mls (it's usually 450), so he has to go back on the 8th of Oct to try again. It happens sometimes, but it was annoying for him. She managed to hit a nerve too.
Ken has decided to come with me to the Kabuki lecture in November - should be fun!
Blood test to see how the levothyroxine is doing on Monday, then I bussed into town to drop off a letter to the Orthopaedic Clinic. It was 27th July I had the MRI and no-one has got back to me to tell me the results yet.
Tues (I think) Kai and I went up to Pets@Home for crickets for Rosa, then over to Crystal Clear for him to take a look at the windows, pick up a brochure and speak to Andrew about a visit for him to measure up our windows (he's booked for two weeks but that's fine, we aren't in any special hurry). We'll then get a quote for each individual window and decide which we want replaced first - lounge and both bedrooms windows would be my choice. On the way back we dropped into Toys Я Us, to see if they had the RiD Starscream (yes, he reappears. I'm now going to have to buy all the DVDs...) They did, but the more expensive Power Surge version (£30) rather than the simpler one I first saw. And they won't order it for me. Came home to think about it...
Wed I bussed to Hurrans (Wyevale Garden Centre at Keynsham. It was originally called Hurrans back when we first bought the house and the name has just stuck). I know I went there to pick up something specific but I can't remember what it was... Anyway, I found the perfect photinia (looks about 8' tall) at £50, and asked about delivery. Which they don't do. But the assistant I spoke to said if I rang back on Fri she'd see if she could arrange something for me... Came back via Toys Я Us and picked up the Starscream. (He's now put away for my birthday next year.)
Thurs. I found a possible alternative to Hurran's delivery, and went back to buy the tree and have it stored until I can collect it.
Friday I tried to ring the number the assistant had given me, which offered the usual 'press 1... 2... 3...' etc, only to find that pressing the correct number simply cycled back to the original greeting, so no joy there. Will have to tell them when I collect. Got a letter from the BRI asking me to ring for an appointment with another physio, so I assume that was in response to my letter to them. Still don't know the MRI results though. Ken was off that day, and he and Kai went to Paulton, to a specialist clock workshop - this one I think. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
On Sat we got the first of the shrubs planted behind the greenhouse. There'll be photos later, when it's all done: it looks a bit of a mess right now.
And today K&K walked along the Whitchurch Way while I tried to catch up on sleep. Hardly managed any last night, my right hand was stupidly painful and every time I managed to drop off the pain woke me again. It seems Ok now so fingers crossed it was a one off.
Oh, and the levothyroxine dosage is fine for now, so I have to carry on and get another blood test in 3 months.
... I think that's everything. It's been hectic.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Quickie because tired...
Friday Kai and I went to the Riverside Garden Centre and found the trees we need. Will have to go back and buy them this week!
We've now watched all three Rurouni Kenshin films and I love 'em. Must have the music (Kenshin's theme, at least).
Venesection for Kai today. We came back via Broadwalk and through the nature reserve again, most pleasant. While we were out, Ken continued with the fruit bush area beside the greenhouse...
Looking good! The lower of the two raised beds is next, will see about starting organising that after I get back from my blood test tomorrow morning.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
So we did take our stroll around the nature reserve in the sunset, and came back from Tesco in the dark under a beautiful blue/teal/green/gold sky, so that was enjoyable...
Carers' Support meeting at the Vassall Centre today. With several other people I got involved in a face to face survey of their website and how it can be improved (sort of. They seemed pleased with my feedback, anyway). Got the info of what's involved in being a Carer Rep. There's nothing there I couldn't handle, and training is provided, but I'm not at all sure I could give it the rather heavy time commitment it would require. Will do a little more research and go to the network meeting early October to get more info.
On the way back I made the mistake of popping into Ikea. Never been there before, never going back! I got lost just in one department, even with the map they provide and me asking a member of staff for directions. And the only way to get down from the first floor is by lift. The escalators only go up. And they didn't have the glasses I was looking for anyway. Never again!
Forgot to say (of course) that my BP was as close to normal as dammit - 141/80 - and the dr was pleased (apparently it was the same as last time she took it). She still won't let me stop the meds though: going to see me again in 6 months and then reconsider. I hope.
Forgot to say no. 2: we watched The Book Thief earlier this week - wonderful film, beautifully made with very fine acting. Depressing, of course, as many films of the period are, but well worth watching.
Think that's now up to date, though I've probably forgotten something again. Eh, will add it next time!
30 second later edit: remembered! My latest Festival of Ideas newsletter had this autumn's Art Lecture schedules, and wouldn't you just know Drama on stage, desires off stage: The Kabuki theatres of 18th century Edo, Japan is one of the freebies. It uses this as its focus. And after I mentioned wanting to research Japanese drama too. Synchronicity strikes again... I already have my ticket. (Not really K&K's thing so I'm going by myself. Really looking forward to it!)
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
And another thing I forgot to say: on Wed 8th Kai and I went to the Bristol Festival of Ideas lecture Star Trek: Synthetic biology and NASA’s missions. It was very interesting, although the humour was somewhat American and didn't raise the laughter Lynn hoped for. Nevertheless, an inspiring evening. We ended up getting the bus to Broadwalk and coming home down the hill in the dark - always pretty with the lights of Kingswood spread out before us.
Dr's appt on Mon was a bit of a waste of time: she asked to see me to explain the nerve induction test results. Which I already knew as the technician who carried them out explained them at the time... However, I made the appt for my next hypothyroidism blood test (next Mon) while I was there. Then took Wheelie (yes, I've finally had to admit defeat and use one of these for shopping) to Wilko to pick up bird food. Found they do potting compost too, so picked up a pack to pot the lemongrass I've managed to root up in water. Going to try ginger next spring too!
We finished watching Trigun, and watched Trigun: Badlands Rumble on Monday evening.
Wow. Absolutely gorgeous animation with all sorts of intricate subtle touches, beautiful character development, just wonderful! I now have to watch it again without the subtitles so I can pick up on all the tiny background details and action I missed while focussing on the story. I would love to see the series remade to this standard! Or a second series, that would be even better...
Last night Ken and I watched Rurouni Kenshin in preparation for the two sequels I bought earlier. I was struck by the similarity in characters between it and Trigun: it's probably a feature of Japanese drama (most drama, most likely!), certain archetypes appear again and again. Be interesting to research it if I can ever make the time!
Hot and muggy again today. We were debating going for a walk this afternoon, but even though the UV is fairly low, walking in this heat would be no fun - not to mention my two strips of artificial grass (for behind the greenhouse) is out for delivery today. The new wheelbarrow arrived yesterday. (Heh, short story - we bought the first one brand spanking new just after we bought the house, but before we had a chance to use it next door asked if he could borrow it. He used it to lug stones around to build his retaining wall, and gave it back battered to hell and with holes punched in it. No apology or offer of restitution of course. We should have realised then what sort of 'person' he is, but we were naive and always thought the best of people. But we never loaned him anything again.) Will suggest a stroll to the nature reserve after dinner (and a Tesco shop for ice cream on the way back) when it'll be cooler. Forecast is for more comfortable weather over the weekend, so we could try for a trip out on Sat. Kai has venesection on Sunday afternoon, so won't feel like doing much for the early part of next week, and uni starts on the 26th. His holiday is nearly over...
Saturday, September 10, 2016
So, yesterday K&K built the stand for the greenhouse waterbutt and got it into place before last night's forecast rain. This morning I went out to check all was well - only to find the roof leaking (badly) and the floor exceedingly wet.
Turns out the beading hadn't been put in place along the roof ridge.
And the frame uprights are a couple of millimetres off at the top, which doesn't help.
That being said, the gap between the metal and the glass for the roof is rather wide: I'm not convinced the beading would work anyway. Fortunately there's a fairly easy and cheap fix - plug the gap with bubblewrap of the sort garden centres sell for winter protection for your greenhouse - which will only take an hour to put in place. I think. I used it on the old greenhouse and it works well, and adds winter insulation.
The gutters aren't quite true either: they don't slope quite enough to drain all the rain into the waterbutt. That's a flaw in the overall design though, nothing to do with the builders. We can fix it with small wedges under the guttering.
That said, all in all it's a good greenhouse, and I'm very happy with it, although I won't buy anything from Elite again. The aluminium discoloured while lying on the grass and their instructions are absolute gibberish.
In other news... forgot to say I went to a Carers' Steering Group meeting on Wednesday (I asked about getting involved with the Carers' Support Network at the last event in June). It was all very interesting and helpful, and I've volunteered to help out. Three meetings a year and feedback to BCH, so not onerous.
Picked up Simon Pegg's Autobiography at St Pete's Hospice charity shop (£1.49 instead of rrp of £18.99 - not bad!) while Kai was having his hair cut: sat down and started reading it while I was waiting for Jeff to finish and embarrassed myself by laughing out loud. It is extremely funny!
On Thurs Kai and I headed out. We'd planned to go to Clevedon, but Firstbus have changed (i.e. mucked up) their bus services again. The X6a doesn't go anywhere near Clevedon sea front and we didn't want to wait half an hour for the X6, so got the bus to Weston-super-Mare instead, and headed out along the dunes...
Glorious day. Long walk. I ended up hobbling slowly back two hours later.
Brean Down and Steep Holm
© Kai September 2016
Kai climbed the dunes and found a golf course and "the most dramatic church ever!" on the other side...
© Kai September 2016
All in all a wonderful day, if exhausting (and painful for me).
Out with Kim yesterday: Tickenham garden centre (potting compost, large pots, green privets, a light green laurel and the cutest little upright juniper ever - photos sometime later as Kai has borrowed my camera today) then the Riverside garden centre for my local honey, golden privet and an amazing Tricyrtis formosana (which looks a bit like an orchid and goes by the common name of toad lilly! Sacrilege!!) If this last does well in the garden I'll try and get some others: they come in an amazing variety of colours.
We got to episode 22 of Trigun - and the DVD went skewiff and turned unwatchable. (The DVD, not our machine, although the latter is getting on a bit now and is pretty much in constant use. Should think about a replacement soon, I guess...) Amazon had what looked like a remastered version - 8 discs instead of 3 - which I ordered along with Badlands Rumble, a later one-off film set during the series. Watched ep 23 last night and the quality is amazing! Now want to re-watch it all again in the remastered version...
K&K are off out today, it's Bristol Open Doors Saturday. So far Kai has climbed up to the roof at St Luke's and they're now exploring Pip'n'Jay's in town. I'm working on the planting plans for the garden (and updating the blog, obviously!)
Thursday, September 08, 2016
I haz an existential greenhouse! (Thanks Sue!)
In brief... Kai and I both had our hair cut on Tues. It's cooler and no longer flopping in my eyes, but it'll take a week or so before it's grown out enough to look nice again. Given how hot it still is, and how busy I'm going to be, this is not a problem!
The glass is now all tidied and ready to go to the tip, hopefully end of next week.
Kim and I are off tomorrow instead of today, she forgot about an appointment. Looking forward to garden shopping!
And the scrap metal has just been collected - front garden is clear again!
Monday, September 05, 2016
I haz a greenhouse!
Bill recommended Paul from over the road as a good builder, and on Monday last week he arrived to take a look, find out what I wanted, then went away and came back an hour later with a price, which was considerably less than the "professional". So we said yes please, spent the rest of the day dismantling the old greenhouse, and Paul turned up on Tuesday morning to make a start. The following photos tell the story...
He's coming back tomorrow to finish off (put sealant around the base and the water-collection pipes, which aren't a perfect fit), but otherwise it's all done! Ken and I need to construct a platform for the waterbutt, but we have plenty of bricks and slabs, won't take long. Then I need to plan out where the paths are going to go and get the raised beds started, so there's still plenty to do, but the greenhouse is good to go!
And it's so big! Well, 6' by 10', but it feels massive compared to the old one. Tomorrow afternoon I should be able to arrange everything as I want it, then on Thursday Kim and I are off out, so will return with potting compost and a couple of large pots so I can get the spiral supports ready for spring. I've even arranged for one of our free scrap metal merchants to come and take away the old greenhouse frame, the old bathroom radiator, and an unwanted metal shelving unit, so there's only the glass to get rid of.
All great stuff.
In other news, Kai is fancying a change of decor for his room - something more retro. I picked up Captain America: Civil War at Tesco earlier. We're planning to watch it after dinner. No doubt there's more, but I only got four hours sleep last night and brain isn't firing on all cylinders. More later if I remember!