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.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
I love living in a mini nature reserve. This morning, as I was coming back to the house with my hands full of three different varieties of cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse, our native sparrowhawk swooped down from one of the trees a few doors up, flew at eye level right past me, caught a sparrow in our medlar, then flew off to its nest in (I believe) the huge tree at the back of the PDSA... Yes, a tiny tragedy for the sparrow, but even sparrowhawks have to eat (or, I suspect, feed their chicks).
I still think we're feeding half the birds in Brislington. We have dozens of sparrows and starlings eating and drinking at the feeders, two families of blackbirds sharing the garden (I found that hard to believe given how territorial they are, but I've watched them, and there's definitely two. I suppose there's always such good feedins' here they've tacitly agreed to ignore each other...), and yesterday I counted seven (maybe eight) magpies. I'm very fond of them, despite the raucous cries that frequently wake me around dawn. They're usually warning cries about strange cats in the garden. We even have at least one owl in the vicinity - we hear it hooting quite often.
I heard foxes last night too.
Garden-wise, I now have the second sowing of mange tout and dwarf French beans in (and hopefully protected from pigeons by the sparkly chains of mirror circles and dangly silver xmas ornaments I found in the shed!): second sowing of peas will be in the next few days. And we're now using homegrown garlic:
I found an old-fashioned storage pot, 99p, in St Pete's Hospice when I took our latest donations 'round yesterday. Very pleased with that find! My plum tree produced precisely two plums this year - two more than expected as you may remember we moved the entire tree earlier in the year - but they were delicious, and hopefully prove that the move was successful. Keeping fingers crossed for next year's harvest!
The Red Devil apple tree is looking good: the fruit is already ripening, thanks to the weird weather we've had this year. There are a goodly number of pears on the tree, and the green apples are also coming on nicely (we moved that tree too, so the harvest won't be quite as good as last year, but that's fine, it survived and is doing OK). I caught an ep of the Beechgrove Garden earlier in the year, and apparently the best way to store surplus apples is to wrap them in magazine paper and keep them in lidded boxes in a cool place, like our shed. So I've saved last year's xmas TV Times and the boxes from our last three new pairs of shoes, and will give it a go come autumn.
And on the subject of food...
Food porn for Lutra
Joules 'mixed salad' served with Tesco's cheese and chutney cob. This one is made with tinned salmon and home grown tomatoes and cucumber: to the tinned tuna version I usually add little cheese cubes (Bavarian smoked and/or Gruyère are tastiest) with help-yourself hard boiled egg on the side. Disgustingly healthy!
(Tesco also do individual pots of dressings: we've tried and liked the smoked pepper and the pineapple and sweet chilli. I think they may also sell bottles of the smoked pepper - will check next time I go over.)
Kai fixed my sewing machine for me! It's an ancient Singer 99K, and I may have mentioned I've never been able to get the bobbin-winder to work. Well, that's now working, and he manoeuvred the little base plate (it was loose and I could never get it to stay in place) back into place as well. I've started making the new bits and pieces we need - Kai's blue radiator now has a brown cover (even radiator paint eventually flakes off, as I've found to my cost, and Kai never uses his radiator anyway, since he's in the warmest room in the house) which pretty much matches the brown paint. Next up is the curtain for his wardrobe - photo later - and a new voile curtain for the lounge (needs to be in three parts as the middle top window is the one we're using most and it's a nuisance pulling up the current curtain to reach the handle). Might make new voiles for our room, too: the old ones are looking very sad.
(Not the best lighting, it's dull today and the colours don't show at their best. Will try again when sunny.) The work space in Kai's room - not quite finished as we still have to put up his corkboard and several pictures. The curtains were a lucky find in a charity shop in Street a year ago. I think they're terrific! The display cabinet is actually a plate display thing that would normally live on top of a sideboard: we found it in a front garden down the road with a 'Please help yourself' sign and Ken carried it home. It's very nicely made, good solid wood that polished up well.
We've watched The Man from Planet X - which is pretty bad - and yesterday I picked up Logan - planning to watch it on Fri after dinner. Last week we had the horror channel on in the background, and an interesting Australian film was playing - Virtual Nightmare. (I ended up switching channels half way through as I wanted to watch the whole thing). It's not available to buy commercially, but I found a site offering it (and for a very good price) so decided to risk ordering. It's arrived, but we haven't had time to watch it yet. Fingers crossed it plays OK! (It should: our new DVD player claims to play every format there is...)
Planning to go see Transformers: The Last Knight in the next couple of weeks. Not holding out much hope - it's a Michael Bay film, it's likely to be as incoherent, confused and inconsistent as the rest of them - but of course I have to see it, and will buy it when it becomes available. Don't know yet whether Kai will come with me or if I watch it by myself. I don't mind either way!
Half-way through season 4 of Babylon 5 now. There are depressing similarities between the series and current political (geopolitical to some extent) affairs that make watching it less enjoyable than it was the first and second times around. Or perhaps I'm just more politically aware these days...
Pondering re-watching Alien Nation next. Kai's never seen it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it first time 'round.
And... I think that's about it. We haven't managed to get out much yet. Kai's physio Tom tells us that the fatigue Kai is suffering is a recognised effect from the procedures he's undergone, and has advised him how to slowly build up his stamina again, but it's going to take some time. But the relief of knowing what it is makes the whole thing a lot less stressful. Now we both need to pace ourselves. It'll come with practise!