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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01/09/2012 - 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
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
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01/09/2013 - 30/09/2013
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
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
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

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Kai's first week of term went OK.

... probably all I can say about it at the moment!

My week has been a matter of readjusting to his timetable and trying to get myself organised. It's nearly spring, time to get the planting schedule under way. Kitchen window shelf is now in place awaiting mini munch cucumber and various tomato seeds. Later I shall take advantage of the dry spell and get some garlic in the higher raised bed under a cloche. Might get some carrots and onions in too - and better get the slug repellent copper tape in place around the edge of the bed.

I've been experimenting with new desserts recently. Bought a pack of small waffles, toasted them lightly then spread with crème fraîche, piled on raspberries and drizzled with raspberry coulis.

Went down very well indeed. Now on the family favourite menu.

Yesterday I made... not sure what to call them. Tangerine segments in jelly, with Cointreau crunch on the top. (Like the rum crunch I make but Cointreau and organic milk cooking chocolate instead of rum and dark chocolate.) It was delicious, but needs refining: chopped up segments instead of whole, and a much thinner topping. (Kai thought it was fine as it was but it was a little tricky to cut into!)

In other news, I bought a silver and opal ring on amazon to wear instead of my original wedding ring (which now produces weeping red sores any time I try to wear it - even irritates my skin if I pick it up). It's bulkier than the original, but very pretty and only £6.40 (and free p&p), and so far has caused no problems. (This is it, first with the flash, second without.)


We've finished watching Hyperdrive. Ended up loving it and are all disappointed it never went to another series.

Next up, Legends of Tomorrow.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Sue said...

That's a very pretty ring and the waffle dessert sounds yummy.

5:58 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Would you like it as dessert the next time you visit? [g]

11:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmm, dessert... :)


9:53 am  
Blogger Sue said...

Now there's a woman who can take a hint :)

7:28 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

[smirk] When are you coming over next?

11:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a certain event coming up... Does the 25th suit?

10:14 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Have pencilled you both in for a visit 25th Feb!

Looking forward to seeing you again.

4:29 pm  

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Small update. Kai and I got our chess rematch this afternoon - and I won! Very hard fought though - he has an innate ability to think umpteen moves ahead (which is good in a way as I have to try to do the same to not be wiped off the board in the first half an hour). He wants a rematch now. I think we have a fan.

I keep forgetting to say I can now make extremely nice caramel lattes. Tried one at Almondsbury, fell in love, and looked up how to make it. Main problem was making the foamy milk, 'cause I'm damned-well not forking out £60 - £120 for a machine! Best way I've found is in a cafetière: bung in about a third of a pint of milk and plunge ruthlessly for about 30 seconds. The resulting foam is thick and velvety and absolutely wonderful poured on top of the mix (I use smooth caramel coffee and Monin caramel syrup whisked in a drop of boiling water, then add milk heated to just under boiling in a pan on the hob, pour on the foam and sprinkle a little salted caramel hot chocolate powder on top to finish). Haven't tried heating the foamed milk first as we've found that cool foam over hot latte is a lovely contrast.

We're now kind of hooked on it.

I also bought a Monin hazelnut syrup, and will have a go at making a hazelnut latte soon...

Labels: ,


Catching up again...

Well, it's been interesting. And busy, but that goes without saying. Let's see...

... [HIATUS]...

Aaaand forty hours later I'm trying again...

If I can actually remember what happened.

First, the kingfisher haunting the moat of the Bishop's Palace at Wells, taken by Ken when he and Kai went there at the beginning of the year.


Adorable little birb...

Sorted out the problem at the bank, though it took about an hour and a half, as their network kept going down. Oh joy.

K&K went to Radstock on the Sat, walked a little way along the cycle path. I spent much of the day getting washing done (bedding. Ugh. Nightmare to dry in the winter...)

Sunday was the usual shopping and Golden Voyage of Sinbad, which was great fun.

Monday I had a dr's appt: she recommended I start taking co-codamol to control the pain so I can get the exercises done that should - eventually - help solve the problems, though with arthritis developing in my lower spine I don't hold out much hope. However, it is nice to be completely pain free for a few hours. (I'm only taking two first thing for three days, then stopping for five, as the warning on the box says no more than three days due to the danger of addiction. Seems to be working out OK so far.)

Got there early, so had a look in charity shops, and found the complete Hyperdrive. We've been watching an ep a night: it's... uneven, very very drolly funny in places, awkward in others, and thoroughly cringe-worthy in a few. Very strange, but... we kind of like it. And Miranda Hart is adorable in it.

On Monday pm Kai and I played our first game of chess! Great fun! And Kai won! It was pretty hard fought though, and I only had Megatron and a handful of pawns left on the board, while Kai was down to OP and a Bumblebee... Need a rematch, but haven't found time yet.

On Tues we went to see Rogue One...

Well, ignore what I said before, we absolutely loved it. Fantastic. Brimming over with the reckless enthusiasm and derring-do of the first (New Hope) film, stunningly good SFX and cinematography, endearing characters and a thoroughly satisfying plot. Fabulous!

Kai had an appt on Wed: while in town I went in search of glitterdust at Craft and More and enamel paints from Antics, as we planned to actually, finally make a start on the model kits we got Yule 2015. Which we did yesterday. I decided my first Vulcan (Hawkins Bazaar had a half price sale on so I picked up another for £14.99 instead of £30, although you could say I got another £1.70 off as that day the ticket machine on the bus home wasn't working and the driver was letting everyone ride for free. Yes, the subtitle for this blog is Surreal Я Us for a reason. More in a bit when I tell you what happened today!) is going to be a Transformer - matte black with drifts of stars, and the pilots are now electric blue with glitter (holograms, you see...) It will hang from the ceiling later. The second one I'll paint in the proper colours. I think. Might change my mind...

Anyway, it's started well, though Kai's ISS is going to take ages. There are 50 steps to complete it! (Vulcan only has 15.) I may very well give him a hand along the way.

Today we went to Weston. Just because the weather was glorious and Kai is back at Uni next Mon.

Anti-trump protest on Bristol Bridge. There were quite a few of these in Bristol today...

The whole day was one of those where you wonder if you've fallen into a parallel reality where everything goes completely right. We got to the bus-stop as the X39 pulled up at the next stop back, so had to wait all of 20 seconds before it reached us: got off at the bus station and straight onto the X1A to Weston: got off at Tesco - plan today was to explore the charity shops rather than walk the beach - and the first thing Kai saw was a beautiful little carriage clock in the RSPCA window. He glanced at me and said "I'm having that!", went in and bought it. It's a really good one too, bevelled glass and proper mechanical bits inside (do forgive the technical jargon!) and only cost £4. He's delighted!

Then around the corner in Weston Hospicecare I found exactly the gilet I've been looking for for the bike (OK, the colour is deep burgundy rather than teal, but it looks fine), priced at £10 but on the half price rail, so got it for £5. (And when I got home found it was a brand new M&S Classic range, originally £35.) And Kai found a lovely little long Indian wooden box for his earrings (he's already getting quite a collection!) which he is very pleased with.

And the finds continued! I needed a pair of proper thermal gloves (reason why in a moment) and in the British Heart Foundation shop found the exact pair I needed (Thinsulate fingerless with a bit that folds over to keep the fingers warm. Fingerless mittens?) Very warm and comfy. Bright fuschia pink, alas, but no-one's going to see them. And perhaps I can dye them! For £1.99 I wasn't going to complain. Last of all was a Tesco DVD player (mine packed up ages ago) - brand new and unused, result of a house clearance - and half the marked price of £5! At £2.50 I decided even if it didn't work I'd not lost much so bought it. Checked it when I got home and it plays perfectly...

And the day and the beach were beautiful...

Aaaand the luck continued for the trip back, straight on the bus, fabulous sunset, got off the X1A and straight onto the 178 at Bristol bus station to get us home. Chicken Kievs and chips for dinner, then out into the freezing garden with the telescope!

Hence my need for good gloves. The parka I picked up from Sains a year ago is wonderfully warm, and the thermal socks from Go Outdoors perfect for the occasion, and now my hands are warm too. This was the third time we've taken the scope out: first was just after New Year to see how it functioned: took a look at the gibbous moon and the crescent of Venus, fantastic sights! And over the last two nights (which were finally clear, though bloody cold!) we've seen the Orion Nebula, taken a good look at the Pleiades, and glimpsed the hazy smudge of the Andromeda galaxy, although it's not best positioned for good viewing yet. We'll check later. (We are handicapped by being in the city: the night sky is never overly dark. We're not doing badly though, and Kai is loving it.)

So all in all it's been a very interesting week, and a damn near perfect Friday. Kai's new meds seem to making a difference too, as he's noticeably more cheerful and positive and our conversation on the way home involved a lot of discussion of writing - and how to move a solar system using a massive solar sail...

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Blogger Sue said...

What a fabulous lot of lucky finds! Glad the telescope is working out well. I wasn't previously aware of Hyperdrive but if it's got Miranda in it, then I want to see it! I shall have to look out for it.
Ohhh, I've just followed through on your IMDB link and seen it's also got Paterson Joseph in it. I'm definitely getting it!

5:38 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Ah yes, the Marquis de Carabas. His role is small but very significant in Hyperdrive. I think you'll like it.

In places, anyway...

1:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee - not to let the grass grow or anything - I've just bought a copy on ebay for £2.99 inc postage. I'll let you know what I think :)

Sue - from work, hence being anonymous.

11:10 am  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Catching up...

Last week was pretty full of appointments, again. On the Thurs Kai and I went out to Almondsbury Garden Centre for lunch and to take a look: the main part is currently out of action as the last (probably) phase of the refurb is taking place. But we had a great lunch, picked up a few bits and pieces, and found out that the asparagus plants won't be ready until the last week of Jan, so will get back in Feb to see what they have.

Films watched: Danger: Diabolik which is even dafter and campier than I remembered, but good fun (and I found The Golden Voyage of Sinbad up at Pink Planet, so we now have three John Phillip Law films); Pom Poko, which is giggle-worthy [bemused head shakings at all the testicle humour] with a bitter-sweet ending; and Romeo and Juliet, which has been sitting in the pile waiting to be watched for at least a couple of years. Quite enjoyed it, but it'll never be a favourite.

Yesterday was dad T's funeral.

The trip down was quiet and pretty...

Crepuscular rays just outside Bristol.

Devon coast.

And more.

Looking back towards Exmouth.
Order of Service

View from outside the Royal Hotel.

As we were leaving.

It was a nice service (if you can call a funeral nice), and meeting all mum T's friends and neighbours afterwards at the hotel was pleasant. I'm relieved she has so many good people around her to help, as well as Arfs and Chris, of course, who have been absolutely invaluable.

He will be deeply missed.

In a couple of hours I have to get into Bristol to sort out a problem with the bank. Forecast is for rain (heavy later) all day. Oh joy...


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The filmfest continues...

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Hadn't realised it was the very first Studio Ghibli film - it's fantastic! I think we're now collecting SG films - we have Pom Poko on order, and Fopp had several others in the special offer...

Space Battleship Yamato was even better than I was expecting, a rollicking fun film, with all the young heroism and doomed love necessary for such an epic. Great stuff!

I picked up Eye in the Sky before Yule, as it was Alan Rickman's last film. Not our usual fare, but ye gods. Completely compelling and yet so hard to watch. A wonderful film.

And today we saw Passengers in 3D at the Showcase...

Wow. What an incredibly beautiful, powerful film. Lawrence and Pratt aren't really amongst my favourite actors, but both of them showed such range and expression in this. And the cinematography was just superb. I'd like one of those ships, please. And I definitely want that infinity pool!

This is the first film I've seen that has me working out if we can make do with our old DVD player and TV until we can afford a 3D set up. Will be doing some pricing up over the next few weeks to see how feasible it is (ideally I'd like the lounge turned into a home cinema, but we don't have that much free cash at the moment...) Of course, it'll mean replacing several of the old DVDs with the 3D versions, but we can do that bit by bit.

In the meantime, Kai would like to see Rogue One. Personally I'm not fussed - the Star Wars films are beginning to feel like the same story rehashed, only bigger, with every release, and that gets boring. But the reviews are good, and Lutra saw it (though didn't have time to express an opinion, if I remember rightly) so I'll probably be persuaded. Kai's not back to Uni until the 23rd, so we have time.

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