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!
Thursday, November 30, 2017
The busyness continues...
On Friday evening Ken and I met at Screwfix up the Bath Rd to pick up the kitchen sink, then on Sat bussed out to Cribbs Causeway to the vast B&Q to order the unit itself (and the drawer, and the cupboard doors and drawer front, and the hinges and the handles, because B&Q can screw you for more money if you have to buy every single item individually...) That's all due to arrive today, along with Kai's third and final shelf and a 125litre bag of potting compost for the greenhouse. While we were out there we checked out Dreams: our current mattress is a good one, Silentnight ortho, firm support, and only three years old, but with the various joint and back problems it's not as comfortable as it used to be. I've been wondering about the new Tempur mattresses, and Dreams had several different sorts (pure gel in different support grades, and hybrids): I spent a good few minutes trying them all out. And WOW. Their adverts say it's like lying on clouds, and for once they ain't lyin'. I felt completely weightless...
However, they cost around £2,000 for the double, which is wince-worthy (we could finish having the rest of the windows and the back door replaced for that!) So I did a little research... There have been a few reported problems with the mattresses, although generally people are very happy with them. Then I found the Emma mattress, which looks very good (and gets a Which? best buy validation, always a huge plus) and is a lot more reasonable at around £600 (I'm not penny-pinching: Ken says given we spend a third of our lives in bed it's vital we sleep well, so comfort is essential). It's a German company but the mattresses are made in the UK. I like the look of the construction, though I'm not so keen on it coming rolled (though that's probably me being old fashioned. It's a mattress. Mattresses are supposed to be flat...) Anyway - can't afford it until the New Year at the earliest, but it's a definite contender.
Sun Ken helped me make a start on sorting out the shed... Heh. It's a major job and the rest will have to wait a bit, but at least we can get in there now, and were able to pull out the Yule decorations.
Mon was my dentist appt. Everything fine: don't have to go again for nine months (next Sept).
Tues I had my hair cut. 'OORAY!! I can see again!
Yesterday Kai and I strung the new lights in the windows and put up the new tree... Did I mention this before? We were in Wilko last year (or maybe early this year?) and found a slimline, snow-covered six foot artificial tree (exacly what we'd been looking for) on special for £5. We thought at the time that couldn't possibly be the right price, but they let it go through and we hauled it home... ye gods. It's gorgeous, really fantastic quality. We're sure they dropped a zero there, as it's more like £50 quality-wise. Here, have a look!
Blue and green lights...
Red and gold lights
The lights don't show properly here, of course (they're set to gently fade from red and gold to blue and green), and I need to find some sort of tiny spotlight to show up the tree topper, but it gives some idea. Kai chose the decorations. When the lights are on (and the lounge main light off) it looks magical. Dead chuffed.
And it's plenty. Not putting up ceiling decorations this year.
B&Q just rang - they're on their way. This week's Tesco delivery is late though, should have been here by now.
And lastly - I found this in the garden this morning...
I love my garden.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Later edit: knew I'd forgotten something important! Got a phone call on Tues saying the BRI had a cancellation and would I like to go in for my second steroid injection at 6.30 that evening? Would I hell! Not as painful as the first one, and it's fantastic to be out of pain. Walking much better (although the back plays up after a while, nowt I can do about that) and I can finally sleep properly after months of snatching a couple of hours at a time before the pain woke me up.
Well, this week has been interesting too, but in a much more positive way...
I've become rather fond of scarves over the last few years, moreso just recently. In fact, it's got to the stage where I told K&K not to let me buy any more...
There are eleven here, and one more in the wardrobe that goes with a specific outfit.
... unless they're absolutely irresistible. I've been - idly - looking for one that matches the wol bag (photo Sat Aug 12th this year), not really expecting to find one. Then on Wed we were in town for Kai to have his second meningitis B inoculation and checked out the charity shops first. I'd found and paid for Monsoon Wedding (watched tonight: bit disappointed as we were looking forward to light and bright and happy Bollywood and it's more slice of Real Life: nevertheless a good film) when my eye was caught by the scarf display behind the assistant...
Not sure I've ever actually gone OOOOOH!! in a shop before. Quite amused Kai! But there it was...
Thirteen scarves. My lucky number. Won't be buying any more unless I let one of the current ones go.
We've had Christmas 24 on most of the time for the last week - terribly predictable but a nice fuzzy antidote to what passes for news at the moment, and Kai's felt very flu-ey after venesection on Sun and jab on Wed, so flopped and half-watching light and breezy is good for him. Some of the films are fun: it was quite startling to see SHIELDS Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) as a relatively disorganised artist in The Road To Christmas.
I've painted the window-wall chimney-breast alcove in the lounge - looks good - and am hoping to paint a little more next week. Dentist and haircut (yay! I'll be able to see again!) will take up a little time but otherwise I should have plenty.
No doubt there was more but I'm very tired and the brain has gone AWOL for now. Will edit if I remember.
Friday, November 17, 2017
... I have a few minutes to spare on this gloriously sunny but bitterly cold and frosty morning before making a start on the day...
It's been interesting, in the Chinese sense. Finished the lounge window wall - looks great! - and will be making a start on the opposite wall next week, I hope. The letter from the BRI arrived yesterday while I was at the BHI (more on that shortly) with my second steroid injection appointment - 11th Dec, so not long to wait. The first one has taken effect now and it's wonderful to be able to walk (mostly) without pain again!
So, the BHI... On Wed Kai and I were tidying up in the greenhouse when I suddenly got the weirdest pain under and along my jaw on both sides - accompanied by feeling somewhat wobbly and light-headed. Came indoors to sit down, and got a stabbing pain in my chest which went through to my back. Somewhat alarming, and took an hour to fade. Rang the surgery to see if I could speak to a dr for advice: on giving the receptionist the symptoms she said someone would ring me right back. Which he did, and on my repeating the symptoms asked me to get up to the surgery asap. Which meant ringing for a taxi, which arrived before I'd finished changing! Was whisked through for an ECG on arrival, then spoke to the dr (a new one at the surgery, very pleasant and sympathetic). ECG was normal, BP was a bit raised (nothing new there!) and he though it was more likely to be angina than a heart attack! (Oh joy.) Prescribed me low dosage aspirin, bisoprolol fumarate (what a wonderful name!) beta blocker, to be taken immediately, and a glyceryl trinitrate spray, to be sprayed under my tongue if it happens again, (love this stuff. The printed instructions on the box say, and I quote: 'Caution: flammable. Keep your body away from fire or flames after you have put on the medicine'. Well, hell. There's my ambition to become a circus flame thrower out the window!) and was referred to the BHI for their walk in clinic as soon as possible. Which meant yesterday...
Took the whole day: the clinic was very busy. Another ECG - which was normal - then a two hour wait to see the clinician. (Took advantage of the wait to go shopping in Broadmead. I don't get into town that often these days.) Clinician thought everything was probably OK but was ordering blood tests to be sure. Brief wait for blood to be taken, then an hour's wait while they were express tested. Then back into the clinician, who said bloods are normal, cholesterol is normal, heart rate and condition is normal, and in her opinion the 'attack' was probably muscular or gastric rather than a heart problem. Which is good news! So I can stop taking the aspirin, but should continue with the beta blocker, as it will help with the raised BP, and if it happens again and the pain doesn't go within 20 mins, to dial 999. (If it happens again and the pain does go but I'm still concerned, to ring 111. Did that when I first got vertigo and it took them 4 hours to respond, so not sure if I shall bother...)
Soooo... I should probably just add it to the long list of aches and pains I already have. I have an appt to see the same dr in a couple of weeks, so will ask about the beta blocker then.
In other news...
I have temporarily lost my lion throw. Tyjer has decided it's the perfect place to sleep - for sixteen hours or so - after a hectic couple of hours patrolling the garden.
Forgot to say - I picked up PotC: Salazar's Revenge a week or so ago: It follows the same familiar format as the others, which may be getting a bit tired and predictable by now, but is a fun watch with excellent sfx. Alien Agent, however, is pretty poor, and plays like the pilot ep to a series that as far as I know never happened.
But I also found the second season of The Expanse (on ebay, it's not on amazon uk yet) and it's brilliant. Absolutely addictive: we watched the last (double ep) of season 1 first, to remind ourselves of what happened, then dived straight into season 2. And watched the first four eps back to back as we HAD to find out what happened next! Finished the whole 13 eps in just 5 days and now can't wait for season 3...
I think that's about it - the major stuff anyway. Will edit if I think of anything more.
Oh yes. If anyone ever finds a nagging doubt plushie to buy, please let me know. I think he's absolutely adorable and I want one.
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
(Edit. And of course I posted the wrong version of the poem. [sigh] Corrected now!)
First, the good news.
Had my first steroid injection yesterday afternoon! The bursa was very inflamed, apparently, which explains both the pain and the difficulty she had getting the needle into the right place. Managed to twang a nerve too: felt like electric shocks all the way down my left leg which lasted the whole of the injection (about 10 mins). Ow. Not comfortable. But wore off very quickly and had gone by the time I left the hospital. Today leg and hip are aching, but that was expected. Fingers crossed that wears off nice and quickly.
Oh, and she said that steroid injections are no more than three a year, not no more than three a lifetime as my dr said. Will have to check that.
Ken is on annual leave this week: the timing worked out really well as I have to take it a bit easier until the steroids kick in. We plan to go through another load of old photos this afternoon - seven boxes of pics that weren't considered good enough to go in albums. We suspect most of them can be ditched!
Kai's classes seem to be both better organised and more useful so far this year, which is reassuring.
We finished Sapphire and Steel. Still astonishingly eerie and creepy, but the DVD quality wasn't great (American box set, all I could get at the time) so I've ordered a replacement (made in the UK). It means watching it again, but there are far worse things we could be doing!
Also watched: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is an absolute delight! And I knew we'd seen Shazad Latif in something else: he was Clem Fandago in Toast of London ("So he specialises in irritating characters then" commented Ken!) Hirokin is dreadful. Pretty to look at but takes so much from other films and it's impossible to feel anything for any of the characters. I think it was overpriced at 49p!
In contrast, American Gods is absolutely extraordinary. We were hooked from the first ep and now itching to see the second series (of course, ending on such a major cliffhanger doesn't help). Incredibly violent and thoroughly nasty in places, it's a stunning piece of work. We all decided that the very first ep must have been designed to put off anyone without a strong stomach, as subsequent eps were (slightly) milder and the comic aspects came through. I'm just annoyed it took me so long to work out who Mr Wednesday was. I mean, it's right there in the name...
For a laugh, this was my first (and so far only) car, second or third hand Talbot Solara, all I could afford at the time.
It picked up the nickname of The Petal Flower, Petal for short. Not my choice but somehow it stuck... Heh, had I been into Transformers at the time I could have called it Bee... I sold it when we bought the house, as with a mortgage interest (at the time) of 14% we couldn't afford both.
... and the bad news...
... um... There isn't any!
Cheeky little bugger!
Later edit: Forgot to say I picked up Transformers: The Last Knight. Alas, it's even worse on a second watching: there are the tiniest little glimmers of promise that went completely to waste. Bay shouldn't be allowed within a light year of the franchise.
And finally - did I ever mention there was a competition in the Cloud Appreciation Society? To write a poem about clouds, the winner to be included in a book of clouds. It's not often I feel inspired to write poetry these days, but this did. Hence Wavefront. It didn't place, of course (I hadn't expected it would, it's not exactly the sort of thing I believe they were looking for), but it's not bad, I think...
(With thanks to Lutra, and to Lin for the most excellent feedback!)