Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
... 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.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
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).
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Just a quick post to end the year.
Quietish weekend. I treated us to Eureka (complete, boxed set) for Yule as Kai mentioned he'd like to see it all again. Watched and enjoyed the pilot and first ep. Today we put up the kitchen sticky backed plastic - very much a bodge job but it'll do until we have the time and materials to do it properly!
And this is Rodimus. The Autobot co-captain who somersaults onto the bridge and pretends to be dead if you ask him a difficult question...
Annoying as hell but cute with it!
Wishing you all the very best for 2018. We'd be happy for the year just to be healthy...
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
It snowed quite heavily last night - huge soft flakes sleeting down completely covering the ground - and the silence was extraordinary. Alas, it was melting by sunrise, and the usual dull city noise was back...
I told Kai, who watched out of the landing window as a fox trotted through the garden, silhouetted against the white. I missed it, was in the bathroom, but reminds me we should put food out tonight. The weather's turned colder for a spell.
Xmas eve we watched Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets... Luc Besson has been involved with some very good films. This, unfortunately, isn't one of them. Fabulous cinematography, great sfx, the overall plot was sound, but the acting... Valerian was a Marty Stu and completely unbelievable, with soddall chemistry with Laureline (it should probably be mentioned that Cara Delevingne's acting was very much better than Dane DeHaan's). And what the hell was that abomination of a scene with Bubble? It served no purpose other than titillation, apparently... Very disappointing.
The day itself was very nice (well, except that Ken has gone down with a nasty stomach bug, but I honestly can't remember a time when one of us wasn't ill at Yule. He's had to take Wed and Thurs as sick leave..) The presents were all wonderful - thanks GoodTwin and Sue! - and we enjoyed Masters of the Universe after dinner (duck with all trimmings. Sorry Lutra, I completely forgot to take any photos of food at all this Yuletide...) Wonderfully awful film! Much hilarity resounded. Kai will never watch the latest Money Supermarket advert the same way again...
(If this loads the Divaram video from Baahubali, as it keeps doing for me, refresh the page a time or two, that should fix it. Otherwise, watch it on Youtube here.)
Then after the Doctor Who Special (I can't comment. I kept nodding off) we settled in with The Dark Tower which, by contrast, is much better than the preceding two films. Still nothing very new (but then, what am I expecting these days, given the number and variety of films I've seen?) but good acting, an intriguing premise, and very nice cg.
On Boxing Day friend Dawn came over for the usual running buffet and a Bollywood fest - both Baahubali films back to back... Absolutely brilliant. Love those films - and Dawn enjoyed them too. Butter chicken curry for dinner then a couple of Black Books eps before K&K walked her home. Very nice day!
Today's been quieter. Both deliveries, some tidying and making sure as much as possible went out for recycling (all bins tomorrow). And the bird feeders are full and the fox food is out in the garden: forecast is for freezing weather for the next couple of days, oh joy. I need to shop tomorrow...
GoodTwin - to explain my comment in my thank you email... My main present was the gorgeous (and IDW accurate) Rodimus figure (from the Big Bad Toy Store. I've now found an equally wonderful Megatron, who is half as much again (and comes with both miner and tyrant forms!) and the damn near perfect Dinobot, which I am going to pre-order and put all my Yule and birthday money for the next two years towards!)
I think Ken is bemused. If you believe the ads you'd think that most women want expensive clothes, shoes, jewellery and perfume as presents. Me, I want custom Transformers!
Quite where I'm going to put them I'm not sure. I think I need to reorganise my display cabinets...
Anyway - Rodimus came with two heads, one with a grim and serious expression, and one with his usual trademark smirk. It took us half an hour and a Youtube video to figure out how to change the heads as there were no instructions for that bit. This is him in his temporary home. I'll take him out and get some more pics later - you can't see his bow here.
Sunday, December 24, 2017
The Solstice sunrise.
A pleasant 28th anniversary, relatively quiet. Ken was at work, and I spent most of the morning working out how best to hang the chains. The links are soldered shut so unless I wanted Ken or Kai to cut them for me (I don't have the strength any more) it was a matter of using them as they are.
I think it worked OK...
Can't decide if it's more post punk or Addams Family, but Ken likes it too so they're staying for a while!
The new bedding is gorgeous. Tyjer thinks so too, and has taken to sleeping on the bed again...
GoodTwin and Sue visited Friday, and I had the traditional fantastic day, with howls of laughter, too many bikkies, and a fun film, Cruise of the Gods, which was a giggle! [GLOMPS both - I had a wonderful time.]
Yesterday was just manic. Ken helped me in the garden, getting done all the things I had scheduled which got back-boilered when Kai was in hospital: hoeing both veg beds and covering them with tough weed-suppressant fabric, planting the first garlic and covering them with fleece, pruning the Red Devil apple tree and the weeping peach, oiking as much duck weed as I could out of all the pools and bunging in duck weed killer, and planting the new apple tree Sue gave me on Friday! (I've forgotten the variety. Sweetheart? Valentine? Help?)
And then I made lunch, put a wash through, and then Kai came with me (to haul Wheelie) over to Wilko (for birb foods) and Sains (for the last bits and pieces - onions, Brussel's sprouts, a pizza for dinner...) Then after dinner we watched the original Planet of the Apes. Kai was fascinated and wants to watch the 2001 version now. Maybe this afternoon...
Today - well, blog update, finish a couple of pieces of work I've been putting off, lunch then a saunter over to Tesco for a breath of fresh(ish) air, gentle exercise, and to see what's in the sale. Going to try to get the plastic up behind the sink too, but if we don't have time it can wait, it's not urgent.
Bit annoyed though. Just found out that Thor: Ragnarok, which I was looking forward to seeing at the cinema, was here back in October and I never noticed. That's how bloody busy this year has been... Eh well, it's out to buy on my birthday, so we'll treat ourselves then.
Right. Let's get these two jobs finished. Then the rest of the day is mine.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
[sigh] So I woke up at 2.30 and couldn't get back to sleep. Have already amended tomorrow's Yule deliveries and made the first draft of the ones for next week, got everything out of the freezer that I need for today - may as well see if I can get the blog updated while I wait for the recycling crew (if I don't catch them today to give them their card and tub of Heros chocs I won't be able to get it to them before xmas.)
Kai's now home, finished the aciclovir and hopefully will start feeling a bit better from today. Thanks for all the good wishes (and 'fluences, Lin!) everyone. I need to feed him some prebiotics and good gut bacteria: Ken was given a free bottle of kefir at work to try, and brought it home for Kai, but it was past its use by as of yesterday so I ditched it. We didn't want to risk "a lethal dose of beneficial bacteria!" as Kai put it. I'll pick him up some more from Holland and Barratt, one's opened up at Broadwalk.
Friday 8th Kim drove us both to Congresbury. Wonderful trip out - found everything I wanted and Kim was her usual wickedly funny self (this time we had the sales assistant in stitches too!)
Sat I started clearing the kitchen ready for Mon: on Sun Ken assembled the new unit while I went to visit Kai.
Monday 11th Tom the Plumber arrived to fit the new unit. That was fun... It all went quite smoothly until he got to the kitchen sink.
The new one was far too small. Well, 'far too' is only a centimetre or two, but it makes all the difference to how it fits in the unit. So we had to have the old one put in instead. Heh. It must be at least thirty years old... But it works.
Ken put on the doors, Kai did the handles (which involved some careful measuring and drilling through the wood with a tiny drill bit. He's done a great job though!)
The unit is a good two inches deeper than the old one, which has left a gap at the back. In the New Year we plan to make a small shelf to fill it, and fit new tiles (over the old ones and to hide the new pipes) but for now I've picked up some wood effect sticky-backed plastic kitchen stuff, which will hide the gaps and stop water getting down behind the unit. It'll do until we can finish the job properly. In the meantime - I have a functional sink with hidden pipework and proper taps! Only waited 26 years for it...
Thinking I might replace the old cupboard doors with matching ones, it would make the kitchen look a little less dated. The units themselves are fine, they just look ancient. £15 per door + hinges though: will have to wait until next year.
is what was holding up the old unit. Can we say bodge-job?
Kai got himself home in a taxi on Monday afternoon (it took them hours to sort out his meds) and settled down right away to relax and start recovering. Very happy to have him back again.
On Thurs I took the new sink back to Screwfix, who refunded the cost immediately. Great fun - the box was light but huge, and kept pulling Wheelie off-balance. The bus-driver was bemused...
We've spent the last week's evenings relaxing with films - good excuse for me to put feet up and Kai and Ken to rest. Started with The Mummy on FilmFlex. I fell asleep for a bit of it, and came away with the impression that it feels like the pilot for a series. Not very good, but Kai quite enjoyed it. Maybe I've seen too much and am getting jaded in me old age...
Sains had one of their 'buy 2 for £16' offer on DVDs, so grabbed The Dark Tower for Yule and War for the Planet of the Apes, more to complete the series that anything. So we had an evening watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to remind ourselves of the story (I'd forgotten most of it!), then the next evening the new one. And about a third of the way in it suddenly hit me that the modern trilogy is a prequel!
[headdesk] So of course we've had to order the original Planet of the Apes - all five films in a boxed set from amazon. Lots to watch in the New Year...
Then I found The Hitman's Bodyguard, which is absolutely brilliant, although the expletives every couple of m*****f***ing words took a bit of getting used to. (Possibly worse than Logan, but a lot more fun.) I do like Ryan Reynolds!
Then there's Black Mirror... I heard about this by accident, and it sounded intriguing, so got the first two seasons (only three eps long each) and the xmas special in a boxed set, and we started watching on Sat.
... It's jaw-droppingly gob-smackingly good. As in WOW! Very very dark and wonderfully intelligent. So far anyway. Starting season 2 tonight.
While at Proper Job on Sun (for silicon filler primarily, though I had a browse while I was there) I found the chains I wanted to hang the new cushion backrests from the pole for our bedroom. Brushed steel and they make the most amazing sound when handled, a sort of whispery tuneful clinking. They're going to look great. Going to sort that project out on Thursday, when I put the new orchid bedding on the bed. Photo when complete.
The lounge is now finished. Painting done and new curtain pole in place. Very happy with it - looks larger and lighter.
Ken's final blood test came back clear. We can now say the Hep C is cured. Wonderful news, and one thing less to worry about.
Lastly, for now, I found this in a charity shop and just had to bring it home. It's utterly perfect for this family.
Heh. I'd write my autobiography but no-one would believe it...
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Very very brief update. Kai now back from hospital with a week's worth of aciclovir: his discharge summary says the diagnosis was VCV - chicken pox, but a particularly nasty dose, and more dangerous than normal because of his still-reduced immune system. (So in our case, at least, my immunity to the virus didn't pass over to Kai.)
Many thanks to everyone who sent him good wishes.
New kitchen unit is in and plumbing done. Of course there were problems: more later with photos when the job is completely finished.
Thursday, December 07, 2017
So, we didn't manage to get to Wells as sort-of planned last Sat: Kai wasn't feeling too well so we did home stuff (and shopping and washing) instead. On Sun Ken and I went out for an hour or so to Go Outdoors (he needed new trainers), Hurrans (for seeds) and Dunelm (because I knew they have a pretty extensive range of bedding and wanted to check it out, because...)
... it's our 28th wedding anniversary on the Solstice, and while there's no traditional thing for the 28th, the modern one is orchids. Which is fine for me but not so easy for Ken. I found in my searches that there's a beautiful gemstone called orchid tourmaline, but finding a sample of it, much less an earstud, is proving very difficult. But I was firmly convinced that there must be some pure cotton orchid bedding somewhere (other than this American site, which has lovely designs but they're all polyester), and Dunelm was a good place to look.
And indeed they had an absolutely gorgeous set - Lipsy Mirrored Orchid 180 thread count pure cotton. At £90!
Needless to say that's far too much for bedding, even as a joint present. So I took a look around and found the same set at Argos for £66.50 instead, still very expensive but which we ordered (and collected today). Picked up a gorgeous deep petrel, pure cotton sheet to go with it at Tesco. That's the anniversary sorted: we're not going out for a meal this year, it's a Thurs and Ken has to work the next day.
However, when we got back Kai was feeling much worse, in a great deal of pain from his stomach, so I rang 111, who organised an appt (at 10 pm) at the Knowle West Health Park (BrisDoc, out-of-ours surgery for emergencies). Kai's temp reached 99.7 while we were waiting, but had dropped a little by the time the taxi got us there. The registrar examined him and took blood samples, said she couldn't find anything seriously wrong but would ring me with the blood results later (actually at quarter to four on Monday morning) and if we didn't want to get to the BRI that night (we didn't, the thought of a 4 - 6 hour wait in A&E was too much) advised us strongly to see his own dr in the morning.
I tried ringing from 8.30 onwards on Mon am but couldn't get through (the surgery was unusually busy), but as luck would have it Ken had an appt for his own blood test, so was able to speak to reception and get Kai an appt at 10. And the dr sent us straight to the BRI...
The surgical assessment unit got Kai a bed very quickly (by this time he was vomiting and the pain in his abdomen was almost unbearable) and started heavy painkillers while they organised tests. Two X-rays and a CT scan, plus yet more blood tests, at least proved there was nothing really nasty going on, so I rang Ken (who had Mon and Tues off this week) to bring in Kai's (always prepared) bag to the unit to relieve me, and he stayed until they threw him out when visiting hours ended at 9 pm.
When I arrived the next morning Kai was covered from head to waist in a thoroughly nasty rash, and they weren't sure whether it was drug related (they'd given him IV penicillin the night before) or something else.
More tests. We stayed in touch on skype as best we could, but Kai'd had practically no sleep for several nights, and was in too much pain to chat. I found out when I booted up on Wed morning they'd moved him out of the general ward into his own room in a different part of the hospital at one in the morning, though, and I had great fun finding it when I arrived a couple of hours later. He was still suffering and still dozing off much of the time, but I was able to speak with one of the drs, who thought the rash might be a form of chicken pox or shingles...
Seems Kai didn't acquire my immunity when he got my stem cells. However, knowing (more or less) what it was is always helpful, and when I arrived today he was much better, most of the pain gone, and the rash looking better too. But he's on IV aciclovir at the moment, and can't come home until he's finished the course, which we think will be Sat.
We did wonder if that might be why he was moved, as of course it's very infectious (either that or, as I joked to Kai, he's the BHOC's star patient and if they didn't look after him Prof Marks would descend upon the unit with the power of a thousand wombats...) But so far so good. Fingers crossed it all just gets better. We do NOT need relapses at this stage.
I've been too tired to do much this week (two hours travelling - hour each way - to and from hospital plus the time spent with Kai hasn't left me much time for anything else) so Ken and I have caught up with some film watching in the evenings to help clear the pile and let me put my feet up. Notting Hill last Sat - great stuff! - Warlords of Atlantis (oh dear... dire), The Slipper and the Rose (very sweet), Cube (good, but anything but sweet), and tonight Nobel Son, which is weird and rather unpleasant.
And that's about it for now, my eyes are stinging and I need to sleep. More news later.