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!
"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
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
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
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...
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
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
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
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
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
when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We
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
Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want
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
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
Normally I wouldn't, but these
were just irresistible...
Too-Kawaii Kitties were adopted from Ghost's Anime
Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)
Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting...
Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi
DVD 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
Owned: Manga Vols 1, 9, 11
Mirage of Blaze
DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)
Owned: English Manga: Vol 1 Japanese Manga: Vol 1-7 complete Tarot Pack
Owned: Anime Vol 1-12: complete
Under the Glass Moon
Owned: 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.
This is getting silly. I can't seem to get enough sleep (even 11 hours on Sunday night left me feeling tired). Will have to ask dr at my yearly checkup if I need a higher dose of levothyroxine or if perhaps it's something else...
Anyway, apart from that things are... OK, I guess. Kerb still not dropped, though given the freezing weather at the moment I'm not too worried about that. Will get Derpy serviced once the drive is ready, then we'll be set once the weather improves.
Ken actually had to take sick leave with a rather nasty bug he went down with - not quite flu, but a lot worse than a cold. Kai now has a cold, but so far I'm fending it off (it's the flu jabs, I'm convinced!) Childe's immune system seems to be repairing itself quite well - it hasn't hit him anything like as hard as the last one.
He's at uni this morning. He had exams over the last two weeks and didn't want to talk about them when he got home, so keeping fingers tightly crossed he did enough to get through. He can take resits in the summer, but of course we'd rather he didn't need to!
Yes. Well. I loathed both of them. It seems that classic American "humour" just leaves me cold. Thoroughly obnoxious characters, hugely irritating plots, and in the latter it seemed that almost every other word was 'fuck'.
At least Kai has now seen them and knows what his friends are talking about.
Ken and I watched The Handmaid's Tale, which I found as depressing as the first time I saw it. We all watched and thoroughly enjoyed The Night Manager - still a crackin' good watch - and Ant-man and the Wasp, which is fun. Though I didn't see the point of the tardigrades. Unless their purpose will be revealed at some future time. Or maybe they were used as a size comparison... We're currently watching our way through Primeval (haven't seen a lot of seasons 4 and 5), which is also fun. Picked up A Wrinkle in Time for the weekend (terrible reviews but none of us have read the book - at least, I don't think I have. If I did I obviously didn't find it at all memorable - but the trailers look beautiful, so we'll watch it for the sfx. Won't be the first time!)
We're thinking about going to the Nomu Japanese restaurant for a birthday treat this year. Don't normally bother going out, but they offer a really fun 'three for £14' deal, so we'd all be able to try a variety of different things. Plus there's a free cocktail for your birthday. I quite fancy trying the Tokyo Ice Tea!
... think I may go have a nap before Kai gets back for lunch...
Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor
pontificated this at 12:02 pm
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Kai transformed him for me yesterday...
The quality is extraordinary. The lower jaw on all the four supplied faces opens and closes, so he can show his fangs, and the eyes of the velociraptor (alt. mode) can be switched from wide open to squinting. (The face I chose has his trademark smirk, which makes me chuckle.) And yes, he has two thumbs on each hand.
SO chuffed! He has pride of place in the right hand display case - will get a photo when the light is better - so I only have to turn my head a little to see him.
Took Kai over an hour to do. You can see the process in the Youtube video if you're interested, but the person doing it there is a lot faster and has obviously done this before!
Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor
pontificated this at 4:40 pm
Tuesday, January 01, 2019
(may it be a) Happy New Year
All in all 2018 was an interesting year...
I had my first solo break in forever at a Napoleonic fort in a part of Cornwall I'd never visited, which, even though cut short by two days by the Beast from the East, was wonderfully relaxing and fun. And of course it introduced me to the sheer joy of sleeping on a memory foam bed. (Our Casper mattress is still going strong and still allowing me the best sleep I've ever had.)
We had the window installation completed. So warm now!
The appallingly hot summer was not kind to my greenhouse plants: have now bought shading to put up if/when it happens again.
Took refresher driving lessons, bought a car, and had a drive (half)built.
Had a real shower installed and the bathroom tiled and decorated (though they still haven't fixed the shower curtain rail. Beyond a joke now...)
Had a snazzy new house alarm system installed. Motion detectors instead of door and window catches - much more efficient.
Finished redecorating the hall/stairwell/landing, and Ken has stripped all the layers of paint from the top banister. The wood underneath is actually gorgeous, quite dark but with a lighter grain that looks like feathers - very pretty. All that's left now is Ken's room (repainting and putting up a wall-full of shelves, then getting rid of the mismatched cheap bookcases), and the kitchen, which will be the last to be done as my old gas cooker is now playing up and will need replacing before next Yuletide. Seen what I want - AEG induction cooker (German of course, any of these will do nicely!) - and I want a cooker hood too, to cut down on the smells of cooking. Will need to be properly installed by someone qualified to disconnect the gas supply to the old one: the whole thing is going to be a little pricey but worth it.
And ended up with a great new washing machine (will be using for the first time tomorrow).
Actually not too bad for a year's improvements.
So, to do this year - get the kerb dropped (and Fixit sorted), get the shower curtain rail fixed, the old asbestos downpipe replaced, new flooring/carpeting laid, new cooker installed and kitchen redecorated, Ken's room sorted, and the garden a little more organised. All a lot less urgent than last year's goals (not to mention less expensive!) so I anticipate actually being able to make time to write.
Fingers crossed, anyway...
The London fireworks last night were as usual glorious. Yakuza Apocalypse is completely bonkers. Doctor Who this evening was... good I suppose, although it was the f%$*&g Daleks (again) and I really really hate them. I never found them frightening, not in the 60's and not now. You'd have thought they'd have taken the opportunity to redesign the damn things into something a lot more sleek and effective, but nooooo, we're stuck with that clunky, stupid, inefficient pepperpot look... GAH!
[grump] Anyway. Hope everyone's Yuletide went very well and you all start 2019 with optimism and hope.