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][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]
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.
So, what's been happening? Unfortunately, right after the tooth was extracted, Ken brought a thoroughly nasty bug home from work and very kindly gave it to me. Two weeks on and it's still not shifted, although it does now seem to be going. But I woke up completely deaf in my right ear on Fri 5th: on the Sat night something went 'pop' deep inside and unpleasantness ensued. I went over to Tesco pharmacy on Mon, pharmacist said to get to the dr, got up to the surgery and explained what had happened. This was at 11.30: they could fit me in at 4.50... Well, I wasn't going to say no, so dropped into the dental surgery. Asked for a quick word with the dentist, got seen in half an hour: the infection under the tooth has cleared up, everything is absolutely fine, and the dentist says it's healing very well. So that's good. Still can't chew on that side much, but once the gum's healed it should be OK.
Then did some shopping, and picked up a 49p copy of Even Vampires Get The Blues in the Age UK charity shop to read in the surgery. (It's quite fun. I worked out the ending before I'd got a quarter of the way into the book, and started skimming over the sex scenes, which happen pretty much each chapter, as they got boring quickly, but it was something relatively harmless to read while waiting for my appt). So it turns out I have an inner ear infection. Ick. Another five day's worth of amoxicillin 500mg, one three times a day and no driving while taking them. (I wouldn't anyway, they make me feel glaikit.) Course finished Saturday but I'm still deaf: have made the soonest appt I can - 30th May - but if it doesn't clear up in the next few days will go back up to dr. and ask to be squeezed in again. I have no intention of risking my hearing.
Did I mention my dr recommended I take vitamin D tablets, as my level was below where it should be - as are most Brits at this time of year. She told me they usually recommend Fultium-D 800 IU (20 mg vitamin D3). I asked at Tesco pharmacy a month ago and they sold me a packet. Two things to note right away: three days after starting taking them I suddenly found that awful dragging tiredness I've put up with the last few years had gone, and secondly - they are beautiful, like little gems. I tried to buy another pack when I was over on Mon, but was told I shouldn't have been sold them as they're prescription only. So I asked the dr if they could be added to my prescription list - only to be told that drs are now not allowed to prescribe them! Given they cost nearly £7 for 30 pills, I imagine the company is losing money now...
Bought Lloyds the Chemist's own brand instead, 25mg, £4.99 for 90.
In other medical news: in Jan Kai's ferritin was just over 1,000; in Feb it was down to 963; in March 800 and something (I did ask him to give me the numbers before he headed out for busrides this afternoon but he forgot, and there's no way I'm taking my life in my hands and entering his room!); and then in April 750. This is wonderful, and at his last BMT Clinic they changed his venesections from every four weeks to every six. Which means I now have to amend all the appts I made in advance! (Doing it in writing - it takes days to get through on the phone.) Will get that done tomorrow - planning to meet Ken in town for lunch.
Wendy came to visit for the day last Thurs: had a wonderful day, lots of catching up and laughs. She brought up a couple of DVDs for us, The Decoy Bride, and Murder on the Orient Express, which we watched on Sunday. I was very pleasantly surprised: it's the best version of the story I've ever seen, and to our delight they're making Death on the Nile too! One to look forward to.
Other recent watches: Sully - pretty good - and Annihilation, which is quite extraordinary. Probably need to watch it again to pick up all the things we missed...
Lost - we're now half way through season 5 and it's alternately sending me to sleep or raising my BP with sheer pissed-off-ness. I shall be very glad when we're done.
I finally listened to Down in a Hole, the Kiefer Sutherland CD I had for Yule. It's blues, which isn't my favourite sort of music, but I really enjoyed it. He has a lovely singing voice, which I hadn't expected. Here's the Youtube vid of my favourite song on the album, I'll Do Anything.
Work progresses in the garden. The greenhouse tomatoes are doing well, and the cucmubers are now out there prior to being planted in their final pot. My pear tree is gorgeous right now, full of blossom. Looking forward to pears in the autumn!
The asparagus I planted three years ago is finally beginning to show through, and should be big enough to eat this year. (The white thing is a plastic fork: helps keeps animals off the bed.
And this is the path that K&K are building from the patio up to the old meadow. Taking shape slowly but it's going to be great when it's finished.
I think that's just about it for now. To end, take a look here: these are extraordinary!
Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor
pontificated this at 2:13 pm
Monday, April 01, 2019
Right, where were we...?
It's been busy, productive, and quite interesting. Sunday after my last post we all did some gardening out the front: hoed, the choisia and ceanothuses are now planted, my pot of Sultan's Palace irises too (not the main huge pot on the patio, the ones in a smaller pot out the front that didn't do at all well last year), and a handful of other plants sorted out. It's beginning to take shape...
On Monday, after drilling at all hours of the day and evening on and off for over two weeks, the noise from next door became unbearable - a horrible, high-pitched grinding sound. So I created a LOUD playlist - including a truly awesome mashup of Imagine DragonsRadioactive and Fall Out Boy's My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark, downloaded from here -
Then from 11 am until 4.30 pm played it at 50% of max through my speakers (with half an hour off for lunch). Made everything vibrate and was so loud I had to put in proper earplugs to avoid being deafened while I got some work done.
It's been nice and quiet ever since. One day I'll try cranking up the volume to max and see what breaks first...
On Tuesday, as I was taking the cloches off the tomato plants coming along very nicely in the greenhouse, my phone went - it was the dentist saying they'd had a cancellation and did I want the tooth extracted today? Did I hell! 11.40 appt: left the taking in of the deliveries to Kai, cancelled swimming, and headed off for the Broadwalk bus at 10.20. (Time to do a little shopping before the deed, very useful).
Of course, it didn't go smoothly. I needed an extra anaesthetic injection to completely numb the area, then the twisted root broke off as he was pulling the main part out, and he had to dig around for it for an extra few minutes. But it is now done, feels a bit odd but is pretty much completely healed already and the relief of not having that awful constant pain is great.
(I've posted photos of the tooth here but I don't advise anyone to go look. It's not at ALL a pretty sight.)
On the 'watching' side, we saw Bangkok Dangerous, which was quite good, with Nic Cage's acting unusually understated and effective. And we're currently on lost Season 3... It's a struggle. I am NOT enjoying it. The first season was fine, then it started going downhill. It's... as though someone got a bunch of disparate individuals together, said "We're aiming to make a sci-fi/fantasy/thriller/mystery sort of thing - any ideas?, then took everything everyone threw at them, bunged them all together and tried to make them fit. Which they don't. And I want to slap half the characters for being so effing stupid!!
I will watch to the bitter end (all 6 seasons) in the probably vain hope it picks up...
Quite a lot done in the garden over the last few days, too. K&K are making a 'cobbled' path up the slope from patio to railway track to make it easier for me to manage the washing. The tea tree shrub is also now planted. And the Juneberry is looking gorgeous.
Off to suffer through a bit more Lost. Later...
Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor
pontificated this at 7:27 pm