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
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
01/07/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
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
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
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

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Wild(life) Summer 2, 3 4 and 5... 

... 'cause it's been too hot and I've been too busy to update...

Wild(life) Summer 2 - the night after the hedgehogs, this murf -

- flew into the bathroom then out onto the landing (Ken took the photo). It's a Common Emerald (take a look at the caterpillar!!) which, despite its name, I have never seen before.

Wild(life) Summer 3 - A couple of days after that I found a dead, just-hatched baby bird outside the greenhouse - an odd place for it, but the following day, as I was returning to the house after watering, I heard a frantic rustling and distressed cheeping coming from the medlar, and seconds later our sparrowhawk zoomed off about three feet from my nose, with a tiny bird in its beak. We may have a sparrow's nest in the medlar? I believe this is the second (or maybe third) batch of eggs this year, the weather, and the fact we feed them all the time, has made it a good year for our birds...

Wild Summer 4 - oh, the thunderstorms! The most immense rumbling roll of thunder right over the house woke me just as I was falling asleep around midnight on Monday, the sort that would have shaken the windows to bits if we hadn't had them replaced, and I spent the next half an hour or so transfixed, watching out the window the most extraordinary light show of constant, continuous sheet lightning over to the south of us, accompanied by non-stop thunder. I love thunderstorms, always have, but in sixty years I've never seen ANYTHING like that. Wonderful! Taranis having a disco!

Wild(life) Summer 5 - Looks like after digging exploratory holes all over the garden, the foxes have decided where to build their lair...

In other news...

Tyjer has been having a bit of trouble jumping up recently - we think he might have a touch of arthritis in his hips. So I registered him with the vet service at Pets@Home, and got him an appt for yesterday...

Was horrified to find, when I dug out his records, that he hasn't had his inoculations since 2012. Though in my defence we've been a bit fraught over the last few years. And if I was worried about his health I'd have had him looked at before... Anyway, I bought a cheap pillow from Tesco, customised it to fit the carrier, popped him in and drove him (and Kai) up to the vet yesterday.

Bless 'im, he was more curious about the room than worried about the treatment. Vet gave him the first course of his injections (second and last in four weeks), a worming tablet (didn't much like that), syringed and cleared his ears (Kai had said they seemed to be bothering him, he was rubbing and scratching and shaking his head more than normal - and they were rather gungy) and gave him a dose of a different (not over the counter) flea killer, as the Front Line Spot On (the strongest you can buy here) didn't seem to be working any more. Apparently fleas do develop immunity to such things, a bit like bugs and antibiotics... She weighed him - 5.4 kg - checked his heart and lungs - all absolutely fine - and gave me a bottle of Metacam pain killer and a syringe to ease the pain in his hips. I mixed it with a little tinned salmon the last two evenings and he wolfed it down no problem. She did say, though, that prolonged or over use can cause kidney problems, so I'll do four days then stop for a bit and see how we go. There's nothing permanent can be done, it's just age. (Heh, know a song about that...)

I forgot to buy orchid supports when we were at Cheddar, but I've had a go at turning my original orchid a little bit every day to see if I could make the flower spike grow more upright - it seems to have worked, I have a graceful curve now with buds slowly appearing...

I also have a third plant: hobbling back from Tesco on Monday I saw one of those sad dyed orchids in the bin from the shop up the road. You know the ones, they're dyed with blue for display purposes (there is no true blue orchid) and then discarded when the flowers die. I rescued it, cut off the empty blue flower spikes and let it soak in rain water and liquid compost feed for a couple of hours, and it's perked up nicely. These are often originally white, as white takes the blue dye better, so I'm hoping for a white orchid to join the other two. Photos as things happen!

The kitchen is a little tidier: K&K fitted the new panel to hide where the hot water pipe was mended...


While waiting for the next crop of blockbusters to be available to buy we've been picking up 'classics', and the other evening Ken and I watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (or, Bruce Cassington and the Sunday Centre Kids, as my phone's auto-correct auto-corrected...) Apparently it got 4 Oscars, though gawds know why, I found it stupidly tedious and boring. But then, I'm not overly fond of Westerns. And maybe it's a generational thing...

Ken and I also watched The Shawshank Redemption, which is superb. Vicious in a lot of places, sometimes hard to watch, but what a film! (Snitch is also surprisingly good.)

We all watched Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve, both of them rollicking good fun, then found Ocean's Eight in AgeUK, but Kai wants to see Ocean's Thirteen, which we don't yet have, first.

Kai and I are now onto 24: Season 4, which I like much more than Season 3.

I'm sure there was something else... will edit later if I remember!

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wild(life) Summer 1 

Tiny little update... last night was magical. I heard faint scramblings against the gravel of the drive, and when I looked out, a hedgehog, legs twinkling, scuttled over the road from our garden and continued on up the road. While I stood there, a second hedgehog also meandered over the gravel and headed up the road (on the pavement on this side). And THEN, a minute later, a third hedgehog scuttled over the gravel and headed down the road in the direction of the park... THREE hedgehogs. never seen more than one at a time in the garden (and that was about a decade ago) so not sure if they were youngsters leaving to search out their own territory or all inhabitants of our garden (which is, after all, big enough and rich enough in insect life it can support more than one! We have two blackbird families, after all) just out for a midnight stroll, but it was fantastic to see them. I did watch a little longer but there were no more 'hogs, just a fox leaping over the wall and heading off on its own business...

I do love living here.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

We have a hedgehog wandering about the garden occasionally. Birds are far more prolific - a male blackbird feeding babies, several families of sparrows doing the same, my old blackbird who still comes for a few worms, a new young female blackbird who has decided that I'm a wonderful source of food, an older robin, and now a new young fledgling robin who seems to have no fear and zips and out of the rabbit shelter like it was born there :)

10:07 am  

Friday, July 12, 2019

Later edit: And then I forgot to say I had an email from CICO books, who are bringing out a second edition of The Book of Celtic Symbols! (email arrived last Tues, when everything else was happening...) Heh. You know you must be doing something right when publishers start reprinting your books!

Well, what a weekannahalf it's been...!

Swimming went well last Tues: seeing if we can gradually increase the number of lengths now we can do 20 in half an hour.

Back in May I had a letter from Wyevale with my last loyalty vouchers - £5. Only problem is, the nearest Wyvale garden centre is at Cheddar, which is a bit of a way to go, although there is a bus that goes to the centre of the village. Mentioned this to Kim, who said she'd be happy to drive us there - so last Thurs, it being a lovely day, she picked me up at 10.30. Great drive, out along the new road below Dundry, over to airport road, then down the narrow (and somewhat hair-raising) country lanes past Stanton Drew (useful, that, as there's a stone circle there that K&K will probably want to revisit at some point, and it's near impossible to get to except by car. Unless you don't mind walking through fields of grumpy bullocks, which I do. Or using the once-a-week bus! Now I know the route...) The garden centre is a fair way outside the village, although by the looks of it there is a local bus, but we found it and parked up. And discovered it had become the Hillier Garden Centre the week before... [sigh] BUT they accepted the vouchers, so that was OK. And the centre itself is lovely, really big, and had LOADS of specials. Picked up a heritage raspberry and a thornless blackberry (because the mystery fruit bush I bought from Hurrans turned out to be a loganberry, which is great!), both at £3 reduced from £9.50: a skimmia (my old one died, alas) and a beautiful convolvulus cneorum (photo later if I remember, the flowers only open in the sun) - both at £2, and a gorgeous petunia, 'Lightening Sky' -

Never grown petunias before - you're supposed to lift them and keep them in the greenhouse over winter - but at £1 and with those colours I couldn't resist...

Bought a beautiful little handpainted glass table (blossom and humming bird: now in bedroom with jar of lights on it) and some useful kitchen stuff at half price, too. Fun and very successful day out!

Fri was supposed to be a writing day, but ended up shopping instead, and planting the front garden flowers. Then on Sat Ken and I took our long promised trip to Keynsham. Very successful for me: found an interesting light coat/top thing, and a pure cashmere pashmina in peacock colours for £2.50 (think that may have been wrongly labelled!) Also some peacock feathers in the flower shop (I ended up buying a second lot of butterflies-on-bleached-twigs lights at Dunelm in the sale: ten in the jar were too many, so Kai and I rejigged the collection so there are now seven, three with extra lights and butterflies. Looks gorgeous!) which I planned to add to the jar, but it was too cluttered, so they're now in another jar on my bedside table.

Heh, that was a bit rambling - sorry!

Sun was a driving lesson - Kai is doing very well - and we dropped in to Benson's for Beds on the way back for me to buy a new Igel pillow (mine was guaranteed for two years, it did three, which is very good, but recently it's stopped being comfy and wouldn't return to shape, so time for a new one.) They're Igel Side-Sleeper pillows now, instead of Igel Bliss, but it works just the same. Peaceful, incredibly comfortable sleep...

Monday was the usual, business-busy day. Tues is delivery day: Sains (booked for 10 - 11) arrived at 10.01: had just finished putting that away when the Tesco deliverer rang to ask if we minded an early delivery as he was just a few minutes away - absolutely fine by me. So he arrived and unloaded by 10.30 (was booked for 11 - 12). Turned out that was just as well, as around 10.40 the Council workmen arrived in a van to put my 'disabled' line across the drive! Only took them 20 mins - it's not paint, it a sort of plastic with ground glass mixed in, which they melt to the road using a very powerful sort of blowtorch. I though it would be neat, small lettering, but nooo, you can see mine from orbit! Still, hopefully it'll stop people from trying to park there. It has very little legal power: it's more the moral shame of making a disabled person's life more difficult that should work.

Kim had to miss swimming this week: her work had scheduled meetings, much to her annoyance. I nipped down to Sains to have a look at their new clothing - Ken needs new shorts - but didn't find anything that interesting. Nor shorts. Went swimming (by myself) Wed am instead, via Wilko to pick up birdseed, then back via Tesco for tonics the delivery had missed off. Absolutely knackered by the time I got back, so had lunch, watched another ep of 24 (we're on season 3 now, my least favourite. I just can't bring myself to like or care about any of the characters in this one) then took the rest of the day off.

Yesterday Kai helped me plant up the fruit bushes and move things around. I've repotted the acacia, and all the soft fruit is now in pots in a 'hedge' along the line of the dip Kai dug out when he was going to build a wall there (we don't think there'll be enough rocks left over once he's finished the patio to complete the job). It looks fine, and is very convenient for cropping. And my blueberry bushes now have more room between the two raised beds.

Had to spend half an hour putting stakes in the lower bed and tying twine around them, as the foxes (we have a vixen with three cubs that visit) had dug up my pumpkin plant. (They don't like running into the twine so tend to leave the bed alone.) The pumpkin plant has recovered, and today I planted the two marrow seedlings - that bed is now complete.

We have a LARGE bag of mange tout in the freezer ready for winter, and I'm thinking I'll lift all the plants - they're mostly finished now - and see if I can get a second crop to grow. It's fantastic having fresh homegrown mange tout and sugarsnaps. The cucumbers have finished too, so will try for a second crop of those.

This on the left is the clock Kai's been working on. The mechanism came from ebay and is over 100 years old, and he's built the wooden stand and pendulum covering himself - he's getting quite into carpentry. It still needs work, then he's going to make space for it in his room. Somehow.

Media... Bounty Killer, which is an absolute riot! Completely bonkers and huge fun. We all loved it! Stranger Things (seasons 1 and 2) which is fabulous. I wasn't sure I was going to like it - it's taken bits from every horror/scifi/thriller genre and mashed them together - but the more I watched the more addictive it became. It's bloody good!! We liked it so much we ordered the soundtrack CDs (Season 2 has arrived and is simply gloriously beautiful... and the first soundtrack arrived today - not quite as polished but still amazing.) Really looking forward to season 3 now. Finally watched The Owl Service... it's not aged well, and the acting isn't great, but it's still very unnerving. And there's an amazing interview with Alan Garner in the bonus features, which explains a lot! Then yesterday Ken and I watched Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (bought because I'm collecting Matthew Marsden films). It's a pretty standard creature feature, but fun, and silly, and a perfectly fine way to relax after another busy, and very hot, day.

And that's us up to date. There's a SpringFest event in Sandy Park Rd tomorrow that I want to go to, then we plan a driving lesson Sun with a possible diversion to Whitehall Garden Centre - I need some plant supports for the fruit bushes. Ken has a week off next week, so we may be doing things - will see what we all fancy!

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

?! ...fields of grumpy - oh, bullocks... ;)

Glad to hear the driving lessons are going well.

9:59 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

[pissing self laughing] Yers, BULLocks. Though the other would be... interesting...
Slow but steady, and he's gaining confidence. Can change gears without looking now, very smoothly. He's happy, I'm happy, it's all good.

10:10 pm  
Blogger Sue said...

I'm exhausted just from reading all that you've been doing! Glad all is going well.

5:36 pm  

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

In brief...

After the monsoon, it's now become hot again, so Kai and I have put up the shading I bought last year for the greenhouse. And ye gods, does it make a difference! Suddenly everything is fruiting instead of curling up and dying in the heat! Home grown cucumbers and tomatoes, and I currently have mizuna and rocket, mixed spicy salad leaves, and watercress (a hybrid variety that grows beautifully in soil in a pot as long as you keep it very wet - deliciously tasty) sprouting ready to come in on the kitchen windowshelves. And fruit! Ken filled the raspberry pots with wonderful rich compost from the large bin, and they suddenly exploded. Three times the size they were, and we've had raspberries for dessert (warmed waffles, crème fraïche and fruit, topped with Tesco's own raspberry coulis, which is the tastiest I've found) three times so far. My blueberries are already producing too - having to pick them as they ripen or our blackbirds will nick them!

Next year I'll get my strawberry pots sorted out...

We're nearly in a position to get the horrible asbestos soilpipe, that's as old as the house, replaced. It leaks - Ken's patched it up over the years but it's now well past saving and a health risk (not to mention smelly!) I should be able to get that booked at the end of the week (it's already priced up and provisionally booked). Then we're also having the soffits, fascias and guttering replaced - Anglian confirmed this a.m. that the soffit's aren't asbestos, so we don't have to pay extra to have them removed. There's black mould growing on the ones outside the bathroom and our room, which is making its way inside, and that's a definite health risk, especially for Kai. It'll be good to have everything done!

Third gastroscopy... Well, the ulcers have all gone, but have left scars, and my stomach lining is still inflamed - so it looks like I'm on omeprazole for life. Oh joy...

Off to get ready for swimming!

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