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...
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Oh, abso-fragging-lutely typical.
Everything was going well, I had three weeks' worth of food in the freezer and pantry, came down to make brunch on Sunday to find the bloody fridge had packed up. It's not even five years old yet!
[growl] So ten minutes online with Curry's and I'd ordered a new one - Bosch, my favourite make - and paid the extra to have it delivered on Monday. We managed to make the old one limp along by leaving the superfast frost setting on, which, with not opening the freezer compartment, kept everything just cold enough I didn't have to ditch any food. New one arrived about 2.15 p.m. and by 7 I'd transferred everything over. We now have a large fridge freezer sitting in the garden with no way to get rid of it until the crisis is over and recycling centres and BCC collections are up and running again.
But the new fridge is great! Quite a bit bigger than the old one and so quiet. I keep thinking it's not working - the old one was forever creaking and groaning, this one just purrs. Delivery guys - who wouldn't carry it into the house, so Kai and I had to manouevre it in ourselves, and what fun that was - said it should be good for at least 15 years (pretty much what I'd expect from Bosch) so fingers crossed.
Apart from that, we've been fine. Now self-isolating, which is working out OK. I managed to grab a Sains delivery for tomorrow, which hopefully will set us up for the next couple of weeks, though we may have to switch to powdered milk for K&K's cereal. (Not keen on milk myself. Mild intolerance, I suspect. Never drink the stuff.) And I managed to get a phone consult for Tyjer - he's running out of Metacam for his hip joints - and Pets@Home are happy, on this occasion, to accept the prescription request over the phone. K&K will walk up there to collect it when Ken signs off work later.
We have, naturally, been watching a lot of films and series. We're onto the last two eps of the last season of Lucky Man, which we will hopefully finish tonight, and will probably watch Jason King next - before we start the major project that is Deep Space 9 complete.
Media... The Reluctant Fundamentalist which was disturbingly good. We finally sat down for Oklahoma!, which I bought years ago (primarily because of Hugh Jackman) and hadn't found the time to watch to date. Kai wasn't sure: I suggested he watch the first few minutes and then go up if he wasn't drawn in. Ended up staying for the whole film and we all thoroughly enjoyed it!
In the evening it was
Mindhorn. I found this quite by accident when looking up something else on the IMDb, thought it sounded good - and I like Julian Barratt - so ordered it from amazon. And it's great! Very funny, and a fantastic cast. And the end credits song - You Can't Handcuff the Wind - is terrific, so I bought it. It's now on my phone playlist.
On Sat last Ken and I watched West Side Story, really because it's considered a classic, we knew a lot of the music, and had never watched it. Can't say I enjoyed it.
Wendy included two DVDs with my returned Good Omens (glad you enjoyed it!) - The Prestige, which I think we rented donkey's ago and really enjoyed, and The Tourist, which Ken and I watched yesterday and loved! Many thanks!
Have to finish putting all the magnets on the new fridge, hoover, then get dinner organised. Hoping to update soon with pix of the garden, as everything is coming into flower and looking beautiful. But before I go, this is the sign on Kai's door, from GoodTwin for his birthday! Very apt. I don't dare go in there...
Friday, March 20, 2020
COVID-19. Interesting times, ne?
We've been advised, by Kai's BMT trials nurse Peter, that as his immune system is still compromised, we should be very careful not to take any unnecessary risks. So Ken is now working from home (with BCC-supplied laptop and phone), and we've had to postpone Wendy's visit. I've shopped at both Sainsbury's (because I can't get a delivery slot for the next three weeks) and Tesco (which did still have delivery slots so I've booked them for the next four weeks - not next week as there were none left - which of course does not guarantee I'll get everything I've ordered!) and I've never seen anything like it. Aisles of loo roll, tissues and kitchen towels completely empty. Ditto nappies, soap, fresh packaged meat, bread, milk (almost), tinned fish, beans and veg, pasta, rice - and tea (how very British!!) We're actually quite well placed, as I always keep at least two weeks worth of groceries in larder and freezer, so we can manage until the rush of panic stockpiling has died down a little. I hope, anyway.
K&K have started going out for a walk when Ken signs off work for the day, for a change of air and some exercise. There are far fewer people around than previously, so it's fairly safe.
Apart from the lurgy, it's been quite a nice few weeks. Last Saturday Ken and I bussed to Midsomer Norton via Bath, where we stopped for half an hour for me to check out the Bath Thermae Spa and ask a few questions about my proposed visit (which I'll now have to postpone until the autumn, but that's OK). Almost as soon as we got out of the bus station I heard this amazing music... it sounded a bit like a harp, and a bit like a guitar, and a bit like a cello... The route to the Spa took us up the pedestrian shopping area, and we found the source - this guy -
He's Amadou Diagne, and the instrument he's playing is a kora: Wiki says "It doesn't fit into any one category of musical instrument, but rather several, and must be classified as a "double-bridge-harp-lute".", so my initial thinking was more or less correct. He was selling Journey CDs, so I bought one. The music is absolutely beautiful...
Now decided I need to explore other countries' music.
(This track is on the album.)
Back on the bus and off to Midsomer Norton. Nice ride through B&NES rolling countryside and down the hill to the centre of town.
I have a particular fondness for Midsomer Norton. Even on a dull day it's pretty...
There are a lot of charity shops, as well as indie shops, like Out of Asia, a gorgeous little gift shop where I spotted this adorable - metal! - little unicorn ring holder with diamond eyes...
We also picked up a set of five Transformers Prime illustrated kids books, which look quite daftly funny, and this for £2.50!! Haven't read it yet but it looks fun. The same charity shop - Sue Ryder I think - also had this little cutie:
All in all it was a great day!
Media... Ken and I watched TC 2000 last week (Kai was busy with friends online so didn't join us). It was dire. Its main feature was a fight every 1.5 to 3 mins all the way through. Dreadful film. -2 out of 10, would not recommend. So we then lightened the mood and had a Three Musketeers Sunday matinée: The Three Musketeers after lunch and The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge after dinner. I'd forgotten how funny they are! Kai chuckled all the way through and we all thoroughly enjoyed them.
I picked up Limitless at a charity shop a while back. Can't remember if we'd already seen it: I think we did, a long time ago, but didn't remember any of it and really enjoyed it. We've now all started watching Stan Lee's Lucky Man season 3. It'll be interesting to see how it pans out.
We will most likely be watching a lot more films/TV over the next few weeks/months. We still have quite a backlog of films, Jason King, and I'm now collecting Deep Space 9 boxed sets (found season 6 in St Pete's Hospice shop): it was always my favourite ST series.
TransTech Starscream has arrived!
And he's gorgeous!
He now joins Carscream, Steelscream, ShatteredGlassscream, and Dinobot on the faves shelf!
Thursday, March 12, 2020
So where were we?
GoodTwin and Sue's visit was great fun. I opened my birthday presents early - now have Jason King to enjoy! Also some of the most divine chocolates I've ever tasted...
The maple-and-miso aubergine recipe worked well (the paste itself is delicious and would go easily with chicken or pork too, so that was a very useful discovery) although next time I'll skip the cucumber salad.
On my actual birthday I took myself over to Keynsham for a spell of shopping, which was quite successful - and it was a gloriously sunny day too, for once. All nicely relaxing.
On the Thursday Kai helped me put Optimus Starscream together - ye gods it's a big figure!
Then assembled Furai Starscream for me... Not joking, the pieces were too small for my fingers. And there were hundreds of them...
I did manage to put in his eyes (a minute red plastic C shape that fits behind his faceplate and that I dropped and nearly lost three times) but Kai did the rest. Including the tiny tiny piece of silver foil that fitted behind his eyes so they reflect light. (My main job was finding each piece and snipping them from the plastic thingies they were in as he called for them.) But the end result...
... is rather gorgeous. See those tiny tiny black triangles on his chest and knees? Tiny stickers! I could barely see them, let alone handle them! Kai had to use cocktail sticks to manipulate them, and even they were a bit big! This is a figure for a dedicated modeller, I think.
(Rather amusingly, the inside of his knees make the pilots' seats!)
This is the new display case, by the way. Still not entirely sure I have enough space for them all!
Kim and I went out to Almondsbury last Wed. Picked up a stake and wrap for the pittasporus, which has suffered badly with the storms and was leaning over at an obvious angle. Between myself and K&K, we got the stake in (3.5 foot underground and at a slight opposing angle) and the tree is now looking a lot more stable. I can always get a second, longer stake if we have any further storms.
Also picked up three beautifully bright and contrasting heucheras and a lovely copper coloured pot for them, for mum-in-law's birthday: the tiny bit of patio to the side of her front door gets no sun at all, and heucheras will thrive there. However, now that we have COVID-19 in Bristol (and given that Ken has to get a crowded - standing room only usually - bus to and from work every day) we're delaying our proposed trip down to Babbacombe. We'd never forgive ourselves if we took the blasted thing down there. She is 94, after all, and even tough as old boots as she is, there's still a significant risk.
K&K went out to Stockwood open space on the Saturday - and spotted a small stag!
I do like synchronicity. Wednesday I was meeting Ken for lunch, so decided to get into town a bit earlier than necessary to pick up some back-up chocolates for mum-in-law for her birthday from Hotel Chocolat in Cabot Circus - we'll take down the plants when it's safe - and as I was heading over to Broadmead I met a man with a hawk.
Yes, a hawk. A Harris hawk, to be exact. The handler wore a hi-vis vest and carried official badges and stuff, and said he was taking it up to the roof (I assume to frighten off pigeons/seagulls, as they do occasionally in Bristol) Couple of minutes earlier or later I'd have missed them...
It was a good day, all told. Lunch was nice - I tried the soup, courgette and pepper, for a change as they didn't have my favourite ham and Emmenthal paninis - and my favourite Oriental supermarket (Wah Yan Hong) had everything I needed except the cooking sake. I came home via Sains too, and picked up the three packs of chicken thighs they didn't bring with the delivery.
Media... we finished watching Department S, which actually picked up considerably in the second season, once they stopped taking themselves so seriously. In the end it was really rather enjoyable!
We finished watching Falling Skies last night. Very satisfying ending! On the whole an interesting and thought-provoking series.
On the film side... Finally watched The Revenant. Hm. Slow, very very bloody, not exactly enjoyable, but from my recent reading (and yes, Indigenous People's History was as depressing as expected and left me loathing the human species - again...) pretty accurate in its depiction of life at the time. Then we moved on to The Three Musketeers as a bit of light relief! I now have two versions of the story, this and the Keifer Sutherland 2011 film, so ordered (and now received) the first version I saw, 1973, with Oliver Reed and Michael York, which is in two parts - The Three Musketeers, and The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge. Also seen - Alita: Battle Angel, which is fantastic. I really really hope there's a sequel.
Next on the list to watch is the aforementioned Jason King, and Lucky Man season 3. Kai and I have been watching the first two and Ken will join us to watch the last ep of the second season, then we'll all watch the third.
And so to today, that I've had to spend in the house awaiting dr's phone call. Was supposed to be over lunchtime, ended up at 5.30. Bloody nuisance as I could have gone to Wells with Kai and had a bit of sunshine and fresh air... Anyway, BP is too high so she's now prescribing a third BP med, bugger it. This one opens up the veins. The other two protect kidneys and liver, I found out today.
Had a first attempt at making vegan soft cheese. It worked quite well - certainly was nice in my smoked salmon and soft cheese bagel today.
This is the current state of the fence section BND falsely accused us of breaking. It's been like this for several weeks now, getting worse as the winds keep up. Looks like he's not going to ask his minion of the month to pull it back over his side. We shouldn't touch it (he said in writing it's his fence and he'd take legal action if we did, the stupid old fart. Talk about cutting one's own throat!) but I may have to if it gets any worse. At the moment it's perilously close to damaging my very expensive robinia.
And finally, this made me chuckle. According to the 'Can we guess your age' Fb quiz - I am 11 years old. Heh. They're only 50 years out!