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.
Pink orchid. Phalaenopsis. This is the one I bought at Cabury Garden Centre on special, late 2021. It's much happier here!
Monday, September 21, 2020
I'm beginning to think the little peeping spike on AO is going to be a flower spike...
There is now no stopping RO...
Gantz: Perfect Answer is amazing!
Sunday, September 20, 2020
The orthotic insoles arrived middle of last week - much earlier than expected! Going to be interesting wearing them...
Sat pm I heard high pitched squealing from the garden: Kai was bent down fending off Tyjer. Went out to see what he'd caught... We know we have mice in the compost bin - it's a great place for them, safe, warm, food always available (we did have a rat or two at one time but the foxes ate them) and Tyjer does occasionally catch one. Only they are usually babies, tiny little things. This one was full sized.
I picked it up - forgetting what I learned 50-some years ago when I had mice as pets - and instead of picking it up by the base of the tail, I lifted its body into my hands...
It bit me. Four times on three different fingers. Gordon Bennet, they have strong jaws! (Luckily not sharp teeth, so it didn't break the skin, or I'd be in a much worse state. The bite sites are still red and painful today.) Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! It did finally let go when I lowered it to the logs and plants behind the compost bin and released it, but I won't be doing that again in a hurry.
We watched Gantz a week ago, and loved it, so I looked for the sequel - Gantz: Perfect Answer. It's not easy to get hold of, but I found a copy on amazon from a German seller... [sigh] Yes, the subtitles were in German: I had to send it back and get a refund. Found an English version from the States, which arrived yesterday, so will watch that this afternoon.
And Legends of Tomorrow season 5 has just arrived - will probably start that this evening after dinner.
The last thing I wanted to happen in the current situation did, and a chunk of filling cracked off a back molar. Luckily the tooth is pretty much all filling, so nothing hurts or is sensitive, just a bit sharp to my tongue. Dentist recommended getting some pharmacy-bought temporary stuff, and I have an appt for 24th October. Won't bother getting the tooth refilled: if she just grinds down the sharp edges that should do. It worked with the same tooth on the other side, after all.
Kai and I have booked our flu jabs for this Thurs...
Decided that rather than waste the fruit in the garden, we'd have a go at making apple, pear, plum, and medlar wines. Have ordered the equipment, now waiting for it to arrive.
Yesterday K&K got an awful lot done in the garden. I now have a wonderful paved platform in front of the greenhouse, and we've decided where my small, new raised bed - for the fruit bushes (the raspberries were great this year!) - is going to go. Everyone's too tired to do any more today though, so Kai and I are hoping to carry on this week (before the rain starts again on Wed).
And RO finally flowered...
I was right about the colour!
... y'know, I'm now not entirely sure GO, TO and AO are phalaenopsis. Going to have to check that...
I think that's all for now. Catch you later - please stay safe!
Friday, September 18, 2020
Gawd 'elp us, blogger's new create/edit function looks like bloody Wordpress... [headdesk]
At least it still accepts typed-in html. Why is there this urge to - supposedly - 'simplify' everything? Are people not expected to think for themselves any more?
And - oh joy - because I'm using my own heritage template instead of their new one, I can no longer go directly to a chosen page. Now I have to page down, and page down, and page down, and page down... I have 5,167 posts, including this one. It'll take forever to get to the first one. Unless there's some function I haven't found yet... And - oh fun - all my labels have vanished from the labels list... No, take it back, they are still there, just not displayed until you start typing.
Anyway... What have we been up to? Well, Ken and I have finished the first season of Space 1999. It grew progressively more irritating, with decent stories that should have been developed over two eps but were hurried into one. We'll see if the same happens in season 2.
Kai and I spent this morning in the garden pruning back foliage to make space for the new railway track he's planning. It should look pretty good when it's done, and adds yet more interest to what is already a pretty interesting garden. Oh, and we still have our colletes hederae bees! I thought they'd moved on, but they're still with us. Even better, the ivy growing along the wall has a whole load of flowers coming, so there will always be food for them (we're keeping that ivy).
There was a dragonfly over Roeg's Pool this afternoon... (Don't ask me how that worked, I couldn't see a thing I was doing, just pointed the camera and hoped for the best!)
And a frog in the pool. Not sure what that plant is but it's happily growing so we'll leave it and see what happens.
Ken started moving pavers to where I'd like them around my growing area - it's going to take a while, but I'll try to photograph it when it's done.
Kai's driving is getting better and better. When he'll be ready to drive on the main roads I don't know - not going to push as it'll only be stressful for him. We did find out last Sunday that Derpy has an alert when she overheats, but also cools right down in ten minutes with the hood up, so that's useful to know.
Orchids, of course.
RO is now just teasing. It's been like this for over a week and is just refusing to open to show me what colour it is. I'm still guessing white - or possibly a very pale greenish white. Hoping to find out soon.
I know there was more I wanted to say, but it's been another very long busy week and I'm tired. Will add to next post if I remember!
Wishing everyone a good weekend. Please stay safe and well.
Tuesday, September 08, 2020
Forgot to mention that Kai and I went to Whitehall garden centre Sunday before last - looking for the last two white planters (they only had one, alas, and they're really hard to find atm. Ivyline white Lisbon 15 cm pot, in case anyone accidentally finds one!) While there, something small flew over my head. At first I thought it was a sparrow, though it flew rather weirdly for a bird, but it landed on one of the hanging things and we saw it was a long eared bat!! I did try to photograph it but it flew off before I could get my phone focused on it. But yes, a bat! Gorgeous little thing.
Haven't had any for a while...
Ken and I watched the last Rurouni Kenshin film on Sunday and I remembered how much I like Kenshin's theme. Hunted for it to buy, but it isn't available anywhere, so Kai downloaded it from Youtube for me (my Yt converter won't cooperate, gets to 99% then just cycles endlessly). Wonderful piece of music.
I found this on tumblr: the poster said it was like Thorin celebrating at the end of Lord of the Rings (it's actually a Bollywood dance sequence dubbed to hardstyle music - or vice versa, you know what I mean...)
I liked it. A lot. I went in search of the original...
So then I explored hardstyle. OK, I'm twenty years behind the times but soddit, I wait for music to find me rather than go looking for it. That being said... I did hunt Yt for more Wildstylez tracks, as I rather like his music (his solo stuff is better, for me, than when he's working with other people). And I found Timeless. (Both available for download on amazon, btw.)
I adore this track. It makes me want to drive along a deserted coast road in full sun, windows wide and blasting it into the air. (Or race asteroids, though that's a bit impractical at the moment.) It gives me chills. It makes the hair on my arms and legs and the back of my neck stand on end. It's wonderful.
Can't really follow that with anything...
Friday, September 04, 2020
OK, let's try to get up to date...
[sigh] I typed that ^ 39 hours ago and then the day descended into the usual chaos.
Let's try again.
Don't know how many people heard about the pilot cheering people up by making smiles in the sky with his vapour trail, but we saw it ourselves from the garden back in June (? I think. Mid lockdown anyway.)
© Kai Taylor 2020
Lithops flower, and the new orchids...
Medical: had a phone call from orthotics - I have a pair of shoe inserts coming (in maybe 8 - 12 weeks) which should help fix the foot. Fingers crossed. It'll be winter, at any rate, and I'll be in trainers, luckily, as the inserts can't be worn with sandals.
We've carried on watching a lot of films/series. I found the first ep of Space 1999 on Youtube, so we watched it (on the TV, it's nice having access to Yt on the bigger screen), and enjoyed it so much I bought the complete boxed set. Note, if anyone ever does this, whatever you do DON'T screen it in the order on the box. The second ep there is actually ep 14: the first three should go Breakaway, Earthbound. Black Sun. After that it's not so important, but not watching the start in that order leaves you hopelessly lost. (One day I'll get around to pointing that out in an amazon review...) It's OK, but tends to lose its interest after a bit.
Then we FINALLY got around to watching the Death Note/Death Note: The Last Name that Adrian recorded for me back in... 2009? Thanks Adrian - it's fabulous! So much so that I had to buy the followup, L Change the World which we all loved (although there's a very annoying flaw in the production at 1 hr 21 mins in, where the action becomes horribly jerky. I was sent a replacement DVD when I got back to the seller, but alas it has the same flaw. It's watchable - the jerkiness only happens when the action is fairly fast onscreen, and quite a lot of the end of the film is quite static or takes place on a moving plane, which is jerky anyway - but frustrating. Fingers crossed someone brings out a better version.) Have ordered the fourth chapter - Light up the NEW World; there's a fifth chapter, New Generation, which isn't available to buy yet...
I found the two Death Note figures I was missing - the shinigami Ryuk and Rem - on ebay, so have those coming for Yule.
Then thought I'd try and get some of the films the main actors in my favourite live action anime productions star in... I'm fond of the Rouroni Kenshin films -
Rouroni Kenshin I: Origins,
Rouroni Kenshin II - Kyoto Inferno (both of which Ken and I have watched in the last few days, now planning time for the third film, Rouroni Kenshin III The Legend Ends - though in fact it doesn't as there are two more films planned for release in 2021...) and the lead actor, Takeru Satoh (who has the most beautiful mouth I've ever seen) is also in
Inuyashiki, so picked that up. Cracking film! The same company had
The Wandering Earth for sale: I love the story and have been hoping to find the film for a while. Ignore the reviews on the IMDb - this film is fantastic.
Tatsuya Fujiwara - Light in Death Note, is in Rouroni Kenshin II and III - and also in Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler, which is rollicking fun. Ken'ichi Matsuyama - L in Death note - is also in it, as well as in Gantz and Kamui, both of which have arrived and will be watched soon.
For a change of pace - In this Corner of the World, which is beautiful and desperately sad but with a sort of hopeful ending, Studio Ghibli's Grave of the Fireflies, ditto, and Melancholia, which is hugely depressing and fatalistic. So to cheer ourselves up we then watched Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw - such fun! Then again, with Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba and Ryan Reynolds, four of my favourite actors, in the same film it couldn't really be anything else...
Caught the first 15 mins of The Librarian III: The Curse of the Judas Chalice on the SyFy channel, and decided it looked so much fun I'd order the boxed set of the three Librarian films - The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines and the aforementioned Judas Chalice. They sound like a melange of Indiana Jones and Warehouse 13, with a dash of Dr Strange thrown in, and should be interesting!
And we still have the whole of Deep Space 9 to work through. Maybe start that in October...
Talking about October... my hair hasn't been cut since last December and it's driving me nuts - in my eyes and in my mouth and up my nose... Finally decided to risk The Zone, and have an appt for Sun 4th Oct - earliest Jeff can fit me in. Tempted to say to cut it to an inch long all over, but would probably regret it on leaving the building.
Drove Tyjer to vet for his annual boosters (or, as Ken said, Tyjer's passed his MOT and Derpy's been to the vet...) and check up in August, and he's fine. Getting older like us all, but no new problems, which is great.
Started getting the garden ready for the winter (yes, already. It's cold and everything's more or less finished!) Kai and I planted the saffron crocuses I ordered back in the spring, and have covered the higher raised bed with weed suppressing fabric - and pricklestrip over the crocuses - until next year.
Ken had annual leave end of last week/beginning of this, and we bussed out to B&Q for the afternoon on Tues. Everyone was being very sensible, socially distancing and wearing masks, but it was exhausting. Still, we had 156 grey pavers delivered yesterday - Kai, bless him, wheelbarrowed them all from the drive to outside the greenhouse, took ages and he's knackered today. Going to be great fun getting them into place, but once it's done I'll be able to assemble my fruit bush raised bed, and we'll have a platform for the telescope for those rare clear nights. Still waiting for the paint and shelf makings to be delivered: we're redecorating Ken's office, since he may be working from home for a while longer.
Interesting ride back. Everything was fine until we got to the top of Union Street: then, after the driver had indicated and started pulling away, an incredibly stupid young woman - no mask, of course - with a pram and a couple of young kids, started hammering on the side of the bus, and the windows, demanding to be let on (legally, once a bus has indicated and started moving away they aren't allowed to stop.) She carried on screaming insults and battering at the driver's window, recording him on her phone - then tried to reach into the cab.
Then she spat in his face.
He started the bus alarm (never heard it before, it repeats - 'Warning, this bus is under attack, ring 999' over and over again) and once she was out of the way, back on the pavement with her kids, he drove to the next bus stop, pulled up, and rang the police.
Once he'd confirmed that they were coming, we could all get off the bus and he stopped the next no 1 for us all to get on to continue our journeys. I was on first - and the stupid bint was on it, still no mask, grinning her head off. So I backed off, told the assaulted driver she was there, and she got hauled off and pulled to one side to be questioned by the police, shouting rubbish about him being rascist and hate crime and how could they do this when she had her kids with her? (The rascist bit confused me, as I thought she was just white with a bad fake tan, but apparently she was mixed race? You'd never have known...) Anyway - our poor driver now has to go into 2 weeks self-isolation, and we were nearly an hour late getting home.
Hope she was charged with assault.
I'm reading through the Orczy Scarlet Pimpernel books. I already had five of them: found there are 13 in total, so have hunted ebay and got another five of them on the way...
I think that's most of the news, though I've probably forgotten something. If so I'll edit later or add it to the next update. In the meantime - I'm going to treat myself to a vodka and tonic while listening to Wave Anime Radio on Radio garden Tokyo.