A brief note to the idiots who put ads in the comments - I will mark them as spam and delete them as soon as I'm notified of them, so don't bother. I absolutely loathe adverts in any form and will not have them on here if I have any choice in the matter. (Of course, if they're addded by bots this won't be noticed, but I'll still remove them...)
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 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 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...
"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.
Found this. Watched it. Kept saying - it can't get any bigger - can it? And then it did.
Watched it again. And again. Had to share...
Best with the soundtrack, but works fine without.
Oh dear... it's getting longer between posts again...
Soooo... starting with medical stuff. I yet again managed to kick the exercise bike support end and I think I fractured a toe. It's taken until now for the bruising to go and to stop hurting (I think I managed to do it just after my last post, but it may have been a couple of weeks before. Time is doing strange things at the moment... No, it was even longer ago: the first time I tried to wear old and comfy trainers was when I went for hair cut, and at that point I thought everything was healed. It wasn't, and wearing them made the problem flare up again.) Anyway, I can now wiggle my toes - to some extent, it's my right foot, the one with the flexor tendinitis and bursitis, because of course it is. Nothing's ever easy 'round 'ere. [sigh] At least I should now be able to wear my driving shoes again (instead of sandals, which is all I've been able to get on for the last 9 weeks...)
Hobbled up to get my hair cut on the 4th! Jeff took my temperature as I arrived - and it was lower than normal. Might have been because it was very cold and pissing down with rain, but anyway... He was in full face visor, I had to wear my mask, so not the most comfortable of experiences, but YAY! My hair is no longer all in my face.
I think I've previously said how much I like Ryan Reynolds as an actor, and how much I love the Deadpool films. Well, I found this and just had to have it. So it's ordered for next year's Yule present... I must be mad. But what the hell. Some people like expensive cars, or jewellery, or clothes, or shoes - I like custom action figures. Sue me, I dares ya!
It's been at least as busy as usual. We're redecorating and reorganing Ken's home office - the bookcases on the far wall are now gone (one in the shed, one broken up - Kai's put the long planks in the loft to act as supports for storage) and the old but sturdy and near perfect work station has gone to a young woman via Nextdoor (free of course.) Half the painting has been done, the new bookshelves put up on the wall, and it all looks cleaner and less cluttered. Still have to buy and put up the curtain rails (and make the curtain - hoping Dunelm has the fabric I want) and generally tidy up a little, but it's much better already. Photos, perhaps, when it's finished (with a couple of before ones - as you know, I photograph everything.)
In the garden... the egg that mysteriously appeared has just as mysteriously vanished...
The paving is coming on well. It's taking time, as Kai can't really work out there when the soil is wet, and it's rained a lot recently, but every little bit done makes it easier to manouevre around the growing section. Should all be done before Yule.
The holly trees around us are doing wonderful things at the moment - so many berries!
I found this at Tesco for £3 and treated myself...
I've not had much success with roses in the past, but the colour of this plant is fabulous, so I'm going to see how it does. It'll stay in the greenhouse until next spring, then move to the patio area: might pick up another couple of different colours to make a pretty display. It smells wonderful.
Thompson and Morgan had a special order on a month or so ago - buy one citrus plant and get another for 1p. I ended up buying one orange, one lemon, and one lime. Always wanted to try citrus fruit, and they'll sit happily in the greenhouse for most of next year (they're on the windowsill in the lounge at the moment with all my succulents and cacti). Fine down to 5° according to the instructions, so hopefully will do well. I just wish I had a conservatory for them, but... we'll see how we go.
We have been working through the backlog of things to watch. Now started on Deep Space 9 and enjoying it. I managed to find an English subtitled copy of Deathnote: Light up the NEW World on ebay: it was fun to watch but very confusing. Maybe another one you had to be Japanese to fully understand? Worth a second watch, anyway! Then it was Donnie Darko... whoa! That was... very good, but very complex and quite scary - though not as much as Coraline, which we watched last night. Nightmare fodder, that one. But very very good.
That's all I can think of for now, though no doubt there's more I've forgotten. Now I need to go move planters out of the way so Kai can move the slabs that are going to make a level platform for the telescope and lay a few for my potting bench - currently at the back of the greenhouse, needs to come to the front. The weather's not too bad today, sunny spells and quite nice. There's rain forecast for the rest of the week, so we'll get as much done as we can.
Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor
pontificated this at 1:15 pm
Friday, October 02, 2020
Ye gods, is the busyness ever going to end?...
OK. So, in reverse order... we've had the plumbing system cleaned - Tom the Plumber drained everything, put a cleaning lquid through the pipes on Monday - we've had the heating on twice a day to activate it until he came back today to drain it and refill it with inhibitor to help keep everything clear in the future. Can be topped up every few years to keep everything flowing freely.
He's replaced all the horrible old pipes in the bathroom with copper, fitted new bath and basin taps, serviced the boiler and replaced the tatty old hall radiator. He recommended us getting a new boiler (the current one was fitted when Kai was about 5 and isn't the most efficient in the world) but that will cost about £3K, and we'd rather spend the money on having the roof replaced, solar panels installed, and going all electric. Which will cost a lot more, but be much more eco-friendly. I'll start saving...
Anyway, that's all done and safe now, and should be fine for the next decade or so.
Yesterday - probably the last dry and sunny day for the foreseeable future - Kai and I picked the last of the fruit from the trees, put all the windfalls into the compost bin, and I pruned back the fruit tree branches. Hopefully next year I'll be able to save more fruit (pear branches broke this year as they were too long to support the weight of the pears, and an awful lot of apples were blown off in the high winds we had).
The clouds were very pretty yesterday...
There is an egg in the garden.
We can only assume either a random hen has visited or one of our foxes has brought us a present. Not entirely sure what to do with it, so we're just leaving it there for now.
Maybe one of our magpies will eat it...
I painted the areas of the bathroom that still suffer from occasional mould (the window wall mainly) after Tom had left on Monday. Looks great! Ronseal anti-mould paint blends in perfectly with what was already on the walls and made the job a lot quicker and easier. Happier with it now, and it's healthier for us all.
Kai constructed my soft fruit bed last weekend!
We've had to cover the open soil with rocks as we found yesterday the foxes had tried to dig holes. [sigh]
Did I mention Kai has finished putting up the wisteria supports in the front wall of the house? Two rows of long, strong vine eyes every 18 inches with 2.5mm steel wire strung through them (borrowed a ladder through the local Nextdoor community group - I joined a couple of years ago, incredibly handy! - for the top row, as our ladder wasn't long enough to be safe) and has been climbing up and training the fronds along it. It's going to be beautiful once it's properly established. Photos next spring, hopefully!
In the search for my missing spiral orchid supports Kai and I risked venturing into the left hand end of the shed. Didn't find them: I've had to order some less nice ones as I need them now - AO definitely has a flower spike coming -
- and I need to start training it in a spiral very soon. They should arrive this afternoon. However, we were able to clear out some rubbish (and get my Tf action figure boxes up into the loft, where they'll be a lot safer. Kept them as the figures are worth more with their original display packaging.) Will have another go at tidying it all up next reasonably nice weekend we get.
RO is doing splendidly! Quite proud of this as it's the first one I've brought on completely by myself.
I've just had a 'parcel' delivered...
It's my orchid supports...
[Shakes head in... something...] Might be slightly OTT that...
Will get one in place for AO after posting this.
Kai and I had our flu jabs. Reaction hit me very fast and I felt awful for 24 hours - then it just vanished and I was fine. Lasted a bit longer for Kai, but it's now done and hopefully we'll be fine this winter.
Media... The Librarian boxed set arrived and we've watched 1 and 2 - rollicking silly fun, perfect for a rainy Saturday afternoon matinée. And Legends of Tomorrow season 5 arrived, and Ken and I have been racing through it. We thought season 4 was bonkers: season 5 is even more so! Wonderful stuff.
Considerably less wonderful is that some of our post is going missing - stolen, we think. Ken has been collecting old postcards of Brislington for a possible book, buying mostly from ebay. Not overly expensive, but some are incredibly rare - and they haven't been arriving, even with proofs of posting (and one was sent recorded delivery). This goes back to two envelopes containing money sent to us (for work Kai did) earlier in the year from a technophobe acquaintance (who has now been convinced to BACS payments instead) which also never arrived. Envelopes containing Ken's postcards look very similar, and we're sure someone in the PO system is stealing them in case they also contain money. I've opened an official complaint with Royal Mail, as needless to say we are VERY angry about this. So far 5 postcards have gone missing, all of which are pretty much irreplaceable. Not to mention it does Ken's rep no good at all for him to keep having to request refunds from the sellers.