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 since 2007 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.
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).
Sunday, December 20, 2020
It was raining when I wrote the earlier bit. Then it stopped, and I looked out the bedroom window, and there they were - the sky had cleared. So Kai lugged the telescope out, and we had a good look, and he took a load of photos just using my little point and click camera, so not the best quality. But there they are...
Saturn above, Jupiter below. If you squint, you can make out two moons - one of the three we saw at 1 o'clock, and one, very close to the planet, directly opposite.
Hoping it's clear tomorrow so we can see the closest approach, but if not, at least we've seen this. Best anniversary present ever.
Quick update, as I forgot to say earlier...
It's our 31st wedding anniversary tomorrow (for some reason I keep thinking it's the 32nd...) and it's also the occasion of the closest conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter for 800 years. We checked last night and we can see them above the houses on the other side of the road from outside the greenhouse - as long as there are no clouds. So whether or not we'll be able to actually see the moment is open to question. I've been pestering the weather gods with appeals for a couple of hours of clear sky just after dusk... please keep fingers crossed.
EO's new sprig is coming along nicely.
AO's flower spike is also doing well (it refused to allow me to get it to spiral around the support, but that's how it goes when your orchid has a mind of its own...)
One contented, warm and well-fed cat!
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Well I never!
I do enjoy being pleasantly surprised/proved wrong. Two young engineers arrived at the PDSA around lunchtime today: first I knew was when one phoned as we were finishing lunch (vegan 'pulled pork' - made from a tin of jackfruit and a completely delicious home made sauce - in a toasted bun, lovely!) and introduced himself. I went out to the top of the garden and had a nice discussion with him: he said he'd see if the wiring would make it possible to move the light to the side of the big building there - thus pointing parallel to our house, not straight at us - and angle it so it made life easier. I said that would be absolutely ideal, crossed my fingers, and left him to it.
And he did! We now have a little star instead of a floodlight and a mellow glow hitting the PDSA courtyard there as the light is angled down. Obviously we can still see it, but the difference is amazing. Our wildlife have their nature reserve back, and we have our privacy.
I am very happy! Going to drop round there tomorrow (or Sat if it's raining too hard tomorrow) with a card, a thank you note to the manager, a donation and a box of chocs for the staff. They certainly deserve it.
And Kai took his bike in to the new bike place on Sandy Park Rd - he qualified for the new council/govmt £50 voucher to get one's bike serviced: a one-off thing to encourage people to bike instead of drive that has been taken up widely across the city - and a couple of hours later was able to collect it! Apparently they did a great job and he was able to ride it home.
So for once it's been a very successful day, and a major source of stress is gone.
Would be nice if everything went as smoothly, but I'm not complaining!
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Kai and I went outside a couple of times to check it wasn't coming from anywhere else, and I gestured angrily towards BND's house - which I guess he saw on his security camera, because after that the TV (or more likely speaker? I don't know or care how he's arranged his living room as long as it doesn't bother me) volume dropped right back down to normal. Well, the TV is still a little loud, but not enough to cause stress, so we're ignoring it. I suspect it's because Suzanne's hearing isn't so good, I vaguely remember him barking something like that back when we were still letting him speak at us...
Now we have a new problem. Back in 2010 the PDSA at the back of us had a security light installed. It wasn't blinding, but it shone directly into the garden, so I contacted them and asked if they could do something about it. At the time they changed the angle a little, and while it was far from perfect, it did alleviate the glare by enough to allow us to skywatch without too much hassle. Well, on the 24th November they had a new one installed - higher up the wall and absolutely blindingly glaring into the back of the house and all of the garden. It casts shadows through the bathroom and landing windows, floods the garden with an appallingly brilliant white light, and leaves us feeling like we're living under a prison floodlight.
I rang them omn the 25th, explained the problem, and asked if they could do something about it. At some point the engineers turned it - very slightly, nowhere near enough to make any material difference. So I wrote to the manager, dropped it off this Mon, and on Tues had an apologetic email saying they'd referred it to the engineers for them to deal directly with us. Yeah, sure. I'll believe that when I see it.
Well, if they haven't got back to us by next Mon, I'll get their contact details from the PDSA - and probably contact their HQ as well, as this is just ridiculous. We have no privacy and no chance of skywatching (tried to watch for Geminids on the 13th, couldn't see a bloody thing), our wildlife have no security, our quality of life has gone down and my stress levels way up. After all we've done for them, too!!
Very unhappy. Will let you know what happens.
Media... we had a splurge on films. I found The Loft cheap on amazon (bought it for Wentworth Miller, one of my favourite characters in Legends of Tomorrow - we already have Equilibrium, which stars my other favourite LoT actor Dominic Purcell). It was... interesting. Very unpleasant characters but the story was intriguing.
Revolver is fun but has a strange ending. I think it could be taken in several different ways - a method of harmonising character traits, perhaps, or psychological control over 'enemies'... An interesting, open-ended watch. Thanks Wendy - we rather enjoyed it!
Also have to thank Wendy for sending me Her. Kai wanted to see this as well, and... wow. It's one of the most complex, emotionally brutal and oddly uplifting films I've ever seen. We absolutely loved it, and for me it's now a yardstick by which to measure future films. Superb. Not an easy watch, but an I-can-run-out-of-superlatives-SO-easily triumph of cinema.
(Made the mistake of seeing what else the director had done... Jackass?? WHY!!???...)
Kai took out a subscription to Netflix (it has stuff he really wanted to see) so we all settled down to watch Over the Moon, which is beautiful (I caught the main song on tumblr and was intrigued...) Adorable, whimsical, gorgeously animated - yes, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
What I didn't enjoy was going down with a week's dose of gastroenteritis a couple of weeks ago. No fun whatsoever. Would very much like to NOT get that again, plskthnx.
We're currently working our way through Jonathan Creek (got to the end of Season 3 of Deep Space 9 and decided to take a break until after Yule, as we have quite a pile of new films to watch over the season). Such fun!
Then this happened - I cried.
There's more, of course, but nothing too important. We're pretty much ready for the celebrations, and Ken has our anniversary and the next day off, so a short week next week. Our tree and lights went up last week of November - house is very pretty - and all cards have been sent off. Now just planning to take it easy. We're lucky, we don't have visitors over Yule anyway and don't usually go out much, so the tiers/lockdown don't really affect us much.
I did treat myself to something though - My Little Prime (or Optimus Pony, if you prefer...)
The tail moves through 360°.
Big Bad Toy Store, of course. So cute!
All for now. Please stay safe and well, everyone, and we hope you have a relatively stress free Yuletide.