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 :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::

I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.

August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [01/10/14 - Now reached 06/03/2004]

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.











I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!


Silver birch at Eastwood 

Farm

"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)

Autumn...

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:
Muse
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.



Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:
Nestlé

Currently maintaining:
Jenni Roditi
APAG
BCP
Music Inter Alia
Baguette-Me-Not


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 

Sylverthorne

A gift for me! Butch by the very talented Sylverthorne. Click pic for larger image.

Joules' 

Haddock

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...



Kood, my new mp3 

player.

Kood. Constant companion.


Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 

2004

Another gorgeous Valkyrie gift for me - Benten the Albino Alsatian! Click thumbnail for larger image.

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 

by 

Onna

Oekai by Bakayaro Onna - Radittsu at his sexiest...



I now have an Amazon wish list - find it here. But please be warned most of the things on it are yaoi. If you don't like yaoi, or don't know what it is, you probably won't want to take a look.




The Zone Plant from
The Zone 

blog 

plant

OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..Search..::]
::SciFan [>]
- THE place for your S-F reading needs
:: Google [>]
:: Dogpile [>]

Powered By Ringsurf

:: Directory of British Blogs [>]
[::..Friends' Journals..::]
:: Lutra's Pond [>]
:: Romyra [>]
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[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::HubbleSite
Stunning...
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: MailWasher
Excellent anti-spam software
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: ZSPC Colour Chart
Check how your text and background colours look together before releasing them on the world!
:: 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...
:: Union of Concerned Scientists
Exactly what it says. Fascinating - and worrying...

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...)

[::..Anime/Manga..::]
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

Owned:
   DVD
   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

Owned:
   DVD
   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

Owned:
   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

Owned:
   English Manga: Vol 1
   Japanese Manga: Vol 1-7 complete
   Tarot Pack
   R.G.Veda video

Twelve Kingdoms

Owned:
   Anime Vol 1-3 (incl)
Rest needed!

Under the Glass Moon

Owned:
   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust

Owned:
   DVD

   Vampire Hunter D Book 1



New Vampire Miyu

Owned:
   (Studio Ironcat) Manga Vols 1, 3, 4 and 5
Vol 2 needed

Yami no Matsuei

Owned:
   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 and 2
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.
   Sketchbook


[::..Joules SPfied..::]


... this is Terra? How the hell'd I end up here...?

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

[::..archive..::]
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

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quickie before I go fall over...

I've been been enjoying role-playing on tumblr for the past... ye gods, nearly two years! I've made some fun friends, and as a treat to myself I commissioned a picture from Clicha. Clicha is a Transformers fan, and a fine artist. Clicha instituted a phenomenon called Robots-in-suits-January, which I really like...


[g] Ohhh yes...

Clicha is currently looking for commissions to fund getting to AA 2015. Just so's you know!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Cold. It's below freezing out there today. Gloriously sunny though. It's supposed to be the same tomorrow: if it's not too slippery underfoot we'll try for another walk.

Kai did fancy a walk on Monday - along the Whitchurch Way to Whitchurch. It's an old railway track that's been made into a cycle path (the same one that goes past right outside the house) and from here is 2.2 miles each way...


(Ow my legs...) Kai can now do this walk and more without any difficulty - which is wonderful, given that pre-transplant he couldn't climb the stairs without getting breathless and weak.

And regardless of how I feel tomorrow, I'm going to have to walk anyway. Finally managed to get to see the dr about my hip last night, and she's referred me to the muscular-skeleto (I think that's the term) team at the BRI. Apparently the unfused bone might be what's causing the pain and the team will write to me to make an initial appt, but I'm to carry on losing weight (and keep exercising) in the meantime. Oh joy...

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Monday, January 19, 2015





I follow a tumblr blog called The Beauty of Wildlife, which often has amazing photos of foxes. This one really appealed to me (pic is clickable to the original). That expression is exactly what my face frequently looks like when I consider the human species...




I forgot to say - I found out why Kai will have to take penicillin for the rest of his life. Apparently the TBI (Total Body Irradiation) destroys the spleen's ability to handle meningococcal and pneumococcal infections, both of which can be life-threatening. So - penicillin. A small price to pay, we think...

It's a beautiful day today, freezing (almost literally, the outside temperature is around 2°) but cloudless and brilliantly sunny. Hoping Kai feels like a walk when he gets up, although he did walk the Whitchurch Way with Ken yesterday, so might not fancy it.

In the meantime, it looks like Perfume Power has a chance of being republished, possibly as an e-book, so I'm revising it. The science has come on a little way since I first wrote it (and at the very least I have the chance to get rid of the embarrassing number of exclamation marks!) More as it happens.

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2 Comments:

Blogger GoodTwin said...

One can imagine the thought-bubble: "Whut?"

And fingers crossed for Perfume Power - that would be excellent.

11:08 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thank you!
I was, and still am, very pleased with that little book. I'd be delighted to have it accessible to a wider audience.

12:19 am  

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Every now and then I enter - 'starscream figure' - into ebay to see if there's anything new/that I don't have.

And thus I found these...

Yes, they are in fact a set of Transformers: Prime figures - Kinder Egg ones.

I had no idea such a thing existed. Quite adorable, surprisingly sophisticated, and absolutely teeny!


*whispering* I also gave in and have one of these coming for my birthday, found on ebay for a lot less than that...

And Kai's guitar rack arrived.He's upstairs putting it together. Hi last Skype was - "oh. I finished building it and then found the instructions." Which is actually typical for this family...

His follow up Skype - 'it's probably just as well, the instructions are talking about 'soft stuffed legs' and 'activities ring connecting screws'".

Surreal.

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2 Comments:

Blogger GoodTwin said...

'Soft stuffed legs'? Don't you just love Chinglish? :)

7:50 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

ROFL!
Yes indeed...
*pout* The new captcha requires me to tick 'I'm not a robot'! What does captcha have against Transformers!?

12:02 pm  

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Gordon Bennett where did the week go...?

It's been busy, I remember that. Kai and I have been for a couple of walks, I've only got one small bit of sewing left to do and I've finished everything I planned, I'm nearly half way through the Sentinel season 4 summaries, and the freezer is fully stocked again. Monday's BHOC appt went well: Kai is improving steadily, although he's still very fatigued and has enormous difficulty waking up. (Once he is awake, however, he's alert almost right away, which is a definite improvement!)

Today's project is to reorganise his room again. We think we've now worked out the optimum arrangement, and when he's awake are going to try it. It'll give him a lot more room to move in, but it involves moving the bed half into one of the alcoves (where his guitars are at the moment: we ordered a 7-guitar rack last night, which will fit in the chimney-breast space) and it's going to be a bit of a tight fit. However, we've measure it up and I think it can be done. Then he can order a new desk!

Ascension starts tonight. Looks interesting - we'll give it a try.

Heh, if I remember anything more I'll edit the post later...

Later edit:

Joules: Kai is VERY happy with his room. Though I had to chisel out a chunk of... what's it called, that wood around the bottom of walls? and take off the side of the chimney-breast bookcase to make the bed fit.
Lutra: Skirting board?
That's the one! Can't word today... I am supermum again. I don't let anything get in my way!
[beg] But of course!
Only - I used Ken's antique chisel, though I didn't know that 'til he got home...
Oops.

[g] oops
I told him he has to hide stuff he doesn't want me to use.
LOL! or label it? : )
To my credit, I did try to ring him before I started. He didn't hear his mobile ring...
Bonus points there then.

Yerrss... [g]

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Friday, January 09, 2015

Catch up again...

Spoiler alert: I've just watched Only Lovers Left Alive (recommended by Lutra and got as a Yule present from GoodTwin) and it's amazing. I'll talk about it further down under a spoiler warning.

Soooo... what have we been up to? Well, Kai's had another little episode of tinnitus and blurry vision, although that has improved over the last couple of days. Yesterday the weather was glorious, so we went for a walk down to Arno's Vale. Yes, it's a cemetery, but it's also a fabulous nature reserve, with paths everywhere of varying steepness and difficulty. We went up through the woods to the open plateau at the top - the views are fantastic, out to the Cotswolds, but you can't see them when the trees are in leaf so this is the right time of year to go. It took us an hour, and our legs were aching when we got back, but it was good and healthy and all helps to build up Kai's strength and stamina again.

I replaced a whole load of music cassettes with CDs I found on amazon and ebay, and we've been working our way through them - the first five Queen albums over dinner (After Day at the Races they started believing their own hype and got tedious, so I gave up collecting them). Night at the Opera, of course, has the wonderful track '39, possibly the first ever s-f song...


Kai brought the laptop down on Tuesday evening and worked on some art while we played a series of concept albums - Scenes from a Memory (not my favourite Dream Theater album, I must confess, but Kai says it takes a least three listens to really appreciate it), some of Patti Smith's Horses, Welcome to my Nightmare (ye gods, 1975. That's the year I met Wendy and Ken, and it still sounds as good as it did on first hearing. Timeless stuff...) and the first couple of tracks from Diamond Dogs. Of course, the Alice Cooper album has a voice over to Black Widow by Vincent Price, which reminded me we have no Price films...

Half an hour later and we have an extremely cheap amazon order of Dragonwyck (serious classical stuff), The Raven (gloriously funny and distinctly campy), The Tingler (which absolutely terrified me the first time I saw it), and a double set of The Abominable Dr Phibes and Dr Phibes Rises Again (very silly). We'll still need to get the classics Masque of the Red Death, and Fall of the House of Usher, but four will do to start with...

We've nearly finished watching Sentinel season 3 (my IMDb summaries are still being posted): next up is Sky (will write the summaries for that too, since they're currently empty). We still have Twin Peaks and the Battlestar Galactica phenomenon to tackle - plus Charlie Jade from several years ago (watched the first couple of eps and they sent me to sleep, but I should try again as the premise is interesting), and Falling Skies (first ep was so-so, we haven't gone back to it yet). So no lack of entertainment!

Spoiler warning

Only Lovers Left Alive... It's a vampire film, but completely different to any other I've seen. It has a feeling of agelessness, and the characters are perfectly believable and perfectly cast. Many centuries - if not millennia - old, they've transcended concerns for physical things (except, possibly, clothes, though even there what they wear is often decades or centuries old): they live in what can only be described as squalor. Life is difficult: most humans' blood is tainted these days, causing sickness, and procuring safe nourishment can be difficult. And the music is fantastic (the soundtrack is available and has gone straight on my wishlist!) It's a slow-paced, artistic gem of a film. Not for everyone, but I'm very glad I have it!

Edit: Lutra tells me Eve is about 3000 years old and was a druid.

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Saturday, January 03, 2015

Quick catchup - it's been busy, but things seem to be slowing down a little...

So... Kai is looking and feeling better all the time - slowly, it's not a sudden thing, but it's noticeable. He's more alert, and has started programming again. His hair has grown back lighter, but still brown, and I think it may be wavy, but we can't tell until it's a bit longer. It's certainly thick, and very soft.

Not having to schedule in the twice daily itraconasole has eased the pressure a little: he now has main meds around 9 am and 9 pm, with aciclovir, omeprazole and cyclizine around 1 pm. And he's preparing most of them himself (I'm still doing the morning ones).

Things can still go wrong, but it's very promisisng...

Films...

Frozen. Pretty, but formulaic and predictable. I don't see what all the fuss was about. (And I really dislike modern colloquialisms in what is supposed to be an old setting.)

Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games. 20 years on version of the dance phenomenon, with new costumes, new music, new characters - including tap dancing robots!! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tonight it was Non-stop, which is rather good. Mind you, anything with Liam Neeson is usually good. (Well, except GI Joe, but we won't talk about that...)

In other news... I now have a litre bottle of Turkish Delight vodka creating itself quietly in the pantry, and a small bottle of lemon vodka (lemon oil and lemon TD) to see what it's like. Also picked up some orange oil to try making an orange version in the near future.

Less good news is I put on half a stone over the last month - though the good news is it was only half a stone, which should be relatively easy to lose. Fingers crossed!

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Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year! 

Buffet...


Tempted to take a nap - weather is grey and dull, and I ate too much!

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Day +120 

Last BMT clinic of the year - and Prof Marks is very happy. Kai's blood counts are up again, he is now off the itraconasole, and we have to halve the MMF every two weeks over the next six, then stop. He only needs to go for blood reviews every two weeks from now on (unless anything happens, of course, there's a very nasty respiratory virus doing the rounds that has landed two BHOC patients in intensive care... and the MMF has been keeping GvHD at bay, so any rashes and we're to contact them right away) and his next BMT clinic is in six weeks (Day +172)!

All in all - bearing in mind things could still go wrong - a very happy end to what, with the notable exception of the transplant working, has been an absolute bugger of a year. Please let 2015 be better.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

It's a bit chilly here at the moment...

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Oddka Salty Caramel Popcorn flavour - whoa Nelly!! *g* It's good!

I now have a recipe for Turkish Delight flavoured vodka, which I shall be trying as soon as I can pick up some good Turkish Delight!

Found at Sains today for £2.10 in their post-xmas sale...

It's a strange design, and will never replace my true mug, but at that price I couldn't leave it behind...

We have foxes still, and Kai has done two nights of filming them, but the software he used to use for creating compilations doesn't work on his new machine, so he can't post them yet. The foxes are beautiful though. And extremely noisy!

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1 Comments:

Blogger GoodTwin said...

That's a very odd-shaped mug - I have no idea how you would drink from it!

I'm a big fan of many salted-caramel things... :)

11:08 pm  

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mmmmmm(melting)... Made myself an Options orange hot chocolate drink - then added a measure of Cointreau and a big dollop of Sains Taste the Difference thick cream with Mandarin and Valencia orange and Grand Marnier liqueur. I can tell one is never going to be enough...

Yesterday was also very pleasant - calm and relaxing. I did have to nip to Sains for bread and milk, but apart from that we had the usual buffet, then extremely tasty roast beef for dinner. And watched Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which was quite good.

Today I transformed (and built) my new Starscreams - Ghostscream and Constructoscream...

Constructoscream I actually managed to build myself without Kai's help!

With trademark smirk! (And he does transform to jet mode but it's fiddly. Will try some other time.)

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Duck is roasting quietly to itself in the oven, sitting in a bath of Hock: the orange and brandy sauce is made and just waiting to have the pan juices added: the veg is prepared. We'll eat, then watch Dr Who, then have dessert, then watch Frozen (finally!)

It's been lovely and relaxed: the presents are fantastic - four Transformers graphic novels to read (Windblade, Drift, Dark Cybertron vol 2, and Autocracy) - Only Lovers Left Alive and Sky to watch, and some Oddka samplers to drink.

[GLOMPS] to GoodTwin and Sue for indulging my Transformers obsession!

Better go start the veg cooking...

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Well, my venison casserole was a fail. Ken ate it, Kai and I gave up. The sauce provided smelt very nice, but tasted distinctly of liquorice, which I can't stand, and the meat was dry. I ended up making Kai and I pizza instead! (Think I'll give up on venison, I've never yet managed to cook it successfully...)

Then we watched Snowpiercer... wow. Goes straight up there with Cloud Atlas, The Fountain and Sunshine. Took a few minutes to get going but afterwards... what a film.

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Day +113 

Kai's cell counts were up yesterday, which is great! All is continuing well (still fatigued and feeling rough, but we know that's the meds and until they're reduced all we can do is put up with it and cope as best we can). Though he really doesn't like the pentamidine...

Last time I was in the hospice shop I found a crab for 70p!

A friend for Lutra's cuttlefish. Isn't he cute?

(I'm still on the lookout for a velociraptor plushie, in case anyone finds one. But best to let me see a pic of it first, I'm very fussy about plushies...)

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1 Comments:

Blogger Sue said...

Excellent news!

4:52 pm  

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Joyous Solstice! 

And Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary to us!

Ken and went to the Black Castle for lunch - I had two starters (Filo Prawns and Breaded Mushrooms with garlic mayo) and a side of onion rings rather than a main, and very tasty it was too. (Had the Epic Choc-tastic Sundae for dessert. Was very nearly too much!)

My present from Ken:


So cute! I'm not sure I can wear the bracelet any more, there are 40 charms on it now and 10 more waiting: it's less an item of jewellery and more a dangerous personal weapon...

I'm roasting a pork joint on a bed of apples and oranges and cider for dinner. Smelling nice... Afterwards we have Hercules to watch (I was going to wait until the price dropped but soddit...). I'm very tired though, didn't sleep well last night and woke at 5.30 am and couldn't get back to sleep...

Kai is doing very well.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

My chibi Starscream arrived from Hong Kong. Beautiful, sturdy figure with eyes that light up.

Now, 'chibi', by definition, implies 'cute, sweet, awwww-worthy' - but the creator of this has managed to make him look like a malevolent imp.

Cracks me up...


Heh. He's top heavy and refusing to stand up, keeps falling over. Absolutely typical (of the character, I mean, awkward bugger). He's now supported by the long-suffering (blue) Armada Starscream.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Sue said...

Oh, interesting. We obviously played the direct version but I know of an author who plays the indirect version online with fans. She calls it Botticelli and I always wondered why.
Thanks for enlightening me

8:28 pm  

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Remember that 20 questions game we played at the Black Castle? I remembered what I know it as - Botticelli!

Kai's lung function test yesterday was absolutely fine - I think Dr Lowry described it 100% more than they were expecting. Very good results, anyway. She's also very pleased with the way things are going, which is great!

The itty bitty diddy teeny Tf: Animated Prowl I found on ebay. Isn't he just so cute?



And we're just about ready for Yuletide now...

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Monday, December 15, 2014

That was an astonishingly busy but enjoyable weekend. GoodTwin and Sue came over on Saturday: we went out to Almondsbury Garden Centre for Aspen and spider substrate so we can repot both Rosa and Feather, and I picked up a couple of Yule presents as well. So many tempting goodies! Came back with Lindt Cointreau bars for both Ken and I (one of my absolute favourites) as a treat. We ate at the Black Castle (peri peri chicken for me, wonderfully hot and spicy) and played one of Sue's fantastic finds, a people-based kind of 20 questions (I know it has a proper name but I just can't remember it...) It was wonderful to see you both again, and I feel thoroughly rejuvenated (and I haven't laughed so much in ages...) Many thanks!

Sunday was its usual manic busyness.

And today... Well, it didn't start off very well, as Ken forgot we had the appt and didn't wake me up until the taxi had arrived. However, the actual appt was quick: we saw the registrar immediately after the bloods were taken, so were home by 9.30. All is good, and we may be able to start reducing the meds very soon. Won't know til the next BMT appt, but we're hopeful.

Best thing is we have our Kai back. Not sure if that 100 days is a psychological thing, but since it's been up he's been getting brighter and more alert, discussing (and arguing) over the sorts of things we used to (science and cosmology, mostly, though anything is fair game!) - back to normal, almost - every day. It's wonderful. It's such a relief. We're still not taking anything for granted, but if things carry on like this he'll be absolutely fine for uni - and a mostly normal life - before next September.

Thank you, everyone, for your 'fluences and good wishes. They've helped.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

There is no such thing as too many Starscreams...

(The space by Darkscream, right of the top shelf there, is ready for the three new ones coming for Yule - Ghost, Chibi and Constructobot!)

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Day +100 

Well, we're at Day +100, and it feels like a milestone, even if it's been a very low-key day. Kai and I watched Transformers: Age of Extinction again this afternoon, and we had steak and chips for dinner with nuked chocolate puds and ice-cream for dessert. All very tasty!

Yesterday's bone marrow aspirate went very well - very quick and even I could tell the difference between the healthy material extracted yesterday and the awful lack of anything useful from the first biopsy he had. We should get the results at next week's BMT clinic, but he's so much better I'm fairly sure they'll tell us it's now normal. Or perhaps I shouldn't say that, I'm terribly afraid of jinxing things... He's still desperately tired, but with everything he's still going through (those meds are brutal) he's entitled!

Annoyingly though, the BMT clinic we should have had yesterday was cancelled - only nobody thought to tell us. Meant we hung around for longer than we needed to. [sigh and eye roll]

My next two new Starscreams have arrived... Teeny tiny Bayverse one...

... and I finally have a transformable G1 version.

And we now have a Venetian blind at the kitchen window. Finally. It's aluminium and reflects both light and heat back into the room - dead snazzy! Kai had to put it onto the brackets for us as the instructions made no sense whatsoever and he is extraordinarily good at solving such problems.

All in all a good day.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Writer Chick said...

Day 100! Yaaaaahooooo!

Pardon me. I was born in Texas, and don't know any better.

8:24 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

LOL! Don't worry, we did the same, albeit possibly a little more quietly...

12:41 pm  

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Monday, December 08, 2014

Day +97 

Kai's headaches, dizziness and tinnitus have all eased to nothing, and today his weight was up a little bit and so are his counts [phew...], so they're postponing his ENT hearing exam, as at the moment there's no reason for concern (though that might change depending on the MRI results). All told, everyone is very happy with the way things are progressing, Kai is feeling a little better (though still desperately tired, so sleeping a lot), and we're hoping we might be able start reducing meds after Wednesday's clinic. Fingers crossed.

I've been finding new Starscreams...

This Armada one is rather cute! Originally a McDonald's Happy Meal toy, he's on wheels: pull him back and he rushes forwards, and transforms from jet to robot when he hits something (a bit like a botshot).

   

It would have been really nice if the advent calender had chocolate Autobot and Decepticon brands, but instead it's fairly standard stuff, angels, trees, sledges, and this.

I do rather wonder what elephants have to do with Yule...

Managed a little garden work (deadheading) out the front this morning after we got back. Looks a little tidier now.

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Friday, December 05, 2014

Day +94 

Busy as usual. Wednesday's BMT Clinic went OK: Kai's fatigue and loss of appetite isn't unusual, it seems. Advice is to nap when he needs to throughout the day, and to graze - eat little and often. His weight is fairly stable right now, but he can't afford to lose any. His MRI was yesterday late afternoon: result will take a week to ten days.

On the plus side, he's (suddenly) developed an interest in clothes, and I'm now on the lookout for retro styled garments. We've already bought him a very nice trenchcoat (£5 on ebay!), a handful of scarves, and two dark green pure cotton shirts (small, button-down collar) from Sainsbury's new winter range. I'm looking for a couple of v-neck sweaters next (I don't have a specific style in mind but will know it when I see it) and a loose cowl neck one (not so easy). It's back to scouring the charity shops!

(And yes, I know that's inviting 'your mother dresses you funny' jokes, but so far he's loved what I've found.)

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2 Comments:

Blogger Writer Chick said...

Also invites "Wow, your mom has good taste!" comments, which seem more likely ...

9:42 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

*grins* That's what I'm hoping for, I must confess. I'll see if he'll let me photograph him dressed up... but don't hold your breath...

9:47 pm  

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Monday, December 01, 2014

Day +90 

... but... what??

(The Astronaut's Cookbook: Tales, Recipes, and More looks useful, but not at £92.29 plus another £10.24 p&p!)

Kai still feeling rough. We're to reduce his tacrolimus and he's been changed to an anti-histamine anti-emetic in the hopes that might help.

Put up Yule decorations yesterday...

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2 Comments:

Blogger GoodTwin said...

hee, some of those books are genuine but others clearly written to be weird. I like the sound of "Squids will be squids" though...

5:22 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

*g* LOL! Indeed...

8:06 pm  

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Day +88 

Wow. Eight hours sleep last night, probably the most I've had in a year!

Did I mention I found a Transformer advent calender at The Range?

Of course I bought it for me - you're never too old for an advent calender! - but then felt a bit guilty, as we really can't risk Kai having one because of his clean diet. So I gave it some thought, and over the last week have made him what may be the biggest advent calender in the world...


There are individual mini chocolate bars in the pockets (and a few non-edible fun things as well). I'm quite pleased with the way it's come out. Yes, it's simplistic, but I didn't have a lot of time (had to make it while Kai was asleep in the mornings).

The wol isn't quite as pretty as I'd like, but the 25 on the wing works well, I think.

And because I don't trust anyone -


It's very large - four and a half feet in length and correspondingly wide. Kai seems quite chuffed with it though!

He's feeling a bit better today - we went over to the nature reserve for a walk this afternoon. The report on Friday was that they couldn't find anything in his blood review, and he has no infection markers, so they think it's either a virus or the meds (same as the Thursday doctor). However, to be absolutely sure, he's booked in for a head MRI next week (because of the headaches he keeps getting), and then he'll have a thorough ear exam (to check if his occasional tinnitus has an obvious cause). Fingers crossed...

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2 Comments:

Blogger GoodTwin said...

What a super idea. I love your wol!

Glad to hear it doesn't seem to be anything serious. I have everything crossed.

11:28 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thank you - and thank you. He was snuffly tonight - it may be the first cold of his slow climb back to normal immunity. None of us are going to enjoy that process...

12:29 am  

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Day +87 

So after three days of Kai gradually feeling worse and worse, tonight he was worried enough for me to get him into the BHOC (his temperature is fine, rash the same, no obvious physical problems just increasing weakness, muzziness, pain and general ickiness). Bloods taken for review, ecg run and throat swabs taken, and he's staying for what's left of the night so they can repeat the blood review in a few hours, prior to him taking his tacrolimus meds. The dr we saw couldn't find anything obviously wrong, so she thinks it's either a virus brewing in the background, or drug toxicity. We should know tomorrow, before he has his pentamidine nebuliser.

I've just got back. I've been up since 7.30 yesterday morning, and really need to be up by 8 this morning. Is it worth while going to bed? I ask myself...

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Day +82 

Everything still going OK. We went for a walk this evening and watched the sunset at the Callington Rd Nature Reserve - very pretty and of course I forgot my camera...

We did watch Tf: Age of Extinction on Friday, and all enjoyed it (I loved it!) Both Kai and I want to watch it again soon, as it's so detailed it's very easy to miss things even the second time around.

We've nearly reached Season 3 of The Sentinel too - and I've picked us up the complete Twin Peaks, as Kai expressed an interest in it, and it is, of course, the definition of a cult classic. Will start that after The Sentinel.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day +79 

Another catchup...

Monday's appt was a little worrying - they thought, from his previous blood review, that Kai might have Epstein-Barr virus (extremely common, apparently, the one that causes glandular fever). Luckily his Monday review came back with all the virus markers negative, so that's all good. His RBC and platelets were down on the previous week, but not enough for them to worry about. We'll see what happens next Monday.

Sains had How to Train your Dragon 2, so I picked it up - along with Transformers: Age of Extinction which we're saving 'til Friday, since it's 2 hours 40 minutes long. HTTYD2 is an absolute delight, well deserving the 8.1 the IMDb gives it, hugely enjoyable. Although it rather threw me that the head of the Bewilderbeast looks startlingly similar to Megatron/Galvatron's head in TfP: Predacons Rising (best image I can find is here).

Later edit: there's a similar pic of the bewilderbeast here for comparison, but that image is a spoiler so only go look if you've seen the film or don't mind spoilers.

Kai is feeling generally noticeably better, we're still going for walks nearly every day, and his hair has started growing back. Not enough to tell what colour it's going to be, yet, but enough to provide some protection from the cold (over and above his hats, that is). I have his permission to post this photo (make the most of it, he doesn't like doing it!) so you can see. He's also looking much better these days: everyone at the BHOC keeps remarking how well he looks!


Finally remembered to ring for the results of my x-ray. News is basically good - my hip joints are normal with no unusual wear and tear, and no arthritis (yet), but I have a section of 'unfused bone' at the top of my left femur that might be what's causing the pain. I have to make an appt with Dr Reading for an examination, and may be referred to a specialist. Oh joy. In the meantime, it's not something to be too worried about, so I suppose I just take it as easy as I can manage and not carry anything too heavy. (Yeah, right.)

Otherwise things are trundling along as normal. I'm hoping to get back to Poppy before Yule...

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Day +75 

... where did the week go?

In brief - slow (very slow but noticeable), steady improvement. Kai's been out for four walks (one with Ken) and is finding it easier all the time, though he's tired the next day. He's determined to get strong again as fast as he can though. His excellent appetite should help!

Yule shopping is well underway (folks' parcels were sent off Thursday and arrived yesterday).

Picked up How to Train your Dragon - in advance of HTTYD 2, which is supposed to be out tomorrow, hoping to pick it up right away - and watched last night. Absolutely loved it.

Garden tidy-up continues. At some point I have to fill in all the gaps in the greenhouse with bubble wrap and set my sulphur candle going (then perhaps my cucumbers will grow next year). Everything is now planted except the viburnum - it's not going to sit well where I had planned, so we're going to have to find another position for it.

Still desperately tired. And aching. Legs seem to be getting worse: now waking up at least twice a night with the pain. I forgot to ring for x-ray results on Friday: will try to remember after tomorrow's BHOC appt.

Trying for an early night. Think it'll happen?

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day +70 

The garden is pretty at this time of year, even on a grey drizzly day...

Monday's appt went well, everyone still very happy with progress. It was cold and sunny: we went for a nice longish walk in between blood review and seeing the doctor. There's a pretty 'woodland' walk along the side of the hill behind the hospital (I'll try to remember to take photos next time. It's very pleasant and flat, designed for patients to get some fresh air, gentle exercise, and see something natural rather than walls), then a little way down and back up 'cardiac hill'. Kai managed it better than me, although he is very tired today.

We got back before ten (would have been earlier but I had to pick up some more MMF at the onsite Boots) to find my trees had been delivered and left on the patio area, as requested. Made Kai lunch, dived out for a Sains shop (specifically to pick up X-men: Days of Future Past) then we planted them up in the veg bed. Going to look beautiful next spring! I'll take photos then, they're pretty much bare branches right now.

After dinner we watched the new film, and enjoyed it, though I could see the plot holes this time round. It was fun though!

Today is dull and drizzly. However, it seems the problem with the DVD recorder is just with one tape, as it will happily record everything else, so I'm still transferring stuff. Ken's archived material today - the 1987 Second Tiverton Fire Show (great fun, and Ken was in it), a Wire programme filmed at the Galleries that Ken was also in, and currently the Most Haunted Live (2007) which was filmed in Bristol. All four hours of it. [headdeskheaddeskHEADDESK] I cannot adequately express how much I hate that programme. I shall need to bleach my brain when it's over, and I certainly deserve a medal...

Hoping to finish the curtain for this room after lunch.

I probably forgot to say we're watching The Sentinel, an ep a day - halfway through Season 2 now, and thoroughly enjoying it. It transferred surprisingly well and the quality is fine.

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Day +68 

Two thirds of the way through...

It's been completely manic. In the past four days Kai and I have been for two walks while the weather's been nice, one of them to the Callington Road nature reserve; I've done vast amounts of Yuletide shopping; Ken and I have planted the tamarind, cornus and escallonia out the front, the two red cyclamen and the new hibiscus out the back, the tulip bulbs are planted, and Ken's dug the holes up at the top ready for the trees tomorrow; I went to Sth Briz Community Hospital for my x-ray, via the town to search for scarves for Kai (he's feeling the cold, and not having any hair isn't helping. I found a couple of quite nice ones in charity shops); we're nearly halfway through The Sentinel season 2; and we found time to watch Winter's Tale, which I picked up reduced at Tesco. (We enjoyed it. It's only inspired by the book - which is one of my favourite five of all time - but it gets across the ambience of the work surprisingly well. I could have done without the heavy-handed angel/demon thread though).

There was a lot more but I'm tired and my memory is a bit hazy. I still have to plant my irises, and X-men: Days of Future Past is out on DVD tomorrow - will need to pick that up - and I still haven't finished my last curtain, but otherwise the basic clearing up and sorting out of the house is not far off being done. There's always fine tuning, of course, but I do that as I go along.

Have decided to do duck à l'orange for the 25th December, been a while since I've made it and we do like it. Unfortunately I've left it too late to organise anything for our anniversary this year: the Glassboat is booked solid right through December and into January. Pity - it's our 25th and it would have been nice to go there. However, with Kai recovering we've decided not to bother with anything very special out: I've bought a good pork joint to roast and we'll all watch a film together after dinner instead.

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