Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: 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... [30/12/15 - Now reached 01/08/2004]
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.
Sunday, February 07, 2016
I bought a webcam (a little cheapie, all I could find locally) and a mic from Wilko a week ago, and this morning finally managed to get everything set up and working. After 15 (16?) years of friendship on ICQ/skype, Lutra and I finally saw and spoke to each other for the first time!
It was wonderful! Didn't talk for long - her cubs were watching films, and I had to make brunch before Kai and I went out for a walk - and the video and audio quality is of course not perfect, but it was fantastic. Planning to do it again Tuesday, with the aim of making it easier to write together.
Better get that new first chapter of the Leander project drafted!
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
I think I've finally just about finished the spring cleaning (YAY!).
Shed next. Oh joy.
We've finished Agents of SHIELD season 1 and are half way through season 2 - it's terrific! I also took a couple of hours last week to watch Atonement... mm. Excellent, extraordinary film, but heart-rending and very depressing. Maybe. Depends on how you view it. Not K&K's sort of thing though.
I've also now read through The Complete AllSpark Almanac and it's fantastic. New characters include Depthcharge and Cheetor from Beast Wars, Chromia and Drift from IDW, and Sideswipe (from every continuity), and a completely new Maccadam's menu.
New. Includes Swerve, the owner of Swerves on board the Lost Light (MTMTE), Rung the eternal psychiatrist, and Knock Out from TF:Prime.
Wonderful. Many thanks GoodTwin!
Finally got to start swimming again yesterday. If I get there at 7 am I have time for a decent swim before getting back to wake Kai at 8 to get in for his first lecture at 10. Only managed 8 lengths, and my arms and ribs are aching today, but it's been two months since I last went so that's not too bad. Will aim to go every Monday: it's a great start to the week!
Now the serious upgrading of the BCP site begins. I also need to tackle JAT, but not quite sure what to do with it...
Monday, January 25, 2016
Kai's last exam, last Thurs, went OK - he thinks - so fingers crossed. He took Fri off to just flump, then he and Ken went to Glastonbury on Sat while I went on the Will's Tower tour. It's a very impressive building...
The entrance hall.
The Life Sciences dept.
Real time tectonic movement around the globe. Very busy to the east of Australia!
The great hall.
Alas, I couldn't make it to the top: the sight of this last stairway just brought on claustrophobia. I might have risked it if there had been handrails - but there weren't.
We watched Mad Max: Fury Rd on FilmFlex after dinner. Not really my thing, but Kai quite enjoyed it and now wants to see the originals for comparison. Oh joy. They're bound to be on TV at some point...
Usual Sunday, and today Kai is back to uni. His timetable is a little more packed than first term, so even with his gradually improving stamina I expect him to be pretty exhausted by term's end.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
We arrived at Coombe Dingle Sports Centre
on Friday with plenty of time to spare - which gave the assembled 700 or so students plenty of time to continue panicking. However, the exam wasn't as bad as Kai was expecting - he thinks he's passed - but in any case, we found a self-cetificating 'extenuating circumstances' form on the uni website, which we filled in and Kai sent off. Just as insurance, a safety net in case he gets into his seat and his mind goes completely blank. It relieved some of the stress, so was good just for that.
I promised him a day out on Sat, and we went to Wells to walk the path from the Bishop's Palace to the tiny hamlet of Dulcote. Only a mile or so, but a nice little walk, with great views of Glastonbury Tor.
The sunset was quite pretty too.
Sunday was the usual busyness, with Kai revising for his maths viva (15 minute oral exam), which was yesterday. We managed to miss two no. 1 buses so ended up on the X39 to the bus station and then walked (the exam was in the Merchant Venturer's Building, Kai's 'base'). We went via the Griffin pub, which has an escapee hanging from the upper window:
The viva was OK, Kai thinks. Afterwards we walked up to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, then came back via Wild Oats and Phil's - I'm stocked up with degradable swing bin liners and buckwheat flour again.
And we're all rewatching Agents of SHIELD (well, Ken's watching it for the first time as it was a bit late for him to catch on TV the first time around). I bought seasons 1 and 2 from amazon: season 3 is on TV at the moment and Kai and I started watching, only to realise that we somehow completely missed season 2...
It's even better the second time around!
Thursday, January 14, 2016
First David Bowie, now Alan Rickman. 2016 has got off to a truly lousy start.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
So, in the last week we've watched Europa Report (which we got for Kai for Yule - pretty good film!), found the way to the Coombe Dingle Sports Centre, where Kai will sit his exams on Fri and next Thurs; bussed to Park St today so Kai could check and register the calculator he needs for Fri (certain functions aren't allowed in the exam); and managed to get out for several walks. And I've started watching and writing up Starhyke. Heh. It doesn't improve on a second viewing, alas...
Busy as ever, in other words. Doesn't help that I'm spring-cleaning in between everything else (well, spring-clearing, really, going through old files and folders and chucking out defunct stuff, always satisfying). And fitting in the client stuff that rolls in.
All jolly good fun!
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Possible spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens below, just in case we aren't the last people on the planet to see it!
Brief catch up.
Yesterday Fiona (APAG member from down the road who has a large SUV) very kindly took Ken and I and Feather, in her vivarium, to the Bristol Reptile Emporium, who will get her used to being handled again before rehoming her. Very sad to see her go, but it's for the best for her.
We've finished watching Toast of London seasons 1 and 2, and tonight watched the first two eps of season 3...
I like Matt Berry. I first saw him in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and fell in love with his magnificent voice. He was very good in The I.T. Crowd, and I liked him in The Mighty Boosh too, but he's terrific in Toast.
Season 1 was completely surreal, Season 2 a bit patchy: I felt it missed the mark in places. But season 3... well, the first ep had me laughing aloud (as opposed to the muted chuckling the rest has garnered). Very, very funny. Dry and droll and very nicely done. The man is a genius. A surreal and shameless one, admittedly, but astonishingly refreshing. And I've put a 'Yes I can hear you, Clem Fandago' t-shirt on my amazon wishlist. It would be great fun to wear it out and see how many people got the reference!
Today Kai and I finally got to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens...
Hm. Well, it was pretty. Very nice to have a female main character. BB8 is just adorable and we'd like seven please.
But it was mightily predictable. Perhaps I should have expected that, having watched all six previous films in the last two weeks. Perhaps that's its appeal to many of the older fans (I should add that I saw A New Hope in the cinema when it was first released. My initial reaction was irritation that someone had beaten me to it, since I'd already started writing what would later become the Haadri Project and of course, it too is set 'in a galaxy far far away'... I do not call myself a fan. I'm not sufficiently enamoured of the phenomenon for that. But I do like the breadth of scope and the world-building.) I don't think it deserves the 8.5 it has at the IMDb, though.
Monday, January 04, 2016
YAY! Finally! We have new front and patio doors...
Ordered them a couple of months ago and they were installed today. The front door is actually a rich dark green, and they'll be coming back to install the slimline knocker we requested which somehow slipped the delivery staff's attention.
Highest spec. we could afford, composite doors, security glass, and Clyde-built locking system. Very happy! That's one less thing to be stressed about - the old front door was so flimsy it would have given way with one kick. (I can say that now it's forever gone! Also, it means I don't have to paint it, which I was going to have to do this year.) Admittedly the alarm would then have gone off, but all the same... Done by the local company Crystal Clear, who were fantastic: arrived just after 8 and were gone, having cleaned up behind themselves really well, by 2.30.
I can't believe how warm it is in my room now I don't have the cold and the draft coming in...
Saturday, January 02, 2016
Tch', I forgot to say... GoodTwin and Adrian recorded that wonderful The Last Flight of the Vulcan Bomber programme that was on TV on the 3rd Dec! Many thanks. Haven't rewatched it yet as Ken wants to see it and we haven't found an hour when we can all sit and indulge, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
K&K have been out on buses today, 178 to Bath via Radstock and all the little villages along the way, then back on the 279 (which does the same but in reverse). Four hours in total. Lots of countryside. Not a bad way to spend a grey, rainy day!
I've done some more tidying. My tree is packed away: we'll do the rest of the decorations tomorrow. I know 12th night isn't until the 6th but we have a very busy start to the week...
Friday, January 01, 2016
Well, things cheered up a little after the supper buffet, and we saw 2016 in with a smile. After all, 2015 wasn't bad, really: Kai's transplant was a success and is still holding, and he started uni and apparently achieved 95 points this first term (I'm going to assume that's pretty good and ask him for more details when he wakes up. Which probably won't be til this afternoon).
I didn't sleep very well, and woke up too hot, so came down at 6 and watched John Wick: extremeley violent but very enjoyable, and it seems there's going to be a prequel out this year. Regular readers will know Keanu Reeves is one of my guilty pleasures, and he's terrific in this.
Forgot to say: Ant-man was fantastic! I'd expected it to be fun, but it was much better than that. Looking forward to the sequel now!
10.30 and I can hear stirrings upstairs (that'll be Ken: Kai won't surface for hours yet). Better make a start on the New Year's Day buffet...
Oh, the London fireworks just get better each year. You can see them here, about half way down the page. I wasn't so keen on the music this year though.
Edit: it's actually Kai, deciding to have a go at regularising his sleeping habits byt getting up early(er) and having breakfast!
Thursday, December 31, 2015
although with Kai saying he's feeling dreadful again I don't know how much of a celebration we're going to have. Still, we'll see 2016 in with the usual glass of Buck's Fizz and see how we feel tomorrow.
Labels: Happy New Year
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Kai's had his penicillin and it'll be half an hour before he can eat, so catching up quickly before I cook.
That was a really, really nice day... Quiet, as planned, but the gifts all went down well, and the dinner was fine!
Apparently, prawn cocktail is now a retro starter! We don't care, we lubs it.
Stealth bomber Megatron with rail gun! Gorgeous design.
Windblade. Love the heels!
My bee. It's beautiful, and comfortingly heavy and chunky. Feels great to wear.
Today's buffet. Was delicious!
and I found these little darlings in the Wells ironmongers - adorable serviettes.
Dinner is the usual cold meats with creamed spuds and salad, and a salted caramel cheesecake to follow. Never had that before, but we really like salted caramel ice cream, so hopefully this will prove as nice!
Then it's The Phantom Menace with bacon and maple syrups crisps and popcorn...
Thursday, December 24, 2015
The solstice was our 26th anniversary. Ken met me after work at the Lowdekka and we had steak and chips - not the most exciting of meals but I've been really fancying steak just recently and I'm not that good at cooking it properly (well, mine is OK, I just throw it under the grill for 90 seconds each side, but Kai prefers his fried near well-done and Ken medium, and I just can't get it right...)
And Ken found the most gorgeous card...
Kai's BMT clinic went well yesterday: his blood counts are fine, his haemoglobin 'robust' (so he's starting venesection at the end of Feb next year), and his vitamin D levels acceptable, which is all great. Afterwards we dropped into St Nick's market, then to the hidden church on Castle Green, then bussed up to Broadwalk to get chicken tikka pieces for the Boxing Day buffet. We stopped half way home to watch the ISS fly over - all wonderfully satisfying.
Today we planned to go see The Force Awakens, but we both had miserable, broken nights and he felt really quite ill, so we're going to try for next week instead. I shopped, then Ken and I watched It's A Wonderful Life while Kai went back to bed. He's still asleep - best thing for him right now - and I'll make dinner for about 8.30 (Scottish venison meatballs: I'll make a light wine sauce and serve them with tagliatelle.) Just hope it's nothing serious: his temperature was OK, and Prof Marks was happy with him yesterday. It would be really nice to have a worry-reduced Yule.
Oh yes - meant to say that we've watched all of the first season of Robots in Disguise now (courtesy of Lutra) and while Kai really enjoyed it and wants to see more, I found it a little disappointing. Except for Grimlock. It had the best and funniest Grimlock ever. Fingers crossed season 2 comes out in a boxed set too.
All my IMDb eps now done and posted. Taking a wee break before starting the next batch in the new year.
I really like breaded garlic mushrooms with garlic mayo, and usually treat myself to some at Yule. However, this year everywhere I tried has been sold out. No garlic 'shrumps anywhere! Very annoying. Mind you, it seems to be a global mushroom problem...
So not just me then.
But as it happened, Sains had some when I got there today, so I now have two bags in the freezer!
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Aaaaand another catch-up...
Most of the Yule shopping is now done, although it did take three trips yesterday.
Kai has finally recovered from that particularly nasty bug (it even hit Ken, and he is usually resistant to them!) and is feeling much better - although the knowledge that he now has a month off is probably helping! He's done incredibly well this year, and with his blood counts still stable we're being cautiously optimistic that the worst is now in the past. He has a BMT clinic on Wed, so we'll see how he's doing then.
I've finished the Jupiter Moon IMDb ep summaries (all 150 of 'em, yay!). Just have five more Beast Machines and three more Vampire Princess Miyu eps left to do (aiming to finish those before the 25th). In the new year I shall start writing the ep summaries for Starhyke, Night Walker, the BBC version of the Narnia Chronicles, which I picked up from St Pete's Hospice as a boxed set, and The 12 Kingdoms (we have the first ten eps: I've bought the rest of the series on ebay. 45 eps in total, so a bit of a commitment again).
We're currently re-watching the original Star Wars films, as Kai fancies seeing the new one in 3D at the cinema. We're hoping to go at lunchtime on xmas eve, in the hopes that most fans will have already seen it, and everyone else will be in town frantically doing last minute shopping. The place won't be empty, but at least it may not be packed!
... I'm sure there were several more things I wanted to say, but the brain is lagging atm. I'll add a later edit if needed!
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Kai and I watched the lift off before he headed off to uni this am. Was brilliant!
Kai bought one of these (not from this seller) with some of his Yule present money when he got back this evening. He's going to see if it will hang from the ceiling: if so, we'll paint the alcove at the foot of his bed as a spacescape and see about organising lighting...
It fits in with his advent calender theme - badges, pins and patches of keynote space programmes. I'm going to have some sewing to do over Yule.
And I've just joined the Bumblebee Conservation Trust with the last of my Yule cash!
Tripped is on at 10. Kai and I watched the first ep last week and were most intrigued. Looking forward to seeing where it goes!
Monday, December 14, 2015
The trip out with Kim was great! Almondsbury have started their expansion, and their café is now terrific, bigger, much more luxurious, with a greatly expanded menu but the prices still extremely reasonable. It was really most enjoyable.
However, they no longer sell greenhouse glass separately: it works out too expensive. Luckily we have SOS Glass and Glazing up Sandy Park Rd, so I had the panes cut there (£4.70 a pane, not too expensive). Ken and I put the new glass in yesterday, so my greenhouse is now fine for the winter.
The rest of the week has been shopping, cleaning and housekeeping my C-drive. Photos and emails now archived, and my pop email account sorted (imap was driving me nuts)
On Sat Ken and I went to Street and Wells, looking for a new wok and a new bodywarmer for me (mine is now about 15 years old and distinctly tatty!) Found a lovely retro gilet in leather instead, with pockets. Lots and lots of pockets. It's the pockets that are most important for me, and this has loads. It's waterproof and windproof, of course, but only has minimal quilting, so won't be all that warm - solved that by finding an assortment of warm tops and jumpers in a variety of charity shops! (And I'm still on the lookout for a bodywarmer, but it's not so important now.)
Also found a good wok in our favourite ironmonger in Wells, so altogether it was a very successful day.
Yesterday after dinner we wrote, enveloped and addressed the Yule cards, and I got them all in the post this morning. Ye gods I'm organised!
It's Kai's last week of term, and he is heartily relieved. It's been hard for him, but he's done incredibly well, and we're very proud of him. I've told him next weekend he can sleep as much as he wants and I'll just wake him for dinners!
Linkedin have found another selection of choice jobs for me...
(... nuclear decommissioning!??)
Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Right, what have we been up to?
Actually, quite a lot of clearing up. I generally like to have the house properly clean for the new year, so have started early...
But on a more interesting note, GoodTwin and Sue came over to visit on Saturday, and enormous fun was had! And it's now confirmed that when it comes to quizzes, I'm rubbish at Sport and General Knowledge, but surprisingly good at Geography. And it wasn't even lunar or Martian geography!
[GLOMPS] to you both, I had a wonderful day.
Sunday was the usual manicness. Yesterday I had my appt for my arm, and the physio confirmed that yes, it's bursitis (colloquially, 'tennis elbow') and gave me a steroid injection (ow, but only for a few seconds) and told me to stretch and exercise. Exercise and stretch the arm every hour when I take the break from the computer that the other physio told me I must do to make sure I keep my hip more or less problem free. And I'm to go swimming as often as I can, and use back and front crawl as much as I can. So it's doctor's orders!
This is all great, and if I follow instructions and don't try to carry too much it should sort itself out.
Today Kim and I are heading off to the local tip to finally dump the extinct printer and scanner in the office equipment recycling bin, and then on to Almondsbury garden centre (fingers crossed for greenhouse glass). Kai is taking today off - he's still exhausted, poor Childe, his tutor isn't in today, and he's better off working the labs at home when he's tired, as he then isn't distracted by other people asking him for help. But term ends on the 18th, the day of his second and last MMR injection, and he then has a month off (well, he has three exams in Jan but they're quite widely spaced) so will be able to rest as much as he can and recuperate ready for the spring term. He's doing fantastically well, given that it takes two years to fully recover from a stem cell transplant and he's only had one.
On a final note, the last two eps of this season's Dr Who... sublime. Gobsmacking. I've not been too impressed with the rest of the season, but these two eps left me speechless. I'm hoping the DVDs come out with three eps at a time on them, but if we have to buy the complete series, so be it. It'll be worth it to have the finale.
Thursday, December 03, 2015
Later edit: I can't see a way to embed Youtube videos any more, but this has a sublime selection of Vulcan howls.
... I have goosebumps...
Yesterday proved to be very successful, despite getting off to a bit of an awkward start. But I found my Vulcan in Hawkin's Bazaar -
- and bought it for Yule from in-laws. I fell in love with this plane when I was about 5 and first saw - and heard! ye gods, you never, ever forget that howl - one at an airshow. Waaay back in college I bought and made one of these (painted it black covered with silver stars and hung it from my bedroom ceiling), took it to uni with me, but sometime in the last few decades it got lost or vanished or something. I always meant to replace it... And yes, it's XH558, the Spirit of Great Britain.
Watched The Last Flight of the Vulcan Bomber on 4 earlier in the week. Fingers crossed someone puts it out on DVD. Made me cry...
Also found a couple of bandanas for Kai. His hair's so long now the curls get in his eyes, and he thought this might be a good way to solve the problem. They really suit him, give him a thoroughly rockstar look!
And Dr Lowry is happy with progress. She's OKed him to take proprietary cold meds, had his chest x-rayed to check the slight squeak is just mucus from the bug and nothing worse (very unlikely in her opinion), and confirmed that with his weakened immune system these things take longer to clear than with other people. That will improve as his health does.
So, all good then! And today I've initiated the transfer of the WaveWrights domain to 123-reg - it seems like it's the only way we're going to be able to get email working properly - and so far it's going well.
Oh, and I spent a little more Yule cash on this -
- gorgeous dichroic glass pendant from Fused Elegance on Etsy. Absolutely beautiful jewellery! Most people know I don't wear a lot, and don't often find anything I really like, but I fell in love with this!
Annoyingly, three panes of glass in my greenhouse have smashed - from the inside out. Only thing I can think of is the hoe fell from where it was (I thought securely balanced) and hit the glass. Very annoying, but at least it's winter, there's nothing vital in there, and I should be able to replace the panes fairly easily, either ready-cut at Almondsbury Garden Centre's greenhouse dept or at the glass place just off Sandy Park Rd.
Oh, and T&M replaced the failed peach tree with an absolutely beautiful specimen. Ken and I planted it this evening - looks good! Excellent customer service - must email and thank them.
Tuesday, December 01, 2015
... wow... I have an afternoon with nothing planned!
What on earth shall I do with it?
Remember my orchid, the one that produced a second flower spike?
It's still flowering, and it looks like it's produced a third flowerspike!
And we put the decorations up on Sunday, as planned...
Kai is fascinated by deer at the moment, especially stags, so that's been the focus this year!
I've started picking up dvds to watch over the season - Ant-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (now that it's really cheap), Scrooged (traditional Yule fare which I thought we had but can't find anywhere...) and Arthur Christmas (because it looks fun!). We're really hoping The Martian will be out by then too...
Off to potter a bit. The rest of the week will be busy as usual.
Friday, November 27, 2015
Gordon Bennett, this is getting ridiculous!
Yes, I am still here (though both Kai and I have truly awful colds at the moment, the sort that actually had me incapable of doing anything for a couple of days, and that has kept Kai home all week). I haven't managed a swim in two weeks (I miss it...!) but I do at least now have a working knowledge of html5, css5, and the WaveWrights site is now on the server at 123-reg. There are a few broken links, I know: will see about running a sitelevel search for all of them later, but if anyone finds any, please let me know. The password protected subdirectory isn't accessible yet, as apparently WW is on one of 123's new hosting plans and the instructions for that are slightly different from their support pages (well, of course they would be. When is anything ever simple and straightforward for us?) I'm waiting on tech support and hopefully will have everything up and running by the weekend. End of the weekend at any rate.
Kai and I did make it to Weston Sunday before last. It was cold and windy, but quite exhilarating for all that.
We're going to put up the Yule decorations on Sunday. Kai wants everything sparkly and joyful and playful and pretty this year. With tinsel. Lots and lots of tinsel. He's going to enjoy this Yule! And I've had great fun planning the theme for his advent calender this year - more once he's started opening things...
In other news... I'm arranging to rehome Feather. Much as I don't want to lose her, I have to admit that I simply can't give her the sort of life she deserves. She's now got too big for me to handle easily, and it's simply not fair to keep her here when I can't give her the attention she deserves. The Reptile Emporium have agreed to take her: I'm waiting on them letting me know when they have space.
I shall miss her.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Well, at least it's only a week this time...
Been a bit of a fraught week though. Very high winds blew down one of the fence panels overnight on Friday: on Saturday we all went out to haul it back up and wire it in place temporarily until we can sort out a more permanent solution. Of course, next door came out to stick his oar in (while I was in the greenhouse), telling Ken he'd acquired a cross piece (at great expense) and would come onto our land to repair it, and also give us paint to repaint the thing. This led to an exchange of letters, the final result being him claiming entire ownership of the fence - despite it being on our property and despite his first words to Ken when we bought the house being that the concrete uprights were on our land and therefore it was our responsibility.
Fine. I've put up with twenty four and a half years of constant whining and nagging and bitching and bullying. He wants it, he can have it. That absolves us of any and all responsibility for helping with its upkeep. Our original plan, once we had the cash, was to remove it and replace it with a good, solid wall. The mortgage is cleared next March and we will finally have cash available to make the improvements we want, so I have spent a couple of days organising quotes. We will still have it built, but next to the fence. It'll mean losing the rubus shrub that came with the house (although I rescued two rooted branches that are now happily flourishing up on the slope), hard pruning, sleeving and lifting the pyracantha in the hope I can persuade it to recover when replanted, and possibly disassembling the greenhouse temporarily, but we'd have had to do that anyway.
I have someone coming (today or Monday) to take a look, measure up and give me two quotes, one for a wall to match the one on the other side of the garden (which will almost certainly be too expensive) and another much cheaper option. Fingers crossed!
Oh, and I must remember to update my complaint with the Avon and Somerset Constabulary over the weekend.
Monday's sunrise on the way to the pool...
(Camera phone again so not a great pic. The reality was jaw-dropping.)
Physio on Tues was early (8.30 am) but good - he's so pleased with progress I don't have to see him again, and if by a month's time everything is still fine and I haven't needed to make an appointment to see him he'll sign me off. I have really been working on the exercises and can feel the difference. It's nice to be (mostly) out of pain!
So far I am delighted with the new fridge freezer.
Kai and I are both fighting off a bug at the moment. He took Tues and Thurs off to rest and recover - days with lectures he can easily make up and labs that he usually spends helping other people rather than being left in peace to get his own work done. He and I both spent much of yesterday watching DVDs and dozing, and I (at least, Kai isn't up yet) feel a lot better for it. He does need to go in today though, and a little early, as someone has asked him for help. Pity he's not getting paid for it!
Other than that I've spent much of the week in an intensive study of html5, which is gloriously flexible and a lot easier than xhtml. It won't take much getting used to: going to take a look at upgrading WaveWrights today.
Friday, November 06, 2015
Been a bit of an odd week. On Sat Ken and I went to Wells for a couple of hours while Kai got homework done. Lovely to get out of Bristol together! Enjoyed the trip, as ever - Glastonbury Tor was rising out of a sea of mist as we descended the hill, very mysterious and Arthurian (but we were moving too fast for a photo, alas). Did a little shopping, but didn't find what I was looking for, unfortunately. Nice trip all the same.
Then on Sunday, after shopping and lunch, Kai and I walked the Whitchurch Way, as I'd promised him. Sunny to start with, then the mists rolled in and it got a little cold, which was actually rather pleasant.
12 lengths swim on Monday morning, then after Kai headed off got some client work done. I've been asked to take over the BCHS site, and Fox and Howard want a revamp of theirs before the London Bookfair in April, not to mention I'm transferring WaveWrights to 123-reg at the end of the month and Ken thinks a revamp is a good idea, so it's now urgent I learn html5 asap. In the evening I met Ken at Curry's in Avonmeads and we decided on one of these. It's a little smaller than the current one, but it has five fridge shelves and four door compartments (which we really need), and now that I can't carry anything like as much as I used to, I have to shop more often, which means I can pick up everything we need fresh, so more fridge space and less freezer space is much better. It still has plenty of capacity for our needs.
Tuesday evening I met Kai from Uni, treated him to a meal at the Crazy Fox, then we were off to see Michael Berry's Optica Fantastica lecture at the Institute of Physics (one of of Bristol's annual Festival of Ideas events: we try to go to at least one every year, many of them are free). It was wonderful, and I learned a lot, but some of the concepts were unfamiliar so not only did the brain get a bit of a workout but Kai was very happy to explain the things I didn't know on the way home. Though I'm still uncertain about the concept of 'knottiness'...
Wed was supposed to be quieter, but after two lots of shopping and a small baking session (I had several ripe bananas to use up so made a banana loaf -
- a John Barrowman recipe I found online, extremely tasty but it gave me an upset stomach and Kai a touch of stomach ache. No idea why, it was properly cooked and the ingredients were all fine. Ken was OK...) I didn't have much time left to do anything.
Yesterday morning was my appt at the BRI. I thought it was about my arm, but it was actually a review of my hip. All OK, but the manipulating and prodding has of course left it aching today. Still, the exercising is making a difference. Next review in six months.
Afterwards I did a major hunt through Broadmead and Cabot Circus for a Yule present for mum in law. She's recently bought herself an 'autumn coloured' coat and wants an autumn coloured headsquare to go with it. Problem is, they're now definitely out of fashion and very hard to find (unless you can afford £69 for pure silk at House of Fraser). So that was a bit of a washout. Caught the bus to Broadwalk to make Kai's second MMR appt and go to the PO, then walked home. After dinner Ken and I cleaned behind and under the old fridge in preparation for the new one...
... which is being delivered between 3.10 and 7.10 this afternoon, according to the text I got at 6.58 this morning. Yay!
Tomorrow is set aside for major shopping expeditions to both Sains and Tesco. I've saved up £30's worth of Sains rewards, which is enough to stock up the freezer, and I have a 'spend £50 save £7' Tesco voucher which will come in handy in stocking up for Yule stuff. So we're all organised!
Tesco had The Book Thief cheap, so I picked that up. Hoping to watch it over the weekend.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
[bemused...] Woke up this morning to find Bumblebee parked outside my house...
My life is surreal.
Friday, October 30, 2015
Kai's MMR was last Friday, and it left him feeling a bit rough from Sunday onwards, although it's easing off today. We did manage to see The Martian in the evening (only showings were 19.10 and 22.10 so we walked there and back in the dark, which is a rare treat). Really enjoyed it, very well made and to Kai's delight all the science was accurate. For me, it isn't as good as Interstellar - I love the breadth of vision of the latter - but it's still a terrific film. And the Martian landscapes are glorious (and a great inspiration for Poppy...)
Went swimming on Monday - only managed 12 lengths before the shoulder started complaining so left it at that. Walked up in the sunrise (too bright for a photo!) and came back in full sun, wonderfully uplifting. Physio on Tues was a bit meh as I've only been managing at most two repetitions of the exercises per day, instead of the recommended three, and usually only one, but young Adam said that was fine, not to do more than I can without it hurting. He didn't give me any new ones, as I want to try to get into the routine of two a day to start with, and reassess next appt, but my hip is moving further without pain now, so they are working and he's pleased with progress. So YAY!
What else has happened? Um... busyness? As usual. A lot of shopping. And Wendy came to visit for the day yesterday, which was great fun! [GLOMPS!]
The garden looks fantastic at this time of year!
Thursday, October 22, 2015
[sigh] Over a week this time. I really must make time to update more often - I keep forgetting what's happened!
Can't say I'm enjoying the physio: I'm sure it is working, but it's leaving my leg and hip aching. At my appt on Mon the dr said the swollen elbow and pain is bursitis, as I'd thought ('tennis elbow' as it's commonly called). I'm booked in to see a consultant again, when they have an appt, but to be honest I think I think it'll be OK. It's not a load-bearing limb, I've stopped carrying anything with my left arm, and adjusted the level of my keyboard, and it's a little better already. Although the swelling is quite bad (dr said it was a severe case), the literature does say with care and a little physio it will usually go away by itself. It's going to make gardening difficult though. With Ken at work all week and so tired when he gets home I don't like asking him for help at weekends when all he wants to do is get out of Bristol for some peace and fresh air... At least it's now nearly winter and everything is tailing off in the garden.
On the less good front, dr also insisted on taking my BP, which is high again, and has put me back on the meds. Oh joy. Fingers crossed I can get it down a bit before I see her again in 5 weeks. Half the problem is white coat syndrome and the horrible new BP machine, which hurts like hell and makes my arm go completely numb.
Not sure if I said, but my old book Perfume Power is now out, slightly revised, in e-book and PoD format as The Power of Perfume. I was always very happy with this little work, and am pleased they went with the cover I chose. Anyway, it's now much more easily available to anyone that would like it!
Made the Bristol Astronomy Society lecture on the History of Astroparticle Physics (the first one is free to non-members to give them a taste). I was rather surprised to find I actually knew everything that was covered (apart from the timeline, history not being my forté!) and everyone was very friendly. However, as of next month they're moving the venue from Bristol Grammar School (very easy to get to as it's on the no 1 bus route) to the Photographic Society's home at Montpelier which is far more difficult for me to get to (two buses and a walk over James Barton roundabout then under the buildings at the bottom of Gloucester Rd. That's anxiety-making in daylight - in the dark I really don't want to do it). I'll check out the possibility of a train from Temple Meads - there's a local station at Montpelier - but I'd be far more restricted for times. All very annoying. Ken said he'd be happy to come with me for one meeting, just to see how difficult it is, so we may go to the lecture on Globular Clusters next month...
So far things are going quite well for Kai. So far. He's tired all the time, and feeling meeply (the bugs are having the time of their nasty little lives), but he's finding all the walking easier and the aches are slowly going, so his stamina is increasing and looks like the vit D tablets are helping. His first two lots of grades are first class degree level, which is fantastic, but we're not sure if that's because he's ahead of his peers (he's had two years to read the coursebooks and teach himself C) or if it's natural brilliance. He still thinks he may have a touch of chemo brain. No doubt time will tell...
Lugging his 8 kilo + Lenovo laptop around with him was getting to be a real chore, so last week we went over to Staples and he treated himself to a Micro$oft Surface (just over 1 kilo in weight, I believe). They didn't have the Pro version he really wanted, which has double the memory for only another £80 more, but we were assured that if he took it back within two weeks he could change it for the more powerful machine. In the meantime he's absolutely fallen in love with it, but really does need the extra memory, so I rang to make sure they would have one for us, arranged to meet him after his lecture yesterday, treat him to lunch, and go over and exchange them.
Of course, we went to The Crazy Fox...
We had wraps with chicken, roasted peppers, aioli, tomatoes and something else I forget and wasn't familiar with but which tasted wonderful! Kai loved his latte with the heart in it (I was boring and just had diet Coke). It was all extremely civilised, the food great (I was sooo tempted by the little lemon loaf cakes but the wrap was filling and I couldn't manage anything else) and upstairs was very quiet and pleasant. We are definitely going back!
That's the window where our table was.
The café is at the end of the old Arcade in Broadmead.
The walk over to Staples took us through Cabot Circus, the now not-so-new mall. I really like the design: for all that it's not that big, you can still get lost in it!
Surface successfully swapped (and they didn't charge us anything extra as the Pro had been taken out of its box and the assistant had started setting it up when the customer who bought it suddenly realised it wasn't the Ipad they wanted and changed their mind. Heh. 'Surreal Я Us' indeed...) He spent yesterday evening getting it all set up as he wanted it while we played Back to the Future 2.
This morning he had a maths test - self-assessed, I gather so they can all see how they're doing and their strengths and weaknesses so they know what to focus on. Tomorrow am he has his first MMR inoculation: nurse Lindsay assured us that he will then be protected, which will be a significant worry off our minds. He can have the second one in six weeks, so they'll all be done before Yule!
Hoping to finally go and see The Martian at the weekend - it's nearly at the end of its run and we want to see the 3D version. Kai is wholly immersed in the exploration of space at the moment.
Alas, I don't have time to go for a swim this week - plus dr said it wouldn't be helping the bursitis - but still determined to keep going. Will adjust the strokes I use to put less stress on my arms when I go next week.
Right! I think that's all the major news. I'll try to update more regularly but at the moment everything is still manically busy. It should ease off at the beginning of November - but I've said that before!
And post has just arrived with my hospital appt - first week of Nov with the same consultant I saw before, so that's OK.