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 ::
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... [02/04/13 - Now reached September 2003]
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.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Main news today is Ken had his usual appointment at the BRI, only to find that the viral load hasn't changed appreciably since he started this course of meds.
In other words, he's one of the 15% that the regime doesn't work for. Dammit.
They've taken him off the meds (well, they're expensive. No point wasting them if they aren't working). At least he'll feel better soon.
There's another new drug course coming out in six months or so, supposedly 100% effective and without the side effects. We'll see.
Labels: medical matters
Monday, May 20, 2013
Dramas in the garden! Seagulls chasing off a heron! Sparrowhawk catches sparrow - blackbird raises alarm!!
It's all go here...
Ishihara's entry to the Chelsea Flower Show is gorgeous (first pic doesn't work for me: try the little buttons under the illo).
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Well that was fun! Ken helped with the shopping, then he mowed, and Kai and I got a lot done in the garden.
I love my garden...
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Cyberverse Soundwave arrived from amazon us today! He's so tiny but wonderfully detailed...
Lovely weather today, so Kai and I thought we'd do my postponed trip from a couple of weeks ago - Wells/Glastonbury/Street. So after I'd hung out the wash we set off. Didn't get any further than Wells though: I found what I was looking for there - a non-stick steel 24cm frying pan for £9.98, and a brace of frozen pheasants for just £2! Had to get them back to Briz quickly, hence the cut short trip. (Also picked up a birthday present for Ken and 50 Shades Darker second hand for me. Yes, the sequel to 50 Shades. Why? Well, my usual determination to finish what I start was warring with my desire not to waste my time, and unfortunately it won...)
And I also found this...
Yes. It's a (resin) sheep made of cauliflowers. I mean, how could I possibly leave it behind?
After dinner we watched the finale of Doctor Who (yawn) and then Life of Pi, which may be the most beautiful film I've ever seen. Wonderful...
Friday, May 17, 2013
Friday. Felt like Monday. (Other people's Monday, that is, mine have been excellent just recently...)
Exercises. Client stuff. Couple of eps of Beast Wars (it's the little, inconsequential things in the background that are so precious. Like OP pushing Dinobot's tail, which had been waving around brushing over his shoulder, out of the way while talking to him. Lovely little details like that).
Got the dwarf bean plants into the veg bed and moved the four cordon tomato plants from the staging to the ground and tied them to supports. I have a couple of our favourite Black Russian seedlings coming through, and two of the melon seeds I planted have germinated too - it's all good.
Then Ken came over to Tesco with me to help carry, as they have some fantastic deals on at the moment (two tetrapacks of organic tomatoes for £1 instead of 75p each, for example, and packs of six Tracker bars for £1 - 89p off).
Then the new season Warehouse 13, which is OK I guess, and I was going to work on next!Poppy but legs and back are aching and I'm tired. Might get a slightly eaeleir night than usual, maybe.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
So off to the physiotherapist I went...
... poke... prod... bend this way, move that way... *thud* with the reflex hammer...
*thud* again. Knee and ankle, several times, both legs. She looks up at me and says, "Hm. No reflexes at all."
Me - "....!!"
"Don't worry. You're obviously still here..."
Well, yes, but along with the refusal of the automatic door to acknowledge me last time I was in town... Perhaps I'm undead these days?
Heh. Anyway - apparently my lower spine has too much of a curve to it, and is displacing discs leading to nerve compression and hence the godawful pain in my left hip and all down the leg. Severe sciatica. I have a whole load of new exercises to work on correcting it. And in the meantime I have to keep my pelvis tilted forwards to help keep everything in the right position. In other words, I need to learn to slouch.
I don't slouch. I hate slouching.
But I hate this pain and inconvenience more, so I'll have to put up with it. Oh joy.
So it's been a bit of a painful day. And I'm still all behind with everything and really don't feel like doing anything tonight. At the moment Kai is working through an old Maths test paper for revision and listening to his new Dream Theater CDs. We've just had this -
which is tremendous (although the lyrics aren't up to the band's usual quality). I do rather like Dream Theater...
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Into town - Wilkinson's for bird food, bank, Wild Oats, Better Food, then Sainsbug's on the way back. Too heavy! But got everything I went for so that's all good.
Kai met me as I got to the gate: decided to come home early on his half day for once. He spent some time getting a bit more of his grant and tuition for uni sorted out, then helped me in the garden: the goji-berry is now properly staked and the dead wood removed, the grass around the little hazel trees has been trimmed, and I wrapped the pear and apple trees in grease bands (crossing fingers I haven't left it too late...)
And then after dinner we finally watched Real Steel - fun and feelgood. But I was wrong about Breakdown. I must have imagined it...
I have a lot of emails to reply to but am too tired tonight. Will try tomorrow. (Sorry Sue!)
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
[sigh] Rain. Again. Bloody cold too. I really hope we aren't going to have a repeat of last year (although at least now I have the mini polytunnel, which will make a huge difference!)
Watched a little Tf: P first thing while my hip unkinked itself (lying down made it worse again). It's a little better today, fortunately.
Much of the day was just client stuff, but it keep things ticking over. Kai has got 89% (an A - very nearly an A*) for the computing project - pretty damn good we think, and well worth all the work. He still has to resit the exam, but that will bump up his average nicely.
Watched our fox explore the garden last night. He's a handsome beast, with a white tip to his tail. Given how horrible the weather is I've left food out for him tonight.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Well, for a Monday, this has been quite successful. I stripped the carcase of yesterday's roast chicken - only a small one but the remains have provided chicken mayo for my baked spud for lunch, meat for Kai's sandwich for lunch tomorrow, enough small pieces for the chicken/chickpea/mange tout in homemade sweet chili sauce I'll make for Wednesday's lunch for Ken and I, a saucer of bits for Tyjer as a treat, wings are for Kai to eat when he gets home, and a new batch of stock. Nothing gets wasted 'round 'ere!
Also cleared up some client stuff and read the poems I was sent for perusal a month or so ago, then managed to plant the first pak choi in the beg bed. Unfortunately I didn't have much shattered eggshell so keeping fingers crossed they don't get eaten (bloody 'pods have had a go at my first marrow and pumpkin, obviously in revenge for my twice-daily hunt and slaughter sessions...) I say managed as I twisted awkwardly when out shopping yesterday and have done something incredibly painful to my hip. I'd hoped lying down last night might have helped but it seemed to make it worse. And I have to dive over to Tesco when Kai gets home. Will have to try not to get too much.
Bought Real Steel at Sainsbug's yesterday (was only £3): if we can make time to watch it tonight I'll try to get a pic of 'Breakdown' for comparison with the Tf: Prime version...
Edit: Forgot to say - I found teh correct Cyberverse Soundwave on amazon us for less than half price - and we had a gift voucher, so I bought him. Pleased about that - means I have the whole crew of both sides. (Excepting Airachnid, who I will pick up if I find her VERY cheap...)
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Sunday. Usual Sunday. Nothing to see here folks, move along...
Labels: nowt really
Saturday, May 11, 2013
So yesterday was a tad busy. Up early and finished clearing that bottom shelf, and found the stuff I was looking for - all the Gateway notes and info - so I can make a start on that next week. Then it was several hours with Lutra thrashing out the worldframe and character details for the proposed joint book (we still have some of the plot to determine but it's coming together very nicely).
Then a Sainsbug shop (carried too much, legs and shoulders hurting, oh joy) and most of the evening I spent proof reading Kai's computer course-work project.
This counts as a percentage (though we don't know what) of his A Level so he was determined to do a good job. He first mooted it back in Feb, asking Ken and I if there was a particular program we could use but couldn't find (at least for free!) The only thing I could think of was a calender program that alerts me (without my needing to login to it), which wasn't much of a challenge. Ken, however, suggested that a program to work out solar and lunar archaeoastronomical alignments and events would be wonderful, as currently it takes hours with calculator, ephemerides, pencil and paper to work them all out. Kai decided that was a good one and has written it - in java.
His report is 144 pages - a lot of that is the program, of course, but at least a third is the accompanying text. He's done a cracking job - I understood it! - and we know it works as Ken has tried it. (In fact, I reckon he could sell it, later!) The deadline is next Tuesday, but he has basically finished and will email it off in a little while.
Anyway - that took all evening just about, and that's what he's been working at solidly for the last month. He's going to relax and watch DVDs for the rest of the weekend!
I actually had a lie-in today, and have taken things a bit easier. The weather's been windy and showery, with the odd sunny spell - not really gardening weather. But Wendy's mum's orchid is flowering again
Back to the joint project - we both tend to use real people as visual aids when envisaging characters, and a little earlier this skyped...
Better start thinking about dinner before Doctor Who. Then I plan to start the next Poppy chapter tonight...
Oh, and the local honey in the green and jasmine tea seems to have worked on the hayfever better than usual. I did buy some hayfever relief but haven't need to use it so far.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
... gah... And there I was thinking, "Oh, this is good, the lime trees down at the park don't seem to be giving me hayfever this year, perhaps I'm going to escape!" and then today, within seconds and without even going outside, I'm in the middle of a sneezing fit with my eyes streaming... Had to take a piriton, and now drinking green tea with jasmine and a spoonful of local honey (very local, the farm is just a couple of miles up the Bath Road) stirred in. Not much of the honey left though, and it's crystallised over the winter. Will have to see if I can get some more at the Wednesday market at St Nick's. Kai will probably need some in tea when he gets home - he gets his hayfever from me, poor lad.
The hayfever forecast is very bad this year...
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Yesterday was lovely again - spent quite a bit of time in the garden and greenhouse, and organising the slug pubs in advance of the forecast rain - which arrived this afternoon while I was walking back from Sainsbugs, oh joy. Eh well. It's not that bad, and the garden does need the rain. Only, I need to go back out shortly to water in and close up the greenhouse, get the birds fed, and empty and refill the slug pubs. And the rain is getting heavier.
It's obviously spring-cleaning season, I keep finding myself clearing out cupboards and drawers...
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
... too tired to type...
Monday, May 06, 2013
So, yesterday. What happened yesterday? Shopping, I know that much. And a wash. And Kai trimmed grass while I planted the big mange tout and got a batch of the smaller ones on the go. It was all good.
Up at 7 today (well, a wee bit after) and got two washes done before I had to nip down to the park, having volunteered to help man the water table for the Arno's Vale Fun Run. Didn't take long as was quite fun (need to download photos for the APAG site shortly).
Then it was the implementation of the executive plan to cease trading as Heartsown and restructure the plans for the Haadri epic. Heartsown was a modest success but has seen no activity for over a year, and, now that the basics are firmed up and my writing has improved so much, I've decided to try a third version of Prime Contact and see if an established publisher is interested (if not, we'll leave it a bit and bring out e-books). So the Haadri blog is now closed, as is the Heartsown site, and in a little while I'll be deleting the Haadri Guide site. Payment for hosting is due this autumn: we'll let it lapse. I'm keeping the domain name though.
And the new planned schedule is going to have me busier than ever. Oh joy...
Sunday, May 05, 2013
And I forgot to post earlier and now I'm knackered again... Been a very productive day though, and glorious weather. Will update properly tomorrow.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
Eighth part of New World 2 - Considerations - now posted over at The Poppy Tales (link above).
Woke up with a distinct 'no, don't go out today, stay close to home' feeling so skipped the planned outing. Can go another weekend. Got next!Poppy finished and a whole load of garden stuff done instead, so it was very productive.
And the random not-so-superpower strikes again. For the last hour and a half my backwards clock has been stuck ticking off seconds at 10.15 pm. It has now started working properly again, although it currently says 10.32 pm and it's actually eight minutes past midnight. That's going to be confusing (I usually look at the clock to check the time...)
Oops - spoke to soon. The second hand is now stuck ticking at the number 9. Hope there's nothing wrong with the clock. I like my backwards clock...
Friday, May 03, 2013
Right - morning stuff done, time to post (and catch up on yesterday).
Yesterday kind of went - wash put through, veg bed checked and watered, repotted tomatoes and kale, got more marrow and courgettes on the go, planted spinach, made a stack of buckwheat pancakes for the freezer, cleared client stuff, then took a break with feet up and watched Code of Hero, the Beast Wars ep where Dinobot sacrifices himself for the future human race (and damn it it brought a lump to my throat. Beautiful tragic episode. "The question that once haunted my being has been answered. The future is not fixed, and my choices are my own. And yet, how ironic... for I now find that I have no choice at all! I am a warrior... let the battle be joined." Dinobot's speech is refined and sophisticated. Shakespeare (several million years) later stole it for some of his plays, secure in the knowledge that no copyright claims could ever be brought... Screencap from the Transformers wiki)
Feather was out in the open, so I took her out to start getting used to being handled again after spending most of the winter in her hide. It was fine - but then, my hands were cold and not at all tempting to bite! Unfortunately I couldn't keep her out for long, though, as Tyjer came in demanding his lunch and coping with snake and cat by myself is a little tricky.
Over to Tesco for a quick shop when Kai got home, then dinner, then an hour of next!Poppy (which is finally coming together) then flopping on the sofa to watch the Masterchef final. I've watched it from the start and thoroughly enjoyed it this year - though I'm jealous of the standard of cooking. Why can't I get my pork as succulent and the crackling as... crackly as they can? I must try harder...
Oh yes, and I finished 50 Shades. Don't know if I can be bothered to write a full review, but if I do I'll post it on serious blog and note the update here.
Today I've started a selection of lettuces (Little Gem, Lollo Rosso, New Fire and Buttercrunch), more pak choi, more tomatoes and the second cucumber; the first now has two cucumbers and a whole load more flowers coming. Starting plants off early has really worked this year - as long as we don't have a cold spell.
And I started the spring cleaning in the kitchen, clearing out cupboards and dumping stuff that's now out of date (juniper berries, cayenne pepper, sauce thickener - things I picked up thinking I'd use but never did). At some point this year I urgently need to get some painting done, oh joy.
Drama in the garden - the two pairs of blackbirds are still fighting over possession of the space, and when Kai took out the kitchen compost caddy to the main compost bin he found three very healthy mice sitting in there (two scarpered into the depths while the third sat and stared at him for a moment. I've already had to rescue a mouse twice from Tyjer - maybe it was that one and it now has PTSD...) I've now sprayed the unwanted ivy, brambles and teasels with the deep root killer: another dose goes on in 6 weeks. All the new plants are coming along a treat, including the lovely little Juneberry from Sue. The new leaves are a beautiful bronze. At the moment it's too small to be seen easily against the background in a photo, but it should be photogenic by next year. [glomps Sue] Many thanks! (The wiegela is looking great too.)
So, all in all, busy but very productive, this week. But I need a break - hoping to go busing tomorrow, Wells-Glastonbury-Street to check out charity shops, see if the big Works store at Street has an 'own recipes' book (our small branch doesn't) and try to find a small frying pan: the main one is really too big to make pancakes properly. Ken has lots to do, and Kai had a major computer course work project with a deadline of next Friday, so will be working pretty much full time on that.
And I want a velociraptor plushie, in honour of Dinobot, so will be looking out for one of those.
Chelsea Flower Show end of this month! Looking forward to that.
Little bit of client stuff to do, then back to Poppy...
Thursday, May 02, 2013
[sigh] No, it's no use, if I'm going to write a decent blog entry on days I get up early I have to write the post early too. Tired now. Will try again tomorrow...
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Busy but useful day. Up early, read a bit more of 50 Shades (over half way through now. Review when I've finished), then got a whole load of garden stuff done...
Peas planted (slug pubs prepared and crushed eggshell around the bases to try to deter the gastropods) and the second batch on the go, Red Alert tomato seedlings potted on, more pak choi, marrow, pumpkin, dwarf beans and more tomatoes - Black Cherry and Tamina - also started. It doesn't sound like a lot but it's taken most of the day and my back and legs are aching!
Still struggling with next!Poppy...
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Dentist for a checkup (all fine), then Tesco and Sainsbug shopping expeditions. Not the most interesting of days...
Labels: nowt really
Monday, April 29, 2013
Note to self: leave Feather at least 24 hours after feeding before trying to handle her in any way.
She bit me - twice very fast.
Right hand index finger, knuckle closest to the hand.
All I did was stroke her while changing her water. Took fifteen minutes to stop bleeding, even with honey and a plaster. An' it dun' 'alf sting. Going to have a bruise there tomorrow.
Eh well. I think the only pets I've ever had that haven't bitten me were my fish. Oh, and Rosa, but that's because she's never had the chance...
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Did I mention Feather has shed again? Third time since we got her and it hasn't even been a year yet! I must be doing something right. Though I am beginning to wonder if she is, in fact, only a Madagascan ground boa with a max length of three foot. Be just my luck to find she's been misidentified and is actually going to grow to 30 foot long with an appetite like a horse - or for a horse...
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Pics 'cause tired.
And our fox visited before it even started to get dark today. I was locking up the back and I think the noise alarmed him, as he jumped up from where he was snaffling the sultanas I'd put down for the blackbirds and collared doves and slunk off towards the hole under the fence. Too fast for me to get a photo, alas. Gorgeous ruddy red fur and long bushy tail - a fine looking beast.
The garden looks particularly good in the sun.
Friday, April 26, 2013
So, what happened today?
Um, well, I forgot to take photos of garden and greenhouse that I was going to post (so many things coming up! I have beans and marrows now too!) Will try to do that tomorrow instead.
Watched the end of Beast Wars. [sigh] Wish there was another season or two...
... and that's about it. But it was relaxing.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
[rolls eyes] Ever had one of those days when all things seem to conspire against you? When automatic doors refuse to recognise you as a living being and stubbornly stay shut (until another human approaches them)? When those stupid motion operated toilet flushes deluge water as soon as you enter the cubicle? (I swear, if this is a new adjunct to my peculiar electrical less-than-super powers I shall NOT be happy.)
However, everything else went well. I bused into town, picked up 4 metres of blue voile from Fabricland (I need to make more inner curtains for hall, landing and Kai's room - the old ones are a disgrace and keep tearing more holes), a Transformers DVD with the last episodes of G1 on it (YAY!), and the usual stuff from Wild Oats and Better Foods. And ran a couple of errands for Ken as well. Took most of the day but it was pretty successful.
We'd planned to finish watching the Beast Wars but Kai had a rather large coursework project he needed to finish, so will try again tomorrow. Going to miss it when it's finished - it's bloody good!
Taking the evening off. [meanders off in search of Rattrap/Dinobot porn...]
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Well, I got all the outstanding client stuff done, and some spring cleaning. In the greenhouse I have kale, the first Red Alert tomato, all the mange tout and a pumpkin seedling breaking through. And that's about it for today...
Labels: nowt really
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
[sigh] Why don't kettles like me? I was descaling the one we bought in January yesterday, and on swirling the lemon juice around inside I heard something rattling. Second later a tiny screw dropped out - obviously an integral part as afterwards the on/off switch wouldn't stay on...
Ken couldn't find the receipt, but I took it back anyway (everyone knows me at our local Sainsbug, been shopping there for twenty-odd years). They offered an exchange or refund: I'd have liked an exchange but the only one they had left had a dodgy lid, so I got a refund (full one too - £12.50, even though I'm sure it was only £7.99 in the sale...) and went on a bit further to The Range, where I found a Swan one for £11.99. Not quite as nice as the Sainsbug one but it's an old established make...
Got it home and found the base wasn't in the box.
My legs were killing me again by this time (I do now have a physio appointment soon so hopefully I can sort out what to do about the blasted sciatica) so Ken went back with it.
Only to have the assistant point out that the base was actually inside the kettle...
Why, we don't know. Presumably to save space. Anyway, it works, although it's a coil rather than the plate element we've got used to. It'll do for now.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Still here. Sunday was the usual Sunday, today I've had trouble getting started... Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Labels: nowt really
Saturday, April 20, 2013
OK, so, maybe time for a little catch-up...
In the greenhouse: new seedlings - two Swiss chard, three pak choi, two courgettes, seven peas. And today I moved my bell and chilli pepper plants back out (the ones I overwintered on the hall windowsill to get a head start on the season). They survived and have flowerbuds forming...
In the garden: Kai and I went up to the Allotment shop today to renew my membership and picked up three Desiree and three organic Sarpo Mira seed potatoes for chitting at home (that's all my planters will take). Then we spent some time in the garden in the sun and prepared the planters as I don't think the seed spuds will take very long, and Kai weeded some of the strawberry bed for me. It's all looking really good out there!
We had a Garden Warbler in the garden a few days ago! We also have two pairs of blackbirds fighting over who gets to claim the garden, and a couple of male blackcaps were squabbling on the bird table last week.
On TV: Kai and I are still watching Revolution, although it's beginning to wear a little - unrelieved violence and doom and gloom. We may stop. We caught the pilot of Defiance last night, and rather enjoyed it. The aliens aren't really sufficiently alien for my liking, but it was nicely done. We'll carry on watching for a while. The second season of Touch has started and is trundling along well, and apparently there's a new season of Warehouse 13 starting in a couple of weeks - that should be fun.
And as for Beast Wars, I'm loving it, Kai is really enjoying it, and Ken is still watching it, so that's all good. We're half way through season 2 now (watched Transmutate and the ep where Dinobot sacrifices himself to save the protohumans [sniffle] tonight).
Possible early night tonight...