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 ::

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... [30/04/14 - Now reached 24/1/2004 - p 41 in the list]

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 


"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)


I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the 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:
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:

Currently maintaining:
Jenni Roditi
Music Inter Alia

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 


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



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 


A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...

Kood, my new mp3 


Kood. Constant companion.

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


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

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



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 



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

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:: 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 [>]
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:: Watchismo Times [>]
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(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..::]
:: The Cats that own me demanding to be fed. (RealPlayer file: turn up the volume.)
::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...)

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

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

   All 3 eps on Video, dubbed
   Dj: Cyberage 1-3
   Illustrated Book 2 (Benten's) in Japanese

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

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

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-3 (incl)
Rest needed!

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

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

Yami no Matsuei

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

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

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

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

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

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Poppy Tales, New World 2, ch 19 - Reconnecting - now posted: link above.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Worked hard today...

Absolutely knackered now and aching all over. Going to try for an early night. Next Poppy will have to wait til tomorrow to be finished (three and a half pages written yesterday...)

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

That looks lovely - you do work hard to keep everything nice there.

8:08 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

We do try. It'll be a couple of years before it really looks decent, but that's fine, a garden is never really 'finished' anyway.

11:16 am  
Blogger Sue said...

Wow, looking good - and in this heat as well!

6:47 pm  

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quick post to link to this - Real Time Lightning Map. We have some major weather heading our way and I have a headache already...

Kai's neutrophil and WBC counts have dropped again. I'll stop posting about them here until something definitive happens.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Catch up because I realised I'd forgotten to do the weekend...

On Saturday Ken and I treated ourselves to an afternoon out: went to Street, where we found this!

I've been trying to find Kai a fox mug for ages. GoodTwin did find one but it was a bit abstract and I really wanted more realistic (but thank you anyway!): this one was in the Shopping Village, Royal Worcester bone china in the Portmeirion collection. The design is actually called 'The Artful Poacher' and it's extremely cute! Kai's dead chuffed with it!

We stopped off at the organic supermarket in Glastonbury on the way so I could pick up some organic butter (both Sains and Tesco apparently no longer stock Yeo Valley, which is a bloody nuisance as it's our favourite...) then stopped off again at Wells, where we bought some more plants -

A selection of alpines...

... because they seem to do very well in the rockery (this was planted back in the spring and is now four times as big as originally!)

And this gorgeous artemisia ('Silver Mound' I think: there was no label. It's a bit limp here, needed water, but it's very pretty.)

In the evening we watched Cuban Fury on FilmFlex: great fun! I spent the last half an hour with a big grin on my face...

And last night I watched for twenty minutes while mama fox stood on the six-foot-plus fence - balanced like a cat - while two of the cubs frolicked in the garden...

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Blogger bakayaro onna said...

I love foxes. Beautiful mug!

2:44 pm  

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Monday, July 14, 2014

A silly post because of the date - 14.7.14.

Nothing really to report, just the usual busyness. Currently trying to keep the weeds under control in the garden while we reconsider what is gradually becoming known as the lookout (up at the square where the bench is going to sit once we've got it organised) and the meadow, which is now badly overgrown. We'll keep the vetch - the bees love it - and the cowslips, but the rest... not sure yet...

Later edit: I think I'm going to cry. ALL of my Thunderbird email folders have vanished. ALL of them. Friends, clients, personal with all the kudos and comments from fanfic readers, shopping, book info, all Kai's uni and hospital stuff... everything. I can't get them back.

Later later edit: OK, got everything back, but it took some doing and I've no idea how it worked (or why it happened in the first place). Before emailing Nick to take remote access and sort out the problem for me, I checked the forums (no joy there although apparently I'm not the only person it's happened to) and the different function tabs in Tb itself. And under [Go] I found [Folders] and under that I found [Recent] and under that I found a list of all my subfolders in alphabetical order. So mentally shrugging my shoulders - I could hardly do any worse harm - I clicked on [amazon]... and lo and behold everything went back to normal.

[sigh] I do not need the stress.



Blogger Sue said...

Yikes! I can imagine how alarming that was for you. Is there no backup with Thunderbird? Well, presumably not or you wouldn't have had quite such a panic.
As you say, you don't need the stress.
Glad it all got sorted out.

7:44 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

I would die. I have thousands of emails from years ago. Mine do get backed up, but I'm a little remiss in running the backup frequently enough. Task for later, methinks...

11:14 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

I couldn't find a backup, but then again, I'm still relatively new at Thunderbird.

I back up all my emails every year, early in Jan when there's not much going on, then I delete them off the c drive. Used to be easy with Eudora - they saved as text files in chronological order. Thunderbird saves them as Thunderbird files in alphabetical order. [sigh] So I've at least backed up Kai's stuff.

11:50 am  

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Kai transformed Death Starscream for me. He's very handsome!

(I had to clear another shelf as I simply couldn't fit him on the dedicated one. I now have two shelves of Starscreams - 33, with a couple more coming at Yule...)

And as a further example of how things grow in this garden -

- that's Tyjer's catmint trying to climb over the greenhouse...

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

A bit of a catch up...

It's been busy. I've been trying to catch up with the garden work (photos shortly), there's been much shopping, I've been re-watching Beast Wars (And thoroughly enjoying it), we've all been watching Transformers: Animated Season 3 (and thoroughly enjoying that, thought I'm not sure K&K are as enthusiastic as me. Last two eps tonight...)

Death Starscream arrived Monday but a signature was required, so I couldn't pick him up until yesterday. I have special dispensation to open him now, so I did: -

- and am in the process of transforming him (having the usual difficulty, plus the instructions are in Japanese...) Will rope Kai in to help later, he's much better than me at following these things.

And on the subject of Kai...

Today's appt was a platelets transfusion as normal - but the doctor says we don't need to go in on a Monday anymore, at least until the transplant. Everything has settled down so we know it's platelets every week and blood every fortnight: unless we're worried about something there's little point in us going in on Monday as well. So YAY!

Also found out a little more about post-transplant procedures. The average stay after the transplant is 5 weeks (although it can be as little as 2), and afterwards there will be regular check ups every week, probably twice a week to start with - early in the am - and a weekly/fortnightly BMT clinic on a Wed afternoon.

[whispering] His neutrophils were up to almost half of normal today, and his WBC count is creeping up too. This is very good, but not enough to get too optimistic about, yet...

So - garden.


I can't recall the real name of this, it's that black grass I bought years ago and thought I'd killed. This year it has flowers!


Will try to update a little more regularly. Only needing to spend one day at the hospital a week, even if only for a few weeks, gives me a little more time to keep everything organised.

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Blogger Sue said...

[Also whispering] This is all very good news. Fingers crossed it continues - and yay for extra haddock *g*

6:08 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

Fingers crossed here too.

And 'Hemerocallis' - that's easy for you to say... :)

7:53 am  

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Saturday, July 05, 2014

The Poppy Tales 

The Poppy Tales, New World 2, ch 18 - Decisions - now posted: link above.

And yesterday my copy of Transformers: Animated Season 3 arrived (will watch the last two eps of Season 2 later then hopefully the first ep or two of 3 this evening) and today my Henkei Ghost Starscream arrived. (He was £15 on ebay and is being put away for me for Yule...) Yes, I now have all of the more common Starscreams and several of the rarities and have started searching for the very rare ones (but only at sensible prices!) I also have a Black Gold Death Starscream on its way...

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Thursday, July 03, 2014

[sigh] We knew it was going to be a long appt as Kai needed platelets and blood. Usually they cross match the blood while the platelets are going through (usually starts between 10.30 and 11), so there's only a short wait (30 - 60 mins) afterwards.

Today somehow the request never reached the lab. It was gone 7 pm when we finally got home.

However, I saw Laura (of the transplant team) who was very pleased indeed with the BP and kind of implied that if it was urgent they would accept me now. However, since it isn't, she said to stick with the Ramipril and they'll schedule the transplant for the middle of August (only a few weeks later than the original date). So we now have a rough idea of the timing. I can also bring home three doses of the stuff I have to have to increase my white blood cell count and have them administered at our own doctor's surgery, but the fourth one will have to be at the BHOC as they'll want to do a full blood count afterwards. We're getting closer.

Bouncy yelpy cubs outside the patio doors again last night, but no foxy presents this morning. For which I am quite grateful after yesterday.

Four pages into nextPoppy (it's been a month. I have completely lost track of time. Then again, no one commented on the last one, which made me wonder if people didn't like it...) written today. Hopefully I'll be able to post at the weekend.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Well, the good news is that my blood pressure is now down to 148 over 90 - just about normal for me, although it still needs to go down a bit more before the transplant team will OK it. There are other meds I can take, but they have unpleasant side effects and may make me feel ill, so we're keeping them as a last resort: now have to report back to the transplant team and get some dates figured out. In the meantime Dr is very pleased. And so am I.

Last night's fox gifts...


... a used disposable nappy and an ancient gardening glove.


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Blogger Lutra said...

Yeah, I'm rescinding my 'presents' comment. This is just the little darlings not bothing to take their crap with them :)

2:09 pm  

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Not even really a catch up. Just assume that when I'm not at my desk I'm either shopping, gardening or at BHOC appointments...

Heuchera bed. I think I still have room for three more. I know I want Midnight Bayou, but I'm not sure about the others. I have a lot of dark ones now, perhaps something a little lighter...

Remember I said I really like poppies and was going to plant them up on the slope?

I thought the pigeons had eaten them all. I also thought they were a lot shorter than this!

I'll take another pic when more of the flowers have opened.

And my pears are coming on splendidly!

Last night mum brought the fox cubs - well, they're puppies now, getting quite big - to the garden. It actually got a little scary as they were right outside the patio doors, yelping and scrabbling, and bumped into the doors themselves a couple of times. Fortunately Tyjer was watching from upstairs and didn't show any inclination to come down to see: I think his encounter with the mum has put him off foxes for life. Suits me! And no, I didn't look out, didn't want to disturb them.

They brought a bone with them. Found it up by my sweetcorn - I assume it's part of a cow's pelvis or something. It's rather large!

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Blogger Lutra said...

D'aww, they're bringing you presents, now :)

12:31 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

*sigh* It appears so. Two days ago it was a studded brown leather cuff and a chunk of bread. I'm almost afraid to consider what tomorrow might bring...

1:29 am  

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Lunch on Wednesday. Pasta, tuna, spring onions, cucumber, cherry toms, red Leicester and Cheddar cheese, sweet pepper (and pineapple chunks for me).

Much gardening got done on Wednesday. And a little of next!Poppy was written while Kai was having his platelets on Thursday. Unfortunately I'm now a bit hampered: went out to get a little shopping when we got back from the hospital and the rain had washed mud onto the path at Sainsbury's. I slipped and landed heavily on my left knee, which is now horribly swollen and hurting rather a lot...

Need to take it easy for a few days. There's nothing seriously damaged, and ice packs are helping, but I don't want to make it worse. Got too much to do.

Currently have the Glastonbury Festival playing on BBC3. Pilton's only just up the road but the prices! £210 a ticket this year.

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Blogger Lutra said...

Excellent combo for lunch. What's in the glass?

2:17 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Pineapple juice from the tinned pineapple pieces. Pineapples are expensive to buy and a pain to prepare, so I take the easy option.

2:54 pm  
Blogger Lutra said...

Yum! When it's really hot the pineapple juice is delicious with cold soda water.

2:59 pm  

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This was my lunch today. Half a Galia melon, peeled sliced pear, kiwi fruit, red and white grapes (halved, because of reasons), and homegrown strawberries and raspberries. Never let anyone tell you diets are dull and boring!


And as guessed, Sunday was mostly gardening. All the plants I bought are now in the ground, I have my first tomatoes ripening in the greenhouse, and the sweetcorn is OK, although I seem to have managed to plant the block on a fox run, as four of them (in a line) have been trampled and probably won't survive. I planted 36 though, so should still have plenty come up.

Monday's appointment was nice and quick, and we're stocked up with meds, now, for the next month. Tanked over to The Range for Sodastream canisters and diet Coke syrup when we got back, so stocked up on drinks now too.

My second planting of mange tout and dwarf beans are looking good - hoping to plant them in the veg bed tomorrow. We were hoping to get out today, but Kai's having problems coping with the very hot weather, so will give it a miss for now. I have some client stuff to do, and am yoyoing between here and garden (have already hoed the veg bed today).


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Blogger Lutra said...

Lutra gratefully acknowledges the food porn, which she peruses while nomming her dinner of beef ravioli in home-made vegetable sauce(y ...thing) with cheese.

Lutra would also like to express the happiness evoked by the freckled flowers.


10:46 am  

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy Summer Solstice!

Ken and I went to Clevedon for a meal at the Little Harp for his birthday (a bit belated but still...) He had gammon steak with chips and summer fruit cheesecake with double cream for dessert, I had British Ploughman's followed by a toffee sundae - all extremely tasty. On the way back we stopped at Golden Acres, which was buzzing, and picked up four drought tolerant (I hope!) alpines, a pale mauve and maroon dianthus, a flat leaved parsley (mine is in the wrong place and has to go), a very pretty little dwarf abutilon - and a heuchera Midnight Bayou that I've been lusting after for months for only £1.99!!

Out by Failand someone has planted two fields of poppies...

(Not the best pic, the bus was moving pretty fast)

This is the lily I bought when out with Kim last year (I think it was). It got completely eaten the first year, but this year... freckles!

After dinner we watched the Live Arena Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar that I picked up in Wells ages ago. It's fantastic! Better than the original in most places.

Tomorrow will be mostly gardening...

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Friday, June 20, 2014

I am so sick of bloody football...

Thursday appointment actually went reasonably well. The platelets were ready, the biopsy was quick (and Kai just had entonox, which seemed to work fairly well), and while all that was happening they got two units of blood ready too, so hopefully he'll now be OK until more platelets end next week. He certainly feels a little better today, even though his back is still hurting.

It's hot. But not too unpleasantly so, and the temperature drops significantly at night, so sleeping isn't a problem with the windows open. Ken leaves work a little earlier on a Friday and his new office is fairly close, so the bus home usually only takes a few minutes. We went down to Sains to pick up a few bits and pieces, then after dinner watched Time Runners, which I thoroughly enjoyed! Intelligent sf - wonderful change. Though possibly too intelligent for many, going by the stupidly low rating it's been given.

Remember I said I bought some cheap lily bulbs in Wilkinson's? They've all sprouted and the first is flowering. Pretty, neh?

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Blogger Sue said...

Timerunners sounds very interesting, I shall look out for it.

5:53 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

I think it was £3 in Sainsbury's...

10:59 pm  

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

[GRUMP] Well, the thing that I was hoping might become a thing, isn't now going to become a thing because I'm not American enough...



Blogger Writer Chick said...

What?! Frag 'em!

12:58 am  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

Danged things... >:-(

7:42 am  
Blogger Sue said...

Ohhh, what a shame and for such a reason!

9:30 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...


10:27 pm  

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Sunday was Sainsbug's and Tesco shopping, then over to Go Outdoors where I finally managed to get a pair of comfortable sandals. After dinner we watched Swordfish, which, despite it starring John Travolta, I finally picked up in a charity shop because Hugh Jackman. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Monday's appointment was fairly quick. Unfortunately they weren't able to get enough sample from the last biopsy: poor Childe has to have another after his platelets transfusion on Thursday... Got back and shopped, and after dinner watched The Croods, which is quite fun!

Ken's birthday today. He had to waste it, and lose a day's pay, at a mediation meeting (long story involving his long-worked-on book on St Anne's Well and an incompetent copy-editor). I actually had a lovely long lie in, then got washing done, hoed the veg bed and slope, sprayed the difficult weeds front and back, generally pottered.



Blogger Sue said...

Swordfish doesn't generally get very good reviews but I've seen it twice and rather like it.
Shame about Ken not being able to properly enjoy his birthday but I'm glad you had a lie in at least.

6:19 pm  

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Took Kai to the Showcase to see X-Men: Days of Future Past yesterday. It took us a while to walk there slowly (it's been weeks again since Kai had any exercise: we have to time it so that he's had both blood and platelets no more than a week ago, otherwise he has no energy and just can't walk) but there were only two other people at the 2.30 showing, so the risk of infection was very low. We thoroughly enjoyed the film, and it was great for Kai to be somewhere different.

And this -

- was in the foyer...

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Blogger Lutra said...

Optimus Prime riding a dinosaur.

What could possibly be objectionable about that? :)

12:40 pm  
Blogger Writer Chick said...

I'm with Lutra. (Hello, Lutra, totally unknown American here.) I'd like two, I'd waterproof them, and sit them in front of my door.

11:46 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Not going to argue, I'm just not a fan of the dinobots.

Beast Wars Dinobot, however, is a completely different matter...

12:41 am  
Blogger Lutra said...

Hi, Writer Chick! That's an excellent idea!

2:25 pm  

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

[Babelfish not working - imagine 'catch up' in Greek...]

Sunday. Kai had said he couldn't sleep properly because he was so hot, so on Friday I bought him a 4.5 TOG duvet. He is very happy with it, finds it very comfortable. So on Sunday I checked the one we're using - 13.5 - and the spare one - 10 -. No wonder I keep waking up every ten minutes to shove the downie off because I'm roasting! So today I bought us a kingsize 4.5 TOG duvet, and together with the new pure cotton bedding from Wilkinson's (in a gorgeous rich teal) had the best night's sleep I can remember. Bliss!

It was blood units on Monday, so a long day again.

Tuesday was shopping and some garden work (the weeding is a nightmare this year).

Wednesday we were hoping to go see X-men: Days of Future Past but Kai couldn't wake up in time. Will try to see it another day. I planted my sweetcorn instead - legs absolutely killing me afterwards and still aching now.

Today was platelets, and they were waiting for us! Nice quick day: we were home by 12.30. Tesco shop after lunch, then Hotel Transylvania after dinner. It's a light and charming film, with a few very funny moments.

I am very tired. Will try for an early night.

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Blogger Lutra said...

Oh, so that's what the odd words at the beginnings of the posts are about! :)

2:27 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...


1:02 am  

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Saturday, June 07, 2014


Where are we? Still Saturday?

Thursday ended up being horrible. The platelets were ready, which was good. But the biopsy took well over an hour (although half an hour of that was trying to get the sedative to take effect) and was really brutal. Kai had nearly the highest dose they're allowed to give and entonox and said he could still feel what was happening.

However - once it was over and he went back to his seat in the unit, he had his sandwich and meds - and then completely zonked out. The puncture wound (largest he's ever had) wouldn't stop bleeding - not much, but it's still a worry - so we got him through to the alcove with a bed, and he fell asleep. For several hours. And can't remember a thing after leaving the procedure room until I finally go him home at 7.30.

We think it was a delayed reaction, and he actually had far more sedation than he needed. Going to have to get that put on his records on Monday as we don't want it happening again.

Friday... what happened yesterday? Shopping, definitely. And some cleaning and tidying. And a little client work. Kai was still aching and not wanting to move too much, so took it easy.

And today I had a treat! Ken and I got the bus to Keynsham for a look around all the charity shops (picked up a couple of DVDs and shirts) then back via Pets at Home for crickets for Rosa and Toys Я Us to check the Transformers figures. The ones for the new film are already there. Nothing appealed. I mean, Bay killed off Megatron, Ironhide and Starscream, and the new OP looks mostly like the old one. And Hound looks more like Kup. [grump] I can see I'm going to loathe the film. Especially as I'm not at all fond of the dinobots.

That's about it. I've no doubt forgotten lots, like the foxes visiting most nights but Kai still feeling rough. Maybe after blood on Monday he'll feel a little more like posting vids. And I now have a lot of sweetcorn ready to be planted out but I'm worried the foxes will trample on it. (Not doing much in the veg bed this year. After having all my peas/beans/mange tout seedlings sprayed with fence paint I haven't found the time to get any more on the go, and it's getting a bit late now.) And I'm rewatching Beast Wars bit by bit (and loving it. And the 20 minute eps give me a chance to take a break and put my feet up with a coffee or fruit juice.)

Heh. Might try for an early night tonight...

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Wednesday, June 04, 2014


On Tuesday we got the taxi to the BHOC in time for Kai's scheduled 2.45 bone marrow biopsy - only to find that he couldn't have the procedure as he has to have platelets first as a precaution against haemorrhaging, and of course he didn't have platelets on Monday as they thought he was OK. [sigh] Partly my fault for not querying it, as I know that... So lots of apologies and he'll have it after platelets on Thursday instead.

Today it was my turn: up to the doctor for a quick check. My kidney function is absolutely normal, the BP is (slowly) coming down, and she's happy with progress. I just need to carry on eating correctly and taking the tablets, and go see her again in a month.

And that's pretty much it. Interspersed with shopping, of course, there's always shopping...

Oh, except that the fox kits have broken my cold frame again. I think I may have to just dismantle it, I've never grown anything successfully in it.

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Monday, June 02, 2014

The Poppy Tales 

Next chapter of The Poppy Tales - Celebrations (New World 2 part 17) now posted: link above.



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Sunday, June 01, 2014

I can't remember what it feels like to not be tired.


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Friday, May 30, 2014

Later edit: Kai's first fox vid! For maximum cuteness watch at 720 res...

Rattraper ...

[pause while I try to remember what's happened over the last four days...] Well, a considerable amount of time was spent indexing Ken's book on St Anne's Well (and then having to redo the lot because I used the wrong .pdf version. oh joy), and we've finished watching The Starlost. I've also finished the write-ups on the IMDb, though I noticed today they haven't posted The Beehive ep yet. Such a pity - the series had the most enormous potential, and here and there you could glimpse the wonderful sweeping ideas that it wanted to portray. It would be fantastic to see it remade with good cgi, good actors (not that the originals weren't but they had so very little to work with) and a good budget...

(Photograph of my little pear tree, showing some of the baby pears I have coming. It will be great if they all thrive - Kai likes pears too!)

Yesterday Kai's platelet count was 10, which is borderline, and the dr recommended he have a unit instead of waiting til Monday. We resigned ourselves to a five hour wait, and were very pleasantly surprised when she said they were ready, just needed to be brought up from their specialised storage. So Kai booted up, and I read the first volume of the Yami no Matsuei manga while they went through, (I picked up some of my missing YnM volumes on amazon but I still need five - 4, 6, 8, 9 and 12 - although I now see the whole lot is available to read online. Not quite the same - I like to hold a book - but at least I can read it chronologically now instead of having to wait until I find the ones I need). And we were home by 2.30 pm.

However, after Kate Robertson's facebook appeal for bone marrow donors for her fiancé, there was about a 650% increase in people volunteering to the Nolan Trust, and in a month or so, I understand, the BHOC will see if there are any good matches for Kai amongst the new donors. Keeping fingers crossed.

And now I'm working on next!Poppy. Hoping to have it finished and posted tonight.

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

aww... They're certainly at home in your garden!

Will keep fingers crossed for a match.

10:12 am  

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Monday, May 26, 2014

And yet another catchup. Seems that's all I do these days...

Today's BRI appointment was looooooong. The platelets were waiting for us after being ordered on last Thursday! (I actually got a quiet thank you from one of the nurses: we weren't the only people to have problems and it affected the nurses too, both having to apologise for the non-arrival of needed blood products and because it makes their job harder. By complaining, I got management and the various depts to look at the whole system and things are much improved already, I was told. It's not often you get thanked for complaining, and I'm very glad I did!).

But Kai also needed blood today - which explains why he's been feeling bloody awful all over the weekend and why he hasn't been able to get the fox videos done. So blood was ordered while the platelets went through. We had about an hour's wait afterwards, because it has to be cross matched and irradiated, and he has each unit over one and a half hours, so it's not a quick option, but he feels so much better now. Going to have a try at the vids tomorrow. I'll remind him. There are a LOT of people now itching to see them.

And I got half of next!Poppy written while we were there, so happy about that.

My indoor plants are doing quite well...

Pretty little cactus in the bedroom. Only lasted a day but so sweet.

Orchid and orchid cactus in the bathroom.

We've decided we're cutting down the cherry tree at the front, and transplanting Sue's gorgeous Juneberry into its place. The cherry has got old and tired and really isn't looking that great. We'll wait until the pigeons have eaten all the cherries then start tackling it. There are a couple of shoots coming up, which I can pop into tubs so we don't lose the tree completely.

And I think that's about it for now...

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Blogger Sue said...

Well done for complaining in such a productive manner. How nice the nurses appreciated it as well.
The plants are looking very colourful :)

5:56 pm  
Blogger Lutra said...

Complaining sometimes works, especially in healthcare and especially now with the NHS being more sensitive to 'issues' after the past couple of years! :)

Such pretty flowers... Iz charmed by the orange one.

12:38 am  

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Poppy Tales 

[blink] I usually have the BBC1 cookery programmes on in the background on a Saturday morning and the current featured cook - didn't catch who - just said, "... and I Jackson Pollock a little chocolate over the dessert..."

Dr's appointment was quick and easy yesterday - will get results next week.

Then I found we had no hot water - seemed that the boiler had packed up. So I had a cold shower (oh joy), then contacted a friend to see if they knew of an independent gas engineer (our old one retired and I just haven't had a moment to try to find a new one), and we now have a name and phone number to check next week.

Upon which, we suddenly had hot water again. [grump] Bloody household gremlins...

Next chapter of The Poppy Tales - Celebrations (New World 2 part 16) now posted: link above.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Catch up...

Dr's visit went well. My BP is slowly dropping: I've cut right back on caffeine and cut out all sweet and sugary things (except fresh fruit) and put myself back on a modified Scarsdale diet (all fresh fruit, veg, lean meat and fish, no sweet or sugary, fried or starchy foods, for two weeks, then relax the rules a little to allow treats, then back on the two weeks strict, repeat until desired weight is reached) which I know works well for me (though in the past it could be difficult sticking to the no-nos. It's easier these days!) Lost half a stone so far. Dr's upped the meds, since I'm fine with them.

It would be dropping faster if the home situation was less stressful: our neighbour has finally killed off the last shred of goodwill we had towards him. Details - and possibly photos - after I've taken legal advice next week.

Today's appointment was nice and quick, line care and blood reviews and Kai'll be fine until Monday, at which point he'll need platelets again. And it's a bank holiday Monday. Oh joy.

Anyway - onto more fun things. Mama Fox (half way up the garden, photo © Ken) -

Mama Fox

- brought a cub with her last week, and this week we've had three gambolling in the garden. They are absolutely adorable and Kai will get some footage up on Youtube as soon as he can, but he has well over a hundred clips now and it takes a little time to stitch them all together. Mama seems to come out early, I assume to feed herself, then brings the kids. I am overjoyed that they feel safe enough here to play. (We think dad might have come with them once but they tend to move quickly and it's not easy telling the adults apart unless they're sideways, you can see the difference in their tails then.)

OK - these aren't great (you try screencapping bouncing playing fox kits at night!) but they at least give some idea. The big one is Mama Fox.

Kai has said he'll get some video done for uploading tomorrow evening.

On a less delightful note, my precious Sultan's Palace iris is a slug and bug magnet - so far all the flowers have been eaten despite PV powder and gastropod prevention methods. I think I'll have to dig it up and put it in a pot on a stand or the table, and put slug pellets around it.

Whoa. Torrential rain...

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Blogger GoodTwin said...

Those pics look pretty good to me!

We sadly lost all the baby blue tits again. Not sure if there's a high failure rate in general or whether we're just being unlucky. On the plus side, both pairs of blackbirds locally have raised healthy broods - one has four that come to the feeder every morning. :)

10:29 pm  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

I'm so sorry about the blue tits, I know how much you were hoping everything would be OK this year.

Good news about the blackbirds though! We now have two pairs who have - reluctantly and with the occasional squabble - agreed to share the garden, but I haven't seen any young ones yet. In a way I'm glad: it means they haven't made a nest in the garden (I usually have to keep Tyjer in for a couple of days while the nestling learns to fly, or he catches it and brings it to me...)

HOWEVER! We now have a thrush visiting! I am really chuffed about that, as we rarely see them here (there are a couple down at the park, but other than that it's been years since I've seen any). The feeders now get mobbed twice a day and I'm having to put out a lot of food - but on the plus side, all the birds are also hunting all over the garden, so clearing up the pests too!

I just hope we're adopted by a robin again soon. I found ours dead a couple of weeks ago, which was very distressing.

10:45 pm  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

One of our blackbird pairs nested in the tree right over the birdfeeder. I was anticipating a ruined nest but fortunately they survived, and the parents have been very careful about keeping them out of Sophie's reach.
We've had a thrush in the garden but not sure if it's male/female or nesting anywhere. Robins, we have at least two and they're feeding somewhere close.
I still have my 'tame' collared doves. They were determined to build a nest on a wire and it was highly amusing to watch them taking up a twig, putting it on the wire, and wondering why it fell off. Eventually they nested in next door's guttering, but something happened to the egg or chick as that was abandoned after a couple of weeks. It could have been a jackdaw or magpie; we have quite a few hanging about and visiting for food.

7:12 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Can't stop laughing at the image of collared doves trying to build a nest on a wire...

And then opting for guttering? Ohhhh dear...

12:18 am  

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Ye gobs Kai's platelets were ready!! We were home by one pm.

And I managed a page and a half of nextPoppy while we were there.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Poppy Tales 

The Poppy Tales, New World 2, ch 15 - Progress - now posted: link above.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Kai's RBC was 68 yesterday, so the usual two units of blood were required. (A little worrying as it now seems to be back to blood needed every ten days instead of two weeks+.) For once, however, this fitted in with our plans. The weather was promised to be glorious today - so we went to Severn Beach on the train.

Train was quiet going out (bit busier coming back but not enough to be worrying) and we walked along the breakwater to the headland (probably about a mile each way) where we stopped for a picnic. Almost deserted - but then it usually is - and there was a light sea breeze to cool us down a little. Kai wore the baseball cap I bought him yesterday to keep the sun off his face (Prof Marks advised being wary of the sun as too much exposure now can lead to an increased risk of melanoma in later life after the transplant) and I took his one and only long-sleeved cotton shirt with me in case he was too hot to keep his jacket on. He wasn't. I don't know how he does it, I was melting...

There are ten wind turbines now!

It was wonderful. We both came back feeling great - it was lovely to get out of Briz, even if only a few miles away - and the sea air and sunshine did us both good. In fact, when I measured my BP when we got back it was 137/86, which is the lowest it's been for months and a good improvement (if it stays there, anyway...)

And we have a fox cub on last night's footage! Just one, eating dog food while mum keeps watch. Kai's going to try to stitch a whole load of clips together over the weekend and upload to Youtube: I'll embed them here once they're available.

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Blogger Writer Chick said...

Oh, that's lovely.

Are these the wind turbines that Donald Trump thinks he should have the right to say "No" to? That man's an idiot.

They're too modern to my eyes, but nowhere near as obtrusive as even above-ground high-tension lines would be. Steampunk wind turbines, ho!

And a kit! Lovely ...:DDD

2:51 am  
Blogger Sue said...

The sea always relaxes me. Sounds like a lovely day - much deserved.

10:36 am  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Lin - yes, that's the ones. I am a complete anorak when it comes to wind turbines, I absolutely adore them, could watch them for hours.

I would use another term than idiot...

Sue - thanks. We thought so!

1:57 pm  

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