Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::

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

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

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

I'm a Member of 

UK Veg Gardeners!

Silver birch at Eastwood 


"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
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
:: Fundies say the darnedest things [>]
(Warning. This site is likely to have you screaming with laughter, shaking your head in sheer disbelief, or weeping for the future of your species. Often all three at the same time. I disclaim any responsiblity for any harm suffered by anyone who visits...)
[::..Fun Places..::]
::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
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015

Friday, May 01, 2015

Apparently, this is what happens if you prune your wisteria, as recommended, in October!

I'll try to take another when it's sunny. In the summer, once I've turned out the shed and found the step ladder, we're putting up vine eyes so I can finally train it along the side and around the front of the house...

On the health front, Kai's tacrolimus level is still low, so he's back on the capsules, which means he's not feeling too great at the moment (but coping. We've been here more than once). They'll check again at his next main BMT appt.

Yesterday we went to Goblin Combe...

It's a strange and somewhat eerie place. The temperature drops quite dramatically as soon as you enter the valley.

We wondered if these moss-covered rocks are the goblins (when people are around)...

[sigh] Banks and banks of ramsons and me without my trowel...

It was a really nice expedition, 40 minutes each way on the Weston bus, and a fairly gentle incline along the valley. Kai climbed the steps (I gave it a miss, pretty sure my hips and knees wouldn't cope with coming back down, at the very least!) but pranged something on the way back, so we didn't go any further along the combe. Next time!

We're now watching Twin Peaks - an episode a night - and so far thoroughly enjoying it. I'd forgotten quite how anarchic and surreal it is...

My garden from the landing window.

I love my garden...

Labels: , ,


Blogger Writer Chick said...

You have railroad tracks in your garden! Can't you just tie the slugs to them?

6:32 p.m.  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Yep. Kai's always had an interest in trains and when he was little he asked if he could have a miniature train in the garden. He gave up an entire year's pocket money to pay for it: he and Ken installed it (bought the special tool to bend the track and everything!) and he spent many a happy hour going round and round (there's an engine and two little carriages in storage).
He's now decided he wants to get it working again, and has started clearing the tracks of weeds and ivy. Should be fun come summer!
As for tying the slugs to it: great idea, bit tricky in practise - they wriggle free too easily...

6:43 p.m.  

Post a Comment

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Have I mentioned recently how much I love my garden?



Blogger GoodTwin said...

You might have mentioned it, just once or twice :)

But you put so much effort into it, it's no wonder it looks good.

8:11 a.m.  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...


5:24 p.m.  

Post a Comment

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I have had a hankering to do something a bit different recently - something along the lines of improving my range of knowledge. I've always had an interest in cosmology, but don't have the physics knowledge to go any distance with it. Physics requires algebra, which is a completely closed book to me. So I've ordered The Dummies Guide to Algebra, 2nd Ed and The Dummies Guide to Physics 1, 2nd Ed. I 'looked inside' on amazon and had Kai vet them first, and they both look relatively straightforward (and Kai volunteered to explain anything I'm not clear on). And I am (or possibly we are, K&K haven't decided yet) going to be joining the Bristol Astronomical Society (they have telescopes!!) If all goes well, I shall later see about investing in my own telescope (right now I have no idea what I need, so will get plenty of advice when the time is right).

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any free courses, although the Open University does do a sort of 'taster' mini-courses for free, which I shall investigate (signed up for an account yesterday). At the moment, paying for a course is out of the question, though you never know, later on it might be feasible...

I picked up The Signal yesterday, and we watched it after dinner. ... wow... It's very good - we think - but certainly not for everyone. Fascinating stuff.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Thursday, April 23, 2015

[grump] So I had my first musculo-skeletal appointment this afternoon...

I have arthritis in my lower back. Oh joy. And it may be that the unfused bone is tearing the thigh muscle. We won't know until after the MRI. "Are you claustrophobic?" he asks.


"Unfortunately it's nothing simple," he says, "otherwise we could just give you a hip replacement and be done with it."


Well, of course it wouldn't be anything simple, it's us after all...

At least that explains the constant pain. More as I find out more.

On a more positive note, as far as my trip to the Con goes, at the end of May I can get two single tickets to and from Birmingham International at an advance cost of £17.40 each, a much better deal.

And in the garden, the first asparagus has appeared, in the greenhouse half the sweetcorn and all the 'Speedy' dwarf French beans have sprouted, and I have my first iris flower...

Lots more coming if the slugs and caterpillars just leave them alone. I've dusted with Py, put a slug pub in the middle, and scattered crushed eggshells. Fingers crossed...

Oh yeah, forgot to say - hayfever season has started for Kai and I. And he's suddenly developed a sensitivity to cucumbers (my father has that too), which is a pain, as he likes them.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ken and Kai decided I needed a day out on Saturday, so Ken and I went to Bradford-on-Avon, and had lunch in the Dandy Lion pub!

Beer-battered tiger prawns with sweet chilli sauce, with a side salad of radicchio and rocket in honey-mustard dressing. Ken had a ham and cheese sesame seed panini and let me try a taste as I've never had it - very nice! The meal was delicious, the service excellent, and the pub itself one of those built on all different levels without a right-angle in the place!

<- A Bradford on Avon street. There are a lot of these!

We thought it might be nice to go to Frome as well, but to get that bus we had to go to Trowbridge first, and the bus was very late, so we went back to Bath instead and then home. We'll do Frome another day.

Sunday was the usual - two lots of shopping, washing, more gardening...

Monday's appt was nice and quick, although his tacrolimus level is still too low and they rang at 9.15 this morning to increase it again. Afterwards we picked up his glasses from Specsaver and walked back down the hill through the woods, which was lovely. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies was out, so dived down to Sains to pick it up, and we watched it after dinner...

Hm. Well, it was action-packed and pretty to look at, but otherwise oddly pointless. The first two films were one long chase, this was one long fight. A bit disappointing, to be honest. Eh well, we have the lot now, will see if it improves on a second viewing...

Energon ep 10 watched and written up this morning - I'm a fifth of the way through and it isn't getting any easier or more enjoyable. Easily the worse Transformers continuity to date, with an appalling dub, incomprehensible jumps in plot, and a human character you just want to bludgeon to death. Then again, it was really made as an anime, and Japanese cultural norms are a bit different to ours. But even so...

I shall be Ronsealing the new bench after lunch, and getting some more seeds on the go (more peas, lettuce and pak choi). It's a brilliantly sunny, near cloudless day, and the water butts are nearly empty, but there's rain forecast for the weekend, so fingers crossed. We need it!

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Friday, April 17, 2015

Later edit... We had time for two games before Masterchef, the first a quick one to show Kai the moves and explain 'castling' and remind ourselves how to play, since it's been so long (I lost, but wasn't expecting anything else), and the second one a much more serious, defensive game. I lost again, but it was hard fought - and by half way through Kai was analysing the best moves and where we went wrong! [bg] I'm looking forward to playing with him!

The usual catchup...

Tuesday - um... can't remember. Probably shopping and gardening, much of my time is taken up by these things right now. Edit - Kai reminded me: we went over to the Showcase to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, only to find it's not out until the 23rd. I could swear I saw it in their listings all over ostara, but I must have been imagining it. So we still have that to look forward to.

I do remember on Wed Kim and I went to the garden centre at Whitchurch, where I picked up compost, a growbag for my greenhouse tomatoes, new secateurs, the remaining seeds I needed (sweetcorn, galia melons, chives, indoor cucumbers), and an adorable solar-powered wol... (that sounds really wrong!)

So cute! The light is inside, so when on at night it makes the prettiest scrollwork pattern.

Also picked up a two-seater bench from Sainsbury's (£50 - really cheap!) which I need to treat before we assemble it. Shall give that a go tomorrow. Kai wants to clear the area behind the hazels to make a shady nook for sitting (out of the sun, which he will need to be careful of for the rest of his life) and this bench will certainly do for now.

My black tulips are flowering!

Beautiful flowers...

Thursday was all garden and greenhouse - now I have the potting compost I've been able to get the sweetcorn and 'Speedy' dwarf French beans on the go (should get the first crop of beans in June from the April sowing, hence the name!), and moved strawberry plants into the old terracotta strawberry planters (they aren't doing anything in the bed, and are prone to being dug up by foxes). Also cleared out my pots: have a couple of hundred more than I need, now trying to find somewhere that will reuse them. Almondsbury used to, not sure if they still do...

Ken and Kai went out for the afternoon - Ken had the day off after having to be a witness for a friend who's soon-to-be-ex-husband was stalking and victimising her (he was found guilty and will be sentenced next month) and took a day's annual leave to recover. They went to Goblin Combe (on the bus route to Weston-super-Mare) and had a fantastic time - so much so that Kai says he has to take me there! Apparently there is nothing ordinary about the combe at all... Cue day out in the next fortnight!

After that busy day we watched Night at the Museum 3 after dinner - it's OK. Not great, but OK as brain candy.

Today I've continued in the garden - wigwams now prepared for the outdoor cucumbers and a couple of melons (may as well give them a go as well as the ones in the greenhouse) and general pottering; slowly trying to clear the veg beds of the small stones that keep coming to the surface. And hoed: it's sunny enough to kill the roots.

The funnest thing of the week, though, is my Transformers chess set, picked up from ebay for £9.99 plus postage. It's brilliant

I mean, what self-respecting Transformers addict could resist a chess set in which Starscream is the black queen?! ("The most powerful piece on the board." Bet Megatron isn't too happy about that...)

The pieces are all based on the Bayverse films, which is a bit of a pity as the designs aren't the most attractive, but the detail is fabulous!

(Optimus made me chuckle. The base is slightly distorted, so he wobbles. Easier to knock him over, I suppose...)

Jazz as bishop made me chuckle too...

Even the board is pretty!

So it's all set up now for Ken and I to at least start a game before Masterchef (semi-finals) tonight. Kai has never played, so thinks he might watch for a bit. Not that I'm any good - haven't played in years and even when I was playing my party trick was accidental stalemates. (Used to drive my opponents mad...)

SO - I now have Transformers Risk, and Transformers Chess, the last one to get is Transformers Monopoly. There are several different versions of this available though, so I shall have to be very careful which one I go for - ideally the 2007 one, not the 2009 or later. Heh. Will have to see what I can find...

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Blogger GoodTwin said...

That set looks amazing! I used to play Chess with my brother but he was so much better than me it was very frustrating. I doubt I could remember how to play now.

I love the wol :)

10:01 a.m.  

Post a Comment

Monday, April 13, 2015

This is the little tree Kim gave me as she didn't have enough room for it in her garden. I thought it was a hazel of some kind, but it's looking more and more like a Juneberry (amelanchier, like the one in the middle of the meadow out the back). Absolutely beautiful - but I now have a problem. Apparently there are umpteen different varieties of Juneberry: some are small trees, some are clump-forming shrubs, and others form low-growing shrubby patches. I have absolutely no idea which I have! Do I plant this one in the meadow with the other, in the hope that this one is a tree and the other a shrub, or in the front garden, or risk leaving it in the tub?

I suppose for the moment I'd better leave them both where they are and see what happens over the next year...

Kai had his appt with SpecSavers yesterday (our local branch is open on Sundays): everything is fine, so we think the problems with his vision are due to the tacrolimus, and should ease off once he's off the meds. The optician did say he has the very slightest 'prescription' in his left eye, and glasses may just possibly help, so as they're free Kai chose a pair of frames and is having them made up for him to use when we're out and his distance vision is blurry. Happens just occasionally... Overall though it's a relief to know there's no physical problem.

Everything continues well in the garden and greenhouse. I now have peas and peppers - bell and sweet - sprouting, and have got the first of the mange tout on the go. Nearly time to plant out the first peas!

Labels: , ,


Blogger Sue said...

Ooh, I like that Juneberry. I must look into getting one of those. As if I had room for anything else of course, but if I chose properly I could have one suitable for a tub.

6:31 p.m.  

Post a Comment

Friday, April 10, 2015

Another busy week. Have some photos!

We've been getting a lot of garden work done - including incinerating the cuttings from the trees and sterilising the greenhouse with a sulphur candle, which was surprisingly undramatic -

Did the job though. I have the first of my tomatoes and cucumbers now in there, taking advantage of the early sun.

Tulips and cerinthe at the top of the garden.

And Ken took an arty photo of the 'floofy prunus', as Lutra calls it -

On Wed Kai and I bussed to Bath and walked along the canal a little way - his first trip out of Bristol in over a year (we don't count the London trip as that was medical)

Beautiful day but a bit too hot for him, and very tiring. We'd thought about going to Weston-super-Mare after his Thursday appt, but he was too tired after the previous day, so hoping to do that some time next week.

Contented cat is contended...

We also watched Predestination, another truly excellent film. Kai said it was the best and most accurate time travel film he's ever seen (and since we make a point of buying/watching them, that's saying something!)

And today I'm trying for a day off - pottering in the garden, and since I've now finished Transformers: Armada I suppose I should make a start on Transformers: Energon - probably my very least favourite continuity of all. Oh joy.

Oh yes, and hoping to get nextPoppy finally written. Fingers crossed...

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Sue said...

Ooh, I shall definitely look out for Predestination now!

9:12 p.m.  
Blogger GoodTwin said...

It does sound very interesting :)

9:18 a.m.  

Post a Comment

Monday, April 06, 2015

... I'm going to Auto Assembly 2015...

Just for the Saturday. Ken says I deserve a reward for doing all the ep guides to The Unicron Trilogy for the IMDb, and this is the last year it will be held (it started in 2000). So I've booked my one-day ticket, checked the train times - every half an hour from Temple Meads to Birmingham International, one change at Birmingham New St - and prices - (wince) more than the con ticket - and now just have to look forward to August!

James Roberts is one of the guests. I shall take MTMTE vol 6 along in the hope I can ask him to sign it for me. If I can get through the hordes of fans, that is...

Labels: , ,


Blogger Sue said...

Oh how lovely for you. Enjoy!

9:47 a.m.  

Post a Comment

Sunday, April 05, 2015

So, yesterday was, as usual, shopping and client stuff. In the afternoon Kai and I went along the Whitchurch Way (we need to get back into the regular walking) which was very enjoyable but tiring. We watched Transcendence after dinner. I enjoyed it more the second time around, though that may be because I didn't keep falling asleep...

This morning was gloriously sunny, so Ken and I gardened. The forest pansy is now in place, as is the woad, and I've got two clumps of freesias in the ground, one close to the patio, the other up by the bench. Fingers crossed the gastropods don't eat them all!

This is the front garden now. It looks better in real life!

Might head out for a walk in a bit...

Labels: ,


Blogger GoodTwin said...

I think that garden looks pretty good on the photo!
We had a very grey, quite chilly day here. Today's not a lot better, but tomorrow is forecast for sunshine which is perfect as I'm taking Mum out.

2:01 p.m.  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Thanks. It'll mature nicely I think, as the various groups all join up.

It's glorious here today as well!

10:25 a.m.  

Post a Comment

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Interstellar (film) 

Interstellar is as close to perfect a film as we can make given current technology.

Everyone should see it.

Labels: ,


Blogger Sue said...

So noted. Ill put it on the list!

9:54 a.m.  

Post a Comment

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

This is getting ridiculous. So much for thinking I'd have more time for myself when we weren't in and out of hospital all the time!

ANYway... let's see.

Wednesday: general busyness, shopping, planting a few more pea seeds, trimming more ivy, watching Extraterrestrial, which is better than expected. Good and surprising ending. Pity the rest of the film isn't to the same standard.

Thursday was BHOC for blood review, then we walked up to Clifton again, but Kai was suffering from soddall sleep syndrome and more or less collapsed, so we got the (nearly empty) bus (!Yes! First time in nearly two years) back down to the hospital. I think he slept most of the afternoon...

Friday... Friday... And Saturday... Can't remember. Assume more shopping and gardening, my life seems to revolve around those at the moment...

Sunday was the LoveFood Festival at Paintworks: Ken came with me to carry back all the ground-covering herbs I bought. (And the slice of blueberry, lavender and white chocolate cake we thought we'd try with a coffee when we got home - it was heavenly.) The afternoon was more gardening - planting what we'd bought. In the evening we watched Coherence, which is brilliant.

Monday I got tomato and pepper seeds on the go on the kitchen windowshelf (means we can't use the blind for a month or so until I can get them into the greenhouse but it's not so cold now, we'll manage). And did a whole load of client stuff.

Yesterday Wendy came up to visit, and we went through to Glastonbury (and stopped off at Wells on the way back). Fantastic day, wonderful to meander and talk...

Today has been more general busyness. Broadwalk for my prescription and birdfood, Sains for general shopping (it occurred to me that the opening hours will be curtailed over the Ostara weekend...) Picked up Interstellar for us to watch tomorrow night after dinner.

I'm now up to ep 47 (to do tomorrow) in my episode guides for Transformers: Armada (I didn't write the first one but all the rest are mine) and have gone through Transformers: Energon putting in all the episode titles: I'll start tackling that after I've finished Armada.

And In half an hour I'm going to sit with Masterchef. I'm forever hopeful I'll find a new recipe that I could actually make, but so far I've been disappointed. It's fun to watch though!



Unicorn bed. You can just spot the new camellia if you look very hard, between the spiraeae.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday already? Heh...

So what happened? Um... Sat was shopping and gardening - finishing up treating the bench and getting it into place (on bricks this time to keep the legs in better repair).

On Sunday am Ken and I went back to Wyevale (10% off everything that weekend) for another 2 for 1 breakfast, new grass shears and grease bands for the fruit trees (I ended up buying a tin of grease instead, much easier to apply!), and bought a very pretty double primrose and a blue vinca (periwinkle). In the afternoon Kai and I went along the Whitchurch Way, which is looking very pretty right now...

but I was absolutely knackered when we got back.

Monday I started tackling the meadow: cut down the old teasels, dug up brambles, took the dead wood off the rose of Sharon and cleared around the Juneberry. Also shifted all the dried wooden cuttings into the greenhouse to keep them dry until we can incinerate them.

Today Kai and I started clearing the ivy from his railway track, but had to stop when it started hailing...

That was followed by a couple of peals of thunder, which fortunately didn't come to anything else, as I'd arranged to meet Ken after work at Sains so he could carry back the heavy shopping (I just can't manage it any more, it makes my shoulders, back and legs hurt. Sometimes I miss the car...)

So busy, but generally productive and satisfying. I should start getting photos soon, so you can see what we're doing to the garden.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Friday, March 20, 2015

Super moon, partial solar eclipse, Spring Equinox! 

Light cloud made getting pics possible! These are Ken's (his camera is better than mine).

The clouds mostly cleared for totality, which meant most of the photos were useless as the glare was too intense - except for a few of mine, where a strange optical effect gave us an inverted, reverse purple 'ghost' of the real thing!

The light stayed quite bright, but the drop in temperature was very noticeable. All in all a quietly dramatic event.

Labels: ,


Blogger GoodTwin said...

Amazing photos. Over here the cloud cover was complete, we barely noticed anything happening at all.

8:54 a.m.  
Blogger Sue said...

Same with us, such a shame. Those pictures are amazing!

2:23 p.m.  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

That's a real pity, it was dramatic...
Ken says thanks!

10:13 p.m.  

Post a Comment

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Major catchup before I'm too tired to get it written up. It's been busy...

Kai's been fighting off cold bugs for a couple of months quite successfully, but it was, of course, too good to last! Just after my last post he took his temperature - 38.3°. So it was off to the BHOC. By the time we got there it was up to 38.5°: the nurses took full bloods and throat and nose swabs to be analysed urgently while we waited to hear what we should do. Happily, the initial results came back negative, so we came home again (with a course of anti-biotics to tackle a minor unrelated possible-infection) but were advised, as ever, to contact them if we were worried. At this stage there's the possibility that other worse infections can creep in under cover of a cold or flu bug, so any time his temperature gets above 38° we're to ring for advice.

The bug is now on the way out - it was a cold, but quite a nasty one, and it looks like it may be a little while before he feels completely better. Hopefully his new immunity to that one will stop him getting another for a few weeks (for my sake too, his coughing keeps me awake). Other than that, all continues well. The next hurdle is in a few months, when they'll be testing for chimerism. It's vital that my stem cells have taken over, and there are none of Kai's left, for the transplant to be considered a success (as I understand it the tacrolimus is the drug that's keeping his down/killing them off, which is why they won't reduce the dose yet. That's the med that makes him feel fuzzy-headed, unfortunately...)

We've let the university know that, if all continues as it is, he'll be starting his course in October.

We haven't been for a walk in over a week, as he hasn't felt well enough. Looking forward to restarting them, as although I have time this fortnight to catch up with all my own stuff, I find I rather miss them!

Sunday was Mothering Sunday: Ken and I went out to Wyevale for me to use up some of my vouchers (2 for 1 on breakfasts, £2 off a purchase, £1 off the latest copy of the BBC Gardener's World, plus double points. It was really nice, and we came back with the veg seeds I need for this year and two camellias (on special at a third off!) - an Adolphe Audusson, planted out the front, and a Nagasaki (I've wanted one of the latter for a while now). That will be planted at the back, but we're not quite sure where yet. It'll probably be between the spiraeas in the unicorn bed to the side of the greenhouse.

After dinner we watched Starship Rising... Yes, we knew it was going to be pretty bad from the IMDb review, but I was fancying 'park your brain atthe door' entertainment to end the day.

... it was awful. I think it qualifies as the worst film I've ever seen. It tried hard, with some excellent, strong female characters (who would have been more believable had they not been plastered in inch thick makeup and wearing ridiculously high heels), with the look of the live action Casshern and a vague feel of Lexx, but apart from that... Ken described it as the visual equivalent of Vogon poetry. Kai said it was like a bad fanfic. To me it played like a 26 ep bad s-f series condensed into an hour and half. It was incoherent, the acting was dreadful and the dialogue incomprehensible.

And there's a sequel!!

Yesterday I (reluctantly, as the new position is much more exposed and less secure) moved the planting table out from it's usual position by the fence (to stop next door killing off my seedlings, he cost me hundreds in lost produce last year), cleaned it and got the first of my seeds on the go - spinach, radishes and the first batch of peas. Ken picked me up a couple of packs of peat/cardboard pots at Broadwalk: I need more compost, but I think I can buy a small bag at Sains to keep me going until I can get out to a garden centre.

When Sue visited last she brought over the Zodiac DVD set (I'd had it on my amazon wishlist) and we watched the first ep. I was hooked, ordered it, and we've been watching it after dinner for the last few days (and I've been writing the ep guides on the IMDb). It's wonderful! Very much of its time, but such fun! It has the ambience of The Avengers (the John Steed/Mrs Peel version, not the superheroes) with a tiny hint of Sapphire and Steel. I really wish it had gone to a full twelve eps instead of stopping at six.

Still ploughing through Transformers: Armada, writing up an ep at a time on the IMDb (ep 38 today...). Then - oh joy - I'm determined to do Energon and Cybertron too, at 52 eps each... Glutton for punishment indeed. But I don't like leaving things unfinished.

Which naturally leads to the consideration of Poppy. It's been nagging, but I've also been undecided how to proceed. The Tales are based on the Bayverse films, and now, of course, there's Age of Extinction to take into account. I could ignore it - but I actually really like the film... I think I have the plot organised in my head, will try to get it on rust asap.

Finally, Ken's latest book - The holy well and the Chapel of St Anne in the Wood.

Ken's been writing this for some years, slowly accumulating information, and when the Discover Brislington Brook project organisers suggested it would be a good complement to their work, he happily agreed. The book was to be paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund - but instead of putting it out to tender, the organisers insisted it be published by Fiducia, a small, independent local publisher. Ken wasn't completely happy with this, but after so much work - and under pressure from the organisers - agreed.

Well, Fiducia might have been good in the past, but it's under new management, and said management is aggressive, combative and, quite honestly, incompetent. They wanted the book to go to press riddled with typos and inaccuracies: when Ken refused they asked to go to mediation. Ken had to take a day's unpaid leave to do so (and remember this was all happening at the time when Kai was facing his transplant and the future was uncertain and terrifying).

The results were not good. (How much so? The following day the mediator rang Ken to apologise: he said in all his career he'd never had to deal with anyone so unreasonable.) The upshot is that the time ran out for the Lottery Fund cash, we had to use Archyve as the publisher and pay for everything ourselves, at not-for-profit prices...

A (somewhat dubious) bright spot was that the printer printed the first batch at the wrong quality. The second batch was at the right quality, and it meant we were able to provide two versions of the book, standard and deluxe. The only difference is in the quality of the pictures, and even the standard ones aren't bad, just not quite as crisp and clear as the better version.

And the book itself? It's been very favourably received, and despite all the obstacles Ken is happy with it. I think it's gorgeous.

Later edit: [headdesk] sorry - it's Thursday tomorrow. I've been living the wrong day all day...

So - Friday tomorrow. Super moon, partial solar eclipse, and Spring Equinox all on the same day. Should be good!

Heh. Been typing this up for over an hour now - time to get out and get some shopping. Later!

Labels: , , , , , ,


Blogger Sue said...

Hee, I know Thursdays are hard to get the hang of, but there is still one between today and Friday.
Glad Kai is on the mend and that it was nothing more serious.
Can you link to the reviews of Ken's book? What a palaver to bring it to print but at least it seems to have all worked out for the best.

1:33 p.m.  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

It's Wednesday? [headdesk] Time, how does it work?

No written reviews that I know of yet, although a local paper thinks they might do one. Will post if so!

1:37 p.m.  
Blogger Sue said...

Ahh, that's me, failing at reading comprehension. I read received favourably as reviewed - sorry.
Hugely looking forward to the eclipse and I'm fortuitously at home on Friday - hurrah!

1:42 p.m.  

Post a Comment

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Farewell, Sir Terry - you will be deeply missed.



Post a Comment

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Catch up...

We've been watching a lot of films just lately. I picked up the triptych of Lewis Collins mercenary movies - Code Name: Wild Geese, Commando Leopard and The Commander, terrible films but a lot of fun! - which Ken watched with me: found time to watch Speaking Parts (birthday present - surprisingly good, has gone on the special section of the shelf along with Snowpiercer, The Fountain, Cloud Atlas and Only Lovers Left Alive): Lucy (bizarre, shades of The Matrix) and yesterday I'll Follow You Down - a.k.a. Continuum - which is rather good in an understated way.

Kai, unfortunately has the most horrendous cold at the moment. He's managed to fight off most of the cold bugs so far, but this one... eurgh. It's never affected him so badly, and knowing this is only the start of his immune system rebuilding itself is a little depressing. He's staying chipper though, as best he can. But his birthday yesterday wasn't much fun for him... (GoodTwin, I did ask him to email you thanks but I haven't checked he did it and his memory is fuzzy atm. He really appreciates the present, though he doesn't know what he's going to get with it yet.)

Today was actually hot in the sun so I took advantage and started clearing out the greenhouse; Kai came out for some sun and fresh air, and felt a little batter afterwards. Still a bit to do, but it's a little more organised now, and for the time being we've moved the bench inside: it needs some serious weatherproofing, but it needs to be completely dry before I can treat it (we picked up some decent Ronseal stuff in a sale). Should be OK to do it in a week (I'm planning at least three coats) and then I need to burn the sulphur candle in the greenhouse to sterilise it before I start growing. All jolly good, if very smelly, fun.

The frogs have now discovered, and have been bonking in, Kai's woodland pool, which now also has frogspawn. GoodTwin was right when she said biblical proportions. Plagues of frogs in a month or so. We're going to be so popular...

[sigh] Foxes...

I've left them some food out tonight, in the hope they'll stop burying empty dog food tins in my big plant pots...

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger GoodTwin said...

Kai: np :) Hope he feels better quickly.

Tadpoles make you very popular with the bird population...

We had a fox in our garden on Sunday night. Very alarming, with the buns. I'm hoping it won't come back!

7:52 a.m.  

Post a Comment

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Quicky before I go fall over...

The results of frog bonking season, Roeg's Pool. There's more, but the reflections hide it.

Labels: ,


Blogger GoodTwin said...

Crumbs - biblical proportions! :)

9:22 a.m.  
Blogger Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Indeed! *beg*

1:37 p.m.  

Post a Comment

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

[g] Snazzy stealth bomber Megatron now ordered and on his way, to be wrapped and put away for me for Yule...



Post a Comment

Monday, March 02, 2015

So... Saturday was great fun. I now have the first two volumes of Robots in Disguise, the companion series to MTMTE, to enjoy, and the wonderful Revenge of the Decepticons: pt 3, which I needed for the fabulous version of Megatron... (His alt mode is a stealth bomber, and that on his right arm is a fragging rail gun!!! I really really need this figure...)

And it actually exists!! [wince] Bit pricey though....

ANYway... a trip to Cadbury Garden Centre was fun, if not overly successful, and was followed up by a general knowledge quiz over dinner at the Black Castle and then Barry Norman's Interactive Film Quiz DVD back at home - most enjoyable! We're going to try to organise a summer visit this year - easier now Kai's improving.

Sunday was the usual manic, and today also very busy: into town to bank etc, then a late afternoon walk along the Whitchurch Way with Kai, as the weather was so beautiful (cold, but sunny).

Clouds over Dundry.

And it's frog bonking season again! Roeg's pool is already half full of frogspawn (nine clumps today: Tyjer keeps poking at them). Probably be more tomorrow -

Heh. We probably need more females.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Sue said...

It was indeed a lovely day!

9:02 p.m.  

Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Blogarama - The Blog