2007 — 13 December: not quite so icy Thursday

If I were to say, as I flounder around, that this is just a plaice holder for the halibut, can you deduce the sole element of last night's delicious meal? But, it's 1 a.m. and time for bed I guess, even though there's some vintage Varèse on Radio 3! More later.

Time now 08:29 or so. Driving lesson starts in quarter of an hour, followed by a drive down to, and a walk in, the soul-soothing (and probably brass monkey jangling) New Forest. "Bright children from poor families are being overtaken by the richer clots" says the newsreader (well, not quite in those words, I suppose). And four or five central banks seem to think they can prop up liquidity globally without involving China, Japan, Russia, Malaysia, Brazil etc etc. Shome mishtake, shurely?

Worry about the Highway Code, Mounce!

Back safely, albeit chilled

Getting only slightly, not lost exactly, more detoured, by an earnest debate about the merits of turning onto the B3079 (my fault we missed it, but I was trying to assess whether there was a consensus at the time the junction went whizzing by) versus trusting the sat nav suggestions on how to get back on track by first traversing Minstead. It's all good driving practice fellas, trust me. But we'd picked up walking partner Bob and a trio of elderly gents were shortly thereafter to be seen traversing only slightly muddy tracks in a bit of the New Forest new to me: Milkham Inclosure and Slufters Inclosure being just two of the names involved.

Milkham Inclosure and Slufters Inclosure
Are we there yet, chaps? (This used to be an OS map)

Belgic stater
It's gold!

In case you were wondering, this is a "belgic stater". A horde of eight gold belgic staters were found in the adjacent Milkham Inclosure, while a further 3 gold staters were found and never declared in a stream near Castle Piece. Amazing what you can find underfoot, isn't it? But now, it's not even 5 p.m. and it's already pitch black out there. Brrr! I think a nice, hot bath is called for.

Back, fools! There's a cartoonist coming through

A line from the late, great B Kliban, of course. Although I've been known to remark (satirically, I should add) that the massively talented Robert Crumb is my hero and rôle model(!) I have a great soft spot for the late Don Martin, too (of Mad magazine, of course). He brought a totally new meaning to the word onomatopoeic:

Of course, no girl, and certainly no mother, could be expected to appreciate the risqué insightfulness of "Snap Ploobadoof" — the sound of "Wonder Woman releasing her Amazon brassiere."

Michael Dirda reviewing The Completely Mad Don Martin here


What is it about A/V equipment that ensures it fails just when you want it to work? I recorded the Pink Floyd documentary "Which one's Pink?" last night while I was out having that nice nosh. It's safely captured on the Humax, and I'd just finished copying it across to the hard drive of the Panasonic DVD recorder prior to popping it onto a DVD-R. So, like many times before, I bang in a blank DVD-R and the machine goes immediately into a brain-dead repetitive switch off, switch on, do a power on self-check, rinse and repeat cycle and I face yet another fun evening of trouble-shooting that (I suspect) will terminate in ordering a new machine. And it's easily six months since I read an issue of What Video magazine to know what's good, what's bad, and what's ugly. Plus, of course, now I'm a poor pensioner... <Sigh>