2008 — 22 Jan: Tuesday: time to hit the hills

Well, the South Downs (which I know about only from reading John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids come to think of it). Let's hope there are none rambling around while we do. And let's hope Big Bro touched down safely in Washington, before transferring equally safely on to Dallas. It seems to be a mite windy out there.

More later

Including, perhaps, tales of the Humax dongle. But not just Yeti. Exercise and fresh air first! It's 08:29 and I've switched from the meaningless Radio 4 reportage of the meltdown in the global economy to the soothing Handel harpsichords oozing from Radio 3. Head in the sand, maybe, but infinitely preferable to fat cats explaining what's going wrong without ever mentioning either of the two major contributory factors (greed and stupidity1). Damn! They're now reading out a news bulletin of much the same stuff.

He's back

The time is now 17:17 and I've been back home for about an hour following our 7 and a bit mile hike along the South Downs way (partly) out at Chilgrove, the Devil's Jumps, ...

Lunch on the Devils Jumps
Lunch on the Devil's Jumps, with three of the old devils...

... Monkton House, and a lot of mud. (But no triffids.) Plus views as far as the Solent, clear blue skies, almost totally silent (no motorway noise at all), buzzards, chaffinches, horses, sheep, and some friendly banter. I drove out to Mike, collecting him and Andrew, then it was on out to Petersfield to pick up their friend John, and thence to Chilgrove. Lovely, pretty chilly, uphill quite a lot of the way, sunny, and soul-soothing. Christa would have loved it too, I think. So although it was Mother Nature who ripped her away from us (nearly eleven weeks ago now!), it's also Mother Nature (I hope) who is slowly trying to help with the healing2 of some of the wounds.

Truly, no man (or woman) is an island. Thanks for your company, chaps! Here's a picture of our absent friend. This one's from about 1980 and, once again, shows the changes of hair colour and length, but the wonderfully invariant smile.

Christa in Old Windsor

Radio 3's Night Waves

Just (22:22) finished listening to psychoanalyst Darian Leader discussing with art historian Griselda Pollock the place of mourning and grief in contemporary culture. He argues that our inability to see the mourning process through properly is a significant contributor to the modern malady of depression. (I had to giggle at the phrase "To turn neurotic misery into common unhappiness" but then my opinion of Freud has not been high for many years now!) Does a continued ability to giggle indicate a relatively light attack3 of what Holly Golightly called the mean reds? I sure hope so.

In earlier times (in Germany, before we met) Christa became depressed for some months (for reasons that I will not go into). I've already mentioned here what she had to say about her "cure". I also had all too many opportunities during her cancer "journey" to see how brave she was. The day before her initial operation for this second round (to put it in simplistic Bulldog Drummond terms) she wrote me a brief note which I only discovered some time later:

Christa was a brave lady

That was my girl! I miss her. I suspect, dear reader, you already know this. <Sigh>



1  It was Einstein who thought this was also infinite in extent, I believe.
2  I have to say, whoever it was who said bereavement was hard and horrible knew what they were talking about.
3  "What I've found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany's." (For breakfast, of course.)