2008 — 12 Feb: Tuesday — off after well-fired loaves

Time is 01:24 and I've just finished doing the dishes after watching one of yesterday's two new DVDs — an oddly-engaging film called Hallam Foe that (in my opinion) was badly mis-described by the Times critic as a "comedy".

My word, it may have been very Spring-like yesterday (and the sea was deliciously blue) but, right now, it's positively freezing. What will the next few months be like, I wonder? — t'aint natural. In fact, I think the Weather Centre has already decided it's been the warmest round here for a century. Of course, a century is a tiny eye-blink in the context of the planet, let alone climate change, though it's a significant chunk of time for the supposedly intelligent ape-descended life-forms riding around (and parking badly) in their SUVs.

Yesterday's cultural(?) acquisitions

You can see, I suppose, why I put "(?)" after "cultural"! Drooping here; time for sleep I think.

Fishing for compliments... dept.

Or should that heading be "loaves and fishes"? I suspect (from a quick glance at the server logs) that Big Bro told a couple of his chums about that picture of his poor, dead, King Salmon overnight. He urges me to tell the world that: "it was one of many salmon that fell victim to this magnificent fisherman up in Alaska on a working1 trip with Boeing". He goes on to say "I actually took home2 so much salmon that NZ Ag and Fish (border patrol) were amazed but thankfully let me take it in country to eat".

I remember Dad also got (or was presented with) a salmon back in the 60s — which we then had to eat. And eat. And eat. A very fishy fish, if you ask me.

Oh well. It's 09:37, the sun is shining, the garden waste bags have been emptied, I suppose I should give some thought to brekkie and the day's backlog of necessary tasks. (Start the day with a backlog; it helps generate the illusion of progress.)

Quivering with anticipation... dept.

I naively thought we had the worst newspapers in this country. The current Sydney Morning Herald corrects me. Here's a juicy tit-bit from their in-depth coverage of a high-profile divorce case by an unnamed reporter out, as it were, on the stump:

Heather was insatiable, she demanded sex six times a night.
I'd come home to find her waiting naked in bed. She had a hoard of vibrators for when she was home alone. Her favourite was a huge back massager that she plugged into the mains.

Sydney Morning Herald

Shades of that wonderful TV series Coupling! And it is said romance is dead.

I shall just have to immerse myself in the cleansing (cold) shower that is the new (Beta) BBC home page.

News. Don'tcha love it?

The experts believe (you have to respect a bulletin with such a phrase) we face a killing heatwave by 2012, the "faint possibility" (I would have thought racing certainty) of a return of malaria, and (actually, I changed channels at that point). Does the BBC really have to tell people that the rising price of diesel and petrol "at the pumps" is caused by a rise in oil prices? Big Bro's theory, of course, is that it's all down to one Dubya and an interminable armed conflict safely away from the USA mainland. Even Peter Gabriel's "Games without frontiers" is preferable listening. But the good news is that I snaffled a couple of those well-fired loaves. I also took a cheese-related buying tip from a friendly widow in Lidl and opportunistically quizzed her on the art of the crock pot. "Do your veggies first" she said, "after boiling them a little. They take longer than meat to cook".

Sadly, the technical help line has no further suggestion to make regarding Cathy's hard drive (save to reformat it, which is tricky when it's no longer showing up on the OSX desktop). Back it goes, I suspect. Oh well, time (13:15) to feed that inner man. There will be another mouth to feed on Friday night, too. Junior is planning to drop in. I therefore predict a snowboard coming back (just a "faint possibility") to roost in my near future.

Highclere Castle — Take 2

Not that I'm one to harbour a grudge, or nourish uncharitable thoughts. But what Big Bro said about my picture of Highclere Castle prompted me to venture nearly 60 miles up and down to Beacon Hill for a second go this afternoon. To my horror, it was both muddier on the way up and — despite the sunshine — murkier at the top than two and a half weeks ago. I got there by 14:45 and had clambered to the top by 15:00. I didn't take my tripod, but there was almost no wind (and, judging by the angle of dangle of the flag, it was from the opposite direction this time) so I offer Bro this "snap" to compare and contrast. (Of course I cheated a little: I rested the telephoto lens on top of a fence post and I've used Photoshop to restore my verticals to, as it were, the straight and narrow. I also tweaked colour balance, contrast, lighting, and everything else I could find in a vain attempt to match the characteristics of the earlier shot. Not too successfully.) If you'll forgive the pun, my objective was to see if I could get a sharper image from the same vantage point.

Highclere Castle

If nothing else, I've worked up a good appetite for tonight's Beef Stroganoff, spuds, carrots, beans and mange-touts. Then I think I shall collapse in front of Cry-Baby with young Mr Depp. Wait! We have a result... this just in... and there's me thinking all these years that only Yorkshire could rightly call itself "God's own"!

Worth the effort though! Well done, the winter colours make a very pleasing shot! Wait until you sample the clear airs of Godzown.

Big Bro

I'm in big trouble!

Some of my readers keep an eye on my "progress" via this diary. One of them, who is suggesting a lunch date next week while she's on a half-term break from her busy round of yoga teaching (how long does she work at a stretch, I wonder) notes "I'm delighted with the way you're getting out, meeting friends, feeding yourself, running the house etc." But, she adds ominously: "Warning: I haven't seen anything about cleaning the house. There will be an inquisition!" Iris, I assure you the Dyson is gathering dust — though not necessarily in a good way...

Shades of the Mikadothis caught my eye. As for "Blog from the Bog" — how perfect is that? Time (18:31) for that Stroganoff. Get cooking, David!

Cry-Baby is an excellent movie. The DVD extras included a lovely long documentary "It came from Baltimore" all about the cast and crew (an extended "family") making what was John Waters' first studio picture with a substantial budget. The film also propelled Mr Depp into Tim Burton's orbit for Edward Scissorhands — another fine movie. Ho-hum. Time to do the day's accumulation of dirty dishes. Then bed, I'm thinking. But not before the end of Dylan's Theme time radio. Or browsing the bookslut site. Or looking into my new word: Boustrophedon. You hafta love this. Perhaps it will teach Geoff not to send me irritating word puzzles? A common word ending in "mt" anyone? (He wouldn't accept Klimt, of course!)



1  A previously unknown usage of the word "working", surely?
2  Dead fish fly in a better class than me! And, offering further evidence of the pace of climate change, he said: "advise your readership (worshippers) [sic] that it was bloody cold up there and we had to wear 3 or 4 layers of clothing in June". We generally do that here, too, Bro.