2008 — 23 December: Tuesday

One day to go before my date with the motorways of England. Come back with me first to that sunny patio in Meisenheim in September 1974 and my last few days as a bachelor! I don't look too worried, do I?

Christa and David in Meisenheim, September 1974

I've just finished listening to the last part of the "Roy Orbison" story. I must say his second wife's tribute to him was very moving. G'night.

Taking it nice and slow

Like the rest of the country, it seems, though there's a long list of motorway accidents. It's 10:26 and I'm munching while contemplating my rather depressing "to do" list. Whose idea is this Xmas lark, anyway? Still, at least the days start getting lighter round about now.

Goodwill to all...

... except 29% of our science teachers?

If 29% of science teachers really think creationism should be taught as a valid alternative to evolution, we have a national disgrace on our hands, calling for urgent remedial action in the education of science teachers. We are failing in our duty to children, if we staff our schools with teachers who are this ignorant — or this stupid.

Richard Dawkins in The Guardian

Mind you, the Pope appears to be unable to distinguish between human sexuality and rain forests. I would draw to his attention an amazing book that neatly combines his concerns:


Good afternoon

The Yaris has been fed, and soon it will be time to feed me, I guess. It's rather busy out there at the moment. The moment currently being 12:17 or so. I hope they all tuck themselves away indoors for tomorrow, like they seemed to last year. A clear run would be nice for my fraying nerves. I think I shall now sort out my emails — the "sticky" on the envelopes of the last batch of Christmas cards that Christa bought has, at it were, come unglued. Plus there's the minor detail that I have rather missed the last day to post stuff... Christa was rather better-organised than me (but I suspect people already knew that). Her current smile is one of exasperation, I trust.

In later news...

There's very little to report. I've sent out a bunch of emails, and had only two "bounces" which is pretty good. I've also had a refund from Amazon; the marketplace seller who was supposed to be sending me a DVD of The Stickup has 'fessed up that there are no copies left in his warehouse. Guess what's writing from PVR to DVD-R as I type? It's 16:40 and drearily dark already. Almost enough to make you believe in SAD. Flick another light switch on! Better yet, have another cuppa.

And listen to people praising Beachcomber. (Chosen by another hero of mine: Raymond Briggs.) I gave the Father Christmas book by Raymond Briggs to Christa for Christmas in 1974; I also now note that dear Mama has my copy of Richard Ingrams' 1974 book about the work of JB Morton. Wonder where she's put it?

I scanned in my inscription to Christa, and can only wonder anew at the damage done to my handwriting by the time I'd left Hatfield Polytechnic. I had italic penmanship enforced in Junior School, only to find out how horribly inadequate that style is when trying to take rapid notes rather further up the educational system:

Santa GIF

Ironically, my handwriting improved during my first four years or so as a technical writer with ICL because (believe it or not, youngsters) there were no such things as word processors and my handwritten prose was typed (and/or typeset) for me before I got to do the paste up of the camera ready copy.

Rumblings suggest (at 19:16 or so) that I'd better do something to placate the inner man yet again. Better start my packing, too.