2009 — 16 April: Thursday

It's 00:50 and a bit late, I suppose, to get clearance from John S to publish a picture he took in Bath beside the Kennet and Avon canal and sent me earlier this evening. But I don't need any permission for tonight's picture of Christa and Peter which dates from 1981 on the front drive of the house in Old Windsor:

Christa and Peter, 1981

Not sure which of two quotes is the more appropriate here. It's a choice between "Always keep a-hold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse!" or, possibly, given that this was around the time of Peter's initial toddling phase, the bit of voiceover right from the start of the David Lynch version of Dune, namely: "A beginning is a very delicate time."

The chicken pie doesn't seem to have killed me — yet... G'night.

R.I.P. Sir Clement Freud

Waking to the news of his death, I note that Wikipedia has his "out-grandfathered (by Churchill)" story but misses a joke I heard him tell five years ago. It concerned a chap who cut down an unruly yew hedge and who, on ignoring a series of threatening letters from a rising hierarchy of officials of various degree, was eventually sentenced to a two-week custodial sentence as a punishment. On entering his two-man cell, the resident incumbent laconically asked him "All right, what did you do, and how long did you get?"
"Cut down a yew hedge; two weeks. How about you?"
"Rape. Twelve years."
"My dear chap — there must have been acres of it!"

Time (10:42) for a spot of breakfast and that vital second cuppa.

30 years is a long time in politics... dept.

I clearly recall La Thatcher's arrival at the top of the greasy pole since it coincided with my acquisition of the "Simon" electronic toy I bought in London in anticipation of impending fatherhood (!) though Peter actually happened along rather later than originally intended. I loathe political extremeists of whatever stripe, so this article both interested and amused me. Source and snippet:

Alice Thomas Ellis, in The Birds of the Air (1980), wrote: "Even the leaders of the political parties had come to resemble little animals. On the left an old teddy; his stuffing, his credibility leaking a little now. On the right a mouse — a shop mouse, her head stuck in a yellowed meringue, a mean little mouse bred on cheese rind and broken biscuits and the nutritionless, platitudinous parings of a grocer's mind."

Philip Hensher in The Guardian

While I cannot deny that the Britain of the late 1970s had very little of the "Great" about it, I have to wonder if things are better today.

Can I afford...

... an electric car with a £5K subsidy? Nope! Besides George Monbiot has just told a grateful nation that the "decarbonising" of private transport (when you factor in the carbon footprint of the electricity generation) is essentially nil. Can our guvmint even (begin to) afford this fantasy subsidy in the wake of their flinging my tax revenue at failed banks and financiers? Smoke, mirrors, lies, emission trading schemes... I think I should re-create the precursor of the bog garden / pond (Peter's sandpit) and bury my head in it.

Meanwhile, my main co-pilot has just installed a series of six stubby poles in his grass verge to discourage parking along his wall. An interesting sociological experiment is in prospect given the propensities of some of our local teenage drivers. Time (13:36) for a bite to eat.

A lump of entropy...

... has just (15:11) been relocated from Junior's room (creating a bit of breathing space for him) into Christa's study (mostly) and mine (partly). My childhood ambition to keep my library of books on microfilm has rarely seemed a better idea. DVDs are already rehoused in a series of Case Logic folders,1 each of which holds 264 (the one that will be labelled with the letter "O" arrived a couple of hours ago though I haven't yet got a strategy for what to do after I reach the letter "Z"). My attentive reader will know that I'm also busily digitising the DVD cover artwork for much easier access to it. CDs are already held in a set of Post Office boxes up in the loft while their digital content has been painstakingly resampled (twice!) and spread across four five separate hard drives.

As I remarked to a chum recently, beyond a certain point you don't own possessions, they own you. Yet what would I grab if the house caught fire? Haven't got a clue. A can of petrol, probably!


Heavens! It's 22:49. Junior has been fed and entertained (he chose that well-known fish name of "Wanda"). Now, having fixed the problems with the wireless network he's busily doing whatever it is he does while I soldier on with an unaccustomed but very welcome presence just a few feet away. Almost like old times; now, where's Christa got to? <Sigh>

He's unwilling even to try the reggae version of "Dark Side of the Moon". Tut, tut.



1  Thinks: why would anyone pay £39-95 in Currys.digital for such a folder when the identical product is available via the Interweb malarkey for about £23?