2009 — 1 May: Friday — rabbits!

Well, it's 09:43 and — before so much as a mouthful of my morning cuppa had passed my lips — I'd trimmed the nasty brambles by the kitchen door back to their nasty roots and bundled them, like a kidnap victim, into a green collection bag. The phrase "dunno what got into me" springs to mind, but enough is enough. The garden is becoming a bit of a disgrace.

So much for the much-touted benefits of an early night, however. I've been awake, on and off, since 4 a.m. and am feeling the consequences in dopiness (hard to tell, I admit). Still, the sun is shining through a bunch of clouds, it's rather humid, and I'm down to my last banana!

Just had a chat with dear Mama's next door neighbour. He'd had to re-instate the "meals on wheels" deliveries since, for whatever imponderable reason, the ol' dear had decided to stop having them a couple of weeks ago and had consequently run out of food. This is the third time she's done this — Christa and I set up the deliveries in the first place but she resents paying for them (as far as I can tell).

And now (10:01) I've just heard that that nice Mr Blair decided against the appointment of Carol Ann Duffy as Poet Laureate in earlier years because (reportedly) he didn't think "middle England" was "ready" for a lesbian Laureate!!! What a p***k!

Listening to the lady (on "Woman's Hour") while preparing my latest picture of Christa, which I took just a few months before Peter was born, so it would have been fairly late in 1979. What a very different world it all was back then!

Christa in Old Windsor, late 1979

Turns out a sackbut of ale (or whatever the phrase is for part of a Laureate's "stipend") equates to about 600 bottles of sherry. Andrew Motion hasn't had his yet, so Ms Duffy has requested hers upfront. Sensible lady.

I'm a tiny datum...

... on this graph. They have sold 6.1 million of the little devils so far:

Eee PC

Spotted back here. Brian is now dangling the possibility of filling it with an Ubuntu 9.04 build just for fun.

Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?... dept.

"The [Treasury] committee deplores the behaviour of a number of those banks who have received so much public money and behaved in such an insensitive manner, particularly to established customers," said [chairman] Mr McFall.

The British Bankers Association (BBA) replied that anecdotal evidence from disgruntled bank customers having a hard time in the recession had not given the MPs an accurate picture.

BBC web site

Priceless. Interestingly-related "quant" aside here.

Given my belated realisation...

... that there's a Bank Holiday weekend looming up, I'd better nip out and do a tad more supplies shopping, methinks. (Wonder [only partly idly] how much one needs to get oneself through a global pandemic, or [indeed] whether one even wants to get through such an event.) Early morning thoughts do tend toward the darker end of the spectrum, which is why, I suppose, it's said that the darkest hour is the one before dawn... But lunch has been lunched, the rain has held off, and it's still a Friday. Time (13:55) for my next cuppa, obviously. Unfunnily enough, Paul Wilmott popped up in the closing minutes of "More or less". Sounds eminently sensible.

Right! Let the viruses fall where they like. The scorching sunshine will probably see them off. Cloudless blue sky and a radio reminder just before I set off that the sun is as liable to burn now as in August, so I wore my trusty sun hat. I also followed a little old lady to, and into, the Waitrose car park at about three miles per hour. (We were both in vehicles, I hasten to clarify.)


On this evidence, I may have been avoiding this "news outlet" for no good reason. An item by Andy Kershaw asking some pretty good questions about the BBC reasoning that dropped his interview at the last minute. And an item that suggests I have been missing a powerful comic talent. There are, it occurs to me, only so many hours of consciousness in any one day...

Mind you, a nice long email just in from Carol in New York further demonstrates how far ahead of me she remains in the Time Management arena. While she's been busy with blood drives, Democrat campaigning locally, plumbing and building rework, real estate management... what have I done today? Scanned a few bits of artwork, listened to a load of radio scare-mongering, filled the fridge, and used Google Maps to sneak an overhead satellite peek at what used to be Christa's home in Meisenheim.

And now look, it's already nearly time for the News Quiz. Missed it (and the repeat) last week. Wonder what on earth I was up to? But, try this Oxford University Press blog entry on nine words that came, not from science, but from SF.