2009 — 10 June: Wednesday

Tonight's photo reminds me that — over quarter of a century ago — bathtimes with a youngster were always such good, clean, splashy fun:

Christa and Peter, 1982

The evening's entertainment, once I managed to tear myself away from BBC Radio 2 at 22:00, was my new Blu-ray copy of Syriana. It's my second viewing, but remains a rather twisty ("non-linear") story. I remember Christa and I both found it somewhat confusing when we watched it together well over two years ago. I've deliberately not sought out the book it was based on by the CIA chap Bob Baer; life's a bit too short.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day. G'night, at 00:27 or so. Wait! My fellow midnight candle-burner just sent me a nice snippet of verse:

Wee spend our mid-day sweat, or mid-night oyle;
Wee tyre the night in thought; the day in toyle.

Francis Quarles (1630 or thereabouts)

Time to wish my chum Geoff (in his best bib and tucker at the Imperial War Museum) a safe return from the MacRobert award ceremony, too.

An apprentice

Although, back in 1969, I became an apprentice I've never watched "The Apprentice", nor any series of "Big Brother", let alone any TV programme with "Celebrity" in its title. I have enough difficulties with the real reality without wasting my life on the delusional stuff that is tagged with that label and pumped out in ever-greater quantities as "entertainment". I did once speak to Alan Sugar just after he'd launched his IBM-compatible PC but that's another story. Indeed, I was an early adopter of the idiosyncratic word processing system, the PCW8256, and I also once, briefly, owned a powerful source of an audible mains hum that masqueraded as one of his hi-fi amplifiers. (Thanks for the YouTube link, Nick.)

It's 08:54, the sun is finally starting to overcome the rain, and I have an empty crockpot waiting to be stuffed with nutritious goodness.


Pretty much all I know about our cross-puddle cousins comes from over quarter of a century of regular email exchanges with my friend Carol, from a long and enduring loyalty to the adventures of Doonesbury and from a close study of a wide variety of underground comix. My latest book on the latter showed up a few days ago. Its front cover is a nicely mechanised variant, by Robert Crumb (of course), of his (in)famous Keep on truckin' image:


The speech bubble says "Fight the big companies with good ol' American know-how!".

To my (un)surprise — given that it's midsummer — it's just started raining again in time for my dose of Sei Shonagon and my late breakfast.

Grumbles of an oldtimer

First, the bread-slicing kit in Sainsbury's is in castors-up mode. Then, when I arrive home with my nice fresh well-fired loaf I find a postcard from one of Brenda's many grasping minions warning me that my Boston Legal Season #5 DVDs1 are being held hostage pending my payment of the ransom demand: a not unreasonable £3-90 for VAT and a completely unreasonable £8-00 on top of that for the cost of collecting the VAT and passing it along to another of Brenda's grasping minions.

Our Brenda does like her cash-collecting royal monopolies, doesn't she? I've paid taxes all my working life (income tax was introduced — temporarily — to fund the war against Napoleon) and I still pay them on my pittance of a pension. Cradle to grave, heh?

Somewhat later

"After adventures too numerous" etc etc involving an unladen but far from pint-sized car transporter lorry in a hurry on the Avenue I took the non-motorway route back from Southampton leaving him to his own personal journey to perdition. Since I'd already picked up my July issue of "The Word" while in Eastleigh I was simply mooching around a bit and getting some fresh air. I must say, Southampton is developing a slightly worn-at-the-edges run-down look. It's 17:13 and I've just been hearing about the guvmint's ever-tighter grip on information. The same guvmint, that is, with a slightly worn-at-the-edges run-down freedom of information act.



1  I chose the Region 1 DVDs because they include a few extras absent from the Region 2 DVDs. Let's hope they're worth it. They've cost me 50% more.