2009 — 11 November: R.I.P. dearest Christa!

Here she is, smiling at me back in 1978:

Christa, 1978

What a difference a second year makes, too, I guess. Though I suspect (and I certainly hope) my dry-eyed state indicates further progress along the (long and sometimes rocky) road to whatever normality looks like these days. Either that, or I'm simply worn out having (almost) got the living room back to some semblance of livability. I've yet to relocate the rather heavy Castle Avon speakers up here, though I have it in mind to set them up in what was Christa's study. They will displace her rather smart new metal and glass bookcase downstairs now that I've made room for it by removing the speakers. I'm sure she'd approve. Or, at least, not mind. Or just sigh a bit and smile.

Some of the evening disappeared while a further 157.7 MB of Snow Leopard updates slurped onto the iMac — I do hope it knows what it's doing (since I don't have a clue). Meanwhile, having been thwarted at the weekend, Mike and I are now determined to get out into the fresh air later today unless it's actually pouring with rain, so we've just selected an appropriate road walk to the north east of Winchester — the New Forest having looked positively soggy just a few hours ago. I'm just waiting for the grilled sausages for my lunch sandwich to cool so I can pop them into the fridge...

I forgot to watch the "Meccano" programme, but since I skimmed the relevant chapter of the book that accompanies this series I'm not unduly worried. I was busy!



It's looking quite bright at the moment (08:07 or so after flurries of time signal pips) and the sun seems to be doing its best to get through some clouds. Quite cool, too. Ideal walking weather (but we know how quickly that can change, of course). To those of you who've already emailed me notes about the anniversary — grateful thanks.

Alec Templeton's "Bach goes to town" is playing — perfect, played by George Malcolm, though I still prefer the version I have with John James and Pete Berryman.

Aesthetic (and other) progress

I'm pleased with the new-look back of the living room, even though it's a reversion to its state in late 1998. I even re-used the same drill holes for one of the two speakers. The room is a lot more "open" without hulking great floorstanding speakers stuck up in the air — what was I thinking of? (Why did she let me get away with it?) Time (08:55) for a bite of breakfast and that vital second cuppa.

Jane Austen's sister Cassandra wrote, after Jane's death:

I have lost a treasure, such a Sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed, — She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow; I had not a thought concealed from her, & it is as if I had lost a part of myself.

Cassandra Austen, quoted in The NYT

I reckon she would have known exactly how I feel...

I can predict some people who will be watching this tonight. Right. Time to shift into sandwich-making mode and dress for the Great Outdoors.


... after a very pleasant road hike of a smidgen under seven miles around Froxfield. It was remarkably misty in patches on the way there but the rain was polite enough to avoid our parade for the duration. Back at 14:00 for a welcome cuppa and some video and other snippets with Mike, and now back at Technology Towers just before the central heating is due to kick in. I've been half-listening to Laurie Taylor and his over genteel examination of white collar crime. He could learn a trick or two from Diane Rehm about the art of the spoken scalpel.


... catching up on that Tim Minchin concert DVD so that I can keep up with Gill's critique of it and, as it were, hold my own. Just had to pause while I had a brief chat with Junior, who's doing pretty well by the sound of it. His postcard from Cypress only arrived today.

Young Mr Minchin is a very talented, highly entertaining chap...