2009 — 13 November: Friday

Now why, do you suppose, should a Friday that happens to be the 13th be any unluckier (whatever that's supposed to mean) than any other day? Weird. Tonight's picture of Christa is another favourite — it perfectly captures, I think, her attitude and warmth of affection as a young mother. Mind you, the young hunk being mothered here is now rapidly approaching 30, already earns more than I ever did (not difficult) and has been leading a successfully-independent existence for quite some time. Well-launched, in my opinion. (And I know Christa agreed.)

Christa and Peter

I spent the evening (ahead of the undivine "Margaret") skimming my Blu-ray of The Spirit. Sadly, the Frank Miller documentary featurettes turned out to be better-made and far more interesting than the main feature. Can't win 'em all. I also listened to the excellent free CD stuck to the current issue of "fROOTS" magazine. It's a compilation of new folk music sponsored by the Arts Council of England. Jolly good wheeze.

Now why, do you suppose, should one of my NZ correspondents seek to discourage me from dwelling on this? Even if it is, as he asserts, somewhat OTT. (Ian, I gave up my loyalty to the Grauniad shortly after Christa died. It still strikes me as about the least worst "serious" paper in the UK, but [these days] that really doesn't seem to be saying much.)

I, too, like lists...

... giving, as they do, a faint sense of control, and progress, as we stride, glide, or shuffle gently along Life's little highway...

SPIEGEL: Why do we waste so much time trying to complete things that can't be realistically completed?
Eco: We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That's why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It's a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don't want to die.

Umberto Eco in Spiegel

Christa was a list-maker par excellence. I'm still finding examples even now. Now, where's my shopping list? It's 08:58 — tick-tock, David, tick-tock.

10:26 — I may have been listless, but I managed to grab all major food groups (except another pack of "Crunchie" bars), get a superb card for the upcoming birthday chum's bash on Monday, post off the Special Delivery package to its new owner in Liverpool, show off my splendid new titpher1 in Jonathan's book shop, and all before breakfast...

I just can't...

... make my "Miles" up. Every time I play "Sketches of Spain" (one of my earlier CDs, bought in Dallas in July 1984 — although since replaced by a remastered version with a few extras) I think it's my favourite. But then, along comes "Kind of Blue" (also, amazingly, from 1959) and I think "Wow!" The latter is purer jazz, I guess, whereas the former leans heavily (and beautifully) on its Spanish classical origins. What better accompaniment to a delayed "lemonses" cuppa? It's 12:32 and finally seems to have stopped raining for the time being. The car is out on the drive, getting its free wash...

Lots of Ubuntu-esque things to ponder here. (Tip of the hat to young Simon Phipps for the link.)

The rain, the rain...

Looking more than somewhat balefully at the rain (or should that be "bail fully"?) I ponder anew Christa's foresight in turning the garden pond into a bog garden before she went and died on me. What a clever girl :-) Mind you, I've just lost my next window of opportunity to put the car away without getting soaked. I know full well that into every life a little rain must fall, but this is getting ridiculous.

In lesser news, the "silver" object count in the downstairs A/V stack is down to one now that the Sony Freeview box is up here in the study to take on its new rôle pretending to be a DAB receiver. Perhaps I should paint the iMac black? When I did that to my original switchbox I discovered (too late) what a precision piece of engineering my late friend Colin had wrought, as the push buttons got decidedly sticky. But then, I've discovered that lots of domestic items show a distressing tendency to get a bit sticky! And/or covered by cobwebs. And the dust... don't get me started.

Just writing about housekeeping brings on a powerful urge to emigrate. As one of the one-time winners of "University Challenge" said on that fascinating recent programme exploring what (if anything) their early intellectual promise had led to, she didn't care for housework: no sooner had you finished, it was time to start again. Blow that for a skylark.


p.m. puzzlement

I've just been listening to a music track (from 1981) whose title is apparently symbolised by this Tibetan endless knot:


Amazing what you can dig up from Wikipedia. (Samsara, by Rupert Hine. Roll on "moksha".) Meanwhile, I think I could safely use another cuppa. It's 16:16 and the car is back in its nest.

"Ineluctably" is a lovely word, except...

... when I find I am ineluctably forced to conclude that there comes a time in the life-cycle of a modest-size family home (with, I admit, a couple of books dotted around here and there) and the life-cycle of its gently maturing security guard when I can no longer simply pile stuff up or shift stuff around and must, instead, once again cull the shelves. Hateful task. Last time I did it, I managed to remove about 1,200 titles and (in all honesty) I don't seem to have missed any of them. Still, it's a hobby of sorts, and us retired chaps need hobbies.

Good job there's rarely anything worth watching on telly. Who knows? I may even tackle the contents of Christa's wardrobes. Not to mention the tottering piles of magazines. At the back of my mind (not a long journey to get there) is the knowledge that the plumber is going to need unfettered access to both ends of every radiator, and to the floorboards that currently cover up all the pipework. Hell's bells.

Early night for a change. G'night!



1  The more I look at "titpher", the more I think it's probably "titfer". <Sigh>