2010 — 25 May: Tuesday

I've just discovered that Larry Niven has a blog. Meanwhile, although I have (somewhere!) Gordon and Hiller's 1988 book all about the variety of slogans that have been used on T-shirts, I don't typically wear T-shirts that have slogans printed on them...

T shirt

... but this one poses a good question! And it's not wholly unrelated to the subject of the argument I had with Christa (and lost) on our first evening together in the Old Windsor vicarage, back in April 1974. I also used a somewhat similar T-shirt image last September... I hope it doesn't mean I'm lapsing into senility.


Dry and cloudy?

Not so far, it isn't. (Cloudy, that is.) It's 08:04 and time for my next trip to the storage warehouse.1 [Pause] And now, after returning via the foody place, I've just finished breakfast and have a cuppa to keep me going on the next round. What an unfun job. It's 09:32 and a mite cooler than yesterday (so far).

Good afternoon

The mild trembling of the extremities suggests I should take a refuelling break. Sounds sensible to me. There are finally some initial signs, I think, of visible progress. Mind you, I've now shifted rather more than the several hundred books I nearly teased Christa about three years ago when she was preparing her study2 to accommodate that new set of shelves I can now freely covet. Plus I've managed to snag an early morning dental checkup next month just after the plumbing should have finished. (I do like the sound of that verb: "finished"!)

It's not quite as brutally hot as yesterday. A mere 25C up here (just [12:22] checked) — poor Mike's home cinema room was 29C at one point. Right; food!

A Mounce in a suit?

It's true — though very rare. Here's an item from an IBM senior manager's short-lived ego-trip magazine in 1985:

A co-author of the CICS Primer

I was less than thrilled with the accompanying text (which you can reveal by clicking the pic). But at least I didn't write it.

Tick tock. Another two cartons and I'll have the next car load. Phew, it's heating up. Back tuit! [Pause] Next load ready for the "off". Mike just called in en route to Ikea. He's in search of a decent stand for that new video projector we saw recently. Not that he's got it yet — they're on back-order, I gather. [Pause] Total in storage now 65 cartons, and I have a further 18 to pack. But I've put the car away now (16:32) and am relaxing for a bit. It's actually clouded over a little out in the real world. I also note that the large flowering shrub in the front "garden" has turned, in just three days, into a mass of blossom. Well chosen, Christa!

And a Mounce in a wedding dress?

Also true — although she bought it (for half a month's salary!) with every intention of attending her brother Georg's wedding in Germany at Easter 1974 it was not to be. Her dislocating shoulder put a stop to her travel plans, but gave me both the time and opportunity I needed to persuade her to stay with me for the rest of her life — thank goodness:

Christa in mid-June 2007

Red was by a long way her favourite colour. Incidentally, I reckon the two tonnes of pea-shingle (some of which was then visible behind her — though not today!) that I'd just finished shovelling into what had been the fish pond for her was easier work than shifting all my books into storage is proving to be. Maybe I'll just leave them there?

It looks as if there's been an earlier start to the silly season than ever... Only a set of 500 estate agents could value Stonehenge at £51,000,000 and Windsor castle at £391,000,000. Good grief! (Source) I wonder what 500 estate agents are worth?

Tate Modern is 10!

On 16th September 2003, Christa and I were pottering happily through a week off work, throwing in a side trip to London, by train, to see the then relatively new Tate Modern housed in its huge Bankside converted power station. (Sadly, it turned out to be largely bereft of anything worth seeing, beyond one large Epstein piece, as they were upheaving most of their galleries.) Having just watched this (excellent) piece I can now see that it spends a lot of its time upheaving its galleries.

No day spent in Christa's company was ever wasted, mind you. And this one was no exception. As we browsed through the used paperbacks being traded from trestle tables set up along the side of the Thames walkway, I found two absolute gems that totally compensated for the relatively disappointing Tate experience: a first edition (a snip at £3 for Penguin #1000) of Edward Young's classic 1952 account of four years cruising during WW II, One of our submarines. And Penguin #39, (a snip at £2) — an October 1936 reprint of the March edition of Ernest Bramah's 1900 classic story collection The wallet of Kai Lung. Not my first copy, by a long way, but then I've given away almost as many copies as I've accumulated over the last 35 years of my enthusiasm for this wonderfully droll author.



1  Having rechecked my figures I can correct yesterday's footnote: I can fit 4 cartons (not 6) across the room, with a 5th turned through right angles to use the space left over at the end. But I have managed to pile them 6 cartons high. I currently have 59 boxes in store (as of 09:38 this morning).
2  Her study (or "Christa's cave" as the plumber nicknamed it) is (inevitably) next on my list for clearing. <Sigh>