2010 — 30 August: Monday

The moon is bright tonight.1 It's 01:24 and I've just returned from a meal and a couple of films over in Winchester with Mike. We'd neither of us seen "Brainstorm" for many years, and Mike wanted to show me "Remember Me" to demonstrate that Robert Pattinson isn't just a pretty vampire.

We're intending to go for a walk in a few hours, then it will be time to welcome my son and heir for a visit. G'night.

Consciousness returns...

... to the limited extent it ever does, these days. Bright sunshine, blue sky, breakfast, cuppa, good music. Cool, though, so far. I'll be off to say 'hello' to a local river in an hour or so. It's 09:04 and counting.

The lunchpack of Notre Ham is assembled, the brain is in (starting) gear. Let's see if I can remember which Yaris gear goes forward, as it were.

Barbara Rudgard

I was delighted to be able to join the late Barbara for lunch by the river a little way upstream from Shawford at a weir2 — there's a new bench there with her name on. Cheers, my friend! (It occurs to me, this is the very first time I have sat on a bench commemorating someone I knew personally. Probably a statement about my advancing years.)

Barbara Rudgard

The walk was a very pleasant one of just under seven miles in sunshine. It's now 14:01 and the bod is freshly showered, ready for the challenges of the afternoon. First up: the second cuppa of the day — somewhat overdue.

I shall be able to tease both my young visitors (assuming they don't chicken out of their trip) as I've just spotted, safely on the dining room floor, the coil of power cable needed by Christa's sewing machine.3 On at least two separate occasions Peter and Peter's g/f have failed to spot it. Kids today, heh? (Mind you, I'm not getting down on my hands and knees to grovel for it. That's what young visitors are for.)

My seemingly infinite ignorance of modern cultural trends extends to "Winnebago Man", which — it turns out — is showing tonight on BBC Four. I expect they may tease me about this.

Lyall Watson

At my request, my father gave me a first-edition hardback of Supernature for Xmas in 1973. I still have it — somewhere — and we both enjoyed reading it. Today I found this little gem:

If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't.

Lyall Watson

Mike and I touched on IQ and IQ tests during some of our walk today, provoked (in part) by simple observation of several unsplendid specimens of humanity we encountered on our stroll. He was quite taken aback to hear some of the pop psychology I still recall from a couple of Hans Eysenck books I read in my early teens. The Watson quote is somewhat along the same lines as an old puzzle about how powerful does a programming language have to be to be able to use it to write a program that produces as its output an exact copy of itself. AI is fascinating, but seems to be taking an awfully long time to arrive. Mind you, the ghost in the machine took an awfully long time to evolve, too.

Somewhat later

It's 21:24 and I've been treated to a meal at the "Water Margin". Peter's wardrobe is now also mysteriously empty, with several sacks for charity shops and a bag for the bin. Perhaps they could also tackle Christa's three wardrobes? It's becoming clear that my policy of benign neglect in this area is less effective than a concentrated swell foop.



1  As is at least one of the planets. Possibly Jupiter. (Yes, confirmed, apparent magnitude -2.7)
2  aka Compton Lock, I've just been informed, by my (g)astronomic pal.
3  Nope. That's not it. The search continues.