2010 — 24 December: Friday

Before you know it1 it's a brand new day, looking every bit as grey, and feeling every bit as cold (-3C right now) as several of the preceding ones. Not a day that impels me up to the frozen north, in fact. I've decided to hang around here within the orbit, as it were, of my home comforts. I doubt that I'm alone in making this decision, and I see no point in undertaking what could well be an unpleasant journey. As the flying (pilot, that is) niece put it "I guess if, as you say, the weather is more akin to curling up in front of the fire with a good book, holidays aren't really worth much this time of year".

So, a cup of tea, followed by a minor-league supplies run. It is Xmas, after all! And a chap still has to eat. [Pause] BBC Radio 3 has just played "The song of the weather" (Flanders & Swann) — perfect! :-)

Before I even read the...

... rest of the article lurking behind the "heading" here...


... I was pondering the neat, but weird, kerning. And, as I wandered round the crowded aisles of Waitrose (avoiding, when possible, the more obvious coughers and sneezers) I kept trying to think of a way of achieving it in CSS rather than by manipulating layers of an image. (It's a "cheated" jpg file on the web site, of course.) My mind remained as blank as my tum, which — now that I'm safely back — is stridently demanding breakfast as a reward for having dashed out to the shops. Another cuppa would be welcome, too.

It's 11:09 and chilly out there. The roads are mostly OK, but the pavements far less so in places. I saw only one ex-colleague to greet, but it was one I hadn't previously "collected" (as it were) for a long time. At least he grinned when I spoke to him.

Breathes there a reader...

... who could resist the lure of:

Melon Interrobang

Not this one. Particularly when the proprietor has as high a regard for "A Melon for Ecstasy" as I have already mentioned I do. (The punctuation mark — another favourite of mine — is the interrobang.)

Having been gently dozing...

... over my copy of "Windows 7 Inside Out"2 I nipped upstairs a few minutes ago to do my usual blinds and curtains act, only to be smacked in the eye by an emetic Xmas lights display splattered brightly on one of the neighbours' houses — a teacher, as it happens. Why not at least keep them decently inside, where they can't (as Mrs Campbell allegedly put it) frighten the horses? It's enough to make you forget the Golden Rule.

I prefer my underground comix hero Ron Cobb's take. For example, this one from 1976:


It's dark, cold (a mere -2C so far, at 17:20) and jolly well time for my next festive cuppa. Ho-ho.

I just sent my friend Val in Stockholm a link to this venerable essay by Paul Graham to try to illustrate some fatuous point I was making. As one does — as I do, at least — I browsed gently around to see what was new, and stubbed my toe (as it were) just a couple of clicks away (buried in his essay on "A Unified Theory of VC Suckage"), on this.

Ho ho ho. I suppose I'd better feed myself. It's already 18:46.

Well, that makes...

... three superb films in the last four days. What's gone wrong?! "Inception", "Is anybody there?", and now "I am Love". I fear my admiration for Tilda Swinton3 has now reached what you might call the "Emma Thompson" level. Crikey.



1  Sleep has that effect.
2  More illuminating than much of the celebrity dreck piled in noisome heaps near the tills in bookshops at this time of year.
3  Whom I first recall from "Orlando" though I know she'd worked with Derek Jarman earlier.