2011 — 23 March: Wednesday

I was again tired last night1 and am yawning somewhat this morning. Still, it's only 06:01 so I shall make a cuppa and potter gently round for a while. There are plans afoot for brunch at the bikers' café in a few hours from now, travelling in my neighbour's newest car, and (last time I looked) the BBC feather warcast was promising good things.

An email a few hours ago suggested that contracts had finally been exchanged for the sale of dear Mama's house, which is a major relief. What a tedious business the whole procedure is in this country, at least. Mind you, I've only ever bought two houses, and Christa2 sold the first of those for me, so I've never actually sold one before.

Now, about that cuppa, Mrs Landingham...

What do you read, my lord?...

Part of a Shakespearean exchange3 I once used as the heading in a writer recruitment ad. I see that our latest Educashun Sekretry now wants primary school kids on a diet of 50 books per year. I didn't realise that Alan Garner was my twin, however :-)

Alan Garner... questioned the advisability of turning books into numbers. "Is any number a useful guide?" he asked. "The important aim should be a reading that is wide and deep rather than numerical. In my own primary school years I read everything I could find, which amounted to at least four books a week and as many comics as possible. The Beano and The Dandy were equal with Tarzan of the Apes, Enid Blyton, HG Wells, Kipling, wildlife books, fairy tales, encyclopaedias. This resulted, painlessly, in a large vocabulary, an awareness of differences of style, the absorption of grammar and syntax and an ability to spell."

Benedicte Page in The Guardian

Pity about my spelling, of course. Pity about shutting libraries, too.

Not for the first time since Christa's death, the "Academic Festival Overture" is wreaking a certain amount of havoc with my equanimity. But the sun is shining brightly. It's 09:35.

Variations on a theme

Dad drummed into me the primacy of the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would be done by". It's not a bad rule:

"Where arguments are concerned — that is, matters that are pursued by means of reasons and evidence — the most important identity we can acknowledge in another person is the identity of being an intelligent reflective human being." And in case this seems too easy or too glib, he adds:
"This does not mean assuming that people are entirely — or even primarily — rational, and it does not mean that people are, in practice, always and only persuaded by reasons and evidence. It means treating other people as we wish to be treated ourselves in this matter — namely, as potentially capable of understanding the grounds for any action or statement that concerns us. But to so treat them means that, where reason and evidence are concerned, they cannot be thought of as primarily defined by being members of the Muslim community or Black community or gay community."

Stefan Collini, quoted in The New Republic

Right. Time for brunch.

Thanks, Mr Postie...

... for telling me that the care-home is switching from Sky to Freeview4 ("for our clients' variety and continued enjoyment") and, meanwhile, dropping in two further lumps...


... of mood-lightening entertainment for my own home — I hope. The blurb on the back of the latest "30 Rock" actually starts Revisit all the hilarity and none of the commercial breaks... though I have a small number of UK DVDs that do contain non-skippable ads ahead of the main feature.


After my evening meal (which was preceded by a demo session playing various CDs [of his mellow jazz, mostly] to Tom G who hadn't heard my latest power amp in action) I watched "EasyA" and found it utterly delightful. Sample dialogue:

"Where's the Bible?"
"It's over there in bestsellers..." [perfectly timed pause] "next to 'Twilight'."

I've also agreed on another walk and a pub lunch for tomorrow. Rumour has it there are some daffodils waiting, probably a host of golden ones. We shall see. It's now 21:18; time for a cuppa.



1  But am starting to relax now.
2  Having worked in an estate agents and a solicitor's office in her time here.
3  The question is asked by Polonius in Act II, Scene II of Hamlet. The answer being "Words, words, words."
4  A matter, I fear, of supreme indifference to dear Mama in her current state. It was bad enough filling in her census form over the phone.