2011 — 23 June: Thursday

As I drew the curtains back this morning in one of my rooms, and contemplated the lack of evidence of current occupation in a neighbour's house (caused, doubtless, by holiday absence), it suddenly occurred to me that this retirement lark is brilliant. Of course, if Christa was still alive and well it would be even brillianter. Nonetheless, to a world-class potterer and procrastinator, I do indeed now have the "time to stand and stare".

If I decide to go anywhere1 I shall at least be more easily able to manoeuvre the car out as today's little cluster of vans has all shifted down the road by about two metres. But I ain't goin' nowhere without a cuppa and some breakfast.

That sound like a plan, Mrs Landingham?

It was Bertrand Russell...

... subject, incidentally, of an outrageously scurrilous anecdote on page 251 of Colin Wilson's "Dreaming to some purpose" — but that's another story — who said "Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid."

Christa at work

Luckily for me, Christa loved all the gardening and landscaping work she did during our years together :-)

I dodged the showers...

... down in Soton for a couple of hours, working up an appetite and also stocking up on dear Mama's next tranche of chocolates. And I've just been "scanned" here. Painless:


But I had no joy in my attempt to find a birthday card for this Sunday's little drinkies and nibbles event. I shall probably make one of my own.

One doesn't wish to bang on... but why would anyone pay £60 in the HMV in the High Street for a set of "Civilisation" DVDs that are available for £18 and on Blu-ray online?

Though that's not to say that you can't find bargains tucked away on their shelves if you look long enough:


Though I admit I hadn't expected to find Richard Schiff turning up in an episode of the Sarah Connor chronicles!

What the web is for

Len called round a couple of days ago (though I missed him). He's apparently got a couple of DVDs-worth of printed SF material that he's been hoovering up. I wonder if it includes these "Cthultoons"?

Having just finished Deresiewicz's Jane Austen education book — I've been rationing myself because it was so delicious — I'm now going to have another crack at some of the remaining cartons of stuff from Christa's study. That next set of shelving isn't going to put itself up if I don't make some room for it first, is it? <Sigh>

Phew! It's 18:23 and, having hefted about 20 storage cartons around, I've now managed to get the target study wall completely free of obstructions. However, unless I also manage to get some more food inside me I'm likely to collapse in a heap over a quivering drill bit, and that would never do. I must say, I don't remember getting quite so tired, quite so quickly, almost exactly 30 years ago when I was undertaking basically an identical exercise in the larger study in the evenings after a day at the IBM Lab's coal-face. But then I suppose I was only half my present age. Years have a fiendish way of sneaking up on you while you're not looking.

Finished (apart from filling the shelves, of course) just in time for the 22:00 radio news. Almost as good as a five-mile hike, I tell you. And me with a fresh shirt on only this morning, dagnabbit. Time for my next cuppa. I shall take a pretty pic when it's all done.



1  As close as I get to planning, these days :-)