2011 — 3 July: Sunday

Better get some beauty sleep ahead of my next walk.1 I shall be glad when my cluster of mouth ulcers finishes clearing up. It's been very tedious since I burned my mouth a week ago. Today's treatments have alternated saline rinses and dabbing TCP directly on the little horrors. I used to have a little tube of a wondrous corticosteroid paste — Adcortyl in orabase, triamcinolone acetonide — from the dentist (on prescription) but that ran out years ago. And I've now discovered it was discontinued in the UK "for economic reasons" in March 2009 in any case. Grrr.

Hence a quick trip to "theulcershop", the creation and activation of a PayPal account with yet another password, and (with luck) delivery of an identical paste in a day or two from an enterprising UK importer who's been reading the tales of woe from the many sufferers dismayed by the discontinuation of a safe, effective treatment that had been available for years.


Big Bro...

... emailed me a couple of hours ago with his own home-grown 'solution' — potassium permanganate (which he helpfully reminds me is purple) to be dabbed directly on. I rewarded him with a recent picture of dear Mama's recent cake-decorating activity:


I'd arrived at the care home a couple of weeks ago to find her sitting with, but completely baffled by the presence of, these cakes. When I left later the receptionist and a therapist explained what she'd been up to and emailed me the evidence by the time I'd got home. Her ability to form new memories is a core skill that has now gone totally walkabout.

Time (07:23) for my first careful cuppa of the day. And a rare outing (on BBC Radio 3) for a harpsichord sonata (in D) by Antonio Soler to accompany it. [Pause] This is the chap whose music I made a cassette tape of in November 1982. It was (I deduce) a rebroadcast of a 1979 concert performed by Gilbert Rowland and captured in matrix UHJ surround sound — the BBC were still experimenting with various matrix systems three decades ago. I would have recorded it less than a year before I equipped myself with the first of my three Aiwa cassette recorders that had B&O's superb Dolby CHxPro noise reduction2 and headroom expansion system.

Breakfast? Carefully chomped.
Lunch? Carefully packed.
Right. Time to get dressed and hit the open road. It's 09:36 and I don't want to be late.

Today's 8 miles...

... were somewhat hot and sticky, and we certainly found the last couple after our lunch pit-stop quite hard work. We're going to reserve this walk for winter months in future as there's an awful lot that's fully exposed to the sky, and there was a hot bright thing up there largely in defiance of the weather forecast.

It's now 14:34 and there's something weird and a bit minimalistic on Radio 3 ("Seeing is believing"). I have no objection per se, but still prefer recognisable 'tunes' sometimes.

Meanwhile, the mouth ulcer treatment chap has emailed me to let me know the little tube of curative gunk will be on its way to me tomorrow. Good!

How frightfully common...

... all these rich furriners are, to be sure:

In the great London World-City State — increasingly cut off from the rest of the country — the old stuff is preserved and polished and parlayed into a new kind of Luxury Experience for people who don't have much of that back home. These people are immensely richer than British toffs, whom they see as a collection of useful upper servants — estate agents, concierges, butlers — looking after things when they're in New York or Abu Dhabi. They like the decorative panto, the Royal Family, the trophy antiques, and all the luxury stuff. But as for Mrs Bourne's traditional concerns about speech and behaviour — Good Form, Understatement, Breakfast — they're about as relevant to The Masters as Pygmy mating rituals.

Peter York in Independent

Where's London? Remind me.

I can make a mad dash to the shops on a refill-my-shelves-and-fridge mission now, or have a nice cooling shower and take a more leisurely approach tomorrow morning before my lunch date with Len. That's an easy decision.

The lad did good

Mike's just emailed me the pixels he captured today, including this one taken on the edge of one of our dusty lanes a couple of hours ago. I think he's done extraordinarily well with the composition — another contender for our very own local opium den, perhaps. Click the pic for a bigger image:


I must say, I find myself wondering precisely which "intelligent designer" signed off on mouth ulcers as being a bright idea. It's 18:30 and I'm certainly starting to feel hungry but currently the prospect of chewing is not a joyful one. I would use a local anaesthetic, but the only one to hand is what's left in my bottle of Jameson's triple-distilled Irish Whiskey, and I can just imagine the stinging sensation were I foolish enough to take a swig at that :-)

Is it just me?

I continue to surprise (and depress) myself from time to time with the appalling extent of my ignorance. For example, until listening to the reliably interesting "Freak Zone" earlier, I was completely unaware of the musician Nick Currie, who goes by the name Momus. I didn't even know that Momus was the Greek god of mockery. Now I have mp3 files of the six early albums he has made available for download. The notes he's provided about each track are quite something, too. Amazing.

Remind me to avoid acanthamoeba keratitis, too. Poor chap!

I've just given in and taken some aspirin. I shall now seek further distraction. It's 20:32 — the night is young.



1  Destination: unknown.
2  A worthwhile technological improvement that had yet to appear when I published my first hi-fi magazine article on "Living with Dolby B".