2012 — 25 July: Wednesday

I've just brought down the curtain (as it were) on a 13-month dalliance with a carpet guard I struggled home with from Ikea. It's been far from an unqualified success so I decided to remove it while it was still more or less in one piece. It's been living underneath my wheeled 'office chair' at the PC desk in the living room. Had it been made from polycarbonate I'm sure it wouldn't have cracked and splintered in the way it has. But, equally, it wouldn't have been flexible enough for me to persuade it into the back of the car in the first place.

Speaking of curtains, I'm keeping mine drawn1 at the moment (the moment being about 08:30) as I gather it's going to be another stiflingly hot day of high pollen counts, though these leave me far less affected after more than four years of regular walks in the countryside.

Is that all there is?

In a foolishly auto-didactic attempt to diminish my bafflement, back when that still struck me as something worth doing, I bought (for £15 in March 1987 — quite a lot of money at that time) a book...


... that, after reading, I rather unkindly summarised as "Strangely boring, but nice pix". Its index has no entries for bosons, or Higgs, and there are only about three paragraphs towards the end touching on the mysterious 'dark matter' that may explain the 'missing mass' that these chaps get excited about. Fast forward quarter of a century:

... the proposed Higgs boson helps explain how everything around us actually exists: its own existence suggests that the Higgs field is real and that particles moving through this omnipresent field gain mass. The boson is therefore vital in propping up the Standard Model, which is modern science's least incomplete explanation of how the universe works.

Brid-Aine Parnell in The Register

I'm glad that's all clear, then. [Pause] It's 13:59, a toasty 26.3C down here, and time for a late light lunch.

Time to hit the road: a chum needs help to confirm whether or not his wonky centre channel is being caused by his BD player. Good job I have a spare, I guess. [Pause] The finger of suspicion is pointing firmly at his centre speaker. And another few brambles have now been cut off in their prime, too. Phew, it's hot out there. I gave the bulb of my porch thermometer a bath in a little cup of cold water to stop its head exploding.

I think a cool shower is next on the agenda.

Junior is now...

... finding out all the things you find out after you've bought a house that, had you known beforehand, might have persuaded you not to go ahead with the purchase. Nothing insuperable, of course, but all time- and money-consuming. He's also on precautionary antibiotics (for Lyme disease) following a tick bite. Seems to run in the family, our attraction for the little horrors, doesn't it?

Right! Time (19:20) for my evening repast.



1  I was always impressed by how effectively the window shutters you find in Germany, Southern France and Italy keep out the summer heat. That could be very oppressive in Meisenheim, as I found on numerous visits in the 1970s and 1980s to my in-laws while they still lived in their not-so-little 'mansion'.