2013 — 3 March: Sunday

The weather mixture seems to be much as before1 but the music is quite jaunty. I gather BBC Radio 3 is having itself a "Baroque Spring" or some such for a while.

Having just read the "Chronicle" profile by Marc Parry of yet another "big historian" I'm left yearning for the 'simplicity' of Asimov's Hari Seldon. (Link.)

I also decided to shake up my worldview a bit by scouring the Torygraph first rather than the Grauniad this morning. I must get out more. But first, I need more tea!

As a youngster...

... well over 40 years ago I observed my father's long daily commutes to and from work — albeit in luxury saloons — and decided it wasn't ever going to be for me. Hence the house in Old Windsor to be near the ICL Beaumont office. And the house in Chandler's Ford to be near the IBM Hursley lab. (We picked the location to be very near a short bus-ride, too, long before the unsaintly Mrs T declared adult bus passengers to be abject failures.2 Or whatever stupid thing she actually said.)

John Lanchester (whose recent book on the financial meltdown — Whoops! why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay — was surprisingly readable) asserts that not only is there a growing field of "happiness studies", but that it has revealed that "cutting down on the commute is one of the few things people can do which genuinely makes them happier". (Link.)

Ahead of the curve again, David?

I can't say I got very much...

... out of the morning's Torygraph scouring. Oddly, I did learn (on browsing the rather silly piece about the "Top 20 books they tried to ban") that Nabokov's "Lolita" was first published here by Harold Nicolson's son, who evidently didn't share his father's political stance. Meanwhile, I've just been told that 'molehole' is completely off the air. But, since Cerys has just begun her weekly show, who needs a website?

As usual, Cerys has caused me to go and spend a penny or two — she played a tiny fragment from Brian Eno's track "The Big Ship", which led to the astonishing discovery that his album Another Green World3 never managed to get added to my digital collection once the vinyl LP had gone the way of all flesh. A sorry situation that I've just rectified, at £4-99 for a 2004 digitally remastered download. [Pause] And am now enjoying.

Somewhat later

It's actually looking more like a Spring day, though it took its time arriving. We're less than 30 minutes from sunset :-)

Jarvis Cocker played a Leonard Cohen track I didn't know ("Passing through") from (whisper it quietly) over 40 years ago on an album called — reasonably enough — Live Songs so that's just become my second download of the day. And I still have change from that nominal tenner. Just.



1  Namely, boringly grey and (as the 07:00 news approaches) bang on freezing out there.
2  What, pray tell, was the sense in driving a car from the garage to a car park, leaving it there all day, and then driving it back?
3  The title track was used as the theme tune for BBC2's "Arena" arts strand documentaries — remember that bottle floating nearer with the word 'Arena' lit up in it? So don't say you've never heard it.