2013 — 20 October: Sunday

Having dealt with the sleep deficit1 and the unfortunate colour clashes of the tiles on my (I assume) random Win8.1Pro "Start" screen, me and my cuppa are now just about ready to face the Bright New Day. A spot — a very large spot — of maternal paperwork lies ahead of me before Big Bro's arrival tomorrow. Trouble is, I fear I have allowed my habitual procrastination to run wild for as long as I can, so I can't really put the tediously-hateful task off very much longer.

In fact, I'll get right on it... just as soon as I've stuffed the fraternal crockpot first. Or perhaps even had a spot of breakfast? Or (obviously) another cuppa? Or, well, anything2 really.

Just think of that warm inner glow of contented satisfaction I will be able to bask in — rather than the currently wet and wild windy weather this morning that isn't exactly inviting any non-house-based activity.

40 Years On

Not just a wonderful play by Alan Bennett. It's also 40 years to the day since Sydney Opera House opened for business. Or so the splendidly-named (and maned) Clemency Burton-Hill has just told me. But, to my (mild) horror, I note that when I documented that Antipodean event in my CICS: a light hearted Chronicle I was a day out! Here are the relevant entries from October 1973:

20th At President Nixon's request, Solicitor General Robert Bork sacks the special Watergate prosecutor (Archibald Cox) after both the Attorney General and his deputy have refused to. Attorney General Elliot Richardson resigns.
21st Twenty fans of the Osmonds are hurt when a balcony collapses at Heathrow airport. The Queen opens the Sydney Opera House.
24th Dr Leo Esaki (now of IBM Yorktown Heights) shares this year's Nobel prize with Dr Brian Josephson (Cambridge) and Dr Ivar Giaever (General Electric) for work on the theoretical aspects of superconductivity.

Date: 1973

Still, nobody else (so far) has ever noticed.

My first crockpot...

... of the autumn is now thermally agitating its way towards culinary perfection (I hope). There was a late substitution of a sour Granny Smith for the Bramley I forgot to pick up, but if you don't mind we'll skip over that.

Being a weak-willed...

... sort of chap, though (I hope) not as weak as the pathetic chaps hypothesised about here...

"Most men I know are attracted to anyone. I could be at a party and say to my boyfriend, 'You're the only person here, thank goodness, I'm really attracted to.' And I know there's 20 women in that room he'd be happy to have sex with."

Nicole Holofcener in Observer

... I was unable to resist downloading Allan Sherman's "Skin" last night. It's been absent from my collection for far too long. And I further succumbed, this morning, first to the daily Kindle deal ("Jane Austen — a Companion" by Josephine Ross) and then to the Auto-Rip CD "Way to Blue", consisting of 15 Nick Drake tracks performed by a variety of people. I blame Cerys, who played just one of them: "Things behind the Sun" performed by Luluc. As I listened to it I kept thinking "who the hell's that? It sounds like Jim Croce but before tobacco got to him." Assuming he smoked. Most people did, back then.

If I didn't know the house is basically waterproof, I'd be quite worried with the amount of rain we've 'enjoyed' so far today. Time for a spot of lunch, methinks.

Unwelcome post-prandial excitement

Dammit! There's some water where there really shouldn't be any in the far corner of the Books Warehouse.

Following some hasty relocation of books, a couple of redundant flatbed scanners and a few bit and pieces, plus some mopping-up of the minor-league puddle,3 it was time to send in the troops. In this case, my emergency electric fan heater — originally bought in the (excuse the pun) wake of the (second) great waterbed disaster back in mid-October 2002, and most recently on active duty when drying out the space under the hallway in June 2011. I didn't have to haul it very far; it was within three feet of the moisture. Still, now that the rain has eased off, I live in some hope of lower levels of hydrated oxygen hereabouts.

"It never rains but it pours." And, yes, it's now (15:32) raining again. Thank you, Allah.

Within a mere five...

... years of publication (which was when I mentioned it in passing) I see this...

Book on Siphonaptera

... is now consigned to the AbeBooks "Weird Room". More than 20 copies left when I checked!

I'm still waiting...

... for that warm inner glow of contented satisfaction to kick in. But many of the filing system drawers are now clearly and correctly labelled, even if their content varies in degree of, erm, sorted-out-ness. Meanwhile, the ambient in the Books Warehouse is now 24C and it feels nicely dry. Plus the crockpot was delicious, and there's plenty left for Big Bro.

My patience with paperwork is officially at an end for tonight.



1  As far as I can tell.
2  An amusing and welcome email yesterday from my friend Iris, who is now coping with the blizzard of paperwork that blows unpleasantly into town in the immediate wake of bereavement, strikes a familar chord. Her house Title Deeds are in a fireproof safe, but she's less clear on the code to open it. I wonder where my Title Deeds are? I know I last had them in a cheap plastic bag just a few years ago...
3  I'd noticed this when it actually occurred to me to have a quick snoop around for 'problem areas'.