Sunday, December 28

blizzard of oz

Inspired by MM here is a question. What is going on in this picture, and where?

Saturday, December 27

5 weeks off

I've got 5 weeks off work, and already I've spent some time usefully fixing up the computer so I can blog again. Due to the self-destructing PCs at home, and the excessive IT workload at work, I had developed a hatred of all things computery, but that is how some people feel all the time.

On the list for the next couple of weeks:

  • Massacre the weeds in the garden, chop down a dying tree, transplant a sick azalea to nearer where the happy azalea lives.

  • Put on another brew, since I'm now down to the last 30 bottles.

  • Plan Albert's relaunch as an HNT star.

  • Read. I have just finished a couple of books by a super writer called Rachel Seiffert. Before that, I gave up early on a Danish novel which ticked all the postmodern boxes - unrelated chapters, confusing flashbacks, cardboard characters, but it was impossible to care about a single outcome. I learned long ago how to (pre)judge a book by its cover, or at least by its first few pages.

Some movies are like that, and you can save yourself a lot of time by learning how to bale out of a film early, ideally during the opening credits. My first bale-out was watching Top Gun or The Right Stuff in Leicester Square. Poor Angie had been enjoying Tom Cruise and was annoyed at having to walk out with me. She should have read it as a sign of things to come, but then she might not have moved in with me and I might not be alive now. That just goes to prove something or other.

Went to a concert last night, an Australian orchestra playing Mozart and Mendelssohn. The ringing in the ears has not let up since the duneditin atrocity, so I took along a selection of earplugs of varying strengths. In the long run, if I can't cure it with bliss pills, I may be forced to consider meditation.

Wednesday, December 17

xmas decoration HNT

Time to hang the decorations and wish everyone a half naked christmas.


Sunday, December 14

the dock of the bay

On the bay walk this morning, the tide was much higher than normal. We got to the point where the dog normally jumps down onto her favourite ledge which is normally covered with only about 2 inches of water.

She leaped down with the usual expectation of landing on concrete, but disappeared from view as she sank like a stone. It was a while before she resurfaced. Brilliant entertainment.

The bliss partner took some photos of me in my baseball cap. This was the best one.

Wednesday, December 10

summer heat

As if the groin strain wasn't bad enough, summer has just arrived here, and it's so hot and sweaty there's now a mushroom farm growing in my groin. I think I understand now why, whenever there's a heatwave in places like France or Greece, hundreds of old people die of heatstroke. As you get older, you can't take the heat. Thank goodness I'm not a meditator, devoting my life to raising internal heat - that's no help at all.

The dog is feeling the heat too. She's black, and as she gets older she dislikes frying in sunlight. When she was in her prime she could bask for hours and never drink a drop of water. And she hated swimming. But everything balances up over time, and now she's the opposite: on this morning's walk, though it was early and the sun was still low, she kept wanting to jump in the harbour to cool off.

Once in the water, she was content just to float along, with an occasional leisurely wave of a paw to keep her head above the surface. As I stood on the shore, she kept looking at me as if to say - please don't say we have to move on yet. It's the most sensual I've ever seen her.

Friday, December 5

another five-day weekend

Friday night. The drawbridge is up. The blister has just left for New Zealand, to visit the churchgoing wing of the family, so I've got five whole days without having to see anybody. I could do anything! Cut my nails, sort the plastic bag collection, read books. Not Ian McEwan though. I finally read The Comfort Of Strangers to the end last week, nearly 30 years after I bought it. In the past I had always given up half-way, through boredom. Well I've finished it now, and I almost wish I hadn't. Just when I'm old and medicated enough to stop believing that the world's a dangerous place, I go and read this. I'll never be able to trust anyone again.

With a working PC at last, I could spend this weekend trawling the web for new talent. As hut manager for a Scottish author it's my job to round up young lasses and deliver them to his comments page. I did it with Lee-Ann, Lelly and Keda, and I can do it again. Mind you, since I had all that black pudding and white beer when I was in Europe, I won't be able to use my body as bait any more. Unless photoshop can perform miracles, I'll have to stoop to using old black and white rude photos from when I used to be fit.

Saturday morning. Bad news. I just remembered, my excuse to get out of going to New Zealand was that I wanted to finish painting the kitchen (I've finally run out of excuses after laying down the brushes about 6 months ago). So I'll get up the ladder and bang goes my weekend of debauchery and hedonism.

Money-saving tip number 43: If you're at home on a Saturday night with nothing to do and no plukes/plooks to squeeze, don't worry, there's a cheap thrill available. Go to the medicine cabinet and grab a handful of those rubbery fish-oil capsules. Put one in your mouth and burst it between your teeth. Oh the sensation as the oil explodes in all directions! It's the oral equivalent of bursting bubble wrap between your fingers. Internal fireworks. AND you get the evocative aftertaste of the cod liver oil, to take you back to your childhood.

Useful links:

Retention Deficit Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Tuesday, December 2

one thing that gets better with age

I heard someone on the radio explaining about the development of different areas of the brain during a lifetime. Apparently from puberty to age 25 or so, humans lack the areas involved in reflecting, empathising, and projecting backward and forward in time. If you know any people of that age, you’ll know it’s true.

Conversely, these are the very brain areas that can blossom late in life, if they are used and developed.

The late flowering of the ability to project forward in time might explain why effective politicians are not generally young. So it might not be just that the spoilsport oldies hog the top positions to keep the brilliant youngsters from changing things.

Similarly, the ability to project backward in time explains why so many people, when they reach about 55, want to write their life story. Maybe I should blog my own memoirs, though I would need a separate blog for describing some of the more depraved thoughts and deeds.

I’m not interested in wielding political or professional power, but it might still be wise to develop the part of my brain involved in foresight and the future. If only I could mentally project some future depravity, that would balance the past. I could ask a meditator how to do visualisation.