Saturday, 30 January 2021
Good news, sad poetry
Thursday, 28 January 2021
Culture does not make people
... people make culture.
Stay safe. Be kind. See you tomorrow.
Monday, 25 January 2021
Turn around at a safe location
They are phasing out the collection of covid test kits (for a priority postbox near you to post your test kit put your postcode here)so I will get my Sunday mornings back, and no longer have to battle with the Route Optimisation and Nagivation ap. It's not all bad, in fact I couldn't have done without it, but the tendency to try and take you somewhere when you input an address that is not on the system was most frustrating. It was no good either when there were roadworks and diversions, demanding that you turn around randomly.
In other news the British Gas engineers are on strike. That explains a lot. Had a call the other day rescheduling our appointment to next week. Currently the heating is working for maybe a couple of hours a day, so mostly we are a little chilly. But now I know I don't mind so much. They voted to strike when management threatened to sack anyone not accepting new contracts with reduced pay and worse terms. With Brexit removing employment protections that the EU guaranteed we will no doubt see more of this kind of behaviour by companies and it must be resisted.
Stay safe. Be kind. See you tomorrow.
Thursday, 21 January 2021
12 year blogiversary
Tuesday, 19 January 2021
slightly smarter phone
I am finally joining the 21st century. My old Nokia lasted me over a decade before it finally gave out. It was routinely mocked at work if anyone saw me using it. I replaced it with another, but it was just a cheap knock-off of the original and the numbers rubbed off within a week and the case cracked shortly afterwards. Next I bought a Sony Ericsson cheap thing which I have had for a couple of years. The little toggle to move the cursor had become completely unreliable and the sound quality was so poor that I could not use it to actually talk to people. I went to Back Market and looked for a reconditioned smarter phone (just randomly, but the person on the chat was helpful and they have a no quibble money back thing if you don't like it and 12 months warranty). Although it is technically a 'smart' phone I don't have it connected to the interweb (except at home it can connect to the wifi) so it's just for calls and texts ... and taking photos, I am excited to take photos of random stuff.
Stay safe. Be kind. See you tomorrow (for the Biden/Harris inauguration).
Saturday, 16 January 2021
Reading the Grauniad on my lunch break the other day I was taken with a review of 'A Swim in a Pond in the Rain' by George Saunders, a literary analysis come writing advice book focussing on Russian short stories. The library has a couple of copies on order, so I am in the queue. Then coincidentally the literary diet comes up with this commencement speech by him from 2013:
Thursday, 14 January 2021
So, I very nearly beat myself up for completely forgetting to follow my literary diet, then Monkey told me off. We scanned down the list for today's offering but paused at the 10th: the wonderful Tom Lehrer:
Wednesday, 13 January 2021
I haven't posted in a week and look at all the shit that has happened. I kept intending to respond but was not sure I had much to add beyond WTF. America had an attempted insurrection, and apparently nearly half of Republicans think this is ok. WTF. And republican politicians love to suggest we should all forgive and forget, like it was nothing really to try and overthrow democracy. WTF. I mainly want to just tell them to suck it up, it's only four years, it'll be over before you know it and then you can try again. (How Biden Stole the Election) When Trump won it was terrible, and I don't even live in America, he's done lots of shit things but hopefully nothing irreversible (expect those separated children who have been lost), we survived and now it's over. (Time until Trump is out of Office.)
On the home front Royal Mail's senior management have just discovered that the pandemic is affecting the delivery of mail, releasing a list of a mere 28 areas affected by delays. I guess the chain of command is so long it's taken this long for them to hear. Strangely Manchester is not on the list.
"When I go into our bedroom, the bed is just lying there. As if to say, it's only me again. I keep expecting that some miracle could happen, that I could just come up the stairs and find Joss in bed waiting for me. Each time I come into this room the emptiness of it punches me in the stomach. There is something so repetitive about grief. First the stupid hope, then the violence of remembering. The hope, then the carpet from under your feet. If Joss had lived and I had dies. If Joss had seen a doctor. If I had made Joss see a doctor. The same things spinning every day and night. Each night I'm afraid to sleep. I know Joss will find me. I know I will wake up and forget and then remember." (p.95-6)
"I cradle the phone. I say to the spirit that I know is still there: I'm going to phone our son. I'm going to phone our son. I push the numbers. My fingers feel barely strong enough to push the numbers. I get Colman's answerphone. I have always hated them. How can he have it on at a time like this when he knows his father is dying? I hold on waiting for the beep that everyone tells you to wait for. When it comes it frightens me, it is so loud and thoughtless. I say, Colman? Colman, are you there? And the real Colman is on the line in a flash. Your father died an hour or so ago, Colman, I say. Can you please come round?" (p.204)
What the story does not do is tell you what Joss Moody thought. He is already presenting as a man and playing the trumpet when he meets his wife (who's name I can't find, the chapters are in first person from different people), she falls in love with the human being he is, and continues to love him after he reveals the truth about himself. But the reader has no idea what led to the choice he made. Was it because he wanted to fit in with the jazz music world, or is that irrelevant. And although I was left curious about how Joss experienced his life I was left more with the impression of a powerful personality who inspired such a strong response from the people in his life.
Stay safe. See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, 5 January 2021
"I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."
Monday, 4 January 2021
Part 3 - Lockdown with a Vengeance
Friday, 1 January 2021