interesting times

I still feel ridden by bugs. This is possibly caused by my crashing out after gardening yesterday, sleeping until 1am, and then spending the morning hours until 0500 coughing + reading the new pratchett paperback. Two more hours sleep and thence hot-showering myself into consciousness and into work for a meeting to be informed of the shortlist. I was hoping to observe the meteor shower on sunday morning; no such luck – however, I saw it at its peak a few years ago, fireballs scorching the sky, and the memory of these pleasant events will comfort me for some considerable time.


well, my 7-dvd compilation of carl sagan’s “cosmos” arrived today… it will be a wrench not to be up until the wee hours watching it all. now i just have to work out why i got hit with 40 quid import duty.

unexpected pleasures

an amazing weekend.

friday night, i was looking at two days of gardening and a degree of boredom; chatting on irc with telsa we mused at not having seen each other for months, and thus i ended up with a sudden invitation to see telsa and alan in swansea. checking my answer-machine the next morning, i further discovered an previously missed invite to a fireworks party in malvern for the sunday night.

therefore i went from nothing, to a jam-packed weekend of interesting events in the space of 12hrs flat.

saturday morning was a rush of gardening and housework, making the place fit for visitor habitation and for a future garden-waste-dumpster-skip episode. then (1) sling telescope into car, (2) grab sleeping-bag, (3) grab whisky and wine and (4) grab change of clothes, followed by (5) a rapid drive up the m4 to swansea.

we – me, telsa and alan – talked hacking, gossip, linux, food, cooking, trips to australia, icelandic booze, amusing canadians, and a pile of other chitchat, ate good food, and listened to weird music until 0200, whence to bed in the top-floor spare room with ensuite fridge and futon.

slept-in the next morning, more chat and a bout of concerted scone-making made a pleasant and entertaining start to the day.

drove hence to my sister’s place in droitwich, lunch, swapped plans for a visit to canada next year, her new car, and absconded to the parents. tea and browsed dad’s colonial-era memoirs. jumped in the car towards dinner, and drove to chris and donna’s place in malvern.

food, interesting people and fireworks++. i got to be “range safety officer” knocking-out all the expended fireworks to a safe location (long pole at arms length) and lighting the way for chris (who was setting them off). we had a box of “normal sized” ones, followed by a huge skyrocket and a fountain of commercial-show dimensions. the last two thundered off the hills and must have been heard two miles away. ended the evening, unsticking the car of one of chris’s colleagues frm the mud outside the house.

finally made it home at midnight. all in all, a most unexpected time, and very pleasurable too, seeing old friends.


This is so *weird*. It is so *quiet*. It’s like my favourite soap-opera suddenly being on hiatus… I shall have to fill-in. Steve came down at the weekend, which was lovely of him because I was sick, at home, and bored stiff. We had a nice chat, watched a fun, mindless DVD, and time passed amusingly until Sunday morning. Sunday evening was spent witht the FIPR bods ( see: ) talking about all manner of interesting civil-rights-type stuff.

no angst at all…

Alonella wrote a lovely journal entry about not enough angst; rather than clutter-up a thread in her journal, risk deletion, or draw certain flamage for reasons I shaln’t explain here, I’ll post my response in my forum with a warning (further down) to not read any further than necessary.

I did once consider setting up an account on this forum, as a sort of postmodernist statement upon the neuroses of others; unfortunately the account name I wanted (“Mu”) was already gone, which sort of hosed the whole concept behind it – a weblog where every single posting was a permutation of the work “Mu” – Um, Moo, Omm, Um, –/..-, Zh, and so forth.

Pity, really, I thought the concept would be rather cool, and the daily enforced minimalism would have been a real challenge.

That said, I have found this to be a terribly happy place, watching everybody working-out their angst, fears and frustrations. I haven’t worked out whether I feel happy reading this stuff because of schadenfreude, or if it’s a “reality soap-opera” kick, or if it’s just nice to see the universe tick along, being happy when people finally sort it out.

I still find LJ people – and people in general – to be very strange, and I find that this place moreover makes people happily adopt weird dual-standards – happy to flaunt their innermost thoughts and fears in public – enjoying the anonymity of the crowd – and then massively pruning their audience down to an exclusive group when they discover that people that they know – critical people, eg: me – are reading it.

People on my friends list, reading this, will probably assume they know of whom I am writing, but I see no point in naming names and dragging that particular decimated-into-nonexistence friendship into deeper realms of negativity; moreover, said person is not the only one who exhibits this behaviour, so one cannot be too critical.

Many people are deluded by the belief that the Internet allows them anonymity.

Were I to make crass analogies of this behaviour, and of how I see that sort of thing, it smacks of American couples I know who partake happily of wife-swapping parties and orgies when out of their home town, but when at home convey the very image of modesty and would be positively mortified if any of their neighbours found out about their darker side.

There’s nowt to be done about it, though. People are weird, angst ridden, and they seem to be a lot better having gotten stuff off their chest, whether or not they are achieving true anonymity.

If it works for them, so be it.

Of course, at a meta-level, this posting will get discussed by my friends and certain people will – all over again – accuse me of grandstanding, or wanting attention, or recommending amongst themselves ways that I can be educated out of my supposed antisocial behaviour, in having the gall to even mention my views or have an opinion on any topic.

So be it. My access to mind-bandwidth is cheap, and I watch people for interest and distraction, and if I choose to write up my thoughts, how is it any less valid than someone else writing up their thoughts about me?

At least I have the confidence to stand by my views, in public.