Monday, 18 August 2014

Five random notes

  1. There was another gorgeous butterfly in the garden earlier, but it scarpered before I could get the camera. “Not ready for my close-up, Mr de Mille”, I heard it mutter as it fluttered away. Mostly black, with bright red flashes on its wingtips.  Any clues?
  2. Back in May, I turned the central heating thermostat down to 180C: it’s just clicked on (5.35 pm)!  Outside, it’s 150, and hasn’t been much more all day.  How am I supposed to get those tomatoes ripened??
  3. The letter ‘i’ on my keyboard is making an ominous clunky noise.  Could this be due to the residual presence of dried red wine? 
  4. Rummaging through a drawer for an old butter knife, as one does, I came across the fork from a cutlery set I was given at my christening, back in 1942.  (The rest – knife, spoon? –  is lost; as is the butter knife.)  It’s solid silver, little lion on the back to prove it, and is engraved with my initials.  I found this quite moving for some reason.   I also discovered that, if you tap it on a hard surface, it plays a very interesting chord. 
  5. Does anybody speak cat?  I can communicate with most dogs, but cats are mysterious.  I was sitting out under my bus shelter when a tabby who frequents the garden crept out of the shrubbery.  In the past, any friendly approach by me would be rebuffed with a startled stare and a dash back into the bushes – but this time it crept up, miaowing threateningly, came close enough to be briefly stroked, rolled over on its back and allowed its tummy to be tickled.  Then it jumped up and ran away like a scaredy-cat.  It might just be hungry, of course, but it’s not going to get fed around here.  Or it needs counselling.  Mysterious.      


Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Only Word Is Exxes

“I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. 
The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following.
“unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.”

What I loved about this particular spam comment (which originated, as always, from Russia) is that it purports to link to a tanning salon in Braintree.

And its ‘found’ poetry.  The bastard child of Ezra Pound and William Burroughs after a good night in?  I particularly like “case you shield this hike.”

I HATE SPAM.  But just occasionally it throws up a gem.  Another recent one praised the insight, erudition, eloquence, etc. that I’d evinced in a photograph of a butterfly.

The real purpose of this post, of course, is to see what spam comments it attracts.  I’ll share the best, if any.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Lights out

I’m writing this just before ten o’clock, though I won’t post it until after eleven.

I can’t honestly act in personal remembrance of anyone who died, because none of my ancestors or relations did, as far as I know.  This doesn’t stop me from being aware of what happened, and I have read long lists of names on memorials, not just recently; but does it sound harsh to say that names are not the same as personalities?

I’m going to switch on the TV in a moment.  (The TV is, of course, a source of light.)  All but one of my house lights are off, but that’s not unusual at this point in the evening, so I can’t claim to be making any kind of gesture.

Just a last thought – wouldn’t it have been more affirming to ask everyone to switch their lights on, or light their candles, one by one, rather than extinguish them?  Or do we have to wait another four years for that?


It’s now 24 hours later.  I’d intended to add a postscript to the above – but as I was watching the ceremony, in the dark, I reached out for my wine glass and knocked it all over the computer.  It’s taken until now for the keyboard to dry out enough that ‘s’ doesn’t come out as ‘\s’, ‘q’ as ‘zq’, etc.  I’d spent the night and half the day worrying about whether I needed to buy a new keyboard, or a new computer, or what… but as you can see it’s now back to zqnormal (only jkidding!/)

I missed the last bit of the ceremony, obvs.  I see that a girl movingly proposed that names (or even the absence of them) can in fact be used to construct personalities – and that it doesn’t actually matter whether those are real or not.

As a final, slightly confused, thought: small mistakes (spilt wine, shot man) can lead to huge stupid consequences (new computer, world war), if we’re not careful.