It has been a day full of recalcitrances, various: rusted-in bolts; institutional forms that nothing human could complete without error; the Great Document Hunt of 2019; the sheer physical resistance of damp grass.
So yes; the advantage of a familiar film – knowing what the pops, whoops, scratching noises, clicks, and occasional explosions mean without having to actually look. I took to the recliner and duly reclined.
I’m listening to The Martian (Weir) more or less on repeat: presumably my psyche bracing for adversity. Finding and printing a map was a fiddle, though not nearly as much of a fiddle as retrieving the family cookbook from ancient Appleworks into pdf into Word, adding in bits from Pages en route.
Not on screen: one or two of the pegged-down begonia leaves are trying, but not the red ones, which insist on dissolving into the compost.
August isn’t necessarily the best month to incinerate the past, and my face is now very pink, but at least there is no heatwave at the moment, and nor did I set the chimney on fire in my enthusiasm.
Difficult to say which bits of paper were most depressing; the invoices for emergency dental treatment were a definite low point, however.
Ah the pleasure of the slow stopper:
How one relaxes into the solitude…
Much later, and across the Severn by road, Wales began (as usual) to rain.
A black carpet gives you warning, and blocked plumbing realises your worst fears. One of the nearest-and-dearests reconstituted himself as the Human Plunger and, with a technique never matched except in the most dramatic fake CPR seen in medical soaps, dislodged the sludge. (My hero.) This left us with the problem of walking without touching the carpet (fairly easy) and of sleeping without touching the sheets (fairly difficult).
The event itself involved the usual scrum, with an excellent mitigation: an official quiet room. Here I joined the autistic-spectrum mates and rellies and ate my plate of buffet in peace.
The eclipse was prettiest as it began, golden and low to the horizon:
Overexposed on the idiot iPhone held up to an eyepiece, but it caught the earthshine:
Better camera, better image; some time near maximum:
The last shot of the night, as the umbra moved off the disc:
(Three taken through a reflecting telescope, so the images are flipped).
It had its longueurs, and since 1984 some of them have got longer, owing to current events amnesia, while a certain pathos has crept in with the deaths of so many of the character prototypes. On the other hand, both Mrs T and Her Majesty are still pretty much on the money. A running gag about the hunt for President Reagan’s missing brain makes one feel a bit squirmy, and jokes about ayatollahs and Diana are even nearer the knuckle.
For those of us of a certain age:
the Norman puppet elicits a rich assortment of ambivalences.
lxxvii : Turn out the understairs cupboard
Why wouldn’t you?
Though nine frames for paint rollers seems excessive. Perhaps they breed too.