Category Archives: Animal

Things to do when you can’t sleep: lxxiii

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lxxiii :  Watch silly things to do

The Winter Olympics are coming in handy for insomnia.  Ice dancing … and chocolate.  Yep; it was a long one.

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Chequered past

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Today I explored outward from Salisbury; only a mile or so, on a dulled afternoon.  Most of the houses are bog-suburb-council-house-bungalow, with a few oldies still wedged in among.

Eking out brick with flint is a real Wiltshire ploy; pity about the tactless street furniture.

The basic cottage underneath is probably old, but the excessive grooming makes it look like something from a film lot – as if it is thatched with plastic rather than reed or straw.

The church also shows a traditional mixture of materials – fairly recent by church standards, but may be sitting on older foundations.  I gave a black mark because it was locked at 2.30 pm – but maybe the local vandals are chronic.

Then this rather forbidding building.  I would be hard put to say why it would look completely alien in my own home territory – something to do with the colour of the brick, and perhaps the roof line.  Judging by the numerous revisions, this one has been around for a while.

This peach of the vernacular shows classic flint chequerwork in its lower portion; not sure if the dressed stones are very dirty chalk or, as I suspect, greensand (of sentimental memory).

How do you know you have knitted half a ball of wool when you have no accurate scales?  Like this …

 

Silence

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After a long and busy day, involving public transport (including taking the same bus twice), signatures, a trolley full of gubbins, sunshine (thank goodness), huge sausages for lunch, and two kind people, I have come to rest in an attic.

This is part of the route I walked this afternoon.

A river of a nondescript but pleasing kind, rather full thanks to our recent downpours:

A steepish downhill bit, feeling quite aerial above the low roadway:

And a view they don’t put on the postcards:

The experiment has begun.

A creaky week

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… disinclining me to appreciate small things as much as usual.  Here, however, I may mention two pleasures of the senses:

A home-made swiss roll bulging with summer fruits, raspberry preserve, and double cream – a potent consolation in its way;

and the Falcon Heavy launch (hardly small, but very brief).  My rational part has its doubts about the value of the programme, but seeing the two side boosters settling out of the sky on their tails was pure magic.  Pity they lost the core, but perhaps a good thing to keep down corporate hubris.

Now I’m going to watch those boosters separate and land again (for the eleventh time or so).  Oh the improbability of it.

Things to do when you can’t sleep: lxxii

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lxxii  :  Crawl on the floor

Kneeling down and bowing before the oven:  severe demands of the inanimate object, without any of the dubious pleasures of idolatry.  I refused to offer it Pow, Woosh, Zip, Whizz or any other such pricey commodity, confining myself to elbow grease and savage abrasion with a steel scourer, until they had removed a judicious quantity of black.  And skin.

It doesn’t do much for insomnia, though.

The psyche is a strange place

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… and a law unto itself.  Having given mine over to the acquisition of facts, academic analysis, and sleeplessness, the arrival of a poem was unexpected.  It is always fascinating to see what turns up; on this occasion there is a slightly inverted relationship to the day thoughts, as the poem is about going to sleep, but the reproachful tone is a considerable surprise.

Weepings by the waves

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Everything was wet and seeping…  (Click thumbnail for the gallery)

Eighteen thousand steps

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… which is enough for a person of a certain age, especially when quite a few of them were up hill (and equally painfully, down hill) even with some youthful assistance in the traction department.

Thus sausage and lentil soup among the distinctly original, massive and wonky half-timbering was quite a Cunning Plan, which fortified us for the main Cunning Plan.  I approve automatically of any food establishment which runs its own bring-and-share book shelf, though I would probably eschew most of these titles.