Well there we were, me at the kitchen table and Fluffers underneath it. I propped my elbows in a state of inaction, while Fluffers steadily pulled out her feathers.
I discovered a curious parallel urge to pull my own eyebrows out. So far I have resisted (mostly).
… 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.
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.
Down goes the labour of love, the elegance, the quietude, the pristine whiteness. Sometimes one thinks: perhaps keep one or two of the year’s best. But no; better to bundle them hugger mugger, and don’t look while you do it.
Dusty, disordered and down.
The wind blew, daylight was extinguished by weighted clouds, rain slashed across the windscreen, muddy runoff smothered many points in the road. In short, the pathetic fallacy was doing its damnedest.
I paused for a moment as conditions eased:
I’d had enough grim, so the next audiobook was selected for harmlessness.
It is true that Lady Flora Hastings’ fate was bitter, but the tale of George Eliot’s perhaps unladylike hand is innocuous, it was amusing to see Hughes get Darwin’s beard entangled in a compromise of the scientific principle, and the story of Fanny Cornforth is no more than louche. I therefore walked unprepared into the account of the Fanny Adams murder case which concludes the book. It’s not something I’d heard of before, and to be honest I wish I hadn’t heard it now, especially late in the evening; it needed quite a sweetener to take the taste away.
… with relief. Apparently some of the metaphors played 🙂 And the bits that wouldn’t go into the suitcase don’t seem to have been too disastrous, leaving me a respectable % – quite pleasing, considering it’s twenty years since the last bout of academic prose. On to the next…
The storm came in overnight, so I headed for high tide in a bright aftermath.
The rollers were busy rearranging the shoreline
and nobody was fool enough to mess with the prom.
The waves were breaking on the sea wall (which in these photos is under all that white stuff).
I walked round and perched on a small concrete platform, which is a couple of feet higher than the lifeboat yard behind the second wall, and gives a good view of the action. This was fortunate, as suddenly the bay seemed to swell, and then reared up the wave of the morning. It ignored the storm beach, overtopped the sea wall, hurdled the promenade, burst violently over the second wall, and poured in cataracts over the cobbled yard where I had just been standing.
Racing to catch some sunshine when the rain moved over, I ended up in the cliff’s shade, to watch the surfers and paddle-boarders without being squinty.
It was a waiting game for everyone
and meantime a few people caught reasonable rides.
When the big ones did come, it was too interesting to be bothered with photos. Lacking in drama compared with watching the shark bait off Manly after a whopping storm, but then, anything is (I remember the heart-in-mouth sensation even now). The waves crashed prettily though, and one surfer was spat, flailing, vertically into the air, and came down looking surprised.
My turn as a Fluffers-bed is nearly over.
though personally I am betting that there was one. The speaker is a character in Crime and Punishment, after all.
Perhaps the novel’s dramatic and emotional moments were compressed into undue proximity by the abridgement; I will only remark that the characters seemed to have a disproportionate quota of spasms, fits, convulsions, fevers, catatonic attacks, tremblings and faints, which had an unfortunate effect on one reader at least.
Outside the wind is picking up again; gusting to force 8, perhaps 9. 2018 coming in with a roar, and I hope we all keep our roofs on.