Saturday, July 31, 2010
RUNNERS. At weekends, one is always enchanted by fleeting glimpses through the trees of spring-heeled goddesses scampering around the common. Today come several hundred, half of them dressed in pink, on a fun run that seems too arduous for most in this sticky humidity.
A LITTLE BOY, maybe six or seven years old, gets on my bus and climbs on to a high seat. He is un-believably girlishly pretty, but undoubtedly boyish because he is absorbed in contemplation of his new boy’s toy, a Lego Clone Walkers Battle Pack, still in its unopened box. Throughout the fifteen minute journey he does not speak, but reads the box’s facets over and over whilst he hums the Star Wars theme, very loudly.
WOODPECKER. We awake to steady rain after a drought. Two squirrels dash hither and thither among the great dark boughs of a Cedar of Lebanon, fetching twigs vandalised from a neighbouring lime tree to fortify their dray. A woodpecker flies in at speed from one side and settles in classic profile, so to speak, before commencing her methodic ascent, regardles of squirrel chaos, tap-tapping as she goes.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
the first three pages of a letter from the late sylvia forward ( my mum ) to sheila evans ( almost certainly the best friend anyone could wish for )
any historian with half a brain will remind you of the necessity, and the fun, of using primary sources
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
leading on from an interesting little slide-show on the bbc weather pages
Sunday, July 18, 2010
and yes ! i scored 999% in the on-line diabetes test !
and a little something for book lovers from metafilter ...
Saturday, July 17, 2010
oh, and that's Saint Thomas a Becket Roman Catholic Church, designed by Edward Goldie (1856-1921), an impressive Victorian Gothic Grade II Listed Building situated on Wandsworth's West Hill, where it has been "stood standing" since 1895
Friday, July 16, 2010
the archaeology of fun ( part 99 ) ... i've been snoozing and had missed the whole lipdub phenomenon ... even in remote herreruela the people are living proof that there's no such thing as a sleepy village in 21st century spain
WARNING: only allow yourself to click on this link if you sincerely believe in the potency of cheap music
i do ! i do ! i do !
... later ... i'm just checking out the history of Lipdub on wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipdub ... which soon leads me on ...
to discover hundreds or thousands more lipdubs on YouTube ...
here are a bunch of French students ...
and some Catalan students ...
i haven't found many british ones yet, but ...
nope, she's american
and we'd better not try to stop the Germans now ...
or the professionals ...
of course it all started years ago and i'm surely the very last person to catch on ...
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
watch this clip through to the slow-motion close up in about the twentieth second
despite the english referee's laissez-faire attitude to extreme violence, the best team prevailed and justice has been served
I read Rory Stewart's account of his walk across Afghanistan a while back and went to look at his website this morning because he's recently become the MP for Penrith and the Border.
He still writes from a uniquely individual viewpoint ...
... whether through statistics, or anecdotes, or narratives of the past, the real language to describe what I feel about Cumbria eludes me. Take my Sunday walk for example. I walked out of my front door and reached the top of Knipe Cragg at three in the afternoon. It was very hot. Three days earlier in London I had twenty-one appointments in a day, 35 people came to the constituency surgery, and the previous day I been at Glenridding to canoe with the Ullswater Community college, at Brampton cottage hospital fete and at Crosby Ravensworth where they were abseiling for the tower. But there was nothing in the diary for Sunday afternoon. So I continued on down to Little Strickland. Except for the retired Bishop of Newcastle exercising his neighbour’s dog, I saw no-one on the fells. Turning North, I stopped in Hackthorpe for supper in the Lowther Arms.
A regular told me that he was in the pub to give his wife two hours’ free to watch the soaps. I shared some chips with him; he seemed pleased that I would be walking back to Bampton after supper. He asked what I did and I told him: “No” he said “You’re not, you’re having me on. I follow politics, you’re not an MP” and, taking a final chip, retired to sing to himself in a corner. I walked back, past a great red bull, with a blood red sun falling behind Blencathra and saw beyond the telephone box at Knipe the white path stretching up to my cottage. Crossing my threshold again at ten minutes to midnight I could still see Cross Fell. It seemed hardly possible, on that longest day, that half a year had passed since I walked on the longest night, with all the East Fellside blazing in snow and moonlight, to Castle Carrock. How can I ever fit any of this into the language of a London office?
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
... from today's el pais
... from today's el pais