Monday, September 29, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
An unprepossessing exterior and a location within a few hundred metres of the leaning tower do not bode well for this restaurant in Pisa.
Surprisingly, it is extremely good. Middlingly expensive but worth it. Highly recommended.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Traffic in the morning is heavy, and when one is travelling north one jumps from gap to gap in the parked cars - allowing oncoming traffic a clear passage. This is difficult as often you can't see what might be coming south around a corner, and how far away it is.
This morning I jee-yust squeezed into a gap before a line of oncoming cars - unfortunately this gap was very small - and the little car that followed behind me a bit too closely couldn't squeeze completely in as well. I squooshed forward as far as I could - parking sensors squealing in protest. But still the road in the other direction was pretty well blocked.
A couple of oncoming cars managed to wiggle through, but eventually the traffic jammed. Then an extraordinary thing happened. A woman in a south bound car spoke to me in a language foreign to me. I can understand a bit of some Romanic languages, especially if I'm aware of the context. Sometimes, although the meaning is clear, it's hard to guess which language you are hearing. In this case - I'm pretty sure she was speaking "chav".
Chav, it seems, has a quite gutteral delivery - and is best spoken with a wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command. The words are short and simple, meaning it is necessary to repeat them, loudly, even as the person to whom you are speaking is moving into the distance.
Her semantics were:
"Well - I see that, due to an unfortunate sequence of events, we are at an impasse. Although other people with similar sized vehicles have managed to pass through this gap - I don't have the judgement to do so. I note that you are driving a Citroen - I understand that this marque has a corporate tradition of quirky proportions - the front overhang of these cars is quite large - making it hard to be exactly sure where the nose of the car ends. Allow me to be of assistance by pointing out that you have a few inches of clearance left in front of you. I fully understand that you are unwilling to pull out of the gap you are in - because you fear it would be selfish and only exacerbate our problem. However due to my unwillingness to move further forward - the only solution we have is that you push out into the oncoming traffic. We have been here for some time now, and I am feeling a little rushed and flustered. So would you be so kind as to attempt this? Thank you and good day"
Her syntax was perhaps a little curter.
I can well imagine that this woman meets all minor vicissitudes of life shrieking like an ape squabbling over fruit. What a shit.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
It's of no great consequence to me, let alone anyone who stumbles over this - but I had settled on it over some years, and now I keep thinking of films I enjoyed and wanting to shuffle the list around again, again and again. Here's what it looks like currently:
Le Diner de Cons
Être et avoir
The Fourth Man
Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources
Withnail and I
Favourite is probably Mona Lisa, a bittersweet love story. At times v bitter.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I used to know what enormity meant, and tended to sputter into my Bruichladdic when, in an irony drenched attempt to sound clever, some twunt used enormity as a synonym for enormousness.
I knew this was coming, I have stumbled over the first hint of the word evolving: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/enormity
I am seeking solace in "utilise".
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Sometimes small children test boundaries by asking you to stop the car because their imaginary friend has been left behind.
Can you see where this argument is going?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Timed Shutdown can be used to automatically shutdown a PC. It supports shutdown, reboot and logoff at a user-specified time, after a countdown has elapsed, when the CPU usage reaches a certain level or when your Internet connection is disconnected. The program sits in the system tray when running so it can be easily aborted. It can optionally display a warning message before taking action. Timed Shutdown can also be run from the command line.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The story of a tomato grower and fisherman who lives his whole life in Guernsey.
A languid book of quiet beauty recommended to me by a recently lost friend. Said friend is much missed and was one of the few people who took the same message as me from "Zen in the Art ... " below.
William Golding spoke highly of the Book of Le Page, although his views on island life were not quite so languid.
Monday, September 8, 2008
There's some archery in it too.
My favourite book. Lent and re bought many times.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
So - it is very wise, every now and then, to do something that is in some way wilfully extravagant.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
A mock TV guide he did for a few years: http://www.tvgohome.com/archive.html
His slightly tamer columns in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/charliebrooker
Probably not funny for grown ups.
Flaminio Bertoni - a sculptor who was co-opted to industry. His work always makes me smile, you will have seen some every now and then - but it's unlikely you know his name. Not that it matters I suppose.
Louis XVI - a slightly dim man who bumbled into a job which was way beyond his ability, and cocked it up mightily. He gained redemption through last minutes of nigh on unbelievable courage and dignity.
Theodorus van Gogh - the letters between him and his poor mad brother Vincent show him in a flattering light, filled with unquestioning brotherly love.
Beauty, courage and love. What more could you want?
A round of good toast, perhaps.
Friday, September 5, 2008
This is one of my very favourite things. SJS Cycles custom built it, yet still offered a 100 day, no reason required buy back. On delivery the instantaneous decision was that they could keep our money. We still love riding this bike.