11 May 2017

It is getting leafier

and leafier

an unintended and thrilling bonus from taking these photos is that I can see that when they re-wired our street a few weeks ago they have put back considerably fewer individual strands of wire than they took off and now it is neater but the sky is less interesting and criss-crossy for the photos

I cycled all the way to gamelan rehearsal yesterday, with more success than my trial run (note to self: always do a trial run). Because:

  1. I did not get lost
  2. I met no teenagers
  3. I saw a heron
  4. The heron did not take the piss out of me. As far as I know, obviously, because I don't speak heron. But I at least did not perceive it to do so, and maybe should start applying this principle to humans by pretending I don't speak human either

In gamelan we made a video and I had two cups of tea and two and a half biscuits (obviously I needed more than usual, because cycling).

Hank Boliday

04 May 2017

Four bits of seaglass in a row, on a piece of wood

Monday was spent undertaking seaside-based activities: walking along coast and in forest, searching for lumps of seaglass (particularly the special kind that they have at the beach we visited, which is called 'end of day' seaglass because it's formed from rounded lumps of whatever molten glass was left over in the local glass factory every day, which used to get poured into the sea wholesale at closing time. There's not much left any more because it's mostly been scavenged by paperweight-hunters, but you do occasionally get rounded blobs as opposed to the usual flat, bottle-derived pieces you get on most beaches).

Other activities included looking for profusely signposted but apparently non-existent public toilets, and wondering whether to wait in the massively long queue for the chip shop, or to chance the completely empty other chip shop. There's always something a bit suspicious about that sort of situation, and as it happened the empty fish and chip shop was named 'GILLS', which may just have been a case of a missing apostrophe but in this context made it seem rather unappetising. (Also they were playing annoying music, so we decided to go back to Durham and go to the Elm Tree instead, as usual).

We also studied a mysterious building that had no windows. It was freshly, neatly painted in a demure and tasteful shade of green, and gave no indication as to what its area of business was. It had the name of the establishment (TAILS) on the exterior walls, with lamps for illuminating the logo at night, and nothing else. We wondered if it might be some kind of upmarket restaurant, or perhaps a cocktail bar. Maybe a nightclub. Or was it related to GILLS, both being part of an efficient new scheme instigated to use the parts of the fish that the fish and chip shops usually discarded? On the front door was a poster with a link to a Facebook page, and it said that it was officially closed at the moment but still possible to "make an appointment". We concluded that it was most probably a lap-dancing club.

The following morning we looked it up on the internet. Surprisingly it turned out to be a "professional dog-grooming salon" and suddenly everything made sense. Sort of.

This is our new prog band

02 May 2017

Tenter Chambers A and The Undercroft

Oh What a Surprise

26 April 2017

Tall Rhubarb (I have repeatedly forgotten to deflower the rhubarb. I had no idea it could grow this tall.)

The door is still here. Even though I used a really sneaky tactic (helpfully emailing a contact phone number to the Freecycle collecter this morning, except really what I was doing was reminding her to come and collect the door this afternoon) I was unable to defeat the natural order of things, which apparently is to arrange to collect something from someone at a particular time, and then not collect it from them, giving neither an apology nor a forewarning.

So I have not attained Freecycle Level 2. Instead, I am quitting. We will re-use at least some part of the door somehow I expect, but it really would have been better to have stayed as a door and been used as such by one of the five people who perhaps just briefly hallucinated that they wanted to.

In other irritating news, the bus service I was using is now suddenly... not. Which is not very surprising given that I was usually the only person who sat on it all the way to Durham, and there are other buses that take people between the places that most of them go between. Unfortunately I discovered this while trying to catch it, and at ten past one there was no bus, only the ghost of a bus, which unfortunately/fortunately (depending on how you look at it) I was too corporeal too get onto. Hopefully this will motivate me to cycle more, although means I'll need to be able to cycle 16 miles in one day with the last 8 of them being sightly uphill all the way, which might be problematic given my current fitness levels. I will have to become even more corporeal, I guess.

On Second Thoughts

24 April 2017

I shall not be documenting the weather while lying on my back under the apple tree when it is doing this:

a blizzard, photographed from inside the house

This is the third year in a row that it has snowed here in late April. #doom

Here are my thrilling Freecycle updates:

The door is still here. It was nearly removed a week ago when someone sent me some very straightforward and helpful messages arranging to collect it - and then, just before setting off, measured his doorframe and realised it would be too big. At least this one apologised for wasting my time.

Another person is allegedly coming to collect the door on Wednesday, but I'll believe this when it happens, and not before.

However, AGAINST ALL MY EXPECTATIONS someone did collect a reasonably large amount of fabric from me yesterday. (Yes. Yes, I failed to meet my target of Fabric Stash Zero by the end of 2016. People are indeed now entitled to kick me. Please don't actually kick me.) I wasn't expecting it to work out for a while because we had the following email exchange:

ME: "When would you like to collect it?"
HER: "Would Monday afternoon or evening be all right?"
ME: "Yes, either is fine if you let me know which." *gives address*
HER: "Thanks, see you then!"
ME: "Er... but can you let me know whether you're coming in the afternoon or the evening?"
HER: "Yes, I'll definitely let you know!"

At which point I slightly freaked because of on top of not knowing whether she was coming in the afternoon or the evening I didn't know when she was going to tell me which it would be, which was TWO unknown timings and even worse. But it was all right in the end because I said I needed to know by Sunday night at the latest, and then she told me on Saturday. So I may be getting a little bit better at this game.

(Although that is bad, because assuming getting rid of the door completes Level 1, I will then presumably be on Level 2, which will be harder. I have never got beyond Level 2 of any computer game ever* so I'm hoping this analogy is inaccurate.)

*Except when I accidentally and freakishly guessed the password for Level 11 of Quazer in 1992, but that was cheating, and also pointless as I only ever lasted about 0.5 seconds before being blown up by aliens. Level 11 of Freecycle is probably something like communicating by carrier pigeon in Klingon in order to arrange for someone to remove your garage.