Unreliable and possibly off-topic


Wednesday, January 30, 2008


This is belated. but am duty-bound to respond. So Philip Curmudgeon tags me to nominate seven things of which I'm in favour, then steals one of my immediate top tips (cats). He's a tough taskmaster.

1. Literacy
Where would we be without the invention of writing? I can communicate in the present as a result (since I hate phones), transmit abstract ideas and also access a back-catalogue reaching back several thousand years. Reading transcends and allows access to other times and places, and everyone should do it more, especially me.

2. Dogs
Philip stole the cats, so I have to nominate dogs. Seemingly devoted and eager to please, but in fact self-serving, selectively deaf, monomaniacal egoists. Very good company, better than most humans.

3. Sexual Reproduction
Not only can you have brief fun with sex, but afterwards you can enjoy the product (hopefully) till you're dead. Yes, children cause you worry, guilt and pain, but absolutely the best entertainment ever. Observe how they're they're somewhat like you and your partner, but fundamentally different and unique.

4. Cryptic crosswords
Play with your language and its permutations as you cross-reference the detritus of your connotative vocabulary and references (see 1). It doesn't matter if you finish- the pleasure is in trying.

5. Zoos/ Aquaria
A controversial choice, but as an urban kiddo these opened my eyes to the beauty and diversity of other animals. We didn't hardly have telly in those days. Arguably, David Attenborough's made these redundant now, but I'd still rather watch a meerkat or primate colony in real-time.

6. Camping
Heaven and/or hell, but returns you to materialism; shelter, warmth, food, primitive society.

I ran out of my predictable ideas here. Amongst further potential nominations:
Radio 4 (but not You and Yours)
Trial by jury
State education (to my syllabus, of course)
Compulsory, paid sabbaticals from work.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Samo, samo

Hallo! Thought I should register as still breathing, moving and occasionally even sentient. Over the holidays, mainly I have been sleeping and eating and watching my best pressie, a boxed set of David Attenborough's 'Planet Earth' DVDs. The cat loves it too, especially the birds. God, I can sleep- 14 hrs at a stretch if allowed, even sans hangover. I have no January resolutions, despising nominally-timed bouts of reformation, but would maybe like to read more this year. Over 18 days off, I read only one (lightweight) book. Late December I had a kick of sudoku, but recently cryptic crosswords are the obsession and preferable for being at least a pseudo-creative goal-oriented activity. As the nights continue to draw out, the New Year's resolutions may yet emerge!

Oh, the eBay Xmas presents were mostly hits. The stocked sewing basket for the wee wan is in constant use, and I skived off work early today to take her shopping to the local Asian fabric shop for more materials for her textile creations. 'Mighty Boosh' for the Big Wan didn't arrive for Xmas, but he had the good grace to be excited when it did turn up and both kiddos sing me odd songs and skits from this, to my amusement and bemusement. Nooshka did the best for pressies, despite being oblivious to all but her crunchy supply. Her grandma sent her a new food bowl decorated with fishes (a food she abhors) and a magnificently ornate cat-scratching post from the charity-shop. She (Her Catness, not my Mum) plies this new (?catnip-infused) item attention and headrubs, yet reserves her scratching for the furniture as ever. At the weekend She reserved an unusually wet hairball to puke on the wee wan's anorak, causing me such a bad case of the boaks that the Big Wan had to be called in for the clean-up operation. That's why you have kiddos, right?