Thursday. I'm sure it lost lots in translation, but since a friend with a boat is currently exploring the beaches of Chile, broadcasting the occasional haunting photo of deserted coastline, some Neruda verse put into English: Enigmas
You've asked me what the lobster is weaving there with
his golden feet?
I reply, the ocean knows this.
You say, what is the ascidia waiting for in its transparent
bell? What is it waiting for?
I tell you it is waiting for time, like you.
Wednesday. Rather charming tapestry of triangles: orderly but with just a smidgeon of disorder (scroll right) to keep us on the edge of our seats.
Tuesday. So we have the Prince Charles project to sterilise grey squirrels with spiked Nutella.
Monday. One Bragg radio discussion that gives proper value: Boethius. Odd moment where the host, a left-wing Northerner, suddenly confesses deep admiration for Elizabeth 1st.
Sunday. Nazis tried to breed talking dogs: real journalism.
Saturday. Apparently a breaking story in the Telegraph about Mr Bercow and Mr Vaz. Or not.
Friday. Not so odd that the pro-Chomsky linguist misspells "peek" but never mind. Nice bit of multi-dimensional language wibble. Who ever thought language was linear, though?
Thursday. Talking of hateful things, here's a 14-legged telepathic shape-shifting megasquid reported by a Russian scientist somewhere cold. Spending months at a time in bleak icy landscapes probably not good for a man's soul.
Wednesday. Lonely hearts can now bond with potential Valentines over hating the same things. A business idea that's born to win.
Tuesday. Canadian who beheaded man on bus in 2008 walks free. Seems he ate bits of him as well.
Monday. Engineer claims electric cars are "a fraud".
Sunday. Computers aren't automating dull chores, but
automating fun stuff instead.
Ewan recommends a book about leftist history leftists would prefer forgotten.
Friday. Internet identity can be tracked across browsers now.
Thursday. Some chill returns. People on public transport all over Budapest sulking again. Now we cannot trust taped speech or videoed faces. Good, in a way.
Wednesday. Another slightly weird attempt to do maths on novels.
Tuesday. Research suggests people in crowded conditions have fewer children. Thanks to Lily.
February 6th; Monday.
Lovely evening meal at Photographer Terri & Alvi. Philosopher Kerrie reminds me of a MacNiece poem I like: Snow
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it. ---
February 5th; Sunday.
On the subject of the streets coming alive, change in air and so forth, 3 versions of Donovan's 'Season of the Witch'. A puzzling song, that like many celebrated pop tunes hints at something it doesn't bother spelling out. What's all that "You've got to pick up every stitch" about, except as a lame rhyme? Yet frequently covered.
Driscoll, Augur, & overcoloured studio set;
Suck (Saffers, apparently);
Driscoll, Augur, & Trinity again.
Saturday. Temperature even higher, at around 5 of Mr Celsius's degrees - or 4 of Monsieur Reaumur's gradations - of warmth. Everywhere in Budapest, women are eyeing up any half-smartly-dressed man. Film-maker Troy shows me a piece on sound moving faster than light, not a misprint.
Friday. Suddenly a week of ice is thawing, and even at 3 degrees above freezing, it feels warm and like the first day of spring. From one day to the next, the mood on the streets shifts. As if from nowhere, there are now groups of girls at busstops and tramstops laughing, as if high, intoxicated on their own girliness. Suddenly 2 or 3 early-20s women on each tram have dark dramatic makeup, serious glares, and skin-tight black rubber or faux-leather leggings. The last couple of years this fashion has popped up more and more. The leggings seem to serve as a still daring, but slightly more prim, version of thigh-high leather boots, considered a little too raunchy for daytime wear even here. Bright sunshine coming through fog creates strange effects. Interesting conversation with Boardgame Orsolya about nutrition. Fascinating but misguided article on early digital pseudo-life (cellular automata etc). Writer seems to struggle to see that simulated molecules or simulated amino acids are still just simulations. In the last ten minutes before the supermarket shuts, I buy for the first time in my life a block of lard. It's wrapped in quaint waxed paper instead of plastic or foil, and on the paper there repeats a cartoon image, wallpaper-style, of a plump cheerful pig. He strikes a jaunty pose, dressed in blue dungarees.
Thursday. Recommended by
some vaguely gloomy not-quite-minimalist music from a German who lives, as did Sebald, in Britain. Perhaps being German and living in Britain is a combination which encourages melancholia. Listening to this all the way through, it strikes me as the kind of music for a film where aliens from a distant galaxy come to earth but are too depressed to make up their minds whether to kill us or not. Then I find as it ends that indeed it was the same composer who scored a recent sci-fi film I'd read about. In this a woman linguist communicates in a language of circular coffee stains with beings inside what one friend notes are giant segments of Terry's chocolate orange. My perceptive powers as keen as ever. Crossing the river for coffee with Esoteric Veronica, fog cuts off both banks completely and even the surface of the river under the bridge melts into the cloud.
Wednesday. Another article of mine, 'The Year of the Trumpster'.
Mark Griffith, site administrator /
markgriffith at yahoo.com