Monday and morning light comes through cracks in the wooden shutters on the window of Robin's spare room. Four nights of good sleep have energised me. When you wake out of the dream journey, it should be like this - like easing to a halt in an expensive vehicle, slipping through the gears as it purrs to stop. Rested, crisp, alert, ready to rise from the bed.
Sunday. I sleep another night on Film-Maker Jessica's sofa and we chat of this and that. World's largest skyscraper (more accurately a 'groundscraper' as someone points out) will dangle upside-down from an asteroid? Nifty!
Saturday. Over at Jessica's I finally persuade her into us both watching the 1940s original version of 'The Cat People'. Though the plot is flawed in some places, and some of the dialogue is not quite believable, it's a powerful fantasy (about an East European woman), wonderfully evoked with suggestion and shadow. A couple of moments are perfectly judged: our dashing atheistic modern man of science, a handsomely tweedy engineer trapped in a night-time drafting room, picks up a set square to defend himself from the supernatural beast. Doing this accidentally casts the shadow on the wall of the holy cross in the light from an underlit work surface. The subtext about sex & animality is a proper subtext. The black-and-white film's sharp visual definition and the characters' stilted courtesy they think is hip & fresh captures an old-fashioned fragility about modernity.
Friday. Wake up in Robin's flat's spare room ready for a high-octane Friday. Typical word lengths in several languages: a handy chart.
Thursday. A big conference on Crypto Hill with investment and marketing people. A masseuse called Icu (Itsoo) is there in a room upstairs for anyone with back pain. She kindly works on my painful shoulders, declaring I have not ripped any tendons or shoulder-cuff stuff. No, only two dense knots of muscle, she declares, forcing them out partly with her knuckles, recommending I must follow up with more sessions. I get back into town to find flat dark and a note on door from Michael saying the power has been cut off and the electricity meter removed.
Wednesday. Resource for taking on large organisations.
Tuesday. Troubled day. The worst year was AD 536? Dinner with jolly Zoe & Mark in the evening relieves the pressure a little.
Monday. A week or two ago, I was walking through some woods, wet leaf mould aroma in the air and piles of vivid yellow or orange leaves sitting in mist under the frosty trees, when a car pulled past, the driver waving at me. It was a rather dishy business contact, and as she parked I walked round to her car door. I looked down into the car as we chatted. She was sitting in the driving seat batting long eyelashes, putting high-heeled shoes on for her office. This act forced her to squirm in her seat, her frock riding up her thighs to show lacy stocking tops for a few seconds before she casually brushed her skirt back down. A charming moment, strangely Victorian.
Fascinating piece about how the Mesmer scandal originated double-blind studies.
Sunday. Armstice Day. 5 things Marx wanted to abolish.
Saturday. Daily Mirror announces the End Times.
Friday. Two months since Robin got the news that Piera in a fit of despair a day or two earlier threw herself off her Italian balcony on her birthday and died. That was the weekend he decided to drive out through Slovenia to attend her funeral just on the Italian side of the Slovene border, picking up Gio from Rio at Ljubljana airport.
Thursday. A poetically horrible article: a woman explains why I no longer phone my mother. The New Left! Via Diane & Anthony.
Wednesday. Brewery trying to make money to brew beer using a specific Czech girl's vaginal yeast. Yummy! Scroll down for the promotional video's wonderfully just-off English.
Tuesday. More panpsychism: perhaps consciousness is a frequency effect?
Monday. A UN statistical body reports that Britain was the world's second highest destination for foreign investment, second only to China, first half of 2018: Brexit still "complete disaster" for business confidence then. The Guy Fawkes celebration of traitors foiled more topical than ever.
Sunday. Based on observed acceleration, some astronomers suggest an alien light sail just passed through the solar system.
Saturday. Apparently lots of Islamic computer hackers are "obsessed with gay porn" and sending each other pictures of their todgers.
Friday. Portugal, our oldest ally, breaking ranks with euroweasels?
Thursday. In the end, don't take Michael down to the cemetery by night to see this year's candlelit Day of the Dead. Instead we stay in, nattering. Meanwhile, here's a lawyer discussing Trump's wish to abolish birthright citizenship.
Mark Griffith, site administrator /
markgriffith at yahoo.com