Thursday, 30 July 2020

Zooming out of Isolation

This afternoon I attended my first virtual U3A meeting, by courtesy of Zoom. Eight of us were present. It was more than five months since I'd seen any of the others , so it was a happy occasion for me.

Friday, 24 July 2020

The Ponderous Activity of an Ancient Brain.

I have rewritten the books page of my website. For the benefit of anyone wondering what I'm doing in these strange times, here's a link

Thursday, 23 July 2020

A Joyful Day

I had my hair cut today !! It was only my second haircut of the year. I think the last time was either in January or very early February. I'm enjoying feeling light headed!

Monday, 20 July 2020

A Dubious Achievement

I seem to have killed my mint plant. Mint tends to expand into any part of the garden in which one plants it, so cautious gardeners confine their mint to a container.

My mint, so contained,  has died. Should I be proud ?

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Wearing My Mask

Yesterday I wore a face mask while shopping. I decided that if it's necessary to wear masks at the end of next week, it must be necessary to wear them now.

I was surprised that very few shop assistants were masked, though around a fifth of my fellow shoppers were. I also discovered a snag. When masked I couldn't use my spectacles because the lenses were fogged by breath directed upwards by the mask.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

The Congested Middle Ground

Food packaged for oven cooking almost always bears an instruction to cook it in the middle of the oven.

What do these people expect one to cook in the top, or the bottom, of the oven ?

Saturday, 4 July 2020

A Sad Day

Our cat died today. We used to have two, a mother and her daughter. The mother died in 2017, and her daughter died today.  She was twenty years old, which I understand to be very old for a cat, and she'd been in poor health for a while. Today the vet said she would not live for long whatever we did, and she was in pain, so we chose a merciful injection. We miss her very much.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

A Strange Reaction

I was very surprised when the Houses of  Parliament recently stood in silence in memory of  an American who died while restrained by police.

Minneapolis is not subject to British jurisdiction, and investigations have been undertaken by the local authorities there, where criminal proceedings are underway.

Several years ago members of our own Metropolitan Police shot dead a plumber who had committed no crime and was not even suspected of committing a crime.. There was no minute of silence for him yet he was killed deliberately, unlike the American whose death  followed an inept and excessive effort to restrain him. The senior officer who supervised the plumber's killing was subsequently promoted to the post of Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Members of Parliament might sort our our own policing before offering advice to our former colony.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Relics of Bygone Days

Various relics remind of our past, statues prominent amongst them. I'm annoyed when people call for the removal of a statue because it commemorates someone now considered 'bad'. Recently rioters in Bristol pulled down a statue of Edward Colston, a seventeenth century slave trader, and threw it into the river, whence it will, I expect, have to be removed at considerable expense.

In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries slavery was generally accepted, endorsed  by John Locke, the philosopher whose writings inspired the American Constitution, so Colston  was not evil when judged be the standards of his day. His statue was a useful reminder of how things used to be.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

A Welcome Discovery

Intending to arrange a virtual meeting I looked for my microphone. Alas, it was so ancient that its plug would not fit any of my computers. A friend suggested that one or more of my computers might have a built in microphone, but none was mentioned in either of the computers' lists of devices. Desperate, I opened the utilities to configure a microphone. While the desk top machine just told me no microphone was connected, the laptop suddenly found a microphone. I confirmed its existence by recording myself congratulating myself on having one.


Sunday, 31 May 2020

Contradictory Instructions

In late march we were bidden to stay at home as much as possible and to avoid social gatherings, conducting our social lives through the Internet or by telephone. Yet shops selling the electronic equipment we need for such communication were forbidden to open.

Assess the intelligence of our rulers in the light of that contradiction.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

No More Late Nights

I've noticed that the street lights are switched off earlier than they used to be. They used to go off at midnight, but now they are always off by the time I go to bed, which is almost always between 23 hours and midnight.

I guess that is because late night adventures are rare under present conditions.  So far as I recall, I haven't been out after  19 hours for at least two years, and have never been out after 22 hours since moving into this house more than five years ago.