The period after the Great War was, for Europe at least, a time of great insecurity. Governments and gangsters both struggled to maintain order.[Read more…] about Stylish Violence
About a year ago, while walking around London, I saw snails massing on the tarmac path in the rain. A short time later, I saw a shrew on the pavement by my feet. The little shrew then left the pavement to walk across the road only to be clipped by a passing car.
I wondered if it was my fault. Had the shrew fled from me? Then again I didn’t build the road, I didn’t build the car. I had just walked and encountered the shrew.[Read more…] about On A Shrew’s Passing
We had coffee and cereal while wanting to watch TV news coverage that isn’t streaming. Our TV service comes streamed via a broadband modem and a set-top box. It’s a frustrating example of technology that’s provided without adequate integration and training of the provider’s workforce. It’s taken a month for an admission that this is a service issue rather than something we’ve done. It’s a very asymmetric relationship between provider and customer. The accounts department will know if a subscriber fails to stream cash on time. The technicians are divided into factional departments who don’t seem to know when the streaming TV service is failing let alone how to fix it.
We read the Irish Times newspaper at the dining table. The so-called Last Supper in Clifden was the dominant news story. Members of a golfing society met and dined in a hotel in celebration of their society’s 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, there were over eighty for dinner at a time when the limit was six. It’s a measure of the confusion of changing pandemic rules that the gathering was attended by people involved in advising, framing and enforcing the rules. It’s becoming a national scandal. A minister and a senator have already resigned and others in key national and international leadership roles are catching a lot of media flack. Perhaps the biggest lesson is not about flaunting pandemic advice or alleged arrogance but national governance. It seems that the society membership includes members of the cabinet, the parliament and the judiciary. This suggests, to the lay observer, that the executive, legislative and judicial functions might not be quite as independent as should be expected in a democratic parliamentary republic.[Read more…] about New Normal Diary Wedding
Saturday started badly. I had a bad night’s sleep and then the TV locked up before we could watch the breakfast news. I was already grumpy and my coffee mood boost was still in the cup when there came a glitch that became a technology challenge.
I should explain that we have a streaming service that provides our ‘terrestrial’ TV. It’s a service that comes bundled with our broadband via a DSL router and a set-top box. We’d surrendered a satellite service once we lost sight of the satellites beyond the growth of neighbouring trees. Copper wire transmission was all that was available as replacement. Indeed, our road is only now being upgraded with suitable fibre-optic connections.[Read more…] about Saturday Pencil Blues
Yesterday, the mystery was the wind. Today, it may well be teaspoons.
That AA Milne poem came back to me as I photographed a landscape of the Mourne Mountains in the light of last night’s setting sun. I knew I wouldn’t get a sharp image of anything because the air was moving as thermals, returning the day-borrowed heat into the atmosphere. Locally becalmed in our isolation, yes, but the Mournes are 100 km distant. All of that radiating heat becomes a cooling and distorting visible haze over that distance of an evening.[Read more…] about Mourne Sunset
29 March 2020 – 20:39 GMT – 1°C Mostly Clear – Co. Dublin, Ireland
It’s that kind of day. Cleaned some windows. Watched the news on TV while my wife visited with a public health nurse to learn about injecting our daughter, in case she needs the help later in her treatment.
I’ve been practising social distancing. I think the best defence is to behave as if you’re infectious and do not want to infect anyone else.
Fascinating catch-up TV about Eel Pie Island. As often as I walked past it while doing Thames Walks, I had no idea just how important it was to the music of the 1960s.[Read more…] about Crosswords and Sudoku