Brian Micklethwait's Blog
In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.Home
6000 on UPS drones and drone vans
6000 on Guess what this is
Erin on The most newsworthy thing so far done by a drone
Patrick Crozier on The Robert Stephenson statue at Euston
Edna on The most newsworthy thing so far done by a drone
Peter Chapman on Africa is (still) big
A Rob on An old person television set
Shawn on An old person television set
Michael Jennings on Calatrava coming to London
Raphael Boudreault-Simard on The most newsworthy thing so far done by a drone
Most recent entries
- UPS drones and drone vans
- Tim Marshall on the warming of the Arctic
- The outdoor map next to the Twelvetrees Crescent Bridge over the River Lea
- Marc Sidwell on experts
- Guess what this is
- Robots build a bridge
- The Robert Stephenson statue at Euston
- Cruelty to a fake animal – kindness to a fake animal
- Shopping Trolley Spiral beside the River Lea
- An Underground sermon
- Rubbish blogging
- Tim Marshall on the illiberal and undemocratic Middle East
- Opera North’s Ring
- An important game and only a game
Other Blogs I write for
6000 Miles from Civilisation
A Decent Muesli
Adventures in Capitalism
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Another Food Blog
Antoine Clarke's Election Watch
Armed and Dangerous
Art Of The State Blog
Boatang & Demetriou
Burning Our Money
Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry
China Law Blog
Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog
Coffee & Complexity
Communities Dominate Brands
Confused of Calcutta
Conservative Party Reptile
Counting Cats in Zanzibar
Deleted by tomorrow
Don't Hold Your Breath
Douglas Carswell Blog
Dr Robert Lefever
Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights
Everything I Say is Right
Fat Man on a Keyboard
Ferraris for all
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From The Barrel of a Gun
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Global Warming Politics
Greg Mankiw's Blog
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Here Comes Everybody
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Last of the Few
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My Boyfriend Is A Twat
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Never Trust a Hippy
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we make money not art
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This and that
Category archive: This and that
I have spent yesterday and today indoors, tidying up, or at least trying to. Infrastructural Overload is a terrible thing. This posting is about this tidying. You have been warned. Spoiler alert. You risk being seriously bored – angered even - by the triviality of it all.
The turning point was setting a date by which a serious amount of tidying needs to be done. The date in question is December 30th, when there will be a post-Christmas party and a talk in the evening, in the place now being tidied. December is a long month, in the sense that the last Friday of November was on the 25th, which was when I last entertained here in a space-hungry way. So the last Friday of December is five weeks later, rather than your more typical four. The key decision was not to attempt any entertaining before Christmas, which gives me a nice long time, and in particular that precious blank (for me) time around Christmas, to get stuck into all the shite that needs de-shiting.
The basic problem is a lot of piles of unprocessed paper. We are talking about an enormous in-tray in a small dwelling, which is not a good combination. Today, the piles of paper are now mostly in the living room, on top of big planks on top of sofas, and the processing has begun.
I already have a small chair-load of superfluous paper, destined for the bins, and have made several discoveries.
I have discovered two vital books of instructions that I had thought gone for ever, one for my washing machine and the other for a recording device. Very gratifying.
And, I have discovered that some magazines wrap themselves in biodegradable plastic. I found several such unopened magazines from several years back, and the wrapping has biodegraded. I had to vacuum bits of it off my hands. I’ve often wondered what biodegradation looks like. Now I know, a bit more than I did.
I anticipate a sense of liberation, of spiritual renewal, once a serious amount of tidying has been done. This may be a delusion, but if so it is a delusion that is already having consequences, in the form of me doing tidying up.
That being the name I have given to this photo, taken yesterday afternoon:
Pride of place in all the temporariness goes to Centre Point, currently having some kind of makeover. But there are also cranes, crane shadows, flags, and all manner of urban thisness and thatness, including a big face on the back of a Boris bus, advertising Coca Cola.
Why the Union Jacks I wonder? Was the idea that, following the vote for Remain that was obviously going to happen, there would always be a Britain? Tourists, this place is still its good old British self? Leavers, bad luck, this is your consolation prize? Remaining doesn’t mean that Britain will be gobbled up by Europe? (Even though that is the plan.) Seriously, I wonder what the thinking was there.
Whatever, it makes for a pretty photo, I think. Also, good light.
My illness has taken the form of a “thing” that moves around my head. At its worst, it impinged on my brain and nose and made me feel very bad, headache and bunged up nose. Then it moved around in a circle, from above left eye to above right eye, to below right of head. That gave me a malfunctioning throat, but stopped being a headache. Today, it arrived back above the left eye, and moved over to above the right eye. Again. Result: headache and bunged up nose, all day. Again. Like it was last Sunday. I had hoped it would make just the one visit to wherever it chose to go, and then stop. No such luck.
So, not even a quota photo today.
Number 11 of these:
The trick was to get really close.
One of David Thompson’s latest clutch of ephemera. He just keeps them coming.
A few days ago I purchased a small loaf of sliced bread of my favourite sort, namely Hovis Original Wheatgerm. And I found something rather strange about it:
Not all the slices were like this, but most of them were.
I’m guessing that what happened here was that part of the previous loaf inside whatever space this loaf was cooked in got left inside, and hence incorporated into the next loaf, my loaf. And, it would appear, it got cooked twice, or at least rather more than the rest of the loaf, and before the rest of the loaf was inserted. And then everything sliced and sold to a supermarket, and bought by me, just as if nothing odd had happened at all.
I happily ate the resulting hybrid loaf, which seemed fine, even if the darker bits were a bit drier. This is not a complaint. If Hovis want to send me more sliced bread, they are welcome, but that is not my purpose with this posting. I’m just trying to entertain, with an oddity. Because, odd, don’t you think? Never seen that before.
On a slight tangent, I believe that I am becoming a better photographer with the passing of the years. By this I do not mean that I am getting technically any cleverer, although mercifully my cameras are. What I mean is that now, I realise that this is the kind of thing that needs to be photographed, before it is merely consumed. A few years ago, I might have eaten this, and then only later realised that I would have liked a photo of it.
Just to emphasise that my improvement as a photographer still has some way to go, I vaguely recall trying not to get any shadows in this photo. But, if I was so trying, I failed. You can make out the shadow of my photoing finger, towards the right. Apologies for that. You get what you pay for here.
Just to drive the point home that not all the photos of mine that I show here were taken several weeks or even months ago, here is yet another which I took (just like the previous two in the previous two postings) today:
My picture is somewhat cropped. Her hair somewhat less so.
Inevitably, in some of these cross-examinations, this blog came up, with me saying that I write here about whatever I feel like writing about, with very little thought for the interests of my readers. Cats on Fridays, general trivia, etc. I do Big Issues at Samizdata and trivia here. Blah blah.
However, an American lady friend, whom I had not met in quite a while and whom I was very pleased to meet again, told me that she quite liked my trivia stuff, and that she even read my postings about cricket (this being the most recent one). I thought that only I and Michael Jennings and Darren the Surrey Member were at all interested in those. It seems not.
I’m guessing that this interest on her part is partly actual interest, but also partly that a principle is at stake here. Which is: that the trivia that other people are interested in, but not you, is not actually an entirely trivial matter. Life is not only Big Issues. It is the small pleasures that give colour and texture and individuality to life. Watever matters, to someone, matters. Your opinion about what the Big Issues are should not be allowed to drive a tank or a government bureaucracy over my trivial pleasures.
So, her reading about the trivial pleasures of others is her asserting this Big Issue to herself, as well as maybe learning something about other little parts of the world, like the world of cricket (actually quite big of course, as I daresay are the worlds of embroidery and gardening and croquet and rap music and all the other little things in life that I don’t personally care about, other than to believe that tanks or government bureaucracies should not be driven over them).
Me being me, my way of asserting the importance of trivia, in general, to people, in general, is me writing about the trivia that interests me.
Her way of asserting the importance of trivia to people generally is her reading about the trivia that others write about. But we are both making the same point.
I don’t want to say that I have entirely described why my American lady friend likes to read what I write about cricket. I merely speculate that the above speculations might be a quite small part of why she does this.
(She, like me, probably also thinks that thinking about trivia can often lead to interesting angles on Big Issues, of the sort that merely looking straight at the Big Issues might cause you to miss. Pointless fun and truly original insight are often delightfully close neighbours, I think. But that’s a tangent for another time, hence this paragraph being in brackets.)
I was laden with bags of shopping, but I still thought this worth photoing, late this afternoon:
Which do you think is better, a good photo of an okay thing, or an okay photo of a good thing? This, I think, is a photo of the latter sort. Digital cameras come into their own in taking such photos, because, although lacking that last ounce of phototechnicality, they are easy to have with you and easy to use, even when you are basically busy with other things.
What I like is how totally different each of the nine shapes are, like they are nine different pictograms or something. Only the one bottom right rather lets the side down.
Also, the car wasn’t helping. Had that not been there, I would probably have done it from right in front, and it might have ended up being a good photo of a good thing.
Twenty ten twenty ten
Another senior moment
Links to this and that
More random links
I need to get out less
This and that on the Graham Norton Show
Blogroll dilemma - question I already know the answer to - irrelevant photo
Young people these days
Today I have been blogging elsewhere and also doing other things
Avoiding barbarism in the street
Is my brain failing, or not?
Ridiculous story but great headline
Oddities and specialisms
Slow day here
Exciting posting about shelves
The goat menace
Lots of links
Random London snaps from last year
A breezy day in London
Feeling Much Better
In a bad way - but recovering
Discarded needles, wrappers and makeshift crack cocaine pipes
Top tips from Viz
Links I like
Unpaid happiness is not misery but it is a step in that direction
Unplugged and writing about sport because sport Doesn’t Matter
The thief of time
He loved my book
Happy New Year
Heat in my pocket
This and that at 9.07am
Plink plink plink plinkplinkplink plinkplink plink plink plinkplinkplinkplink plinkplinkplink
I actually think that this is quite mindful
Car bomb in Bogota
Today I took some more photos of the dca but you don’t get to see them yet
Contingent fees for lawyers are good!
Feeling under the weather - and watching The Butterfly Effect