Friday 24 May 2013
From the point of view of being a gardener, slugs are loathsome creatures. If they could be persuaded to limit themselves to dead and decaying plant material, they might be treated with the same affection as the earthworm; sadly this is not the case and most young plants are at risk from their ravaging appetites.
One of our anti-slug measures is to set beer traps but we don’t want to waste good beer on the gastropods. Fortunately, they seem quite happy to have their “pubs” serving up the cheapest, nastiest lager that supermarkets have to offer. I’ve stocked up tonight with another four-pack of their “poison”and hope this will enable us to keep the slug population under control.
Thursday 23 May 2013
Having friends round for dinner is great. If nothing else, it is a chance to break out the chef’s hat and put a little extra effort into dinner (pan-sweetened carrots with lemon and mint, followed by a baked chicken dish on a bed of onion and potato, topped with spinach and enhanced with olives and saffron, in case you were interested). As well as a treat for the stomach, it is also a delight for the soul, with the chance to conversationally explore subjects of interest.
My starting point with tonight’s guest was running through my current draft for the talk I will be giving at the St Clement’s evening service in a couple of weeks on the subject of “Faith in Painting”. It was valuable to bounce ideas around with someone who is well-informed in this area and I feel reassured that I’m safely on track (although I’ve been lent a couple more books which work around aspects of the subject so there is still scope for being derailed onto new ideas!).
However, discussion moved onto other topics being covered in the series, which included “Faith in Sketches”. I was away that weekend and missed the service but, knowing Clint, who was speaking, I think it would have focused more on drama than on pencil and paper. In turn, that caused me to look up The Skit Guys and their sketch called “God’s Chisel“. I can’t see an easy way to embed that but follow the link to watch it on YouTube. It is a very profound piece; a little bit of stage magic and what could perhaps be seen as a deep meditation on Ephesians 2:10. We are God’s workmanship and he doesn’t make junk (room for discussion, but watch the video first).
That’s what I love about making time with people; your thoughts might not end up quite where they started but they will certainly be enriched.
Wednesday 22 May 2013
There have been substantial changes on the Flickr website this week. Some of these, like upping the free storage limit to 1TB per person, are more in the background; others are very visible. I remember that, a few months ago, they experimented with displaying images in a “wall of photos” style and had been wondering where it had gone; it was obviously temporarily pulled back as it is a key visual feature of the new design.
Overall, I am very positive about the changes although I see they persist with their aversion to penultimate vowels in words ending with R! More details on the Flickr blog or take a look at my profile on the site.
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Last night I did some more DIY — putting up a curtain rail — and, bish, bash, bosh, it was done. I was gobsmacked; normally DIY tasks involve hours of struggling and sweating but this was straightforward, as if I was good at such things. What is more, the rail is still up this morning, even under the load of the curtains.
It is probably too much to hope that all future DIY tasks will be similarly charmed but it was good to experience at least once in my life!
Monday 20 May 2013
Jane and I pushed onto the next level of wallpapering yesterday, hanging a patterned design in the bedroom:
The new paper
This is the result, with a pattern that reminds us of the flowering quince (Chaenomeles x superba ‘Crimson and Gold’) we have in our back garden.
The seam is not quite invisible but doesn’t stand out except on close inspection; the bold overall pattern takes precedence. It was a job and half though even though we only used this paper on a couple of walls. It is relatively flimsy compared to the paper we used in the room we decorated last month (and used on the other walls in this room, contrasting plain with texture against flat with pattern). Still, we got it up without any disasters, our calculations gave us enough paper for the job and the quince pattern twists properly across the edges of each individual drop of paper.
Now we just need to get the curtain rail back up and can then start putting furniture back in its proper position, returning the upstairs of our house to a semblance of normality!
Sunday 19 May 2013
Did you learn anything new today? If not, how about the word “anastrophe”? Apparently this is the proper term for “Yoda speak”, when the little green Jedi master backwards or jumbled says his sentences. Of course, it is not only Yoda who uses this approach to language; poets and other lyricists frequently resort to tussling with the expected word order when matters of rhythm and rhyme are at stake.
It was a new word to me when I came across it recently and suspect it will be so for most readers of my blog (although doubtless not all).
Saturday 18 May 2013
What a gripping episode of Doctor Who. It was one of those episodes where they seem to have written themselves into a hole with a story having ramifications for all of time and space; now we have to wait until November to find out the denouement.
This is of course a little frustrating but perhaps these relatively short series with long gaps (along with a very high standard of writing) is part of the secret of how the BBC has kept the programme rolling forward for so long and, since the 21st century revival, going from strength to strength.