Friday, May 8, 2009

Last weekend was a pretty full one. Sam’s birthday was a trip to Berkhamstead cinema a 1930’s art deko cinema beautifully renovated, but with the addition of a bar with tables and chairs at the front. So, you can sit in comfort and watch a movie without disturbing or being disturbed by other people, or being crushed into rows of tiny seats.

It’s great – and despite the fact that we had to watch “Marley and Me” or (“Marley and I” as it should more correctly be called), I don’t want to watch films in any other way now. In fact, given that most cinemas are half empty anyway most of the time, I can’t see why more don’t do it….

On Sunday, we went over to Adrian’s for a roast lunch – made from the fruits of Adrian’s garden… We managed to organise George for most of the day – by strategically keeping him awake so he slept through the meal, then by taking him to play outside (the flat isn’t really baby friendly)… however, he got a bit grouchy as it approached his bedtime.

As an offshoot, Adrian proposed that we always end up talking rubbish (which might have something to do with the amount of wine present) – and that we should have a dinner where we’re only allowed to talk about philosophy – and we each have to bring a philosopher (or at least their ideas) instead of a dish…. Well, we’ll see.

Bank holiday Monday saw us meeting up with Sarah and Chris at Kew gardens and picnicking in the rain. The gardens have a treetop walkway consisting of iron pylons with a gangway stretching between them in a circle. I took George up, but the structure was wobbling so much in the wind that he couldn’t stand up, and I couldn’t look at the view because I had to watch for people bumping into him. I’m sure it was fairly safe, but it didn’t give that impression to the stream of crying children who descended its staircase at the end of the walk.

Gillian came round on Thursday and came with George and I to the swimming class. For the first time in 3 weeks he didn’t cry – and actually loved swimming again.

He still hates his bath, though, and that shows no sign of abating.

My ipod has been mugged
I’ve decided to start jogging again. Now that the weather’s a bit better. And I thought I’d use my ipod with a few suitable songs.

Unfortunately, my ipod has been mugged by classical music. Since I downloaded Lisa’s Dad’s collection onto the ipod we got him for Christmas, and I put the music onto mine too, it’s completely swamped my rather modest collection of music, so if I hit Shuffle, I’m more likely to get one of the 18 CDs that comprise Wagner’s ring cycle than anything I might be able to run to.

I can’t even find the Electric Light Orchestra hidden among all the other orchestras now competing for room...

It’s not all bad, though. I’m making some good discoveries, and I’m really impressed with Flanders and Swann’s comic songs from the 1950’s . There’s a live album of theirs among the music now resident and at one point they stop in the middle to tell the audience they’re being recorded for posterity, and they stop to say hello to posterity (which I guess is me and my ipod) before going on to sing a song about the new concept of “high fidelity”.

It strikes me that people used to talk about music quality a lot – going on about how the amplifier was important and where you put the speakers was important and you had to have gold plated plugs and special equipment to get the best quality.

Now, all that’s gone. There is no hi-fi or lo-fi. Nobody says the amplifier matters anymore and people don’t spend anything like as much time and energy finding the right speakers or equipment.

Now there’s just one quality: IPOD – and one speaker : earplugs…

Anyway – as Ronnie Corbett used to say – I digress…. I was talking about jogging. And I’ve solved the problem of ipod mugging by using another ipod (given to me as a press freebe by adobe!) just for jogging music… will that get me out on the road?

Hmm… we’ll see. It won’t have the ring cycle on it. I’ll tell you that much.

I’ve now subscribed to the new UK version of Wired magazine. What’s great about Wired is that it’s got all the blokey stuff that makes GQ and the like popular – like style and gadgets and the like, but it also delivers some really well researched articles that aren’t afraid to be serious and complicated. There was an article last month about the maths behind the selling of sub-prime mortgages. This month, there was a piece asking (but not answering) whether the modern inability to concentrate on the same thing for more than a second actually had some advantages to it.

The idea (which is interesting, but I don’t entirely buy) being that we don’t often recognise that the most complex, mentally over-stimulating environment – i.e. nature itself is the most relaxing for us – so perhaps we’re designed to work best when we can keep changing our focus every five minutes. If we can set ourselves up to grab all the stray and irrelevant thoughts that occur to us while we’re concentrating on something else and file them without having to go off and deal with them right there and then, we should be able to come back later and make our lack of focus practical.

As I say, I don’t quite buy it – but the randomness of this blog is perhaps testament to the fact that there’s something in it….


Jon said...

"Gillian came round on Thursday and came with George and I..."

With George and me. I is a subject pronoun, me is the object pronoun. You're the object, not the subject (Gillian is).

"(“Marley and I” as it should more correctly be called)"
Impossible to say - as it's not a sentence, so no way of knowing if it's intended as an object or a subject. You'll have to take their word for it that they intend it as an object.

And with that outrageous Monday morning pedantry, I'll bugger off.

Great stuff, C! Very enjoyable reading. I may comment infrequently, but read regularly.

Christian Darkin said...

I stand corrected!...
or is it
me stand corrected?