The Artist

3°C, light cloud. light wind

Film: The Artist. A lot of people will be put off going to see this film. It’s black & white, barely any sound, and it’s a homage to pre-talkie cinema and worst of all, it’s only the art-house cinemas that have the courage to show it. A lot of people are going to miss a real gem there. They probably fear it as an art-house difficult cult film. But it’s not, it’s utterly charming, old fashioned love story shot with a nostalgic fondness for the “golden age of film”. There are many ways that the film plays games with the audience, there are visual tricks, jokes, teases and no doubt- references to films of the 1920s. There are times when it’s hugely heart-lifting, moving and funny too. This is a pure feel-good film that lacks the insincere kitsch of many others. It’s so good that it may even convert many of us who believe the old films were naïve, childish and played to a simple audience.

What should I do about these spiders?

5~2°C, SW. c=0

There is one species of spider that really likes living in my house. They’re very thin, long legged and hang out near the coving in most rooms in this house. Latin name: Pholcus phalangioides. It’s the daddy-long legs spider.

That page’s author recommends encouraging them. That sounds like an opportunity to make a silly jibe with some emotional support. I shalln’t. They are quite delightful little lodgers, there must be 30 to 50 in this house in various rooms altogether. They must be getting food from somewhere, it’s not mine they are taking. There are a few eco-system enclaves here which may be the source. Each one is rooted in a ceramic pot with a houseplant poking above the soil. Sometimes flies take wing. they look like fruit flies, tiny and delicate looking. There must be a load of other stuff living in those pots that can’t be seen too. Remember the fantastic mushroom that grew out of one pot last November? There is an entire realm of life in each of those earthenware worlds.

I’m quite taken with their fragile awkward lanky gait. This year’s mild weather has seen more of them survive. Last year the house was fairly barren, the hard hard frosts took their toll. Maybe they can grow large. So, what I’ll do is take their photo and just enjoy their presence in my house.

Her efforts…

10°C, lightness

Her efforts are to be congratulated“. My favourite report correction of the day, I’d prefer to congratulate the girl. That’s how I changed it.

Headlights: after 9 years, one of the car’s headlights failed. I could see the lack of a point of light shining on the boot of the car in front this morning. Not a bad lifespan for a halogen bulb. The one that died was on the easy side to fix, but I bought a replacement pair which promise to be 120% brighter. The right-hand one was so awkward to fit- there is no real hand-space behind the light cluster. You’d really need a child’s hand to reach the wires and avoid touching the glass. The new bulbs shine out the same to my eye. Maybe order these?

My nose is so blocked today that I can’t draw the slightest breath. This is a head-cold that has moved around, throat, chest and nose. An unsettled, wandering nomad of a cold. May it wander off somewhere else, or somebody else instead.

There is a link there that reflects the world’s deep interconnectedness between things. I just can’tsee what it is apart from occurring on the one same day, today.

Cold in a day

8°C, strong Westerly

Set off on the drive to Lancashire late morning. Arrive to the certain knowledge that I have a cold. Early morning sticky throats can turn out to be anything, including nothing. This time, it’s not nothing. It’s a funny, curious phenomenon if you look at it in a dispassionate way. I woke with a fizzy energy and even considered a cycle ride before starting the drive.

I still think there is something in this. the surge of energy before a cold comes on happens more often than coincidence I suspect. I accept that there are other factors, and it’s possible to convince yourself of links that don’t exist.

Double double, toil & trouble

8°C, rain has finished

Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,—
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our caldron.


Inverse Pyrrhic victory

6°C, dry for now

Is there a word for the opposite of a Pyyhic victory? A defeat that you can live with somehow.

Today was against me, but I came out better than expected. It’s a bearable result.

Finding words remains difficult. We need a method that is as easy as looking up the meaning of a word. A kind of dictionary that is full of meanings that then give you words that apply. I can’t see how that will work.

4 below

-1°C & dropping.

The night will warm a little towards dawn. It’s dry out there so a ride in tomorrow could be done. Bitterly cold yes, but there is no water to freeze in this high pressure atmosphere. Rain is coming down the Northern Approaches in a few days. The ‘S’ word was mentioned in forecasts by the weekend. I will prepare the bike now.


5°C, clear with westerly wind. CA35 miles.

Sales are on, here I have picked up some glitzy ceramics for the kitchen. The glaze on these stoneware pots is flawless, more like polished glass than gold. Opinions vary- some are polite, others thought “kitsch”.

I have an idea for that storage jar. What about not using it for food? What about putting in some ash from the fire’s ash bucket? Perhaps leave an old, burnt pair of glasses, or false teeth semi-covered inside. It’s an image isn’t it? I wonder how any new lodgers would react.
You have to admit, it’s a better idea than keeping couscous in there.

New year

10°C, getting windy, dry

No new year’s resolutions, new year is not a good time to make them. I have hopes though. I hope to sort my career out, I hope to have fewer sleepless nights but in the meantime, I have hurdles.

My garden is confused. There is broom in flowers along with a solitary rose and the budleah is happily pushing out new leaves.