Brian Aldiss died today. Back when I was a teenager (and reverting to type) I read a lot of science fiction, particularly short stories in sci fi magazines. Most of them seemed to be American writers so Aldiss stood out as a British voice, waving the alien flag. He was 92 and died at home. He has a website here. A very prolific writer and possibly responsible for a lot of boys continued reading.
I didn’t do a lot of reading today. Well, unless you include entering bibliographic information onto Mendeley for Mirinda’s DBA. I guess it does require a bit of reading, otherwise the lack of information would possibly defeat me. As it is, there’s generally a bit of investigation and research required to find out who, what and where. Good job I enjoy it.
She went into town this morning for the first time in months, bravely catching the rearranged and reduced train service into Waterloo. She told me that the trip took more than 20 minutes longer and was very crowded at one point though her head was buried in her laptop and she managed to travel on regardless. The big test will be on Thursday when she has to come home for the puppies. She’s leaving mid-afternoon so she should be fine.
She left after the gardeners had been instructed for this week. Dave and Adam were busy weeding. Poor things. At least it didn’t (really) rain and the sun wasn’t frying them. As they were leaving, Dave told me he was off on holiday to, as he called it, Saint Mallow (I told him if he wanted to sound like a local he should call it ‘Sa’Marloo’) on his way through Brittany. It sounded like our first Breton holiday. I told him to eat at the Unicorn.
After they’d left I took the girls up to the park, missing the rain by an hour or so. Actually the rain sort of drifted in and out all day though it was only ever very light. My hair was misted on the way to the gym but left without droplets after lunch. Mind you, the park still looked a bit damp and gloomy.
Of course we had to take a ball. This wasn’t as easy as it should be. First I had to find one.
While Emma does have a habit of losing them around the garden, Mirinda has a worse habit of throwing them over the fences that skirt our property. They rarely come back. If they go over to Dave’s side, Rodney eats them and I don’t know what the Crazies do with them. Over the back is a wilderness so they are probably collected by badgers and hoarded in a sett storage tunnel.
Where ever they are, they are not readily available. Then I found a poor, forlorn looking specimen upstairs in the laundry basket (I hide them there when I want Emma to calm down and go to sleep). This poor ball didn’t have a lot of bounce left and wasn’t strictly what you’d call a ball anymore. Throwing it in the bin would possibly have been a kinder fate than what was in store.
Still, Emma had to have some sort of almost spherical object to chase and collect so we persevered. While it sufficed, it didn’t look too good by the time we started for home.
I’ll buy her some new ones tomorrow.
Today also marked the final bongs from Big Ben for, possibly and with a few exceptions, the next four years. Midday marked the final bonging. While this doesn’t really affect us here in Farnham, it does affect the dogs.
I’ve mentioned before how they are suddenly very alert whenever they sound because it marks the end of PM on Radio 4 at 6pm which is when they eat. I was looking forward to seeing how they reacted when they used the bells of Lincoln Cathedral but that’s not to be because the BBC has decided to go with a recording of Big Ben.
Today, in honour of this rare though not unprecedented silencing, there was a number of bongs before the top of the hour. They played the very first sound effect recording, originally on a wax cylinder, which sounded far too scratchy for the dogs to react to but, from then on, every time they sounded, the dogs were off the lounge, jumping and trying to talk. It was almost cruel.
But very, very funny.