28 December 2004


4-day hiatus for travel from Corfu to Tuscany. See elsewhere for fotos.

Dec 23: Left Corfu 0730 on Minoan Lines' Pasiphae. Huge boat with bars and restaurants and shops galore and - everywhere - smokers galore - in the window seats, in the cafe and restaurants, everywhere. After breakfast next day, I'd noticed the ashtrays but hesitated to believe they'd be put to actual use. Not at all: no sooner had my breakfasting neighbours finished their croissants and started on their coffee than out came the cigs and the room was soon fuggy with baccy fumes. Lovely.

Arrived Venice 0730 and there was Pete on the quai.

Irrelevant 'thinks' ref Aphorisms and Don Paterson's "Book of Shadows"

  • "The present tense in English is too sibilant to be of much use to poets"
  • "If only poets and novelists could be translated into musicianhood ... we'd see the vast majority, after only a few notes, revealed as a bunch of desperate scrapers without a tune in their heads or the rudiments of technique. God, the time we'd save."
  • "Such is E's need to be loved, he experiences the casual indifference of stranger and a snub from his closest friend as the same torment."
1010hrs: Conscience urges me outside to find Pete and get in my quota of digging. I have some clay turning to do which I totally balls up.
  • Dug where I should not have done, and too deep, to boot
  • Having been shown where n how to dig, made a total mess of it
  • Given a patch where the lines were already dug, and all I had to do was trim and turn, still made grotesque mess of the whole thing.
  • Slight redemption towards end of day when I managed to be of some minute help over fixing a water connection and later with some shredding and cutting branches.

Flakey, definition of

Dinner conversation came round to the precise meaning of 'flakey', about which none of us was definite or willing to listen to anyone else's interpretation.

Opera Quiz

Calling all self-styled opera buffs ...

What follows "5 ... 10 ... 20 ... 30 ..."

(Answer ~ Think 'Marriage': 36, 43, as in "cinque, dieci venti trenta ... trentasei quarantatre. Got it?

Dec 28:The Andersons to lunch. Joshing and joking and photographs.

Dec 29: eggs n bacon for brek. Almost no sleep now that I'm into post-return nightmares of trawling the job ads.

More threshing and cutting in the garden followed by chatty lunch and siesta and Maugham's Razor's Edge which I'm finding enthralling.


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