23 June 2013

We had a lovely day on Wednesday – there was some sunshine. Saturday, also, we had a bit of sunshine along with a brisk, fresh westerly breeze. The rest of the week it’s been cloudy and dull for the most part. What makes this spell of less than wonderful weather doubly depressing is that Friday, as I’m sure you know, was the Summer Solstice and the days are now getting shorter. It’s all downhill from here! I sure hope this Daylight Savings thing that’s going on will pay us back with interest in the autumn because we haven’t seen our share of sunshine this summer so far and we’ve been woefully lacking any decent temperatures.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeMs Penelope and I had a Grand Day Out on Saturday of last week – we went up to London for lunch, a matinee and dinner with our friends Sue & Stuart and Dave & Sue. We went to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which was wonderful. I am sure most of you will have read the book by Mark Haddon, as we did when it first came out. I remember enjoying it immensely and at the same time wondering how this would translate to film or stage. I have to confess, I couldn’t see it – I guess that’s why those Hollywood types make the big bucks. Although they did have to resort to having parts of the performance narrated by Christopher’s teacher to introduce some of the plot lines, the performance was a lot of fun. In particular, the performance of the lad playing Christopher Boone, the 15 year-old autistic maths wizard was outstanding. Good fun and if you haven’t read the book, do so – you’ll enjoy it.

When we entered the theatre we could see that a number of seats were covered in white fabric – as we approached our seats we could see that the one I was to occupy was one of the white ones which immediately prompted some anxiety and discomfort – clearly these white seats were those where the occupant was going to be harassed by the cast, made to come up on stage and eat a live chicken’s head or be hypnotised and made to behave like a fire hydrant, much to the amusement of the audience and cast and much to the discomfiture of the participant.

In fact, there was a card in a pocket on the white seats which explained their purpose – the seats were those which were prime numbers and, if you’ve read the book you will know, Christopher is a maths genius who deals with his autism by making lists, memorising Fibonacci sequences  and reciting all the prime numbers up to several thousand. In addition, the card explained that if one could generate a prime number by adding up the letters of one’s name using the code A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. one would win a prize. You guessed it – “Greg” adds up to 37 which is, of course, a prime number. I collected my prize after the show, a lovely pin with a smiling face set on a mathematical grid and, as you can imagine, everyone in our party was mighty envious. So envious, in fact, that Sue Walton went back to the desk in the theatre and announced that her name was “Di” which equates to the prime number 5. Some people!

I’m sure some of you use Google Mail and occasionally notice the peripheral advertising which pops up. Most of the time it just passes me by and even when I do notice it, I can’t remember ever having clicked on a link. But the other day, one such advertisement caught my attention – “The Best Hedgehog Photo You’ll See Today.” As some of our younger readers might say, “WTF!” What was it in my profile or in the content of the e-mail messages I send or receive that persuaded Google that I would be keen to see the best hedgehog photo I’ll see today?

So, I decided to waste a bit more of my day than usual on the inter-web to see how long it would be before something more appropriate came up. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long – the next one was spot on. “Do You Have the Chops to be a Master Sommelier?” Keep up the good work, Google.

I regret to say that Stephen Gough, the Naked Rambler, has been arrested again and sentenced to ten months in prison. His offence – you’ll never guess. Appearing in public in the all-together again disobeying a court order in so doing.

Southern CaliforniaI ran across some wonderful photos from an era when my folks and our family were Southern California residents. They’re from an online exhibition, notice of which I initially saw in the Guardian.

The exhibition is called Form and Landscapes: Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990 and they are apparently culled from a collection of about 70,000 photographs taken by the Edison company to document the electrification of Southern California. There are a number of categories with some fascinating images and I’m sure I saw my mother in one of those electrified kitchens.

I had a lovely Father’s Day last Sunday – I spent some time with my favourite granddaughter and had a nice card from Nick which I must share:

Happy Father's Day

The message inside the card reads: “My God! How can you sleep at night??!!!”

The answer, to which, of course, is “Very soundly.”

And finally, finally – I can’t let a week go by without some reference to the idiot Gove. How about the following which was in this week’s Private Eye:

Wee Gove

Love to you all,

Greg