astrolabe

A Smart Man

But possibly not as smart as Mr Putin/Mr Surkov*/Whoever. This morning the Times and the Beeb are reporting on a CIA secret assessment claiming that Russia  intervened covertly in the American election, boosting Mr Trump to victory ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38273933?SThisFB) Understandably the US Press have exploded all over it; USA Today goes one further than the Washington Post and presents us with a picture of Putin that makes him look like some supervillain in waiting, smile faintly mocking, eyes - are they sly? - and ruddy great shadows looming behind him.http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/12/09/washington-post-cia-report-russia-intervened-election/95230696/

Natch the Donald is having none of it. According to the Washington Post, he said the hacking 'Could be Russia. Could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.' News flash from the post factual age: It can't be about Russia or New Jersey because Donald wants it to be about China. Stop confusing the President Elect!

I've never been weird about Russia or the States; stepping off the plane they both gave me a similar sense, like a booming sound in my soul, a welcome. I have friends who boycott one or the other; that's not my interest, I come from the land of the first big bad guys, I'm not judging villains by passport. But it remains one of my regrets that I couldn't stay in Moscow. When I landed there, they said the tanks were headed down the street, and that changing dollars into rubels was like burning money. So instead, I went onto Nepal, which was great - but yes, I missed an opportunity and I regret it. Still, always tomorrow.

There have also been murmurs of Russian influence on the Brexit Referendum, indeed, on elections and referendums across Europe. We won't be hearing much about this possibility, because the far right likes the result as much as the far left. Personally, I am inclined to the Kind Hearts and Coronets theory; when a freak occurence happens, it may indeed just be a coincidence. But when they keep happening to the benefit of one specific group/individual, it is time to keep a closer eye on dear Louis.

I say this. We won't, of course. The EU splintering would justify all those apologists who want Brexit to be, less a commentary on the state of GB. and more a response to something inevitable that we just had the foresight to duck away from, congratulating ourselves on another self-fulfilling prophecy.  If the EU collapses,we won't be among those terrified of Russia encroaching on their borders, we'll just do what the US says and wee ourselves if the president tells us to join him in expressing a problem with China. Taking back control, they call it. I doubt if Putin will be calling any man on these island, 'smart.' No, nor woman neither.

*Likes Jackson Pollock,apparently, so doubtless bringing the apocalypse with him.
blackswan

Regents Park

Met Dan sans lj there for lunch. He was looking mighty dapper, with his claret jacket, and striped tie,all ready to lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons, which is why we met at Regents Park, close by. I had forgotten how, even at this time of year, the park is very pleasant, winter and water alight with birds. Every heron was hunched up, standing on one leg,  long  feathers streaming forward like the beards of disgruntled old men who really didn't want to go fishing for lunch. I got very close to them. They make me smile.

After whiling away some time in the inner circle, I found myself wandering in the Frieze Sculpture exhibition. These are great until you try to find out what they are (https://frieze.com/article/frieze-sculpture-park-2016) I am beginning to think artists should let others name their work. There was a cheerfully giant golden apple close to the way out, Claude Lalanne's Pomme D'Hiver, I presume. If it turns out to be entitled something like; International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation, Configuration 11, Last Man, I give up.

Tried to do some shopping and singularly failed, getting tired very quickly. I have two things to think about; first of all, this cold think really isn't shifting, last night became quite difficult. Googling my symptoms provided me with more of an answer to the itchy chin problem than the doctors could provide. It is one of the signs of asthma, specifically adult onset asthma. Still, it's only google.
All the doctors did the old stethoscope thing, and said my breathing was OK. Nonetheless, it is time to go back to them, waving the magical BUPA wand. Time for a referral, because this is becoming very debilitating.

Secondly, there's Azrael. Despite being a psychopath, he is a nice little fish, and I think he needs a mate. He was a real mistake; presuming he lives, he will grow too big for the tank and then what do I do? The idea was to downsize, to let the colony just fade gently away. Then I got him, and I don't want him to fade away; I want him to be happy,and it is clear that Mephisto was a great companion to him. Trouble is there is never any guarantee with these. He came and stared at me yesterday, I think he knows I am the food bringer. Or maybe he just wants to kill me like he does everything else.

So my options are to give him back to the shop, and carry on slowing letting the tank's population fade away,or to find him another friend. This may result in fry, but the eggs would probably not make it anyway. And if they do... well I don't know. But first, I am going to recycle this tank repeatedly to remove any traces of ammonia, really hard to do, as they are all greedy little poop machines. I don't think ammonia killed Mephisto, but it's as good to be sure. On many different levels I am sick of death.
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Mephisto

Didn't get much properly done... feel nothing for it. What is wrong with me?

And poor old Mephisto, after looking as though spawning was about to start seriously, suddenly tilted upwards, downwards, sideways, started floating around unhappily. Might be swim bladder disorder,but it looks worse than that - her skin suddenly looked wretched and cracked, she was trying to find grass and rocks to rest against and couldn't, she didn't want to eat - those resident tank peasants, the  platties, started nipping at her skin and face and fins. If she was stressed already, this made it much worse. So I have put a colander in there, its edges touching the surface so that the platties can't follow her in and torment her.  She is lying on her side in the colander, breathing quietly. I have turned the water temp up and the lights off, so she is warm, dark, leaning on something to support her and unharassed. If she dies, she dies in peace and quiet.  And maybe she will live.

 She and Azrael have been so happy.

Right, I am officially turning today off.
smoking boots, frustration

Rant, no, vent,yes.

So I left the studio a long time ago, but maintain friendships as best I can. I've made some fabulous friends there, and of course, I have had other colleagues who, while not necessarily close, were at least bearable.But cirumstances bring a harsh light to bear on every wart and pimple, and enough is enough. The same bloody idiot who recently tried to claim that the Normans winning the battle of Hastings is proof that GB can never be conquered, has just come out with the statement that London should be wary of Sharia law taking over because Islam 'over-ran' Southern Spain for 500 years which is why it is called Andalucia.

I didn't lose my temper with him,though perhaps I should have done. I set him straight politely enough.  To equate the Nasrid dynasties with some trumped up fantasyphobia Mail/Express bollocks , as though the Alhambra wasn't a superlative creation, as though Sevilla and Cordoba and Granada had cause to regret that extraordinary flowering, is just so breathtaking in its ignorance,I honestly think if this man picks his nose his brain will cave in.

And yes, I blame Brexit. I blame the fecking license given to be stupid and insulting, all right, my outer friends may say, all right, he's a shit-for-brains, but  at least you know he is now; Brexit didn't make him that way, it just gave him a safer option for self revelation. But there's fecking hundreds of them, all talking nonsense that isn't even internally consistent,  legends of the post factual world. It is right and proper that this imbecile farts through his mouth on the same day Trump is nominated Time's Person of the Year. Holy feck. Pilger hints at a coming war; if avoiding it requires foresight, truthfulness, honesty, or anything greater than the ability to stick our heads in the sand and present our buttocks to the setting sun, we are bloody doomed.

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Ordinary days

Fine weekend with velvet_the_cat and Dan sans lj. I do like Stroud, with its artsy/crafty vibe and its pretty mills and cottages. The stars are brighter on the hills, the air is more clear. Return brought larians his flight to Sweden, and me a pleasant evening with teacher training chum,whose whole world has been turned brighter by his new career. The street is full of Christmas decorations, in fact all of England seems to be clutching desperately for Xmas cheer at the end of a year when people humoured their inner nasty and then wondered why everything around them was so miserable.

Mephistopheles has changed colour, in fact they are both patrolling diligently, so it seems spawning may have happened; but I do not see any eggs. Still, they seem very content by which I mean they have not killed each other or any other fish, so hurrah!

Watched Pilger's 'The Coming War With China,' late last night. Christ almighty.
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First home

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Samuel-Powells-House-Century-Clothier/dp/0947723153

It might have been a remarkable old house; when I was a baby these places were just rented out. I didn't get to know much about it because we flew to Singapore soon after my birth,though of course we came back. It's weird to think I walked past it so often while growing up without knowing it was my birth home. If houses had feelings, I can imagine it calling after me, 'Hey little girl, remember me?'

The trouble with Devizes is that it is quite photogenic. In real life it's rather dull and forgettable, for all its history.

I would quite like to thank the house for looking after me all those years ago. But going back is never as much fun; the asylum, the Bear hotel, the old house, Hillworth Park and the Oak tree, the canal... I feel I should do something with these elements. We were not happy there, at all. But that's where stories are made, uncomfortable places.
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Well great

Trying to write, captivated by the idea of writing a script for straight drama.

Start writing. Within six lines it's not 'straight' drama, it's horror. It probably needs to be a book. So how do you find a new thing you could write? Try playing with a new style or approach, and just write down what you see, and subject matter will turn up,like a sculpture out of a tree root.