Currently, I’m trying to hunt down some second-hand picture frames. Good-looking, ideally quite cheap, second-hand picture frames. I’ve trawled through the local charity shops and the local junk shops, but good-quality picture frames seem to be in rather short supply.
This is not because we want to turn the front room into our own version of Francis Alÿs’s Fabiola, although it is a tempting idea. It’s just because I want to frame some photos and see what they look like. See if they deserve to be framed, and see what effect it has.
Apart from that, though, my creative projects have foundered somewhat at the moment. It’s the summer tiredness; or, at least, I’m blaming it on the summer tiredness. I can barely drag myself to do the washing up of an evening, never mind do anything creative. Suggestions for getting around it would be greatly appreciated.
I’ve managed not to catch swine flu, at least. Both me and K have known people who have come down with it, so far, but we’ve avoided falling ill. Maybe we’re not susceptible. Clearly a good thing, because I hate to think how we’d cope if we both came down with it at once.
Sickness is a strange thing. So psychological, that you can almost think yourself sick. I’m wondering if it’s going to happen to me – and, of course, wondering about it makes it more and more likely.
Everyone we know, pretty much, has been horribly ill over the past month or two, in bed for a few days, aching, throwing up, incapacitated. I can’t think of a single person, in fact, who says they haven’t had it.
Except, that is, us. We’ve both felt awful, we’ve both been tired and aching, too exhausted to do very much, but we’ve both stayed out of bed. Neither of us has given up and retired to bed for a few days waiting for it to blow over. But the exhaustion and the achiness has gone on for much longer, longer than it would have if we’d actually been ill in the first place.
Now, thinking about it, I keep wondering why we’ve managed to not get too sick when everyone else we know says it’s sent them to bed at some point. Which in turn means: is it our turn? Is it going to come around.
In the real world, I really don’t think epidemiology works that way; but I don’t know about my head. So this morning when I had a sudden attack of dizziness, I felt: is this the winter flu? Is that what’s coming on? The way things are going, I’ll convince myself to fall ill, and fall ill, when otherwise I’d stay fine and healthy.
Christmas came, and brought the flu. I was in bed most of yesterday, aching, coughing and sleeping.
We really weren’t impressed by the ending of Doctor Who on Christmas Day. Russell T Davies doesn’t know how to write a good ending – as demonstrated both by the end to the last series, and the Christmas special. I’m dreading the new series, and I really hope he’ll have written as few episodes as possible. Give the writing jobs to Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat in future, please.
Bleurgh. Cold. All blocked up. Runny nose. No appetite. Can’t stop sneezing.
Don’t think I’ve been near any seabirds lately, though…
My rather cruel jibe at Fife the other day only seems to have invited a single complaint, from Greig, who pointed out that Fife was the birthplace of Sir Sandford Fleming. I’d never heard of Sir Sandford Fleming myself; but it turns out that he was rather important, particularly in Canada. He invented time zones, designed the first Canadian stamp, and surveyed the route of the first trans-Canadian railway line; more importantly, he was apparently the inventor of the in-line roller skate.
Now, I’m not being deliberately cruel to Fife again here; but it made me think: just how many famous people were born there but had to emigrate to do Great Things? Sir Sandford, clearly; Andrew Carnegie is another obvious one. Adam Smith is the exception – a lot of The Wealth Of Nations was written in Kirkcaldy. If you widen it to the rest of Scotland, you could add Thomas Carlyle,* Daniel Wilson,** and probably many more. Does it outnumber the people who stayed behind, though? No doubt this is something I’m going to be proved very wrong about.
My passport renewal application was sent off the other day – and, no, you’re not getting to see the photo. My current plan is for a trip around Bavaria and Austria, by train – I could apparently get the train from here to Munich in a single day without too much trouble. Big Dave thinks I’m mad.
More on bird flu: it’s all a bit over-hyped, isn’t it? The big news story this evening seemed to be: people are still buying chicken. The ever-helpful BBC has come up with a page of Useful Information, answering the questions on everyone’s lips. “Will my cat have to be put down?” “If I find a dead duck, who do I call?” DUCKBUSTERS, naturally.***
In other news, I’ve found that people still do suffer from curvature of the spine, after all. Clearly, this week was my week for insulting random strangers. Roll on Monday!
* Moving to Chelsea counts as emigration if you ask me.
** The famous Scottish-Canadian archaeologist, not the other one.
*** “Symbolic Forest – for the freshest 20-year-old memes around!”
Breaking news report: a bird has died of H5 bird flu, in Fife. The authorities are concerned, and have sealed off the area, for fear that it might spread to civilisation.
(I haven’t been there for about five years, I have to admit. Apparently it’s quite nice now – they even have electricity!)