Older blog entries for marnanel (starting at number 1023)

More sleep

The doctor has put me on some tablets to help me sleep better. They're working, more or less. But now that I'm getting more time to dream, I'm finding I remember my dreams as if I'd been awake at the time. For example, I'm fairly sure I was dreaming when I had the chance to hear all four verses of the Betelgeusean Death Anthem aboard a doomed spaceship the other night.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/280940.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-27 10:54:42 from Monument


Kit and I spent a very happy afternoon at St Mary's Church, Thorpe, where they were having a pet blessing service to which Petra had invited us. We met several friendly dogs, and a rabbit. Someone I often chat to when he's working at Sainsbury's turned up with his ferrets. And Fr Damian was going to bring his cat, but she had other ideas.

We brought all three tarantulas and both millipedes. The best part, for me, was seeing people handling the creatures for the first time. A lady who may have been in her seventies said delightedly that she'd always wanted to hold a tarantula-- I think she may now be planning to get one of her own-- and a girl of about eleven was fascinated and called to her mum to take a photo of her holding Ucalegon Millipede.

It was, indeed, a little like The Vicar of Dibley.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/280790.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-23 22:37:10 from Monument

21 Jun 2013 (updated 22 Jun 2013 at 09:17 UTC) »

McLibel twist

In case you hadn't heard of the McLibel trial: two environmentalist protesters wrote a leaflet saying McDonald's abused their workers, took advantage of children, made their customers sick, destroyed rain forests, etc. McD's sued for libel, which led to the longest trial in English legal history, where McD's had to demonstrate in open court that these allegations were untrue, and often failed, to their great embarrassment. Large amounts of public money were spent on this.

In a twist out of "The Man Who Was Thursday", it now turns out that one of the two protesters was apparently an undercover operative for Scotland Yard, who couldn't back out for fear of breaking his cover. [Update: I was a bit confused. The story says that the leaflet was *written* by the undercover cop, who then vanished leaving the two protesters to face the music.]

You may recall when we learned a year ago that the same operative had infiltrated another group, impregnated one of its members, and then disappeared never contacting the woman or her child or paying any support, again in order not to blow his cover.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/280377.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-21 22:12:19 (Updated 2013-06-22 08:51:50) from Monument

Poetry on tumblr

I have a poetry tumblr: tjathurman.tumblr.com. Please follow it, if you like that sort of thing.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/279422.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-17 20:15:38 from Monument


Today I sat on a railway platform, eavesdropping on a conversation between two railwaymen. I learned from this that instructions have just come down from the powers that be to prepare for a royal funeral, by which they surmised was meant Philip. This will involve a week of extra trains to Windsor, for people who want to see him lying in state and sign his book, and corresponding changes along the line. There is some sort of plan to prevent trains stopping at Windsor if the place is gets crowded. The stationmaster at Windsor has been given a deadline to produce a plan to implement all this, and they have been promised they'll be told a full day before the media if he's given a short time to live: good luck keeping that quiet. Anyway, I thought you might like to know if you use the railways around here.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/278974.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-11 18:33:51 from Monument


"I went, as usual about this time, to hear F.D. Maurice preach at Lincoln's Inn. I suppose I must have heard him, first and last, some thirty or forty times, and never carried away one clear idea, or even the impression that he had more than the faintest conception of what he himself meant. Aubrey de Vere was quite right when he said that listening to him was like eating pea-soup with a fork, and Jowett's answer was no less to the purpose, when I asked him what a sermon which Maurice had just preached at the University was about, and he replied—'Well! all that I could make out was that today was yesterday, and this world the same as the next.'" - Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff (1829-1906)

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/278751.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-09 23:05:17 from Monument

Carriage clock

I have always been bothered by those adverts where some wrinkled person who was famous thirty years ago reminds you in a slow voice that you'll be needing funeral insurance one of these days. They're so bloody patronising. It's such a worry for your relatives if you don't have funeral insurance, and if you sign up for ours, we'll send you a carriage clock absolutely free, because we know what you like, you old fart, you like carriage clocks. That's your whole life right there, polishing and admiring your carriage clock, trying not to think about all the time you haven't got left.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/278405.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-06-08 17:58:18 from Monument

If I had a spinneret

If I ever meet the Wizard of Oz, I'll ask him to turn me into a spider. Here's a song about that.

I would hurry to the kitchen
with pedipalps a-twitching,
to see what I could get.
And when there I would eat all
the insides of every beetle,
if I had a spinneret.

And that's only the beginning;
it sets my head a-spinning
to see them in my net.
To the edge I would scarper
where I'd pluck it like a harper
if I had a spinneret.

Oh, I could catch the fly
that ventured near my web,
then another as the hunger starts to ebb.
I'd be an arthropod celeb.

And I'd tell the tale with recaps
from more than seven kneecaps
to everyone I met.
And I'd be the provider
of a web for every spider
if I had a spinneret.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/277391.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-05-22 09:11:56 from Monument

HMS Glorious

In my dream last night, the admirals came to tell Elizabeth I that the Spanish were invading, and she said, "Well, repel them." But as the admirals were leaving, she added, "Wait, come back. I have invented a submarine, and I think this would be the best chance to test it in action. I shall call it HMS GLORIOUS." So HMS Glorious was built, and Elizabeth insisted on being the pilot. It carried no torpedoes, for they had not been invented, but instead it had a sharp point at the front which was used to ram the Spanish ships (yes, you're welcome to give a Freudian reading to this). And as the Armada sank ship by ship, the sailors would cheer and say, "Well done, your Majesty! Er, I mean, well done, mysterious sailor whose name we forgot."

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/276740.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-05-18 10:18:34 from Monument

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