Rugged up

Where could I possibly have been going dressed like this? Cosplaying a penguin? No, ice skating! It’s been a while. Took about half an hour to get my ice legs back — more or less, anyway. Some things I actually managed to do better thanks to YouTube videos. My clockwise skating was always pretty shit, but the technique pointers helped.

It’s so much fun. Gonna see if I can make the time to go once a week and get back into it. The clothes were overkill — one furry thing would have sufficed, and even that started feeling a bit warm.


A curious bear

I found this little fellow made of some kind of cast resin, about 20cm tall, with half an Oxfam sticker on the bottom of his foot, in a flea market here in Bangkok.


His clothing seems to have been cast from real fabric, including his jumper. The knitted jumper pattern has been used for his nose, too. There are a couple of filed-down casting lines on his jumper and hat. The vendor thought he was handmade. I can’t find a manufacturer’s trademark or a signature, nor can I decipher the writing on the book — I think it’s just scribble, followed by four strokes like a paw print. I’ve looked for him online but no matches turn up.

He really looks like an old-fashioned little English boy on his own version of the Grand Tour. He must have been on quite a journey, but he looks not remotely tired of travelling. As for his name, he seems happy to be called Arthur.










How the garden grows

I think things are looking pretty good now. The frangipani has grown to the point where it provides a decent amount of shade. Most plants seem happy where they are. The ferns in the easter lily pot grew there by themselves, and as they don’t seem to be cramping the vine’s style I’ve left them there. After a hard prune the mussaendas grew back nice and bushy. The hydrangeas are both still alive and doing ok, but have never flowered again — either I’m doing something wrong or they don’t like the climate, or being in pots, or something. The palms are golden cane palms, which I think are a great plant — nice elegant leaves, good for filling spaces, and easy to care for.


Multiocular O

From the bureau of indispensable knowledge:

Wikipedia: “Multiocular O (ꙮ) is a rare glyph variant of the Cyrillic letter O. This glyph variant can be found in certain manuscripts in the phrase «серафими многоꙮчитїи» (“many-eyed seraphim”). It was documented by Yefim Karsky from a copy of Psalms from around 1429, now found in the collection of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, and subsequently incorporated into Unicode as character U+A66E.”

ETA: This is the manuscript.




Posting comments

Just a note for people who post comments here, comments on images don’t show up on the main post (though I can still see them and reply.)


sunshine and snouts

First things first: congratulations to all the World Fantasy Award winners and nominees! I’ll write more about the con, but need to wait until I have a proper keyboard again. Until then, I’ll just say that I owe too many people drinks!

I had to leave in the middle of the awards ceremony to catch a train, and through stations untold and buses unnumbered, in the rain, and overencumbered, I made it from Brighton to Southampton in just under four hours. After a final trial of station stairs, mine host at the b&b collected me, and soon there was a hot bath, a soft warm bed with a gorgeous floral headboard, and a salmon pink divan on which I could recline and pretend to be Anatole France’s Satan by the Ganges if only I could be bothered removing the litter of belongings I’ve dumped on it – though I suppose I could pretend to be Satan lying on a pile of emery boards and borrowed Banlon singlets.

Day emerged clear and sunny, looking bloody determined to stay that way, and it did. I wandered a bit in the village, then headed out into the woods and fields, encountering the ponies for which the New Forest is famous and, as a bonus, pigs, who are allowed to wander free in acorn season to “pannage” – eating acorns so that the horses don’t. I’ve seen pigs splashing through a stream, making the acquaintance of bicycles, on acorn-eating duty, and two with patterned coats crossing the road like two fat ladies in smart frocks. I’ve also seen deer, at dusk and a distance, and have the photos of little brown smudges indistinguishable from trees to prove it.


To detach

“To detach yourself elegantly from the world; to give contour and grace to sadness; a solitude in style; a walk that gives cadence to memories; stepping towards the intangible; with the breath in the trembling margins of things; the past reborn in the overflow of fragrances; the smell, through which we conquer time; the contour of the invisible things; the forms of the immaterial; to deepen yourself in the intangible; to touch the world airborne by smell; aerial dialogue and gliding dissolution; to bathe in your own reflecting fragmentation… ”

– Emil Cioran