Thursday, 5 November 2009

Three weeks pass like nothing in the life of yours truly...

So much to write about and mainly I can't be bothered getting down to the nitty-gritty of actually writing about it properly.

Here's some:

Givvies! Lots of them, including one right at the top of my own street! Why had I never noticed it before? I must have walked past it a thousand times!

Existentialism! I seem to be spending a lot of my time banging my head against infinity and eternity right now. Not comfortable thoughts. I fear I may go insane as I get older. Seriously.

Patterns of behaviour on discussion boards! Just had a typical experience while arguing my case. I'm a toady apparently. Because I pointed something out in someone elses defense. I was called this by someone who jumped in on behalf of another person.

Oh the irony... They succeeded in stopping the person I'd asked from having to bother thinking though, so we can all go on as if nothing matters.

Driving instruction! Liz is a poo! And so is Emma! And Kev!

Really, You don't want to know. Or maybe you do.

Clocks! From Thailand no less! I want a clock with Thai numerals. I have a mate over there who is looking for one for me.

Here are the Thai numerals from 0 to 9...

๐ ๑ ๒ ๓ ๔ ๕ ๖ ๗ ๘ ๙


Jim Bliss said...

Never heard them referred to as givvies. Always just called them "street vents" myself, but that's pretty unimaginative I suppose. I think the most famous one in the world must be the Lincoln Street Vent in Perth, Australia. Big art deco thing.

Because the gas that can build up in sewers tends to be fairly acidic, it needs to be vented safely to prevent corrosion.

And of course, in the days of steam trains, underground systems and long tunnels needed to be vented. There's a pretty impressive example of this near Liverpool.

Ah, good ol' Existentialism. The trick is to remember that it's possible to be "serious but not sober" (in the words of the great anarchist intellectual, Hakim Bey. His essay, Immediatism is one of the most inspirational pieces of writing I know). The problems we face, both politically and psychologically, are scary and difficult. And they need to be taken seriously. But life can still be appreciated and enjoyed. Sartre was a great bloke to get pissed with.

As for Patterns of behaviour on discussion boards. P'raps I'd best leave that one alone ;-)

Driving instruction... 20 years ago when I was learning to drive I lived in the south of England. My test centre was Aldershot and I felt I'd passed with flying colours on my first attempt. I did all the required maneuvers flawlessly and was conscientious about the speed limit and checking mirrors and what have you. Driving back to the test centre, feeling chuffed, I was turning right to enter the car-park when a squaddie in full combat fatigues ran out in front of me. I hit the accelerator rather than the brake and he wound up on the bonnet of the car.

Thankfully he suffered nothing worse than a couple of bruises. I of course failed the test. My protestations that he was "wearing camouflage" fell on deaf ears.

Don't really have much to say about Clocks except that we've got a wonderfully eccentric one in the hall in our house. It was a gift from my girlfriend's grandmother (ahem, my fiancé's grandmother... we've set a date!) in Serbia and completely fails to keep time. However the loud, utterly a-rhythmic tick-tocking is strangely hilarious. The lovely Citizen S wants to get it repaired but I think it's got far too much character to meddle with.

Blog on.

Paul said...

I have a vested interest in spreading this linguistic meme, since it was me that invented it. As a child, not knowing the words for things, I would coin my own term. Street vents? Sewer vents? Yup. Functional name for a utilitarian bit of street furniture, even if, dating from victorian times, they possess ornamentation that we just wouldn't bother with these days. To me, the givvies are specifically the fluted cast iron columns you get where I live. I haven't seen them elsewhere so much, although they, or some kind of equivalent must exist. Still, the word isn't really being used for anything else, so if it does become a generic term for all sewer ventilation shafts, that's fine by me. A fine legacy!

Which brings me neatly on to existentialism...

I do want to do a big blog post about it at some point maybe. But as ever, I'm uncertain of how to proceed. My big idea on this right now is that it takes seconds, minutes, hours or I suppose sometimes days to die. That's a tiny price to pay for three score years and ten, living, breathing and wandering around a virtual planet. The thousands of billions of years to come when I'm gone don't matter any more than the billions of years that happened before I was born. That's the theory anyway. Emotionally it's not quite so easy. I guess it's something we all have to find a way of dealing with. Or not. It's going to happen anyway, whether I can accept it or no.

Happy to trip-trap over the discussion bridge without comment or incident too :)

We have a scouse clock in our house.

It goes tich... toch... tich... toch...