There are times when I think I should try and cultivate a more positive outlook on life. However, success seems to elude me.This is not helped by things like the ludicrous Monocle magazine having as its cover article something on the joys of compulsory national service. This is even more ludicrous than its annual 'most liveable city' article. This year it is Zurich. My personal view is that Tyler Brûlé (not clear whether he added the accents or his father dropped them), should be confined to his favourite city of the year with snipers trained on him 24/7 to make sure he does not leave the city limits or by air. That will perhaps make him consider whether Zurich or Copenhagen really are the world's most liveable cities.
Another magazine I didn't buy today was 'Broadcast'. This used to be one of my vices, and I did in fact subscribe for a year, as I find the media fascinating. However, a flick through today's issue looked very small and sad 'money is short and there is musical chairs at the top' it said more or less verbatim. It had a 'Buggy Whip Manufacturer's Weekly' feel about it.
I also didn't buy a £30 and very thick book on the Ottoman Empire and World War I. I wondered whether I would really read it. It is an interesting subject - most of the problems in the middle east can, on some level, be traced to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and it was by no means certain that they would join WWI on the 'wrong' side.
Also, of course, I didn't buy any of the magazines in what I think of as the 'Nathan' section of Borders, the enormous number of of glossy art / culture magazines. Who buys them? Who produces them? Do they make a living from it? How? Why does Borders occupy that amount of space with them? I suppose someone must buy them or the Borders mothership would notice and reallocate the space. Strange.
I notice the computer books section has been further eroded. There has been blatant encroachment on two fronts by the law books. This could be a horrible metaphor for something. The day when there will be a handful of 'how to connect to the Internet' books left and thereafter you will be expected to buy any computer book on-line cannot be far off.
I did however buy a Budapest travel book and get three books out of the central library, including the book on Boars Hill (there are copies in the central library and in the Botley branch library, don't quite see why there rather than Abingdon - maybe people in Boars Hill have servants who prefer Botley to Abingdon).
Bizarrely, I got a letter at home from the new overlords telling me that my new job title is Principal Technical Leader. I suppose that since they don't seem to have established any bulk mail between us and the mothership, they think they might as well send things to people's homes. Actually, I suppose they are mainly a civil engineering consultancy and I have worked places before that routinely send things to one's home. We are definitely in a new world, though.
I have been having strange dreams recently. Not so much because of having cheese as having my cheese moved, I suspect. Last night's was in the manner of a TV detective series / detective novel. My subconscious mind is quite good at capturing the tropes of these things - it got the 'annoying sister' having trouble with 'annoying sister's husband' off pat, very much in the manner of Tempe Brennan's sister or the mother of the heroine of Veronica Stallwood's novels. Not quite sure why the location of the house where the arson took place moved from Edinburgh to the Isle of Man and then to somewhere unspecified in Russia where the train service had been reduced to one every couple of days despite the attractive modernist station. Not sure such a place exists, of course.
(I have found a blog following the works of the great Mr Brule http://www.beingtylerbrule.com )
And finally, of course, Morecambe and Wise http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKN7aWTUrIU
(also spotted what I believe to be a mistake in Wikipedia. Doing a search for Variety Artists Federation shows no article and a link to one saying it was the forerunner of Equity which I don't think is true. I remember the Morecambe and Wise autobiography saying that they were not involved in some TV strike as they weren't in Equity, they were in the VAF - not sure enough to change it though)