Not today

Friday May 13, 2005

These past few mornings there’s been a nip in the air, rendering the house a little on the chilly side, and drawing my finger towards the switch that turns the heating on. It’s not a nasty nip, and a step out into the garden makes me feel good and refreshed. Just a tad on the cool side for sitting down with my first mug of coffee and catching up with the news. The heating gurgles into action for about fifteen minutes, and then turns itself off until the late evening as the sun picks up power and floods through the windows for the rest of the day.

It’s quiet here, of course, but cosy and comfortable. Dolly and I seem to be treating this week as a golden opportunity to stretch out and relax. As the sun moves round the house throughout the day, Dolly moves from sunpatch to sunpatch, relishing both the light and the warmth. I’m not as keen on the bright light but then my activities have been sedentary for the most part, reading, playing with the computer, and listening to a constant stream of music.

All rather cocoon-like, I must admit. We lead a sheltered life, insulated from the pain and grief that stalks the world like a crazed dervish, touching down here, there and everywhere to see what agonies it may inflict. Every day another war or conflict. The main headlines now are of the growing ‘popular uprising’ in Uzbeckistan(sp?). I know where it is on the globe but try as I may I can recall almost nothing of its history, how it earns its keep, or anything about the national characteristics of its people. If the conflict continues, as it’s likely to do, I shall research it to correct my ignorance.

It all seems so far away. Our own most recent conflict is some sixty years in the past. Sometimes, when I hear of the measures being put in place as part of the ‘war on terrorism’, along with the ‘real and present danger’ messages put out by our governments and politicians, I wonder if there isn’t an element in the establishment that actually seeks to stir up and stimulate conflict. I don’t do conspiracy theory but you can’t help but suspect there’s more to it than filters down from the top.

Hey ho. I’m probably too old, and certainly too creaky to take part in these fits of madness. I shall continue to sit in the sun when it’s there and it’s not too strong, and in the shade when I need it. When I’m cold, I shall keep on wrapping up, and snapping the heating on. There may be a spark of resistance in me, ready to grab a rifle and go out to defend… whatever. For now, and until that time, I shall stay in my safe little haven. At this time and in this place, it suits me.

I wonder sometimes if the truth is that peace is an unnatural state for mankind and that perhaps we are happier with armed conflict, needing the economic and the psychological stimulation of it. Some of us think it makes good TV and movies. Me, I turn my player on and lose myself in the serene worlds of Bach and Mozart. And their friends from Buxtehude right through to Debussy and beyond. I’m a fortunate chap.

My only completed productive task today, discounting an 18-minute house clean and tidy, was to finish tidying up my links page and merge my blogroll into it.

Then I stripped the blogroll code from the front page. At best it slowed download times. At worst, when the server failed to respond, it prevented download altogether. Shame that. Blogroll is a great idea and, when it works swiftly and smoothly, a brilliant implementation. I’ll keep my eye on it, and on similar blog linking services and will review the situation sometime in the future. For now I think traditional links pages still have some life in them, and I shall schedule a monthly pass to check for dead links and defunct diaries.

Then I turned my attention to the question of online picture galleries. I can’t for the life of me see a way from where I am, the place where I got myself, to a decent, sustainable set up for showing pictures. I’ve looked at all the well known solutions, including the online picture services, with no success. The content management systems and extensions are beyond my technical skills, and the online services don’t satisfy my eye for good design.

So I sighed and, for the umpteenth time, returned the question to the back burner. I shall find my own way, but not today.



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