Restart, reframe (41.2021)

This week, after a long break, I tuned in again to the Wake Up/Wind Down podcast. This week Niall was talking about Irish poet/philosopher John O’Donoghue. And there was a fabulous quote to start the week:

“Many of us have made our world so familiar that we do not see it anymore. An interesting question to ask yourself at night is, what did I really see today?”

This came at exactly the right moment. as I was doing a morning walk in the park before work. I haven’t been for a pre-work walk (except on commuting days) or listened to a morning podcast for quite a few weeks. On this day, on a sunny morning, it was just the right thing I wanted to hear.

This week I read an article for all the grammar pedants out there. (You know you’re not pedants though, you know you just like to see CORRECT USE OF GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION). A man who wrote a facebook post claiming that his boss did not pay “employees” pension (superannuation) is facing a defamation case because what he meant to write was “employee’s”. The difference between not paying one person’s pension and not paying the pension of all employees was seen as a significant difference and the man who wrote the post is being taken to court. APOSTROPHES! THEY ARE IMPORTANT! LEARN TO USE THEM PROPERLY!

This week, William Shatner travelled into space. It’s a cool idea that just by being an actor playing the captain of a spaceship in one of the pioneering sci-fi series you get to go into space for free at the age of 90. But I would have been worried if I was travelling with and they made me wear a red jacket.

William Shatner star trek uniforms

(Haha, of course that’s a joke photo. For the actual flight the crew all wore blue.)

I don’t know how I feel about space tourism. At the moment I feel it’s a huge waste of resources. Shouldn’t we be focussed on fixing climate change and planting more trees than encouraging billionaires to take vanity trips into space?

But if there were a climate friendly and affordable option to travel into space, would I take it? For ten minutes (which is how long William Shatner got) I’m not sure. I’d want at least an hour I think. If not two. You’d need time for it all to sink in.

And what about “walking” in space? It’s one thing to sit in a tin can looking down at the Earth as you orbit the planet but what about being outside that tin can, floating in the immense void of space, gazing out into everything and nothing, with just a thin suit to protect you?

Ah well, this is all just idle speculation for now. I’m not on any billionaire’s free space ticket list.

I’m not even an actor or director, like the Russians who have just landed back on earth this week after spending 12 days on the international space station filming a movie. Yes, that’s where we are at now, filming movies in space. I wouldn’t get that gig, either.

This week I heard the Eric Clapton song “Wonderful Tonight” on the radio. I used to like this song. A younger me thought it was romantic. Older me gets pissed off. I cheered myself up by imagining what’s going through her head instead of the lovey dovey nonsense he’s coming out with.

It’s late in the evening
She’s wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her makeup
And brushes her long blonde hair

Another party. I wonder who will be there? Did the invitation say dinner or drinks? Do I wear heels? What if it’s a standing around kind of party, my feet will kill me after 30 minutes if I wear heels. Damn. I hope he doesn’t get too drunk tonight.

And then she asks me
“Do I look all right?”
And I say, “Yes, you look wonderful tonight”

He always says that. He hardly even looked at me. He’s given me no indication of what kind of party it is we are going to. And all he’s done is put on a clean shirt. He really makes no effort.

We go to a party
And every one turns to see
This beautiful lady
Who’s walking around with me

I think I made a right decision to go with flat shoes. This looks like a standing around drinking kind of party. But it’s very cold in this house. I should have worn something with long sleeves. I should have worn a bra! What… what’s he doing? Oh no don’t tell me he’s gone and got high before we came here?

And then she asks me
“Do you feel all right?”
And I say, “Yes, I feel wonderful tonight”

I feel wonderful because I see the love light in your eyes
Then the wonder of it all is that you just don’t realize
How much I love you

He always starts gibbering on about how much he loves me when he’s high and drunk.

It’s time to go home now
And I’ve got an aching head
So I give her the car keys
And she helps me to bed

He’s absolutely rat arsed. Can’t hardly walk, can’t hardly speak. Complaining that he’s got a headache and expecting me to drive him home. Again. I’m getting so sick of this.

And then I tell her
As I turn out the light
I say, “My darling you were wonderful tonight”
“Oh, my darling, you were wonderful tonight”

I put him into the spare room with a bucket the bed. He’s so drunk and high he might vomit on himself in the night and I don’t want that mess next to me. He mumbles something incoherent as I turn out the light. I don’t know why I am still with this guy.

[Wikipedia tells me: On 7 September 1976, Clapton wrote “Wonderful Tonight” for Patti Boyd while waiting for her to get ready to attend Paul and Linda McCartney’s annual Buddy Holly party.]

This week I decided to have a go at learning Arabic on Duolingo. Yes, after having stabs at French and Portuguese and Spanish, I’m now having a go at Arabic. Why not? More importantly, why? Because two other people I know are learning Arabic and I’m a little bit jealous. So far I’ve learned half a dozen letters. Let’s see how long it takes me to get to whole words that actually mean something.

This week I started watching latest Netflix sensation Squid Game. It is horrible and fascinating in equal parts.

To counter this awfulness, I’ve also been watching Street Food Latin America. A second series of a lovely little programme that is like a 30 minute mini holiday for the mind and stomach. Don’t watch it when you’re hungry! It’s full of stories of street food vendors who have been through a lot, sometimes lost everything, but fell back on cooking the food they know well to earn a living. We have only one final episode to watch – Bolivia – and then a long wait for a third season perhaps? Street food Middle East? Street food Africa? And for heaven sakes, why not a whole season on street food Mexico?

This week, local book club woke up! Someone new has kicked some life back into it. The WhatsApp group has been pinging regularly. So far our new leader has set up two dates for November and December and we have voted on the November book (Girl, Woman, Other – happily a book from my to-be-read shelf). December might be a book I’m not familiar with (voting still ongoing) but let’s see. Will this be enough to keep it going into 2022? Stay tuned!

1 thought on “Restart, reframe (41.2021)”

  1. What a delightful post – informative (Shatner in space???), contemplative (should space tourism exist right now?), and funny (see red shirt). Glad you are well.


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