A NEW BLOG

I’ve done quite a few blogs. What tends to happen is this: 1. initial burst of enthusiasm 2. a couple of posts come out well and make me feel encouraged / excited 3. hit peak output 4. creeping feeling that later posts are not quite as good as the earlier ones 5. a feeling of duty, ‘product’ to deliver, overly careful posting and revising, worry that I might look a fool, etc. 6. bugger this, delete everything 7. repeat. Not unlike one or two of my relationships as it happens!

Anyway, I’m going to have one last lick at posting regularly. The plan is post every day at the start of January, get some steam up, then pretty much every other day, at least for a year. Alright, half a year. Look — we’ll just see how it goes, yeah? No need to commit at this stage is there?

I reckon one year is possible though. I’m hoping to post long stuff, short stuff, stupid stuff, personal stuff, difficult stuff, quotes, links, poems, spoofs… themes to include dance, particle physics, bricks, consciousness, gnosticism, courtesy, sex. And some planned titles:

  • Backflips from the Pier of Knowledge
  • A Delight not of This World: Finding Ludwiglandia
  • The Man with a Bomb in his Head
  • Monopoly and Twister
  • Perving and Flirting
  • Symphonic Thursday
  • My Favourite Amoeba
  • The Sound of my Head Cracking Against a Cupboard
  • Animals Learn Instruments and Form Bands
  • The Tao of Gender
  • Fear of Sanity: The Psychocrat & The Mental Health Profession
  • The Schadenfraudist

And so on; as varied as I can make it. There will be a couple of repeats — I mean from this blog’s earlier incarnation, and from my previous blogs (apologies to long-term readers) — but most of it should be new.

 

NEW YEAR’S DAY

We do things Jap-style in my house, listening to Beethoven’s Ninth* on New Year’s Eve, as per the Japanese national tradition (erm, kind of), then this morning we woke up before sunrise and sat wrapped up on the terrace, waiting for ‘Honourable Mr Sun’ (O-Hi-sama) to raise his glorious, gleaming face above the horizon, and then we bowed to him. Thank you Mr Sun.

Then after that, I like to add something else to thank, some smallish thing that goes a bit too unthanked generally. In recent years I’ve thanked my thumbs, chickens, hot-water, ball-bearings, tinned tomatoes and thermal underwear. This year I thanked all shades of greyish-blue, such as glaucous, which I’m glad exist.

Then, after that, I like to start the year.

Happy New Year.

Year of the Cock this year. This here is Brando. We did have Herman in with the hens, but Herman was a bully and eventually went rogue, attacking us, so we sent Herman to Coventry and put Brando in. What a cock! Calm, dignified, looked after all his hens, mated with all of them — never left one out — and his crow! I had heard plenty of cock-crows before, and many fine ones; but this one! so smooth and flute-like in its very clamour: so self-possessed in its very rapture of exultation; so vast, mounting, swelling, soaring, as if spurted out from a golden throat, thrown far back. Nor did it sound like the foolish, vain-glorious crow of some young sophomorean cock, who knew not the world, and was beginning life in audacious gay spirits, because in wretched ignorance of what might be to come. It was the crow of a cock who crowed not without advice; the crow of a cock who knew a thing or two; the crow of a cock who had fought the world and got the better of it, and was now resolved to crow, though the earth should heave and heavens should fall. It was a wise crow and invincible cock; a philosophic cock; a COCK of all COCKS!

 

* I prefer Szell’s extraordinary recordings. Furtwangler and possibly Klemperer are my B-team.