A soggy incontinent blanket of rain has made today a day for indoors. I’ve not been out. Not even the allure of hunting for discount yellow labels in Marks and Spencers has lured me out. God knows what bargains on the cheese shelves I have missed. So what’s to do indoors? I read an interview with John le Carre in the Guardian Review. He sees our country’s plight through the eyes of an 87– year old, and he expresses his despair at the state of things. Le Carre keeps popping up with a new novel, and maintains his topicality. But what he has to say will probably not go down too well with a certain establishment type, even those who may have enjoyed his stuff previously. I think if it came to it I might even vote for him as the interim Prime Minister. I doubt we’d do any worse.
The rain continues, the day moves on. I install Photoshop on my computer—a 15 year old version that came free with a mag—it will do what I want perfectly well. It is version 5, and does more than I will ever understand. I doubt there are any free versions left of anything useful which you could install on as many computers as you liked. Microsoft wised up to the profit destroying distribution of infinitely re-installable copies of Office and now sell only single use, time-limited versions of their software. But isn’t it heartwarming to know that Bill and Melinda Gates spend (some of) their vast profits on good causes, beyond the reach of Donald Trump? Thank God for billionaire philanthropists. Whilst I have access to Office 365 (which was pre-installed on this computer) I create a Power Point presentation for my M.A. fine art course, to be delivered next Friday (if all goes well).
Still raining. I survey the various blogs I follow, to find that everything is floating away down shit creek. Jeffrey St Clair in Counterpunch does a long piece on the Bush family, mainly George W. A tale which actually puts Trump in a comparatively good light, hard as that is to believe. And we thought Trump made George W. look statesmanlike. A necessary corrective for those with short memories.
After lunch (nearly vegan) and the water continues to fall out of the soggy blanket outside. I notice the sparrows have disappeared from the garden. This means only one thing. The Sparrowhawk has paid a visit. Before I spy the culprit in the tree, I spot the bloody remains of a ring-necked dove on the decking (the preferred dining spot for the hawk). The hawk looks extremely bloated, its chest puffed out and heavy. The bird is waiting to digest a bit more Dove before it goes down again to the entrails. If it eats something similar to its own body weight, I wonder if it will be able to take off again for an hour or two. But it has no such concerns, and goes back to scoffing. At first this appears gruesome, but it probably wouldn’t seem so bad if the hawk had a carving knife and could make neat slices of the job.
The day rains on, and I settle in to doing some artwork. To some satisfaction I complete a picture which I call ‘The Revolutionary Light Bulb Lights Up The Sky.’ It’s part of a cohort of work which will be revealed later. Time to relax. I confess here and now to smoking the occasional cigar. ‘Occasional’ is at least the word I use to describe this habit to the nurse at my annual health check. Accompanied by a ‘glass’ of red wine and playing my original vinyl album of Philip Glass’s ‘Songs of Liquid Days,’ an entirely appropriate conclusion to this most liquid of days.
The forecast is good for tomorrow. I will have to go out and clear away the little skull, feathers and bones from the decking. The sparrows will return, demanding their seed and fatballs. Then it’ll be up to M&S looking out for yellow labels, or maybe swooping down on a pensioner or two for a bit of gristle.
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