January 17th, 2005


And the sky turned white

I was just leaving my flat, all packed up with comics to take to Lilian's when the first one fell from the sky.

Just a single snowflake, but obviously a harbinger. I was transfixed as it swirled in front of me and then blew past, lost quickly in the sodium glow of the streetlamp.

Then a few more skirled past, dancing in the rising breeze.

And then, just as I was starting to enjoy it, the sky opened and a large bag of white fluff was upended over Edinburgh.

I staggered into the wind, unable to see much more than a blur as my glasses instantly snowed over. A car beeped at me as I crossed the road - leaving what would normally be plenty of room, but was obviously now little enough to frighten the driver. I literally stumbled around the corner into the lee of the rail bridge and fumbled for my gloves, unneeded for opening weeks of winter, suddenly glad that I'd never got around to removing them from my pocket.

I half walked, half slid to the top of the hill and then pushed my way through the wind towards the bus stop, cold air forcing its way into my eyes. When I arrived there I had to bask my jacket clean, my front caked so thick that I'd vanish if placed in front of a polar bear.

I'm sitting at Lilian's desk now, watching the snow fall with the cats - this is their first winter and they seem fascinated by the strange shapes falling past the window.

Over the road there are children in the school yard - there at nearly nine to gather ammunition and chase each other with arms full of white weaponry.

Lilian landed twenty minutes ago, down through the clouds. I'm sure it's making her life more difficult as she makes her way home. I'm sure that tomorrow I'll curse the snow as I trudge and slip my way to work.

But now, at this moment, I'm glad it snowed this year.

Dreams of Clothes

My usual stress dreams (and I'm using 'usual' to mean 'most common' not 'those things from which I awake each night in a state of Poe-like terror') are fairly standard affairs - either I'm going into an exam for which I haven't actually attended any lectures (or done any revision) or I'm looking for a lecture theatre which I should really know the way to, if only I'd gone to any lectures so far this semester. The only thing which stands these dreams apart from most of the people who have them is that these were actually events in my university career, not just figments (although the university in my mind iseven more sprawling and chaotic than Stirling, an impressive achievement).

The dream last night was, however, a first for me, consisting of me being very late to work, finding myself at the _wrong_ workplace (in fact at a previous employer's offices) and then realising that I was wearing jeans and didn't have a tie. I can only assume that this was because I had problems sleeping last night and was worried I wouldn't wake up in time to make it to work (not terribly likely when small cats are demanding attention as soon as it gets light).

I can only blame the feeling of worry concerning clothes on green_amber who has finally managed to inculcate a (minor) sense of concern into me regarding my state of dress. My general feeling of clothes is "simpler is better" unless one is dressing up for a special occasion. They simply aren't worth worrying about unless I'm trying to make a specific impression and the impression I'm trying to make at work is usually "I'm working far too hard, leave me alone." I feel that I'm employed for my skills, talents and thoughts, and therefore should be judged on those terms only, rather than by whether I've mastered the skill of knotting a piece of cloth around my throat. In fact, I view judging people on that grounds much the same as I do work-based sexism or racism - ridiculously stupid, as you're judging one thing (aptitude at a given task) by a criteria that has nothing to do with it (number of x-chromosones, shade of skin, ability to use an iron).

I understand that those people who deal in image may wish to project one of suave sophistication and business-like efficiency, and that the average person can be made to fall for the glamour of sharp-suits and neatness, but it makes little to no impression upon me, and I find the fact that many people _do_ fall for it to be one of the more disturbing facets of mankind, akin to the debates that occurred during Clinton's first election campaign over whether Hillary Clinton's cookies were better than those of Barbara Bush, or whether John Kerry is more charismatic than George Bush - amusing distractions possibly, but not really important.


I just finished reading Dan Simmons' Ilium, in which Greek Gods, the Trojan War, Eloi, The Tempest and Space Opera are melded together.

The most annoying thing about it is that the sequel isn't out for another few months.

The second most annoying thing is that a decent editor would have fixed the few bits where it suddenly drops from amazing to annoying, and then back again - too proud of its own cleverness, or where the author hasn't edited different drafts together well (the Deus Ex Machina joke is made twice in the space of two pages, once well, once badly - one can only assume that the bad one was replaced by the good one, and then forgotten about). Oh, and the bits with Caliban/Prospero seemed badly grafted on. Once can only hope that the sequel explains all.

Well worth a read, although I'd love to hear swisstone's opinion on the 'accuracy'.