Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Into the mindless world

The inset shows (imperfectly) the door to discomfort – discomfort that must be endured for six more weeks.

Presently school children are at a loose end. Their parents take them to swimming pools where they mess around, taunting adults engaged in length swimming. As a result I have temporarily withdrawn my labour from the South Wye Leisure Centre in Fownhope. But I need some form of mindless physical activity so it’s back to the exercise bike which I keep in the garden shed.

Swimming offers certain incidental aesthetic pleasures; the ex-bike none at all. Besides, it’s surrounded by garden tools, links with another alien world. As a very minor act of revenge I clip my MP3 player to the blade of a hanging spade, stick in the ear-plugs and pedal away on a sweaty, dusty journey that goes nowhere.

The MP3 player contains over a thousand tracks varying in length from a Schubert lied to a Bruckner symphony movement. But alas the ex-bike imposes its own cultural environment. Try as I might I cannot listen to, say, Quartet for the end of time while fake pedalling. So my huge repertoire is reduced to four collections (say sixty tracks) of the only pop songs I regard as worth listening to, most MoR and most at least twenty years old.

Yesterday I concluded with The Pogues’ The band played Waltzing Matilda, the best anti-war song I know of. This afternoon I’ll resume with Barbra Streisand’s Don’t rain on my parade. It’s OK but I’d rather be swimming.