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

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Wasted lives

This was harder than expected. How many clocks do we own? The montage shows eight but I can count nineteen apart from my mechanical Longines which still works but is retired. Some are well hidden - on the two TVs, the desktop and the laptop. Not forgetting the car and the water heater/central heating timer.

When I egged Mrs BB into this audit we also forgot the coffee maker because it’s the silliest and I never bother to set it. And is there one on the printer/scanner/copier? – oh, I can’t be bothered to find out. Only three are real: our wristwatches and the carriage clock which belonged to Mrs BB’s mother (a gift from us) which we inherited.

All these devices relentlessly measuring time, some usefully, others pointlessly. There’s a metaphor here, something to do with not using time profitably. Because we don’t garden, don’t do the cleaning, frequently buy things online and are having the house painted we are seen as great time wasters, especially by those in North America. In the afternoon Mrs BB may be on the couch reading a book. Writing a novel might qualify as work but how about when I break off, stumped, and play solitaire? As gerontocrats we’ve got so little time left. Yet both of us can look at a weed or a spider’s web and not feel a trace of guilt.

THE SHRINKING NOVEL I haven’t completely edited Chapter Eleven (ie, halfway through the MS) yet 5000 words have disappeared. Will I end up with a novella? - defined as a short novel or a substantial short story. Malcom Bradbury cites Heart of Darkness, Metamorphosis, and Death in Venice as “striking modern examples”. I’ll accept the comparison.

More time wasting: a front cover mock-up which will never be used.