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

Monday, 31 January 2011

And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin

The day of the new car.

First the old car must be purged. No problem remembering the satnav or the bags of dried apricots in my door pocket. But how about sunglasses hidden in a trapdoor in the roof or the £1 and €1 coins kept for trolley hire at Sainsbury and Super U respectively. Plus those spare bulbs the French government insists I carry. What I almost missed were seat-belt pads to protect the breasts and shoulders of women using the back seats.

It’s a nice trip. The Ross-on-Wye road for eight miles, then a detour stopping short of Symonds Yat where the Wye wends past a heart-stopping cliff overlooked by a pair of nesting peregrines. To Monmouth with its statue of Henry V, across the Wye, swing left from the Chepstow road (possibly the most beautiful in Britain, hugging the Wye and skirting Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey) and on through the Forest of Dean where yellow tape round tree trunks signals protest against the Tories’ plan to sell off the woodlands.

To Cinderford which matches its name but is redeemed by the brisk good humour of the woman receptionist at Winner Garages. Our new car, the same make and model as its predecessor, stands out on the forecourt, not being caked with frost. In four years minor design faults (especially the computer display) have been tweaked and the new bolide feels taut and eager.

NEW NOVEL Should I record the miniscule progress? Yesterday, weaving in recent research meant a para and a half (say about 150 words) took nearly two hours. Why? Research should look casual, throwaway, unsweated.