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Tony Grist

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Running To My Own Assistance [Oct. 18th, 2018|10:33 am]
Tony Grist
 Shortly after we put her to bed my mother shouted for help.

"It's Anthony, he's on the floor...."

Only I wasn't. I was in the doorway, rushing to the rescue...

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Mermaid [Oct. 17th, 2018|06:54 pm]
Tony Grist
A very small plastic mermaid- about the size of a nut- has appeared on the table beside my plate. It think she's meant to be Disney's Ariel but can't be sure because she's missing her head- which, from the condition of the neck- appears to have been chewed off. I have no idea where she came from. I'd blame one of the granddaughters only none of them has been on the premises for months.
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Fan Shaped [Oct. 16th, 2018|04:03 pm]
Tony Grist
 "Destiny is fan-shaped" writes Matthew's mother in the margin of one of her books- which is an elegant- and nicely visual- way of saying that our lives are neither random nor predetermined but at every point offer us a range of possible futures. 
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Death Masks [Oct. 16th, 2018|10:03 am]
Tony Grist
Death masks are an unreliable guide to what people looked like when living. I can think of various reasons why this should be so-  reasons physical, reasons metaphysical.  There's this to be said for them, though- that they rarely flatter. For instance I'd not have guessed from his portraits that Beethoven's eyes were so very far apart.  James Dean looks like Brad Pitt, James Joyce looks like James Joyce only more scrunched up- and some are unguessable. Beethoven is a goblin, the Duke of Wellington is a toothless old saint, Cromwell could be any 17th century gent a little the worse for wear- though the warts provide a clue-  and the beatific soul with the enormous grin turns out to be Heinrich Himmler. 
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Ten Minutes At The Seaside [Oct. 16th, 2018|09:26 am]
Tony Grist
The mist began to clear as we crossed the county line from Kent into Sussex- and by the time we reached the coast the sun was shining in an almost cloudless sky. I was so tired I was feeling ill with it- but ten minutes on the beach at St Leonard's, sitting on a breakwater, getting my feet and trouser legs wet completely recharged my batteries.
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Tick, Tick [Oct. 14th, 2018|09:10 am]
Tony Grist
The irregular tick-ticking coming from the tree line at the top of the field will be the sound of beech nuts bouncing off the great log that's lying there.
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Uncool [Oct. 13th, 2018|10:35 am]
Tony Grist
I've noticed I'm saying "cool" a lot. It's become a verbal tic. And shows the brain is running on autopilot. I need to cut it out.

We had a friend who said "rock and roll" every other sentence and we used to mock him for it behind his back (affectionately, I hope.) Well, saying "cool" all the time is exactly the same thing.
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Mediums [Oct. 12th, 2018|06:16 pm]
Tony Grist
Matthew's mother's library contains a lot of books by and about spirit mediums- many of them ghost-written autobiographies (there's a joke in there somewhere.) I sent a couple to my daughter who said it was the kind of thing she likes to read in the bath.

Myself, I'm reading the Autobiography of Gladys Leonard (not ghost-written). My appetite for the lives of psychics is not insatiable- and I won't be bothering with Yuri Geller's- but Leonard was working in a period- the first half of the 20th century- when there was a stigma attached to the work (I suppose there still is- but not as biting) and was trusted and employed by the leading lights of the Society for Psychical Research- and interests me for cultural/historical reasons. Her family were straight-down-the-middle Prayer Book Anglicans and didn't half shout at her when- as a kid- she started talking about the people she could see walking about in the Summerlands. That's about as far as I've got. I'm hoping she is going to cross paths with Arthur Conan Doyle and will have sidelights to shine.
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Windy [Oct. 12th, 2018|02:38 pm]
Tony Grist
Blowy day: I swept up the dead leaves on the patio just before lunch and now it needs doing again (but can wait till tomorrow).
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Books, Books, Books [Oct. 11th, 2018|10:01 am]
Tony Grist
Matthew's mother was in the habit of writing pencilled notes on the title pages of her books- summing up their value to her and indicating whether she thought they were worth re-reading. I've been sorting through them- I haven't finished yet- and setting a few aside to read myself- but not the one that's marked up as "boring book". Most of the ones I've looked at so far are also marked "purple r-v" I don't know what that means- and she's not around to ask.

One I set aside- and read yesterday- is The Alexandria Project by Stephan A Schwartz- an account of an archaeological expedition to Alexandria and its environs- which used psychics to predict what was under the ground- or water because the harbour at Alexandria is full of palaces. They had a remarkable hit rate- and may have located the tomb of Alexander the Great- only it's buried deep under an historic mosque and they couldn't really call the bulldozers in to look for it. This was in the late 70s. Later expeditions have confirmed many of the findings, but without acknowledgement because- psychics- gerrawayfrome....

The books I don't want I'm giving away to anyone who's interested. A couple of my mother's carers have already had a lucky dip.
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