January 4th, 2019


I got up in the night and went to the bathroom and happened to look at my hands and saw they were turning blue.

The discolouration was most noticeable at the knuckles and joints. It looked subcutaneous. Had I done something to cause bruising? I didn't think so. There was no pain, the fingers still wiggled excellently. Unpleasant words started running through my head- cyanosis, doctors, hospital...

"Oh well," I thought. "Nothing I can do about it now. I'll go back to bed."

My hands were still blue in the morning. I was getting used to it. "Perhaps they've always been blue," I thought, "And I've just never noticed before."

And then I remembered how yesterday I'd been breaking in a new pair of fingerless gloves. At one point I'd got them wet- and clearly what had happened was that the dye had run.

Online Images

A cute little rodent has set up home with its cute little partner under one of the bird feeders- where, of course, it rains manna from heaven. Clever little rodent! I can't quite decide if it's a rat or a mouse- and so I've been looking at pictures online- but that hasn't helped because I'm sure some of the pictures labelled "mouse" are of rats- and vice versa. Anyway I've made the executive decision that it's a mouse because people like mice and have an unreasoning ancestral prejudice against rats- and I want them to view it- as I do- in the best possible light.

Talking about online images, I've also been looking at photos of the French town of Niort- which is in the news because professionally unpleasant French novelist Michel Houellebecq has called it "ugly". Judging by the evidence I've seen, it's not ugly at all. It has a river, ancient bridges, spires- and now I want to visit. The Angevin monarch Henry II- who was their king and ours- built a stonking great castle there- and while not exactly pretty- its remains- two huge towers linked by a renaissance living space- are mightily impressive.