November 20th, 2021

Yeah, The Back End Of 2021 Does Feel A Bit Like This

I dreamed I was at a party. It was being held in the nurses quarters of a hospital and had an eve of destruction vibe to it and a girl I went out with briefly fifty years ago was flirting with me and I was kissing her through her mask (for these were covid times) and fancying my chances when my mother called from the next room and I went in and found it was being over-run by large rats who had knocked over the lamp and were chewing up the carpet and the furniture. I started grabbing them by handfuls and stuffing out through the holes they'd entered by but they resisted and squirmed and clung so tightly to my wooly jumper that I found I was inadvertently pulling them apart as I tried to get them to let go....

A Round-Up Of Unrelated Bits And Pieces

I'm not sleeping through the night. In fact I haven't done so for a long long time. What's new is me acknowledging that getting a "good night's sleep" is no longer a realistic aspiration. I think it's a recognised scientific fact that old people need less sleep than young people- unless of course they're exceedingly old- like my mother- who barely spends any time awake.

Having said that, she called me in three times in the course of the night to ask where her clothes were because she wanted to get up. She doesn't have her hearing aids in so I have to shout. I wish I could shout sweetly, but I'm not sure that's humanly possible. I'm not as cross as I sound, but I am a little bit cross- though I don't call her "a stupid old bat", merely think it.

This is Kit's Coty House. It sits on the north Downs, scowling down at Maidstone- as well it might because Maidstone is horrid. I went and took a look yesterday. It's not well signposted and I had it all to myself.

Kit's Coty is all that remains of a Neolithic long barrow, the rest having been ploughed out over the course of the thousands of years it's stood there. It's the most impressive megalithic monument in our corner of England. As you can see, they keep it in a cage to stop it from eating people.

There's something about the thrust of it- when seen from this angle- that makes me think of the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

Why did our distant ancestors insist on using huge, unwieldy stones in their buildings when they didn't have
machinery? Did they really accomplish Kit's Coty- and Avebury and Stonehenge- using nothing but wood and rope and muscle? Or might they have possessed technologies of the mind that allowed them to manipulate energy in ways that we've forgotten- and now think impossible? I'll leave that one floating...

(As perhaps the stones did.)

I watched Takashi Miike's Hara-Kiri yesterday afternoon because I'm a sucker for Samurai. It has a wonderfully intense beginning and ending but sags in the middle. I hadn't seen any of his work before. He loves his ultra-violence but gets bored when he has to deal with people being nice to one another.

We cancelled a not very important medical engagement this morning because the support structure we'd arranged for my mother while we buggered off elsewhere fell through at the last moment. I won't say I'm not relieved. It would have involved an hour or two of sitting in a waiting room with a mask on.