Saturday, 7 March 2009


My new toy is a little scanning device. It can't do books or objects. But it turns photocopied articles into pdfs, and recovers pictures from yesteryear.

This is my secondary-school first year form group photo, when we were eleven and twelve. We're so young we haven't yet ditched the purse belts. I'm in the front row, looking like Neil from the Young Ones. The odd thing is how completely some people's personalities come over from the image -- Alison's slightly quizzical look at the camera seems pretty typical, and Nikki, the very blonde one in the middle row, is grinning in the way that usually meant she was about to say something really rude -- but some people's just don't. Melody, the shortest one in the back row, just looks terribly young. I'm quite happy to own my awkward grimace.

I also have a collection of horse photos in an album, helpfully labelled with their characteristics, e.g. "Flossie: small, fast, woolly". The above is Marlborough -- actually the stables spelt it Marlboro -- who was my favourite. He was very fast, and he really wanted to be out hunting. If you caught him in a good mood he was the best thing ever, but if you annoyed him at all, or left him too much to his own devices, he would get rid of you quickly and without regret. He was more dangerous than ecstacy. I've never taken ecstacy but I bet he was also a lot more fun. It's an amazing feeling to be able to communicate with another type of consciousness, and to co-operate with them, and also they can go so fast. However, the fact that I have never taken ecstacy has a lot to do with Marlborough the horse. I fell off him a number of times, on one occasion getting short-term amnesia à la Memento for about twenty-four hours, one of the most frightening experiences of my life. It left me significantly unwilling to mess with my brain in any unnecessary way -- I was scared of alcohol for quite a while.

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