Friday, 1 October 2010

I had some thoughts

I had some thoughts, and while I'm trying to recover pictures of manuscripts from a damaged SD card I decided to share them with you, the reader. Lady Wortley Montagu had an endearing habit of apologising for the length of her letters, but saying that if the reader didn't like it she could always chuck it in the fire. You can't really burn a computer, but there's always ctrl+alt+del in extreme circumstances, or a simple ctrl+w closes the tab.

Thought 1. I'm in a city right now, and it occurred to me this morning that the thing about the countryside is that it's casually beautiful, and full of death, often at the same time. There is death absolutely everywhere, and almost all of it is both random and in some way beneficial. In the city people don't have that much to do with death. Except for the occasional pigeon, and that's treated as an aberration instead of what's happening everyday everywhere -- it's something someone will have to clear up, rather than a windfall for the rooks.

Thought 2. Though I did think that I saw some buzzards over Corpus yesterday. I don't see how that can have been right, but there they were, four or five of them circling up on thermals. I think they were buzzards not red kites because they had wedge-shaped tails rather than the forked, and were hefty in build rather than slim. I'm disconcerted by this.

Thought 3. I wish my SD card hadn't failed. I was looking at a really disconcerting manuscript on Wednesday, a late eleventh- or early twelfth-century Bible from Lincoln. It had initials in the white-vine style, which I don't much like at the best of times, because instead of the light entwined foliage or curled leaves of other styles it has fat white vegetable stems, like something grown in the darkness, and makes me think of bean sprouts. But in this manuscript the fleshy white stems don't end in foliage but in the heads of odd beasts, with gaping jaws, and black eyebrows. The human figures have red spots on their cheeks as if they are ill, and enormous hands bigger than their heads. I have a feeling I may have nightmares about it; it was quite crudely done, but also in a wierd style. Anyway, even if I still had the pictures I couldn't post one, because Trinity lets you take pictures for personal use only.

Thought 4. I love my kindle, for many reasons. Hurray for buying stuff instantly! Hurray for its compilation of my highlighted passages, and for being able to search for names of characters whose significance I have forgotten! But boo for the way I no longer enjoy Waterstones so much. Though I did buy a book yesterday, a translation of Isidore's Etymologies which I've wanted for a long time, but needed to get from the CUP shop because of my author discount. It is £29 before discount as a paperback; as an ebook it is 128 dollars. Plus I used a CUP ebook once before and it was infuriatingly terrible. Boo, CUP, boo. Seriously, CUP, give me a job as one who formats ebooks for you -- you're missing a trick. It's when companies do that sort of thing that people yearn to pirate. Now, I'm not going to pirate CUP books, and I imagine that legally I am not allowed to make my own personal ecopy of a book just because I own the paperback, but morally I feel like it's more of a grey area. Unfortunately a while ago I decided that it is morally wrong to break the law unless it's a matter of principle, and I don't think that wanting to read a book on Kindle is a matter of principle. Heigh ho.

No comments:

Post a Comment