Friday, 8 January 2021

The white heat of technology

Beau Brummel is widely reported as having said he was a late riser. The most banal expression of this is on a site devoted to Brummel quotations:

15: Brummell on mornings

Brummell used to say that ‘whether it was summer or winter, he always liked to have the morning well-aired before he got up.’ 

You may share my doubts about the authoritative credentials of a site whose editor doesn't understand the conventions relating to indirect speech, but I've heard several variants of this, some too elegant to have been produced impromptu, though he no doubt had a lot of practice at extemporizing on this subject, along the lines of

 "I like my mornings as I like my shirts: well-aired before I appear in them."

Anyway, I feel that now the millennium ...


(which I vainly insist on spelling  with two ns, although Google finds nearly 96,000,000 cases of the single-n'd version [which I always think should be an addition to the periodic table, being an element with the atomic number 1000]. 96,000,000 is a pretty spirited showing against the correct ...

(ducking and covering here, as usual. Eppur si scrive cosí, as Galileo might have put it: "All the same, that's how it's spelt... 
And if you think that's some kind of cereal, that's your problem. 

 ...version, which gets just under 180,000,000; a further example of what I have previously noted as the linguistic version of Gresham's Law: 



...has reached its 21st year, it's well enough aired for me to get a smart phone 

And this isn't the only bit of new tech that I've acquired recently, which explains my silence since well before Christmas – jolly time-consuming, these labour-saving devices....

So there I was, Bluetooth Headphones paired with my phone, listening to an episode of Private Passions that I'd recommended to my guitar teacher at the beginning of December  (it was broadcast on the feast of Santa Claus, or St Nicholas, as we used to say in The One True Church; and I finally got around to catching up (a sadly eviscerated version: for rights reasons the music was sorely truncated) on 6 January. So it was mostly chat. Paco Peña, the guest, started by talking about the atmosphere in Spain immediately after Franco had come to power, which recalled to me an episode I recounted here a few years ago (the account, not the event):

When I was first in a Spanish train [2021 addition: in March 1971] I misread a sign about giving up your seat to a war-hero. I was new to Spanish and to Spain at the time, and had just started stumbling my way through a selected poems edition of Lorca, with the aid of a parallel translation. 
People who didn't offer their seat would be multados [2021 addition: "fined"] según la ley.... But with my head filled with Lorca's evocations of the dastardly, unruly, inhuman...(etc etc) Guardia Civil as Franco came to power, I was quite ready to believe that offenders, with legal sanction, could be mutilated.

His final selection was of his 'dear friend of several decades' John Williams, and if what John Williams said was true (and there's no reason to believe otherwise) in his introduction to an encore at a guitar concert I went to in the summer of 1968 at the Guildford Festival...

I know it was summer. because my big sister (whose floor I slept on) was cramming for end-of-term exams, and any time after 1968 I wouldn't have had to borrow her twin brother(Requiescant ambi in pace)'s sixth form scarf (as  part of my disguise as a student on the shuttle service from Battersea Technical College to Surrey University).
... I witnessed the beginning of that friendship.  I say more about that concert here.

My pin-ball mind has noticed other things to comment on, but I really must do something. Yesterday was my most ZOOMful day ever – 5 sessions in one day, and a complete wash-out in the Getting-stuff-done Stakes. White heat my foot. When do the children play?


No comments:

Post a Comment