Thursday, September 14, 2006

Prints of darkness

I have learned two new things – both of them obvious to anyone with a brane.

Kept awake last night by a rather smashing storm. The pause between purple lightning and the gurgle of thunder remained a constant seven elephants, which scientifically proves the storm was either sitting perfectly still or using our house as a pivot.

The cat was not impressed at all by this and kept nosing up for a cuddle. The moment he felt a bit better about life, he would bravely scamper off to pursue invisible mice.

“I don’t need you,” spoke his behaviour. “I am helluva tough with my animal instincts.”

He’d then scurry back into my armpit the moment the storm got more noisy.

Shag had been acting odd all evening – the anxious running about between our feet and wauing that either means its bedtime or he’s made some smelly bears. (You can usually tell the difference by whether your nostrils are aflame.)

But it was early and my nose was still intact. “Don’t be so silly,” I told him, though not too sternly as he is quite impressionably dim.

Later, I headed up to fetch some Robinsons Apple and Blackcurrant for night-time slaking (we can’t have water because the cat sticks his head in it). Our kitchen, just to be different, is up in the converted roof. And was liberally glossed over with water.

The cat was busy pressing his forehead into the back of my ankles. “See?” he seemed to say. “See?”

The skylights in the roof of the kitchen can be locked just-a-bit-open, which is useful if you’ve been griddling chicken breasts for a rather scrummy tea and want to be rid of the steam. The just-a-bit-open nature of the locking mechanism means that any previous rain has been easily kept out.

Thing learnt #1: If it storms particularly hard, the just-a-bit-open locking system isn’t waterproof. Well done the redoubtable British weather. And well done that man with the late-night mop who cleared up all the mess.

So it looks like the summer is over. The nights are drawing in and we even got a Goth weathergirl after the BBC’s 10 pm news. The Dr was delighted to spot black fingernails and everything.

“I guess that means the clocks will be going back soon,” I said. But there’s weeks and weeks left before that.

Thing learnt #2: British summers are longer than the winters. We get 21 weeks of Greenwich Mean Time each year, and 31 weeks of British Summer Time.


Rob Stradling said...

Re: Thing #2 - why do you think it's called Greenwich Mean Time? If we got an equal share or better, it would be Greenwich Fair Time, or Greenwich Generous Time, or even Greenwich Cut-Me-Own-Throat Time.

Pay attention, boy. And leave that cat alone, you'll get fleas.


Nimbos said...

It may be weeks 'til BST ends, but it's only nine days to the Autumn Equinox. That'll certainly will show more clearly downhill for daylight from there on.

Alex Wilcock said...


Well, not the water pouring in, obviously. But the storm looked fantastic. Richard was very late in last night, poor thing, so I was sitting on my own in semi-darkness (two bulbs having gone within three minutes of each other and there being no spares in the flat) with an elegiac ELO song playing about alien monks coming to Earth to watch humanity destroy itself (A New World Record having just been re-released as a 30th anniversary special edition, and very fabulous it is too), when the first brilliant blue flashes struck. It all quite kept me entertained looking out and cooing at the light show, until my poor sopping beloved staggered in (with light bulbs) and reminded me that heavy rain outside tends to make him wet.

Steve said...

Prevent your cat from sticking its nose in your bedtime water by fashioning a cap for the glass out of tin foil. Cats hate tinfoil and won't bother trying to get into the glass. It works for me and the missus.

Will said...

You ward off your wife with tin foil too, Steve?

I am pleased to see I'm not the only full grown man who drinks Robinson's squash. The Special R version for me, for its lesser fat-making properties.