|New Year's entertainments
||[Jan. 4th, 2016|10:16 pm]
A visit from valydiarosada and D. is always an entertainment in itself, of course, and we did all the things with which we habitually amuse ourselves at the New Year: we may have drunk rather less wine than usual, since one of our number was taking painkillers which should not be mixed with alcohol, but we built fires and did crosswords and waited for the New Year to strike, and so on.
Three things in particular:
- We watched the special 'what if Sherlock were the Victorian Sherlock Holmes?' Sherlock. It's only now, trying to encapsulate that concept, that I realise quite how twisty that concept is. On the other hand, it didn't bother me becaise I wasn't trying to rationalise it. I switched off critical brain, sat back and enjoyed the eye-candy, and the jokes. If you feel that 'switch off brain' is an odd way to approach a Sherlock Holmes story, I wouldn't disagree, but I find it works pretty well for this particular version. On this occasion it carried me all the way through to the conspiracy of women in some sort of Hell Fire Club collaborating to dispose of disagreeable men, at which point my brain switched itself on again and said "You WHAT?!" On reflection, since since the shift to the Victorian period is really just part of Sherlock's thought-process, set in his memory palace perhaps the whole Victorian narrative should be read as reflecting Sherlock's world view, rather than any sort of objective reality. Which is even more worrying.
- We were lingering over breakfast on Saturday morning, not quite ready to drive out to visit D.'s sister and brother-in-law, when someone rang up, claiming to be from Windows Online Help calling about a problem with our Windows personal computer. You'd think he'd have spotted the danger signal when durham_rambler asked him "Which one?" "Your Windows personal computer!" "Yes, but which one? The notebook, the desktop, the Windows8 machine, the Windows 10..." "All of them, all your Windows personal computer!" Or perhaps when he repeated "I am windows Online Help!", and durham_rambler said "No, I am windows Online Help." But he persevered, insisting that we switch on a computer, so we thought 'well, he's asking for it,' and switched on the nearest computer (my little notebook). This must have gone on for the best part of half an hour. Even when I told him that I had no intention of connecting to his server, that I wouldn't dream of doing anything so insecure, he didn't hang up, he just passed me on to his supervisor. I suppose this means that the failure belongs to the supervisor rather than to him.
- D.'s sister and brother-in-law have recently bought a house in Alston, so we drove up Weardale, up into the cloud and out the other side. The weather was grey and damp, but not too wet to walk to the Angel for lunch. This was the same pub where we had lunched a while ago on a birthday jaunt to Alston, and it served good pub food, but was running out of drink: the landlord explained that the brewery delivers once a week on a Friday, but since we had just had two Bank Holiday Fridays in a row, even filling the cellar to capacity before Christmas had not prevented the barrels running dry. About the only thing in town that was dry, though. We walked back along a circuitous route, and I took the year's first photos. This one gives some idea of the extreme lushness of the moss:
The drive home in the dark seemed longer and more winding than the drive out. Eastgate was very enthusiastically lit for Christmas, though, and I liked the glimpse, as we passed, of the full-sized nativity scene in the bus shelter, with the star over the door.