Fluffy bunnies

“Fluffy bunnies” is a term we use in our household to denote a sudden and unexpected change of direction in the conversation. As an example, imagine you are driving along with your Significant Other, talking about interesting and important things to do with Life, the Universe and Everything. One of you suddenly exclaims “Ooh! Look! Fluffy bunnies!” and points excitedly to some smallish brown mammals in a field at the side of the road. If you are lucky the Pointer will not also be the Driver.

Thus a post will start out musing over fund-raising, Robbie Williams, Muppets and Saturday afternoons then end up discussing the relative merits of the gnarly-buttocked cyclist and feminine beauty routines. If that’s your cup of tea, make sure you are sitting comfortably and I’ll begin.

Last night was the monthly Village Quiz, which Sigoth and I write to help raise funds for the support of said institution. It’s usually pretty well-attended, although last night happened to be a bit thin on the ground. Nevertheless, Much Fun was Had by All. However, last night was also the night the BBC was showing Robbie Williams at the London Palladium singing swing and collaborating with the Muppets. Who could resist? And thanks to the wonders of modern technology, in particular BBC’s iPlayer, I didn’t have to.

So night wore into day and Saturday dawned. Naturally it started with a List. Saturday almost always does in my experience. I had correspondence to sort out, some technology to wrangle, an Anglo-Saxon document to download and a bit of on-line retail research to perform. Once these chores were done I could sit back and relax. Sigoth also got through his list in time for lunch, after which we sat and watched Robbie strut his stuff, and chortled at Fozzie Bear’s jokes, Miss Piggy’s singing, Gonzo’s chickens and Statler’s and Waldorf’s sniping. Saturday afternoon heaven! Did I mention the roaring fire? No? My bad.

So far, so good. The day was going to plan. My list for the afternoon (oh yes, I don’t just have A List, I have Time-Bounded Lists, with deadlines and even, occasionally, risk logs) contained some allegedly pleasant but necessary activities, one of which was to take time out to remove my nail varnish. I know, most people don’t have to put that kind of thing on a list. I do. I’m not very good at the feminine arts, and only recently discovered nail varnish, but I’m enjoying it as a novelty for the present. It’s shiny and pretty and makes a change. It’s just that it takes a bit more management oversight than I would like in an ideal world.

Of course, just when it seems safe to go into the water, the Great White bites you on the bum. I got distracted by catching up on other people’s blogs. I have fallen terribly behind lately, what with Work and Stuff, and I wanted to read what people had been writing while I was away. It was great to pick up the threads again, and I spent a goodly while at it. Some of you have been awfully prolific.  I am ashamed even more by my lack of contribution.

Time went gone by, in its timey-wimey way, and I needed to do other things. My nail varnish slot was past. Well now, what’s a girl to do? In my case it’s sit down and write a blog about it instead of doing the actual thing required.

Bikes in London and CopenhagenThat made me wonder, philosophically speaking, why I am so resistant to spending that time on myself. I like the nail varnish, I actually do, to my utter surprise. I like the fact it has lycra in it, to make it harder wearing and last longer. I amuse myself by thinking about the miracle of lycra and its many functions from adorning my nails to adorning the gnarly buttocks of road warriors on fantastically over-priced bicycles. I mean, how much do you have to pay out to cycle from A to B? How many gears, when you get right down to it, do you actually need for cycling up the High Street? I’m pretty sure three is more than enough. And the clothing! Compare London cyclists with Copenhageners as in this picture. It’s enough to make Gok Wan weep. The English just aren’t very good at style; it probably explains my nail varnish issues. Any excuse.

And so, my dears, I have fluffed my bunnies. I have navigated skilfully from a morning of productive activity to an afternoon and early evening of time-wasting and prevarication. Now I have to cook my mother’s tea and then it’s over to Strictly and Borgen. It’s a question of whether I can multi-task between the tangos and waltzes in order to de-polish.

Do you put off minor tasks for no good reason? Do tell!


This time last year…

This time last year I decided to give NaNoWriMo a go and it was fun. But having been there, done that and got some kind of metaphorical t-shirt, I’m not revisiting it again. Needless to say I have hardly touched the novel since. It frightens me a bit; I am too nervous to take it seriously although I still want to finish it one day. Ah “one day”, my friend, so soothing to the procrastinating mind!

I started to write here more often as a result of NaNoWriMo and made some lovely blogging friends. Yes, hello you, thanks for staying around.

Then things turned busier at home and I had a break and since then I kind of lost the power of writing. It melted away like dew in the morn, and all I am left with is unsightly grass stains from kneeling on the ground looking for it. My mind just feels empty and echoey.

To be fair I’m not really doing anything more interesting. It’s not like I’ve dumped you all for the cool kids over there. My knitting is behind schedule. I stopped making soups and cakes and other deliciousness. I gave up yoga exercises recently due to the pain in my shoulder (operation very soon, only another couple of weeks!). I fall asleep when I try to meditate. I barely read any more, although I did manage “Raising Steam” because it’s the law and I don’t need more trouble with the authorities. Otherwise I’m just too tired and flat and drawn out to do anything.

I get this every now and then, usually as a pre-cursor to another bout of depression. It’s often this time of year, so please feel free to regale me with tales of SAD lights and daylight savings and so on. They may even be true, although at the same time I do love autumn/winter for those faded blue skies and frosted cobwebs and candlelit evenings, and ooh and ah, the fireworks. Always fireworks with the noise and the smell and the pretty, pretty prettiness, hands jammed in pockets and neck aching as you gaze up at the pictures in the sky, sometimes through mist or rain damp on your cheeks, sometimes through clouds of your own breath gasping out in astonishment and delight.

It’s been a busy year and I probably need to relax, but I suppose months of over-working won’t clear up in a weekend or two.

What I do remember from last November was the feeling of joy and energy from making myself write every day. I have learned more about the usefulness of a daily journal; I don’t do it routinely, but I know it is helpful when and if I do. It’s what I’m doing now, so apologies if you thought this was actually going anywhere except to hell in a handcart.

So, tell me my dears, what do you do when you get the blues? I mean these tiresome old blues which leave you feeling like the Dementors have sucked you dry and left you in the gutter.

Meanwhile I’m pinning my hopes on the Doctor to #savetheday this weekend. No matter how tired I am, I’ll find time for that.

Good night my dears and Namaste.

Rock Goddess

I found a sweet little meditation the other day where you imagine a mountain. Any mountain. Pick whichever you like.

I chose this one.

Lake mist

It’s in Austria, in case you are wondering; or at least it was in 1976 when I saw it and took this photo. It may have moved since then, who knows.

Anyway, I held a memory in my mind and then learned, momentarily alarmed, that I was supposed to internalise the mountain. That was quite a lot to swallow, let me tell you! But I did as I was asked and felt the solidity of the rock within me.

“Don’t think of trolls,” I told myself. “Great big trolls, with slabby teeth and granite fingers and scraggy trees on their slopes. Not those, not at all.”

I waited.

“Nor those trolls, in Tolkien, turning back to stone at sunrise.”

Moments drifted past as the mountain sat serene amid clouds and sunsets.

“Nor Terry Prachett.  Especially don’t think of Detritus.”

Seconds became aeons.

“I said ‘Don’t think of Detritus’!

A small avalanche cascaded down my spine. Oh Detritus, how I love you.

Someone told me there were going to be classes in Laughing Yoga locally, Perhaps this was what they meant.

In any case, I finished sitting quietly and was happy. I will continue to be the lofty mountain with perhaps an occasional troll.



Every day we learn new things about the people around us; at least, I do. Often it is humbling. People you have known for years, not very well, but well enough to remember their preference for milk and sugar, the name of their pet and where they went for their holiday last summer. It may be a colleague, or the woman you talk to every morning as you queue for your coffee in the coffee shop, or the man who sits opposite you on the train. You get talking, you learn a very little about their life, and, God help you, you form an opinion.

At least, if you are like me, and a lot of people I know are, you form an opinion. This person has got to the stage of complaining about their neighbour, or their boss. You might venture advice on how to make up. You look at photos of the grandchild, or the dog (always making sure you never muddle them: was the baby called Toby and the dog Frankie, or was it the other way around?).

After days or weeks or months or years you feel you know them, and you may feel they are a bit mundane. You might feel they could have done more, been more, earned more. You might be frustrated with their shortcomings.  Alternatively they might talk about the other things they do, singing in a choir, or painting scenery for the AmDram Society, or helping out with Scouts or Guides, or teaching tae kwon do to pensioners, or whatever. You might wish you were good at something too, and dream about taking up flower arranging or jazz cornet or dressage.

Time goes on and familiarity breeds contempt, benign or otherwise. They might have raised hundreds of pounds for Multiple Sclerosis but it’s not the Nobel Peace Prize, is it? All they did was jump out of a plane: it’s just falling, gravity does the work. Why do they keep going on about it?

Then one day you get a glimpse of something deeper. You learn about a personal tragedy that would have brought you to your knees and left you gibbering in a darkened room for the rest of your life. Yet they go on. They continue to moan about the boss and run the Guide camp and arrange flowers as if nothing had happened. Except something did.

People are amazing. In all probability you, reading this, are handling or have handled, or maybe will handle, some disaster that would destroy me. Perhaps I have done the same for something that may have been more than you could take.

When we learn about what others manage we are often shamed or humbled or inspired. We believe that suffering engenders nobility.

“She’s such a brick,” we say. Or “He’s a saint.”

My observation is that in most cases we manage because we must. This does not reduce the achievement or the suffering. I believe it merely is.

We manage because we must and sometimes that generates enough rage or despair to give us the energy to change it, or at least to survive it.

Part of my mind, the sneaky bit at the back which I prefer to ignore, suggests slyly that the rest of us glamorise this to paper over the fact that until we knew about the Tragedy we thought that person was a bit of a loser. We feel guilty for writing them off as ordinary, because ordinary suffering is not noble, and our own suffering becomes tawdry in comparison.

Am I too cynical today?

Perhaps we need to feel heroic, if only to ourselves, in order to be able to manage. And we manage because we must.

I learned of three people today dealing with tragedies of one kind or another. One laughed; one cried; and one said “we manage because we must”.

They are all amazing people. They have given me strength to manage too. Once upon a time someone else gave them strength.

We all share in one another’s pain, probably with no more than Six Degrees of Separation.

And so the light in me salutes the light in you. You are amazing.




The weight of the world

I don’t like to crow about how brilliant I am – it would only depress the rest of you. However, over the past year I have been working on losing some of the stones I gained while I was suffering with mobility restrictions. Thankfully last year I eventually had a couple of operations which have improved the situation no end. There are still days which are hard, but on the whole I am pretty much pain free and able to walk gently, so long as I wear the right support apparatus and don’t over-do it. Or move about when there’s an R in the month.

So, the stones. I have lost about five of them since January 2012. For those of you reading in American that’s 70lbs. I have no idea what it is in kilos, but assume about 35.

I’m not here to gloat about that. I am still a little above the mid-way point on the BMI measure so I am just about right which is a very strange feeling because I haven’t been this right since I was in my 20s. Having children is fattening, both before they are born and after, as you finish off their leftovers.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to try out the Global Fat Scale that the BBC so kindly provides, and it turns out I am Gambian. Who knew?

The best bit about this little bit of BBC hilarity was this quote:

Did you know?

If everyone in the world had the same BMI as you, it would remove 13,630,341 tonnes from the total weight of the world’s population

I felt quite alarmed. If we all put on any more weight will the Earth break? Might she rip the space-time continuum with her porkiness and tumble through the resulting hole into another dimension?

What if she starts consuming pies directly? I envisage chomping Earth-mouths opening in the street outside Greggs the Baker, and customers tumbling into the crevasse clutching their pastry purchases and screaming, the sound dying slowly as they fall into the centre of the planet. “Noooooooooo!”

Suppose she decides enough is enough and goes on a diet? No more fruitful abundance. Oh no! It will be global famine on an unprecedented scale, and earthquakes at least three times a week as she tries to lose the blubber by shaking about. What kind of gym would a portly planet use anyway?

What if she goes in for cosmetic surgery? The Galactic Medical Aesthete would use a meteoric scalpel to carve humanity from her body surface and restore her to her youthful dignity. We would end up in the bio-hazardous waste.

I think I need some chocolate to calm me down.

Enjoy your dinners tonight, my dears. While yet you may.


Just like buses…

Everything comes along at once.

The world, my dears, can be a barrier to writing, almost as if it were shy and didn’t want EBL picking over its weary bones in public. How inconvenient.

I never promised to write every day, or even planned to do so, and I never promised you no rose garden. Still, it would have been nice to post a little more over the last few days, and to feel I had the luxury of time to do so. That’s what really bothers me – the lack of time, or lack of ability to do all the things I want to do. Priorities.

I am pleased to report that good things have been happening: visits by Offspringses,  getting to Quaker meetings on Sunday after an absence, managing meditations daily and ducks appearing in the garden.

Duck and DrakeThe universe has a real sense of humour. A duck and a drake have recently taken up residence in the village, wild ducks (“Wild? I was positively livid!” as the old joke goes) which spent the morning at EBL Towers and swam on our little washing-up-bowl-sized pond without sniggering too loudly.

Three ducksWe live in a very bird-couples-oriented village. Visiting avians tend to come in pairs. This year it’s the duck and drake; a couple of years back it was the peacock and peahen, regularly seen waiting at the bus stop. One elderly resident claims to have seen a pair of dodos when she was little, but we think she may be grousing. The solitary bird visitor best known to us all was Dyson, the pheasant, so called because he was brightly coloured and cleaned up anything left lying around.

This time of year is blessed by birds. The sparrows having noisy quarrels in the lilac tree – really you would not believe the language! – and crows flapping ponderously by with whole tree branches in their beaks, hoping to build a nest one-up on her next door, who’s no better than she ought to be. The coal tits seem to be heading back to the hole in the outbuilding wall again, despite their unfortunate experience last year when most of their fledglings ended up terminally acquainted with the innards of one of the neighbourhood cats. Our garden hosts woodpeckers and goldfinches and wood pigeons, with the needle stuck on “who? who?”, and chaffinches and tree sparrows and blue tits and jackdaws and starlings and swallows and house martins and even sometimes swifts zipping through like feathered lightning and screaming with excitement at how fast they are going. The show offs. There’s a sparrowhawk too, who dines on some of the above, and who can blame him?

I’m not really very interested in bird watching, but you can’t help it here, unless you close your eyes. Even so, your ears are then still assaulted by nature’s feathered frenzy, especially In spring, when the dawn chorus is warming up earlier and earlier, and the low sun throws shadows of giant birds on the curtains.

There’s a children’s story called “Peace at last” which I can still remember more or less word for word, having read it to Offspringses so frequently. At one point, when Mr Bear is trying to sleep in the garden he is disturbed by the sun coming up and the birds singing.

“SHINE! SHINE!” went the sun. “TWEET! TWEET!” went the birds.

“Oh no!” said Mr Bear. “I can’t stand this!”

I know just how he feels. And yet it’s wonderful too. Because the world is turning, the world is waking, in spite of the cold and snow and wind from the steppes, and sparrows are having wild, noisy and uncontrolled sex in the lilac tree at five in the morning. Honestly, country life is a riot. Literally.


I believe in magic

I’m sorry, my dears, but EBL feels whiny today so this will be a post of brevity in order to spare you my complaining. It’s enough that my family suffer without inflicting it upon other innocents too.

InsteadShawl I will show you the knitting I completed over Easter, because I think they were good and cheerful things and they make me feel better.

Firstly I finished a shawl I was trying out in super chunky wool. I scaled it up from an Aran pattern and it worked pretty well. The most fun, as so often in life, was adding the tassels.


TheFair isle jumper second was a fair isle jumper, which was an exercise in the style of knitting, as I am still building up a head of steam to produce the Sarah Lund jumper later this year. It turned out pretty OK, and I am now working on a chunky Norwegian style jumper, in part to get my tension right. I like this style of knitting but it takes more concentration.


To relax I am working on a cotton scarf, using a pattern from Stolen Hearts, Vintage Souls. It’s pretty, but I find I am not fond of knitting in cotton. It’s basically coloured string.

However, I proved today that such knitting is truly magical. This is going to refer obliquely to my complaininess, but be not afraid. I want to tell you about it because it made me laugh too.

Yesterday I had to take mother for a spirometry check-up. It’s traumatic for all concerned because she can’t follow the instructions due to her dementia, and she gets very anxious being somewhere strange and she can’t remember why she is there so gets more anxious the longer we stay. Anyway, on top of all that we had to wait for about 40 minutes because they were running late in clinic. It was the dictionary definition of stressful.

Today, as it happens, I had to go back for a blood test myself. Shoulder pain, boring. But to pre-empt the inevitable delays and waiting I took my knitting.

“We won’t have to wait if I take it,” I told Sigoth, “they don’t like it if you get settled with some knitting to keep you busy.”

And so we arrived a little early, because traffic was quiet, and sat down. Out popped the nurse straight away and within a few minutes we were heading back home with me laughing like a drain most of the way.

If the NHS introduced targets for completing rows, I reckon it would transform patient care within a week.


Eleven Questions

Fish of Gold recently posted eleven questions, should you choose to answer them. Well, they were kind of fun questions, so I thought I would give them a pop. The alternative was to rant about Beeching, seeing as yesterday was the 50th anniversary of his report’s publication and the devastating effects are still crippling people in rural communities today. Ut it wouldn’t have been as much fun.

So take a deep breath, and here we go with something more convivial. Brew up some tea and relax for a while with me while I ramble.

  1. Do you remember what it was like to be short? I don’t mean adult short, but kid short, like 2 feet tall. (I don’t that’s why I’m asking.)

This is probably why I decided to take these questions. I have a freakish memory, and my earliest is hanging onto the fireguard because I am wobbly on my feet still. I know that might apply to any age where alcohol or drugs are accessible, but in this case I was also quite tiny and not at all like Alice down the rabbit hole. I remember gazing up at the giant furniture and letting go of the fireguard, and then my mother whooshing in and grabbing me and I flew up into the air and all the furniture was below me. It was a bit like the feeling on a swing when you go really high and your tummy gets butterflies. My mother says I learned to walk when I was 14 months old.

  1. How tall are you?

I am only a few inches tall when lying down.

  1. What is your favorite genre of movies?

I am old fashioned enough to enjoy plot, character and good scripts. However, exploding helicopters can make all difference. I would often take “The Princess Bride” as one of my top films, but also “Casablanca” and “Die Hard”.

  1. Do you drive to work or take public transportation? How long does it take you?

I work at home (smug face). Otherwise I use public transport to get to Head Office which takes about 2 or more hours. Until the last few months I have not been able to see well enough to learn to drive. If things go well maybe I will.

  1. What is your favorite moment of an average work day? For example, mine is getting home to see my dog.

I like it when either I finish a thing or get given a new thing. I like to feel the satisfaction of completing something, or the excitement of a new project I can start planning out. I do actually enjoy my job! It has its moments which are a pain, but on the whole, it’s scary-fun, like going high on a swing.

  1. What was your favorite candy as a kid? Is it different now that you’re an adult?

There were horrible sweets when I was little. People get nostalgic about Fruit Salads and Bootlaces and Black Jacks and Flying Saucers, but I shudder now. At the time I knew no better and the sugar rush was fab. Now I like little pieces of fancy chocolate – just one small piece a day is fine, although I might take a second in extremis.

  1. If you could pick one food item to eat as much as you want without any health consequences for the rest of your life, what would you pick?

Fancy chocolate is a contender, for sure, but I do love cheese. There are so many types and tastes! When I was little a delicatessen opened in town, and my Dad would buy a new cheese every Wednesday for him and me to try out. It was fun, although some of them were disgusting!

  1. What actor or actress would play you in the story of your life?

I’d like Meryl Streep but suspect I would be best with Jennifer Saunders.

  1. How far do you live from where you were born?

About 242 miles, according to Google. However, the hospital was 9 miles from where my parents lived, and their house is 241 miles from my house now. Do I need to triangulate? I only did Geography O-Level, and that was mostly colouring in. I thought these were going to be fun and now I’m orienteering!

  1. I’m going to write a check to your favorite charity. To whom should I make it out?

Well, I should think so after all that geography! Thank you kindly. Make it out to Mind, please.

  1. Do you like your first name or do you wonder what the H your parents were thinking?

I absolutely hate my name. With. A. Passion. My mother was going to call me a sensible name, until she had a dream about her dead friend and I was named after her. She had a freak name. So I got a freak name, which meant I was teased at school, and I was named after a woman who died aged 21 from cancer. Way to go.

Well, that ended badly. Apologies for that; perhaps I should have stuck with Beeching. If you are thinking of naming a child, I recommend a plain and common name, and then they can find their own unique soubriquet themselves, if they want one.

EBL – educating the nation’s parents since 1962…

Thanks to FOG for a great set of questions!

Thanks to everyone for reading.



Future Bright

What did you want to be when you were fifteen?” asked the avuncular presenter on Radio 4; he also pointed out that while he knew he had a few listeners who were not yet fifteen, nevertheless the average audience age was 58. I felt younger for a moment, when being below average seemed OK, then chided myself for ageism. The article was related to a survey of teenage aspiration which had proven to be mismatched against predictions for future labour market demand.

“Since when did that matter?” I wondered. “Surely most of us wanted to be something extraordinary, but knew deep down it may never quite work out>”

What I meant was, I knew. I didn’t mind either. I always saw something honourable and even desirable about being ordinary.

When I was fifteen I was torn between options. I wanted to get married, have six children and live in the country baking bread, keeping hens and raising artists.

The other option was to be a teacher. I understood I would need to make myself a living, that I was unlikely to get into astronaut school, given that I was too fat to be an air hostess and also decided to take German instead of Physics. Xenolinguistics would be brilliant but I am still waiting on NASA discovering (or admitting to) more than evidence of water on Mars billions of years ago implying that there may have been organisms there once, or fossilised nanobacteria in meteorites.

Teaching appealed to me on a number of levels. I had had a happy experience at primary school, and thought teachers were great. I liked keeping an eye on younger children. Finally primary school teaching did not require specialisation in a single subject. You didn’t become a maths teacher or an English teacher or a biology teacher. You just were a teacher, and taught everything. That suited me completely because I was what the call an “all-rounder” (and not just because of my endomorphic propensities).

So there I was being a sensible teenager, a thing of vanishingly small probability. But I listened to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” on the radio and knew that in an infinite universe anything was possible, and indeed could even be extrapolated from a fairy cake. So I also knew it was possible, if improbable, that dreams could come true.

I wanted to be either a full time mum or a teacher because they were realistic options that I thought I might achieve. What I dreamed of being was different.

No one asks you that, though, do they? They don’t say “What do you dream of being when you grow up?”

I dreamed of being a time traveller, or the first person to walk on Mars of the Moons of Saturn or an as yet undiscovered planet out past Alpha Centauri. I dreamed of being a famous explorer, a starship captain, of discovering the cure for cancer in the Amazon rain forest, or the cure for war at a Tibetan monastery high in the Himalayas. I dreamed of saving the rhino and the giant panda and the Siberian tiger. I dreamed of being a witch who could cast spells to bring people to their senses, solve murders and thwart evil villains in their lairs. I dreamed of going back and stopping Hitler. I dreamed, you see, of making a difference.

Some days I still do. Mostly I encourage other, younger, folk to dream. “It’s too late for me,” I try to tell them, “but you can still do it. You have time.”

Pathetic, my dears. Absolutely pathetic.

Why should I give up just because time and gravity have ganged up on me? In the end someone has to beat the odds. “Look at Catherine Cookson,” I tell myself. “She only wrote her first novel in her forties.”

Well, we haven’t had any poetry in the Bag o’ Bits ™ for a few days now, so I’ll let Milton chip in. In his poem, “On His Blindness”, particularly appealing to me given my own struggles with visual decline, he wrote:

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.

Milton was a bit of a bore to my mind, but my dears, he was right and sometimes we must be patient. It’s a pain, I know, and I detest it. I am not a person with great reserves of patience. It’s as well that I became neither a full time mum nor a teacher. I can see I am not suited for such things. Milton knew what his talent was, and was frustrated at not being able to use it fully. I am yet to discover mine, and so am frustrated at not using it fully. Life, eh?

Today I remembered that bright, hot feeling I had at fifteen when the world lay before me to be plundered for experiences. I plundered a little. I am glad of that. I didn’t choose a path and follow it, but came adventurously by winding, unexpected roads. That has been the fun. I’m keeping a blindfold on, because knowing what comes next would be too dull.

It seems a bit of a paradox that a bright future is best seen with a blindfold, but that’s just the way it is, out here on the Moons of Saturn.