Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More dreams

I walk into school. A woman says something to me in a language (perhaps Spanish) and I say "yes OK", even though I don't understand, what she says. I walk into the building

I give some papers to a woman. She reads the papers, and then goes into another room, where there is is a child. She starts shouting at him about him being a cheat. I think it would have been better if I understood the woman outside and the school and I had done what she asked. Perhaps giving the paper to the woman was the wrong thing to do.

Is this my future? As a teacher in a school in Spain or Mexico. Could things be worse? Well they could be. I have been listening to a radio adaptation of "the drowned world" by the Ballard on the Iplayer. In that book the sun shines straight into a persons mind and alights the ancient mind. My room bleeds white light in the morning into my soul. I wake around 6, because the sun is blazing. I have tried sleeping with my head away from the sun, but like an addict, I like to wake with the glowering power of the sun.

I find I have to write my dreams in the morning, otherwise they decay during the day.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thoughts on Peter Davison on the radio

I don't want to give the impression that I am obsessed by Dr Who, but one of the reasons it is taking me so long to write talks is that I first write the talk. The length will be 50 slides maybe. Then I usually decide I have to make some changes, because people in Germany may not be so familiar with the mythology of Dr Who. So then I am back down to 35 slides.

The reason I mention is that the BBC radio is doing a series of episodes of Dr Who with Peter Davison. What I remember is that Davison betrayed the Dr Who series, in someway that I can't remember. I still feel the anger and the need for vengeance, but I just can't remember what for. Perhaps it is a false memory inserted by the master. The radio series is great, and is actually quite dark, so I think I was wrong about Davison.

The main thing to take from this post is that I am not obsessed by Dr Who, in way, shape or form, at all.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More dreams

On Tuesday I had many strange dreams. In one I was having a big argument with someone about some arcane part of the English language. Difficult to believe, but as a native English speaker, I am often asked to help with English. This would scare my more literate friends in the UK, who would trust me to choose between the word "bastard" and "wanker" in a text, but little else.

The next part of the dream involved me walking into a Doctor's surgery. The doctor was dressed in tweeds and Scottish. There was also a couple at a separate table in the same room, so the consultation was not private. Luckily I woke up before he could ask me about my drinking.

Dreams of people past

Last night I dreamt that I went to the pub with a person I grew up with. This person sadly died a few years ago. He sat down with some women and started to chat them up. I went to the bar and got the drinks in. For some reason he wanted cider. I bourght two pints of cider, but started drinking both, so I had to get another pint for my friend. I had just started to talk to one of the women, when I woke up.

This was a strange dream, because my friend gave up drinking 20 years ago and was happily married. I expect it was a guilt deam for not staying in contact.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

On alkohol frei Bier

You have to be very careful with what you drink in Germany. When I last stayed in Germany, perhaps over 10 years ago, I did try to search out different things in German culture. For example, I would try out many different beers from the supermarket. Sometimes I would open a new can of beer only for the beer to taste like shit. I would then look at the label and see the dreaded words "alkohol frei".

This time around I keep seeing adverts on TV for "alkohol frei beer". I kept thinking that I should try out this beer -- just to see if it tasted any better. The world is in such a terrible shape - nothing ever seems to get better. I just hoped that technology that produces alcohol free beer has at least improved to the point where it is drinkable.

By accident I ended up buying two bottles of some brand of "alkohol frei beer". The accident was that I didn't read the label on the bottles. The taste was OK, perhaps slightly weird. Given that I sometimes drink Carling beer when I am in the UK, it wasn't so bad. My faith in human progress is restored.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Last week I went out with a group of friends to see "Thor" on Tuesday last week. We drove to Cologne where there is a cinema that shows films in English. This was the first film I have seen in 3D. Parts of the 3D stuff was amazing, but the quality wasn't always consistent. The film was fun -- which is the important part

The director of the film was Kenneth Branagh. He started out as Shakespearean actor and director, so you could say that Holloywood has broken him. Luckily Mark Kemode has dealt with that issue.

Mr Nice

My brother gave me "Mr Nice" by Howard Marks for Christmas. This was story of his life. He was a big smuggler of dope into various countries. He certainly had a lot of fun setting deals up, but in the end he was busted by the DEA from the US.

The main thing I got out of the book was the importance of an Oxbridge education. When ever things were going badly, it would be brought up that he had attended Oxford in the late 60s and everything would be smoothed out. This is why I could never be a drug smuggler. Even though Imperial College has shot up in reputation since I was there, I don't have the connections with the establishment to get me out of trouble.

Hair gel

On Friday I had my hair cut. I go to a barbers close to the railway station, where I don't need an appointment I thnk most of the people who work there are from Turkish familes.

Even in the UK I am never one for giving detailed instructions on how I want my hair to look like. In my home town of Knutsford, there was one barber, where he didn't even ask me how I wanted my hair cut. He would just do "short back and sides." Perfect for me. In the barbers on Friday I heard one man ask for 1cm of hair to be cut. I have read that giving detailed measurements is normal in Germany for the amount of hair to be removed.

Anyway the young woman cut my hair on Friday was satisfied with my saying "Kurz". At the end of the cut, she put her electric razor on my eyebrows. This has never happened to me before. And then she put her hands in the hair gel. In the UK I always refuse hair gel. What if need to get into a fight -- I can't do that with hair gel on. Anyway I didn't know how to say in German, "no fucking way to hair gel." But I ended up with slightly spiky hair. I felt modern perhaps even a little "hot."

Sunday, May 08, 2011

On non-thinking

I was reading an article on the Guardian on intellectuals over the weekend. I vaguely thought, I would mind being one of these intellectuals, so I thought I should bang out a post about some pressing issue of the day. Unfortunately, my mind went completely blank. I was free of any thoughts, let alone any deep thoughts.

What I need is some grand theoretical framework such as Marxism that I can use when my brain stops working. I could have put the recent electoral results in my framework and that would have hidden my idea less state. Is this a profound insight, or just traditional intellectual bashing by an Englishman?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

On the death of bees in Germany

Yesterday I felt a bit strange. I was constipated for most of the day. Things were not helped by the fact that the University seems to want to close many of the toilets close to my office.

Although I guess that any readers are not particularly interested, or perhaps even slightly revolted by my struggles in the restroom, I should say that it is traditional for an Englishman to answer "as regular as clockwork -- there are no problems with my bowl movement", when he is asked by a doctor how well he is.

So I was feeling blocked, as I walked into the forest that I must walk through to get home. I suddenly saw a lot of dead flies on the ground. There were a huge number of bees and flies flying around 10cm from the ground. I thought that perhaps some beehive had been destroyed and the bees were just confused. I was slightly nervous that a bee might sting me, but I usually just press a cold can of beer on the stung area, and the pain is usually minor anyway.

I tried to remember what I knew about bees. There was a Dr Who series that had as a subplot, the death of lots of bees, which some implication for the end of the Universe. I had read that bees were dying out in reality for some unknown reason. So essentially I had no useful information, so I carefully walked through the forest of dead insects, went home, and closed my door. As Voltaire tells us "we must cultivate our garden", even though this may be hard with no insects.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Anni Rossi

The video is of Anni Rossie. I think she is playing a Viola, something that the web tells me is a violin with a non-standard size. I like her sound anyway.