My Vodafone box stopped working as it does every year or so. It took 3 weeks to get a replacement – thanks to my laziness, and the incompetence of Vodafone and GLS, and the intervention of Satan. As in the past, i adapted very quickly, i think because i didn’t have internet at home till i was 31, and i now get too much social contact in my job, read only my Kindle on the trains & buses, and so relish a quiet evening with a paper book and some whisky and a pipe, and albums rather than youtube song-hopping. i don’t have a smartphone so was only briefly connected to the irreal, a few minutes for email at McLingua each day.

This time i feel i wholly transitioned to the 19th Century, feeling no desire to email or surf the internet, only some irritation that i couldn’t check the (Englishly changeable) weather or if the trains were running on time. The internet is so involved in things today that in these 3 weeks i felt i’d gone back in time to gloriously waistcoated Europe, with a mad Kaiser running about goring the unwary with his moustaches and spiked helmet, and the Tzar gobbling Fabergé eggs for breakfast, and Queen Victoria drinking tea, because she was sensible. In this time i re-read The Lord of the Rings, and somehow managed to actually enjoy an entire Wagner opera. i also discovered that you can use Vat 69 as a blending platform – it’s a cheap but good blend, 15 € in my local shop – but i added a glass of a peated Connemara and found the taste vastly improved.

One of my students today asked what i would like engraved on my tombstone. i said i just want to disappear and be forgotten, when the time comes, and would prefer my body to be cast into the ocean. However, i think it would be okay to write “you can use Vat 69 to make your own blends”, this being the most important wisdom i have to impart.

i made some notes in my re-reading of LoTR and may write some of them up here, to spite you.