Sunday 18 August 2019

Expanding universes and under-sink cupboards

Under the sink . . . it is a horrible universe in its own right. Stuff dwells in there, and it is only visited in order to find the dustpan and brush, a new sponge or the dog-rice.
This morning as I got the tin of rice out I realised a small lake had formed underneath it. Further investigation revealed a leak from part of the plastic sink 'gubbins' where a small piece of grey pipe had become unattached thus allowing a large percentage of any water going down the plug hole to end up in the cupboard rather than where it was supposed to be going.
Mark came and peered at it then retuned to the piano to play a Chopin Waltz. Lovely, but not overly helpful in solving the sink problem.
I prodded Youtube into life and selected a TED talk by Lord Martin Rees, (baron of Ludlow, member of parliament, and eminent cosmologist/astrophysicist) on the fate of mankind in the 21st Century and got down to trying to fix (bodge) the pipe back into where it was supposed to be.
Youtube algorithms had decided on the perfect choice for scratching one's head over leaky sink joints: the birth of the universe - possibly other ones simultaneously; the expanding of our universe, dark matter, possible forth spacial dimension, and, a wonderful fact that I shall certainly stock in my mind - if you represent the Earth's lifetime by a single year, the 21st Century would be a quarter of a second in June . . .
Suddenly the leak seemed less annoying. I stuffed a piece of old t-shirt into the hole, put a plastic box under the drippy bit, threw stuff away and shut the door on it all. Nick the builder is coming to look at our collapsing gate tomorrow so perhaps he could work out why the bit of grey tube has departed from the rest of the sink apparatus.


                                                          Black hole of under the sink

                   Lord Martin Rees who I expect has a more organised under-sink cupboard than us

Thursday 8 August 2019

Hottest day ever in Paris

And we were there in an apartment the size of a wardrobe which was part of an attic - chambre de bonne (maid's room) and the fan broke within three minutes.
I texted the air B and B owner woman who said, and I quote: 'I'm off on holiday, good luck.' When I complained - rigorously - she said there had been a problem of stock and she hadn't been able to buy one. I implored her to ring a friend to lend us one - nope. Not happening. You could try the housekeeper, she suggested. Housekeeper arrived said, 'mon dieu, 'it's like a furnace in here, but sorry I don't have a spare fan.'
Suffice to say, we didn't sleep despite draping ourselves in wet towels.
Anyway . . . gay Paris. It was all wonderful despite the various incredibly sweaty tram and metro journeys to and from galleries and museums - we spent about four hours looking at Buddha statues in the Guimet museum; partly as they were fascinating but also as the museum's air-conditioning was particularly effective.
We also saw, and heard a brilliant exhibition on the history of electro music at the City de la Musique. Walking to the building from the metro I experienced the same fear that I had done while visiting Death Valley - not that there was endless sand and cactus but the heat was as, or almost, as intense. That sort of primal fear that if one doesn't find shelter within minutes one would most certainly peg out.
Global warming monsieur Trump? Nah . . . course not.
The next day was due to be slightly less hot but we were already moving off to London where it was forecasted as light drizzle and about 22 degrees.


The rooftop view from our chamber of Hell - actually, would have been perfect at any other time in the year.


A street on the Isle de St Louis - at 5.00 am. The only time to really enjoy walking about . . .


                 An hour or so later, one of the cafes starting up for the day


        Notre Dame's reconstruction underway


              One of many serene buddhas


                        Early LIKE

                An interesting bit of pavement-claiming


A wonderful fountain which I put my feet in and almost put the rest of me in except several police were nearby water-spraying their horses.


                          A lovely archway


                  My favourite door and name of the trip


                            stupidest shop name of the trip


                  Part of the electro music expo


                       best graffiti


                   THE shopping cathedral


  and one of its bargains (4.500 euros . . . for a bag you could just about fit a phone and a lipstick in)

My favourite restaurant - where they still do the 'addition' on the paper table cloths


                            a man waiting for the metro

                               Au revoir, Paris