I noticed yesterday that this blog had become far too technical, with lots of posts about abstruse topics such as Oracle databases and Linux distros. Time, therefore, to apologise for that and to do something about it.
First, whilst I wouldn’t normally share this sort of thing with anyone, I think it appropriate to announce the fact that two nights ago, I had my first-ever lucid dream. This is a peculiar state that I first heard about when I was at Uni in the early 1980s: you are completely asleep, you are dreaming, and you are completely aware of the fact that you are dreaming. I was totally aware of the fact, for example, that I couldn’t move my fingers (immobility being a feature of even normal dream states), and that TOH was breathing er… “rather heavily” at my side! I also knew that Byron Road County Primary School couldn’t possibly look that way these days and that I would get into trouble if I walked past the headmaster’s office without putting my head round the door and saying hello. It is, as they say, a very strange state to be in altogether.
But the wonderful feature of this odd state is that you can control what you dream about. So, naturally, I did what all lucid dreamers tend to do the first time… and jumped out of the nearest window. Then, you see, you get to fly. I mean really fly: wind through the hair, arms outstretched, diving and soaring -with not the slightest hint of an aeroplane in sight. Flight au naturel, in short, as an eagle would do it… utterly exhilerating. In fact, it was a little too exhilerating, because I was so excited by the proceedings that I woke myself up, thus bringing my maiden flight to a sudden halt! This was a bit of a shame, because I’d planned that my next stop was to the pit of a world-renowned orchestra, which I would conduct in some serious Benjamin Britten. That, however, will have to wait for the next time.
If you’ve never had a lucid dream, I would encourage you to try to have one. It even turns out that there is a website that will help you have one! I can recommend the reality checks that page suggests, by the way: I noticed, for example, that I cannot read music in a dream, the notes going all indistinct and vague (which makes the chances of me conducting a good version of anything written by Britten pretty remote, I suppose!). Next time I look at a piece of vague, indistinct music I will either think, “Lay off the Whiskey!”, or “I’m dreaming!” (or, I suppose, that I’m holding a piece of Stockhausen in my hand).
Anyway, enough of lucid dreams (though I can tell you I’m as excited at finally having one as I was getting my first glimpse, after 30+ years of trying, of Saturn and noticing that, cor blimey! it’s got rings!!)
The other thing I thought I should share by way of utterly non-technicalities is the latest from the ever-growing clan of Wallabies. Ever-growing, incidentally, because Rachel is pregnant yet again.
I’ve had some emails wondering whether we’re doing the right thing, plying these marsupials with bread. Well, I offer this by way of evidence that it’s not just bread we give them (though bread tends to be the first thing they choose to eat!):
That’s Chandler, bread, birdseed and a rather nice rocket salad… and she picked the bread herself.
But it’s not just bread and birdseed (or even rocket salad). Oh no. Boise is rather partial to something completely different:
That will be him with his head in a bag of cat food, then! That would be the Ocean Platter flavour of cat food, too. I was unaware that wallabies would eat fish, but there you go!! I’d like to be able to say that I’ve checked the ingredients for this particular brand of cat food biscuit and discovered that it’s all lovely stuff that even the fussiest of wallabies (or cats) would be mad to turn their noses up at, but I’m afraid the ingredients list starts off with “Crude Protein 30%”, descends almost immediately to “Crude Fat 15%” and even takes in “Ash 8%”. Not exactly appetising stuff, methinks… but Boise thinks otherwise, apparently.
But he can be rather more ‘refined’ about the process, too:
That’s Boise being s a little more polite about it, disdaining the bag and preferring the ceramic bowl with insightful commentary! Classy, I think!
The cats, incidentally, do not apparently mind their food being purloined by what, to them, must seem like giant rats. But then again, I wouldn’t argue with a giant rat, so I don’t suppose they’re going to start, either!
The results of all this exoitic food are plain to see:
Oh, OK, it’s nearly twilight and wallaby eyes seem to be particularly prone to what, in humans, would be called ‘red eye’ but which in the marsupial world should probably be called ’silver eye’. The real point about this picture is not the un-Earthly look of a wallaby’s eyes when reflecting flashlight but that we see Chandler in the front of the picture being vigorously, er… “stroked” by Boise right behind her… and Boise appears to be wearing a particularly satisfied grin. Yes, it’s post-coital statisfaction that looms large over Boise’s face -and it’s nice to see that Chandler kept nibbling her bread throughout the proceedings!
Exotic the food may be, in other words, but it’s certainly not putting a damper on anyone’s normal, healthy non-food appetites!
Which no doubt explains this picture:
That looks like four wallabies: Rachel, Chandler, Boise and Ben. But, in fact, Rachel is carrying yet another Joey (as yet unnamed), so that’s a picture of five of them. I’m open to names for the new member of the troupe, incidentally, though names of Friends characters are now rather passé.
So there you have it. Dreams, Wallabies and very little Databases. I hope that counts as a sufficient apology for letting the technical push aside the non-technical!