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I think I need to give people flowers again.

Last night I went on that trip to the seaside I keep thinking about. The tourist centre cum-railway terminus was painted dark municipal blue and smelt of cheap paint and condensation. A single room off to one side was designated a museum, but the items in it were of such mind-numbing dullness that I can't name a single display; the coastal path was pretty enough but I set out late, and couldn't catch up with my friends, and besides, the weather was turning threatening, so I came back into town. There was quite a good view out across the bay, where masses of rainclouds were descending like grey veils, and the haze had spun the midday sun into a sickly yellow glow. The wind was getting up.

Abruptly, some of the clouds cleared, and outlined against the stormy yellow light were a mass of ships, all crowded together as if a giant hand had swept across the surface of the bay, pushing them before it and behind them the surface of the sea was sloping upwards into the clouds. As I tried to understand what I was seeing, the boats suddenly rose up and over a vast swell of glittering green-brown water, scored across by two huge diagonal waves, and heading straight for us.

I stopped looking, and headed fast across the concrete floor towards the rear doors. There were other people there; somebody's baby was squalling, but I didn't try to save it. The water hit before I got to the door, but I brought up my feet and kicked forward, and the swing-door swung and I landed in the car-park, where the water quickly ran away down the slopes and bunnies (it was one of those towns that's all hill).

There was a row of shops out back, and I had this thought about finding a petshop so I could warm myself up and find shelter at the same time as checking up on the animals, but the shops were all shut up. Goodness alone knows what had happened to the people out on the coastal path. I met Alastair and John (in Alastair's car) on the slippery cobbles of the main street; they were getting out of town, and offered me a lift. But the weather was getting worse, and, worried about how safe it would be to be in a car, I declined.

I ran into Damian on the road out of town; he was on a mission to save a rare piece of mossland habitat from a smallholder, so we had to do that before getting to shelter; I distracted the guy with chat about chickens, while Damian lifted a sample turf. I wrapped it in newspaper, and we went back to the main street (a steep slope that led up to the terminus, and the sea beyond) where I found my little sister George, aged 6, mucking around on the cobbles. The weather was getting worse.

It was one of those streets with houses right on it; to the disapproval of other people out in the street, I yanked open a door at random and pulled Damian and George inside and slammed the door behind us. As is common in such houses, there was a tiny porch, where we crouched with the wellies and junk mail while the sea ran down the slope outside. The house owners probably didn't even notice us. The worst of the water gone, we went looking for actual shelter, and found some gougy hotel with cheap red carpets where they'd probably charge us triple room-rate for a tiny crouching space.

Still, at least I'd saved George; important, as she's grown up and has kids of her own, now.

Hm, that reminds me of something. Do I have a recurring dream, now?

Speaking of nightmares, another of mine has recently come to London Zoo; The giant lizards are being housed at London Zoo in a purpose-built lair, and do glance over at "see also". Those wacky Komodo Dragons, always getting in trouble.

Got to an out-of-town party at the weekend, here's hoping it'll inspire me to do more. Ping brought strawberry-flavoured mini kit-kats, there was a blackbird nesting in the Virginia creeper, and Adrian and I disovered that (party host) waistcoatmark's barbecue was happy to carry on cooking, even in the pouring rain. Is it just me, or are trains really dirty nowadays?

"Are weblogs inherently “democratizing,” in the sense of giving voice to diverse populations of users? The empirical findings reported for gender and age at the beginning of this essay suggest that they are. Yet public commentators on weblogs, including many bloggers themselves, collude in reproducing gender and age-based hierarchy in the blogosphere" ... [continues]. (via green_amber)

Dark secrets. Well, ok, not that dark really.

Bert & Ernie
Bert & Ernie's Gay Love Affair

Look, everyone knows you two are lovebirds. Why
not do the brave thing and admit it to the
world? The times are kinder nowadays. There
may be the odd ultraconservative bigwig or
overprotective mom, but so what? Piss on 'em.
Come on out of the closet. It's ok.

Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


( 10 worms — Feed the birds )
12th Jul, 2004 09:57 (UTC)
I think I need to give people flowers again.

I would have to agree...

Adrian and I disovered that (party host) waistcoatmark's barbecue was happy to carry on cooking

Adrian was there? I must have been drunker than I thought...

12th Jul, 2004 10:00 (UTC)
different Adrian
?blonde Adrian? ... don't know his surname.
12th Jul, 2004 11:51 (UTC)
Arf! (Scary, Actually-)
Snuffy's Suicide Attempts

Poor baby, life is rough for you, huh? No one
seems to see you, no one notices your
pain--except for your friend Big Bird, but he's
alway off hanging out with his other friends.
You wish you were him, all happy and curious
and popular and bright yellow. You feel like
his shadow anymore, like the only reason you
exist is to amuse him. It's hard being
somebody's imaginary friend. But stop trying
to kill yourself--imaginary people can't kill
themselves. Sorry. And hey, maybe tomorrow
you'll feel better!
Someday people will see you, I promise.

Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

They got me bang ta rights...
12th Jul, 2004 12:10 (UTC)
I wish I had dreams like that. I just get palmed off with sodding furry aubergines. It's not fair. I should complain. Oh, I am complaining. Never mind.

There are some very odd inconsistencies in web writing. Initially the number of right-wing weblogs was much higher than the left (the argument was that these were viewpoints unrepresented by the mainstream media, but god knows how that ever applied to the US). Then there's language; there are more sites in Portuguese, Farsi and Polish than German, Italian or Spanish.
12th Jul, 2004 13:46 (UTC)
furry aubergines are pretty damn surreal, imo
... one of the arguments I've seen commenting on this particular article is that it's merely showing an early-adopter profile; that the hi-tech male academics were the first on the block, and that blog-use will become more representative in time.

Another suggestion is that use is exaggerated in thinly dispersed social groups, like academics, politicos and people really into crochet. If this is genuinely the case, then less people speaking your language might carry some advantages ....
13th Jul, 2004 16:47 (UTC)
Re: furry aubergines are pretty damn surreal, imo
It's interesting I've just found out you linked the same article you did (later than you! but independently!). I got it on a law acdemic mailing list. Where dd u find it? Just curious.
14th Jul, 2004 05:13 (UTC)
uh ...
didn't I get it from you? I got it off my friends list but by the time I'd finished reading it couldn't remember whose link it was. Sorry bout that :]
14th Jul, 2004 10:25 (UTC)
Re: furry aubergines are pretty damn surreal, imo
The political imbalance issue certainly seemed attributable to an early adopter profile, but gender seems to be more of a deeply rooted problem.

On language, the explanation I've heard is that many European countries rely more heavily on state provision than local and private initiatives. So France can construct something like the minitel system but is much slower than other states at producing online bodies and sites.
13th Jul, 2004 16:48 (UTC)
Well Portuguese is the langage of Brazil ie enormous. This get soverlooked..

In fact most weblogs should be in Mandarin. i wonder if they will be soonish..
14th Jul, 2004 10:21 (UTC)
I had indeed overlooked Brazil. Chinese is listed as the tenth largest language, though in time I agree it will grow to one or two (depending on how many Chinese sites are written in English and for what period).
( 10 worms — Feed the birds )