Friday, November 12, 2010


Last Friday, as Adrian and myself watched David Attenborough's "First Life" on BBC-2, Clare had crawled away to bed. This evening hibernation grabbed her even earlier and she retired during the Elgar feature on BBC-4, at 8 a.m. (where she slumbers as I write).

This is monumental incompetence on both our parts as it turns out that this evening is the Wells Carnival, prepared for over many a long week. Endless floats were passing the end of our street only an hour ago: we had completely forgotten.

For the first time this year the weather has turned cold, with gales and driving rain. The central heating keeps the house warm but lowers the relative humidity leading to 'dry air'. The result for me is dry skin and sore eyes. I have draped wet towels on the radiators and placed a tray of water in front of the gas fire but any amelioration is slight. Another annual ritual around now is that I start to vainly scour shopping sites for humidifiers.

I'm three quarters of the way through Shing-Tung Yau's book "The Shape of Inner Space". The author is the Yau of Calabi-Yau spaces, a Fields medallist and he writes a fascinating account of the birth and evolution of string theory. Excuse my bias but it all makes a lot more sense when you hear it from a mathematician. I intend to write a careful and thorough review when I've finished. Watch this space etc.

By the way, Hi Adrian if you're reading this. I hope you're now settled in at Sun Peaks and that the snow will be deep, permanent and soft.