Feb. 20th, 2011 04:41 pm
marnanel: (Default)
A cat on a bed

Rio has been learning poems by Eleanor Farjeon and A. A. Milne, and reciting them to me. Impressively, when she makes mistakes they are starting not to affect meaning or metre. I am very proud of her.

The spring is beginning to arrive, and I'm feeling quite a lot better than I was. I'm reminded of the stories about how a hundred years ago kids would be sewn into their winter underwear in the autumn and cut out again in spring; leaving the winter behind feels like finally getting free of your winter underclothes must have felt. I was talking to Sumana earlier about my poem May and how I think of it this time of year, and how people seem to like its description of seasonal change, even though they perhaps often miss the extra meanings about Revelation 22.

My grandfather was buried on Friday. They put my sonnet into the order of service.

We found his medal collection: I thought you might like to see it.

I spent far too long yesterday hacking: something I love to do, and in a way it defines me, but if left to my own devices I would spend the whole day doing nothing else. That would be bad. Yesterday I started adapting the imgur integration to use the new API, and built part of a test harness I had been daydreaming about, and made a start on debianising some fonts I need, and played around with an idea I had for a LiveJournal/Dreamwidth to Atom adaptor which allows you to read friends-only posts in a desktop feed reader. (I call it ljferea. I may be the only person amused by this.) I also tried to explain things to someone who was creating a new programming language, and told the story of where Firinel's name comes from.

There's much more I'd like to write, but little time, and it's only a half-formed wish anyway.
marnanel: (Default)


Of your courtesy
Robert Dennis Thurman
father, grandfather, great-grandfather, councillor, architect, friend,
sometime Captain in the Corps of Royal Engineers,

who departed this life
10th February 2011
in the 93rd year of his age.

This day we lay the universe to rest:
behind this pair of eyes that lived and died
a mirror-image, faithfully expressed,
reflects a mirror-universe inside
all memories. This day we thank the Lord
for all these shining moments held within
this mind where human memories are stored.
And this shall be the moment they begin
to shatter, to become ten thousand stories
reflecting human life in all its beauty:
each smile, each poem, every sunset's glories,
that call to those remaining of their duty
to see this story speaks and never fails;
to call, recall again ten thousand tales.

Some links:Please also remember Joy, his wife of over sixty years, who must learn now to live without him.
marnanel: (Default)

This was a game of scratch cricket on Parker's Piece I watched from my hotel room window. The building in the foreground is Hobb's Pavilion.

Rupert Brooke wrote:

For Cambridge people rarely smile,
Being urban, squat, and packed with guile.

Gentle reader, am I urban, squat, and packed with guile?  I suppose I must be.  One thing I have learned anew during the past week is that I am indeed Cambridge people, and will probably always be so.  I feel more at home here than anywhere on earth, even the town in which I grew up.  I am the starfish and this is the sea, and I need to come back more regularly for fear of drying up.

On Friday night I went home by train to my parents' house, where we ate pie and drank beer.  On Saturday morning we went again to see my grandfather.  He seemed somehow older, far more than four days older: his eyes were tired and his speech lacked hope.  He talked to me about family history, and poetry, and the war.  When the others had left he asked me whether I was, in fact, happily married.  There was none of the solemn joking and laughter which usually fills his thoughts; he seems to be preparing to leave.  I told him I would try to be back in the autumn.  "If I'm spared," he said.

Later we went with my grandmother to the Crown in Shillington, where she bought us a very good lunch, and we ate it sitting in the sunshine while we talked.  The ringers in the belltower next to the pub were ringing call changes for a wedding throughout the meal: if you had decided to arrange a perfect meal for me as a treat, you would not have gone far wrong with this one.  I do worry about my grandmother, and how she will cope when her husband is gone.  I'm not sure how I can help.

My mother had kindly washed my clothes when I came back to their house.  I packed them up and returned to Cambridge, and slept for a while, then walked to Churchill where Collabora were throwing a party, with much food and good beer.  I left early and came back to the hotel to get ready to fly to Amsterdam tomorrow.  It seems so strange to be leaving.


marnanel: (Default)

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