Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First fire

In my tiny world, it's a momentous evening. I've just lit up the first fire in the chimney to herald in the approaching cold season. Sophia's eyes have turned green, miraculously or, rather, photographically. It will be the final winter of my 60s. Next year, I'll be an old man in his 70s. Let me be truthful: an older man... like every other man, for that matter, who has ever spent an instant in the Cosmos. So, there's nothing special about me.

On cool momentous evenings like this, I hardly need to point out that I'm an inveterate Internet user. And I find myself in contact with various layers of communicators. There are those—like close members of my family, my adolescent friend Bruce Hudson in Australia, or more recent friends such as Natacha and Corina, just to name a few—who appear to be tuned in regularly to what I write in my Antipodes blog, be it serious or silly, or somewhere in between. That's normal, because this blog is intended, first and foremost, as a vector of personal communication. Let's not forget that I only started it, in 2007, because an Aussie bushwhacker ISP [Internet service provider] named Big Pond refused to deliver emails to my dear aunt Nancy in Sydney, alleging that anything coming out of France was probably evil. Then there are other layers of communication, less personal, more global, even universal...

In the context of my Internet contacts, there's a breakdown between global matters and things that concern only me. For example, when my aunt evokes the question of whether or not there's a dot between lucky and pierre in their curious email address [a problem that I haven't yet solved], that's strictly in the personal domain. But, when I write about President Obama getting a big prize, and Prince Jean getting a big job, we're obviously in a bigger communications domain.

I'm often amazed and amused by the apparent speed at which things move forwards (a fuzzy concept, I admit) in these two domains... in parallel, as it were. I often have the spooky impression that my blog is in fact advancing with giant's steps whereas the rest of the Obama/Sarkozy universe, as reflected in the media news, is almost stationary... like those expert track cyclists who can stand still for long minutes, in a balancing act, on a curved timber surface, before dashing forth in a startling burst of energy. Normally, one would consider that, at every instant, there should be a million more things happening in the outside world than in my private universe. But I'm rarely struck by overpowering evidence to this effect. On the contrary...

Often, I feel that all my personal energy references revert to bikes, just as all my personal literary references revert to Rainer Maria Rilke, and my song references to Jacques Brel. The Internet gives me the impression that I'm still evolving, but the first fire of winter reminds me that I've never really gone beyond bikes, Brigge, Brel and all that ancient stuff, with a little bit of computing thrown in as spices.


  1. William, perhaps the lower pipe was installed at a time when the water level was down, ie., below the original ceramic pipe so that the residents at Gamone could continue to obtain drinking water. Spring activity is dependent on air pressure, so during high pressure systems springs tend to run more slowly or not at all.

  2. Your analysis of the situation is spot on, Bruce. The fellow who installed the rubber pipe (I think I know him: René Uzel senior) was striving to obtain water for his family at Gamone. So, I shouldn't denigrate his efforts. As I said, this whole question of water is a truly sacred subject... as you know perfectly well, my dear Australian friend. (Thanks for the news about the fire at Brooms Head.)

  3. Apologies William; it seems I have posted my comments to the wrong post - should have been to the article on 'Spring-water questions and answers.' I trust you will be able to correct or delete my mistake as you may have realised that I am not 'blog' literate. Perhaps it has something to do with the old man syndrome, but I can assure you that being 70 is fortunately not a whole lot different from being 69 years of age - just as well....
    We still have fires at home (mainly in the evening) even half way through October. The temperature ranges are the problem. Today the forecast is a range of 5 to 16 deg Celsius. tomorrow 2-16, followed by 1-18, 0-20,1-23,3-27 and then 8-29 next Wednesday, so we still have frosts here.

  4. It's all very well sitting around in front of the fire with Sophia - but there hasn't been a blog for more than week!

  5. This winter I will be entering my sixties, so don't feel bad! Wish I were toasting my toes by a French fire in the French Alps. That would be heaven, to me, no matter what the age! Love reading your blog. Thanks so much for posting! CT