Saturday, September 16, 2017


This is our kitchen windowsill at the moment. Do you like Dave's method of storing apples? Kind of sculptural, right?

Yesterday was a bizarre day. First there was the dud bomb on the tube train, which fortunately didn't do more damage. It rattled everyone, and a witness was quoted in the newspaper despairing that "nowhere is safe." But I think rather than feeling like we're all in danger, we should consider that everywhere is mostly safe. Yes, there is a modicum of risk, but walking down the street or riding on the tube, the odds are still overwhelmingly in our favor. I don't want terrorists to get more mileage out of this kind of activity than they deserve. (And yes, Dave and I rode the tube home.)

Then, to add to the bizarreness, we learned that a chilled giant iguana was found earlier this week languishing by the side of a highway in Scotland. Fortunately, he was rescued.

Dave and I had planned to go to the annual school trustees' reception last night, which was being held at Christie's auction house in Westminster. But I'd been developing a sore throat all afternoon, and Dave didn't really want to go, either, and the dog was so happy to see us when we got home -- so we just decided to stay put. I'm glad I did because my throat got much worse. I think it's just a cold, but I'm sucking on Strepsils like there's no tomorrow.

I learned a new expression this week. A couple of ninth-graders who came to my desk for one reason or another got excited about something -- I can't remember what -- and one said, "That's so clutch!"

"Clutch?" I asked him. And yes, it turns out, this is a thing that people say now. People his age, anyway. According to the slang dictionary, one of its definitions is "conveniently awesome."

As the kids left the library, I heard them laughing about my ignorance of the teenage vernacular.

"Generation gap," one of them said.

And since this is already such a strange mishmash of a blog post, let me throw in this photo, which I took from Google Street View. I happened to be checking out the street scenes in a little town on the Colombia-Peru-Brazil border called Leticia -- this was after reading a news story about native tribes in that area being endangered by gold mining. Street View happened to take me past this shop window, which I found pretty funny -- the gaudy flower arrangement, the assertively positioned mannequin. (If you'd also like to visit Leticia virtually, the shop is here. There's a second mannequin, also well worth a glance.)

What can I say? I'm easily amused.


  1. I remember a few years back we saw a fox chained up on some programme or other and I said to my teenage Grandson that it was wicked. He then replied that it was not wicked it was cruel. His version of wicked was not the same as mine, lol

  2. So who ate the apple on the jug? Or did it fall inside? Your post touches on the topic of fear ( the dud bomb on the tube) and how effectively it can be used which was the gist of a radio program I listened to this morning. The program also covered the effective use of fear as a political tool.
    Fear used in any form is a cheap,low tactic.
    Just my opinion....

  3. I love the phrase "assertively positioned." You're such a good writer -- and I actually love the strange and meandering posts best of all! I hope your throat heals quickly. I'm going to ask Oliver about the word "clutch." I haven't heard it, so it must be a British youth thing? Do you ever hear the word "cringey?" That's used constantly around here to describe certain actions and behaviors of adults like myself.

  4. That Streetview photo... it's so, so clutch! Actually I thought that saying something was "clutch" would be connected with the operation of a motor vehicle. I wonder why people feel the need to come up with new words to express approval. We have had "wicked", "bad" and "awesome" for example. I wonder what new words are brewing. Hey man, did you see that new movie? It was really septic!

  5. It is important, I think, for each generation to have its own slang, it's secret passwords, if you will. I highly approve.
    I feel quite sorry for Iggy the Iguana. Scotland is so far from its native land. How confused it must be.

  6. those kids will get theirs. eventually a younger generation will laugh at them and say the same thing. as Abe Simpson said, "I used to be 'with it' but then 'with it' changed".

  7. Well, Dave has my attention on his window sill. Color, variety , shape and those apples. Nicely done DAve.

  8. That apple storage system is so clutch!

  9. This post is bad, man. (Meaning good.) Confused? Me too.

  10. I love a meandering post with apples and street views of faraway places. Fear is an interesting thing. My twin brother and I were talking about North Korea's nuclear capabilities and what it's like to be living here on the west coast of California. We laughed and laughed. There's nothing we can do but laugh, and hope for smarter elections everywhere.

  11. PS-- I forgot to write, I hope you're feeling better.

  12. I love Dave's apple arrangement....very artistic! And, I'm going to listen for more uses of "so clutch" That's a new one to me. Maybe it hasn't reached the US shores yet. I hope you have that sore throat on the run.

  13. Yes, you are...but that is one of several favorite things about you.

  14. Those apples look so "clutch"! :-)

    Have a great weekend. :-)

  15. People who are easily amused are my favourite kind. (Maybe because I am the same way.)

    And, whoa, that second mannequin - looks a bit like a lady of the night ...

    Hope your sore throat is better now.

  16. Gargle with salt water! (Channeling my father - ha!). Why the apples on bottles? Just artistic, or is there some other reason? I ask because I just put mine on a platter on the counter - maybe I should get a collection of bottles instead :)