Thursday, April 17, 2008


Well, this particular sojourn in this fascinating but exhausting and somehow soul-killing (meant metaphorically, of course) city is coming to an end.

The inescapable sense of impending economic meltdown currently swirling around has added to an unaccustomed atmosphere. It's like a dreadful hangover mingled with regret and shame about the previous night's wild antics. Over the last couple weeks, the media have been very good at evoking an image, if you will, of a nation that -- in an economic sense -- is waking up after a very excessive party and finding itself in a puddle of its own vomit.

Not a pretty sight.

Still, I predict a tenacious and very tedious media meme will soon emerge that urges Britons to embrace a new lifestyle trend that will likely be called something like 'The New Modesty' or something.

So there'll be something for the professional chatterers to chatter on about. And that's good news, I think we can agree.

Enough of that. I've had a couple of productive weeks, research-wise, and they've also been pleasant on a personal level as I've gotten to see a couple of people I have quite liked seeing.

One is an old friend, and another is a new friend. And I must thank the latter for his very kind comments about me. It seems that I managed to fool him into thinking I was a normal and indeed quite worthwhile human being. Good to know that my deceptive skills are still operative.

I also finally managed today -- between some frantic reading and copying at the British Library -- to renew my membership at the nearby Grant Museum of Zoology, meaning that my 'adopted' axolotl remains safely under my care...or at least will continue to have a plaque with my name on it next to the little jar of formaldehyde that contains him.

For some reason (or probably for many reasons) I like that place. They deserve support. And they happen to be in a building named for one bright chap who has recently made a bit of an internet splash.

Anyway, this time tomorrow I'll be back home.

I am so looking forward to that.

And the redstarts are merely one -- and far from the most important -- reason.

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