Sunday, August 08, 2010
looking up, mouse, bag
The oak at the corner of The Grove is always worth looking up and into for its strength and general oakiness. It is of a variety that has very big, long leaves. I used to think that it was a Turkey oak, but now I am not so sure.
Of all the electronic bits and pieces that, depending on how you regard technology, nowadays, litter or adorn our lives, the mouse is by far the most charming. It is easy to use and immediately useful, but above all it has a name which, if does not describe its function, is disarming and has no link to the dark tangled world of technology. Although my laptop does not absolutely require a mouse, it is very nice to have one. Mine is a laser mouse and sheds a pretty red light wherever it goes. Its attraction is increased because it is wire-less and goes where it pleases or, at least, I want it to unhindered. The other day, however, it took its freedom too far, and did a runner. I searched for it far and wide, in the drawers of my desk, behind books, inside books, in files, even in the wastepaper basket. In the end I gave up, knowing, because even I am not so naive as to think that it could really have grown legs and scarpered, that it must be somewhere. Then today, while on a routine check for things that have fallen off my desk, I find the creature peering at me from behind the leg of the desk where it had evidently been hiding. Could it be that, in the world of technology, inanimate objects are gradually evolving aspects of animation, which are unscheduled and unknown to science?
There is a grocers in Grosvenor Road, where nearly all the products are labelled in Polish or perhaps another central European language. It is a good place to buy sausages, preserved herrings, sauerkraut and that sort of thing, if you like that sort of thing. While I am buying some herrings this morning, the girl behind the counter, whose first language is think, Bulgarian, says to me as she she struggles with a new plastic bag, "the thing is to open the bag!". "You need a university degree to open those", I say sympathetically. "Or very sticky fingers," she says.