Monday, July 09, 2012

amber weather weights






The light that says: hang on a moment, further instructions to come. Some points to meditate on while waiting for the lights to change.  Amber is a courtesan in the eponymous  novel by Kathleen Winser set in the latter half of the Seventeenth Century, notorious when it was published in the 1940s. It was condemned  by the Catholic Church which helped sales considerably.  Amber is fossilised remains of  resin from extinct coniferous trees. It is used for ornaments and sometimes contains the embalmed bodies of insects. Hence "a fly in amber". It burns with an agreeable odour and when rubbed becomes charged with static electricity.  The word electric is derived from the Greek word for amber. Ambergris is a string smelling wax-like secretion from the intestine of the sperm whale found floating in tropical seas. It is used in perfumes. The word is derived from  the medieval French ambre gris, meaning grey amber.

People are becoming irritated with the weather I notice, pursing their lips and complaining. They seem to take the unremitting sequence of rainy days as a personal afront.

Among Nassim Nicholas Taleb's aphorisms included in his invaluable book The Bed of Procrustes, I read: "Upon arriving at the hotel in Dubai, the business man had a porter carry his luggage. I later saw him lifting free weights in the gym."

1 comment:

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

The book had a retrospectively curious title - Forever Amber - as if it were based on the life of a fly, fixed in time. For no good reason the movie was even more notorious but it did introduce the luscious Linda Darnell to contemporary adolescents, no doubt disturbing their dreams.

Rain. TV journalists earlier in the year were doing gloomy reports about the possibility of une grande secheresse. As the reservoirs filled up and in some cases overflowed these utterances came to an end, releasing other slightly more techno journalists to talk about depleted aquifers. We haven't heard from them recently. Might Britain be sufficiently water-logged by now?