Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I feel like I'm re-enacting scenes from Leon. Except in my case the plant I'm wandering round with is a banana plant, and wandering downstairs, across the garden and into the greenhouse isn't quite the streets of New York. There's no real way I can get away with pretending the woodpecker was gunfire, is there? And I didn't see very many people to shoot, only some newly emerged bluebells.

It's gone all weirdly summery. Or maybe that was just the effect of swimming making my circulation work for once. And swimming, when you haven't done more than paddling for a month, is different. Especially when said paddling was in the Caribbean, and the swimming is in a "athletically adjusted" pool (athletically adjusted meaning a temperature selected to prevent swimmer overheating during maintained high activity periods. In other wordsthe heating system's having problems, we can't get it fixed, and it's cheaper this way).

Now factor in the last time I swam I had a snorkel or regulator in my mouth. So I'm swimming along, and try breathing. Oh there's water coming in, so I'd better clear the regulator. So I blow out, and try again. Still only water, which is very odd. Hang on, there's no bit of rubbery plastic irritating my gums. Guess I'm not snorkelling then. Head up, huar, back down. This whole having to plan your breathing to match your strokes thing is very strange, and as for having to clear the surface to breathe - who on earth designed that?

So, swimming: you can tell I haven't done it for a month. Do PADI do course that teaches swimming where the objective is forward movement, not lots of splashing? Or do I have to resort to the book someone found in the library - which teaches revolutionary techniques for front crawl. Which given I can't do crawl without looking like a paddlesteamer (and I move about as fast), is either a very good or very bad idea. It claims to teach "total" swimming, but it only does one stroke. And apparently you have to twist a lot as you do it, because then you're a yacht. Um, ok. I can understand the all the streamlining stuff cribbed from sailing, it's just when he applies it to people, it doesn't seem as convincing. Maybe I ought to read the words next to the pretty pictures before I try it out. Though I doubt this paddlewheel will ever evolve into a propeller.

Random search of the day: Someone from Essex County Council wanted "Portacabins to buy in Spain". So they get me, and a boat called Tintin. Though what do they want it for? And is it official council business? Answers on the back of postcard...

Random news of the day: Google having problems with Gmail. I'd never heard of it till today, but apparently the user gets free email with a huge inbox, in return for the email being scanned to provide information used to produce targeted advertisements. The privacy part of me goes "eek!", and cynical part of me tries to work out what adverts I'd get. Presumably there's so many words that aren't in it's database (panhagglety anyone?) it would permanently have an OED advert following me [OED: Oxford English Dictionary, like Macquarie's for the Aussies or Funk & Wagnalls for any Statesiders].

Random blog of the day: Genetic Chaos. Which isn't great, as it appears to just reel off endless abstracts, on genetic illustrations of human migrations, without comment or interpretation. But the only other blogs I'm finding at the moment are all writing about power cuts in Singapore. And I've just noticed that address is Pratchett derived.


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